Once A Fool
Welcome, one and all, to the 2017 IRON DM Tournament. Eight contestants enter the arena. One emerges as IRON DM 2017.
To keep down the clutter, all scheduling will take place in the scheduling thread. Ingredients, entries, and judgements will all be posted in this thread. As usual, commentary and trash-talk also should be posted in this thread (for posterity).
[sblock=The RulesThe Basics:
The tournament is set up in a single-elimination bracket style, with each match determined based on scheduling availability among the eligible contestants.
Each match will consist of two contestants given a single set of ingredients with which to construct a brief adventure or adventure synopsis in any game system or genre. You should waste neither time, nor words, on overly detailed stats, but you should also not assume familiarity with any given system or genre. Explain what you need to explain, and stop there!
These entries will be evaluated on their own merits and those evaluations will then be compared to determine the winner of a match, who will then proceed to the next round.
All matches will be given a time-frame to submit your entries within. Entries that are late will still be accepted, but with a penalty applied to its word-limit. Late entries that are less than 1 hour late will have their word-limits reduced by 10% (meaning, for example, a first-round entry would have its word-limit reduced from 750 to 675, which is harsher than it looks). Entries that are at least 1 hour late, but less than 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced by 30%. Entries that are at least 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced by 50%. Entries that are at least 2 days late may be disqualified at the discretion of the competitor and judge. Entries that exceed their word-limits will be considered to end once they reach that limit; I will ignore everything after.
Obviously, you really want to avoid being late, especially in the first round, but life happens, and sometimes you just can't make it. In such cases, you should take the extra time (before your next threshold) to polish your entry with your new word-limit in mind. It won't be easy, but you might still win. Even if you don't win, you may at least find the judgement enlightening for future IRON DM tournaments!
All entries are expected to make good use of all of the ingredients submitted. They should be creatively applied, well-integrated, and fundamentally necessary to the adventure that they are used in. This is the crux of the tournament, so don't think that maybe (for example) doing a good job with three ingredients will be enough, as long as you can craft a better adventure! I wouldn't count on it, if I were you.
Finally, matches have traditionally (but not always!) had exactly six ingredients. This will not be the case in this tournament. The list of required ingredients will get longer as the rounds progress!
All entries are to be submitted with the list of ingredients at the top and are not to be edited, once submitted. Let me repeat that last part: DO NOT EDIT YOUR POST, ONCE YOU HAVE SUBMITTED IT! Check your work before you send it in. Then check it again. I will not look favorably upon any entry that has been edited and may penalize the entry as I see fit, including, possibly, outright disqualification. Part of the challenge of IRON DM is in the development and use of discipline in editing and time-management.
Please do not expect me to follow links within your entry. You may include links for others to follow if you choose to do so, but understand that any information that is necessary to the entry must be in the actual entry. Not only will I be reading each entry multiple times, but expecting outside sources to carry the load of exposition very much defeats the purpose of the word-limit.
Along those lines – I reiterate: I will be reading each entry multiple times. Please don't make that difficult for me. Don't bore me and don't make my eyes bleed. Please.
As I said before, each entry will be judged on its own merits and then the two competing entries' critiques will be compared for the final judgement. Different judges have traditionally had different processes to arrive at such outcomes--for instance, some may use a point-based grading chart, while others may prefer a more abstract analysis.
I will endeavor to be Nemmerelesque in my judgements – critical, but also fair and constructive in that criticism. It's tradition. Even so, please understand that not everybody will agree with every decision that I make – that's the nature of the game. Traditionally, second-guessing the judge is all part of the game – and that can lead to some undesired outcomes. It can sting sometimes (believe me, I know!), but it is a game. Let's have some fun with it!
That said, those wishing to gain a little insight into the judge's thinking will need to do a little research to do so, but the information is out there. Be warned, though! I may have changed my thinking on some of these things within the last 15 years!
Round 1: The Crucible
All matches in the first round will have a 24 hour time-limit! All matches in the first round will have six ingredients, all of which are to be used in each entry. Entries in these matches will have a 750 word limit (not including the title and ingredients list – any descriptions or definitions of ingredients will count against the limit!). That may not seem like a lot, but I assure you, it's even less than you think! Contestants who win their Round 1 matches will proceed to Round 2.
Round 2: The Refinement
All matches in the second round will have a 48 hour time-limit. These matches will each have seven ingredients, all of which are to be used in each entry. Entries in these matches will have a 1500 word limit (not including the title and ingredients list – any descriptions or definitions of ingredients will count against the limit!). Contestants who win their Round 1 matches will proceed to Round 2.
Round 3: The Tempering
The third round match will also have a 48 hour time-limit. This match will use eight ingredients, all of which are to be used in each entry. Entries in this match will have a 2000 word limit (not including the title and ingredients list – any descriptions or definitions of ingredients will count against the limit!). The contestant who wins this match will become the IRON DM 2017!
Scheduling, Discussing, and Spectating:
As previously mentioned, the scheduling thread will be used for scheduling the matches.
This tournament thread will be used to post the ingredients, the entries, and the judgements for each match. Commentary will also be welcome in that thread, but, please, if you are commenting on an entry that has not yet been judged, hide that commentary with sblock tags, [sblock]like this,[/sblock] so that I can view the entries with fresh eyes!
If spectators would like to play the home game, please do that in another thread.
One final note:
Once these tournaments have been completed, we try to archive them on these boards for posterity, and so that the adventures can be run or plundered by future Internet generations. We make no claim of ownership over the entries, but we do request that you do not remove your entries once the tournament has concluded. [/sblock]
1: Deuce Traveler (IRON DM 2012, 2015, 2016)
3: Iron Sky (IRON DM 2009)
5: MortalPlague (IRON DM 2014)
3: Iron Sky (IRON DM 2009)
5: MortalPlague (IRON DM 2014)
Good luck, y'all.
Round 1: The Crucible
Match 1: Iron Sky vs. Yaztromo. Judgement posted.
Match 2: Gradine vs. Slit518. Judgement posted.
Match 3: MortalPlague vs. tglassy. Judgement posted.
Match 4: Deuce Traveler vs. Lwaxy. Judgement posted.
[sblock=Round 2: The Refinement] Match 1: Deuce Traveler vs. tglassy. Judgement posted.
Match 2: Gradine vs. Iron Sky. Judgement posted. [/sblock]
[sblock=Championship Round: The Tempering]Deuce Traveler vs. Gradine. Judgement posted. [/sblock]