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IRON DM 2017 Tournament

Deuce Traveler

Adventurer
A well-deserved congrats and I look forward to judging in the future!

Let me also take a moment to say goodbye to my favorite author, who died this week. RIP, Ursula Le Guin.
 
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Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/her)
Wow, I knew that it would be close, but I thought for sure that Deuce Traveler had won it! Thanks for the judgment, and thanks to everyone who participated for the excellent competition! I feel like this year was tough in general, a lot of really high-quality adventures from everyone.

Fun Fact: This year I got to avenge my losses in each of the last two years (vs. Iron Sky & Deuce Traveler).

So, process talk. Obviously, the first ingredient I was drawn to was Doppleganger's Masquerade. I knew going into the match (even before the ingredients were posted) that if I played it safe I was probably going to lose. When I saw that ingredient, my first thought immediately went to... well, basically all of the references Rune listed, but several more also (from Clue, to that one Dark Brotherhood quest in Oblivion) with the player in the role of the Doppleganger. It felt like it would be weird and difficult premise that if executed well would be incredibly memorable.

Most of the ingredients went into fleshing out the siblings and their "trials". That, by the way, was why the chess trial seemed so weak compared to others; that was my actual intended use for Un-Coordinates (I like what Rune picked out better, though!) Same with Mindless Drone, but on the opposite end of the spectrum; I'd have liked to make each of the sacrifices a bit stronger (maybe almost but not quite as powerful as the permanent feeblemind) and more of equal significance to each of the siblings.

I actually gave some thought to how I'd run it myself with a fuller group. If I had access to a bigger house I'd probably mix up the clues a bit more and tighten up the premise, and play it like a LARP Murder Mystery party. Every character would have index cards with their backstory info and stuff they know about the other siblings. The Dopplegangers will also get cards that say "If a Doppleganger gives you this card while the two of your are alone, you are killed, and have been replaced by that Doppleganger" and then that player would go on to play as if they were the Doppleganger. I'd need to make some more tweaks and refinement, but if I ever get a chance to host a Murder Mystery party in an appropriate enough location (my friends usually do one for NYE) I might go with that.

But yeah, my recommendation to the newer players this year is to keep at it. Every year I feel I learned something new and grew stronger as both an overall adventure designer as well as with the specific requirements of this competition. It's been a lot of fun, and I look forward to defending the title next year!
 

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