IRON DM 2021 Tournament


That was a nail-biter!

(As an aside - I can't decide if I'm disappointed that I'm not competing this time or relieved. On the one hand, I'd be happy to be in this company. On the other... I'd probably be out by now. We'll never know.)

log in or register to remove this ad


Once A Fool
That was a nail-biter!

(As an aside - I can't decide if I'm disappointed that I'm not competing this time or relieved. On the one hand, I'd be happy to be in this company. On the other... I'd probably be out by now. We'll never know.)
Well, I’m glad I’m not competing.


Moderator Emeritus
Congrats, Wicht!

I was certain you would win when I read your entry but once the first two judgments came in I actually started to hope I could win. . . :p But as a wise man once said, "Hope is for amateurs."

As for the Dark Sun vibes, that was purposeful. . . and I am considering running my next game in this setting, though perhaps a bit earlier in the timeline.


Jim: Already the crowds are beginning to gather, eager anticipation on their faces for another exciting day of Iron DM. The energy is palpable. As we wait we cannot help but ask ourselves questions...

Bob: Have you seen my sandwich Jim?

Jim: What kind of ingredients will we see today?

Bob: It was a goblin ear bacon sandwich with extra onions and horseradish.

Jim: What sort of mood will the judges be in as they consider the entries?

Bob: They're going to be in a pretty dead mood if one of them ate my sandwich.

Jim: What kind of energy and creativity should we expect from the contestants?

Bob: I wish they would show a little energivity and get up here to help me find my... Oh there it is. What do you know? I was sitting on it this whole time. Ah crumb, I hate flat sandwiches. Might as well be eating a tortilla. Do you want it, Jim? Maybe I'll order in a pizza. Say Jim, isn't there a match today that you should be telling the folks at home about?

Jim: Indeed there is Bob, indeed there is.


Final Form (they/them)
Jason Bateman Cotton GIF


Once A Fool
Round 2, Match 2: Neurotic vs Gradine

@Neurotic and @Gradine, you have 48 hours to post your entries to this thread. Please limit your entry to a title, a list of the ingredients used and 1500 additional words. Be aware: if you include descriptions of your ingredients with the ingredients list, those descriptions will count against your word-limit! Entries that exceed their word-limits will be considered to end once they reach that limit; everything after will be ignored.

The judges will be using to ensure that our counts are consistent.

Please include your list of ingredients at the beginning of the entry and please do not edit your post once it is submitted. Please refrain from reading your opponent's entry until after you have posted your own. You are on your honor to do so.

Entries that are between 1 and 59 minutes late will have their word-limits reduced to 1350. Later entries that are at less than 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced to 1050. Entries that are at least 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced to 750. Entries that are at least 2 days late may be disqualified at the discretion of the judge with consent from the match's opposing competitor.

Your ingredients are:

Lost Boys
Buzzing Monastery
Wicked Grin
Winter Court
Salacious Homunculus
A Void
Innocence Gained


Final Form (they/them)
The Fairy & The Doll
A Big Adventure for Little Heroes

Lost Boys
Buzzing Monastery
Wicked Grin
Winter Court
Salacious Homunculus
A Void
Innocence Gained

Our heroes are lost children. They live a free, adventurous life in Neverland with Peter Pan. After one particular misadventure, Captain Hook has kidnapped Tinker Bell and escaped Neverland entirely. Pan has left on a journey to rescue her, but has been gone for some time. The Lost Boys are starting to worry. Their fears are confirmed when they are greeted by a particularly strange talking cat.

The Cheshire Cat
The Cheshire Cat is a trickster who enjoys chaos, but will intervene whenever the story threatens to get less interesting. A wicked grin is always plastered on his face. He speaks in riddles, but is able to confirm that Pan is indeed in trouble, and that only our young heroes can save them. With this, the Cheshire Cat fades away piece by piece, his broad grin the last the heroes see of him.

Armed with nothing but their wits, a small bag of faerie dust, and the pluck of a team of orphans surviving and thriving in a dangerous world against all odds, our heroes fly into the night sky, following fifth star kitty-corner to the southnorthwest of Orion’s Belt, towards a magical realm of ice and snow, a mythical land spoken of only in whispers and known only by its most mysterious name: Norway.

The kingdom of Arendelle is in crisis. Queen Elsa left a week prior to resolve an issue with some nearby monks, but has not returned, and rumors swirl of only a single survivor, gone into hiding. In her absence her throne was usurped, her sister thrown in the dungeon, and the kingdom overtaken by a particularly tyrannous monarch known only as the Queen of Hearts. Her army of anthropomorphic playing cards surveil the realm, squashing all opposition and driving the citizenry to terror. They long for the return of the powerful Queen of Ice and Snow, and worry that something must have happened to her to prevent her from helping them in their time of need.

Our heroes will be questioned and possibly detained by these card soldiers, so they must take care while exploring the town and getting information from the scared townsfolk. Many villagers recall seeing a large ship docked at port just before the coup, bearing skull and crossbone flags. The Lost Boys of course know this to be the Jolly Roger; the nefarious pirate Captain Hook’s flagship.

A shell-shocked and wounded soldier by the name of Matthias is hiding out in a combination trading outpost and sauna. He is the only survivor of the Queen’s trip. He remembers standing outside the monastery, scanning the distance for threats, but when he turned around it was gone. All he could hear was the faint, distant voice of his Queen calling for help, and the terrible buzzing of wasps. The monastery that produces the mead is, or at least was, located in the nearby forest, colloquially known as the “Hundred Acre Woods”.

Hundred Acre Woods
If our heroes journey towards the former site of the monastery, they will find no building in its place. Instead, multiple beehives surround the site, with hundreds of dangerous bees buzzing this way and that. The Cheshire Cat appears with a clue for our heroes:
“In the center of these woods is a tree
In this tree lives a bear
Under the name Mr. Sanderz
Which is to say,
He is a bear
Living in a tree,
With a sign above the door
That says “Mr Sanderz”
He is a pooh bear
Fluff in place of delicate skin
With a great love of honey
A love that conquers fear.”

If they follow the Cat’s advice, they will indeed find the bear, a friendly if somewhat befuddled sort, who will gladly follow any promise of honey. If returned to the monastery, this pooh bear will tear through the area, gathering and devouring as much honey as he can, while the entire colony of bees chases him away.

With the buzzing gone, Lost Boys with a talent for hearing will notice three distinct voices, as if they were far away, shouting for help. A woman’s voice and a man’s voice, both strange, but the third voice is as clear as day, if pitched quite a bit higher than usual: it is none other than Peter Pan.

As they approach the voices, they notice that the monastery has not disappeared at all; simply shrunk; no doubt by Hook, using some of Tink’s magic. It has since been taken over by bees as a nest. A table appears where once there was none, with naught but a potion labeled “Drink This”. Perceptive heroes will notice a disembodied grinning face briefly before it disappears. The potion shrinks the heroes down to the size of an insect, and there they find another bottle labeled “Drink This”; this potion will restore their normal size.

A Bug’s Life
Inside, Peter Pan and Queen Elsa have been trapped along with a third, elderly gentleman with a thick accent who calls himself Gepetto. He tells of an evil pirate who threw him inside the monastery and shrunk it. The pirate stole his boy, Pinocchio, luring him with the gift of a small fairy, and brought him to Pleasure Island, a nefarious land filled with every temptation under the sun. Hook has been intercepting the monks’ mead shipments and selling it to the children and donkeys of this land, the dastardly drink only worsening their behavior and limiting their inhibitions.

Gepetto refuses to take the growth potion until they agree to rescue Jiminy, a cricket that serves as Pinocchio’s conscience, and the only one who can save him. Separated from his conscience, the poor puppet-child’s soul is left an empty void, bereft of care or concern for anyone or anything but his own selfish desires. Jiminy is held captive by a large colony of ants that mistook him for a grasshopper. Our heroes will have to negotiate for Jiminy’s release, perhaps by explaining the difference between crickets and grasshoppers.

Once freed and re-grown, Elsa will depart immediately to rescue her kingdom, and she is able to chase out the Queen of Hearts and her army with her powerful ice magic. Our heroes can join her, if they wish. Elsa alone will allow the Queen of Hearts to escape unscathed, but our heroes might help prevent that escape, capturing her and leaving her in the castle’s dungeon. This will stop her and her army from appearing at the final battle. In either case, Elsa rewards the party with a magical bag of neverending, nevermelting, icy marbles. She wishes them good luck on their adventure.

Pleasure Island
Pleasure Island is a horrible place where lost children lose their innocence to the lure of all of life’s most indulgent vices. Alcohol. Tobacco. Gambling. Onanism. Copyright Infringement. Once fully lost, the children become donkeys, and seek to corrupt other children as well.

Captain Hook and his pirate crew defend the island from our heroes, with Hook keeping watch over Pinocchio himself. The puppet has painted Tinker Bell blue and keeps her captive, calling her his “blue fairy”. If she was allowed to escape Arendelle, the Queen of Hearts is here as well, with her army of card soldiers. If the Queen was captured, the Cheshire Cat instead decides to tip the scales. He’s worried that the pirates are now at a disadvantage, and so unleashes the Jabberwock on the island, leaving the Vorpal Blade in the island’s dead center, at the feet of a Tumtum tree.

Our heroes must avoid and/or confront the island’s many dangers and get Jiminy to Pinocchio in enough time to restore his conscience and his innocence.

Once the pirates and other dangers are chased off and Pinocchio restored, everyone finds Tinker Bell, gravely injured and nearly dying. The mood is somber. But our Lost Boys know the way to save her! The only way to revive a fairy is to believe in fairies, and the best way to show you believe in fairies is to clap. The heroes must convince the lost and corrupted children of the island to believe in fairies and clap for Tinker Bell. Of course, our players (and readers!) must believe in fairies too, and clap as well. If they do, she is revived and good as new, though she must then be talked down from wreaking her vengeance on the now remorseful Pinocchio.

Pinocchio, Gepetto, and Jiminy graciously depart for new adventures. A weary Gepetto expresses a desire for a vacation; maybe a cruise. He had always wanted to go whale watching.

Our heroes return to Neverland. As a victory feast, the Lost Boys (and perhaps some new friends!) enjoy a seemingly endless supply of ice cream. Tinker Bell, grateful for her rescue, even provides just enough of her magic fairy dust to make the ice cream look, smell, taste, and feel just as good as the real thing.



I am a bit curious as to the system envisioned for the scenario.

Also the inclusion of the vice of copyright infringement was a nice touch.


I often have No Thank You, Evil in mind when designing for children, but that system also has a builtin setting of its own
I suppose NTY,E could be adapted for it. You'd probably have to play around a bit with the companion rules or else just be a bit more structured in what sort of characters and companions were allowed.


I plan on living forever. Or die trying.

IRON DM 2021​

Round 2, Gradine vs Neurotic

  • Lost Boys​
  • Buzzing Monastery​
  • Wicked Grin​
  • Winter Court​
  • Salacious Homunculus​
  • A Void​
  • Innocence Gained​
New beginnings

Adventure Synopsis:​

PCs need to stop a mad sorcerer/fey warlock Atlantes and free the innocent friar. The sorcerer needs the children to rejuvenate and his…improper…urges were pushed out into minor construct he uses to spy on the city and lure his victims to their doom. He devoted his life to the Fey Court and their wicked queen, intending to sacrifice the city and gain immortality in the process.

Background story:​

In the mountain kingdom of Velebit, a religious tradition is kept where the last week of the year is spent in preparation for the New Year festival. There are gifts, goodwill, and people trying to cleanse themselves from the sins of the past. People congregate in temples, pray, and in general act nicer than during the rest of the year.

At Knin, the capital, the city of kings, The Court prepares for the transition of the years. And in the nearby monastery, the friars prepare the rituals of cleansing. But this year…this year is different.

The acolytes in the monastery, the ministrants in the city temples, and the choir boys started disappearing. At first, it was minor, a boy fled the monastery for the wider world. The boy runs away from home. But as The Watch got more and more reports they started the investigation. The monks at the monastery assigned brother Matthias to investigate. At the same time, reports of the strange little creature started circulating around the city. Pink-red, small, with pointed ears and phallus-like appendage forever pointing forward, the creature was seen lurking around bathing pools, peeping through windows into the bedrooms and all over the House of Easy Virtue.

The apparition is said to grin constantly, wicked grin people from the court describe as vaguely familiar. This salacious homunculus was seen in more than one scene where the boys were lost, but no traces could be found of the creature or the boys. At least until the winter fell. In the snow, it was easier to track and one fortuituous night, a watchman happened to notice a boy, inadequately dressed for the winter, following the path through the snow.

He followed the boy to the monastery and into the side catacombs before losing them behind the closed doors. The watch stormed the sanctuary and in the room of brother Matthias, the very same investigator found the boy, shivering from the cold. Worse, they found traces of ritual components and few minor items from the lost boys.

The adventure​

PCs are involved by blood relations orfriends to Matthias or employed by the abbot. They are charged with proving his innocence. Given that the bodies aren’t found, the case isn’t clear cut, as Matthias maintains he was returning from his duties in the catacombs and found a boy, dazed and half-frozen so he brought him up to help. The trial is set two days hence, on the very Eve of the Year at the monastery.

PCs need to interrogate Matthias who can point out the sexual fixation of the construct; the parents (most of whom want to see Matthias thrown down the mountain); talk to the friars (who can direct PCs into the catacombs where strange smells and sounds happen if one goes too deep); track the homunculus and sit on the trial as the evidence is presented. And all that in couple of days.

Parents can give little, but the thing that binds everything together is that the boys were out in the evening. Bathing. Cleaning the monastery. Helping the old sorcerer. Some of them know of the homunculus, some have seen it and some comment on its features being vaguely familiar. Some are noble, others common, oldest barely in midteens.

The homunculus can be captured fairly easily with some bait (young ladies in the pools) in the evening.

The monastery is buzzing with the activity, normaly subdued with only small number of friars inhabiting it, now there is an army of servants preparing for the arrival of the king and his Winter Court. PCs must navigate various functionaries and noble representatives or nobles themselves to have free access to the building. Same goes for

Investigating the catacombs yields some clues. Discarded clothes can be found in the alcoves with the dead monks. Tracks of wet feet, dried now. Clawed feet of the homunculus can be found in the dust in the deepest recesses of the monastery. One arcane spell pouch is found as were traces of powdered black onyx and almost erased ritual circle.

Some clues point to the arcane caster, others to the divine.

Following the clues, they could deduce there is a connection to the sorcerers abode. Assuming they find the secret passage into Atlantes house, they have to contend with undead made from the friars bodies, soulless, yet still living bodies of the boys and weirdly, fey guardians.

If PCs prevail, they find the ritual circle with black flame burning in the center, black flames licking from the utter Void in the middle. Black gems, one for each boy missing, surround the circle and each flicker occasionally, the small flame joining the conflagration in the middle before being sucked into it. Careful examination will show the boys within gems, screaming in the darkness of their prisons, faces twisted in agony.

The boys, if not killed, can be returned to their bodies once the ritual is undone. For that the homunculus needs to be captured, doused in holy water and thrown into the black flames. If the circle is broken without homunculus, the void will expand suddenly engulfing all living in the room, trying to suck the life out of them (Con save to resist). With each attack it grows, threatening the city itself.

With the evidence gathered, PCs can crash into the trial, Atlantes being one of the judges of The Winter Court. If the homunculus is captured and presented, the old man grins wickedly and calls out. The fey of The Winter Court, cold and merciless attack those present, mostly nobles of the city. The sorcerer tries to free the homunculus by charming the captor(s). If he succeeds he runs away followed by the fey.

Vaguely recognizable features are obvious once homunculus and Atlantes are together. It is obviously twisted face of the sorcerer.

If the PCs capture the homunculus and free the boys, THEN appear at the court, the wizards sags in his seat. His eyes widen at something “No, no, no, nooo!!” he screams before the image of the queen of air and darkness appears seated in her Winter court appears in front of him. The Void between the worlds swells and engulfs him, leaving no trace of the former judge.

The court dismisses the charges against Matthias and innocence regained he joins his brothers in the ritual cleansing of the sin.

Assuming the lost boys are saved, the families are reunited, much joy is to be had. Otherwise, a somber ceremony for the lost is held, as the sins are forgiven and innocence regained for another year.

The Void:
attacks creatures within 10', does 1d10 necrotic damage (Con save for half)
for each 10hp thus gained its radius increases by 1square.
for each 2 squares radius, its reach increases by 5 feet​

Level Up!

An Advertisement