IRON DM 2021 Tournament

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
@Rune what makes the knights leonine is their name, Löwe = Lion in german :)
The first knight is literaly named Leonidas - which again is Lion in Greek - I guess the editing lost too much of the explanation in the background :(

I originally had empty treasury contain the family sword (that one would family treasure, not kingdoms) and PCs trying to get it find out that it is empty...again, a plot arc lost to the word limit.


Last year I cut off details of a goddess used in the story and it made one ingredient confusing. It happens.

What I did same as the last year (intentional risk) is not include details about the cultists or the locations so DM can have any difficulty (level) of the encounters set up. While terrible bard needs to be mid- to high level, there is no reason why the rest of the adventure (cultists in particular) have to be. I would put this against the party of 7th or 8th level with cultists being weak on average (lvl 3-5l, but with each location having a higher level bard to motivate them and each witth different powers.

Congratulations to @loverdrive for the excellent idea and writing and good luck in the next year competition.
 

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Great ruling Radiating Gnome. This can't have been easy. Having to choose between beautiful poetry and a more straight forward adventure, but both great. I don't envy your job on these two.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
@Rune what makes the knights leonine is their name, Löwe = Lion in german :)
I think maybe you meant to tag @Radiating Gnome?

I can only speak for myself here, as I wasn’t the judge for your match, but I think RG would agree with me when I say that the name might be a neat tag to include in an entry, but you still have to make it relevant as an ingredient. If you can change the name without changing the adventure, there’s still work to do.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
I think maybe you meant to tag @Radiating Gnome?

I can only speak for myself here, as I wasn’t the judge for your match, but I think RG would agree with me when I say that the name might be a neat tag to include in an entry, but you still have to make it relevant as an ingredient. If you can change the name without changing the adventure, there’s still work to do.
Why, yes! Sorry about that. I scrolled up to check the name to mention and missed that I skipped some posts. My bad.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I was out for the weekend, so I am catching up now; I apologize if these comments are a little dated!

@loverdrive My only request for running the adventure is you let me know how it goes! When you write something out, you always wonder how players end up creatively overcoming the complications and obstacles. :)

My thoughts on the last round's entries:

loverdrive's-
I admit, this is my favorite entry of the entire first round. From the mic drop opening line ("There's a reason why elves never sleep," to one of my all-time favorite entries (under character creation, "Say who you were before. Write that down. It's irrelevant, anyway.")

There is a repetition of words and a changing cadence of meaning that absolutely delights me when I read it. Even the simplest parts -
The sky with no God . The sky with a gaping God-shaped hole.
I look at this and I marvel at the precision; not just no God, but the absence, the gaping and palpable absence of God.

I don't just want to play this; I want to luxuriate in this. I want to bathe in this entry. I want to return to it over and over again, marveling at the simplicity of the mechanics and the cleverness of them (control and humanity, inversely related).

I want to face a man-made god and make it bleed the concept of blood.

On the other hand, I do happen to think that the ingredients were just a throw-in. I'm not entirely sure that you couldn't have fit six other ingredients into that.

....but I don't care. I had way too much fun reading that. Multiple times. :)

@Neurotic
You've already won! So ... yeah, this is a day late and more than a dollar short. First, as should always be stated, I am in favor of any adventure that correctly paints bards to be the bad guy.

This seems like a fun and interesting adventure to run; I'd definitely place it in a feywild (or fey-adjacent) type of setting, and go heavy into the atmosphere. The tying of the history, the old and the new, definitely gives this adventure a feeling of a classic tale that you often don't find in D&D and other fantasy TTRPGs, which I think is pretty cool.

I think that the use of ingredients is really good, and you've integrated the ingredients really well into the adventure and theme.


General observation

I am so impressed with all of the entries in the first round. But I keep coming back to something @Iron Sky wrote at the beginning of his judgment:
When I competing in IronDM I usually focus on originality, theme, and "coolness" over mechanism. I then get to see my "sweet" adventures lose to solidly playable, straightforward entries with less flash and more function. When judging, I see why I lose to playabilty-focused adventures. Make an economical vehicle with a fresh coat of paint, not a rocket-powered bicycle that will maybe blast moonwards but more likely blast a smoking crater. I.e. solid and playable trumps exciting and flashy.

I have thoughts on that (I generally have thoughts on everything!), but I just wanted to reiterate that this is one heckuva group of writers.
 

Radiating Gnome

Adventurer
@Rune what makes the knights leonine is their name, Löwe = Lion in german :)
The first knight is literaly named Leonidas - which again is Lion in Greek - I guess the editing lost too much of the explanation in the background :(

I originally had empty treasury contain the family sword (that one would family treasure, not kingdoms) and PCs trying to get it find out that it is empty...again, a plot arc lost to the word limit.


Last year I cut off details of a goddess used in the story and it made one ingredient confusing. It happens.

What I did same as the last year (intentional risk) is not include details about the cultists or the locations so DM can have any difficulty (level) of the encounters set up. While terrible bard needs to be mid- to high level, there is no reason why the rest of the adventure (cultists in particular) have to be. I would put this against the party of 7th or 8th level with cultists being weak on average (lvl 3-5l, but with each location having a higher level bard to motivate them and each witth different powers.

Congratulations to @loverdrive for the excellent idea and writing and good luck in the next year competition.
JFC, I should have caught that. Sigh. :)
 

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
I'm relieved I'm judging and not competing this tournament; collectively, these may be the strongest round 1 entries I've ever seen. Entries that are losing would have crushed most 1st round entries in past competitions. Even if you lost, know us judges are struggling with these entries in the best possible way: trying to pick the best of two great entries is so much harder than picking the least bad entry.
 

loverdrive

Prophet of the profane (She/Her)
Well, that was deserved.

I've got a bit caught up in creative writing and posted a prose piece instead of an adventure.

@Neurotic, good luck, I'm cheering for you!

@loverdrive My only request for running the adventure is you let me know how it goes! When you write something out, you always wonder how players end up creatively overcoming the complications and obstacles
I've scheduled a session already.

Maybe I'll end up even writing a microgame based on your premise, but I don't know if I'll end up publishing it or publishing it in English.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
CURRENT STANDINGS
IRONDM2021-bracket-rd2.jpg
 

loverdrive

Prophet of the profane (She/Her)
I always forget that westerners have a very different cultural baggage. When I was discussing the stuff I write with my wife, we got into a heated debate about GSC's S.T.A.L.K.E.R. videogame series and Пикник на обочине (I don't have a single clue if it was translated to English and if it was, how it was called) which inevitably led to discussing Tarkovskiy's Stalker, which led to discussing Solaris and the original Lem's novel. The fact that someone had to Google what noosphere is reminded me about the differences

And then there's a dichotomy between karamat and istidraj, but that's a whole other theological tangent I'm not wiiling to delve into drunk.
 

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