@Snarf Zagyg - I hate to think of being the cause of anything eating at anyone for days, so for any consternation I may have caused with my wording I apologize. I wrote hastily and may have come across more caustic than I intended to. Having reread your entry, I will stand by my critique but I can elaborate on my thinking and analysis if you want, including game theory and my choice of words. Or not. Either way my judgement, I hope was not taken personally. We put forward our thoughts and stories and they are our children and creations, and it is a hard thing to let others critique them according to their own tastes and inclinations.
I appreciate the clarification. You obviously bounced hard off my adventure - that was clear from the judgment. That happens. That you believe game theory might explain things indicates to me that you probably aren't grokking the full purpose of the one-shot, although I value your offer to explain it.
That said, it was not my intention to relitigate the past round, or explain my entry further. Not only do I think it is unwarranted, I also think it does a disservice to the excellent winning entry. Instead, it was just to call attention to what I saw as an issue. The farther outside the box you go in Iron DM, the bigger the hole you've created for yourself to begin with. Which is fine; that's something I'm comfortable with.
Where I think it starts to get more uncomfortable is when the judgment begins to seem more of a referendum on playing styles; no longer a question of, "Was the adventure a good adventure for its type," but, "Is this the type of adventure I think should be an adventure?" It seems less of a judgment, and more of a ... well, a judgment. If you follow me.
In order to make this clear, I'll give you two examples.
a. In the first round, I made use of Ten Candles as the system. I did it for very specific reasons that were integral to the one-shot- it's not a topic I would have touched with almost any other system. Now, I am sure that there are people out there who would balk at playing an RPG where the end is pre-ordained. If you aren't familiar with it, the end of the game is the death of all the players as the last tea candle goes out. It's a game of tragic horror, and it is about loss. I am sure that there are people who, because the destination is already known, may have qualms about playing this game. But the beauty is in the journey, in the game itself. It's not any less of a game (or an adventure) because of that endpoint; rather, that is an absolutely necessary component of that game. Most importantly, it is the match of system to subject matter that I needed to tackle that particular issue- it's not about the end, but what you do before that.
b. Or, imagine a pacifist judging a D&D round. The pacifist might bounce hard off of a D&D adventure that requires violence to resolve it. And yet, it would be somewhat strange to analyze that adventure as being a lesser adventure simply because it engages with the very tropes that are most common to D&D.
I'm going to leave it at that. Again, appreciate the work you put into this judging. It's not easy. But maybe in the future, if you do bounce off of something (which happens ... I just don't like food with a strong rose water flavor), try and make your opinion about other playing styles a little less clear throughout the piece.