Iron dm summer champion announced!

seasong

First Post
Wulf Ratbane said:
So what am I most proud of? That I finally took the meta-game of Iron DM, and the judge's whims, into consideration. I completely whored myself out from the get-go. From the classical epic backstory (that the PCs may or may not ever discover), to the repeated use of deus ex machina-- and hey! I won!
Whoring is not the meta-game. It's the only game. Writing for yourself while trying to win, that's the metagame*. Congratulations on achieving both!

Where do I send away for my "I am an Iron DM whore?" pin? ;)
I've got a pretty decent stock of them, I can lend you one of mine. ;)

-seasong

* Metagaming, at least as I understand it, is using knowledge or considerations outside of the basic game to influence what you do within the game. The stated goal of IronDM is to please someone with your scenario. That someone is not you ;).
 

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seasong

First Post
Greybar said:
When I wrote entries, they were often originally written in a few Memo entries in my Palm. That's 4K characters per entry - call it 1000 words per memo. I figured that was a good limit to force me to be concise. Looking at my old entries on the Palm I see that they took 3 or 4 memos (3-4 thousand words).
Er... Well, actually, my 2nd round entry, which is the longest I have ever written for any IronDM ever, is just a hair over 4,000 words. It may aso be the longest entry I've seen in an IronDM, too. And Wulf's was a short-n-sweet 1600 words. Most of the entries in this IronDM have hovered around 2,000 words, just like the last two.

I would like to see more sub-1,000 word entries, but those are more difficult to write.
 

Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
Well, I guess I am saying that, all other things being equal, the entry that pushes the judge's buttons the most should win. I can concede that point.

But just pushing the judge's buttons alone shouldn't be enough to win.

One would hope that, at some point, the crafting of an actual adventure-- with a plot that actually engages the PCs with things to do: some puzzles, some fighting, some roleplay; with decisions to make and consequences that they can see and feel, etc.-- one would hope that would have some impact on the judging.

Seems to me that some entries are better off in alsih20's Ceramic DM. That's a-what I'm sayin. If it takes you 4000 words to cough up the backstory but the portion of the adventure that the PCs can actually interface with is 5 or 6 open-ended questions, that's a problem, in my opinion.

I'm not saying whoring to the judge is bad. I agree it's an integral part of the Iron DM mystique. I just don't think it should be the primary focus-- are we here to craft adventures, or are we here to see who plays better to the judge? Which has top priority, ya know? Maybe it's me who's off base, I dunno.

I really should take a spin at judging one of these. I'd be curious to see if I can spot the whoring or not.


Wulf
 

Pielorinho

Iron Fist of Pelor
Wulf Ratbane said:
One would hope that, at some point, the crafting of an actual adventure-- with a plot that actually engages the PCs with things to do: some puzzles, some fighting, some roleplay; with decisions to make and consequences that they can see and feel, etc.-- one would hope that would have some impact on the judging.

As an observer, I can say that I much prefer object-oriented adventures, and wish more published adventures were written that way. I hate hate hate railroading, and am not too fond of dungeons. Give me solidly-defined characters with specific, complex motives; interesting locations; unusual MacGuffins; and let me run with it. (As an added bonus, it's easier for me to steal piecemeal from such an adventure: Nem's diseased paladin can plop into my campaign with little adjustment and still be a great NPC).

In other words, I'm all about the backstory. No adventure survives encounter with the PCs anyway, so it's either a waste of time or a dangerous risk of railroading to set out too specific a timeline.

I don't think it's whoring to write such an adventure. If you know what kind of adventure the judge likes, you can either stretch your skills by trying to write something different from your normal style, or you can stay with your normal style and not complain when you lose.

In other words, part of the value of the competition is realizing that different people like different toolsets to work with in someone else's adventure.

Daniel
 

WinnipegDragon

First Post
I just wanted to jump in here and say that I am in awe of all of my fellow competitors in this tournament. It was my first, but I'll be damned if it's my last :)

I must admit I was a bit sullen at losing in the first round, but having re-read the judgement, I have come to agree with many, if not all, of Rune's points. I've been silent on the thread since then, but I have enjoyed reading it, and I am now feeling very pleased that I, at least, made the decision tough for Rune when I faced Seasong.

So, bottom line, when is the next Tourney?! :)
 

Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
Pielorinho said:
If you know what kind of adventure the judge likes, you can either stretch your skills by trying to write something different from your normal style, or you can stay with your normal style and not complain when you lose.

Just a quickie, for the record, in case I wasn't clear enough about it yesterday:

I always complain. Even when I am having a great time (as I am here) and even when, largely, I actually agree with the side of the argument I am taking sides against.

So it isn't unusual for me to stay with my own style and happily complain when I lose-- or switch styles and complain when I win. ;)

Wulf
 

seasong

First Post
Wulf Ratbane said:
But just pushing the judge's buttons alone shouldn't be enough to win.

One would hope that, at some point, the crafting of an actual adventure-- with a plot that actually engages the PCs with things to do: some puzzles, some fighting, some roleplay; with decisions to make and consequences that they can see and feel, etc.-- one would hope that would have some impact on the judging.
In theory, you have to write a solid scenario as part of pushing the judge's buttons. However, and this is just my opinion, a solid scenario does not need any of the traits you mentioned. It doesn't need puzzles if the group doesn't like 'em. It doesn't need fighting if you're running a modern Cthulu Investigation campaign. It doesn't need roleplaying if your group prefers intricate dungeons. It does need decisions and consequences, because otherwise it's not a game, but those decisions (and the consequences) don't have to be well delineated.

I usually try to think of it as a hired hack - Rune needs a game for tomorrow, these are the things he wants to include, this is what kind of game he likes to run, what can I slap together for him? Bare bones idea or fleshed out scenario, I'm writing it for him, and how his group plays.

If you were the judge, I'd probably take a cue from some of the stuff you seem to enjoy as a player (in your story hours) and write up a morally ambiguous meat grinder ;). It would have a few puzzles, a few fights, some roleplaying opportunities. It would be crafted from a balance -n- tactical fun standpoint, and it would allow for a wide variety of character "types". That would be me pushing your buttons, but you probably wouldn't call it whoring, you'd just call it "good design" (like you did above).

I'd avoid dwarves, though - you have to surprise the judge a little.

-seasong
 


el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
For the record - I never consider the judge in the slightest bit when I write these entries- I just try to write something that *I* would run - and personally, that is what I would advise everyone to do.

Oh, if it isn't too obvious I totally agree with Daniel about what makes for a good and useful adventure.
 

seasong

First Post
nemmerle said:
For the record - I never consider the judge in the slightest bit when I write these entries- I just try to write something that *I* would run - and personally, that is what I would advise everyone to do.

Oh, if it isn't too obvious I totally agree with Daniel about what makes for a good and useful adventure.
Of course you would - since you happen to naturally align with the judge, you don't need to. Shall I just hand the crown to you, or can you pick it up yourself? ;)
 
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Rune

Once A Fool
In order for me to respond to some of the points Wulf and others are making, I'd have to get into a little bit of gaming philosophy, which is something I feel uncomfortable doing before the last two entries are in. So I'll hold my responses until then. The rest of you should feel free to continue the conversation.
 


Rune

Once A Fool
Championship Match: Nemmerle vs. Seasong!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's the match you've all been waiting for: For the Championship Iron DM Summer 2003, Original Iron DM Judge, Nemmerle vs. Current Iron DM Champion Seasong.

Ingredients (please list these at the top of your entry.) The first six are mandatory ingredients. You can choose to include any, or all, of the following nine ingredients, but their inclusion must be done carefully. Their good use will only count in your favor in the case of otherwise equal entries, but poor use will count against you, no matter what.

Primary ingredients:
Leach
Lost vault
Horn of Valhalla
Horseshoes
Dark side of a moon
Wuxia cat


Secondary ingredients:
Blind cartographer
Fairy-tale land
Eyes
Cloak of charisma
Gifted apprentice
Terrarium
Cannibal village
Spider monkey
Unfriendly barber


You have until exactly 24 hours from the time of this post to post your submissions. Remember. NO EDITING AFTER YOU POST!

Good luck, and may the best Iron DM win!
 



Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
HA!

Where's mister "I linked 5 right off the bat!" now?

Those are great ingredients, Rune. I can already see that some of them are thematically linked-- quite strongly so. Once again I would go the obvious route gambit, and hope not to disappoint...


Wulf
 


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