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Scheduling Thread for the IRON DM 2020 Tournament!

Rune

Once A Fool
If you’re talking spin-offs, you should do an EN World search for “Ceramic DM” and “Iron NPC” to see if anything inspires. Ceramic DM, in particular, was pretty popular for a while.
 

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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
If you’re talking spin-offs, you should do an EN World search for “Ceramic DM” and “Iron NPC” to see if anything inspires. Ceramic DM, in particular, was pretty popular for a while.

I tried Ceramic DM once and FAILED. I never looked back.

I either missed or have totally forgotten IRON NPC, but I love the idea of it - and think I'd be good at it (unless stat block are required ;) )
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
BTW, I am trying to quickly save and clean up IRON DM 2002 as the model/prototype for archiving and stumbling upon a 4043 word entry from Rune I need to re-format!

Of course, if allowed to I bet I'd easily surpass that every time (much to my detriment, I am sure)
 





Wicht

Adventurer
I'll workshop it for a while; we've got at least a good five months before summer officially hits. If anyone is interested in helping me with the design of it, hit me up through DM
I am definitely interested in doing something and am brainstorming through some ideas myself. I will send you a message when I have them more concrete (or alternately you can do the same).
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I have a google drive folder set up with docs for each round's entries for the IRON DM 2002 (which has a special IRON DM OF ENWORLD bonus round where the winner played the previous winner head to head at the end). They are not 100% cleaned up yet, because the format for each is different and I'd like to decide on a universal format for each entry (or as close to universal as we can, for example I made sure to make all the ones without titles have an "Untitled" header) before going through and editing it.

Maybe it makes most sense to dump all the text in google docs with minimal cleaning, that way we have access to all the varying formats to see if there is one or more we want to adopt across all of them.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in looking at the first set of docs, DM me with an email address and I will share it with you through google.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
BTW, I am trying to quickly save and clean up IRON DM 2002 as the model/prototype for archiving and stumbling upon a 4043 word entry from Rune I need to re-format!

Of course, if allowed to I bet I'd easily surpass that every time (much to my detriment, I am sure)
You think that’s something? I wrote a couple of books in one of incognito’s tourneys. Otherwise, pretty decent entries, though.
 


Rune

Once A Fool
You think that’s something? I wrote a couple of books in one of incognito’s tourneys. Otherwise, pretty decent entries, though.
Huh. Turns out, they weren’t as long as I remembered.

The Fishy God (one of my top 2 entries, in my estimation) clocks in at just over 2400.

Figments of Thought (lost against @Wicht, but still a pretty good entry) is just under 3500.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I abhor the word count restriction. I think it's an unnecessary rule that all but guarantees that submissions will be poorly formatted and incomplete. It's like we've all signed up to paint a portrait with specific colors--and to save time, the judges require all painters to limit the number of brush strokes they use.

Judges can already dock an appropriate number of points from an entry for any criteria they wish, so a hard limit isn't necessary. Just make "word count" one of the things the entries will be judged on, and carry on. An entry that uses 2000 words to say something interesting should obviously win against an entry that uses only 750 words to say nothing at all.

But I've never been a judge, so grain of salt and all that. ;)
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Huh. Turns out, they weren’t as long as I remembered.

The Fishy God (one of my top 2 entries, in my estimation) clocks in at just over 2400.

Figments of Thought (lost against @Wicht, but still a pretty good entry) is just under 3500.
I think my longest entry was "Bakra's Bond," back in 2009. It weighs in at 2,880 words. It had riddles and poems and everything.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
I abhor the word count restriction. I think it's an unnecessary rule that all but guarantees that submissions will be poorly formatted and incomplete. It's like we've all signed up to paint a portrait with specific colors--and to save time, the judges require all painters to limit the number of brush strokes they use.

Judges can already dock an appropriate number of points from an entry for any criteria they wish, so a hard limit isn't necessary. Just make "word count" one of the things the entries will be judged on, and carry on. An entry that uses 2000 words to say something interesting should obviously win against an entry that uses only 750 words to say nothing at all.

But I've never been a judge, so grain of salt and all that. ;)
Spoken like someone who’s never had to sift through a 5000-word wall of text half a dozen times with a fine-toothed come!
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Spoken like someone who’s never had to sift through a 5000-word wall of text half a dozen times with a fine-toothed come!
Yeah, I get that. And it's totally fair.

Still, there's a bit of creative pride at stake on the authors' end, too. It really stinks to spend hours writing something that you are very proud of, but then have to butcher it for such an arbitrary reason.

"Your painting is fantastic! Unfortunately it won't fit in this tiny frame. Hand me the scissors."
 

Rune

Once A Fool
Yeah, I get that. And it's totally fair.

Still, there's a bit of creative pride at stake on the authors' end, too. It really stinks to spend hours writing something that you are very proud of, but then have to butcher it for such an arbitrary reason.

"Your painting is fantastic! Unfortunately it won't fit in this tiny frame. Hand me the scissors."
It’s not arbitrary though. It’s designed to test discipline. And creativity. But discipline first. That’s why the second and third rounds open the word-limits up.
 

Wicht

Adventurer
Yeah, I get that. And it's totally fair.

Still, there's a bit of creative pride at stake on the authors' end, too. It really stinks to spend hours writing something that you are very proud of, but then have to butcher it for such an arbitrary reason.

"Your painting is fantastic! Unfortunately it won't fit in this tiny frame. Hand me the scissors."
I waffle. Sometimes I tend to think that the word count should probably be reversed, with the later rounds making the word count less, rather than more, but I get the reason for doing it the other way and reverse myself. Either way, when judges confer on rules prior to the contest, I am always going to be in favor of keeping it, regardless of the exact form it takes.

My reasons are 3-fold...
1. It makes it easier on the judges to read (natch).

2. Learning to write to a word count is a useful skill for any RPGer who ever wants to actually do non-vanity project RPG writing (and don't we all really on some level) and this gives people a taste for what it is like to try to write an adventure proposal for a publisher, keeping said proposal to some predetermined length. If you can write for Iron DM you literally have what it takes to write an adventure proposal for a publisher (not saying you will get accepted, adventures are notoriously bad sellers, but you have what it takes).

3. Writing to a word count is harder than not writing to a word count and does help distinguish the better and more concise writers. This is a writing contest as much as a creativity contest and it does help distinguish skill. Judging is abitrary on some levels, but we still want some criteria to help us judge against.
 

Gradine

Final Form (they/them)
It’s not arbitrary though. It’s designed to test discipline. And creativity. But discipline first. That’s why the second and third rounds open the word-limits up.
Yeah. At first I absolutely hated the word count. I eventually came to appreciate it as a contestant. It really forces you to narrow your focus on the core of the adventure and the way the ingredients play into it. My first ever entry (and only entry I've written without a word cap) clocked in at 4,350. It's real easy to work in six ingredients over the course of an adventure with that kind of real estate to work with.

My last few years as a competitor I had gotten to a point where my first drafts were routinely coming in under word count. Trust me, it feels a lot better to get to add words than having to cut them.

I will say that the 750 word count might be a tad low for round 1, but I go back and forth on that. It really hammers home that what we're looking for is a synopsis more than anything. Don't drown us in details or backstory; just give us the outline.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I will say that the 750 word count might be a tad low for round 1, but I go back and forth on that. It really hammers home that what we're looking for is a synopsis more than anything. Don't drown us in details or backstory; just give us the outline.

If I were judging I might try to convince my fellow judges to adopt a hard 2000 word count limit for all three rounds OR 1000, 1750, 2500 increasing each round.
 

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