Scheduling Thread for the IRON DM 2020 Tournament!


log in or register to remove this ad

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

Hero
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

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
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.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top