Scheduling Thread for the IRON DM 2020 Tournament!


log in or register to remove this ad

The word count is definitely the hardest part of the competition. It really compresses the story you can have the adventure tell - you can't put space between the ingredients to let them flow into each other more naturally, it's very hard to include subplots or have sandbox-type adventures where you need to cover multiple NPCs who might react different ways based on different circumstances. From a 'judge's sanity' perspective I can 100% understand why it exists though, and because it does compress your narrative, it forces you to bind the ingredients together more tightly. Which isn't a bad thing, to be honest. If there was one thing I'd do, it's maybe lift the first round word limit to 1000 words. 750 is really just a little too limiting - entries almost turn into a series of telegrams.
 

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
I want to say that was @Iron Sky? We should see if it’s a record.
That it was, however, it does not appear to be the record holder...
BTW, my IRON DM FALL 2003 second round entry (untitled) was 6881 words not including the ingredient list. 😨

That might hold the record. I think I caused @pierlorinho some brain damage having to read that (but it won!)
My goodness :eek:
The word count is definitely the hardest part of the competition. It really compresses the story you can have the adventure tell - you can't put space between the ingredients to let them flow into each other more naturally, it's very hard to include subplots or have sandbox-type adventures where you need to cover multiple NPCs who might react different ways based on different circumstances. From a 'judge's sanity' perspective I can 100% understand why it exists though, and because it does compress your narrative, it forces you to bind the ingredients together more tightly. Which isn't a bad thing, to be honest. If there was one thing I'd do, it's maybe lift the first round word limit to 1000 words. 750 is really just a little too limiting - entries almost turn into a series of telegrams.
I could be persuaded to supporting bumping Round 1 up to 1000 words. The other two rounds are, however, perfect in my opinion.
 

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
One thing I will say, though, is that it's great to see so much discussion happening around Iron DM post-contest. Usually it's final judgment, a few congrats, and radio silence for the bulk of a year. It's definitely motivating me to give serious consideration to that summer contest, whether it's a true "IRON DM SUMMER 2021" or, more likely, a spin-off of other homebrew design challenges.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
It could be fun to do a contest that is based on the "Great British Baking Show" format.
  • Start with thirteen contestants and three judges.
  • Each week the judges give a handful of ingredients, and the contestants have 24 hours to post their results.
  • Each week has a theme. Cartography Week: the contestants make a map/scenery/VTT. Monster Week: contestants create an original monster. Random Encounter Week: contestants write a random encounter. NPC Week: the contestants create a non-player character. Or whatever; Dungeon Masters wear lots of hats.
  • At the end of each week, one contestant is eliminated and the rest advance to the next round.
  • Finally, the last three contestants go head-to-head for the Championship Round, where they have to create a full adventure using ingredients that the judges provide and one or more of their previous submissions (their map, their monster, etc.) to write an adventure.
 

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
It could be fun to do a contest that is based on the "Great British Baking Show" format.
  • Start with thirteen contestants and three judges.
  • Each week the judges give a handful of ingredients, and the contestants have 24 hours to post their results.
  • Each week has a theme. Cartography Week: the contestants make a map/scenery/VTT. Monster Week: contestants create an original monster. Random Encounter Week: contestants write a random encounter. NPC Week: the contestants create a non-player character. Or whatever; Dungeon Masters wear lots of hats.
  • At the end of each week, one contestant is eliminated and the rest advance to the next round.
  • Finally, the last three contestants go head-to-head for the Championship Round, where they have to create a full adventure using ingredients that the judges provide and one or more of their previous submissions (their map, their monster, etc.) to write an adventure.
Ah yes, the GBBO is probably a much more relevant touchstone than a decade-plus-old fashion design show. But yeah, that's exactly the sort of structure I was envisioning
 

Wicht

Hero
It could be fun to do a contest that is based on the "Great British Baking Show" format.
  • Start with thirteen contestants and three judges.
  • Each week the judges give a handful of ingredients, and the contestants have 24 hours to post their results.
  • Each week has a theme. Cartography Week: the contestants make a map/scenery/VTT. Monster Week: contestants create an original monster. Random Encounter Week: contestants write a random encounter. NPC Week: the contestants create a non-player character. Or whatever; Dungeon Masters wear lots of hats.
  • At the end of each week, one contestant is eliminated and the rest advance to the next round.
  • Finally, the last three contestants go head-to-head for the Championship Round, where they have to create a full adventure using ingredients that the judges provide and one or more of their previous submissions (their map, their monster, etc.) to write an adventure.
That tracks with what I was thinking of doing, something close anyway. I don't know if doing it once a week is feasible over the long haul, and I don't know if we could get that many contestants, but building up to a final design/adventure is what I was looking at. I also thought about having the contestants have to use one thing from somebody else's creations as well in the final adventure.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Ah yes, the GBBO is probably a much more relevant touchstone than a decade-plus-old fashion design show. But yeah, that's exactly the sort of structure I was envisioning

That tracks with what I was thinking of doing, something close anyway. I don't know if doing it once a week is feasible over the long haul, and I don't know if we could get that many contestants, but building up to a final design/adventure is what I was looking at. I also thought about having the contestants have to use one thing from somebody else's creations as well in the final adventure.

yahoo movies baseball GIF
Field of Dreams 30 day movie challenge GIF
 
Last edited:

A cartography component to the competition and I'd probably filter myself out, to be honest. Plain text is a leveller, while cartography gives a big leg up to people with mapping/graphic design software and the skills to use it.

I'm a bit leery about going too far into the weeds on a game-mechanical front too. Marrying your system mastery with creativity is certainly a relevant skill when DMing, but it'd really restrict the sort of entries we'd get. I've never even played two of the three game systems I wrote entries for in this competition - I've got no idea how to appropriately stat out a Call of Cthulhu critter. We'd probably get much less variety and weirdness, and much more D&D. Which may be the intended point of the exercise, but it's a definite shift of emphasis from 'traditional' Iron DM.

Of course, if you're going to go full D&D, you could always resurrect the Iron Tapestry format...

Edit: actually it occurs to me that making the next competition into a D&D only thing might have the upside of meaning it can be run on the main D&D board here, where it'd get a lot more eyeballs, rather than being stuck in the relative backwater of TTRPGs General. Might be a way of getting more people involved in the future, given the relatively low number of entrants we had this time around.
 
Last edited:

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
Yes, I agree that we should remain entirely a written competition. I don't have much in the way of visual artistic talent myself. But designing individual elements; (race, class, items, npcs, monsters, settings, etc.) and bringing them together in a final product (adventure) sounds like a great test of overall homebrewery design skills.
 
Last edited:

Remove ads

Top