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D&D General The ENWorld Dungeon Master Challenge 2021 Invitational


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They're referencing the entries but I don't see those entries anywhere. This isn't being promoted the way I assumed it would be.

It sounds like there are whimsical entries (a celebrity chef archfey with six arms) and spookier stuff that would be almost in keeping with Ravenloft. The entries sound like they're longer than 1,000 words.

Slumberwood and Cucanae both sound like domains worth seeing.

One person cut this week, David Reynolds. Nine competitors left.

This week's challenge is to create a villain in the next 72 hours.
 
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Quickleaf

Legend
Nice to hear comments from the judges! The judges are Amanda Hamon (game designer), Jennifer Kretchmer (television producer, writer, director, and performer), and B. Dave Walters (writer and content creator).

Amanda commented a couple times on the "map" for one of the Feywild domains called Cucinae. Apparently Cucinae was a favor for all three judges.

Jennifer commented on Slumberwood which had her cackling with delight at the silly harmonizing with the scary, yet still having depth & nuance. Comments on playability, (actionable as DM), multiple solutions, internal logic, and NPC motivation/complexity causing them to "leap off the page."

B. Dave highlights Slumberwood & Cucinae both. He mentions he liked map and formatting for Cucinae, which seemed to be what made it his favorite submission.

So there's more than just the writing being judged here!


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For our purposes, I'm guessing we're sticking to a 1,000 word limit? Any format you want? Unless they specifically say otherwise (so far they have not).
 
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I wonder if we're going to see these entries 1) some time this week, 2) collected at the end at the challenge (it'd be a great Extra Life product) or 3) never.

I'm confused why WotC isn't promoting this stuff on their social media challenges or on their website.
 

ersatzphil

Explorer
I wonder if we're going to see these entries 1) some time this week, 2) collected at the end at the challenge (it'd be a great Extra Life product) or 3) never.
I'm starting to genuinely wonder if the answer isn't 3: Never. I'm also genuinely confused as to how this is going down: I mean, who is the intended audience for this video?
 
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I'm starting to genuinely wonder if the answer isn't 3: Never. I'm also genuinely confused as to how this is going down: I mean, who is the intended audience for this video?
Maybe they think that no one cares until it's yet more streaming content in September. WotC is pretty obsessed with streamers and hosting "personalities."

But module design and DMing contests were huge parts of D&D in the 1980s. It's weird that they don't think there's an audience for this now.
 
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ersatzphil

Explorer
But module design and DMing contests were huge parts of D&D in the 1980s. It's weird that they don't think there's an audience for this now.
As someone who started playing in the 90s, I'm a bit bummed to have missed out on that.

Still though, speaking as someone who entered and wasn't selected - I had assumed I would still get to follow along in some way.
 

As someone who started playing in the 90s, I'm a bit bummed to have missed out on that.

Still though, speaking as someone who entered and wasn't selected - I had assumed I would still get to follow along in some way.
I was trying to hunt down an email address for Greg Tito. It may be that they're planning on putting the stuff out there as they go, but just haven't caught up to that yet. They had a lot of PR stuff to do in the last few weeks, and this may have fallen through the cracks in their planning calendar.
 

Oh, and yes, for our purposes, I think we go with 1,000 words again. I'm not clear if the finalists are making a villain for their domain or just one independent of that, so I guess it's up to us.
 


It turns out there was a 1,000 word count, but it was buried in the packet. They also didn't explicitly ask for an archfey to be included in the domain write-up.

Also, it's criminal how little response his tweets about the challenge have gotten. WotC should really be promoting these folks. Even just putting their Twitter profiles out there before they get voted off would have generated more publicity about it.
 
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ersatzphil

Explorer
Also, it's criminal how little response his tweets about the challenge have gotten. WotC should really be promoting these folks. Even just putting their Twitter profiles out there before they get voted off would have generated more publicity about it.
In fairness, they did put them up on the DNDCelebration page, just with exactly zero fanfare or notification. I really don't understand why they didn't at least do an episode of Dragontalk chatting for a few minutes with each of the finalists, particularly as past episodes have hinted that this was Shelly Mazzanoble's idea to begin with (or at minimum that she was super jazzed about it).
 
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In fairness, they did put them up on the DNDCelebration page, just with exactly zero fanfare or notification. I really don't understand why they didn't at least do an episode of Dragontalk chatting for a few minutes with each of the finalists, particularly as past episodes have hinted that this was Shelly Mazzanoble's idea to begin with (or at minimum that she was super jazzed about it).
It would be great to get an episode of Dragon Talk that isn't interviewing a streamer or someone with almost no connection to D&D at all. This seems like a ready-made group of guests who could reasonably be expected to have some stuff to say about D&D and DMing.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Oh, and yes, for our purposes, I think we go with 1,000 words again. I'm not clear if the finalists are making a villain for their domain or just one independent of that, so I guess it's up to us.
Well, since it's just been you and I on this parallel journey so far... :giggle:

...I'm thinking of ways for making a sentient airship as the villain associated with the fey domain I wrote in the previous week.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Villain: Wingless (sentient airship/troll)

The troll king Vaengthos suffered humiliating defeat at the hands of the mere child princess Vilta. As he lay upon the cold earth regenerating, fearing what would befall him at the hands of the Hourglass Coven for his failure, Vaengthos found himself fusing with the magical airship Wingless, his body lifting up and becoming one with its patchwork sails. With her fair sister Retterfina’s head swapped with a calf’s head by the hags, Vilta took her father’s greatest ship and imbued it with fey magic, setting off on an adventure.

Though the twin sisters Vilta and Retterfina were as different as night and day, their friendship endured across grand adventures aboard the airship Wingless. Together, they restored Retterfina’s stolen head, rescued Vilta’s princely beau, and rode the waves at the Shores of Dream. Witnessing their close bond and their unflagging heroism touched something deep inside the troll king’s tattered heart.

Vaengthos too wishes to be a hero, though he deeply misunderstands what is involved. He also wishes to reconcile with his brother Jaegreth who wanders the gloomiest reaches of the Feywild.

Sentient Airship. Wingless is a sentient chaotic neutral airship with an Intelligence of 8, a Wisdom of 9, and a Charisma of 16. It has hearing and darkvision anywhere onboard and within 60 feet of the ship.
The airship can speak and understand Common and Giant, but can only communicate by transmitting emotion to the pilot. The pilot acts as its attuned wielder for the purposes of resolving sentient item conflict (see DMG page 216).

Personality. Vaengthos is all bluff and bluster, quick to fly into a rage at a perceived slight to his pride, and easily manipulated into proving his worthiness. While he insists on maintaining a façade of terribleness around other monsters, he is also obsessed with the idea of being a hero. Inevitably, however, Vaengthos’ history of evil-doing gets the better of him; to determine the way his heroism is misplaced, roll on the table below.

Table: Wingless’ Misplaced Heroism
d8Misplaced Heroism
1More is always better – if I climb a taller mountain or kill more goblins than the barbarian, that makes me a bigger hero.
2The most obvious villain must be defeated – even if there might be more to the story.
3Issuing a challenge is the best way to be a hero – despite some conflicts being better resolved discretely or peacefully.
4If everyone is cheering and praising the me at the end, then I am truly heroic.
5Sure, nobody asked for my help, but a true hero must know what’s best for others.
6All my friends are all aboard, and a hero does anything for his comrades… anything.
7A hero never surrenders, never runs, and never compromises – even when discretion is the better part of valor.
8Everyone can’t be a hero. It takes a special someone. Now that I know, I will show others the way, driving them toward heroism.

Lair Actions. While part of the airship, Vaengthos can use lair actions. On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), he takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; Vaengthos can't use the same effect two rounds in a row:
  • Everyone onboard the airship must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone and forcibly moved 20 feet in one direction of Vaengthos’ choosing.
  • An invisible stalker appears in an unoccupied space within the patchwork sails, acting as an ally to Vaengthos. Only one such invisible stalker may be manifest at a time.

Destroying the Airship. The airship Wingless has AC 13 and 300 hit points (see DMG page 119). If it is destroyed, Vaengthos is killed.

Forced into Form. Dispel evil and good cast upon the airship causes it to cease being sentient and forces the spirit troll Vaengthos to manifest in an unoccupied space on the airship’s deck.

By New Moon’s Dark. On the night of the new moon, Vaengthos crawls from the airship’s sails in the form of a spirit troll, his ghostly formed wrapped in patchwork rags resembling the patchwork of the sails. If the airship is aloft, the troll moves through the hull, falling down to the lands below. However, before dawn’s first light, the troll is levitated upward to the airship at the speed of 30 feet per round, whereupon he fuses with the ship. The spirit troll ceases to exist and the airship becomes sentient once more.

The Hourglass Coven. Vaengthos is terrified of the Hourglass Coven learning that he is still alive… in some form. He will betray anyone, make any false promise, and humble himself even before little children if he thinks it will keep him secret and safe from the hags.
If Granny Nightshade becomes aware of Vaengthos’ state, she knows a ritual which will undo the magic binding Vaengthos to the airship Wingless, causing Vaengthos to manifest as a regular troll. However, it must be performed aboard the airship at midnight. She would offer a great reward to anyone performing the ritual – perhaps even restoring years of life lost to a ghost or other magic.

Jaegreth Two-Headed. A misshapen and bitter dire troll, Jaegreth wanders the most dismal places in the Feywild such as the Murkendraw or the swamps of Hither in Prismeer. Jaegreth’s two personalities are constantly at war – one a polite gourmand, the other an uncouth glutton. When his brother Vaengthos was declared the troll king, Jaegreth attempted to usurp his brother but his treachery was revealed. After suffering indescribable torments, Jaegreth was exiled from the troll lands. For long, he dreamed of the day that he could wring his brother’s neck with his own hands, but when he learned of Vaengthos’ “death” at the hands of princess Vilta while doing the bidding of hags, Jaegreth was driven mad. Depending on his mood, he seeks to punish children, torment hags, or lashes out at his “brother’s ghost.”
 
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