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Old Oct 3rd, 2018, 10:31 PM
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Meet the Judges!

This thread is for each of the main judges for this year's competition to introduce themselves and share a little about what they think the ideal submission would look like. All contestants are recommended to read this thread carefully, and note down what their judges are looking for, and how they will score you. As per last year, there is a 'judging guideline' to help make the judgements not too surprising, create more consistency between them, and help lessen the work for those judging!

Think you have what it takes to help with judging the competition? PM me, and we'll talk about it

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Old Oct 4th, 2018, 01:38 AM
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So, hello everyone! My name's Henry, and I'm a judge. I travel quite a lot for work, so posting can be at odd hours and odd times; and that means I'm really grumpy and need to be placated with quality entries.

What's a quality entry?

Things I look for include:
  • Must have clear, understandable writing: if a sentence takes me more than one attempt to understand, that's a bad thing.
  • Must be exciting: if I drift off because I'm bored, that's a bad thing.
  • Must give me all the mechanics I need: when I'm DMing, I'm pressed for time, so I need to have clear statblocks (or clear references) and not have to apply templates etc. myself.
  • Must have a good story: if I think "my players would get bored", I'm not going to run that adventure.

So - I guess none of that's a major surprise, but I'm looking forward to the usual high standard of entries here!
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Old Oct 4th, 2018, 12:09 PM
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Hola, friends and foes alike! I'm Sassafrass. I like long walks on the beach, vodka shots at noon, and—oh, this isn't that kind of introduction. Well, I guess that makes sense. I've been around town a bit, but this is my first real appearance in Iron DM in any capacity. While I've followed it with great interest in the past, this year I'll be taking a high chair. Not because I'm a screaming toddler, but because I'm a judge. Not much of a difference, I know.

I, too, seek appeasement. But what does that look like?
  • A fun premise: whether a twist on a classic or something utterly fresh, it needs to be fun
  • Clarity and connectivity: things must be clear, whether it's the writing or the way elements connect in an adventure
  • Ready out of the box: If it's not something I could drop into one of my games with minimal prep, what's the point?
  • Movement and motion: Keep things moving, and make that movement matter. Fluff and filler be damned.
I'm terribly excited to be judging this year and look forward to a fanciful feast of fine folk who have fallen foolishly into our trap.

Last edited by Sassafrass; Oct 10th, 2018 at 05:17 PM.
Old Oct 4th, 2018, 05:23 PM
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Howdy all, Squeak here... When I'm not busy making fun of Dirkoth, I spend my time judging contests like this one.

Here's what I am looking for when I get into judging mode.

Format Organization is critical. I don't want to have to spend time trying to figure anything out, the information should be really easy for me to access. The best adventures allow me to focus on the story by making the mechanics really simple.

Story - This is what makes it fun for me. I want to be entertained and surprised. I want to say 'wow, that's cool' once in a while. The writing has to be good, but the story you are telling is even more important.

Ingredients - This is usually what makes or breaks things in the event. I give a score for each item. I don't want the ingredients simply ticked off a list, I want them to be seamlessly built into the adventure. The cooler the use of the ingredient, the higher the score (and vise versa)... I always read through the adventure before I even look at what the secret ingredients are - and if I can pick them out, that's not a good sign.

Scoring - I judge everything with a +/- system. Do something I like, you get points, do something I don't and you'll either get nothing or lose points, depending how irritated I am at the time. Omissions are treated as nothing, just a wasted opportunity -- but to be honest, I'd rather have an ingredient missing instead of forced. Both of them will give you a zero score from me -- but the forced ingredient might hurt you on the storyline as well.

Think about the judging as you critique yourselves and make sure you are thinking about what I want. After all, making me happy is what is whole competition is about!

Last edited by Squeak; Oct 4th, 2018 at 05:25 PM.
Old Oct 6th, 2018, 08:02 PM
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Greetings Everyone! Bhelogan here, reporting for duty. I could probably echo just about everything HenryLockwood said. Just replace the 'really grumpy' with 'perpetually slightly annoyed', and we are good to go!

This is a fun event, though it can be demanding. My main point of advice, and what I will be looking for is - go for quality vs. quantity with what you provide. I would rather see a few ideas fleshed out really well than to see a bunch of ideas loosely stringed together that leave a DM/GM with a lot of work to fill in the blanks. I will try to keep my reviews focused on the positive, and hope to make this a learning and positive experience for all involved. Good luck!
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Old Oct 8th, 2018, 11:46 AM
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Hi Folks!

I have been around the community since 2015 and I'm playing RPG for about two decades.

What I'm looking for as a judge is the originality of your ideas. I hope you can deliver something different that is not a copy-paste we all saw or read before in a Pathfinder AP or a popular campaign setting. As a DM and player, over two decades you see a lot of scenarios, monsters, items, and characters. These days everything seems to be a bit repetitive, delivered by another guy. Can you surprise me with something original?

Looking forward to this and get new ideas that I will selfishly reuse for my own campaigns hehe If this is not reusable in a real game, it means there's probably something wrong with your work.
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Old Oct 10th, 2018, 03:04 PM
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Hi Everyone,

I've been on this site now since 2010. I've won Iron DM myself, and played in games with at least 3 others.

I don't say this to boast, but to make it clear that I know what makes a good game, and I expect to see nothing less than the best from each applicant.

I look forward to seeing everyone's entries!
Co-DM of Bleach d20: Trouble in Paradise!

Last edited by Bade; Oct 12th, 2018 at 09:35 AM.
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