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  #76  
Old Oct 17th, 2022, 07:32 AM
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Wow! We all did it! Congrats everyone competing! May the judges be ever in your favor!
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  #77  
Old Oct 17th, 2022, 09:13 AM
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Congratulations to all the competitors, it's a challenging week but you're through the other end!

Based on what I've read so far, I think everyone is bringing their A-game this year and I'm very excited to see how the competition comes out in the long run.
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  #78  
Old Oct 17th, 2022, 12:21 PM
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Thanks and congratulations to everyone for sharing their ideas. It's fascinating to read the diversity of approaches.
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  #79  
Old Oct 17th, 2022, 12:52 PM
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I love seeing how everyone always does something different with these ingredients! There is so much creativity here! It's really encouraging, and a big part of what I love about this site!
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  #80  
Old Oct 17th, 2022, 06:00 PM
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Orcbane, I only have one thing to say. Risus? Heck yeah! I thought I was the only one who knew that system existed, eheh.

Will give the other entries a proper read later on. I like what I see so far at a skim, though! I'm surprised a lot of entries are meant for specific game systems too, given I went somewhat system-agnostic. And stats-agnostic. Aw well. *shrugs*
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  #81  
Old Oct 17th, 2022, 08:31 PM
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Hah, I've had the Risus PDF for ages with no excuse to use it. Maybe a few of us need to make a group for it sometime in the future ...
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  #82  
Old Oct 17th, 2022, 09:52 PM
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I'm having a great time reading these entries. Great work, all!

RE: Risus

It's a great little system. I think we'd need to modify it a bit for PbP use. The "death spiral" of it's core mechanic can play out for a long time. If your Trope is a 4 and you're combating something else at a 4, that means the situation could last 7 rounds. It'd probably need to be capped at "best of 3" to avoid overly long scenes.

One of the big advantages is that the GM can post the opposing rolls first, allowing the players to roll and describe the actual outcome of their attempt. It's a great system for short campaigns or a vignette-style campaign.
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  #83  
Old Oct 18th, 2022, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
When do we learn the results of the judging, and when can we unsecret our entries?
Check out the schedule here... there is usually a week between Rounds. That gives the contestants a bit of rest and the judges are working to get all their comments out and points totaled up. Then when they are revealed, the new Round is posted with the names of those that advance. That process takes about a week.
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  #84  
Old Oct 18th, 2022, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
When do we learn the results of the judging, and when can we unsecret our entries?
This all happens next week sometime: Unko Talok will most likely run this piece, but us judges all need time to read and give proper feedback on six entries each. I'm sure all you competitors want us to do a fair job, right?
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  #85  
Old Oct 18th, 2022, 12:16 PM
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I have thoughts on round 1! Just some chatter from the stands as we await the judgments. Anyone want to get in a popcorn-throwing match?!

The Sleeping Oracle: You have a gift for naming things: Eventide Falls and Midlight Terrace, the Masquerade of Violet Midnight, Veravela, Culatu. And I really like the name Marcus Bianchi! These are names and words that as a DM I would relish saying out loud -- they just sound cool. I also like the scene you've set up on the terrace with the oracle. It's cinematic and the quiet vibe with the sleeping Alba in unseen danger makes for a tense situation. As an encounter, it requires a lot of set-up to be successful, with not a lot of potential for surprises. It seems like they need to know exactly what they're going to do, going in, and then do that. Maybe a few other options to save Alba would allow for mistakes or low rolls or creative decisions.

Princess of Peace: I love this repeating encounter, but then we know this is a bananabadger stan account. Love that it's rooted in real history, love the layers of threats that only unfold as the adventurers repeat their attempts, and your use of "lack" as forceps is bizarre but satisfying. I think my favorite thing about this is the "Aftermath" box -- such an optimistic win condition if it happens.

Light of Destruction: I really like this extraplanar set-up and I love the Horizon Walker rangers getting spotlighted as NPCs -- very cool. Remiel is a chilling villain and your description of the scene in the amphitheater makes the battle sound fun. I wonder if there would be a way to combine Shem and Dyn into one person though, initially under the control of the angel, to center the players more. Right now, it feels a bit like Shem and Dyn's fight, with the players helping. You would lose the cool aspect of the Daylight/Darkness arrows, but maybe one of the party could fill that role with a special weapon. You did a great job laying out contingencies for how to operate Remiel throughout the fight -- interesting idea to have him banish himself at the end. I know you don't have word count room to describe it, but I would be curious to see what a diplomacy success outcome looks like for the brothers.

Sticky Harvest: Wow, you got all your ingredients in there very handily, right in the background! And none of them felt forced. In fact, I already felt invested, both in the half-construct boy and the gassy alien! I love that the fart smell in the area makes them vulnerable to fire. The Perception check to see Hiddle and the Persuasion check to calm him seem a little bit dead-ended -- not much is changed with a failure but stalling the movement forward. I'd also suggest letting Hiddle give the bucket of sap to one of the PCs, so they can figure out how to take away Blicksplat's advantage for themselves. I really like the idea of a greater quest opening up after this, because even if they drove the alien off, they still will have to deal with him if he's pestering local kids. I wondered -- does the rubber tree growth start because of his presence? That would be a nice complication.

A Case of Remorse: Oh, I really like the name "The Hollowing" and the effects of this disease. Very spooky, and the description of the swamp itself is really spooky too. But I wondered why the town of Three Waters would be established there so close to this dangerous swamp, with the residents having to wear a mask. Maybe it could be a fort, to defend this strategic spot that's important to the war? Replace the mayor with a military commander, who needs the adventurers to help with this non-military matter as the soldiers are engaged in soldiering? I really like your use of "Invisible Alien" ingredient and Macy Spinner is a cool NPC that I just automatically root for and want to help, so that is a really great job drawing her in just a few strokes. In the context of IronDM, I guess this might lose points for being less about an encounter and more of a set-up for some random encounters. I also kind of lost the thread about the Hollowing and what might happen to the PCs if their masks fail or they choose to ignore the warnings. Plus I just wanted to hear a whispered remorse coming out of a green bubble.

A Stop Along the Way: Wow, I love the premise of the exhaustion talent and the madness talent, and the idea of letting the players create their PCs with these features baked in. That is such a cool idea. What if they didn't know going in that these talents would only increase as they got more exhausted or more insane? That could be an interesting development. And, I wonder if you really need both exhaustion *and* madness, or if one of these talents would make the tracking mechanic stronger and easier. Or, if there were two skills inversely proportional, so you got better at one and worse at the other, the more tired you were. I would love to see this play out, with the players needing to stay awake in order to accomplish tasks, gaining a deeper understanding of the world while failing at normal stuff due to exhaustion.

That's it for now! I'll hit the other two brackets later if I don't get run out of the stadium for talking out of turn.
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  #86  
Old Oct 19th, 2022, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by lostcheerio View Post

That's it for now! I'll hit the other two brackets later if I don't get run out of the stadium for talking out of turn.
No booting out or booing noticed gonna do the other brackets?

And, Auron, are you going to do your traditional review? Would love to read it.
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  #87  
Old Oct 20th, 2022, 03:47 AM
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And, Auron, are you going to do your traditional review? Would love to read it.
Unko gets the credit for that tradition, I was just engaging in blatant thievery last year.

Actually, I was going to start tonight. Will be playing it safe and spoilering everything though.

 

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  #88  
Old Oct 21st, 2022, 11:06 AM
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Ok, having a look at Match 3.

The Princess of Paupers: I love the set-up for this. The deception of the NPC is great, because this is one of those characters that a DM could run with, to the point that even if the PCs know she's lying they'll still have sympathy for her, and want to help her. The fact that she turns out to be the leader of a gang is even more fun. I did wonder why Amelia needs the adventurers, if the troll is going to take out Shon for her. Maybe you could clarify that he never takes the hat off, or that it's stuck to the chosen one as long as they live. Not sure why she needs help, as it stands. Another possible tweak: Could Amelia have had a hand in getting Shon arrested? I like how you laid out the table of how the different parties would react in the combat. It would make for a pretty confusing fight, which could be great to run, as it could go so many different ways -- the players could stick with Amelia, side with Shon, kill them both and take the hat, maybe install lucky Lucan as prince. Probably would go differently every time you run it!

Grymund and Son: I think it's very cool that you added a spectator aspect to the Pits of Doom, which gives the PCs a chance to ham it up a little -- that would be really fun to run/play. The other complication, the false crowns illusions, made a little less sense to me, as this challenge is designed for thieves/rogues. Maybe a little more set-up would help (I know, word count restrictions make this so hard!), for example if this was the aspect that Hardrum really needs help with, and the party has a wizard, or maybe casting isn't allowed in the Pits of Doom, and there's a penalty for selecting the wrong crown. Clarity on how this challenge is usually run (as an individual? as a group?) would also help me understand how to manage that false crown aspect. I just love "He will kill himself if the party doesn't manage him" as part of this escort quest -- Hardrum's behavior could lead to some great comedic moments, as he is so charismatic and so clumsy.

The Crime of Poverty: The starting situation is so dark and dire, and the iron masks with the gags make this even more stark. Excellent stakes here, and everyone should be very invested, especially if there really is some good reason this happened. I think if it's connected to something one of the PCs (or more) actually did, that's much more complicated and compelling than a random evil wizard faking a claim. But that would be up to the DM to figure out. You've put a lot of detail into the mechanics of the prison break, but I'm just wondering how it will all play out at the table. You mention that communication will be hard without speech - maybe a lot of gestures and facial expressions will be exchanged? It's intriguing to think about this playing out in a play-by-post format... seems like it would work even better there than live, being able to put a cap on the dialogue but still describe some thoughts and reactions. I like the fact that there are a lot of ways to solve this and get out of the prison, and that the risk of exhaustion is present and could really spiral their chances.
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  #89  
Old Oct 21st, 2022, 01:06 PM
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Match 4 thoughts, along with my appreciation for everyone who wrote an encounter this round. It was a lot of fun to read three takes on the same ingredient list.

Brecken's Ridge: This is atmospheric and creepy -- by the time I got to the end I really felt trapped in this place, looking at these dark images and confronting what must have happened here. You have an evocative style that puts the world you are imagining on the page effectively. I imagine you might get dinged in the judging for the graphic violence (or, the aftermath of graphic violence) you're depicting, but I understand why you need to show us this murder, as part of the conventions of the genre in which you're writing. Without fully understanding those conventions when it comes to this game, I would say this is less of an encounter and more of a scene or set-up. You spent a lot of words on what the characters might do on the approach -- those checks seemed to be a little unnecessary though, as failure doesn't really lead anywhere or take any outcomes off the table.

The Temple of Azucar Moreno, the Most-Famous Eatery on the Least-Famous Moon: Wow, I love this title. I think the questions you put to the players to answer before the encounter are really smart and great. And I'm immediately super curious about this material, Crap Moon Copper. In fact, one of the best things about this encounter is the level of want-to-find-out I'm experiencing, all the "why" questions that pop up as I'm reading, that drive me on into discovering the adventure. As a player, I would be very motivated to progress, to see all this unfold. The mechanics for the "eating combat" and the alternate activities for PCs who don't want to eat ooze are just so creative and interesting.

Battle of the Bards: My favorite things about this are the lyric sheets for the songs, and I can imagine a light-hearted, creative party getting a lot of joy out of making up songs to go with those lyrics, and performing them. I think all the sabotage ideas and support ideas are really good, and leave a lot of room for players to improv. My only beef with your encounter is that the players are helping an existing band, rather than trying to be a band themselves. (I know, this ruins the awesome tagline, but it does center the PCs more!) Maybe they are trying to infiltrate the duke's palace and they've taken over the identities of a popular band (64 Oozes or Pigeons of Death) while locking the real musicians in a basement (guarded by bugbears of course!) for the duration. To me, it just opens up a lot more potential for wacky hijinks if the players themselves are the performers, but it would be up to the DM I suppose, to judge how game their players are, and if they'd be willing to kick the dice aside, stand on the table, and holler about brown sugar and copper. Could be unforgettable.
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  #90  
Old Oct 21st, 2022, 01:11 PM
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Thanks for your review Cheerio! It never crossed my mind to have the players be the band members, but I dig it a lot
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