Introduction Meet The Judges - RPG Crossing
RPG Crossing Home Forums Create An Account! Site Rules & Help

RPG Crossing
twitter facebook facebook
0 3 7 5
... raised for charity!
: +

Notices

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old Sep 17th, 2022, 04:45 PM
savoylen's Avatar
savoylen savoylen is online now
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Dec 3rd, 2022
RPXP: 25739
savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen
Posts: 18,435
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 the last few years, there is a 'judging guideline' to help make the judgments not too surprising, create more consistency between them, and help lessen the work for those judging!

 
__________________
GM of: Dark*Matter: The Hoffmann Institute (2007 HOF),
Traveller: The Third Imperium & Strixhaven: Academy for the Gifted
New here? Try a New Player Solo Game for 13th age, CoC, DnD, FATE, Pathfinder, Traveller.
  #2  
Old Sep 17th, 2022, 06:16 PM
Unko Talok's Avatar
Unko Talok Unko Talok is offline
Victree-Belle
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Dec 3rd, 2022
RPXP: 25609
Unko Talok Unko Talok Unko Talok Unko Talok Unko Talok Unko Talok Unko Talok Unko Talok Unko Talok Unko Talok Unko Talok
Posts: 16,094
right-aligned image
"Image Credit Ivy Dupler
Judge Talok, here! This is year two of judging for me. And that means I have to pretend to be all experienced and proper and like I know what I'm doing. What a drag!

I'm really looking forward to seeing what y'all come up with. I participated in Iron DM for 3 years before becoming a judge, and even won once by complete fluke that had nothing to do with me sabotaging my opponent. Anyone could have written that brilliant game ad under a different username to distract them. Anyone... Anyway, after blinding several of the judges a couple years back, they said I wasn't allowed to play anymore and that they needed someone else to take over the job they couldn't do. So here I am!

Truly, I've had a lot of fun with this competition. I love the creativity that is made by the challenging ingredient, time, and wordcount restrictions put on these rounds. It's a joy to read the entries every year. Things to keep in mind to make me a happy Judge (and therefore not sneak attack your score!):
  1. Read the rubric! It's what I'll be using to grade things, as best I can.
  2. As others have said in years past, clarity is key. If I get confused reading your entry, that affects a LOT of things on the rubric from a player and GM perspective!
  3. I can't lie-- if I laugh at something ingredient-related, I'll probably be inclined to rate that ingredient higher than I would otherwise. That said, this is secondary to using the ingredient well in the first place. If your choice is to make a cool story that players and GMs will enjoy, or making a funny, you'd be best served focusing on the adventure quality.
  4. I am most familiar with DnD (3.5 and 5E), Pathfinder 1E, and Starfinder as systems. I also have some knowledge of FATE, Call of Cthulhu, Monster of the Week, Savage Worlds, Shadowrun (5E), Mutants and Masterminds (3E). I'll be most competent to judge the mechanics of those systems. You're of course welcome to write entries for other systems, but including a small blurb of important mechanical concepts might be helpful for me (and thus my understanding of your entry)!

I'm so excited to read what you rascals come up with!
__________________
Site Rules & Help | Become a Community Supporter
Black Lives Matter - Gay and Trans rights are human rights.
she / her / hers

Come play or watch Iron DM 2022

Last edited by Unko Talok; Sep 18th, 2022 at 01:20 PM.
  #3  
Old Sep 17th, 2022, 11:49 PM
savoylen's Avatar
savoylen savoylen is online now
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Dec 3rd, 2022
RPXP: 25739
savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen
Posts: 18,435
Savoy here, at your service!

I'm really looking forward to seeing what you bring to the table in this year's competition.

Firstly, I appreciate the commitment and hard work that goes into competing in the Iron DM. Please have a sense of humor and humbleness when receiving feedback from us. You're signing up for criticism and praise but its that first one that gets people sometimes.

left-aligned image

As a judge we want to give guidance on what will help hone and deepen your already strong DM skills and sometimes, we have to dig deep to find something that might help. Regardless, these are just our opinions and always meant to be constructive. Don't take it as a personal hurt or attack.

That isn't why we do this.

I'm not going to be they guy that counts the misspelled words and so on. Don't get me wrong those are both important things to help readers enjoy the experience of being in your head but its great stories and interesting character situations go to the front of the line for me.

I'll use the rubric but its not the One Ring or Bible.
The post that makes the best impression in that category will get the lion's share of my points in order to advance.

My best 'pro-tip' for you is not to get too hung up on the numbers game but to really lean into the judge's comments. There is some real gold in there and if you really want grow in your skills the Iron DM arena, that is exactly what you'll do. Truly, we're here to build you up - both when you advance and when you don't.


Other items that might help you out if I'm a Judge in your bracket:
  • I'm a teacher, Engineer and woodworker artist in RL - so I really get into both the details (the pieces must fit together very well) and love innovation. If its not a new take on an old trope, you might want to keep thinking.
  • Be crystal clear on the mechanics. If I have to take more than a few notes on how the mechanics work, you haven't been clear enough.
  • I run OTU & MgT2 Traveller, FATE, all versions of DnD and have experience with a large variety of popular "indie" RPGs. I appreciate the effort that it takes to pick game mechanics that go with the spirit of your work.

- Savoy
__________________
GM of: Dark*Matter: The Hoffmann Institute (2007 HOF),
Traveller: The Third Imperium & Strixhaven: Academy for the Gifted
New here? Try a New Player Solo Game for 13th age, CoC, DnD, FATE, Pathfinder, Traveller.

Last edited by savoylen; Sep 21st, 2022 at 07:38 PM.
  #4  
Old Sep 19th, 2022, 03:16 PM
PIG's Avatar
PIG PIG is offline
BigPiggyPigBigPig
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Nov 22nd, 2022
RPXP: 39340
PIG PIG PIG PIG PIG PIG PIG PIG PIG PIG PIG
Posts: 21,565
Mr. PIG

left-aligned image
Alright, how's it going? Mr. PIG here and I'm another Iron DM judge.

Like savoylen already said, we're here and we'll be harsh, but that's not because your submissions aren't worth it. Iron DM is looking for the best of the best and we love reading your creativity and ideas. To be honest, Iron DM has given me ideas in my own games and made me a better DM in the process. So don't take it badly, just learn and take chances.

One very important suggestion I can make is that you should look at older winning posts from the past years to get an idea of what we're looking for. Don't copy it, learn from it and make it your own using the ingredients. Then you have gold.

Good luck, have fun, aim high, and I look forward to the fun.

Game On!
__________________
  #5  
Old Sep 20th, 2022, 11:06 AM
Bhelogan's Avatar
Bhelogan Bhelogan is offline
Druid of the Coast
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Dec 2nd, 2022
RPXP: 31757
Bhelogan Bhelogan Bhelogan Bhelogan Bhelogan Bhelogan Bhelogan Bhelogan Bhelogan Bhelogan Bhelogan
Posts: 20,281
I'm going to do something new this year, but first, my obligatory quote:

 

Now, for the new part. What I list above is just the basics of a decent entry, but I feel like digging deeper into what makes a great entry would be useful. I've looked over and considered the type of feedback that I have given in years past, and I think there are a few common elements there that take a submission beyond just being good to being great. I am going to try and consolidate all of that here, so without further ado:

Keys to winning Iron DM according to Bhelogan
  1. Formatting - This is a chance to show us your BB Code-fu. Formatting of your entry should make it pleasing to the eye, and make it easy to follow. Formatting that is either ugly or detracts from the flow or organization (despite being extra pretty) will hurt your entry. Most Judges (but not all, we have some oddballs out there) are going to use Drake (no background) as their theme. So, when in doubt, double-check how your formatting looks with that theme.
  2. Ingredients - A perfect ingredient usage is one where the ingredient is key and central to the plot, easy to spot out, but still feels organic to the entry. It needs to be used in such a way that it cannot have a substitute, and still be the same adventure. If it feels like it was added ad-hock just to be included, or if it could be replaced with just about anything else and not impact the story, then you will not get full marks for its usage. Sounds difficult? It is, but that is what separates a decent entry from an amazing one. I appreciate a table at the end of your entry stating what the ingredients were, and how they were used. Don't make me hunt through your entry five times trying to figure out if something is there. Ingredients can be used literally or figuratively. A mixture of both can be a lot of fun.
  3. Word Count - Nothing will kill an entry faster than going over your word count. Being significantly under though is almost as bad. Use ALL of your words, and make them count. If you try to do too much with your story, segments will get thinned out, often putting them in a state where your entry would be better without them. If you come significantly under your word count, it may be better to flesh out something you already have, than to try and add something extra to the entry.
  4. Use Available Resources - This kind of ties into word count, but, if you can point to a specific resource for a stat block or monster (e.g. Frostmare - Monster Manual page 245, swap fire resistance and damage to cold resistance and damage), you will save a significant amount of word count vs. trying to build and include a whole new stat block for the creature. Using bolt text to point to an official printed reference is a common practice in printed D&D 5E modules, and is acceptable in Iron DM.
  5. Second Opinions - Where possible, try to get someone else to read over your entry before you post it. Not one of the judges, or competitors, but someone you trust to give you an honest opinion. If they say everything looks great and you are ready to go, fire them and find someone else. You want them to spot things that you don't see. Simple spelling mistakes, clumsy sentences, flow, and missing information, are all things that a second pair of eyes can spot that you may miss. I am no English major myself. If I am spotting major spelling and grammar problems, then there are some serious issues in your entry.

And, don't forget the Pro Tip: To win, you must score more points than your opponent!
__________________
  #6  
Old Sep 21st, 2022, 10:46 AM
Admin RonarsCorruption's Avatar
Admin RonarsCorruption Admin RonarsCorruption is offline
Worldcrafter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Nov 30th, 2022
RPXP: 36749
Admin RonarsCorruption Admin RonarsCorruption Admin RonarsCorruption Admin RonarsCorruption Admin RonarsCorruption Admin RonarsCorruption Admin RonarsCorruption Admin RonarsCorruption Admin RonarsCorruption Admin RonarsCorruption Admin RonarsCorruption
Posts: 35,562
So, usually I try to keep these things casual. I don't like to brag or gloat or go on about lists of rules that I want people to follow.

But last year, I think I came off a bit soft in my intro, and I might have surprised people by not being soft when I was judging. So I'm going to set the record straight. I'm a heavyweight in RPGs and in reviewing and criticizing RPG work.

I have been a DM and a GM for something like twenty years now. I've written published RPG material for a dozen companies including Paizo, under a half-dozen gaming systems. I've worked professionally as both a writer and an editor, and my day job is to oversee the publishing of standards -- which are basically real world rulebooks -- and my side gig is managing freelancers for 5e dnd material.

I grade each entry based on the number of impressive things I see, compared against to the number of mistakes I find. I try not to be mean about it, but I'm also not afraid to mark an entry all the way down to 0 in a category if I think it deserves it. If I see an entry has 10 different problems, I don't say "there are a bunch of problems, -1 point", I call out each of them individually, and that can have a big impact on the score I give out. You have been forewarned.

The biggest thing I care about when reading an entry are clarity and sense. If I as a reader don't see why something is happening, or if an entry makes an assumption that the party will follow an action that doesn't make sense, I'm going to call you out on it.
  #7  
Old Sep 26th, 2022, 05:10 AM
HenryLockwood's Avatar
HenryLockwood HenryLockwood is offline
Barbarus sum
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Nov 29th, 2022
RPXP: 21172
HenryLockwood HenryLockwood HenryLockwood HenryLockwood HenryLockwood HenryLockwood HenryLockwood HenryLockwood HenryLockwood HenryLockwood HenryLockwood
Posts: 9,829
HenryLockwood here. You can probably guess my real name

As for judging, I'm short on time. I want something that is:
  • Easy to read - one or two typos/spelling errors are OK, but if every otha wurd iz mispeled then I'll get grumpy and mark you down.
  • Easy to understand (not quite the same thing as easy to read!)
  • Entertaining - I play RPGs (mostly Pathfinder) for fun, not for work, and if this feels like work, then I'll get grumpy. You wouldn't like me when I'm grumpy.
  • For later rounds, where we're looking at encounters etc., feels like it would be easy to run. Anything that makes me refer to 5 different books/links/templates is likely to lose me.
  • Interesting: if the PCs meet in a tavern, there'd better be a reason for it!
__________________
Back to normal after July!
Maps for Wrath
Pronouns: he/him/his, etc.
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:38 PM.
Skin by Birched, making use of original art by paiute.( 2009-2012)


RPG Crossing, Copyright ©2003 - 2022, RPG Crossing Inc; powered by vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. Template-Modifications by TMB