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Old Sep 16th, 2021, 11:02 AM
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The Rules of Battle

The Rough Rules of Iron DM

  1. Sixteen contestants will compete.
    Contestants will be chosen from entries made in the initial "Round Zero" competition.
    Four alternates may also be chosen from those entries. These "These contestants are effectively 'alternates' for the matches they are assigned to. If all
    goes ahead normally, they will not progress; the winner and second place will come from
    the four main challengers. However, should any of the four contestants fail to post,
    withdraw, or be disqualified, the "Hopeful" has as much chance to win as any other entrant
    in that round.

    Additionally, "Hopefuls" can, if there is enough time, still be marked and critiqued by
    judges, and given feedback from others. There is still value in the experience! Plus, their
    entry will be considered, should additional contestants be needed at a later date.

    Because of this, it is recommended that "Hopefuls" participate in the matches as if they
    were a regular contestant. But, of course, they do not have to. Failure to do so does mean
    they are withdrawing from the competition for the year, though.
    hopefuls" may be used if a contestant is not able to complete their work on time. The Chairman reserves the right to choose an alternate if a chosen contestant’s schedule becomes too inconvenient to work around.
  2. The Chairman determines who gets paired with who.
    This is based on the availability of the contestants, and on whatever other factors he deems appropriate to use. This is done in private.
  3. The ingredients consist of up to six items.
    They are typically (but not limited to), one or two monsters (like bugbear and alien), one or two persons (a mayor or a blind bard), a place (a grain mill or a haunted marsh), one or two things (like a sharpened spoon), and an abstract concept or event (fear or a birthday party).
    In later rounds, the Chairman may include “bonus ingredients” in the ingredient list. The contestants may use as few or as many of these bonus ingredients as they like.
  4. The competitors are to use the ingredients to design an an encounter or adventure.
    They should try to either give the items equal importance in the adventure, or ingenious and pertinent ways to incorporate into the adventure. They are free to add and create any other elements of the adventure, but the use of too much filler to bring unrelated objects together will likely lead to a judgment against the creation.
  5. The length of an entry is of utmost importance.
    If competitors go over the word limit, they may very well have forsaken their entire entry - it may be better to cut it off at the word limit than to go over and complete the piece. The judges have been instructed to be pretty harsh on those that go over the word limit, so take special heed of the posted limit for each round! The officials will be relying on this website to count your words, so it is recommended you do the same. Do not worry about supplying stat blocks or other mechanical information, and don't include any images, or have any links to outside information.
    Being too long and too specific can work against the entry, for if the judges are bored, they are likely to give poor marks. However, being too short and too vague can also work against a contestant, as leaving too many pertinent questions unanswered is a sign of a weak adventure.
    Round Zero is a short entry (500 words) but future rounds will have increased limits, usually of 1,500-3,000 words.
  6. Take your time, proofread, and start early!
    Contestants have a week to create their works. This means that no matter what time zone, availability throughout the week, or surprise visits / assignments / late shifts, contestants should have plenty of time to complete the adventure. It should not be left to the last day, though - it is advised to work on it early, and have enough time to go over it once or twice before submitting it. If a contestant plans to be out of action for a week or more over the next month or two, please discuss this with the Chairman directly.
    For Round 1 onwards, contestants should feel free to PM the judges involved, to let them know that the post has been made.
    To encourage contestants to not leave entries until the last minute, contestants who submit their entry within 5 days of the initial thread starting will receive two bonus points (in addition to the averaged 45+ points from the judges). Contestants who submit their entry after the 5th day, but before the 6th, will receive a single bonus point. Contestants posting on the last day receive no bonus points.
  7. Secret Text and spoiler button your posts
    Obviously, one contestant has to post first. Ensure that the post is hidden from the general populace, and especially the other contestant(s). Directing the secret text to "Inem" is sufficient, as all judges can read secret text. If you are a mod, make sure not to read before you post.
  8. The Chairman reserves the right to disqualify any entry due to:
    • Being ineligible. Poor formatting or atrocious spelling and/or grammar, which makes reading the entry too difficult to be worth it. (An entry has to be pretty bad for this to happen, but still, the warning stands.)
    • Editing. Once your entry is posted you may not edit it. Any editing is grounds for an immediate disqualification - no entry post should be edited, in any way. If something is so terrible that is has to be fixed, PM the chairman about it.
    • Being Late. An entry posted even one minute past the deadline is disqualified, unless the Chairman sees a reason for an extension to be called (boards going down, for example).
    Comments and questions are welcome from those watching; however, commenting on ingredients before a match is completed can shade the judgments - or even the entries. So, please leave discussion until after the match is finished.
  10. All judgments are final.
    Judgments can be direct and honest and can often come off as harsh. Contestants scenarios may be picked apart. Be prepared for it: it is not personal, it is just part of the fun. If you do well, you will also get gushing praise, but a poorly used ingredient will be pointed out like a gigantic glistening yellowed zit on someone's nose in home economics class.
  11. It is Single Elimination.
    Each round is single elimination. However, the two losing contestants from the semi-final round may compete against each other for the 3rd place position if they so wish, and if the judges have time to facilitate the match.
  12. The winner of the fourth and final round is crowned “Iron DM”
    He or she will be guaranteed a seat in the next Iron DM tournament (which will be run next year). Last year, Spoonybard won (see the final match here), but unfortunately won't be able to compete this year, so there are 16 spots open for the taking.

Last edited by Inem; Sep 16th, 2021 at 11:15 AM.
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