Iron Chef Contestants!

So there were, in the end, just four completed entries.  I’d be a little disappointed except that the entries are all very solid.  It’s well-neigh impossible to judge them against each other, as they are all so different.  So, instead of trying to rank them…I think I have four winners.

1. Matthew Schmeer of Rended Press: Everyone’s grumpy under that hill– and a river runs through it

This one has 17 flail snails, and includes a keyed dungeon map.  The map was made by someone else, but Matthew definitely makes it his own.  Those flail snails are makin’ babies, for example.  This one is probably closest to the sort of thing I’d have made in the challenge, as I am a very meat-and-potatoes, dungeon-crawl kind of DM.

2. Matt Sprengeler of Uncle Matt’s place: Madness in the mist

This is probably my favorite, because it is an odd locale you could throw in almost anywhere … a swamp, the part part of town, a dungeon, whatever.   It reminds me of a OPD design, and the procedural set up (rather than using a map, the party randomly is transported from room to the next) is clever.  The “mist goblins” are creepy and will be the bane of any adventurers.

3. Andrew Shields of Between are the doors: The war for time

This one is pure evocation … a little short on A to B to C, and very long on rumors, names, and relationships that could spark a whole damn campaign.  It does bear some comparison to the fourth entry.  I think both of these entrants got nothing but NPC cards.  I heard that from several contestants.  Looking over my set of cards, it does seem like the cards have more NPCs than monsters, items, etc.  Maybe TSR was trying to make sure the collector cards were different from the old Monster Cards.  (If so, big mistake!  The Monster Cards were one of the best accessories ever.  I’d totally use them now if I had them.)

4. Theodric the Obscure : THE MEMBERS OF CAVEN

This one has a goodly number of interesting NPCs and the DM needs to keep their different motivations in mind to use them as the backdrop, as well as patrons and adversaries, in an adventure — actually this one is more a set-up for a series of high-level adventures, involving artifacts.  I love the idea of a coven, er, caven, of wizards at cross-purposes … maybe because as DM NPCs are my achilles heel…I’m just not that good at characterizing them or making them all that significant.  So this one would play to my weakness, but it has a lot of interesting ideas, and most astonishing it give game stats for Pathfinder, S&W, AND Labyrinth Lord.

(5.) Bob at Back to the Keep: Unfinished but interesting project

Bob blogged about his design process, and presents enough material to cobble together a sessions’ fun, but he did not finish it.  Bad DM, no prize.

There were about ten other sets of cards mailed or scanned and emailed to various people, but these were the only entrants.  So, I’ll be sending around a private email to the winners to let them pick their prizes.

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Published in: on December 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Neat! Thanks for tracking back to this. Yes, I got all NPC cards, over a wide range of settings and levels, so I used them as the focus (and their gear) and got as focused as I could. Some monsters and objects and so on wouldn’t have hurt.

    Thanks again for taking a look at my entry, and for hosting the contest!

  2. You may have four winners, but I am more than happy to be listed as the first!

    But seriously, thanks for 1) the pack of cards, 2) the contest, and 3) the creative constraints. These four entries are seriously cool and will be going in my folder of cool stuff to run someday.

  3. It’s well-neigh impossible to judge them against each other, as they are all so different.

    That is the best validation that this was a great adventure writing challenge.

  4. Thanks, Mike, and again thanks to the all the prize donors! Congratulations to my fellow winners. The challenge made me attempt something much more epic than I would be inclined to sit down and design from scratch, so it was a growing experience for me that I enjoyed and I hope to do further work on in the future.

  5. […] Mike Monaco at Swords and Dorkery hosted the Iron Chef contest for building an adventure based on a pack of TSR cards. It was great fun to participate. He announced the finished entries here. […]

  6. Congratulations to my fellow entrants! There are a lot of good ideas here, to say nothing of interesting new blogs to read.

    I miss the old monster cards too. The mihstu from set 1 was on my mind the whole time I was writing my adventure.


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