Congratulations to the 2012 OPD winners!

And thanks to everyone who submitted something — as a DM, I lean on these all the time when I need a map or some ideas for a session.  Sometimes I run them straight as written and sometimes I just use them as a jumping off point, but I’ve gotten WAY more out of these than any of the longer, published modules I’ve bought or downloaded. And especially thanks to the organizers of the contest — it is a great way to build the community & encourage people to share their ideas.  See all the entries here.*

*Yeah, I had an entry too, and hope my players don’t read it — I may still throw it at them.

Published in: on June 4, 2012 at 11:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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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.

Published in: on December 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm  Comments (6)  
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Iron Chef challenge update

A brief one.

The notional deadline was November 11, but if you got cards and still haven’t submitted something, the truth is that I am frikking busy lately and haven’t had time to really look at the entries yet.  So if anyone wants to finish their thing by Sunday (or if you wanted to revise or edit & resubmit) that’s cool with me. The entries that made the original Nov. 11 deadline will have a slight edge in the judging, but at this point there are still more prizes than entries.

FAQ addendum:

Q: “Is this any way to run a contest?”

A: Sorry.

Published in: on November 18, 2011 at 6:59 am  Comments (5)  
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Iron chef adventure challenge — there is still time to enter

Just in case you were interested in the Iron Chef challenge and haven’t asked for cards yet, I hereby announce that any requests not recieved by 5 pm Friday Eastern Standard Time will not get sent out with the rest Saturday.  If you’ve laready asked for cards, I plan to send them out Saturday morning, as I need to go to the post office then anyway.

The ratio of contestants to prizes is very good right now.

Check out these fabulous prizes:

A Zombie Fluxx game courtesy of Ze Bulette

A 1st ed. Monster Manual II courtesy of Scottsz

A  1st ed. DMG (Easley cover) courtest of Carl Nash

This here swamp banshee courtesy of Scottsz

This amazing conversion job of an original monster by Scottsz

Not to mention what I’m offering…  which is kind of paltry compared to the very generous offers above but includes:

A copy of Jack Vance’s Eyes of the Overworld in luxurious retro paperback

A big ol’ bag of plastic minis (TBA)

Two old issues of the Dragon Magazine: #150 and #153

3rd edition D&D module The fortress of the  Yuan-ti

And win or lose you do get the cards.

Published in: on October 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm  Comments (11)  
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Iron Chef Contest update and FAQ

So far, I believe I have 7 contestants., and 10 packs still available.  For contestants overseas or who really don’t want the cards, I’m willing to scan a pack’s worth of cards (selected randomly from my 1992 factory set) so if you were on the fence for that reason, you’re covered.  In fact within reason this method will let me open the contest to a lot more than 16 participants.  Within reason — I’m not scanning all weekend long.

A few emailed questions I should answer for everyone are:

Q: How long does a submission need to be?  

A: No minimums as far as I’m concerned, and really shorter is better.  You can refer to the cards for more detailed descriptions of NPCs or whatever, although you should at least summarize what’s there (“Daggins, a halfling fighter who is searching for his thieving cousin who stole his birthright” would be better than “Refer to card 144”)  In fact my ideal adventure would be one page of key and one page or less of map, but I don’t want to squash anyone’s creativity either.  If you go on for pages and pages, that’s OK too.

Q: Does it have to be for D&D?

A: Only in the most general sense of fitting a fantasy RPG. GURPS, TWERPS, MERP, BRP, Rolemaster, FATE, Fudge, Savage Worlds, Unisystem, d6, d20, a retroclone, any edition of D&D, whatever.  The best  adventures will fit into any system.  You can leave out all mechanics if you want.

Q: Is there, like, a deadline?

A: Oh, yeah.  Let’s say your entry needs to be postmarked/emailed/posted online with notification to me by November 11th (Armistice Day or Rememberance Day for most of the world; Veterans’ Day for the US; those freakish Belgians have yet another name for it).  Judging will begin when I have all the entries in, or the 11th, whichever comes first.  Winners announced the following week.

Q: I was told there’d be prizes.

A: Yes there will. Already several people have offered prizes up and I am perusing my own mathoms for decent prizes.  What I’d like to do is give first prize, first choice at the list, and then down the winners roll until we run out of prizes.  So hey, you might come in 17th, but if no-one else wanted my WRG 7th ed. Rules, it could be yours!  The prizes other people have offered so far are pretty rad though — a classic  mini painted by Scottsz, a game of Zombie Flux, a 1st ed. DMG … these are some nice swag. and make me want up up my own contribution.

So there’s still time to enter, and I for those of you who are still patiently waiting for your cards to be sent or scanned, I plan to do this weekend, & apologize for my foot-dragging.  It turned into a really busy weekend, even with Monday off.

Published in: on October 11, 2011 at 9:00 am  Comments (1)  
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Iron chef adventure challenge: AD&D collector cards

Your secret ingredient...

The challenge: open a pack of AD&D (2e) collector cards, and use as many as you can (at least 1/2) to set up an adventure hook, encounter, or to stock one geomorph or small area full of rooms (using whatever geomorph or map you find online or devise yourself).  NPCs might be used as monsters, hooks, objectives, etc., as may monsters and items.  Do what you want, but make sure the thing on the card is somehow present.  I recognize that it would be pretty hard to integrate random things that could be from Dark Sun, Spelljammer, etc. … so you can go gonzo, or ignore some (up to 1/2 of the) cards.

The the first sixteen respondents I get will get a brand stanking new pack of cards to use (still wrapped! I won’t know what you’re getting!), because I am down to sixteen foil-wrapped packs of AD&D collector cards unless I open the second (shrink-wrapped) booster box (email me at mike period monaco at yahoo dot com).  If you have your own pack handy, or even a larger collection you already own (surely someone owns a mess of these still, despite TSR’s terrible marketing and the whole line’s ill-conceived nature), you can use them, but they must be, on your paladin’s honor, randomly selected.  No cherry picking.  What you got is what you got.

Your entry should include a list of the cards you used, and must be something I can read (hard copy, pdf, word doc, text, etc.).  Also, it should be as system-neutral as possible. After you get your cards and write up your adventure/hook/encounter/whatever, send your submission to me by snail or email, or post it on your own site.  I’ll recruit one or two judges from my gaming group.  I will try to scrounge up some decent prizes from among the gaming things I own but am not using, unless someone wants to donate a prize or two.

To recap, here are the rules:

  1. You email me your intent to enter the challenge, and note if you need a pack of cards (first come first serve) or will use your own.  I send you a pack of cards if applicable.
  2. You write up an encounter/adventure/location/key to a map using at least 1/2 of the cards (monsters, items, NPCs, etc.) in some way.   There are 16 cards per pack, so you need to use at least eight!
  3. Your thing needs to be system neutral.  OK to mention HD or CR, classes, etc., but leave out the massive 3e/4e stat blocks, Rolemaster skill lists, etc.
  4. Post your work online (send me a link!), or send to me.
  5. Judging will be by whoever I can recruit from among my gaming group, or as a last resort by me alone.  Judges’ decisions are final.
  6. There will be at least three winners (1st-3rd prize, plus possibly more if there is big turn out and/or great mentionables).  Prizes will be awarded from my junk, plus anything contributed to the contest.

If you have something you’d like to offer as a prize, let me know.  Free publicity for you, prize for an entrant, my job made easier, win-win-win!

Published in: on October 3, 2011 at 6:00 am  Comments (18)  
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The award-winning dungeon designer had now also been mentioned horonably

Woot! Honorable mention in the Fight On! tables thing … which I am pretty sure means my table will be published.  That’s nice, especially since the table itself garnered no comments when I posted it, and I have not actually had a chance to use it yet.  The sprites on level one of Telengard have been scrupulously avoided by the party. 😦  I believe I also entered the Thrones of Telengard tables, which I have used quite a bit.  I notice that one overachiever won more than once! Good going!

Anyway congratulations to all the winners and all the other entries, whether you were mentioned honorably, dishonorably, or merely unmentionable.  I’m looking forward to seeing the book, when it is published, even though I’ll have to buy my copy like the rest of the hoi polloi.

Published in: on July 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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Blogger outage? Didn’t notice, too busy (duh) winning

A high-level Warlock at work

The One Page Dungeon results are in.  My The Belly of the Beast was among the winners (in a category that is totally not made up): Best Bio-Crawl.  Suck it, trolls. (And thanks to Scottsz who cleaned up my map which looked pretty awful before he GIMPed it up!)

Many thanks to all the judges, and the sponsors, and Alex for running the show. Congratulations to all the entrants, especially the winners.

  The OPD represents, to me, the best thing about the online DIY gaming community — we share our stuff.  I have used several OPDs in my own D&D campaign and I think they are, by and large, as good as any “published” module you could pay for, especially when you consider the sheer number of them and the ease of use.  I’m thrilled that I was among the winners but honestly, every Dungeon Master wins when these entries are put up on the wiki site for free download, and I was just happy to see a huge turnout of entries, several of which I’ve already grabbed from my own repretoire the next time my players decide to check out something that I haven’t prepped.

Published in: on May 16, 2011 at 8:58 am  Comments (4)  
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OPD questions

Here’s a dumb question: if you are going to submit a One Page Dungeon for the contest this year, do you keep it under wraps until the submission deadline (April 1) or do you post it publicly before hand?

I guess you could get helpful feedback if you post it ahead of time but doesn’t familiarity breed contempt? Won’t your idea look crummy if it’s up and being viewed for a few weeks before the judges look at it? Isn’t there a risk someone will take your idea or part of your idea and do a better job of it? Or is this over-thinking things?

The contest page kind of encourages blogging about your entry. Is it ok to do so before the contest is over? I did not pay attention to the time line last
year so I don’t recall if people were tipping their hands and or if that is bad form. Thanks.

Published in: on March 4, 2011 at 10:29 am  Comments (2)  
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Would you believe, Mouse on a stick?

So last night I whipped up a batch of veggie rats on a stick, using ingredients closer to the original Judges Guild recipe — the “not ground beef” Gimme Lean, cheese cracker crumbs, colby cheese, and BBQ sauce rather than my Italian-American version — and it occurred to me that these are really not rat-sized at all, but mouse-sized.   Huh.   Anyway since I was tired and unaccountably had no spaghetti on hand, I skipped the tails and whiskers and just did eyes, this time out of whole cloves. Pics below:

The BBQ sauce is pretty dark and looks a bit more disgusting than the pizza sauce, I think.

Anyway I realized the Gimme Lean is so sticky there is no need for eggs, so I didn’t bother adding the egg.  I think eggs are pretty gross anyway.  Liquid chicken.

So these will be a nice snack for the C&C game tonight and a good test run for the winning recipe in the mask contest.

That’s right, a winner was chosen from among the entries and it will be the Severed Hand (reworked to be vegetarian, of course).

After conferring with my wife as I said I would in the original contest rules, we agreed this was the best idea, although each entry had its merits.  So congratulations to Nik Olah for the winning entry!  I’ll be sending you the mask this weekend.  Thanks again Michael at Specter Studios for the fabulous prize!  And thanks to everyone who entered!

Published in: on September 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm  Comments (4)  
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