Thursday, December 11, 2014

Iron GM incoming!

My FLGS Titan Games is hosting an Iron GM competition this Saturday. I signed up to compete, thinking that it sounded fun.

What is it?

It's like those cooking competition shows, where chefs are given challenges or secret ingredients. In this case, the DMs are given 3 secret things that need to be included in the adventure. It could be "Bodak, Banishment, and Boudoir" or "Ogre Magi, Opera House, and Oppression"

I don't find out until an hour before I'm supposed to run, during which time I need to adjust my adventure as needed to include those elements. At the end of the 4 hour session, the DMs are ranked, and a winner is chosen.

When I signed up, I thought the adventure needed to be crafted the day of, so I haven't really prepared anything yet. I thought it was more of an overall improve challenge... At this point, for me, it's going to be! Luckily my usual Friday night game is on hold till the New Year, so I'll at least have the next two evenings and Saturday morning to throw something together.

I think my strategy is to craft some level appropriate encounters, and then come up with a couple of maps that I can use. Maybe a town, village, and regional maps, plus a couple of dungeon maps.Then it's just a matter of making it all work.

I know some people go kinda crazy with props, projectors, minis, etc, but I'm aiming more for a theater of the mind experience with some solid NPC interaction. Too much stuff at the table, and I get too distracted. We'll see how that goes...


  1. Greetings, Archmage! I'm Rone Barton, one of the two producers of Iron GM LLC. You do not have to adjust an adventure you've already written. You can certainly walk into competition using scenarios and settings you've created previously, but you'll be best served if you fly by the seat of your game designer pants (figures they'd have d20s embroidered on them). Don't be afraid to come in completely unprepared and show yourself what you can do when thrown up against it! It's kind of thrilling to just let go like that. An adventure created in the hour before plays begins (after the Three Secret Story Elements are announced) is more likely to focus strongly on said Elements than say, an adventure onto which they were grafted.

    But however you proceed, kicketh butt and let us know!

    1. Hi Rone! Thanks for stopping by and the words of encouragement! I wrote up a LONG post about the event, which is up today. Thanks for coming up with such a neat event!

  2. I'll say it here as well... Congratulations! Fantastic write-up, and well done, sir!