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tesral
03-13-2010, 02:03 AM
Inventorying the gaming materials in the Sanctum and Dungeon. Some of the old stuff would stuptify the kids today. A thin little pamphlet that "keyed" two maps several hundred miles on a side? Encounter descriptions two lines long?

Knocking this around with my wife was born the Old School Challenge. What we have in mind is a contest. DMs would be given a bare handful of sketchy sources and told to create a short adventure, say five encounters from only what is in front of them. No SRD, no dozens of source books, no Monster Manual.

Each DM would get the same sources. Each would get a fixed period of time to construct their short adventure. Neither sources or format has been decided. However such sources as the old Judges Guild Wilderlands of High Fantasy would be used for setting, say Basic D&D for rules, and one additional book such as the Rouge's Gallery. Everything must be pulled from those sources or whole cloth.

The difficult part is the judging. In this case it isn't the players being judged its the DM. Ideally, the DMs would run their adventures for a panel of judges, the same judges and that is the rub. There isn't enough time in a con to do this. Not for more than a couple of entries. My second choice would be a series of three runs with a larger Judge pool. Round robin and average the results.

Ideas, suggestions? I have no plans to do this for a while, but I have plans to do it, once I figure out how. Origins perhaps.

jade von delioch
03-13-2010, 09:52 PM
Sounds great- i love it.

wbrandel
03-15-2010, 12:07 PM
Here's one way of doing it: have the DMs create an adventure that can be run in 2-3 hours at a con. Over the duration of the con you should get a good result for this.

As a prelim in the planning phase I would want to run a small scale to see how it would work out.

tesral
03-15-2010, 02:01 PM
That would preclude the judges doing anything else that con. If that is acceptable this would work, provided you are going with the single panel of judges.

So in this model we have:
-- Build a 2 hour scenario for 4 characters of 6th level. Players will bring their own characters. (Judges build reasonable 6th level PCs that are used for every game. Classic four classes. Ideally two panels of judges to even out the scores.)

Friday you get a three hour build session. Gaming slots are assigned by lottery. Turn you paperwork over until the session is run.

Friday/Saturday -- Each DM runs two sessions, one with each panel of judges. Time between sesions for Panelists to eat, run screaming through the parking lot and get gyped in the dealer's room.

Sunday, Announce the winner.

At best this limits the number of entrants, but that is a given

yukonhorror
03-15-2010, 02:28 PM
nifty idea, but I think the tricky part is designing a scoring system. As with figure skating, it should be scored on technical choices and style choices. Basically hard judging and soft judging. Where technical would constitute things like number of creatures, did the adventurers take the recommended time to finish, etc... (kind of talking out of bum here, but hope the idea is conveyed). Style would include creativity of story, how well does everything come together, how involved does it make the players (as opposed to going through the motions mindlessly).

I think that'd be the most important thing to hammer out. Then define and make it clear to the judges what to look for and a nice rubrik for scoring.

Maybe a "blind" round. How easy it for a DM who has never seen the adventure to run it smoothly and effectively on the spot.

cplmac
03-15-2010, 06:13 PM
Ah, what a grand idea, Tesral. Was wondering if when you say encounter, are you specifically thinking combat/melee or could it include say decifering a riddled clue as to which way they need to go or figuring out how to get across some obsticle?

As for scoring/judging, there could be a set amount of points given for each entry that is able to be run to its end.

Any idea at which con you would want to do this at?

Soft Serve
03-23-2010, 11:39 AM
Ah, what a grand idea, Tesral. Was wondering if when you say encounter, are you specifically thinking combat/melee or could it include say decifering a riddled clue as to which way they need to go or figuring out how to get across some obsticle?

As for scoring/judging, there could be a set amount of points given for each entry that is able to be run to its end.

Any idea at which con you would want to do this at?


Unfortunately it looks like whatever con it is will be on the other side mac. Unless you or another Easterner manages to run another one similar over here.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
03-23-2010, 11:49 AM
I accept your challenge, mighty phoenix tesral. Better give me a few weeks to complete the job of inventorying.

cplmac
03-23-2010, 05:56 PM
Unfortunately it looks like whatever con it is will be on the other side mac. Unless you or another Easterner manages to run another one similar over here.


Actually Soft, we the organizer and assistant organizers of the Pittsburgh Dungeons & Dragons Meetup on Meetup.com are talking about running a Con here in the Pittsburgh area. We don't want to just slap something together quick and have yet another tiny "con" that is lucky if there are 10 people attend it. Several of the owners of the local gaming stores actually have been on the organizer to run one. We are just in the very begining stages of trying to plan one.

Soft Serve
03-23-2010, 07:31 PM
Actually Soft, we the organizer and assistant organizer of the Pittsburgh Dungeons & Dragons Meetup on Meetup.com are talking about running a Con here in the Pittsburgh area. We don't want to just slap something together quick and have yet another tiny "con" that is lucky if there are 10 people attend it. Several of the owners of the local gaming stores actually have been on the organizer to run one. We are just in the very begining stages of trying to plan one.

Tesral and Mac's National Old School Challenge?

tesral
03-23-2010, 10:12 PM
Actually Soft, we the organizer and assistant organizers of the Pittsburgh Dungeons & Dragons Meetup on Meetup.com are talking about running a Con here in the Pittsburgh area. We don't want to just slap something together quick and have yet another tiny "con" that is lucky if there are 10 people attend it. Several of the owners of the local gaming stores actually have been on the organizer to run one. We are just in the very begining stages of trying to plan one.

A Con is not a simple undertaking. I've done my time on that sort of self abuse. Expect to be handed your head, kicked in the balls and lose your shirt, in about that order.

Soft Serve
03-24-2010, 11:45 AM
I lose my shirt just about anywhere I go anyway so 2/3rds of that I might actually enjoy. (Go ahead and guess...)

cplmac
03-24-2010, 08:40 PM
A Con is not a simple undertaking. I've done my time on that sort of self abuse. Expect to be handed your head, kicked in the balls and lose your shirt, in about that order.

:lol:

That is why we are planning. We don't expect to make anything on the first one especially. Also, it shouldn't hurt that we have two people with a retail background.

tesral
03-24-2010, 11:54 PM
Remember also the Rules of War: "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." Your best bet is to find someone that has done this before, but has not been scared too sane to do it again. Get them on your committee. Truly, direct experience is hard to beat.

A Con committee should be like the graceful swan; serene and peaceful above, paddling like mad below.

Soft Serve
03-25-2010, 07:51 AM
A Con committee should be like the graceful swan; serene and peaceful above, paddling like mad below.


Nice...

cplmac
03-25-2010, 10:12 AM
Remember also the Rules of War: "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." Your best bet is to find someone that has done this before, but has not been scared too sane to do it again. Get them on your committee. Truly, direct experience is hard to beat.

So Tesral, when can we expect your arrival in Pittsburgh? :D

A Con committee should be like the graceful swan; serene and peaceful above, paddling like mad below.

That is our plan. Do all the mad paddling before hand so that come time that we would actually have the Con, all anyone sees is that graceful swan.

tesral
03-25-2010, 10:21 AM
Remember what I said about plans. Dude that is every committee's plan. I have never seen it happen that way.

cplmac
03-25-2010, 11:32 AM
Tesral, thanks for sharing your personal experience. We will keep this all in mind. I guess I should also point out the fact that we are really only looking to have people from the immediate area really attend this. That is why we are looking to start out small. This is being geared more towards the members of the Pittsburgh Dungeons & Dragons Meetup on Meetup.com. Really we are looking for away to get the people in this area together for something other than just their regular game group. This being the case, if anyone from P&PG that isn't local would by chance be in the area when we do have it, they would by all means be encouraged to stop by. And yes, eventhough his schedule will most likely not allow for it, we will obviously extend an invitation to Farcaster, since we use his site here in addition to Meetup.

Soft Serve
03-25-2010, 01:35 PM
I'm 6 hours drive away but if I did make it it would be my first Con. I'm not against going back to Pittsburgh ever. My birthplace and the home of the greatest sports franchise in history known as the Pittsburgh Penguins. :D

tesral
03-25-2010, 02:08 PM
But do they use Linux?

cplmac
03-26-2010, 10:43 AM
But do they use Linux?

Sorry, I am not following. Who are you asking if they use Linux?

cigamnogard
03-26-2010, 06:54 PM
Maybe the Penguins?

tesral
03-26-2010, 10:34 PM
All good Penguins use Linux.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
03-27-2010, 01:17 AM
Sounds fishy to me.

tesral
03-27-2010, 10:12 AM
Usually in the Penguins.

Soft Serve
03-27-2010, 12:25 PM
You know probably not. I'm sure they're too busy living my dream to use linux.

cplmac
03-29-2010, 02:00 PM
Sounds fishy to me.

and you thought that dragon breath was bad.

Soft Serve
03-30-2010, 10:03 PM
Dragons eating fish?

tesral
03-31-2010, 11:39 AM
:focus:

Scoring. How would you judge a DM and an adventure? What qualities are important, what are not?

Soft Serve
03-31-2010, 12:41 PM
The same way someone would judge artwork. Whatever looks the best and most creative.

tesral
03-31-2010, 01:19 PM
Actually not how art work is juried. There are specific rules of composition and balance.

What are the rules of a good adventure?

Soft Serve
03-31-2010, 05:22 PM
hmmz.

I'll have to get back to you on this one because I have ice cream to eat first.

cplmac
04-01-2010, 01:31 PM
:focus:

Scoring. How would you judge a DM and an adventure? What qualities are important, what are not?

I wouldn't say to totally base the judging of the DM based on this, however, you could have the people that played characters grade them on a 1 to 5 basis.

1 = Totally Awful

2 = Bad

3 = Average / OK

4 = Good

5 = Excellent / Outstanding

They should base their vote on how fun, or not, the adventure was to play. The one setback would be that you would need the same people to play in all the games to be sure that the votes are based upon the same oppinion.

TaliesinNYC
04-01-2010, 01:55 PM
I wouldn't say to totally base the judging of the DM based on this, however, you could have the people that played characters grade them on a 1 to 5 basis.

1 = Totally Awful

2 = Bad

3 = Average / OK

4 = Good

5 = Excellent / Outstanding

They should base their vote on how fun, or not, the adventure was to play. The one setback would be that you would need the same people to play in all the games to be sure that the votes are based upon the same oppinion.

Not too far off the mark.

When I went to GENCON back in the day before Lizards took over, players would rate the DM of a tournament on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being high). This was done at the end of the scenario. It was usually an RPGA-sanctioned event. Not sure if that's the case now. I haven't been to GENCON since they moved things to Indianapolis, is it?

I'm really showing my age.