Contest winners

NIN Closer video frame

NIN Closer video frame

At the end of last year, I held a contest where the theme was the Nine Inch Nails song “The Becoming.” I got some submissions. Then I took a long time to actually read and evaluate all of them (apologies!), but as of last week the winners were determined and notified. Prizes were ordered and mailed out. If you did not win, thanks in any case for participating.

First place goes to Mark S. for his Black Ziggurat. Mark chose a copy of the 2013 LotFP Rules & Magic hardcover. The Black Ziggurat is a fantasy bronze age dungeon module which is filled with creative hazards and memorable details. The setting itself is a nice change of pace, without being too alien (it could easily be used as a ruin in a more traditional fantasy setting). The traps, even when they are reminiscent of old standbys, are presented with interesting variations (for example, consider The chamber of spears we guard for eternity, which is a great play on the classics of animating skeletons and spear traps). The theme of transformation is also nicely realized through the person of Naaresh the sorcerer, who was changed by his contact with the void (and effects related to this show up in numerous places within the module as well). Overall, an excellent effort that I think would be good for several sessions of play, and all of it fits on 4 letter-sized pages. There are not many ways I can think of to improve this as a module. If I had to pick something, I would say maybe a few more unique monsters would spice it up.

Second place goes to John M. for his Millennial Worm. John chose a copy of the Swords & Wizardry Monstrosities book. This adventure scenario focuses on the final stage of a dimension-hopping worm’s life cycle. The creature itself is also the adventure location. In addition to the concept itself, there are some interesting mechanics presented for how to actually handle adventuring inside a giant creature. This is not a case of just calling room one of the dungeon “the stomach” and leaving it at that, which I appreciate. Each area also has a mechanical “shift effect.” As for potential improvements, though all the encounters are atmosphereic and creative, the dungeon map itself is somewhat simplistic and linear. I do not know if this is really avoidable though, as the design is somewhat constrained by how digestive systems work. Perhaps some map complexity could be introduced by creating a more fantastic anatomy or integrating built structures into the creature’s body. (Note: if you print this one out, you probably only want to print the first nine pages, as everything after that is license legalese.)

Several other entries can be found on other blogs:

Discussion of other submissions will have to wait for a future post, however.

One thought on “Contest winners

  1. Gus L.

    Nice winners! I am still a bit bummed I didn’t manage to massage my entry together in time, but that’s a fine pyramid!


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