Contest 2013

NIN Closer video frame

NIN Closer video frame

UPDATE: deadline extended to november 10th so that it doesn’t step on Santicore’s toes.

My second blogging anniversary approaches. My first post was on august 21 of 2011. I was just in the process of discovering the OSR, following a return to tabletop RPGs after a 10 year hiatus. I started playing tabletop RPGs again via Fourth Edition D&D with some coworkers.

To mark two years, I am holding a contest. The brief: create some game content inspired by the Nine Inch Nails song The Becoming. The song is about transformation, and maybe growth.

The deadline is Halloween, october 31 november 10. See below for details and guidelines.

First place will will earn you one item from the following list:

  • A print product of your choice from the LotFP store
  • The Numenera core book
  • A Vincent Baker game (Apocalypse World, for example)
  • Rafael Chandler’s Teratic Tome in hardcover
  • One of the non-set items from my bartertown page

Second place will earn you a PDF of one of the first place options or a bartertown item.

The Becoming (listen to the “Still” version here):

I beat my machine it’s a part of me it’s inside of me
I’m stuck in this dream it’s changing me I am becoming
the me that you know he had some second thoughts
he’s covered with scabs and he is broken and sore
the me that you know doesn’t come around much
that part of me isn’t here anymore
all pain disappears it’s the nature of my circuitry
drowns out all I hear there’s no escape from this my new consciousness
the me that you know used to have feelings
but the blood has stopped pumping and he’s left to decay
the me that you know is now made up of wires
and even when I’m right with you I’m so far away
I can try to get away but I’ve strapped myself in
I can try to scratch away the sound in my ears
I can see it killing away all my bad parts
I don’t want to listen but it’s all too clear
hiding backwards inside of me I feel so unafraid
Annie, hold a little tighter I might just slip away
it won’t give up it wants me dead
goddamn this noise inside my head

(Lyrics are copyright Nine Inch Nails and used without permission in the spirit of fan remixes.)


  • Submission must be explicitly creative commons Attribution-ShareAlike licensed and must (obviously) be your own original work.
  • There is no minimum or maximum size. I might get bored when reading something long though. I’m interested in seeing lairs or adventure locations that could easily be dropped into someone’s games. I think these offer good scope for creativity, and would also be useful to other people. Something like a new class, collection of spells on a theme, or piece of art would all also be appropriate.
  • Any stats should be roughly compatible with games like Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, and Lamentations of the Flame Princess.
  • Don’t quote the song directly.

I will judge submissions based on the following criteria, in order of importance:

  1. “It’s not like advertising. ‘Hey come to this world and have fun’. It’s more like otherness. Like a shard of something else poking through. That is what good RPG art should be. An incursion from, or relic of, some other place. Presenting itself so vibrantly and powerfully that it leaves puckers in the skin of reality that won’t heal. Like finding something in your drink that won’t dissolve, sliding around in the bottom of the glass. An idea rolling around in the back of your brain long after you picked it up. Something you can’t quite forget.” (source)
  2. Effectively realizing the theme of metamorphosis.
  3. Game aspects: interesting puzzles, creative streamlined mechanics, etc.

Assuming anyone bothers and I get more than a few entries, I’ll compile my ten favorite submissions into a free PDF supplement. Please email any submissions to brendan at this blog’s domain (no www).

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