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Son of Iron Game Chef!

Started by Mike Holmes, April 12, 2004, 03:29:35 PM

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The world is a a huge archipelago of islands, spread from Dawn to Twilight and from Ice to Fire.  Players are wandering wizards, traveling the islands, spreading wisdom and fighting The Chaos from Beyond the Last Island.

Character Creation
The character's Wisdom draws from three sources:

Skybound - Actions of Intellect; Magic of Sky & Fire
Earthbound - Actions of Body; Magic of Earth & metal.
Waterbound - Actions of Emotion; Magic of Water & Flesh

Distribute 12 points between these.  No score may be less than one.

The character's Cardinals are

Ice & Fire
Dawn & Twilight

Distribute 6 points between Ice and Dawn.
Distribute 6 points between Fire and Twilight.

Description/Distinction - [I need something more to make each wizard distinct.]


For each conflict:

- Player declares goal
- Player declares use of Magic or Mundane
- Wisdom & Cardinal are chosen [how?]
- Player rolls number of d6 equal to chosen Wisdom and looks for Cardinal score as TN or less.


If Magic was declared, 1+ success is required.
If Mundane, then 2+

Magic results produce magical solutions or progress in a conflict.  Also, any time a single 1 appears in a magic roll, that Wisdom score is increased by one - and te player must choose another wisdom to decrease. Any time two or more 1s are rolled, the Wisdom is increased and the lowest Wisdom is decreased!  

If this results in any score hitting zero, the zero score may never be used again.  If two scores hit zero, the character undergoes Apotheosis, becoming an angel - and leaves play.

Dawn (1+/2+)
Player narrates the begining of some new story element related to declared goal..

Twilight  (1+/2+)
GM narrates the end of some story element related to declared goal.

Fire  (1+/2+)
GM narrates progress toward the goal in terms of change.

Ice  (1+/2+)
Player narrates the progress toward the goal in terms of preservation.
- Alan

A Writer's Blog:


Dav, the ingredients don't have to be part of the title.  Just incorporated somehow.

Daniel Solis

I thought I'd take a stab at making a fantasy game with a loose Inuit flavor.


Elders say the land beyond Inotowok was once warm as our fires. Lush with green things and animals that flew in the sky, they say. But, for reasons unknown, the sun went to sleep many winters ago. Slowly, our people were the only ones able to survive, all alone on Inotowok. With the talluak, the protective spirits, keeping us just warm enough, we managed to survive on an island isolated from the rest of the world by oceans of ice.

And life was good in those days, not so much different than before. But those who died when the sun went to sleep did not lie as easily as that great, slumbering star. Their restless souls grew corrupt in the long night, hungering for life. In their desperation, they became the tonrar karpok, the hungry ghosts, who gather at Inotowok's shores, waiting for the talluak to rest at dawn. Their hordes grow larger and more vicious every day, their smoky forms twisted into horrors unimaginable.

But the sun is not entirely asleep even in these frigid ages. Ublarpassik, spirit of hope and daybreak, has shed tears of fire into the living souls of great heroes. The Lak stand nobly at the shorelines, preparing defenses against the tonrar karpok and narrowly saving our small, cold island from destruction.
¡El Luchacabra Vive!
Meatbot Massacre
Giant robot combat. No carbs.


Just when I'd given up hope that this event would ever see the light of day again!

 I'd curse the ridiculously bad timing, but I think that's really a part of the challenge.

 And I'm down a day too.


 My hat is in the ring.

 I will be using Island, Assault, and Dawn (I may incorporate Ice, we'll see).  I'm pretty sure the only possible choices for PC characters will be beefy minotaurs, sexy cat people, and withered dead-looking guys.

 It's going to be a chore to fix all the problems with D&D and then get the entire ruleset rewritten and posted, but I'll do my best...

The Three Stooges ran better black ops.

Don't laugh, Larry would strike unseen from the shadows and Curly...well, Curly once toppled a dictatorship with the key from a Sardine tin.

Shreyas Sampat

Snow From Korea
The summer of Nihon is long, and dry, and hot. Your lady love has asked you to bring her snow from Korea to cool her brow. Can you bring it back before it's too late? Will the dragons of the ocean stop you before you return? Will you survive the armies of Korea and the hengeyokia of your own province's outlands?

An adventure game.

Mike Holmes

Quote from: DavMike: When you mention incorporating 3 of 4 terms, I presume you mean incorporate them into the game and/or mechanics, not necessarily restricting it to the title of said game... correct?
This is correct. It seems that people tend to throw them into the title a lot, but it's not at all neccessary. If you look at some of the entries from earlier competitions, many have titles that make no mention of the elements.

QuoteIf I may ask, may I fit a synopsis of the game in this thread, and the finished product elsewhere?  I ask because I may well overload this poor system with my words.  That, and I can make things a bit more elegant and flashy if I can format them more properly.  If not, very well, I'll see what I can do.
Again, you'll see that previous contests have had some extremely long entires. I require that everything be posted here (with the exception of pics which can be linked if one likes) precisely so that no designer with access to special layout software or the like has an advantage that way. Basically, I'm sure you have resources Dav, that others simply don't have.

Also, I tend to try to ignore art somewhat for the same reason. I can't say that it doesn't make a difference, it does (especially if some graphic is needed to play). Just that I try to account for the fact that some people have access to ridiculously expensive art programs, and others do not. Basically, the judgment is on content, not on software used. So I try to level the playing field somewhat there.

Further, I can't get to each game right away, so posting them here means that they become uneditable, unalterable until I get around to rating them.

Sorry, but them's the breaks. That said, I fully expect to see a beautiful PDF of your entry soon after the end of the contest. If we don't have at least one of these to sell at the Forge Booth this year, I'll be dissapointed.

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.

Jonathan Walton

Anyone else find my penguins funny?  Do ya?  Do ya, punk?  Yeah, funny like a scurvy seadog that's going to feed you your own liver.  We'll see who's laughing then...


SEADOG TUXEDO: System, Part One

Declaration of Intent

This game is not funny or cute.  This game is badass, dammit!  Any signs of cuteness or humor should be quickly suppressed. Anyone caught giggling uncontrollably at the table should be forced to walk the plank or go get everyone snacks.  The person running the game needs to enforce this with a ruthless efficiency.  Grimace a lot.  Snear at any players who allow themselves the slightest smirk.  After all, you're pirates, dammit!  Get control of yourselves!

This game is meant to emulate the often bizarre nature of Saturday Morning Cartoon fantasy worlds.  It's got a setting specifically designed to be a cool toy line.  Imagine Pirates of Dark Water meets Carebears.  Let out your inner pre-pubescent.

Character Generation

Pirate Penguins have 3 traits, representing the depth and complexity of their identities.

PIRATE represents their scurvy seadog life, with its carousing, drinking, wenching, fighting, plundering, stealing, singing pirate songs, and generally being an ocean-sailing rapscallion.

PENGUIN represents their innate nature, fully of cuteness, love, friendship, and the joy of swimming gracefully in the sea or sliding down sheets of ice on your belley.

These two traits express the inherant contradiction in the life of a pirate penguin.  I mean, you're a scurvy pirate, dammit, but you're also a cute and fuzzy penguin.  This causes all sort of angst and inner turmoil, as the cuteness struggles against the desire to be truly badass.  Pirate penguins are the kind of drama queens that put vampire Shakespearean actors to shame.

Each character also has their own IDIOM, which represents their gimmick, giving them a seperate identity.  Having individualized Idioms makes it possible to make more action figures.  Every pirate penguin has an emblem representing their Idiom emblazoned on their belly and it should also be immediately obvious from their name.  For instance, the pirate penguin Black Death has an evil-looking locust tattooed on his tummy, while Forked Lightning has a bright yellow bolt of electricity.

Idioms distract pirate penguins from the inner turmoil of their souls.  They are an attempt to resolve the eternal tension between the pirate's life and the penguin's natural instincts.  Thusly, they almost always show signs of torment, taking the form of dark and nasty things, monsters from the Id.

Character creation involves simply selecting an Idiom for your character.  Everything else is secondary.  Penguin and Pirate traits are not measured numerically, but as states of being.  Every character strives to stay in their pirateness as much as possible, but sometimes slips into their natural penguin state, letting the beast take over.  Each player should have some way of indicating which state their character is currently in, either by placing a counter next to the appropriate trait or simply using their pencil as a pointer to indicate one or the other.  All characters begin play with their Pirate trait fully in control.

Sun-worshiping shaman-wizards, the bane of a pirate penguin's existence, are created in similar fashion, though they have the trait SUN-WORSHIPING SHAMAN-WIZARD and DECENT HUMAN BEING instead of Pirate and Penguin.  Their IDIOMS all have something to do with fire, the sun, burning death, and the like, and their names too.  Volcano Raga, high-priest of the Cult of the Sun, is empowered with the Idiom of Volcanic Destruction.  Instead of having their Idioms ritually tattooed on their bellies, sun-worshiping shaman-wizards wear red robes with their Idiom symbol embroidered on the back.  Much less badass, but what do you expect from such pansies?  Like pirate penguins, sun-worshiping shaman-wizards struggle between badassness and being normal, which, for human beings, is not about cuteness, but about compassion and forgiveness (yes, this game is optimistic about human nature; it's a Saturday Morning Cartoon).


More to come...

Mike Holmes

"Fukui-San? Adding the new entrants, that's thirteen entries already. This is really shaping up to be a great battle."

"Yes, Ota, the chairman will have more than his fill of gaming dishes to sample!"

[someone want to take the role of Ota (Iron Chef sideline commentator)? First non-participant to step in gets it.]
Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.


Snow Day!

The freak summer blizzard that buried the Hawaiian islands under four feet of snow has passed, and the day has dawned on a sunny, if cool, morning.  The palm trees are frozen stiff, every frond laden with icicles.  Power's still out, but the weather report on Mom's battery-powered radio says that the weather will turn warm and sunny again by tomorrow morning.

The kids down the block have spent the entire night building a grandiose snow fort in Joey's front yard.  They've got two towers, icicle spikes, and a dug-out ice cave stuffed to the gills with pre-made snowballs.  Atop it all, they've made a flag by affixing an old t-shirt to a broom handle.  Show-offs.

Eric is conscripting an army of faithful snow-musketeers to head up the assault, Jeffrey swears he knows of a secret underground passage under the Gilman family's patio, Johnny and Suzy are sculpting our secret weapon - an honest-to-goodness flying ice dragon - and best of all Alice's mom said she'd make hot cocoa for all of us.  The kind with the little marshmallows.

Fort Joey must fall, and it must fall before dawn, or else the summer heat will beat us to it.
Hans Christian Andersen V.
Yes, that's my name.  No relation.

Ron Edwards

Using the assigned elements as the character attributes?!

Jack wins.


... What?

[Mike's the judge, not me, for people who don't get the joke. This post is merely a spectator cry of enthusiasm.]


Quote from: hanschristianandersenSnow Day!


 After my initial idea went south I had almost exactly the same concept:

The children in the small town of Moose Crossing, Maine would never forget that strange and magical winter when the Aurora Borealis formed a shimmering backdrop in the sky for the shower of meteors.  They'd been up late to see the display on a school outing organized by Mrs. Plautz and sat in the frigid night air gazing up in wonderment at the sky.

It was little Jimmy Donaldson who found it the next morning -- a huge chunk of blue ice that had fallen from the sky and plowed a furrow into the earth in the large abandoned lot the local kids played in.  He got the word out and after school, everyone was crowded around the spot where the ice ball had landed.  Some said it was a shooting star but Patrick Bartley (the smartest kid in 4th grade) said it wasn't because the ice would've burned up on re-entry.  But no one much cared and after some careful preliminary jabs with a stick and a foolhardy child accepted a dare to touch it, the ice was declared safe.

There were a bunch of smaller pieces of ice which had broken off and scattered about.  Jimmy Donaldson had been thinking about them all day.  He built up a snowman and used a couple of small bits to make the eyes.  A bunch of kids caught on and started making little snow sculptures and decorating them with ice chunks.  By then time the streetlights went on and mothers called them home, the area around the meteor was littered with sparkling snowmen and women and various other creations.

That night, as Jimmy lay tucked into bed, there was a rap at his window.  He cautiously crept over and discovered that the snowman he'd built was standing there, his icy eyes glowing blue.  Jimmy was scared at first, but the snowman smiled and bekoned him out to play.  Quickly and quietly throwing on his things, Jimmy snuck outside and joined his snowman.  They went back to the abandoned lot where other children were being summoned by the things they had made.  The strange ice from the sky had brought them all to life.  The children and snow sculptures played until the wee hours of the morning when sleep overtook them and they had to sneak back home.

When the children returned that afternoon, the sculptures were standing stock still.  Their icy adornments didn't glow.  The children weren't sure what to make of it.  But that night they came back to their windows and invited them out to play.  Again, they spent the night having fun and even making a few new snow sculptures.  But as dawn broke, the sculptures slowed down.  The blue light went out of their ice and they ground to a halt.  The chilren weren't worried though.  Now they understood how the magic ice worked and they knew that this winter was going to be the best one ever...

...if they didn't get caught.


 Grrr.  I think I'm going to have to bail on this one.

The Three Stooges ran better black ops.

Don't laugh, Larry would strike unseen from the shadows and Curly...well, Curly once toppled a dictatorship with the key from a Sardine tin.

Mike Holmes

"Indeed, Edwards-san is correct that Aidly-san has taken a bold approach that puts a strong highlight on the four ingredients by making them attributes. But will forcing this arrangement lead to a palatable game? This remains to be seen! Further, the technique is not new - Palaskar-san in the last competition did something very similar with his attribute system. This entry did not win - so it is no garuntee!"

"Oh, and Tom-san is reeling in a sea of indecision. He seems not to be able to strike a claim on his own creative ground. Can he recover his composure, or is he out of the running?!?"

"Veteran Sampat-san is also in the arena now with a typically evocative start. Solis-san, no newcomer to design himself, has also decided to take part in the challenge. Alan-san has come with a strong dose of mechanisms early, having at the least a basis for character generation, and resolution. The bar continues to rise quickly in the early going!"
Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.


For millenia the Lord of Fire and the Lord of Ice battled.  The world was racked with freeze and thaw, flame and ice.  Finally, the Lord of Ice defeated his opponent.  He created a great shard of ice that would never melt, the Heart of Winter, and imprisoned the Lord of Fire within it.  Arrogant and content in his victory, the Lord of Ice slept.

With the Lord of Fire imprisoned, ice and cold ruled the world.  Once slow and creeping glaciers swept down from the North to cover the land, and the Ocean froze.  Only through the efforts of their magi, wielders of the Magicks of Heat and Light, could mankind survive in this frozen wasteland.

Hundreds of years after the Lord of Ice's victory, a great magus has stolen the jewel containing the Lord of Fire.  He knows of the ritual that can shatter that prison, and free his Lord.  If this should happen, the world would again be plunged into turmoil.  The Lord of Ice, awakened by the treason of the magus, has sent his servants to retrieve it before the humans can release his foe.

At dawn on the Summer Solstice, the Lord of Fire will be released. . .  Unless you can stop it.

Can you assault the stronghold of the fire-mage?  Can you withstand the heat of the flames, and the chipping axes of men?  Can you recover the Heart of Winter before it's too late, or will Fire come with the dawn, as it did of old?


Best served chilled.

Zak Arntson

Terra Australis


It is the year 1691. You've heard the rumors: The oceans unleashed something horrible, leviathans and serpents are found closer to Europe's shores than ever before. A punishment from God? Spawns of the Devil? It's a good thing the greatest minds have been sent to investigate. You even personally saw Robert Hooke depart on the Faithful four years ago. Things must be going well, since the only demon you've ever seen, a terrifying man-bat, swooping through Hamburg, was packed in a gigantic cage and sailed south to undergo study and exorcism.


You can't remember how long you've been caged here, the fearsome man-bat, caught sleeping after sneaking into a lord's wine-cellar. Now you're trapped in the belly of this stinking ship with only enough rooms to stretch one wing at a time. Your only company has been superstitious sailors, a few armed guards (who refuse to acknowledge you as a thing of reason), and one other monster. A squid-headed gentleman, something of a scholar, from whom you've learned some rudimentary mathematics. It's tough, though, since you have to communicate through iron bars and suspicious guards. That, and those tentacles muffle his speech. His name is Varun, you think.

It has grown colder, and you now spend much of your time shivering under wool blankets. The boat is still rocking, but it has come to anchor, judging from the sounds above. Three strangers, two gentlemen and a lady, descend the steps. Two of them are stifling nausea, handkerchiefs pressed to their noses. One, with a crooked back, extends his hand into the cage.

"To my right is the Lady Soraya Kiyanfar, to my left, Lord Jeong Seonggye. I am Sir Robert Hooke. Welcome to Terra Australis. Dalrymple Island, specifically."

His grip is firm, and he kneads your hand thoughtfully, exploring what lies beneath the furry skin. You soon forget this, however, as the cage is unlocked. You forget the cold, too, as you are led up to open air and the prospect of dry land.


What do the characters do?
As a monster, you are indebted to the World Royal Society, and serve them as an explorer in the strange icy islands of Terra Australis. Unfortunately, many would see you killed and buried, or killed and studied. Your only comfort comes from your fellow monsters and the few sympathetic humans you find here in the Bastion. That, and you're the only chance against the gibbering unnameable things and their wretched minions; unleashed when Terra Australis split into a million islands, prompting the World Royal Society's formation, and the judicious alliance among the civilized world to quell the assault on humankind.

What do the players do?
Players throw their characters into dangerous and maddening situations across the islands of Terra Australis, investigating and fighting all things stranger than themselves. They take part in a joint creation of the Terra Mythos, the backstory and mythology of the world, molding it how they wish. The Mythos can, for example, become a Lovecraftian return of elder gods, an occult conspiracy begun by surviving Atlanteans, or an alien invasion from the moons of Jupiter. To this end, players extend their control beyond a single monstrous character, playing the parts of human NPCs, creating new relationships between all characters, and forming new mythologies and beasts.

What does the GM do?
Participates and guides the Terra Mythos creation, building on (and with) the Mythos to instigate problems and disasters. The GM also uses the player-driven relationships, stressing them to keep play fresh and interesting.

(minor editing done even after extensive Preview-buttoning)

Sydney Freedberg


After months of trolling these forums (ok, fora) I just registered for the sole purpose of saying:

Pirate Penguins. SO COOL!

The gamist tinkerer in me now wants to see a point-based system for designing iceberg city-ships complete with charts showing rates of melt-off vs. richness of plunder at different latitudes....