Dr Lucky

Father Azerun's page

3 posts. Alias of Bill Jahnel.


While I am still sorting through the various entries in deciding for whom to cast my votes, I had a few thoughts to share.

Like most of the folks here, the living stone / pillar concept was quite nicely put together. And yes, it is true that some of the ideas are not fairly enough teased out.

That said: I think some of the comments about using real world geopolitical shorthand is perhaps a touch unfair, considering that there are highly artificial constraints placed upon the entires in terms of word length. Consider: If you really wanted unique architectural flairs for each of these main segments and were able to describe them, how much other space would there be left in the entry? I think in a "real world" submission where a country description would be accompanied by illustrations or by more space with which to flesh out some of the individual areas of interest would have solves this issue.

Of the entries I have read so far, this was the first I wished to comment on. Thank you for an intriguing central seed that separates out generic desert settings.

PS: Yes, I would vote for the 'kreen as well. gotta have your mantis warriors. :)

. . . I am finding an excuse from grading my students last exams by trolling the boards. Of course, my logical mind suggests that since they have our emails, surely the winners have been contacted by now and therefore I should not be excited -- just happy that I will get to see 32 very fun new items tomorrow from an amazing creative pool.

The little kid in me whispers, "but you don't know that until tomorrow. . ."

Drat. Back to grading tests.

I really wished to thank the judges for both asking for input on the next round and on helping give something for nervous entrants to read and pass the time while we wait. :)

That said, a few thoughts:

1. If a unique set of conditions affects your country but also affects its neighbors in a continent (or island chain, whatever), would it be acceptable to allude to this in the description by giving the appropriate background? In other words, even though this is a COUNTRY contest, let's say there was a common condition -- you are at war with a neighboring country. I would assume at least a short discussion of that war might be acceptable -- however, I also would not wish to be accused of trying to shoehorn in TWO countries for the price of one. . .

2. In future contests, I would suggest perhaps leaving the country idea for a later stage. In general, the idea seems (rightly) to have been that each design effort is subsequently more challenging. . . or at least more lengthy! The idea of having a contest start with shorter tasks then build to ones that are more lengthy and involved: a new spell, a new magic item, a new NPC/villain, then perhaps a country, plane, etc. The reason is also practical. As the contest goes on there are fewer contestants per round, so people will have less reading fatigue when faced with longer and more complex entries.

Thanks again for allowing us to contribute in multiple ways -- not only in entries but in helping shape this and future contests.

+5 Interactivity FTW.