Expert DM Competition 30: Bring a Myth to Life!

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XDMC 30: Bring a Myth to Life!
Welcome to the thirtieth Expert Dungeon Master Competition! The primary purpose of the Expert Dungeon Master Competitions is threefold:

  • To create a resource for new Dungeon Masters drawing on the vast talent pool of the experienced Dungeon Masters of this forum.

  • To create a fun and vibrant competition that is sportsmanlike and friendly.

  • To showcase the creativity and talent of Dungeon Masters like you.


The best way to keep informed about the competition is to join the Expert Dungeon Master Competition group. There you can review the rules, archives, and future contest ideas, and get broadcasts telling you when new competitions begin and when results are released!

The topic for this competition is Myth. This competition asks you to take a myth from the real world and adapt it for a D&D campaign. You can adapt something as narrow as a single mythical artifact like the Aegis, or a myth as broad as the entire Odyssey!

Required Elements


In order to enter this competition, your entry must fulfill the following required elements:

  • Name: Identify the myth you are adapting.

  • Wiki: Provide a link to a Wikipedia article referencing the myth. (This is a specific exception to the rule prohibiting the use of hyperlinks.)

  • Summary: Summarize the actual myth you are adapting.

  • Mechanics: Provide all mechanical information needed for the adaptation.

  • Suggestions: Suggest one or more ways a DM might introduce the adaptation into a campaign.


If you do not include a required element, you will receive a score of zero in Themes. Please note that there are no optional elements for this contest! This means that each entry will receive a 10 in Themes unless it omits a required element, in which case it receives a zero. That makes it extremely important that you ensure that you include all required elements.

For purposes of this competition, a "myth" is a story or story element with supernatural qualities, and would likely not have been considered a work of fiction by the original audience. Note that the forums' Code of Conduct frowns on discussion of real-world religions. If you choose a myth of a religion that is practiced today, please be respectful. You may choose a myth that has already been adapted to the game, like the medusa or pegasus in the picture. However, you best be sure your adaptation is better than the official one!

General Rules


Following are some general rules of the Expert DM Competition. The complete list of rules is in the Expert Dungeon Master Competition Group Wiki.

  • Code of Conduct. All entries must comply with the forum's Code of Conduct.

  • Contest Duration. Contests usually run for two weeks, beginning with the post announcing the competition. The Coordinator may extend the duration of the contest at his discretion after consulting the other judges for that competition. However, such extensions should be done very rarely.

  • Edits Made at Entrants' Own Risk. A judge may download your entry any time after it is submitted. So any edits you make might not be considered by a judge. For this reason, you should submit your entry in as complete a form as possible. Use the preview function liberally. Once winners have been announced, entrants may edit their entries.

  • Multiple Entries Prohibited. Each applicant may only submit one entry during the period in which entries may be submitted. Submitting multiple entries disqualifies all entries. Additional entries may be submitted after the competition closes, but they will not be judged.

  • Multi-Post Entries Prohibited. Each entry must be contained within a single post. The judges must ignore any subsequent posts.

  • Outside Materials Prohibited. Your entry may not include material hosted on a website other than wizards.com and community.wizards.com.  Images from your profile gallery may be used. The judges must ignore material hosted on other websites.

  • Plagiarism and Peer Reviewing Prohibited. All entries must be the original, exclusive work of the applicant. Entries found to be copying the work of another, or that have been posted for review prior to the close of the competition, will be disqualified.


Judges and Schedule


The contest will run from today through Friday, September 2, 2011. All entries must be submitted no later than 12:00 midnight at the end of that day (Eastern Standard Time). The judges of this contest are mccowen, Qube, and SpacyRicochet, and the coordinator of this contest is wrecan. Good luck and have fun!!
Questions and Answers

(questions posed by potential entrants and the coordinator's response)


Q. Can we use a story element with supernatural qualities that Wikipedia labels a "legend" or "folklore", and not "myth"?

A. Yes.


Q. Can the entry be an adaptation of an element from oral folklore, even though when it was first recorded in written form, nobody believed it?

A. Yes.  The definition of myth would use the "original" audience of the folklore, which would be the people hearing the oral tradition, who we can presume believed the stories.


Q. What about modern works of fiction that were written in the style of folklore or have a well-defined fictional mythos, such as H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu or Michael Moorcock's Melnibonean mythos?

A. Not unless they were based on earlier myths, in which case, you should refer to those earlier myths.


Q. What about urban legends?

A. Urban legends involving supernatural elements are great.  Urban legends involving pseudoscience, like Life's Mikey dying from eating Pop Rocks and Coke, or Bubble Yum being made of spider eggs, are not.



Q. What about children stories?

A. Stories told to children that have supernatural elements and are told with the intent the children believe them (and they have supernatural elements) are acceptable.



Q. Can the entry be an adaptation of a nonmagical story element from a myth with other supernatural qualities?

A. No.


Q. For purposes of the "Wiki" element, is a link to a website other than Wikipedia acceptable?

A. No.



Q. For purposes of the "Wiki" element, what's to stop someone from editing or creating a Wikipedia article to justify the entry?

A. The purpose of the Wiki element is to help the judges confirm the mythical quality of the entry.  If the Wiki article appears poorly sourced, recently created, or recently edited in ways intended to support the competition entry, that can reflect poorly on the entry, and possibly even lead to disqualification.


Entry List

  1. Pluisjen's Godfather Death (Gold Medalist!)

  2. Ankiyavon's Pscipolnitsa (Lady Midday) (Silver Medalist!)

  3. Veok's Four Harbingers (Bronze Medalist!)

  4. Nyarlathotep's Lambton Worm

  5. Cassan's Skofnung

  6. Seeker95's Hephaestus and Aphrodite

  7. ClanBattlerage's Wild Hunt

  8. nerraDetroK's Emerald Heart of Koschei the Deathless

Medalists and Scores
We are pleased to announce the winners of Expert Dungeon Master Competition 30!

The bronze medal goes to...


Veok
for
Four Harbingers!



The silver medal goes to...


Ankiyavon
for
Pscipolnitsa (Lady Midday)!!



and the gold medal goes to...


Pluisjen
for
Godfather Death!!!
This means Pluisjen is our third Epic Dungeon Master!  Since this ankiyavon's second medal, ankiyavon becomes our newest Heroic Dungeon Master and is now eligible to judge future XDMCs!!  Congratulations to all of the mythic medalists and thanks to all who participated in this competition, but especially to the judges, SpacyRicochet, Qube, and mccowen, who turned around scores and approvals with the speed of Hermes!

Stay tuned while we plan Expert Dungeon Master Competition 31.  In the meantime, enjoy these carefully tabulated scores:





























































































No.CreativityUsabilityThemesClarityBonusTotalEntrant's Entry
113 1/611 1/6108 1/3244 2/3Pluisjen's Godfather Death
211 5/611108 1/341 1/6Nyarlathotep's Lambton Worm
39 2/311 1/6105 1/336 1/6Cassan's Skofnung
49 1/311108 1/338 2/3Seeker95's Hephaestus and Aphrodite
512 2/311 1/2108143 1/6Ankiyavon's Pscipolnitsa (Lady Midday)
612 1/611 2/37 2/331 1/2ClanBattlerage's Wild Hunt
711 1/611 5/6106 2/339 2/3nerraDetroK's Emerald Heart of Koschei the Deathless
811 1/311 1/2108 2/341 1/2Veok's Four Harbingers


Interesting idea.  This will be a fun one.
My immedaite question is this, however:  Does your myth have to be on Wikipedia specifically.  I.e. if I can't find a mention of it there but I can elsewhere, can I link to that instead?
It has to be on Wikipedia.  I'm not prepared to vet a list of websites we're willing to rely upon.
Drat. There goes idea #1.  Ah well, Just have to think of something else.

Maybe I'll do my first idea as a supplemental entry after its over.  I really liked it. 
Wikipedia is a public resource. I don't really see anything stopping you from making the entry on your chosen myth yourself? If it's an actual myth it should be doable.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Wikipedia is a public resource. I don't really see anything stopping you from making the entry on your chosen myth yourself? If it's an actual myth it should be doable.



Yeah, but it would feel like cheating to me.  I know it could be argued that it isn't, but it would feel that way to me.  

Besides, it would be double the work...

Whoa! I might enter this one, 'cause it seems perfectly suited to my practice of beg, borrow, and steal other people's ideas!
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Wikipedia is a public resource. I don't really see anything stopping you from making the entry on your chosen myth yourself? If it's an actual myth it should be doable.



Yeah, but it would feel like cheating to me.  I know it could be argued that it isn't, but it would feel that way to me.  

Besides, it would be double the work...



The point is so judges have a reference to check on the accuracy of the entry.  if the wiki seems crude, poorly sourced or has a warning from Wiki editors that the contents hadn't been vetted it will probably affect your score.  but if you can out together a well-received wiki article on the myth, then you've got yourself a source, and you've helped to improve Wikipedia.  I call that a win-win.
Drat. There goes idea #1.  Ah well, Just have to think of something else.

Maybe I'll do my first idea as a supplemental entry after its over.  I really liked it. 


Could you PM the myth you're thinking of?
Qube's block builder: if you want to create blocks for powers, items and monsters for this forum, but don't know html
Signature in a box
For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

3.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
who am I kidding? my ego would never fit in a box
While I'm sure it's non issue, just to make sure and ease everyone's minds about it, I'll go ahead and ask.

Is it ok if two or more entrants use the same myth as their entry?
Yes, it is fine.  Although it can affect the Creativity score when a judge sees two entries for the same myth.
Is there a specific edition we should be using? Or is it up to us?
Is there a specific edition we should be using? Or is it up to us?



All XDMCs are for 4th edition.  You can provide stats for a different edition if you want (though doing so might affect your score; I dunno, I'm not a judge), but not including 4th edition stats will tank your Usability score.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
Drat. There goes idea #1.  Ah well, Just have to think of something else.

Maybe I'll do my first idea as a supplemental entry after its over.  I really liked it. 


Could you PM the myth you're thinking of?


Not sure if that would be kosher either.

Besides, I have come up with a few other ideas that I am sure will be findable on Wikipedia. 
Is any kind of myth allowed? Are we limited to ancient myths as in "mythology" or are modern "myths" like, for example, the Jersey Devil, allowed? What about mythbusters style myths??  Thanks  ;)
I live and work in Japan, near Mt. Fuji, teaching English to High Schoolers. In my spare time I also happen to be a husband, a father, and an Otaku. I run a biweekly DnD game on Sundays and blog about it every other day of the week at http://thedumpstat.blogspot.com

15.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

Wikipedia references Folklore and Legends on the page of Myths.  Are we limited to items that can be found under 'myths' or can we also use 'legends' and 'folklore'.
Resident Shakespeare
Argh... why do all the great ideas I have seem like they would exceed the character post limit and make me have to cut out important things to get everything in? >_<

Wish I knew why I couldn't upload images to my profile gallery for some damnable reason...
Drat. There goes idea #1.  Ah well, Just have to think of something else.

Maybe I'll do my first idea as a supplemental entry after its over.  I really liked it. 


Could you PM the myth you're thinking of?


Not sure if that would be kosher either.

i was just being curious.

Qube's block builder: if you want to create blocks for powers, items and monsters for this forum, but don't know html
Signature in a box
For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

3.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
who am I kidding? my ego would never fit in a box
Is there a specific edition we should be using? Or is it up to us?


It's a Fourth Edition competition.  Incompatibility with Fourth Edition will seriously adversely affect your Usability score.
Is any kind of myth allowed? Are we limited to ancient myths as in "mythology" or are modern "myths" like, for example, the Jersey Devil, allowed? What about mythbusters style myths??  Thanks  ;)



Wikipedia references Folklore and Legends on the page of Myths.  Are we limited to items that can be found under 'myths' or can we also use 'legends' and 'folklore'.



The initial post defines "myth":

For purposes of this competition, a "myth" is a story or story element with supernatural qualities, and would likely not have been considered a work of fiction by the original audience.

Mythbusters style myths do not have "supernatural qualities".  In fact, Mythbusters only deals with myths that claim to be scientifically accurate, and thus expressly not supernatural.  Don't worry about how Wikipedia references things.  We don't care if Wikipedia calls it a "myth", "legend", "folklore" or something else.  If it's a story or story element with supernatural qualities and would not have been considered a work of fiction by the original audience, it shoudl be fine.

In that sense, however, keep in mind the difference between "tall tales" and "legends".  The Jersey Devil was a ghost story, meant to be believed.  Keep in mind that children's tales are usually meant to be believed by the audience (of children), even if the storyteller does not believe them.  This should open the raneg of potential topics considerably.
In that sense, however, keep in mind the difference between "tall tales" and "legends".  The Jersey Devil was a ghost story, meant to be believed.  Keep in mind that children's tales are usually meant to be believed by the audience (of children), even if the storyteller does not believe them.  This should open the raneg of potential topics considerably.



You know what this means? Laughing

‘Tis the season
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Drat. There goes idea #1.  Ah well, Just have to think of something else.

Maybe I'll do my first idea as a supplemental entry after its over.  I really liked it. 


Could you PM the myth you're thinking of?


Not sure if that would be kosher either.

i was just being curious.





If I don't do a supplemental entry, I'll tell you when its over.
I've added a question to the Q&A that was raised and discussed by the judges in private. 
Is it ok to provide two wikipedia articles in order to grant a better understanding of the contents of whatever myth/legend/etc that an entrant is using. For example; in the legend of Tamamo-no-Mae, could one provide a link to Tamamo-no-Mae's legend as well as a link to the general myths surounding the magical Kitsune creature?
In order to avoid confusion, I would prefer to have just the one link to the specific article discussing the myth. The way Wikipedia works, a judge can still investigate further if he feels there is a need. 

And, since this is my first actual post in this thread; Good luck to all the entrants! 
Heroic Dungeon Master
I'm actually kinda bummed that I already did my entry on the Bockenriders for the last Monster competition, they'd have fitted in nicely here. Now I have to find a new myth...
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Is it ok to provide two wikipedia articles in order to grant a better understanding of the contents of whatever myth/legend/etc that an entrant is using.


You must provide one to fulfill the requirement.  Any other links you provide will be ignored by the judges, per the rules.  However, I assume the two wikipedia pages cross-reference one another (as they do in your example).  I would advise making a very brief "Designer's Notes" section of the entry explaining what myths being used to make the entry.
For purposes of this competition, yes.  We're not looking to disqualify people for stuff. It's not a trap.  If it's arguable that something is a myth, we'll probably accept it.
For purposes of this competition, yes.  We're not looking to disqualify people for stuff. It's not a trap.  If it's arguable that something is a myth, we'll probably accept it.



Like the Cthulhu mythos? ;)



Guess not.

That may actually be the most pitiful smiley I've ever seen.  

Cthulhu is out because we're aiming at myths that likely would not have been considered fiction by its intended audience--and outside of possibly a very narrow subculture, the Cthulhu mythos is definitely (and thankfully) fiction. Laughing

Cthulhu is out because we're aiming at myths that likely would not have been considered fiction by its intended audience--and outside of possibly a very narrow subculture, the Cthulhu mythos is definitely (and thankfully) fiction. Laughing



That said, if you look into it deep enough, I'm sure you could find something that inspired (at least in part) Lovecraft which is itself a myth.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
For purposes of this competition, yes.  We're not looking to disqualify people for stuff. It's not a trap.  If it's arguable that something is a myth, we'll probably accept it.



Like the Cthulhu mythos? ;)



You rang?
You rang?

No, that's Lurch's line.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

You rang?

No, that's Lurch's line.



You insanely ululated?
Here's another question: what if I have a folklore tale but there is no entry on that, but there is only an entry on the modern (and far better known adaption) of the folklore? Can I link to the new version of what was once a myth only retold?

Or, more specifically, can I use fairytales from the Brother's Grimm as my Wiki reference? They're all inspired by folklore but I'm not certain if people still believed them when they wrote them down, even though they certainly believed them when they were first told.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
They're all inspired by folklore but I'm not certain if people still believed them when they wrote them down, even though they certainly believed them when they were first told.


The definition of myth is one that "would likely not have been considered a work of fiction by the original audience".  The original audience of folklore is the oral audience, not the written ones.  Folklore is fair game, even if the only evidence we have of it was written down after people stopped believing it.
Awesome! Then I'm getting to work. Lets see if I can have first entry ;)
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.