[4E] Expert Dungeon Master Competition #10: Design Two Elite Creatures!

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Expert Dungeon Master Competition #10
Design Two Elite Creatures!



[indent]Creating a unique challenging monster for the characters to encounter is one of the more fun aspects of being a Dungeon Master. But crafting a pair of elite creatures requires true expertise. This iteration of the XDMCs asks you to create an encounter comprised of two different elite creatures of your creation.[/indent]

Welcome to the tenth 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.


In order to enter the competition, your entry must fulfill the following required elements:
  • Provide separate statblocks for two creatures that might be encountered together. The statblocks must contain all the information found in the Monster Statblock Template in the 4e SRD appropriate for that creature.
  • Each creature must have the Elite group role.
  • Briefly describe each creature's typical appearance and behavior.
  • Set forth what characters may know of each creature with an appropriate Arcane, Dungeoneering, Nature, or Religion check.
  • Set forth at least one scenario in which a typical adventuring party might encounter the creatures, and the strategy the creatures might employ in this scenario.


In addition, the entry must include at least three of the following optional elements:
  • Each creature gains a mechanical benefit from standing within two squares of the other.
  • One creature has a Good or Lawful good alignment; the other has an Evil or Chaotic Evil Alignment.
  • One creature serves as a mount for the other.
  • Only one creature has a burrow speed.
  • The creatures appear almost identical, but one is at least five levels higher than the other.
  • The creatures are both thematically associated with a solo creature of the paragon or epic tier found in the Rules Compendium.
  • The creatures do not share the same type, origin, or size.
  • The creatures have different abilities that complement one another.
  • The creatures would suffer damage or a deleterious condition if they touched one another.
  • The creatures’ powers are antilogous in some way (fire and ice, light and darkness, etc.) but the creatures still believably might be encountered together.


Following are some general rules of the Expert DM Competition.
[post=16059666]>>>You can read the complete contest rules here<<<[/post]


  • 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 After 15 Minutes Prohibited. Applicants may not edit their entries more than 15 minutes after submission. This includes editing done by forum moderators, unless the moderator specifically states that the entry had not been edited prior to the moderator's action. If the entrant submits an entry before the contest closes and then edits the entry after the contest closes, but within fifteen minutes of submission, the edits will be considered valid. Entrants should use the forum’s “preview post” function or an off-line text editor to check the entry before posting. 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 Links Prohibited. Entries may not include material hosted on a website other than the post on which the entry appears. Images hosted on, or links to, other websites will be ignored by the judges when scoring.
  • Plagiarism and Previewing 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.


The contest will run from today through Friday, June 5, 2009. All entries must be submitted no later than 12:00 midnight on that day (Eastern Standard Time). The judges of this contest are Eldritch_Lord, Tinwe, TwinBahamut, and wrecan, and the coordinator of this contest is wrecan.

Good luck and have fun!!

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



Q. For purposes of required element B, can one or both creatures begin as standard, minion or solo creatures, which become elite creatures due to a power or subsequent application of a template?

A. No.


Q. For purposes of required element D, can the entry include information that the adventurers might learn with a different Skill check, such as History or Streetwise?

A. Such information would not satisfy required element D. Nor is it barred by required element D, or any other rule.


Q. For purposes of required element E, can the scenarion include more than 2 elite creatures?

A. No, unless these additional creatures are present due to a power of one of the creatures (such as summoning).


Q. For purposes of required element E, can the scenario add additional elements (like terrain) that make the encounter more difficult than if the party encountered them in a scenario lacking such elements?

A. Yes.


Q. Can you satisfy optional element 1 by making one creature a mount for the other, even though that satisfies optional element 3?

A. No. You must go beyond the usual benefits of having a mount to satisfy optional element 1.


Q. For purposes of optional element 6, can creatures from Monster Manual 2 be used, if they are added to the Rules Compendium before the contest closes?

A. No. We're using the Rules Compendium as it existed at the beginning of the contest, which did not include monsters from Monster Manual 2.


Q. For purposes of optional element 6, must both elite creatures be associated with the same solo creature, or can they each be associated with different solo creatures?

A. They must be associated with the same solo creature.


Q. For purposes of optional element 7, must the elite creatures differ in origin, size, and type?

A. Yes.


Q. For purposes of optional element 8, may the creatures have some powers in common?

A. Yes, as long as they have some powers not in common that complement one another.


Q. For purposes of optional element 9, what does "touching" mean?

A. Use the colloquial definition of the word, rather than any "in-game" definition. (There is no in-game definition of "touching", by the way.)

Entry List



  • [highlight]Gold Medalist: [/highlight][post=18739659]Furion Thamior's Lucid Dream & Waking Nightmare[/post] (16th level Elite Controller & 18th Level Elite Skirmisher)
  • [highlight]Silver Medalist: [/highlight][post=18722665]CorrinAvatan's Dreamshaper & Dreamwrought Golems[/post] (25th Level Elite Controller and 23rd Level Elite Brute)
  • [highlight]Bronze Medalist: [/highlight][post=18671227]Koradzi's Aspects of Nature's Bounty & Cruelty[/post] (21st level Elite Controller & Brute)
  • [post=18668540]Pluisjen's Spitwurm & Rockling[/post] (16th Level Elite Artillery & 14th Level Elite Soldier)
  • [post=18671192]JayJian's Viscous Orb Swarm & Trickster Lob Master[/post] (5th Level Elite Controller & 7th Level Elite Artillery)
  • [post=18676961]ClanBattlerage's Tangler & Ethereal Mauler[/post] (10th Level Elite Controller & 12th Level Elite Skirmisher)
  • [post=18683512]Lardking's Fire & Ice Archon Diplomats[/post] (16th level Elite Controllers)
  • [post=18685896]DaigotsuRezan's Dream Eater & Rakshasa Mystic[/post] (23rd Level Elite Lurker & 22nd Level Elite Skirmisher)
  • [post=18688655]Veok's Cacophonous Discord & the Gloaming Silence[/post] (26th Level Elite Soldier & Lurker)
  • [post=18710751]shinobicow's Magnetron Golem & Ooze[/post] (15th Level Elite Controller & Artillery (Leader))
  • [post=18722800]Nyarlathotep's Fomorian Cursespewer & Bonegrinder[/post] (20th Level Elite Controller & Brute)
  • [post=18726184]Jailbreaker's Maw of Madness & Maw Guardian[/post] (7th Level Elite Artillery & Soldier)
  • [post=18733398]ff6shadow's Whelk & Elf Druid[/post] (10th Level Elite Soldier & 12th Level Elite Controller)
  • [post=18740781]herald108's Yuan-Ti Abominable King & Snaketongue High Priest[/post] (23rd Level Elite Controller (Leader) & 21st Level Elite Artillery (Leader))
  • [post=18740790]Elil's Laloca & Tanu[/post] (10th Level Elite Artillery & 8th Level Elite Soldier)


Late-Filed and Disqualified Entries:
  • [post=18653663]Positronica's Tzitzimitl & Maricox[/post] (26th Level Elite Controller & 22nd Level Elite Skirmisher)
  • [post=18766308]Veok's Cursed Imp & Divine Beast[/post] (6th Level Elite Controller & Brute)
  • [post=18781583]JohnathanVagabond's Cogito & Laboro[/post] (13th Level Elite Controller & Brute)
  • [post=18792045]Barmp's Xilik Trashbender & Filth Swarm[/post] (2nd Level Elite Artillery & Lurker)
  • [post=18846275]Shinobicow's Red Spawn Heart Eater & Heart of Darkness[/post] (15th Level Elite Brute & Lurker (Leader))

Medalists






[Deck=The Silver Medal Goes To...]

CorrinAvatan with "Dreamshaper and Dreamwrought Golems"!!

[/deck]

[Deck=The Gold Medal Goes To...]

Furion Thamior's "Lucid Dream and Waking Nightmare"!!!

[/deck]

Congratulations to all of you!

The gold medalist, Furion Thamior, is eligible for the custom title of "Heroic Dungeon Master" (if so desired) and is also now eligible to judge future competitions! If Furion Thamior wins subsequent competitions, the custom title can be changed to "Paragon Dungeon Master" and then "Epic Dungeon Master"!

Thanks also to my fellow judges, Eldritch_Lord, Tinwe, and TwinBahamut, who did a great job judging the competitions. A creature competition is always the most mechanically intense of the competitions, and they did a great job with so many entries to review. I am so very grateful to them for volunteering.

Congratulations again to everyone for such wonderful entries and thanks for making the XDMCs a continuing success!

Anybody who wishes to edit their entries are welcome to do so. Also, judges are welcome to post their comments.

Stay tuned for XDMC #11 to begin (hopefully) in a few weeks. In the meantime, enjoy the carefully tabulated scores below.

[b]CONSOLIDATED SCORES BY ENTRY[/b]<br /> [b]Entry Creat'y Usab'y Theme Clar'y Bonus Total Author's Entry[/b]<br /> 1 11 3/4 9 1/4 7 5 1/2 33 1/2 Pluisjen's Spitwurm and Rockling<br /> 2 10 1/4 10 3/4 6 1/2 6 33 1/2 JayJian's Viscous Orb Swarm and Trickster Lob Master<br /> 3 11 3/4 12 1/4 8 1/4 6 1/2 38 3/4 Koradzi's Aspects of Nature's Bounty and Cruelty<br /> 4 9 1/4 10 1/2 7 7 3/4 34 1/2 ClanBattlerage's Tangler and Ethereal Mauler<br /> 5 10 1/4 12 1/2 7 3/4 7 37 1/2 Lardking's Fire and Ice Archon Diplomats<br /> 6 12 1/4 12 1/4 6 1/2 7 38 DaigotsuRezan's Dream Eater and Rakshasa Mystic<br /> 7 11 1/4 10 3/4 6 1/4 7 35 1/4 Veok's Cacophonous Discord and the Gloaming Silence<br /> 8 11 3/4 9 7 3/4 6 1/4 34 3/4 shinobicow's Magnetron Golem and Ooze<br /> 9 12 3/4 11 1/4 8 7 3/4 39 3/4 CorrinAvatan's Dreamshaper and Dreamwrought Golems<br /> 10 11 1/2 12 1/2 6 1/4 6 1/2 36 3/4 Nyarlathotep's Fomorian Cursespewer and Bonegrinder<br /> 11 8 3/4 9 1/4 7 1/4 5 1/2 30 3/4 Jailbreaker's Maw of Madness and Maw Guardian<br /> 12 10 1/4 12 1/4 6 1/2 7 1/4 36 1/4 ff6shadow's Whelk and Elf Druid<br /> 13 12 3/4 12 1/2 7 3/4 7 1/4 40 1/4 Furion Thamior's Lucid Dream and Waking Nightmare<br /> 14 10 3/4 11 3/4 7 1/4 7 3/4 1 38 1/2 herald108's Yuan-Ti Abominable King and Snaketongue High Priest<br /> 15 12 10 7 6 35 Elil's Laloca and Tanu<br /> <br /> [b]CONSOLIDATED SCORES BY SCORE[/b]<br /> [b]Entry Creat'y Usab'y Theme Clar'y Bonus Total Author's Entry[/b]<br /> 13 12 3/4 12 1/2 7 3/4 7 1/4 40 1/4 Furion Thamior's Lucid Dream and Waking Nightmare<br /> 9 12 3/4 11 1/4 8 7 3/4 39 3/4 CorrinAvatan's Dreamshaper and Dreamwrought Golems<br /> 3 11 3/4 12 1/4 8 1/4 6 1/2 38 3/4 Koradzi's Aspects of Nature's Bounty and Cruelty<br /> 14 10 3/4 11 3/4 7 1/4 7 3/4 1 38 1/2 herald108's Yuan-Ti Abominable King and Snaketongue High Priest<br /> 6 12 1/4 12 1/4 6 1/2 7 38 DaigotsuRezan's Dream Eater and Rakshasa Mystic<br /> 5 10 1/4 12 1/2 7 3/4 7 37 1/2 Lardking's Fire and Ice Archon Diplomats<br /> 10 11 1/2 12 1/2 6 1/4 6 1/2 36 3/4 Nyarlathotep's Fomorian Cursespewer and Bonegrinder<br /> 12 10 1/4 12 1/4 6 1/2 7 1/4 36 1/4 ff6shadow's Whelk and Elf Druid<br /> 7 11 1/4 10 3/4 6 1/4 7 35 1/4 Veok's Cacophonous Discord and the Gloaming Silence<br /> 15 12 10 7 6 35 Elil's Laloca and Tanu<br /> 8 11 3/4 9 7 3/4 6 1/4 34 3/4 shinobicow's Magnetron Golem and Ooze<br /> 4 9 1/4 10 1/2 7 7 3/4 34 1/2 ClanBattlerage's Tangler and Ethereal Mauler<br /> 1 11 3/4 9 1/4 7 5 1/2 33 1/2 Pluisjen's Spitwurm and Rockling<br /> 2 10 1/4 10 3/4 6 1/2 6 33 1/2 JayJian's Viscous Orb Swarm and Trickster Lob Master<br /> 11 8 3/4 9 1/4 7 1/4 5 1/2 30 3/4 Jailbreaker's Maw of Madness and Maw Guardian

Ooooooo, two creatures... ahhhh.

I love this one...

Time to get to work *pulls out pen and paper and starts to draw*
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

I guess i'll be the first to ask a question(s), both in regards to optional element 6...

Q.1
Does this apply to the competition at the time of posting, thus no monster manual 2, or does this apply to the competition at the time of closing, thus allowing monster manual 2. Rules compendium update should probably be up within a few days, thus the difference in time means the inclusion or exclusion of possible material (i don't seem to find any monster manual 2 stuff in the compedium at the moment and so i can only imagine it goes up with the monthly update.)

Q.2
Does this mean that they both have to be thematically linked to the same solo from paragon or elite tier, or can they both individually be linked to a different solo from paragon or elite tier. i.e. two seperate solo monsters from which are drawn the thematic link to both of the two seperate creatures being created.

Thanks! Glad to see the next competition is on! Sorry for bugging ya'll as soon as this started.
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

Ick, a mechanically heavy competition.

I'll wait and see if inspiration strikes.

This is all Wizards' fault for reminding me of that list of stupid monsters. Now all I can think of is doing a 4E update of the Asswere.
On number 7 "The creatures do not share the same type, origin, or size.", does it have to be all three or is it choose one or more?
On number 7 "The creatures do not share the same type, origin, or size.", does it have to be all three or is it choose one or more?

All three.
Q.1
Does this apply to the competition at the time of posting, thus no monster manual 2, or does this apply to the competition at the time of closing, thus allowing monster manual 2.

Monster Manual 2 is not included.

Q.2
Does this mean that they both have to be thematically linked to the same solo from paragon or elite tier, or can they both individually be linked to a different solo from paragon or elite tier.

They must both be linked to the same creature.
Now all I can think of is doing a 4E update of the Asswere.

Make it an elite monster, pair it with a wereass and you've got an entry!
Make it an elite monster, pair it with a wereass and you've got an entry!

That's wrong on so many levels...
Sorceror: "I'll attack the [solo monster] with Chaos Bolt." Warden: "Don't you ever use encounter powers?!?!?" Sorceror: (casually) "I don't need to." ----------- "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live." - Martin Golding
Make it an elite monster, pair it with a wereass and you've got an entry!

You could, were you so inclined, have a divine caster called a Wiseass and a Martial brute called a Dumbass. Both being variants of the wereass.
Resident Shakespeare
Thanks for the answers. There goes my demagorgon ideas lol

gonna go for something more sinister i think... maybe new mycanoids which have formed a symbiotic relationship with man eating shoes and thus dwell inside said foot-eating boots and then replace the human's feet with mushrooms... or is that too much of a link to the list of stupidest dungeons and dragons monsters... i can't tell...
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

omg...
i absolutely will have to participate in this one.

and i do hope there'll be some extra points for the trashyness of my idea.
Here be dragons: IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cydyvkj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c54g6ac/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/csw6fhj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cbxbgmp/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cz7v5bd/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/ccg9eld/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c8szhnn/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cp68b5u/.gif)
56767308 wrote:
Sadly, I don't think this has anything to do with wanting Next to be a great game. It has to do with wanting Next to determine who won the Edition War. [...] For those of us who just want D&D Next to be a good game, this is getting to be a real drag.
57870548 wrote:
I think I figured it out. This program is a character builder, not a character builder. It teaches patience, empathy, and tolerance. All most excellent character traits.
The creatures would suffer damage or a deleterious condition if they touched one another.

Can we alter this requirement to include the creatures suffering a deleterious (great word!) condition if they move outside of a certain radius of each other?
Sorceror: "I'll attack the [solo monster] with Chaos Bolt." Warden: "Don't you ever use encounter powers?!?!?" Sorceror: (casually) "I don't need to." ----------- "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live." - Martin Golding
Wasn't the Rules Compendium 3.5e, or am I lost?
Hmm, making monsters hasn't really been my strong suit in the past...this should be a helpful competition. Guess I'll enter. I probably won't try anything too creative that I can't pull off, but I've got a vague idea.

Deleterious is a great word indeed.
It isn't evil, it isn't good, it's only what the people miss.
Wasn't the Rules Compendium 3.5e, or am I lost?

The DDI tool is called the Rules Compendium despite having classes, races, monsters, powers, and no game rules.

Identical Games

D&D Published World foums at The Piazza (Dark Sun, Mystara, Spelljammer, Planescape, and more); Core Coliseum; D&D Material including my Master/Expert DM Competition entries

Can we alter this requirement to include the creatures suffering a deleterious (great word!) condition if they move outside of a certain radius of each other?

Sorry, no.
The DDI tool is called the Rules Compendium despite having classes, races, monsters, powers, and no game rules.

Actually, the glossary section has a lot of the rules in it. (Not all the rules, mind you.)
Only 10 optional elements? Bah, my instinctive idea doesn't mesh well enough to make it work. Time to mull it over, I suppose.
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
OK, got a goodie, gotta get to work... somebody else might think of this one, so i'm going to have to get started really quickly...
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

Yet another question!

Can the Elites be unique individuals, or should they be new monster types?
"The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else." -Umberto Eco, from Travels in Hyperreality "The first adventurer was a nuisance. I am sure he acted against his mother's, his wife's, and the council of old men's strict orders when he did it; but it was he that found where the mammoths die and where after a thousand years of use there was still enough ivory to equip the entire tribe with weapons. Such is the ultimate outline of the adventurer; society's benefactor as well as pest." -William Bolitho, from Twelve Against the Gods
Hmm, while my thought upon seeing the competition was to create a matching set of two Elite monsters with similar but opposite abilities for use in the same encounter, but almost all of the optional elements push the monsters towards being radically different from each other.
Yet another question!

Can the Elites be unique individuals, or should they be new monster types?

Could you clarify a bit?

I personally have no problem with both elites being new kinds of orc (or whatever) just like the Orc Bloodrager and Orc Chieftan are different kinds of monsters, if that is what you were asking. If you were talking differences that are more minor than that then there might be problems, but as long as you create two different statblocks that are your original creations and fit all the guidelines, then there probably isn't going to be an issue.

Also... Good luck to all the contestants. I'm looking forward to this one.

And before anyone asks, I will say that I would frown on any attempt to use a Mount keyword ability based on optional element 3 to fill optional element 1. Of course, unless it was some kind of strange reciprocal Mount benefit, I guess it wouldn't technically fulfill optional element 1 anyways, so I might be making a redundant comment here...

Have fun, everyone.
1st: Are these supposed to be new generic monsters, or may they be unique individuals? This applies more to behavior and history than actual stats.

Or should I simply include both options, with a generic format option and a more unique variant of the kind I would use.

I ask mainly because I usually only have elite monsters as unique and notable opponents, with names, specific histories, and a role in the world.


2nd: TwinBahamut: When you say you'd frown on using 1 and 3 together, would that include unique synergies that work on top of what would be expected for a mount?

3rd: Does "scenario" include the capacity for the construction of the encounter in such a way that the monsters can key abilities or powers off particular items/objects/locations? I greatly enjoy giving my players the ability to prevent bad effects by quickly understanding and blocking items of tactical importance to the villian.

And 4th: Can it include more than 2 elites? Or, more precisely, if one of the elites has an ability to create minions or the like (sort of like the pod demon) is this acceptable within the "create 2 elite monsters" perameters?

Sorry for all the questions, I just have sort of an odd idea and I want to make sure it's 'legal' before I spend time statting and balancing it.
One more question. Can the "elite" creature start out as a "normal" creature? For example, a demonic goblin that transforms into a much bigger, nastier version of itself when it's bloodied?
Sorceror: "I'll attack the [solo monster] with Chaos Bolt." Warden: "Don't you ever use encounter powers?!?!?" Sorceror: (casually) "I don't need to." ----------- "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live." - Martin Golding
Can the Elites be unique individuals, or should they be new monster types?

I agree with TwinBahamut. You can make an "Orc Florist" if you want. If your entry is "Bob, the Unique Orc Florist", I think your Usability score will suffer, but you aren't barred from including unique individuals as Elites. Please note that this is a Creature competition, not a NPC competition, and judges will keep that in mind when judging.
One more question. Can the "elite" creature start out as a "normal" creature?

Creatures don't change roles. If the creature is sufficiently challenging to constitute as much of a threat as two creatures of equal level, then its' an elite. You can't start out normal and become an elite. Such a creature is always elite, imo.
3rd: Does "scenario" include the capacity for the construction of the encounter in such a way that the monsters can key abilities or powers off particular items/objects/locations?

Sure. A scenario is simply a sample encounter using these two elites.
2nd: TwinBahamut: When you say you'd frown on using 1 and 3 together, would that include unique synergies that work on top of what would be expected for a mount?

I think what TB is saying, and with which I agree, is that simply making one creature the mount of the other would not satisfy optional element 1. Otherwise you'd always satisfy optional element 1 by satisfying optional element 3.

And 4th: Can it include more than 2 elites? Or, more precisely, if one of the elites has an ability to create minions or the like (sort of like the pod demon) is this acceptable within the "create 2 elite monsters" perameters?

Summoning and spawning are considered part of the challenge of the creature, so that would be fine, imo.

However, the scenario could not simply stick a few minions in there unrelated to the elites' powers.
In terms of fulfilling optional requirement 7, do swarms consider the swarm size or the size of the individual in relation to their partner elite?

Edit: Are swarms even given a set size in 4.0 like in 3.5?
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
In terms of fulfilling optional requirement 7, do swarms consider the swarm size or the size of the individual in relation to their partner elite?

A swarm is given a size equal to the amount of space the swarm occupies, not the individual members of the swarm.
To clarify: A large swarm of shadowfell rabbits (tiny) and a large swarm of undead, feywild deer (medium) would not qualify for optional element 7, yes?
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
correct.
I think what TB is saying, and with which I agree, is that simply making one creature the mount of the other would not satisfy optional element 1. Otherwise you'd always satisfy optional element 1 by satisfying optional element 3.

Yep, that is what I was trying to say.

Of course, if you do something above and beyond the usual synergy of a mount and rider, optional element 1 becomes open again, but that might be tricky to sell to the judges. All I can say is that no one should try to take shortcuts on optional elements.
[*]Set forth what characters may know of each creature with an appropriate Arcane, Dungeoneering, Nature, or Religion check.

Can we use a Streewise check for urban creatures, or "urban legend" creatures? If not, what about History, if the creatures aren't magical, aren't usually found in dungeons, aren't a part of nature, and aren't related to any sort of church?
The requird element does not mention Streetwise. If you want to also include a chart of what people woudl know with Streetwise, the required element does not forbid it.
Saved.

Now at last I will get in on a Expert DM Competition!
This seems like a really interesting competition, it'll be quite diverse I think.

But I have a question.
Would it be acceptable if some kind of template made one of the creatures into an elite challenge? possibly a template applied by the other creature?
I would give the statblock for the creature-avec-template, as well as the other creature, so I would satisfy that required element.
My idea can be worked out without template, but it would be a lot more.. elegant, if I could use a template.