Trophy Writing Contest - Read the Entries!

The submission deadline for the Trophy incursion-writing contest has passed. We received a whopping 50 entries!

The next step for the contest is for @jesseross and I to read each entry and discuss them. We will announce the winner and runners-up during Gauntlet Con 2019 (October 24th-27th).

Below is a link to a folder with all the entries so you can read them, discuss them, and play them.

Some rules for this thread:

  1. Keep it positive. This contest was meant to be a fun, creative exercise. Being unnecessarily harsh or critical isn’t called for in this space. If you have a criticism of a particular piece, consider framing it as a question, such as: “A question I have about this incursion is why did the author do XYZ in Ring 3?”

  2. If you participated in the contest, feel free to identify yourself and which of the entries is yours. The judges will not be reading this thread. This is a space where you can discuss the contest freely.

  3. If you would prefer your entry not appear in the public folder, just send us an email to gauntletpublish at gmail. We’ll remove it.

  4. If you don’t see your entry in the list below or in the folder, email us. Your entry may have just got lost in the Google Drive shuffle or your submission email went to spam.

With all that said, here is the list of incursions:

A Prestigious Affair

A Warm and Pleasant Hum

A Warm Welcome Home

A World Adrift

Alone in the Forest

Ascension Rebound

Barrow of the Reading King

City of the Forgotten

Clever Fingers

Delving Deep

Depths

Embrace the Evening

Forever Wild

Fount of the Immortals

Gift of the Sea

HR Typo and Yhp-Ört

Mort’s Will and Testament

No Man’s Land

Oil

Penumbra (not available for public view)

Rotten at the Core

Ruin from the Sky

Southern Holler

Spider Glass Forest

Temple of the Sky

The Banquet of Blessings

The Bellwall

The Black Realm of the Beast

The Chelicerate Queen

The Crag

The Forbidden Archives

The Gallery of Castien DeRont

The Gallows Stair

The House in the Forest

The Huntsman’s Feast

The Living City

The Lonely Isle

The Lost Cathedral of Opulence

The Moon that Breathes

The Plantation

The Pried Eye (not available for public view)

The Promethean Crown

The Station

The Theater of Echoes

The Tree of Eternal Abundance

The Trespasser’s Covenant

Through the Mirror of My Mind

To the Lighthouse

Valley of Cognizance

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

And here is the link to the folder:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1s_MTVcV3E0QZTz_kZZi4yDOFPsCLqxko?usp=sharing

Enjoy! And thanks to everyone who participated!

15 Likes

Spider Glass forest - reminded me of House of flying daggers, nice tweak to the Trophy style, really liked the conditions.

We’re going on a bear hunt - as someone who lives with a kindergarten teacher I had to check this one out! kinda brothers grimm in style, I like the imagery and progression of the rings.

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Exciting!

I am the author of “Valley of Cognizance.”

I enjoyed reading “The Plantation.” Strong imagery throughout. Definitely some vibes of “Something Stinks in Stilton” mixed with “Animal Farm.”

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I’ve only had a chance to skim the intros to a few, but there’s some really interesting stuff in here!

Author of The Chelicerate Queen checking in! Won’t have a chance to read any of the other entries until this evening, unfortunately.

3 Likes

I wrote The Plantation! Thus far I’ve largely just skimmed the titles, but both A Prestigious Affair and We’re Going On A Bear Hunt have been excellent. Particularly enjoyed the latter; gave me “Where The Wild Things Are” meets “Lord of the Flies” vibes.

9 Likes

I don’t see my entry. I emailed the Gauntlet, but I’m concerned that if my entry went to spam, this email will too.

Did you receive any response at all? They’re usually pretty good about responding to email, I got one confirming my submission. You might try messaging Jesse Ross or Jason on here outside of this topic, since they’re not reading this to keep the entries blind to them. Failing that they’re both active on Twitter.

1 Like

I wrote The Trespasser’s Covenant. Looking forward to reading some of your entries. Good luck everyone.

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I never got a confirmation of my submission, no. I didn’t think anything of it at the time.

Thanks!

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Nice. I thought it was clever to lean hard on Eyes Wide Shut-style decadence for an Incursion’s horror.

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Congrats all on the submissions! These all look spectacularly fun to play. I wrote A Prestigious Affair, and I’m pleased to see that I’m not the only one who finds parties sufficiently terrifying to be the setting of a horror story.

Overall, I found the exercise to be a fascinating structure for writing.

Question for other authors:

In writing your incursion, what surprised you most about the process?

I found myself revisiting all the aspects of the structure – the intro, the moments, the conditions, the terrors and the temptations – to ensure a cohesiveness that centered on the theme. I also found myself wanting to include several layers within the rings to ensure there was sufficient fodder for the GM to work with while tying it together in a story. I’m not confident I was successful, but it got me to look at the structure in a new way.

6 Likes

Despite the structure being well defined and linear, I found my writing process for them jumps all over the place. I got rings one and two done first, jumped to ring four, then did half the moments and conditions, then ring three, the other half of the moments and conditions, then ring five, then went through a couple passes to make things cohesive.

The writing process also started pretty slow to me despite having a fairly solid concept of what I wanted to do, but sped up as it went on.

Overall I’m pretty happy with my incursion, though I didn’t push the format or fiction too much and mostly did a dark fantasy incursion. I definitely tacked on the intro at the last minute, though, so that’s a weak point of my submission.

4 Likes

I still have a lot to read, but this one is my favorite so far - really excellent writing, super evocative, and also horrific in unique and powerful ways. It’s also heavy on metaphorical weight/social critique, which I always love to see in modules (and is important for our art form in general IMO).

I wrote Fount of the Immortals - hope ya’ll enjoy it.

The most surprising part for me was how the conditions and moments can feed directly into the horror of the rings themselves. If something happens through a condition or a moment, it can have powerful consequences later in the incursion. It was fun designing out ways to tie in those things with the design elements of the rings, so that there’s a kind of crescendo of dread over the course of the incursion.

I also was surprised how much I liked working with a single word as a theme. I typically like a theme for modules to be more of a statement, but reducing it to a single word enabled it to broaden out to all of that word’s connotations and meanings. It also became much easier to tie everything together.

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Popping in real quick to say we have added a 49th entry. Barrow of the Reading King initially got sent to the wrong email.

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Oh hey! We picked the same theme, I wrote “Ruin from the Sky”. Your entry drips with atmosphere, absolutely wonderful.

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Thanks for helping me sort that out!

I’m the author of Barrow of the Reading King, and I’m actually going to be GMing it tonight!

Looking forward to reading everyone’s entries.

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I really like this aspect as well. I used it in my incursion to give a sort of multiple ending scenario in ring five; players that have been “infected by the forest” see one thing, those that haven’t see something else. About half of the conditions would reasonably count as an infection of the forest (the other half relate to the monstrous insects that are also featured), though I didn’t explicitly state that anywhere. Depending on how play goes, you could end up with an entire party infected, only some infected, or none infected, which will likely lead to very different outcomes.

I also played with the idea of making some of the conditions only available in later rings, but decided against it in the end.

5 Likes

Popping in again to say we have added a 50th entry! A Warm Welcome Home initially got lost in the shuffle, but now it’s in the folder.

7 Likes

Me too! I thought about having the usual list of moments and conditions, and then offering a few new ones in the later rings, but ultimately decided against it since part of how we’re judged is adherence to the set incursion structure.

1 Like