Trophy Writing Contest - Read the Entries!

Hello MrTrollhands!
I haven’t gotten through everything, yet, but Gift of the Sea is absolutely incredible. It’s truly inspired. Hats off to you, sir.


Thanks so much! I enjoyed writing it a lot. A big inspiration for the effigy and ritual was Greenwitch by Susan Cooper.


I wrote “Ascension Rebound.” I planned it as both an incursion but also a celebration of what to me was the core that defines Trophy: recursions, repetition, cycles. Echoes.

And an exercise in asking the question: “How much can one push the Ring-system by abandoning all pretenses of linear progression?”


My friend and I collaborated on The Gallery of Castien DeRont. We’ve been working on RPG adventures for our home groups together for 7 years, but this is the first time we’ve written something public others can run. Hope others check it out. It’d mean a lot to us. :slight_smile:


If anyone hasn’t seen it yet, Jason started a Twitter thread commenting on each of the entries here - pretty cool considering how many submissions there are:


Me patiently waiting for him to get to my entry:"


I finished reading all the incursions last week and have been sitting around thinking about what to say.

I mean, obviously there is a huge amount of talent rolled up in this competition. I do not envy Jason and Jesse’s task.
I came into this as a Trophy amateur (and I think that’s being rather generous). I have not had a chance to actually run Trophy and I have not seen the other incursions in the codex ( aside from the one I just received this month * squeals of joy*) and was basing (incorrectly perhaps haha)my submission only off of the basic rules found in Dark2, alone.
With that caveat I can see some of my own misconceptions in what I created which were definitely just assumptions on my part, but lead me to questions about incursion formation.

I see a wide range of specificity in the entries and I’m curious if this suggests a comfortability with improvisation.
I personally love improvising at the table. this, and the grim-dark horror elements are what drew me to Trophy in the first place. But have those of you who have run Trophy seen a lot of buy-in from non improv enthusiasts? I’ll say, people accustomed to gridded play and miniatures.

Another interesting thing about all of the entries is how there are several themes that are the same, but the expression of those themes is so unique. do you think that narrowing the context of the theme hampering to building an incursion? does Trophy shine when spoken in broader brush strokes?

I feel like my knee-jerk reaction to these questions I have is to shrug and go " eh … it’s complicated man", but I do find value in pondering these ideas. There is wealth in seeing these incursions built. THARS GOLD IN DEM HILLS!
sorry ^_^;

The entries themselves, boy to I have so biased opinions here, haha. there are just certain things in horror that turn my gears. So I just made some vague categories and started shuffling things here and there.
I am no impartial judge and, I reiterate, I do not envy Jason and Jesse’s task.

My favorite title for these entries.
The Moon That Breathes
I am definitely the guy that will buy a book based off of its cover. I’m a sucker for evocative images and evocative words and this title ALONE gives me the heebee jeebies and I love it. This incursion is solid and I really enjoyed reading it, but when I first opened up the folder and skimmed through the entries, This is the one I wanted to read first.

Favorite Theme(s)
A Warm and Pleasant Hum
I was surprised by how effective this themes was, and how true it was to a very specific thematic element through and through. I mistakenly thought it would be silly, like Nicholas Cage screaming about bees in the wickerman. Oh how I was wrong. From the moment of the envenomed horse in ring one I was astounded and chilled. I like it very much.

The Gallery of Castien DeRont
Another surprisingly chilling theme to me. As a paranid artist I felt a lot of these images hit close to home and did not expect to feel such dread out of things like statues and paintings. The final ring where players describe what happens to the other hunters in the paintings makes me REALLY want to run this, haha.

Super biased favorite
My justification is really just that I have an affinity for stories about oil barons and pipelines. I really enjoyed this from that kind of setting, and the imagery of the earth’s flesh under the dirt will stick with me whenever I think about the topic, I think

both of these entries give me a sort of Cautionary-tale-Aesop-fable vibe and I dig it. there’s something primordial in their fear.
Plantation is like an R rated animal farm
We’re Going On a Bear Hunt is like one of those dreams where you see the nightmare coming but you’re caught on rails.
Both of these have a stalking sense of dread throughout them. one is more visceral, the other more intangibly frightening and I want to make pictures of them both, haha

There’s more. oh boy is there more. but I think I’ll let this lay here for now.

Splendid work everyone!


If you mean the incursion in codex childhood (Rosenwald), that’s mine! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
I’m also a “trophy amateur” in that I’ve yet to run/play it.
My writing so far has been highly based on the rules in dark 2, and on the Flocculent cathedral and the Oz themed incursion from codex emerald. I listened to a number of the YouTube videos of folks running the various incursions to get a better feel for play as well.

I think trophy is a hard sell for a direct transition from grid & miniature play unless they were already leaning hard in to the role-play aspects of them vs the simulationist aspects.

That was something really interesting to see to me as well. I have no idea how it’s going to work in play for those with an extremely narrow focus. I could see it being intense and awesome, but I could also see it potentially choking due to limited available actions. I sincerely hope for the former. I think the Diving Bell incursion was my favorite example of narrower focus of the ones I’ve read so far.

That’s my 2 cents :grin:

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That feeling when you haven’t actually been able to play Trophy yet, but someone tweets about running the incursion you wrote :purple_heart:


Writer of “oil” here, thank you kindly. Haven’t posted much, new to the community of this contest and always feel a little intimidated by active online forums, even if they are very positive.

I ran oil three times, each with groups of two with one person that played oil twice. It was all their first time with trophy or even a game of this nature and three of them hadnt really played RPGs before except a little d&d. I found it really brought out the most in them and I had some of the most active and engaged players I’ve ever had because of the way the game asks the players to be complicit in their own downfall. It was really awesome. Granted, none of them were strict grid & combat style RPG players, but I definitely had some of the most success with trophy in bringing players out of their shells. I think it was because they developed a greater sense of attachment to the character (because of in-play evolving backstory) at the same time as their character became more doomed (which they had a hand it). Something about knowing the end point (or at least that it was bad) but developing the character in spite of it really brought out some of the best rp in my players.

I love the other incursions I’ve read so far, I can’t wait to play them. The next one I’m writing is about early Basque whaling and I’m super pumped.


Please share when you are finished! Whaling is such an amazing setting/occupation ripe for roleplay


Thanks for writing this up. We wrote the Gallery of Castien DeRont. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. :slight_smile:


We played our first game of Trophy past Saturday and picked City of the Forgotten as our first incursion. It went by great. But my friend edited the character sheets for the ones in the incursion and said it was OK to share them.

City of the Forgotten character sheets


So close! I don’t think mine will be visited before Gauntlet Con but I am shuddering with anticipation :scream::scream::scream::scream:

Dropping in real quick to say Jesse and I are going to take a little extra time on the judging. We’ll announce and discuss the winner and runners up in a special episode of the Trophy podcast to come out in early November. Thanks for your patience. In the meantime, follow along with my mini-review thread on Twitter:


Thanks so much for doing this. Contest entries often feel like they disappear into the dark but getting a mini-review of each trophy module has been super fun and now I know a lot about all the entries being judged! I hope you collect these reviews in a blog post too or similar. It’s a great reference for anyone wanting to run some trophy sessions. :slight_smile:


The judging is finished! @jesseross and I are now free to participate in this thread, and if you want to reveal yourselves to us either on Discord or in my review thread, go for it.


Wow, everyone. You are just incredible. So, so much talent in this community.

Thanks so much for the gift of letting me read your words. It can be a really scary thing to create art, to make something and put it out in the world for judgement. I just want to commend you all for your hard work, your craft, and your courage.

More to come, but for now, thank you and congratulations to all of you. I’m in awe.


I got very strong “Something Stinks in Stilton” vibes from that one, too. And grindhouse/exploitation cinema.


A Prestigious Affair was a favorite of mine, too. It just gave me the creeps. it was almost too real, haha.