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[Ronnies] October contest begins!

Started by Ron Edwards, October 03, 2005, 10:27:43 PM

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Ron Edwards


All right! The October Ronnies are among us. Here are the new-ish rules, or rather, the current version. I've discovered that running this things is a lot like a wave-front.

The criteria are very similar to those for the previous round, re-stated a bit here (see also the links below, regarding writing and so on):

1. A 24-Hour game, posted in PDF form at the Twenty-Four Hour Games website during the time period I specify. See also 1km1kt.

Note well: you must send me an email with the game attached as well. This was a headache last time, so don't forget this part; this time, I won't be forgiving.

2. It has to be a role-playing game. If I can and want to play it, you get a Ronny. No guidelines for these, you're on your own.

Well, one piece of advice: the more you please yourself with it, the likelier I'll be engaged. That is a function of the honesty that shines through in your writing. The more you try to please me with it, the less likely I'll be engaged.

3. The central concepts of the game must rely on two and only two of the four terms I provide. Do recognize that the two you don't pick must be, by definition, excluded from a central role.

Important: do not make this harder than it is. See the links below.

Any number of entrants can win. The problem is, of course, that as more people submit, the bar might get raised. It's one of those life-not-fair things. The prize is still $75 for the full-on Ronny, but as the first contest demonstrated, a second tier seems called for, so there's a $25 version as well.

The period of submission for the October Ronnies Awards begins October 4th and ends October 14th. Only ten days this time. 12 AM to 12 PM, my time (Central Time, U.S.A.).

The four words for the October Ronnies are: fight pain cosmos sphere


Old Ronnies threads of interest:

Introducing a new contest
The Ronnies, September 2005 (I'll start a thread like this one, also in the Adept Press forum, for the October contest)
[Ronnies] The winners for September

Josh Roby

As a point of curiosity, Ron, where are you getting your random words from?
On Sale: Full Light, Full Steam and Sons of Liberty | Developing: Agora | My Blog

Ron Edwards

Hi Josh,

I'm not sure "random" applies. As I was composing the Ronnies, and knew that I'd be doing the two-out-of-four thing, I started coming up with combinations. I made up about eight or ten in a very short span of time. So the various sets are set in stone for Ronnies awards, for some time to come, based on that one flash of whatever-it-was.

I can describe the logic or sensations that went with choosing the words at the time, and in retrospect, I can also provide some analysis.

What really mattered at the time is that I could free-associate the four into the set, but not based on existing role-playing designs or familiar pop-culture genres. I also chose words which seemed under-used, or in some cases, over-used in a very limited way, in role-playing to date. Or in some cases, words which were used a lot, but not in combination with any of the others.

For the September combination, hatred seems to me to be under-utilized, practically ignored in role-playing, in favor of comparatively pale or straightforward urges like revenge, greed, or insanity. Tons of role-playing is carried out in cities or in wilderness, but not in suburbs - I live in a suburb (up until a few years ago, a fate I considered quite like eternal damnation), so that interests me.

Obviously, all of them were words that interested me. I teach a course about rats and enjoy them as critters; a rat can be a despised vermin, a beloved pet, or a valuable resource. I really like the unique way that rat-imagery and rat-characters are utilized in fiction. "Girlfriend" reeks of problematic conflicts, and also has lots of idiomatic meanings, far more so than "boyfriend," for instance.

I'll discuss the current terms after the contest is over, to avoid prejudicing the designs.


Joe J Prince

I like the 4 word combos, kinda reminds me of the magic system from Donjon.

Does this new competetion signal the death knell of feedback from the first Ronnies?

Some individual feedback on my first foray into GM-less roleplaying would be nice.

I also have a website now woo!

Peas owt

Ron Edwards


I'm still steadily posting about the first round. Every legitimate entry does get its own Indie Design thread by me, and as you know, I fully support many of the entries, not just the winners, in being developed further.



Alright, allow me to just write out how this works, so I can figure out if I've got this.

We begin working on this and don't necessarily have to post anything anyhwere.  No one is keeping tabs on us but us.  When we are done, we mail Ron and post up a pdf at the 24 Hour RPG site.

We can take some notes and such but once we put fingers to keyboard about this, it has begun and 24 hours later, the game should be vomitted forth.


Ron Edwards

Hi Judd,

Pretty much, yes. However, the moment that begins the 24 hours isn't defined by keyboard/no-keyboard, but rather doing-it/not-doing-it. For me, for instance, that's a notebook process first. For you, it might be a keyboard thing.


Ron Edwards

First entrant!

Jason Morningstar does the unpronounceable again with Xochitlcozamalotl..


Ben Lehman

Quote from: Ron Edwards on October 05, 2005, 11:13:40 PM
First entrant!

Jason Morningstar does the unpronounceable again with Xochitlcozamalotl..


My Nahuatl romanization is rusty, but...



Jason Morningstar

It means "Flower Rainbow", if that's easier.  Out of context that sounds like a PBS children's show, so I prefer the badass Nahuatl myself.

Ron Edwards

Ah, bug off. Unpronounceable, I said. When I need help in these matters, I'll ask.

Second entrant's here: "Today," by Eric Boyd.

(pronounced "tooo - dayyy")


Ron Edwards


Current roster, with four entries so far:

fight & pain
Today by Eric Boyd
Last Breath by John Laviolette
The Drifter's Escape by Ben Lehman

interesting that "fight" seems to equate with "hope" - that can work, but think of alternative approaches ...

cosmos & sphere
Xochitlcozamalotl by Jason Morningstar

interpreting sphere as "sphere of influence" is one way to go, especially if you also use "cosmos" regarding godly characters - but there are others ...

It remains to be seen whether any of the other terms combinations get used. There are a couple that really interest me.


Ron Edwards

Well, a nice weekend jump has occurred - eight total, now. Getting up into the range of the expected number of entries, for a given Ronnies round after the first.

fight pain
Today, by Eric J. Boyd
Last Breath, by John Laviolette
Drifter's Escape, by Ben Lehman
Dirty Fucking Freaks, by Graham Walmsley (holy goth chicks, Batman, it's a LARP!!)

fight cosmos
Cosmic Combat, by Jasper Polane

pain cosmos
Adrift, by Cyrus Marriner

pain sphere
Escape From Hell, by Clint Black

cosmos sphere
Xochitlcozamalotl, by Jason Morningstar

No "fight sphere" yet, but we still have four more full days.


Jared A. Sorensen

I think it's telling (in some way that I don't yet understand) that MOST of these entries and those from the last competition sound more like individual RPG "adventures" than roleplaying game titles. That's just based on the games' names. Not that there's anything wrong with that (several games I'm aware of that I admire are essentially "entire game = one system for one multi-session adventure."
jared a. sorensen /

Ron Edwards

Hi Jared,

That's a really good point.

I'm thinking that we have seen about 15 years of RPG publishing dedicated specifically to setting and the big picture, especially long-term, published metaplot. Sure, hundreds of adventures were published, but you and I know that they are all the same damn adventure, over and over - built on the chassis of WEG Star Wars, mediated through Shadowrun, Vampire, and AD&D2.

So most people are used to elaborate settings and some kind of authoritative vision for long-term play, but utterly unaccustomed to plain old punchy "what we're doing right now" prep and play. It's not surprising to me that they are developing that set of skills and material when given the chance, especially since a lot of recent games (yours and mine among them) often emphasize that scale, providing pretty good models or jumping-off points.