Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Big Vornheim Hack This Book Contest!

Vornheim Review Roundup Here, and I post reviews on a regular basis here...

The Official Vornheim: Hack This Book Contest

(contest and contest description by Zak, not me!)

So what I want (and what we all want, because we like useful new GMing tools) is for you to hack Vornheim. Expand it, make it bigger, make it more fun, make it do things it doesn't yet do....

For example:

-Re-write a table in Vornheim for a different genre of city: a sci-fi city, a modern city, a gilded steampunk city, a pirate city, whatever.

-Re-write something in Vornheim for use outside a city--make it into a dungeon table or a wilderness table or a seagoing table.

-Expand something in Vornheim--like the Immortal Zoo of Ping Feng but feel like it could use an aquarium? Want to make 80 more legal situations? Want to make the encounter chart into a d1000 table? Knock yourself out.

-Did I forget something? Make a whole new table or tool for use in medieval urban adventures.

Point is, take any idea in Vornheim and run with it. Entries will be judged on:

-Usefulness: Does this thing look like it'd produce gameable results at many different tables? How often? At how many different tables? Or how many times at one table? Give us something that makes our job easier or more exciting--Your Random Medieval Funny Hat Table may wow them at your table but, to be honest, it doesn't really do a lot of heavy lifting.

-Efficiency: Did you manage to get what you need across without the GM having to dig for it?

-Style: Did Zak think it was neat?


-Enter as many times as you like, however, since the secret reason for this contest is to give us all more game stuff, each entry must be published on-line so that everybody can use whatever tool you've devised. If you don't have a blog or wish to remain anonymous, then send it to me at zakzsmith at hawt mayle dawt calm and I'll publish it if it's any good and I have time and I feel like it. If you do publish it on your own blog remember to email me and tell me you did it.

-Entries should be no longer than a double-page spread in Vornheim itself. Remember: efficiency is beautiful, efficiency is art.

-If it doesn't have to be a pdf DO NOT MAKE IT A PDF. In an email, text is fine: "cut" "paste". In a blog entry just type it. Pictures are fine. If you want to have a pdf, too, go ahead.

-Speaking of art, don't just send a picture unless it is also a map or diagram or otherwise game-useful tool

-I reserve the right to be totally arbitrary and my decision is final and entering the contest means you waive any legal rights to claim damages or claim anything legally-binding about this contest or anything arising from it and me writing this constitutes I'll do my best and try to be a right guy about all this shit and if you don't trust me, don't enter.

-Contest ends on Gary Gygax's birthday, July 27, 2011. Winners will be announced soon after unless there's like a gazillion entries.

Fabulous Prizes:

First place winners will receive a signed copy of Vornheim PLUS a single prize package thingy of their choice from the list below, second place winners will get to pick one thingy from what's left over after that, third place winners get to choose one from what's left over after that...

-Art: Original artwork from Vornheim signed by me

-Work: A d100 table on a topic of your own devising written by me (if this prize is chosen it will also be posted here on this blog).

-Game stuff: I will give you a list of all the game stuff sent to me over the years that's left around this house and you can pick something and I'll send it to you.

-Booby prize: If you're a fan of one or all of the DNDWPS girls I can get you signed pictures or memorabilia or some other mutually-agreed upon thing--lemme know once you win.

-Hey man, can you...?: If you have a product to pimp, I will review it and post the review here.

-15-minute Commission: I will take 15 whole minutes out of my day and draw a thing of your choice, then have the girl who works for me mail you the drawing.


  1. Quite a long time horizon there, Jim. I could write a whole new book by then.

  2. The problem is, if you've got Vornheim to mess with, which seems to be required, then the signed copy + thingy really isn't worth as much to you as two thingies would be (unless it's the PDF that you have, in which case a physical copy would be good). Whereas if you don't then the signed copy + thingy is worth more, but you don't know what's in it already.

  3. I thought of that too, Cnor. But I only have the PDF, so I am intrigued. Then again, I have been critical of Jim in the past. I don't know that I would be the best candidate. Then again, I am not the Dungeon is Suck guy, so maybe I am not beyond redemption.

  4. Because it would be a nice collectible. And it's a beautiful book. I certainly wouldn't mind having two copies.

  5. Zak could be "the next big thing" someday, in which case the signature could make a big difference. Just Saying...

  6. And if not, the original art's already worth about 4000$ dollars so, y'know, maybe that'll be some consolationf for the poor soul who wins.

  7. Crap, I'll need to break out my fiancee's magnifier to read some of the tables... my eyes aren't what they used to be ;)

  8. @tenkar

    that's what pdfs are for. make it whatever size you want.