A Walk in the Dark A look in to the mind of an RPG designer



Contest: Win “Heroes of Shadow”!

Having recently won a contest myself, I'm in a charitable mood. So I thought I'd try a little experiment and run a contest of my own.

If you're wondering whether you can afford to buy upcoming Wizards of the Coast books like Heroes of Shadow or The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond, well here's your chance to win one of them!


DISCLAIMER: You will not get any manual before the dates listed below. We're giving it to you for free; we're not magicians and do not hold any power over Wizards of the Coast that allows us to get these books early.


The following information can be found on the official Contest page...


Entry Deadline: 12:00am Eastern Time on April 25th, 2011.


We'd like to see what you can come up with for a "solo" encounter... but asking for a simple encounter is just not enough. So we elected to choose a random element that the encounter or area must contain.

The element, randomly selected using the "Chamber Features" table (Dungeon Master's Guide, pg 192): 10(1d20) = "Pool, fountain or basin".


So here are the guidelines:

  • Encounter must be compatible with the Dungeons and Dragons 4e mechanic. This includes fourthcore, if you are so inclined.
  • The minimum requirement must be a single, actual encounter with a SOLO creature. You can add anything you want in and around the encounter - skill challenge, trap, hazard, special terrain, magic effects, other monsters, etc... - but the main adversary must be a solo monster and it must be an actual tactical encounter in which the solo monster must be defeated (Note: "defeated" need not mean "dead").
  • You must create your own solo creature, complete with monster stat block. You can base it of an existing creature from any official source, but it must be sufficiently altered to be unique.
  • The area must contain some sort of "pool, fountain or basin", and it must have some meaning to the encounter beyond being set decoration. We will leave the interpretation of that to you.
  • Encounter could be of any level, but must be designed for no less than five PCs.
  • Encounter must include a tactical map. Map could be dungeon tiles, digitally generated or drawn by hand, so long as it has a tactical grid of 5'x5' squares.
  • Encounter must stand on its own in that it cannot assume any previous actions by the party besides showing up.
  • You need not define monetary or item reward, but that is up to you.
  • It doesn't necessarily have to be in the traditional format that Wizards of the Coast likes to use, but it has to be put together in such a way that any DM can understand it.
  • Resulting document must be either PDF or a format compatible with Microsoft Word (any version).
  • For legal reasons, do not include any artwork that is not yours. For example, do not use copyrighted images from any Wizards of the Coast publication. Official WotC dungeon tiles are acceptable; we mean things like drawings of actual monsters.
  • We reserve the right to publish your submission on our site, regardless of whether it wins or not. You will of course be given full credit and, if applicable, we will direct link to your website or Twitter account.


Entry Submission: All entries must be emailed to contest@brainclouds.net before 12:00am Eastern Time on April 25th. You can either attach the entry to the email or link to it. Please include your contact information (name, address, email address, Twitter account, website, etc...). If you do not wish to be referred to by your real name, tell is what you want us to call you.

Entry Deadline: 12:00am Eastern Time on April 25th, 2011.

Judging: Honestly, I'm not sure who will be doing the judging yet. Worst case, it will be me... But we'll see who we can recruit.


GRAND PRIZE: ONE (and only one) of the following...

Heroes of Shadow (available April 19th, 2011) - Should be immediately available at contest end.

The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond (available May 17th, 2011)

Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale (available June 21, 2011)

Neverwinter Campaign Setting (available August 16th, 2011)

NOTE: If you wish for any alternate Wizards of the Coast manual (core manuals, Essentials guides, Monster Vault, etc... Even official modules) , we may be able to make that arrangement so long as said book is available on Amazon. You are welcome to ask, and we'll see what we could do.

Prize will be ordered through Amazon and delivered once they become available for shipping. Subject to availability.

Prize includes shipping within the United States and Canada. Can ship abroad, but that all depends on the cost of shipping the item.


So let's see what you can do!