Even little blogs like this one can have fun contests! The idea with this one is to get stuff from a bunch of people - adventure hooks, maps, NPCs, whatever - and put it all together into a pdf for everybody.
You know how when we were kids they'd make us write essays about "what we did on our summer vacation"? This contest is all about that...except for someone else's summer vacation.
Read on for the details!
RUMPSCULLION'S SUMMER HOLIDAY
Wampus Country has had its share of popular story-papers, penny dreadfuls, and dime novels over the years, but by far the most famous was one of the first to achieve cultural saturation: Rumpscullion's Summer Holiday, a long-running serial adventure which was printed weekly in the River-Town Gazette for over two years. The story of a dour gentleman and his wild niece careened wildly between frontier adventure, fantastic travelogue, gothic horror, and comedy of errors, due in part to its being written by committee (the 'author', J. Windham Glockenspiel, is widely assumed to be a pseudonym of the editors). So well known was the serial that its eponymous protagonist has entered the Wampus Country lexicon - a 'rumpscullion' being a boring or mundane person who always ends up at the eye of the storm against his will. The only constant characters in the saga are the following:
* Welliver Q. Rumpscullion, a fuddy-duddy of a bookkeeper who likes things to be 'proper' and 'squared away', yet always finds himself in some sort of trouble or danger. He looks like the guy on the Quaker Oats box, only more plump and cowardly; Rumpscullion carries a swan-headed walking stick and wears a wide-brimmed hat. He is both a good-hearted gentleman and a blubbering trouble-magnet.
* Miss Lulubelle Harch, Rumpscullion's wayward and willful niece, sent to live with "Uncle Welly" for the summer, that she might learn some manners from the proper country gentleman. However it seems that Lulubelle has a knack for getting her uncle into - and just as often out of - strange and dangerous situations. Athletic, fetching, handy with both dagger and pistol, and fond of picking locks with her hairpins.
Other characters in the serial come and go - bounty hunters, miners, barbarian chieftains, strange people from the sky, beast-men from the caverns below, and the like. The ongoing story of Rumpscullion and his niece contains danger, combat, exploration, wonder, mystery, and a good bit of running away from things.
Today's historians in Wampus Country are faced with the disappointment that Rumpscullion's Summer Holiday was never collected in a single edition, and many of the hundred-plus chapters may now be lost to us completely. There is a reward for locating and submitting missing chapters!
Which brings us to our contest, of course.
HOW TO ENTER THE CONTEST
1) Go to this googledoc and select a chapter title, putting your name behind it in parentheses. Note how vague these are. If I get more interested parties than I have chapter titles, I'll add a mess more.
2) Write up a short summary (a paragraph or less will do) of what happens to Rumpscullion and Lulubelle in that chapter. Don't worry about what order the chapters go in or what has come before. There will always be missing chapters, so characters, locations, and items can appear out of nowhere. Example: "Passing through the tiny faerie-door, Lulubelle and Rumpscullion find themselves inside a gigantic stained-glass egg, and must negotiate with its denizens - a pair of jackal-headed witches - in order to proceed. Luckily Lulubelle thinks to bribe the witches with the star ruby she stole from the Clockwork Lion." That's plenty.
3) Add to your summary paragraph something usable by a DM - an NPC, an item, a monster, a location writeup, a table, a spell, a map, an illustration, whatever floats your boat. Play to your talents, or challenge yourself as you please. The 'useful bit' should be related to your chapter summary, and the chapter summary should be related (somehow) to your chapter title. You may include more than one useful bit per chapter if the spirit moves you. If you include stats, please aim for old-school lingua franca. I am fully aware that some overachiever will send me an entire dungeon or something, that's fine.
4) Send your stuff to me at erikisarobot AT gmail, with the understanding that anything you submit to the contest is thereby Creative Commons. The deadline is August 1st - that's three weeks. You may publish your entry elsewhere (on your blog, for example) if you wish. You may enter more than once if you wish.
WHAT HAPPENS THEN?
First, the judging committee (that'd be me, Mrs. Wampus, and the Boy) will select a handful of entries as "winners" based on their utility, awesomeness, Wampus spirit, and suchlike. And what do you win? In ascending order...
EVERYBODY (even non-participants, fie on them) gets the finished pdf of stuff. I'll assemble all the entries in whatever order makes the best sense and release Rumpscullion's Summer Holiday into the wild - chock full of monsters, spells, NPCs, maps, adventure hooks, and whatever other goodies people throw in there. I'll be doing several chapters myself as well. If the spirit moves, I'll flesh out some of the 'chapters' into actual story-chapters.
Several HONORABLE MENTIONS will receive custom random tables of the multi-column d100 Wampus Country variety (see here and here for examples). You name it, I'll cogitate on it. Very specific requests and genres out of my experience will take a little longer, but are fair game (the brain is a muscle which must be exercised with creative challenges regularly).
Two EXALTED WINNERS will receive a Wampus Country care package - a box of gaming stuff, fiction, utter randomness, toys, food, and who-knows-what. As well as a custom random table or similar.
And one lucky SUPERIOR MONARCH OF SUMMERLAND will receive the random table, a Wampus Country care package, AND a wicked keen DM's Travel Kit (aka a sweet duct-tape messenger bag handcrafted by this dude I know, stuffed with a handmade dice-box thing from me, and more random swag).