Iron GM, a nationwide competition pitting the best gamemasters against each other in aÂ head-to-head adventure running gauntlet of wits, will be holding their World Championships at Gen Con next weekend. Not only are the prizes for the Contenders insane, not only has actress/gamer/model Jen Page signed on as co-host, not only is the lineup of GMs incredible…but you can join the fun if you’re at Gen Con and grab a $100 prize pack just for playing.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Iron GM concept, here’s a quick background, and here’s a look at how insanely awesome it can get. Now that the pretenders have been culled by the regional competitions, only a few Iron Contenders remain, and only one will be named Iron GM. This radio spot the Iron GM crew put together explains it best:
There’s a ton off stuff planned to go along with the event, including demos of the d20Pro system by d20Pro. The GMs aren’t the only ones who walk away with prizes. Each player who registers for the event will walk away with a $100 gaming swag horde. There will be giveaways of the Panzer General board game, and White Wolf is celebrating their 25th anniversary with a prize package too. If you’ll be at Gen Con and want to sign up, head to the event registration page and grab a spot. Do not delay, the spots are filling up fast.
As amazing as all the prize support is, Iron GM is nothing without the cast of characters that strive for the top prize, the Contenders themselves. Who are they? What can they do? What will they bring to the table? Here they are in their own words (with some brief intros from Iron GM co-host Lou Agresta).
The Iron GM (defending World Champion)
Name: Steven T Helt
GM name: Ancient Sensei
Located in: Tulsa, Oklahoma
How many years GMing: 28
Special GM talents: I am great on the fly. I have iconic, memorable ideas ready to go at any given moment. I root for my players to win and to have fun, but I know itâ€™s more fun if they are challenged. I learn from everyone I game with: what to do, what not to do, what I can do better, even if I am not bad at it now. As an Iron GM, I do more than anyone else does to make the story hard on myself and bring every secret story element to prominence. No one works harder or does more to impress the players, tell a great story, and give them a good time. And I’m also not afraid to kill them.
Why I want to be the next Iron GM (Again!): I have nothing to prove to anyone. At this point, I want to be the first three-time winner to break new ground. I have no critics I need to silence, so it’s all about fun. I will say I take the crown seriously, and I will not try anything unless I give it my very best, since God made me creative and gave me a passion for expression. If I am not trying to tell a flawless story for excited gamers who paid for a ticket, I don’t need to be there. The Iron GM crowd is family and I will always try to compete, and always try to do right by them.
Why I WILL be crowned the next Iron GM: No one does more. No one can claim to or pretend to. Anyone voting for an Iron GM should think to themselves, “Would Sensei have paid more attention to me? Stressed more about my fun? Used more elements?” If they have doubts, there’s a better game out there for them, and I’m behind the screen when they get there.
The first Iron Contender came out of Neon Con in November. Kassil (kah-sill) created his own language and named himself in it. Iâ€™m given to understand it’s as rich and full a language as Esperanto, but thatâ€™s hearsay on my part. He hadnâ€™t reffed in something like 13 years and was extremely nervous about picking up the bones again. I guess if you got it, you got it.
NeonConâ€™s Iron Contender
Name: Matthew “Kassil Roshah” Craft
GM name: Iron Flounder
Located in: Nevada
How many years GMing: 20
Special GM talents: I GM to have fun, not to show off, and I GM to roll with what the players do.
Why I want to be the next Iron GM: Because it would mean my players had an awesome time! The swag doesn’t hurt, either (even if that much swag on an airplane might be painful.)
Why I WILL be crowned the next Iron GM: Because I’m there to play the game and have a good time, man. It’s all about being the best GM you can be.
I don’t know as much as I’d like about Total Con’s Iron Contender. We were too busy filming the event and trying out our light, sound, and models for the first time.
Totalconâ€™s Iron Contender
Name: Jaimie Delorge
Located in: Wallingford, CT
How many years GMing : 25
Special GM talents: Roleplaying NPC’s on the fly , theatrics , memorization of stats , HP , rules. Spotlighting character talents . General oratory. My ability to speed through combat rounds at light speed with a flair for the dramatic, so that the game does not come to a screeching halt because of a rules weighty combat system. I also possess a giant player crushing EGO and Iâ€™m willing to dress as kobold prostitute (anything for the game !).
Why I want to be the next Iron GM:Â I want some validation to my self that I still have”IT” . Whatever that may be.Â I want to know I still have my edge and creative spark on, a big level.
Why I WILL be crowned the next Iron GM: Because I’m sleeping with Ed Healy ! No, in all seriousness, I think that among GMs the world around I will stand tallest when the swords are sheathed , magics abated and the dragonâ€™s blood wets the stones . There can ONLY BE ONE!!!
GameXâ€™s Iron Contender (no photo available at press time)
Name:Â Forrest J. McDonald
GM name: DM Wile E. Coyote – Super Genius
Located in: Los Angeles, CA
How many years GMing: 31.5 years
Special GM talents: I can construct running narratives on the fly without saying “no”. I can take a standard monster block from a book and skin it into six different beasts that 90% of players won’t recognize as the same critter. I have the energy, the drive, and the self-confidence to employ a variety of story-telling techniques. And I don’t always have to have “my way” to tell a good story. Whatâ€™s more, I can use soiled cocktail napkins as random dungeon geomorphs. I use a hybrid of interpretive dance and Babylonian Semaphore for combat resolution. If I smile at you, you gain a +1 to life. I am – the most Iron GM in the world.
Why I want to be the next Iron GM: My becoming the next Iron GM means that I taken great strides towards the mastery of the art of collaborative story-telling: I understand how to tell stories, how to incorporate ideas from other folks, how to involve other folks in the story-telling process, and how to make it fun for all involved. That is the highest compliment a GM can earn.
Why I WILL be crowned the next Iron GM: I want it more. I have more energy, more willingness to give up control, more adaptability, more organization, and more testicular fortitude. My taint tells stories better than Ernest Hemingway!
Sounds like the gauntlet has been thrown down. Let’s get ready to rumble!