We are currently running an incursion-writing contest for the Trophy RPG. You may want to go check that out before you continue reading this. It can be found here.
One of the ways we built-up The Gauntlet during the heyday of G+ was through the writing contests hosted by Discern Realities, our (soon-to-be-revived) Dungeon World podcast. Our attitude was “Anyone can do this, anyone can create awesome stuff for this game!” And people really loved it. Our contests were a fun, low-stakes way of getting folks involved in the act of creating TTRPG content, and they were truly the glue that held The Gauntlet together for a long time. The Gauntlet ethos has always been that no one is an island of creativity—that our best efforts in TTRPGs are community efforts. And we continued this idea of community creation through the Codex miscellany features, as well as the general Codex editorial preference for games and supplements by newer voices.
Here are some specific reasons I am excited about the Trophy contest.
The core Trophy rules are currently free
When Jesse and I designed this contest, our number one concern was easy access to Trophy’s rules. We knew a lot of people would be learning about Trophy for the first time, and so we decided to make Codex - Dark 2, the issue of the Codex zine the game can be found in, completely free, despite the fact it is our bestselling issue on DriveThru. You can download that issue right here.
The contest is highly accessible
The core Trophy rules contain all the guidelines you need to write an incursion, including a sample incursion so you can see how it all comes together. Further, because Trophy is so rules-light, you can begin writing almost immediately since you don’t have to spend time internalizing a complex system.
All of this leads to a standout feature of this contest: accessibility. Anyone can write something for this contest and, so long as they follow the incursion-writing guidelines (which have been finely tuned to produce dependable outcomes when followed), they can feel reasonably confident they have produced something fun and playable. It’s an inviting process, and we’ve already heard stories of parents writing entries with their kids, and romantic partners writing an entry together.
Our officially published Trophy material is uniformly dark fantasy because we have a brand to develop, and we are certainly hoping to see plenty of dark fantasy contest entries. But there’s nothing in the guidelines that requires incursions to take place in a fantasy setting. I’m personally excited to see how people drift a lot of the assumptions about Trophy. I hope we see a wide variety of settings: Western, cyberpunk, historical, modern-day, you name it—I think Trophy can handle it. In some ways, this contest could be a bridge to whatever is next for Trophy as a system, and I find that very interesting.
A fun, low-stakes way to celebrate creativity
Sure, there are a few cash prizes, but honestly, that’s only because we have some money to spend. Ultimately, Jesse and I are just hype to see what people come up with, and we’re excited to provide a space for people to be creative. This contest is a celebration of creativity, and to emphasize that, we’re giving folks custom dice and a “Play to Lose” magnet just for participating—kind of like party favors.
Anyway, we hope folks will get as excited about the contest as we are. I’m including all the relevant links related to the contest right here: