Contest Time! The Super Secret Happy Birthday Gary Gygax Giveaway Bundle Extravapalooza!

UPDATE 8/27/2012: Someone expressed confusion over this contest being "based on the OGL" while also asking for a "1st edition feel". The reason for this is to just avoid any sort of legal action by Wizards of the Coast, as all other editions of D&D are copyrighted and NOT sanctioned for use by the OGL. Your submissions could in fact avoid specific stat information altogether; Quinn Conklin will be working to make sure the winning submission is written to avoid any sort of legal problems.

UPDATE: The contest has been extended by 1 month, so you now have even longer to finish up your submissions and get them in! We've also added some new contributors, and a very special bonus prize up for grabs as well! Keep reading to find out everything we've added!

The Super Secret* 
Happy Birthday Gary Gygax 
Giveaway Bundle Extravapalooza!
*(Note: Secrecy not guaranteed)

July 27th, 2012

Today is a very special day...Gary Gygax's birthday. It also happens to be my birthday, so I thought what better way to celebrate the occasion than by launching a contest to honor Gary's memory!

How would you like to win a complete set of Wizards of the Coast®'s recently reprinted 1st edition AD&D® books?

Character sheets not included. You'll need a lot of them, though.

How would you also like to have your submission converted into a digitally published work?

Jez Gordon will give your submission a professional look!
And that's not on for more details!

How to Enter: During the months from July 27th, 2012 through August 27th, 2012 September 27th, 2012, you may submit one(1) entry consisting of 10 to 20 room descriptions that evoke the feeling of a 1st edition dungeon crawl. The specifics are entirely up to you, and may include whatever traps, monsters, treasures, etc. you feel necessary...just be sure to keep your submission OGL friendly! Your submission should
 be a complete dungeon (no back story or anything; just the dungeon rooms, please), or it could be the start of a larger dungeon (even a megadungeon). 

Each entry will be reviewed by a panel of judges (see below), and an overall winner will be declared based on quality, originality, fun, playability, and 1st edition-ness (that's totally a word).

Send your submissions to, with the subject line: Gygax Contest. Be sure to include your name, address, and e-mail address (for prize/contact purposes).

PLEASE NOTE: This contest, while designed to honor the memory of Gary Gygax, is not officially supported by either Wizards of the Coast® or the Gygax Estate, so please base any items, monsters, encounters, etc. on the OGL (Open Game License). Original content is welcome (and encouraged), but it's important that any trademarked or copyrighted material be avoided. Failure to do so may cause your submission to be disqualified.

This contest does not directly benefit the Gygax Memorial Fund, although some of the money from my purchase of the core books does go to support the fund. In addition, I'll be making a donation directly to the fund in the winner's name, to help support the cause. If you're interested in contributing directly yourself, or would just like more information about the fund, please visit their website:

The Prizes:

The Grand Prize (1) (aka The Kit and Caboodle, The Whole Shebang, etc.): One (1) winner will receive:

Juggalo not included.
Copyright © 2012 Wizards of the Coast®.
All rights reserved.
In addition, the winner will also have their submission converted into a professional quality .pdf, complete with: 
Runner-up (1): One (1) runner-up will receive a copy of the 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide Reprint.

NOTE: All of the books for this contest have been paid for through and provided by Gary Anderson at Money G Cards and Collectables in New York. Check out their website for more info, and be sure to "like" them on Facebook!


Do you have a blog or website? How would you like to win a $75 gift card redeemable at either or DrivethruRPG? Here's what you need to do:

Simply mention this contest on your blog, encouraging your followers to submit their dungeon entries to with the subject line Gygax Contest. Then post a comment below and include a link to your blog (or website) post as well as an e-mail address to contact you at. You'll be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win a $75 gift card (your choice of either Amazon or Drivethru RPG). Winners will be chosen by random selection via All entries must be in by 11:59pm EST September 26th, 2012 (a day earlier than the main contest ends). The drawing will take place October 1st, 2012, and the winner will be informed by e-mail (hence why it's important to include your e-mail in the comment!). This mini-contest is open to contributors and judges for the Gygax Contest as well, so feel free to enter yourselves for a chance to win the $75!

Note: I don't believe in contests that require you to "like" a page on Facebook or "follow me" on Twitter or anything of that nature; I feel that defeats what it means to "like" or "follow" or "circle" someone, because it's no longer about how relevant the content is to you, just how large a boost I get in my numbers vs. how likely you are to win a contest. However, that being said, you are welcome to follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook, and circle me on Google+, especially if you like this blog and would like to stay informed whenever I host a contest like this.

  1. This contest is being hosted by Christopher Mennell, aka The Secret DM™ ("Sponsor").
  2. All entries must be received no later than 11:59pm EST on September 27th, 2012.
  3. Only One (1) submission per person.
  4. All entries must be the original work of the entrant; no derivative works will be accepted, and any content discovered to be copied from another source will automatically disqualify the entrant from the contest.
  5. This contest, blog, prizes, etc. are in no way endorsed by Wizards of the Coast®, the Gygax Estate, or any of their partners, nor is this contest intended to imply Wizards of the Coast®'s, the Gygax Estate's, or any of their partners endorsement in any way.
  6. All submissions become the property of The Secret DM™/Christopher Mennell.
  7. By entering this contest, you give The Secret DM™, Christopher Mennell, as well as any and all partners the express permission to distribute/publish your submission.
  8. Both #5 and #6 (above) are needed in order to provide the winner with the prize of a professional quality product, and are not intended to imply that The Secret DM™, Christopher Mennell, or any partners will in any way profit off of your personal work.
  9. The prizes awarded are for personal use and may not be resold or used for commercial purposes.
  10. Prizes are non-transferable and have no cash value.
  11. Questions about this contest, its prizes, or the people providing for the prizes may be directed to the Sponsor at
Who are the Judges?

The judges are (in no particular order):

Christopher Mennell (The Secret DM):  Christopher Mennell is a freelance writer and editor. His recent projects include work for Purple Duck Games and 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming. Chris also writes a feature column for Ancient Scroll called Upstarter!, which focuses on cool new projects seeking funding on both Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.

Jez Gordon: Jez helped facilitate the Secret Santicore project last December, which features some incredible content, including original artwork by Jez and others. You can download the book for free, and I can guarantee you it's definitely worth the read. His most recent project was as cartographer and graphic design/layout for Death Love Doom for James Raggi's Lamentations of the Flame Princess.

Matt Jackson: Matt's a phenomenal artist whose maps evoke depth and quality. Most recently, Matt supplied a number of tiles for the Tabletop Forge Kickstarter, but his more traditional maps are equally good:

Chris Malidore: For the last ten years, Chris has been providing art for a number of game companies, including Wizards of the Coast®, Fantasy Flight Games, and most recently, Dark Skull Studios. Here are two art pieces that exemplify the quality of Chris's work:

Quinn Conklin has been very busy building a name for himself in the industry. When he's not working on the Toys for the Sandbox line of game master aids from Occult Moon, Quinn writes for Troll in the Corner, a popular website dedicated to gaming. Quinn also did the layout for Homicidal Transients, a game that's all about wandering around aimlessly, killing things, and looting their stuff (hey wait, that sounds really familiar...).

Good luck to everyone who enters!

Before you comment...

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