Saturday, November 1, 2014

Seven Voyages of Zylarthen Contest Announcement

A Magic-User Serving the Cause of Chaos

Well, there are two.

First, the results of the name shortening poll. As might have been expected, there was no winner of a majority of votes. Here is the final tally of the votes contained in the seventy-four comments that made it in before the end of the week-long deadline:

Seven Voyages
Seven Voyages of Zylarthen

The above looks like the sort of results you get in those European parliamentary votes with all of those fringe parties and people who want to sell things. In the United States, we never have close or ambiguous elections.*

Notes on my counting methodology:

  1. Some submitted suggestions for a spoken shortening versus a written shortening. In those cases the written shortening was counted.
  2. Some submitted two or more suggestions. In cases where the commenter said something like, 'A or better B', I counted B. In cases where the commenter said something like, 'A or B', I gave A and B a fractional vote.
  3. Gorgonmilk was allowed to change his vote. Luckily, this didn't change the results (although it almost did!).
  4. Porphyre77 compared a particular selection to a place referred to in a Queen song. This was interpreted as a positive vote.
  5. Obviously, the glaring thing here is that if certain tendencies had been combined, the winner might have been different. For example, the 39% of 7VoZ plus SVoZ would have swamped the 25% of Zylarthen. But then again, the 41% of Zylarthen plus Seven Voyages would have narrowly beaten that. I think there's probably at least a small majority feeling for some sort of 'cool' abbreviated answer--the sum of 7VoZ, SVoZ, 7VZ, 7V and 7Z totals 54%. I only mentioned one such abbreviation in my initial list of possibilities, but five emerged. That says something.
But in my own writing, I'm going to stick with 'Zylarthen', emboldened in a small way, by its admittedly narrow 'win'. To be honest, I didn't expect it to get so many votes, since up until the contest I hadn't really seen very many people use it. Perhaps I prejudiced the vote. I don't know. But I am also even more persuaded by those who referred to the uniqueness of the Googling results, as well as the strangeness or possible evocative nature of it. Of course, I'm still totally in favor of others using a different shortening. Perhaps in time Zylarthen (or or 7VoZ/SVoZ) will emerge as a clearer favorite. So, to paraphrase E.M. Forster, two cheers for diversity!

Second, who won the contest for the hard-copy version of the game (or one of the Lulu alternatives)? I know, but I'm not telling, quite yet. The winner will be revealed within the next few hours or perhaps even minutes. Jason McCartan, otherwise known as 'The Badger' or 'Teh Bagder' agreed to post a roll on on one of those public random generator sites.

Jason runs the uniquely informative OSR Today site as well as co-anchoring the new Tenkar and the Badger podcast. If you haven't checked those out, I urge you to. Among other things, the first episode of the Podcast has a great interview with Matt Finch of Frog God games. 

I goofed on relating to Jason the precise number of qualified entries--it was 74 not 76--but luckily 75 or 76 did not come up. The number was pegged to a chronological listing of comments. The winner will have one week to come foreword. Email me at with your address and prize preference--Zylarthen or the three other products.

Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate your input and support. And I apologize for being a bit tardy on wrapping things up. 

Next, a Jack Vance dialogue contest?...

*This lying thing just has to stop.


  1. Personally, I think that if one can find an abbreviation that is not just a list of the first letters of the name, that is preferable at this point. It sounds better to say (for example) "Flame Princess" than "Lot-fup", and it looks better in writing too. Similarly, "Zylarthen" is simply cooler than "7VoZ", in part because the latter looks like a typographical error or a markup code. (I picked "7VoZ" as a backup choice in the original mostly because I've gotten used to the idea of instant runoff voting.)

  2. Just curious when the winner will be announced.

  3. As Oakes said he very kindly asked me to roll to decide the winner. It's my pleasure to announce that the winner is:


    Congratulations! Please be sure to contact Oakes using the directions he's posted above to claim your prize.

  4. Just so people know, Jason used Invisible Castle at The winning number was matched up with a chronological list of those who made comments.

    Congratulations vfults! And thanks again to all participants!