Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cogworts 2013 Judging

In a fit of over-achievement (kind of like the gnomes in question), the Homes and Tomes Judges decided to judge the dorm rooms of the Cogworts School of Tinkering and Mechanomagic Builds a Better Mousetrap Contest several days early!

Eureeka’s Dorm Room (Antonia Bayle, Small Homes)

“The creativity was great. The computer and microwave really caught my eye and the rat traps were wonderful as well.” - Judge 1

“Well thought out and executed. Traps were highly complex and very Gnomelike! Very elaborate designs on the traps. Job well done!” - Judge 2

“This is an exceptional entry into the Cogworts 2013 competition. The documentation was well-written and humorous, describing each of the working parts of the machine and exceeded the requirement. The dorm room had a very pleasing layout, including a kitchen, well-appointed bathroom and even futon rails. The documentation was easy to find and had a continuous ether theme throughout. I liked the thesis tying it all together and the diary was very, very good. There was a lot of attention to detail in all aspects of the dorm room. Each of the machines seemed to be very plausible for working in Norrath, especially after reading the notebooks.” - Judge 3

“A very well put together dorm. Strong use of a consistent theme (ether energy), and an impressive assortment of contraptions. Each device is unique, utilizing an array of mechanical, electrical, and elemental forces to trap the pesky vermin. The devices also preserve said vermin (more or less) without any messy cleanup. The addition of a thesis paper concerning the ether energy system was icing on the cake.” - Judge 4

Gnonny’s Dorm Room (Antonia Bayle, Small Homes)

“Enjoyed the magazine ordered dorm pieces, very creative in that aspect. Journal kept was funny to read and kept in line with the project. Great use of space, considering item count and what needed to be done.” - Judge 1

“Loved loved loved the candy monster! Though I’d have to say that it would be non lethal, as it would be eaten before it could do anything :)” - Judge 2

“The layout of the dorm room was very pleasing. The living area had all the amenities. I liked the loft bed with the desk underneath and the bathroom was interesting. The windows with a view was also a nice touch. The overall theme was Better Homes and Sprockets which tied it all together. The notebooks were thorough and fun to read. I found the mousetraps to be very plausible in Norrath. I would like to have seen more working parts and more steps in the documentation, but it was very well done. Congratulations on your thoughtful interpretation of a gnome dorm room.” - Judge 3

“Very creative dorm! Each trap is distinct and unlike the last, with very creative ways of dealing with the rodent. From drowning, to electrocuting, to shredding, to being chased by a giant freakin’ candy robot, this dorm has it all. I liked that the additional two devices shared a theme, and that they’re both initialized by triggers beside the bed. Those gnomes sure do love their creature comforts.” - Judge 4

Nikoll’s Dorm Room (Antonia Bayle, Small Homes)

“Most of the rat traps were very complex builds and very cool to look at.” - Judge 1

“Wanted to give points for DOMINO, but did not see a full steps guide. Otherwise, it was a very well thought out Gnome workshop.” - Judge 2

“The gnome completed the steps for each mousetrap. There were tinkered creations here and there! All of the mousetraps could plausibly be used to catch mice in Norrath. I only wish I could be as good as the contestants.” - Judge 3

“The coffee grinder/brewer is a fantastically detailed piece of equipment, and looks the part too. Small details like the spinning cog as part of the door controls are a nice touch. The traps are particularly evil in this dorm. Launching the rat into a spiky wall, or burning it alive, these traps don’t fail to deliver.” - Judge 4


Judging was very close on this contest. Because the rest of our contestants were eaten by the rats they were attempting to trap, or were blown up by their creations, we’ve decided to offer the following prizes:

EUREEKA wins the GRAND PRIZE of a fully decorated home designed and decorated by the members of Homes and Tomes.

GNONNY and NIKOLL each win a Tinkerer’s Bedroom Essentials AND a Tinkerer’s Shop Essentials, to be gifted to the character of their choice!

Unfortunately, the sheer detail these gnomes put forth explaining their machines precludes a single tome holding the contents of their work. However, once their dorm rooms reach the Hall of Fame, the dorm rooms will be taken down briefly so that each gnome may pop on in and copy the books for themselves. When the dorm rooms enter the Hall of Fame again, the second trophy shall be placed in the home of the gnome’s choice.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Chapel Maze to Anashti Sul 2013

Somewhere hidden amongst Freeport's streets
A temple to the Forgotten sleeps.
Every Nights of the Dead it awakes,
Mortal life it forever forsakes.
If for prizes death you would cheat,
Proceed to Jazabelle's to partake!

When: October 14 - November 22, 2013

Where: Jazabelle's Lavastorm home in Freeport on the Antonia Bayle server. Alternatively, you may visit The Chapel to Anashti Sul on the Leaderboards, under Massive homes.

Why?: Because Nights of the Dead is awesome, but sometimes you need to take a break from grinding for the house items! So instead you can run a maze and answer a riddle for prizes (I know, I know, not that different...).

Prizes?: Yep! Prizes will be awarded on the 23rd of November. Details can be found in the book inside the chapel.

Other servers offering prizes:
Possibly! It depends on whether other people are willing to hand out prizes on other servers.

Other NotD fun:
The MazeMansion from 2011 is open again, and offering prizes to anyone who completes it!

The Peaceful Crypt from 2012 is open again and offering prizes to anyone who completes it!

This year's maze is The Restless Crypt.

Yes, the Restless Crypt does look rather similar to the Peaceful Crypt. However, the route to run and the riddle at the end are quite different. Happy mazerunning!

You are welcome to run whichever of the three mazes you wish, but if you have run mazes in prior years, be warned that you will only receive token prizes for running a maze you have already run. You will receive a full prize for running a maze you have not yet run.

(For those interested in seeing a photo album of the construction of the zones, click here. Don't worry, there are no spoilers.)


  1. Kiosha
  2. Tiercen
  3. Senya
  4. Lealani
  5. Malicce