1. You can't fight like a coward
An aarakocra with a bag of holding, 5000 arrows and a magical longbow could eventually kill a tarrasque. However, would you say an aarakocra is stronger than a tarrasque? No! Flying above your target and waiting for your breath attack to recharge, teleporting 120 feet away every time your target gets close and any other similar tactics are heavily looked down on by the tournament organizer. The mighty god Eych'en'ess is here to be entertained, so if you can fight - you have to fight. Now does this mean characters have to lose out on certain strategies? Yes, unfortunately. But these are the rules Eych'en'ess has decreed and we must abide by it. To help encourage proper deathmatch behaviour, all tournament participants will be equipped with a special item.
Collar of Kno'yadont
Wondrous item, legendary
A gold-coloured collar with a bright aquamarine gem is affixed around the neck or sufficient appendage of every tournament participant, magically linking them together. This item is impossible to remove.
At the start of your turn while standing firmly on the ground, if your tournament opponent is more than 10 feet above the ground, 10 feet below the ground or 50 feet away from you in any direction, you can use your bonus action to make them roll a DC 20 Charisma saving throw. On a failure, your opponent is teleported directly next to you in an unoccupied space of your choice. You can also use this ability without restrictions if you didn't move or attack the turn before and are not incapacitated.
Every time a creature succeeds this saving throw, the DC increases by 5. The DC is reduced by 5 with every failure. If a creature has legendary resistances, it costs two of them to prevent this action.
Also, while wearing this item, your attacks are considered magical for the purposes of overcoming immunities. If your opponent is immune to physical damage (bludgeoning, piercing, slashing), you can treat them like they're resistant instead. If your opponent is immune to all types of damage you can produce during your turn (not including legendary actions), you may select one damage type and cause your target to be only resistant to it. If your target is only resistant to any damage type, they are still resistant.
2. Self-preservation will be tolerated to a limited degree
Healing yourself and dominating your enemies is a great strategy, but the mighty god Eych'en'ess demands entertainment above all else. Therefore, you must attack your target at least every other turn. No polymorphing someone into a slug and waiting an hour, you abyssal chicken. That being said, if you're not using your turn using a healing or crowd control spell you then have to spend it attacking in some way. If you're not in range to attack a target, you must do everything in your power to get in range. Dashing is for going toward your opponents, not running away from them!
3. No one leaves until the fight is over
Banishing a target, using plane shift, flying away or any other method to cause you or your opponent to leave the area you're currently in is strictly forbidden and it will count as a forfeit.
5. You have to act fast
Battles are about acting and reacting on the fly. Also, waiting for someone to read a spell description for 10 minutes isn't very entertaining. So Dungeon Masters will have no more than 60 seconds to make their moves. If they don't make their move in that time, the turn will be considered lost. The time limit can only be extended by permission from the moderator if there is a ruling discrepancy or clarification required. To help aid in this, DMs will be encouraged to keep it simple. For example, Wish will be limited to just what's specifically dictated in the spell's description. Because the tournament god has no patience for long descriptions of thoughts that end up going nowhere!
4. Intel on your opponent is provided
Every tournament participant will be given information on their opponent and have it communicated to them by any means necessary. This intel will include who they are, how they behave, what they're capable of and much more. Some creatures will be smarter than others, but everyone know everything they need to know about their opponent.
6. When you drop to 0 HP - you're out!
When you fall, you lose. This means creatures with regeneration traits can still gain their benefits while they have HP, but once they hit zero - they are considered defeated. This also applies to creatures with Mythic traits.
8. Summoning is allowed (within reason)
Spells and abilities that summon creatures are allowed. However, at the end of the day, we're testing our competitors' combat prowess - not their minions! Also, given the nature of this one-on-one tournament, certain creatures will be able to spam whole armies in a matter of seconds. So summoning spells/abilities will be limited to only one being active at a time (regardless of whether or not it requires concentration), only five creatures being summoned at once, only creatures with a CR 15 or lower being summoned, and summoning abilities can only be used once every three rounds. On top of that, if the tournament participant drops to 0 HP, they are still considered defeated regardless of how many summonings are still active. If a creature uses a summoning ability while another one is active, the previous one will disappear immediately. If a summoned creature has legendary actions or legendary resistances, it cannot use them.
7. Creatures can start out "mythic" when applicable
Because of the above rule, creatures with mythic actions wouldn't be able to use them unless they start off in their mythic form. Dungeon Masters will be able to choose whether or not their creature is in its mythic form before the match begins, but this means these creatures do not have essentially two lives! Make sure to take that into account when filling out your bracket.
9. We're using rules as written (for the most part)
There are many amazing variant rules, homebrew mechanics and interpretations of what rules actually should mean. However, other than the few exceptions above, we'll only be using the basic non-variant rules to keep it as simple as possible
10. The moderator has the final say - no matter what
There will be two Dungeon Masters in every fight controlling one of the competing creatures. There shouldn't be too many misinterpretations of the rules since we'll be running the tournament RAW. However, if there is a disagreement, the moderator of the match will have the final say. Even if the ruling is absolutely outrageous - their word is final.
12. You only have what's in your stat block - but you can come prepared!
No variant iterations, swapping out of spells, adding of weapons or anything else will be allowed. Also, creatures with mage armor or similar spells already accounted for in their AC per their official stat block will enter the arena with that spell already cast. On top of that, you can prepare yourself with magical buffs, but only if the ability is located in your stat block.
11. If human error occurs, we accept it
If you've ever seen any sporting match, you know that sometimes referees make the wrong call. Unfortunately, even seasoned DMs will mess up a call now and then or miss the proper interpretation of a ruling. However, there is no retconning. After a move or call is officially made, we have to accept it and move on.
14. Have fun!
Seriously, we're battling monsters here. Just have a good time and don't worry about winning or losing. Still try to win, of course, but if you don't - that's okay! Some of the matchups will be total mismatches and that's part of the game.
13. Fights will take place on a neutral battlefield
Because of this, no lair actions or regional effects can be used by either side. Also, because these fights will be one-on-one, only one legendary action can be used per round.
1. Tournament brackets must be submitted before February 19, 2022 at 10 AM (CST) to be eligible
There has to be a cut-off somewhere and it's at 10 AM CST for this contest. However, this only applies to the tournament bracket prizes. People can enter to win weekly prize draws whenever they want!
2. Weekly prize draw entries
After submitting a tournament bracket, you are entered every week to win one of the weekly prize draws listed here. You also gain extra entries by following Hidden Nerdy Side on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, and by subscribing to the HNS YouTube channel, joining the HNS Discord server, and commenting on Monster Deathmatch streams (one entry per stream). Lists from each medium will be pulled and a winner will be randomly selected at the end of the week. Winners will be announced via social media, contacted directly and announced again on the following stream.
3. If you're competing, you can't compete... what?
Despite this being a for-fun tournament, to keep everything as fair and above board as possible, the Dungeon Masters physically playing in this tournament will not be allowed to win prizes from the tournament bracket prize draws. However, they will still be able to win prizes from the weekly prize draws as those are completely determined by random chance.
5. Sorry Quebec, you're out
Due to incredibly difficult and restrictive laws in Quebec when it comes to contest giveaways, the lovely province of Quebec will be ineligible to win prizes from our contest. If a winner is chosen and they live in Quebec or any other province, state or country with prohibitive giveaway laws, another name will be drawn in their place. But still, feel free to fill out a bracket for fun and win the ultimate prize - bragging rights!
4. There can only be one (so far)
There is only one prize to be given out per prize category. If there are multiple winners for tournament bracket categories, the winners will be entered into a pool and randomly selected to win the prize. This is subject to change based on sponsor cooperation. On top of this, if someone is able to guess a 100% correct bracket, they would win all the prizes but then will be taken out of the running for the other tournament prizes to avoid receiving duplicates of the exact same prize. If there ends up being more than one perfect bracket, there will be a draw for the grand prize and the losers will still be entered into the other tournament draws.