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RPG Superstar™ 2011 Round 2 Rules

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We aren't quite ready to announce the Top 32 contestants for RPG Superstar 2011 just yet. The judges are still working furiously to select the best wondrous items from the record-breaking number submitted.

However, we are ready to reveal the Round 2 Rules and FAQ to give everyone who submitted an item a head start on their new archetype. This year, we're revealing the rules for each round a bit earlier to give our contestants a little more time to work on their submissions.

Don't forget to check back on the 18th, when we reveal the Top 32 contestants and their wondrous items.

Hyrum.
Marketing and Organized Play Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: RPG Superstar
1 to 50 of 71 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Huzzah! Didn't suspect that! Yay for early rules.

But now I have to refrain myself from statting up archetypes in a wild frenzy just in case. Other work to do!

This will certainly mean an increase in quality for this years submissions.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Competition's going to be fierce this year with the extra lead in time for design. I'm looking forward to it!


I don't see anything in the template to support the interchange of skills.

Ie, "Archetype replaces X, Y, and Z skills from their class list with A, B, and C skills."

I suppose that would be: Class Skills?

Cheliax Star Voter 2013

dam that 450 word limit! if it were only 50 more words!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

You kids have it so easy. Last year we had to write blindfolded, uphill, in the snow. Both ways!


Joe Wells wrote:
You kids have it so easy. Last year we had to write blindfolded, uphill, in the snow. Both ways!

And without Pen OR Paper, right?


I'm starting to think it would be easier to hack Paizo's webservers and modify the site to pretend I've submitted winning content than to actually write winning content.

Grr. The wait is killing me and my self-conscious suspicion that my entry was boring and sucked is gnawing at my soul.

Shadow Lodge

Alcore wrote:

I'm starting to think it would be easier to hack Paizo's webservers and modify the site to pretend I've submitted winning content than to actually write winning content.

Grr. The wait is killing me and my self-conscious suspicion that my entry was boring and sucked is gnawing at my soul.

I feel your pain. I think mine was too boring too. Well, it's my first year. It'll give me a whole year to work on a spectacular entry for next year! Good luck everyone!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Alcore wrote:
Grr. The wait is killing me and my self-conscious suspicion that my entry was boring and sucked is gnawing at my soul.

I pretty much go from "my item is lame, why did I submit it" to "my item is great and better than what I submitted last year" daily. Meh.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Joe Wells wrote:
I pretty much go from "my item is lame, why did I submit it" to "my item is great and better than what I submitted last year" daily. Meh.

haha yeah I'm with you on that. It all depends on what mutagens I'm pumping into my body.


No kidding.

SKR's auto-reject guidelines keep you from making any extremely obvious errors, but that leaves you with the much more ambiguous: "I think this is clever, but will the judges think this is clever, or just lame?"


Cartigan,

Agreed... I'd reference the Beastmaster Ranger.

It's the whole list, so if you're doing a Rogue archetype... the words dwindle and I think the "Xxxxxxx (Dex)" is another word!

Zoinks!


It's interesting that there are four slots for alternates too. Man, here's hoping...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Epic Meepo

Is that archetype template correct?

I would have thought "Skill Ranks per Level" would have been before "Weapon and Armor Proficiencies" (and after "Class Skills"), the same as it is in the base class descriptions.

Shadow Lodge

Eric Morton wrote:

Is that archetype template correct?

I would have thought "Skill Ranks per Level" would have been before "Weapon and Armor Proficiencies" (and after "Class Skills"), the same as it is in the base class descriptions.

Maybe they did it on purpose to see if you actually followed the template they provide. :)


ulgulanoth wrote:
dam that 450 word limit! if it were only 50 more words!

I had to rewrite my wonderous item like five times before I was within 300 words. Use strong sentences and be to the point, no room for filler.

Andoran Dedicated Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Eric Morton wrote:

Is that archetype template correct?

I would have thought "Skill Ranks per Level" would have been before "Weapon and Armor Proficiencies" (and after "Class Skills"), the same as it is in the base class descriptions.

There does not appear to be any standard course of action for changing or adding a class skill. I didn’t read through all the archetypes, but the several that I did read (and I took samplings from different classes) did not seem to make any changes to what was or was not a class skill for the given archetype.

The Inner Sea Primer also has an extra paragraph:
Suggested Feats list of suggested feats…
Which did not show up in the APG nor in their current template.

EDIT: Appears my above comments were resolved.

Contributor

It should follow the order of entries in a standard class writeup.

Ross is going to change it for me. Thanks, Ross!

Shadow Lodge

Class Skills: Your text goes here. This should be a complete listing of the class's class skills, not a "add this and remove these" sort of statement. It should include "These replace the standard [class] class skills." If your archetype does not alter the original class's class skills, omit this line.

Wow, that seems like its going to really eat into the word count. Then again, if the class skills are a big part of your archetype, it might be worth it, but I think for most ideas its going to be better to save those precious words for elsewhere in the alternate class features.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The really sad part about losing in the first round or two is that the ideas we have for the REALLY FUN STUFF won't get to be entered. I have my whole contest series lined up in rough ideas - so it's gonna be a bummer to get eliminated early.

In any case, it's EXCITING! (right?) :P ;)
-will

PS: what are some of the "twists" that have happened in previous years?

Contributor

Varthanna wrote:
Wow, that seems like its going to really eat into the word count. Then again, if the class skills are a big part of your archetype, it might be worth it, but I think for most ideas its going to be better to save those precious words for elsewhere in the alternate class features.

Note that there is only one archetype in the APG that has a separate Class Skills entry, and only a handful that change class skills at all. So fiddling with class skills isn't a significant component of most archetypes (probably because the diff between a class skill and a non-class skill is much smaller in PFRPG, as there's no half-ranks stuff involved).


If it were me I would take a historic figure or fantasy figure and use them for inspiration for an archetype. Could also tailor a class to fit a certain play style. Silver tongue rogue who wheels and deals on the street corner or a lucky and clever rogue who plays poker on river boats. Watch the Deadliest Warrior on television for inspiration as well. Just a few ideas.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Not to fixate on one small point, but regarding the alternates... I realize that alternates still get an email saying something along the lines of "You have been selected as 1 of 4 alternates for RPG Superstar 2011..." but how would the alternates know to submit a round two entry in time (or do the alternates just submit an entry before the close of round 2 "just in case"?)

If memory serves, we didn't get to see the alternates wondrous items... but if an alternate advanced, would we then see the round 1 submission as well as the round 2?

I apologize if this has been covered elsewhere, but I'm hopeful that if not in the Top 32, that I might be an alternate.

Thanks in advance,

Dean; The_Minstrel_Wyrm

Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:

Not to fixate on one small point, but regarding the alternates... I realize that alternates still get an email saying something along the lines of "You have been selected as 1 of 4 alternates for RPG Superstar 2011..." but how would the alternates know to submit a round two entry in time (or do the alternates just submit an entry before the close of round 2 "just in case"?)

If memory serves, we didn't get to see the alternates wondrous items... but if an alternate advanced, would we then see the round 1 submission as well as the round 2?

I apologize if this has been covered elsewhere, but I'm hopeful that if not in the Top 32, that I might be an alternate.

Thanks in advance,

Dean; The_Minstrel_Wyrm

I believe alternates submit an entry for round 2 just as if they were in the top 32. These entries are only shown if the alternate is swapped in.


Varthanna wrote:

Class Skills: Your text goes here. This should be a complete listing of the class's class skills, not a "add this and remove these" sort of statement. It should include "These replace the standard [class] class skills." If your archetype does not alter the original class's class skills, omit this line.

Wow, that seems like its going to really eat into the word count. Then again, if the class skills are a big part of your archetype, it might be worth it, but I think for most ideas its going to be better to save those precious words for elsewhere in the alternate class features.

I agree, that's a complete waste of words. No one is going to end up with a new skill list, I'll tell you that right now.

The only archetype I could find while skimming with a changed list is the Beast Master and that is 45 words by itself. (Including "Class Skills")

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Shadar Aman wrote:
The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:

Not to fixate on one small point, but regarding the alternates... I realize that alternates still get an email saying something along the lines of "You have been selected as 1 of 4 alternates for RPG Superstar 2011..." but how would the alternates know to submit a round two entry in time (or do the alternates just submit an entry before the close of round 2 "just in case"?)

If memory serves, we didn't get to see the alternates wondrous items... but if an alternate advanced, would we then see the round 1 submission as well as the round 2?

I apologize if this has been covered elsewhere, but I'm hopeful that if not in the Top 32, that I might be an alternate.

Thanks in advance,

Dean; The_Minstrel_Wyrm

I believe alternates submit an entry for round 2 just as if they were in the top 32. These entries are only shown if the alternate is swapped in.

Thanks Shadar Aman.

That's essentially what I thought, but it's nice to hear someone else echo that thought.

Andoran Dedicated Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:
Varthanna wrote:

Class Skills: Your text goes here. This should be a complete listing of the class's class skills, not a "add this and remove these" sort of statement. It should include "These replace the standard [class] class skills." If your archetype does not alter the original class's class skills, omit this line.

Wow, that seems like its going to really eat into the word count. Then again, if the class skills are a big part of your archetype, it might be worth it, but I think for most ideas its going to be better to save those precious words for elsewhere in the alternate class features.

I agree, that's a complete waste of words. No one is going to end up with a new skill list, I'll tell you that right now.

The only archetype I could find while skimming with a changed list is the Beast Master and that is 45 words by itself. (Including "Class Skills")

I wouldn't be so hasty as to say no-one. With all the ideas being bandied about, I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone chose a new list.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:

... (or do the alternates just submit an entry before the close of round 2 "just in case"?)

...

This (unless it has changed :). That way the alternates have the same time crunch as the top 32. If all 32 get it in in time, that is the end for the alts. Also my email included all the judges comments on round 1, so I could see what areas they wanted me to work on. Best of luck all :)


Another thing why early rules are good: "more almost also ran" entries :)

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Azmahel wrote:
Another thing why early rules are good: "more almost also ran" entries :)

I'll be there Az. (or hopefully I will not :)


Andrew Christian wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Varthanna wrote:

Class Skills: Your text goes here. This should be a complete listing of the class's class skills, not a "add this and remove these" sort of statement. It should include "These replace the standard [class] class skills." If your archetype does not alter the original class's class skills, omit this line.

Wow, that seems like its going to really eat into the word count. Then again, if the class skills are a big part of your archetype, it might be worth it, but I think for most ideas its going to be better to save those precious words for elsewhere in the alternate class features.

I agree, that's a complete waste of words. No one is going to end up with a new skill list, I'll tell you that right now.

The only archetype I could find while skimming with a changed list is the Beast Master and that is 45 words by itself. (Including "Class Skills")
I wouldn't be so hasty as to say no-one. With all the ideas being bandied about, I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone chose a new list.

Well, I suppose some one might. But if they are changing the class so drastically, they are going to be hard-pressed for space.


Andrew Christian wrote:


I wouldn't be so hasty as to say no-one. With all the ideas being bandied about, I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone chose a new list.

Well some one might, but if they are changing the class that drastically, they may be pressed for space.

Shadow Lodge

I'm wondering if someone tried to make a Pathfinder Chronicler or an Exemplar as a rogue archetype, would they be allowed to say "You gain all skills as class skills", or need to list every single one?

Or if the archetype would function like the expert, in that you get to pick any X skills to be class skills.

Contributor

"All" and "pick X" are clear enough that you wouldn't list every single skill. :)

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Andrew Christian wrote:
Cartigan wrote:

I agree, that's a complete waste of words. No one is going to end up with a new skill list, I'll tell you that right now.

The only archetype I could find while skimming with a changed list is the Beast Master and that is 45 words by itself. (Including "Class Skills")
I wouldn't be so hasty as to say no-one. With all the ideas being bandied about, I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone chose a new list.

It wouldn't be smart to include it as a minor sideline of another entry. An archetype could do something really intriguing with class skills as one of its main ideas.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

My hard-copy APG just arrived. Perfect timing.

Andoran Dedicated Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Starglim wrote:


It wouldn't be smart to include it as a minor sideline of another entry. An archetype could do something really intriguing with class skills as one of its main ideas.

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying.

Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Andrew Christian wrote:
Starglim wrote:


It wouldn't be smart to include it as a minor sideline of another entry. An archetype could do something really intriguing with class skills as one of its main ideas.

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying.

I believe he's saying that you should only alter the class skills of your archetype if that change is central to the identity of the character. If it is of peripheral importance, that word count would be better used elsewhere.

Given than changing class skills isn't going to show off your design skills all that well (even if the choices are perfect and inspired), I'm inclined to agree.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Andrew Christian wrote:
Starglim wrote:


It wouldn't be smart to include it as a minor sideline of another entry. An archetype could do something really intriguing with class skills as one of its main ideas.

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying.

Poor use of resources:

Stabmeister (Rogue)
Class Skills:
The stabmeister has [repeats the rogue's skill list and adds Craft (weapons)] [100 words later] This replaces the list of class skills for the rogue.
Stabmeister ability 1
Stabmeister ability 2
Stabmeister ability 3
Stabmeister ability 4
Stabmeister ability 5

Might be interesting:
Uncanny savant (Witch)
Class Skills:
Does something amazing with class skills, such as the Exemplar mentioned above - two or three other notions come to mind.
Uncanny savant ability 1
Uncanny savant ability 2

I can't see a change to skills sustaining a whole archetype on its own, but if a worthy Superstar entry uses it, I'd expect it to be a significant chunk of the concept.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Come on Y'all! Keep saying it like this and I will have to accept this as a challenge :)

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter 2013, Champion Voter 2014

Varthanna wrote:
Class Skills: Your text goes here. This should be a complete listing of the class's class skills, not a "add this and remove these" sort of statement. It should include "These replace the standard [class] class skills." If your archetype does not alter the original class's class skills, omit this line.

That just killed 3 of my archetypes... Was just going to add 1 and remove one.

No ranger combat styles and cavalier orders killed 2 more.

EDIT: I guess I could cut the description done to 1 line. UGH...

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Oh, good. 8 votes each this time. A lot of folks were asking for more votes for Round 2 last year.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Not sure if anyone saw my question: what kind of "twists" have happened in previous years' rounds?
-will

Osirion RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Steven T. Helt

Dire Mongoose wrote:

No kidding.

SKR's auto-reject guidelines keep you from making any extremely obvious errors, but that leaves you with the much more ambiguous: "I think this is clever, but will the judges think this is clever, or just lame?"

I hear ya. Been on the 'clever but not clever enough' list three times now, with a (un)healthy dose of "makes the GM's job harder" in year one.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

xidoraven wrote:

Not sure if anyone saw my question: what kind of "twists" have happened in previous years' rounds?

-will

It's probably worth reading them and how contestants responded, but they've included:

  • Must use another contestant's entry from the previous round
  • Unexpectedly low level

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Starglim wrote:
xidoraven wrote:

Not sure if anyone saw my question: what kind of "twists" have happened in previous years' rounds?

-will

It's probably worth reading them and how contestants responded, but they've included:

  • Must use another contestant's entry from the previous round
  • Unexpectedly low level

Thanks, Starglim - I've looked over last year's and now that I know where to find them I will check out all the years. :)

-will


Sean K Reynolds wrote:


Note that there is only one archetype in the APG that has a separate Class Skills entry, and only a handful that change class skills at all. So fiddling with class skills isn't a significant component of most archetypes (probably because the diff between a class skill and a non-class skill is much smaller in PFRPG, as there's no half-ranks stuff involved).

My question would be (probably for everyone, since round 2 is open voting): to what degree is not fiddling with class skills if it's reasonably appropriate a design flaw?

Based on the published archetypes it seems like not so much since, for example, a Monk of the Healing Hand doesn't have Heal as a class skill, which seems thematically appropriate to me.

(I have an idea I really like that I think would already struggle to fit in 450 words, and tossing 50 on class skills for it just doesn't seem viable. Maybe I'll write it up and see what it looks like.)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

All this talk of modifying class skills, I wonder if anyone has considered changing a classes alignment restrictions. Like a bard as a legal scribe or some kind of chaos monk. To say "any chaotic" is few enough words, but if multiple alignments are viable, should they be listed by full names (lawful good, neutral good, lawful neutral) or can we trim the word count by abbreviating these (LG, NG, LN)? Naturally these changes would need their own Alignment heading, and I assume it would go above the other headings, where alignment is supposed to go. I certainly have ideas for alignment based archetypes, but if it's going to be a word-sensitive endeavor I'll probably scrap it. :(


Dire Mongoose wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:


Note that there is only one archetype in the APG that has a separate Class Skills entry, and only a handful that change class skills at all. So fiddling with class skills isn't a significant component of most archetypes (probably because the diff between a class skill and a non-class skill is much smaller in PFRPG, as there's no half-ranks stuff involved).

My question would be (probably for everyone, since round 2 is open voting): to what degree is not fiddling with class skills if it's reasonably appropriate a design flaw?

Based on the published archetypes it seems like not so much since, for example, a Monk of the Healing Hand doesn't have Heal as a class skill, which seems thematically appropriate to me.

(I have an idea I really like that I think would already struggle to fit in 450 words, and tossing 50 on class skills for it just doesn't seem viable. Maybe I'll write it up and see what it looks like.)

Additionally, I would like to note that the current idea I had for an archetype would require a full change of skills because one skill is not thematically appropriate - at all - and one skill that is isn't on the class skill list.

Shadow Lodge

Cartigan wrote:
Dire Mongoose wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:


Note that there is only one archetype in the APG that has a separate Class Skills entry, and only a handful that change class skills at all. So fiddling with class skills isn't a significant component of most archetypes (probably because the diff between a class skill and a non-class skill is much smaller in PFRPG, as there's no half-ranks stuff involved).

My question would be (probably for everyone, since round 2 is open voting): to what degree is not fiddling with class skills if it's reasonably appropriate a design flaw?

Based on the published archetypes it seems like not so much since, for example, a Monk of the Healing Hand doesn't have Heal as a class skill, which seems thematically appropriate to me.

(I have an idea I really like that I think would already struggle to fit in 450 words, and tossing 50 on class skills for it just doesn't seem viable. Maybe I'll write it up and see what it looks like.)

Additionally, I would like to note that the current idea I had for an archetype would require a full change of skills because one skill is not thematically appropriate - at all - and one skill that is isn't on the class skill list.

Well, you could always, instead of re-working the entire class list, just give them an ability that gives them that skill as a class skill (as if they took the feat).

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