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Announcing RPG Superstar Season 9!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Hi, I'm Owen K.C. Stephens, the host of RPG Superstar. Welcome to the beginning of Season 9!

You probably already have some questions!

Once again, we'll be doing things a little differently for RPG Superstar. First, as you may have guessed, the next contest is happening MUCH earlier in the calendar year than before. This time we are starting the Open Call round next Friday, August 7th. We'll run five rounds total to find our winner, who will be announced October 30th. There are lots of reasons for the scheduling changes, not the least of which is that fans, potential contestants, and judges can't participate when we hold it over the holidays.

Every year there are some folks who would like to be involved, but don't hear about the contest until after it's gotten started, so we're announcing it early! The hope is that by announcing the schedule in advance, we can encourage fans to help get the word out and increase the chances that everyone who wants to be part of this event can do so. We also announced the new schedule at the "Be the Next RPG Superstar" panel yesterday at Gen Con.

It's also worth noting that we've switched to "Seasons" of the contest, rather than attributing each to a year. Since this is the ninth RPG Superstar contest, we're calling it "Season 9." That's a change in name only, since we've already crowned Monica Marlowe as Superstar 2015. We thought it was important for the folks involved in the both 2015 and Season 9 to know they don't have to “share" Superstar titles and achievements.

The above are only a few of the things that we've changed up this time. How we determine the Top 32 and our 4 alternates is now going to be decided exclusively by the popular vote. We'll have the same comparison voting we've done for the past several years, but the bottom few percentages of vote-getters will be culled out every few days. Once voting closes, we'll also provide a list of the items that fell short of this mark, but landed in our top 100 entries in alphabetical order. For the first time, all the voting for the Open Call is entirely in the hands of the fans. Our Open Call judges will give feedback about the Top 32 because we know how important that feedback is to a lot of people, but not until after voting is over.

Here are a few more Season 9 details:

  • The Open Call round has changed to: design a wondrous item, magic armor, or magic weapon
  • We're allowing 50 words of description for the maps in Round 2
  • We're going to have some pre-generated maps contestants must use for their encounter design in Round 4.

Exact rules for later rounds will be available as the contest progresses. The main thing to know for Open Call is the category of items to submit, that we aren't allowing siege weapons, intelligent items, or cursed items, and that the only rules contestants should reference are those available on the PRD.

We also have a wonderful line of judges lined up including two return RPG Superstar winners, some interesting challenges, and many fewer last-second twists than last year. Which isn't to say we may not have more twists in the future! I believe making sure we don't get into a rut is important, but for now, the earlier contest schedule and revisions to Open Call are plenty of change.

So get your calculators and graph paper ready, warm up your playtesting dice, and spread the word for everyone to prepare for RPG Superstar Season 9! You can find more information on the main RPG Superstar page.

Owen K. C. Stephens
Developer and RPG Superstar Host

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Contests RPG Superstar
1 to 50 of 102 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

For the first time in years, I'm not sure how involved I will be in this season of RPGSS. Sadly, one of the advantages of my regular job in regard to the contest is that the winter is off-season so I have plenty of time. Summer? 45 hour weeks like the one I just had are rare blessings.

So I hope this does well and you get the people you need to make this as great as it usually is. I hope the announcement brings in a mass of new blood and new entries!

Make it great!

:)

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Oh man, I'll be participating as usual but the end of year break from classes and work was always a great opportunity to focus on the contest. This is going to be more challenging than I thought.

Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Interesting that they have widened the item categories this year.

I was sort of holding out hope that they would do magic weapon or armor properties, rather than specific weapons or armors, since I like those more, and they have never been allowed in RPGSS, but three categories of items is pretty broad. Maybe next year they'll do something else.

At any rate, I'm hoping for some more interesting shields in this year's item round.

I'm also hoping that the subsequent rounds will be less monotonous in theme than last year.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ugh... So this is how they decided to cull the Champion Voters...

I liked winter because of the slow work schedule and easy to get time off. This time of year, not so much.

Good luck to all the entrants! Dazzle me!

EDIT: Beginning of the school year as well. Sorry kids/college students.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

First of all: Yay! It's Superstar season again.

Not sure I like that voting is the sole determinant of the Top 32. I think that allows things that could be overpowered to get in, but I guess we'll hope voters do the right thing.

I like these changes a lot:
* The Open Call round has changed to: design a wondrous item, magic armor, or magic weapon
* We're allowing 50 words of description for the maps in Round 2
* We're going to have some pre-generated maps contestants must use for their encounter design in Round 4.

PRD only means no Occult Adventures, for those who wanted to risk the voters being excited about the newest additions to the rules (unless of course they get added in really quickly, but I'm not expecting that).

Love the Hall of Fame on the new main Superstar board.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka burrahobbit

1 person marked this as a favorite.

And here I was just sighing that it was still some 5 months away!

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Arkos

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!

Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I also like the Hall of Fame addition (although I think some prominent runners-up like Jason Nelson of Legendary Games should also be in there along with the winners).

The voter selection is of concern. I have always thought that one of the great advantages of the contest has been the selection by experienced designers from a large pool as a good way of ensuring that talented designers rather than popular ones get in the door. Some things that get a large number of votes aren't necessarily well designed or even very original ideas.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Not sure I like that voting is the sole determinant of the Top 32. I think that allows things that could be overpowered to get in, but I guess we'll hope voters do the right thing.

Agreed!

Feros wrote:
The voter selection is of concern. I have always thought that one of the great advantages of the contest has been the selection by experienced designers from a large pool a good way of ensuring that talented designers rather than popular ones get in the door. Some things that get a large number of votes aren't necessarily well designed or even very original ideas.

More agreeance!

Many bad ideas received a lot of votes on the last couple years of voting share threads. Some top vote receivers were rehashes of prior year items (Top 32 ones at that), didn't use rules properly, and some were over 9000.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The timing works really nicely for me. Submissions are due Aug. 16 with Top 32 announced Aug. 31. My wife's home from med school Aug. 21-28 or so. Now I don't need to ignore her. :)

(Of course, voting becomes more important now, when I was planning to try to do less of it since I so much enjoyed seeing new-to-me items in the Top 32 and wanted more of that experience.)

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

Whoa, this is unexpected.

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

The short notice for the schedule change means I regrettably can't participate by entering or tracking items, votes, stats, and critiques. I'm already overcommitted through October.

Either that, or I'll resubmit the beardforge now that the cruel judges can't blatantly ignore the overwhelming will of the people.

But seriously, good luck to everyone entering!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Rusty Ironpants

This is a twist I didn't see coming!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So nice to see twists affecting *other* people this time around!
Looking forward to watching and rooting for people from the sidelines. It'll be interesting to see how this change of timing affects the competition.


Wow. Unexpected. Where's my notebook of ideas that passed through my head since last winter? *blows dust off a tome*

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Where'd the old Superstar stuff go? The forums are still here but the previous years' pages are gone. Like 2010's judges page, which was up a week ago.


Hmm. I was just looking for the Round 2 rules of the last contest, but they seemed to have disappeared (presumably so contestants for this one ('season 9') don't read the wrong set.)

I was looking since I have a feeling that the Round 2 rules of the last one said one thing, then the judges proceeded to do something entirely different when marking the round, which rather put me off (well, that and the moderator deleting a post I made to try and cheer up someone to whom the judges had delivered a darned good kicking).
:(

Oh well...

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka CalebTGordan

This may be poorly timed for me. My second to last semester of school is starting just a couple weeks after this starts, I have some deadlines to meet, and there is faint possibility that I am going to be starting a new job.

But I will submit and see what happens. Who knows, maybe I won't be as busy as I think I will be.

Paizo Employee Developer

I believe all the previous Superstar material will return, in good time. We're doing some internal things, that really have to happen now, and I believe that's why the material isn't currently visible.

Obviously a schedule change is going to prevent some people from entering, and I am genuinely sorry for everyone who is excluded by this. I also believe there will be some people who could not participate on the classic schedule who should now have an opportunity for the first time. Obviously, we'll analyze what participation is like before we schedule Season 10.

If anyone has concerns about judging or moderation, feel free to contact me, as host.

If you are concerned about the public vote, keep in mind that every round after the first has been all public vote for years. Having one (and only one) round be a hybrid of fan feedback and judge fiat unquestionably has caused both confusion and consternation. I think the voting public can be trusted, when they know their vote is the determination factor, but like any change this is an experiment.

I appreciate everyone's feedback and involvement!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
If you are concerned about the public vote, keep in mind that every round after the first has been all public vote for years. Having one (and only one) round be a hybrid of fan feedback and judge fiat unquestionably has caused both confusion and consternation. I think the voting public can be trusted, when they know their vote is the determination factor, but like any change this is an experiment.

That's a good point and it will certainly diminish some of the griping about the Top 32 that we see every year...

I do just worry that it might put a little more premium on mass appeal. Obviously that's important, but at the same time I think there have been good items/designers that would never have won a popular vote (I don't think my haunting glass from 2012, for example, would fare well).

Star Voter Season 8

Sweet. It's like Christmas in July -- er, August rather.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Exciting! I appreciate the gradual changes and improvements to the contest each year, and I look forward to seeing some new (and maybe some repeat) talent!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka dien

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh snap, glad I saw this. Time to get cracking again....

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Excellent. To the word mines once again!

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Thank you for the heads up Owen. I welcome the changes. What else is there to do? ;)

Scarab Sages Star Voter Season 8

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Ah! I am not prepared!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I feel like a first level fighter surrounded by heavyweights. I'm mighty excited for my first season!

Liberty's Edge

I love the smaller frequent culling. Thanks a lot, guys.

All other changes seem great too.

For the Top32, I would have liked some possibility to have golden tickets (like 2 or even 4 of them) for items that were really appreciated by several judges.

I guess I will be a slave to designing and voting again, even though at the end of the previous RPGSS I thought never again.

And here I go looking at my RPGSS posts (and the relevant threads) to remember what made items awesome ;-)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka dien

GypsyMischief wrote:
I feel like a first level fighter surrounded by heavyweights. I'm mighty excited for my first season!

Welcome to the madhouse, Gypsy, and don't feel too intimidated. :) Last year was my first year even attempting anything, and I got lucky to get as far as I did. It's anybody's game!

Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Woran wrote:
Ah! I am not prepared!

Strangely—upon further consideration—I seem to be prepared.

Huh. Go figure.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka DeathQuaker

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wow, a new Superstar season already. Will be interesting to see what folks come up with. Good luck everyone! I'll wave my pom poms for you!

And still be sad that Template Fu still never reviewed my map...

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Question for Official Rules Clarification: I have 4 author credits but 0 design credits with Paizo. The rules say those with 3 or more design credits are ineligible. Do author credits count as design credits for ineligibility?

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is not great news, there is so much going on right now it's not funny.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think you will see an awful lot of new blood, but us old hands have committed to work schedules that will now prevent us not only from entering, but assessing, feed-backing and voting as well.

That might be a good thing as we old hands do often vote 1000's of times each so our affect on the outcome will be eliminated/reduced - but on the other hand, the pool of votes cast for sorting purposes might also fall short too.

I guess we shall all see what the winners are like very soon, so that's exciting to look forward to.

It's a shame we didn't get a month's heads up because some of us might not have taken on those extra commitments had we known. Cest la vie!

So, good luck to everyone who enters and another reason not to be scared on entering is no Template Fu chewing on your formatting etc. this season! ;)

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

A week's notice. This still feels short...

Paizo Employee Developer

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Question for Official Rules Clarification: I have 4 author credits but 0 design credits with Paizo. The rules say those with 3 or more design credits are ineligible. Do author credits count as design credits for ineligibility?

Assuming those author credits were for game products, they do count as design credits and thus you are too successful to enter this contest.

Paizo Employee Developer

Jester David wrote:

A week's notice. This still feels short...

It is. I wish we could have managed longer notice. Due to dozens of other constraints, it simply wasn't possible.

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Obviously a schedule change is going to prevent some people from entering, and I am genuinely sorry for everyone who is excluded by this. I also believe there will be some people who could not participate on the classic schedule who should now have an opportunity for the first time. Obviously, we'll analyze what participation is like before we schedule Season 10.

I want to make it clear that I love, love, LOVE the schedule change. I just wish it had been announced at the end of RPGSS 2015, or at PaizoCon, or a month ago—not a week before the contest opens and two months before it finishes.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Okay, stupid question time, does magic armor refer to only armor or to both armor and shields? Since they're usually grouped together like armor/shields.

Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Okay, stupid question time, does magic armor refer to only armor or to both armor and shields? Since they're usually grouped together like armor/shields.

Last time around it included all shields, so no reason to assume otherwise.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Feros wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Okay, stupid question time, does magic armor refer to only armor or to both armor and shields? Since they're usually grouped together like armor/shields.

Last time around it included all shields, so no reason to assume otherwise.

Thankies.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka DeathQuaker

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Obviously a schedule change is going to prevent some people from entering, and I am genuinely sorry for everyone who is excluded by this. I also believe there will be some people who could not participate on the classic schedule who should now have an opportunity for the first time. Obviously, we'll analyze what participation is like before we schedule Season 10.
I want to make it clear that I love, love, LOVE the schedule change. I just wish it had been announced at the end of RPGSS 2015, or at PaizoCon, or a month ago—not a week before the contest opens and two months before it finishes.

I wonder how this announcement being so close to Gen-Con will affect participation. I expect a lot of would-be participants are still in Indy and unlikely to be checking the boards as often as they usually would. Although perhaps they're advertising it at Paizo's table? If not, perhaps they should.

Liberty's Edge

Template Fu wrote:
So, good luck to everyone who enters and another reason not to be scared on entering is no Template Fu chewing on your formatting etc. this season! ;)

TF, your reviews of formatting will be sorely missed. Do not belittle the real value you provide to the community ;-)

Grand Lodge Star Voter Season 9

Wszebor Uriev wrote:
Wow. Unexpected. Where's my notebook of ideas that passed through my head since last winter? *blows dust off a tome*

Speaking of, I'd be interested to see a round where the task is to construct a book of spells. Might not showcase enough skills though...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Blog says:

Quote:
The Open Call round has changed to: design a wondrous item, magic armor, or magic weapon

Open Call rules say:

Quote:
The item must be a weapon, suit of armor, or wondrous item.

But the Official Rules say:

Quote:
To enter, submit an original magic item (which must be a magic weapon, suit of magic armor, ring, rod, or staff)

Might want to clear that up.

Paizo Employee Community & Digital Content Director

Joana wrote:

Blog says:

Quote:
The Open Call round has changed to: design a wondrous item, magic armor, or magic weapon

Open Call rules say:

Quote:
The item must be a weapon, suit of armor, or wondrous item.

But the Official Rules say:

Quote:
To enter, submit an original magic item (which must be a magic weapon, suit of magic armor, ring, rod, or staff)
Might want to clear that up.

This has been cleared up in the other areas of the site. Thanks for the heads up!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Petty Alchemy

Have people already formed Voting Cabals and if so, why was I not invited?!

Marathon Voter Season 9

He knows too much. Quickly, for the Casual Cabal!

*A dart flies partway towards Petty Alchemy's neck, then loses interest and decides there's always next year, and besides, its poison probably wasn't that great anyways*

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

So going forward, is RPGSS going to be every 6 months, or irregularly scheduled, or what? I'm curious how it will be timed after this.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Wow. Ok. Fortunately I already know *exactly* what I want to write up for my entry.

As a corporate accountant, this schedule will be much better for me if I actually advance to further rounds.

The short notice is disconcerting, but realistically it's no worse than last year, when the short notice of the category change meant that everything that had been prepared ahead of time had to be thrown out.

So...good luck everyone!

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