Paizo Publishing, LLC® today announced the Final Four RPG Superstar contestants selected by the voting public to move on to RPG Superstar's ultimate round. Round Five focused on encounter design.
"Here we are in the final round of RPG Superstar, and I truly believe that the best four contestants of the original 856 are our finalists," said Erik Mona, Paizo's Publisher and one of three RPG Superstar judges. "Only one of these great contestants will win the big prize and get to write a complete adventure that Paizo will publish, but I have a feeling we'll see much more of all four finalists in the months and years to come. Judging this contest has been a real treat, and I can't wait to see who the readers select as their RPG Superstar!"
For the initial open call, more than 850 entrants submitted a wondrous item using the 3.5 SRD. Each entry needed to be 200 words or less and had to include proper mechanics and flavor. Entries were eliminated for ignoring the entry requirements, for using non-Paizo intellectual property, or for simply not being creative enough to fit the mold of an RPG Superstar.
Round Two asked the Top 32 finalists to write a 1,000-word description of a fantasy nation covering that nation's people, history, geography, government and hidden secrets. No entries were eliminated this round on technicalities, though the judges often derided an entry for being too stereotypical or too mundane.
Round Three sought a 500-word description and a stat block for a fantasy villain from the Top 16. Eight very strong candidates were selected by the voting public to move to Round Four. Several potential RPG Superstars were eliminated this round by not creating a character that fully matched the judge's expectations of villainy. "The pitfall [in Round Three] was not finding the villain seed and getting sucked into the stat block," said Clark Peterson, Publisher of Necromancer Games and one of the RPG Superstar Judges.
Round Four called for the Top 8 to design three thematically linked monsters. Six RPG Superstar contestants were selected by the voting public to move on to the penultimate round of RPG Superstar. The voting public seemed willing to follow the lead of the judges this round and voted out the two contestants that received the lowest overall scores from Erik Mona, Clark Peterson, and Wolfgang Baur.
Round Five required the Top 6 to create an encounter of publishable quality as part of a larger adventure that was both usable and memorable and keyed to a specific location, as would appear in an actual published adventure. There was no word limit for the encounter submission, but it was strongly encouraged that submissions be 2000 words or less excluding stat block content. Though all of the submissions received at least some positive feedback from the judges, encounters that the voting public felt lacked an evocative tone or original location idea didn't make it into the Final Four.
The Final Four for Paizo's RPG Superstar are:
Neu-Isenburg, Hessen (Germany)
"Chase on Charred Ground"
Macomb, IL (USA)
Seattle, WA (USA)
"Vale of Rohthang's Rest"
Prague (Czech Republic)
"Monkey Goblins Attack!"
The RPG Superstar Final Four are now required to submit a complete adventure proposal for a 32-page GameMastery™ Module. This will not necessarily be the module that the winner of RPG Superstar is contracted to write, but the judges have instructed Boomer, Nelson, McCreary, and Schneider to treat it as such and convince three professional judges, one of them Paizo's Publisher, that they have the stuff to provide a logical, exciting, sales-generating adventure that truly fulfills their promise as an RPG Superstar.
Submissions are due by Monday, February 11 at 12:00 P.M. (noon) Pacific Time. Fan voting for Round Five submissions begins February 14 and ends February 19. The winner of the first RPG Superstar contest will be announced on February 20, 2008. The Grand Prize is a paid commission to write a 32-page adventure for Paizo Publishing's GameMastery Modules line.
For a complete RPG Superstar schedule, including rules and a FAQ, visit paizo.com/rpgsuperstar.
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Paizo Publishing, LLC is a leading publisher of fantasy roleplaying games, accessories, board games, and novels. Paizo's GameMastery™ line offers Game Masters fun and useful tools to improve their fantasy roleplaying experience. Titanic Games™, Paizo's board game division, unites the greatest game designers to create compelling, challenging games like Stonehenge and Key Largo™. Paizo.com is the leading online hobby retail store, offering tens of thousands of products from a variety of publishers to customers all over the world. Paizo's Planet Stories™ line of science fiction and fantasy novel reprints promises a master class in the genre aimed at building the greatest fantasy and science fiction library ever assembled. In the five years since its founding, Paizo Publishing has received more than a dozen major awards and has grown to become one of the most influential companies in the hobby games industry.