Paizo Publishing, LLC® today announced that Christine Schneider of Neu-Isenburg, Germany is the first-place winner of Paizo Publishing's RPG Superstar.
"Christine Schneider managed to impress the judges and the voting public with each new submission," said Erik Mona, Paizo's Publisher and one of three RPG Superstar judges. "Round after round her ideas placed her in the front of the pack, a particularly impressive feat for a writer for whom English is a second language. I'm thrilled that the first winner of RPG Superstar is part of the worldwide community of RPG gamers, and I look forward to working with Christine Schneider for many years to come."
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 challenged the Top 16 to design a 500-word description and a stat block for a fantasy villain. 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.
Round Six required the Top 4 to submit a complete adventure proposal for a 32-page GameMastery™ Module. Christine Schneider's proposal met with the approval of judges and fans alike and vaulted her above the competition to become Paizo Publishing's first ever RPG Superstar.
Christine Schneider's winning entry will be published in January 2009 as GameMastery Module S1: Clash of the Kingslayers and will retail for $12.99.
For the 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.