Eight amateur game designers have advanced to Round 4 of Paizo Publishing’s RPG Superstar, the largest open-call tabletop roleplaying design contest in history. Pathfinder RPG Lead Designer Jason Bulmahn joined celebrity judges Sean K Reynolds and F. Wesley Schneider from Paizo and Necromancer Games president Clark Peterson to critique complete monster designs using the contestant-created monster concepts from Round 2. As a special Round 3 twist, the 16 finalists had to create statistics for another contestant’s monster concept, accurately modeling the kind of design challenges a professional game designer must navigate every day—using someone else’s idea to create something even better than the original.
"I had a great time reviewing the Round 3 submissions," said guest judge Jason Bulmahn. "It was thrilling to see the rules I spent so much time revising take on a life of their own in the hands of these talented competitors. I am really excited to see the next round submissions, and I can’t wait to work alongside some of these folks in the future!"
The Top 8 finalists for RPG Superstar 2010 and their winning entries to date are:
- Jesse Benner: The Lahamu (“The Soul Drinker”); Chaitrakhan; Snapleaf
- Benjamin Bruck (Boise, Idaho, USA): Churjir; Chymick; Steadfast gut-stone
- Matt Goodall (Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia); Chaitrakhan; Churjiir; Spellstrike vambraces
- Jim Groves (Ontario, Oregon, USA): Ardorwesp; Skintaker; Seducer’s bane
- Richard Hunt (Plano, Texas, USA): Slithering Horror; Splorudra; Needles of the ebon strand
- Alexander MacLeod (Raleigh, North Carolina, USA): Chymick Swarm; Ardorwesp; Scapular of true devotion
- Matthew McGee (Davis, California, USA): Astrumal; Ossuary Golem; Batrachian helm
- Matthew Morris (Columbus, Ohio, USA): Caltrop Golem; Lahamu; Tankard of the cheerful duelist
The Top 8 will now be required to design a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game location set in Golarion, the world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying game. The location must come complete with lore, a full encounter, and a map. Contestants must submit their entry to Paizo by 2:00 PM Pacific time on Friday, February 19. These Round 4 submissions will be commented on by the three regular judges plus two special guest judges, professional cartographers and regular Paizo contributors Rob Lazzaretti and Corey Macourek. On February 23, the entries and judge comments will be revealed to the general public, who will then get to discuss the entries and vote for their favorites. Voting ends on March 1, and the Top 4 (by votes) will move on to Round 5.
The ultimate winner of RPG Superstar, to be announced March 23, 2010, will write a Pathfinder Module to be published in early 2011. Realm of the Fellnight Queen, the module written by last year's RPG Superstar champion, Neil Spicer, releases in March of this year and is available now from paizo.com.
For a complete schedule for RPG Superstar 2010, plus rules and FAQs, visit paizo.com/rpgsuperstar.
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