After a record number of votes in this year's Round 2, sixteen amateur game designers have advanced to Round 3 of Paizo Publishing's RPG Superstar, the largest open-call tabletop roleplaying design contest in history. Ryan Dancey, father of the Open Gaming movement, joined celebrity judges Sean K Reynolds and Mark Moreland from Paizo and RPG Superstar 2009 winner Neil Spicer to critique 450-word class archetype concepts submitted by the top 32 Round 1 survivors, and a public vote resulted in 16 advancing submissions. The finalists must now create backgrounds and Pathfinder RPG stat blocks using one of 32 preselected villain images and an archetype, either from a previous round or from any published Paizo product. All finalist submissions, complete with judge and reader commentary, are posted to the paizo.com messageboards.
"Round 2 this year presented a huge challenge for the Top 32 competitors. Archetypes aren't easy, and they require a very different design approach than creating new wondrous items, as the contestants did in Round 1," said judge Mark Moreland. "Despite the steep learning curve, many of the archetypes we received were quite impressive, and I'm confident the Top 16 will deliver even more innovative and interesting villains in Round 3."
The Top 16 finalists for RPG Superstar 2011 and their winning Round 2 entries are:
- Artus Nemati — Charlatan (Rogue)
- Cody Coffelt — Hound Master (Cavalier)
- David Vigil — First World Druid (Druid)
- Eric Hindley — Knife Fighter (Fighter)
- Erik Freund — Moon Shaman (Druid)
- Ethan Day-Jones — Exalted Armsman (Cleric)
- Jerall Toi — Tengu Blademaster (Fighter)
- Joel Flank — Hedge Wizard (Wizard)
- John Bennett — Saboteur (Ranger)
- Marie Small — Tactician (Fighter)
- Nick Bolhuis — Champion of Philosophy (Cavalier)
- Ryan Marsh — Goldfever Alchemist (Alchemist)
- Sam Zeitlin — Still-Water Meditant (Monk)
- Scott Fernandez — Grave Robber (Rogue)
- Sean McGowan — Evangelist (Bard)
- Trevor Merback — Impaler (Fighter)
The Top 16 will now be required to create backgrounds and Pathfinder RPG stat blocks using one of 32 preselected villain images and an archetype by 2:00 PM Pacific time on Friday, February 4. These Round 3 submissions will be commented on by the four regular judges, plus the guest judges: game industry veteran and Paizo Designer Stephen Radney-MacFarland and Pathfinder Tales author Tales and former Dragon editor Dave Gross. On February 8, 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 February 14, and the Top 8 (by votes) will move on to Round 4.
The ultimate winner of RPG Superstar, which will be announced on March 22, 2011, will write a Pathfinder Module to be published in early 2012. The 2010 RPG Superstar champion module, Matt Goodall's Cult of the Ebon Destroyers, releases in February 2011.
For a complete schedule of RPG Superstar, including rules and a FAQ, please visit paizo.com/rpgsuperstar/previous/2011.
About Paizo Publishing
Paizo Publishing®, LLC is a leading publisher of fantasy roleplaying games, accessories, board games, and novels. Paizo's Pathfinder® line of rules, adventures, sourcebooks, and campaigns combines decades of game design experience into one evocative system compatible with the 3.5 rules. Paizo's GameMastery® accessories offer easy-to-use tools aimed at improving the tabletop RPG experience. 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. In the eight years since its founding, Paizo Publishing has received more than 40 major industry awards and has grown to become one of the most influential companies in the hobby games industry.