After five rounds of intensive competition, amateur game designer Sam Zeitlin (Arlington, VA) has won RPG Superstar 2011, the largest annual tabletop roleplaying game design contest in history. The popular vote of paizo.com's more than 100,000-strong fan community chose Sam Zeitlin's The Midnight Mirror Pathfinder module submission over the final-round submissions of competitors Cody Coffelt (Boise, ID), Jerall Toi (Port Elizabeth, South Africa), and Sean McGowan (New York City, NY). Zeitlin will receive a contract to write the full adventure, which will be released by Paizo in early 2012.
Paizo challenged amateur game designers from around the world to show off their skills in RPG Superstar 2011, the fourth season of Paizo's search for great undiscovered game designers. Judges Ryan Dancey, Sean K Reynolds, Mark Moreland, and Neil Spicer narrowed the field to 32 would-be RPG Superstars, and guest judges Paizo designer Stephen Radney-MacFarland, cartographers Jared Blando and Robert Lazzaretti, and Paizo's Creative Director James Jacobs provided their advice as the contestants answered each new challenge.
In the final round, we asked this year's Top 4 to propose a 32-page Pathfinder Module for use with Paizo's Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Contestants Cody Coffelt, Jerall Toi, Sam Zeitlin, and Sean McGowan responded with four excellent submissions, but there can be only one RPG Superstar 2011, and so after the judges offered comments, the general public selected one winning proposal to be published by Paizo in early 2012.
"This was my third year as guest judge for RPG Superstar," said Paizo's Creative Director, James Jacobs, "and once again the contestants all impressed me with their creativity and writing skill. From where I'm sitting, there's not one winner but several, since making it to the final few rounds of RPG Superstar gets you a lot of attention even if you don't win the grand prize! Well done, everyone!"
On behalf of our judges as well as the whole Paizo Publishing family, congratulations to Cody Coffelt, Jerall Toi, and Sean McGowan. Though only one contestant earned the title of RPG Superstar 2011, for the first time in Paizo history, the runners up will be contracted to write a scenario for the Pathfinder Society, Paizo's organized play program. Keep an eye out in the months ahead for when these scenarios will be released.
RPG Superstar will return in 2012.
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.