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I really love the exoskeleton template. I just might have to roll up
Yay! I'm glad you like it. It was the sort of thing that came up one day when Rob and I were taking a break. I was talking about using raise dead on bugs and noted that making a dead bug into a zombie makes a certain amount of sense, but what if you used the skeleton template? That was enough of a spark that I knew that I had to make the exoskeleton template for such a corner case. :)
I'm also really into insects and arachnids.... so that had some influence.
Science to the rescue! Thanks, Koboldhammer.
Mikko Kallio wrote:
And this is why I've contracted Mikko for a handful of monsters since his showing in last year's RPG Superstar.
...I don't know if it's my place or not to comment on the Judges rulings, but Adam mentioned that there was no DC for non magical lights, in the Consume Lights description he does say that normal and alchemical lights has a DC of 12. ...
Thanks for that catch. I guess my eyes slid right over that. Now that that's pointed out to me, I redact that part of my comments. (Even though it still seems weird to use a dispel check against something that's not magical.) Thanks, 7crown!
Eric Hindley wrote:
I totally agree, Eric.
Lucus Palosaari wrote:
It's not that we can't use the word psionics, it's just that Occult Adventures is focusing on psychic magic. I know it's semantics at this point, but we're really going for a different vibe than psi-crystals and all that. I just did a search of our whole PDF catalog and the word "psionics" hasn't shown up since 2009 (and even then it was only in a handful of sources), and all were from books written for 3.5. When we released the Inner Sea World Guide to replace the aging Campaign Setting book, we did some clean up of some of the ideas presented in early material and got the setting a bit more on track with where we wanted it. That's why you haven't seen psi-crystals or psionics in anything recent (or even since Pathfinder was released).
Not to butt in here...:
...but one thing I know that publishers appreciate is when writers follow their house styles. If you are pitching to a specific company, look at some of the similar products and match that format. Not everyone uses a formulaic approach to their material, but almost everyone out there has particular ways they do things. If you're working on something that is like something else they've done, match that format and style.
Of course, there are always exceptions and I'm totally willing to be wrong. :)
Alright. Round 2 is underway and we have some awesome maps in the running. Good show, Top 32 (and alternate)! I encourage everyone reading this who haven't already done so to go check out the entries, vote for them, and comment on them. People only know what people like and don't like by hearing those kinds of things. Help folks grow!
Only 16 of the contestants are going to proceed to Round 3 and get the chance to shove a monster at me to review and judge. I love monsters, so I'm eager to see what folks create. I also work with a lot of monsters. In addition to the hundred + monsters I've created in the 7-ish years I've been writing game material, I develop roughly 60 monsters a year for the Adventure Path bestiaries (and other books here and there). Working with monsters is one of my favorite parts of my job.
For those of you going into the next round that want to get high praise from me (and hopefully the other judges), I strongly encourage you to got to the first post in this thread and read the advice I posted last year. The comments in the thread are great too, so taking the time to read through the thread wouldn't hurt.
I really want to see badass entries, so I'll do my best to keep myself available to answer questions in this thread for those interested in monster creation, however, as a judge I reserve the right to not answer some questions or even give vague and cryptic answers. :)
I know the rules for Round 3 aren't available yet, but for everyone competing in Round 2, it would be a good idea to start brainstorming a bunch of ideas. Once the rules go live, pick the best one of the bunch and get to work fine-tuning it. I personally spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about a project before I actually put fingers to keyboard. I probably spend 60%–70% (sometimes 80%) of my freelance deadlines concepting and brainstorming, and then once the idea is set I can jam out the words. By brainstorming now, you already have your head wrapped around a few good ideas, and once you choose you can get right down to refining the idea.
Good luck! Give me cool things to review! Make it hard for me to choose!
Staying quiet about stuff as a starting freelancer is super hard. You're super excited about what you've made and you see people having fun with that creation. Maybe they're even using it in ways that you didn't expect. Sometimes they're outright abusing the thing you made in ways you didn't even think of at the time. Hopefully, they're having a blast with it. After all, we facilitate fun.
When it comes to those times that you have to remain silent (whether due to NDAs or whatever) it's always so tempting to answer a question about something that you've addressed in a turnover that isn't public knowledge yet. When you nab a new and exciting gig, it's tempting to promote yourself/celebrate the fact that you got it. When you turn in a big or exiting assignment, it's tempting to brag about your accomplishments.
As a freelancer, keeping your name out there among publishers is important, but it's always a balancing act of being too upfront or not getting yourself out there enough. In this competition, following the strict order of the rule is the most important thing. In many ways, this contest can be way more brutal for contestants than freelancing.
Wiki Minister wrote:
You know, I didn't think about that before now. I'd say the monster name would be fixer robot. Tryg (to me at least, Amber might have a different take on it) was originally designed to be a repair-bot. He's got all those extra arms and I gave him that tool special ability because that's what it seemed like that kind of robot would be good at.
Also, when Eric's idea was first presented, it was couched in the idea of something that would help focus on the Top 32, but as it's being discussed more and more, I'm seeing less of that focus. It looks more like a way to keep the voting public engaged and a way to help focus on everyone but the Top 32. What am I missing?
Robert Brookes wrote:
That said: Are Tengu and Syrinx related in any fashion? If so, are there Tengu clans on Arcadia? Might they have migrated/transitioned to/from Tian-Xia?
Disclaimer: Anything said about Arcadia isn't official until it sees print. These thoughts are my own on how I'd work stuff out.
I don't think there is any direct connection between syrinx and tengu. That said, I don't see why tengu wouldn't have been able to make it to Arcadia. If they'd be anywhere, the most likely place would be on Arcadia's west coast, far away from lands held by syrinx.
I caught up with this thread this evening before I left work (and went upstairs to play in Rob's Mummy's Mask campaign), but I didn't have time to respond.
One of the things that was going through my mind was something I heard a while back from Ira Glass talking about starting off working in a creative field. It was part of a longer piece on storytelling, but here's a clever typography video of the important excerpt that kept running through my mind.
If this is something you really want to do, please, keep working. That's the most important thing. There are more ideas out there than actual finished work. If you want to make things, make things. Don't psych yourself out.
John Bennett wrote:
This is sound advice. That's roughly how I got started.
While I can see how this thread can look rough, I personally enjoy seeing the kinds of things that people are looking for and considering when they are judging the entries. It's interesting to me to see how our evaluations add up. Even though I'm not a judge on this round, I've been voting on the items (because I'm excited and I can) and I treat my votes like I do my judging for the monster round. I base it on how much effort it would take me to develop the item/idea. That means that sometimes I ignore minor formatting issues if the idea is rad. I know that I'd price it out by hand myself if I was developing it, so I don't pay a ton of attention to price (though if it looks off at a glance, I mentally give it a negative mark). While I certainly have my biases, I like to think that I'm being as fair as I can.
One thing that I think is cool about seeing how everyone feels about particular items is that it can help me in my day-to-day job as a developer (and after work as a freelancer). It helps me gauge a portion of the player base, and I get to see people express their opinions about what they think are cool (or not cool) magic items. I can then use that to add to my catalog of what people think is good or bad about particular parts of design, and adapt to give the people what they want. (Which is pretty much this messageboard every single day.)
Which brings me to another point previously made about how this thread could be demoralizing... I'd hate to scare away anyone who wants to do creative work, because it took me a while to flip that switch even though I dabbled long enough, but by making something and putting it in front of others you are guaranteeing that you are going to be judged. Sometimes the reviews are great. Sometimes they're terrible. Each and every time you, as a creator, need to take it in stride and not (publicly) freak out. Sometimes you even have to graciously admit you f~&&ed up and offer solutions to the errors you introduced. Gracious is the key here. Hopefully most of the time you get to thank people for digging the thing you did, but the reality is that as a creator you have to suffer a lot of criticism. I enjoy seeing people talk about things I've worked on, even if the comments are from less than satisfied people. It makes me consider looking at things from a different perspective.
Keep this in mind not only as the competition progresses, but also in your progression as someone interested in putting your ideas out there in front of people. Even with the occasional slugs in the gut, it's totally worth it knowing that you worked on something that helped people have fun.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Ohhhhh! I didn't realize he was referring to an older post. (Jeeze, this thread IS slow.) Maybe it is flumph-related. :)
As for Pathfinder Society, I have a couple of characters, but I've only played them a time or two. I don't even remember the details. I think my first one is a human monk(roughly modeled off Mickey from Snatch). If I were rebuilding him today, I'd go brawler. I also have a human cleric and a human rogue, but those pretty much exist due to GM credit. I really should play more PFS. John keeps talking about starting something up.
There's a few books by David Macaulay that are awesome in regard to how different structures are built. I used the one about Pyramids to great extent during Mummy's Mask. Patrick has the one about Castles and it's pretty amazing too.
I haven't seen many of the other ones, but I hear they're good. Might be worth checking out.
It's never to early to start thinking about future rounds. I wasn't going to dust this off just yet, but a few others on the boards have been sharing their advice and I didn't want to get left out. :)
I'll be judging the monster round again this year, and I'll be treating the entries pretty much exactly as I did last year. In addition to the advice I gave in the first post in this thread, I strongly encourage people to check out the excellent advice given by Eric Hindley in this thread and all the great blogs Mikko Kallio has posted (easily found in this thread.
As the monster round nears, I'l likely be adding to these lists of advice and answering questions, but until then read up! Good luck everyone!
The reason I asked was that I'm putting together the Player's Guide, and while I have a big list of stuff that I think would work well, I wanted to see if the community had any ideas or thoughts that I might have overlooked—a likely certainty. As we make more and more material, it gets somewhat difficult to highlight the best options without missing others.