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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!
Adam Daigle wrote:
Hey there Past Daigle, Present Daigle here,
You probably posted this and revived the thread too early. Now's a pretty good time, so....
We've done previous Journals that had a different author for each of the six parts, but in those cases it was all following along the same narrative. This time around I wanted to try something a little different.
This time in the Journal, there are six protagonists that are adventuring together, and they are about to raid a giant's lair and it's looking grim. So they decide to tell each other about their greatest giant hunting tale as a way to bolster their courage. So, you get six different stories by six different authors that are somewhat tied together. I hope people like it!
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.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Also i wonder if "Skyborne Keep: A floating cloud castle ruled by a malevolent storm giant, who uses it as a vessel to plunder various merchant ships and trade caravans." from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Castles of the Inner Sea is the same as the one in this adventure... ;-)
From the Office of Expectation Management: It's not Skyborne Keep.
Even though I'm only a judge for the next round, I've still been paying close attention to the contest this year. I read the first 300ish entries that came in (until the huge rush at the end overwhelmed me). I voted a bunch during the item round, but once the Top 32 and alternates were announced I've tried to keep my comments general out of respect to the individual round judges. I'm eager to see what monsters folks make for me!
I agree that the mantis is awesome. I would have probably chosen it instead, but scorpion fit the flavor SO much better.
I am playing a human and could have taken that racial trait (looking back I probably should have), but that wasn't even on my radar at the time I made the character. My human bonus feat went to Vermin Heart, but I haven't used my 1st-level feat that much yet (Spell Focus).
Actually, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness, and Kingmaker all have Journals written by various authors, though you're totally correct, the story in those Journals is the same plot.
This Journal does feature six different stories (by six different authors), but they are linked in a way.
The framing device for all six parts of the Journal is that a group of six adventurers are sharing stories of their greatest adventure the night before they plan to assault a dangerous giant's lair. It's implied that there's a really good chance they might die in the assault and they are sharing their tales to bolster their courage.
I also love bugs of all kinds, which is why I'm playing a druid with a scorpion companion in our Mummy's Mask campaign. The character is still only 3rd level, so her scorpion hasn't really come into her own just yet, but I think I can make it work. Next level the scorpion gets an Intelligence point, and I'm looking forward to it having feats and more tricks.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
The majority of the Adventure Path takes place in the Mindspin Mountains. It only begins in southern Belkzen before working its way into the mountains.
Lou Diamond wrote:
It's only that the ones shown in those pictures happen to be the giants that have that kind of body. Fire giants, stone giants, frost giants, storm giants, cloud giants, and others all have their own different body types. I'd say that stone giants are probably among the leanest of the giants we've depicted.
Fire giants certainly could use bows and crossbows, but they prefer throwing rocks, especially heated ones, when it comes to ranged combat. Then again, individual giants have their own preferences.
When you ask why different groups are working together, are you referring to the illustration shown here in this blog or are you asking about the plot of the Adventure Path? Because the answer will vary depending on that clarification. As for the art, rune giants are known for enslaving other giants and making them do things for them. Also, I wanted to depict a rune giant since they're not really going to be showing up in the Adventure Path since they are so tied to Thassilon. As for the Adventure Path plot, you're going to have to just wait and see. :)
Jensen Toperzer wrote:
I'm just sad because since I'm an Alternate, this means I'm probably not in this round :( I think my map is great, but if everyone else is great... welp.
Only a few alternates have ended up being in the competition. (And as someone who has always fought for the underdog, I love seeing it happen.) Some alternates have gone on to get close to the end and other alternates in the first few years of the competition have gone on to keep doing freelance work (mainly because they were actively seeking it out to begin with).
For example, Russ Taylor (one of our regular freelancers) was an alternate the first (or second, correct me here) year, and he has gone on to contribute to dozens of books since then.
Ha! I actually meant to post something like this once I got into the office this morning, but I totally got wrapped up in work and forgot. Thanks! To add to that...
16. Giantslayer-- Deep green on both
Really? None of the ACG iconics are getting in on this action? It also feels like it's been a while since we've seen Valeros.
While the four iconics used for the art in the adventure are the same throughout an entire AP, I get to use all of the other iconics in art for the articles in each volume. So, you'll still get to see some of the new iconics there as well as Valeros and other older iconics that aren't being used in the AP art. (In fact, I put a rad illustration of Valeros fighting an ettin in the second volume.)
Thanks! I love maps, so I'm as happy as you are that we've raised the bar for the Poster Map Folios. I think the biggest thing is the addition of the illustrated maps by Ben, but we've also been paying a lot of attention to making the other two maps as useful in a game as they are pleasing to look at.
Thanks for the feedback, I'll certainly keep listening. :)
Since I'm not a judge for this round, I cede any official rulings to Owen (Edit: And of course Crystal and Rob who are true professionals and at least one of which has had to work with MY map turnovers), but I do advise looking at any of our products that we have published. To translate dimensions to flipping through a book, 8.5" x 11" is a full page. We typically only print full-page maps, or half-page maps in our books. Full-page maps are typically vertical in shape and have north being the top of the map. There are exceptions to this, but as a practice we try not to deviate from that as often as possible. (For example, we've presented a couple of regions or countries as horizontal, full page maps—such as Numeria or the Worldwound, because of their shape.)
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.