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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.
One thing that I like to do to give characters more personality is to give them quirks instead of full-on personality features. For example, perhaps your wrathful/stoic/honorable/generous dude only eats a certain kind of cuisine (for health or preference or whatever). Maybe he speaks with a slight stutter when he's nervous (or when he's skirting the line of being dishonest). Maybe he's afraid of birds. Maybe he talks in his sleep. Maybe he clears his throat loudly without being aware that he does it. Maybe the guy really likes the color green and buys everything green, and when he can't get something in green, he repaints it. Go for the small details and build those up instead of piling on broad personality types.
I worry less for the isolated and pampered witch than I do for his or her companions. :)
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Who in your mind was cooler, the Visigoths or Ostrogoths?
That's kind of a historical blind spot for me. The Goths I like were the ones kicking it with the Scythian nomads long before the split. If I had to pick one of the two, I'm going to go with the Ostrogoths because they were subjugated by the Huns.
Do a Google image search for torble. It's the first image that shows up. It looks like an ooze is cosplaying as a bug.
She gets really really mad.
Most of the druid weapon thing is likely a legacy thing, just like in older versions of the game clerics were restricted to bludgeoning weapons.
I'm bad at picking favorites, especially with the huge amount of animals we have in the world. I'm pretty fond of most animals. I really like bugs. I used to have cats, but haven't had a pet in about 3-1/2 years.
I've always pronounced it similar to the way that you want to use it, basically dropping (or severely downplaying) the Y sound and going with LEH-mancha.
Science to the rescue! Thanks, Koboldhammer.
Dan Jones wrote:
Were they mentioned in the style guide and example template they provided? I don't remember them from other years' contests.
While I did note style elements in my comments, I didn't ding any submission for things that I didn't expect them to know. Not everyone knows our styles, but some people that have been reading and paying attention for a while have picked up on some of them or they know Chicago or AP or some other style guide that we closely adhere to (Garrett is correct that we hew closely to Chicago in most instances).
I worried that I was being too technical in my comments, but I intended those comments to be helpful for not only the contestants going forward, but for everyone who was interested in the writing, designing, developing, and editing process.
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.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Are the stairs the reason the cart never makes it down here or is Bulmahn the reason?
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).
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
You're totally right. Since we don't have final rules for psychic magic yet, it would be irresponsible for someone to use material from the Occult Adventures playtest. (Though I totally understand the urge to use the shiny new toys.)
However, it would give me a chance to ding people for using the term psionic instead of psychic. It's a new pet peeve of mine. :D
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. :)
I'm told that Mikaze was a writer for the Belkzen book, and that he was contributing a good-aligned orc tribe. Is it possible to play as members of that tribe in Giantslayer?
If the GM and players were down for that I could see it working with a few small changes, but the AP isn't written assuming the PCs are orcs.
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!