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Efreeti

Anthony Adam's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 2013 Marathon Voter, 2014 Marathon Voter, 2015 Marathon Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,524 posts (2,688 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 4 wishlists. 4 aliases.


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Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Having just completed my first gig for Outland, let me also show how 3PPs can be a great boon. It started something like this...

"We have a product range, xyz and we think you could contribute - would you be interested in a, b or c?"... So I looked at the existing products, thought about a, b or c and then sent back a brief (as in two short paragraphs of email) saying I was quite kean on "b" and my thoughts would be "to take it down this line..."

We had about 4-5 e-mails thrashing out the direction and agreed on the content expected, word count and so forth. So we kind of collaboratively fleshed out the specification of the requirement together in a quite friendly and supportive manner.

Then, again, because I was kind of untried, I sent in a weekly document with my progress thus far, the first couple were looked at and the feedback returned was quite light, sort of "yes, you are on the track we agreed, keep going" sort of thing.

About mid way, I received more detailed feedback on the sections I considered done and ready for review and also received other items, spells and so forth from other designers to assist in choosing which extras would be added to the final product and for me to review them for a close fit to my original concept.

I fixed up the feedback on my work, provided detailed feedback on the extra pieces I had been supplied with. Two more weeks of working closely with my "producer" contact, the document for my side was done.

I am now in that dead zone of waiting (the product is in art acquisition, editing, layouts and so forth) before I can say "I did this!", but for a first piece of work, the amount of guidance and support I received truly showed how every games producer understands what it is like to be that first time contributor, and is usually very willing to give that guidance you might need. Paizo and the larger companies don't have the time for this, so 3PPs are an excellent way to learn the real ropes and hone your craft.

Yes, some of the feedback was on point, some I could argue my case, and some caused the odd section to be redone - but - I took it on the chin and buckled down. Now, I am able to look at my submission and understand why things were changed, why the feedback I received was so important to the product, how they guided my writing to their style and so on.

They have already nailed me down for another one - only this time, there isn't going to be so much hand holding - so it is both satisfying that they want more, but also a little more scary as this submission will be much more of my own imagination and direction. Here's hoping I can get it right.

So, just like GM_Beernorg said above - thanks Paizo, without this competition, I think I would still be dreaming wistfully rather than being a writer and game designer with a product in the works and a new shiny to work on already.

I will pop into Superstar threads once my first actual product is out - and encourage you all to come back and have a look and let me know what you think.

And to all you finalists and fellow dreamers, it can be done, and although it can be painful and long hours, it seems to be a great deal of fun and provides a great sense of achievement too. Well worth the effort. I promise.

And look, be honest now, if this here 52 year old can learn how to do it, I am sure all you young whipper snappers can too! So, put yourself out there. I look forward to playing in your imagination too!

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Christopher and Monica for me, with Kalervo a close third. Gosh darn it, I needed 3 votes not 2! >.<

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Work submitted, signed off and paid for!

Officially a freelancer now :D

I am just finalising a list of thoughts and ideas for another item I have been asked to look at - I must have done something right because the 3PP wants more :)

What this means is that this weekend is my first free weekend for a while, which means I can get back at those maps and start posting again. Better late than never I guess ;)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
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Captain Phoenix wrote:
RonarsCorruption wrote:
I just want to say, as a usability geek, this is one of my favorite threads of this years competition. I really appreciate all the contributions within.

So true. Such a wealth of information. This is what I've been loving about RPGSS, it's a free school for 3PPs and freelancers.

I'm interested to know how an editor runs through a writers work and checks dashes. Find & Replace was mentioned, but is there more to it than that? Does Find & Replace catch all the variations?

Also, with regard to style guides, what other guides are common in the industry? Are there British English style guides that anyone can recommend?

The Oxford one is about the one and only one to refer to - BUT - your best style guide is to look at the products produced by the company you are freelancing for... their style is the style to which you should refer and emulate.

As a new freelancer who is British in origin, I know how painful this can be, but if you work at it, it does start to become second nature.

Most Publishers, 3PP, etc., are US based and for those that aren't, more often than not, the non US ones do follow US styles and spellings for consistency in the market. There are exceptions, but in the main, US is the best starting point to learn well.

In short - the style you want is the style of the product you are writing for. You will often be able to get a company / product style guide once you are commissioned and contracted to a company for work. So always ask, it doesn't hurt.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Kalervo Oikarinen wrote:
Well there's still some pain left to be experienced this year, maybe enough to last a lifetime. :9

Nope, you get to experience a new pain - the freelancer pain - and that is far, far worse :P

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Wow, not long now till the Top 8 are known.

Those lucky souls will never have to face the Superstar pain again! :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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In alphabetical order, I voted

Coryphae
Deeplit
Dread Glutton
Narrick

Had I had a 8 votes, the next 4 would have been...

Dwarf Agaric
GeoMaw
Gloomwasp
Spiroskek

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Monica Marlowe wrote:
I just found out that my father will be having an angiogram on Tuesday at 1pm EST and possibly surgery. So, Tuesday just got a lot more exciting for me and not in a good way.

Hugs from the UK.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Monica Marlowe wrote:
Kalervo Oikarinen wrote:
Jeff Heikkinen wrote:
Chris Shaeffer wrote:

I really don't know how well this round is going to go for me. I'm worried! :|

But hey, let's remember: the worst case scenario for this round is that we lose now and enter again next year older and wiser. Right? :)

Actually, I kind of feel like the worst-case scenario is making the top 8 but not the top 4, because then you can't enter again.
I think I'd prefer top 8 to trying to tempt fate and achieve consecutive four-peat. :)
At this point I would be thrilled with a Top 8 tag and never having the temptation of entering the contest again. I only entered because of temporary mental illness and I fear I would give into the temptation again if I didn't have something binding to prevent me from doing so.

Actually, if you don't make Top 8, what you will have... is me nagging you to enter again! You all nagged at me this year, so turn about is fair play I guess :P

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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I'm hoping for some weird and wonderful - when you imagine creatures living in the ground, away from sunlight for life, you have to imagine what sort of developments mother nature would give them to survive.

In the same way the fish that have surfaced from the depths of the ocean have exoskeletons and their own form of light, sightless eyes, and so on, carrying that through to the underground...

It would make sense that the creatures are blind, maybe seeingthrough other senses, scent, tremor sense, bat like sonar and so on. Those with eyes would certainly take penalties in any light, even torchlight should hurt them, but those using other senses shouldnt be affected by a light source.

Would they be humanoid, hmmm, maybe, but I also envisage elongated and stretched torsos for squeezing through gaps in the walls. Maybe spiked appendages for clinging to sheer rock walls or even cavern ceilings.

Would they all be carnivorous, well, there would be the predator vs prey thing but what about something that exists on fungus and molds, or something that eats minerals from the very rocks in which it lives.

How would they carve their dens/homes/nests - claws or shovel like hands maybe.

In short, for me, the vote winners in this next round will be the original creep me out entries. I want my Nar Voth to be scarier than spending a night with Count Strahd von Zarovich!

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Hey all

As it was discussed quite fervently about compass roses and north, here are some thoughts for you to consider, a lot of this is very personal, but you may find it of use...

Let me start with -

I have no problem with north being always up on the page!

But...

When you draw, for example, a building that is represented in a city map, please ensure the compass rose on the building is at the same and correct orientation for how the building is represented on the city map! Yeah, I peeve on that one >.< - I loves my consistency!

How many of your mountains, caves, and dungeons, all have holes in the south side for entrances? It's like a plague of mining locusts all decided to fly towards the pole, drilling into south facing escarpments and mountain sides during their periods of rest.

Would you believe that after 30 odd years of playing, one of my old timers actually said to the group "dont go to the north side, the entrances are always on the south side!" >.< - I turned my map upside down at the point! :P - One of those days I was awake and thinking on my feet ;)

The other problem with "always north" is the tendency to let it AND the grid lines dictate subconsciously lines of parallelism in the design, e.g. all the corridors are plumb bob straight, angular corners, regimented rows of buildings with perfectly straight roads built on a hill side, etc.

To sum up, "North up" works for gaming purposes as it simplifies everything into an expected norm, the phrasing for directions and room descriptions are unified - so as they say, "if it ain't broke..."

I guess what I was trying, really badly, to illustrate was that you should try to avoid letting the compass rose, the grid lines, the north/page orientation force subconscious design decisions into your vision unless you really want it to.

That is where this design scored so well with me, the gridlines and compass rose didn't seem to affect the design to any great extent. Even though north was up, it wasn't a big influence on the design.

One thing to maybe try as an experiment, rough out your maps on plain paper, then transfer the design to graph paper - i.e. remove the horizontal and vertical distractions and see where it leads :)

Hope that ramble clarified what I was trying to say >.<

Now back to typing up more reviews for me... :D

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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It also isn't a very big ask that, if you win and thus write for paizo, you are willing to invest in one or two pdf's - they aren't ubah expensive, and knowing about what you intend to write for is not a bad thing to strive to do.

I have just purchased a couple of core books in pdf for another game settings that has intrigued me to want to try and write for it. So I look at that as research costs.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Rope bridges aren't the only means of getting from tree to tree - what about swings, tarzan like vines and the like?

I would have expected rope bridges on the established centre, but outlying structures might not yet have them, so requiring ladders, lifts, climbing ropes, vines and the like to get to them.

What are the bridges and trees over? Imaging the tress are along two edges of a chasm with some of the central trees being attop a rock pillar - such a thing would give depth to the map, a sense of heights and falling.

Alternatively, you could have a cut away showing the scale of the tree, how tall they are, how high the rope bridging is, how far the pcs could fall.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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8 out of 8 for me too - I must FINALLY be grasping this here superstar thang! ;)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Feros wrote:

Hmmm...I wonder if we commentators can work together to make sure each commentary mentions a fatal flaw in every map...but not explain specifically what the fatal flaw actually is until after the voting is complete.

I wonder how that would affect the Top 32's sanity levels? An interesting sociological experiment is born! ;)

Or pointing out the fatal flaws now with just enough time left for a despairing wail! ... something like this maybe?

*evil grin*

Titulus in omnibus debuit convertere in chartis.

*really big evil grin* as they all rush to google translate...

Don't spoil it now! ;)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Just touching base with this years Top 32 - I know most of you are waiting for your Template Fu map reviews and I will be posting more shortly.

I am very busy right now, but hope to post some more by the end of the week. Please bear with me. Those reviews are coming, on the slow train... >.<

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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I see the Bestiary 5 cover now... introducing the new mythic titan called... "The Awesomer" :P

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Ok, I doubt if revealing more exit polls will affect voting much now, so here are my 8 (in no particular order)...

Kalervo Oikarinen — Ancient Cyclops Stronghold in the Icerime Peaks
Gabriel Almer — Caverns of Steam, Near Dwimovel (Darklands, Sekamina)
Christopher Wasko — The Drowning Temple
Monica Marlowe — Firebrand's Redoubt: Stronghold of Lady Delbera Axebringer
Jeff Heikkinen — Inside the Glacier
Brian Fruzen — Salvation's End
Scott LaBarge — Shadde-Quah Shoanti Cliff Dwelling. Calphiak Mountains
Charlie Bell — Smokemount Hold


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OK, the "A creature's essence" article I submitted has a single creature in the article where I stepped through the process of designing the essence of the creature.

The source of the design arose from having to do the dad thing many times for checking there is no "monster under the bed" for my daughter.

I hope the spin I took is novel enough but I am now checking out that site due to heightened paranoia! >.<

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Grimtooth's Traps kickstarter was massively successfully funded - it won't be long before sooooo many traps and puzzles are available to throw at our PCs ;)

But as Grimtooth would say, "There will never be enough puzzles or traps!" :D

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Congratulations on completing and submitting your map on such a tight time-scale. Very well done, you should take pride in that achievement!

Disclaimer: The review of your entry that follows is from a non-official source, I have no formal part of RPG Superstar, and the review thoughts are mine alone and so should be considered carefully bearing this in mind. You can choose to digest or not each part as it seems of best value to yourself.

Note for all: I am spending at least an hour per map in order to be as extensive and thorough as I can, so with other time demands and the like, you will only be getting one or two reviews a day. Sorry, but real life and freelancing work does take precedence when they crop up.

I have already viewed all the maps and chosen my votes, so I am just typing up my notes in more human readable form - If voting closes before I get to your feedback, don't fret that you missed my vote :)

I am starting with map reviews this year while I brush up my knowledge of the different item types used for round 1. So let me begin...

Template
Yes, there is one, even for maps - it is the size, the compass rose, scale bars for each part of the map drawn at different scales, a key box describing the map elements, the map name on the map. The clarity of line and text also pays a part on this. Here is how you did...

Name: Present, functional, I kind of expect a fortress of some type and your map meets that expectation. I would be tempted to keep the title in the key and increase the font size, but the cartographer will likely sort that out, the important thing is it is present!

Size: Looks to be good, I like the quartering to provide 3 levels and a key area.

Compass Rose: Check - the orientation of each map is the same, so just the one needed.

Scale Bar: Scale is present - all maps drawn to the same scale - except the insert, which could have had its own scale - this is also where you could have labelled the mountain name too!

Key: Present, however split across two quarters, I feel you could have fit things into the one area, but the two key parts are beside each other in the layout, so no real harm done.

Golarion Tie-In
Everyone has their take on Golarion, guided by the products and supplements. This therefore is a scoring based on how I felt you had tied the Golarion world to your map, it's flavor, the feel of the map, is it generic or obviously. This is therefore a very personal view and evaluation of your entry and should be considered as such. Onwards my brave contestant...

Ok, originally, I struggled to find solid Golarion links, but I discovered with my last searches that Smokemount Hold is referenced in Pathfinder Society Scenario #4-11: The disappeared. This kind of limits the audience to society players recognizing the Golarion tie in - so what else can I find? Hmmm, it's set in a dormant shield volcano, but where? Do I have to get the PFS scenario to find that out?

They key generally seems to save maps for Golarion tie in, so looking there... ah-ha a temple to Torag, the father of creation. That does tie the map a bit more closely with Golarion. So the link is there but only just.

As a general note for all, when designing your area, try to make it known WHERE the encounter area lies in relation to the world at large. This will allow the cartographer to check the style of buildings in that part of the world to maintain feature and style consistency when rendering the map professionally.

Possible Areas of Improvement
Again, this is a personal evaluation of what, if anything, I think would improve the map and suggestions on things you could have done differently or added to the map. These are totally personal suggestions, but you might find something useful to consider herein...

I would have preferred to see a small insert showing where in Golarion this is located, especially as it was not easy to find in the core books and searching the prd and wikis.

My personal take on Golarion dwarves is their love of their mother mountain, so when I look at your map, it hits me just how square and perfect each room is - I would have been tempted, especially in the temple area to have at least one wall be a natural mountain surface, jagged, uneven and unspoilt to allow my dwarves to appreciate the mountain that provides their home. Purely personal, so you can ignore this if you like :)

One of the interesting things about this map is that it is part exposed to the outside world and housed in a mountain - which means any assault is likely to be frontal only ( unless a mine shaft/tunnel breaks into the darklands of course :) )

But looking around such a structure, where some rooms are above or below other rooms, it strikes me that there could have been some hidden passageways, chutes and trap doors to provide fast movement between the levels without getting stuck at the potential main choke point - the central stairs. A few chutes and a couple of hidden stairwells would help provide more options during an invasion type scenario - and most dwarves building structures like this will plan for retreat and regroup points and passageways.

You fell into the old trap of compass rose aligns with grid lines - it doesn't have to, it could have been drawn leaning slightly to the left or right - you also fell into the trap of builders only able to build walls along the compass rose axes. Everything is way too square on and very old school. Old school isn't a bad thing but I would have loved to see more Utilization of natural passageways, fault lines and caverns - and so showing a more natural growth and build of the internals of the hold. There is only one such area in the lower level, and I feel that there could have been more. Such diversity of rooms avoid "another x by y room with door in the middle" blandness.

Some of the rooms, for me, seem to have a too small size for the need for a double door - look at area 18, there are six 15 x 20 rooms, all having double doors - being store rooms, I can understand the need for larger item storage, but for every storeroom seems a little over the top. Areas 20-23 are all double doored, but checking their use, I wouldn't have expected that. Double doors should be saved for the really important rooms and one or two store rooms for housing larger stores, so you could have reduced on these a little, and so provide some variety in your room design. Taking it a step further, what about archways "three doors" wide on a single storeroom - not all rooms need a door ;)

The insert helps with vertical appreciation but there is one thing to watch. If you look at the upper level, it goes back into the mountain further than the other two levels, yet the insert shows the ends of the three levels in alignment - as the difference is around 5 feet, you get away with it for the insert scale but do be aware and careful of that when drawing your elevation / cut away inserts.

Finally, it is set in a mountain, some other interest and potential gaming options could have been made by showing unexplored/undiscovered caverns and passageways where you have solid filled with grey, maybe even rendering a rock strata effect to indicate the rock types.

Summary
I summarise my reactions to your submission here, stating if you are a definite vote winner, a potential vote winner or not. I am not
"scoring" the entries this year as I always struggle to maintain consistency in scoring, so I am now trying a more "gut instinct" summary. Here goes...

I have a Golarion tie-in using the temple, but overall the tie-in seems a little on the light side for me. A simple small world insert showing location (or naming the mountain) would have resolved this when coupled with the temple link already provided.

I like that we have three levels, but feel the opportunity for some fast chutes and level changing was missed. The whole feels consistent and defend-able, and offers some interesting encounter areas.

On the whole, I love my dwarven strongholds. The heating provided from a central volcanic shaft is nice and using melted snow as a water source is great. Yeah, this one has definitely made my "want to vote for" list. Well done.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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I'll post my 8 once voting has closed so that I don't affect anyone else :)

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As a long term contestant who hasn't made even Alternate, I can confirm that you can break into the industry by building a board presence, learning and showing a work ethic and willingness to learn that encourages 3PP to give you the opportunities you need.

Once you get that opportunity, by working hard and trying your best to impress, more opportunities will follow.

I have this week completed the first draft of my first paid gig and the 3pp has already approached me for more work! So it is possible to become a freelancer without even placing in this competition.

The fact you made alternate gives you a boost, so make those approaches for work, write for Wayfinder, for PF Society scenarios open call, build your portfolio of example work.

You are off to a good start, each and every one of you, alternate and Top 32, but now the ball is in your court as to whether you pursue further or not.

The ball wont come to you, you have to chase it!

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Monica Marlowe wrote:
Chris Shaeffer wrote:

Pretty sure "pit crew" was only just coined for this conversation. Yeah, it's common to have just a few people that can give you feedback, or that you can bounce ideas off of while brainstorming your entries.

I pretty much go it solo most of the time, but every once in a while I'll show my non-nerd friends what I made to see if they understand it. A lot of gamers are casual, so if a layperson can understand it then most players can too.

EDIT: In other news, I've just noticed how much it bothers me that superstar tags next to your name are listed in reverse chronological order, but voter tags go the other way around. :/

#firstworldproblems?

Anthony Adams coined it this year and it did stick. In the past we just called them our "proofreaders," "trusted friend," or in my case "wife."

Ack! I think I also got tagged for "cull" as well! >.<

I must stop naming things or I will lose my title as the king of bad naming! >.<

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Phil Greeley/Rochandil Calenlad wrote:
GM_Solspiral wrote:

@ Phil

Quote:
was the "poor concept"? Basing it on the old saying?
Yep that and it straddles the line of wondrous item which straddles the line of being DQed.

Hey, thanks again. But I'm still a little confused as to what makes it bad by basing it on an old saying. I don't want to put words in your mouth, so I'll just look forward to your reply.

Quote:
know why/how you say backstory hurts you
Quote:
Doesn't hurt me a bit

Heh. Yeah, I thought of rewording that... Good to know the proper approach to backstory.

Cheers,
Phil

I can help with one of the aspects of using old sayings - that is - old sayings are used a lot - i.e. they are overused, common, not new and exciting... - or, using the games design/competition term, they are meme.

One example I can think of is mithral - a dwarven super shiny metal - but very over used and very meme. Does it add anything to an item when it is used and results in a reaction of "yawn"? Mithral also is supposed to be very rare and that makes it special, so if we have lots of mithral items, the rareness is called into question and the value and "ohhh shiny" reduces proportionately.

Meme is bad because it means there little to nothing new or novel about what is being used for inspiration. It means an overused solution has been employed.

Going back to the mithral - lets say it was being used to convey a mirror like sheen - now change mithral to being coated in a semi liquid mercury that flexes, moves and swirls with your body - now the imagery is still a mirror like imagery, but it is no longer meme.

(I hope that's a good example >.<, it should be good enough to convey the idea I think)

I hope that makes sense as I am brain dumping with a very tired brain now as I catch up on all the threads.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Lorathorn wrote:
Raynulf wrote:

Page 9 items!

Listen, I appreciate that you are taking the time to comment on my item and all, but your review could only be seen as abusive, and not at all constructive.

I'm the first one to call myself out on it; mine was a very bad item. Despite that, the point of this thread is not to lambaste someone for trying. I very pointedly do not appreciate that sort of treatment.

Although some reviews are quite terse and harsh, the thing we all need to do is to try to learn from them.

Taking my own feedback, my description was called "turgid" - i.e "overdone and bombastic". Ouch.

Yeah, that hurts, but stepping back, what am I being told?

I am being told that I am taking the description and visuals too far, I swung like a pendulum from not enough to too much.

To work in any entertainment industry, you have reviewers who will like your work despite its flaws and you will have reviewers on the opposite end of the spectrum. In the real world, past the friendly competition, you will encounter reviews of submissions that will make you question your abilities, so you need to take it on the chin, get back on the bicycle and try again.

Try taking a look at the feedback that upset you - was it because it targeted areas that you thought weren't so bad as the areas you knew were not so good? What is it trying to tell you as a designer?

I know taking criticism is hard, especially if you think it is not constructive, but the thing is... it is still criticism from which you (and all of us reading it and your item) can learn from.

I don't think it was directed at you, the reviewers in here try to target the item design only.


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Submission 1 of 3 Sent!

I can relax a little bit now while my muse inspires the next one...

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

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Petty Alchemy wrote:
I didn't have a single favorite, but there's one item that hasn't gotten any mention yet but surely deserves it. The Collapsible Coined Carapace was excellent for introducing your flavor, rather than forcing its own on your game. I forgave it the forced alliteration.

It probably took a lot of voting ding-age for the alliteration in the name - quite a few people hate that.

I made that same mistake in an item name around 4 years ago :)

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Wow, thanks Owen!

@Thomas... And so it begins :P

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Mark Seifter wrote:
JJ Jordan wrote:

Re "once per combat": If it's bad design, then it made its way into the APG's cavalier class. I think that opens things up for potential superstar use and shouldn't be discounted just for using it. That said, the items that use it probably have to pack some major mojo. But I guess that is a given for any item.

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
But did you notice those are not magic items? An encounter could be an RP scene, trap, haunt, or etc. Thus a limit usage is needed.

Re "once per encounter": Parting Shot is clearly meant for a combat. For Anthony's item I would say it's probably meant for combat as well, but if a trap drops some fire on you then why not let them half the damage and split off into a simulacrum?

Anyway, it's interesting to see what's a taboo mechanics usage despite published precedent. Definitely an interesting difficulty curve in this competition.

Unfortunately, there's published precedent for a lot of things that aren't good design. That's one reason why the "maybe for a book of items, but not Superstar" comment exists.

Also one of the reasons I decided to share - a prime example that even checking what has gone before is no safety net :)

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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

These were just my thoughts during voting:

Energizing Breastplate - Bad, bad Template Fu! You listed most of the faults. Should be uses/day not encounter. Inadequete mechanics. Add simulacrum to requirements. Underpriced.

The per encounter was one I didn't pull out because I found these in the PRD! (bolding is mine)

Parting Shot (combat)
“Benefit: Once per encounter, when using the withdraw action”

Mythic Adventures Glossary…
“A mythic character might be rewarded with a boon several times in a single session, but no more than once per encounter

Grin, so that one was from a precedent - evil grin.

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Monica Marlowe wrote:
I am a little crushed, it was something I was actually looking forward to,

That's why I am beavering away and only checking the thread once every 3-4 hours right now.

I know that every year the finalists look forward to them so I am going to try my hardest for you all to get all done, brushed up and happy to have a go.

The 3pp work, as it's my first, is a brilliant learning experience - I have discovered even when you are given 4k words, you can start to run out really, really quickly >.<

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varathiel wrote:

...

I felt good about it going in and I did see some people mentioning items that did ranged drags and how they should use Pull instead. My argument to that is that the Pull universal monster ability is not mutable like a combat maneuver. It is always a set distance ...

Don't forget, the whole point of magical items is that they bend or break rules in small ways. So you could have used Pull instead of drag and it would have been looked at as a variance brought about by the magical effect of the item.

That's part of the trick of Superstar, doing something small and unexpected.

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Hi all

You may be wondering why Template Fu is quiet this year.

I can confirm that any reviews I normally do will not be happening as did in previous years.

The main reasons are two fold, and you deserve to know as some of you are waiting for them to start.

The two main reasons are...

a) I had a "flexible" schedule with a 3pp based on whether I progressed or not in the competition this year. I was culled, so I am concentrating on the 3pp work as priority - taking much of my spare time at the moment.

b) Having been culled, I realize that I have much to learn about magical items of the types for round 1 this year, and so I do not feel qualified to review on the entries as I have in previous years. I want to spend some study time before commenting so that I am happy that I will not be leading people astray in things I say.

So sorry, no template fu reviews this year - I may return in a month or two and retrospectively work through them, but for now, I am very busy with 3pp work.

I hope you understand.

Anthony.

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There is no reason you cant have a go at round 2, post it on drop box of google shares and linkify in a what I would have submitted thread.

That often happens with the latter rounds each year and it is good practice for when you do make top 32. :)

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Go on then 11 thru 32 are mine!

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GM_Solspiral wrote:
Round 2 I see you shiver in antici...

* this week discovered how awful his drawing skill set really is >.< *

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*wonders if the Paizo IT guys come to hate the count down as they frantically try to get everything ready in time*

;)

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I see an old school judges guild style map book being suggested here now >.<

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Lol, Owen, you have a mile wide cruel streak camouflaged as kindness ;)

You have just doubled my hope of being in Top 32 and not being culled from 0.01% confidence to 0.02% confidence.

That is pure evil, and I hope that subtle evilness is present whenever you run your game! ;)

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I'm sure you can design an elven city map with trees, bushes, tree houses, paddocks and streams that when observed from a bird's eye view, the whole layout would look like an aspergillum in full bloom. :P

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Any suggestions on a free / shareware tool that can take images from scanners / camera and downscale the dpi? Does anyone know what 150 dpi is in terms of pixel resolution?

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They have to settle on them before reveal day to give ther server peeps time to set up the reveal ;)

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Lady Firedove wrote:

You want to see some crazy map rules?

Check this out. :)

Uh-Oh, I tried drawing on this gold leaf sheet but the crayon keeps getting covered in the stuff leaving great holes behind! :P

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That's an interesting point Andrew - I am now wondering how many items I "thought" might have been a conversion were simply a result of that "conditioning".

It makes me even happier to think I tried to treat all items equally by ignoring any wondrous item aspects in the design I perceived to be present.

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Azouth wrote:
The only ones I down voted for being a wondrous items were the ones that had it as a crafting requirement.

That would be converting the idea badly ;)

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I actually tried not to second guess whether entries were converted wondrous items. My reasoning was that some wondrous items might be being shoe horned into a make do wondrous item type, I.E., the idea behind the converted wondrous item might work better as another more appropriate item type.

So in the instances of items I thought were conversions, I felt it was only fair to give them consideration like any other... it may be they had started trying to shoe horn their idea into a wondrous item, only to then be given the opportunity to create the effect in a more appropriate item type.

So anyone that took that route - there is at least one voter who checked your item properly and determined whether the item choice made MORE sense than being a wondrous item. If it did, then the conversion did not get counted against you in my voting.

There are borderline cases though, for example did all gauntlets start life as a glove? That's not for me to determine, I should and tried to look at the design, the idea, the implementation.

I don't and shouldn't care it was a converted wondrous item unless it was done really badly, what I do care about is the design behind the item irrespective of the base item it ended up being in.

I do worry that comments about "converted wondrous items" actually caused a lot of great designers to lose vote pairs simply because it was perceived that that was the correct thing to do. This is another reason I stopped reading the "I have seen" thread - it was part of my conscious effort to be fair to every single contestant.

Some people may agree with me, some likely will not - but I can say I have a clear conscience and voted every pair based on the design itself and not the source of the idea.


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Yes! I have reached the top of Page 50 of this thread. Catching up again :P

Updated sheet of all requests is here.

Current request count has risen to 2,947!

That should keep the Paizo beastie designers employed for a decade or two! ;)

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mamaursula wrote:
... What will you do with your time!? ...

Me, I believe I was culled, safe and sound in this belief, sooooooo...

I will sit back with my cocktail, and chocolates.
I will sip, munch, and relax, safe in the knowledge I don't have to suffer.
I will watch with glee everyone's fingers bleeding, listen to the sound of frenzied drawing noises.
I will go to sleep hours before the announcement after the amusement dies off...

And then...

I will wake up hours into that 96 hours limit...

And then...

I will be shocked that the "made it" list didn't have every item in it! Gob-smacked that I somehow fluked a top 32 slot (as if, lol)!

And then...

Then I will have to suffer doubly so in penance for my relaxed devil may care gleeful status.

And then...

I will have to go to work knowing that those 88 hours remaining will suddenly become 78 by the time I get home.

And then...

And much wailing and gnashing will follow as smoke streams from the tips of frenzied crayons!

Joking aside, when the muse is with me, I work hard on 3pp work I have to do - which is coming along quite nicely thank you :)

Then when that's done, I will finish up the spit and polish on my Wayfinder submission for #14, the creature feature issue! Then I will start my next submission as we are allowed up to 3 submissions per issue.

At odd times I might eat, and drink and relax. Maybe watch some more Gotham or Grimm, or possibly some Warehouse 13 or Librarians.

And then there is Tuesday night... Pathfinder night.

Yeah, I think I can keep myself gainfully occupied.

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Something to make all those in the same time zone as Paizo smile...

You get the whole 3 days, some of us are asleep for the first 8 hours of that!

And then we lose some time off the end too so that we can enter before collapsing back to sleep again!

I don't know, 3 whole days - such luxury! :P

And Owen promised more spins next year in round 1 - I can see it now -

Entries are now open... you have 4 hours. Go!

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