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RPG Superstar 2013 Marathon Voter, 2014 Dedicated Voter, 2015 Marathon Voter. 725 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

In retrospect, I'd drop the part about attacks affecting both. There's too much adjudication that would have to come into play. Some attacks don't make sense to work like that, even with the weirdness of two players in the same space.

The price was definitely my biggest struggle. During voting I came to feel it was substantially overpriced compared to other items in the contest, though it had felt about right to me when I was comparing it to other rings before submission. I'd probably lower it 20k-ish now.

Of the suggestions I've seen, I like the Tindalos "coming into space from a weird angle" thing, and I'd build the descriptiveness off that. I'd probably fiddle with something like decreased threaten space, and probably do something with decreased reach as well.

The original idea was for a ring that doubled or halved distances. In practice, I found that difficult to make in a way that wasn't super exploitable, but then I thought about this way of warping space instead.

The name is kinda bland, but it was a strategic choice based on the voting situation. I wanted to make it very clear to the quick voting public why you'd want the effect while still having a bit of flavor. My working name was "Ring Of Space Warp", but that seemed a bit too on-the-nose. ;-)

My main thought with a ring is that it should be something that's a constant effect, it shouldn't be something you take on and off for special situations, hence the nice acrobatics boost.

Other ideas I considered-
Polevaulting polearm
Shield that gave extra protection against attacks of opportunity
Shield that worked as a kind of glider
"Charon's oar/staff" An oar-shaped staff that worked with memory erasing effects.
Hammer that could turn opponents to glass
Monkey's Manrikigusari, bonuses to acrobatics, climb, etc.
Ranseur that had longer reach against creatures in flight, with a grapple effect as well.
Arrows that stored attacks. An ally could "attack" the arrow before firing and the dmg would be added to the target when hit.
"ring of medevac" would move ally to adjacent square when healed
Epee Of The Dancing Duelist - I don't actually remember where I was going with this, but it sounds promising.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So my personal favorite item out of all of them was the Movable Rod.

I don't think it's been submitted for critique, so I guess it's inappropriate to comment too much on it, but I thought it was a really clever submission.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Did everyone get their map in by the deadline? Even all 4 of us alternates? Grats us! :-)

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

:-(

You still made the Top 32, Olivier, and congrats on that accomplishment!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Congrats on Top 32-hood!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Allana Sliwinski wrote:
Now I really, really wish I'd had more time to work on my map :( I know I could have done better than this. Ah well, next time. :)

First, congrats!

Second, trust me, I know exactly what you mean!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

When you say growth in digital projectors, are there people projecting published maps on to tabletops and walls during actual gaming sessions? This is a trend I'm not at all aware of, but it's a very cool change if that's what's happening.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's a tradition dating back to the very first year.

It's fun, but it's a tiny sample and not predictive. Just something to do, really.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Traps could be an interesting variation. There may not be a lot of room for crunch-y variety, but the descriptive part could vary widely. I miss the fluffier rounds of earlier RPGSS years.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

*dances limbo in limbo*

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Jeff Heikkinen wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
It is indeed safest to not make any public statements about your work until after voting is over.

Very well.

What about commenting on the other entries, just the way any other person on the boards might? I've had a couple of people tell me in PMs that this is against the rules, but I've gone over the rules and FAQs and I don't see any rule this violates. The e-mail informing me I'd made the top 32 also encouraged getting involved and being part of the community, which is what I'm trying to do with those particular comments. If there's any problem, though, I will happily delete or edit them.

As far as I know, it's not explicitly against the rules, but in past years some voters have said such comments bias them against the contestant, even when the comments are wholly positive. If they're even slightly critical, the dislike increases. Best not to for that reason alone.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

On the topic of voting and top 32 selection by the judges-

As long as the contest uses both voting and relatively free-ranging judges to select the top 32, there's always going to be a little resentment from some of the voting population. People are having their preferences overruled, and in general people don't like that, it's just how people are.

I'm not sure it's a world-ending issue, exactly, but neither do I see it going away.

I love voting, as is obvious by my voter tags. I love seeing nearly all the submissions and evaluating them for myself. But I'm not sure it's serving the purpose it was originally brought in to serve.

Originally the idea was that judges weren't going to have enough time to read all the items. But if there are judges reading all the items with an eye toward rescuing contestants the voters wrongly rated, then are the voters really necessary?

If it were my contest, I'd go one of two ways with it. I'd either make the top 32 voted items in by default and tell the judges they'd have to make very strong cases why any item in that set should be overruled. In other words, I'd make the voter preferences carry much more weight.

Or... I'd eliminate the voting on items and leave it entirely up to the judges. I'd require that at least one or more of them read every item and sort them into a keep folder for all judges to review and rate. In other words, pretty much the old system. That system worked, and it could work again.

It's the hybrid with loosely defined boundaries that causes whatever level of resentment exists.

As I said, I'm not sure there's a deeply serious problem, but it is something that keeps coming up, so maybe it should be looked at more closely.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I disagree rather strongly about whether someone "should" or "should not" need validation to keep at it. People need what they need, and it's different for everyone.

I have no doubt whatsoever that in some cases it can make the difference between someone continuing in a creative endeavor and giving up. I've seen it happen any number of times, with people that went on to become professionals in whatever particular field.

I've been around various creative worlds for most of my life, to a greater or lesser degree. Music, film, writing. I've encountered the idea that 'if you need validation, you aren't going to make it anyway' in each of them, but in my observation I've seen it proved wrong over and over again.

There are some people who are going to make it no matter what. Most people who are going to hit it really big are apparent early on. They have an intense internal drive that's integral to their personality. Those people may not "need" validation (though they quite often crave it intensely).

But the business isn't just superstars, there's a lot of rank and file pros that make the industry work. And some of those people actually do benefit from validation. It really can be the difference in making it or giving up. I've seen it over and over.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The top 100 list helped me last year.

In the three years of player voting, my progression has gone like this -

2013: Didn't get culled.
2014: Made top 100
2015: Alternate

That top 100 was important to me, it let me know I'd entered something the voters liked and that I should keep trying. I'd enter anyway, but I was more motivated to work at it this year by knowing I'd come close last year.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

I considered 4 ideas for location-level maps. Three of those ideas were similar to what others submitted, though the submitted ones are better than what I was thinking. The 4th is the one I used. Funny how that works.

I also had a couple of overland scale concepts, but couldn't come up with anything I thought could work as *just* a map with no descriptions.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Voting complete. I have to say of all the years of this contest, this was the easiest 2nd round voting has ever been.

With the maps, it's pretty clear which ones stand out for me. With 32 monsters there's a ton to digest, and with something like 32 nations or organizations, the qualities to judge can be widely variable.

And I think this is just a really tough round, which allows for design chops to make themselves apparent.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Yes, curious if us Alternates are allowed to comment on the maps at this point.

Once voting is open, it would be hard to replace anyone since a replacement entry would have less time to earn votes.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

The hardest part will be when someone misinterprets something about your entry and it becomes the common wisdom. It happens. But you can't correct them or you'll be DQed. Just let it go, and stay strong! Better to let that happen than DQ yourself.

Always remember the comments don't indicate much about how the actual voting is going. It's just a handful of people talking, and there are thousands of voters not saying a word.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scott LaBarge wrote:
And a question about Round 2: Once our maps are up and public, are we allowed to talk about them, explain what we were thinking, etc.? Or is it like Round 1 and we have to maintain radio silence about our own item? I would think that since everyone knows whose is whose, there shouldn't be any problem in speaking up (judiciously), right?

The rules prohibit you talking about your own entry at all until voting has ended. Don't say anything about it or you'll be disqualified. Yes, this really happens.

The rules allow discussion of other entries, but voters frown on it pretty strongly. I'd say it's not a risk worth taking, but it's not even a risk - talking about other entries will hurt you, even if you're favorable. Don't do it.

Idle chatter amongst other contestants in here is fine, but don't talk about the entries.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Jensen Toperzer wrote:
I'm half hoping I make it in, but half not because it probably meams some poor soul missed the deadline :(

I thought everyone made the deadline, but when I think about it I don't know where I got that idea.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Still enjoying the comfy chairs in the Alternate Courtyard.

Wait, did you say cocoa?

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

GM_Solspiral wrote:
dana huber wrote:

Back on the topic of items we liked:

I believe it was the Hungering Rod? The one that was a bunch of irregular bronze or brass cubes welded together. The imagery really struck with me, and I thought that what it did was cool.

my inner middle schooler had trouble not snickering at the name

I am not sympathetic to this.

Signed, person named "Rod".

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

When I said [redacted], I really meant "teddy bear picnic".

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Just wanted to say this was in my top two items during voting. Mechanical issues aside, the imagery and the thematic coherence are really impressive!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

I'm definitely going to be looking at maps with a new respect. And all the 2nd round entries too!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

I just want to jump in and say in some ways I get where you're coming from.

Every year we've voted, I've seen the top 32 and wondered if my tastes aligned with either the voters or the judges.

But it's a feeling that passes, at least for me. I think it's mostly a result of having seen nearly all the items and having become attached to them over weeks of voting. I develop a bias about them.

After a bit, though, I can go back and see what the judges were reacting to. It just takes some time to break out of my bias as a voter.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I plan to comment on every item in the thread now that I have my map entry done.

There sure are a lot of them! Wheeeee!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I plan to comment on every item in the thread now that I have my map entry done.

There sure are a lot of them! Wheeeee!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Whew! Made it in under the deadline.

I need to make a lot more maps, I think.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't know if you guys noticed, but it's really hard to get across a lot of cool ideas with a map and a key and no description.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Choice made. Now it's just the work of making it into pixels.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Heck, I'm still torn between two ideas.

Whee, last minute!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

GM_Solspiral wrote:


35) Tunnel Fighter's Ring
The Ugly: Ok here's the hammer, that description is a solid eye roller. 2 strands are not hard to keep up with... I get where you were going with it but I would have beat you up on it if you were in my pit crew.

Ha! Fair enough point! I kinda cheated on the visuals all around, really. I should have aimed more at weirdness of how the effect would actually look if you were witnessing it. One of the judges mentioned something about coming into space from "an angle", ala Hounds of Tindalos, and that's an idea that probably could have ramped up both the description and the effect itself.

Thanks for your comments, and glad you liked the idea of it!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Sean McGowan wrote:

Three contenders for my favorite item (none of which made the top 32):

moveable rod - while arguably derivative of a pre-existing item (which may have cost it votes), I think this does a great job of finding its own niche while still being an incredibly versatile item that players get to come up with their own uses for. (Much like its inspiration, the immovable rod. The fact that it does the parent item justice is part of why I always upvoted this.)

Agreed. This was my favorite item for exactly that reason. It played off an absolute classic of an item and did it in a way that perfectly complemented the original. At the same time, it's very much its own item. A very, very difficult task to pull of, and it did it!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

3 people marked this as a favorite.

This would go a lot faster if I could actually draw.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Monica Marlowe wrote:
Jeff Hazuka wrote:

I guess alternates sit at the kids' table?

I am okay with this. I like to think of myself as "Top 36 Material."

I believe it was last year that the Alternates devised their own "Annex" or something equally self-deprecating, they were a lot of fun. I think you should stay here though :-)

We're gonna come in for the buffet, don't worry!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Settling into the Alternate's Courtyard. Comfy chairs out here.

I'm Rodney, a life-long gamer and long time RPGSSer. I've entered a bunch of years and followed along every year. There's a stack of RPG rule books that's literally taller than me sitting against the wall in my apartment, I can't help my collecting addiction. I've played most genres, but my favorites are high fantasy and space opera.

Los Angeles has been my home for almost 15 years, and professionally I'm a freelance computer programmer. On the side I do some writing and some filmmaking.

Mostly I'm just happy to be here! And wondering how the heck I'm gonna make a map.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

They loaded for me from Owen's link above. There's some FAQ stuff at the top, then the full rules a bit further down.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

As an alternate, do I need to actually submit a map (I don't think I have a link for that), or have one ready just in case?

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Thanks, everyone. I'm very happy to have been selected as an alternate!

I realized (and regretted!) most of the formatting errors during the voting period, and I appreciate the suggestions on how to punch it up to Superstar level. I considered a blur-like effect, but felt that made it too complicated. The idea of threatening half as many spaces is intriguing, to comment on one of several suggestions.

I worried most about the pricing, to be honest. I more or less abandoned the formula and went more on comparison to existing rings. I'm especially interested in thoughts on how that worked out.

Thanks again for selecting this as an alternate!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

I'm an alternate, woo! Nice place ya got here.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh my gosh. I'm an alternate!

I'm truly surprised. And quite happy!

:-)

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

omgomgomgomgomgomgomg!

Good luck, all! :-)

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Side bet- how many repeat 32ers in this year's top 32?

My guess is 3.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

I'm just getting my fingers limbered up for all the commenting on the top 32. Grats to you all, whoever you may be!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

You may only use an 8x8 grid on your map.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

I bet they've already settled on the top 32 and are just amused with our tension now. :-)

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

They should release a new twist during each day between the start and the end of the round map. Keep the contestants on their toes.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I honestly have no expectation of making Top 32. I might make top 100, which would be nice, but I don't have any anxiety about it.

So all I'm looking forward to now is to see how many of my favorites did make the Top 32! Woo!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Clouds Without Water

Create a nation of intelligent blinkdogs.

(still one of my favorite moments)

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