|Daniel Rust RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8|
Hey! Thanks for the invite. Count me in.
I had just finished writing up my PC when it was eaten by the boards (serves me right for not drafting it in word first).
However, it looks like a sorcerer might not be the best fit for the rest of the group. I'll adapt my concept and get them up in the next 24 hours. Then, I'll be good to go.
Hey there London crew.
Just thought I'd show some solidarity. There are quite a few London gamers out there, but interest seems to come in waves. There are a few organised clubs if you're looking for a game or a new player. However, I've seen people swamped with requests at certain times and others ignored for months.
I started running a group through Dragons on the Hill three and a half years ago and I had a constant stream of new players in the two years I ran it from the pub. We've been gaming in North London for a while but my team should be returning to their central London venue next week. I'm looking forward to being back in a room full of different gaming groups. It's such a different atmosphere from running at home.
Fun fact: The British thought that the platypus body sent back to England was a hoax. They thought someone had stitched together a duck and a beaver.
A lot of us Brits still consider the platypus to be a fraud. In fact, I have my doubts over many of these antipodean beasties.
The dwarven troll-slayer from warhammer could work as an example of someone multi-classing into barbarian.
They were happily going about their dwarfy business - caravan guard, merchant, clanlord, whatever - when some terrible event happened that they feel responsible for. They cannot live with the shame so they shave their hair into a mohican and go off in search of certain death by throwing themselves in a wild frenzy into fights with the biggest monsters they can find.
Hey presto, instant barbarian.
My personal view is that constraints are a big spur to creativity. If I'm given a set of criteria and told to make something cool that fits them, I find that a much more invigorating challenge than being given a blank canvas.
To be interesting, you can't go for the obvious. If you design a ranger archetype because it's the class that fits the setting best, well, it better be a really interesting take on a ranger because that's what everyone was thinking already. I think that is part of the test this round. Can you deliver something that no one else would have thought of?
This is a hobby/industry filled with creative people. It's why we give our precious time to it. So, while a well written archetype that fits a classic theme is good to have (Lonesome Rider), it's the interesting and unusual ideas that are worth their weight in gold (Huckster). Avoiding the trap of falling into stereotypes is a key part of this contest and setting restrictions in this way tests that.
I'll throw in my congratulations here too. There was some great work in that round and those who didn't make can feel unlucky they came across such a high standard. I think most of you would have had a decent shot any other year. Good job all round.
It really hots up now. The monster round is a real test of creativity, hard math and technical polish. Template Fu could hit this round hard.
Can't wait to see what you all come up with. Good luck!
The eight I voted for were:
I thought it was a very strong round. It's a tough challenge. Some nailed the mechanics, others were strong on flavour, some managed both. There were others I would have liked to have voted for, but I ran out of votes.
I had nine definites and a big list of maybes by the time I'd gone through them all. Outsea Delver was the one definite that missed out at the last - sorry Michael!
Congratulations Jobe on making the Top 32!
This is simple but effective. The grapple quality on an arrow is neat and fits the theme nicely. You can see it working for drow slavers in particular. Climbing the spider silk is also very nice. This is for playing the game, not for esoteric hypothetical situations which almost never come up. This quiver will see use and will be super cool every time.
The description of the quiver gripping on to its wearer is the stand out line for me though. That is gross and creepy and I want to see a player's face when that happens for the first time. Disgusting. Great job!
Congratulations Mark on making the Top 32!
This is great. Beautifully written and to a very tight theme. The visuals are very nice.
I really like the way you've played with channel energy, especially the potential for sabotaging one's opponents channels. That is a very unusual mechanic and an effective one.
I agree that it may be underpriced, but that's not a massive problem.
All in all, this is definitely one of my favourites. Well done!
Congratulations Clay on making the Top 32!
I have to say I was underwhelmed with the cloak until I reached the skin shedding. Now that is a superb idea. Very creative, perfectly fits the theme of the item and adds a very interesting angle to game play. Very nice work.
The other stuff is good but not great, although the imagery is very nice. Attention to detail on the template let you down a bit too, although that's not a deal breaker.
That cloak-shedding though. That's a real winner. Well done!
Congratulations Joseph on making the Top 32!
I'll agree with the consensus that this is weird but cool. The fractured mirror creating 100s of reflections that come to life is a really creepy idea. It's comical yet horrific which is always a great combination.
The uses for the mirror are myriad (appropriately) and I can see players having great fun if they got their hands on one of these. That's the most important thing. I'm sure it would work at the table too. It may seem complicated (and I think you've made it sound complicated) but at heart it's a straightforward mechanic.
There are a number of technical things which don't quite add up (magic items shrink but weapons don't. What about magic weapons? If you're at 0 hit points you would be stable anyway) but you can be forgiven for that.
It's gonzo but very cool - great job!
Congratulations Christopher, on making the Top 32!
I've always been interested in ways to make Clerics feel more tied to their gods and less generic. I was a big fan of the old concept of spheres in second edition (when the idea of game balance was very different to now) and the generic Cleric spell list does little for me in that regard. So anything that plays to that desire to have Clerics really embody their patron's concerns is going to do well with me.
I really like the idea of swapping out domain powers but it feels too powerful to me. Maybe I need to check out the durations of powers, as limiting it to one round may be enough of a check, but instinctively it allows too much diversity of action. However, I don't think it's really overpowered so I'm not going to look at it too harshly.
There's a good idea here, in an area I like, so I'm interested to see what else you do. Good luck!
Congratulations Isaac on making the Top 32!
You've provided a very nicely written item here - good flavour and clear mechanics make for a great combination.
Some issues have been noted previously but I like that it's designed to allow low-level PCs to get an edge over incorporeal monsters. That's not something we've really seen before and it opens up new areas of play - inexperienced characters using every resource they have to combat spectral undead. A wet behind the ears party getting loaded up with Ethersnare Dust and setting off to brave a haunted crypt, wondering always if the dust will be enough to protect them, is a very nice concept.
Contrary to Wolfgang's thoughts on the matter, it's niche items that set off the most creative ideas for me. Something like this makes me want to come up with interesting ways to work it into a plot (as a GM) or a combat tactic (as a player). That's exactly what I want out of a superstar item. Well done!
Welcome back to the Top 32 Chris!
It's great to see you back here.
These are brilliant. One of, if not the best item this year.
The name is lovely, the writing is evocative and the uses of the item are clear and thought provoking. There are some many things you can do with these gloves. Alright, they're not the most useful item you could acquire but the most useful ones are often the most boring.
This is just fun, fun, fun.
Congratulations Landon on making the Top 32!
It's good to see a representative for the Brits make it through.
Firstly, excellent use of the word binnacle. It's not used enough!
There's some good atmosphere going on here. I love a good ghost ship. Ship of Horrors is one of my all time favourite modules, so this works well for me. I'm not sure about the Wayfinder as a driving force. I can see the attraction of using an iconic Pathfinder navigation tool, but the atmosphere of the PFS doesn't sit neatly with the ghost ship. I would have preferred something that had more of a horror feel to it, rather than high adventure.
Still, I like the combination of powers and I can see it making a dramatic appearance in a game.
Just thought I'd pop in to say congratulations to you all!
I like what you've done with the place. Ostentatious. Not like in my day. (Is that Hodge Podge? Who let him back in?)
I'm a bit late to the party, but I'm working on reviewing all your work to date. I like what I've seen so far. You're some talented people.
Good luck in the voting!
Congratulations Scott on making it to the Top 32 again!
It's the second paragraph that does it for me. The first paragraph is just a bunch of abilities that don't really stand out for me. Why would it grant a bonus to an eidolon's armour class? It's not bad by any means, it's just not doing a lot for me up to that point.
The leaves though, are superstar. They capture the conflict inherent in the druid class. Using, yet preserving, nature's resources should be a constant struggle for every druid (where do they get those wooden shields from). The daily harvest of the tree tokens is a joyous moment for the druid, yet whenever she uses the power of the crown to protect the natural world, it is diminished and will never return to its former state.
That's beautiful man...
Congratulations Guy on making the Top 32!
I really like this item. Mostly, anyway. The image is bizarre but very evocative and you can immediately see a villainous sewer-king type character traveling around with his rat swarm. Very nice.
I like the water-walking and I love the rats' valiant attempt to save their master if he goes down. That's the image that sticks with me the most and prevents it feeling like a 'bad guys only' item. Great job.
I don't quite get the effect of ignoring 15 feet of difficult terrain on land, though. I can see that the rats are meant to be carrying the master around, but why can they only do 15 feet? Do they get tired?
Tiny nit-pick - The boots are 'often mistaken for large rats when not worn'. By whom? You should be describing them, not the response to them by an indeterminate observer. 'These boots look like large rats when not worn...'
Over all, this is a super entry. Creative, fun and creepy. A great combination. Well done!
Congratulations Rorik, on making the Top 32!
I like your item. It's dramatic and makes combat more interesting, which is one of the things I'm looking for in a magic item of this type.
However, it does have issues in its mechanics. The core idea is clear but I can see disputes at the table over exactly how it works. Specifically calling out GM discretion is a big no-no for me. If you've considered the option of reflections, why not just say yes or no to the glove working in those circumstances? Raising the head of discretion, also brings the thought into players' and gamesmasters' minds for other situations. Could it bank off two surfaces if it was still within the range increment? Not as written, but the player might suggest GM's discretion could apply here too. Suddenly you have a can of worms.
You can bank of stone or metal. What about other hard surfaces? Hardened glass? A wall of force? GM's discretion again?
Also, the second power is five times a day? I don't think I've ever seen that.
All in all, I think it's nice. I would certainly consider using it. It just needs tightening up a bit.
Congratulations Matt on making the Top 32!
I like these. They're fun, creative and flavourful. They play around with a variety of mechanics without losing their tight focus. I love the conversion of falling damage into a bonus for a combat maneuver. I think that is genuinely creative. It's not an obvious mechanic until someone comes up with it - then it makes perfect sense. Very nice work.
I also like the touch of making it a free action if combined with a jump. That's exactly the kind of small, seemingly insignificant rule that encourages unusual tactics and makes combat generally more interesting.
Definitely one of the best items here. Good job!
A good way to avoid the stress during the competition?
Most of the big reveals last year were on game night for me. It was one of the advantages of being 8 hours ahead. If you're immersed in running or playing in a game session, it really gets rid of the tension - you're simply not able to refresh the boards every 10 seconds if you're GMing.
So get gaming on 22nd January!
(Of course, a five star hotel, dinner and a show would work too...)
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
You've got to love Mark Twain:
Cooper's art has some defects. In one place in "Deerslayer," and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115. It breaks the record.
There have been daring people in the world who claimed that Cooper could write English, but they are all dead now.
Good luck everyone. The biggest barrier to winning this competition is not getting that first entry in. Once you've done that, you should be proud of yourself.
Write, re-write and write again, but above all submit. Even if you don't make the top 32, you'll have learned a lot about the process. It took me three years to get in and each year's entry was an improvement on the previous time.
Also, write up your ideas in the format as you go along. Don't wait until you've got a winning idea to get writing. All my entries last year (other than the awful last one) came out of re-writes that eventually bore little resemblance to the original concept. The first idea might stink, but you can probably take something from that write-up into you next draft. Hopefully it will evolve into something great.
I'll go for 'brethren'. It is rare though, isn't it? I hadn't noticed that before.
EDIT: NInja'd (or should it really be ninjed?) by a full three minutes and I only wrote three short sentences. How'd that happen?
This isn't RPG related, but any discussion on the mis-use of the word literally needs a nod in the direction of English football pundit (Association Football, that is) Jamie Redknapp.
He is legendary over here for his continual misunderstanding of the word. Some of his best are collected here:
Good point RC. However, that Elixir was mine and I remember you speaking very kindly of it before. Think of the Ampulla as a first draft of the idea. Before I'd tidied up, as Curaigh and Anthony pointed out.
It's interesting though. Quite a few new rules were developed by items last year - wordspells, haunts, spellblights... Are they easier or harder topics to delve into now? I know I'd avoid them. Performance Combat would be my choice. Come up with something innovative around that and you'll be a step ahead.
I remember this game, but now I can respond immediately! ;)
It's the first time I've properly formatted a stat block on the boards since March and I'd forgotten how laborious it was. I'd gotten pretty good at it by mid-Feb but it's all gone now. Practice, practice, practice must give you an advantage in this game.
The capitalisation on description/construction is down to the typeface in the books, right? I remember. I thought about and checked the order of the spells and somehow still got it wrong.
However, the comma is not italicised. I wasn't going to fall for that trick!
I can't wait to see how you guys go this year. With the amount of work you've done, I feel sure one of the regulars on here will get through this year.
Wow, you've been busy! I'll have a look through some of the ideas and give my thoughts at some point soon. In the meantime, here's the original version of my Elixir. The concept is the same but the flavour and effects are different. This was almost submitted last time. I'll post some non-wordcasting items next time, but this one was sitting on my hard drive done and formatted.
Ampulla of Veiled Influence
Aura moderate enchantment and illusion; CL 13th
Moist to the touch and smelling of stagnant water, this heavy stone vessel resembles a stylised sculpture of an aboleth, its three eyes staring impassively from the base and its tail curving upwards to form the water chamber. Its inside is coated with a layer of slime that cannot be removed or washed away. Once per day, the ampulla can transmute one pint of water to thick mucus. This mucus can be swallowed by one living creature. The drinker gains water breathing for the next 10 minutes as the mucus dissolves into their system. During this period of absorption the creature’s skin bubbles with raised, bruise-like blotches that coalesce into aboleth glyphs of illusion and enslavement. These words of power can become part of any wordspell for the next six hours, at which point the glyphs fade.
The drinker may use the echo and simple order effect words three times per day as a spell like ability, with the burst or selected target words. If the creature is already a wordcaster they may also add the echo and simple order effect words to their list of words known.
For the next six hours the drinker can combine any illusion and command effect words in a single wordspell, storing the command within the illusion. The illusion takes effect as normal but, as a swift action at any point in the duration, the caster may trigger the command word to emanate from the illusion. Any command contradicts the logic of the illusion grants a saving throw to disbelieve. This save does not protect against the command word.
Movement and divination are the biggest things to worry about when planning adventures at this level. Teleport, Commune, Dominate Person (to get all of your plans), True Seeing, Scrying etc can all massively complicate things. Next level you could be up against Legend Lore, Find the Path and Shadow Walk.
It makes for a very different game, but it is certainly manageable. You need to think a bit further ahead, be flexible in the direction it can take and plan your NPCs' defences and vulnerabilities. You don't want to stop the PCs using their funky tools and abilities, but you don't want them barging in on the BBEG in session one, ruining all your careful plans.
Spellcasting villains should probably have wards against scrying and teleporting but henchmen should be vulnerable to this. Have a few ideas ready for when a PC scries that can provide new clues to what's going on that they wouldn't have known of otherwise. That way they feel smug about finding out your 'secrets' and you can drip feed info to them. You can also scare the bejaysus out of them by showing them some terrifying monster on the other end, or you can enrage them with a vision of the villain's atrocities that they cannot stop.
If you throw in an aggressive defence you can give them second thoughts about using those pesky 'game-breaking' spells. A teleport deflecting ward that bounces them into a pool of green slime or traps them in a force cube. Have the villain spot the scrying device and stare them out or start casting a spell at them. Most of the time there should be no problem, but if they always have that one disastrous occasion in mind, you'll find they will be much less gung-ho with the teleporting etc..
Commune and contact other plane are great opportunities for roleplaying. The other being has an agenda and the PC should feel worried about contacting such a powerful being. Powerful angels, infernal dukes and the like will help, but there might be a price at some point. Feel free to have the being contact the PC of its own accord later in the campaign. The PC might regret starting this communion...
I agree with focusing on a simple class and the core rules - the combat and skills chapters cover most of the things you will want to do in the game.
I'd advise not dumping any stats too low, unless you realise the consequences of that. You don't want to accidentally do yourself over by giving yourself a low stat in something you later realise to be important.
As for classes, my recommendation would be for something that has a small number of fun mechanics. Fighters seem simple, but their potency is based around feats, of which there are hundreds to choose from. I've been playing for years and I'm still daunted at the prospect of picking the right feats. Clerics have the same problem with vast spell lists.
Barbarians and sorcerers are both fun and have a limited range of very cool abilities. Once you've picked your spells, sorcerers are easy to play. If you've got six days you won't have trouble going through the 1st level spells to pick two you like. Barbarian's rage is great fun and feels like a big deal, right from the word go.
I hope you enjoy it!
I've never played a monk.
In the very first session of my group's original 3.0 game, that we started in the first couple of weeks of 3.0 coming out, it was a toss-up between a half-orc druid and a half-orc monk. I went for a druid, who became my longest running character who's been turning up in the campaign for 12 years now. I've played every other core class since then but I still haven't played that original monk.
On gnomes - I never got them until I read the 2nd ed. Book of Gnomes and Halflings. That book brought gnomes to life for me and I've loved them ever since. Some of my favourite characters, and NPCs I've run, have been gnomes. I love them as tinkers and I love what PF has done with them.
Ha! You're a bad, bad man, Spicer.
I know how I felt a few weeks ago and I can't imagine how the guys are now. The tension is unbearable when you're waiting for the reveal. I was lucky in that I was gaming on reveal night for the last few rounds so I was distracted with role-playing shenanigans.
I hope the final four aren't just staring at the boards all day today. I'm sure they are though.
Neil and John - Thanks for the advice. I have no intention of disappearing just yet! I've got a couple of irons in the fire already and plan to start putting myself around a bit more. As the actress said to the bishop.
I've really enjoyed the thrill of the deadline and the feedback, both positive and negative. There's nothing better than putting something out there you've created and people enjoying it. I dropped the ball in round 4, but it's made me even hungrier than before. I think I can learn from my mistakes.
So, consider me interested and available. I hope to see others in the Top 32 take up Neil's challenge and get themselves in print. There are a few guys outside the Top 4 that I'd love to see do more.
For now though, I can't wait to see who wins.