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Epic Meepo's page

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32. RPG Superstar 2013 Marathon Voter, 2014 Marathon Voter, 2015 Marathon Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 4,173 posts (4,326 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

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Animal Races: Clan of the Frog is just around the corner. I just need to find room in this PDF for all of the content I want to include. Clan of the Frog has not one but two new playable races; new feats, new traits, and a new deity, as usual; a new Improved Familiar option or two; new technological items and artifacts; and new alchemist discoveries, several of which can be taken by non-alchemists who take a feat for subjects of alchemical and surgical experiments. (One of the options you can select gives you adamantine claws.) As soon as I cram all of that crunch into one PDF, Clan of the Frog will be good to go.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Our judge, Mark Seifter, posted this in another thread. I'm re-posting it here because I think it offers some additional insight into the commentary Mark is posting here in this thread.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Eric, I think that the critique my item thread will allow each individual designer to do just that in a way that is even more directly useful to them. Ask for your judge feedback, and I'll supply it. The more and longer, more comprehensive negative bullet points on the judge feedback, the more likely you failed to impress the judges (and you get to know why too, in detail). The fewer the comments (and especially if they are more generally neutral or positive, but either way), the more likely that it was the voters you failed to impress. You don't get to know why, as well, in that case, except as much as the voters help you by critiquing your item too.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Mark Seifter wrote:
Eric, I think that the critique my item thread will allow each individual designer to do just that in a way that is even more directly useful to them. Ask for your judge feedback, and I'll supply it. The more and longer, more comprehensive negative bullet points on the judge feedback, the more likely you failed to impress the judges (and you get to know why too, in detail). The fewer the comments (and especially if they are more generally neutral or positive, but either way), the more likely that it was the voters you failed to impress. You don't get to know why, as well, in that case, except as much as the voters help you by critiquing your item too.

This is a very useful insight into the judges' commentary.

Thanks for sharing this, Mark.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Neil Spicer wrote:
And, if they want to foster more focus on the actual competitors and ensure more engagement in their submission feedback threads, I think they'd be wise to withhold it. Why? Because I think a lot of people stick around for the "Critique My Item" thread and the Top 100 posting, but, as soon as they get that insight, they tune out the rest of the contest. And that's because they're not as interested in supporting the actual competitors as they are in extracting something for themselves.

I'm not sure I follow your logic. There are certainly people who only hang around the Superstar forums so they can get feedback on their own items. If you release the Top 100 list, those people will stop by long enough to read that list but will not comment on the Top 32. If you withhold the Top 100 list, those people will not stop by at all and will not comment on the Top 32. Withholding (or releasing) a Top 100 list does nothing to change that demographic's unwillingness to comment on the Top 32.

So let's not factor that demographic into the decision at all. Let's consider the people who are interested in learning more about the contest and participating over the long term. When looking at that group, the lack of a Top 100 list creates a weird situation where the contestants who appear to have been culled can learn more from their mistakes than the contestants who survived the cull. The culled contestants can at least identify which audience, the public or the judges, eliminated them from the competition. In the absence of a Top 100 list, the non-culled contestants can't know that same information, and thus have a harder time deciding what adjustments to make in future years.

When I talk about making adjustments to appeal to a specific audience, I am speaking from experience. After my first Top 32 finish, I failed to make it twice. I spent that second year as an outside observer studying the specific preferences of the Superstar judges. There wasn't any public voting in Round 1 at the time, so I knew for certain that the judges were the audience I was failing to impress. The next year, I submitted an item designed solely to appeal to those specific judges. I didn't even like my item or the choices I made while designing it, but it served its purpose; that was the second year I made the Top 32.

Thus, I would contend that knowing whether or not you have won over a particular audience is an important step in this contest. Without a Top 100 list, the non-culled contestants don't know if their items stumbled before or after being seen by the judges, and thus don't know which audience they should be thinking about when changing their tactics. Do they change their approach completely because they were voted down by the public, or do they make small adjustments to appeal to the judges without alienating a voting public that was mostly supportive of their design decisions? Without a Top 100 list, they have no way of knowing for sure.

EDIT: Of course, Paizo is under no obligation to provide any particular piece of information that might help contestants improve their craft. While I think the Top 100 list would certainly have some value to certain contestants, that doesn't, in itself, constitute an argument for Paizo releasing the list. I don't expect Paizo to cater to any one to two forum-goers on this issue; I merely encourage them to weigh the pros and cons of keeping non-finalists engaged in the Superstar process when making decisions that affect the contest.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Neil Spicer wrote:
But is [studying the Top 100 list] really necessary? It's pretty clear that you can get a sense of what it takes to make the contest by simply reviewing the Top 32.

A visual learner might learn what it takes to succeed in this contest by simply reviewing the Top 32, but an auditory learner might only learn the same lesson when listening to a panel at PaizoCon. Likewise, a participatory learner might only learn the same lesson by walking through the judging process, comparing the Top 32 to their highest-ranked also-ran competition.

An alternative set of learning tools will always have value, because there are as many different ways of teaching a given lesson as their are people willing to learn it.

So the Top 100 list could certainly prove useful to some contestants. That doesn't make the list "necessary," by any means, but the list would have some value.

I can already imagine one potential response Neil Spicer might give: The whole purpose of Superstar is to help Paizo find talented freelancers, and the contest is serving that purpose just fine without catering to contestants who don't make the Top 32. Any desire to divert contest resources away from the Top 32 is ultimately self-serving, and is distracting Paizo from its talent search.

If someone posted the words I'm unfairly putting in Neil's mouth, I would agree with them 100%. Everyone asking to see a Top 100 list is being self-serving and distracting Paizo from its talent search. So is everyone (myself included) asking that the public be given more say in the Top 32 selection process. We are definitely putting our own interests ahead of Paizo's interests...

As it should be. I would not expect Paizo to host Superstar if doing so did not benefit Paizo. That being said, the audience is still the consumer and Paizo is still the producer. If Superstar is run in such a way that its achieves Paizo's goals without also providing its audience with entertainment value and opportunities for self-improvement, Paizo is eventually going to lose its audience.

The Top 32 potential freelancers are the part of this contest most important to Paizo's goals, but that doesn't mean discussions about Top 100 lists or increased voter input should be dismissed simply because they involve different agendas. Paizo is in the entertainment industry. Paizo's audience should get as much out of Paizo as Paizo gets out of its audience, no more, no less. The discussion going on in this thread should be about finding the equilibrium point in that equation.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Based on the Critique My Item thread, it seems nearly every item that survived the cull was reviewed and commented on by one or more of the judges. To me, that suggests the judges considered most, if not all, of the 300+ items that survived the cull when picking the Top 32 instead of restricting themselves to just the Top 100.

Which, honestly, makes me want to not vote in Round 1, since my input seems to have little or no impact upon the Top 32 selection process. Sure, I helped weed out the bottom half of all entries, but a single gatekeeper skimming every entry could have done that just as efficiently behind the scenes.

By spending thousands of hours sorting items, the public is saying, "Hey, judges, here are these several dozen items most of us really want to see in the Top 32." And then the judges turn around and say, "I don't know why this item I like didn't get a lot of support from the public. I'm putting it in the Top 32, anyway."

In contrast to the ballot voting in later rounds, which is the sole determinant of who advances, the Round 1 sorting doesn't really seem to count for anything. I'd feel much better about seeing 90% of my favorite items passed over in Round 1 every year if the public had more of a say in things. Perhaps the judges could put their favorite 32 on a list alongside the most popular 32 the judges didn't select and let the public ballot-vote items from that list into the Top 32. Then I would at least know that my rejected favorites were eliminated by hundreds of voters, not just one or two folks at Paizo.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Castarr4 wrote:
I don't suppose you saved the text for those items? I made a couple edits to my Bow of the Bard before actually submitting, and forgot to save the final version...

I didn't save the text of any items this year. Sorry.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

*pokes Scott LaBarge with a stick*

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Garrick Williams wrote:
I'd honestly like to see future years have maps as Round 2.

I'd honestly like to see future years have maps as Round 1.

Sorting 800 maps two at a time would be so much more enjoyable than sorting 800 magic items. After side-by-side voting ends, you could have the Top 64 map designers submit some descriptive text to accompany their maps (or reveal descriptive text they already submitted for their map) and let the public ballot-vote finalists into the Top 32 based upon a combination of mapping skills and writing skills.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Scott LaBarge wrote:
So are there minions around to give back-rubs in this guildhall joint or what? (Filigree not required.)

The Guildhall is fully staffed by the Staff of the Top 32 Guildhall, which can tend to all your chiropractic needs. Observe!

*pokes Scott LaBarge with a stick*

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Why not rule that Alchemical Allocation only works once per potion or elixir?

I like this compromise, Mr. Stonebreaker.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

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DominusMegadeus wrote:
David Neilson wrote:
Well its less silly than trolls being able to survive in space. Though knowing Golarion there probably are Space Trolls.
Half-Red Dragon Space Moss Trolls.

Half-red dragon space moss troll giant space hamsters.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

Mark Seifter wrote:
*This was actually priced correctly down to the gold piece assuming that all the ki benefits added nothing to the price. However, especially in this case where the staff allows the user to spend ki instead of charges, the price should have been increased by a noticeable amount (consider a staff that allowed the user to spend spell slots instead of charges as an added ability to see why).

Gah, I knew I forgot to do something! That price should have been be increased by exactly 10,000 gp (the cost of two 1st-level pages of spell knowledge and two 2nd-level pages of spell knowledge, items whose combined effect is exactly the same as allowing casters of certain classes to expend spell slots instead of staff charges).

multiple posters wrote:
I don't like the whole "casting spells with ki" thing.

I'm surprised no one noticed, but ninjas and rogues can already use a single ninja trick (forgotten trick) to duplicate every spell in my staff by spending ki. My staff just makes a narrowly-focused variant of forgotten trick available to monks and sacred fist warpriests (with a reduced cost and an extended duration so the staff still has value to ninjas and rogues who already have forgotten trick). I used the staff chassis as the vehicle for granting this ability so the item could also be useful to various arcane casters.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Norgorber's Lens - The reality warping effect was a really roundabout and confusing way of granting concealment and a few numerical bonuses. Also, there are no rules for facing in Pathfinder, so how do we know which way the area of effect is directed at any given time?

Phantom Guardian's Ring - A large chunk of this item seemed to be just repeating text from the spiritual ally spell, so it felt to me like the item could be summarized as "spiritual ally three time per day, with a few adjustments." I suspect I would appreciate the adjustments better if I were more than passingly familiar with spiritual ally, but it's not a spell I see used often, so I wouldn't recognize clever variations upon its theme if I saw them.

Raven Leather - One of my personal Top 48. While I agree with some of the judges critiques about this armor not being very protective for the price and feeling a bit like a wondrous item, I think both of those problems could have easily been fixed with some minor tweaks. I think the mojo of the item more than warranted a minute or two of effort tweaking it to seem more armor-like.

Rod of Gravimetric Attraction - I didn't keep the full text of this item, but it is one of my personal Top 48. I disagreed strongly with the objection some posters raised that the pull special attack would work better than a drag maneuver. Characters can take feats to get better with the drag maneuver, but no parallel exists for pull. By using drag, this item can serve as a reward for characters who choose to devote feats to combat maneuvers.

Rod of Illusory Casting - One of my personal Top 48. I figured this rod would be popular with voters because I keep seeing people requesting some way to do the things this item does. I don't necessarily agree with just packing all of those abilities into a single, convenient package for spellcasters, but I appreciated your attempt to address a popular-but-underserved design space.

Rod of Resonance - One of my personal top 16. Probably underpriced, and more utilitarian than flashy, but I liked how it was sort of the opposite of a silence spell: silence negates all sonic effects in a radius, this item enhances all sonic effects in a radius. And, lest it be argued that this item's benefits are too good, silence still trumps it completely.

Serpentine Stave - "Stave" is not the singular of "staves," nor is it a synonym for "staff."

Skywalker's Cloth - "Skywalker" will always make me think of Luke Skywalker and family. Always.

Staff of the Auraboros - I suspect that you intentionally mispelled "ouroboros," but I can't know that for sure. Also, I am not sure what an "aura effect" is.

Tempest Bow - One of my personal top 48. I thought this was a nice, clean implementation of a flavorful idea.

Windpath Razor - One of my personal Top 48. I thought the wording was elegant and the effect was interesting.

Wing Smasher's Hammer - Any weapon meant to ground flying creatures should really be a ranged weapon; otherwise, how are non-flying creatures supposed to use it against flying creatures.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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For a lot of the items in this thread, my critique would be something along the lines of, "It's an okay item. Not bad, not superstar, but okay." Since that's not particuarly useful on my part, I'm just going to focus on items which provoked more of a response from me.

Betrayer's Blade - One of my personal Top 48. I thought this item made really clever use of the speed property.

Blowgun of the Accursed Serpent - One of my personal Top 48. The curse ability should probably say that it functions the first time (or two times) the target makes a save against the dart's poison, not anytime the target makes a save. That would make the curse's effect closer in power to an ill omen spell instead of strictly better than an ill omen spell.

Catapult Ring - This item really needed a save or some other defense for unwilling targets.

Chrysalis Carapace - I'm not sure how the spell-absorbing power of this item ties into its theme.

Cryohydra's Coil - One of my personal Top 48. The blanket +4 bonus to disarm and trip attempts was a bit too much, but I liked the imagery enough to overlook that.

Deadeye's Shepherd - Using a bow to summon something just seemed strange to me. Also, I don't know where the animal appears when summoned. Maybe if you said you had to fire an arrow and the animal appeared where the arrow landed, or the animal has to appear adjacent to the wielder because the horns used to make the bow become the summoned animal's horns, I could have gotten behind this item, but without a visual of the summoning in action, I had a hard time bridging the gap between "bow" and "summoned animal."

Dynamic Staff - One of my personal top 48. Its ability to regain charges so quickly would need to be scaled back or cut, though. As is, high-level spellcasters could use these things as bargain-basement, 9th-level pseudo pearls of power.

Enlightened Jian - This would have gotten more upvotes from me if monks were proficient with longswords (or even just magically proficient with this longsword in particular).

Eremite Rod - This one was thematically sound, but would have benefited from having fewer fiddly bits. When using this item against your opponents, someone has to track bleed damage and pain penalties that modify multiple stats and possibly modifiers due to ability damage. Also, the wielder's spell DCs may change based upon their subtype. Lots of moving parts that modify things on the fly in the middle of combat, with the potential to slow things down at the table.

Housebreaker Bow - I really dislike how the third power of this item is referred to by a wordless sound instead of having an actual, speakable name.

Mail of Ash-Woven Ramparts - One of my personal Top 16. A bit overpowered/underpriced, but I suspect it would make tactical combat very interesting. Also, to me, the visuals inherent in this item suggested a designer who would be able to make a very awesome map.

Monastic Staff - This item was almost exactly the same as the first draft of my own item, right down to the name. I would explain at length why I changed my item from doing exactly what your item does to doing something slightly different, but the judges seem to like your approach better, so my commentary would be largely irrelevant.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

James Casey wrote:
What kills me is that none of my top 5 made top 32... Hell not even my top 8!

Heck, none of my top 16 made the Top 32 or alternates.

(I started a new thread for my list of favorites because I couldn't pick just one item as my overall favorite.)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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At least one person expressed an interest in seeing my personal Top 32 list in another thread. This year, I picked my Top 16 favorites (including my own item) but didn't bother ranking the next 32 items on my favorites list, so here are my own personal Top 48:

Epic Meepo's Top 16:

arbalest of aurochs
armor of hidden horrors
balladeer's waltz
black dragon wing
blade of the malik's messenger
covenskein net
ghast hide
mail of ash woven ramparts
moveable rod
occult hunter's net
piranha blade
rod of resonance
sacred boar hide
serpent's tongue
staff of the hidden blade
three-fold gemini

Epic Meepo's Next 32:

aetherlace
animated wrappings
betrayer's blade
blowgun of the accursed serpent
bow of the bard
breastplate of light's salvation
butterfly's jaunt
captain's nostalgia
cryohydra's coil
dynamic staff
earthcracker*
grasping shield (218 words)
hellstinger
interrogator's ally*
raven leather
ring of the choking coil
rod of exorcism*
rod of gravimetric attraction
rod of illusory casting
rod of the iron rose**
scales of the scarab
scepter of the mist king
scimitar of dancing lightning
shield of the doubled ruse
shield of the paragon
sly smallsword
spectre blight*
staff of protean whim
storm bow
tempest bow
venom's kiss*
windpath razor

*Also an official Paizo Top 32 pick
**Also an official Paizo alternate

It appears that I have five of the Paizo Top 32 and one Paizo alternate in my personal Top 48 and none in my personal Top 16. If I had expanded my list to include my own personal Top 64, I believe I would have doubled those numbers, but my records this year were not precise enough to know for sure.

If anyone else has a list of favorites they want to share with the public, feel free to post it here in this thread.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

I may eventually publish a book of magic staves similar to this one, so I'm curious to know what voters thought about it.

Staff of the Hidden Blade
Aura moderate illusion; CL 8th
Slot none; Price 16,745 gp; Weight 5 lbs.

Description
This walking stick is a scabbard that conceals a matching sword. It functions as a +1 sword cane that grants proficiency in its use to any wielder proficient with short swords. The staff allows the use of the following spells, but only when its matching sword is sheathed within it:

  • disguise self (2 charges)
  • invisibility (self only, 2 charges)
  • mirror image (2 charges)
  • ventriloquism (2 charges)
A creature with the ki pool ability can cast any spell from this staff as if that spell was on the creature's class spell list. The creature may choose to cast that spell without consuming any charges from the staff by instead spending 1 ki point per charge that would otherwise be consumed.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Staff, disguise self, invisibility, mirror image, ventriloquism, creator must have the ki pool ability; Cost 8,545 gp

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Lots of archivists, classicists, philosophers, professors, and teachers this year.

I anticipate seeing lots of really clever submissions before all is said and done.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Congrats to Top 32 class of 2015!

I am disappointed/relieved that I will not be joining you in Round 2.

I expect to see some really cool stuff this year.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Greetings and salutations from the Staff of the Top 32 Guildhall. As the wielder of this staff, I would like to expend all 10 of its charges congratulating everyone who decided to compete in this year's contest. In addition, I would like to welcome this year's class of Top 32 finalists and alternates to the newly-renovated, rune-encrusted Unofficial Top 32 Guildhall and Armory. (Mind your step around the pile of earth breakers just inside the door.)

As in previous years, the Guildhall is a place for all past and present Top 32 finalists, alternates, judges, and Paizo staffers to hang out and chat during the course of RPG Superstar. If you belong to one or more of these listed groups, feel free to post in the Guildhall any time after the names of the 2015 Top 32 have been revealed. Just keep in mind that posts in this thread are visible to the everyone on the boards, not just the Top 32. Don't say anything here that might result in a disqualification!

Again, this thread is intended for past and present Top 32 finalists, alternates, judges, and Paizo staffers. I ask that community members not belonging to these listed groups please create new threads when posting commentary, congratulations, or other messages to the Top 32. Posts from the voting public are important to the finalists. Such posts deserve their own dedicated threads so they don't get buried in Guildhall banter and potentially overlooked or forgotten.

Thank you. Good luck. Let the games begin.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Thunderfrog wrote:

I keep looking at my paizo mailbox and thinking..

"If I were top 32, they would have sent me something by now. I didn't make it!"

Unless they've changed it this year, private notifications will be sent out at the same time as the public reveal, not a moment earlier.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

RainyDayNinja wrote:
Where's the Guildhall thread? Shouldn't it be up by now?

One hour until I introduce the Guildhall.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

lonewolf23k wrote:
Oh, also got the Clan of the Bear pdf and noticed the "Human Form" Feat. Please tell me it's not limited to the Bears, because this opens up the possibility of using it for all Therians in settings where animal races aren't openly known.

The Human Form feat is not limited to Bears. In fact, it's not even limited to therians.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Perhaps I should map an entire island made of frozen holy water. I could call it... Icebergillum.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we actually have two culls one year? Some of this discussion is revolving around speculation about the effects of multiple small culls, but I think that's something that's already happened once before. Hard data about multiple small culls might already exist somewhere.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

I would like to thank everyone who has shown their support for this quirky, little product. The raw sales numbers probably won't justify the time I spent putting this PDF together, but the quirk in store traffic that turned an aspergillum-themed product into my top-seller for the week provided me with more than enough amusement to justify my efforts. :)

And now I really want to make the Top 32 this year because I want to see how that affects my sales numbers. Will this PDF vanish off everyone's radar as folks turn their attention to the Top 32 maps, or will an appearance in the Top 32 inspire enough curiosity about this PDF to produce a second spike in sales, making this PDF my top-seller for a second straight week? No contestant has ever published a PDF inspired by a voter rant thread before, so there's no way to know unless I make the Top 32. *equips aspergillum* *crosses fingers*

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

This is excellent news.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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The verdict is in: Aspergillman's Armory is definitely worth two bucks.

In fact, it's my top-selling product in the Paizo store so far this week. :D

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Thunderfrog wrote:

All these twists..

Owen K.C. Shyamalan.

I see culled people.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Add this post as a favorite if both options are equally bad/good.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Add this post as a favorite if death by chocolate is better.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Add this post as a favorite if chocolate is better.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Chocolate... or death by chocolate?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Animal Races: Clan of the Rabbit is now available here in the Paizo store and also here.

Clan of the Rabbit is an important addition to the Animal Races series for anyone who wants to know more about the Zodiac Council that has been mentioned in several other titles. Clan of the Rabbit is also the first Animal Races title to explicitly mention a campaign setting where animal races are the predominant races. (That campaign setting is located on a demiplane that can be easily added to almost any established setting.)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Just to be contrary, I'm dropping in to make a plea for insanity.

Sanity is overrated. I want to see something completely crazy.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Tothric wrote:
Eric Morton. I am envious, as well as completely amazed that you managed to get that published and on the Piazo Store so soon!

Well, it helps that I have some experience publishing serious products in the Paizo store. If I couldn't also crank out a short, silly PDF on a week's notice, I wouldn't be much of a publisher.

Now, if I actually sell a copy of Aspergillman's Armory, I may have to admit I actually accomplished something... (Seriously, though, I've played characters who'd want to use some of the magic weapons in that PDF, and I'd let players in games I run use them, too. I tried to design some solid, useful material in that PDF, even if the title was somewhat silly.)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Last year, I was given the go-ahead by Paizo staff to post a public Round 1 exit poll in the week before the Top 32 reveal.

Here is what the host of last's years contest said about Round 1 exit polling (link):

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

1) The judges are already looking at items sorted to the top by 300,000 votes. A few more people listing which ones they liked isn't going to impact what the judges think of the item.

2) I trust the judges to evaluate the voter 1–100 items based on their own opinions and experiences.

3) And that's assuming any of the judges even looked at these volunteer exit polls, which I don't think they did. Their priorities were posting comments on 100 items while dodging periods of website outages, not checking the RPG Superstar General Discussion board for other threads about what items people liked. ;)

In other words: this is fine, and I don't think it would have an impact on what the judges say or vote for any items.

That being said, last year's exit poll did a poor job predicting the 2014 Round 1 results, despite having over forty contributors.

Based on that lack of predictive power, I'm going to sit out this year's exit polling and list swapping.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Now that voting is done. The little special something 4+ people wasted huge amounts of word count is called the reliquary quality for armor, shields, and weapons. At least someone got it right.

Where is "reliquary" listed as an armor and weapon quality? Your link just takes me to a feat that uses "reliquary" as internal shorthand for some of the feat's unique benefits.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Anthony Adam wrote:
I do worry that my "forum presence" may be too much temptation to gain votes I wouldn't deserve - it is one of the reasons I have chased the dream through other avenues :)

I don't think you need to worry about that, Anthony. I was still running my very popular Custom Monster thread the last time I made the Top 32 and that didn't help my chances one bit when my Round 2 entry stunk up the place. Voters don't care what you've done in the past; they are going to vote on what you are doing right now.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Nickolas Floyd wrote:
Eric Morton wrote:

Some thoughts about the ranting thread (spoilered for being off-topic):

** spoiler omitted **
Interesting points and I agree. But this creates its own issues. Are you suggesting that we try to retain anonymity while being able to discuss items openly on the forums? You can't mention that an item is yours, but you can praise and defend it as much as you want? That might be difficult.

That is what I am suggesting, and I agree that the issues involved would have to be carefully considered.

However, I don't think it's impossible to guess what open commentary (without breaking anonymity) would look like. I suspect it would play out almost exactly like one of Paizo's open playtests: hundreds of posters would show up, many of them championing their own pet suggestions, but there would be so many things to talk about, no one poster or topic would dominate the discussion. A few folks would try to oversell something and get tuned out by most other posters. A few folks would get too negative and would have to be reminded to restrict themselves to constructive criticism. A few particularly popular ideas would gain traction. But for the most part, we would just see lots of respectful, interesting discussion of various ideas' merits.

That, at least, is what I've observed happening during Paizo's open playtests, and I suspect it is exactly what we would see if we were allowed to talk about specific items during Superstar voting. Like the playtests, it would require moderater oversight, but I think it could be done in a constructive, positive manner.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Some day, I would like to see an organized play campaign require all participating PCs to purchase their magic items from an auction site with limited supply. Then we'd actually know what each magic item was worth.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

GM_Solspiral wrote:
The ones that are so offended by the cull that they left... aren't going to vote, because they left.

Did that actually happen somewhere? I've seen a fair number of people disappointed about getting culled and a few people raising questions about the merits of a deep cull, but I don't recall anyone actually getting mad about it.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Some thoughts about the ranting thread (spoilered for being off-topic):

Spoiler:
I seem to be alone in this, but I'm not fond of the rule against discussing specific items, nor do I feel the need to tune out other voters opinions on specific items.

Firstly, the rule against mentioning specific items is responsible for much of the toxic atmosphere in the ranting thread. It's really easy to write non-item-specific complaints but it's relatively hard to write non-item-specific compliments. Voters aren't allowed to praise unique, never-been-done-before items in real time but they can complain about trends in real time, so of course the thread gets a bit negative.

Second, I don't understand the benefit of making all voting decisions in a vacuum. I want to be an informed voter. If a bunch of people really like an item I keep down-voting, I want to know. That information allows me to double check the item in question and make sure I'm actually disagreeing with everyone instead of just misreading something that everyone else understood properly.

Third, the prohibition against commentary on specific items doesn't happen during any other public voting round. The Top 32 aren't anonymous, so they aren't allowed to comment on their own items, but everyone else can, including the voters. If exposure to outside opinions was somehow detrimental to the voting process, why are outside opinions allowed starting in Round 2?

I could understand a rule against making comments that would qualify as non-constructive criticism, but I don't see much value in a rule that prevents us from consulting the boards about items we aren't clear about or mentioning items we think are awesome.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Anthony Adam wrote:

Now let's look at some figures...

My voting circle numbers around 10. Of those 10, on average we all voted 800 times, (some less, some more). So that's 8,000 votes. My item was seen by a pit crew member... 4 times, - just 4 out of 8,000 votes, so any pit crew "preference" is already massively squished to non existence.

Lets also look at that again, 4 out of 10 voters saw my item. 40%. That means, if there were 1,000 voters, on average only 400 voters saw it. So using a review circle improved my writing but has little to no effect on the vote outcome. The numbers prevent that.

But that's not how a pit crew could influence the vote. A pit crew could influence the vote by voting down their most direct competition. If they vote 8,000 times, they may only see their own items a handful of times, but they are seeing their direct competition thousands of times.

For example, consider a pit crew that submits 10 rings and votes 8,000 times out of 400,000 votes cast. Their votes make up 2% of all votes cast. They will almost never see their own rings, but they could realistically see other rings two to four thousand times. They can down vote those other rings every time they see them, skewing around 1% of all votes cast in their favor. That could be enough votes to bump off a handful of rival rings in the cull, rings that might not have been cut if not for the pit crew constantly voting them down.

(Actually, if this hypothetical pit crew is intentionally attempting to skew the vote in their favor, there is voting scheme they could use that is much more effective than the one described here, but I'm not about to give anyone ideas. I only describe the voting strategy appearing above because someone else already mentioned it elsewhere in this forum.)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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107. Notice that the numbers 11, 57, 58, 59, and 60 have each been used twice in this list of things you can do, making this entry thing #107 you can do.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Woody Elliott wrote:
Tosscobble wrote:
thats what I thought too, but I was scrolling through posts and I saw someone mention a cull to the top 100. got me all worked up.
From what I understand (someone correct me if I am wrong please), it's not a cull to 100, its a list of the top 100 which is released when the round of 32 is released.

In 2013 and 2014, the judges released a list of the Top 89 and Top 100 items, respectively, so voters could see if their own personal favorites were among the top vote-getting items. (In 2013, the Top 89 were the only ones posted because there was a big gap in popularity between item #89 and item #90.)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Cthulhudrew wrote:
However, I'm not sure the argument about the CMI thread being more popular and receiving more attention has merit.

If the CMI thread does not generate more attention than the Top 32 reveal, then moving it up a week will give voters something to do in the week leading up to the Top 32 reveal without reducing the anticipation for the Top 32 reveal.

If the CMI thread does generate more interest than the Top 32 reveal, then moving it up a week will allow the Top 32 reveal to be the central event of the week during which it happens without the CMI thread being a distraction.

Either way, I'm not seeing any drawback to a system that schedules exactly one highly anticipated Superstar milestones per week (voting starts, first cull, second cull, voting ends, critiquing starts, Top 32 reveal, etc.).

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Coleman wrote:
My concern with that would be how many folks would stop participating once they got some feedback on their item.

I would not take people who want to leave the contest after getting feedback on their own items into consideration when scheduling things. The contestants who are only in it to get feedback on their own items aren't going to care very much about the Top 32 reveal, no matter when you schedule it. I'm more concerned about the subset of contestants who want to get/give feedback on non-finalist items and want to follow the progress of the Top 32. The current schedule forces these contestants who are interested in every facet of RPG Superstar to divide their attention between the non-finalist critique thread and the finalists' threads during the week of the Top 32 reveal, which can only serve to reduce traffic visiting the Top 32 threads.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

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Adam Daigle wrote:
Also, when Eric's idea was first presented, it was couched in the idea of something that would help focus on the Top 32, but as it's being discussed more and more, I'm seeing less of that focus. It looks more like a way to keep the voting public engaged and a way to help focus on everyone but the Top 32. What am I missing?

Many contestants want to participate in the critique thread and follow the Top 32 threads. By revealing the Top 32 and opening the critique thread in the same week, you are forcing lots of voters to divide their limited forum viewing time between those two different parts of the Superstar contest. "Do I spend my limited forum time soliciting and reading feedback on my own item, or do I pass up the opportunity to get valuable feedback and instead pay close attention to the Top 32 threads?"

Think about it this way: How much attention would the Top 32 get if the Top 32 reveal was on Tuesday and a Pathfinder Unchained open playtest started on Wednesday? Sure, lots of people who are going to participate in the playtest also want to pay attention to the Top 32, but will they have the time? The annual Critique My Item thread is like that hypothetical open playest in that it attracts lots of attention.

I suggest that an event that attracts lots of attention should not be scheduled to run concurrently with the Top 32 reveal because that lessens the impact of the Top 32 reveal, and that moving the Critique My Item thread up a week will annoy fewer people than delaying it a week. Also, I doubt that moving the Critique My Item thread up a week will do anything to increase the anticipation contestants have for that thread; based on posts I'm seeing in this forum, anticipation for that thread is already running rather high.

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