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John Benbo's page

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8. RPG Superstar 2013 Dedicated Voter, 2014 Star Voter, 2015 Dedicated Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,365 posts. 15 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

James Jacobs wrote:
John Benbo wrote:

I just picked up a stack of old Dungeon magazines at my local FLGS, among them Dungeon #12 with your solo adventure! I also picked up #15 with a Wolfgang Baur adventure, but not sure if that's his first published work.

How excited were you when issue #12 came out? I'm looking forward to reading it later!

VERY excited. I was disappointed it had green cows on the cover, but was vindicated when issue #24 had the best cover since #1 and it was for my adventure..

If they had pushed your adventure back to issue #13, then it would have been in the issue with the T-Rex on the cover which would have been kind of funny now in hindsight. I'll have to look for issue #24- there's still a bunch of early issues left at the store I went to.

Question: Out of the following three Thomas Ligotti collections, which one was your favorite- Songs of a Dead Dreamer, Grimscribe, Noctuary?

I really enjoyed Grimscribe a lot more out of those three.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

I just picked up a stack of old Dungeon magazines at my local FLGS, among them Dungeon #12 with your solo adventure! I also picked up #15 with a Wolfgang Baur adventure, but not sure if that's his first published work.

How excited were you when issue #12 came out? I'm looking forward to reading it later!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

I was excited to watch the latest disc of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam I received from Netflix (episodes 21-25) and the disc was cracked all the way through! I'm curious to see if they can actually send me a replacement disc since they do not even have the whole series.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015 aka John Benbo

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congrats, everyone! I hope that no matter how far you end up advancing, you find this contest a positive experience. As a long time gamer, first time designer, it changed my life for the better and was the start of a lot of great opportunities in freelance game design. Hopefully, you'll get bit by the design bug like I did!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015 aka John Benbo

Congrats! I'm looking forward to another great year (as well as scouting for some new talent).

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Grimmy wrote:
If you could only afford Netflix or Hulu subscription and had to choose, which would you choose for anime?

I have both and I think Hulu has a much bigger selection of anime than Netflix currently, however Hulu still has ads even with a paid subscription. Netflix used to have a lot more anime than it currently has, but they have been doing a better job on getting some current stuff (like Attack on Titan and Sword Art Online). Plus their exclusive, Knights of Sidonia, is pretty amazing.

Hulu, despite the ads for a paid subscription (usually 1 or 2 short ads every 5-7) has the advantage that they have simulcast rights for some of the current popular shows coming out of Japan, so for things like Log Horizon, you can watch it an hour after it premieres in Japan. And like I said, I think they have more overall content than Netflix (unless you plan on getting the DVD mail subscription).

Crunchyroll is another good service- same price as Hulu and similar content as well as simulcasts but no ads. I tend to go to Crunchyroll first and if its not on there (like Accel World), I look for it on Hulu.

I have all three as I can stream them with the Playstation on my TV which is a huge plus. I would add Funimation but unfortunately, they are not compatible with the Playstation yet- you need other streaming devices like a Roku device.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Eric "Boxhead" Hindley wrote:
Like the source material that inspired it, I'm sure this will spawn I'll-conceived sequels at some point...

Of course there will- you "forgot" cyborg Jason :).

My print copy should be arriving any day now.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015 aka John Benbo

10 people marked this as a favorite.

My yearly advice to those who want to pursue freelancing-

1. Remember that while particapating in Superstar is great, it isn't the only way to break into freelancing.

2. Keep an eye out on the "Compatible Products from Other Publishers" forum on this board for contests and open calls from other 3rd Party Publishers (3PP). 3PPs are a good way to get your foot in the door and start building a resume.

3. Review the various Pathfinder 3PPs out there and find one who publishes the type of products you are interested in writing. Visit their website regularly/like them on Facebook (if they have a Facebook page) so you can keep up on any news they might have about contests/open calls. Also, see if they have a submission page and how open they are to working with freelancers.

4. Have material ready to show a publisher- a good way to do this is have a blog showing off gaming content you have created. I can't stress this enough. Last Fall, I reviewed prospective freelancers for an open call at Fat Goblin Games- some people were previous Superstar contestants, some were previously published, and some had blogs showcasing their work. All were considered. The only people that were immediately passed on had no writing samples for me to preview.

5. Engage in dialogue with publishers. Review their products- what did you like, what did you not like, what kind of material would you have liked to have seen in the product. It might turn out that you and a particular publisher have similar tastes and might work well together.

I have worked with plenty of fellow freelancers who have never gone through Superstar so I hope this advice helps.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

I'm hoping that I'll be able to rent the new Gundam: Origins OVAs through my Playstation like I was with Unicorn.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Fans of Sword Art Online might want to check out Accel World from the same creator. It's pretty good (rewatching again and I'm picking up lots of little stuff I missed the first time through) and is set in the same "universe" as SAO but 10-20 years ahead.

Like SAO, the characters find themselves participating in a virtual world that mimics a fighting game except the game's design influences the characters in the real world. The story doesn't have the gravitas of some of the SAO arcs but it does combine action/relationships/and a dose of comedy here and there very well. Also, the main character starts out as a self-loathing, overweight kid who isn't awesome at everything (unlike Kirito in SAO).

Before I bought the blu-ray discs, I watched it on Hulu.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The first Shadows over Vathak module, Silhouette of a Shadow, is now availabe here at the Paizo store-

Silhouette of a Shadow

or RPGNow-

Silhouette of a Shadow

Silhouette of a Shadow is a 1st level adventure module set in the Colonies region in Shadows over Vathak. The PCs are tasked with finding a missing person who may be in over his head with a strange and mysterious cult whose designs threaten all of Vathak. You can read more about it here at the Fat Goblin Games website.

Though not necessary to run the adventure, Silhouette of a Shadow is compatible with both the Colonies Player's Guide and the Colonies GM's Guide- both availabe here at Paizo or in print over at RPGNow.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

I talk more about Silhouette of a Shadow over at Fat Goblin Games.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Yeah, I think it's time to flip the sagging shelf in my bookcase- the Rappan Athuk, Slumber Tsar, Tome of Horrors combo is killer. :)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

I was happy to discover that Hulu had Darker than Black 2. Unfortunately, they don't have the OVAs that set up the second season. I didn't enjoy it as much as DB1 (DB2 is only 12 episodes long, not counting the OVAs) but it was still pretty good.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Thanks for the review!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Thanks for the review!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015 aka John Benbo

I was actually a first timer (and only-timer) when I entered in 2011. Looking back, I would definitely say to not be too discouraged if you don't make it in your first time. Instead, make sure to follow the contest closely (what missteps contestants make with entries, what things they do well) and bone up on your Golarion lore (it tripped me up and I've seen it trip up other contestants). I don't know if I would have done better if I had more experience with the contest but I definitely think it wouldn't have been a bad thing.

But if you do get in your first try, then good luck! I would use the remaining time before the Top 32 are revealed to practice your cartography skills just in case.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015 aka John Benbo

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
I will say that if someone hit top 8 in any year, even if it is the end of entering Superstar it should just be the BEGINNING of working on a freelance career, if that's what is desired. Between Wayfinder, 3pp, blogs, and the opportunity to post things in the forums for fan feedback there are tons of ways to move forward once you have proof you're a cut above the pack, even if you aren't getting picked for Paizo projects yet. :)

Wow, that is literally my freelancing life story right there. Freelancing never even occurred to me until my run in Superstar.

However, as a Top 8, I still get that e-mail reminding me to submit my item, you know, just to rub it in a little... :)

Anyway, I encourage anyone eligible to enter. I look forward to voting again this year.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In the past, people have used IndieGoGo to fund going to a convention- usually getting 3PPs to donate some PDFs as a "reward." Might be something to consider for GenCon in the future.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015 aka John Benbo

5 people marked this as a favorite.

I have very little artistic skill but I frequently have to do map turnovers as a freelancer. Besides the obvious "practice makes perfect" advice, I highly recommend spending some time scouring websites that offer cartography advice. For example- Jonathan Roberts's website, Fantastic Maps is full of excellent tips that I've used to improve my mapmaking skills.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't always get a 5 star and seal of approval rating from Endzeitgeist but when I do...I call my mother and tell her.

But seriously, it's a great service that Endzeitgeist does for the 3PP community.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks again for all the reviews! Endzeitgeist.com is one of the first sites I check when I get up in the morning so I can keep abreast of what products are out there in the 3PP community.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yes, I am! Thanks again for the review. I'm glad to wrap up the settlements of the Lonely Coast with a bang!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks, again for the review. I particularly like the "glorious author" bit!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

LazarX wrote:
SAMAS wrote:


Log Horizon -- Players trapped in an MMORPG try to (re)build society. Deals a lot more with actual MMORPG mechanics than other series' of this growing genre.

How does this compare to Sword Art Online?

I'm a fan of both Sword Art Online and Log Horizon and have been watching the new seasons on Crunchyroll. I like them both about equally with Sword Art Online having the edge in animation and Log Horizon in overall story.

I would say that Sword Art Online is about the players vs. the game while Log Horizon is about the players learning to live within the game, especially in having to forge relationships/ties with NPCs.

Also, for me- Sword Art Online started out with its strongest story arc (in Aincrad) while Log Horizon season 1 got better and better with a dip at the end. Season 2 felt a little slow to start but it's getting better (last week's episode was fantastic!).

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

I have this weird sense of it feels like Raging Swan has been around longer yet the time has flown by...it seems like yesterday that I was a wee little freelancer submitting my first pitch. Anyway, happy birthday Raging Swan Press and I look forward to many more years working with you!

Now, for my sometimes biased recommendations-

I particulary enjoy the The Lonely Coast products- you can get the PDF of the Lonely Coast for free!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Marc Radle wrote:

Nice to see Creichton Broadhurst mentioned - he's definitely a great adventure writer.

I know I sure learned a lot from him!

Agreed on both points!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

A couple of English themed "pubs" in my area make a drink called the "Celtic Warrior"- Guinness + cider + a shot of Jameson. I used to love them in my 20s but not so much now.

Another place does the "Black Plague"- Guinness + Rogue Dead Guy Ale.

I find Guinness helps settle an upset stomach.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

11/05- Today, I discuss getting the most out of your BBEG over at Fat Goblin Games.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

11/03- This was actually posted yesterday but forgot to update here. Also, my blog posts will now be hosted on the new Fat Goblin Games's website. In yesterday's post, I kick off Classics November with a discussion of Jon Peterson's Playing at the World- a well researched look at the formation of the RPG hobby.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

I partcipated in a beer tasting at a coworker's house this past weekend. Sampled some interesting beers-

Rogue Voodoo Donut- a pretzel, chocolate, and raspberry beer- was actually not that bad.

Goller Rauchsbier- there were a few rauchbiers but this one was my favorite- a pleasant smokiness that was not overpowering.

Well's Banana Bread Stout- tasted like banana bread...

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

10/29- Quick status update over at Shadows over Vathak!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Over the last week or so, I've managed to get a number of people hooked on Abita Turbodog.

One of my favorites, but finding it in NH is still tricky. There is an Abita I haven't tried yet, "Pecan Harvest." I like pecans, but I don't know if I like beer that tastes like pecans...

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

10/26- Just in time for Halloween, I take a look at Thomas Ligotti's amazing collection of short stories, Grimscribe, and how to use them to create your own Shadows over Vathak adventures.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

10/21- Been forgetting to cross post here, but today over at Shadows over Vathak, I give a short status update and you can read last Sunday's inspiration blog on a cool product dealing with haunted houses.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
I have… seen things you people wouldn't believe… Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those… moments… will be lost in time, like [small cough] tears… in... rain. Time… to die…

I <3 you, Blade Runner.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

10/01- First Vathak post of October. Come see what's going on in the world of Shadows over Vathak.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

09/28- Over at Shadows over Vathak, I discuss the 1992 film, "Dracula," and how to convert it into a Vathak adventure.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

09/24- Over at Shadows over Vathak, I tease the 4 new product lines coming out. Luckily, we were able to pick up some great talent in our last freelancing open call.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

09/21- Today over at Shadows over Vathak, I take a look at how to turn the Ghostbuster movies into a Vathak campaign.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.
LMPjr007 wrote:
dmchucky69 wrote:

What a simply horrible question.

I can't pick just 4; too hard.

OK here is an add-on question for you then, Who are the best 3PP adventure writers?

Creighton Broadhurst.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

09/17- Another status update over at Shadows over Vathak!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

I enjoy the songs from Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, particularly the English dubs. Additionally, Angel Beats features a lot of good tunes.

Currently, enjoying The Irregular at Magic High School. Cool take on magic and there are few characters that remind me of the magus class.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

09/14- We're approaching that Halloween time of the year, so this week over at Shadows over Vathak, I take a look at 3 different adventures perfect for a Halloween game and, of course, how to port them over into Vathak.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

I think I might have played the original Ravenloft module a little bit- but it was like 24 years ago when I would have been 9 or 10 so I don't remember much.

Last year, I ran Brandon Hodge's awesome "Feast at Ravenmoor" adventure while serving up bratwurst and homemade apple strudel.

This year, I think I want to run Nic Logue's "Hangman's Noose" as that looks like a really fun, different kind of adventure.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Kirth Gersen wrote:
John Benbo wrote:
Everyone keeps telling me about Shiner Bock
Shiner Bock is, to me, the Texas equivalent of Pennsylvania's Yeungling -- it's not all that great, but it's at least drinkable, and it's readily available in its home area in all kinds of places that otherwise would be serving only Bud Lite, so you're always incredibly grateful that it exists. I don't keep Yeungling in the house now, and I never kept Shiner on hand when in lived in Texas, but I've had more pints of both of them than I can easily count, and was glad every time that I wasn't reduced to a choice between American-Style Piss and no beer at all.

Ha! I know exactly what you are saying. I had a business trip in Leesburg, VA and it was literally the choice between Bud and its equivalents or Yeungling. I feel the same way- it's drinkable but not my first choice. My relatives in MA get all excited over it like the other people I know get excited for Shiner Bock (which at $17.50 for a 12 pack isn't going to be on my list any time soon).

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

For my bday, I had Clown Shoe's "Ride the Lion." The label depicts a woman, dressed up like she's in Braveheart riding the lion. It's brewed in bourbon barrels and well...it tasted like whiskey. And at almost 12%, it's pretty potent.

Everyone keeps telling me about Shiner Bock so I bought a 12 pack of that when I finally saw it at the local grocery store. Pretty good, but rather expensive. I am enjoying that my usual weekly grocery store is carrying some German beers finally and cheaper than the store I usually have to go to find them.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

09/10- Excited about today's blog over at Shadows over Vathak- I discuss the success of our recent open call for freelancers plus tease our forthcoming module- Silhouette of a Shadow.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

09/07- Today's inspiration blog over at Shadows over Vathak takes a look at the recent possible discovery of the identity of Jack the Ripper and how you can run your own Vathak detective adventure.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

08/27- Short status update on some projects over at Shadows over Vathak.

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