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John Benbo's page

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8. RPG Superstar 2013 Dedicated Voter, 2014 Star Voter, 2015 Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,349 posts. 15 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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

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, Star 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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

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

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

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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

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

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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

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

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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

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

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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

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

08/24- Over at Shadows over Vathak, I discuss how Black Sabbath's latest album, 13, makes the perfect soundtrack for your favorite pulp writers of the macabre as well as plotting out an adventure set in Vathak.

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

08/20- Today over at Shadows over Vathak, I discuss some of the major themes to be found in Ina'oth- a land plagued by spirits and disease.

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

08/16- Today over at Shadows over Vathak, I discuss Thomas Ligotti's Songs of a Dead Dreamer and how you can use the stories in that collection to inspire your own horror adventures.

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

I think I just exploded at my desk with sheer happiness and joy! Thank you!

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

08/13- Over at Shadows over Vathak, I ponder whether adventure modules can provide more than just a session worth of fun but instead carry a deeper meaning.

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

I just recently learned about Thomas Ligotti due to the controversy surrounding allegations that True Detective plagiarized some of his work.

However, that aside, I picked up his first collection Songs of a Dead Reader yesterday.

1. Are you a fan of his work?
2. Is there a particular story of his that is your favorite.

Just reading the very first story in the collection I bought, I can see why people say he sometimes has a Lovecraft vibe to his work.

The story

Spoiler:
A psychologist is telling his wife about a crazy patient, John Doe, who claims to have a thousand names, lived thousands of years, and describes himself from being from the star. At the end, he kidnaps the doctor's daughter, leaving behind her stuffed animal with its stuffing hanging out in an allusion to Nyarlothotep
.

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

Endzeitgeist wrote:
They will! Tomorrow, a 3rd RSP product this week will hit site. Haven't yet decided which, but, yeah. :)

Crossing my figures that it's Wolverton! :) Speaking of reviews, I'm sending you a PM.

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

08/06- Today over at Shadows over Vathak, I discuss dropping some of the extraneous monster mechanics to help let your imagination run wild.

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

The other night, I picked up a variety pack in cans(!) crafted by Baxter Brewery out of Maine. So far, pretty good. The Stowaway IPA was very good- not overly hoppy but had a nice malty finish.

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

Yes, please ship it if it's ready to go and thank you. LoftP books are rather tricky to track down. Anyways, it was nice to meet you at PaizoCon (we were talking about painting minis early Saturday morning over by the Dungeon Delve with Adam. I was rambling, I think, about my Kingmaker game- early morning+jet lag...).

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

07/30- After Sunday's discussion of the RPG, The Last One, and the interesting storytelling mechanics it uses, today over at [url=https://www.facebook.com/Vathak?ref=hl]Shadows over Vathak[/i], I spin that discussion into a talk about incorporating new/alternative game mechanics to tell the story you want to tell.

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

If it's possible, I would like to cancel my pending order 3089258. There's a couple of Lamentations of the Flame Princess products that keep shifting to "backorder." I am planning on submitting a new order without some of those items. Thank you.

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

I just got my Kickstarter book today (for the Savage Worlds system) and it looks amazing. The art is fantastic, some of the best I've seen in a long time with some great full page art (which you don't see too often anymore). I imagine that the Pathfinder version will look as equally fantastic. I'm quite impressed.

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

07/27- Today over at Shadows over Vathak, I discuss how you can use a neat little RPG called The Last One to spice up your Pathfinder campaign with a very interesting story mechanic.

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

07/23- Today's update is posted over at Shadows over Vathak where I begin my musings on what an "adventure module" is- a subject I will be exploring over the coming weeks.

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

07/20- Today over at Shadows over Vathak, I drop in at The House of the Devil.

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