Paizo challenged amateur game designers from around the world to show off their skills in RPG Superstar 2011, the fourth season of Paizo's search for great undiscovered game designers. Judges Ryan Dancey, Sean K Reynolds, Mark Moreland, and Neil Spicer narrowed the field to 32 would-be RPG Superstars, and guest judges including Paizo designer Stephen Radney-MacFarland, cartographers Jared Blando and Robert Lazzaretti, and Paizo's Creative Director James Jacobs provided their advice as the contestants answered each new challenge.
In the final round, we asked this year's Top 4 to propose a 32-page Pathfinder Module for use with Paizo's Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Contestants Cody Coffelt (Boise, ID), Jerall Toi (Port Elizabeth, South Africa), Sam Zeitlin (Arlington, VA), and Sean McGowan (New York City, NY) responded with four excellent submissions, but there can be only one RPG Superstar 2011, and so after the judges offered comments, the general public selected one winning proposal to be published by Paizo in early 2012.
Congratulations to Sam Zeitlin for his victorious proposal, Grasping at Shadows which will be released as The Midnight Mirror. Here's a brief description of the adventure from Sam Zeitlin's winning RPG Superstar 2011 submission:
A horror and investigation adventure for 4th-level characters.
In shadow-haunted Nidal, the denizens of the Plane of Shadow intermingle with the common man. Now people are disappearing, and it falls to the PCs to stop the terror. Faced with terrible shadow creatures, an unruly mob of scared citizens, and an unpredictable creature of light, can the heroes undo a greedy and uncaring noble's self-serving mistake?
The Midnight Mirror is an adventure for 4th-level characters, written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world's oldest RPG. In addition to the adventure, this volume also features a brand-new monster and a gazetteer of a brand-new location in the shadow-tainted nation of Nidal.
Written by Sam Zeitlin, the winner of Paizo Publishing's RPG Superstar contest, which allows unpublished authors to compete before a panel of celebrity game designers and legions of their peers for the chance to write a Pathfinder Module.
Pathfinder Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, adventures using the Open Game License to work with both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set. This Pathfinder Module includes new monsters, treasure, and a fully detailed bonus location that can be used as part of the adventure or in any other game!
As RPG Superstar 2011's Grand Prize, Paizo will contract Sam Zeitlin to write The Midnight Mirror, which we will release as a Pathfinder Module in January, 2012.
But you don't have to wait until January to reserve your copy! Head over to the new The Midnight Mirror product page here on paizo.com to preorder your copy of Sam Zeitlin's winning adventure! If you're already a Pathfinder Modules subscriber, The Midnight Mirror will arrive as part of your subscription.
On behalf of our judges as well as the whole Paizo Publishing family, congratulations to Cody Coffelt, Jerall Toi, and Sean McGowan. Though only one contestant earned the title of RPG Superstar 2011, for the first time in Paizo history, the runners up will be contracted to write a scenario for the Pathfinder Society, Paizo's organized play program. Keep an eye out in the months ahead for when these scenarios will be released.
And we'd like to offer one final thanks to you, the readers of paizo.com, and to anyone who submitted an entry or voted during RPG Superstar 2011.
And for those of you who didn't, RPG Superstar 2012 is less than a year away!