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PFSS #45


Scenario Submission Talk


Has anyone heard anything about PFSS #45? I thought they were going to choose the new author by yesterday.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Barbarossa wrote:
Has anyone heard anything about PFSS #45? I thought they were going to choose the new author by yesterday.

Depending on how many rejections he has to send, that may hold up the announcement. They won't announce a winner until everyone knows whether they made it or not. Additionally, the blog was occupied with playtest goodness yesterday. Perhaps that bumped the announcement to next week.


Many thanks, Yoda!

Taldor **

yoda8myhead wrote:
Depending on how many rejections he has to send...

Does anyone have a rough idea of how many of us submitted for this one?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Josh was out sick at the end of last week, so he may be a bit off schedule.

Sczarni ** Venture-Lieutenant, Connecticut—Manchester aka Cpt_kirstov

Vic Wertz wrote:
Josh was out sick at the end of last week, so he may be a bit off schedule.

he better not spread swine flu to the rest of the staff.. If only there were some sickness that GAVE you lots of energy so that you didn't have to sleep, and could edit/write a week straight....

**

Hey everyone,

After significant review of the scenarios received and some meetings with other folks in the editorial department, I've decided to assign this month's open call to an established scenario author rather than assign it to someone in the open call. I received a very low number of submissions this round and there weren't any clear solid choices that fit inside the framework of the feel that we're shooting for both for Absalom and for the minotaur prince. I'm going to try another approach to the open calls in this Thursday's blog, so stay-tuned for that--hopefully it's an approach that inspires better turnout for future open calls.

* RPG Superstar 2012

When you feel better, can you describe in general terms where we went wrong? Or in the blog post?

I have a feeling that mine was too much of a "standard" adventure, and that's why it didn't meet your requirements.

**

From a super general observation standpoint, I received way too many submissions that took the fact that I was using a name from established canon (The Minotaur Prince) to mean they could either reinvent our canon, add to our canon, or farm pieces of our canon related to Absalom from several different sources and try to form them into a scenario.

You're nearly always better working within the framework of our canon (cities, events, ruins, etc) and building your own stories and ideas than taking our canon (NPCs, organizations, established canonical villains) and trying to make them your own story. I hope that makes sense.

Andoran * Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

Yes it does. Thanks.

Looking at my submission, I can see how I fell into that trap.

Taldor *

Thank you very much for the explanation and advice Joshua.

This was a tough scenario to write, and I feel like I also might have stepped over the line you've drawn here. But, while I understand that letting us use preexisting canon increases the chance of world-breaking, I also feel like all the canon that has been established goes to waste if we are discouraged from incorporating it.

That said, I'm aware that you are the boss Joshua, and I'll take your advice to heart.


Wow, that's really disappointing. But I can easily see how using canon characters or places would require a very specific touch. Disappointing, though.


Joshua J. Frost wrote:
... they could either reinvent our canon, add to our canon...

My submission was guilty on both counts. I (ab)used a canon NPC, Dr. Bensi Skule, as my main villain.

Thanks for the feedback -- very helpful.


Joshua J. Frost wrote:


solid choices that fit inside the framework of the feel that we're shooting for both for Absalom and for the minotaur prince.

What was the feel that you were looking for for this adventure?

**

You'll know that when #45 is published. :-)

**

Kobash wrote:
This was a tough scenario to write, and I feel like I also might have stepped over the line you've drawn here. But, while I understand that letting us use preexisting canon increases the chance of world-breaking, I also feel like all the canon that has been established goes to waste if we are discouraged from incorporating it.

I am not concerned about world-breaking, because if your story ideas breaks the world I just auto-reject it.

What I'm more concerned about, and this is a tough thing to explain, is that there are elements of our world that while they are technically canon, they aren't elements we wish to further explore in our published works. So if you use a great deal of canonical NPCs or organizations, say, in your proposal, you run the risk of using something we don't want explored further. If you, instead, use a canon city (like Absalom) or even a district of the city and maybe a location from it (like a bar), and then create your own story ideas within that framework, not only are you much more likely to wow me with your creativity, you're also much more likely not to touch on something we're not interested in exploring.

I can appreciate that this sounds very much like a bait-and-switch use-our-world-but-don't situation, but I'm hoping most of you can catch the subtext here. I want to see YOUR creativity, not you using the creativity of another author.


This is one of the those "ahhhh" moments when everything comes together to make sense. The way I was approaching my design was to try and incorporate as much of the canon as possible.

Thank you for this bit of wisdom

Taldor *

One of the difficult parts about these scenario submissions is the nature of the open-call. On one hand, we are unproven to Paizo and unknown to you, which means you're really taking a leap of faith on selecting someone who's only a name on the boards to follow through and give you a good product. On the other hand, many of us submitting scenarios have never gone through the process of development with you or anyone else at Paizo, which means we don't know what you expect. There are a few posts floating around the message-boards that give advice, but most seem ambiguous and I'm guessing that's intentional in order to prevent limiting our creativity in pitching a good story. I should have considered this when writing scenario 45, but I got caught up in elements of Absalom after reading through the guide to the city. It's a very good source book, by the way, though I'd have been better off not reading it - I got too attached to some of the interesting factions and places detailed inside.

I'll admit I was disappointed to hear that the scenario was given to a established writer, and my knee-jerk reaction was to feel like a bait-and-switch had somehow occurred, but I'll instead treat this as an experience to learn from and next time I'll do better.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Kobash wrote:
On one hand, we are unproven to Paizo and unknown to you, which means you're really taking a leap of faith on selecting someone who's only a name on the boards to follow through and give you a good product. On the other hand, many of us submitting scenarios have never gone through the process of development with you or anyone else at Paizo, which means we don't know what you expect. There are a few posts floating around the message-boards that give advice, but most seem ambiguous and I'm guessing that's intentional in order to prevent limiting our creativity in pitching a good story.

I think the advice posts may be more on the ambiguous side not to prevent stifling of creativity, but to make the pitches more representative of a writer's ability to write. If the open calls were structured such that you simply follow the formula Josh provided in the call, what in the formulaic pitches would distinguish a writer with the chops to do a scenario from one without? You're right that everyone who submits (for the most part) is new to Paizo, so it's even more important that they get a good sense from the pitch of what each writer is capable of. It's a subjective decision no matter what, so the more of a prediction of the final product the pitch provides, the easier it is to "trust your gut."

Taldor **

Meds wrote:
I (ab)used a canon NPC, Dr. Bensi Skule, as my main villain.

You too?

**

Be sure to read today's blog post.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I didn't enter this time because I was stumped by the minotaur prince, couldn't find anything about him online and he wasn't featured in any Paizo product I owned so I had to take a pass.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Be sure to read today's blog post.

Woot!

Thank you for this opportunity.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Interesting new approach to the process. I wonder whether the additional freedom will prompt more people to submit or whether the prospect of writing a full adventure without knowing if it will be published will deter people from trying their hand.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

yoda8myhead wrote:
Interesting new approach to the process. I wonder whether the additional freedom will prompt more people to submit or whether the prospect of writing a full adventure without knowing if it will be published will deter people from trying their hand.

I think the 500 word query will see a lot of use, 12000 words is a lot. It is doable, ask Yoda, but submitting blind like that would be a longshot.

**

Kobash wrote:
scenario 45, but I got caught up in elements of Absalom after reading through the guide to the city. It's a very good source book, by the way, ...

I had a similar problem and was well over the word count, and realized I would not make it by the deadline.

Absolam sourcebook is scary awesome!

EDIT (after catching up on blog): or rewrite into full adventure...

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