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Monster Reformation Alliance


Round 2 - Top 32: Create a new organization

101 to 134 of 134 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

10 people marked this as a favorite.
Dhampir984 wrote:
Uncalled for. This is RPG Superstar. Bring the best you can here. I felt this really wasn't the best here. I feel more like it won because of who he is versus what he did.

What's uncalled for is making statements like the one I've highlighted above. Number one rule for board etiquette: If you've got nothing nice to say...and can't find a way to at least frame it in the form of constructive criticism for someone...say nothing at all. I think this is even doubly important for RPG Superstar.

If you disagree with someone's work, say that (and hopefully, let them know why in a way they can learn some lessons from it). But, if you publicly disagree with the actual person...or their supporters...you've crossed the line. Calling someone out for who they are is venturing beyond the work product in a way that's not supportive of the contest's goals at all. Even if you truly feel this way, what are you attempting to accomplish by making such a statement? Do you hope to convince others to abandon their support for someone? Yeah, that's classless. How about you just support those you believe in...comment on why you didn't like something from those you don't believe in...let the rest of the voting community support who they believe in...and allow the contest to run its course? That's the far wiser thing to do.

Instead, by adopting the stance you've taken here, it's pretty much going to have multiple negative effects. First and foremost, everyone's going to view you in a bad light. If you've got any interest in one day competing in an actual RPG Superstar, that's not going to serve you very well in winning anyone's vote...regardless of what kind of superlative work you may or may not be capable of doing if given your own chance. Secondly, it's going to create a sense of doubt and lower self-esteem in the person you take shots at...and how is that helping them get better? It's not. It's far easier to tear someone down than it is to build them up. And it's far easier to take an "I know better than everyone else" attitude rather than keeping an open mind about what someone may be capable of producing with their own unique talents.

Lastly, I'll end with this: Even if you really feel this particular work came off lackluster and unworthy of being classified as a Superstar effort, who's to say dreaming up worldbuilding elements like a new organization for Golarion just isn't in a particular competitor's primary skillset? Maybe Mike comes back and blows everyone away in the monster round. Or the encounter round. Or even with an unbelievably awesome adventure proposal. You never know. And by you, I mean you. You don't know what might be coming from any of these competitors next round. Someone whose organization you really liked may completely bomb on the heavy math involved in crafting a stat-block. Or, maybe they can't string together a decent plot for an adventure proposal to save their life. You simply don't know.

So, lay off casting aspersions on individual contestants and whatever voting bloc supports them. It's not cool. It's not becoming of anyone in RPG Superstar. And it's not becoming of anyone who's following along with RPG Superstar either.

My two cents,
--Neil

P.S. Mike? Turn the "awesome" dial up as far as it'll go. And then? Break. It. Off.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Spoiler:
If spells were to go above 9th level, I believe the Spicer Wall of Text would be an 11. Definitely.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps Subscriber
Neil Spicer wrote:
What's uncalled for is making statements like the one I've highlighted above.

I'm sorry comment came across that way. It wasn't my intention.


What Neil said..the man's got a way with words!

Andoran

Aberzombie wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
That was intentional. I don't want people to read touchy feely crap like that and think it's an official statement.

So, you admit you have a touchy feely side? Interesting. Kind of like "there is still good in you, the Emperor hasn't driven it from you fully."

Just make sure to let me know which part is the touchy part. That part I want to stay away from.

Funny, I thought he was admitting to being touched in the bad place and was just showing us where on the dolly...

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Neil Spicer wrote:
First and foremost, everyone's going to view you in a bad light. If you've got any interest in one day competing in an actual RPG Superstar, that's not going to serve you very well in winning anyone's vote...regardless of what kind of superlative work you may or may not be capable of doing if given your own chance.

Q. F. T.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations Mike! Ignore the hate, they just don't know what happens when you do damage to a badgah.

CREATIVE RAGEEEEEEE

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

I'm fine being the minority in disliking this item. Having given it some thought, I figured exactly what my issue was. It feels like something from Order of the Stick, which is a perfectly valid way to play the game, but not for me in terms of Golarion.

I do look forward to your monsters. I hope that it blows me away. I really do.


Dhampir984 wrote:
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
read number six and start learning how to suck up to people. It's never too early.

Uncalled for. This is RPG Superstar. Bring the best you can here. I felt this really wasn't the best here. I feel more like it won because of who he is versus what he did.

If you'd like to vote based on popularity and sucking up go for it. But I will vote with what I feel is the best design. Which I feel this wasn't.

If I coulda just sent Edgar Allen Poe to cracked.com, though, he coulda made more than 9 bucks for the Raven.

It's utterly and completely called for.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nevermore Spanky, nevermore.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

What really makes me sad about this stuff is what I'll call the WG7 Castle Greyhawk effect.
I have a working theory that humor in roleplaying, which for me anyway is inseparable, has gotten a real bad rap from this one module.

It had nothing to do with the fact that humor and rpg don't go together, and everything to do with the execution. It was too much Monty Python knight flogging with a dead chicken, and not enough of the other ingredients that could have made it work. It was all the way Airplane, and it wasn't even executed as well as Airplane. I've done Star Trek guys guest starring before, and it worked man; it just takes more subtlety than the "knight flogging with a dead chicken" approach.

Nobody even wants to take a chance on something being too goofball because, in the back of their mind, they're afraid of another Castle Greyhawk. It's easier to shoot it down for maybe being funny(ish) than it is to take a chance on something. So you get all this grimdark/noir/bleakscape, without any comic relief.

It's cool with me though; I can do it regardless. I'll just remember not to ever write any of it down anywhere's.

well, you do get some funny stuff, here and there. But they gotta be real subtle about it, like Kafka or something. Disguise it as grimdark at least.

Andoran

The biggest problem with WG7 is it was basically a "pile on Gary" when he was thrown out of the company. Not funny at all, petty and in very poor taste. And it just sucked on its own merits on top of it.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
It's cool with me though; I can do it regardless. I'll just remember not to ever write any of it down anywhere's.

Uh, Spankerstein, you wrote it all down in the PbP forum...remember?


Aww dammit!


My comment is coming very late because I usually don't see many things to add to the different comments either on the items or the different superstar productions.

However, this is really one that I feel needs commenting upon, especially now that the voting/heated discussion is finished. My focus on this review will be the core idea behind the submission. I'm also going to put aside the writing/presentation issues except to say that in my opinion, this was not well executed or described as it sounded to vague and it was difficult to really enter your writing.

So what of the core idea? From what I read in it, this is a meta-game idea. That means you seem to have projected the way you see gaming into the game. That's why most of the judges did not like your idea because your submission will be received very differently depending on how the reader sees the game. That limits the market to people who like to use "second degree" (As I write that I'm not sure that is the right English term).

Do I like this idea? Yes I love the core idea behind your submission because that's something I've used a lot in my tabletop games with different systems. I even remember one of my friends putting up a D&D scenario where we were playing the dungeon controllers in the Dungeon having to deal with group after group of adventurers and recruiting monsters so that everything is ready.

Do I think it was the right submission for RPGSuperstar? Well, the execution was lacking as I think your organization was too big and too widely distributed. The writing also did not capture really what you had in mind. So for me it did not work. But again, I really loved the concept and the way you see the game.

So please, for the next rounds, try to appeal to a wider audience, because I really want to be able to vote for you based on what I see behind the lines.

Edit: Rereading what I've just written I realize I'm sending a opposite message: I like that you put metagaming into the game but I ask you to do the opposite in the next rounds. So I'll try to be clearer: I like that you have enough imagination and guts to put meta-gaming into the game and I like the way you see the game. But I would prefer if it was more focused on finding new aspects of the game to explore within the "normal" way of gaming, because I think this is what Paizo is looking for. For the full meta-gaming, there are always some 3PP editors that will find your ideas worth publishing and I'm looking forward to see your name there in the future years.

In the end, I will just add the most important point, this critic/praise is just my opinion about YOUR work and not about YOU as an individual and I hope this was clear enough in my post.

Andoran Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Thank you for posting, Llaelian! I understand what you posted, and I certainly didn't take it as anything but a critique of my work. I took a few lessons away from this round: don't get cute with metagaming aspects of the game, especially considering this is Paizo's published world; rein in my tendency to extend my concept beyond what it can bear (in this case, don't make this a global organization); work on clarity in my writing.

I hope my monster submission demonstrates that I have learned those lessons. Without giving away anything regarding my submission, I took an ability away from my monster which was interesting (in my opinion), but ultimately "too much" for the monster. I've also got a couple more proofreaders who I asked to find holes in my description.

Thanks again. I'm glad the idea struck a chord with you, but I realize the execution didn't live up to the idea's promise.


I hope your monster idea isn't going to just kick this one in the face. I don't see anything metagame in the whole "monster awareness" thing, but it's not like people will bother to explain why it actually is metagaming. Even then, I still loved this idea, and just telling me "No, you are badwrong for supporting this!!" will only make the one who said that look stupid. Chances are, they are as dumb as they look. :D

Andoran Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Thanks, Icyshadow!

First off, I don't plan for my monster to make a statement about my organization. :)

I still like the idea of the Alliance, but I recognize that I left a lot of holes in my description. I like to look at some given RPG conventions when I run my game, and, in this case, I wanted to explore how adventurers go in with the attitude of "kill the monsters and take their stuff". That's where the metagame aspect came in, and it wasn't to everyone's taste. I understand that, but I also managed to touch on something a lot of people consider in their games (and happens to be a regular topic on these boards), which was nice to see. Would such a wink work in a published Paizo product? Most likely not, which is where the judges came from with their critique.

I won't "play it safe" with my monster entry, but as I mentioned above, I took a couple of lessons from this round to heart when I designed my monster. I certainly hope you like it. :)


Mike Welham wrote:

Monster Reformation Alliance

Alignment: CN
Headquarters: Kaer Maga
Leader: Cornelius Flynn
Structure: Widespread crusaders for monstrous humanoid rights
Scope: Global

Disclaimer:

You should know the drill by now, but in case you missed it the first time round, Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is posting from the point of view of a CE aligned succubus:
Spoiler:
Fairness is an adjective applicable to hair coloration, balance is what a couple of mortals rapidly losing it on opposite ends of a plank pivoted on a rocky spire a couple of hundred feet above a slowly rising pool of molten basalt try to do, and logic is one of those things which you could swear is there when you rattle the piggybank but if anyone other than a demon opens it the contents turn out to be a couple of dead wasps and a six week old ‘to do (in)’ list.
;)

Important Note:
There’s a difference between late and fashionably late. The former is what most other beings manage. The latter is what sophisticated, (very advanced) succubi manage.

First impressions always being important, do members of this organization wear nifty robes or uniforms when out on formal business?
No indication is given of robes or uniform.

Does membership of this organisation seem likely to involve regular tea or dinner parties or other appropriate social occasions?
Occasional public speeches, perhaps, but upon consideration I conclude not on the tea or dinner party front.

Is the cost of being a member of this organisation likely to be acceptable to a succubus?
Ummm. You see technically, succubi aren't monsters (being far too well-mannered) unless they happen to be working as something such as emergency-cover tax inspectors, so this one is sort of tricky to arbitrate.

Other comments?
I'm a little unclear if the organization's aim is 'persuade monsters to hand over their treasure to us' or 'persuade society to leave monsters alone' - or perhaps some mix of both. Of course there are some monsters (any cleric of Asmodeus, for example) which don't deserve any kind of integration except that to be found at the tip of a very sharp, silver, spear, but then again it's slavish devotion, not intelligence, which Asmodeus looks for first and foremost in followers, so presumably a good many Asmodeans wouldn't qualify for membership of this group.

Rating:
Organizations are not being rated except under special circumstances.

Congratulations:
Congratulations on making the top cut in Round 1. Obviously at this point it’s now apparent that... Oh wait! You're still in! Carry on then. ;)


Mike,

Congrats on advancing in the competition! This entry seems to fall into the "people really like it" or "people really don't like it." Interesting reactions. No such thing as bad publicity, eh?

Regarding the organization, I have a question: (I think sort asked by one of the judges): "why would evil monsters want to be accepted by a fantasy society?" By acceptance, I assume that you mean more than just be left alone. But rather, inclusion in a fantasy world ecology, economy, society, etc. I am curious about your reasoning/perspective.

Good luck in the next round!

Andoran Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Thanks, Basilforth!

I'll try to provide my reasoning for the Alliance's point and what monsters would gain from acceptance in society.

Flynn (well, the doppelganger pretending to be Flynn) is a salesman--I envisioned him having levels in bard or enchanter. So, he approaches the evil races, specifically those whom he thinks can behave (no derros, for example), and he presents a plan to integrate into society in order to eventually destroy civilization from the inside. At the same time he works with neutral races who happen to be less palatable in terms of appearance ostensibly to help them gain a foothold in various cities. Really, he's just looking to add an air of legitimacy for the Alliance. While Flynn is playing all this out, he looks to gain access to treasures these various races possess. After years of working to gain acceptance for monsters, and hopefully succeeding, that's when Flynn would instigate a fight between the monsters and the society which has accepted them. He can then walk away with the treasure he gained access to, after killing a patsy to fake his own death, and move on to his next scheme.

This is really why I should have limited it to Kaer Maga (or KM and Absalom at most). It made a lot more sense for this kind of scheme to play out in one city, especially in Kaer Maga, where monstrous denizens already move about the city.

I wanted to leave the organization open-ended, because I do like the idea of reformed monsters, and I didn't want to completely dictate the organization's motives (of course, that was a bad and good decision, depending on who you ask). I can certainly see a case where the party decides to spare a bunch of goblin children, but they have no idea what to do with them. Well, there's this organization in Kaer Maga called the Monster Reformation Alliance...they'll take the poor orphaned things in, for a price (usually one the party paladin will have to pay). Those goblins who can't fit in--they end up helping to sate the bloodlust of some of those monsters who get a little antsy playing nice.

I hope that helps, and I'll be happy to answer any other questions you might have.

Andoran Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Darn it! I was going to have "Cornelius Flynn" invite RPGSupersuccubus to join the Alliance, given her obvious talents. Only, I can't post with an alias. :P

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Nope. Trevor and I pushed that schtick way too far in 2009 with our in-character posts as Bracht and Gulga Cench.

Also, for what it's worth, your explanation above for the Monster Reformation Alliance didn't come through in your writeup. So, what you had in mind never really translated to the page. Additionally, I think you got too caught up in the NPC of your organization and lost a bit of focus on making sure it was the organization you did justice to...

But that's just my two cents,
--Neil

Andoran Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Neil Spicer wrote:
Nope. Trevor and I pushed that schtick way too far in 2009 with our in-character posts as Bracht and Gulga Cench.

I remember that. :)

I wasn't going to even approach the level of banter you two had.

Andoran Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Neil Spicer wrote:

Also, for what it's worth, your explanation above for the Monster Reformation Alliance didn't come through in your writeup. So, what you had in mind never really translated to the page. Additionally, I think you got too caught up in the NPC of your organization and lost a bit of focus on making sure it was the organization you did justice to...

But that's just my two cents,
--Neil

That became abundantly clear when I read the initial reactions. I also made a double mistake by globalizing things: it didn't make sense for the organization, and I cut out valuable space to define the organization more concretely.

Caught you mid-post. :)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka DankeSean

Mike Welham wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:

Also, for what it's worth, your explanation above for the Monster Reformation Alliance didn't come through in your writeup. So, what you had in mind never really translated to the page. Additionally, I think you got too caught up in the NPC of your organization and lost a bit of focus on making sure it was the organization you did justice to...

But that's just my two cents,
--Neil

That became abundantly clear when I read the initial reactions. I also made a double mistake by globalizing things: it didn't make sense for the organization, and I cut out valuable space to define the organization more concretely.

Caught you mid-post. :)

...is this a rare case of Neil-ing Neil?


Mike Welham wrote:

Thanks, Basilforth!

... he presents a plan to integrate into society in order to eventually destroy civilization from the inside.

Ah, ok, that makes sense to me. I'm glad that you said that. I was having a hard time seeing why an evil (or chaotic for that matter) monster would participate. I can definitely see a neutral evil monster totally digging this group. A lawful evil monster would like it, but could absolutely NOT keep a straight face or stop drooling while trying to participate in such a group. ;)

Star Voter 2013

I love this idea and voted for you.

I hate people who take Pathfinder games so seriously. Pathfinder is much more like Discworld than a monotonous imitator of Lord of the Rings. Good job and I hope the sens of humour appears in your future work.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

darth_borehd wrote:
I hate people who take Pathfinder games so seriously.

I know, those crazy serious "people" like the guy who saved modern D&D with the OGL (Ryan), one of the biggest of all industry insiders (Sean), one of Paizo's best freelancers (Neil) [and little ol' me].

We don't take our Pathfinder games too seriously. We just thought this was a bad entry. And it was. It wasn't his best. He can do better. He took the easy way out with a humorous entry. Luckily he raised his game in subsequent rounds. Just because we thought a joke entry sucked doesnt mean we dont have a sense of humor.

Star Voter 2013

Clark Peterson wrote:
darth_borehd wrote:
I hate people who take Pathfinder games so seriously.

I know, those crazy serious "people" like the guy who saved modern D&D with the OGL (Ryan), one of the biggest of all industry insiders (Sean), one of Paizo's best freelancers (Neil) [and little ol' me].

We don't take our Pathfinder games too seriously. We just thought this was a bad entry. And it was. It wasn't his best. He can do better. He took the easy way out with a humorous entry. Luckily he raised his game in subsequent rounds. Just because we thought a joke entry sucked doesnt mean we dont have a sense of humor.

I don't think you guys really saw the potential in the entry. Granted, most monstrous races will not be joining the MRA, but that's not to say there won't be some.

Using things from modern day, as an example. If I ask just about anyone what they should do with [insert type of criminal here], many (probably most, depending on the criminal type) will say we should just kill them and be done with it. Most will say they are tired of convicted killers and prisoners getting better health care, better food, better sanitation etc. than the people who never committed the crime and are instead paying the taxes. Yet those better health care, food and other things exist. Serial killers can play Xbox Live in their cell if they have good behavior. Rapists can get online and browse the internet. This is all possible because the seemingly minority of people, campaign for their rights. I believe something similar could happen with the minority of Gnolls, campaigning for Gnoll rights. Or Orcs, Kobolds, etc.

Yes, that was a modern day example, but the theory still applies. We never had 'adventurers' running around killing orcs, gnolls, harpies, etc, and taking their lewtz, in our medieval times. Who's to say that many of these monsters haven't gotten tired of hearing about adventurers who, in their eyes, murder all their friends, take their stuff, and are congratulated for it.

This is a threat that swinging a sword won't solve, and it's a mechanic of gameplay that lots of tables suffer to produce. I know I don't have as much political, or social, intrigue as I should, and that's my fault. But when one is running an adventure or module, most don't really focus much on the social or political machinations of the world. I've heard Council of Thieves had some politics, I know Curse of the Crimson Throne does, and I know Mask of the Living God (module) also has some intrigue. But even then, the majority of adventures are:

1) Find the bad guy
2) Kill him
3) Take his stuff
4) Find the next bad guy...

That is the classic formula of adventures, but tossing something like the MRA into an adventure would allow the possibility of bringing the game to the next level. Those classes with all those skills would have chance to put them to the test.

Maybe the MRA, while a legitimate group, sometimes has sinister people rise to the head of a particular lodge and the PCs have to depose of him, while minimizing the damage they deal. Only a few of those harpies are an actual threat, but the problem becomes, who is pretending, and who is real?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Standback

Tels, I hear what you're saying, and I think the reasons you describe make up a fair portion of the support this entry received.

While some judges pegged this as a joke entry, a lot of the other posters who didn't like the MRA took issue more with the presentation and the implementation than with the core idea itself. Take a look at OwlbearRepublic's excellent remarks, and my own line-by-line analysis of the reactions the entry might provoke from casual readers.

While both the flaws and the virtues of the MRA have been extensively discussed, there's always room for more discussion :) However, comments such as the one you quoted, which belittle the judges or mock people who disagree with them, are typically met with a less welcoming tone...

Andoran Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I could have done a much better job presenting the Monster Reformation Alliance. I intended for it to be open-ended and usable in a manner a GM would prefer (comedic, nefarious, etc.), but I overdid the "meta" in my description, and I did a poor job of figuring out how to most credibly place the organization in Golarion.

I admit that I was upset, at first, when I read Clark's comments about this being a joke entry, because I certainly didn't intend to make light of the round or the competition. Upon reflection, I understood why the judges reacted the way they did, and other criticisms bear this out. This round, more than any other, taught me how much I had to step things up.

I truly appreciate everyone who saw the spark of something interesting here, and I wanted to ensure that I did not let you down in later rounds while also ensuring I turned in work which would better fit Golarion's sensibilities.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter 2013, Champion Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Can I call upon the MRA to help form a protest outside the Paizo offices for not including mites in the upcoming ARG? All the johnny-come-latelies get coverage, but not this staple creature which has been featured in numerous products.

Andoran Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mike Welham wrote:


I truly appreciate everyone who saw the spark of something interesting here, and I wanted to ensure that I did not let you down in later rounds while also ensuring I turned in work which would better fit Golarion's sensibilities.

I did see the spark in you. And while the last round was the only one I didn't vote for you, I feel a special happiness in your victory. I look forward with a scence of ownership (for lack of a better word) to buying your first RPG product. The nature of this compition is truly special.

Best of luck to you, Mike!

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