Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

The Scarlet God


Round 5 - Top 4: Submit a Pathfinder Module™ adventure proposal

51 to 76 of 76 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Contributor

Wild Gazebo, you really need to tone it down. Attacking James is not appropriate.

Paizo is a company. A company that has to adhere to a publishing schedule. So when we expect the Superstar adventure to happen on a certain month, that means we solicit other adventures for other months around that expectation. We can't just say, "oh, this year's winning entry will actually be published TWO years from now."

As far as announcing that entries may be changed, that's also the nature of the business.

We've already taken steps for next year so that designers won't run into this sort of "you're entering a design space for which we already have plans next year" problem.

Tom isn't blackballed. All the judges have acknowledged that they like the adventure and that things would have to change. That's normal. That's the nature of the business. It's the nature of writing. In the X months between when the freelancer is sent a contract and when the book goes to the printer, things happen--for example, we realize product Z is going to feature a certain game or campaign element that's in the adventure, and the adventure needs to be updated to accommodate that. Every adventure we publish gets developed, even those written by Paizo staff. If this is the one voters choose, it'll be developed, things will change, and it will still be a cool adventure.


The Scarlet God has my vote. It may need some tweaks or even a new paint job (swapping out the Leng), but the engine is running fine.

Interestingly, the Scarlett God and the Doom Comes to Dustpawn are very similar. In the first, the PC go get the Cthulhu-esque villain, in the latter, the PCs wait for the Cthulhu-esque villain to come to them. I am sure it is merely a matter of personal preference, but it seems to me that it is easier (and more fun) to run an adventure where the PC must go DO something rather than run an adventure where the PCs must wait for something to come to them.

It seems like the whole Cthulhu/horror theme space was, shall we say, very well explored this year. More Cowbell?


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Wild Gazebo, you really need to tone it down. Attacking James is not appropriate.

I've PMed you out of politeness.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Tom,

This delivers on the promise that you showed us with Eightfinger's Tomb and the Gloomspires. It has that same old skool vibe running through it, and I want to fight in the monastery, and defeat the evil sorceress. I could not care less about the color of the upholstery (Leng), or the exact mechanics of the aggressive corners hazard. You can, and will, replace those with something better as you work with a developer to refine this into a finished adventure.

Top class, again. One of the two I am choosing between for a vote.

Star Voter 2013

Devouring Geometry could be changed to a random teleport within the tower, thus gradually splitting the party like it was intended and feeding the feeling of claustrophobia and paranoia. Who's gonna vanish next, and when? Another possibility would be to "devour" the PCs by swallowing them hole in an extradimensional space, which they could escape with a successful Will save, exiting in a random place within the tower.

Great run, Tom, and great final adventure!

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

RPG Superstar! I look forward to buying this adventure. Can't think of a more bottom line thing to say: my vote and my hard earned cash.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

Congratulations on making it this far, Tom! You’ve been a consistently good competitor with some excellent offerings so far. I loved your organisation and your item and, while I wasn’t a big fan of the Slaughterhound, your encounter pulled you away from the pack again.

So, I expected something good from you and I got it. You obviously love your Howard and Lovecraft and why shouldn’t you? The powers that be at Paizo clearly have those as touchstones, so it makes perfect sense to riff on that.

I think The Scarlet God is a brilliant name. It could easily be the name of a Conan story and I can really see it going down as one of the great adventure titles. The submission is very well put together. The scenes flow nicely, revealing more of the horrors and the backstory as they move along. It’s linear but I don’t have a problem with that if the story is good.

The story is interesting, the NPCs are too and the encounters are very well set up. Having to move it from Leng is not a big deal to me and changing the giants shouldn’t really affect much. I think it’s a real shame if you lose out on votes due to changes in the window dressing.

Your encounters are very creative. I like the void motes and the dangerous geometry is a brilliant idea (see below, though). Having the PCs defeat Naevia only to have the Scarlet God itself appear straight after is a highly dramatic one-two. It would be a very exciting climax. A young, fiendish carnivorous blob is such a good choice for nascent Great Old One.

However, as with the Slaughterhound, you’ve misjudged the power level. Most of the party could easily die through the geometry. I love the idea, but the effect on the game is much too destructive. Change it to something like a Maze spell and it works much better. It’s less dramatic but the adventure is killed stone dead by it as it stands. You could then bring those vanished NPCs back at various points in the following rounds as they slowly find their way back into the world. Having the mercs die off screen is a shame.

Overall, I like it a lot. It’s very well polished, your writing is good and you’ve structured it well. I could see this as a published module with only a few changes. The only thing that stops me giving you my vote immediately is that it feels a little straightforward compared to Mike’s. The individual elements are interesting and exciting. The writing is good. It’s very professional. But is it as fresh and exciting?

You’ve probably got my vote, Tom. I’m sure I would enjoy gaming with you (if I survived it) and I definitely want to see more of your work in print. Keep banging out the Conan homages and you’ve got me as a fan for life. Good luck in the voting and I can’t wait to see what you write for Paizo!

Star Voter 2013

I;m a little dissapointed with this adventure, frankly. I know, I know, the judges really liked it, but I don't always have to agree with them.

Mostly, I think it's because there's so many "but why?" moments in it.

"Why do the villians get to escape in a cutscene?"
"Why does the portal only work once every 24 hours, but allow any number of people through while active?"
"Wait, why were so many NPCs introduced only to have them be mysteriously (to the PCs) missing during the final battle?"
"Why does the god still/only ressurect if the PCs win?"

The initial premise didn't quite hook me - I can see some good in it, sure - but I just kept losing my suspension of disbelief with all these things that don't quite make sense to me popping up.

Star Voter 2014

RonarsCorruption wrote:

I;m a little dissapointed with this adventure, frankly. I know, I know, the judges really liked it, but I don't always have to agree with them.

Mostly, I think it's because there's so many "but why?" moments in it.

"Why do the villians get to escape in a cutscene?"
"Why does the portal only work once every 24 hours, but allow any number of people through while active?"
"Wait, why were so many NPCs introduced only to have them be mysteriously (to the PCs) missing during the final battle?"
"Why does the god still/only ressurect if the PCs win?"

The initial premise didn't quite hook me - I can see some good in it, sure - but I just kept losing my suspension of disbelief with all these things that don't quite make sense to me popping up.

Once again, someone summed up my problems with the entry better than I could. I had almost exactly these thoughts (especially #2) as I was reading through it. And #1, #2, and possibly #4 are fundamental enough to the adventure-as-written that I really can't see how you could fix them without significant changes. So on top of the setting changing significantly, the plot would have to change as well.


Disclaimer:
Ask A RPGSupersuccubus provides the much needed viewpoint of a CE aligned (very advanced) succubus. The following review pays assiduous attention to fairness, balance, and logic. That said, these are Abyssal notions of those concepts, wheretofore today ‘fairness’ is an installation (occasionally of a ‘blast’ variety) commonly employed by someone with an over-the-top posh accent for smelting metals or toasting lightly flammable enemies, ‘balance’ is a large green vaguely pachyderm creature with a penchant for trampling magi, and logic is a very special form of magic which irrefutably proves a succubus is always right.

For the purpose of reviewing this proposal, I shall consider the quartet of adventurous succubi Anthea, Byrria, Cynthia and Daria to be in the area. Whilst it is at least unwise (if not outright foolish) to take any succubus for granted, I am sufficiently familiar with the four of them to be certain of their likely general reactions to any circumstance detailed here. As a matter of Good Manners, here are a few details regarding the four:
Anthea:

Spoiler:
Anthea is an inquisitor who loosely associates with the church of Gorum. She enjoys uncovering the truth ‘by any and all means necessary’ – and the public exposure of the trivial little secrets that mortals keep from one another is often (at the very least) good for causing a punch up. She is fond of spiked armour and (by succubus standards) is relatively enthusiastic when it comes to physical brawling.

Byrria:
Spoiler:
Byrria is a lady ‘archeologist’ – she dislikes to use the term ‘tomb-robber’ to describe herself except when there happens to be a cleric of Asmodeus in the vicinity whom a whiff of anything remotely illegal is guaranteed to successfully wind-up. The cultures of some mortals whereby the deceased are buried with extraordinarily valuable and nice looking objects is something which she’s never quite understood the mentality behind, but which she nonetheless appreciates tremendously – since she loves to acquire such objects and it’s often less fuss and easier to remove them from ‘archeological sites’ than from a palace patrolled and supervised by living guards.
Byrria is a fan of the demon lords Aldinach and Areshkagal.

Cynthia:
Spoiler:
Cynthia is a wizardess. She’s interested in unlocking the secrets of the universe to gain vast personal power, and is more than happy to share what she’s learned thus far with anyone foolish enough to suggest ‘there’s no such thing as a wizardess; only a female wizard’. (Generally such ‘sharings’ tend to involve evocation spells of a highly destructive nature, or the summoning of large heavy metal objects in the vicinity of ten feet above the wit in question’s head.)
Owing to a misunderstanding during an escapade when she was dealing with some daemons Cynthia acquired a paladin of Erastil familiar (Also Known As a ‘husband’). She generally leaves her familiar at home, moping around his estates in Brevoy, but the empathic link does occasionally bother her. However he is too Lawful and she is too proud for either of them to take well to suggestions (whether helpful or otherwise) that their union might in any way have been a Mistake. Owing to their mutual refusal regarding acknowledging the possibility of a Mistake, their family was recently expanded by the addition of a passably cute little baby alu-fiend, named Cassiantha (or at least that’s the abbreviated version employed in polite company). Cassiantha is currently in a stage where her cuteness is inversely proportional to her state of being awake.
When it comes to religion, Cynthia is fascinated by the deity Nethys in his destructive aspect.

Daria:
Spoiler:
Daria is a bard. She loves being an object of rapturous mortal adoration, the bigger the crowd and the acclaim the better. A passable performer on the mandolin and with a good singing voice, she admires the goddess Shelyn as a patron of the arts. She considers herself a true devotee of Shelyn, although given the steps that she’s prepared to take at times to ensure an audience, most worshipers and clerics of Shelyn would beg to differ on that point. Daria is aware of that but waves aside such opinions as ‘the artistic jealousies of lesser performers’. She is happy to do what she considers a ‘favour’ for the church of Shelyn any time she perceives that one may need doing (and often irrespective of whether such a favour was even asked of her in the first place).

Anthea, Byrria, Cynthia, and Daria are either in or travelling through the area for the purpose of a shopping expedition. How likely are the initial events presented to interest them and if not sufficiently enticing what might it take to engage their involvement?
Desnans and Succubi tend not to get on, terribly well, and certainly not when the Desnans have been fighting with denizens of Leng (even a number of generations earlier). Basically, a halfling acolyte of Desna isn’t likely to get their sympathy, although being attacked by the white dragon for simply being in the vicinity of the halfling (and it waking Cassiantha up) is guaranteed to at least get the dragon killed. After that they’re likely to resume their travel in the direction of whichever shops they were on their way to visit.
It’s honestly difficult to see them getting further involved for any reason short of a Very Important Lady ordering them to do so (possibly because she has a grudge against the Scarlet God).

So just what is likely to happen once four succubi (and a baby alu-fiend) do get involved?
Since the Very Important Lady is unlikely to be too concerned about Desnans, and will equip them with their own planar travel options (and protections against the party-splitting and unpleasant geometric sides of the tower) they will simply travel to the tower and kill everything. Including the Desnans. There's no point to leaving mortals around with knowledge of a place like that, when the Very Important Lady wants the place covered up, almost certainly. Given that the captives will have probably gone insane by that point it’s likely to be a case of accidental mercy, really. (Plus it’s probably kinder than simply abandoning them in Leng – see Predicted Extraneous Body Count below.)

What about the aftermath?
Tea and crumpets with a Very Important Lady, for a job well done and a scarlet thingummy squished!

Predicted Extraneous Body Count:
Most groups (even of ‘heroes’) are probably going to abandon the captives in Leng, at least temporarily anyway, since they’ll have probably only brought enough plane-shift magic to get themselves out, so the deaths of most of those twelve Desnan captives aren’t really that extraneous.

Further Disclaimer:
Ask A RPGSupersuccubus (out of deference to Lord Orcus) would like to once again remind voters that she has been providing a (very advanced) succubus’ take on this round’s entries, and that whilst her assessments are (naturally) impeccable, voters might like to consider other opinions and sources, too.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you everyone for your feedback, and thank you to those of you who sent a vote my way. Regardless of the bizarre issues surrounding my module proposal (::shakes fist at parallel design::), I still feel as thankful and humbled for being at this stage of the contest as I did when I made the Top 32 for the first time waaaay back in January 2010. It's been a long strange road indeed!

So, win or lose, just like James Jacobs and the other judges have said, I feel like a winner already. And I owe this feeling to you, my friends here on the Paizo boards. So, thank you! I promise you'll be seeing more of me very soon!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Tom, even though I voted for Mike's proposal, I want you to know that in my opinion, you have been the contestant who has shown the most consistently high level of quality, both in imagination, writing and attention to detail.

I have no doubt we will be seeing your name on several Paizo products in the future, and I would personally be surprised if they didn't give you a shot at an AP chapter down the line.

I look forward to your PFS module and whatever else you put out.

/Jacob

Star Voter 2013

Since they say so many things would need to change, if you win might I recommend The Scarlet God Comes to Dustpawn as suggested in the general discussion?


I'm glad you're going through this with good gutso and keeping your chin up, Tommy P. From your initial entry into the Class of 32 for 2010, I can state that I upvoted for you on every round over the years ... until this recent Round 5. It was tough. Very tough. But I had to hand it to Mike because he offered a niche that some of us have been wanting to see come through Paizo that had yet to occur and he did manage to pull it off in a manner that appealed to me.

But I remain strongly confident that you should be able to get work (regardless of the outcome whether you win the whole thing; we still have hours until THE. BIG. REVEAL!). If you got through the judges three years in a row (at the least), that says something right there regardless of how you advanced in the contest that you obviously have chops that consistently appeal to their preferences on what they're looking for in a freelancer.

P.S. I want a Mr. Fishy inspired adventure. ;-)


Tom - I missed the chance to vote, but if I could have it would have been for you or Mike.

That being said, I feel like you've shown EXCELLENT design work in all rounds of the competition. If you don't win, I feel strongly that Paizo will be giving you work either way - frankly you deserve it.

I can't imagine that you and mike won't both be freelancing. It's been an interesting run this year - I think it was pretty clear up until the last round that you were a better designer than Mike (no offense, just stating my honest opinion) but the submission of adventures cast a little doubt onto that for me.

Personally I would have voted for you - because I feel that you earned it with your stellar design work throughout the competition. And I don't understand how a parallel design issue would have had any impact on the work you've done - it's just as impressive either way.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

RonarsCorruption wrote:
Since they say so many things would need to change, if you win might I recommend The Scarlet God Comes to Dustpawn as suggested in the general discussion?

I found Meepo's amalgamation chock full of interesting ideas. I'm not sure I can speak to any of them right now ... especially since it feels to me like Mike's proposal is the one with clear momentum.

For now, I'll just say I'm looking hard at Aucturn or Orv as a replacement for Leng.


Hey Tom,

My condolences on not winning the competition. Let me know the next thing you'll be featured in and I'll be more then happy to pick it up. Your work is too good not to support you, and if you ever get the shot to make that mod please let the community know - I'd buy it in a heartbeat!


Dear Tom Qadim,
Congratulations on reaching the top four. (After making the top 32+ for the third year in a row; it's nice to see that at you're now going to be stepping politely back and letting some other people have a go in the top 32.... ;) ) At this point, you have won the true prize, of getting to write a Pathfinder Society module, perhaps to be played and cursed by players years from now at conventions, whilst a certain badger (or at least that's his avatar at the time of this post) gets to stress about writing a 32 page module.
From the viewpoint of a CE aligned (very advanced) succubus, I think I'm inclining towards the most interesting presentation you gave being that concerning the great way to annoy (hell)cat lovers, back in Round 3. It's not necessarily that it was the best made of your presentations, or anything like that, but it actually had an obvious practicable use (and appeal) to an Abyssal temptress.
Anyway, best wishes for the future.

Ask A RPGSupersuccubus.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Aelryinth

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Wild Gazebo wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Wild Gazebo, you really need to tone it down. Attacking James is not appropriate.

I've PMed you out of politeness.

I agree with Mr. Gazebo.

No offense to JJ, but his judgement came down to "I recommend you not vote for this this designer because his submission conflicts with something we are producing next year that he knew nothing about."

This has been a problem in prior contests, where submissions unwittingly overlapped with products put out in the middle of the contest...including one memorable one where the product was announced between the submission and judging phases, and a submitter got slammed for it by the judges because of the overlap!

Tom had a great adventure on its own merits, while JJ seemed to be judging it on the merits of what it had to change to. This strikes me as particularly unfair. JJ should have left the entire 'leng is not appropriate for our schedule' spoiler until the END of his critique, judged the adventure on its own merits, and then revealed to us what would need to happen.

It's nice to see the judges are going to take some steps that this kind of inadvertent overlap is going to happen less in the future.
===

Agree with a couple of things.

1) the save or die has got to go. A save or confused at least allows the chance to nullify the condition.

2) fighting a single crazed bard is a one round roll the rocker.

3) a 13th level sorceress can summon up a lot of help given a few round to prepare, which completely takes care of action economy problems, so that analysis was off-base.

4) The frustrated cloud giant's first attack should be crashing his lute down on someone to convey his irritation. Playing the lute becomes a weapon!

5) the presence of Baku are easily explained as dream eaters, nightmare hags are nightmare makers, and Leng are of the dimension of dreams. I could see the parallels instantly. No need to justify them.

6) I know you lost, but the adventure was a great idea, so don't despair! you did great!

==Bob Drouin

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice work all the way through Tom. Be seeing you in print...

[EDIT] I think I know why I liked Scarlet God so much. This is to clarify my earlier post. It refreshed old memories, and tweaked them. A recently ruined building, site of a massacre is always engaging. It went planar to a minimalist environment containing a highly unstable environment housing a god. It had NPCs I want to best. And best of all, a cloud giant playing a lute.

P.S. I agree with Wild Gazebo. Having said that, I think James did the right thing, for the reasons he himself provided. I just think there could have been a better way to handle the situation. We can never know how his post affected the voting. I tend to think not much. I voted for the Scarlet God even more because it was now going to be more "open" to Tom's interpretation, and his previous rounds' entries ensured that could only be a good thing...

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Congratulations and well done Tom, you gave us a really, really close race. I know that the Paizo developers are going to come a knocking asking you to do something. I have a feeling that you are going to be the guy from this year's Superstar that uses it as a big springboard, and I'm looking forward to reading your stuff.

Shadow Lodge

For all of you interested, Tom is already springboarding right into freelance work. He's written an excellent piece for us at TPK Games, co-authored with Richard Hunt (another former RPG superstar contender) called the Ship of Fools. If you liked either of their works, do check it out. A free preview is available as well.

The Ship of Fools

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka motteditor

Your link seems to be broken. At least for me, it's just going back to the top of this page.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Your link seems to be broken. At least for me, it's just going back to the top of this page.

Thanks for the head's up, Jacob!

Here's Ship of Fools. Buy it! We'll make more! ;-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bought! Looks like something I can use in a game I am running. Thanks for the link!

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

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Daniel Rust wrote:
However, as with the Slaughterhound, you’ve misjudged the power level. Most of the party could easily die through the geometry.

I like that part :)

51 to 76 of 76 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2012 / Round 5 - Top 4: Submit a Pathfinder Module™ adventure proposal / The Scarlet God All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Round 5 - Top 4: Submit a Pathfinder Module™ adventure proposal

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.