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RPG Superstar 2015

Another Superstar season coming up, I can feel it....


RPG Superstar™ 2012 General Discussion

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

Is it just me? Am I the only one getting all geeked up for another round of RPG Superstar? I keep thinking about it. Its November. Its getting close....Can't wait!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Nope....it's not just you, Clark.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka motteditor

What Jacob 3 said...

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

Guys, some advice. Do these three things:

(1) Read the prior top 32 items from prior years.

(2) Listen to the audio of the seminar the judges gave at PaizoCon two cons ago.

(3) Read Sean's consolidated advice thread.

That should really help you get ready for this year.

I can't wait!!!

Clark

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

Someone give me a hand please. Looks like that audio link in the thread I link to doesn't work anymore. Does anyone have a good link to the superstar panel that Neil, Sean, Ryan and I did?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Clark Peterson wrote:
Someone give me a hand please. Looks like that audio link in the thread I link to doesn't work anymore. Does anyone have a good link to the superstar panel that Neil, Sean, Ryan and I did?

Two fresh links were added to the end of that thread, Clark.

3.5 private sanctuary stream

Dropbox download

As a former Top 32, I highly recommend listening to that recording.

Also, these:

Some really sharp insights on how to make it to the top 32 without ever having played a single game of Pathfinder, by Garrett "Bottled Time" Guillotte.

A VERY in-depth look at the wondrous item template

Neil's Feedback: Selected, In-Depth Item Reviews

Bottom line: Making it to the Top 32 and beyond is all about doing your homework. Better get started NOW!

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Wow, thanks for linking my wondrous item template thread Jacob - well chuffed that someone who made the cut thinks it's useful.

I still have the original text document pasted to the forums, so if you want a copy in pdf/doc format, private message me an email address and I'll send it (once I have polished it up and corrected some of those god awful typos that we always get in very late night forum postings).

Now I have made the offer, it may be a few days before you get it as I expect I may just get a few emails or two :)

Also, as we have about 3 weeks possibly 4 to the big kick off, if anyone Paizo staff, Judge (past, present or future) or any prospective entrant sees anything wrong or out of date... please, please tell me and I will endeavor to give it some polish and shine before the competition gets underway.

I did recently add to that thread some links to writing style/passive voice articles that finally lit up my light-bulb over my head, so you may want to peruse those as well.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Jacob Trier wrote:
Garrett "Bottled Time" Guillotte

D'aww, thanks Jacob.

To be fair, much of my advice is Clark's advice with a few hundred extra words, sandwiched between a bunch of irrelevant rambling about my own creative process. :D

In retrospect I'd add "BE VERY, VERY LUCKY" in extra-large text.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I can't wait to see what the next batch of Superstars dish up!

I contemplated writing out a long thread full of advice and suggestions on how to make the Top 32 ... but after scanning the boards I see that all of my tips have already been mentioned in some form or another. So, let me leave you with this little -- vastly whittled down -- speck of [possibly useless] advice: Find your own voice and make sure it's awesome.

Making the Top 32 is all about catching the eye of the judges. In my opinion, it's 30% crunch and 70% fluff. You need to know the rules, but not be shackled to them. Be descriptive, be brilliant, be cool, but most importantly, be unique. I wish I could actually tell you how to be all of those things, but I'm not the keeper of such arcane secrets. To be honest, I've come to believe that you either have the natural ability ... or you don't. I didn't do anything special to make the Top 32. I didn't hone my craft for weeks and months before the contest, nor did I do much more than come up with an idea I liked and just ran with it.

If you're interested, here's the process I used:
Step 1: I looked at the previous Top 32 items to make sure mine was original.
Step 2: I looked through the rules and looked for areas that I thought my competitors might not tackle (my Iron Collar of the Unbound Coven from 2011 is a good example).
Step 3: I slapped my idea onto paper ... and then re-wrote it until it no longer sickened me.
Boom. That's it.

If anyone has questions, I'm happy to answer them. But I have a feeling most of you have this already. Now get out there and own this thing!

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Tom Phillips wrote:
To be honest, I've come to believe that you either have the natural ability ... or you don't.

Anyone reading this who gets dissuaded from entering, don't be!

It is true in a way what Tom has said, there will always be the "naturals" in every facet of life, but for the rest of us mortals...

I have met many excellent writers in the last few years who can craft the finest words but lack in imagination and divine spark. Unfortunately, imagination is something you cannot be taught

I have met many people (I like to think I'm on of these) who have boundless imaginations, who can't write for toffee (or couldnt years ago ;P).

It is these people who have the greatest opportunity through hard graft - word crafting can be taught, it is a skill that can be honed and acquired over time. You may not become the next Wordsworth or Shakespeare but you can become very competent with hard work and practice.

I may not be the fastest at learning but over the last few years, I have gained an understanding or transitives and intransitives, writing styles, passive voice, word choice and many other aspects of writing - all hopefully making my writing stronger and my chances better.

I didn't do this through formal training courses, I did it here, in the forums, in the competition, taking part and entering, I learnt between the competitions with fellow like minded individuals who practice their writing skills and are willing to help. I learnt to have a turtle shell like skin for when the critique threads open, to put feelings aside and try to learn from what I am being told.

I learnt to read - I mean really read - getting those rules and criteria in each round understood is imperative and puts you leaps and bounds ahead of the skim readers. Reading the rules as a writer might, how and why was it constructed in that manner, the tightness and word flow, will all help you to write in the style of a competent writer.

You can do that too.

All you have to do is try, practice and enter. I urge everyone, even those who are feeling less confident to try - it can be a fantastic experience and great fun.

So come on, have a go.

Liberty's Edge Contributor , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I'm looking forward to this year's RPG Superstar!

A lot of awesome people have given a lot of great advice on how to get in the Top 32 (36, if you count the alternates). Even if you don't get into the Top 32, you can still learn quite a bit. It took me five tries to get to the second round of the contest, and I learned something each time I entered.

Jacob and Clark provided a list of resources, and Anthony has some great advice. (I hope to see both Anthony and Jacob in this year's Top 32!) Tom's straightforward process is solid, which should be obvious from the fact that the judges picked his items three years in a row. If you have time after you've developed your item, take a look at the Top 32 from previous years to see if your item fits a similar pattern. That will give a decent gauge as to how the judges will view your item. You don't have to get unanimous buy-in from the judges, but you do have to wow at least one of them.

Best of luck to those of you entering, and I hope you take advantage of the great opportunity that Paizo provides!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
In retrospect I'd add "BE VERY, VERY LUCKY" in extra-large text.

I agree with this. :)

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tom Phillips wrote:

I can't wait to see what the next batch of Superstars dish up!

If you're interested, here's the process I used:
Step 1: I looked at the previous Top 32 items to make sure mine was original.
Step 2: I looked through the rules and looked for areas that I thought my competitors might not tackle (my Iron Collar of the Unbound Coven from 2011 is a good example).
Step 3: I slapped my idea onto paper ... and then re-wrote it until it no longer sickened me.
Boom. That's it.

If anyone has questions, I'm happy to answer them. But I have a feeling most of you have this already. Now get out there and own this thing!

I am kind of saddened that you will not be able to make it four years in a row Tom. If anyone captured 'mojo' it would be you. Thanks for the advice. :)

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

Just remember: the first rounds isnt really the first round, in that we arent just voting on the best items. It is how we as judges pick who we want as contestants. I say that every year.

Hear what I am saying. Its like tryouts for singing shows (Idol, X Factor). You may not have the best audition but if we see something that makes us want you as a contestant that might well make us keep you over someone that sang a more boring song perfectly.

So you need to submit an item that makes me want you to be in the contest. Keep that in mind. That is why interesting is more important than perfection.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Anyone else feeling the buzz?

There is definitely a ramping up of thread activity this last week in the RPG Superstar areas. At least that's how it seems to me.

Funny thing to say, but I'm more excited about this than Christmas!

Star Voter 2014

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm actually going to try for it this year.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Excellent, good luck.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

Formatting tip...

Start using (if you haven't already) the html tags now and in their propper context. It's a minor thing, but could have large implications, as it shows an attention to detail and the ability to follow instructions. If you're italicizing spell names now, it will be more instinctive to do later. Also remember what is capatilized and what isn't.

Spoiler:

And watch out for heightened EMPOWERED explosive runes

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka motteditor

Anthony, definitely feeling the section ramping up. Really excited.

Matthew:

Empowered may be a game term, but it shouldn't be in all caps. : )

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Yeah I spent way more time on RPGSS threads catching up on all the new activity yesterday than actually working. Read through last year's guild hall and random Top 32 and am now feeling much inspired. :)

Spoiler:
heightened empowered grammarred runes

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

On the subject of making your entry stand out, I'll issue this gentle suggestion: Don't *TRY* to be radical and cutting edge and out there. In year 2 or 3 we had a large collection of "gross-out" items. True, some of them got the contestants into the top 32, but it also turned off some of the voting public if later rounds are any indication, and ironically the very thing the authors might have thought would make them stand out from the crowd instead made them feel like "oh, another gross-out item" and it was the items that weren't gross that stood out by comparison.

If you have an idea that you think is really awesome, and it happens to be gross or twisted or provocative or whatever, hey, that's great. If you have an idea that you think is really awesome *BECAUSE* it's gross or twisted or provocative... then you probably need to rethink your item.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Boxhead

I can feel it...

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

Jason Nelson wrote:
If you have an idea that you think is really awesome *BECAUSE* it's gross or twisted or provocative... then you probably need to rethink your item.

+1!

Gross got me into the Top 32 back in 2010 (see Troll Fingers) and I made the mistake of continuing with the gross-out theme (see Slithering Horror). It's no coincidence that I bailed after the Top 16 that year.

Plus ... you sort of get type-cast when you go for the gross-out. Trust me on that! :-/

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka motteditor

Probably about T-minus 14 days...

Marathon Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tom Phillips wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
If you have an idea that you think is really awesome *BECAUSE* it's gross or twisted or provocative... then you probably need to rethink your item.

+1!

Gross got me into the Top 32 back in 2010 (see Troll Fingers) and I made the mistake of continuing with the gross-out theme (see Slithering Horror). It's no coincidence that I bailed after the Top 16 that year.

Plus ... you sort of get type-cast when you go for the gross-out. Trust me on that! :-/

The skull avatar may not be helping :)

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

I was wondering when the Superstar 2013 would kick in! Looking forward to another shot at making it into the top tier group. It’s been a great adventure win or lose.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The bug has well and truly bitten again - I now find myself checking EVERY lunchtime at work and every weekend... "Has THE logo appeared?"

My wife calls me sad... I respond like every good husband... "yes dear".

>.<

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

ROFL- Amen Anthony~ Amen. Good luck to you in the comp.. hope to see your name in the top group.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka motteditor

I haven't been as aware of the contest in previous years. Anyone know what day it usually starts on? IIRC, it tended to get updated at 2 p.m. Pacific, but I figure there's probably still another week.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If previous years are an indication, the first Monday of December (I.e - TODAY!) marks the kickoff. I'd check in around 2 p.m Pacific, as Jacob says. (who am I kidding....I'll check the forums every 20 minutes or so from now and until the contest is posted).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka motteditor

*sniff* No Superstar yet. : (

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
*sniff* No Superstar yet. : (

Hey, I'll take every minute of rewriting and planning that isn't nailed down at this point. :D

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

2012 official rules wrote:
The entry period begins at 2 PM Pacific Time on December 6, 2011, and ends at 2 PM Pacific Time on January 6, 2012.
2011 official rules wrote:
The entry period begins at 2PM Pacific Time on December 3, 2010, and ends at 2PM Pacific Time on December 31, 2010.
2010 official rules wrote:
The entry period begins at 2PM Pacific Time on December 3, 2010, and ends at 2PM Pacific Time on December 31, 2010.
2009 official rules wrote:
The entry period begins at 2PM Pacific Time on December 5, 2008, and ends at 2PM Pacific Time on January 2, 2009.

IIRC the announcement came a full week before the opening date, but it might have been longer. Personally I think it will be pushed to January :) Mondays have officially become PFS's blog day now also, so there is always tomorrow... )


Icon? We wants it... we wants it, our precious...

We wants the door to template dinners opened now, or we eats the Sean hobbit whole...

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

Oh MY.

Those who have come prepared are going to have a HUGE advantage... No more dawdling for weeks on end!

Clock's ticking, folks - get scribbling!

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Curaigh wrote:
Mondays have officially become PFS's blog day now also, so there is always tomorrow... )

...throw enough predictions out there and one of them is bound to be correct. :)

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