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Sean's consolidated advice thread, RPG Superstar 2013 edition


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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Designer

19 people marked this as a favorite.

For the competition two years ago, I posted a list of 27 "auto-reject" topics for RPG Superstar. I'm linking them here just so these ideas are fresh in everyone's mind. Voting for R1 is going to be a little different this year, so it's not like the judges are screening hundreds of items for these problems, but you should keep these ideas in mind when writing your item and (later) when voting on the submissions.

These aren't really "auto-reject" topics, they're design traps to avoid when designing your item. The judges will take the highest-voted items and whittle them down to the Top 32, and we're going to be thinking of these things as we do so. If you put a target on your back and give us an easy excuse to boot your item out of the top 32, you've made a mistake.

Read what's been done in previous competitions. Avoid these traps, pitfalls, auto-reject categories, whatever you want to call them. There's an incredible amount of advice online for this competition--use that advice to make your item better. There's advice to help you win, and advice to keep you from crashing and burning.

And understand that there are wondrous items in the Core Rulebook that fall into these traps--and likewise understand that RPG Superstar isn't just "design an item that would be acceptable filler for a big book of magic items." To make it into the Top 32, your item has to be exceptional, not merely adequate.

(I've moved #27 to the top of the list because it's the rule that breaks all rules. To quote myself, "Every single one of these 27 advice posts is here to help steer you away from mistakes that could make the judges reject your item. Going against that advice can be risky. But sometimes taking a risk is the way to get noticed, to make progress.")

Below this list are some other handy links about the competition, submitting, writing, and design.)

* Work on your item in a program that allows you to save. Save early, save often. When you're ready to submit your item, copy it from the most recent version of your saved file and paste it into the submission window. We've heard horror stories of people who compose their item in the submission window, and lose their submission due to a browser glitch, power failure, or accidentally closing the window. Don't let this happen to you!

* Make sure you know how to post an item. Posting your submission works just like making a message board post--you can preview how your submission looks before you make that final decision to post. Use the preview function! Use it!!!

* Work on several ideas, and submit the one you like the best. Variety can help your creativity.

* Know the rules. You don't have to know all the rules, but read up on the stuff that's relevant to your item. If you're designing an item for cavaliers, make sure you've thoroughly read the cavalier class...

* Read the judge and fan comments on previous Top 32 items to see why they were kept. If you have time, read the "Judges, please critique my item" threads to see why they were rejected.

* Make sure your item doesn't exceed the word count limit for the round. Seriously--one word over and you're disqualified. Use the word count function in your typing program, they're all pretty close (Paizo uses Microsoft Word, FYI), and if you use the Preview button when you submit, it'll tell you the word count for your submission. If it's over the word count (300 for a wondrous item, including the item name and all the stat block info), edit it down.

* Remember to include the item's name.

* Check your item for spelling and grammar errors. Then check it again. Then hit the Preview button. Then check it again. Then make sure you didn't type the item's title in ALL CAPS (it'll show up in all caps automatically because of message board formatting, so you shouldn't manually type it that way). Then, if you're satisfied, hit Submit.

* Submit something, even if you don't think it's very good, or if you don't think it's good enough. If you never actually submit an item, you have a 0% chance to win the competition.

* Be ready for criticism and try to learn from it.

* Remember the Paizo message board policies, especially unwritten Rule 0, "Don't be a jerk."

* Read Seabyrn's thread about passive voice in writing.

And, just for fun, here's my example from last year of an item submission that fails for many, many reasons.

And a link to the actual judges telling you how to make it into the Top 32.

And here is the consolidated advice thread from RPG Superstar 2012, should you want to look at last year's discussion of these things.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka RainyDayNinja

I have a question about #24 (Repeats existing rule text): How do you feel about "cribbing" language from effect descriptions, rather than rules? For instance, if I design an item* that summons an illusory performing dog, and I want to include a line from the phantom steed spell (which is a crafting requirement) to specify "It does not fight, but animals shun it and refuse to attack it," and maybe some more of the language describing it.** Is that kosher, or does it edge too close to plagiarism?

*Completely hypothetical item, which sucks

**In other words, it's similar enough to the spell that many of the same clauses should apply, but different enough that I don't think I can get by with saying "It works like Spell X, but with Y and Z differences."

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

It wouldn't be plagiarism. :)

And if your item isn't just duplicating the effects of phantom steed, it doesn't hurt to borrow "approved" language for a similar effect.

And if your item IS just duplicating that spell... beware the spell-in-a-can reject! :)

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nitpick - I think the previous consolidated advice thread is for 2012, not 2013.

Something that occurred to me with the new voting system - can you vote on your own item if it comes up, or is that grounds for a disqualification and/or auto-rejection? I looked, but I couldn't see anything on that.

Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Cat Daemon wrote:
Nitpick - I think the previous consolidated advice thread is for 2012, not 2013.

"Never correct me, it disgusts me." —William Shatner

(Date fixed, thanks. :))

Cat Daemon wrote:
Something that occurred to me with the new voting system - can you vote on your own item if it comes up, or is that grounds for a disqualification and/or auto-rejection? I looked, but I couldn't see anything on that.

You can vote on your own item. It is not grounds for disqualification. If politicians can vote for themselves, you can do the same. ;)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Ezekiel Shanoax, the Stormchild

A somewhat related question: if we are referencing a relatively new rule (and using 'approved language' therefrom) that appears in a recently published Pathfinder rulebook, is there any tactful, permissible way to reference that book?

For instance, say we want to use a special new combat mechanic from Ultimate Combat, but we're worried that a large percentage of the voting public may not recognize the reference, to the detriment of the understanding and appreciation of our entry. Can we write (see Ultimate Combat) or something like that to remind people of the source material our item is meant to compliment?

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

It wouldn't be plagiarism. :)

And if your item isn't just duplicating the effects of phantom steed, it doesn't hurt to borrow "approved" language for a similar effect.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am new to the competition this year, and I just wanted to send out a general thanks for this thread. Tons of good advice in here. So much good advice that I just crumpled up 3 days of work because I'm inspired to do better. lol

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

AHHHH! It's here! My insides just turned to jelly.

Thanks for posting this again Sean. It was immensely helpful to me last year.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Matt, that's perfectly legit. :)

Dedicated Voter Season 6

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Cat Daemon wrote:
Nitpick - I think the previous consolidated advice thread is for 2012, not 2013.

"Never correct me, it disgusts me." —William Shatner

(Date fixed, thanks. :))

Cat Daemon wrote:
Something that occurred to me with the new voting system - can you vote on your own item if it comes up, or is that grounds for a disqualification and/or auto-rejection? I looked, but I couldn't see anything on that.
You can vote on your own item. It is not grounds for disqualification. If politicians can vote for themselves, you can do the same. ;)

Thanks.

*sighs with relief*
*returns to biting nails over the entry*

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Matt Banach wrote:

A somewhat related question: if we are referencing a relatively new rule (and using 'approved language' therefrom) that appears in a recently published Pathfinder rulebook, is there any tactful, permissible way to reference that book?

For instance, say we want to use a special new combat mechanic from Ultimate Combat, but we're worried that a large percentage of the voting public may not recognize the reference, to the detriment of the understanding and appreciation of our entry. Can we write (see Ultimate Combat) or something like that to remind people of the source material our item is meant to compliment?

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

It wouldn't be plagiarism. :)

And if your item isn't just duplicating the effects of phantom steed, it doesn't hurt to borrow "approved" language for a similar effect.

Matt, within your submission, you can hyperlink your mechanic to it's description in the PRD.

For instance: The pinwheel of evasive flipping (not a real item, btw) allows its user to avoid attacks similar to Cartwheel Dodge.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Don't bother hyperlinking it.

1) A book isn't going to have hyperlinks.
2) The more time you pay attention to the boards code for hyperlinks, the less time you have to pay attention to important stuff about your item... or even trivial stuff like italics. The judges have seen items in the past that linked all the relevant words but failed to italicize spell names, and we were puzzled by it. :p

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

Could I suggest updating the Rules for Round 1 page's block for formatting the text. The spell name doesn't have the italics BB code in it, making it easy to forget to add them.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka DankeSean

Pendin Fust wrote:
Could I suggest updating the Rules for Round 1 page's block for formatting the text. The spell name doesn't have the italics BB code in it, making it easy to forget to add them.

That's because the formatting for italicizing spells can't really be properly implemented in an easy-to-copy format. Spell names are italicized, sure, but the commas between them (assuming one has multiple spells in the construction requirements) aren't. Since the template doesn't know how many spells someone is putting in there, it's really easier to just have 'zzspells' than {i}zzspell1{/i}, {i}zzspell2{/i}, etc.

I mean, they COULD break it down like that, but I think at some point excess handholding makes for reduced clarity.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

Fair enough! :)

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Don't bother hyperlinking it.

1) A book isn't going to have hyperlinks.

Ummm, the PRD doesn't say "the book doesn't have hyperlinks, let's not take advantage of them."

And while I don't expect fancy links to impress the judges, it does make the entry cleaner, more clear, and more friendly to anybody reading. Including everybody voting, which is, ummm, everybody. I'd say a couple of minutes' effort are worthwhile if they buy easy, at-your-fingertips access to everybody trying to decide whether they like your item. No?

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
2) The more time you pay attention to the boards code for hyperlinks, the less time you have to pay attention to important stuff about your item... or even trivial stuff like italics. The judges have seen items in the past that linked all the relevant words but failed to italicize spell names, and we were puzzled by it. :p

That's like saying "don't spend time on a good name; that'll take time away from proofreading for spelling mistakes." There's no reason not to spend time and do both. Hyperlinking isn't rocket science - and "Contestant spent time on advanced formatting" does not equal "Contestant is immune to typos, missing details, or template errors".

I'm not a judge, and SKR is. But I'll be voting on submissions too. So as long as Sean isn't subtracting points for hyperlinks, and I'm probably adding 'em, feel free to bother, if you want to.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

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

If you are looking to hyperlink, ask yourself this important question...

Is it to refer to a game term because it is so far on the fringes of the rules that it will only come into play once or twice in a campaign or is it because the item isn't clearly described?

If it's the former, ask yourself if the item is going to get you the mass appeal from the voting masses?

If it's the latter, revisit your description - can it be made clear without hyperlinking? It is perfectly ok to simply say things like "allows the caster to swap out one word of power for another" for example. If I don't know what a word of power is in game terms, a game table nibbles / beer break provides enough time to do a quick search via the PRD search box with results pointing to Ultimate Magic.

Also bear in mind, as a GM, I'm placing the items, so if I place an item with game terms I havent brought into the game before, then as a responsible GM, I should have checked them up before game start anyway.

Don't sweat the minutiae so much, the thing that is interesting is the item itself, it's flavor, mechanics, balance and so on. Superstar items shine irrespective of the game areas they play with, they have that undefineable draw to them, capture that and we the voters will do the rest.

Just ask youself, is it the execution that is Superstar or is it the idea? You should know.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

I might make links for the spells and abilities referred to in the item's text just for sheer user-friendliness, but it's going to be the LAST thing I do.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

Anthony Adam wrote:
Just ask youself, is it the execution that is Superstar or is it the idea? You should know.

Ideally, both? Here's hoping :)

Chris Shaeffer wrote:
I might make links for the spells and abilities referred to in the item's text just for sheer user-friendliness, but it's going to be the LAST thing I do.

Fair 'nuff. Personally, I usually need the links handy for when I'm working on the item. So adding them in is really no trouble at all - heck, it helps me, because even when I'm juggling stats and phrasings, I can always reach the most salient rules extremely easily. But that's me - YMMV.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Or maybe you should listen to me when I say "the best way to reference a rule in text is with a parenthetical statement, like Matt asked about, and not with a hyperlink."

Or to put it yet another way: the book wouldn't have a hyperlink, it would have a parenthetical reference. If you make the effort to build the hyperlink and don't bother to add the parenthetical, you're not formatting it as we would in a book. And in doing so, you're giving yourself more work with the deliberate intent of formatting it wrong... so why would you do that?

If you add the parenthetical and a hyperlink, whatever. I'm just saying the hyperlink is not necessary.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

Ah! I didn't understand that you were recommending the paranthetical reference. I thought you were saying we should write, The pinwheel of evasive flipping allows its user to avoid attacks similar to Cartwheel Dodge - as Bryan proposed, except omitting the hyperlink. The clarification is much clearer :)

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Or maybe you should listen to me when I say "the best way to reference a rule in text is with a parenthetical statement, like Matt asked about, and not with a hyperlink."

Or to put it yet another way: the book wouldn't have a hyperlink, it would have a parenthetical reference. If you make the effort to build the hyperlink and don't bother to add the parenthetical, you're not formatting it as we would in a book. And in doing so, you're giving yourself more work with the deliberate intent of formatting it wrong... so why would you do that?

If you add the parenthetical and a hyperlink, whatever. I'm just saying the hyperlink is not necessary.

Sean, hypothetically, would a prospective entrant be penalized for NOT using parentheticals, but only hyperlinks?

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

You wouldn't be disqualified for it. Whether or not most of the voters would care, I dunno. They probably wouldn't.

Star Voter Season 6

What's the format for indention?

Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

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

There are some very good examples of formatting in this years practice thread, and where there are mistakes, they are pointed out.

The base template in the round 1 rules shows clearly there isnt any indentations and the examples on the linked thread above will also show this.

A very detailed run through of the template is also here and is still valid for this year's competition.

I hope it helps.


Anthony Adam wrote:

A very detailed run through of the template is also here and is still valid for this year's competition.

I hope it helps.

Just read over the Round-1 Template post - very very helpful!

Glad I read it before I submitted. Now for some more edits....

Thank you for the post!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kaelaru wrote:
Anthony Adam wrote:

A very detailed run through of the template is also here and is still valid for this year's competition.

I hope it helps.

Just read over the Round-1 Template post - very very helpful!

Glad I read it before I submitted. Now for some more edits....

Thank you for the post!

Editing is your friend. I've just spent a couple of hours re-writing and fine-tuning my item. The preview, edit, preview, look up a rule or spell, edit, tightening up the language, moving sentences about, preview, edit, repeat to the point of nausea.

Now to put it away for a bit, and come back to look at it with fresh eyes later.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Locke1520

Jacob Trier wrote:

Editing is your friend. I've just spent a couple of hours re-writing and fine-tuning my item. The preview, edit, preview, look up a rule or spell, edit, tightening up the language, moving sentences about, preview, edit, repeat to the point of nausea.

Now to put it away for a bit, and come back to look at it with fresh eyes later.

That has been my strategy for the last couple of days...up to and including the nausea.

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Andrew Marlowe wrote:
Jacob Trier wrote:

Editing is your friend. I've just spent a couple of hours re-writing and fine-tuning my item. The preview, edit, preview, look up a rule or spell, edit, tightening up the language, moving sentences about, preview, edit, repeat to the point of nausea.

Now to put it away for a bit, and come back to look at it with fresh eyes later.

That has been my strategy for the last couple of days...up to and including the nausea.

I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who gets that queasy feeling when submitting an item. I hit the button and almost lost my lunch straight away.

Now for the horrible, agonizing waiting...

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

OK, this going to make me sound very stupid. I want to enter the contest but I don't understand the formatting, i.e. italics, bold, etc.

I mean, I understand what they are, but not what is meant by them in the submission. I am not a regular computer user and when I do write (using Microsoft Word), I simply click the italicize button, etc. Not to mention what all the zzz's mean.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Aeris- me neither, but I've entered before and will again this year.

Take a deep breath and look at the code and understand how it all coordinates to create bold and italic text you see in the publications.

[b] is bold [/b]

A very simple introduction- brackets hold the key to changing your text. There is (was) a guide in the submission box last year to help us non-coders out. zz if I'm remembering right is your own value for that entry, like caster level, school...

the / ends your change to the text. But I'm no savant with these things, just my experience.

Go from there. It still gives me jitters, but don't let it stop you from submitting. What I've done is typed my entry into the submission field and opened up my Core Rulebook. If what I typed matches line-for-line the book, I'm set. If not, follow the guides here to figure out corrections.

Remember the Preview button. Hit it like a dozen times before you submit, you'll be fine.

And the judges are more concerned that you be awesome in 300 words or less, a miss or two on the template might not be so bad.

Good luck!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Good advice, Ironskull.

In addition, for forum formatting, look under the text entry box for making a post for a button labeled 'How to format your text' - this tells you how to make things bold, italic and what-have-you.

And look at Anthony Adam's very detailed analysis of the round one template.

Good luck!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka michaeljpatrick

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I'm ok on formatting and think I have made an entry that is pretty much rules-compliant. Now I just need to decide if it is any good or not. WHERE'S THE TEMPLATE FOR THAT?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This item allows your character to become a zz[choose one:hellish/mutant/ascended/hyper-Seussian/OTHER] zz[choose one:ninja/mad inventor/animated cannon/diagnostical genius/OTHER] who can zz[choose one:ride dinosaurs/travel through time/beat Gandalf at checkers/make a mean club sandwich/OTHER] with a +10 bonus!

Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
michaeljpatrick wrote:
I'm ok on formatting and think I have made an entry that is pretty much rules-compliant. Now I just need to decide if it is any good or not. WHERE'S THE TEMPLATE FOR THAT?

All you need to do now is place it in a private message to yourself, and hit preview - compare what you see with items in the rule books. If they look the same and the formatting works, all is good - just beware that all caps in the book isn't all caps in your entry. This is all described in the linked template thread.

Good luck.

As for is it any good ? Initially, only you can decide if the item is the one you want to enter. Does it avoid all the auto rejects? Have you googled to check it isn't already out there in some form or other? Play tested? Reviewed by friends and family?

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka michaeljpatrick

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have been trying to get friends to review the item but none of them are responding...I guess I don't really have any friends.

Is there a contest where the prize is friends? I want to win that one.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

Respek, mjp. I didn't hear a peep from my group until I sat them all down before our usual session over the weekend and gave them some good-natured grief about it. Thankfully, everyone had read my writeup and had some good and insightful things to say, but nobody seemed to want to type up a response. Perhaps you can use a similar combination of guilt and a lack of escape routes to effect a critique from your friends?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

Another 'proof reading tip'. Let a person who doesn't know the mechanics of the system read the description. If it's clear what it does, even if they don't understand the '+x, Y-type bonus' etc. you're in good shape. They're also another viewpoint and might see things the gamers miss.

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

michaeljpatrick wrote:
I'm ok on formatting and think I have made an entry that is pretty much rules-compliant. Now I just need to decide if it is any good or not. WHERE'S THE TEMPLATE FOR THAT?

Always ask friends to review - that is useful feedback.

My personal litmus test:

Have I had a character who would be excited to find this item in an adventure? Lots of characters or a select few?

Would that character actually use the item after finding it?

What if a character encountered and NPC using that item - would it impress me at all then?

Can I envision more than one situation in which the item might be interesting/useful?

I don't think that is the sum total of what is 'superstar' but it has helped steer me away from some of my more mundane ideas.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

Matthew Morris wrote:
Another 'proof reading tip'. Let a person who doesn't know the mechanics of the system read the description. If it's clear what it does, even if they don't understand the '+x, Y-type bonus' etc. you're in good shape. They're also another viewpoint and might see things the gamers miss.

A very good idea, which I wish I had done my first year entering.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

Magical_Beast wrote:

My personal litmus test:

Have I had a character who would be excited to find this item in an adventure? Lots of characters or a select few?

Would that character actually use the item after finding it?

What if a character encountered and NPC using that item - would it impress me at all then?

Can I envision more than one situation in which the item might be interesting/useful?

I don't think that is the sum total of what is 'superstar' but it has helped steer me away from some of my more mundane ideas.

This is a good litmus test, and more or less how I function. This year I gave my gaming buddies a selection of three items and asked them which one I should submit. The one they selected was the one the Sorc asked if he could immediately start crafting for use in the game, so I take that as a good sign.

Either that, or my friends want a powerful item on the cheap and don't mind seeing me go down in flames to get it, haha.

Star Voter Season 6

Matthew Morris wrote:
Another 'proof reading tip'. Let a person who doesn't know the mechanics of the system read the description. If it's clear what it does, even if they don't understand the '+x, Y-type bonus' etc. you're in good shape. They're also another viewpoint and might see things the gamers miss.

Although it's good to keep in mind that if someone doens't know the system, they also won't know what a SAK or SIAC is.

The item I submitted last year I did so after my wife though it was the coolest out of several I'd written up. Her enthusiasm blinded me to the "makes adventuring safe" trap.

So this year I'm using the outside perspective more as a way to clean up my writing and ensure I'm being concise and clear in delivery of the idea.

...which is probably what was actually being suggested here...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Mr Haldol wrote:
What's the format for indention?

Default HTML doesn't have tabs, and ignores repeated regular spaces, so there really is no good solution for indenting on the messageboards or entry form.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Hey, thanks, Ironskull! For the info and for not making me feel stupid. :)

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

Standback wrote:
Ummm, the PRD doesn't say "the book doesn't have hyperlinks, let's not take advantage of them."

I think Sean's point is adding hyperlinks won't, in our mind, erase formatting mistakes in other areas. So that is good advice. Make the item awesome first, then add hyperlinks.

That said, I like the electronic future of gaming and I happen to like them. You don't get points off for not doing it. But if you have a great entry and it has hyperlinks, I say to myself "now there is a person who knows what they are doing."

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka michaeljpatrick

So hyperlinks are ok...possibly even encouraged.

I'll keep that in mind when I post.

Of course now I have two items and have to pick one. Waiting for some friends to email me back with input.

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

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They are neither encouraged nor discouraged. Sean isn't impressed but deducts no points. I think its a nice idea, but add no points. So really I dont know why you'd bother.

Remember, as far as voting, the public ranks the top but we still pick the 32 from that group.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Aeris Fallstar wrote:
Hey, thanks, Ironskull! For the info and for not making me feel stupid. :)

No problem!

Lots of good advice after my last post, too. Will Cooper's link to Anthony' Adams work is well worth it (thanks for that, btw!)

My method this year is using MS word 2010 and, using one document, writing the first incarnation, labeled [first], then copying it and making changes as [second], using strikethough text and highlighting additions. Copying that to [third], poking holes in it and listing rules to reference and other facts to check.

After doing that I move onto [fourth]...

All my drafts are present and I don't lose that 'idea' from another draft. Not a ground-breaking approach, but it does help to stay organized.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6 aka Albanus

I have a question about these rules in general as they relate to the current contest:
Would it be appropriate to "report an item for breaking the contest rules" if they violate this advice in a big way? I don't mean for a minor spelling or formatting error, but an item for example that breaks #23 in a big way by giving a potential benefit disguised as a drawback, or that seems ridiculously underpriced?
I'm not going to vote for such an item obviously, just wondering if it's the sort of thing you should report as well.

Assistant Software Developer , Star Voter Season 7

No. You should take mistakes like that into account when deciding who to vote for, but they do not actually break the contest rules.

Take a look at this FAQ entry

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