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[Swords for Hire] Contest: Villain Codex II


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RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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With Swords for Hire Development's Villain Codex I coming out soon, Jacob W. Michaels and Mikko Kallio are ready to begin work on the follow-up Villain Codex II, featuring even more villains, this time more powerful and dangerous than the originals.

This PDF, being done in conjunction with Outland Entertainment, will feature a series of antagonists for gamemasters to pit against their players. The NPCs will be fully fleshed out, with stat blocks, letting a GM simply drop one into an adventure when he needs a statted-up opponent or build an adventure or even campaign around.

The second Villain Codex will feature 12 opponents of CRs 9-14 for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Finished villains will be 600 words, including a stat block and a description of the villain, his/her motivations, plus potential plots, lairs and minions.

Right now, we’re looking for your best ideas. Send us a pitch that describes your villain and potential plots, as well as expected build. Please include at the top the villain’s name, race (picking any core, featured or uncommon race from the Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game: Advanced Race Guide™), gender, alignment and class. Also please include what CR you think the villain should be; a range of CRs is fine at this point, and we can assign what we would like you to build him/her at if we pick your submission. Finally, remember that the villains should be setting agnostic. If they use a bar as their headquarters, feel free to name it, but don’t put it in a city in an existing campaign world.

We expect to pick at least six villains, though obviously if we’re bowled over, we could select more (we ended up picking 10 for the Villain Codex I). We’ll be approaching designers to produce the other six villains, so if your pitch is good enough, it could lead to more work immediately.

How do I submit?
Please send your pitches to swordsforhire.dev@gmail.com with your submission in the file (NOT as an attachment).

How many pitches can I submit?
You can submit up to 3 pitches. If you have more good ideas, save them. There will be one more follow-up Villain Codex for higher CRs coming.

If I submit, will I get published?
Unfortunately, not necessarily. We’re including 12 villains in this Codex, so only the best selections will get published. Any pitches that are accepted become property of Swords for Hire Development, which retains sole ownership.

What books will I be able to use?
Villains will be limited to rules from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, GameMastery Guide, Advanced Player’s Guide, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat, Ultimate Equipment, Ultimate Campaign, Advanced Class Guide and Occult Adventures.

Will I get paid?
We’ll be paying a flat rate of $6 per entry that we publish, which will work out to about 1 cent per word.

Alright, I’m ready to get started! When you do you need this by?
Pitches are due by the end of the day (Eastern time) Aug. 30. We’ll get back to you and let you know if your pitch has been accepted within a week and will need your finished villain by Oct. 3. Payment will be received at this time.

Wait, I have more questions!
Go ahead and ask. We’ll be happy to answer.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Dot.

Sovereign Court

Well, time to work on new ideas ^_^

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

dot.

Contributor

If someone wrote an NPC for the previous Villain Codex, are they still able to pitch for this one?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Is Villain Codex I available yet?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Luis, you are definitely eligible to submit pitches even though you designed villains for the first Villain Codex. We're looking for the best content for the product and thus it wouldn't make sense to leave out people who have already proven they can design solid villains.

Russ, it hasn't been published yet. I'm guessing you asked because it'd be useful to know what villains went to the previous one so you don't submit something too similar. I'll ask Jacob and Outland Entertainment if it's possible to post a list of the classes and races of the villains in VC I. I'll also ask what is the estimated publication date.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

That is why I was asking, so it would be helpful to know that information. Thanks Mikko.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm happy to let you know what we've got for VC I. I'm pretty proud of it and looking forward to publication (which will be next month; much as we'd have liked to wait before starting to get VC II going, deadlines take a back seat to nothing).

That said, my feeling is one druid may be completely different than another and we're looking at the pitches as much for overall concept as the build. Several of the villains in the first Codex ended up as different classes and even race or gender than the initial pitch and I imagine that could well happen again.

At any rate, the Villain Codex I race and class breakdown is:
A human urban ranger
A half-elf arcanist
A human alchemist (with a special surprise)
A gnome shaman
A half-orc unchained monk/ninja
A human bard
A gnome sorcerer
A human druid
A dwarf fighter/gunslinger
A halfling swashbuckler
A half-elf unchained summoner
and an Elf magus/swashbuckler


Good to see my submissions didn't overlap with anything. I really want to know what that special surprise from that alchemist is though.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Flanwaw wrote:
Good to see my submissions didn't overlap with anything. I really want to know what that special surprise from that alchemist is though.

Submissions received! :)

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8

In the works. ;)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

We've gotten a few questions about the pitch format. Mikko previous wrote an example of a pitch and what we're looking for when we look at a pitch.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Excited for part I to come out!

I have a couple ideas for part II bouncing around in my head.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

I'm down, if you are. Gotta remember this time, NO GOLARION SPECIFIC INFORMATION!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Want to see an art preview of Villain Codex I?

Well, have a look at this blog post. :-) I'm a fan of the artist, really cool style.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Oh, and here's a blog post about pitches I wrote during the open call for the first Villain Codex. Still valid information.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

All right, I had an idea rolling around in my head since the Occult Playtest that I'm never going to use for anything else, so sent it off! Hopefully it's useful!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

We've received a number of good pitches so far, but there's still definitely room for more villains, so keep 'em coming! :)


One week left to get your submissions in.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There's still time to submit a villain! The open call is open until the 30th.

Sovereign Court

motteditor wrote:

race (picking any core, featured or uncommon race from the Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game: Advanced Race Guide™),

What books will I be able to use?
Villains will be limited to rules from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, GameMastery Guide, Advanced Player’s Guide, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat, Ultimate Equipment, Ultimate Campaign, Advanced Class Guide and Occult Adventures.

I'm not sure what this means as it says races from the ARG are allowed, but then doesn't list the ARG in the books allowed.

Does this mean we can use a race from ARG, but not any other material from the ARG (alternate racials ect.)?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

@Kigvan: I'll check that with Jacob asap!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Whoops, sorry about that, Kigvan. You can use anything from the ARG (the lack of ARG in the allowed books section stemmed from using wording from the first Villain Codex announcement, where we limited pitches to the core races).

Sovereign Court

Thanks for clearing that up!

Dark Archive

Are all villains evil in the context of this competition?

Rephrasing: Are all entries intended to be evil-aligned?

Thank you ahead of time.


.


Dieben wrote:

Are all villains evil in the context of this competition?

Rephrasing: Are all entries intended to be evil-aligned?

Thank you ahead of time.

I'd expect the villain would need to be appropriate for good aligned PCs. If you've got a compelling non-evil villain that fits that bill submitting it could very well set you apart (assuming advice to the contrary isn't given ;)). You also have 3 slots in which to submit a villain so you could include a more traditional one as well.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Dieben wrote:

Are all villains evil in the context of this competition?

Rephrasing: Are all entries intended to be evil-aligned?

Thank you ahead of time.

Out of the 12 villains we selected for the first Villain Codex, only 2 were neutral and none were good. A villain needs to be a menace, and when a good NPC becomes a menace, he usually also becomes evil. Designing a villain who is actively villainous but somehow manages to stay good-aligned is really hard to pull off in a way that actually makes sense.

In other words, submitting a good-aligned villain is acceptable, but not recommended unless you're a very skilled writer.


Bestiaries?

There may be some form changing and/or summoning going on.

Dark Archive

Many thanks everyone! I appreciate the advice and have taken it to heart.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

master_marshmallow wrote:

Bestiaries?

There may be some form changing and/or summoning going on.

You're allowed to make references to creatures that appear in Paizo's bestiaries. Some villains in the first Villain Codex have minions that use stats from those books.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I just added the latest submitted pitches to our secret spreadsheet, and it looks like we've received even more pitches than for the first Villain Codex. So far, we've got 39 pitches submitted by 19 authors.

There's still time to submit (deadline's Aug 30 midnight Eastern time).

I'll start reading the pitches I haven't gotten to yet. You'll hear back from us within a few days!

Contributor

I just snuck in my pitches. Best of luck to all the entrants!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pawns, PFS RPG Subscriber

And...pitches away! Good luck, everyone.


Thanks, all. I just sent out a bunch of notices to folks who sent in pitches in the last 24 hours or so, which means everyone who's sent in pitches should now have received an acknowledgement from me that we got them.

Still have about 4 hours left.


I've submitted a pitch.

Just one, not three. But I think it's a pretty good one.

Thanks for the opportunity.

Shadow Lodge

Whoo! Just sent in my pitches. Only caught wind of this contest yesterday, but I think they came out all right (though I don't have much experience with the format). Good luck, all!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Good luck selecting! I'm particularly proud of my Villains on a level.


Just sent mine in. I really like both of them, so here's hoping you guys like 'em too. Good luck to everyone who submitted and a big thank-you for the opportunity :)


Thanks for everyone who's pitched so far. I'm excited to announce we're up to more than 55 submissions (they've been pouring in in the last 24 hours and there's still a little more than an hour and a half to go).

Not every one's been looked at by both Mikko and I yet but at least 24 so far have gotten a weak keep/keep rating from at least one of us. I have a feeling it's going to be really tough to narrow down the finalists and we're not going to be able to include all the good ideas we've received.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Just sent one in with just under 2 hours to spare

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wish I'd known about this a little earlier. I had the third-party forums hidden, though. ^_^


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I could not sent a pitch this time, hope there is a villain codex III in the near future.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There were a total of 57 pitches, and we've now narrowed them down to two dozen-ish that got at least one Keep or Weak Keep from us. We have few favorites that are almost certain to be included, but as Jacob said, it's going to be tough to select the ones we want to publish.

I don't have actual statistics yet, but I think the top 3 most popular classes were the mesmerist, alchemist, and very surprisingly, paladin. Rogues, bards, and clerics were also quite popular.


Serpent wrote:

There were a total of 57 pitches, and we've now narrowed them down to two dozen-ish that got at least one Keep or Weak Keep from us. We have few favorites that are almost certain to be included, but as Jacob said, it's going to be tough to select the ones we want to publish.

I don't have actual statistics yet, but I think the top 3 most popular classes were the mesmerist, alchemist, and very surprisingly, paladin. Rogues, bards, and clerics were also quite popular.

Wait, Paladin...? Not Anti-Paladin?

Now that IS very interesting. I'd love to know how those looked as villains.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

That's a lot of bad guys. Wish I read Mikko's villain pitch article before submitting.

I may or may not have submitted one of the Paladins. I may or may not have thought I was being original, too. Guess not.

Get out of my head, internet.


Well, I just saw this today - what a bummer, I have so many ideas :/

I'll be sure to have my eyes open for the inevitable follow-up!

PS: Paladins make great villais, especially if the group is mostly Lawful Good as well. So much drama!

Shadow Lodge

Mesmerist makes a lot of sense, but I'd definitely be interested in seeing a paladin villain pitch, myself. I think I had about half of those classes represented in some way, but most of my villains are multi-classing monsters!

Plus I had a villain using the bloatmage/bloodmage prestige class, which I love, until I realized that that class is not on the approved list of materials. Much sad :(


JJ Jordan wrote:

That's a lot of bad guys. Wish I read Mikko's villain pitch article before submitting.

I may or may not have submitted one of the Paladins. I may or may not have thought I was being original, too. Guess not.

Get out of my head, internet.

So, that's two paladins, anyone else submit one? (I did.) EDIT: OR did the paladin most popular line mean for submissions?

And yeah, Paladins can make great villains.

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