Update: Open Call!

Monday, October 6, 2014


"Why haven't you been writing for us all along?"
Illustration by Tayler Fischer

With the recent release of The Silverhex Chronicles, I've been really excited about Quests. The short, fun adventures are easy to use as demos at conventions and game days, and now that we have a solid way to give Pathfinder Society Organized Play characters credit for playing them, I think they're going to get a lot of traction in the community. Several writers from the last batch of Quests came from the Open Call, and since I'm already excited about Quests, the last several days have been a great opportunity to read through more submissions. I've gone through a large swath of the Open Call's inbox, reviewed those submissions, and nearly finished sending out responses—including feedback—to those authors. I'll be reading through more in the coming weeks.

As noted back when the "Write for Pathfinder Society" adventure pitch turned into the Open Call, reviewing a Quest gives the developer a much better sense of how a prospective author can assemble encounters, execute stories, and wield the English language. As the medium for publishing these adventures has transitioned from individual entries in independent publications to larger compilations roughly the size of a full scenario, it's a little trickier to pick up and publish a submission, yet I've already seen a few that might find their way into a future product.

Even if your first submission didn't meet Paizo's standards, learn from the feedback, practice those skills, and try again. My best authors are the ones who have handled criticism well and incorporated it into the next project. If you haven't submitted an adventure to the Open Call yet, what are you waiting for? This could be your first step toward writing for Paizo!

John Compton
Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Open Call Pathfinder Society Pathfinder Society Quests Taylor Fischer
RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Oh, you're finally reading those? I guess my 2 and a half year old Varisia-themed quests are feeling a bit dated now...

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

RainyDayNinja wrote:
Oh, you're finally reading those? I guess my 2 and a half year old Varisia-themed quests are feeling a bit dated now...

It might seem a bit dated, but that doesn't count against it. The more important factors are the writing quality, encounter design, strength of storytelling, respect for the scope of a Quest, and attention to detail. Oh, and ensuring one didn't go over word count.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Huh, I should probably dig out that old quest idea I had and submit it then...

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

Once I get some free time in November I'll see if I can come up with something.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm going to tell the folks over at Freelance Forge that now might be a good time to submit quests!

Lantern Lodge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, South Dakota—Rapid City aka Black Powder Chocobo

Got one in the works myself; hopefully it'll cut the mustard!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Looks like I need to come up with something...

Shadow Lodge

Sigh...

I should probably get around to formatting some of the stuff sitting on my hard drive.


Nice!
I am so close to finishing two. I now have a little more impetus to get these to my critique circle. :)
PERSONAL DEADLINE: To critique-ers by Friday!

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

Hm. Tempting. Would be a lot different then writing LARP adventures.

Silver Crusade

Where might one find the guidelins for a quest one might want to submit when one has time?

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

If you click on Open Call in the blog post it will take you there Jug.

Or just go here: Open Call

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Where might one find the guidelins for a quest one might want to submit when one has time?

You can download the guidelines from the Get Involved page. I have plans to update that pdf at a future date to reflect current development interests and include a short list of do's and don'ts', but the download is still an accurate representation of the guidelines for submission. When in doubt, take a look at recent scenarios, and match their style and format.


The key to any good open call submission is ensuring that it is flammable.

Sincerely yours,
~Jaspar "Shank Him Louis" Kahrdboordebachs~
your local GUMBO representative

Paizo Employee Contributor

9 people marked this as a favorite.

I wanted to reiterate that this is a great opportunity to show Paizo what you've got. Be professional and serious about it, and you can go far. I submitted to a PFS open call in early 2011...and my first AP adventure is coming out this month.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Also want to step in an emphasize what John says. Be willing to take feedback, it is a huge part of the writing process :)

Contributor

w0ot! /me runs to PC to start writing!

Grand Lodge

Oh my goodness.
I sent my submission on 10/08/12.
Has anyone already received their feedback from John?
This feels a bit like digging up a time capsule. Wow.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 aka Netopalis

Oh, good. I've had an idea in my head for this since last year. Expect my submission within a week or so.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
KestlerGunner wrote:

Oh my goodness.

I sent my submission on 10/08/12.
Has anyone already received their feedback from John?
This feels a bit like digging up a time capsule. Wow.

I should be getting to it soon. Send me an email or a private message if you feel your submission is no longer an accurate reflection of your writing abilities, and I'd be happy to review an updated adventure instead. I fully recognize that an author can grow a lot over the course of two years.

Says the developer who received the outline for his first scenario almost two years ago--and has certainly grown a lot since then.

Netopalis wrote:
Oh, good. I've had an idea in my head for this since last year. Expect my submission within a week or so.

Take your time, and make sure what you submit reflects well on your storytelling prowess, grammatical know-how, and system mastery. When it comes to an open call, I'd rather know that you took a few extra days to write well than receive it early and see that you rushed.

Sczarni 3/5

I have plenty of ideas! Let's see, where to download these quests...?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

As someone from my youth used to say, "Velly interesting!"

And I actually have an idea for a quest that might fit into recent, if not current, events.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ohh, should rewrite mine to fit the theme and reduce its scope to a quest scope and word count then - busy weekend ahead!


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

John,

I submitted back in Feb 2013. Since then I have had six pieces in Wayfinder. I noticed that the Silverhex Chronicles has a theme loosely connecting the quests (somewhat like Wayfinder issues). Is there a theme or flavor of quest you are looking for next?

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 aka Netopalis

John: I've had it half finished for a while now, but I'll take the time to playtest.

3/5

Most excellent reminder.

Woran wrote:
Hm. Tempting. Would be a lot different then writing LARP adventures.

QFT.

On the bright side, you're only writing for 4-7 characters and don't have to worry about props, casting, or annoying safety constraints!

-TimD

Shadow Lodge

John Compton wrote:
I fully recognize that an author can grow a lot over the course of two years.

Practice makes more tears!


Care Baird wrote:
John Compton wrote:
I fully recognize that an author can grow a lot over the course of two years.
Practice makes more tears!

Hence the fire!

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

TimD wrote:

Most excellent reminder.

Woran wrote:
Hm. Tempting. Would be a lot different then writing LARP adventures.

QFT.

On the bright side, you're only writing for 4-7 characters and don't have to worry about props, casting, or annoying safety constraints!

-TimD

Yes. Altough the safety constraits are usually there to protect us against the players. Murderhoboing spans quite a few hobbies ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wow! Very interesting indeed. I shall have to look into this. (When time permits). ; )

Shadow Lodge

Murderhobo Union Representative wrote:
Care Baird wrote:
John Compton wrote:
I fully recognize that an author can grow a lot over the course of two years.
Practice makes more tears!
Hence the fire!

We didn't start the fire, but your tears can help to put it out!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey all,

A quick question from a confused newbie - I have been asked to review some submissions from my gaming circles before they submit.

I am happy to do this, but now have a question - is the expectation of the submission a proposal of a quest in 2000 words or the actual fully fleshed out quest in 2000 words?

It's quite subtle I think, so I thought I had better check before sending any feedback back to the writers.

I think it's the latter, but just wanted to confirm for safety sake as some of them are thinking they may rewrite old proposals and boil them down to the main encounter/quest point.

Thanks for any answers :)

Grand Lodge

Anthony Adam wrote:

Hey all,

is the expectation of the submission a proposal of a quest in 2000 words or the actual fully fleshed out quest in 2000 words?

I'd like to know the answer to this, as well.

And, is there a submissions deadline? I keep reading and rereading, and I can't seem to find a drop dead date.

Thanks,
Keith

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

As noted in the submission guidelines (see the bottom of the Get Involved page), the submission is a full Quest--the actual adventure, not a proposal--of 2,000 words or less.

There is no deadline for submitting a piece. The sooner you send in something, the sooner I can review it and--assuming it meets or exceeds my standards--get you an assignment. That said, don't rush. Thoroughly review your work, and ensure that it is a positive reflection of your writing and adventure designing abilities before sending it in.

1/5

John Compton wrote:

As noted in the submission guidelines (see the bottom of the Get Involved page), the submission is a full Quest--the actual adventure, not a proposal--of 2,000 words or less.

There is no deadline for submitting a piece. The sooner you send in something, the sooner I can review it and--assuming it meets or exceeds my standards--get you an assignment. That said, don't rush. Thoroughly review your work, and ensure that it is a positive reflection of your writing and adventure designing abilities before sending it in.

Hi John; I have a quick question (and comment) about the submission guidelines.

According to the guidelines, the submitted Quest:

Submission Guidelines wrote:
"...must utilize a single map taken from the GameMastery Map Pack or GameMastery Flip Mat lines."

My question: Does that mean only a single side of a Flip-Mat?

My comment: The text should probably be updated to "OR Pathfinder Map Pack of Pathfinder Flip-Mat lines." Most people here probably understand the branding change, but new folks may not.

Sovereign Court

I understood that one map consists of any one map from the selection, for example one "sheet" from a map pack counts just as one large flip mat does.

There are still some GameMastery products still available, so maybe it needs to refer to both product lines. But I regard that as semantics.

A question to John though; if the submission is rejected, am I allowed to post the "rejected quest" for public? (after some alterations are done, of course, such as removing Paizo owned locations and NPC names, of course)

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

bugleyman wrote:

Hi John; I have a quick question (and comment) about the submission guidelines.

According to the guidelines, the submitted Quest:

Submission Guidelines wrote:
"...must utilize a single map taken from the GameMastery Map Pack or GameMastery Flip Mat lines."

My question: Does that mean only a single side of a Flip-Mat?

My comment: The text should probably be updated to "OR Pathfinder Map Pack of Pathfinder Flip-Mat lines." Most people here probably understand the branding change, but new folks may not.

Agreed, that language should be updated. Effectively any of the Map Pack and Flip-Mat products are valid choices in a submission, even if the product in question is out of print.

Deussu wrote:

I understood that one map consists of any one map from the selection, for example one "sheet" from a map pack counts just as one large flip mat does.

There are still some GameMastery products still available, so maybe it needs to refer to both product lines. But I regard that as semantics.

A question to John though; if the submission is rejected, am I allowed to post the "rejected quest" for public? (after some alterations are done, of course, such as removing Paizo owned locations and NPC names, of course)

That's one I'll need to research further.

Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society / Paizo Blog: Update: Open Call! All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.