Hi, I'm Owen K.C. Stephens, the host of RPG Superstar. Welcome to the beginning of Season 9!
You probably already have some questions!
Once again, we'll be doing things a little differently for RPG Superstar. First, as you may have guessed, the next contest is happening MUCH earlier in the calendar year than before. This time we are starting the Open Call round next Friday, August 7th. We'll run five rounds total to find our winner, who will be announced October 30th. There are lots of reasons for the scheduling changes, not the least of which is that fans, potential contestants, and judges can't participate when we hold it over the holidays.
Every year there are some folks who would like to be involved, but don't hear about the contest until after it's gotten started, so we're announcing it early! The hope is that by announcing the schedule in advance, we can encourage fans to help get the word out and increase the chances that everyone who wants to be part of this event can do so. We also announced the new schedule at the "Be the Next RPG Superstar" panel yesterday at Gen Con.
It's also worth noting that we've switched to "Seasons" of the contest, rather than attributing each to a year. Since this is the ninth RPG Superstar contest, we're calling it "Season 9." That's a change in name only, since we've already crowned Monica Marlowe as Superstar 2015. We thought it was important for the folks involved in the both 2015 and Season 9 to know they don't have to “share" Superstar titles and achievements.
The above are only a few of the things that we've changed up this time. How we determine the Top 32 and our 4 alternates is now going to be decided exclusively by the popular vote. We'll have the same comparison voting we've done for the past several years, but the bottom few percentages of vote-getters will be culled out every few days. Once voting closes, we'll also provide a list of the items that fell short of this mark, but landed in our top 100 entries in alphabetical order. For the first time, all the voting for the Open Call is entirely in the hands of the fans. Our Open Call judges will give feedback about the Top 32 because we know how important that feedback is to a lot of people, but not until after voting is over.
Here are a few more Season 9 details:
- The Open Call round has changed to: design a wondrous item, magic armor, or magic weapon
- We're allowing 50 words of description for the maps in Round 2
- We're going to have some pre-generated maps contestants must use for their encounter design in Round 4.
Exact rules for later rounds will be available as the contest progresses. The main thing to know for Open Call is the category of items to submit, that we aren't allowing siege weapons, intelligent items, or cursed items, and that the only rules contestants should reference are those available on the PRD.
We also have a wonderful line of judges lined up including two return RPG Superstar winners, some interesting challenges, and many fewer last-second twists than last year. Which isn't to say we may not have more twists in the future! I believe making sure we don't get into a rut is important, but for now, the earlier contest schedule and revisions to Open Call are plenty of change.
So get your calculators and graph paper ready, warm up your playtesting dice, and spread the word for everyone to prepare for RPG Superstar Season 9! You can find more information on the main RPG Superstar page.
Owen K. C. Stephens
Developer and RPG Superstar Host