RPG Superstar™ FAQ

Last updated: July 31, 2015.

General Contest Questions

What is the schedule for the contest?

The schedule can be found on the main RPG Superstar™ page.

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Who are the judges?

The host of RPG Superstar™ is Paizo Developer, Owen K.C. Stephens. There are a variety of new judges for RPG Superstar™ Season 9. The full listing will be available soon.

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What are the judges' duties?

During the Open Call round, judges will provide commentary on the top entries. For subsequent rounds, their critiques will be submitted before entries are revealed to the public for voting.

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What will the winner of RPG Superstar™ receive?

The ultimate winner, as chosen by the public, earns the opportunity for a paid commission to write for one of Paizo's upcoming Pathfinder Modules! In addition, the other three finalists will earn the opportunity for a paid commission to write one of Paizo's upcoming Pathfinder Society Scenarios. All four finalists may be given other opportunities to write for us as well. For more information on prizes, please visit the Official Rules page.

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Who is eligible to enter the contest?

Because we are trying to discover new talent, anybody who has been published in the RPG industry in a significant way is not eligible to enter. If you have been employed full-time as a designer for a game company, you are not eligible. If you have received cover credit as an author of a hardcover print RPG book, you are not eligible. If you have a design credit in 3 or more of Paizo's Pathfinder products, you are not eligible. If you were one of the Top 8 finalists of any previous RPG Superstar™ contest, you are not eligible. Paizo employees and their family members are not eligible. Everyone else is eligible to enter! You must have an account on paizo.com to enter the contest—visit secure.paizo.com/paizo/account to set up a free account.

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Will I be identified to the public?

Your Open Call submission will be presented to the voters and judges anonymously. If you are selected as one of the Top 32 contestants, your full name as it is entered for your paizo.com account will be displayed along with your submissions. If you have adjustments you need to make to your real name, contact community@paizo.com. Any other personal information, such as location, Top 16 photo, or short blurb about yourself, are optional and not required to be provided to Paizo for public posting.

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How do I enter RPG Superstar™?

Submit an entry starting August 7, 2015 using the Contest Rules and Open Call Rules.

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How many entries can I submit?

Entries are limited to one entry per person. For further reference: we strongly discourage multiple accounts (you can find this in our Community Guidelines). Attempting to circumvent this requirement to enter the contest with multiple entries will lead to disqualification.

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What criteria will be used to judge the Open Call entries?

Entries are judged and voted on creativity, originality, usefulness, and adherence to the contest and Pathfinder RPG rules. Entries will be presented to the voters and judges anonymously, so do not put your name or any other personally identifying information in your entry. For more information about voting, please see the Voting FAQ.

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General Entry Questions

Can I refer to Pathfinder campaign setting material, such as nations, heroes, or gods in our contest entries?

Yes, but keep in mind that not all of the judges work at Paizo or have a strong knowledge of the campaign setting, and some of the voters may not have the same breadth of knowledge of the campaign setting. Contestants hoping to get an "edge" by including a bunch of Pathfinder and Paizo-related inside jokes may find this inclusion could be detrimental to voter preference and round results.

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Can we refer to the campaign setting material of other publishers?

No. References to non-Paizo campaign settings, rules, or monsters may be grounds for disqualification.

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How about material from my own campaign?

Provided the campaign has never been published, this is fine, but keep in mind that all submissions become the property of Paizo Inc. You are probably better off developing new content specifically for the contest.

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General Voting Questions

Who can vote for RPG Superstar™ entries?

Any person with an account on paizo.com will be able to vote for their favorite entries in every round of the competition. You can create an account for free at secure.paizo.com/paizo/account.

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How do I cast my votes?

You can vote by visiting paizo.com/rpgsuperstar. A link to the voting page or poll will be featured on this page and on the Paizo blog when voting begins for each round.

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Can I vote on my own item?

Yes. For the Open Call round, there's no guarantee that you'll be shown your own item, however. You would also have to spend a lot of time voting to see your item more than one time.

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Can I vote multiple times?

You may vote multiple times in the Open Call round only. Only one vote may be submitted in subsequent rounds (though these rounds may allow you to select more than one choice).

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Can I see current poll results or which entries have the most votes?

No. Poll results are not publicly visible for any of the contest rounds.

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Open Call Voting Questions

How does voting work for Open Call?

When you go to the voting page, there will be two entries displayed side-by-side. After reading through both, you decide which entry seems like the best. If neither entry seems to fit the bill, you can opt to view a new pair of entries. Note that selecting neither is actually a neutral vote and doesn't help rank items, and should be used only if you really can't decide.

If you see an item that you think breaks the rules of the contest (such as being a copyright violation, or an item from a novel or movie), contact contest@paizo.com.

Items are presented to voters in random pairs, biased toward items which have been viewed the least. Every item will be voted on before any item is selected for voting again. We'll use the votes to determine the most popular items, and present those to the judges for ranking.

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Sure, but how exactly does this voting system work, mathematically speaking?

A Condorcet method will be used to determine the results, via a Schulze beatpath strength calculation.

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Hey, some entries are missing some formatting (like italics), should that count against them?

Voters should keep in mind that the official template presented with the Open Call rules didn't provide the BBCode tags to have spells listed as prerequisites be italicized. Since the proper format for such items as presented in the Core Rulebook (referenced by the Open Call rules) is to italicize spell names, voters shouldn't penalize contestants who did so. Since the formatted entry offered in the open call rules lacked this, voters also shouldn't penalize contestants who didn't italicize spell names in the prerequisites section.

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How many times can I vote in the Open Call round?

You can vote on entries as many times as you'd like! And please do! The accuracy of our ranking method for entries increases effectiveness when more votes are cast. Additionally, people who vote multiple times can earn themselves special voter titles which will display in the RPG Superstar™ forums.

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Can I see all the Open Call items?

If you vote often enough, it's possible for you to see all of the items. Depending on the frequency and volume of your votes, it is also possible you may see items more than once, but they'll always be paired with different items.

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Do I really have to vote on an entry if I don't like either of them?

You can choose to vote on neither entry. However, the ranking method for entries works much better if you select an entry. If you think both entries aren't that great, pick the one the one you feel is "less bad." If they're both super awesome, pick the one that is more awesome.

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