Auto-Rejection Reasons


RPG Superstar™ 2008 General Discussion

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Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

I would say that word count is not the main way people are getting auto-rejected. Two other mistakes are more common: using content not in the SRD and failing to provide any creation/costing info.


It sounds self explanatory, but just to be clear, do you mean:

1. Non-OGL content

or

2. Including Flavor Text (which the SRD doesn't).

Thanks (sorry).

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

I mean non-open game content.

I dont mind extra fluff text. Well, I take that back. I do mind it when it is overdone. And a bunch of entries have been rejected for being more backstory than item. But that isnt an auto-reject, that is just bad item design.

However, that doesnt mean that we (or I) am opposed to flavor text. A line or two is fine. And even that isnt a hard and fast rule. One of my favorite items we have seen (oh man it is cool; and all three of us love it) has more flavor and descriptive text than I would say is ideal. But the item is so freaking cool I will be shocked if it is not in the top 32. Heck, I'll be shocked if it wouldnt be seeded in the top 5 (if we were seeding, which we arent).

But back to the main point...

Bottom line: using content you are not allowed to use means that submission is not RPG Superstar calibre.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

By non-open game content you mean "OGL or Paizo" content, right?

I seem to recall some people mentioning that the submission page noted that Paizo material was okay, even though the rules specified SRD only.

(Since the submission page is now gone, it's hard to check now :)

Grand Lodge Star Voter Season 8

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I remember that, too.

-W. E. Ray

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Yes, Erik approved Paizo content.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

Clark Peterson wrote:
Yes, Erik approved Paizo content.

If this is true, can we get a definition for Paizo content? Would that include anything published by Paizo outside of the former magazines? Or simply anything published since? Or would it only include skills/feats/spells, etc from Golarion?

I think as many options as possible are ideal for creating the most unique design elements, but then I also expected to only have to compete with core material.

Time to finish reading all the stuff I won at GenCon. : }

Contributor

Paizo doesn't own the material printed in the magazines; WotC does. I suspect "Paizo material" means anything that has appeared in a Paizo product, such as a Gamemastery module or Pathfinder.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

i get the magazines aren't paizo properties. that's why i said 'anything outside the magazines'. but there's a lot of room in there, and i haven't read as much paizo stuff as some. yet.

hence the need for a definition.

Liberty's Edge

Oh man, another thing for me to worry about.

I hope if I get a rejected stamp, that someone would at least tell me what I did wrong... or in kind what I could do better.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Clark Peterson wrote:
However, that doesnt mean that we (or I) am opposed to flavor text. A line or two is fine. And even that isnt a hard and fast rule. One of my favorite items we have seen (oh man it is cool; and all three of us love it) has more flavor and descriptive text than I would say is ideal. But the item is so freaking cool I will be shocked if it is not in the top 32. Heck, I'll be shocked if it wouldnt be seeded in the top 5 (if we were seeding, which we arent).

Wow. This comment is stressing me out.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Why is it stressing you out? The task was to design a wondrous item. Not a single item in the SRD has an extensive back story (or, frankly, any back story). If you provided a lengthy backstory, you werent really following directions. Generally, the provided backstories for the items people submitted (when they made the mistake of providing back stories) detracted rather than added to the item. The better items didnt have more than a line or two. Why? Because this is a wondrous item competition, not an artifact competition. Back stories are different than text descriptions of the item or of its powers or effects. I was much more lenient in fluff in that department. But even then, you generally only see one line of that kind of content in a wondrous item.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

Well,

What is back story and what is fluff?

I am guilty of adding fluff to my item (this appears to be bad), but I am wondering and fearing now that it could be construed as back story which is really bad.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Back story isnt going to kill you. But it certainly isnt what we are looking for, since wondrous items dont really have backstory like that. I think alot of people felt that backstory is a way for them to show us creativity and writing style and such. We werent looking for that. Show it in your item design. Work your writing prowess in there.

But like I said, backstory or fluff isnt going to kill you. However, as a cautionary tale, I did recently reject an item that could have easily been a great item without the three sentence backstory he provided before he got to the item, because in that backstory (which he didnt need) he included a reference to content that is not in the SRD or Paizo content and he got auto-rejected for it.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

Clark Peterson wrote:

Back story isnt going to kill you. But it certainly isnt what we are looking for, since wondrous items dont really have backstory like that. I think alot of people felt that backstory is a way for them to show us creativity and writing style and such. We werent looking for that. Show it in your item design. Work your writing prowess in there.

But like I said, backstory or fluff isnt going to kill you. However, as a cautionary tale, I did recently reject an item that could have easily been a great item without the three sentence backstory he provided before he got to the item, because in that backstory (which he didnt need) he included a reference to content that is not in the SRD or Paizo content and he got auto-rejected for it.

Why do I keep feeling like I am in the clear, but not really.

Backstory for me is dropping names and places into the description, but ofcourse I am not a judge.


Now I wonder how my entry was treated...I noticed afterwards that I had used a spell which exists in OGL but with somewhat different name than I used...is this infringement large enough to cause auto-rejection?


Asking questions = autorejection. Superstars never ask questions!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

mwbeeler wrote:

It sounds self explanatory, but just to be clear, do you mean:

1. Non-OGL content

or

2. Including Flavor Text (which the SRD doesn't).

Thanks (sorry).

<pointing out irony>


Darkjoy wrote:
<pointing out irony>

Making ironic observations = NOT A SUPERSTAR!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

mwbeeler wrote:
Darkjoy wrote:
<pointing out irony>
Making ironic observations = NOT A SUPERSTAR!

But, I am the reigning superstar of irony!


Darkjoy wrote:
Making ironic observations = NOT A SUPERSTAR!

Done. Have your people call my people.

I'm sorry Clark. Shew, this is tough. We really thought you were going to go all the way. But...

Adverbs.

Sorry man, you're off the island. Let's talk t.v. movie.


mwbeeler wrote:
Making ironic observations = NOT A SUPERSTAR!

That was freakin' hilarious.

I guess we can reguritate all the Chuck Norris jokes now by just substituting "Superstar".

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

To be fair, I think the judges expect a physical description of the item, which the SRD contains for most items, but not a personal history of the item. I don't like the trend on some books to have a complete history of a magic item, because if my wizard builds one, it has its own history. Also, if I write an adventure and a magic item has a personality or history I want described, it's up to me to describe it, not the book the magic item was published in. Finally, does every scarab of golems have the same story? hope not!

I am very grateful for the fun and conversation this contest has created. I am not remotely cynical about the comments made by the judges so far.

I would still like an Iron DM tag, and a definition of 'Paizo content'.

:}


ancientsensei wrote:
I am very grateful for the fun and conversation this contest has created. I am not remotely cynical about the comments made by the judges so far.

Please, don't mistake my jaded cynicism as being tied to any one thing. I'm glad they're sharing too.

Allow me: Paizo content = Material which is not in the SRD, yet will not cause you to be auto-rejected for violating copyright.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Clark Peterson wrote:
Why is it stressing you out? The task was to design a wondrous item.

I'm stressed out, because I don't know if you where talking about my item (the imperfect yet very cool one) or if I was just rejected. My item had a longuer then 3 lines back story description, but it was really cool.

Ego for you. ;-)


Hope I'm not overstepping my bounds here... but are auto-rejection notices going out?


Timault Azal-Darkwarren wrote:
Hope I'm not overstepping my bounds here... but are auto-rejection notices going out?

The Paizo staff has indicated that there will be no rejection notices. November 28th at noon PST the 32 finalists will be announced, and if you are not on that list, that is your notice of rejection.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Timault Azal-Darkwarren wrote:
Hope I'm not overstepping my bounds here... but are auto-rejection notices going out?

No. You'll know if you didn't make the cut when the list of people advancing to the next round doesn't include you.


Clark Peterson wrote:
... failing to provide any creation/costing info.

Just to be clear here, you mean the line with the price, spells etc... right? NOT any kind of information about how you came up with your price.

I didn't have any words left to show the logic behind my choice of price.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

ancientsensei wrote:
I would still like an Iron DM tag, and a definition of 'Paizo content'.

1: We're not about to give you a tag for winning contest we didn't run (much as we like the contest).

2: I'd say that Erik means any concepts that are part of Paizo's intellectual property.

3: Don't get hung up about this. Here's the deal:

If you called your item "Oracle of Vecna" (Wizards' IP), we would have automatically rejected it.

If you called your item "Oracle of Desna" (our IP), we wouldn't automatically reject it.

If you called your item "Oracle of the Gods" (nobody's IP), we wouldn't automatically reject it.

"Oracle of Desna" is neither inherently better nor worse than "Oracle of the Gods."

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

fantastic, vic. thanks for your reply.


Vic Wertz wrote:
No. You'll know if you didn't make the cut when the list of people advancing to the next round doesn't include you.

That's what I figured. But for some reason this particular thread had me thinking that people had already started receiving notices.

Thanks for the answers, Mark and Vic.


Woot, only 5 more days and this slow, sweet torture can stop!

Cheers!

The Exchange Kobold Press

Yu Baka wrote:
I hope if I get a rejected stamp, that someone would at least tell me what I did wrong... or in kind what I could do better.

I don't think there will be individual replies; it would take an immense amount of time to process, and just the judging has proven quite time-intensive.

However, I will write up a design essay for my blog or Kobold Quarterly about magic items. We've seen a lot of basic, repeated mistakes, and it's probably worth sharing a "Top 10 Mistakes" or the like.

The Exchange Kobold Press

Ragwaine wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
... failing to provide any creation/costing info.

Just to be clear here, you mean the line with the price, spells etc... right? NOT any kind of information about how you came up with your price.

I didn't have any words left to show the logic behind my choice of price.

That's correct. Some people didn't include a price, spells, feat, etc line. Failure to include that is an auto-reject.

Logic behind pricing is being largely ignored, on my part at least.

Sovereign Court

Well, there goes my magic item, I just noticed that I totally made a mistake on the school of magic of the aura of the magic item, as well as the strength. Oh well. There's always next time!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka TerraNova

Yeah, i noticed i cut off the actual price (but not the spell and feat) while transfering it between computers.

Oh well, probably not cream of the crop anyway...

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Wolfgang Baur wrote:
Ragwaine wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
... failing to provide any creation/costing info.

Just to be clear here, you mean the line with the price, spells etc... right? NOT any kind of information about how you came up with your price.

I didn't have any words left to show the logic behind my choice of price.

That's correct. Some people didn't include a price, spells, feat, etc line. Failure to include that is an auto-reject.

It sounds crazy, but one of my players did exactly that: he came up with a brilliant item, at least by my standards, and then he forgot to put on a price tag.

Oi. Broke my frigging heart.

Dark Archive

Eeek, that means I'm done for.

Yet, I did it knowingly: I didn't include any caster level nor cost to create because I know of no spell (or combination of spells) that would give the effect that my wondrous item has...

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Tnemeh, ask yourself this: could I publish your submission? Without that info, the answer has to be no. So work the black art. Figure a caster level by equivalent spell power. You can usually peg an effect pretty closely. Figure its aura and an approx. caster level. Then you know it takes the Craft Wondrous Item feat. That was kind of a cop out. Yes, not including that stuff would get you auto-rejected, I am sorry to say. And I had more than one item that I auto-rejected that I said "auto-rejected, and too bad, too, because this thing was really good." Maybe yours was one of those.

Dark Archive

Wolfgang Baur wrote:
Ragwaine wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
... failing to provide any creation/costing info.

Just to be clear here, you mean the line with the price, spells etc... right? NOT any kind of information about how you came up with your price.

I didn't have any words left to show the logic behind my choice of price.

That's correct. Some people didn't include a price, spells, feat, etc line. Failure to include that is an auto-reject.

Logic behind pricing is being largely ignored, on my part at least.

I almost included the math behind how I arrived at the price. As a GM, I'd want to see this as crafters can get WAY too creative with the math. I didn't because it would have put me over 200 words... which seemed such a HUGE number when I started and such a small number when I was done.

Dark Archive

Clark Peterson wrote:
Tnemeh, ask yourself this: could I publish your submission? Without that info, the answer has to be no. So work the black art. Figure a caster level by equivalent spell power. You can usually peg an effect pretty closely. Figure its aura and an approx. caster level. Then you know it takes the Craft Wondrous Item feat. That was kind of a cop out. Yes, not including that stuff would get you auto-rejected, I am sorry to say. And I had more than one item that I auto-rejected that I said "auto-rejected, and too bad, too, because this thing was really good." Maybe yours was one of those.

Gah, I agree. Thanks!

Sovereign Court Contributor

Frankly, many of the spell requirements for magic items are pretty tenuous at best. If you're making an item that doesn't match a spell power, I would simply price it at what seems a reasonable price compared to other items, then calaculate backwards what level of spell and caster would generate that price. Then I would look for a spell that had some kind of connection in that level range. I'd look up and down a few levels from that point and find the best spell, then justify the price I chose if neccesary by adding limitations or additional prerequisites as needed (or by saying 'because that seems reasonable.')


Also known as "benchmarking". Wondrous Items was a good choice in fact because it allows you to break the rules a tad.

So we have a couple known reasons for rejection. I'll be curious though to see the reasons for acceptance of the Top 32. Mainly because I hope to learn more from our august judges. You're never too old to learn.

The Exchange Kobold Press

varianor wrote:
Also known as "benchmarking". Wondrous Items was a good choice in fact because it allows you to break the rules a tad.

We're definitely doing benchmarking on the items that seem off base. Sometimes there's a good argument that the cost is appropriate. Sometimes it's clear that the item is costed much too high or low.

varianor wrote:
So we have a couple known reasons for rejection. I'll be curious though to see the reasons for acceptance of the Top 32. Mainly because I hope to learn more from our august judges. You're never too old to learn.

I think we're finding commonalities in items that don't work: certain themes, as Erik mentioned, and certain types of approaches. They're easier to spot as we see more and more of them. Some of these aren't even necessarily *bad* items, and could be fine in some situations. We're looking for better than average, though. We're looking for writerly skill, design craft, and at least some originality.

As a result, I think the items that succeed are a pretty diverse group. There's some wonderful, wonderful stuff in the submissions, and making the final cuts is going to be very difficult.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

As we near finishing primary evaluations of each of the items, we're passing on several that we'd previously decided to "keep around for a while," often because the items just aren't that ambitious or interesting. Today I suspect we've cut about a dozen items that are perfectly ok--good pricing, solid concept, etc., but they just lack that certain "oomph" that we feel a true RPG Superstar will be able to produce.

So just because your item doesn't make it into the Top 32 does not AT ALL mean it was a _bad_ item. It might just mean that the submission wasn't spectacular.

Remember that we had about 855 submissions. There are far more than 32 that are at least good (though probably not more than 100), so don't be too hard on yourself if your item does not make the final cut.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 8

100 good submissions? I estimated 200. I'm really hopeful for the 28th.

Just have to be patient now. Five days to go.

Out of curiousity, how many submissions total did you estimated you guys would receive?

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

We should have thought of this months ago. We could fill a good sized book with some of these items. :) That is how many good submissions we have.

But good isnt the goal.

There are easily 200+ submissions that, if we were making a book of wondrous items, we would be more than happy to include. Seriously, when we started we didnt know how many good ones we would get. But as the contest continued it was clear that there was no question that our top 32 were really going to be awesome items.

We wanted something more than competent. We wanted magic. Something that made us go "wow." Or, like one today that we debated at length and I almost rejected, something that made us say "why has no one ever thought of this before, its brilliant." I had massive costing issues with it, but in the end we agreed it was a great item--one that each of us wished we had come up with.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

To answer your question, I hoped we would get 400. But I had zero info to base that on. Just a hope. Obviously we exceeded that. But what I really wanted was not a total number of submissions, I wanted enough submissions that our top 32 were all awesome and none were ones we were luke warm about. That was more important to me, and I can say with total pleasure that we are absolutely there. It is going to suck cutting down our short keep list (which is over 32 items right now with about 100 to go) to the final 32.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Current count: over 700 rejected, nearly 50 kept, almost 100 still under consideration (only a few have not been reviewed at all, most are ones we have discussed and put aside to think about and discuss further). The ones under consideration are likely keepers. I would guess at the end we are dealing with sorting through about 75+ keepers from which we pick the top 32.

We have done a TON of work. I cant believe how much work this has been.

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