Round 2 Assignment Questions--Taking Your Input


RPG Superstar™ 2008 General Discussion

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Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Clark Peterson wrote:
Oh god. The idea of going back through all of the 850+ just seems too much at this point. I dont know. I cant commit to it. You have no idea how much work that was...

Considering how jaw-droppingly easy my job is, you’re probably right.

“I opened your bottle of Bud, old man. Now gimmie three dollars, which I will spend on making crappy movies about sex, drinking and Dungeons & Dragons. By the way, is your daughter interested in juggling her boobs online?”


Vic Wertz wrote:
I'd advise not getting hung up on definitions—if we ask for a country, and you write something that the judges think is not a country, you've just written yourself out of the competition. Why take the risk?

Vic,

You've just provided an excellent reason for us to get hung up on definitions! If we don't know exactly what the judges think a country is, then some of us will most definitely write ourselves out of the competition by submitting an entry that doesn't meet the judges definition of a country.

So in the write up, please provide us with their exact definitions of a country so we don't accidentally stumble out of the competition by providing them with less than what is expected or too much to be acceptable.

I don't want to get on anyone's bad side about this, but it is vital to know exact definitions in a competition of this magnitude. The more precise the instructions, the more able we are to fulfill our obligations and be judged properly on our merits.

Thank you.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Its a country.

Use its plain meaning. That should work fine.

But, just in case, I have provided a definition and many examples. Those should be included with the rules.

I understand the anxiety. You want to make sure you do it right. But seriously, if you cant figure out what a country is for a submission, how can I trust you with simple freelancer instructions? Not being able to figure out what a country is--that is definately NOT Superstar.

We aren interpreting it broadly. You have a good deal of latitude.

Its more than a city and less than a continent. And not simply a geographic feature or area.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Even if I provided an "exact" definition, you would still have questions if you are asking what a country is. All an exact definition would do is lead to more nit picking about the words in that definition.

You'll get what you get. Then you have decisions to make. And that in and of itself is part of the test. I cant give you all the answers. You have to make some design choices.


Hmm, I may need to rethink my extra-dimensional country within a bottle then, is what I'm hearing.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

I'm not giving any hits or tips. If you are top 32, you will get the instructions like everyone else and will get to make your design choices like everyone else. And those choices may well include some calculated risks. I dont know. That is your call. And you're getting no further guidance from me than the rules and the FAQ that goes with it.

Liberty's Edge

Wait a minute...I thought we were talking about a genre of music...

Spoiler:
insert: facetious ;-p


Clark Peterson wrote:

Even if I provided an "exact" definition, you would still have questions if you are asking what a country is. All an exact definition would do is lead to more nit picking about the words in that definition.

You'll get what you get. Then you have decisions to make. And that in and of itself is part of the test. I cant give you all the answers. You have to make some design choices.

Thanks Clark,

I know we will get what we get if we get. I get it. I am cool with everything you have said. I was very uncool with what Vic said. I work well from either guidelines or freeform, so I'm not going to have a problem if I get the opportunity to flex my mental muscles.

Also, I have to apologize, I started from the beginning and only just got this far. Otherwise I'd have never bothered posting my opinion on the matter, as you had already addressed it beautifully. I'm not new to BB-ing, but I am more used to email and letter based communication. Catching up in a pre-existing thread is difficult for me. (Slow reader, standard sized novel 7 pages an hour, I hate reading. doesn't help a literature major.) But I do what I must to keep abreast of the information available.

Again, thanks.


Just one voter out of a bazillion, so be cautious in accepting what advice I give...nonetheless you're probably all interested in impressing judges and *yippie!* I am one.

Focus on concept. Cool concepts sell me on stuff. It doesn't have to be the wildest, zaniest most weird country ever to stand out. It doesn't have to push the envelope as smallest or biggest. It's gonna' be the one with the neat hook.

Think about what settings people love--the ones that caused moans of despair when they got axed. Then ask yourself why folks got so hooked on those settings. Try to make your country like those settings--or rather, make it good like they were good. Chances are it came down to something simple and catchy rather than something long and rambling.

That's the best advice I can give. I want a country I would set a campaign in--one I would love to make a character be from. I could care less, really how much the gp limit is, or whether it's ruler is CN or LE. Honestly (and this is really -really- just me) I would love a great country that's baseline, but feels lived in and genuine rather than a sketchy, half-baked country that's on some floating earthburg with transporto-tubes and airships. Real, flavorful and grounded is better and an easier sell (for me) than out there and hard to "get".

So there you go. Unsolicited advice for whatever it's worth.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Varchild_Marquee wrote:
I was very uncool with what Vic said.

To be clear, what I'm trying to say is this: we're asking for a country. If you find yourself asking if, for example, Vatican City counts as a country, my answer is that it may or may not, so maybe you'd better not risk it. I mean, designing Vatican City *might* get you disqualified, but designing Italy surely won't. So why not just design Italy, and avoid the potential problem?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Clark Peterson wrote:
I'm not giving any hits or tips. If you are top 32, you will get the instructions like everyone else and will get to make your design choices like everyone else. And those choices may well include some calculated risks. I dont know. That is your call. And you're getting no further guidance from me than the rules and the FAQ that goes with it.

Copy that. And thanks for what you've done so far.

With the "Golden Ticket" imagery so evocative of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (title because I'm referring to the original move), today I'll probably be like 823 or so other folks who didn't make it.

But it was cool to have something to be excited about.


It is clear there are no maps for the entry. No crutches. It will probably be addressed in the round 2 rules that contestents can not drop a country map into a post submission discussion thread. It may seem silly but would that include custom avatars? Maybe I was tired of the old wizard avatar and found this really cool avatar that could be mistaken for a country. Good luck to the advancing 32 less than 6 hours to go.

Liberty's Edge

6 Hours!?!

Is it too late to send in my entry??


Only for this year unless you can get that submission button working. Less than 5 hours now.


thatboomerkid wrote:

“making crappy movies about sex, drinking and Dungeons & Dragons. By the way, is your daughter interested in juggling her boobs online?”

Heh, and thats why we got along so well Boomer.

Scarab Sages

RogerC wrote:
The word limit is a bit tricky... in that I'm not sure there isn't anything in place other than courtesy to stop an author from writing a 20K word appendix to his entry in the forums. But it doesn't seem right to completely gag the authors if someone has a simple legitimate question about their entry.

That occurred to me, too; what's stopping someone writing a short, concise piece, for their entry , then clogging up the question & answer boards with their 10-volume trilogy?


Vic Wertz wrote:
I mean, designing Vatican City *might* get you disqualified, but designing Italy surely won't. So why not just design Italy, and avoid the potential problem?

Ok, the reason this statement is frustrating is because historically, there was no such thing as Italy. The reason the Sicilian mafia has persisted for so long is many Sicilians think the idea of "Italy" is a joke, and certainly don't think of themselves as "Italian".

Without getting technical, the idea of a modern nation state is arguably a fiction, a fake idea created by those in power as a tool of their power, a sort of mind control. Historically, both territorial borders and governments were very fluid.

Generally, people were loyal to their group, which usually was nuclear family, then extended family, then tribe, then ethnicity. This is why Yugoslavia disintegrated into warring territories. Tito may have been able to force Croats, Serbs, and others to get along, but as soon as he died, the whole thing disintegrated. These people were loyal to their group, not to some tyrant's loony idea of a country.

Or consider Britain. Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Northern France all could be considered separate "nations", or part of Britian depending on what moment of history you choose. Normandy was once part of what we think of as "England", during the era of the Norman kings, after William the Conquerer defeated the (Anglish) Anglo-Saxons at Hastings. And there are muttered rumblings right now that Scotland should cut loose of Britian entirely, since virtually all British oil wealth comes from petroleum fields in Scottish territory.

Considered from this perspective, a "nation" is really just a government (usually hereditary monarchy/imperium) and the territory and groups it exercises nominal control over, at any given moment. That could be a radically different thing a year later.

Historically, a nation could be considered an ethnic people group, since that is what usually endures from era to era, not governments. That definition also casts new light on the idea expressed by Tolkien in the Two Towers that the war on Rohan was to destroy her people, not simply to take land. Essentially, the only way to defeat a nation, by this definition, is to destroy the people, which is an awful way of looking at it, but then the idea of ethnic cleansing suddenly makes a lot more sense.

Considered from a real world historical perspective, Vic's statment is frustrating because we are given the choice of either making a bizarro, ahistorical thing like a modern "nation", or we risk being immediately disqualified.

Thats not a decision I would enjoy making.


Vic Wertz wrote:
I mean, designing Vatican City *might* get you disqualified, but designing Italy surely won't. So why not just design Italy, and avoid the potential problem?

Because if I submitted 5,000 words describing Italy, it's probably not going to be good enough to advance, while if I submitted 5,000 words describing the Vatican (a tiny country ruled by a non-hereditary elected monarchy who is also the spiritual leader of one of the largest religions in the world, encased entirely within a different country), I'd have a much better shot. The Vatican is unique and thereby interesting, in a way that Italy isn't.

FWIW, the Vatican is officially a city-state--just like Singapore and Monaco. Whether you mean "country" in the sense of nation (a cultural division), or "country" in the sense of state (a political division), all three qualify.


By the sound of it, our great discussion leader is saying that while you may have a country in mind, it may not actually be a country.

The vatican is either a country or a sovereign city depending on how you describe it. what paizo wants is someone who could just as easily create the Cincinnatti free state as Ardnier,, the vale of the fair folk. A country is not a defined area, or an ethnic majority. It is whatever you can describe and make FEEL like a country.

What I am getting after reading this whole darned post start to finish, is that they don't care about quibbling little details. They just want you to SELL IT.

Respectfully submitted.
Me


Italy was a really poor choice for an example...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Italy

That gives you some idea of what constituted "Italy" historically. Britian isn't a very good choice either, nor is Spain or Germany.

Really, the best example for your purposes is probably France, since it has a good long-term correspondence between a people group (the Germanic Franks) and territory (France). French history, territory and people are fairly continuous starting around 500 AD/CE.


I'm reasonably certain that these folks who are *confused* about what a country is aren't going to be in the list of 32 people anyway. So, it's a moot point.


My big question is will these instructions ONLY be sent out to the Lucky 32, or will they be posted here on the boards so those who don't make it can still "play the home verison"?


According to Clark in the other thread, they are just getting emailed out. Certainly I could see asking the judges to post them once Round 2 is done for those who would like to try their hand at that point, but they would have no obligation to do so.


As a voter, I'd love to know what the rules of the contest are/were in order to see which people stretched the rules. Keeping these rules viewable only to contestants until after the contest seems like an odd choice. How will we be able to see who creatively stretched the rules while staying within them?

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

The rules for round 2 will be visible to everybody.

[edit]And yeah, that's a link that won't work for another hour and 39 minutes...

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

The discussion about a submission will NOT be a vehicle for the author to add more content to his submission or answer questions about it. The submissions stand as they are at the moment they were submitted.

If an author tries to add content by subsequent posts, we reserve the right to disqualify the entry.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

The Vatican, as far as I know is a soverign political entity and would, thus, qualify as a "country." But like Vic said, it may be a close call.

Dark Archive

Clark Peterson wrote:
The Vatican, as far as I know is a soverign political entity and would, thus, qualify as a "country." But like Vic said, it may be a close call.

I think that kind of close-calls is just part of the "make it original" strategy a competitor would choose to take. If such a choice is made one has to accept the risk of being rejected for non-compliance with the rules. It's playing with fire, which can be greatly rewarding if it works, but is more likely to backlash for not following the rules.


You boarders are giving me flash backs to first-year Torts...
Don't even try, if you weren't there, you'll never get it ;)


I think it is pretty safe to say that the first person to ask the judges what the definition of "is" is will be disqualified.... ;)

I'm sorry, but I just couldn't resist.

The Exchange Kobold Press

Clark Peterson wrote:
The Vatican, as far as I know is a soverign political entity and would, thus, qualify as a "country." But like Vic said, it may be a close call.

Personally, I think that a city-state is a fine choice, and the Vatican a fine example. It's up to the audience to decide what to reward with votes, though.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Monkster

Quick question: Anyone know if the information on this site
http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/home.html
is the same as the d20srd.org site? I'm looking up stuff from behind a firewall at work (Oh, for shame, O naughty slacker!) and for some reason, the d20 site is blocked for me as in a forbidden category (games), but the other one is not.


Bit of a warning. d20srd.org and the srd site you referenced have some inconsistencies not only with eachother, but with the actual WotC SRD.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Yeah well if we refer you to d20srd.org do you think we will ding you for any issues contained there? No, we wont.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Wolfgang Baur wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
The Vatican, as far as I know is a soverign political entity and would, thus, qualify as a "country." But like Vic said, it may be a close call.
Personally, I think that a city-state is a fine choice, and the Vatican a fine example. It's up to the audience to decide what to reward with votes, though.

Wolf you need to see about changing that tag next to your name to "Kobold King."

Jus sayin'
GGG

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Clark Peterson wrote:


So as I sit here finalizing the instructions, I was wondering if you all who might be working on this already had any particular areas you wanted me to make sure we address in the instructions.

For me:

1. I would like to make sure "Country" is Clarified.
(i.e. Does it have to be so many miles in size, have so many cities, be part of a continent, an island kingdom unto itself, or just a large city in a cavern? Are there limits? Are there no limits? Other than word count and similar restrictions)

2. Do we do full stats on special individuals, or are short formats ok or necessary?

3. Preferred Formats (i.e. Times New Roman, letter size, etc...)
Last thing I want to do is give people a headache while trying to read my work.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

seraphic wrote:
Ok, the reason this statement is frustrating is because historically, there was no such thing as Italy.

If you're debating whether or not Italy is a country, you are entirely missing my point.

You have an idea about what most people consider a country. You also have an idea about what might not be considered a country. Write about a country.

I do not believe that a well-written writeup of Italy is automatically worse than a well-written writeup of Vatican City.

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