Well, I lost...


RPG Superstar™ 2008 General Discussion

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

I just wish I could see what the judges said about my item...

Sovereign Court

I'm just a little frustrated seeing how all these mechanically terrible items got through on sheer gonzo weirdness. I mean, I realize my item isn't anywhere near as good as some of the top tier contenders, but my goodness... some of the stuff I'm considering to be the back of the pack, I can't imagine HOW they got into the top 32.


Jeremy Clements wrote:

I just wish I could see what the judges said about my item...

Me too, though I don't expect them to be able to do this for the 800+ rejected entries. I wish I knew what the primary rejection reason was for future reference though. :/


Jeremy Clements wrote:

I just wish I could see what the judges said about my item...

Heh, after reading some of Clark's posts I think that my comments ran along the lines of "Oh god, not another one of these."

I know that I made it through technically. I also know that my pricing was iffy because, to put it simply, pricing wondrous items always gave me a headache. Reflecting on it yesterday, I would have made my item a cloak with the spell effect of prismatic sphere built-in with a once-a-week use rather than what I tried to do... a very limited "any item" or, as Clark put it, a "swiss army" item.

Of course, now I've got 20 more ideas floating around in my head for wondrous items that I just couldn't think of that week *laugh*

Ah well, such is life. Congrats and good luck to the winners! Get crackin' on those country submissions!

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

cappadocius wrote:
I'm just a little frustrated seeing how all these mechanically terrible items got through on sheer gonzo weirdness. I mean, I realize my item isn't anywhere near as good as some of the top tier contenders, but my goodness... some of the stuff I'm considering to be the back of the pack, I can't imagine HOW they got into the top 32.

Some I'm "eh" about because they don't suit my personal style, but I can see what's appealing about all of them in a general sense.

And the best I'm really extremely impressed with.


Jeremy Clements wrote:
I just wish I could see what the judges said about my item...

Ditto. I was rather underwhelmed by what I was expecting to be the end-all, be-all 32 fantastic items. Of the 10 I saw, I was appalled at several which featured bad writing and muddy mechanics. There were several outright rejects from the judges in the comments; those probably got bounced to the next round on a "golden ticket".

I only saw two items I genuinely thought were clear-cut, without-a-doubt, superstar items. Maybe the judging was just inevitably more subjective than I had expected.


That "Lantern of Selective Perception"... I've been browsing through a friend's copy of Magic Item Compendium, and I'm sure there's an item in there that does something like that, I just can't place it.

Anyone else have a clue?

Sovereign Court

Clouds Without Water wrote:
some of the stuff I'm considering to be the back of the pack, I can't imagine HOW they got into the top 32.

Some I'm "eh" about because they don't suit my personal style, but I can see what's appealing about all of them in a general sense.

And the best I'm really extremely impressed with.

Oh, the best of the pack knocked me on my ass they were that good.

But, some of 'em... If I'd known I could've made the Top 32 on sheer weirdness, I would've pulled out some of my more outré but mechanically questionable items I designed in college!

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

Blue_eyed_paladin wrote:

That "Lantern of Selective Perception"... I've been browsing through a friend's copy of Magic Item Compendium, and I'm sure there's an item in there that does something like that, I just can't place it.

Anyone else have a clue?

That one did look familiar, but I can't place it either.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Ah, the sour grapes, they taste...

...sour.


Jeremy Clements wrote:
I just wish I could see what the judges said about my item...

Although some might view this thread as poor losers, I agree with the original poster's wish. I am betting though that some of the judges' comments are not constructive and may offend some of the losing items creators. I have a feeling some may contain comments like: "Are you kidding me?" or "You can't be serious..."


Yeah, I think I got axed automatically anyway as I submitted a Ring, then realized ten minutes later that a ring isn't technically a wonderous item [its a ring lol]. I'd love to know what they thought of the concept though.

I'm pretty impressed, most of the winners are pretty awesome items. I haven't seen any where im like "oh come on, really???". Thier all pretty soild.

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

Clouds Without Water wrote:
Blue_eyed_paladin wrote:

That "Lantern of Selective Perception"... I've been browsing through a friend's copy of Magic Item Compendium, and I'm sure there's an item in there that does something like that, I just can't place it.

Anyone else have a clue?

That one did look familiar, but I can't place it either.

IN the Magic of Faerun there was a magic ring that made you inivisible to creatures using darkvision. Maybe that's what you were thinking of...

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

Sebastian wrote:

Ah, the sour grapes, they taste...

...sour.

I'm just disappointed that I won't be able to use my country of The Share with its main city of Halflington in the next round.


Blue_eyed_paladin wrote:

That "Lantern of Selective Perception"... I've been browsing through a friend's copy of Magic Item Compendium, and I'm sure there's an item in there that does something like that, I just can't place it.

Anyone else have a clue?

It was always going to be highly subjective. 855 entries being quickly reviewed. Intial reactions mattered heavily to get noticed, and gut cool factor is subjective.

But that's life as a writer. You keep getting thrown into the slush pile till you find an editor who likes you. That's also why knowing people in the business is so important.

That said, this is an online contest and I'm gonna have fun with it. My poor Mirror of Retrieved Events was too lacking in flavor and maybe a tad under priced or not actiony enough, but I'll live and publish another day ;)

Keep in mind that the chances of getting trhough here were no better than publishing in Dragon. Heck, I've done that several times and couldn't break 32 here.

Just to say that you make your own shots and this is more about fun and promotion than an even evaluation of talent. Keep writing guys!

And write about these guys to help the talented ones win!

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

I would also like to view the comments on my item.

Of course, as has already been stated, some people will interpret this thread as nothing but "sour grapes." So be it...but I'd like to add that I also find some of the winners underwhelming. That isn't to say my entry was better; I wasn't overly impressed with mine, to be honest; but I"m not blown away by all of the winners like I thought I would be, especially in the grammar and editing departments. Of course, that is probably what the open voting on future rounds is for...

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would dearly like to see the comments on mine, too.

But maybe it would be worse to see:

Clark Peterson (Publisher, Necromancer Games)
Good lord this blows - eject

Wolfgang Baur (Contributor, Ghoul Lord)
Utter trash - eject

Erik Mona (Publisher)
I feel like the last 47 seconds of my life were wasted beyond redemption by reading this submission - eject

Scarab Sages

Jeremy Clements wrote:

I just wish I could see what the judges said about my item...

I also wish I could havesome feed back,though I understand that 818 heres what you did wrong letters would be hard to do.

I would like to say congradulations to those 32 that made it to the next round and here is to some good country designs.

Scarab Sages

DitheringFool wrote:

I would dearly like to see the comments on mine, too.

But maybe it would be worse to see:

Clark Peterson (Publisher, Necromancer Games)
Good lord this blows - eject

Wolfgang Baur (Contributor, Ghoul Lord)
Utter trash - eject

Erik Mona (Publisher)
I feel like the last 47 seconds of my life were wasted beyond redemption by reading this submission - eject

LMAO

but I would really like to see that on mine so I could never show my face at the local game store again LOL!


DitheringFool wrote:
Words of wisdom

Yeah, I'm starting to think it's best not to know. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

propeliea wrote:


Keep in mind that the chances of getting trhough here were no better than publishing in Dragon. Heck, I've done that several times and couldn't break 32 here.

Given the number of submissions and the fact that the first round was judged blindly, I think it's actually more difficult to get through this first round than it is to get into Dragon.

--Erik

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

bugleyman wrote:

I would also like to view the comments on my item.

Of course, as has already been stated, some people will interpret this thread as nothing but "sour grapes." So be it...but I'd like to add that I also find some of the winners underwhelming. That isn't to say my entry was better; I wasn't overly impressed with mine, to be honest; but I"m not blown away by all of the winners like I thought I would be, especially in the grammar and editing departments. Of course, that is probably what the open voting on future rounds is for...

We were more forgiving on grammar and editing on this round than we will be in future rounds, for sure. My guess is that there are a couple people who will have a very difficult time advancing once they have more than 200 words to fill.


Karelzarath wrote:
DitheringFool wrote:
Words of wisdom
Yeah, I'm starting to think it's best not to know. :)

The thing I'm sensitive to is that any serious writer wants to know even if it is brutal. So I can see from that side.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

I'll cut the suspense. Some of the comments on losing entries were brutal, and you don't want to read them.

Some, on the other hand, were really long threads (up to 14 or so posts in some cases) arguing arcane elements of rules balance or what have you. I suspect these comments would be very helpful, but no one is going to go through the 830+ losing entries to sort the helpful comments from the unhelpful ones.

The judges have been discussing putting together some sort of essay about our methodology with some anecdotes about what worked and what didn't, common themes, etc. That's probably the closest we'll get to revealing the commentary on items that didn't make the cut.


propeliea wrote:
The thing I'm sensitive to is that any serious writer wants to know even if it is brutal. So I can see from that side.

Totally. If you're going to write, you're going to have to learn to accept and even welcome criticism.


Erik Mona wrote:
propeliea wrote:


Keep in mind that the chances of getting trhough here were no better than publishing in Dragon. Heck, I've done that several times and couldn't break 32 here.

Given the number of submissions and the fact that the first round was judged blindly, I think it's actually more difficult to get through this first round than it is to get into Dragon.

--Erik

Agreed.

Scarab Sages

Erik Mona wrote:

I'll cut the suspense. Some of the comments on losing entries were brutal, and you don't want to read them.

Some, on the other hand, were really long threads (up to 14 or so posts in some cases) arguing arcane elements of rules balance or what have you. I suspect these comments would be very helpful, but no one is going to go through the 830+ losing entries to sort the helpful comments from the unhelpful ones.

The judges have been discussing putting together some sort of essay about our methodology with some anecdotes about what worked and what didn't, common themes, etc. That's probably the closest we'll get to revealing the commentary on items that didn't make the cut.

I'd love to see that. Put me down for 1 vote for this.

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

Well, I want to be a really good sport. There are some very good items here, and when I finish reading them all, I am sure to be very impressed. But I do agree that I'm a little perplexed. There are items using the Magic Item Compendium format, and I would have thought that would auto-reject. There are items with poor spelling, grammar, sentence structure. I could never read an adventure by one or two of these authors.

Of course, I won't name them, but I think one benefit of having some of us disappointed authors give that opinion, is that a few will realize they really need to step up in future rounds. There are good, picky writers who submitted good items voting on the first RPG Superstar. If you have concerns about your sentence structure or spelling, realize those of us who got beat out by you aren't going to vote for you. I am not trying to be mean, I am trying to be constructive: Get your friends' opinions. Rewrite. There were guys who didn't make it into the first round that were worried about misplacing a single comma.

I do realize some of these entries might have been just under deadline and were sent just to get them in on time, but if I am voting for a true Superstar (at this point someone I think can outdesign me), I want to enjoy a submission. I don't want to be distracted by having to reconstruct a sentence.

I hope that's not viewed as sour grapes. While I have some genuine confusion about some entries, I know it was a tough process and the judges were wonderful. I'll get published elsewhere (I hope!). But now for you to get published here, you have to put out your very best effort and get passed the people who aren't in the contest anymore.

And I bet some of us are gonna have really high standards.


Erik Mona wrote:

I'll cut the suspense. Some of the comments on losing entries were brutal, and you don't want to read them.

Some, on the other hand, were really long threads (up to 14 or so posts in some cases) arguing arcane elements of rules balance or what have you. I suspect these comments would be very helpful, but no one is going to go through the 830+ losing entries to sort the helpful comments from the unhelpful ones.

The judges have been discussing putting together some sort of essay about our methodology with some anecdotes about what worked and what didn't, common themes, etc. That's probably the closest we'll get to revealing the commentary on items that didn't make the cut.

I'm sure I've seen more brutal comments on my writing than what was offered here, but I can see why a commercial publisher is resisting the possibility of insulting amateur members of its subscription base. The realist pov for economic reasons is to keep the criticism private except for those who will be facing more anyway.

That said, I think concerns that there are 14 post debates over arcane issues when a few heavily flawed items slipped through on coolness after far fewer posts rightly raises questions from the contestants.

But the answer to that question is that what makes a superstar is subjective, even among experts. That is what makes these contests compelling drama afterall.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Erik Mona wrote:

I'll cut the suspense. Some of the comments on losing entries were brutal, and you don't want to read them.

Some, on the other hand, were really long threads (up to 14 or so posts in some cases) arguing arcane elements of rules balance or what have you. I suspect these comments would be very helpful, but no one is going to go through the 830+ losing entries to sort the helpful comments from the unhelpful ones.

The judges have been discussing putting together some sort of essay about our methodology with some anecdotes about what worked and what didn't, common themes, etc. That's probably the closest we'll get to revealing the commentary on items that didn't make the cut.

Erik:

As far as brutality goes, I personally think brutally honest feedback is some of the most useful, but I fully understand why you guys aren't going to go there.

I do hope you guys opt to do an essay; that would be really cool.

Either way, thanks for running the thing to begin with.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Good. You should have very high standards, and you are right to point out editorial problems.

Two observations, from a judge:

1) We were obviously not clear enough about the format issue, because a HUGE number of submissions, many of them otherwise very good, muffed the format. Our conclusion was that we as judges and competition sponsors were not clear enough on this issue, so we did not punish it as forthrightfully as we might otherwise have. Next time we do this contest we will not be so forgiving, and the instructions for Round 2 are intentionally much more clear about stuff like this than were the instructions for Round 1.

2) All professional products DO go through an editorial process. While we prefer that submissions (both for this and for products) are as clean as humanly possible, the fact of the matter is that even true superstars--authors whose names everyone on this thread will recognize--routinely turn in work with missing words, spelling errors, or just plain old mistakes. The only authors who do not have this problem, it seems, are folks trained as professional editors, who tend to give their work several courtesy proofs before submitting. A tight manuscript helps a writer rise to the top of the pile, but cool ideas come into play too. The best designers--the true Superstars, if you will--are able to do both.

Not all 32 of the finalists are Superstars, and the "writing heavy" rounds are going to weed out a lot of the folks who are capable of coming up with a cool idea or balancing rules, but who can't put together a decent paragraph.

This is why the next round is about as "pure" a writing test as we could manage. If there are writers who advanced past round 1 who do not deserve to be in the competion, I expect them to be filtered out rather quickly.

--Erik

The Exchange

I just want to congratulate all of those who went through. A slap on the back and a hearty "Well done!"
.
.
.
.
.
Bah! Who am I kidding!?

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

Erik,
If we specifically asked you about our item would you be willing to explain the defects (in a tactful way)?

Then again that would be 800+ explanations.

I can see why you might not want to do that. :-)

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

ancientsensei wrote:


And I bet some of us are gonna have really high standards.

Well, some of the competition is certainly going to have really high standards, as is evidenced in the top tier of the items. There's some very talented people in there.

These next rounds are going to be fun to watch.

Scarab Sages

Post your item to the "Losing Items" thread and get feedback from your peers.


Patrick Walsh wrote:
Post your item to the "Losing Items" thread and get feedback from your peers.

The losing items thread is useless as a way of getting feedback. There are too many items posted, and comments are mixed freely in with submissions. Having an actual conversation about some point of design is unlikely as anything but an accident.

Ideally, there should be a "Losing Items" forum in which users could post their items as the start of a thread; that would keep all the related posts segregated into their own threads. Otherwise it's just chaos.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Patrick Walsh wrote:

Post your item to the "Losing Items" thread and get feedback from your peers.

That's really my best advice. I don't want to get into micro-managing my comments based on my memory or (even worse) based on hunting and pecking entries from the Pass folder.

No thanks. :)

--Erik


I'm not planning on offering commentary on any of the specific winners, since they've already been chosen, and the competition has moved on. Also, I worry about anything I say looking like Sebastian's "sour grapes."
However, since this has already been dubbed the "sour grapes" thread, I'd just like to add my voice to the growing list of people who aren't all that impressed with the final 32 items. Some of them are really great, certainly better than anythin I even considered entering, but too many are poorly written, badly designed, or mechanically flawed.
I think someone else commented on the items that made it through just because they were weird. I should have pulled out the "Box of Obscene Noises", "The muskrat Fur-lined Chainmail Jockstrap", or "The Succubus's Pop-Up Book."
I think a lot of us are looking at one or two items and saying, "My offering was passed over for that?" Sour grapes... sure. But just because they're sour, doesn't meant they're not real.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka FaxCelestis

Erik Mona wrote:

I'll cut the suspense. Some of the comments on losing entries were brutal, and you don't want to read them.

Some, on the other hand, were really long threads (up to 14 or so posts in some cases) arguing arcane elements of rules balance or what have you. I suspect these comments would be very helpful, but no one is going to go through the 830+ losing entries to sort the helpful comments from the unhelpful ones.

The judges have been discussing putting together some sort of essay about our methodology with some anecdotes about what worked and what didn't, common themes, etc. That's probably the closest we'll get to revealing the commentary on items that didn't make the cut.

I'll be straight with you: I'd much rather receive brutally honest commentary than none at all. At least the former, while likely to wound my (abnormally-sized) ego, will be useful for future creations.

I didn't enter this contest to win--well, okay, that's a lie. I did enter the contest to win, but I didn't expect to. Instead, I expected to be able to learn something from the experience. Commentary on my item would be an incredible step in that direction and would be worlds more useful than the amount of information I can glean from those that were accepted to move forward.

I suppose the point I'm trying to make is as follows: I want to be better than I am, but how can I do that without first being shown where I am going wrong? How am I to fix my creations if I am unable to even determine where to start?

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

I can see some real standouts among the top 32 and some that I wouldn't have placed above the noise level. But the judges didn't agree among themselves, either.

It should be said that this is a means to an end, not a technical exercise. Cool factor is the contest. Who can write multiple adventures that will jump off the page and sell 1000 copies? This first round is a very small and uncertain beginning in guessing who has that potential in them.


Starglim wrote:

I can see some real standouts among the top 32 and some that I wouldn't have placed above the noise level. But the judges didn't agree among themselves, either.

It should be said that this is a means to an end, not a technical exercise. Cool factor is the contest. Who can write multiple adventures that will jump off the page and sell 1000 copies? This first round is a very small and uncertain beginning in guessing who has that potential in them.

Exactly. It's a contest and a fun one. But in the end, it is a contest. That's decidely different from most forms of evaluation.

Not to say which is better, but this sure has drama.


I also add my voice to the under whelmed decention of the top 32's greatness. Which was not all that great, IMO.

My top favorite tho was, The Lamp of perception. That was a superstar item.

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

Yes, I'll admit that my name does not appear in the top 32.

I also recognize a couple of names as authors of Campaign Workbooks and an adventure or two. To me they are the current frontrunners.

I've looked at a couple of the other items and I think my item would have been a better choice......but that is my opinion, sadly not shared by the judges ;<

Good luck to the winners!


Personally, I think they did a nice job. While some of the items don't fit my personal taste, I can see why they all would get consideration, and while I like the item that I submitted, after reading the winners, I can see why it wasn't chosen. That said, there is one item (I'm not going to say which one)that I can't comprehend how it was even considered much less chosen as one of the 32, but 1 out of 32 isn't that bad. I really look forward to seeing what these talented folks put forth next. I'm getting lots of great ideas for my campaign.


I think the best compliment I can give to the lucky 32 is "I hate you, I hate you all... and I wish you the best of luck in the coming rounds." :)
And a big thanks to the judges for speding all of their time on this project. (as bad as the comments on some of the losing items might be, I wonder how heated the discussions on what made an item "wonderous" were...)
I can't wait until I have a chance to enter again next year, secure in the knowledge that at least I won't have to compete against this year's winner....only 768 more in the top 800 to worry about.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

I'd love to hear from the grumps about which items they think are so sucky.

Sovereign Court

Erik Mona wrote:
I'd love to hear from the grumps about which items they think are so sucky.

Give us time! You guys had two weeks! ;)

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

propeliea wrote:
Exactly. It's a contest and a fun one. But in the end, it is a contest. That's decidely different from most forms of evaluation.

I think the key factor underlying a lot of the decisions is less word count and so on and more "I want to see what else this guy's got." The first round is the hook, I think.

Not totally, but to at least some extent.

And on that basis, I agree with most of the choices.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

That's absolutely correct, Clouds. A brilliantly constructed, tightly written ho-hum item is not going to get you into the next round.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka FaxCelestis

Erik Mona wrote:
That's absolutely correct, Clouds. A brilliantly constructed, tightly written ho-hum item is not going to get you into the next round.

That and word count were probably my failings. I hit "Submit" and then realized, "Oh, hey, I forgot to word count that. Damn it."

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