That format they hate


RPG Superstar™ 2008 General Discussion


I'm reading the judges comments on the items and I see a lot of dislike for a certain format (Maw and Malleus I'm looking at you, and me 'cause I think my item used), and the judges wondering where it came from.

I got the format from the Pathfinder books, all of the new/unique items in it are detailed using it.

I find it amusing that it wasn't recognized.

Paizo sponsered contest, Paizo used format.

Aw well.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Mostly the confusion on our part was because we asked for "SRD" format, and got lots of others. Obviously, we weren't clear enough about this in the rules, which is something we will learn from next time we do the contest.

In the end, "cool item" trumped "correct format."

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

Mostly the confusion on our part was because we asked for "SRD" format, and got lots of others. Obviously, we weren't clear enough about this in the rules, which is something we will learn from next time we do the contest.

In the end, "cool item" trumped "correct format."

Next time? Great lets go! I'm ready! ;)

I wasn't trying to give anyone a hard time. My intent was to just point out where the format came from. As I reread my post I think some disappontment crept in.

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

Well, why not? I'll be the first to admit I'm disappointed. I'm sure everyone can find an item on that list of 32 that they feel their own item was better than, but that's the nature of the beast. Doesn't mean I won't try again next time. Frankly, I'm still curious if I'd have been chosen if I'd imitated a Spell Compendium spell rather than using it outright like a bonehead. But then again, that's my nick ...

Personally, I'm more interested in trying to out with Kobold Quarterly and whatever magazine ends up filling in the other hole in my monthly magazines (i.e. the one left by Dungeon).

Yeah, Pathfinder is great (and I like the new monsters, especially now that they're increasing in CR - I run an epic campaign), but what I loved most about Dungeon was the DM material, not the adventures.

Participating in a yearly contest like this will just end up stressful. Participating in ongoing publishing is a lot more likely to be rewarding. I just need to do some decent work.


gbonehead wrote:


Participating in a yearly contest like this will just end up stressful. Participating in ongoing publishing is a lot more likely to be rewarding. I just need to do some decent work.

Hey, this is fun and maybe a little PR for the winner. If you want a career, you have the right mindset.

The Exchange Kobold Press

Cainus wrote:

I find it amusing that it wasn't recognized.

I recognized it. It's just not what we asked for. :)

As Erik said, in the end we allowed it.

Dark Archive

Cainus wrote:

I'm reading the judges comments on the items and I see a lot of dislike for a certain format (Maw and Malleus I'm looking at you, and me 'cause I think my item used), and the judges wondering where it came from.

I got the format from the Pathfinder books, all of the new/unique items in it are detailed using it.

I find it amusing that it wasn't recognized.

Paizo sponsered contest, Paizo used format.

Aw well.

This is my case as well.


Erik Mona wrote:

Mostly the confusion on our part was because we asked for "SRD" format, and got lots of others. Obviously, we weren't clear enough about this in the rules, which is something we will learn from next time we do the contest.

In the end, "cool item" trumped "correct format."

Erik -

I'm going to be honest here: you WERE clear about the format. Very clear, in fact. Given that fact I think it's very sad people didn't listen. But I work with students every day who frequently don't pay even remote attention to the details of requirements on submissions, so I really don't think, even given the large base of incorrectly formatted items, that it had anything to do with your clarity. People just weren't paying attention (and I include plenty of people whose work I respect in that, btw).

- Ashavan

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Yes, well, as I said, we apparently weren't clear ENOUGH. :)


Erik Mona wrote:

Mostly the confusion on our part was because we asked for "SRD" format, and got lots of others. Obviously, we weren't clear enough about this in the rules, which is something we will learn from next time we do the contest.

In the end, "cool item" trumped "correct format."

Oh, it was perfectly clear. But this is coming from a guy who didn't realize the deadline was at noon, so my opinion probably doesn't count for much.


Erik Mona wrote:

Mostly the confusion on our part was because we asked for "SRD" format, and got lots of others. Obviously, we weren't clear enough about this in the rules, which is something we will learn from next time we do the contest.

In the end, "cool item" trumped "correct format."

In the end "cool item" trumped "follow the rules of the contest".....if the judges really like it they will change the rules for you.

SRD FORMAT ONLY was pretty clear... “To enter, submit an original wondrous item using the format outlined in the 3.5 SRD”


Format was equal to a negative.

Great ideas equaled a positive.

The former is explicitly written.

The latter may be divined after the fact.

Dark Archive Contributor , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Boxhead

I have thought about this. Really, not following the rules will get you killed at some point in the contest. Especially once it's in the hands of the people (who may care more about this).

Congrats to the people who made it, obviously the judges liked their work more than format could restrain.

The Exchange Kobold Press

Boxhead wrote:
Congrats to the people who made it, obviously the judges liked their work more than format could restrain.

I deducted fairly heavily for failure to follow the format, as you can see from my comments on several items.

But it wasn't an auto-reject, no.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Hate to say it, but the rules of the contest are quite clear in the requirements, both as regards the item entry format as well as for spelling and grammar.

Granted, the point is moot and the flogged horse is rather deceased. It is disappointing to find several submissions seemingly get in the door in spite of the clear rules outlined of course, as those were the only posted guidelines many had to work from. Lesson learned. ^_^

Congratulations to the winners and the alternates as well! May the future rounds reveal greatness come February!

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Jayrellim wrote:

In the end "cool item" trumped "follow the rules of the contest".....if the judges really like it they will change the rules for you.

SRD FORMAT ONLY was pretty clear... “To enter, submit an original wondrous item using the format outlined in the 3.5 SRD”

That is an offensive suggestion. You are challenging my personal honesty and integrity and I will not tolerate it.

To suggest we changed the rules makes me mad. I'm going to give you a pass because many people are just hurt that their items didnt make it. I appreciate that. But you better not come in here and call me out on issues of my personal honesty and integrity.

We discussed this at lenght in many many posts and in many item threads. In fact, you can see some of those discussions. There were many more.

One of the problems is that our first round instructions werent as good as they could have been. We didnt say what was mandatory and what could lead to rejection. We have corrected that, in large part, in round 2. You can see we provide a model format and say that it is not mandatory. What is mandatory we specify.

Here is more of our reasoning on this.

First, it is the current WotC format, and it is hard to ding designers for following the industry leader when in doubt.

Second, whe said the SRD, but we didnt mandate a source (though we did refer to d20srd.org). At least one online SRD source has items in that format that was causing trouble.

Third, I dont like the language of the instruction and we didnt feel we could say it was clearly mandatory. The complete instructions were: "To enter, submit an original wondrous item using the format outlined in the 3.5 SRD (available online at www.d20srd.org). The entry must be no more than 200 words and must include all of the proper mechanics and flavor (see here for examples). Entries must be written in the English language, using correct spelling and grammar." The problem is "format outlined in the SRD" is very broad in my mind (particularly with the word "outlined"). It is one thing to say "use the format outlined.." it is another thing to say what you are suggesting we said: "use that format only." We didnt actually say that. Those are two different things.

Fourth, we are all in agreement that, while we prefer items in the format we expected, in reflecting on the rules we didnt believe the intent of the rules was that the format be clearly mandatory. In our discussions, we came to agree that essentially what was meant by that was "we need a name, a textual description and costing and construction information." That is the format of a wondrous item. In fact, we agreed that in later rounds we want to let people be free to invent formats that are improvements--you can even see that suggestion in the round 2 instruction. Heck, if you can come up with a better format, then you may be an RPG Superstar.

Dont think I am bending the rules. We were trying to do our best under the circumstances of our own making--instructions that needed to be more clear. And we grappled with this issue way before we realized how many entries used this format. Believe me, we would have had more people griping for being rejected for using that format that we now have griping that people were not rejected for it.

Everything we did, we did out of a desire to be fair to the entrants.

Sorry if I got hot in the beginning of this thread, but I put way too much effort and heart and sweat into this contest to hear someone challenge my ethics on it.

Dark Archive

I propose a DUEL TO THE DEATH!

I know a few places where you could have such a duel and we could dispose of the loser's body there as well!

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Ok, I've calmed down now. Sorry for being so mad.

We took this real seriously, people. And fairness was our utmost concern.

Clark


PandaGaki wrote:
I know a few places where you could have such a duel and we could dispose of the loser's body there as well!

Are you from Detroit too? Let's duel lunch!

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

I'd think it was a wise choice not to get too hung up on the format.

Lets face it, following instructions may have been a major part of what the contest is about (as was being able to organize yourself. *shame* I probably got shot down for not including full creation info simply because the price got lost when transferring between the several machines i used to work on my submission), but it was not the only bar to be tackled. Creativity, evocative writing and knowledge of the system all where additional requirements. Obviously, looking through the winning entries, requirements that, if fulfilled in spades, could each outweigh a format error.

In the end, it boils down to the question: Do you trust our three judges to pick the best of the bunch, or don't you trust them. If the former, there is really no reason to complain. If the later, well, things get sticky. Of course "blaming the jury" is a "good way" (not really...) to take the sting from losing, but its also very close to the bad craftsmen blaming his tools.

Think if it this way, the judges are each pros when it comes to publishing. It is their job to correct such mistake, and making them work harder without a good reason is not something they likely appreciate. If they think that a potential superstars submission was good enough despite him/her not following the format, then they really must have seen something in that submission.

Ah, and one last thought - is it just me, or are there several versions of the SRD flowing around? I remember d20srd.org, but there also is a PDF on the wizards site, and i think i saw a printed version somewhere. I am not an expert on what copyright rules apply to it, but i would hazard the guess that each of these formats things a little differently.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

You are correct about that last part. I mentioned it above. There is at least one site we found that uses the "compendium" format that was causing the problems. Plus, as has been mentioned, Paizo has used it.


Clark Peterson wrote:

Ok, I've calmed down now. Sorry for being so mad.

We took this real seriously, people. And fairness was our utmost concern.

Clark

It was not my intention to question your personal honesty/integrity, I think the judges have all been very open and honest throughout this process. I do apologize if I offended you personally.


PandaGaki wrote:

I propose a DUEL TO THE DEATH!

I know a few places where you could have such a duel and we could dispose of the loser's body there as well!

I live in one AND there is a horrible shortage of gamers - send them my way.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Jayrellim wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:

Ok, I've calmed down now. Sorry for being so mad.

We took this real seriously, people. And fairness was our utmost concern.

Clark

It was not my intention to question your personal honesty/integrity, I think the judges have all been very open and honest throughout this process. I do apologize if I offended you personally.

Thank you for that and I likewise appologize for essentially yelling at you :)

Sorry.

Duel to the death called off.


Clark Peterson wrote:
Jayrellim wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:

Ok, I've calmed down now. Sorry for being so mad.

We took this real seriously, people. And fairness was our utmost concern.

Clark

It was not my intention to question your personal honesty/integrity, I think the judges have all been very open and honest throughout this process. I do apologize if I offended you personally.

Thank you for that and I likewise appologize for essentially yelling at you :)

Sorry.

Duel to the death called off.

And there goes the opportunity to get gamers into the neighborhood. GRRR.

Contributor

Clark Peterson wrote:
Duel to the death called off.

Damn it! Now what am I going to do for lunchtime entertainment?


Zherog wrote:
Damn it! Now what am I going to do for lunchtime entertainment?

*puts away the beer and barbecue fixings*

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Lilith wrote:
Zherog wrote:
Damn it! Now what am I going to do for lunchtime entertainment?
*puts away the beer and barbecue fixings*

Nooooo! Not the beeeer!

Community / Forums / Archive / Paizo / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2008 / General Discussion / That format they hate All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in General Discussion
Losing items