How I intend to judge


RPG Superstar™ 2008 General Discussion

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Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

First off, I am doing a submission checklist for each entry to make sure we review all submissions for minimum requirements.

Then, I intend to judge a submission in five categories:

Fluff (writing, grammar, style, evocative prose, etc.)
Crunch (basics, rules issues, depth of the setting, details, etc.)
Design (choices made, format, naming, originality, balance--ie, is the submission heavy in one part but lacking in another?)
Play (setting for adventure? campaign? is there conflict? are there play limitations?)
Tilt (my personal take, is it evocative? do I want to play there? does it capture my imagination?) I concede this last part is highly subjective.

I intend to give grades for each section. Then an overall grade.

Then I intend to give either a recommendation for top 16 or not.

Now I'm off to read some submissions...

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Clark Peterson wrote:

First off, I am doing a submission checklist for each entry to make sure we review all submissions for minimum requirements.

/TEXT CUT

I intend to give grades for each section. Then an overall grade.
Then I intend to give either a recommendation for top 16 or not.

I know that I, as a voter, will find this extremely useful - as will my girlfriend, who has sworn up and down, at my insistance, that she will only vote for the very best entry.

And that makes two of us.

My mother, of course, claims that the only way I could POSSIBLY lose is if somebody is taking money under the table, but I suppose that unconditional confidence in their kids is what moms are for, after all.

In any event, I'm relatively certain that she couldn't get online and vote if both of our lives depended on it, so I think the contest will remain corruption free on THAT front.

. . . Anyway, long story short, I'm glad to know about the professional-grade criticism that we can expect. I thank you.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Darrien

Clark Peterson wrote:

Design (choices made, format, naming, originality, balance--ie, is the submission heavy in one part but lacking in another?)

Now I'm off to read some submissions...

Ugh...Naming. The Bane of all DM's.

I played in a campaign that the DM's recuring bad guy was named Ugly pants guy.

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

Now that the entries are in, I can reveal that my vote will go to the entry that contains the most instances of the letter "K".

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6 aka Eyebite

Darrien wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:

Design (choices made, format, naming, originality, balance--ie, is the submission heavy in one part but lacking in another?)

Now I'm off to read some submissions...

Ugh...Naming. The Bane of all DM's.

I played in a campaign that the DM's recuring bad guy was named Ugly pants guy.

I can empathize. At times, it becomes hard to give them creative names when you know the PCs will just chew them up in less than 5 rounds.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Darrien wrote:


Ugh...Naming. The Bane of all DM's.
I played in a campaign that the DM's recuring bad guy was named Ugly pants guy.

HA! Awesome! I played in a Forgotten Realms game where our elven benefactor was named "Jerk-Face McGee."

It was pronounced sorta Elven, something like "Jerak-Faush Ma-Kay", but we all knew.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

I'm tickled that grammar is in the fluff category as opposed to all the other parenthetical items. Never saw grammar as fluff, but in the context I do. I think.

I just having fun. I've truly appreciated your comments on this ride so far and look forward to many more amazing contributions.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Clouds Without Water wrote:


Now that the entries are in, I can reveal that my vote will go to the entry that contains the most instances of the letter "K".

Then you're going to LOVE my country, "Krkkklankkkkakakkalinkkkkkksttienkk." Their language sounds like someone speaking bad German over a bad cell-phone connection in the rain.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Darrien wrote:


I played in a campaign that the DM's recuring bad guy was named Ugly pants guy.

That's at least more entertaining that "the dude in the black plate mail/black robes".

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Darrien

Daigle wrote:
That's at least more entertaining that "the dude in the black plate mail/black robes".

I know I played in that campaign.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Daigle wrote:
Darrien wrote:


I played in a campaign that the DM's recuring bad guy was named Ugly pants guy.
That's at least more entertaining that "the dude in the black plate mail/black robes".

My question is this: how ugly were the pants? I mean, like, EVIL ugly or just tasteless ugly?

Or does the term "ugly" modify the noun "guy" - meaning that he is the Pants-Guy, who is ugly?

Lord, I'm confused.

- Boom,
who can't seem to go to sleep

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Darrien

LOL...that's 4th edition for "I find your jest hysterical, good bard."

No, it was made clear at first meeting that the character wore the most God aweful UGLY pants we had ever had the displeasure of seeing.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Darrien wrote:

LOL...that's 4th edition for "I find your jest hysterical, good bard."

No, it was made clear at first meeting that the character wore the most God aweful UGLY pants we had ever had the displeasure of seeing.

Got it. Hell, I've had vilains that I hated for less interesting reasons.

Oh, and Clark - sorry about the Thread-Jack. We're just all hyped up on Mountain Dew and adreneline and have nowhere else to go.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

I know. And I am here doing reviews.

I just gave out an A over all to an entry.

I also gave out a few Cs.

I'm doing yours next Boomer.


I've got a little pistol that shoots suction cups.

With this device I shall mark ten strides from the monitor and fire at it. Whoever is closest wins my vote.

j/k

BTW, Clark, I think it's really cool how you are in here on Paizo's boards. I've never bought any of your stuff but I shall make sure that changes when the 4E smoke clears.

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:

I know. And I am here doing reviews.

I just gave out an A over all to an entry.

I also gave out a few Cs.

I'm doing yours next Boomer.

Isn't it past midnight at your location? Even undead demons need rest, or do they?

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Clark Peterson wrote:


I'm doing yours next Boomer.

Quiet, everybody! He's reading my awesome entry!


Darrien wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:

Design (choices made, format, naming, originality, balance--ie, is the submission heavy in one part but lacking in another?)

Now I'm off to read some submissions...

Ugh...Naming. The Bane of all DM's.

I played in a campaign that the DM's recuring bad guy was named Ugly pants guy.

I have no problem with the naming... my weakness is record keeping.

And good luck to you, Boomer.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Just completed my review of Boomer's entry. Hmm. We'll see...

I am doing very detailed reviews. My review of Boomer's was 546 words.

Of course that just sets me up for no sleep tomorrow night. I only got through 8 tonite. I can probably squeeze 8 in during the day tomorrow. That leaves 16 for tomorrow night. Ugh.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

And yes, its 2 am. But we gotta get these done. You arent the only ones with brutal deadlines.

Remind me to tell Mona he owes me one for this :)

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Kruelaid wrote:


And good luck to you, Boomer.

SHUT UP! He's READING!

(Kidding!)

I thank you, sir. I'll take all the luck I can get.

Actually, my weakness is record-keeping, too - I always assume that I have a much better memory than I do.

If only I could remember that my memory sucked so bad . . .

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Clark Peterson wrote:

Just completed my review of Boomer's entry. Hmm. We'll see...

I am doing very detailed reviews. My review of Boomer's was 546 words.

The question is: 546 words of glowing praise? No, no, don't tell me - I'll read it on Wednesday. Christ, now I'll never get to sleep.

EDIT: I'm trying to do the math here . . . would it take 33 minute to read my entry and then type "crap" a full 546 times? Or . . . probably longer, you think?

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Even if I did praise it (which I am not saying either way, and I wont give hints), I am but one of three judicial voices. And we dont have any more say than you guys. I just review and recommend top 16 or not and then pass it on to the voting public. For each entry.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Sleep tight :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder aka Robert G. McCreary

Darrien wrote:

Ugh...Naming. The Bane of all DM's.

I played in a campaign that the DM's recuring bad guy was named Ugly pants guy.

If I make it to the Top 16, that is SO gonna be my villain. But he's gonna have ugly shoes too...

:P

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder aka Robert G. McCreary

Clouds Without Water wrote:


Now that the entries are in, I can reveal that my vote will go to the entry that contains the most instances of the letter "K".

DAMN! I went with "L". Ah well, them's the breaks I guess. I'll just have to hope for L-love from other voters.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 8 aka Sect

Mr. Peterson:

Will your and the other judges assessment of the countries be spoiler-fied? I want to make my own judgement, then afterwards look at what you wrote to compare our opinions, rather than potentially having someone else's opinion influence who I vote for.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 8 aka Sect

thatboomerkid wrote:
Clouds Without Water wrote:


Now that the entries are in, I can reveal that my vote will go to the entry that contains the most instances of the letter "K".
Then you're going to LOVE my country, "Krkkklankkkkakakkalinkkkkkksttienkk." Their language sounds like someone speaking bad German over a bad cell-phone connection in the rain.

Your next PSA needs to have someone actually try to pronounce that monstrosity.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Sect wrote:
thatboomerkid wrote:


Then you're going to LOVE my country, "Krkkklankkkkakakkalinkkkkkksttienkk." Their language sounds like someone speaking bad German over a bad cell-phone connection in the rain.
Your next PSA needs to have someone actually try to pronounce that monstrosity.

Ummm . . . it's, uh, probably pronounced . . . phoenetically?

Oi. Me and my big mouth. Anyway: the next PSA goes live in a matter of hours and features video shot in May, so . . . I promise nothing, is I guess what I'm saying. The turn-around time on no-budget film-making is KILLER slow.

Still, always pleased to hear from a fan . . . and to get a free joke out of it.

/Yoink! Stolen!

The Concordance RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka catdragon

Darrien wrote:
Ugh...Naming. The Bane of all DM's.

I quite agree. I recently started to keep a word file filled with names that I liked -- mainly (so far) drawn from the RoRL parties that have been posted over on the Rise of the Runelords section of the boards.

I have 430+ names now. If I get stuck for a name, I roll some dice and look at the name. if it fits, I note what I am using the name for and check it off. If it doesn't I rinse and repeat...

BTW, when I was working on my country I just wrote down names as they came to me. Then when I read back over the entry I noticed that the names, the words, were very similar in sound and construction. I almost changed that but then decided that the names and similar sounds sort of hinted at a common cultural sound, so I left it.

How do the people at Paizo name things?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 8 aka Sect

thatboomerkid wrote:
Sect wrote:
thatboomerkid wrote:


Then you're going to LOVE my country, "Krkkklankkkkakakkalinkkkkkksttienkk." Their language sounds like someone speaking bad German over a bad cell-phone connection in the rain.
Your next PSA needs to have someone actually try to pronounce that monstrosity.

Ummm . . . it's, uh, probably pronounced . . . phoenetically?

Oi. Me and my big mouth. Anyway: the next PSA goes live in a matter of hours and features video shot in May, so . . . I promise nothing, is I guess what I'm saying. The turn-around time on no-budget film-making is KILLER slow.

Still, always pleased to hear from a fan . . . and to get a free joke out of it.

/Yoink! Stolen!

Hm, cool. I'll try to watch it as soon as I can.

IMO, that joke'll probably work best if it deals with an interview with the a*+$*#+ cartographer who named the damn places. Or something.


Grammar is fluff? Boy, I pray for the future of the human race. ;)

Naming is hard under some circumstances, but I think a lot easier if you study languages, and the bits of languages. I think most of the successful fantasy authors either know language, or have a good ear for words that sound right. Tolkien was a philologist. Stephen R. Donaldson manages to string together words to produce amazing combinations (like Ridjeck Thome or Saltheart Foamfollower). Practice, practice, practice, and do keep lists of good names. Say them out loud to yourself or to friends also to hear what they sound like.

Scarab Sages

Darrien wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:

Design (choices made, format, naming, originality, balance--ie, is the submission heavy in one part but lacking in another?)

Now I'm off to read some submissions...

Ugh...Naming. The Bane of all DM's.

I played in a campaign that the DM's recuring bad guy was named Ugly pants guy.

Hahahahahahahaha!

"ugly pants guys"

Hahahahahahahaha!

Scarab Sages

Sect wrote:
thatboomerkid wrote:
Clouds Without Water wrote:


Now that the entries are in, I can reveal that my vote will go to the entry that contains the most instances of the letter "K".
Then you're going to LOVE my country, "Krkkklankkkkakakkalinkkkkkksttienkk." Their language sounds like someone speaking bad German over a bad cell-phone connection in the rain.
Your next PSA needs to have someone actually try to pronounce that monstrosity.

It's pronounced "Broom".

(Thank you Mike Mignola for that joke.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Aotrscommander

Clouds Without Water wrote:


Now that the entries are in, I can reveal that my vote will go to the entry that contains the most instances of the letter "K".

My country name has both a K in it a 'qu' sound. That's like 'k', isn't it...?

Darrien wrote:
Ugh...Naming. The Bane of all DM's.

Yup.

I'll cop to the fact I used a random name generator for mine (at least for the starter for ten and then tweaked it to fit). I've done a lot of work on my homebrew world of late and I'm having name overload syndrome. I have a couple name generators which I use quite often when I'm really stuck. Trouble is, after...umpteen campaign worlds, my self-constructed names were getting a bit samey (I was using the same set of letters over and over.) One campaign world I ended up slinging a plot point together because of some of the bad guys had (unintentionally) similar names: Madagast (evil necromancer from the past), Malagar (evil lich from the present) and Malakax (evil god)! Using a random generator to start from adds just enough variety to make it seem more real while keeping each nation to a theme.

I nearly badly-mangled some more Latin - or isiZulu - like I've done elsewhere on my homebrew recently, but in the end decided it would be too cumbersome in the first instance and too hard to pronounce in the second.

Sovereign Court

I will be voting for the entry closest to what I was going to submit. That way, it'll be like I'm winning!


Clark Peterson wrote:

First off, I am doing a submission checklist for each entry to make sure we review all submissions for minimum requirements.

I intend to give grades for each section. Then an overall grade.

Then I intend to give either a recommendation for top 16 or not.

Now I'm off to read some submissions...

Clark - always a reliable source of information. :) Thanks!

Now, you go read all those wonderful entries and I'll take Boomer's advise and play Guitar Hero in the mean time to keep my fingers agile and ready for typing. :)


Darrien wrote:


Ugh...Naming. The Bane of all DM's.
I played in a campaign that the DM's recuring bad guy was named Ugly pants guy.

The thing that drives me nuts the absolute most. Hate it when in the middle or running game they go.."So what's his name?" Gigantic pause. Umm...ummm...umm....gobbley g*+~. Take it for what you will. This I think is my biggest down fall as a DM. I'm great at spontaneous plot line development, but names for some reason elude me. Always over thinking the quality of the name.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Spar

I guess I am lucky. Naming is one of the things I love about gaming. I pick a theme for a place and run with it. Character names and NPC names fit as well. That said, I have had brain farts on too many occasions to remember. Th old noggin can only hold so much (and when the character shave decided to interview the WHOLE tavern and want names, it gets hectic quick :)

Thanks for heads up Clark. I hope we all are at least a C grade or better :)


thatboomerkid wrote:
Sect wrote:
thatboomerkid wrote:


Then you're going to LOVE my country, "Krkkklankkkkakakkalinkkkkkksttienkk." Their language sounds like someone speaking bad German over a bad cell-phone connection in the rain.
Your next PSA needs to have someone actually try to pronounce that monstrosity.

Ummm . . . it's, uh, probably pronounced . . . phoenetically?

Oi. Me and my big mouth. Anyway: the next PSA goes live in a matter of hours and features video shot in May, so . . . I promise nothing, is I guess what I'm saying. The turn-around time on no-budget film-making is KILLER slow.

Still, always pleased to hear from a fan . . . and to get a free joke out of it.

/Yoink! Stolen!

I love the PSAs. Great stuff. I thought about one for Tordek. He was banished from his clan because of a trap he designed did't work. You know the one. It's the one where the ground/bridge/ceiling collapses just behind the person who stole/tresspassed/etc. as they are running away. :)


I will say that I am VERY excited to start reading all of the submissions and evaluating them. I'm glad for the opportunity to do so and of course see how well everyone else can develop names. ;)


The forum ate my very long post on my own judging criteria.

It was an awesome post. It had orcs, elf knights with wand lances, and lesbian sorceress queens. I even mentioned that picture on Erik Mona's blog of a giant bridge that looked like it had once been a dragon's spine. It was the post that would have been the Rosetta Stone of RPG fantasy nation judging criteria. Perhaps, in generations yet unborn, post-graduate classes would be structured around it on leading moon-universities.

But now it is lost forever.

Drat.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

BiggusGeekus wrote:

But now it is lost forever.

Drat.

<weeps bitterly>

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

William Cronk wrote:
I guess I am lucky. Naming is one of the things I love about gaming. I pick a theme for a place and run with it. Character names and NPC names fit as well. That said, I have had brain farts on too many occasions to remember.

Same here. I am a translator by trade, and I speak four languages. I like to think that my homebrew world's names have gotten more diverse as I have learned those, although a colleague at work recently pointed out that all the names in my homebrew have a "very guttural" feel to them :P

The part I love/hate is when players take a name I came up with and feel all proud of, and they make a joke about it and it sticks... I once had them joking for three months about a race of horsemen called "the Orsis" asking at every inn and stable along their way if they had any "Orsis Horses" for sale.

Needless to say, the similarity of sounds NEVER occurred to me as I designed the race :P

varianor wrote:
Grammar is fluff? Boy, I pray for the future of the human race. ;)

ROFL. I hope grammar gets me some brownie points. I worked my ass off trying to make my entry readable, engaging and fun in less than 1000 words. I tend to tumble down adjective hill when writing, and then get run over by the runaway run-on sentence train at the bottom.

waiting, waiting... I hope I got a B or something....

M

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka SmiloDan

I intend to judge based on the pronouncability of the names.

And kkelkkkkrkkrkkrrraakkrkkesteinkkk sounds like a kif name from C.J. Cherryh's "Chanur" series. It's easy to pronounce....if you have an alien physiology with a pair of nested jaws....

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

thatboomerkid wrote:


Oi. Me and my big mouth. Anyway: the next PSA goes live in a matter of hours and features video shot in May, so . . . I promise nothing, is I guess what I'm saying. The turn-around time on no-budget film-making is KILLER slow.

Hmm. This thread prompted me to go watch these mythic PSAs. I'm not sure I can support Hennet with a vote. Heheheeh.

Seriously, nice work on those. Not that you haven't heard it before, but I'm sure it never hurts to heard it again. Heh.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Sect wrote:

Mr. Peterson:

Will your and the other judges assessment of the countries be spoiler-fied? I want to make my own judgement, then afterwards look at what you wrote to compare our opinions, rather than potentially having someone else's opinion influence who I vote for.

The country submission will be the first post of a messageboard thread. The judges' comments will appear below them, and then the public discussion will follow. So if you want to keep your own opinion untainted, just stop reading after the first post.

And, keeping my post appropriately off-topic, I played in a campaign where an NPC had an actual name, yet the players all called him "Pants," because the miniature was painted with bright red hot pants. And no shirt. Come to think of it, that mini was used several times for multiple NPCs, and no matter what they were named, we called them all "Pants." I think after the third or fourth one, the DM stopped using the mini...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 7

Mauricio Quintana wrote:
I tend to tumble down adjective hill when writing, and then get run over by the runaway run-on sentence train at the bottom.

Heh. Ditto.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

Ross Byers wrote:
Mauricio Quintana wrote:
I tend to tumble down adjective hill when writing, and then get run over by the runaway run-on sentence train at the bottom.
Heh. Ditto.

Yeah, I had one run-on which I wound up chopping into 4 separate sentences.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Sect wrote:

Mr. Peterson:

Will your and the other judges assessment of the countries be spoiler-fied? I want to make my own judgement, then afterwards look at what you wrote to compare our opinions, rather than potentially having someone else's opinion influence who I vote for.

I guess I dont know what you mean, will my comments be "spoiler-fied." You will get the whole country submission to read. That thread will contain my comments and the comments of the other judges. There is nothing to "spoil".

Maybe I am just not getting what you are saying.

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