What have you gained from Superstar so far?


RPG Superstar™ 2008 General Discussion

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Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

Just wondering what people have taken from Superstar so far? Material, personal lessons, etc.

I've learned to put my work up for critisim (spelling errors and all) and to admire the work of those who entered.

I've 32 items, 32 countries to steal ideas from.

I've a new look at a 'meh' monsters in a new light.

And I've learned we've a strong sense of online communiy.

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

I learned I should pay more attention to my word count!

I usually write stuff out on paper with pencil, then type it up, and I guess that's not how they do it in "the industry." I did a manual count and must have really messed it up.

I learned there are a lot of cool ideas out there, and that the back story isn't as important as what the PCs NEED to know--or ACTUALLY think they know.


I hope it gives a whole new respect of how much work goes into stuff. :)

Jay H
Colorado

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

The biggest thing I've gained was a strong push, or kick in the A$$, to actually start writing, instead of just thinking about ideas and writing. I hope that, no matter how far I advance or don't, I continue to write my ideas up, edit them, and get them ready for submission to a future open call, or RPG Superstar type contest, or any other opportunity.

I've also gotten some great feedback, not only on my submissions, but on all of the others as well. Putting it all together, there's great examples of what works, and why, and also what doesn't. RPG Superstar is almost like an Editing 101 class in RPG design.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 7

Indeed. The best thing I've gained is the realization that I might actually be able to cut it as a game writer, instead of putting it off as a pipe dream that'd be cool, but will never really happen.

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

Eye strain.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

JoelF847 wrote:
The biggest thing I've gained was a strong push, or kick in the A$$, to actually start writing, instead of just thinking about ideas and writing.

Exactly.

I've also learned that there are some really talented people out there with some intriguing ideas for the design of new fantasy settings.


It's been one of the ebst exampes of community/collaborative creative writing I've seen so to date in a commercial setting. And just a great community.


Keeps making me think of Jesus Christ Superstar and so I start prancing around singing at the top of my lungs. But then, I'm an artsy sort.

"What the buzz, tell me what's a happenin'"

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar aka Leandra Christine Schneider

Beside the great and very useful design and writing advice, the most valuable thing I've gained personally, is a little more confidence.

Usually I'm a bit of a shy person and I don't participate that much in online-communities. I've also never exposed any of the things I wrote to the public.
This contest has changed that for me in a positive way and that is something good. It feels like the "push" Joel describes (I hope it is ok me to use your first name :B).

Scarab Sages

The Jade wrote:
"What the buzz, tell me what's a happenin'"

"Why should you want to know?"

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka exile

I've learned to be thankful that I have a respectable day job. Beyond that, I've learned that I can be a creator, if only for my own game group, than simply a consumer of role-playing product; to sell ideas to a target audience (and that that audience's likes aren't always in line with my own).

I've snagged some neat ideas for countries, and some magical items wholecloth.

I read things more closely. I edit my own writing, even casual e-mails and message board posts.

All in all, this has been a beneficial experience. When this train comes to a stop, I'm just gonna have to pick up my luggage and start walking; one never knows when the next ride is going to come along.

Chad

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

LeandraChristine wrote:


Usually I'm a bit of a shy person and I don't participate that much in online-communities. I've also never exposed any of the things I wrote to the public.
This contest has changed that for me in a positive way and that is something good. It feels like the "push" Joel describes (I hope it is ok me to use your first name :B).

Hear, hear! I have been writing stuff (a copious amount, by my players' and friends' reckoning) for the last 17 years. A lot of it is RPG/D&D related. However, I am also quite shy when it comes to sharing it. Other than my gaming groups, I've never let the "grand public" see my stuff.

This has been an awesome opportunity for me. It has taught me to be confident in my abilities and creative talent, and just the criticism of my Country entry has prompted me to rewrite a whole bunch of stuff I have into a more coherent, cohesive format.

The biggest lesson I have learned so far is that, if you have an idea and are going to pitch it in, you should committ to it, rather than butressing it in meaningless, tangential details. Hey, who knows? someone else out there might *also* like it.

I am also very thankful for the opportunity to share my ideas with peers. There isn't a very large gaming community where I am from, and most people in it have very "sectarian" ideas.

I have a dream to one day be a writer: it is an old dream, one that I have beaten into a corner many times over the course of my life, yet it always comes back. Thanks to the support of some very fine people (chiefly my wife), I find myself in this community, surrounded by people who share my interest and love for RPG games, and I also feel ever so slightly closer to attaining that dream.

So, I guess the most important thing I'm taking from this contest is this: even if I don't make it to the next round here, I'm certain that I will keep working towards becomeing a writer in this field, so watch out!

cheers and good luck to everyone,
M


Ungoded wrote:
The Jade wrote:
"What the buzz, tell me what's a happenin'"
"Why should you want to know?"

Way to nail that down oh ye of the encyclopedic intellect!

::bows::

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

This has been a remarkable process of insight for me into the step up from fan work to professional development.

I'm sure my future endeavours will be very much better for it.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Spar

I too have learned to write, write, write, edit and most of all check sources. Also to read. read everything, at least twice. It doesn't matter how well the idea sounds in your head, make it sound better and do it justice. the only way to do that, more practice, and practice I have been getting a lot of. Regardless of outcome, as I have said it a million times, I will come away from this competition a better writer. That's the biggest thing I have learned.

WC

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6 aka Core

When your friends tell you the names are too common, believe them :P

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8

The Jade wrote:
Ungoded wrote:
The Jade wrote:
"What the buzz, tell me what's a happenin'"
"Why should you want to know?"

Way to nail that down oh ye of the encyclopedic intellect!

::bows::

Why are you obsessed with fighting? If you knew the path we're riding, you'd stick to fishing from now on.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8

Core wrote:


When your friends tell you the names are too common, believe them :P

Agreed, but in my case its to have my friends tell me that.


Joseph Yerger wrote:
The Jade wrote:
Ungoded wrote:
The Jade wrote:
"What the buzz, tell me what's a happenin'"
"Why should you want to know?"

Way to nail that down oh ye of the encyclopedic intellect!

::bows::
Why are you obsessed with fighting? If you knew the path we're riding, you'd stick to fishing from now on.

We've got a bona fide chorus going!

Scarab Sages

I've learned that I need to put more effort into my writing, if I ever plan to make as a writer (RPGs or otherwise). I've also gained an insight into the minds of game designers and publishers, as well as fellow gamers, as to what is quality and what is not. I have also gained a sense of fellowship with the other folks within this community, even if I don't post as much as others.

And to those JCSS folks:
"Why do you worry about the past?"

:)


I've learned that there's a lot of talent out there. :)


Some of the people I've gamed with over the years say that some of the published stuff we've used is crap and they could make a much cooler adventure, monster, villian, ...etc.

What I've learned is that the reason they never do is because it's hard work to come up with a good idea and then write it up into a finished product.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

Swamp Druid wrote:

Some of the people I've gamed with over the years say that some of the published stuff we've used is crap and they could make a much cooler adventure, monster, villian, ...etc.

What I've learned is that the reason they never do is because it's hard work to come up with a good idea and then write it up into a finished product.

QFT


varianor wrote:
I've learned that there's a lot of talent out there. :)

Indeed.

I've learned that I'm lucky to have broken into the industry and been published already, because almost everyone in this contest has written stuff at least as good as mine if not better.

And despite having already had stuff published, I've learned a heck of a lot about the craft from the comments of the judges and others. Thanks so much for that. I really wish I could go back and rewrite some of my stuff now. :) (Well, actually I already wished I could rewrite it...now I have much better idea of how I would rewrite it).

People's comments on the entries provide some valuable insight into what sorts of things RPG consumers like and don't like, which is helpful.

Scarab Sages

I've learned to remember ALL of the boundaries and recognize when your core idea is good, but not what was asked for. ;D

I've learned much about what publishers are actually looking for/at when they read submissions and where I need to stengthen my writing.

I look forward to the rest of this and entering in next year's contest.

(And I learned to avoid scheduling so many writing projects in November. There just isn't enough time.)

Scarab Sages

Oh, and lots of free LOOT!

You folks write great stuff!

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

LeandraChristine wrote:
It feels like the "push" Joel describes (I hope it is ok me to use your first name :B).

Of course you can use my first name - if you used someone else's, I wouldn't know you were talking about me! :)

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Ulcers. Drinking problem. Anxiety attacks.

(KIDDING!)

Still, apparently most of the people on these boards have developed a Messiah Complex.

"Hey-sanna, HOSANNA!"

Marathon Voter Season 6

I've personally learned that I need to be a little less spartan with my words, and I need to get to know the rules a lot better.


thatboomerkid wrote:

Ulcers. Drinking problem. Anxiety attacks.

(KIDDING!)

Still, apparently most of the people on these boards have developed a Messiah Complex.

"Hey-sanna, HOSANNA!"

Shouldn't you be cramming for your finals! :)

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6 , Dedicated Voter Season 6

thatboomerkid wrote:

Ulcers. Drinking problem. Anxiety attacks.

(KIDDING!)

All that, and a nearly obsessive habit of checking the boards for comments on the contest (not just my entry). :)


Humilty.
I know that may sound kind of corny, but I was impressed with myself when I submitted my wonderous item. I figured I had at least as good a shot as the next guy. But after reading the top 32 wonderous items and then their countries, I had to sit back and re-exam where I had failed. Following the critiques posted by the judges helped show me why my own submission had failed to impress. The originality and usefullness of some of those items showed that its not only about having one good idea, but also about having the evocative writing skills and commitment to back that idea up.
I'll be better prepared, a bit wiser, next year.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Russ Taylor wrote:
thatboomerkid wrote:

Ulcers. Drinking problem. Anxiety attacks.

(KIDDING!)

All that, and a nearly obsessive habit of checking the boards for comments on the contest (not just my entry). :)

Amen, brother!

I've lurked off and on around the Paizo boards for a while, but since this contest started I've been all over the darn thing. It doesn't help that I work from home (so I don't have to worry about bosses looking over my shoulder and wondering what I'm doing) and that my work is computer/net-based, so I'm online ALL the time. It's just too tempting to pop over for a bit.

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

Swamp Druid wrote:

Some of the people I've gamed with over the years say that some of the published stuff we've used is crap and they could make a much cooler adventure, monster, villian, ...etc.

What I've learned is that the reason they never do is because it's hard work to come up with a good idea and then write it up into a finished product.

Absolutely true. Heinlein's Rules of Writing have never seemed more relevant than talking to some friends around the start of this contest.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Hobert Lanham wrote:


Shouldn't you be cramming for your finals! :)

Nope - I'm all old and stuff. No school for me. All of my friends, however . . .

*smug grin*

Back to reading and memorization, you slackers!

Anyway, what have I actually, no joke, gained from Superstar so far?

Plenty:

1 - Friends. If not for this contest, I wouldn't get to hang out with Ancient Sensai at GenCon this year. And the other awesome people on here are like one, big, happy family.

2 - Perspective. Not eveything that I think is pure mainlined awesome is everyone else's idea of exhilerating super-cool rock-god goodness. That's important to know.

3 - How to take criticism & learn from it. Hearing honest opinion & not being able to explain my writing has made me, I think, a better writer. That's good. In fact, that's VERY good.

4 - Fun. At the end of the day, D&D is about fun. So is this.

For that, I thank each and every one of the Paizo people.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder aka Robert G. McCreary

Jason Nelson 20 wrote:
Russ Taylor wrote:
thatboomerkid wrote:

Ulcers. Drinking problem. Anxiety attacks.

(KIDDING!)

All that, and a nearly obsessive habit of checking the boards for comments on the contest (not just my entry). :)

Amen, brother!

I've lurked off and on around the Paizo boards for a while, but since this contest started I've been all over the darn thing. It doesn't help that I work from home (so I don't have to worry about bosses looking over my shoulder and wondering what I'm doing) and that my work is computer/net-based, so I'm online ALL the time. It's just too tempting to pop over for a bit.

I'm right in the same boat. And I'm a teacher, with big blocks of time during the day when I'm home, so I've been checking the boards way too much when I should be planning lessons (like now, for instance).

On the other side, on days when I'm teaching more, I call my fiancee and she starts telling me about the comments that she's had time to read, forcing me to go, "La la la, I can't hear you!" I want to see them myself!


Before I had reasonable respect for the job of an editor. Now I have even more.

I have also seen plenty of great and fun ideas (and some half-baked, which might turn out interesting...)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 7

Hobert Lanham wrote:


Shouldn't you be cramming for your finals! :)

That's what I was doing all last week when I should have been cheerleading for Terram! I had my last one yesterday, so now I'm free! Till January. Now I just have to get my sleep cycle back on track.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Aotrscommander

I have gained a lot of things form this contest.

Some idea of what to expect in the industry as opposed to what I do for homebrew.

(Maybe even some paths to get myself published, with a little luck.)

Proof-reading is very important (Kinds knew that already, but Superstar underlined it).

Lots of people are better at this than me by miles, so short of assassinating everyone else, I'll have to try much harder! As of now, to quote that wise sage the Dinobot Grimlock, I'm more better, but not more better enough.

People inexplicable like Blink-Dogs.

People don't like you leaving them dangling if you don't back-up your introductory paragraph.

I also need to stop trying to be to damn clever for my own good (see bottom note).

Brevity in work good. Try cram too much stuff into space bad.

Gabbling about having a country built on top of twelve extinct civilisations might seem like a jolly good idea. Riiight up to the time you stupidly think "hey, I'll write it up in detail, you know, for kicks. And then maybe post it up o everyone can have a good laugh and/or cringe and complain about the excessive detail! That won't take long!" 'Cos then your brain leaks out of your ears. Twelve dead civilisations is a crap-lot of writing...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka amusingsn

Aotrscommander wrote:
People inexplicable like Blink-Dogs.

Awwwwwww. You should love the blink dogs, because they love you!


What did I learned? A lot of different points of view, to begin with. Several itens and countries I now realize that what we got here is an american idol in "rpg writer format". I see myself as one of the annonymous candidates who never go anywhere...
But I keep watching, chering and hoping for my favorites. its game.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8

I've learned that for once in my life I can be "popular". I'm of the mind that I am what I am, take me or leave me, but here is a case where I must be a salesman and give the customer what they want. I think also here is a place where we should not "Leave Them Wanting More", as that can put some people off from voting for us in this contest. That my naming conventions, while good enough and suitable for my players, who I know intimately, need to be changed and adapted for the general public to accept them. More surreal than real may be necessary.

It seems that although I have a very wide range and base from reading books and comics, that I seem to need to also start reading DC Comics since they have already done a lot of ideas that I have and like. Great minds think alike as they say, but I am no Stan "The Man" Lee and I can live with that.

Just keep on Truckin'

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Joe,

DC Comics really are better than Marvel, at least since the 60s.

--Erik

PS: I'm only sort of kidding. I do think, incidentally, that kids my age (I'm 32 now) enjoyed an absolute wealth of creativity during their childhood. We grew up with D&D, and at the same time Gary Gygax was cranking out the likes of the Greyhawk boxed set, DC Comics was revisiting their entire creative history with two classic mini-series (Who's Who and Crisis on Infinite Earths) and Marvel had their own "Marvel Universe" character bio text series.

That meant, in a sense, that kids reading comics on the 80s were essentially exposed to 40 years of "fantastic" history over the course of a handful of years, while the same time getting monthly doses of absolutely fresh D&D content that exposed us to authors like Howard, Vance, Tolkien, Burroughs, Brackett, etc.

Not bad for little bastards who didn't even have the internet. :)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Swamp Druid wrote:

Some of the people I've gamed with over the years say that some of the published stuff we've used is crap and they could make a much cooler adventure, monster, villian, ...etc.

What I've learned is that the reason they never do is because it's hard work to come up with a good idea and then write it up into a finished product.

Word. :)

Yeah, gamers are always talking about how they COULD make something so much better. Well, then go ahead and do it. Because what you find is that it is much much harder than it looks and chances are no you cant.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8

Clark Peterson wrote:

Yeah, gamers are always talking about how they COULD make something so much better. Well, then go ahead and do it. Because what you find is that it is much much harder than it looks and chances are no you cant.

Generally what I've found is that they will take what they didn't like in the first place and then add munchkiny bits and remove roleplaying aspects, or any negative effects that they'd have had by using it.

"There, much more better. Oh, btw did I mention I now at 5th level with 6 attacks at +25/+24/+23/+22/+21/+20 for 3d8+10 damage [force]. Oh yeah, I fixed it."

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

amusingsn wrote:
Aotrscommander wrote:
People inexplicable like Blink-Dogs.
Awwwwwww. You should love the blink dogs, because they love you!

I hate to mention it, but I'm watching School Reunon.

A blink dog iwth the elite array would make an excellent K9 like cohort.

*dimension door onto back of gargoyle attacking charater*

"Suggest you engage running mode, mistress!"

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

One other thing I've learned, akin to the munchkin thing above.

Underpower new classes items etc, you'll be surprised how often your 'underpowered' item is actually balanced.

Dark Archive

Matthew Morris wrote:
Just wondering what people have taken from Superstar so far?

A burning sensation when I pee.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Aotrscommander

Joseph Yerger wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:

Yeah, gamers are always talking about how they COULD make something so much better. Well, then go ahead and do it. Because what you find is that it is much much harder than it looks and chances are no you cant.

Generally what I've found is that they will take what they didn't like in the first place and then add munchkiny bits and remove roleplaying aspects, or any negative effects that they'd have had by using it.

"There, much more better. Oh, btw did I mention I now at 5th level with 6 attacks at +25/+24/+23/+22/+21/+20 for 3d8+10 damage [force]. Oh yeah, I fixed it."

In terms of rules mechanics, it's mainly because most people don't really know how to write rules. You see it all the time with wargames rules (it's more noticable since they tend to be smaller than RPGs and more numerous, especially this side of the pond).

A good rules smith says first "what do I want the result to be? What do I want to model?" Then goes and makes the rules work to that. Many - actually most - sets of rules of written by the bloke going "what rules should I use for combat" and then finding that what the rules model isn't what should happen. (Historical rules are often bad for this, world war 2 sets in paticular.)

D&D is one of the few where I can nod my head and go, "yes, they've thought about that." Even with 4E, where I don't necessarily agree with what I'm hearing, I can sit back and say that at least they've decided what it is they're trying to do before setting pen to paper. The few issues I have with 3.5 are more often as not because of something ported over from earlier editions without having been re-examined (death form massive damage being a prime example).

(And incidently, lest anyone accuses me of merely preaching from the gallery, I am putting this into practise myself! I've been working on a set of starship rules for about four years now that I shall publish at some point. (They might even be out now if my blasted wargames club hadn't had to move time and venue early this year so it conflicted with my roleplaying group! Kind of put paid to the intended playtest of the campaign side...maybe next year now things have calmed down again!) I also was a very minor contributer to the recently released Manouvre Group (over at Wargaming Online), which is easily the best armoured combat game I've ever played because it was designed the right way round.)

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