Round 3 Assignment Questions--Taking Your Input


RPG Superstar™ 2008 General Discussion

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Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Once again, I turn to you all to help me design the instructions for Round 3.

Here is what we are likely dealing with.

A villain. So clearly I need to define what a villain is. Its more than a monster (though it may be one). It is an antagonist for a party of PCs. A villain is as much plot device as encounter.

It will involve a stat block. I need to figure out how to have the troops deliver that and show their math.

I will provide a template to use.

We also want a block of text--somewhere between 100 and 1000 words, we havent decided yet (ok, we have, we just arent telling). The stat block WONT count towards that word count. Just the descriptive text.

We will provide some "mandatory" content directives like last round.

We also want people to show their math for their stat blocks, perhaps in a part at the end of the entry.

So it would likely go:

Name
Descriptive title

[stat block]

[Block of descriptive text of up to XXX words]

[stat block notes, showing math of how it was calculated]

What questions do you all have?

For instance, one question is could a villain be more than one creature or person? I think the answer would be no, but we are discussing it.

What about minions? Can we stat out minions? That might be a good question, since good villains have minions. I think the answer so far will be, no, just stat your villain, but if you want to use some of your XXX words to tell us what kind on minions your villain has, that is your call.

Please lob your questions in here. They were very helpful last time.

As with round 2, we will have the judges commenting and then open to public vote. We will almost certainly allow the public to vote for more than just 1--likely 3 or 4.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Thanks in advance for your help!

This is YOUR contest. Help me make it great.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

I know one thing I have to clarify--

The items and countries and villains are not precursors for each author. In other words, if an author wins the contest, he or she is under no obligation to use that content in their adventure proposal for Paizo. So just because author X writes country Y doesnt mean his or her villain has to have anything to do with either that country or that item.

I have seen some posts that seem to suggest that some people think the authors are building an adventure proposal piece by piece here. They arent.

Liberty's Edge

I presume this round will, like the last, be ogl content only? No Paizo IP?

If the villain has an animal companion, familiar or cohorts through the leadership feat or some such, should they be statted? If so, where?

Will the contestants be able to create a new monster or creature as their villain? (I suspect not, but best to rule it out clearly).

Will there be an upper or lower level limit or CR for the villain?


Mothman wrote:
If the villain has an animal companion, familiar or cohorts through the leadership feat or some such, should they be statted? If so, where?

I would hope so, and I would suggest in a manner similar to the NPC Druid stat block in the DMG. After all, an animal companion or familiar has no CR of its own as it is considered a part of the encounter with its "master", no?

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

That is a good question about animal companions. I'll have to talk to the judges on this one. My guess is that companions should be statted. But I'm not sure. Minions, no.

I dont think there will be a CR restriction.

It must be OGL only, no Paizo IP.

Good questions already!

Liberty's Edge

Raymond Rich wrote:
Mothman wrote:
If the villain has an animal companion, familiar or cohorts through the leadership feat or some such, should they be statted? If so, where?
I would hope so, and I would suggest in a manner similar to the NPC Druid stat block in the DMG. After all, an animal companion or familiar has no CR of its own as it is considered a part of the encounter with its "master", no?

In my opinion, yes. But I'm suggesting that it should be clarified in the rules.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

This round isnt about creating new monsters. So, no, dont create new monsters.

Good question.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

These are all things I want you to ask questions about so I can clarify them in the rules.

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

As suggested on another thread, I think a standard CR requirement for all entries would be good, or even a CR cap.

Inclusion of minions could count towards the word count. That way, if someone does have a cool minion idea, they can judiciously decide to either include it or not and have it eat away at their word count. Stat blocks for minions aren't necessary, a good description could cut it. Minions themselves aren't necessary either - the word count could just be used for the BBEG if the entrant so chooses.

Another requirement that might be a good idea would be a Conflict Proposal description, i.e. how this villain could run into the PCs and what he would do with them.

EDIT: ack, beaten to the punch on answers for some of the above.

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

Raymond Rich wrote:
Mothman wrote:
If the villain has an animal companion, familiar or cohorts through the leadership feat or some such, should they be statted? If so, where?
I would hope so, and I would suggest in a manner similar to the NPC Druid stat block in the DMG. After all, an animal companion or familiar has no CR of its own as it is considered a part of the encounter with its "master", no?

Most of the familiars/minions are already stated out in the SRD, I think it would be reasonable to just link to it.

Example: My Villain is a manic depressive Bottle of Air who is so unhappy on the Prime Material Plane he wants to kill himself to get back home. Thus he has summoned a ill-tempered Air Elemental, Large to get the job done. Unfortunately the Air Elemental is not having much luck and is running out of ideas, so it is resorting to attempted murder of powerful Adventures to get the job done.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Eyebite wrote:
As suggested on another thread, I think a standard CR requirement for all entries would be good, or even a CR cap.

You know, a set CR spread might not be a bad idea. I will kick this around with the judges. It would certainly make things easier to compare and would prevent everyone from trying to make gonzo CR 20 villains.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

By the way, if you see questions or comments about round 3 in any other threads, please consolidate that info or those questions in this thread. I want "one thread to rule them all" for this. I dont want to search multiple threads to remember all the stuff I need to clarify in the instructions :)

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

Clark Peterson wrote:
Eyebite wrote:
As suggested on another thread, I think a standard CR requirement for all entries would be good, or even a CR cap.
You know, a set CR spread might not be a bad idea. I will kick this around with the judges. It would certainly make things easier to compare and would prevent everyone from trying to make gonzo CR 20 villains.

Exactly! Without some kind of guideline/requirement, the entrants are shooting completely into the unknown. This close to the wire, there might be the urge to "one up" everyone and just come up with ridiculous CR 30 god figures.

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

Are new feats or magic items allowed? There is probably not enough space to include a new prestige class.

Is a name mandatory? I would ask what is or isn't a name, but contestants trying to get cute with definitions or to stuff in extra description to the name line will naturally pay the price in votes.

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

Are new powers ok? I'm planning on giving my baddie some new abilities to play with (and a CR to reflect it).

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

I vote for CR 1 villains only. That should make things interesting.

Also, are blink dogs villains?

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

No new feats or items, I dont think.

This one is going to test several main things: villain concept, stat block execution, ability to hook with descriptive text.

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

Definitions of special abilities are clearly part of the stat block and thus exempt from the word count. This could be exploited. Should there be any restriction on the fluff content or length of new special abilities?

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Clouds Without Water wrote:


I vote for CR 1 villains only. That should make things interesting.

Also, are blink dogs villains?

CR1 is unlikely :) And I dont see why blink dogs couldnt be villains, if someone really really wanted to go back to that well again...

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Starglim wrote:
Definitions of special abilities are clearly part of the stat block and thus exempt from the word count. This could be exploited. Should there be any restriction on the fluff content or length of new special abilities?

Good question. Yes, the rules will explain that the content in the stat block is for traditional stat block material. It is not a place to cram extra content to get around the word limit for the background section.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Russ Taylor wrote:
Are new powers ok? I'm planning on giving my baddie some new abilities to play with (and a CR to reflect it).

I'll talk to the judges. But my guess is no new powers. This isnt a power creation or monster creation task. That is next round.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Great questions, keep them coming! This is very helpful to me in preparing the rules.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

I thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for adressing the "new feats" question so early - I tend to create special abilities for my villains, something for the entire campaign to gel around like a pearl . . . but the actual BALANCE of that power is occasionally problematic.

Nothing that an RPG SUPERSTAR! couldn't handle, but . . . hey, if that isn't part of the contest, cool. I'm down.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

I am not the final word. So keep posting if you see pros and cons. I will get the other judges to read this thread adn then the three of us will discuss in our own private judges chambers (which are so cool, by the way).

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

Clark Peterson wrote:
I will get the other judges to read this thread adn then the three of us will discuss in our own private judges chambers (which are so cool, by the way).

Posh, and filled with comfy cushions, half-naked women, and all the bagel bites you can eat I bet.

The Exchange

How about keeping it simple and leaving it at around a CR 5-7

As Well as limiting the "new" powers, this isn't about a cool new ability it's about using what youv'e got to the best of your ability

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Eyebite wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:


You know, a set CR spread might not be a bad idea. I will kick this around with the judges. It would certainly make things easier to compare and would prevent everyone from trying to make gonzo CR 20 villains.
Exactly! Without some kind of guideline/requirement, the entrants are shooting completely into the unknown. This close to the wire, there might be the urge to "one up" everyone and just come up with ridiculous CR 30 god figures.

A stated spread is probably a good idea, but I'd hope that the contestants would reign it in, all by themselves, to levels that commonly see play. Because a perfect locked-in mechanical design and a super-sweet backstory will hardly make a difference if nobody can ever use the damn thing.

For the record, I'm strongly of the opinion that the onus is on the competitiors to provide the goods - if the Paizo community doesn't want to read or use your villain, saying "But . . . I followed the rules!" probably won't help much.

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

I wrote a big long post the internet managed to eat. So I'll summarize.

I think judging and voting is going to get much harder as each round advances. The average talent level will be going up, and people will be stepping up their game as they realize that.

Given that, I wonder if it might be wise to narrow the range a bit.

For example, in this round we a reinvention of a classic fantasy cliche kingdom, a nation of dogs, and everything in between. That's fine for this round, when some have just more raw imagination and talent. But in later rounds, the contestants will be getting closer in that realm, and we'll be making finer distinctions.

Plus, this time around I could vote for the brilliant re-invention and the gonzo imagination. Will I be forced to decide between them in later rounds? Is that what suits the goals of the contest?

So it might be better if the arena is shrunk, and the contestants are made to compete a little more directly.

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

Crimson Jester wrote:

How about keeping it simple and leaving it at around a CR 5-7

As Well as limiting the "new" powers, this isn't about a cool new ability it's about using what youv'e got to the best of your ability

Problem is does that lead to excessive mining of OGL products? If we're going to say nothing new, I'd like to see it be nothing non-SRD.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Clouds Without Water wrote:


So it might be better if the arena is shrunk, and the contestants are made to compete a little more directly.

By round 4 and 5, we will truly be into the realm of "Knife-Fight of the Gods".

The only REAL winner? The D&D community.

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

I would probably suggest a CR in low double digits. That way, judicious use of PrCs can be used, or the addition of class levels to monster-types that don't usually have class levels.

I would also suggest a gp limit on items.

Showing all the math might be cumbersome. Maybe just require a tallying of all bonuses and bonus types. For ability scores, show baseline and then enhancement/inherent/morale/size bonuses.

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

I'm glad to see this thread taking off. I was curious about the Leadership feat--if this has to be a solo-only monster, there's no point in using it.

For a villain, you could emulate the feat by just assigning minions without making the villain spend a feat to get them, but this 'corner case' does bring up the interesting question: is a cohort JUST a minion, or is a cohort more like a familiar/animal companion/special mount?

Minions clearly are outside the villain's core. "Mordo the Black has 200 hobgoblin warriors at his command, led by Chief Iron Balls McGinty." Fine, put that in the descriptive paragraph and don't worry about statting it.

A cohort, though, is more like an outgrowth of the character; it costs a feat slot... but adding in a second stat block for a cohort is a big can of worms to open up. A companion/mount/familiar can get by with a 1 paragraph monster-style block. A cohort, especially if they're a spellcaster, or have their own special mount/familiar/companion... sure it's do-able, but it makes you go hmmmm...

Followers from Leadership... still a bit of a dicey issue, though obviously much more like minions than cohorts and easier to hand-wave away or use shorthand.

Stepping just a little further out, what about planar allies or planar binding spells, or controlled undead or simulacra or charmed/dominated creatures? While not exactly permanent, these can be LONG-lasting effects that create de facto minions. How should these be referenced (if at all) in these villain entries?

One of my ideas did involve Leadership and cohorts/followers, but as I think more about it I wonder how much statting we really need for them. The focus of the round 3 task is on designing the villain and explaining their role and how to use them in the game. I think you can do that well enough without statting out footsoldiers and minions. You would certainly have to mention those minions, their kind and their number, and describe how they connect to what the villain does and why he/she/it does it. I think a simple stat line(100 CE human male War1) is probably enough.

In any case, I'll be glad to see a clear directive on how to handle cohorts & followers (and other ancillary creatures, for that matter) from the judges.

The Exchange

Russ Taylor wrote:


Problem is does that lead to excessive mining of OGL products? If we're going to say nothing new, I'd like to see it be nothing non-SRD.

not a bad idea to limit it to SRD

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Honestly, what I'd really like to do is include a general description, advice for the DM, a "Tactics Round-by-Round" section, a brief history, a "Knowledge: the Planes/Arcana/(wtf related knowledge)" break-down, a stat-block with all the good stuff, explanation of new feats, and a full treasure list.

And the question will then be: "Is this good enough to move on?" rather than "Did he do this right?"

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

thatboomerkid wrote:
Eyebite wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:


You know, a set CR spread might not be a bad idea. I will kick this around with the judges. It would certainly make things easier to compare and would prevent everyone from trying to make gonzo CR 20 villains.
Exactly! Without some kind of guideline/requirement, the entrants are shooting completely into the unknown. This close to the wire, there might be the urge to "one up" everyone and just come up with ridiculous CR 30 god figures.

A stated spread is probably a good idea, but I'd hope that the contestants would reign it in, all by themselves, to levels that commonly see play. Because a perfect locked-in mechanical design and a super-sweet backstory will hardly make a difference if nobody can ever use the damn thing.

For the record, I'm strongly of the opinion that the onus is on the competitiors to provide the goods - if the Paizo community doesn't want to read or use your villain, saying "But . . . I followed the rules!" probably won't help much.

FWIW, the concept I think I am likely to go with comes in around CR 13 or so (depending on the exact final rules and adjustments from that), and is all SRD. I do think a stated CR range is a good idea. Maybe 5-15.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Jason Nelson 20 wrote:


FWIW, the concept I think I am likely to go with comes in around CR 13 or so (depending on the exact final rules and adjustments from that), and is all SRD. I do think a stated CR range is a good idea. Maybe 5-15.

Very cool - anything much outside of those parameters more than likely won't get used at my table.

And I can always start tacking-on all those big, pimpin' non-SRD templates to a littler villain, if need be.

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

thatboomerkid wrote:

Honestly, what I'd really like to do is include a general description, advice for the DM, a "Tactics Round-by-Round" section, a brief history, a "Knowledge: the Planes/Arcana/(wtf related knowledge)" break-down, a stat-block with all the good stuff, explanation of new feats, and a full treasure list.

And the question will then be: "Is this good enough to move on?" rather than "Did he do this right?"

I think for the judges comments these two will BOTH weigh heavily, because as publishers they want to see someone who doesn't need someone coming behind and cleaning up their stat blocks.

IMPORTANT QUESTION: (at least, important to me)

Which style of stat block are we using here? There have been several core stat block styles, and it would help a lot if the judges would stipulate which we are to use.

On another note, Boomer mentions treasure and it is an interesting question. If your villain is an equipment-using monster (it don't have to be, for sure), sure you'll want to detail equipment. But 'lair treasure' or money? I wonder. It's an interesting question as to whether that is important to include.

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

Jason Nelson 20 wrote:

Which style of stat block are we using here? There have been several core stat block styles, and it would help a lot if the judges would stipulate which we are to use.

I would think Paizo's latest stat blocks. At least, that's the style I'd advocate.

I think Paizo has the best of the bunch currently.

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

Eyebite wrote:
Jason Nelson 20 wrote:

Which style of stat block are we using here? There have been several core stat block styles, and it would help a lot if the judges would stipulate which we are to use.

I would think Paizo's latest stat blocks. At least, that's the style I'd advocate.

I think Paizo has the best of the bunch currently.

That would make sense. For ease of reference, I would suggest that in the guidelines the judges include a link to a sample stat block using Paizo's current style.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka amusingsn

I think it would be good to specify how close to the given template/format you want the contestants to follow. I would guess the answer would be "extremely close" in regards to the "stat block", but I would hope you'd allow a good deal of leeway in regards to what the contestants do with their "descriptive text".

Oh, I also think that stat block math is a waste of time. My eyes will bleed if I start reading stuff like, "And since he's wearing half-plate armor, I had to subtract the ACP from the following skills ..." And if we're not supposed to read it as part of our judgement, why bother including it?

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Jason Nelson 20 wrote:
thatboomerkid wrote:


And the question will then be: "Is this good enough to move on?" rather than "Did he do this right?"

A fair point & well said - and I may have, perhaps, phrased what I meant to say incorrectly. Long night, and all.

*grin*

My point, if I can in some way clarify, was simply this: while the need is obviously paramount to "get the thing right", especially regarding format for editors, there are creative leaps that I, as a designer, would be eager to make; even if only to simplify the process of running this behemoth of pure villainy for other DMs.

If allowances can be made now, while still in the setting-up-rules phase, I would be more confident that I'm not making decisions about what will and will not be in my entry in a totally far-out danger-zone.

This is, plainly, assuming that I'll be submitting for the next round - we shall, of course, just have to wait and see. But I'm psyched, none the less.

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

1) No Gonzo
2) Villain must be CR 10 (for example). State a fixed CR so that every villain is the 'same' powerwise but unique in execution.
3) SRD only

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

Jason Nelson 20 wrote:


FWIW, the concept I think I am likely to go with comes in around CR 13 or so (depending on the exact final rules and adjustments from that), and is all SRD. I do think a stated CR range is a good idea. Maybe 5-15.

Sounds good. I'd find the upper half of this range more interesting (10-15).

I'd also prefer to leave out the stat block maths. If a stat block value is completely out of whack for the villain's CR or makes his tactics unworkable, it's more important to ask why the designer didn't notice that, than exactly what technical error he made.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Darkjoy wrote:

1) No Gonzo

2) Villain must be CR 10 (for example). State a fixed CR so that every villain is the 'same' powerwise but unique in execution.
3) SRD only

1) Fair enough. My only question is: how do we define 'gonzo'? Unless we mean 'epic', so that 'no gonzo' means 'nothing above CR: 20', it's a bit subjective. To some extent, I'm not sure that I can do 'not-gonzo'.

2) That's a challenge. Fortunately, I, for one, WELCOME a challenge.

3) Fair enough. The question arrises: may we make stuff up? New feats, mayhap, with the onus on the designer to have a unique, never-before-seen effect not culled from an existing source - and knowing that we take a risk, possibly losing votes, by doing so?

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder aka Robert G. McCreary

Clark Peterson wrote:

I know one thing I have to clarify--

The items and countries and villains are not precursors for each author. In other words, if an author wins the contest, he or she is under no obligation to use that content in their adventure proposal for Paizo. So just because author X writes country Y doesnt mean his or her villain has to have anything to do with either that country or that item.

I have seen some posts that seem to suggest that some people think the authors are building an adventure proposal piece by piece here. They arent.

I, too, have seen these posts, and I think that is good clarification.

BUT, some more clarification might be good: it doesn't have to be connected to a country or item, but can it be?

I think this is important, because a villain needs context - it's not just a randomly encountered monster. And by connecting it to one of last round's countries, an author has a pre-created context that does not have to be explained within the word count of this round. I'm not sure if that would be a good thing or a bad thing, but it would be good to know.

In terms of other clarifications:

  • I agree that there should be a CR range.
  • Clarify SRD-only or any OGL. (EDIT: I would personally prefer SRD-only, to show what can be done with less, or more limited, resources. It also prevents the problem of an author using a creature or PrC from a source that someone might not have, leading inevitably to questions like "What the hell is that?" or "Where does that come from?")
  • No new feats, abilities, or items, but what about new spells?
  • Be clear on stat block format, even something as simple as "the format used in Pathfinder," for example.
  • Be specific about how the math should be presented, ideally with an example. Does the addition for skill ranks need to be included, or for AC, or the exact numbers rolled for HD? I have a feeling you could see all sorts of presentations of math without specific guidelines.

I'll add more if I think of 'em.

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

thatboomerkid wrote:


3) Fair enough. The question arrises: may we make stuff up? New feats, mayhap, with the onus on the designer to have a unique, never-before-seen effect not culled from an existing source - and knowing that we take a risk, possibly losing votes, by doing so?

I make a distinction between new feats (too easy to wriggle out of one of the challenges of 3e stat block design) and new or variant monster abilities, which I'd like to see allowed.

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

thatboomerkid wrote:
Darkjoy wrote:

1) No Gonzo

2) Villain must be CR 10 (for example). State a fixed CR so that every villain is the 'same' powerwise but unique in execution.
3) SRD only

1) Fair enough. My only question is: how do we define 'gonzo'? Unless we mean 'epic', so that 'no gonzo' means 'nothing above CR: 20', it's a bit subjective. To some extent, I'm not sure that I can do 'not-gonzo'.

2) That's a challenge. Fortunately, I, for one, WELCOME a challenge.

3) Fair enough. The question arrises: may we make stuff up? New feats, mayhap, with the onus on the designer to have a unique, never-before-seen effect not culled from an existing source - and knowing that we take a risk, possibly losing votes, by doing so?

1) No Gonzo, make me a judge that deals specifically with gonzo......

Gonzo, a term I needed to look up, might be too strong a word. Let's just say your villain needs to be something that would be published in a module (a module with a cost attached).

2) Good, I might even work up something myself.

3) Make me a villain, if you want to add a feat that feat has to be balanced and will count towards the wordcount.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Starglim wrote:


Sounds good. I'd find the upper half of this range more interesting (10-15).

I agree, but just watch the most brilliant, tightly constructed, evocative CR:7 villain of all time come sweeping in and win it all. Hell, I can tack Half-Iron Golem, Half-Dragon, Half-Illithid, Half-Fiend & Half-Vampire onto him (or her!) at home, and suddenly it's a whole new ballgame of badness, a genuis-awesome low-power, high-concept meta-villain re-designed for ripping epic-level PCs into shredded chunks of sheet.

Starglim wrote:


I'd also prefer to leave out the stat block maths. If a stat block value is completely out of whack for the villain's CR or makes his tactics unworkable, it's more important to ask why the designer didn't notice that, than exactly what technical error he made.

Probably not a bad idea, if only because I won't read them - my eyes glaze over and I start to drool when I look at lots of numbers added and subtracted and multiplied.

I love me some Iron Kingdoms, but that War Caster armor is getting worn by somebody ELSE. Looks like Boomer is playing a troll-guy who owns an axe and a loincloth.

Higher level? Magic axe, magic loincloth.


Putting the stat block math in spoiler tags sounds like a good compromise.

I would definitely prefer to see all contestants working at the same CR so that the entries are directly comparable, ideally 9-12.

Wealth should absolutely have a common limit, with the option to take that wealth as either equips or 'lair horde'... an interesting decision either way. This should obviously not count against the word count in either case.

Lore, tactics, and other such 'optional' sections probably should count against the word count.

I would actually prefer the judges bar contestants from making direct references to any previous round entries. After all, we don't want a winner who only really has one good world that they've been developing for a decade or more... we want somebody flexible and daring, able to offer a wealth of potential concepts to meet any need right of the top of his/her head.

I'd also like to see the commentary rules tightened up to simply prohibit contestants from posting in any of the entry threads (but certainly not general discussion threads) while voting is underway.

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