Tomb of the Titan

Round 6: Submit an adventure proposal

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Behold: sad fog, tinged red with Titan’s blood,
Rolls thick from Hubris in an endless flood;

Behold: a shard of Hell that breached the world,
Death births a Tyrant to godhood full;

Behold: the Storm subsides to quell, in part,
Those flames that burn in Hell’s own Heart.

- from The Riddle of Shattered Godhood

Tomb of the Titan
A GameMastery Module designed for four 13th-level characters.
By the end of this module, characters should be well into 14th level.

This heroic, swashbuckling adventure sets the PCs on the run, framed for a high-profile murder – and into a desperate, high-seas chase after the villainous agents of Onuyaka, the All-Seeing Eye. Monstrous sorcerers and swordsmen in service to the Machiavellian Ogre Mage seek to uncover the Shard of Hell’s Heart, an otherworldly artifact hidden deep in the lost tomb of the Dark Titan Kothari-Khasis, ancient Chosen of Asmodeus. Racing these brigands to the strange and haunted Isle of Shattered Godhood, the PCs must face horrid monsters, deadly traps, unexpected betrayal, and the bloody memory of Kothari-Khasis himself.

Dinner with the Duke

The adventure begins when PCs are invited to a fine dinner – and a meeting with Duke Harrigan Ambyrs, a wealthy tradesman and powerful merchant-lord who dwells in the bustling port city of Korvosa, jewel of Varisia. Watched over by an azure-robed mage and his daunting, adamantine Shield Guardian, the Duke bears with him many charts and notebooks – and a bag heavy with coin.

“Tales of your exploits have reached my ears by a number of channels. As a company, you have an impressive reputation for mischief; more importantly, you have a reputation for marked competence at out-running your various disasters.

“Two months past, a trade-ship of mine was blown far off course, into uncharted waters – there, the crew beheld a great, shadowed island unknown to them. Locked against them from any form of teleportation or divination, they sought to investigate further. Rowing to the misty shore, a few of my men made a foray into the woods – an errand from which not all of them returned. Alasdair Travaile, a chirurgeon and Dream-Watcher of Desna in my employ, then cast a mighty divination – which cost him his life; the legend lore that emerged from his blood-tinged lips before he passed, however, was a riddle that has haunted all who have heard it.

“My nights are sleepless, my days filled with nightmares; I wish for you and yours to take my finest vessel, The Foolish Pride, and travel back to that strange place – to see if you can unravel the mystery of the Isle of Shattered Godhood.”

Rumor, Assassination and Frame-Up

In possession of two Lesser Shards of Hell’s Heart, strange and burning crystals that grant him dominion over men and devils alike, the powerful Ogre Mage called the All-Seeing Eye has long searched for some rumor as to their ancient progenitor – and when his servant Kettrick Vale revealed to Onuyaka the legend of the Isle of Shattered Godhood, the All-Seeing Eye began to move his many pieces into place.

Secret master of the Hex-City Kaer Maga, Onuyaka has sent deadly assassins to relieve the foolish Duke Ambyrs of his life – and of the maps that should lead the All-Seeing Eye’s envoys directly to the epic Shard of Hell’s Heart. He has employed his most loyal servant, the deadly Jade Monkey, to obtain the charts and notes of Duke Ambyrs, slay the Duke, and frame a group of sell-swords to take the fall while a hand-picked group of pirates and monsters, led by his three vicious sons, journey to the haunted Isle.

The Jade Monkey herself, disguised as a serving girl, has planned this assassination to the letter: an explosion in the street, a burst of obscuring smoke, and suddenly Duke Harrigan Ambyrs is dead – a blade belonging to the PCs embedded in his throat.

Particularly perceptive characters will note, however, that his bodyguard stands ready to dispel any effect that they might raise to save the Duke’s life, and that he makes no motion to stop the assassin as she vanishes. As the smoke clears, the Duke’s charts and notes are gone; the platinum he carried lays scattered across the floor, and the Duke’s arcane bodyguard Kettrick Vale immediately summons the Mage-Captain of the City Guard – as guards rush to the scene of the crime, the PCs are accused of murder most foul.

As swarms of city watchmen and militia attempt to arrest the PCs, the three terrible Sons of Onuyaka and their dread companions steal his great ship The Foolish Pride – and the PCs are now wanted for conspiracy.

A Meeting with the Cabal

Whether PCs allow themselves to be taken into custody or flee the city guard to go into hiding within the vast port city, they are swiftly approached by the Cabal of Storms – a secret society of mages and loremasters dating back to the ancient days of Xomauji the Storm Scholar.

The historians of the Cabal also seek the Isle of Shattered Godhood, to prevent Kothari-Khasis from waking out of his icy prison and to guard the world from the power of his terrible weapons. Unfortunately, they possess few combat-ready field-operatives; thus, the Cabal of Storms will arm the PCs with what knowledge and magic they are able and furnish a vessel to chase down the stolen Foolish Pride.

  • An Unexpected Visitor
    The famed bard Durriken Cervini – a double-agent, loyal to the Cabal of Storms, who operates within Onuyaka’s shadowy legions – quickly locates and speaks with PCs who hide anywhere within his home-city of Korvosa. The bard alerts them to the terrible danger posed by the god-forged Shard, explains Onuyaka’s terrible plan, and tasks the PCs to obtain the Duke’s second set of charts.

  • Jailbreak
    PCs who have been lawfully apprehended by the city guard are met at the gates of the Korvosa Military Prison by the Dwarven advocate Lord Magistrate Chemyakin Terzya – he immediately requests that the PCs, as wanted war-criminals in Zavaten Gura, Land of the Stained Peaks, be prepped for transfer and extradition.

    After they are placed in a temporary holding cell, Terzya quietly informs the PCs that he serves the Cabal of Storms – and provides them with daring plan for a midnight escape and a rendezvous with Durriken Cervini, for there is no time to waste!

    Breaking and Entering

    The bard Durriken Cervini possesses a rough map of Duke Harrigan Ambys’s estate: the PCs must obtain the Duke’s second copy of the charts and notes that lead to the Isle of Shattered Godhood, locked away in a secret vault within his study – and there, face off against the murderous mage Kettrick Vale and his terrible machine.

    Rendezvous with the Storm’s Spite

    A swift ship captained by the half-silver-dragon corsair Japheth Crosswind, The Storm’s Spite is well known in the waters near the city-state of Korvosa as a deadly privateer vessel. Allied with the scholars of the Cabal of Storms, Captain Crosswind and his rag-tag crew will follow the Duke’s charts and notes to the Isle, but they cannot smuggle the PCs out of Korvosa’s harbor.

    The heroes will have to escape town and survive an assault by the Jade Monkey and her team of rogues to meet up with the Storm’s Spite in an abandoned smuggler’s cove, now home to a lamia and her scrag minions, two days east of town.

    Attack of The Devil’s Silent Howl

    Once the PCs board the Storm’s Spite, their troubles are far from over – Onuyaka has readied an attack on any pursuers by the dreaded Devil’s Silent Howl, a pirate vessel captained by the half-fiend werewolf Rysha Spurr and crewed by his hideous werewolf pack.

    Unraveling the Riddle of Shattered Godhood

    Many clues about the nature of the treasure Onuyaka seeks are buried in the twisting, fatal poem that flowed from the mystic Alasdair Travaile in his final moments – once the PCs have downtime to examine all of the notes belonging to Duke Ambyrs, erudite characters may be able to piece together a number of clues as to the nature of what lies ahead.

    Racing the Foolish Pride

    Though undoubtedly the swifter, the Storm’s Spite is no match for the much larger vessel in open battle. In addition, the PCs will have a great deal of difficulty outpacing the mighty Foolish Pride, especially considering their delay – a series of dangerous gambits, including taking the Storm’s Spite near sahuagin-infested waters, pushing through a vampire-filled ship’s graveyard and braving a massive tempest may be the heroes’ only hope for reaching the Isle in time.

    Horrors in the Night

    Onuyaka has spared no expense to protect this, a masterstroke of manipulation that could see him ascend to godhood – when Onuyaka’s three sons discover that they are followed, they attack the Storm’s Spite en masse with spells, monsters and steel.

    Keyed to his brothers via message spells and an interlinked series of unique lesser bracelets of friends, the chill necromancer Onu-Ichi braves the open night air with his murder of loyal Ice Mephits to lay siege on the Storm’s Spite from above.

    The shadowy assassin Onu-Nikkyo, meanwhile, slips aboard the Storm’s Spite in the form of invisible mist, where he murders a crewman and takes his place – if his treachery is not discovered, the Ogre Mage rogue secures dangerous vials of alchemist’s fire in vital places around the ship.

    The wild pyrokineticist Onu-Koshiro remains behind to keep the Foolish Pride secure – biding his time to slay foes in his father’s name until the Isle of Shattered Godhood is reached.

    Battle as the Storm’s Spite Burns

    With luck, skill and tenacity, the PCs can close the gap between the Storm’s Spite and the Foolish Pride – but no matter how swiftly the PCs move, the Sons of Onuyaka arrive at the Isle of Shattered Godhood ahead of them, where the fiery Onu-Koshiro springs a deadly trap!

    Onu-Koshiro watches, invisibly, from just over the water at the edge of the beach for his brother to assassinate Captain Crosswind and light a signal fire among the sails of the Storm’s Spite. He dimension doors Onu-Nikkyo to his side with the power of his lesser bracelet of friends and then flies towards the Storm’s Spite, still invisible – and bearing with him the deadly medusa monk called Obsidian Mask, whom he drops upon the deck to deal with the crew while laying lethal bolts of flame unto the burning ship.

    Cut Off from the World

    The unique arcane conditions of the Isle of Shattered Godhood lock the island away from all magical communication, perception or travel beyond its borders. The Isle itself possesses its own weird bubble-parallels of the Astral, Ethereal and Shadow Planes – but they cease at the ocean’s edge.

    In addition, sections of the haunted Isle still roil and heave with the vast mystic energies unleashed in a war between an arch-wizard and a titan-demigod: spells and effects such as divination, flight, teleportation, or summoning can prove fatal in such areas.

    Into the Wilds

    Crossing the mist-choked mountains, the thick, stinking jungles and the over-grown ruins of the massive Isle of Shattered Godhood will bring the PCs into conflict with all manner of strange foes: the brigands of the Foolish Pride, predatory beasts of ancient origin, hives of alien Dromite hunters who occupy the low-lands, tribes of deadly grimlocks that lurk in the mountains, and above all the nightmarish Echoes of the Tyrant-Fall.

    Holocaust Phantoms are unhallowed, flame-wreathed ghosts of those fanatics who sacrificed their own lives in an great ritual of fire and blood to imbue the Dark Titan with the power of Asmodeus himself - their Lord extinguished, these self-executed faithful were bound forever to hateful undeath when Kothari-Khasis failed in his bid for Deific Ascendance.

    Shattered Devils are the shambling, barely-sentient remains of Lawful-Evil outsiders in service to Kothari-Khasis and his clergy – their souls were lacerated and consumed in flayed shreds as the Dark Titan was bound into his frozen grave, but their rotting forms still seek to obey the clouded will of the Lord of Tyrants.

    Font of Lost Souls

    The epic dimensional barrier that contains the Isle of Shattered Godhood is absolute – the spirits of those who die here cannot escape across the Astral to their appointed afterlives. Those who die in service to Asmodeus are doomed to wander forever as undead, and strange, totemic “gods” devour the souls of perished Dromites.

    PCs who are slain on the Isle will wake, incorporeal, in a strange underground lake fed by a warm spring – there, they will discover the forgetful, slowly unraveling souls of Xomauji, Alasdair Travaile, and other beings. Resurrection magic is tricky business here, but death may not be the end for crafty PCs.

    Gallery of Twisting Shadows

    From a crumbling temple dedicated to the Chosen of Asmodeus, the burning spirit of Priest Azul commands armies of Holocaust Phantoms, corpses, Shattered Devils and zealot grimlocks to journey up the dark, red-misted slopes of the Mountain of Hubris to destroy the great Storm-Stone Eidolons who watch over the frozen Pit of the Tyrant-Fall – and always, his legions are beaten back.

    Alerted to the presence of foreigners by his eyeless servants, Priest Azul and his Holocaust Phantom acolytes will seek to capture and possess the PCs; to use their strong bodies and mighty magical items to scale the great peak and finally wrest the Shard of Hell’s Heart back from the icy tomb that binds their Lord.

    The Blind Swordsman

    The champion of Priest Azul is Czhyrn, grimlock Paladin of Tyranny – after the charred ghost of his master is defeated, this fanatical warrior faces off against the PCs in the basin of a decaying waterfall shrine as his tribe crowds close around.

    Should they defeat him, the PCs become the new kings of the grimlocks – and will be treated as emissaries of the gods.

    Against the Necromancer

    The foul Onu-Ichi, allied with his remaining Ice Mephits, has reanimated the bodies of the Foolish Pride’s slain crew – in the heat of the jungles, this cold master of the dead ambushes the PCs with spells and multitudes of zombies in a desperate attempt to slow their progress.

    The God with Ten-Thousand Legs

    The most powerful Dromite hive of the Isle of Shattered Godhood worships an Advanced Hit-Dice, Phrenic Colossal Monstrous Centipede called Chylo-Phodu, the Song of Disharmony; once a group of dangerous foreigners repel a hunting party of Dromites, the great and twisting beast is set loose upon the verdant Isle to hunt them.

    As the Waters Roar

    The many-legged god of the Dromites now slain, the PCs must cross a vast chasm over swift rapids upon a shaking rope bride while assaulted by waves of Phrenic Large Monstrous Centipedes, Dromite warriors, and their terrible Mind-Shaman leaders astride horrid Yrthak mounts.

    Keeper of the Storm’s Secrets

    In the center of a half-sunken, trap-filled temple occupied by a cult of sorcerous will-o’-wisps, the Storm-Scholar Xomauji placed a lone Marut to guard over the secrets of Kothari-Khasis – especially the Dark Titan’s bid for Godhood. By answering the great construct’s riddles, or laying it low with steel and spell, the PCs can discover a secret way to scale the forbidding Mountain of Hubris, bypass the ring of epic Storm-Stone Eidolons, and access the chill Pit of the Tyrant-Fall: the Crimson-Shrouded Labyrinth.

    The Crimson-Shrouded Path

    Hidden from the Holocaust Phantoms of the Tyrant-Fall, this winding extra-dimensional maze leads through a thick sea of fog, tinged red with the blood of the Dark Titan himself. This decaying, phantasmal dungeon was created as a temporary “backdoor” by the raw arcane power of Xomauji, and it shudders with dangerous eddies of magical power that are home to deadly illusions, traps, a tribe of horrid Xill – and the revenge of the deadly assassin Onu-Nikkyo!

    The All-Seeing Eye is Betrayed

    In the final hours of their mission, any remaining members of the Three Sons of Onuyaka and their team are slain by their arcane scholar, the unique fire-giant lich called Tsuko-Kani – their heads are stamped on pikes at the end of the Crimson-Shrouded Path as a warning to any who follow, as the devotee of Asmodeus journeys into the Pit of the Tyrant-Fall to claim the Shard of Hell’s Heart for himself.

    A Mountain-Top Temple

    It was here, in a vast shrine built by a Titan to honor a God, that Kothari-Khasis ended a thousand and one lives while the moon hid her face; this ruined place where the Chosen of Asmodeus battled the Storm-Scholar spell against spell, and was cast into an eternal, icy sleep. Here, amongst broken pillars that once scraped the heavens, dwell the most wretched of the Echoes of the Tyrant-Fall: insane Holocaust Phantoms and Shattered Devils who suffer in the very shadow of their Lord’s defeat, thirsty to slay the living.

    A Desecrated Grave

    The raw power of the spell that binds Kothari-Khasis consumed Xomauji’s life; he bartered his own existence for the sake of the world. Laid to rest by his sorrowful apprentices in a makeshift cairn as they fled the Isle, the Storm-Scholar has been disinterred – his desiccated body cast casually to the side, and his spell-book taken.

    Battle in the Pit

    The mountain heaves and the skies boil as the great undead mage Tsuko-Kani rages to uncover his legendary prize; unweaving the Storm-Scholar’s centuries-old spell of binding and sheering away sheets of the blood-thick ice that encases the colossal form of the Dark Titan.

    Suffused with the power of the burning, symbiotic crystal, the undead sorcerer-giant will be able to bend the world to his whim – a battle of epic proportions ensues as the heroes seek to destroy the Hellfire Lich and his summoned devils before his spells are complete and Asmodeus walks the world.

  • The Exchange Kobold Press

    I was really digging this, the double-crosses, the cool names, the use of elements from prior rounds... until right around "half-fiend werewolf". At that point I just said "What? That's a mechanical nightmare! That's a stat block from Hell!"

    And I skimmed over the remaining plot points and saw that, while the proposal is very inventive, the plot is also extremely convoluted. It requires NPCs to frame the party (always tricky) and a chase across the sea (tough to maintain for a 13th level party with teleport and the like) to an inevitable conclusion.

    A little bit of railroading goes a long way. This is the Burlington Northern and the Santa Fe.

    That linear storyline is in a good cause; there's tons of epic flavor here, but it's a little too much for a single adventure. This is more like an adventure path, or at least a trilogy. You may have overshot the mark a bit. Great stuff, I think, but as a publisher, I would have serious reservations about greenlighting something with this scope.

    Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

    The title is a very un-Boomer-like generic title. Lucky for him, I like those. “Tomb of the Titan.” Ok Boomer, sell me on why I should publish this—why do the PCs want to go there?

    Basically, we all know what happens in an adventure. The PCs go somewhere and in the process nearly get their butts kicked by memorable foes in cool locales and earn some killer reward or treasure. So what cool place are we going to and what cool foes are going to almost kill us and what cool toy do we get as a reward?

    Ugh, starting with a quote. This is a submission. It’s a pitch to a publisher to publish your module. I don’t want a quote. Of course, on the flip side, you write a mean quote as always. But this isn’t the way to get a publisher to want to publish your module. I want a more businesslike submission than that. Luckily, after we get the goofy quote out of the way things get cooking.

    Swashbucking, framed for murder, high seas chase, shard of hell’s heart, artifact, lost tomb of a dark titan, Asmodeus, isle of shattered godhood, “horrid monsters, deadly traps, unexpected betrayal, and the bloody memory of Kothari-Khasis himself.” Oh baby, you got me. Now this is how a submission starts. I am interested. No doubt. I already want to publish it. You have my attention, it is yours to lose. You are no longer fighting to get it.

    Dinner. Hmm. Not sure you found the right starting point. Yeah, that is classic intro stuff. But this is a 32-page module. Space is at a premium. Do we need this? You lost some of your steam here.

    “The Jade Monkey herself, disguised as a serving girl, has planned this assassination to the letter: an explosion in the street, a burst of obscuring smoke, and suddenly Duke Harrigan Ambyrs is dead – a blade belonging to the PCs embedded in his throat.”

    Now that is where the adventure ACTUALLY begins. That is Act I.

    Uh oh. Though we have found our real start, we have also found the real start of some massive railroading. I know Wolfie commented on this already. So I won’t go into it too much, but this gives me big pause as a potential publisher. You also make a real big presumption—that the PCs hang around. Heck, at level 13 PCs have teleport and all sorts of spells and items that get them out of there fast and back to their normal stronghold or town or hideout. I think the first thing my PCs do is get the hell out of Dodge. The last thing they are going to do is surrender and stand trial in a town where they main good guy they were hanging with just bit it and they are being framed. Players just aren’t that accommodating to your story. And this is coming from Mr. First Edition Feel himself (a friend to railroading in adventures), so if I think it is too much railroading then it is. Believe me.

    But it is salvageable. Even if the PCs bail, they can be found by the Cabal. So a DM can get it back on track. But you really raise my eyebrows as a possible publisher when I read a plot summary that includes railroading like this.

    Ok, so we’ve got a dead important guy, a conspiracy, a stolen ship, some magical patrons whose motives will likely be different than they at first appear and a cool-sounding diabolical plot. I’ve calmed down a bit. I’m still concerned, but I am still reading.

    And now you are back on track. Some real memorable NPCs and some fun situations make this feel like Pirates of the Caribbean in a good way. Still some concerning railroading, but I am looking past it thinking that we can tweak some plotting issues as the adventure is developed. I am seeing good things here. Silver dragon corsair, smuggler’s cove, lamia, werewolf pirates (unlike Wolfgang, I am absolutely LOVING the werewolf pirates!), sahuagin-infested waters, vampire-filled ship graveyard, a tempest, a boat race.

    Some drawbacks—the name Captain Crosswind is a bit dull, and of course he has to have a “rag-tag crew.” Boomer, you can do better. That would be one of the first revision emails: “Hey Boom, fix the captain and the lame rag-tag crew.” I guess it could be worse, they could have been a rag-tag crew of freedom fighters. Same with jade monkey. That is a bit tired. As I said, you can do better.

    Plus, I am now starting to worry about the size of this adventure. Given that it is Boomer I am going to worry that he will over-write the thing anyway before I even read it. Now, with all this extra stuff, I am really getting worried. Is this going to fit in 32 pages? I don’t know.

    Ok, moving on. Now I have to eat my words about the cheesy quote. Looks like it actually has a plot tie in. I still didn’t need it in the submission lead-in.

    The big set-piece ship siege by the three groups looks like an amazing and memorable encounter. Ice mephitis, evil fog, all sorts of fun.

    Ugh. Then we get to more railroading and something that PCs hate: “but no matter how swiftly the PCs move, the Sons of Onuyaka arrive at the Isle of Shattered Godhood ahead of them.” That’s not a killer. We do it all the time. But I really want to feel that you know how to handle it so that the PCs don’t FEEL that there was nothing they could have done to get there first. Hey, what if they discover the eventual location and teleport there? At 13th level you can’t just presume the only way they can get somewhere is boat chase. But again, I think this can be tailored during development of the adventure. I am shaking my head at the rookie mistakes, but with a smile.

    Ok, here we go again. A bubble island with wicked energies to conveniently explain why you can’t otherwise get there or, when there, teleport or fly! You, lucky PCs, are stripped of your travel powers and forced into overland travel! Tried and true, yes. But we’ve come a long way in adventure design. One eyebrow is raised, but I keep reading.

    Ooooh! The wilderness stuff is cool. Phantoms and devils and lost souls. That sounds fun. Gallery of Twisting Shadows. Nice Boomer-y goodness.

    Ouch. Azul? Ok, maybe it’s because I’m a parent and thus have been exposed to too much Dora the Explorer but I just can’t have an adventure with an evil bad guy named Azul.

    And now stuff just starts going crazy. A grimlock paladin, mephitis, a huge centipede, chasms, rope bridges, a cult of sorcerous will-o-wisps. Man, this is getting gonzo. Ok, ok, enough! I give! I can’t even retype all the gonzo craziness here! There are so many encounters there is simply no way this fits in 32 pages in 3E. No way.

    I think I crapped out at “The All Seeing Eye Betrayed.” It’s just too much.

    I would publish this, no doubt. But that isn’t the point. The point was a submission for a 32-page adventure and this is a trilogy of 32 pagers at best. You way over did it, Boomer. That said, I still want to publish it. Well, maybe I don’t. But I sure want to play in it!

    I wish I could recommend this, but I can’t. It goes way too far beyond what we asked for. This is, simply put, not acceptable as a 32-page GameMastery adventure.

    NOT RECOMMENDED, but only because there is too much stuff that it wouldnt make a 32 page module.

    I will say this, I would email you back and say "trim out most of that island stuff and maybe some of the boat encounters you dont need, like the vampire filled boat graveyard and resubmit it to me."

    Boomer, you have absolute talent. Maybe more raw talent than any other competitor. I will admit, I have since round two thought this was your contest to lose. But then along came Christine. Her big ideas coupled with brilliant and professional presentation drew right up next to you. Then this submission. I was worried you would totally overdo it and I have been trying to guide you away from that. There is no doubt you have learned from what we have tried to teach you. This competition in my view is talent plus execution. If your submission was even arguably a 32 page module, I dont know what I would have done as between you and Christine. But as it is, I had to go Christine.

    That said, while Christine might have the best combination of talent plus professional execution, you could make a case that you should be the guy just because of raw talent.

    I am interested to see what the voters do.

    Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

    The big question for me going into this round is "Can Boomer pull it off?" You've shown a consistent ability to draw readers to your ideas, while at the same time you have a propensity to push the envelope a little too far from time to time, which turns off a lot of folks who otherwise would be receptive to your ideas.

    Despite this, the quality, perhaps the sheer audacity, of those ideas have carried you into the final round of RPG Superstar, and you could honestly take this away and win the entire contest.

    Will you? Let's see.

    "Tomb of the Titan" is a decent name. The poem at the beginning doesn't do much for me, I must admit, but then I'm an obsessive-compulsive editor so I ended up wondering why you capitalized "Hubris" more than trying to go with the lyrical flow.

    The general overview of the adventure sounds compelling. You made an interesting choice using Onuyaka, and it's neat to see material from previous rounds making its way into this proposal. The titan angle seems interesting. Everyone loves Asmodeus. I'm not 100% sure on the name "Isle of Shattered Godhood," but you can't hit the ball every time you take a swing, I suppose.

    So... Onuyaka's servants assassinate the Duke Ambrys while the PCs are standing in his office? I don't like how I had to reread part of the proposal a couple of times to figure that out. Better to have included another sentence in the "Dinner With the Duke" section, I think.

    I must say as your potential publisher that I appreciate all of the various references to Golarion in this proposal. From Korvosa to Kaer Maga, I get a sense that you've taken the time to understand Paizo's publishing efforts, and that's a useful tactic when trying to sell something to the publisher in question. Thanks for it.

    The jail break seems interesting (even if the PCs are just standing there watching), and I like the reference to the Stained Peaks.

    The race to catch up with the Foolish Pride seems likewise interesting. The idea of a ship filled with howling werewolves had me cackling with glee ("sea wolves" indeed!), and I always love it when the PCs can make up time by doing something foolish like sailing through sahuagin-infested waters.

    The final showdown against the invisible sons of Onuyaka, complete with fire destroying the PCs' ship and a medusa on the loose, sounds like madcap adventure at its very best. This is a "wahoo" moment that doesn't push things into the realm of the silly, but that delivers high-octane thrills in the Boomer tradition.

    There is a problem, though, and a significant one.

    I don't think there is any way in the world you (or anyone) can pull off this adventure in the 32 pages provided. It is so jam-packed with ideas, scenes, and encounters that I think it would be a struggle to fit it all in at twice the word count. I mean, just getting the PCs to the island is going to charitably take up 2/5 of the adventure, and you have an absolute TON of stuff going on at the island itself.

    This adventure is really, really cool, but it is also WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too long and could never fit in the parameters of the contest.

    I'm going to let the voters decide how fatal a flaw that is, but I will tell you this: If this adventure wins and is published by Paizo as a 32-page GameMastery Module, it will probably only contain about a third of the ideas listed in the proposal.

    Predicting how many words an encounter will take in a final adventure is something that comes with practice. You can't really "fake" it, because until you've tried it a few times you never really know and you always think you can do more than you really can.

    There are a LOT of great, compelling ideas here. Were it much shorter and a bit less ambitious, I would give it my full endorsement. But I have been doing this for a while and I know from experience that you are never going to pull this off in 32 pages.

    Does that keep you from winning RPG Superstar?

    That's for the voters to decide.

    Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

    I thank the Judges, humbly and deeply, for their invaluable insights, comments and critiques.

    This has been a dream come true, and I hope only to receive further feedback.

    The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

    Erik wrote:

    The poem at the beginning doesn't do much for me, I must admit, but then I'm an obsessive-compulsive editor so I ended up wondering why you capitalized "Hubris" more than trying to go with the lyrical flow.

    It's because he just got finished playing a White Wolf game. (Actually, come to think of it, I think "Hubris" actually is a stat in Mage...)

    I recall all those little 8-page AEG and Legends adventures that came out in the early days of #rd Edition, and how 1st Edition managed to pack a shocking amount of goodness into 8-page modules. There aren't that many stat blocks in this proposal, and I can imagine Boomer giving us a very jam-packed adventure, with many of thee ideas partially-developed in sidebars. Sure.

    But yeah, the railroady plot was gettin' to me, too. What if the PC's just say no, they'll take their chances with a zone of truth? Or, for that matter, a simple raise dead?

    This is huge. HUGE! I just started staring at the screen about three encounters in on the island. I can't begin to process this all in one sitting.

    It's a fountain of creativity and breathless adventures, and with some serious editing time a fraction of the ideas presented here would make a solid adventure. As submitted it's "Boomer's Adventure Path to Insanity" (in a good way).

    It is definitely not a 32 page submission, and that hurts a lot. But boy am I going to mine this for my game. The "Mountains of Hubris?" The "Song of Disharmony"? Awesome, it's so over the top yet excellent.

    EDIT: It completely reminds me of the PA: "I Hope You Like Text"

    Astoundingly creative, even if you mine the clichées (Double-cross murder, pirates, a ship chase and battle and finally a mist-shrouded island ? Sorry, been there, done that... ) a bit strongly, and railroad/stage the PCs like some props. The sentence "whatever the PCs do, the villains will arrive before them" is just.....mehhhhhh !
    And, reading through it, I had more or less the feeling I was reading a sneak preview of a Pathfinder AP multiple final installments, not a 32-page Gamemastery module. I have little idea of the processes involved in adventure-editing, but I know how big the file for this adventure would get if I had to write it.....

    And, in all honesty, this is the least outlandish, least juicy and most conventional of all your submissions (IMHO) and simply misses some of that "outlandish Boomer style", which so far has been your trademark.

    Kudos nevertheless, great work !

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Aotrscommander


    Okay, Boomer, that's...


    Damn, I wish I was playing in your group.

    I can only echo the prior observations, of some railroading (though I myself am far less adverse to it than some) and that you aren't going to get it all in 32 pages. I tink you got Alex symdrome and did what I did with Kerpiquan - just got a little carried away with the Awesome and went too big.

    But frag-damn, that's a good adventure idea.

    I don't care if it came out to a 3000 page essay, though I'd totally buy it and play it.

    But, and it kills me to say this, it's just a little too big, I think, for this contest. Cutting such Awesome down to 32 pages would seem like sacriledge, frankly.

    (Actually, I'm kind of glad, because I was worried I'd be spending days deciding between you and Christine!)

    So, I can only apologise...and urge you to keep trying...and I hope this contest brings you some good fortune because you totally deserve it. You are one of the few writers I've seen, who armed only with the SRD could provide a challenge to either of my two groups of whacked out crazy, tactically organised optimisers. That sort of talent is rare.

    If we meet again in a Superstar 2 next year, I'm going to have to become several billions shades more Awesome, because you have so much talent it's frankly unfair!

    Your entry is the second one that I've read, and whilst it grabs my attention more than Jason's did, I'm afraid that I must agree with the judges in their comments as to the likely length of what you propose. I started keeping a running estimate in my head, (including appendices for new monsters, new magic items, new spells, etc), and it came to 50+ pages. If I'm supposed to be voting on the basis of a 32 page module (Jason has also flunked the page count in my mental tally) I'm sorry, but don't think tha I can vote for this.
    However I still have Rob and Christine left to go, and if they both flunk my mental page tally, then you come back into contention. With editting (maybe the PCs get called in after the Duke is assassinated, for a start) it might be a pair of books or even a trilogy or adventure path I might look at buying, but I'm not seeing this as a 32 page module, or not without losing what makes it what it is.

    Boomer - awesome proposal for an Adventure Path, I'd hate to think how this would get hacked up to fit into 32 pages. It makes me wish you'd written the Savage Tide AP. (And I love some of those modules, especially the one with the sargasso sea.) I've been a fan (and you've gotten my vote) in every round so far, so I'm torn between you and Christine...

    Oh, and -SNEAK ATTACK-

    The pros and cons have already been mentioned and I agree with what people have said so far. I will only add that the execution and format of design can be taught, while knowing what makes for an exciting encounter is a little trickier.

    Sovereign Court

    I am extremely torn.
    On one hand, I want to vote for you because this is absolutely amazing.
    On the other hand, I want to vote for you because all your other stuff has been amazing.
    Which reason should I pick????

    thatboomerkid wrote:

    Behold: sad fog, tinged red with Titan’s blood,

    Rolls thick from Hubris in an endless flood;

    Behold: a shard of Hell that breached the world,
    Death births a Tyrant to godhood full;

    Behold: the Storm subsides to quell, in part,
    Those flames that burn in Hell’s own Heart.

    - from The Riddle of Shattered Godhood

    Tomb of the Titan

    As my mind plays tricks on me, I read the poem line about “Titan” as “Tintin”. Somehow, a boy reporter and his dog aren’t the same thing. ;)

    Very nice introduction. You set up a lot of things that get me interested, especially the Isle of Shattered Godhood. In fact, there are many, many ideas in the whole adventure, names and concepts that got inspiration stirring like a slumbering serpent within me. (A whole ship crewed by werewolves? Ingenious.) My only concern as I read along was in fact that this adventure proposal seemed crammed with options. To the point where it reads like an entire campaign, not just a single level’s worth.

    “Advanced Hit-Dice, Phrenic Colossal Monstrous Centipede called Chylo-Phodu, the Song of Disharmony”

    This was a little over the top for me….

    You certainly have a way with words. I would be curious to see this actually written out, as it’s almost daunting in its scope. Sourcebook-sized even.

    For purposes of this review, I did not read any other comments.

    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

    I have to say that I was tired after reading this. I wish I had taken a break half way through to catch my breath.

    I think you have a lot of good ideas in there, at least enough for a trilogy, as previously stated once or twice. I did have a hard time following some of the details of the plot though. I think the proposal would have been better with a bit less space devoted to some of the specific encounters, and a bit more to the overall plot.

    That said, while I don't think you'll be getting my vote, I REALLY hope you get a chance to publish a product or two in the next year - not only so I can bask in the non-stop, over-the-top action and coolness you'll cook up, but I want you ineligible for next year's RPG Superstar so I won't have to compete against you! :)

    RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Ezekiel Shanoax, the Stormchild

    The judges have already gone through their own first triad of postings which include their heart-felt praises and well-thought critiques, and from a certain perspective an issue (if not the issue) has been framed above the head of dearest Boomer - and the other contestants.

    But I have to ask, in all seriousness of getting to the heart of this competition and what it should mean to win: Are we voting for an RPG Superstar, or Best Editor?

    The question is not meant to be rhetorical, and I would encourage the voting populace to answer.

    For my part, I note, most humbly, that the very title of this contest ends not in proper semicolon, nor chaste period, but rather... exclamation point. A lesson and the spirit lay therein, methinks.

    Vote, all you wonderful gamers out there. Vote!

    OK, so I love you man - but I have some issues with this adventure outline. I do like a lot of the imagery, so props for that.

    A lot of it seems too linear/railroady, although some people are OK with that - in fact, it reads to me like a lot of the recent Eberron scenarios with that rapid locale changes like Indiana Jones on crack.

    But starting off with the "PCs accused" thing is a hard pill to swallow out of the gate; players only put up with that once in a long while. And obviously fully half of the scenes listed would need to be cut to accomodate a standard 32-page scenario.

    And when it comes down to it, the imagery in this one isn't up to the "super cool Boomer stuff" we've seen in previous rounds. I'm willing to pass on a lot of pedantry for the rock! But this one seems a little more unfocused. Too much variety, not enough ass kicking of any one given thing.

    Boomer, you've wowed me again.

    Your ideas show intriguing creativity, wonderful writing ability, and amazing versatility. This is exciting! It got my juices flowing after a full day of work, reading all four entries, voting, and THEN reading the comments.

    Phooey on "can't be done in thirty-two pages." This amazing proposal IS the most fascinating and fun of the four. It's within the stated the word limit; why would anyone doubt your ability to create the best full adventure? Not me, chief.

    You made our long wait worth it. You're my RPG Superstar!

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

    Would I like it as a player - The first bit no, the rest yes.

    Would I like it as a GM - After fixing the railroading, yes.

    Would I pay money for it - Depends how it was sold as. 'PCs being framed for murder', probably not. 'A desperate, high-seas chase to strange locations', sure.


    The massive railroading in the start is a big turn off. No DM in their right mind would start an adventure like that. I know my PCs would lay waste to the half the town if they attempted to arrest them for something so blatantly a set up. This is unfortunate since I liked the rest of it quite a bit.

    Good villain, good scenes and I generally like the chase type of action. The real problem is it is way way over a 32 pager and like would have to be scaled back in a massive way. It is unfair to the other contestant in how many full page encounters this adventure would have to include. This would have came off much better if it was streamlined to its core ideas and the choicest set encounters.

    The hook has issues, but after that this entry reads like a tall-tale made up on the spot by a eight-year-old in desperate need of a ritalin fix. No doubt you've wowed me every step of this contest, and I am convinced that you both are an RPG Superstar and will have many successful published modules to your credit but I suspect it will likely be because of your outstanding overall participation, not because you win.

    Boomer, I seriously want to lock you in a closet somewhere with your favorite variety of energy drink on tap, an endless supply of sugar cookies and a box full of mini-cassettes for you to dictate whatever madness springs to your mind while I keep you trapped in a mild state of sensory deprivation. However, at the end of the day I think I'd still want someone else to do the actual write-up so that even the relatively poor DMs of the world can make sense of it all.

    I'd wish you luck, but I honestly don't think you'll need it.

    Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

    Funny - I looked at the titles and purposefully chose this one because I thought it was not you. While you overdo it a lot, I have found that I can finish your stuff after reading everyone else's because it creates excitement. I think I have been harder on your entries than maybe anyone else's, but you get the juices flowing, so you still have earned my vote most of the time.

    But, no, you went with the simple title. Kind of like shaking up a coke before handing it off. It looks like all the rest until it explodes.

    And explode you did. I am not as worried about the railroading. A little, but a good DM can always make it look like there were choices when there weren't. As described before, the secret society is going to find them. I would even consider having the azure mage cast dimensional anchor while the smoke still obscures the Jade Monkey. Maybe some pass their save and some fail. When the PCs teleport to their safehouse outside the city, they realize two of them were left behind. Anything can keep the PCs in your plot, and with some preparation and knowing your players, you can get them to go where you want to and they'll think it was their idea.

    Also, your adventure foments a lot of hate for the bad guys. Shrewd players will understand from the beginning that the villains are trying to slow them down. I have yet to meet a party that won't try to finish a race after someone throws dirt in their eyes.

    But it is clear there's too much information here. And since almost all of it is quality, you should just save some for another adventure.

    I have mixed feelings about the werewolves. First, I hate lycanthropes in DnD. They are a fantasy staple, but mechanically I think it's the weakest section in the MM. Second, why werewolves? It's maybe fun to call them salty sea dogs and all that, but in published work, you are pretty much stuck with rats or wolves. Wouldn't weresharks be cinematic and fun in this encounter? A pirate falls off the rigging after setting your sails on fire and turns into a shark on his way into the water. Hybrid sharks aren't attacking your sailors - they're biting through the rigging. One monstrous shark is on deck reducing the Spite to a skeleton crew. Also, screw fiendish. You don't get much for the extra CR (might as well be another 2-3 HD at that level), and the lycanthropes have better DR.

    There's so much material here I could type forever. I would limit the adventure to:

    The assassination and aftermath (Jade Monkey just teleports back to the Pride
    Were-shark pirates attack!
    The assault by the Sons of Onayaku
    The ambush at landfall (though I think the psion would delay the attack until some of the party's preparation had worn off...or he would offer evidence leading the party to the huge centipede instead of toward the Titan Fall).
    The locals who worship the centipede.
    Ambush at rope bridge (a classic!)
    A sacred site where the PCs get more of the puzzle but are ambushed by flaming ghosts and such.
    The traps and riddles of the Tomb of the Titan.
    A glimpse of the fire giant and his adventuring party from far away.
    An encounter where the lich betrays his party and leaves them to deal with the PCs while he does his thing. I think the paladin of tyranny shines here.
    Finale. Eleven encounters plus intro, resolution, sidebars and indexes, including new monsters like your effigy rip-off. Sorry. I meant 'riff-off'. : }

    The rest is pretty good stuff, but can wait for another adventure. I think the most exciting encounter here is the one I would modify the most (well, the weresharks are heavily-modified, too): I would have local archers on yrthaks attacking a rope bridge. Probably locals would be chasing the PCs through the wilderness at some point before they suddenly stopped and gave up. Do they know something about the territory the PCs just crossed into? Or have they done their job and hered the party toward a high-flying death?

    Great adventure, Boomer. I should say, TWO great adventures. I cast no votes til I've read all four, but this strikes me as a fantastic memorable adventure for 15-16th level characters. Worthy of comparison to my all-time favorite island-in-a-bottle: Library of Last Resort.

    Sovereign Court

    Why make this a level gazillion adventure?

    If it had been level 4 or 5 then all of the railroading would have been cloaked (travel and divination magic have forced the railroading into the open).

    Maybe you'd have lost some huge-statblocked beasts and "half-fiend werewolf pirates" would have become "pirates led by a werewolf captain" but it would have felt better.

    Also, my eyes eventually glazed over with all of the encounters.

    I can't help but think that if Boomer'd had "Low Level" and "32 pages" in bold letters at the top of every page, and perhaps written on his hands, and his face, then this would have been in Recommended Winner territory.

    :: channeling my inner Huey Lewis, pick up the megaphone and interrupt ::
    "Hold it, hold it."
    "I'm sorry. It's just too dang much."


    I almost stopped reading after the initial encounters. Seriously, the 'setup' just bugged me that much. Granted, it's not the full encounter text, but there's several plot holes there. And I found it bothersome that there's no resolution to the Wanted aspect (is the secret society going to fix that? does killing the bodyguard unravel some clue to the plot?).

    Beyond that, you've got some great, original (or at least inventive) encounters. But, yeah, too many. And after Everything you throw at the PCs on the ocean, nope, they cannot get to the island first. *sigh*

    So, would I want to play this as a PC? Well, I might end up missing the whole thing - cause my reaction to the murder might take me right out of the module, depending on my character. If that was addressed, once we got to sea I'd probably have a lot of fun. I'd have no idea who I was fighting or why, and there is little satisfaction in the betrayal / switch-up of who I fight in the final encounter... but I'd probably enjoy each encounter as we went.

    Would I run this as a GM? Not anywhere close to 'as written'. Heck, I might start my group on the boat in pursuit, using a little exposition to fill in details on why.

    I haven't been your biggest fan, but I have always liked what you've given us so far. This one, though, is just too much. Sorry.

    Best of luck.

    WHOA!!!!!! WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I feel like you just told me to "open up" and then uncapped a fire hydrant!

    Dude, you're awesome Boomer, but I think overkill may have cost you. Unless you were going for the newfangled 324 page Gamemastery Module (let's call it B1 for Boomer Adventure). Retails at $59.99.

    I hope that you get to do work for Paizo in the future Broseph, and if you win this, I can't wait to see and play and run your module - unfortunately, IMO, as it stands now, Christine's is the only module that could be a 32 pager and is still crazy imaginative.

    Much Love,


    PS. Thanks for the PSA's, someday they're going to look back at those and use them to blackmail you when you're rich and famous in the Holocube trade (because it's the future, right?).

    I decided to read the entries in reverse order of my past appreciation of the contestant's work. I went this route because I wanted to give each author a chance to impress me before I read work by the others with whom I had been more impressed in the past. After my first pass, I returned to each in order, from best to ... least (none of these are even remotely "worst") and then read what the judges and others had to say.


    I read your entry first, as I didn't "get" why so many were going on about your stuff until you toned down the spice from habañero to jalapeño levels in Impartial Tribunal.

    13th level was an immediate negative for me. I've never run or played in a campaign past the level 12 range and rarely buy adventures above that level, prefering things for the 7-10 range.

    Nevertheless you did hook me with "swashbuckling adventure" and "desperate, high-seas chase". I had to laugh when I read "the villainous agents of Onuyaka, the All-Seeing Eye" - way to throw me (Rob's self-declared Cheerleader) a bone, by appropriating his awesome villain. ;-) I did almost balk at "framed for a high-profile murder" - I've played in two campaigns where that happened to my party at some point and neither situation went at all well.

    You never made me glaze over with this entry, so that was good, although I have to agree with Wolfgang about the "half-fiend werewolves" - Ackk!

    Aside from the obvious railroading I think it could make a great three-part arc - I have to agree with the crowd that there is no way you could fit all of this into 32 pages.

    In the end, this entry would earn a bronze medal from me.

    Congratulations on being in the top 99.5th percentile of RPG Adventure Designers!


    As you've guessed, since you've read Christine's entry by now yourself, there is another writer out there who came a lot closer to a 32 page module than you did, whilst still having amazing ideas.
    I hope that if I explain that my first and foremost criteria for this round has been 'is this a 32 page module?', that you can understand how you've ended up putting yourself out of contention for my vote: I'm voting for a module here, not an adventure path.
    Good luck with the writing though; I suspect that you have a future in writing if you can find a good editor or another writer with years of experience in the industry to work in partnership with. And maybe insert <grin> here in a couple of decades time we'll see a wiser, (slightly) more restrained, Boomer handing out advice to young hopefuls.

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

    Booms, as always, you turned it up to 11 and then some. I love the concept, the adventure is fun and high High HIGH adventure. It's similar in some ways to Savage Tide, but plenty of different twists and turns. But this is like a whole awesome campaign, one module in the city (climax of escaping to the sea), one for the sea voyage (arriving at the island, climax with the mega-ambush there), and another one (or maybe two, one for the jungle and one for the mountain) for the island.

    I haven't read any of the comments except for Wolfgang's quick one right after your entry (have to get back to work), but I will say this. As a DM, I love templated monsters and twists and turns with creature construction (as you probably could tell from my villain) and use them a lot. From a publishing angle, though, I can see Wolfgang's concern. The first adventure I wrote for Dungeon has a mermaid vampire cleric, and her stat block took up an entire page in an adventure that was probably only like 15 pages long, and she wasn't even the main villain. (Let's not even get into the high level shrieking hag cleric/nightcloak of Shar using Shadow Weave Magic from another adventure.) Yeah, you can do it, but you gotta swallow hard because they take up HUGE chunks of word count. More than one or two in an adventure is tough, esp. for DMs who don't take naturally to the gonzo like you and I seem to.

    Anyway, I thought you rocked the house as per usual. I am looking forward to some free time later to finally get to read Christine's. Big ups and best of luck to all of us.

    Well... I really want to see the full version of this adventure, or something very much like it.

    But even after working out the railroading issues and whatnot? I don't think a 32 page module could do justice to this plot. Maybe a short Adventure Path. ^.^

    Clinton, I truly hope Paizo has a place for your gonzo plotting and descriptive skills, but I've gotta throw my vote to Christine this time around. ;.;

    Charles Evans 25 wrote:
    Boomer: With editting (maybe the PCs get called in after the Duke is assassinated, for a start) it might be a pair of books or even a trilogy or adventure path I might look at buying, but I'm not seeing this as a 32 page module, or not without losing what makes it what it is.

    Before the entries were released to us, I read the rules in order to know how to judge once the submissions were available. I've been surprised to see so much concern regarding whether proposals would fit into thirty-two pages, so I reread the rules for this round. Here's how the rules section ends:

    "Lastly and most importantly: Make the proposal awesome."

    Though the other three submissions are great, it's your intrigue, double-cross, escape, sea adventure, and jungle treck that keep running through my head.

    You've done it . . .YOUR PROPOSAL IS AWESOME!

    a great story ... if you start after the assassination. Most groups would not hang around and let themselves get arrested, I know my group
    wouldn't. And obviously it is far too much to put into 32 pages. Besides from that a lot of great ideas and an interesting story. I would rather not have the Three Sons of Onuyaka and their team be slain by their arcane scholar but rather give that opportunity to the players after the encounters that they have had with them. I am certainly looking forward to playing this adventure and that does not happen so often. Good job.

    Dark Archive Dedicated Voter Season 9

    OK so.....some things that are baking my noodle about this:

    1) Why would the Cabal EVER seek to help suspected murders?

    2) Why would the PCs be sent to an abandoned cove, without it being checked out first by people loyal to the Cabal? If I was the PCs and I was told to wait there for the boat and found creatures that want to kill me, I would be a little upset and say the Hell with the Cabal they tried to kill us!!

    3) There is NO way the PCs can get ahead of the other ship. Yeah, choo choo.

    I like the ideas presented here, but I dont think they should all be in one module. Interesting baddies, I like. The story has a very Bourne Identity-Pirates of the Carribean flavor, but just seems to have alot in there. This might be a good 3 issue adventure though.


    I'm switching my vote from Christine to you because I want to the the Adventure Path or series of modules developed from this idea!

    Paizo, if Boomer loses, you want to pay him for a few modules, I am sure of it.

    Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

    I would very much like to encourage all of my awesome Paizo People to both give me more feedback and to vote for me.

    WOW! After reading through your entire entry and knowing how well you've done on prior rounds of this contest. I find myself completely filled with excitement to see this adventue published. I know many people have raised alarm concerning the LARGE amount of material here. However, I feel the need to vote for something I would buy more important than the 32-page adventure limit. With all of the ideas and encounters here, a publisher could easily hit a homerun with a third of the material. Leaving much in the way for additional adventures in the future. After all, Paizo is filling in the map of their world with BOTH Adventure Paths and Game Mastery modules (Adventures). This entry easily can do both with a little bit of editing.

    I have read all four entries this round. Athough the other entries were great and most overshot the mark in quanity, only the Twilight of the Phoenix and your entry make me want to go buy/play them right now! After all, this contest is to win an opportunity to publish an adventure. After it is published, its success and your career will be based on its popularity/economic success! Until the demise of Dungeon and Dragon magazines, I rarely bought published adventures. Of course, now I have bought every Adventure Path and Game Mastery module that has been published. I love that each of these are involved with painting in the details of Paizo's new world and the craftsmanship in creating them. With that in mind, your adventure rings true, although more than 32 pages, it makes me want to buy it immediately. Therefore, you have my vote! Good Luck, I look forward to some incarnation of the Tomb of the Titan being published and perhaps even more from you. I have enjoyed this competition immensely and my congratulations goes out to everyone who has participated in it. Especially, our final four!

    Kid, let me be straight with you: I'm not a big fan of gonzo - heck, I'm not a big fan of the word "gonzo"! I don't think I've voted for you before this round. However, right from the opening summary, I liked your proposal. It made me want to read more, and the more I read, the more I wanted to run this adventure. By the end - when you'd revealed that the Isle of Shattered Godhood was really Skull Island (or, if you prefer, the Isle of the Ape) cranked up to the max - I desperately wanted to read the full adventure. Sure, there's no way it would fit into a 32-page module, but I'm sure I'd buy the whole three-module series. And that says it all, really. Congratulations!

    32 pages might be enough for the stat blocks. For some reason I REALLY liked the dromite angle and the big centipede more than anything else. I got really confused with the villains. There's the all seeing eye, his 3 invisible brothers. A necromancer (not sure where/how he fits) and then the mage that was supposed to be the bodyguard and then another mage in there somewhere I think. And someone who worked for the all-seeing eye but is actually an agent of Asmodeus. Was he one of the mages or one of the brothers or someone else completely? Some big cool ideas, I don't think framed 13th level characters works, but that could be dropped. I also liked the grimlock paladin of tyranny.

    Good luck Boomer!

    Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

    Hi, everybody! Much love to all of my Paizo People - those who voted for me, those who commented, and EVERYONE who took the time to read the submissions!

    I've got some time on my hands over the next couple of hours, so I thought that making good on my decision to do some Designer's Commentary on this Adventure Proposal might be relaxing.

    *cracks knuckles*

    Alright, where to begin? At the beginning, I suppose . . .

    A little bit of railroading goes a long way. This is the Burlington Northern and the Santa Fe.

    Well said, and point well taken!

    As a DM, I'm always trying to find that perfect mixture of gently pushing my players towards the story I want vs. letting their imaginations run wild in the infinite playground of my world-design. Obviously, I may have bogged this one up a little bit by over-forcing the plot.

    The trick that I was trying to pull off was an old one: if you're going to railroad, make the players mad at the Villain, not at the DM. In classic high-octane storytelling, from China Mieville to Steven Spielberg to Ian Fleming to Alexander Dumas, there's a whole TON of railroading - but it's always by the bad guy. My hope was that savvy players would, while the DM ran the game, perceive the set-up as a dirty trick by a scumbag antagonist, rather than as a dirty trick by a scumbag writer.

    Plainly, I may have erred on the side of "get the damn players to follow the damn plot, already".


    NOT RECOMMENDED, but only because there is too much stuff that it wouldnt make a 32 page module.

    Fair enough - I'll freely admit to my utter noobishness at the fine art of guesstimating exactly how much would fit into an adventure, and I gracefully defer to the wiser judgments of professional, wonderful people who actually know what in the Hell they're talking about.

    In preparation for writing this, I got out my much-loved copy of Seven Swords of Sin, and I remember sitting there, churning out prose and rereading that amazing dungeon, going "Boy, this thing is chock-FULL of encounters! I gotta add some more to MINE!"

    If I got a little too epic in scope, it's my own fault - I brought my sledgehammer to the operating room instead of my scalpel.

    Still: I'm flattered that the major issue with my work has been that I brought too much in the way of goods to the table.

    Customer at Chez Paizo: "Garcon?"
    Helpful Waiter Boomer: "Oui?"
    Customer: "This isn't what I ordered."
    Boomer: "I see! Of course, I will correct the mistake immediately, free of charge."
    Customer: "Very well - it is for that reason that I so greatly enjoy this establishment."
    Boomer: "We aim to please! So, sir, is the food cold?"
    Customer: "No, no, it's hot and delicious."
    Boomer: "The wrong order, then, perhaps?"
    Customer: "No, this is exactly what I wanted to eat."
    Boomer: "Is it . . . too spicy?"
    Customer: "No, it has a strong and vital spice without being too overwhelming."
    Boomer: ". . . then what seems to be the problem, sir?"
    Customer: "I ordered the single-serving Awesome."
    Boomer: "Ah?"
    Customer: "This is the Jumbo Family-Feast Awesome."
    Boomer: "Eh . . . maybe you would care for a doggy bag, then?"


    I can't help but think that if Boomer'd had "Low Level" and "32 pages" in bold letters at the top of every page, and perhaps written on his hands, and his face, then this would have been in Recommended Winner territory.

    Now THAT would have been a good idea!

    As it stands, I actually wrote, I swear, the words "The Greatest Movie I've Never Seen" at the top of the first page and kept referencing back to that whenever I got stuck.

    I was aiming for "Clash of the Titan-Pirates of the CarribBourne Identity vs. Raiders of the Lost King-Kong".

    As it turns out, the greatest movie I've never seen is actually a TRILOGY.

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

    Don't feel bad. I was actually slightly relieved that while awesome, your adventure was also clearly too large.

    I had been really really really fearing trying to decide between yours and Christine's final entries.

    I shall expect a repeat performance next year, sir.

    Yes, I'd offer my condolences, Boomer, but I hope you realize they're not overly necessary. In the grand tradition of "It's an honor just to be nominated," I think it's obvious that this was a name-making competition even before the final round. All your entries had a lot of buzz around them, and the biggest issue that your final proposal stumbled over, the implicit size, is a simple issue of experience. And that kind of experience can be picked up a lot faster than creativity and writing talent.

    gbonehead wrote:
    I shall expect a repeat performance next year, sir.

    That would be great, but at the same time, I wouldn't be surprised if by next year Boomer is ineligible under the "Must not have had cover credit on an RPG product" rule.

    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 unscrupulous Dr. Pweent wrote:

    gbonehead wrote:
    I shall expect a repeat performance next year, sir.
    That would be great, but at the same time, I wouldn't be surprised if by next year Boomer is ineligible under the "Must not have had cover credit on an RPG product" rule.

    I sure hope so!

    RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Lord Fyre

    Wolfgang Baur wrote:
    ... until right around "half-fiend werewolf". At that point I just said "What? That's a mechanical nightmare! That's a stat block from Hell!"

    So, I a "Chaos tainted, umbral, half-fiend, lycanthopic (werewolf) gnomish bard/sorcerer vampire" would be a bit over-the-top? =80

    Darn! I had better think of something else then.

    Community / Forums / Archive / Paizo / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2008 / Round 6: Submit an adventure proposal / Tomb of the Titan All Messageboards

    Want to post a reply? Sign in.
    Recent threads in Round 6: Submit an adventure proposal
    Twilight of the Phoenix