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RPG Superstar™ 2010 General Discussion

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Marathon Voter Season 9

Matthew Morris wrote:

Ok, here's an egocentric question.

Depending on the format for the item, I'm thinking about entering, but...

I'm worried if I get ran over by my depression again, falling into another creative rut and just petering out. I don't mean to sound prideful and assume I'd make it into the top 32 again, but I'm worried about getting in, crashing, and denying someone else a slot.

Anyone want to offer their opinion?

(That said, I'm trying to get others in my gaming group to enter as well)

They have alternates for a reason. I hope no one here would hold it against you if your health gets in the way. And i don't believe you should discriminate against your self because of it. So yeah, please go for it :D

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

No Necro talk here, this is all Superstasr!

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

Clark Peterson wrote:
No Necro talk here, this is all Superstasr!

Who knew orcus had the dodge feat?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Zombieneighbours wrote:
They have alternates for a reason.

We only select alternates for the first round. If somebody drops out after that, it just reduces the contestant pool as though that person had been eliminated by voting.

After all, it wouldn't be fair to bring an alternate into round 3 when they hadn't actually participated in round 2...


I have missed all the prior contests due to simply not knowing they were happening until it was too late. I did hang out on the boards, but in the wrong sections and paid scant attention to the icons in the top left-hand corner. This time, I noticed the competition in time purely by chance, but I am not going to miss the opportunity to try enter. I also informed a lot of other people I know who play Pathfinder or D&D about the competition. None of them knew about it before, so at least they are aware of it now, though I don't know how many of them will actually give it a try.

In any case, I have now created my item and it is almost ready to go, though I will give at least one more pass to ensure that it conforms to all the guidelines and hopefully to catch any mistakes that might be there.

One thing I noticed when reading threads on the topic, however, is that some items that were selected by the judges early on were then removed on grounds that the initial impressions were too positive, since the items came too early. My question is whether any of the early items that received favorable reactions from the judges were kept, or is it a disadvantage to submit an item early, because the perceived "novelty" of the item wears off as more (as opposed to simply better) items come in and fatigue sets in? I wouldn't want to be penalized for submitting early, so I will withhold doing so if that is the case.

Also, the competition rules state that all the items become the intellectual property of Paizo, though if published reasonable effort will be made to credit the author. Does this apply also to items that are submitted, but do not make it into the top 32?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Sheyd

I love this contest, submitted in 2008 and made it to the 32, died by Apostrophe in round two. Last year was sick as a dog and didn't find out about the contest until the day AFTER submissions closed. Am definitely going to submit but this time I'm taking my time to think my item out. Neil's (And others) advice to research past contests, and the rules being used cannot be stressed enough. Truth be told in 2008 I got lucky. I found the contest on the day submissions started and came up with an item on the spot simply because I was also building a new setting at the time. A house rule I had on the nature of my item was not what the given rules were but luckily it all still worked out fine mechanically. I'm not relying on luck this year. Which means I'll over think it and bomb out but still, I love this contest! Paizo is the tops of the Cool List of gaming companies for doing this three years running.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Roman wrote:
My question is whether any of the early items that received favorable reactions from the judges were kept, or is it a disadvantage to submit an item early, because the perceived "novelty" of the item wears off as more (as opposed to simply better) items come in and fatigue sets in? I wouldn't want to be penalized for submitting early, so I will withhold doing so if that is the case.

I don't think submitting too early is an issue for that reason. The main disadvantage to early submission is that it gives the submitters more time to discover mistakes they might have made well after it's too late to do anything about it.

On the other hand, I also wouldn't want until the last day to submit either. If some unforeseen circumstance keeps you from getting online that day, you'd be sad.

Roman wrote:
Also, the competition rules state that all the items become the intellectual property of Paizo, though if published reasonable effort will be made to credit the author. Does this apply also to items that are submitted, but do not make it into the top 32?

This applies to all items. As with past years, we have no current plans to publish any of them; that clause was provided by our lawyers, and is mainly there to protect us from being sued if, in the future, we coincidentally publish something similar to something somebody submitted.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Vic Wertz wrote:
The main disadvantage to early submission is that it gives the submitters more time to discover mistakes they might have made well after it's too late to do anything about it.

I think Vic makes a great point. One of the most useful things you can do is set aside something you've worked on for several days. Then, come back to it and review it with a whole new perspective. You'll be surprised how much better your insights become on it. And, if you've still got the time, you can refine it before you submit.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Roman wrote:
My question is whether any of the early items that received favorable reactions from the judges were kept, or is it a disadvantage to submit an item early, because the perceived "novelty" of the item wears off as more (as opposed to simply better) items come in and fatigue sets in? I wouldn't want to be penalized for submitting early, so I will withhold doing so if that is the case.

I don't think submitting too early is an issue for that reason. The main disadvantage to early submission is that it gives the submitters more time to discover mistakes they might have made well after it's too late to do anything about it.

On the other hand, I also wouldn't want until the last day to submit either. If some unforeseen circumstance keeps you from getting online that day, you'd be sad.

OK, in that case I will submit tomorrow. Yes, I could always find more mistakes later, but such is life.

Vic Wertz wrote:
Roman wrote:
Also, the competition rules state that all the items become the intellectual property of Paizo, though if published reasonable effort will be made to credit the author. Does this apply also to items that are submitted, but do not make it into the top 32?
This applies to all items. As with past years, we have no current plans to publish any of them; that clause was provide by our lawyers, and is mainly there to protect us from being sued if, in the future, we coincidentally publish something similar to something somebody submitted.

Fair enough, but could somebody publish his own item (that did not make it to top 32) as a third party publisher or with a different company (say in a book of magic items)? How about just 'publishing' it for free on his own website?

I also have one more question. Your technical efforts on these boards, Vic, are valiant, but let's face it, formatting on these boards can be difficult. I always have problems if I want to post tables, for example. OK, so the submission will contain no tables, which are the most difficult to get right, but it would still be nice to be able to test-post the item somewhere to make sure it comes out right.

Obviously, posting the items would enable the judges to link them to our identities, so it is grounds for disqualification, but would it be acceptable to post the item on an obscure part of the board, look at it for a few seconds to check the formatting and then immediately delete it? The probability of the judges seeing it would be close to zero and it would enable us to get the tricky formatting right.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Roman wrote:
...would it be acceptable to post the item on an obscure part of the board, look at it for a few seconds to check the formatting and then immediately delete it?

The submission screen for posting includes a "preview" button. You can cancel after previewing it and never post. Last year, I used that (especially during the stat block round) to make sure my formatting came out right before clicking the final "submit" button.


NSpicer wrote:
Roman wrote:
...would it be acceptable to post the item on an obscure part of the board, look at it for a few seconds to check the formatting and then immediately delete it?
The submission screen for posting includes a "preview" button. You can cancel after previewing it and never post. Last year, I used that (especially during the stat block round) to make sure my formatting came out right before clicking the final "submit" button.

Excellent! The submission screen is not ready yet, so I didn't know that, but that is a very useful feature indeed!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Roman wrote:
Fair enough, but could somebody publish his own item (that did not make it to top 32) as a third party publisher or with a different company (say in a book of magic items)? How about just 'publishing' it for free on his own website?

Nope. Don't submit anything you'd like to publish later.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

NSpicer wrote:
Roman wrote:
...would it be acceptable to post the item on an obscure part of the board, look at it for a few seconds to check the formatting and then immediately delete it?
The submission screen for posting includes a "preview" button. You can cancel after previewing it and never post. Last year, I used that (especially during the stat block round) to make sure my formatting came out right before clicking the final "submit" button.

I'd also advise selecting and copying your text frequently as you massage the formatting, just in case the post monster decides to eat your submission.


Thank you for the answers.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

And check your word count :)

Contributor

Roman wrote:
One thing I noticed when reading threads on the topic, however, is that some items that were selected by the judges early on were then removed on grounds that the initial impressions were too positive, since the items came too early. My question is whether any of the early items that received favorable reactions from the judges were kept, or is it a disadvantage to submit an item early, because the perceived "novelty" of the item wears off as more (as opposed to simply better) items come in and fatigue sets in? I wouldn't want to be penalized for submitting early, so I will withhold doing so if that is the case.

I don't recall any actions by the judges during R1 that penalized someone for submitting an item early (other than stuff like, "you rushed this, you should have spell-checked it first, you had plenty of time to do so").

Now, if there's a case where there's a cool item with a certain theme that comes in on day 1, and we push it to the Keep pile, and a similar item comes in on day 25, in the end we're going to look at both of those items and decide which we want in the Keep pile--which may be one of them, both, or (if the other items are especially strong) neither. So you're not penalized by being the first or last to submit an item; if two cool sorcerer bloodline items come in, the presence of one in the Keep pile doesn't exclude the other one.

Contributor

Vic Wertz wrote:
On the other hand, I also wouldn't want until the last day to submit either. If some unforeseen circumstance keeps you from getting online that day, you'd be sad.

Which, if I recall correctly, happened last year--some people waited until the last few minutes to submit their item, and lag or a local connection problem on their end meant they missed the deadline. :(

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

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Which, if I recall correctly, happened last year--some people waited until the last few minutes to submit their item, and lag or a local connection problem on their end meant they missed the deadline. :(

And in year 1's round 2, someone being late on their submission (time confusion) got me in to the contest as an alternate. So leave yourself wiggle room! :)

I think I did almost all of mine 15-30 min ahead minimum. I recall one was close-ish.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Roman wrote:
One thing I noticed when reading threads on the topic, however, is that some items that were selected by the judges early on were then removed on grounds that the initial impressions were too positive, since the items came too early.

I mis-read what you wrote here until I saw it quoted in Sean's response.

Please let me set the record straight, since I can speak for both years, there has NEVER been a situation where an item was "removed on the grounds that initial impressions were too positive."

I'd love to have that problem. ;)

Maybe I am misunderstanding your comment.

There is no better time to submit your item then when it is ready and you are done with it. Whether that be right away or at the last minute. Both have their pluses and minuses. Early submissions have little to be judged against, so an item that may only be good may seem great. Then again, an item that is perfectly good may not seem good enough and get discarded knowing tons more are coming. Similarly, later on when there are hundreds to judge a gem may be passed over just because we have literally so many to review. But then again, later on we have a better feel for the average submission and know when something is definitely above average.

All that said, I can honestly tell you that it was pretty darn easy for us to find 20+ both years that were really awesome. And another 20 more that were really great. The drop off in the first year was more severe after the batch of good ones. The second year, cutting the top 32 was harder, most likely due to increased professionalism of submission from feedback and guidance from year 1 (or so I like to think anyway).

Bottom line: a great item is a great item and will stand out no matter when submitted. That much has been clear both years.

I see no advantage either way to submitting early or late. Just make sure you submit.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Lilith wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
If you get picked for the top 32, or if you ask Clark to critique your item after you aren't, take the critism to heart but not personally.
"Don't take it personal - just take it seriously."

Very well said, what's it from?

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Justin Sluder wrote:

"Don't take it personal - just take it seriously."

Very well said, what's it from?

Lilith :)


Clark Peterson wrote:
Justin Sluder wrote:

"Don't take it personal - just take it seriously."

Very well said, what's it from?

Lilith :)

Wish I could take credit for it, but I'm 99% sure I heard it on Hell's Kitchen from Gordon Ramsay. What can I say, I'm a sucker for any TV show that involves cooking. Applies to a large chunk of life, I think. :D

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

Lilith wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
Justin Sluder wrote:

"Don't take it personal - just take it seriously."

Very well said, what's it from?

Lilith :)
Wish I could take credit for it, but I'm 99% sure I heard it on Hell's Kitchen from Gordon Ramsay. (What can I say, I like any TV show that involves cooking. :P ) Applies to a large chunk of life, I think. :D

As a former chef, I have to chime in here, (not only to strike back at TV chefs, but to back up Lilith) and say that trying is the first (and hardest) step of doing something. No matter what the task. So, please, everyone, give it a shot.


Clark Peterson wrote:
Roman wrote:
One thing I noticed when reading threads on the topic, however, is that some items that were selected by the judges early on were then removed on grounds that the initial impressions were too positive, since the items came too early.

I mis-read what you wrote here until I saw it quoted in Sean's response.

Please let me set the record straight, since I can speak for both years, there has NEVER been a situation where an item was "removed on the grounds that initial impressions were too positive."

I'd love to have that problem. ;)

Maybe I am misunderstanding your comment.

There is no better time to submit your item then when it is ready and you are done with it. Whether that be right away or at the last minute. Both have their pluses and minuses. Early submissions have little to be judged against, so an item that may only be good may seem great. Then again, an item that is perfectly good may not seem good enough and get discarded knowing tons more are coming. Similarly, later on when there are hundreds to judge a gem may be passed over just because we have literally so many to review. But then again, later on we have a better feel for the average submission and know when something is definitely above average.

All that said, I can honestly tell you that it was pretty darn easy for us to find 20+ both years that were really awesome. And another 20 more that were really great. The drop off in the first year was more severe after the batch of good ones. The second year, cutting the top 32 was harder, most likely due to increased professionalism of submission from feedback and guidance from year 1 (or so I like to think anyway).

Bottom line: a great item is a great item and will stand out no matter when submitted. That much has been clear both years.

I see no advantage either way to submitting early or late. Just make sure you submit.

Alright, thanks for the extensive answer. :)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

As a wise set designer once said: "The first thousand drawings are the hardest. They're due on Friday." If you're even slightly tempted to do this, give it a shot! I promise, it doesn't hurt.

Shadow Lodge

I'm ready to go this year! Got a few ideas, now just need to figure out which I'll submit.


...at long last... the Gathering..


MakeItADouble wrote:
...at long last... the Gathering..

Haha! :)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

For some reason, even though I don't plan on submitting my item right away, I'm excited for 2:00pm to roll around!


One should always sign into the welcome thread! Hello fellow contestants, the judges and onlookers! Good luck to all of you, in whatever capacity it requires.

This year's gonna be good. And interesting. Secret challenges all the way up the final round? Hmmmmmm.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

varianor wrote:
Secret challenges all the way up the final round? Hmmmmmm.

I wasn't around the last couple of years this was done- in previous years, were the later rounds revealed before they had even started? I thought the "secret challenge" rounds were standard! This just keeps getting more exciting.

Liberty's Edge

Good luck everyone! I shall see thee on the field of Wondrous Items!


well, for what it's worth i've got a couple/few ideas. i'll throw my hat in the ring as well.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Mike Kimmel wrote:
I wasn't around the last couple of years this was done- in previous years, were the later rounds revealed before they had even started? I thought the "secret challenge" rounds were standard! This just keeps getting more exciting.

Yes. The first year, the contestants knew what each round would cover. Wondrous Item, a Nation write-up for a campaign setting, a Villain with Stat-Block, three Monsters all aligned within a certain theme, an Encounter write-up, and of course, the penultimate pitch for an Adventure Proposal as the final round.

Last year, Paizo shook it up a bit. They trimmed it by one round. But we still had the Wondrous Item round, a Villain (without Stat-Block) round, then a Stat-Block round for your villain plus the curveball of a new Rules Element to include, then a Villain's Lair round (with Map), and finally the Adventure Proposal again. They threw in some "secret" twists like the Rules Element addition in Round 3 and the fact that you had to design a Villain's Lair for someone else's villain in the competition (i.e., not your own). But generally, they posted the headings for each of these rounds so you sort of knew what to plan for...

This year? You guys get nothing! It's all "secret" until they reveal the new rules for the next round. And, oh...you've got 3 days to turn around your next submission for the contest. We had 3-day turn-arounds last year (and it was 5 days or a week the first year), but at least we knew what was coming. You guys really have to roll with the punches this time.

Good luck, (::runs out to buy some popcorn::)
--Neil

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7 aka Draconas

MakeItADouble wrote:
...at long last... the Gathering..

There can be only 32!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

NSpicer wrote:
You guys really have to roll with the punches this time.

I think I like this newer approach better. If the later rounds were already revealed, I would already be stressing about them, without even knowing that I was going to be participating.

Besides, we're all role-players here. We should be used to surprises!


I also like the idea of surprises. It is more exciting that way, though there will be a lot more time pressure on those who make it so far.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

It's going to be fun, that's for sure!

I really want to encourage everyone to study Neil's advice, and our prior advice, and enter. It's an amazing contest and you lose nothing by entering--yet you have so much to get from it: the joy of completing the task, the accomplishment of submission, the ability to get feedback, the chance of winning, the joy of competition. Its awesome.

Everyone please submit!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Lilith wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
Justin Sluder wrote:

"Don't take it personal - just take it seriously."

Very well said, what's it from?

Lilith :)
Wish I could take credit for it, but I'm 99% sure I heard it on Hell's Kitchen from Gordon Ramsay.

I definitely heard it from Gordon Ramsay.

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

I'll be shooting for getting an entry in this go round. Missed last year's deadline, but I should be able to get something in this year.

Good luck all!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

zylphryx wrote:
I'll be shooting for getting an entry in this go round. Missed last year's deadline, but I should be able to get something in this year.

You realize I'll have to root against you for stealing my hat at PaizoCon, right? ;-P

Liberty's Edge Contributor , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

NSpicer wrote:
zylphryx wrote:
I'll be shooting for getting an entry in this go round. Missed last year's deadline, but I should be able to get something in this year.
You realize I'll have to root against you for stealing my hat at PaizoCon, right? ;-P

You need to update your advice, Neil. "Don't steal a personal item from someone who will have influence in the next RPG Superstar contest." :)

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

NSpicer wrote:
zylphryx wrote:
I'll be shooting for getting an entry in this go round. Missed last year's deadline, but I should be able to get something in this year.
You realize I'll have to root against you for stealing my hat at PaizoCon, right? ;-P

Dang! I had hoped you had forgotten about that one! Besides, I blame the Taldor Faction leader for really, really, REALLLLY wanting your hat. ;)

And it was more like borrowing it ... after all, I did ask you for it ... the best rogues always make it seem like their victims were at fault. :)

But we are both from the Tarheel state, so I can always play the "root for the home team" card. ;)

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

taig wrote:
NSpicer wrote:
zylphryx wrote:
I'll be shooting for getting an entry in this go round. Missed last year's deadline, but I should be able to get something in this year.
You realize I'll have to root against you for stealing my hat at PaizoCon, right? ;-P

You need to update your advice, Neil. "Don't steal a personal item from someone who will have influence in the next RPG Superstar contest." :)

Yes, yes, perhaps that would be good advice to follow .. ;)

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

zylphryx wrote:
taig wrote:
NSpicer wrote:
zylphryx wrote:
I'll be shooting for getting an entry in this go round. Missed last year's deadline, but I should be able to get something in this year.
You realize I'll have to root against you for stealing my hat at PaizoCon, right? ;-P

You need to update your advice, Neil. "Don't steal a personal item from someone who will have influence in the next RPG Superstar contest." :)

Yes, yes, perhaps that would be good advice to follow .. ;)

Good luck in the contest, zylphryx. Perhaps one of us can get a North Carolina repeat.

Shadow Lodge

Good luck this year, everyone! :)

Scarab Sages

I am happy to see this event again!

Now to get to work...

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

taig wrote:
zylphryx wrote:
taig wrote:
NSpicer wrote:
zylphryx wrote:
I'll be shooting for getting an entry in this go round. Missed last year's deadline, but I should be able to get something in this year.
You realize I'll have to root against you for stealing my hat at PaizoCon, right? ;-P

You need to update your advice, Neil. "Don't steal a personal item from someone who will have influence in the next RPG Superstar contest." :)

Yes, yes, perhaps that would be good advice to follow .. ;)

Good luck in the contest, zylphryx. Perhaps one of us can get a North Carolina repeat.

Best of luck to you as well Taig ... hopefully we'll have the state nickname hold true and one or both of us will stick in the competition until the end.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 aka tejón

The "don't post it online" bit is pretty straightforward and sensible, but my initial plan had been to draft up a few different items, refine them a bit over the first two weeks, then show them to a few local friends and see which one gets the most "ooh, neat!" responses and polish that one for submission. While obviously there's nothing stopping me from just doing that, I'm curious: does the sounding-board technique violate the spirit of "we want to see how good a designer YOU are" which was mentioned earlier in the thread?

Edit: Aha... Neil's advice elsewhere in the forum is to do exactly this. So I suppose I'm good. :)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

tejón wrote:
Edit: Aha... Neil's advice elsewhere in the forum is to do exactly this. So I suppose I'm good. :)

It's a fine line to walk, Tejon. Showing someone something to get their reaction to it versus asking someone to help you design it are two different things. Make sure you understand the difference. Because it's not a "team design" competition. You need to show that YOU have the creativity and professionalism to tackle each challenge head-on. But it still helps to have a sounding board to help you know when your idea just isn't working for someone other than yourself. :-)

--Neil

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