Round 4 exit poll


RPG Superstar™ 2011 General Discussion

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

List who you are voting for here, results will be updated ~once a day and tallied by me here.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

The Rotting Kremlin.

Followed by The Black Mirror, and then the Broken Crucible Foundry.

And that's it.

Liberty's Edge

I am going to have to read each of the entries in exacting detail before I make up my mind.

I will say this though, and I'm disappointed to say it: there isn't a single one of these maps that I when I saw it in a module I would say "Cool map!"

And having a cool map is just not optional. It's the single most important element of any module design. A great map can't outright save a bad module, but a poor one can sink an otherwise decent effort.

The Black Mirror came closest to reaching for "cool" potential in this group, but even that one was just *too damn busy* and the appendage shaped rooms lost my suspension of disbelief. Sorry - not buying into that one.

I do, however, think both the Broken Crucible Foundry and Razorbreath Chasm were each very serviceable maps. While they didn't dare to reach for cool (and fall short) they both reached for acceptable - and both attained it.

In the end though, I can't say as I REALLY liked a single one of these maps. So, collectively, sorry about that guys, but I don't think any of these maps are "Superstar" calibre. To be clear, from each of your writing and design work to date -- it's abundantly clear that several of you have the design chops otherwise.

So... what do I take away from that? I'm not sure. Perhaps the time pressures had a lot to do with it? Perhaps it's easy for me to pooh=pooh someone's entry from the comfort of my swivel chair without feeling any of the pressure myself I guess. (And yes, really, I am very sensitive to that.) I am quite sure that my critic glasses could use a little reversing.

Still, all that said, this stuff just didnt' grab me, map wise.

Which means this will come down to the coolness of the encounters and how decently written the balance of the submissions are, contrasted with one another. That approach is going to suit some entrants more than others as far as I can determine.

Off I go to read.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Alright, after reading through them all I could only find 2 to vote for:

Cody Coffelt - The Broken Crucible Foundry
Jerall Toi - The Old Cassomir Dollhouse

I might find more to vote for after further reading.

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

Jerall Toi — The Old Cassomir Dollhouse
Sean McGowan — The Rotting Kremlin

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8 aka Anry

The Broken Crucible Foundry
Red Snow Ravine
The Black Mirror
The Rotting Kremlin


I voted for:

Sean McGowan — The Rotting Kremlin (I love mazes. The hunt is a nice idea, and the trap is neat. I would probably re-work some things, but I see this round about ideas, and I like Sean's ideas. I look forward to seeing his adventure).

Cody Coffelt — The Broken Crucible Foundry (Great idea to use the chase rules. Interesting place to set it, though I would prefer not to have such a boxy map. I am looking forward to seeing his adventure).

John Bennett- Apep's Head (I like how he thinks big. I want to read an adventure from someone who thinks big; and the adventure was decently interesting).

Trevor Merback — Razorbreath Chasm (I liked the ice, the traps, and the setting. The 'hook' was a bit weak, but since I have four votes, he gets the last one).

Star Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In no particular order:

Cody Coffelt — The Broken Crucible Foundry
Sam Zeitlin — The Black Mirror
Sean McGowan — The Rotting Kremlin
Sam Zeitlin — The Black Mirror

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Shadar Aman wrote:

In no particular order:

Cody Coffelt — The Broken Crucible Foundry
Sam Zeitlin — The Black Mirror
Sean McGowan — The Rotting Kremlin
Sam Zeitlin — The Black Mirror

You know, you can only vote for each candidate once ;-)

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

Mark Moreland wrote:
You know, you can only vote for each candidate once ;-)

We should be able to accumulate votes :-)

Me take on things:
Sam Zeitlin — The Black Mirror
This is the entry that, for me, stands out most. It is evocative, it is challenging, it encompasses a lot of possible interactions and it is downright cool.

Trevor Merback — Razorbreath Chasm
A hunter chasing the PCs is a nice turn around. I see the chasm as the final confrontation with a villain that bothers the PCs for a long time and it is memorable and works well.

Every one else submitted interesting settings, but I would have to redo almost all of the encounters itself because they are all wonky in a way that some things simply don't work and my PCs would make shish'kebap out of almost all villains in next to no time...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Black Mirror, Razorbreath Chasm, Rotting Kremlin and Broken Crucible Foundry.

Star Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Shadar Aman wrote:

In no particular order:

Cody Coffelt — The Broken Crucible Foundry
Sam Zeitlin — The Black Mirror
Sean McGowan — The Rotting Kremlin
Sam Zeitlin — The Black Mirror

You know, you can only vote for each candidate once ;-)

I just liked it that much.

Actually, it's probably good I messed that up, as I keep wavering back and forth on my last vote.

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

I voted for, listed in no particular order:

Artus Nemati — Ruined Temple of Saint Braxtus
Cody Coffelt — The Broken Crucible Foundry
Sean McGowan — The Rotting Kremlin
Trevor Merback — Razorbreath Chasm

Note that across the board, I think the high CR encounters were underpowered or didn't handle their CR well.

Frankly, Sean's Rotting Kremlin was the only shoe-in despite some flaws, many of which have been pointed out. Kremlin? I (now) know it's a generic Russian word for castle - I looked it up - but like someone said, it's like having a fort called The Pentagon.

I think Artus' Ruined Temple dropped the ball and used the Gentleman Knave incorrectly, but I liked a lot of what was there; I just think the Knave should be portrayed as on the side of the PCs (or even actually on their side for this encounter).

Cody's Broken Crucible was interesting, but all things considered it seemed a little formulaic to me - kind of old school like the Caves of Chaos or something - we've got forges and molten metal and a temple and dark folk and all kinds of stuff - to some extent he's coasting on past work, I guess.

Trevor's Razorbreath Chasm was pretty well done and the writing was good, but it was way underpowered for the CRs it was aiming for, and I would have expected more of a The Most Dangerous Game vibe from an encounter with him, and this was pretty standard stuff.

I am disappointed that 3 of the 8 entries used the same villain, and it wasn't even one I liked all that much.

Ethan Day-Jones' Red Snow Ravine was kind of flat, and, well, I have a hard time getting over the map looking like an intestine - plus it's another underpowered one. Again, I'm looking for The Most Dangerous Game, but here I felt like I got Generic Bad Guy Lair #7.

I almost voted for Jerall Toi's Dollhouse, and then realized it was actually Varstrius the doll collector that I liked, and other than the flesh golem idea (nicely creepy) it was pretty meh.

John Bennett's Apep's Head and Sam Zeitlin's Black Mirror felt more like old-school Gamma World to me than Pathfinder - yeah, I know Numeria is out there, but we've got robots and lasers and pounds of skymetal and stuff just floating around willy nilly.

Star Voter Season 8

My main problem with a lot of the entries in this round is how easy it would be for a group of level-appropriate PCs to avoid the encounters completely. Maybe it's just the people I play with, but one of my biggest challenges as a GM is crafting challenges that the players cannot (or will chose not to) avoid. For example:

Broken Crucible Factory- What if the players don't decide to follow Tarvin? Will he continue running if he doesn't see pursuit (if a character follows stealthily/ invisibly)? What if the party mage follows him while flying? This encounter could very easily end on the streets, with the characters never getting to the (admittedly awesome) factory sequence.

Red Snow Ravine- Same flying problem (this is why dungeons, with ceilings, are convenient). Also, it seems like a lot of the challenge is centered around the frozen pond, and I'm not sure why intelligent players would ever position their characters on it.

Apep's Head- I don't even understand how this encounter happens. If the characters don't want to kill Voracek, why don't they just take the macguffin and leave? If they /do/ want to kill him, why didn't they do so in their 'previous encounter' with him? Add, of course, the flying (or spider climbing or levitating) problem, and the characters might never need the bridge or disc.

The Black Mirror- Less of a problem, but if they can see the chanting slaves when they arrive, why would the PCs do anything but beeline towards that encounter? In which case, why even have the rest of the map?

Rotting Kremlin- Flying over the maze, but even more easily, leaving again and climbing over the wall somewhere like due west of 1b (yes, they'll trigger one trap, but you've still avoided most of the map).

Sorry, this was a bit more than polling data. I voted for the Dollhouse (awesomeness factor, especially the creepy flesh golem), the Black Mirror (on the strength of its writing), and Razorbreath Chasm (for good writing, strong use of the damsel in distress type, and a solid ambush; despite the horrendous 'development').


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Results for the day:

Top 4:
Cody Coffelt - The Broken Crucible Foundry
Sean McGowan - The Rotting Kremlin
Sam Zeitlin - The Black Mirror
Trevor Merback - Razorbreath Chasm


Voted around 5am this morning btw...

Alphabetically by contestant first name:

Artus Nemati — Ruined Temple of Saint Braxtus
Cody Coffelt — The Broken Crucible Foundry
Jerall Toi — The Old Cassomir Dollhouse
Trevor Merback — Razorbreath Chasm

gbonehead wrote:
John Bennett's Apep's Head and Sam Zeitlin's Black Mirror felt more like old-school Gamma World to me than Pathfinder - yeah, I know Numeria is out there, but we've got robots and lasers and pounds of skymetal and stuff just floating around willy nilly.

My sentiments exactly. Unlike some of the judges, I don't think bigger is necessarily better and neither would fit in my vision of Golarion.


In ABC order:

Cody Coffelt — The Broken Crucible Foundry
Jerall Toi — The Old Cassomir Dollhouse
John Bennett - Apep's Head
Sam Zeitlin - The Black Mirror

gbonehead wrote:
John Bennett's Apep's Head and Sam Zeitlin's Black Mirror felt more like old-school Gamma World to me than Pathfinder - yeah, I know Numeria is out there, but we've got robots and lasers and pounds of skymetal and stuff just floating around willy nilly.

I disagree. One of my favorite parts about this contest is seeing the different niches that people chose to explore(chase rules, sabotage rules, etc). The published modules themselves have different flavors that appeal to different people. Not everyone will be into giant robots, but some people are going to love it, same with the skymetal tar pits.

So onward with the originality!

I hate people who use quotes at the bottom of their emails, but I think in this case, this one sums it up better than I can:
"It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in immitation." - Herman Melville

Keep up the good work all. Congrats to everyone who made it this far and thanks for putting the results of your hard work up for all of us to criticize from the safety of our computers.

Scarab Sages

Ruined Temple of Saint Braxtus

The Broken Crucible Foundry

The Old Cassomir Dollhouse

The Black Mirror


My current superstar remains in the race, but I am afraid it has more to do with poor entries from other contestants than by his own merit. Regardless, I chose Bennet every round so far.

John Bennett — Apep's Head (4/4 rounds)
Sam Zeitlin — The Black Mirror (2/4 rounds)
Sean McGowan — The Rotting Kremlin (2/4 rounds)
Trevor Merback — Razorbreath Chasm (2/4 rounds)


The broken crucible, the old cassomir dollhouse.

Star Voter Season 6

Marcus Ewert wrote:

The Rotting Kremlin.

Followed by The Black Mirror, and then the Broken Crucible Foundry.

And that's it.

Different order, but +1.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Nice job all around, Top 8. You should be very proud of your acheivements.

Votes cast:
Ethan Day-Jones — Red Snow Ravine
Jerall Toi — The Old Cassomir Dollhouse
Sam Zeitlin — The Black Mirror
Sean McGowan — The Rotting Kremlin

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'm voting for:

John Bennett — Apep's Head
Sam Zeitlin — The Black Mirror
Trevor Merback — Razorbreath Chasm


Artus Nemati - Ruined Temple of Saint Braxtus

Jerall Toi — The Old Cassomir Dollhouse

Sam Zeitlin — The Black Mirror

Sean McGowan — The Rotting Kremlin

I was VERY conflicted in using all 4 votes, when some of my votes only got thru on their past work, and some whose current round I liked but their previous work was shoddy... Voting for all for when only 4 can advance potentially puts them in competition which each other, but it just felt the right choice at this stage.


I voted for the Dollhouse. At this point I think it's more effective to just vote for one or two to do my best to get see the adventures I want to see.


What do you mean by that Cassey?
That you want to see an adventure with the Dollhouse and Varstrius?
I don`t think the final round competitors will necessarily be doing an adventure based on their map/encounter...
I could be misunderstanding you though.. ;-)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Here is the standings so far:

Sam Zeitlin - The Black Mirror
Cody Coffelt - The Broken Crucible Foundry
Sean McGowan - The Rotting Kremlin
Jerall Toi - The Old Cassomir Dollhouse

Full results

Dark Archive

Sam Zeitlin - The Black Mirror
Trevor Merback - Razorbreath Chasm
Cody Coffelt - The Broken Crucible Foundry
Sean McGowan - The Rotting Kremlin

The Exchange

Sam Zeitlin - The Black Mirror
Jerall Toi - The Old Cassomir Dollhouse
Cody Coffelt - The Broken Crucible Foundry
Sean McGowan - The Rotting Kremlin


OK, I`m changing my vote, I`m NOT voting for Jerall Toi`s Dollhouse anymore...
Not because I changed my opinion of it, buth with only 4 advancing, I feel like comparing the whole body of work to this point is important and in that light, and can only vote for 3 choices. Yes, I am an evil meta-gamer... 8-/

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Demiurge 1138

Sam Zeitlin - The Black Mirror
Jerall Toi - The Old Cassomir Dollhouse
Sean McGowan - The Rotting Kremlin
Trevor Merback - Razorbreath Chasm

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

The Black Mirror: IMO, the coolest of this years encounters by far.

The Broken Crucible Foundry: when you can make a seasoned DM instantly start thinking of ways to tweek your encounter to maximize it for his players you've got a winner.

Ruined Temple of Saint Braxtus: I completely disagree with the way the villain was used in this encounter. however, there was enough cool stuff going on that i felt Artus deserved a shot.

The Old Cassomir Dollhouse: this one squeaked in because i couldn't force myself to vote for any of the Hoarfrost encounters or the giant robot head.

good luck to all 8 contestants.


Quandary wrote:

What do you mean by that Cassey?

That you want to see an adventure with the Dollhouse and Varstrius?
I don`t think the final round competitors will necessarily be doing an adventure based on their map/encounter...
I could be misunderstanding you though.. ;-)

A sign that I shouldn't be online at 3am :0 I meant seeing adventures from the people I think are Superstar.

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

After considering past work as well as the current round, my votes:

Cody Coffelt — The Broken Crucible Foundry
Jerall Toi — The Old Cassomir Dollhouse
Sean McGowan — The Rotting Kremlin
Trevor Merback — Razorbreath Chasm

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

Cassey wrote:
Quandary wrote:

What do you mean by that Cassey?

That you want to see an adventure with the Dollhouse and Varstrius?
I don`t think the final round competitors will necessarily be doing an adventure based on their map/encounter...
I could be misunderstanding you though.. ;-)
A sign that I shouldn't be online at 3am :0 I meant seeing adventures from the people I think are Superstar.

Yeah. Voting was hard for me this round; it was easy to confuse liking a villain with liking a location, for example.

Much more than last year, I looked at the whole body of work in addition to the submitted location and encounter.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

The only one that really caught me was Red Snow Ravine, nothing too bad this round, though Rotting Kremlin bugged me, and Apep's head didn't do it for me. I just quite like Red Snow and can't get behind the others.

Dark Archive Contributor , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Boxhead

Cody Coffelt — The Broken Crucible Foundry
Jerall Toi — The Old Cassomir Dollhouse
Sean McGowan — The Rotting Kremlin
Sam Zeitlin - The Black Mirror

Based both on current round and past work.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Lord Fyre

I went with

Cody Coffelt — The Broken Crucible Foundry
Jerall Toi — The Old Cassomir Dollhouse
Sean McGowan — The Rotting Kremlin
Trevor Merback — Razorbreath Chasm - a tough call, but in the end, I felt it was stronger then The Black Mirror

Grand Lodge Star Voter Season 7

I actually enjoyed this round. Nice job all.

Artus Nemati - Ruined Temple of Saint Braxtus
Cody Coffelt - The Broken Crucible Foundry
Jerall Toi - The Old Cassomir Dollhouse
Ethan Day-Jones - Red Snow Ravine

I felt this was a very close round, and I would have voted for 7 out of 8 of the submissions had I been allowed!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Again with the counting:

Top 4:
Cody Coffelt - The Broken Crucible Foundry
Sam Zeitlin - The Black Mirror
Jerall Toi - The Old Cassomir Dollhouse
Sean McGowan - The Rotting Kremlin

Full results


The old Cassomir Dollhouse and Red Snow Ravine.

Definately my prefered and my only votes being cast.


Cody Coffelt — The Broken Crucible Foundry
Ethan Day-Jones — Red Snow Ravine
John Bennett — Apep's Head
Sam Zeitlin — The Black Mirror


I have read and commented on the entries, but as with previous rounds I have no votes which I wish to declare.
Which isn't to say that there aren't presentations worth voting for - some of the top 8 did excellent jobs in their performances - but Abyssal politics (and a succubus' privilege to decline to commit) being what they are...
<wanders off to put some work in on the end of round posts>

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

Dollhouse, Kremlin, Mirror, Chasm

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

Had a tough time deciding, but I eventually ended up with Broken Crucible Foundry, Apep's Head, Black Mirror, Rotting Kremlin

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

Artus Nemati — Ruined Temple of Saint Braxtus
Jerall Toi — The Old Cassomir Dollhouse
Sam Zeitlin — The Black Mirror

The Exchange

Foundry, Ravine, Kremlin and Chasm for me.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Cody
Sam
Sean
Trevor

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Artus
Cody
Sam
Trevor


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Top 4:
Cody Coffelt - The Broken Crucible Foundry
Sam Zeitlin - The Black Mirror
Sean McGowan - The Rotting Kremlin
Jerall Toi - The Old Cassomir Dollhouse

Full results

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