RPG SuperStar 2012 Total Number of Round 1 Entries?


RPG Superstar™ 2012 General Discussion

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Shadow Lodge

Just curious, anyone have a total of how many were submitted this year, and how that compares to previous years?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

They won't reveal the actual number, but I believe one of the judges has stated it is a record number (again!) this year.


Record number...ugh. So here's my take on this. And its been said before. Revealing the numbers would detract from its popularity. Take American Idol for example, tens of thousands vye for the spot to make a good enough impact to make it to just the show, then its a serious brutality of judging (no offense here Clark, Sean, etc.) AND in public scrutiny. So record numbers doesn't phase me that much so long as my quality it there, I will be happy just submitting, but anything further than that would be awesome-sauce!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The number of entries was quite a bit higher this year.

Unfortunately, so was the number of people who didn't follow the basic rules—especially this past week, for some reason. So many items came in without any of the required info!

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

They did generally state that last year was a good margin over a thousand. More again this year would suggest at least 1500 or so. Good luck to all!


Vic Wertz wrote:

The number of entries was quite a bit higher this year.

Unfortunately, so was the number of people who didn't follow the basic rules—especially this past week, for some reason. So many items came in without any of the required info!

Ah economies of scale never, ever fail...

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 recall that the first year, they did announce the number of entries, and it was around 830 - 850. I also am fairly sure that each year since then, they've announced that there were more entries than the previous year, with last year being significantly over 1000. I'd be very surprised if there weren't at least 2000 entries this year (not that I'll ever know...)

Shadow Lodge

That's cool, thanks all, I didn't need a hard number, just a ballpark figure, so that works.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

I think this has been answered but Im tired. Is there a reason the number is not given?

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

Valmar - okay, they got a ballpark's worth of entries.


FireHawk wrote:
I think this has been answered but Im tired. Is there a reason the number is not given?

I can’t speak for the judges, but… The conventional wisdom on this type of thing is you always want your contest to seem popular or business successful or whatever. If you reveal the numbers then…

A) It may not meet everyone’s expectation of ‘popular’. Kind of kills the hype.
B) It can be compared to similar contests by other organizations and may not measure up. Kind of diminishes the prestige of winning.
C) It can be compared to past years and, again, may not measure up. Kind of makes it look like the popularity is waning and gives the impression that its old news or something else has gone wrong.

As long as they the numbers are growing, expect them to mention that a lot. And without giving actual numbers they can always say ‘more than last year’, ‘record breaking’, ect even if the number only grows by a small amount. But if the number goes down they will go mum or fall back on ‘we never give out numbers’.

There is also an even more cynical aspect. People may not trust the numbers or suspect padding. For example, if they say there were 1,500 entries. That seems a little too ‘round’ to be true. Best to avoid that type of thing.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

Yeah, I suppose you're right that giving out hard numbers could "kill the hype," so to speak.

As far as I can tell though, I think they don't want huge numbers to discourage people from entering each year. People might start to see it like a lottery, and figure it's not even worth entering because the odds seem so slim.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

There's all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is we want people to enter! The number of people who enter is a lot, because it is a popular contest, but it is not so many that your chance to be selected is impossible. How about that? :)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Hodge Podge wrote:
As far as I can tell though, I think they don't want huge numbers to discourage people from entering each year. People might start to see it like a lottery, and figure it's not even worth entering because the odds seem so slim.

Exactly.


I don't see "record numbers" as a lottery. Rather, it makes me wish I hadn't waited so long to submit my entry. It has me worried the judges won't get to mine, or at the very least be burnt out by the time they do get to it.

But then, I'm kind of a worrier by nature.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

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Don't worry. We'll get to them and give them all the attention they deserve. That's always been a commitment from the very start.

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

I just have to remember to be early in the "please comment on my item" thread this year :)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

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Jason Rice wrote:

I don't see "record numbers" as a lottery. Rather, it makes me wish I hadn't waited so long to submit my entry. It has me worried the judges won't get to mine, or at the very least be burnt out by the time they do get to it.

But then, I'm kind of a worrier by nature.

Don;'t worry. We promise to get to them all. Neil already has (he is a machine) and I should be done today or tomorrow at the latest.


You know - thanks for doing all this as judges. It has to be absolutely daunting to dig through the volume of items you folks get, and it's always interesting to see the results.


Agreed!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

It gets more daunting every year it seems.


Neil Spicer wrote:
It gets more daunting every year it seems.

A more tempting set-up for a mother joke I have never seen on these boards.....

Sorry Neil!

*item magically disapears*


(Semi-/Sorta-/Kinda-) sorry (-ish/mabye/a bit) for adding to it!

Scarab Sages

Vic Wertz wrote:

The number of entries was quite a bit higher this year.

Unfortunately, so was the number of people who didn't follow the basic rules—especially this past week, for some reason. So many items came in without any of the required info!

Are you talking about formatting issues or just missing information like cost, Caster level, etc? That's kind of strange, seeing as how the round 1 rules have the format information right there ready to paste into your entry.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

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Let me just say this: thank God for Neil. He is the man.

Neil is an absolute machine. Except for last year, I've judged every year of the contest. That has been a ton of work. But I have NEVER seen a judge do what Neil has done--he has reviewed EVERY item with a detailed critique. I've never seen it. It is so impressive, I can't explain it.

Now maybe it has something to do with the fact that he came up through the contest. But even so, his level of dedication to not only the process but also the contestant is truly astonishing.

Neil, my hat is off to you, sir.

You are a credit to this contest and an impressive person. Your creativity is amazing and your dedication and commitment is inspirational.

Contributor

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Neil's dedication to RPG Superstar is amazing. If anyone ever criticizes the contest, they should remember that Neil gave comments on every single item submitted.

I'm sure if you C&P'd all his comments into one document, they'd be at least 16 full pages of text.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

16? More like 50. :)


Complimenting Neil on giving his opinion is like complimenting a crack addict for smoking a bunch of crack.

Of course he is gonna put his oppinions on everything... he's addicted to it!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Matthias_DM wrote:
Of course he is gonna put his oppinions on everything... he's addicted to it!

Just to demonstrate my extreme level of obsessive compulsiveness, I shall now note that it should be "opinions" not "oppinions"... ;-P

@Clark & Sean: /salute

Contributor

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Matthias_DM wrote:

Complimenting Neil on giving his opinion is like complimenting a crack addict for smoking a bunch of crack.

Of course he is gonna put his oppinions on everything... he's addicted to it!

Hey, I'm all about being positive.

"Hey, Neil! Way to smoke all that crack!" :)

Dark Archive Star Voter Season 6

and now i really need to see what Neil said about my item... why is the wait so long!


Aww, I totally missed Superstar entry, been so busy last months. Poopy.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

RonarsCorruption wrote:
They did generally state that last year was a good margin over a thousand.

I've seen a few people *say* that we said that, but I really don't recall any of us saying that. Pointers?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Wolfsnap wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:

The number of entries was quite a bit higher this year.

Unfortunately, so was the number of people who didn't follow the basic rules—especially this past week, for some reason. So many items came in without any of the required info!

Are you talking about formatting issues or just missing information like cost, Caster level, etc? That's kind of strange, seeing as how the round 1 rules have the format information right there ready to paste into your entry.

I'm talking about people who *just* submitted the part that belongs in the "Description" block, with no other stats.


Ok I place two cards down from the deck of many things and ask the judges to pick the one which will provide the information on the volume of entries. The judges unanimously pick the card on the right and it is the vizier card. Who said I had high hopes? Lol. Cheers to you all gentlemen for pouring through AT LEAST 1000. *its in my gut to say thats a safe number to estimate, but likely more; the crystal ball I have is blurry on this*...hmm.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8 aka nate lange

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Clark Peterson wrote:

Let me just say this: thank God for Neil. He is the man.

Neil is an absolute machine. Except for last year, I've judged every year of the contest. That has been a ton of work. But I have NEVER seen a judge do what Neil has done--he has reviewed EVERY item with a detailed critique. I've never seen it. It is so impressive, I can't explain it.

Now maybe it has something to do with the fact that he came up through the contest. But even so, his level of dedication to not only the process but also the contestant is truly astonishing.

Neil, my hat is off to you, sir.

You are a credit to this contest and an impressive person. Your creativity is amazing and your dedication and commitment is inspirational.

I would hate to suggest anything that might add even a hint of extra work to any of the great and gracious judges, but is there any possibility that you might post that critique somewhere (even if in a very raw format people had to sort through themselves) so that those who fail to make the top 32 could get a little feedback?


nate lange wrote:


I would hate to suggest anything that might add even a hint of extra work to any of the great and gracious judges, but is there any possibility that you might post that critique somewhere (even if in a very raw format people had to sort through themselves) so that those who fail to make the top 32 could get a little feedback?

There will likely be a critque my item thread to come so hang on two weeks..=)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Traditionally the "Critique my item" thread shows up the day of the announcement, but doesn't get commented on for a few days so the contestants can bask in the warming, gentle, warming glow of victory for a while.

Sovereign Court Star Voter Season 6

Neil Spicer wrote:
Matthias_DM wrote:
Of course he is gonna put his oppinions on everything... he's addicted to it!

Just to demonstrate my extreme level of obsessive compulsiveness, I shall now note that it should be "opinions" not "oppinions"... ;-P

@Clark & Sean: /salute

lolz...thank you to all the Judges for the hard work...


Clark Peterson wrote:


Don;'t worry. We promise to get to them all. Neil already has (he is a machine) and I should be done today or tomorrow at the latest.

Ok so I pondered this. If you guys are finished (basically) with all the reviews then can I ask another question?

Why the two week delay to "show" who won the top 32 spots? Is there more to this process than reject and pass that I/We am/are not specifically aware of? Is it a round-table this item V. that item for the top spots? Just curious is all.

AM

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ArchMageMyrrendor wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:


Don;'t worry. We promise to get to them all. Neil already has (he is a machine) and I should be done today or tomorrow at the latest.

Ok so I pondered this. If you guys are finished (basically) with all the reviews then can I ask another question?

Why the two week delay to "show" who won the top 32 spots? Is there more to this process than reject and pass that I/We am/are not specifically aware of? Is it a round-table this item V. that item for the top spots? Just curious is all.

AM

I suspect they mean they have done their personal reviews and now need to get together with their respective keeps and start agreeing and whittling down to 32.

The first pass is their own review and keep list - they now have to generate the final 32 and alternates by getting together is my suspicion.


Anthony Adam wrote:

I suspect they mean they have done their personal reviews and now need to get together with their respective keeps and start agreeing and whittling down to 32.

The first pass is their own review and keep list - they now have to generate the final 32 and alternates by getting together is my suspicion.

Ah. I see. I always wonder how this worked out. I thought it might be something like that. Such a daunting task either way you look at it.

Thanks for the insight.

AM

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

Anthony Adam wrote:
I suspect they mean they have done their personal reviews and now need to get together with their respective keeps and start agreeing and whittling down to 32.

From what the judges have mentioned, it can sometimes be quite a fight.

FOR THOSE WHO ARE ABOUT TO JUDGE, WE ... aww, never mind.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

nate lange wrote:
I would hate to suggest anything that might add even a hint of extra work to any of the great and gracious judges, but is there any possibility that you might post that critique somewhere (even if in a very raw format people had to sort through themselves) so that those who fail to make the top 32 could get a little feedback?

I'm guessing you're new to the contest? Every year after the Top 32 go live, there's usually a thread that gets opened up a couple of days later while they're working on their Round 2 entries. That thread is made available so those who didn't make the Top 32 can request a critique from the judges. Clark started that tradition and generally sanitized or summarized the comments the judges made during the review process about someone's item, and occasionally injected some other bit of encouragement or advice if he thought to add something more.

Last year, we threw the curtain back a bit more and literally transcribed just about everything all the judges said about someone's item. But again, they had to post in the "Critique My Item" thread to request that level of feedback. Also, since the commentary from the judges during the heat of quick-fire reviews to sort items into a Keep vs. Reject piles, many of them didn't go very in-depth. Speed is of the essence, especially when we get a huge influx of items right at the very end. So, last year, I took it upon myself (in a fit of insanity) to try and give folks a deeper dive review of their items. But I didn't do it for everyone. I just chose all of the items on the first page, a handful in the middle that I felt could serve as a valuable lesson to everyone, and then after the contest was completely over, I went back and did a few more on request.

I'm not certain I'll do that exact same thing this year. It sort of set an unreasonable expectation when I did it last year. And I usually go way more in-depth than RPG Superstar is really meant to do. My commentary is usually more along the lines of what you'd receive from an editor or developer marking up your text or giving you designer's insight and coaching, I guess. Sean and I have been discussing a slightly different approach this year. Something maybe a bit more manageable. But we'll see as we get closer to revealing the Top 32.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

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ArchMageMyrrendor wrote:
Ok so I pondered this. If you guys are finished (basically) with all the reviews then can I ask another question?....Why the two week delay to "show" who won the top 32 spots? Is there more to this process than reject and pass that I/We am/are not specifically aware of? Is it a round-table this item V. that item for the top spots? Just curious is all.

Basically, what Anthony Adam said. We make an initial pass through all the items, quickly attempting to sort them into Keep and Reject piles. To do that, a majority of judges need to agree it's either a Keep or a Reject. Sometimes, one of us will still override the majority by flagging something as a potential "golden ticket." More on that in a second. But, all you really need to know is that we're going item by item, getting enough judges on record to make an initial Keep or Reject decision, and clearing out the submission folder so we can turn our attention back to the Keeps.

We always have more than 32 items (or 36 counting potential alternates) in the Keep folder. And, when we circle back to assess it, we basically double check how many items had unanimous or mostly unanimous agreement as being Top 32 worthy. Usually, that's a number that's less than 32 items, which means we can quickly cull those items and make them "locks" for a spot in the Top 32. For the remaining spots, we go back and "haggle" over the rest of the items in the Keep folder. If necessary, we divvy up "golden tickets" dividing them evenly between the judges. We then establish a drafting order by which we spend those "golden tickets" and elevate an item we wish to see in the Top 32. And, we go round robin until all the "golden tickets" are spent and the Top 32 (plus 4 alternates) have been filled. The rest of the items still in the Keep folder then get rejected and cleared out of the forum so our guest judges can come in and comment on the items we chose to include in the competition. And, once they're done, that forum gets opened up for the public to see.

So, that's a whole lot of explanation to help you understand the process we use. And, as far as where we are right now, we're still sorting things into the Keep and Reject piles. All of the judges aren't on record yet for everything. I've completed my pass through all of the items. That gets at least one judge on record for everything. Then, the others can establish a majority decision on each item by coming in and adding their own review. We're down to less than a couple of hundred to go on that front. And then, we'll turn our attention back to the Keep folder.

Hope that helps,
--Neil

Liberty's Edge

Fantastic explanation of the selection process.

Thanks a lot, Neil. And thanks to all the judges for the great efforts they are putting into this.

Even though I have never participated yet, this level of dedication deserves the highest recognition.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8 aka nate lange

@Neil
Thanks! I am new to the competition and its exciting to hear that feedback will be available whether I make the top 32 or not.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Neil Spicer wrote:
The rest of the items still in the Keep folder then get rejected and cleared out of the forum so our guest judges can come in and comment on the items we chose to include in the competition. And, once they're done, that forum gets opened up for the public to see.

And in between those two sentences, the judges also clean up their own commentary, which may include a lot of shorthand, or refer to other items in the contest, or do any number of other things that could make it confusing outside of the context of the judges' chambers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I do appreciate the time it takes for even one judge to look at EVERY SINGLE ENTRY, let alone 4 (ish?), but I have a concern, which may just derive from misunderstanding. If Neil has gone through all of the entries tagging them "Keep" or "Reject", does the second judge still look at all the rejects to see if they disagree with Neil or do they not even give them the time of day? I'd just hate for my Item That Does Stuff Upon Activation or Possibly Continuously to be dismissed just because the first judge didn't like it that much when the others may have loved it, if given the chance.

Now, I'm not talking about entries that obviously disregard the rules. 1000 word entries that are descriptions of weapons with no formatting and in Mandarin (or Mandalorian?) don't need to be poured over by every judge just to see that they should be rejected. I'd just hate to see somebody's work thrown away because the first judge wasn't thrilled with a cape that is worn as a bib and takes up the neck slot instead of shoulders. Or, you know, whatever.

Disclaimer - If somebody really did any of those things, it wasn't me, I just got lucky

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

A single judge will only ever move an item to the reject pile if it clearly violates the rules of the contest (not a wondrous item, over word count, not English, etc.). Otherwise, it takes at least two judges to reject an item (and even items that have been rejected by two judges could be saved by another judge if they really thought it was worth it).

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