Congrats to all who entered -- and good luck!


RPG Superstar™ 2012 General Discussion

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Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

If you entered, give yourself a big pat on the back from all of the judges! You deserve it!

Yes, we may nit pick your item, tear it up and throw it in the reject pile. Or we may argue about it and debate its merits and eventually keep it. But that is up to us, not you. YOU did your part by submitting and that in and of itself is a great accomplishment.

So to all those who submitted--awesome work!

Good luck everyone and we look forward to reading all of your submissions (most of which we have already read).

You guys are already winners!

Dark Archive

Thank you for all of your support and encouragement Clark, lots of positive energy is apparent in this contest and it's contagious. :-)

Paizo Employee Director of Game Development , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Congrats to everyone taking that first shaky step towards having your creations widely read and enjoyed by gamers all over the world.

Best of luck to everyone!

Grand Lodge

So if one totally didn't keep a copy of what they submitted. After the 24 when first round is announced....can I see what I submitted, even if someone else can't?

Dedicated Voter Season 8

Adding to everyone else, and everywhere else it has been said:

Good luck everyone, I wish we could all win.
Lacking that, I truly hope the best of us will go on to compete further, and that everyone else will be back for next year (I know I will). May we all learn much more through the time to come, be amazed by the 32 item and humbled by the knowledge, supportive spirit and supreme strength of devotion and will the judges are showing here.

May all worthy items be kept (at least), may only the best go on, and most importantly let the judges not go insane over too many 300+ word, backstory heavy and SIAC items, which really should have been avoided.

Good luck to all contestants, and to the judges, thank you for your time and the best wishes for an enjoyable time with the items.


Looking forward to reading the top 32!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Madgael

Thanks sir for all the encouragement here and elsewhere.

Even if my item gets ripped apart, I already feel like I improved from last year - when I foolishly remembered the deadline time wrong and failed to enter anything.

Feels good to get past that 12 months of self-flagellation, I tell ya...


I just hope my item doesn't suck. Anything better than the auto-reject pile is a win.

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

GarnathFrostmantle wrote:
So if one totally didn't keep a copy of what they submitted. After the 24 when first round is announced....can I see what I submitted, even if someone else can't?

In prior competitions, Cosmo (I believe) was kind enough to provide the text of your submitted item, notably in the "Judges' Feedback" threads. That's not to say it will happen again this year...

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

ANebulousMistress wrote:
I just hope my item doesn't suck. Anything better than the auto-reject pile is a win.

Even an auto-reject is a win. Think about it, even a strike out in a major league at bat is still a major league at bat. You have taken an "at bat" in the bigs by submitting an item. If you strike out, you still took a swing.


Thank you all guys for the support, tips and encouragement!
This is the first year I submit an item (because I found out about RPG Superstar only a month ago) and I'm actually quite new to the Pathfinder RPG. I couldn't be happier about entering this contest, even knowing that my chances of going further in it are incredibly small.

It's worth mentioning that it's not everyday you see a company open its doors for new talents in potential. Both Paizo and we designer wannabes have a lot to gain from this huge gesture.

Thanks A LOT for the opportunity.

Good luck to all!

(And that said, I hope I win)

Shadow Lodge

Thanks Clark!


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

Best of luck to all who entered! Especially me! But, you know, good luck to you folks, too!

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

I recommend people take a walk through memory lane and compare their current entry to their past years' entries to see the improvement. I know my first entry pales compared to my current one. Such a huge improvement in many ways - concept, mechanics, format, and writing. So yeah I'm patting myself on the back no matter the result. RPG superstar is a fun challenge and my fingers are crossed to make it into the almighty 32. Good luck to everyone.


Its awesome to see such a show of community from everybody here! I submitted for the first time this year and at the very least I'm satisfied at that. Good luck to everyone!


Clark Peterson wrote:
ANebulousMistress wrote:
I just hope my item doesn't suck. Anything better than the auto-reject pile is a win.
Even an auto-reject is a win. Think about it, even a strike out in a major league at bat is still a major league at bat. You have taken an "at bat" in the bigs by submitting an item. If you strike out, you still took a swing.

Not to contradict but...

I struck out last year. I've had that at-bat in the big leagues. I want more than to be the same I was last year. I've had a year to improve, a year to work, and I feel I have both in prose and in GMing. I want to see that improvement.

I want to have improved enough to avoid the auto-reject bin. I want to have improved enough to at least have made someone go "hey, that's neat" before round-filing my entry. That's my win. To get a piece of the ball even if I go down swinging.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka burrahobbit

ManyAsOne wrote:
Its awesome to see such a show of community from everybody here! I submitted for the first time this year and at the very least I'm satisfied at that. Good luck to everyone!

This exactly. As a first-time entrant and someone relatively new to the forums, I'm really happy to find everyone so encouraging and supportive, from the judges to the "alumni" to the vast majority of posters and entrants. Best of luck to everyone!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8 aka Ottovar

This is my second year entering. Last year was a blast, following the contest and voting for my favorites. This year will be even better!

Let me raise my tankard of mosca querva and salute each of you.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ANebulousMistress wrote:
I want to have improved enough to at least have made someone go "hey, that's neat"

This.

So much this.

If just one of the judges says this wow (and if I dont make top 32 and brave the voluntary feedback, even one of the community saying this would be awesome sauce).

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Good luck to everyone. Just entering is a worthy experience! I'll be eagerly awaiting the 24th along with everyone else.


Are the items posted for everyone to see or are they just reviewed in private prior to Jan 24?

Star Voter Season 6

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Saradoc-the-Ancient wrote:
Are the items posted for everyone to see or are they just reviewed in private prior to Jan 24?

They are just reviewed in private prior to Jan. 24. In the meantime, peace & joy to all! :)


Thank you Lady!

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

Anthony Adam wrote:
ANebulousMistress wrote:
I want to have improved enough to at least have made someone go "hey, that's neat"

This.

So much this.

If just one of the judges says this wow (and if I dont make top 32 and brave the voluntary feedback, even one of the community saying this would be awesome sauce).

Having turned in unanimously rejected items for every RPG Superstar so far, it would be nice to know that one judge liked my item enough to consider keeping it. :)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

ANebulousMistress wrote:


Not to contradict but...

I struck out last year. I've had that at-bat in the big leagues. I want more than to be the same I was last year. I've had a year to improve, a year to work, and I feel I have both in prose and in GMing. I want to see that improvement.

I want to have improved enough to avoid the auto-reject bin. I want to have improved enough to at least have made someone go "hey, that's neat" before round-filing my entry. That's my win. To get a piece of the ball even if I go down swinging.

I hear what you are saying. You are talking about your goals specifically (to make it past the autoreject) and I was talking about people's goals generally, that entering should be considered a win.

I think we are saying the same thing. I, too, hope that you reach your goal of improving over last year! You always want to grow and progress. But I hope you recognize that just attempting to improve is improvement. I look forward to see how you do. We had a ton of real good submissions this year. I can tell you that the overall average quality of the items was up. So you guys are all improving.

Good luck!

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

taig wrote:


Having turned in unanimously rejected items for every RPG Superstar so far, it would be nice to know that one judge liked my item enough to consider keeping it. :)

I love your continued participation and I, for one, sure hope you made it!

This is such a great community--so supportive and smart. I hope you do well.

Just so you know, when we are judging and item we are looking for superstar. So even if we say reject that doesnt mean we dont like it. I saw lots of items I really liked but for various reasons they werent superstar. So even if we didnt say it, we may still have liked your item.

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

I see your point, Clark. For those who have entered for the first time, it is quite awesome that you put yourself out there.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

I agree with Clark. And add my own thoughts (spoilered, as always, for length):

Spoiler:

I just reviewed some items today and thought, "Might make a book of magic items. Good attention to detail. Just not quite enough innovation and spark to make me think the designer behind it has Superstar potential." That doesn't mean I didn't like the item itself.

That's the difference in how I'm sure a lot of people view this contest. Folks come at it thinking as long as they produce a competently written wondrous item, they should have a leg up on anyone else who had a misstep in presentation or mechanics. That's not always true. And that's because we're not simply looking for the guys who are well-versed in mechanics and know how to follow a provided template. Or those who know their Golarion canon and can properly make reference to its deities, organizations, etc.

Instead, we're looking for designers who have innate creativity and innovative, compelling ideas. Then, once we feel like we have someone who embodies that charateristic, we assess their strengths in mechanics, writing ability, and presentation. Those last three things are what helps separate out the Top 32 from all the folks who had spark that we put into the Keep folder. At least, that's the method I use.

For the first series of item reviews, I look for serious missteps in presentation, mechanics, and writing ability. Things like: totally botching the template (and not just a misstep here or there); completely screwing up the pricing (by overshooting the entire wondrous item price list); a completely broken/abusable mechanic or false assumptions about the item's use; badly written, grammar or misspelled descriptive text; or an item name that's completely inappropriate or silly or out of sync with the item's abilities and descriptive text.

If I find stuff like that, I'm already reaching for the Reject button. And these items sort themselves pretty quickly into those categories, primarily because we can tell who's done their homework and who skipped out on all the lessons that have been offered over the past 5 years of the competition.

Once those items are sorted out, that's when I start looking at the stuff left in the Keep folder. That's where I'm trying to determine which designer I feel has the most potential and creative spark to go on and accomplish great things, not just over the course of the competition's later rounds, but beyond as they start their career in freelancing. So, when we say we're looking for a compelling wondrous item, what we mean is that the item's design is so compelling that it gives us insight into who you are as a designer and what you're capable of producing. We want someone who thinks in innovative ways and has creativity boiling out of them so it naturally inspires the reader. Because that's the type of skill that can be tapped to create some really compelling products in the future. And so, that's what you want to shoot to separate yourself from the pack and make the Top 32.

Thus, just to reiterate Clark's point, congratulations to everyone who took the brave step to offer up a wondrous item for consideration. I certainly consider it an honor to review what you've created and give it serious consideration. And, in truth, what you've done is offer up a part of yourself. That's because you've opened yourself up for us to examine you and not just the item. That takes a lot more courage than many people consciously realize. And though the judges might get frustrated at times by folks that we feel didn't take the contest seriously or didn't do their homework, we're generally doing this because we want to support the hobby and the RPG community, as a whole. If we were doing it for any other reason, we'd be insane for putting in this amount of work.

And it's definitely work! The past two years have seen the largest number of submissions since the contest's inception. Seemingly enough...and I believe either as a result of procrastination on the part of the designers or because of all the judges' commentary during the early submission period...a lot of people waited until the last couple of days to submit. That means a flood of items came through at the last minute. So, the judges are working a bit of overtime these next couple of days to swiftly sort things out. I'm close to being done and I'm sure we'll keep things on track. But, as at least one first-time submitter discovered this year, it's not always good to wait until the last minute. Folks might want to keep that in mind next year and spread things out a bit more, if for no other reason than to keep the judges sane.

So, I guess that's enough for now. I've gone and written another wall of text. Time for me to dive back in and apply some of these words to a few more item reviews. And best of luck to everyone who submitted. Thanks again for taking the time to enrich the hobby with your active participation in RPG Superstar.

My two cents,
--Neil

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Thanks Clark.
Thanks Neil.

This is the stuff that makes the contest fun just to watch.

Thanks Sean and Ryan too, for your hard work and screen-sore eyes!

Congrats to all who entered. I wish you all good luck! :)


I suspect there were some first-time submitters, like me, who only learned about the contest through the email sent on the 4th, and decided it was better to submit an item they knew wassn't great than to not participate at all.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

anglicangeek wrote:
I suspect there were some first-time submitters, like me, who only learned about the contest through the email sent on the 4th, and decided it was better to submit an item they knew wassn't great than to not participate at all.

Good point. And I completely agree. I suspect there were some number of people who only learned about the contest fairly late during the submission period, may not have had enough time to research the contest all that well, and probably rushed their entry. There's really not a whole lot we could have done to help that, I'm afraid. However, I'm glad they still submitted. And I've been trying to temper my frustration with some of the more ill-conceived entries with the knowledge that some of them could have come from one of those folks. What's important, however, is they still took advantage of the opportunity, submitted something, and hopefully they're now engaged enough in the contest that it continues to inspire them as they learn even more about it...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Aelryinth

Is there going to be a review session like last year, where the designer's comments are put forth? That was most helpful, although I know its a lot of work.

==Aelryinth

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

There'll at least be a critique thread. I don't know if we'll conduct it the same as last year. But I guess we'll see...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Aelryinth

thanks!@

==Aelryinth


Neil Spicer wrote:
I suspect there were some number of people who only learned about the contest fairly late during the submission period, may not have had enough time to research the contest all that well, and probably rushed their entry. There's really not a whole lot we could have done to help that, I'm afraid.

Yep, there'll always be lots of folks that submit late. That said, I'd like to have received an email about the contest on 12/4 instead of 1/4. Maybe y'all did send one, and Google decided it knew better than me what I should be reading.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

I believe they sent one even before the contest submission window opened (i.e., sometime in November). And, of course, it's been on the website's blog about a half dozen times throughout. And Facebook. And then again to everyone's email when we were approaching the deadline.

Grand Lodge

My only regret is that, a few days after I submitted, I started having this feeling of knowing why the judges will shred my item to little pieces and throw them in the "reject" bin.

Well, until the 24th there's always hope :-)


Neil Spicer wrote:
I believe they sent one even before the contest submission window opened (i.e., sometime in November). And, of course, it's been on the website's blog about a half dozen times throughout. And Facebook. And then again to everyone's email when we were approaching the deadline.

Yeah, I probably missed the initial email or Google missed it for me. As you said, there are plenty other communication outlets for those who are attuned to Pathfinder, unlike me. And, after all, those are the folks this competition is for, right? (Although I'm sure Paizo didn't mind me spending money on the Core book to refresh my memory of the rules.) I certainly didn't intend to read as ungrateful or slighted, and apologize if I did.


I was one of the people who sent their submissions in the last couple of days. It actually wasn't my first idea, but I ended up needing more time to work on my item. Since it's my first submission, I wanted to be as careful as I could.

Sorry, judges! I just hope you guys have a good time reading our items.


This is my fist crack at this, so the observation I'd make is this. If I didn't try, I'd never know. At least I put something out there. Thanks for the kudos guys.


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I love this place's whole vibe. Whether I finish in the top 32 or fail to make the top 1000, I feel like this competition has reinvigorated my interest in RPGs. I've had a hard time playing regularly the last few years, so it's easy to lose sight of what makes the whole hobby special.

Good luck to all entrants, and good luck to the judges brave enough to wade through several novels worth of words!


Thanks for the thanks! My submission was not only my 1st entry but my first post on the forums! I have loved Pathfinder for a while but never really gotten involved in the community. I guess this is as good an opportunity as any to jump into the community!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

You won't be disappointed. This is the best RPG community going, bar-none.

Liberty's Edge

My first submission as well. I went for practical and long-term (useful from level 1 to 20) with simple mechanics and just enough of a tie to Golarion that it makes sense in the context of the setting, but would be easy to drop in anywhere.

Can't wait to see the winners!

Star Voter Season 6

I'm in agreeance all around.
My first entry this year as well (I just missed it last year) and while I'm pretty sure my item likley didn't make the top 32 (in hindsight I think it lacked the "pop" to make it Superstar), I'm really excited to see the winning entries and to "play along at home," while looking forward to next year!

Oh, and while I'm more of a forum lurker, I've found the community to be an inexhaustable resource full of people passionate about role playing. I've never spent so much time on what is essentially a company website. I attribute much of the activity here to the willingness of Paizo staff at providing feedback, answering questions, and routinely simply interacting with their customers.

The enthusiasm around here, on all sides, is wonderful.

Liberty's Edge Dedicated Voter Season 6

Oh man, I submitted for the first time this year. How can anyone stand waiting almost a month to find out who won? So anxious!

That being said, I really can't wait to see what people made. I've always found these forums a little weird as far as layout goes, but I think I'll start frequenting now.


Thanks for all the congratulations and well-wishes! I'd really love to make it somewhere, but, as difficult as it was to simply submit the thing*, I'm pleased I was able to do so.

I'd really like to get into the top 32, though I'm worried some of my design decisions will nix that possibility. Conversely (unless I'm understanding this wrong), I'd like to avoid getting into the top 32, if I'm not going further, because I'd like to submit next year if I don't win this year.

Good luck, and God's blessings on all the entrants! (And judges, too - wisdom to you and peace during the difficult decisions!)

:D

* Seriously, why is it so hard, and why is it so streeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssffffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuulllllllllllllllllll ?!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka DankeSean

Tacticslion wrote:
Conversely (unless I'm understanding this wrong), I'd like to avoid getting into the top 32, if I'm not going further, because I'd like to submit next year if I don't win this year.

You'll still be able to submit next year if you make it to top 32 (or top 16) and get halted. It's only past that point (top 8 & beyond) that you reach the 'can't enter any future RPGSS' limit.


Excellent, thanks! I remember reading that in the rules, but I couldn't recall which it was right now and it took a few minutes for my browser to decide whether or not it wanted me to even see a preview of the window I'd been writing so, internet speed is a bit intermittent right now. (Seems to be running fast at this moment, however).

Anyway, in this case, I'd really like to make it to the top 32, but not necessarily the top 8! (Depending, of course, on whether or not I think I'd make it!)

Then again, I don't think I'm alone.

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

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I think the wait gets easier every year. Or maybe I'm just that much more jaded than I used to be :)

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