Overall submission quality: Is it just me...?


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

1 to 50 of 212 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

9 people marked this as a favorite.

I just checked in for voting, and feel the urgent need for adding a possibility to declare 'None of these items should advance'.

Out of the first 10 items I saw, precisely zero adhered to the template. I am not talking a wrongly placed semicolon, but all caps instead of bold text, the ubiquious 'wonderous item' and the like.
Most of the entried have other flaws that make them appear unsuitable to me, including but not limited to, pricing higher than half a million, a hefty increase in bookkeeping, DC values above anything even remotely in line with price and caster level, a set of abilities that is almost a carbon copy of an existing item in a Paizo publication (in a massively different flavor, though), and the like.

Is it just me? Am I too harsh, or elitist? Did I get off with a bad start?
Or is the average quality of the entries actually that low?

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka mamaursula

6 people marked this as a favorite.

It is not just you. Really.


Some of the entries are pretty bad, but I would guess you've just had some bad luck. About a third to a half of the ones I've seen actually got the template right (which is not to say they got anything else right), so keep trying.

Also bear in mind you are not voting on which is Superstar, you are voting on which order the judges should look at them in (from best to worst).

Star Voter Season 6

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have seen maybe 10 totally amazing items, a lot of decent though uninspired items, and a good amount of formatting mistakes, pricing mistakes, or items that just straight up ignored the advice threads.

Though some of the SIAC items had interesting enough activation methods or were made from odd items so I would give them a pass for being interesting despite being a SIAC.

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

i've gotten a lot of garbage... part of the problem is that people are hitting "neither" when they get two crappy items- that doesn't vote down both items though, it just kicks them back into the queue for someone else (creating the illusion of even more bad items).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That's to be expected. You're going to have to winnow a lot of chaff to get to the gems. Had the same experience during my 4 years as editor on a college literary magazine.

Also remember.... Sturgeon's Law.

Star Voter Season 6

LazarX wrote wrote:
Also remember.... Sturgeon's Law.

Bagel and Cream Cheese?

I thought it was more of a guideline than a Law.

Star Voter Season 6

Doh! - that would be caviar not salmon - sheesh - will teach me to post before the second cuppa.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

I'm not going to call most of it garbage. There's definite room for improvement, but I think people will realize that once they see the items that need improvement. A lot of these are probably first time entrants (of which I am, and I hope I didn't make many of these glaring issues).

Although, as the couple of threads suggest, the judges are men and women of courage and valor for volunteering to do this.

Star Voter Season 6

N. Edward Lange wrote:
i've gotten a lot of garbage... part of the problem is that people are hitting "neither" when they get two crappy items- that doesn't vote down both items though, it just kicks them back into the queue for someone else (creating the illusion of even more bad items).

Well said. The point of the voting rounds ISN'T to chose the top 32, it's to rank the items to the judges have them in order from best to worst, saving significant time on their end.

With this kind of system in place, you can't vote against(or for) both items - it stops the ranking system from working. This is why the 'neither' option merely shuffles them back into the pool. Instead, if you have two terrible items - one with bad formatting, spelling mistakes and poor grammar, and another with merely bad formatting - vote for the one with bad formatting.

Or if you prefer to think about it this way, vote against the one that's worse.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Harsh?

I have seen some bad ones, I have also seen some good ones.

Sometimes it is 2 bad ones together sometimes 2 good ones together.

Words count a many 290+ plus are bad, seems like allot of the longer word count subission hurt themselves.

I think I have seen some really great 60-90 word count submissions.

Formatting, I pay almost 0% on formatting mistakes. Bold etc, isn't much of a concern compaired writing skill. Describing the item what not. I have seen errors but it usually doesn't change much, when comparing 2 items.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

I agree on formatting. I've been pretty much ignoring it. Not once has it been made any difference at all in how I would vote.

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

Sean H wrote:
Or if you prefer to think about it this way, vote against the one that's worse.

that's exactly what i've been doing a lot of the time... its like 'well, i don't really want to vote for either of these- but i do want to vote against this item even more than that one'

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Clouds Without Water wrote:
I've been pretty much ignoring it. Not once has it been made any difference at all in how I would vote.

And it generally doesn't weigh that significantly (if at all) in how the judges reviewed items in the past either. I've always chosen to cite those things in my deep-dive item reviews, because I want to see people improve on bringing the professional polish. Even if you don't need that to get into the Top 32, you're going to need it when you go on to start doing serious freelance work. Plus, it just makes your submission more visually appealing.

Dark Archive Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

I am starting to wonder if this is a bad joke. Maybe they have actually set us upon the rejected items, and maybe they just need 4 more and are letting us decide that? Anyway I will admit I have seen 3 items now I liked, but there are a lot of format errors, I saw one that had no format at all. But perhaps that is how it is, for every good item maybe we have to look at 500 bad?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka DeathQuaker

Nothing I have seen so far surprises me in the least (both in terms of well-written and poorly-written submissions).

It does sound like the OP got an especially bad batch, though.

Star Voter Season 6

I've not voted prior to this year's contest so I have no frame of reference. However, some of the submissions are stunningly garbled especially given there is a preview button where one can review his or her submission before submitting.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka DeathQuaker

Doug Bailey wrote:
I've not voted prior to this year's contest so I have no frame of reference. However, some of the submissions are stunningly garbled especially given there is a preview button where one can review his or her submission before submitting.

IIRC this is the first year it's open to the whole community.

Star Voter Season 6

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Frankly, I AM taking formatting into consideration-and I think everyone should. For one thing, submitters were practically handed the proper format on a silver platter. If you can't follow it, it's pretty well laziness. For another, even if the proper format required referencing other extant items from the PRD or the like, it's not that hard! Using the proper formatting shows professionalism, and since the prize is, well, a shot at being a professional, I almost don't care if someone's invented the best item in the world, if that person can't be bothered to present it correctly. If an entrant can't be bothered to put in a tiny bit of effort to match standards, frankly that entrant doesn't deserve to win the chance to write a module.

Honestly, if I see an entry that doesn't have the proper format, it has to absolutely blow my mind, or I automatically vote for the opponent.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Maybe I'm just a sucker, but I've seen some decent submissions. Maybe not the next RPG Superstar yet, but definitely some intriguing ideas. And yes, there are some perfectly formatted entries.

As for formatting, I'm using it as a tie-breaker: if two ideas are about equal, I'll advance the better-formatted item.

At any rate, now that I've seen the other submissions, at least I feel like I have a chance.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm taking formatting into account as well, but it's lower on my list of checkpoints. Lowest, actually. I'll vote an item with a unique concept and good writing that barely follows the template over one perfectly formatted that is vanilla and uninspired.

The judges are looking for a superstar. Which means the item has to show promise of a creative mind. Being able to do the format well is the icing, not the cake.

Star Voter Season 6

Shadowborn wrote:

I'm taking formatting into account as well, but it's lower on my list of checkpoints. Lowest, actually. I'll vote an item with a unique concept and good writing that barely follows the template over one perfectly formatted that is vanilla and uninspired.

The judges are looking for a superstar. Which means the item has to show promise of a creative mind. Being able to do the format well is the icing, not the cake.

We shouldn't have to pick! A true superstar would have both ;)

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

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm using formatting as more of a tie breaker than anything else. If both items are equally good, equally bad, or equally meh, then the one that's formatted right gets my vote over the one that's formatted poorly. It's tough when both are formatted about the same at that point though.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

I'd agree on the formatting, but I've seen a perfectly formatted bad or bland magic item, next to a poorly formatted interesting item. At first I used formatting as a guide for the good design, but because of the above good formatting is no guarantee that the item is something of quality.

Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'm really stunned that the use of "prized by" is so prevalent when that was something I read the judges don't like...

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Black Powder Chocobo

I've had a grab bag of good and bad items (including 1 item I'm surprised was not outright rejected for what it does), and I've ran across 3 repeats so far.

Overall, it's interesting to see the ups and downs of an item. Thus far, I've had 3 REALLY good ones that were well thought out and felt like 'Yeah, I'd give this to my PC's'. Came across several decent ones that were upvoted due to being compared with a weaker item, and have came across enough bad combos that I have the JS popup for voting Neither memorized.

Star Voter Season 6

gamer-printer wrote:
I'd agree on the formatting, but I've seen a perfectly formatted bad or bland magic item, next to a poorly formatted interesting item. At first I used formatting as a guide for the good design, but because of the above good formatting is no guarantee that the item is something of quality.

Aye, I'm hardly saying I'd never vote for a poorly formatted item, just that I'm harsher on them. If I'm "meh" about both (which has been the VAST majority, for me), the correctly formatted one is the one I'll give a pass.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Don't vote neither. Neither means we have to judge the pairing. So bite the bullet and judge.

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

Black Powder Chocobo wrote:
Came across several decent ones that were upvoted due to being compared with a weaker item, and have came across enough bad combos that I have the JS popup for voting Neither memorized.

please don't do that! that doesn't vote against them both- it just dumps them back into line so we end up seeing those items more often...

Liberty's Edge Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

In truth, most of the entries I've seen so far are rubbish. Of the better ones many suffer from poor writing or description, bad formatting, or are hobbled by a significant flaw.

Still haven't seen my own entry come up yet, though. Not sure if that's a bad sign or a good one.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Remember, in previous years the Top 32 were less than 5% of the total submitted items. That means your votes are acting to push down the lower 95% of the submissions so the upper 5% can rise to the top. That means you're going to see a LOT of average items and a LOT of bad items.

Keep on truckin'!

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 6

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Remember, in previous years the Top 32 were less than 5% of the total submitted items. That means your votes are acting to push down the lower 95% of the submissions so the upper 5% can rise to the top. That means you're going to see a LOT of average items and a LOT of bad items.

Keep on truckin'!

Speaking for the community, we are very, very sorry :)

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

Sean, I'll say it here too, you judges are AMAZING for doing this year after year and not becoming trolls.

+1 to RPGSS judges...and another +1 to grow on!

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

3 people marked this as a favorite.

It have increased respect for what the judges have been doing for the past several years.

It seems we (the contestants) are not as good at this as we think we are.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka BobROE

dogstarrb wrote:

Frankly, I AM taking formatting into consideration-and I think everyone should. For one thing, submitters were practically handed the proper format on a silver platter. If you can't follow it, it's pretty well laziness. For another, even if the proper format required referencing other extant items from the PRD or the like, it's not that hard! Using the proper formatting shows professionalism, and since the prize is, well, a shot at being a professional, I almost don't care if someone's invented the best item in the world, if that person can't be bothered to present it correctly. If an entrant can't be bothered to put in a tiny bit of effort to match standards, frankly that entrant doesn't deserve to win the chance to write a module.

Honestly, if I see an entry that doesn't have the proper format, it has to absolutely blow my mind, or I automatically vote for the opponent.

The fact that we all have different voting criteria is what makes this work I would guess. If we all voted the same, it would be alot easier to pick a "winner".

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am not paying a huge amount of attention to an item's formatting at this time because it is relatively easy to select the stronger item based on the mechanics alone which I feel is more important.

When many of the not-so-worthy items stop appearing, and I must compare two quality items, my focus is going to shift to start looking at the finer details like formatting, template use, and punctuation.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka Jiggy

12 people marked this as a favorite.

What really gets me worried is that the fate of my item is largely tied to the opinions of the people who produced all these things I'm seeing.

That is, I followed Sean's advice and didn't include any backstory. But now my item is being judged by the (apparently quite large) population of people who think backstory should be given 150 words.

I followed Sean's advice and didn't make a swiss-army-knife, but now my item is being judged by the swarms of people who thought that a list of unrelated abilities would be the coolest thing EVAR.

And so forth.

*gulp*

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 6

Jacob Kellogg wrote:

What really gets me worried is that the fate of my item is largely tied to the opinions of the people who produced all these things I'm seeing.

That is, I followed Sean's advice and didn't include any backstory. But now my item is being judged by the (apparently quite large) population of people who think backstory should be given 150 words.

I followed Sean's advice and didn't make a swiss-army-knife, but now my item is being judged by the swarms of people who thought that a list of unrelated abilities would be the coolest thing EVAR.

And so forth.

*gulp*

If it helps, if more than 1/2 is devoted to fluff I generally go against it.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't want to call anyone out, but is it just me or are there a lot of submissions that practically do the same thing? Another trend I've noticed a few too many times is items that basically do a spell effect, (sometimes even specifically including the same restrictions as the spells), but do not use that spell for creation or reference. Not sure if the creator is trying to cheat their way out of a (much) higher price or just unaware, (a few are no-brainers). More than a few are just lesser versions of existing items and artifacts, and I'm not sure what to think about those.

A few criteria I persoanlly used, (though not harshly) above and beyond finding an item useful and correctly (mostly) presented, was the price/level range. In general, I tended to like items that open up for use at the lower levels above those that are 15th level or high, effectively, which also seemed really common. I tended to not favor items that focused on only one class (though again not that harshly), and also tended to favor items I can really see being used commonly vs those that seemed very focused. A few seemed to not really understand their own rules changes or systems they tagged on to.

I believe, after like 2+ hours I'v gotten to the point that I keep getting items refuse to vote for.

I agree with the OP, adding a little checkbox or something for "Do NOT Advance" would be a great idea.

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

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I dunno how many votes I've cast, ut just now I got the first item I thought deserved to be called Superstar. Lemme tell you, I am soooo glad to cast that.


So far, I'd say that I'm going for item quality and command of language over format. Formatting mistakes, as everyone keeps pointing out, are an easy thing to fix. It is much harder to teach someone good design or writing practice.

As far as fluff is concerned, if it helps me visualize or conceptualize the item better, I like it. If not I don't. I also don't like it if there is too much of it, but I haven't been coming across a lot of that.

A lot of things are definitely XIAC (X in a can), and that is less appealing, but when choosing between them I look at how they are accomplishing their effects, and also at the flavor of the item to decide.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just remember: the judges and Paizo staff can vote, too. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd just like to point out that you're not even seeing the 10% of all entries that were disqualified for failure to follow the rules.

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

i just saw my own item! that was a huge relief, but i immediately realized that one of the sentences really should have been two... it was a run-on and i could have stated its point much better in two sentences (and had plenty of word count). so, now i'm worried for a whole new reason :(

i love this contest but it a little bit emotionally exhausting, lol.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Jacob Kellogg wrote:

What really gets me worried is that the fate of my item is largely tied to the opinions of the people who produced all these things I'm seeing.

That is, I followed Sean's advice and didn't include any backstory. But now my item is being judged by the (apparently quite large) population of people who think backstory should be given 150 words.

I followed Sean's advice and didn't make a swiss-army-knife, but now my item is being judged by the swarms of people who thought that a list of unrelated abilities would be the coolest thing EVAR.

And so forth.

*gulp*

Don't worry, Jiggy - some of us out there voting feel the exact same way you do.

Let me tell you, a lot of backstory, SAK, SIAC, overpowered items have been voted DOWN in the past couple of hours.

Shadow Lodge

Ya, it's always afterwards you spot those things. :)

I believe I made a similar mistake with mine.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

Ditto to the Jacobs!

Shadow Lodge

By the way, good luck everyone.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Black Powder Chocobo

Just added 20 more votes without doing the 'neither/equal' result (i.e., I have learned the error of my ways) :P

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Arkos

Aha! I just found my first item that made me go "Oooooh" out loud. So, congratulations to that anonymous potential Superstar. You've got my vote!

1 to 50 of 212 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Paizo / RPG Superstar™ / General Discussion / Overall submission quality: Is it just me...? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.