Phrases that are driving you bonkers


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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Dedicated Voter Season 6

Eric Morton wrote:
gamer-printer wrote:
It's driving me bonkers when spells have a paranthetic link to the CRB, APG or other book and a specific page number where the spell or description of a mechanic is described to reference.
That's the exact format Sean K. Reynolds told contestants to use.

Well then I missed that thread and point, so I might change up my voting criteria, however, it's always been pointed out to me by other designers to not do this ever when creating 3PP content, so I've applied that to this contest (I do create 3PP content).

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Epic Meepo

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I've been told the same thing regarding 3PP content. But since this contest is about writing for Paizo, not a 3PP, I'm trying to judge entries based on the criteria laid out by Paizo's own judges (page number references are allowed, hyperlinks should not be considered when judging an entry, content that contradicts the assumptions of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting is frowned upon, etc.).

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

In a world with magic nothing is "undecipherable", it is either gibberish or we will find out what it says!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 7

Gnoll Bard wrote:
Sulaco wrote:
Too true. This is my first year submitting and voting. While my item doesn't break any of the rules or violate the FAQ, after voting on hundreds of items both good and bad I think mine is a little "utilitarian" and lacking that certain spark that would make it Top 32 caliber.
I have the same worry; I feel like the mechanics of my item are innovative, and I know I have characters who would want it... I even think its well balanced. I'm just not sure it's... I dunno... interesting enough. Especially to someone who's been looking at hundreds of these items, I think it could be sort of easy to ignore.

That's kind of how I feel. After reading several dozen items, I'm seeing how I messed up on my submission. I think it's a solid magic item, but maybe not Superstar solid.

I've also seen at least one thing I did mentioned in this thread, but I still don't think it's a problem, and I hope that seeing it mentioned here doesn't color a voter's opinion against my item.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 7

Eric Morton wrote:
Eric Morton wrote:
Well, I have seen one item that might have been a "D--- in a Box" joke...

Update: I just had a pairing with the two most suggestive item names I have yet to see. It was hilarious.

Unfortunately, I can't state the names of the items in question, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Tell me you got a screenshot.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka MythrilDragon

KatDangerous wrote:
Andrew Black wrote:
KatDangerous wrote:
Andrew Black wrote:
Also, a lot of words wasted on the "cinematic" of how the item looks as it is doing its magic something else that can be left to the DM.
Wasting a LOT of words is bad, but I've also noticed that not describing the effects makes an item very boring to read. Some items just don't have enough flavor.
I agree, one or two sentences at most that give a feel for what the item is and sets the thematic tone of the item is important. What is not needed is description of the magic in action, how it feels when operating, or specific generic command words.
Well, YMMV. I agree that specific command words are unnecessary and often quite silly, but a description of visual effects of the magic in action may help you bridge the gap between an otherwise arbitrarily connected mechanical effects. The excellent shadow falconer's gloves, for example would not make sense without the visuals. Shadow conjuration = steal maneuver? The fluff is necessary and makes the item memorable.

There are always items the break the rule, and in some cases the visual effects are what make the item cool, particularly illusion based items. However I have seen a lot of items with very unnecessary fluff and no oomph to back them up. A good description, no matter how good, is not a superstar magic item. A good designer knows when and how much description of the operation of the item is necessary, and when the imagination of the reader can fill in the rest.

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

Magical_Beast wrote:
And to any ladies (or gentlemen) that submitted sparkle-lewt - I sincerely hope you did an awesome job with it.

I created a sparkly vampire gizmo*. I hope it's Top 32. ; )

(Though isn't Team Jacob the werewolf? I always have to be Team Jacob, of course. Even if I'm not actually sure what Team Jacob is.)

*:

(No, not really.)


It's Team T-Rex.


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Oh, sorry, I thought you were asking about Team Jacobs.

Spoiler:
:P

RPG Superstar 2014 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7 aka Belladonna Blue

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Not a phrase, but... I just saw another replication of an iconic item from a popular video game. Same effects, similar name, visuals, etc. as is in the game. Which means at least two entirely different people thought no one would notice. O.o

Also, the items in the "but I can do this in WoW" category. I'm not going to rip on anybody for having mediocre ideas or execution or unfortunately blundering into a recurring theme (the QUILLS!!!) as they at least tried, but the shameless rip-offs bug me a little.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka RainyDayNinja

Belladonna Blue wrote:

Not a phrase, but... I just saw another replication of an iconic item from a popular video game. Same effects, similar name, visuals, etc. as is in the game. Which means at least two entirely different people thought no one would notice. O.o

My brother told me all about his idea that he was going to submit, and all the cool things that it did. When he finished, I said "So... it's basically a hookshot?" He didn't submit that one.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6

"Weak" is not an Aura strength. "Faint" is an Aura strength.

Also, Aura strength is determined by the CL of the item based on the table in detect magic. There's no guesswork here, just look up the Aura strength for your item based on the CL it was assigned.

RPG Superstar 2014 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7 aka Belladonna Blue

RainyDayNinja wrote:
Belladonna Blue wrote:

Not a phrase, but... I just saw another replication of an iconic item from a popular video game. Same effects, similar name, visuals, etc. as is in the game. Which means at least two entirely different people thought no one would notice. O.o

My brother told me all about his idea that he was going to submit, and all the cool things that it did. When he finished, I said "So... it's basically a hookshot?" He didn't submit that one.

I empathize with the difficulty in finding an original idea and parallel designs do happen. But if a really cool idea jumps into your head fully formed, it's worth sitting with it a little and considering if you've seen it somewhere before.

And it's always helpful to bounce it off someone first so they can tell you when a hookshot's a hookshot. :)

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

gamer-printer wrote:
Well then I missed that thread and point, so I might change up my voting criteria, however, it's always been pointed out to me by other designers to not do this ever when creating 3PP content, so I've applied that to this contest (I do create 3PP content).

The no-page-numbers thing is a 3PP rule for using the Pathfinder Compatibility License.

As this contest is about writing for Paizo, that rule doesn't apply.

I personally wouldn't downvote or upvote someone for not/using page numbers, because it's one of those subtle style issues that you probably wouldn't notice unless you're a publisher.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka michaeljpatrick

Well, I get why "attune" would be used in some instances, but it still seems like it is being thrown around uselessly a lot.

Since the cull I have seen a lot less of the baby eating items and items that make lunch.

Maybe a lot of the submitters were just hungry when they came up with their items.

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

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Wasn't another reason for not using page numbers is that when applying errata and reprinting that the page might change?

Digital Products Assistant

Removed a couple posts. Again, no item specifics per the voting rules.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Anthony Adam wrote:
Wasn't another reason for not using page numbers is that when applying errata and reprinting that the page might change?

Yes. So far we've been really careful about making sure the text doesn't shift for this sort of thing, but if it did happen, we'd rather it not cause problems with 3PP using page references (IOW, we accept the risk that it may cause problems for us).

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

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I'm getting tired of "buy one piece of +10 ammunition, get [infinity symbol] free!" Yet it appears several of those items have made the cut.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka SmiloDan

Pardon me for asking, but what is this "cull" people keep posting about?

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

Dan, in a nutshell, the bottom 25% of items were dropped from the voting.
Details right here.

Star Voter Season 6

Not so much a phrase, but one thing I've noticed are items that start out with a unique and interesting power that might be worthy of superstar status. Then are followed by an unreadable wall of text detailing the items real powers that turn it into a SAK SIAC with the most confusing rule mechanics I've ever tried to read.

Most of the items I've ended up voting for have usually been the ones with the shortest descriptions.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka MythrilDragon

toxycycline wrote:

Not so much a phrase, but one thing I've noticed are items that start out with a unique and interesting power that might be worthy of superstar status. Then are followed by an unreadable wall of text detailing the items real powers that turn it into a SAK SIAC with the most confusing rule mechanics I've ever tried to read.

Most of the items I've ended up voting for have usually been the ones with the shortest descriptions.

That falls into the phrase, "its true power is revealed when/in the hands of..." or some variant of this. I have seen that a lot too.

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

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At this point, I've seen at least four different text messaging items...

Anachronistic and definitely not something I'd consider Superstar.

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

I sometimes wish we could comment on specific items, because I just saw one that literally stunned me into silence and made me stare at my screen.

Not in a good way.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka MythrilDragon

Wolfboy wrote:

I sometimes wish we could comment on specific items, because I just saw one that literally stunned me into silence and made me stare at my screen.

Not in a good way.

Remember, that every item you look at is someones best effort to enter this contest. Not everyone is ready to be a RPG Superstar or has the chops to be a game designer, but they all made an effort and from positive and constructive feedback they may get there.

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

It's not that it was bad, in fact, quite the opposite. However, it was such a blatant rip directly from a movie that it stunned me.

I'm well aware of the effects of negative criticism and trust me, I have no desire at all to discourage folks.

But man... At least try to spin your idea so the tearing noise as you "liberate" it from the movie isn't quite so audible.

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

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Andrew Black wrote:
Remember, that every item you look at is someones best effort to enter this contest.

No, not every item involved effort. Most, sure. But some make me wonder whether the person has ever actually opened a Pathfinder book at all.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

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I'm getting a little tired of seeing bold tags on the item's title.

Quote:
bracket-B-bracket Filigreed Shadow Lantern of Safely Resting bracket-slash-B-bracket is better

I don't down-vote for it, though.

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, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Adam Moorhouse 759 wrote:

I'm getting a little tired of seeing bold tags on the item's title.

Quote:
bracket-B-bracket Filigreed Shadow Lantern of Safely Resting bracket-slash-B-bracket is better
I don't down-vote for it, though.

Even sadder is the knowledge that the preview button shows this mistake allowing correction before you hit submit >.<

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6

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Anthony Adam wrote:


Even sadder is the knowledge that the preview button shows this mistake allowing correction before you hit submit >.<

There's nothing sad about this. Typos happen.

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

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Quills = Not Sexy

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

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Exocrat wrote:
Anthony Adam wrote:


Even sadder is the knowledge that the preview button shows this mistake allowing correction before you hit submit >.<
There's nothing sad about this. Typos happen.

Spoken like someone unfamiliar with the Preview button.

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

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And while I double-checked which button I was hitting about 18 zillion times before I hit it, I was paranoid each and every single time I'd hit submit instead of preview.

I can BET at least one person out there went "OH CRAP!" when they hit the wrong button.

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

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Wolfboy wrote:
Quills = Not Sexy

Depends on how you're using them! >8O

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, Starfinder Society Subscriber
gbonehead wrote:

And while I double-checked which button I was hitting about 18 zillion times before I hit it, I was paranoid each and every single time I'd hit submit instead of preview.

I can BET at least one person out there went "OH CRAP!" when they hit the wrong button.

Yeah, I do every year, because I think, "That's it, no going back now, oh cr.." ;)

Seriously though, the problem with the bb code tagged titles is they are that first impression you see of an item. And with the volume of votes and items we have to get through, it's a shame.

I try not to let it sway me, but unfortunately. ever since the "Grand Culling of 2012" :P - these items are now coming up against items which are of the same order of good which are every so slightly better formatted, so they often lose out because of that bb code.

It's really hard to suppress that aspect of human nature - instinctual reaction, I do try but admit, I do sometimes fail when deciding between two items.

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

I'm one of the "OH CRAP" guys.

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6

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Jacob Kellogg wrote:


Spoken like someone unfamiliar with the Preview button.

Tunnel vision. Forest for the trees. Whatever you want to call it, it's easy to read something a dozen times and not see a simple error because you were looking for something else. I see it happen all the time at work, where there are multiple sets of eyes and layers of review on everything.

I don't hold typos against anybody.

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

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Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Wolfboy wrote:
Quills = Not Sexy
Depends on how you're using them! >8O

Like whether you're grappling the succubus from the front or from behind...

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

Wolfboy wrote:
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Wolfboy wrote:
Quills = Not Sexy
Depends on how you're using them! >8O
Like whether you're grappling the succubus from the front or from behind...

Or if you're a bare druid...OH NO GOTTA STOP!!!

I could imagine a cool quill...I really could. It's just that most of the quills I see have a lot of "Oh and it does this also...and this also" to make it cooler. Which it usually doesn't.

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

Exocrat wrote:
Jacob Kellogg wrote:


Spoken like someone unfamiliar with the Preview button.

Tunnel vision. Forest for the trees. Whatever you want to call it, it's easy to read something a dozen times and not see a simple error because you were looking for something else. I see it happen all the time at work, where there are multiple sets of eyes and layers of review on everything.

I don't hold typos against anybody.

I don't mind voters glossing over typos, but I don't think the judges will. After reading plenty of posts about the RPG freelancing process, I get the impression that editors want clean copy out of the gate so they can focus on mechanics, balance, and continuity.

As Neil rather rightly says, this is at least as much a job interview as a contest. Typos in a job application for a writing job are fatal, not because mistakes happen, but because typos in a 300-word item with a week-long deadline are preventable.

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

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Its just like a typo in a resume - you never get a second chance to make that first impression.

Are we all human and subject to typos? Of course.

Does it mean you are an inferior person in any way? Of course not.

Will you be judged less favorably than someone who managed to be typo-free? Yes.

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6

Magical_Beast wrote:

Its just like a typo in a resume - you never get a second chance to make that first impression.

Are we all human and subject to typos? Of course.

Does it mean you are an inferior person in any way? Of course not.

Will you be judged less favorably than someone who managed to be typo-free? Yes.

I agree with all of that. I was just saying it's not "sad."

Dedicated Voter Season 6

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Mostly, I'm tired of seeing "You will be able to place your vote in ____ seconds."

It should say "You must wait ___ seconds to become attuned to these entries." and that line should have filigree.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

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Adam Moorhouse 759 wrote:

Mostly, I'm tired of seeing "You will be able to place your vote in ____ seconds."

It should say "You must wait ___ seconds to become attuned to these entries." and that line should have filigree.

=)

At least if it said I needed to wait to be attuned, I might smile every time I vote.


Why do we have to attune every time? To some of the items I have attuned to days ago... To some of the items I explicitly refuse to attune!

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6 aka Mattrex

Andrew Black wrote:
Remember, that every item you look at is someones best effort to enter this contest. Not everyone is ready to be a RPG Superstar or has the chops to be a game designer, but they all made an effort and from positive and constructive feedback they may get there.

This is a pretty feel-good way of looking at it, and it is valuable to remember that we're dealing with real people on the other ends of these items. But I think it's pretty obvious on its face that many, many items were not "best effort". Some items I would have a hard time even characterizing as "effort".

Standards are important, and while it may make us uncomfortable to contemplate the fact, not everyone is capable--or willing--to meet them.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Wolfboy wrote:

It's not that it was bad, in fact, quite the opposite. However, it was such a blatant rip directly from a movie that it stunned me.

I'm well aware of the effects of negative criticism and trust me, I have no desire at all to discourage folks.

But man... At least try to spin your idea so the tearing noise as you "liberate" it from the movie isn't quite so audible.

I've seen a couple of those, and I count it as a heavy strike against them when they come up. Not an irreversible strike, but the other item needs to be very bad before the rip-off gets my vote.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6

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Adam Moorhouse 759 wrote:

I'm getting a little tired of seeing bold tags on the item's title.

Quote:
bracket-B-bracket Filigreed Shadow Lantern of Safely Resting bracket-slash-B-bracket is better
I don't down-vote for it, though.

I can imagine someone: carefully and painstakingly crafting their item in word, pasting it and previewing, going back to word and editing, sitting on it over night, doing further edits, copy/paste into the preview, doing some final formatting and then... putting it back into word for one last time. Then they do a final copy/paste and submit without previewing... not realising they didn't highlight when copying the initial bracket "[" throwing their bb code out. Unfortunately, they only realise the mistake after they have voted a few hundred times and they see their item in all it's glory for the first time... in absolute shock at their "dumb" mistake.

I think that realization is easily punishment enough for the designer and so I don't automatically down-vote it either. I'm really looking at the idea behind the item and the design decisions made; such considerations easily outweigh any format issues. Formatting is easily fixed, poor design decisions somewhat less so.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Champion Voter Season 6

It would be nice if the Paizo Template Model is correct and properly formatted next year and not spread out over several other threads with "clues" someone could easily overlook since not in the rules or provided example. Making it clear one cannot underline their item.

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