Vote for the best Designer not just the adventure, a plea


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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

To me it seems others are solely considering this past round and what adventure they see as best. I implore folk to consider what Designer they feel did best over the whole of the competition. To that end I'll expose how I came to my vote. I went with a 10 point must system for each round and doubled the totals on the latter 2 rounds as I feel they deserved more consideration.

Mike Kimmel —
Round 4 City of Blood & Chains 8
Round 3 The Floating Bazaar 9
Round 2 Chimney Troll 10
Round 1 Earthbind Boots 10
54 points

Mikko Kallio —
Round 4 Knight's Gambit 7
Round 3 The House of the Serpent's Hand 10
Round 2 Immured 9
Round 1 Deck of Falling Houses 8
51 points

Robert Brookes —
Round 4 On Fertile Ground 10
Round 3 Impact Site 8
Round 2 Disir 7
Round 1 Spirit Window 9
52 points

Victoria Jaczko —
Round 4 Daughters of Fury 9
Round 3 The Wedding Day Chapel 7
Round 2 Chwal 8
Round 1 Bitter Widow's Veil 7
47 points

A clean sweep would be 60 points, the difference between a win and a tie for Robert and Mike came down to a change of 1 rank for either R1 or R2.

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

It came out in favor of Mike Kimmel for me. I could see arguments against my placements in any or all of the rounds. Roberts Impact site for example could have come in 2nd or even 1st for some folk. Bitter widow's veil had the most interesting concept and flavor text I just didn't care for it's mechanics.

If one doesn't double the latter 2 rounds or just the last round even using my numbers we get a different score. One could argue for doubling r3 score and tripling r4.

I guess I just would like to see some debate on the subject. Does anyone else account for previous rounds?

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

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I think typically people don't consider the full body of work at this stage. Or rather, they consider that all four have shown enough that they are clearly good designers and deserve to be at this point.

Getting to the Top 4 means any of them could make a good module, so people vote for the specific module they'd most like to play/run. I think in earlier rounds, where we're still narrowing the field and you have more votes to spend, people are more likely to take in previous work as a tie-breaker but at this point, it's based almost completely on the pitch.

I think previous years have had plenty of people who were considered "the leader" or among them having one bad round -- or a flawed module pitch -- and it costing them. I think Neil's previous work is what allowed him to survive what was a rough villain lair round, while I look at Cody Coffelt's run is the most indicative of how being "in the lead" doesn't necessarily mean you're going to win (I don't know if others agree, but I think he was the clear leader in his year).


I think r1-3 showed Kimmel & Kallio are better _designers_ than the rest. Some probably disagree I'm sure but I mean general opinion based on exit polls and judges votes.

I think r4 showed Brookes & Jaczko are better _storytellers_ than the others. Again some people disagree but they are front runners and praised for their stories.

So (making a HUGE exaggeration here) we get either a good story with weaker content or a less good story with better content.

Some people like one some the other. Its good to remember this when you cast votes. I dont say one is better than other because players are different.

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I agree with Lars assessment of the strengths of the individual contestants. This analysis also means that my personal choice for the top two was well-founded: I prefer story-strength over mechanical-strength. I'm an experienced GM; I adjust the mechanics to fit my group anyway, so story-strength has always been by far my preferred criteria. Looking at the whole that put Mike Kimmel and Victoria Jaczko at the top of my considerations.

Mike's Chimney Troll was by far one of the best monsters I have ever seen developed entirely out of whole cloth. It was brilliant. But I found Victoria's story-telling just a hair more compelling. All four were very strong in story elements at various points, but I went with Victoria as her adventure storyline was strongest in my opinion. Her writing style needs some clarity, but otherwise she creates plotlines for adventures and encounters exceptionally well.

In answer to the query, yes I considered the entire body of work throughout the contest. But in the end it was so close that I went with the module I wanted to see written. I didn't use a point system; rather I let the overall impression grab me and I went with my gut. Not precise but I find it makes me support the items that speak to me personally, items that I would myself run, and the designer I would consider purchasing future material from.

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

I was very explicit both on the separate submission threads, and on the exit poll.

I think Robert is the better designer, but I felt [b]Daughters of Fury[/ib] the better adventure. Which adventure do I want to see published? Victoria's. Robert's monster left me cold, though it was, I felt mechanically well crafted. Nor did I like any of the top four's monsters except the Chimney Troll.

I'm sure we'll see much more of Robert - I loved Impact Site, and if he had made that his adventure theme I would have voted for it in a second, but it may not have been so well received generally. I think Robert has, purposely or not, chosen his themes very well round by round, which gives him greater credit from me both as a freelancer and a designer. However, I do not wish to see On Fertile Ground the adventure. I wish to see Daughters of Fury.

So. A Plea: Vote for the adventure you would like to see published, so that you can then purchase it and not some other adventure by a great desiner you have no interest in. Sorry Frank. ;) Regardless of the perceived intention of the reason for RPGSS, I am voting based on what I want, not who.

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I do not see the difference. A good adventure done by a good designer. If a tie-breaker was needed, I would consider previous rounds, but as Jacob said, they have all proven themselves at this point.

FTR: I agree with your ranking of the designers skills (if not the method :), and am glad to see so few 7's

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Mark D Griffin

I don't believe he's actually scoring anyone as a 7 designer. I believe he's ranking their efforts for each round, and giving 7 points to the 4 rank, 8 points to the 3rd rank etc. Meaning there are exactly four 7 scores, four 8 scores, four 9 scores and four 10 scores.

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

Sorry yeah that's part of the 10 point must system. Winner gets 10 others vary I used the numerical ranking Mark is describing.

I agree that Victoria and Robert gave the best stories this round. The last round was also an opportunity for storytelling and in that round I'd give it to Mikko and Mike.

As a 3PP developer I'd work with any of the top 4. Each have their strength and weaknesses in my eyes but the upsides are much greater then the downsides.

Mike- Strengths- mechanics, has a good nose for cool concepts, and interesting characters. Eyegrinder was a favorite for me. Weaknesses- He doesn't quite have the "publisher" mentality yet. His proposal is difficult to implement in part because it's sandbox elements but also the chosen setting from a Goleran perspective is going to be tough on 3rd level characters. Overall, there's more then enough talent to work with.

Mikko- Strengths- Mikkos knows how to make something easy to run and market, and he has displayed both creativity and a keen sense of game balance. Weaknesses- I suspect he over thought his proposal. The mystery element was a calculated risk but it kind of got away from him. His naming conventions could use a little work. His proposal isn't something I'd bite without a rework but it has seriously cool elements and his monster concept is really really cool. Overall, I could see him on a design team but I could also see him running his own show down the line, I see ambition.

Robert- Strengths- Polished writing and clearly an experienced hand at gaming. Impact site was really interesting, and his proposal has touches of brilliance. Weaknesses- the design seems to ride the edge of too conservative for me, when he went for an outlier it was sci-fi which is not my bag. Overall, strong writing can sell almost anything. My lower rankings on his stuff is merely a matter of taste.

Victoria- Strengths- She improves every round, I get a sense she's going to continue to improve until she really has the polish of a pro. She thinks outside of the box which I for one really appreciate. Weaknesses- She still needs a little work on the clarity of her prose. Unfortunately I her combats seem a little on the weak side but so does Paizo if I'm being honest. Overall, Victoria is the designer that needs the most work, but she also seems to have some of the coolest ideas, She'd be worth a little training time.

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Now that voting is closed I'd like to post my thoughts here.

Of course I am flattered that some of you think so highly of my work and grateful for any votes I received (whether because you liked my adventure or my past work).

I haven't given up hope, but the exit polls seem to indicate that I won't be winning the whole shebang. Still, I can't help but feel good things about my fellow contestants and their entries. The thought of one of them winning makes me think, "awesome!" At this point they feel much more like friends and allies than competitors, even though I hardly know them. We've all been through the same thing, after all, and it's hard to be enemies with someone whose story you know. I'd be happy to see any of the other Top 4 modules win, and I know I'll be one of the first to pay for anything written by Mikko, Robert, or Victoria.

I don't think there was a "wrong way" or "right way" to vote. If you voted for one module because you'd rather play/run it even if you think another designer is better overall... the great thing is that all four of the final contestants will get some sort of freelance assignment and all four will have the opportunity to improve. Chances are that the folks at Paizo are pretty good at identifying the strengths of the contestants and following up with assignments that play off those strengths. I hope this means that, whether or not you ever see a full module from me, you'll be seeing some other things you like.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Well said, Mike. :)

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Honestly I wasn't sure whether the voting was intended to be just for that round or for all previous rounds.

I decided it made more sense to be voting just for that round, with the exception being if two or more came too close, only then would I take a look back.

The qualifiers have already qualified to come to this round, so it feels like re-voting their previous rounds as well as the adventure is a bit unfair.

Either way, it's Paizo's call as to how we should vote. In the absence of their guidance, it's each individual's call.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

Ultimately what i want from this contest is someone who can think fo a great adventure and present it in a way that the powers at Paizo don't need to spend 3 days editing it to make it publishable.

So I think that it is totally viable to vote for the best adventure idea regardless of what came before.

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