This year's item cull?


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Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

I knew a couple people that waited to vote until after the cull. They said pre-cull voting is just too painful. While I agree it is painful, I did grab a couple ideas that struck a chord with me.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka FaxCelestis

I largely waited until post-cull to vote, so that is a thing.

I also would like to suggest that voter tags have mechanical effect, maybe shaving 10 seconds off your wait time if you hit a tag. Champions only have to wait 30 seconds instead of 60, for instance, which is probably okay because they've most likely already seen the two items they're being presented. It also means that lower tiers are still bottlenecked to prevent votespam.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

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Not a big fan of the shorter timer. After the cull this year, I actually spent more time analyzing the items than I did pre-cull. I liked the 1 minute timer staying around. Plus, it keeps people from just clicking to get tags.

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James Raine wrote:
I also would like to suggest that voter tags have mechanical effect, maybe shaving 10 seconds off your wait time if you hit a tag. Champions only have to wait 30 seconds instead of 60, for instance, which is probably okay because they've most likely already seen the two items they're being presented. It also means that lower tiers are still bottlenecked to prevent vote spam.

Great idea.

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Not a big fan of the shorter timer. After the cull this year, I actually spent more time analyzing the items than I did pre-cull. I liked the 1 minute timer staying around. Plus, it keeps people from just clicking to get tags.

Just because the timer is up doesn't mean you have to vote. You have all the time you need - it just enables you to be able to vote quicker if you don't need further analysis of a given item or items in a pair.

I don't think anyone really votes just to get tags - and even if they do, they are still exercising their voter rights to do so. I doubt that even were a voter "speed voting" that they would just auto-random vote. And as there is no real cap beyond Champion, there is little point "just clicking" to vote.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
I don't think anyone really votes just to get tags - and even if they do, they are still exercising their voter rights to do so. I doubt that even were a voter "speed voting" that they would just auto-random vote. And as there is no real cap beyond Champion, there is little point "just clicking" to vote.

Yeah, I know people that vote just for the tags.

I get the impression that the reason you will sometimes see the same pair but reversed, is a system check to ensure you aren't just speed voting without reading.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

In all my more then 5,000 votes this year that only happened to me twice. It was earlier in the voting same two same place, then reversed, after that never happened again to me.

Scarab Sages Star Voter Season 8

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Brigg wrote:
Nickolas Floyd wrote:
GM_Solspiral wrote:
Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Did you like the big cull in this year's contest? Vote yes or no by liking the appropriate post.
The ones that are so offended by the cull that they left... aren't going to vote, because they left.

I think this is somewhat right. I was culled, but I'm not "offended." And I'm still here, though I've only voted once since Friday cause I'm just not that interested if I know my item will not come up. I'll be interested again when the top 32 are announced and I'll vote in the other rounds, but I don't feel like picking through 350 magic items knowing I'm already eliminated.

I'm disappointed that I was in the bottom 450, but I didn't expect to make top 32 this year anyway. Is my dislike of the large cull somewhat sour grapes? Maybe. I am human. But my stance is that there are more than 400 who likely feel the same way. Many likely don't even pay attention to the forums to even know they were culled, but many of the more enthusiastic would be designers (often the better designers) do. I'm old hat at this and I'll definitely be back next year, but how many may not?

You know, I know exactly how the culled feel about this.

Picture: You're doing votes after being culled, and every entry you see with the littlest mistake just makes you think, "Why did this one stay, and mine got culled?" Some people get the feeling that they can't stand to wade through other people's victories.

I'm with you both on this one.

I was sad to see my item go, and a little miffed to see a very similar one make it. I had not expected to reach top 32, but I was confident I had at least made a solid item, even if it was not superstar material.

After the cull I did do some voting, but the fact that I would not see my item (a bit childish I know), and the quality of some that did make it trough stopped me from voting with the frequency I did before the cull.
Especially when you see two items I would never allow as a game master because they are basically IWIN buttons.

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

True story, you will look at the top 32 and question at least 1... prolly more than one and that is the subjective nature of gaming.

You're "OMG that's awesome" is someone's least favorite, "how did it get that far" loath-able item.

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

So you got culled.

I'm in that boat...

... but ...

I am smiling wide because I now know the great secret of being culled!

*even bigger smile*

*like a cheshire cat smile*

Why I am smiling so, you may be wondering...

Well...

I have no pressure on ME.

I can kick back, put my feet up, sup on a tall iced cola, and...

enjoy everyone else's week of agony, angst, and suffering.

Hah!

Who said being culled can't be fun? :P

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Brother Fen wrote:

I found it interesting watching the voting unfold real time over the holidays. First everyone was excited to start voting. Then they voted and voted and voted. And then the complaining started. And compaining and complaining and complaining. Calls for an immediate cull went out with impassioned pleas. Then the cull happened. And the complaining resumed - except now everyone was upset that they were part of the cull.

I say cull 'em all and let Paizo sort 'em out.

I think many of creators of The Culled were certainly disappointed, but I didn't read any of it as complaining.

Brother Fen wrote:
If they left, then they needed to leave.

That seems a bit harsh, especially to any first timers reading it who don't need another reason to be discouraged.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka FaxCelestis

Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Brother Fen wrote:

I found it interesting watching the voting unfold real time over the holidays. First everyone was excited to start voting. Then they voted and voted and voted. And then the complaining started. And compaining and complaining and complaining. Calls for an immediate cull went out with impassioned pleas. Then the cull happened. And the complaining resumed - except now everyone was upset that they were part of the cull.

I say cull 'em all and let Paizo sort 'em out.

I think many of creators of The Culled were certainly disappointed, but I didn't read any of it as complaining.

Brother Fen wrote:
If they left, then they needed to leave.
That seems a bit harsh, especially to any first timers reading it who don't need another reason to be discouraged.

Well, I think on that we need to ask ourselves what the purpose of the contest is. If the purpose is to find undiscovered talent and break them into the industry, they need to be able to handle rejection with grace. Flouncing because your item's been cut is poor form. It's the sort of thing my four-year-old would do when she doesn't get her way.

If the contest's purpose, though, is to just foster community, then yeah, I'd agree with you. However, I don't really think that's its intent.

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

I would say the purpose of the contest is two fold - one, to discover new talent that is READY, and two, to nurture potential talent that is learning the game.

We cannot expect first timers to have the professional know how and experience to handle being culled or rejected as gracefully as someone who has gone through the experience a time or two.

If they are leaving because they are culled, we need to be sure to encourage them to try again.

This means when the critique thread comes around, don't be 100% negative, always end your reviews on a positive note. You will be amazed how any critique that ends with noting something done well encourages and motivates people.

Please don't post things like "they need to leave" because they don't. What they need to do is try again, what they need to do is put themselves out there for constructive and balanced critique, what they need to do is learn and be better next time.

What WE need to do is encourage them to not be scared about coming forward for that critique and to nurture the next generation of superstars.

Sorry for the rant everyone, but this is something I feel very strongly about. You could probably tell >.<

Star Voter Season 8

Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Brother Fen wrote:

I found it interesting watching the voting unfold real time over the holidays. First everyone was excited to start voting. Then they voted and voted and voted. And then the complaining started. And compaining and complaining and complaining. Calls for an immediate cull went out with impassioned pleas. Then the cull happened. And the complaining resumed - except now everyone was upset that they were part of the cull.

I say cull 'em all and let Paizo sort 'em out.

I think many of creators of The Culled were certainly disappointed, but I didn't read any of it as complaining.

Brother Fen wrote:
If they left, then they needed to leave.
That seems a bit harsh, especially to any first timers reading it who don't need another reason to be discouraged.

It reads as harsh but critique, criticism and rejection are the harsh realities of working in the creative field. The sooner aspiring hopefuls learn that, the better they will manage rejection and learn to separate themselves from those expectations.

I would love to hold everyone's hand and gently encourage them which is why I try to post "good luck" to those that I can, but learning to deal with the negative will empower them to create their own positive.

That's my take on it anyway. It's a bit of a zen like "all life is suffering" but "that suffering can end" once you learn to accept it.

I don't have a horse in this race because I never expect to win. I do this for fun. I create in other avenues of expression for my own edification.

That said, I wish everyone on the forums luck, good mental health and encourage them to not let rejection get them down. There is always another opportunity around the corner.

Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

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Designers do have to learn to manage rejection, but the best feedback is always crafted to improve not rebuff.

See Pixar and their "plussing": http://www.thinklikeaninnovator.com/plussing-how-pixar-transforms-critiquin g-into-creating/

Worth bearing in mind for the critique my item thread! =)

Good luck all!


I voted a little bit after the cull. I probably would've voted more had my item made it. I don't think it matters a whole lot for me. I hit marathon way early and lost interest in voting more either way.

Star Voter Season 8

Thaks for the link. I think there is a bit of an overeaction to my post because I didn't post it directed at anyone specific and would never do so. If long term forum members want to take umbrage with it then so be it. I take umbrage with constant complaining on every thread about a new product or every stage of a contest but I wouldn't call out anyone directly.

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I would encourage anyone taking the cull personally not to do so, though I appreciate that is easier said than done. Remember, it isn't personal, nor are we as voters infallible. It's possible you had a wonderful idea that just wasn't expressed in a way that was easily grasped by voters, or that voters may have different criteria than you do (I, for example, don't place as much weight on formatting being exactly correct as some others seem to).

I've even found that my tastes are often drastically different from the judges. Each year there are always a few items in the top 32 that leave me scratching my head. Remember, it isn't personal.

:D

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James Raine wrote:

Well, I think on that we need to ask ourselves what the purpose of the contest is. If the purpose is to find undiscovered talent and break them into the industry, they need to be able to handle rejection with grace. Flouncing because your item's been cut is poor form. It's the sort of thing my four-year-old would do when she doesn't get her way.

If the contest's purpose, though, is to just foster community, then yeah, I'd agree with you. However, I don't really think that's its intent.

Those intentions aren't exclusive. I'd argue it does intend to do both, which is why we have posts every year from Neil, Sean, Adam, etc. encouraging first-timers to enter the contest and improve, and zero posts from people running or judging the contest telling entrants to scram if they get culled.

Star Voter Season 6

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Petty Alchemy wrote:

Well, there have been just over 800 submissions (assuming the community generated list is close to accurate), and the forum has maybe...15 vocal members?

We probably won't know how the majority of people feel, just this sample.

I just wanted to point out that over 50 individuals have read the OPs of this thread and voted their responses, so it's a pretty good sample size after all.

Some of us do a fair amount of thread reading, but not a ton of posting, and some of us do a fair amount of voting, but not quite enough to get a tag.

Greetings, lurkers and infrequent posters!

You are welcome, and your opinions matter, too. :)

Liberty's Edge

The cull was too large because it put 55% of the entrants (i.e. 450 people) in the same lot as non-formatted joke items.

More frequent culls with a narrower spread, if the voting statistics permit, would be wiser IMO.

So that more designers feel like they at least achieved a small bit of success and find it easier to keep on following the competition even if they are culled later on. And so that heavy voters feel the improvement in the pairings at each culling.

Obviously, this year's cull made the heavy voters happy. I am a bit worried that many express this without questioning what the impact on the culled items' designers is.

Some culled items I saw really deserved far better than ending in the same refuse heap as non-formatted joke items.

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

The bottom 50% stood no chance of making the top 100. Therefore votes were no longer required for those items. If you feel that this means your item was equivalent to non formatted joke items then use that to get better and try again next year.

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

The black raven wrote:

I am a bit worried that many express this without questioning what the impact on the culled items' designers is.

Some culled items I saw really deserved far better than ending in the same refuse heap as non-formatted joke items.

I would hope the designers of the culled items would see that many (all?) of the heavy voters had culled items on their keep lists. I certainly had at least a couple on mine, and I really hope those designers will seek feedback, since I'd love to be able to praise their work.

I think the stubborn nail is always going to be my response. It wasn't good enough to get into the Top 32, but it was good enough for Paizo to publish ahead of many other Top 32 items.

I can certainly understand how it feels otherwise, but being culled doesn't reflect a judgment of the designer's value; it simply means that item wasn't getting a lot of votes.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka FaxCelestis

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
The black raven wrote:

I am a bit worried that many express this without questioning what the impact on the culled items' designers is.

Some culled items I saw really deserved far better than ending in the same refuse heap as non-formatted joke items.

I would hope the designers of the culled items would see that many (all?) of the heavy voters had culled items on their keep lists. I certainly had at least a couple on mine, and I really hope those designers will seek feedback, since I'd love to be able to praise their work.

I think the stubborn nail is always going to be my response. It wasn't good enough to get into the Top 32, but it was good enough for Paizo to publish ahead of many other Top 32 items.

I can certainly understand how it feels otherwise, but being culled doesn't reflect a judgment of the designer's value; it simply means that item wasn't getting a lot of votes.

Not just culled items either. I have a few DQ'd items on my keep list.

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

Good point Jacob. I have I think 4 culled items total, two were in my "Not-Top-32-But-Keeper" list and 2 were in my weak keeps. I sincerely hope those designers seek feedback because there is a ton of potential...they just need some practice and refinement.

I personally liked the deep cull. I think the potential of finding a very small percentage of designers whose items fell in that cull is far outweighed by the larger proportion of better designed items post cull. The stubborn nail is a great example...Paizo definitely looks at ALL the entries so you shouldn't feel that you wasted time or that you weren't worthy. It just means that you should practice, reach out to third party publishers, enter other contests, and just plain write day in and day out.

This year had some exceptionally interesting results with the twist in R1. It is even more interesting to see the analysis on items that survived the cull (and even more interesting if Paizo decides to release the Top X list) to see where the general voting populace's popular views come from.

If weapons were half of the entries (close approximation based on community lists) that shows that designers think weapons are popular. But over half of them did not proceed. The general voting populace did not see weapons as that interesting in general, which could be for a number of reasons. Perhaps we've been so inundated with magic weapons that it takes some really new and fresh idea formatted to the hilt to pass muster. Or maybe it was too easy to overpower the weapon. Maybe folks just don't care about smashing as much as they do about other things on a character, not to say that a weapon can't be an intrinsically interesting part of a character.

I think it was Adam Daigle who posted somewhere how he's excited to see what the regular mob finds popular, and I agree. This twist for R1 this year will be very informative for all who want to take the time to analyze, and that will definitely be part of the practice process for those who find themselves not progressing in the contest this year. I'm sure the Blazing 9 thread will have some great discussion on it, and I would love to see some really in depth analysis from Paizo after the dust settles to better inform us all.

Scarab Sages

Getting upset at a cull could only be appropriate, if it were a surprise.

But since it was advertised that it would be done, and why it would be done, no-one has any grounds to be annoyed.
That's why some posters seem to have little sympathy.
"Raaargh! The company hosting the competition carried out the process in the way they had repeatedly said they would! I DEMAND AN EXPLANATION!"

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

James Raine wrote:
I have a few DQ'd items on my keep list.

My keep list had a DQed item on it. I really liked it and was sad when it was confirmed to be DQed.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Petty Alchemy

Lady Firedove wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:

Well, there have been just over 800 submissions (assuming the community generated list is close to accurate), and the forum has maybe...15 vocal members?

We probably won't know how the majority of people feel, just this sample.

I just wanted to point out that over 50 individuals have read the OPs of this thread and voted their responses, so it's a pretty good sample size after all.

Some of us do a fair amount of thread reading, but not a ton of posting, and some of us do a fair amount of voting, but not quite enough to get a tag.

Greetings, lurkers and infrequent posters!

You are welcome, and your opinions matter, too. :)

So there are at least 30 people to blame for the thread not achieving Champion status, got it.

Jokes aside, there are certainly more votes than before, more than I expected.

Liberty's Edge

Snorter wrote:

Getting upset at a cull could only be appropriate, if it were a surprise.

But since it was advertised that it would be done, and why it would be done, no-one has any grounds to be annoyed.
That's why some posters seem to have little sympathy.
"Raaargh! The company hosting the competition carried out the process in the way they had repeatedly said they would! I DEMAND AN EXPLANATION!"

I am definitely not upset that there is a cull. I was surprised to learn that it was more than 55% culled when it was only 25% the year before. And I was a bit worried about the impact of such a one-time deep cull, based mainly on my own emotions and gut-reactions.

I think the idea of a cull is good.

I think a progressive culling is better than a one-time deep culling.

I think in any case that clarifying any known parameter beforehand (such as the percentage to be culled or the estimated date of the cull) is good practice in any project. Same as houserules really ;-)

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Petty Alchemy wrote:
Lady Firedove wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:

Well, there have been just over 800 submissions (assuming the community generated list is close to accurate), and the forum has maybe...15 vocal members?

We probably won't know how the majority of people feel, just this sample.

I just wanted to point out that over 50 individuals have read the OPs of this thread and voted their responses, so it's a pretty good sample size after all.

Some of us do a fair amount of thread reading, but not a ton of posting, and some of us do a fair amount of voting, but not quite enough to get a tag.

Greetings, lurkers and infrequent posters!

You are welcome, and your opinions matter, too. :)

So there are at least 30 people to blame for the thread not achieving Champion status, got it.

Jokes aside, there are certainly more votes than before, more than I expected.

AS one of those infrequent posters and lurkers, I would just like to say that I enjoy reading what people have to say. I put an item in this year only to have it not survive the cull. Disappointed? Yes. Upset or angry or anything like that? Absolutely not. In fact, it makes me look forward to seeing the people who made it go on and present us with everything in the rest of the rounds. And then better luck next year for me. I voted before and after the cull, and to be honest, didn't even know I had been culled until after the voting has stopped. Had I known I had been culled I would have still kept voting. To those who survived and will continue on, congrats. I for one look forward to seeing what you have to offer. Its not like being culled here is going to stop me from making items for my own game or keep me from writing new campaigns or designing maps or stop gaming. Everyone here, vocal or otherwise, is a superstar just for being here and contributing in their own way. Keep it up!


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My voting was affected more by my multiple hats than by anything to do with the contest itself. Working 7 days a week. Trying to be a full-time dad and husband. Pushing a small handicraft hobby-business. Trying to move that business into a full-time gig. Trying to design 3d models for said business. Trying to follow the contest. Trying to plan new game-related writing projects.

I kinda forgot to vote regularly.

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

finally feeling like I have time to comment some more :)

I appreciate the deep cull. More frequent and smaller culls might be better at building tension, but there is Top 32, there is alternates and there is everything else. You are either first or you're not, there is no second place.

There are only two categories in the open call for RPGSS: Top 32 and everyone else.* Conceivably, the cull could do away with all but the top 100 and the reveal would be the same. Everything else is kind of a waste of time or resources.

Except... 'voting' is the resource and we gamers are freely giving our time for it. Voting is like a game. Indeed it is a part of a game. A fun game that led to this fun contest. Voting gives potential designers good insight on what publishers are looking for (or, at least what they are not looking for). I can't say why people like voting. Some might be collecting items to give their next character the 'I win' button. Others might do it to catch their players between a rock and a hard spot. Still others might just be looking to build interesting directions for their campaign.** Even if it is just up-vote a favorite item the act of voting is freely given. A cull helps keep the voting fresh or maybe fun.

I mentioned building tension earlier. I think a cull to the Top 100 would destroy the tension of the Top 32 reveal. Even doubling it to the top 200 gives every voter a chance to see every item and some might see every pairing. They would soon have their personal rankings all figured out. But a series of smaller culls would let us climb Freytag's pyramid one nail-biting 'did last leaves make it?' or 'will the arcane anvil survive?' tension-filled-hurdle at a time. Kind of like Top 16, Top 8, Top 4 and even the title Superstar.

This might be a logistic nightmare for Paizo of course. But they have a proven track*** record to tell a good story so will see tension's value.

*Arguably there is a slightly more vague category of Top 89/100, but this is nothing official. SKR offered feedback on those items if their authors asked which is a prize in my humble opinion, but beyond that these items are still not Top 32.

**do you design/vote like a player? a GM? a designer?

***Need I say more?

[ooc]*gasp* what was I saying about having more time? :)/ooc]

Scarab Sages

The black raven wrote:
I am definitely not upset that there is a cull. I was surprised to learn that it was more than 55% culled when it was only 25% the year before. And I was a bit worried about the impact of such a one-time deep cull, based mainly on my own emotions and gut-reactions.

Well, I'll grant you that.

Cull = good
55% cull = maybe a bit severe? Discuss.

As long as people aren't stomping off in a huff, and are willing to discuss the process calmly, we're fine just negotiating over the degree.

I think I prefer the idea of several (max 5?) small culls, each shaving off the bottom 10%. I think you have to be realistic, that any items in that bracket, or consistently skirting the edges each time, are not going to have a last-minute surge. And let's face it, many of the items at the bottom of the list are there for a reason.
It'd also extend the participation of the voting pundits, figuring out which items survived each time.

Scarab Sages

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How can people know they've been culled, anyway?

Has Paizo published an official list, or are we relying on a fan-made spreadsheet?
Just because you don't see your item on an amateur post-cull list, doesn't mean you're out of the competition. People could still be voting on it, but simply not be in the subset of voters who post what they've seen to that list.

Which makes it another good reason not to vent on the forums.
Demanding an explanation why your item isn't popular, when it actually made the cull, could mean you disqualify yourself, by identifying your entry.

Not to mention, you could make such an a@~$$!* of yourself, by sulking, pouting, or flouncing, that the many 3pp who watch these boards may decide to put you on their list of 'people I never want to work with', regardless of whether your entry, or any future work, is actually well-written.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Snorter wrote:
How can people know they've been culled, anyway?

There was a crack (Or crackhead) team of folks whom were taking tabs on every item that showed up in the voting both before and after the cull. Please refer to the thread "List of items that anyone can edit", and click on the link in the first post.

People whom did not see their item on the "Post-cull" list...well, you know...

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

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Brigg wrote:
Snorter wrote:
How can people know they've been culled, anyway?

There was a crack (Or crackhead) team of folks whom were taking tabs on every item that showed up in the voting both before and after the cull. Please refer to the thread "List of items that anyone can edit", and click on the link in the first post.

People whom did not see their item on the "Post-cull" list...well, you know...

Snorter's post, which you edited the context out of, mentioned the spreadsheet. If I interpreted him correctly, he suggested it's unwise to jump to solid conclusions based on a fan made sheet. And I think he's got a good point: while I am absolutely certain the folks who maintained the sheet did their utmost to make it accurate--and you know what, it probably is--but it's still an unofficial attempt at collecting things. It was also a sheet editable by anyone and could be messed with---always hard to be absolutely 100% certain that something didn't get accidentally deleted, mis-sorted, etc. etc. I think it was valuable to see, but I also think someone who absolutely counts on that entirely could potentially set themselves up for unnecessary disappointment. And the voting algorithm is random enough that it is possible somehow even someone who just spent all day and night for the last few weeks voting rather than anything else might have missed something.

There are also distinctions that might be missed... for example, someone might not have been culled but disqualified---some non-qualifying entries sometimes slip past the initial review and voters report them. Someone could feel they were unjustly culled due to voter preference when the reality is it was a mistake they themselves made that got them removed from the list.

(I know having only voted a mere few hundred times, I still swear I only saw about 25 items in different combinations (seriously, there were at least five items I could NOT get away from, pre or post cull, and several more that popped up repeatedly, while a huge bulk I never saw, my own item included. My item is listed on the post-cull list but I can't help but wonder if that's a cruel joke. ;) )).

And while I know it's not currently against the rules, I have to wonder if such item listing is a good idea. Everyone wants to know if someone's seen their item, I know, but I wonder if it is potentially, negatively distracting. Yeah, I know voters need something to do (and I liked checking the list and appreciate folks' hard work) but something I'm finding hard to articulate niggles at the back of my head as to the idea that this might be a troubling trend for some reason.

Mind, I think most of the people who believed they were culled handled it with aplomb and their ruminations were more enlightening than anything, but at the same time there was some unnecessary bitterness (sudden suspicion of the voting process, etc. etc.). Folks have to remember this isn't a contest for best item, it's a competition between people to show they've got their best stuff, and "best stuff" includes not only their actual entries, but also attitude and sports(wo)manship. This last bit I think is the point some folks are trying to get at here, in particular.

Scarab Sages

You got it exactly, DQ.

I found Feros' post-cull list, this morning, and I actually thought I'd been culled for a few minutes, and my response was "Oh, well, too bad, so sad, there's always next year."

Till I realised I was looking for my item under its first-draft name.
"Heeeyyyyy, hang on....<scroll>...well, waddya know, I'm still in."

Imagine if I'd gone on the boards, bemoaning my fate, and let slip enough specifics about my entry that I disqualified myself out of the top 32?

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

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Let me say this: If your item was not on the post-cull list you should be concerned but not defeated. As DQ pointed out, it is statistically possible that neither Thomas LeBlanc or myself saw your item post-cull even if it was there. Is it likely? No. But that is no reason to give up.

Personally I am hoping for a number of items to have made it through that appeared to have been culled. Unlike previous years, the items culled this time around included some very good designs. Being culled before meant you really hadn't done a good job. This year it only meant you didn't get the voters attention enough. Right now it doesn't matter anyway: the judges are in charge again and the Top 32 will be selected by them regardless of how well they were voted.

The bitterness that came out from some who weren't on our cobbled together list wasn't excessive, but what was there was illuminating. A positive attitude over rejection and being a good loser are vital components to any career, let alone one in game design. Always remember that Paizo and 3PP are watching the threads and the contest closely. First impressions are hard to overcome.

So good luck everyone, whether you were on our list or not! :)

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

I am hoping the big cull will be a wakeup call. Maybe some people submitted an item just to say they participated and didn't really care to win? No attempts at formatting, obviously not for Pathfinder, wondrous items, math included, and many other fails. To be honest, at least one third of the items had a 0% chance of making it to the Top 89/100 (or whatever this years number will be).

My first submission to RPGSS followed the template, but was a prime example of what not to do in an item. I learned from the judges criticisms and read the advice threads in preparation for the second year.

A serious designer has to learn the game system and see what the publisher wants. Before I started submitting stuff to Rite Publishing I bought a few items along the lines of what I wanted to work on. I then aped the basic style and submitted to Pathways. Some of my submissions were used, not all. The same thing for Wayfinder, read a few backs issues and submitted. Again, some stuff they liked and others they didn't. In both cases, took note and kept submitting.

TLDR: See what others like, read to improve craft, and keep trying.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

Snorter wrote:
Till I realised I was looking for my item under its first-draft name.

I was the same way during voting, I completely forgot I changed my item name in the submission box. And then didn't change it in my save file...


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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:


TLDR: See what others like, read to improve craft, and keep trying.

Quoted for emphasis.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8 aka Jrcmarine

The issue I had with the cull was the percentage culled at one time. I am pretty sure my item was culled and while I am disappointed, I understand and am not about to slit my wrists.

The problem is that eliminating such a large amount of entries at one time changed the way voting occurred. I have heard that the large cull was good because those items weren't going to make the top 100 let alone the top 32. This statement could very well be incorrect. Statistically speaking, there are items that were culled that could have made top 100 or top 32 if the cull had been smaller or not occurred at all.

Once the items were culled I wonder if the amount of overall voting decreased. If it did, then the "heavy" voters, myself included, had much more of an impact than prior years. With a smaller pool of items to vote on and a smaller number of voters voting, the heavy voters' impact increases.

I am not saying this happened. I am merely curious if the numbers went down after the cull (I am sure they did) and if the amount of voting decreased, how much did it decrease by? If the voting decrease was significant, then I think the cull did a disservice to the competition. Champion and Marathon voters don't make the game. It is all of the other voters who make the game. As a company, Paizo wants to incorporate as many players and fans as they can. When the majority of players (ie. voters) become disinterested in voting, it not only lowers the popularity of the contest, but it may promote items forward that aren't interesting to the majority of players.

This is all speculation on my part, but I wanted to put it forward so that all of you who are "pro-Armageddon-cull" might take another look. I am probably one of the few heavy voters who is not in favor of a 55% cull all at once.


First: Did the people who were culled receive any kind of notification?

Second: I think that a voting option of "This is so bad it does not deserve further consideration" could be implemented, but the math is beyond my five-minute ability.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

DeciusBrutus wrote:

First: Did the people who were culled receive any kind of notification?

Second: I think that a voting option of "This is so bad it does not deserve further consideration" could be implemented, but the math is beyond my five-minute ability.

1st) No

2nd) Bad idea. If it breaks any of the rules, submit for DQ. If it doesn't just don't vote for it.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8 aka Jrcmarine

DeciusBrutus wrote:

First: Did the people who were culled receive any kind of notification?

Second: I think that a voting option of "This is so bad it does not deserve further consideration" could be implemented, but the math is beyond my five-minute ability.

Notification is not given out. The only way people know is through the compilation of lists from voters. However the list is probably very accurate. I believe it listed 354 items as the final count post cull, with several champion and marathon voters confirming each item.

So while there isn't notification, it is pretty easy to determine if your item or even your favorite items was culled.

Yes, there is a possibility that an item did not make the list, but statistically speaking, it is very unlikely.

To address your second point- what you consider atrocious, someone else may consider genius. We live and die by the subjectivity of the contest, and that is the point of the contest. My concern was that the subjectivity of the contest may have lessened post cull if a significant number of voters discontinued voting.

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

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It's worth noting that the culls are not absolutes. If a judge decided to read every single item, and vote to keep in something that got caught in a cull, a longshot item could still make it.

It's a sad reality that we mostly don't have time to do that. We need culls for exactly that reason. But in this round, the judges' final decision is, well, final.

And when folks find an item they think should be disqualified, they are welcome to let us know. We can hunt it down and check ourselves. Several items got cut because they failed to meet the contests requirements and voters notified us. Others got cut, then immediately uncut because I thought we might be too harsh in our judgments, only to subsequently not make the first cull.

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

Lol, Owen, you have a mile wide cruel streak camouflaged as kindness ;)

You have just doubled my hope of being in Top 32 and not being culled from 0.01% confidence to 0.02% confidence.

That is pure evil, and I hope that subtle evilness is present whenever you run your game! ;)

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

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Personally even as someone who probably had their item culled, I think the big cull is better than one small one. Multiple smaller culls would be best by might not be feasible.

People don't get culled as a personal thing against them, their item is simply below a line drawn through the options given. I am sure given the very small number that make it through the first round, that paizo can confident that none of the culled items were even going to reach the top 100 or 89 or whatever number the judges select from.

Everyone should feel welcome to stay and participate in RPGSS regardless of their culled or not culled status. But really we shouldn't miss people who leave only because their item was culled because those people were in this solely for themselves and whatever benfit they can get from the contest and not because they want to participate in a community event.

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

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I realized I've never really answered the initial question here. I haven't favorited either post.

I have a sense from prior years is that there's a fairly notable gap in favorability ratings between items that get culled and those that don't... and my own guess is that the "big" cull this year was that that's where the gap fell. What I'd prefer is not the "big cull" per se--as in, I don't want them to formally change things to just always have a large cull--but to keep culling whereever that gap falls. I know I am not articulating myself well here and probably not choosing the right terms, but hopefully my sentiment comes across.

I definitely DO think a cull is helpful and I would prefer one cull rather than several (as it is some voters wait till after the cull to vote, and they might wait till after the "several" to vote, so I'm not sure how helpful more would be).

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

I thought this year's cull was very good, but I feel like having two or three culls might do better.

I do think it's worth mentioning that many items had good ideas behind them, even if not executed to Superstar level. Many said items on their keep lists got culled. I don't see that as a sign of a bad cull. I see that as a sign that many people brought great ideas to this year's competition.

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

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we actually have two culls one year? Some of this discussion is revolving around speculation about the effects of multiple small culls, but I think that's something that's already happened once before. Hard data about multiple small culls might already exist somewhere.

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