Saturday, March 29, 2014

Interview with a Designer: Mikko Kallio

A while back, Finnish RPG journalist Sami Koponen interviewed me about this year's RPGSS contest. Here's a translation of the interview!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Interview with a Designer: Mike Kimmel

In the first installment of the Interview with a Designer series, I'm interviewing Mike Kimmel, the founder of Freelance Forge and a fellow top 4 contestant from this year's RPG Superstar. Besides the same initials, Mike and I have eerily similar track records in RPGSS, and I jokingly call him my nemesis. Let's hear some of Mike's thoughts about RPGSS, Freelance Forge and freelancing!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Interviewed for a Finnish RPG website

I just sent in my answers to an email interview about the RPGSS 2014. The interview was conducted by Sami Koponen, the webmaster of Roolipelitiedotus. The website publishes news about the Finnish RPG scene in Finnish. I might translate the interview sometime later and publish it here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nine Blazing Months begins!

For years now, it has been a tradition for some of the most dedicated RPGSS contestants to start practicing for the next year shortly after the winner is announced. Participating in the Blazing 9 is a great way to get feedback on your wondrous items, so have a look and post an item you're not going to submit in RPGSS.

Read more here.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Serpent's Stash part III: Whispering Watcher

Back in 2011, I submitted this item that placed me in the top 36, i.e. I was an alt. I won't be reviewing the item this time, I'll just post the comments I got from the judges. Perhaps the lesson learned here is that I overthought the item and the judges could not magically read my thoughts. Also, removing the Stealth bonus was unnecessarily complicated. A simple blur effect would have been, in fact, much much better and something the rules already support.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Serpent's Stash part II: Besmara's Inkwell

Here's a throw-away item from 2011. That year I designed four items and debated much whether I should submit this one or whispering watcher that I ended up submitting. In 2011, I was an alt (but no-one dropped out so I didn't advance) so at least I wasn't very badly wrong about choosing the other item. Whether this item would have fared better, your guess is a good as mine.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Serpent's Stash, part I: Murderbloom

Let's go back to 2007 when the first RPGSS was announced. A friend of mine told me about the contest and I submitted something... the best item I could come up with! (Note: We used the 3.5 rules and formatting back then, so the entry looks different from the current format.)

RPG Superstar 2014 winner announced

Congratulations to Victoria Jaczko, who won this year's RPGSS contest! Also, congratulations to the runner-ups, Mike, Robert and myself. ;-)

Also, check out Andrew Marlowe's new design blog, GAM3 g33k! Andrew is a two-time top 16 contestant, so I'm sure he also has a lot of interesting ideas and tips to share!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Loot & Experience part II: Mikko's recipe for a wondrous item

There's already a lot of advice about wondrous items on the RPGSS boards. Instead of repeating what has been said there, I try to focus on things that I've discovered myself. Like all my articles about RPGSS, this one too assumes that you know the basics, i.e. you've read SKR's advice.

I'm calling this article a "recipe" because there are many ways to craft a good item. This is just one of them and may not work for everyone.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Loot & Experience part I: General advice for RPGSS

Here's my first article in the Loot & Experience series. The purpose of this series of articles is to share my thoughts and ideas about the RPG Superstar contest and what I've learned over the years.

The first article discusses very general things about the contest, while the later parts are about the specific challenges the contestants face in R1 and later rounds. I hope it doesn't come across as too Sun Tzu. ;-)

A new beginning

Paizo's annual RPG Superstar contest is nearing its end. This year I placed in the top 4, which means I cannot enter next year. In a way I'm greatly relieved because these past three months have been very stressful for me. On the other hand, I'm a little sad because I know I'll miss the excitement.

A Sword for Hire