Thursday, January 15, 2015

Interview with a Champion Voter: Frank Gori (GM_Solspiral)

While everyone is waiting for the Top 32 reveal in RPG Superstar (and hopefully sending in their Detect Mojo lists!), I decided to interview some of this year's Champion Voters.

The first Champion Voter I'm interviewing is Frank Gori, who is publisher at the Flying Pincushion, a Pathfinder-compatible publishing company.

1. When you think about it, 5,000 votes means that you put in a minimum of 83 hours and 20 minutes, which is roughly equal to a part time job. What drove you to put in that kind of time?

I've gunned for Champion for the past two years and didn't hit the mark. I like seeing all the items but it's also slightly about finishing something I felt I started from my first year of voting. Besides it's crazy awesome geek cred.

2. What makes an item Superstar for you? What were some of your deal breakers that made you vote against an item rather that for its competitor?

For an item to be Superstar:
  • First: I have to be able to picture it both as an item and usually the effect or use of said item. 
  • Second: Does it have mojo? If I add an awesome riff from an electric guitar to the image in my head does it seem out of place? Would I be amped to see that item on my character sheet?
Deal Breakers:
  1. No description.
  2. Cartoonishly overpowered.
  3. Breaks the 4th wall in a way that I find offensive.
  4. Spell in a Can and that's all it is.
3. What did you think of this year's twist? If you voted last year, do you think the quality of the items was better or worse than prior years?

It actually benefited me so I of course liked it. Wondrous items were getting stale. It didn't help the bottom Tier items but the middle and up were actually having the best year ever. 

4. This year's cull was controversial, what did you think of it? How much did it affect your voting?

I was sad to see 7/10 of my favorite rings die. Voting however was more pleasant as most of the bad was gone and I truly felt I was helping sort the best items. It forced me to rexamine some items I had written off as bad, turns out there were some gems in the dung so all and all a good thing.

5. If you could change one thing for next year's competition, what would it be?

Eric "Epic Meepo" Morton had an interesting idea I'd like to see tried... The idea you can speak of any item that is not your own. I realize it would not be perfect and that some would defend their friend's items and what not but I like the concept of a more engaged community similar to the playtest environment. It's worth trying for a year.

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