Saturday, February 14, 2015

Some thoughts about the monster round and Pathfinder Online

I've been a bit busy lately -- writing my comments on the 16 monsters, trying to be productive in my day job, and working on a freelance assignment have taken much of my time, and I haven't prepared any particularly thought-out post for this weekend. (Thankfully Jacob and Joe posted really interesting blogs this week, sharing their thoughts on monsters and monster design -- please have a look if you didn't already!) I'll just discuss some recent Pathfinder-related things that I've been up to.

Judging monster entries: I tell you, it's hard work! Of course, I already knew that since I was one of the judges on Here Be Monsters, but I think I put much more energy into RPG Superstar than HBM. In HBM there were 40 monsters, but we didn't have to provide detailed commentary on all of them, just the Top 5. Sean, Mike, Jacob, and I also had several more days for writing our comments. In RPG Superstar it's basically just 4 days, though some finalists did submit their monsters quite early.

The most important difference, however, is that HBM is something Jacob and I planned and set into motion quite quickly, while RPG Superstar is already in its eighth year now, and is organized by Paizo, the leading publisher in tabletop RPG gaming. In other words, there was quite a bit of pressure for me to do a good job.

I was very pleased to see that the more experienced judges, Owen and Adam, had noticed very similar things, and for the most part, we agreed on who should advance and who shouldn't. I've been reading the voters' comments and I'm aware that some people in the audience don't always agree on everything I've said, but it's good to remember that reviewing monsters isn't 100% science and that as a judge, I do need to look at slightly different things, for slightly different reasons than most voters do.

Anyway, it was a really positive experience for me, and I'm really honored that I was invited to be on the judging panel. Being one of the Top 4 finalists last year was a great experience for me, and it was really enlightening to see this side of the contest, too. It puts a lot of things into perspective. :-)

Pathfinder Online: I was lucky enough to get an invite to play Pathfinder Online in its early enrollment stage. Actually, I'm installing it at the moment, waiting to experience Golarion in a new way. Aaaand it just finished installing, let's have a look.

I created a dwarf, Jormur, and started playing. Well, look at that! I see buildings, other people, trees, stars in the night sky. I wonder if that's Thornkeep over there. Ok, I'm running around and it seems I can jump real high. I have a softwood club. Ok, better than nothing! There doesn't seem to be a lot going on in town, so I'll go to the woods and see if there's something to ... umm, kill out there. And loot.

I see some red icons on my map thingy, maybe I'll go looking for trouble... Goblins! I'm fighting one of them, and... crap, I died. I'm not very good at this. But Pharasma has returned me to her shrine. I live again!

Well, I'll probably write a longer post about Pathfinder Online once I'm more familiar with the game. :-)

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