Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Here Be Monsters 2: Contest Rules & Judging Criteria

Here Be Monsters is a Pathfinder RPG monster design contest. The second season of the contest begins Thursday, 21 January 2016.

Contest Rules

Contest entries must adhere to the following rules.
  • Your monster must be 590-610 words. Note that the maximum word limit is almost 100 words fewer than in the previous Here Be Monsters, and this time there is also a minimum word limit. Use your word processor to check your word count.
  • Each entrant may submit one monster.
  • Your monster must be designed for the Pathfinder RPG, and you must use the monster template.
  • Your monster entry must be appropriate for the contest theme "Hell Breaks Loose", which is described in more detail in the contest announcement.
  • Your monster may not have class levels or templates.
  • Your monster must be setting-neutral.
  • Your monster's CR must be at least 1 and may not be higher than 20. Please note that you only have 600 words, and higher-CR monsters may eat up all your words with describing special abilities, which could leave you limited space for describing it.
  • Your monster may use feats, spells, and other resources available in Paizo's Pathfinder PRD. Your monster may not, however, have mythic ranks.
  • You must submit your monster via email to monster.design.contest@gmail.com before the deadline 11 February, 2:00 PM PST. Include the monster's name in the subject line of the email.

Additional Judging Criteria

Following the guidelines presented below maximizes your chances of winning.
  • Your monster's concept is something new and creative or puts an interesting spin on a classic theme.
  • Your monster's name and read-aloud text are evocative.
  • Your monster's stat block is correctly formatted. Use any recent Pathfinder RPG bestiary product published by Paizo as your style guide.
  • Your monster's statistics are balanced against other creatures of the same CR. Refer to the Monster Creation chapter in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary for instructions.
  • Your monster has interesting new special abilities with reasonably simple and elegant mechanics.
  • Your monster entry includes compelling lore about the monster which helps GMs use the monster in adventures and campaigns.


  1. Okay, but what are the prizes?

    1. "...the winning entries will be published in a 3rd-party bestiary product." plus bragging rights isn't enough?

    2. Absolutely not. That's like an artist getting paid in "exposure". It's getting people to do your job for free.

    3. Let's not jump into conclusions. As the title suggests, this blog post is *only* a list of judging criteria. (And a preview at that!)

      But to answer the question, a percentage of the money earned by the publisher is split between the authors of the winning entries.

      Anyway, as stated in the blog post, more details about the contest are revealed on Thursday. Until then, I'll only be posting teasers which won't reveal all the details, nor are they intended to. Let's not let impatience and speculation ruin this (hopefully) fun event! :-)

    4. I should clarify that I just assumed that the winner would get paid for their work as part of the publishing process because of the caliber of people running the contest.


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