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Paizo RPG Superstar Is Back... But It's Different!

For a long time, Paizo held an annual RPG Superstar competition. It was a bit like The X Factor or American Idol, but you had to design Pathfinder things (magic items, monsters, etc.), with the winner getting to write an adventure for the company. I was even a judge one year!

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The competition ended a few years back, in 2015, but this year is has returned... but with a few vital changes. The big ones that it is no longer being run by Paizo, but by the Roll For Combat podcast, which has licensed it from Paizo. The head judge is Owen KC Stephens.

It's still Pathfinder-based (in this case, Pathfinder 2E), and has cash prizes for over 100 winners from $25 up to $500. It has been shortened somwhat, too - instead of the multiple round of designing various Pathfinder things which tested various different design skills, narrowing down the contestants at each stage, there's one big stage -- creating a monster. It starts on March 16th, the judges will choose a top 101 entries, and then there will be open voting for the winner, which will be announced in August.

Additionally, the winning monsters get featured in a book called the Battlezoo Bestiary, and for lesser prize levels "...a chance that your monster will be a featured antagonist in John Staats’ upcoming litRPG series, The Book of Dungeons".

Note that there is a clause which says "All monsters submitted to the RPG Superstar™ contest will be owned by Skyscraper Studios, Inc." -- that does include the non-winning entries, too.
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

CapnZapp

Legend
For a long time, Paizo held an annual RPG Superstar competition. It was a bit like The X Factor or American Idol, but you had to design Pathfinder thing (magic items, monsters, etc.), with the winner getting to write an adventure for the company. I was even a judge one year!


The competition ended a few years back, in 2015, but this year is has returned... but with a few vital changes.
So... it's basically only it in name only, since it's not Paizo, it's not an entry-point to being Paizo published, and it's not judging you on different fields of rpg writer competence?

Or what did I miss?
 

Stonesnake

Explorer
The entries are being judged by Paizo employees, ex-employees, or long-time Paizo freelancers on the same criteria they would use when judging a new writer. The purpose of the contest is the same as the original Superstar contest, to find new writers and talent.

The book isn't being published by Paizo directly, but they have a lot of collaboration into the development of the final book with the editors of this book all being from Paizo.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The entries are being judged by Paizo employees, ex-employees, or long-time Paizo freelancers on the same criteria they would use when judging a new writer. The purpose of the contest is the same as the original Superstar contest, to find new writers and talent.

The book isn't being published by Paizo directly, but they have a lot of collaboration into the development of the final book with the editors of this book all being from Paizo.
Is there a list of judges anywhere? I see Owen is the head judge.
 


Breaking this down, you write a 500 word monster entry, where you have the chance of “winning” a $25 prize. Which is like writing a freelance monster for $0.05 per word, or half the typical freelance rate of ten cents per word.
The total prizes for the is $5,500, for the 101 entries. Which works out to $54 per person on average. So the 56 copper “winners” are being paid half the industry standard to pay a small handful other writers significantly more.

This is basically an open call for monsters with unequal play to disguise it as a contest.
 

Stonesnake

Explorer
Where are you getting a "typical freelance rate" of $0.10 per word? I have been writing for Paizo for years and only get $0.07 a word. I would be very curious to see your source on this.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Yeah, that’s certainly not a typical freelance rate in this industry. Typical would be 3c or less.

 



dave2008

Legend
Breaking this down, you write a 500 word monster entry, where you have the chance of “winning” a $25 prize. Which is like writing a freelance monster for $0.05 per word, or half the typical freelance rate of ten cents per word.
The total prizes for the is $5,500, for the 101 entries. Which works out to $54 per person on average. So the 56 copper “winners” are being paid half the industry standard to pay a small handful other writers significantly more.

This is basically an open call for monsters with unequal play to disguise it as a contest.
I also question your "typical" freelance rate. That may be typical in other industries, but not TTRPGs.
 

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