Round 2 & 3 clarification

Just had a few brief queries regarding Rounds 2 and 3 that I was hoping the judges, organisers, other contestants or anyone else savvy to publishing in Pathfinder might know. 

Round 2
Brief assumption that it is preferred for the location write up to be included in the body of the email submission as with Round 1, but I could be wrong.

While I realise the location write up is a lot more flexible than creating wondrous items or stat blocks, are there any established conventions, mostly regarding formatting. The main one that's jumped out at me from trawling previous Superstar entries is the read aloud text being written in a blue-grey colour. But regarding things like sub-headings, I am less sure as to whether there is a standard. And as the judges have pointed out, it's attention to those little details that can really make an editor happy to work with you.

Round 3
If our villain has a class ability that grants them a minion (such as animal companion), are we to include those statistics along with the villain, as this could mean fewer words for the motivations/tactics etc. for characters with those class abilities?

I am unsure for Round 3 whether there is a preference for our villains to be appropriate to our own adventure location or another contestant's. I could have sworn through one read through of the round 3 rules that it implied using another contestant's location but going back and rereading I find myself much less sure.


  • Good questions. Including the write-up in the body of the email is indeed preferred for our ease, though we won't disqualify anyone who does it as an attachment.

    Round 2: There's not necessarily an established format we're using. That said, if you think the best use of your words are to include, say, a village stat block, you can do so, but my feeling is this round is to see if you can come up with an interesting setting for a village. My personal belief is that while a stat block can be interesting, it's not the best way to convey why your village is exciting. I think if you feel you want a subheading, doing it on a separate line and bold is good enough to indicate that. I don't think you need to use any readaloud text for this challenge.

    Round 3: Yes, if your villain would have a minion, those statistics would need to be included, which could mean fewer words for other areas. For the second part of your question, I'm not going to answer that for the moment. :smile:
  • Judge(s), I'd like some clarification for the Round 3 rules, too, regarding whether the villains should be appropriate for the entrants' own locations (which is my best guess given the contest's end goal of a complete adventure), or that of another author.

    In the requirements part, it reads, "...for an adventure location from Round 2..." (emphasis mine). But, in the disqualification section, it reads "...written by another author..." Can/should we submit a villain appropriate for our own location?

    Also, in the disqualification section, there's this line, "...refers to rules, monsters, or copyrighted material from Paizo or..."  Can you clarify this a little?
  • While not a judge, I will note that this contest is based on the style of past RPG Superstar competitions. Those had various changing goals (sometimes the map came in the round before the villain, sometimes vice versa.  Sometimes there was a monster design after the magic item design.  Most of those had specifications similar to this contest, where the continuing designers had to make an encounter map utilizing a monster designed by another author.

    While the first mention of the villain in the rules just says an adventure location, the later one under Disqualification does say 'another author'. Again, while I am not a judge and I am sure one will shortly clarify it, it would seem that the intent is that you design a villain that would appropriately be in one of your fellow author's map locations.

    An example might be a fire elemental or red dragon probably wouldn't be found in... a dungeon made of ice nor would a vampire or specter or other sunlight vulnerable creature be found lurking around a sunlit or open outdoor area, like a jousting field and a huge giant probably wouldn't be found in a two-person bungalow.

    I don't know how closely you have to tie a villain to a specific map, like giving it a reason or goal and story for being there or whether it just has to conceivably fit into one.
  • I would like to echo jkondrak's questions and also add one. Assuming we submit a villain from a location other than our own, must that location be from a contestant who makes it into Round 3? In other words, will all 15 locations (or 14 if our own is not allowed) be available for use, or only the 8 (or 7) that proceed to Round 3?

    For the copyrighted material question, I assumed this referred to content that falls under Product Identity? For instance, we could not use a cleric of Sarenrae, because Sarenrae is a copyrighted character for Paizo, but we could do a cleric of a Homebrew god or just a generic cleric.
  • So, we had discussed having the requirement be for a villain from another location (in the spirit of RPG Superstar "twists"), but ended up deciding that will not be a requirement. I'll make sure the rules reflect that (though it may need to wait until I get home to do so). As long as the villain is appropriate for an adventure in one of the 15 locations, it will be a legal entry. The location does not need to be one that advanced to Round 3.

    And the copyrighted material line does indeed mean content that falls under Product Identity.
  • Would I be able to get a further clarification for round 3. I know that abilities from the Core Rulebook and universal monster abilities do not have to be written out in full under special abilities.
    Does this mean that all class abilities for non-core classes must be written out in full (eg. witch, summoner, magus, any occult class etc)?
    In particular, I want to take into account the feedback from the judges for round 2 and actually answer the questions about the villain in the entry* and so I'm trying to gain as clear an idea as possible as to what restrictions the word count puts on me, which currently seems to suggest against animal companions/eidolons/mounts/phantoms (though I think familiars and spirit animals might be fine given they are not statted up in the NPC Codex), against non-core classes which have complicated abilities (a class like gunslinger might be okay but magus requires more than 300 words to simply describe its special abilities for levels 1 and 2) and against templates or monsters which grant too many unique special abilities (such as ghost or fungal).

    Please correct me if I am wrong in interpreting the contest rules in this way. There have been a few villain ideas I've rejected simply because I don't think I could fit them in the word limitation.
    *I am in no way assuming that I'm going to get through to round 3, just there is such a short turnaround time I'm going to act as if I were.  :p
  • No, they do not need to be written out. Look to various published Paizo products for how an NPC should look. The Monster Codex is a good source for NPCs with monster bases and class levels.

    (And I think that's a smart assumption/plan in regards to working ahead.)
  • One more last-minute question (sorry)... The provided statblock includes a place for "(Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Source Name[s])"... do we also include the relevant page numbers (as do published Pathfinder products), or for an OGL adventure do we leave those out?  Let's say for instance my villain is a half-dragon kobold (he's not; that's just an example); would I put "(Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 170, 183)", or do we not use that format for OGL works?
  • Paizo's Compatibility License ( says, "You may not use page numbers, as they may change in licensed translations and in subsequent printings." So only they get to use page  numbers.

  • Ah, missed that.  Thanks.  Well, good, that saves me an extra word or two.   ;)
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