Friday, January 22, 2010

RPG Superstar 2010, result

So we finally got the results of the first round of RPG Superstar 2010.

As expected, I didn't make the top 32, but I did manage to get some unofficial feedback on my submission. It didn't turn out to be too bad; only some game mechanics were not right (the item seemed to be way too expensive for what it could do). Personally, though, I think it also lacked serious sex appeal to be RPG Superstar quality, especially compared to what did make it to round 2. But I'm learning and I'm definitely going to compete again next year. At least it felt good to accomplish something for myself and seeing it through to the end, however small it may be (more on that in a future post).

Anyway, for those of you who are interested in what I wrote, here's my entry. Be warned that if you've never played Dungeons and Dragons, this may all sound very geeky. But if you have, then feel free to use it in your campaign.

Chi-Yan's Wondrous Whetstone of Wounding

Aura moderate conjuration; CL 10th
Slot none; Price 16,000 gp (1/week), 36,000 gp (2/week), 64,000 gp (3/week), 100,000 (4/week); Weight 2 lbs.

The wondrous whetstone of wounding resembles a simple whetstone for sharpening swords, axes, lances, or any other kind of edged melee weapon. When it is applied to a magic weapon however, it sharpens it and also imbues it with the wounding special ability. The whetstone does not grant a magic enhancement bonus on the weapon; the weapon must already have a magic enhancement bonus of at least +1. The weapon also gains a moderate conjuration aura. Both ability and aura remain for 24 hours. When this time has passed, the ability and aura disappear and the weapon returns to its state before the whetstone was used.

Depending on the power of the whetstone, it might apply this special ability a number of times per week. Once all uses are expended for that week, the whetstone’s magic becomes dormant and the whetstone temporarily becomes mundane. The number of times such a whetstone can apply its ability depends on the power of the stone; the price is determined based on this number of applications. Different applications per week per whetstone need not necessarily be applied to the same weapon.

Other whetstones exist that can imbue other abilities. Whetstones that apply abilities with a higher base price modifier, according to table 15-7 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, take up one price slot higher and allow one less application per week for each modifier point over +1. For example, a whetstone granting speed (+3 modifier) exist in a 64,000 gp version (applicable 1/week) and a 100,000 gp (2/week).

Requirements Craft Wondrous Items, bleed; Cost 8,000 gp (1/week), 18,000 (2/week), 32,000 (3/week), 50,000 (4/week)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Master! Master!

It's been years since I've played my guitar, but I'm sitting here right now with 'The Axe' on my lap. I've pulled up a tab of Master of Puppets by Metallica and am practicing away at the intro riffs.

I must say, after years of inactivity, I haven't lost much of my previously acquired 'skills' (actually, I'm reluctant to call it skills, because I'm far from good, but I can find no better word for it... perhaps 'basics' would be more fitting?) The left hand on the fretboard can almost keep up with the original (albeit quite messy), but the right-hand picking needs A LOT of work still.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Roleplaying on the Wave

Almost everybody in my branch must have heard about Google Wave by now -- the new "communication and collaboration platform" developed by Google. Even though it's still in beta stage, many people already benefit from its uses. It hasn't replaced any of my trusted tools yet (MonkeyGTD as a ToDo-application, TiddlyWiki as an information designing tool, Evernote for collecting tidbits of information, and plain ol' OpenOffice for writing documents) but I have found a fun use for it.

My roleplaying group has started a small old-school-style Swords & Wizardry campaign on Google Wave using the whitebox ruleset. The story and actions progress in a play-by-post manner, and are completely improvised -- not only by the DM (which is me in this case) but also by the players. They have as much the right and responsibility to drive it forward as I have.

I must say it's a fun way to relax in the evening or during a lunch break, and it's a perfect opportunity to practice my ad-lib creativity.

If you're interested in following the story or maybe joining or starting one yourself, leave a comment on this post and I will invite you to the Wave.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

RPG Superstar 2010

Following ancient tradition -- I'm guessing three years now -- Paizo has kicked off this year's RPG Superstar design contest, an event in which everyone interested in RPG design can compete in several rounds for the title of Superstar. It's an excellent way to make a name for oneself and get a foot in the door for a professional career in this excitingly creative business. The winner gets to write a 32-page adventure module commissioned and published by Paizo.

And in following up with my previous post "RPGs for a living?", I've joined in.

In the first round everybody's allowed to participate. We were asked to submit a fully fleshed out wondrous magic item in 500 words or less, following the rules and style of Paizo's latest flagship product Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Out of all these submissions, 32 will be elected to go on to the next round to design something else (they won't tell yet what exactly, until the first round is closed on January 19).

I don't expect to get very far into the contest this year due to time constraints, but I see this as an incentive to actually work on something RPG related and an opportunity to learn about professional design and publishing. However, I do have ambitions to win this contest at some time in the future and land a professional career in RPG design, so I plan to compete every year from now on.

Wish me luck.