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Every year Paizo holds their RPG Superstar contest, which is a cool competition/talent search for commercial RPG content writers. I've been following for several years, and even though I don't play Pathfinder or even like D&D much, it's a really fun opportunity to see the challenges of commercial game design and how people deal with them.

The competition is usually announced before December, and then there's activity up through April-ish. I'm wondering if an event like this might be an opportunity for RPG.SE.

One obvious way we could be of assistance is branding RPG.SE as a place to ask design questions, but I think that'd go over poorly - it's a competition; competitors are meant to do their own work and research, or at least not farm it out to a public Q&A site.

But lots of design and mechanics questions come up throughout the contest - often in retrospect, when trying to evaluate a particular piece of work. We could chime in there, and discuss mechanical issues as they arise, throw a few links into the Paizo discussions, and hopefully demonstrate that we're a cool, useful, friendly resource.

There are disadvantages here - more focus on Pathfinder, "competition" with the Paizo threads where the same questions will be discussed. But it's such a good event. And the people following it are great people who are genuinely interested both in the intricacies of game design, and (very often) in fleshing out cool ideas and dramatics far beyond what most D&D is typically geared for. So it's a great crowd to pitch to - if we find a good way to.

Suggestions?

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for thinking about how to promote the site \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Withers Nov 22 '11 at 2:39
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I'm wondering if we could swoop in after the rounds are over, the judge's comments are in, the voting results are in. By that point pretty much every entry's been picked apart in a dozen different directions. We could pick some interesting problems and criticisms, and then post "how could I fix this design?" questions for them. Then head back to the Superstar forums with "On RPG.SE, they suggested some cool fixes like..." replete with links. They could address very specific details of the contest entries, or wider issues.

I think this would give us cool content. I'm worried, though, that it'll come across as overly aggressive and promotional, and get the locals annoyed.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think if we could get a few people to follow the contest with an eye towards asking questions about it, that alone would be a pretty huge boost for us. For propagating back to Paizo, I'd say have the question asker send good answers directly to the designers, and try to post the very best answers to forums (with a link back to us). \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Nov 23 '11 at 16:20
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Could be interesting. Especially if we could pitch to designers the utility of this format for design feedback - the Paizo threads drive me crazy, standard forum crapping, it is impossible to really get any kind of feel of consensus off them and the considered analysis is often buried within the dross - whereas here, you can get real focused feedback w/voting etc. It would seem to be quite focused for some kinds of playtest questions. Mot sure what our initial "in" is though.

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