RPG Superstar Info
Have you dreamt of seeing your creation featured on the cover of an RPG title? Well, now is your chance to break into the industry and have your monster illustrated and published for all to see!
That’s right! RPG Superstar™ is back and bigger than ever! Over a hundred winners! Dozens of prizes! And other surprises along the way!
This year’s theme is Elemental Storm. That means that to win, you'll need to build a monster that has a thematic connection to one of the 20 elements listed in the elements table below. Each monster must have a connection to 1-3 of the listed elements below, either directly (such as the element of fire for a fire elemental) or indirectly (such as a creature that has a strong spiritual connection to the elements of time, music, and space). How you connect these elements to your monster, either directly or indirectly, is up to you!
In total, 137 user-submitted monsters will be selected and published in the upcoming Roll For Combat Battlezoo Bestiary Elemental Storm! This 160+ page title will feature all of the winning entries plus support materials created by some of the leading RPG designers in the industry.
This year, the twist is that you need to select one to three of the 20 eldamon elements and theme your monster after the elements you chose. The following are brief descriptions of the 20 elements:
Fire is the element of flames, heat, and burning. Creatures associated with fire usually have the fire trait or special abilities with the fire trait.
Water is the element of water, rain, and bodies of water. Creatures associated with water usually have the water trait (and often the amphibious or aquatic trait too), and they might have special abilities with the water trait.
Earth is the element of earth, rock, soil, and the like. Creatures associated with earth usually have the earth trait or special abilities with the earth trait.
Air is the element of air, wind, and the sky. Creatures associated with air usually have the air trait or special abilities with the air trait, and they can often fly.
Wood is the element of wood, plant life, and flora of all kinds. Creatures associated with wood are usually plants, have special abilities associated with plants, or both.
Ice is the element of cold, ice, snow, and other frozen substances (but not liquid water). Creatures associated with ice usually have the cold trait or special abilities with the cold trait.
Lightning is the element of electricity and lightning. Creatures associated with lightning usually have the electricity trait or special abilities with the electricity trait.
Force is the element of mystical telekinetic force. Creatures associated with force usually have some kind of telekinetic abilities or other special abilities with the force trait.
Life is the element of raw life force, birth, and vital essence. Creatures associated with life usually have the positive trait or special abilities with the positive trait.
Death is the element of death, quietus, and the natural order of the reaping of life. Creatures associated with death usually have abilities associated with the death trait. They are very rarely undead (as undead have found a way to escape the fate of the death element), but they might be psychopomps or other natural bringers of death.
Light is the element of light, illumination, and vision. Creatures associated with light usually have special abilities with the light trait.
Darkness is the element of darkness, the absence of light, and sometimes the shadows that play upon the liminal spaces where light and darkness meet. Creatures associated with darkness usually have special abilities with the darkness trait or shadow trait.
Mind is the element of thoughts, emotions, and mental effects. Creatures associated with mind usually have special abilities with the mental trait. They might potentially have the astral or dream trait.
Spirit is the element of disembodied spirits built out of spiritual building blocks. Creatures associated with spirit are usually incorporeal spirits themselves, though perhaps they might not be if they have notable special abilities involving spirits.
Body is the element focusing on raw body, muscle, and the physical building blocks that make up a creature’s form. Creatures associated with body usually have strong martial attacks with the brute roadmap, or perhaps the soldier roadmap.
Music is the element of music, harmony, and sound. Creatures associated with music usually have auditory or sonic abilities, which often (but not always) include a musical motif.
Metal is the element of ore, smithing, and metal. Creatures associated with metal usually have abilities associated with metal, which might include the ability to create or boost metal items, or the ability to make attacks that mimic certain types of precious metals.
Time is the element of the past, present, and future. Creatures associated with time usually have some abilities to manipulate time. Be cautioned if you write a creature for this element that time abilities are especially difficult and tempting to write something too complicated or powerful; a true Superstar can write a time ability that is elegant and easy to use without breaking the action economy.
Space is the element of distance, the concept of three-dimensional space, as well as the emptiness of space that contains nothing else. Creatures associated with space usually have abilities with the teleportation trait, abilities based on entering or living in outer space, or perhaps both.
Poison is the element of poisons, toxins, venoms, and other such substances inimical to living things. Creatures associated with poison usually have special abilities with the poison trait.
Open Call Rules
Design a compelling monster for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Second Edition, using the Monster Creation guidelines Gamemastery Guide Monster and Hazard Creation PDF. Do not reference any rules not available in the Pathfinder Reference Document.
Entries must be submitted through the My Monsters page at https://rpgsuperstar.com/creatures/my beginning on March 15, 2023, and must be received by 11:59 PM Eastern time on May 28, 2023.
The first round of voting on all submitted monsters will be performed by the public beginning on May 29, 2023 and ending on July 16, 2023. During public voting, anyone registered on rpgsuperstar.com can vote up to once per entry to help determine the top entries and announced to the public on July 24, 2023.
Once the top entries are announced, private RPG Superstar Judge voting will begin on July 24, 2023 and end on September 10, 2023. The RPG Superstar Judges will determine the final Grand Prize winner, the Platinum winners, the Gold winners, the Silver winners, and the Copper winners.
Monster submissions should be between 500-600 words long, including all text within the stat block entry and the monster lore. You can include a brief extra description of the appearance of your creature in the “art direction” section of the monster. This does NOT count against your 500-600 word count limit and are simply used to better describe the appearance of your monster.
The entire submission, including the monster name and all text within the stat block, must not be fewer than 500 words or exceed 600 words. The “art direction” section of the monster stat block does not count against your submission word count limit. The submission form includes a live preview to view what your monster will look like, and will give you a total word count for your monster.
How to Enter
- Create an account on the RPG Superstar website.
- Create and save a monster utilizing the guidelines outlined in the contest rules.
- Any monsters you create and save will appear in the My Monsters! section.
- When you are ready to submit your monster to the contest, click on the Submit To Contest button on the monster page and accept the terms. NOTE: if your monster is not between 500-600 words in length, it cannot be submitted to the contest.
- Your monster will be submitted and have the status as Submitted in your My Monsters! section.
- When public voting begins, and your monster is a valid monster, it will be shown to the public for the first voting round of the contest.
- If your monster is selected for the top entries after initial public voting, it will move onto the next round and private judge voting, and you will be contacted by email.
- Once final judge voting is complete, the winning monster entries will be announced.
- Good luck!
Submissions may be disqualified for the following reasons:
- Submission includes any personally identifying information such as name, avatar name, address, phone number, and so on in the submission itself. All monsters will be presented to judges anonymously.
- Submission is less than 500 words or exceeds 600 words.
- Submission does not conform to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Second Edition format.
- Submission is copied from a previously published source.
- Submission uses rules, monsters, or copyrighted material from publishers (other than acceptable material from Roll For Combat), including Paizo.
- Submissions should be separate entries and not "connected" in some way. In the past, some submissions were all part of the same "family" of monsters or multiple versions of the same monster. If you win the Platinum or Grand Prize, you will be asked to create a family for your winning entry. However, do not submit multiple entries that are directly connected to each other, part of the same "family" of monsters, or connected in some similar manner. Doing so can result in the disqualification of your "connected" entries.
How to Enter
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, submit an original monster using the format shown in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook Second Edition (this format is available free on the Gamemastery Guide Monster and Hazard Creation PDF). More specific details are in the Open Call Rules. The entry period begins at 12:00 PM Eastern time on March 15, 2023, and ends at 11:59 PM Eastern time on May 28, 2023. Entries must be submitted through the My Monsters page at https://rpgsuperstar.com/creatures/my. Contestants must have an account on rpgsuperstar.com to enter the contest — visit https://rpgsuperstar.com/users/sign_up to set up a free account. Entries will not be accepted by mail, e-mail, telephone, fax, or any other method. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Incomplete entries, entries over the word limit, and entries not conforming to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Second Edition will be disqualified. All entries become the property of Skyscraper Studios, Inc. Skyscraper Studios, Inc. is not responsible for lost entries.
Private RPG Superstar Judge voting on the top entries, as selected by public voting, begins at 12:00 AM Eastern time July 24, 2023 and ends at 11:59 PM Eastern time on September 10, 2023.
- The contest is open to the general public, with the following exceptions: Employees or contractors of Skyscraper Studios, Inc., Roll For Combat, or RPG Superstar, their immediate family members, and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are ineligible. Employees of Paizo, their immediate family members, and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are ineligible. Anyone who has been employed full-time as a designer for a game company is ineligible. Anyone with a cover credit on a hardcover RPG book is ineligible. Anyone who has a design credit in 3 or more of Paizo's Pathfinder products is ineligible.
- Contestants must provide their real legal names and contact information on their rpgsuperstar.com accounts. Legal identification must be produced on request. If the contestant wins, they will be given the opportunity to change how their name appears in the final book.
- 3 entries per person. Anyone found submitting more than 3 entries will be disqualified and any prizes won will be immediately forfeited.
- By entering this contest, the contestant authorizes the use, without additional compensation, of his or her name, likeness, voice, photograph, and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including, without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers, and other publications, and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture data storage) which Skyscraper Studios, Inc. may deem appropriate.
- By entering this contest, contestant agree that they may be selected to participate in portions of the contest that include public discussion and public voting. Contestants agree that while Skyscraper Studios, Inc. has guidelines for online conduct, the contestant will indemnify and hold blameless Skyscraper Studios, Inc. and all of its affiliates, judges, participants, and customers for any comments, discussion, or other communication pertaining to the contest.
- During public voting rounds, contestants are prohibited from any public discussion that could be considered as adding to, expanding upon, or clarifying the content of their current submissions. This applies to (but is not limited to) interviews, personal blogs, and messageboard posts on paizo.com or elsewhere. Any such discussion may result in disqualification, in the sole discretion of the judges and/or Skyscraper Studios, Inc.
- Contestants must agree to the submission agreement found on the submission form during the entry period.
- All monsters, once submitted to the RPG Superstar™ contest, will become the property of Skyscraper Studios, Inc., which then will have the absolute right and discretion to make further changes, edits or modifications to the monsters without further input from the contestant prior to the monster’s inclusion in any publication. All monsters, once submitted to the RPG Superstar™ contest, will become the property of Skyscraper Studios, Inc., which then will have the absolute right and discretion to make further changes, edits or modifications to the monsters without further input from the contestant prior to the monster's inclusion in any publication.
- By participating in the contest, the contestant agrees that it will not, directly or indirectly, in any capacity or manner, make, express, or transmit any statement of any kind, whether in writing, electronically, or otherwise, that might reasonably be construed as derogatory, defamatory, disparaging, harassing, slanderous, discriminatory, retaliatory, libelous, or otherwise negative towards: Skyscraper Studios, Inc.; Roll for Combat; RPG Superstar™; the contest; the contest judges; other contestants; other submissions; or any changes that might be made to the contestant’s submission as it appears in any publication.
- The prize for all categories is the opportunity for their monster to appear in Roll For Combat Battlezoo Bestiary Elemental Storm or similar product. The winner must sign a contract to write and finalize their monster for acceptance by Skyscraper Studios, Inc. The final monster must be written in the English language, following the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Second Edition rules set, and must be written with proper spelling and grammar. All winners must fulfill his or her obligation to write a monster acceptable to Skyscraper Studios, Inc. before getting paid for this work and receiving the remainer of their prizes. Winning the RPG Superstar™ contest does not guarantee the winner payment or any prizes if he or she doesn't fulfill the obligation to write the monster or can't deliver a monster that meets Skyscraper Studios, Inc.'s quality standards.
- In accepting a prize, the winner or finalist acknowledges that Skyscraper Studios, Inc. may not be held liable for any loss, damage, or injury associated with accepting this prize.
- Skyscraper Studios, Inc. retains the right, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value to the winner's or finalist's prize in the event of the unsuitability of any part of the prize for any reason whatsoever.
- Approximate value of each prize package is subject to the word count of the final commissioned monster along with any additional items awarded to the winner.
- This contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws where applicable.
- Skyscraper Studios, Inc. reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this contest at any time without prior notice.
- The winner and finalists are responsible for any local, state, and federal taxes owed due to their participation in this contest.
- Once the contest is over, all prizes have been awarded, and the book containing the winning monsters has been published, any entries that did not win this contest or any past contents in any capacity have their rights reverted back to the original submitter.
Decisions of Skyscraper Studios, Inc. and the contest judges are final.
Meet the RPG Superstar Judges and Staff!
How does this site work?
The main purpose of the site is to allow you to create monsters for Pathfinder Second Edition. Once you have an account are logged into the site, you can quickly and easily create and save monsters. Any monsters you create will be saved in the My Monsters section of the web site. You can also edit them at any time after initial creation.
What does the "make public" button do on my monster?
Any monsters you create are initially designated as private and only viewable by you within the My Monsters section. By pressing the "make public" button, your monster is made public and can now be seen by anyone. All public monsters will appear in the All Monsters! section of the site.
After I make a monster public can I make it private again?
Yes. You can make your monsters private or public at any time before they are entered into the contest.
Can I make my monster public and ask people for input/feedback on my monster before I submit it to the contest?
Yes, you can also make monsters for fun and have them in the public area to share with others.
What happens to my monster after it's submitted to the contest?
Once your monster is submitted it will made private once again (only you will be able to see your monster) and it will be locked to prevent you from making any additional changes.
Who is Roll For Combat?
Roll for Combat is a leading publisher for Pathfinder 2nd Edition, licensed directly with Paizo to run RPG Superstar, as well as a 3rd party publisher for 5th Edition. You can find previous years' Battlezoo Bestiaries, as well as all the latest entries in Roll for Combat's popular Battlezoo line, at https://battlezoo.com/
Roll For Combat also publishes multiple actual play podcasts. The Roll For Combat podcast recently completed their science-fiction Starfinder Dead Suns Podcast as well as their fantasy Pathfinder The Fall of Plaguestone Podcast.
With the completion of those two podcasts, they launched their new circus-based Pathfinder podcast Three Ring Adventure as well as their episodic fantasy series, Agents of Edgewatch. All these podcasts (and more) can be found at www.rollforcombat.com.
In addition to podcasts, Roll For Combat also hosts an online community of thousands of gamers playing hundreds of online role-playing games on their Discord channel at discord.rollforcombat.com.
Roll For Combat is owned by Skyscraper Studios, Inc.
Why is Roll For Combat running RPG Superstar™?
Roll For Combat recently became an officially licensed partner of Paizo, Inc. Along with that partnership, Roll For Combat was awarded the opportunity to manage and run all future RPG Superstar™ contests as well as publish supporting materials relating to the RPG Superstar™ contest.
Who are the judges?
The host of RPG Superstar™ is Roll For Combat owner and podcast GM, Stephen Glicker. There are a variety of judges from throughout the RPG industry for RPG Superstar™. The full listing can be viewed under the Meet The Judges tab.
What are the judges' duties?
During the second round, each judge will be randomly assigned to the top entry monsters. Each monster will be assigned to a minimum of three judges who will rank the monster on a multitude of criteria using a numeric rating scale for each criterion. All judges will utilize the same criteria and scale for each entry, and all entries are anonymous. After the second round, the votes will be weighted using a normal distribution model per judge against their voting across all monsters. The totals for each monster will then be averaged between all votes for each category, and a total vote number will be calculated for each entry. Using these values, the entries will be ranked from highest to lowest.
What will the winner of RPG Superstar™ receive?
The ultimate winner earns the opportunity for a paid commission for their monster to be featured in the upcoming Roll For Combat Battlezoo Bestiary Elemental Storm, along with the other prizes listed in Grand Prize details. The other finalists will earn the opportunity to have their monster appear in the Roll For Combat Battlezoo Bestiary Elemental Storm with the rank of Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Copper, depending upon their final ranking, along with other listed prizes. For more information on prizes, please visit the Official Rules page.
Who is eligible to enter the contest?
Because we are trying to discover new talent, anybody who has been published in the RPG industry in a significant way is not eligible to enter. If you have been employed full-time as a designer for a game company, you are not eligible. If you have received cover credit as an author of a hardcover print RPG book, you are not eligible. If you have a design credit in 3 or more of Paizo's Pathfinder products, you are not eligible. Paizo, Roll for Combat, and Skyscraper Studios, Inc. employees and their family members are not eligible. Everyone else is eligible to enter!
Will I be identified to the public?
Your submission will be presented to the judges anonymously. If you are selected as one of the winning contestants, your full name as it is entered for your Superstar™ account will be displayed along with your submissions. If you have adjustments you need to make to your real name, you can change that in your account settings.
How do I enter RPG Superstar™?
Submit an entry starting March 15, 2023 using the Contest Rules and ending May 28, 2023. Public voting and judge voting will follow, please visit the Official Rules page for final dates.
How many entries can I submit?
Entries are limited to 3 entries per person. We strongly discourage multiple accounts, and all winners will be required to sign a contract to receive their prize and be eligible for publication. Hence, if you win and are later discovered to have multiple accounts with more than the allowed number of total contest entries, you will be automatically disqualified. Attempting to circumvent this requirement to enter the contest with multiple entries will lead to disqualification.
What criteria will be used to judge the entries?
This year, entries are judged and voted on four categories: concept, mechanics, threat balance, and writing style. The concept category includes creativity, adherence to the theme of elemental storm, and how cool the concept is. The mechanics category covers selection and design of special abilities, and adherence to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Second Edition rules. The threat balance category determines whether your monster is appropriately balanced for the level you selected. Finally, the writing style category scores your overall writing, including readability and appropriate use of grammar. Entries will be presented to the voters and judges anonymously, so do not put your name or any other personally-identifying information in your entry.
How large can my monster entry be?
Monster submissions should be between 500-600 words long, including all text within the stat block entry and the monster lore. An information can be added to the words can be used for “art direction” section, but is not required and not used against your monster word count. Each monster entry has its word count automatically calculated. The word count displayed on the monster stat block page is the official word count for that monster and used when the monster is submitted to the contest (symbols do not count towards the total word count). Monsters less than 500 words or more than 600 words will be automatically disqualified for not following contest rules.
Can I refer to Pathfinder campaign setting material, such as nations, heroes, or gods in our contest entries?
NO, those are copyrighted materials owned by Paizo, Inc. Entries which mention specific Pathfinder or Golarion lore will automatically be disqualified. When in doubt, simply change a specific Pazio property to something generic. For example, instead of using Harrow Deck, you could use Divination Deck in your monster submission.
Can we refer to the campaign setting material of other publishers?
No. References to non-Paizo campaign settings, rules, or monsters may be grounds for disqualification.
Can we refer to the campaign setting materials published by Roll For Combat and the world and Gods of Alacar?
Yes. Entries may refer to the Roll For Combat world of Alacar and the Gods which appear in the Indigo Isles Character Guide, and the Jewel of the Indigo Isles adventure, ancestries/races found in the Battlezoo Ancestries: Year of Monsters, and Eldamon and their mechanics found in Battlezoo Eldamon.
How about material from my own campaign?
Provided the campaign has never been published, this is fine, but keep in mind that all submissions become the property of Roll For Combat. You are probably better off developing new content specifically for the contest. However, once the contest is over, all prizes have been awarded, and the book containing the winning monsters has been published, any entries that did not win this contest or any past contents in any capacity have their rights reverted back to the original submitter.
What design limits are there aside from word count and not deriving monsters from other settings?
A monster can range from CR -1 to 24 and should include the lore of the monster. The monster should also adhere to the contest theme of Elemental Storm. We are looking for a complete monster ready for publication, which means a complete and accurate stat block along with detailed lore of your monster.
Do I need to submit artwork with my monster?
Artwork is not necessary with your monster submission. However, if you are to submit a monster image, we would prefer it if you submit an illustration or non-copyrighted material. If you are selected as a winner, we will commission an artist to create the art for your monster. If you feel the monster’s lore needs additional information for the artist, you can include a brief extra description at the end of your monster lore labeled “artist notes.” Please limit these notes to 100 words or less.
What happens if I win?
If your monster is selected as a final winner, you will be contacted by Skyscraper Studios, Inc. c/o Roll For Combat. All winners will be required to sign a contract that outlines the publication of their monster in the Roll For Combat Battlezoo Bestiary Elemental Storm along with the acceptance of their prizes. For the Grand Prize and Platinum winners, you will get the opportunity to expand your monster word count to allow it to fit within a two or four-page spread. All monsters will also go through a cycle of playtest, development, feedback, and editing to ensure they are as great as possible!
What rights of publication and exclusivity (if any) are you claiming, and what rights (if any) does the monster’s author retain?
All monsters submitted to the RPG Superstar™ contest will be owned by Skyscraper Studios, Inc. If you are selected as a winner, you will be presented a contract in which your monster will be developed, edited, and published in Roll For Combat Battlezoo Bestiary Elemental Storm and in exchange, you will be presented the listed prizes for your tier level.
How does public voting work for the RPG Superstar™ entries?
You will be presented with all submitted monsters. Anyone with an active account at rpgsuperstar.com will be able to vote for the monsters they like best. Voting for a monster will automatically be submitted into the judging system.
Who can vote on RPG Superstar™ entries?
Any person with an account on rpgsuperstar.com will be able to vote in the first round of the competition. You can create an account for free at https://rpgsuperstar.com/users/sign_up.
Can I vote on my own monster?
Yes, you can vote for your own monster.
Can I vote multiple times?
No, each account is allowed only one vote per monster, and having multiple accounts can lead to disqualification.
What if I see a monster that breaks the rules of the contest?
If you see a monster that you think breaks the rules of the contest (such as being a copyright violation, or a monster from a novel or movie), press the Report button on the monster and submit the Reporting form.
Can I see current poll results or which entries have the most votes?
No. Poll results are not publicly visible for any of the contest rounds.
How exactly does this voting system work?
Public votes will be calculated across all monsters entered into the contest, and monsters will be sorted and ranked based upon these votes. The top monsters will then be judged by the RPG Superstar Judges and rank the top entries into the final winning tiers. Afterwards, a selection of judges will re-review each entry and its tier to ensure the quality of the entry, and then the final winners will be selected within each tier.
What happens if a winning monster is disqualified after juding?
Alternative monsters will be selected after public and private voting. The alternative monsters will automatically take the place of the disqualified entry.
Hey, some entries are missing some formatting (like italics), should that count against them?
Utilizing the monster creation tool, most entries should automatically be presented in a format that conforms to the Pathfinder monster standard. However, when submitting a monster, knowledge of the rules, correct monster format, and power of abilities will be considered. A monster that is original, fun, creative, and correctly follows the Gamemastery Guide Monster and Hazard Creation guidelines will most likely be rewarded during judging.
What is the Roll For Combat Battlezoo Bestiary Elemental Storm?
After the contest is finished Roll For Combat will publish a game supplement with all winners plus other content in a book we are calling the Roll For Combat Battlezoo Bestiary Elemental Storm.
What is going to be in the Roll For Combat Battlezoo Bestiary Elemental Storm?
All of the winning monsters! Each monster will have a minimum of a one-page spread, a full-color illustration, a prize tier decal, and the author's name. In addition to the winning monsters, we’ll also have supporting material created by RPG professionals within the book.
How big do you expect the Roll For Combat Battlezoo Bestiary Elemental Storm to be?
As of now, we are targeting a 160+ page book. That gives us plenty of room for the winning entries, lots of space for art, and just enough space for some cool supporting articles. The final book will probably be larger, but as of now, that is our target size.
What formats will I be able to get the Roll For Combat Battlezoo Bestiary Elemental Storm?
PDF of course, and we are looking into printing the final book in both softcover and hardcover depending upon demand. At the minimum, all prize-winners will get a free copy of the PDF version of the book, and we are expecting the provide people the option of purchasing a softcover version of the book, but the final contest response will determine our printing plans.
When do you expect the Roll For Combat Battlezoo Bestiary Elemental Storm to be available?
We are planning a release in 2024, once the contest is over we can better provide timing for the publication of the book.