The long days of waiting has ended, as the second round of RPG Superstar 2012 is finished yesterday. For this round the participants had to design an antagonistic Golarion organization which could oppose the player characters.I think this round has very mixed results, as there are some really innovative ideas, while others dropped the ball entirely by creating an organzation not antagonsitic at all.

  This round of the competition is vastly different from the first, due to the fact that now it’s the voting of Pathfinder players which decide who gets to the top 16. As you may guess I already placed my votes on some organizations I really like, and would include in my Pathfinder campaign.

My top 5 are the following organizations :

Stormsworn Company (Will Cooper) – While you may call this a somewhat standard mercenary operation, I really like the evil cult twist here. I’m also a fan of seemingly generic enemy groups with a distinct flavor (this time : lightning and religious sect), and if an organization couldbe fitted into many different campaings.

– Verdant Dawn (Mikka Kalio) – Basically an eco-terrorist organization with a good organization and few flaws. I definitely like the concept, but I tend to agree with the judges that some more detailed info about what they do close to their homeground would help a lot

– Sisters of Chana-Zhol (Tom Phillips) – Cannibal pirate amazons for the win ! They are antagonistic and iconic for sure, and certainly radiating an old-school feel. They have a nice background and they are somewhat integrated into Golarion, so maybe if I could choose only one organization I would put my vote on this.

Riders of the Black Steppe (Sam Polak) – Raiders making a pact with Leng.. huh. An interesting idea, but as it is executed it really makes sense. They have a distinct favor, some unique allies, and the real possibility thatthe players facing themm sooner or later cross blades with the denziens of Leng themselves. So far so good.

– The Foulgrip Rangers (Russell Vaneekhoven) – One of the smallest scale organizations in the competiton, this gnoll raiders has some mojo. they are rangers and gunslingers hunting everything what comes into their sight with some secret motivation behind the curtains. They have a reason to being, real motivation and a distinct taste. I like them.

  Maybe you recognize that none of my first-turn favorites (check here) made into my top 5 this time. It seems they have different strengths than creating organizations, or I have a different taste for this than for magical items, I don’t know. It’s also interesting to see that how many participants tinkered with different monstrous races (gnolls, medusas, succubi, doppelganger, aquatic creatures and even unfettered eilodons)

  On the other hand, there are many generic stuff here, even if the execution is good. Merchants for money, cultist for their god, nobles for power etc. I really liked that many participiants thinked outside of the box, even if the end results weren’t the best.

The voting going on until Monday (February 6th), and the winners and the begining of the 3rd round will be on February 7th.

If you are interested you check out the submissions here : RPG Superstar 2012

I congratulate and wish good luck all participants !

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros