Oy, definitely judging. My only original ideas each had wrinkles I couldn't iron out. Criteria coming shortly.
EDIT: And here they are...
- 1: The build is either a duplicate or a collage of pieces gleaned from well-known charop builds.
- 2: The build closely mirrors another submission in election (race/class/etc) and/or execution (entry/combos/tricks). Please note that, in such situations, both submissions will receive the reduced score.
- 3: The build is fairly straightforward, though some small elements may have been unexpected.
- 4: The build is unexpected in either election (race/class/etc) or execution (entry/combos/tricks), but not both.
- 5: The build was entirely unexpected and unique, both in election and execution.
NOTE: I also evaluate the character's backstory as a component of my originality score. Particularly unique and decent stories may receive a small bump (up to +1), though drab or cliche stories will not be penalized. I understand that the build itself is the focus of the competition, but I feel that a finely crafted or well-engineered concept can really give a build identity.
- 1: The build, as presented, cannot function in its chosen role. Examples include a wizard with 9 INT or an illegal build.
- 2: The build functions more weakly in a party than a similar build without the secret ingredient, relying entirely on items or adequate preparation rounds.
- 3: The build functions as well in a party as a similar build without the secret ingredient. Though the build can still function without items or adequate preparation rounds, it does so at a reduced capacity.
- 4: The build functions as a stronger party member than a similar build without the secret ingredient. Though the build can still function without items, it may operate at a reduced capacity without adequate preparation rounds.
- 5: The build excels at its chosen role/roles within a party, eclipsing a similar build without the secret ingredient, even in the absence of items or adequate preparation rounds.
NOTE: Please keep in mind that I evaluate submissions against similar builds, rather than against each other. I will evaluate a caster submission against the strength of other casters, a skillmonkey build against the strength of other skillmonkeys, and so on.
- 1: The build presented is illegal by any reading of the rules, functions only upon an intentional misreading of the rules, or contains 3 or more "dips" (defined as less than two levels in any class).
- 2: The build presented is overly complex, or relies on conflicting class features (either mechanically or in terms of flavor). No more than two dips.
- 3: The build presented is simple and straightforward enough that most DMs would allow it at their table. No more than 1 dip.
- 4: The build presented, while streamlined, efficient, and free of dips, relies on a variant such as LA buyoff or variant classes/races presented in Unearthed Arcana. Please keep in mind that such elements can be presented as possible adaptations with no reduction to Elegance. However, if the build cannot function without the variant used, the deduction will be taken.
- 5: The build presented is so streamlined that it all seems to blend together as one larger class.
NOTE: As per contest rules, flaws will cause a deduction of one point each, to a minimum score of zero. Also, while I will not penalize cheese in terms of power, it may cause a reduction in elegance.
Use of the Secret Ingredient (UoSI)
- 1: The build does not qualify for the Secret Ingredient, renders the class features useless in some way, or hampers class features gained elsewhere by taking the Secret Ingredient.
- 2: The build has utilized, but not showcased any of the class features acquired.
- 3: The build has showcased at least one class feature acquired, and taken at least half of the levels of the Secret Ingredient.
- 4: The build has taken every level of the Secret Ingredient, or provided a persuasive explanation as to why not doing so was beneficial. Most class features acquired are showcased, but not all.
- 5: The build has taken every level of the Secret Ingredient, or provided a persuasive explanation as to why not doing so was crucial. Every class feature acquired is showcased.
NOTE: As mentioned, by my criteria a character can fail to use every level of the Secret Ingredient and still receive a perfect score in this category. It's not just about how much you use...it's about why you use it, and how you use it.
Please note that submitting an illegal build will cause you to receive scores of 1 in Power, Elegance, AND Use of the Secret Ingredient. While I do not like to penalize multiple times for the same thing, there is no excuse for submitting an illegal build to this contest. Please double check your entry requirements and feat prerequisites.
If there are any questions or comments on my criteria, let me know via PM or through the chairman.
EDIT TO THE EDIT: Criteria adjusted to reflect the minimum score of 1.