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RPG Superstar: Item Feedback

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tuesday, we announced the Top 32 for RPG Superstar. Now those lucky, skilled gamers are hammering away at the Round 2 task of designing a new Golarion organization. Their submissions are due Friday, secretly reviewed by the judges over the weekend, and go live for voting on Tuesday, January 31. Good luck to the Top 32!

If you submitted a wondrous item and didn’t make it into the Top 32, don’t lose heart! One, not winning your first RPG Superstar is a fine tradition upheld by 2009’s winner Neil Spicer and 2010’s winner Matt Goodall—you now have a year to practice and hone your craft for the next competition. And don’t forget to stop by the Official Critique My Item Thread to get some feedback on your item from the community and perhaps the judges!

I’m also doing something new this year. During the selection process, the judges set aside items that may be suitable for the Top 32, usually ending up with 40–60 items that they winnow down to just 32 plus four alternates. If your item is on the following list, your item was on that longer list but didn’t make that final cut. To help improve your skills, if your item is listed here and you’d like me to give you feedback from the perspective of a Paizo developer, reply to this blog post and I’ll repost your item with my feedback—the same sort of feedback I’d give to a new freelancer.

Note: Only the items in the following list get this special treatment... I don’t have time in my work schedule to give feedback on hundreds of items. Also, requesting feedback means you won’t be able to submit this item next year, as the judges will know who you are and therefore your item won’t be anonymous anymore. Fortunately, a true superstar has more than one awesome idea, and you should be able to take what you learned this year and create something even better next year!

Bracers of Versatile Channeling
Compass of the Void Shaper
Darklight Candle
Dust of the Shaitan
Facsimile Stone
Gloves of Theurgy
Gunhunter's Coin
Meridian Needles
Mirror of Monstrous Echoes
Necklace of Mirrored Alignment
Orb of the Dawnflower
Periapt of Continuous Haleness
Ponderous Pebble
Scatterself Stone
Shelyn's Thrush
Stubborn Nail
Torc of Zealous Tenacity
Vest of Second Skin
Viperfang Scabbard
Walking Stick of the Revered Elder

Sean K Reynolds
Developer and RPG Superstar Judge

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: RPG Superstar
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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Cydeth

I'm one of the alternates (Benjamin Medrano, with the Chalice of Eternal Fire) and don't see any feedback other than what I got from the Critique thread, so if I could, I'd appreciate some feedback on my item.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013 aka Breelo Babblebock

DOH! So...... very..... close.....
Please give me the feedback for the Vest of Second Skin.

Osirion Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'll take you up on that offer Sean for the Stubborn Nail. I understand most of the reasons it did not make the final cut(ie. mundane name and too expensive for a glorified nail). I would be glad for any advice you have to offer.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Also, requesting feedback means you won’t be able to submit this item next year, as the judges will know who you are and therefore your item won’t be anonymous anymore.

According to this new rule, isn't everyone unable to resubmit an item, whether they made the Keep pile or requested feedback or not?

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Hey, folks! Here's a very early heads-up for a new addition to future RPG Superstar competitions:

You won't be able to re-submit an item you submitted in a previous competition.

Why?

One, because getting the judges and community to help you fix your item means the item isn't just your work any more.

Two, because by posting your item or its name in a request for feedback, your username is now associated with that item, which breaks anonymity. The judges can't objectively judge items unless the submissions are anonymous to us.

(Also, every year when we get a resubmission, we have to ask Ross to check the person's identity against who submitted it before, just to make sure someone isn't posting an item written by someone else. This new rule means we don't have to worry about that.)

We could just say "no resubmission if you got public feedback on the item," but that would discourage people from asking for feedback. So, to encourage feedback but maintain fairness and anonymity, no more resubmissions are allowed.

Ask for feedback. Take it to heart. Use what you learned to create something new--and better.

Lantern Lodge

I would love to get feedback on my Gunhunter's Coin, please.

Contributor

Joana wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Also, requesting feedback means you won’t be able to submit this item next year, as the judges will know who you are and therefore your item won’t be anonymous anymore.
According to this new rule, isn't everyone unable to resubmit an item, whether they made the Keep pile or requested feedback or not?

Yes, I just pointed it out in the blog in case readers didn't see it in the forums.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Joana wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Also, requesting feedback means you won’t be able to submit this item next year, as the judges will know who you are and therefore your item won’t be anonymous anymore.
According to this new rule, isn't everyone unable to resubmit an item, whether they made the Keep pile or requested feedback or not?
Yes, I just pointed it out in the blog in case readers didn't see it in the forums.

Cool. Didn't want someone to pass up the chance at feedback under the mistaken impression they could polish and resubmit the item next year if they didn't break anonymity.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Joana wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Also, requesting feedback means you won’t be able to submit this item next year, as the judges will know who you are and therefore your item won’t be anonymous anymore.
According to this new rule, isn't everyone unable to resubmit an item, whether they made the Keep pile or requested feedback or not?
Yes, I just pointed it out in the blog in case readers didn't see it in the forums.

I'll also add this point to my template thread then Sean, that way everyone gets told in multiple places :)


Sgmendez wrote:
I would love to get feedback on my Gunhunter's Coin, please.

I'd love to see feedback on the Gunhunter's Coin. I'm very curious to even know what this does.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Darkjoy

Sean,

As the (now very proud) designer of the "Torc of Zealous Tenacity" I welcome any advice you might give me.

What I think I failed to do right was this: add mojo, I had lots of words to spare but did not use them.

The item came to me in a rush and ofcourse the moment I submitted it I thought of several ways to make it better: 1) change the name to: Torc of Tenacious Zeal 2) maybe play around with the Iron Will feat - offering a bonus on the DC 13 Wisdom check to avoid gaining the disabled or dying condition.

This is the second year in a row that I made the keep folder, looking forward to year 6!

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Thanks Sean,

This rocks! As if we needed another reason why Paizo (and Superstar) are awesome! :)

Andoran Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey, I did the darklight candle. This is the closest I've ever gotten, so I'd love personal feedback!

Andoran Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

But what about the egos of everyone telling themselves "I may not be top 32 or one of the three alternates, but I bet I was #36!"

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Darkjoy

Ryan. Costello wrote:
But what about the egos of everyone telling themselves "I may not be top 32 or one of the three alternates, but I bet I was #36!"

Well I was #37, twice!

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryan. Costello wrote:
But what about the egos of everyone telling themselves "I may not be top 32 or one of the three alternates, but I bet I was #36!"

Well since the list above is in alphabetical order we still don't know what order after the 32 plus alts are in.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

True ... but now people not on the above list can't console themselves with "I was close ... so close ..."

Because they weren't actually that close :)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Mirror of Monstrous Echoes is mine. I like to think that if not for being so similar to Haunting Glass and Spellblight Cage, and somewhat similar to Basilisk's Eye Sight, it might have made it. I'm certainly glad to have made it into the Keep pile.

Lantern Lodge

To be honest I am suprised to see mine on there. This is my first Superstar that I have ever entered into and I made it close. That really boosts by ego.


Wow, this is pretty cool!

It would be awesome to see your feedback on my Dust of the Shaitan

Star Voter 2013

Sgmendez wrote:
This is my first Superstar that I have ever entered into and I made it close. That really boosts by ego.

Just goes to show you should never count yourself out.

Congrats to all the almosts, I hope to see my name up there next year, at least. ;)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

Sgmendez wrote:
To be honest I am suprised to see mine on there. This is my first Superstar that I have ever entered into and I made it close. That really boosts by ego.

If you want, I've been told I'm good at crushing egos... ;-)


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I Submitted Shelyn's Thrush, and would love some feedback on the item.

Contributor

Cydeth wrote:
I'm one of the alternates (Benjamin Medrano, with the Chalice of Eternal Fire) and don't see any feedback other than what I got from the Critique thread, so if I could, I'd appreciate some feedback on my item.

Here's your item:

Chalice of Eternal Fire
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 10th
Slot -; Price 50,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
This chalice is crafted of solid gold with tiny inset rubies, forged into a rising whirlwind of flames. From within the chalice leaps a flickering bowl of flames. When held the chalice grants the wielder +1 to their caster level for any spell with the fire descriptor. The chalice has three charges each day, restored at dawn.
Using the chalice as a material focus for conjuration (calling or summoning) spell with the fire descriptor costs one charge. A calling spell increases the maximum hit dice that can be called by 2. Summoning spells grant the advanced simple template to a summoned monster with the fire subtype.
Additionally the wielder of the chalice may call on the power of the plane of fire, as a standard action that costs one charge. The chalice erupts with torrents of flame from the plane of fire, spraying it into the sky and raining down all around the wielder, but leaving them unharmed. All creatures within 30 feet of the chalice except for the wielder take 8d6 fire damage (Reflex DC 16 half).
Last, the wielder may drink the flames from the goblet, transforming their blood into flames and granting resistance to cold and fire, as well as lashing out at those who harm them. For 10 minutes the character gains energy resistance 15 to cold and fire, and any creature that damages the character with a non-reach melee attack takes 1d6 fire damage. Using this ability consumes 1 charge.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, fireball, lesser planar binding or lesser planar ally, resist energy; Cost 25,000 gp

Nitpick: The slot listing should be "none" rather than a dash, but that's because Paizo's changed its style rule for slotless wondrous items in the most recent printing of the book, so this is just an FYI for future work.

The physical description of this item is strong--clear, evocative, to the point, though you could easily combine the first two sentences into one.

Nitpick: The term is "focus component," not "material focus."

Because it's not really a weapon, I'd avoid using the term "wielder," as informally the game uses that term for holding weapons and shields, and implies you're actively using the item in combat. Instead, use "bearer." (If magic items were written using "you," like feats are, this wouldn't be an issue for many items in the game.)

It's a little weird that you explain one of the item's abilities, then say how many charges the item has, then go on to explain its other abilities. It's better to organize all the abilities together and put the charge/recharge info either before or after that.

Increasing the max Hit Dice of a called creature is problematic because those limits are in the game to prevent "easy" access to creatures like balors and pit fiends--you can't call them with greater planar ally, you have to use gate--and this item allows you to break that limit, up to three times a day. It's also unclear if that +2 HD is per creature, or per spell (can you conjure two creatures at +1 each, or is it +2 each?). Instead of pushing the boundaries of that game rule, you could give the creature a bonus like Augment Summoning, which is an established rule that players understand. Of course, then this item becomes a feat-in-a-can, which is frowned upon, so you should consider dropping this ability entirely.

For the ability to add the advanced simple template to a summoned fire creature likewise runs up against the Augment Summoning feat: we already have an established rule for buffing summoned creatures; creating your own rule means a player could use that feat and this ability to create a powerful summoned creature... up to three times per day. Again, that would mean turning the item into a feat-in-a-can, and you should consider dropping this ability.

The "torrent of fire" ability is odd because the radius is nonstandard, especially as you list fireball as one of your construction spells. Best to stick with 20 ft. radius (like fireball). It's also unclear if this is a sphere or cylinder because you're giving a flavorful description of the effect rather than pointing at an existing spell--you've already changed fireball so it's not a 20 ft. burst, so I don't know if you've changed it further into a cylinder. You probably were trying to avoid this being a SIAC, but there are advantages to using existing mechanics--for Superstar, the trick is using those as a scaffolding to build something cool.

It's also weird that this item is CL 10th, but does 8d6 damage. Part of the point of having a caster level in the item stat block is so you can have the item's abilities use the same caster level, which for most direct-damage area spells would be 1d6 per caster level.

It's weird to say that drinking the flames makes you resistant to fire and cold... most hot creatures are resistant/immune to fire and either affected normally by cold or vulnerable to cold. As this is a planar-themed item, you should look at planar fire monsters like fire elementals and efreet, which have fire immunity and cold vulnerability--there's no precedent for cold resistance there. For this item, just skip the cold aspect and focus on the fire. And at 50,000 gp, realistically you can't expect a character to own this until their total WBL is about 150,000, which puts them at 13th-14th level at minimum. At that level, they probably have a ring of minor energy resistance for 12,000 gp and 10 points of protection, or carry potions, scrolls, or prepared spells of resist energy (and at that caster level, the scroll or spell provides resistance 30), so this item needs to (1) be comparable to those items in order to be worthwhile, and (2) use a standard energy resistance increment so it's not weird*.

Plane names, such as "Plane of Fire," are capitalized.

The "damage creatures that hit you" is like fire shield, but isn't quite like that spell, which is also weird*. And you don't reference fire shield in the construction section, so the user isn't sure if other aspects of the spell apply (for example, if the attacker has spell resistance). This is another place where referencing the actual spell would help you... and where sticking to the item's caster level would be helpful (because fire shield lasts 1 round/level and this lasts 10 minutes, so it's hard to price this aspect of the item).

With the nice physical description and some cool thematics, I think you could strip this item down to the +1 fire caster level and drink-for-fire-shield aspects, perhaps with the fire explosion, too, or adding some other power related to fire or summoning (perhaps it can summon a fire elemental to serve you, either with summon monster or as a focus for planar ally or planar binding. As Neil has proven, a mostly-SIAC item with cool flavor can make it into the Top 32. I think the main fault of this item is it tries to avoid being a SIAC by changing familiar game rules, but that left some rough spots where not everything is explained.

* As Jonathan Tweet says, "things should be the same, or different." In other words, if your new rule is really close to an existing rule, either change your rule so it's exactly like that rule, or make it very different so people don't confuse the two rules. That's why all the combat maneuver feats give you a +2 instead of one giving +1, one giving +3, one giving +6 but not erasing the AOO, and so on--it's easier to remember "all of these feats give +2 and erase the AOO" than six individual feats with different bonuses. Thus, if you're going to give energy resistance, make it easier for people to remember by giving it resistance 10, 20, or 30, just like the default spells and items do. Minimize the amount of looking-up the player needs to do in-game.

Contributor

Breelo Babblebock wrote:

DOH! So...... very..... close.....

Please give me the feedback for the Vest of Second Skin.

Here's your item.


Vest of Second Skin
Aura strong necromancy; CL 13th
Slot chest; Price 10,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This gruesome garment consists of a crimson and black checkered vest adorned with patches of living flesh. Each vest of second skin has up to ten patches of skin which grant the wearer a special magic property when activated. A newly created vest of second skin has one patch of skin from each of the following types of creature, each with a different magic property:
- Daemon: acid resistance 30
- Demon: electricity resistance 30
- Devil: fire resistance 30
- Fey: damage reduction 5/cold iron
- Lycanthrope: damage reduction 5/silver
- Outsider (chaotic): damage reduction 5/lawful
- Outsider (evil): damage reduction 5/good
- Outsider (good): damage reduction 5/evil
- Outsider (lawful): damage reduction 5/chaotic
- Troll: fast healing 5
A patch of skin is activated when the wearer physically touches the patch and maintains contact for a full round. During that round, the patch detaches from the vest and grows over the wearer’s entire body, creating a second skin. The trauma from the growth of the second skin causes 1 point of charisma damage and 1d4 points of damage. Only one second skin can be worn at a time and the skin patch touched is consumed upon activation. The second skin turns to dust after ten rounds.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, death ward, gentle repose, regenerate, sanctify corpse, creator must have 5 ranks in Craft (leather); Cost 5,000 gp

First of all, I didn't like this item. We generally reject "monster in a can" magic items, and to me this is just 10 different monster abilities that you can use--Clark dubbed it the very first "Swiss army monster knife." And some of which are also spell effects, so it's a SIAC as well. But the purpose of these critiques is to help you improve your item, so the super-short version is: this item tries to do too much, you really need to tone it down and focus on fewer abilities so it's not such a grab bag of abilities. Most of this you could accomplish with a handful of scrolls, and wouldn't use your chest item slot for it.

You did a GREAT job with the magic item template; stuff that should be capitalized is capitalized, stuff that should be in italics is in italics, and stuff that shouldn't be either of these isn't. I have veteran designers who still goof this up, so good job!

There's no reason why this item has to be actual skins or be "gruesome," though that's the sort of flavor you could apply to a unique copy of a general type of magic item (just as you could have an evil necromancer's cloak of resistance be made out of tanned elf skin, for example). The ick-factor of the vest of skin may make many PCs not want to wear it, especially as it draws on the powers of various outsiders--a paladin probably doesn't want to wear something that has actual chunks of flesh from a demon or devil on it. This could just as easily be tokens strung on a necklace, or patches of cloth or leather on a vest, and so on. I realize that skins is your theme for this item, so we'll roll with it.

All of the individual abilities and their monster associations make sense, though it's a little weird that you have "demon" and "chaotic outsider" in that list... those generic outsider categories are weaker inclusions than actual outsider types or even specific outsiders (bone devil, vrock, and so on)--that would make it cooler.

Activating a magic item defaults to a command word, which is a standard action. Your item requires a free hand and spending a full-round action, which is weird, and probably means people are less likely to want to use the item because nobody likes to spend their turn doing nothing (not even a move) while their defensive magic item activates (especially when the defense only lasts 1 combat, and combats usually only last 4-5 rounds, so you're giving up 20-25% of your actions for a small, conditional defense). Better to let it be a command word and a standard action.

Ability scores, such as Charisma, are always capitalized.

Statements like "the growth of the second skin causes 1 point of charisma damage and 1d4 points of damage" can be confusing because the second damage type isn't specified and you've already said damage, so the reader could be confused ("Does that second damage refer to more Charisma damage?"). Normally for effects with multiple damage types we list the hit point damage first, then other times, and say "hit point damage" to differentiate the two. Also, Paizo style is to say that effects deal damage or inflict other harmful effects, rather than using causes, so this should read "the growth of the second skin deals 1d4 hit points of damage and 1 point of Charisma damage."

I think your construction spells focus too much on preserving the skins and not enough on activating the relevant abilities stored in those skins--I'd want to at least see a reference to resist energy.

SIAC/SAK items have a place in the game, but they're not as exciting as items that do more interesting things. Personally, if I were to make this item more sexy, I'd choose a narrower list of powers, not have it be consumable, and let the wearer choose from any one of those effects at a time, perhaps with side effects relating to that. For example, it could give you your choice of DR/chaos, DR/evil, DR/good, or DR/law, but you'd detect as the opposite alignment when doing so, and perhaps bane weapons would affect you as the appropriate kind of outsider.

Of course, odds are the wearer wouldn't need DR/good and DR/evil in the same item (in most campaigns, it's unusual to fight both kinds of creatures), so instead of offering all four alignments, maybe thematically this item would be better if it were focused on a specific kind of outsider. Frex, if it were a vest of demon skin, you could switch between DR/good, DR/law, and resist electricity 30, but detect as evil or chaotic (depending on which of the first two powers are used) and can be harmed by chaotic outsider bane and evil outsider bane weapons. That opens the doors for "sequel" items such as devil skin, protean skin, and so on. That also lets you have an evil dude wearing a vest of archon skin and detecting as a lawful good creature...

Anyway, there you go. :)

Dedicated Voter 2013

It's looking like it might be a moot point for this year, but I would like to see your feedback for my Gloves of Item Domination.

Thanks.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Anthony A. Scott wrote:
I Submitted Shelyn's Thrush, and would love some feedback on the item.

I think I can see where this one went wrong... O.o


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Lord, take me downtown. I'm just lookin' for some thrush.


Anthony A. Scott wrote:
I Submitted Shelyn's Thrush, and would love some feedback on the item.

I don't know if you knew this or not, but thrush is also the name of a fungal infection of the mouth and tongue, so.....the name kinda would seem to beg ridicule and/or corny jokes.

I'm not trying to rag you or anything; on the contrary, I salute you guys that put yourself out like this.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Cydeth

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Cydeth wrote:
I'm one of the alternates (Benjamin Medrano, with the Chalice of Eternal Fire) and don't see any feedback other than what I got from the Critique thread, so if I could, I'd appreciate some feedback on my item.

Here's your item:

*snip*

Thank you for the feedback. I'd considered a few of the things, but I'm definitely willing to learn, and this helps a lot. Thank you very much Sean. *bows*

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka CNichols

I'd be exceptionally happy to receive an in-depth critique of my item, the walking stick of the revered elder.

I look forward to learning as much as possible from this and honing my RPG writing craft.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
Anthony A. Scott wrote:
I Submitted Shelyn's Thrush, and would love some feedback on the item.

I don't know if you knew this or not, but thrush is also the name of a fungal infection of the mouth and tongue, so.....the name kinda would seem to beg ridicule and/or corny jokes.

I'm not trying to rag you or anything; on the contrary, I salute you guys that put yourself out like this.

Hrmmm, so it is. I didn't even realize all the double meanings of the word. I was going for the little songbird, but I can see how the name would be problematic now.

Star Voter 2013

I'd like to see any feed back for the gloves of theurgy.

Many thanks!

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

Ian Eastmond wrote:

...bring the pain... please.

Spoiler:
Bracers of Versatile Channeling
Aura moderate conjuration and necromancy; CL 9th
Slot wrists; Price 45,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.

Description
Usually constructed from the stone or clay of temples and crypts, these bracers, engraved with symbols of life and death, each have a grey gem set in the wrist. Once per day, per bracer, a wearer with the channel energy ability can spend a full-round action to charge a gem by spending a daily use of that ability. Positive energy turns the gem bright white, while negative energy turns it pitch black. Once a gem is charged, the wearer can expend that charge to channel energy as a swift action instead of a standard action, and apply any appropriate feats and the specifics of their channel (such as healing or harming) at that time.

Alternately, instead of using the charged gems to channel as a swift action, if each of the gems are currently still holding a charge the wearer can bring both of them together and speak a command word as a standard action to expend the stored energy into a ray of light or darkness (depending on what has been channeled into the gems) that deals 1d6 points of negative or positive energy damage per class level of the wearer’s class that has the channel energy ability to a single target with a ranged touch attack.

The energy channeled into a gem lasts until the following sunrise, and then fades away harmlessly if not used. A gem charged and expended during a period of sunrise to sunrise cannot be charged again until the following period of 24 hours.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, breath of life, slay living; Cost 22,500 gp

I think I now see a few places where I went wrong after reading feedback from some of the other items; I may have actually submitted a worse item this year than the item I submitted last...

Phew...

I was wanting to see what these did, because I am looking at doing an item that deals with Channeling and given the name of these I was a little worried that the brain monsters had been infiltrating my head and passing the info along! :)
Thankfully my worry was for naught...

Cheliax

(I hadn't noticed this thread until I posted my item in the other critique thread and someone pointed me here. I'm simply reposting what I posted there, except for this little blurb. This is an honor in and of itself, and I feel good about my chances in the future; from the amount of feedback I got from my last year's submission it seems I may have made "keep" both times. Hopefully I'm on the right track. Anywho, w/out further ado...)

...bring the pain... please.

Bracers of Versatile Channeling:
Bracers of Versatile Channeling
Aura moderate conjuration and necromancy; CL 9th
Slot wrists; Price 45,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.

Description
Usually constructed from the stone or clay of temples and crypts, these bracers, engraved with symbols of life and death, each have a grey gem set in the wrist. Once per day, per bracer, a wearer with the channel energy ability can spend a full-round action to charge a gem by spending a daily use of that ability. Positive energy turns the gem bright white, while negative energy turns it pitch black. Once a gem is charged, the wearer can expend that charge to channel energy as a swift action instead of a standard action, and apply any appropriate feats and the specifics of their channel (such as healing or harming) at that time.

Alternately, instead of using the charged gems to channel as a swift action, if each of the gems are currently still holding a charge the wearer can bring both of them together and speak a command word as a standard action to expend the stored energy into a ray of light or darkness (depending on what has been channeled into the gems) that deals 1d6 points of negative or positive energy damage per class level of the wearer’s class that has the channel energy ability to a single target with a ranged touch attack.

The energy channeled into a gem lasts until the following sunrise, and then fades away harmlessly if not used. A gem charged and expended during a period of sunrise to sunrise cannot be charged again until the following period of 24 hours.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, breath of life, slay living; Cost 22,500 gp

I think I now see a few places where I went wrong after reading feedback from some of the other items; I may have actually submitted a worse item this year than the item I submitted last year. Yay, regression!

I think I should have realized that when the players in the game I GM gave me feedback & told me they liked this item better than last year's item ;-P

(edit: ...or they could have been pretty close to right on the money, we shall see. Also just noticed Craig's post above me right before I submitted so sorry for the repetition.)

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Craig Johnston wrote:
Ian Eastmond wrote:

...bring the pain... please.

** spoiler omitted **

I think I now see a few places where I went wrong after reading feedback from some of the other items; I may have actually submitted a worse item this year than the item I submitted last...

Phew...

I was wanting to see what these did, because I am looking at doing an item that deals with Channeling and given the name of these I was a little worried that the brain monsters had been infiltrating my head and passing the info along! :)
Thankfully my worry was for naught...

The brain monsters that are under my control are purple and smell of fine cheese, just, you know, FYI.

Taldor Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Whoa - this thread is awesome.

Double-whoa! My item is on here! *piddlespot* I was just happy that I stuck to my New Year's resolution and actually submitted.

Your feedback and criticsm of the Ponderous Pebble is highly desired. Thank you in advance for your time and willingness to share your expertise.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013 aka Breelo Babblebock

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Breelo Babblebock wrote:

DOH! So...... very..... close.....

Please give me the feedback for the Vest of Second Skin.

Here's your item.


Vest of Second Skin
Aura strong necromancy; CL 13th
Slot chest; Price 10,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This gruesome garment consists of a crimson and black checkered vest adorned with patches of living flesh. Each vest of second skin has up to ten patches of skin which grant the wearer a special magic property when activated. A newly created vest of second skin has one patch of skin from each of the following types of creature, each with a different magic property:
- Daemon: acid resistance 30
- Demon: electricity resistance 30
- Devil: fire resistance 30
- Fey: damage reduction 5/cold iron
- Lycanthrope: damage reduction 5/silver
- Outsider (chaotic): damage reduction 5/lawful
- Outsider (evil): damage reduction 5/good
- Outsider (good): damage reduction 5/evil
- Outsider (lawful): damage reduction 5/chaotic
- Troll: fast healing 5
A patch of skin is activated when the wearer physically touches the patch and maintains contact for a full round. During that round, the patch detaches from the vest and grows over the wearer’s entire body, creating a second skin. The trauma from the growth of the second skin causes 1 point of charisma damage and 1d4 points of damage. Only one second skin can be worn at a time and the skin patch touched is consumed upon activation. The second skin turns to dust after ten rounds.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, death ward, gentle repose, regenerate, sanctify corpse, creator must have 5 ranks in Craft (leather); Cost 5,000 gp

First of all, I didn't like this item. We generally reject "monster in a can" magic items, and to me this is just 10 different monster abilities that you can use--Clark dubbed it the very first "Swiss army monster knife." And some...

It takes an extraordinary person to take the time to critique an item that he didn't like. I am impressed.

I agree with everything you said except the part about resist energy. The magical powers were in the skins.

I originally had this designed as the bag of second skin but I thought it would be creepier if people could see the skin. I think it was because I was recently thumbing through The Hook Mountain Massacre. This would be an item you would see on one of the Grauls.

Thanks again for taking time to give me some pointers. I learned a lot about how you think as a designer.

I'm getting closer every year....

Contributor

BTW, I haven't forgotten about this thread, I'm just bogged down with commenting on the 32 organizations, which I have to finish today so they can go live for voting tomorrow. I'll resume commenting here after that. :)


I wrote the Facsimilie Stone and I'd love for some feedback!

Lantern Lodge

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
BTW, I haven't forgotten about this thread, I'm just bogged down with commenting on the 32 organizations, which I have to finish today so they can go live for voting tomorrow. I'll resume commenting here after that. :)

Take your time. This is an awesome opportunity and we can wait.

Cheliax

Sgmendez wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
BTW, I haven't forgotten about this thread, I'm just bogged down with commenting on the 32 organizations, which I have to finish today so they can go live for voting tomorrow. I'll resume commenting here after that. :)
Take your time. This is an awesome opportunity and we can wait.

+1


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Ian Eastmond wrote:
Sgmendez wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
BTW, I haven't forgotten about this thread, I'm just bogged down with commenting on the 32 organizations, which I have to finish today so they can go live for voting tomorrow. I'll resume commenting here after that. :)
Take your time. This is an awesome opportunity and we can wait.
+1

Agreed.

Contributor

Wicht wrote:
I'll take you up on that offer Sean for the Stubborn Nail. I understand most of the reasons it did not make the final cut(ie. mundane name and too expensive for a glorified nail). I would be glad for any advice you have to offer.

Here is your item:

STUBBORN NAIL
Aura moderate abjuration and faint transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 24,000 gp; Weight -
Description
This admantine nail is three inches long. As a standard action, you, or another creature, may easily push the nail, by hand, into any non-living material, including metal, stone and cut wood. You may likewise push it through more than one item at a time, so long as the width of each item will allow this. Once the nail has been pushed into place, only the one who embedded it may easily pull it out again. All others attempting to remove the nail must make a successful Strength check to do so, where the DC of the attempt is equal to 10 plus the combined hardness of the items the nail is in. Once the nail has been removed, there is no evidence, such as a hole, to indicate the nail has been used, nor does the nail ever damage that which it has been used to secure.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, arcane lock, mending; Cost 12,000 gp

Clark didn't like the name--naming something after a real-world term tends to look almost like a joke. Even giving it a synonym like contrary nail is enough to dodge that problem.

Also, your item name is in ALL CAPS. When you see item names in the book, it looks like they're in all caps, but that's just a headline style. The R1 rules tell you not to put your item name in all caps--don't do it!

What broke this item for me are the cost and the DC. Your item's DC 10 + the hardness of all items, so if you push it through someone's leather strap into a stone wall, the Str check DC is 10 + 2 (leather) + 8 (stone) = 20. Or through a part of their metal armor (steel hardness 10), DC 28. Your item costs 12,000 gp. Compare to an immovable rod, which is a DC 30 Str check to move and costs 5,000 gp. For less than half the cost, I can jab an immovable rod into someone's gut to press them against the wall, activate it, and leave them unable to move from that location unless they make a huge Strength check.

And the rod has a dozen other uses (ladder, anchor point, doorstop, whatever), but the nail is really limited. For example, you couldn't use the nail as a ladder step, and you probably couldn't use it to hold a door shut or as an anchor point for a rope (it's not clear if you have to push the nail all the way into the anchoring surface, or if you can leave 2.5" of it sticking out).

Also, the rod lists how much weight it can support without moving; the nail does not, so if I use the nail to dangle an ogre off the top of a parapet, I don't know if the nail can support the monster's weight.

I like the item. I like the flavor of it. Unfortunately, I think it's mostly redundant compared to the rod, and costs more than double what the rod costs.

How to fix this item? Give it its own niche as a weaker version of the rod, as a consumable, or both. The rod is permanent and reusable. If the nail were a cheap item that can hold up to 500 pounds, and had more specific rules about depth limitations and tying stuff too it, but was only useable once, I think this would be a cool and useful item in its own right (heck, you could limit to 50 or 100 pounds and it would still be really handy for a halfling or gnome rogue wanting to climb). Throw in some suggestions about increasing a door's break DC when nailed shut, increasing a Disable Device DC when you press this into a lock, and so on, and you've given players ideas for using it and the GM ideas for what numerical bonuses are appropriate for using it. Go nutty and make them pitons instead of nails and you immediately increase their utility even further.

I love low-cost, low-level magic items, and with these tweaks I can imagine most parties carrying a few of them just in case, like how they carry alchemist's fire just in case they have to fight a swarm.

Osirion Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank you Sean. I greatly appreciate the feedback.

Contributor

Honestly, Wicht, after doing that writeup on the nail, I want to put the low-cost expendable version of it in a book of magic items. :)

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Have Wicht write it up for you. I'm not sure if you met Jonathan at GenCon last year, but he's a trusted freelancer with Rite Publishing. And a friend of mine, as well.

Taldor Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ian Eastmond wrote:
Sgmendez wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
BTW, I haven't forgotten about this thread, I'm just bogged down with commenting on the 32 organizations, which I have to finish today so they can go live for voting tomorrow. I'll resume commenting here after that. :)
Take your time. This is an awesome opportunity and we can wait.
+1

+1.

Contributor

Sgmendez wrote:
I would love to get feedback on my Gunhunter's Coin, please.

Here is your item.

Gunhunter's Coin
Aura faint divination; CL 3rd
Slot -; Price 1,500 gp; Weight - lbs.
Description
This simple copper coin has the depiction of an Alkenstar gunhunter holding a set of pistols across his chest. Closely examining the coin reveals that a black substance, that smells of gunpowder, covers its edges. The substance does not come off no matter the effort made to do so.

After the coin has been in its owner’s possession for 24 hours she start to feel confident and lucky, providing a +1 luck bonus to armor class.
If the coins owner has the grit class feature or the Amateur Gunslinger feat, whenever she would score a critical hit with a firearm she regains 2 points of grit instead of the normal 1 point.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, guidance, creator must have the grit class feature or the Amateur Gunslinger feat; Cost 750 gp

I thought it was a great idea to create an item that uses the gunslinger's grit mechanic (certain other archetypes use grit, of course, but it's primarily a gunslinger thing). You realized it was an untapped area for magic items, and realizing that shows a good awareness of what we call the "design space." It's like the first competition after the Pathfinder RPG Beta, where we introduced sorcerer bloodlines; one competitor submitted a wondrous item that fiddled with sorcerer bloodlines, and the judges loved it because it was an untapped area. Yes, it's a bit risky to do stuff relating to guns because a lot of the community doesn't like guns in fantasy gaming, but you saw that opportunity and went for it. Bravo! IIRC, there were fewer than five gunslinger-related submissions this year.

At its core, your item does two things: (1) gives a grit user 2 grit on a confirmed crit instead of the normal 1, and (2) gives a luck bonus to AC.

Ability 1, the boost to grit, is nice, but it's purely a mathematic bonus, like a +2 Strength belt or a +1 saves cloak. It's useful, but not exciting. to use the sorcerer bloodline example, this is the equivalent of an item that gives a sorcerer +1 use per day of her 1st-level bloodline power--useful, but not exciting. You want to kick it up a notch, probably by giving the character something cool he can do with grit, perhaps involving luck (to reinforce the "lucky coin" theme).

Ability 2, the luck bonus to AC, is where this item fell down for me. Your item costs 1,500 gp. If you check the table on Core Rulebook page 550, you'll see that the listing for "AC bonus (other)" (which includes luck bonuses) says the cost is bonus squared times 2,500 gp. So just for the +1 luck AC bonus alone, your item is supposed to cost 2,500 gp. That's before you add in the cost of the grit power and factor in that this is a slotless magic item. That's a major flaw and shows you weren't paying enough attention to item pricing. Note that a ring of protection +1 and an amulet of natural armor +1 cost 2,000 gp, and they're both slotted items using common bonus types; yours is unslotted and uses a rarer bonus type that's less likely to run into stacking issues with spells, and yet it costs less than these standard AC-boosting items. And, because it's a slotless magic item, there's no reason for a PC to not have one of these--it's a free +1 AC bonus from an item he can keep in his pocket, backpack, or even his show.

Step 1 for fixing this is to immediately adjust the price of that ability to 2,500 gp. Then factor in the cost of whatever grit power you give it. Then multiply that total by 2 because it's a slotless item (footnote 3 on for the table on page 550), and that's your final item Price.

Technical issues with your magic item stat block:
it should be "Slot none" instead of "Slot —" (but that's a nitpick, Paizo only started using "Slot none" in the most recent reprint of the Core Rulebook, so this is just an FYI going forward).
If an item has negligible weight, just list the weight as "—" without "lbs." (see ioun stone or scarab of protection for in-book examples).
In the second sentence of the description, you don't need a comma after "substance."
"Armor Class" is always capitalized.
We generally don't have the "wear for 24 hours to gain its effects" on most magic items, and yours doesn't need it.

Development summary: As written (with the Price fixed), this item would be a good addition to a book of magic items. To make it superstar, you need to make it "sexier" in terms of what it can do. You've proven you can spot barren areas in the "design space," now you just need to show you can build something cool there rather than something that's merely functional.

Lantern Lodge

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Stuff

Thank you for all this.

I was worried about the pricing since that is an area where I am the most unfamiliar with. I think I was basing the price off of Bracers of Armor and upping the price a little since it was luck and the grit bonus, I guess I didn't go up enough.

Also this being my first entry in the Superstar competition I was a little wary of making it "to good" and wanted to make it a cheaper items since I personally prefer cheaper smaller items with more flavor than big expensive items with bland effects.

But I can definitely see that it could have used more umph, and as a note the original version had it so that you could spend grit to reroll a d20 roll like other "luck" based items and features. But alas I did not include it.

The part about "24 hours" was taken from the Ring of Sustenance, since the item wasn't slotted I wanted to make sure that it had some kind of requirement to use rather than just grab and use. But I can see that it isn't necessary.

So in the end lessons learned: Study up on costs, be a little less cautious with effects, and work on detail editing.


Hey, my item was the Meridian Needles. I'd love some feedback, if possible. Thanks in advance!

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