To those new to the contest, read the rules - really read them - this will save you so much heartache as people start posting about things they are seeing. It is time well spent.
Then to save you some time delving into the mass of posts of previous years and maximize your design time if you have read the rules
Round 1 is very complete, including how to enter your item, analysis of what goes where in the template, some examples on pricing and even a sample of two of my previous entries and why they failed.
It should help get you started on avoiding the usual pitfalls and it also points to Sean's wonderful threads and advice too.
Then I have this little collection of gems for you - pod casts on all things Pathfinder, Paizo and Superstar related. These two together should save a great deal of searching through the forums for this first round.
All I ask is if you use it and found it useful, just PM me to say thanks.
Now go, read those rules, design your heart out and bring the shiny :)
I'm not sure on this one, I need to think on it. This means that in the open voting, it is up against the time I am willing to spend per vote.
So what troubles me - nothing major, just a sense of unease.
Firstly, if I had a glass rose, with all the bends and petal layers, I think images would become distorted (like privacy glass used in bathroom windows).
Also, if I understand, it's benefit is almost a curse - so you can move freely through the blizzard but you cant save against freezing to death. This makes me not inclined to want this item.
The duration, I think I am likely to want such a device when I am caught in the wilderness with a turn of weather that is potentially life threatening, so a 10 minute duration means I can't go very far with it's benefits. Again, I am not saying its wrong, it just doesn't "feel right".
Your template use was spot on with the exception of the spell list in construction, which should have terminated with a ; - You are almost nailing this, well done.
Name - I am the king of bad names (as you can tell with some of the items posted to Blazing 9 this year). There is nothing wrong with the name, it's functional, describes the item BUT it doesn't make me go "ohh shiny!", or excite me in any way.
A good practice item, I think with a little more shiny, you could do very well in the competition this year.
I hope there is something helpful in there for you.
Welcome Pamela - and everyone else.
A few links to get you started and save you some searching
A pdf I am building pulling together thread links, product links and sorting the last six years of discussion and information into a more readily accessible format.
This now includes some words on pricing and the mystic art that it is; how to use the entry form properly when entering and a reasonably complete and up to date breakdown of the round 1 template - assuming it doesn't change this year. It also provides links to all the prior winners, their entries for each round. It is an ongoing notebook, hope it helps.
NB Appendices: last results will likely need the links re-checking once this years competition starts, but the on page text is correct.
Looks like that might be "Clark Angry Face" perhaps? Or... maybe he is giving a subtle hint to some sort of "Mythic Dragons" Legendary product he is thinking of doing :D
I would run through the winning items and the public voting commentary from last years threads - it will most likely give you a big insight on how your "last years idea" may have fared.
I would also write a couple of items or three this week to get back into the swing, you might even create an item better than your idea from last year. Blazing 9 thread is still going, so grab it while you can.
But do that first suggestion first, right now, sit down, mug in one hand, tablet /laptop in the other and get to it. I think it will be a massive help now we are public vote dependent on every round right from the beginning.
Oh wow, just found out who is mapping out my side trek location - looking at their public shared work and their prior work in Wayfinder, I think you are in for a real treat!
Can't believe I was so lucky to get that artist for my map :)
That's a man who truly understands who really wears the trousers and would like to borrow them at weekends.
Detect Magic wrote:
Lol, I haven't had to. I describe the monsters, show the pictures. If the players don't go investigate the name or find out about it, they have to name it themselves.
Their bane of banes monster from Bestiary 1 is still known by the players as the "OhFeckFeckFeckBadNews" monster :D - hey, they named it, not me.
A small clarification from someone who Kick-started.
I don't want everything in my subscription. I want only those things necessary to complete what needs to be completed, and methods to generate the less important stuff.
If people want to buy crafting materials to accelerate their skills, that's fine. If you HAVE to buy a crafting recipe in order to get to the next tier of crafting, that is NOT fine. I truly hate games that you simply cannot progress without spend, it is a forced expenditure when this happens and is not fair to your player base in that regard.
Micro transactions for me should only be for the micro parts of the world, or for accelerating things that would normally take much longer. They should not enable new dungeon access and be the only way to get that dungeon for example.
Vanity items are another prime example, by all means buy all the mounts and pets, so long as I have access to basic mounts that are no worse in ability or in game effect, that's fine with me too.
I also, as a Kickstarter contributor, want to be recognised for being willing to cash up front. So a totally free to play game would, to me, feel like a slap in the face.
Now, the benefits I get are cosmetic items in game, etc, but in fairness, shouldn't those who have effectively already paid for the game in varying degrees, be allowed to expect those who haven't funded the development to have some cost involved in playing the game - fair is fair after all.
Wow, I got picked - biggest thing I have ever submitted anywhere. To say I am stoked would be an understatement!
That makes my streak 3, Malikjoker - so I'm getting there :D
I would start with a standard dice set something like...
6x d20 - so as you play you can roll multiple attacks at once.
This covers most (80%+) of classes abilities and spell needs from level 1-20.
That said, the bare minimum is one of each, it means rolling and adding as you go.
You might want to adjust these numbers to reflect your playe style and for any other games you play, but the above is pretty much my dice bag, and has been for the last 30 years - when those rare occasions occur where I need more than 10 d6, it's not much of a hardship to roll all 10 dice, total them and roll some more.
This is awesome! It would be a badge of honor to die in such an amazing way!
My players said the same thing when I pointed them to this thread.
We love it when a character has a memorable death, it means we end up talking about that character, and that campaign long, long after the event.
Over twenty years passed now and my group still shudder at the mention of the "Grand Kobold Ballroom".
It was an empty room on level one of the Temple of Elemental Evil, so I filled it with one of my wacky moments.
On entering the room, a ballroom glitter ball is rotating in the ceiling, at the far end of the room are a band of kobolds. Sensing an easy win, the 5th level party charge in. The door slams shut, the lights dim and music flares.
Failed Will saves later (grin)
You drop anything in your hands, and dance with the nearest creator for one round!
Music fades. You may now pick up an item nearby and attack any kobolds with it (lol) - hope you are beside something your are proficient with... rolls... lols,
After that round of combat, the music swells - by this time we get characters and kobolds dancing around the room with each other (yes, they failed again >.< - I love their dice some days).
rinse, repeat, 2 rounds later, still half teh kobolds left, and the priest goes down - not good.
Eventually the last kobold dies, in the same round that the fighter goes down due to lack of healing (where did that priest go?), setting a new slowest record at the table for the number of rounds it takes to kill 7 kobolds.
Now the serious post is out the way...
A "good" undead is a dead undead.
A "good" undead makes the PCs flee and reconsider their tactics! :P
Despoiling nature by creating abominations of undeath is an evil act, no matter the end-goal of that act. Performing an evil act for a good end-goal is the path of a Neutral character.
Ok, Yellow Musk Creepers - nasty vicious plants.
I change them to undead so I can control them and instruct them to leave the area making it safe is an evil act? Would it also be an evil act to leave them there, potentially having locals get harmed while I search and search for someone with control plants? But isn't control plants a form of slavery? Isn't enslavement regarded as evil? What about leaving a danger unresolved for an indeterminate time, wouldn't that also be evil too?
Yes, that was contrived, but it illustrates that everyone has their own definition of what is good and what is evil. If it's a problem in your game, then talk it through as a group and agree on a common definition for your table that you can all agree on.
Some degree of what is good or not is also part of the acceptance of the norm in society - in societies that slavery is the norm, it would likely not be perceived as evil in general - the treatment of the slaves being another layer.
This same argument can also be applied to law and chaos. In a society that allows people to have multiple spouses, we cannot call it bigamy because in that society there is no such thing. This makes paladins in my game quite a challenge when the player sees them as a law enforcement agent in addition to being a stalwart of good. They take great pains to find out what the laws are to work within them.
Work within the confines of general acceptance and definition of good an evil for your table. It wont eliminate all arguments on this sort of thing but it will reduce them a lot.
There is no black and white with good or evil, just multitudinous shades of interpretation and situation.
Final note to consider - in game terms, good and evil (and neutrality) are terms that allow easy determination of what affects a being and whether they are detectable in some way or other. The game definitions are not trying to define "real life good or evil", they are simply a mechanism for consistency in the game world.
A creature is Evil means Detect Evil will locate that creature. That's it. You the players and GMs take that baseline and determine how the creature's evil manifests in action and deed base don your own perception of good and evil. That is something we cannot define for everyone because everyone is different.
holy CRAP! 100+ pages! Adam, this is quite a resource even as it currently stands. I can hardly wait to see what the final version looks like.
Yeah, it fills my spare time quite well - at the moment, anything beyond round 1 is just a collection of links, but eventually, I hope to cover all rounds and learn deeply about all design aspects as a result.
I hope it's of use to you though for round 1 at least. It's a long term project freely shared as my contribution back to my favorite hobby, so I am hoping to get the rest of the links in place for this year and then it's just a matter of filling the gaps as time goes by.
If it helps just one person, "Job done!"... as a certain Warcraft grunt might say. :D
When I look back on my Wayfinder so far, I think I can see improvements in my craft as I go (but that might be wishful thinking too >.<), so fingers crossed... (fyi, my Wayfinder run so far is - Inflamed Stitcher, issue 8, Darklands Scout, issue 9 - and hopefully my side/trek encounter gets picked this issue to continue this pseudo superstar rounds run :P)
For number 11, I am going to have a real diversion from games design tasks and try my hand at some short story writing, to try and get better at writing and expand my flexibility as a design/freelance resource.
I also haven't made top 32 - but Superstar isn't just about competing for me, like submitting for Wayfinder, it's the taking part. After the round 1 reveal, I spend a LOT of time looking at each selected item, reviewing it, assessing why it was voted for, why it was selected, comparing to my own work in the hope the quality of my submissions to Wayfinder improve as a byproduct of this self assessment and review period.
@Snorter, most of the pricing advice seems to be that it is a mystic art. Try to use the CRB formula as a starting point - I am currently collating all this advice, my own notes, etc., into a one stop pdf for the competition - the current draft is here- check out page 58 onwards for some worked examples on methods for pricing an item. I hope it helps.
Ok, this is going to sound really odd this request is...
Could we have a theme chosen soon for the NEXT issue, please?
The reason I ask is that we will soon be entering the annual time consuming fun known as RPG Superstar, so I would like the opportunity to think about the next Wayfinder while I still have some spare time - grin.
And just in case, "A pretty please WITH a cherry on top" to the request :D
In the month of October, I pledged myself to start reading general writing books to improve my writing style.
I may not be able to write a thesis on passivity, but I can share what I believe are simple gems. So here is a little share.
I'm not sure how much these can be applied to our games design writing, but I think they all have some value.
Here are eight words or phrases that should be hunted down in your entry and deleted with extreme prejudice.
1 - "Suddenly"
"Sudden" means quickly and without warning, but using the word "suddenly" both slows down the action and warns your reader. Do you know what's more effective for creating the sense of the sudden? Just saying what happens.
When using "suddenly," you communicate through the narrator that the action seemed sudden. By jumping directly into the action, you allow the reader to experience that suddenness first hand.
2 - "Then"
"Then" points vaguely to the existing timeline and says, "It was after that last thing I talked about." But the new action taking place in a subsequent sentence or sentence part implies that much already. You can almost always eliminate your "then"s without disrupting meaning or flow.
3 - "In order to"
4 - "Very" and "Really"
Words are self-contained descriptors, and saying, "Think of tasty. Now think of more tasty" doesn't help readers develop a better sense of the meal or person you're describing.
Mark Twain suggested that writers could "substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."
Another strategy is to find a more powerful version of the same idea or give concrete details. To say "It was very/really/damn hot" does little, but saying "It was scorching" helps.
5 - "Is"
Is, am, are, was, or were—whatever form your "is" takes, it's likely useless. The "is" verbs are connecting terms that stand between your readers and the actual description
If the description is actually about a state of being—"they are angry," "are evil," or "are dead"—then is it up. But don't gunk up your verbs with unnecessary is, am, or was-ing.
6 - "Started"
Any action a person takes is started, continued, and finished. All three of these can be expressed by the root form of the verb. For example, "I jumped." The reader who stops in frustration, saying, "But when did the jump start? When did it finish?" has problems well beyond the scope of the content they're reading.
7 - "That"
"That" is a useful word for adding clarity, but like Bibles on the bedstands of seedy motel rooms, the word's presence is often out of place.
When "that" is employed to add a description, you can almost always move the description to before the term and make a more powerful image.
In many other cases, "that" can simply be dropped or replaced with a more descriptive term.
8 - "Like"
I'm not just saying that, like, you shouldn't, like, talk like a valley girl (though that too). Here's the problem: "Like" is used to show uncertainty. You should not be uncertain.
Be bold. When making a comparison, use force. Use metaphor over simile. Don't let yourself cop out by coming up with a halfway description.
Food for thought at least.
And here is the reasonably current list, including Paizcon 2013 and Gen Con 2013 podcasts.
Paizocon 2011 - So you want to be a Superstar?
Phew! That's some hours of goodness to listen to there :D
Whilst surfing old forum threads for my guide, I cam across a vast treasure trove of podcasts (Know Direction - wow!) that are likely of interest to budding games designers... and as I haven't done a mega link post of helpful material for some months now, here's one to be getting on with :P
There are a lot of other podcasts on the same site, but these are the ones I picked personally as likely to be of most immediate interest. Some subjects duplicate over the years, but occassionally different questions pop up, so I have included duplicates for interest.
I still have around 70 or so pod-casts to go, so I might be adding to this list.
I have tried to list them in superstar/importance relevance for you all :)
Enjoy - Starting with the obvious one ...
Paizocon 2011 - So you want to be a Superstar?
Final Side Trek edits this weekend, play tests are back and feedback is positive. Submitting on Sunday. Which means that if it gets selected, you will all be able to go adventure inside the genie's bottle!
Oh wow, the editors certainly put some polish on the final cut of my archetype (Darklands Scout) - this is so going around the office tomorrow!
Congratulations to all contributors, art and articles - very, very high standard bar now - makes me even more nervous for my next submission.
Well done everyone.
With apologies to Disney, and everyone who starts singing like a parrot...
Oh I come from a land, from a Golarion place
When the wind's from the east
Blackened Silk Sheer
I'll have a look at your pricing too - have you compared to similar priced items in the various books - items of comparative power do seem to be closer to your new price.
Also ask yourself, at this price, would I buy this, or something else of equivalent or slightly lesser in value? If it competes well in the price band, then your price is good.
LURKERS: Pricing is hard and an art - this is a good example of what to do - use the rules to get the base price - do not use the calculated value, it is only a starter value, you have more to do!
Then, go to the books and find items of comparable utility and price - how does your price compare? Ask yourself as a player where your item should sit within the existing items when listed by price. That is the trick to, as Neil, Sean, Clark and others say, "not getting it wrong".
I do have one reservation on this item though, so I am going to be honest and brutal now. It's a bit Swiss Army Knife. I can put it across my face, stitch it in my clothes or throw it. I don't think its fully SAK, but it's getting dangerously close for me. Sorry, but that's my gut feel.
I'm not sure how that can be fixed, I think if it couldn't be thrown and simply has to be worn in your clothes or across your face, that then makes it cohesive and avoids SAK-ness. I leave it up to you to decide whether you agree or not.
As another thought, ripping the item from face or clothes could be your one shot firetrap disposal of the item, in which case, list that last.
For me, the air purification is way cooler. I can walk through stinking cloud with it - something my enemy caster wouldn't be expecting. Yeah, for me, that is the cool in this one, and the cool should always come first.
And another for your enjoyment/perusal...
This one is way over word count at 377 words and will require some major trimming, but I thought it might be useful for new Blazing 9'ers to follow the editing and revising processes - I will work on this one to get it down in words following initial feedback.
I'm also not happy with the pricing, it is a consumable, but I think I need to revisit that too.
Planting the seed causes a tendril to sprout immediately, that grows to a maximum 30 foot length in the next round. It coils and reaches along the floors or nearby walls, seeking and grasping all the time. Totally silent, and able to pass by alarm without detection, it is a tool of thievery and assassination.
After initial planting, the tendril may be given a small vial to grasp. It knows the will of it's planter and will grow towards a sleeping or unconscious victim within 30 feet. It entwines and constricts around the victim gently but firmly. A sleeping victim is allowed a perception check, DC 15 to notice this, but all sleeping penalties apply. Victims that fail their save gain the entangled condition. Making the save allows the victim to wake and avoid being entangled by the vine, but they must move immediately before any other action is taken on their turn. Entangled victims can attempt to break free as a move action, making a Strength or Escape Artist check, DC 15. The vine lasts for 1d4+2 rounds and then withers away, releasing any entangled victim.
The vine can be ordered to grow towards an object within 30 feet, grasp it and return the object to it's originating planting spot. Using in this manner allows a single object to be retrieved of up to 10 pounds in weight. The vine is dexterous enough to untie bindings that might hold the object in place. To fetch an object takes a full round, the vine may be instructed to repeatedly fetch objects for up to 1d4+2 rounds, after which it withers away.
Spells that detect plants, do detect the vine. Spells that control or command plants will cause the vine to immediately die and crumble to dust. The vine has AC 14, Hardness 2, and 14 health.
Or more simply a check box on the item such that this happens
a) voter says "I think it breaks the rules"
... that way, an item can only be flagged for checking just the once?
My personal thoughts (you may agree or not, but they are just my thoughts)
I hate doom, quake, etc - I am rubbish at first person, I mean, really really rubbish. Give me a grenade and I throw it so it bounces back and blows me up, give me a machine gun and my team all die in friendly panic fire, you get the picture :)
I paid a mid tier amount for the kickstarter which didn't mention any forcing of view perspectives on the players, had it done so, I would likely have not been so generous with my funds. As a person who has helped fund the game, I have a certain expectation of a MMORPG style of game, which isn't first perspective.
Now, you can zoom "into" your toon body to gain first person (e.g. use your mouse wheel in Warcraft and you zoom in such a way, but it is not an exclusive thing. That is my expectation and why I was happy to provide goodly funds towards the game development - both styles and preferences are available, but the choice is mine to make.
I would feel, as a sponsor, kind of betrayed if I am forced into such a game style as it was not my expectation from the initial threads that garnered my support. As soon as you force a game style, you restrict the player base as well - potential players, like me, who do not like that perspective and with no other choice, will go elsewhere - which is not conducive to a games long term success.
I like in RPGs being able to see my "toon", I like seeing the gear changes as I get more shiny to wear. It's a big part of the joy of RPG gaming on the computer for me.
But that's just me, I'm wacky in so many ways :)
Okay, I'm not going to reiterate everything covered so well in the other posts, but what I can try to do is provide some food for thought on things you could/might/should have expounded upon/included.
Why should I go get some prisoners and escort the 50 miles risking their escape? Here I am, looking at a building which has occupants and the target of my quest - a key. The PC in me says - break in, duff over the people holding the key, get key, leave!
So the motivation of the adventure is, for me, needing a little more investment into making the required actions the most desirable actions for the party.
Then we look at this further, and this is where I think you could have taken a less trodden path to be really cool and original - what if the dungeon, as said previously by others, becomes the focus of the module - as the route into the library itself - i.e. a catacombs "get in from below" sort of thing. (For my fellow Whovians out there, one of the entrances to Rassilon's Tomb - ref: Doctor Who - The Five Doctor's) being the source of this suggestion.
And then taking the catacombs and mixing the library element to make the whole cohesive - the catacombs are filled with rare/dangerous books - with a new creature type that turns illustrations in books into living weapons/encounters.
Taking that oblique angle at common themes is one of your strongest points seen in earlier rounds and seems to have gone awry in this round, that's my opinion.
That said, I do think you will go on to be a superb contributor and freelancer to Pathfinder and the gaming hobby in general - I'm so jealous (just in case you couldn't tell).
Unfortunately, my wallet didn't twitch or want to open for this one as it currently stands.
Eating better in the main - I use a free diary app - www.myfitnesspal.com - runs on web and on iphone/ipad, so I can scan bar codes, put food in at restaurants and watch my balance between carbs, proteins and fats (and not just be calorie oriented) much better.
Stalled a bit this week, but as it was my birthday week, I'm blaming the triple choccy cake I got for my birthday - back on track now though, so next week the fall should continue.
My wife is so pleased she has made the mistake of promising to pay for a trip to Disneyland, California when I get to 14 stone - and I should be able to get on most of the rides then too!
We've been to them all except the California one, we are kind of amusement park nutters :)
Ohhh yeah - the old ' feet and " inches nut shell - like using -ft *shudder* as well, don't forget that one :)
I am actually in the process of trawling all 6 years of forum threads now...
a) to learn about rounds beyond rd 1,
I may need some more reviewers later, as I intend to submit it to Paizo when complete as a Superstar Games Designer type freebie for everyone to share and save everyone all that forum trawl.
In answer to some questions that may pop up in forum minds...
Yes, it will include a chapter on the art of pricing,
Heck, I have even added a fun appendix of quotes as I come across them - it's bit like the "Overheard in the Paizo Office" threads.
Needless to say, with six years of 1000's upon 1000's of posts and threads, it's probably going to take me most of the year to pull it all together (I get through about 50 threads a week on an average day).
If anyone wants to monitor it's progress and/or feedback on it, create a gmail account for google and PM me that email account - I will then allocate "read and comment" privileges to the pdf for those lucky enough to get selected - a thousand reviewers might be too much :P, so I will probably stop at around 10-20 (I currently have 5).
Here is a quick update now linking this year's arachetypes and adding a few more from other products I missed on the last posting - I just need to scan through my adventure paths now for any stray archetype in those and it's going to be fairly complete with the official and superstar archetypes.
p.s. if you do spot an error, please don't hesitate to let me know. I have started adding non PRD archetype names to the list and have provided store links to the products containing them for your convenience.
I have just about finished scanning through all my hard copy products I own and will soon start adding those from my immense PDF collection.
Hope you have found the list in it's various incarnations useful and continue to do so.
Index to Pathfinder Archetypes (v1.3 to 05 Feb 2013 )
Notes on Reading this list
Sources: (these are product links to the Paizo Store Item for your convenience)
RPG Superstar 2011 - Goldfever Alchemist
RPG Superstar 2011 - Gladiator
RPG Superstar 2011 - Filthy Beard Brawler
RPG Superstar 2011 - Saboteur
RPG Superstar 2011 - Charlatan
Argh... Paradox... Is Clark a mini Neil, or is Neil the mini Clark?
I promptly turn into a bowl of petunias and float away watching the whale swish its tail while plummeting to the ground sounding planet below.
Starship Heart of Gold, please save us ;)
Clark Peterson wrote:
This is hard this year because many of these items I am seeing for the first time. It's hard for me to give you a critique of an item I am reading here and considering. It's just different than the gestalt review I give to an item in the judges chambers when I am reviewing 1000 items. Using voters to trim the field has changed inherently the process of how items get kept. Not sure how that will affect the value of this process.
Feedback from the selection panel is one of the most important for guiding us to think and aim for what potential employers are looking for. You can't put a price on that - your reviews have always been insightful and direct to the nub of an items issues.
We all appreciate any feedback provided by yourself and other judges and totally support and understand if this year you can but cherry pick on items with design facets you feel are worth pointing out.
In advance of such, many thanks for looking in.
Same here, if you need anything reviewing at all, please don't hesitate to PM me.
I have recently received a request for reviewing some material for an independent 3PP, so I must be doing something right. I now feel more confident in offering my services to you should you wish to avail yourselves of them.
Good luck with everything you do, and fingers crossed for you all.
Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
There usually is, normally of the form of "What would you have submitted for Round 2" - but please only after Round 2 discussions and votes are done out of respect to the current competitors.
Creepy Shadow wrote:
Kind of glad I didn't make it now, that would have been +1 ranger and +1 water AND +1 river themed ( yup - hit both in the same archetype I prepared - go me >.< )
I think the big deciding factors for my votes will be the simple but obvious ones...
Do I want to play it?
Does it look/sound/feel like it will be fun?
Do any of the abilities bring something new and fresh to the game?
That being said, I will temper with these considerations too...
Why do I want to play this?
Am I power gamer desiring or does it feel right and balanced?
Are the swaps like for like, defensive for defensive, offensive for offensive, movement based for movement based, etc?
Did it follow all of Sean's advice? And if it doesn't, was it a calculated risk and did the author pull it off?
Did the author design for the river kingdoms or is it an obvious shoe horn after thought?
Did the author tackle the setting from an unusual angle or did they go for the obvious choices?
And, for this round and onward, I will be reading everyone else's comments, in full and sitting back and thinking about them. Including the judges comments, because I know that I am not experienced in archetype design and so will need every scrap of help available to make proper informed voting choices.
And half way :)
Not anything really different to what has been raised elsewhere, but I did come up with an "and" tip that might help in the future.
16 / 32 now done
(sorted alpha within score - no ranking is implied)
Cloudwrangler's Gloves 24/25
Gorum's Stompers 23/25 *new*
Ethersnare Dust 22/25
Gloves of the Frugal Healer 21/25
Icon of Aspects 20/25
Skipping Stone 19/25
Cobra-Hood Cloak 18/25
Ghost Ship Binnacle 17/25
Goblet of the Elements 16/25
As prior entries will tell you, Template Fu is one mean point eating machine, but will also praise where praise is due.
These reviews being this in depth usually take me a while to do and they get fitted in around other demands on my time, so please bear with me if I haven’t gotten to your item yet. I will get there in the end.
Review Caveat: I try to keep things totally dispassionate and all comments herein are my own. Having not made the illustrious levels that you have achieved this year, I can only caveat that anything I propose in feedback may not be totally in line with what Paizo thinks or needs of its freelance game designers, so do consider carefully any and all feedback I make under this light.
I start your review with…
Congratulations on being selected by the public at large and then the stalwart judges!
The capitalization is also incorrect on the Requirements and all feats should come before the spells list, and be capitalized in the same as the Craft Wondrous Item feat is.
Template Fu walks away, with a point in each claw, trying to decide which to chew on first, muttering that he was glad to see you hadn’t italicized the commas (well done, that is a common mis-step with multiple spells).
Template Fu runs in for another point helping – second paragraph, the word “the” is repeated (not exactly spelling, but neither is it template, so here seems the best fit for this). This indicates one of two things, a rush on the entry or insufficient reviews, don’t let it happen going forwards, it will hurt you bad in later rounds.
Passive Sentences 75% (-2 pts., work hard on this, or Sean will pounce!)
Flesch Reading Ease 62.8 (good score, spoilt by the passive style)
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 9.9 (another acceptable score here)
Me as a Designer Review: 4/5
“This three foot tall pillar, carved with the images of ghostly figures attacking sinking ships, is fixed by a ship’s wheel within sight of the incumbent pilot. A slot in its top holds either the ships compass or a wayfinder (Inner Sea World Guide, page 299).”
– Get in, 0% passive, that same paragraph in your original was 100% passive – yours 55 words, mine 46. I hope that sample helps, you may have written slightly differently, but I think (hope) you would agree that the example re-write is stronger.
The next power I would say is probably the weaker power in terms of mojo, it is the third paragraph that for me is the cool factor paragraph – always stand back and examine your powers – are you cool ones buried after yawns-worthy powers. Guess what comes now. Yup. Put the COOL first, the bonus x to y, hum drum powers last.
Any item saying, here is x something’s spend them as you see fit, introduces something bad, that something is “more book-keeping”. Your item falls into this trap – it is especially bad between sessions if they are weekly or less frequent and you have to stop right in the middle of something in game. GM and player will have to track the current available duration remaining for the day – always try to design to keep the game flowing and the book-keeping as low as possible. Due to the nature of this item, you could have said, once per day for up to 9 hours duration and simply left it at that.
Finally, be very wary of +10 bonuses or greater. They run the risk of creating auto succeed situations, these remove tension and excitement from game encounters.
Generally, I think you covered the bases pretty well, but I will dock a point for the ordering of the powers in my view.
Overall Impression: 3/5
With the creativity shown, I certainly look forward to your archetype with great expectations!
Final Score: 17/25
If this interests for personal reasons, please feel free to check out everyone else’s scores and at the same time check out your competition and their feedback too!
Closing, as I started…
Congratulations on being selected!
Neil Spicer wrote:
Heh, heh, that's why I'm trying to do a reasonable depth review this year for the winners and hopefully this thread once I'm done there.
I know I'm no Neil, but hopefully I am providing some useful comment.