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Efreeti

Anthony Adam's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 6 Season Marathon Voter, 7 Season Marathon Voter, 8 Season Marathon Voter, 9 Season Dedicated Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,750 posts (3,043 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. 4 wishlists. 4 aliases.


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Paris Crenshaw wrote:
Paris Crenshaw wrote:

Okay, so we've discovered something that we need as many of our writers as possible to be aware of. I'm going to post it here, and we'll be including it in future submission guidelines. This is REALLY IMPORTANT for people who use open-source software, like OpenOffice and LibreOffice, and save their files as .DOC files. There is a mismatch between file types when trying to open the .DOC files in versions of Word from 2013 and up. It results in losing the last few lines of text. Those lines can only be viewed on Word 2010 or earlier.

If you use these programs, you MUST put one or two carriage returns after your last paragraph before you save the document as a .DOC file. Otherwise, we will have great difficulty being able to read and edit your submission.

Please spread the word to others who may not see this post, in case they are already working on future submissions.

Thanks!

I've done some fiddling with files and it looks like there may be a "fix" for this. If you open the DOC file in Word, save it as a DOCX file, then close and reopen the file, the text comes back. Although this seems to work consistently, it's still best to follow the directions above if you're going to use open-source programs to prepare your submissions.

From an IT bod... docx is commonly referred to as exchangeable document format and has become the industry standard for most word processors as the file to use between mixed platforms.

However, if you google "microsoft word viewer" and install that (it's a Microsoft free app - they also have viewers for powerpoint and excel sheets) you can use it to check your saved files open correctly in word as it uses the same word dll's as the full word app uses, it's just read only. Hope that also helps.


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Pat Luther wrote:
Majuba wrote:
Template Fu wrote:
SpeediShuttle confirmed from Seattle Airport to Hotel

Assuming you're staying at the convention hotel, there is a complimentary 24-hour shuttle service provided by the hotel (to travel the whole 3/4 mile to the hotel). You just follow the signs for Taxis/shuttles/etc out across an enclosed skybridge (walkway) and down to a long loading area. There you call the hotel (via code there) to let them know which section you're at. Quite simple in practice.

Last time I took it, when you called the number there was just a recording telling you it was running every 15 minutes.

Also, you can take the light rail directly from the Amtrak station to the airport to catch the shuttle. That's what I've done in the past.

Noted for next time, as it's my first solo trip and I suffer from Aspergers - enough to make it a very scary solo trip but not totally debilitating - I booked a shuttle service so that I don't have to approach strangers and ask around too much.

Not operating very well in crowds and social situations can be a real bind at times, and in a different country altogether, I decided to have someone wait for me with sign and vehicle to make things as easy for me as possible.

That's one of the great things about RPGs/Pathfinder - I get to hear players describe how the character acts and feels and I don't need to "read their body language" to work it out - it allows me moments of "fitting in / being normal" - which is quite a precious feeling.

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Don't know if it counts as Season Prep - but it is official!

Hold on to your hats everyone!!

Hotel Booked and Paid - single occupancy with mountain view and a bath tub instead of a shower - YES!

Flights Booked and Paid - Virgin Atlantic - all direct - night flight return to London so I can be better rested for the journey home from the airport!

Look out USA, TemplateFu is on his way to Paizocon 2016!

Just need to get me the Paizo con tickets now - can't wait for them to go on sale.

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Jarrett Sigler wrote:
Russ Brown wrote:
@Jarrett, can you give an example of a feat with the semi-colon?

Yes, I will go ahead and give a few that I have found.

Arcane Talent

Artillery Team

Banishing Critical

Breadth of Experiance

Confounding Tumble Deed

Detect Expertise

Heroic Leader

Dimensional Disruption

Those are a few. I think there are more. I know it's not exhaustive.

Make sure you reference the PRD for Paizo formatting, sometimes the d20pfsrd is not the same.

I think these examples are ok, for example, click the breadth of experience link here on the prd

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I need to check the rules, my table use somewhat "special" home rules we like... shared as you might be interested...

Affected by effects that are fire based - unless it specifically states you catch fire, you don't or

- if you are immune to fire you don't, or
- if you have fire resistance, a spell check is made against the fire resistance you have, if the check meets or exceeds your resistance, you catch fire, otherwise you don't.

If you catch fire, you take any initial effect damage per the spell/cause at the time you catch fire but take no additional fire damage until initiative cycles round to the same initiative you caught fire on.

Should you choose to forgo your actions and take a full round drop and roll on your initiative, you can put yourself out unless the fire is magically self sustaining in some way. This allows you a chance to take no damage other then the initial effect damage if you choose to do this. While doing so, you do drop your weapons and finish prone in your current location.

Unless the cause effect states otherwise, fire damage is 1d6 burn per round before resistance etc is factored in. You never take less than 1 point, so being resist 10 and standing in a campfire does actually hurt :p

A creature burns for a number of rounds based on size (more clothes to burn, more hair, etc) when no burn duration is quoted in the cause/effect that ignited you.

Small and smaller 1d4 rounds.
Medium and Large 1d6 rounds.
Larger than Large 1d8 rounds.

Sometimes, I am a kind GM, sometimes... allowing the size duration die to also be the burn die - heh heh - but if I choose to do that, then :

a)- it's stated at the start of a campaign, and
b)- there's more chance of catching fire in that campaign :P

I'm pretty busy with 3PP work right now, so it may be a day or two before I can double check the real rules.

I'll close by sharing one of my design mantras...

"IF I THINK/FEEL/SUSPECT it can be misinterpreted, it will be!".

usually tempered in my review circles along the lines of...

"IF I KNOW it cannot - my pit crew will prove me wrong!"

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Jarrett Sigler wrote:

My entry into my own little mini-challenge

A paper tube covered in diagrams of stars and sparks with a single wooden guide along the tube. Showering brilliant sparks and pops the tube dances in the air as if dancing.

Had a quick glance in between holiday family get togethers, a few thoughts on this, all to do with the writing style... These are my own thoughts and so should be read in that context and you can make your own minds up about each point :)

Happy Holidays.

".... dances in the air as if dancing" - is too repetitive of the word dance. Simple stop after "air" losing "as if dancing", results in a far stronger description. That said - creature descriptions should not assume action, state of mind or reactions - they imply and virtually enforce how they are encountered and so restricting the GMs creative reins.

Keep to descriptive terms that avoid an action or motivation or reactions that could be caused in a particular method of encounter... unless it does so all of the time, e.g. "a quivering jelly of red translucent blood" would be okay, but "a jelly that quivers with anticipation..." assumes a mind set and creature reaction in that it is anticipating something.

Other examples to avoid that I hope illustrate the sorts of things to avoid:

"breathing heavily" - you immediately think why? exertion? excitement?
"keening wail that pierces the soul" - especially if the creature hunts, a continuous keening wail would be a bit of a give away
"fingers/claws twitching/grasping"
"raising up from a pool of dark water"
"snarling in anger"
etc.

Other things I spotted, that kind of threw me - animated objects have breeds? I would have thought the term that would be more correct is something like "type".

I couldn't work out how the "cant be tripped" comes to being in this creature - it feels tacked on to me. I can understand it likely came from the dancing aspect, but dancers do trip and can be tripped, so it just didn't feel cohesive to the design for me.

I also wondered - what if I use fireball that deals fire damage AND reduces the creature to zero hit points - does that mean BOTH effects trigger and in what order?

Be careful of introducing new collective terms in Organization entries without qualifying them - look at existing creatures for examples - e.g. the entry for Angel is "solitary, pair, or squad (3–6)"

solitary is obvious
pair is obvious
squad is qualified

so we need to know what constitutes a stockpile in the same manner... one last thought emerges from this...

Explosive form deals fire damage (1d4), which is fire damage that hits ALL creatures including any other stockpile members - which all explode having been dealt any fire damage, radiating out from the central initiating mini explosion... So..., if a stockpile is 10, then I get up to a cascade of 10d4 damage on the poor sap that uses fire on just one of them? I get the feeling a stockpile is more than 10 though! Ouch! >.<

And the very last thing, if it understands rudimentary commands, then it must have a language even if it cant speak it otherwise how does it know what is being spoken across the myriad of languages in game?

Sorry for the wall, I tend to get thorough when I get going >.<


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James Jacobs wrote:
Misroi wrote:

This isn't a permanent solution. All you've done is pass the buck down the line until we reach Pathfinder #1000, and then you have to come up with a solution for the November 2090 issue.

Seriously, though, good to hear! :)

Well... since by the time we'd get to Pathfinder #1000 I'd be 118 years old... I feel fairly confident that making that decision won't be an issue for me.

I think the news recently reported a new anti-aging pill that works - which means you can expect to reach a minimum of 120 - so no, no get out of jail card for you! :P


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What would be awesome sauce would be for all currently active charter subscribers to get signed copies in their delivery!

One can dream...

(and yes, I am an active charter subscriber... and I cant wait to see that 1-100 complete on my shelf!)


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Ms. Pleiades wrote:

"If you five foot step, you'll be helping your allies out tremendously."

That statement is one I no longer bother stating as a GM. I just show enemies five foot stepping and looping around to flank many times.

I also often use...

Charge/Bull Rush etc to step into position first and more troublesome PCs out of the way and gain flanking at the same time on adjacent characters.

Tumble - with a high enough roll, you can tumble around enemies without provoking and can get that flanking so much quicker.

One I think might be worth adding to the list...

"Lets move on and discuss after the session".

Really? Your players don't love the characters so much that they wont insist on "hell no, let's resolve it now" stances! I know that sometimes, as GM, I need to put down the heavy foot of moving along, but more often than not, we resolve things as they arise so we dont have "in a sulk" players. >.<


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Ok, I managed to squeeze in a small update recovered from my notes, more tomorrow.


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Timitius wrote:

You could post in here in the discussion, and add the link to end of your review (see more HERE <link>)?

Having lost way too many posts due to timeouts and such, I always COPY what I've typed before submitting, so if it doesn't work, I can just PASTE, and try again.

We do appreciate your extensive review, Anthony! I've been checking back OFTEN to see if you've continued!

Okay, I will add a link when I'm ready to post - I want to finish off the magazine and write the last parts of the review in one hit, just a day or two needed to finish reading :)


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Ack! Just tried to post my update and it lost it! The page refreshed to the main page rather then the post - I think I probably blew the 2500 word limit - lol. It would have been kinder to represent the page saying "too many words".

I'll have to start a second review post to complete the review if that is allowed?


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Timitius wrote:
Template Fu wrote:

Review has been extended, I am now just over half way through the issue - so much goodness in this issue! I will continue to update the review as I go.

I also really love the setting coverage we have attained in this issue, Golarion has been well and truly covered with new creature related shiny!

Thanks for such a detailed review! I'm glad we haven't dipped below a 7 for you yet!

One note about the card game scenario article....those are actual game card images, not new cards. Part of the CUP allows us to use images from the blog, and since these are scenarios created with existing cards, why not use them? Just wanted to clarify.

Fair enough, I havent got all of the card games / expansions (yet), so wasnt sure. I'll adjust the review when I get the next few parts done.

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One tip for effect clarity, you will love this one...

Get Wayfinder 14. It's free.

Read my article on a creatures essence - a creature design article that actually starts with putting away the books!

Yup, that's right. What the article tries to do is illustrate how really concentrating on your design theme and identifying what you want it to do first, that the wording is clearer after.

Quite a lot of woolly wording comes from feeling your way through what you design as you design it, so put away all the stat blocks, the books and start with a simple shopping list of effects and abilities.

Once you pare that down to a cohesive set, the writing part should follow a lot cleaner and it should fit easier into the templates.

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"waking dream" was just description that I couldn't think of a better way to describe the effect - it's not really a day dream as that would make you unaware of your surroundings, and I didn't want to use the name of existing spells as it wasn't really a spell either.

As for "may", that way is passive writing - after 8 years (and 9 seasons) of being hammered to not write items using "may, should, could, would, might, can, ..." and variants there of, I don't think I am going back to those old ways.

Writing an item description requires a non passive style resulting in a more vibrant and active energy in the description - it's all about saying "what happens" and "how it happens" and not "what might happen" or "how it might happen". Gosh, I sound more like SKR every year! O-o :P

If I rewrite that older version I posted here, I would probably rewrite "the wielder activates" into a more dymaic form of "Activating a star..." and lose the wielder bit.

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Ok, as we all know, the biggest problem I had with my entry this year was choosing an item that was in fact multiple items.

The rules specifically called for a single item, so I chickened out and reworked my item into a singular fan that improved if you purchased a second fan.

This was my original draft before making that change - on reflection, I think I should have risked losing a few votes and stayed with the item being a pair of fans over the singular fan bastardization I entered.

Enjoy my original thoughts...

Wings of the Night Monarch
Aura moderate enchantment and evocation; CL 10th
Slot none; Price 16,305 gp; Weight
Description
The gossamer silks of this pair of +1 fighting fans portray the resplendent wing patterns of Desna’s Night Monarch. Their ivory guard sticks bear eight shimmering stars.
Once per round, the wielder activates a star as a ranged attack with maximum range 60 feet. The star is consumed as it leaps from the fan morphing into a butterfly of divine light fluttering toward the target. On a hit it disperses into the target dealing 1d6 points of holy damage (critical threat on a 20, x3 damage), otherwise dissipating harmlessly. The dizzying flight of the butterfly grants a feint check as a free action against the target, the result affecting that butterflies attack only.
When dual-wielding both fans, the wielder activating one star from each fan simultaneously grants a pair of butterflies attacking separate targets within 30 feet of each other or targeting the same single opponent. In the latter case, both attacks gain a higher +4 circumstance bonus without requiring the feint check.
If both attacks hit, the target is subject to a waking dream unless they succeed a Will save (DC 16) becoming immune to this effect for 24 hours regardless of the save result. If the target fails the save, they dream of acting normally on their next action but instead take no action. The target is aware of their surroundings and is not defenseless. This is a mind-affecting effect.
Expended stars regenerate overnight. Stars expended during the night do not regenerate until the following night.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, daze monster, spiritual weapon, creator must worship Desna; Cost 8,305 gp

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Curaigh wrote:
Template Fu, had you asked I would answer 'save such a pitch for after RPGSS.' I would love to you see how you make 'an adventure' (singular) out of it. I am sure it is possible, but it would railroad character generation, a character's life, or rely on an NPC.

Yeah, that's why I admitted it was a bit of a gamble - the plan was not to railroad but to provide set ups for tribal events and then the pc's could be observers, visitors, the hunter or the hunted and so on allowing the GM the utmost flexibility in its use. ;)

For round 2 my map was a two story affair, a single story above ground - the false apothecary shop front with a torture chamber and cells area underneath it.

This would have open fire and acid pits, open iron maidens, hooked chains from the ceilings for hanging unfortunates on, benches with all sorts of "tools" that can be used as improvised weapons, cages of creatures that can be let loose by the combatants and so on. The shop stores has secret areas containing "less savoury" parts (some of which may have been harvested from those being tortured).

For my creature feature - I was looking at the Yeti Crab on this page of strange beasties of the world as my inspiration...

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Congrats Nick! TemplateFu has now successfully picked the winner for the lasr three successive seasons! Really looking forward to this one!

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The initial monster description should concern the physical appearance of the creature only, it should assume no action or setting details as this forces the GM to place the monster in very specific ways.

By mentioning strewn bodies in the description, you are the creature to be placed at the end of a battle in which it was victorious or having stumbled upon the remains of such a battle.

If placed in the former way, the GM is hard pressed to have the creature encountered undamaged, and if the latter way, the GM may need to explain the dessication of the bodies occurred after their death and not as a result of this creature. As you can see, by having this in the creature description, I am losing elements of surprise in planning my encounters and have to account for clues I might not want to give the players.

My other concern with the creature is - as a CR 9 creature, party members will have at least 50 hit points each on average, which means that you are almost guaranteed to trigger Mitosis and generate a second creature in 4-5 rounds... average of 4d6 is around 14, so round 4 things get nasty real quick as we pass the 50 mark with average rolls only.

If it duplicates a new fully health spawn which the pc's cannot kill in four/five rounds, then with this new creature and the pc's unable to kill the first in a reasonable time frame, it will very unlikely they can finish the first and then the second before another is spawned! The PC's will get overwhelmed by a continually repeating healthy summon which they couldn't kill when they had all their resources available to them!

Then if you add to that attempt to kill the creature in 4 rounds, lets say you get to round 3 and it hits and rolls a higher than average of 4d6 - say 16, then we now have to battle through temporary hit points gained of an additional (5 x 16) 80! - so we now have a creature that was close to dying is now effectively close to full health and in one or two rounds will likely spawn a second fully healthy creature.

For me, I feel this creature has an inherent design flaw that can accelerate an encounter into a no-win situation for the PC's if not defeated within 4-5 rounds - a tight time-scale for any planned encounter utilizing a "solo" creature.

I would restrict the "duplicate" spawn to not being able to spawn its own duplicates until it has existed for a period of at least 24 hours, and/or have it arrive with half the current health the spawning creature currently possesses (and retain the no temporary hit points). As currently written, it feels too powerful - but that's just my gut feeling, so I may be wrong.

I think its the combination of full health spawn and temporary hit point refresh every successful absorption - two hits in successive rounds effectively negates most or all of the damage inflicted in the first round of those two rounds. It would be like trying to keep the ocean at bay when the tide is coming in.

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Charlie Brooks wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
No such things as non-combat encounters when PCs and/or GM are determined enough

Too true.

I recently ran a trial session that turned into a melee. I wonder if the battle would have happened if I had laid out a battle mat with all the guards and nobles assembled there so the PCs would have seen how outnumbered they were.

Over a period of some 3-4 months I emptied my local game store of all its boosters of Pathfinder goblins for a goblin invasion at our table - I still need more to do it justice but tipping 100+ goblins onto my edge of the battlemap was wonderful!

The players had a blast committing whole scale goblin-cide, and they still talk about a "the real scale mini invasion" encounter some six months later! :D

Oh, and Curaigh, I still have my turkey-sized Wizards red dragon too! ;)

One other thing I did once, just as a one off, to each player, "Roll a d20 30 times and record the results in order. Write your name at the top and pass it to me!"

The game began ... "Oh don't worry, I have your first 30 attack rolls, saves, skill checks, etc. here now, I'll let you know when I run out - you just worry about the damage die rolling for a while. Please, please, dont mention it, I know you get tired rolling that big d20 a lot in nerves. Enjoy the respite and relax. Enjoy the ride!"

Can you say tension levels off the charts?

You can imagine the desperate expressions when they make an action that required their next number, which of course they couldn't remember.
And the banter when the first player finally used their 30th roll and could use his dice again!

I must do that again sometime! Maybe get them to roll 40 times and put their resulting rolls in a folder "for later" and forget them for a session or two - ohhh, that got my evil tingles a tingling... muwah hah hah haaaa!

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Robert Thomson wrote:
Anthony Adam wrote:


I've used the second one, the players were expecting the proverbial troll to come from underneath to demand payment for passage and got the bridge itself standing up to demand payment - lol, their expressions were priceless.

I thought about doing a troll bridge before I moved on to deciding that the haunted dungeon was the way to go. Thought the troll bridge was going to be seen as a joke encounter.

Yeah, that's why I made it the bridge itself as a construct - a troll would have been way too easy and expected ;)

With my players, they tend to react very like this...

"Uh-Oh, Look sharp, G< is putting out the battlemap!"

Same when I draw on the dry erasable grid map!

So now I toy with them, draw something... "Oh, that's for later!" - keeps them on tenderhooks until I use what I draw - and when I erase it because they have "bypassed" that encounter - lol, I'm evil!

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frank gori wrote:

Every round past round 1 few people stick around... the Critique my item thread is usually a good indicator as it starts to die the interest in the contest begins to wane.

I personally stick around and there's a die hard audience but yeah it is a little sad to watch these boards go from a vibrant community to a ghost town.

I know, I feel a little guilty about not commenting more this year, but I have just so much work to finish up. It's been that way since last year (lots of work, not the same unfinished things >.<), so I guess that's a good thing.

I also blame Paizo a little... had they not sprung this one on me, I had actually planned to clear my decks for December to do my usual support and feedback to the community, but the devious peeps they are scheduled it right bang in the middle of my work mountain *shakes fist and grrrr's menacingly*

Yay! As I take a momentary break, my brain kicks in with a confirmed "done" and one less thing on the table.

Just one big one left to do...

*peddles the grindstone to spin it faster*

(although I have one thing left to do, I have two already waiting in the wings and a third in proposal stage - lol, so much for clearing the decks!)

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R D Ramsey wrote:

Yeah, I think the Haunted Dungeon in particular is dangerous because of the multiple encounter problem. I'm not sure I could solve that, personally. Hopefully the top 8 did!

The problem with the bridge for me is that it's kinda boring as a location, so you need gimmicks to spice it up. I guess it's all a matter of how good your gimmicks are.

Like having a dragon land at both ends when you are half way across, the only escape route being to dive and swim - you did put ranks in swimming didn't you ? :P

Or, maybe the bridge itself is a glorified huge mimic/construct >.<

Or, it's not really a full length river, it's a stretched out humungous water weird laying in wait ...

I've used the second one, the players were expecting the proverbial troll to come from underneath to demand payment for passage and got the bridge itself standing up to demand payment - lol, their expressions were priceless.

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Not just game developers, it happens in many companies just under different names, for example

Post Implementation Review
or
Project Completion Summary
or
Implementation Reflection

"post-mortem" is just an older term for this sort of process that hasn't been replaced with new fangled terms yet.

It's what companies do when some task is completed and they have similar tasks in the pipeline - to take lessons learned from completing that task that can be applied to the next one and so do it better next time.

So everyone who is reading and writing the reviews, are all reviewing what was done to do it better next time! :)

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Coaching...

I took part in SKR's online design courses he runs - between competitions.

Feedback...

I take it on the chin and sometimes right in the g'nads but keep coming back for more - am I mental?

Advice...

I have been both pit crew member and asked for general feelings, and I have helped others -

I tend to keep to specifics - that spell is the wrong aura, your template is broken, your lore is not correct, etc

I will say things like, I am confused by this, or I like this, or this is really good, or you have passive writing in there but actively avoid suggesting design changes as much as possible.

The item is your design, and if you win, you are going to have to do the work yourself as most pit crew members disappear to practice their own skills for next time once the competition is done.

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Mark Griffin wrote:
Anthony Adam wrote:

making Top 100 has really opened the doors wider for me and I'm suddenly getting a lot of interest in various proposals I have sent to a number of 3PP.

Do you really think this is a function of making the top 100, or is it because of practice, persistence and a good attitude?

They probably helped.

Maybe.

A little.

Ok, you win! ;)

Being able to point and say "that was mine" helps too! :D

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Robert Thomson wrote:
Mark Griffin wrote:
Brian Minhinnick wrote:
Mark Griffin wrote:
Can't....stop....editing....
I would caution against over editing, friend. I did that in the monster round and am still regretting it.
I'm not editing anything actually important at this stage, mostly I'm obsessing over the specific definitions and connotations of nearly identical words like some kind of crazy person. Oh, and commas, they're just the worst.
Sounds like my spending two hours researching whether to use the word swamp, bog, or fen in the map round.

You missed "delta", "quagmire" and "morass" as options then :P

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River of Sand - this feedback is purely food for thought based on visiting the Valley of Kings recently...

One thing I wondered is, if the pharaoh was so important, then I would have expected to see a false tomb, the real tomb sporting a hidden entrance.

The glass sphinx is labelled "from mirror puzzle" but as far as I can tell, all mirror portals are accounted for on the main map, so there is no obvious connection between them.

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Good luck everyone, I'm still lurking, just very, very busy right now - making Top 100 has really opened the doors wider for me and I'm suddenly getting a lot of interest in various proposals I have sent to a number of 3PP.

It's both exciting, scary, and intimidating all at once - a bit like that dreaded submit button feeling. :)


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Chemlak wrote:

Very odd that Excel 2007 won't open it for you, EML: The friend I got to check over the file before I loaded it up had no problem at all.

...

It might be that one user has installed...

Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint File Formats

and the other user hasn't? 2007 doesn't work happily with xlsx files unless you download and install that compatibility pack.

That sentence is the name pasted from the top of the download page, so stick it in Google and you will find it easy enough :)

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Does the environment play a part of the encounter?

e.g. If aboard ship, is it during a storm or becalmed, are the waves crashing the decks forcing reflex saves to avoid falling prone/ being washed overboard?

In a woodland scene, are there brambles and difficult terrain, sudden changes of land height.

In a dungeon setting, is the floor damp, slippery and moss covered, does it have lose tiles/flagstones that trip the unwary?

Think about the lighting if in a dark setting, where are the shadows that lurkers can ambush from, what cover is available.

How close to other populated areas is the encounter set - combat makes a lot of noise, spell detonations, clanking swords and armor, screams of pain, etc., so don't have other areas nearby waiting for the sound to die down, have them come investigate and make life more difficult for an invading force.

Although you are designing "an encounter", make it living and breathing, adapting to the events taking place. Make it feel like it belongs to a greater whole and not just a "ho hum, set out the map board, run it, map board away" thing.

When you populate the encounter, try to match placement with abilities of the creatures you populate with. Creatures with reach using that reach to their advantage forcing their opponents to navigate difficult terrain / climb up to them while being within their reach.

Creatures of the wild, even those of animal intelligence, have survived to adulthood by using their skills and wits to survive, so have them react in a believable manner, have them have tactics that make sense.

Heck, have tactics...

A fight with goblins where they just charge in, stand toe to toe and get slaughtered isn't memorable, but one where they divide and try to circle the party, where they look for the weak spell casters, where they jump off each other, crawling under tables and chairs for cover, grabbing chandeliers and swinging over and behind the party front row makes them so much more than just a bunch of goblins...

Give me the whole, tactics, environment, setting, room to manoeuvre in the encounter setting and make it memorable and exciting and not just more hit points to whittle away.

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Congrats everyone!

Wow, Top 8, chances are I won't see you again as contestants in future years, and some of you have been around as long as I have!

Good luck and god speed!

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I suspect that if someone PM's privately saying "what page is the roaring hulk of doom on?" and they get back a private "Bestiary 27, Page 4,564", that would be no different to them borrowing a book, scanning a book in their game shop, etc.

So long as all you are doing is asking for a page reference, I wouldn't think it was a problem, just keep it private (both query and answers) so no one knows what beasties you are thinking of using.

Also ask for more beasties than you are actually using to hide which ones are actually being used if it worries you.

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And it gets tougher still when you actually start working on real products...

I have a product in the pipeline for a 3PP where I was one of the lead designers for the first time. I finished some months ago and the work is now going through all the editing, pre-prodiction, production, post-production, art acquisition, construction into pdf, etc., that all products go through.

It's under NDA until release and rightly so... so that's months already of me waiting to say "I did that!" - and I will, you can count on that, it's by far one of my best things so far and I am very proud of it.

So how do you tackle this keep silent time? ...

You have to learn to keep moving...

Start some new designs.

Even if you don't have the round 4 rules, you could make some more maps, do some more monster creations, put into practice what you learnt from your feedback and at the same time build yourself a small grab bag of designs that can be in semi or fully finished state to draw on when you find you need something quick ;)

Keeping yourself busy will help improve your work and even revisiting old tasks builds your confidence and skills for when you do know if you progress or not.

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I find your development process feedback extremely helpful and informative... Those of us not in the contest need feedback like this to learn from and so improve our own skills. I wouldnt fret about it Adam, I rather suspect its not much different to feedback you provide to in house designers and freelancers who submit their work to you, so we all need to be able to take such feedback on the chin and keep on working and learning.

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Wow, take a couple days to work on something freelancey and come back to a line up change.

Good luck to those progressing... now run like the wind, grab tight hold of the amazing opportunity you have and have at it for all you are worth!

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I thought I would answer a couple of things on the review - not to defend my item, but to explain my choices for the benefit of others reading this...

Trekkie90909 wrote:
Stepping back from the normal is good, but Desna’s weapon of choice is the star knife – this is a closed design space, no more room for development.

This to me is a very personal thing, I don't believe in restrictions being so tight. So I say to those reading this review, be brave in your choices, try things and be willing to take gambles and risks - I didn't make Top 32 but I did make Top 100 - so some of you must have liked it :)

Trekkie90909 wrote:
and act as a counting mechanism for charges remaining they do nothing star themed mechanically.

This was one of my more subtle things - only those who really know their Desna would know about her star symbology and that they can emit butterflies made of light - so I was tying to that theme AND at the same time to night time skies as an underlay to the time of dreams.

Trekkie90909 wrote:
The holy damage is more indicative of Desna than the Butterfly.

Exactly what I was aiming for, that the butterfly of light is an embodiment of Desna's power and so delivering holy damage - alignment based damage felt too cliche to me and was deliberately avoided. Desna herself has used butterflies of light, so was deliberately themed to that effect.

Trekkie90909 wrote:
The free feint rider seems out of place

The free feint was doing something no other ranged weapon can - offering a ranged feint, caused by the erratic approach of the butterfly being unpredictable. As a designer, you should always look for small bends in the rules that make your item different from all others, in this case, I chose to allow for a ranged feint.

Trekkie90909 wrote:
Final thoughts: Desna is the goddess of travel, stars, luck, and dreams. You only addressed dreams, and the way the item’s written that feels like an afterthought. Try to work on cohesion for next year.

This is probably the one comment I really need to address for everyone. I chose a single theme, that of dreams, keeping my item on a narrow focus. If I had tried to cover all of the other aspects listed by adding a luck power and a travel power, I would have ended up with 3 (or possibly 4) loosely related powers - this would then have been a SAK (Swiss Army Knife) design.

Please, to avoid the SAK downvotes, retain a tight focus on a core central theme - items with shopping lists of powers rarely do well as the old timers in the competition will peg it as SAK very quickly. So when working off Golarion lore, please keep to a central core and don't try to cover every nuance.

I hope it gives you food for thought - games design is a mine field as no matter what you do, or how ever clever or subtle you can be, someone will think it's the best thing ever and someone will think the opposite.

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R Pickard wrote:
Map Fu wrote:

*Yawns and stretches, awoken by Template Fu's gentle snores*

Ahhh, it must be time for Maps soon! I smell fresh scanning in the air!

*Takes his leave to the bathroom to refresh for the reviewing ahead*

*sees map fu, clutching her unreviewed map from 8 months ago; sits in a corner and weeps out of the cruel cold of abandonment*

(ETA: I realize it is far more important at this point to focus on the new season, not old news. I'm just being a drama queen (with a far amount of silliness to boot).)

No worries, I'll get to them, I have just been ubah busy with freelance work - all of which will start seeing the light of day over the next year.

So much so, I think I won't be eligible for Season 10 when it comes around! >.<

I'll still vote each year though, cant keep me away from that!

I also have a creature ethos design article coming out in the next Wayfinder, so if any of you want the unedited version, I will be happy to mail it to you if you think it will help you start on your creature feature ideas.

All I ask is you don't share it on as it will soon be available in shiny edited form for free in Wayfinder - I'm just letting you finalists have first dibs ;) PM me your email if you would like this (it's word docx format so should be easy to read in most readers)

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Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Template Fu wrote:

Wing of the Night Monarch

...

Its ivory guard sticks bearing eight stars.

...

AA, honestly I was a bit frustrated when I saw your item (which was only once during the voting that I remember). I'd seen it during development as you know and thought it was your best item yet. But the submitted version felt much more clunky.

The second-to-last sentence definitely didn't work for you -- ranged attacks in melee combat typically provoke an attack of opportunity, but I don't know if that holds true for this. I also don't know if I can NOT make a butterfly attack to start off when using these items if I don't want to if I have multiple attacks.

And the sentence I quoted above was a fragment that certainly wasn't in early drafts and definitely turned me off as a voter.

From what I have seen in the books etc, you tend to say when something doesnt provoke and rely on the rules for when it does, so I didn't think I needed to call that out for that reason. So, yes, it should provoke because it doesn't say otherwise.

Didn't spot the last bit myself or from my final check pit crew - gah! The intent was you can always use the butterfly option even if you only have one attack.

Ah well, on the plus side, I kept Template Fu alive - and next year, with my current work load, I think I will be banned from entering anyway, so Template Fu shall live forever - or at least for as long as I do :P

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Belabras wrote:


Wing of the Night Monarch
There were a lot of Desna/butterfly items this year, but I really liked this fighting fan. The fact that you needed two in order to use half of it's abilities though, not as much.

They did originally come as a pair, but after my pit crew pointing out the rules called for a singular item, I had to adjust the design appropriately.

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Robert Guthrie wrote:
I don't have time for a detailed critique (I should be working on my map or, since I'm at work, working) but I wanted to say that I LOVED the Wing of the Night Monarch and Vudrani Fighting Rope and voted for both every time. I was disappointed not to see them in the final 32!

Thanks for the kind words on my Wing, it was the first time I tried to riff from Golarion lore so I was pleased with how it turned out.

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so...

115 words so far with...

My farewell to this thread is simple: more filigree next year.
Blood filigree.
Blood and alcohol filigree. Against incorporeal undead.
With runes
And three paragraphs of backstory.
In a new invented slot, maybe belly button?
You forgot that bypasses every type of DR and is every type of energy as needed.
streams butterflies that devour swarms.
All as a swift action!
And gains bane vs the closest type of enemy.
You forgot the lightning, wind, water, and thunder effects that each have a 25% chance of occurring on a confirmed critical hit.
Which only costs 9,000,001 gp
At least there are NO spells in the construction requirements!
And the Diehard feat. With no crafting feat.

The english is fixable, it can be templated, and the price is missing the extra 10 silver and 5 copper, so you inventive people still have 185 more words minus templating to get it up to 300 max! :P

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OK, I'll ask then...

Who is Newt?

I'm THE guy in the meeting that always asks the dumb questions in order to ensure he understands and covers the bases.

(UK ignorance too is a factor on this one!)

;)

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Bahbrahb wrote:
Curtisin wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
Le Petite Mort wrote:
My farewell to this thread is simple: more filigree next year.
Blood filigree.
Blood and alcohol filigree. Against incorporeal undead.
With runes
And three paragraphs of backstory.

In a new invented slot, maybe belly button?

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JPSTOD wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Belabras wrote:

Some questions on image sources:

Can I use royalty free stock elements on my map?

What about visual elements lifted from existing Pathfinder maps?

No, and no. The only images appropriate for this would be those pre-existing in software you used to create the map. So if you have a cartography or graphics program, feel free to use its existing resources, but don't take art from elsewhere.

So If I was in the running and Used Campaign Cartographer 3 and used Artwork which did not come from Profantasy but were royalty free for use in Mapping Software your saying I could not use it Even though there is a lot of Royalty free Artwork designed to be used for free?

I understand lifting artwork from Copyrighted Images is a NO NO

Most royalty free still requires a source to be noted in accompanying text, you have 50 words, I am sure you want all of those for your entry, not for listing images used with hyperlinks. The problem is this, the map will be linked on a company web page, so even royalty free art puts an onus on the company to link the sources if the entrant did not and so it becomes a nightmare of pitfalls for such art to be used.

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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Clay Clouser wrote:
Goblins in the servers and kobolds in the halls...whats next...
The raptor's on the roof, and it won't come down.

Better get Cosmo dressed as bait again.... Ohhh, my guest key seems to let me in still ;)

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Bahbrahb wrote:
Curtisin wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
Le Petite Mort wrote:
My farewell to this thread is simple: more filigree next year.
Blood filigree.
Blood and alcohol filigree. Against incorporeal undead.
With runes

To which one must attune...

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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
Nickolas Floyd wrote:
...And by judges I mean the alien race that is plotting to take over the world starting with RPG Super Star.
This one knows too much!
Sadly Judge Spice, we do not have a Cull scheduled, as a result of being off our temporal benchmark...

Escort him to the webstore ninja den, release him into that dark room, close the door and just walk away. No, dont go back... Keep walking...

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All you can do is hope and pray an make a map just in case.

Entrants like I are at +8 hours ahead of PST (i.e. UK time).

Those ahead of PST could be impacted more seriously than those who live in the PST zone... imagine this scenario

Whatever the problem is, it proves serious enough to delay the announcement to say 6pm PST, that's 2AM UK the next day...

All you lucky PST people get a couple of days of daylight hours, where us poor souls end up passed out asleep on our keyboards and wake up the NEXT day with just 1 to 1 and a half days to get things done, bleary sore eyes, keyboard imprints on one side of our face, stiff back and neck etc... sleeping like that is not easy you know :).

Me I am trying to draw with EVERYTHING crossed that the fix is a fixable fix with a small time-frame and that I can be ready whenever the fix is done should I progress.

That my fellow contestants is all we can do, the milk is spilled so let's lap it up and carry on like true freelancing soldiers at the eventful word and picture coal faces.

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Yes, what raven said... Feel free to have a nice item thread and say thanks but no more than that unless the item owner asks for detailed critique. I forgot about that thread raven, so thanks for the reminder.

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