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Old Marm

DeathQuaker's page

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32. RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter, 2014 Star Voter, 2015 Star Voter. Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 6,109 posts (9,392 including aliases). 5 reviews. 5 lists. 1 wishlist. 14 aliases.


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RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Taylor Hubler wrote:
Jensen Toperzer wrote:
I'm half hoping I make it in, but half not because it probably meams some poor soul missed the deadline :(
Well I am half worrying about being DQ for something overlooked on my end.

I am not you, and have nothing to do with your overlooking anything!

No, I will never stop with that joke. :)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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I have submitted mine and now live in perpetual fear, especially since it's Mercury Retrograde, the email will be eaten and it won't be seen and I'll be disqualified even though I sent it in early. (All you people talking about panic and anxiety, I have no idea what you're talking about.) (ETA: the nifty submission tool thingy on the main Superstar page says my submission was entered, so phew.)

And for anyone panicked I got it in early--I have to go away tomorrow morning, so I had to submit it now! As it is I have not yet packed...

But I'm sitting here instead eating celebratory homemade pan-popped popcorn with roasted garlic butter. /wins RPGSnackerStar

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Town of Griffon Falls

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Thanks for all of your feedback! I've finally got a bit of a breather to respond. :)

I worked a lot on theme before specific mechanics and I'm glad that came through--even if more work could have been done to further reflect the desired theme without raising potential problems. Something to continue to work on.

Likewise, cost is a challenge--and I realized I halved the base item cost with everything else for the cost about a day after I submitted the item. We were spoiled by wondrous items! As for its price: I calculated what an item using diminish plants would cost and then roughly halved that, then added the cost of a +1 keen weapon. It could definitely be tweaked more.

Thanks for this opportunity, and your votes--and even your downvotes, because yes, there's always room for improvement. :)


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Gnome Rogue 3 | AC 19 T 14 FF 16 | HP 14/21 (normal Max HP 23) | F+2 (current +1) R+6 W+2 (+2 vs glyphs) | Perc +9 (+10 find traps) Init +4 | arcane mark 1/1, comprehend languages 1/1, message 1/1, read magic 0/1, Det Mag: 3/3
Spoiler:
Acr +9, App+7, Blf+7, DD+13/16glyphsetc., Esc+8, KArc+3, KEng+3, KLoc+5, Lin+5, Per+9/+10tr, PCook+9, PScr+5,SMo+7, SOH+9, Stl+13, UMD+12

Busy with Superstar! Will try to check in when I can! Wish me luck!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Okay, I'm done singing and have words now.

First word: CONGRATULATIONS to all of you on this amazing ride. I am humbled and honored (and still a little disbelieving) to be here with you.

Now... introductions seem to be the thing to do:

Hi, I'm Rep and I'm a gamer. I love games, music, comics, and chocolate. Professionally, I am an administrative assistant at a university (in other words, I have no money but secretly all the power); I also am a freelance copy editor. Past professions have included small town reporter, magazine grunt, and bookstore heavy box packer and carrier. Oh, and sometimes people pay me to assemble and paint miniatures too, but that's a bit more under the table (shh!). I have an MA in English Literature and I am a certified conflict mediator. Unprofessionally I sing soprano in a local LGBTQS chorus and play games and am active in my religious community (Quaker in case that wasn't clear).

Please forgive me if I don't post much--I've got a map to work on!

Good luck everybody!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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I realized I've never really answered the initial question here. I haven't favorited either post.

I have a sense from prior years is that there's a fairly notable gap in favorability ratings between items that get culled and those that don't... and my own guess is that the "big" cull this year was that that's where the gap fell. What I'd prefer is not the "big cull" per se--as in, I don't want them to formally change things to just always have a large cull--but to keep culling whereever that gap falls. I know I am not articulating myself well here and probably not choosing the right terms, but hopefully my sentiment comes across.

I definitely DO think a cull is helpful and I would prefer one cull rather than several (as it is some voters wait till after the cull to vote, and they might wait till after the "several" to vote, so I'm not sure how helpful more would be).

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Brigg wrote:
Snorter wrote:
How can people know they've been culled, anyway?

There was a crack (Or crackhead) team of folks whom were taking tabs on every item that showed up in the voting both before and after the cull. Please refer to the thread "List of items that anyone can edit", and click on the link in the first post.

People whom did not see their item on the "Post-cull" list...well, you know...

Snorter's post, which you edited the context out of, mentioned the spreadsheet. If I interpreted him correctly, he suggested it's unwise to jump to solid conclusions based on a fan made sheet. And I think he's got a good point: while I am absolutely certain the folks who maintained the sheet did their utmost to make it accurate--and you know what, it probably is--but it's still an unofficial attempt at collecting things. It was also a sheet editable by anyone and could be messed with---always hard to be absolutely 100% certain that something didn't get accidentally deleted, mis-sorted, etc. etc. I think it was valuable to see, but I also think someone who absolutely counts on that entirely could potentially set themselves up for unnecessary disappointment. And the voting algorithm is random enough that it is possible somehow even someone who just spent all day and night for the last few weeks voting rather than anything else might have missed something.

There are also distinctions that might be missed... for example, someone might not have been culled but disqualified---some non-qualifying entries sometimes slip past the initial review and voters report them. Someone could feel they were unjustly culled due to voter preference when the reality is it was a mistake they themselves made that got them removed from the list.

(I know having only voted a mere few hundred times, I still swear I only saw about 25 items in different combinations (seriously, there were at least five items I could NOT get away from, pre or post cull, and several more that popped up repeatedly, while a huge bulk I never saw, my own item included. My item is listed on the post-cull list but I can't help but wonder if that's a cruel joke. ;) )).

And while I know it's not currently against the rules, I have to wonder if such item listing is a good idea. Everyone wants to know if someone's seen their item, I know, but I wonder if it is potentially, negatively distracting. Yeah, I know voters need something to do (and I liked checking the list and appreciate folks' hard work) but something I'm finding hard to articulate niggles at the back of my head as to the idea that this might be a troubling trend for some reason.

Mind, I think most of the people who believed they were culled handled it with aplomb and their ruminations were more enlightening than anything, but at the same time there was some unnecessary bitterness (sudden suspicion of the voting process, etc. etc.). Folks have to remember this isn't a contest for best item, it's a competition between people to show they've got their best stuff, and "best stuff" includes not only their actual entries, but also attitude and sports(wo)manship. This last bit I think is the point some folks are trying to get at here, in particular.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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The black raven wrote:

A good advice I read on these boards : have your most dirty-minded friends read your item's description.

That should prevent unwanted staff-strocking, hard rods and damp and glistening items ;-)

The problem is MY most dirty-minded friends are also the kind of friends not to point that out just to see the disastrous results. :)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Lady Firedove wrote:

You want to see some crazy map rules?

Check this out. :)

Wait, I missed the "not!" Damn!

*looks down and sighs at 3"x2" chartreuse and iridescent map drawn on her gilded abdomen...*

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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quibblemuch wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
No, I certainly wasn't referring to you personally! Definitely a general "you" there. I've got to get out of that 2nd person habit...
"Have you considered a more civilized 'all y'all'?" he asked, from somewhere neath the Mason/Dixon. :)
Well, that, along with "yinz" and "you guys," would imply "everybody" and I don't mean "everybody" either. :)

So what you're saying is we need a new grammatical coinage.

How about "somes y'all" or "sumyez"?

I think this could be my contribution to the culture! At long last!

That could work. I think I might just go with Planar Common, and talk about "a body." But all possibilities can be considered.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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quibblemuch wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
No, I certainly wasn't referring to you personally! Definitely a general "you" there. I've got to get out of that 2nd person habit...
"Have you considered a more civilized 'all y'all'?" he asked, from somewhere neath the Mason/Dixon. :)

Well, that, along with "yinz" and "you guys," would imply "everybody" and I don't mean "everybody" either. :)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

Maybe. Or a lot of rings didn't bring the interest that more cinematic weapons, armor, staffs and rods did. Regardless of whether or not they were converted items.

Note: I'm not taking your post as personally applying to me, as I didn't have an item until after the Round 1 change was posted. :)

No, I certainly wasn't referring to you personally! Definitely a general "you" there. I've got to get out of that 2nd person habit...

Andrew Black wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

Think twice about creating a ring for the 2015 iteration. :p

If you thought twice and still went with it, chances are yours is one of the 39.

I think the real issue is don't try to shoehorn your wondrous item into a ring when they switch up the round 1 contest. The problem with many rings and rods in particular, and to a lesser extent some armors, is they were obviously converted wondrous items.

The secondary issue is that if the contest puts out a twist that throws you for a loop, try to run with it rather than convert an old idea that doesn't really fit (and save your awesome old idea for a situation where it can be better used, such as submitting it to Wayfinder).

While I absolutely think several items were Wondrous Items repurposed as other things, I also have to think that we have been Wondrous Item conditioned.

Meaning as designers trying to make super star quality its possible to venture to far into wondrous item territory because that is what we know.

OR, as voters to see the Wondrous Item the contestant could have made even if the designer was not converting an idea.

I think that is one of the things that makes this year so challenging, switching design modes and and still creating something that WOWS.

That's certainly possible. It is easier to make a wondrous item interestingly thematic in many ways (why, indeed, the Superstar contests clung to that category for so long). The fact that it is easier I think is also a good reason to change things up. I definitely know making something not wondrous was harder in that there were extra creation rules I had to pay attention to (for one example, a wondrous item doesn't have to include the cost of, say, a masterwork boot or cape, but a weapon or armor has to include the base item cost).

I want to be clear that I wasn't trying to "guess" what was once a wondrous item and auto-downvoting it if I suspected it to be one once... but more that it seemed obvious in several circumstances someone did do a poor job of conversion, and when I say "obvious" I mean truly obvious things like somebody accidentally leaving in a reference to "bracelet" or "circlet" or some very clear mechanic that is far more frequently found in a wondrous item than the item it had been made into. And that I found a lot of these particular oversights, errors, etc. in rings.

And I think these designers might have done better--and made fewer careless mistakes--if they had come up with something from scratch.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

Think twice about creating a ring for the 2015 iteration. :p

If you thought twice and still went with it, chances are yours is one of the 39.

I think the real issue is don't try to shoehorn your wondrous item into a ring when they switch up the round 1 contest. The problem with many rings and rods in particular, and to a lesser extent some armors, is they were obviously converted wondrous items.

The secondary issue is that if the contest puts out a twist that throws you for a loop, try to run with it rather than convert an old idea that doesn't really fit (and save your awesome old idea for a situation where it can be better used, such as submitting it to Wayfinder).

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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I chose chocolate, because death by chocolate means I can't live to enjoy more chocolate.

ETA: On a more actual Superstar related issue, come to think of it, I think this is why I tend not to upvote death related items (unless they're just obviously the better of the pair, like the other item is just a mess of formatting and bad mechanics and unoriginal ideas)... I've seen many items, this Superstar and prior, where the trigger for the item's ability (or most original ability) is either the owner's death or the death of someone killed by the owner. While we like our PCs and don't want them to die, I don't want to plan on my PCs' death either---and would rather own cool magic items that help protect them/fight so they don't get TO the point of actually dying. Likewise, managing to kill a creature can actually be pretty circumstantial (if you're playing in a party, hard to predict who's going to always get the killing blow), and it can discourage good teamplay (the player whose PC has the cool item activates on killed creature death is always insisting on getting all the kills in the party---or on killing a creature, even, that the other PCs may want to leave alive). On a meta perspective, I can tell that the item is designed by a player who is used to lethal campaigns and is designing for him/herself, thinking like a player, not thinking like a designer who is trying to come up with something usable in a variety of campaigns (not all campaigns are lethal, some not even for the enemies involved---frex, an intrigue based urban campaign may have little fighting or the PCs may want to leave their enemies alive to interrogate them, arrest them, etc.).

Some "on creature death" items might make sense for an NPC to have (a soul trap item could even contain the soul of a person the PCs are trying to save). But they've got to be well designed so they're story-useful.

Sorry this particular thought is probably better for another thread but it's here because of chocolate.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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quibblemuch wrote:
mamaursula wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
mamaursula wrote:
What are you going to do between now and Tuesday?
The usual freelancer stuff. Fighting hobos down at the train station for Sterno and bindle change. Selling encyclopedia insurance to the internet unsaavy to protect their hardbound books from factual obsolescence. Dancing a midnight tarantelle with a devil I'm pretty sure only I can see. You know, pretty standard prep work.
You have to do your research somehow. Don't forget to sign up for kitestring.
I had hitherto been unaware of that service. What a future we live in!

OT -- that is very cool. I may try that for when I go hiking.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Nice post. I am so, so, so very glad they switched up round 1. We needed a refresher. The focus on swift turnaround is also important, something often forgotten.

I would disagree with your final statement slightly-- the top 32 shows what developers look for, as they are picked by the judges. This intersects with what fans & customers look for but isn't exactly the same thing. Peoples' personal keep lists and the top 100 voted shows what fans and customers look for. The differences between these things and the top 32 show what differs between the judges' (developer) preferences and general fan sentiment. One of many key differences is simply the judges are voting for a designer; many voters vote for the items themselves, not the designer the item effectively represents. Still understanding all these things are really valuable.

I feel like this year for whatever reason had had a more civil community surrounding it. It's had its issues, as internet message boards will, but I've felt better hanging around the Superstar boards more this year than in previous.


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Gnome Rogue 3 | AC 19 T 14 FF 16 | HP 14/21 (normal Max HP 23) | F+2 (current +1) R+6 W+2 (+2 vs glyphs) | Perc +9 (+10 find traps) Init +4 | arcane mark 1/1, comprehend languages 1/1, message 1/1, read magic 0/1, Det Mag: 3/3
Spoiler:
Acr +9, App+7, Blf+7, DD+13/16glyphsetc., Esc+8, KArc+3, KEng+3, KLoc+5, Lin+5, Per+9/+10tr, PCook+9, PScr+5,SMo+7, SOH+9, Stl+13, UMD+12

Hello!

I am really glad to see y'all back.

I admit however trying to dig up a muse for what was a challenging game is difficult. I've said before, with no offense intended to anyone here, as y'all are a truly delightful crew, that I'd sometimes considered dropping out because it was a bit hard for me to follow at times.

I think though as Tac said, we are near the end of an arc. I think it would probably make sense to play Ceru to the end of the arc and then see how I feel. Would that be okay?

That said, some serious recappage would be very helpful to all of us I think.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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If you feel judged by a Dr. Lucky character, I really can't help you. ;p

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Grognard's Ring of REAL Protection
Aura moderate abjuration; CL 5th
Slot ring; Price Price 2,750 gp (+1), 11,000 gp (+2), 24,750 gp (+3), 44,000 gp (+4), 68,750 gp (+5); Weight
Description
This ring offers continual magical protection in the form of a deflection bonus of +1 to +5 to AC, as well as a resistance bonus of +1 to +5 to all saving throws, like it's damn well supposed to!

Construction
Requirements Forge Ring, shield of faith, resistance, caster must be of a level at least three times the bonus of the ring; Cost 1,375 gp (+1), 5,500 gp (+2), 12,375 gp (+3), 22,000 gp (+4), 34,375 gp (+5)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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I'm pretty sure Paizo planned a cull regardless of anyone asking.

Likewise, if their intent is to share the rules ahead of time, they will. If they weren't planning to, I doubt this'll change things. That said, I can't find the post but I thought I recalled Owen Stephens saying the map rules would be posted ahead of time. Even so, this is only the first full day of judging, so the Superstar folks probably have other things on their plate.

At any rate, personally what I'd plea for is patience.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Feros wrote:


Wondrous items (DQ): 4

Yes, I AM a wondrous item indeed, thank you. ;)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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I don't think the math has to be perfect, just the designer has to show a good instinct for working with the system, which is both art and science. I'm just not going to count a high price--if it was gotten to by a reasonable method--against a designer for the sake of it being a high price alone.

That said, I love the auction idea, Eric. ;)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Avatar-1 wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
I find that's an issue with the game mechanic, not a given item. Magic items are crazy expensive--probably to keep players from insisting on buying twelve +2 longswords at the local magic mart, etc. etc. The guidelines provided for pricing items tends to ...

You've overanalysed it. I know how items are priced and that the system tends towards items being expensive, but there's a simpler fix for this: don't make the item so powerful that it jacks up the price.

Remember the item just has to be a cool/flavourful. It doesn't need a high power point to do that. There's a sweet spot in between hyper-powerful and cost-effective, and a lot of items ignore the latter.

By the time you hit around 20,000gp, that should be a red flag that the item had better be amazing.

I don't think I've overdone anything, I just take a different approach than you do.

Simply, in my opinion, it is is easy--too easy--in this system to make a item with perfectly reasonable powers that ends up being incredibly expensive because of the way the item creation rules work. I, personally, am not going to hold that against the designer AS LONG AS the designer showed they understood the mechanics they were working with. (It should also of course go without saying that the item itself should be a good item.)

You approach it from a different perspective and vote differently accordingly. I got it. You are heard. I simply disagree with your approach and am noting I personally will not take it. The world will continue to turn for us both regardless. Not much else to say.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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pH unbalanced wrote:
Jeff Lee wrote:
Clouds Without Water wrote:
Jeff Lee wrote:
I think I've seen enough swarm items to last me a while. That angle has been played out over the last few years of Superstar.
I mostly like the few swarm items I've seen this year.
None of the swarm-related items I've seen this year are bad. However, I'm seeing very few that are treading any new ground compared the various swarm items of past competitions. The ones that are are filling the gaps. I think next year someone would be hard-pressed to design a swarm item that would have me saying "that's a new way to incorporate swarms into design."
One difference is that this year there seem to be more that utilize vomit swarm -- not that that is much of a difference.

Although I always wish I could send the copy of SKR's caveat against "items that make you vomit" to the people who write up those ones.

On the other hand, I also kind of what to do the same thing to whatever Paizo developer who put spells like that IN THE GAME and say, "NO! Ew!"

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Lady Firedove wrote:

And this is why I don't have a voter tag yet...

Process:
Glance at both items... Like the one on the left's name better... Read it... Like the simple, elegant weapon design and effect... Figure I will probably be voting for it... Start reading the other item... Have eyes start to swim at the massive wall of text and multiple effects... Decide I will definitely be voting for the first item... Give a second glance at the wall of text on the right... Get caught by a nicely worded descriptive phrase... Start actually picturing the item and how it would work... Realize I really like the item's theme and description and the design behind it... Read the wall of text again more carefully... Decide I want that item... Start looking back and forth between the elegant weapon with the pithy description and the intricate staff with the lengthy description... Examine pricing and other construction details... Copy the text of both to a document to save for possible future use... Further consider which is better... Eschew the equal button... Eventually vote for the wall of text on the right, despite my initial assumptions... Wonder if I made the right judgement call... Take the time to post about it here in this thread....

One vote closer to Star! Woo-hoo!

This is also why it takes me forever to grade my students' essays...

I hear you Lady Firedove. Though I have gotten my tag, I think I've generally been less busy than you have been, but I can't imagine how people can ever get to Marathon or Champion at all... Dedicated seems like a massive accomplishment.

Oddly, either my process is very similar OR...

I see two items I've read before or are very fast to read or the difference between the quality is obvious for some reason....

Then I realize the countdown is only at 50 seconds...

So I go do something else...

Then forget I was voting.

The voting process is not ADD friendly.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Ooh, ooh, I want to play... this year's process for me:

1. Ages ago, decide never to enter RPG Superstar again
2. Read the RPG Superstar announcement three days after it was actually made, four days before deadline. Read the twist, get intrigued, get frustrated/excited as ideas start flooding in.
3. Jot down a few of my favorite ideas.
4. Get the flu.
5. Through flu-haze, choose favorite idea so far and rewrite it a few times.
6. Rename item to something that sounded cool under the influence of fever and cold meds.
7. Make risky choice not to show anyone else because most of the feedback I usually get is too positive. (Yes, I'm weird. But "nice item" isn't constructive.) And because everyone I know is busy/sick/dead* leading up to holidays.
8. Submit night before due-date because have to catch up on work missed due to flu next day.
9. Wonder what the heck I was thinking when I came up with the name. Come up with better name 1 month later.

* No one actually died.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Young man, there's a design trap, you know
I said, young man, an easy mistake to go
With an item, that can mimic a spell
But to you, I've got to tell...

It's fun to vote down an S-I-A-C!
It's fun to vote down an S-I-A-C!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Avatar-1 wrote:

You know, one of my new criteria that I wished I considered earlier is price.

I don't just mean if it's been calculated correctly. While that's important - as is all the other usual stuff - there is a big problem if your star item is a 64,000gp and I will likely never use it. Solely because of its price point.

A good chunk of players play Pathfinder Society, and that only goes up to level 12. Until you get very close to level 12, you're not likely to buy a single item over about 25,000gp.

So if the two items I'm seeing are a 12,000gp item and a 38,000gp item, I'm far more likely to forgive any errors on the lower priced item, even if it's somewhat inferior.

I really think this is a commonly overlooked issue. What's the point of a great item if you never use it? It's no longer a great item. This is harder to pull off with these categories, so if you can pull it off with finesse, it's more likely you're on the right track.

I find that's an issue with the game mechanic, not a given item. Magic items are crazy expensive--probably to keep players from insisting on buying twelve +2 longswords at the local magic mart, etc. etc. The guidelines provided for pricing items tends to err on the side of "ridiculously expensive and probably way more than the item is actually worth" also in an attempt to avoid cheese. WBL guidelines are boon and bane... on one hand, it's a fair guideline to show what a given character's equipment value probably is/should be in an average game, but on the other, if you really want to give your party this overpriced staff (most staves are really expensive because something containing multiple spells will be by their pricing algorithm) because it would be useful to them, but don't because you're afraid they'll just try to cash it in and buy something else.... well, that can get frustrating to work out. The real issue IMO is somewhere along the lines of providing useful guidelines to GMs for controlling presence of magic items in a game rather than using an often frustrating cost mechanic as a crutch.

At any rate, because I see this as a fundamental flaw in the system itself, I'm not going to dock a designer's item for how much something costs AS LONG AS it looks like they've done their best to work within the system (because even if the system is flawed, they still as potential freelancers have to know how to work within it). Most of the item categories we're working with this year are going to be by their nature expensive (with the possible exception of some simple function rods). None of that is a contestants' fault, and I'm not going to hold them responsible for a design mechanic they didn't make themselves.

Especially when this is a contest to show off a designer's creativity, not their ability to come up with something practical (if it was the practical cheap items contest I feel my chances would be much higher). Nor is it a contest for them to design something usable in PFS, a small subset of Pathfinder players that use a particularly restrictive scenario, so that shouldn't factor in either, IMO.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Still alive!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Ashiel wrote:

Sans houseruling, monitoring does bubkis. Either you're saying this is how it works or you aren't. The way I'm reading it is you can fake a prerequisite ability (such as if a magic item required you to have Uncanny Dodge or Bardic Performance or the ability to cast 6th level spells or any number of other effects that can be based on level and/or rely on a Yes/No class feature) but it doesn't actually give you anything to expend.

Example:

"When wielded by a character with the Rage class feature, this +1 scythe gains the ghost-touch weapon quality. By expending 1 round of rage, the wielder may have the weapon do an additional +2d6 damage on attacks against incorporeal creatures for 1 round"

In this case, a successful UMD check would allow the weapon to function as a ghost touch weapon, however you don't have rage rounds to expend so you cannot get the extra +2d6 damage.

If you disagree, then we have an entirely new reason to downvote such items, except now instead of preference it's game balance in the face of "UMD to infinity and beyond".

I would argue that, perhaps, you would have to make two UMD checks; in your example, the first to emulate the rage class feature in order to gain the ghost touch property, and the second to emulate the expenditure of the rage point. And to emulate having a rage pool, you would have to make the UMD check every time you would otherwise spend a point. I guess this could be a problem if someone had maxed UMD out the wazoo, because UMD costs no additional actions apart from item activation, but even then, it's hard to say if in a practical game circumstance if this would be truly game breaking.

However, if a GM made a call closer to your interpretation, I wouldn't as a player argue with it.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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I Think You may Have Gone Overboard With Capitalization.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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I'm not going to auto-downvote a class restricted item any more than I'd auto-downvote anything else (presuming the item is not simply disqualifiable)--there's always going to be exceptions to rules.

But I do find I am more likely to downvote a class restricted item not out of some arbitrary principle, but because many of them have a tendency to be "fix" items rather than items that display a good creative edge. An item that makes spellcasting faster or just multiplies a bonus granted by an ability or tries to get around alchemical extract restrictions etc. etc. generally feels like a workaround, not a creative item. Or sometimes the class restriction doesn't lend itself well to the item's flavor and just seems to be there because the designer wanted to make an item for his/her favorite class (for example, I've seen items that become more powerful in the hands of someone with a certain class ability, but the power doesn't actually connect well with the ability, e.g., an item that gives you a +2 to Craft (Charcoal Brick) checks if you have the bardic performance ability, rather than, say, something that enhances a bardic performance).

And by the same token, most of my favorite items do tend to be non-restricted because it means that they can be used/applied in a number of beyond by one certain member of a class, which makes things easier and more fun for me as both a GM (designing NPCs with interesting gear that turns into wanted loot for the party--I am delighted when a player is happy about a loot drop and not frustrated by its un-usability or feels they have to make a sacrifice to get something out of it--I prefer to use treasure as reward, not punishment) and as a player (finding things all of us can use and trading things back and forth as needed).

Absolutely class-restricted items have a place in the game and can be desirable, but making one that truly feels thematic and "superstar" is harder. And of course a well-designed, evocative, interesting class-restricted item will win a vote over an item that cannot compete in the creativity arena.

But honestly, if both items are equally quality in ALL WAYS, e.g., terms of writing, creativity, theme, mechanical correctness, etc. and one is a general item that can be used many ways, and one is very restricted in its application, I'll likely vote for the former because I find it more flexible to use as a GM and player.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Tarder Sauce, the Grumpy Cat wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
The amount of unformatted entries indicates there's a lot of new contestants. More people being drawn to Paizo and to design is a good thing.
That is an awesome way to think about it. Thank you!
If you continue to contribute positive comments like this, Wilfred Brimley and I are going to petition to have your scowly avatar revoked. :)

She's not scowling, she just has a bad case of resting b#*~$ face.

(And you're welcome, quibblemuch. :) )

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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While I tend to be a harsh voter if formatting is really bad (or completely nonexistent), there is an upside:

The amount of unformatted entries indicates there's a lot of new contestants. More people being drawn to Paizo and to design is a good thing.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Wow, that last bit of detail was both completely disgusting AND entirely superfluous to your item's function. Even though the other object probably should have been another magic item type, I voted for it instead.

We need a "recommend therapy" button.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Feros wrote:

...and for the DeathQuaker crack I just had to vote for an item I swore I would never vote up because the opposing item was just far too hokey!

Damn Karma! *shakes fist at universe*

While I will neither confirm nor deny my ability to influence shifts in karma, and I will note that while yes, I do fight dirty, I would like to make it clear that I have absolutely no power or responsibility over what you get in the voting pool.

As evidenced by my own insane voting pool luck. :)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Melon wrote:
Thanks for the help guys and gals. I am new to this, but if I was DQ, I will be sure to come back next year better prepared.

You were not DQ, I am DQ. ;) (Don't mind me, I am required to make this joke as much as possible.)

You however probably not DQed, or rather, disqualified, unless your item was more than 300 words, you made a wondrous item, you made an item for a system other than Pathfinder, you identify your item before the round is completed, or you otherwise broke one of the rules listed on the rules page.

Don't fret if you don't see your own item, in past contests I've seldom seen mine but I've later learned mine made it through the voting. AFTER--PLEASE NOTE AFTER--the top 32 are announced in January, if you are not one of the top 32, you can post the name of your item and people can say whether they've seen it or not.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Wow, that was the most beautifully described, perfectly formatted spell-in-a-can I've ever seen.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Garrett Guillotte wrote:

Oh no, DQ, it's Muphry.

I already fixed it and mocked myself for it perfectly, now you ruined it.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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I understand everyone works very hard and I hold them in the light and support them and wish every person well.

But...

But.

Rage of a Formatting Junkie:

BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY CAN YOU NOT JUST COPY-PASTE THE TEMPLATE PROVIDED AND USE IT?!?!?!?!?!?

ALSO:

Pedantry:

I just for some reason feel like copy-pasting this bit from the PRD here for some reason, and adding emphasis to one particular part for some reason:

PRD wrote:
Rods are scepter-like devices that have unique magical powers and do not usually have charges.

Yes, I know, "usually." But still.

Patterns seen that are similar to prior years...

- "... prized by..."
- "... appears ordinary but [foo] reveals its true nature..."*
- General unnecessary gore.
- Things that harm you as much as, if not more than, they help.

* Total admission: I really had to resist putting a similar description on my item even though I knew it was cliched because reasons.

Newer patterns that I am already seeing...

- Mirror-like, mirror themed, and "polished to a mirror shine..." items. I really haven't voted that much yet and I've already seen a bunch, across several item categories. And I just typed this sentence, then looked at my next pair, and lo and behold one was described as mirror-like...
- Shadow themes
- Several things that can be thrown (not all of them weapons)
- Rings in sets or pairs

General observations:

Repurposed wondrous items were usually turned into rods or rings, not always to good effect.

Although this was also clear beforehand, rods definitely appear to be the least easy to grasp magic item concept (I've seen one rod that should have been TOTALLY something else that is entirely unlike a rod, and for the interests of vagary I can't really get more specific than that).

Okay, all done.

Edited because I formatted my "rage of a formatting junkie" wrong.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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mamaursula wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:


Can I ask a question that is hopefully askable now? Well, I guess I can, and if you can't answer it so be it:

Short version: are simple line drawings best/preferred/required? Or can nicer artwork be used if it's your own or the source's license allows for it?

Mikko wrote a great blog about his experiences mapping last year, you might want to take a look at that post. I'm sure Owen will be back to answer this, but I believe the answer is going to be "use whatever works best for you that works out to make a map."

Link pls? Thank you. :)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

There are lots of different types of maps we use. Encounter Maps. Dungeon maps (which are really just big encounter maps). Overland maps. City maps. Region maps.

All of them are important. All of them take practice, and being able to do any of them is a very useful skill. Heck, if you prove you can draw an awesome city map (even if it's just clear and evocative line art we'd still need to send to a professional cartographer), there's a good chance Mark Moreland would hire you to do some eventually.

I can do a pretty good city map....

Quote:
When it comes time to talk about the specifics of the next round, I'll absolutely give folks guidance on what is and isn't desired and acceptable.

Until then?

I recommend you practice drawing them all. :D

Can I ask a question that is hopefully askable now? Well, I guess I can, and if you can't answer it so be it:

Short version: are simple line drawings best/preferred/required? Or can nicer artwork be used if it's your own or the source's license allows for it?

I've got Campaign Cartographer 3 (profantasy.com). In an extremely unlikely universe where I make the top 32, I'd most likely use it to make my map, as it's what I'm best versed in (outside of drawing by hand, and it's easier to correct mistakes on the computer version--mind, CC3 isn't easy software to use, but I've used it for a long time).

I CAN tweak the settings so it looks like a very plain line drawing. That actually takes more work in some ways since you have to set it to non-default, but still easy to do.

But its defaults are set to relatively pretty looking symbols and textures. IIRC the license allows these to be used freely as long as you don't claim the artwork as your own or appropriate their individual symbol artwork for something else. Would it be okay to use the pictorial artwork or, again, would it be better to just keep it as basic as possible?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Joey Haeck wrote:

On maps, I think it's pretty safe to say--from Owen's hints--that this map will be an encounter-sized or dungeon-sized map. The sort of thing you would see in the middle of an adventure module.

But don't forget about the other main kind of map: the overland map. The challenge could be designing a map showing a series of encounters in a wild forest, or even creating showing where important towns and geographical features are for a more intrigue-focused adventure.

I know that I'm going to be practicing both kinds over the holidays.

Remember also Round 2 is create a map but round 4 is design an encounter with a map so it's possible you end up creating 2 maps... or working with the one you made... or working with someone else's....

If it is an overland map it would probably be a smallish area as IIRC most of Golarion is already overland-mapped (so it would be more like an island or forest or stretch of river).

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Anthony Adam wrote:
Worried about DQ?

Stop worrying, I'll be fine!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Harvestweal
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 10th
Slot none; Price 36,630 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
This +1 keen sickle’s blade is always clean to the point of gleaming: no soil, blood, or other material ever stains it. The shining blade bypasses the hardness of any wood or vegetable matter, even that which is alchemically treated, a special material, or magical in nature. The wielder can use harvestweal as a standard action to automatically break free from the entangled condition, provided the condition is caused by plants, such as via the entangle spell or an assassin vine’s entangle special attack. If the effect causing the entanglement covers an area, this action does not dismiss the effect, but the wielder cannot be re-entangled unless she enters another square covered by the entangling effect. If the wielder is not entangled herself, she may free an adjacent, entangled ally under the same conditions.
While the wielder stands in a garden, barn, pasture, or farm fields, harvestweal cannot be sundered, nor can the wielder be disarmed of it.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, diminish plants, keen edge, creator must have at least 1 rank in Knowledge (nature) or Profession (farmer); Cost 18,315 gp

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Mikko Kallio wrote:
Template Fu wrote:
Equalizing Stave

While it's not a SiaC as some people already pointed out, and it is a pretty cool effect, there is a fatal mistake in it: It doesn't fit the design space of staves. Staves always have a bulleted list of spells, and each of the different uses spends a number of charges. This one is built much like a wondrous item both in presentation and mechanics. It might get past the voters' radars, but Mark and the other judges wouldn't be fooled.

Minor nitpicks:

* Staff is not a weapon type (you probably meant quarterstaff; is it +3/+3 or is only one end enchanted?)
* Targets > target's (Template Fu!)
* No save vs the effect is very harsh despite the price tag; if it spent some charges, it wouldn't be quite so bad.

Still, as I said, very cool effect. :)

Yeah, that's not a staff, I'm pretty sure. One thing I've been trying to keep track of, and I'm putting it here on the off chance it's helpful:

- weapons are weapon-shaped items that are primarily used to hurt people with, and secondarily might do some other cool stuff that is normally not casting a spell (with some exceptions, and those exceptions are usually not spell-trigger). They normally do not use charges.

- rods are stick-shaped items that primarily do other cool stuff that is normally not casting a spell (with some exceptions, and those exceptions are usually not spell-trigger), and secondarily might be used as a weapon. They do not use charges.

- Staves are stick-shaped items that primarily used to cast spells with via the spell-trigger method, and secondarily might be used as a weapon and/or do other cool stuff. They do use charges and start with 10.

For a staff to be a staff and not a rod or weapon, it MUST have a spell list, and it MUST use charges (and the spells that use charges are all spell-trigger activated). That some of them might be used as quarterstaves or as a holy item or shed light at the wielder's will, etc. etc. is all bonus, but what makes a staff a staff is the spells it casts and the charges used to cast them. IIRC the CRB even pretty much says that.

The challenge of designing a staff, therefore, is knowing it WILL, in part, be a spell in a can, because a staff by its nature must be that. Ergo its uniqueness is in 1) the theme that ties the spells it casts together, and 2) the additional abilities it may have. The further challenge is not just tacking on a huge list of additional abilities on top of a few spells to make it feel "unique," but rather giving it a reasonable, small set of added features that give it a unified, storied feel.

I can say this easily. Can I do it...? Whole 'nother question. (Not that I'm necessarily entering a staff.)

An aside: I've noticed the rulebooks themselves are really inconsistent with how magic double-weapons are notated; e.g., I see some quarterstaves described as "+1/+1" and others merely "+1" (which I assume if it were +1/+0 it would be noted as such). I would presume the most correct way would be to do the dual notation (+1/+1), unless Paizo decided to change the format.

As to the original question, I reckon we are going to see a lot of "staves" that are actually rods or weapons, "rods" that are staves or weapons, and maybe even a few "weapons" that would be better rods or staves.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Maurice de Mare wrote:
Eric Hindley wrote:

Maybe we all can join now I'm doubting my eligibility...

I am going to channel a little Clark here: don't DQ yourself, if it is a thing, then let Paizo DQ you, do not do it yourself.

I'd think if anyone gets to DQ anyone, it'd be me.... ;) ;)

(Alternate joke: hey! leave Dairy Queen out of this!)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DeathQuaker

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Awww, man. I had convinced myself I wasn't going to enter because for some reason the Wondrous Item round just really stymies me. I like my wondrous item ideas but they're not "superstar" and it's been hard for me to grok what is (from the perspective of the judges, not myself). And I was convinced it was impossible to come up with something new because there've been so many now...

But now the rules have changed and it's something else and yes, I realize that designing a truly unique sword, armor, rod, staff, or ring is even HARDER because so many of them are inherently SIACs or hard to design outside of the "+ something something" box.... but the challenge just makes me intrigued and excited.

So I guess I have to enter after all. Dammit.


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Gnome Rogue 3 | AC 19 T 14 FF 16 | HP 14/21 (normal Max HP 23) | F+2 (current +1) R+6 W+2 (+2 vs glyphs) | Perc +9 (+10 find traps) Init +4 | arcane mark 1/1, comprehend languages 1/1, message 1/1, read magic 0/1, Det Mag: 3/3
Spoiler:
Acr +9, App+7, Blf+7, DD+13/16glyphsetc., Esc+8, KArc+3, KEng+3, KLoc+5, Lin+5, Per+9/+10tr, PCook+9, PScr+5,SMo+7, SOH+9, Stl+13, UMD+12

Yay home!

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