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Lem

Keith Savage aka Korak's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 15 posts (62 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 1 alias.


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Thanks, friends, for your comments!

I'm learning as I go with this, and feedback from you and fellow gamers really helps.

As for Drejk's comment on crystallize memory, I happen to have a bias against psionics in a fantasy game... the very name is too "sci-fi!" In a SF game, I have no problem with them, instead I dislike "real" magic! The point being that I don't know much about what kind of psionics 3.x might have had- but I do know there's no spells like it!

Firefinger... originally, it was just a basic fire-starter spell, a camping/survival spell. I added the damaging factor and the extra points so high level casters would still have a use for it. If the extra damage is seen as too much for a cantrip, keep in mind that a 20th level caster still can only cause a max of 7 hps damage per casting with it. That's assuming a max roll of the die, and it's a drop in the bucket at 20th level. A 20th level wizard probably has better tactics in mind than casting firefingers individually at the hundreds of goblins besieging his keep every round (even if his spell kills every goblin he hits!).

After reading all your comments, I'm gonna edit the spells thus:

Eerie Eye- Duration: a set 3 rounds. (A caster can cast it again, if he wants- a sorcerer/interrogator's dream!) Cut the last line about a second Will save- unnecessary with a short duration, plus I think it's a standard rule anyway, no need to repeat it.

Firefinger- cut the last line.

Others- we'll see what develops.

Thanks again!


Curaigh wrote:
The fact that the questions were raised is what you want to watch out for.

Precisely the kind of advice I like! I took it to heart and updated all my items to reflect the minimun caster level to create the item (i.e. cast the spell as the proper class).

Curaigh wrote:
I think a higher divination spell might be in order, (if there is one) and that would make it suitable for a 7CL which is probably balance based on what you have it doing. (read: reasoning is sound, mechanics less so :)

The divination spell is 4th level, so a cleric could cast it at 7th level, I do believe.

Curaigh wrote:

I am with you, the name is often inspiring. In fact one of my possible items is based solely on the words I spoke when trying to describe a picture to a friend... :)

Bottle of Tides
Midnight blue covers one half of this dolmite jug while sky blue covers the other. they Ovoid base means that it will lean one way or the other when set on the ground. When the water inside fills the light half, the dark side is up and the next spell cast with the water or cold descriptor is done so at +2 caster levels. when the water is in the dark half, the light side is up and the next spell cast with the water or cold descriptor is done so at -2 caster levels. Bottle of tides can only be used once each day and once each night.

This totally rocks! It's interesting how all of your's are neat item ideas- but none of them are anything like my own! We ought to start a game thread of making up names and having everyone create an item based from them! That'll spark some creative juices!

Curaigh wrote:
Keep in mind any attempt to explain your item is against the rules. :)

Exactly my point. I want to have an item that needs absolutely no additional explanation.


Sylvanite wrote:
I could have sworn that Crystallize Memory existed in some form in 3.5.

I can't find anything like it in my books. Certainly not in the core rules.

Sylvanite wrote:
I like the Eerie Eye spell. Favorful and cool, though as a cantrip I might limit its duration to a round.

I love the flavor too- great distraction-causer for necromancer types. I played and played with the mechanics of the duration- sometimes limiting it to a max of 3 rounds. I really felt it needed more time to be particularly spooky and effective (a round is only six seconds of time, after all. Not much time to make an effective psychological impact...). I ended up making it perhaps too powerful (for a cantrip) in this "final" version.

Sylvanite wrote:
On Animated Rope Trick: Cool spell, but I would be loathe to create a new duration for any spell. 30 min/level is something that doesn't really exist yet, so I would try to find some way to make it some duration that is common. Maybe up it a level and give it an hour/level duration?

I had other people suggest upping the level when it had a full hour/level duration, so I specifically lowered the duration, instead of upping the level, as I really wanted it to stay a 2nd level spell. Is there a particular rule or tradition against unusual durations?


I've written a few new spells lately, trying to come up something that hasn't been done already- at least, officially! Writing these, and re-writing, and then re-re-writing them has really tightened up my prose. Let me know what you all think of these. Thanks!

Spoiler:
Eerie Eye (0 level Sorcerer/Wizard spell)
Illusion (phantasm), VSM, 1 standard action. Range: Special- 20 feet. Target: one creature. Duration: 1 round per level (max 10 rounds at 10th level). Save: Will negates. SR: yes. If the target fails his Will save, he sees the gory phantasm of a freshly severed eye, floating in the air at eye level, several feet away. It will follow him, avoiding capture or damage, continually trying to put itself into his field of vision. This eerie behavior both frightens and distracts the victim, which causes a -1 circumstance penalty to all his saves and skill checks during the spell’s duration. The victim gets a second Will save if he takes any damage while distracted by the eye. The phantasm is only perceived by the victim. Material Components: a string of raw gristle or tendon.

Firefinger (0 level Sorcerer/Wizard spell)
Evocation, VS, 1 standard action. Range: Close (25 ft +5 ft/2 levels). Target: one creature or object. Effect: one sustained low heat flame, or one hot jet of flame. Duration: see text. Save: see text. SR: yes. This spell has two versions, one of which must be chosen while casting the spell. The first version evokes a jet of flame (as bright as a single candle) from your index finger. This flame is harmless to you, but useful for any simple fire-lighting tasks, from lighting your pipe or a lamp to starting a small campfire. You can extinguish and re-ignite the flame at will while the duration lasts, but it cannot be put out by mundane means. Only a successful targeted dispel magic can put out the flame before it expires. This version of the spell lasts 1 round per level. The second version of the spell is instantaneous, evoking all of the spell’s energy at once in a single hot flame at one target creature or object. If you hit with a ranged touch attack, the target takes 1d3+1 per 5 levels, max +4 at 20th level, hit points of fire damage. Only a character with at least a +2 to Dexterity or 3 ranks in Acrobatics gets a Reflex save for half damage due to the extreme speed of this fire attack.

Crystallize Memory (1st level Sorcerer/Wizard spell)
Transmutation, VSM, 1 round per page or minute stored. Range: Touch. Effect: stores 1 page or 1 minute of memory per 4 levels (max. 4 at 12th level) in a quartz crystal. Duration: 1 week per 4 levels (max 4 weeks at 12th level). Save: yes (object, harmless). SR: yes. With a touch, you can store your memories in a quartz crystal. The memory stored must be a real memory of the caster, not imaginary. You must remain in contact with the crystal for 1 full round per page or minute of memory stored (casting time). You can store up to 1 minute of audio-visual (only) memories, deep thoughts and/or feelings, or 1 page of text (technically storing the memory of reading it) including potentially 0-4th level spell formulas, per 4 caster levels. These stored memories transcend the language barrier, since the recipient experiences them as his own when “reading” the crystal. If the memories include painful or traumatic ordeals, the recipient must make a Will save to avoid being shaken for 1 minute. If the memory includes severe pain (such as a limb being amputated), and the Will save is failed, then an additional Fortitude save is required to avoid 2d20 points of nonlethal damage. If text is stored and the text includes written spell formula, and the recipient is a spell-caster of the appropriate class and level, deciphering the spell is automatic (as if using read magic) and the recipient gains a +2 circumstance bonus to his Spellcraft check to learn the spell.

Any time during the spell’s duration, anyone can read a crystal, any number of times, simply by touching it to his forehead for 1 round per page or minute stored, and making a Spellcraft check at DC 15. During these rounds of “reading” the crystal, the user is entranced and helpless, oblivious to the world around him. If touched or struck, or if contact with the crystal is lost, the trance ends early and that part of the memory is not experienced. This method allows spell-casters to temporarily store written spells in crystal form rather than writing them into spell-books. The spell can not be made to carry curses or trapped writing (such as explosive runes) like a cursed scroll. Only one crystallize memory spell can affect a given crystal at a time- if a second casting targets a crystal, the second spell “over-writes” the first completely if the second caster is higher level than the first caster. Otherwise, it has no effect. The target crystal radiates faint magic, until it crumbles into powder when the spell expires. This powder radiates dim magic for 1d6 days, and can be used for a potent material component. The spells mending and make whole will not work to restore a crumbled crystal, though higher levels spells theoretically could.

Material Components: any crystal or gem worth at least 20 gp. per page or minute, and enough quartz powder to equal 20 gp per page or minute, sprinkled over the crystal. A crystal can only be made permanent by creating a magic item with the Craft Wondrous Object feat.

Open/Close, Greater (1st level Sorcerer/Wizard spell)
Transmutation, VSM, 1 standard action. Range: Close (25 ft + 5 ft/ 2 levels). Target: any door or object that opens and closes. Duration: instantaneous. This spell works exactly as the 0 level spell, open/close, except the weight limit of this spell is 100 pounds per level. Focus: a miniature bronze or brass lever.

Animated Rope Trick (2nd level Sorcerer/Wizard spell)
Transmutation, VSM, 1 standard action. Range: Touch. Target: one knotted rope 10-50 feet long. Duration: 30 minutes per level. Save: no. SR: no. This spell works similarly to the standard version of rope trick, with the following differences:

1, the rope can carry the caster into the extra-dimensional space as it rises, plus 1 other creature per level of the caster up to a maximum of 12 additional creatures, medium size or smaller, if they all take hold of the rope before it rises out of reach. The speed of the rising or lowering rope is under the caster’s control, as long as he touches the rope. As a free action, he can change speed from 5 ft. to 30 ft per round in 5 ft. increments. Speed remains constant if caster’s hold is lost. The GM should require Strength checks to keep one’s grip at speeds of 20-30 ft. with an increasing DC.

2, the space can hold up to 12 additional creatures, besides the caster and the entire length of rope, if desired. The rope can be hidden inside the space, though the upper end cannot be removed from the space until the spell expires or is dispelled or dismissed, except by a force of 16,000 pounds or more.

3, if you dismiss the spell voluntarily, the rope can carry all occupants of the space who are holding the rope back to the ground. Otherwise, to enter or leave the space requires the rope to be dropped manually, and the occupants must climb on their own. Note that the rope does not provide a magical hold on the occupant being lifted or lowered: they will fall if they lose their grip on the rope. Material Components: fine ground oats, a twisted loop of paper, a pinch of onyx powder worth 3 gold pieces.


Having played a ranger for four years with 3.0/3.5, I was very pleased to see PF's improvements to the Favored enemy rules. (Particularly that the increase to your bonus now applies to any of your enemies.) Because of the campaign's emphasis on a specific group of villains, I was allowed to FE them specifically- even though they did not "fit" any specific group of FE mentioned. In fact, they were a mixed bag of races, classes, etc. In other words, my FE was a specific group of religious bad-guys, and their minions.

So I think getting additional FEs is a good way to replace HB. I'll read over the rules and see what else I can come up with.


Curaigh wrote:


Hi Keith. I do not have the book in front of me so some questions might seem silly. Why a second level spell and a 7th level caster? I would think 4 or 5th caster level is enough. What is the casting time of an augury spell. If it is rounds or minutes per caster level you are ok, but 'half' of full, standard, or move actions does not compute. I feel you have a little bit of SAK going on (augury 1/day, focus, empower, quicken, and cuts wood). You can leave the part about a sword out, those are the rules standard to improvised weapons. Sawing wood and precognition are not very adventurous (read: not superstar).

I like the theme. the effect of seeing runes in the cut is a good visual, (though I am not sure how cutting wood is related to divination). Your words are concise and clear too and that is a huge help. Augury saw as a title is clear, but it could use some more spice imho. I hope that helps :) good luck!

Thanks, Curaigh! I appreciate any feedback I can get on my work- I am very serious about this contest. I've only been playing Pathfinder for a year and a half (though I played 3.0 and 3.5 since 3 ed's inception in 2000), the reason I missed last year's deadline by about a week.

About your questions: augury is a second level spell- so yes, 7th CL is a bit higher than it should be- if that was all the saw does! But I bumped up the caster level for all the other things the saw does (particularly the metamagic stuff). Maybe it's not strictly necessary, but I erred on the side of caution. Which leads into your next query: augury and divination both have minutes as their casting time. 1 minute for augury and 10 minutes for divination, so with the saw the times are cut to 30 seconds and 5 minutes.

The stuff about improvised weapons I put in because half damage is not a standard rule (only the -4 to hit).

I'm glad you like the theme and the visual, and while the name isn't exactly overwhelming, I prefer clear titles that give some clue to what the item does. It gets too over-the-top when an item has a pompous long name, especially when it's not a high-end item. The original idea of the augury saw was a bit too morbid- (augury = divination via entrails in ancient Greece, y'know), so I made it a woodsaw instead! It's true there's not much _obvious_ connection between woodcutting and divination- unless you recall the druids' worship of certain trees, and their use of magical runes in divination (Druidic Ogham is a runic alphabet with each rune derived from a tree or plant).

I usually think up names first and then try to fit a purpose and an enchantment to the name.

For example, you can riff on these names:

Flask of Stolen Moments

Decanter of Prophesy

Bottle of Tides

;-) Thanks again, Keith/Korak


Okay, having found this thread, I will submit some of my ideas for wondrous items, because apparently this does not break the rules on anonymity. Understand these items are those I don't feel are _quite_ up to snuff for the contest, though I do feel like they are completely "ready" in terms of word count, formatting, etc. None of these will be my final entry (I am pretty sure what that's going to be, unless I find something too similar among the previous contest entries.) I am including my word count and price formula for consideration and convenience, though I won't for the actual entry. Still, it will be very nice to have some feedback from my fellow Paizoians. Thanks in advance. And special thanks to Azmahel for taking the time to review our items!

Spoiler:
Augury Saw

Aura: faint divination. CL: 7th. Slot: None. Price: 5,600 gp. Weight: 2 pounds.

Description:
This rune-scribed mithral handsaw is magically sharp and durable, halving the time and effort to cut any wood, or complete any carpentry project. Once a day, the owner can benefit from an augury spell by sawing a length of wood in two, and examining the sawn ends for runes. One of four runes will appear in the cut end of the wood, corresponding to one of the four outcomes of the spell. If used instead of the standard focus while casting augury or divination, the saw doubles these spells’ foresight, allowing them to see twice as far into the future. It also halves the casting time of these spells. An augury saw is the same size and weight as a short sword, but it makes a poor melee weapon (-4 to attacks, half damage).

Construction
Requirements:
Craft Wondrous Item, augury, divination. Cost: 2,800 gp.

Total Word Count: 160.

Creation Cost Calculation (CCC): 2nd level spell (augury) x 7th caster level x 2000 (continuous, use-activated) = 28,000 / (5/ charges per day: 1) = 5,600 gp.


To answer the original question: yes, I'm ready... with five different items, all in various stages of the refining/polishing process. Some have been around (in my notes) for months, some are based off spells I've created.

However, I fully agree with Neil's advice about waiting to submit, because every day I've read Paizo's board since the contest was announced, I've learned something I needed to know, something that helped me add a new twist to one of my items. I'd like to post some examples of my work (though definitely NOT the item I will eventually submit), perhaps some of my spells, but I fear this might cross the line.

And thanks to Azmahel for his advice, he's absolutely right about the level of "the bar" for this contest. I've been reading the "top 96" and they are all better than the core rule book's magic items.


This is probably a stupid question- but exactly what does Paizo mean by an archetype? I haven't got the APG yet, will I need it to design an archetype?


My house rules allow for a bit of rules-bending- with a premise rather like Set's and AvalonXQ's replies.

I gave players the option of having their half-elf "favor" either their human side or their elven side, and gave them different racial abilities based on their choices.

And of course, my own PC, a half-elf barbarian, didn't know it, but his human father's father was a half-orc! (Making his "human" father technically a quarter-orc, and him an eighth-orc!)


With all respect to Sean, any GM who says to his players: "Four _assassins_ appear out of the shadows" isn't doing his job very well!

First rule of writing (and storytelling, despite the name, of which GMing is a modern variation) is: Show, don't tell.


Thanks for your advice, Ross!

In my case (using hypothetical examples), my "belt" would be not simply be a magically disguised whip, but more of a "utility belt" that could change into several useful items, only one of which could be used as a weapon. I realize this might fall into the SAK trap, but I'm trying to work up enough of a unique twist to avoid that pitfall.

In other words, it's a cool utilitarian item, not merely a weapon in disguise. Whether it's Superstar quality is the question!


Everyone has mentioned something I dislike- no game is perfect, but what I found most DISAPPOINTING about Pathfinder was the direct importing of Table 15-29: Estimating Magic Item Costs. That clunky magic item pricing table/system absolutely sucks. I totally hated it in 3.5, and finding it in my new Pathfinder book made my heart freeze.

Why do I hate it? It's difficult, everything is priced like every medieval monarch has an infinitely large portable hole filled with gold coins, and worst of all, if you bother building your own Broom of Flying, for example, you'll discover most of the items in the book don't follow the table- they are priced so much lower, it's as if the designers couldn't be bothered to follow their own rules.

Has anyone ever bothered to calculate how much 55,000 gold pieces WEIGH?! How the bloody `ell does the magic merchant even carry all that gold?

This game needs a completely revised magic item pricing system, scaled way back, to a more "realistic" medieval economy.

(Luckily, I have already created a viable alternative for my house rules, so I know it's possible to create a better system.)


On the weapons idea... what if your wondrous item is clearly not a weapon alone, ie. it functions as a non-weapon (ie. a belt), with magical abilities that are non-melee related... but it can also be used as a weapon in some situations? (Like a belt that could turn into a whip, for example.) I am reminded of the infamous Malleus Maleficarum from last year's RPG Superstar, which was a heavy book that could also be used as a bludgeoning weapon. Would that be an auto-reject? I'd like to know as I have already created several items for submission and don't want to submit the one whose category alone would reject it! Thanks.


Having missed the deadline last year, and sat on the sidelines moping... this year is gonna be, well, completely different! I already have five items created just for the contest. The only hard part is choosing which to submit... Can not wait! Best of luck to all the contestants!


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