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Still not sure if this belongs in Recruitment, or maybe Paizo plans to make a subforum for the playtest. Either way, I'm sure they'll scoot this to where it needs to be. I'm just giddy with excitement though.
Perhaps we could have this as a central topic for all the playtest recruitment/interest checks, so as not to cover the board with such threads (unless there's a subforum made for it).
Definitely looking forward to the encounter playtests, good luck.
Hopefully we'll get guidelines for where that recruitment should run.
Charlie Brooks wrote:
In my brainstorming for the monster round, I considered an undead judge (that evaded Pharasma's judgment).
Thanks DQ, that I remember seeing. I think without the 50 words, I wouldn't have been able to submit Aberrant Excavation. My other idea was a fey court/feasting hall which would've been obvious enough, but less original as well.
I hope you forgive me for saying so Wolin, but your tree symbol looks like a scrambled egg (and it's the same as the mast you've drawn).
Yes, the rules say the maps don't have to use color, but it's such a powerful tool to convey your vision, and doesn't require any artistic skill, just more time.
I must've missed the part where they say they're cutting the 50-word desc. I really liked that they had it this year.
@Wolin: It needs height indicators since there's a lot of vertical play in the map, according to the side view.
Isaac Volynskiy wrote:
There's a lot of items here. I'm not going to do every item (tons of respect to the reviewers that do that, seriously) and I'm going to be brief. I'm mostly going to comment on names, as that was kind of my thing in Season 8.
@Green Flash: You've gotten feedback about the name. I want to echo it.
Wow, blown away by the amount of feedback I got here. Thank you all so much for taking the time to review my monster and share your thoughts.
I can see how I didn't portray my vision in the clearest way, so it clicked for some people and not for others. That's on me, and I hope improve on this front.
I'm going to break my review into three parts.
Things I would have done differently:
Hostile Levitation: I had no idea this spell was a thing! If I was aware of it, I definitely would've used it. I was trying to invent some version of it, but just opted for simplicity in the end.
Clarification: I'd make it absolutely clear that it eats emotions by "calming" them. If it's already eating emotions in that passive way, it has no interest in a full on assault. If people form shells around their emotions, then it may need to crack them open.
At least 250 words: Definitely. Initially I had the full text of Engulf there which took a lot of words. Then I saw the wording of the Shoggoth's engulf and changed it. At the time I was unsure if I had another night before deadline (AM/PM confusion) so I submitted what I had, better safe than sorry.
Things I would have done the same (and why):
Ooze Type: Some feedback about how this could have been another creature type. But being mindless was core to my concept. There are some malicious creatures like the mentioned will-o'-wisp that cause the emotion they want to eat, but the Tranquility Ooze just grazes. If you don't resist, you can just walk/float right past it. It's unlikely to chase as long as it still has some food source in its aura
Things I'm still unsure about:
Strength-based Save DCs: I knew this was weird for some of the abilities, but it got the DCs into the proper range (16, a little lower than the high DC for its CR). Using Cha then adding a big racial bonus (+5) seemed clunky. In the future I would do it that way since it's Adam's suggestion, but it still feels weird.
Origin: A lot of people wanted to know how the ooze is formed. Most oozes are mysterious in origin, so I intentionally did not write it up. However, sticking with tradition here may have been a mistake. When a tranquility ooze brushes against an organic surface (such as a tree), it leaves behind a minuscule portion of itself. If regularly in the presence of emotions, this residue develops into droplets, which grow steadily until they are roughly palm sized, at which point they converge on each other and form a new tranquility ooze.
Deflection bonus to AC: It seemed like a good idea at the time. The AC is still pretty low for the CR (though it does have ooze-like HP), and it contributes to its high CMD. I was hoping the mysticism would carry it through, but I think I lost some people with it.
Vulnerable to Emotion Magic: Apparently vulnerability wasn't the right word here, based on feedback. Not sure what I'd rename it to though. The drawback made sense, but it's very swingy. Either you have emotion spells, or you don't. Being unable to engulf is a pretty significant penalty to this ooze though. The slam attack is pretty weak for its CR.
@Randuril & Alanya: Yes, it's supposed to look like a soap bubble! Glad that came through to you.
Edit: Regarding saying "calmed" even though that's not a condition proper, I did so because the spell has "Any aggressive action against or damage dealt to a calmed creature immediately breaks the spell on all calmed creatures." as precedent.
I got a whopping 28 posts (not counting this one) here, which is a fantastic improvement on the 11 (not counting my closing post) I got on my Round 2 map. Again, thank you all for taking the time to share your deliberations with me. It was a pleasure to compete. If I can answer any other questions, please PM me.
Congratulations, Top 8 contestants!
I look forward to the encounters, and hope to playtest at least a couple!
I also hope to look back and review some previous rounds this week.
Edit: Should recruitment for these playtests occur in this forum since it's RPGSS related, or in the Recruitment forum proper? I'm thinking one big recruitment thread here after the encounters are revealed?
Surprised we didn't get a topic on this.
Some sacred cows being broken. I don't see the point of going 2d6 hp/lvl instead of 1d12.
Switch to two common saves (Dex/Wis).
Ambuscade is so good as well. I could see Ranger 1 being a viable opening for any non-caster.
I do like that they're reworking the companion though, as that was a weak option before. It feels like they may be giving too much right now (though I haven't playtested).
Taylor Hubler wrote:
Is this a good time to pitch my explosive runes stickers (parental supervision is advised)?
Robert Thomson wrote:
Can we combine that with scratch and sniff? While we're at it, how about having a scratch to win lotto sheet at the end?
I agree with (R? M(r)s. Pickard?) DQ, especially the latter part.
I spend a lot of time wondering what the audience wants, but ultimately my solace has to be that I like what I make. If others don't, it's easier to re-calibrate from there than it would be if I made something I didn't like but thought the audience would.
IIRC, doesn't that subrace get +2 Str +2 Con? I think it can survive a little redundancy for martial character proficiency.
I think they are generally conducted via PMs, after opening a topic such as this one so that people are aware who to send their picks to so that (s)he may compile it on a privately shared spreadsheet.
It's good to have that sort of data in an opt-in fashion, so people can avoid it and the stress it may cause if they so choose (and I definitely wouldn't opt-in whilst competing).
Or at least I'd try not to. I compiled a spreadsheet using Day 1 indicators to predict the Top 16 (based on judge reviews, # of times favorited, # of posts, preference for cats/dogs). It's difficult to suppress that interest.
Mapping is hard but important. I dreaded this round but would not wish it away if I could.
I used GIMP (for the first time) to make my map because I knew I needed layers, and this was a free software that had them.
@Monica: I can see your point, but I liked the addition of the 50 words, and hope it's kept for future contests. 50 words isn't enough to prop up a weak map, but it's just enough to support mapmakers to take greater risks.
I'd like to thank everyone for their consideration of my map, and doubly so for all the feedback provided! I'm grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow.
I had a safer concept I considered (which would have been more general and work better as a flip-mat), but ultimately I'm happy that I chose to make Aberrant Excavation instead.
Monica Marlowe wrote:
Great idea Monica (it's still weird for me to call you Monica after last year's snark thread, rather than your screen name). I went ahead and did so.
Neil Spicer wrote:
It's easy to miss/forget, after Open Call I think people forget to check the Official Rules and just look at the Round X rules.It's definitely our responsibility as contestants, but I think your post bolding it will help.
I was just considering making a thread higlighting that rule called "The Vow of Silence".
Now that all the judges have commented, I'd like to thank everyone again for taking the time to review and provide such comprehensive feedback!
Below is some insight behind my design choices:
Risk-free trip attempt: If the ally doesn't have Improved Trip, there's a good chance they would pass on the option (which would be unexciting and not the wielder's fault). I think having the feat is an acceptable burden to place on the wielder, but not the ally.
5-foot Step: It's married to joining the howl as "something for you, something for me".
Name: Lots of feedback here to avoid possessive nouns in item names and set a clear expectation on type of item, definitely something to remember going forward.
@Lucus: The howl is also an instinctual action, as is the survival bonus to tracking from the huntstman property. But if that doesn't carry to the reader on its own, I should've described it differently in the first place.
@Amanda: I wasn't thinking of Ned when I was making this item, at least consciously. However, I have read all the books...and watched all of the show...so maybe it was in the back of my mind.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Pizza Lord wrote:
Reminds me of Quibble's threats. Good times.