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PaizoCon 2014!

Lantern of Selective Perception


Round 1 - Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka unfettered

Lantern of Selective Perception
This lantern operates as a normal hooded lantern except only the person who lit the lantern and any of her allies within 30 feet can see its illumination or feel its heat. For all others, the lantern appears unlit. If the person who lit the lantern is ever more than 30 feet away from it, the lantern goes out immediately.

Faint evocation; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, darkvision, light; Price 15,000 gp; Weight 2 lb.

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

I'm a big fan of this item. It's not just a food item, skill bump, or spell in a can. It's useful. And I'd want to have it for my character.

Thumbs up. Top 32.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

I agree. It isnt just a medallion of darkvision. That would be boring. This is way more fun. It is great for the human rogue :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I like this one as well.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Kept.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Isn't there a light spell in FRCS or the Underdark book that does this? I believe it is second level.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Sebastian wrote:
Isn't there a light spell in FRCS or the Underdark book that does this? I believe it is second level.

Could very well be. I jumped the gun on the item I submitted and used a Compendium spell because it was cool, rather than duplicating the mechanic with SRD spells, and then went "oh crap" because the submission page was WAY clearer than the rules page about material.

Anyways, there's certainly nothing wrong with finding a cool non-SRD spell and duplicating the mechanic. It's just harder to cost - or easier, depending on your point of view.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Cool! This is essentially identical to my submission, but you beat me to it by a few days, Silas. Yours is also more cleanly written, so I salute you - and I'll definitely be voting for you!


Love it. Pure utility. Just need a campfire version.


Brilliant.

(Yes, that's a pun, but no less truer judgment because of it.)

I particularly like the fact that the author resisted the urge to add more abilities.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Sebastian wrote:
Isn't there a light spell in FRCS or the Underdark book that does this? I believe it is second level.

Similar but not quite...The spell is Blacklight (3rd level btw) but only allows the caster to see in an otherwise darkness-laden area.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Mactaka wrote:


Similar but not quite...The spell is Blacklight but only allows the caster to see in an otherwise darkness-laden area.

No, that's not it. The spell I'm thinking about sheds light but the light itself is only visible to certain people. I'm pretty sure it's in an FR book, and I'm almost 100% certain its in the Underdark book.

I suppose that's one of the things about this contest. There are a few items here where my reaction is "uh...okay, but that's already been done." This is one of those items.

I'll have to dig around at some point and try to find the spell...


Interesting but very pricey, this reminds me an awful lot of the Dark light lantern from Tome of Magic for 2,000 GP which was based on Dusk and Dawn not the Blacklight spell and using the Ghost Lantern spell from Complete Mage like a Continual Flame spell.

Paizo Employee Developer , Dedicated Voter 2014

The spell is Ghost lantern in Complete Mage page 106.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Daigle wrote:
The spell is Ghost lantern in Complete Mage page 106.

Yup. That looks like it.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Daigle wrote:
The spell is Ghost lantern in Complete Mage page 106.

Daigle!!! Thank you for proving me not insane!!!

Okay now that that's confirmed, I'm even less impressed with this item. Again, not to say that it's not well written up, but to a certain extent the selling point of this item was its new/unique effect, which is neither new nor unique.

Paizo Employee Developer , Dedicated Voter 2014

Sebastian wrote:


Daigle!!! Thank you for proving me not insane!!!

Well, I wouldn't go out on that kinda limb...

Seriously, when I read the item I instantly recalled that spell. While not unique, who's to say that the author even knew that spell existed? I give him props for making it short, to the point and clean. That's worth a spot here, to me, considering some of the other entries.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like it. Simple and useful. I have seen spells with a similar function (even created some for my old 2E game), but that doesn't take anything away for me.

It would disappoint me to learn that the creator saw the spell in Complete Mage and decided to create an item to replicate that, but I'm going to give him/her the benefit of the doubt on that.


Mothman wrote:
I'm going to give him/her the benefit of the doubt on that.

Agreed.

In my gaming group I'm one of two people who buys books beyond the PHB,DMG, and MM. I'm the only one who buys non-WotC. Its very probable that this is simply a case of great minds thinking alike.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Daigle wrote:


Seriously, when I read the item I instantly recalled that spell. While not unique, who's to say that the author even knew that spell existed? I give him props for making it short, to the point and clean. That's worth a spot here, to me, considering some of the other entries.

That's probably true. The item just lacked oomph for me. The fact that the creator did it in very little space and did justice to the item does deserve praise.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Interesting, useful item. I think the name is weak, though.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

This is the one item that had an instant ring of familiarity. It sounded like something that I'd seen before. Turns out there's a good reason for that. Heh.

But at the same time, it's very clearly filling a need that many will have, and the usefulness of it combined with the satisfaction players will have using it (hard to quantify, but it feels like it's there) makes it leap up.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I'll bet we got more than 30 lanterns, btw.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Derek Becker wrote:
Its very probable that this is simply a case of great minds thinking alike.

I'd like to back up this point. As I said earlier, I designed and submitted an item almost identical to this - without knowing of any of the spells mentioned in this thread (and without knowing Silas McDermott)! Mine was called a darklantern, and cost even more than this - I figured it needed to be priced above the cost of two pairs of goggles of night.

Incidentally, I'd be interested to know how many times very similar items were submitted.


This is the first one that as a player I want.

Flavourful, useful, delicious.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka unfettered

Hi all,

Thank you for the praise (and criticism).

I never heard of the Ghost Lantern spell before reading these posts. I think the mechanic works better as a magic item than a 3rd level spell though. It’s hard to give up haste, fireball, etc… for a spell like this. Even so, I do like the name Ghost Lantern; it has a nice ring to it.

Originally I was going to have the Lantern work regardless of distance, but then I considered what would happen if a party of adventurers stumbled upon one that was already lit. Could they light a Lantern that was already lit? Could they put out a fire they can’t see? I finally settled on the 30’ radius to solve these conundrums.

In my own campaign I would also add Detect Thoughts as a prerequisite. Light and Darkvision are no brainers, but Detect Thoughts does a great job of explaining how the Lantern knows who is an ally and who’s not. I didn’t include it in my submission because I wanted to play it safe and avoid the possibility of the judges saying, “Huh? Why is that spell listed?”

In any event, it’s great reading all of your posts. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d like the scrutiny, but the feedback, both good and bad, is great to see.

Thanks,

- Silas.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

ironregime wrote:
I particularly like the fact that the author resisted the urge to add more abilities.

That is a great observation. We rejected more than a few good items just because in the last sentence they couldnt resist tacking on one more power or ability that usually didnt fit the theme or concept of the item.

Marathon Voter 2013

Bravo! This is one of the best items chosen by the judges. I bet it was in the top 5.

It is just so useful for players.

Cheliax RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Contributor

tribeof1 wrote:
Interesting, useful item. I think the name is weak, though.

Of course, my stupid brain immediately assumed that the Lantern allowed the user to Percieve, Selectively . . .

Not to, you know, be Perceived by Selective people. I guess. Right?

Somehow, I imagined a magical lantern that would "allow" the user to, for example, not notice something that he chose not to notice.

Which might be really useful against a Medusa, come to think of it.

Man, I need sleep. Great item, though!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
unfettered wrote:

Originally I was going to have the Lantern work regardless of distance, but then I considered what would happen if a party of adventurers stumbled upon one that was already lit. Could they light a Lantern that was already lit? Could they put out a fire they can’t see? I finally settled on the 30’ radius to solve these conundrums.

In my own campaign I would also add Detect Thoughts as a prerequisite. Light and Darkvision are no brainers, but Detect Thoughts does a great job of explaining how the Lantern knows who is an ally and who’s not. I didn’t include it in my submission because I wanted to play it safe and avoid the possibility of the judges saying, “Huh? Why is that spell listed?”

Silas,

It's great to see some of the thinking that went into your decisions. I hope you won't mind if I jump into your thread and show my item, where I answered those questions in a different way...

Darklantern

This item appears to be a somewhat soot-stained hooded lantern. When it is lit, the lantern gives off a brief burst of darkness in a 10-foot radius, then burns with a steady black flame that sheds no visible light. It does, however, provide magical illumination for all creatures that were within 10 feet of the darklantern when it was lit, equivalent to that of an ordinary hooded lantern (bright illumination to 30 feet, shadowy to 60 feet). This effect lasts for those creatures so long as the lantern remains lit. Other creatures cannot perceive the magical illumination at all, making the darklantern suitable for stealthy investigation of unlit areas. The lantern’s flame gives off no heat, but does produce a strong, tarry odour that can be detected by scent (giving -2 to the DC of any attempts to track the bearer by scent).

Moderate transmutation; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, darkvision; Price 28,000 gp; Weight 2 lb.

As you can see, I chose to have the lantern work for all creatures nearby when it's lit, not just the lighter's allies - and I added a visual cue to this. I like your suggestion of including detect thoughts in the prerequisites to allow for the more selective operation. Unfortunately, my choice also led to some rather awkward wording when I was trying to explain how it worked. Your fist sentence is a shining example of clarity - effortlessly explaining just what the item does - and I wish I'd written it! ;-)

I imagined the darklantern as actually burning oil and converting it into magical "darklight" - which led to adding the slight drawback of the strong odour. This also covers what happens when a darklantern is left burning - the oil will eventually run out - and explains why I didn't include light in my prerequisites.

I hope that's of interest!


Simple and passably interesting item, nicely written (pricing seems a bit high) but for me too lacks oomph.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka unfettered

Callum wrote:

Darklantern

This item appears to be a somewhat soot-stained hooded lantern. When it is lit, the lantern gives off a brief burst of darkness in a 10-foot radius, then burns with a steady black flame that sheds no visible light.

Hi Callum,

I definitely like your flavor text and approach. It also eliminates my Lantern's limitation of never being able to view the light from further than 30'.

For clarification, the Lantern of Selective Perception does require oil to be burnt as well, but it's implicit in the first sentence of the description and not explicitely as in yours.

Great item!

- Silas.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka unfettered

magdalena thiriet wrote:
(pricing seems a bit high)

When originally designing the Lantern os Selective Perception, I was thinking of a signifigantly lower price. The problem is I looked at the price of Goggles of Night at 12,000 gp and figured the Lantern should cost more than that or I might get dinged by the judges.

Thanks,

- Silas.


A really useful item, but I'll echo the calls for it to be a bit cheaper. I understand why you priced it the way you did, but I can't see it having much game "play" at that price unless it's introed as treasure in game.

-LD


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Light Dragon wrote:
A really useful item, but I'll echo the calls for it to be a bit cheaper.

I'd like to back up Silas' explanation of the pricing - you'll see that my darklantern, at 28,000 gp, is even more expensive than his lantern of selective perception! I felt that the item had to cost more than two pairs of goggles of night so as not to make the goggles obsolete. I also decided that a CL of 7th was appropriate in order to extend darkvision to a group (which would be a 4th-level spell effect). This gave a price of (2 x 7 x 2000) = 28,000 gp, which came in neatly above the price of two pairs of goggles (24,000 gp). Finally, the price seemed appropriate when compared with a lantern of revealing.

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