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Chad Patterson

Round 1: Greaves of the Monkey
Round 2: Steppenland

Greaves of the Monkey


Round 1 - Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

Greaves of the Monkey: Constructed of padded cloth and lined with light fur, these items appear not unlike other pieces of armor worn about the lower legs. When donned, they cause the wearer’s toes to grow in length and increase in agility, granting a +8 competence bonus on Balance and Climb checks. The wearer’s climbing speed is equal to her normal speed. She can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened. She may also use her Dexterity modifier in place of her Strength modifier, if it is higher, for Climb checks. Finally, the wearer may use her feet exactly as if they were a second pair of hands for any non-combat task (e.g. picking up a key or other small item, making a Disable Device or Open Lock check). For their magic to be effective, both greaves must be worn, and the wearer must be otherwise barefoot.

Faint Transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, cat’s grace; Price 10,000 gp; Weight 2 lb.

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

This is just silly enough to amuse me. It reminds me of bracers of brachiation and Mad Monkey Vs. Dragon Claw.

And it's actually designed ok, though the +8 competence bonus is higher than it needs to be. The "use Dex instead of Str for Climb" is a nice touch, as is the need to be barefoot when using this.

A well done item.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Seems a bit on the undercosted side (Climb speed, I'm looking at you), but I agree lots of people would have great fun with this item. I'm content to keep it for now. It reminds me of an item I got in Oblivion called Monkeypants, but this is much cooler (as D&D is a much cooler game than Oblivion).

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

I absolutely love this item. This is really cool. I agree the +8 is a bit on the high side, but otherwise it is fun and focused and limited. It doesnt try to do everything. It isnt uber. The name, while not the greatest, doesnt suck and would look good on a character sheet.

I was beginning to think all the recent submissions were going to suck.

Saved by some monkey-fu!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I move to shift this post to the Keep folder for now.

I am nervous that we might lose some near-wheat in the ever-increasing chaff.

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Kept.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Chad is local boy where I come from. I'm really proud of him.

We compared items on our local gaming board. He thought my item was cool than his, and look at him now!

Glad ya made it buddy!

(round of applause)

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I think this one was kept because it had to do with monkeys.

Definitely. :)


Monkey Pants! Awesome! :D

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Wolfgang Baur wrote:

This is just silly enough to amuse me. It reminds me of bracers of brachiation and Mad Monkey Vs. Dragon Claw.

Loved MM v DC. One of my fav adventures of all time.

Neat item, but where's my Stamina bonus?

*of the monkey items in WoW have agi and stam bonus.

Osirion

Congrats CHAD!!!!!!
I have know him for several years now and also he told me that my item was better, but I knew that monkey loves runs deep and that the item is something a person shall tell and retell about at a game table(s) for years to come "remeber that character that you had with those monkey feet...." Good luck and carry the banner forward Chad!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

I have a ton of gamer friends who really dig monkeys for some reason, but they were the first to pelt me with jokes about 'flinging poo' when I shared this item with them. So, thank you, judges, for vindicating me and the Greaves of the Monkey.

That said, there are a few things that I would have done differently with the item if given the opportunity. First, I would increase the price to at least 12,800 (if memory serves), maybe a little higher. Second, I would remove the word armor from the description, using a more generic term like "protective device".

Alright, enough criticism for my own entry. Time to go read some others and start tidying up my country entry.

Chad

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

We're pulling for ya!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka Sir_Wulf

A delightfully whimsical item! It invokes images of Hindu heroes and demigods, scrambling through the jungle to elude their foes.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6 aka adanedhel9

Great item, and the fluff you managed to sneak in at the end is outstanding. I can definitely see characters with this item, which should be the real test of quality.

The mechanics feel a little inelegant to me; I'd've probably tried to simplify it some. But they're fine as is.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

adanedhel9 wrote:
I can definitely see characters with this item

I agree. imagine Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible using his feet to hack into the computer. Priceless

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

Glad you guys are digging the greaves. I just hope I can get enough time away from the hospital to polish up my country.

Chad

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Yeah, the armor would throw me a bit in the wondrous item stage. But the effect is cool, and you can see a certain kind of campaign that would completely love this item. :-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

I like this item but I am surprised that it got through. Wasnt Clark making some disparaging comment about items that duplicated monster abilities being 'monster in a box' items and therefore almost certain not to make it for lack of creativity?

I am also surprised at the judges comments about +8 bonus being too high. It is from the Monster Manual. The majority of the description (apart from the prehensile toe business) of the item comes almost word for word from the description of a Monkeys abilities in the Monster Manual, as does the bonus. In fact the +8 bonus is a standard bonus given to creatues that have a climb (or swim)speed. Don't get me wrong I like items that give you cool abilities from the MM (my submission did this), which is better IMO than abilities from the PHB,it just seems odd that it got through given the earlier comments.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

After hearing the comments about "monster in a box" items, I too was afraid that the greaves would be rejected out of hand. That said, I secretly held out hope that monkeys would maybe prove a little less overdone than undead etc.

Qadira

I keep asking myself why i dont like this item... it works fine though it should cost more and it does some wonderful things I coudl love to have as a PC or to give out as a GM... I guess I am looking for more fluff or even just a tad bit of a side effect such as slowly turns the wearer into a vegetarian or some such...guess I am too much into magic items with drawbacks.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

whoo hoo, a new reason for shoeless halflings!

Though now I'm picturing Belkar with a set.

Taldor

Leery of climb speed all around (I've seen Cloaks of Arachnidia get abused way too much), and Spider Climb might have been a more appropriate prereq.

That said, monkeys!

Winner.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

I certainly debated having spider climb as a prereq, same for some sort of spell to account for the physical transformation wrought by the item, but in the end decided against both. For some reason they didn't fit quite right...Now if there were a spider monkey climb, I would have used that in a heartbeat.

Chad

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
exile wrote:

I certainly debated having spider climb as a prereq, same for some sort of spell to account for the physical transformation wrought by the item, but in the end decided against both. For some reason they didn't fit quite right...Now if there were a spider monkey climb, I would have used that in a heartbeat.

Chad

I would have had the preq. be: creator must have 5 ranks in Climb.

There arent enough magic items that require creators to have ranks in a certain skill....

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

Excellent idea, but if I had done that, I would have probably made it eight ranks to match the bonus it grants.

Chad

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka JoelF847

This is a nice utility item. I agree that the price is too low, and think that's why the +8 bonus seems too high. Using the stanard guidelines for skill bonuses, the +8 alone should be 6400gp, and slippers of spider climb only work 10 minutes a day for 4800gp.

The more I think about this though, it does seem pretty similar to the slippers, but I do like the flavor of using your feet as hands. I'd almost allow that feature to work even for combat and wielding weapons. That would be a fun image to have in the game.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

I agree; I spent a fair bit of time beating myself up over the pricing of the item following its submission. There was a lot of talk about the "black art" of item pricing, but I was still a good bit out of what I would now even consider an acceptable range. Still, I'm glad I made the cut...while still learning from my mistake.

Chad

Star Voter 2013

I thought this item had excellent flavor, a nice image and was decently crafted.
WARNING: SOUR GRAPES AHEAD
That said I really have to ask, 'do we need another climbing item?'. I mean, just in wondrous items alone, off the top of my head I can think of rope of climbing, cloak of arachnidia, and slippers of spider climbing. It just seems that this is very well-tread territory.
I wish the talent that was applied to this would have been used on something that filled a gap.

(why do you think my avatar is so purple!)


No, we don't need another climbing item.

If I start a new campaign anytime soon, I might decide the only skill-bonus items are those with animalistic effects, and add this. othwerwise, I ahve no use for it.

The flavor is fun, but not amazing.

Marathon Voter 2013

Wow! I like this one. In my game, I made a monkey fur belt that did the exact same thing, except it also gave a tail to the wearer and a +2 racial bonus to Dexterity.

Seems the judges would have found this way too powerful.

Cheliax RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Contributor

exile wrote:

I have a ton of gamer friends who really dig monkeys for some reason

I can explain this: monkeys are awesome.

"exile wrote:
but they were the first to pelt me with jokes about 'flinging poo' when I shared this item with them.

I can explain this, too: people are jerks.

Sad but true.

Awesome item, by the way!


Hm... My initial reaction was "That is so awesome! I'm getting one. Now."

But as I read through the thread I see a number of negative points which strike me as valid:

- Too-high Climb Check bonus (Personally, I never exceed +/-5)
- Too-high Climb Speed bonus (I can see the point from a balance perspective, but I'd use it as he wrote it)
- Already a number of climbing related items (Though my players would choose weaker versions of this item for style points alone)

So... I dunno. It's an interesting item that people are attracted to, so the author has the "black art" of that side down. But, there seem to have been a number of mechanical flaws which I would have thought were not Superstar material?

I'd definitely advise the author to have a few buddies go over the stats aspects of his next round submission.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

Haha, I finally have an avatar, and I think it suitably sums up the frustration I am feeling as I try to polish up my entry for the second round.

Chad


Nothing against monkeys but I'm having trouble picturing any of the pc's in any of my previous worlds actually wanting to use something like this. The effects are fine but actually walking around barefoot with monkey feet is a big image change that I don't think any of my players would want for their characters.

So again for me this item is relegated to use by a quirky npc as a one shot item.

Good luck on your country! (I DON'T mean that as in "your item sucked so you'll need it". I really mean it.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

Thanks for the well-wishing Ragwaine. Even before I knew that I made the Top 32, I had a strong mental picture of the company that I wanted to write up. I also had lots of details on paper. The trouble that I'm having with the assignment is combining all of those details into a whole that is in line with my big picture. It's tougher than I thought it would be.

Chad


Nice concept and very interesting item.

Because of the way the Greaves of the Monkey are described as actually making minor transmutation effects to the wearer and other poster concerns regarding the skill bonuses.

I'd suggest basing the spell on Alter Self instead of Cat's Grace for all the monkey benefits which would also address many of the skill modifier issues based on actual monkey skill bonuses in game (Normally +12 to Balance and +10 to Climb, plus they have that standard 30 climb speed and the duration of Alter Self is quite a bit longer than Cat's Grace).

Good luck. Looking forward to seeing your country.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

Thanks Mike. I actually considered Alter Self as a prerequisite for creation, considered it for a good long while. I finally rejected it because it allows you to assume the features of a creature of the same type as your normal form. With monkeys being animals and most of the people using the greaves being humans/humanoids, I couldn't bring myself to use Alter Self. I had really hoped there would be a spell that allowed teh caster to assume some aspect, movement, attack, etc. of various animals, but I did not see anything like that given a cursory examination of the PHB and SRD- strange I thought since such powers turn up not infrequently in super hero RPGs.

Chad

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