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The Chiurgeon’s Chest


Round 1 - Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Spar

The Chiurgeon’s Chest

This chest of extraordinary craftsmanship is filled with numerous materials used for healing. It takes a standard action to open the chest, which activates it. The chest remains active for 5 rounds or until closed. It can only be used on one patient per activation. Once activated, the chest confers the following:

The user receives a +2 circumstance bonus on all Heal checks. This does not expend a use.

While the chest is active both the user and the patient are warded by a sanctuary spell (Will save negates spell on DC 12). This does not expend a use.

Each round the chest is active, by expending a use and taking a full round action, the user can bestow upon the patient one of the following; cure light wounds (1d8 + 5 hp), delay poison (5 hours), or lesser restoration (either eliminates fatigue; turns exhausted into fatigued; heals 1d4 points of temporary ability damage to one ability; or dispels magical effects reducing one ability score).

A new chest is exhausted after twenty-five uses.

Faint conjuration and abjuration; CL 5; Craft Wondrous Item, cure light wounds, delay poison, lesser restoration, sanctuary; Price 15,600 gp; Weight 5 lbs.

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

I'm normally not a fan of the swiss army knife item, but this one is cool. PCs would love it. I like the Sanctuary effect.

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

I seem to have accidentally rejected this (Reply, Reject, it was a loooooong day).

Can we restore it to consideration somehow? Or does anyone care?

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I care. I think I like this one. I'll have Gary save it from oblivion.

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Erik, I'm glad you saved this from oblivion. A lot of healing items irk me because they have no flavor, just straight-up utility. This has a good bit of flavor to it, and really feels like something a battlefield healer would carry around.

The sanctuary is just a great touch. It's a perfect use for an existing effect that casts it in a new light.

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

I think this is a keeper.

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

Kept.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014

This is a really coool item. only thing I can see wrong with it is a confusion of 'use' and 'charge'. Which is really, really, not a big deal. Nice.


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

I like it. It's nice to have a healing item with a little bit of flavor.


Eh, other than the sanctuary effect which is pretty clever I don't care much for this one. Maybe it's just because I don't like to give my players too much ability to heal. It encourages them to be reckless. :)


I like the sanctuary effect too but I can't get a mental picture of this thing working. Does a ghostly cleric come out of the box and cast the spells? Do you just set it next to someone who's wounded and push a button? I was also confused with the word "use" while reading it.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6 aka adanedhel9

I definitely enjoy the image this item conjures up. I almost want to make a character based around it.

But I'm worried about its utility. Among those I game with, and those that I talk with about gaming, it's a fairly common belief that in-combat healing is one of the least useful action a character can take. This item doesn't seem to help eleviate that issue, and so you end up with a 15,600 gp item that helps you do something that's rarely helpful.

I think I have to blame that more on the system than on the creator of this item, though. The idea is still great.

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

I like it.

Strangely enough it puts me in the mind of Ravenloft. I could see the Frankenstein Domain having these

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Quite frankly, I wish I had designed this item. I like it a lot. I want it in my campaign (Probably has to do with what I do for a living, heheheh...)

I am always looking for ways to help playes get more flavor out of aspects of the game that they tend to take for granted (like healing).
I can imagine describing to the player how the items inside seem to silently suggest how they can best be used to help the patient. Although the author doesn't explain it that way, I like thinking that the 'uses' are expended because the chest runs out of bandages and salves and stuff.

Congratulations on the design and execution of this item to William Cronk. cheers.


Also...is "chiurgeon" a word? My dictionary has "chirurgeon" (meaning a surgeon), but not "chiurgeon".


First congratulations on making the Top 32 William and good luck with the following rounds, it's a very original magic item.

Like so many of the Top 32 items it isn't what I envisioned for a RPG Superstar wondrous item Top 32 treasure. The games I play in must be extremely different than the judges.

IMO experienced player's don't want overpriced cool items they want something with a little cost to utility IMO so they can have more magic items and more options in game or a few very powerful magic items.

This is my test: How many starting level 12+ characters using suggested wealth guidelines would buy this over existing magic items that do the same things more cheaply for basically limited emergency party healing in the middle of CR11+ encounters?

The Sanctuary effect is interesting but your PC should be facing CR11+ encounters by the time the PCs qualify for this treasure. In a 4 man party you are down to 2 combatants if you are using this to provide minimal healing when the PCs need maximum healing, and at this point it is usually better to be killing the BBEG not taking a time out for partial healing. If the PCs are not in the middle of a combat the Sanctuary spell isn't needed and CR11+ encounters make level 1 spell will saves pretty regularly.

I don't like this item because it is way to pricey for what it does in game compared to other items like:

Belts of Healing 750gp, Wands of Cure Light Wounds or Fast Healing 1 750 gp, Talismans of Cure Light Wounds 1/Day or Lesser Restoration (First level Paladin Spell) for 300 GP (Made with the Craft Wondrous Item feat) and and Potions of Lesser Restoration. Any player can use a Talisman or a Potion.

If I was a player in a game at level 11+ (25% of suggested wealth by level to qualify for this treasure) and got this I would sell it for 50% as fast as possible and buy useful magic items. This isn't an item I would want on my character sheet except temporarily as a treasure before I sold it.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

adanedhel9 wrote:

I definitely enjoy the image this item conjures up. I almost want to make a character based around it.

Yeah, I agree completely with this. Very evocative item.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

I think the item is great, the effect useful, but the price way too high. By the time PCs could afford the item, its effects would be too wimpy to really be useful. They'd be far better off with a Wand of Cure Serious Wounds. At a lower price point, I think the item makes a lot of sense, as it would be very useful at lower levels.

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

I'll admit a bias of mine: I come from a style where you dont go to the magic item store all the time. So I dont so much evaluate items from a "would my players buy it" standpoint as I do a "would I want to put this in a treasure hoard for an adventure of the appropriate level." That isnt to say that I dont care about costing and the logic of whether with the ability to use the item would bother buying it. I did worry about that. It just wasnt as prominent in my mind as it is perhaps for others (like Erik and Wolfgang).

Andoran

Clark Peterson wrote:
I'll admit a bias of mine: I come from a style where you dont go to the magic item store all the time. So I dont so much evaluate items from a "would my players buy it" standpoint as I do a "would I want to put this in a treasure hoard for an adventure of the appropriate level." That isnt to say that I dont care about costing and the logic of whether with the ability to use the item would bother buying it. I did worry about that. It just wasnt as prominent in my mind as it is perhaps for others (like Erik and Wolfgang).

Just my 2 cents here, but I'm of the same mind on this. I pretty much hate the entire idea of magic shops. Admittedly, my games tend toward the low end of the magic scale, but the idea of characters walking into a magic shop to buy magic items like some Middle Ages Wal-Mart just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe, in one or two large cities, there is a strange shop that deals in magical items ... .maybe. But, yeah, I just don't see magic for sale. In my opinion, it cheapens magic and lessens the game for me. Magic should be found in strange places after overcoming great adversity, not purchased along with some rope and a nice meal at the local tavern.

Sorry for the slight thread theft ...

Back on topic, I like this item. Any low to mid level player would be thrilled to find it in a treasure hoard!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Spar

Thanks for the feed back guys. It is appreciated.

A couple of design notes on my part. This item was created for a campaign of mine that I am running where magic is rare. The item was gifted to a party because they had just aided a realm by doing some really heroic stuff. They had also almost lost a few of the party in the process. The item for the campaign had never been costed and was instead considered akin to a holy relic for lack of a better word. The character who received the chest was a healer (class made for the campaign world) and although was really good at bandaging and aiding people, didn't have the oumpf of a cleric, which the party did not possess (Bard, Healer, Knight and Mage). So I created this for her. They still have the item (6 months later and three levels later) and they still have charges left.

As for the cost, that was difficult. If you sit down and check out the cost of the same scrolls (i.e. 50 sanctuary and 25 cure light wounds) the cost is similar. Difference is the weight of the chest is a lot less.

As a side note, I did spell Chirurgeon wrong. Sorry :)

Star Voter 2013

adanedhel9 wrote:
... Among those I game with, and those that I talk with about gaming, it's a fairly common belief that in-combat healing is one of the least useful action a character can take. This item doesn't seem to help eleviate that issue...

I think the sanctuary effect does deal with the 'no healing in combat' issue. There is much more incentive to take a round or two out of combat to heal someone if it means you won't be a target. My players used to have this problem (which isn't so bad at low levels, but can get you into trouble later in the game) and I think they would have gotten over it a lot faster with this item.

More importantly this item adds the cool factor to a healing item, when everything in the SRD is a glorified healing potion - and coolness goes a long way to making players want it (who hasn't coveted the Apparatus of Kwalish even though its super expensive and has limited utility?). I give it an 'A' for sure.

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

I think it's a very cool item. I can envision this being used not by the PCs, but by a henchman or cohort. The slightly high cost wouldn't be so bad if the party pitched in for it as a party item and then gave it to their cohort to use when one of them fell, especially since cohorts and henchmen aren't always powerful enough to directly affect the outcome of a battle.


My first mental image after reading this item:

Fighter kneeling next to fallen comrad looks up and waves across the battle field: "Medic!"

Two men wearing white arm bands emblazoned with a red cross on run up carrying a chirurgeons chest in the middle of a field stretcher (the chest is also white with the red cross on the top). They reach the wounded soldier, put the stretcher down and while one places the chest on the ground next to him the other nods at the first fighter and says, "We've got him Sarge."

As you can probably tell, I think this would be especially useful for an army in a battle field situation. Just like the idea of giving it to henchmen or cohorts that Joel suggested.

:-j(enni)


Having finally looked over all 32 items, I went back over each of the ones I particularly liked, and ended up with a "personal favourites" list with just 14 items on it. This was one of them.

Good stuff William C. I certainly look forward to seeing what you come up with for your country.

:-j(enni)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Spar

@Matrissa

Thanks for the comments. I appreciate them. As for the images you had of the chest in action they were close :)

I always seen this item as something that a battlefield cleric would use to quickly aid those that had fallen. Likewise, these items would make it into the hands of those that would be doing dangerous deeds for the religious organization in question. But I also see them as handy for anywhere a healer is needed.

Thanks again for the feed back.

WC

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Spar

@CastleMike

Sorry I didn't reply earlier, I was digesting what you said. I guess the real thing here is style of play, and I will admit, in the games you play, this item isn't much more than a quick buck.

That said, as I tweaked this item for the contest I worked with a few basic ideas: 1) That a lower level cleric could make the item (Level 5 I believe) and 2) the cleric had the backing of his deities temple for the monetary outlay.

Both of these stem from the way I play my games, which are driven more by story and back fluff, then the hard cut facts of the accounting system that D&D can sometimes be.

That said, I do see your point, and I do appreciate the feed back. Thanks.

WC

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

WC, I really like your item- looking forward to seeing your country.

Chad


Thanks for making the time to respond and sharing the insights behind the Chest William. Agree style of play and treasure availablility in game plays a big factor. Defintely creative and original using the Holy Relic concept in a lower magic campaign. Looking forward to seeing your country in the short term. Good luck.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Spar

@Chad - Thanks

@CastleMike _Thanks for the reply. I have to admit I am more of a fly by the seat of your pants type GM then a crunch numbers guy, but I have read a few of your posts on the subject of price costing items and admit I see the validity in it. I have to admit though, my players do not get a lot of magic, and we have reworked magic so that mages and clerics are a little less powerful magic wise, but a little tougher. Likewise a lot of the magic items we use are named, even the +1 swords (Goblinhewer is one that we had for a while...) Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for making me see a different side of the game.

WC


I like this item because it would allow the non healer type characters to take care of the healer in case they get taken down in combat. I don't know how many times i've seen our mage or cleric go down to a hit that wouldn't phase my barbarian and the barbarian standS about saying "Uh... you okay?" lol!

Good luck in the next round!

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