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Coin Belt of Beguiling


Round 1 - Open Call: Design a wondrous item

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

This belt, of the kind commonly worn by traveling gypsies and itinerant dancers, is made up of fifty linked coins sewn over a length of fine silk. When tied around the waist, it provides the wearer with a +2 enhancement bonus to her Charisma score and a +5 competence bonus to Perform (dance) checks. Furthermore, while dancing, the wearer (and only the wearer) may detach coins from the belt to activate the following spell-like functions:
· Sanctuary (wearer only; 1 coin)
· Hypnotism (1 coin)
· Calm emotions (2 coins)
· Charm person (2 coins)
· Enthrall (2 coins)
· Rage (3 coins)
Only one function can be activated at a time. The effect lasts for as long as the wearer dances and ends once the wearer stops dancing. A newly created belt contains 50 coins. Once all the coins have been used, the belt becomes an ordinary length of silk.

Faint Enchantment; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, eagle’s splendor, sanctuary, hypnotism, calm emotions, charm person, enthrall, rage; Price 50,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

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

I dont mind this, but what is it with coin items?

It meets the basic requirements--it is a wondrous item. But it is one of the better social/charm items we have seen.

I dont care.

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

It's at least as good as the monocle. I want there to be at least one social item in our finalists, since it is a popular category.

The coins are just decoration in the gypsy style here, and a cute way to track charges. I actually like that approach to charges; you always know what's left in a necklace of fireballs, without a bunch of long-winded explanation about "it's energies are waning" or whatever.

Let's keep it around, see what Erik thinks.

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

I agree with you. You persuaded me. I dont mind keeping.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I like this one. An easy jump into the next round.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Kept.

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Kept.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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

Well, that's pretty good, but how about a Decanter of Beguiling?

*grin*


I like it. It's a staff you wear around your waist and anyone can use it.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Last one in my "shortlist" (wow, reading 32 items was a chore... my admiration for the judges just went up another notch - 800+ entries, whew!)

I love this item. Echoing what has been said before, it is a good "social" item, and I like the flavor being hinted at (bellydancers, anyone?) I agree with Wolfgang that using the coins to keep track of the charges is a nice touch. Very elegant, I'd say.

I am so inserting this in the next gypsy encounter I run for my players, heheheh...
Cheers.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

I'm a fan. I like the situations it brings to mind, and I like that the dancer must keep dancing. The show must go on.


Its fairly well done IMO. Though sadly do not think anyone in my group would ever even have a use for it. Not one of my players has ever put a single point into Perform (Dance).

As one person mentioned, it does add the utility of a staff to a belt item, which is nice, as not ever character really needs to walk around with a staff all the time. For that I give it points, but beyond that I personally think some of the items I saw floating around the boards that were not entered looked better.


Are any other women bored to death with prestige classes/magic items specifically designed for female PCs that focus on archery, healing, or dancing? (Or, for that matter, unicorns.) At least if the author of this item had used "he" in the descriptive paragraph I would have spent a minute smiling, instead of just yawning.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Yeah, that thought crossed my mind several times along the way and almost yanked my support at the last minute. Ultimately I decided to err on the side of Conan.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

klayter wrote:
Are any other women bored to death with prestige classes/magic items specifically designed for female PCs that focus on archery, healing, or dancing? (Or, for that matter, unicorns.) At least if the author of this item had used "he" in the descriptive paragraph I would have spent a minute smiling, instead of just yawning.

In its defense, I would say that the coin belt is NOT specifically designed for women. Historically, yes, coin belts were/are worn by female dancers, but nothing in the description states that ("traveling gypsies and itinerant dancers" is gender-neutral). And I would say that it is focused on enchanting and beguiling, rather than dancing; dance is simply the method through which those abilities are expressed. As for my choice of the female pronoun, I used it simply because of the historical associations I think most people have.

Personally, I think it would be quite cool for a male bard to wear one of these and knock the socks off onlookers with a view thrusts of his hips. Elvis, anyone? :)

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

Sarelth wrote:
Its fairly well done IMO. Though sadly do not think anyone in my group would ever even have a use for it. Not one of my players has ever put a single point into Perform (Dance).

That's too bad. I guess one needs to have some gypsies in a campaign world to really get some good use out of this. Because if I was playing a gypsy character (fighter, sorcerer, bard, whatever), he/she would have some dance action going on.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

Between cases, I am making my way through the top 32. This is the first that I've been inclined to comment on. I like it. I think it would look nice on a female beguiler that I have played in the past.

At first, the Rage ability kind of irked me, but it's kind of cool to think of the wearer flirtatiously dancing with one man while enraging another.

Very cool.

Chad


1 person marked this as a favorite.
klayter wrote:
Are any other women bored to death with prestige classes/magic items specifically designed for female PCs that focus on archery, healing, or dancing? (Or, for that matter, unicorns.) At least if the author of this item had used "he" in the descriptive paragraph I would have spent a minute smiling, instead of just yawning.

Nope.

Seriously, I'm not in the least tired of them. In fact, I am pleased to see those roles are given any support. If you want to play a woman who swings a sword, lobs fireballs, or disintigrates undead, there's lots of stuff out their already. If you want to be a gypsie dancer, you often end up with a +2 rapier and a claok or charimsa. Yuck.

I love this item. It's colorful, useful, flavorful, and well-written. It also opens a whole world of potential magic items I'll be yoinking for my campaigns.

Also, apaprently based on my avator alone I should have entered the contest.


I really, really like this item. It has good flavor and good mechanics. I could see this applied in numerous scenarios, both against the PCs or on the PCs' behalf.

Picture the bard entering an evil queen's harem dancing away for her.

Marathon Voter 2013

Nice flavor, good powers, easy to read, good format. Bravo!

This is much better then a couple of other winners.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

Erik Mona wrote:
Ultimately I decided to err on the side of Conan.

You can never go wrong erring on the side of Conan. But my inspiration came more from the impression Clyde Caldwell's cover of Basic D&D's GAZ 2: The Emirates of Ylaruam made on a young teenaged mind. And you know what? I still love that cover!

Chad Patterson wrote:
At first, the Rage ability kind of irked me, but it's kind of cool to think of the wearer flirtatiously dancing with one man while enraging another.

And that's exactly why I added the ability, as well as to have a little something extra besides the charm powers.

Dungeon Grrrl wrote:
Also, apaprently based on my avator alone I should have entered the contest.

Yeah, I noticed one of the other Top 32 picked the same avatar. When I chose it, I think you were the only one. But it is a cool avatar - what can I say? I love Egyptian mummy-women! :)

Thanks for the comments everyone! (You too, Sobelia and goldomark!)

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

Another 'vote' for a cool item and the coin/charge mechanic. However, when I read the title, I was imagining a money belt type item that you kept your coins in.

Qadira

Dungeon Grrrl wrote:
I am pleased to see those roles are given any support.

If you wanted support, you'll need the Brasierre of Holding instead...

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like the fact that the user has to maintain the dance; you can't just take someone out of action then walk off. Thus, it implies the user must bring allies, who carry out the real mission while the user causes a distraction. Calls to mind a 'Jabba's Sail-Barge'-style scenario (mmmm, Leia...).

This brings down the power of the item, which makes me wonder, has this lowered the price?

Another factor which could lower the price is to require Perform checks. Depending on the difficulty and frequency of the checks, you can justify a discount of 10-20% (as per the DMG sidebars).
Considering the belt gives +6 to the check on its own, DC10 would be do-able most of the time by anyone, DC15 by someone with a Cha bonus and a rank or two, DC20 would put in the 'skilled user required' category.
That raises the question of what happens on a failed check; does a new charge have to be spent, or can the user have a round or two to 'reel the audience back' (with +2 DC per fail, and of course, the danger that the audience wander off or get a second save to realise they were enchanted...).

Someone compared this to a 'staff in an alternate shape'. Don't forget that one of the reasons staves are so expensive is that they use the wielder's caster level and stat bonuses. If this is treated as a normal item, the save DC should be fairly low. If the DC is set like a staff, with the user's CHA, it's much better, and if the save DC is set by the Perform check (as are a lot of Bard powers), then this becomes seriously powerful (that aspect of Bards is one of my major gripes with the class). Given more space, it would be good to state the various DCs.

I had a mental image of the target; not just standing there with his jaw on the floor, but being forced to join in. Which begs the question; what dance would provoke rage? The Mosh? The Pogo? Or, my favourite, the Argentinean Tango!


I know of at least three Traldarran gypsies (two female, one male, all from different campaigns) who would love to have this item. I must also join the crowd in appreciating the coins per charge mechanic.

This is definitely in my top 10. Might be good enough for the top five, but the competition there is already pretty stiff and there's still eight items I haven't looked over yet.

:-j(enni)


Matrissa the Enchantress wrote:
This is definitely in my top 10. Might be good enough for the top five, but the competition there is already pretty stiff and there's still eight items I haven't looked over yet.

As I expected, this "jingle belt" (an appropos nickname given the season, don't you think?) is in my top 10. Nice work Rob - I await your country submission with anticipation.

:-j(enni)

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

Snorter wrote:

I like the fact that the user has to maintain the dance; you can't just take someone out of action then walk off. Thus, it implies the user must bring allies, who carry out the real mission while the user causes a distraction. Calls to mind a 'Jabba's Sail-Barge'-style scenario (mmmm, Leia...).

This brings down the power of the item, which makes me wonder, has this lowered the price?

Thanks for the comments, Snorter.

Actually, I didn't think about lowering the price because of the required dancing; I put it there to add flavor and make it more than just a "fire and forget" item like a staff.

Snorter wrote:

Another factor which could lower the price is to require Perform checks. Depending on the difficulty and frequency of the checks, you can justify a discount of 10-20% (as per the DMG sidebars).

Considering the belt gives +6 to the check on its own, DC10 would be do-able most of the time by anyone, DC15 by someone with a Cha bonus and a rank or two, DC20 would put in the 'skilled user required' category.
That raises the question of what happens on a failed check; does a new charge have to be spent, or can the user have a round or two to 'reel the audience back' (with +2 DC per fail, and of course, the danger that the audience wander off or get a second save to realise they were enchanted...).

When I originally read your post, I disagreed with requiring Perform checks, but now I think I like that idea. It's all about the dance after all. I'd probably just require a flat DC of 15 to use successfully, equal to an "enjoyable performance." And to avoid player complaints at having to waste a charge just because of a failed skill check, I think your retry with increasing DC is a good solution. I also like that it would lower the price. Limited charges reduced the base price, but it went back up with the "uncustomary space limitation." Also, I was using the SRD pricing information, which surprisingly doesn't include the "Behind the Curtain" sidebar in the DMG, so I didn't even realize that was an option (or for the required dancing, either).

Snorter wrote:
Someone compared this to a 'staff in an alternate shape'. Don't forget that one of the reasons staves are so expensive is that they use the wielder's caster level and stat bonuses. If this is treated as a normal item, the save DC should be fairly low. If the DC is set like a staff, with the user's CHA, it's much better, and if the save DC is set by the Perform check (as are a lot of Bard powers), then this becomes seriously powerful (that aspect of Bards is one of my major gripes with the class). Given more space, it would be good to state the various DCs.

Basically, I assumed the save DCs for each spell were based on the lowest level possible to cast the spell. This not only lowered the price for so many abilities, but I've always hated keeping track of different DCs for every single item, even of the same type. I went for simplicity, but it would probably be best to state those DCs after each ability.

As for basing the save DC on the Perform check, that's a cool idea. Maybe there are rare greater coin belts of beguiling that do this.

Again, thanks for the insightful comments.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

Matrissa the Enchantress wrote:
Matrissa the Enchantress wrote:
This is definitely in my top 10. Might be good enough for the top five, but the competition there is already pretty stiff and there's still eight items I haven't looked over yet.

As I expected, this "jingle belt" (an appropos nickname given the season, don't you think?) is in my top 10. Nice work Rob - I await your country submission with anticipation.

:-j(enni)

Wow! Thanks a lot for the really positive comments, and put for putting it in your top 10. :D


Very creative and interesting item. Curious regarding the coin to spell mechanics but only if you end up competely bored out of your mind with absolutely nothing else to do. Thought it was pretty pricey but there are a lot of spells with some interesting short duration effects and being able to extend all the spells past their normal limits while you keep dancing. I can see the player enthralling an audience for 12 hours with a legendary performance. Miss the old Al Qadim setting myself but my favorite was City of Delights and the cover to Gem of Zakhara. Looking forward to seeing your country.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

CastleMike wrote:

Very creative and interesting item. Curious regarding the coin to spell mechanics but only if you end up competely bored out of your mind with absolutely nothing else to do. Thought it was pretty pricey but there are a lot of spells with some interesting short duration effects and being able to extend all the spells past their normal limits while you keep dancing. I can see the player enthralling an audience for 12 hours with a legendary performance. Miss the old Al Qadim setting myself but my favorite was City of Delights and the cover to Gem of Zakhara. Looking forward to seeing your country.

Thanks for the comments, CastleMike.

I'm not sure what you mean by "coin to spell mechanics." I'd love to talk about it, but can you be more specific about what questions you have?

Regarding the price, having so many abilities obviously adds up, and it's further increased by the multiplier for "uncustomary space limitation" (i.e., it's a belt, and belts have physical improvement as their body slot affinity).

Unfortunately, I never played in Al Qadim or had any of the materials. (I think it might have come out when I was a poor student). I mentioned above that my inspiration came from the Emirates of Ylaruam Gazetteer for Basic D&D,ll, but I'll have to track down a pic of Gem of Zakhara.

I'm looking forward to your comments as well.


Sorry my mistake Gaz 2 The Emirate of Ylaruam (I actually had Gem of Zakhara out on my desk when I read your post) really miss the Shair class (I'd base the class on the Shaman and not the Sorcerer for the spellcasting). My favorites were Gaz 1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos and Gaz 3 The Principalities of Glantri.

Agree more spells and spells effects generally increases the costs. I was trying to figure which spell I'd want to remove without really losing anything except some costing. (You could consider losing Charm Person for a Pierced Belly Button Talisman or Bracelet 1/day for 300 gp).

Regarding the coin mechanics query it was that same level spells using requiring different numbers of coins for powering different spells of the same level seemed like a clever way of incorporating the staff charge mechanics at 800+ gp a coin.

Now that you are no longer a poor student you can pick up some old editon material free from Wizard's in a pdf download:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/downloads

Corsairs and Caravans of the Desert under Al Qadim and above Birthright. You might find the maps at the bottom of the page useful basically side trek adventures. Lots of FRCS material.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8

CastleMike wrote:

really miss the Shair class (I'd base the class on the Shaman and not the Sorcerer).

BTW, Paizo did put out the Shai'ir class in 3 ed, and kept it and updated it in the Dragon Compendium.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

To be honest, I never even thought about staffs while I was creating the item. When someone mentioned that it was basically a staff in belt form, I went "Duh!" I immediately looked back at the SRD to see if there was a staff like the coin belt, and was happy to see that neither the Staff of Charming nor the Staff of Enchantment really do the same things the belt does.

So I didn't even look at staff creation rules and pricing for charges. I looked more at the Necklace of Fireballs, and how different different beads have different strengths. But I liked the coins=charges idea, so more coins equaled more power.

But the actual decision of how many coins per effect was pretty much arbitrary. Sanctuary and Hypnotism are 1st-level spells, so 1 coin; Calm Emotions and Enthrall are 2nd-level = 2 coins; and Rage is 3rd so 3 coins. Of course, Charm Person is 1st level, but to my mind more powerful than Hypnotism, so that was raised to 2 coins as well (also maybe to put a little check on a player who wants to go around charming everyone he sees; it's a lot cheaper, charge-wise, to just hypnotize 'em).

Looking at the staff creation guidelines, it's looks like a lot more math (or at least more equations, or maybe my brain still hasn't recovered from country-writing). But I'm curious, do you think the belt would be cheaper using staff charge/pricing rules?

EDIT: And thanks for the link! I'll check those out. :)


Joseph Yerger wrote:
CastleMike wrote:

really miss the Shair class (I'd base the class on the Shaman and not the Sorcerer).

BTW, Paizo did put out the Shai'ir class in 3 ed, and kept it and updated it in the Dragon Compendium.

Thanks Joseph I actually have copies of each issue. The change I'd make for the old flavor of the class is I'd use the Shaman spellcasting mechanic with the spirit guide (for the gen) from Complete Divine for the Sorcerer/Wizard and and Adept spells lists keeping the Dragon and Dragon Compendium Shair class mechanics.


SargonX wrote:


So I didn't even look at staff creation rules and pricing for charges. I looked more at the Necklace of Fireballs, and how different different beads have different strengths. But I liked the coins=charges idea, so more coins equaled more power.

But the actual decision of how many coins per effect was pretty much arbitrary. Sanctuary and Hypnotism are 1st-level spells, so 1 coin; Calm Emotions and Enthrall are 2nd-level = 2 coins; and Rage is 3rd so 3 coins. Of course, Charm Person is 1st level, but to my mind more powerful than Hypnotism, so that was raised to 2 coins as well (also maybe to put a little check on a player who wants to go around charming everyone he sees; it's a lot cheaper, charge-wise, to just hypnotize 'em).

But I'm curious, do you think the belt would be cheaper using staff charge/pricing rules?

EDIT: And thanks for the link! I'll check those out. :)

The mechanics are really good Rob since they are pretty subjective when lots of low level spells start snowballing pretty quickly. I was figuring 5,000 - 9,000 gp for the base belt with the +2 to charisma and the +5 to perform worked out to 800+ coin (Way to much I thought at first wait he can extend these spells for 12 hours kind of like divine meta magic if he keeps performing and could cast multifple effects the coin charge price is good.

That's what threw me off those slippery coin costs and same level spells being costed differently. I was tweaking with the mechanics and said hey at 800+gp a coin these are paid for and extend the spells for the duration of the dance when a 50 charge wand goes for 750 gp. Why are these same level spells using different amounts of coins? I could have 2 eternal wands of charm person in ECS or 5 single daily use DC11 Talismans of Charm Person at 300 gp.

I don't think using the staff mechanics would reduce the cost a great deal (just thought you were adapting them to the item going with the 50 base charge limit mechanic like a staff or wand).

It would be losing a few of the multiple first level spells which could be easily duplicated with first level talismans (Craft Wondrous Item)since you would rarely use them more than once a performance for some single daily use level one spell talismans at 300 gp that would give you the biggest price break incorporating them into a Dancer's costume: Amulet, Anklets, Armbands, Bracelets, Necklace, Dancer's Silk Scarf (Hypnotism) or Veil.

Glad the link was helpful that's the old edition's section. Lots of free 3/3.5 adventures in the download section.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rob McCreary wrote:
Again, thanks for the insightful comments.

No problem; I've recently put my Chelaxian Oubliette in the Losing Items thread, if you're curious.

Qadira

I loved Al-Qadim myself too. Your comment Rob about never having played there means that Iskandria probably isn't based on the Ruined Kingdoms (my favourite resource of all of them). You got alot of its flavour in your 1000 word country.

Cheers

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