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RPG Superstar 2015

The Cloak of Rian’s Mercy


Round 1 - Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka Forever Man

Also known as Empathic Cloaks, these garments were originally created to honor the memory of Sister Rian the Merciful. These cloaks are most commonly white in color. If the wearer desires, she may, as a standard action, with a touch absorb any single disease, poison, condition, or similar malady into herself from another person. The cloak is limited to physical conditions only. Energy drain effects, magical diseases, curses, conditions which are the result of trauma, or accidents of birth, cannot be transferred. The duration of the transferred condition or effect is halved for the wearer of the cloak to a maximum of one day, thus permanent conditions, such as from a Blindness spell, effects the wearer for only a single day. A transferred condition never worsens for the wearer, (i.e. secondary effects from diseases and poisons don’t occur). If the wearer transfers a condition she is normally immune to, such as a Paladin’s immunity to disease, she suffers the effect as though she were not immune. Empathic transfer can be done as often as desired, but only one condition may be endured at a time.

Moderate transmutation; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, restoration; Price 20,000 gp.

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

This is actually a cool item. I am still working through it fully. I dont see any significant abusablity. I like the name. I like the effect. I like that you arent immune to the effect even if you have an ability that would otherwise make you immune. Nice touch.

I need to think through the mechanics. I'm not sure it is detailed enough to be adjudicated easily by the DM--the phrases of concerns are: "or similar malady" and "by trauma or accident of birth". Not sure, in game terms, what those actually mean.

But so far, this seems like a keeper.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Clark Peterson wrote:

How about--lycanthropy? Vampirism? negative energy levels from a magic item? curses?

No to the first two, because the item explicitly excludes magical diseases. Nothing, to my knowledge, gets around negative levels (which are _not_ negative _energy_ levels anyway, and curses are also explicitly excluded.

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

Oh woops. I was reading that wrong. I was putting the modifier on the end of the sentence to all the items in the list.

I still think its a keeper.

Erik, I couldnt tell what your opinion of it was.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I haven't decided yet.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

It's all right. Probably one of the better ones.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

It's definitely one of the better healing items. I'm with Clark on the mushiness of some of the language: "conditions which are the result of trauma"? Is that exhaustion, say, or just wounds?

"Only one condition may be endured at a time" keeps it from being abused horribly.

Keep it around a while.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I am ready to move this to the Keep folder.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Kept.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Forever Man wrote:
...If the wearer transfers a condition she is normally immune to, such as a Paladin’s immunity to disease, she suffers the effect as though she were not immune.

Oooh .. so you make the charmed Druid wear one of these and absorb poison.

Muahahahah!

Finally a way to overcome that damned (Ex) immunity to poison!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6 aka adanedhel9

I like the idea, but (like the judges) have issues with the imprecision of the mechanics. A rather silly DM could read "conditions which are the result of trauma" as just about anything that an adventurer would encounter, thus making the item nearly worthless.

Also, I dislike the name - in general I dislike proper nouns in spell/feat/item/maneuver/whatever names.


adanedhel9 wrote:

I like the idea, but (like the judges) have issues with the imprecision of the mechanics. A rather silly DM could read "conditions which are the result of trauma" as just about anything that an adventurer would encounter, thus making the item nearly worthless.

Also, I dislike the name - in general I dislike proper nouns in spell/feat/item/maneuver/whatever names.

I agree 100%, but I like the general idea of the item quite a bit.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Joe Outzen wrote:
I like the idea, but (like the judges) have issues with the imprecision of the mechanics. A rather silly DM could read "conditions which are the result of trauma" as just about anything that an adventurer would encounter, thus making the item nearly worthless.

I, too, agree on this. I like healing items a lot, but adjudicating this would be a nightmare in many RP groups I know (some of whom I DM for). Assuming "conditions which are the result of trauma" includes wounds, this item's utility is very limited in my opinion (especially if the party carries a decent medium-level cleric.)

As a potential "battle healing" item, I'd like it more if it allowed for some wound transfer, I suppose. I like the concept, and could modify it to use in my own campaign.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

I am assuming the intent of the "result of trauma" line is to prevent the absorbtion of the wounds themselves, and not the poison or disease that may have been transmitted during the course of the wounding.

Overall, I like this one a lot. Some nice gaming potential built into this, which is what I always enjoy.


I like this one: simple, colorful and not too powerful


I like the item, I could see it being a holy relic to a religion devoted to taking the suffering of the world unto themselves in homage to the suffering their god endures. I believe that the FR setting had such a god.

One question on this though. If I absorb a malady from Pc #2 and then cast a spell to remove said malady from myself, what happens?

Why limit it to 1 Malady? If you make it that the wearer suffers the effects of all maladies absorbed, it can make for an interesting RP situation for that day. I think I would allow the character to absorb 1 Malady per Constitution point or Modifier point.

Just imagine a simple cleric travelling from town to town performing simple miracle for the common people, taking the maladies unto him/herself then moving on to the next town.

Now take that to a less honorable idea. A con artist gets ahold of one of these, he/she claims that a tonic created can instantly cure any malady that has befallen a small town. To prove the point he/she invites a random person afflicted to the front of the crowd, since the townsfolk know the individual, they know they are not in league to bamboozle the village. The Con Artist has the person drink their tonic and absorbs the malady, hiding any effects that manifest in some way. The villager is cured and everyone believes the tonic worked a miracle. The village scrounges up the con artists fee and purchases a a supply of the tonic and bids the con-artist well as he leaves town to bring his miracle to others in need, preferably before they realize the tonic is simply a foul tasting, but otherwise harmless, substance.

Could be an interesting encounter.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Forever Man wrote:
Empathic transfer can be done as often as desired, but only one condition may be endured at a time.

I really like the concept of this item, but I'm not sure what that final sentence is supposed to mean. I'm guessing that you can absorb one malady, wait for its halved duration to expire, and then absorb another. If so, the first half of the sentence is incorrect and misleading.

I'd also guess that "conditions which are the result of trauma" means disabled/dying/dead (along with broken legs and the suchlike), and that exhausted is fair game for the cloak. How about petrified, though?

Minor confusion aside, though, a very neat idea.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

This is actually the one I've been thinking about the most. It tends to lend itself to heroic stories in my mind.


This is just colorful enoguh, and just well enough written. I'm not going to call it brilliant, but it is solid and that's good enough.

I am most likely to use it as the signiture item of a group of healers or something similar.

Nice job.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka Forever Man

First, I'd like to thank everyone who's commented about my design.

You're all right about the wording, it was the best I could do on such short notice. I wrote this at the last minute as I recall. Editing things down to 200 words really made it difficult to be as specific as I wanted. I originally intened to list out all the condition that I thought should apply, but it became apparent quickly that that was right out. ;^)

I was sure it wasn't going to get picked because some of the wording wasn't quite right. I'm glad it did. Magic item creation is not my strong suit - although some people might disagree after they read my next submission. ;^D

Callum is correct in that "trauma" means wounds, hit point damage, etc. He's also right about the cloak being able to transfer only one malady at a time. After the wearer recovers, then he or she can absorb another.

I don't what I was thinking about when I wrote "accidents of birth." Maybe that Gamma Hero game I've been playing in for about a year? There are no mechanics for birth defects or mutations in the SRD! But! *IF* there were . . . the Cloak of Rian's Mercy wouldn't be able to absorb them. ;^)

Thanks again,

- DM


I thought that by "accidents of birth" you meant if they were born blind then the cloak couldn't help them. I think "Cloak of the Martyr" would be a better generic name.

I'm not sure about this one. If a player is already "making the sacrifice" of playing the cleric/healer it seems a bit much to make them also take on any diseases etc.. that the party comes across. I mean I guess the fighter in the group could wear it but then if he's blind he can't fight so it seems to be the cleric's choice.

Very cool for an NPC or one time trick but not very utilitarian.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka JoelF847

I like the basic effect, but think it's overpriced. It doesn't really cure a condition, just moves it around and caps the duration. For 20,000 you can buy a lot of Keogtom's (however it's seplled) Ointment to just flat out cure most conditions. I'd like this a lot more at about 6-10K.


Clouds Without Water wrote:
I am assuming the intent of the "result of trauma" line is to prevent the absorbtion of the wounds themselves, and not the poison or disease that may have been transmitted during the course of the wounding.

I have to agree with Clouds. I think the intent is to remove the effect of disease, poisioning, temporary ability damage and handicaps caused by magic or accident such as blindess or deafness and not to cure wounds, remove fear, or fix birth defects.

Unfortunately, the phrase "result of trauma" is certainly too vague, but I haven't been able to think of a better way to put it without getting too wordy (and thus risking the 200 word limit)

I also wonder what effect it should have vs. petrification, which could be placed into the "handicap" category along with blindness and deafness.

My one other "nit" with this description is the spell it is based on. While restoration does applies to ability damage, fatigue and exhaustion it also explicitly removes negative levels, and doesn't remove disease or conditions like blindness/deafness. It also doesn't work against all poisons, only those with primary or secondary effects related to the previously mentioned conditions.

I would be more inclined to require neutralize poison, remove blindness/deafness, remove disease, and (assuming it does) remove paralysis. Unfortunately, defining it this way would increase the calculated price significantly as instead of one 4th-level spell we now have one 4th-level spell (neutralize poison), and two 3rd-level spells and (optionally) one 2nd-level spell. (10 or 12 spell levels vs. 4)

I suppose one could use delay poison instead of neutralize poison (since it doesn't actually eliminate the poison, just transfers it) removing the 4th-level and adding another 2nd-level in it's place for one or two 2nd-level and two 3rd level spells for 8 to 10 total spell levels, but that would still multiply the spell effect part of the calculation by two to two and a half...

Since only one condition can be held simultaneously, perhaps adding a strict 1/day or 2/day restriction would bring the calculation back down to a reasonable level. It's hard to say without actually doing the math though.

Regardless, it's a tough call. I can see why he went with restoration but it still feels wrong.

:-j(enni)


Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like this item, but I'm biased because I game with Dwayne in meatspace. Conratulations my friend!

My favorite part of the item is the "masochistic" aspect. It reminds me of the chartmaster healer class. They first absorb wounds, broken bones, punctured organs, etc. onto themselves. Then they start healing themselves up with spells. They had the option to absorb more damage than they could heal right away and just tough it out until their next re-rack. They could even drop themselves into a coma from absorbing massive amounts of damage. Several folks pointed out that someone would have to REALLY love pain to become a healer.

It might be amusing to allow someone to absorb multiple conditions until they're just a puddle of agony on the floor while the rest of the party rocks on. But that's a bit abusive.

I think there should be a note that it only works for one person at a time. So if someone is waiting out the duration and takes off the cloak, no one else can use it until the fist user's duration is over.

One of the things that's missing from the 3.5 item creation rules is the concept of disadvantages offsetting the cost. A restoration 1/Day item would be easy to price, and a 3/Day item would cost more. This item is interesting because it has the potential to be used several times a day, but that power is offset by the fact that the user suffers.


Matrissa the Enchantress wrote:
My one other "nit" with this description is the spell it is based on.

It has just occured to me that heal is a much better spell to base this on:

d20srd.com wrote:
Heal enables you to channel positive energy into a creature to wipe away injury and afflictions. It immediately ends any and all of the following adverse conditions affecting the Target: ability damage, blinded, confused, dazed, dazzled, deafened, diseased, exhausted, fatigued, feebleminded, insanity, nauseated, sickened, stunned, and poisoned. It also cures 10 hit points of damage per level of the caster, to a maximum of 150 points at 15th level.

As written the item doesn't include the wound curing effect of heal. But with the spell-effect portion of the price calculation bumped up from a 4th-level spell to a 6th-level spell, perhaps adding a limited ability to transfer some small amount of damage into the mix would be a viable alternative.

Also heal alone doesn't account for the clearing of ability damage, so I think I'd probably stick lesser restoration back in there as well (pushing the spell-levels up to 8).

Yep, heal and lesser restoration, plus the ability to transfer up to 25 hp of damage (a bit less than 1/4 the minumum hit points cured by a heal, which is 110 for a CL 11 caster) with a per day limit tacked on to bring the total cost back down.

Obviously I like the concept or I wouldn't keep thinking about it. Despite the issues I have, this is definitely in my top 10 and might even make the top 5.

:-j(enni)


Matrissa the Enchantress wrote:
Obviously I like the concept or I wouldn't keep thinking about it. Despite the issues I have, this is definitely in my top 10 and might even make the top 5.

This one held up quite well against the competion and did stay in my top 10. Well done Dwayne - I can't wait to see the country you develop.

:-j(enni)

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

It appears that Dwayne has not submitted a country for round 2. This is not yet confirmed by Vic/Gary, however.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Clark Peterson wrote:
It appears that Dwayne has not submitted a country for round 2. This is not yet confirmed by Vic/Gary, however.

I was looking forward to his country, based on the flavor of the item. Ah well, hopefully the alternate will be even better!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka Forever Man

Clouds Without Water wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
It appears that Dwayne has not submitted a country for round 2. This is not yet confirmed by Vic/Gary, however.
I was looking forward to his country, based on the flavor of the item. Ah well, hopefully the alternate will be even better!

I'd like to thank everyone, especially the judges, Erik, Wolf & Clark, for picking my entry for round. I had several deadlines for this coming Wednesday & for some reason I just switched two of them around in my head.

When I got the email from Gary about it I was just crushed. The contents of that email is below:

DWAYNE MONROE wrote:

Oh, God no.

I blew it. I totally blew it. I thought Wednesday was the last day for final submission. I got this deadline mixed up with another deadline.

Oh, man I'm soooooooooo depressed . . .

Thank you for picking me first entry. I didn't expect to be chosen. I've been extremely busy the last couple of months, and have been under a lot of pressure and I blew it.

You guys were not wrong to pick me, I really do have unique ideas. I apologize for letting you all down.

Sincerely,

Dwayne

Gary later replied with:

GARY TETER wrote:

Oh man. That's terrible! Sorry to hear that.

Better luck next time. (If we do this again. :-)

I really appreciate Gary's response. I felt quite bit better afterwards.

I'd like to wish everyone good luck for the rest of the contest, especially to the alternate that's replacing me, Russell Taylor. Go get 'em, kid!

- DM

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