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Phial of Ebon Flame


Round 1 - Open Call: Design a wondrous item

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

Phial of Ebon Flame

This small crystal bottle of turgid black liquid glows faintly and flows like liquid fire when opened. This ebon flame is hostile to normal fire, and when poured out (or thrown up to 30 feet) it can extinguish natural fires in a 20-ft. radius burst, dispel a magical fire (dispel check 1d20+5), or neutralize the powers of a magic item that creates or controls flame for 1d4 hours (Will DC 13 negates).

The ebon flame also can reverse the destructive effects of normal or magical flame, restoring 5d6 hit points to an object or creature that has been damaged by fire. It cannot repair an object that has been completely destroyed, restore a dead creature to life, or heal damage from other sources.

If splashed on a creature (a melee or ranged touch attack), the ebon flame suppresses the ability to use fire-based spells or supernatural or spell-like abilities for 1 round (Will DC 13 negates), and it also inflicts 5d6 points of damage (no save) to a creature with the fire subtype.

The phial can be used only once.

Faint transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, cure moderate wounds, mending, quench; Price 1,500 gp.

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

The flavor reminds me of RE Howard or Fritz Leiber, and the name is awesome.

The item itself seems useful and good without being overpowering, but perhaps undercosted. Even though it's only really a damage item against the Fire subtype, that's a pretty big category.

Inclined to keep it, though.

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

WB

I really like it too. But it is basically a quench scroll (see below). But it is a very well written quench scroll. A quench scroll is 350 gp. But this item goes beyond the spell by healing fire damage (thus the cure moderate) and it works on creatures in the way that quench works on magic items. I think that is a really a nifty power. It is much more than a quench scroll. I see the cost as being right.

This is a good keeper for me.

Sometimes spell in a box works. This is an example.

Clark

For reference:

[details of spell edited out]

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I agree that this is an interesting item that deserves further attention. I'm moving it to the Keep folder, at least for now.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Kept.

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

Erik Mona wrote:
Kept.

It is a good thing to be kept. Thanks to the judges and I will endeavor to do my best on country design!

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I like this item a lot - evocative of the Crystal artifact, and versatile without being overpowered or overpriced (see Stone Salve).

Quibbles: DC on the saves should probably be 14. Should probably have Cure Serious as pre-req given the average damage healed.

Also regarding the price, it's more equivalent to a Quench potion than scroll, which would cost 750. I still think the price is in line with the effects though.

Salmoneus says: "Going up against fiery foes? Stock up on Ebon Flame!" - Congratulations Jason!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka SmiloDan

Another great item! I've always thought there should be a way to "un-burn" an item or wound. Does it work on rust? (Rust is just a slower method of oxidation.)


This one I really like. Available to low-level parties and still useful at higher levels.


This is a nifty, nifty magic item. I think it's in my top three thus far.


"Turgid" is a great word. I approve.


This is my second favorite item of the Top 32. I really like the price to utility and can actually see PCs wanting to add this item to a PC sheet for use in a game despite all the other choices in game.

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

SmiloDan wrote:
Another great item! I've always thought there should be a way to "un-burn" an item or wound. Does it work on rust? (Rust is just a slower method of oxidation.)

The serious answer: No, just fire, though I suppose it wouldn't be too hard to imagine a similar item that reversed rusting grasp and similar effects.

The jokey answer: See, now you're trying to bring real-world chemistry into things. It's MAGIC! Otherwise we have to start dealing with questions like "does a fireball consume all the oxygen in the area of effect, creating a temporary vacuum?" and "how much smoke does a fireball create?" and "if a fireball does all this heat damage, does it heat up metal objects like a heat metal spell?" and on down the list. All questions that make perfect logical and even scientific sense to ponder but which have the potential for a lot of mess game-mechanically.

I think actually in the Player's Option: Spells & Magic book they had rules for collateral effects from different attack forms, which might be an interesting place to look if you thinking in that direction.

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

Majuba wrote:

I like this item a lot - evocative of the Crystal artifact, and versatile without being overpowered or overpriced (see Stone Salve).

Quibbles: DC on the saves should probably be 14. Should probably have Cure Serious as pre-req given the average damage healed.

Also regarding the price, it's more equivalent to a Quench potion than scroll, which would cost 750. I still think the price is in line with the effects though.

Salmoneus says: "Going up against fiery foes? Stock up on Ebon Flame!" - Congratulations Jason!

I think you're right about the default DC being 14, since Quench is a 3rd level spell so minimum stat modifier +1 for 13. I'm not sure why I put it as 13.

As for the curing effect, a 5th level Cure Moderate Wounds spell cures 2d8+5 = average of 14. The phial cures 5d6, which is average of 17.5, so a little better, but only vs. fire. I figured it was close enough to swing that way.

Also, I think I wanted to make sure it was an item that a single character could create, and in this case all the prereqs could be met by a 5th level druid. CSW is a 4th level spell for druids and so didn't fit.

Yeah, I know the prereqs don't all have to be for one person, but I thought it was a more elegant way to do it.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014

I know what this is: This is the backward fire from Dream Park by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes!

(Still cool though. I tried statting it up myself when I read the book 3 years ago.)

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Nicely done. Makes a kind of game-sense that make you think that of course it must exist. Situational, but not an uncommon situation.

Osirion

I really, really like this. I was afraid I wasn't, that it was going to be another one of those dorky novel inspired darkfire sorts of things. Oooh this fire is REALLY bad because it's EBON fire! To my immense relief it instead turned out to be one of the most novel and fun entries I've read so far. Really cool. I love that it's anti-fire. I really enjoy the things you can do with it (put out fires, unburn things, heal burn victims, etc.) I also think it would be fun and in keeping with the item that it could be rubbed on a torch and used to diminish the light in an area by a commensurate amount as a torch would create.

This is just a really good, fun, unique idea. I love it.

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

Ross Byers wrote:

I know what this is: This is the backward fire from Dream Park by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes!

(Still cool though. I tried statting it up myself when I read the book 3 years ago.)

Ummm... I've heard of Larry Niven.

Steven Barnes? Dream Park? Don't ring a bell.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014

Jason Nelson 20 wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:

I know what this is: This is the backward fire from Dream Park by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes!

(Still cool though. I tried statting it up myself when I read the book 3 years ago.)

Ummm... I've heard of Larry Niven.

Steven Barnes? Dream Park? Don't ring a bell.

If you play D&D, you have to read it. It's about using things like holograms and virtual reality to make LARPing more fun and less ... pathetic.

One of the vital plot points of the adventure being played in the novel was anti-fire fitting that description, discovered in an Oroboros of wood and ash with real fire. The fire burned the wood to ash, making its way around the circle, while 180 degrees around, the anti-fire 'burned' the ash back into wood.

Anyway, whever your inspiration was, I like this item. The only thing I can nitpick about it is that it requires extra bookkeeping: Players have to write down how much of the damage they've taken is fireball damge, for example.

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

Ross Byers wrote:


One of the vital plot points of the adventure being played in the novel was anti-fire fitting that description, discovered in an Oroboros of wood and ash with real fire. The fire burned the wood to ash, making its way around the circle, while 180 degrees around, the anti-fire 'burned' the ash back into wood.

Anyway, whever your inspiration was, I like this item. The only thing I can nitpick about it is that it requires extra bookkeeping: Players have to write down how much of the damage they've taken is fireball damge, for example.

Sounds like a fun book. I'll add it to my list; of course, I still haven't cracked the cover on the copy of Dune a friend lent me a month or so ago. Alas, not much time for pleasure reading these last few months.

I suppose you're right about the bookkeeping, though it's the sort of bookkeeping that you would only do if you already had the item (not like your campaign would suddenly need to separately track damage types for everybody). Given that it is single-use you'd only worry about it until you used it, so the problem more or less solves itself pretty quickly. It's a valid nit. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Quite possibly my favourite item in the top 32 - a clean, well-written design where the various uses all stem from the basic concept, with an evocative name. An absolute shoo-in, and ready to use without any tweaking!


This one doesn't really do much for me but it does seem very professionally solid and original. I just can't picture it working - like how I would describe it to my players. When I read it I was like, "What? Wait... it does what? How does it do that?" I do realize it's "magic" but it just doesn't click (for me).


This one works really well for me. The mechanics seem simple and solid, and its going to make a cool visual. i like it.

I can also see creating as ebon flame property for weapons.


Neat name.

Useful item.

I do like it... not sure if it will makes my top 5 though. It hasn't "sung out" like a few of the others I've read so far.

Definitely useful though...

...and great for low to mid levels...

Perhaps singing isn't necessarily the mark of a superstar in this particular situation... ;-)

I'm going to go with definitely being in my top 10. We'll see how it fares as I continue to review.

:-j(enni)

Star Voter 2013

Another excellent entry. My bias has been to magic items that are 'needed' in the game - that fill a gap, and that is exactly what this does. I really like that you can be proactive with it, dousing a fire-balling sorcerer for example before he immolates you. Who wouldn't rather use this item in a fight with a red dragon than a boring protection from energy spell? Awesome.

Osirion

Jason Nelson 20 wrote:

Phial of Ebon Flame

Um. Something very similar to this appears in the first Dream Park book (titled Dream Park).

The anti-fire does not have healing properties, but does restore burned items. Also, as rot is a kind of slow burn, it would reverse that as well, doing really odd things to zombies.


Matrissa the Enchantress wrote:
I'm going to go with definitely being in my top 10. We'll see how it fares as I continue to review.

It didn't quite make it into the top 10 in the end, but it is still one of only 14 that made it into my "personal favourites" list.

Good work Jason. I look forward to reading your country submission.

:-j(enni)


Saragun's Blackout Oil

"...douses normal and magical flames and lights upon contact...." "This greasy black liquid is icy-cold to the touch, and it snuffs out normal fires or torches upon impact...." "It can cancel out magical fires if their caster level is lower than its caster level. If used as a weapon directly against Fire-related creatures, it acts as a contact poison or acid of extreme cold, inflicting 1d6 damage...." "...commonly packaged in one-ounce glass globes...."

--- Page 82 Alchemy & Herbalists published by Bastion Press 2001

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

DJ Rogue wrote:

Saragun's Blackout Oil

"...douses normal and magical flames and lights upon contact...." "This greasy black liquid is icy-cold to the touch, and it snuffs out normal fires or torches upon impact...." "It can cancel out magical fires if their caster level is lower than its caster level. If used as a weapon directly against Fire-related creatures, it acts as a contact poison or acid of extreme cold, inflicting 1d6 damage...." "...commonly packaged in one-ounce glass globes...."

--- Page 82 Alchemy & Herbalists published by Bastion Press 2001

Well how do you like that? I guess there are only so many potential ideas in the universe and 2 people came up with one very similar.

All I can say is, some folks have a much larger collection of gaming stuff than I have. I don't think I own anything from Bastion. Besides, this item was developed from a spell I designed back around 1989 or so, so I still call dibs on having come up with it first! :)

Now, back to country-writing.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013 aka Core

Jason Nelson 20 wrote:
Well how do you like that? I guess there are only so many potential ideas in the universe and 2 people came up with one very similar.

I was going back through reading some of original articles of the Top 8 fellows. I missed this one the first go around but wow, it is very similar to The Crucible of Blackflame.

The Crucible of Blackflame was printed in the old Basic D&D Companion (or was it Masters?) set and the Five Shires Gazetteer (GAZ8); and likewise it is the antithesis to fire and causes things which are burned to reconstitute themselves.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

Core wrote:


I was going back through reading some of original articles of the Top 8 fellows. I missed this one the first go around but wow, it is very similar to The Crucible of Blackflame.

The Crucible of Blackflame was printed in the old Basic D&D Companion (or was it Masters?) set and the Five Shires Gazetteer (GAZ8); and likewise it is the antithesis to fire and causes things which are burned to reconstitute themselves.

There's also backwards-burning black fire in Larry Niven's Dream Park.

But really, there's not a lot of magic item ideas that aren't similar to something else out there. I like the item :)

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Snagging this for PF14 (encounter G5 for anyone curious).

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