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RPG Superstar 2015

Seducer’s Bane


Round 1 - Open Call: Create a Wondrous Item

1 to 50 of 65 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Seducer’s Bane
Aura none; CL 9th
Slot wrist; Price 9,900 gp; Weight --

Description

Also known as “Diplomat’s Aegis,” this slender silver bracelet is worked in an intertwined design of three flowers. Detect magic does not indicate it is magical (as per the magic aura spell). A Nature check (DC 20) identifies the flowers as acacia, apocynum, and bilberry, symbolizing concealment, treachery, and falsehood.

The bracelet grants the wearer a +3 competence bonus to Sense Motive checks, and a +3 resistance bonus to Will saves against all charm spells and effects, including hypnotism, suggestion, and fascinate abilities. If another source provides a greater resistance bonus, the secondary properties (described below) still function.

If the wearer makes a successful Will save against such an enchantment, the caster incorrectly senses the effect has succeeded. Conversely, the bracelet’s wearer knows an enchantment targeted them and the enchantment’s source. Seducer’s Bane creates an aura on its wearer, visible to detect magic, matching the enchantment spell or effect, and lasting as long as the intended enchantments duration. The wearer gains a +3 bonus in Bluff attempts to present a friendly or improved attitude towards the caster, may ignore or disobey suggestions, and otherwise take advantage of the situation until the ruse is discovered.

If the wearer attacks the caster or their allies, or acts contradictory to the spell effect, the caster immediately realizes the enchantment has actually failed. Otherwise, if there is reason to doubt whether the enchantment is working, either an opposed Bluff check or a Sense Motive check of DC 25 reveals the wearer’s deception.

If the wearer fails the Will save against the effect, the bracelet’s secondary properties do not activate.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item; detect magic, magic aura, resistance, creator must have 3 ranks in Sense Motive; Cost 4,950 gp

Contributor

{ Detect magic does not indicate it is magical (as per the magic aura spell).}

Paranoid items like this always confuse me.

{The bracelet grants the wearer a +3 competence bonus to Sense Motive checks, and a +3 resistance bonus to Will saves against all charm spells and effects, including hypnotism, suggestion, and fascinate abilities.}

Hypno, suggestion, and fascinate are all COMPULSION abilities, not just CHARM abilities... because of those three examples, now I don't know if the author intended it to work against just compulsions, or against all charms.

{If another source provides a greater resistance bonus, the secondary properties (described below) still function.}

Of course they do.

{If the wearer makes a successful Will save against such an enchantment, the caster incorrectly senses the effect has succeeded. Conversely, the bracelet’s wearer knows an enchantment targeted them and the enchantment’s source.}

Okay, that's neat. Not terribly useful, but neat.

So this is really an "I'm sick of people using charms on me, I'm going to trick them into thinking I'm charmed." That's actually pretty innovative. Still not the most useful thing, but in a talky sort of campaign it could be very useful.

On the fence.

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

Sean, this is a good item. The issues you have are the issues I expect an awesome professional developer/editor such as yourself to have and you are right about them. But our contestants just arent up to your standards and you just wont find 10 (let alone 32) items that are.

This is cool. I want to see what this guy does in round 2.

Contributor

Okay, then I vote... KEEP! :)

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Okay, two points. This is a neat effect, I think it's clever, and I want to keep it. That's one. Two is that I am SURE I have seen an item with a VERY similar effect out there somewhere. I know that happens and it isn't a deal breaker, but I just wanted to throw that out there as a heads up.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I like what this item does very much. Maybe that's just because of the style of game I play and enjoy. But the ability to have an item that will shield against charms and compulsions, while making you aware of the attempt, and help you fake being affected is an awesome item! Sean pointed out a lot of very useful stuff on how to write up the item better. And, you've got the whole competition to start learning and applying that advice.

I'll also note that you use a fair amount of passive voice in your writing, too. And you'll need to work on that as you move forward. For example, instead of saying "Detect magic does not indicate it is magical (as per the magic aura spell)..." you could say "The bracelet radiates no detectable magic aura (as per the magic aura spell)" and it would present a more active sentence...while also potentially clearing up some of Sean's concerns about paranoid items and how confusing they can be.

Mechanically, you do need to understand the difference between charms and compulsions and other types of spell effects. Some effects have even changed from 3.5 to Pathfinder rules (for example, divination spells and their sensors). So, work on your rules-fu and make sure you doublecheck everything you can in your designs. The Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook should become the primary reference manual for any freelance designer. And having a PDF version of the rules so you can more easily search it for specific words or phrases can really help save time.

Next, I want to laud you for your professional presentation. You got everything right in the template. The chosen spells and skill rank requirements all seem appropriate. And your pricing is decent. The item is kind of a niche thing, providing the most use to a rogue or warrior (or other low Will save class) who finds the need to infiltrate the lair of an enchantress or bard. To me, that means you've got some great attention to detail on presentation. Now you need to apply that same eye for detail to the rules aspects.

Lastly, I notice that you hit 300 words exactly. And I fear that might not bode well for you down the road. Writing to the exact maximum of word count threshold is sometimes an indicator of a writer who can't rein in his own voice. Believe me, I know, because I am such a writer. So be careful with that. There are a few places in your item's description where I thought you could have afforded to cut some stuff. The opening phrase of "Also known as 'Diplomat's Aegis'," is one such example. I don't think that really adds anything to your item's description and it came across to me more like you couldn't decide between a couple of different names for your item and just decided to mention them both.

Regardless, welcome to the ranks of RPG Superstar! Your item has the mojo and professional presentation to usher you into one of the greatest opportunities the industry has to offer. Seize the moment! Shore up your understanding of the rules. Study how other designs accomplish what they set out to do and seek to emulate that. And best of luck in future rounds!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 , Star Voter 2013 aka raidou

I think this item fills a specific niche which is perhaps more common than its name gives away: PCs or their foes getting interrogated. In my experience, there are predictable steps in an interrogation scheme in D&D. Capture, Restrain, Detect Magic, cast Zone of Truth (or similar effect), then go to town on the captured foe.

So assuming the designer's intent was [compulsion] effects as Sean points out, this item is actually a pretty sweet anti-interrogation device. You appear to be telling the truth, and so are able to sow false information to your captors.

I have a couple opinions on this, though. Let's assume you introduce a device like this into your campaign. If you outfit an NPC with this, thwarting your PCs' attempts to get information, it's basically a "gotcha" item that penalizes PCs for going about their business in an expected way but doesn't let on that you are doing so. It's kind of passive-aggressive, with the "anti-detect-magic" safeguard. It's cool only if you as a DM provide ways for the PCs to get clued in, possibly with this item as a reward on the other side.

Although I like where the designer is coming from with this (it's got heart!) I think what makes me less enthusiastic about it is that the entry is wordy and the item's abilities are all over the place. Thematically it hangs together, but the fact that I have a competence bonus here, a resistance bonus against a couple effects over there, a couple of if/thens that produce another type of bonus... I need this item to be tighter in its design to really make me excited about it.

However, you've brought some great ideas to this competition already, and I'm looking forward to seeing what else you bring. Neil's got some suggestions on what sorts of things you can cut, and I happen to agree. keep your designs tight and you'll go far in this contest.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 aka K. B. Carter

Congrats on making it to RPG Superstar 2010! I asked myself the same three questions for each of the top 32 items. Here are my responses to your item:

Would this wondrous item unbalance or over-complicate my game if my PCs were to find it and use it?
I get the idea you're going for here, and it’s a good one, but I’m not sure the item is really needed. If a PC were the target of a charm spell, and they made a Will save, as well as a Spellcraft check to identify that they were the target of a charm spell, they could always pretend to be charmed anyway with Bluff checks. They don't need a magical item to do this. Do you get what I'm saying here? You've invented a wondrous item that already does something that the players can already do anyway through existing mechanics. Sure, a lot skills have wondrous item counterparts (i.e. Climb and slippers of spider climb) but this is going a bit far in my mind. It's a bit too niche.

Would my PCs be happy with this item if they were to find it during an adventure?
I think the value of this item is that it highlights a clever response to being the target of charm spell that PCs might not have otherwise thought of on their own. Sun Tzu (author of the Art of War) would agree that an enemy who thinks you are charmed is at a greater disadvantage than an enemy who knows the charm failed. The strategy is a great one and my PCs would definitely use it going forward, but I don't think they would go out of their way to find this item in particular.

Do I like the mojo? Does the item spark other ideas for my campaign?
As above, it gets me thinking about strategy more than any specific idea or direction. Still, that's valuable. You’ve definitely found an interesting idea here.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

First I'd like to thank the Judges for both their feedback and their interest in seeing what I'd write next. I'm absolutely stunned and thrilled. Just making it to the first round means a lot to me, so in that sense I've already won. Now I can die! :-) Just kidding.

And.. since I made it this far, I can't wait to see if I can make it another round!

I really do take the feedback to heart. As part of human nature I want to open my mouth and say, "But-." or "Just to clarify..."

However, I'm killing that instinct dead right now. If anything about my item is questionable, then I take responsibility for it. If I have to explain it after the fact, then it’s my responsibility and my fault for not communicating my idea better the first time. In that respect, I know what I have to work on for the next round.

I welcome any all comments and feedback from the community. If I'm sparing in any response it's just because I'm either working on my entry for the next round, or I don't trust myself not to put my foot in my mouth!

That being said, I'm going to appreciate every last comment I receive, no matter what it is. They're going to inform what I do next.

Thanks again to all of the Judges, the Guest Judges, to the Technical Staff at Paizo, and to the entire community.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Darkjoy

Great comeback Watcher!

Paizo Employee Developer , Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Congrats Jim! I had a feeling you would place this year. Keep rockin' my man!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Darkjoy wrote:
Great comeback Watcher!

Sappy as it sounds Darkjoy, I wanted you to make it too. I really did. Your positive attitude inspired me to try again after the first year.

You're gonna make it next year!

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

Looks like a good item, Watcher. Remember folks, "Strip the target naked before you Waterboa- er cast compulsions on them!"

Wes, you might be thinking of a spelltouched feat from Unearthed Arcana. Similar but a completely different mechanic.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Darkjoy

Thanks Watcher, but don't worry about me. 2010 already gave me two contracts, and contracts outweigh shiny new paizo messageboards tags...... at least, that's what I am telling myself.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Congratulations Watcher!

Nice sneaky item and good luck on the forthcoming round.


Congrats Watcher. Oregon! Represent! Haha. Best of luck as you go through the process. No more commenting on the boards for you. Get to work! :)

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

Bravo, Jim, well done! Can't wait to see what you deliver for Round 2.


This entry is perhaps a little bit wordy with the description (and is it genuinely necessary that every single copy of this item made feature those three flowers? Or is this a new school of symbolic magic which you're inventing/hinting at here?) and I don't see where the DC 25 on the check to try and realise the 'non-victim' is conning you comes from, given the absence of ranks in bluff or lack of glibness in the constructon requirements.
But congratulations, nevertheless, Watcher, on reaching the top 32.
*Cracks whip*
Now work harder on that Round 2 entry!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 aka tejón

And greets back at you, Watcher!

For my part: I love the occasional high-society diplomancy game. This fits that niche to a T.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

Okay, two points. This is a neat effect, I think it's clever, and I want to keep it. That's one. Two is that I am SURE I have seen an item with a VERY similar effect out there somewhere. I know that happens and it isn't a deal breaker, but I just wanted to throw that out there as a heads up.

It's a racial ability of the jaebrin in MMV.

I like this item. You had me at flower symbolism, Watcher. And you were one of the most supportive members of the board towards submission anxiety and angst. Making the top 32 couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Good luck in the coming round!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Steven T. Helt

This would be a fair item to add tomyPathfinder/Rokugan game. It's imediately useful there. But I don't think its coolness is restricted to mega-talky games.

Having said that, I am taking you at your word about the feedback part. The design elements I question are:

If you're going to make the check to see if someone's really charmed opposed later, why not just leave it to the character to emulate the charm? It seems to me that the issue if what is or isn't charm-complicit behavior could get very sticky, kind of like players harping on someone's behavior because what they know their alignment is out of character. "If you were really charmed, you'd flirt more instead of just do what I say" - that sort of thing. If the wearer knows a charm attempt was made and who made it, I'd leave the rest up to the player and save word space and confusion.

Why include a resistance bonus? I think a smaller bonus (+2) with no type or a different type would be better. If you're going to steel yourself against enchanment effects, there's nothing wrong with getting yourself an extra stacking bonus. You've paid an opportunity cost to have this item, let it rock!

Congratulations.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Steven T. Helt wrote:
Having said that, I am taking you at your word about the feedback part.

Bless you Steven!

And a promise is promise. No complaints about any feedback. :)

I see a few things that I would have explained differently, definitely. As well few things I might have left out. However that doesn't change what I actually submitted, and I take responsibility for that.

Fortunately I'm blessed with another chance to do better! Whoohoo! I can't complain about a thing! There's no reason in the world for me to feel anything but gratitude for the opportunity to try again!

So keep the comments coming folks! HIT ME! I'm not sure it appropriate to discuss the item or try to defend it, but that doesn't mean that you can't help me do better next time!

Dedicated Voter 2014

Pretty good item for certain situations. The detect magic part and the descriptions feel a bit forced and could honestly be cut. With regard to my previous statement, I'd cut those descriptions because the idea is to fool the other person. As a player, I would argue that my wizard, who possesses knowledge about magic items, should get appropriate Perception and/or Knowledge checks to recognize the bracelet (since the bracelet certainly has some defining characteristics). I think this item would have been better if you dropped those descriptive sentences and just said it was an innocuous silver bracelet.

Other than that, congrats!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Elegant, devious, and definitely something that a high-magic culture would produce. Nice.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015 aka MythrilDragon

An item like this would fit well in the games I run, Great Job and good luck...I have a feeling this is going to be a good year for you.


Watcher wrote:

So keep the comments coming folks! HIT ME! I'm not sure it appropriate to discuss the item or try to defend it, but that doesn't mean that you can't help me do better next time!

No comments, Watcher, just a congratulations. Nice item, different and intersting, well done.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Good job, Watcher, and good luck.

As an aside, one of the things I noticed about all the "truth / lies" items that made the cut is that they could all work in the same environment. I was expect some sort of "I can tell if anyone is lying to me!" "But I can tell completely undetectable lies!" conflict, but you all developed items of sufficient "niche-utility" that you avoided that.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka A Man In Black

This is way too much of a gotcha item for me, because it makes no worldbuilding sense. In a world where items like this can be made, captors will simply strip their captives nude before an interrogation if they know about this sort of thing, so it only works on uneducated or idiotic villains. That strains credulity.

It's hard to make "You have an extra trick when you're helpless" items work without playing the villains dumb without making lots of extra "Oh, and this trick doesn't work either" caveats. There's already a little bit of that with the "Detect Magic doesn't work" clause. There needs to be both a fair chance to identify this and a fair chance to get away with this and I don't think it strikes the right balance.

Basically, it poses a puzzle to captors that can only be solved by knowing about the item ahead of time, but if the captors know about the item ahead of time it's useless. This feels a bit too much "Have you read the [book this item is in]?" metagame-y.

How would you change the item give the captive a fair chance to smuggle it in despite wary captors? How would you change the item to give unaware captors a fair chance to detect it?

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

A Man In Black wrote:
How would you change the item to give unaware captors a fair chance to detect it?

Why should captors have a fair chance to detect it?

-Ben.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka A Man In Black

terraleon wrote:
Why should captors have a fair chance to detect it?

Because otherwise it's a gotcha item and another step in "I have a trick!" "Well, I have the magical counter to that trick!" "Well, I have the counter to that trick!" etc.

If you add a fair inbuilt mechanical way to detect it, then you don't have a world where everyone strips their captives before interrogation. Instead, the ones who fail their check allow the captive to keep it, and the ones who don't, don't.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

A Man In Black wrote:

If you add a fair inbuilt mechanical way to detect it, then you don't have a world where everyone strips their captives before interrogation.

Yes you do.

Magic aura is a first-level spell that lasts for 1 day per caster level; letting a captive keep some "miscellaneous jewelry" in a standard setting is dumber than leaving James Bond with a wristwatch. This isn't a problem that Watcher's item creates; in fact, I don't see how it's a problem at all.

This item is more for screwing over free-wheeling enchanters who think they can enspell their way into or out of any situation.

For the record, though, someone examining this item carefully SHOULD get a will save to resist the magic aura effect. The DC for that save should have been listed.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

A Man In Black wrote:
If you add a fair inbuilt mechanical way to detect it, then you don't have a world where everyone strips their captives before interrogation. Instead, the ones who fail their check allow the captive to keep it, and the ones who don't, don't.

Not every situation is going to involve stripping down the target for a mirror-backed sunrod to the eyes while sitting in an uncomfortable wicker chair and eying a tray of unpleasant metal instruments.

There are vampires' gazes, harpy songs, lamias, succubi, several kinds of fey, bardic performances, battlefield effects...

There are a lot more situations where a charm and this item might come into play than pure capture/interrogation scenario. That's like saying a shield is useless because a captor won't allow you to keep it before he sets you up in front of a firing squad of crossbowmen.

Your comment also predisposes that everyone knows about all magic items. Quite frankly, there are players who don't know all the items, and I wouldn't expect every NPC to know about every item out there-- especially given that there is private research out there, permitting casters to make unique items every time.

-Ben.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Gosh folks,

I'm loving the feedback! Even the critiques! There's so much I want to say and talk about here. Part of me has almost decided that it wants to talk about the item, the issues, and what was going on in my head when I wrote it. My hope would be that I would/will do so in a completely non-defensive and totally open manner. It seems a shame to get this kinda awesome feedback but not be able to honor it with any sort of reply except my thanks.

But I'm biting my lip here.

I have to get my second round entry done before I can let myself consider answering some of the questions and issues raised. Also, even if I do respond to any specific issue; it's still my responsibility that an issue was raised at all. I think it's important and necessary for me to keep telling myself that.

Please keep commenting! After a point in which I feel it is both wise and safe, I'll come back and talk about this stuff.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Congratulations Watcher.

And thanks for biting your tongue. I think it a wise choice, especially as you said, it will not change the submission (and round two is more important. :)

I am not going to critique the item except that you need to keep these things in mind for future rounds. They have been mentioned before so I will keep it short: too wordy, passive, not concise enough. I think working on any two will take care of the third.

I am surprised that the only time some people think of charm spells is with a helpless defender. Bards can get into places rogues can't with simple things like lullaby and fascinate. This sort of item might be fairly standard item for guards or bouncers for just that reason. And what sort of gather information checks can not be aided by charms? I think Grandmaster Torch would have one of these things in his role as information broker and for that, you deserve the top 32.

Congratulations.


I really like this item - wanted to get that out of the way first.

I'm not crazy with the specific flowers you chose for the charm (given what they represent). It seems like an Easter Egg and an unnecessary one, as if the point was to give a PC a chance to figure out that the NPC they charmed might not be charmed. That kind of makes sense from a GMing standpoint in that your player's might be annoyed if there wasn't anything to tip them off, but it kind of doesn't because they really shouldn't expect it. Would they create such a bracelet with the same hints for their opponents? I don't think so.
Different flowers that represented protection or innocence or virtue would seem like a better choice, as protection charms/talismans would seem to likely be fairly common item, thus making what seems to be a subtle item actually subtle. It's not nearly as big a detail as all these words probably make it seem like, but for an item I really liked it stuck out as an oddity.
The one reason I could think of would be that it would be easier to manufacture the item by infusing it with the essence of those flowers given what they represent, and it's likely a detail that most players would overlook, thus rewarding player paying closer attention to details, but it seems to be a potentially major if unlikely flaw in an otherwise solid item.
I'd be interested to know if there were specific reasons you picked those specific flowers if you care to share, maybe there is another angle I'm missing? I know you said didn't want to post clarifications, and I applaud your wisdom for doing so, but perhaps when the contest is over?

I wasn't thrilled with the name at first but it's grown on me in mulling it over. It seems like both an appropriate title and motivation for creating such an item. I could see many a rich nobleman looking for ways to ensure their daughters were kept safe from knaves.

I really like the way the bracelet doesn't radiate magic and them basically absorbs the magic of the charm effect to do so moving forward. Or at least that's the mechanic I think you were going for.

This part, "...may ignore or disobey suggestions, and otherwise take advantage of the situation until the ruse is discovered.", seems unnecessary.

In thinking about using this in my own game, I am considering having there be tiny gemstones in the flowers that either crack or fade or change color when the recipient either fails a save or upon a use (possibly making it a more limited item with charges). That may just be my preference for having more items but limited use items, but my logic is that the trade-off in limiting the power would be worth it to said rich nobleman to be sure that "true love" was actually so.

And again, I actually really like this item. I wouldn't have gone on quite so much if I thought it was rubbish. ;-)

Dark Archive

I think the problem I have with this item is that it only works so long as you act in the manner that you would if you had been charmed anyway if I am reading it right. That could create a serious problem for the wearer in many situations.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

David Fryer wrote:
I think the problem I have with this item is that it only works so long as you act in the manner that you would if you had been charmed anyway if I am reading it right. That could create a serious problem for the wearer in many situations.

That's true, but it DOES let you reveal that you really aren't charmed at the most inconvenient possible time.

Dark Archive

Hydro wrote:
David Fryer wrote:
I think the problem I have with this item is that it only works so long as you act in the manner that you would if you had been charmed anyway if I am reading it right. That could create a serious problem for the wearer in many situations.
That's true, but it DOES let you reveal that you really aren't charmed at the most inconvenient possible time.

Like when you are alone with someone who has already shown a willingness to use less then upright means to get what they want?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

David Fryer wrote:
Hydro wrote:
David Fryer wrote:
I think the problem I have with this item is that it only works so long as you act in the manner that you would if you had been charmed anyway if I am reading it right. That could create a serious problem for the wearer in many situations.
That's true, but it DOES let you reveal that you really aren't charmed at the most inconvenient possible time.
Like when you are alone with someone who has already shown a willingness to use less then upright means to get what they want?

Well, maybe. Is he asleep? Is he facing the other direction? Do you have the Sneak Attack class feature? ;)

It's all about choosing your moment. I enjoy things like this because they grant you more of a narrative advantage; it could prove useless, or it could save the day, depending on a few skill rolls and on how you play your character.

I love anything that helps heroes survive by their wits.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Curaigh wrote:
And thanks for biting your tongue. I think it a wise choice, especially as you said, it will not change the submission (and round two is more important. :)

And thank YOU for telling me what I needed to hear. No small part of that being, "Shaddup, get back to work, and don't look back." It won't change anything, but what I serve up next round will.

That's a gift, and I'll take it!

It reminds me of the movie, Meet the Robinsons. It had a lovely message that got me right in the throat. "Keep moving forward."

Thanks again.

********

And my continued thanks for all the feedback. Maybe I won't come back here and try to justify anything, but I promise- I'm listening.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka A Man In Black

A thought: what if this were a consumable that was kept in a concealable way, like a suicide tooth (only, you know, less suicidal)? Then only the very cruelest captors can prevent it from being used.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8 aka Benchak the Nightstalker

I like the name, and I like that you put it in the wrist slot, that was an interesting choice I think and one that makes this item pretty useful.

I also seem to remember a spell that did something similar, not sure what book it was from though. Not taking away anything from your entry, I liked that spell, and I like your entry as well!

Congrats on making it into the top 32, and if you ever make it over to Boise, don't be a stranger!


Watcher:
Despite some concerns I have about your item, it is intriguing enough that if this had been a five votes voting round, you would now be in contention for my last vote with Dennis da Ogre and James Martin.
Good job.

Paizo Employee Developer , Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

So, uh, Jim...I take it this means you won't quite have the time for Sunken Empires in the present and near future. ;)

Again, congrats, man!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Yes, it is a bit of a gotcha item, but I like it. It fills an interesting niche and gives you some interesting routes to get there. Not blown away, but good solid item.

Neil has it right, though, that the prose needs trimming - I'm an overly wordy writer too, and when you're up against a tight word count you can be your own worst enemy. Fight the urge to embellish, and when you review your submission, take out about half of the adjectives and you'll probably be in good shape. :)

Scarab Sages

Nice, but not my cup of tea. I can see much use for it in a political game, but average adventurers... not so much.

I am interested in seeing what you do next.

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

Great job making the top 32! I really like this item, but have a very differnt take on how it would get used. Sure, it could be used to thwart magical interrogation, but with the blurring of the description of charms and compulsions in what is affected, I was thinking that it would be particularly great to use in combat when you get targeted by an enchanter's dominate or similar effect. Turning the tables on the enchanter (and that could really be any number of foes, not just a wizard specialist) you can turn the tide of battle as dramatically as being dominated would have, but in your favor.

Again, great job, I like the core idea of the item. Once you have the idea, cleaning up some of the minor issues mentioned is simple. Good luck in the next round!

As for some of the concerns by others, here's my take at least.

K.B. Carter wrote:
If a PC were the target of a charm spell, and they made a Will save, as well as a Spellcraft check to identify that they were the target of a charm spell, they could always pretend to be charmed anyway with Bluff checks. They don't need a magical item to do this. Do you get what I'm saying here? You've invented a wondrous item that already does something that the players can already do anyway through existing mechanics.

Actually, this isn't true, since the caster of a spell normally knows if the spell was sucessful or not, and without an item like this, no amount of bluff could work, since they would know their spell failed otherwise.

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
I don't see where the DC 25 on the check to try and realise the 'non-victim' is conning you comes from

I think this is simply using the sense motive skill as written - it's DC 25 to detect that a subject is under the effect of a charm, so it seems natural that it would be the same DC to detect if the subject isn't under the effect of a charm when you start off with knowledge that they should be.


Joel Flank wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:
I don't see where the DC 25 on the check to try and realise the 'non-victim' is conning you comes from
I think this is simply using the sense motive skill as written - it's DC 25 to detect that a subject is under the effect of a charm, so it seems natural that it would be the same DC to detect if the subject isn't under the effect of a charm when you start off with knowledge that they should be.

If that's the writer's logic, my instinct is that that should be a straightforward Bluff vs Spellcraft check, with the wearer trying to act as if he/she/it is charmed and the Enchanter using his/her/its long experience of magic to figure out something is different/wrong. :-?

Edit:
With regard to Sense Motive for detecting someone is enchanted, that check in any case has two possible values listed in the rules, reflective of some enchantments having much tighter leashes (imposing much more restrictive behaviour) than others. If the value of that check listed for the enchanter to 'realise someone is not enchanted' is supposed to mirror Sense Motive checks to realise that someone is enchanted, as you suggest, I would expect a correspondingly variable value too.

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