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Seven Thousand Blossoms


Round 1 - Open Call: Create a Wondrous Item

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RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 aka tejón

Seven Thousand Blossoms
Aura faint transmutation CL 3rd
Slot —; Price 300 gp; Weight
Description
This small silken pouch contains fresh, bright flower petals. If a handful are thrown or scattered, the pouch unravels as countless petals swarm forth. The seven thousand blossoms coalesce into a path 5 feet wide and 60 feet long, which can traverse empty space but is cut short by any barrier. If thrown at an angle, the path travels 40 feet horizontally and 40 feet vertically. If thrown up or down, a tight spiral ascends or descends 30 feet. Though the petals seem suspended by a gentle breeze and are too sparse to provide cover or concealment, they act as a firm and stable surface for creatures and attended objects. Those who walk the seven thousand blossoms are protected from any effects generated by terrain below. The path lasts for one minute, after which the petals lose their magic and disperse. Strong winds disperse the petals in half the time. One round of exposure to severe wind counts as five rounds of the blossoms' duration, and more powerful winds disperse them immediately.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, air walk; Cost 150 gp

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

Am I missing something? Is this anything more than air walk with some really, really cool special effects? OK its a bit better than just air walk in a can as it can go straight up and straight down, or so it appears.

The duration is WAY shorter than air walk, which is good.

[begin stream of consciousness review]

You know, this isnt so much "air walk", which makes a target person or mount able to walk on air, as it creates an air bridge.

I'm liking this. Its growing on me.

This is NOT just air walk in a can.

[end stream of consciousness review]

See, sometimes an item grows on you as you think about it. This one caught my interest enough to really spend some time with it. We get so many, what you can't do is give us a reason to nuke your item before we spend some quality time with it. Nothing about this put me off, and as a result I really grappled with it and came to appreciate it. Learn from that.

This is well done.

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

Yeah, this is cool.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

I quite like this, feels very OA to me. Though these are really cheap. That's kind of my biggest complaint. And yeah, it's the spiral steps that makes me not cry SIAC on this.

It's just very simple. Though, there's nothing wrong with that per say...

Contributor

Though in most cases I suspect you'd rather have a potion of fly, this item has style and I can see some players really digging the visuals and effects of this item.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Surprise, surprise! I absolutely LOVE what this item does. I can see it as something out of an Oriental Adventures scenario, or even as a fey or woodlands-oriented magic item, too. And there's lots of wondrous things in nature, indeed.

The effect of the blossoms flirts with being a spell-in-a-can, but it's got just enough to nudge it past what air walk can do, and it pulls it off with much more style in how you've described it. That's good conceptual design backed by good writing. And your mechanical analysis is sound and accurate, with consideration for how it negates difficult terrain and how strong winds can affect the blossoms. It's also a low-cost magic item with limited effect, but very practical. And that kind of design is sometimes harder to do than the more costly, multi-ability wondrous items. So well-done in that regard, too.

I also like the fact that you put this item together in less than 200 words, not the 300 granted by the rules. You resisted the urge to glom on backstory, window-dressing, and needless extra abilities. That shows sound-thinking on your part. I'll be very interested to see what you have next. Welcome to the ranks of RPG Superstar! Best of luck!

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 , Star Voter 2013 aka raidou

Another of my favorites from this round. What this item does that a fly, air walk or similar effect simply can't is allow multiple creatures to use the same path to escape or get to where they need to be.

It leans toward spell-in-a-can as a consumable, one-shot magic effect. Sure there's no temporary magic bridge spell officially developed, but spell-in-a-can is what you have to wrestle with when you develop consumables of any kind.

This item is specifically designed, quirky but not overdone. It's got one thing it can do but that one thing covers a lot of ground and a lot of situations. It's adaptable and visually entertaining, and definitely has a place in the top 32.

Nicely done, and best of luck in the rounds ahead!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 aka K. B. Carter

I love this item too. I really like the name and it gives me a great mental image of a monk walking calmly across a gaping chasm into a dragon's lair, cherry blossoms swirling about his feet. This is the kind of item that needs to be used in lieu of the straight-up fly mechanic in my opinion. A flying carpet can be game-breaking as the PCs often use it to stay out of reach of melee monsters while they rain down spells and arrows (which is fun for maybe one fight, but is often used to trivialize many different types of encounters). This item avoids that problem while still retaining much of the utility of a flying carpet. Great work! Seven Thousand Blossoms... yeah, love the name!

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4

The wording is a little confusing about the uses of this item, as in; I took this as a one-use item off of cost and the use of the word 'disperse', but you might want to make it a little clearer. Unlike the other judges who got a Oriental Adventures feel from this item I got thoughts of Kyonin and the elves even uses permanent verses of these in their architecture. It being 450gp less than a potion of fly makes it ideal of lower level adventures, and safer for GMs to give out as loot with the seven thousand blossoms leaving a lot less room of abuses than other like items, potions, and scrolls. I really enjoyed the flavor of this item and it made me think of playing an elf for the first time in over eight years, a sign of how cool it must be in it's self.
Congrats on making to RPG Superstar 2010, I’m looking forward to seeing your work in the later rounds.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Congratulations for making it Round One! I've enjoyed chatting with you on the boards prior to the contest and I'm glad we both made it!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 aka tejón

First and foremost: WOOHOO!

With that out of the way... because reading prior years' entries was helpful to me, here's something for others who aspire to top 32 in the future.

Warning: Spiceresque novella ahead:
I mentioned this on the Voluntary Reject Bin thread (without being able to actually say anything too specific), but submitting this particular item felt risky. It's a low-level, single-use item. Nobody's going to want one of these after whole-party flying is reasonably affordable. By its very nature, it flirts dangerously close to being a spell in a can. I had other ideas fully developed (see aforementioned thread), with more impressive effects that came entirely from my own imagination. This? It's just a handy way to get from point A to point B, directly inspired by scenes from Kung Fu Panda and The Forbidden Kingdom... so it's not even all me (and ran the risk of being part of the year's inevitable "item fad").

But sometimes the package is the bulk of the value. Of my various ideas, this is the one that I found myself fantasizing about actually using. Not using them in-game, not reading about them in a book or watching them on a screen; I wanted to pull a silk pouch out of my pocket and toss some petals, stare at them as they swirl, and... dunno, climb up onto the roof or something. Doesn't even matter. I just want to experience it firsthand. Despite a pile of reasons that it might be rejected out of hand, not shared by my other ideas, this is the one that felt the most wondrous. That's what made me take the gamble.

And obviously, I'm glad I did. For posterity: clean grammar and good numbers are a necessity, but they're not the goal. The mechanics serve the game, not vice versa. If you want to break into these ranks, I think your best bet is to show something beautiful (even if it's also ugly). Something that makes you daydream uncontrollably.

Now... let's see if I can put in a repeat performance. Round 2, ahoy! :)


Easily one of my top 3 items this round. Good work!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Loved it, tejon. Awesome work! And a very astute decision to run with your most wondrous item. This is an example of being awesome with your idea...and then accurate in your mechanics and presentation. In my opinion, you got them in the right order.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Really excellent item tejón, this is the sort of item I can really see dropping into a campaign. The imagery is very appealing and the utility of the item is really well crafted.

I'm glad you made it into the Superstar contest and look forward to seeing your next round entry.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Lief,

First of all Congratulations for making the Top 32! Your item is truly wondrous and I wish I had been as innovative. Great Job. {And when I had read the name of the item, I immediately thought of that scene in Kung Fu Panda with Master Oogway.}

I am looking forward to Round 2, and I'm eager to see what you put forth for the voting public's consideration.

Best of Luck!

Dean; The_Minstrel_Wyrm


This item is *brilliantly* written in my opinion. If I were not running a horror base right now, my next session would be built based on showcasing the beauty of this item.

I do have a monk in the campaign, though, and his monastery is the Temple of the Winds... and the hamster starts running...


Yes, this is definitely one of the best out there.

As an odd side effect of my schedule in my adult life, I haven't been able to play any character above 5th level since second edition. As a result, I am very strongly focused on the lower levels and what can be done there. I am very thankful that this item is highly thematic, can be used by a low-level party without issue, and is simple, straightforward, and beautiful.

This is perfect as an addition. I love it.

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

Good imagery, but it seems really cheap for what it does. It's also very similar to a non-core spell (dark way from the Spell Compendium), but that could easily be a coincidence.

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

The name of this one grabed my attention and the item lived up to it. Nice Job and good luck on the next round.


This is one of several items that caught my attention on the name alone. Just the title alone - before even reading the contents - told me right away that this would fit well into an OA setting. It tells me that the author must have familiarity with Lao Tzu's writings. I also like the imagery that it produces. Good job, tejon!

Osirion

Consider this yoinked! (And consider yourself, Mr. tejón, a contender for the Mortika throne! - That is, the hard-won vote Mortika gets from me each round.)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Madgael

Congrats on getting in the Top 32!

I really think this item is cool. As a founding member of the 500 Uses For Tanglefoot Bags You Never Thought Of Club, I am a sucker for any kind of thrown item like this. And Wes is 100% right on the added OA flavor. This is neat stuff. Nicely done.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I think this is the best writing so far in the contest. Nicely done, my friend.


Umm, did the judges remember during their discussions on this item that die kluge apparently entered a similar item last year, but was rejected, posted on the 'Clark give me feedback' thread *link* and received feedback from a number of posters (although not Clark) including a suggestion from Steven T. Helt that he use air walk as a construction requirement instead of his original idea *link*.
The idea is good, but this has come up before in at least broad outline it seems to me. If the judges remembered last year's entry, (or indeed this is a pretty common item entry which they see of which this is the best) and felt happy to let this one fly anyway, I am happy to congratulate the OP on his entry into the top 32. :-?

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

Charles Evans 25 wrote:

Umm, did the judges remember during their discussions on this item that die kluge apparently entered a similar item last year, but was rejected, posted on the 'Clark give me feedback' thread .

I have to admit, I didnt remember that item from last year at all.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

I'm kind of sad that this is single-use. If you've got such a stylish and fun effect there is an increased fear of 'wasting' it, or even using it at a less-than-dramatically-appropriate moment. I could definitely see PCs hoarding this.

Contributor

{I have to admit, I didnt remember that item from last year at all.}

Nor do I. Of course, between this year and last we've looked at more than a thousand items....

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 aka tejón

I also didn't remember that item. I read the thread, and upon review I do have a vague recollection of seeing it (but not Steven's reply) the first time through, but it certainly didn't influence my entry. The resemblance is only superficial; their mechanical benefits are completely different and they draw on unrelated folklore. The literal carpet of petals (so royalty don't muddy their feet) is a European trope as far as I know, whereas mine is based on east-Asian imagery generally associated with enlightened ascension.

Indulgent decadence versus the empty self. Petals get around!

Frankly, even if I thought there were a chance that I was subliminally influenced by die_kluge's item, I don't see how it matters. I came right out and admitted that I stole the imagery from Kung Fu Panda! If you break them down into component pieces, every item in the history of this contest (even migrus) has "been done before." These entries are not their component pieces. Packaging matters. A unique combination is possible, even if unique ingredients are not.

And Charles, I really hope to see you here next year. You've got the drive, and I think you can make it. You're just missing the forest for the trees. I speak as one who is prone to the same trap and spent years forcing myself to move past it. (And for the record, missing the trees for the forest is far more distasteful. This is another of life's seven thousand tightropes.)

Hydro - my initial draft of this was unlimited-use (and traversed half the distance). The thing is, the pricing for it was just too close to an easy-access fly budget. The nature of the item didn't seem to lend itself well to uses-per-day... an endless bag or one which consumes itself are both good flavor, but daily "Hey! New petals!" felt a bit forced. The upside of being relatively inexpensive is, if you think your players might hoard it, you can just pass out two or three!

Taldor RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

I want to design an assassin that uses this. It's cool, stylish and simple. Good job!

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

Even with the eastern imagry aside, I can picture Aeshtyr (my halfling cleric of Sheylin) using this.


Tejón:
European royalty? The only time I've seen it done in a film it was with African royalty in Coming to America. :D
I don't feel able to comment further at this point on the item one way or the other, but the judges are happy with it, so I will say congratulations on reaching the top 32.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013

I can see a lot of my druids having a seven thousand blossoms pouch at least once. The writing really called up a visual image for me.

+1

Andoran

A classy, evocative item. I love low-level items that can do something funky!

Osirion

tejón wrote:

Seven Thousand Blossoms

The name drew me in and the description is cool without being wordy. Every character I've ever played wants one of these, more if possible.

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

This is an absolutely perfect item in my book. Cheap enough to put in the players hands early on, incredibly useful, and when used in game makes for a very cool, cinematic moment. Well done!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I've been casually perusing the items and so far haven't seen anything that really made me say "wow!" Until, that is, I came to this item. Fantastic! Definitely my favorite so far.

Star Voter 2013

I LIKE this submission. It's cheap, but useful. It's got a flavor that fits several niches. And it explains exactly how it works with little wiggle-room.

Congratulations! Good luck!

Star Voter 2013

Dragonborn3 wrote:

I can see a lot of my druids having a seven thousand blossoms pouch at least once. The writing really called up a visual image for me.

+1

Actually, I can see a druid going ballistic over this item. After all, hundreds of flowers had to die for it to be made. And, when you think about how you'd collect these flowers, you'd either be de-flowering an entire field or industrial farming flowers for the petals. I can definitely see druids coming to blows over this item.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Wonderful visual using a simple power that comes off feeling like an OA inspired divine ability. Great item.


Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Umm, did the judges remember during their discussions on this item that die kluge apparently entered a similar item last year ...

Nothing in the rules says someone can't submit an item that's similar to something else. Matt's item is a fresh take on a commonly-used object for magic items and I love it. Heck, he could've designed a tankard that casts lightning bolts, or a tankard that summons drunk pixies (actually that's an AWESOME idea!), and they'd all be "similar" but not the same. :-)

Star Voter 2013

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Heck, he could've designed a tankard that casts lightning bolts, or a tankard that summons drunk pixies (actually that's an AWESOME idea!), and they'd all be "similar" but not the same. :-)

Damn, damn, damn! I had the PERFECT character for tankard that summons drunk pixies! *shakes fist* Why couldn't I have thought of that?!

Dedicated Voter 2014

Demiurge 1138 wrote:
Good imagery, but it seems really cheap for what it does. It's also very similar to a non-core spell (dark way from the Spell Compendium), but that could easily be a coincidence.

I also immediately thought of Dark Way (which I believe is a second level spell?). Although Dark Way does exist, I can see this item being used in plenty of cool situations. I imagine a group of elves ambushing people using these items and it working well. The item can set up a nice encounter without going too far.

Congrats! The more I think about this one, the more it's growing on me.


I've used Dark Way frequently with my spellcasters, but this one just has a much better visual and the means of ascending / descending in a spiral staircase fashion, which makes it more useful. Heck, I would even like to see this as a spell from a Tian based setting. It is that good, IMHO.

Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is a very tight item! Congratulations for making it into the Top 32! I definitely plan on placing this item in my next campaign for the PCs to find. Good work and I look forward to seeing your future entries.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I love the visuals on this item. great atmosphere.

b.t.w. this is something I'm noticing with a lot of my favorites: the visuals make or break the item for me.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 aka tejón

Belatedly —

Chris Mortika wrote:
I think this is the best writing so far in the contest. Nicely done, my friend.

Thanks. I ran through several edit/rewrite passes, and I'm glad it shows through. And I'm sorry if I steal Tom's vote from you. ;)

I must also say I'm particularly proud of the line: "Those who walk the seven thousand blossoms..."

And many thanks to everyone who's posted kind words and kudos. I should be submitting my monster tomorrow, and I hope you all find it truly monstrous. This item is bright and ephemeral, so I'm attempting to demonstrate my ability to swing the other way for Round 2. Bye-bye selfless Chinese mysticism, hello ergot-ridden Brythonic nightmares!

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