Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

PaizoCon 2014!

Waters of Transfiguration


Round 1 - Open Call: Create a Wondrous Item

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka riatin

Waters of Transfiguration
Aura Mild Transmutation; CL 9th
Slot -; Price 12,500 gp; Weight 1 lbs.
Description
This small lacquered box made from exotic and colorful woods contains five distinct vials and a single dropper. Each vial (marked as Paper, Glass, Wood, Stone, and Iron) contains a magical distillation of water that has the miraculous property of transfiguration. One application from a vial administered via the dropper as a full round action to any solid, non-living, non-magical, material permanently transfigures that object into the material of the selected vial (Paper, Glass, Wood, Stone, or Iron). For example, an iron lock treated with Waters of Transfiguration (paper) would become constructed of paper instead of Iron, with all of the proper associated with Paper (Hardness, Hit Points, Flammability, etc.). Transfiguration of any object treated by the Waters with dimensions of less than one cubic foot takes place instantaneously. On large, solid objects, one application can convert up to 10 cubic feet, but takes on hour per cubic foot (beyond the first) to transfigure. Each vial contains five applications of that particular Water.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Fabricate, Alchemy, Creator must have 5 ranks in the Alchemy skill; Cost 6250 gp

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

Hmmm. Interesting.

I think some requirements are missing from the creation information. Fabricate, that's it?

Plus I have a question on how this works that is causing a huge problem:

My question is: can it work on part of something rather than the entire object? For instance, I am on the second floor of the evil wizard's castle and I desperately need to escape. Can I use one dose of this stuff on the floor of the castle, turn that 10 foot section of teh floor into paper, break the paper, and drop to the floor below? Or lets say I go up to the wall of the castle of the evil duke. Can I drop some of this on a 10 foot section of the huge outer wall and turn it to wood and break through?

I dont think this answers that question.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Clark Peterson wrote:
My question is: can it work on part of something rather than the entire object? For instance, I am on the second floor of the evil wizard's castle and I desperately need to escape. Can I use one dose of this stuff on the floor of the castle, turn that 10 foot section of teh floor into paper, break the paper, and drop to the floor below? Or lets say I go up to the wall of the castle of the evil duke. Can I drop some of this on a 10 foot section of the huge outer wall and turn it to wood and break through?

I'd say so, as the example is this stuff working on a door's lock (and I'd consider the lock part of the door).

So yeah, this seems like it could bring down castle walls and sabotage dungeons with ease. Even if that's not the intention, it doesn't say it's not, which is a big problem.

Reject.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Because of the time required for this (1 hour per cubic foot beyond the first), I don't think it's a castlebreaker or a dungeonbreaker in that it's not anything you can't already do with a mining pick. I mean, yeah, you could use the dropper and run away, then come back 10 hours later, and it's not noisy like using a pick, but it's not like it's blowing up a castle wall (and for this price, you could afford multiple maximized heightened scrolls of shatter, or of passwall).

The appeal to me here is the other utilitarian aspects:

* Create something out of soap, wood, and so on, and give it the hardness of iron. The old "copy the warden's key by pressing it into a bar of soap" trick is actually doable with this... use that mold to cast a key in clay or carve one in wood, use the dropper to actually make it iron.
* Turn a section of door into glass so you can look through it.
* Desperately need a weapon? Carve one out of wood and make it iron, or have the druid make one with wood shape and transform it into iron. Heck, use this on a stage weapon to make a prop into something that's actually lethal (hello, Sixfold Trial).
* Is that ooze going to erode all your metal weapons? Take some junky weapon and turn it into a stone weapon.

I think the designer thought this one out: item must be solid (no water-to-iron), nonliving, nonmagical--which keeps you from shattering stone golems or ruining an enemy's magic items.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Hey, if you don't think this is going to be knocking down castles and punching down dungeon walls I'm much cooler with it.

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

Into the keep pile it goes then.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Yeah, I think we've seen way rougher stuff.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I like what you did here! This is way cool! And an alchemist's dream come true! Transmuting one substance to another grants a whole range of tactical options for dealing with a variety of problems.

Small nitpicks: You should lower-case "mild transmutation" in your Aura line, and I might quibble with that as needing something more potent than "mild"...I'd bump it up to "moderate" at least, considering what these potent waters can do. Your construction section doesn't quite match the typical skill-related requirments from a formatting perspective, and you need to lower-case your spell name. Also, you've got some grammar/typo errors that crop up throughout your entry. For instance, you indicated..."For example, an iron lock treated with Waters of Transfiguration (paper) would become constructed of paper instead of Iron, with all of the proper associated with Paper..." With all of the proper what? Do you mean statistics? I think you left out a word there, but I understood the gist of what you were trying to convey. Later, you also used "on" when you meant "one" hour per cubic foot. Stuff like that should jump out to you as your proofread your entry. And I'd suggest for future rounds you also get someone else to proofread your entry. Sometimes authors tend to skip over words or automatically insert missing letters because they can already supply almost the entire text in their mind as they read along. Someone who didn't write the material won't have that problem and they could aid you in tightening up your words.

Moving on, I'm going to have to agree with Clark. The fabricate spell is the wrong spell for the construction requirements. A fabricate spell only lets you convert material into a finished product of the same material. It doesn't let you change the type of material to something else. In fact, the spell's description expressly forbids that. Instead, I'd be more apt to recommend both major creation and polymorph any object as requirements, as I think they're more applicable to what you're describing with the waters' effects.

Regardless, this is a really neat, flavorful, innovative item. It adds lots of cool possibilities to the game by including it. An Alchemist from the upcoming APG would most certainly love to get his hands on this item. I love that you squeezed it into less than 200 words, rather than the 300 granted by the rules. And, you've done quite well for yourself by parlaying this bit of design into a chance to join the ranks of RPG Superstar! Congratulations. I hope you do well in future rounds. Best of luck!

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?
Very cool idea here. You definitely need some more language regarding what situations these transformations can and cannot work under. My PCs are going to try to use this to do all kinds of crazy things, and it would be best to have more guidance on what they can get away with. What happens if this is used on an earth elemental or a vampire? Are they considered magical? What happens if this is used on a dragon's horn (technically horn is not "alive" but it is enervated with veins and arteries, so the dragon could suffer damage and bleed when it's horn is turned to paper and torn off). I can come up with rules calls for these situations on the fly, but it's always a good to head these kinds of arguments from players off at the pass.

Would my PCs be happy with this item if they were to find it during an adventure?
Indeed! This item's greatest weakness from a balance standpoint is also its greatest strength from a fun-standpoint. It's incredibly versatile. There are a lot of uses here and the item scales well with the players' creativity. Again, rules lawyers may try to push the envelope (see above), but this still doesn't change the fact that the item has a cool concept at its core.

Do I like the mojo? Does the item spark other ideas for my campaign?
Yes, the mojo is solid. You've adapted the idea of alchemy pretty well across a number of different materials and it's a good extrapolation of the old rock to mud type spells.

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

This entry has a lot of interesting potential, although the formatting and spelling errors definitely knock it down a few points for me. There is no Alchemy skill, for example. I know what you mean, but Craft (alchemy) is what you're looking for. Unless you're designing for the new Alchemist class, I am not sure why Alchemy is listed twice in the construction.

There is fun to be had here though, for sure. This is a problem-solving device, and definitely takes a little pressure off having the right equipment at exactly the right time. I can see someone going through an old-school Gygaxian dungeon and having a great time with this. In fact, it feels a little old-school to me for reasons I can't quite nail down. Maybe there were lots of item transmutation effects in early adventures.

My advice for you would echo Neil's. Get someone to proofread your work. Possibly a few someones. Last year I did exactly this. I had people read what I wrote and try to shoot holes in it. It was amazingly helpful.

So welcome to the game! I wish you the best of luck in this contest.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 aka tejón

This is really cool. One of my favorites. Again, I love seeing open-ended possibilities within a well-contained theme.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is clever.

This is fun with fantasy alchemy.

Weirdly, it also feels Dr. Who-ish to me.

I really like what it does, and that it's not something anything else in D20 (short of polymorph any object) does.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Very, very yes. I LOVE items that reward players for this sort of creativity. My old group would have so much fun wreaking havoc with this.

Definitely a personal favorite.


Nice item, wrong spell for construction, too underpriced given the fun which can be had with it (even given the hours of waiting whilst large volumes of material transform).

Congratulations on making the top 32, but please try harder.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

I'll agree with the concern on pricing, but only because this thing is packing a total of 25 doses. That is a whole lot of 'charges' for a very useful effect (and yes, each of the vials are useful in very different ways, but they're still all quite useful).

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

This is a nice take on transfiguration, good job and good luck on the next round.

Dedicated Voter 2014

The more I thought about this item, the more I realized how much I liked it. The thing I like about this one is that it can be useful at any level during a campaign and can be used by players in creative ways. Could it maybe break a dungeon? Sure. But so could a well-placed passwall spell or lucky roll to break through a dungeon wall. For me, I don't immediately think of how I could break a dungeon; I'm more inclined to think of creative uses for my first level fool all the way to my epic level fighter. Many of the items this year feel geared towards a specific class, encounter, or situation. This is one of those items that can be useful for every player, every class, and at every level.

The only negatives I see could be the price and some of the requirements. Maybe the Brew Potion feat as one of the requirements as well?

Congrats! This is definitely my favorite of the 32. Looking forward to your work in future rounds.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber

This top 32 item has one of the better "ideas" behind its creation, as a matter of fact, it is in my top 10 for that reason.

I will second the concern over the 25 total charges this item conveys to its owner, especially with the amount of cubic feet effected by each drop. My first thought was that this item should have been broken down into five seperate items, one for each of your materials listed. That would have made the five applications more in line with your pricing. But that is only my opinion. This item made it on its creation idea, and I am sure if your monster has the same thinking behind it, you will continue getting the support to make it further in the competition.

I did enjoy reading this and wish you the best of luck in the future rounds.

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

This is sweet and a great item for an alchemist. I could definitely imagine situations where this would come in handy and I would totally have it at my table. Great job and congrats!


Uhh, My Gnome tinker wants one, right next to his Marvelous Pigments, Deck of Illusions and Robe of Useful things.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

What I like about this item is it encourages creative role playing. The uses for the item are many and not entirely obvious. Pricing is always an issue so I'll leave that alone.

Nice job and good luck in the coming rounds.

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

This is one of my top 3 favorite entries this year. I love the alchemy angle, and I really appreciate the way its five different waters with 5 charges each. That adds in a fun, sort of puzzle-like element to choosing what material to use and when.

Very much an item that I want.

Star Voter 2013

Excellent item. Very old school... and Raidou would be the contestant from last year to know, going by his early submissions. That's a good thing.

That having been said, pay careful attention to how close you came to a reject here. That's going to have to condition how you write for Friday.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka riatin

Thanks for all the feedback, I entered in order to provide a learning experience with a hope of a comment from the reject bin. Was an absolute surprise to find myself in the 32.

That being said, the wording and restrictions were very calculated, but perhaps not absolutely clear (was trying to keep the word count as low as possible even while working with the 300 word overhead). Solid refers to the fact that the item is one solid unbroken piece, so the lock in the example, you can punch through as most of it is turned to paper, the door itself would be unaffected. In a castle or dungeon scenario, a block could be transfigured, but once it comes in contact with a gap or some sort of mortar, the reaction would stop. You could get like 5 cubic foot blocks turned into paper and another 5 turned into wood in 10 rounds which would probably weaken a structure some small bit, but wouldn't cause it to fall.

The pricing and the creation were the parts I was uncertain of, as you said I guessed they would be somewhat off. I used Fabricate as the item generally recreates the item in another material, effectively refabricating it, other spells just did not recreate what I visioned the process to be.

All that aside, I'm totally humbled that you would select it even with its glaring flaws, and bow to your wisdom.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

RC... what a neat, innovative, and imaginative item.

I am running two Pathfinder games (a weekly Monday game, and a twice a month Sunday game) and I can think of about three separate character from those games that would LOVE the Waters of Transfiguration. I may have to (I believe the term is) "yoink" this for one of my two games... if not both of them.

Nice. Very nice.

Dean; The_Minstrel_Wyrm

Osirion

Oooooh! Nice!

Ganked for my home campaign! What more needs to be said?

Osirion

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:

I may have to (I believe the term is) "yoink" this for one of my two games... if not both of them.

I believe the term you are looking for is "ganked". "to yoink" means to react like Shaggy in the Scooby Doo cartoons.

Note: never confuse this with "shanked", which is a leading cause of death in prisons.

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

Yet again, I like it. I haven't really read one of this year's items that I don't care for (though one was IMO super-cheap for the effect).

The effect is fun, it rewards creativity, but as Sean says it's not game-breaking like a maul of the titans, any number of scroll spells, or, heck, a plain old adamantine greatsword (which would cost about 1/4 the price of this item and never runs out) if you want to talk about dungeon destruction presently available in the rules.

The "affects one solid object" argument is always going to be problematic if you speak in simulationist terms (for example, armor is made up of lots of pieces, as is a chain, a brick wall, or even a door, or the note above about a dragon's horn), but in gamist terms I think you avoid most of that because "objects" are presumed to be unitary - a suit of armor is an object, so is a door, so is a chain. A 5 x 5 section of wall is considered a single object. A horn of a dragon, whether it is presumed to be living or dead tissue, is part of a "creature" and therefore by definition is not an "object." Trying to argue otherwise gets us into the whole "why doesn't fireball create smoke, overpressure waves, or burn up all the oxygen in a room" kinds of arguments.

That way lies madness.

Given how the game treats objects as objects, and I think this item works just fine and would be a lot of fun for a lot of players.

In sum: Good job and good luck!

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Patrick Walsh wrote:
The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:

I may have to (I believe the term is) "yoink" this for one of my two games... if not both of them.

I believe the term you are looking for is "ganked". "to yoink" means to react like Shaggy in the Scooby Doo cartoons.

Note: never confuse this with "shanked", which is a leading cause of death in prisons.

Ummm... sorry Patrick but Shaggy always said, "Zoinks." :)

And... I'm reasonably sure I saw at least one other paizoian use the term "yoink".

In either case however, it's a cool item and I think I'll "borrow" it for a bitsy. ;)

Regards,

Dean, The_Minstrel_Wyrm

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 aka tejón

"Yoink" is a running gag-word from The Simpsons. Characters generally say it when they openly snatch things that others are holding, or also want.

To "gank" is to steal surreptitiously, as shoplifting or pickpocketing. You don't tend to announce it out loud, at least not on the spot. (In online gaming, "gank" has an unrelated meaning, originally an abbreviation of "gang kill.")

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Thanks Lief. :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I like this item, and may have to use it in my game sometime. I like the way that you implemented the effects. Great job, and keep up the good work in the future rounds!

Andoran Contributor , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

This is another great item with a clean, simple concept and implementation.

Congratulations and good luck in future rounds!


Well designed, thought through, and FUN! Top 5.

Qadira Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Shadowborn

I'm really liking this one. It's one of those items that has a lot of possible uses, both constructive and destructive. SKR already brought up some very fun ways this could be used. Good stuff!

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

Great job making the top 32! This is another item I really liked. It inspires player creativity, and provides an effect that's not generally in the game (unless you count the higher level and rarely used spell transmute metal to wood.)

I think the price is pretty spot on - it's 500 gp per use, which is inbetween a 2nd and 3rd level potion. The one thing I think is missing is a restriction on what materials it can be used on. I'd use adamantine as a baseline and say that the waters only work on objects with hardness lower than 20, to prevent this being an easy way to defeat adamantine locks, chains, etc, or objects made out of even rarer, harder substances.

Also, I'd urge you to re-read Neil's comments about the editing pitfalls of this item. He pointed out lots of things that need some work, and much better than I would have probably!

Looking forward to your work in the next round!

Cheliax RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Boxhead

This is a very cool item, with more uses than I can even think of. The only rules iisue that I haven't seen brought up yet is that Pathfinder has Alchemy skill, but instead uses Craft(alchemy). It's a minor point, but I didn't see it yet.

I probably will throw a few of these (maybe only one type, or one use of each) into my game at some point, they really have that appeal.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

It's difficult to find anything negative to say about this item.

Definitely a winner in the sense that it relies on the players creativity... and you seem to have most of the bases covered. (I tend to leave pricing and spell requirements to the judges; I don't like to pick on a worthy competitor).

Simple elegant design!

Congratulations on making it to the Top 32!

Can't wait to see what you have brewin' for Round Two.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka DankeSean

I really like these a lot. They have a very first edition feel to them, in that there's a lot of flexibility in what they can do and a lot of room for DM judgment calls to be made. But unlike a lot of items that do that, you're not making snap judgments in the middle of combat- I figure this would almost exclusively be out of combat use, where it won't slow down the game. And could be very entertaining for the players and DM both as the ramifications of using them are explored.

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

RC Higgins wrote:

Thanks for all the feedback, I entered in order to provide a learning experience with a hope of a comment from the reject bin. Was an absolute surprise to find myself in the 32.

Hmm, where have I heard this before? ;-)

I do like this, it's kind of a nod to basic alchemy, changing the nature of a thing. Maybe I should rift this on my own...

It is a wonderful little toy, different w/o being overpowered.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4

I like the idea of this item and I can see many, many uses for it. I would have liked to seen the different waters priced
individually. Some players might just need 14 vials of water of tranfiguration
(glass)
or just a single vial; and not want to pay for all the other vials.
You also might have wanted to include touch attack rules, as many characters
will want to turn enemy's non-magic shields, weapons, and armor into glass and paper. I know
this is a great item becaues I can think of a thousand uses for it and that is
something a lot of the other items in the first round can not say. So congrats
on becoming a RPG Superstar and I hope you have come up with a monster that I
can think of a thousand uses for as well. Good Luck!

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2010 / Round 1 - Open Call: Create a Wondrous Item / Waters of Transfiguration All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Round 1 - Open Call: Create a Wondrous Item

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.