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Illusionist's Veil


Round 1 - Open Call: Create a Wondrous Item

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Illusionist's Veil
Aura moderate illusion; CL 8th
Slot head; Price 19,500 gp; Weight -
Description

Made of three layers of thin, brightly colored silk, the veil attunes itself to the wearer after 24 hours of continuous wear. The veil acts as a hat of disguise with two additional powers which each function once per day. First, as a standard action, the wearer may choose to end an ongoing illusion spell that he previously cast. That illusion is replaced by a single summoned monster. The power of summoned monster is limited by the spell level of the illusion cast, for example a third level illusion could be replaced by any monster on the summon monster III list. Secondly, the wearer may use any illusion spell of 3rd level or higher as dispel magic to counterspell or to attempt to dispel an ongoing magical effect that does not target a creature. If the wearer is successful, the spell is counterspelled or dispelled, but a major image remains, mimicking the visual, auditory, olfactory, and thermal effects, if any, of the spell counterspelled or dispelled. As an immediate action, the wearer may begin concentrating on the major image.

Construction
Requirements major image, summon monster III, dispel magic Cost 9,750 gp

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Interesting. Initially, I was put off by the direct reference to a prior existing wondrous item (i.e., the hat of disguise), but it won me back by going in some interesting new directions.

This item really is an illusionist's dream. You can mess with someone's mind on the "is it live" or "is it Memorex" question by trading out your ongoing illusions for summoned monsters instead (particularly when someone sees through the illusion and starts ignoring it). I'm a little worried that there's no limit to that ability (either with x times/day or having to trade one of your prepared spell slots to change one spell into another), but I still like the flavor of it.

Then, to further ramp this thing up, you can take someone else's real spell and turn it into an illusion that you control thereafter, mimicking its original effects or morphing it on your own. Of course, you have to burn one of your illusion spells to do so, and that's appropriate, I think.

The author has done a real good job of thinking through the rules to find a new innovative niche to play with, and using the template (although he/she forgot to alphabetize the spells listed in the construction requirements). I really like the mojo on this. It paints some very vivid scenes on how it could see use in a game. I'm not certain it's costed appropriately, especially given the ability to swap out your own spells for summoned monsters with no limit. But I still like it.

This is probably one of my favorite items so far.

Resounding Keep.

Paizo Employee Developer

I really like this one, but it's doing some complex stuff with the summon/image switcheroo that I'm not sure are entirely balanced. The pricing issue Neil mentions isn't an issue for me, as you get to change an illusion into a summoned creature, but it does cost you a spell slot: the one you used to cast the illusion.

I think the latter power of this item is enough to make it worth keeping around, since you can turn someone's wall of force into an illusory wall of force and then have it start moving around. Total mindbender for the caster who thought he was done with that spell and had moved on.

The second power, that allows you to get a real monster where there was previously only an illusion is interesting, but I think should be balanced with it only allowing the same monster you made the image of, which is implied here but not overtly stated. If I summon a dretch, but my image was of a fiendish dire weasel, that's not going to fool anyone.

Despite my few niggling issues with it, I think it's a strong candidate and should be kept for further consideration.

CEO, Goblinworks

Keep

Contributor

I would have been MUCH happier with this item if it didn't start off by copying everything a hat of disguise does.

For the swap-for-conjure effect, how long does it last? Because it sure is nice to take an illusion spell that's about to end and trade it in for a newly-cast full-duration summon monster spell. And if it's doing this, it should also have conjuration listed under its aura. And if you can do this with a level 9 illusion, I'd want summon monster IX to appear in the Requirements and adjust the CL to suit that (or limit it to just 3rd-level summon spells). In fact, it needs to clarify that you always use summon monster and not summon nature's ally or any other summoning spell from another source. And I would have been a lot happier if your summon spell was one level lower than the illusion you cast.

For the second, I don't know if the original caster is supposed to know their effect has been dispelled and replaced, or if they're as clueless as anyone else in the area. And I would have been a lot happier if the illusion spell to counterspell had to be 4th level or higher.

Weak reject.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16, 2010 Top 4 aka Alexander MacLeod

I'm not sold on the name... Illusionist's veil for something that turns illusions real? Cool effect, I admit, but I think the name could have used some work. Which does lead back to why this has an illusion aura and not a conjuration one.

Also, as written a wearer can replace his illusionary wall with a summoned fiendish weasel. Is this the intent, or should the veil only let a wearer summon a creature matching his illusion?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

I laughed out loud at the mental image of turning an illusionary monster into a real one, also dispelling something and making an image of the original that’s controlled by you is just classy and classic illusionist stuff. I love the thought of messing with your opponents’ heads about what is real and what isn’t. To me, those are really innovative and show great superstar quality. I wish there was a tiny bit of restriction on the monster summoning ability, mainly that the illusion had to look like the monster you were summoning. I agree with the other judges on their other points around this. The power level, cost, and balance issues are something to think about for this one, it feels like it needs just a little work here.

I suspect I can guess why you made have given it the hat of disguise abilities – because your item takes up the head slot and everyone wants to wear a hat of disguise. A lot better to make it take up a different slot than copy an existing item.

Welcome to the ranks of RPG Superstar! I’m a sucker for old school stuff like this, just remember I’m not the only one voting :-). The detail in your item shows you have thought about many of the issues around it. Keep bringing the innovative ideas and aim for real game balance which is very important in Round 2. Best of luck!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

It’s tacky to talk about me, but as the guy who created an item that tricks someone into thinking you’re suffering from a spell effect when you’re actually not… How can I not love this?

::wipes smirk from my face::

You got me. If I had or needed a Golden Ticket, I’d use it.

Honestly, SKR has some legitimate complaints. You’re getting by on extreme cleverness here. The hat of disguise bit is unnecessary, there is a lot of times when an item can probably loaded up with some minor additional powers, but we don’t. That would be a swiss army knife. While you’re not straying from your theme, actually calling out the hat of disguise in a contest designed to measure creativity was probably a mistake. One from which you will survive!

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
For the second, I don't know if the original caster is supposed to know their effect has been dispelled and replaced, or if they're as clueless as anyone else in the area. And I would have been a lot happier if the illusion spell to counterspell had to be 4th level or higher.

Yeah, that’s a problem.

Nevertheless this item made me cackle with delight and pace around the room. That’s worth something! I look forward to what fanciful stuff, real or imagined, you have to show us next round.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Sect

Wow, this could be a real mind bending item. I have the same concern that Mr. Reynolds has about having a spell level limit, and it also being a hat of disguise is a bit too much, but, otherwise, I really like this item.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

Can't resist the urge to rejigger items this year.

* Hat of disguise - drop it, weakens the item, and sets up bad expectations that it'll build off that item

* Replace the summon - love this power. I agree it needs to specify which type of summons it can use to replace the illusion. It should require replacement of the illusion with the same creature, or one close enough for fakery.

* Replace the spell with an illusion - this is the sort of thing that's kicked more than one item I've tinkered with to the curb. When you start considering all the ramifications, you rapidly wind up with too many rules for a reasonable length item. But there's something pretty funny about dispelling someone's wall of fire, only leaving a fake in its place to inconvenience them.


I like the abilities for the most part, but the mechanics and how/why they fit into this item don`t gel for me.

The conversion of Illusions to Summons feels a bit off to me. First, ANY Illusion spell? So you cast Invisibility on your shoes, and then convert that into Summon Monster 3? Wouldn`t an Animated Object (of Invisible Shoes) be more appropriate in that case?

What would seem more appropriate is only working on Figments/Phantasms, and the Summoned Monster/etc is exactly what the Figment/Phantasm is... But balance issues would further complicate that. It seems like this ability is essentially spontaneous substitution from Illusions to Summon spells, with a 1 round/Standard Action delay. But I wonder, Shadow Conjuration already exists, so wouldn`t it be easier and more direct to just allow Spontaneous Substitution (via next Standard Action) from any Figment/Phantasm to Shadow Conjuration? (with restriction that the appropriate Conjuration spell to achieve the effect is equal/less than the spell level of original Illusion spell, which may require Heighten for higher level Summons) Enemies might then have another Save, to determine the strength of Shadow Conjuration....

That makes me think of another way the Dispel ability could work... Have a Shadow Dispel, in effect... The target (enemy Caster) makes Will Save vs. your Shadow Dispel and if they fail, the spell`s real effect is negated, and only an illusory shadow of any noticeable effects remain (subject to wearer`s concentration for duration). Your item essentially has Spontaneous Subsitution of BOTH Illusions to Summons AND Dispel Magic, which seems a bit strong to me, especially for the cost... I think the Dispel effect could require actually Casting Dispel, but the Illusionist gains the advantage of possibly making the enemy Caster think their spell wasn`t Dispelled/is still in effect.

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

Interesting item. I like the ‘summon monster’ switch, though I don’t see why the item creation tops out at ‘summon monster III’. Allowing an illusion to spell to counter any spell that doesn't select a target, then replace the spell with an illusion is a bit much for me though. Likely should include disguise self in item creation and conjuration in the aura

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

This is my favorite item this year. This is exactly the sort of item I would want to use in my campaigns.

I'll admit I didn't "get" it's primary use-case until after I was done with it. I guess my feedback would be "don't bury your lead": a sentence of fluff at the start would help a bit.

But no matter: it's design like this that makes me doubtful of being able to go on in this competition. Hats off to you, John. If this were a voting round, you'd get mine.

Star Voter 2013

Overall, I'm not a big fan of this item. I agree pretty much with what Russ said above. There's a lot of cases the description doesn't cover, and while it's a neat idea... I dunno, I could see this too easy to abuse without a lot of work to specifically keep it balanced.


The summon monster effect seems out of place on this item. It does not mesh with the illusion theme.

Why can't it dispel a magical effect on a creature?

Contributor

First of all, hats of disguise are possibly my favorite wondrous item in the entire game, and I blew all my starting gold with my current PC just to have one of them. But this is a really innovative spin on that base concept.

Replacing an illusion with a summoned monster is just mean. And by mean I mean that I totally dig it and I want to pull that sort of trick in one of my current campaigns. Kudos on that bit, and everything else is sort of icing on the cake (and yummy icing to boot).

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

I LOVE this concept. Heck of an illusionist's tool kit. This is the kind of item an illusionist would have a second head grafted on just so he could wear two.

That said mechanics need work but that's already been pointed out.

I look forward to your round two entry.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think this is cool - in a "too cool" sense. The item is practically a "must have" for an illusionist; which is usually a sign of poor balance to me.

Regarding the mechanics, it should probably call out that only "figments" or some other illusion spell is affected by the summon-monster-replacement.


John Spalding wrote:
Illusionist's Veil

Really not digging this. I don't get the theme of the item, and it feels a little SAK-y.


Love it!
Again something that cranks the flair and mojo up all the way to 11.
This suffers a bit from the high complexity of the idea and some things could have been handled somewhat clearer, but that doesn't hurt my perception of the item at all. The idea is what comes first and this idea is just great.
I'm not too sure right now, but this could make my top 5. And if I ever play my favorite illusionist again I'm surely getting him one of these. this is just the like of mind games he loves to play.

Looking forward to your archetype.


Illusions have caused a number of TPKs in my groups. While I'm not wowed by this item, the interesting extras beyond the hat of disguise stuff, makes this an item to keep. Useful for all, but a real treat for an illusuionist. Very nice!!

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

John, congratulations on becoming part of RPG Superstar! This item has a really fun niche for crafty players, and opens up all kinds of creative uses. By far my favorite application is the third one, where you seize control of some opponent's Wall of Fire, reshape it into a fire elemental and send it back at him. There's endless fun to be had there.

This item's flaw is probably that each thing it does would be fine as its own item. The Illusionist's Veil does not need to be a hat of disguise with extra features. I'd be happy with this item as a gadget that dispels and turns the tables on your foes. It has enough going for it in that aspect alone.

But that said, you had the word count to work with, you described each of your item's powers in enough detail to make use of the thing out-of-the-box, and you've clearly got the creative talent to make a name for yourself in the contest ahead. So best of luck and I look forward to seeing your next entry!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Love it, want one for my next PC, can't figure out if I'm mean enough to use it as a DM. Turning an illusory creature into a real one is a simple but good idea. Countering a spell with an illusion and then creating an illusory copy of it is much less obvious and much more clever.

This is some very good game design.

It does look pretty powerful to me. Illusions are hard to bring with you into a fight, but if setting up an ambush, there's no reason not to swarm an area with persistent images and then start turning them into real monsters when the fight starts (or a few rounds before). Ignoring the mindgame-benefits, at the very least you are now better at summoning than the conjurer is (his summons are full-round spells), even if conjuration is a neglected school for you. This isn't game breaking, but is it appropriate for < 20K, especially with the other (very solid) benefits?

In situations where you can't cast your illusions ahead of time, the double-wammy on actions reigns it in very well. It will still be worth doing, but not worth doing EVERY time.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Congratulations John!
Strength (Overall): 12
Dexterity (see time in my campaign): 12
Constitution (long-time keeper): 12
Intelligence (mechanics): 10
Wisdom (writing craft): 12
Charisma (flavor/visuals): 16

This is a little too SAK for me, I had to wonder why three veils when it had two abilities. OK HofD is the third. I think I would like this a bit more if it did one or the other. Mechanical complications mentioned above would have been better balanced if it focused on one without having to share space or word-count. I like the flexibility swapping real with illusions creates. Did you just hijack my fire elemental? (priceless :)
Congratulations! :)

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

This one is really cool. I love how you mess with your enemies. It's a really fun item that's perfect for an illusionist.

This has a lot of really great ideas, and your talent of crafting cool features around a single theme makes you almost a shoe-in for next round. Don't disappoint. If your archetype is half as clever as your illusionist's veil I'll have to pull the lever for it.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Congratulations on making the Top 32!

This item is a great attempt at an 'Illusionist's fix' item. It has lots of great ideas on how to put the zing back in that school's step. The premise of making an illusion real or something real an illusion is a great one.

The problem of course is the mechanics of such a thing are going to be long and complicated. This item is a real good try but anything like that is going to have issues, really difficult issues.

Still, I like this one on premise alone.

Great Item!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Thanks for all of the kind words and constructive criticism. It was originally intended to be a play off of Sivanah's Seven Veils, imagining what a deity of trickery, madness, and illusions would do with a many-layered veil.

I wasn't sure how well a reference to a lesser deity would go over, so I left the campaign setting reference out, which was probably a mistake. The hat of disguise element might have made more sense if I had left it in, as Sivanah's veil lets her appear as a member of another race.

Once again, thanks for the comments, and I hope to wow you with my submission in Round 2.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

I remember Sivanah now that you mention her, but I might not have if you had just dropped the name. And I do like this even more in that light (though, even without that, going from "veils" to "illusions" is hardly a huge thematic stretch).l


I love Sivannah... Especially her bad relations with Zon-Kuthon/Nidal...

I imagine the abilities of this item could be re-worked as Feats with the Pre-Req to worship (/be in good graces of) Sivannah, establishing a stronger connection between arcane illusion types and the patron of illusion...

Liberty's Edge

I think this is pretty much completely broken, and as such, extremely undercosted. I can have this or an Amulet of Natural Armor +3? This or a Portable Hole? If I'm a caster (and particularly an illusionist), I will never own anything else.

I mean, it's cool (very cool) that you "brought the awesome", as Neil says. But personally, if a PC in my games wanted an item like this, they'd have to back up a dumptruck full of GP or there'd be no way I'd allow it.

I'll be interested to see what decisions you make in round 2, where balance is more of a concern. I'm sure you'll grab the bull by the horns and put out something balanced and clever instead of just turning the "awesome" dial up to 11. If you can do that, you'll certainly earn my vote!

Congrats on making the top 32!

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Very cool item and effect completely ruined by the first sentence. Why does it need to have the powers of a Hat of Disguise?

I can't comment further on the item, because if I were a judge, I'd have rejected outright because of the hat of disguise thing.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

I like this item. I've always liked summon monster and combining it with an illusion effect is a great idea.

Scarab Sages

Cool item. Doesn't need the hat of disguise effect to be cool.

Additionally, and I'm surprised no one has noticed that Craft Wonderous Item is missing from the requirements.


John Spalding wrote:

Illusionist's Veil

Aura moderate illusion; CL 8th
Slot head; Price 19,500 gp; Weight -
Description

Made of three layers of thin, brightly colored silk, the veil attunes itself to the wearer after 24 hours of continuous wear. The veil acts as a hat of disguise with two additional powers which each function once per day. First, as a standard action, the wearer may choose to end an ongoing illusion spell that he previously cast. That illusion is replaced by a single summoned monster. The power of summoned monster is limited by the spell level of the illusion cast, for example a third level illusion could be replaced by any monster on the summon monster III list. Secondly, the wearer may use any illusion spell of 3rd level or higher as dispel magic to counterspell or to attempt to dispel an ongoing magical effect that does not target a creature. If the wearer is successful, the spell is counterspelled or dispelled, but a major image remains, mimicking the visual, auditory, olfactory, and thermal effects, if any, of the spell counterspelled or dispelled. As an immediate action, the wearer may begin concentrating on the major image.

Construction
Requirements major image, summon monster III, dispel magic Cost 9,750 gp

Disclaimer:

Ask A RPGSuperstar Succubus is posting from the point of view of a CE aligned succubus – fairness is an adjective applicable to hair coloration, balance is what a couple of mortals on opposite ends of a plank pivoted on a rocky spire above a drop of several hundred feet into a pool of molten basalt frantically try to do, and logic is something which proves anything a demon of adequate status and charm requires it to demonstrate.

Is the item Pretty?
Silk veils! Definitely pretty. :)

Does the item help a demonic seductress to keep a paladin house pet?
Hah, yes! Ahh the fun you can have playing 'dress up'...

Is the item otherwise useful?
Not unless you're an illusionist, but given the fact it's pretty and useful for keeping a paladin house pet I'm not too fussy on that score...

Other Comments? (including World Domination potential on the evil laughter scale, where appropriate)
There are a lot of day to day business matters that a succubus can handle with her own innate abilities, a well stocked wardrobe and anywhere between several minutes and several hours to get changed in. Then there are the requirements of house-training a paladin, which to be frank often involve lightning fast decisions and actions or many hours of frustration and hiring expensive men to go and take out problems to relieve some of those aforementioned feelings of frustration. This item tilts things in favour of being able to execute lightning fast actions more often. And it's a veil - there are considerably fewer seductive dances invented for a succubus (or anything else remotely female) with a hat of disguise than there are for veils, I assure you.
No, this item isn't going to shake worlds or send whole empires sliding down into the Abyss (well not all in one go, although give a succubus time...); it is however going to make the day to day domestic life of many succubi a great deal easier.
Thank you.

Gollum Rating:
My prrreciousss!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013 aka Shadow-Mask

Some name Chess, Trivial Pursuit, or Scrabble as their mind game of choice. Roleplayers now have the Illusionist's Veil. :D As a player that prefers characters to be brainy before they are brawny, I love this item. :) Job well done on that score.

Congratulations. I wonder if your archetype is as potentially "mind-boggling" (in a good way, of course) as your item.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

OK, you've given me a hat of disguise (an awesome item by itself) and let me use it to trade out an existing illusion for a summoned monster? I LOVE it. I could seriously mess with my players' minds with this one. (Thank you!)

I like the tight design and evocative flavor here. With the Kelesh culture playing such a large part in the Golarion setting, I think we could use more veil items.

Nice job!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

This is probably the best illusionist item I've seen. I've been playing a gnome illusionist in a D&D icons style game, and I've been looking hard for something to use with him to give him some edge. And this is it. It's balanced, it's cool, it's multi-functional. It is perfect. Now if only I weren't first level...

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Gamer Girrl

Ooooh ... I like. Illusions are fun to play with, and mess with players heads, and this does that very, very nicely with the neat little twists it causes. Definitely can see this in my campaign.

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