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RPG Superstar 2015

The Smuggler's Collapsible Robe


Round 1 - Open Call: Create a Wondrous Item

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter 2015 aka Sect

The Smuggler's Collapsible Robe
Aura Moderate conjuration, illusion, and divination; CL 9th
Slot body; Price 48000 gp; Weight 1 lbs.
Description

Although appearing to be nothing more than a ratty wool robe with a hood, this garment is invaluable to spies, thieves, and smugglers. On command, the wearer and non-living objects up to the wearer's maximum load are sucked into an extradimensional space within the robe, leaving the robe to collapse where the wearer was standing. The robe appears to be, at a casual glance, merely a pile of discarded clothes, and does not detect as magical or function so long as the wearer is within the extradimensional space.

While inside the extradimensional space, the wearer cannot take any actions, but can breathe comfortably for up to twenty-four hours. If capable of normal sight, the wearer can see the area around the robe, though special senses such as darkvision or blindsense do not function. The wearer may leave the extradimensional space with a thought as a free action, reappearing in the same position he had entered the dimensional space (though, not necessarily the same place, if the robe was moved), wearing the robe once more. However, if there is not enough room for the wearer to reappear (for example, if the robe was placed inside a small box) then the wearer cannot leave the dimensional space until there is enough room to reappear.

If the robe is destroyed or its magic suppressed while the wearer is within the extradimensional space, he and all of the objects brought with him inside the extradimensional space reappear instantaneously in the same location the robe was destroyed or suppressed and the wearer is dazed for one round.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, secret chest, magic aura, arcane eye; Cost 24000

CEO, Goblinworks

It's a perfect defense against non sentient enemies. It's a perfect way to infiltrate somewhere if you can get the item carried in. If the PC doesn't need to breathe or eat it's an eternal hiding place.

What's it's material weakness? Hardness & hp? Does it get destroyed when the fireball goes off?

What happens if someone dies in it? Is the item inactive forever? Is there a way to get the body out?

It's just too mechanically "perfect", coupled with a bunch of unanswered questions.

Reject.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I kind of like it, but I agree there's several unanswered questions here. It's not an eternal hiding place, though. The designer cited the fact that you only have enough air inside for 24 hours. After that, you'll suffocate. It's definitely one of the more unusual uses of an item involving extradimensional spaces.

I'm a weak Keep at the moment and willing to reward the designer for a bit of ingenuity and innovation. But Mark or Sean might talk me out of it, depending on their take.

Paizo Employee Developer

So that's where Obi-Wan went!

I agree that there are a few unanswered questions here, but there's nothing that is stated that I have a problem with. The few places I'd expect someone to fall into a trap were covered, such as limiting held items to maximum load, and listing amount of time one can survive inside one.

I think it's among the stronger submissions we've seen so far, and certainly my favorite of the smuggler's items.

I vote to keep.

Contributor

Has some unanswered questions, but the author thought a lot about the item and its ramifications. And it's definitely a fun item. If I had one, I'd make sure the guy on watch in camp was wearing it so the camp looked unguarded.

Keep!

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

Mark Moreland wrote:
So that's where Obi-Wan went!

+1. I mean, you can't help but think it!

And I do like that while it's powerful, if you don't take proper precautions, it's dangerous too. In addition to only having 24 hours of air, you could get trapped, very thirsty, a bit hungry, and might even soil yourself. It's magic, but that doesn't mean it's comfortable!

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

This is a funky tricky robe, but the name really isn’t evocative at all. The trick is a good one, but you are really paying through the nose for it. With 48,000 gp there are a lot of items most PCs would rather buy, and how many smugglers could afford one of these? That said, a wondrous item isn’t just a commodity, it is meant to be cool and …well… wondrous.

Your writing is good and the other judges have commented on how they liked the thought that went into your rules text. You’ll notice that they still found some corner cases with your item though.

If I were a PC, I think I’d use this if I found it on an adventure, but I suspect the trick would get old very quickly. I’ll say this, it certainly isn’t something I’ve seen before, so it has originality going for it.

Welcome to the ranks of RPG Superstar! My recommendation is to show some flavorful description in one of the future rounds of the competition, because your item needed so much rules text you didn’t get much of a chance to show that off. Next round is also rules oriented so you may not have room, but a little flavor there could go a long way. Best of luck!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

The common complaint with extra-dimensional storage devices is that they’re not designed to be hiding places for actual people. Now someone has bridged the gap and said, “Let’s make something specifically for a person to hide in.”

Nicely done. You found a niche to fill.

I do think it is expensive for the common smuggler, but then perhaps this a tool for a master thief.. or a purveyor of a rare and hard to acquire items. Sean is right, it has some definite fun factor.

The one thing I don’t like is that you put a safety clause in there. And perhaps someone will argue with me that without it, the item isn’t that good. However, whenever an extra-dimensional space is ruptured (ie. secret chest, portable hole, bag of holding) something bad happens. In this case you’re returned safe and sound, albeit mildly disoriented. I don’t like it when things are too safe. To me it’s like arguing that you don’t like the sunder rules because getting your items damaged sucks. Yes it does. However that is one of the drawbacks of living, sometimes things suck. Life, real or imagined, has some risks, especially if it is to be exciting.

Congratulations on developing an item that the gaming community has subconsciously wanted all along. May this success find you sneaking into many a future round!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Collapsible adventurer!

It makes sense that extradimensional spaces designed for human habitation are a little safer than ones which aren't. And there's still a very real danger here of suffocating because somebody shoved you into their backpack. I also wouldn't describe it as a "perfect" anything, because skills and spells can identify it like any other item, at which point someone drops a dispel to kick you out of it. This is pretty nifty and I see myself using it in the future.

What happens if you DO die in there? Do your body and your goods pop out as soon as there is space for it to, or does it just get stuck there as a present for the next user, however many years later?

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

I really like this item. I'm concerned it's an adventure breaker, though. For example, put a party member in it, tie a brick to the cloak, and throw it over a wall and through the window. But the price point means we're already dealing with all sorts of adventurer breakers already. I'd have to sleep on this one before letting it into my game, but the image of the thief just going "fwumph" onto the ground rocks.

Quibble: it bugs me that the wearer's normal senses don't work through the robe. I'm fine with denying them magically enhanced senses, but if you have low-light / darkvision via non-magical means, they ought to work.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Russ Taylor wrote:
Quibble: it bugs me that the wearer's normal senses don't work through the robe. I'm fine with denying them magically enhanced senses, but if you have low-light / darkvision via non-magical means, they ought to work.

Seconded. I don't feel it's a serious flaw, it just seems strange and I'm curious as to why you felt it was necessary.

I think that powering this item up with a brick and throwing it over walls (or better yet, through windows) is exactly the kind of thing I want players to do in my games. If anything, I'm worried that at 48k such trick stop being as meaningful because the party can just teleport around anyway, but I do feel that "creative problem solving" potential is a huge plus for wondrous item.


Im with Mr Dancey on this one, his comments match what I thought 100%

And the first thing that came to my mind was a thief with this pops into it to avoid being caught in the act. The person that he was robbing sees the cloak on the floor, picks it up folds it and puts it away somewhere. Then they check to see whats missing, finds nothing of real value gone (Thief didnt have time before he walked in) and leaves. The problem, hes leaving for 2 weeks on a business trip. Thief dead.

Star Voter 2013

I do like this item, thematically, but mechanically there are some issues. Actually, a lot of issues.

I see the problem of what happens if the user dies as being a big issue too, and another one - does reappearing provoke AOOs? Does the cloak rise from the ground, or do you appear splayed out across the floor, or do you instantly reappear where the cloak was?

What if you did it in response to someone - say because you're low on health and a dragon is homing in on you. What if they pick it up or worse, put it on while you're disappeared? *can* you reappear?

And on a similar note, what type of action is it to activate? normally it's a standard action, but it does feel like this would need to be an immediate effect item to actually be of use in most scenarios where you'd be using it. But then, if it's an immediate action to disappear, and a free action to reappear... Instant invulnerability!

I think there are a lot of holes in the use of the item, but if it were polished out a bit more it would be something I'd love to see someone be using.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter 2015 aka Sect

I was planning on waiting for a bit before commenting on my own item, but I figured I might as well address a few concerns.

First, everyone who has commented on the item has (rightfully) raised the issue that there are unanswered questions about how the item works. Several points that people have noted I had also noted while creating the item, but, unfortunately, could not include in the item due to word count. I believe that the item is currently five words or less shy of the word count limit, so I had to make many decisions on what to keep and what to trim in the final cut of the item.

For destroying the item: I had considered including the statistics for the item in case someone did try to (or accidentally) destroy it, but the word count beast had reared its head. Plus, I figured that it was ultimately a waste of valuable words, since there's rules in the SRD that explain how to determine a magic item's hardness/HP/saving throws.

In the case of the wearer dying: If the wearer dies while wearing it, then he's dead and stuck inside (after all, a corpse is incapable of taking actions, unless said corpse is undead). The last paragraph of the item already describes how to get the corpse out, though there might be a mess that needs cleaning. ;)

The name: I claim full responsibility for the unevocative name. Both of my proofreaders warned me that it just wasn't very catchy, but I kind of liked its simplicity (I originally wanted to call it just "Collapsible Robe"), and I just couldn't think of a name that was flashy yet not, well, stupid.

Price of item: The pricing was probably the most difficult part of this item. Using the core rules for pricing gave me something in the hundred thousands worth of coins, so I initially scaled it to something like 20,000 gold. Then, as I continued to work on it, I saw lots of potential for utility use (such as, as Mr. Dancey noted, someone who didn't need air or food using it, or its potential as a rich man's feather fall), and I continued to scale the price up. In retrospect, though, I should have compared it to spells that PCs would have available at that point in time (I did compare it to similarly priced items).

Safety clause: you're right, there should be more of a catastrophic consequence for destruction. After all, higher price and greater power equals immense consequence.

Senses not working: this was me playing with the function of arcane eye. I figured that, since it's a spell that providing the senses while inside the robe, and not the character himself, any special senses that the character has wouldn't apply. It's kind of like looking through someone else's eyes: if that person can't see in the dark, then there's no reason that you should be able to see either, and the reverse applies (unless I'm completely misinterpreting how that works in Pathfinder). Senses such as blindsense and tremorsense not working should be obvious. Plus, it gives the item a flaw, so that it's not completely perfect.

Provoking AOOs: This is one of the things I had cut out due to word count. Originally, I did have it provoke an AOO, but, as written, it would be up to the GM.

Activation: "On command, the wearer and non-living objects up to the wearer's maximum load..." Command is a standard action, as per RAW. I didn't feel the need to waste words reiterating things that should be readily obvious.

Reappearing while someone's wearing it: Another thing that got cut from the final draft. There's nothing stopping the user from popping out of the robe, though that would mean that there's now two people that are potentially hostile towards each other sharing the same clothes. :D


Alexander MacLeod wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
So that's where Obi-Wan went!

+1. I mean, you can't help but think it!

And I do like that while it's powerful, if you don't take proper precautions, it's dangerous too. In addition to only having 24 hours of air, you could get trapped, very thirsty, a bit hungry, and might even soil yourself. It's magic, but that doesn't mean it's comfortable!

+2 Exactly what came to my mind before I read Mark and Alexander's remarks.

I also agree that there seems to be some mechanical issues, but I really like the innovation behind this. I also like that there is a risk that the user may have to take if this trick is pulled around a sentient creature. They could take advantage of the user's vulnerability and they may have to pay the price. Shape things up a little bit and there's quite a bit of potential this could provide in a campaign where there's a lot of spying and smuggling going on. Curious to see what you have for round two!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Standback

Jim Groves wrote:

The common complaint with extra-dimensional storage devices is that they’re not designed to be hiding places for actual people. Now someone has bridged the gap and said, “Let’s make something specifically for a person to hide in.”

Nicely done. You found a niche to fill.

+1. This is lovely, and sounds like an opportunity for lots of fun use.


Interesting but to pricey for what it does IMO. Really cool item if the the same effect was based on the Rope Trick spell using rags instead of rope which would provide a major reduced cost plus wouldn't need arcane eye since you can see out of a rope trick.

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

Sean, congratulations on your first round of Superstar! As others have said, this item's effect is a pretty neat visual, and PCs could have a ton of fun with it. It seems a bit overpriced, but that's easily corrected. As a GM, I like that you've left plenty of reasons why using this item without a really good plan is probably not in a character's best interest. The name of this item isn't very snappy, and for something this cool the name should be equally evocative. Minor quibbles, really, and nothing to detract from an otherwise fantastic item. Good work!


This item intrigues me! Yes, there are some mechanical issues, many of which Sean has addressed, but I could see it adding a lot of fun and flavor to a game. Certainly a creative group could cause lots of mayhem with such an item, but so could a GM!

My question: what would happen if someone attempted to activate the robe's power while someone else was already using it? Would both people be transported to a (very tight) extradimensional space? Would the original person be dumped out and the new user enter the space? Would the robe simply not work for the second user if someone else is already occupying the space?


This is a neat, usable item.

I have the same questions as Tivilio above regarding the use by multiple creatures.


Way too much fun to be had with item. Imagine using it as a sort of sensory deporavation punishment or, if anyone remembers the movie Hook - a sort of "boo-box". Alter the robe so that it automatically activates when placed on an unwilling person that is immediately pulled into the robes extradimensional space, and leaving is matter of having the robe 'shaken out'; now fold the robe and place it in a sealed chest for the 24 hours; OR leave it in the chest for a week and then remove the carcass. Oh, I've got uses for this one. NICE!!!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter 2015 aka Sect

For someone using the item while someone else is inside:

Quote:
does not detect as magical or function so long as the wearer is within the extradimensional space
Quote:

So, if someone's inside, the item can't be activated by another person. The only way to get someone out is by destroying the item or suppressing it.


Sean Huguenard wrote:

For someone using the item while someone else is inside:

Quote:
does not detect as magical or function so long as the wearer is within the extradimensional space
Quote:

So, if someone's inside, the item can't be activated by another person. The only way to get someone out is by destroying the item or suppressing it.

Ah, I obviously missed that. Thank you. Looks good!


Sean Huguenard wrote:
The Smuggler's Collapsible Robe

Naming criticisms and quibbles over "unanswered questions" be damned - I like this a lot. THIS is superstar quality.

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

Hmm, so if you use that item to hide, and some crazy maid folds it up and puts it in the dresser, does that mean you suffocate if the robe is in there past 24 hours? The inability to take actions is a bit harsh, but it helps balance the cost.

It's a bit specific, but I can see this being used for PCs and NPCs. Drape it on your animal companion/cohort, and let him sit in it while you use disguise self and go to the ball. If (when!) the fight breaks out, your ally is right there. The item creation requirements and costs seem dead on.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Bats Kabber

I really like this one. This is the kind of thing King A lends you to get into the castle of King B and overturn the thrown.

Why fight 500 guards when you can pay the chamber maiden a shiny silver to wear this robe all day?

For that matter, pay any lackey to wear it to work for a day and map the whole hideout before you go in.

The possibilities for recon and infiltration are pretty limitless on this one.

Liberty's Edge

Great job on this one, for me it's Top 10 stuff. Not really much to complain about that hasn't already been said or that you haven't already cleared up in your comments.

Great work, and congratulations!


This sentence needs to be rewritten

The robe appears to be, at a casual glance, merely a pile of discarded clothes, and does not detect as magical or function so long as the wearer is within the extradimensional space.

perhaps

While the extradimensional space is occupied the item cannot be used again by another creature. It appears in all aspects to be a normal robe and does not detect as magical.

Someone else could probably write it better than this, but as it's currently written it's very awkward to read.


Cool. Coool. Cool. This item just rocks!

Oh, of course it can be abused. Thats something you can't avoid with item like this. All you can do is price it in a way that it still is interesting for characters, but in a range in which the things you could achieve with abusing the item can reasonably done more easily. I think you too hit a sweet spot there. Congratulations on that.

This item definitely is in my top. I'm really exited to see your archetype.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Congtratulations Sean!
STR 17 (overall)
DEX 17 (use in my campaign)
CON 15 (likelyhood to stick around)
INT 17 (mechanics)
WIS 15 (word style/writing)
CHA 15 (visuals)

Fairly simple concept and the mechanics left me with no questions (until others brought them up, but I think the answer is mostly in the item :) It is also easily defeated if you know what it is so not too overpowered. My Savage Tide campaign had the wizard setting up fed ex express. with your cloak the wizard could take five paladins, who each had 5+ paladins whose mounts can carry enough bags of holding to carry Fort Knox. Which is a kind of way of saying, this will likely be a staple soon. Nice job :)

Again congratulations.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Mark Moreland wrote:

So that's where Obi-Wan went!

...

L: "It sure is lucky you had these cloaks."

H: "Yeah kid, I just never thought I would have to hide myself in them."

Thought to be honest I was thinking "I got it at Miracle Max's. It fit so nice he said I could keep it."

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

Items like this are really handy for creative players. There are many possibilities with this item from sneaking in to places or hiding from the guards. The price is high, though, and at the level it would come into play would other items and/or spells be more tempting (and perhaps safer) to use?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka surfbored

The visuals are great on this and my players would all fight over who gets to use it. No doubt they would use it in unimaginable ways.

Just one question though, once the wearer activates it, is he then (mostly) naked in this dimensional space? Perhaps a cloak would be better than a robe?

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

Thematically, this item is really cool. Much of my appreciation for it stems from the nearly limitless scenarios it can be used in.

Congratulations. :)


Sean Huguenard wrote:

The Smuggler's Collapsible Robe

Aura Moderate conjuration, illusion, and divination; CL 9th
Slot body; Price 48000 gp; Weight 1 lbs.
Description

Although appearing to be nothing more than a ratty wool robe with a hood, this garment is invaluable to spies, thieves, and smugglers. On command, the wearer and non-living objects up to the wearer's maximum load are sucked into an extradimensional space within the robe, leaving the robe to collapse where the wearer was standing. The robe appears to be, at a casual glance, merely a pile of discarded clothes, and does not detect as magical or function so long as the wearer is within the extradimensional space.

While inside the extradimensional space, the wearer cannot take any actions, but can breathe comfortably for up to twenty-four hours. If capable of normal sight, the wearer can see the area around the robe, though special senses such as darkvision or blindsense do not function. The wearer may leave the extradimensional space with a thought as a free action, reappearing in the same position he had entered the dimensional space (though, not necessarily the same place, if the robe was moved), wearing the robe once more. However, if there is not enough room for the wearer to reappear (for example, if the robe was placed inside a small box) then the wearer cannot leave the dimensional space until there is enough room to reappear.

If the robe is destroyed or its magic suppressed while the wearer is within the extradimensional space, he and all of the objects brought with him inside the extradimensional space reappear instantaneously in the same location the robe was destroyed or suppressed and the wearer is dazed for one round.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, secret chest, magic aura, arcane eye; Cost 24000

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?
No. It is occasionally fun though to dress down and 'slum it'.

Does the item help a demonic seductress to keep a paladin house pet?
No. Although with a bit of charm it might be useful in smuggling a freshly abducted paladin out of their home town.

Is the item otherwise useful?
Yes.

Other Comments? (including World Domination potential on the evil laughter scale, where appropriate)
Succubi do not usually need to eat or drink. (Although we may get grouchy in the short-term if denied certain comestibles such as chocolate or regular cups of tea.) Okay, the twenty four hours of air is annoying, but if you can afford one of these things, there are ways to work around that too. But basically there's potential here for a succubus in this robe to wait around as long as she wants in the convenient space; she may have to take something with her to do (such as knitting or a copy of the current Book of the Damned to read or a pile of paper for origami or anything else for that matter to prevent her from going out of her mind with boredom). And whilst shared air would be a problem long-term, I'd like to argue that a robe wearer able to physically lift another living being should be able to drag said being into a collapsible robe with her (okay, he may need to be rendered unconscious first, so he can't fight back)...

Gollum Rating:
So juicy-sweet.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

This is really cool. Largely but to the fact that you can breaths in this extradimensional space, which flies in the face of all those other crappy XD spaces. It seems as though there should be a limit on uses or a recharge time for the air supply, otherwise I could stay in there until I starve provided I can pop out once every day.

I would definitely use this item.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

I want two of these, one fancy, one for everyday use. Great idea, I can see all kinds of uses for this.

You cleared up a lot of the unanswered questions but I do think this item is overpriced. This costs nearly twice as much as a cloak of resistance +5 and almost as much as a major cloak of displacement or a cloak of etherealness but I'm not sure if it is quite on par with these items.

I agree with CastleMike that rope trick may have been a more appropriate spell choice.

Nonetheless, awesome item.

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

This one's interesting. It's the perfect temporary hiding place. I can see a character - especially one that is adventuring by himself for some insane reason - using this to escape a life or death situation.

I think the item's strong points are it's tight design and very cool theme. Overall, a very clever and well-written submission. Bravo!

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