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

Amulet of the Rakshasa


Round 1 - Open Call: Create a Wondrous Item

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Levis

Amulet of the Rakshasa
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 10th
Slot neck; Price 13,000 gp; Weight
Description
This tiger’s eye amulet is carved with various Vudrani runes.
When this item is worn by a character with the wild shape ability, once per day the character can choose to assume a medium sized humanoid animal form similar to a Rakshasa, giving the character the head of the animal while retaining a humanoid body. This effect lasts for the same duration as a normal use of the wild shape ability (1 hour per druid level), or until the character changes back. The form chosen must be that of an animal with which the character is familiar, and is of the appropriate level to assume. The character can speak any language she knows while in this form, and use her hands to manipulate objects. While in this anthropomorphic animal form the character gains all the natural attacks of the animal form she chose to assume. In addition to these benefits, the character also receives a competence bonus to a skill, depending on the animal form she chose:
• Ape: +2 on climb checks
• Bird (Eagle/Hawk/Owl): +2 on Fly checks
• Boar: +2 on Survival checks
• Cat, all: +2 on Stealth checks
• Crocodile (Alligator): +2 on Swim checks
• Elephant: +2 on Knowledge (Geography) checks
• Rhinoceros: +2 on Intimidate checks
• Snake, all: +2 on Escape Artist checks
• Wolf (Jackal/Hyena): +2 on Perception checks
Construction
Requirements Craft Wonderous Item, polymorph or wild shape ability; Cost 6,500 gp

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Hmmm...it started to go down the Monster-in-a-Can route. And there are still some elements of that. But, it's a little bit different in that you gain the natural attacks but keep your humanoid form. It's pretty well put together in terms of using the template and the writing's decent. I'm not thrilled by the big long listing of animals, but thematically, it makes sense. I suppose they could have scaled it back and just done the tiger-only version, but it probably wouldn't have come off as interesting.

Not the greatest thing in the world. But I'm going to say it's worthy of at least making the Keep pile for further comparison. I uncomfortable, however, with the fact that this user didn't spellcheck or properly present everything, though (i.e., italicizing spell names, Craft Wonderous Item, Climb vs. climb skill, etc.)...so they need to elevate their attention to detail in future rounds.

Still, I vote to Keep.

Contributor

"medium sized humanoid animal form" is bad game terminology. We stopped using "Medium-size" instead of "Medium" back in 3.5. (Nitpick: Medium should be capitalized). And "humanoid animal form" is only clear because it also mentions rakshasa.

This is a pretty cool item. I like how it relates to the wild shape rules. I wouldn't have done the list of animals, but the item is a cool idea.

Keep!

Paizo Employee Developer

I'm not a huge fan of the list of animals, but doing so doesn't really detract from this otherwise cool item. I don't see any mechanical or stylistic problems, and it's certainly a creative and innovative concept. And though I wouldn't have listed the animals to begin with, I really like that the elephant gets a Knowledge bonus (cause, you know, an elephant never forgets).

CEO, Goblinworks

Keep

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16, 2010 Top 4

With the list of animals (which it seem many of us don't really care for), are these the only animals whose forms can be taken or are they just suggestions? I a character can wild shape into a weasel, does this item give him no skill benefit or does the GM have to come up with something on the fly for every animal a player can imagine?

Also, if this is supposed to be a druid-themed item, why is it named for a race of Lawful Evil fiends? Wouldn't agathion)s have been a better flavor choice?

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

Firstly props for the Vudran theme, as you may have guessed I’m a Vudra fan. Your initial description is short which I like, but perhaps you could have mentioned what the runes on the amulet translate to.

I don’t mind the list of animals, but as others have said, what happens when someone chooses a form not on the list? I get what you were trying to do, let a druid be able to fight in animal form but still be able to talk and not have to take Natural Spell. You also get to be a ‘furry’ :-)

As you know, polymorph is one of the most troublesome parts of the game, and there are still questions with this item. I’m guessing the only thing I get from this is the natural attacks, nothing else. The cost is a little high for just getting the natural attacks.

If I’m in rhino form, which would normally be Large, is my gore based on the Large size gore damage or Medium? Eagles have talons attacks, but how can I make talon attacks with my feet, if I have no wings. Spelling out the detail more would have made this item easier for a GM to adjudicate during a game. This is well written and you have obviously thought about a lot of the design concepts (use of hands, ability to speak etc).

Welcome to the ranks of RPG Superstar! Put in the same interesting flavor, and rule design in Round two and you’ll do well. Best of luck!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

I’m fairly sure you intended the list to serve as examples and not as a restriction. If that is the case, I feel your pain, off the top of my head I’m not sure how I would format examples either (or if that is even appropriate). On the other hand, if you could communicate that these are intended to be illustrative and not definitive you wouldn’t have needed an exhaustive list. That would give you some more words to work with as well.

Matt has you tagged on the size questions, but I won’t belabor it any further. It is still doable, but the damage needs to be scaled up or down for medium size and you can’t put that on the GM to figure out from Monster Creations Rules, you need to provide it. Then you’re back to a list and hard coding the benefits. Maybe a single animal choice might be better, but at the cost of being as fun.

Agathions would have been a better flavor choice from a logical perspective, but rakshasa rolls off the tongue better, is just as visually evocative, and does fit with the culture you’re drawing inspiration from. You could have tapped the animal totem archetypes from the APG for flavor though.

Nifty item, it has some real sparks of creativity! I wish you the best of luck in the rounds to come! ROAR!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Levis

Jim Groves wrote:

I’m fairly sure you intended the list to serve as examples and not as a restriction. If that is the case, I feel your pain, off the top of my head I’m not sure how I would format examples either (or if that is even appropriate). On the other hand, if you could communicate that these are intended to be illustrative and not definitive you wouldn’t have needed an exhaustive list. That would give you some more words to work with as well.

Matt has you tagged on the size questions, but I won’t belabor it any further. It is still doable, but the damage needs to be scaled up or down for medium size and you can’t put that on the GM to figure out from Monster Creations Rules, you need to provide it. Then you’re back to a list and hard coding the benefits. Maybe a single animal choice might be better, but at the cost of being as fun.

Agathions would have been a better flavor choice from a logical perspective, but rakshasa rolls off the tongue better, is just as visually evocative, and does fit with the culture you’re drawing inspiration from. You could have tapped the animal totem archetypes from the APG for flavor though.

Nifty item, it has some real sparks of creativity! I wish you the best of luck in the rounds to come! ROAR!

First of all, thank you all so much for putting my entry into the keep pile! I've planned on entering for a year, and never dreamed that I would have actually advanced! What a great surprise!

I totally understand the confusion on the list of animals. I wasn't sure it was completely needed, but I really saw no other feasible way to get the item to function as I desired. I suppose I could have said "the game master can give the wearer a competency bonus as deemed appropriate," but that seemed wrong. I meant to address the size issues, but didn't feel I had the correct way of wording it. The GM can give bonuses as they see are correct for the animal form assumed.

I chose the named based on origin of location of the item, that being Vudra. Although I do like the Agathion option as well, I did not have access to enough information on them (as Bestiary 2 had not yet come out yet) to be comfortable naming my item after them. Changing the name certainly does create a different feel for the item though.

As for the format and spelling issues, I apologize and will pay closer attention to detail in the next round!

Once again, thank you, thank you! I can't wait for this competition to pick up! Congratulations to everyone who entered and I can't wait to read over all the other entries! :)

Qadira RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Sect

Quote:
This tiger’s eye amulet is carved with various Vudrani runes.

This almost killed the item for me: it's kind of a weak description, and seems almost lazy.

Over all, the item's okay: the ability as a whole is fairly interesting, and the list is sort of a necessary evil, but it doesn't really latch onto me. I can tell that you put a lot of thought into it, though, so I'm expecting several more interesting entries from you in the future.


My main thought here was why is it limited to Wildshape users?
What do Druids have to do with Rakshasas? Or Agathions?
If anything, it`s more like an alternate, weaker version of what the APG Totem Druids do.

What if the wearer normally has Natural Attacks? Since it`s seemingly a Polymorph effect, it should over-write all that stuff, but then I`m confused about the `retains a humanoid body` part: retain THEIR OWN humanoid body (that`s what `retain` implies). Yet doesn`t that potentially conflict with `gains all natural attacks`? It seems like specifying it to gain only Bite/Gore/head-based attacks, and possibly grow Claws, would be clearer. And it otherwise doesn`t affect Natural Armor, speed, movement modes, etc?

I really think basing this closer off the Totem Druid variant would have been more useful... Gaining Stat bonuses as well, which this apparently doesn`t. ...Honestly, I just don`t see any Druids (who else has Wildshape?) actually wanting this item, certainly not in a neck slot... Basically if they`re obsesed with Rakshasas for some reason, but there isn`t any flavor connection given between Druids and Rakshasas. I making this available to anybody, not just Wildshapers, makes more sense... If anything, have a Knowledge:Arcana or Language:Rakshasa requirement.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Levis

Quandary wrote:

My main thought here was why is it limited to Wildshape users?

What do Druids have to do with Rakshasas? Or Agathions?
If anything, it`s more like an alternate, weaker version of what the APG Totem Druids do...

...Honestly, I just don`t see any Druids (who else has Wildshape?) actually wanting this item, certainly not in a neck slot... Basically if they`re obsesed with Rakshasas for some reason, but there isn`t any flavor connection given between Druids and Rakshasas.

Well, really druids have nothing to do with Rakshasas. But the power to morph into a anthropomorphic animal seems to be a neat trick, especially when your character has a weapon they would like to use while gaining the benefits of their wildshape ability. You could take on the qualities of an animal while still holding the torch or climbing down a rope. I suppose this item may be more of a prop than an effective power-gaming device. I'm one of those players that falls into the storyteller category. :)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Levis

Sean Huguenard wrote:


I can tell that you put a lot of thought into it, though, so I'm expecting several more interesting entries from you in the future.

Thanks Sean! Hopefully you will!


I'm a sucker for druid items. I like the item effect. It's cool.

There wasn't much of a physical description of the item. You should probably call it a hybrid form instead of a humanoid animal form.

I get the animal human hybrid theme from the Raksasha in the name, but I don't really think Raksasha needs to be there. Other creatures have the hybrid form as well.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

I like Rakshasas so I like this item. Congrats!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

I think a better name for this item could have been Amulet of the Anthropomorph or something like that, it doesn't really have anything to do with rakshasas. So is the purpose of this item to get the best of both worlds with your wild shape (spell casting, item access, animal attacks/traits)? If so that seems a bit overpowered. If not, and all you get is the natural attacks and a really minor skill bonus (I'm a druid why would I make a climb check when I could fly?), it seems underpowered. Also,

Levi Miles wrote:
the character can choose to assume a medium sized humanoid animal form

Does the animal form you want to base this ability off of need to be medium or do you just wind up medium? What if you're a halfling or some other small creature?

Other than that I think this item has some potential but this look like something every druid would have or none would bother with.

Good luck round two!

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

I would prefer this item if it wasn't 'druid-only'.

Druids can already shapeshift and take Wild Spell, so the only advantage is in handling objects.
This item could have given other characters a cool-but-limited taste of the cool stuff that druids get, which would have been more fun.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

GeraintElberion wrote:

I would prefer this item if it wasn't 'druid-only'.

Druids can already shapeshift and take Wild Spell, so the only advantage is in handling objects.
This item could have given other characters a cool-but-limited taste of the cool stuff that druids get, which would have been more fun.

Personally, this is my take too. I like the idea of an amulet of the Rakshasa more than where the actual item ended up.

The list of animals is jarring for me, but you've heard that already, and spoken to why you went that route.

Congrats on making the top 32 and best of luck in the rest of the contest!


I've thought since 2E DnD days that the Druid Wild Shape ability should have allowed an anthropomorphic form. While, this isn't a wow item for me, I DO like it. Very well thought out.

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

Levi, congratulations on making the top 32! This item shows a lot of thought and consideration going into the item's design. You've narrowed down a list of animals to fit a mythic-Indian theme, you've thought through some appropriate minor bonuses for each, and you've tied it into the druid's wildshape ability in much the same way as the APG's Mask of Giants does. This is an entry that has a lot of work going for it.

Having said that, the item doesn't really do anything rakshasa-like. I think at the very least I would have liked to see a nod to a reversed or backwards appendage while wildshaped, and the item needs to bring something a little more sinister into play. This item could just as easily be modeled on lycanthropes. So in terms of sticking to theme, I don't think you've done enough here.

It also opens the can of worms that is polymorph, which are always troublesome mechanics to adjudicate on the fly.

Regardless, you are a superstar now! From the work that clearly went into this round, I suspect you'll go far in this contest. Best of luck going forward!


This is one of the items where I LOVE the concept... but I'm not so sure about the execution. Most of the problems I see have already been mentioned by someone else, so I won't repeat them, but I definitely think it's mis-named. I can it being based on beast shape I just as easily as polymorph, reducing the CL and the cost. The only animals not Medium sized on the list (which I realize is not meant to be exhaustive) are the rhino and elephant (which were included to give it more Vudran flavor, I'm guessing).

Still, this is one of the tighter written items I've seen among this year's winners. I have to admit that my English teacher background biases me towards perfect grammar. I agree with Neil that you can teach formatting, but I think editors at gaming companies shouldn't have to go into the English teaching business. If a potential entrant can't get his grammar down, and proofread out his typos, it should count against him. The wonderfulness of an wondrous item is all well and good, but if it's so poorly written as to make me have to read it six times just to understand what the writer means... well, that's a sure reject, in my opinion. You, Levi, have nothing to worry about on this score!

Best of luck in the next round! I look forward to seeing your archetype.


Levi Miles wrote:
Amulet of the Rakshasa

Interesting item. Not something that suits my play style personally, but I know some players who'd kill to have one of these.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

I too am on the fence about this. I like the idea of sweeteners to enhance a druid's wild shaping ability. But the item itself doesn't grab me as much as the base concept, and I'm troubled by the use of natural attacks when only the head has changed. Maybe just horns and bite attacks? Could I become a horse and get a hoof attack, or I am restricted to just what's listed below? The item seems to suggest I'm not so restricted, since it has the "animal the wearer is familiar with" clause.

I'd kind of like to have seen this linked to something other than rakshashas (which don't have much of a druidic connection), but without the Egyptian pantheon I'm not sure to what.


Ok, I'm not really sure what to think about this one. At first the list of animal forms set me off, because that normally is a bad sign, but it the end it was better than i hoped it to be. It has flair, ok to good writing and a nice theme.
I'm still ab bit confused by the mechanics however and how they interact with wildshape ( and thats mainly what keeps me on the fence about it).
At first I assumed that it merely opened up a new use for wildshape or modified the way the normal wildshape works, but it seems to be a independent ability and the connection to wildshape is only superficial. But the fact that the duration is based on the Character level makes me think that you use your orignal wildshape power to change forms.
And then there are a few questions that arise from the answer f this one.
So all in all I'm on the fence, not being particularly wowed by the item, but not disliking it at all. I think it is somewhere in the middle ground for me.

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

Hmm, it's an interesting concept, though I'd prefer it be an all classes item (druids and Rakshasa go together like peanut butter and sardines to me) That said, looking at the mechanics, I like the idea of different creatures giving familiar bonuses and the idea behind it, just not the mechanics.

Edit: Forgot to add, it did get the juices flowing for a similar item, so I enjoy that. One of the key 'superstar' aspects for me is how does it get the juices flowing.

Andoran

Congrats on making the Top 32!

I don't have anything other than that to add that others haven't already said. This is a pretty solid item, middle-of-the-pack for me as far as what I've read so far, but certainly good enough to be here.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Congratulations Levi!
Strength (Overall): 12
Dexterity (see time in my campaign): 10
Constitution (long-time keeper): 10
Intelligence (mechanics): 14
Wisdom (writing craft): 12
Charisma (flavor/visuals): 12
A raksasha wild-shaper sounds great, nice choice. I was a little let down. The description was unremarkable, but OK. Ultimately one can still manipulate items and wear armor while in wild shape, which other items cover. Adding the unique skills for various form were a good choice, but not stellar. I did not mind the list, and might have added an 'or others' personally. I cannae come up with a better way to present the information so I think you made the right call there.

Again, congratulations! :)

Andoran RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

I've seen lots of villains like this in Scooby Doo so I may use this item in my home game. The list seems long but it isn't hard to use. Letting a druid go only half-beast is a good idea.

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

Overall, I like the idea. I do have a couple of nitpicks on some of the wording (e.g. "anthropomorphic animal form", anthropomorphic means to give human characteristics, but you're really giving animal characteristics to a human).

As others mentioned, a little more description couldn't hurt, but leaving it open makes it much easier to use the Paizo equipment cards. ;)

For the list of animals, only a small change is needed. Add something like, "typical animal forms include... ...but other forms are allowed (at GMs discretion)".

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

This is a neat item. I'm not sure I'd buy it, but if it were found as part of a treasure, I wouldn't ditch it either. Having opposable thumbs is very useful regardless of your form. :)

Congratulations and good luck.


Levi Miles wrote:

Amulet of the Rakshasa

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 10th
Slot neck; Price 13,000 gp; Weight
Description
This tiger’s eye amulet is carved with various Vudrani runes.
When this item is worn by a character with the wild shape ability, once per day the character can choose to assume a medium sized humanoid animal form similar to a Rakshasa, giving the character the head of the animal while retaining a humanoid body. This effect lasts for the same duration as a normal use of the wild shape ability (1 hour per druid level), or until the character changes back. The form chosen must be that of an animal with which the character is familiar, and is of the appropriate level to assume. The character can speak any language she knows while in this form, and use her hands to manipulate objects. While in this anthropomorphic animal form the character gains all the natural attacks of the animal form she chose to assume. In addition to these benefits, the character also receives a competence bonus to a skill, depending on the animal form she chose:
• Ape: +2 on climb checks
• Bird (Eagle/Hawk/Owl): +2 on Fly checks
• Boar: +2 on Survival checks
• Cat, all: +2 on Stealth checks
• Crocodile (Alligator): +2 on Swim checks
• Elephant: +2 on Knowledge (Geography) checks
• Rhinoceros: +2 on Intimidate checks
• Snake, all: +2 on Escape Artist checks
• Wolf (Jackal/Hyena): +2 on Perception checks
Construction
Requirements Craft Wonderous Item, polymorph or wild shape ability; Cost 6,500 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?
Tiger's eye plus amulet sounds like jewellery to me, so I'll say yes.

Does the item help a demonic seductress to keep a paladin house pet?
Not unless she's a druid, and even then it's probably going to involve something really weird if she can't already do it between her druid and succubus abilities...

Is the item otherwise useful?
Again, this is a druidy item, and it's going to be really strange if a succubus druid can't already handle something this amulet might let her do one way or another. And for the pedantic out there, I know there are persons with training beyond the strictly druidical traditions likely able to avail themselves of this amulet, but right now I'm feeling too lazy to write druid/ranger with weird specific training/bard with even weirder training/fighter with utterly bizarre oriental training/etc more than this once... ;)

Other Comments? (including World Domination potential on the evil laughter scale, where appropriate)
So it's an amulet, which costs thirteen thousand gold, which does nothing for a succubus who isn't already into druidy stuff. Or isn't a succubus who specialises in using magic items. This is basically just one of those things which you hang on the wall and wait for a member of a visiting mercenary company or trouble-shooter-for-hire to comment upon it. Once one of them shows a glint in their eye, and a slight sweat upon their brow, it's clear it's worth something to them (and that they have ideas of what to do with it), and at that point it becomes a Bargaining Chip. Otherwise it's purely ornamental.

Gollum Rating:
Little interest.

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

You had me at Rakshasa! (I'm sure someone's already written that.)

You have an elegantly conceived item here. I wish the wearer would gain more rakshasa abiltiies though. Maybe detect thoughts or a lesser form of a rakshasa's DR? The shapechanging aspect is cool, but I think it needs a little something extra to tie it to the theme.

All that said, your item is well written and mechanically sound. The Vudra theme was a nice touch as well. Kudos!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

This is cool, even though I don't really play druids. The half-way-there wild shape is nice, though I might have gone with more of a lycanthrope theme than Rakshasa. When I think Rakshasa it always think backwards hands and fearsome magic, I rarely think anthropomorphic beast man. This might be in part because I've been programmed to only think tiger-headed, so the form is part of the package. It definitely seems more like a were-creature thing to me. Of course this might require an overhaul of the item's description, as I think Vudrani and Rakshasa do fit particularly well.

That being said I do agree that you don't really need the list of animals so there's actually a lot more room here to make changes than it might first seem. Some of these checks I probably wouldn't use, I would go for a normal wild shape use to get a swim/climb/fly speed rather than getting the bonus, especially swim, since it's tough to cast spells underwater anyways. Also, while it kind of goes without saying, a mention about how this does/does not impede spell casting would go a long way, many players and even DMs have a tendency to skim items, and later get ruffled when someone points out they've been doing it wrong, or someone rules against them.

Still, for a fighting druid this item is awesome, and really saves on things the things a druid needs to keep spell casting and armour while wild shaping. I would buy this.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2011 / Round 1 - Open Call: Create a Wondrous Item / Amulet of the Rakshasa All Messageboards

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

©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.