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Meditation Beads of the Flaming Fist


Round 1 - Open Call: Create a Wondrous Item

Andoran RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Bats Kabber

Meditation Beads of the Flaming Fist
Aura Moderate evocation; CL 5th
Slot --; Price : 23800 gp; Weight --
Description
Meditation Beads of the Flaming Fist are prized by students of The Order of the Burning Sands and the beads bear their emblems. It is tradition for mentors to bestow this prize as a gift to a favored student upon reaching a desired level or completing a sacred task. Any monk wearing these enchanted meditation beads has truly earned the respect of their elders and should be considered a force to be reckoned with.
These special beads have been enhanced by magic to do more than simply help with daily meditation. When used by a character with points left in their Ki pool, these beads can store up to 5 Ki points when a character meditates using the beads for at least 1 hour per point stored. A Ki point can be drawn from the beads at a later time for immediate use as a swift action.
Additionally the beads can be activated to sheath the wearer’s fists in magical fire. This effect functions the same as a flaming weapon and lasts for a number of rounds less than or equal to the number of Ki points stored in the beads, as chosen by the wearer. Activating the beads in this way will expend 1 stored point of Ki per round and is also a swift action. If there are no Ki points currently stored in the beads, this ability will not function.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Ki Pool and flame blade, flame strike or fireball; Cost 11900 gp

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I kind of like it. It's almost like a pearl of power for a monk's ki. It can only hold up to 5 charges. You spend them one for one to get additional ki as a swift action. I think it's in the right price band for that ability, as this is definitely not something you'd want to see in the hands of a low-level monk. That said, I kind of wish the ki storage was a variable thing as the monk rises in levels, reflecting a deeper mastery and understanding of the meditation needed to enhance your ki.

The flaming weapon property for your fists is duplicating the amulet of might fists in some ways, but by spending the stored ki, you again limit that effect in how often it can be used. Still, I'm concerned about stacking this item with an amulet of mighty fists that also has another item property. For instance, if the beads sheathe your hands in fire...and the amulet of mighty fists gives you electrical damage, do your strikes deal both flaming and electrical? How about fire and frost? And if so, is that okay? Because you're stacking weapon properties that ought to increase exponentially rather than a linear cost.

That said, it's written well. They used the template better than most...so the attention to detail is there.

Cool idea.
Somewhat shaky on the mechanical considerations for me.
But well-written and presented.

I'll say Keep.

Contributor

I don't like expensive items that "masters" give to "students" because it implies weird things regarding what level you're an "apprentice" and what wealth you should have when you "graduate."

The item refers to being worn, but is listed as slotless.

Author used "sheath" rather than "sheathe."

I like that in fiddles with ki. I am unsuree how it interacts with the amulet of mighty fists (as Neil said).

I like that it drains ki points to keep the flaming effect active.

Keep.

CEO, Goblinworks

I like it when people use my IP in their work. That's a clever way to buy a vote. :)

The mentor/student thing doesn't bug me. Most of this stuff gets found as treasure and if you actually have taken the time to construct enough background for a Monk they should usually have a master anyway and this is good RP stuff.

Keep.

Paizo Employee Developer

I'm a sucker for a good monk item, and I think this one's pretty darn good. The raised concerns about interaction with an amulet of might fists and lack of slot are legitimate and came to mind as I was reading it as well, but I think the flavor of using these as a reservoir for ki (which should be italicized, btw) is innovative enough to make me want to see what else this designer can come up with down the road.

Keep.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16, 2010 Top 4

I can easily see this item in use at my table, and possibly even for my own character were I ever to play a non-grappling monk again. Good item.

To help out with the visuals, and maybe even with the amulet of mighty fists question, I think perhaps this should take up the hands slot, at least when used to add the flaming ability to the monk's attacks.

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

I like a good monk item as much as anyone and this covers one of the monk’s issues, the limited ki pool. Firstly, way too much backstory. Is the Order of the Burning Sands, Pathfinder/Golarion specific? I can’t remember seeing it. 5 ki is a lot, the feat only gives you 2. It is a swift action to draw them out, which is a bit strange because the most popular uses for ki points (gaining an extra attack or a +4 dodge bonus to AC) are also swift actions, so the phrase ‘for immediate use’ becomes a bit problematic. Do I have to use the ki I draw out immediately?

The flaming bit is fine by me, although you repeat how much ki it costs to power it.

Grammar: you have a fair bit of passive voice in your writing and the second last sentence has the word ‘will’ in it.

That said, this is classic monk stuff, and that’s all good with me. Like Alex, I would prefer a slot when using the flaming ability, or even just ‘held’, it’s not like monks need their hands to hold a weapon, but that is an extremely minor quibble. You have gone and made Sarjan’s meditation beads, cool.

Welcome to the ranks of RPG Superstar! Work on tightening your writing and hit us with your next creation in Round 2. Best of luck!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Nifty.

The bit about swift actions is worthy of a second look, because that is going to differentiate whether you’re replenishing your pool, or powering an ability. Because you won’t be drawing the ki and using a ki ability in the same round. Only one swift action per round. Or you only intend that they be used to replenish a depleted pool between encounters. This was Matt’s point as well; I just wanted to expand on it.

The other judge have given some suggestions on tightening it up. I really do like the flaming fist component; you just need to address the potential weapon property conflict as described above.

Nicely done. Please Please meditate on these issues while working on Round Two! I look forward to your archetype!

Qadira RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Sect

I would've liked to see this as either a neck slot or hand slot item. That said, it's a very interesting item, and gives monks something else to get other than amulets of might fists or monk's robes.

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

Hmm, I like it. Ki points are a good resource management bit. The fluff text didn’t really grab me (Is the order of the burning sands the creator’s or does it already exist) But it reminds me of cognizance crystals, with the fire effect added. Swift actions also are resource management. Also shouldn’t it read ‘creator must have ki pool’ instead of just ‘ki pool’?

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8, Contributor

Jim Groves wrote:

Nifty.

The bit about swift actions is worthy of a second look, because that is going to differentiate whether you’re replenishing your pool, or powering an ability. Because you won’t be drawing the ki and using a ki ability in the same round. Only one swift action per round.

Jim, nice catch. I thought the same thing.

Additionally, in future rounds (cause I'm rooting for you) I'd suggest putting the game mechanic rules at the beginning of a sentence. A wise man told me that people will sometimes stop reading in the middle of things and you don't want to lose them.
Example: A Ki point can be drawn from the beads at a later time for immediate use as a swift action.
You might consider rewriting as. The bearer can use a swift action to draw a Ki point from the beads any time after their meditation is complete.
Just my thoughts. I really like the flavor of this item and its crispity firey monk-ey goodness.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

The monk in my campaign could use this item. I wonder if drunken ki would increase the fire damage?

Andoran RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Bats Kabber

Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it and I will put it to use in the next round.

One quick note for those readers concerned about the price; I have 5 iterations of this item that I use at home. Each stores a different number of Ki points. 1-2-3-4 or 5. I submitted the 5 as I thought it might pack a little more punch. (pun intended) My players have found it's a helpful little item for low level monks who only have 2 or 3 Ki to spare.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8 aka AWizardInDallas

These are my comments before reading the comments of the judges or others:

Interesting item; I'm not crazy about the title and there's quite a bit of fluff to wade through; I like the core concept though--a ki receptacle. However, meditating for five hours to store five points for the benefit of only +1d6 fire damage for a maximum of five rounds seems weak to me. The text describing the number of rounds and expenditure of ki points per round is clunky (had to read it a few times and I'm still not 100% sure).

Now, if you could expend one ki point and get five rounds of fire, then the item might be worth five hours of meditation or make meditating for only one hour for a gain of five rounds of fire more practical. As written, the monk must spend too much down time to gain the benefits of more than one round of fire. If I'm a monk, I'm working too dang hard for that +1d6 worth of fire. The item would also be far more versatile if other energy types were possible, though I realize you mean the item to have a deserty feel.

The costing/pricing is too high for the lack-luster benefits and I'd remove "flame strike or fireball" from the construction requirements. In addition, a monk would have to be the item's maker, since one of the construction requirements is ki pool. This troubles me, because a monk wishing to make this item would have to burn precious feat slots (normally reserved for cool monk combat feats) on Master Craftsman and Craft Wondrous Item, and then find a spell caster for the spell requirements, or multiclass as a sorcerer or wizard. As a player, if this is one of the few things I can make, I wouldn't bother creating this unless the benefits were much stronger.

Overall, this is a weak item, even though I like the core concept.

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

Loving the monk love (if that makes sense). Not a lot of items out there for monks and one of my best friends and core players likes playing monks but there are relatively few good monk items out there. Congrats on making it in1


To be honest this is one of the few items in the Top32 I'm not wowed with.
First of I think that being able to store 5 points of Ki is a lot, even if it takes a lot of time. It basically allows the monk to start the adventure with 5 extra Ki points. Thats more than 2 extra Ki feats.
That the item is slotless doesn't help with this issue, and in fact I'm reeking "nightsticks" right now.
I'm seeing the action issue too and here your writing could be polished a bit, to be on par with the top level quality the rest of your item has.
In fact, even if I don't like the mechanics of your item for the reasons stated above I really think that it has a well developed and polished feel to it. So it definitely is good work, just not one of my favorites.

I look forward to see your archetype nonetheless and hope it brings all the punch I miss in the item.


Danny Lundy wrote:
Meditation Beads of the Flaming Fist

This is a cool monk item. Monks don't get much love at my game table, but I think anyone who has played a monk in my home game would probably want some of these, and it would be fun to deck out a villain with these beads, too. Well-explained, useful, and fun. Good item!


A nice item for monks, especially since it grants them a way of extending their ki pool, and add some versatility for the use of the stored ki points. It reminds me of the crystal that stores Power Points for Psions and Psionic using characters from DnD.

Overall, a decent item, just misses the WOW mark for me.

Andoran

I'm going to be honest, here, and I hope that it's not taken too harshly.

I don't see this as a great item, mostly because if a monk in my party found these, I'd immediately say, "Oh, great. Now we can spend 5 hours a day watching Liu meditate. What fun."

I don't love the following bit: "[...]mentors to bestow this prize as a gift to a favored student upon reaching a desired level or completing a sacred task." There's already enough meanings for the word "level" in this game, and all this did was make me picture the monastic elder looking solemnly at a pupil and saying "Liu, you have reached Level 6. I bestow these prayer beads upon you. Now, go choose your Feat and roll HP!"

Despite my concerns, I sincerely congratulate you on making the top 32. Best of luck on your archetype!


So they're from Baldur's Gate?

Also, that's quite a monk order flooding the world with 24k gold items.

I will agree that there is a lot more flavor here than necessary. My biggest complaint is just writing. Fewer words with greater impact.

Mechanically this seems fine to me. The complaints about needing to meditate 5 hours per day are understandable from the rest of the party, but that's just how monks roll. Patience... Anyway, you will only lose 5 hours every other day. If you burn them all, you have none left to store anyway, so you wait a day. Storage is to move points from a day that you didn't need them all to a day that you need more than usual. I assume you walk around with the beads full much of the time and then the day after a big encounter you relax, heal, and put ki in the beads. Doesn't seem like much of an interruption to me since everyone else will be licking their wounds too.

I also don't see the 1d6 for one round as weak, I see it as a choice. Most of the time a ki point will be worth more as a monk ability, but if you find yourself in a tough situation, slightly more damage (or specifically fire damage) may be important. The major power is storage. Flaming fists is a bonus.

Not a WOW item to me, but certainly better to have than not. I'd like to see it in an available magic item list, but I'm not sure it's a winner here.

Andoran Dedicated Voter 2013

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

I'm not real fond of this item. I like that it works off an existing Ki pool, but the whole idea kinda leaves me flat.

I'd probably buy one or use one for my Monk character, but otherwise, I'm just not clamoring for my GM to include it in his campaign.

Sorry I don't have much more constructive on this one, but congrats for making it!

Grand Lodge

Congratulations! I have GMed a Monk, played alongside a Monk, but never played one myself so I feel I have to qualify my post with that as my feedback may be completely unfounded.

Like others, I like that it gives another use for Ki aside from the ubiquitous extra attack or the dodge bonus to AC. Big fan of that. I also like the use of prayer beads for the item. Good stuff.

I am not so sure on the storing Ki beyond their daily allotment. I guess I shouldn't have an issue with that... I mean, rings can store spells and, hell, weapons can too so what's the harm with a little Ki? I suppose it warrants more thought.


I don't know much about monks and their ki points, but this seems like an interesting item.

Contributor

I like that it uses ki for its power, but the one hour of meditation to store a single point of ki seems a bit much, and does the stored ki last in the amulet indefinately? Also, as others have mentioned, the passive voice is a bit much in the description when I read it.

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

Needs a bit of mechanical work to explain how this interacts with other swift action monk powers, and probably needs to store less ki to fit in line with the admittedly second tier extra ki feat. But it has potential. I'd like to know a bit more about the burning sands monks, if they are in canon a country reference would be nice so I could check other sourcebooks.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8 aka Mistah J

Congratulations on making the Top 31!

The basic premise of this item: a ki battery is great. I love it.

There is a lot of flavour text I have to get through before I learn what the item does and since I don't use Golarion, it doesn't do much for me. That's always the risk of putting in campaign-specific details; alienating outsiders.

The fire damage is neat and obviously ties into the monk order but it could almost be a whole other item - like you took two and put them together.

I think the swift action to replenish the pool is a feature not a bug. Otherwise it might be a little strong if you let a monk spend extra ki on the very power they use that round.

My interpretation was that a monk using a ki power chose whether it was powered by their own reserve or the item's but it is unclear and that's a problem.

But the basic battery concept is very strong. Great Item!

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Congratulations on being a superstar!

I liked the idea of this, however, it's the first item that would actually cause me additional work as a GM that I have reviewed so far.

My game doesnt have that order of monks and my players are the sort of players that would ask. You could have said something more generic like "students of monastic orders" or something along those lines instead. This would make the item more generally available to all monastaries in all games.

I also got confused by the following... "and lasts for a number of rounds less than or equal to the number of Ki points stored in the beads, as chosen by the wearer"

Do you mean that the wearer chooses to activate the flaming fists, or do you mean that the user can choose how many rounds from the maximum rounds available.

It's just sentence structure I know, but it does kind of leave it open to interpretation.

Finally, on a personal note, I found it to be generally light on crunch and heavy on flavour. But thats just personal preference.

Scoring:

Note to all participants: The final score is a factor into who I vote for, but so is how much I like an item (my personal preferences and tastes). So dont assume I am voting for my highest scoring items only.

Name: 9/10
Dont like giving 10s, so knocked of one for the "of the" usage :D

Description: 8/10
Lost a point for being too heavy on prose and too light on crunch and another point for the sentence that was open to interpretation.

Construction: 8/10
Pretty much what I expected. Would have liked to have seen something mundane listed, like pearls, to indicate what the beads are actually constructed of.

Final score: 25/30 - well done.

A very good entry, I hope the feedback is useful.

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

Danny, congratulations on making top 32! This is the second "Monk Battery" item I'm reading, but that's about where the similarities end. This item fits the theme set up by your flavor text (that there's too much flavor text is a minor quibble) and does so pretty well. I like that you tried to design for the monk, because there's not a lot of great monk equipment out there. It does seem like there's a need out there for a ki storage device. My biggest issue with this item is that it's not really breaking new ground. Mechanically, it's just granting you effects similar to the Extra Ki and Elemental Fist feats. Not saying that's a bad thing, it's just less exciting for it. Best of luck as you progress in the contest, and I look forward to your archetype!

Andoran RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Bats Kabber

Eric Bailey wrote:
My biggest issue with this item is that it's not really breaking new ground. Mechanically, it's just granting you effects similar to the Extra Ki and Elemental Fist feats. Not saying that's a bad thing, it's just less exciting for it. Best of luck as you progress in the contest, and I look forward to your archetype!

Thanks Eric and everyone else who has commented on my item. I appreciate all the feedback. Please keep it coming!! The criticism is helping to polish my archetype.

I've seen a few references to the Elemental Fist feat and kept wondering what it was. I must confess that I only just downloaded the APG pdf when I suddenly found myself needing to know everything about archetypes.

Once I get my round 2 submission in I'll come back and post a little more about the design process I used on this item. Reading about how other people designed their winning items from previous years really helped me out a bunch. I want to make sure I follow that tradition.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

I SERVE THE FLAMING FIST!

I'm digging all of the class specific items this year. This is a pretty cool idea. It needs a little rules clarification but other than that and maybe a designated item slot I can see this as a very useful little battery.

Good luck with your archetype, round two is going to be a killer!


Danny Lundy wrote:
Meditation Beads of the Flaming Fist

I'm honestly ignorant of Ki points and so have no comment at this time.

Congrats and good luck in the next round :)

Ken

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Congratulations Danny!
Strength (Overall): 14
Dexterity (see time in my campaign): 12
Constitution (long-time keeper): 12
Intelligence (mechanics): 14
Wisdom (writing craft): 14
Charisma (flavor/visuals): 12

Meditation beads for a monk, and it stores ki? Good choice. :) Although I like the flaming fist ability, it seems tacked on and not a part of the item--not quite SAK, but close. Passive voice has already been mentioned as has back story. Both of those stopped me reading, but then I remembered how cool superstar is and pushed through to the mechanics. Mechanics seem balanced to me and spending an hour for one ki point means this will not _always_ be full.
My apologies for being such a slow reader and not getting you feedback sooner. Again, congratulations! :)

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Congratulations Danny!
Strength (Overall): 14
Dexterity (see time in my campaign): 12
Constitution (long-time keeper): 12
Intelligence (mechanics): 14
Wisdom (writing craft): 14
Charisma (flavor/visuals): 12

Meditation beads for a monk, and it stores ki? Good choice. :) Although I like the flaming fist ability, it seems tacked on and not a part of the item--not quite SAK, but close. Passive voice has already been mentioned as has back story. Both of those stopped me reading, but then I remembered how cool superstar is and pushed through to the mechanics. Mechanics seem balanced to me and spending an hour for one ki point means this will not _always_ be full.
My apologies for being such a slow reader and not getting you feedback sooner. Again, congratulations! :)

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

I would use this for a ki oriented character. I feel the same about ki as I do about skill points - there's never enough! ;) This gives the character an option to have some around at a later time.

Congratulations.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka Tolroy

Hey there Danny. Your item does a good job being enough like a few existing items but for a different mechanic. I don't have monks playing in my current game I would drop one of these in a treasure hoard for one if I did.

Additional Comments
What does it offer the player?
Well it offers a monk a way to keep some ki from one day and use it in another. This would end up being an item used much like a staff. It provides an extra resource when required, but it takes time to recharge.

Price might become an issue with this one though. At 23800 gp it is somewhere between the cost of a headband of inspired wisdom +4 or +6. The player would want both the beads and the headband, but if he had to choose one, my bet would end up being on the wisdom increasing item. Up to five ki per day with an ability to use them in a different way probably doesn't approach the utility of 3 ki per day, a +3 bonus to AC, +3 to bonus on Will saves, +3 to the DC of your Stunning Fist, +3 on Wis based skills, etc. Your item is going to be competing with the player's limited budget, and I don't know if it has enough utility to deal with the opportunity costs.

That being said I don't have a definitive fix for you. Maybe it could have 5 charges a week, and you could draw at most 2 charges per day. Maybe a slightly cheaper consumable version that left you fatigued after you used a charge.

The 5 "W"s and How's
Mechanically the item is sound, and the writing clearly shows how it works. The one bit I suggest is taking out any mention of wearing the prayer beads. You mentioned somewhere in the description that the beads were worn, but you don't have the item taking up any slots.

Where you shine as a designer
You design in a way that makes the targeted players want the item, but you don't make it too overpowered that the rest of the community goes into an uproar. That is a tight rope act that needs practice, and you obviously have that talent. It will be interesting to see if that comes out in later rounds as well.

Good job, and good luck in later rounds.


Danny Lundy wrote:

Meditation Beads of the Flaming Fist

Aura Moderate evocation; CL 5th
Slot --; Price : 23800 gp; Weight --
Description
Meditation Beads of the Flaming Fist are prized by students of The Order of the Burning Sands and the beads bear their emblems. It is tradition for mentors to bestow this prize as a gift to a favored student upon reaching a desired level or completing a sacred task. Any monk wearing these enchanted meditation beads has truly earned the respect of their elders and should be considered a force to be reckoned with.
These special beads have been enhanced by magic to do more than simply help with daily meditation. When used by a character with points left in their Ki pool, these beads can store up to 5 Ki points when a character meditates using the beads for at least 1 hour per point stored. A Ki point can be drawn from the beads at a later time for immediate use as a swift action.
Additionally the beads can be activated to sheath the wearer’s fists in magical fire. This effect functions the same as a flaming weapon and lasts for a number of rounds less than or equal to the number of Ki points stored in the beads, as chosen by the wearer. Activating the beads in this way will expend 1 stored point of Ki per round and is also a swift action. If there are no Ki points currently stored in the beads, this ability will not function.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Ki Pool and flame blade, flame strike or fireball; Cost 11900 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?
Inadequate information. Are they clay? Are they wood? Are they metal? Are they human bone?

Does the item help a demonic seductress to keep a paladin house pet?
No.

Is the item otherwise useful?
No.

Other Comments? (including World Domination potential on the evil laughter scale, where appropriate)
You see this item is ANOTHER reason not to like monks. They get magical items made for them which have to be 'worn' to be used, but which don't have to be worn in any specific place. They can wrap these beads from their ankles, dangle them from their wrists, or use them to tie back those annoying pony-tails (if they belong to one of those orders which has pony-tails). Anyway, the worse (or better from a world domination point of view) news is that a monk with a big pile of these beads can just sit there meditating with them for a month, load them all up into a magical haversack, and then go and do whatever he darn well he likes in a torrent of ki power, going through necklace after necklace.
World Domination Potential:
Bwahahaha!

Gollum Rating:
Fluctuating between 'hissssss' (on general principle against monks) and 'so juicy-sweet.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Bats Kabber

Based on all your wonderful tips and advice I submit to you . . .
the Rewrite:

Meditation Beads of the Flaming Fist
Aura Moderate evocation; CL 5th
Slot --; Price : 4760 gp (type I), 9520 gp (type II), 14300 gp (type III), 19050 gp (type IV), 23800 gp (type V); Weight --
Description

Meditation Beads of the Flaming Fist are prized by students of martial disciplines the world over. The beads resemble rosary beads in appearance and can be worn around the neck or waist, wrapped around a forearm or kept safely in a pocket.

These special beads have been enhanced by magic to do more than simply help with daily meditation. When used by a character with unused points left in her Ki pool, these beads can store up to 5 Ki points depending on the type. Storing Ki requires 1 hour of meditation per point stored. A Ki point can be drawn from the beads as easily as if drawing Ki from her own Ki pool.

Additionally, when drawing Ki from the beads, the monk may choose to sheath her fists in magical fire. This effect functions the same as a flaming weapon. Activating the beads in this way will expend 1 stored point of Ki per round. The effect continues until the wearer decides to stop or the beads run out of Ki. If there are no Ki points currently stored in the beads, this ability will not function.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Ki Pool and flame blade, flame strike or fireball; Cost 2380 gp (type I), 4760 gp (type II), 7150 gp (type III), 9520 gp (type IV), 11900 gp (type V)

Also, as I promised above, here are some production notes for those who are interested.

When developing my item I had 3 main goals in mind:
1. The item had to fill a gap or do something that had not yet been done.
2. The item had to have that little something extra that hopefully gave it “Superstar” status.
3. Both of those qualities had to be mechanically sound.

Part 1

Spoiler:

I settled on a ki storing item because I saw a need for it, because, if I was a monk, I’d want one, because ki is uniquely Pathfinder and because nothing currently does it. Now the problem with doing something that has never been done before is the mechanics. How can I make an item that does something that has never been done before and still make sure it is mechanically balanced?
I started scanning the Pathfinder pages for a precedent I could use. I finally settled on the spell storing mechanics. It offered a scalability that meant my item could be used by low level monks as well as high level monks. While the mechanics aren’t exactly the same they do offer a precedent that I could use for scalability and pricing.
I also had to choose an item that was distinctly monk as this was a primarily monk item. At the same time, however, I am consciously aware that, while monk is the only class with ki now, that may not always be the case. I thought about shoes, gloves, headbands, belts and anything else I could find. These beads were very close to being a broach. In the end, I decided meditation beads went with the theme of a monk. ki is about focus. Focus is achieved in martial arts through meditation. It fit the theme.

Part 2

Spoiler:

A monk battery (as it has been called) all by itself was likely not enough to make the top 32. It just wasn’t “Superstar” enough. So I started looking at what ki could do. It’s basically all the awesome stuff the Kung Fu masters can do in every movie we’ve ever seen on the topic. It really is cool stuff. At this point, please note, I had not read the Advanced Players Guide. I kept coming back to Mortal Kombat and imagining a monk burning or freezing his opponent. Why were there no rules for allowing monks to deliver a magical attack? I’ve never thought it was fair that a fighter could attack a frost giant with a flaming sword, but a monk would have to reduce their 2d6 unarmed strikes to a 1d6 weapon in order to deal fire damage. And so, I started looking at the mechanics for the magical weapons. I decided adding this ability would grant even more combinations to the original scalability and, again, I could use the existing pricing structure.

Part 3

Spoiler:

Once I had the general concept down, I set out to write the formula that would make the pricing right and keep the item balanced. I literally created a calculator in excel that calculated the price for them depending on the kind of magical enhancement and the number of ki points it could store. I can plug in the level of the spell and the caster level and get the price for all 5 iterations of the beads. You want type 3 Ghost Touch beads? 14,286.

Part 4

Spoiler:

I was pretty happy about the seemingly unlimited scalability of my item and so I set out to create it. Unfortunately, I spent way too much time on the mechanics and not enough time on the description. The judges and the forum members both found my description clunky and unclear. In rereading it, I realize I was reinventing the wheel in some places. I shouldn’t have to re-explain how monks draw on their ki, I should simply say they draw ki from the beads as they would draw ki from their own pool. Because I didn’t take the time to stream line my description, I had to toss out the 5 iterations of the item. Word count is evil, but after rewriting the item, I had room for the 5 types and I was still well under the word count. It was an eye opening experience for me. I found that if my description is clean, clear and streamlined, I shouldn’t have to worry about word count.
I also compromised one of the coolest parts of my item (the versatility of it) in order to meet word count. I don’t think I should have done that and, if I could do it again, I would have concentrated on throwing out any clunky verbiage before I ever considered changing the functionality of the item. There often is a better way of saying something, or a better way of doing something. I should have looked into those possibilities before dropping a feature of my item.

Overall, in only one round, I have learned a great deal. For that I thank you all. I am a person who accepts criticism as a challenge to do better and you have all challenged me. I hope I sufficiently rose to your challenge in round 2.

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

You have a mechanically sound and evocative item here. I really like the ki storage mechanic. I think that's the gem that separates this item from the pack. As a GM, I appreciate the backstory elements you added as well.

Good stuff. I'm curious to see what you did for your archetype!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

This is cool. I like the ki manipulation here, though I would have liked to see some mention of how long the stored ki lasts, even if it's indefinite. I always found monk items with monk related construction requirements to be a little strange though, as the item's creator would need to first leave the order (never to return), in order to be able to make the item for their former brotherhood. This is not a failing on your part, just a weird collision of the rules.

It might have been nice to make mention of similar items bearing different energy, as I'm sure such variants are possible. I'll also be interested to see how this, and other ki powered items hold up one monks cease to be the only class with a ki pool. How many future abuses will be unavoidable do you think?

A great item, I would use this.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Gamer Girrl

Very nice visual, though I have to wonder if there are beads for other elemental effects as well. Not a swiss army knife, since it only does two effects, but I don't immediately see the connection between Ki storage and the flaming fists -- but then I've not yet tried out a monk in Pathfinder. I could see use for this in my campaign.

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