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Shadow Falconer's Glove


Round 1 - Open Call: Create a Wondrous Item

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

Shadow Falconer’s Glove
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 7th
Slot hands; Price 8000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This elbow-length, heavy leather glove is well-battered, its fine embroidery marred as if by dozens of claw marks. Once per day, as a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, the wearer speaks a command word and gestures toward a target creature within 30 feet. An onyx silhouette of a bird of prey known as a shadow falcon appears, swoops toward the target and performs a disarm or steal combat maneuver (wearer’s choice, CMB +16). The shadow falcon does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the hand wearing the glove is empty, the shadow falcon brings the item to your hand. If the gloved hand is occupied, the shadow falcon deposits the item at your feet. The shadow falcon then disappears.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, shadow conjuration; Cost 4000 gp

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

That's...kind of...cool. Thematically, it's really cool. A falconer's glove that summons a shadow conjuration of a falcon that can then snatch away a weapon or item from another creature and bring it back to you? And that's all it does. No glomming on a bunch of other SIAC crap. It can't fight for you. It doesn't stick around. Just smash-and-grab and gone.

Mechanically, I'm left wondering if the shadow falcon is an actual shadow conjuration of a falcon...and if so, what statistics it might have (a hawk maybe?). Can the bird be attacked? Is it able to execute the disarm or steal combat maneuver and return to you all in one round? I guess if it only targets victims within 30 feet...and it materializes right next to them...then a standard action to disarm or steal...followed by a move action back to you...is legitimate...but shouldn't that provoke an attack of opportunity in moving away? And, if so, could the victim bring down the shadow falcon before it can escape with the goods?

What happens if the bird misses? Does it stick around? The description says it disappears when it returns to you. But, if it misses, does it keep on attacking? If so, how long? What happens if the target of the disarm or steal attempt has spines or spike armor or a spite spell active that automatically inflicts damage on creatures using natural attacks against it? Would that be enough damage to drive off the bird before it can successfully execute the snatch-and-grab?

Great idea.
Incomplete mechanics.
Decent presentation and writing ability.

But the holes in the mechanics are still bugging me.

What do the rest of you think? Anyone willing to overlook the bugs in this one?

CEO, Goblinworks

I like it. I think it's obvious that if it fails, it vanishes. And not making it an object in the battlespace reduces complexity. Keep.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

It keeps growing on me. This is the kind of thing as a player I'd like my hawk animal companion or familiar to pull off...but I'm way too concerned about risking them at that sort of task and exposing them in combat. This magic item lets you pull that off while minimizing the risk to any animal in your care.

Leaning toward Keep.

Paizo Employee Developer

There are clearly some situations not accounted for here, like it moving through a creature's threatened space if it has reach. As Neil says, it should have at least some AC or destruction stats since there are instances in which a foe should be able to attack it, even if it succeeds at its steal or disarm check. Despite the oversights, however, this is a really cool idea, and I don't think it's game breaking. It could use some more explanation (and has the word count left over to do so) but nothing here needs to get cut, and that's saying something, I think.

I'm on board to keep this one around for a bit longer.

Contributor

I could use a few more details, but it's a solid item. And by solid I mean shadow.

Keep.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16, 2010 Top 4

Quite nice, quite nice. I think if the shadow falcon was listed as having capabilities similar to the Improved Disarm and Improved Steal, that would remove the question of AoOs. Maybe add unseen servant to the requirements and base the birds stats off of that spell?

Very flavorful item with a power I'd definitely use!

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

This is a nice simple item that does something surprising and useful in combat. I’d like to know if I can designate what item I want the falcon to steal or disarm. The CMB bonus might seem a little too high, but (CL 7, +5 from casting stat, +2 for Improved Disarm/Steal = 14) so it’s good by me. I’d much rather have this item be effective at what it does, given it is once per day. The other judges have mentioned the issues with the mechanics, and I agree. You had roughly half your word count left to clarify some of these things, sometimes it is worth spelling out some of the different rules possibilities.

I like the flavor you used, because it just makes sense for what you want the item to do. It just all came together for me.

Welcome to the ranks of RPG Superstar! You will definitely want to do the design brainstorming, and bounce around all the rules possibilities for your archetype in the next round. Best of luck!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

This is item really reflects something I like about Pathfinder RPG. With the steal or disarm maneuvers being so much easier to adjudicate we actually get items that use those mechanics now.

This is where I have to skim the critiques. The other judges have covered the issues sufficiently that I don’t feel the need to repeat them for a 3rd or 4th time.

I *do* think you were being intentional and thoughtful. You covered the owner’s action as not provoking an AOO, and you tried to address the shadow falcon’s action as not provoking. Unfortunately the way combat runs, that isn’t always enough. Especially with threatened areas.

As I’ve said with other entries, it is commendable that you’re trying to use as few words as possible. I love that tight and concise description that only requires the first sentence! But… you have those words for a reason. I believe you can write this item in 300 words or less, I would have looked at spectral hand for some ideas and inspiration, but kept shadow conjuration as your actual base.

This is one of my favorites. Cover all the bases in your future submissions and I’m sure you can steal another victory. Good luck!

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

Back to back! Congratulations!

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

Congrats on making top 32 again Eric!

Your's is the first item I'm reading this year, and I have to say, I really like it a lot.

This item is clean, concise, and elegant in it's execution, and the flavor is just knocking me out. I want one of these for the Shadow patron Witch in my Kingmaker game!

I'm really looking forward to seeing your archetype, keep up the good work!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

WELCOME BACK TO THUNDERDOME!

Wow, I love all these alumni coming back!

Great work Eric, you have done yourself proud!

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

Welcome back, Eric!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka Sir_Wulf

Straightforward and original: This is definitely one of my favorites among this year's entries!

Qadira RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Sect

I don't think there's anything I can add to this: aside from needing a tad bit more fluff and crunch, this is a pretty awesome item.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Rock on, man. :)

I think that this is better than your hourglass, which was also very clever in your own way. Simple but very cool. Neil's complaints are perfectly valid but would be easily resolved ("The shadow falcon is a spell effect and isn't subject to attacks"; I assume this is what you meant to happen). Kudos on a killer item and congrats on making it back into the fray!


Nice and interesting item. I wonder, however, if 8,000 is not a bit too much for ranged disarm/steal usable once per day...

Still, I think that I will steal that item to introduce on one of my sessions.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Drejk wrote:

Nice and interesting item. I wonder, however, if 8,000 is not a bit too much for ranged disarm/steal usable once per day...

Still, I think that I will steal that item to introduce on one of my sessions.

Against lower level challenges +16 is a pretty dang good CMB. I couldn't speak with any confidence about the price without seeing it in play, though; it looks like it could be very useful sometimes, but it is just once per day, and I don't think it's ever going to be a fight-ender.


I like it, but it does need more info. It seems only 1/2 done to me.

1 does the bird have stats?

2 is it a 1 try and gone thing or does it stick around until it grabs said item?

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

Something for the Andoran who animals hate. I like the idea of the item, the 30’ snatch is nice, it takes a standard action. Should radiate illusion though. I’m curious how he got the CMB so high for a cheap item though

I can see tweaking this for my game.


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

I really like it. I don't want the "bird to have stats," that'll be alot of unneeded complexity, to me it's much like those 3.5e bracers that give you reach for one round. People are fixating too much on the shadow bird flavor. "It lets you perform a ranged disarm or steal once per day" is the bottom line I think.


This was the second item up that really made me say "Wow! I got to have that!" I love the pricing and method as well as what it does -- this is very tasty... I just wish I could use it more often than once per day.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

I was too busy with work to officially judge anything for this years' Superstar, but I just wanted to stop in and say that your item this year is probably my favorite of the round. Good luck!

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8, Contributor

Congrats Eric and welcome back.
I really love the flavor of this item and cinematic coolness in an item can't be overrated.
I could see an NPC villain using this on my PCs and them both admiring him and hating him for having this.
That's a win-win for me.
Neil and Mark are right in the sense that there are some situations that need to have some clarification but I also agree with those that have said that they prefer the falcon to be unstatted.
Best of luck and I look forward to your archetype.
-QGJ


I can see my displaced Ustalavan inquisitor using this. It's thematic and neat, and at only once per day usage, it's not going to just overwhelm even a low-level user's character concept.

Good stuff.

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

Boy howdy, do I have a druid who would love this item! :D

My only addition is more of a reason to include some clarification. It would prepare the player for the disappointment of a "miss and go" use if the falcon doesn't stick around should it miss.

Very nicely done, and way cool item! Congratulations, and I look forward to competing with you.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Evil Space Mantis

This item is great!

I'm a bit tempted to throw this one at my current party in a session or two. Perhaps open an ambush while they are healing up by snatching the wand of CLWs from them... sounds like a fun way to give em a bit of a scare.

Good luck in the next round!


I like this item, but it should refer me to somewhere to get the shadow falcon's stats. What is it's movement rate and AC?


Swamp Druid wrote:
I like this item, but it should refer me to somewhere to get the shadow falcon's stats. What is it's movement rate and AC?

This isn't needed:

Here is a better way to think of what this item does:

It allows you to make a combat maneuver check from a distance once per day with a CMB of +16. The "shadow falcon" isn't an animal and on a *mechanical* level doesn't really exist -- it's just a visual to the item's function. Must like having your magic missile shoot across the room like several comets -- the missiles aren't comets, and they don't even shoot really, but it sounds good and gives mental imagery.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8 aka AWizardInDallas

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

I like the imagery this item conjures up, even though the prose is awkward in places. I like the title too, though I'm sure there's a better one. The core concept is interesting--a ranged combat maneuver. By the way, invoking a command word item doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity, so you're safe not mentioning that.

Unfortunately, the item is too weak, especially for the too-high price/cost and since it's a once per day item of limited use. More importantly, since a falcon is a Tiny bird it probably doesn't stand much chance of success at Disarm or Steal, even with the CMB +16 bonus (which is a bit of a cheat without solid explanation in the item). The item also doesn't really address what happens if the shadow falcon is attacked, in either onyx or bird form, which is still possible say with a Readied action. This leaves us to use the construction requirements to backtrack into stats for the falcon (going with a hawk's stats in the Bestiary). A falcon is statistically weak, and a shadow falcon even moreso, making it more of a one-round nuisance than anything else.

Personally, I'd have gone with a Dirty Trick, like clawing the target's eyes for some temporary blindness or some other sort of meddling. What really bothers me though is that a ranged Disarm or Steal has a better chance of success without a magic item at all. A summon natures ally I spell, a trained familiar, trained animal companion or even a trained pet can do the same thing and all more than once per day. This is not to mention the host of available illusion spells.

Overall, this item falls apart for me. Ultimately, it sounds to me like one round of shadow conjuration in a can.

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

This is a great item and I don't think it needs any other mechanics for the falcon. It appears, does its thing and then, poof, it's gone. Congrats!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka Electric Monk

I love it! But then I like most animal-related items - Biology geek, what can i say?

The item is simple, performs a mechanically simple effect (which is otherwise difficult), avoids SIAC and resits the temptation to add messy additional affects. The flavour is great (like i said i love the animal-themed stuff).

Look forward to next round!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

Cool concept, that is definitely something I could see myself using, beats investing a bunch of feats.

It seems pretty clear to me how you want this item to function but I think that shadow conjuration as a prerequisite is confusing a lot of people, as that spell actually, physically summons something. I think telekinesis may have been a better prerequisite for this item (it even has a bunch of combat maneuvers you can do with it) but that wouldn't have been in line with the flavor I think you're trying for (which I admit is pretty cool conceptually). I certainly know it's a tough call when to go for fluff or crunch though.

Well done, none the less. Good luck round two!

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

One of my favorites. I'd like it a bit more explicit that this is a shadowy conjuration that just isn't attackable - a bit like a telekinesis manifestation. But other than that, it's a very neat special effect for a fun mechanic.


Congratz for being back in the top 32. Make the best of it :).

I really like your item and i thin it is easily one of my favorites.
Neat idea combined with solid mechanics ( even if the CMB feels a tad high) all bound into one perfect fitting theme.
Thats the Spirit of Rpg-superstar.

I really look forward to seeing your archetype.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Eric,

Well done! And congrats on making the Top 32, two years in a row.

I really like the Shadow Falconer's Glove, and while I might see the points that others are trying to make, I agree with (Abraham Spalding, I think) that we shouldn't fixate on the shadow falcon not having stats. It's not about statistics, it's a ranged disarm/steal, and that's pretty cool.

Can't wait to see what you have in store for the archetype round.

Dean


Eric Hindley wrote:
Shadow Falconer’s Glove

Not much I can say about this one that hasn't already been said. I like the simplicity of it; not having to get bogged down in stats for the shadow falcon makes it more appealing to me as a person with a no-frills, rules-light GMing style.

Players would want it, and villains would use it. Nice work!


Very nice item. I could see this being made into a Lesser Shadow Falconer's Glove and a Greater Shadow Falconer's Glove. The lesser would function as presented and the greater would be Shadow based Figurine of Wondrous Power effect with a full blown Shadow Falcon.

Not my favorite item, but definately a very nice item with a nicely focused use.

Andoran

This is very, very cool.

My only problem is with the description. So, if I make one of these bad boys, hot off the presses so to speak, it has claw-marks on it? How does that work?

Other than that - and needing to specify that the falcon is not subject to attack whatsoever, as it would provoke AoOs for moving out of (at least one and possibly more) threatened squares - this is one of my favorites so far. The idea behind this is very cool, and a +16 CMB disarm check is nothing to scoff at, like, at all, so I get the cost being sort of high.

Very well done, sir. Congrats on making the Top 32! Again!

Andoran RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Bats Kabber

I once had a rogue named Hawk this item would have fit perfectly into his character and that campaign. Short, sweet and simple. I love this one.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:

Eric,

Well done! And congrats on making the Top 32, two years in a row.

I really like the Shadow Falconer's Glove, and while I might see the points that others are trying to make, I agree with (Abraham Spalding, I think) that we shouldn't fixate on the shadow falcon not having stats. It's not about statistics, it's a ranged disarm/steal, and that's pretty cool.

Can't wait to see what you have in store for the archetype round.

Dean

Eric, not sure what happened to my post (as you can see it above) but it wasn't included on your wondrous item's thread. So, I'm hoping my reply to my own post will work, and my post will appear.

Best of luck.

Dean


I'm with Abraham spalding on this one. Stop thinking so hard. As a physicist, I often catch myself thinking too realistically. It's magic.

How about this to appease the masses who want stats for the bird?

"An onyx silhouette of a bird of prey swoops from the heavens toward the target, performs a disarm or steal combat maneuver (wearer’s choice, CMB +16), and appears on the wearer's hand. The silhouette does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the hand wearing the glove is empty, the item appears your hand. If the gloved hand is occupied, the item appears at your feet. The silhouette then disappears."

Remove the term "shadow falcon". The use of that phrase, particularly in italics implies that more information is to be found elsewhere. Use the term only in the name.

Other thoughts floating around are similar to previous comments. Maybe the item is reusable until it succeeds once per day. What if it were reusable as many times as you want until it retrieves a magic item? Then it has a reasonable limitation and the added effect of being a weak detect magic.

Also, the best written entry I've seen so far.

Andoran Dedicated Voter 2013

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

Ooooh! Me Likey!

This is a really, really innovative and cool item.

I agree with the judges, that it would be nice to have one sentence in there explaining what happens if the Falcon misses.

I disagree with the judges about what would happen during the Falcon's movement, as it says that the Falcon does not provoke attacks of opportunity with the attacks... perhaps just add a phrase indicating that the falcon doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity from anything or whatever.

Anyways, I am going to immediately steal this idea and use it in my campaign, giving it as an option for the characters playing through my current dungeon.

I've only read 5 items so far, and this is absolutely going to be in my top 5!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

I could see this being a cool item for an Andoren character were the falcon composed of golden light instead shadow. I mean, yeah, it's a purely cosmetic change, but then that might require an additional spell requirement...

Still, neat concept. I'm very fond of combat maneuvers, so it's a welcome change to see it appear in RPG Superstar.

Congratulations! I'm looking forward to seeing your archetype!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Levis

I want this thing! Really bad!

Congratulations on making it to the Top 32 and I can't wait to see what you put out in the next round!


Abraham spalding wrote:
Swamp Druid wrote:
I like this item, but it should refer me to somewhere to get the shadow falcon's stats. What is it's movement rate and AC?

This isn't needed:

Here is a better way to think of what this item does:

It allows you to make a combat maneuver check from a distance once per day with a CMB of +16. The "shadow falcon" isn't an animal and on a *mechanical* level doesn't really exist -- it's just a visual to the item's function. Must like having your magic missile shoot across the room like several comets -- the missiles aren't comets, and they don't even shoot really, but it sounds good and gives mental imagery.

I disagree. It shouldn't be presented as conjuring a shadow animal that steals the item and then not consider the ramifications of moving in threatened areas.

Qadira Star Voter 2013

I agree with Abraham. It's essentially just a telekinetic steal or disarm and the shadow falcon is just an illusion to go along with the effect.

If it was a summoned creature then it would have a mention of stats. Since it mentions no stats for the creature anywhere, the simple and elegant way of handling it is to not give it any stats.

Perhaps if it lingered or was capable of other actions it would need them, but it doesn't. It's just a single combat maneuver.

Grand Lodge

Congratulations on the two peat!

I like the theme of this one quite a bit. I spend some time thinking about this very thing... usefulness for a bird. You've done that in an item so even better because you don't have to risk consequences to a class feature like an Animal Companion.

Mechanically, I echo the sentiment that you don't need another battlefield object to track so the immaterial bird is fine with me. I do stick on the bonus on the combat manuver though. It seems like it's 9+Caster Level of the glove? IDK, it seems kind of arbitrary and I would want to have a sense for it so that I could make this cool item for a higher level character so it could work on beasties and NPC's that naturally have higher CMD's at those levels.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Congrats on your back-to-back success! I really like this one. I think it's very cool and innovative. One of my favorites thus far. Excellent work, and keep it coming. Looking forward to see what you've got in store for next round.

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