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PaizoCon 2014!

Silhouette of the Phantasmagoria


Round 1 - Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Grendel Todd

Silhouette of the Phantasmagoria
Aura moderate illusion (Phantasm); CL 7th
Slot -; Price 1400 gp; Weight ½ lb.
Description
This appears at first examination to be a disturbing image painted on thin wax-paper held taut within a soft copper frame. In and of itself the Silhouette can do nothing, but if used in conjunction with a naturally-lit bullseye lantern by slipping it into the shutter-slot, the flickering light narrows to project the horrific image onto the nearest 5' non-transparent flat surface directly in front of the lantern (up to a range of 60'), affecting all who see it with gut-wrenching fear. On the first round the image is seen, viewers who fail a DC 16 Will save are considered frightened while all others are merely shaken for as long as the lantern lights that area and for 1d6+1 rounds thereafter. If the lantern's aim is not moved for more than a round, each round the image remains in place it seemingly moves and shifts with such awful malignancy that all creatures still viewing it must make a Fortitude save (DC 16) or take 6d6 damage (save for half) every round it remains in view. Because of the fragile nature of the wax-paper it is inscribed on, the Silhouette cannot be removed once placed and is incinerated from the heat of the lantern after 2d4 rounds.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Scribe Scroll, Phantasmal Killer, creator must have 5 ranks in Craft (painting); Cost 700 gp.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Scribe Scroll in the requirements? Is that enough right there to reject this? Is there any other wondrous item that has two craft/scribe feats as requirements like that? I can't think of one and don't have time to look it up right this second.

Then lets turn to the effects. The viewer is either frightened or shaken. Those are the exact effects of cause fear or scare, the spells, neither of which is in the requirements. That is a glaring omission.

Then it uses phantasmal killer, but it doesnt just affect one person it affects all viewers and gives a continuous 6d6/3d6 for each round viewed.

I like this idea that it is a paper that is consumed. I like the fear idea and phantasms have always been cool. But I think the mechanic is wonky and I think he/she got the requirements all wrong, or at least is missing a key one.

REJECT

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

This item reminds me a lot of the lantern of mesmerizing shadows from last year. It didn't use parchment slides across the lantern's shutter, though. And, it was more of a fascination effect than fear. I think this "shadow" lantern also has some promise.

Clark Peterson wrote:
Scribe Scroll in the requirements? Is that enough right there to reject this? Is there any other wondrous item that has two craft/scribe feats as requirements like that?

Yes, actually. The bracers of archery, maul of the titans, and mattock of the titans all require the Craft Wondrous Item and Craft Magic Arms and Armor feats. Also, the apple of eternal sleep (a witchy wondrous item from the APG) includes Brew Potion in addition to Craft Wondrous Item in its construction requirements. So, it's not unheard of...and the inclusion of Scribe Scroll here is meant to explain the skill necessary for transcribing a silhouette onto the waxy parchment. It dovetails nicely with the 5 ranks in Craft (painting). So, I'm okay with it.

Clark Peterson wrote:
Then lets turn to the effects. The viewer is either frightened or shaken. Those are the exact effects of cause fear or scare, the spells, neither of which is in the requirements. That is a glaring omission.

Maybe they were trying to expand the item so that it did more than just phantasmal killer so it would avoid the SIAC tag? I don't know. There's grounds for suggesting an item like this (and the flavor of the phantasmal killer spell) could induce a frightened or shaken effect in addition to the psychic trauma and physical damage. But I agree that I'd liked to have seen scare in there with it.

Clark Peterson wrote:
Then it uses phantasmal killer, but it doesnt just affect one person it affects all viewers and gives a continuous 6d6/3d6 for each round viewed.

Well, normally, phantasmal killer would threaten your life. It's one of those save or die spells. And, if you make the save, you still suffer 3d6 damage. Again, I think they've tried to do something different with it here so it's not just a SIAC. In other words, you can't just cast phantasmal killer and achieve the same effects as this wondrous item. I'm also okay with the item introducing some damage each round it's viewed, but not 6d6 per round (save for half) on a disposable item that only costs you 1,400 gp. I mean, an elixir of fire breath can do 4d6 fire damage to a single target up to three times with a DC 13 save for half and it costs 1,100 gp. So, I think the designer missed the boat on the damage per round vs. multiple targets vs. DC 16 vs. cost of the item. And, having it affect everyone who views it definitely ramps it up higher than any other item in this price range. The one redeeming element to this oversight is that the silhouette burns itself out in 2d4 rounds. So, that damage isn't going to be sustained for too long. Still, a high level PC could buy up several of these and keep this tactic going. So, it goes further than I'd like.

Clark Peterson wrote:
I like this idea that it is a paper that is consumed. I like the fear idea and phantasms have always been cool. But I think the mechanic is wonky and I think he/she got the requirements all wrong, or at least is missing a key one. Oh, not to mention the "Scribe Scroll" issue...

I'm not as put off by the Scribe Scroll issue. It's not a design misstep. The relative power level of the item as compared to its cost is a bigger concern. But, again, as a consummable that helps scale it back a little bit. They were wise to nerf the item in that way. Otherwise, I'd really be against it. Still, they didn't go quite far enough. Personally, I would've rather seen them stick with just 3d6 damage per round (as phantasmal killer with a save to avoid the effect entirely--if successful), the inclusion of a scare spell for the shaken/frightened effect even if you saved, and then a higher price tag for the item.

At its core, I do really like the idea, though. A silhouette as a wondrous item? That's an awesome object to play around with...and slotting it into another item like a bullseye lantern is ingenious. This could open up an entirely new category of wondrous item design. For instance, there could be many more kinds of silhouettes that produce different effects. Shadow puppets, if you will. I could see a bard making this type of item very easily and then using it to augment his performances in some way. A wizard or sorcerer specializing in shadow magic would also find this type of item fun and intriguing.

Make no doubt, there are serious missteps here, but this item has mojo in a way I haven't seen from many of the other submissions so far. It's an item idea I'll be thinking about again and again even after more submissions come flooding in. Is that worth rewarding with a Keep? I think it is. Top 32? Maybe. It could certainly make for a decent alternate to the Top 32. I might even "golden ticket" it just to see how well this designer can learn and elevate their game over the course of the contest. As such, I'm going to wait a bit and see what the other judges think. For now, I'm going to initially counter your Reject with a...

...Keep.

CEO, Goblinworks

This item is effectively two spells-in-a-can.

I do not recommend that you vote for this item.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Now that you have helped me with the Scribe Scroll as a requirement, I have to admit that this item has mojo. A lot of mojo.

I still dont like what I consider to be missing requirements. And I think they missed the power level issue. I agree the tweaking of phantasmal killer was good (cant kill all viewers so it needed some tweak) but like you I think it should be toned down a bit.

HOWEVER...this first round isnt just evaluating items. Item evaluation is just the rubric for selecting contestants. Our actual GOAL is to pick the 32 best people who get to compete for superstar and the way we do that, the TASK we give them to help us meet that goal, is to have them design items. Sometimes if we get so caught up in the TASK we miss actually accomplishing the GOAL. That is why I will often pick mojo over perfection, because I dont want the 32 best items, I want the 32 best contestants. This item is an example of one that has some problems, but I can tell from it that the designer behind it has the mojo that i want to see in this contest.

So for that reason, I'm switching to KEEP.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Because this is a sight-based effect, it really needs to say that creatures can avoid looking at it like you would a gaze attack.

Fail save = frightened, make save = shaken, lasting for 1d6+1 rounds. Shaken with no save is significant (–2 on most rolls). With multiple targets affected, this is really underpriced.

And it can damage you for 6d6 every round after the first. Not sure how the mechanic of it works, though: all creatures still viewing it must make a Fortitude save (DC 16) or take 6d6 damage (save for half) every round it remains in view. Does that mean you save to be affected, and then save again in the hopes of half damage?

Author created a cool item, but it has some serious mechanical problems that need to be fixed.

It's neat, so I vote keep, but only barely--I'll be watching this designer's later submissions carefully for these kinds of technical problems.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka DankeSean

What I like:
Phantasmal killer has always been one of my favorite spells on potential, though as the years and editions go by it feel like it keeps getting harder and harder to live up to that potential. (Two saving throws. Ptooey!) So I really like that you've taken that as a base effect and found something new to do with it. Something that doesn't involve adventurers laughing because they have a double layer of protection vs. the effect.
What I love:
I think this is one of the few times the word 'phantasmagoria' has actually been used accurately in the history of role playing. Massive kudos on that alone. Linguistics aside, I really like the kind of item you chose here and what you've done to represent the effect.
Also, this, along with some other items I've seen this year, falls into the 'cool consumable that I'd actually buy and use' category. Consumables often run the risk of being boring (or of just sitting around in your haversack forever while you keep off putting using it 'until the perfect encounter'.) This ain't boring.
What needs a little sumptin' sumptin'...
A couple issues immediately cropped up for me on first reading this: Seeing as it's a continual magic effect that relies upon being viewed, I feel like anyone subjected to it should be able to 'opt out' of potentially being affected by it by closing their eyes, same as avoiding a gaze attack. Likewise, creatures that don't have a sense of sight should be immune to it. This doesn't seem to address either possibility; maybe it's supposed to be implicit, but I feel like it could have been spelled out so a DM doesn't need to make a judgement call.
Not sure what the range a victim can be affected at, either... the image itself can be projected up to 60 feet away, but once it's snarling on a wall, can it zap anyone with line of sight to it?
Also, not sure why it's a DC 16 save when it's based off of a 4th level spell, and even the items CL is set as if it's a 4th level effect. I'm all for a little leeway in magic item DCs, just so they stay useful, but the CL (and thus the price) should at least try and reflect that. DC 16 means it's equivalent to casting a 6th level spell; IMO, it should have a CL of 11th.
All in all...
In spite of my mechanic questions & reservations, I really like this. It would require a certain amount of refinement before I'd allow it an a game I was running, but on concept it really gets the imaginative juices flowing. Congratulations and welcome to RPG Superstar!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Jatori

Welcome to the Top 32!

You've given us a wondrous item, a consumable to boot, that's wonderfully flavourful. Phantasmal killer happens to be one of my favourite spells too and I like that you've given it a new spin. However, I do think that weird may have been a better spell, since you're hitting multiple creatures. I believe that the other judges have listed the item's mechanical problems, so I won't delve into them.

Your item has a lot of flavour and is definitely cool. I'd like to see the organisation you bring in round 2. Just take some time to look at the mechanical concerns and work on that for the later rounds. Good luck.

BTW, I believe the DC is correct: DC 16 includes the spell level (4) plus the minimum attribute modifier (2 for a casting attribute of 14) plus 10.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka DankeSean

Jerall Toi wrote:
BTW, I believe the DC is correct: DC 16 includes the spell level (4) plus the minimum attribute modifier (2 for a casting attribute of 14) plus 10.

D'oh! I feel like an idiot. For some reason I was thinking DC was supposed to be spell level without any ability modifier at all. I'd blame the fact that I was reviewing this really, really late, but the sad truth is I might have miffed it anyhow. (I think there's a reason neither of the entries that got me in the contest had a save DC attached...)

My apologies to the item designer for screwing that bit of critique up.

RPG Superstar 2011 aka Ignotus

A spooky slide that scares people when you project it on a wall? Um… OK. I’m torn because I think it’s basically a solid item that would lead to interesting gameplay, but I can’t shake the feeling that conceptually this is kind of silly.

My first thought was that this was intended to have a George Melies-style feel – when the first movie audiences at the turn of the century saw a film of a train rushing towards them, they panicked. But of course in a high-magic setting it’s not like startling illusions are a big thing. So that leaves us with a Lovecraft-esque take, where the image is so horrible it wracks viewer’s sanity and consumes them with demented fear. But the evil magic lantern show just seems wacky and anachronistic. Maybe if it was a hypnotizing pattern I would be more sympathetic, but this still feels too much like a magic fantasy slide projector. When I imagine orcs terrorized by a projection on the wall, the scene is set to yakkity sax.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka Grendel Todd

Wow! I'm immensely grateful to have made it this far, and appreciate both the advice and commentary that's been given. I look forward to showing what I can do with this opportunity, and hope everyone has fun with the results.


I don't like the SAIC affect, and there are issues regarding how close one has to be to see the image and so on, so congratulations.

PS:I also learned the contest is about the person, and showing yourself to them. Thanks to Todd I will change my approach next year.

Andoran

My big takeaway here is that my item from last year, which didn't advance, stuck in Neil's mind so long that he actually remembered it a year later and referenced it in discussion.

I didn't enter this year - lot of pressure on my time/availability right now and whatnot - but that's encouraging to say the least.

Good luck, Ian! May the force be with you in future rounds! Your last name is too cool to not land you some kind of writing gig at some point, so you have that going for you.


I really like the visual this item gives me, but I can't seem to wrap my head around the process that would happen in combat with this item. So I tried thinking through a likely scenario. Player has lit lantern in hand and spends some kind of action (what kind I don't know since it doesn't say. It seems like a full round action is in order since you have to pull out the slide and insert it into a lantern). Then the image is displayed on a wall where bad guys can see it. They have to make a saving throw because the images are scary. If they fail the save they will immediately run away and leave the area, thus negating the damaging abilities of the silhouette. Even if they are shaken, wouldn't they try to avoid being affected by the scary thing they are looking at? It seems counterintuitive to me. Is it assumed that those who are shaken or frightened will affected, even if they aren't looking anymore?Plus, it would affect any player looking at it as well. Was this item meant to solely be used by NPC's?

Star Voter 2013

I like the idea here, but ultimately the mechanics fail to wow me. I hope you really wow us next round with a cool organization.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I love the flavor. Like Neil said, I can now see all kinds of interesting silhouette magic items. I think there are mechanical issues with this though, and the actual effects are problematic.

Andoran

I like this item. As mentioned it really opens up a whole new area for wondrous items to move into and for that it is almost invaluable. I'll start pondering other types of "picture inserts" for lanterns in my campaign. (The breadth of options here with different classes and abilities is very exciting to me.)

My suggestion would be for those that fail the save to be compelled to continue staring at the image. Then you can throw down the Fort save the next round for the damage aspect (though I would reduce the damage). Those that make their Will save can avoid the image as Sean suggested, similar to avoiding a gaze attack.

Perhaps another limiting factor is the ambient lighting? If you were outside in the daytime the image would be hard to discern and perhaps that reduces the effect? This could reduce the effectiveness and bring its power level down. I would definitely still up the price if this item.

Finally I think that the duration should be modified. As a user of the item you would want it to last at least 2 rounds, which I am guessing is the reason for the 2d4. However, the max rounds of 8 is a little disturbing so I would go for 1d4+1.

Osirion

I think Sean McGowan's entry covered a lot of my own thoughts on this and you've gotten feedback on the mechanics (a field of item design I often enough struggle with in my own right), so much of what I would have to say has been said. What I really want to applaud you on is the innovation of the item, but not just for the concept of a silhouette (which, I agree with Neil, those would be pretty cool to introduce into the game!). More importantly, you created an effect which required the use of multiple items... that's brilliant! It's like "synergy abilities" for equipment almost :D It's like "Rube Goldberg machine" meets RPG! I'm not sure if I've seen items designed in such a way that when used in conjunction with one another they definitively can create new and exciting effects (I've seen it happen in game, just not directly designed into the game), so I really hope that Paizo's staff will consider recycling that aspect of your idea to bring us some new item-combos... special maneuvers for items, lol :D Anyway, overall I like your entry a lot and it is extremely inspiring. Congrats on getting to the 32 and I wish you well as you go through to the next round!


Awesome concept. Kudos for actually knowing what phantasmagoria means historically and using it properly. Major mojo here, dude.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Congratulations Ian,
I think fear spells are easy to apply to situations. The phantasmal killer not so much, kudos for making this work. Almost work, but I cannae say it better than it has been above. Good luck! :)


Congratulations, and good luck with your organization.

I'm sorry I didn't get here faster, so none of this will be useful for the organization. That said, I hope you can use it another time or later on!

Analysis
Name: Phantasmagoria? Yikes! I don't like that, and I'm a fan of long, complex words. Also, a google tells me it's both the name of a videogame and a band.

Description: Appears to be? Is it or isn't it? You clear up your wording in a few places.

Effect: Eh? This doesn't amaze me. I like the spell you used, and normally I like fear effects, but this doesn't really grip and I can't really say why, but it doesn't do it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013

This item is wonderfully creative; I immediately grasped what you were describing, and I don't recall any item that works in a similar way. Basically creates a shadow puppet display on the wall that frightens its audience, whether they want to be or not! You have some great flavor and atmosphere going on here. As a DM, I can think of all sorts of story potential for this particular item, and it is so distinctive that the players would long remember it.

Great work!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

I would definitely use this item in my game. As others have said, it's maybe a little overpowered but the concept is highly original and flavorful.

I think the fear effect works very nicely. I'd maybe nerf the phantasmal killer a little. Or just ramp it up to a full on weird spell effect and whack the cost right up.

Either way, using the silhouette is a very creative way to introduce all sorts of effects into the game. Very impressive.

Andoran Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

This is a lot of fun. A very mischievous/evil NPC could have one of these, be sitting with the PCs at a campfire, and say something like, "Do you want to see something really scary?" :D

I've got to imagine your organization will be similarly frightening, Ian. Best of luck in the next round!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka motteditor

Ian, I think the judges have pointed out some legitimate concerns about some of the mechanics of this item.

That said, where I think you struck gold is you've effectively created a new system for spell delivery -- it's not a scroll, rod, wand, etc., meaning it can be used by anyone, but it's more powerful than potions. It's not at all difficult to start thinking of different effects that could be made with such a silhouette, and the images you could come up with could be fantastic. Nice job.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Epic Meepo

Threat Analysis

You could be serious competition because.... you have shown that you can take some fairly basic mechanics and turn them on their heads, twisting them into something interesting. I suspect your future entries will bring a lot of interesting flavor to this contest.

You could become an even bigger threat in future rounds if... you focus on tightening up your mechanics. There were a lot areas where this item's effects could have been clarified or expanded upon.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Opponent overview

Style Mastry - Strong. You paint evocative mental imagry (no pun intended). And I like that you take a completly normal mundane item like a lantern and make it potentially deadly. It occurs to me that it would be a good thing to sneak into a place where you can't bring weapons. "Guards, are they unarmed?" "Aye, sire. They only have ordinary gear. Rope, a lantern, a few rations and a rather disturbing painting. Nothing dangerous..."

Mechanics Mastry - Weak. The issues here have already been pointed out. A strong sense of game balance is vital for good game design.

Golarion Mastry - Unknown. The Silhouette of the Phantasmagoria is pretty much setting neutral. Later rounds will likely reveal more about this.

Special Abilities - Unknown.

CR 5 - unlikely to advance, but much depends on the round 2 entry.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Monkster

Guess I'll fall in line with most of your reviewers here - like my own submission, the mechanics are easily this item's weak point. But the concept of a screen that fits into an otherwise normal lantern really gets my attention. I like that - really does open up the door for a whole new type of magic item. Well-done.


Cool idea. Rules seem a bit off, considering a T-rex walks in the room sees it, makes its save and is still shaken. Damage is way too much for my liking.

Good luck!

Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I agree with... well, everybody. Great idea, weak mechanical execution.

As I think about constructive feedback to give you, I have to tell you that these mechanics seem sloppy. That's not an insult; some people write poor mechanics due to a lack of ability, but I don't think you're one of them. Rather, I think that you let your cool idea splash right onto the page in the form of the first, most intuitive mechanics that came into your mind. A scare-like effect on the first round plus phantasmal killer-like damage on subsequent rounds for all creatures who can see the shadow... that makes a lot of sense on the conceptual side. The problem is on the practical side, where those intuitive mechanics turn out to be overpowered, underpriced and lacking in thorough explanation (the failure to reference gaze mechanics is particularly troublesome).

My advice for future rounds is to reach a little farther for the killer mechanic to back up your killer idea. A supernaturally-terrifying phantasmagoria is a terrific concept that could have lent itself to a variety of mechanical implementations. Rather than going for the low-hanging fruit (and ending up with something obvious but rough), perhaps you should have reached higher for a more elegant and precise way to express the concept. For example, the shadow could create fear for a given radius but damage only one target at a time by reaching toward it... or it could create a strong fear effect in a growing radius to force targets further and further away... or you could mimic the two-save phantasmal killer by requiring a Will save to keep your eyes open in the same room with the shadow, then a Fort save vs. death if you open them again and see it while it's still present (with eye-averting rules in place to bring down the power level).

My point is that building the perfect mechanic might be more effective than choosing the most natural one. And if you make a mistake anyway, overreaching is a more sympathetic one than underreaching.

You came up with one of the top five ideas in this year's batch, and that counts for a lot. Good luck!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ooo, very cool! I like the scary shadow show. I think I’d be more likely to enjoy using this as GM than as a player, but I do have a handful of characters who would absolutely love this item—great for parties and social events!


Ian Studebaker-Grey wrote:

Silhouette of the Phantasmagoria

Aura moderate illusion (Phantasm); CL 7th
Slot -; Price 1400 gp; Weight ½ lb.
Description
This appears at first examination to be a disturbing image painted on thin wax-paper held taut within a soft copper frame. In and of itself the Silhouette can do nothing, but if used in conjunction with a naturally-lit bullseye lantern by slipping it into the shutter-slot, the flickering light narrows to project the horrific image onto the nearest 5' non-transparent flat surface directly in front of the lantern (up to a range of 60'), affecting all who see it with gut-wrenching fear. On the first round the image is seen, viewers who fail a DC 16 Will save are considered frightened while all others are merely shaken for as long as the lantern lights that area and for 1d6+1 rounds thereafter. If the lantern's aim is not moved for more than a round, each round the image remains in place it seemingly moves and shifts with such awful malignancy that all creatures still viewing it must make a Fortitude save (DC 16) or take 6d6 damage (save for half) every round it remains in view. Because of the fragile nature of the wax-paper it is inscribed on, the Silhouette cannot be removed once placed and is incinerated from the heat of the lantern after 2d4 rounds.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Scribe Scroll, Phantasmal Killer, creator must have 5 ranks in Craft (painting); Cost 700 gp.

Disclaimer:

This post constitutes the views of a (very advanced) CE aligned succubus. Being such, Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is at complete liberty to change her mind on anything without giving any notice whatsoever. For those of you who missed last year (or as a reminder for those whose memories have failed) Ask A RPGSupersuccubus subscribes absolutely to balance, fairness, and logic in these reviews – in the sense that 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, fairness is a term applicable to assessing either hair colour or more general beauteousness and logic is something which proves anything a demon of adequate status and charm requires it to demonstrate.

Note:
Ask A RPGSupersuccubus acknowledges the efforts of the ready supply of willing victims on the ‘Nine Blazing Months’ items thread, who inadvertently contributed to the development of weapons-grade questions for use in this round.

Fair is foul and foul is fair supposedly (trust a mortal to make up a piece of complete mumbo-jumbo – it is of course generally impossible to get anything much fairer in any context which actually matters than a succubus). Basically, though, does this item have any useful application in a spa?
Whilst it's cheap enough to be considered an expendable prank, sadly employing one is likely to get one ejected and blacklisted as an 'undesirable' at that location. Regrettably, no.

Assuming for a moment that it’s more convenient to pay taxes than to circumvent the system, does this item look likely to be a tax-deductible business expense for a succubus art-dealer?
No. Scaring customers or thieves is bad for business. (Customers need to be enticed, not frightened into parting with their money; thieves should be made permanent examples of...)

Is the item useful in a strawberries-and-cream-tea context?
Not unless a night-time date goes badly wrong.

Other Comments?
As I (hopefully) implied with the spa question answer, it's definitely cute. It requires clarification as to whether a person holding the lantern (the 'projectionist') is immune to the effects of the projection, or if it affect all viewers?

Gollum Rating:
Ratings of items are prosaic and unfashionably conventional this year. Although rules are there to be broken (so long as they do not involve the dread lord, Orcus) as a general rule no items will thus be rated this year.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Ant Health Warning: this year, I really worked hard on technical execution of my item, so these reviews will likely reflect template use. Brace yourselves for the template fu - it can sting.

Template Use: 8/10

Realising this is the last wondrous item template feed for a whole year, template fu stocks up (grin)...

half a point for capitalisation of subschool, you should not do that (for examples, check wondrous items Darkskull, Mantle of Faith, Strand of Prayer Beads.) - Aside: I notice in the PRD that "[sub-school]" is used unless it's a comment, like on prayer beads "(many schools)", so no deduction is made for () or [] use this year - next year, I will expect the correct brackets to be used as will template fu. All entrants be warned :P

half a point for capitalising the spell in construction, italics, great - capitalisation, not so

half a point for not using a comma in the price - 1,400 not 1400. template fu sighs that the cost didnlt each 1,000, he thinks he would have had a whole point then.

and a last half point for wall of word-ness.

My, what a hungry template fu.

Slot affinity: 9/10

Wow, a novel twist of slotness, an item that requires a "slot" in a bullseye lantern - grin. I really loved the throwback vibe to victorian picture shows using lanterns and slides. Very cool.

Abuseability: 7/10

Very very cheap for a 6d6 per round effect. That hurt you in this score, even for only 2 rounds at the lowest, that's a bit over powered for the price level for me.
I also foresee a squad of middle level and upwards having one (or more) each and unleashing art gallery hell on their enemies.

Desirability: 7/10

As it affects all who see it, I can see the odd accidental party not warned moment happening in the heat of battle. I think at the current pricing, as a GM, I wouldnt allow it in my game - I would definitely put some limits or increase the price or both on it someway.

Originality: 41/10

I just really love the slide show aspect, I can see shadow puppetry items and other forms of lantern powered items arising from this core idea. Awesome originality.

Ant Score: 41/50 (82%)

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