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Elixir of Resurgent Flame


Round 1 - Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Elixir of Resurgent Flame
Aura moderate conjuration and evocation; CL 5th
Slot -; Price 2,500 gp; Weight -
Description
Drinking this smoldering red liquid, sacred to the god Nethys, results in searing pain as numinous power courses through the drinker’s body, boiling the blood and causing the skin to smoke and burn from within. The drinker is sickened for one round before the pain is soothed by an invigorating flood of cool energy. The drinker is left with blackened scorch marks on their skin in the shape of archaic runes for flame and succor. These symbols may appear anywhere on the body but the right side of the drinker’s face is always terribly burned in honor of The All-Seeing Eye. The runes grant the drinker access to several words of power for the next 24 hours, after which all burns fade away.

Three times each, as an oracle (CL 5), the drinker may use the burning flash and lesser cure effect words, with the personal or selected target words. If the drinker is already a wordcaster they may also add burning flash and lesser cure to their list of words known for the next 24 hours.

For the duration, the drinker can combine fire and healing effect words into one wordspell, deciding at the point of casting whether to make it destructive or rejuvenating. If the wordspell is destructive, any points of healing granted by the healing word are converted to fire damage with an effect identical to the fire word. If the wordspell is rejuvenating, all fire damage is instead converted into healing. If either word would normally grant a saving throw, the consequences of the save apply to all effect words.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, burning hands, cure light wounds; Cost 1,250 gp

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Well, we have our first "words of power" item. It's an alternate sub-system that plenty of GMs may very well choose not to employ in their game. That alone makes this a niche item from a marketability standpoint.

If you assess it just on its merits alone, it's a fun theme to build fire and healing words around. You get the Nethys connection right away. It's innovative in the sense that the designer took it upon themselves to research and apply the "words of power" mechanics to the item. They've got a nearly flawless presentation in terms of using the provided template and correctly referencing game terminology. And, basing an item devoted to the god of magic on an alternate spellcasting system has a certain appeal to it.

Personally, this guy probably deserves a shot at the Top 32. Maybe the item doesn't make it after we sort through the Keep pile. But it probably at least deserves consideration. If I'm assessing the designer behind this item, this is someone I'd be interested in seeing what else they can do with this same level of creativity and attention to detail. I'd just advise them to stick to a few more of the core rules rather than alternate ones.

Vote to Keep.

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

This is a keeper for sure for me.

KEEP

CEO, Goblinworks

The last paragraph of this entry is why I voted for it. Otherwise it's a pair of spells-in-a-can. But the ability to combine two effects into one gives this item nice flexibility.

It's also very well written and follows the template perfectly. It uses conditions (sickness) and defines the power level of its effects correctly (Oracle, CL5). This kind of attention to detail is greatly appreciated by the editors and by GMs who may be using this on the fly as a part of an adventure.

My recommendation: Please vote for this designer.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

This has great flavor. The mechanics are simple (that's a good thing), and I like how even if you're not using wordcasting in your campaign, this item tells you the exact rules pieces you need to reference in order to use it in your campaign. And the combo is neat.

Definitely in the Top 32, IMO!

Keep!

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

After reading through this entry, I had to take a break to reread the wordcasting chapter in Ultimate Magic. Unsurprisingly, I now want to tinker around with wordcasting a bit more. The best items (or feats, archetypes, spells) inspire character ideas and plot hooks. This is one of those inspiring items.

Well done!

RPG Superstar 2011 aka Ignotus

This is well into rules territory that I haven’t played with personally, so I’m not going to comment on the actual words of power rules. I WILL say that this wins the “most badass item” award of the things I’ve read thus far, an awesome, evocative description that makes me imagine all kinds of cool things about the societies and people that use it. I also haven’t seen many potions that grant spell-like abilities for a certain length of time before - and certainly none that take the next step into spellweaving (or whatever you want to call this). It’s a simple, elegant idea that’s turbocharged by the visuals associated with it. I suspect this designer will go far. Don’t disappoint.

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

What I like:
So back in the spring when I first read Ultimate Magic I found myself thinking that, were I still eligible for the contest this year, I'd probably make something for the Words of Power rules. Glad to see other people were thinking along those lines and one made it through the gates.
What I love:
While it's a little complex, I really love the combined/dual effect power of the item. it's a neat use of the system, and it also feels really true to the dual nature of Nethys.
What needs a little sumptin' sumptin'...
At first reading, I wanted to criticize the fact that the 'main' powers of the item are basically just packing WoP into a can, but upon consideration, I don't mind that so much. Doing so makes this useful for all characters, not just wordcasters. Hell, even a total muggle character benefits from it. So upon reflection... this really doesn't need a little sumptin' sumptin' after all. Good job!
All in all...
You whipped up an entry based around the new spellcasting system I really like, and themed it around my favorite Golarion god. I still haven't finished going through all the items, and a lot of the oens I have are still murky as far as position in my head, but I do believe you've created one of my favorite entries this year. Congratulations and welcome to RPG Superstar!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

Cor blimey guv'nor, I'm in.

I'm stunned. Especially after reading such complimentary words from legends of the game. Even if nothing else comes of this, that alone is pretty special. Thanks guys! I won't let you down in the next round.

I wondered if I was going a bit too niche, but I really love the concept of Words of Power from a design point of view. Going with something that you find inspiring has got to be the key to creating something memorable. Hark at me giving out design advice already. Maybe I should save that for if I get a bit further!

Right. I'll check out all the entries then, to work on the next round. And maybe some sleep at some point. It's 10.30pm here in London and I've been up since 5.00am with my 12 week old baby. This is going to be a frantic three days...


I don't particularly care for words of power, but that is not on display. The item works well, and if I did like words of power I would buy this item. You would have gotten my vote if I had one.

Qadira Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Congratulations!

This is probably my favorite out of the Top 32. Evocative imagery (seriously, it's pretty awesome), use of wordspell mechanics (which I've been meddling with lately), and both of those in connection to Nethys, who's a personal favorite of mine as Golarion deities go.

I'm looking forward to your next round submission; keep up the good work!

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

I admit to not being familiar with the words of power rules but the writing is very good. Looking forward to reading your organization which I should understand better :)


Wow ! Go Dan...Loving the flavour and mechanics behind the Elixir creation. I can only assume your baby's nocturnal stirrings is providing you with much needed Pathfinder creation time, hehe...We'll be supporting you in the next round, fo' sure. "North London in da Pathfinder house" !

Star Voter 2013

To start with, I was very under-impressed with words of power when I read them in UM. But, this item makes me think maybe I judged them a little too harshly, and that's impressive for a mere 300 word item.

The execution is incredible, and the flavor is stunning. The item is interesting, dynamic, plays nice with all the existing rules whether or not you're using wordspells already...

Easily my favorite top 32 item so far this year. I can't wait to see your organization.


i am not an expert on words of power but i'll say this, as far flavour text goes, your entry comes on top of others, certainly one to keep an eye out in the next round..

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Congratulations Daniel,

I am surprised there are so few posts on your thread as this is the tightest I have seen so far. Good choice on the words of power design niche, wonderful imagery and nice Golarian tie in. The judges comments are relatively short so that will probably tell you how much they liked your item! I think this is the first four 'keeps' I have seen. In my RPGSS fantasy I am pegging you for the platinum :) Nice job, keep up the tight design. Good luck I hope you go far!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

Thanks everyone for your support so far. It means a lot to hear such positive comments. I'm working furiously on my round 2 entry in every spare moment I have (although it's game night tonight so a pause is in order). I'll be back when this organization is finally done!


I am not a huge fan of words of power, but this is a great item for gaming groups that do use that subsystem. Very evocative, thematically tight. Superstar stuff, sir - well played!


Congratulations on making top 32. Good luck further on.

Okay, there's not a lot I want to analyse here, but I'll mention some of what I like. A sun/fire themed item that Nethys, not Sarenrae. I'm getting just a little overfed on Sarenrae recently and this year has a lot of it, so choosing Nethys (and getting the flavor well down) set you apart. Fairly nice effects, though they don't out of the way amaze. I LOVE that you're working with words of power, and you seem to have handled the challenge fairly well.

I may return with a slightly more detailed review later, if I can manage before the organizations are published.


Agreed with Curaigh. This item is right on flavour, and the rules very lucid for a niche area like words of power.

With the tight execution of an underused mechanism, it's design feels forward-thinking too. Bring on round 2.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013

Your item is great because it brings exposure to a new, and heretofore seldom explored area of the game. Ultimate Magic is a book I really love, and it is fantastic to see someone jump in and make use of Words of Power. I admire your willingness to design an item in this arena. Like several people have commented, just reading the item makes me want to go back and read through the Words of Power section, and find ways to use them in my game.

The visuals are cinematic and really help sell the effects. The first time a character quaffs this elixir, he's going to wonder if he made the worst mistake in his life... until the power kicks in. I love items like that.

Awesome work!

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 were unanimously voted into the Top 32, and for good reason. Your visuals are cool, your mechanics are tight, and you have a knack for tinkering with rules in interesting ways. Plus, you demonstrate strong Golarion-fu.

You could become an even bigger threat in future rounds if... you just keep on doing what you're doing. You're on my list of finalists to beat.

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

Sweet! This is an awesome item related to a niche, but very expandable option in the PFRPG rules. The visuals certainly add to an already great idea.

Congratulations, and best of luck in the next round, Daniel!


I like this one because it is fairly simple and not overpowered, and can be used by the GM to introduce Words of Power to players.

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

Opponent overview

Style Mastery - Strong. Awesome imagery. Very strong mojo here.

Mechanics Mastery - Strong. Nice choice to pick the Words of Power as the basis of your item.

Golarion Mastery - Strong. The Nethys connection is spot on, and ties in nicely with the Words of Power.

Special Abilities - Favored by both the judges and the crowd, and for good reason.

CR 18 - Will have to mess up royally on the round 2 entry not to advance.

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

I think you've combined some great description (and good word usage, with terms like invigorating flood of cool energy) with some good rules knowledge. I have to admit, I haven't really looked at the words of power, but like the spellblight cage, this makes me want to go back and take another look at that part of Ultimate Magic.


After reading the words of power section in UM about a month ago I thought, "Why?" But now this item is making me want to go back and think about it. Either way VERY cool item. Love the scars and dis-figuration. Tight theme. Great writing. You've got my vote.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

First of all, thanks to everyone for your great comments. I'm so pleased people like the Elixir.

I'm also thrilled that it's encouraged people to re-evaluate Words of Power. I think there's a lot in that system if it's teased out, especially for spontaneous casters. Being able to combine two effects in the same spell, say glimmering and fire wall, creating an illusory paper wall to conceal a flamey death, allows for endlessly creative spellcasting. We just need some more Words to give the options traditional casters have with their spell lists.

Sean McGowan wrote:
At first reading, I wanted to criticize the fact that the 'main' powers of the item are basically just packing WoP into a can, but upon consideration, I don't mind that so much. Doing so makes this useful for all characters, not just wordcasters. Hell, even a total muggle character benefits from it.

I'm glad you said this Sean. I was in two minds about including the SIAC aspects but I wanted the greater utility they bring and I think they are useful to help spell out the mechanic if you're unsure of the WoP rules.

More importantly, I wanted the item to be a tool for GMs to be able to introduce wordspells into the game in a simple way, allowing players to try out the mechanics without having to play a full-on wordcaster. I'd love for someone out there to leave one of these lying around for their players to pick up.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

Kradlum wrote:
I like this one because it is fairly simple and not overpowered, and can be used by the GM to introduce Words of Power to players.

Exactly!

Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Daniel Rust wrote:


More importantly, I wanted the item to be a tool for GMs to be able to introduce wordspells into the game in a simple way, allowing players to try out the mechanics without having to play a full-on wordcaster. I'd love for someone out there to leave one of these lying around for their players to pick up.

This is why your entry is one of my favorites, despite my lack of interest in the words of power system. You're not just designing for the system, you're designing for the game. If I were a judge, I'd have given you my vote on those grounds alone (contingent on your style and mechanical stuff being sound, which they are).

Good luck in the next round!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Afraid I must concede ignorance of the words of power system, so a lot of this makes limited sense to me. That said, the mechanics seem tight and I love the 24 hour compatibility of fire and healing effects. I have a few characters who would probably like this item once I understood the rules space it’s playing in.

Though reading the comments, I am now convinced to give words of power a serious read when I have some time to spare.


Daniel Rust wrote:

Elixir of Resurgent Flame

Aura moderate conjuration and evocation; CL 5th
Slot -; Price 2,500 gp; Weight -
Description
Drinking this smoldering red liquid, sacred to the god Nethys, results in searing pain as numinous power courses through the drinker’s body, boiling the blood and causing the skin to smoke and burn from within. The drinker is sickened for one round before the pain is soothed by an invigorating flood of cool energy. The drinker is left with blackened scorch marks on their skin in the shape of archaic runes for flame and succor. These symbols may appear anywhere on the body but the right side of the drinker’s face is always terribly burned in honor of The All-Seeing Eye. The runes grant the drinker access to several words of power for the next 24 hours, after which all burns fade away.

Three times each, as an oracle (CL 5), the drinker may use the burning flash and lesser cure effect words, with the personal or selected target words. If the drinker is already a wordcaster they may also add burning flash and lesser cure to their list of words known for the next 24 hours.

For the duration, the drinker can combine fire and healing effect words into one wordspell, deciding at the point of casting whether to make it destructive or rejuvenating. If the wordspell is destructive, any points of healing granted by the healing word are converted to fire damage with an effect identical to the fire word. If the wordspell is rejuvenating, all fire damage is instead converted into healing. If either word would normally grant a saving throw, the consequences of the save apply to all effect words.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, burning hands, cure light wounds; Cost 1,250 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?
It does what to your face?!?!?
Let's be clear about something: One goes to a spa to relax, to talk politics, and to demonstrate how serenely beauteous one is. Yes, there are other possible reasons to visit, too, but given what this revolting item does to one's personal appearance - for such a trivial 'boon' - this game just isn't worth the candle in a spa.

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?
I have to say, it's probably cheaper to buy half a dozen potions for personal or minions use than to buy a shot of this. Probably less likely to get one in trouble with the church of Nethys, too, for stealing their 'sacred' nectar. (And trust me, the church of a deity of knowledge finds about these things, sooner or later, if you buy items like this on the black market and use them, and you probably don't want to buy the item direct from the temple and take any strings which come attached with it.)
Anyway, it's irrelevant whether it's tax-deductible or not.

Is the item useful in a strawberries-and-cream-tea context?
Not unless you're dating a follower of Nethys, who might find the look attractive.

Other Comments?
It doesn't even taste good - it sickens the drinker. If you're not a fan of Nethys, what is the point to this concoction?

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: 9.5/10

template fu struggles mightily, he initially wonders how two 1st level spells result in a moderate strength aura, but eventualy decides that they are cast at 5th level to provide the oracle caster level effect. So out of fairness to prior contestents, he eats half a point for use of "and" in the Aura, and shrugs saying you could have listed (healing) and (fire) next to the schools in the aura.

Slot affinity: 10/10

No slot is perfect for potions and elixirs, weirdly elixirs are wondrous items and not potions - lol, I hadn't realised that till reviewing this.

Abuseability: 8/10

At over twice the price of Elixir of Fire Breath, which also has a three times effect, I thought I might end up buying two fire breaths to one of these, so it may be slightly over price for my liking when compared to other items in the 2.5k bracket.
Rather than do the 24 hours later it expires duration, an easier to book-keep and track method for the GM and players is to say expiring at midnight or dawn.

Desirability: 7/10

Fairly desireable, albeit with that slight pricing niggle I mentioned earlier.
I also wondered what would happen if the crafter or weilder has bonuses to healing or fire, could the item benefit from such bonuses?
I then thought about undead, if they are hit by a fire choice, as part of the source is divine healing, would the undead experience extra damage similar to being hit with positive energy spells?

Originality: 8/10

I have an issue in my game where players often come to me with fire based add-ons for healers, so for me this was not so original, but, that said, the body markings and implementation really rocked for me. Well done.

Ant Score: 42.5/50 (85%)

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