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RPG Superstar 2015

Night Monarch Vardo


Round 1 - Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter 2014 aka MillerHero

Night Monarch Vardo
Aura strong conjuration and transmutation; CL 13th
Slot none; Price 22,750 gp; Weight 400 lbs.
Description
Varisians prize these brightly colored wagons for their usefulness in transport and consider them a sign of Desna’s favor. 10 feet wide by 20 feet long, a Night Monarch Vardo functions as a magically treated Heavy Wagon (hardness 10 and 240 hit points). However, the inside is larger than its outside dimensions. Two additional rooms equivalent in size to the first are accessible from the interior of the wagon and are treated as extradimensional spaces. The atmosphere in these adjoining rooms is clean, fresh, and warm regardless of outside conditions. Each has a capacity of 5,000 pounds and 1,000 cubic feet.

A greater boon is revealed when an animal animated from a figurine of wondrous power is harnessed to the wagon. A Night Monarch Vardo does not encumber these creatures, provided they are at least large size. Moreover, if the animated animal takes flight, the wagon can accompany the creature without hindrance. A Night Monarch Vardo can even follow an obsidian steed during its plane shift and ethereal jaunt powers.

When a Night Monarch Vardo is part of a caravan, use the following caravan rules statistics:
Traveler Capacity 6; Cargo Capacity 14
Limit 1; Consumption 1
Special Benefit +4 bonus to caravan’s Resolve

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, mage's magnificent mansion, overland flight, creator must have 6 ranks in the Craft (carpentry) or Profession (wainwright) skill; Cost 11,375 gp

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Hmmm. I'm not really a fan of seeing the caravan rules come into play for a wondrous item submission, but I suppose the designer wanted to stand out (and show off a little) by including that. The item itself is a magic wagon that acts as a mobile mage's magnificent mansion. We've all certainly envisioned, imagined, or read about such things. Yet, one doesn't currently exist in the game. Is this innovative from a creativity standpoint? Not really. But attaching the figurine of wondrous power to give it even greater mobility options actually is. The designer is also trying to fill a niche that doesn't currently have an item like this in the game. I think it's probably undercosted for what it can do. But I'm also pleased with the attention to detail in using the template correctly. The only slip-up is that they needed to lowercase their own item name in the descriptive text...which they did for the FOWP and obsidian steed references.

I don't know. I'm not sure if I want to reward this kind of idea and execution or not. I'm on the fence. Maybe leaning towards a Weak Keep.

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

Nice try with the jade regent tie in angle. I think they did that knowing what you and I are working on, Neil, with LG.

Nice try, but no.

I'm on the fence, though, too. I feel like they are trying to suck up to Neil and I.

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

I dont think we should advance this, though it isnt bad. I dont want to turn RPG Superstar into "Adventure Path tie-in Superstar". I think if we advance this, we will get a slew of AP related items next year and that would be bad. That said, I appreciate the clever use of caravan rules.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I don't think the designer is intentionally trying to suck up to anyone. It's a pretty common thing for folks to get inspired by the more recent APs in the same way we often see items inspired by the most recent movies or books that come out. Aside from Jade Regent items, I believe we've seen a fair number of item submissions related to Skull & Shackles, too. It's okay to get inspired by those things as long as you're being innovative and not just ripping something off. And I believe this item enhances rather than overshadows Jade Regent. It also has more lasting utility than just caravan-themed campaigns.

The reason I'm on the fence (and leaning towards a Weak Keep) is that I'm looking past the item to assess the designer. Is it Superstar worthy to take inspiration from the caravan rules and apply them to a wondrous item submission? Maybe. Is this a designer with careful attention to detail? Yes. Is there creativity here in what they've submitted? Yes, somewhat. It's not just a mobile mage's magnificent mansion. It has some intriguing travel options and interplay with figurines of wondrous power and the obsidian steed. Is that innovative enough? Not necessarily. Hence, I come back around and put myself on the fence. I'd like to hear what Sean and Ryan think about it.

The one major knock I see against it is that the wagon is priced a little too low for me. I think it's up there with an instant fortress in some ways. Not as durable or defensible (and I was glad to see the hardness and hit points for the wagon included), but more mobile than an instant fortress which is 55,000 gp. In contrast, this wagon is half as much, but more useful in some ways. I think it could also be viewed as a bit of a plot device...or, if Jade Regent hadn't come out yet, we might look at it as more of a homebrew campaign item in a way. Or, even as a minor artifact. Then again, items like the instant fortress, folding boat and apparatus of the crab kind of share this design space. I could see this wagon alongside those items fairly easily. But does it have enough mojo to be Superstar? That's the question. And, it's really more of a question about the designer than the item anyway...

So, given all that, I'm going to say...Weak Keep.

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

I've come back to this one, too. And I think the most interesting part of it is the use of the caravan rules. That's not something this author came up with. In the end, while it is a tad more than a magnificent mansion on wheels, its not that much more than that.

Weak Reject.

I'm just not sure this is a "wondrous item" as much as it is a magic wagon. I mean, is there a fixed magical recipe to make this wagon, like there would be for boots of speed? I think this is more just an individual magical wagon rather than a true wondrous item.

Contributor

It does feel somewhat unique to me.

I like the concept, but I don't see adventurers using this thing for the same reason they don't like bringing horses on adventures: at some point, you have to leave them outside, undefended, and nobody wants to leave a 22,000 gp item outside a dungeon for something to steal or destroy. I put it in the same category as the folding boat, but you can put the boat in your pocket.

Would be ok for a book of magic items, but not really right for RPG Superstar.

Hmm, you know what, I'm gonna vote keep. Maybe this designer has something interesting to show us in a later round, even if magic items isn't their thing. They found a creative space (or perhaps two) that hasn't been explored much.

CEO, Goblinworks

I would normally consider this item to be a plot-device or an NPC item but there's some possibility that a certain kind of campaign could make use of this. In addition I really liked how the designer tried to weave the item into the fabric of the game by providing different kinds of effects based on whatever was hitched to the Vardo.

I recommend that you vote for this designer.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

After comparing this item to several others in the Keep folder, I've come to the conclusion that it just isn't exciting enough for me. It's technically proficient, but it just lacks mojo and Superstar quality. It might still make it through as a "golden ticket" or an alternate, however. But, for now, I'm going to change my vote to a...

...Weak Reject.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka DankeSean

What I like:
I'm learning new words left and right this year! But I don't mind that at all. Once I googled 'Vardo' and saw 'gypsy wagon' it put a smile on my face. Because Night Monarch = Desna = Varisians, so I could pretty much see where this was going from there, and I approved.
What I love:
The fact that you incorporated the new caravan rules from Jade Regent really impressed me. Now, I'll admit, I'm not amazingly familiar with those rules yet; since I'm only reading and not playing JR at this stage, I just sort of glance over those parts of the adventure before moving on. But, I'll assume that's all well and good and within acceptable balance limits. Because, for me, that's what makes this a superstar item: finding a new niche to work in, and making an actual interesting item to do it with.
I also like the connection with figurines of wondrous power; I like items that modify/enhance the uses of other items, so I really appreciate that you've added that in here. Plus the image of one of these being pulled along by an ivory elephant is just cool.
What needs a little sumptin' sumptin'...
It could be said that this is, essentially, just a camping item. Extra room for the whole party to sleep at night, safety from environmental conditions, in extradimensional spaces, even, and plenty of space to pack in a ton of treasure/equipment. Plus large, bulky items like this aren't the sexiest to dole out as rewards as opposed to a new shiny body slot item; like I said above, I grinned once I read up on what a vardo was, but then I paused and said, 'wait, a wagon? Reading on, it won me over, but it did give a moment of pause.
Also, I'm not completely sold on the name; while I get the Varisian connection, specifically namedropping the Night Monarch made me think this would be more related to dreams, stars or the like. Yes, Desna's all about travel as well, and this certainly relates to that, but the name led me to expect something that didn't quite materialize. (I expected the sleeping chambers would have some weird properties, for example.) Pretty minor a nitpick, all things considered, though.
All in all...
You take what could be a useful-but-dull 'makes adventuring easy' potential autoreject and make it interesting, both through description and playing with enough new rules to make it more than one might expect at first glance. And honestly, sometime the most impressive items are the ones that flirt with Sean's autoreject advice and then win out on rule #27 in the end. So, congratulations and welcome to RPG Superstar!

RPG Superstar 2011 aka Ignotus

Ok, so it’s Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Gypsy Wagon. With an awesome name. But that’s not superstar.

The figurine gimmick is too specific and not very helpful, because most figurines can’t stay active long enough to go on a long journey in your wagon, and if you hitch it to an ebony fly or something it’s not like you can bring along some horses for when your fly goes back to sleep. I guess maybe if you had a ridiculous number of figurines you could keep changing them out?

In theory, I like the world-building that it’s doing - this would be a badass trade caravan to guard or raid. However, I’m not convinced that high-level magic is ubiquitous enough in Golarion for this to be much of a thing. Maybe one wizard would set up one of these caravans, but that's not enough for me to need a special wondrous item write-up for it.

Meh.

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

I'm busy playing in a Jade Regent game, so this item immediately piqued my interests.

So, we have a rolling mage's magnificent mansion. That's handy, but nothing special yet. And then we get to the interaction with figurines of wondrous power. Now that's got my attention. Attach it to an obsidian steed and you have the TARDIS. Nice.

Unfortunately, I can't really see the vardo coming into play in a typical JR caravan. Sure, it provides lots of extra cargo space, but it's figurine synergy probably won't come into play often (or prove to be a bit of a logistical headache as you split the caravan up). However, I can imagine a number of very different caravan-based campaigns where it could actually see use. I'm sure many of this year's voters could think up some of their own too.

Welcome to the Top 32. I applaud you for experimenting with the caravan rules. Good luck during round 2.


Congratulations, Steve - it's always nice to see a North Carolinian make it into the Top 32, and even more special knowing someone personally who achieves this honor! You do us proud!

Contributor

Congratulations on making the top 32!

While I like the idea of a "wagon of holding", I agree with most of the down side arguments above. I can't see this being a PC item. The addition of the Figurines of Wondrous Power to the description should be a "auto reject" IMHO, or everyone is going to start with the "If you use this wondrous item with that wondrous item you get an extraspecial wondrous item" idea.

Also, I just read a whole thread on pretentious titles... What the heck is a Vardo? My Webster's Unabridged did not have it... I had to go to the web, and Wikipedia, to get a definition. And where in the description do night and monarch come into it?

I hate to be so negative about a winner, but I don't get this one...

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Night Monarch = Desna, the goddess of dreams, heavily worshipped by the gypsy-equivalent Varisians in the world of Golarion.

Vardo = a gypsy wagon

The name fits.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter 2014 aka MillerHero

Though I should be working on my organization, I am allowed to comment and answer questions here, right?


I'm not a judge, but if I were to go by Neil's post in another RPGS thread, you should be able to respond accordingly.

I thought the same thing Sam did by calling it Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Gypsy Wagon before I got to his post. I'm not sure if I would call it a wondrous item in the classical sense as displayed by the majority of the other entrants, but I do believe this is a cool concept and fits something that could be found in possession of a Varisian.

Good luck in round two!

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

Urizen, I think in the end you summarized how the judges felt. We liked the idea of this and the hint of the designer behind it even though it may not have totally crushed us with the item itself. I often talk of the GOAL of the item round versus the TASK and I can say that is why I wanted this one to be in the Keep folder for later consideration. What you are seeing here is our discussion of the item after we decided to keep it, so our comments are mostly as between items we kept. What isnt stated, as I mention, is my feeling (and I think most of the other judges' feeling) that there was something here to consider. And when you can get 3 or 4 of us thinking like that, you are on to something. And this item had that. No, it wasnt universally loved (I, in the end, didn't champion it for instance). The truth will out, and the contest will tell us whether we were right or wrong to ticket it. But I think there is some mojo here even though I didnt ticket it.


Clark, when I read this, I was reminded indirectly by this book you might be familiar with. While this item is nowhere near the scale or purpose of the items presented in that compendium, I can imagine - with some tweaks - this as an insert inside an Inner Sea Wondrous Items Equipment Guide softcover featuring items specifically found in the Golarion setting.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Congratulations Steve,
Playing with and enhancing an underused/new/complicated rule has been the definition of mojo/superstar in the past. Threading the needle on Clark's gaol/task continuuam is a good sign as well. I hope this means we will see some great stuff from you. Good Luck! :)

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Steve Miller wrote:
Though I should be working on my organization, I am allowed to comment and answer questions here, right?

Yes, Steve. You're free to comment in this round however you like. Just understand that, from this point forward, the voters will be forming an opinion of you based on how they perceive your words and actions on the messageboards. That can be a boon or a bane depending on your conduct. So, proceed with caution.


It seems a bit like a TARDIS to me.
I'm concerned that the rooms are 10'x20' but only 1,000 cubic foot, so only 5' high it would seem. The dimensions are a little off all round, I think 5' wide x 10' long x 10' high (and that's allowing for the wheels) would be a bit more realistic, but I have no idea of the dimensions of a Vardo in JR, so I might be totally wrong.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter 2014 aka MillerHero

Thank you for giving me the chance to continue in the competition. Let's see what happens.

Addressing specific issues:

Neil Spicer wrote:
We've all certainly envisioned, imagined, or read about such things. Yet, one doesn't currently exist in the game.

At first I was concerned that this was the case, but the more I thought about it, I couldn't think of one in the game - as you pointed out.

Clark Peterson wrote:

Nice try with the jade regent tie in angle. I think they did that knowing what you and I are working on, Neil, with LG.

Nice try, but no.

I'm on the fence, though, too. I feel like they are trying to suck up to Neil and I.

I admit, Jade Regent was on my mind considering that I am playing it. However, our first session is tonight, so the only part I'm familiar with is the player's guide. I was unaware that Clark and Neil are working on something for it. Do tell.

What I was worried about was Sean. I didn't want him to think I was sucking up by using inspiration from his Desna article in The Skinsaw Murders. But the Night Monarch name fit so well I decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did, and I glad he didn't think I was pandering.[/spoiler]

Neil Spicer wrote:
The one major knock I see against it is that the wagon is priced a little too low for me. I think it's up there with an instant fortress in some ways. Not as durable or defensible (and I was glad to see the hardness and hit points for the wagon included), but more mobile than an instant fortress which is 55,000 gp. In contrast, this wagon is half as much, but more useful in some ways.

I went through the same thought process, Neil. My first draft had the price at 55,000 gp, but the lack of defense and damage ability made me reconsider. I also compared it to a portable hole. In the end I priced it as if it were a bag of holding type 5, (which doesn't exist). I extrapolated the prices out and it fell close to the portable hole, which I figure isn't quite as good as a night monarch vardo. That being said, how much does a magically treated heavy wagon cost? Ultimate Combat has statistics for magically treated, but for the life of me I couldn't find any prices associated with it.

Sean McGowan wrote:
Also, I'm not completely sold on the name; while I get the Varisian connection, specifically namedropping the Night Monarch made me think this would be more related to dreams, stars or the like. Yes, Desna's all about travel as well, and this certainly relates to that, but the name led me to expect something that didn't quite materialize. (I expected the sleeping chambers would have some weird properties, for example.)

My original idea had more of a Desnan connection than just a name and theme. I flirted with the idea of having the wagon appear to transform into a giant butterfly when it took flight, but I decided to lose that in favor of a more general item.

Sam Zeitlin wrote:
The figurine gimmick is too specific and not very helpful, because most figurines can’t stay active long enough to go on a long journey in your wagon, and if you hitch it to an ebony fly or something it’s not like you can bring along some horses for when your fly goes back to sleep. I guess maybe if you had a ridiculous number of figurines you could keep changing them out?

I thought about this too, Sam. One draft of my item granted flight to any normal animals that were attached in tandem with an animal animated from a figurine of wondrous power. That's why overland flight is in the requirements. I chose not to include that part in the final draft. In retrospect, perhaps levitate would have been a better choice for the requirements.

Jerall Toi wrote:
Attach it to an obsidian steed and you have the TARDIS. Nice.

There it is! That word. I feared it would be compared to the TARDIS. Not being familiar with Dr. Who, I didn't understand it at first when my Rise of the Runelords players referred to it as the TARDIS. I sought the advice of Dr. Who fans who assured me that the TARDIS was more of a time traveling device with unknown proportions than a cargo wagon that could fly.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter 2014 aka MillerHero

The whole story:
A Varisian character in my Rise of the Runelords home game commissioned Bilivar Wheen of Sandpoint's Wheen's Wagons to craft a Varisian style caravan wagon for him.

Little did the character know that the autonomous harp they found in the Misgivings was also a semi-sentient lyre of building, which began to play while Wheen was working on the wagon. The player characters began to suspect the magical nature of the wagon when it was delivered a week before it was scheduled to be completed.

Many months later, the PCs participated in the Ritual of Stardust in Magnimar wherein some spotted a butterfly-like outsider with a body the size of a dragon (Desna's Herald, the Night Monarch) fly over the wagon and touch it with its antennae. The following morning the PCs discovered a door inside the wagon which lead to a bedroom. This is probably when we started affectionately referring to it as the Swagger Wagon. Desna also bestowed upon the heroes a small, shapeless lump of white stone, which turned out to be an ivory steed (a variant of the figurine of wondrous power: obsidian steed).

The PCs used the ivory steed to pull the wagon many times before someone on board offhandedly mentioned that they wished they could go to Cheliax. The PCs were astonished when the ivory steed used its plane shift power twice to transport the party and their wagon to their spoken destination. From then on they were more cautious about what they said when the ivory steed was harnessed to the wagon.

Eventually they discovered an additional room and its ability to accompany any flying creature hitched to it. The wagon even sprouted outriggers when the party reached the edge of a lake and considered ditching the wagon.

When it came time to submit for the RPG Superstar contest I ran a few ideas past a buddy of mine and he recommended that I stat up the Varisian Swagger Wagon considering what the current adventure path is. The night monarch vardo is my homebrew plot device, transformed into a generic item that I think many parties would use regardless of campaign.

Star Voter 2013

Very practical, kinda cool, and I like a lot of it's application. Sure, it's not flashy or totally perfect, but I ultimately do think it's a really good item.

Congrats, and I look forward to seeing you in future rounds.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter 2014 aka MillerHero

Curaigh wrote:

Congratulations Steve,

Playing with and enhancing an underused/new/complicated rule has been the definition of mojo/superstar in the past. Threading the needle on Clark's gaol/task continuuam is a good sign as well. I hope this means we will see some great stuff from you. Good Luck! :)

Thanks Curaigh, and thanks for GMing for me at Paizo Con last year!


Ha ha! I like the backstory!


I admit I chuckled at Varisian Swagger Wagon. I can totally see that being used as a regional epithet.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations Steve! Best of luck going forward.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

This item is bulletproof. I think that's how it ultimately won over the judges. Say what you will about spell-in-a-can, "is this really a wondrous item", etc., the facts remain:

Is this is useful and novel effect? Yes.
Is this the right way to get it into the game? Yes.
Is it well-designed? Yes.
Is it well-written and interesting? Yes.

I admit to some misgivings about an item that is basically just another extradimensional safe room, but given the above, how can you fault the item? The niche of a mobile headquarters called out for filling, and you filled it well, incorporating the relevant new caravan rules rather than haring off on your own. Congratulations and good luck going forward.


I think this is cute, although it could just be because I'm currently in a Jade Regent game.Nevertheless, I want this Tardis in our Jade Regent game. Now to figure out how to talk the GM into it. :)


Steve Miller wrote:

Night Monarch Vardo

Aura strong conjuration and transmutation; CL 13th
Slot none; Price 22,750 gp; Weight 400 lbs.
Description
Varisians prize these brightly colored wagons for their usefulness in transport and consider them a sign of Desna’s favor. 10 feet wide by 20 feet long, a Night Monarch Vardo functions as a magically treated Heavy Wagon (hardness 10 and 240 hit points). However, the inside is larger than its outside dimensions. Two additional rooms equivalent in size to the first are accessible from the interior of the wagon and are treated as extradimensional spaces. The atmosphere in these adjoining rooms is clean, fresh, and warm regardless of outside conditions. Each has a capacity of 5,000 pounds and 1,000 cubic feet.

A greater boon is revealed when an animal animated from a figurine of wondrous power is harnessed to the wagon. A Night Monarch Vardo does not encumber these creatures, provided they are at least large size. Moreover, if the animated animal takes flight, the wagon can accompany the creature without hindrance. A Night Monarch Vardo can even follow an obsidian steed during its plane shift and ethereal jaunt powers.

When a Night Monarch Vardo is part of a caravan, use the following caravan rules statistics:
Traveler Capacity 6; Cargo Capacity 14
Limit 1; Consumption 1
Special Benefit +4 bonus to caravan’s Resolve

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, mage's magnificent mansion, overland flight, creator must have 6 ranks in the Craft (carpentry) or Profession (wainwright) skill; Cost 11,375 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 is a term applicable to assessing either hair colour or more general beauteousness, 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 used to assess hair coloration 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?
No. You are not going to get something this size around the corridors of the average resort.

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?
Okay, now this item does have possibilities for businesses which involve delivering large heavy objects (such as large bronze statues of tastefully nubile figures) and could certainly be claimed as a transport expense.

Is the item useful in a strawberries-and-cream-tea context?
Not unless it involves someone with a penchant for a Varisian lifestyle.

Other Comments?
It's important to note that whilst Varisians associate this with Desna's favour, there isn't anything indicated in the crafting of such items which connects them to the giant-butterfly-of-doom goddess, which is perhaps just as well. Keeping clear of the whole Lamashtu/Desna feud goes beyond sensible, and that includes not being seen to be taking sides by admitting to owning anything which features the words 'night monarch' in the description. Consequently, Abyssal residents might find it advisable to possess a 'Karzoug's Vardo' or a 'Krune's Vardo' depending on which side of the (considerably less dangerous) Runelord feuding one is at the time sitting.

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.

Scarab Sages

Love it!

Random things get stuck in my head, and one was from an old game called Divine Right, which had as a faction an 'Invisible College of Thaumaturgy,' a group of wizards who lived in a concealed location, and went to war in an enchanted wagon full of magical gear. I loved that idea, and so, seeing a magical caravan wagon, so seamlessly wedded to the Varisian flavor, just makes me smile.

Detailing how the item interacts with the new caravan rules, IMO, bumps this up for 'mobile magnificent mansion' to a whole new level of awesome.

The bit with the figurines of wondrous power feels a bit off to me. I like the idea, but I'd almost prefer that the item simply had some sort of phantom steed effect (perhaps one usable only at night?), instead. Eh. Your idea is probably way better, actually... :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter 2014 aka MillerHero

Ask A RPGSupersuccubus wrote:
lots of stuff

What? No paladin seduction? I thought for sure I would get points in that category.


Steve Miller wrote:
Ask A RPGSupersuccubus wrote:
lots of stuff
What? No paladin seduction? I thought for sure I would get points in that category.

Most paladins I and my fellow knitting circle succubi have come across tend in their (native) environments and untamed states to prefer a sort of disciplined rigid lifestyle quite at odds with Varisian Vardos. Breaking them out of bad habits often takes a lot of time. However, if you have a list of paladins who enjoy such conveyances, I'll pass it around the sorority and we'll be happy to investigate... ;)

Star Voter 2015

First, congratulations on making the top 32 and good luck with the contest.

b]First Impression[/b] Hmm, caravan rules you say? That a dangerous spot as the Jade Regent caravan rules are relatively criticized for being very unbalanced for combat. You stay out of the combat orientation, and you've got the flavor very well down. Allowing for flight will, I guess, help a caravan escape a dangerous combat. That said, my players in Jade Regent and I are not fans of caravan-ing, so you're not on my best side here.

Analysis
Name: It's a fairly good name, which brings out the flavor. Fine job here.

Template: Looks fine, so no further comments on this field from me.

Description: The grammar monster's still asleep, so no greater comments here. Looks clear, comprehensible and fairly well described. You could have given me a line on looks, instead of telling me that Varisian like it and associate it with Desna, but I'm not going to grumble too much. I'd like to know how I pick this one apart from all the other Heavy Wagons, though.

Effects: Looks good enough, but I'm not getting excited over this. I'm a little concerned about telling my players how it interacts with figurines of wondrous power, and I doubt they would ever discover it on their own. That's just a side thought, though. Neat idea, but it doesn't go out and amaze me, at least.

Overall: It's a neat item, but I'm going to need a little more than neat idea and item for you to steal a vote from me.

Good Luck!


I am not playing Jade Regent, so I'm not familiar with the caravan rules, but I can see just from inference how players of this AP might be fond of such an item.

I think Sean makes an excellent point about PCs being hesitant to leave a 22,000 gp item lying around unprotected when they have to venture into a dungeon. Of course, this also depends on how mean your GM is - me, I'd definitely scare them with the threat of a wandering band of Sczarni leering at the wagon every time they cross through an area heavily populated by Varisians to make them think twice about it.

The magnificent mansion effect doesn't do much for me, but maybe that's because those types of items and spells are currently getting a little too much use for my tastes in the games I run/play in these days. The tie-ins with magical figurines are kind of neat, though I'll echo the concerns of another poster that these abilities are not going to be readily obvious unless you just give them the information - and that's no fun!

Part of me wonders if adding the butterfly effect (no pun intended) to the wagon's appearance during flight would have given it more mojo; part of me also thinks that might have hurt you with the voters, because some people are mean and don't like butterflies. =]

Ultimately, here's my issue with your submission: the competition is really strong this year. There's a lot of items on the top 32 this go-around that immediately grab me by the throat and go, "YOU WANT ME. CRAFT AND/OR BUY ONE OF ME NOW." Yours is one of about three or four that just don't do that at all for me personally. (I haven't commented on some of those other items, incidentally, because I tend to save my posts for the ones I do really like - but as a friend, I feel it's important to give you an honest assessment of how I feel about your work, because I'd love to see you go all the way in this competition.)

So, none too shabby by most standards - but you need to bring some really exciting content to the table in subsequent rounds to stay in the game. Best of luck to you, sir!

[EDIT: But I do love the name!]

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter 2014 aka MillerHero

Thanks Richard.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

My biggest complaint is that I can see my players using this just until they get to a city, and then selling it for the money. That ties in with the lack of excitement in proportion to the price..

That being said, the author is trying to find new design space, and that's what its all about. I felt they really tried to find some new here, and that is challenging in its own right.

Obviously Steve knows the setting, and I agree with Sean- he might excel in other areas.

Good job! Remember, this round is over. Chin up! That the constructive feedback and keep moving forward.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013

This item excites me because it could easily serve as the basis for an entire campaign arc. I don't know anything about the caravan rules, so I can't really speak to those, but beyond that, this magic item gives me a number of ideas for adventures. An adventuring party would absolutely love to have one of these available to them. It also gets me thinking about what sort of surprises the previous owner may have left inside. Such an item could have a long and storied history, and that in turn sparks further adventures.

Superb idea, lots of fun!

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

Kradlum wrote:
I think 5' wide x 10' long x 10' high (and that's allowing for the wheels) would be a bit more realistic, but I have no idea of the dimensions of a Vardo in JR, so I might be totally wrong.

You know, thinking about it, 10 ft by 20 ft is a HUGE wagon.


I read this and thought "WOW! That is really cool." and "This guy's got his act together with these caravan rules." Then I started thinking, it's really more of an npc magic item or a way to make the party more mobile so they can get where you need them to be without 3 sessions of over hill and dale.

Curious what he'll come up with in the next round and thinking whatever it is at least it will be tight and well written.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Threat Analysis

You could be serious competition because.... you demonstrate an ability to tie together rules from lots of different sources, new and old, as well as campaign setting flavor. That will prove very useful in future rounds.

You could become an even bigger threat in future rounds if... you focus a bit more on wow factor. You've demonstrated solid mechanics. You've demonstrated Golarion-fu. Now show us something we've never seen before.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8 aka Ottovar

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congrats Steve.. this is a great item.

This Vardo's rockin'

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Another great item which interacts with some new PFRPG rules elements, and another one which interacts nicely with figurines of wondrous power.

Well done, Steve, and best of luck in the next round!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka motteditor

Have to admit, I've never heard of a vardo until this, but it's always good to learn new things. I haven't used the caravan rules yet, but I can imagine this would be a popular item if I did. Might make travel, which I think can be tough to role-play well, a little more exciting.

Like others, I liked the interaction with the figurines of wondrous power; interesting that two of the Top 32 chose to use that mechanic but obviously it's been received well by judges and fans.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter 2015 aka artofcheatery

Movable shelter = good idea.
Gaudy movable shelter = less good idea.

It's like a neon sign saying 'Here we are! Come kill us in our sleep!' Also it would get stolen.
-X

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I love the interaction with the figurines of wondrous power, but at the same time this seems like an item you’d virtually need to build the campaign around. Most of my campaigns with dungeon crawling this would be too awkward, plus it’d be a shame to throw the vardo in without a handful of figurines over the campaign. So, I like it, but it’s just not my style.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

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: 10/10

template fu sees "none;" from 5th printing and smiles happily.

Slot affinity: 8/10

There is no slot as such, so I will give a general assessment score here so it balances with other reviews.
My instant reaction wasn't Tardis you will be pleased to hear :), but it was, unfortunately, the Vistani caravan from the Ravenloft Campaign setting. I also think under Pathfinder, it's a nondimensional space rather than an extradimensional one - I could be wrong though and I dont have my books with me to double check.

Abuseability: 8/10
I believe pockets of extra/non dimensional space tend to go bang in a bad way when they get damaged - this could be a pretty big bang set against the castle walls maybe?

Desirability: 8/10
It kind of makes overland travel a lot safer, which is a bit of a minus. With it's bright colouring, it could also be argued it attracts attention too. On reflection, this falls into what I would label my "status item" bucket. My PCs would certainly not object to having one.

Originality: 6/10
I struggled to get past the Vistani from the Ravenloft campaign setting and the feeling of it being an opulent lodging type of item on wheels. Bright gypsy colours is another taken for me. Sorry, you took a little bit of a pounding on this score.

Ant Score: 40/50 (80%)

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