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Superstar 2013 - Practice #1 - Closing 20th February


RPG Superstar™ 2012 General Discussion

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Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hi all

This is going to be the first of a set of roughly monthly threads.

I have decided that my technical execution is now pretty much sorted, so I now need to practice mojo and controlled mojo.

By that, making people go wow and stop Neil, Sean, Ryan and Clark from doing the "too much" face palm.

Feel free to comment and/or have a go -

Practice #1 Challenge Rules

All Round 1 Superstar Wondrous Item rules apply (word count, auto reject reasons, template)
Put in brackets after your item name the word count (dont count these in your word count).
Low Level Wondrous Items Only
Caster Level max is 5th
Maximum Price is 5,000 gp.

You have till 20th February to post a low level practice item if you want to take part, after which I will create February's challenge (each challenge will have some sort of imposed restrictions like above, some may be create a certain type of wondrous item, or a particular slot and so on)

So here we go for my January Mojo Practice...

Passage of the Lotus Petal Stream (164 words)
Aura faint conjuration (creation), faint evocation (air); CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 500 gp; Weight -
Description
The lotus flower petals toss and turn along the ground within the eddying currents of the wind, obscuring both track and scent trail of your passage.
Simply tear the head of this unwilting lotus flower and rub between your fingers to produce a cascade of petals behind you. They will start to animate as they fall as if caught in a young rushing stream, tumbling and cascading away along your path of most recent travel. Any signs of your passing for the last 100 feet of travel will be washed away, both physical and scent trails. Checks made to track you will automatically fail in this area.
At the end of the effect, the petals fall to the ground, disolving into droplets of water like early morning dew.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, gust of wind, obscuring mist; Cost 250 gp

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

I'm guessing by "young" rushing stream, you're referring to the babbling, tumbling part of a stream near it's head when everything is rocky and twisting. Is that an actual term for that part of the stream?

My quibbles with this item (other than not putting a space between the paragraphs which Neil slammed me for last year) is that this automatically removes all trails (which is a class ability in a can) and completely bypasses possible encounters (the monster than was hiding above and is now trailing you throuh the dungeon, etc.). I'm sure that's your intent, but the judges have been harsh with items that castrate entire threats.

The visual is cool, though. Would an enemy savvy to this item's existence be able to follow these dew droplets, even though the trail is gone?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka nate lange

i really like this idea, if i ever have more time i may join in. in the mean time- i did have a question for you, ant (i posted it already in my item thread- Sunblossom- but i thought you'd see it here sooner):

when did the 'new edition' formatting start where you don't use "and" between auras and different schools can have different strength auras? i'm not questioning your chuck-norris-like rules-fu, but the PRD and every book that i own are consistent in using a single aura strength and "and" between schools?

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
N. Edward Lange wrote:

i really like this idea, if i ever have more time i may join in. in the mean time- i did have a question for you, ant (i posted it already in my item thread- Sunblossom- but i thought you'd see it here sooner):

when did the 'new edition' formatting start where you don't use "and" between auras and different schools can have different strength auras? i'm not questioning your chuck-norris-like rules-fu, but the PRD and every book that i own are consistent in using a single aura strength and "and" between schools?

Bleary almost morning here at the mo, so do excuse me if I cant find it - there was a post discussing multi auras in the template and it was stated that there was no general consensus on format across the many editions 2, 3, 3.5, Pathfinder (3.75 :P).

So in my template, I made the assumption that for consistency, as there is no use of "and" in the construction requirements list, that there wouldn't be in the aura list as well and invited correction if wrong.
As of yet, no one has said otherwise, so I am following my template fu - a little gremlin creature that spawned from all those words in that thread - it bears a weird resemblance to being a multi facted off-spring of all four judges - I leave you with that image, it scares me too much.
At worst case, I think for "ands", I deducted maybe half a point, a point at most, so it's not a biggie - and as I'm doing that to each entry, every "and" gets nobbled which balances out my scores (which are for my benefit should I need deciders from the Organisation entries).
Hoping my feedback proved useful.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Nazard wrote:

I'm guessing by "young" rushing stream, you're referring to the babbling, tumbling part of a stream near it's head when everything is rocky and twisting. Is that an actual term for that part of the stream?

My quibbles with this item (other than not putting a space between the paragraphs which Neil slammed me for last year) is that this automatically removes all trails (which is a class ability in a can) and completely bypasses possible encounters (the monster than was hiding above and is now trailing you throuh the dungeon, etc.). I'm sure that's your intent, but the judges have been harsh with items that castrate entire threats.

The visual is cool, though. Would an enemy savvy to this item's existence be able to follow these dew droplets, even though the trail is gone?

Head - grrrrrrrr, that was the term I was looking for, thank you, that's been nagging at me all afternoon.

Do you mean blank lines between each paragraph? Yeah, that was also mentioned on my template explanation thread, so if that's wrong, if one of the judges could point a few corrections, I'll certainly add them in for the next revision.

Yeah, on my home wide screen pc, I can see what you mean, but the lack of blank lines isn't so bad on my work square monitor >.<

The last bit, yeah, I didn't want to leave petals showing the end of the trail, so by turning them into dew, it gives that option to the GM if pursuit is close. Any more than a few minutes and that dew is either evaporated by the sun or soaked into the ground or even washed away by rain, etc.

My problem this year is I got too blinkered by technical execution, I kind of lost my mojo, so I'm going to practice "mojo whilst retaining execution" - at least that's my plan.

Expect more than 1 item from me per practice.

I thought a low level restraint would be a novel twist and force me to think creatively in even tighter confines.

Glad you took the time to feedback, I suspect we may get busier in this thread once the "critique my item" furor dies down a bit.

Anyways, tomorrow and the weekend is to finish my item reviews if those wonderful top 32 and then get version 5 of the template doc build up - that should finish the summaries of Seans auto reject items.

I will then be creating / adding the last two sections:

"Common critiques and good points" from the last 5 years critique threads.... and (he he used one now :P)

"Winner item critiques" summarising the points of use from the last 5 years worth of winning entries.

I think then, that post will be a very good starting point for new contestants to launch off and (another one!), for old timers like me, a handy dandy quick(?) reference.

Oh and if Paizo wants to use it in their Wayfinder - feel free Paizo, it is all yours after all.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Anthony Adam wrote:
N. Edward Lange wrote:

i really like this idea, if i ever have more time i may join in. in the mean time- i did have a question for you, ant (i posted it already in my item thread- Sunblossom- but i thought you'd see it here sooner):

when did the 'new edition' formatting start where you don't use "and" between auras and different schools can have different strength auras? i'm not questioning your chuck-norris-like rules-fu, but the PRD and every book that i own are consistent in using a single aura strength and "and" between schools?

Bleary almost morning here at the mo, so do excuse me if I cant find it - there was a post discussing multi auras in the template and it was stated that there was no general consensus on format across the many editions 2, 3, 3.5, Pathfinder (3.75 :P).

So in my template, I made the assumption that for consistency, as there is no use of "and" in the construction requirements list, that there wouldn't be in the aura list as well and invited correction if wrong.
As of yet, no one has said otherwise, so I am following my template fu - a little gremlin creature that spawned from all those words in that thread - it bears a weird resemblance to being a multi facted off-spring of all four judges - I leave you with that image, it scares me too much.
At worst case, I think for "ands", I deducted maybe half a point, a point at most, so it's not a biggie - and as I'm doing that to each entry, every "and" gets nobbled which balances out my scores (which are for my benefit should I need deciders from the Organisation entries).
Hoping my feedback proved useful.

Gah, Template fu woke me up - he says we also chose to use the comma separation including strength for items utilising different strength construction spells, e.g. you couldnt say moderate x and y if y should really only be faint.

Maybe he'll let me sleep some more now.


Might just have to add this to this list of self-imposed projected.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Serpent

Anthony Adam wrote:

So in my template, I made the assumption that for consistency, as there is no use of "and" in the construction requirements list, that there wouldn't be in the aura list as well and invited correction if wrong.

As of yet, no one has said otherwise, so I am following my template fu - a little gremlin creature that spawned from all those words in that thread - it bears a weird resemblance to being a multi facted off-spring of all four judges - I leave you with that image, it scares me too much.
At worst case, I think for "ands", I deducted maybe half a point, a point at most, so it's not a biggie - and as I'm doing that to each entry, every "and" gets nobbled which balances out my scores (which are for my benefit should I need deciders from the Organisation entries).
Hoping my feedback proved useful.

You've done a great favor to the entire community of aspiring designers by compiling all that information in one place! You are a great example of the awesomeness that the folks here at Paizo messageboards are.

Anyway, in the core rules it is said that only the strongest aura should be mentioned, but the magic items section contradicts that by having items that have two schools in the aura entry. However, nowhere is it mentioned that you should give two or more aura strengths. I'm sure you're aware of this and you only mean to create One standard that unites them all, but I'm worried that you're inadvertently creating a third competing standard.

But it is great that you're bringing this issue to the attention of folks at Paizo; maybe they'll fix it sometime in the future. ;-)

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Here you go, Anthony. Fair's fair, after all, and I've critiqued yours, so you should have a shot at me, too.

Instant Well-Spring Waterskin (213 words)
Aura faint conjuration (creation); CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 2,400 gp; Weight 4 lbs.
Description
This waterskin resembles any ordinary waterskin, save for arcane runes embroidered in the leather around its opening. The waterskin always appears full, though it's contents are not meant for drinking.

Once per day, the wielder may open the waterskin and pour the water out onto the ground. The water forms a 5-foot diameter puddle which appears to be only an inch deep, but in fact fills a 10-foot deep extra-dimensional pit. Any creature stepping into the puddle must make a Reflex saving throw DC 13 or fall into the water-filled pit.

Normally, climbing out of the pit requires either a DC 10 Climb check, or a DC 10 Swim check, unless the creature in the pit would be unusually prone to sinking. However, the wielder may, as a standard action, shake the waterskin vigorously, causing the water in the pit to swirl and slosh about violently, increasing the Climb and Swim DCs to 20.

The pit, and the created water, lasts for 1 minute, after which both disappear. While the water cannot be drunk directly from the waterskin, any water drunk from the pit itself re-hydrates as normal.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, create pit, create water; Cost 1,200 gp

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Ohh, I'll have a look once Ive finishedthe main Top 32 feedbacks this weekend. Theres still half of them to experience the template fu attack :P

I may even try to mojo up my first one, Ive had some ideas gelling that might make it ever so sparkly low level item and also answer the question about not being tracked.

I had assumed a canny GM would have his trackers when losing the path swicth into a circular search pattern to reconnect to the path once they get another 100 feet out.

In effect this item only buys you some time to try and get some distance from your pursuit and it didnt come across.

I have over 100 words spare to sort that and make the mojo shine, so I will try.

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

Nazard, I like it, though I'm not sure it would have quite enough mojo for the competition. Feels like something the judges would call appropriate for a book of magic items.

However, as a DM, I'm left with two immediate questions:
What happens if someone DOES in fact drink directly from the waterskin? (You say they can't, but it's not clear why. Does it just not come out?)

Also, what happens if someone's in the pit/water when it disappears?

I'm also not sure you need to give the exclusion of if the creature in the pit would be prone to sinking -- wouldn't that be covered in that creature's swim check? (Though maybe you're trying to compensate for the fact you've also allowed a climb check?) Either way, you don't tell me what the DC would be if the creature is unusually prone to sinking; or did you mean it just wouldn't be allowed to make a swim check?

(You've also got "it's" instead of "its" in the first graf.)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Mmmmm that's an interesting thought with your 1 minute duration. At what threshold do we swap from rounds to minutes etc. in an item description?

If anyone knows, please post here and I'll add it to my mondo template write up.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

Nazard, I like it, though I'm not sure it would have quite enough mojo for the competition. Feels like something the judges would call appropriate for a book of magic items.

However, as a DM, I'm left with two immediate questions:
What happens if someone DOES in fact drink directly from the waterskin? (You say they can't, but it's not clear why. Does it just not come out?)

Also, what happens if someone's in the pit/water when it disappears?

I'm also not sure you need to give the exclusion of if the creature in the pit would be prone to sinking -- wouldn't that be covered in that creature's swim check? (Though maybe you're trying to compensate for the fact you've also allowed a climb check?) Either way, you don't tell me what the DC would be if the creature is unusually prone to sinking; or did you mean it just wouldn't be allowed to make a swim check?

(You've also got "it's" instead of "its" in the first graf.)

I don't know if it has enough mojo or not. The shaking bit brings it above just an item that makes a watery pit, which would definitely not be mojo. I'd say it has some, but not enough for Superstar - but that's kind of what this thread is about, isn't it?

I noticed that I never specified what happens if you try to drink straight from the waterskin, but wanted to get it posted anyway. I think the best would be to say that unless the water is poured onto the ground, it disappears instantly. There also has to be provision against using this is a permanent fire extinguisher. The pouring of the water to activate it is purely for flavour, but as always when the flavour is even semi-flamboyant, you have to take into consideration how somebody could use a meaningless effect in an unintended way to have a meaningful result. If I make it so that the water doesn't come out unless it's being used to make a pit, Sean or Neil would pipe up with something like "How does the waterskin know it's time to make a pit?"

As for somebody being in the pit, I could reference the pit as being "as the spell create pit, which therefore brings with it all the baggage like people slowly rising up with the pit when the spell expires.

I agree the statement about a creature prone to sinking is problematic. The easy Climb DC is intended to reflect the fact that most creatures float, so it's more a matter of pulling yourself out, except when the water is choppy. Of course, a heavily-armoured fighter or weakling mage is the ideal target for this item. I see I also forgot to mention that it's a standard action to pour out the water and can be done in a square a creature currently occupies. I guess the simplest way to do this would be to say that the sides of the watery pit are too slippery for Climbing, so you have to use Swim, but then that flirts too closely with "this items completely negates some creature's natural abilities", in this case, a Climb ability. The easiest solution of all, I suppose, would be to completely remove the reference to the prone to sinking creatures. Creatures prone to sinking are already going to be in trouble because of the stiff penalties to their Swim check. Is it too complicated to say that a creature in the pit can use Climb to escape the pit, but only if they pass a DC 10 Swim check first to tread water, and it's that DC (and only that one) that increases to 20 when the waterskin is shaken?

As for your last paragraph, uhhh, no I didn't. :) Oh wait I did. That is totally weird! I posted on my computer at work, and didn't notice. Then, I looked at it on my phone and it's not there. Now I'm looking on the computer at home, and it is!! Really weird!! Except now I'm looking at it again on the same phone, and the apostrophe is there! I mean, I know Blackberries are screwed up, but this is ridiculous!!

As Neil would say, "Such errors indicate that this is a first draft/this designer is not ready" and lo and behold, it was a first draft! Unlike other contestants, however, I did not submit something to the contest with extra apostrophes, spelling mistakes, or other things even Microsoft Word can find. I do, however, have a terrible feeling I didn't submit my most polished draft. I had two versions of my item in the same file: the first page was my original, and the polished version was on page two (I kept the original for reference). When I submitted my item to the critique thread, I'd forgotten there were two versions, and so copy and pasted the first, and Neil didn't comment on the discrepancy. Of course, he's just looking for the item name and cut-and-pasting the comments for us to see, so he probably didn't notice. That would just be beyond embarrassing to find out I submitted an early draft instead of the finished item (it was full of passive voice, after all!)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Here's the version I would likely have ended up submitting - a lot of specific for durations and the like added - those auto reject lists of Seans are fab.

I've also tinkered according to recent template thread feedback and updates too.

Yeah, signs of mojo, but lots more work to do to make it consistent.

Passage of the Lotus Petal Stream (222 words)
Aura faint conjuration (creation) and evocation (air); CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 500 gp; Weight -
Description

The lotus flower petals toss and turn along the ground within the eddying currents of the wind, obscuring both your physical passage and and scent trail you may be leaving behind you.

Simply tear the head of this unwilting lotus flower and rub between your fingers to produce a cascade of petals behind you. They will start to animate as they fall as if caught in head of a stream, tumbling and cascading away along your path of most recent travel.

In one round, they will travel the last 100 feet you have journeyed over. All signs of your passage will be eradicated such that tracking checks will automatically fail within that 100 feet.

At the end of the effect, the petals fall to the ground, spreading out, forming into a 20 foot diameter, one inch deep ground mist that dissipates over the next minute.

This item only prevents tracking in the total area of effect of passage and ground mist.

If a pursuer tracking you takes a radial search pattern from where your trail disappears, they will refind it again after 5 minutes.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, gust of wind, obscuring mist; Cost 250 gp

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Anthony Adam wrote:

Here's the version I would likely have ended up submitting - a lot of specific for durations and the like added - those auto reject lists of Seans are fab.

I've also tinkered according to recent template thread feedback and updates too.

Yeah, signs of mojo, but lots more work to do to make it consistent.

Passage of the Lotus Petal Stream (222 words)
Aura faint conjuration (creation) and evocation (air); CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 500 gp; Weight -
Description

The lotus flower petals toss and turn along the ground within the eddying currents of the wind, obscuring both your physical passage and and scent trail you may be leaving behind you.

Simply tear the head of this unwilting lotus flower and rub between your fingers to produce a cascade of petals behind you. They will start to animate as they fall as if caught in head of a stream, tumbling and cascading away along your path of most recent travel.

In one round, they will travel the last 100 feet you have journeyed over. All signs of your passage will be eradicated such that tracking checks will automatically fail within that 100 feet.

At the end of the effect, the petals fall to the ground, spreading out, forming into a 20 foot diameter, one inch deep ground mist that dissipates over the next minute.

This item only prevents tracking in the total area of effect of passage and ground mist.

If a pursuer tracking you takes a radial search pattern from where your trail disappears, they will refind it again after 5 minutes.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, gust of wind, obscuring mist; Cost 250 gp

I'm liking this more, now, though I'd make two more changes. I know why you added those last two paragraphs, but I wouldn't. Specifying the time it takes to perform the radial search pattern is beyond the scope of the item's power, especially since you specifically mentioned that the petals do nothing outside of their area of effect. Let the GM figure out how long it takes the pursuers to find the trail again.

Why not embrace the Chase rules from the APG? I know they aren't standard, but they'd be a great way to describe the effects of these petals, increasing the skill DCs to follow the trail for some effects.

Again, I wouldn't go with the automatic fail. Increasing the Survival DC to follow the trail by 10 would be enough at low levels, and still have some play in middle levels. Also, these things shouldn't be able to defend against creatures with Life Sense and other detection abilities that don't rely on sight and smell.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Also, you have a mixing of imagery: petals on the wind, and petals in a rushing stream. Given the spell requirements of gust of wind, I'd suggest sticking to the wind theme, and have the petals be carried along as if by a capricious zephyr, instead of the head of a stream.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

ohhh nice point

"Also, these things shouldn't be able to defend against creatures with Life Sense and other detection abilities that don't rely on sight and smell."

I hadnt considered that at all - very nice catch indeed.

It wouldnt take too much to fix as I already only remove physical evidence and scent, so yeah, maybe a DC increase that is harder at the ground mist point than near the head maybe.

I've just download the APG this week and today just downloaded that new Dragon Empires companion. So yeah, will definitely be better armed going forwards (once I've read them).

What surprised me most with the rework on this was that I didnt add as many words as I thought I did. Grin.

Midnight approachs again, so I must to bed and then finish up my Top 32 reviews and start on the Organisations, then I'll be back here with a vengeance ( maybe with another new low powered goodie :) - possibly something oriental, grin )

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Okay, I normally don't like disposable items, so I thought why not try one. I think this might be too much for such a cheap item, but I just couldn't make myself price it any higher for something that is just there and gone.

I also hate the name, so if somebody has a better one, by all means...

Scarab of Lightning Redirection (291 words)
Aura faint abjuration and evocation; CL 3rd
Slot neck; Price 500 gp; Weight – lbs.
Description
This scarab, fashioned from amber and set within a ring of copper, holds a pair of crossed lightning bolts in its mandibles. It grants the wearer a +2 circumstance bonus to either its AC or a Reflex saving throw against the first magical attack with the electricity descriptor.

If the wearer takes any damage from this attack, the scarab absorbs some of that energy, reducing the wearer’s damage by 2d6 points of damage, and storing that energy for one round. If this reduction in damage brings the total damage to zero or less, the wearer takes no damage. The wearer has one round to use this energy, at which time, no matter what the wearer chooses to do, the scarab is burnt out and useless.

On the wearer’s turn, he may, as a swift action, imbue one weapon he wields with the energy from the scarab, granting this weapon the shocking property for one round. This does not stack with any existing shocking or shocking burst properties the weapon may already possess. Alternately, the wearer may, as a swift action, imbue his body with the energy, automatically inflicting 1d6 points of electricity damage against any enemy who strikes him with a natural or unarmed attack for one round.

If, at the end of that round, the wearer chooses neither option, the scarab discharges the energy in a five-foot radius ring around the wearer, inflicting 2d6 points of electricity damage to all creatures within the area of effect (though they may attempt a Reflex saving throw DC 13 for half damage).

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, resist energy, shocking grasp; Cost 250 gp

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Ohh nice, ummmm

Conducting Lightning Scarab?
Shock Dispersing Scarab?

As a one shot item, and low level, I did wonder about "until end of encounter", so it becomes and encounter based consumable, which would would then let you increase the price a little.

BUT, doing this would change the final paragraph / make it obsolete.

I think your balance is good, the price is always a difficult part of items I find, but I think this is in the right ball park.

You've pretty much nailed your template use, so like me, it's just trying to be more mojo-licious.

I actually like this more and more as I reflect on it - it's definitely a grows on you item I think.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka nate lange

ant,
interesting item. i think nazard's feedback was good. also, when using the survival skill to track you only make a check every mile or whenever the modifier changes- so, i'm not sure you need the whole bit about sizes and distances (i'm guessing you put that in because if you completely remove the tracks it raises questions about when/where/how to start tracking again). the judges have commented several times that you should either stick to existing mechanics or create ones different enough that they won't cause confusion. in this case i think you'd be better off having the item force a new track check with +10 to the DC (the same penalty as if fresh snow had fallen). once its written up that way it might seem 'too simple' but for a cheap, low level item thats a nice benefit and its creative in that i can't think of another way most characters could get it.

my 2 cents, hope its helpful.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

N. Edward Lange wrote:

ant,

interesting item. i think nazard's feedback was good. also, when using the survival skill to track you only make a check every mile or whenever the modifier changes- so, i'm not sure you need the whole bit about sizes and distances (i'm guessing you put that in because if you completely remove the tracks it raises questions about when/where/how to start tracking again). the judges have commented several times that you should either stick to existing mechanics or create ones different enough that they won't cause confusion. in this case i think you'd be better off having the item force a new track check with +10 to the DC (the same penalty as if fresh snow had fallen). once its written up that way it might seem 'too simple' but for a cheap, low level item thats a nice benefit and its creative in that i can't think of another way most characters could get it.

my 2 cents, hope its helpful.

Oooh. That's a really elegant and simple solution!

Guess that's why he has the tag after his name...

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Bah! I can break my own item.

Wearer hits himself (or gets hit by his wizard friend) with a jolt spell, which charges the item, and moves to close in with the enemy. Next round, just before his turn, a ring of 2d6 electricity damage lashes out at the bad guys, then he full attacks.

I have to put a line in about a maximum amount of damage the scarab can inflict being no more than the damage done to you, but not my item scales in power with the level of the baddies (or friendly lightning wizards), which is a big design no-no.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

And just for fun, another one. This is my lowest word count yet, and would have qualified under the original 200 word limit! Hopefully, it has enough flavour to bypass SIAC and FIAC syndromes.

Ordinarily, I'm not a huge fan of anything oriental in my games, but I was looking at the magic item slots, and realized there are few if any low-powered items that use the body slot, and when I thought robe, I immediately went to kimono.

Crane Wing Kimono (172 words)
Aura faint abjuration and illusion[/b]; CL 5th
Slot body; Price 1,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This beautiful silk kimono is embroidered from neck to hem with elegant origami-style cranes in various poses of flight. The cranes seem to flap their wings, as if disturbed by the wearer’s movements.

Once per day, the wearer may, as a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, flourish the robe, causing the embroidered cranes to leap into actual flight around the wearer. These illusory (figment) cranes provide concealment (20% miss chance) to the wearer for three rounds, after which they vanish and reappear on the kimono.

Once per activation, the wearer may also use the cranes to deflect one attack that would hit him (determined after rolling the miss chance against the cranes’ concealment). This attack does no damage, just as if the wearer had used the Crane Wing feat. Once used in this manner, the cranes immediately vanish.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, shield, silent image; Cost 500 gp

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka MythrilDragon

Nazard wrote:

And just for fun, another one. This is my lowest word count yet, and would have qualified under the original 200 word limit! Hopefully, it has enough flavour to bypass SIAC and FIAC syndromes.

Ordinarily, I'm not a huge fan of anything oriental in my games, but I was looking at the magic item slots, and realized there are few if any low-powered items that use the body slot, and when I thought robe, I immediately went to kimono.

Crane Wing Kimono (172 words)
Aura faint abjuration and illusion[/b]; CL 5th
Slot body; Price 1,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This beautiful silk kimono is embroidered from neck to hem with elegant origami-style cranes in various poses of flight. The cranes seem to flap their wings, as if disturbed by the wearer’s movements.

Once per day, the wearer may, as a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, flourish the robe, causing the embroidered cranes to leap into actual flight around the wearer. These illusory (figment) cranes provide concealment (20% miss chance) to the wearer for three rounds, after which they vanish and reappear on the kimono.

Once per activation, the wearer may also use the cranes to deflect one attack that would hit him (determined after rolling the miss chance against the cranes’ concealment). This attack does no damage, just as if the wearer had used the Crane Wing feat. Once used in this manner, the cranes immediately vanish.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, shield, silent image; Cost 500 gp

I think this is a pretty cool idea, but why would someone embroider paper cranes on the silk and not real cranes? I think you are going for the cool effect of the paper cranes flurrying around the character, which is a cool image. If you want to use paper cranes, I would rework this as an folded paper crane that the barer carries around and uses. Otherwise I would change the depiction on the kimono...maybe dragonflies or crickets.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Andrew Black wrote:
Nazard wrote:

And just for fun, another one. This is my lowest word count yet, and would have qualified under the original 200 word limit! Hopefully, it has enough flavour to bypass SIAC and FIAC syndromes.

Ordinarily, I'm not a huge fan of anything oriental in my games, but I was looking at the magic item slots, and realized there are few if any low-powered items that use the body slot, and when I thought robe, I immediately went to kimono.

Crane Wing Kimono (172 words)
Aura faint abjuration and illusion[/b]; CL 5th
Slot body; Price 1,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This beautiful silk kimono is embroidered from neck to hem with elegant origami-style cranes in various poses of flight. The cranes seem to flap their wings, as if disturbed by the wearer’s movements.

Once per day, the wearer may, as a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, flourish the robe, causing the embroidered cranes to leap into actual flight around the wearer. These illusory (figment) cranes provide concealment (20% miss chance) to the wearer for three rounds, after which they vanish and reappear on the kimono.

Once per activation, the wearer may also use the cranes to deflect one attack that would hit him (determined after rolling the miss chance against the cranes’ concealment). This attack does no damage, just as if the wearer had used the Crane Wing feat. Once used in this manner, the cranes immediately vanish.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, shield, silent image; Cost 500 gp

I think this is a pretty cool idea, but why would someone embroider paper cranes on the silk and not real cranes? I think you are going for the cool effect of the paper cranes flurrying around the character, which is a cool image. If you want to use paper cranes, I would rework this as an folded paper crane that the barer carries around and uses. Otherwise I would change the depiction on the kimono...maybe...

Easy enough to take out the words origami-style, and then they would be ordinary illusory cranes.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka nate lange

nazard,
i like the idea for both of your items.

i think the first one sort of falls prey to the same issue that (imo) ant's did- the mechanic is too similar to existing ones without being the same. energy resistance already exists, so use it. also, not being able to choose when the item works is a pretty big limitation (an enemy caster who recognizes it could use jolt to automatically waste it). i'd suggest having it take an immediate action to activate and grant electricity resist 5 for one round- then list the one or two things it can (or does) do if it blocks any damage.

i think andrew's comment on the second one was good. i would also suggest avoiding referencing the crane wing feat, for two reasons: first it calls attention to the FIAC aspect of the power, second (and probably more importantly) it raises issues about how the item interacts with the actual feat- if you have the feat can you use it and the item in the same round? if you have Crane Riposte does using the item allow you to make an AoO? i think the ability was clear enough without citing the feat (though, you should specify how its accomplished- and that should be an immediate action). you might want to reword the last sentence too- "the cranes immediately vanish" could be construed as meaning permenantly, it'd be clearer to say "using this ability expends any remaining duration," or something like that. i'm a little unsure on the price too... once/day is a big limitation but crane wing can't be taken until at least 5th level and @1000g any character could easily have this by 3rd or 4th.

i'm not a professional but that's my honest and hopefully helpful critique.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Yeah, I keep looking at the tracking check.

I kind of like the idea of the item being useful at all levels, so was thinking of maybe trying something like a +10 on a Stealth check by the party member with the best stealth setting the tracking DC or something like that, but if I do that, I'm thinking +10 might be too much.

But I like that by doing that, the item would scale with the PCs and still provide a benefit at higher levels as well.

As for oriental, he he, with my new pdf, I am looking at "fans" and the oriental fan dance as inspiration for my next offering. It's only a seed idea at the moment, so Im going to read some more...

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
N. Edward Lange wrote:


I'm not a professional but that's my honest and hopefully helpful critique.

It matters not fella, that fact you took the time to help and encourage is most welcome indeed.

I'm fed up with silly mistakes, daft ideas and auto rejects, I want just to make the first cut keep pile, anything beyond that would be great, but just to hit that keep pile would show the work is paying off.

I'm really going for it this year, so please come along for as much or as little of my practice as you like.

Thats for everyone, heck, join in, the fun should last all year and by the time next december comes around, we will be razor sharp and full of restrained, controlled and fully directed mojo. :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Here you go, this is the version adjusted to make it more coherent in name, visuals, and changing to utilising the Survival Check.

I've gone for a small breaking of the rules to allow anyone to use the item without being penalised for being unskilled at Stealth to set the Survival DC.

Hopefully, this magnitude of change is okay, and I don't think its game breaking.

I've also had a stab at making it scale with the user that way, i.e. a high level PC will lose a lower level tracker, but a low level PC being tracked by a very skilled tracker could still be deep in the doo doo from which they are fleeing.

For those of you following the practice sessions, I hope it's useful and not leading you up the wrong garden path to see multiple stages of the same item like this. I'm certainly learning loads, I hope it helps you too.

Final Cut:

Passage of the Lotus Petals (269 words)
Aura faint conjuration (creation) and evocation (air); CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 500 gp; Weight -
Description

The lotus flower petals toss and turn along the eddying currents of a breeze, lifting signs of your physical passage to deposit at the end of its travail and dispersing your scent.

Tear the head of this unwilting lotus flower and rub between your fingers to produce a cascade of petals behind you. They will tumble away along your path of most recent travel, travelling 100 feet in one round.

They disperse any scent trail along that path and lift physical signs, like footprints, carrying them along to deposit at the end of effect, in a random deluge of misdirecting signs in order to confuse potential pursuers.

The petals then dissolve into the ait creating a small ground mist that spreads out into a 20 foot diameter, 1 inch deep circle centered at the end of the effect. This mist dissipates naturally after 10 rounds have passed.

You make a Stealth check with a +10 bonus (and no penalty for being unskilled) to set the DC of any pursuing Survival check. A pursuer must make a Survival check on entering the end zone of the effect against this DC.

If they fail, they will take 5 minutes to relocate your trail. If they succeed, they will find your trail again after 10 rounds. For every 5 that they beat the DC by, they can reduce this time by 1 round to a minimum of 5 rounds.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, gust of wind, obscuring mist; Cost 250 gp

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 aka artofcheatery

Anthony, the spell you are looking for is pass without trace. Drop gust of wind, it's there for flavor but isn't doing anything.

Second, the obscuring mist appears where the petals end, or where you activated them? If it's where you activated them, then you just revealed your location. I'm not sure how far they even go, if only 100 feet they won't clear up much of the trail and for the same reason, if they lose the trail 100 ft away they suddenly see a mist they don't need to track you anymore, cause you're probably right in front of them.

Better would be to make the distance a clear mile back at least and then give the user an hour going forward before he starts to show signs of where he is again and the mist does a better job of hiding his escape.

Another thing, this only effects one person. PCs travel in groups of more than one person.

Hope this helps,
-Xander

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Alexander Bennett wrote:
Anthony, the spell you are looking for is pass without trace. Drop gust of wind, it's there for flavor but isn't doing anything.

Yeah, Gust of Wind is a throwback when I was going for a stream like effect. Good point, will watch for that next time :)

Alexander Bennett wrote:
Second, the obscuring mist appears where the petals end, or where you activated them?

Thought I had covered that with the statement "carrying them along to deposit at the end of effect" - with the disolving petals bit being a follow on from that. Again, if you asked, I need to tighten up still on my wording.

Alexander Bennett wrote:
Another thing, this only effects one person. PCs travel in groups of more than one person.

It's used by one person, I should have been clearer that ALL signs of passage are removed in that 100 foot stretch - yours, your parties, the roaming bears, the wart hogs, etc.

All good points, and all well made and very much appreciated.

I think my hardest task is going to be economy of word vs clarity - Im a writer who swallows dictionaries and spits the whole dang thing when writing >.<

But for this month, I'm trying to work on my mojo revival and trying to come up with interesting ideas.

So far, feedback seems to be that I'm heading back in the right direction again.

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

I'd watch +10. I forget which item now, but one of the Top 32 (charlatan gloves, I think) got really dinged for giving a +10 to sleight of hand. +5's a better choice.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka nate lange

that's a good point jacob, thanks. i suggested it becuase that's the bonus for fresh fallen snow (which seemed to be mechanically similar to the effect he was going for), but i guess with a bonus that big you'd have to specify it doesn't stack with actual snow. (although, in defense of the charlatan gloves- the core rules introduced +10 skill bonuses with the slick and shadow armor enchants)


Anthony Adam wrote:

Hi all...

I have decided that my technical execution is now pretty much sorted, so I now need to practice mojo and controlled mojo.

When thinking about an item's mojo, I think the key questions we should be asking ourselves are "How do I want people to feel when they read this item description?" and "How do I want people to feel when they use this item in the game?"

That's something that all 32 (or 34, now) winners have in common. When I read those item descriptions I know exactly how the writers wanted me to feel--and, by golly, I feel it. Part of the feeling comes from the flavor text, part comes from the intersection between the flavor and mechanics, and part comes from imagining my character using that item.

As an example, one piece of feedback that really resounded with me was Ryan's comment about the basilisk eye sight--how he laughed out loud with delight when he saw the flesh to stone effect. I understood that because I felt much the same way when I read it--the flavor, the mechanics and my imagination all came together in one lovely epiphany.

So, anywho, here's my gut-level response to the items posted in this thread. Please take what's useful and ignore what isn't.

Instant Well-Spring Waterskin:
Nazard, I'm sorry but this item engenders almost no emotional response at all as I read it. I think a big part of the problem for me is the disconnect between the item (a waterskin) and the effect (a pit trap).

Passage of the Lotus Petals:
At first I was put off by the fact that this prose still needs some editing.

Although the image of lotus petals fluttering back down the trail is quite nice, I had trouble connecting the lotus blossom (a symbol of rebirth, spiritual awakening, and purity) to the item's use (hiding traces of passage). I think the connection is potentially there, but more needs to be done to evoke it.

As an aside, I believe the judges have said that item descriptions should not be written in second person.

Crane Wing Kimono:
I smiled a little bit when I read this item. I like the image of the origami cranes fluttering out, and I liked the interplay with the game mechanics. Functionally, I think it's pretty much a feat in a can, but it has decent mojo--for me, anyway.

Scarab of Lightning Redirection:
This one gave me no emotional response at all. Sorry. Again, the disconnect between a scarab and redirecting lighting killed any joy I might have felt at reading it.

And, in keeping with the eastern motif going on in this thread, here's my stab at evoking mojo…

Koi of the River Above
Aura faint transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 1,500 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
This carp-shaped streamer is made of light silk stitched with silver scales. When unfurled, it flutters and flexes as though under a heavy breeze, regardless of actual weather conditions.

Once per day on command, the streamer may be brought to life as a silvery, translucent koi. The koi remains at the owner's side for ten rounds, arcing and struggling midair as though swimming against a strong current.

While the effect is active, the owner may swim through air as if it were rough water, making the usual DC 15 Swim check once per round to do so. Failure by five or more means the owner is pushed backward five feet. Swim checks need not be made for rounds spent entirely on solid ground.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, levitate; Cost 750 gp

EDIT Got me a comma up in that

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Thanks for the feedback - all of it is helpful.

Yeah, I saw a post by Sean that he would like to see items starting to use "you" somewhere in the annals of this years posts, so I was attempting that.

And I agree, that reaction you get when reading the item, that's what I'm aiming for. If I can get the judges to want my item, then the battle's half won.

First thoughts on your Koi item...

template fu pops in - Price needs a comma :P

Love the Koi and the visual of struggling to swim against a strong current.

It's a bit close to spell in a can on reflection, so could probably do with some more work, not sure what though. I will have a think and get back to you on that.


Yeah I agree... the koi really needs a little something more on the mechanical end. And as much as I like the visual, I feel like it could be tightened up a little bit... "There's a magical carp beside me and now I can swim in air" isn't quite the coolest idea I can think of. Maybe if I changed it to "There's a magical carp swimming through the air beside me and I have to hang onto it for dear life if I want it to carry me to my destination."

Could work... I'd have to switch over to a riding check or a CMB roll maybe.


I'll drop by with an item soon(ish), if I can find a darling to kill. That seems to be the practice I need the most. I fall in love with my concept, until a moment after submission, where all it's flaws come washing over me. Disattaching myself from something I really like to but it here will be exercising.

Passage of the Lotus Petals:
Passage of the Lotus Petals:Anthony, you're definitely working toward mojo. There's a couple of issues that springs to my eyes. I'll only comment on your latest version, as that's the one you've already developed other problems out of. I'll give you comments in the style I do the top 32 (only with less mercy... the grammar monster is HUNGRY!)

Name: I hated the first name. The last one isn't great either, but it's improved. If you were to submit these, you'd have to think of the fact that the name is what catches attention, what gives the first impression (I like to call it the critical first impression) and in many ways what removes creativity from blandness. I can't think up a good name on the spot, but here's the best I think of: "Obscuring Lotus Petals". This is leaving what they obscure to the imagination, thereby demanding to be thought of. It suggests that it might be a concealment/invisibility item, so you're allowed an element of surprise.

Template: I won't bother with this, you're the template fu person around here.

Description: (I warned you. The grammar monster is NOT happily sleeping today!) The first line does not tell me how your item looks or what it is. Seriously. You tell me how the look, when tossing them on the wind, before tossing them on the wind. That's only acceptable in ancient greek, were you could do it in an addon sentence to the other with no disturbance. Here, it annoys me. "unwilting lotus flower" is the only description of how this looks I get. I can't tell my players that as a description, can I now? "dissolve into the AIT" (emphasis mine), really? You just woke the spelling monster, and it's not happy to be woken like this. "Travail" is painful labor/really hard work. Lotus petals flowing on the wind does not evoke a "travailing" image to me. I'm going to assume you mean trail. By the way, you never define you how this is. You say they travel 100 ft. per round, but that's not telling me for how long. Does it require actions to be maintained? If so, how? If it doesn't, you need to set a finite limit. The mojo seems okay, but it is not giving me an urge to cheer. I need more amazement on the description side.

Effect: You're scarily close to the CRB dust of tracelessness. The evil spirit of innovation demands a unique handling, since you dare go so close to an already written item, and aren't using new spells. You'll be wanting pass without trace and obscuring mist for required spells. You'll want to say exactly how far the leaves travel (not just per round, total).

So all in all, I think you're on the right path, but I think you need something more to truly capture me here. Just too many small things, and added together they make me annoyed. Of course, the grammar monster is in a horrible mood, so that may be half the reason.

I'll look at more items soon (possibly before putting my own here), but I want to pay some attention to the top 32 people now. They have a right to it.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Cool feedback thanks. No worries on when you can and cant pop in, this thread will be on-going for the next 10 months, the challenge may change during those months though. Same for everyone else, pop in and out of the thread as and when you can. I will be going quiet to review those organisations too.

Yeah, I missed the CRB dust of tracelessness, but I didnt really try that hard to find it I will admit as I was using this idea for kicking off my practice.

I chose the wrong word most definitely there.

And yes, it travels for 100 foot in one round only, depositing everything at the end of that round. Its low powered, so I didnt want it going on and on for a mile :D

I'll work harder on the grammar next time - I just need to work out how to set Word 2010 to American Grammar and choose settings to highlight passive.

Any pointers anyone?

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

I don't agree completely that "mojo" can be defined as the ability to make any reader instantly excited about the item and wanting to have it. It's more intangible than that, which is why the judges, even after all these years of telling us to include more "mojo" have been as yet unable to actually describe or explain it, other then the extremely unhelpful, though honest, reply of, "We know it when we see it."

Barring technical difficulties with my waterskin, for example, it's a solid, serviceable item that does a job. The first chunk is a SIAC with an extra bit about filling the pit with water, something you could do with a successive casting of the two construction requirement spells. The part that takes it out of SIAC territory is the ability to shake things up (literally). Now, I can see it as an item some classes and character concepts would go for, such as a low-level wizard or bard, who could maintain his inspire courage even as he continues to spend his standard action each round shaking the bag. It's a good contribution to a fight that's different than anything you can get from a spell or existing item, a different opportunity, as it were, for that character to contribute. Now, you don't like the connection between the pit and the waterskin, but that's a personal opinion, as when I try to envision some sort of mundane item that I can pour water from to make a magical, water-filled pit, a waterskin was what I immediately thought of. I can see the character shaking it, hear the sloshing of the "water" inside the leather bag. Maybe another item makes more sense, but in order to keep something in hand so you have to shake it...I don't know. I had thought of a small, embroidered, roll-up rug that looks like the surface of a puddle and actually becomes the puddle when laid down, but you can't shake that.

Ultimately, mojo is subjective. What isn't subjective (or at least, as subjective) is "gonzoism". "Boring" shouldn't be as subjective either. It's finding that middle ground that still hits enough of the mojo side with the judges that's the challenge.

I also read through the top 32 items and for some of them, the only reaction they create in me is a rather bewildered "why would I ever want that?" And that's long after the post-rejection sour grapes have worn off.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Here's an item that skirts close to an existing magic item (boots of elvenkind). Do they diverge enough to stand out, or again, do we need more mojo.

Boots of the Swashbuckler (158 words)
Aura faint illusion; CL 3rd
Slot feet; Price 3,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
These boots are made from shiny brown leather, tooled with ornate motifs in gold. Three brightly-colored feathers protrude from the backs of each boot.

These boots aid the wearer in moving more safely across a field of combat, granting a +4 competence bonus to Acrobatics checks made to avoid attacks of opportunity due to movement. Once per day, if the wearer fails such an Acrobatics check and draws one or more attacks of opportunity, the boots cause him to appear to suddenly be moving much more quickly and nimbly, creating the effect of a blur spell, which lasts for as long as he continues to move. When the wearer stops moving for any reason, such as to make an attack, the blur effect ends.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, blur, creator must have 5 ranks in Acrobatics; Cost 1,500 gp

Oh, by the way, I know the name sucks something awful. Naming stuff is by far the hardest thing for me. I was going to go with Boots of Avoidance, but there's a spell of that name, and these boots don't do anything close to that spell's effect. Boots of Mobility suggest the feat of the same name, and point out uncomfortable similarities between this item and that feat. Boots of the Acrobat? Boots of the Tumbler? "Boots of Not Getting Hit With Sharp Pieces of Metal, Claws, and Other Bad Things When You Try To Move To Get Into Sneak Attack Position"?


Anthony Adam wrote:

I'll work harder on the grammar next time - I just need to work out how to set Word 2010 to American Grammar and choose settings to highlight passive.

Any pointers anyone?

I'm an obsessive person when it comes to grammar. I *think* the grammar of word should automatically set to the language appropriate setting when told to spell-check in that language.

If I wasn't non-native with English, and used to trying very hard to comb American English out of my work for university purposes, I'd be willing to do a few posts on how do to grammar. Though I'm afraid I don't classify as the greatest expert around. After all, my speciality is in grammars at least hundreds of years outdated. And, I just very barely passed my main grammar exam a few days before the Superstar top 32 reveal (honestly, I guess that actually softened the blow of no top 32 space as a very bottom-scraping of passed grade in this has a little more impact on my future).

That said, if people around here are interested I could very well be compelled to spend some time taking my English grammar out for a round and give some pointers on what to do and what NOT to do (mostly the last). I've got to confess, though I don't know how native speakers make sense of the English grammar rules. I hate synthetic languages, they make no sense anymore. Can I submit in Ancient Latin/Greek? I thought not.

A quick note on the passive though. I don't know if this counts for the judges (I believe I recall SKR at least feeling very strongly about it), but for me, personally, voice (active/passive) is a lot more about fitting application than about only using one. Some sentences just aren't meant for active voice.

I could probably direct people willing to invest in it to some fairly vast and fully covering grammar tomes, but I'm going to admit, those are expensive pieces, even for people who are not poor students.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka nate lange

as a good general principle, the rules of American English are the same as those of British English- we just have a greater tendency to neglect them (and, seemingly, an easier acceptance of their neglect).
there are spelling differences which i'm sure you can set Word2010 to recognize, though i haven't the slightest idea how to do so. as for active/passive voice, i'm not sure if Word will check for that but either sean or neil (i can't recall which) had a very helpful post about it that i saw on one of the boards during round 1 (it may have been from a previous year).


Nazard wrote:

Here's an item that skirts close to an existing magic item (boots of elvenkind). Do they diverge enough to stand out, or again, do we need more mojo.

Boots of the Swashbuckler (158 words)
Aura faint illusion; CL 3rd
Slot feet; Price 3,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
These boots are made from shiny brown leather, tooled with ornate motifs in gold. Three brightly-colored feathers protrude from the backs of each boot.

These boots aid the wearer in moving more safely across a field of combat, granting a +4 competence bonus to Acrobatics checks made to avoid attacks of opportunity due to movement. Once per day, if the wearer fails such an Acrobatics check and draws one or more attacks of opportunity, the boots cause him to appear to suddenly be moving much more quickly and nimbly, creating the effect of a blur spell, which lasts for as long as he continues to move. When the wearer stops moving for any reason, such as to make an attack, the blur effect ends.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, blur, creator must have 5 ranks in Acrobatics; Cost 1,500 gp

Oh, by the way, I know the name sucks something awful. Naming stuff is by far the hardest thing for me. I was going to go with Boots of Avoidance, but there's a spell of that name, and these boots don't do anything close to that spell's effect. Boots of Mobility suggest the feat of the same name, and point out uncomfortable similarities between this item and that feat. Boots of the Acrobat? Boots of the Tumbler? "Boots of Not Getting Hit With Sharp Pieces of Metal, Claws, and Other Bad Things When You Try To Move To Get Into Sneak Attack Position"?

I'm seeing something that is almost like the boots of elvenkind but the bonus is under very specific circumstances. It then pretty much gives you the Wind Stance feat 1/day, except for melee and ranged attacks and it lasts... as long as you use double move actions? Move actions and nothing else? So a single move action is fine, what about just a 5 foot step? What about with Spring Attack or Wand Dancer (both allow you to make actions in the midst of a move)? Just wonderin'

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
N. Edward Lange wrote:

as a good general principle, the rules of American English are the same as those of British English- we just have a greater tendency to neglect them (and, seemingly, an easier acceptance of their neglect).

there are spelling differences which i'm sure you can set Word2010 to recognize, though i haven't the slightest idea how to do so. as for active/passive voice, i'm not sure if Word will check for that but either sean or neil (i can't recall which) had a very helpful post about it that i saw on one of the boards during round 1 (it may have been from a previous year).

Lol, yeah, my template links to that very passive post - grin - but it made my head hurt - I'm full of cold at the moment, so to be honest, anything is making my head hurt at the moment.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Nazard wrote:
Here's an item that skirts close to an existing magic item (boots of elvenkind). Do they diverge enough to stand out, or again, do we need more mojo.

That's one aspect I want to work on and better to.

Nazard wrote:
Oh, by the way, I know the name sucks something awful. Naming stuff is by far the hardest thing for me.

Errol Flynn dons his cape and greens, strikes a pose on the fallen log and wonders what's wrong with swashbuckler :p

I feel your pain, as I would imagine an awful lot of us do.

I've also been looking at these bits in Construction

"creator must have 5 ranks in Acrobatics"

My book is not to hand at the moment, so I was wondering if this is the correct format or if it should be something like "Acrobatics (5 ranks)" as we already know that Construction is creator requirements?

Anyone know this? I can then add to my template post on next update?

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

The format I used is from the prd, so okay on that front. Add that to the template, Anthony!!:D

As for the Wind Stance, thanks for the catch. I'll admit, I banged the item out in five minutes and didn't do my due diligence. Also good catch with the Spring Attack. That's a road I don't want to go down, as now a character gets this item, Spring Attack, and then deliberately provokes an AoO to activate this power, getting a free blur spell for the rest of combat. I'll go back to my original plan of having the boots only grant the concealment against the provoked attacks of opportunity. As you say, though, this looks a lot like Wind Stance, so maybe ditch the idea entirely.

All that being said, the item produces a cool visual image of its use, and there are several classes that could benefit from it, not just rogues.

Mojo at under two grand is tough.


Nazard wrote:
I don't agree completely that "mojo" can be defined as the ability to make any reader instantly excited about the item and wanting to have it. <snip>

I don't think an item with mojo is something you want to have, necessarily. More like something that's fun to contemplate having in a game. (And even that's only part of the equation.)

...aaaaaand I'm pretty sure all my coworkers would laugh at me if they knew I was discussing the essence of "mojo" on an internet role playing forum right now.

My gut reaction to the boots above. Again, please take what's helpful and discard what ain't. (And keep in mind I'm just another top 32 wannabe.)

Boots of the Swashbuckler:
Nope. Sorry, still nothing. I get the connection between boots and the mechanical effect, though. I think the connection was in fact a little too obvious, perhaps. Or maybe a strong visual would help?

Questions: How do you want people to feel when they read your item? What are you doing to instill that feeling?

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Heh. Most of us are top 32 wannabes. While I may find it slightly irritating sometimes to have completely random people with no Superstar or designer credentials tear apart my item as if they're divinely-appointed experts, the whole point of this thread is for us wannabes to help each other out, and all we're really doing is exchanging opinions.

That being said, it does seem like I'm carrying the one's share here. C'mon, folks, let's see somebody else's items! :D

As for your koi, I think the idea of swimming through the air is really interesting, but I would personally prefer that item in the form of a vest you wear, rather than a thing that floats beside you. I don't see it as SIAC, though, as it allows characters a means of flight that's very different, and uses a different skill. Fighters and rangers have Swim as a class skill, for example, but not Fly. You might consider using a species of flying fish, rather than koi, though I know you're going for oriental flavor.

One question, though. Does a creature with an actual Swim speed have an advantage here?


Yes, I suppose a creature with a swim speed could take 10 on the Swim checks. The leveraging of Swim rather than Fly was intentional--a kinda/sorta advantage to allow strong characters to strive to do things they couldn't normally do.

I did consider switching to a flying fish, but there's no culture I'm aware of that makes streamers in the likeness of flying fish and so I would have to reconsider the base item. And since flying fish aren't really a symbol of striving against the current (as carp are) I would have to re-think the mechanical stchick too.

The problem with switching to a vest would be that the vest would only be worn for the 10/rounds a day that the character wants to use the effect, and the rest of the time it would be in the backpack. I think quite a few items got dinged for that this year. A vest with flying fish stitched on does have a certain appeal, though.

But--I agree with you 100%--a magical fish that swims beside you doesn't feel as "right" as a vest does for this effect. A better idea might be to make the owner hold on for dear life (using Ride) as the carp leaps through the air.

Or maybe this effect/item combination doesn't have a superstar angle and I should come up with another item to toss into this thread. :)


Here is an item for your perusal. Dissect at your leisure.

Collar of Bloody Enlightenment [148 words]
Aura faint necromancy; CL 5th
Slot -; Price 5,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.

Description
This small collar made of dark leather is designed to allow a wizard greater bonding with his familiar at the cost of his own life.

A familiar wearing a collar of bloody enlightenment can bite its master, dealing 1d4 points of damage and create a symbiotic bond. This damage continues every round the two are joined. In exchange for his health, the wizard gains the familiar’s basic statistics, saving throws, senses and skills if they are better than his own. The wizard also gains access to the familiar’s special abilities. Once per round as a free action the wizard can take one ability from his familiar. He can choose any ability that his level would allow his familiar to have.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, vampiric touch; Cost 2,500 gp.

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