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RPG Superstar 2015

Some Common Misteps I'm Seeing This Year


RPG Superstar™ 2012 General Discussion

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

So looking through the Critique thread, and all the responses Neil is churning out, I am starting to see some common trends with rejections that I didn't remember noticing as much in looking through previous years' critique threads. Maybe some other people can notice more.

Before I start, I'm not talking about SIAC, SAK, or "this has already been done" items, but some of the design space choices people (myself included) are making that aren't being well-received by the judges. Also, I'm purposely avoiding mentioning any specific items (save my own), so if these seem a little vague, that's why. Please nobody make this a tear apart somebody else's item thread.

Action Economy: Anything that messes with action economy is getting hosed. Doing stuff that should be a standard action, but making it a swift or free hasn't gotten good responses. One thing I'm not sure on is whether something like a defensive item which allows an immediate action reaction to an incoming whatever falls into the same category.

Money Sinks: There are lots of items in the critique thread, some of them quite expensive, that state outright that certain conditions can cause the character to lose this item, either by the user sacrificing the item to get some effect, overuse the item so it goes nova, or its intended use makes it quite likely that an enemy will be able to either steal or destroy the item. Maybe it's just my play-style, but my 12th level fighter still has a cure moderate potion in his pack from 4th level because I can't bring myself to use it, just in case I'm going to end up needing it more later. The idea of spending thousands of gold on an item that's just going to end up getting ruined by the bad guy, or a single-use consumable costing thousands...well, like I said, maybe it's just me. Elixir of fire breath is as far as I'm willing to go in terms of an expensive consumable.

Takes a Slot But Doesn't: This is kind of a variation of the "Makes you Blind but Not Bling" Auto-reject line, but there are a few items that take a slot, but only when you want to do a specific task, and then you just remove them in favour of a different item of the same slot when the task is done.

Doesn't Take a Slot, But Does: The opposite of the last group. Not wanting to point out any actual items, so I'll make up a riduclous example of my Carrot of Vorpal Bunny Deterring, a special carrot, when, held in your hand, automatically deflects the throat lunge of any attacking vorpal bunnies. Very useful against the critters, but I have to go around carrying this carrot on the off chance that I'll run into one, instead of, for example, a shield or second weapon.

Completely Nullify an Entire Threat: These items completely (or almost completely) negate an entire __________, so that this item is great if you're going to be facing lots of ____________s, and otherwise a waste of pack space. Plus, completely negating entire __________s is just another way of making adventuring safe, which seems to irk Ryan no end.

Again, these are just my observations as more and more items get posted. If anybody else sees some design space choices that aren't going over well with the judges, please add them to the list.

Star Voter 2013

Some good observations! People should keep these in mind for next year, as well.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

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

I'll be adding these observations and any I pick up from previous years threads to my template thread :)

Star Voter 2013

3 people marked this as a favorite.

This is not so much about the items, but more a comment on organization (ok, maybe more of a cranky rant than a comment).

I'm really surprised by the number of people in the critique my item thread who either don't have the final submitted version of their item, or aren't sure if what they have is the final version.

Computer crashes and viruses are somewhat understandable, but that's why backups are important.

Editing in the submission box instead of on your final draft copy (and/or not transferring those changes to your final draft copy) is a bad idea, and is bound to leave you without the final version. It's just a recipe for confusion.

Simply not knowing if you have the final version or not? Really? You're essentially applying to be a professional game designer and you didn't keep track of what was a rough draft and what was final?

I don't know how you can expect to succeed as a professional without this basic level of organization.

There is simply no good reason for anyone not to have a copy the final version of any work that they do for hire or profit.

My mind is boggled.

Even if you didn't make the top 32, start building your portfolio with your best examples of finished, polished writing! Would you tell a potential client/boss that you entered the contest, and then show them a rough draft of your work? Or worse, tell them that you don't know if what you showed them is final or not? You'd never get hired.

(If I remember correctly, this was even mentioned last year by one of the judges)


Seabyrn wrote:

This is not so much about the items, but more a comment on organization (ok, maybe more of a cranky rant than a comment).

I'm really surprised by the number of people in the critique my item thread who either don't have the final submitted version of their item, or aren't sure if what they have is the final version.

Computer crashes and viruses are somewhat understandable, but that's why backups are important.

Editing in the submission box instead of on your final draft copy (and/or not transferring those changes to your final draft copy) is a bad idea, and is bound to leave you without the final version. It's just a recipe for confusion.

Simply not knowing if you have the final version or not? Really? You're essentially applying to be a professional game designer and you didn't keep track of what was a rough draft and what was final?

I don't know how you can expect to succeed as a professional without this basic level of organization.

There is simply no good reason for anyone not to have a copy the final version of any work that they do for hire or profit.

My mind is boggled.

Even if you didn't make the top 32, start building your portfolio with your best examples of finished, polished writing! Would you tell a potential client/boss that you entered the contest, and then show them a rough draft of your work? Or worse, tell them that you don't know if what you showed them is final or not? You'd never get hired.

(If I remember correctly, this was even mentioned last year by one of the judges)

I'm guilty of this. It was in my top five submitter's remorse thoughts that occurred. I understand why this is a problem and I agree everyone should have the final copy. Well, this was my first year. I'll learn.

EDIT: Just checked to see how off the copy I had was. I removed it so that no one's time would be wasted.

Star Voter 2013

Jay159 wrote:
Seabyrn wrote:

This is not so much about the items, but more a comment on organization (ok, maybe more of a cranky rant than a comment).

I'm really surprised by the number of people in the critique my item thread who either don't have the final submitted version of their item, or aren't sure if what they have is the final version.

Computer crashes and viruses are somewhat understandable, but that's why backups are important.

Editing in the submission box instead of on your final draft copy (and/or not transferring those changes to your final draft copy) is a bad idea, and is bound to leave you without the final version. It's just a recipe for confusion.

Simply not knowing if you have the final version or not? Really? You're essentially applying to be a professional game designer and you didn't keep track of what was a rough draft and what was final?

I don't know how you can expect to succeed as a professional without this basic level of organization.

There is simply no good reason for anyone not to have a copy the final version of any work that they do for hire or profit.

My mind is boggled.

Even if you didn't make the top 32, start building your portfolio with your best examples of finished, polished writing! Would you tell a potential client/boss that you entered the contest, and then show them a rough draft of your work? Or worse, tell them that you don't know if what you showed them is final or not? You'd never get hired.

(If I remember correctly, this was even mentioned last year by one of the judges)

I'm guilty of this. It was in my top five submitter's remorse thoughts that occurred. I understand why this is a problem and I agree everyone should have the final copy. Well, this was my first year. I'll learn.

EDIT: Just checked to see how off the copy I had was. I removed it so that no one's time would be wasted.

I don't mean to be harsh to anyone in particular - and I wouldn't have suggested that anyone remove their item from a feedback thread, or that it would have been a waste of anyone's time to solicit feedback - I think it's ok to work with what you have. I also don't intend to discourage anyone from soliciting feedback even if they don't have their final version.

But I would encourage everyone in your position to adopt your attitude.


I didn't feel that it was harsh or anything. It was an oversight on my part. I'm trying to find a better copy of it (the one I submitted was missing the price info, and a few other things, so I am attempting to find it). I may have uploaded it to google docs or something. . .

Star Voter 2013

Doing my own critiques, I've noticed a few trends myself. The biggest ones:

Not following the template - this is the minimum homework you're required to do. I'm surprised so many people make so many mistakes. A few are excusable, a bunch are not.

Item isn't exciting - From basic +X bonuses to making adventuring safe. If you wouldn't be happy to pull it out and use it every session, probably won't get the judges blood boiling either.

Item does too much - I think the worst I saw had potentially 27 different abilities. Try to stick to one, maybe two things.

Shop items - exchanging items, selling them, or transforming them into something else. There've been a lot of them this year, and they're not that awesome - they keep you from having to go back to town, and nothing else. That's not superstar.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Seabyrn wrote:

I'm really surprised by the number of people in the critique my item thread who either don't have the final submitted version of their item, or aren't sure if what they have is the final version.

There is simply no good reason for anyone not to have a copy the final version of any work that they do for hire or profit.

My mind is boggled.

(If I remember correctly, this was even mentioned last year by one of the judges)

I feel the same way. It always surprises me, too. At least at first. My gut reaction is: "This is essentially an online job interview and the dog ate your homework?" But there are some things to keep in mind:

It is just a contest. And some people enter just to enter, which is great. Many people dont have an expectation of advancement--which is fine. In fact, some top 8 contestants have said they didnt think there was any way they were going to advance. Or even look at a GREAT item (Bottled Time) where the author had to withdraw. Some enter at the last minute because they were rushed, etc. So I always set my surprise aside. Because more people enter than think they can win, and that is ok.

Now, that said, you would still think people would save a copy of their final submission. And if you aren't doing that, please let this thread serve as my suggestion that you do so next year :)

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

One more bad theme I'm seeing:

The item solves a problem, instead of creating an opportunity. Many times, the rejection comes from the judges deciding the creator is thinking, "This is a problem for me, and I'd like my item to end that problem." It's related to the "nullify a threat" above, even if the problem is really just a frustration and not a threat. The Superstar items don't have a specific use to solve That Issue, they do something which may or may not be of value, partly dependent on the creativity of the player.

So let's not solve problems, let's create opportunities.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

InVinoVeritas wrote:

One more bad theme I'm seeing:

The item solves a problem, instead of creating an opportunity. Many times, the rejection comes from the judges deciding the creator is thinking, "This is a problem for me, and I'd like my item to end that problem." It's related to the "nullify a threat" above, even if the problem is really just a frustration and not a threat. The Superstar items don't have a specific use to solve That Issue, they do something which may or may not be of value, partly dependent on the creativity of the player.

So let's not solve problems, let's create opportunities.

Yes, this so much, exactly what I'm seeing, and exactly what I've been doing myself. My item last year did that but had enough mojo to warrant a trip to the keep pile. This year, my problem was how to use potions as a magical delivery system without having all your character does in battle is run around passing out potions to everybody. Trying to solve a problem.

I'll add to this observation as well: there are a lot of items that gets comments like, "Clearly this was an item the contestant wanted for their own ____________ character in their home game (which again, was something I did). I thought being able to spray people with potions instead of waiting for them to take the potion and spend their own action to drink it was a cool idea (I still like it, but recognize now that it went gonzo).

Mojo versus gonzo. As the judges say, they can't teach that sort of stuff, but that doesn't mean we can't learn it on our own.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Jiggy

Nazard wrote:
there are a lot of items that gets comments like, "Clearly this was ani item the character wanted for their own ____________ character in their home game

Funnily enough, I got such a comment in mine (with the blank being filled by "dhampir").

I've never played a dhampir, have little interest in the race, and wasn't really thinking about them when I designed my item. Go figure, eh?

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

Jacob Kellogg wrote:

Funnily enough, I got such a comment in mine (with the blank being filled by "dhampir").

I've never played a dhampir, have little interest in the race, and wasn't really thinking about them when I designed my item. Go figure, eh?

We all thought that, given the obvious connection. It's funny you weren't thinking that...

That highlights an interesting issue--you should always think through how any item affects all game classes and races.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Having looked through some more critiques,I'm adding another category.

Magical Caddies: This item attempts to solve the problem of never having exactly what you need, unless you carry around the proverbial "golf bag" of __________ (weapon types, poisons, etc.) This kind of goes backto making adventuring easy, because, hey, you don't have to think ahead to what you might need, because you have your handy __________ that does all your thinking for you. You don't have to buy cold iron weapons before playing Realm of the Fellnight Queen, because your magical doodad will turn your weapons into cold iron, and if the GM gets tricksy and makes them were-dryads, you have silver, too.

Edit: Ha! Autocorrect just changed Fellnight to Fellnit on me! Beware my fairy lice!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Jiggy

Clark Peterson wrote:
Jacob Kellogg wrote:

Funnily enough, I got such a comment in mine (with the blank being filled by "dhampir").

I've never played a dhampir, have little interest in the race, and wasn't really thinking about them when I designed my item. Go figure, eh?

We all thought that, given the obvious connection. It's funny you weren't thinking that...

That highlights an interesting issue--you should always think through how any item affects all game classes and races.

Yes, there's plenty I should've thought through a bit more, had I been thinking properly rather than struggling to control a crippling nerdgasm that started when I discovered the contest. ;)

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Nazard wrote:
I'll add to this observation as well: there are a lot of items that gets comments like, "Clearly this was an item the contestant wanted for their own ____________ character in their home game (which again, was something I did). I thought being able to spray people with potions instead of waiting for them to take the potion and spend their own action to drink it was a cool idea (I still like it, but recognize now that it went gonzo).

Yeah, all the knocks on my item could get boiled down to this. There's a lot of reward in Superstar for filling a niche, and it doesn't take many games to think you've found one to fill.

The tough part in building a fill-a-niche item, aside from the elusive mojo, appears to be determining the difference between a niche (a gap in the game system) and a wish (a gap in your specific game). Does that sound right?

Dark Archive

Clark Peterson wrote:
Seabyrn wrote:

I'm really surprised by the number of people in the critique my item thread who either don't have the final submitted version of their item, or aren't sure if what they have is the final version.

There is simply no good reason for anyone not to have a copy the final version of any work that they do for hire or profit.

My mind is boggled.

(If I remember correctly, this was even mentioned last year by one of the judges)

I feel the same way. It always surprises me, too. At least at first. My gut reaction is: "This is essentially an online job interview and the dog ate your homework?" But there are some things to keep in mind:

It is just a contest. And some people enter just to enter, which is great. Many people dont have an expectation of advancement--which is fine. In fact, some top 8 contestants have said they didnt think there was any way they were going to advance. Or even look at a GREAT item (Bottled Time) where the author had to withdraw. Some enter at the last minute because they were rushed, etc. So I always set my surprise aside. Because more people enter than think they can win, and that is ok.

Now, that said, you would still think people would save a copy of their final submission. And if you aren't doing that, please let this thread serve as my suggestion that you do so next year :)

Use something like Yarny to write the item. That's what I did. It's simple, it's easy, and it gives you a word count you can use as a rough guide (it was actually exact for my item and the preview).

Oh, and you get version control on it for free.....

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Adding another category.

Item Crafts Items Better Than a Crafter: There's a lot of danger in making an item tat makes other items. Usually, the item makes doses/charges of stuff more easily than crafting rules and more cheaply, too. All that omes across is, "I want to make stuff, but don't like the crafting rules/creation costs, so this item helps me get around all that. These items are almost always abusable into get-rich items. Even items that make items you can't sell (only lasts an hour, eg) still let you have a department store of stuff whenever you need it.

Shadow Lodge

One other category I'm curious about: Why are there also so many prisoner items? Items that you don't use, so much, as have to stick on a helpless target to make them suck more?

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Clark Peterson wrote:
Jacob Kellogg wrote:

Funnily enough, I got such a comment in mine (with the blank being filled by "dhampir").

I've never played a dhampir, have little interest in the race, and wasn't really thinking about them when I designed my item. Go figure, eh?

We all thought that, given the obvious connection. It's funny you weren't thinking that...

That highlights an interesting issue--you should always think through how any item affects all game classes and races.

I'd add that sometimes letting a non-gamer read the product helps. You can be sure they *won't* think like you, and also if they go "That's cool" you might be on to something.*

*

Spoiler:
Unless they're a twilight fan. If so, then back to square 1

Contributor

7 people marked this as a favorite.
InVinoVeritas wrote:

One other category I'm curious about: Why are there also so many prisoner items? Items that you don't use, so much, as have to stick on a helpless target to make them suck more?

The judges were wondering that, too.

Other common "tropes" from this year and previous years:

bedroll lets you sleep in armor
extradimensional camping space
reins to control a mount
banners gives morale bonus to viewers
bag of holding with shared space to another bag
bag of holding divided into multiple, smaller compartments
item gives two-way communication with allies
write on one paper, it appears on the other
item records everything spoken near it
paired item lets you teleport to its counterpart
item lets you scry on its location
map automatically draws nearby things
item points you at biggest treasure/danger
branding iron that marks/compels target
puzzle box with different abilities for each solution
music box augments/extends performance
item increases healing from rest
clock/stopwatch with haste/slow/time stop
acronym name
mask that magically attaches instead of using a strap
chalk/cloth/frame that makes doorways/tunnels through walls
remove an affliction and use it as an attack
item animates your shadow under your control
item alters initiative points relative to an enemy or ally
item turns into a weapon/provides a magical weapon property
cup/book affects user with charm/suggestion
grappling hook throws/attaches itself
item shows you the memories/last things seen of a dead creature
glasses that detect/read magic/auras/lies/disguises
item is an orrery
item is a spellbook with some defenses
item gives bonus to monster knowledge rolls
gloves that fit perfectly/mold to your hands like a second skin

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I always hating seeing things I've turned in on those lists :) I do see the need for nifty shackles in a magical world, but we've already got 2 or 3 examples of them, and they aren't exactly seen that often.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter 2013, Champion Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:

One other category I'm curious about: Why are there also so many prisoner items? Items that you don't use, so much, as have to stick on a helpless target to make them suck more?

The judges were wondering that, too.

Other common "tropes" from this year and previous years:

banners gives morale bonus to viewers
item turns into a weapon/provides a magical weapon property
grappling hook throws/attaches itself

I almost did all three of those in one item, the Varisian scarf of the bandit. There goes next years idea...


*sigh* Shamefully every item I thought of this year, including the one I did submit, is on that list... Oh well. Here's to working even harder over the next eleven months.

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

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


acronym name

Really?!

Shadow Lodge

I'm at least happy my item had none of Sean's themes. It had problems that were all its own! (At least, from what I've seen.)

Contributor

Something like the

Fastidious Elemental Alacritous Repeller (F.E.A.R.)

Yes, really.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Remember that Sean's list there is of *common* submissions; just because an entry hits on a common theme doesn't automatically make it bad.

(That said, a bunch of those common ideas *are* really bad for a Superstar item... just not all of them. You'll note that many of them collide with the "autoreject" advice...)

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

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Something like the

Fastidious Elemental Alacritous Repeller (F.E.A.R.)

Yes, really.

Well, I'll be...huh, imagine that.

Btw, that item sounds like something that would have a pack of J. K Rowling lawyers at your throat so fast it would make your head spin.


I submitted a compass last year that pointed you to treasure or anything you wanted, so I made the list.

I would say sticking to one, at most two abilities, with an item and then really making them awesome would be a good idea. Keep you away from SAK anyway.

I have trouble getting away from SIAC. Any suggestions?


Hah! I beat you all. My item was considered to not even be a wondrous item. AUTO-REJECT! at least Clark liked the idea.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

speed66 wrote:

I submitted a compass last year that pointed you to treasure or anything you wanted, so I made the list.

I would say sticking to one, at most two abilities, with an item and then really making them awesome would be a good idea. Keep you away from SAK anyway.

I have trouble getting away from SIAC. Any suggestions?

Here is a wonderful quote from Clark on the subject. Helped me a lot (though still a problem for me :) Also read Neil's post just above or just below Clark's.

Shadow Lodge

I just wanted to write more about my "so many prisoner items" comment above, based on this feedback from the "Critique My Item" thread:

Neil Spicer wrote:


Lamb's Bonds

*Poor naming on this item.

*This year, a lot of people really seem to want a pair of magical shackles. I just don't find that a very useful or compelling item to introduce into the game. And I'm put off by the combo build of this item. This isn't how you'd normally present that. Usually, it's a lesser vs. greater version. And, they'd appear as two separate items...not mish-mashed together in the wondrous item template.

*I'm further annoyed by the use of cure light wounds as the spell around which to build this item. And I don't care for the inscriptions in the "common" tongue (which should be Common). Or, the "escape artist" check (which should be capitalized as a skill name). The spellnames are all missing their italics, but this person obviously knows how to use BBCode by italicizing the inscriptions. In addition, the merciful weapon "enchantment" shouldn't be boldface and it should be an "enhancement" or a weapon property instead. It should also be italicized. Several other missteps on presentation, too.

*You add all these things up: poor presentation, poor core idea and name, and lackluster mechanics--and you just don't have a Superstar item.

*Vote to Reject.

*I agree. Kind of a plain, boring item concept. And it doesn't really make sense. You know what you do to violent criminals in a fantasy game? You tie them up and take them back to town. Where they're probably executed. Or the adventurers just kill them right there. You don't need to spend 8,000 gp to make them harmless once you've made them helpless. You just tie them up.

*I need to invent an auto-reject category called "item solves a problem that doesn't really exist."

*Reject.

*Rejected.

Emphasis mine.

I agree that having an item that is applied to a helpless target is pretty much unneeded, because if they're helpless, you already can do whatever you need with them.

But what I imagine is happening, is that this isn't at all about gimping the pre-gimped. It's about you going out, capturing the bad guy, and then... the bad guy escapes. Or you capture a mook, and no matter what you do, the mook won't tell you the Super Secret Plans. It's about answering the question, how do I get that guy to do for me whatever it is I want him to do?

Ultimately, the answer is, ask the GM. Often in "bad guy escapes" stories, it's either through a lack of vigilance by the PCs or it's "required by story." In the first case, the PCs need to up their game and no amount of bling will solve the problem. In the second case, it's just bad GMing... and no amount of bling will solve the problem.

Similarly, when the mook refuses to give up special information, it's because either the PCs aren't good at interrogation (so up your game) or it's the GM that wants to be sure that the players don't learn his nifty secret, even though the mook knows it (bad GMing). Either way, it's not solvable by magic items. Now, it could be the case that the mook becomes cooperative but honestly doesn't know the Secret, but then there's no need to keep the prisoner, is there?

So that's my advice for contestants. Take it with a grain of salt, since I'm not a Top 32. The magical shackles are probably a dead end because the problem they try to solve is one between players and GM, not something in-game.

Star Voter 2013

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


Other common "tropes" from this year and previous years:

...

chalk/cloth/frame that makes doorways/tunnels through walls

Not terribly surprised about this, because asides from being an obvious solution to a problem PCs have all the time, both the popular Portal and Pan's Labyrinth both do similar things.

Now, the question is; can I make my idea in a similar vein cool enough to make it my submission next year? only time will tell.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

To be really unique the tunnel through a wall should have a d% chance of a train coming through it.

Star Voter 2013

no, no - the train must always be there - but it only appears in front of someone after 1d4+1 people have passed through.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Sly Boots wrote:
These weren't intended to go on helpless prisoners AT ALL. I mean, if a party wanted to do that it was possible, but it certainly wasn't my intention for the main use of the item. That was just a bit of an explanation as to why they were invented in the first place. If you notice the rest of it, it mentions how they had become popular with adventurers with certain ideological requirements. What I was trying to do, was make bracers that made any weapon do non-lethal damage, so they could use found weapons. Clearly I didn't impart this well enough as neither you nor the judges got this. I probably shouldn't have made them look like shackles, I guess it was just confusing.

That's another important lesson: Designers don't get to tell people how an item is supposed to be used. (I personally *hate* it when I see text like "this item is usually used by X to do Y.") *You* might think of your item being used in one particular circumstance, but other people will have different ideas, and you need to consider the potential for misuse and abuse.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sly Boots wrote:
If you notice the rest of it, it mentions how they had become popular with adventurers with certain ideological requirements

I haven't seen the original item writeup, since it isn't linked from here. But that sentence right there is vague. Which ideological requirements? You're thinking of the sort of adventurer who might want to subdue his enemies instead of slaughter them. It can just as easily interpreted as the sort of adventurer who wants to keeps prisoners helpless so they can do bad things to them.

Sometimes when you hint at something, the hint can be used to go a completely different direction.

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

Sly Boots wrote:
Yes, clearly. That is why I said specifically in the post you replied to that my item must have been confusing. I didn't really need two more people telling me this, guys. I wasn't looking for more criticism, I responded only because someone was using my item as an example of one thing, when I didn't intend it that way. As I didn't progress at all, it doesn't matter to me whether people like it or what they hate, but I do want people to understand my intent if they're gonna talk about it.

Wow, really? That's how you respond to comments by Vic and others? You might want to think about that, just a suggestion.

No one cares what your intent was or is. That's the point. Once something is created, it is released to users. All possible uses, regardless of intent, have to be evaluated. The fact you didn't intend it simply shows you didn't do a good job thinking through its likely uses. Sorry that your item is proving to be an excellent example of a big design mistake. Instead of crowing about it and being snippy to guys like Vic you might want to swallow the pride, deal with some simple discussion of your item, learn from it and come back strong next year.

A freelancer in his career gets tons of things turned back, ideas shot down by developers, stuff returned with notes for rework and sometimes favorite things simply cut from final manuscripts. You need to learn to deal with this type of discussion. No one is criticizing YOU for your item. Now I am suggesting your conduct is poor, but until your last post that isnt what we were discussing. So a discussion of your item isnt a criticism of you. An RPG Superstar has thicker skin than that. Something else, perhaps, to work on for next year.

Good luck to you next year!

Shadow Lodge

Sly Boots wrote:
I wasn't looking for more criticism, I responded only because someone was using my item as an example of one thing...

But I didn't use your item. I used the judges' discussion of your item, which contained the points I wanted to elaborate on. I highlighted those points, because a general discussion of shackle items was included. What your item did or did not do, or what its real purpose was, was immaterial.

I apologize if that wasn't clear. I did not mean to offend or single out your item. But yes, I did single it out by using the discussion. I probably should have trimmed it down. Lesson learned for next time.

Dark Archive

I'm just pissed I couldn't make it to participate in this year, since I had at least 2 things (magic Item & Monster) already made polished ready to participate but will save them for net year, just in case.

I do understand some complains but and the want of some of the participants to explain their creations, but you must also see this like the editor/future employer would.

Potential for abuse?
Extremely beneficial to a class/race?
Useless, gold sinking, redundant item?

At least IMHO those are the question I make myself when I design a spell, monster, magic item for generic purposes to be available to use in any type of setting. It is a total different things if they ask for something more specific like a monster with CR X for certain region, or Magic Item for uses in the APG XX set in XX part of Golarion, then the questions should answer.

At least that is my opinion and my best regards to all.

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