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9 Blazing Months


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

51 to 100 of 538 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Whilst investigating who makes clocks in Golarion, I came across some posts from James Jacobs concerning pocket watches and the like, and that as they were made in the 1600s and weren't accurate to the 1700s, were not likely found in current core Golarion.

So I immediately checked when barometers were invented - the first, the mercurial one, was invented in.... you guessed it, the 1600s >.<

Worse, I considered swapping to the sextant and that wasn't invented until the 1700s.

I checked up on ocean based voyages, Drake managed his voyage of discovery around 1563, so by looking at the bigger multi mast ocean type vessels, I may even be skirting with disaster there too.

I don't know if creating a barometer based device would be dinged, but real world time lines of the base item is definitely the sort of thing to be aware of when creating wondrous items I guess.

I will continue with the item for practice, and am so glad it's not a real entry now >.<

Eeeek, what a find.

Oh, and the obvious candidates for the inner workings of a barometer are the Gnomes - but as the first one invented in the real world was mercurial in nature, I am wondering if an Alchemy specializing organisation might be a better fit - off to investigate Golarion Organisations now...

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

Sextants are actually listed in the advanced player's guide. Granted, that's a non-world-specific book, so may not be as applicable to Golarion, but the Wondrous Item task isn't meant to be Golarion specific either.

I'm not sure gnomes really gibe with barometers, though. That feels more like tinker-style gnomes, from the the world's first RPG, than Pathfinder's more fey-flavored gnomes.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

...

I'm not sure gnomes really gibe with barometers, though. That feels more like tinker-style gnomes, from the the world's first RPG, than Pathfinder's more fey-flavored gnomes.

Exactly my feelings, hence the looking through organisations for an alternative. :)

Oooh, I'm starting to think like someone who made the cut - awesome!

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

I like the coral better than a marble facing, but even more evocative is a piece of pitted lunar rock.
Keep in mind many of the ships listed in Golarian (ala Ultimate Combat) are in the same time period the as barometer. Since it is a magical substitute you do not need to worry too much about the complete accuracy.

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

I apparently just can't win. Another long post as I started to catch up just got eaten. This is REALLY annoying. Anthony, I apologize again as this will be terser than the original post.

Gravity well idea is neat, but I'd be wary of being too similar to the batrachian helm from a few year ago.

The flyby attack stopper seems like it could have potential. I feel like it's working in a solid mechanical area.

The self-propelled ship and wagon seem a little too much like standard fantasy tropes to me. Good idea, but I don't think they'd be considered to have Superstar mojo.

The spyglass idea really intrigues me, as I've loved the idea of a magical spyglass since playing the computer game Betrayal at Krondor. I think if you're going for a clairvoyance effect, it could be considered making adventuring easy (why go adventure when you can just kill your enemy from afar?). If you're using it to play with negating cover, I think that could work really well, though I'd need to see what else is out there.

The self-burying treasure chest doesn't seem like something PCs would use, the same problem you have with non-portable magic items.

With your vine, make sure you've got something that's going to be worth spending more than just having a vine/whip.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
I apparently just can't win. Another long post as I started to catch up just got eaten. This is REALLY annoying. Anthony, I apologize again as this will be terser than the original post.

I feel your pain. That sucks when that happens.

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Gravity well idea is neat, but I'd be wary of being too similar to the batrachian helm from a few year ago.

Yeah, I will pursue this item over the next few months, I tried once before but got muddled over facing and got way too "battleboard-y". I think I have learnt enough to have a better stab at this one now.

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
The flyby attack stopper seems like it could have potential. I feel like it's working in a solid mechanical area.

I like this idea too and even have some mental pictures of this already, so expect to see this in due course.

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
The self-propelled ship and wagon seem a little too much like standard fantasy tropes to me. Good idea, but I don't think they'd be considered to have Superstar mojo.

Yeah, as I typed them, I thought maybe not so good, but it was just a mini brain dump at the time :)

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
The spyglass idea really intrigues me, as I've loved the idea of a magical spyglass since playing the computer game Betrayal at Krondor. I think if you're going for a clairvoyance effect, it could be considered making adventuring easy (why go adventure when you can just kill your enemy from afar?). If you're using it to play with negating cover, I think that could work really well, though I'd need to see what else is out there.

I was indeed looking at cover and line of sight type effects for this.

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
The self-burying treasure chest doesn't seem like something PCs would use, the same problem you have with non-portable magic items.

He he, agreed.

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
With your vine, make sure you've got something that's going to be worth spending more than just having a vine/whip.

I've already dropped this one, I think an old Johnny Weissmuller was on in the background... :D

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Ok, checking the bestiaries, and going with a bone/ivory casing them, I start to list creatures by environments and see if they promote barometer goodness...

Now as I am looking at tides and possibly weather, you might think I would include Air environments too - I considered this but decided against it as I dodnt want to water down (sic) the main theme of the barometer to be tides/ocean affecting. Although there are some very good creatures in the air environments for weather effects, I am deliberately keeping the theme tight with water.

Also, in order to keep the post shorter but still useful, I'm listing a sample of the creatures I looked at - I did go through all three Bestiaries, but I think the selection and comment below illustrates how I came up with the shortlist I did.

Let's begin...

Any Aquatic - (my preferred category, as the barometer will likely be useable in any open water)

Giant Crab

All waters - check, big shell for the barometer face, the legs could be a spider like effect that "grabs" the wall it is mounted on. Definite possibilities here. Carrying through to crab swarm, the main casing could be a myriad of tiny crabs giving a coral sort of effect, and maybe even a self preservation effect when the item is attacked. Yeah, has possibilities this choice.

Sea Hag.

Doesnt fit my intended effects, so rejected. Skum also rejected - humanoid bones just isnt right for this item - I wont list any more humanoid unless there is a compelling reason to include them as an option.

Any Ocean - (my second preferred category as I originally conceived the item as ocean based

Charybdis

Now this creature definitely has a big tie in with affecting water currents - creating whirlpools no less. Definitely one to consider for a strong tie in to ocean/tide affecting effects.

Dire Shark

Ship destroying monster - hmmm, not really what I am aiming for with the barometer - its more movement based than combat based, so reject this possibility, and also sharks in general for similar reasoning. Crocodiles also dont feel right for the same reasons.

Dolphin

Again, not really in keeping with the barometer effects I am aiming for, so rejected. Ditto for Octopi and Squid

Kraken

Now this does tie in, the creature has both weather and wind controlling abilities! The ink use of the creature could be converted into fog based effects for providing ships with escape from pursuit defence mechanisms. This is a strong contender for this item.

Sea Serpent

If my item were ocean combat based, this might work, but my gut instinct is not suitable for the item so it is rejected. Eels and eek/snake variants will also be rejected.

Plane of Water - (an odd environment that just might provide something really evocative...)

Marid (Genie)

Hmmm, possibilities here - controlling of water - BUT the genie side of things jars with my principle idea for the barometer. Rejected.

Water Elemental

Binging a water elemental into the inner workings of the barometer might give a really good tie to powering and affecting the tides and currents - I will keep on the list with this very combination with something else to explain the weather effects part of the barometer.

Temperate Aquatic

Dragon Turtle -

Size and strength of the creature could explain the power needed to affect tides and currents but is lacking on the weather front. Maybe the dial face could be part of this creature to provide the strength/power of the item and couple with the case construct to tie in to tides and weather. Keep in shortlist for now as a potential coupling with some Kraken pieces.

Temperate Coastline

Bronze Metallic Dragon

Who doesnt love items made out of dragons ( apart from dragons themselves :D ) - mettalic bronze dragon blood instead of mercury, hmmm, possibilities here. File for later consideration

Warm Coastline

Aboleth

Slime based - not really fitting with the item - reject. Shoggoth (Cold aquatic) rejected for the same reasons. I wont list any other slime based creatures unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

Pteranodon

Flying creature, possibly prviding that subtle link to air, air current and winds. Gut feel though is to reject this choice too.

Summation:

Now - bear in mind that I am targetting the evocative description bit of the item.

We don't list specific items in the construction section of a Wondrous Item.

So what I am doing is attempting to build something memorable and attention grabbing in that first descriptive line. I want suck the reader in by hinting at the source of the powers that will follow the intro line. I am attempting to do this through the physical description of the item and what it may be made of.

So my short list to consider (in alphabetical order)

Bronze Metallic Dragon
Charybdis
Dragon Turtle
Giant Crab
Kraken
Water Elemental

Ok, it took a bit longer than I expected doing this post, so I will take a break now and let things cogitate in my subconscious for a bit and then take a stab at that evocative description again.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Anthony Adam wrote:
Any Aquatic

You missed tojanida. I am a big fan of misfit monsters & I could be wrong but misfit monsters would be one of those niche things fans of Golarian (or at least fans of Paizo) will gravitate to. :) Is it enough of a niche to design something around? I am unsure, but I will at least do one for the practice thread.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Curaigh wrote:
Anthony Adam wrote:
Any Aquatic
You missed tojanida. I am a big fan of misfit monsters & I could be wrong but misfit monsters would be one of those niche things fans of Golarian (or at least fans of Paizo) will gravitate to. :) Is it enough of a niche to design something around? I am unsure, but I will at least do one for the practice thread.

Nice spot - I deliberately left that one out as I already had monstrous crabs and the dragon turtle as possibilities :)

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

Quote:

Vanguard Caligae V2.0

Aura faint transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot feet; Price 5,750 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
These sandals look ordinary except for the constantly moving lines of arcane writing wandering across their straps. They carry the wearer swiftly into combat, increasing the wearers speed by 10 feet when charging or double moving towards an enemy. This increase to speed is treated as an enhancement bonus. Additionally, three times per day, the wearer may use the sandals to smooth the way for his allies. As a swift action, for one round, the wearer may ignore any difficult terrain and not take penalties for moving through it. Any square of difficult terrain entered by the wearer of the sandals during this round becomes normal terrain. This effect lasts for one round.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, expeditious retreat, feather step; Cost 2,875 gp

Still playing catch up...

I like these items a lot. I don't think I'd say "the sandals look ordinary except"... Starting with ordinary so soon isn't very evocative writing; focus instead of the cool part: "Lines of arcane writing constantly move across the straps of these leather sandals." Though I think arcane runes on items can be a little cliche (granted, I've thrown them on some of my items). Why not give the soles some cool substance to be made of -- glass, perhaps? -- as a descriptive element.

"increasing the wearers speed" is missing an apostrophe. And towards is actually spelled toward (not sure if they're as insistent in that in Paizo's style, but it's a big thing in newspaper style).

I agree with Curaigh that I'd try to tighten some of your writing overall. What would you think of this rewrite of the end of it, for example; it keeps the exact same meaning while saving you some words and smoothing out your writing: "As a swift action, for one round, the wearer may ignore any penalties for moving through difficult terrain. Any square of difficult terrain entered by the wearer of the sandals during this round becomes normal terrain for one round."

I'm not sure if I like the limi that it only works for double moving toward the enemy -- it fits your theme, but seems to take away some of the versatility from the item. Then again, I think it'd be awfully attractive with that price, so any improvements would probably mean it needs a slight price bump.

Still, very cool item.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Standback

Neil Spicer wrote:
Saint Caleth wrote:
On the subject of "Names" in spell/item names. The somewhat tongue in cheek advice that I heard somewhere is "If your character was not in one of Gary Gygax's campaigns you can't name things after them."
That wasn't tongue-in-cheek. Ryan Dancey was quite serious when he made that assertion. And I can assure you the rest of the judges support his perspective.

So what you're saying is I am allowed to make up new magical items for a historically-acknowledged Gygax-GM'd character?

Hmmmm....

Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

One final draft, now with a completely revamped description and incorporation of your excellent edits! Thanks everyone.

Vanguard Caligae V3.0
Aura faint transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot feet; Price 5,750 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
These spotless white military sandals are trimmed in gold and silver, and have soles studded with shining mithril nails. They carry the wearer swiftly into combat, increasing the wearer’s speed by 10 feet when charging or double moving toward an enemy. This increase to speed is treated as an enhancement bonus. Additionally, three times per day, the wearer may use the sandals to smooth the way for his allies. As a swift action, for one round, the wearer may ignore any penalties from difficult terrain. Any square of difficult terrain entered by the wearer of the sandals during this round becomes normal terrain for one round.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, expeditious retreat, feather step; Cost 2,875 gp

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Saint Caleth wrote:

One final draft, now with a completely revamped description and incorporation of your excellent edits! Thanks everyone.

Vanguard Caligae V3.0

Ok, lets do that exercise of comparing to similar priced items...

Amulet of mighty fists +1
Bag of holding type II
Boots of striding and springing ****
Bracers of archery, lesser
Crown of blasting, minor
Eversmoking bottle
Gloves of swimming and climbing
Grappler's mask
Helm of comprehend languages and read magic
Helm of fearsome mien
Horn of the huntmaster
Horseshoes of a zephyr ****
Ioun stone, dusty rose prism
Necklace of fireballs type IV
Necklace of fireballs type V
Pipes of haunting
Scabbard of staunching
Sheath of bladestealth
Sustaining spoon
Vest of escape
Wind fan

In your range, we have

none 7
belt 2
chest 1
hands 1
head 4
neck 3
wrists 1
feet 2

Now you are adding another feet item, that makes me have to choose at this point in the treasure tables. Your item seems to compare favourably at the price point, but is encroaching other feet items to a slight degree - be aware and wary of this :

You lose against Boots of striding and springing as the 10 foot speed bonus they give is all movement. But you gain on terrain modification for allies.

Now that is the cool power, yet in the description, it comes after the yawnsworth 10 foot speed bonus.

Put the cool power first - be aware that if the judges encounter a yawn bonus type power first in your description, it becomes an uphill battle at that point for them to read further with the volume of entries they get.

So I say again, as it is of the utmost importance...

Put the cool power first!

:)

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Standback wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
Saint Caleth wrote:
On the subject of "Names" in spell/item names. The somewhat tongue in cheek advice that I heard somewhere is "If your character was not in one of Gary Gygax's campaigns you can't name things after them."
That wasn't tongue-in-cheek. Ryan Dancey was quite serious when he made that assertion. And I can assure you the rest of the judges support his perspective.

So what you're saying is I am allowed to make up new magical items for a historically-acknowledged Gygax-GM'd character?

Hmmmm....

Nope. Those names (and references) aren't OGL. It's the same reason you don't see Bigby's crushing hand or Tenser's transformation or Nystul's magic aura in the PFRPG. Instead, those spells show up without the character names. Hence, a Superstar designer should quickly realize, he shouldn't be doing that in his wondrous item designs either.

And, quite honestly, why does anyone really feel that a character name in your wondrous item somehow makes it stand out? Is it somehow cooler just for the inclusion of that name? No. Not really. The character itself might have some really cool backstory, but is a wondrous item design the right place to demonstrate character development skills? Nope.

So stay away from it. Seriously. There's nothing to gain by it. And if your thoughts lead you to think that there is, you're not thinking like a Superstar designer.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Ok, stab 2 at my evocative description, now in the template as we go, so we can start to visualize the item coming together.

Barometer of the Bluewater Squall
Aura todo; CL todo
Slot none; Price todo gp; Weight 10 lbs.
Description
A thousand tiny hermit crab shells encrust a kraken's beak, which holds a ship's barometer dial and workings. The instrument is powered not by mercury, but by bronze metallic dragon's blood.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, todo; Cost todo gp

Not sure about "powered", but I can't think of a better word yet.

31 words (the description line, not the whole thing :) ), so within my self imposed limit.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Anthony Adam wrote:
Barometer of the Bluewater Squall

This description is very cool, but with the mention of three different aquatic monsters, there might be too much going on in it. With more than one or maybe two monsters mentioned, the flavor of the item risks being muddled up or diluted by the overly busy description.

Also this is incredibly nitpicky, but a barometer with a dial does not rely on mercury, but instead works via a small vacuum capsule and a spring, just in case you care.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Standback

Just to be clear, my post was tongue-in-cheek.

As is my proposal to amend Mr. Dancey's assertion into the technically-more-accurate: "Whether or not your character was in one of Gary Gygax's campaigns you can't name things after them."

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Saint Caleth wrote:
Anthony Adam wrote:
Barometer of the Bluewater Squall

This description is very cool, but with the mention of three different aquatic monsters, there might be too much going on in it. With more than one or maybe two monsters mentioned, the flavor of the item risks being muddled up or diluted by the overly busy description.

Also this is incredibly nitpicky, but a barometer with a dial does not rely on mercury, but instead works via a small vacuum capsule and a spring, just in case you care.

I was aware :).

For those wanting more info, a very good explanation of barometers, if you want a real to life one, is found here - Evangelista Torricelli.

Basically, for those not going to the link :D, a mercurial barometer is based upon a mercury filled tube inverted such that a vacuum is created as the mercury is affected by gravity. This gap gives the pressure reading.

However, this is a fantasy world, so I am using magic to "replace" the mechanical aspects, after all, magic is wondrous... :p

Yeah, I'm taking a few liberties, but that's part of the fun of magic item design.

Not that it would make the magic item description, I was envisaging a rod suspended in the mercury so that as it presses down, the dial affected by the pressure would move. The hand moved secondary dial is still hand moved to log the last reading.

Yeah, I wasn't 100% sure about the three creature, I may just drop the dragon blood bit altogether.

Barometer of the Bluewater Squall
Aura todo; CL todo
Slot none; Price todo gp; Weight 10 lbs.
Description
A thousand tiny hermit crab shells encrust a kraken's beak, which holds a ship's barometer dial and workings.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, todo; Cost todo gp

Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Honestly, I thought that the dragon's blood was the coolest part of the description. I would say that the hermit crabs are the weakest, since the image of the kraken's beak with all the tiny shells glued on it makes me think of some sort of tchotchke that I would find at a yard sale, not a powerful arcane meteorological engine.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Standback wrote:

Just to be clear, my post was tongue-in-cheek.

As is my proposal to amend Mr. Dancey's assertion into the technically-more-accurate: "Whether or not your character was in one of Gary Gygax's campaigns you can't name things after them."

I suspected it might be, but you left it unclear enough that someone visiting here for the first time might take your statement seriously and think they could submit such an item. Thus, in the interests of heading that off, I wanted a clear "ruling," as it were...

Also, I see a lot of people make tongue-in-cheek comments like this all the time during the lead-up to RPG Superstar every year. Those familiar with the contest recognize them for what they are (i.e., someone just making a joke). But, every year, there are new people to the contest who don't have the benefit of viewing the words through that prism. Thus, although such comments always come off as funny to those who post them, it's not always clear to those reading along. And the judges (or Ross or Vic) usually have to step in to clarify.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Saint Caleth wrote:
Honestly, I thought that the dragon's blood was the coolest part of the description. I would say that the hermit crabs are the weakest, since the image of the kraken's beak with all the tiny shells glued on it makes me think of some sort of tchotchke that I would find at a yard sale, not a powerful arcane meteorological engine.

No problem, here's another go ( and yes, I am thrashing hard on evocative text at the moment, so if you are waiting for the first power, it may be some time. :) )

The blood of a bronze metallic dragon pulses through the inner workings of this barometer, encased within a coral encrusted kraken's beak.

Ohhh, Word says 0% passiveness, first time I have achieved that in my sentences. :D

Everyone, feel free to chip in on thoughts and feelings on this, it's an area I want to practice hard on, so the more feedback I get on this part, the better.

Thanks in advance.

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

I tend to think you might do a bit better with a few less specifics, such as in terms of the type of dragon's blood, as it leads to the feeling you might need to have that specific item to create one of these, even if you don't list it in the requirements. What if I have a brine dragon, for example? Am I not able to make one of these? It's a tough balancing act in this regard, and you may feel the evocative concept is more important in this case.

Also, I'd be careful with *too* long names. I think this one skirts on the proper side (though I personally try hard to avoid "of the" constructs) but Neil's talked about this in other threads. He's noted his own item the year he won (Last Leaves of the Autumn Dryad) is about as long as you'd want, and having it too long can A) use up words, but also feels clunky. I think it's Clark who talks about how an item would look cool if written down on your character sheet. (That said, I do think bluewater squall is a cool-sounding term, but could "Bluewater Squall Barometer" work? It's shorter, and I think the alliteration works a bit better.)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Eeek, you said alliteration!

A couple of my items over past years fell foul of too much alliteration. So I'm a little wary of that now.

I agree on the "of the", I do try to avoid "of the" as much as I can, but when reading aloud, it sounded to me better with the slightly longer name.

We are probably getting to that hazy personal preference thing now, so I will leave it alone for now. Maybe as an exercise of knowing when to stop playing.

In this case, Bluewater refers to the open ocean, Squall was a weather effect that is a little chaotic, and the two sounded good when combined and spoken aloud. So maybe, just maybe, that's the secret to better names.

I do like the idea of making the dragons blood more generic, and so i wonder if "the blood of an aquatic dragon" might be better - it certainly leaves things open for future bestiaries :P

I think the kraken should stay a kraken though, that is the main deriving entity behind the powers and spells I am aiming for.

Another revision (this is proving so helpful, thanks all)

The blood of an aquatic dragon pulses through the inner workings of this barometer. The whole is encased within a coral encrusted kraken's beak.

I also wondered about breaking the sentence with the whole, or even rearranging, thusly..

Encased within a coral encrusted kraken's beak, the blood of an aquatic dragon pulses through the inner workings of this barometer.

On reflection, I like the latter as it is more evident the barometer is the thing that is encased.

I'm still unsure about "encased" as the squid beak, in my mind, is holding the barometer between the two jaws of the beak and I just cant seem to find the right words to conjure this image.

Maybe clinched? encompassed?... ah ha, I think the right word has just crawled from my subconscious...

Clasped by a coral encrusted kraken's beak, the blood of an aquatic dragon pulses through the inner workings of this barometer.

I did think Pincered - but US English doesn't like it, but clasped is much more evocative of being held in the beak, encased was just too much.

One last jiggery with the order of words... I think this is almost there now... although now I wonder if the knife may have cut too deep >.<

Clasped by a coral encrusted kraken's beak, aquatic dragon's blood pulses within this barometer.

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

You're having modifier issues now. The way the sentence reads, the dragon blood is what's clasped in the beak, not the barometer.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Here is a (very) rough draft of something that I came up with.

The name is not so great and the price might be off, but its a start. I probably have a bunch of wonky templating errors and grammar mistakes too, but its just a first draft.

Battle Standard of Righteous Retribution
Aura strong conjuration; CL 9th
Slot —; Price 80,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This blindingly white silk battle pennon bears the holy symbol, typically that of Sarenrae or Iomedae, in brilliant gold and seems to almost glow with a glorious light. When carried into battle mounted properly on a lance, polearm or staff, it bolsters the allies of the bearer and can even turn the tide of battle if all seems lost. The weapons of all allies of the bearer who can see the standard are illuminated with holy fire and may ignore up to 5 points of damage reduction. In addition, once per day, when the bearer would fall unconscious, the standard, as an immediate action, deals 3d6 fire damage to all enemies of the bearer within 30ft. For every enemy which takes damage, one ally of the bearer gains the effect of a Breath of Life spell, beginning with the ally closest to the standard and moving outwards.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, breath of life, weapons against evil; Cost 40,000 gp

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Saint Caleth wrote:

Here is a (very) rough draft of something that I came up with.

The name is not so great and the price might be off, but its a start. I probably have a bunch of wonky templating errors and grammar mistakes too, but its just a first draft.

Battle Standard of Righteous Retribution
Aura strong conjuration; CL 9th
Slot —; Price 80,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This blindingly white silk battle pennon bears the holy symbol, typically that of Sarenrae or Iomedae, in brilliant gold and seems to almost glow with a glorious light. When carried into battle mounted properly on a lance, polearm or staff, it bolsters the allies of the bearer and can even turn the tide of battle if all seems lost. The weapons of all allies of the bearer who can see the standard are illuminated with holy fire and may ignore up to 5 points of damage reduction. In addition, once per day, when the bearer would fall unconscious, the standard, as an immediate action, deals 3d6 fire damage to all enemies of the bearer within 30ft. For every enemy which takes damage, one ally of the bearer gains the effect of a Breath of Life spell, beginning with the ally closest to the standard and moving outwards.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, breath of life, weapons against evil; Cost 40,000 gp

It's been mentioned a few times this year during the competition, slot no longer uses em-dash, is should be "none" - from 5th printing onward.

It's worth printing the errata documents, they not only list this change but, for example, if a spell school or sub-school gets amended, then you can take that into account in your aura's.

The rest of the item seems pretty good for the template, but I did find it have going wall of text-ness in the description. You could break the description into paragraphs...

para 1 - evocative description
para 2 - The weapons of all allies....
para 3 - In addition,...

I also wonder if "In addition" should be used. It seems pointless in this style of writing, I could be wrong on this, but I think as we are describing the powers of an item, we would describe each one in turn, negating the need for this phrase.

I think you need a couple of commas in this sentence

The weapons of all allies of the bearer who can see the standard are illuminated with holy fire and may ignore up to 5 points of damage reduction.

like so

The weapons of all allies of the bearer, who can see the standard, are illuminated with holy fire and may ignore up to 5 points of damage reduction.

The first time I read it as you had written, I thought "are" should be "is" as it was the standard that was illuminated until I realized you meant the allies weapons.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
You're having modifier issues now. The way the sentence reads, the dragon blood is what's clasped in the beak, not the barometer.

Aye, I think pretty much every description so far has had that issue in some form. I'll get there.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

And another attempt - the first one that I think is a serious candidate - and, weirdly, the dragons blood bit has disappeared again.

A kraken’s beak, mounted on living coral, clasps this barometer. Using the Barometer of the Bluewater Squall causes the coral anemones to burst into motion, their fronds waving in beat with the ocean’s heart.

36 words, so still on target for my description break down.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I probably should have known about the templating of the slot, but the only example of putting paragraph breaks in the description text that I can find in the rulebooks is the "if you are a worshiper of X" powers on some of the items closely tied to specific deities. Did they add paragraph breaks to all the item descriptions in the 5th printing?

I have a sinking feeling that including "additionally" is a 3.5 style that changed over in PF. I will look into that.

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

Quote:

In addition, once per day, when the bearer would fall unconscious, the standard, as an immediate action, deals 3d6 fire damage to all enemies of the bearer within 30ft. For every enemy which takes damage, one ally of the bearer gains the effect of a Breath of Life spell, beginning with the ally closest to the standard and moving outwards.

I think your mechanics are a little unclear hear. You write that when the bearer would fall unconscious, which makes me think he's the beneficiary of the first breath of life spell (which should be italicized, without capitals, as you have in the requirements). However, when you write beginning with the ally closest, my reading would be that that excludes the bearer of the standard. Also, I'm assuming you want it when he's reduced to below 0 hp. What if the bearer can't be knocked unconscious, a la a half-orc with ferocity (I think that's the racial trait that keep him up and fighting...)

Also, dealing with requirements, what's weapons against evil? A spell? I checked the PRD and didn't see it. I assume that's what gives the DR, though.

I think it's a neat item and probably works mechanically. I could certainly see a cavalier wanting this, though I didn't look at the pricing comparisons.

Backing up, your last version of the sandals seem pretty good to me (minus the spells in the requirements not being italicized). I like the descriptive text you ended up going with a lot more than the first drafts.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Saint Caleth wrote:

I probably should have known about the templating of the slot, but the only example of putting paragraph breaks in the description text that I can find in the rulebooks is the "if you are a worshiper of X" powers on some of the items closely tied to specific deities. Did they add paragraph breaks to all the item descriptions in the 5th printing?

I have a sinking feeling that including "additionally" is a 3.5 style that changed over in PF. I will look into that.

It was in one of the threads this year, where it was mentioned that breaking the wall of text for readability makes the judges life a lot easier. So in this case, I merely mentioned it as it might prove to get you off to a good footing with the judges.

I also just did a quick look at the PRD and the very first item in the core rules wondrous items has paragraph breaks between the two powers. Scanning down, there appear to be quite a few items with paragraph breaks at "next power" points.

I don't know if this is just PRD / PRD in Chrome style. It is just what I have experienced and seen.

I'm no expert and I haven't made Top 32, I'm just trying to pick up as much as possible and practice as much as possible (including reviewing of items), so please feel free to ignore me if I'm wrong or you disagree with anything I have said.

I'm fairly sure those lurking judges and Paizo bods will soon jump on anything that might lead you, me or anyone else far astray. They are rather awesome like that.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Saint Caleth wrote:

One final draft, now with a completely revamped description and incorporation of your excellent edits! Thanks everyone.

Vanguard Caligae V3.0

Nice, I think this is in the mature dragon category. The difference between that and ancient is beyond my ken, but the suggestion to put the wow factor first helps. Maybe if it altered terrain either way it would push the rules a little more. Make difficult terrain into obstacles frex. Just a thought. Not sure if AA mentioned this, but spells should be italacized. :) Nice Job.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Anthony Adam wrote:

...I agree on the "of the", I do try to avoid "of the" as much as I can, but when reading aloud, it sounded to me better with the slightly longer name.

The blood of an aquatic dragon pulses through the inner workings of this barometer. The whole is encased within a coral encrusted kraken's beak....

This is my favorite even though you tinkered with it later. The second sentence has passive voice, and changing that (which you alluded to :) might make it better. Passive voice is not bad BTW, its just that active voice is usually stronger. I think the PPP are a trap you need to work hard to avoid. :)

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Saint Caleth wrote:

Here is a (very) rough draft of something that I came up with.

The name is not so great and the price might be off, but its a start. I probably have a bunch of wonky templating errors and grammar mistakes too, but its just a first draft.

Battle Standard of Righteous Retribution

*how white is it? blindingly? almost glowing? glorious[ly]?

**since spells allow a range of over 500 feet and character facings have been eliminated, I am leery of the limit 'who can see'. An army of halflings has 2000 magic weapons when this in effect? Double that for they rangers or other two-weapon fighters. Not to mention a single darkness (second level spell) can negate a ninth level item. Consider how many critters can be brought in by a 9th level caster :)
***what about a monk or animal companion or pali's mount? Are they allies? do they not get the benefit?
I like that a 'charge' from an enemy's success may grant a boon to allies. Tis pretty cool. :)

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

Considering discussion of the passive voice here, I thought this NYT blog post might be of interest.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Quote:

In addition, once per day, when the bearer would fall unconscious, the standard, as an immediate action, deals 3d6 fire damage to all enemies of the bearer within 30ft. For every enemy which takes damage, one ally of the bearer gains the effect of a Breath of Life spell, beginning with the ally closest to the standard and moving outwards.

I think your mechanics are a little unclear hear. You write that when the bearer would fall unconscious, which makes me think he's the beneficiary of the first breath of life spell (which should be italicized, without capitals, as you have in the requirements). However, when you write beginning with the ally closest, my reading would be that that excludes the bearer of the standard. Also, I'm assuming you want it when he's reduced to below 0 hp. What if the bearer can't be knocked unconscious, a la a half-orc with ferocity (I think that's the racial trait that keep him up and fighting...)

Also, dealing with requirements, what's weapons against evil? A spell? I checked the PRD and didn't see it. I assume that's what gives the DR, though.

I think it's a neat item and probably works mechanically. I could certainly see a cavalier wanting this, though I didn't look at the pricing comparisons.

Weapons against evil is a 1st level spell which I think is from Faiths of Purity. The intention is that the Breath of Life would start with the bearer, since you are by definition always your closest ally.

Curaigh wrote:
**since spells allow a range of over 500 feet and character facings have been eliminated, I am leery of the limit 'who can see'. An army of halflings has 2000 magic weapons when this in effect? Double that for they rangers or other two-weapon fighters. Not to mention a single darkness (second level spell) can negate a ninth level item. Consider how many critters can be brought in by a 9th level caster :)

It works just the same way as a bard's performance, and every other banner-type item works for anyone who can see it, so I considered this but I ultimately don't think that it is that much of a problem.

Curaigh wrote:
***what about a monk or animal companion or pali's mount? Are they allies? do they not get the benefit?

I would have to check, but by my intuition natural weapons count for the purposes of things like this. In any case, a monk counts as either natural or manufactured. I'll look to see if there is a precedent for adding "including natural weapons" to this kind of effect.

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

[mortified]Ugh, just noticed I somehow used "hear" instead of "here." Shoot me now, someone. [/mortified]

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
[mortified]Ugh, just noticed I somehow used "hear" instead of "here." Shoot me now, someone. [/mortified]

Grin.

It's only a forum post and we all mistype and/or put the wrong words in on occasion. Just so long as you use the right one in your items :P

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Saint Caleth wrote:

Battle Standard of Righteous Retribution

I also struggle with names, so I thought I'd have a stab.

As you mention pennon in your first line, we could change Battle Standard to pennon, and make sure any other use of standard in the description is adjusted suitably.

I then did the old thesaurus trick on the other parts of the name and some of the words in the description.

As an alternative to righteous, I found a few candidates to consider: angelic, exemplary, meritorious, noble, virtuous.

Retribution - on reading the description, although there is a retributive power, the main thrust of the item seems to be bolstering /buffing.

So, I did the thesaurus on bolster and bluff to come up with these alternatives... mainstay, reinforce, stanchion, sustain, fortify, steel, hearten

So my first stab would be something like...

Reinforcing Meritorious Pennon

-- not brilliant, but might give you a few thoughts.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Saint Caleth wrote:
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Quote:

In addition, once per day, when the bearer would fall unconscious, the standard, as an immediate action, deals 3d6 fire damage to all enemies of the bearer within 30ft. For every enemy which takes damage, one ally of the bearer gains the effect of a Breath of Life spell, beginning with the ally closest to the standard and moving outwards.

I think your mechanics are a little unclear hear. You write that when the bearer would fall unconscious, which makes me think he's the beneficiary of the first breath of life spell (which should be italicized, without capitals, as you have in the requirements). However, when you write beginning with the ally closest, my reading would be that that excludes the bearer of the standard. Also, I'm assuming you want it when he's reduced to below 0 hp. What if the bearer can't be knocked unconscious, a la a half-orc with ferocity (I think that's the racial trait that keep him up and fighting...)

Also, dealing with requirements, what's weapons against evil? A spell? I checked the PRD and didn't see it. I assume that's what gives the DR, though.

I think it's a neat item and probably works mechanically. I could certainly see a cavalier wanting this, though I didn't look at the pricing comparisons.

Weapons against evil is a 1st level spell which I think is from Faiths of Purity. The intention is that the Breath of Life would start with the bearer, since you are by definition always your closest ally.

Curaigh wrote:
**since spells allow a range of over 500 feet and character facings have been eliminated, I am leery of the limit 'who can see'. An army of halflings has 2000 magic weapons when this in effect? Double that for they rangers or other two-weapon fighters. Not to mention a single darkness (second level spell) can negate a ninth level item. Consider how many critters can be brought in by a 9th level caster :)
It works just the same way as a bard's performance, and every other...

Keep in mind we are asking questions because we have them. The answer should be in the item. Defending the item shows you probably made correct/wise design choices, but you will never get that chance with an judge. Try getting those into the item. I will look up other standards though. My lack of familiarity of the item is not a fault of your item. :)

How many targets does the spell offer if cast by a ninth level caster?

EDIT: most of the standards have a range limit. Bardic music has a target, unless it is a moral bonus. I dare say moral bonus and bypassing DR are significantly different, but I could be wrong. :)

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Considering discussion of the passive voice here, I thought this NYT blog post might be of interest.

Excellent!

Constance Hale of the NYT Blog linked above wrote:


While I believe writers deserve maximum flexibility, it does help to pay attention to the most direct and dynamic way to cast a sentence.

My emphasis; done so because of how well it underlines active voice's purpose in RPGs. Games are supposed to be fun. Hemming and hawing is not fun. Get to the action! Cut to the players! Show me the villain! :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Since the feedback thus far seems to prefer "with dragons blood" than "without", I have what I think is the description I will now run with.

And so, I move onto my first desired power, wind and tide effects that will aide the ship the barometer is on.

It has also occurred to me that clever players may put a sail on a cart and try to sail the land - I don't think I will consciously prevent this as it would be a good use of the wind power I see in my mind.

They wouldn't be able to use the water/tide/currents aspects on land, but that also seems fine in this instance.

To, with 50 words of description eaten up, it's taking shape and we are now into the really fun bit. The trick now, is to make that first power reach for the stars...

So far:

Barometer of the Bluewater Squall
Aura todo; CL todo
Slot none; Price todo gp; Weight 10 lbs.
Description
From a standard ship's barometer, eight spider crab legs extend and flex, wrapping the beak of a kraken in a vice-like death grip. The tips of the hollow legs burrow into the beak, allowing the blood of an aquatic dragon to pulse back and forth in time with the ocean waves.

<powers being considered as the main power and possibly secondary...

a) travel assisting for the ship - positive affects on the vessel it is on, calling wind when becalmed, calming stormy seas

(concern to be wary of - making adventuring easy/safe)

b) related calling powers
call a kraken to attack a ship that is trying to attack you &
call a crab swarm when docked alongside a beach for protection of your ship while foraging for food/water/etc/being away from the ship

(if a kraken was called and there is no other ship, it would attack you, or possibly some sort of percentage chance that the beak came from the called kraken's now dead mate, and your ship becomes very interesting to the called kraken maybe :P)

c) set prevailing weather conditions in the wake of it's travel, makes being followed more interesting for the followers maybe, or leave a storm behind to punish a port that over taxed you, all sorts of possibilities I think here.

d) (secondary definitely), converts salt water to potable water and vice versa

e) (secondary definitely), becalm in a 100 foot diameter area centered on the ship during a storm and allow the ship to be hidden in the wave troughs and hide from other vessels/creatures.

f) allow the ship to submerge and sail using the tidal currents as wind in the sail, for a duration maybe, providing water breathing whilst submerged to all on board?

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, todo; Cost todo gp

So, as this item is becoming a nice communal exercise, what do you think? Which powers/combinations would you like to see developed for this item?

Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I think that f is your best bet for a primary power and that c and d are good secondary powers.

Some thoughts:
a) As you mention, this is too much a "make adventuring easy" power. Especially since during the sort of campaign that this item would be useful in, being becalmed or in a storm can be a major encounter in and of itself, so an item which can negate that makes adventuring way too easy.

b) A Kraken is CR 18. This is way too high to be summoned or called by an item. Even a Summon Monster/SNA IX gets you things that are CR 11-13 and that is a 9th level spell. Back in 3.5 you needed epic level spells like Dragon Knight or Dragon Strike to summon things this powerful. Also mechanics that make items blow up in your face are really rare. The only items I can think of that do that are a Neacklave of Fireballs or a Helm of Brilliance and both of those items get a buy because they are legacy items from 1 and 2e. I think a percentile to turn on you just makes it a little bit too clunky and who would use this if there was a chance that it just summons a hostile CR 18 monster?

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Saint Caleth wrote:

I think that f is your best bet for a primary power and that c and d are good secondary powers.

Some thoughts:
a) As you mention, this is too much a "make adventuring easy" power...

b) A Kraken is CR 18. This is way too high to be summoned or called by an item...

a) Yeah, I think this was bubbling in my subconscious over the first week and it became more evident as time progressed - so lesson for me here is don't post my item a day or two from finishing it. Instead, allow for a week of subconscious mulling over.

b) I thought that might be the case, I hadn't got as far as looking up the spells to check limitations so that's very useful info indeed.

Of course, I now worry about f) as my subconscious has now indicated the Pirates of the Caribbean films, where I have a half recollection that Davy Jones' ship goes underwater. I could be mistaken but I have that horrible feeling...

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

I don't think that's necessarily a problem in this round, Anthony (that DJ's ship went underwater). It's a neat power and I'd say put a magic item together that can do that. Obviously it's not going to be the one you submit, so if it's been done before, it doesn't really matter. This is just practice (a la my fetching stick, which while I agree had some neat ideas and could be useful in a homebrew game was still too jokey to actually be a submission; and yes, I still need to do a rewrite of it).

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
I don't think that's necessarily a problem in this round, Anthony (that DJ's ship went underwater). It's a neat power and I'd say put a magic item together that can do that. Obviously it's not going to be the one you submit, so if it's been done before, it doesn't really matter. This is just practice...

Aye, that is true - what I was doing though was mentioning that I had thought of it for the benefit of any new contestants following the thread.

Plus the old hands with that special tag on their names can also see the things I am considering and being worried about and can batter me with the beat stick if I go to awry. :D

As I progress through the 9 blazing, I probably will just start posting items and not run through my thought processes so much, but for now, it's actually helping me to know I'm about on the right tracks or close to them at least.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Since a barometer is used measure baros, your item should focus on the differences between baros. If an item is made of a kraken beak & kraken summoning is the main power, calling it a barometer is misleading. A, C, and E above are good (gefabomi) examples of this. Take it a step farther and think of what weather options exist*

Spoiler:
I had to look it up as I knew it measured air pressure, but did not know what a baros was. barys is more accurate :)
gefabomi is a new word I also just made up: 'Good Enough For A Book Of Magic Items' or 'mature dragon' from above.
*inspirations from pushing your barometer weather angle: a ship sized push/bullrush via gust of wind; cloud-hiding capabilities via fog cloud; lightning bolts via lightning ...errr... bolt.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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

Mmmmm, now I like the ramming thoughts in my mind that you have inspired Curaigh...

Something along the lines of - pushing the two dial hands so one is on fair and one on stormy will becalm a ship up to 200 yards away (the fair) and the winds pick up behind your ship, propelling to the becalmed ship at ramming speed (the storm)...

Boom! Prepare to board and loot before she sinks!

I hadn't considered combining weather effects in two local areas like this, there is definitely something to investigate further here.

Yeah, I think this will be the idea I will run with for now to see where it leads me.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Vehicle rules are also relatively new & only slightly explored. (read: good design niche :)

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