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RPG Superstar 2015

9 Blazing Months


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

101 to 150 of 538 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka motteditor

You're slightly overthinking again, Anthony (IMO). The position of the two hands is one of those details I think you get lost in. I think the two localized weather systems, though, could be a neat idea.

I was definitely trying to play with vehicle rules with my drydocked oar from the previous thread. I don't think I quite got it to come together, but I ended up really liking the item and thinking it had some Superstar potential (if I had been able to tighten the design and, of course, hadn't posted it publically). I'd agree it's definitely an area rife for potential. (Similarly, I think the siege weapons could have some potential, though you'd have to be careful to not come up with a weapon or a feat in a can if you try to go along the siege weapon feat chain.)

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

OK, here's my rewrite of the fetching stick. The big changes are I defined what fetching was; unfortunately, this added to my word count issues, so I had to make it for a single targeted canine, which let me get rid of the multiple canines issue. I liked that mechanic but it needed some further explanation (i.e. what happens if Dog 1 Intimidates Dog 2, but not Dog 3, as Anthony asked), plus I thought it would add a lot of work for a GM. I'd probably add it back in if I were doing this for my own campaign and didn't have to worry about the 300-word limit. I also added in what it does when broken.

I kept it just for canines, though it could easily be modified to be for other creatures if a DM would want -- I just like the flavor a little more of keeping it for dogs. I reorganized it a bit (thanks, Anthony) and made it Int 4, which gets at least Nessian hell hounds in, even if it still omits regular hell hounds and worgs. I tried to pump up the first graf description, though still am running into the problem of it being just a broken stick.

Fetching Stick [287 words]
Aura faint enchantment (charm); CL 1st
Slot none; Price 1,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
A silhouette of a dog's head is carved on each end of this foot-long, several-inch-thick broken branch.

The owner of a fetching stick can throw it up to 30 feet as a standard action, forcing a target canine with Intelligence 4 or less that sees it to make a Will save (DC 11) or be forced to retrieve the stick: Moving to it, picking it up and returning it to the thrower, where the canine drops it and waits. If the user throws the stick again, the canine will continue to fetch; otherwise, the canine may act normally at its next action.

After 20 rounds, the canine becomes fatigued, but will continue to fetch. If a user throws the stick for one hour, the canine becomes exhausted and will wander away to rest. The charm ends if the canine is prevented from reaching the stick or attempting to do so would harm it (for example, if it is thrown on the other side of a chasm or wall of fire) or if it is attacked.

Each time the stick is retrieved by a canine, the item takes damage as if it suffered a bite from the animal. A fetching stick has hardness 5 and 20 hp. A canine gets a new Will save every time a broken fetching stick is thrown; if it fails, it will move to the stick and begin chewing it (full bite attack each round), though it will let anyone else take it at any time, after which it will act normally on its next turn.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, call animal; Cost 500 gp

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

...

Fetching Stick [287 words]
Spoiler:

Aura faint enchantment (charm); CL 1st
Slot none; Price 1,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
A silhouette of a dog's head is carved on each end of this foot-long, several-inch-thick broken branch.

The owner* of a fetching stick can throw it up to 30 feet as a standard action, forcing a target canine with Intelligence 4 or less that sees it to make a Will save (DC 11) or be forced to retrieve the stick : Moving to it, picking it up and returning it to the thrower*, where the canine drops it and waits. AS A FULL ROUND ACTION. If the user* throws the stick again, the canine will continue to fetch; otherwise, the canine may act normally at its next action.

After 20 rounds, the canine becomes fatigued, but will continue to fetch. If a user throws the stick for one hour, the canine becomes exhausted and will wander away to rest. The charm ends if the canine is prevented from reaching the stick or attempting to do so would harm it (for example, if it is thrown on the other side of ACROSS a chasm or wall of fire) or if it is attacked.

Each time the stick is retrieved by a canine, the item takes damage as if it suffered a bite from the animal. A fetching stick has hardness 5 and 20 hp. A canine gets a new Will save every time a broken fetching stick is thrown; if it fails,** it will move to the stick and begin chewing it (full bite attack each round), though it will let anyone else take it at any time, after which it will act normally on its next turn.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, [i]call animal
; Cost 500 gp

Is there a reason you went with int instead of CR like the spell? The spell excludes animal companions or other trained critter. I think this needs to be able to affect them (though higher levels will be excluded by the int cap :) I hope this was your intent. Exhaustion spell or something might be needed. Personally I would drop the 20 rounds to something more likely to see combat (1d4+1?).
*user/owner/thrower?
**if it fails it will chase the stick... per P1, so I am confused.
The rest of this is just to show you places where words can be saved (some subject/verb agreement needed) saving you 32 words. 'Will' is a personal dislike of SKR's (or is it JS's :).

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

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:


Fetching Stick [287 words]
Aura faint enchantment (charm); CL 1st
Slot none; Price 1,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
A silhouette of a dog's head is carved on each end of this foot-long, several-inch-thick broken branch.

The owner of a fetching stick can throw it up to 30 feet as a standard action, forcing a target canine with Intelligence 4 or less that sees it to make a Will save (DC 11) or be forced to retrieve the stick: Moving to it, picking it up and returning it to the thrower, where the canine drops it and waits. If the user throws the stick again, the canine will continue to fetch; otherwise, the canine may act normally at its next action.

After 20 rounds, the canine becomes fatigued, but will continue to fetch. If a user throws the stick for one hour, the canine becomes exhausted and will wander away to rest. The charm ends if the canine is prevented from reaching the stick or attempting to do so would harm it (for example, if it is thrown on the other side of a chasm or wall of fire) or if it is attacked.

Each time the stick is retrieved by a canine, the item takes damage as if it suffered a bite from the animal. A fetching stick has hardness 5 and 20 hp. A canine gets a new Will save every time a broken fetching stick is thrown; if it fails, it will move to the stick and begin chewing it (full bite attack each round), though it will let anyone else take it at any time, after which it will act normally on its next turn.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, call animal; Cost 500 gp

1) The description seems to be at odds with itself. A broken branch brings to mind ragged ends, but this stick has carved ends. Like a Starburst, it seems to be a contradiction.

2) For the throwing, why not call out the stick is used as a thrown weapon that deals no damage, but with a range? That way there is specific rules for a player to get the stick into a certain square or hit an object.

3) Why 20 rds? Is the creature hustling or running? If hustling, there is no limit to how long. If running, they can run a number of rounds equal to Con score.

4) By the rules a fatigued creature can not run.

5) Needs clarifiction if it forces the canine to hustle or run?

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

Here is a homebrew item I used in my last 2 campaigns:

Crusader's Vexillum
Aura moderate abjuration; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 20,000 gp; Weight 12 lbs.

Description
Countless armies have been lead to victory by a legendary hero bearing a crusader's vexillum. This vexillum is an ornate 7 foot tall staff with a 1 foot tall emblem affixed to the top and horizontal crossbar attached below the emblem, on which hangs a cloth (banner, flag, pennon, streamer, or similar item). While carrying the vexillum in one hand, the radius doubles for the bearer's auras, banner abilities, and the Flagbearer feat. This radius increase does not stack with increases from any other source.

Once per day, the bearer can sacrifice 1 point of Constitution and Charisma to double the bonuses from the bearer's auras, banner abilities, and the Flagbearer feat for 10 minutes. This sacrifice counts as an ability drain.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Widen Spell, paladin's sacrifice; Cost 10,000 gp

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

Anthony Adam wrote:
Barometer of the Bluewater Squall

You had all weekend! Why is this not finished yet?

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Anthony Adam wrote:
Barometer of the Bluewater Squall
You had all weekend! Why is this not finished yet?

LOL

Okay, as you asked.

I was 50 in March and this weekend, being a bank holiday weekend in the UK, I had arranged to visit some old college chums I hadn't seen in years.

We all made the mistake of thinking we could party-on like we did in college 30 years ago.

BIG mistake - my head is still aching this Tuesday.

Yeah, I'm working on the powers now. Knowing a barometer has an auto dial and a manual dial, I am thinking that one is "local" effects centered on the barometer, the other is for "targeted" effects on the nearest ship/port/beach within a given radius.

All that's left after that is describing what effects are available to allow the clever player to come up with their own combinations and uses.

The dials may even end up being left as their normal local weather conditions uses and to activate an effect, you might end up simply pointing to where the effect will appear and then touching the dial face to activate a given reading.

Basically, there needs to be some sort of activation which I think needs to be described because the item is not a "constant use"/"constant operating" item.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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

Right, I have now started to plug in the powers into the description, so for those following the construction of this item, there are a few things to bear in mind (in roughly the order that I shall tackle them - changes for "b" and "c" will affect "a", so "a" will be reviewed multiple times)

a) I haven’t checked word count, it's probably over at this point, but this is my first powers draft for weeding, pruning and otherwise polishing up. It's the brain dump first cut stage.

b) I haven’t yet reviewed the spells that will be used in the construction - these will affect ranges, areas of effect, severity of weather conditions and so will impact this starting point for the powers.

c) Costing has also not yet been done - again once spells are done, the costing is performed, the resultant cost will then place the item in the wondrous item table for comparison with like priced items. This is also likely to affect things.

So when looking at the description at this stage, don't worry if areas, ranges, etc are way off of spells you are familiar with.

This stage of the development is the core of the power with estimated limitations on the effects. These will be brought in line as we tighten the design and introduce construction and pricing considerations.

Barometer of the Bluewater Squall
Aura to-do; CL to-do
Slot none; Price to-do 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.

This barometer can be used to create up to two localized weather effects over open water by simply moving the dial hands to the required weather condition(s). Such effects persist for one hour. If centered on the barometer and the barometer moves, the weather effect moves with the barometer maintaining a centre point of the effect, all other weather effects are stationary at their point of creation. The weather is centered either over the barometer itself or on the nearest ship, beach or jetty within 1 mile. The localized weather effect has a radius of one half mile from the centre point.

If two weather effects are being used, and they overlap, the weather effect centered on the barometer takes precedence as the stronger weather effect.

The weather conditions effects are chosen as follows:

Very Dry - All water and air currents, precipitation and cloud cover disperses. Ships in the affected region without other forms of propulsion slow to a halt and are becalmed.
Fine - All precipitation and cloud cover disperses. Winds change to a moderate breeze, and ocean currents have the strength of a gulf stream.
Change - Any weather effects created by and still within 1 mile of the barometer are cancelled with prevailing weather reasserting itself within five minutes.
Rain - Cloud cover thickens to hide the sun, precipitation falls at a moderate rate. Winds increase to strong breeze and waves start to roll over a 5 foot depth between crest and valley. If centered on the barometer, any water held in containers within 30 feet of the barometer is refreshed to clear potable drinking water.
Stormy - A full storm is called into place, with gale force wins, waves of twenty feet or greater and rain turning into hailstones the size of pebbles.

Each of the two weather effects can be triggered just once per day, with the reset being midnight.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, to-do; Cost to-do gp

quick a) check...

Word count at present is: 622 - ok, this one could be a bit of a challenge :D

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

Happy 50th Anthony! Did anyone get you a Life Alert bracelet yet?

Anthony Adam wrote:


Barometer of the Bluewater Squall

One way to cut word count is allow only one effect that remains centered on the baraometer for one hour.

For the weather conditions you could reference the Weather section under the Environment chapter of the Core Rulebook.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

Happy 50th Anthony! Did anyone get you a Life Alert bracelet yet?

Anthony Adam wrote:


Barometer of the Bluewater Squall

One way to cut word count is allow only one effect that remains centered on the baraometer for one hour.

For the weather conditions you could reference the Weather section under the Environment chapter of the Core Rulebook.

I did think about that, but on my reflection, the item then became very "Spell in a Can", it's kind of cool that it allows multiple zones if needed. What I have realized though is that it probably only needs "off", "story/windy" and "becalmed", the middles conditions now that I have typed them out are kind of banal.

Let's face it, if we are going to use winds to do a ramming attack to another ship, you probably will not be choosing "light breeze". :D

Then I think more and I realized that, I could remove the "off", as in once you have started a weather effect, it lasts the full hour whether you want it to or not (this being a limitation that will help during costing :D)

So I think the next version will have "Becalming", "Strong Breeze" (fast ramming attack option), "Stormy" for another option for attacking other ships or ports.

That is likely all it will need and will remove a good 150-200+ words on the rewrite.

So come on lurkers, I now have two ways I could jump, one suggestion is a single zone, and my suggestion of a reduced set of choices but keeping the two effect option. So let me know if you think one idea has more merit than the other and why...

At the moment, I am leaning towards my option, purely due to the fact that the single zone option treads dangerously close to spell in a can territory.


Anthony Adam wrote:


So come on lurkers, I now have two ways I could jump, one suggestion is a single zone, and my suggestion of a reduced set of choices but keeping the two effect option. So let me know if you think one idea has more merit than the other and why...

At the moment, I am leaning towards my option, purely due to the fact that the single zone option treads dangerously close to spell in a can territory.

I'm still not sure thematically why you can set two different weather patterns in two areas. I like the limited choices (esp. to reduce word count). I like the idea of no "off switch".

Anthony Adam wrote:


Each of the two weather effects can be triggered just once per day, with the reset being midnight.

Now that's just vague. Can I only affect either zone once a day? it should be worded more clearly.

Also, it seems that some word count was eaten up by describing the interaction between two simultaneous zones. I suppose this is necessary if two of these items were in close proximity - but is it really Superstar to be able to give yourself a favorable condition while imposing an unfavorable condition on the target?

I think this should allow an either/or for the zone affected. Either affect the barometer's area or a target area. Still let it be usable twice a day, but it can affect either area and cannot be changed until the previous effect has ended.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Anthony Adam wrote:
Let's face it, if we are going to use winds to do a ramming attack to another ship, you probably will not be choosing "light breeze". :D

This. Skip the weather details completely, it is the fluff justifying the boosting or hindering or ramming of ships.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Veiled Nail wrote:


I'm still not sure thematically why you can set two different weather patterns in two areas. I like the limited choices (esp. to reduce word count). I like the idea of no "off switch".

I agree having slept on it, it was nice to brain dump the ideas in just dump and reflect mode, but has now allowed me to start the polishing and reviewing with a purpose.

Veiled Nail wrote:


Now that's just vague. Can I only affect either zone once a day? it should be worded more clearly.

Agreed, that was just the first brain dump to ensure my description accounted for some sort of recharge period. It will be much clearer next time as I am changing to a single active zone within a defined radius of the item in the next edit.

Veiled Nail wrote:


Also, it seems that some word count was eaten up by describing the interaction between two simultaneous zones.

This will disappear with only one active zone, especially if only one zone can be active at any one time.

All of that coupled with the reduced effect choices will bring the word count down drastically and really stream line the item not only in terms of the item itself but also in terms of in game use.

I'm starting to get that "coming together" feeling, my only worry now is that the cutting down turns it into spell in a can, so we will need to look at that in the next edit.


Which rule is it again? #27? Make it awesome! Find the mojo and pull the trump card!

Even a SIAC can be Superstar if you spin the mojo!

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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

Ok, many of the changes incorporated, the writing is a lot clearer and we have a word count including all the template of 270+ words - so already I have a more comfortable item now, it sits in that word count boundary with some words to spare for tweaking and completion of spell selections.

I think major revisions are complete, we are now moving to identification of and reviewing in light of spells and cost.

My next step before reviewing the description in any major way is to check, select and identify the spells and any other construction requirements and then to calculate the associated price and cost - for those of you new to costing, the next post I will do will be a complete step by step costing breakdown of this item - I wont say I will be 100% spot on, as there is a certain "gut instinct" part of costing, but I think it may prove useful to a few of you, and so is worth detailing.

This means it may be a few days before my next post as I have lots of marrying up and identifying of final spell and construction choices to be able to provide a full first cut price breakdown. So please bear with me on this bit, it will be time consuming to include all the detail for you.

Anyway, here is the first revised version that avoids the auto reject word count so far...

For those interested, the Flesch Reading Ease is currently 71.1, with 20% passive sentences and a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 6.9. This means this item is sitting squarely at the "teenage" brackets for comprehension and ease of reading, ideally, I would like to drop that to the 8-9 year old values, but that may prove difficult as some of the score is from the use of barometer (technical names and words hurt the ease of reading scores quite badly it seems).

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

This barometer can be used to create a localized weather effect centred on a target to a maximum range of one mile. The weather will be centered on the target at all times for the one hour duration, even if the target moves. The localized weather effect has a radius of one half mile from the center of the target. Once used, the barometer takes two hours to recharge.

The weather conditions available for selection are:

Very Dry - All water and air currents, precipitation and cloud cover disperses. Wind or water propelled vehicles in the area of effect are becalmed unless they have other means of propulsion.

Change - Air currents disperse and a deep obscuring fog rolls out from the target to a radius of 200 feet and with a depth from floor to ceiling of 60 feet. Visibility within the fog bank is 20 feet.

Rain - Cloud cover thickens to hide the sun, precipitation falls at a moderate rate. Winds increase to strong breeze. Water held in containers within 30 feet of the target is purified into potable water.

Stormy - A full storm is called into place, with gale force wins, and hailstones the size of pebbles.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, to-do; Cost to-do gp

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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

I'm glad I have some spare words, it suddenly hit me that something quite important is missing as it currently stands...

I need to somehow add that the item can only be used where weather manifests (thinking of other planes of existence which have no weather for example) and cannot be used underground (might be obvious) and if used in a building, the weather manifests outside the building and not within it.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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

Gah, eaten by my own "Fu",

"This barometer can be used..."

- passive passive passive ...

"This barometer IS used..."

I'll fix that up next version.


what happens if there are 2 barometers in the same area? Or affecting the same target?

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

Quote:
The tips of the hollow legs piercing the beak, allowing the blood of an aquatic dragon to pulse back and forth in time with the ocean waves.

This should be the hollow legs PIERCE, otherwise you're missing a verb.

I'm nor sure "Change" is a weather condition. I like the idea and understand where you're getting the word from, but it doesn't quite work.

I think I'd rather just see this be a 1 use per day item, rather than have a recharge mechanic. I think unless you're doing something interesting with the recharge (i.e. my haunting glass, the spellblight cage, flask of liquid sunshine, or bottled time, all from this year's competition), there's no reason to use that mechanic.

I'm not sure why the rain would turn water in containers nearby potable. Just seems like it's an effect that doesn't gibe with the rest of what the item does.

Lastly, while the description of the hail is nice in the storm condition, I'm wondering what that means in terms of game effects. Without looking up weather conditions at the moment, I don't know if that's different than what a normal storm creates or if it means I need to figure out some mechanic as a GM.

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

Back to my fetching stick:
Curaigh, you're right on the spell, I think. Probably makes more sense to go back to charm animal (or even control animal), which is what I originally had before I tried to get a little fancy by using a newer spell.

The exhaustion effect was probably more part of me just fooling around, going back to the semi-joke version of the stick. Again, if I were to try to make it a more useful item, you're right about doing something more likely to come up in combat and then I probably would want to get some type of fatiguing spell in there.

Quote:

1) The description seems to be at odds with itself. A broken branch brings to mind ragged ends, but this stick has carved ends. Like a Starburst, it seems to be a contradiction.

2) For the throwing, why not call out the stick is used as a thrown weapon that deals no damage, but with a range? That way there is specific rules for a player to get the stick into a certain square or hit an object.

3) Why 20 rds? Is the creature hustling or running? If hustling, there is no limit to how long. If running, they can run a number of rounds equal to Con score.

1. Yup. That's giving me a lot of trouble -- it's hard to be really descriptive with a broken stick. I debated trying to use some of the other senses, but they didn't quite seem like they made sense.

2. My concern is I didn't want to completely nerf a possible opponent with this thing, so I didn't want someone throwing it 100 feet, which would make the canine use several rounds of actions to get and return it. And unless I did a five-foot range -- which seems kind of silly -- that seemed like it could be possible. Maybe that's not as big a concern, though, now that it's only going to affect one target.

3. Just an arbitrary number I picked at the time of creation. My thought is the creature would only need to do a move action so needs to neither run nor hustle. The problem with doing it for rounds equal to Con is it makes it so you can't price it correctly. I'll have to play around with this obviously in another rewrite since you both brought up the issue (or perhaps switch to something that wasn't meant to be a bit of a joke item)...

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

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
(or perhaps switch to something that wasn't meant to be a bit of a joke item)...

I thought this item would be quite handy to get rid of the annoying dog companion that the "look-at-me-look-at-me" player inevitably creates. Or to deal with enemy companions. Would an animal be cognizant that AoOs consist of a threat?

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
...which is what I originally had before I tried to get a little fancy by using a newer spell.

I like the newer spell, it fit with the theme of run and chase.

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:


1. Yup. That's giving me a lot of trouble -- it's hard to be really descriptive with a broken stick. I debated trying to use some of the other senses, but they didn't quite seem like they made sense.
...

...constantly drips slobber...?

Honestly, I have to change my clothes on pizza night as he waits for his piece of the crust. :) plus I can see a carved dog running along the stick's length (ala greyhound's logo or a celtic knot dog or my tattoo :)

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
...Would an animal be cognizant that AoOs consist of a threat?...

oooh good call, especially with an intelligence cap as written. I dinnae know the answer though.

Another point of practice this thread is really good for: hitting 'preview' before 'submit' :)

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Anthony Adam wrote:

Gah, eaten by my own "Fu",

"This barometer can be used..."

- passive passive passive ...

"This barometer IS used..."

I'll fix that up next version.

This is still passive. The subject becomes 'you' or 'a pirate named Captain' or something. You want the barometer (or the legs or beak or blood) to be the subject. Try replacing "can be used to" with "create[s]" (and save yourself 3 words :) Similar changes in p2 can also help. It is very repetitive. i dinnae read any farther than that...

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

Thomas, yeah, it definitely could be useful. I think I need to mentally wipe my slate clear and do a serious version of it, however.

Curaigh, I came close to giving it a constant slimy, wet feel (as if dripping with dog spit)! Mine knows she's not getting any of my food. However, the local bankers always give her a treat when we come in and she's nuts in there. She has to do a good sit and behave to get one (she'd been starting to get too nuts) but now she literally drools. It's ridiculous. I like the idea of the dog running up and down the length -- perhaps I should go from a broken stick to a nice hunting dummy, even though my dog will have nothing to do with that (it's a stick or nothing with her).

That is a good question about AoOs. I'd probably rule that, no, they don't but I'm not sure if there's an official rule. I think that'd be a good question for James Jacobs. (Similarly, I'd rule that you could get a dog to go into a body of water, even if it turns out the current's strong enough that it would be a threat. The wording I used is taken directly from the Antagonize feat, but I think it's always going to have some level of GM judgment.)

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

Thomas, yeah, it definitely could be useful. I think I need to mentally wipe my slate clear and do a serious version of it, however.

Curaigh, I came close to giving it a constant slimy, wet feel (as if dripping with dog spit)! Mine knows she's not getting any of my food. However, the local bankers always give her a treat when we come in and she's nuts in there. She has to do a good sit and behave to get one (she'd been starting to get too nuts) but now she literally drools. It's ridiculous. I like the idea of the dog running up and down the length -- perhaps I should go from a broken stick to a nice hunting dummy, even though my dog will have nothing to do with that (it's a stick or nothing with her).

That is a good question about AoOs. I'd probably rule that, no, they don't but I'm not sure if there's an official rule. I think that'd be a good question for James Jacobs. (Similarly, I'd rule that you could get a dog to go into a body of water, even if it turns out the current's strong enough that it would be a threat. The wording I used is taken directly from the Antagonize feat, but I think it's always going to have some level of GM judgment.)

My windows are not dirty! That is my pup's nose art!

Star Voter 2013

Anthony Adam wrote:

Gah, eaten by my own "Fu",

"This barometer can be used..."

- passive passive passive ...

"This barometer IS used..."

I'll fix that up next version.

Just FYI, "This barometer is used..." is also a passive sentence. 'can' is a modal verb, which, while not terribly dynamic or certain, has nothing to do with passive voice. So while removing it may help punch up a sentence, you're not technically removing the passive or making it active.

If you're using 'passive' in the non-technical sense of 'weak' or 'not exciting' then sure, removing 'can' certainly helps, but consider whether or not the active voice is a better choice for this particular sentence (it may or may not be - sometimes passive voice is the better choice).

more explanation/discussion here:
passive advice thread

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Jacob W. Michaels wrote:


This should be the hollow legs PIERCE, otherwise you're missing a verb.

Nice catch - serves me right for trying to tweak it.

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:


I'm nor sure "Change" is a weather condition. I like the idea and understand where you're getting the word from, but it doesn't quite work.

Yeah, it's that awkward reading at the top of the dial on all barometers. Funnily enough it's the correct reading most likely to give rise to fog over open water.

I'd like to keep the Change effect, but thus far haven't thought of a better middle word for a barometer weather reading.

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:


I think I'd rather just see this be a 1 use per day item, rather than have a recharge mechanic.

Which is a recharge :P I know what you are saying though. For me, once a day seemed a bit too restrictive, so I'll have a think on this one and see what surfaces

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:


I'm not sure why the rain would turn water in containers nearby potable. Just seems like it's an effect that doesn't gibe with the rest of what the item does.

It was a leftover from the brain dump. On reflection, you can always choose for it to rain and catch the rainwater, so it is going to disappear in the next rewrite to provide word count to solve the "What if two barometers affect the same area?" issue.

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:


Lastly, while the description of the hail is nice in the storm condition, I'm wondering what that means in terms of game effects.

Yeah, it was going to be something to allow the GM to introduce slick slippery decking and possibly some sort of bludgeoning damage. That bit is under review too - if the storm is called in the tropics of the world, then ice doesn't make sense, so it will likely disappear.

Very nice feedback everyone - much appreciated.

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Curaigh wrote:
Anthony Adam wrote:

Gah, eaten by my own "Fu",

"This barometer can be used..."

- passive passive passive ...

"This barometer IS used..."

I'll fix that up next version.

This is still passive. The subject becomes 'you' or 'a pirate named Captain' or something. You want the barometer (or the legs or beak or blood) to be the subject. Try replacing "can be used to" with "create[s]" (and save yourself 3 words :) Similar changes in p2 can also help. It is very repetitive. i dinnae read any farther than that...

Very nice tip - will definitely use and file this one away :)

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Ok, replacement words for "Change",

I whittled the thesaurus on the word "fog" down to three:

Nebula - I like the word but it doesn't fit right as a weather effect. Big red reject button hit.

Overcast - Has overtones of blanketing an area, which is nice but I keep railing against the "cast" part of the word - it's too.... magey... if you catch my drift. Big red reject button hit.

Which leaves me with the not very fantastical, bottom of the barrel...

Cloudy

Yergh. Big red reject button hit.

Ok, lets got to the Met Office site and check out their weather words page...

Although I didn't find it as a single word term on this page, the following word lept from the page.

Indefinite - (from the term Indefinite Ceiling)

Now, in barometer terms, "Change" is that point on the dial where weather fluctuates between cloudy/rainy weather and fine/dry weather - so the weather is indefinite and unpredictable at that time - so the word fits and doesn't feel like it would be out of place on a barometer dial.

what about in relation to fog? Sight is obfuscated, shapes become indistinct and blurry, again indefinite works.

So we now have a word that works for the mundane base item and as a suitable word to hint at the in game effect.

So in Golarion, let it be true that barometers use "Indefinite" rather than "Change" hence forth :P

Yeah, I REALLY like how that word works for that selectable weather effect.

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Ok, I thought the last one was the last rewrite of the description pre spell and costing, but the feedback was so good, I had to fix it up a tad.

Flesch Reading Ease is currently 66 (get in, this is around the score I think we should be aiming for), with 16% passive sentences and a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 8.0.

A much more tightly worded description from the tips and hints from all of you has resulted in a very good set of readability scores - this is around the 10 year old range of values I wanted to hit.

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

This barometer creates a single localized weather effect with a diameter of one mile lasting for one hour. The weather is centred on the target which can be up to one mile away. The weather moves with the target such that the target is always at the centre. Each use of the item must be a minimum of six hours apart. The barometer cannot cancel an effect once induced.

When movement of the target results in the weather effect overlapping another magically induced weather effect, or the target is already within such an effect, then both effects are cancelled out. Normal weather for the area re-asserts itself in 10 rounds.

The weather conditions available are:

Very Dry - All water and air currents, precipitation and cloud cover disperses. Wind or water propelled vehicles in the area of effect are becalmed unless they have other means of propulsion.

Indefinite - Air currents disperse and a deep obscuring fog rolls out from the target to a radius of 200 feet and with a depth from floor to ceiling of 60 feet. Visibility within the fog bank is 20 feet.

Rain - Cloud cover thickens to hide the sun, moderate rain falls. If you are in arctic regions, the rain falls as snow and wet surfaces freeze over in 1d6 rounds. The precipitation is potable, sufficient falls to fill a standard swabbing bucket if left out.

Stormy - A full storm is called into place, with gale force wins. If you are in arctic regions, pebble sized hailstones fall dealing 1d3 bludgeoning damage per round. Wet surfaces freeze over instantly.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, to-do; Cost to-do gp

Hmmm, 366 words, so lets lose the rain collecting bit.

351,

Lets lose the "unless they have other means of propulsion"

and trim a bit from the fog...

326

Hmmm, I need to lose around another 40 words, thats a lot...

Ok, here is a version at 283 words -

Flesch Reading Ease is currently 60 (perfect for 8-9 year olds), with 14% passive and a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 8.5.

Barometer of the Bluewater Squall
Aura to-do; CL to-do
Slot none; Price to-do gp; Weight 10 lbs.
Description
From a sailing ship's barometer, eight spider crab legs wrap around a kraken's beak with a vice-like death grip. These hollow legs pierce the beak allowing the blood of an aquatic dragon to pulse throughout the whole device.

This barometer creates a single localized weather effect lasting one hour over an area of one mile diameter centered on a target within one mile range. The effect moves with the designated target always at the center.

When movement results in the weather effect overlapping any other magically induced weather effect, or the target is already within such an effect, then both are cancelled.

When the weather effect ends or is cancelled, normal weather in the area resumes in 10 rounds.

Each use must be a minimum of six hours apart and the barometer cannot cancel an effect once induced.

The barometer provides the following choices:

Very Dry - All water and air currents, precipitation and cloud cover disperses, becalming wind or water propelled vehicles.

Indefinite – An obscuring fog rolls out from the target 200 feet in all directions and with a depth of 60 feet. Visibility is reduced to 20 feet.

Rain - Cloud cover thickens to hide the sun, moderate rain falls.

Stormy - A thunderous storm with gale force winds rises in the affected area. In winter, pebble sized hailstones fall dealing 1d3 bludgeoning damage per round.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, to-do; Cost to-do gp

It seems, to me, to flow much better now, so I think I will definitely move onto the "interesting" processes of construction spells and costing now. Hopeing you all like the revisions and that I have understood everyone's concerns sufficiently to have had a good stab at addressing them.

Yes, I do think this has gotten horribly close to spell in a can, but I don't think it's a bad spell in a can. I will complete the item to complete the design process, but I do now wonder if I would enter this item due to that spell in a can concern.

It has been a very good exercise for me to do, and hopefully for those who have followed thus far.

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Ok, Diablo 3 is coming out in just 4 days, so, with that in mind and my impending disappearance into the depths of hell, I started looking at construction at work to get a head start on the weekend.

So what I am doing here is listing all the "possible" choices I can make for the "other" part of the construction.

Create Wondrous Item is a given, because that is what we are creating, and if we don't have that we will suffer the wrath of the four judges.

Spells, pretty much the obvious weather spells will be used here and because they are high level, the price will be high.

We have already combated some of the spell choice price hike by putting in small zones, restrictions on duration and frequency of use, a method of cancellation, not allowing area to overlay. So that's a good start.

Now we can also put things in the construction requirements that might reduce costs, we can look into these when we are comparing our item at base costs against similarly priced items to see how it sits.

So what sort of things can we have in other requirements...

well, its a technological item being married with magic, so that's an crafting type skill option.

similarly, we may want the creator to have a given level of knowledge about the weather - which is part of the Nature subset,

maybe the creator needs to be knowledgeable in weather propelled vehicles (avoiding ships to increase the versatility of the item, say on a wind vehicle for sailing across deserts), these would be professions, so sailor, shipwright, and so on fit are another possibility

options to consider for construction (other)

a number of ranks in Craft (engineering)
a number of ranks in Knowledge (nature)
a number of ranks in Profession (sailor, shipwright...)

(note to self, wording for skills is quite wordy, so be aware of checking word count, also try to find an item with multiple skill construction requirements to check the layout for such.)

Constructions doesn't include specific materials and the like, so we wouldn't mention crabs legs from a giant crab, or the kraken's beak. Similarly you wouldn't list things like "wooden casing", "adamantite splinters for dial hands" etc. Such detail is part of the descriptive evocative fluff at the start of an item.

This led me to wonder, for cost reducing purposes, about using similar requirements when the item is used. Imagine for example, you need 5 ranks in Knowledge (nature) to understand and set the weather effect and to know what to expect. It is kind of scraping the barrel at that point in costing and may indicate an item that is more "artifact" than "wondrous".

So we will see what numbers bubble out.

From the beginning of this item, I had a gut feeling it would cause me troubles with scope, swiss army knife, word count, power level and thus pricing. I continued with it though as part of my practice in thinking bigger, so hopefully it won't be too out there when we reach that first fully complete posting.

Normally, I would have said "too much" to myself at some point and moved on, so I am now kind of interested in seeing how it all turns out :)

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Ok, starting with the construction spells...

Using the PRD to check as many spell lists as possible, a quick scan of each produces the following "weather" types of spell.

Core, Sor/Wiz 6th, Acid Fog

Would account for the fog bank, but no damage in our fog. Rejected.

Core, Dru 5th, Call Lightning Storm

Could be used for storm effect, but again, its more damage than weather controlling. Rejected.

Core, Dru 5th, Ran 4th, Commune with nature.

Not in keeping with the item. Rejected.

Core, Cle, Dru, Sor/Wiz 7th, Control Weather

Oh yeah, one of the things a kraken can do. 2 mile radius, but we have one m ile radius out to a mile, so that hasnt really broken things too badly. Much longer duration than our item, so thats a cost saving for the item. Centred on caster, but we have added placement possibility to target rather than caster, but with reduced area and much reduced duration, thats no biggie. Interestingly, a druid magnifies duration and area, so if we require a druid make the item, that would explain the duration/area change in the item nicely. This is a good example of the spell affecting the design of the item in subtle ways. Probably going to run with this.

Core, Cle, Dru 4th, Sor Wiz 6th, Control Water

Could account for waves on the ocean, but not really in keeping with the weather aspects. Rejected.

Core, Dru, Sor/Wiz 2nd, Fog Cloud

Nice cheap spell to account for the fog bank. We can assume when combined with the control weather that the range, area and duration can be modified as per our item. It might affect the fog design in the item if, after seeing it in place, it feels too wrong. Druid gives us a single class casting option, so fits in nice with creator must be druid mentioned above. Now, control weather does list fog in the autumn effects, so with the druid effect on the spell, we probably dont need this spell as a requirement.

Core, Dru, Sor/Wiz 2nd, Gust of Wind

Too puny for what we are doing. Rejected.

Core, Bar, Sor/Wiz 4th, Hallucinatory Terrain

Our effects are real. Rejected.

Core, Dru, Sor/Wiz 4th, Ice Storm

See reasons for Call Lightning Storm, Same here. Rejected.

Core, Dru, Sor/Wiz 2nd, Obscuring Mist

See Gust of Wind. Ditto.

Core, Dru, Sor/Wiz 3rd, Sleet Storm

See reasons for Call Lightning Storm, Same here. Rejected.

Core, Cle, dru 9th, Storm of Vengeance

Hmmm, this seems to describe all the weather effects in our item, except these effects do damage - our item is definitely more of a weather control than a damaging item. Comparing the hailstones though, our small damage over time compares (I think favourably) with the one round ouchie of this spell. It's the damage thing that makes this a no-no for our item. An interesting point in this spell though is the effects on ranged attacks and spell casting during a storm. Will have to consider that for our item - if you are in the middle of the storm, this would affect such things. Rejected - but may affect item design - storm entry.

Core, Dru 8th, Whirlwind

See reasons for Call Lightning Storm, Same here. Rejected.

Core, Ran 2nd, Cle, Dru, Sor/Wiz 3rd, Wind wall

I like the shaping possibilities for the item in the sense of filling the sails, but our item is more than that, so rejected.

Adv PG, Dru, Sor/Wiz 1st, Alter Winds

See Gust of Wind. Ditto.

Adv PG, Dru, Sor/Wiz 4th, River of Wind

See Gust of Wind - it is kind of on a par with affecting localised weather, but just not enough to account for our item.

Adv PG, Dru, Sor/Wiz 8th, Seamantle

Not in keeping with the item. Rejected.

Adv PG, Dru, Sor/Wiz 9th, Tsunami

See reasons for Call Lightning Storm, Same here. Rejected.

Adv PG, Dru, Sor/Wiz 9th, World Wave

Another spell that has some synergy with our item in some ways, is quite cool, could affect the design in numerous ways. Again, control weather is much more in tune with the item. Will review the item with this spell though, just in case there is some superstarry cross fertilisation :)

I then had a quick scan of Ultimate Magic & Ultimate Combat but I think the rejects became a pattern from there on for the item

Final decision therefore is Control Weather, it covers our item nicely, the areas, duration and effects can be described by having a druid as the creator manifest the item powers in the subtely changed ways. It also has the added advatage of being in the core book over addon books, so has the maximum of reach to the game playing public.

Control Weather, 7th level Druid Spell, transmutation - no sub school, so that saves me some wordage :) To cast a 7th level spell, a druid needs to be 13th level, so lets plug all this in and move onto pricing...

Now with the construction details filled in, our word count stabilises for review purposes, the only part left is the pricing...

Barometer of the Bluewater Squall
Aura transmutation; CL 13th
Slot none; Price to-do gp; Weight 10 lbs.
Description

Extending from a sailing ship's barometer, eight spider crab legs encircle a kraken's beak in a vice-like death grip. These hollow legs pierce the beak allowing the blood of an aquatic dragon to pulse between beak and barometer in time to the ocean waves.

This barometer creates a single localized weather effect lasting one hour over an area of one mile diameter centered on a target within one mile range. The effect moves with the designated target always at the center.

When movement results in the weather effect overlapping any other magically induced weather effect, or the target is already within such an effect, then both are cancelled.

When the weather effect ends or is cancelled, normal weather resumes in 10 rounds.

Each use must be at least six hours apart.

The weather effects available are:

Very Dry - All water and air currents, precipitation and cloud cover disperses, becalming wind or water propelled vehicles.

Indefinite – An obscuring fog rolls out from the target 200 feet in all directions and with a depth of 60 feet. Visibility is reduced to 20 feet.

Rain - Cloud cover thickens to hide the sun, moderate rain falls.

Stormy - A thunderous storm with gale force winds rises in the affected area. In winter, pebble sized hailstones fall dealing 1d3 bludgeoning damage per round.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, control weather, creator must be a druid, creator must have 10 ranks in Knowledge (nature); Cost to-do gp

Words : 261 - plenty room for adjustments and revisions as we start to finalize things.

In case you are wondering on the wording in the construction, the Knowledge wording is different to the normal "... in the Skillname skill." wording - this is from Apparatus of the Crab which shows and example of Knowledge (engineering).

The class wording in my item doesnt include the level as, unlike the Phylactery of Negative/Positive Channelling, I do have a spell and that requires the caster level minimum - I don't know if this is dingable, I'm just saving words by not repeating the CL in the construction details because the spell forces that level requirement.

Paizo Ruling Request: Could you clarify this last query for us please?

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Moving onto pricing, we use the Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values table in Magic Item Creation as a starting point. I could have started by looking at similar powered items as another route, but let's do this way first to give a rough run through for those following along. You will see why I have done this very very soon.

So looking at the table, the first section of Effects don't apply to my item as it stands, the first real impact is the next section, as my item is spell effect based.

Now, it's not single use, it doesn't have charges, nor a command word. It is Use Activated, so that's our starting point.

So Base price start is Spell Level (7) x caster level (13) x 2000 gp. This calculation has a sub note to further multiple this result based upon duration of effect.

Our effects of an hour sit between 10mins per level and 24 hour duration. Now a 13th level at 10 mins per level is 1300 minutes - much more than our 60 minutes. Dropping down to the 1 minute per level bracket, that's 13 minutes - roughly a quarter of an hour.

The former multiplies the cost by 1.5, the latter by 2. I therefore will choose to multiply my cost by 1.75 as my hour duration sits within these two durations.

So thats now 7 x 13 x 2000 x 1.75gp

Only the one spell really in use in this item - had I had more spells in the construction, I would have added each spell calculated appropriately (using the minimum caster level for the desired effect for each spell).

The next section on the table affects our price thusly:

"No space limitation" sub note - An item that doesnt use a space on the body costs double. This I think applies as it's not really worn, or carried and used in the normal sense.

Now we have 7 x 13 x 2000 x 1.75 x 2gp

There is also in these last parts of the table a Charges per day. Now we have said in the item, the uses are 6 hours apart, so we can say we have a 4 times per day item.

So we divide by ( 5 (fixed formulae value) divided by charges per day (4) ) - for the math experts - we actually multiply by 4 and divide by 5 to get the same result :)

Now we have (7 x 13 x 2000 x 1.75 x 2 x 4) / 5

So my base starting price is 509,600 gp - we are now in trouble with this item (the reason I chose to try and calculate it out), our limit for wondrous items comparing to the table is 200,000 (the price of teh most expensive item). We are way over budget, attempting to fudge it would easily have been spotted by the Judges.

Also worth noting, had I started with pricing via power comparisons of existing wondrous items, I may have placed my item at 155,000 (with the efreet bottle and cubic gate as the benchmarks) - and would have not seen this item is probably way way in to the artefact pricings.

Had I remained oblivious to this quite major problem, I would have gotten dinged and wondered why and kicked myself in the feedback postings.

Therefore, when you do your items, please calculate formally a pricing of your item as a big sanity check.

To continue, we could ask ourselves - is this item salvageable?

Scanning the table looking for price reducing options, we find we could reduce this price by 10% if we require the user to have ranks in a skill - e.g. profession(sailor).

This would bring the price down to 450k. Still way too much.

So reviewing the table again, if we decided that you had to be a druid with a good number of ranks in Knowledge(nature), then the two combined would reduce the price by 40% (30% for specific class and 10% for specific skill)

Now we can see how pricing can affect an item design.

But we have to question still further, because even if we do this, our 509,600 becomes... 305,760 - still 100k passed the max of 200k.

Being honest - adding these restrictions to this item would easily be detected as trying to hide it's artifactness, and I would certainly expect to be dinged for that.

Rest in peace dear barometer.

I hope you all enjoyed following along with this item and I hope you have learnt a few things as we have gone along.

I know I have.

Now, what shall I do for my next item attempt I wonder - dont worry, I won't flood you all with massive almost Neil sized "follow me along" descriptions now I've done this item - I think you can all see my methods and have pointed out my weaknesses along the way (thank's so much for that).

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

I don't know, Anthony, I know I keep saying this, but I think you're overthinking things again. : )

Is this item that vastly different from an orb of storms, which is only 48,000? Granted, I think it should be a 1/day item, but even with that, I don't really see it as a 510,000 gp item. Remember the judges talk a lot about having a feel for pricing.

IIRC, my haunting glass should have been at least twice as much if I'd gone by the chart pricing, but I just felt like that was too much. It's a sixth-level spell, so 11th level caster, times 1,800 for command word activation times two for no space limitation is 237,600 before I started thinking about the charges. Granted, my recharge mechanic is funky, but my final price came in at *1/20th* of that, which would basically count the charges four times as much as they're usually counted. Part of that is because it's a niche and haunts still aren't used everywhere (though they can be!) but part of it was it just didn't feel like it should cost that much. And IIRC, no one seemed to give the price a second thought in the comments.

Back to your item, though: While the pricing chart is important, I think the relative position of other magic items and the wealth-by-level chart is just as much so. As Neil says, pricing is in part an art and I'm just not seeing artifact with the barometer, even before you put in the crafting limitations.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
I don't know, Anthony, I know I keep saying this, but I think you're overthinking things again. : ) ...

Agreed. Or at least this became SAK. I am not sure when controlling weather became the big choice of this item, but that is when it started to lose me.

Spoiler:
I know I stated earlier the weather is important. I stand by that (because a barometer is a weather item and the name (which is good) needs to be tied to the item's function :). Weather function is meh at best and is not something 'every player wants to write on their sheet' and no one is thinking 'oh, why dinnae I think of that?'

At it's core this item can
Stop a wind-driven ship for one hour (good although dangerously PDI :)
hide a ship (good especially with its range, but... then what :)
make it rain (err... why?)
Hinder a ship with a mediocre crew (and seasonally bludgeon them) (again why?)

I think the barometer is salvagable if you want to, but as said above I would focus on vehicular rules as a rules niche. Or I would take one of the weathers listed above and add some oomph (combat maneuvers, movement, stealth, attacks (letting a ship do what a player might), etc. )

Based on your posts (so it may bear no resemblance to reality) your writing style is to overthink. I mean no offense (my love tells me I like to OVERCOMPLICATE things :). You can turn the 'overthinking' to your advantage. For the future focus on the ONE effect first (and only one) and reverse the above process to the item. Overthinking will condense the entry into something good. :) Again the kernel is good, and practice will make this easier. So bring it on :)

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

ACK! just realized I dinnae critique this one Thomas... (*coughcough* I am not the only one *coughcough*) sorry for the delay. If I missed any others, feel free to poke me.
With a stick.
In the eye.

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Crusader's Vexillum

*I kennae what a vexillium is, so it is good you clarified it in the item's description. I would try and make that a part of the initial description though. As is the item gets described twice to clarify for us dummies.

**if it is a staff it is a weapon and not a wondrous item. This just means a different word choice is needed as 'staff' is already a game term.

*** doubling the range is a little meh. Even the doubling the bonus is so-so. Are samurais the only one with the Banner ability? Since it has to be carried to function & at seven feat it is likely to take both hands, using the item takes the samurai out of the fight. (phew the mount can also carry it :) read: I am the best melee the party has, but I will stand here and watch... For auras the ally's bonus to fear (later charm and compulsion) is good, but very situation specific. The other half of the auras have no bonus to double.
I think banner and aura are a good place to work nice job :)

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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

Here is a homebrew item I used in my last 2 campaigns:

Crusader's Vexillum
Aura moderate abjuration; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 20,000 gp; Weight 12 lbs.

Description
Countless armies have been lead to victory by a legendary hero bearing a crusader's vexillum. This vexillum is an ornate 7 foot tall staff with a 1 foot tall emblem affixed to the top and horizontal crossbar attached below the emblem, on which hangs a cloth (banner, flag, pennon, streamer, or similar item). While carrying the vexillum in one hand, the radius doubles for the bearer's auras, banner abilities, and the Flagbearer feat. This radius increase does not stack with increases from any other source.

Once per day, the bearer can sacrifice 1 point of Constitution and Charisma to double the bonuses from the bearer's auras, banner abilities, and the Flagbearer feat for 10 minutes. This sacrifice counts as an ability drain.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Widen Spell, paladin's sacrifice; Cost 10,000 gp

Looking at the Vexilum, shouldn't it be ability damage? IIRC, ability drain is permanent, so you're going to need a lot better benefit.

Not really familiar with the banner abilities/Flagbearer feat, I have to admit. Would this also be usable for the cavalier? Seems like something that could play on his challenge ability.

I might also look at the rules for armies in Kingmaker, see if there's something you could do there (though that would probably be a secondary effect, since I think you're mostly limited to playing with numerical boosts and whatnot, though I guess it could give another maneuver too -- again, operating on memory of those rules, which I still haven't read THAT closely.)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Curaigh wrote:
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
I don't know, Anthony, I know I keep saying this, but I think you're overthinking things again. : ) ...

Agreed. Or at least this became SAK. I am not sure when controlling weather became the big choice of this item, but that is when it started to lose me.

I think what happened was a combination of things, ideally it was to be a two zone effect but word count really hammered it down and it shrunk in the process.

I agree was over-thinking things, but wanted to illustrate my full process so that you can poke all the holes for me (and to provide a rough guide for the lurkers at the same time - we know you are there).

My next costing stage would have been to compare with other items both similar in price and similar in effect, I just got put off by the base costing coming out so high, the fact that the word count hammered it down to SAK.

I do like the vehicle control aspects that I kept brushing up against, so I am now rethinking it somewhat, avoiding weather but using gust of wind or reverse gravity effects to power vehicles by wind, or get them to activate reverse gravity and roll themselves UPhill, and turn it back to normal to roll down hill sort of thing.

So, it was a good exercise to show how an item can go wrong (or be perceived to have gone wrong) in so many different ways I think.

I'm sure you will pull apart plenty more of my submissions over the coming months :)

And, I'm having some fun and learning as I go, so it can't be all bad.

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

I think playing with the wind and vehicle dynamics are your best option. I wouldn't be at all surprised if one of next year's items ends up using those rules, considering IIRC Paizo will still be putting out S&S (which deals with ships) and just recently finished Jade Regent (dealing with caravans, though that might be done by the end).

That's what I was trying to do with the landlubber's oar from the practice thread, though I never quite got it to work the way I wanted. I might start from scratch -- even dropping the barometer for something else (a wind gauge? I'm sure there's a fancy name for that...) -- and try to rebuild this item (like I need to do with my fetching stick).

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Bad news, my next item is 150 words over before I even add the mechanics or template.
Good news, my personal deadline is 3 days away.
Gooder news, I really like one part of the item and if I cut it for word count, I might have something worth submitting already.
Badder news. I used gooder. And badder. And ignored colons.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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

Bad news, my next item is 150 words over before I even add the mechanics or template.

Good news, my personal deadline is 3 days away.

Template Fu pulls out knife and fork, tucks his napkin under his chin and licks his lips in anticipation. No pressure now :P

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Tempest Saddle

Spoiler:

Aura moderate evocation and transmutation; CL 6th
Slot special; Price 17,000 gp; Weight 15 lbs.
Description
The blue scaled leather of a desert drake form this saddle. Cyclones are embossed on the seat and electrum bolts line the edges. The saddle resizes with the peel of thunder when placed on any small or medium quadruped. When active the creature gathers a raging tempest around itself with clouds for wings and eyes that flash lightning.

Winds grant a fly speed equal to the creature’s normal move +10 feet and it gains a +3 bonus to fly skill checks. Clouds create concealment (20% miss chance in combat) for the creature. It may be activated once per day and lasts for 6 minutes or until the creature grounds the tempest by landing.

The flying creature trails dark and whirling clouds. Enclosing an area within these clouds creates stormy conditions. Casting spells with the air or electricity descriptors within may deafen targets as with the Thundering Spell feat. Non-magical winds inside the area increase by one category. For every two rounds the creature circles the area the winds increase by another step (maximum Windstorm). These winds do not affect the creature.

The tempest saddle allows the creature to carry one rider its size or smaller. Upon mounting, the rider turns into dark clouds. Unless the creature is trained for combat the rider must make a ride check (DC 20) to attack or cast spells with somatic components. The saddle need not be active to carry a rider.

An animal with intelligence of 3 or less must be trained to use the saddle, requiring one week and a handle animal check (DC 25). This counts as two tricks.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Items, Thundering Spell, fly, gaseous form, wind wall; Cost 8,500 gp

I think staring at it for however long to cut out those last 3 words hurt the overall item (and more importantly: my eyes), I should not have done that for a second draft :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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

Template is good, as always with yourself.

The first sentence I think might need an "s" on "form".

My brain kept going "clap" of thunder rather than peel, as for me, it conjured a snapping single clap of re sizing rather than a rumbling. I also wondered if it didn't re size if moved from size to same size if you catch my drift (i.e. the re size is not necessary).

The second paragraph, starting sentences with Winds and Clouds I found to be a little clunky - I suspect we are referring to the winds and clouds of the effect and not winds and clouds in general.

I wondered about the DC's in the effect, I always get stumped by these myself, were they too hard or too easy? Should there be some sort of scaling effect so that higher level play is supported and the item doesn't become auto success too much?

I think you have set them right bearing in mind the price placement of the item, so I think on the whole, you hit the nail fairly well. I did love the addition of needing tricks and handle animal - that was quite innovative I thought.

Some impressions and thoughts I had whist reading the item...

a) What if the mount already has wings, does it get a second set?

b) What if the mount can fly, if the duration expires, does it drop or can it continue flying at the point of effect end?

c) Is there a maximum ceiling?

(sorry, cant help myself when I hit review mode >.<)

d) Imagery I thought was a bit Tazmanian Devil? (or if I recall correctly, Zazu the donkey in Tales of the Arabian Nights), but again, not a bad thing.

Nice item, needs a little polish on the wording maybe, but generally a very good first draft I thought. Nice one.

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

Curaigh wrote:
Tempest Saddle** spoiler omitted ** I think staring at it for however long to cut out those last 3 words hurt the overall item (and more importantly: my eyes), I should not...

Thoughts:

Price is way too low - granting a metamgic feat with no increase in spell level, granting a creature a new movement type with a speed bonus, skill bonus to fly, creating a storm, increasing wind speeds, granting the rider gaseous form, and reducing time to train an animal.

Is this a riding saddle or military saddle? Also can only fit on creatures that can fit a normal saddle since no ability to change to an exotic is noted.

What is the flight maneuverability granted by the saddle? Needed to work out the creatures fly skill modifiers.

What kind of motion does the mount make while flying? This would effect concentration checks to cast spell.

I think you can leave out the ride skill check. You are just clarifying rules and you have the check wrong for casting.

Normally a trick takes 1 week to learn and this ability counts as 2 tricks.

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

Curaigh, you've got some clunky wording.

As Anthony notes, you've got some grammar issues in the first graf: verb-subject disagreement in the first sentence; thunder has a peal, not peel; the last sentence seems to indicate the tempest has eyes and that the tempest forms when the creature is active, not the saddle...

I think you may also have a little overload of description, though I do like most of it. I'd just be careful of gilding the lily. It might be fixed simply by moving the last sentence down from the description graf to begin the effect graf, though I'm having trouble doing so in a rewrite attempt.

I think you can tighten the initial wording a lot, as so:

The blue-scaled leather of a desert drake forms this saddle, which has cyclones embossed on the seat and electrum bolts lining the edges. The saddle resizes with a peal of thunder when placed on any small or medium quadruped.

A raging tempest gather around the wearer when the saddle is activated, giving the creature wings of clouds that allow a fly speed equal to its normal move +10 feet and a +3 bonus to Fly skill checks. Fly should be capitalized, as it's a skill, I believe. Clouds create concealment (20% miss chance in combat) for the creature. The saddle Using it here would technically refer back to the creature, not the saddle may be activated once per day and lasts for 6 minutes or until the creature grounds the tempest by landing. You could probably just say lands; I don't know if you need "grounds the tempest" if you're looking to save words, though I do like the descriptive idea of WHY the effect ends.

I think you might need to give me a little more technical information about surrounding the area to create the stormy conditions. How big an area can be created? I think you can also tighten up the writing a bit here two, as the first couple sentences read a little choppy to me.

The rider ALWAYS turns into dark clouds? Not sure if that's what you intended or if that only happens when the saddle is active. Again, I want game terms -- perhaps something as simple as "as the spell gaseous form, which would give all the rules information a user needs to adjudicate that effect.

Overall, I think it's a nice item. A bit SAK, but I think the theme is MORE than strong enough to support that, plus I think you manage to mix it up a little by having one of the effects be a feat rather than a spell. Honestly, I think this could have potentially been Superstar, though I'm definitely not a judge. : )

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Thanks for the kind words. :) It felt clunky but I had been staring at it too long trying to cut it to word length. It will look better if I read after a break. Which is what I need as I have rewrites from the frost amulets overdue :).

I will try and answer/address question in the rewrite as no contestant is allowed to answer/respond before making the Top 32. :) I do have one question, the slot is OK?

I should point out the storm charger saddle from one of the practice threads was the inspiration for this, I cannae take the credit :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

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

Good question on the slot, I wondered that at the time, but it was unusual in that it's not a personal wondrous item.

I think on reflection that technically, it would be "none" - as its the only suitable slot from the list of slot names in the book (I don't have the "Ultimates" to hand so cant check if any extra were added with the Vehicles and Riding rules).

I think special is probably ok, and wouldn't get you dinged. I can't be sure though, and that's the danger.

I'll do some digging on this to see if I can find some examples of the use of "special" and when it is used and get back to you on this one.

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

Here's another quick one I whipped up, perhaps a bit of an accompaniment to the haunting glass. It's very simply, but I think would be useful in certain campaigns.

Spirit guide tools [200 words]
Aura faint necromancy; CL 5th
Slot none; Price 7,500 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
This set of medium's tools -- an ivory board covered with arcane symbols and runes, a small smoky glass and four bone-white candles -- constantly emits barely audible noises, voices of the dead just beyond the bearer's ability to hear or comprehend no matter what she tries to do.

As a full round action in a haunt, the user establishes a link with the undead area, letting her communicate with it. A haunt has limited knowledge, but can tell the user how it came to be, what has passed through it and, perhaps most importantly, what needs to be done to let it be put to rest (i.e. how it can be destroyed).

The spirit guide tools do not give any special protection from the haunt, though the medium can prevent it from manifesting for twice its typical reset time if she can improve its attitude to friendly. A haunt's initial attitude typically ranges from indifferent to hostile; it adds its CR to the DC of a Diplomacy check to improve its attitude.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item,speak with dead; Cost 3,750 gp

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

motteditor, the Haunting of Harrowstone has a very similar item, the spirit planchette. At least, it can be used that way.

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

Dang. Well, I guess I'll take that as being on the right track! : )

Funny, I thought about using planchette, but decided that might be a bit too esoteric.

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