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Tougher every year?


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Am I the only one that thinks this is getting harder all the time? I don't mean necessarily in terms of competition, but in terms of coming up with something new and unique. I don't know how many times I came up with what I thought was a great idea, and started fleshing it out, only to eventually stumble across something in one or other of the various sourcebooks that was similar.

With all the new magic items constantly being put out, it seems harder and harder to find a niche that isn't filled, or avoid the SIAC syndrome.

Ugh. :(

Qadira Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Shadowborn

I'd say so. I came up with a half dozen magic items since last year, specifically as possibilities for RPG Superstar, only to reject them all by the time the contest started. Either they were too similar to something I found later elsewhere, or they just didn't have the spark I was looking for.

Dedicated Voter 2013

Well maybe next year they'll do something else.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Yeah, it gets harder, but you can always come out with a unique concept. You just need to throw ideas around.

What i do is I take ideas, book titles or slogans and deconstruct them to the most basic components. Then you have this string of keywords and its up to you to brainstorm a scenario or item based on it.

Lets try this:
Moorcock's Eternal Champion.
Here you have something that is timeless, and a warrior who is either very powerful or has won a competition. Moorcock is the writer who pioneered antihero sword and sorcery books, and the main character of Eternal Champion is an albino Elric who is well known for his sentient sword Stormbringer.

So from this i deconstruct the following: Time, sword, white, sentience, competition.

From this you can further go down this path. For example:
What is known for color white(ish)?
Mithril.

How do I use sentience?
The item can either be sentient or take sentience. For example it can cause a touch of Idiocy. Or both. Maybe it needs to feed on the sentience of others in order to get its own, and thus its abilities?

Ok, now what's with time(lessness)?
For example as long as the character has the sword he is not subject to aging effects, but still dies when his time is up.

Now the competition.
The sword always seeks those stronger than itself, and will actively sabotage the user if he does not attack what it perceives the strongest foe on the battlefield. When he does attack that foe, the sword grants him its abilities perhaps fast healing, Strength bonus, attack bonus or the such (this can be resolved with another brainstorm session)

So from this we have a white Mithril sword that gives youth to its user in order to seek out stronger foes, and must feed on intelligence of others in order to keep its own.

Now you could modify this item further (which I recommend doing), by deconstructing another idea. If you are not satisfied with the item, do another one. Eventually one will be to your liking, when you are truly inspired by something close to you.

Its not much, but I hope it can help you. Cheers.

Contributor

Cthulhudrew wrote:

Am I the only one that thinks this is getting harder all the time? I don't mean necessarily in terms of competition, but in terms of coming up with something new and unique. I don't know how many times I came up with what I thought was a great idea, and started fleshing it out, only to eventually stumble across something in one or other of the various sourcebooks that was similar.

With all the new magic items constantly being put out, it seems harder and harder to find a niche that isn't filled, or avoid the SIAC syndrome.

Ugh. :(

This is something that happens to me on some level every time I have to create an item for publication. Never with fluff/in-game lore, but the expectations of having an item be both interesting, innovative, and well constructed mechanically tends to be daunting from time to time. :)


Cthulhudrew wrote:

Am I the only one that thinks this is getting harder all the time? I don't mean necessarily in terms of competition, but in terms of coming up with something new and unique. I don't know how many times I came up with what I thought was a great idea, and started fleshing it out, only to eventually stumble across something in one or other of the various sourcebooks that was similar.

With all the new magic items constantly being put out, it seems harder and harder to find a niche that isn't filled, or avoid the SIAC syndrome.

Ugh. :(

I'd say it's mostly due to the huge load of magic items that came out in Ultimate Equipment if anything.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Hodge Podge

It is hard!

But somehow we always do it. I always start with the mundane item I am basing the concept off, then brainstorm everything I can associate with it before paring down that list to a tighter theme. I did that last year with perfume.

This year, I did that again with some other normal household object, but halfway through making the item, I thought of another item that came out of nowhere to distract me, and that ended up being it.

Andoran Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cthulhudrew wrote:

Am I the only one that thinks this is getting harder all the time? I don't mean necessarily in terms of competition, but in terms of coming up with something new and unique. I don't know how many times I came up with what I thought was a great idea, and started fleshing it out, only to eventually stumble across something in one or other of the various sourcebooks that was similar.

With all the new magic items constantly being put out, it seems harder and harder to find a niche that isn't filled, or avoid the SIAC syndrome.

Ugh. :(

I had zero idea for my magic item this year until the day RPG Superstar was announced. Contrast this with the last two years, when my item was already written and ready to go before December. I basically thought this would be the first year I didn't enter. Then I got an idea, settled on it since entering increases my chances of winning by infinity over not entering, and by the time I finished writing it, I was mighty proud of my idea.

So, yes and no.

Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Having read through umpteen pairs of items now, I withdraw my initial observation. There are some really good and creative ideas in this mix, even the ones that aren't very good for different reasons (formatting/spelling, mechanics, overly "fluffy," SIAC, etc.)

I am seeing a lot of ingenuity and different ways of utilizing mechanics and effects that I hadn't thought of, and that is refreshing. I think I may have been a little too stuck on one particular concept and methodology to the extent that I blinded myself to a broader creative approach.

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

It will be interesting next year, since we're seeing (potentially) all the items, if anything shows up that's an improvement on something that didn't make it this year.

No sign of the greasepaint of leadership though.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

This game has been around in one form or another for forty years. It's extremely difficult to come up with a thing that hasn't been done at some point.

The trouble I run into is coming up with a cool idea and then realizing that there is already a spell that does that effect. I find at that point one must choose between creating a wholly new effect or creating an item that expresses that outcome in a whole new way.

Star Voter 2013

michaeljpatrick wrote:

This game has been around in one form or another for forty years. It's extremely difficult to come up with a thing that hasn't been done at some point.

The trouble I run into is coming up with a cool idea and then realizing that there is already a spell that does that effect. I find at that point one must choose between creating a wholly new effect or creating an item that expresses that outcome in a whole new way.

I had to scrub a portion of my idea simply because a spell came out that did the exact same thing I was thinking of doing. It's a bummer because I would have put out a SIAC if I held to the idea. To be quite honest, the SIAC it was going to be feels better than what I put out. Tighter design.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Yeah, but it's the difference between believing good ideas are finite or infinite. Essentially you have to believe that there is always another great idea around the corner.

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