I was very proud to have made it this far into the contest. Having read some of the other entries, for the most part I agree that this entry wasn't quite up to advancing me to the next round.
I don't agree with all of the critiques noted here, but I do agree that there are enough flaws in the mechanics to make it far too clumsy for general use. Most especially, the phantom limbs ability was very badly constructed. Many of the other critiques I may have been able to explain away as problems that occur in the description as I try to trim down the word count, but the error that Sean pointed out in the phantom limbs as a full attack action was one I had completely overlooked. That's what happens when you don't have time to play-test a creature before submission :/
Clark hit the nail right on the head: I am a writer first. I have done a great deal of game design for my own players, and it is all extremely plot/character/mystery/idea driven. This was almost a first time for stat block design however, and I see that I need a lot more practice. I am glad that people seemed to like a lot of aspects of it and that the writing evoked some reactions from people, because that really is what I'm best at. Which is why it's such a shame I didn't get through to the next round. Ah, well.
Thank you everyone for the feedback I received, and I much appreciate the constructive nature of everything people gave back to me.
The work that you guys put into all this really impresses me. I was not aware of this contest at all until a few months ago and the amount of information pouring out has been really overwhelming. So my hat goes off to all of you upstairs.
I read through all the entries and wish I had final say, assuring myself that I would be fair, impartial, critical but encouraging, and know I would make the right choice. And then I ponder how much work all that would actually be, and how torn I already am between submissions when I DON'T have it all resting on me. You have all my respect, but absolutely none of my envy.
Cutting my entry down to 600 words may have been the most painful experience of my life, and I'm terrified that I lost something crucial. Someone mentioned on another thread that they were so surprised to have advanced to another round that they had not done any work ahead of time, and that seems to be dogging me all the way through this. Fingers crossed!
I am really jonesing to see these submissions come up. I am definitely one of the people guilty of waiting until the last minute to submit mine, and I know that's probably going to cost me.
I had a wizard idea I didn't use, but thematically I'm still happier with the one I went with. Even though it's falling into one of the more populous class archetypes. This is close to the breakdown I expected though so I went in hoping I'd just have a good enough original idea, even if it doesn't give love to the more overlooked classes.
I'm new to this contest, but I'd be surprised if they gave us another geographically based restriction. Unless this is something they've done in previous years (kept the whole contest to a specific theme) I would imagine something else out of left field.
Either way I hope I get that far! I've never worked with archetypes before so this round of the contest was unfamiliar ground for me.
Thanks very much for the feedback everyone! It is a tremendous honor to have advanced to the next round!
I completely agree with the criticism from a lot of people that this item has the potential to be abused by a smart player. While I see the inherent risks in that, it wasn't by accident. I'm a huge fan of my players thinking outside the box, and there's very little that I am likely to reward them more for. Most of the fellas in my gaming group are fairly new players, and I'm proudest poppa in the world when they outsmart me or think of something I didn't rather than use their swords to solve every problem. I like giving them utilitarian items just to see what they'll come up with. I must admit that I hadn't considered the potential for defense against sonic attacks, and I'm not sure how I'd rule on that either.
And yes: completely guilty of the "highly sought." I did read all of the suggestions and guidelines, but it just seemed to fit. I had no idea I'd be seeing it so often :P
Once again, thank you all! I'm working hard on the spit and polish for next round!
I think Arkos' point is exactly right. While I personally look more for good comprehension of game mechanics than it seems most people do, I think my votes are only likely to equal out with the people that look more for flash.
Though regarding the point on spelling: I'm not quite anal enough to have downvoted someone because of a spelling error :P
I agree with this thread and am very happy to have seen it created. I admit that I have voiced some negativity regarding some of the entries I've seen, but there are posts on another thread in particular that border on cruel. I am posting this comment here because I don't want to give that thread any more focus, I'd much rather just see it die.
People are commenting that certain phrases that have appeared repeatedly are driving them crazy. I feel the same way, but none of that is actually a reflection on the item, only that you've seen it in many different items. That doesn't make any of them bad items! Did you know the phrase "appears to be" occurs three times on the very first page of wondrous items in the core rulebook? Well by god ma barker! We'd better ban all those items before someone gets annoyed! Those redundant phrases are only a problem because people are scanning a few hundred items a day, but none of the people that submitted those items were looking over each others shoulders to know what anyone else was submitting. Those phrases are only a problem if they're clumsy or inaccurate descriptors. You'll have to forgive people for using phrasing that was good enough for the CRB as long as it's effective.
That's my rant, I apologize if it seems overboard, but there are a lot of posts on that thread that are far too specific, and I am very concerned with the influence they may have over people's voting.
I agree with a few of the people above, that while I make formatting my last consideration, I DO make it a consideration.
I would never choose a lame but perfectly formatted item over a great item that used random capitals and omitted the prices, but I'm annoyed by how much work I put into previewing and re-previewing my own item to make sure it was exactly what was asked for, but a lot of people don't seem to have bothered. I agree that this is more minor than item quality considerations, but we were handed the formatting guidelines on a silver platter. People who strayed from them in big ways weren't invested enough in their item or this competition to do some very basic proofreading. I AM that invested and so were many others, and I plan on rewarding that dedication.
Okay fair enough, thank you both. I only ask because I'm caught in a conundrum with two items beside each other that both have huge violations of the suggestions above and prefer not to cop out with the "vote for neither" button if this comes up a lot. I will take these points as suggestions rather than rules however, and still try to make selections as best I can.
I have a question about these rules in general as they relate to the current contest: