I really liked your idea for a monster! I know that stealing items is something that drives players crazy. Cruel DMs abuse that, for sure, but cruel DMs can abuse a lot of things.
I think the stomach as a bag of holding is great, and players would jump at the chance to have something like that (at least my players would).
However, I see a lot of challenges with the concept. If you're a nice GM, you'll keep the thunderthief around until the PCs slay it. Hopefully they do so while it's over the boat, not the water! Otherwise, goodbye items! If they do so, unless they make a knowledge check regrading its abilities, they'll probably cut it open, ruining the bag of holding and losing their items forever!
I think you have a fun concept and I don't feel it's gonzo like your organization was, but it still might be too 'out there' for publication.
Good luck in the voting!
That's two plants in a row now that have caught my eye. Is this the year for vegetation love? I can imagine this thing sucking players up... and then spitting them out 15 feet away! That sounds like fun!
There's a lot of love for Arcane Digestion. To me, it feels out of place. I think it needs to be built more into the monster's description and purpose. Maybe take Sean's suggestion and replace vacuum swallow with fast swallow to buy the word count. The description suggests this creature likes to eat food, not magical abilities. I just need a 'why'.
I could see an alternate version that drew more on the resinous sap. The gorgewort could cover its victims in a layer of acidic resin when disgorging them, leaving them entangled and suffering slow acid damage. Easier to digest the remains later. :)
Wow. Not only did you have me imagining an encounter, you had me designing a variant - one I'd also like to use. Awesome!
I really like your monster! I can see a group engaging these, not thinking them much different from other Darklands predators... and then one PC suffers a voidmaw critical. Surprise!
I feel the creature is a little heavy on spell-like abilities. I agree that it needs more than just a scary bite to be a Superstar monster, but between it's physical attacks, defenses (DR/SR) and the fact that it will usually appear in a pack, it could make an encounter overly challenging. Like a few others, I feel spell distortion seems to be pushing it.
I am a little concerned that slaughterhounds would appear generic until someone witnessed the critical bite. Which would have me, as GM, hoping for one. But the package you presented intrigued me from the start and I began creating encounters in my head. That's a good sign!
Best of luck with the voting!
My first impression was that the pyrebloom felt like a monster from a videogame... but I've warmed up to it (not a pyrebloom joke).
I think the entry promises fun encounters, ones the PCs will talk about afterwards. It's not so airtight that they won't discover it's weaknesses, but they will have some thinking to do.
I think that fire resistance is entirely reasonable for something that produces and lobs fire, but I will echo previous entries in saying that immunity is too much for a plant. Fire Resistance 20 would (nearly) protect it from its own attack - that should be enough.
Because there are so many monsters to choose from, three things grab my attention on a first pass - the descriptive paragraph, the illustration and the special abilities. You've provided an excellent paragraph, one that draws me right in. Your special abilities would have earned the pyrebloom a bookmark for sure.
Thanks for the entry. Good luck in the voting!
It might be because I don't know much of fey mythology, but this creature has no 'grab' for me. Perhaps a really sharp illustration would make the difference... but you don't want to be relying on that.
The mechanics have been spoken to, and I won't repeat anything more than to say that I could see a combat encounter being different, if a little frustrating, for PCs.
My impression, at it's most basic, is that I feel like I would have to be a fey fan (fan of fey?) to find some appeal here.
If these guys being a mercenary company is a detriment, it's one of the only detrimental things about this entry. I found your ideas and imagery evocative - I could immediately envision an encounter or two between PCs and the Stormsworn. 'Mercenary' may be overwrought, but it's an acceptable raison d'etre.
Perhaps that's all it would ever amount to. I don't think they have the reach to be the 'focus' of an adventure. I could see a brash group of PCs wanting to take them down, though, and you've given me enough material here that I could flesh them out.
Thank you for an exciting idea. Good luck in the voting!
I like the idea, but I think the scope is too broad. I can see a doppelganger pushing for inclusiveness for doppelgangers. I can't see him caring about kobolds or orcs. I think that level of altruism is what makes this feel like a 'modern' idea.
Scale this thing back, and I think you'll really have something.
I want to vote for this, I do. But I've several more to read and I don't know if it will make it.
I feel the concept is simple enough that it could fit in any politics-heavy medieval environment. Game of Thrones is a very popular and relatively recent example of this, so I suppose comparisons are inevitable. I won't dock you for this.
I like that, for an evil organization, I have a chain of command to send PCs through. I have a lead villian with a mystery that I can direct (dragon blood or charlatan), and I have an interesting location for a final conflict should PCs want to confront these.. bastards.
I think this is the third evil mercantile organization in a row that I've reviewed. I'm wondering if the current state of the global economy is leaking into RPG Superstar. I'm not saying that's a bad thing - it helps connects players to the game world and the idea is universal enough that it fits.
Perhaps because of those conditions, I wanted very much to like this entry. But in the end, I didn't find a hook that I wanted to use. The GM portion of my brain needs to light up with idea when I read about an organization, and sooner is better!
Good luck with Round 2 voting!
This is a good idea that you fleshed out well. I can tell that you put lots of thought into the mechanics of this (and I agree they can be complicated). I think you've spelled out the most important ones.
I'm of the opinion that some effects can be left to GM discretion. Someone asked about damage from a boulder, for instance. I was always under the impression that paper beat rock....
In all seriousness, this is an awesome item and I hope to see your creativity and attention to detail in future entries.
Does the action of using the lamp provoke an AoO? I know it makes sense to be standing back when you use this item, or to activate it once before moving into combat. I'm imagining that a monk would move into melee range eary on, though, and what if he wanted to continue to use this while in that range?
I know as a player I'd be excited to try this out with my character, because it offers me an interesting tactical support option for my monk. If I was shopping, though, I know I'd hesitate when I saw the low save DC. I'd be worried that my new cool item would not be effective.
Thank you for designing an item that so easily engages the imagination! I like it.
This is a very novel idea! It's very bold to look at such a complex effect, and clearly it's a popular idea. As a player, my imagination goes wild with possibilities.
Thinking as a GM, however, I got very panicky when I read the description. I tried to process those same possibilities from the perspective of control and failed. It would have to be looked at extensively before I would be comfortable introducing it in my game. Some limitations might be a good idea, but I can't specify.
... But I'd probably be tempted to include it anyway, because it's dang cool. If I had publishing power and this item was proposed to me, I'd want to collaborate and find a way to make it work.
This is the kind of innovative idea that gets me excited about development. Keep it up!
I can appreciate the cinematic feel of this item. I love the concept. I can see appropriate characters getting excited about its discovery, once they understood its uses.
I'm not happy with the presentation. Others above have already gone into detail, but I felt like too many elements were missing. An evocative descriptive paragraph helps engage the imagination of a shopping GM or player. The mechanics definitely need to be tightened up.
This is a great idea. You just need to work on execution. I hope you take all the posted advice to heart and really rock it in Round 2.
I like the idea presented here. The summoning function is one I know I could have fun with. There are a lot of effects to juggle, but they tie together well.
I think it was a trap to present a lesser, standard and greater version of this item. It multiplied the complexity and made the block difficult to read. I kept feeling the temptation to just pass over the rest, and you don't want a reader passing over your item!
I'm glad you have a pass to continue, though. I hope you go far!
When I look at this, I see it as being likely to get tossed by a player before its potential is discovered. It's value depends on how much the GM is willing to reveal about it.
If a character picked this out of the treasure and was suddenly required to take the lower of two D20 rolls, the only thing on their mind would be "How do I get rid of this?" I think it would take full player/character knowledge of the item (by reading its full description) for its value to actually be explored.
So I can see players wanting to craft or purchase it, just not hold onto it if discovered.