There's a lot of weird here. It took me a while to disentangle it all in my mind, but ultimately the dungeon struck a chord with me as a very classic fantasy location full of ice-entombed monsters, elemental traps, and magic. I'm not wholly keen on the layout: offering choice is all well and good, but connecting almost everything to the central location turns this into one of those "I wonder what's through the next door?" explorations. I'd prefer to go on a bit more of a journey through this location. Good work though!
This is a sort of obvious gonzo idea, but there two things that pushed it into voting territory for me. I love that it has a swallowed lighthouse in its stomach (the object of our quest perhaps? What could lie within?) and I love that it has that ramshackle settlement clinging to its sides. Who lives there, I wonder? Those two details turn it into a great, evocative location.
If you're asking me to fight skeleton dinosaurs - or even better, dinosaur ghosts - then I'm on board! This is a map that, for me, has a very strong theme but lackluster execution. It all feels a bit open. I'd like some clearer routes through the graveyard, and more focus on cool locations within. The key takes up way too much space. Overall, it gets my vote for the theme alone.
This is a cracking job and definitely gets my vote. Despite a mostly symmetrical layout, you avoided interior symmetry, which makes the whole thing very appealing to look at. Your little interior details are brilliant, and would really aid play at the table. There are some problems - some rooms feel squashed, and I confess I have no idea what's going on with the amphitheater section (despite the two written notes) - but overall it's great!
This is really nicely done. I love the feel of the crumbling tower in a flooded graveyard (or swamp?), and everything's very clearly laid out. The sinkhole gives it memorable aspect that adds atmosphere too. I would have liked a few more details about room functions, but otherwise I think this is a great submission.
Really great map: I feel like I could set a whole campaign here. I love the naming, and setting the whole settlement around a volcanic vent gives it a memorable schtick (which is vital for Superstar I'd say). My only criticisms are that there's a bit of messiness around the mapping of the sky mine tower level, and the fungus farm feels incongruous with the overall theme. Great job overall though!
Lots to like here. From a design perspective, I love that the dungeon is open, with most locations accessible from more than one position. Good use of water, and I dig the changing elevations. Overall though, the top portion around the dragon's lair feels squeezed to fit into the page, whereas it should probably take pride of place!
I really, really like this one! It's definitely more imaginative than many of the others, and while its execution is lacking in places, it's a pretty stirling job overall. I love the captured ship's prows on the headland, and I can really feel what life here would be like. For what it's worth, I totally disagree that the streets are too narrow: it actually reminds me a lot of the village of Kapros in the movie Immortals.
However, I agree 100% with Robert Lazzaretti that this should have been drawn entirely in an isometric angle, without the need for two perspectives. As it is, I find myself looking back and forth too much, which is sadly a problem. Well done overall though!
I don't remember seeing this one in the voting, but the more I think on it, the more I like it.
I love that it's suitable for low level, and I love that it can literally shield the whole party from harm. I would give this item out in a heartbeat.
I think the only danger is that there's a chance this becomes a one-use item; i.e. big bad nasty is chasing you, so you lock the shield and run. I suppose that's the sacrifice you make. Having it teleport back to you or fly through the air would kind of break the low magic feel to it...
I didn't see this during voting, but it is very nice and I can see why it's gone through. I like the link to the norns, and I know my players would love what it does.
I think it could be improved though. My main criticism is that the item's function mostly exists on a metagame level - I have a general rule you must be able to imagine how your character could explain the item to their in-game companions. Just using saves is a bit out there.
I really liked this one! Definitely my favourite shield, and I think I upvoted it every time.
On first read, I was a bit skeptical that this should work as a shield - how often do you really encounter gasses? But on closer reading I saw the ability to swallow air and expel it as a gust of wind, which is a lovely touch.
My one crit: for the price, I feel this ability should be capped somehow!
Designers do have to learn to manage rejection, but the best feedback is always crafted to improve not rebuff.
See Pixar and their "plussing": http://www.thinklikeaninnovator.com/plussing-how-pixar-transforms-critiquin g-into-creating/
Worth bearing in mind for the critique my item thread! =)
Good luck all!
I'd also like to see the judge's comments for my submission, as I had a lot of fun with it. Many thanks in advance for taking the time out!
Opening the door in this manner prevents creatures from passing through. Creatures present on the other side may notice the door opening, but see only white light spilling through the aperture. Any attempt to shut the door from the other side or interfere with the doorway in any way causes the door to slam shut and ejects the doorknob.
Three times per day, the user can rap the doorknob against a normal wooden door to disguise themselves as the last creature that passed through. This functions as a disguise self spell, but is dispelled automatically if the affected creature passes through the doorway more than once.
1) Rajah's Silhouette. Hands down my favourite this year, and definitely one I'll be including in my games. This weekend, in fact :)
2) Charlatan Gloves. Just has a classic D&D feel to it, and opens up lots of creative thinking at the table.
3) Boots of the Phantom Staircase. I'm not so keen on the horizontal movement, but these would see lots of use at my table if modified to remove that.
4) Vexing Spirit Lamp. Drawing attacks of opportunity is neat, and it has a nice flavour.
5) Feywhisper Crown. For the memory loss.
I like this one a lot, mostly due to the memory-loss effect. I can't immediately think of any items that wipe memory, and the "Men in Black" possibilities present here certainly got me thinking. In a way, I wish this aspect had been emphasized more - as it is, it seems to come across as something of an after-thought.
Definitely in my top five though.
I really like this: it's one of my favourites.
I agree with those above that the skill bonus is too high. I'd even say it's unnecessary. The transference power is what makes them - not just transference to another creature, but even just between hands. I could see myself coming up with all sorts of zany uses for that power during play. In my opinion, the very best wondrous items immediately open your mind to their possibilities, and have variable uses at the table.
I'm really looking forward to your next submission.
When I read this item's name, I had two thoughts. First, I hoped it would allow me to conjure a phantom staircase. Second, I wondered why this hadn't been done before.
Therefore, I really dig this as a concept - and I love its simple naming.
However, upon reading the description, I was actually a little bit disappointed. I think it would have been much zanier if the user could only move at an angle: e.g. 25 to 45 degrees. As it is, the name - and therefore the concept - seems a little deceptive.
Still, best of luck for the next round!
I like this one a lot. It's very flavourful, and its got a solid use that I'd turn to frequently during play. It's also got a tactical consideration: which creature to fly past first, etc. Restricting it to ki users actually improves it, in my mind. It's nice to have something that's unique to your class sometimes.
Looking forward to your next submission.
This is far and away my favourite item in the top 32. I especially like the ability to fold yourself up so you can squeeze into a bottle: that immediately made me think of creative opportunities (which I think is the hallmark of a great wondrous item). Vulnerability to slashing damage is a nice touch too. I love it.
It sounds like a heck of a lot of work to do, so I'll definitely join in that applause! Also, as a first-time entrant - and a newcomer to the site - I must say they've fostered a great atmosphere of friendly competition that is felt across the boards.
So, yeah. C'mon, guys. Group hug.
This reminds me of an amusing anecdote. A friend of mine was diving with his wife off the headland of some island in the Aegean, when they came across a load of stoppered clay pots on the seabed. Pulling the stoppers off a few, they were surrounding by billowing clouds of "mud". Later, in the bar, they mentioned the pots to one of the locals. He was like "Oh, please don't go diving there! Everybody around here throws the ashes of their relatives off that headland." Luckily they didn't mention they'd been happily popping all the stoppers off.