Kenku

Crowface's page

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 105 posts (154 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 5 Organized Play characters. 2 aliases.


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Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

DISCLAIMER: This is a quick copy/paste of a comment I made on Facebook a while ago in response to a poster complaining about how a low level caster couldn't survive in PFS. He was focused on trying to sling damage dealing spells as a 1st level wizard, but a lot of these points are geared towards saving your spell slots so you can modify or disregard as needed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

1) Don't blow through 50%-75% of your daily allotment of spells at 1st level in the 1st encounter unless absolutely necessary.

2) Your arcane school probably provides a low damage ranged touch attack zap with several uses per day.

3) You get 150gp at 1st in PFS; buy the light crossbow and use it liberally.

4) Flasks of oil and torches are cheap.

5) Acid Splash and Ray of Frost are unlimited use, ranged touch attack zaps that do energy damage; prepare one of them. Daze looks good on paper but it does nothing if they make the save.

6) 1st level scrolls of Mage Armor are cheap and last 1 hour. Precast it when you are expecting trouble and save yourself spell slots on the day.

7) I prefer the bonded item (spontaneously prepare any spell known 1/day) over the familiar, YMMV.

8) Specializing in an arcane school gives you one addtional spell slot to prepare a spell from that school, essentially +1 spell per day at 1st.

9) Invest in a 1st level wand of Magic Missile ASAP. Spending 2 presitge points is a great option. Most PFS players spend 2 PP on a wand of cure light wounds but as a wizard you should neither be exposing yourself to damage nor do you even have that many hit points to heal anyway, so you can get by on potions and the kindness of others.

10) Tanglefoot bags, flasks of acid, alchemist's fire and other consumables / alchemical weapons are other good alternatives to casting spells at low levels, although they are somewhat expensive so use wisely.

If you're playing a wizard because you like to blast things repeatedly in combat, you might want to consider a sorcerer or bomb-focused alchemist instead.

Good luck!

Explore - Report - Cooperate

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

The plot line of "The Sky Key Solution" is a perfect example as to why some of us will always have a little shadow in our hearts...

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think this person was talking about the projected map during the Special (Siege of Serpents) not the colors for the tables.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I wasn't disagreeing, just adding my 2 cents that I feel like the staff could use your professional guidance. :)

(While at the same time not bashing the staff, I know they are doing their best!)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I don't know much about audio but if I had to guess the microphones used during the Specials for announcements were unidirectional and the HQ staff could use some coaching and practice in using those. People kept telling them to speak louder, speak softer, etc. when it's really more about pointing it at their mouths properly.

That said I appreciate everyone's efforts and had a great time.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

My advice (as was stated by another poster) would be to lead by positive example. Take those players you perceive as being marginalized under your wing. Go out of your way to include them in table talk, RP, tactical decisions, etc. as you would hopefully with ANY newcomer regardless of race, gender, whatever. Model the behavior you would like to see from the other players and you might be surprised by their reactions.

Until there is evidence to the contrary you must assume that these behaviors are unconscious or at worst a form of self-filtering. If it's self-filtering then A) that shows they are trying, albeit however poorly, not to offend and B) the best thing you can do is get them to focus on what they have in common with these new players -- most likely, the game -- rather than calling attention to the differences.

I think positive action is much preferable to quietly angsting and potentially projecting your own biases or ascribing intent when you cannot know the minds of the other players. Lead by example and you will both be showing support for the newcomers and perhaps proving the needed social cues the other guys need to "break the ice."

If you do that and the other players are still frosty or do something outright jerky, then you have an issue that should be addressed directly. But I really feel like jumping to conclusions prior to that is just going to make everyone defensive and lead to ugliness.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Brookamus wrote:


I'm torn on where to put the 6. If Int, I don't get any skills until 3rd level (and for role playing, I basically have to take knowlegde religion at least once).

FWIW, you always get at least one skill point per level regardless of your INT modifier.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

dot

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Crowface wrote:

James, what is rationale for the price hike on several of the key product lines? (I just got the e-mail, sorry if this has been explained here or in another thread.)

While I am able to pay for the bump to my AP subscription, I am concerned that this is some sort of bad sign for Paizo. I need reassurance, I am a neurotic fanboy! :)

We'll be putting up a blog post about the price increases soon, but in a nutshell... inflation.

As the cost of creating products goes up... the cost of buying them has to go up. Has little to do with Paizo, and all to do with the fact that things today cost more than they did 10 years, or even 1 year ago.

Thanks, James. I figured it was something like that. I'll check out the blog when it is posted.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

James, what is rationale for the price hike on several of the key product lines? (I just got the e-mail, sorry if this has been explained here or in another thread.)

While I am able to pay for the bump to my AP subscription, I am concerned that this is some sort of bad sign for Paizo. I need reassurance, I am a neurotic fanboy! :)

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I often shop for 3PP pdfs here on Paizo to round out my campaign, and the first thing I look for on any product is Endzeitgeist's review. I always feel like I know what I'm getting based on your thorough reviews, and that is invaluable in helping me spend wisely. $1/month isn't much, but I had to contribute something.

Thanks so much for your good work and keep it up!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

*dotting for reference*

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

The Demonheart Purge
The Redemption Descent
Against Oblivion
March of the Inheritors
The Bonds of Faith

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
warfteiner wrote:

While I was unfortunately unable to play in the Special this year, the mustering and timed elements were concerns that I heard pretty plainly vocalized throughout the duration of the show. For those conversations to make it down to the floor, well, it's pretty disheartening.

FWIW, we had a group of 7 players who played 8 sessions over 4 days and we had almost NO problems with mustering for our events other than the special. We had one game on Thursday night where there was a delay while they dug up a GM for us, but other than that we were seated on time every single time. If it makes any difference, we had prepiad event tickets so we weren't trying to get in on generics. We also arrived for mustering before the start time for the event in each case.

Other than the bumpy start and ending for Part 2, we had a great experience with PFS at Gen Con this year overall.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Michael Brock wrote:

As clarification, the box text doesn't kill people. If you do not make it out of the dungeon within the time allowed, the defenses of the temple shut down the gate and you can't leave that way. If your party has teleport, or some other means of getting out after the defenses are fully set into place, then you can escape. But after the exit portal is shut down, the portals that opened allowing daemons to come through is an endless stream due to the portals connection to the daemons home plane.

We could have let people sit the and roll dice for the next three hours until all of their resources were expended and they died to the continuing onslaught of daemons. But, if you don't get out of the dungeon in a few hours as was advised by Sheila Hiedmarch, and if you don't have your own means of getting out from inside a dungeon located inside the middle of a mountain or shutting down the gate, you are essentially trapped in the dungeon with an open gate of daemons pouring through. So, the conclusion paragraph advises that you are essentially dead due to the continuous stream of daemons coming through the portal instead of making players through dice in futility.

This is actually the first I recall anything being said about waves of daemons at the end of Part 2. It was inferred we died because we were trapped. This is good news though, dying fighting waves of daemons is cooler than dying of starvation, thirst, and boredom, which is how we thought we went out. :)

So it would appear that even our GM was not fully aware of the parameters of the scenario. The impression I got was he thought we had accomplished what we needed to accomplish by killing the "boss" encounter. *shrug*

I have no beef with the module as written, or really with dying. We paid the cost and moved on, it happens. I'm simply stating my experience with the event. It was a chaotic mess for us. I'm not trying to say we would have "won" if things had gone perfectly from a logistical perspective, I don't expect an event that size to run perfectly. I'm just saying I did expect it to go a little better than it did. I trust Paizo and know they are trying to do their best. But I do want to get it out there that the end result was A) a good time gaming, but B) a really frustrating experience with the event's coordination and execution.

It just felt at the time a little cruel and unusual to think we had completed our mission just in the nick of time only to find out we had only actually completed 2/3 of it.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I have to say that my group's experience with Part 2 of the special echoed Thefurmonger's. We started 45 minutes late (tier 5-6) even though we were seated early. We had several guys come by and ask us what tier we were and then walk away. One guy came up and asked then muttered as he walked away "That's not good. Not good at all." A little disconcerting to say the least.

Our GM (who I liked a great deal) did his best but was not prepped to run our tier. I think he said he was supposed to run subtier 1-2. He was basically reading and running it on the fly, and we had to pause for long periods of time while he read and figured things out, or applied templates, or looked up rules. There were also apparently big issues with the maps the GM was provided for the scenario... I guess there were late changes and it was clear some of the maps did not match each other very well.

We still had a really good time despite all that stuff though. We've been stuck with GMs pulled in "off the street" at the last minute before so we as a group are willing to be patient and just have fun even if it isn't snapping along with clockwork precision. That was not our issue.

Our issue was with the fact that it was not explained to us that A) Time limit = TPK, or B) we would be expected to fight our way back OUt of the dungeon. As Chris posted earlier, it is not really emphasized in the descriptive box text read aloud. And FWIW I was seated next to our Gm during the event and afterwards I saw the document he was working from looked like a poorly formatted manuscript in Word, not a polished piece at all. I felt bad for him seeing the huge blocks of text he had to parse through under duress. Again, he did the best he could I think.

If we had known all that, we probably would have turned back at the 75 minute mark to get out with our lives and tell Sheila Heidmark to fetch her own artifacts in the future. (Our group is all Shadow Lodge and wasn't particularly happy with her "win at all costs" orders in Part 1...)

We solved all the puzzles, cleared all the monsters, made enough of the knowledge checks, killed the dragon, and got the macguffin. Then time expired and we figured we had "won" because we achieved what we thought was the main objective and it was presumed we would just walk out without incident having killed every enemy in sight.

Unfortunately our GM returned after turning in our score sheet and infomed us that we were all dead. VERY demoralizing, to put it lightly. Our GM was pretty disappointed too, I don't blame him one bit for this (just for the record).

To add to the disappointment, when we got our chronicles we saw that were were awarded NO xp. So we soldiered on under less than ideal conditions, beat the big bad at the end, and all we came away with was a net loss of 11 Prestige Points and 2,760 gold pieces each.

The next day we found out that XP should have been awarded (this was an error on the chronicle that apparently was not clarified for our GM) and someone in charge amended and signed off on our chronicles... at least those of us still there at 4:30 on Sunday.

So, overall we had a good time during the session but then felt like we got screwed at the end through no fault of our own. Many of us felt like we would have been better off going to the scenario we had originally scheduled rather than doing Part 2 of the special.

Our group loves Paizo, has been very pleased overall with our PFS experiences, and plan on continuing with Society play at next year's con. But I have to say this was a demoralizing experience for us overall and we are not really interested in doing any special events moving forward.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hello there.

Do you like writing stories and/or role-playing? (Probably so, if you are on these message boards.)
Do you like online strategy & simulation games?
Do you like professional basketball?

Still there? Well then, I'd like to tell you about something you might be interested in. It's called the Online Basketball World League (www.theobwl.com) and it's a high quality fictional fantasy basketball league. In the OBWL you assume the role of General Manager of a professional basketball team. The simulation is very detailed and complete. We do it all: scout, draft, trade, sign free agents, simulate entire regular seasons and playoffs until we crown a new champion every season.

The rules are based on the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement prior to 2012. Each team has complete finances, a budget, and must navigate the ins and outs of the salary cap to assemble a potential winner.

In addition, general managers write team press releases and cover stories published on our web site publicizing the league, its teams, and its players. YOU can create a persona for yourself (the GM) or your superstar player. Want to write articles about controversial star modeled after a Kobe Bryant or a lovable loud mouth like Charles Barkley? In the OBWL, you can! And unlike your regular fantasy basketball rotisserie league, you will be rewarded for your creativity with participation bonuses that help improve your team on the court as well!

And just to be clear, this is an entirely FICTIONAL league. The teams and players are NOT the ones you find in the NBA. We strive to create as realistic a league as possible without resorting to "copying" from real life. The team would be YOURS and yours alone. The players, their exploits, and their personalities are YOURS to determine. That's the real fun of it... why stand on the glory of the Celtics or Lakers or Michael Jordan when you can create your OWN legends?

The OBWL runs off the venerable yet fun Jumpshot Basketball text-based sim software (http://shotsports.com). This is NOT an online console or PC gaming league. This is a full-fledged strategy game more from the perspective of the General Manager or the head coach. You control the roster. You control the game plans. You make the trades and draft the rookies to try to build a potential dynasty.

We're currently looking for active, imaginative potential GMs who love basketball and love the unique role-play aspect our league encourages. that's why I'm reaching out to the Paizo community. As an avid Pathfinder player and RPGer, I know there are other guys and gals out there like us who would love to combine our love of hoops with our love of games and writing.

So if you are interested, please send me a private message. We currently have one opening for a GM, and would like to add a few people to our waiting list if you are interested. Check us out and join the fun!

(Apologies if I have posted in the "wrong" forum, but none of the other ones seemed quite appropriate for recruiting players for a text-based sports sim league...)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

This is why I love Paizo and RPG Superstar. Just wonderful, on so many levels.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Helm of Contemplative Reprisal
Aura moderate abjuration and divination; CL 11th
Slot head; Price 30,160 gp; Weight 3 lbs.

Description

This open-faced, polished steel helm often appears elegantly adorned with a few owl or peacock feathers, but otherwise it is of sturdy, utilitarian design. Donning the helm immediately causes the wearer to feel more focused, alert, and poised. The helm grants its wearer a +2 competence bonus to Perception skill checks and saving throws versus fear and sleep effects. In addition, this measured calm grants the wearer the ability to retaliate in combat with preternatural skill and precision when the opportunity arises.

Once per day a wearer who is using the total defense action may, as an immediate action, attempt one of the following combat maneuvers against an adjacent opponent: dirty trick, disarm, grapple, reposition, steal, sunder, or trip. This combat maneuver check receives a +20 insight bonus to the attack roll and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Quicken Spell, remove fear, true strike; Cost 15,080 gp

Mostly curious to see if my item had enough going for it that the judges didn't Reject it instantly when they saw I forgot to include the freaking item name in the body of my submission post. (On a related note, if anyone knows a 9th level cleric who can cast atonement, could you put me in touch with them please??)

I feel like it was probably a little too mundane for much discussion, but any feedback from the judges (apart from how weaksauce my attention to detail was on this occassion) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Congratulations to all who entered, from those who are aspiring to be full time professional designers to those who just thought it would be fun to share a cool new item with the community!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

They won't reveal the actual number, but I believe one of the judges has stated it is a record number (again!) this year.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Jeremiziah wrote:
In before cake/death discussion.

Somwhere in the dark, from beneath his hat Cartigan sneers.

Heh. Most seriously though, I'm glad they were able to fix this.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Thank you Correlon, for the in-depth feedback. I really appreciate you taking the time to "look under the hood" of the archetype and give it some thought. I'll try to address some of your points here...

Wall of Text:
Correlon wrote:


Flavor: I find the idea and flavor behind this archetype very evocative, full of awesome imagery. I can definitely picture this. The name is cool.

Glad you liked it. I was afraid it was perhaps too abstract... it was a bit of a challenge articulating the "idea" behind the mechanics.

Quote:
Mechanics: Okay let me see if I understand this correctly. This guy can make a 30-foot-radius field of swarm damage as a standard action. The way you've worded it makes it sound like he has to spend a standard action every round to re-activate it, but I'm not sure that is what you meant.

Yes, that's correct, it is a standard action to maintain it every turn. I need to make it clearer than it is presently worded.

Quote:
I also believe the effect takes place at the end of the harbingers turn, unless you meant after his movement, which would be unorthodox.

Yeah, that part bugged me quite a bit too. The wording is taken directly from the Bestiary description of swarm attacks. I was leaning towards simply changing it to "at the end of the harbinger's turn" for the final draft.

Quote:

At low levels, this ability is a quick spark with some crowd control, and then the cleric is left with spells and weapons. Later, this crowd control could become a big deal. Let's look at a 6th level harbinger with Wis 17 facing CR 6 monsters:

For up to 6 rounds, which is often most of an encounter, every enemy suffers 2d6 untyped damage out of a typical 70, which can amount to about 42 damage on average. Meh. The nausea DC is 10 + 3 HD + 3 Wis = 16. The average monster with a good fortitude save will have about a 75% chance of making this, while poor saves are around 50%. Along with the ability to extend nausea, a particular opponent can be locked down for two more rounds once he fails a save, which is probably guaranteed death.

I'm glad you did some math to illustrate how it might work. What you have here outlines my thinking (and assumptions) very closely... mainly that the ability is more about debuffing & battlkefield control than it is about damage-dealing. I'm on the fence about the power level of the nauseating effect though, leaning towards thinking it's ok, as I'll explain below.

Quote:
The main drawbacks I see are the zillion saves it forces the GM to make, the fact that an encounter can effectively be cut in slightly less than half by nauseated opponents, and the huge lockdown potential on otherwise scary spellcaster villains.

The saving throw issue is definitely a potential headache, but not any more so than any other "save every round" spell effect such as cloudkill or stinking cloud so I'm not sure it's a deal-breaker. FWIW, my original draft had this ability working as a gaze attack... which was cool in theory but was scrapped because of the sheer number of die rolls associated with it. Gaze attacks involve a save on the defender's turn vs. passive gaze attacks, a potential save on the attacker's turn for an "active" gaze attack, and then possibly an additional percentile dice roll for each of those saves due to the defender averting his eyes. It was just impractical all around.

As far as the lockdown potential, I kept comparing it to stinking cloud and it seemed limited in comparison. The aura is limited in duration, limited to 30 foot range, and the nauseated condition does allow movement so a spellcaster could potentially keep his distance and still effectively attack the harbinger. That said, I do agree there is big time lockdown potential in a confined space, but that is sort of a hazard for most spellcasters anyway.

Quote:

With the assumption that the numbers above hold reasonably into the late levels, the potential for lockdown increases dramatically, but this doesn't have to be the case. This is either quite weak due to a short duration and low damage or fundamentally broken due to secondary effects.

All in all, I'm on the fence with this. I'd love to see this playtested.

I agree, it's hard to say for certain without some playtesting. Our gaming group actually ran a playtest session for this and another archetype (levels 7, 12, and 17) and the harbinger abilities did not stand out particularly, which I thought was a good sign. At one point in the 12th level build the player was able to nauseate an ice devil for two rounds which let the fighter mop him up, but it was late in the combat and the devil had taken some punishment already, fwiw.

I definitely think I would revise this archetype and drop the "Victory" portent as Thomas suggested earlier. I thin kthat would work to assure balance at higher levels because as written the distraction/nauseating effect only applies if you damage a creature... by forcing the harbinger to roll well enough on his damage dice to bypass damage reduction, it would make the lockdown potential more hit or miss which is probably a good thing. Creatures with good DR relative to their CR would probably be hard to affect, and that's ok. It is just a class feature and not a more powerful resource like a spell slot... making PCs make "hard choices" about whether to risk trying to overcome DR seems to be in line with Paizo's design philosophy. If it's a hard choice, it's probably well-balanced.

Anyway, many thanks for the excellent feedback on mechanics, flavor, writing, everything. Looking forward to competing with you next year, too! :)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I found that designing a cleric archetype was challenging because I think people often weigh the value of healing abilities very differently. It's hard to "balance" a replacement ability for healing when there isn't a clear consensus on it's "worth." Just in the small group of gamers I ran this by there were some who thought it might be overpowered (including myself) and others who thought it was too weak to sacrifice channel energy and spntaneous casting. Anyway, because of that fact I'm throwing it out there now for opinions.

HARBINGER (CLERIC)

Harbingers portend the approach of divine forces, like a wave crashing onto the shores of awareness. Acting as living conduits, harbingers manifest the power of their deity in such a way that the mundane world around them is distorted into a tangible reflection of their powerful beliefs. This revelatory display bolsters her allies and chastens her enemies. The burning pure radiance of love, the heart-breaking awe of flawless beauty, the soul-chilling terror of oblivion -- any of these may be found in the presence of a harbinger.

Divine Conduit (Su): At 1st level, each round on her turn a harbinger can generate a supernatural aura as a standard action. This aura is an emanation with a range of 30 feet, centered on the harbinger. This aura may only be active for a total number of rounds per day equal to the harbinger’s level. These rounds need not be consecutive. A harbinger must be able to present her holy symbol to use this ability.

The physical manifestation of this aura varies greatly depending on deity; a harbinger of a goddess of beauty might produce an aura of ghostly rose petals, while the smell of spilled blood might fill the air around the harbinger of a war god. These displays are ephemeral however and have no actual effect on the harbinger, her allies, or the environment in any way.

Enemies within the aura at the end of a harbinger’s move are subject to a swarm attack (Bestiary pg. 313). For purposes of determining swarm attack damage dice and the save DC for distraction, use the harbinger’s level in place of hit dice and her Wisdom modifier in place of Constitution where appropriate.

This ability replaces Channel Energy.

Portents (Su): At 1st level, a harbinger can use her aura to alter the nature of reality within it in limited ways known as portents. A harbinger has a pool of points equal to ½ her level plus her Wisdom modifier. This reserve replenishes each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation. Manifesting a portent is a swift action. Portents can only affect creatures within the range of the harbinger’s active Divine Conduit. A harbinger may select from the following portents (point cost in parentheses):

Defiance: All enemies (including flying creatures) treat the aura as difficult terrain for one round (2 points).

Enmity: Extend the duration of a single enemy’s nauseated condition by one round (3 points).

Health: All allies gain fast healing 5 for one round (1 point).

Victory: Swarm attack is treated as magic and matches your alignment on the good/evil axis for purposes of damage reduction for one round. (2 points)

This ability replaces Spontaneous Casting.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dire Mongoose wrote:


To use SKR's terminology, I think you'd tend to get better archetypes out of the kind of person who would write a magic item you'd put in a book of magic items but not Superstar.

I think I can hear Neil now: "A Superstar designer should be able to do both."

Not disagreeing with the point about different types of design skills, just saying they will be looking for people who can handle both tasks reasonably well.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kenneth.T.Cole wrote:
vash wrote:
does anybody happen to have a checklist of the items in this thread and which ones have been reviewed?

The Lantern of The Illumined Walk | Sean K. Reynolds | Neil Spicer | Clark Peterson |

Spell Syphon | Sean K. Reynolds | Neil Spicer | Clark Peterson |
Egg of the Flame Toxoztesoma | Sean K. Reynolds | Neil Spicer | Clark Peterson |
Ship in a bottle | Sean K. Reynolds | Neil Spicer | Clark Peterson |
Searing Vestment of the Dawnflower | Sean K. Reynolds | Neil Spicer | Clark Peterson |
Shroud of the Immolator | Sean K. Reynolds | Neil Spicer |
Bracers of transfiguration | Sean K. Reynolds | Neil Spicer | Clark Peterson |
Glass Heart | Sean K. Reynolds | Neil Spicer | Clark Peterson |
Penumbral Ligatures | Sean K. Reynolds | Neil Spicer |

I think I broke Clark Peterson. D: Clearly, he got to my item couldn't bear to go on...

[/joke]

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Thank you for the feedback, Az. It was indeed originally going to be a puppeteer item but as I kicked that around it just seemed like a can of worms that couldn't be adequately addressed in 300 words... Or else it just started to look like dominate person in a can. Plus, I was worried a more literal puppeteer item would violate the whole "item is a toy" advice. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Seth White wrote:


Stygian Seal of Blasphemy
Aura moderate evocation and necromancy [evil]; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 6,250 gp; Weight 1/2 lb.

Description
When this candle is lit, the wick writhes like a serpent in the hissing emerald fire, shining with the properties of continual flame for 4 hours. The unholy flame is a burning shrine to Asmodeus, creating a 40’ radius zone of corruption. Within this zone, devils gain a +2 profane bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws. Devils summoned into the zone gain +2 hit points per HD. If the light is covered, dispelled, or consecrated, the zone of corruption is suppressed.

The flame shines with blasphemous light. Profane wax inscribed with the seal of Asmodeus instantly forms around all holy symbols brought into the zone of corruption, even if the symbols are concealed. This wax seal suppresses all divine spells and abilities that require a holy symbol, unless the symbol’s owner worships Asmodeus. The blasphemous seal persists if the symbol is taken out of the zone of corruption, or the zone is suppressed.

As a standard action, a character may grasp the corrupted symbol with a bare hand and remove the blasphemous seal. Grasping the seal draws the corruption into the flesh, and diabolical venom courses through the target’s body with the effects of the poison spell (Fortitude DC 17 negates). If the holy symbol is within the zone of corruption, the seal instantly reforms.

When the flame dies, the candle loses all magical properties, the corrupt zone vanishes, and the blasphemous seals melt away from all holy symbols as harmless black oil.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, continual flame, desecrate, poison, creator must worship Asmodeus; Cost 3,125 gp

This thing is old school Gygaxian MEAN. :) I love the flavor but agree with some of the points already mentioned. I could see the judges reading this and just thinking it screws people over... and over and over. The wax seal is a really cool visual and interesting concept, but the fact it reforms if you're in the corrupted zone is just a nasty surprise and might have been too over-the-top. Also, this item requires a lot of knowledge about it to counteract it... a cleric may not even realize his holy symbol has the seal on it, and waste many rounds trying to figure out what in the Nine Hells is going on. And the "simple" solution of extinquishing the candle might never occur to a PC who has never heard of the item (and has no way to cast a spell to divine the source because he's cut off!)

I think there are three major issues here: the balance factor (which has been addressed), the idea that it is possibly a plot device/not an item (you described it as operating like a trap) and the fact it takes away class abilties. I think it's against Paizo's design philosophy to have an item that singles out divine casters liek this, but I could be wrong.

Also, I think this is vastly underpriced for what in effect can be seen as an anti-magic field that targets and follows divine casters. I might not be accounting for it being a single (4 hour) use item... or at least I'm assuming it can't be reused.

And obviously, this is sort of a niche/villain item and although that's not against the rules it further limits the item's appeal... Ryan Dancey made an excellent point in another thread about how he looked at designers to see if they had the potential to design items with broad "commericial" appeal. That's a viewpoint to consider here too.

That all said, this item scores mega points with me on the creativity scale. I love the image of a wax Asmodean seal that corrupts/taints holy symbols. Just needed to reign in the abilities and focus them more narrowly I think. This item is almost a "Boss Fight In A Can" it has so many cool things going on. :) Seperately they are all awesome, together in one 6,000 gp? Too much. (Says the guy with the broken touch spell spam device, I know...)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Joe Wells wrote:

Here's mine. I'll take a swing at some of the new ones that get posted here, unless I backtrack and see some that haven't been covered already.

Nexus of Blessed Mists
Aura faint conjuration and transmutation; CL 5th
Slot --; Price 22,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description

This mace-like aspergillum is about 8 inches long and is often crafted of brass and silver. Its mundane usage is to sprinkle holy water upon the faithful or wicked through its hollow, perforated head.

When filled with a vial of holy water, a nexus of blessed mists can be used as a holy symbol to channel positive energy that harms undead. This channeling creates a cloud of fog as an obscuring mist spell. However, these blessed mists are composed entirely of holy water and positive energy.

Undead caught within this cloud take damage per the wielder’s normal channeling effect (Will half, same DC as normal channeling). Other creatures susceptible to damage from holy water, such as evil outsiders, take half this damage and may halve it further with a successful Will save. Creatures that fail their Will save become shaken for as long as they remain in the mists.

Creatures damaged by holy water take 1d6 points of damage per round after the first. Each such creature that enters the area after the initial effect must also make a Will save at the wielder's channeling DC or become shaken. The mists last for 5 rounds.

Filling a nexus is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. It may be filled before needed and stored upright to prevent spillage. If the carrier becomes prone or held upside down for more than 1 round enough holy water will leak out to require refilling before use.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, bless water, obscuring mist, creator must be able to channel positive energy; Cost 11,000 gp

Hmm, it's hard to say why they did not accept this one. It does not obviously violate any major rules. I'll throw out a few theories but I'm not sure I buy into any of them really:

* I think the judges don't like items that run off of class abilities (like this one does with channeling) because that makes pricing them difficult/impossible/unfair. It's possible the judges said something to the effect of "This item costs 22,000 gp for the 17th level cleric who gets 9d6 on each channel, and 22,000 gp for the 8th level ccleric who only gets 4d6 per channel." At least I have seen this reasoning used against other items that "scaled" based on class abilities, skills, or ability modifiers.

* Along those lines, if you then throw out the channeling aspect since it is dependant on the character using it, that leaves you with an item that produces a 5 round quasi-acid fog effect versus undead coupled with the shaken effect (normally a mind-affecting effect as you mentioned elsewhere), and allows channels to affect evil outsiders... Even though the whole suite is very tight conceptually and thematically, they may think it's all a little too Swiss Army Knife.

It might also be Swiss Army Knife in that a cleric can easily do all those effects (obscuring mist, holy water, turn undead, damage evil outsiders) using spells and/or feats. The 22,000 gp price tag could be argued as way too cheap for that sort of multitasking... or alternatley, one could balk at paying 22k for something they can already do for free to a lesser extent. Cast acid fog (not a cleric spell typically, I know) and then channel/turn undead or outsiders (Alignment Channel).

Again, I'm not sure. And that is because it is very tightly designed and well written. It's a cool concept and the mechanics are sound, I'm thinking they had issues perhaps with the niche it fills (or how many niches it fills maybe) and/or pricing. I also wonder if perhaps this item got nosed out by the mirrored lantern of the pious seeker as something channel -related that they just liked a little more.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
RonarsCorruption wrote:

Insightful Eye
Aura moderate divination; CL 7th
Slot head; Price 35,000gp; weight 1lb

The eye emblazoned on this bandanna scans its surroundings at all times, watching for anything that might be a threat to its wearer. The eye is, in all ways, an additional eye for the wearer. It is able to see with whatever vision the wearer normally has, even to the point where it blinks when the wearer does.

Having a third eye is beneficial in many ways to the wearer, especially as the headband does not need to be tied with it facing forward – it can be tied forward or backwards and changing the direction of the eye is a move action that provokes an attack of opportunity. If the headband is tied in reverse, the wearer gains all-around vision, making it impossible for them to be flanked and granting a +4 bonus to passive perception checks.

While the Insightful Eye is tied facing forwards, the eye remains ever-watchful. Normally this grants the wearer a +4 bonus to all active perception checks, but if the wearer allows the eye to study a particular target, they also gain another benefit. By spending a standard action focusing on a target, which does not provoke an attack of opportunity, the eye sees the weaknesses in the target’s armor, allowing wearer to ignore up to five points of AC granted by armor for all attacks against the target next round. If the bonus is not spent that round, the effect is still expended and the wearer must re-focus.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Arcane Eye, True Strike; Cost 17,500gp

* Name could be better. Not bad, just not particularly exciting.

* I like the descriptive text. I could see the judges possibly thinking it a bit long, but I like the flavor and it engages me much more than the name does. The first concern that pops into my mind is "How is this different than a robe of eyes?" So I read on.

* I wonder if the distinction between active and passive Perception checks is unnecessarily complicated. My danger sense also goes off about the switching the bandanna from fron to back because it immediately creates a connotation of facing that does not exist in Pathfinder. I realize rationally that the "facing" of the item is really just an activation method for two different abilities, and has nothing to do with tactical facing as such, but the thought pops in there and it distracts from the design I think. That distraction leads me to think it might be better to discard the flavor of wearing the item differently and just give it a flat bonus to Perception.

* The "ignore 5 points of AC bonus" mechanic is unorthodox, but I understand what you were going for. I think the mechanics could use a little more explanation possibly. Does it work at range? (I think so.) Does partial concealment have any impact? (Perhaps it should?) I know it's "just" a +5 bonus compared to true strike but it affects ALL attacks next round, which might be considered more valuable than true strike. True strike only aids that first attack, which for melee front liner types usually has a good chance of landing anyway. This gives a bonus to those weaker second/third/fourth iterative and thus has some additional value there. Still, it costs a standard action to use so... I dunno, is that a good limiter. That brings me to the final thought:

* Pricing. Man, this looks like a hard item to price. SKR went a lot of detail about pricing a true strike style item and his point was that people who custom create those items often severely underprice them for a few reasons: True strike is a "personal" range spell and thus is balanced as a spell by the fact that a) there is a one round delay, and b) it is usually a wizard or less than full BAB charcter using the magic. Allowing a melee type access to the ability (as this item sort of does) increases the effective spell level of the ability, and should affect price accordingly.

You basically have a quasi-true strike ability here that is use-activated (with a one round delay), and tinkers with the mechanic so the to hit bonus is distributed across several attacks... which could be argued is a better deal to some people than the base spell. You have added the limiter that it only works on armor bonuses, so that helps. The point is it seems difficult to accurately price.

So, in general: I like the flavor but question whether it comes off as a robe of eyes spin-off with a combat buff added in. I think the similarity to the robe, the fact its a combat buff/true strike item (which the judges probably see a lot of), the "facing" aspect, and the possible pricing issue probably added up in the judges' eyes.

That all said, I think there is the seed of a really cool idea here. The thing I like the most about it is actually the fact you can move it around and see things from different angles... One of the first things that popped into my head was taking one of these scarves and surreptiously placing it in a room to remotely see what was happening. I know remote viewing items have been done, but the flavor of a bandanna draped over the back of a chair, with a living blinking eye on it trying to steal a look around, was really really cool. I guess I would like to see you explore it as more of a utility item that gave sense powers and perhaps a small skill bonus as opposed to combat abilities.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
RonarsCorruption wrote:
I like the visuals of the item. They're really good. I don't like how strong this item is. The biggest problem is the five tendrils part. You touch someone once, they have to spend five rounds escaping. All the while you can hit them with touch spells from a safe distance and shoot them with arrows etc.

Thanks for the feedback RC. The (faulty) assumption was that someone entangled would use iterative attacks to cut themselves out in one or two rounds... the tendrils were to be severed with ANY amount of slashing damage so the idea it was more of a nuisance than a real impediment (something to keep them busy while you dropped a spell or two on them). It was poor design to assume that everyone would be high enough in level and/or base attack bonus (or have allies around to help out) to escape quickly. And it simply never occured to me what a nightmare this would be for someone who was staggered or nauseated for multiple rounds... sigh. It seems so obvious now. Oh well, it was my first entry ever I hope I can just chalk it up to rookie mistakes.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Gio wrote:

Thanks a lot, sir.

I didn't actually had a special intention with the multi-ranking of this item, i just have a liking to these kind of items, and i thought it would be kind of cool.

Saving words was not my intention either, i think i had quite a lot of words left anyways, whatever spacing, or comma mistake my item has were actually mistakes, as i am not as skilled an English writer as i wish i was.

Yup, is almost a if you are reading my mind at some parts of your critique, i did actually think i was bending the rules in a good way, working on something that wasn't touched during the previous contests (I did not see any CMB item in any of the previous year when i did my research), and bending the rules in a way (which i obviously did no manage as i should), were the two things that made me make this item.

Thanks a lot for your advice, i will try to improve myself in the mentioned areas, i hope you are judge next year too, or even if you are not you are around here to critique my item, and tell me if i am getting better or not.

Finally, i would not like adding to your work, but i would really appreciate it, if you could tell me a way to improve my writing, as i am afraid that is the area i need to improve first.

Thanks a lot for your hard work ^^.

I'd just like to say "kudos" to Gio for displaying the good grace to be receptive to this critique and take criticism constructively. It's not always easy and not only did he do that, he also shows a sincere desire to build on that feedback. I'm not overtstaing it when I say this sort of response actually inspires me.

That said, Gio, a quick web search turned up THIS WEBSITE that might be a jumping off point for you to find resources to improve your writing.

As a former writing tutor I would also recommend that if you attend a university or live near one, try to find out if there is a Writing Center available for you to use. One of the best ways to improve your writing is to get direct feedback from an audience. "Writers need readers" was the motto of the one I worked at. If you can't get into a writing center, see if any writer's workshops or other groups of that nature are available in your community. You can improve your grammar and editing -- your technical skills -- using books and tutorials, but the best way to learn to improve the quality of your writing is to get good honest feedback from actual readers of your work, just as Neil has provided here.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Joe Wells wrote:
Crowface wrote:
Penumbral Ligatures
Again, I don't think I have anything to add that Sean and Neil haven't already covered. The remote control spell casting bit is too much and I don't think you could tone it down enough and still keep the core idea of the item. I could well be proven wrong, though.

Thanks Joe. I figured everything that could be said about it probably has been said, but wanted to throw it out there in case anyone had some ideas... it's not often you find this many people in a mood to provide feedback. :) Your time and response is greatly appreicated.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Not sure if would help with your work situation Thomas but Drop Box is a nice service that works across multiple computers, mobile phones, and the internet. The basic service is 2 GB of storage and is free.

"Superstar" advice: Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Already got the judges' imput so I know what the major issues are but since everyone is in the mood to review I figure it couldn't hurt to get more opinions. Although I'm sure there's only so many ways you can say "broken"... :)

Thanks in advance and I will try to post some responses to others' items asap.

Penumbral Ligatures
Aura strong illusion; CL 13th
Slot —; Price 98,000 gp; Weight 3 lbs.

Description
This hand-held apparatus is a cold iron crossbar ringed by a circle of carved ivory. From one side extend five ghostly cords that hang taut before fading into nothingness. As a standard action, the wielder can make a ranged touch attack against a single humanoid target within 100 feet. On a successful attack, the target gains the entangled condition as shadowy ligatures lash out and coil themselves around the creature’s neck, wrists, and ankles. The wielder can then force the target to act as his spell-casting surrogate.

Entangled creatures cannot move more than 100 feet from the wielder; removing or severing all five ligatures ends this restriction and the entangled condition. An entangled creature may burst or escape from a single ligature by making a DC 20 Strength or Escape Artist check. Any amount of slashing damage severs a ligature; each ligature is AC 20. The ligatures are made of shadow-stuff and if severed simply reform when the apparatus is used again to ensnare. The wielder can release an ensnared creature as a standard action.

The ligatures can ensnare a willing target. All the conditions above apply fully however, and opponents may attempt to target and sever the ligatures normally.

If the wielder chooses, any spell he casts with a range of touch or greater can be channeled through the ligatures. Melee touch spells cast in this manner always target the “surrogate” and do not require an attack roll. Spells of greater range (including ranged touch attacks) originate from the surrogate as if he were the caster, affecting targets normally. A maximum of 20 total spell levels may be channeled each day.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, project image, shadow conjuration; Cost 49,000 gp

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I was going to post this in the critique thread but decided maybe it would be best to start a seperate thread in case others wanted to post similiar reflections or to discuss other people's observations. This started out as a thank you to Neil for his feedback then snowballed into a self-reflection. I'd be curious to see what other "lessons" some of the participants learned from their experience in designing, submitting, and recieiving feedback for the open call.

Neil's Feedback:
Crowface wrote:
Penumbral Ligatures

Kind of an ominous sounding name. Some big words in there. Not sure it was the most thought-provoking, intriguing name that would resonate with everyone. But it wasn't run-of-the-mill either.

Crowface wrote:
Aura strong illusion; CL 13th
Slot —; Price 98,000 gp; Weight 3 lbs.

Aura and CL seem about right for project image and shadow conjuration. Slot and weight make sense for an iron crossbar, I suppose. Price feels a little low for the uber-range abilities and surrogate spellcasting this enables.

Crowface wrote:
Description
This hand-held apparatus is a cold iron crossbar ringed by a circle of carved ivory. From one side extend five ghostly cords that hang taut before fading into nothingness. As a standard action, the wielder can make a ranged touch attack against a single humanoid target within 100 feet. On a successful attack, the target gains the entangled condition as shadowy ligatures lash out and coil themselves around the creature’s neck, wrists, and ankles. The wielder can then force the target to act as his spell-casting surrogate.

That's a very powerful effect. It pretty much lets a wizard or sorcerer (or any spellcaster really) stand back and 100 feet in a position of relative safety and let someone else take the brunt of every bit of front line fighting, while hurling spells through them. It's pretty much stacking a high-level caster on top of a front-line fighter's body.

Crowface wrote:
Entangled creatures cannot move more than 100 feet from the wielder; removing or severing all five ligatures ends this restriction and the entangled condition. An entangled creature may burst or escape from a single ligature by making a DC 20 Strength or Escape Artist check. Any amount of slashing damage severs a ligature; each ligature is AC 20. The ligatures are made of shadow-stuff and if severed simply reform when the apparatus is used again to ensnare. The wielder can release an ensnared creature as a standard action.

So, a single ranged touch attack establishes five separate entangle-imposing conditions on someone? Very powerful. Too powerful, considering that the entangling ligatures keep letting you channel automatic touch attack spells straight into someone.

Crowface wrote:
The ligatures can ensnare a willing target. All the conditions above apply fully however, and opponents may attempt to target and sever the ligatures normally.

If the wielder chooses, any spell he casts with a range of touch or greater can be channeled through the ligatures. Melee touch spells cast in this manner always target the “surrogate” and do not require an attack roll. Spells of greater range (including ranged touch attacks) originate from the surrogate as if he were the caster, affecting targets normally. A maximum of 20 total spell levels may be channeled each day.

And then we go into the uber-range sock-puppet proxy spellcaster ability, which fires the power level of this item up even that much more. Granted, the 20 total spell levels per day is a restriction...of sorts. But it refreshes every day. So, you could make it though several encounters before that restriction would ever truly mean anything.

Crowface wrote:
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, project image, shadow conjuration; Cost 49,000 gp

You chose the right spells for the construction requirements, except, I might have suggested black tentacles be in there, too. Still, it's underpriced. It's game-breaking. And it's over-the-top.

Summary:
Ominous name (neither good, nor bad)
Interesting idea (an entangling, spell-channeling rod could be interesting)
Mechanically broken (just way too open to abuse for both abilities)
Good flavor/writing
Excellent presentation (near-perfect execution of the template)

Thank You and Reflection:
Thank you so much for the in-depth feedback Neil, it is greatly appreciated. I was expecting a summary of judge's comments and not such individualized attention so that was an awesome surprise. I feel like I got a surprise visit from one of those celebrity fitness trainers and you ran my out of shape butt ragged! :) That's a good thing, of course, it shows me how far I need to go.

Wanted to post some reflections on the process here. I want to be clear that I agree with Neil 100%. This is not a rebuttal or an argument... I hate it when people try to explain or defend their designs too much because to me if an item is Superstar then it doesn;t need explanation or clarification. My item is definitely not Superstar and I see that. What I want to do is share the faulty assumptions I made during the design process, so that I (and maybe anyone else who reads this) can learn from the mistakes. Also, I'd like to really just say I didn't *intend* to create a munchkiny, game-breaking item. Honest. :)

I think the first poor assumption I made was underestimating the entangle effect. It was intended to be more of a nuisance that harrassed the target while it took a round or two to free itself. I think I got tunnel vision and assumed this item (because of its caster level and pricing) would mostly see high level play, and made another bad assumption that most targets would have iterative attacks or allies that could free them in a short time frame. I went with the 5 seperate entangles because I wanted it to take time for a creature with 3+ attacks to break loose from. I didn't go for a typical arrangment of AC and hit points to break out of the entangle because I was trying to avoid a sitaution where a giant or some other size Large or bigger creature could just shrug their way out of it on Strength bonus alone before a caster could even channel a spell through it. I failed to think out what would happen to a tough critter with only one attack such as a T-Rex might have to suffer through... let alone what would happen to some poor chump under the effect of a slow spell. Yikes. Open to abuse indeed.

Lesson Learned: Just because your item "slots" into a certain level of play, don't make assumptions about the conditions under which it will be used or the creatures it will be used against. If I had simply stopped to think out what it might do to someone less powerful than anticipated, I should have easily made that next jump to the potential abuses ahead.

Second, I think I made a big mistake in comparing the item too closely to project image which is the spell that more or less inspirted it. Project image is a seventh level spell that basically creates a hologram that lets you blast people with spells. I actually thought since this item's effect was tied to a physical target rather than a hologram that it was more limited than the spell. But as Neil pointed out that is just stacking a spell caster on top of a front line fighter... again, I think part of that horrible decision stemmed from underestimating the difficulty in severing the connection/ending the entangle. I figured "Sure, the party wizard can hook up to the barbarian and then send him into room raging and shooting scorching rays out of his eyes. But then the baddies will slice through those 'any amount of slashing damage' ligatures and that's that. Didn't think what happens if there is a single bad guy with only one or two attacks and he has to spend 4 or 5 rounds just trying to pull the plug on Exploding Barbarian. Ugh. Broken.

Lesson Learned: Sometimes you can be adding an element that you think is a limiter or a twist on an existing game mechanic and it backfires. Just because it works as a spell doesn't it will be balanced as an item. Those are different types of resources and care must be taken in translating from one "medium" to another.

Also, project image might be a little more overpowered or open to abuse than some of the other spells in the Core Rulebook. Maybe.

Anyway, my point of all that rambling was that I set out to create a cool item that had value mostly as a harrassing/suprise tactic against an enemy ("Bob the Fighter is entangled! Holy Crap, why is there a burning hands spell coming out of him?!? Why, Bob, why?") or as a utility item to aid your allies (a cleric channleing cure spells or buffs through it to the party front liner). Instead it got out of control and was game breaking. But I'm learning so it's not a waste.

Sorry for going on so long, really just talking out loud and processing the feedback. And additonal comments or feedback (from the judges or ANYONE else) would be appreciated. Thanks!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Flagging this thread for removal. Seriously, are you guys TRYING to sabotage the contestants?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Swamp Druid wrote:

Yes, thanks for the critique as well as the contest overall.

I knew my item was too complicated to explain in 300 words but I loved it so much I couldn't stop myself from entering it. I must learn self control.

Whoops, already clogged up the critique thread with a thank you post but wanted to give kudos to Sean for the speedy feedback. He's really churning out the comments pretty quickly. I'm sure it is greatly appreciated by all of us who didn't make it.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Crowface wrote:
Penumbral Ligatures

* I was liking this up until the point where it describes touch spells not requiring an attack roll. So, basically, if you succeed on ensnaring someone, you get up to 5 free touch spells you can automatically hit someone with as they try to break free from the ligatures? I think that's a bit much. The item would be a potential game-breaker.

* especially since there's no limit on the number of times you can attempt to entangle someone.

Thanks for the speedy response Sean! Excellent point about the free touch spells... while designing it I had thought that with iterative attacks the entangle would most likely last 1-2 rounds or so. I hadn't considered the sort of troubles it would cause someone with only one or two attacks (even some high level creatures only have a few). I guess it was a case of tunnel vision there. Still, the item had too many mechanical gray areas to be Superstar. Valuable lesson learned. Thanks!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think in my excitement to enter the contest I put on some blinders to the obvious problems here. :-/ Still posting and would greatly appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks again to the judges for their time, effort and consideration. Looking forward to the rest of RPG Superstar 2011 (and especially to the proverbial “next year” ;)

Good luck to the Top 32!

Penumbral Ligatures
Aura strong illusion; CL 13th
Slot —; Price 98,000 gp; Weight 3 lbs.

Description
This hand-held apparatus is a cold iron crossbar ringed by a circle of carved ivory. From one side extend five ghostly cords that hang taut before fading into nothingness. As a standard action, the wielder can make a ranged touch attack against a single humanoid target within 100 feet. On a successful attack, the target gains the entangled condition as shadowy ligatures lash out and coil themselves around the creature’s neck, wrists, and ankles. The wielder can then force the target to act as his spell-casting surrogate.

Entangled creatures cannot move more than 100 feet from the wielder; removing or severing all five ligatures ends this restriction and the entangled condition. An entangled creature may burst or escape from a single ligature by making a DC 20 Strength or Escape Artist check. Any amount of slashing damage severs a ligature; each ligature is AC 20. The ligatures are made of shadow-stuff and if severed simply reform when the apparatus is used again to ensnare. The wielder can release an ensnared creature as a standard action.

The ligatures can ensnare a willing target. All the conditions above apply fully however, and opponents may attempt to target and sever the ligatures normally.

If the wielder chooses, any spell he casts with a range of touch or greater can be channeled through the ligatures. Melee touch spells cast in this manner always target the “surrogate” and do not require an attack roll. Spells of greater range (including ranged touch attacks) originate from the surrogate as if he were the caster, affecting targets normally. A maximum of 20 total spell levels may be channeled each day.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, project image, shadow conjuration; Cost 49,000 gp

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Congrats to the Top 32!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
PsionicFox wrote:
One of my old high school friends called me the other day, told me she was training to become a nurse. I facepalmed, and told her to go watch A Clockwork Orange. Her surname is Ratchet, I s#%@ you not.

Nurse Ratchet = One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

But still, very funny! :)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Lachlan Rocksoul wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:
...but my game is at 5:30EST, so whether or not I'm in at 5:00EST or not, I've got DMing to do.
I'm sure you mean GMing, right? ;-)
DMing, GMing. Unless you are publishing something, it's all interchangeable. I think it's stupid that D&D copyrighted something that has been in the gaming community since the beginning. :P Stupid Power Mongers.

I've finally begun making the transition into calling it "Game Mastering" or GMing on a regular basis. It took a while to stop saying we were playing "D&D" this weekend, but now everyone in our group asks "When are we playing Pathfinder again?"

WotC can have Dungeon Mastering... I'm just thankful for all the other stuff Ryan Dancey got for us. Definitely worth the trade off IMO. :)

Shadow Lodge

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Neil Spicer wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:
...but my game is at 5:30EST, so whether or not I'm in at 5:00EST or not, I've got DMing to do.

Auto Reject #9

...

What? *nervous eye twitch*

Shadow Lodge

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Mothman wrote:
Speaking of Lost, and given the obvious Lost influence on the first instalment of the Serpent’s Skull AP, is the dude depicted on the cover of Vaults of Madness (Aspis faction leader I think) supposed to resemble a skinnier John Locke?

I definitely saw a facial resemblance to Terry O'Quinn as well.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
My favorite TV Sci-fi setting is Lost.

James, I am a huge fan of Lost and have some questions for you about what you think about the show:

Favorite character(s)?

Any general thoughts/opinions/reactions to the finale? I know some were quite disappointed but I thought it was a satisying end to the series.

Which season(s) is/are your favorite? Any particular episodes you're fond of?

Is it just me, or did you get the feeling the show was going one direction during the first three seasons (my favorites, but I enjoy them all in different ways) and then sort of changed gears fundamentally for the final three? I just get a sense that setting an end date for the show, combined with the writer's strike in Season 4 led them to adjust heavily on the fly and that meant some storylines and themes they were working on had to get short shrift as a result.

It's not a criticism, I'm fascinated by the process the writers and producers of that show went through every single season, but I wonder how that compares to the development of Adventure Paths at Paizo? Are you guys ever surpised at the route you take over the course of six modules to get to the ending that was envisioned? I know the creators of Lost always got a lot of lack for "making it up as they went along" but to me it's simply an organic, creative process that is sort of misunderstood by many.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

So did anybody else's heart stop for a split second when they saw an e-mail from Paizo in their inbox that mentioned RPG Superstar in the subject? Heheh. (It was just a reminder to check your name on your personal settings page.)

Not complaining, I'm glad they sent that out. But I did get extremely curious for a second there... :)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Clark Peterson wrote:


And for those who don't make it, please keep in mind that the judges are NOT judging you as a person, they are only evaluating one specific item you submitted. If they happen to think your item isn't up to snuff, it is no comment on you at all. In previous years I used the example of Kobe Bryant (I'm a Laker fan) shooting freethrows. If I see him shoot one and only one and he misses, that doesnt tell me much about him as a person or a player (one of the greatest ever). All it tells me is he missed that one freethrow. Same with RPG Superstar. Like you with Superstar, I guarantee Kobe wanted to make that freethrow like you wanted to make the top 32. And the fact he may miss a freethrow doesn't mean he wont sink the game winning shot later in the game. Same thing. An evaluation of one item is not a criticism of you as a person, don't take it that way.

Great work, and good luck to everyone!

I knew Clark was awesome even before this post, but...

...as a Laker fan for nearly 25 years (and RPG gamer for even longer) that was the. Best. Analogy. Ever. :)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think the smurfs clearly smurfed the game when they gave smurfs a smurf-up. I mean really, anyone who plays a smurfette now is clearly smurfsauce.

Discuss.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Can we just move this to the Rules Discussion forum now, as that is inevitablely where the debate will go?

Also, SMURF.

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