I like this guy. I do.
But I feel compelled to point out, especially in light of the specific rule for this round that only SRD content is okay and non-SRD OGC is not, that the Paladin of Tyranny is simply not part of the SRD.
I like the bit of Ottoman Empire flavour that snuck into this one. That's a conception of the sahuagin that I can get behind.
It's a little strange that he's hauling around cold iron daggers, but not ridiculously so.
Tactics didn't touch on whether or not he fights mounted, which I found slightly disappointing. Yes, it's in there under the Special Mount section... due to the word limitations, I'll give you a free pass on that one.
Making his cohort a cleric of a non-proprietary entity shows a pretty deft touch.
Seeing the feather tokens in his inventory made me laugh and laugh, in an entirely evil way.
The adventure hook is... interesting. Hmmm. I'm not sure I'd run an adventure set up to run as "The PCs are hired to rescue a hostage. As soon as the PCs show up, ha ha, the hostage gets killed." Then again, by the time the PCs can raid the stronghold of a CR13 sahuagin, they should be able to circumvent that situation.
All in all, a pretty good showing.
Patrick Walsh wrote:
That was my intention for this item, yeah -- it is, as they say, "performing as designed."
Whether or not that design is any good is a matter of some discussion, but I'm glad most people seem to have grasped how it is supposed to operate.
I think I'm following your line of thought, but arriving at a totally different conclusion.
Why are there so many information-gathering items? Because it's something players find irritating. They don't want to spend hours interrogating every beggar in town, or fiddling with some puzzle key.
They want to press a button on an item, solve the mystery, and get back to drop-kicking bad guys in the face.
Or, you know, maybe not.
Patrick Walsh wrote:
Yeah, there's a bit of record-keeping, but it's only one number -- it seems on par with tracking the charges left in a wand, to me, anyway. But it's a good point.
I'm not sure I see the munchkin angle -- is there some obvious abuse that I'm missing?
Patrick Walsh wrote:
Over the next 24 hours it will slowly shrink until it returns to its one inch size.
This is a weird and hard-to-arbitrate effect. I'd almost certainly house-rule this into an instantaneous change after 24 hours if I were using it in my game.
The whole next paragraph about what it can do and who use it, etc etc... I'd cut it. I don't think it adds anything.
I think it's too expensive for what it is and what it does.
What I might be inclined to go for is an oil that can coat regular sling stones and make them into Thurburners as a one-time effect.
Yeah, I could definitely see making some use of that...
There's the germ of a good idea in here... but I have a lot of problems with it along the way.
A one inch by one foot burnished steel tube capped by knobby ironwood plugs.
This is a fine description! Stop here!
The plugs mesh with the threading on the interior of the tube compressing an oiled-cord O-ring - an excellent watertight seal. The plugs are non-magical impromptu repairs.
Noooo.... there's no need for this, especially the last sentence.
Each end opens into a separate fifteen cubic foot extra-dimensional space. One end is restricted to written materials, the other — writing materials.
This is kind of clumsy. I'd specify the capacity by page count, and only allow pages to go in.
The tube exterior has a self-maintaining written inventory, separated by category: "Maps, Wizard Scrolls, Information...." Upon command, the named material is legibly displayed as desired. A scroll thus presented can be read for casting -- consuming the scroll.
This part is nice! You could perhaps be a bit more specific about what sort of action it is to 'load up' the scroll, but the default for commanding a magic item is okay.
All those fabrication powers... lose them.
Unique scrolls disappear sometime after insertion...
No, no, no... it's just a bad idea.
Prerequisites: Mostly they look alright, although you should specify how many ranks of a skill are required (but I'd drop them anyway along with the fabrication powers.)
I do like the underlying idea for this one -- prune away everything that detracts from it and I think you've got a good item.
I think the main problem I have with this is that it introduces an entirely new type of magic item. Which isn't bad in and of itself, necessarily, but I'm not crazy about it.
The magic item itself... it's alright, but there's a lot of things most of my characters would rather spend 32K gold on.
Other issues aside, an item that allowed a character to see the circumstances of creation of any object... that could be kinda cool. But it is still feeling more like a spell, or a spell on a scroll, than a wondrous item, on a purely gut level.
That was a definite risk, yeah.
Adjudication of what is an "inconsequential saving throw" might be difficult.
Hmmm... yeah, but cursed items (which is what it is at that point, in my opinion) always involve a certain amount of DM fiat, in my opinion. But it could be an issue, certainly.
Thanks for your comments.
Scarab of Weal and Woe
This beetle-shaped amulet bears depictions of the strands of fate, fortune, and destiny. As an immediate action before making a saving throw, the wearer of this scarab can activate it to gain a +20 luck bonus on that saving throw. Thereafter, the user suffers a -20 luck penalty on all subsequent saving throws, and he cannot activate the scarab again.
This penalty to his saving throws persists until after the user has made, successfully or not, a saving throw with a DC at least as high as that of the initial saving throw, at which time the luck penalty ends and the wearer may once again activate the item.
Attempts to fool the scarab by intentionally suffering harmless or inconsequential saving throws do not work. Removing or discarding the scarab does not prematurely end any of its effects. If a remove curse spell is cast upon it, it becomes nonmagical and worthless.
Faint abjuration and divination; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, augury, resistance; Price 1,000 gp.
* * * * *
Any comments are appreciated.
If anyone's interested enough in it to see my design diary on the item, it's posted on my blog -- it's a bit longish so I didn't want to paste it here.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Beyond that, it's all up to the voting public!
This is obviously the key difference between the first round and subsequent rounds. I think it'll lead to a lot less angst over the exact nature of the rules and exactly what 3 particular people want.
This is sort of a technical question -- if every country is going to have the same name, what is the voting page (the ballot, if you will) going to look like? I would suggest something like the author name and possibly something like an author-submitted byline ("That One With the Lich", "The Land That Time Forgot", etc.) But that's just me.
The word limit is a bit tricky... in that I'm not sure there isn't anything in place other than courtesy to stop an author from writing a 20K word appendix to his entry in the forums. But it doesn't seem right to completely gag the authors if someone has a simple legitimate question about their entry. This might be, as they say, a theoretical vulnerability -- it might not come in to play at all. We'll see.
Midrealm DM wrote:
Yeah, those are good points.
This must be why the real judges discuss these things with each other.
Silversheen -OR- Alchemical Silver
Well... building alchemical silver right into the weapon does give it a -1 to damage rolls forever, which is quite the drag.
Silversheen could be bumped down a fair bit in price, though. Maybe make the duration more on the encounter scale.
While we wait, I thought it might be fun to look at some wondrous items in the SRD as though they were entrants in the contest, and pretend to be judges.
First, some losers:
Bag of Holding: Incredibly popular, but essentially a very prosaic item. The fixed weight is a nice mechanic. The interactions with the Portable Hole are needlessly-convoluted. The aura of conjuration is a bit strange. All in all, I'd say the Handy Haversack is a better superstar. Thumbs down.
Belt of Dwarvenkind: Thematically pure, but there's an awful lot going on with this one. Too much, in my opinion. Compared to other items that provide darkvision, I think it's underpriced. The aura of divination borders on bizarre. I kinda like the idea but I don't like this implementation. Thumbs down.
And some winners:
Dust of Dryness: A clever little item with some clever uses. I like the theme here and how it is used. The abilities show a nice variety, with a combat application and a non-combat application. As a DM who knows a character has this, I can think up some locations and encounters that would bring it into play. And as a one-charge item (more or less) it's reasonably-priced and won't break the game. Thumbs up.
Glove of Storing: A good simple idea that is well-implemented. It might be a bit overpriced -- I'd let this into my game priced at one or two thousand, I think. As a DM, I can think of some good uses a villain could put this to. Appeals to a wide variety of character concepts. Thumbs up.
Feel free to play along, everyone!
In the interest of fair disclosure, I needed to get my entry in before I leave the country for a while, so that certainly motivated me to submit earlier rather than later.
Still, on the whole, I think it was the right way to go. After all, if you're regularly going to spend 40 hours writing 200 words, you might be in for a slow, slow career as a Superstar.
Vic Wertz wrote:
(And I'd also note that because those submissions will be published online, they won't have a high commercial value to us or any other publisher, because they've already been available for free.)
In contrast to their value prior to online publication, which may rival that of a nice cup of coffee. Alright, a bad cup of coffee.
Pushed the big shiny Submit button, and now all my worries are over and it's just a small matter of waiting...
I know we can't really discuss our submissions as such. Still, I find myself curious as to what form of objects will be most popular. Will there be a glut of capes? A crate of candles? Apparatuses of every description? Only the judges know for sure...
Feel free to chime in (oh yeah, chimes...) once you've submitted too.