Abyssal Raptor

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James Jacobs wrote:

That varies from campaign to campaign, since as a general rule, NPCs do NOT earn XP. They gain levels only when the GM says.

And the rate at which PCs gain levels depends on each particular game.

We outline the spread of levels in Golarion on page 253 of the Inner Sea World Guide.

Thank you for pointing out that section of the Inner Sea World Guide, I'm reading through it slowly and haven't gotten out of the nations yet since I only got it a few weeks ago, it more or less answered my question exactly.

New questions:
1) What are you favorite sort of wonderous items?

2) What's the most creative use you've seen for a magic item?

3) Do you like to have your characters give names to their favorite weapons?

I know 20th level is pretty much a person whose deeds likely change the course of history, but how common is it, in Golarion, for people to reach certain character levels (like 5, 10, or 15)? For example, would somebody who reached 10th level (and completed deeds appropriate for such) most likely be a legendary figure or is that not quite up there?

I'm also using Chrome and it kept giving me checkboxes instead of confirmation. I ended up hitting vote about 10 times and it went through, but it sounds like there might be Chrome issues.

It kind of pains me to say this, but I think the only things really keeping me from liking this enough to give it the vote are the name being a bit too silly (I don't mind silly, but it's got the name I'd expect someone to use for a parody website) and the goal doesn't reach quite far enough, or at least doesn't spell the intentions strong enough.

This organization comes across as either a group looking to find a place in society rather than end up dead (a perfectly reasonable thing to do) or a group trying to get revenge on the adventurers who slaughter their kind by twisting public perception of the (usually) crude adventuring sort who are already a bit fringe in civilized settings. I think if the name were stronger, I'd be more apt to lean toward the latter and find it more genuinely interesting.

The flaws with this organization have been pointed out, but the core idea behind this group is utterly compelling to me to the point where I can look past the little things. This is the sort of group that can big up interesting questions around the table, and Good aligned characters may well have a bout of introspection after encountering this sort of group.

So with a bit more work, this could be practically perfect, but the flaws aren't enough to ruin the value of this diamond for me. You get one of my votes.

Starting out, this looked like it could be just the sort of group that would antagonize any group of PCs, because magic items are what PCs are all about. Then I got to the organization section and discovered it wasn't an organization and started to get quite disappointed. With every member running off on their own and doing their own thing, it doesn't leave a lot to make the PCs think that someone is more than some loony nutjob who tried to take away their enhancement bonuses.

I do honestly feel that if you'd built this up to be an organized group (as organization implies) that had actual far reaching plans to collect/dispose of magic items in the possession of those who are "unworthy" you would have had a homerun idea, but this ultimately leaves me a bit flat.

This is an on the fence group for me that I can't figure out if I find really enticing or a bit plain. As was already said, the racial purity angle isn't that exciting until you get to the more sinister kidnapping and forced breeding angle. It has the sort of feel that this is a group that could easily exist in Golarion, but their goals are a bit weak to be a major antagonist (excluding some of the means to their goals).

At the very least this feels like it's got a spot in my brain, so it has a fair chance of outclassing all the entries that have left me a bit wanting.

A quick aside, this group just gives me an image of a group of players preparing for future campaigns and trying to breed future characters for them to play who get +2s across the board statwise.

With a bit more world knowledge, I probably would have been even more enthused about this (I thought Leng was some lesser country in Tian Xia until I read Neil's response), but even with that flawed view, you managed to work up an excellent organization. You provide enough flavor for me to get a great feel for how the Riders think; the detail about new recruits changing their name was great. I also like that even if their goals are raiding caravans, they don't come across as one note bad guys. Bits of depth like that are why you are definitely getting one of my votes.

This group comes across as a great nemesis for a campaign, with a good deal of variety offered by the three branches. It oozes with flavor and got me excited. Given the overall feelings I've had looking through this round's entries, your entry is almost guaranteed my vote.

Okay, this is officially the first organization I've seen so far that's really made me excited. The name is cool, the theme and style is cool, and I have an awesome image of armored warriors swooping down across a battlefield with lightning flashing everywhere.

Clark, admittedly, does have a point that this seems like the sort of group I'd totally want to join as a PC.

You started off REALLY well with this organization. I was quite excited to hear the idea, and then I hit River Kingdoms and went 'huh?' I kept reading and found a few bits and pieces that were trying to pull it together, but it just sort of fell apart for me.

The base idea seems like it could have been really amazing, but it's just sort of lacking. Some sort of magical ritual trapping the Succubi's power could have explained why they were banished from Minkai and unable to return and would have made things make a bit more sense.

This comes across as a solid group for a campaign setting, but when reading it, it didn't jump out at me as some group I'd see a party coming into conflict with. My opinion on this is that you should have used public perception as the primary place for talking about their neutrality and brought up more about how they go about engineering conflicts for their own profit.

I do admit to liking the imagery of the group, even if it didn't really set me ablaze.

This is a really great item that feels like it was designed after an old fable rather than somebody just sitting at a gaming table. It's in my favorites list without even hitting on my love for particular character types.

There are tons of magic items that feel like they were designed for game purposes (standard +x to blah items, spell effect, things that pretty much just improve a class/race mechanic), but this really is deserving of the name Wondrous. It's the sort of item that just gets the mind going with thoughts of exciting stories, the type of item I'd be excited to see in a setting book with a half-page about it's origins or its previous users.

Aside from the part of me that loves an item that feels like it has a story behind it, the mechanics come across as fun, and I can imagine trying to use it every chance I got as a player, just like a kid running around with a new toy. This is also a great sort of item to get players into unusual trouble for an interesting plot.

I'm hoping to see a lot more of this sort of creativity as you move on through the ranks.

James Raine wrote:
Sinosaur wrote:
*I don't know if this is an actual minus, but needing a free hand drops some utility for protection. There aren't a lot of character builds that keep a hand open, especially not defensive ones.
Well, you can take one hand off of a two-handed weapon with no action. Alternatively, you can wear a buckler (which keeps your hand free), wear a ring of force shielding or some other shield-generating effect, or even (as you said) drop your shield (or your weapon). There's options, and requiring a free hand means that there's a decision as to whether or not you can afford to use this beyond "I have lolhp, I'll be fine."

Oh yeah, you can hold a two-handed weapon in one hand when not attacking. Okay, that opens it up to pretty much everyone but TWFers and sword and board, which leaves enough reasonable options that I'll remove that potential minus.

I really do love the item you thought up and am looking forward to what you come up with for the rest of the contest.

This is my favorite item of the first round so far.

Good points: *The name is just plain cool, if I saw this in a magic item section, I'd definitely pause to read what it does.
*The idea behind it is really exciting, and it calls to mind awesome images
*The abilities it grants are utilitarian and have downsides to their epicness. A touch of martydom to do something amazing is appreciated.

Weak points: *Like a lot of people, I'm a little iffy on whether the punch through magic barriers ability works well enough to be useful (I'd hope for at least a coin-flip chance at success with a decently strong character.
*I don't know if this is an actual minus, but needing a free hand drops some utility for protection. There aren't a lot of character builds that keep a hand open, especially not defensive ones. Although, I could probably talk a GM into letting me drop my shield to the ground as part of the action, so it's only a minor point.

Congratulations on the Top 32, and I do want to reiterate that this is the sort of item I'd love to see in game to the point where after I found it, my bulky barbarian or fighter would likely keep them as a signature item for their entire adventuring career.

My top five:

1) Spellbreaker Gauntlets:
The item's actual wording and mechanics might need a little work, but above all other items, this is probably the one that if it popped up in a treasure hold, I'd want the most. It immediately calls to mind the image of a moment that would be remembered on past the end of the session, or a signature for a particular character. Also, I'm playing a Barbarian right now and the thought of using muscle to beat magic is pretty amazing.

2) Feywhisper Crown:
While the previous item got its spot for an especially epic image, this one just bleeds vileness. It's not hard to some villain waltzing into a room and breathing out a horrifying miasma and then stalking through it and assaulting the blinded and confused people stumbling through it. As a person who is almost entirely a player, it still managed to bring up plot ideas of players trying to solve a series of crimes where seemingly random items were stolen, but all those who were around can't remember anything more than perhaps a shadowy figure surrounding by a slowly expanding fog.

3) Basilisk's Eye Sight:
This one might just be a touch of bias, because I find the gunslinger class quite exciting, even if the only time I ever played one was for one of those games that fell apart after one session. Still, it gives yet another great mental image of the gunslinger peering through the slitted sight and then squeezing off a shot, and the target then slowly (okay, it would probably be pretty fast, but mental image), slowly turning to stone, spreading out from the point of impact. The gaze protection might want to be shifted to something that still provides downside; perhaps a greater minus to perception checks that's halved with a grit point or just a bonus to the saving throws.

4) Rajah's Silhouette:
This gets a vote specifically because it feels like the sort of item you'd find in an old story book. It's evocative and leads the mind to wander and come up with all sorts of stories of what sort of wizard would create an item like this, or perhaps what ruler would demand that one of his sages create it for him. It feels less like a tool for mechanics and more like a wondrous item from a fable.

5) Cloak of the Swashbuckler:
This is another item that might have a bit of bias as I've been looking through some more rakish options for characters lately, but it also has some nice flourish to it. It's exciting, especially with its uses actually requiring it to be held differently. The biggest flaw with this item, in my opinion, is that it doesn't actually feel very magical and the item name isn't the most exciting. Most of the description for this item left me feeling that it could honestly be an exotic piece of equipment rather than a magical item, and some updates to the writing to emphasize where the magic comes in would be nice.

Most of the items I selected, and those I'd hold in follow up positions, got picked because they gave me excellent mental images and made me think "Wow, that would be so awesome to see happen!" or "my character would look really cool using that" rather than immediately having me think that it would be an interesting mechanic.