Tongue of Rebuke

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RPG Superstar 6 Season Marathon Voter, 7 Season Marathon Voter, 8 Season Marathon Voter, 9 Season Star Voter. 50 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
I am still aboggle over all the good nets!

Two great nets just went up against each other. It was tough to find holes in them.

...

Thank you, I'm here all week.

(Also, #611 was my item. So I can stop obsessively voting, at least for a little while.)

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I legitimately love it when the two items I'm voting on not only rhyme, but would fit into the cadence of the Pokérap without any adjustments.

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I think ooze and slime are the new filigree.

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Since everyone starts their reviews on Page 1 items, I figured Page 1 is good and covered, so I started my reviews on Page 2 items. :D

Soul's Visage
First of all, add me to the list of people who don't know the honor system (and didn't look it up to get the exact mechanics).

That said: mechanically, it's still giving you a +1 bonus. It takes awhile to get to that fact, and it's got the business with the light and the Knowledge (nobility) and the hiding, but: this is a +1 bonus to something. It is so hard to make "you get a bonus to a thing" a Superstar-worthy idea, no matter what the bonus or what the thing. So the concept isn't making me jump up and want to run over and find out how the honor system works. I don't know everything about how psionics works, for instance, but if I get an item that's just "you get a +1 to your psionics points" then I can already tell I'm not going to be super-interested in what it does. That coupled with some minor structure things (lowercase and italicize your item, missing comma, weird word choice in a few places) kept this from superstardom in my book.

Thespian's Globe
I... kinda liked this one, I will say. I think it's the details that killed it - it's a permanent slotless boost that increases your bardic performance radius by 50%, sure, but I love bards and I've never really run into many situations where their radius was too small. Sure, it comes up, but it's very niche when it would - crowd control, mass war zone, or acting performance. I did prefer the second ability, to briefly share your afflictions with the crowd, but I wasn't sure a hologram-orb with your face would be the best way to do it.

I think if you'd taken the better of those two abilities and added a few more restrictions and flavour, you'd have a better item.

Sandstone Sirocco
I think that's two years in a row you made an item I liked! The statue description and concept of a pet whirlwind is SUPER great. The actual usage of the pet whirlwind - you get to spend a minute cleaning up footprints or wiping away runes - is really, really unfortunate. I think there are tons of fun things you can do with a tiny sandstorm that follows you around, and I think the item focused on none of them. When I vote for wondrous items, I want things my characters would use and remember using. 'That time I cleaned up a short portion of my tracks' isn't a super-memorable story. Your writing is really clear and evocative, however: snaps for that.

Lucky Golden Tooth
It's actually really simple and contained my favorite best luck reroll mechanic of the contest. It was my favorite bit of metal you put in your mouth, which, uh, actually was a category given all the golden teeth and silver tongues floating around this year. But when you get down to it, it's a slotless overpriced metaroll item - that is, it affects die rolls and not ingame situation. It affects arbitrary concepts of the things that represent your actions. I love it when my items can impact the world of the game, and not just the numbers behind the world. I will admit turning a 1 into a 20 would be fairly fun, though!

Choker of Spell Stifling
My mages would never use this on themselves. So the item is limited to those extremely rare times when I don't want an enemy caster to be able to cast, but I do want her to be alive, but I don't want to gag her and tie her up, but I do want her to be able to talk, but I don't want to put her in an antimagic field... the window of usefulness just keeps shrinking and shrinking. As a GM, sure, I'd put my players in this, but I'd just make up some flat antimagic shackles and not bother with a complicated item that my PCs would rarely use. Your mechanics are solid; just go for an idea that more people can use more often.

Mask of the Wayang
Heh, I did just play Link Between Worlds, so this felt a little overdone. Coupled with me really liking two of the shadow cloaks and I felt like I'd seen this sort of thing done a lot in the contest. But it's not just the overstuffed design space - you're doing a cool shadowmorph effect, and I want to see you have more fun with it! I want to know about the cool things I can do as a 2D shadow - saying "you can't talk or use items or attack or do anything other than hide" makes it boring. Great, I succeed on hide checks. Can I move? Can I slide through door cracks? What if someone destroys the wall? What if someone casts stone shape or passwall - am I still immune to that? Think bigger with your ideas, and give me an item that's even more fun to play instead of spending tons of wordcount telling me about all the penalties and drawbacks and ways I can hurt myself with your item.

Thunderstorm Mantle
A cape of clouds that turns into cloud armor that impales and bull rushes and multiattacks chain-lightning-style and deflects and DRs and punches my enemies and has a mythic tier... it just feels like too much in too small a package. It's a lot of stabbing done by my cloud armor, and that's fine, but if I'm wearing literal stormclouds on my shoulders, maybe there's something cooler I could do with them? Additionally, your writing is evocative but a little repetitive: "jagged bolts" used twice in the first two paragraphs, sentence four uses "thunder" twice, a few little things like that. The imagery is supercool, though. There's a reason you're our MVP!

Glaring Mask
It's a simple and straightforward skillboost and charge-stopper. The charge-stopping ability is the fun one, and there was an item on my top 32 that did it a little better, with more panache and zazz. I liked the simplicity and the good attention to detail: I want to see you go bigger and have more fun with your items.

Manipulator's Headdress
I cannot believe you wrote this in three hours while hungover. I kind of hate you. This made my top 32 and I'm surprised it didn't make more people's: the evocativeness of the writing is superb. That first paragraph is beautiful. The mechanics have a few sentences that could be rebuilt, but you take a complicated manipulation idea and explain it smartly and quickly. My voting partner dinged this as the Fifty Shades of Grey item - lashes that wrap around your opponent and bend them to your will - and I can sort of see that, but the imagery and fun times in store are strong enough that I don't care. Again, that's two years in a row you made items that I adored. You should probably stick with this 'writing' thing, since you're kinda awesome at it.

Sun Wukong's Puzzle Box
So this was my first notice that the mad monkeys spell was actually a thing! And my neutral reaction to this item was mostly because I spent most of the time reading this item thinking "I can't believe mad monkeys is a thing that exists in this game." So there's that. Mechanically, it's pretty cool, though it's a very specialized "Look! Distraction!" minute-long escape that would be fun a few times, but not 25k worth of amusement. I will also say that I knew nothing about Sun Wukong mythology, so the connection between puzzles and monkeys seemed a little stretched, and the item isn't that helpful in connecting the dots if you don't already know they're there. But: the presentation is spot-on.

Bucket Hat
I do remember this: it felt like a joke/cursed item. If it wanted to wake you up after you fell asleep, there are simpler and easier ways to do that than dumping endless buckets of water on your head. No one would wear it outside of combat and I can't picture too many people wearing it in combat too. The name was also pretty bland and nondescript. I liked that your item tried to include a certain sense of whimsy, though!

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Since we've passed the 24-hour attunement period for the Top 32, and people are beginning to chat about their wondrous items, I figured someone should open another type of thread we had kicking around last year: the Fantasy Top 32.

So: post a list of your top 32! (Or top 36 or top 40 or top 10 or whatever you tabulated during voting.) We can save in-depth analysis for the Critique My Item thread; this is just to shout out your favorites that didn't see the light of making it to the big leagues. Basically displaying all the types of lists that were compiled in Eric Morton's exit poll.

(And as always, a huge hand to Paizo for peeling back the curtain again this year and giving us all hundreds of cool magic items - plus a chance to see the craziness of the big picture behind this contest.)

My list
Amber Robe
Amulet of Reverse Incantation
Astral Thief's Opera Gloves
Blackblade
Bog Boots
Choker of the Siphoning Scorpion
Chrysalis Vial
Clipper Clasp
Cloak of Ettinkind
Cloak of Inversion
Cloak of the Shadow Twin
Copper Squirrels (Figurine of Wondrous Power)
Dead Jester's Cap
Dire Hamster Ball
Geomancer's Gloves
Glove of Face Filching
Goblet of Liquefied Cognition
Instinct Pelt
Jar of Mottled Clay
Manipulator's Headdress
Matador's Cape of Minotaur Misdirection
Prismatic Monocle
Quicksilver Scabbard
Sand Charmer's Flute
Scatterstone
Schismatic Veil
Scourge Vial
Spellmason's Mallet
Spellsnaring Canvas
Stormcrusher Gauntlets
Truth-Twisting Pendant
Tsunami Sash

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Look on my works, ye mighties, and despair!

Spellmason's Mallet
Aura moderate transmutation and evocation; CL 9th
Slot belt; Price 25,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
This stout copper mallet hangs from a short silver chain on a moleskin belt. Upon striking the mallet against any wall spell the wearer has cast, the wall warps and bends snugly around him, permitting him (and only him) safe passage through the wall. If the wall has any damaging effects (such as the heat from a wall of fire) he gains immunity to them.

A wall spell is defined as any spell whose name contains wall or barrier. Dropping the mallet while the wearer is within a wall randomly shunts the wearer to one side, causing no damage.

Once per day, by smacking the ground as a standard action, the wearer may create a wall of force.

Finally, once per day, when used as a focus component in any wall spell (including the mallet's wall of force), the wearer may shape the wall in segments (5 ft. high by 5 ft. wide by original thickness), each placeable at any angle. The first segment must be anchored to the ground, with each subsequent segment anchored on at least one side to a previously-placed segment. Segments may not be placed so they intersect with existing creatures or structures, except for other wall segments. The total area of the segments may not exceed the area normally permissible by the spell. Walls retain their inherent balance, even if the new shape would be structurally unstable if created through mundane means. Otherwise, the spell functions as normal.

A spellmason's mallet makes a poor improvised weapon; it functions as a +1 construct bane light hammer, but deals nonlethal damage to non-constructs.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, passwall, stone shape, wall of force; Cost 12,500 gp

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I've had three "Oh, good! You made it through the cull!"s and four "Really? YOU made it through the cull?"s already, and the afternoon is young

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Eep, 511 items, nearly to Dedicated, and I finally find my item. Thank jeepers.

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Celebrating my 500th unique item with an all-new pairing of...

Torc v. Torc.

DECISION 2014.

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Tight, smart, makes a complicated concept simple, and immediately useful and understandable. Best item of R1 for me, both during voting and out of the top 32. In voting, actually, this was the only item I was 100% sure it would make it through.

It's also proof for the Rule of Awesome that Clark mentioned on another thread. A lot of the now-posted top 89 were simple little gizmos that would make a book of magic items, but lacking significant mojo for superstardom. I was worried about the definition of the contest changing. And then I realized that the dozen items I had picked that overlapped the top tier proved it was possible to have a major spark of mojo coupled with mass appeal. The secret is just to do better. To me, the Cloudwrangler's Gloves are the epitome of that concept. Exceptional job.

Also, control weather is the best possible prerequisite spell here.

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Before I went to bed last night, I turned on Titanic because it was the longest movie I had within reach and I thought "Well, this'll eat up a few hours, if nothing else."

And then an hour and a half in, I was all "No! This is a terrible metaphor for my current emotional state! The 2-3% of the upper-class passengers are the only ones escaping the Ship Of Doom while the entire lower class is being killed off slowly in various gruesome ways, mostly involving drowning, shooting, being crushed underfoot, electrocution, or falling off the ship and hitting other parts of the ship with a dull CLONK! RPG Superstar contestants should not be exposed to this on Wondrous Item Eve! WHY AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF?! WHY?"

So, yeah, I slept soundly.

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(In the village square, the crowd has gathered. They anxiously mutter to themselves, scuffling their feet. Somewhere in the distance, a wolf howls.)

(A nervous young woman clutching a sheaf of numbered papers steps up to the podium. In a quavering voice, she announces into the microphone that due to budgetary cutbacks and the economic recession, 2! has been cancelled and the Superstar countdown will continue as per usual the following day. Sensing discontent from the crowd, she turns and vanishes, possibly through a dimension door-style effect.)

(The crowd slowly disperses. The exodus of bodies reveals a small child, wearing a t-shirt with an oversized purple 2! on the front. He clutches a handful of limp helium balloons, the strings held slackly in his tiny hand. A single tear runs down his cheek.)

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Arkos wrote:
"It's hard out here for an amateur game designer with high blood pressure and anxiety issues" is probably a terrible title for a movie, but it would definitely be the documentary of this last month.

"Things We Lost In The Cull: The RPG Superstar Story"

"Votes on a Scandal"

"Walkie-Talkieing Tall"

"The Filigreen Mile"

"Where Did My January Go? The Lost Days of Superstardom"

I expect at least three Oscars.

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Cinematic moments are key for me. The game, whenever I've played it, has been about key instants and grand, sweeping turns that live on in your memory. Last year's Spellbreaker Gauntlets were my favorite wondrous item because they perfectly captured the visual of punching a spell to make it go away. How can that compare with a set of skill bonuses or a spell effect?

I don't play Pathfinder to win; I play Pathfinder for the sheer joy, and any item that directly increases that joy is a winner in my books.