I have a suggestion for the feat that would solve at least some of this issue, and make more logical sense (to me at least) at the same time.
What if the feat's wording were changed to provide the "flat-footed" bonus ONLY to the first attack made with the improvised weapon, or even the first attack with ANY improvised weapon in the encounter, regardless of whether the opponent is armed or not.
Logically, I see this as a WhoWhatNow? moment on behalf of the opponent as they get attacked with an item that would not normally be a weapon, but it seems silly to me to think you would continue to be able to bamboozle your opponent in subsequent attacks.
Merisiel attacks the City Guardsman with a sharpened piece of wood pried from the table edge, twisting it deep into his gut before he even realizes what she's up to !
The City Guardsman howls in pain and whirls to counter the wily rogue !
Merisiel jabs him again, this time burying the wood into the soft part of his neck just above his gorget.
The city Guard desperately tries to figure out how Merisiel is causing these grevious wounds, but can't seem to dodge the hidden weapon. Something seems to be dripping down the half-elf's hand, maybe blood, but how is she DOING THIS !
Merisiel pokes out the Guardman's left eye and drops the splinter, casually sauntering out of the bar past the disbelieving eyes of the Guardsman's companions ....
the feat is still incredibly useful, as you almost always have a weapon at hand and no improvised penalty, but this limits the insta-sneak-attack moment to once per encounter.
I only wish it were so !
from the SRD:
Scroll = Spell Completion
Activating a spell completion item is a standard action and provokes attacks of opportunity exactly as casting a spell does.
And before it comes up.
Wonderous Item = Command Word or Use Activated.
Activating a command word magic item is a standard action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Which has always seemed VERY odd to me, considering the following is also in the SRD:
A command word can be a real word, but when this is the case, the holder of the item runs the risk of activating the item accidentally by speaking the word in normal conversation.
-whoops ! you spoke the secret word ! that's a standard action please ;)
As for Use-activated:
Unless stated otherwise, activating a use-activated magic item is either a standard action or not an action at all and does not provoke attacks of opportunity, unless the use involves performing an action that provokes an attack of opportunity in itself.
So it's either a standard action, or no actino - no need for quicken spell.
Hopefully JasonB's intended changes to quicken spell might adress some of these issues ?
Wands are spell-trigger, and according to the SRD:
Activating a spell trigger item is a standard action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
No quickened wands :(
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I was once in a rubber-knife sparring match with a guy who stabbed me in the foot, just before I seized his head and yanked my knife across his throat. They told me he won because I was touched first. I looked at my foot, looked at his throat, and shrugged.
I don't know what's more disturbing, the result or that there are rubber-knife sparring matches ...
Rambling Scribe wrote:
Couldn't agree more - I started my training in Sport Fencing. Although it was good exercise and a very skillful sport, I quickly became very dissatisfied. It gave me a GREAT muscle foundation for actual Fence, but not much else (My Fence instructor kept chanting the Yoda mantra - "unlearn, unlearn")
Sport fencing involves MANY maneuvers that allow you to score a "hit" on your opponent that involve snapping the tip of the foil around your opponents guard, etc. And ELECTRIC fencing can actually allow "touch" without actually hitting your opponent if you snap correctly. Terribly frustrating.
Kruel - yes - I can definitely see what you are saying, and i think you are right to call it a grapple rather than a bind. My concept of a "bind" is one weapon "holding" another in a neutral position. Though technically, your submission holds would be a "bind" against unarmed attacks ...
It's really nice to be able to hash this stuff out with other enthusiasts !
Kruel - I'm interested - how were you taught to hold a bind with a staff ? I've never been able to come up with a reliable method as there just isn't anything to "hook on" with, if that makes any sense.
Yes, you can apply direct pressure with the striking ends, or you can use the haft to pin, but this isn't really a bind, it's more of a sustained "push" and even then, anyone who has some training can usually shift to negate.
You've obviously had the advantage of more Eastern training while my training is almost entirely western, and I'll happily concede that eastern martial arts are far more advanced than western !
On another note entirely - it's worth noting that in the REAL world while many weapons CAN bind, many are not designed for it and will thus NOT be able to hold the bind.
Quarterstaffs, though I love them dearly, cannot hold a bind. Axes, unless esoterically designed, cannot hold a bind (nor can they do much of anything interesting except seriously maim or kill people - ever try to do combat choreography with an Axe - ye gods !).
As Nick stated, some weapons can be used to force a blade or other weapon off-line (basically, knock a weapon aside so that it can't score a hit untill it's re-maneuvered into position once more) but a bind presupposes that you can "hold" the weapon in a neutral position indefinitely.
However, we play a game with many fantasy elements and I personally would happily allow ANY weapon to bind - just describing it in adventurous terms.
Nicolas Logue wrote:
Ha! I know!!! The "rules" for boffer make my inner swordsman go CRACK-CRAZY!
You too, hunh ? I only ever boffered ONCE. We were "dueling" and I saw his guard was to high - when he tried a high shoulder hit I ducked under and came back with a falso. He sputtered and shouted "You can't DO that !"
I replied "I just did". I then walked away when he tried to launch into a diatribe.
Richard Pett wrote:
What I'd realy love to do is what the serial authors in the 30's used to do and come up with cliffhanger endings that seemed impossible to escape from and then pass the writing reins on.
Honestly - this is one of the most exiting and engaging ideas I've seen in a long time, and I for one would happily gobble it up !
Maybe if not as a Paizo product it could be done over in Open Design with Mr. Baur ?
Maybe offered concurrently with the resurrection of another spin-off of the old Serials, the indomitable Dr. Jones ?
Don't you mean "it's about the EYE following the viewer" ?
Seriously though, while I agree with you on the matter of colorful items having trumped items with sound basing in rules during the first "RPG Superstar", I look at the whole thing the same way I looked at the first essay exams given by professors back in college. You have to learn how the professor tests - then you tailor your essays to his/ her preferences. Now that we know the judges valued flash over strict adherence to rules, we know what to shoot for in the next round of entries. If you change the format or challenges in a significant manner, we loose that advantage to knowing how the Paizo Profs test.
BTW - as for valuing flash - I think this is a legitimate concern - you need to show you can sell product after all !
I think a little tinkering with the requirements/ subject of each round would be fun and interesting, but I appreciate the knowledge gained having followed through the first Superstar contest re:what the judges are looking for in submissions more than anything else !
Armed with this knowledge, I know that I and many other aspirants will conspire to make the next round that much more challenging (by merit of the quality of submissions), and that much more rewarding for everyone !
Since no one else had made mention of it yet - for those of you who wish to see what kind of twisted stuff Nick can get up to in a non-mainstream envioronment - check out:
Many Paizo-boards regulars are a part of the on-going process, and it's a great way to get inside the nuts and bolts of adventure design !
Nicolas Logue wrote:
Ha! Nice...Graul family items...those must be something special!
Well you can't just have Graul brothers wandering around with standard copper disced Amulets of Natual Armor when Mammy's got so much .... raw material to work with ....
But I don't want to threadjack this too much into my own fanboy gushing 'bout Hook Mountain.
Looking forward to chillingly macabre goodness and subjecting my players to the "consequences" of Gorgon Blood .... Mwaaahahahahhahhaaa !
I'm signing up for this one as well ! Couldn't stop me with a stick and ... well, something nasty attached to the end of it ...
I love Logue adventures ! I'm currently running my party through a slightly modified Hook Mountain Massacre and they are constantly stating how it's disturbingly fun - slightly more emphasis on the "disturbing" ;)
I keep telling them it's not me - it's the madness of Logue set loose. Though my elaborations on the Graul family's magic items (inspired in no small part by the "baby-arm" wand in the pic of Mammy) might be adding to the "ick" factor. Ever seen a party argue over just leaving Magic Treasure behind before because it's just too "wrong" ? The artificer is even worried about re-absorbing the XP lest he be "tainted".
Nick - is this adventure going to include any "sleuthing" as discussed waaaaay back in the Eberron thread re: Heroes of Intrigue on the WOTC boards by any chance ? (Still wish that was something that could actually happen)
I for one look forward to the chance to flex entirely different muscles in round two.
Round one was very fun with a crunchy, rules driven center covered in a sweetly thin layer of fluffy descriptors.
I anticipate round two to involve more narrative - spinning a word-picture of a far-off land that everyone will be itching to visit, with perhaps a bit of crunchy sprinkles on top (statistics - possible adventuring sites, whatever the contest parameters call for/ allow)
OK, I'll admit, I knew the question had the possibility of bringing up some intense debate, but ...
I had a feeling that the next round would not be anonymous, and I'll admit, if I get there I feel I'll have a lot of ground to catch up to some of the more prolific posters on the boards. I'm sure many others feel the same way, but I reiterate, I would love to have the chance to try to do so !
I do trust that superior content will win out in the end. After all, pretty much everyone here buys Paizo, and it behooves us to vote for the better bang for our buck.
At the end of the day, it's a nice chance to give some back and forth insight into the contestant's design process. I know most of us who entered the first round would relish the chance to explain the hows and whys of our Wonderous Items ...
And as for "Campaign Promises", I resist the urge to make "social contract gaming" jokes ....
Question: Will the advancing author(s) published in connection with the entry they submit for the next round ?
I worry a little bit over relative unknowns competing with the "personalities" of the boards' built-in popularity.
OR the disadvantage that certain folks might deal with if they are unable to actively explicate/discuss their entries on the discussions that might pop up after the voting begins ....
Then again, this is all so new and exciting that it's ANYONE'S guess how the contest will continue to roll out after each round.
Marcel Goulard wrote:
I REALLY like the gloves - they are a unique item, useful without being too powerful ... NICE !
I would not have priced them NEARLY that high simply for a price vs. utility standpoint myself though - Marvelous pigments create any non-magical inanimate object instantly for only 4K and a +2 weapon is 8K.
Playing with the math a bit - make it a CL 5 item (minimum for stone shape as a cleric spell - per the SRD "An item is only worth two times what the caster of lowest possible level can make it for. Calculate the market price based on the lowest possible level caster, no matter who makes the item") and you get a straight 3*5*2K gp = 30K for a continuous use item, BUT it's got the limitation of 1 cubic foot of stone per minute (discount of 10% maybe? after all the spell is instantaneous - so 27K). Maybe throw in a 3/day limit on the thing (16.2K GP) and a max of 10 + 5 cubic feet per day (as per the spell base - to avoid any abuse issues). Could even make it cheaper by requiring a Craft: Stonemason skill to use, but I think it more fun in the hands of informed amateurs ...
The wording on the mace effect is a little iffy - do you mean it acts a a +2 weapon, or that it allows you to bypass DR/ magic ?
If a +2 weapon, then 4*2K = 8K, then reduced by about 30% per special requirement on the target's behalf =5,600.
If bypassing DR/ Magic, then maybe the equivalent of a +1 discounted as oer above, or a total of 1,400.
I happen to like the +2 Mace idea, so Id price the total item at 16,200+2,100 (1.5 * 1,400) = 18,300 or thereabouts. Which, oddly enough, puts it right in the same range as a Mattock of the Titans (23,348 for the Mattock) - a rather similar item in many respects, but much more powerful as a weapon and less useful than the more finesse-able gloves.
Sorry if my walkthrough above is too much, but I want to yoink these for my game and I thought that I'd post my math to see how it might gibe with what you (Marcel) and others might think.
GREAT item :)
Well, in the interest of full disclosure:
Deep in the month of Neth, under the chill cover of darkness as the citizens of Azurestone celebrate the Concordance of Candlelight, Everenson Kneff is taking his revenge ...
Azurestone is a community founded on the twin arts of natural history and druidic prophecy. It is a smallish community as things go, but one that enjoys more than it's fair share of the learned and the gifted, both natural philosophers and poets. The community even boasts a small college of learning, and is governed not by a mayor, but the college's chancellor. The community also possesses an extensive library and museum, but it is the Azurestone itself which fills the hearts of the town with pride, and their souls with worry. The Azurestone was used for centuries by ancient Druids to read the future in the stars using an extensive system of runes and notches to chart the path of the heavens, but recently the heavens have gone mute.
While many had theories, one voice rose from the clamor of learned men claiming he knew the answer, but his was an answer that none were willing to accept. The college's foremost expert on the arts of Alchemy, Kneff, claimed that the stone's origin was far older than the druidic sects, that it was in fact a relic of an old god - a facet of Norgorber himself. Kneff was insistent, even after he was threatened with a charge of blasphemy, until he was thrown not only out of the college but nearly stoned by the citizens of Azurestone prior to sneaking out in the dead of night. And now he has returned to steal the Azurestone itself.
Kneff plans to take the stone to the Mournspire high in the Fogpeaks, there to use it to awaken the prophetic powers of the stone and learn the secrets he hopes will allow him to become an intimate of Norgorber. He is aided in this quest by the Tahren, dark fey born of the blood spilled in an ancient attack on Norgorber. The Tahren are blessed with the ability to sow doubt and paranoia in the minds of men, and they will use this ability to hinder Kneff's pursuers.
Kneff uses his intimate knowledge of the college grounds, his budding talents for sorcery, and his mastery of the alchemical craft to set up several distractions for his theft including busts of magical darkness, howling maelstroms of terrifying screams, and blazing displays of pyrotechnics. Once the player's combat their way through Kneff’s gambits, they will still be faced with a chase through the college's library and museum before finally finding that they have been pursuing a decoy all along, and that Kneff is long gone.
Kneff's getaway was not clean however, and it will not take long for the party to begin their pursuit either by tracking or with the help of the diviners of Azurestone. Hurrying after the thief, they speed their way towards the Fog Peak Mountains. However, Kneff is not unprepared. Once his pursuers catch up to him at the edge of the Howling Canyon, he calmly detonates the charges he has rigged to the bridge that spans the gap, cutting the party off via a half-mile deep chasm with a torrential river at its base.
The party need not despair long though, as the sages of Azurestone have an idea where help can be found. In the foothills of Fog Peak, the brilliant but misanthropic mechanical genius Denaldi has his workshop, where he has been working on an ambitious project, a lighter than air zeppelin powered by the enchanted ores mined in the Peaks, christened the Red Raven. But even reaching Denaldi will be difficult as the party must first pass through the trials of the Whisperwood forest.
Once the heroes obtain Denaldi's aid and the Airship, they must brave the dangers of the Fog Peak Mountains, a series of mountain peaks jutting from the high altitude fog that gives them their name - looking much as a series of small islands in an eternally roiling grey sea. Small communities live atop some of the peaks, mining for the rare ores and mystically active stones that bring high prices in the markets of Golaria. Creatures also prey the skies and the great grey sea, and the airship will be preyed on by skysharks as well as other dangers. In addition to these dangers, the heavy black clouds threatening a blizzard of winds and snow are creeping ever closer.
When the heroes finally catch up to Kneff, it will be from the deck of the Red Raven, high atop the Mournspire, at a shrine to the lord of secrets built open-air of great black columns, and the ceremony will have already begun !
I "ordered" a dungeon .pdf this morning, and I keep getting the following message:
This personalized download is currently unavailable. Please check back in a few minutes.
It displays as much for my Pathfinder .pdf as well, though I'm not looking to download that right now.
Is there a website issue, or am I just not patient enough ?
Another bump ....
I recently cooked up a spreadsheet for my Artificer with all of the Alchemical items from all "official" 3.5e WOTC books and the Dragon compendium, and had to guesstimate on a lot of the creation DCs (point being that WOTC missed providing a lot of creation DCs too - not just the good folks at Paizo).