Erik Mona wrote:
while I appreciate your gonzo approach it isn't right for my own campaigning and probably wouldn't be my first choice as a consumer.
I have to agree with Erik on this one. For me, I like your style, but at the end of the day I would probably buy a different product.
That said, you are over the top and audacious and that can be a blessing in this competition. Your PSA's and board presence certainly help as well.
A medusa cleric is all right, but it doesn't grab me and the design choices make me feel like Kalyani is more of a bump in the road for the PC's than a final foe. The overall flavor is good though and I could see a revamped Kalyani as an excellent villain.
On the stat block front, you're missing a lot of math. As part of the submission requirements I'd like to have seen it. Hopefully someone else will take the time to confirm it all matches up.
This is the first villain entry I've read and you lost me about half way through the description. I had the strong feeling you designed an NPC and not a villain. Lucky for you, I decided to skip to the last paragraph to see if you saved yourself and you did.
Like Erik, I would have liked to see that last paragraph (by far the most compelling of the entire entry) much earlier. I think you will lose votes on that alone.
Overall though, a ghost manipulating events in the background to make a PC a hero is an interesting villain. I also like the idea of a ghost bard.
It's compelling, but I have 15 more to read before I know if it gets my vote.
I don't expect flawless execution, but I want it to be close.
Before withdrawing from the competition I created statblocks for two separate villains. It was much more time consuming than I expected, but my own gaming library provided numerous examples for reference and I was usually able to find a quick answer to any specific stat block question I had.
Based on my experience, if a stat block does have errors, I hope it's a corner case. For example: "How do I show that a lich's fear aura only effects 5 HD or less creatures?"
Some of these issues are not clear cut and deserve leniency. If a contestants basic math if off though... that is cause for concern.
I appreciate all the kind words and support.
Life events prevent me from continuing in this competition, but this experience has given me a deep confidence in my design ability and I plan to enter RPG Superstar again next year.
I almost withdrew from entering last round, but my desire to compete overcame my common sense. I wrote about two-thirds of Kestria in under two hours and then submitted my entry with little to no editing. Besides the admittedly bad grammar and the low word count, a lot of the country was unrealized. Olbridge itself is especially devoid of flavor.
I’d rather a fellow contestant advance than put forth rough drafts. If this is a job interview, I want to put my best foot forward and not get a reputation for bad work.
Best of luck to the other contestants and especially to lucky #17,
Clark Peterson wrote:
I have to admit, I am pleased to see you deliver on this. Your country is very much like your lantern--not the most unique or mindblowing, but solid and well constructed. I have to admit, you keep up that kind of solid design and you are going to have yourself a job in this industry. Cause gonzo is great, but day in day out solid design is Superstar. Nice work.
Whether I make it to the next round or not, you've made my day. That's a hell of a compliment and it's very appreciated.
I'd like to say more regarding my specific entry, but with the new rules I better not. Instead, if I advance I promise to raise the bar with my villain. I'm pretty excited about that one...
magdalena thiriet wrote:
(pricing seems a bit high)
When originally designing the Lantern os Selective Perception, I was thinking of a signifigantly lower price. The problem is I looked at the price of Goggles of Night at 12,000 gp and figured the Lantern should cost more than that or I might get dinged by the judges.
I definitely like your flavor text and approach. It also eliminates my Lantern's limitation of never being able to view the light from further than 30'.
For clarification, the Lantern of Selective Perception does require oil to be burnt as well, but it's implicit in the first sentence of the description and not explicitely as in yours.
Above these councils sits the king who has final absolute say over Kestria and its people. The king exerts his will through his secret police, the Unseen. These masked soldiers live double lives and its members are taken from all branches of Kestrian society ranging from members of both ruling councils to thugs living in the black slums of Drascoll.
Description: Once part of a much larger empire, Kestria spans the plains between the sentient Living Wood in the west and the oft contested Fel Gap in the east. To the north stand the sheer cliffs of the Frost Worm Mountains from which a hundred waterfalls join to form the lifeblood of Kestria, the mighty Ausaton River. To the south lie the kingdoms of Gunyr, Osat, and Zhal.
Incursions through the Fel Gap are defended by the walled city of Drascoll where constant defense is required against the demon tribes to the east. The nearby hills are filled with risky mining operations where they uncover not only gold and silver, but also artifacts from ages past when the demon tribes ruled these lands under a single infernal banner. Trade for mithral weapons from the nearby dwarves is common as the city protects not only Kestria, but the small dwarven kingdom of Voruski as well.
At Kestria’s heart lies the trade city of Olbridge. Here, in Electrum Square, prospective buyers can find goods ranging from simple textiles, to witchcraft from the demon tribes, to exotic wares from the fey of the Living Wood. After selling their treasures for a week or two, merchants then load any remaining goods onto barges and ship their goods south down the Ausaton and into the kingdoms beyond. Adjacent to Electrum Square is the Church of Many. Here, after worshiping any of Kestria’s many gods, one can witness a meeting of the Council of a Thousand Scriptures or climb to the heights of its central spire and enjoy a panoramic view of the rest of the city, the skyline broken only by the palace itself. Once one of the busiest places in Olbridge, the grand palace is now largely empty and is officially used only by the Council of the Named. Its near vacancy began five years ago when the king moved from the palace to his country manor. Since then, the High Lord has yet to revisit the city and there are rumors that he has abandoned the people of Kestria completely.
With these rumors spreading to neighboring lands, an old border dispute with Gunyr has flared up and increasingly large raids from the demon tribes attack through the Fel Gap. People have been disappearing from their homes late and night and the number of merchants willing to trade with Kestria decrease as trade routes become more dangerous and banditry more common.
Trouble lies at every turn and Kestria is a nation on the edge.
DM Secrets: High Lord Stavros is completely insane and on the verge of death. Five years ago he discovered his son and only heir had slept with one of his servants and impregnated her. In anger he struck the servant causing her to have a miscarriage. When his son confronted him, he struck the Prince with his scepter. Soon after, while holding his son in his arms, his son died of blood loss. For days, the king tried to have his son resurrected, but none of the priests in Olbridge could bring his son back from the dead. He hung many of the priests for their failure. Beginning to go mad and with no heir, Stavros saw assassins around every corner. In an attempt to protect himself, he moved his rule from the palace to his country manor. Once there, he immediately began to build a new fortress and pulled in troops from throughout Kestria to defend his new home. He then commanded the Unseen to root out any potential traitors to the throne and bring them to his new keep. So with very little reason, the Unseen began to pull people from their homes late at night. In near solitude, the mad king now spends his days praying for the gods to return him his son and his nights torturing potential traitors to the throne.
The Unseen are at war with themselves. Morally corrupt, its leaders shield King Stavros from the realities of Kestrian Society. They know the depths of the kings madness and protect themselves from death by providing the king a continuous supply of new traitors; however, many of the Unseen’s members are loyal to Kestria first and High Lord Stavros second. As the Unseen are ordered to capture more traitors, many of them act to prevent the senseless violence and protect the innocent. Renegade cells of Unseen have formed and they fight against their former comrades in an attempt to restore justice. Low on resources, and hunted by their former comrades, these rogue Unseen have begun recruiting new members in the hope of tipping the balance. Will they be successful? Or will they only succeed in tearing Kestria further apart?
Meanwhile, the Council of the Named knows Stavros is near death. With no heir for the throne, they have already begun to jockey for position, but not too heavily… lest they disappear in the night.
Thank you for the praise (and criticism).
I never heard of the Ghost Lantern spell before reading these posts. I think the mechanic works better as a magic item than a 3rd level spell though. It’s hard to give up haste, fireball, etc… for a spell like this. Even so, I do like the name Ghost Lantern; it has a nice ring to it.
Originally I was going to have the Lantern work regardless of distance, but then I considered what would happen if a party of adventurers stumbled upon one that was already lit. Could they light a Lantern that was already lit? Could they put out a fire they can’t see? I finally settled on the 30’ radius to solve these conundrums.
In my own campaign I would also add Detect Thoughts as a prerequisite. Light and Darkvision are no brainers, but Detect Thoughts does a great job of explaining how the Lantern knows who is an ally and who’s not. I didn’t include it in my submission because I wanted to play it safe and avoid the possibility of the judges saying, “Huh? Why is that spell listed?”
In any event, it’s great reading all of your posts. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d like the scrutiny, but the feedback, both good and bad, is great to see.
Lantern of Selective Perception
Faint evocation; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, darkvision, light; Price 15,000 gp; Weight 2 lb.