Losing items


RPG Superstar™ 2008 General Discussion

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Skaven13 wrote:
The Benevolent DM wrote:
Caduca’s Chewy
I like this one. I could see it in a light hearted campaign, or just one of those evenings where the party is taking the night off from gloomy adventures. Great for stopping those pesky owlbears. Although I don't think immobility is the best way to implement this. Maybe lose the bite attack until the chewy is destroyed, or becomes distracted easily, so it becomes flat footed (cause it's filled with peanut butter...) ;)

Thanks Skaven for your message. Its much appreciated! In fact there was a paragraph I edited out to come in under the word limit which increased the save DC if "Halfling Nut Butter" was added to the chewy! Ummm Nuts...

Bah you people and your dark brooding games! Mind you what should I expect from a Planeswalker, a scribe of Demons and a worshipper of Orcus judging my item! BOO! Put some sunshine in your games people! Better yet put some chewies in it!


Here's my entry...any and all comments, from judges or otherwise, appreciated!

Sneak’s Mirror

This finely crafted ebony-framed hand mirror produces only a shadowy reflection. Twice per day, you can extract your reflection by touching the surface (move action). It grows to full size, appearing in an adjacent square.

Unless destroyed, the shadow reflection persists for three minutes. It begins with 20% of your full hit points. All other statistics are identical to yours, except that it lacks your special attacks and qualities and can attack only once per round, using your base attack bonus and inflicting only one point of damage. It suffers no damage from area effects. It obeys your mental commands (free action), but it cannot speak either verbally or telepathically. Without direction, it flanks any opponent you melee.

Upon activation, you can accept two points of Constitution and/or Wisdom damage (though you need not choose either). If you accept Constitution damage, you become invisible (as the spell) for up to three minutes, with the reflection initially appearing in your square. If you accept Wisdom damage, you can see through the reflection’s eyes.

Moderate illusion; CL 11th; Craft Wondrous Item, mislead, shadow conjuration; Price 14,000 gp

I'm guessing it was probably the complexity that did it in, though I'm sure others will find more problems.

Scarab Sages

Syrinth wrote:

Ok, so I'm throwing my item into the mix. Thoughts? Suggestions? Severe issues?

Discerning Eye

It detects magic in the vicinity, but not where or how strong. There is no explanation of how to run it with multiple magic effects within its limits (like, say, an entire group of PCs). The ability to exclude items as a free action makes it too twink-ish. Change that to concentrate for a turn and needing to reset it each day and it balances better.

I'd defeat this with a bag of copper coins with Nystul's Magic Aura cast on each.

Scarab Sages

EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
Does anyone know if Paizo posted a link providing the reason non-advancing items didn't make it. I got the impression some folks already knew why their item didn't advance. It would be nice to read this if such a link exists.

See the Bad Item Stereotypes thread in this forum.


Patrick Walsh wrote:
Skaven13 wrote:

Well, after I just poked fun at the arquebus of pillows, figure I should put mine up here.

Scroll case of Armaxis

If I read this right, this makes all scrolls placed in the tube doubleshot and there is not limit to the number of scrolls that can be placed inside. This could get very abusive.

I'd drop the re-use power and set a limit to the number of scrolls that can be placed in the tube or perhaps the number of levels of spells that can be used.

The intention is one scroll per case, although if there were more than one scroll, there is only one recall of a spell of a particular level per day. I will need to make sure my players never see that loophole. ;)

Although I do like the idea of a limited number of scrolls that can be cast from the case and dropping the re-use power. Maybe as a different item.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

(oops)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

ancientsensei wrote:

CLARK!!!!

I invited you to kick me in the berries and you reveiw someone else's items? I feel cheated! By not being kicked in the berries! That makes no sense! What's wrong with me?

Erik, Wolf and I rejected your request to be kicked in the berries. No discussion. Just a quick rejection.

Its not that your berries are bad. They arent. And I respect you holding your berries out there for us to kick. Better luck next time.

:)

(just kidding, you know that, right? i will try to review yours)

Scarab Sages

DangerDwarf wrote:
Patrick Walsh wrote:
If Tenk has it, how are the players going to get one?

In time honored D&D fashion of course! By killing Tenk and taking his stuff.

<snip>

Ha!

:D


Clark, take a stab at my entry. Anything specially wrong, or just nothing specially right?

Scapular of the Heroic Slayer: This tiny, square silver medal is a boon to those dedicated to battling the undead. It must be attached to a length of chain, cord or leather and hung backwards from a nonevil character’s neck. In order to benefit from it, the wearer must be blessed by a priest of that religion. The scapular (plural scapulae) occupies the same slot as an amulet, but if attached to a periapt of Wisdom, the wearer can benefit from both items at the same time. Some religions even produce matching sets of periapts and scapulars.
The scapular of the heroic slayer possesses two functions. First, its wearer gains the benefits of uncanny dodge and improved uncanny dodge if at least one of his opponents is undead.
The second function of the scapular is the one most users really seek. As long as the scapular is being worn at the time of death, its wearer can never be turned into an undead, wether by spells or other effects, even if the scapular is removed afterwards.
Moderate necromancy [good]; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, augury, gentle repose, creator must be nonevil; Price 15,000 gp.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

caelum wrote:

Here's my entry...any and all comments, from judges or otherwise, appreciated!

Sneak’s Mirror

This finely crafted ebony-framed hand mirror produces only a shadowy reflection. Twice per day, you can extract your reflection by touching the surface (move action). It grows to full size, appearing in an adjacent square.

Unless destroyed, the shadow reflection persists for three minutes. It begins with 20% of your full hit points. All other statistics are identical to yours, except that it lacks your special attacks and qualities and can attack only once per round, using your base attack bonus and inflicting only one point of damage. It suffers no damage from area effects. It obeys your mental commands (free action), but it cannot speak either verbally or telepathically. Without direction, it flanks any opponent you melee.

Upon activation, you can accept two points of Constitution and/or Wisdom damage (though you need not choose either). If you accept Constitution damage, you become invisible (as the spell) for up to three minutes, with the reflection initially appearing in your square. If you accept Wisdom damage, you can see through the reflection’s eyes.

Moderate illusion; CL 11th; Craft Wondrous Item, mislead, shadow conjuration; Price 14,000 gp

I'm guessing it was probably the complexity that did it in, though I'm sure others will find more problems.

This one stuck around for a while. I liked it, though in the end the con/wis damage was a mechanic we appreciated why you used but didnt really like. None of us judges are that thrilled with ability damage and the annoying in game math it requires.

Scarab Sages

William Booth wrote:

What the heck, let a lurker post his submission.

Tunic of Negative Energy Reversal:

What if you cast cure light wounds? Does it reverse, double effect, or simply pass through.

This side-steps the check and balance of having a "healer" with negative energy spells. "I can heal my friends and harm enemies, all with the same spell. Why should I ever give any thought to spell selection ever again."

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Here is what we said more fully:

Erik said:

I want to dislike this strongly, but parts of it appeal to me. The bit about losing some stats to get various powers is interesting. That said, can the shadowy double manipulate objects? Can it use magic items? Spells like unseen servant speak clearly on this matter, so I would have appreciated a little more clarification here.
I think this is (obviously) ripe for abuse, so while I like elements of it I'm afraid I'm going to have to vote reject.

Wolfgang Baur said:

I was so ready to hate this: the name isn't great, and then the shadow/mirror angle is pretty overplayed. But... I kinda like it. A body double for 3 minutes is tactically interesting. It's not much of a combat monster. It doesn't speak so it's a terrible social encounter tool. I'm not really clear what this thing is best at, actually, other than leading watchers or guards astray. Could definitely use some stronger mechanical work. Can that cost be right? Undecided.

Clark Peterson said:

I have to give the author big marks for creativity. This is uncharted waters (ok, the shadow double isnt, but the mechanics and stuff he is going for is). I HATE ability damage. "OK, time out, refigure your hit points and saves and skills based on CON or your saves and bonus spells and skills based on WIS!" That is why I hate 3E poison. Pain in the ass. But I like what the guy is trying to do. It makes a neat spy or turns you invisible. Kinda cool. I'm leaning to reject, but not a clear reject.

I then posted again:

The ability damage pushed me over the edge to reject.

But perhaps worthy of an honorable mention.

==============

This item lasted until our final cut down to the 71 "keepers". It didnt make it to the 71 keepers but it stuck around until the end and was rejected at the last minute. We thought about it for a while.

Scarab Sages

Dryder wrote:

Oh well, here's mine:

Pillow of Comfort

Didn't I read another pillow that does the same thing earlier today?

And there's your problem.

Also, makes adventuring easy, which is anti-heroic.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

Clark Peterson wrote:
ancientsensei wrote:

CLARK!!!!

I invited you to kick me in the berries and you reveiw someone else's items? I feel cheated! By not being kicked in the berries! That makes no sense! What's wrong with me?

Erik, Wolf and I rejected your request to be kicked in the berries. No discussion. Just a quick rejection.

Its not that your berries are bad. They arent. And I respect you holding your berries out there for us to kick. Better luck next time.

:)

Ouch, I guess.

Scarab Sages

piers wrote:

In the spirit of standing up and taking my licks like a man:

Bracelets of Alliance

+4 initiative and +4 to hit for all five characters in a group is might tough and fairly adventure breaking. Make one of them the master bracelet and have that one get all the bonuses and you have a spellcaster buff that lets the group help the guy with the lowest initiative and usually the lowest BAB.

Sovereign Court Contributor

Okay, my will broke, go ahead and critique.

Droskar's Anvil
Price: 5000 gp
Body Slot: Arms
Caster Level: 5th
Aura: Faint transmutation and conjuration
Weight: 250 lbs.

This heavy black anvil bears a chain connected to pair of manacles.

While manacled to Droskar's Anvil, you gain a +5 competence bonus to all Craft skill checks related to metal, and you require no rest or sustenance. Every eight hours you may make a day's progress creating or enchanting metal items. The anvil does not provide any materials or a workshop.

The anvil inflicts one point of Charisma damage on you per day of use (Fortitude save resists, no save if you do no work). You may attempt a Will save to unshackle yourself once per day. All saves are DC 12+1/day shackled to the anvil. Remove curse frees you instantly.

If the anvil reduces you to 0 Charisma, you become a Forge Spurned (see Crown of the Kobold King).

Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item; 5 ranks in Craft skill; create food and water
Cost to create: 2500 gp, 200 XP, 5 days

Obviously I used the bad format, and it's another craft item. I knew from the get go that I might be overdoing the Golarion link, that was sort of a calculated risk. But in my defense, it was simply that this is the way I was inspired to design it, and I decided to not strip out the Golarion feel. I've been particularly fond of Droskar since he was first posted on the blog.

I had more descriptive detail that might have made the better, but my word counter said 196 as it was.

It's also possible that the judges realized that it was just a thinly disguised modern computer workstation.

Scarab Sages

Made it to page 10. I'll pick up again tomorrow.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

ancientsensei wrote:

CLARK!!!!

I invited you to kick me in the berries and you reveiw someone else's items? I feel cheated! By not being kicked in the berries! That makes no sense! What's wrong with me?

Sensei-

The main problem we had was that it lacked details for the DM to run the item. We all felt that the "valuable information" was not spelled out enough.

"Once per week, a character resting on the pillow dreams of traps and other hazards likely to occur in the next few days. During this reverie, the character cannot manipulate objects, cast spells or use other abilities, only survey her surroundings. In addition to this valuable information, ..."

How long can they look? How much do they get to know? Is it tied to a spell effect? We felt it needed more details, as it was probably the most important and abusable of the properties.

We did note, however, that while it was an augury item at least it wasnt a coin. :)

Youu definately got some of the "augury item drain" that I have commented on in prior posts--we saw a lot of augury items. Yours wasnt a problem for that reason. Your item's problem was the lack of what we viewed were necessary details. But all in all a very good effort and interesting idea.

I'm still not sure why we got so many sleep and augury and dream related items.


caelum wrote:
Sneak’s Mirror

I like it. If it were mine, I might want to focus more on shadowy, foreboding stuff rather than the mirrory/hiding stuff. Make it something a warlock or hexblade might use.

Maybe add some sort of very slow sapping of energy from the user... Perhaps each time the shadow reflection is conjured, you make a Fort save or 1 point of permanent Con drain as wisps of black essence drift off of your flesh and into the conjured shadow reflection, whose hit points would rise by a further 10%. (If going with this idea, I'd slash the requirements and price dramatically.) Just a thought.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Clark, can you share my comments? I'd be surprised if there was anything other than 3 rejects as I look at the item in retrospect, but on the off chance anything else is there, I would like to feed (or, more likely, abuse) my enormous ego. He's a growing boy, dontchaknow.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

Rambling Scribe wrote:

Okay, my will broke, go ahead and critique.

Droskar's Anvil
Price: 5000 gp
Body Slot: Arms
Caster Level: 5th
Aura: Faint transmutation and conjuration
Weight: 250 lbs.

This heavy black anvil bears a chain connected to pair of manacles.

Well,

I guess that the forge spurned reference disqualifies it for me, I don't know what it is and feel that it should be included in the description of the item.

Also, you could more clearly describe that it cuts the creation time by a third.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

Clark Peterson wrote:


I'm still not sure why we got so many sleep and augury and dream related items.

Must be daylight savings....

All those people whose internal clock needs adjusting, the need for sleep is overwhelming.


Wow, Clark, I just want to say what a friggin' awesome thing you are doing sharing your time commenting on the various submissions that ended up not being selected. Even the brutal honest commentaries are insightful.

(Yes, I'm sucking up so you might share your views on mine, too. Here it is...)

Spoiler:
Conundrum of the Secret Scribe, an enchanted notion

Enchanted Notions: More than mere thoughts, enchanted notions are the mental equivalents of magic items, residing in the psyches of their possessors, and are wielded with command words. They may be stored instantly in arcane marks; written down using the Scribe Scroll feat, which takes one hour per 1,000 gp in the base price; or taught directly, which is just as lengthy a process. Someone seeking to learn an enchanted notion must make a Decipher Script (if read) or Spellcraft (if taught) check to do so (DC 10 + notion’s caster level). Once a notion is written or taught successfully, it is wiped from its former owner’s mind. No one may know more than one enchanted notion at a time.
Conundrum of the Secret Scribe: This complex magic formula allows its ponderer once per day to see and hear the circumstances surrounding the origin of any writing touched, as if she were scrying on its author during its creation, regardless of the intervening distance or time. If the text is a copy, the copyist will be revealed instead of the author of the source work.
Moderate divination; CL 9th; Craft Wondrous Item, scrying; Price 32,000 gp.

Dark Archive Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

chopswil wrote:

Boots of Stinking Retreat

On command once per day, these boots emit a stinking cloud from the back heels. The cloud is as per the spell except the cloud forms a cone (10 ft. height and 50 ft. long) as the cloud streams from the back of the boot, if the wearer is running, as is usually the case. If the wearer is standing still, the cloud forms a sphere as per the spell and the wearer is affected by the cloud as normal.
These boots are used by the Eye of One thieves' guild to help cover their retreat if they are being pursued. Woe to the guild member that lets his command word be known, as other members are not above saying it at the opportune time.
Other versions of the boots exist for smoke (pyrotechnics) and death (cloud kill).

Faint conjuration; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, stinking cloud; Price 16,200 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Well, everyone else is asking for some berry abuse.

I'm guessing solid but doesn't jump out at you...
Clark, how about it?


*casts Summon Clark*

Hey Clark, if you're in the mood and care to offer your two cents on my Brooch, I'd be most appreciative:

Spoiler:

Brooch of Social Grace

Originally designed with the socially inept wizard in mind, these items of jewelry have also been commissioned by wealthy families or adventurers for special occasions. This eye-pleasing accoutrement can be used to clasp a cloak, sash, or similar piece of formal wear. The brooch persistently grants its wearer a +2 competence bonus to Diplomacy, Bluff, and Gather Information skill checks.

Upon activating the brooch, the wearer will subconsciously speak, gesture, and conduct himself in a manner that any person who converses with him for 5 rounds or more will find most pleasing. This may manifest itself by, for example, having the wearer take on a regional accent that the listener shares, or by having the wearer gesticulate with his hands in a manner that puts the listener at ease. Once 5 rounds of conversation have passed, the listener's attitude will improve one category (see Diplomacy skill). The listener’s attitude is subject to change as normal, and any person can have their attitude improved only once per 24 hour period.

Once per day, the wearer can charm someone, as per the spell charm person.

Faint enchantment; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, charm person, Price 6,500 gp.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

Yeah, thanks much Clark! Every extra commentary is informative!

Which is a preface for putting my own item in for whatever comments existed, if any. If it was e-z pass, would be nice to know that too.

Kylix of Batrachomyomachy

Spoiler:

This copper-rimmed cup is adorned with figures of anthropomorphic frogs and mice wearing armor and carrying weaponry.

Anyone imbibing any beverage from it will be able to see the allegiances of everyone in the room regarding any controversial topic under discussion. Those on one side of the topic will appear vaguely froglike, and those on the other vaguely mouselike. The extent to which the observed person resembles a frog or mouse is indicative of how strongly they feel about the topic. This perception is only visible to the user. The drinker will also view the topic as somewhat ridiculous, allowing them to make dispassionate judgements about whose allegiances lie where.

A successful Will check by an observed person prevents the effect from applying to their appearance. The effect lasts for 5 minutes per use.

Faint divination and illusion; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, detect thoughts, silent image; price 4,100 gp; weight 1 lb.


Patrick Walsh wrote:
William Booth wrote:

What the heck, let a lurker post his submission.

Tunic of Negative Energy Reversal:

What if you cast cure light wounds? Does it reverse, double effect, or simply pass through.

This side-steps the check and balance of having a "healer" with negative energy spells. "I can heal my friends and harm enemies, all with the same spell. Why should I ever give any thought to spell selection ever again."

Thanks for the comments!

I thought about having a blurb about how wearing the shirt inside out reverses the effect, but I passed because I couldn't decide on the usefulness of a shirt that converted cure spells cast on you into inflict spells. I guess if you were an intelligent undead ally of a good-aligned cleric?

Valid point on the checks and balances.

The Positive cleric can spontaneously heal, and doesn't have to worry about spell selection. This item gives the negative cleric the same flexibility to a limited degree. It only gives him the flexibility on allies who spend a body slot to wear the item. And it's usefulness becomes limited once wands become affordable. Then the item's main use becomes resisting inflict spells.

Of course, Now I've written that I think I see that if everyone in the party wears one, you just eliminated cure spells from the game. Or even just one that can be passed around. Oh well, guess I'm not superstar material...yet...

It's only fair I return the favor:
Thurburner Stone

I like this a lot. I see this as a very useful, balanced item that makes slings interesting at high level. The only thing I don't like is the cost vs the duration to recover. 36,000 is a lot, and after use the PC either has to wait 24 hours to recover it, leave it behind, or come back later and hope it is still there. I thing I might have done is reduce the cost and the damage (to compensate for reduced cost) and add a command word to shrink it down over a minute. That ensures it can be recovered immediately after an encounter, but keeps it from being used over and over in an encounter.

Thanks Again.
And a big thanks to the judges!

Sovereign Court Contributor

Darkjoy wrote:
Rambling Scribe wrote:

Droskar's Anvil

Well,

I guess that the forge spurned reference disqualifies it for me, I don't know what it is and feel that it should be included in the description of the item.

Also, you could more clearly describe that it cuts the creation time by a third.

Fair enough.

The forge spurned is an undead monster that was posted on the Paizo blog a while ago. I didn't have enough words to but in the description. But you're right, if you don't know it, the meaning is lost.

But it doesn't actually cut creation time by a third. It allows you to work more hours per day, increasing your potential output by three. I did play around with the wording quite a bit. How could this be clearer?

Thanks for your input!


Ken Marable wrote:


Looks like I'm falling behind on my feedback karma (been getting but not giving). Better start digging through the thread now.

I'm in the opposite boat, Ken, so I'd love some feedback on my Scarf of Skills. :-D

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

CLARK-

Please give me the evaluation!

I've gotten some feedback that it's a plot device disguised as an item. Possibly too exploitable. I'm trying to get some straight dope though, since it's a heavily heavily restricted use of Legend Lore designed to emulate the old Sensitive to Psychic Impressions ability from 1st Edition AD&D Psionics. I really thought I limited it enough.

Please take a look! First spoiler tag is just the item itself.

Spoiler:
Lantern of Light Long Lost: This rectangular bullseye lantern has shuttered doors on opposite sides. One door sheds a reddish continual flame, the other a slightly bluish light. Once per day with the command word, the possessor can shine the lantern upon a person, place, or thing for 1d4 x 10 minutes scrying into the subject’s past, acting as a clairvoyance sensor. The lantern then projects from the other side a silent image. The image is a scene from an event that took place in the past involving the subject that is directly relevant to the user’s interest. The lantern can not answer questions, interpret, or depict indirect information. Divination spells and mystic senses can not be used with it. Natural darkness and lower level darkness spells will not hinder the lantern’s functioning; but anti-scrying magics that were active during a period in history will thwart it for the time that such spells were active. Individuals in the past can not usually detect this scrying by any means; as such attempts will not have actually happened yet.

Moderate divination; CL 11th; Craft Wondrous Item, clairvoyance, continual flame, legend lore, silent image; Price 39,000 gp; Weight 2 lb.

If you're utterly as insane as I am, here are my design notes. Design notes? Yeah, design notes. I love to write and hear myself talk too. And Ancientsensi talks a good game, but I really am arrogant on a level that I would keep a diary about writing a 200 word item.. Anyway, these are optional because they're too god-durned long.

Spoiler:

*********************
Conceptualization

Coming up with an original idea when there’s already so many good idea publicized can be the first hurdle. I’m fairly new to SRD 3.5, but I did have a lot of insight into first edition AD&D, and many of the classic items in the DMG are literally close to 20 years old, or older. When re-introduced myself to the game a few months ago I took a good look at item design, and I realized- a lot of it had gone by the way of “Take Special Ability from Chart 1.2 and apply it to template object on Chart 1.3”, particularly in the case of weapons. Granted you see a lot less of that with Wondrous Items, but also consider a lot of the SRD d20 Wondrous Items are based off ideas that existed prior to this new modern standardization of magic items. They tended to be organic in design.

This is my fancy way of saying, to think outside the box, you need to think outside the book, as in the rule books. There was a 2 second temptation to start thumbing through the DMG and other sourcebooks to find an idea. I immediately closed the book then and set it aside. There was another thought then, “What if someone has already made something like I want to make, shouldn’t I check to be sure?” Again, I told myself ‘no’. I made the decision that if I accidentally made something similar to something already written in another book, so be it- I just won’t make the first round and I’ll lose. On the other hand, knowing all the classic DMG items already, when I came up with my idea, I trusted my instincts when they told me ‘you have something original here.’

So, looking for inspiration, I started daydreaming about items that I’d never heard of, but that I thought would be handy to have. I also drew upon fiction, tv shows, and media that wasn’t related to role-playing. One idea popped in my head from an episode of the Twilight Zone. It was about a camera that could take a picture of what happened 24 hours into the past. I took that seed of an idea and started to play with it. That made me think of the old AD&D Psionics. What I loved about the old Psionic rule set was that it had powers and abilities not easily reproduced by the Core Rules. Kick ass powers like Object Reading and Sensitive To Psychic Impressions. While I didn’t want to make a Psionic item, I did blend these ideas into the concept of an object that allowed you to look into the past.

Theme(s)

Certainly the Ninth Tarot card, the Hermit, certainly gave a visual touch to the idea. The usually elderly Hermit shines his lantern on a pole into the darkness in order to gain clarity. That clarity could apply to the future or to the past, but in my design I stuck strictly to the past. Why? Well, any future predicting device was bound to be a hard sell with the judges because prescience is always tricky things in any RPG, and if you’re not perfect about it, the item tends to viewed as gimmicky. However, there is an in game precedent about learning what has happened in the past.

I have to also admit I’m a Green Lantern fan, and there’s something very striking about how they hold them in front of themselves with that handle at the top.

Then I pondered the nature of light. I’m no physicist, but I remember enough of Cosmos to recall “red shift” and “blue shift”, which is part of the Doppler Effect of light moving away from you and towards you respectively. Also, there is a lot of poetic commentary regarding the nature of suns that have long gone dead before their light actually ever arrives to Earth, not to mention the notion that energy doesn’t vanish, it’s just changed into another form. I start seeing the “light” theme recurring, and when it came time to decide how powerful it was, I adhered to that theme.

After that, I had a solid idea, now I had to refine them with some actual game mechanics.

Development

Here’s where idea meets practicality. I had an idea that was not based on obvious game mechanics, how do I take SRD d20 and make it work? First off, I started looking for the primary school of magic that the item would use. No-brainer there, divination. But what spell? I pretty much read every single divination or knowledge domain spell in the Player’s Handbook, and Legend Lore was the only one that even came close.

Legend Lore, for me, has always been problematic. It might be a great spell, but I’ve always had some issues with it. It takes far too long to get information if you don’t have a solid lead on your question first. Also, where does this spectral riddling voice (in the spell example) come from anyway? I mean, the spell isn’t Contact Other Plane, nevertheless ‘knowledge’ just comes to the caster from ‘somewhere’. The spell designers left some unanswered questions in the spell’s description. However, instead of making my item stretch the limits of the spell, I used the limitations of the spell to help define my item. That was important, because the contest didn’t allow you ignore SRD just because it’s fuzzy, you had to work with it.

Legend Lore has essentially three levels of use based on how much you know about the subject.
1.) Direct access to the subject requires 1d4 x 10 minutes.
2.) When you only have direct not knowledge, but not anything tangible it requires days of time,
3.) When you have nothing but rumors and supposition the spell takes weeks.

I eliminate the two lower tiers of usage entirely by mandating that the lantern shine directly on a person, place or thing, and in fact I keep the 1d4 x 10 minutes “scanning time” for game balance. You can’t scan something you ‘have knowledge of’, and you definitely can’t scan something is just ‘rumored’, that’s how I focus the Legend Lore spell and balance the power of my item. I don’t even give the item the possibility of using Legend Lore spell like ability as comprehensively as it can be sued with the spell itself. It can only be used on something concrete in front of it, and the information it gives is every bit as direct and without interpretation- in the form of visual images.. It’s important to use Legend Lore judiciously, and the only other close example of that is the Mirror of Mental Prowess.

Now to me, it was just hokey and lame to imagine a ghostly voice coming from the Lantern spouting information. Also, I felt for game balance that the information had to be short and concise. Since I was already working on the theme involving light, Silent Image came to mind. I have to give a nod to James Jacobs here for his examples of Silent Image use in Pathfinder “Burnt Offerings” from the section with Ripnugget’s throne room.

I faced a certain amount of temptation here. Theoretically, if a mage can make this lantern, they could make it with Major Image as the delivery medium rather than Silent Image. You know? Have a 3D movie of the past. Certainly if I was making one from scratch as a player, that’s what I’d be tempted to do. However, thematically it wasn’t in keeping with ‘light’ concept and it made the whole thing feel a little unbalanced. What decided it for me was considering, “How would I feel about this item if I was the GM?” Having Major Image seem to be an invitation to giving players too much in terms of game secret and puzzle spoiling abilities, even if they could only use it once a day.

Okay, at this point you might be wondering, why do I fold Continual Flame and Clairvoyance into the mix? Good question! I wasn’t satisfied with connecting acquired visual information with just Legend Lore, especially if I was going to be delivering it through a visual illusion, and have it be used more than once a week. That’s when I started considering Clairvoyance. I sort of patched it together as a logical sequence. The Legend Lore is the means of bridging the present and the past, Clairvoyance gives the visual medium, and Silent Image conveys it back to the user. The three of them work in harmony. The Continual Flame serves a dual purpose. First, you can always use the lantern just as a lantern- plain and simple. After all, isn’t it kinda silly to have a magic lantern that can’t also be used as a normal lantern? Secondly, I always intended the lantern to be useful under most conditions- ergo, I didn’t want to give a GM the means to rule “it was dark in the room during the moment pertaining to your interest, ergo you see nothing but darkness.” I’m all for placing restrictions on powerful items but that would be utterly lame.

Editing

By far, this was one of the biggest challenges. If you couldn’t tell from this post, I like to write, and I write in a conversational style. I can’t thank Clark Peterson enough for firmly stating on the boards the importance of staying within word count.

This is the point where I cracked a DMG and started looking at examples. Just about every item had next to no background fluff, and barely any physical descriptive text. I’d never stopped to consider that, but if you look for yourself, it’s there plain as day. So I started rewriting as ruthlessly as I could. And every time I thought I was doing okay, I’d come across something else I had to include. For example, if I was using Clairvoyance as part of how it works, it made sense to mention that certain mystic senses and spells wouldn’t work on the image any better than they would with a standard Clairvoyance spell. Every time I found something I had to include, I had to cut something else out.

Every time I cut something out, I was amazed by how little you could get by with a few words. For example, instead of saying that “the lantern produced a visual illusion of the past like a Silent Image spell”, I eventually just said “silent image”.

There are holes in the text that I think need more description. There is no mention how long the Silent Image lasts, for example. I’d have also liked to have added that the Lantern can be used as just a lantern (even though that is specifically implied). I’d like to have touched upon the two colored shades of light and suggest which one shines on the object and which one projects the scene from the past. Finally, I’d like to have described with a hook or handle on the top. All of those things got sacrificed for word count. Finally, if I had to do it over, I’d have stated what exactly it does much more straight forwardly than I actually do.

Pricing and Finishing

Like everyone, I’m sure, I found pricing to be very difficult. I looked at the charts, tables, and crafting rules over very thoroughly and practiced reverse engineering a handful of established items. Unsurprisingly, I very rarely came up with the same price as the DMG (just try the Mirror of Mental Prowess! That’s a challenge right there!).

I finally decided that I had to take my best guess and hope for the best. Here was my method:

I decided that Legend Lore, Clairvoyance, and Silent Image were not separate and distinct abilities, but a gestalt of one new special ability, so I called them ‘Multiple Similar Abilities’, as per page 282 of the DMG.

I priced the Legend Lore at 100%, the Clairvoyance at 75%, and Silent Image at 50%, all under the Command Word price level (Spell Level x 1,800 gps) for spell like abilities. This was excruciating, because the book actually states Spell Level x Caster Level x 1800 gps, but I was not getting even close to accurate answers when I reverse engineered even simple items that way, so I stuck to (Spell Level x 1,800 gps).

Then I divided the sum of all of that by 5, to represent the fact that it could only be used once a day. Yes, that would allow you to use it 5 times a day, but that would have made the item too powerful.

Finally, since the lantern can be used as just a lantern, I added Continual Flame, as a new ability at continuous use price to the previous subtotal, and add it in at 100% to my other total. Sure, by my notes above, it does work in conjunction with the other abilities, but it also has its own distinct use. Plus it had a weirdo power and I didn’t want it to be too cheap.

Using It In A Campaign

I would be extremely cautious about this baby ever falling into the hands of low level characters, particularly if you’re doing a campaign where there is a gradually unfolding story. I believe it is a fair item, but it’s powerful in it’s own way. Unless you’re a bard, you need to be at least around 11th level to make one, and I wouldn’t let one fall into the hands of players until approximately that level. By then a campaign should be advanced enough in storyline that the meta-game intent for it’s design won’t unbalance the game. This is a tool to give clues not spoilers, and maybe unveil some back story and get players unstuck. It’s also very effective in the hands of a Master Villain who might be working in opposition to the players. Like the Legend Lore spell itself, the best use is to answer enough of their questions to guide the players in formulating new ideas and better questions. The description of Legend Lore reads very much like that, if it doesn’t give the answers, then it should point them in the right direction. Hopefully this lantern can light the way.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

Rambling Scribe wrote:


But it doesn't actually cut creation time by a third. It allows you to work more hours per day, increasing your potential output by three. I did play around with the wording quite a bit. How could this be clearer?

Thanks for your input!

Suppose it normally takes 9 day to create an item, chained to the anvil it now will take three days, right? So it cuts the required creation time by a third (that's what I meant).

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

Clark Peterson wrote:


Sensei-

The main problem we had was that it lacked details for the DM to run the item. We all felt that the "valuable information" was not spelled out enough.

How long can they look? How much do they get to know? Is it tied to a spell effect? We felt it needed more details, as it was probably the most important and abusable of the properties.

We did note, however, that while it was an augury item at least it wasnt a coin. :)

I'm still not sure why we got so many sleep and augury and dream related items.

Thanks for the revelation. Lesson learned. Instead of making a better item, next time I'll have ninjas sabotage all the items similar to mine!

Erm..and then include more rules. : } I suppose that different from the guys who stretched to 215 words, I help back too much. The parenthetical I removed: "(2-3 images or interactions chosen by the DM)" might have made a difference and only put me at 205 words.

Thanks again, and thank you for not being remotely interested in the berries!


Skaven13 wrote:

Headdress of the Shaman

The line about the myths seems out of place. If this is supposed to be an item to enhance nature summoning, then the undead/planar description just doesn't seem to fit.

Agreed.

Skaven13 wrote:
The enhancement is similar to the corpsecrafter feat from libre mortis (+4 str, +2hp/hd), so you have a minor affect (talk to the ally you summon) and a pseudo-replication of a feat.

Not to mentioned Augment Summoning, from the PH. My current wizard PC loves this feat. :-)

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

Watcher! wrote:

CLARK-

Please give me the evaluation!

If you're utterly as insane as I am, here are my design notes. Design notes? Yeah, design notes. I love to write and hear myself talk too. And Ancientsensi talks a good game, but I really am arrogant on a level that I would keep a diary about writing a 200 word item.. Anyway, these are optional because they're too god-durned long.

[Spoiler]...

GAH!!!!

Sjeez, those are some design notes.....

Regarding the item, I think I get what you are trying to do but I don't like the execution. Maybe needs some clearer rules, with results depending on how long ago something occurred.


GrinningBuddha wrote:
Brooch of Social Grace

GB, I realized I didn't comment on this from many pages ago. Here's my take on it.

If I were designing it, maybe I'd drop the skill bonuses and the 1/day charm, and just make it a constant attitude shift by one level after 5 rounds of conversation. That would make it as clean and simple as the (winning) Lantern of Selective Perception. (Harder to price though.)


Here's mine. I suppose it has been put among the "item with no spark" category.

Spoiler:

Helm of Savagery

This helm is similar to those usually weared by barbarians and savage warriors. It is often horned, winged or crafted into the likeness of fierce animals head like bears or lions.
When she dons the helm, the wearer takes on a more brutish and savage appearance. She gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Strength and a -2 penalty to Charisma. Once per day as a free action, she can enter a state of rage as if she were a barbarian. If she is already a barbarian, she can rage an additional time per day. Lastly, the wearer become illiterate as long as she wears the helm.

Moderate enchantment; CL 8th; Craft Wondrous Item, Bull's Strength, Rage; Price 12,700 gp; Weight 3 lb.


Sebastian wrote:

Clark - would you critique the item I didn't submit? I got talked out of it by a friend and it was reviewed more positively than the item I did submit (the watch that let's you take extra actions).

Bountiful Sapling

I'm obviously not Clark (what a relief for him!), but I'll give you some feedback on your un-submitted item.

I like the theme and feel of it, nurturing a plant for an effect. Two months is a long time, but how big a price this is will depend upon how much of that 2 months must be actively spent nurturing. This should have been spelled out.

Theme and feel aside, I like the anti-exhaustion effect. But unless I'm missing something, the "true power" of this item simply replaces the Brew Potion feat...that said, I also like the alternate potion form you provide.


Patrick Walsh wrote:
piers wrote:

In the spirit of standing up and taking my licks like a man:

Bracelets of Alliance

+4 initiative and +4 to hit for all five characters in a group is might tough and fairly adventure breaking. Make one of them the master bracelet and have that one get all the bonuses and you have a spellcaster buff that lets the group help the guy with the lowest initiative and usually the lowest BAB.

Makes sense, and also solves the cost problem. Thanks!

Marathon Voter Season 6

Well I'll give in. Curiosity is killing me.

Golem’s Knuckle

A full length gauntlet covered in steel plates etched with flowing runic equations. In the back of the palm is a small oval of polished marble. When activated the runes arc with raw arcane energy and the oval glows brightly.

Item takes up both Gauntlet and Bracer slots.

The wearer gains the ability to rebuke Constructs 5 times a day. They are treated as an evil cleric of the creator’s caster level for the purposes of all related checks. They use their unmodified Cha for the rebuke check.

Strong Enchantment; CL 14th, Craft Wondrous Item, Limited Wish, Geas/Quest, Price: 50,000

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Basiliv wrote:


I'm obviously not Clark (what a relief for him!), but I'll give you some feedback on your un-submitted item.

I like the theme and feel of it, nurturing a plant for an effect. Two months is a long time, but how big a price this is will depend upon how much of that 2 months must be actively spent nurturing. This should have been spelled out.

Theme and feel aside, I like the anti-exhaustion effect. But unless I'm missing something, the "true power" of this item simply replaces the Brew Potion feat...that said, I also like the alternate potion form you provide.

Thanks Basiliv. Yeah, the amount of time definitely should have been spelled out - it was supposed to be one day. I wanted to make an item that said "build a base and put me in it." I tried to make it more than just a replacement for Brew Potion by having it produce 2d4 potions for each potion created, but you are right that is the true power.

An earlier draft provided the benefits of a metamagic feat while in potted-plant form if it was present while the druid prepared spells, but that was cut due to space issues.


I think my entry may have suffered from being a bit boring and its very limited use. Anyway, judges and fellow board members please feel free to rip me a new one. Note this was the next to the last draft. I did one final edit (which I did not save) that made it exactly 200 words and changed some grammar here and there. I tried to recreate those changes but it may be a little off.

Bray Abbitt wrote:


Lupine Whistle

This instrument is a darkwood, intricately carved whistle. It can be used to produce a number of effects:

A Lupine Whistle can be blown to create a high-pitched shrill (a standard action). All dogs, wolves, and werewolves in a 10-ft. radius burst take 1d8 points of sonic damage and must succeed on a Fortitude save to avoid being stunned for 1 round. A person utilizing the instrument can deafen, rather than stun, by succeeding on a perform check (DC 20).

As a standard action, a Lupine Whistle may also be used to calm dogs and wolves as the spell animal trance.

Finally, the whistle can be used to improve the success of training a dog or wolf. A character receives a +5 competence bonus to Handle Animal checks when training such a creature.

Minor enchantment and evocation; CL 4th; Craft Wondrous Item, animal trance, sound burst; Price 5,250gp.

Designer note: Although the item replicates two spells and offers a skill bonus which would tend to warrant a higher price (30,500gp), its use is significantly reduced due to the targets that can be affected by the spells and the bonus to the skill being limited to a specific non-combat check.


ironregime wrote:
GrinningBuddha wrote:
Brooch of Social Grace

GB, I realized I didn't comment on this from many pages ago. Here's my take on it.

If I were designing it, maybe I'd drop the skill bonuses and the 1/day charm, and just make it a constant attitude shift by one level after 5 rounds of conversation. That would make it as clean and simple as the (winning) Lantern of Selective Perception. (Harder to price though.)

Hmmm, the constant battle between simplicity and robustness. I think you might be on to something. Thanks for the look-see.


Sebastian wrote:


I tried to make it more than just a replacement for Brew Potion by having it produce 2d4 potions for each potion created, but you are right that is the true power.

Oh, I completely misread that. Woops! Definitely makes a difference, and more sense.

If you've got some time, I'd love feedback on my Scarf of Skills (on page 10 of this thread). :-D

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Clark Peterson wrote:
I'm still not sure why we got so many sleep and augury and dream related items.

I think, that was for the same reason you got my item ("Desna's Dice"). You cannot read through Sean K. Reynold' s article in Pathfinder #2 without getting inspired. And Desna is all about sleep and dream, augury (and travel).

I wasn't even conscious about where my inspiration came from until I reread said article. After I felt like an idiot.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Darkjoy wrote:


GAH!!!!

Sjeez, those are some design notes.....

Regarding the item, I think I get what you are trying to do but I don't like the execution. Maybe needs some clearer rules, with results depending on how long ago something occurred.

I tried to warn ya about the notes! I write for fun as well, if that makes any sense.

I appreciate the comments. I guess I'm not seeing it because I'm too close to it. Legend Lore is one odd spell, however, if my item is abusive.. I'm not seeing how the spell isn't. Especially considering the restrictions I placed on it.

Thanks though Darkjoy!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6 aka Eyebite

Out of some morbid sense of curiosity, and having seen a great many amazing items that didn't make the cut, I would love to see the list of the final 71 items.

Although, given the number of threads that have been generated over not being selected to move forward in the contest, I can understand why this information hasn't been released.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I didn't keep a copy of my entry, so I've tried to reconstruct it here. I recall that the actual entry had rules for a few more corner cases. But I'd like some feedback on it.

AERIAL PIPE

Spoiler:

These instruments are made from the deep-red Celwynvian oak, and bound with simple brass fingerings. When played skillfully and with intent (requiring a DC 18 Perform (wind instrument) check), the flute can enchant the very air.

Individuals within 120 feet of the flautist can attempt to Balance themselves in midair (DC 20 + 1 for every 5 feet distance to the flautist). This effect is similar to the enchantment of Horseshoes of the Zephyr, save that the individuals may choose to ascend or descend 5’ for every 10’ of horizontal movement.

There are both an elven and Varisian troupe of air dancers active on the performing circuits.

Faint transmutation; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, levitate; Price: 7500 gp, weight: 1 pound.


Here's mine, for posterity :)

Ear Cuff of Shelyn

This silvery ear cuff fits snugly over the upper ear. Songbirds and other tiny charms are etched into its surface. When the ear cuff is worn a soft breeze flows around the wearer and through his hair. The breeze will strengthen quickly to deflect any incoming missiles, granting a 20% miss chance from all ranged attacks.

The ear cuff also brings whispers to the wearer's ear and and provides a subtle air of mystery. This gives a +2 competence bonus on Listen checks and all Charisma-based checks. Additionally, the ear cuff can be lightly stroked to cast a charm person spell (Will DC 11 negates) once per day.

Favored by Shelyn's charming priests, one in ten of these ear cuffs is crafted to use suggestion instead [Forgotten: Will DC 14 negates].

Faint abjuration; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, entropic shield, charm person or suggestion; Price 13,200 gp (charm person), 18,800 gp (suggestion).


KnightFever wrote:
Helm of Savagery

Sounds like a class-in-a-box. When you use this item, you gain the pros/cons of X class. In this case X = barbarian.

Swap out Dex for Str, Wis for Cha, sneak attack for rage, and you have Helm of Roguery (is that a word?)

IMHO it needs to be more unusual/inspired than that.

Liberty's Edge

The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
Mothman wrote:
The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
I wonder about the +2 Charisma bonus for paladins vs evil creatures ... seems a bit strange. What's the background story on this?
I based that on the fact that almost every paladin I've had in one of my games has tried to either a.) attempt to intimidate evil NPCs, or b.) use diplomacy to try to make captured enemies see the error of their evil ways. Sort of like frightening presence lite.

Ah - yeah, that makes sense (and I've run paladins that would do that).

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