My failed item


RPG Superstar™ 2008 General Discussion


Having failed to make it to the next round I turned to other stuff. Now though I am interested in any comments. They might help me in any further iterations of the contest.

Everchanging Heart

Appearing as anything from a lump of stone, crystal or actual beating heart, this fist sized flaw in the fabric of nature changes shape from one moment to the next. It connects to an otherworldly plane where unfathomable entities dwell and physical laws change seemingly at whim. The changing form of reality in this unnatural realm leaks via the heart, violating the laws of nature in the surrounding area.

Wherever the heart goes, the area around it is treated as though a cloak of chaos spell had been cast with the heart as the center.

A nonchaotic character who possesses an everchanging heart gains one negative level. Although this level never results in actual level loss, it remains as long as the heart is in the character’s possession and cannot be overcome in any way (including restoration spells).

Strong abjuration [chaotic]; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, cloak of chaos, creator must be chaotic; Price 200,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.


Randallw wrote:

Having failed to make it to the next round I turned to other stuff. Now though I am interested in any comments. They might help me in any further iterations of the contest.

Everchanging Heart

Appearing as anything from a lump of stone, crystal or actual beating heart, this fist sized flaw in the fabric of nature changes shape from one moment to the next. It connects to an otherworldly plane where unfathomable entities dwell and physical laws change seemingly at whim. The changing form of reality in this unnatural realm leaks via the heart, violating the laws of nature in the surrounding area.

Wherever the heart goes, the area around it is treated as though a cloak of chaos spell had been cast with the heart as the center.

A nonchaotic character who possesses an everchanging heart gains one negative level. Although this level never results in actual level loss, it remains as long as the heart is in the character’s possession and cannot be overcome in any way (including restoration spells).

Strong abjuration [chaotic]; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, cloak of chaos, creator must be chaotic; Price 200,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Umm well I am not one of the judges, and I didn't win either but - its basically a permenant cloak of chaos. So the function itself while clear isn't really all that interesting - though it is easy to price -

spell level (8) X Caster level (15) X 2000 or 240,000 - then there should (IMO) be some sort of adjustment up for a non standard body slot - IMO a cloak of chaos is logically a cloak - the norm for a non standard body slot is a 50% increase so 360,000gp. Even if the slot adjustment was toned down a bit or ignored the item is still significantly underpriced. (The negative level does offset this significantly IMO)

As to the item concept - I like permenant spell type items - I think they make a lot of sense in the context of the game. But I don't really need or want to see them written up - I can do it easily enough myself, pricing is clear, from the RAW - so while I use them, and like them as items I don't think it makes for a great contest entry.

As for the description - I liked it, but thought it was a bit overlong, an issue I struggle with constantly in my own writing. I think it would have been a stronger entry if your description had ended with the first sentence.

I liked the name too.

I hope that is useful to you.

The losing items thread has a lot of helpful counsel - my own submission received some very valid comments. Reviewing that might help as well.


Thanks. I had a concept for a tear in reality and then I had to assign an effect. Cloak of Chaos was the one that seemed to fit best. I suppose it might seem a bit boring if you think of it as just something with permanent Cloak of Chaos but that is just the best function I could come up with to fit what I made up.


I love the concept, very Lovecraftian.

I think your concept had a lot of potential, but in the end the item ended up being a "spell in a can." Of course, that doesn't make it a bad item, and, speaking as a publisher, I would happily include this in a book of magical items. However, for RPG Superstar, if I were judging, I would have wanted to see some kind of really bizarre effect on the outside world, something other than a spell effect. More of the Lovecraftian theme would have been cool. You know: insanity, people turning into horrid monstrosities from beyond space and time, the very laws of physics turned upside-down, that kind of thing. =]

BD


I wasn't aware of the term "spell in a can" but having it explained I can see how for something to be distinctive it needs to be more than just a spell slapped onto something.


In addition to what has been noted, I personally find non-artifacts that curse or penalize their bearer to be less than desirable.


Well it was a mix of a dark skull and a chaos diamond and the chaos diamond had a bit about penalising non-chaotic users. I thought it was appropriate.

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