Almost Also-ran entries


RPG Superstar™ 2009 General Discussion

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eotbeholder wrote:

Had a few ideas, but only typed up one other than the one submitted... I discounted this because the utility seems limited and it's essentially just three spells in one item. That said, I still really like the name and the visuals, so it was a tough choice.

GLOVE OF SANGUINE RUNES
Aura faint abjuration; CL 5th
Slot hands; Price 9,500 gp; Weight --

Upon donning this threadbare silk glove the wearer feels a sharp pinch, and blood soaks through the last digit of the wearer’s index finger. As a standard action the wearer can paint symbols on any surface with the blood, creating an arcane mark but suffering 1 hp of damage that cannot heal while the mark remains. The mark persists (and the blood never fades or smears) until the wearer removes the glove or dies, and a bond of vital energy connects the wearer and object bearing the mark:

  • The wearer feels a throbbing pain whenever someone else touches the object – enough to wake the wearer if asleep but not disrupting concentration or causing damage.
  • A marked door holds tight as if subject to an arcane lock spell. Other objects add the wearer’s Constitution modifier to their hardness values and break DCs.
  • The marked object bleeds when damaged. Destroying the object inflicts 2 points Constitution damage and stuns the wearer for one round.

CONSTRUCTION:
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, alarm, arcane lock, arcane mark; Cost 4,750 gp

Wow, this is a great item. Even though it is a "spell in a can," this is the right way to do a "spell in a can." Great flavor, innovative use of existing mechanics (which is a big plus for me personally), and the item is not overpowered.

If I were judging, this would get a thumbs-up from me. If the item you actually submitted is better than this - well, let's just say, I like your chances. =]

Cool name, too.

BD


Ragwaine wrote:
Nermal2097 wrote:

... Chinese flavoured Halflings ...

Yummy, that sounds delicious. Is this something from Darksun?

Joking aside, the portal seems like a cool idea, but the write up was kind of confusing (to me at least). And I'm not sure what "one layer" constitutes. Good luck in the contest!

Not Darksun per se but an evolved thought along the lines of Halfling dont have to be Hobbits. The "one layer" thing refers to a single thickness of door or wall so it would see through a stone wall but not see through a door and a curtain behind it.

Getting that bit really tight was what threw me from this to my actual entry.

and thanks for the comments!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I’ve often been envious of undead traits (yes, years of therapy lie in my future). So I noodled around with an item that temporarily transmutes a person’s physical abilities and attending characteristics into those of zombie. The item could be a mummified shrunken head worn as a fetish or a grotesque “glove” of zombie skin carefully shorn from a zombie’s hand. Or something.

The user retains most class characteristics because the item doesn’t impact mental abilities. While used or worn, the user gets 60’ darkvision, +2 natural armor, +2 STR, damage reduction 5/slashing, healing from negative energy, the usual undead immunities and invulnerabilities resulting from no CON (immune to poison, paralysis, no ability damage, blah, blah, blah), uses his CHA modifier for CON checks, and doesn’t eat or breath. Great stuff!

On the downside, the user has no CON or CON modifier (losing attending hit points until he leaves zombie form), suffers a -2 to Dex, can perform only a single move or attack action each round, can only move up to base Speed (and can only attack in the same round if charging), suffers harm from positive energy or cure spells, can be turned, is destroyed at 0 hit points, and looks downright awful.

I ditched it, at least for the time being. It proved too cumbersome for practical use. The user had to re-configure easily half of his stats. Plus, it raised oodles of questions like, if the user can ignore a critical hit while in zombie form, does he suffer the additional damage as soon as he leaves zombie form? Moreover, describing all it did gobbled up so many words that few were left to infuse the submission with an appropriate horror atmosphere. And I didn't check all the supplements. I feared something like it might already exist out there.

A nifty idea that didn’t maintain its integrity under close scrutiny.


Nermal2097 wrote:
Ragwaine wrote:
Nermal2097 wrote:

... Chinese flavoured Halflings ...

Yummy, that sounds delicious. Is this something from Darksun?

Not Darksun per se ...

Sorry that was a joke too. Darksun halflings are cannibals.

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

Ashenvale wrote:


A nifty idea that didn’t maintain its integrity under close scrutiny.

Not quite, you could have modeled the 'fluff' of your piece after the zombie's nature while using the Iron Body spell as your base component.

Would have saved tons of words just to write: the [wondrous item name] functions similiar to the Iron Body spell with the following modifications [list of modifications].

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Smeazel

Ashenvale wrote:
I’ve often been envious of undead traits (yes, years of therapy lie in my future)....

Honestly, it's probably for the best you chose something else to submit. (At least, I'm assuming you chose something else to submit, rather than just forgoing the competition...) It's by no means a bad item--it's got some good atmosphere--but it may be a bit overcomplicated and, more importantly, it strikes me as perilously close to the kind of "monster-in-a-box" that was warned against last year.

Star Voter Season 9

Ashenvale wrote:
... or a grotesque “glove” of zombie skin carefully shorn from a zombie’s hand.

Oooh, great creepy flavor. That definitely caught my attention.

Nermal2097 wrote:
Viewing Porthole of Wai Cho Ling

That's awesome! The 'one layer of material of any thickness' might need a little clarification or limitation. (i.e. "Look mom, I see all the way through to Australia/The Hollow World.")


Ashenvale wrote:
The item could be a mummified shrunken head worn as a fetish or a grotesque “glove” of zombie skin carefully shorn from a zombie’s hand. Or something.

I would use a mask of flayed zombie faces for this kind of item myself.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Darkjoy wrote:
Ashenvale wrote:


A nifty idea that didn’t maintain its integrity under close scrutiny.

You could have modeled the 'fluff' of your piece after the zombie's nature while using the Iron Body spell as your base component.

A nice notion, Darkjoy! It would reduce the word-length. I feared, however, that pegging the item's functions to an existing spell and then distinguishing its differences might shove the item into that the spell-in-a-can pit from which RPGS submissions never return. Moreover, there are so many differences between the iron body spell and undead traits that I worried the judges would say, "Why's this author focusing on iron golems if he wants an undead item? Wrong flavor."

Smeazel wrote:
Honestly, it's probably for the best you chose something else to submit. (At least, I'm assuming you chose something else to submit, rather than just forgoing the competition...) It's by no means a bad item--it's got some good atmosphere--but it may be a bit overcomplicated and, more importantly, it strikes me as perilously close to the kind of "monster-in-a-box" that was warned against last year.

I appreciate your candor, Smeazel, and I concur. This one doesn’t pan out smoothly, which is why I’m free to post it here and solicit feedback. (Always save strong ideas for proposals elsewhere!)

I hadn’t considered the monster-in-a-box flaw because I’d believed that flaw applied to items that merely acted like monsters – monster-like encounters disguised as items. I’d deemed this zombie transmuter purely a buff item, something to make a character or villain stronger, albeit in a gruesome and (hopefully) original fashion. But I see your point. If used by a villain instead of a PC, the DM is just swapping out foes for the encounter. A diabolical elvish sorcerer, for example, transmutes before the PCs' eyes into a slow-moving but effective spell slinger with all the protections of the undead trait. In that light, the item becomes something like a monster in a can.

Nermal2097 wrote:
Ashenvale wrote:
The item could be a mummified shrunken head worn as a fetish or a grotesque “glove” of zombie skin carefully shorn from a zombie’s hand. Or something.
I would use a mask of flayed zombie faces for this kind of item myself.

Ha! I can't tell you how much I love that notion, Nermal! But it’s an idea that's gotten a lot of love recently. I wrote an adventure that turned on evil cultists wearing powerful death masks stretched from the skins of their prior victim’s faces. I submitted an adventure proposal containing death masks skinned from dead PC faces. And I just edited another author’s article working on a variation of the same premise. I think I’m just becoming worn out on literal death masks.

Nontheless, “Death Mask” would have made a simple, evocative item name!


Ashenvale wrote:

Nermal2097 wrote:

Ashenvale wrote:
Nontheless, “Death Mask” would have made a simple, evocative item name!

Yes it would, wouldn't it (wink, wink), but I'm sure no one submitted an item like that (wink, wink), but if they did I'm sure that it didn't have any of those same powers (wink, wink).

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Smeazel

Ashenvale wrote:
I hadn’t considered the monster-in-a-box flaw because I’d believed that flaw applied to items that merely acted like monsters – monster-like encounters disguised as items.

Well, I don't know how the term may have been used elsewhere; I'm just referring to how it was used by the judges in last year's comments--as defined, for example, here (emphasis added):

Clark Peterson wrote:
I cant say what my fellow judges might say, but we call these "monster in a box" items--items that let a PC take on the attributes of a creature or a type. As a general matter, these have not fared well unless they do something interesting or unique.

As a matter of fact, I just noticed that the post quoted above was in a thread about an item that does pretty much the same thing as yours does--gives the wearer some of the properties (good and bad) of the undead type. It's not identical (for one thing, unlike yours, it doesn't allow the wearer to be turned, though Clark Peterson seemed to think that was a questionable design decision, so you're ahead in that regard), and I think yours is more flavorful, but still, your item definitely seems to fall into the same category.

Again, I am by no means saying it is not a good item. I'm just saying that it's an item of a type that, based on the posts from last year's contest, doesn't seem in general likely to do well in the judging here.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hey, that's great stuff, Smeazel! Thanks! I missed last year's event, and life keeps preventing me from reading all of the former threads covered, so I'm grateful for any help catching up.

Scarab Sages

Smeazel wrote:
Ashenvale wrote:
I hadn’t considered the monster-in-a-box flaw because I’d believed that flaw applied to items that merely acted like monsters – monster-like encounters disguised as items.

Well, I don't know how the term may have been used elsewhere; I'm just referring to how it was used by the judges in last year's comments--as defined, for example, here (emphasis added):

Clark Peterson wrote:
I cant say what my fellow judges might say, but we call these "monster in a box" items--items that let a PC take on the attributes of a creature or a type. As a general matter, these have not fared well unless they do something interesting or unique.

As a matter of fact, I just noticed that the post quoted above was in a thread about an item that does pretty much the same thing as yours does--gives the wearer some of the properties (good and bad) of the undead type. It's not identical (for one thing, unlike yours, it doesn't allow the wearer to be turned, though Clark Peterson seemed to think that was a questionable design decision, so you're ahead in that regard), and I think yours is more flavorful, but still, your item definitely seems to fall into the same category.

Again, I am by no means saying it is not a good item. I'm just saying that it's an item of a type that, based on the posts from last year's contest, doesn't seem in general likely to do well in the judging here.

Hmm... probably a good thing I didn't go with my Heartwood item, then...


Thanks for the comments.

What I thought was really fun about this item was the encounter where the party ran into an opposing party equipped with them. That would really force them to "earn their wings."

Kyr wrote:

FEY WAR HARNESS

Aura Strong abjuration, moderate transformation, moderate illusion; CL 16th
Slot Body; Price 162,000 gp; Weight 3 lbs

Description

These powerful enchanted garments were first conceived by the Warlord Yphrinne Wintermane. After falling victim to a pixie ambush Wintermane realized the potential of trained pixie warriors. The problem with trained pixie warriors as Wintermane soon discovered, was recruiting, and working with pixies. After years of failed (and sometimes embarrassing) efforts Wintermane struck on a new idea, a winged harness that conferred many of a pixie's abilities upon the wearer.

A fey war harness is a leather cuirass inlaid with mithril scrollwork and mounted with mithril buckles. This cuirass is mounted with four (human scale) insect like wings crafted from magebound winds.

On donning a fey war harness the wearer gains the following abilities.

• +5 armor bonus to AC
• Damage reduction 10/cold iron (as a pixie)
• Fly 60 ft. (good)
• Greater invisibility at will (as with a pixie activation or deactivation as a free action)

Wearing a fey war harness precludes the use of armor or the use of magic cloaks or robes.

Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, energy resistance, fly, greater invisibility, mage armor, stoneskin; Cost 81,000 gp.
_______________________________________________________________________
NOTES

[i]A +5 enhancement bonus to armor costs 25,000.
There is no set formula for damage reduction in the SRD so I used spell resistance as the model – 10,000 gp per point – so 100,000.
For the flight aspect I used wings of flying 54,000.
For greater invisibility I used 4th level spell times 8th level caster times 2,000 equals 64,000.
Thus the total cost is 243,000 – however because the use of this item...

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

Clark,

Why wait till the 20th? You can start right here ;>

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Anyone want me to review these? I will if you want...

Clark

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Darkjoy wrote:

Clark,

Why wait till the 20th? You can start right here ;>

I know, but I want a person to specifically request it.

They may just want community discussion and that is fine. There is a great benefit to a community discussing things amongst themselves. You dont always need official review. And if no one ever asks me in this thread to review and also ran item, that makes a ton of sense to me. You probably only want to know what I think of your actual item. How much would it suck for me to gush about your also ran item and then get your submitted item rejected?

But, that said, I am happy to do it if someone asks.


Clark, I think it would be easier if you started another new thread for those who want your critique on "almost also rans", because otherwise you'd have to comb through this thread looking for the items posted by the people who asked for a critique...

Just my 2 copper pieces.

:-j(enni)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

I dont mind. If people want to ask, I will review it. If I miss it, they can gently post and say "hey Clark you big knucklehead you missed my request to review my item so get on it right now or I will cast prismatic spray on you next time I see you."

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

By the way, there are a couple good items in this thread.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Personally, I'm hanging onto my "almost also-ran" items in the event that I either submit one of them next year...or, perhaps better yet, package them into a KQ submission for Wolf.

--Neil

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Beads of Escape
Aura moderate conjuration, faint evocation and transmutation; CL 7th
Slot -; Price 3,850 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This thin silver chain has eight small beads: three orange, two black, one green, one grey and one red. Each color represents a different spell effect: orange for expeditious retreat, black for darkness, green for stinking cloud, grey for solid fog, and red for dimension door. When the wearer pulls off a bead and touches a creature or object with the bead, the target gains the effect. The bead can be thrown (range 20 ft) striking the target with a successful touch attack causing that target to gain the effect. If you miss the target roll 1d8 to determine the misdirection. In the case of solid fog (DC 17) and sinking cloud (DC 16), the effects are centered on the place where the target was touched. The target creature determines the final destination if touched by a red bead; no effect occurs if an object is touched.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, darkness, dimension door, expeditious retreat, solid fog, stinking cloud; Cost 1,925 gp

Clark, I request that you review my item. Reason I rejected it is because I thought I was trying to do to much with this item. Would you concur?

Dark Archive Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

DMcCoy1693 wrote:

Beads of Escape

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, darkness, dimension door, expeditious retreat, solid fog, stinking cloud; Cost 1,925 gp

Clark, I request that you review my item. Reason I rejected it is because I thought I was trying to do to much with this item. Would you concur?

I know you asked Clark to review it, but if yo want other views here's mine.

The cost seems low, all those spells cast at CL 7? Seems lke it should be a bit more.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

chopswil wrote:
The cost seems low, all those spells cast at CL 7? Seems lke it should be a bit more.

It is quite possible that I stopped working on the price when I decided that it tried to do to much. I don't totally remember, it was written over a month ago.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Clark, I'd be excited to see what you have to say about this item. It was a favorite of mine, but I thought it lacked the Superstar punch.

ORB OF PERFECT SUMMONS
Aura weak to strong conjuration; CL varies
Slot -; Price varies; Weight –
Description
This marble contains an image of a perfect summonable creature. Any summoning spell cast with this item as a focus summons the animal shown with maximum hit points as well as +4 to Constitution and Strength. The act of summoning destroys this item. Versions exist for the following spells:
Summon Monster I or Summon Nature’s Ally I: 25 gp, cost 12.5 gp
Summon Monster II or Summon Nature’s Ally II: 150 gp, cost 75 gp
Summon Monster III or Summon Nature’s Ally III: 375 gp, cost 187.5 gp
Summon Monster IV or Summon Nature’s Ally IV: 700 gp, cost 350 gp
Summon Monster V or Summon Nature’s Ally V: 1,125 gp, cost 562.5 gp
Summon Monster VI or Summon Nature’s Ally VI: 1,650 gp, cost 825 gp
Summon Monster VII or Summon Nature’s Ally VII: 2,275 gp, cost 1,137.5 gp
Summon Monster VIII or Summon Nature’s Ally VIII: 3,000 gp, cost 1,500 gp
Summon Monster IX or Summon Nature’s Ally IX: 3,825 gp, cost 1,912.5 gp
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Augment Summoning, summon monster I-IX or summon nature’s ally I-IX; Cost varies

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 aka Fatespinner

Here, Clark, take a shot at these for me:

Bracers of Howling Wind
Aura moderate evocation; CL 10th
Slot wrist; Cost 21,000gp; Weight 2 lbs.

These mystic bracers are imbued with the element of air and create a protective cocoon of wind when donned and activated. The ferocity of these winds make the wearer easily noticed, however, and also make hearing difficult (the wearer suffers -5 penalties on Stealth checks and Perception checks involving hearing). The bracers may be deactivated or reactivated as a standard action at will.

While the bracers are active, the wearer is completely immune to all non-magical ranged attacks as the winds simply bat aside any incoming fire. Magical ranged weapons still suffer a 50% miss chance against the wearer but magical spells that require an attack roll are unaffected.

The winds generated by the bracers can also be harnessed by the wearer three times per day, allowing him to fly as the spell for up to 10 rounds or cast gust of wind as a 10th-level sorcerer. When one of these abilities is used, however, the protective abilities described above are rendered inactive for 1 minute and the winds cannot be harnessed again during that time.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, wind wall, gust of wind, fly; Cost 12,000gp

I'm at work right now and don't have the Pathfinder format right in front of me, but I think I got it pretty close. I'm more interested in feedback on the item itself than my formatting. :)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
It is quite possible that I stopped working on the price when I decided that it tried to do to much. I don't totally remember, it was written over a month ago.

So...you want a review of an "incomplete" item? Maybe it would be easier if you had polished your almost-ran item to completion, then there wouldn't be as many things to critique, possibly...and it would be more about idea and proper execution. But here goes my own analysis...

DMcCoy1693 wrote:

Beads of Escape

Aura moderate conjuration, faint evocation and transmutation;

That's packing in a lot of spell effects for one device. Not necessarily a bad thing, of course. It just depends on how you execute it. But, if I'm a judge and I come across that many auras, I'll immediately start thinking "swiss-army knife" unless you surprise me in a good way later.

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
CL 7th

You've established the bare minimum (7th level) for the CL needed to achieve all of the "spell in a can" effects you describe below. But, given the sheer volume of effects this item provides its wearer, it's probably worth an uptick when you compare it to similar items in that costing category.

In other words, if you're a 7th level caster intent on making this item, does it appear to be a more advantageous item to craft than say...a single 4th level spell effect item with the same CL and a similar price?

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
Slot -; Price 3,850 gp; Weight 1 lb.

With a Slot of '-' that should make the item more costly, because it doesn't take up one of the traditional body slots that will force its user to forego some other items that would normally be placed in the same slot.

Your pricing overall is pretty low for what it does. This is a more complicated item to price anyway, because you've got to pro-rate the individual spell effects (because they're multiple/related effects) and you've also got to assess the limited use of each effect. So it's a pricing "maze" to go through. That doesn't shout RPG Superstar to me...but that's just my opinion.

DMcCoy1693 wrote:

Description

This thin silver chain has eight small beads: three orange, two black, one green, one grey and one red. Each color represents a different spell effect: orange for expeditious retreat, black for darkness, green for stinking cloud, grey for solid fog, and red for dimension door.

Obviously, your intention was to bind these spell effects into an item with an "escape" theme. But, stinking cloud is also an offensive effect that can incapacitate your enemies. So, I'm not sure that one really fits all that well. Given that you're lumping together five different spell effects and assigning a different color to them...with a set number of beads for each color...it just seems like too much.

From a design standpoint, I'd recommend that you settle on three effects at the most...and even that runs the risk of being labeled a "swiss-army knife" item. Your write-up doesn't state that once the beads are used, they lose their enchantment. I just assumed that would be the case, but that's an exploitable loophole for player abuse.

Lastly, why does a single device need to provide so many different methods of "escape" anyway? Why not settle on one...establish a set number of times it can be used...and be done with it? At the most, maybe create an item that throws up a "smokescreen" using one of the cloud-related effects...and then give them expeditious retreat so they can hightail it out of the area? I would think that would be enough.

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
When the wearer pulls off a bead and touches a creature or object with the bead, the target gains the effect.

Is the bead then used up? Or can it be reattached and used again some other time? Your description here says an object can be touched and affected...but later your description contradicts that by saying "no effect occurs if an object is touched."

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
The bead can be thrown (range 20 ft) striking the target with a successful touch attack causing that target to gain the effect.

That's a cool extra element. I like that part.

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
If you miss the target roll 1d8 to determine the misdirection.

But I don't like this mechanic. It basically falls back on grenade-like misses. And if it can't effect objects, then wouldn't a miss be a misfire anyway?

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
In the case of solid fog (DC 17) and sinking cloud (DC 16), the effects are centered on the place where the target was touched.

Makes sense...but having to define extra rules for individual effects make the item feel too clunky.

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
The target creature determines the final destination if touched by a red bead

What happens if it's an unwilling target that you hit with the bead by throwing it at them or touching them with it?

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
...no effect occurs if an object is touched.

This seems to contradict your earlier language about affecting objects higher in the description.

DMcCoy1693 wrote:


Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, darkness, dimension door, expeditious retreat, solid fog, stinking cloud; Cost 1,925 gp

Wow. That's a really long list of spell effects to have to delineate...and again, it reinforces two bad stereotypes. One, it's a bunch of "spell in a can" effects. And, two, it's a "swiss-army knife" device.

Just my two-cents of well-intentioned constructive criticism,
--Neil

P.S. You also mistyped stinking cloud as sinking cloud in your descriptive text.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

NSpicer wrote:
Lots o' Good Stuff

Thank you. Very helpful insight. Very glad I did not run with it.

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:
Darkjoy wrote:

Clark,

Why wait till the 20th? You can start right here ;>

I know, but I want a person to specifically request it.

They may just want community discussion and that is fine. There is a great benefit to a community discussing things amongst themselves. You dont always need official review. And if no one ever asks me in this thread to review and also ran item, that makes a ton of sense to me. You probably only want to know what I think of your actual item. How much would it suck for me to gush about your also ran item and then get your submitted item rejected?

But, that said, I am happy to do it if someone asks.

Clark, consider this my official request to bash, crush, and pick apart my item. It is on the first page and it is called: elemental runes.

And if you do like it and my real entry didn't wow you, well that means my judgement is poor and my friend's is far, far better ;>

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

Fatespinner wrote:


Bracers of Howling Wind
Aura moderate evocation; CL 10th
Slot wrist; Cost 21,000gp; Weight 2 lbs.

I think your pricing is somewhat off, 21000 gp for a permanent windwall doesn't feel right to me.

5 x 3 x 2000 = 30000 gp already.

Besides that, what if one if your pc's has this? Suddenly every enemy they meet has magic arrows? In other words, it is way too powerful in my eyes. Sorry.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 aka Fatespinner

Darkjoy wrote:
Fatespinner wrote:


Bracers of Howling Wind
Aura moderate evocation; CL 10th
Slot wrist; Cost 21,000gp; Weight 2 lbs.

I think your pricing is somewhat off, 21000 gp for a permanent windwall doesn't feel right to me.

5 x 3 x 2000 = 30000 gp already.

Besides that, what if one if your pc's has this? Suddenly every enemy they meet has magic arrows? In other words, it is way too powerful in my eyes. Sorry.

Yeah, the pricing was totally off. I can see that already. Placed at a higher price point, it's not unreasonable to expect most foes to be using magical arrows or, at least, magical bows. Thus the miss chance.

I also meant to include the fact that the winds prevent the wearer from employing ranged attacks as well, with magical weapons having the same 50% miss chance, but I dropped the ball on that.

Marathon Voter Season 9

Clark Peterson wrote:
Darkjoy wrote:

Clark,

Why wait till the 20th? You can start right here ;>

I know, but I want a person to specifically request it.

They may just want community discussion and that is fine. There is a great benefit to a community discussing things amongst themselves. You dont always need official review. And if no one ever asks me in this thread to review and also ran item, that makes a ton of sense to me. You probably only want to know what I think of your actual item. How much would it suck for me to gush about your also ran item and then get your submitted item rejected?

But, that said, I am happy to do it if someone asks.

If you have the time and are not completely burned out of wonderous items, i know i would love to get your feedback on my items here clark.


Submitting for Clark's and general feedback.

The idea for this item was an item similar to a cloak of etherealness, with a longer duration to allow for more exploration and such, but with some other drawbacks to compensate. However, other than the longer duration, it doesn't really do much that the cloak doesn't do, and there were some other practical problems I couldn't quite work out, so I decided to put it aside. (Besides, who ever goes to the Ethereal these days?)

HOURGLASS OF THE ETHEREAL TRAVELER

Aura strong transmutation
CL 13th
Slot
Price 35,000 gp
Weight

DESCRIPTION
This pocket-sized hourglass of ornately carved darkwood and crystal glass contains a small amount of faintly glowing blue sand. Starting the hourglass running while speaking a command word allows the user to become ethereal as if using an ethereal jaunt spell. The user is returned to the Material Plane when the sand runs out, unless the glass is turned again to prolong the effect. The effect cannot be terminated prematurely, and the user must hold the glass stable, giving a -1 penalty to Armor Class and attack rolls and a -2 penalty to all Strength- and Dexterity-based skills.

Each time the hourglass is turned on a given journey, including the activation, there is a cumulative 10% risk of attracting hostile attention from the natural inhabitants of the Ethereal.

Some of the sand is consumed every time the hourglass is activated. A newly created hourglass will usually hold enough sand to run for ten minutes. Each activation reduces this by one minute after use. The hourglass loses its magic when all the sand is consumed.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, ethereal jaunt; Cost 17,500 gp

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Smeazel

Lanfranc wrote:
Submitting for Clark's and general feedback.

Without getting into too much detail, there's one thing about the item description that immediately jumped out at me:

Lanfranc wrote:
...and the user must hold the glass stable, giving a -1 penalty to Armor Class and attack rolls and a -2 penalty to all Strength- and Dexterity-based skills.

Why? What happens if he doesn't? Does that end the effect? Presumably not, since you just said it couldn't be terminated prematurely. So does it count as turning the glass again to prolong the effect? Or does it damage the item? Or attract hostile attention? What? Saying that the user must hold the glass stable implies there's some consequence if he doesn't, and you never say what the consequence is. You say the user must hold the glass stable, but give him no actual reason to do so (and, given all the penalties, plenty of reason not to.) I don't know in the judges' eyes how big a strike that would've been against the item, but, like I said, it's something that immediately jumped out at me.


Smeazel wrote:
I don't know in the judges' eyes how big a strike that would've been against the item, but, like I said, it's something that immediately jumped out at me.

Yes, that's exactly one of the practical problems I mentioned. Another one is that an obvious way to terminate the effect early would be to just turn the glass again after e.g. 30 seconds, making the forced stay much less of a limitation. I personally considered those very big strikes, but couldn't really solve them and still stay within 200 words, so...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka eotbeholder

Lanfranc wrote:

HOURGLASS OF THE ETHEREAL TRAVELER

I'm noticing the cost too. The hourglass costs 35,000 gp and lasts 10 minutes. Compare this to a scroll of etherealness, which only costs 3,850 gp, lasts 17 minutes, takes a whole group of people with it, and doesn't require you keeping your hands full or attract the attention of hostile outsiders. Granted, you've quite nicely allowed the hourglass's duration to be split up into increments as small as a minute, but I still think the pricing is more like a permanent magic item than a limited use. To look at it another way, a (hypothetical) staff with 50 uses of ethereal jaunt on it would cost 34,125 gp and have many times the utility of the hourglass, since you could use it 50 times, 14 rounds each time, and not deal with all the hourglass's drawbacks.

Which is a shame, because the drawbacks of the hourglass are what make it so cool. You've got good flavor here, and I like how it makes ethereal travel more risky and mysterious than mundane travel rather than less, but as has been mentioned some of the rules crunch could be clearer. I want something awful to happen if you take your hand off the hourglass, or if it gets destroyed. Stuck on the ethereal, maybe, but unable to see the material plane? And to keep costs down while making the item more permanent (without the strict daily uses limitation that's been done to death) maybe instead of consuming sand, the glass has a hefty, cumulative chance to shatter each time it's used more than once per day?

I'm digging the glowing blue sand, and that it's an hourglass. There aren't enough magical hourglasses. I imagine when the hourglass is turned over the user's body dissolves into a cloud of sand, leaving a ghostly blue afterimage before vanishing. And a LotR-style twisted shadowscape as the hourglass holder tries to rush through walls searching for something before the monsters from the other side of the sky come and eat him.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka eotbeholder

I've already mentioned what I think is wrong with it, but if Clark or anyone else wants to comment on my Gloves of Sanguine Runes, I'd greatly appreciate it. (Is P.E.A.C.H. in common parlance on these forums?)

Spoiler:

GLOVE OF SANGUINE RUNES
Aura faint abjuration; CL 5th
Slot hands; Price 9,500 gp; Weight --

Upon donning this threadbare silk glove the wearer feels a sharp pinch, and blood soaks through the last digit of the wearer’s index finger. As a standard action the wearer can paint symbols on any surface with the blood, creating an arcane mark but suffering 1 hp of damage that cannot heal while the mark remains. The mark persists (and the blood never fades or smears) until the wearer removes the glove or dies, and a bond of vital energy connects the wearer and object bearing the mark:

  • The wearer feels a throbbing pain whenever someone else touches the object – enough to wake the wearer if asleep but not disrupting concentration or causing damage.
  • A marked door holds tight as if subject to an arcane lock spell. Other objects add the wearer’s Constitution modifier to their hardness values and break DCs.
  • The marked object bleeds when damaged. Destroying the object inflicts 2 points Constitution damage and stuns the wearer for one round.

CONSTRUCTION:
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, alarm, arcane lock, arcane mark; Cost 4,750 gp


Hi Clark

My Item for your peruasal, posted again for convenience.

Viewing Porthole of Wai Cho Ling

Originally designed by the Halfling Eunuch Sorcerer, Wai Cho Ling, to view oceanic life on a long sea voyage, each Porthole is four small brass quarter-circles that can be attached together (using small ball and socket joints) to create a circle 1 and half feet in diameter.

When placed against a door or wall it becomes a viewing porthole allowing the user (and only the user) to see through the barrier. It can see through one layer of material of any thickness. The effect is one way so anyone on the other side cannot see in. The effect lasts for one hour or when removed from the door or wall, it can be used again after 24 hours.

Faint Divination, CL 5th, Craft Wondrous Item, clairaudience/clairvoyance, price 12,000gp, slot -, weight 4lbs

I didnt enter this for a couple of reasons. It has Home Campaign written all over it and the mechanical effects are not clearly defined enough. Others in this thread have concurred with that diagnosis.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Lanfranc wrote:

Submitting for Clark's and general feedback.

HOURGLASS OF THE ETHEREAL TRAVELER

Great formatting. Makes a professional first impression. Good name, not totally exciting me, but a good name. I’ve got you right at 200 words, but I am not at my home machine which has Word. So its close...

That said, this is an interesting item. It could be considered a spell in a can, but it does a few things that make it more than that.

The "flip" mechanic and the "no end early" mechanic makes it interesting. The fact you can use it back to back is neat. I also like the disappearing sand quite a bit. That is way sexier than the normal mechanic of charges. Seriously, how much cooler is it to have the “sand run out” concept than just listing 1/day. Now that is an example of Superstar design. When you read our reviews and we talk about an item with some juice or some mojo or some design chops, this is exactly the sort of thing we are talking about. Something like this would grab our attention. No doubt.

Those are big plusses that make this a fun item and very cool.

There are also some things that could be improved.

First, the duration needs some evaluating. It is 10 minutes, reduced by a minute for each use. That is pretty excessive. The ethereal jaunt spell has a duration of 1 round per level. As a CL 13 item, this spell should last a little over a minute. Nowhere near 10 minutes. So the first use of this item is the equivalent of nearly 10 ethereal jaunt spells. That is pretty pimpy. And, it can be used again for 9 minutes, then 8 minutes, etc.

Lets just look at the cost of 10 ethereal jaunt scrolls. You may wonder how we judges do costing. Sean is the master of math, so he actually does it by the rules. Wolfgang does too. I am more of a gestalt guy. I see where its price falls on the price list as my first thing to see if it fits. If it doesnt do much and costs more than a cube of force, then there is a problem. But you can pretty much feel by comparison if the price fits or not. Then I compare it to things that it must, by definition, be better than. I often compare similar effects to those of scrolls or potions for spell effects. For instance, if an item has 10 charges and lets you cast spell X every time you pluck off a berry from the branch and it has 10 berries, then the item better not be way more expensive than 10 scrolls of the same spell, or no one would ever buy the item. Now, that isnt a totally fair comparison. But if the comparison is way out of whack, it gives me reason to look further. An ethereal jaunt scroll costs 2275 gp. This item costs 35,000. That is about 15 e/j scrolls. That doesnt seem horrible to me. But then I notice for the same price you can get a carpet of flying. So I try to see if one is way better than the other. Overall, I don’t have a problem with the cost here. Plus, I look for similar items that have similar effects. That is probably the best thing for this item. Here, cubic gate is way better so its hard to use for comparison. Maybe a better comparison is armor of etherealness. It adds +49,000 gp to the base armor price. But it lets you use e/j 1/day and doesnt ever run out. Now that is better in that it’s charges last forever, but it doesnt have the same duration or neat extending duration trick. Maybe best of all is the cloak of etherealness. It allows for 10 minutes, but it is 1/day and doesnt have the flip mechanic. The cloak costs 55,000 and I think the limits on the item justify a lower price. I still think this might be costed a bit on the low side. But not enough for me to mark it down. Costing is a bit of an art, after all. I would be more comfortable with a price around the 45,000 gp range.

Second, I am concerned about the mechanic for holding it steady in your hand. You invent a new mechanic. Perhaps it would have been better to simply borrow an existing mechanic. 3E is about unifying mechanics. Unless I am just not thinking of it, I cant think of another item that has this “hold steady” mechanic. Now, I really happen to like this restriction. I also think that not all characters are as lame at holding this in one hand as another character, so I don’t think one size fits all. I would suggest, perhaps, borrowing the Balance skill mechanic. I would perhaps provide that moving in combat or while under duress while holding the hourglass steady requires a Balance check, though the holder’s movement is not further reduced by half. A failure by 4 or less means you can’t move for 1 round. A failure by 5 or more means you drop the hourglass (detail what happens).

Third, I am not a huge fan of the mechanic of the 10% attraction effect. That is kind of 1E design and we are trying to move away from that. Now, I concede that cubic gate, for instance, uses a similar mechanic and that mechanic does exist in 3E. So I wouldnt mark you down for it. And I actually like the concept of attracting monsters.

In all, this is a very interesting item. I really like it. It is way more interesting than the cloak of etherealness.

There is a reason why I picked this item to really do a detailed review. Let me explain.

We got lots of items like the cloak of etherealness. That is a very well designed simple item that is fun. But it just isn’t Superstar quality (yes, that is right, I just said that an item in the DMG isnt superstar). Now your hourglass has way more Superstar mojo than the cloak does. As between the cloak and the hourglass, the hourglass would be considered for top 32, the cloak never would.

In the end, though, the biggest design weakness of this item is its overlap with the cloak. I think it intrudes into a design space already pretty well occupied by the cloak. It does enough different and does it in an interesting way. But it just likely has too much overlap with the cloak to be a top 32 item. But I have to admit, this item has “mojo” and that makes a difference.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

I had two items that I was considering submitting to the contest... this is the one that I did not submit, I think it is a solid item (I would be interested in seeing if Clark shares this opinion or not plus his reasoning, so critique away... that goes for the rest of you too, in fact), but ultimately I thought it was too utilitarian, and didn't think it had that sexy cool factor that would allow it to advance, so I sent in the other one which did have more of that in my estimation... anyway, here is the item:

Parchment of Mapping
Aura Faint Divination; CL 5th;
Slot --; Price 18,000 gp; Weight --.

Description

Those that risk their lives in dark labyrinths and catacombs seeking gold and glory could do worse than to take this item with them. In appearance the parchment of mapping is a square sheet of thick parchment about a foot across. When set on the ground and commanded to map it immediately draws an accurate overhead map of the surrounding area in a 100 foot radius about where the map is placed (at a scale of 20 feet to the inch) up to three times a day. When used indoors or underground the map will be an accurate floor plan including the locations of obvious doors, but will not include non-obvious features such as traps or secret doors, although a character might be able to deduce location of a secret door based on what the map shows them. The map will remain on the parchment for up to 24 hours, or until the parchment is commanded to map a different area.

Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, clairvoyance; Cost 9,000 gp

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

cwslyclgh wrote:


Parchment of Mapping

I think I would have used Find the Path as the required creation spell, making it more high-level that way.

That said, I think you made the right choice by not entering it. It is somewhat game-breaking as it takes away the excitement of actually exploring a dungeon.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

cwslyclgh wrote:

I had two items that I was considering submitting to the contest... this is the one that I did not submit, I think it is a solid item (I would be interested in seeing if Clark shares this opinion or not plus his reasoning, so critique away... that goes for the rest of you too, in fact), but ultimately I thought it was too utilitarian, and didn't think it had that sexy cool factor that would allow it to advance, so I sent in the other one which did have more of that in my estimation... anyway, here is the item:

Parchment of Mapping
Aura Faint Divination; CL 5th;
Slot --; Price 18,000 gp; Weight --.

Description

Those that risk their lives in dark labyrinths and catacombs seeking gold and glory could do worse than to take this item with them. In appearance the parchment of mapping is a square sheet of thick parchment about a foot across. When set on the ground and commanded to map it immediately draws an accurate overhead map of the surrounding area in a 100 foot radius about where the map is placed (at a scale of 20 feet to the inch) up to three times a day. When used indoors or underground the map will be an accurate floor plan including the locations of obvious doors, but will not include non-obvious features such as traps or secret doors, although a character might be able to deduce location of a secret door based on what the map shows them. The map will remain on the parchment for up to 24 hours, or until the parchment is commanded to map a different area.

Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, clairvoyance; Cost 9,000 gp

There was an item similar to this in the old ASCII game Moria (and its offshoots) that nerds like me in college in the 80s would waste many an hour playing on university Vax & Unix computers. It was called a "Scroll of Magic Mapping" and it did much what you have above, but it was a single-use item. I think there was also a similar item in the D&D Rules Cyclopedia or Book of Marvelous Magic.

I think an item like this can work okay as a single-use item, but I dunno about having it be a reusable item.

EDIT: Pulled my old Encyclopedia Magica off the shelf, and there was a whole article of magic maps in Dragon #125 (I think I have that issue someplace) - some showed maps, secret doors, traps, magic, and illusions when you used them. Those were charged (20d4-30d4 charges, a LOT), and they only mapped what you saw, so they were a different kind of beast from what you proposed or the Moria-style scroll map, which shows the dungeon all around you before you see it.


Thanks very much for your comments, guys. Highly appreciated. :-)

eotbeholder wrote:
GLOVE OF SANGUINE RUNES

That's a lovely item. It's probably not something I'd use as a player, but speaking as a GM, it'd be perfect for a villain. The PCs descending down into the enemy's lair... on a heavy door, an arcane mark drawn in blood, but they know he's not a wizard...? And when they try to force it open, the bleeding starts...

Yeah, I like that. I'll see if I can use it sometime.


eotbeholder wrote:

I've already mentioned what I think is wrong with it, but if Clark or anyone else wants to comment on my Gloves of Sanguine Runes, I'd greatly appreciate it. (Is P.E.A.C.H. in common parlance on these forums?)

** spoiler omitted **

I absolutely love this item. If I were a judge I would certainly select this among the best... still you may have been right not to submit it. It appears to be more of a "plot" item or a villain/DM item than one the PCs would use.

I can see multiple uses for it in a horror campaign- imagine using this arcane lock in Castle Maure, for example (!)


Nermal2097 wrote:

Hi Clark

Viewing Porthole of Wai Cho Ling

Originally designed by the Halfling Eunuch Sorcerer, Wai Cho Ling, to view oceanic life on a long sea voyage, each Porthole is four small brass quarter-circles that can be attached together (using small ball and socket joints) to create a circle 1 and half feet in diameter.

When placed against a door or wall it becomes a viewing porthole allowing the user (and only the user) to see through the barrier. It can see through one layer of material of any thickness. The effect is one way so anyone on the other side cannot see in. The effect lasts for one hour or when removed from the door or wall, it can be used again after 24 hours.

Faint Divination, CL 5th, Craft Wondrous Item, clairaudience/clairvoyance, price 12,000gp, slot -, weight 4lbs

I didnt enter this for a couple of reasons. It has Home Campaign written all over it and the mechanical effects are not clearly defined enough. Others in this thread have concurred with that diagnosis.

Random question, did you choose the name Wai Cho Ling on purpose? If so, am I correct in assuming you meant Wai, as in &#22806;, or foreign/outside. Cho as the Wade-Giles version of Chu? (Perhaps... I'm not up on my W-G) &#20986; in the sense of outside&#65292; and ling as in 0? or a different ling? Perhaps I'm transliterating the characters incorrectly; I find it difficult to convert Wade Giles or pinyin into characters when they relate to names.

Fairly amusing if you randomly picked the name. :)

I like the item, it's good for spying. But if the other person is scrying or detecting magic, can they detect the use of the item? I assume they could. What if only one fourth of the thing is used? What if one fourth of one is combined with 3/4ths of another... I'm not sure those questions necessarily need to be answered, but they arose.


Light Dragon wrote:
Nermal2097 wrote:

Hi Clark

Viewing Porthole of Wai Cho Ling

Originally designed by the Halfling Eunuch Sorcerer, Wai Cho Ling, to view oceanic life on a long sea voyage, each Porthole is four small brass quarter-circles that can be attached together (using small ball and socket joints) to create a circle 1 and half feet in diameter.

When placed against a door or wall it becomes a viewing porthole allowing the user (and only the user) to see through the barrier. It can see through one layer of material of any thickness. The effect is one way so anyone on the other side cannot see in. The effect lasts for one hour or when removed from the door or wall, it can be used again after 24 hours.

Faint Divination, CL 5th, Craft Wondrous Item, clairaudience/clairvoyance, price 12,000gp, slot -, weight 4lbs

I didnt enter this for a couple of reasons. It has Home Campaign written all over it and the mechanical effects are not clearly defined enough. Others in this thread have concurred with that diagnosis.

Random question, did you choose the name Wai Cho Ling on purpose? If so, am I correct in assuming you meant Wai, as in &#22806;, or foreign/outside. Cho as the Wade-Giles version of Chu? (Perhaps... I'm not up on my W-G) &#20986; in the sense of outside&#65292; and ling as in 0? or a different ling? Perhaps I'm transliterating the characters incorrectly; I find it difficult to convert Wade Giles or pinyin into characters when they relate to names.

Fairly amusing if you randomly picked the name. :)

I like the item, it's good for spying. But if the other person is scrying or detecting magic, can they detect the use of the item? I assume they could. What if only one fourth of the thing is used? What if one fourth of one is combined with 3/4ths of another... I'm not sure those questions necessarily need to be answered, but they arose.

The name comes from different soureces, Wai from a school friend of mine, Cho from a character in Doctor Who and Ling was originally going to be Lung (as in Dragon) but i changed it to Ling to make it sound better.

The way i see it, each porthole would need 4 quarters to work but they could come from different versions. But any GM using it could rule differently depending on what they want to do with it and the set up in their campaign.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

eotbeholder wrote:

GLOVE OF SANGUINE RUNES

Aura faint abjuration; CL 5th
Slot hands; Price 9,500 gp; Weight --

Upon donning this threadbare silk glove the wearer feels a sharp pinch, and blood soaks through the last digit of the wearer’s index finger. As a standard action the wearer can paint symbols on any surface with the blood, creating an arcane mark but suffering 1 hp of damage that cannot heal while the mark remains. The mark persists (and the blood never fades or smears) until the wearer removes the glove or dies, and a bond of vital energy connects the wearer and object bearing the mark:

The wearer feels a throbbing pain whenever someone else touches the object – enough to wake the wearer if asleep but not disrupting concentration or causing damage.

A marked door holds tight as if subject to an arcane lock spell. Other objects add the wearer’s Constitution modifier to their hardness values and break DCs.

The marked object bleeds when damaged. Destroying the object inflicts 2 points Constitution damage and stuns the wearer for one round.

CONSTRUCTION:
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, alarm, arcane lock, arcane mark; Cost 4,750 gp

This is an interesting item. We saw items like this alot. Though we judges dont really have a name for them, I call them FX items. They are, essentially, simple items under the surface covered with a cool special effect. In this case, that special effect is the pricked finger and the blood.

I like FX items. BUT I dont want the FX to be the end of the design. This item is on the verge of that. In the end, its an alarm/lock/mark swiss army knife spell in a can item with some neat FX laid over the top.

Your FX is the blood and the bleeding item when destroyed, etc.

I want more design than that, and you give us some. The 1 hp damage thing is neat. The Con and stun when damaged. But in the end there isnt a ton under the hood of the FX other than the 3 linked spells.

Now, that brings me to something you do well. This is not a grab bag item. It is all limited and linked by a good, common theme--not just blood, but marking and protection. Sealing the door, marking something, etc. That is good design. If you include multiple powers you cant just give the itme all the cool powers you want (that is a common design mistake, the robe that lets me have AC buff, speed buff, cast extra spells, and bypass the class restrictions on weapons--I mean, that is just "hey I want this item cause it makes my character rad!")

On the other hand, there are also some mechanics issues. I'm not sure I like the "throbbing pain whenever someone else touches the object – enough to wake the wearer if asleep but not disrupting concentration or causing damage." That is a bit vague. There has to be something better you can do than this. I also think disrupting concentration or causing damage is something you should consider. Force a Concentration check. This is one of the primary powers. The DM needs better guidance.

And I'm not sure where "Other objects add the wearer’s Constitution modifier to their hardness values and break DCs." comes from. I'm not sure I am following that.

I like that you wanted to add on some intersting mechanics beyond just spell effects. That is good design. But I dont think you went as far as you should with the mechanics you presented. They need a bit more detail and may need to find and utilize an existing mechanic.

I have to admit, though, this item has mojo. It is neat. It has a great, great name. And its FX is real cool. FX can grab attention, but if there isnt enough under the hood it wont hold it. Your item is on the edge of this.

You are definately headed in the right direction with this.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

cwslyclgh wrote:

Parchment of Mapping

Aura Faint Divination; CL 5th;
Slot --; Price 18,000 gp; Weight --.

Description

Those that risk their lives in dark labyrinths and catacombs seeking gold and glory could do worse than to take this item with them. In appearance the parchment of mapping is a square sheet of thick parchment about a foot across. When set on the ground and commanded to map it immediately draws an accurate overhead map of the surrounding area in a 100 foot radius about where the map is placed (at a scale of 20 feet to the inch) up to three times a day. When used indoors or underground the map will be an accurate floor plan including the locations of obvious doors, but will not include non-obvious features such as traps or secret doors, although a character might be able to deduce location of a secret door based on what the map shows them. The map will remain on the parchment for up to 24 hours, or until the parchment is commanded to map a different area.

Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, clairvoyance; Cost 9,000 gp

Happy to discuss this one.

This is a very practical item. It sure serves a real purpose for a game group. That, however, does not make it superstar. This item highlights something we judges generally dont favor and that is items that take away some of the main burdens of the adventuring experience. Its why we dont like camping items that make overland travel or camping safe. Part of the game is for wilderland travel to be dangerous. Just like part of dungeon adventuring is the confusing layout and forcing players to make maps or remember. This item, really, is a lazy excuse to just give the players a map and not require them to go through the trouble of mapping. That makes it sort of a metagame item. You arent really solving an in-game problem, you are solving a problem your players are having. Yes, characters would probably like dungeons to map themselves. But D&D shouldnt have an automap feature like online games have.

This one would have been rejected because with little discussion because it falls so clearly into this type of item.

Please understand that I absolutely believe in the D&D world, adventurers would likely find a way to create such magic maps. It makes sense. I am not saying it doesnt make sense. But that is not a superstar item. I hope that makes sense.

Pathfinder is about epic heroic pen and paper roleplaying in a fantastic and dangerous setting. Items that remove those dangers or the anachronistic requirements of pen and paper D&D just dont get much love.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Nermal2097 wrote:

Viewing Porthole of Wai Cho Ling

Originally designed by the Halfling Eunuch Sorcerer, Wai Cho Ling, to view oceanic life on a long sea voyage, each Porthole is four small brass quarter-circles that can be attached together (using small ball and socket joints) to create a circle 1 and half feet in diameter.

When placed against a door or wall it becomes a viewing porthole allowing the user (and only the user) to see through the barrier. It can see through one layer of material of any thickness. The effect is one way so anyone on the other side cannot see in. The effect lasts for one hour or when removed from the door or wall, it can be used again after 24 hours.

Faint Divination, CL 5th, Craft Wondrous Item, clairaudience/clairvoyance, price 12,000gp, slot -, weight 4lbs

Wolf would have loved the name. He has some kind of asian and arabian thing. And the plane of shadow. I dont know what it is about that guy but he is a sucker for names like that.

First comment, the format is off. This is SRD format, not Pathfinder. That right away raises the issue of "can this guy follow instructions." Its not fatal, but I start reading with a raised eyebrow.

Second, while you dont have excessive backstory, here is how your intro should read:

Clark Peterson wrote:
Each Porthole consists of four small brass quarter-circles that can be attached together using small ball and socket joints to create a circle 1 and half feet in diameter.

Delete that "originally created by..." stuff. Guess what, the name tells us who made it. We dont need mroe than that.

I dont want to say too much about this item. I think we had an item pretty similar that was under strong consideration for top 32.

Your item lacks some mechanics and details. What does "one layer" mean? I think I know. But that is the primary use and it needs to be spelled out better. I mean, if I have a masonry wall covered with plaster, is that one layer or two? If I have a wooden wall in a house that is painted, is that one or two? If I have a wooden wall covered by wallpaper, is that one or two? If I have a stone wall with some wooden wainscoating, is that one or two? How about a castle wall that is stone and stone with sand or gravel in between? Is that one or three? Its one barrier, but perhaps 3 materials, or maybe its all earth so that is one material?

Plus, do you really mean of any thickness? If so, what then do you mean by "wall"? Does it have to be between rooms? What about a 12 foot thick castle wall? Or, say, a huge wall like the great wall of china?

Additionally, how is it affixed to the wall? Does it take a Str check to remove it? Can anyone remove it?

And how about spells? Can you cast spells through this portal? Probably not, but that needs to be said.

This is a practical and interesting idea. I will admit, though, that it is a bit metagame. It just lets people see thorugh doors and walls when they want. That takes away part of the fun of pen and paper dungeon adventuring. I am not a fan of items that do that. I admit, this is the type of item that in a fantasy world someone would likely invent.

You are off to a good start, but try to use some of the comments here on your next item.

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:

We saw items like this alot. Though we judges dont really have a name for them, I call them FX items. They are, essentially, simple items under the surface covered with a cool special effect. In this case, that special effect is the pricked finger and the blood.

I like FX items. BUT I dont want the FX to be the end of the design. This item is on the verge of that. In the end, its an alarm/lock/mark swiss army knife spell in a can item with some neat FX laid over the top.

uh oh......

I guess my real entry was an FX item too. Tightly designed in my opinion, but is that enough? The 20th shall reveal all.

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