Almost Also-ran entries


RPG Superstar™ 2009 General Discussion

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Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Fatespinner wrote:

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. :)

Alot could be said about these.

I'm going to focus on three things: 1. they do too much, 2. cost, and 3. the "ranged attack" defense is just overpowered.

The defensive abilites are enough. No need to add fly and gust of wind, too. I understand they are tied to your theme of wind. That is good. You gotta tie your FX to your theme. That was well done. But you cant overdo it. I mean, this is artifact material.

The cost is just crazy, crazy low. Usually we give alot of leeway to the costing of an item. But had this been submitted, this item would have gotten howls out of all three of the judges. In fact, this costing is so off it might have gotten the item rejected. The issue of it being too powerful and the costing together likely would have gotten this rejected.

But those can be corrected. So I want to talk about the third issue:

This "[w]hile the bracers are active, the wearer is completely immune to all non-magical ranged attacks." Yowch! That is totally sick. I mean, wind wall deflects arrows and such. But this item would cast aside boulders by giants, siege engine projectiles, etc. That is just way too much. This is way way way more than wind wall.

One of the judges would probably have said this is a munchkin item. I dont know that I would go that far. But it is definately overpowered--and it is overpowered before you add in the fly and gust of wind.

You ahve a good theme--wind--and the bracers are interesting. You just need to turn them down from 11 :)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Zombieneighbours wrote:

Madam Zeldarna's tea set

Aura faint Enchantment; CL 3rd
Slot - ; Price 1134 GP; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This elegant tea set is made from fine porcelain, imported from Tian Xia. The delicate blue glaze is patterned into hypnotic hand painted swirls. The entire set is housed in a beautifully carved teak box, displaying a scene of a perfectly tended garden. Originally, a sizable investment by a powerful Tian merchant, used to aid in business negotiations, the Tea set fell into the clutches of a Varisian Charlatan, named Madam Zeldarna. It now serves to help fleece the unwary and pray upon the credulity of the weak willed.

The owner gains +2 to bluff, diplomacy and sense motive checks while engages in discussion over tea. Once per day the tea set may be used to cast Hypnotism (DC 11). Due to its nature as a tool of negotiation, only some one versed in the basic principles of diplomacy (3 ranks or higher) may use this Tea set.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, hypnotism; Skill craft (ceramics); Cost 567 gp

Zombie,

Nice item. You clearly write very, very well. But this item is a good example of some of the backstory comments made in other threads. I think it has too much.

Really, this is just a simple cup that gives you a social/negotiation bump and lets you cast hypnotism.

What makes this item special is its story and your writing. But this round wasnt a test of those two things. In the final analysis, this item would likely have been rejected because the ITEM itself isnt that Superstar. Now, I wont criticize your writing. It is very good. But put that great writing on a GREAT ITEM and you have yourself a winner. This one, though, doesnt do that.

I hope that makes sense.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Zombieneighbours wrote:

Atropos' Abhorred blades.

Aura Strong divination & necromancy; CL 13th
Slot - ; Price 100,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
A pair of shears, made from iron as black as midnight. These blades would look like those used to shear sheep in the uplands if it where not for the fact that they have clearly been crafted by a master blacksmith.

The shears may be used once per day, by a group of three women to perform a ritual in the form of a mystery play. This rite lasts one hour, during which they act out the spinning, measuring and cutting of a piece of cord representing the targets life. At the performances end, the cord is cut and if the ritual is successful, the target is subjected to a powerful magical attack.

This ritual functions as a Greater Scrying spell (DC20; modified as per spell) If the scrying is successful the target is targeted by a finger of death spell. (DC 20). The Shears may only be used by a group of three women who all possesses performance (acting).

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Greater Scrying, finger of death;
Cost 50,000 gp

First off, love the name. A lot. Got me excited and wanting to see what these do. I mean, any blades that are abhorred have to be cool!

I must point out, though, that having "blades" in the name makes me worry these are weapons and not wondrous items.

But still I read on with anticipation hoping for a cool item.

What I got was something cool, but not a cool item. I got a cool idea. And a cool story. And a cool plot hook. The item is a bit more interesting than the tea set--I mean, its a scry with a really really nasty zinger. But when you get right down to it, what is cool about this item is the three women and the ritual and all that stuff that doesnt have a ton to do with the item.

Here is a bit of a guide: if it takes you until the third paragraphs before you tell me what the item does, then chances are your submission is more about something else other than the item. The item is supposed to be the show. And in this case, that something else is the women and this killer plot and story hook you have.

Once again, the writing is very, very good. I hope you see my point on this, though. I hope this helps.

This item would have gotten a one line "plot hook" comment from one of the judges and a second judge would have quickly hit the reject button without even adding a comment. Not because it is bad or you are a bad person or you cant write. Clearly you can write very well and I'm sure you rule. But this submissions more story than it is item.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Smeazel wrote:

Eh, what the hey, here's my entry I didn't submit:

PATRON'S STONE AND FACTOR'S AMULET

Aura moderate necromancy; CL 10th
Slot neck (amulet), — (stone); Price 26,500 gp; Weight — (amulet), 10 lb. (stone)

DESCRIPTION

The patron's stone and factor's amulet are always created in a set, and if one is destroyed the other becomes nonmagical. (This does not, however, mean that the stone and the corresponding amulet will necessarily be found together.) The stone appears like a smooth fist-sized ovoid, and the amulet a large pendant with a round gem set in it. Both vary in color by the condition of the amulet's wearer, according to the following table:
White.....Dead
Orange....Poisoned
Blue......Diseased
Red.......Below half hit points
Yellow....Injured, but at least half hit points
Green.....Full health

If more than one condition applies, the one highest on the list takes precedence. If the amulet is not being worn, or the stone and amulet are on different planes, they will appear black.

Spells that can target creatures (but not spells that affect an area) can be cast on the stone, and will affect the wearer of the amulet. This works regardless of the distance between the stone and the amulet, provided they are on the same plane.

The patron's stone and factor's amulet were designed with the intent that the amulet's wearer could go forth into battle while a cleric or other healer remains safely at a distance with the stone, monitoring the wearer's health and healing—-or even raising-—him as necessary. It is still used for that purpose, and works very well for it, but it does have some limitations. For one, the amulet is, of course, as susceptible to dispel magic and other magic-negating effects as any other magic item. Perhaps more significantly, though, should an enemy happen to get his hands on the...

Right off the bat I think you missed the boat on the creation requirements. This thing needs status in a big way. I think that is a fatal flaw. A Superstar wouldnt have missed that. I do agree deathwatch is appropriate, but not enough.

Also, I dont like the name.

I dont like the over-formatting. I dont know why amulet's wearer needs to be italicized. Maybe that is just a boo boo.

But there is a much more significant issue with this item. Wonderous items are fun because they let you break the normal rules and get away with it. But this one I think breaks a rule you dont want to break. It is too metagame to have a remote healer healing the party from the command center. Items like this are heavily disfavored by the judges. They take away some of the essential "D&Dness" of D&D. I know that no one wants to play the cleric (except me I guess) and this solves that problem--just enlist the good aligned high level NPC that you always meet in any campaign and let them give you one of these and when you go on quest for him or her they can just heal you up all the time! You are essentially making PC clerics obsolete. That is a bad thing.

And beyond that, which alone would have been enough to reject the item, the "no range" on the remote spell casting issue is just too much.

It was wise not to submit this and I hope these comments help you understand where I am coming from. I can sarely say the three judges would have been unanimous on this one.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Darkjoy wrote:

Elemental Runes

Aura faint conjuration, evocation, illusion and transmutation; CL 5th
Slot -; Price 16500 gp; Weight 1/2 lb.
Description
These thin, polished, darkwood disks are each embossed with a single rune representing one of the four elements: air, earth, fire and water. As a standard action, you can trace you finger along a rune to produce a magical effect. If a rune is activated it fades away, but returns the next day. As a move action, you can connect two disks to create a greater rune. A greater rune is triggered in the same way as a normal rune. New sets of four elemental runes are usually bundled together in a five-sided sheet of purple silk.

Rune(s)........Effect
Air........Shocking Grasp
Earth........Magic Stone
Fire........Burning Hands (Reflex DC 11 half)
Water........Obscuring Mist
Air + Fire........Hypnotic Pattern (Will DC 13 negates)
Air + Water........Sleet Storm
Earth + Fire........Summon Azer (treat as Summon Monster III)
Earth + Water........Soften Earth and Stone
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, burning hands, hypnotic pattern, magic stone, obscuring mist, shocking grasp, sleet storm, soften earth and stone, summon monster III; Cost 8250 gp

DJ, you got some mojo going on with this. I like the FX you used. I like the combination thing. But in the end, this item is just kind of a grab bag. I dont think the theme is tight enough--I mean, shocking grasp to summon azer to sleep storm to hypnotic pattern? That is pretty random. I like the elemental theme. But I just think it does too much. I have to admit, I might have gotten disagreement from either or both of the other judges. Wolf could have liked this. It is limited and not overpowered. The fade and return the next day mechanic is good. I just think it is too much of a grab bag. That is generally bad design. But there is a lot of good stuff going on here too.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Core wrote:

Bough of Sanguine Fruit

Aura strong enchantment; CL 14th
Slot —; Price 82,000 gp; Weight 11lb

Description

The Bough of Sanguine Fruit appears as 4 foot twisted branch with rusty bark and large flabby leaves. One end of the branch is permeated with spindly roots that slowly writhe and churn. If the branch is driven into the fleshy corpse of a recently deceased creature, it will produce a fruit within 12 hours so long as it is not moved. This fruit is plump, reddish and will have the vague features of the host in which the branch was planted. Only one piece of fruit will grow at one time.

If the fruit is eaten, the devourer will gain the appearance, odor and mannerism of the host corpse. These effects do not detect as magic and are otherwise indistinguishable from a normal body, short of using a Wish spell. After 6 days the false facade will painfully blister off, revealing the devourers normal form. The effects of the fruit are mildly addictive and anyone eating such a fruit yearns to eat another for the rest of their life.

Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, limited wish;
Cost 41,500 gp

This, too me, is all FX covering up essentially a limited wish scroll that only lets you take on shape.

Not enough under the FX hood. Good FX is key, but you gotta put more under 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:


DJ, you got some mojo going on with this. I like the FX you used. I like the combination thing. But in the end, this item is just kind of a grab bag. I dont think the theme is tight enough--I mean, shocking grasp to summon azer to sleep storm to hypnotic pattern? That is pretty random. I like the elemental theme. But I just think it does too much. I have to admit, I might have gotten disagreement from either or both of the other judges. Wolf could have liked this. It is limited and not overpowered. The fade and return the next day mechanic is good. I just think it is too much of a grab bag. That is generally bad design. But there is a lot of good stuff going on here too.

Woot! I have mojo. My previous entry lacked spark but I guess mojo is a good substitute for that ;>

Thanks for the review.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

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...

Oh boy :)

A couple things.

1. Way too long.
2. I dont want all those notes.
3. Way overdone backstory. This is a great example of overdone backstory.

This whole paragraph...

"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."

...should have been omitted.

4. its a creature in a can.

This is a clear reject from all three judges.

I am not saying it is bad. But it is like some of Zombie's items. I think what is cool about your item is the story of Yphrinne. But that is not what this round is about.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Darkjoy wrote:

Woot! I have mojo. My previous entry lacked spark but I guess mojo is a good substitute for that ;>

Thanks for the review.

I would have voted Reject and Wolf likely would have voted Keep. I dont know what Sean would have said. :) I could have been swayed by their opinions. You item is not a clear reject, that is for sure. It was unique and that means something.

You are definately going in the right direction.

Marathon Voter Season 9

Thank you very much Clark.

I choose not to submit the Abhorrent Blades pretty much because i thought there was a risk it would be seen as such.

I personally don't consider it a plot hook. It is exactly the sort item I as a player would want to own, but that likely comes from the fact i have always preferred character driven stories and have an almost clinical fear of the more classical style of DnD play. It doesn't matter to me that my character might well have to hire two or three professional actresses to make use of it, the idea is so cool to me I would want to do that.

But as I said, I can understand that it is not what was required for the competition. I guess it is a case of separating what I as an aspirant freelancer really love and what is required to please my audiences. After all, I am no longer writing for myself. It is remarkable how difficult it is to make that transition.

I can hardly claim responsibility for the cool idea, it is literally taken whole cloth from a Greek myth, and with the only alteration was a fine sprinkling of neo-mystery cult and ceremonial magic added in. I am something of memetic magpie, with a head full of shinies from all over the place, so I guess I should pass on the thanks to Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. But on the writing front, thank you very much.

And I know the tea set is dull. It really didn't deserve to get finished, but I really wanted to do a good 'social' item for RPG Superstar. Thank god I was able to rain in that urge.

P.S. Passive voice is becoming the bane of my existence. I am completely unable to see it and seem to write passively by instinct. Thank god for spell checks, that is all I can say.

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

Zombieneighbours wrote:


P.S. Passive voice is becoming the bane of my existence. I am completely unable to see it and seem to write passively by instinct. Thank god for spell checks, that is all I can say.

Just keep writing, and run the grammar check on formal. I cannot recognize it either, but I have noticed that it crops up less and less in my writing.


Clark Peterson wrote:
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...

Hi Clark

Thanks for the great comments. I will take them on board for future items. Cheers. My actual entry did use the correct pathfinder format.

Marathon Voter Season 9

Clark Peterson wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:

Madam Zeldarna's tea set

Aura faint Enchantment; CL 3rd
Slot - ; Price 1134 GP; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This elegant tea set is made from fine porcelain, imported from Tian Xia. The delicate blue glaze is patterned into hypnotic hand painted swirls. The entire set is housed in a beautifully carved teak box, displaying a scene of a perfectly tended garden. Originally, a sizable investment by a powerful Tian merchant, used to aid in business negotiations, the Tea set fell into the clutches of a Varisian Charlatan, named Madam Zeldarna. It now serves to help fleece the unwary and pray upon the credulity of the weak willed.

The owner gains +2 to bluff, diplomacy and sense motive checks while engages in discussion over tea. Once per day the tea set may be used to cast Hypnotism (DC 11). Due to its nature as a tool of negotiation, only some one versed in the basic principles of diplomacy (3 ranks or higher) may use this Tea set.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, hypnotism; Skill craft (ceramics); Cost 567 gp

Zombie,

Nice item. You clearly write very, very well. But this item is a good example of some of the backstory comments made in other threads. I think it has too much.

Really, this is just a simple cup that gives you a social/negotiation bump and lets you cast hypnotism.

What makes this item special is its story and your writing. But this round wasnt a test of those two things. In the final analysis, this item would likely have been rejected because the ITEM itself isnt that Superstar. Now, I wont criticize your writing. It is very good. But put that great writing on a GREAT ITEM and you have yourself a winner. This one, though, doesnt do that.

I hope that makes sense.

I initially missed this post, so eager was i to see the comment on the shears. Oddly, despite neither of these items having been given a hypothetical 'Kept' stamp, this review actually really gives me a glimmer of hope for the first time in days.

Obviously, it reinforces my decision not to use either of these items, which at the very least shows I had the judgement not to enter these. But Clarks comments on the writing itself, regardless of the honesty of his praise*, do mean that i feel better about my entered item. I am certain it is more mechanicially interesting than the tea set and a better adventuring item also. While it still has what i feel to be a rich grounding in story, what background it has is very tightly focused, serving only to place it within the world of Golarion.

My only two fears that remain truly active are that a, that it might be considered to much a 'side bar' or 'plot device' item and b, that my damned spelling has let me down on it. I know I have spotted atleast one mistake, that while not horrible might be enough to ruin it in the eyes of the judges.

*this is not an accusation that Clark would be dishonest so much as an expression of my self depreicating humour.


If I could get your feedback on this, Clark, I'd be super-grateful! (Math adjusted from earlier post in this thread)

Chalice of Worldly Reflections

Aura moderate divination; CL 9th
Slot –; Price 40,500 gp; Weight 2 lb

When this simple silver cup is filled with water, the bearer may gaze into it and see all the world reflected therein. Gazing into its limitless depths takes 1 minute, and forces the bearer to make a Will saving throw against a DC of 17 as they realize their own insignificance against such a grand scale. Failure indicates that they are affected as if by a crushing despair spell for the following 9 minutes, and gain no other benefit from the chalice.

If their saving throw is successful, they gain a +2 insight bonus on Knowledge (geography) and Survival checks for the following 24 hours. In addition, they instantly learn about the land in a 9-mile radius around them. They learn about any significant terrain features in the area, as well as settlements, buildings, special types of terain, and significant weather. This effect ignores any kind of illusion, such as hallucinatory terrain. The chalice may be used three times per day, but only once per day per person.

CONSTRUCTION

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, commune with nature; Cost 20,250 gp


Clark, I am curious for feedback on this one...at the risk of coloring your opinion, I rejected it mostly because it seemed like too much of a "niche" item that would only be useful very occasionally. Was that a concern in the judging?

And let me add my voice to the chorus of thanks for your generosity in evaluating items that weren't even submitted!

Witching Whistle
Aura: moderate enchantment; CL 9th
Slot: -; Price: 4,000 gp; Weight: –

Description
This whistle, typically crafted of fine silver, produces an unearthly hum when blown (a standard action). Its song remains discordant in spite of any efforts by the user. The strange tune interferes with the bond between summoned creatures and their controller.

Every round that the whistle is blown, a summoner must make a caster level check (DC 20) for each creature within sixty feet of the whistle; failure indicates that the creature acts as if under a confusion spell for that round, except with the “caster” interpreted as the summoner when determining the spell’s effects.

The whistle may be blown for five rounds each day, which need not be consecutive. Summoned creatures within a silence effect are immune to the whistle. A bard ally’s countersong ability can also be used to replace the caster level check with the bard’s perform check. Creatures that fully retain their free will (such as demons summoned by other demons) are not subject to the confusion.

Construction
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, confusion, summon monster V; Cost: 2,000 gp

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

caelum wrote:

Witching Whistle

Aura: moderate enchantment; CL 9th
Slot: -; Price: 4,000 gp; Weight: –

Description
This whistle, typically crafted of fine silver, produces an unearthly hum when blown (a standard action). Its song remains discordant in spite of any efforts by the user. The strange tune interferes with the bond between summoned creatures and their controller.

Every round that the whistle is blown, a summoner must make a caster level check (DC 20) for each creature within sixty feet of the whistle; failure indicates that the creature acts as if under a confusion spell for that round, except with the “caster” interpreted as the summoner when determining the spell’s effects.

The whistle may be blown for five rounds each day, which need not be consecutive. Summoned creatures within a silence effect are immune to the whistle. A bard ally’s countersong ability can also be used to replace the caster level check with the bard’s perform check. Creatures that fully retain their free will (such as demons summoned by other demons) are not subject to the confusion.

Construction
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, confusion, summon monster V; Cost: 2,000 gp

I hope you dont take this wrong and get bummed, but I really like this item a ton. I would have given this strong consideration. I would have voted Keep on this for sure. Not sure if the other judges would have agreed, but this is an inspired item. I hope that doesnt make you gnash your teeth and have submission remorse.

This item does a bunch of things well.

First, it isnt just a spell effect, really. It breaks the rules, which is what fun wondrous items do. It interferes with summoned creatures. And while I didnt initially like the name, now that I know what it does I like the name better. It still may be the weakest part of the submission.

Great confusion mechanic and great clarification of "summoner is caster." That is a mandatory clarification and that is the kind of thing a rejected entry forgets and a Superstar entry includes.

It is also Superstar to provide for bard countersong and silence effects. That is the kind of stuff you need to have in an item description that a rejected entry would omit and a superstar entry includes.

One criticism I have is cost. No way that cost is right. It is approaching fatally wrong, in my view.

The second thing I have a concern about is the DC of the check. I think it might be a bit high. But I would have to do a check that I am not going to do on an also-ran review :)

Yes, it is a niche item. And yes we did consider that. But good design trumps that, in my view. The only thing about the item is that the whistle itself as an item choice is a bit non-sexy. A similar item, the deadstring shears, had a related and itneresting effect on controlled undead. I LOVED that item. But its theme was perhaps a bit more tightly tied to its effect. I get the whistle, and frankly I cant think of a better item at this moment but I get the sense that there was another choice. In the immortal words of Spinal Tap, "But that's just nit picking, isnt it?"

This is a cool item.

Marathon Voter Season 9

caelum wrote:

Clark, I am curious for feedback on this one...at the risk of coloring your opinion, I rejected it mostly because it seemed like too much of a "niche" item that would only be useful very occasionally. Was that a concern in the judging?

And let me add my voice to the chorus of thanks for your generosity in evaluating items that weren't even submitted!

Witching Whistle
Aura: moderate enchantment; CL 9th
Slot: -; Price: 4,000 gp; Weight: –

Description
This whistle, typically crafted of fine silver, produces an unearthly hum when blown (a standard action). Its song remains discordant in spite of any efforts by the user. The strange tune interferes with the bond between summoned creatures and their controller.

Every round that the whistle is blown, a summoner must make a caster level check (DC 20) for each creature within sixty feet of the whistle; failure indicates that the creature acts as if under a confusion spell for that round, except with the “caster” interpreted as the summoner when determining the spell’s effects.

The whistle may be blown for five rounds each day, which need not be consecutive. Summoned creatures within a silence effect are immune to the whistle. A bard ally’s countersong ability can also be used to replace the caster level check with the bard’s perform check. Creatures that fully retain their free will (such as demons summoned by other demons) are not subject to the confusion.

Construction
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, confusion, summon monster V; Cost: 2,000 gp

Yoinked for home game, with permission ofcause.

Star Voter Season 6

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Clark Peterson wrote:
But its theme was perhaps a bit more tightly tied to its effect. I get the whistle, and frankly I cant think of a better item at this moment but I get the sense that there was another choice.

This got me thinking about tradtional "scare evil spirits" instruments, bells and gongs.

For a one-encounter version you could use firecrcakers, another traditional festival item.

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

I decided to offer up the second place item from the ones I had to choose. It does start with a sentence of backstory, but the reason I didn't go with it is because it's an intelligent item (which is why I kept the backstory) and I didn't know how that would be received:

COVER OF NIGHT
Aura moderate illusion; CL 7th
Slot shoulders; Price 46,300; Weight 1 lb.
This black cloak was created by priests of Norgorber on the anniversary of his Starstone test. The silken mantle possesses its own personality and judgment, in order to aid those who gained the favor of the Reaper of reputation, or seduce those who might. It has an Intelligence of 12, and Wisdom and Charisma scores of 14. The cloak is neutral evil with an Ego score of 14. It understands Common, has darkvision out to 60 feet, and communicates empathically.

Cover of night provides a +4 bonus to its wearer's Stealth checks, and improves any instance of concealment (blur, darkness, etc.) to toal concealment. Once per day, the cloak can choose to obfuscate an area with a 20-foot radius for seven rounds. Those outside the affected area cannot see or hear what goes on inside, noting only what they'd normally expect from the scene. Cover of night bestows this ability in service to a priest of Norgorber, or in pursuit of any portion of that god's portfolio.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, darkness, hallucinatory terrain, zone of silence; Cost 23,150 gp

Go ahead - hit me. : }

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka KissMeDarkly

I got this item from the gag items thread. The original poster had given it a quick list of abilities, but I decided to re-work it with some of my own thoughts. I had really wanted to add the power Vision of Madness (Su) from the Madness Domain, but took it out in favor of Gust of Wind because of the original context of the idea.

Big Trouble in Little China wrote:

Egg Shen: Can see things no one else can see. Do things no one else can do.

Jack Burton: Real things?
Egg Shen: As real as Lo Pan!
Jack Burton: Hey, what more can a guy ask for?
Egg Shen: Oh, a six-demon bag!
Jack Burton: Terrific, a six-demon bag. Sensational. What's in it, Egg?
Egg Shen: Wind, fire, all that kind of thing!

When I saw you were doing this, Clark, I decided to finish it up and see what it was worth. Though I still think it needs tweaking. It could be less of a handful of spells in a can, more twists on those.

SIX DEMON BAG
Aura major evocation, minor conjuration, minor enchantment; CL 7th
Slot --; Weight 2 lb.; Price 62,000 gp

A Six Demon Bag looks to be course sack made from six different pieces of leather roughly stitched together with a course red thread.

Opening up the bag (standard action) grants the use of each of the following spells once per day as if you were a 6th Level Caster. The holder of the bag decides which one to use when opening the bag. All spell effects end when the bag is closed or dropped.

-- Black Tentacles: A single black tentacle comes out of the bag and attacks the nearest creature within reach who isn't the bag holder for 6 rounds. Borrowed from Original Posting
-- Crushing Despair: As the spell Crushing Despair.
-- Deeper Darkness: As the spell Deeper Darkness, except the holder of the six demon bag is unaffected.
-- Fireball: As the spell Fireball.
-- Gust of Wind: As the spell Gust of Wind.
-- Lightning Bolt: As the spell Lightning Bolt.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wonderous Item, Black Tentacles, Crushing Despair, Deeper Darkness, Fireball, Gust of Wind, Lightning Bolt; Cost 31,000 gp

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

Steven T. Helt wrote:


Go ahead - hit me. : }

OK, takes a huge swing

1) it feels like a unique item.
2) Bonus and the ability to increase concealment is good
3) The unique special ability falls into the bad design category of: not offering enough information to the DM. "Cover of night bestows this ability in service to a priest of Norgorber, or in pursuit of any portion of that god's portfolio." I believe this kills it for the judges.

"Once per day, the cloak can choose to obfuscate an area with a 20-foot radius for seven rounds. Those outside the affected area cannot see or hear what goes on inside, noting only what they'd normally expect from the scene."

I am not entirely convinced that this is explicit / clear enough.

Now let's hope that Clark says otherwise.


RE: Witching Whistle

Clark Peterson wrote:


... And while I didnt initially like the name, now that I know what it does I like the name better. It still may be the weakest part of the submission. ....

I loved the name. Witches give me Gygasms. The item is way cool too. Great job.


This was my submission that I had meant to enter (and thought I had) but it turns out I had gotten distracted by the holidays.

Spoiler:

Mai-ola’s Orb
This item appears to be a small sun-bleached wooden orb the size of a marble.

When a creature ingests Mai-ola’s Orb, it will be cleansed of all poisons. Absorbing poisons turns the orb an ebony colour. After the orb has finished absorbing any poisons present, Mai-ola’s Orb is automatically and forcibly regurgitated. This process takes about 12 seconds.

When Mai-ola’s Orb is black in colour, it can not remove any poisons. To return the orb to its original bleached colour it must be touched to a pearl (worth a minimum of 100gp) which then crumbles into worthless dust as it absorbs the taint from the Orb.

Moderate Conjuration (healing); CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, neutralize poison, creator must be a cleric with the healing domain; Price 46,000 gp; Weight 1/10 lb.

Edit: Feel free to comment, ignore and/or steal.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Madness Follows wrote:

SIX DEMON BAG

Aura major evocation, minor conjuration, minor enchantment; CL 7th
Slot --; Weight 2 lb.; Price 62,000 gp

A Six Demon Bag looks to be course sack made from six different pieces of leather roughly stitched together with a course red thread.

Opening up the bag (standard action) grants the use of each of the following spells once per day as if you were a 6th Level Caster. The holder of the bag decides which one to use when opening the bag. All spell effects end when the bag is closed or dropped.

-- Black Tentacles: A single black tentacle comes out of the bag and attacks the nearest creature within reach who isn't the bag holder for 6 rounds. Borrowed from Original Posting
-- Crushing Despair: As the spell Crushing Despair.
-- Deeper Darkness: As the spell Deeper Darkness, except the holder of the six demon bag is unaffected.
-- Fireball: As the spell Fireball.
-- Gust of Wind: As the spell Gust of Wind.
-- Lightning Bolt: As the spell Lightning Bolt.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wonderous Item, Black Tentacles, Crushing Despair, Deeper Darkness,...

Thanks for posting. What this one really lacks is a tight theme. Its basically a grab bag of cool spells. But why does THIS item give THOSE spells, other than that they are cool and it would be fun to have an item that gave you all those spells. I'm not feeling a theme here. I get the sense that perhaps you are trying to recreate and item that you have seen somewhere else, an anime or comic book item or some other source, and that item had similar powers. Wondrous items in general need to be much more tightly focused than this. Its a great try, and I see you said it was from the gag item thread or something. Plus, I think you might want to check some spelling on "course".

I hope you submitted your own item and I hope you get a lot out of this contest!

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

ArchLich wrote:

Mai-ola’s Orb

This item appears to be a small sun-bleached wooden orb the size of a marble.

When a creature ingests Mai-ola’s Orb, it will be cleansed of all poisons. Absorbing poisons turns the orb an ebony colour. After the orb has finished absorbing any poisons present, Mai-ola’s Orb is automatically and forcibly regurgitated. This process takes about 12 seconds.

When Mai-ola’s Orb is black in colour, it can not remove any poisons. To return the orb to its original bleached colour it must be touched to a pearl (worth a minimum of 100gp) which then crumbles into worthless dust as it absorbs the taint from the Orb.

Moderate Conjuration (healing); CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, neutralize poison, creator must be a cleric with the healing domain; Price 46,000 gp; Weight 1/10 lb.

Thanks for posting this item. It definately serves a purpose and would likely make its way into a book of items. But for Superstar I dont think it makes the cut because it is essentially a neutralize poison item with some cool FX painted on top. Now, cool FX are important. But as I've said before, you need to have more under the hook of the FX than this.

Nice work and I hope you submit next year. I think we are going to suggest moving the submission time a bit earlier like the first year of the contest so the holidays dont get in the way so much.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Steven T. Helt wrote:

I decided to offer up the second place item from the ones I had to choose. It does start with a sentence of backstory, but the reason I didn't go with it is because it's an intelligent item (which is why I kept the backstory) and I didn't know how that would be received:

COVER OF NIGHT
Aura moderate illusion; CL 7th
Slot shoulders; Price 46,300; Weight 1 lb.
This black cloak was created by priests of Norgorber on the anniversary of his Starstone test. The silken mantle possesses its own personality and judgment, in order to aid those who gained the favor of the Reaper of reputation, or seduce those who might. It has an Intelligence of 12, and Wisdom and Charisma scores of 14. The cloak is neutral evil with an Ego score of 14. It understands Common, has darkvision out to 60 feet, and communicates empathically.

Cover of night provides a +4 bonus to its wearer's Stealth checks, and improves any instance of concealment (blur, darkness, etc.) to toal concealment. Once per day, the cloak can choose to obfuscate an area with a 20-foot radius for seven rounds. Those outside the affected area cannot see or hear what goes on inside, noting only what they'd normally expect from the scene. Cover of night bestows this ability in service to a priest of Norgorber, or in pursuit of any portion of that god's portfolio.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, darkness, hallucinatory terrain, zone of silence; Cost 23,150 gp

Go ahead - hit me. : }

This is a tough one. I'll give you this, it has flavor galore. It has mojo. It is cool. Here is the problem--the intelligent item part. You know, in two years of doing this and well over 1500 entries, we havent had a single intelligent item (or if we did it was so munchkin as to be immediatly rejected; actually as I type this I vaguely remember someone submitting a stormbringer-like sword that was intelligent and did a million munchkin things that was likely submitted by a 13 year old kid and was rejected because it was a weapon). Here is the problem with intelligent items. By rule, some items can be intelligent. They must be permanent. Less than 1% of items are intelligent. Wondrous items without charges can be intelligent, but it is on a specific item by item case and in each case is only a 1% chance. As a result, I dont think it is proper design to design an item that is an intelligent item. A speific incarnation of that item may be intelligent. But what you have created is either a unique item OR a wondrous item that is always intelligent, and I dont think the rules provide for that.

I think this is your item:

"This silken mantle provides a +4 bonus to its wearer's Stealth checks, and improves any instance of concealment (blur, darkness, etc.) to toal concealment. Once per day, the wearer of the cloak can choose to obfuscate an area with a 20-foot radius for seven rounds. Those outside the affected area cannot see or hear what goes on inside, noting only what they'd normally expect from the scene."

What you have ladeled on top is the intelligent version of this item, and have really made a unique item.

When you take the intelligence off and the backstory, the item itself isnt that great--meaning that it needs to be intelligent to be interesting enough to be Superstar. And therein lies the problem....

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

By the way, thanks to everyone for letting me comment here and for being so cool about taking constructive criticism. Judges are often hesitant about giving feedback because it so frequently is not well recieved. We are managing to have a very high level discussion about design issues and that is quite remarkable. The items you have posted here have facilitated that discussion.

It bears repeating that if I have a criticism of an item or say an item likely wouldnt have made the cut, please know that I am not judging you as a person or your ability or skill, I am only talking about that specific item. Please keep that in mind.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Chris_Johnston wrote:

If I could get your feedback on this, Clark, I'd be super-grateful! (Math adjusted from earlier post in this thread)

Chalice of Worldly Reflections

Aura moderate divination; CL 9th
Slot –; Price 40,500 gp; Weight 2 lb

When this simple silver cup is filled with water, the bearer may gaze into it and see all the world reflected therein. Gazing into its limitless depths takes 1 minute, and forces the bearer to make a Will saving throw against a DC of 17 as they realize their own insignificance against such a grand scale. Failure indicates that they are affected as if by a crushing despair spell for the following 9 minutes, and gain no other benefit from the chalice.

If their saving throw is successful, they gain a +2 insight bonus on Knowledge (geography) and Survival checks for the following 24 hours. In addition, they instantly learn about the land in a 9-mile radius around them. They learn about any significant terrain features in the area, as well as settlements, buildings, special types of terain, and significant weather. This effect ignores any kind of illusion, such as hallucinatory terrain. The chalice may be used three times per day, but only once per day per person.

CONSTRUCTION

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, commune with nature; Cost 20,250 gp

Chris, I see where you are going with this. But as is probably plain from some of my prior posts, what I dont like about this item is the metagame element of taking the exploration out of wilderness travel. Hidden caves and such are a part of the game. I mean, how cool would it have been for Gandalf and company to have used this chalice to find the troll hoard in the Hobbit instead of stumbling into it the way they did, and there find some killer weapons. I just think items like this, while they make sense, take out some of the heart of pen and paper D&D.

That said, I like the crushing despair twist. I do think the effects seem to go a bit beyond what comes from commune with nature. Because you change the text of the power from the text of the commune with nature spell, I think as a result there are some very vague terms for this item. For isntance, what does "significant terrain features in the area, as well as settlements, buildings, special types of terain, and significant weather" really mean? I think it is a bit unclear.


Clark Peterson wrote:

Chris, I see where you are going with this. But as is probably plain from some of my prior posts, what I dont like about this item is the metagame element of taking the exploration out of wilderness travel. Hidden caves and such are a part of the game. I mean, how cool would it have been for Gandalf and company to have used this chalice to find the troll hoard in the Hobbit instead of stumbling into it the way they did, and there find some killer weapons. I just think items like this, while they make sense, take out some of the heart of pen and paper D&D.

That said, I like the crushing despair twist. I do think the effects seem to go a bit beyond what comes from commune with nature. Because you change the text of the power from the text of the commune with nature spell, I think as a result there are some very vague terms for this item. For isntance, what does "significant terrain features in the area, as well as settlements, buildings, special types of terain, and significant weather" really mean? I think it is a bit unclear.

Thanks for the feedback. The reason it doesn't say something like 'gain the effects of a commune with nature spell' is mostly because I wanted to avoid simply replicating a spell. But that and some of the other points you mentioned were the reason I went with my other entry. :)

Looking at it now, I guess it's just not heroic enough, although I did like the image of someone looking into the cup to see the entire world reflected in it. Thanks again!

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Chris_Johnston wrote:
I did like the image of someone looking into the cup to see the entire world reflected in it. Thanks again!

I agree and I forgot to mention that. I thought that image was rather evocative. I also thought the chalice was a good choice because most "looking glass" type items are rather cumbersome. A chalice gets you water to look into with the advantage of portability for wilderness travel :)


Clark Peterson wrote:
Chris_Johnston wrote:
I did like the image of someone looking into the cup to see the entire world reflected in it. Thanks again!
I agree and I forgot to mention that. I thought that image was rather evocative. I also thought the chalice was a good choice because most "looking glass" type items are rather cumbersome. A chalice gets you water to look into with the advantage of portability for wilderness travel :)

Yes, but what happens if you drink from the cup? Do you actually swallow he world and become a god! Ragwaine World Eater

PS. Clark my second choice item didn't get priced out or have aura etc... info. I posted it earlier. I'd like to hear what you think but I don't want to insult you with an unfinished entry. What if I posted it saying, just imagine the construction mechanics were good?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka KissMeDarkly

Clark Peterson wrote:
Thanks for posting. What this one really lacks is a tight theme. Its basically a grab bag of cool spells. But why does THIS item give THOSE spells, other than that they are cool and it would be fun to have an item that gave you all those spells. I'm not feeling a theme here. I get the sense that perhaps you are trying to recreate and item that you have seen somewhere else, an anime or comic book item or some other source, and that item had similar powers. Wondrous items in general need to be much more tightly focused than this. Its a great try, and I see you said it was from the gag item thread or something. Plus, I think you might want to check some spelling on "course".

The source is a quick toss away comment made in BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA. Egg-shen, the owner of the antiques store, mentions a six-demon bag right before they drink the magic elixir and go face-off against Lo-Pan. He also mentions a couple of things inside it. "Wind, fire, all that kind of thing!"

Then Set posted his Six-Demon Bag in the Gag Items thread. I liked it. In fact, I realized it could've been a submitted item. I decided to give it my twist. So I looked at Demons in SRD and didn't care for any of them OR what they could do. I also wanted an item that might see play.

Maybe the PF Bestiary will give this item the leg up it needs. Maybe I just need to look better diabolical and infernal influences.

Yes. My dictionary/thesaurus skills are a little coarse. I'll even try to master writing "wondrous" not wonderous. :)

Clark Peterson wrote:
I hope you submitted your own item and I hope you get a lot out of this contest!

I did. In fact reading this thread has shown me, that an item I'm going to make and considered for next year's contest wasn't going to cut it. While it had Magic Item Compendium potential, it isn't SUPERSTAR!


Steven T. Helt wrote:


COVER OF NIGHT
Once per day, the cloak can choose to obfuscate an area with a 20-foot radius for seven rounds.

Clark would definitely reject this one because you didn't add a definition of the word "obfuscate" at the end of your item description.

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

Ragwaine wrote:
Clark would definitely reject this one because you didn't add a definition of the word "obfuscate" at the end of your item description.

HA!

Ok...I decided to also see about the third place 'also ran'. This feedback is giving me a good idea of the blind spots I might have while designing an item, and I definitely feel the hardest part of this contest is getting in with the item. Not that the other rounds are cinches, or that the competition isn't tough, just that I feel more in control of my own destiny (as the sports people say) with the other rounds..

Here goes:

DUPLICITOUS DOCUMENTS
Aura moderate divination; CL 5th
Slot none; Price 27,900 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
This leather satchel unfolds to reveal several writing implements, including hardened quills, a stick of plain grey wax, a small pot of fine drying sand, parchment, a bone knife, and more. The whole provides a +4 competence bonus on Linguistics checks to forge or alter documents or maps. The bonus also applies to detecting forgeries. When used to create a copy of an authentic document, the kit produces a perfect replica, including changes in color, wax seal, and even duplucating unsual inks or papers.

In addition, the kit enables its owner to make Bluff, Diplomacy or Intimidate checks through the written word. Thus,it becomes possible for an outcast to petition for a pardon or for an enemy to submit terms of surrender from a safe distance. Opposed skill checks are made normally, so the author's motives might still be discerned from such a document.

The duplicitous documents include enough materials for ten uses, after which the implements become a nonmagical masterwork forgery kit.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, comprehend languages, erase, secret page; Cost 13,950 gp


Clark Peterson wrote:
Madness Follows wrote:

SIX DEMON BAG

Aura major evocation, minor conjuration, minor enchantment; CL 7th
Slot --; Weight 2 lb.; Price 62,000 gp

A Six Demon Bag looks to be course sack made from six different pieces of leather roughly stitched together with a course red thread.

Opening up the bag (standard action) grants the use of each of the following spells once per day as if you were a 6th Level Caster. The holder of the bag decides which one to use when opening the bag. All spell effects end when the bag is closed or dropped.

-- Black Tentacles: A single black tentacle comes out of the bag and attacks the nearest creature within reach who isn't the bag holder for 6 rounds. Borrowed from Original Posting
-- Crushing Despair: As the spell Crushing Despair.
-- Deeper Darkness: As the spell Deeper Darkness, except the holder of the six demon bag is unaffected.
-- Fireball: As the spell Fireball.
-- Gust of Wind: As the spell Gust of Wind.
-- Lightning Bolt: As the spell Lightning Bolt.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wonderous Item, Black Tentacles, Crushing Despair, Deeper Darkness,...

-- I get the sense that perhaps you are trying to recreate and item that you have seen somewhere else, an anime or comic book item or some other source, and that item had similar powers.

Please don't tell me you haven't seen "Big Trouble in Little China". If so, go directly to the video store, do not pass 'Go' and do not collect your $200. ;)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

I've seen it. It has been a while, though. I couldnt remember the reference. Now I do. :)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Steven T. Helt wrote:

DUPLICITOUS DOCUMENTS

Aura moderate divination; CL 5th
Slot none; Price 27,900 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
This leather satchel unfolds to reveal several writing implements, including hardened quills, a stick of plain grey wax, a small pot of fine drying sand, parchment, a bone knife, and more. The whole provides a +4 competence bonus on Linguistics checks to forge or alter documents or maps. The bonus also applies to detecting forgeries. When used to create a copy of an authentic document, the kit produces a perfect replica, including changes in color, wax seal, and even duplucating unsual inks or papers.

In addition, the kit enables its owner to make Bluff, Diplomacy or Intimidate checks through the written word. Thus,it becomes possible for an outcast to petition for a pardon or for an enemy to submit terms of surrender from a safe distance. Opposed skill checks are made normally, so the author's motives might still be discerned from such a document.

The duplicitous documents include enough materials for ten uses, after which the implements become a nonmagical masterwork forgery kit.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, comprehend languages, erase, secret page; Cost 13,950 gp

I'll admit that in general we judges have a bias towards epic heroic roleplaying. Forging documents doesnt really get us there. Its like a magic item to appraise gems or categorize merchandise. Not really epic or heroic. So while this may be a fine item, and it would likely make its way into a book of magic items, it just isnt Superstar.

Think about it like this. This is your audition. This is your chance to take the state and wow me with your chops. Not gonzo. But solid and cool and well done. Interest me. A bag of forgery equipment? Pass. Another figurine of wondrous power? Nope. A mask to help you with a bluff check. Yawn.

They may be fine items. But this is R-P-G-FREAKING-SUPERSTAR PEOPLE! This is not a magic item open call.

Good choice not to submit this one. Thank you for submitting it here for me to use as an example. Again, this is a fine item. Well put together. But an item like this simply will not stand out in a contest that draws hundreds and hundreds of contestants. Nor should it. This is RPG Superstar. Step it up. Bring your A-game and bring an A-game, superstar item.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Ragwaine wrote:
I'd like to hear what you think but I don't want to insult you with an unfinished entry. What if I posted it saying, just imagine the construction mechanics were good?

Sorry. I'm really too busy to even be doing this (but I am anyway because I am insane). If you cant spend the time to actually finish the submission I dont really know how you can expect me to spend the time on something you didnt. Yes, requesting a review of an unfinished item, while not an insult per se, is definately not really a good call. Lets not call it an insult. Lets just call it an "are you freaking kidding me?" ;)

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

Thanks, Clark!

The item I submitted is definitely more a teamwork combat item. (You already know who advanced, so I guess I can say that without revealing what the item is or whatnot - surely several items that fit that description were submitted). I think a few DMS would look at the documents and say "I could change the world with these things!" But most people would yawn and move on to something more like what I submitted. I think someone in nearly every DnD party would want my item,but not everyone in every party.

So the question is, was it Superstar to you guys? I am inclined to say no, but maybe someone enjoyed it and decided they want to see what I'll do later. We'll find out in just over two days.

In the meantime, on to villain number three!


Clark Peterson wrote:
Ragwaine wrote:
I'd like to hear what you think but I don't want to insult you with an unfinished entry. What if I posted it saying, just imagine the construction mechanics were good?
Sorry. I'm really too busy to even be doing this (but I am anyway because I am insane). If you cant spend the time to actually finish the submission I dont really know how you can expect me to spend the time on something you didnt. Yes, requesting a review of an unfinished item, while not an insult per se, is definately not really a good call. Lets not call it an insult. Lets just call it an "are you freaking kidding me?" ;)

I agree, you're insane.

And I'm really glad I asked. Thanks for responding.


Clark Peterson wrote:
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...

Oh boy :)

A couple things.

1. Way too long.
2. I dont want all those notes.
3. Way overdone backstory....

Thanks for the honest feedback.

Much appreciated!


Clark, please critique my item.
And thank you in advance the feedback is appreciated.

Kyr wrote:

The other item I put together that didn't make the cut.

I wish I had the room for more flavor text.

Healer's Lute

Aura Moderate conjuration (healing); CL 7th
Slot Body; Price[/i] 64,000 gp; [b]Weight 1/2 lb

Description

Crafted from dark mahogany and inlaid with silver these enchanted musical instruments grant a +10 bonuses to perform checks made playing them. In addition, healer's lutes greatly enhance the healing prowess of those with the power of bardic music.

Each daily allotment of bardic music channeled through the lute allows the musician to heal a single creature a number of hit points equal to his perform check. Alternatively, rather than restore lost hit points the musician can channel an allotment of bardic music to cure disease, cure blindness/deafness, or remove curse. Use of any of the healing powers of the harp require at least five minutes of uninterrupted play.

Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, cure serious wounds, remove blindness/deafness, remove curse, remove disease; Cost 32,000 gp.
_______________________________________________________________________
NOTES

The cost on this was a little difficult. The +10 bonus was easy enough, 10 squared times 100 or 10,000. But the healing since it requires the use of bardic music, is based on a perform check rather than a spell, has alternative healing effects, and has a minimum effective casting time of five minutes the pricing is sort of non-standard. For that I used cure serious wounds as the base – 3rd level spell squared times 2,000 or 18,000 and then tripled it. Thus the total cost of the item is 64,000 which felt about right.

The Exchange

Clark are you going to be doing feedback on the almost-rans after the 20th?


Here are my runner-ups and why I didn’t submit them. Some of them are more worked up than others and actually I’m at work right now so these are typed up from notes and not the finished drafts I have at home. I’d love feed back from judges or civilians.

Badger Blades
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 11th
Slot Hands; Price ?gp; Weight 2lbs.
Description
These small iron shovel blades are worn one on each hand like gauntlets. The wear of these blades gains a burrow speed of 10ft. if the were already has a burrow speed it increase by 10ft. Badger blades prevent their wearer from holding any items but can be uses a punching daggers in a pinch.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, move earth; Cost ?gp.

I didn’t know if these would actually be weapons and they didn’t feel sexy.

Llubder’s Rejuvenating Tonic
Aura moderate conjuration (healing); CL 7th
Slot none; Price 5600gp; Weight 1 lb
Description
A sticky sweet smell comes this light green fizzing liquid. The drinker of this tonic receives all the benefits of a full 8 hours rest. This includes healing hit points, recovering from ailments and the use of class features and special abilities.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, cure critical wounds, restoration; Cost 2800 gp

Seemed too powerful for price and eliminated things like camping.

Grimalkins Terrible Storybooks
Aura strong conjuration CL 11th
Slot none; Price ?gp; Weight 1 lb
Description
These small beautifully illustrated books are bound in red leather with silver details. Each tells a similar story of someone being perused by a shadowy demon. While written in Abyssal these books are automatically comprehensible to anyone who attempts to read them or listen to them being read. Reading the book out loud takes 10 rounds and has the following effects on anyone who is within 30 ft that can hear the reader:
Round 1: Listeners are compelled to stop whatever they are doing and focus on the story. This effect continues until the story is finished or interrupted.
Round 5: From this point on the reader and all listening are terrified by the story and become shaken. Also if the story is interrupted everyone within 30ft is targeted by the spell Phantasmal Killer.
Round 10: Anyone who has been under the compulsion for at least the last two rounds are transported to the twilight realm of Grimalkin Demon Lord of Fear.
Each effect can be avoided by a DC 30 Will check.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, tongues, phantasmal killer, mass suggestion, plane shift; Cost ?gp.

This seemed more like an artifact than a wondrous item, also I couldn’t figure out pricing or word the description properly in 200 words.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Crimson Jester wrote:
Clark are you going to be doing feedback on the almost-rans after the 20th?

Good question. Probably not. My guess is that I will be focusing on feedback on items that were submitted and didnt make it. But this thread wasnt started for me to comment on items. This is for the community to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of other items people made and discussion of their decision to submit them or not. There are a number of people here offering really helpful comments. So my presence or comments isnt the value of this thread. :) It will carry on when I bow out to do other things, I am sure of that.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Evan Whitefield wrote:

Llubder’s Rejuvenating Tonic

Aura moderate conjuration (healing); CL 7th
Slot none; Price 5600gp; Weight 1 lb
Description
A sticky sweet smell comes this light green fizzing liquid. The drinker of this tonic receives all the benefits of a full 8 hours rest. This includes healing hit points, recovering from ailments and the use of class features and special abilities.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, cure critical wounds, restoration; Cost 2800 gp

Seemed too powerful for price and eliminated things like camping.

Be careful of things that reduce or remove balance restrictions built into the game--such as the need to rest to restore abilites or spells or whatever. Essentially, a wizard drinks this and gets all spell back. Or any caster, for that matter. That is a big impact. While it is true that wondrous items are good places to break rules, this is a real big one to break. I think it goes too far.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Evan Whitefield wrote:

Grimalkins Terrible Storybooks

Aura strong conjuration CL 11th
Slot none; Price ?gp; Weight 1 lb
Description
These small beautifully illustrated books are bound in red leather with silver details. Each tells a similar story of someone being perused by a shadowy demon. While written in Abyssal these books are automatically comprehensible to anyone who attempts to read them or listen to them being read. Reading the book out loud takes 10 rounds and has the following effects on anyone who is within 30 ft that can hear the reader:
Round 1: Listeners are compelled to stop whatever they are doing and focus on the story. This effect continues until the story is finished or interrupted.
Round 5: From this point on the reader and all listening are terrified by the story and become shaken. Also if the story is interrupted everyone within 30ft is targeted by the spell Phantasmal Killer.
Round 10: Anyone who has been under the compulsion for at least the last two rounds are transported to the twilight realm of Grimalkin Demon Lord of Fear.
Each effect can be avoided by a DC 30 Will check.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, tongues, phantasmal killer, mass suggestion, plane shift; Cost ?gp.

This seemed more like an artifact than a wondrous item, also I couldn’t figure out pricing or word the description properly in 200 words.

I agree with your own evaluation.

This is clearly either an artifact or a unique story/plot hook item. I dont know what the "twilight realm of Grimalkin Demon Lord of Fear" is.

Ordinarily I wouldnt have responded to an incomplete item for reasons stated in posts above, but this one I wanted to use for a reason--as a warning about names. Be careful with names that have a pretty well established reference. Grimalkin (and its derivative Greymalkin from Shakespeare's Macbeth) is a very identifiable name and it conjures up references and ideas about your item before that item is even read.

Suggestion: If you use a proper name, google it first.

Grand Lodge

What the heck, let's sling this up. This isn't exactly an also-ran, as I didn't manage to submit an entry before the deadline in the end, but I'd like some feedback on it if possible. I don't think I would have submitted this attempt regardless, as it's a very niche item. Plus, the name kind of sucks. Its creation stems out of my mild irritation at every wizard and his dog fleeing with mighty teleportation mojo whenever you start getting your beatdown on.

FOLLOWSTONE
Aura faint divination, strong conjuration; CL 13th
Slot –; Price 7,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
DESCRIPTION
A followstone looks like a whitish orb, roughly the size of an apple, with an opalescent sheen. The abilities of a followstone function only when the item is grasped firmly in one hand, and are twofold.

Firstly, the followstone glows with a pearly light whenever a conjuration (teleportation) effect is used within 60 ft. of it.

Secondly, when a followstone detects such an effect, you may (as an immediate (mental) action) command the followstone to transport you to the intended destination of that teleportation effect at the start of your next action. This ability functions as if using greater teleport targeting only yourself. Use of this ability grants you no foreknowledge of what or where the intended destination is, and the ability fails if the intended destination is on another plane or is warded against teleportation effects (such as by forbiddance or similar spells).

A successful use of a followstone’s teleportation ability destroys the followstone.
CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, detect magic, greater teleport; Cost 1750 gp, 140 xp


Clark Peterson wrote:


Ordinarily I wouldnt have responded to an incomplete item for reasons stated in posts above, but this one I wanted to use for a reason--as a warning about names. Be careful with names that have a pretty well established reference. Grimalkin (and its derivative Greymalkin from Shakespeare's Macbeth) is a very identifiable name and it conjures up references and ideas about your item before that item is even read.

Suggestion: If you use a proper...

Thanks for the feedback. I’m really looking forward to what you’ll have to say about my actual submission come tuesday. Sorry about posting an incomplete submission I missed your comments about that earlier but I’m glad you found it useful.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka KissMeDarkly

Ninjaiguana wrote:

FOLLOWSTONE

Aura faint divination, strong conjuration; CL 13th
Slot –; Price 7,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

I've got to say the price is off. I figure this:

DETECT MAGIC 1000
TELEPORT, GRTR 3150
NO SLOT USE X 2
---------------------
PRICE 8,300 GP

Plus I'm not sure if MY pricing is right. 'Cause it allows you to think the command. You may need to apply the meta-magic feat Silent Spell to the mix.

The followstone's ability to be used by anyone might cause me to raise it's price. I'd put it in the interesting, but I don't think I want to use it pile.

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