Dazzler


Open Call: Design a wondrous item

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Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

Aura Faint Evocation; CL 3rd
Slot –; Price 1,000gp; Weight
DESCRIPTION
At first glance this gem appears to be nothing more than a red garnet. Upon closer inspection however, a tiny sunburst sigil can be seen etched onto its leading facet.
Anyone holding a Dazzler can use it to cast flare at will as a Swift Action.
They can also be attached to a Shield by a skilled Armorsmith (DC 15 Craft check).
Shield activation is the same as if it were held. Multiple Dazzlers can be affixed to a Shield as long as a Craft check is made for each. If a check is failed by more than 5 there is a 50% chance the Dazzler is ruined.
Additional Dazzlers can be activated from a Shield in the same round, but activating more than two Dazzlers in such a way becomes a Standard Action. For each additional Dazzler activated, the -1 penalty from each Dazzled Condition stacks (although the duration remains the same).
The number of Dazzlers that can be attached to a Shield are as follows: Buckler/Klar 2; Light Shield 4; Heavy Shield 6; Tower Shield 10.
CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, flare; Cost 500gp

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Flash-bangs you can stick on your shield! And it seems to just ignore the stacking rule.

No thanks.

The Exchange Kobold Press

Well, yeah, without ignoring the stacking rules these things are no fun at all. Lots of items break one rule or bend it beyond recognition. That's why they are Wondrous, after all.

I really like this item just fine. A quite small bit of magic for fighters, who don't get that many like this.

We'll see what our third judge thinks.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Wolf, that's a fair comment about items breaking the rules. I guess I can live with the stacking rules being bent for this. Its not killing me.

Still not a huge fan. But you are right, these are small items and good for fighters who dont get much. Good design niche, at least.

Sean, help us out.

Contributor

I wouldn't break the stacking rule, I'd have multiple flares require multiple saves. I like the concept, I think we should keep it, it's a novel idea.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

You two decide this one. Not killing to keep it around but I am not a big fan. I'm out on this one. You guys decide.

Contributor

Kept.

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

Congratulations on making it to RPG Superstar 2009!

My first reaction was like Clark's: Breaking the stacking rule? PASS.

But then again, it's frickin flare - how broken can it be?

Although it made me think of Unforgotten Realms: "I'm gonna cast a spell. I'm gonna cast... FLARE!" Funny...

Maybe compare this way. For 4000 gp plus the base cost of the shield, I can get a +1 blinding light shield, or I could slap four dazzlers] on a masterwork light shield.

1. The first one, besides giving me +1 AC of course, lets me as a standard action try to blind every creature in a 20' radius for 1d4 rounds.

2. The second lets me dazzle one target (-1 to hit, -1 Perception) for 1 minute as a swift action, or quadruple-dazzle (-4 to hit, -4 Perception) as a standard action all day long. The dazzle lasts much longer than the blindness (1 minute).

#1 is better as long as there are no allies nearby (or if your DM is generous and lets them avert their eyes and avoid/boost the save). It doesn't last very long, though, but blindness is pretty hardcore as an effect.

#2 is handy as a little something extra while fighting, or a pretty healthy standard action attack. Heck, have a hireling (or even a familiar, if it has hands) carry the dazzler-shield around and just hang back in combat popping people with dazzle attacks every round.

Which is better? I dunno. With a heavy shield (-6 from 6 dazzlers) or a tower shield (-10) option #2 starts to sound a lot better. Heck, the "have a hireling carry the shield" sounds even better when he can hide behind a tower shield.

Summary: I don't hate it but I don't love it. It's an interesting idea, and the stackability of it is kind of self-corrected by the low saving throw. It's a useful low-level magic item, though, and that counts for something. I would say in future rounds be careful of end-runs around the rules, but Wolf is right when he says that this item wouldn't even be in the conversation if it DIDN'T stack (or do something else interesting, like absorb sound and turn it into light... oh wait, wrong Dazzler!).

BTW, you left out the save DC for your flare spell. The default would be DC 10 Fortitude negates.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

I thank you for the Marvel Comics reference, Jason. I was starting to worry I was the only Dazzler fan in the Judge's Chambers.

This is a cool effect with an odd execution, and for that I applaud you! Getting a little more OOMPH out of a low-level spell is to be encouraged, and I dig the way this item turns the last-ditch effort of the panicking 1st-level evoker into a mean, efficient tactical maneuver worthy of Ogami Itto himself.

The concerns above are telling, of course, and I encourage you to heed the words of the Judges - they're right. Every time.

Well done, congratulations, and I look forward to seeing more as Superstar! rolls on!

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder aka Robert G. McCreary

Let me get through my 80's Marvel Superheroes flashback first. Here's a tip - before you use any name for anything in RPG writing, Google it. See if it's been used before - particularly in anything game-related or geek-related (like comic books). [off-topic](You're a Dazzler fan, Boomer?[/off-topic]

But to actually look at the item: that's a quite a neat little item. A (really) budget mini-helm of brilliance, if you will. With training wheels. I have a secret fondness for flare (it's my favorite cantrip), and it's a cool extra to be able to fasten it to your shield.

I, too, was worried about the stacking, thinking, "with a tower shield I'll give my enemies a -10 on their attacks!" But I think there are some key limitations the other judges are missing: flare only affects a single creature, all his buddies are unaffected (at least as the item is written). And it's a one-shot item. I think. Actually, looking back at it, you can ruin a dazzler when attaching it, but apparently they're reusable. Hmmm. I'd like this a lot better if they were one-shots that needed to be replaced (and maybe drop the price a little then).

My first impression (other than the name) was good, though, so I still like it. I'd just tweak it a bit more if I'm going to break that kind of hard rule. Anyways, it's nice to see something besides the "big ticket" items here. Good job! Congratulations on joining the ranks of RPG Superstar!

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar aka Leandra Christine Schneider

A funny, yet easy to remember name for a new and exciting item concept. The breaking of the stacking rules is no problem for me, since this breach is contained and only focussed on the item’s effect.
I’ve not seen the daze spell that could break my game yet.

Positive:
It is a low level item that is useful in actual combat. Many low-cost items are utility only and offer no bang to the martially inclined character. This one does.
Being useful when you have multiples is also a touch that can be enjoyed.
Good formatting.

Negative:
I have one big gripe here: The excessive die rolling that will ensue when I introduce this to my game. There is no reason at all, not to have two dazzlers on every shield in a higher level party. Even if the chance is only 5% (roll a 1 on the save) to inflict a 5% reduction in an opponents effectiveness, the players will use it nearly every combat round, taking away precious game time for a minor effect. After ten levels or so, it will become annoying.

After reading all entries:
The dazzler doesn’t have any great flaws except the one mentioned above. I just can’t get myself to jump over it, but I hope I am wrong and you end up blowing me away in the next RPG Superstar round!

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Rob McCreary wrote:
[off-topic](You're a Dazzler fan, Boomer?[/off-topic]

Dude, man, I was freaking 14 when Marvel launched the Age of Apocalypse storyline.

If thinking that Age of Apocalypse Dazzler is kind of a cutie-pattotie is a crime, well ... lock me up & ship me to Australia, brother!

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

Clinton Boomer wrote:
Rob McCreary wrote:
[off-topic](You're a Dazzler fan, Boomer?[/off-topic]

Dude, man, I was freaking 14 when Marvel launched the Age of Apocalypse storyline.

If thinking that Age of Apocalypse Dazzler is kind of a cutie-pattotie is a crime, well ... lock me up & ship me to Australia, brother!

"If loving you is wrong, I don't wanna be right!"

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Demiurge 1138

I agree that the lack of DC is annoying, but this is a neat little item nonetheless.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka Clandestine

In my opinion, "Dazzler" is a very good name for a gem item - it just sounds in a way I would name a gem. It also hints at it's magic properties, without giving it away on the spot.

As I look through the items of fellow top 32, I think of one thing: How would that look in my game? Dazzlers could give an unexpected flair (heh) to an otherwise mundane asset during low levels - the shield. I like it!

Liberty's Edge Contributor , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

I was hoping for some flavor text about Alison Blaire. Oh, well.

Seriously, though, I like this a lot. It's definitely a good one for fighters.

Congratulations!

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6 , Dedicated Voter Season 6

Add me to the list who went "Dazzler? Is the disco mutant back?".

I'm afraid I'm apparently a grumpy gus about mechanics this year, but I'm with Christine on this one: it's going to drown the game in die rolling any time a PC has a swift action left over. Still, creative idea, and that counts a lot.


I have Dazzler issue #1. I bought it because it I was a would be comic collector kid and it was a #1. Will sell for cash.

Stacking rules smacking tools. Er... wait...

Love this item.

Well done!


Seriously, how has no one seen this item for what it is? It is no less than a fantasy version of that wonderful, late-night shopping sensation, the Bedazzler.

So Craig, I gotta ask, did you base your item on the above-mentioned bit of QVC fodder? It's a cool item, regardless. =]

BD


Gratz Flash! All my computers gonna let me do!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

Blackdirge wrote:

Seriously, how has no one seen this item for what it is? It is no less than a fantasy version of that wonderful, late-night shopping sensation, the Bedazzler.

So Craig, I gotta ask, did you base your item on the above-mentioned bit of QVC fodder? It's a cool item, regardless. =]

BD

Ha that is so funny!

Sorry to shatter your dreams BD, but I've never even heard of a Bedazzler. I like the comparison though. ;)

Thanks everyone for your congratulations and comments.
I truly welcome any and all comments on my item.

And to the Judges
Thank You


flash_cxxi wrote:
Blackdirge wrote:

Seriously, how has no one seen this item for what it is? It is no less than a fantasy version of that wonderful, late-night shopping sensation, the Bedazzler.

So Craig, I gotta ask, did you base your item on the above-mentioned bit of QVC fodder? It's a cool item, regardless. =]

BD

Ha that is so funny!

Sorry to shatter your dreams BD, but I've never even heard of a Bedazzler. I like the comparison though. ;)

I believe you. However, if you'd stated that your item could be sewn on to acid-washed jeans or tacky denim jackets instead of shields, then I would have been really suspicious. =]

Anyway, neat item, and congrats on making the top 32.

Oh, and just incase you need some inspiration for the next round - here you go.

BD

Liberty's Edge

The Flash creates the Dazzler!

Well done man, nice little item.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Gamer Girrl

I like this. Simple little item that can turn nasty, good limitations on the stackables, and on how many can be attached to particular shields. Cool little toy ... will have to see if my GM would add this to our RoTR for our dwarven cleric of Sarenrae :)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka Sir_Wulf

I'm not overfond of this one. I picture parties fastening two on every shield in the group and forcing an extra half-dozen saves every round. Alternatively, they'd pile the dazzlers onto a tower shield and try to reduce foes to complete stumblebums (-10 to hit? Put a fork in him: That guy's done!).

Dark Archive

This is neat, and reminds me of the Magic Item Compendium with it's snap-on power crystals or whatever.

I've used cantrip-level magic items before (a 'shiny brass shield' created with a Flare cantrip effect that causes it to confer a -1 attack penalty on anyone attacking it's bearer in melee, so long as there is at least torch-equivalent light in the area), but this is a neat way of making what I used as an armor/shield enhancement into a Wondrous Item.

Plus it also allows it to be used in hand, for a non-Fighter type, as a sort of unlimited use Wand of Flare.

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

I almost like this one. Though I keep seeing the cover of Dazzler #1 in my head.

This is one of those rare items that could use some more flavor text. Something about how they're favored by a certain culture, etc. As a cultural fighting quirk, this would be awesome.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

Gah! I so much want to elaborate on some of the comments being posted here.

Must wait... must... wait...

=D


Now we know your name!

MuahahahahHAhHAhHHAhHAhHAhA!

Congrats!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

Kruelaid wrote:

Now we know your name!

MuahahahahHAhHAhHHAhHAhHAhA!

Congrats!

Heh heh. Silly Duffer, it's been in my Profile since I joined Paizo. ;)

Thanks. =D

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Clinton Boomer wrote:


Dude, man, I was freaking 14 when Marvel launched the Age of Apocalypse storyline.

::weeps::


flash_cxxi wrote:
Kruelaid wrote:

Now we know your name!

MuahahahahHAhHAhHHAhHAhHAhA!

Congrats!

Heh heh. Silly Duffer, it's been in my Profile since I joined Paizo. ;)

Thanks. =D

Yah, I know, I just wanted to do my super-villain laugh.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

flash_cxxi wrote:

Gah! I so much want to elaborate on some of the comments being posted here.

Must wait... must... wait...

=D

And Erik said we can post comments on our items in another Top 32 Thread, so here goes:

Wolfgang Baur wrote:

Well, yeah, without ignoring the stacking rules these things are no fun at all. Lots of items break one rule or bend it beyond recognition. That's why they are Wondrous, after all.

I really like this item just fine. A quite small bit of magic for fighters, who don't get that many like this.

Thanks Wolfgang. Breaking the stacking rule was what I was going for when I attempted to give this item a little something more, because I totally agree with you that without it it is not worth mentioning.

Your comment about the fighters is also spot on the mark for what I was going for.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I wouldn't break the stacking rule, I'd have multiple flares require multiple saves.

Sean originally I thought about allowing multiple saves, but figured that would a) bog down the gameplay and b) not be as useful at higher levels. Conceptually it is a boost for low level fighters, but I didn't want to limit it's effectiveness at higher levels either.

Demiurge 1138 wrote:
I agree that the lack of DC is annoying, but this is a neat little item nonetheless.

I didn't include a DC because at it's heart it is still a flare and I figured it would just go off the spells normal DC.

Russ Taylor wrote:
I'm with Christine on this one: it's going to drown the game in die rolling any time a PC has a swift action left over. Still, creative idea, and that counts a lot.

That's something I never really thought of to tell you the truth. The ability to utilize them at higher levels was mitigated (I thought) by it's low DC. As you have both pointed out however, spamming it every round would result in a success eventually. Thanks for the design pointer.

Also, I'll clarify this for anyone unsure: the stackability is only a factor from one Dazzler. If multiple party members spam them in one turn, only the highest minus would take effect, not every instance stack.

Clouds Without Water wrote:
This is one of those rare items that could use some more flavor text. Something about how they're favored by a certain culture, etc. As a cultural fighting quirk, this would be awesome.

I sort of added the nod in there with the Klar reference. I love the picture of a Shoanti with two of these stuck into the eye sockets of his Klar.


Would I use this item, the name should be changed as the references to the disco mutant would be just too much...

Dark Archive

Erik Mona wrote:
Clinton Boomer wrote:


Dude, man, I was freaking 14 when Marvel launched the Age of Apocalypse storyline.

::weeps::

Children. When I was 14, Jean Grey wasn't even called Phoenix yet...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka amusingsn

The Dazzler is another spellpunk utility item for adventurers. I like where you went with this, and you certainly weren't afraid to get your hands dirty with crunch and that's a good thing.

However, I don't think you executed the mechanics all that well, though I do give you credit for not being afraid to take the chance.

The writing is above average so far.


Congratulations on making it through to the second round!

Though I'm not too fond of an item that circumvents the stacking rule (such a mechanic is just asking to be abused at that point, and in general it's a good limitation to have), I can overlook that. And I have to agree, not including the save DC was a bad choice; it's only a small bit of text, but it makes using such an item easier. I also would have preferred to see it as a limited use item. Maybe not one-time use, but so many times a day.

All that aside, I do like the dazzler for its utility, and for incorporating a cantrip in a way that can result in an impact even in upper-level play. That's not an easy thing to do.

flash_cxxi wrote:
Also, I'll clarify this for anyone unsure: the stackability is only a factor from one Dazzler. If multiple party members spam them in one turn, only the highest minus would take effect, not every instance stack.

This is definitely something that should be included in the text of the item. It may be intuitive, but the item already defies the stacking rule by definition; it falls into one of those instance where the mechanic is "asking to be abused" that I mentioned earlier.


Interesting item - don't like the stacking breaking either.

However, I don't think the swift action activation is any problem - swift actions are *much* more used in PF - any fighter with Dodge benefits more from using that than trying to dazzle an opponent (same 5% lower chance to hit, all the time, from everyone).

Also, I do love the Flare spell and have practically *never* seen it used, even now with at-will cantrips. It just doesn't seem worth the action.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

I think it's a cool idea, and making flare as a swift action actually makes it worth using. As to the point about making combats slow down with a save every round that will only fail on a 1 for many, many creatures, combined with the -10 potential of the dazzling tower shield, I think changing it from unlimited use to 5/day might fix both problems up. If it's a limited resource, then you won't dazzle-spam every guy you fight, and the -10 potential to attacks isn't as big of a deal if it can only happen a few times per day.


Hmm. I'm not generally a fan of 'recharge' times, but maybe limiting activation for a dazzler to 'once every ten rounds' might solve some of the otherwise potential problems of near endless dice rolling. The fighter rushes in with a shield bash and dazzle attempt on the first round of combat and well... if the fight is still going ten rounds later, the fighter gets to try again to bring the fight to a close.

Interesting idea though, and you've got us discussing the item, so you've clearly put your finger on something, Craig.

Liberty's Edge

congratz Craig, very well done :)

i willhave to get one of this for my ranger :P

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Epic Meepo

It can only be attached to a shield? But... But... I want dazzler bling on my helm of brilliance, dag nammit!

Liberty's Edge

Epic Meepo wrote:
It can only be attached to a shield? But... But... I want dazzler bling on my helm of brilliance, dag nammit!

i want it attached tomy bow so i can dazzle them as i point my arrows in the middle of their eyes... the Flash phenomen when taking photos :D

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Hm, I don't know why this one turns me off so much. Probably because it seems like this should just be a magical shield, and that this whole gem business is just trying to shortcut around the contest rules. The item's actual effect takes up just one line, while the rules for attaching it to a shield take up 6. Also, I'm not sure I like the Craft check required to attach one to a shield. Seems like needless die rolling to me, and it doesn't say how long it takes to actually attach the gem.

I know space was limited, but I think that if you had a bit more, you could have filled out this item to be something you put onto armor, rings, necklaces, etc. Something more substantial than just a 'shield-item.'

Scarab Sages

Well done Craig.

You are a "champ" in all sense of the word now. :)

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

Clinton Boomer wrote:
Rob McCreary wrote:
[off-topic](You're a Dazzler fan, Boomer?[/off-topic]

Dude, man, I was freaking 14 when Marvel launched the Age of Apocalypse storyline.

If thinking that Age of Apocalypse Dazzler is kind of a cutie-pattotie is a crime, well ... lock me up & ship me to Australia, brother!

Man I was 20 for Age of Apocalypse. It has by far been one of (if not) my favourite "Alternate Universe" storylines. I got every issue connected with it and that's something for only a mediocre X-Men fan (Nothing beats The Flash (hopefully movie soon?) or Deadpool (the only reason I'm going to see Wolverine).

By all means Boomer come to Australia. I'm sure we can find a place for you labouring in the opal mines with an Overseer cracking a whip night and day. ;)


Paul Worthen wrote:
...this should just be a magical shield, and that this whole gem business is just trying to shortcut around the contest rules...

Exceptions, exceptions. But then since I read it I've had a while bunch of other ideas for canned spells you pop onto a shield...

MUAHAHAHAHA!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

Kruelaid wrote:
Paul Worthen wrote:
...this should just be a magical shield, and that this whole gem business is just trying to shortcut around the contest rules...

Exceptions, exceptions. But then since I read it I've had a while bunch of other ideas for canned spells you pop onto a shield...

MUAHAHAHAHA!

Glad to channel those creative juices (ewww...) away from killing off Sam. ;)-

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka Forever Man

Neat, useful, and not over-powering . . . the ignore stacking effect is fine as it's in no way unbalanced.

A fairly straight-forward shield buff in the form of a wondrous item, which is my only criticism for it, and my greatest admiration for it. Very clever, sir!

Oh, and congrats for making the top 32!

Scarab Sages

This is a cute little item, not too powerful and well written. But its a bit too plain and siac for me. Still, congrats!

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