Cirroc's Marvelous Crossing


Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka kid america

A wooden board twelve inches long, eight inches wide and two inches thick. Wrapped around the center width of the board is a one-inch wide iron band held in place by an iron rivet. The character lays the board on the ground, five feet from the edge of a canyon, pit or physical barrier, and then taps the rivet twice with their foot. The magical board creates a wooden beam bridge reinforced by iron. This is a full round action. The magical bridge created is five feet wide and can be from twenty feet to two hundred feet in length, as long as there is five feet of ground to anchor it to the opposite side of the barrier to be crossed. Cirroc’s Marvelous Crossing can be used three times per day. The bridge will support four fully loaded horses and riders, or eight heavily armored medium sized creatures. The bridge is also magically warded against fire. Once across, tap the rivet twice again to change it back into its board state.

Moderate transmutation; CL 6th; Craft Wondrous Item, enlarge item, protection from energy: fire. Price: 12,500 gp; Weight: 2 lb.

The Exchange Kobold Press

I really like this item. It does something wondrous that spells don't do, it's not uberpowered, and it's entertaining. And the name that that Pathfinder feel.

Inclined to keep this.

Contributor

Here's where I'm a Scrooge and point out that the extend-into-a-bridge power comes from the rug of welcome, which isn't in core 3e but isn't exactly unheard of.

That said, this is a unique ability that no other 3e item does, I personally like the effect, and I agree that it is Pathfindery.

Accept.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Kept.

I'm deferring to you two on this one. Not that sexy. Wrong format. Not a huge fan. But I've been wrong before. It is a solid entry that does something different.

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

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Here's where I'm a Scrooge and point out that the extend-into-a-bridge power comes from the rug of welcome, which isn't in core 3e but isn't exactly unheard of.

That said, this is a unique ability that no other 3e item does, I personally like the effect, and I agree that it is Pathfindery.

Accept.

There's also a shield from one of Ed Greenwood's old FR articles in Dragon, Hawkstone's Bulwark I think it was, that does much the same thing, but even if it's not a brand-new idea it's not like there are a bunch of bridge items out there.

I didn't realize that rug wasn't in 3rd Ed; I always liked it as a weird 1st Ed item.

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

Congratulations on making it into RPG Superstar 2009!

This item is like the key of closed doors - it's not sexy and gonzo, but it's a handy item with a clear, useful effect. It has a great name, very Pathfindery, and it's cleanly designed, well described, and its effects explained fairly well. I don't mind the abstraction of "four fully loaded horses" because it probably saves time and effort arguing how much each horse weighs and whether it exceeds the bridge's 4000 pound limit or whatever. I think it's a good shorthand for designing the item.

I do have two areas of question:

1. What does "warded against fire" mean? Immune? Resistant? How resistant?

2. Is the bridge flat or arched? This is relevant when you say you can use the bridge to span from the edge of a "physical barrier" - is a wall a physical barrier? The implication is certainly that it's to go across holes and valleys below the current ground level, but if it's an arched bridge up to 200 feet long, it's certainly reasonable to think it could span a 10 or 20 foot wall in the middle. If it arches, is there a minimum or maximum arch?

What if the two sides of the gap are at different elevations; can your bridge slope up or down? If it can, is it possible to use it as a ramp?

I'm not going to argue the engineering of an arched vs. a perfectly flat 200-foot wooden bridge - this is D&D, so it's magic! and don't worry about it, but it's a question worth asking in writing up the bridge.

You have only 200 words, so I wouldn't knock you too hard on either of these points, but they are places where (as I learned the hard way in last year's contest) a very small bit of explanation can go a long way. For instance, instead of "warded against fire" say it's "immune to fire damage" or "has fire resistance 20" - same word count, better information. As for the second issue, something like: "The bridge is flat, and neither end can be more than 20 feet above or below the other."

Summary: Nice item, great name, useful effect. I like it. A few questions about usage could have been better answered, but overall this item is very solid and well done.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

This item, I'm sad to say, just doesn't do much for me. I appreciate the design, and like the Judges before me am willing to overlook some iffy mechanics (what is "warded against fire?"), but ...

Well, maybe I'm too much the Gonzo player interested only in explosions, or maybe I'm the DM who would only include a two-hundred-foot-wide chasm to make the PCs hesitate & consider alternative solutions, rather than whip out their trusty bridge-in-a-box.

I think my players would get pretty sick of my re-configuring the size on pits just to make this item useless.

Player: Man, we'll never get across before nightfall! We'd better ... wait. Did you say it's 180 ft. across? We use Cirroc's Marvelous Crossing. Problem solved.
DM Booms: I meant ... 210 ft. across.
Player: Fine. We'll build a small overhanging platform from the materials of the broken rope-bridge around us. It's still better than going down into the VALLEY OF CERTAIN TPK.
DM Booms: You ... can't.
Player: Why not?
DM Booms: Because of the 1d10 Con. damage you're taking each round that you refuse to follow what is obviously the plot-hook. Now put the extendy-board away and act like heroes!

It's not a bad item - obviously, or the Rug of Welcome wouldn't have established the precedent - and it would CERTAINLY exist in a universe where overland exploration & military maneuvers in magical environments full of monsters occur with the same frustrating regularity as traffic jams occur in the real world. But I'm afraid that, of the items I've thus-far read, it leaves me a little cold.

Now, I'm obviously in the minority here - the Judges dig your mojo, and you literally CANNOT please everyone. At the end of the day, it's a much smarter move to impress Wolfgang, Clark and Sean than it is to impress me.

Any way you cut it, hearty congratulations are in order for making it this far in Superstar!, and I look forward to seeing more as the competition continues!

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder aka Robert G. McCreary

Ding for format - not only Pathfinder format, but basic wondrous item description. It's written in a strange style - it should be in second person - you do this, etc. But beyond that, it's a useful item - it reminds me of an old 2nd edition Forgotten Realms shield that had the same type of effect, I think (EDIT: I see Jason mentioned that too). The effects are clear - almost. It describes how many people it can support, but what happens if that level is exceeded? Does the bridge revert back to its basic form? Does the bridge break, destroying the item? And yes, how exactly is it "warded against fire?" You need to lay these things out in the description.

Another solid, useful item, if a bit shaky on fully explaining the mechanics. And you'll definitely need to clean up your formatting to move forward. Congratulations on joining the ranks of RPG Superstar!

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar aka Leandra Christine Schneider

A named utility item. Let’s see what it offers to the dedicated group of PCs that already has everything.
A neat, portable bridge it is. That isn’t something that strikes me as terribly new, but it doesn’t need to do that to be solid enough.
I would've liked and additional info about how much weight can be put onto the bridge in numbers (only a single number in parentheses), so I could reference it in game if the need arises.

Positive:
I like where the price is. It is where crossing chasms should be solved somehow. I mean, the PCs could also use their potions of fly.

Negative:
I didn’t like the formatting too, you should really try to make it easier for your voters and keep up with the guidelines.
The use of a game term for warded wouldn’t have hurt either.

After reviewing all other items:
I have to say that this didn’t grab me from the beginning and it still doesn’t sorry about that, but I’m sure you can do great things in the future rounds of RPG Superstar 09 if you put your mind to it. Good luck!

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

I'll echo the writing style statements. It really threw me off. Just something to keep in mind for the villain submission.

At any rate, I like this. The fire protection comes in handy when the party is crossing lakes of fire.

Congratulations!


kid america wrote:

Wrapped around the center width of the board is a one-inch wide iron band held in place by an iron rivet.

[...]

Once across, tap the rivet twice again to change it back into its board state.

Not to harsh anyone's mellow, but isn't the rivet in the MIDDLE of the bridge? Does this mean that, after crossing a 200 foot chasm, one of the party must walk 100 feet back into the middle and collapse the bridge beneath himself?

I'm getting a Wiley-coyote-esque image of someone de-activating the bridge, ending up with a 2X4 in his arms, and then looking down and realizing there's nothing below him but a canyon.

That aside, I like the idea. Congratulations on making it to RPG Superstar!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Gamer Girrl

ZedZed77 wrote:
kid america wrote:

Wrapped around the center width of the board is a one-inch wide iron band held in place by an iron rivet.

[...]

Once across, tap the rivet twice again to change it back into its board state.

Not to harsh anyone's mellow, but isn't the rivet in the MIDDLE of the bridge? Does this mean that, after crossing a 200 foot chasm, one of the party must walk 100 feet back into the middle and collapse the bridge beneath himself?

I'm getting a Wiley-coyote-esque image of someone de-activating the bridge, ending up with a 2X4 in his arms, and then looking down and realizing there's nothing below him but a canyon.

That aside, I like the idea. Congratulations on making it to RPG Superstar!

*meep-meep!* Yeah, the rivet is in the band that is centered on the board. And while I like this item, it just doesn't quite do it for me.

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

I like the name, in that big-old-book-with-the-big-efreet-on-the-cover kind of way. And I see the purpose of the item. And it's relatively unique. But it doesn't excite me at all. I mean, I wouldn't mind having one. But I wouldn't go out of my way to acquire one either.

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

Instant bridges are fun, whether in spells or in items. However, by the time this item is affordable, I think most parties will eschew it in favor of travel magic. So while I like the item, I don't see it getting much use in play.


Comments:
How much does the bridge 'weigh' when extended? Does this vary by how much it is extended to? I can see PC's 'extending' the bridge to 'crush' enemies beneath it. (Put it on a tripped or otherwise prone foe, touch the rivet, command 'maximum extension', and hey-presto.) The enlarge item requirement involved in the crafting seems to imply to me that the bridge will be real (not a 'force' effect), will have 'mass' and can therefore be used for this purpose.

How is it determined how far the bridge will extend? 'Just' from one edge of a gap to the other may not be safe for use where the edge of a gap is unstable (like the edges of many real-life cliffs or canyons) and likely to crumble away if excessive weight is placed upon it.

Can the bridge be used to 'force' open doors or castle gates like a battering ram, in the same manner that a rod of lordly might (see Beta web-enhancement, Page 52) can be so used?

It is difficult to be certain if the item is appropriately costed, without knowing the answers to these questions.

Interesting idea though, and it reminds me of an item the fourth Doctor had in Hand of Fear. :)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka Clandestine

For me, this item stands out because of the imagery involved and the interesting idea. A wooden bridge suddenly covering a great expanse - yes, it looks grand if you're there to see it.

I'd echo Boomer's sentiments, though. If I, as a DM, place a chasm somewhere, it's most probably not because I want the players to whip out the bridge gadget; it's because I want them to feel threatened and heroic, clutching for their lives with one hand while fending off vultures with the other - somewhere down the chasm.

Bottom line though, it feels like a good magic item. So if a certain group of PCs loves to deal with issues through equipment selection, this item would make them happy. Sometimes, it's all that matters!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

If we can have daern's instant fortress, what's so bad about cirroc's marvelous crossing? One's an instant fortress, the other's an instant bridge...and a fireproof one at that. I got the sense that the rivet is in the middle of the board, but once activated it starts extending the bridge and leaves the rivet in the middle of the five-foot section of bridge that anchors it on one side...while producing an identical rivet on the far end for retraction. So, I think it works fine for me. It's a utility item, for sure. A nifty way of bypassing pit-traps. Nice job.

My two-cents,
--Neil

Star Voter Season 6

I noticed a problem with pricing because of the format. Since it is after the prerequisite of Craft Wonderous Item, should the 12,500 gp be the crafting cost? However, since there is only one price, perhaps it should be the final cost, and the crafting would be the usual 1/2 price, 6,250 gp.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Rivet aside, I think this is a cool magic item... and, there's almost no 'rules-text' here at all. Just a nice description of the way the item works. I would, actually, like to see a better definition of "warded against fire" Is it fireproof? Does it have resist 20? Still, this is a sweet utility item.

Dark Archive

I like this item because I could see it put to use for military purposes or by a group hired to explore an area for expansion. For a standard adventuring party, I don't think it would get much use. I can't see anyone wanting to pay the price just in case they come across a pit.

It does conjure up a terrific action scene of the PC's attempting to beat someone across the bridge before they pull it up on the other side.


NSpicer wrote:
If we can have daern's instant fortress, what's so bad about cirroc's marvelous crossing? One's an instant fortress, the other's an instant bridge...and a fireproof one at that.

Instant Fortress is based on the 7th level magnificent mansion. This is based on far lower level spells, too feeble compared to the effect.

It seems to duplicate the effect of Shrink Item and Permanency, plus the variable expanded size and the ability to be used by more than the caster, but then starting from a plank instead of casting it on a bridge. Fabricate has to start with the same quantity of materials as the finished product.

I'm not familiar with an Enlarge Item spell, but if it is like Shrink Item it is limited to 16x original dimensions (4092 times the mass). That couldn't make a 200' bridge.

Semi-broken but could be fixed with enough effort.

The Exchange

I can see a number of uses for this item in the hands of villains. That evil chasm? NPCs are safe on the other side, but PC's? Evil quagmire for you!

Okay, sure, they could use potions of flying, but how many horses are going to want to drink that?

A line or two of text could clear up any confusion about using it as a weapon - there are other items that specifcialy state they cannot be used for martial purposes. A related item (perhaps designed by the same Cirroc), could be re-purposed for warfare, becoming much more expensive. In that case, the bridge effect would be secondary.

I see a goblin lair with one of these in my future.

Liberty's Edge

mmm i can think in lots of military and adventurous uses for this one, its simple, practicall and efficient... as a player and as a DM with enemies that would like unusual approach, i really like this item :)

ok... now i know how my cleric would try to cross the chasm to the Starstone Cathedral ... mm maybe I will need alonger and bigger bridge :P

Boomer stop railroading your players or not give them ways to circle around your TPK areas :P

as a player there is no other thing that I hate more than a DM who changes distances in a whim just to nerf an item or ability the players have so he can railroad them :P

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

This is a nifty utility item, and I like it, despite the mechanical issues others have raised. I can see a legendary explorer with a slew of gear and NPCs using this, an instant fortress and/or lordly pavilion, and a folding boat to get his posse anywhere his explorations took him.

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