Gloves of the Deceiver

Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Coldfire

Gloves of the Deceiver
Aura Moderate Illusion; CL 7th
Slot hands; Price 52,400 (+1), 58,400 (+2), 68,400 (+3), 82,400 (+4), 102,400 (+5) gp; Weight --

These normal looking gloves allow the user to seemingly conjure any sort of weapon into the palm of their hand. In fact, however, these gloves allow the user to create a weapon made of illusionary shadow, as in the spell Shadow Conjuration. The wearer can say the command word to create any type of weapon as a standard action (if the user conjures a weapon that he is not proficient with, normal penalties for wielding it applies). The weapon has a +1 through +5 Enchantment bonus depending on the level of gloves used. The weapon created with these gloves may be wielded like a normal weapon of its type, only upon every successful attack the recipient makes a Will save (DC 20) to disbelieve the illusion (objects always succeed). If the target succeeds on their save they only take one fifth (20%) of the damage the weapon would have normally caused, the conjured weapon then dissipates.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Shadow Conjuration; Cost 26,200 (+1), 29,200 (+2), 34,200 (+3), 41,200 (+4), 51,200 (+5) gp


This is kind of neat. Sure it riffs right off shadow conjuration, but it does so in a way that spell can't reproduce. Even the scaling factor isn't bad, as conjuring a +5 weapon for about double the price of a normal +5 weapon doesn't feel broken, especially when we're taking weapon special qualities out of the equation.

There's a few style and writing snafus in here ("In fact, however" being a pretty hard strike to my mind), but nothing that feels like a true deal breaker.

Upon rereading, by biiiigest concern is the Will save, and having any creature that gets hit by this having to make it. That feels pretty nasty, especially in the hands of a fighter making multiple hits in a round, forcing the GM to make roll after roll potentially for little reason. And then, how does this work visa vie multiple weapons?

There's some issues, but on the whole the idea, effect, and visuals are neat (and would make a player feel like a bad ass), sooo...

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

This does things I like. Yes, it has some annoying traits to it--like the multiple will saves per round.

But it uses a spell--shadow conjuration--in a new way that the spell doesnt really allow. That is cool and goes beyond spell in a can. That is creative thinking.

Its cool.

Not sure about the cost. The +5s are 102k and a +5 weapon has a base cost of 50k. These let you summon any weapon at will. I guess that seems right to me.

I like these a lot. Creative. Cool. Great riff on a spell. Nicely done.



Seeing a few hundred alternatives talked me back into this one. And it's, at its root, a neat effect I've never seen before.


I am annoyed that this has an "enchantment bonus."

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

I like what this item does very much. Summoning forth a "shadow" version of a weapon from your very hand (or glove) is very, very cool. I'm not sure why you need a pair of gloves to accomplish this, however. Seems like one would suffice. And, if you had two gloves could you summon two weapons for folks with the Two-Weapon Fighting feat?

But who cares?! It lets you summon a weapon whenever you want it! And, you can make sure it's carrying a neat magic bonus to boot! Hmmm...would that be a "real" magic bonus for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction, etc.? It is an illusionary weapon after all that's only quasi-real. Food for thought, I suppose.

Mechanically, I get what the judges are saying, too. In actual play, having the victim of a "shadow" weapon get a Will save to recognize it's not "real" can certainly slow down the game. I wouldn't expect that save to become necessary on every strike, though. Don't most illusions (including shadow conjuration creatures), allow a single Will save once interacted with, and if the victim believes it on the first attack, it's real for each subsequent round. Or maybe I'm interpreting that wrong? Hmmm...

Anyway, some small nitpicks: lower-case the words "moderate illusion" in the item's aura, spell names should always be lower-case and italicized in the construction requirements, and it should be an "enhancement" bonus rather than an "enchantment" bonus.

Regardless, welcome to the ranks of RPG Superstar! Your item got your foot in the door, now make the most of it! From an advice perspective, I would encourage you to pay attention to the small details and ensure you make everything in your submissions mirror the way similar stuff appears in published products. Other than that, advance to the next round and let's see what more you've got! Best of luck!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 6 aka raidou

Easily one of my favorite items on display here. You've extended the shadow magic theme not just in an innovative way, but in a way that begs the question "why isn't something like this in the game already?" I love items that are so fundamentally seamless they could slip into the rules and no one would know they weren't core.

As already noted, the Will Save per round is cumbersome. And you had enough words to play with, that you could have built some answers to common questions into the item. Does the enhancement bypass DR? Can a dissipated weapon be conjured back on the next round?

Nitpicking aside, this item has plenty of design mojo and is something I'd easily swipe for my games. In future rounds, think through the questions that might be asked of your design. Anticipate people's responses to your work and try to build answers into the design itself. Congratulations on being chosen and best of luck to you in the coming rounds!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

For some reason, this item just stayed in my subconscious last night and I keep enjoying it all the more. However, some new questions did spring to mind. What happens if someone attempts to sunder or disarm the "shadow" weapon in combat? Does the weapon have 20% of the typical hardness and hit points against sunder attempts? If so, it's going to be pretty easily shattered. For that matter, can it be targeted by a shatter spell and how would it resist?

Also, with regards to disarm attempts, does the weapon clatter to the floor and react like a normal weapon would when it's separated from the glove? Or would it wink out of existence and require the user to summon another weapon? Can the user summon another weapon while the previously summoned one is lying there on the floor? Or does he need to pick it up again to re-arm himself?

Please keep in mind, I'm not bringing up these questions to criticize the item. I'm bringing them up because I really like it and want one for my character and I need answers to those kinds of questions. What that really means is you have an awesome wondrous item idea here. This has easily reached my Top 5 favorites list. Well done!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 aka K. B. Carter

Congrats on making it to RPG Superstar 2010! I asked myself the same three questions for each of the top 32 items. Here are my responses to your item:

Would this wondrous item unbalance or over-complicate my game if my PCs were to find it and use it?
Seems okay on the surface. My only concern is that this item would slow down game play. At high-levels, a single character may be attacking and landing four or five hits a round, and if I, as a DM, have to answer each hit with a Will save, and then multiply by 20% damage for each successful save.... well, it's just a lot of extra bookkeeping for not a lot of payoff. Personally, I don't see anything unbalanced with making the weapon a real magical item instead of an illusionary one.

Would my PCs be happy with this item if they were to find it during an adventure?
Yes, my PCs would enjoy this item, especially during a spy mission where they can't be traipsing around armed to the teeth. As above, I think they would enjoy this more if it were it a real item instead of an illusionary one.

Do I like the mojo? Does the item spark other ideas for my campaign?
Yes. As I said in my response to the Gem of Immediate Defense entry, there's something really cool about a seemingly-unarmed character suddenly having his/her gear coalesce out of nothingness. If anything, I would combine this idea into the Gem of Immediate Defense and make an item that stores all your gear, armor and weapons. This might be problematic--having a character going from his skivvies to bristling with gear in a single round--but, in general, I don't want my players worrying about minutia like when and how they put on and take off their equipment. I'd rather just assume that their gear is there and ready when they need it. Cool item. Good job.

Given the increasing caster level required normally to make increasingly powerful magical weapons, I feel that the caster level of this item (and aura) should accordingly scale with the more powerful versions of the gloves.
Not a mistake a superstar should make. Please pay attention to detail in future!
Interesting idea otherwise, and congratulations on making the top 32.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

This item, and the ebon needles, make me think there should be a shadow creature subtype or energy type or something.

I really dig the extrapolation a few steps to the side of the familiar spells, though... to be fair, it isn't making my head explode like the ebon needles did. Maybe it's just hard for magic weapons to do it for me (and this one essentially allows you to create one,) or maybe it's not... out there enough to really catch my fancy?

Sometimes I wonder if I'm jaded enough that it takes gonzo items to make me think I haven't seen it before.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka MythrilDragon

Perfect for an assassin, very cool wondrous weapon. Good luck in the next round.

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

I want these. I want these and I want to make a shadow rapier and I want to go on an untraceable killing spree and I...

Um. I mean MY CHARACTER wants this. Yeah. My character.

Good job. I love this item and want it for my own. I am jealous. Congrats!

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

This is a nice "does one thing very well" item. Sure there are some issues with it but overall the concept is solid. Nice job getting into the top 32.

I look forward to your future entries.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8 aka Benchak the Nightstalker

Excellent assassin item, and a very well done one at that. Nice work!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Coldfire

Wow! Thanks so much for all the feedback everything! I've been having a crazy week so I would have posted sooner but wow! This has just a insane week into an awesome one!

Thank you also for the commentary, I had thought about when it leaves the user's hand but somehow it fell through the cracks of my thought process when I wrote it.

Thank you all so much once again!

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

The gloves have a very interesting mechanic, and overall I think this is a great item. I'm not sure about the "any type of weapon," as my preference would be for more subtle weapons (daggers, crossbows, etc), but that's just me.

Congratulations and good luck in the next round.

I'd probably adapt it in my campaigns, after some tweaking, it is mainly a nice concept, the will save part will turn it in much less of a useful item at a higher level, making it quite expensive.

Think I'd have skipped on the shadow stuff save, still nice though, keep the good stuff coming

Dark Archive

Very cool. I'd make the save a one time thing, on the first hit, and if the target fails, it's 'real' for them for the remainder of that encounter.

There are definitely not enough Shadow-themed items, and with the existence of Nidal in Golarion, I think there's a lot of potential to play around with items that involve shadow conjuration / evocation, etc.

Very clever concept. As said before, this would be a great item for an assassin or a character in a covert setting where weapons would be out of place. The Will save after each attack seems a bit much. If I get stabbed by a sword once and fail my save, I'm probably convinced at that point that the weapon is real.

Scarab Sages

I like the concept - it let's players look cool and do cool things and it benefits imaginative players. The name needs a little work - I'd tie it in to a war god or possibly what's-iz-name, the new god on the block (who's name escapes me). He seems to be the "be ready for whatever comes along" sort of god this would be named in honor of.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Coldfire

Set wrote:

Very cool. I'd make the save a one time thing, on the first hit, and if the target fails, it's 'real' for them for the remainder of that encounter.

There are definitely not enough Shadow-themed items, and with the existence of Nidal in Golarion, I think there's a lot of potential to play around with items that involve shadow conjuration / evocation, etc.

Yeah, I've been thinking and probably something more like that for the save would work much better.

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

Set wrote:

Very cool. I'd make the save a one time thing, on the first hit, and if the target fails, it's 'real' for them for the remainder of that encounter.

There are definitely not enough Shadow-themed items, and with the existence of Nidal in Golarion, I think there's a lot of potential to play around with items that involve shadow conjuration / evocation, etc.

Somehow I missed looking this one over when I was reading the items before, but I'm here now and I have to say I like this one a lot.

I would probably make the saving throw at most once per round, but I wouldn't even mind once and done like Set suggests above. As for sundering it or disarming it, the CMB checks would be just like normal, but the item would have 20% hardness and hp to it'd be easy to break... but just as easy for you to recreate the next round!

I like the concept, the application of shadow magic, and I think it's well put together and probably costed about right - it's highly versatile: Need a bow? check. Need a magic blunt weapon vs. that super-skeleton? check. Need a piercing weapon underwater? check. Need a weapon that you don't care if it gets destroyed to fight the ooze, slime, mold, fungus, rust monster, babau, or Ultimate Avatar of Decay and Crumbulation? check, check, and CHECK!

Well done and good luck in the rest of the contest.

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

Great job making the top 32! I have mixed feelings about this item. I like the core concept of creating the weapon you need at the time, and using the shadow magic concept to achieve that effect. However, to me, the price seems really high. For the +1 version, you're paying 52K for effectively a +1 weapon, which would normally cost only 2K. Yes, you can make it blunt, slashing, etc, but you also give your target a will save or only deal 20% damage. I think for pricing this it would make more sense to have a much lower price on top of the weapon price - maybe 8 to 10 thousand instead of 50. I can't imagine buying this item ever, and don't think any of the players I'm familiar with would either (and if we found it as treasure, it would be an insta-sell item.) Another way to look at it is that you can buy a +4 weapon, and still have more than enough left to buy multiple +1 backup weapons of different damage types, instead of buying the +1 version of the gloves. Another way to balance this at it's existing price would be to give it some carrier effect with each hit, to balance out the will save - perhaps 1 point of strength damage?

Beyond the pricing issue, I have a lot of unanswered questions about how the item works. How often can you use the gloves? Since there's no limit mentioned, presumably as often as you choose to use a standard action. Since there's also no mention of the conjured weapons dissapearing if dropped, you could really abuse this buy making an infinate amount of shadow magic weapons and arming your whole adventuring party with them (or an army for that matter). I'm assuming that this isn't the intent of the item, and that if a second weapon is conjured, then the prior one dissapears.

Also, if you conjure a projectile weapon like a bow, does it also create arrows? Since you can create any type of weapon, does that include special materials? Can you use the gloves to make a cold iron or mithral longsword, or just s standard steel one (albeit shadow steel). If your enemy makes their will save and realizes that your weapon is shadow, do they know that the next one you summon the following round is not fully real also? What about the third or fourth? I'd think that a successful save should probably work for the rest of the combat no matter how many you conjure. It stretches belief that your enemy might think, "hmmm, the first 3 swords he conjured from thin air were mostly fake, but this 4th one could be real!"

While I see a lot of flaws in the execution, the core idea is still pretty neat, so good luck in the next rounds!

Dark Archive Contributor , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Boxhead

I really love the flavour on this one, and it would stick around in my games just for that. I could see this paired with the Ring of Force Shield or a Glove of Storing (even though the latter is technically disallowed...) to make a seemingly unarmed character very cool.

Obviously, the Will save and price have already been touched upon. Very rarely have I seen any player needed more than one or two weapon types, unless this covers special materials as well, which would be odd. Generally just a primary weapon, backup and maybe a missle weapon.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

This is another item I could see my players loving. They already pay good gold to have the glamour property added to their armor, these gloves would be a perfect compliment.

The Will save per attack has to be changed, but enough people have mentioned that without me needing to belabor it.

I'm also curious how you would handle ammo. In one context, ammo doesn't worry me that much because an arrow shot from a magic bow is considered to have the same bonuses. On the other hand, these shadowy constructs all originate from the gloves and are connected to the gloves. The gloves are the power source, so to speak. I'm not sure what I think about the shadow weapon construct shooting bits of shadow objects around. Imagine a light saber made out shadow. Light sabers don't shoot parts of themselves at people; they're one object made from energy. I look at the shadow weapons these gloves create in the same way. I'm not saying this is bad design though, I'm just telling you where I see some issues needing to be clarified.

That doesn't mean this item doesn't rock though! Hell, my item had issues too, so I'm not one to harsh on anybody. :D

I look forward to whatever madness you cook up for Round Two.

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

I'm a fan of this item. Its loaded with style and would suit my bard character right now. I'm just wondering if it should be limited to a number of rounds per day that you can break up as you wish. It would be a reduced cost of course. Although I might be thinking this because we're low level and I want it now! And yeah I'd change the will saves to once per combat or until the shadow weapon has disapated (i.e been sundered or disarmed). Great job mate. All the best for the next round.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka DankeSean

As I mentioned back in my comments on the starborn seeds, I've always been a fan of the shadow conjuration/evocation line of spells. So for that reason I really dig these. Even more so because they work in a way to do shadowy weapon damage, which is really interesting. And potentially a hassle from a table gaming perspective, but that's the sort of thign that you work around and playtest out of existence. As it is, the concept makes me salivate over these all by it's lonesome self. Very nice.

if i may say throwing weapons they need to be covered but there is plenty of other items to find a rule for such cases (see pg 101 of the magic item compendium -gauntlet of infinite blades-)

but i so using this item in my games

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4

I like this item, I would want my characters to have a pair of these gloves.
They would come in real handy when going into a place where you cannot bring your
weapons, like social parties or going before royalty. I don't like how you can
conjure any type of weapon though. That should be worded a little better
or you'll get that one cockroach player wanting to summon up a colossal sized
katana, or a +5 M-16, or a siege weapon... I would have each
pair of gloves focus on a certain weapon, such as gloves of the deceiver
or deceiver bowman or whatever. If you do that though, you'll have to bring down the price. You might even just go with a weapon groups, like from the fighter class skill. Bowman...? That brings up
another question, if the wearer conjures a ranged weapon does it conjure the
ammo too? I also noticed that as the enchantment bonuses increase the Will
save DC stays the same. Wouldn't the illusion be stronger with the higher enchantment,
higher priced item? All that aside, I want a pair. Good luck with
the Round 2 voting.

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