Clark, Please Give Me Feedback on My Item


RPG Superstar™ 2010 General Discussion

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RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8 aka Anry

Yeah, mine says the same. Simple fix would be stop referring to the item by full name in the text. You referred to it by the full name 3 times, that's 15 words. If you referred to it by either "The totem" or "the bag" you would have reduced the word count by 9.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9

Bump.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8 aka Anry

Hmmmmm...wonder if we'll still get feedback.

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

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Anry wrote:
Hmmmmm...wonder if we'll still get feedback.

If I had to guess Anry, I'd say no. Last Year's "Feedback" thread went on for about 700-some posts, this year's is about 850-ish (854 including mine I think).

I would have liked "official" feedback, granted I had one (non-judge, fellow PFRPG community poster give it a shot) but beyond telling me what he thought I did wrong, I didn't hear what he thought I might have done right. And that's a little frustrating.

I intend to give it shot (again) for RPG Superstar 2011. (3rd time is the charm they say).

Dean; The_Minstrel_Wyrm

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
If I had to guess Anry, I'd say no. Last Year's "Feedback" thread went on for about 700-some posts, this year's is about 850-ish (854 including mine I think).

I'd be surprised if Clark returned to continue giving feedback on items at this stage. The contest is over. He never makes it through the entire list. And, with the combined feedback of Sean, Vic, and Clark, there have been many examples whereby most would-be Superstars can probably figure out where they went wrong...or, perhaps more correctly, didn't quite go right enough...to get into the Top 32.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
I would have liked "official" feedback, granted I had one (non-judge, fellow PFRPG community poster give it a shot) but beyond telling me what he thought I did wrong, I didn't hear what he thought I might have done right. And that's a little frustrating.

That in itself could be telling, though. If he had no insight to give you on what you did right, perhaps it's not so much because you did everything wrong. Rather, you didn't do anything right "enough" to stand out and give the judges a reason to select you for the Top 32.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
I intend to give it shot (again) for RPG Superstar 2011. (3rd time is the charm they say).

It's always worth giving it another shot. Always. I believe that's true in life as well RPG Superstar. Even when things look their bleakest, they can always take a sudden, drastic turn for the better. Believe that, and you'll give yourself enough positive energy to strive harder the next time around rather than a half-hearted attempt robbed of any conviction by one's pessimism.

But in that vein...in the hopes of at least giving you some more specific feedback, I recall that you requested I review your item when the contest was underway. At the time, I was under a deadline to handover my Kingmaker manuscript. That's behind me now. I've got a new assignment, but it's still a ways off. So, let's see what we have...

Spoiler:

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
I'd really like to know what I didn't do, so that I can learn and grow from this, and have a better chance next year. Thanks in advance.

Okay. I'll try and pay particular attention to that as I examine your item line-by-line in a stream-of-consciousness kind of way. Because, honestly, that's how most stuff gets reviewed by judges and editors anyway. If something fails to grab them in the first few sentences, they have a reason to stop reading and move on to something that does. So here goes...

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
Diadem of the Void

The name is okay. Not earth-shatteringly awesome, but not horrendous, either. You've used a concrete object like a "diadem." And, you called it something fancier than a mere crown. I'm not sure how many PCs are going say, "Hey! Look at this awesome diadem I found! I'm totally gonna wear this and look all awesome and threatening." Diadems have a tendency to come across more like a dainty princess kind of crown...or something a beauty queen would wear. So, female PCs might be interested in it. Some NPC villains could certainly find use in wearing one. But, it's not an item that immediately has univeral appeal to every PC regardless of gender, class, race, or culture. That, in itself, isn't a total sinker or anything. I'm just throwing that out there for you to consider when crafting a wondrous item for RPG Superstar. To me, I'd rather design something that has as much universal appeal as possible. But, there's also something to be said for designing the quintessential wondrous item for a druid...or a dwarf...and so on. You just need to weigh that level of appeal against everything else you've got going for you.

Next up, the "of the Void" designation for your item is amorphous (yes, I pun), at best. It's just not a concrete adjective or noun combination that sparks immediate imagery in the mind of the reader. So, I'm left picturing a diadem/crown...and that's it. Nothing really gripping about your name choice. So you missed an opportunity to hook your reader a little bit. That said, you've still got room to pick up the pace in your description, so let's see how you do...

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:

Aura strong abjuration and transmutation CL 15th

Slot head; Price 191,625 gp; Weight 2 lbs.

Wow. An expensive item! At that price and caster level, I'd imagine it would certainly need a strong aura. Transmutation seems appropriate based on the touch attack you've given the diadem. And abjuration makes sense because of the complete immunity to the polymorph sub-school of spells. I'll reserve judgement on whether or not the caster level and price is appropriate until we get deeper into your description of how it works.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:

Description

This circlet of hammered adamantine and mithril wire twisted together, holds a flawless midnight sapphire at its center.

Okay. Here's something you did well. You started off your description by telling us exactly what your item is, while resisting the urge to glom tons of backstory on it as to how it came to be, and the legends of its use. Combining adamantine and mithril wire with a midnight sapphire gives us an immediate mental image for it. And, the midnight color of the sapphire hints towards some possible "dark magic" it must contain. But, I would also encourage you to look for other ways to describe your item that further invoke imagery in the mind of the reader.

For instance, "adamantine and mithril wire twisted together" contains a few hints towards a "cage" or "net" of metal in the sense that such a diadem might possess an entrapment like ability or magic along those lines. You didn't go for anything like that in the actual abilities you assigned to the diadem of the void. Rather, your chosen abilities result in forcing a creature to disassemble into an amorphous mass similar to the effect of a chaos beast attack.

In that respect, it might make more sense if you played up the description of the twisted wire to hint further at its own chaotic arrangement...or even suggest it occasionally writhes and changes form and shape, shifting the midnight sapphire around periodically to a new and strangely off-kilter position. I'd also challenge the notion that the midnight sapphire would be "flawless," as that, too, would seem contrary to the notion of an ability that literally forces a physical change of such proportion upon its victims. It might be better to describe the sapphire as broken or flawed in some manner as a result, because that, too, foreshadows some of the diadem's abilities.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
A diadem of the void grants its wearer abilities similar to one of the Dark Tapestry's least inhabitants, a chaos beast.

And herein you have started down a dangerous path. Creating an item that seeks to duplicate the abilities of a specific creature--while okay for some routine magic item designs--runs the risk of not being "Superstar" enough to catch the eye of the judges. Occasionally, something like the batrachian helm gets through that lets the wearer duplicate a giant frog or boggard's sticky tongue attack. But, at least that item makes sure it includes an added ability (such as acting as a ready-made grappling hook for the wearer to move himself about), which goes beyond the base creature's ability. That's what makes it "magical" and coveted...because there's nothing else that can achieve what it does.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
Spells of the transmutation (polymorph) subschool are ineffective against the wearer of the diadem, whether these spells are beneficial or harmful.

Interesting twist. You're going for the "it helps, but also hinders" approach with the item. Sometimes that's good. In this event, the wearer can shrug off baleful polymorph and all its more powerful versions. But the wearer also won't be shapechanging anytime soon either.

In some ways, I don't like this effect. And here's why: if this diadem of the void has such a strong connection to the Dark Tapestry and the powers of the formless chaos beast, why would the item actually shield the wearer from such effects? Why not make him more susceptible to them instead? That's more of a drawback than the what you've chosen to layer into it. And then, if you want to soften the blow a little, you could say the diadem actually extends any voluntary polymorph effects the wearer chooses to undergo...maybe a built-in Extend Spell feat on any polymorph effect?

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
The wearer is also capable of making a touch attack, up to three times per day, but not more than once per round that causes a living creature to lose control of its shape and form becoming a spongy, amorphous mass if it fails a Fortitude save (DC 17).

And now we get to the crux of the matter. This touch attack is what the diadem is meant to do...i.e., force an instability curse on those against whom the wearer chooses to direct its power. Having it be a touch attack ensures wizards and sorcerers won't necessarily want to get up close and personal too often with it...but when they do, at least they get to ignore the armor worn by an opponent. Three times per day doesn't seem too bad (though it will increase your item's cost). Stating it won't function more often than once per round seems a little extraneous, though. Just state it requires a "standard action" and that implies it can only be done as many times as a creature has standard actions to spend. Then, let the rest sort itself out. The way it currently reads comes off a little clunky when you describe it. And, it's far more customary to reference what type of action is required (though often, certain types of magic items automatically imply it, and so you don't have to state it everytime).

Lastly, I'm a little worried that a DC 17 Fortitude save for the corporeal instability attack won't be enough for the high CR monsters your PCs will be facing by the time they acquire a diadem of the void. As such, this may become a wasted power unless you manage to bring down the cost and make the item more readily available to PCs facing creatures who would struggle against a DC 17 Fortitude save.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
This touch attack functions as a chaos beast's corporeal instability curse effect, except without the 1 Wisdom drain per round and the victim does not permanently become a chaos beast due to total Wisdom drain.

Okay, so this tries really hard to make it different from a chaos beast's corporeal instability curse effect by leaving out the Wisdom drain and "spawning" result. But it really doesn't go far enough. An RPG Superstar judge is going to read this and immediately think "monster-in-a-can" and reject it. The best way to avoid that is to come out with something that's pretty radically different from the base monster...and describe it in a fashion that's immediately evident to the reader. Don't get cute with it, especially when you directly reference the creature in your description. If you do that, you have to jump straight into explaining why it isn't "just like" the original creature.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
The victim continues to suffer a shapeless, shifting form until cured by magic (such as break enchantment, heal, remove curse, or similar magic).

This, I don't like. Continuous effects aren't my cup of tea in a magic item with an attack form. Far better to have it last for a limited amount of time, but long enough to help turn the tide of a battle. Base the duration off your caster level and a comparable spell effect that could achieve the same result...i.e., one of the polymorph sub-school spells that your built-in caster level could reach. This, too, will help make it a bit different from a simple baleful polymorph spell and a chaos beast's corporeal instability attack.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
Further information regarding a chaos beast's corporeal instability curse effect can be found in Pathfinder Module Carrion Hill.

This kind of reference would be an instant killer for me. It's not very Superstar to have to reference another "Superstar's" module. And yes, I know Pett didn't go through RPG Superstar, but he's got the mojo, regardless. My point is that you can take inspiration from other Paizo products and other authors' creations, but make it your own somehow. Don't give the reader a call-out to someone else's work. That might be okay in a book of magic items. But it's not a way to impress anyone with your own unique mojo and style for the purposes of convincing the judges to give you a spot in the Top 32 of RPG Superstar. This also comes off as a desperate attempt to skimp on word count by citing another source for additional explanation of something. Again, not very Superstar.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
If anyone that is not of a chaotic alignment dons the diadem, they immediately receive one negative level. This negative level cannot be removed while the diadem is worn.

So, you've put in an alignment restriction that isn't a full alignment restriction...i.e., it can be worn by someone of non-chaotic alignment, but it inflicts a negative level while they do. Personally, I'd rather see you go all-or-nothing on this kind of restriction. Just say it only functions for someone of chaotic alignment. Otherwise, the magic item rebuffs them and won't cooperate (unless someone with ranks in Use Magic Device manages to fool it). At the very least, I'd rather see the negative level only hit someone of lawful alignment rather than everyone who's non-chaotic. That would seem more in line with what this item is all about.

In addition, I haven't brought it up until now, but I notice you're using a lot of passive voice in your description. There are times when it's okay. But if it shows up enough in your writing, that's going to be an indicator to the judges that you're not yet ready for the real thing in terms of writing evocative flavor text. For instance, instead of saying, "If anyone that is not of a chaotic alignment dons the diadem, they immediately receive one negative level...." you could instead say, "The diadem immediately inflicts one negative level upon anyone of non-chaotic alignment who places it on their head." At least that way, you have an active statement rather than a passive one, because, "The diadem...inflicts..."

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:

Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, baleful polymorph, greater spell immunity; creator must be Chaotic; Cost 95,813 gp

Hmmmm...first, I'm not a fan of restricting the alignment of the creator. There ought to be a way for an evil creature (particularly, a neutral one) to design such a diadem by using spell ingredients and other components harvested from a chaos beast or some other intensely chaotic monster. All in all, though, I don't really like restricting the alignment of creators for items. I can recognize the need to do so for a robe of the archmagi which has to be tailored for specific alignments of arcane casters. But you don't have good and neutral versions of a diadem of the void, so it just doesn't feel like it fits as well here.

Including baleful polymorph and greater spell immunity are obviously meant to reflect the touch attack power and the immunity to the polymorph sub-school. But, greater spell immunity only covers spell effects of 8th level or less. So, does that mean a 9th level spell like shapechange should or shouldn't work on the diadem wearer? Also, while baleful polymorph makes more sense for the power it's trying to justify, I would have liked to see a little more examination of what happens if the diadem's wearer touches a creature that's already an innate shapechanger like a doppelganger...or a creature that's incorporeal or gaseous...as described in that spell's exclusions.

Lastly, I haven't really attempted to cost this item. I think it has enough knocks against it by this point that the math analysis wouldn't matter. As a general impression, though, I'm not sure you found the right niche with this thing from a cost/benefit ratio. In many ways, it's giving you the ability to hit a target with a baleful polymorph spell three times per day via a touch attack...and the added benefit of immunity against similar effects via greater spell immunity. Does that warrant over 190,000 gp when compared to similarly priced items? I'm not sure it does. For just 170,000 gp I could buy an iron flask that could not only incapacitate a targeted creature if it fails its save, but also force it to serve me for an hour...and an iron flask could already contain a powerful demon or devil inside (even a balor or pit fiend!).

More importantly, however, I think there were ways to tone down your diadem of the void and rein back the scope of its abilities (i.e., from three times per day to just once per day, having the corporeal instability last only for a short duration, etc.) and that would have brought the price down to a range where it would make more sense for PCs to want this item at the same level in which they could afford it...and reasonably pull off similar powers via their own spells, just not as efficiently or quickly as the magic item itself.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
Okay, there it is. I think I might know some things that went against me with my item. (1) PCs really wouldn't want it. (And by that I mean they have more reliable and more powerful abilities of their own.)

Yes. Particularly at the level they'd have to be to afford it.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
(2) Maybe having that sentence about seeing Pathfinder Module Carrion Hill hurt me more than helped.

Definitely.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
(Although honestly I did that because I knew I didn't have 100 words to spare, which is roughly what I would have needed to basically take the text from that module and represent it in my item description.)

When you reach a conclusion like that while designing an item for RPG Superstar, it's probably best to discard such a wondrous item idea as "good, but not great" and move on to another that you can reasonably produce within the word limit. And, remember, they gave an extra 100 words this year over previous years. If you couldn't squeeze it into 300 words, that's even more of a signal it's probably not strong enough to make the Top 32.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
But, I really would like feedback. It's the only way I'll learn and grow as a potential designer.

And hopefully, that's how you take everything I've provided. I know I can be quite harsh sometimes when I give feedback. But, I also strive really hard to make sure I do so only in the hopes of helping someone see past any affinity or attachment they have for their own work so they get to a place where they constructively benefit from how others perceive what they've created.

I believe you had the seed for a good idea somewhere in this wondrous item. It just didn't have a strong enough presentation or execution to make Top 32. You've really got to come at the "spell-in-a-can" or "monster-in-a-can" items with something that's less duplication of the spell or monster in question and more inspiration with a unique and intriguing twist. Couple that with excellent flavor-text that inspires some really good imagery and ideas for the reader and you'll be on a better track.

But that's just my two-cents,
--Neil


James Thomas wrote:

Here's mine Clark. Please give me feedback. It can only improve my submissions. I'd like to hear from others as well.

Kerchief of Vanishing
Aura moderate Conjuration; CL 13th
Slot -; Price 23,400 gp; Weight —

Description: This beautiful 3 ft x 3 ft silk cloth resembles a lady's scarf or a gentleman's fancy pocket handkerchief. When an object is wrapped up in it's folds and the command word is spoken, a diminutive or tiny object can vanish to another location as per a teleport object spell. User cannot teleport living creatures or magical forces nor can he send objects to the ethereal plane with a Kerchief of Vanishing. Since usual mishap chances apply, owners of these magical kerchiefs will typically vanish valuable items to locked chests in familiar locations.

Construction: Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, teleport object; Cost 11,700 gp

Author's note:  I adjusted the price of this item dividing it by 7 due to the restricted use of the teleport object spell.  Here's my work: 7 (spell level) x 13 (castor level) x 1800 (command word effect) = 163,800 / 7 = 23,400 gp. This makes it on par with high-end medium wondrous items -- which is about the calibre appropriate for it. 

(edited, tidied up)

Further to my earlier comments, I have my doubts over price, even though it is approximately comparable to a portable hole, given it can completely break some campaigns and situations. All a character has to do is sneak into a dragon's lair or the civic treasury and even if they're caught by the usual owners/guards after a couple of minutes, by that point they can have caused a great deal of damage in terms of material wealth with little or no evidence of what they've done with the stuff (without forcefully interrogating them). It's a plot device for a mid to high level heist story, or a means of ensuring PCs never have to worry about the encumbrance of coinage and other small treasure items ever again, and for that I think it might be helpful if it were a little more expensive.
And whilst the description of what it is and does is to my mind neat, it may perhaps have been too much of a spell-in-a-can for the judges. You had a hundred or so words spare - more without your pricing information - and an extra ability suitably handkercief and conjuration related might have made all the difference - perhaps tweak to the name and an added ability such as shake it vigorously once a day for a glitterdust effect immediately in front of the user as one idea?


The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:

Greetings Clark, Sean, and fellow paizoians.

I'd really like to know what I didn't do, so that I can learn and grow from this, and have a better chance next year. Thanks in advance.
(And while I'm seeking "official" critiques, I wouldn't mind thoughts or insights from the community either.) Here goes:

Diadem of the Void
Aura strong abjuration and transmutation CL 15th
Slot head; Price 191,625 gp; Weight 2 lbs.

Description
This circlet of hammered adamantine and mithril wire twisted together, holds a flawless midnight sapphire at its center.
A diadem of the void grants its wearer abilities similar to one of the Dark Tapestry's least inhabitants, a chaos beast. Spells of the transmutation (polymorph) subschool are ineffective against the wearer of the diadem, whether these spells are beneficial or harmful. The wearer is also capable of making a touch attack, up to three times per day, but not more than once per round that causes a living creature to lose control of its shape and form becoming a spongy, amorphous mass if it fails a Fortitude save (DC 17). This touch attack functions as a chaos beast's corporeal instability curse effect, except without the 1 Wisdom drain per round and the victim does not permanently become a chaos beast due to total Wisdom drain. The victim continues to suffer a shapeless, shifting form until cured by magic (such as break enchantment, heal, remove curse, or similar magic). Further information regarding a chaos beast's corporeal instability curse effect can be found in Pathfinder Module Carrion Hill. If anyone that is not of a chaotic alignment dons the diadem, they immediately receive one negative level. This negative level cannot be removed while the diadem is worn.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, baleful polymorph, greater spell immunity; creator must be Chaotic; Cost 95,813 gp

Okay, there it is. I think I might know some things that went against me with my item. (1) PCs really wouldn't want it. (And by that I mean they have more reliable and more powerful abilities of their own.) (2) Maybe having that sentence about seeing Pathfinder Module Carrion Hill hurt me more than helped. (Although honestly I did that because I knew I didn't have 100 words to spare, which is roughly what I would have needed to basically take the text from that module and represent it in my item description.)

But, I really would like feedback. It's the only way I'll learn and grow as a potential designer.

Thank you.

Dean; The_Minstrel_Wyrm

I think that your 3/day ability here killed your entry.

First, you reference something (a chaos beast) from a book which is not part of the Core Rules (as of the time of my writing this). You create an expectation that any group where your item shows up in play has to have a module handy that they might not even have any intention of otherwise using. And no it isn't optional. For one thing, without having read the module, I have no idea if one of these items actually protects a wearer against a chaos beast's 'corporeal instability' curse.
Second, you priced your item between iron flask and mirror of life trapping on the Major Wondrous items table. Both have ranged effects with a higher DC save that simply take a victim out of a fight altogether, although granted the flask only works on outsiders and the mirror may be a bit awkward to carry around a battlefield. To a certain extent both are reusable, even multiple times a day, and do not rely on having to hit with a touch attack first. True your item has a protective effect too, but unless it's in use in a campaign where the party is fighting a cult of deranged, polymorph subschool obsessed casters, I really don't see it being worth 191,625 gp.
I am also somewhat surprised, given that it reacts to anyone who doesn't have a chaotic alignment, that this item doesn't
have a chaotic aura.

The name and first line of the description were good and did work together, I thought, but basically, for something with the name of 'Diadem of the Void', and that price tag and description I expect a lot more than what this item does. I expect it summon hordes of ravening chaos beasts, or to make the wearer immune to huge quantities/types of damage and/or weaponry, or at least to do something really oriental martial-arty. (I think 'void' may be a concept of some significance in the Rokugon setting?) It falls sadly flat. :(

Dark Archive RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9

Thanks for your insights Charles.


James Thomas wrote:
Thanks for your insights Charles.

(edited, expanded)

Jesse Benner's snapleaf and Matthew Morris' tankard were both very simple items but they did more than the one spell/thing, Matthew's having options, and Jesse's having two escape themed things happen simultaneously...
With the caveat that I'm not a judge or professional game designer, I think if it had done a bit more you might have had a good item here.


(edited, tidied up)
Since you asked...

steelhead wrote:

And now for something completely different...

I would appreciate any comments, but pretty much realize what I did wrong here.

Urgathoa’s Tainted Hand

Aura faint conjuration and enchantment; CL 5th
Slot neck; Price 10,200 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description:
One of the few cursed magic items purposefully created, this recently mummified human hand maintains a healthy pink look and hangs by a leather cord around a character’s neck (taking up space as a magic necklace would). Magic analysis indicates this item protects against disease, but it is cursed and actually only guards against manifesting the negative effects of disease. The wearer must make a saving throw versus any disease he comes in contact with, failure indicating he contracts the illness without taking any ability damage, and becomes a carrier of any inhaled or contact disease. The wearer continues to make checks to overcome the disease naturally, and transmits the disease in its normal fashion. The hand starts to show all the cosmetic aspects (boils, lesions, eczema, withering, etc.) and only if the wearer removes the hand do the surface aspects and the ability damage manifest on the owner.

The hand grants the ability to cast contagion once per day when the command word is spoken, but if the disease is normally contracted by inhalation or contact the wearer must also make a saving throw or become a disease carrier. Additionally, the target of the spell is distracted (see Bestiary pg. 299) if she fails a Fort. Save (DC 16).

This cursed item is identified like most others: if the check made to identify the hand succeeds by less than 10 only the protection versus disease power is revealed without disclosing the carrier curse or other functions of the object. If the check to identify succeeds by 10 or more all abilities and drawbacks become apparent.

Construction:
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, contagion, remove disease, Knowledge (Religion)
Cost 5,100 gp

There are currently eight different diseases which are contact or injury based in the Core Rulebook. This item allows a villain to load up an assassin who specializes in unarmed attacks with all of those diseases and send that assassin after the PCs. One hit from the assassin, and that's eight saving throws a PC has to make unless they're disease immune...

Combine with annoying hit-and-run tactics, and for the price of a 10,200 gp item and a little creative disease collecting, a villain just forced the PCs to invest significant gold or other resources to protect each party member from one item.
I think that this item for this price really needed a limit to the number of diseases it could allow a character/monster to load up with.

Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Charles Evans 25 wrote:

(edited, tidied up)

Since you asked...

steelhead wrote:

And now for something completely different...

I would appreciate any comments, but pretty much realize what I did wrong here.

Urgathoa’s Tainted Hand

Thanks Charles. I appreciate your rules-fu and it is amazing how something so simple as a limit on the number of diseases carried could hold in check possible abuse. My guess is the item got an auto-reject because technically it is not a Wondrous Item. I recall that somewhere one of our esteemed judges made the comment that many items get rejected for being a player's magic item or a GM's magic item, and this probably falls completely in the latter category - it would make a good campaign item for the story possibilities, but not many players would actively want it.


steelhead wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:

(edited, tidied up)

Since you asked...

steelhead wrote:

And now for something completely different...

I would appreciate any comments, but pretty much realize what I did wrong here.

Urgathoa’s Tainted Hand

Thanks Charles. I appreciate your rules-fu and it is amazing how something so simple as a limit on the number of diseases carried could hold in check possible abuse. My guess is the item got an auto-reject because technically it is not a Wondrous Item. I recall that somewhere one of our esteemed judges made the comment that many items get rejected for being a player's magic item or a GM's magic item, and this probably falls completely in the latter category - it would make a good campaign item for the story possibilities, but not many players would actively want it.

Hmm. You might be right that most player characters (who want ther enemies dead *now*) wouldn't want this so much. As far as disease prevention goes, the periapt of health undercuts it in terms of effectiveness and gp cost.

Dark Archive

Well, all I'd really like to know is if I went over word count. If I did, it would be utterly frustrating but good to know for the future.

I'll be entering again this December, and with great anticipation.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I need a break from doing what I'm doing before I go back to doing more of it, so I'll summarize judges' critiques of three entries chosen at random.

Mikhaila Burnett wrote:
Well, all I'd really like to know is if I went over word count. If I did, it would be utterly frustrating but good to know for the future.

Not over word count. The problem is that they saw it as essentially a spell in a can with a couple of changes to the spell—and those changes are too powerful and just not right for the game.

Clone doesn't let you have a duplicate—it lets you have a *replacement*. Having a duplicate was perceived as broken.

The bigger problem, though was with the doppleganger bit. Your item has the potential to create an actual living being, not just a construct or magical being, and that probably isn't how "life" works in most game worlds.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

mattsnyder wrote:

Hi Clark. I'd love feedback on my item. Thanks for doing this for everyone.

Bulwark of Bones
Aura moderate necromancy [evil]; CL 6th
Slot --; Price 11,000 gp; Weight 4 lbs.
Description

This bundle wrapped in ancient, yellowed skin contains several foot-long shanks of bleached bones etched with runes, the remnants of primeval sorcery.

Three times per day the wielder may take a standard action to toss the bones onto six unoccupied squares of flat terrain in any pattern. The six squares must be continuous. No attack roll or movement is required to toss the bones.

Upon uttering the command word, a solid wall of jagged bones 10 feet high emerges in each square. Each square has 40 hit points and hardness 5. If a creature tries to break through a square with a single attack, the DC for the Strength check is 25. Scaling the wall requires a Climb check DC 25.

The bulwark of bone terrifies others. Any creature that attacks the wall, tries to break the wall, or passes through a square occupied by the wall (including climbing the wall) must make a Will save DC 14 or be frightened for 1d4 rounds. If the creature succeeds on a Will save, it is shaken for 1 round.

A second command word deactivates the wall, and the bone bundle returns instantaneously to the skin wrappings. If the bone wall is attacked or broken during combat, the pieces remain damaged or destroyed for the day, even if the used again later. On the following day, bulwark of bones can be redeployed at full strength.

Undead are completely unaffected by the bone wall, and the bone wall’s squares are friendly to undead for purposes of movement.

Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, animate dead, scare; Cost 5,650 gp

The judges kind of liked the idea, but felt that it was really a new spell disguised as a new item—it's more about the wall than it is about the bag of bones.

Clark, Wes and Sean *all* also thought the bone wall effect was really, really familiar, but they couldn't figure out why. Clark thought it might be a spell from a Sword & Sorcery Studios product.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

AngrySpirit wrote:
Clark, would you mind giving me feedback on the Signature Rivet of the Craftsman. Thanks for your comments.

You mean Signature Rivet of Dwarven Craftsmanship?

One judge commented:

"This isn't so much a new wondrous item as a new subsystem for magical armors. Potentially interesting, but not what we're really looking for."

The second judge agreed with no further comment, and it was eliminated based on that.

Dark Archive

Vic Wertz wrote:

Not over word count. The problem is that they saw it as essentially a spell in a can with a couple of changes to the spell—and those changes are too powerful and just not right for the game.

Clone doesn't let you have a duplicate—it lets you have a *replacement*. Having a duplicate was perceived as broken.

The bigger problem, though was with the doppleganger bit. Your item has the potential to create an actual living being, not just a construct or magical being, and that probably isn't how "life" works in most game worlds.

Vic,

Thank you so very much. I'll chalk this into "it looked good on paper" and keep this in mind for next year. I greatly value your feedback.

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Hey Vic, if you could give any insight to the judges' thoughts on the Blood of the Martyr, I would appreciate it. I'm figuring it was the visual effect or not being an "auto save" item that doomed it and would love to see if this was indeed the case. Thanks!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

zylphryx wrote:
Hey Vic, if you could give any insight to the judges' thoughts on the Blood of the Martyr, I would appreciate it. I'm figuring it was the visual effect or not being an "auto save" item that doomed it and would love to see if this was indeed the case. Thanks!

Wes thought that it was mechanically messy. Clark didn't like the fake-out, though Sean did. They all agreed, though, that the fakeout effect really shouldn't work, with Wes saying that most thinking creatures could tell the difference between killing somebody and a spurt of fake blood coming from a mummified heart. Clark said that it at least shouldn't be able to fake out constructs, oozes, plants or vermin; Sean added lifesense creatures like liches and dread wraiths.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

So, it's hard for me to tell who's had feedback and who hasn't (or who still cares). If you still want feedback, can you please just drop the name of your item in here? I'm not promising I'll get to them, though!

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

Vic, that's a really nice thing you're doing here. Kudos to you for taking the time to do it and thanks!

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

Wow, thanks Vic! My item was the Spirit Scroll.


Thanks for doing this Vic! My item was 'Necklace of the Taniwha' and I'd love to see any feedback. :)

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Vic Wertz wrote:
zylphryx wrote:
Hey Vic, if you could give any insight to the judges' thoughts on the Blood of the Martyr, I would appreciate it. I'm figuring it was the visual effect or not being an "auto save" item that doomed it and would love to see if this was indeed the case. Thanks!

Wes thought that it was mechanically messy. Clark didn't like the fake-out, though Sean did. They all agreed, though, that the fakeout effect really shouldn't work, with Wes saying that most thinking creatures could tell the difference between killing somebody and a spurt of fake blood coming from a mummified heart. Clark said that it at least shouldn't be able to fake out constructs, oozes, plants or vermin; Sean added lifesense creatures like liches and dread wraiths.

Thanks for the quick feedback Vic. I kinda figured the visual effect was the killing stroke (pun intended ;) ) ... and I completely missed the non-thinking/lifesense angle. Live and learn. But definitely good to know what knocked it out in preparation for next year.

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

Hi Vic, my item was the Wizard's Portable Lab. An overview of what was wrong with it would be greatly appreciated.


Vic Wertz wrote:
So, it's hard for me to tell who's had feedback and who hasn't (or who still cares). If you still want feedback, can you please just drop the name of your item in here? I'm not promising I'll get to them, though!

Thanks Vic. This year's item was a modified version of last year's item (with a new name). With no feedback from last year, I was flying blind with the changes. However, I decided to stick with the age mechanic because I thought that I can't be the only one that wishes they could be younger, even for a little while. Any feedback will help for next year, but I think I'm done with the age theme.

CANE OF AGES (page 6 of this thread)


Vic Wertz wrote:
So, it's hard for me to tell who's had feedback and who hasn't (or who still cares). If you still want feedback, can you please just drop the name of your item in here? I'm not promising I'll get to them, though!

Ankh of Energy Reversal for me. Thanks Vic!


Thank you Vic for looking into these items; My item was the Beastfriend's Collar/Beastfriend's Tattooed Collar.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka Mark Thomas 66

WRAPS OF STOLEN SWIFTNESS wouls be greatly appreciated.

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

Darkjoy wrote:

Clark,

Hit me!

Syringe of Infernal Sight
Aura moderate evocation and transmutation; CL 6th
Slot -; Price 42,000 gp; Weight 1 lbs.
Description
A green hued, metallic syringe holds a dark swirling liquid in a hollow, crystal tube. The syringe’s plunger is oversized, accommodating claws and other inhuman appendages. An extremely sharp and thin hypodermic needle completes the syringe. Succeeding on a DC 15 Heal check or a DC 15 Dexterity check allows the user to inject the dark liquid into an eye. Failing a check deals 1d4 points of damage to the subject, but the liquid is still injected into the eye. When all of the subject’s eyes are treated, the following takes effect: the subject treats an area of darkness, including magical darkness, as an area of bright light. The subject treats an area of dim light as an area of normal light. The subject treats an area of normal light as an area of dim light. The subject treats an area of bright light as an area of darkness. This effect ends after 6 hours. The syringe holds six doses and regenerates 1d3 doses each day. Each eye requires one dose.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, darkvision, daylight; Cost 21,000 gp

Everyone else, Hit me as well!

Vic, I am interested in the judges' comments.

Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Kudos to you for offering to look at more items Vic, and thanks for all the previous work you've done in this contest! I would really appreciate the judges' feedback on Urgathoa’s Tainted Hand

Liberty's Edge

Mine was The Light of the Living (page 2 of the thread). Thank you for doing this Vic!


Ellipsis wrote:

Titivillus’ Quill

[/bigger]

Thanks Vic. I would appreciate knowing what the judges' comments were.


Mushroom King's Crown

Thank you kindly, Vic.

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

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

@ Neil Spicer and Charles Evans

Wow guys, thank you very much. That really does help more than someone saying, "It wasn't costed right." Or "It's a monster-in-a-can." The feedback each of you gave me (in my opinion) was judge worthy, not snarky or at all "mean" (and not that I'm saying that's what Azmahl(sp?) did, I just wanted something constructive to go along with what didn't work. (Y'know a little positive reinforcement never hurts). ;)

Neil... waaay back when I asked about a review, and you were so busy, I had put out of my mind the chance of having an in-depth critique of my Diadem of the Void but you have really supplied me with a great deal to consider, and for that I will be ever grateful. (I have been working on several items, lower level, and more useful (I hope) to PCs). That was another problem with my diadem, it wasn't really useful to PCs as it was. It was more (in my mind) of an item they'd want to destroy after the BBEG in an adventure was defeated and they looted the body.

Charles, you echoed a lot of Neil's points and touched on a few of your own, and so for you also taking the time to provide feedback I can't thank you enough. I truly appreciate it.

Without saying too much about it, I think I have a solid idea, which was inspired by one of my favorite fantasy stories of all time. The name I'm thinking of right now isn't Superstar... at least I don't think it is... but I really like the idea, and how it can be used.

Neil, Charles... once again thank you so much for the time and effort of giving me feedback that tells me what I (might) have done well, and what could really use improvement. I hope I do you both proud next year.

Cheers!

~Dean (TMW)

Paizo Employee Managing Developer , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

I'll throw in again. Vic, if you could enlighten me with the judge's comments on my Symbol of the Devout, I'd appreciate it. However, I think my own doubts and a few peer reviews probably nail why it didn't make it.

The Exchange

Vic, a comment on Namu's Claddaghs would be very much appreciated.

* Edit - Linked to the page. It is a few up from the bottom at 7:19 PM (probably only in my timezone, GMT) *

I thought that my idea was interesting and was ok for a wondrous item, but I had to do some linguistic gymnastics to depict it as such, rather than as a ring.

I want to see if the judges binned it for the weaknesses that I saw, so that I have a better angle on winning the whole damn thing next year :)


Hey Vic, if you could, I'd like the feedback for my "Pit Gambler's Vest" Its way back on page 2 of this thread and I was hoping I could get something.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

Thanks Vic! My (unfortunately-named) item was "Gyre of the Belated Witness". I really appreciate you taking the time to do this!

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Hi Vic!

Can you give me feedback on my Poxglove?

Thanks!

Liberty's Edge

thanks Vic :)

I was waiting in the shadows, so any Intel on Hunter's Moon


Hey Guys, I'm kinda back ;), to finish what I started.
First I will go through all the new ( and reposts I don't recognize) items from page 10 on.
When I'm finished ( shouldn't take too long, it's mainly discussion from there on) I will finally be around and open to more in depth discussion of individual items, because I really see the concern that was voiced most often: due to the shortness of my comments they may come of as not really helpful / snarky/ only focusing on the negative. I don't wan't to offend anyone, but when you are looking at such an huge number of items you need to keep yourself short and focus on the negative sides first, to weed out the number of in-depth reviews you have to do. (after all some complaint about shortness and snarkieness in the real judges comments too)
So if you wish to further discuss your item simply come back to me when I'm finished with going through all items. (This includes those who already posted some replies to my reviews with the intent of further discussion. I read those posts, but simply had no time to start a discussion. )
Ok, lets get this thing back on track. If I hit one of you twice ( you reposted) and my comments vary widely this just underlines the ad-hoc nature of my reviews. :)

Lock Seeker

Spoiler:

This is an item I like and that would easily make it in my “reject Top 32 (or even 10)”
It is a simple, yet elegant exploration item that is different from all exploration items I have seen so far.
It also alleviates the confusion that might arise as soon as the party has more than one key with unknown locks.
And I can really visualize this item in use ( come to speak of visualizing: haven't I seen such an item in a movie/ anime / whatever ? I'm pretty sure I have... )
The main negative point would be the price , I think. It is simply more than any of my characters would pay for an item that has such limited utility uses. For (only) twice as much money I can buy a chime of opening and would never have to care about keys anymore.
With your last paragraph you try to explain all special cases that might arise, but you are missing some that might or might not viable in a fantasy game:
1.What if the Lock for the key is on another plane of existence? Does it register as a key without a lock?
2.What happens if you loop a key without a lock ( simple jewelry, or the lock is destroyed, the key is broken) ?
3.(only for hardcore realism) realistically every (simple/mundane) key would open many locks, simply to the limited amount of different locks that could exist in a medieval setting
4.(again realism) what if the (unique) lock for the key is very far away, so that the key might point down ( other side of the planet) ?

3.& 4. can easily avoided by giving the seeker an maximum range ( reducing the need for such an high price) and maybe letting the key point to the nearest lock it opens.

But aside from these minor issues and its maybe limited range of applications ( which I happen to like, personally) this really is a great item. (for extra RpgSuperstar kudos add a phrase what happens of you loop the “key of closed doors “ from last year)
Edit. Oh, I see Charles asked many of these questions too ( and some good ones on top of it). I should really go on to the next items.

Thundering Thurible

Spoiler:

I kinda like this item. Again mostly because of its visuals. But I too have some issues with it.

swinging the thurible to keep the fog up is a standart action and swinging it to throw lightning bolts is a standart action too. So does the cloud disperse (and you leed to lighten the thurible again) once you throw a lightning or do you maintain the cloud?
The first part reminds me of a toned down horn of fog
obscuring mist should replace control weather in the requirements.
It seems to be kind of expensive, even if you can throw one bolt of lightning per rund for up to 10 rounds. (if only one bolt per lighting its definitely overpriced)
Why does it have Cl 15 ? I would have guessed a Cl of 10 for the duration, tops.
The Dcs seem to be based on a 4th level spell, which considering the improvements you gave the call lightning effect 8 more dmg, horizontal lines and deafening seems reasonable at first, but you also have to consider the lower duration, the “costly” material component and the need to spend actions even if you are not calling lightnings.

Cursed Bandages of the Fallen

Spoiler:

Right from the first few lines I have a bad feeling about this. The names gives the expectation of a very powerful item, yet it does only cost 5000 GP.
You don't call your item “The one Ring of Sauron” if the only thing it does is preventing you from wearing other rings.
Secondly the word “Cursed” makes me worry whether the item I'm going to see is a wondrous item or a cursed item ( which a completely different category of items)

The first thing this item does is preventing you from wearing “real” armor (maybe it is magic armor and neither a cursed nor a wondrous item? )
This item is only interesting for undead monsters ( who don't normally wear armor) no Pc would want to wear it, let alone eat it.
The duration and DC and points resisted of the ward don't line up with protection from energy ( on which it is based) or the casterlevel of the item.
All these thing don't help you, but I think the main reason for rejection was that it is a magic armor and not a wondrous item. ( and neither would be cursed)

RANCID WREATH OF THE SHATTERED JAW

Spoiler:

Going all out for the creepy/disgusting angle , eh? ok. I'm bracing myself.

Oh. A “build your own item”-item which can give you a whole host of extraordinary abilities.
And thats it. Not really that gross.
Build-it-yourself items , especially open ended ones ( you can use the “bite” of every creature out there, some poisons are insanely powerful) were afaik not well received by the judges. I don't like them. The are too much additional work for the DM , open for abuse and its marketprice depends on the available creatures and would need to be adjusted with every new bestiary.
If you want to execute this idea more clearly defined and streamlined take a look at the chronocharms in the Magic item Compendium. They are a “set” of necklaces that can be worn together, each giving you a 1/day effect. So simply make a Jawlace of the viper, a jawlace of the dire rat, … of the wild boar etc. and clearly define each item, stating that you can wear up to 5 Jawlaces at one time.

Eyes of the Duergar Prospector

Spoiler:

This item is goggles of night combined with a rod of mineral detection,(and with a tad of a ring of x-ray vision) cheaper than any one of these. Sure there is the light sensitivity part and the blindness part, but they aren't real drawbacks ( or at least they don't seem to be reading your item. But especially the blindness part sadly is a huge can of worms. First. Blindness affects darkvision too, but even taking that this item doesn't kill its own effect (Edit: Which it doesn't because you state that it only kills normal vision, but what is with low light vision, lifesense, better darkvision...) we have the matter of light sensitivity: how can you be hurt by bright light if you can't perceive light? Since you are “blind” are you immune to blindness effects? Gaze attacks? I don't think it is really stated in the rules, but fiction tells us that you can't read using darkvision, so are you with these eyes? You mention that the blindness can be healed magically, but can it be healed only after removal of the eyes or even while you are wearing them?

Bloodstone

Spoiler:

Ok, this is nice and simple. Most likely somewhere in good-but-not-.good-enough land.
A few questions did arise though: are the 4 Hp drained extra damage? Are they even drained if the stone is fully charged? What if the sneak attack deals less than 4 dmg? What if the tarket had less then 4 Hp left?
After that there was the “must naturally posses a language” part and it didn't make sense for the items internal logic. After all the stone drains on life-force not sapience or sentience. So why this limitation? The real answer is pretty clear: to prevent PCs from backstabbing rabbits at camp to charge this item. But this failsafe against abuse needs to be integrated more tightly into the item . Either reflavor the item to drain something only sentient creatures have, or limit the range of possible targets by external constraints like size ( at least small) or make the amount of drained HP depending on the dmg dealt (1 for every full 10 points dealt) .

Prism of the Pervasive Psyche

Spoiler:

ok. fist thing that really set me of: +2 to save DCs is a lot, then: “(DC 14, including the above +1 )” clearly we have at least one Typo here, but which is the one? A quick look at calm emotions tells me that the second reference should be the right one. But thats some extra work an editor would have to do that should have been catched by the very first proofreading pass.
I can't (easily, with some thinking its clear) see from the text when the item takes the eyes slot and when not .
Concentration is no longer a skill and calm emotions should be listed in the requirements.
Aside from that it sure is a nice item, even if I don't have much love for psychic items. (and this tries to do many psychic things at the same time)
Oh, and the second half of your drawbacks could need some streamlining, but right now I don't have a good suggestion on how to do it.

Homing Bug

Spoiler:

A low range- spying item, somewhat akin to Neils last leaves of the autumn dryad. The first point I don't get is : why is it a grasshopper? It's a flying spying insect, somehow the last insect I envision for this is a grasshopper.
Does the grasshopper have a magical connection to the target? If not then nondetection shouldn't hinder it, but invisibility or being out of physical reach of the loctus should. If it has then why does it need to search the target? Somehow I see this thing more as a navigation device : “bring me to Baruk the One-eyed” than a spying item : “Tell me where Baruk the One-Eyed is and what he is doing right now.” also the hopper is pretty slow and can't e.g. find somebody who is on the run, simply because it can't keep up with him.

Beastfriend's Collar

Spoiler:

“moderate varied” : Ok, we sadly only have 2 possibilities here: the auras are different from Collar to collar and this is a “Do-it-yourself”-item or there are too many auras to list and this is a swiss army knife item.

In your description you say that the item is tattooed and then refer to it as the “Beastfriends tattooed Collar”. This is inconsistent to the name you have given the item in it's title.

You should tidy up you language. Once you write: “when you wear the collar,...” then you reference “A user ... ”.
Why the restriction to casters? You always write 3x/day the x is superfluous.
Why the varied auras? I can only see enchantment for the command animals effect ( and maybe even the skill bonuses, one could argue transmutation there too) and divination for the telepathy effect.
This isn't a real wondrous item. It is either a magical tattoo ( a group of magic items not yet in the game) or a permanent spell.

Poxglove

Spoiler:

3/day Contagion, limited to one disease? Meh. This fails to grab me in any way. After some cleaning/polishing up with the language and the math it might well be published in one form or another, but after all it's missing the spark of great creativity this contest is looking for.

You don't relist the diseases and DCs if they are the same as in the core (which they are) and if they weren't it would be just unneeded extra complexity.

One last question: is every single listed disease equally powerful? Should the gloves for all different diseases cost the same?

Easy Jug

Spoiler:

Real-world item as Wondrous item ?
“A successful dexterity check...” whats the DC? Why not a sleight of hands check?
Determining what action you take by a check feels weird. Normally you use your action and determine the outcome by making a check. This is somewhat weird: “I use my standard action to drink * rolls* oh, see, I have a full round action left. Better than haste.”
It would be better to fix the action as a standard action or make it depend on an fixed value ( Dex 15+; or 3+ ranks in sleight of hands)
Now you list some DCs behind versions. It is not immediately clear that these are the DCs for the Dex saves. Could as well be Spellcraft dcs to get the aura or to identify the item. Or to fill them?
Your reference to nonmagical versions of the item and that they are up to the DM underlines that this is a real world item disguised as a magic item and shows design laziness. Simply leave such statements out. If an DM wants a nonmagical version of it he will making it even without the reference, and if he doesn't want to it is just wasted space.

Hammer of Banishment

Spoiler:

The impression the name leaves is that I might be dealing with a magic weapon. ( I know there are Wondrous items like the Mattock of the titans that do sound (and work) like magic Weapons too, but you should keep in mind that 1. only few of the standard wondrous items are rpg superstar quality and 2. anything that might ( just might) give grounds for disqualification in a contest is a bad thing

I have the distinct feeling that the instrument should at least be magic too (if only to clearly pair it with the hammer and to make it more difficult to destroy) or even be the magic item, (which would clearly be a wondrous item, that can be struck by any hammer.

“Whenever..... this is useable 3/day” 3/day is hardly “whenever”.
You should explicitly state that the enchantment of the hammer is only one of these, corresponding with the alignment of the hammer.
You state that the hammer is attuned to alignment, but the fist alignment dependent effect is in the next paragraph, so why not state it in direct context.
Is the banishment excharged as soon as I strike any creature (even non extraplanar ones), maybe effectively wasting the charge?

Drow Tallow Candle

Spoiler:

Ok, both spells in a can(dle) and creature in a can(dle) (literally, ick!).
Is each drop of levitation one charge?
But thats all I have to say about it.

Books of Messages

Spoiler:

Another paired communication item. (so it has a lot of competition and no new, bright ideas to voershine them) And it's very expensive too.
The only issue that remains unaddressed is the question whether it works across planar boundaries. But aside from that it is tightly designed and well written. ( not mentioning a missing “later” ;) )

Stone Baby

Spoiler:

Ok, we had a lot of discussion about the fluff and why it might be a bad idea to go this road. I don#t want to rehash that, but I do share most of the voiced concerns.
Being continuously under the effect from hide from undead raises some questions again. What if you attack undead, is the spell broken and you have to drop and pickup the baby to restart its effects?
And if you strip away the FX (which is very evocative beside the aforementioned issues) then it is just a few spells in a can, with 2 of them being “always on” and none being really interesting or used creatively ( the moaning for detect undead comes closest to this.)

Dancing Scarf

Spoiler:

Again an item with powers that depend on the wearers attributes. The main concern with this is pricing. ( like I said before)
Try streamlining your description. It is very vivid and flowery, but it is hard to see where the fluss stops and the rules begin. First you list the duration as Charisma mod rounds, then as 20 rounds per day, split however the wearer sees fit. The skill bonus should not be untyped to avoid stacking issues with e.g. the circlet of persuation.
Why is it CL 17? that is huge. And a fascination effect isn't that powerful. (the item has an aura equally strong to a ring of three wishes or similar items. And its application is quite limited. Its an “Hey, look at me” effect that can easily duplicated with low level spells ( after all it's a spell in a can, but well executed in being it) or even roleplaying and diplomacy, perform or bluff checks.

Periapt of the Salamander

Spoiler:

Nice idea, but it gets too wordy as you need to invent a whole new subsystem for missing limbs. And if anyone would ever make a more fleshed out system for missing limbs he would have to use your penalties or your item would need to be adjusted. Wondrous items are the place to break some rules or make exceptions to them, but not to invent new subsystems.
If you are grappled you most likely already rolled initiative and it will be quite some time before you roll it again. So the bonus to initiative will never be used. And what if your next attack roll is 5 rounds later and against another enemy? How is he still surprised enough to warrant the +2 bonus to attack?
When does he need to make the fortitude check? Only if the periapt is removed, or every time you shed a limb?

Mask of the pure madness

Spoiler:

Fear at will, +10 intimidate 3/day ray of enfeeblement that “ reduces only the wisdom of the target”
and it's evil.
So we have Spell in a can ( fear, Ray of not-enfeeblement) and swiss army knife, many different and slightly thematically linked powers.
Ray of enfeeblement does not reduce the wisdom of the target, so an ray of enfeeblement that is reduced to wisdom lowering does nothing. That sentence needs to be reworded.
Your description line is rather bland and not at all evocative.
Why is climb in the requirements? ? ???

Bulwark of Bones

Spoiler:

I think Vic said it in nearly the same way, but I (too) can't get around the feeling that this is more about the wall than the item, and a “wall of bones” would be a new spell. In fact you are pretty much designing the spell, with range, form and everything. The only things that are missing are Spell list, Spell level ( derived from the DC it would be 3), Components and Duration. A duration should be in your item too, I know that it is valid to make an item that works x/day yet each use can be in effect indefinitely, but I kept looking for a duration.

The only part of your item that really is a quality of the item is the fact that the wall remains damaged through the daily uses. And that is a neat idea for an item that deploys a magical wall.

But after all it is more about the wall than the item that deploys the wall.

Ok, only 3 pages left, but I need a little break.
It's good to be flexing those creativity muscles again, even if its only reviewing other peoples creations.

Cheers ! :)


ODOUR OF SANCTITY

Thanks Vic!

--Scott

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Azmahel, after going through as many items as you have, you DEFINITELY deserve a break ... and many many thanks for doing this.

Clark/Sean/Wes/Vic, thanks to all of you as well for giving your feedback. You do realize it will probably just make next year harder to judge, right? ;)

And, I must say, this is one of the biggest differences between RPG Superstar and so many other contests. The feedback from judges, other competitors and even heads of the company sponsoring the event is simply a spectacular added value to those who entered but did not advance.

Many thanks once again and I hope to see you all in Seattle in June.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Ok... doing three more.

taig wrote:
Wow, thanks Vic! My item was the Spirit Scroll.

One of the shortest judges threads ever, which I'll condense even further:

"...just a shopping list of bonuses."

I don't have a lot to go on here, but knowing what I know, I'd say they were looking for more creative spark and less power-gameyness.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Berik wrote:
Thanks for doing this Vic! My item was 'Necklace of the Taniwha' and I'd love to see any feedback. :)

Wes kind of liked it, but felt that it really only works for a player who adventures solely in one location, and that it would encourage the PC to just stay at home all the time.

Clark agreed that it's really only of use to NPCs.

Sean did the math, and determined your pricing is way off. Among other things, it's a ring of regeneration that doesn't take up a ring slot, that also gives you true seeing and rage and more, all for the cost of that ring of regeneration. And if it's held by an NPC that the players kill, it becomes loot they probably can't use, and that always feels like a cheat.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Wicht wrote:
Hi Vic, my item was the Wizard's Portable Lab. An overview of what was wrong with it would be greatly appreciated.

Sean felt it wasn't really necessary, given the existence of magnificent mansion or a set of linked portable holes.

Also, the 50 pound limit you imposed doesn't really work, as it's per trip, so a party will just make multiple trips to fill up the place with floor-to-ceiling loot.

Grand Lodge

Vic Wertz wrote:
So, it's hard for me to tell who's had feedback and who hasn't (or who still cares). If you still want feedback, can you please just drop the name of your item in here? I'm not promising I'll get to them, though!

Thanks, Vic! I had the Incense of the Verdant Vale, and would still love the feedback. :)

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks Vic.


Hello Vic, my item was Glutton's Gorget and I'd love some feedback.

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Community / Forums / Archive / Paizo / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2010 / General Discussion / Clark, Please Give Me Feedback on My Item All Messageboards

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