Judges, Please Critique My Item


RPG Superstar™ 2011 General Discussion

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Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Brix wrote:
Implement

*...This item doesn't have any focus to it. Even the name is formless...Vote to Reject.

*...Name is crap (autorej #16).

*...Item is a category, not an item.

*...Vote to Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Casimir wrote:
Shimmerball

*...even if it's a one-time use, modify memory should be included in the construction and pricing of this item.

*...Even if priced correctly, it's a SIAC (or two) acting as a thrown weapon.

*...Vote to Reject.

*...Agreed. Reject.

Scarab Sages Dedicated Voter Season 7

Neil Spicer wrote:
ugly child wrote:
Neil you are a machine. :)
I'm mostly just trying to get feedback into the hands of folks who have waited for awhile...and give hope to those at the far end of the list. Also, I wasn't sure when Sean or Mark would have a chance to come back and finish. So, I set aside my usual in-depth feedback to pick up where they left off. I believe I'm up to page 5 now.

You're a good man. I dearly hope you will take up the in-depth commentary where you left off at some point, though, as I found it incredibly helpful.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Simcha wrote:
Snake Charmer’s Blessing

*...I like what this item does and the idea behind it, including the damage done by a forcible expulsion if the size-changing duration runs out. And, messing around with the size rules could be considered innovative. But, you've also got to consider everything that gets affected by squeezing down to a Small creature. What if you're Large rather than Medium-sized? Wht if you're Huge? That many size changes to get down to Small should carry some other mechanical considerations. This item stays silent on just about all of them.

*...So, let's say I'm normally a Large creature and I squeeze down to Small size...kind of a like a reverse-Spriggan ability. While I'm in that squeezed down state, it says I can't "manipulate or pick up items"...so, what does that mean for me if I'm attacked while I'm in that Small state? Am I not allowed to attack? Or is that considered "manipulating" a weapon?

*...Now, setting aside the mechanical concerns, I really don't like the item's backstory. It's needless and a waste of space. Doesn't really add that much flavor. The designer could have just said this item is often favored by those engaging in espionage and infiltration...as well as treasure-seekers with a need to fit through tight spaces...and left it at that. Intead, we get someone who's trying to demonstrate further creative ability by inventing the Thief Paragon Nassan...his gang of Thirty-Nine and One and something called the Second Thieves War (which ought to have an apostrophe in there as a possessive, right?).

*...I'm also a bit curious about the selection of beast shape I for the construction requirements. That's supposed to give you the form of an animal...not simply a smaller version of yourself. Why not reduce person or alter self? And, as far as that goes, does this item only work for creatures of the humanoid type? Or can anyone with a forehead strap this thing on?

*...Anyway, that's a lot of analysis to say I'm leaning toward a vote of Reject on this one.

*...Too much backstory.

*...Unclear what happens if you use this and aren't Medium.

*...Strange limitation that you can't manipulate or pick up things...why not say it treats you like you're squeezing?

*...Not a bad item, could use some clarification, if so it would be ok for a book of magic items, but in the end I think it's a very niche item, unlikely to see much use.

*...For 7,500 gp you could buy 10 potions of gaseous form or many more potions of reduce person.

*...Vote to Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

valavaern wrote:
Undistinguished Choker

*...Meh. SAK of SIAC effects...disguise self, magic aura, and undetectable alignment. About the best aspect of it is the ability to extend magic aura to all of your gear and yourself. But I don't think that's enough to redeem it. Vote to Reject.

*...Agreed. Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Anthony Adam wrote:
Season's Raiment

*...Missing all construction requirements.

*...References the Hide skill, which is Stealth now.

*...It's definitely a host of SAK powers based on the changing of the seasons. The protection from energy abilities really ought to be endure elements.

*...And I don't care for the additional "animal forms" it grants, particularly the form of a CR 15 phoenix! Yeah, that's "balanced"...and all for the low, low price of just 29,000 gp.

*...Not an RPG Superstar design. Vote to Reject.

*...Sean copies and pastes Neil's comments into his own post.

*...Vote to Reject.

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Awesome job Neil!! Thanks and thanks and thanks. The "obviously trying to stand out," is something I will have to ponder over how to fix. I'm not sure I have seen advice on that.... Again thanks and thanks and thanks Cl...err Neil!. :)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

MicMan wrote:
Emberwisp Vial

*...This is kind of a cool battlefield control item for alchemists by synergizing with their fire bombs. Only works with fire bombs, so that's actually a decent nerf for this ability. The notion of these semi-intelligent emberwisps hanging around to circle those affected by the bomb is a little weird. But that's alchemy for you, I guess. Instead of having these emberwisps be purely based on magic, they've got some kind of otherworldly existence as actual creatures that just happened to get released by the bomb's explosion.

*...Personally, I think it might be stronger to have the emberwisps flare enough to cause ongoing fire damage (kind of like bleed damage, but with fire) to those who try to part ways. That way, it's more than just being dazzled and suffering difficult terrain. I also think the dazzling effect and difficult terrain imposition should allow some kind of save to push through it rather than being automatic. But that's just a design choice.

*...I also like the basis of this spell on elemental aura, which is part of why I'd like to see ongoing damage be a part of the emberwisp. That way, it would take on aspects of a reverse elemental aura you can inflict on others.

*...As it is, though, I still like this item. It's doing something innovative involving an alchemist and his bombs. It hangs together both thematically and mechanically. Reasonable execution on the using the provided template. And I'd like to see what this designer can do next.

*...Vote to Keep.

*...I love alchemy and alchemists. I don't know what these wisps are. Are they alive? Semi-alive? Can I kill them? How intelligent are they? Intelligent enough to "object" to moving too far away. I think that describing them as creatures was a mistake. The chemist in me thinks it would have been more realistic if you got coated with an alchemical substance that would ignite if you moved *closer* to other coated people. This item is clearly designed to force targets to stay closer together so you can bomb them. Weak reject.

*...He described the wisps as "intangible" so I read that to mean incorporeal. Still, they probably should have used that word to define them.

*...I agree it would be neater to make it some kind of alchemical substance. And, just like two people coated with such stuff coming together could cause a chemical reaction, two people moving further away could cause a similar reaction, too. I mean in some instances, phosphorous taken out of water can eventually ignite in the air. So, an item that makes people cluster together is okay with me. It's a battlefield control thing. And, even then, people can still move further away from each other. The ongoing damage isn't debilitating any moreso than bleed damage would be. I'm still a Keep on this one. It might be "golden ticket" worthy. The description and some of the mechanics could be shored up a bit, but I like the idea overall and see some spark (pun intended!) in this one.

*...I'm a Keep too. Not everything magical has to be quantified.

*...There's a spark of an idea here, but the execution lacks the polish I'd expect from a Superstar. There are a lot of style and language problems here, and I think there needs to be more codification of exactly how these ember wisps work; as it currently stands, I think this would require a lot of GM adjudication to determine what they do and don't do. Vote to Reject.

Note: This item made the Keep pile. As you can see, it stuck around for some pretty lengthy discussion. You weren't too far off base with this idea, but you need to shore up some of your mechanical concerns and more properly convey your explanation of how the item works, while thinking through all the questions it might raise. Best of luck next year.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

yukarjama wrote:
Gravity Nail of Nethys

*...Not really a fan of making a GM stop in the middle of a combat and calculate everyone's encumbrance and the effect of double-weighted gear to determine their reduced speed. Both of the other abilities are just disintegrate and reverse gravity SIAC effects. Vote to Reject.

*...Don't mess with physics. Reject.

*...Agreed. Rejected.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Azoun The Sage wrote:
Circlet of Adoration

*...I'm not sure why it automatically turns you into an attractive person of the opposite gender. At first, I assumed it meant the opposite gender from the person you plan on interacting with via Diplomacy. But if that were the case, how would the item know you were only going to be interacting with one person? I mean, if you were in a roomful of multi-gendered people, it wouldn't know how to transform you.

*...I went with the literal interpretation that this thing acts like a girdle of masculinity/feminity in that it temporarily disguises you (after attuning to it for 24 hours or automatically?) into the opposite gender from what you are. That would seem kind of annoying to have to wait 24 hours and change gender just to gain access to the Diplomacy bonus and calm emotions and charm monster spells.

*...Regardless, the whole thing is just three Spells-in-a-Can. And the packaging isn't all that moving. Vote to Reject.

*...This item stinks if you're in a highly gendered society in which being a woman (or man) would make you less likely to be able to act as a diplomat. And the whole SIAC thing. Not feeling this one at all. Vote to Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Gerald Andrews wrote:
CEREBUS COLLAR

*...So...is this just a monster item? I mean, if a PC donned this thing, they'd grow one size category (yay!), sprout an extra head (huh?), be able to telepathically talk to themselves (woo!), gain a +4 bonus on Perception (ooh!), and take a -2 penalty vs. blinding, deafening, and dazzling effects (aww!). Other than that, you get nothing unless you've got another item or spell that's giving you a bite or gaze attack. All for 168,000 gp? No way I'm buying this...

*...And that makes it a monster item. This is something a wizard snaps on some charmed or loyal beastie...like a dog they want to mimic good ol' Cerberus...or a chimera...or manticore...or hydra...or pet dragon. Somehow, I'm not feeling that as an uber-cool RPG Superstar item.

*...We've also got some problems in presentation and use of the template (i.e., they went capitalization crazy on the headers, no bolding for the headers, no italicizing of spells, and a material component included in the construction requirements). And they even misspelled Cerberus as Cerebus. Vote to Reject.

*...Agreed. Rejected.

Note: We've also seen an item with this exact same name (even misspelled as Cerebus rather than Cerberus) submitted in RPG Superstar 2009. It made it as an alternate. Yet, from what I can tell, this time it wasn't submitted by the same person. What are the odds? The mind boggles...

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Kylian wrote:
Dimensional Battery

*...Seems mechanically sound. Dimension door is a mostly harmless spell. Well written. Keep.

*...So, it charges up just because a conjuration spell was cast within 60 feet of it? Thus, if you yourself happen to be a conjurer (or maybe a summoner), you're pretty much charging this thing all day long with your own spells. Apparently, the lantern doesn't bleed off any of the potency of these spells (which I kind of wish it did, because then it would give the item a defensive purpose, as well).

*...This item also duplicates a fair amount of the cleric's Travel domain and the dimensional hop ability. I'm not sure I like that. And the mechanic of traveling in short bursts isn't really all that innovative, so I'm not really inclined to award points for that.

*...The charging mechanic is different. I'm just not sure I like it all that much.

*...The item is well-written and clearly presented with the template.

*...Kind of mediocre on the idea (i.e., it's been done before). Kind of mediocre on the mechanics. Great job on the presentation.

*...This might be a designer worth inviting into the competition just to see what else they'd do. I'll vote as a weak Keep and we'll see how it compares during the sorting stage.

*...Coming back to this one, I don't think I like it as much as many of the other items in the Keep pile. That charging mechanic still bothers me. I could let this one go to better focus on those that remain.

*...I really wish this specified which types of conjuration spells this syphoned energy from. It makes sense for calling, teleportation, and summoning, but not for healing or creation. Even if it were tighter in this area, I still think the item has a long way to go to really be all there. Vote to Reject.

*...When you create it, is it fully charged?

*...Does it work like teleport, in that you have to roll a miss chance, or like dimension door, in that you don't? Does it work like dimension door, in that you're disoriented until your next turn, or like teleport, in that you're not?

*...I agree in that healing spells shouldn't charge this. One, this item doesn't consume those other spells, so charging it is free. Two, healing spells are common, so charging it is basically automatic.

*...Rejected.

Note: This item made the Keep folder, but it was one of the first to go during the sorting phase.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

IgorRock wrote:
Pearl Of Ponding

*...This is a trap-in-a-can, not a wondrous item. It's also very cartoonish. Reject.

*...Ditto. It's a trap...or rather a wondrous item that creates a trap. Vote to Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Jarreth wrote:
Pommelstone of Power

*...It's another "weapon special property stacking" item that doesn't consider the exponential cost of adding such properties on top of stuff that's already inherent in a magic weapon.

*...The designer also has several grammar problems and typos in the description.

*...Vote to Reject.

*...Poor writing, weapon property in a can, doesn't consider pricing issues for weapons that already have bonuses. Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

stowcreek wrote:
The Book of Beast and Brute

*...Blah. Monster SIAC. Also don't like the mechanic for multiple pages to summon multiple monsters. Vote to Reject.

*...Agreed. Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Correlon wrote:
Glove of the Crustacean

*...I don't really like this one all that much. The extra attack thing feels half-written. I'd have appreciated some analysis around two-weapon fighting involving the claw.

*...I don't see how it would instantly give you a +2 bonus to natural armor. It's not like your opponents are always just going to target that arm. If they wanted to interpret it as a shield bonus or something, I might have gone along with that.

*...I really don't like the "once I've latched on, I can release my arm and have two hands free while the pincer keeps you pinned" ability. I imagine they felt this was innovative. It comes off more munchkin to me.

*...This also appears to be one of our international friends with the "." instead of "," in the numerical price and cost values. They need to break that habit if they're going to write for Paizo.

*...Leaning to Reject.

*...Agreed. Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Taking a breather. We're up to page 6 now. And looks we've given feedback on over half of the requests so far.

Marathon Voter Season 9

Neil Spicer wrote:
Taking a breather. We're up to page 6 now. And looks we've given feedback on over half of the requests so far.

Gah!!!! So close!!!!!!

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

Neil Spicer wrote:
The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
Jotunblood Mantle

*...Blatant template-in-a-can. Also leads with that annoying italicized descriptive text, which comes out of the Magic Item Compendium format, not the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. And, mechanically-speaking, altering a PC with a whole host of size effects when you could just cite the enlarge person spell is just treading ground that a Superstar item should know better than to repeat. Vote to Reject.

*...Does it stack with my Girdle of Giant Strength and Gauntlets of Ogre Power? Dude that would be SO AWESOME! Reject.

*...This one keeps referring to a "special size modifier" but I don't know what that is. I know what a size modifier is, so I know what that stacks with, but I don't know how this stacks. What if I wear this and have enlarge person cast on me? Reject.

I'm sorry I didn't realize italicized descriptive text was annoying. I didn't do it to "copy" MiC, I only did it to differentiate between description and then mechanics. I appreciate the effort taken to review and critique my item. It has been a learning experience.

And by the way... "special size modifier" comes from the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook pages 198-199.

Thank you.

Scarab Sages

Wow I know it's been said but Neil this is amazing... Usually when you submit a written work to a publisher and it is rejected you get a form letter. This is awesome. We are all learning here ( I hope)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

fatouzocat wrote:
...This is awesome. We are all learning here ( I hope)

That's my hope, as well. :-)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Ah, what the heck. A few of you have been waiting a long time. And you've been kind enough to be patient and hang around. Here's a few more...

vikking wrote:
Eyes of the Past

*...This feels less like fantasy and more steam-punk/future-tech to me. Add to that the prevalence of misused homophones, punctuation errors, and odd phrasing, and I think it's a pretty clear reject in my book.

*...Very poorly-written. This item wasn't proofed enough before submitting. Even then, I'm not in love with the idea of viewing 5-minute increments from the past. This item makes a GM's job a lot harder. Vote to reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Zombieneighbours wrote:
Hungry Ghost Mask

*...So, it's pretty much a weaker version of a vampiric touch spell...only it's usable at range...on all opponents within 30 feet...and there's a DC 14 Fortitude save to halve the damage. Kind of a powerful item for 10,000 gp. But it can only be done once per day.

*...The part I'm not all that keen about is the amount of damage it inflicts. Basing it on the wearer's Con bonus is far too variable. What happens if they have a negative Con modifier? What if it's only +1 and someone saves against its effect? Is half of +1 going to round up or down? Is there a limit to how many temporary hit points someone can absorb? How difficult is this going to be on the GM for him to track everyone within 30 feet who's wounded...because it only works on those who already have open wounds.

*...Because of all those questions (which the designer didn't have the foresight to answer)...I vote to Reject.

*...Agreed. Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Wesley Lee wrote:
Grafting Clamp

*...They had me until the head. Reject.

*...They lost me earlier than that. What happens if you graft a Large or Huge creature's arm to a Small creature? This item is just silly in all sorts of ways. I get the seed of the idea they wanted to explore, but they really need to think through some of the game impacts on this and limit it based on creature size, compatibility, etc.

*...Even so, granting monster abilities like this as a SAK of options probably isn't a good idea either. It's too open-ended and practically impossible to price. Vote to Reject.

*...Rejected.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Pen2paper wrote:
Boots of the Masterful Step

*...They just couldn't resist the cheesy in-character quote at the end, could they? That makes it dead on arrival for me.

*...the descriptive text makes reference to a Hobbit. This ain't Lord of the Rings, people.

*...Lots of miscues and problems in using the template properly. Core idea isn't that bad, but I believe I've seen an item like this in the Magic Item Compendium before. I'm fairly certain it's been done...though probably not with the resizing mechanic for larger or smaller creatures than the wearer. Still not Superstar. Vote to Reject.

*...I'm 100% certain I've seen this before in a published source. "Boots of the Wilderness" or something? Reject.

*...Yeah. That's exactly what I was thinking. Not completely identical, but very similar. Regardless, not Superstar.

*...Rejected.

Marathon Voter Season 9

Neil Spicer wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Hungry Ghost Mask

*...So, it's pretty much a weaker version of a vampiric touch spell...only it's usable at range...on all opponents within 30 feet...and there's a DC 14 Fortitude save to halve the damage. Kind of a powerful item for 10,000 gp. But it can only be done once per day.

*...The part I'm not all that keen about is the amount of damage it inflicts. Basing it on the wearer's Con bonus is far too variable. What happens if they have a negative Con modifier? What if it's only +1 and someone saves against its effect? Is half of +1 going to round up or down? Is there a limit to how many temporary hit points someone can absorb? How difficult is this going to be on the GM for him to track everyone within 30 feet who's wounded...because it only works on those who already have open wounds.

*...Because of all those questions (which the designer didn't have the foresight to answer)...I vote to Reject.

*...Agreed. Reject.

Thanks, neil. Will be learning from that if I can.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

taig wrote:
Allure's Aroma

*...There's some awkward writing in this one that kind of makes me frown as I'm reading it. Like heightening all charm spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities by 1 level. Why not just say +1 caster level? That's the usual means of referring to that kind of boost. And the way the description ends about "aforementioned creatures" kind of bugs me.

*...At any rate, this is nothing more than a mind-affecting, charm-boosting perfume or cologne. It makes creatures with the scent ability more susceptible to it. But I don't like how it automatically improves other creature's starting attitudes. There should at least be a save or skill check bonus or something involved in that. Automatic is almost never a good thing.

*...I'm not really sure this all that innovative of an idea anyway. I've seen lots of similar items in other games and game systems. Vote to Reject.

*...To me, "become heightened" implies Heighten Spell. Which isn't mentioned.

*..."any existing effect’s increased efficacy persists even if the 12-hour limit elapses." Well, duh... if your charm person DC is boosted when you cast it, and then that boost goes away, it doesn't change how much the target is affected by the spell.

*...I dunno, clunky. Reject.

Grand Lodge

Neil Spicer wrote:
Northron wrote:
Goggles of Twisting Sight

*Meh. No one but fey and gnomes would ever truly want this thing.

*It's a bit too focused on nerfing the non-fey users.

*...it just protects against gaze attacks. Not all that exciting, really.

It's a fair cop. ;)

Thanks so much. With all of the feedback in this thread I think I am now calibrated for next year's competition. Good luck with the rest of the judging!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Pedro Coelho wrote:
Urn of the Giant Horde

*...Huh. This one isn't doing anything for me. The mechanics are a bit clunky, especially the area of effect changing, and all the Strength checks and DCs seem strange. It's also a fairly weak item for 34,000 gp, especially if it ends up being a one-use item. Vote to Reject.

*...So, this is a Monster-in-a-Can? Literally? Or, maybe not. Looks like the ashes just shape themselves into an imaginary horde of giants before stomping a 30-foot cone. Hmmm...how many giants can squeeze into a 30-foot cone? Not very many. Also, if you can afford a 34,000 gp magic item, then the DCs presented here are probably very easy to make...and hence, meaningless. Not really feeling the mechanics of this thing anyway. Vote to Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Jonasty1031 wrote:
Diadem of the Waking Dream

*...The first paragraph of rules here is nice, and would make a neat low-level item for a party who just can't seem to ever get enough healing when they hole up for the night in a dungeon crawl. But the second part is too much, and running a dream combat with just one player is pretty lame. Not only are they unlikely to defeat a shadow demon one on one unless they're fairly high level, but what are the rest of the players supposed to do while this is going on?

*...The designer should have erred on the side of not-quite-so-wahoo. Reject.

*...I was with this one right up until the second half of the second paragraph. I like the benefits of the long-term care healing with 8 hours of sleep. That's cool. I like the legend lore ability by sorting through someone's subconscious mind. I mean, how often have we all woke up after a good night's sleep and suddenly had the answer to some problem we went to bed with wondering how we'd solve? That's good mojo.

*...But then, we get the wrestling with your own nightmare being spun into an actual combat with a shadow demon. Nooooooo. You were so close, Mr. Designer! Such a battle would be ridiculously easy or difficult depending on how and when someone came by this item and what level they were.

*...Instead of going the shadow demon route, this item would completely work out better if they'd just said there was a 10% chance of suffering a nightmare spell...thereby preventing the ability to get enough adequate rest to prepare spells again while also suffering 1d10 points of real damage. That would have been sufficient. Even going the route of a phantasmal killer in your dreams with a set DC to resist would have been okay.

*...It's a real shame, because I'm leaning Reject on this...even though I really, really like everything else about the item. Even so, I'll leave this here for a bit longer until others can take a look at it.

*...This item tries to do too much. The whole "battle the shadow demon" idea breaks down when you realize this item costs 48,000 gp, which means you'd have to be 10th-level to afford it, and at that point it would be over 75% of your wealth), which means you probably wouldn't actually have this item until about 12th level, at which point fighting a CR 7 shadow demon is trivially easy.

*...Also, if you can afford 48,000 gp for an item that doubles your rest-healing hp, you could instead afford a staff of healing for 29,600 gp, or 64 potions of cure serious wounds. So if the price is accurate, it's mostly useless at the level you could afford it. If the price is wrong (too high), then the designer failed to get it even in the right ballpark. Vote to Reject.

*...Rejected.

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

Neil Spicer wrote:
taig wrote:
Allure's Aroma

Spoiler:
*...There's some awkward writing in this one that kind of makes me frown as I'm reading it. Like heightening all charm spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities by 1 level. Why not just say +1 caster level? That's the usual means of referring to that kind of boost. And the way the description ends about "aforementioned creatures" kind of bugs me.

*...At any rate, this is nothing more than a mind-affecting, charm-boosting perfume or cologne. It makes creatures with the scent ability more susceptible to it. But I don't like how it automatically improves other creature's starting attitudes. There should at least be a save or skill check bonus or something involved in that. Automatic is almost never a good thing.

*...I'm not really sure this all that innovative of an idea anyway. I've seen lots of similar items in other games and game systems. Vote to Reject.

*...To me, "become heightened" implies Heighten Spell. Which isn't mentioned.

*..."any existing effect’s increased efficacy persists even if the 12-hour limit elapses." Well, duh... if your charm person DC is boosted when you cast it, and then that boost goes away, it doesn't change how much the target is affected by the spell.

*...I dunno, clunky. Reject.


I had a feeling I over-thought this one, and yet I also completely missed on some crucial rules text ("+1 to caster level", most pointedly) . I also realized I didn't submit a very innovative item *after* submitting it. :)

Thanks for the feedback. There's always next year.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Serin wrote:
Spectacles of Arcane Insight

*...Lots of bad mechanics here. Reject.

*...Eh? This thing just keeps getting weirder and weirder. The +2 to CL for overcoming SR is something that gets used in the robe of the archmagi...and this thing is doing it for 6,000 gp...in addition to a whole bunch of other crap. It also gives +2 to all Knowledge checks (for only the disciplines he's trained in?). I don't even understand what that substitution thing is supposed to be doing for you. Vote to Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

shammond42 wrote:
Golem Fetter

*...So...I guess you could never find this item as a worthwhile piece of treasure since it only works for its "creator"...?

*...all the references to the "creator's spell caster level" are really annoying. The item has CL 7th in its stats...why not go ahead and computer the DC, price, and cost based on that?

*...Vote to Reject.

*...Agreed. Reject.


Even though you coup d' graced my item with harshness I am finding some of the comments amusing. I have learned not to create items that might only be used in niche situations though.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

shiverscar wrote:
Gauntlets of Icy Grasp

*...Hmmm. Thematically interesting. It lets you give your weapon the frost property for 5 rounds and protects it against disarms...only you can't dismiss it once activated...and you can only do that 3 times/day. The 2,300 gp price tag seems decent...though I'm left wondering if you can stack this frost property with other properties a weapon may already have. If you can pair this a flaming weapon at the same time, the cost probably isn't appropriate, since weapon bonuses like that are supposed to go up in exponential cost rather than linear cost.

*...Additionally, once/day you can slap some masterwork "ice" manacles on someone who is already helpless...which last up to a week until you dismiss them...or they break free. Seems sound. Not bad. Not super interesting either. This item might fall more squarely in the book of magic items, but miss the Top 32.

*...That said, they used the provided template almost perfectly. They're attentive to detail and can write well. The mechanics are a little shaky, but mostly thought through. And the idea is pretty cool (yep, another pun!). I'm voting a weak Keep on this one.

*...Agreed. Keep.

*...2,300 gp for 15 rounds/day of a frost effect that stacks with whatever else is on your weapon is way too cheap. I don't see why the frost effect is limited to rounds, but permanent, impenetrable ice lasts up to a week. I like the theme, I don't think it's executed well. Reject.

*...it's a fun theme but poorly carried out. Stacking magic weapon properties on top of others is something we've seen quite a bit of this year, and I still can't quite figure out the pricing scheme on it. This one clearly didn't either, as it's way too cheap. Reject.

Note: This one made the Keep pile and had a lot of discussion. If you're going to design an item that stacks a weapon property on top of another, this is a slightly bette approach to it...but still not rock solid.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Fraust wrote:
Triage Helm

*...Turns 9.5 points of energy into 50 hp. Hmmm. Or 17.5 points for 85 hp. Or 24.5 points into 165 hp. Should be called "The Helm of Heal Party" plus SIAC. Reject.

*...Well, the healing effect's not so bad. He's taking the average results of the dice used in a regular channeling burst of positive energy in exchange for further range and selectivity. That last bit means the Selective Channeling feat ought to be part of the construction requirements, though. And, the ability to extend the range of a channeling ought to be a feat-comparable effect. I'm not sure I understand why he went for 55 feet as the range, though. Is that based on caster level? Just make it a flat 60 feet and let's call it a day.

*...Also, I'm put off by the death knell sharing. Granted, I recognize the connection to "triage" from the item's name. But, the granting of that many burstable temporary hit points along with the half-effect mass bull's strength with the Strength boost is probably going too far for the price. It also says it's cast as a 13th level cleric, but we get no DC on the Will save against the death knell. That's an oversight. I suspect it would be low enough that it wouldn't matter for anyone high enough level to purchase this item. Which means this is a throwaway ability. Close, but no cigar. Vote to Reject.

*...Why point out that you can cast death knell on a "valid" target? Why would you think the item lets you cast it on someone the spell doesn't normally affect? That's like saying "This lets you cast charm person on a humanoid creature." Duh.

*...Rejected.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Mottokrosh wrote:
Breath of the Hoarskin Hag

*...I'm not sure why this item is tied to a hag. And normally, I'd think of hags as witches...which means spells like blade barrier or wall of fire wouldn't normally be on their spell list.

*...setting that aside, I've always wondered why no one could ever invent a higher version of the wall spells that you could manipulate and move round by round to force people into them...or, rather, move the barrier against them. I kind of like that there's an item that could allow for that. But how do you price it? It can't just be based on animate objects and gust of wind. Also, I'm not sure that I like this type of item nearly as much in the shape of a hag's skull.

*...I really hate the joke built into the lead-off sentence of the item's description. It doesn't instill a lot of confidence in the designer's future writing ability.

*...Add all these things together, and...I have to vote Reject.

*...Agreed. Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Oggron wrote:
RAIN MAKER

*...Didn't we already see an item exactly like this? It's still basically a SIAC. Also, the reference to "10mm of precipitation" shouldn't be referencing the metric system. Vote to Reject.

*...Plot device. Reject.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Neil Spicer wrote:

Glove of the Crustacean[/b]

*...This also appears to be one of our international friends with the "." instead of "," in the numerical price and cost values. They need to break that habit if they're going to write for Paizo.

I am SO grateful the comments were not MIAC and boring item. I would probably never have noticed the "," and "." thing. Consider the habit broken, and my thanks to the relevant judge for even mentioning the work prospect ;-)

Thank you so much for doing this feedback Neil, and I promise this Dane will be back with a mechanically sound vengeance next year.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

SowelBlack wrote:
Chalk of Augmented Summoning

*...Eh. If this were adding monster templates to yourself...I'd have an issue with it. But adding monster tempates to your summoned allies in exchange for full-round casting...maybe that's an okay tradeoff. And, having it cost a "charge" (or stick) per CR adjustment is kind of cool.

*...Not thrilled with the presentation values here. And I'm annoyed that it doesn't indicate that the cost is per creature summoned. For instance, if I go with a summon monster spell and go for a lesser version to get more monsters, do I have spend sticks of chalk for each one that comes through? How do I know how many will be summoned since it's variable? Leaning to Reject.

*...So I could summon a vampiric demonic spider? OK, on the face of it, that's pretty cool. This borders on being a DM nightmare though. I'd have to make a houserule that players had to pre-submit what they intended to summon before the game so that we didn't grind to a halt while "building" the creature. And that would remove a lot of flexibility. I'm rejecting this but would love to give some feedback to the creator for next year ... there's a kernel of a great item here.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

trollgarden wrote:
THE MORTEVOYANT EYE

*...I must be in a ticked off mood this morning, because even the little things are really bugging me today.

*...Who knew there was a slot called "empty eye socket"...? And what's with all the items requiring that? This is the second one I've seen today. Is there a theme going on in games whereby people routinely lose their eyes or willingly pluck them from their head so they can cyborg themselves with the latest greatest magic gemstone as eyeware?

*...Don't particularly care for the name.

The Designer wrote:
For the eye to function it must be placed in an empty eye socket of any corporeal creature that had an eyeball.

You think? Gee, I wonder how many creatures wander around with empty eye sockets that didn't previously have an eyeball?

The Designer wrote:
This allows normal sight (cures Blindness in that eye)...

Oh, you've got more problems than mere blindness "in that eye" that's missing. But okay. It lets you see normally out of the alabaster stone.

The Designer wrote:
...and allows the user to see through an eye of any one corporeal dead (or undead) creature with in 600'.

Who to the what now? Six hundred feet?! (And that should be "within 600 feet" rather than "with in 600'" by the way). That's a little...extreme...on the long range deadvision remote scrying, don't you think? I mean, if you're going to go that far, why not just make it a few miles or the same plane? Who's going to take the time to figure exactly how far 600 feet goes on a battlemap? It's pretty much the whole thing.

The Designer wrote:
When activated the the user is Blinded (unless he can see himself through a dead eye in which case the penalty is halved.)

That's just hokey. "Oh, look...I can still see myself. Uh-oh. Better watch out for that guy sneaking up on me from behind. I'll dodge to the left. No right. Your other right, stupid! Ho! Ha-ha! Dodge! Spin! Parry! Thwack! Auuuugggghhhh..."

The Designer wrote:
If a dead creature is in line of sight that creature may be selected otherwise the closest dead intact eyeball will be selected. Each round a new target may be selected as a move action. Note it is not necessary to have line of sight or be aware of the target creature/eye.

If I'm in a room full of zombies, that ought to be a trip. I'll just hop from eye to eye until I make myself dizzy. Can I do this to the vampire master lurking in the shadows? What if he's in bat form and flying by sonar? Still workey? Meh.

The Designer wrote:
The vision received from the eye is blurry and indistinct. Spot checks are at -5...

I knew there was a reason I screwed up that whole left from right thing.

The Designer wrote:
...and it is possible to miss something that would otherwise be obvious.

Like so many things that are wrong with this wondrous item?

The Designer wrote:
No depth perception.

Is there a game mechanic for that? Or just tossing that in there for flavor? I guess that explains the -5 penalty to Perception. So now we know. Lack of depth perception equals -5 penalty to Perception checks. We've invented a new (weaker) variation of the blinded condition.

The Designer wrote:
When looking through the eye, only what the target is looking at can be seen. Also no control is imparted over the creature nor any insight (beyond what can be seen) as to where the creature is located.

Which makes this pretty much a GM fiat item and a plot device.

The Designer wrote:
Sapient undead receive a DC 15 Will save to avoid the effects.

I would hope so. Is "sapient" the new way of referring to intelligent undead? Or is there a fine distinction there? Why not just use the method within the existing rules for referencing them that way?

The Designer wrote:
A suitable piece of alabaster fashioned into a false eye...

And, let's throw in a material component, because that'll clearly make the item cooler, despite the fact that wondrous items don't reference material components in their construction requirements...

Also, lots of little inconsistencies in the use of the template and the BBCode for bolding, italicizing, and capitalization vs. lowercase for the right words. Apparently, the author isn't that keen on using commas to separate lead-off phrases from the subject-verb parts of sentences. And it should be remove blindness/deafness not just remove blindness. Attention to detail is obviously lacking. Perhaps this designer had one of these eyes installed and was suffering the -5 penalty to Perception checks when reviewing how wondrous items are constructed and properly presented?

/rant

*...Vote to Reject.

*Heh, tell us how you really feel...Reject!

Liberty's Edge

Neil Spicer wrote:
Azoun The Sage wrote:
Circlet of Adoration
*...I'm not sure why it automatically turns you into an attractive person of the opposite gender. At first, I assumed it meant the opposite gender from the person you plan on interacting with via Diplomacy. But if that were the case, how would the item know you were only going to be interacting with one person? I mean, if you were in a roomful of multi-gendered people, it wouldn't know how to transform you.

I was going with the gender as a minor drawback to the item as well as to some it seems the opposite gender always has it easier in verbal manipulations. Example: If the character wearing it was a male, he would appear to be a female to everyone else viewing him. I can see where this was bad on my part, expecially where here i'm trying to explain how it works. Clearly I failed that part. :)

Quote:


*...I went with the literal interpretation that this thing acts like a girdle of masculinity/feminity in that it temporarily disguises you (after attuning to it for 24 hours or automatically?) into the opposite gender from what you are. That would seem kind of annoying to have to wait 24 hours and change gender just to gain access to the Diplomacy bonus and calm emotions and charm monster spells.

The image alteration was meant to take place automatically.

Quote:


*...Regardless, the whole thing is just three Spells-in-a-Can. And the packaging isn't all that moving. Vote to Reject.

Honestly I didn't see it as SIAC during creation. :(

Quote:


*...This item stinks if you're in a highly gendered society in which being a woman (or man) would make you less likely to be able to act as a diplomat. And the whole SIAC thing. Not feeling this one at all. Vote to Reject.

So the major flaws i'm seeing is the SIAC and I clearly failed to describe the item and it's abilities. Well that is great to know for next year. I thought I had achieved this and honestly feared it would've been rejected because it was too 'safe'.

I've been taking in all the remarks on all the items and will continue to do so, need to learn more to garner success next year!

Thanks again Neil and to all the judges criticing our items! :D


Neil Spicer wrote:

Ah, what the heck. A few of you have been waiting a long time. And you've been kind enough to be patient and hang around. Here's a few more...

vikking wrote:
Eyes of the Past

*...This feels less like fantasy and more steam-punk/future-tech to me. Add to that the prevalence of misused homophones, punctuation errors, and odd phrasing, and I think it's a pretty clear reject in my book.

*...Very poorly-written. This item wasn't proofed enough before submitting. Even then, I'm not in love with the idea of viewing 5-minute increments from the past. This item makes a GM's job a lot harder. Vote to reject.

Wow, Steam Punk? Ive never played Steam Punk... :)

Thank you for the review, its clear I really need to work on my writing skills. I knew I should have gone for the Creative Writing course rather than the Tech Writing one I did take....lol

As for the proof read before submitting, ya I really should have held off on submitting my item. I had that gut feeling but didn't listen to it. That's what I get for not listening to my gut.... :(

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Chiaroscuro wrote:
Floruit’s Lullaby

*...Meh. It's pretty much deep slumber-in-a-can. Ought to have the bard's lullaby spell somewhere in the requirements, too. Regardless...vote to Reject.

*...Way overpriced for a DC 14 SIAC that requires a class ability. Reject.

*...Seriously, the sleep spell is on the bard spell list, just learn the spell or buy a wand for 750 gp.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

JonnyTurbo wrote:
Goblin King Mask

*...I don't like this one. Here's why: Once per day the wearer gets to permanently polymorph someone into a goblin (which is fine in and of itself, as that's what baleful polymorph does). But, it automatically charms them and performs a mass charm monster against any other goblinoids within 30 feet? That's a bit odd...and extreme. How long does that charm effect last? Because, eventually, it should wear off. And what's your polymorphed goblin buddy going to do to you then?

*...The later language about every 3rd day inflicting a cumulative -1 penalty on Charisma (up to -6) on a non-goblinoid who wears the mask is kind of harsh and unusually specific.

*...Because of the popularity of Paizo's goblins, wondrous items related to them often seem to be a favorite wondrous item submission. Some have made it through to the Top 32 of prior years. I don't think this one measures up. Vote to Reject.

*...The mechanic of the baleful polymorph doesn't connect to the mechanic of the mass charm.

*...This item requires a touch attack AND a save. That seems wrong to me - it should be one or the other. Reject.

*...And for the low cost of 70,000 gp!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

orion gates 265 wrote:
Cape of the Night Stalker

*...Variable ability bonuses based on lighting conditions would be a nightmare for a GM to run. Not a good idea.

*...The rest is just darkvision and a deeper darkness SIAC...which I assume would affect the user just as easily...as that spell should nerf the darkvision granted by the cloak. Now, if it granted the ability to "see in darkness" like the dark folk or something, that could be interesting. But, sadly, that's not what we have here...Vote to Reject.

*...Agreed. Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

HotFS GM wrote:
Earth Bread

*...SAK of SIAC effects. Vote to Reject.

*...Agreed. Reject.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

markofbane wrote:
Cincture of Horrific Emaciating

*...SIAC with skill bonus? And kind of a disgusting interpretation...

*...I'm not sure I get the size change thing either. A rope tightens on your waist and makes you skinnier for "squeezing" purposes. But a Small creature also diminishes in height and gains other size-related benefits (and drawbacks). This item is strangely silent on those other size-related aspects of becoming smaller. I'm not sure if that's because the designer wanted to make it different than reduce person or because they just didn't under the rules on size differences.

*...Regardless, I'm not particularly interested in passing this one into the Keep pile. Vote to Reject.

*...Not really feeling this one. I don't like that the size bonus stacks with other size bonuses. If you want it to stack, make it a different typed bonus. Five minutes per day also seems like a lot for 1,800 gp. The flavor of the item also seems off to me, especially that a simple rope squeezes your waist and makes you a skeleton. Reject.

*...huh?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

I'm not sure if anyone gave the full feedback on this one. So, just in case...

DM Steam wrote:
Tome of Deadly Pranks

*...Cursed item. Random item. Template fail. Vote to Reject.

*...Hazard. Reject.


Neil Spicer wrote:
Serin wrote:
Spectacles of Arcane Insight

*...Lots of bad mechanics here. Reject.

*...Eh? This thing just keeps getting weirder and weirder. The +2 to CL for overcoming SR is something that gets used in the robe of the archmagi...and this thing is doing it for 6,000 gp...in addition to a whole bunch of other crap. It also gives +2 to all Knowledge checks (for only the disciplines he's trained in?). I don't even understand what that substitution thing is supposed to be doing for you. Vote to Reject.

Thanks Neil and that goes for the other judges as well. I really appreciate that you have taken the extra time and effort to make this contest into an excellent learning experience for the entire community.

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