Judges, Please Critique My Item

RPG Superstar™ 2011 General Discussion

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Robert N. Emerson wrote:

Weaver's Kerchief

* OK, way expensive item.

First, you get a Star Trek teleporter effect. Then when you arrive at your destination, you have to make Reflex, CMB, and Escape Artist checks to act. If you happen to have ended up with someone or something else trapped with you, you can shock them for 2d4 points of damage without succeeding in a ranged or ranged touch, or touch attack - no save.

* 20 feet diameter spheres suck. Since everyone uses 5 foot squares, you end up with people arguing about which square they're in or which square they're affecting. Should have been a 30 or 50 foot radius.

* Does the metallic smokey sphere provide cover or concealment?

* What happens when you're grappled by an inanimate object?

* For the price, this seems just not that great. At that level of wealth I suspect my ability to move around the battlespace will be pretty darn effective.

* There's some meat on this bone but its just not good enough to be Superstar.

* 760 feet? Sheesh. Why not just make it teleport and leave it at that? Who's got time to measure out 760 feet on a playing surface or a map?

* You know, I didn't interpret it as a "Star Trek" effect. I thought the designer meant for you to teleport to safety while leaving behind a 20-foot filament web to entangle all those opponents who were trying to close on you. Then, you can turn back from your range of up to 760 feet and hurl a lightning bolt into it to fry them all.
I don't find any of the description, idea behind it, or the mechanics particularly moving or innovative. The construction requirements also include a material component...something that's not necessary in wondrous item design. And why does the kerchief not take up a slot? Wouldn't you wear this around your neck? No. Apparently, you just get to wave the hanky and buh-bye to all your attackers, tangling them up as you're whisked away to safety.

* I think as written ("The translocation is masked by a billowing cloud") you could make a case for the cloud appearing at either end, or even both ends. This is clearly somebody who has failed to communicate his intent.

* I read it as your initial location is where the cloud forms.

* I don't know how long the cloud takes to coalesce. One round? Two?

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

3) Other people (including Clark Peterson, of course!) are welcome to provide their own comments here.

Thanks for that Sean, and sorry I didn't ask permission to post in this thread as I should have.

I guess I'm just so used to doing the "judges feedback thread" that I didn't really think about it. Plus there's also the issue of my narcissistic sense of entitlement. That may have played a role. :)

Again, sorry I didn't ask first :)

If not abundantly clear, I was *NOT* a judge this year. My comments are not "official" and had nothing to do with the selection process. And while I was permitted to view submissions as a kind courtesy, I did not make any comments on them or give any input in any way in their evaluation.


zylphryx wrote:
"Guardian Amulet"

* Monster-in-a-Can with an amulet of protection (I guess so it's not a ring)...


darth_borehd wrote:

The Not Lost Box

* So, it's a series of extradimensional footlockers and everyone gets their own private space? I'm envisioning wizards operating an entire rented storage business using this thing. I don't know. It's kind of a cute item. Not your typical secret chest, but mostly the same. Is this Superstar innovation? The idea itself doesn't wow me. The writing isn't the best either. And there's an spell name that isn't italicized or lowercase, so it calls into question the attention to detail. I also think we have better items in the Keep pile already.

* this is a plot device


Kerney wrote:

Clay of Flesh Crafting

(by the way, we had at least 4 clay items this year)

* Fleshcrafting actually is a Craft in Pathfinder. This item kind of treads into the space with a similar name. And really, this isn't anything all that different than alter self-in-a-can with far more complicated mechanics.

* Tzmisce called, they want their raison d'être back.

* the totenmaske monster has an ability similar to this, at least for the purpose of attacking opponents


Effigy wrote:

Gauntlets of the Chittering Delve

* This would work better if it actually granted you a burrow speed. But being able to create a usable tunnel, even at 5 ft/rd and leaving difficult terrain behind, is really powerful in adventuring, even for 22k. Furthermore, there's no mention of size in the claw damage area, so I'd get a set of these for every Small character I ever played. I like the additional powers if Rovagug is your patron, but not the additional rounds based on Con, especially since there's no mention of what happens if you have a Con penalty. Neat idea, poor execution.

* You've pretty much noted everything that leapt out at me as I read this one. The claw damage is set...which really should vary according to size. And leaving a usable tunnel behind you is a way to circumvent a lot of dungeon challenges. It's also basically, a Monster-Ability-in-a-Can.


Varthanna wrote:

Spaulder of Forlorn Hope

* Not really feeling this one. There's some awkward writing/grammar in the descriptive text. I don't really care for the duplicate spiritual ally, even though it serves as an ally with duplicate teamwork feats as the wearer. It's still a SIAC, though they've adapted the spiritual ally spell a small amount to have it mimic the wearer rather than anything related to their deity. I also don't care for the Great Cleave tack-on ability or the flavor text related to it. Lastly, why does it matter that it takes a DC 25 Perception check to tell this image apart from the wearer? Is that for the purposes of targeted spells? If so, I wish the text would have specified such. This thing also has some small miscues in the template execution.


vip00 wrote:

Contract Collar

* 10,800 gp would get you an item that lets you cast hold person at will, which IMO is superior to this item that requires you to capture someone and lock this on them.

* The fact that you can use a mark to attune it to you means that attuning it ruins the ability for anyone else to use the item, aka "screw you, Bob, you can't use this treasure taken from the enemy who was using it on you."

* Also, this thing smacks as more of a slave-oriented item. Granted, there's slavery in the Inner Sea of Golarion, but are priests of Abadar the foremost proponents of that?


Witty Phantom wrote:

Cloak of the Pride

* That's a pretty expensive Monster-in-a-Can item for stacking flanking bonuses, a Stealth bonus, and a once/day beast shape as a lion for 8 minutes. Thematically, it holds up. They did a pretty good job following the provided template. But I don't think the flanking bonus mechanic is all that balanced or innovative.

* And I wonder what happens when you add in other class abilities that add to flanking. You can't just consider the base classes any more, there's lots of stuff that can combine to make some really powerful attacks.


Rhys Grey wrote:
Smoking Crock of the Vengeful Beekeeper

* There's the seed of a good idea in here. I'm just not sure the way it's presented or all of the mechanics are fully baked yet.

* For instance, having a swarm become affected by the smoke if it occupies just one of the swarm's squares kind of stretches credibility for me. I think it would have made much better sense to simply declare that any square overlapped by the smoke negates any damaging effects from the swarm (because the vermin have become docile in that square).

* Secondly, although swarms are normally immune to mind-affecting spells, I'd still expect them to get a Fortitude saving throw against the smoke to resist its effects. Having this be automatic goes a little too far, I think.

* Next, not all vermin swarms are insects. What about crab swarms? Or leech swarms? In addition, not all insects are affected by smoke. I don't see spider swarms or ant swarms necessarily becoming more docile. Bees and wasps? Sure. And that's what this designer was shooting for by giving it the name of smoking crock of the vengeful beekeeper. They just didn't dig deeper to see that vermin swarms aren't always bees.

* I'm also not a fan of the name on this one.

* And, lastly, I'm unsure about the price for this thing. Would anyone pay 24,000 gp to exercise these kind of effects against just vermin swarms? I'd think there'd be a lot more important things to spend that kind of gold on. But maybe that's just me?

* I'm really not digging the swarm targeting power of this one. Just the calming function would be enough, I think. And I agree that even the mechanics of that part aren't quite there yet. I could see this item as useful for low-level PCs who may have difficulty dealing with insect swarms, but once you can cast fireball or other aoe energy effects regularly, they become much less of a threat.

* This would have been smarter as a low-level item that just wakes the swarm docile. By the time you can afford a 24k item, you have plenty of area attack spells at your disposal that can deal with a swarm.


Thomas Miller aka tqmillerusa wrote:
Tiniek’s Talkative Tankard

(Note: We had several alcohol- or drinking-themed items this year.)

* Wow am I tired of booze items.

* Ok, the idea of a drunk tankard is somewhat interesting. Having to interrogate it for info is interesting. The fact that it's drunk and you have to really work at it is interesting.

* But you get, somehow, a bonus on ALL Knowledge checks as a result? Forever? And it makes a Tongues potion once per day too.

* I think this might have been Superstar if you could pull this thing out, fill it with booze, and then conduct a series of increasingly difficult interrogations (as the tankard gets more drunk) about some specific topic maybe something the Tankard could see, and maybe scoped to things gnome sailors of Gogpodda might be expected to be well versed in.

* As it is, it's a skeleton key of "make my Knowledge check", and with a SAK Tongues thrown in just in case we didn't think that was cool enough.

* Yep. SIAC. Skill-Bonus-in-a-Can. All with annoying, inebriated gnome face wrapped around it. Not innovative enough.

* And it has an aggravating alliterative appellation.


Phasics wrote:
Adventurers Rally Stones

* This is a metagame item.

* This is a plot device.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Robert N. Emerson wrote:

Weaver's Kerchief

Snippaged of solid feedback.

Definitely solid feedback, and areas that I obviously left vague, unclear, or could have improved on. It definitely leaves me something to think on, both on other items and next year's contest.

Conceptually I was aiming for an escape and hinder type item, which it ended up being yet not without the need for clarity. As one of the judges stated, it was definitely meant as an escape item leaving the metallic web behind. I should have been more clear in my presentation of that, obviously I was a bit too brief, yet not clear, in my attempt to be succinct in my entry.

There's always next year. Thanks, again!


Gelscressor wrote:
Pharaoh's Periapt of Pestilence:

* It's a disease-enchancer? They become swifter acting and more virulent? And that's it? I'm not bowled over by this bit of innovation. I think it could also be open to abuse.

* Plot device.


Nergali of Cuthah wrote:

Vow of Silence

* It's a gimp mask? Seriously? This is a Superstar item?

* the descriptive language is unnecessarily italicized (again, a throwback to the Magic Item Compendium and not something you would find in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook). I'm really not digging the name. It sounds more like a spell than a wondrous item. The whole "willingly" vs "unwilling" and how many saves it forces or requires is just clunky presentation. The designer has several spells referenced (even in the body text) that aren't italicized like they should be. The "special circumstance" bonus isn't reference the way a skill bonus should be either. And it throws in a once/day silence spell as a Swiss-Army-Knife item to boot.

* Other than that, I kind of like the core idea of an item that just makes the user silent and nothing else. But that's not going to pull this one out of the Reject pile for me.

* The self-silencing of the mask is a neat idea, and great for rogues, but the execution here is overcomplicated. Why can't a willing person ever reuse the mask? How can it grant the wearer silence when the spell has a verbal component? When used on someone unwillingly, this almost verges on a cursed item, which is enough for me to put it in the reject pile without much guilt.

Liberty's Edge

Neil Spicer wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:
Lantern of Mesmerizing Shadows
Amazing Analysis

Wow, Neil - thanks a lot. A lot. I have to say, I worried that the core idea was a bit too pedestrian. At the end of the day, I decided that I wanted to compete in the low-end Minor Wondrous Item space, and I ended up being too worried about keeping the item in that space. So, as a future consideration for my fellow amateur designers out there: If you feel like your item needs just a little bit more "oomph", it probably does.

In all fairness, the proofeader I worked with gave me some of the best feedback I've ever received in any line of work I've ever done, so thanks to him for that (if he sees this).

Knowing I was that close makes me equal parts encouraged and heartbroken, but I'll be back next year. I promise to melt your eyeballs with awesome. Thanks again for the incredible insight.


David Roberts wrote:
Widow’s Lock

* It's really just a +4 CMD item with a strange ability to cause difficult terrain just one square in front of you? Probably not an item I'd ever see anyone spending 5,800 gp to buy...or even 2,900 gp to create.


IllyD wrote:

ISeekers Eye

* Hate the mechanics on this one. Too open-ended on the "hostile intent" detection. And the "Follow Movement" and "Expose Weakness" abilities just seem like metagaming to me. The small inconsistencies in the template (such as the spells not being italicized or alphabetized; or the British spelling of "Analyse" vs. "Analyze") and even the name (which ought to be Seeker's Eye) don't help matters.

* Why does it hover in front of your eyes? Can't it just be some eyeglasses?

* "Hostile intent" is too vague. And with a range of only 20 feet, you'll know it before this item will... when they attack you.

* Why use the deny-the-Dex mechanic if you're not going to allow sneak attack or other effects that trigger on deny-the-Dex?

* Expose weakness doesn't have an action type listed. By default it would be a standard action, but its "gaze swiftly" text could imply otherwise.

* Halving someone's armor bonus is just weird; it hurts the most protected characters more than the least protected, and has zero effect on an armorless person... better to just give a bonus to attack.


General Chaos wrote:

Astonishing cuff links

* So it's a glove of storing for half the price, except they're always in pairs and each holds two items, and they speed up item use, including "giving" a command word (saying it for you?). Way too good.

* Yah. Underpriced. And not really an innovative idea. The glove of storing already has most of this down.


ugly child wrote:
The Journal of Pernicious Replication

* It's a multi-function photocopier and shredder all-in-one. Well-designed and executed, but not a particularly Superstar idea. I'm also getting shades of the "copy" spell mechanic Dave Gross included in the first Pathfinder novel Prince of Wolves, though I don't believe this designer riffed off that. Regardless, I'm not wowed by it. I kept waiting (and hoping) to see the journal do something more impressive.

* Boring. Dungeons & Office Depot.


cynarion wrote:
Bracers of the Kraken

* They certainly thought through a lot of the game mechanics on this one, all the way down to the stacking possibilities with enlarge person and the arms occupying squares that can be attacked. Thematically, it holds up nice with the kraken/octopus/squid thing. I actually kind of like despite some of the game-balance concerns about attacking with such extended reach. But, having the arms be vulnerable is kind of a nice touch...even though it makes running an encounter like this a nightmare for the GM to determine the "lines" of squares that would be taken up when they reach out. I recall seeing someone run an encounter like this once where they used pieces of yarn to represent tentacles from a miniature's squares to its targets. It looked fun, but also complicated.

* How do I attack an arm? I have two arms. Do they extend 10 feet in each direction? Can I reach 10 feet up and grasp a handhold for a pull up? Can I Mr. Fantastic myself using my crazy long arms to walk, swing, etc. along? Do my crazy long arms affect my ability to use a bow? How about my unarmed attacks as a Monk? Could be superstar. Could be crap.

* think this is better than the other stretchy item, but it's still not good enough, like the point about where your arms are, how you attack an arm (I assume it just means they're attacking you, but could be interpreted otherwise), and so on.

* I'd be much more inclined to accept items like these if they only stretched you 5 feet. 10 feet is a HUGE difference. And being able to use them for 10 rounds per day means you're going to have this ability available 90% of the time (3-4 fights per day, 4 rounds per fight, about half the fights you'll find the big reach to be a strong advantage).

* Clean up these issues, you'd have a good item, but as it is I think it's still too easy to abuse.

* I agree that these are too powerful. Neat flavor, but less than thorough design.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Lil' Kid wrote:
Abolitionist's Dust

An interesting name. I don't normally associate an abolitionist with dust, so I'm curious where this will go.

Lil' Kid wrote:

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th

Slot none; Price 2250 gp; Weight -.

Aura and CL are appropriate for an item based around transmute rock to mud. Slot and weight make sense for dust. I am left wondering how much "dust" this equates to, though. Is it a single pouch? Are there a set number of uses? One time consummable, maybe?

Stylistic note, you don't need a "." period at the end of this section.

Lil' Kid wrote:


Originally created by abolitionists for the purpose of cutting bonds, this dust reduces the hardness of a single metallic object, measuring less than five square feet in size, to 0 for thirty minutes. This does not reduce an item's hit-points, AC value or effectiveness in combat, only its hardness. If used in combat, the user must succeed with a combat maneuver attempt in order to strike an opponent's item with the dust. Magic items are allowed a DC 15 will save to negate the effect.

I think you were onto something here. There's the seed of a cool idea in this item. Something that helps lower hardness could be innovative. But, having it weaken magic items so potently took it a bit too far. If it had just said mundane items (and maybe constructs?), I'd have liked it better.

Also, needed capitalize Will save.

Lil' Kid wrote:


Requirements craft wondrous item, transmute rock to mud ; Cost 1125 gp

Needed to capitalize Craft Wondrous Item. And you need commas for your cost (and price). Also, I think you should have included all of the following spells in your construction requirements: rusting grasp, transmute rock to mud, warp wood

Weak name (didn't really see this as an abolitionist-specific item, despite the implication you could free someone from their chains quicker)
Good idea (hardness reduction dust is cool)
Shaky mechanics (having it affect magic items, not as cool)
Writing decent (short, succinct, mostly clear)
Flawed presentation (some missteps in using the template and capitalizing certain game terms)


yarb wrote:


* Good lord! All that for a +20 insight bonus on Use Magic Device and Spellcraft checks with a single item for 24 hours? What is that? Like the true strike of magic item manipulation? Why does anyone need +20 on those skills? Sheesh. Why not just save the 1,000 gp black star sapphire, an hour of your time, and the need to make a Knowledge (arcana) check.

* What's the deal with the elaborate lizard, ink regurgitation (yeah, a vomit item), runic feet, circle drawing, cloudy bubble, hazy illustrations and notes? It's like a fluff of flavor akin to a puffball of cotton candy.

* And the name is dumb.


Pyrrhic Victory wrote:

Boots of the Blighted Path

* Potential keeper. It's got a tight theme. I like the negation of plant-based difficult terrain and entangle effects based on vegetation (which I think needs to be specified, because entanglement can result from other things like magic ropes, certain non-plant creature abilities, etc.). I think the on-command blight effect is okay, but the curative stuff and removal of all those conditions based on somehow stealing the properties of certain plants goes a little too far. The drawbacks of leaving a trail of destruction in any wilderness where the wearer steps is pretty good, but I wish the resulting attitude shift in fey and other nature creatures wasn't automatic...i.e., they'd need to know the boots had caused the destruction and associate that with the wearer before the attitude shift would happen. Lastly, in terms of execution, it looks like the template was mostly used correctly (i.e., all but the spell names in the construction requirements).

* I'm ambivalent here. The item exhibits a concise thematic thread, but does stretch that theme a bit thin with the curative properties and I think the social penalties with fey need to be further expanded, especially since not all fey are good or necessarily opposed to the destruction of plants and vegetation. I could see this going either way, so I'll wait for Sean or Ryan to chime in before casting my vote.

* So I just keep these boots in my bag of holding until the 1 in a thousand event where they become the Win Button, right?

* Given the comment regarding only wearing these when it won't have the negative effects, I have to agree and come off the fence on the side of reject.

The Exchange Star Voter Season 6

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Immortal780 wrote:

Sky Barnacle

* Meh. These weight-nullifying items just open up a whole can of physics concerns. I'd prefer not to go down that road. Just use levitate and be done with it.

I was hoping the ability to set up a flying galleon covered in barnacles would be worth a little physics glossing. Since I didn't want to attempt to cover every one of those possibilities(and was trying to keep it simple) I should have expected this result.



Smart wrote:

Mwangi Measuring Stick

* Interesting. I'm inclined to Keep for now. But this item may eventually fall by the wayside. I like the ability to resize some weapons and armor to more appropriately fit someone who's just too big...or small for it...and who doesn't normally have access to a handy enlarge person or reduce person. Tacking those spells onto the item as something it can also cast (though thematically-sound) may be a bit overkill.

* The additional use of the spell(s) seems to be too much to me as well, though. I'm also a little turned off by the flavor elements, as this doesn't scream Mwangi to me, and that seems mostly shoehorned in to make it fit the setting. Even without any mention of the setting, the item would stand on its own, but with the current mention (which is a reference to rubber, no?) it wouldn't be able to appear in a Core Rulebook.

* I like the item's primary ability and flavorful mechanic and agree that it should be kept, at least for the time being.

* Definitely lacking a bit in the mojo department from a flavor standpoint. But has the seed of a good idea. I suspect we'll find more than 32 others that are better in both categories, though.

* Very meh. Stick of tailoring?

* This is basically a variant of the "item that lets you put the magic from one armor/weapon into a different item my class/race can use." Which is a utilitarian item for the game, but isn't very exciting to me. Christine Schneider had a similar item in the very first Superstar competition (an anvil that transferred magic from one item to another, so you could turn that useless +3 glaive into a +3 longsword). Judges argued against her item, but some argued for it, too.

* It's one of those weird things where it fixes a "problem" with the game, but the "problem" would likewise go away if armor resized like all other magic items did.

* It's also very specific that it only affects armor and weapons. So can I make a "club" of pure gold or mithral, use the stick to double its size (and x8 its mass), and sell it for its metal cost? Even at 50% resale, I'm making almost x4 profit. Which is silly.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

This is not the exact version I submitted, I lose the exact version to the death of a computer. There were no mechanical changes to it other than perhaps the price was dropped a little bit, I don't actually recall if I settled at the higher (this) or lower price (13,300 I believe). There were some small flavor edits in the first paragraph, and I'm afraid that was my weakest point to begin with, but I'd like feedback in general.

Ablative Token
Aura Moderate Abjuration; CL 7th
Slot Neck; Price 15,300 gp; Weight --

These small adamantine tokens are crafted in a variety of forms, from predictably defensive icons, to holy symbols and geometric abstractions. When a command word is spoken, the amulet lets out a resonant thrum and a pulse of abjurative force that can slow or even stop incoming attacks completely.

Three times per day, as an immediate action in response to an attack targeting the wearer, but before the attacks success is determined, the amulet can be called upon to emit a steely gray burst of ablative energy, which prevents the attack from landing with full force. This burst grants the wearer a DR 10/- against the triggering attack. Regardless of the success or failure of the attack, the damage reduction will not function against further attacks until activated again.

After its initial pulse, the token continues to reverberate and emit a softly glowing abjurative field which slows incoming attacks, granting the wearer a +2 deflection bonus to AC for the next seven rounds. This effect will replace itself and reset the duration if used again before the initial duration expires.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, shield of faith, stoneskin; Cost 6,650 gp

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Nephelim wrote:

Paak’s Configuration Clasp

* I get the gist of this...but is it an innovative Superstar idea? So, you add this clasp to an existing container and you can make it look like something else. Or, you can add it to a magical container that holds ammunition and change the type of ammunition it accommodates? That seems a bit fringe. Adjusting size categories of containers up or down seems like it might need shrink item or something, and I'm not sure I've needed to haul away very many Large-sized sacks or crates or barrels or treasure chests that often. This item just doesn't seem to be exploring a niche of magic item usefulness that would warrant inclusion in the Top 32.

* This is a meta-game item to fix DM laziness (or capriciousness).

* And when I put this on my portable hole, what happens then? And is "paak" pronounced like "pack?" Sure looks that way. Pun title combined with naming it after someone who I don't know is not superstar.

First - thanks for the reply. It means a lot to get feedback, and I recognize that this is a LOT of work for you guys to do for no real reason other than for love of the hobby. For that I applaud you.

Now, to your points: I will admit it is a bit meta, but it is also meant to adress the fact that while magic clothing automatically resizes, and the mechanic for resizing armor is adressed, there is no way for a magic quiver meant for a medium creature to be usable by a small creature, for instance. Using it for mundane containers to increase or decrease size just seemed like a logical extension.

Shrink Item would be a good idea, I agree, or some one of the Poly spells.

I wouldn't allow it to be used on a portable hole, personally. I don't see a Portable Hole as being a"container" exactly, but I see how that is a qwuestion that should not need to be asked.

Finally, in all honesty, I hadn't seen the pun about the name Paak. It is the name of a character in my home game who would love to have one of these, but I didn't see a point in belaboring it more than just in the name.


Lucas Jung wrote:


* Quite literally, a fly on the wall. Hmmm. It's well-written and presented using the proper format. The designer paid careful attention to the rules in making sure they defined all the relevant game stats for the fly and how it operates. At first, I thought this would be a simple scrying device so the owner could observe the proceedings from range. But, to have to actually eat the dead fly to gain access to its memories is a neat twist...and a nerf compared to a crystal ball. Still, the "crystal" fly (which is obviously a play on crystal ball...so I'm not thrilled with the name), is very inexpensive compared to a crystal ball (i.e., 42,000 gp vs. 5,000 gp?). It also has some elements of a figurine of wondrous power, almost like a silver raven. But I don't know. Did they change it enough to make it stand alone?

* Creativity is up and down. Mechanics are okay. The writing and presentation is decent. There may be a spot for this in the Keep pile, but I'm not sure if it makes the Top 32.

* You can't control flies with dominate animal (they're vermin), so that's a confusing reference.

* I don't know if anyone would want this item... there are easier ways to get a clairvoyance, and they don't involve eating a dead fly. Which, mind you, means I don't know if that means this is a one-use item, or if you have to barf up or poop out the fly to use it again. Which means I don't know how much this item should cost. Which means I don't know if it's priced right. And that worries me.

Whisper of Nethys;
Aura faint divination; CL 3rd; Slot ––;
Price 1000 gp; Weight –– lbs.;
First crafted by a cleric of Nethys frustrated that she never seemed to have the right spells prepared whilst adventuring, this simple silver earring is a boon for all spellcasters who pray for, or prepare their spells in advance.

If worn while a spellcaster is preparing her spells for the day, the Whisper of Nethys mentally prompts her to prepare a particular spell that it will be beneficial to have ready in the day ahead. Only one spell is suggested and there is nothing to prevent the spellcaster using the spell before the moment when it might actually be most useful. For wizards the spell prompted will be one that is actually in the wizard’s spellbook.

Some wearers of this item claim to hear a male voice whispering the name of the spell they should prepare, but whether the god himself would be so generous with his time is doubtful. Its usefulness means that wizards and clerics who do not worship Nethys are still happy to make use of it, invariably renaming it after the deity they venerate.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, augury; Cost 500 gp


Abraham spalding wrote:

Paper Robes

* So...it's a robe masquerading as a ring of spell storing?


Vistarius wrote:

Heart’s Joy
Aura Faint Evocation, Faint Conjuration (Healing); CL 5th
Slot Neck; Price 7,840 gp; Weight -
Soldiers who have something to fight for are often the most effective; and the same can be said of adventurers. To remind them of whom or what they fight for, many carry with them a memento. These ordinary objects renew their spirit and provide them the inspiration to fight against all odds and emerge victorious. Heart’s Joy is a silvery chain that glows slightly at the touch and ends in a claw shaped clip that can be attached to any small, non-magical, non-use item (such as a lock of hair, or a metal figurine but not a lockpick or a weapon) and grant that item magical properties while the clip is connected and the item is worn around the neck. The clip must be connected and the item worn for 24 hours before it takes effect.

Once per day, when the user has been reduced to less than 1 hit point, he is instead reduced to 1 hit point, the remaining damage negated (though it does not prevent death from massive damage or from causes other than hit point loss.). He is then granted either a move action that provokes an attack of opportunity (though he gains a +4 dodge bonus to AC against the attack) or an immediate attack of opportunity that automatically threatens a critical hit (though the roll to hit and confirm must be made as normal). This extra attack does not stack with those granted by haste or similar effects.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Mobility, Haste, Hero's Defiance; Cost 3,920gp

* So say I'm at 2 hp. I get hit with a dragon's breath weapon and fail my save. I drop to –38. I have a Con score of 13. I should be dead 3 times over. But wait! I have my wife's hair around my neck, 15d6 cone of lightning just did 1 damage? AND I get a free move action (that doesn't actually provoke because I'm 20 feet from the dragon) or I can take an AoO (that I can't actually take because I'm too far)? Awesome. Sweet deal.

* Interesting idea with the memento granting powers, but these powers are broken.

* The execution isn't quite there. Idea is sound. Just mechanically not thought through enough.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Serpent wrote:
Whispering Watcher

* Well. It's tight design according to the item's theme. It's a low-level item, which are often some of the hardest to do. It only works 3 times per day for only 3 rounds at a time, so it's not overpowered really. The "sonar" effect is a bit jarring to me. I'd imagine sound waves would need to be continuously generated for it to keep revealing invisible creatures (but maybe not illusions). But I guess the one thing I don't really like about it is that the invisible creatures that get revealed only lose their Stealth bonus. So, they still get to attack you with a +2 bonus and ignore your Dexterity modifier to AC? To me, the item doesn't go far enough if that's all it does. Kinda lacks mojo. Although the illusion-revealing element brings it back a bit.

* I like it. Mechanically there have always been problems with invisibility and seen vs. unseen combatants in 3.x

* Technically this is a SIAC, but I like the sonic aspect of it, which makes it more than a simple SIAC. It's smart that this only affects corporeal creatures. The no-Stealth-bonus bit that leaves the other invis rules as a little odd (I would have liked a callout about miss chances and such), but I think it's neat.


* You know the more I think on this item, the more I wished they'd used mage's faithful hound in the construction of it. That way, the see invisibility thing would have been built into the spell effect. And the bark of the dog would explain the sonic highlighting of invisible enemies. And what dog is going to be fooled by an illusion? They follow their nose to know what's interesting or not. So, I think the designer missed a golden opportunity to really bring this item home by making the stauette a dog using that spell in the construction. That kind of synergy would have won me over.

* it's an interesting concept, and I like that it doesn't allow a save to avoid, but it seems like glitterdust or see invis, as 2nd level spells, would work just as well, and not have the strange effect on invisible creatures in terms of what benefits they get and which they don't. I don't think it's necessarily a bad item, but I also don't think it's one of the strongest. If the other three of you felt strongly to keep, I'd go along, but otherwise I say weak reject.

* If the ripples cause things to appear blurred, why not have the item change all invisibility spells into blur spells right out? That would save all the trouble of removing only part of an effect.

* The name of this item is not really what it does. Maybe Keening Watcher? Invisibility has a fair amount of rules attached to it, and you need to play by those rules. I would prefer a blur effect, like the other judges. I don’t really get what the effect does to visible solid creatures in the area. Would this have any effect on hiding creatures? I like that it can reveal illusions but creatures would have to know what the air moving strangely around something means before they would get a new save to disbelieve. I would also prefer the statue keep making vibrations for a duration, with an emanation instead of a burst. The in-game problem is that this has a very weak effect even for its cost.

I like that you got the template right, and I like the visual of your item.
I hope that you have a chance to compete in the next round.

* I like your description. Not too long and gets to the point while at the same time actually being descriptive.

I think you needed to sit down with the invisibility rules and really worked through the interactions and different rules that come with it. I get that you wanted to temporarily disable the invisibility without nullifying it completely, but what you have needs some tweaking.

Having said that, I do believe you had your 'thinking cap', because you addressed corporeal invisible creatures versus the incorporeal ones. The clue about illusions is also nicely done. I think you were on the right track!

My hope is that you wont remain hidden, and are able to progress to further Rounds. Thank you for this credible effort!

Wow. That wasnt nearly as helpful as id hoped. Thanks.anyways i guess.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Clark Peterson wrote:
Dark Sasha wrote:

I sure hope the judges who are volunteering their time to respond in this thread don't get all burned out by the time I am able to post my item later this evening, assuming I don't chicken out first. :D

I have a pretty good idea what obvious omissions and errors I made. I guess I was just hoping there was something redeemable about my item, that I was not totally off on the wrong track.
Neil? Burned out? I don't think you know the guy. :) He's a machine. In fact, he may be the Terminator. "He'll be baaaaack."

If I were getting 98 cents an hour I'd be running like a machine too.

This thread is funding the construction of a black-spired fortress atop Mount Spicer.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Nelson Schneider wrote:

Polyergon Polyhedron

* Huh, do you think this is a contest for gamers? I think there's definitely a precedent within the rules for items like this but the unlimited use aspect of this makes it too much to be balanced, I think. The fact that it's a d20 makes it all too meta for me, and verges on being a joke item.

* I've got to agree. A robe of useful items has always pulled this off better than a polyhedron die. Not Superstar enough. It's kind of an item that already exists in the game. The +4 competence bonus offered by the items it creates seems misplaced to me. Does a magically-summoned kayak make you more competent in how to use it? How about a butterfly net? It's a cute idea. But I've seen it before.

I'm gonna pass.

* Man, you know that time when all we needed was a mirror, or a fishing hook & line, or a shovel? This item would totally save the day!

Picking this mundane stuff is part of the fun of making 1st level PCs. Later on, adventurers should have no need to concern themselves with this kind of crap. So this is just a Power Gamer's way to avoid having to do any Thinker work.


Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Neall Raemonn Price wrote:

Bonsai of Sanguine Feasting

* So...it just grows some blood oranges for you to eat? No game effect?

Vambraces of Spectral Chains
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 7th
Slot wrists; Price 12,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
This pair of hard leather vambraces is inlaid with a tarnished silvery chain. When the wearer speaks a command word and touches an object, the vambraces emit a phantasmal chain that attaches itself to that object. Thereafter, the wearer and the object cannot be moved more than 50 feet apart until the chain is destroyed. The chain is incorporeal and thus cannot be harmed by normal weapons. It has an AC of 10, 5 hardness and 20 hit points. It takes full damage from force effects and incorporeal creatures. Only one chain may be created from the vambraces at any given time, with any previous chain disappearing when a new one is created. The wearer can retract the chain while it is attached to an unattended object weighing 20 lbs. or less as a swift action to pull it instantly into his hand. If the wearer has no free hand, the object drops to the ground in his square. The wearer may disperse the chain as a free action.
Once per day, the wearer may speak a second command word to bind the chain to any object or creature within 50 feet with a successful ranged touch attack. On a successful hit, the wearer and his target are bound together as per the effect of the chain on a touched object. A creature that is caught by this effect may end it by teleporting or travelling to another plane aside from the ethereal plane.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, web, spectral hand; Cost 6,000 gp

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

That Old Guy wrote:
Bone Melter

* Wha--? Why would anyone considered this a Superstar item necessary for the game? It's just kinda gross and pointless. And I don't even like how it functions. Actually melting down all of someone's bones ought to lead to a whole host of problems as structural integrity is necessary for many organ functions. If the designer had simply said these were shackles that would change a victim into an ooze or something, I might have bought off on the idea. Still wouldn't be Superstar design, as I don't really see it as an item that would get much use except as an incarceration kind of thing.

* Yeah, gross is one word for this item. It also reeks of MIAC.

Liberty's Edge


Aura moderate divination and abjuration; CL 6th

Slot none; Price 72,300 gp; weight 0.5 lb.

Apart from its fine craftsmanship and arcane markings along its blades, this item resembles a common tool for shearing wool. When grasped by the handle, the shears allow the user to see spell effects currently active on an individual creature or location. The spells appear to the user as colored threads wrapped around the target. If multiple spells are in effect, each thread will appear to be a different color. By making a successful Spellcraft check, the user of the spellshears may identify the spell corresponding with a specific thread. If multiple threads are present, a separate Spellcraft check is required for each thread the user wishes to identify. Once the spell-thread is properly indentified, the user may attempt to cut it, and therefore end the spell effect. Against a creature, the user must first make a successful touch attack against the target, and then a successful dispel magic attempt, per the spell description, using the item’s caster level. If the Spellcraft check is unsuccessful, the user may still attempt to cut an unidentified thread at a –4 penalty. If more than one such thread is on the target, the one severed is chosen by the GM. The user may make as many dispel attempts against the target in a round as she has attacks, but an attempt may not be made against the same thread more than once. If used against an object or location bearing a spell effect, no touch attack is required. Spells unaffected by dispel magic, spells with instantaneous effects, or spells not affixed to a creature, object, or location cannot be affected by spellshears.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, arcane sight, dispel magic; Cost 36,150 gp

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Starglim wrote:
Mudlark's Prize

* SAK of some really odd-related abilities.

Assured footing in water, mud, or "waterlogged materials"...
+1 CL to water-related bonus spells...
+2 vs. disease and nauseating or sickening effects...
And a once/day locate object SIAC...

All tied together with Hanspur (which is pretty much just a River Kingdoms deity). Yet, the item itself suggests it's used primarily in finding lost things in the muck of what I assume are city sewers?

Not really a fan of the core idea behind the item.

* The awkwardly strung together first paragraph here is enough for me to reject. Add in the mechanical weirdness mentioned and this one doesn't stand a chance.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Whisper Scarf
Aura faint transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot neck; Price 1695 gp; Weight 1 lb.
This 12-foot-long scarf is made of sheer gray gauze and quartered by three red satin ribbons. When a ribbon is pulled, the fabric on either side of it separates permanently into two smoothly hemmed pieces. Once pulled, the ribbon no longer contains any magic.
The whisper scarf may be activated by a command word spoken into any worn piece of the scarf. When active, the pieces of the scarf are linked and anything spoken into one piece of the scarf can be heard by anyone wearing the other pieces. The magic produces no loud sounds; even shouts into a piece of the scarf emerge from the others as only faint whispers. These whispers can be heard by anyone not wearing a piece of the scarf with a DC 25 perception check. Any piece of the scarf must be within 130 feet of another piece of the same whisper scarf in order to send or receive sounds. This effect lasts for 1 minute, and the scarf can perform this function three times per day.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, message, open/close; Cos 847 gp 5 sp

My thoughts:
I knew it was a SIAC - I didn't have an idea I thought was more interesting than this one, however, despite that. Also, there are no existing items that I am aware of like this - and it's something I've dropped in my campaigns (in various incarnation) in the past to my players' delight. After reading some of Sean's comments while judging that "it's just a cell phone with magic" (paraphrased) I was doubly sure I'd failed to meet the creativity bar before the winners were revealed. But I would like to make sure my understanding of why my item wasn't Superstar material matches the judges' - I want to make sure I understand what I need to improve so I can do better next time, and understand what I did well so I don't undo the good I did this year in subsequent competition.

Thank you, I appreciate all the judges taking the time to post their thoughts. It's very kind.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

disordah wrote:
Scabbard of Reforging

* Is there a major need for this item? I guess if you're off fighting giants and getting ticked off that all their cool weapons are Large size and you're a Medium-sized humanoid, this thing could come in handy. Or, same deal if it's a bunch of kobolds.

Again, we get another mending item. Seems like that might be this year's "theme" item. This stuff just isn't that innovative or awesome. It's a well-crafted item and mostly thought-through...but just not something I'd be inclined to hold up as Superstar. I think we've got much better items already in the Keep pile.

* Reject. Boring.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Stonesnake wrote:
Adamantine Flask

* DR 5/- in a can. Not very innovative...

* Don't be too hasty to condemn this, I mean, you do have to refill it with WATER to recharge the item....

Star Voter Season 6

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
David Roberts wrote:
Widow’s Lock
* It's really just a +4 CMD item with a strange ability to cause difficult terrain just one square in front of you? Probably not an item I'd ever see anyone spending 5,800 gp to buy...or even 2,900 gp to create.

Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate you putting in the time to go back over all these items.

To clarify, the item affects a 5-ft. radius, so it should affect all the squares around you... but perhaps I should have used the 'squares' terminology to make it clearer... and its pretty obvious there was no digging of the flavor anyway so I can see why it was rejected.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

ArchibaldPious wrote:
Pentacle Purse of Quandary

Major template fail. And, apparently, this the purse that keeps on giving. Never worry about needing proper change again.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

ntin wrote:
Sarong of Cinders

* It was a decent, generic endure elements SIAC with some added beneficial stuff like the see-through-smoke ability and avoidance of choking from fiery conditions. But the magnification of a fire cleric's domain abilities by a full five levels goes off into extreme land, I think.

* Yeah, was decent but not necessarily Superstar until the addition of that last line. That's way broken.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Phloid

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Phloid wrote:

Rucksack of Instant Armament

* So it's a portable costume-changing Superman phone booth with some bag of holding elements to it? Don't really care for the name. Rucksack smacks more of military speak to me than a fantasy medieval campaign setting. For 3,000 gp this really boils down to not having to bother with rules for donning armor. And that's really all you get. Not super-excited about this one. And we've seen better items involving armor/clothing storage and transposition.

* Yep, this has been done before, and done better.

Thanks for taking the time to give us all feedback. We all really appreciate it.

Here is the inevitable "but it is cool because of this" response.

I played around with the name for a while, but there are only so many synonyms for a backpack. I didn't want to use "backpack," because it's plain and boring, and I didn't want to use "haversack" because it is evocative of the "handy" magic backpack in the core rules. It had to sound sturdy enough to hold an entire suit of plate, so rucksack it was.

The primary use of the item is for a strong fighter to carry his armor around on his back and avoid the armor check penalties while adventuring, but be able to quick change when combat is upon him. I didn't put the Superman comparison to it when creating it, but the visual is one of my favorite things about the item. A man in a tunic and trousers looks like an easy mark, when suddenly his backpack opens up and with swooshing, clinking, and a whipping of steal, he is covered in full plate armor. After I came up with the concept it did bring to mind the manga and terrible Mark Hamill movie "The Guyver."

Granted, it is not a powerful item that has a major impact on play, but it is one that players love to use because of the imagined audio/visual elements it conjures and the surprise factor. Maybe I overpriced it at 3000gp?

Well, anyway, I guess I can feel good that I didn't get any comments on poor writing or stepping outside the template or breaking cardinal game rules. Thanks for the feedback. I'll try again next year and perhaps fifth time will be the charm.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Vistarius wrote:
Wow. That wasnt nearly as helpful as id hoped. Thanks.anyways i guess.

I am not Sean K Reynolds, but:

I don't think the free action is broken (in fact I like that you toned it down to something less than a standard action, but which still feels like a nice burst of morale), I think the problem is that it is a magic item that keeps you from dying. The problem with magic items (especially magic items under 10k) is that as adventurers gain levels they can buy more and more of them. What happens if they always carry around four or five of these? As a 1-time thing, cheating death is cool and cinematic, but as something you can pay 7k a pop for (and buy more when you run out) it just makes it so that adventuring stops being dangerous.

You may say that each person should only have one memento (no collecting 30 of your wife's hairs and going back for more when you run out), and in that case you're falling under "home campaign item". That limitation might work fine in your game, but you can't count on every DM being as sentimental, and if PCs CAN get multiples of this then the game is officially broken.

As a feat, that you can only take once and that worked once per week or so, I think this would work great, but with magic items you always have to think about how filthy-rich 15th level PCs will abuse it. Does that help?

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Alkwraith wrote:
Voice Box of Birdsong

* It's kind of a Monster-in-a-Can, but it's not a monster we see in the game itself anywhere. I'm also a fan of swarm mechanics (i.e., my last leaves worked on that principle). Thematically, I like where this item is headed. I could see this used by elves, gnomes, or powerful fey. Druids, rangers, and even some clerics of nature deities might favor it for the speak with animals (birds only) ability. Bards, as well, for the Perform (sing) bonus. I'm certain Snow White would definitely want it. :-)

All in all, I like the core idea. It's got mojo.
Mechanically, I like the swarm mechanic and the breakout of everything.
It's written well.
The template was used pretty much to perfection.
Good attention to detail.

I'd be interested in seeing what else this designer could bring to the competition.

I say we Keep it.

* His bird swarm has double the hp of the bat swarm in the Bestiary, for no reason (no HD change, Con change, etc.), and does double damage for no reason. Perhaps it's to compensate for the loss of blindsense and wounding, but it's pushing weird corners in the rules. In fact, a 3d8 bat swarm can't have 26 hp, it can only have a max of 24 hp.

And then he lets you split the swarm, I guess they still have a 10x10 space of a normal swarm?

I think he tried to do too much and realized he hit the 300-word barrier and had to start doing sloppy swaps and adjustments as to what the monster could do. Unlike with Neil's leaves swarm in 2009 (which changed type to plant, added regen 5, and fire vulnerability), which I can justify as logical add-ons to the base "locust swarm," I don't see any justification why this bird swarm would have more hp and do more damage than a bat swarm. It pushes it too much into the MIAC category for me, by trying to create a new monster within the magic item stat block.

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