Common themes and items


RPG Superstar™ 2012 General Discussion

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Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Every year for some reasons we get a bunch of similar items. The first year it was coin items. Then it was chalk items. Etc.

This year, for some reason, we saw a bunch of:

1. pebbles or marbles
2. quills
3. stuff having to do with smoking--pipes, tobacco or chew or snuff

Not sure why. It just is what it is.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Doesn't mean they were bad or good, just saw a lot of them. So don't freak, and don't post if you made one since we are still finishing our review of the items. Don't want to break anonymity.

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Good to know I didn't fall into any of those traps.

Well, I was close to one, but an XXX does not a YYY, make. Y'know?


I actually had several cigars I made. Maybe I'll post them later, lol.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

By the way, I thought we would see an absolute TON of items taking advantage of Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic, since finding open design space is a sign of a good design. But, speaking for myself only, I was surprised by how few items I read that were related to those books. I figured we'd see an easy 30% of items related to stuff from those books. I'd say it was more like 10%.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

RonarsCorruption wrote:

Good to know I didn't fall into any of those traps.

Well, I was close to one, but an XXX does not a YYY, make. Y'know?

Again, I am not saying these are traps or that they are bad. Just a strange coincidence of items.


I actually had about two dozen items from those books...but felt that something usable by owners of all books would be better recieved. It was a sales choice, lol.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Clark Peterson wrote:
By the way, I thought we would see an absolute TON of items taking advantage of Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic, since finding open design space is a sign of a good design. But, speaking for myself only, I was surprised by how few items I read that were related to those books. I figured we'd see an easy 30% of items related to stuff from those books. I'd say it was more like 10%.

Actually I should adjust these numbers up a bit. We did see a bunch of just spell in a can items using spells from the new books. But I wasnt counting those as those are not good items.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

mittean wrote:
I actually had about two dozen items from those books...but felt that something usable by owners of all books would be better recieved. It was a sales choice, lol.

I think a lot of people shared your view.

But I also think that is not necessarily smart. In the first round you aren't selling to the audience at large. You are selling to Sean, Neil, Ryan and I, at least 3 of the 4 of whom have a very detailed and exhaustive understanding of all the books (counting me out). I think it would have helped rather than hurt to have referenced new design spaces.


Very true. C'est la vie. And I've been playing around with the Magus, Gunslinger, and Ninja quite a bit. But maybe I'll get an opportunity to share them later. ;)

As it happens, I ended up selecting the one that had me the most excited. Something I felt would have been great to give to my groups over the years as a DM, to make my job easier, and keep them in the campaign, rather than derailing themselves.

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Clark Peterson wrote:


In the first round you aren't selling to the audience at large. You are selling to Sean, Neil, Ryan and I, at least 3 of the 4 of whom have a very detailed and exhaustive understanding of all the books (counting me out). I think it would have helped rather than hurt to have referenced new design spaces.

So, just out of curiosity, if I had submitted my Surface-to-Air Ninja Cannon for shooting down airships, would that have been better? Or do you lack the rules-fu to understand such an elegant and subtle design?

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka michaeljpatrick

I received Ultimate Combat as a late Christmas present just last night!

Have barely cracked the spine on it so far. Otherwise it may have influenced what I created this round.


I decided that from a design perspective I did have mistakes, and I feel that I only needed one good one really. So for me it was about making something almost common, but unique in of itself by design and blending in as something mundane to be wondrous. Afterall, "wondrous items" the phrase, from my perspective at least; means "causing or creating a completely unexpected magical effect" from a simple mundane object or item.

Wondrous (adj.) wonderful, remarkable.
Item (noun) an imitation; a hint. [older use]

Perhaps my perspective was too deeply rooted in the definition of such things, but I felt my item met the definition as it stood literally. Maybe that's just the inner gamer in retention-mode..eh.

Though I can see pipes and the like definately meeting that standard.
That said the waiting is long..but ultimatley good things come to those who have patience.

AM

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Clark Peterson wrote:
By the way, I thought we would see an absolute TON of items taking advantage of Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic, since finding open design space is a sign of a good design. But, speaking for myself only, I was surprised by how few items I read that were related to those books. I figured we'd see an easy 30% of items related to stuff from those books. I'd say it was more like 10%.

Often I thought I had found some cool idea, but then these books turned it into a SIAC. There are cool spells in those books. Happened three times in the blazing practice thread. :)

I did steer away from gunslinger because they have been so polarizing on the boards. Ninja's just the opposite & I expect ninja could be meme.

Mentioning open design space in the SS seminar might have scared some people away from it. Who knows? Maybe you are seeing lots of constriction corsets too :)

Spoiler:
galdurnit, just added a dot two one of last dotless threads here... :)

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I aimed for a wider audience of wondrous item myself. I didnt want to tie it down to a one or few classes/themes, I wanted it to be more utility item like and something every pc would want - much more fun for the "I want it" moments in treasure divvy up.


Anthony Adam wrote:
I aimed for a wider audience of wondrous item myself. I didnt want to tie it down to a one or few classes/themes, I wanted it to be more utility item like and something every pc would want - much more fun for the "I want it" moments in treasure divvy up.

My sentiments exactly. I just hope we were right..lol.

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ArchMageMyrrendor wrote:
Anthony Adam wrote:
I aimed for a wider audience of wondrous item myself. I didnt want to tie it down to a one or few classes/themes, I wanted it to be more utility item like and something every pc would want - much more fun for the "I want it" moments in treasure divvy up.
My sentiments exactly. I just hope we were right..lol.

All part of the learning process though.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

We also had a lot of paired items this year...i.e., items which come in two's and are meant to be worn by two people to achieve their effect rather than just one. A shared pair of gloves, for example, or necklaces, and so on...

Again, not necessarily good or bad. We were just surprised by how many of those came through relative to past years and everything else submitted this year.

Dark Archive

Clark Peterson wrote:
By the way, I thought we would see an absolute TON of items taking advantage of Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic, since finding open design space is a sign of a good design.

Oh, I tried like heck to make an item that worked in conjunction with the vehicle rules (specifically something that would affect the maneuverability or speed or whatever of ships on the sea) from Ultimate Combat, but they beat me up and stole my lunch money.

I will be automatically intrigued by anyone who gave a shot to seige engines or words of power or performance combat, with their item design. I failed a morale check after the vehicle rules routed me, and didn't even want to take a stab at the hard stuff. :)

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Clark Peterson wrote:

Every year for some reasons we get a bunch of similar items. The first year it was coin items. Then it was chalk items. Etc.

This year, for some reason, we saw a bunch of:

1. pebbles or marbles
2. quills
3. stuff having to do with smoking--pipes, tobacco or chew or snuff

Not sure why. It just is what it is.

I wonder if it's just coincidence. I imagine popular books, movies and tv shows could affect it, though I don't recall anything recent that features really cool marbles, quills or smoking-related items.

Anyway, these examples only concern the shape of the item. Are there any mechanics that are in vogue in 2012? Such as feats or feat trees, class features, or other rules concepts that were often referenced?

Dark Archive

the original item i wanted to submit was very heavily based on Ultimate Magic. however, it kept feeling like a siac or a rehash of existing items but with words of power. Maybe If i remembered to enter earlier i would have tried making it superstar worthy. But instead, another item popped in my head, one which I decided I could make it to it's best potential in a few weeks and with 300 words better then the first idea. who knows. maybe I 'll submit it next year... it'll give me 12 months to perfect it. or next year I could make an item based on Ultimate race guide. lol

Dark Archive

With the freshness of the Dragon Empires Gazetteer (and Bestiary 3), I'd have anticipated a bumper crop of Tien-flavored items.

Stuff related to cavaliers and ninja and / or kitsune and tengu and / or tien dragons would seem the most intuitive, but the flavor surrounding the samsarans or wayang could also lend itself to some evocative stuff.


That's nifty, maybe great (or mediocre?) minds think alike!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

Set wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:

I will be automatically intrigued by anyone who gave a shot to seige engines ...

Wouldn't a siege engine be considered a magical weapon, not a wondrous item?

Dark Archive

motteditor wrote:
Set wrote:

I will be automatically intrigued by anyone who gave a shot to seige engines ...

Wouldn't a siege engine be considered a magical weapon, not a wondrous item?

Something like magical ammunition would be, as would a 'catapult +1,' but I was thinking something more like a figuring of wondrous power or feather token that turned into a ballista, or an amulet that allowed you to increase the rate of fire of a seige engine you were manning (or grant the frost property to seige shot from a weapon you were manning) or something similarly seige-weapon-adjacent.

It's easy enough to come up with something weapon-relevant that isn't a weapon, such as a magical scabbard or a magical peacebond or a magical polishing cloth or a magical whetstone or a magical knuckle-guard or tsuba.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

Different design philosophies I guess. I like taking old mechanics and giving them a new spin.

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I did have a magical wheel in my text editor for quite awhile, trying to come up with something cool for wagons/chariots, but everything I came up with was either rather bland (wheels that let the wagon water walk or fly), modern technology disguised as magic (wheels that move on their own), or ridiculously cheesy (wheels that let a wagon shadow walk, which seemed cool at the start, but I couldn't get the image of the older bald wizard with a British accent standing in the front of the wagon, flicking his fingers forward, and saying, "Engage" every time the party used it).


lol, now i'm glad i didn't submit my calabash pipe of the elder dragon. it was meant to give a bonus on take 10's based on mental abilities and a 3 times a day let the user cast dragons breath.

i also considered a chalk of summoning, but as i figured that wouldn't be very original either.

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

I took advantage of the new Steal mechanics last year, so I figured I'd take a break from borrowing ideas from the newest book. Maybe next year there'll be something in Races or Equipment that I want to use.

In all seriousness, I felt like there was very little in either book that wouldn't be better served as something other than a Wondrous Item- weapons, rods or whatever making more sense to me. YMMV.

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

As I recall, this was an issue last year as well- people expected a lot more entries using material from the APG, since it was all brand new and shiny. And while some stuff did crop up (and some of that made the top 32) it was nowhere near as large a quantity as would have been expected. Maybe new stuff is a bit intimidating to play with and requires a 'cool-down' period in people's minds? I'm willing to bet there'll be a LOT more APG rules oriented entries this year, at least.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

Every year more and more people read the advice or smarten up by their own.

So there are themes that haven't been explored as much in the previous years AND are not very prevalent in the current books.

So I guess there will be a bunch of items every year that fit the above description that will be rave.

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I had seriously considered catapult stones, which you loaded into an existing firearm or sling to turn it into a cannon or a trebuchet for a round, but it just came off as too powerful.

I also had a really cool item, that turned out to be a spell in Ultimate Magic. It does happen.

From my side, I did forget all about most of the fancy new rules in Ultimate Combat, though. I'll make sure to keep up on the trends next competition.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Serpent wrote:

I wonder if it's just coincidence. I imagine popular books, movies and tv shows could affect it, though I don't recall anything recent that features really cool marbles, quills or smoking-related items.

I think popular content does affect the contest, though I can't think of anything that would have resulted in marbles, tobacco or quills.

An example, the year after Pan's Labyrinth we had a TON of chalk items.

You can add a 4. to the above list:

4. paired items--items that come in pairs and link the two holders in some way

Shadow Lodge Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

Clark Peterson wrote:
4. paired items--items that come in pairs and link the two holders in some way

I think I was guilty of this my first time entering. They were gloves that sapped HP away from one person to heal the other, or something like that, as long as both were willing.

*fist bumps for the first-timers*

Here's hoping one of you newbies makes into the 32!


This is really making me hope that the entire Top 32 list is like marbles or types of tobacco. Stick all of em' in a bag together and have a grand old time.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

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Heh, now I have an image of a bag of marbles that gives protection from mind affecting effects. Once a save is failed they disappear.


Clark Peterson wrote:
By the way, I thought we would see an absolute TON of items taking advantage of Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic, since finding open design space is a sign of a good design. But, speaking for myself only, I was surprised by how few items I read that were related to those books. I figured we'd see an easy 30% of items related to stuff from those books. I'd say it was more like 10%.

As for me, while I greatly enjoy the Core Rulebook and Adv. Player's Guide, I found very little of interest in the two Ultimate books and won't be using them for my PbP. Don't feel they added much to Pathfinder, unlike nearly all of the other supplements.


Matthew Morris wrote:
Heh, now I have an image of a bag of marbles that gives protection from mind affecting effects. Once a save is failed they disappear.

But I've....I seem to have...lost my marbles.

great, now I have to go watch peter pan...

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

Removed a couple posts. Please do not describe your entry in a way that breaks the anonymity requirements of this round—that's grounds for disqualification.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Gary Teter wrote:
Removed a couple posts. Please do not describe your entry in a way that breaks the anonymity requirements of this round—that's grounds for disqualification.

In fairness, I belive the poster in question was refering to his entry from LAST year.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka michaeljpatrick

JaceDK wrote:
Gary Teter wrote:
Removed a couple posts. Please do not describe your entry in a way that breaks the anonymity requirements of this round—that's grounds for disqualification.
In fairness, I belive the poster in question was refering to his entry from LAST year.

Yes. Sorry for the vague wording, but I was referring to last year's item.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka michaeljpatrick

Here is my revised post:

Last year I toyed with the idea of a pipe that could produce smoke related spells or elementals, but decided it was way too SIAC or MIAC. I still think it would make a nice item to have, but not right for Superstar.

I spent a while researching and I believe I only found one pipe related item and I don't think it was published by Paizo.

I also thought about doing some sort of "Cigar of Badassery", but couldn't even think of what that would mean in game terms. Again, it would have been a fun item in a home campaign, but not really right for this contest.

Instead I went (LAST YEAR) with a ridiculous scarf that works as an additional limb. That gave me some mechanical nightmares, but I'm pretty sure no one else had such a thing.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

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Serpent wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
Every year for some reasons we get a bunch of similar items. <snip> Not sure why. It just is what it is.
I wonder if it's just coincidence. I imagine popular books, movies and tv shows could affect it, though I don't recall anything recent that features really cool marbles, quills or smoking-related items.

Statistically speaking, it's perfectly natural for there to be perceived "anomalies" when you're dealing with a huge batch of submissions. Random work isn't evenly distributed; something will come up more frequently than other stuff, and bam you've got a Meme of the Year.

Non-statistically speaking, I personally wrote up 5 items this year; of those I rejected, one was a pouch full of pebbles, another was a pair of capes that linked the two wearers and let them swap places with each other.

Evidently, I suck at statistics. :P


Matthew Morris wrote:
Heh, now I have an image of a bag of marbles that gives protection from mind affecting effects. Once a save is failed they disappear.

Love the 'losing your marbles' reference. I watched Hook again recently and this has been all I can think about haha.

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Serpent wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
Every year for some reasons we get a bunch of similar items. <snip> Not sure why. It just is what it is.
<snip> though I don't recall anything recent that features really cool marbles, quills or smoking-related items.

On the smoking front, I do wonder if this could be the general trend that smoking isnt so vogue and more frowned upon these days.


I believe this trend thing has to do with the unconscious and popular culture. If in a famous movie such as Pan's Labyrinth there is a remarkable scene in which someone is holding a quill, this could lead to a lot of people having that scene in mind and being subconsciously influenced towards submitting a quill. It could be influenced by completely unrelated stuff too, like some famous song saying something that makes people think of a quill, even if it doesn't mention a quill specifically.


Messter wrote:
I believe this trend thing has to do with the unconscious and popular culture. If in a famous movie such as Pan's Labyrinth there is a remarkable scene in which someone is holding a quill, this could lead to a lot of people having that scene in mind and being subconsciously influenced towards submitting a quill. It could be influenced by completely unrelated stuff too, like some famous song saying something that makes people think of a quill, even if it doesn't mention a quill specifically.

Or maybe the hype about Shattered Star.

A bit of a stretch but...

Spoiler:
The news about the AP says it'll be 'find the item'. This 'item' is The Sihedron. The Sihedron and the runes were granted to Thassilon by Lissala, goddess of runes. Lissala is portrayed in art as holding a whip and quill.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

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It could be subliminal pop culture. The Sherlock Holmes movies had quite a bit of pipe smoking. Of course, the Hellboy movies had iconic cigar-smoking and those were a few years back. I guess it's hard to know why certain items align like they do each year.

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