Round 1 Template Explained


RPG Superstar™ 2012 General Discussion

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Someone asked for a mini breakdown of what goes where in a Wondrous Item template, so I've bashed out the following as a starter for ten, hope it helps.

I'm sure Neil/Sean/Clark is bound to point out where I have foo bar'd so here goes...

Formatting of the main entry block starts with the item name enclosed in Bulletin Bold tags.

If done right, in your preview you would see...

Awesome Item of Splendiferousness

There are no separating or blank lines in the format used each year thus far for each section, so dont do it.

The next line after the item name describes the magical aura emanated by the item and the Caster Level required to create the item (at least minimum to cast the spells listed later).

First things first, Aura is Bold.

The strength is next - no italics, no capitalisation - possible values are: faint, moderate, strong, overwhelming (very very unlikely to use this last one on a Wondrous Item - if you find you want to use this, ask youself, "Is this an Artefact?", be very sure you want to use this).

If you are unsure about strengths, check Detect Magic on the PRD at Detect Magic

School of magic is next separated from the strength by a single space - no italics, no capitalisation - possible values are listed in the School (Subschool) of the PRD

Immediately following your school entry is a semi colon and a space and then the title for Caster Level in bold simply as CL.

The caster level is usually equal to the caster level required to cast the highest level spell in the item creation list, dont forget the th immediately after this level number (no space separating, no italics) (again, there may be exceptions or other rules, but this should be a good starting point.)

If done right, in your preview you would now see these two lines...

Awesome Item of Splendiferousness
Aura strong conjuration; CL 17th

Ok, next line describes the slot, price to buy and weight of your wondrous item.

The titles are capitalized and bold.

Slot names, just like strength and school are not italicized nor capitalised. The slot entry always is followed immeditaly by a semi colon, even if it has no slot (represented by a dash -). Valid slot names can be found on the PRD at Magic Items on the Body.

The price is a straight forward number in gold pieces that it would cost to purchase the item, usually around twice that of creating it, but again, variations can occur, but is a good initial measure of thumb. It is an integer - no fraction prices - I mean it.

Price is formatted using US/UK number formatting (, for thousands) - do not use european / other formats which reverse or change these symbols, e.g. 27,500 is correct 27.500 is not correct,

The price is followed by a single space, then gp; (all lower case, no italics, no space in front of the semicolon)

The weight again has a bold capitalized title, the weight has two possible formats - if there is no weight discernable, you enter a dash and remove the lbs and the period.

Otherwise, add the weight as a numeric number of pounds, again using US/UK number formatting (period for decimal point where you have a half pound item for example). In this case, there is a space after the number followed by lbs and a period.

If done right, in your preview you would now see...

Awesome Item of Splendiferousness
Aura strong conjuration; CL 17th
Slot head; Price 57,500 gp; Weight 5 lbs.

Phew - half way.

Next is the Description entry title - the title stays on it's own line, bolded and capitalized. Although in the printed book you would see an all capital font, dont do that, use the provided template. At the moment that's simply as shown in the round rules.

This is then followed by the text of your item description. You might use blank line to help readability between paragraphs, not sure about this though, so read on in case someone has clarified this. Line breaks do help though to break the paragraphs and make readability easier for the judges. Do not present a wall of words - it is painful in the extreme and likely to push you towards the dreaded reject button.

Line 1 is usually a simple physical description (no backstory - no backstory - ok?)

The next line is where you grab attention and get into the meat of your item.

If done right, in your preview you would now see something like...

Awesome Item of Splendiferousness
Aura strong conjuration; CL 17th
Slot head; Price 57,500 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
This item is a thin banded helm of platinum.
Placing upon your head will allow you to create the most amazing wondrous items that everyone will want.
Items created whilst wearing this helm have zero failure chance on creation checks.

Almost done.

The next line is the Construction entry title - the title stays on it's own line, bolded and capitalized. Although in the printed book you would see an all capital font, dont do that, use the provided template. At the moment thats simply as shown in the round rules.

This is then followed by the construction requirements and cost to create the item.

Titles are bold and capitalized as before.

For the Cost part, format as for Price except that the gp has no trailing semi colon or any other punctuation.

Requirements is a comma separated list, grouped as follows.

First are feats used to create the item, start with Create Wondrous Item, ensure the spelling is as shown and the capitalisation matches the feat names when used. No Italics on these feat names. Each feat name is immediately followed by comma then space.

Next you list the spells. The first spell is listed after the last feat, separated by comma nad space. Spells are diofferentiated by all lower case spell name, in italics. Each spell is followed by comma and space - this separtor is not italicised between each spell.

Then you list any other creation requirement, no italics, comma separated.

The whole entry for Requirement is terminated by one semi colon and it should be the only semi colon in this entry.

If done right, in your preview you would now see something like...

Awesome Item of Splendiferousness
Aura strong conjuration; CL 17th
Slot head; Price 57,500 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
This item is a thin banded helm of platinum.
Placing upon your head will allow you to create the most amazing wondrous items that everyone will want.
Items created whilst wearing this helm have zero failure chance on creation checks.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, fabricate, wish; Cost 26,250 gp

So now we get onto posting your item...

Ok, when posting your wondrous item, put the name without any Bulletin Code Tags into the name entry box.

Then paste your wondrous item with full formatting into the second larger box (include it all from the title to the cost. - Yes the item name is replicated but that is what is asked for).

Before doing anything else, hit PREVIEW button. - if you dont do this, we will line you up and slap your wrists a LOT.

If the word count that appears in the title exceeds the maximum for the round, guess what...

Do NOT submit

No, really, fix it, do not submit it.

Revise and repeat until this is ok - close IE/Chrome to prevent accidental submissions and do your rework in notepad or similar.

Once you are happy with word count, format in your preview, and you don't want to work on the item any longer as you believe it is done. Then and only then SUBMIT the item.

Hope this helps.


This is an excellent post. I wish I'd read it before submitting (though I think I was fairly good)!

One thing to note: not all magical items use the same formatting. For example, under the "slot" entry, wondrous items have "-" as Anthony indicated above... while things like weapons rods and staffs have "none". For this competition, they want "-", so don't get confused (now that it's too late)!

Although not exactly formatting, it also bears repeating for price: the first and most important rule is to compare similar prices for other items. Use the tables, sure, but then comb back through the other items and compare, compare, compare.

Anyway, thanks, Anthony, and good luck to everyone!

(Sheesh, I almost sound like I know what I'm doing.)

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Tacticslion wrote:
One thing to note: not all magical items use the same formatting. For example, under the "slot" entry, wondrous items have "-" as Anthony indicated above...

The reason I didnt mention this is, of course, weapons, rods and staves are NOT wondrous items, they have their own sections in the magic chapters of the books.

I concentrated on wondrous items and the round 1 rules only (as applicable this year and from past experience)

So if round 1 changes to something other than wondrous items (unlikely but who knows), make sure you thoroughly read the revised round 1 rules.

Also as each competition is run, be very careful to check the rules thoroughly as new editions, changes in requirements do happen and this post may eventually be out of date with competition requirements.

In short - step 1, read the requirements, carefully and note any and all specific requests/changes.


Sure! I agree with what you put as being the best thing to put in your post. I only mentioned it because it's a point that could be confusing, when flipping through the books reading items.

But yes, your post is excellent. and your step 1 is perfect. :)

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Can someone please point me to the advice/rule that an em-dash

Slot —; (as shown in the PRD) should be used over the word: none

Slot none; (as shown in the Core Rulebook)?

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MillerHero wrote:

Can someone please point me to the advice/rule that an em-dash

Slot —; (as shown in the PRD) should be used over the word: none

Slot none; (as shown in the Core Rulebook)?

I cant cite a reference as such, but from what I have observed, all the items in the Wondrous Items section of the book use the former (em dash) whereas rods and staves and other magic sections use the latter (none).

Anyone else able to help?

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The fifth printing November 2011 Core Rulebook pdf that I'm looking at has on page 500:

APPARATUS OF THE CRAB
Aura strong evocation and transmutation; CL 19th
Slot none; Price 90,000 gp; Weight 500 lbs.
_________________________________________

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I'm beginning to think the em-dash comments were directed at weight entries rather than slot entries.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Don't forget that spells that are a part of the requirements are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of relevance. So if you have an item that includes sanctuary as its biggest power and protection from evil also, you would do it like this:

Construction
Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, protection from evil, sanctuary; Cost 26,250 gp

NOT like this:

Construction
Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, sanctuary, protection from evil; Cost 26,250 gp

Even though the latter prioritizes the spells be relevance to the item, it is wrong. The proper way is to alphabetize the spell names.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Frankly, we don't care about em or en dashes in entries on the net. If you can do an em dash, fine. If not, "--" will do. I don't think any judge has ever criticized this. That said, the em dash is technically correct and if it can be use sure shows you know your stuff.


The second printing of the Core rules uses "-" for the slot in Apparatus of the Crab. I don't have the time to look through every item, but taking a quick glance through the 5th printing it seems they did a universal change from "-" to "none".

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Clark Peterson wrote:
Frankly, we don't care about em or en dashes in entries on the net. If you can do an em dash, fine. If not, "--" will do. I don't think any judge has ever criticized this. That said, the em dash is technically correct and if it can be use sure shows you know your stuff.

Clark, are you referring to item Slot entries as -- or —; or are you referring to item Weight entries?

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Clark Peterson wrote:
Don't forget that spells that are a part of the requirements are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of relevance.

Ohhh many thanks Clark - If I could update my top post, I would add that in. I wasnt 100% sure, so didnt want to risk it in case I misled anyone.

Thanks for clearing that up.

If its also right about using "none" in the fifth printing, you might want to consider updating the templates for 2013 :P - Just goes to show I was right about saying how things can change year to year :)

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One helpful point that I found in I think the judge's critiques of rejected items from last year is if using a "lesser/greater" version of a spell, it should be written as great shadow conjuration, for example, not shadow conjuration, greater.

Note that this can then mess up your alphabetical order if you're not paying attention when you change it. (That almost happened to me, though I noticed it on a later draft and then just changed items completely anyway.)


Actually, in my printing, the Apparatus of the Crab has the em-dash...

... a quick check later, it looks like mine might be a first printing (2009 - I'm honestly not sure when I got this book right now).

So is it printing or just online transcription differences?

A list of wondrous items that don't have a slot from my hard copy (feel free to check it against yours):

'in my printing all of them use the em-dash':

Apparatus of the Crab (pg 500), uses -
Bag of Holding (pg 500), uses -
Bag of Tricks (pg 501), uses -
Bead of force (pg 501), uses -
Blessed Book (pg 502), uses -
Boat, Folding (pg 502), uses -
Bottle of Air (pg 504), uses -
Broom of Flying (pg 505), uses -
Candle of Invocation (pg 505), uses -
Candle of Truth (pg 505), uses -
Carpet of Flying (pg 505), uses -
Chime of Interruption (pg 506), uses -
Chime of Opening (pg 506), uses -
Crystal Ball (pg 507), uses -
Cube of Force (pg 508), uses -
Cube of Frost Resistance (pg 508), uses -
Cubic Gate (pg 508), uses -
Dark Skull (pg 508), uses -
Decanter of Endless Water (pg 509), uses -
Deck of Illusions (pg 509), uses -
Drums of Panic (pg 509), uses -
Dust of Appearance (pg 509), uses -
Dust of Disappearance (pg 509), uses -
Dust of Dryness (pg 509), uses -
Dust of Illusion (pg 509), uses -
Dust of Tracelessness (pg 509), uses -
Efficient Quiver (pg 510), uses -
Efreeti Bottle (pg 510), uses -
Elemental Gem (pg 510), uses -
Elixir of Fire Breath (pg 510), uses -
Elixir of Hiding (pg 510), uses -
Elixir of Love (pg 510), uses -
Elixir of Swimming (pg 510), uses -
Elixir of Truth (pg 511), uses -
Elixir of Tumbling (pg 511), uses -
Elixir of Vision (pg 511), uses -
Eversmoking Bottle (pg 511), uses -
Feather Token (pg 511), uses -
Figurine of Wondrous Power (pg 512), uses -
Gem of Brightness (pg 513), uses -
Gem of Seeing (pg 513), uses -
Golem Manual (pg 514), uses -
Handy Haversack (pg 515), uses -
Harp of Charming (pg 515), uses -
Horn of Blasting (pg 519), uses -
Horn of Blasting, Greater (pg 519), uses -
Horn of Fog (pg 519), uses -
Horn of Goodness/Evil (pg 519), uses -
Horn of Valhalla (pg 519), uses -
Incense of Meditation (pg 520), uses -
Instant Fortress (pg 520), uses -
Ioun Stones (pg 520), uses -
Iron Bands of Binding (pg 521), uses -
Iron Flask (pg 521), uses -
Lantern of Revealing (pg 522), uses -
Lens of Detection (pg 522), uses -
Lyre of Building (pg 522), uses -
Manual of Bodily Health (pg 522), uses -
Manual of Gainful Exercise (pg 522), uses -
Manual of Quickness of Action (pg 522), uses -
Marvelous Pigments (pg 523), uses -
Mattock of the Titans (pg 523), uses -
--- The mattock is an important note, because it basically functions like a weapon, even though it's classified as a wondrous item, and its slot is listed as "-" instead of "none" ---
Maul of the Titans (pg 523), uses -
--- Just like the mattock, the maul is an important note, because it basically functions like a weapon, even though it's classified as a wondrous item, and its slot is listed as "-" instead of "none" ---
Mirror of Life Trapping (pg 523), uses -
Mirror of Opposition (pg 524), uses -
Orb of Storms (pg 524), uses -
Pearl of Power (pg 525), uses -
Pearl of the Sirines (pg 525), uses -
Pipes of Haunting (pg 526), uses -
Pipes of the Sewers (pg 526), uses -
Pipes of Sounding (pg 526), uses -
Portable Hole (pg 526), uses -
Restorative Ointment (pg 526), uses -
Ring Gates (pg 526), uses -
Rope of Climbing (pg 529), uses -
Rope of Entanglement (pg 529), uses -
Salve of Slipperiness (pg 529), uses -
Scabbard of Keen Edges (pg 529), uses -
Silversheen (pg 529), uses -
Sovereign Glue (pg 530), uses -
Stone of Alarm (pg 530), uses -
Stone of Good Luck (Luckstone) (pg 530), uses -
Stone Salve (pg 530), uses -
Strand of Prayer Beads (pg 530), uses -
Sustaining Spoon (pg 531), uses -
Tome of Clear Thought (pg 531), uses -
Tome of Leadership and Influence (pg 531), uses -
Tome of Understanding (pg 531), uses -
Unguent of Timelessness (pg 531), uses -
Universal Solvent (pg 532), uses -
Well of Many Worlds (pg 532), uses -
Wind Fan (pg 532), uses -

In weapons, rods, and staffs, however, they all use the word "none". I'm guessing it's just a wondrous item thing, though if it were me, I'd make it so that something that can be used (but isn't automatically) has a slot of "none" while things that are used automatically have a slot of "-" or vice-versa.


Worthy note - even the cursed items that are variants of wondrous items without a slot uses only "none", never the em-dash.


And ninja'd by, like, everyone. Good to know things are normal!

Contributor

We use to say "Slot —" but changed to "Slot none" in one of the recent reprints.

Funny that Anthony posted the original message here about an hour after I finished writing the blog for today, which is on the same topic...


Oh, good to know! Thanks, Sean!

(I'd really thought I'd been reading "Slot none", before this thread, then I was wondering how I got that impression after looking at my book. Probably looked at the other books.)

Contributor

I just checked my 4th printing Core Rulebook and it still says "Slot —," so we must have made the change for the 5th printing.

(Note: whether you used "—" or "none" for an RPG Superstar slotless wondrous item was NOT a factor in keeping or rejecting any submission.)

Contributor

And here's the blog I was talking about. :)

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I just checked my 4th printing Core Rulebook and it still says "Slot —," so we must have made the change for the 5th printing.

(Note: whether you used "—" or "none" for an RPG Superstar slotless wondrous item was NOT a factor in keeping or rejecting any submission.)

For the record, the PRD still uses an em dash as well.

Contributor

That's probably because they update the PRD for rules changes, not typos that don't affect rules (because we categorize those things into two different lists), and changing emdashes to nones rates lower than actual typos. :)

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uriel222 wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I just checked my 4th printing Core Rulebook and it still says "Slot —," so we must have made the change for the 5th printing.

(Note: whether you used "—" or "none" for an RPG Superstar slotless wondrous item was NOT a factor in keeping or rejecting any submission.)

For the record, the PRD still uses an em dash as well.

We'll get this corrected with one of our next updates.


I made a mistake in the Construction Requirements section, but otherwise did okay. This is a really good and thorough explanation.. Maybe it should be stickied or somehow linked to that big advice thread?

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I'll just say I have no intention of learning how to put an em dash in this little box just for the purposes of entering RPG Superstar.

I do, however, know the keyboard shortcuts for both en and em dashes in Word; I use those quite often :)

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:

We use to say "Slot —" but changed to "Slot none" in one of the recent reprints.

Funny that Anthony posted the original message here about an hour after I finished writing the blog for today, which is on the same topic...

Lol, it was 2am and I was suffering RPG Superstar-itis.

Plus I had my wife behind me tapping her foot going "Are you going to bed before work or what?"

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Anthony Adam wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

We use to say "Slot —" but changed to "Slot none" in one of the recent reprints.

Funny that Anthony posted the original message here about an hour after I finished writing the blog for today, which is on the same topic...

Lol, it was 2am and I was suffering RPG Superstar-itis.

Plus I had my wife behind me tapping her foot going "Are you going to bed before work or what?"

Hi all, I am currently merging all the comments, fixes etc here and also updating my foo bars having now compared to Seans blog post and merging the two into a singular reference document with a view to posting it so everyone has a single visit point and so everyone doesnt need to scroll through all the comments.

Could you Paizo bods let me know if you have a problem with me merging this stuff to a single post for the community, especially Sean/Clark as I am merging your bits in to the single post in great chunks? (e.g., if you need a citation in the post, let me know how, what and where :) )

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Oh and assuming I am ok to do the above, it will be a day or two before it's posted so I can do some better grammar and spell checking against my rubbish typing. :D

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Cool, I have a revised, merged and updated version available for posting pending permission.

Note to self, comment addendum to this message are included in the current revision.

Yeah, I had some spare moments and had a productive lunchbreak :)

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Anything I say in public is up for grabs.

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Anything I say in public is up for grabs.

O_o

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Thanks Sean.

I'll just do the spell check thing and post in the morning.

And yeah, it is a pretty big post now :)

Would you prefer a new thread to make it the 1st post in case you want it stickied or just whack it on the end of this thread?

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Now I'm second-guessing whether I used a cardinal or ordinal number in the CL of my item. Time to take a deep breath and remind myself that is probably not going to be the deciding factor in my entry.

Contributor

It's your thread, Anthony. :)

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Hey all, the post below is revision 1.

There's a few items in it that may need clarification/confirmation, so I'm expecting to add a few more bits to it over the next week or two.

Once it has settled in and finalised, I'll create a new thread with the final version as the top post for your ease of use.

Enjoy.

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Breakdown of the Wondrous Item Template (Updated)

It should be noted that this article steps through the Wondrous Item template and is not necessarily the order in which you would work on things; however it does give detailed advice on completion of the wondrous item template for submission to RPG Superstar. Additional hints and tips are included here to assist in understanding of the odd gotcha or two.

This post therefore is a what to do much more than a what not to do post.

Line: Item Name:

Formatting of the main entry block starts with the item name enclosed in Bulletin Board (BB) Bold tags. The content is self-evident.

The magic item name header in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook looks like all caps, but it's just a text style — don't type yours in all caps in your submission! Until the template changes for the competition, do remember your BB tags though.

Note that words in the Item Name tend to be capitalised rather than all lower case, conjunctions do not generally get capitalised unless they are the first word of the item name. - e.g. "a glove of the finger" would be entered as "A Glove of the Finger". The Latter I believe is preferred (Paizo please confirm).

I will use a dummy item known as "Awesome Item of Splendiferousness", building as we go through the template. So, I start with this name and bound it with the BB Bold tags. If done right, using preview you would see...

Awesome Item of Splendiferousness

Line: Aura and Caster Level:

There is no separating or blank lines in the format used each year thus far for each section, so don’t do it.

This section exists so the GM can quickly tell a player what schools of magic the item uses. This is noteworthy only if the PC fails the Spellcraft check to identify the item and needs an idea of what it may do.

Aura

First things first, Aura is BB Bold bounded.

Auras are always written as "faint," "moderate," or "strong," plus the appropriate school or schools, and perhaps a sub school if relevant.

In my original post, I mentioned "overwhelming" which I had extracted from Detect Magic. Therefore Sean's list above excluding this confirms that it shouldn’t be used.

The strength is the first word after Aura - not bold, no italics, no capitalisation.

School of magic is next separated from the strength by a single space.

If a sub school is used, this would follow, separated by a space and enclosed in rounded bracers, e.g. strength school (sub school)

3E and the Core Rulebook isn't really consistent on whether a multispell item has one or multiple auras listed, so I would suggest if you do this, repeat the strength school (sub school) format separating by a single comma and space as used to separate entries in other sections, e.g. faint illusion, moderate necromancy, moderate transmutation, strong evocation

I'm not sure if you can have different strengths, this is an example only (Paizo, please confirm), but I did order them alphabetically by school within strength, and listed them in ascending order of strength. Again, this is just me applying personal consistency, so I will note this now as outstanding confirmation required (Paizo?)

This may be clarified in future templates and competitions, but I don’t think you would get dinged for attempting consistency with other parts of the template.

Gotcha: If your item is 100% necromancy and the aura only lists illusion... say no more.

Immediately following your school entry is a semi colon and a space...

Caster Level

... and then the title for Caster Level in bold simply as CL.

CL: The caster level tells you what caster level the item operates at.

This means you don't have to specify a caster level in the item's description — if you find an orb that can create a fireball, it doesn't need to say "fireball (10d6)." Unless otherwise specified, the item uses this caster level for all of its abilities. The caster level should include the ordinal abbreviation for that number: "CL 1st" instead of just "CL 1," "CL 2nd" instead of just "CL 2," and so on.

When multiple spells are used the caster level required to cast the highest level spell at the required level of effect is used, e.g. the CL for a 5 die fireball effect is lower than the caster level for a 10 die fireball effect - same spell but different caster levels needed.

The level entry has no space between the number and the "st", "nd", “rd” or "th" post fix, is in normal typeface and no italics. There is also no terminating period.

Gotcha: In the construction entry of the template, if you list more feats than any caster of the necessary level could have, well, that needs sorting out methinks - (Paizo Judges/Designers query - revise the feats list or increase the Caster Level to a point of having sufficient feat slots? What is recommended here as a general guide line approach?)

Ok, so I'm now adding my formatting to my line for my item, if done right, preview would look like...

Awesome Item of Splendiferousness
Aura strong conjuration; CL 17th

Line: Slot, Price and Weight:

All three titles are capitalized and bold, and should not be omitted even if you have no slot or no discernable weight - see below.

Slot

Tells you which of the magic item "body slots" the item uses (Core Rulebook 459).

If you have to hold the item in your hand (like a rod of wonder) or if it doesn't use a slot at all (like an ioun stone), its listed slot is "none" - Paizo used to put a dash there for slotless items but no longer does it that way.

Slot names, just like strength and school are neither italicized nor capitalised and always is followed immediately by a semi colon.

Price

This is the item's market price — how much you'd pay for it if you bought it from an NPC.

This is never expressed as a fraction or decimal; "12 gp, 5 sp" is correct, "12.5 gp" is not, nor is "12 1/2 gp."

If the item costs thousands, use a comma (not a period or other number format type, you must use US number formats) as the ordinal numeric separator ("20,000 gp" instead of "20000 gp" or "20.000 gp").

If the item has several types (like a figurine of wondrous power) with different costs, each is listed here, separated by commas.

The last or only price coinage indicator is followed by a semi colon, e.g. 100 gp, 150gp, 200gp;

All prices are normal weight, non italic, all lower case.

Gotcha: If your item costs more than 200,000 gp, it's probably an artifact rather than a regular magic item.

Gotcha: I mentioned in my original post that this is often twice the cost of creating it - this is my foo bar understanding of the Cost entry - ignore this advice as I was mistaken as to what Cost was.

Gotcha: Once you have determined your price, check it against Wondrous Items of the same level. Compare not just prices but relative usefulness against items in the same market space for that level. Does is compare favourably? This is an art which takes some development and practice.

Weight

This is how much the item weighs, in pounds (abbreviated "lb." for 1 pound or less and "lbs." for 2 or more pounds).

Most common items in the game have a specific weight, just for consistency. For example, boots weigh 1 lb., so players don't have to remember different boot weights. Some light items, like gems, headbands, and rings, have a standard weight of "—," which means individually their weight isn't important (though the GM can rule that a chest full of them has weight).

When in doubt, find a similar item in the Core Rulebook and use the listed weight.

The weight again has a bold capitalized title, with two entry formats

- if there is no weight discernable, you enter a dash and remove the lb/lbs and the period,
- if you have a discernable weight, the format is number <space> lb. - for 1 pound items, number <space> lbs. - for weight other than 1. Note the abbreviation for pounds is followed by a period.

Using US number formatting for the weight if entered.

My preview now looks like this...

Awesome Item of Splendiferousness
Aura strong conjuration; CL 17th
Slot head; Price 57,500 gp; Weight 5 lbs.

Line: Description:

This is the Description entry title - it stays on its own line, bolded and capitalized. Like the item name, don't type this line in all caps, and don't add underlining.

Short and sweet, my preview now looks like this...

Awesome Item of Splendiferousness
Aura strong conjuration; CL 17th
Slot head; Price 57,500 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description

This is a text format we call a "breaker"—the all caps and lines above and below the text are just an applied style.

Paragraph(s): Description:

Now we enter the descriptive text of our item.

The first line is usually a simple description of what the item is/looks like/made of. Keep it short, to the point, avoid backstory, avoid names if you can - but note by that we mean PC type names, Witch Queen, King's, etc are fine, just don't name a specific individual.

Start a new paragraph after this descriptive entry - Do not present a wall of words - it is painful in the extreme and likely to push you towards the dreaded reject button. Structured paragraphs and good grammar really add sparkle here.

Things you need here in addition to the descriptive element include what the item does, how often you can use the item, any other limitations or activation requirements and so forth.

There now follows some gotcha/consideration items extrapolated from comments and feedbacks from the merged articles:

Gotcha: Normally, using a magic item is a standard action. You shouldn't give an item a shorter activation time than that because it messes with the "action economy" of the combat round —a player who tries to create a faster item is trying to do more than one magical thing per round.

Gotcha: Whether or not using an item provokes an attack of opportunity is built into how it's activated (Core Rulebook 458). This means for command word items you don't need to say that it's a standard action to activate and that it doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity—that's assumed for all command word items. In fact, the assumption is if an item doesn't say how you activate it, it's a command word item.

Gotcha: Magic items that have effects requiring saving throws should include those saves in the item description. If it's duplicating a spell, the default save DC is the minimum for casting that spell: 10 + 1.5 x the spell's level.

BTW that minimum DC is based on the minimum ability score bonus a caster would have to cast a spell of that level.

So for a 3rd level spell like fireball, spell level is 3, minimum wizard Int score (or sorcerer Cha score) is 13, which is a +1 ability score bonus, so 10 + 3 + 1 = 14. The math works out the same if you use the formula (10 + 1.5 x 3 = 10 + 4.5 --> 10 + 4 = 14), as "half the spell level rounded down" is the ability score bonus of the required ability score.

Do you assume it's a cleric / druid / wizard casting it? Assume whatever is appropriate for the item. If it's a druid item, use the druid spell level to determine the DC. Usually the spell level difference (usually 1, rarely 2) isn't going to have a significant effect on the DC.

Gotcha: If you refer to specific spells, italicize them, like fireball or pearl of power. If you refer to feats or skill names, capitalize them, like Power Attack, Weapon Focus (longsword), Perception, or Knowledge (local). There's very little else in the game that always requires capitalization—you don't capitalize class names (cleric), race names (dwarf), combat manoeuvres (grapple, trip), or other specific rules (breath weapon, drowning, trample, poison).

If done right, in your preview you would now see something like...

Awesome Item of Splendiferousness
Aura strong conjuration; CL 17th
Slot head; Price 57,500 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
A thin banded helm of platinum rather like a crown but devoid of any gemstones.
Wearing this will allow you to create the most amazing wondrous items that everyone will want.
Items created whilst wearing this helm have zero failure chance on creation checks.

Line: Construction:

This is the Construction entry title - it stays on its own line, bolded and capitalized. Like the item name, don't type this line in all caps, and don't add underlining.

Short and sweet, my preview now looks like this...

Awesome Item of Splendiferousness
Aura strong conjuration; CL 17th
Slot head; Price 57,500 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
A thin banded helm of platinum rather like a crown but devoid of any gemstones.
Wearing this will allow you to create the most amazing wondrous items that everyone will want.
Items created whilst wearing this helm have zero failure chance on creation checks.
Construction

Line: Requirements and Cost:

This is then followed by the construction requirements and cost to create the item.

Titles parts are bold and capitalized as before.

Requirements

Requirements are a comma separated list, grouped as follows.

This section is all the stuff a character needs to create the item using an item-crafting feat. List the crafting feat first (capitalized), followed by spell names (italicized), followed by any other requirements such as needing ranks in a skill (capitalized) or an ability like channel energy.

The whole entry for Requirement is terminated by one semi colon and it should be the only semi colon in this entry.

Gotcha: Don't forget that spells that are a part of the requirements are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of relevance. So if you have an item that includes sanctuary as its biggest power and protection from evil also, you would list them in this order: protection from evil, sanctuary.

Gotcha: Each spell is followed by comma and space - this separator is not italicised between each spell.

Gotcha: In a fun post I made, Sean kindly pointed out not to put specific items into other requirements (e.g. a big red button), so it looks like this part is for skills/abilities only and not a general materials bucket. So if your item is made of something specific, note material/specific objects in line 1 of your description, in my example, you need a crown/helm made of platinum.

Cost

This is the item's sale cost—how much a PC could get for selling it to an NPC.

And it is not the cost of making the item like I thought it was - DOH!

But in general, whichever you calculate by your costing/pricing methods, the relationship between cost and price is such that Price = 2 x Cost for Wondrous Items. Variation is allowed to cater for expensive components and foci used in the creation of the item (e.g. a golden dragon's eye would be expensive to collect in more than one way).

All formatting rules for the Price also apply to the Cost (no decimals, no fractions, separate variants with commas).

Energy resistance costs what it should cost based on how powerful the ability is, not at what level some weird new class or race gets it.

There isn't enough space in the book to include specific costs and examples for every possible power in the Core Rulebook, let alone ideas from other books and things not yet invented. That's why the first rule is "compare your item to items of similar power and effect."

So completing my example entry, we get a preview of...

Awesome Item of Splendiferousness
Aura strong conjuration; CL 17th
Slot head; Price 57,500 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
A thin banded helm of platinum rather like a crown but devoid of any gemstones.
Wearing this will allow you to create the most amazing wondrous items that everyone will want.
Items created whilst wearing this helm have zero failure chance on creation checks.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, fabricate, wish; Cost 28,750 gp

Entering your Item

So now we get onto posting your item...

Ok, when posting your wondrous item, put the name without any Bulletin Code Tags into the name entry box.

Then paste your wondrous item with full formatting into the second larger box (include it all from the title to the cost. - Yes the item name is replicated but that is what is asked for).

Before doing anything else, hit PREVIEW button. - if you don’t do this, we will line you up and slap your wrists a LOT.

If the word count that appears in the title exceeds the maximum for the round, guess what...

Do NOT submit

No, really, fix it, do not submit it.

Revise and repeat until this is ok - close IE/Chrome/Safari/Whatever to prevent accidental submission and do your rework in notepad/edlin/open office/word or similar.

Once you are happy with word count, format, content and your preview looks wonderful, and you believe it is done. Then and only then SUBMIT the item.

Hope this helps.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

gbonehead wrote:

I'll just say I have no intention of learning how to put an em dash in this little box just for the purposes of entering RPG Superstar.

I do, however, know the keyboard shortcuts for both en and em dashes in Word; I use those quite often :)

Is it not the same on Windows? (It's the same on a Mac...)

Shadow Lodge

I posted this on the Item Blog, but I'll repost it here as well since it was mentioned as an example above:

ValmarTheMad wrote:

Fwiw,

d20PFSRD.com

Shows Boots of Teleportation as weighing 3 lbs and it's the same in the Core Rulebook I have.

Quote:

For example, boots weigh 1 lb., so players don't have to remember different boot weights.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Vic Wertz wrote:
gbonehead wrote:

I'll just say I have no intention of learning how to put an em dash in this little box just for the purposes of entering RPG Superstar.

I do, however, know the keyboard shortcuts for both en and em dashes in Word; I use those quite often :)

Is it not the same on Windows? (It's the same on a Mac...)

No idea. I try to avoid special font characters in online collaborations and postings; I've run across too many cases where people copy and paste funky Word characters (like those stupid, stupid "smart quotes") and it looks like junk online.

I jump back and forth a lot between Windows and Linux; I did my superstar entry in a text editor. That's where I do most of my writing; I do software for a living so I use a text editor when I write campaign logs and even when I wrote my submission for the current Open Design project. As a a final stage I put such things into Word so I can see what it looks like with italics and bold.

My home-grown campaign documentation such as my epic bestiary is different; I do that in Word from the outset so it has en and em dashes. If I were ever lucky enough to do a turnover I assume it'd be in Word and thus it would have proper face (bold, italics) and en/em dashes :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka artofcheatery

Look! An '—' via the Character Map! You can also find it via the Alt code 0151! That wasn't that hard, was it?

You shouldn't be saying that RPGSS isn't important enough to find the proper symbols.
-X

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Or you could cheat a little and put a small document on your desk containing special characters like an emdash and copy and paste from it as needed :D

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Likely to be another update post Monday or Tuesday next week -

I've been trawling through ALL the wondrous item threads picking out common pitfalls, themes, recommendations, and so on to make a really comprehensive starter for the next time you want to design a wondrous item.

(my god, I even type wondrous correctly now without adding an "e", Neil will be so proud of me :P)

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artofcheatery wrote:

Look! An '—' via the Character Map! You can also find it via the Alt code 0151! That wasn't that hard, was it?

You shouldn't be saying that RPGSS isn't important enough to find the proper symbols.
-X

Not what I said at all.

I know what the proper symbols are; they're en dashes, em dashes, etc. What I said was I wasn't going to bother figuring out how to enter them on a message board. I really don't think using the "Character Map" (whatever that is) or figuring out how to enter an "Alt code" will make or break my RPG Superstar entry.

Either it's good enough, or it's not. I can use Word to create a well-formatted turnover, if it's ever necessary (and of course I hope it is), and if I don't have the skills to make that necessary, understanding Character Maps, Alt codes, and whatever other magic is necessary to enter fancy symbols on the message boards won't help me any :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka artofcheatery

gbonehead wrote:
artofcheatery wrote:

Look! An '—' via the Character Map! You can also find it via the Alt code 0151! That wasn't that hard, was it?

You shouldn't be saying that RPGSS isn't important enough to find the proper symbols.
-X

Not what I said at all.

I know what the proper symbols are; they're en dashes, em dashes, etc. What I said was I wasn't going to bother figuring out how to enter them on a message board. I really don't think using the "Character Map" (whatever that is) or figuring out how to enter an "Alt code" will make or break my RPG Superstar entry.

Either it's good enough, or it's not. I can use Word to create a well-formatted turnover, if it's ever necessary (and of course I hope it is), and if I don't have the skills to make that necessary, understanding Character Maps, Alt codes, and whatever other magic is necessary to enter fancy symbols on the message boards won't help me any :)

I assumed as much but as they say, the best practice is to get into the habit of doing it right all the time. I've been getting into writing more and the more you write the more important it starts to be to use the proper symbols, not just em dashes, but also stress marks, copyright symbols, etc.

If you (or anyone else here) is wondering, the Character Map comes with Windows and is found at:
Start(Or Windows Button on new versions)→Accessories→System Tools→Character Map
It allows you to search through all the characters in any selected font.

Alt codes require you to activate 'NumLock' then while holding down Alt, type the code from your keypad (which on laptops might be in the middle of your keyboard), then release Alt. Codes are listed in Character Map while you have the character selected.
-X

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artofcheatery wrote:

Alt codes require you to activate 'NumLock' then while holding down Alt, type the code from your keypad (which on laptops might be in the middle of your keyboard), then release Alt. Codes are listed in Character Map while you have the character selected.

-X

Ah ha - I'll add this to the write up, its a useful snippet - thanks for this.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

artofcheatery wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
artofcheatery wrote:

Look! An '—' via the Character Map! You can also find it via the Alt code 0151! That wasn't that hard, was it?

You shouldn't be saying that RPGSS isn't important enough to find the proper symbols.
-X

Not what I said at all.

I know what the proper symbols are; they're en dashes, em dashes, etc. What I said was I wasn't going to bother figuring out how to enter them on a message board. I really don't think using the "Character Map" (whatever that is) or figuring out how to enter an "Alt code" will make or break my RPG Superstar entry.

Either it's good enough, or it's not. I can use Word to create a well-formatted turnover, if it's ever necessary (and of course I hope it is), and if I don't have the skills to make that necessary, understanding Character Maps, Alt codes, and whatever other magic is necessary to enter fancy symbols on the message boards won't help me any :)

I assumed as much but as they say, the best practice is to get into the habit of doing it right all the time. I've been getting into writing more and the more you write the more important it starts to be to use the proper symbols, not just em dashes, but also stress marks, copyright symbols, etc.

If you (or anyone else here) is wondering, the Character Map comes with Windows and is found at:
Start(Or Windows Button on new versions)→Accessories→System Tools→Character Map
It allows you to search through all the characters in any selected font.

Alt codes require you to activate 'NumLock' then while holding down Alt, type the code from your keypad (which on laptops might be in the middle of your keyboard), then release Alt. Codes are listed in Character Map while you have the character selected.
-X

Which all blithely ignores the fundamental point of my post - that here on a message board, unlike in a real document (for example, one that will be a turnover), my belief is that the extra effort to put proper em and en dashes into a message board post when I'm on a Windows machine is really not that important.

I spend a good chunk of my time on Linux, some time on a tablet, and I just don't see the extra effort necessary to mouse through menus and windows or to look up (or memorize) a key code and then use 5+ keys instead of just a '-' as being worth it here on the boards.

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gbonehead wrote:
...my belief is that the extra effort to put proper em and en dashes into a message board post when I'm on a Windows machine is really not that important.

Let's try another approach.

This competition, even the first round, is your chance to prove you are a future "best of the best" designer and freelancer, i.e. that you DO put in that extra effort and DO go the extra mile to make your submissions as close to publishable as possible.
So, although it isn't important, per se, to the entry you submit, it could be important for the impression you make (subtle I know).
That is why people ask, and why others are kind enough to answer. We all want to be "Clark"/"Sean"/"Ryan"/"Neil"/"Erik"/et al. level of awesome professionalism.
I myself will be very pleased if I dont get auto reject dinged for a change, and I am bummed about the "emdash vs none" brought in the 5th printing. I am also not a major in text and fonts and didnt know there was a difference between dash and emdash. Now I do. So I will use it next time I need to now that I know how to.
It's also why I asked the daft question about underlining elsewhere. I only have PRD and PDF to work from which use it, the paper versions don't. So I wanted to check and judges (who didnt need to really) took time from their busy schedules to not only say yes or no, but to point to where it is and isnt used and why.
That is one of the things that make this competition so special to me. Because the ulumni of the current establishments take that time to encourage us to grow.
So please bear with those of us who ask daft or trivial questions, we are just trying to do the best job we possibly can in order to maximise our chances.
As for posting to the boards, we the community are vast sponges of nit-pickiness. It's how we hone what we learn each year. So chances are, now we all know about emdashes, if a post is made and its not an emdash and should be, one of us will comment.
Competition wise, I dont want to be the guy using dash put up against an equally strong entry using emdash for that last top spot.
So doing it right, even on the messageboards for fun and practice is important to many of us as it is how we hone our skills.
I apologise if this seems harsh, I just want you to see why some of us feel how important these things are.
If I were an editor, and I had a writer that did and a writer that doesnt and I have some work to give out - I suspect strongly the writer that does wins every time.
So we practice on these boards and those of us who do so will expect our dash use to be pointed out otherwise we arent growing or learning.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

gbonehead wrote:


Which all blithely ignores the fundamental point of my post - that here on a message board, unlike in a real document (for example, one that will be a turnover), my belief is that the extra effort to put proper em and en dashes into a message board post when I'm on a Windows machine is really not that important.

I hear what you are saying, but I have to admit that isn't exactly the attitude we (well, Paizo) is looking for.

Remember, a part of this is your presence and professionalism on these boards. Things you say can and will be used against you. Just keep that in mind. :)

Ask yourself, would Neil say that? Clearly, no.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Clark Peterson wrote:
Ask yourself, would Neil say that? Clearly, no.

LOL!

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