Official "Critique My Item" Thread


RPG Superstar™ 2012 General Discussion

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Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Sakuri wrote:
Hair Bangles of the Scorpion

*Who knew scorpions had enough hair to wear bangles? :-D

*I can see right away the price/cost ratio is off for this item. So, the designer doesn't understand how to price wondrous items correctly.

*They capitalized several game terms that don't need to be.

*And, it's essentially a weapon masquerading as a wondrous item...along with an enhancement to Charisma just because your hair grows a little longer with these pretty bangles in them. Meh.

*Vote to Reject.

*Not really a marketable idea. Uninspired mechanics.

*Reject.

*So I can't use this item if I'm bald?

*No. No, you cannot.

*Sadly, neither can I.

*Reject.

*Rejected.


Neil Spicer wrote:
Caelesti wrote:
Gloves of the Magi

*Meh. Not really all that interesting or innovative of an idea here.

*You can tell the designer strove hard to apply the template correctly and reference something new with the magus spellstrike ability. Even so, I don't think this one is Superstar-caliber. And what happens when you cast a touch spell that sustains for multiple rounds (like chill touch)? Does the residual damage keep stacking...last longer...?

*Vote to Reject.

*I like it. It's simple, and useful, and immediately understandable (though the language as written needs to be edited for clarity).

*If I had a mage or cleric character, and I didn't already have a pair of more useful gloves, I'd have my character wear these.

*Vote to Keep.

*Hmmm. The author does a few good things. Good template. Good idea to work in the fertile field of the magus. Touch spell stuff is fun. Good use of template.

*I don't like the name. There is a staff of the magi, and that is a pimped out super staff. So the gloves of the magi better be on the same level. These, of course, are not. They are the gloves of the magus. I think that is a HUGE name fail.

*I also see Neil's mechanics question, as many of the magus spells are touch spells and there is some serious confusion in my mind (maybe only mine) as to how this item works with that. That needed clarification.

*Weak REJECT though props to the author for doing so many things right.

*It's a nice try. To me, the main fault is there are touch spells that don't deal damage, or don't deal energy damage... so what type of damage bonus carries over to the next touch attack? Heck, Neil's example of chill touch deals Strength damage, not hit point damage, so does Strength damage carry over to your next touch attack?

*What if your next touch attack isn't a damage spell? What if on round 1 you cast shocking grasp on an enemy, and on round 2 you cast invisibility on yourself or an ally? Do you hurt...

I'm glad that I got at least one vote to keep, so it looks like I was generally on the right track, especially with making these useful to everyone. Indeed, one of my thoughts was that clerics would like these almost as much as magi (the plural for magus, as mentioned in the book, hence the name I chose), for delivering a lot of cure spells to undead, or inflict spells to the living. I actually considered calling it Gloves of the Magus, but felt that would too heavily tie it to that class, when it could be used by any caster with plenty of touch attack spells.

I'm a little confused about some of the comments. Clearly I needed to clarify a little better that the gloves only store energy from hit point damage directly dealt with a touch, hence chill touch would only store 1 point of negative energy damage, and only once, when the spell was delivered. However, I felt I was pretty clear that the damage would only discharge through a melee touch attack, which dissipates (though maybe I needed to add 'harmlessly'), and thus wouldn't be delivered if, for example, you then cast cure light wounds on an ally next round, since that's not a melee touch attack.

So, overall, it seems I picked the wrong name, and didn't clarify well enough that the item only stores typed energy damage, not ability damage/drain/etc. Would it be reasonable thinking that, had I done these two things better, I would have had a real shot at the Top 32?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka CNichols

Here's the item I submitted. I appreciate any and all critiques and commentary.

Walking Stick of the Revered Elder

Aura strong transmutation; CL 13th

Slot —; Price 56,000 gp; Weight 3 lbs.

Description

Crafted of willow with a crow-shaped handle and silver ferrule, this walking stick is frequently associated with worshippers of Andoletta, the empyreal lord known as Grandmother Crow.

When used as an aid to walking and balance, this cane grants a +2 competence bonus to Acrobatics for balance-related effects and a +2 competence bonus to CMD against trip attempts. Additionally, the walking stick subtly resizes itself to match the length that is most comfortable to each user. The walking stick’s other effects depend on the age of the user.

When used by individuals younger than middle age, this walking stick produces the effects of the spell youthful appearance, affecting the user only and causing venerable instead of youthful appearance.

When used by individuals of middle age, the walking stick provides the benefits of constant lesser age resistance.

When used by individuals of old age, the walking stick provides the benefits of constant age resistance. Additionally, once per day the user can affect the cane with shillelagh as though it was a club.

When used by individuals of venerable age, the walking stick provides the benefits of constant greater age resistance. The user may use the cane’s shillelagh ability once per day, and summon a swarm of celestial crows three times per day. These luminous white crows act as the summon swarm spell, using a bat swarm with the celestial creature template, save that the swarm will not harm the summoner’s allies.

Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, greater age resistance, guidance, shillelagh, summon swarm, youthful appearance; Cost 28,000 gp

Comments: I was hoping to strike a chord similar to the sunblossom - a Golarion deity themed item, while also using a mechanic I hadn't seen used in conjunction with wondrous item before - aging categories. However, I realize that my item is too SIAC and SAK. Also, I don't think my theme was tight enough, and the middle-age category really needs some sort of effect. Also, it may be too plot devicey, although I felt it would open opportunities to play an unusual type of PC (as middle-age and older PCs aren't something people play very often).

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Neil Spicer wrote:
Wildebob wrote:
Key to the Soul’s Prison

*Already not liking the name. Bad name is a bad start. "Key to the Soul's Prison", what in the world does that actually mean?

*OK, hair metal side trek. I like the band Dokken because their guitarist, George Lynch, is amazing. But they never made it big in part because of their vacuous lyrics (and maybe some 80s hair metal cheesiness, but I love it anyway). Now, the 80's in general and hair metal in particular was never known for poignant socially conscious lyrics. But in an interview George Lynch years later made fun of their lyrics. They had a song called "Unchain the Night." George in that interview mocked that name and asked what does that even mean? I feel the same way about the name of this item. End of hair metal side trek.

*Long story short: bad item name but maybe would have been a good Dokken song.

*OK this is lame. So, all you have to do is have a healer next to you to stabilize you and keep you from dying and you can ghost out? Holy cow, no way.

*Even a blazing George Lynch guitar solo can't save this song, though Don Dokken likely would have loved the read aloud inscription.

I feel obligated to save Neil. The Dokken comments in this item were all from me :) Sorry about that, and apologies to George Lynch (though I'm not apologizing to Don Dokken). I love hair metal, what can I say. And George is THE MAN! I'm listening to It's Not Love in my chambers right now.

Clark

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

CasMat wrote:
Sightlinked Spies

*Hmmmm. Well, I can see the utility of this item. It's essentially the perfect "bug" to place on someone you want to track. And it also lets you see what's going on in a 60 ft. radius around the linked bug. That really ought to be a clairvoyance effect moreso than arcane eye, though. The latter lets you move a scrying sensor around, while the former is stationary.

*I like the paired bugs being able to follow one another and lead its user to the location of the linked one. I'm not sure how Superstar it is...but it might be worth keeping around for comparison's sake.

*Weak Keep.

*I hate spy items. It seems we get a couple every year.

*These are not that interesting, original or creative and thus not Superstar in my humble opinion.

*Reject.

*Utilitarian, but not superstar.

*Reject.

*Rejected.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Lich_Sathas wrote:
Codex of Cognitive Superiority

*If I'm generous and give them the benefit of the doubt and copy their item name into the submission text, it puts them over wordcount. That makes this an...auto-reject.

*It also has a reference to Craft Wonderous Item. So, alas, I'm afraid I can't feel much sympathy for them.

*Auto-rejected.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

TarkXT wrote:
Saddle of the Jade Charger

*Ah, the ubiquitous "back" slot that doesn't exist.

*And it's a pretty poor melding of horse and rider into what's essentially an indeterminate amount of monsters- and monster-abilities-in-a-can.

*Vote to Reject.

*Yay "back" slot! Baby got back!

*Didn't we have a centaurish item like this before?

*What does "it is both animal and humanoid" mean? Are you immune to an effect if it only affects one type? What if the rider isn't a humanoid, like an aasimar?

*Reject.

*Rejected.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Golden-Esque wrote:
Hourglass of the Turning Tapestry

*Well this is one of those rare items that goes over wordcount while actually doing a pretty good job of paying attention to all the other details, like following the template. Talk about a wasted effort. Too bad they couldn't run a simple word count or read the rules.

*Auto-reject.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Caelesti wrote:
So, overall, it seems I picked the wrong name, and didn't clarify well enough that the item only stores typed energy damage, not ability damage/drain/etc. Would it be reasonable thinking that, had I done these two things better, I would have had a real shot at the Top 32?

Caelesti

Good question. Let me answer that in a round about way...

First, the comment about the name matching staff of the magi and that being a pimped out super staff came from me. It brings up a good point. In other threads we have noted how we compare items you submit to other items that already exist that do similar things--like the kingfisher cloak being similar to what a helm of underwater action already does. Item names are similar. If you use a name or theme then we are going to see how your item fits that theme. For instance, if you make a "cloak of..." we are going to compare it to other cloaks, or if you make a "tome of..." we will compare it to other book items. You chose a different phrase: "...of the magi." Maybe you didn't mean to, but in doing so you referenced a really powerful and really iconic item--the staff of the magi. I really felt that was a BIG design error. Though in some ways just a small thing, what it shows is that you are not yet asking all the questions a good designer asks. So it isnt just an "item name" issue, it is seeing how items work together as part of a system in a game. The name issue showed me you overlooked that.

Second, clarity on how the item works is probably the biggest function of item design. When we are left scratching our heads as to what it does or doesnt do, that is the fundamental thing you have to convey in good item design. We had some questions, sure maybe nitpicky questions, but as a freelancer that is what you get--guys like Sean and me and Neil and Ryan picking apart what you do. But clarification would have helped you big time. Again, not clarifying showed us that you were only thinking about what you wanted it to do. A good designer thinks not just about what you want it to do, but how it MAY be used and abused and how it works within the system of the rules, and that was the point of many of our questions. As with the name, we felt you weren't quite seeing that big design picture yet.

That said, as noted, we thought you did a LOT of things right and I think we all liked the core idea of the item.

What I would take away is this:

1. You did a lot right
2. Be careful with names
3. Really try to understand not just how your item works in isolation but how it fits in the scheme of all the existing items
4. Be careful showing us that you have an understanding not just how you want the thing to work but how it could be used by all players and make sure those mechanics are really clear

I think if you worked on your "big picture" design skills, I dont see any reason why you couldnt make it into the Keep folder with an item next year and maybe even into the top 32.

Hope that helps :)

Clark

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Sphen wrote:
Door Mouse

*There are several reasons why I'd vote against this item. Chief among them is that it "makes adventuring easy" by eliminating the need for a rogue. It essentially poaches that class's skills.

*Secondly, it seems kind of artibrary that the mouse can disable locks, but not traps. Even moreso that an accidentally activated trap somehow still targets whoever activated the mouse, regardless of distance. These are just poor design decisions.

*I'm also kind of annoyed by the variations for each mouse and the variable caster level, but maybe that's just me.

*Compounding all this is that there were some design missteps in using the wondrous item template. And the bottom line is that I...

*...Vote to Reject.

*Like you, I don't like the "render a class less useful" item. Bad design. I get why people want this, because they don't have a rogue in their party. But what they overlook is (or what they don't think through) that by creating such an item they don't just fill a need in their party, they actually make a whole class less necessary. Pathfinder/D&D is about party composition and choices. The goal is not to provide the PCs a way to overcome every obstacle despite their PC choices.

*BIG REJECT from me.

*That said, I actually like some of the things it does and its description. The author has talent, he or she just missed a real big no-no from a meta design standpoint, in my humble opinion.

*Isn't a door mouse a real thing, making this item a bad pun?

*Yes, it is, at least in Alice in Wonderland.

*Rejected.


Here's the item I submitted. I'd like as much feedback as possible. Thanks.

Deathguards
Auramoderate necromancer; CL 9th
Slot-; Price 70,000 gp; Weight -
Description
This pair of matching rings look like any normal ring, except for the hidden glowing runes that spell out "Only in death can we part".

When worn, any harm that would fall upon one bearer afflicts the other ring bearer instead. Any lethal damage, stat damage, poison, or disease is prevented from the one who receives it. It is then given to wearer of the other ring and vice versa.

Each deathguard has only one sister ring whom it shares harm with and are created in pairs. A deathguard cannot send harm it has received from the other ring. A deathguard will only transfer harm if both rings are worn by two different living individuals.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, unwilling shield, two matching rings, blood from two lovers; Cost 45,000 gp

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

James Martin wrote:
Holster of Goblinkind

*Eh. I can see what they were going for, but it's a bit campy with the pantomiming and the "BANG!" activation. I mean, what does this item have to do with goblinkind? And why would goblins make a holster with a gun-like association? Are they natural gunslingers or something? I'm not feeling it.

*Vote to Reject.

*[redacted]

*This is another "first draft" item. Maybe we need a new bad item stereotype. That item that is the first good idea that popped into someone's head and they put it down, without letting it simmer, thinking it through, proofreading it, editing it, thinking about it. Hey, neat idea, Bam! That is not Superstar item design.

*Reject.

*Notice the free Quick Draw feat, at less than what we'd normally price a 1st-tier feat-in-a-can at (5,000 gp).

*Reject.

*Rejected.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

IronWolf wrote:
The Dawnflower Candle

*And how does a cleric of Sarenrae rekindle a prematurely extinguished candle? They just can? So, as long as you have a cleric of Sarenrae in the party, it never matters if the candle gets blown out early. Meanwhile, do we know how long the candle burns if left alone? Can you just keep it going indefinitely?

*It's a quaint consumable item. Low level ones are hard to do well. It's kind of boring for the most part in terms of what it does for you. Very utilitarian. Not especially sexy or Superstar.

*I'm also annoyed they left their spell names capitalized in the descriptive text, but knew enough to lowercase them in the construction requirements.

*Weak Reject.

*Agreed. Reject.

*We've seen many rest-augmenting items, this isn't really new.

*Reject.

*Rejected.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Neil Spicer wrote:
Lunch break. I'll be back later. And once Clark and Sean get their day going out on the west coast, I'm sure they'll be in here, too.

Oh sure! take all the credit! I've been in here since the beginning :)

Neil is a machine. It's crazy. Go, Neil, Go!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

I'M INCREDIBLE! wrote:
Cloak of the Reaper

*SAK of SIAC effects. The flavor almost redeems it. Almost.

*Weak Reject.

*Agreed. Reject.

*I do have to note, Paizo better send me some copies of the intervening books if they are already up to Bestiary 300, since I only have 1 and 2. I'm missing 3-300. Some typos or missed edits are worse than others :)

*I think perhaps they meant it's from the Pathfinder Bestiary devoted to the graphic comic and big-screen film, 300... ;-D

*See? They even made sure to use all 300 words allotted, just to stay on theme. This. Is. SUPERSTAR! ::kicks item into the bottomless pit of rejection::

*Rejected.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

JSollars wrote:
Headband of Shrouded Memories

* + I'm not entirely sure why, but I kind of like this one a little bit. It's a bit of a plot device item in some ways, but I could see wizards and spies resorting to such an item to intentionally hide and even pass along information via the headband, leaving themselves free of that knowledge so they can't be interrogated later. The memory simply won't be there anymore. Personally, I think the designer made a misstep by not including modify memory in the spell requirements and I would have liked to see them give the headband some other power so the user could read minds or steal the memories of others (if they fail a save, of course).

*But, I'm okay with overlooking that for now. Everything else seems in order here. I like the item's core idea at least a little. I really like the attention to detail in using the templae. This designer has a pretty good idea, good attention to detail, and I even like the item name. It's very much in keeping with what this item is all about.

*Weak Keep.

*This doesn't excite me. It's little more than modify memory-in-a-can, and doesn't even list that spell as a reference. I don't see PCs using this much, and I don't see a villain using it on minions who might be caught--he'd just erase their memories (with the modify memory spell) or kill them.

*Reject.

*This is a plot device.

*Reject

*Agreed. Reject.

*Rejected.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Clark Peterson wrote:
Oh sure! take all the credit! I've been in here since the beginning :)

True. But I'm way ahead of you now. ;-P

Clark Peterson wrote:
Neil is a machine. It's crazy. Go, Neil, Go!

Eh. It's been a slow day at the office. I keep sneaking time to follow along with the contest. So, why not?


Neil Spicer wrote:
AdamWarnock wrote:
Claw of the Four Dragons
*lots of shredding*

*ouch* I guess I'm not as clever as I thought I was. Although I'm glad that at least one of the judges liked one part of the item. Thank you for the feedback. I'll be back next year, with a better item hopefully.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Coleman wrote:
Crown of Energy

*So, it's the munchkin item that lets you automatically absorb any incoming energy (regardless of type, strength, etc.) and you can either decide to hold onto it for complete immunity to that energy type (so a red dragon can breathe on you again, I suppose, while you chop it to pieces). And, if you find the need to guard yourself against some new energy type (because your opponent switches tactics), you can discard the stored energy as an offensive weapon. In fact, you could pretty much do that every round.

*Example: On his turn, an opposing spellcaster hits you with a fireball. Absorbed. On your turn, you fire it back as a fiery 4d6 scorching ray. His turn again. He tries hitting you with cone of cold. Absorbed. On your turn, you fire it back frost-filled scorching ray for another 4d6 damage. You finally close on your opponent who's really desperate now. He switches to shocking grasp, hoping to at least zap you with a melee touch spell. Absorbed. And rather than fry him again with another scorching ray, you hold onto that one for immunity to any further shocking grasp spells and just light into him with your sword. Encounter over.

*This is not a Superstar item. It lets you shut down the energy abilities of any creature you face (with no save) and give yourself immunity to it, if you want. Even the God of Fire or the forces of Hell couldn't burn you.

*Vote to Reject.

*You missed that you can charge it up with a ray of frost before battle, risk the chance that you'll get hit by acid/cold/elec/fire (for +50% damage, no big deal), then unleash a 4d6 blast of cold. Cantrip --> 4d6 damage. With no range listed, BTW.

*Reject.

*Rejected.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

marv wrote:
Cantering Stilts

*Meh, it's a silly item. I don't think they're trying to be funny, but the item is silly.

*Reject.

*This seems like a case of someone choosing an item to build a submission around that won't be like anything else. But magical stilts isn't really an item I can see players getting excited about...especially at 10,700 gp. I'd rather spend that hardearned coin on something more useful. And, if I'm in situation where I need a greater movement rate, I can go with longstrider or expeditious retreat. If I need to be taller, I can go with enlarge person or any of the giant form spells. And I think all of those situations pop up far less frequently than 10,700 gp worth of scrolls or potions.

*Vote to Reject.

*Rejected.


Neil Spicer wrote:
Lich_Sathas wrote:
Codex of Cognitive Superiority

*If I'm generous and give them the benefit of the doubt and copy their item name into the submission text, it puts them over wordcount. That makes this an...auto-reject.

*It also has a reference to Craft Wonderous Item. So, alas, I'm afraid I can't feel much sympathy for them.

*Auto-rejected.

Wow, did I misunderstand that. For some reason I kept thinking the title of the post was the spot for the item name. I edited probably 200 words from the initial thought gathering draft to get to the final draft. Including the name twice, put me at 301 words...1 word over. Not really sure why I didn't catch the e I stuck into Wondrous.

Thanks anyway.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Merck wrote:
Boots of the Steady Mountaineer

*So, they're magical gravity/adhering boots...kind of similar to slippers of spider climbing? Not sure there's enough here to give this item Superstar mojo.

*Weak Reject.

*WNS

*Reject.

*Rejected.


Neil Spicer wrote:
TarkXT wrote:
Saddle of the Jade Charger

*Ah, the ubiquitous "back" slot that doesn't exist.

*And it's a pretty poor melding of horse and rider into what's essentially an indeterminate amount of monsters- and monster-abilities-in-a-can.

*Vote to Reject.

*Yay "back" slot! Baby got back!

*Didn't we have a centaurish item like this before?

*What does "it is both animal and humanoid" mean? Are you immune to an effect if it only affects one type? What if the rider isn't a humanoid, like an aasimar?

*Reject.

*Rejected.

Ah those little details are murderous. I suppose you could call the saddle a shoulder slot. In any case thank you for taking the time on this.


Amulet of Extended Life
Aura strong abjuration; CL 15th
Slot neck; Price 8,500 gp; Weight - lbs.
Description
This obsidian amulet, designed to increase the amount of punishment a warrior must endure has a carving etched into it depicting one man, usually a cleric or paladin, healing another. The wearer is allowed to retain any hit points obtained from any magical source above and beyond his normal maximum hit points, as temporary hit points, for an amount that is no more than 10% of the the creature's maximum hit points. These hit points disappear after one hour. If the wearer also has temporary hit points from another they are tracked separately, and do not count against the temporary hit points granted by the amulet.
In addition the amulet can grant the wear DR 5/- for a period of 1 round. This ability can only be activated once per day.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, False Life, Limited Wish; Cost 5,750

edit:This is the result of trying to play it safe for all you viewers out there.
I now turn this over to the judges to critique.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

SirGeshko wrote:
Shinjitsu Mirror

*Okay, first...a DC 14 zone of truth is going to be pretty laughable by whatever you're facing at the point which you could afford a 101,050 gp item. In addition, this mirror weighs 7 lbs. and it's 2 feet in diameter. Are you really going to carry this around with you just so can use true seeing via the reflection of your surroundings? No. You're not.

*Vote to Reject.

*Agreed. Reject.

*Rejected.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Marc Chin wrote:
Tongue of the Excruciating Impressionist

*No.

*Vote to Reject.

*What the [redacted]...?!

*Reject.

*How is this even a neck slot item?

*Reject.

*Rejected.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

ciretose wrote:
Dimensional Tanglefoot Bag

*Spell-in-a-bag. Not creative enough. Also, not a fan of glomming on a magical effect to a unique piece of alchemical equipment. And they used the ubiquitous Craft Wonderous Item feat in the construction requirements. That should be a death knell right off the bat. If you're going to submit a design for a wondrous item, please call it a freaking WONDROUS item!

*Vote to Reject.

*Did you see the thread with the new item creation feat called Craft Wonderous Item? It specifies that any wonderous items crafted using that feat qualify as wondrous items for RPG Superstar.

*By the way, I find it funny that the message boards posting software (that I am using to write this) highlight "wonderous" as a misspelling, but "wondrous" shows as properly spelled. That means every single entry who posted with that incorrect word should have noticed it was incorrect from the forum posting tool's own spell checker. Hehehe.

*On to the item...Isn't this actually just an alchemical item?

*I'm sorry but even if this is a wondrous item, I don't think its Superstar to just make a fancy alchemical item. That's sort of like making another figurine of wondrous power to me.

*Reject.

*Rejected.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I actually really like the Holster of Goblinkind. Although I agree with the judges, epsecially that it needs to be more expensive, I think this would work very well in a certain (albeit limited) context. It just so happens a friend has a homebrew setting that fits exactly that context, and he's gonna love it for a goblin gunslinger NPC he has (who just so happens to be named "BANGBANG!"). Copy and paste, consider it ganked.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

James MacKenzie wrote:
Souldrinker's Ewer

Word Count:

*299 words

Commentary:
*Sheesh! Talk about a whole lot of fluff just to work your way around to what's essentially a narrowly-focused, thanadaemon-specific contact other plane and greater planar ally SIAC. This comes across way too much like a homebrew campaign item (centering on daemons) or a plot device to me. What's innovative or Superstar about this...? That it's an evil item you force someone to drink from so it inflicts permanent Intelligence ability damage, all so you can ask a few questions of a thanadaemon? Or that it opens a portal to Abaddon so a thanadaemon can cross the planes to maybe agree to be your greater planar ally?

*I'm not buying it. You can pretty much buy up enough scrolls of contact other plane and a single scroll of greater planar ally for far less money than this item requires. And, it's a lot less hassle, since you don't have to abduct someone to force them into drinking from the ewer.

*Vote to Reject.

*What Neil said.

*Reject.

*Rejected.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CuttinCurt wrote:
No clam this year Clark...

And for that I thank you :)

I think Neil already posted the feedback. Our main problem was this is an item designed for a situation that really never comes up. Clearly its a "sneak something through a window" item.

You did a great job with the template and clearly show some freelancer mojo!

What I would take away from this item:

1. You don't have to play to the masses, its not a user popularity contest, but a superstar doesnt make an item that is so limited that it only sees use under really narrow, narrow circumstances (and if they do it is so awesome that we dont care, and this one wasnt).
2. Your execution, though, is really good and with the right item there is no reason you couldnt advance next year.

Good luck!

Star Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Neil Spicer wrote:
Mike Alchus wrote:
The Deadeye's Snuff

*Do we really want to incent magical tobacco snuff? At 6,500 gp per lot of ten pieces? I'm not really a fan of this...despite the designer reaching for something related to the gunslinger class.

*Weak Reject.

*Reject.

*Reject.

*Rejected.

Thanks for taking the time to post this feedback Neil!

While you may not want to incent magical tobacco, I did get the inspiration for using tobacco from a pathfinder book (where the properties were listed).

I was originally going to make this item in the form of eye lenses or a scope (but I wanted the first ability to be usable by other ranged weapons, not just firearms). After listening to the podcast you guys put up and after seeing the tobacco description, I thought it would be a bit more original / creative.

I do hope my presentation and mechanics were more solid though as that was my main problem from last year. But reading all the feedback in this thread will no doubt help once again!

Thanks guys!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka Virgil

My item was the Parasol of the Forgotten Shade.

Parasol of the Forgotten Shade
Aura faint abjuration, illusion; CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 16,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
This parasol of deepest black constantly drips ephemeral ichor. Its ever-present, otherworldy, shade will blend in with the smallest of crowds and set the bearer apart from hostilities. When held open, any creature seeking to directly attack the bearer must make a DC 11 Will save to do so (as the sanctuary spell). A creature who makes the save or is attacked by the bearer can attack freely for 24 hours.
So long as the bearer of the parasol is adjacent to another creature, they can make Stealth checks in terrain without cover or concealment.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, invisibility, sanctuary; Cost 8,000 gp

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Lars Lundberg wrote:
Thanks for your look. I know better now. Special thanks to either Sean, Clark or Ryan, which ever one of you Medium-sized designers that said you liked the idea.

That was me :)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Roy Wagner wrote:
Wow these threads always fill up so fast. Hope you can get to my item. Thanks for doing this guys.

Yep. We got to ya...

Roy Wagner wrote:
Chimerical Prism

*What does "chimerical" have to do with this prism?

*So, it protects from ray spells and lets you reflect them back as shadow evocations of themselves. I'm not sure what it means "if the ray had none" with regards to the original ray's level. Is this suggesting a ray from a ray gun acts differently? Or from a monster ability?

*And then, we find the item inflicts insanity, an alternate sub-system that all GMs may not feel comfortable introducing. I'm not really a big fan of this one. I think the writing doesn't flow all that well and, despite the professional polish on most of the template, I don't think this designer is ready yet. Interesting idea. Weak execution.

*Vote to Reject.

*I'd think this was a first draft if it weren't for the great execution of the template which says to me this was not a first draft.

*The powers are sort of a strange, not properly explained mish mash. I see what they are trying to accomplish. This one just takes a bit of a strange left turn and loses its way. Much like the rays it reflects.

*I have to admit, i like the core idea--a prism to deflect rays. That said, like Neil I have no idea why chimerical is in the name.

*Reject.

*"The user can automatically hit the prism with a ray to create a 15ft cone-shaped burst..."

*Does this refer to the bearer's own rays, or to incoming rays?

*Reject.

*Rejected.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7 aka Draconas

Neil Spicer wrote:
Joshua Kitchens wrote:
Scalpel of Malleable Evolution

*So, it's a SAK (almost literally) of evolution upgrades you can apply to anyone willing to give up 2 temporary points of Con? I don't think this is a good idea. Innovative, yes. Balanced and good for the game? Not as much. This pretty much means you only need a single minute for an alchemist with the Heal skill to give his "patient" an on-the-spot special ability to win any engagement they can prepare for ahead of time.

*Weak Reject.

*WOAH OVERPOWERED!!!!!

*Reject.

*Rejected.

Thanks Neil.

For those interested, my item description:

Scalpel of Evolution:
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 10th
Slot none; Price 80,000 gp; Weight 1/2 lbs.
Description
This surgeon’s tool appears crafted of the finest silver and its small blade shimmers with a deceptively sharp edge when placed in the light. If held to the ear, the utensil seems to hum with the faint sound of pain-filled screaming as if the very essence of those who have felt its touch lingers on. The scalpel’s slight weight and small size make it an impractical choice for a weapon and it can only be used as an improvised weapon in those circumstances.

When held by someone with ranks in the Heal skill, the scalpel grants a +2 competence bonus to any Heal check made by the individual. The true power of the scalpel of malleable evolution can only be harnessed when held by an individual with alchemist class levels in addition to ranks in the Heal skill.

In a procedure that requires one minute to complete and a DC 20 Heal check, an alchemist can use the scalpel to enhance one willing and living creature with new biological features at the mere price of pain and suffering. The creature gains evolution points to use for evolutions, chosen by the alchemist, as if it was a summoner’s eidolon at the cost of two points of temporary Constitution damage per one point of evolution gained. These evolutions last for a number of hours equal to half the scalpel user’s alchemist class levels, rounded down. If the alchemist fails the Heal check or the procedure is halted before it can be completed, the creature being altered suffers only one point of temporary Constitution damage with no benefits gained from the ordeal.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, evolution surge, transmogrify; Cost 40,000 gp

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Harker Wade wrote:
Destrachan’s Lament

*I don't really feel much for this item. I get the theme. The designer spent a lot of time trying to make sure everything was as accurate as possible. But I think they tried to put too much into it. I don't really care for the last two powers. The first one would have been sufficient. They basically overreached with this thing. And many of the spell choices seem really odd to me in the construction requirements. Why isn't sculpt sound in there at the very least?

*Weak Reject.

*"The vibrations grant the wearer a +3 circumstance bonus against sonic-based effects." Is this on saves? To AC?

*"Imperceptible Drone – A shrill, infrasonic repeating chord that renders the wearer undetectable to hearing-based blindsense and echolocation per invisibility, greater for 10 minutes a day, which the wearer can divide into 1 minute increments." If you can split this into 10 1-minute increments, then the item isn't limited to just once per day (which it says it is so limited).

*A mechanical magic music box doesn't excite me; it doesn't have to be a music box, it could just as easily be a weird crystal or whatever.

*Has some game-mechanics issues.

*Weak Reject.

*Rejected.

Liberty's Edge Dedicated Voter Season 6

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Baneful Tantalus
Aura moderate necromancy; CL 7th
Slot —; Price 10,000 gp; Weight 12 lbs.
Description
This appears to be a finely crafted wooden tantalus, containing three stoppered crystal decanters, four gilt cordials, and a small drawer for playing cards and gaming chips. Each decanter is enchanted in such a way that, as long as it is placed within the tantalus, if a single drop of any mundane alcohol is put within the decanter it will fill completely with that spirit. A decanter will continue to refill itself when the contents are poured out. The libation must be poured into one of the four cordials or drunk straight from the decanter; if placed in any other container or on any surface, the liquid transforms instantly into ordinary water. A command word can be spoken to empty a decanter completely.

Once per week, when a different command word is spoken (typically taking the form of a toast or tribute), a specific cordial in each baneful tantalus will immediately transmute its contents into a lethal toxin indistinguishable from the drink it once was. An hour after being imbibed the poison begins to affect the drinker, causing 1d4 points of Constitution damage per round for 5 rounds (a DC 25 Fortitude save is allowed each round, with 2 successful saves needed to negate the effect). Unless ingested within one round of the command word being spoken, the poison will revert to its original alcohol form.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, create food and water, poison; Cost 5000 gp

Scarab Sages

Clark Peterson wrote:
CuttinCurt wrote:
No clam this year Clark...

And for that I thank you :)

I think Neil already posted the feedback. Our main problem was this is an item designed for a situation that really never comes up. Clearly its a "sneak something through a window" item.

You did a great job with the template and clearly show some freelancer mojo!

What I would take away from this item:

1. You don't have to play to the masses, its not a user popularity contest, but a superstar doesnt make an item that is so limited that it only sees use under really narrow, narrow circumstances (and if they do it is so awesome that we dont care, and this one wasnt).
2. Your execution, though, is really good and with the right item there is no reason you couldnt advance next year.

Good luck!

Thanks Clark, I do appreciate the feedback. Neil hasnt left the feedback on the gloves of the impossible bottle yet but I do see where I limited the item quite a bit. I will not be as restricting next year.

Shadow Lodge

I didn't see this contest until two days before the deadline. During that time I wracked my brain on anything interesting I could think of, but I essentially had creator's block. I've never made an item before. I've only played Pathfinder for a year (and never any other tabletop game). Despite that, entering this contest got me to think about the dynamics of an item in a different way, which I think is ultimately its goal.

After submitting this item, I felt it was uninspired. A revision of the item would include something more interesting, for instance, when someone in the chair takes hp damage, for every 10 or 15 hit points of damage they take the item gains a charge. Then, much like the cube of force, there is a list of abilities that can be maintained for a certain amount of minutes per charge spent (i.e. Discern Lines). That way, in order to "interrogate" someone and gain increased ability to do so, one must keep it ongoing. Thoughts?

Also, I realize the item is technically undercosted, but it has some unquantifiable limitations. I felt that if it were a 55,000 gold item, who would want it? Perhaps it should have been scrapped altogether, or presented in a different manner completely.

I also realize I left off the weight and didn't italicize properly.

Due to this contest I've already gotten several ideas for items that are at least 100x better than this. I learned a lot.

Vestige of the Unremitting Maiden
Aura moderate conjuration and divination; CL 9th
Slot-; Price 25,000 gp Weight 1 lb.

Description

Once per week, this fist-sized stone statuette depicting the likeness of an iron maiden can be activated with at least a single drop of the owner's blood, growing 10 feet square and 20 feet high over one minute. On a wall facing the owner is a locked, strong wooden door that opens at his command. The interior is furnished with a single stone chair equipped with manacles, a smoldering brazier providing dim light, and a wooden table containing the following devices of persuasion, all of which are bound magically to the room: a branding iron, a whip, a hammer and 5 iron pitons, a spiked club coated with giant wasp poison, 50 feet of rope, a flask of alchemist's fire, a flask of acid, a pint of oil, a 2-pound bag of caltrops, and an hour glass. While inside, the owner can use Discern Lies at will, and may raise or lower the brightness level of the brazier by up to two steps upon command, tripling the bonus received by the stern gaze class feature. Each 2-inch thick, 5-foot square of spiky wall is hardness 8, with 30 hit points, and if a single wall is destroyed, or 24 hours have elapsed, the statuette reverts back to its original size, shunting all within. The statuette can be deactivated upon command, but if any creature has recently perished within its walls, it may be used again in 24 hours.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Discern Lies, Wall of Stone Cost 12,500


Clark Peterson wrote:
Caelesti wrote:
So, overall, it seems I picked the wrong name, and didn't clarify well enough that the item only stores typed energy damage, not ability damage/drain/etc. Would it be reasonable thinking that, had I done these two things better, I would have had a real shot at the Top 32?

Caelesti

Good question. Let me answer that in a round about way...

First, the comment about the name matching staff of the magi and that being a pimped out super staff came from me. It brings up a good point. In other threads we have noted how we compare items you submit to other items that already exist that do similar things--like the kingfisher cloak being similar to what a helm of underwater action already does. Item names are similar. If you use a name or theme then we are going to see how your item fits that theme. For instance, if you make a "cloak of..." we are going to compare it to other cloaks, or if you make a "tome of..." we will compare it to other book items. You chose a different phrase: "...of the magi." Maybe you didn't mean to, but in doing so you referenced a really powerful and really iconic item--the staff of the magi. I really felt that was a BIG design error. Though in some ways just a small thing, what it shows is that you are not yet asking all the questions a good designer asks. So it isnt just an "item name" issue, it is seeing how items work together as part of a system in a game. The name issue showed me you overlooked that.

Second, clarity on how the item works is probably the biggest function of item design. When we are left scratching our heads as to what it does or doesnt do, that is the fundamental thing you have to convey in good item design. We had some questions, sure maybe nitpicky questions, but as a freelancer that is what you get--guys like Sean and me and Neil and Ryan picking apart what you do. But clarification would have helped you big time. Again, not clarifying showed us that you were only thinking about what you wanted it to do. A good designer...

Thank you so much for the feedback, Clark. (And Neil, since I just realized I forgot to thank him, crap!) Clearly I should have just gone with my first impulse of gloves of the magus instead of overthinking it and making a bigger mistake in trying to avoid making a small one. Ironically, I've since caught the possible additional issue of if a touch spell dealt (for example) both cold and negative energy damage, what sort of damage the gloves would deliver, though I can't think of any spells that do that. I'm not sure how I missed ability damage for clarifying, but I'm certainly not going to make that mistake again. Of course, with 235 words, I definitely had room for some extra clarification.

According to Word, my revision below comes in at 289 words, which is a lot closer to the limit, but still has some wiggle room. If anyone at all would like to give me feedback on this version, that would be totally awesome. I know I can't resubmit next year, but getting this item where it needs to be for Top 32 would make it much easier to get there next year.

my revised item:

Gloves of the Magus
Aura moderate universal; CL 9th
Slot hands; Price 10,800 gp; Weight --
Description
Favored by casters who enjoy delivering their spells while toe-to-toe with their enemies, these supple leather gloves with silver fingertips can retain and temporarily store small amounts of energy when the wearer casts certain spells, without diminishing said spells. Whenever a wearer successfully delivers a melee touch spell which deals energy damage (such as fire or negative energy damage) while wearing these gloves, an amount of residual energy will remain in the gloves until the end of the following round. The next melee touch or unarmed attack that the wearer makes, including one to deliver a melee touch spell, will deal an amount of bonus damage equal to the level of the spell that was cast, of the same type as the energy damage that was dealt. The gloves do not have the ability to store ability damage or other types of harmful effects or conditions. (As a 2nd level spell dealing cold damage, casting frigid touch while wearing the gloves of the magus would result in the storage of 2 points of cold damage, but not the storage of the staggered condition.)

When worn by a magus, these gloves allow the wearer to channel this residual damage through their wielded weapon with their next hit if the triggering melee touch spell was delivered using the magus's spellstrike ability.

The gloves can only hold one such charge at a time, which will always dissipate harmlessly after one round if not used. If the triggering spell has multiple energy types, the wearer may select which type will be temporarily stored within the gloves.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, elemental touch; Cost 5,400 gp

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

Clark Peterson wrote:
Riftwalker wrote:


Mushroom of the Fey Ring

OK, Riftwalker. Buckle up for this one. :) I'll try to take it easy on you...

Thanks Clark.

This was my first year entering, and though I listened to the podcast and read through the advice on these forums, I (clearly) have more lessons to learn. Some of the new nuggets/guidelines I've taken away from this experience are:

- Don't introduce new templates. I thought adding a different template into the celestial/fiendish mix for summon monster might be a clever way to play with the summon monster rules. I was originally going to use the "Fey Creature" template but then found that it wasn't in the PRD, so I tried to jam a new one in that was like fiendish/celestial/anarchic except fey-themed. Anyway, don't do this.

- Theme is important, but it isn't more important than simplicity (especially pertaining to activation). I thought the activation at night in the forest kept the theme (and prevented mushrooms from growing in, say, the desert). I didn't want the PCs to try to catch the fey, so I inserted "unobserved and undisturbed." I didn't want to have to specify the exact fey that did it, (hence the "in theory") because there could be all kinds of problems with that, including that it would shift the focus away from the item itself to the creature, either upstaging the item or being a quasi-MIAC. At the time of submission, I thought this was "flavorful" but in the end, piling all these things on drowned out the item.

- Building off of existing game data assuming that that game data will eventually grow is not necessarily good, especially when that data is currently limited. For instance, new monsters in the Bestiaries sometimes indicate that they are candidates for improved familiars, essentially adding them to the list of creatures that can be taken by spellcasters with that feat. However, while more fey could be added to the summon nature's ally tables, fey currently only sparsely populate that table. What I thought was showing potential forethought and future-proofing of the item (maybe highlighting good design) came across as not being very useful.

Thanks Clark. I think Neil posted the rhyme already, which I liked. Next year my wondrous item submission will be a mojorific acrostic iambic pentameter*! LOOK FOR IT!

*: Or not because judges would think that was gimmicky.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

We're now done through Page 3. Also, for anyone who received designation as a "Kept" in your feedback, that means you made the Keep pile. Check out Sean's blog post entry today, as he's willing to give you a deeper dive on your item review in the same vein as what he'd do if he were your actual developer. This opportunity is not to be missed. And, in many ways, I kind of view it as an award for making the Keep folder. So take advantage of Sean's hospitality as soon as you can...

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Neil Spicer wrote:
Sommers wrote:
I saw that the other alternate put his item up here, so I figured I should too. I'm hoping that I can see some of the remarks from the judges that might help me with my alternate entry for the next round.

I'm jumping ahead to this one to make sure you get as much feedback as we can give you. For some reason, I thought Paizo always made sure they emailed the alternates their feedback. I've also included the commentary from the guest judges...

Sommers wrote:
Gloves of Item Domination

*This is kind of an interesting idea. A pair of gloves that let you handle "hazardous" materials more easily in the form of aligned items and intelligent items with an opposing alignment. I could see some faiths creating such gloves so they could more easily handle, transport, and dispose of opposed items without disabling themselves. Frodo could probably have used a pair of these gloves while carrying the ring into Mordor.

*I'm not as happy with the actual power/mechanics of the item's description. Suppressing 1d4 negative levels is a misstep in my book. I'd rather see it be a static amount and really only suppress 1 negative level. And I think you should go with either the +4 bonus on saves in personality conflicts with intelligent weapons or two saves with the gloves' wearer taking the higher result. Glomming on both of these feels too much like power-creep to me. It smacks of the player who's desperate to always win personality conflicts so they can continue to use an intelligent weapon that wouldn't normally accept them. I do like that they specified certain abilities still can't be invoked (like a holy avenger's power). That's a wise design choice.

*Bottom line for me is that I like the creative idea here. The execution is a little wobbly/poorly-designed, but I might be interested in seeing what else this designer has up their sleeve over the rest of the competition.

*Vote to Keep.

*Very niche item.

*Don't model the same thing twice: either give a +4 save bonus, or...

Neil,

Thanks for the feedback. It really helps, because the things that I thought might have caused problems were not at all where the comments came from. I actually didn't think at all of the Frodo to Mordor angle, I was thinking of two longer-term situations. The first is not even on the good/evil axis, but the lawful/chaotic side. For example the chaotic evil warlord that wields an axiomtic weapon versus the mostly chaotic members of his band, or those pesky chaotic good adventurers. The other was more specific, but the case of an intelligent item that the character needs to wield. I was thinking of a sword-in-the-stone situation where the character uses the gloves to override the feelings of the item, and then needs to keep it to continue to prove his worth.

I really appreciate the feedback on the mechanics. I was going for a bit of variability to give a character at least a chance at more powerful items, but looking back almost items only do impart a 1 negative level penalty. I also wanted to give a second chance to the character that failed a first check, but they had to gamble losing their protection against alignment. But I definitely take the point that making it just two saving throws and you pick the better one is a cleaner mechanic.

Again, thanks for the inputs, and the chance to maybe make it to the next round.


Clark Peterson wrote:

I feel obligated to save Neil. The Dokken comments in this item were all from me :) Sorry about that, and apologies to George Lynch (though I'm not apologizing to Don Dokken). I love hair metal, what can I say. And George is THE MAN! I'm listening to It's Not Love in my chambers right now.

Clark

As an individual who still listens to hair metal, I had to italicize that as if I were composing an essay using APA, Clark. Otherwise, I have to question exactly what's going on in the judicial chambers there. Maybe things are done differently out on the West Coast.

;-)

Grand Lodge

Neil Spicer wrote:
IvanSanchez wrote:
Music Box of Mementos

*SAK. Wow, what a long list of conditions.

*Leaves stuff open to GM discretion (which is never a good idea).

Seems I was right in my guess - overcomplicated and "GM discretion = bad". Things to remember, that's for sure.

Neil Spicer wrote:

*I read this title as "Music Box of Mentos."

*That would have been infinitely more "flavorful."

And you managed to turn it into a joke item. LOL! :-)

Also, I now see what a daunting task is to provide feedback for the items. Kudos to the judges and to Neil for replying to this humongous thread!


I do appreciate your effort!

Bothersome Balloon
Aura moderate evocation; CL 6th
Slot -; Price 360gp; Weight -
Description
By blowing up a bothersome balloon, you invoke its magic. It grows to considerable size and fancies concentric patterns. You now have two options: If you tie the balloon and release it into a space next to you, it hovers gently in place, providing you cover. If you aim it at an opponent within 30ft. and then let it go, it flies toward him and importunes his actions. Fidgeting and sputtering, it repeatedly nudges your opponent. If your opponent moves, it follows him a maximum distance of 30ft. While being harassed by the bothersome balloon, your opponent takes a -2 penalty on ability checks, skill checks, saving throws and attack rolls. To cast a spell, he must make a concentration check (DC 10 + spell level). The bothersome balloon becomes deflated at the beginning of your next turn.
Using a bothersome balloon in either way is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. It has 1 hp and hardness 0, and can be blown up only once.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, pilfering hand; Cost 180gp


I think I have a good idea of why my item isn't superstar, let's see what the rest of you think!

Thanks, judges, for being so helpful to us. Good luck to all of the Top32!

Flask of Stolen Moments

Spoiler:
Aura: moderate enchantment. CL: 10th. Slot: None. Price: 36,720 gp. Weight: 1/2 pound (empty).

Description:
This silver hip flask inlaid with moonstones holds up to 12 ounces of any liquid, keeping it fresh as long as the flask is kept sealed with its crystal stopper. If it has space left in it (measured in ounces), three times a day, with a command word and a successful Touch attack using the open flask, it can drain 1 minute of memory from the victim per ounce (no Will save allowed, victim is dazed for one round). During that round, the flask’s wielder makes a DC 18 Spellcraft check to determine which (and how many) of the victim’s memories to siphon away. (Otherwise, or if the check fails, the memory lost is the present, up to the remaining capacity of the flask.)

Once removed, the victim’s recollection of that memory is utterly erased and forgotten, unless the memory is again imbibed from the flask. Anyone who drinks a memory will recall it with perfect clarity, even if it belongs to someone else, and anyone except the flask’s wielder must make a Will save at DC 17 to avoid believing the implanted memory actually happened to him. (If this save succeeds, the imbiber can vaguely recall the memory, as if it were a daydream, but doesn't believe it's real.) Once full of memories, the flask cannot steal any more until those within have been imbibed by someone (they cannot simply be poured out). Memories manifest as an insubstantial, iridescent liquid, and float on top of any other liquid in the flask (and are therefore drunk first).

Construction
Requirements:
Craft Wondrous Item, modify memory. Cost: 18,360 gp.

(I didn't include the following in my official submission- just FYI.) Total Word Count: 286.

Construction Cost Calculation: 4th level spell (modify memory) x 10th caster level x 1800 (command word) = 72,000 / (5/ charges per day: 3 = 1.66666) = 43,200 x .85 (touch attack discount) = 36,720 gp.

Contributor

Iron_Stormhammer wrote:


Word-count limit is a word-count limit. An oversight on my part. I understand that. Disqualified on a technicality is fine. I bear no ill will for being disqualified. However, I have to wonder how many people fell into this trap.

Many people were DQ'd because they broke the word count limit. Fewer this year than in other years... perhaps 10-20. Only 2-3 were DQ'd because they cut things out of the provided template to fit the word count (sometimes it was the item name, sometimes it was the "gp" in the Price and Cost).

Iron_Stormhammer wrote:
This was something I questioned several times after re-reading the rules and looking at the submission form. Reading this now makes me realize that you also wanted the name above the aura and other information - no doubt about it.

Yes, because magic items presented in a book have the name right above the Aura line. And if you previewed your submission, as the R1 rules tell you to do, you'd have seen that your entry looked like this:


ASSASSIN EYE – 300 WORDS
[big blank line]
[big blank line]
Thu, Jan 5, 2012, 08:51 PM FLAG | LIST | REJECT | KEEP | EDIT | REMOVE | REPLY +
Aura moderate divination and evocation; CL 7th
Slot –; Price 4,800 gp; Weight –;
Description
...

The two blank lines and the line with the date aren't things that appear in a normal magic item stat block. That should have been a clue that not including your magic item name in the body of your post is an error.

The provided magic item template also includes the bold tags before and after the item name. You removed those tags from your item name and pasted it into the subject of your submission (I'm looking at it right now). The fact that you were editing things out of the provided, correct template should also have been a clue that you were doing something wrong.

The rules also say "The body of the form should include only the complete item text in the appropriate format (this means the item name will be included in the body as well)."

Iron_Stormhammer wrote:
With all due respect to the judges: To simply belittle and write the item off as an overpriced, remote-controlled, Delayed Blast Fireball doesn’t offer much of a critique or food for thought.

As I said in another thread: the point of the initial judge comments on your item is not to give you useful feedback, it's to eliminate weak items so we can focus on what should go in the Top 32. Those comments aren't there for you, they're there for the judges, who are spending about an hour a day for a month (including over the holidays) filtering through hundreds of magic items to find the best ones. If we can eliminate a weak item with two words, we will, because we don't have time to treat each item like a beautiful unique snowflake and nurture each author to potential future greatness.

This discussion happens every year, and yet I have to repeat it: following the word count limit is the easiest rule to follow, and if you can't follow that, I don't want to work with you. If we were having a chef competition and your task was to create a dessert with no peanuts, and you include peanuts in your dessert, you've failed to follow the most basic instruction. That means I don't spend 5 minutes talking about how your dessert tastes great, or how it looks beautiful on the plate, or how it would go well with a particular dessert wine... I just move on to the next competitor.

You broke a rule and got disqualified for it... and you're criticizing Neil for pausing to actually give you feedback before disqualifying you, because you didn't like the feedback you got?

Iron_Stormhammer wrote:
In regards to feedback, several other items critiqued got some pretty good opinions and thoughts. I have a feeling this one didn’t because it was disqualified outright for word-count and not given much thought.

Exactly.

Let me throw some important, relevant links into your assessment of your item:

Iron_Stormhammer wrote:

The item in question offers any character regardless of class the ability to safely reconnoiter an area using the Arcane Eye aspect of the device up to three times. This can be done safely and the item deactivated a few times before the item self-detonates, preventing players from abusing that part of it.

Players using it in a dungeon situation, could easily roll it under a door, scout the area, navigate it down a corridor and assassinate a monster or group of enemies without ever entering into direct conflict.

Safe. Is that superstar?

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Thanks Clark!

Spellchoker
Aura moderate necromancy; CL 11th
Slot neck (see text); Price 7, 200 gp (minor), 14,400 gp (major)
Description
Fiber thin cold iron chains lace together to obscure the clasp on this choker. Once secure, the wearer is subject to a spellblight (Ultimate Magic page 94) until the spellcoker is removed. Removing a spellchoker is a full round action that requires a DC 20 Strength check made by the wearer or another character, or a DC 20 Escape Artist check made by the wearer. Alternatively, a spellchoker can be destroyed. A spellchoker has 50 hp and hardness 14.
A spellchoker can be secured to a willing or helpless victim as a standard action. Forcing a spellcoker on an unwilling target is more difficult. To force a spellchoker on an unwilling target, a character holding a spellchoker in one hand must make a successful grapple check against a pinned opponent. A spellchoker dispels any other magic item occupying the neck slot as long as it is worn.
There are two types of spellchoker: minor and major. A minor spellchoker contains a minor spellblight. A major spellchoker contains a major spellblight. The spellblight contained within a spellchoker is chosen at the time of creation.
Although a spellchoker negatively affects the wearer, it is not a cursed item. Where cursed items are the products of accidents during the crafting of magic items, spellchokers are made intentionally, usually to subdue spell casters for transport or incarceration. Likewise, a cursed item is hard to detect as such, whereas spellchokers are easily identified, especially by spell casters. A spellchoker provides a +2 circumstance bonus to Intimidate checks made to demoralize a spellcaster.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, bestow curse, dispel magic; Cost 3,600 gp (minor); 7,200 gp (major)

Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

I'd also like to see the judge's comments for my submission, as I had a lot of fun with it. Many thanks in advance for taking the time out!

Hinge's Handle
Aura moderate divination and illusion; CL 6th
Slot ---; Price 21,750 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This brass doorknob melds into the woodwork when pressed into the hinged side of any normal wooden door. The door can then be pulled opened from its hinged side, revealing an illusion of what's behind as it was seen by the last creature that stepped through. The doorknob works even if the door is locked, stuck, barred, or protected by an arcane lock or hold portal spell.

Opening the door in this manner prevents creatures from passing through. Creatures present on the other side may notice the door opening, but see only white light spilling through the aperture. Any attempt to shut the door from the other side or interfere with the doorway in any way causes the door to slam shut and ejects the doorknob.

Three times per day, the user can rap the doorknob against a normal wooden door to disguise themselves as the last creature that passed through. This functions as a disguise self spell, but is dispelled automatically if the affected creature passes through the doorway more than once.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, clairaudience/clairvoyance, disguise self; Cost 10,875 gp

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