Sash of the Salty Seas


Open Call: Design a wondrous item

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RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

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Sash of the Salty Seas
Aura faint transmutation; CL 5th
Slot belt; Price 12,300 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This stiff, sea green, silk sash is covered with interlocking circles of salt. The sash grants the wearer a +3 competence bonus on Swim checks.

Three times per day the wearer of the sash can remove the salt from 1 gallon of sea water, this turns the water fresh and creates a tiny mound of salt.

Two times per day, as a standard action, the wearer of the sash can soak one target within 100 feet with sea water. The water quickly evaporates and coats the target in a thick layer of salt. The target gains the grappled condition and must defeat the salty coating’s CMD of 20 to break free.

Once per day, as a full-round action, the wearer of the sash can transform the sea’s surface to a thick, salty crust. You can walk, but not run or charge while on the crust. Up to 25 squares can be created in this fashion. Each 10 ft. square must be connected to another. Each square has hardness 1 and 30 hp. Unconnected squares sink to the bottom of the sea. This effect lasts for 1 hour.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, create water, hold person, water walk; Cost 6,150 gp

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

You know, I didn't dig this at first but it grew on me. I think you buried your lead for some reason. Lucky for you I kept reading and wound up liking it. You've got some mechanical problems to iron out that you aren't going to get away with in round 2. I liked the concept quite a bit. Good luck!

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Interesting, though it totally buried the powers rather late: the walking on the salt crust is cool!

However, the use of "squares" here is not well-crafted: most Pathfinder squares are 5 foot squares, but this talks about 10 foot squares being attached to each other. Also, how quickly is "quickly evaporates"? That round? Next round?

Slightly sloppy mechanics saved by a neat theme and some unusual powers. Maybe top 32. Keeper.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

I agree—neat theme, but it buries the lead. Flaunt what you got!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

Interesting concept. Four powers, each with different uses per day. I see you listed the powers from most frequent use to least frequent use. I recommend listing them in the opposite order. The 25 squares - 10 ft squares could be clearer.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

First of all, congratulations on making the Top 32! That in itself is a major accomplishment and it’s something you should take great pride in. You rock!

A very interesting and well-crafted item designed around a tight theme. It only has a few missteps already mentioned by previous judges, but it's still a strong entry. Also, like a handful of other Top 32 items, it's nautical theme ties in nicely with Paizo's recent Skull and Shackles AP and Frog God's upcoming Razor Coast campaign. It shows you've done your homework and realize how important self-promotion is in this constest. Nice job and best of luck in the next round!

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

Woohoo! Welcome to the Top 32, Maruice! I hoped this year would see you make it through.

Your sash picks up on the strong nautical theme present in this year's competition, but you do something very novel. I love the idea of using salt to crust over the water's surface, allowing one to effectively water walk. Sure, you might have wanted to lead with your item's coolest power, but you had enough going on to make sure that people got to the coolest power. Also, your item's formatting is very clean.

I know you've been involved with RPG Superstar since its inception, so I hope you've learned enough to shine in future rounds. Best of luck to you, Trapmaster! :)

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

Thank you judges and voters!

It is so very cool to finally get into a top 32 slot.

I’ll try to not bury the lead next round.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

Darkjoy! I've been rooting for you for years! I'm so glad you made it in. This was one of my favorite items, I voted for it every time it came up.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

I loved this thing. So incredibly cool, and such an underused mechanic with the salt focus out of the water powers.

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

I voted this one up every single time I think. I loved the varied powers. Well done Maurice!

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

Congrats, Darkjoy. Nice solid theme; I actually liked power No. 2 best.

I also think it's very interesting that we've got a sea item from someone whose last name actually means sea in Italian. :)

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

Oddly, I never actually saw this one during my voting.

I like that it has unique powers. As others have mentioned the mechanics could use a little polish, but it's a good item with a solid theme.

It is interesting to note that my own item last year was nautically themed, taking from the seafaring combat rules in Ultimate Combat.

Glad to see a few of them making the top 32.

Congratulations.


I like this item. The only thing that bothers me is that it should bestow entangled condition, not grappled.

Champion Voter Season 6

Very nice item I am really looking forward to your archetype. Glad to see you made Top 32 Super Star. I have enjoyed reading your postings over the years.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Confession: I'm psyched this one made it. I actually grabbed it for use in an upcoming game...but my computer crashed and ate it and I tried to find it again in voting, but never saw it. I was really worried I might never see it again.

Despite some of the issues that were pointed out, this was one of my favorites. I thought the theme was tight, great mojo, and I could definitely see myself using it.

So big congrats! :)

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

Congrats!

This was another item that I didn't like at first, but then voted for it more often than not.

I'll admit, I was getting tired of nautical themed items, but the salt out of water effect was what sold me. It was tightly conceived and themed.

I agree that the grappled condition isn't the right one, but I don't think entangled is either. Maybe some kind of non-permanent petrification...not sure. Entangled is probably the closest thing.

Congrats again and I hope you tighten things up a bit and lead with your best foot forward for the next rounds!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka Transylvanian Tadpole

Good name, and I see my own nautically themed item is in good company. Caking an opponent in salt is a great power!

Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I loved this item from the first time I saw it. Yeah, it could have been written up a little tighter, but the item itself is solid. Good stuff!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Way to go, Darkjoy/Maurice! I've noticed you in a great many of the RPG Superstar threads from prior years. Clearly, you've done your homework and mustered your mojo. Now, fasten your seat belt. It's a roller-coaster from here on out. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4 aka OamuTheMonk

Well designed. I'd actually like it better if it lost a couple powers, I think the salt-crust-walking power is the real draw, and the other elements could be cut entirely, for a more focused item. But what's here is all good, so I'm just quibbling. Recommended.

Star Voter Season 6

Cool stuff with the salt theme ... and the salt crust (for walking on water) is particularly useful.

Star Voter Season 6

I wasn't very fond of this item when I came across it a few times, though I do know I voted for it over it's matched pair. I felt this item was a little 'squished' because of the word count, and that there were some issues with the mechanics, probably because of the lack of words. I do, however, like the idea of using salt in such a fashion. It produces cool imagery in my mind, which really helped me vote for this item over others.


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I'm not a fan of this item (although congratulations on reaching top 32). I have trouble visualizing a sash granting you these miscellaneous abilities (it helps you swim somehow, and is a water gun, and can suck salt out of water). The third and fourth are the most interesting but have mechanical problems: I would expect a ranged touch attack from the third, and the fourth is plagued by strange 10 ft. squares that have to be connected, support unspecified weight but don't like running people, and sink if unconnected to... the original square? any other square?

However, there is a ton of originality demonstrated in these ideas, and I love that it stays focused on salt (except the +3 to Swim, which should either only apply in salt water or, preferably, be removed entirely).

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Demiurge 1138

I never actually saw this item in the voting. Very cool! Congrats on making the top 32! I'll see you in the archetype round.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka squidfeatures

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I wish I had seen this item during voting (though it appears you didn't need my vote to get here). Very nice effects, with a cool theme. Any pirate worth his salt (*groan*) would love to have one of these.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka Transylvanian Tadpole

1 person marked this as a favorite.

@ Guy - I've been tempted to make a few pirate themed puns today but resisted. I'm pleased to see someone sailing into the same waters.

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

The pirate puns are entirely justified, the sash was my second item for RPG SS (the first one got a meh from a friend) and it drew on some earlier work. Fatespinner (fellow top 32) also worked on that one.

So I should thank Dale for making me think of the high seas and pirates, Arrrr.

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises , Dedicated Voter Season 6

This is a well-crafted Swiss army knife item with a tight overarching theme. I upvoted it several times, though not universally. I see what the judges mean about burying the lead, though I also get that you're trying to establish why the sash can do what it does. I'd probably drop the circumstance bonus to Swim checks, though, as that ability isn't adding much to the theme of the item.

Editing nitpicks: Watch out for comma splices, as in paragraph 2. Those clauses should be separated by either a period or a semicolon. Also, be sure to spell out distances and durations completely, and hyphenate measured distances when they are modifying a word such as radius or square - say "10-foot square", not "10 ft. square".

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

I just want to say congrats to Maurice. I've known for some time that you would go far good sir. Glad to see you are recognized.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka GM_Solspiral

The Good: One of the more memorable items this year, like the concept allot and this is a really fun item.

The Bad: There has got to be a more elegant way to distribute useage with say charges. A little clunky.

The Ugly: As aforementioned you buried your coolest effect which with a voting public that was risky.

Overall: I remember upvoting this allot, props and Congrats.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I don't care for the 'three... two... one..." construction. If the sash is covered in actual circles of salt, wouldn't they dissolve when the sash is immersed?

Dedicated Voter Season 6

This was a decent one. I must have voted for it.. six... seven times?

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

Maurice, congratulations on making it through after all your hard work!

This item gets mixed feelings from me. I like it, but no one of the powers feels really amazing (just neat) and it's very borderline "all sorts of salt abilities". It makes me expect the next thing you considered was a flesh-to-salt spell like from Sandstorm.

Look forward to your next round's submission!

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

Darkjoy! I dinnae recognize you! Congratulations Maurice, it has been a long time coming.

Ok waterbending has now been accounted for as well. :) good call on the salt uhmm... (almost said flavor...) on using salt instead of ice as the energy damage 'cold' of water suggests. It might be a small distinction but it shows a great degree of thinking outside the box. Let that creativity carry you far. Beware the temptation to add more & become SAK.

Suggestion for R2: about that lead... :)

Nice Job and good luck.

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

I get and like the concept...but it's a little too clunky in the design and use element.

I would prefer the Cloak of Arachnidia myself (it's cheaper I think), but that doesn't mean it is a bad design, just one in need of tweaking to make better.


This is one of the few items in the Top32 I consistently voted for, good job.

It was the third power I found intriguing.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka primemover003

Maurice I really liked this item every time I saw it. Walking on a crust is a great cinematic power that's definitely the crown jewel of the sash. Right now having a rime of salt all over your clothes hits home. Its commonplace during Michigan winters to have the hem of your pants covered in the stuff!

--Vrock Salt

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

This is tightly themed, but it leaves me with questions. First of all, if you soak someone and grapple them in salt, does the salt have any effect on any type of creatures, other than grappling? If they have open wounds (perhaps bleed damage) does it cause pain, or if they're slugs, does it harm them, etc.

For any of the effects that create a salty shell, can water effects dissolve them?

Without this kind of detail, the salt could just as easily be any substance that is solid - I thought that was a missed opportunity to give a bit more unique flavor to the item.

I'd also have liked to see more explicitly that the item cannot be used on fresh water.

Otherwise, I can certainly see this as a favored item for a nautical character.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6 aka Breelo Babblebock

I voted for this item a lot. The visual of the enemy encrusted in salt is great. Walking on salt? Great. This has mojo.

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

Thanks guys (and gals) for the feedback and support.

Some answers: I went with grappled because that prevents movement and entangled does not.

The salty water evaporates instantaneous, so the effect occurs on the user's initiative.

In retrospect: 100 5-ft. squares would have worked just as well, but I wanted a large area of crusted water so went with the bigger squares.

I think each 10-ft. square could easily support 1000 lbs.

I've read that rubbing salt in the wounds actually doesn't hurt at all and is actually quite good for you.

I envision the salty coating more as a crystalline webbing covering the target, so adding water shouldn't help it. But, I do see your point and a simple +2 bonus on the target CMB could apply.

Hope the above helps.


Meta-commentary: Although "buried the lead" isn't incorrect, I prefer "buried the lede" as being more precise.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

Maurice de Mare wrote:
I've read that rubbing salt in the wounds actually doesn't hurt at all and is actually quite good for you.

Not to rub salt in the wound, but... I can't imagine this isn't sarcasm. Alchohol or something I could believe, but salt?


As prior entries will tell you, Template Fu is one mean point eating machine, but will also praise where praise is due.

These reviews being this in depth usually take me a while to do and they get fitted in around other demands on my time, so please bear with me if I haven’t gotten to your item yet. I will get there in the end.

Review Caveat: I try to keep things totally dispassionate and all comments herein are my own. Having not made the illustrious levels that you have achieved this year, I can only caveat that anything I propose in feedback may not be totally in line with what Paizo thinks or needs of its freelance game designers, so do consider carefully any and all feedback I make under this light.

I start your review with…

Congratulations on being selected by the public at large and then the stalwart judges!

Review Breakdown:

Template: 4/5
Template Fu watches me in his smug way. “Okay,” I say, “I give in, where is it?”

He points to the spell list - so I do. He starts to hum in that infuriatingly happy way… Dang… Template Fu is good. It’s why they call him Template Fu.

You have spanned all the spells with one set of italic format codes resulting in italicized commas. The spells should be italicized but not the commas (and Neil didn’t point it out – whoo hoo – go Fu! :P)

He looks over his shoulder… “and the other one please…” he grins slyly. Hah, I can see that one, your use of –ft. on 10-ft. is a 3.5 throwback, it should be 10 foot square (or in other phrasing - feet). Don’t abbreviate unless you can find an exact example in the existing rule books. I tell him he’s being cruel if he wants two points as the first one is a mean, evil, nasty spot. He reluctantly agrees, points at the commas and grins, taking just the one point to eat.

Spelling: 5/5
This bit IS boilerplate to avoid confusion. Everyone should know to use US English, so you just know that I am going to eat points for stray ‘u’ letters and similar.

The sound of crunching can be heard from the Template Fu den, let’s stealth past while we can…

Readability: 4/5
These are readings you can get from most spelling and grammar check options in word processors, for this, I am pasting everyone’s description into Word for consistency. My grading’s are purely my own personal feelings for target scores but it should be noted these are very helpful during development to spot problems in your writing, especially passivity.

Passive Sentences 25% (I’m sure you can reduce this with a bit more practice)
There are whole threads on this and it is possible to get 0%, which is wicked, but I would expect scores of less than 20% to be around the ideal mark for item descriptions (sometimes, you need the passive, but only rarely).

Flesch Reading Ease 79.2 (really easily understood)
(0-30 best understood by university graduates, 60-70 easily understood by 13-15 year olds, 90-100 easily understood by 11 year olds)

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 6.0 (see comment above, ditto)
(This equates to the grades found in the US schooling system, e,g. 8.2 means it should be understandable by the average 8th grade student)

Me as a Designer Review: 4/5
I have said this in a few reviews already, and the judges have also mentioned about burying your lead, so let’s elucidate.

When reading your item the first gob smacking amazing power we encounter is… (Marvin the Paranoid Android voice engaged) “plus X to Y”. Oh dearie me. Maybe the best and shiny power is next… ah, maybe not. Right, here’s how to fix it, turn your entry upside down, the plus X to Y is really boring, so put that last. The “once per day” power is the most exciting, put that first. The other two powers can be flipped to make sensible listing of duration in descending order of length. As a rule of thumb, the longer between each use is an indication of the importance of the power.

Very short sharp sentences, but this item is cool for that, you refer to Swim checks without clarifying further or replicating the rules, very good. You need to watch terminology too (I’m just as guilty of messing this up too), but when you refer to squares on a game board, you can should probably say adjacent in place of connected.

In this case, as you have a power that’s a full round, you probably need to clarify the other powers as standard so that they don’t get assumed to be full round actions as well. Which then makes me wonder what action type is the three times per day salt removal one – grin. This question will likely arise at some point, either from the GM placing the item, or the player using the power for the first time.

Wow, that’s pretty much it really. I will mention that wearing a stiff sash jarred a bit with my idea of silk, so be aware of that – it may have been intentional if you mean to imply it is sea salt encrusted as opposed to just being dusted with salt.

And that is pretty much all I can think of. I think the reverse order and the missed action type clarification will dock you one point, but I am being a meanie to do that. A nice solid item.

Overall Impression: 5/5
Simple easy to understand mechanics marred by the presentation order. But that is only pointed out by the designer within me, the item can be scanned, so I won’t penalize you again here, you have probably been told enough about that one already.

I certainly look forward to your archetype with great expectation!

Final Score: 22/25
I won’t give a final score comment as I haven’t for anyone else as I work through the items.

If this interests for personal reasons, please feel free to check out everyone else’s scores and at the same time check out your competition and their feedback too!

Closing, as I started…

Congratulations on being selected!

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

Thanks Template FU


Sorry about the review about to come, Darkjoy. It's the avatar you use at the time of posting. It just *annoys* AARPGSS.


Maurice de Mare wrote:

Sash of the Salty Seas

Aura faint transmutation; CL 5th
Slot belt; Price 12,300 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This stiff, sea green, silk sash is covered with interlocking circles of salt. The sash grants the wearer a +3 competence bonus on Swim checks.

Three times per day the wearer of the sash can remove the salt from 1 gallon of sea water, this turns the water fresh and creates a tiny mound of salt.

Two times per day, as a standard action, the wearer of the sash can soak one target within 100 feet with sea water. The water quickly evaporates and coats the target in a thick layer of salt. The target gains the grappled condition and must defeat the salty coating’s CMD of 20 to break free.

Once per day, as a full-round action, the wearer of the sash can transform the sea’s surface to a thick, salty crust. You can walk, but not run or charge while on the crust. Up to 25 squares can be created in this fashion. Each 10 ft. square must be connected to another. Each square has hardness 1 and 30 hp. Unconnected squares sink to the bottom of the sea. This effect lasts for 1 hour.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, create water, hold person, water walk; Cost 6,150 gp

Disclaimer: This post constitutes the viewpoint of a CE inclined succubus, and thus should be treated With All Due Seriousness. Great attention has been paid to the concepts Balance, Fairness, and Logic, or at least the Abyssal versions of these concepts (which is what matters, after all – who really gives a damn about the mortal versions)?

Further Disclaimer: Ask A RPGSupersuccubus has a scribe with higher priorities and not much spare time on his hands this year, therefore will be playing blatant favourites and picking a few contestants whose items to review. If they make it into the last round they might see another review then.
Further Further Disclaimer: Exactly what a moustache-twirling baatezu who looks like he thinks he's Mephistopheles is doing in a contest like this is anybody's guess. For those not sufficiently socially aware, as an educational tip, tanar'ri (AKA 'demons') do not get on with baatezu (AKA 'devils'). Any bias or prejudice which consequently occurs in the following review may be viewed as more than reasonable, in that context.

Is the item pretty?
Ordinarily, the fact that this is an item of patterned green silk, would make it quite pretty. However, the infernal origins of its creator render it almost certainly hideously ugly.

Does this item break easily if thrown at an annoying minion?
Unfortunately, throwing it at a minion would involve handling it in the first place. And it's not necessarily the sort of thing that one would want even a charmed escort to handle, except with a flaming sword. Urgh.

Would this item make a suitably embarrassing ‘gift’ if given away to a [female] paladin of Iomedae?
She'd probably love it. 'Walking on water' (with the aid of an item invented in the hells, no less) is the sort of thing to show off that she'd positively adore doing. So it would probably fail in embarrassing her (except possibly in encouraging her to make a slightly unpaladinly 'show' of herself).

Other Comments?
No range is indicated on where a pile of salt created from sea water can be created. Presumably (being a baatezu item) said pile can thus be created thrown into the face of someone 666 miles away, causing them to be potentially blinded for several moments.
No size limit is indicated of a target which can be soaked in sea-water and effectively trapped. Being an overpowered baatezu item this no doubt means that something even the size of a Tarrasque (or Asmodeus' ego) can be seriously inconvenienced by this item if 'within range'.
No weight limit is indicated as being supportable by the buoyancy of any squares of salt created on the surface of a sea. Apparently an iron-golem can skip across them with as little problem as a pixie. This is unsurprising in a baatezu crafted item clearly designed to snare souls for Asmodeus. Edit: The 1000 lb mentioned as 'easily supported' (implying loads of considerably more can be held up) in a subsequent post does little to alter my initial impression that this is super-buoyant salt designed to entice folk to worship Asmodeus...
This item might rate five or six out of ten, had it not been crafted in the forges of Hell. As it is, it rates zero, instead.

Note:
See the Disclaimers, if you missed them. They really do mention Quite Important Stuff.

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