Cobra-Hood Cloak


Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka Wolfwaker

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Aura moderate transmutation; CL 7
Slot shoulders; Price 12,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
This glossy black, scaly cloak is made from snakeskin. It closely adheres to the wearer’s back and upper arms, with a hood flaring out like a cobra’s. The wearer’s movements become lithe, granting him the compression monster ability and a +2 dodge bonus to Reflex saves. His voice becomes sibilant, and he may use Speak with Animals with any reptilian animal three times per day. The wearer’s body temperature drops and he is treated as a cold-blooded creature (rendering him less attractive to certain monsters). However, whenever he takes cold damage, he is slowed for one round. Furthermore, the wearer is slowed whenever the ambient temperature is below freezing. Once per day, the wearer may shed the cloak as a serpent sheds its skin. This is a swift action which does not require any free hands. If the wearer is grappled or entangled about the torso, shedding the cloak grants automatic success on an Escape Artist check that round.

Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Speak with Animals, Animal Aspect, Freedom of Movement
Cost 6,000 gp

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

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OK now we are talking! Compression, speak with animals, a cool drawback, then shedding the skin. That is just one big steaming pile of WIN! This is one of the strongest items, in my view. That is superstar right there. People, take notes.

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

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Agree. Very Slitherin, and that's fine.

The shedding bit is just the coolest freedom of movement power ever.

Strong keep.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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This is tight like a tiger.

(It should say the grappling creature is holding the cloak and the wearer is no longer wearing it, but that's a quibble, and there are plenty o words left to add that in.)

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

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Welcome to the Top 32, Wolfwaker!

You've given us a cool visual with the flaring cobra hood, and you managed to throw in a great deal of snake-themed powers with your cloak without going overboard (others may have been tempted to add a poison effect to this item, for example). I like how you evoke the ideas of a cobra's quickness with the +2 bonus, and the cloak's drawback works very well here. I also agree with Wolfgang that the freedom of movement special effect is awesome.

You will need to extend the attention to detail you gave to the item's effects and apply that to following the template itself. Having a caster level of "7" instead of "7th", capitalizing spell names, and the like may seem like minor gaffes, but voters will use these to decide between what they see as otherwise equal designs.

Best of luck to you in the future rounds!

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This item demonstrates that you can still make the top 32 even with an error like neglecting the item name at the top of the body of text. You just need a great item to pull it off. A number of items this year buried the lead, but the cobra-hood cloak takes the cake. It starts with a static bonus, continues into a spell three times per day, goes into a number of disadvantages, and finishes with the most useful power: auto escape grapple about the torso. The ‘about the torso’ should have been left out. It only invites trouble adjudicating which grapple/entangle effects are ‘about the torso’

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

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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!

Aside from the minor template gaffs that have already been mentioned (which Sean or another Paizo lead designer will beat out of you anyway) this is a tight, well-designed wondrous item. The powers are nice and work well with the item's theme, but you really won me over with the skin-shedding method of escaping a grapple. That's some fantastic mojo. Well done! Best of luck to you!

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

Good job and congratulations.

My only gripe is the terminology of "auto-succeeds". Something like Sean suggested or "Shedding the cloak while grappled or entangled leaves the wearer free and the cloak still being clung to."

Let's see your Archetype!

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My absolute favorite item out of hundreds of entries. I dreaded this coming up against my own entry (it never did). The describing of the powers could have been better organized, but that was it. Solid as a rock!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4 aka OamuTheMonk

Too many functions, I think. Too many bonuses, too many drawbacks. This item is thematically very focused, but it just tries to do too much. I think concentrating on a quarter of the mechanics and letting the ideas within breathe a little might have made for a stronger item.

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

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Congratulations on being the only item in the top 32 that I never saw during my voting. Good luck in round 2.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

I love snakes. I love snakey characters. Yuan-Ti, Naga, Serpentfolk, Vishkanya... so yeah, this was a definite appeal =)

Shadow Lodge Star Voter Season 6

I don't remember seeing this one during voting, but yeah, I like it!

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

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I liked that this item makes sense from go to woe - its got the abilities and the drawbacks of a snake, and the drawbacks are important in the flavour and design, not just a brake on overpower. Very nicely done, Clay!

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

Cobras make just about anything more cool, but I absolutely love this item. Compression is wonderfully creepy effect to give to a PC, and shedding the skin to escape a grapple is genius.

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

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While I voted for this item when it came up, I thought it was mostly just a snake version of a Magic Item That Grants Themed Powers Based On An Animal, such as cloak of the bat, manta ray, arachnidia, etc. While it's well done, I thought it was more a solid item that would make a book of magic items...until getting to the shedding the cloak to escape a grapple. That was so cool and logical that I can't believe it hasn't been done before, and made it a really good MITGTPBOAA.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

I know I voted for this more than once. Well done, and good luck!

Dedicated Voter Season 6

I only saw this item once and I'm sad I didn't see it more. Like the judges said, this is tight, well, written, and thematically solid. This was one of the few items that had drawbacks that I felt were really well done. They still made me go "Okay, still neat, makes sense, and I would still use it."

Big congrats on making it to the Top 32 and good luck next round! Can't wait to see what you bring to the table.

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

My fellow snake-themed contestant! I loved this item from the get-go.

Congratulations, and I will see you in the archetype round.

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

I was generally in favor of this one, it would have probably been in my weak keep folder if I'd made such a thing. It did feel a little MIGTPTBOAA to me, but as Mike mentioned, you were wise enough to avoid things like a poison effect.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Clay, congratulations!

Unfortunately, I really don't like your item, and there's a number of reasons. Slight formatting errors, and burying the lead, and also that this item is almost a combination of every girdle mentioned in the "How to be a superstar - design a girdle" thread from a few years ago. Perhaps it's parallel development, but I've seen like, ten girdles that do almost everything here, so it feels very uncreative.

And also, I really don't like the "grappled about the body" description, because that's not a game rule. In fact, I would never assume a PC is just grappled about the body. After all, being grappled means you don't have both arms free (you can never use two-handed weapons), so by being too specific you basically negate your item's real star ability.

Without that, this is a cloak that gives you compression and a few snake traits, all of which have been done before.

I look forward to seeing more creativity from you next round.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Locke1520

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Congratulations on making the top 32! I'm kinda surprised that no one has noted the similarity between this item and the corset designed during the Superstar panel at Paizocon. I'm pretty sure this is a case of parallel design and it certainly isn't a carbon copy so I'm not surprised you're here this is a cool cloak.

I had a similar parallel design problem last year in my round one. One piece of advice that I really took to heart while prepping this year was from Sean K Reynolds:

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Part of doing this sort of work is knowing what's been done before and not designing something similar to that.

Keep that in mind as you progress through the competition. Best of luck with round 2 I'm very much looking forward to seeing your round two submission.

*

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 aka Wolfwaker

Thanks to the judges and all who voted. As a relatively new Pathfinder player, I was surprised and honored to be selected, especially after messing up the template.

The intent of the "about the torso" bit was to make it so you couldn't escape from handcuffs or the like, but I understand that can be a bit vague.

Ssssssssssssssss!

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

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Clay Blankenship wrote:

Thanks to the judges and all who voted. As a relatively new Pathfinder player, I was surprised and honored to be selected, especially after messing up the template.

The intent of the "about the torso" bit was to make it so you couldn't escape from handcuffs or the like, but I understand that can be a bit vague.

Ssssssssssssssss!

Template Fu passes on a message for you on his way to the kitchen for more cutlery :D - "You're next!" ;)

He seems very happy to ea.. - umm - meet your entry for some reason or other.

Just letting you and the other's know I haven't stopped for today yet, I just need a break and getting myself fed and watered so to speak.

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises , Dedicated Voter Season 6

Great shades of Harry Potter, Batman!

All kidding aside, this does feel like a blatant homage to House Slytherin, but it's done in a novel way. I saw a lot of items that directly copied things from books, movies, and video games this year, and most of them were not good. This one is. That's the difference between being inspired by something and ripping it off, in my book.

Editing nitpicks: Don't capitalize spell names. They should also be presented in alphabetical order. Conditions and universal monster abilities do not need to be italicized. (Should compression be followed by an (Ex) here as well?)

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

Very cool. There are a lot of effects here, but they're so tightly tied into the theme, that it doesn't clutter anything up. Congrats!

Star Voter Season 6

I liked this item because it was one of the few items I could see using at the game table. It was also extremely well written, with evocative yet readable text. Nice work!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Great work Clay, this is a tight item impeccably balanced, but more importantly a thematic home run. I can already see players eyes lighting up once they figure out what this cloak can really do. This is great design - wonderful feel and a wonderful fun addition to any game. Keep up the good work!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Andrew Marlowe wrote:
I'm kinda surprised that no one has noted the similarity between this item and the corset designed during the Superstar panel at Paizocon. I'm pretty sure this is a case of parallel design and it certainly isn't a carbon copy so I'm not surprised you're here this is a cool cloak.

I picked up on that possibility right away. Snake-themed, compression mechanic. And I even think I remember someone in the corset design thread suggesting the possibility of a cobra snake hood on a cloak or something along those lines. Parallel design, inspiration from the corset discussion, or not, I don't really care. What matters to me here is the execution of the idea, and I thought this was very well put together. You can easily see it in play. This is the type of item that seamlessly fits in the game. And, it's got a high enough coolness factor to it (both in description and mechanics) that it's not just another "book of magic items" type of item. This is Superstar.

Now, that said, if it turns out Clay is incapable of summoning up further powerful ideas for the ongoing rounds of RPG Superstar, he'll receive an early exit from the competition in the public voting. So, bring the heat, Clay! Show everyone this wasn't just lightning in a bottle for you. That's the mark of a true Superstar. So, swing for the fences again.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm skipping my normal good bad ugly routine. This was one of my top picks, I have nothing critical to say.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 8

I remember seeing his item a few times and I generally voted for it. The idea of shedding the skin to escape a grapple was very flavorful. Great idea!

I did think it was too much of a SAK and should have focused more on the innovative shedding part instead of speak with animals and compression, so it's a bit of surprised for me that it made the top 32.

Good luck on the archetype round!

Star Voter Season 6

I didn't see this one before, and I wish I had! It compiles a number of really interesting abilities in a very thematic way. I wasn't initially sold on it entirely until the "shedding of skin" aspect, which just had tons of flavor.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka Electric Monk

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I loved this one! Especially the slowed at low temperature effect . Awesome flavourful drawback. Whilst I loved the main powers it was this effect that made me vote it up!

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

This item immediately made me think of Serpentor.

I liked it, though, and voted for it more than a few times.


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.

There are a couple of feedback categories that are easy to score high on as I do like everyone to get a good grade somewhere, conversely, there are also some categories that will sting everyone – you have been warned ;)

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: 2/5
Template Fu jumps up and down – “yummy yum yum, no title is points in my tum”.

He helps himself to a second helping as he gleefully point to spells not sorted alphabetically and with capitalisation that should really be lowercase-ification (?).

Then for afters, the greedy piglet has another for the italicisation of game terms in the description – that italicised the spell is good but unfortunately left it capitalised, just like in Construction. He will let the gaming terms slide because they are often hyperlinks in the PRD so you may have thought that it needed italicising in your entry if working from there.

Don’t feel too bad, in earlier years, Template Fu got very fat indeed.

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

Template Fu falls asleep with nothing to eat here!

Readability: 4/5
For me, I believe the rule system target comprehension level is 11 year olds and up, so I have included this to review everyone’s entry using the MS Word Grammar scoring system which measures passivity, and the reading scores that determine age comprehension. Then using my self appointed expectation of target comprehension level, I have tried to score everyone consistently in this category as it is an area whereby I can mathematically deduce a score.[/i]

Passive Sentences 50% (- 1 pt, I recommend you work on this Asap)
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 61.9 (heading for what I think is the right score - nice)
(0-30 best understood by university graduates, 60-70 easily understood by 13-15 year olds, 90-100 easily understood by 11 year olds)

Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level 8.5 (Excellent, well done)
(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
Very cool item description, can picture this easy. Good easy to read sentence structures. I can learn from this a lot.

I had always viewed granting monster abilities as being almost as frowned upon as trading class or racial abilities – will reconsider this, so again, I am the one learning from your item.

As soon as you write a spell like ability, always check the durations and anything else you may add that may alrteady be covered by the spell description – it kind of comes under the don’t repeat the rules, so you may find you can get away with statements like “he may speak with animals (as the spell) to reptilian animals.”

There is a lot of passiveness in your writing – so much so even this hack can spot it. It’s the only thing that really lets this down in any big way. Example, which I will probably mess up

“His voice becomes sibilant and he may speak with animals with any reptilian animal three times per day.”
(18 words)

Ack! That word! - “may” - that’s gone for starters… ohhh, let’s also trim “any” while I’m here – this is a skill I have been working on for the last few months of practice – trimming the fat as I call it.

“In sibilant whispers, he speaks with reptilian animals (as the speak with animals spell). ”
(14 words – saved 4 words and not so passive (I think))

The more concise and tight your writing, the less that word limit hurts you when doing that first and subsequent drafts (yeah, I know, unlike this post – but then again – my review has no word limit :P)

The description is very wall of words, something I cringe at when the evocative description is not separated from power one by a paragraph break – you can see this in the web page (or word or whatever you use) by bringing the size of the margins in to get a matching words per line as a column in the rule book. It is very illuminating.

Now we get to the powers, all themed and tight – very nice here except for one item that many people fall foul of – the most exciting power, the shedding of skin and escaping grapples is the last power mentioned – put the best dang power first! Quite often I had tied items in the later days of voting where one item had coolness first and the other had +X to Y.

I probably would have put the powers in this order:

Shedding skin, escaping grapple – this will be used most in games AND is way cool
Sibilant Talk – parselton… this speaking like a snake for me is next coolest
Cold blooded – last of all – it could be seen as a penalty, so don’t have it high in your power list.

The last bit, shedding the cloak, left as is defaults to a standard action, possibly this should be reqorked something like “when shedding skin, the wearer may elect to include the cloak granting automatic success on their next Escape Artist check to escape the grapple they are in” (bit wordy, but what this does is makes the choice of shedding the cloak more obvious that it is part of the same swift action. Hope that makes sense.

As it stands, this very last bit would likely be raised by my players around the table requiring me to make a GM call on it, so for that reason coupled with the passivity, I will feed Template Fu 1 point.

Overall Impression: 3/5
There was great attention to the template including the spell italicising but you tripped on the capitalisation and sort order of the spells. Missing the name in the entry box hurt the initial impression badly.

The name was a great reminder to what the item does when on your character sheet, which I like a lot.

So, for me, passivity and template adherence cost you in this bit of the review – now passivity can be taught, I am 100% positive Sean can beat it out of you, but attention to detail and template use – treat these as a contractual requirement – you must get these right from now on.

Final Score: 18/25
I won’t give a final score comment as I haven’t reviewed all the items in this detail yet, I suggest that if it interests, you can watch as I progress through the items to see your final placement in my review scoring system.

Closing, as I started…

Congratulations on being selected!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Locke1520

Neil Spicer wrote:
Parallel design, inspiration from the corset discussion, or not, I don't really care. What matters to me here is the execution of the idea, and I thought this was very well put together. You can easily see it in play. This is the type of item that seamlessly fits in the game. And, it's got a high enough coolness factor to it (both in description and mechanics) that it's not just another "book of magic items" type of item. This is Superstar.

It does WOW! And I don't want to seem like I was belittling the result here. That would be hypocritical. Last year I made it in with a much more pedestrian item that also suffered from parallel design so I know this flaw is like the rest of the guideline "rules". If you break a "rule" with style and excellent execution you can still get in. Which is why I wasn't surprised Clay's item in the Top 32. The execution here, again, is Superstar.

My point was to share one of the pieces of critical advice that really helped me stretch myself as a designer. Prepping this year I discarded a few ideas after checking the forums, PRD, and Pathfinder OGC sites. I wanted to be sure I knew what had been done before and not cover the same ground again. I thought it was advice worth sharing again.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
It should say the grappling creature is holding the cloak and the wearer is no longer wearing it

This. Because as an evil DM, I like the possibility that the cloak's owner has to win the battle to get his cloak back. :)

Heck, if the party is forced to retreat and they have to face the bad guy again only this time he's wearing the cloak? Even better. :D

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 aka Flak

Joana wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
It should say the grappling creature is holding the cloak and the wearer is no longer wearing it

This. Because as an evil DM, I like the possibility that the cloak's owner has to win the battle to get his cloak back. :)

Heck, if the party is forced to retreat and they have to face the bad guy again only this time he's wearing the cloak? Even better. :D

I took the original wording to mean that, as when a snake sheds its skin it still has skin, the wearer is still wearing the cloak after shedding it — that what the wearer leaves in the grappler's hands is not the cloak, but an old layer of the cloak. I agree that the scenario where you have to get it back from your opponent is a fun one, but in terms of the item as a cool item that operates in cool ways I much prefer the concept of sloughing off a 'dead' cloak.

Star Voter Season 8

Clay Blankenship wrote:

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 7

Slot shoulders; Price 12,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
This glossy black, scaly cloak is made from snakeskin. It closely adheres to the wearer’s back and upper arms, with a hood flaring out like a cobra’s. The wearer’s movements become lithe, granting him the compression monster ability and a +2 dodge bonus to Reflex saves. His voice becomes sibilant, and he may use Speak with Animals with any reptilian animal three times per day. The wearer’s body temperature drops and he is treated as a cold-blooded creature (rendering him less attractive to certain monsters). However, whenever he takes cold damage, he is slowed for one round. Furthermore, the wearer is slowed whenever the ambient temperature is below freezing. Once per day, the wearer may shed the cloak as a serpent sheds its skin. This is a swift action which does not require any free hands. If the wearer is grappled or entangled about the torso, shedding the cloak grants automatic success on an Escape Artist check that round.

Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Speak with Animals, Animal Aspect, Freedom of Movement
Cost 6,000 gp

Very well done. Useful, not over-powered, and above all COOL.


Congratulatons, Clay!

Very well-developed theme on your cloak. The shedding effect is definitely the best part. Best of luck in the next round.

Silver Crusade Star Voter Season 7

The visuals this evokes are enough to make me want this in the game.

Adding what it actually makes this a must-add for the game.

Nagaji character, vishkanya characters, certain Osirioni and Vudrani characters, and many more need this thing. :)

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

I know a snake-themed Druid who would love to shed his cloak like that!

Congratulations Clay, good luck with your archetype!.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

Andrew Marlowe wrote:
I'm kinda surprised that no one has noted the similarity between this item and the corset designed during the Superstar panel at Paizocon.

I would like to point out that I just ninja's you (or is the term Neil'd on these boards) on that.

Now, let's not forget that this item is still good, despite the similarities. Keep it up!

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Best Freaking Item in the top 32. I never saw this while voting, but it would've been a hands down keeper every time.

I can't wait to see what else you've got up your sleeve.

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

RonarsCorruption wrote:

I would like to point out that I just ninja's you (or is the term Neil'd on these boards) on that.

...

Neil'd, yeah that might stick :)

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

Congratulations Clay,

I share the concerns about the corset thread, but they are only concerns. As Steve pointed out you buried your lead, but even that I think works. Had you started with the shedding, the rest would have seemed tacked on and heading into SAK territory. As is it is this ramps up to a nice dramatic conclusion, so your strong writing wins. (You also nicely avoided SAK by leaving out poison, constrict, or hypnotism, etc.. I think one of the 'abilities' being a disadvantage helped as well.) As a herper with tropical species I have gone through a ton of heat lights. This tied the theme together in a realistic and balancing way for me. Nice job.

Suggestions for future rounds: listen to Neil's advice above.

Good luck and nice job.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

Congratulations Clay on making the Top 32!

I have to say I was underwhelmed with the cloak until I reached the skin shedding. Now that is a superb idea. Very creative, perfectly fits the theme of the item and adds a very interesting angle to game play. Very nice work.

The other stuff is good but not great, although the imagery is very nice. Attention to detail on the template let you down a bit too, although that's not a deal breaker.

That cloak-shedding though. That's a real winner. Well done!

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