Ok so I had an item made up...

Homebrew and House Rules

SO despite the fact that I have a zero chance of winning anything this year due to not making/remembering the deadline, I feel an obligation to show my work in an effort to gain something out of the time it took for me to make it. I made an item, well three items really and chose the one I thought was better. I want to post it here to get a feel about how well I did in the conceptuals, design, and playability.

So the three ideas for wondrous items was:

1. a bag of repelling/shielding/protective stones
2. a limited time-reversal dial (looks like the antykithera de meccanismo)
3. a nifty gemstone skull with undead powers.

But the first two kinda played out as either over-powered/abusable or Spell In a Can. Here goes my original not-submitted-or-will-ever-win-this-year item.

Garnet Skull
Aura Necromancy (moderate), Transmutation (moderate); CL 10th (WIZ)
Slot Hand; Price 22,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.

Garnet Skull
This finely carved gemstone skull has magical etchings engraved on the crown and brow. By uttering these necromantic words aloud, the user is capable of summoning 1d4; 4HD skeletons to fight for him or her for 4 rounds. Likewise, if the user casts the command words on themselves they transform into a medium-sized Burning Skeleton (See Variant Skeletons) for one round per hit dice of the caster (10 rounds max) per day. The caster gains the aura as the burning skeleton would normally but not gain the undead immunities; unless the caster is already undead. If the command words are uttered towards a foe of the caster while making a successful touch attack, the effects of a Vampiric Touch spell inflicts 1d6 damage for every two levels of the caster; which the caster gains as temporary hit points (5d6 max). This can be used up to three times per day. The Garnet Skull must be held for any of these castings to work. As such, if the caster drops the skull; skeletons fall lifeless, transformations end and any temporary hit points gained from the Vampiric Touch disappear.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Knowledge (gem-cutting) 10 ranks, Spellcraft 10 ranks, Vampiric Touch, Alter Self, Animate Dead, Necromancy school Wizards only, 3 lb. uncut garnet (2,000 gp value); Cost 11,000 gp.

So here's what I am looking for:
1. Pricing ok?
2. Details, imagery/imagination/interesting?
3. game mechanics ok?
4. Does it break any contest rules?


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Your phrasing is really bad and you need to break the effects up.

This finely carved gemstone skull has magical runes etched upon it.
Saying the command words carved upon it allows the user to summon 1d4 4HD skeletons to fight for him for 4 rounds.
If the wielder insteads focuses the power of the words upon themselves, they gain the Burning Skeleton template, although without the undead immunities, for one round per character level (max 10 rounds).
If the wielder focuses the power upon an enemy and succeeds at a touch attack, the foe is struck by a vampiric touch spell at the character's level, to a maximum of 10th level.
The words engraved on the skull can be used a total of 3 times per day. If the skull is not held in one hand, all spell effects and temporary hit points gained end instantly.

You need to reference character level, not caster level, unless you stipulate this can only be used by a caster.
As it reads, you can use the skeletons and burning template infinite times/day.
Noting an undead creature gets undead immunities is redundant.

Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, Profession(jeweler) 10 ranks, Spellcraft 10 ranks, alter self, animate dead, vampiric touch, creator must be a necromancy specialist wizard

spells in requirements are in alphabetical order; there is no knowledge (gem-cutter) skill, phrasing for class requirements follows a standard pattern.



1. Where are you getting the summoning effect from? Animate dead doesn't provide the dead.
2. Requires a rules lookup to understand what it does for the burning skeleton template.
3. Describe what kind of action is used for each effect.
4. Hand slot items are exclusive with gloves; was that your intent?

Awesome Bob and Decius! Thank you guys for the insight I will watch the competition unfold to see who gets the crown this year!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Your Aura is out too

Bracers are usually used for sub schools (which in turn rarely appear in an aura), with square bracers for descriptors like [Good], [Evil] - again, quite rare.

the strength should precede the school and with two schools of the same strength, it should go

moderate necromancy and transmutation.

You will probably find this thread useful for checking most things out Round 1 Template Breakdown

Advanced D&D had summon undead spells. They got dropped from 3rd ed. so I guess they looked unbalanced or something. I never got that. I'm perfectly happy with your skull being made with now lost spells.

Shadow Lodge

DeciusBrutus wrote:
4. Hand slot items are exclusive with gloves; was that your intent?

This does look like it was intended to be a slotless item that must be held in hand to have effect (like for example the Harp of Charming).

Also, you might look at the Necromancer's Athame if you're trying to design an item that is supposed to be crafted exclusively by and for wizards with a necromancy specialty - particularly the prerequisite phrasing "creator must be a necromancer" rather than "Necromancy school Wizards only."

Finally, you wouldn't specify that the item is made from a garnet of a specific size and value under requirements - that's for abilities that the creator must have, not materials. Instead, you would write in the description "this finely carved gemstone skull is made from a garnet worth at least 2,000 gp" or something similar, like the line in the Pearl of the Sirenes description that reads "This pearl is worth at least 1,000 gp for its beauty alone."


Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Homebrew and House Rules / Ok so I had an item made up... All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.