Phrases that are driving you bonkers


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Auto succeed is something I haven't voted for either. If everything was auto success then there would be no story, no adventure, no risk and no adrenaline rush.

Making things easier within the game balance is very hard to do well, even harder to make it scale with the PC - but those few items that have done this get my vote every time I see them.

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Ugh! Now that I've read a good chunk of this thread, I can't see some of these things without them catching my attention. Thanks a lot, messageboards. :)


Knowledge is power, my child. Go forth with your eyes opened by reason. ;-)

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One theme I haven't seen mentioned yet is items which manipulate the user's or someone else's soul.

It's not particularly driving me bonkers though.

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I've only seen one item that was even remotely close to mine so far, and I've seen my fair share. Good vibes.

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I think I might need a break. I'm channeling Simon Cowell.

I want to make some of these these contestants weep uncontrollably in front of a live studio audience.

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Breelo Babblebock wrote:
You continue to haunt my voting page, nemesis. But my resolve is strong and your promises are empty. I will not give you what you want.

I feel your pain. My personal nemesis just came up and I was sooooo SURE it would've been taken out. It's a little disturbing to think what some of the bottom 25% were that I hadn't seen if that one made it through.

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Okay... so there's some 18 different types of bonuses (alchemical, armor, circumstance, competence, deflection, dodge, enhancement, insight, luck, morale, natural armor, profane, racial, resistance, sacred, shield, size, and trait) as well as the plain "bonus" so... 19 total.

I understand that not all of those bonus types are appropriate for some items types but something, anything, other than "competence bonus" would be a nice change of pace.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka FaxCelestis

Adam Moorhouse 759 wrote:

I think I might need a break. I'm channeling Simon Cowell.

I want to make some of these these contestants weep uncontrollably in front of a live studio audience.

Be warned, sometimes those contestants swing back: http://i.imgur.com/xvvae.jpg

Star Voter Season 6

MidknightDiamond wrote:

Okay... so there's some 18 different types of bonuses (alchemical, armor, circumstance, competence, deflection, dodge, enhancement, insight, luck, morale, natural armor, profane, racial, resistance, sacred, shield, size, and trait) as well as the plain "bonus" so... 19 total.

I understand that not all of those bonus types are appropriate for some items types but something, anything, other than "competence bonus" would be a nice change of pace.

I've seen this complaint come up a few times now, and this post isn't strictly aimed at you.

But has it occurred to those complaining about the competence bonuses, that competence is the only bonus that has a formula in the magic item creation guidelines when it comes to skills?

It also may be the fact that most items that give a bonus beyond armor, deflection, natural armor, resistance or enhancement are competence or circumstance. When contestants go through the items looking for what kind of bonus to apply, it's possible they see the prevalent use of competence and circumstance and go with the safe competence bonus.

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Tels wrote:
MidknightDiamond wrote:

Okay... so there's some 18 different types of bonuses (alchemical, armor, circumstance, competence, deflection, dodge, enhancement, insight, luck, morale, natural armor, profane, racial, resistance, sacred, shield, size, and trait) as well as the plain "bonus" so... 19 total.

I understand that not all of those bonus types are appropriate for some items types but something, anything, other than "competence bonus" would be a nice change of pace.

I've seen this complaint come up a few times now, and this post isn't strictly aimed at you.

But has it occurred to those complaining about the competence bonuses, that competence is the only bonus that has a formula in the magic item creation guidelines when it comes to skills?

It also may be the fact that most items that give a bonus beyond armor, deflection, natural armor, resistance or enhancement are competence or circumstance. When contestants go through the items looking for what kind of bonus to apply, it's possible they see the prevalent use of competence and circumstance and go with the safe competence bonus.

I agree with you wholeheartedly here--I know for a fact that in the first years that I was entering this contest I did exactly that. And again, it doesn't mean it's automatically a poor item, only that it gets very tiring seeing it over and over and over again.

Also, we're aiming for superstar, so going a bit above and beyond (like seeing what other types of bonuses there are out there) isn't asking too much.

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MidknightDiamond wrote:

Okay... so there's some 18 different types of bonuses (alchemical, armor, circumstance, competence, deflection, dodge, enhancement, insight, luck, morale, natural armor, profane, racial, resistance, sacred, shield, size, and trait) as well as the plain "bonus" so... 19 total.

I understand that not all of those bonus types are appropriate for some items types but something, anything, other than "competence bonus" would be a nice change of pace.

As has been pointed out there are plenty of core items and powers that grant competence bonuses. Some items may have deliberately picked matching bonuses to keep them from stacking and unbalancing play. It's a fine line to walk and I think that the designer who looks at the over all system before making an item is far more desirable than the aforementioned "attune for 24 hours then rule the world" items that are still being voted on.

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mamaursula wrote:
MidknightDiamond wrote:

Okay... so there's some 18 different types of bonuses (alchemical, armor, circumstance, competence, deflection, dodge, enhancement, insight, luck, morale, natural armor, profane, racial, resistance, sacred, shield, size, and trait) as well as the plain "bonus" so... 19 total.

I understand that not all of those bonus types are appropriate for some items types but something, anything, other than "competence bonus" would be a nice change of pace.

As has been pointed out there are plenty of core items and powers that grant competence bonuses. Some items may have deliberately picked matching bonuses to keep them from stacking and unbalancing play. It's a fine line to walk and I think that the designer who looks at the over all system before making an item is far more desirable than the aforementioned "attune for 24 hours then rule the world" items that are still being voted on.

Yes, but it still doesn't mean that seeing it over and over again doesn't drive one "bonkers"... hence the thread.

As I've said elsewhere, many of the phrases pointed out here don't make for an autofail, it's just that we're seeing them so often we have to let off steam somehow.

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I stumbled over several items whose mental image of them being used strikes me as stupid. So, while not being joke items, these are somewhat comical.

Maybe we neeed another auto-reject category.

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Adam Moorhouse 759 wrote:

I think I might need a break. I'm channeling Simon Cowell.

I want to make some of these these contestants weep uncontrollably in front of a live studio audience.

Inspired for a new spell: Tasha's uncontrollable weeping. It gets a bonus to its DC and/or duration if you make your save versus Tasha's uncontrollable hideous dancing. Tasha never got invited to prom.

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Not a phrase, but I admit I'm surprised how many matryoshka/nesting dolls there are. That said, I do think it's kind of a cool base item and certainly probably appropriate with Reign of Winter coming out soon.

Also, I just saw a set (I think the first one) that I kind of like. Not my favorite item ever, but they did make me think "hmm, that's interesting" ...

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Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Not a phrase, but I admit I'm surprised how many matryoshka/nesting dolls there are. That said, I do think it's kind of a cool base item and certainly probably appropriate with Reign of Winter coming out soon.

That is a potentially neat item to build off of.

And I haven't seen a single one yet. :-(

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"Filigree"

Seriously, no more of it, please!

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Sean McGowan wrote:
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Not a phrase, but I admit I'm surprised how many matryoshka/nesting dolls there are. That said, I do think it's kind of a cool base item and certainly probably appropriate with Reign of Winter coming out soon.

That is a potentially neat item to build off of.

And I haven't seen a single one yet. :-(

It's okay, they come in sets. You won't find them by themselves.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Oterisk wrote:
Sean McGowan wrote:
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Not a phrase, but I admit I'm surprised how many matryoshka/nesting dolls there are. That said, I do think it's kind of a cool base item and certainly probably appropriate with Reign of Winter coming out soon.

That is a potentially neat item to build off of.

And I haven't seen a single one yet. :-(

It's okay, they come in sets. You won't find them by themselves.

*obligatory rimshot*

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There's no phrase that's driving me bonkers, really, but I gotta say that any item that makes my life as a GM a living hell will never get my vote.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka Jiggy

gbonehead wrote:
There's no phrase that's driving me bonkers, really, but I gotta say that any item that makes my life as a GM a living hell will never get my vote.

Yeah, I remember seeing one item whose premise was cool enough, but the legwork to implement its effect would require ludicrous amounts of work every time you used it.

Interesting idea, terrible design.

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Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

Not a phrase, but I admit I'm surprised how many matryoshka/nesting dolls there are. That said, I do think it's kind of a cool base item and certainly probably appropriate with Reign of Winter coming out soon.

Also, I just saw a set (I think the first one) that I kind of like. Not my favorite item ever, but they did make me think "hmm, that's interesting" ...

I had a set vs. another set and it was really hard to choose. They both had good things about them and were somewhat interesting.

I've seen them a lot though.

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gbonehead wrote:
There's no phrase that's driving me bonkers, really, but I gotta say that any item that makes my life as a GM a living hell will never get my vote.

This.


Jacob Kellogg wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
There's no phrase that's driving me bonkers, really, but I gotta say that any item that makes my life as a GM a living hell will never get my vote.

Yeah, I remember seeing one item whose premise was cool enough, but the legwork to implement its effect would require ludicrous amounts of work every time you used it.

Interesting idea, terrible design.

I think I might know which item you're talking about. I won't say any more except that it's part of a group of items that are always difficult to make work mechanically without causing headaches of a, erm...temporal nature.

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I just saw a really nifty item that was interesting, different, flavorful...

And I had to vote it down. The name of the item was blatantly Inconceivable! (as in, "You keep using dat word. I do not think it means what you think it means.") The first time I've had to downvote something based purely on a single aspect.

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Items like that remind me of the lay of the land spell from the Spell Compendium. Sure, it was a 4th-level druid spell, but...

lay of the land wrote:
You instantly gain an overview of the area around you. Lay of the land gives basic information relevant to major landmarks, such as rivers, lakes, and settlements (of at least hamlet size). It indicates the direction and distance to each from the current location. You have a good understanding of the terrain up to 50 miles from your current location.

Uh ... 50 MILES??? Oh, and I almost forgot. It takes 3 rounds to cast and is also a level 1 ranger spell.

Great. Now I have to draw a 50-mile radius map of the area every time one of the PCs gets it in their head to cast this spell. Furthermore, I have to adjudicate exactly what "major landmark" means. What about a bridge? How about if it got washed out in last night's storm? Is the bandit outpost they're supposed to find hidden in the wilderness a major landmark? How about the ancient black dragon's secret lair? Imagine using lay of the land during a Kingmaker campaign.

Awesome.


Jacob Kellogg wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
There's no phrase that's driving me bonkers, really, but I gotta say that any item that makes my life as a GM a living hell will never get my vote.

Yeah, I remember seeing one item whose premise was cool enough, but the legwork to implement its effect would require ludicrous amounts of work every time you used it.

Interesting idea, terrible design.

I think that I saw that too. Or maybe three.

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gbonehead wrote:
Great. Now I have to draw a 50-mile radius map of the area every time one of the PCs gets it in their head to cast this spell.

I think I would just use a map of Cocytus if that spell was cast without a very good reason.

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Samuel Kisko wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
Great. Now I have to draw a 50-mile radius map of the area every time one of the PCs gets it in their head to cast this spell.
I think I would just use a map of Cocytus if that spell was cast without a very good reason.

When I GM I love moments like that. I'll draw a very bland and generic map with a big tree or a weird looking rock. Then the players will invariably obsess over that one unusual feature certain that it must be important.

But I tend to wing it a bit as a GM.

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Perhaps normal looking trees and rocks, but every destination has some horrid name:

1. Bough of limb-severing orchids
2. Pebble mounds of biting scabs
3. The toad that nods and devours
4. Iron walls which fall
5. The no-where hole
6. Crevice of the Beholder swarm
7. Branches of the hanging sinners
8. Field of writhing feet
9. The rains of pitch and fire
10. Unknown, none have returned

GM: "So, where too?"

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11. Pit of Searing Gas Pains

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From Munchkin: 12- The Dungeon of Deathly Death

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Wolfboy wrote:
Adam Moorhouse 759 wrote:

I think I might need a break. I'm channeling Simon Cowell.

I want to make some of these these contestants weep uncontrollably in front of a live studio audience.

Inspired for a new spell: Tasha's uncontrollable weeping. It gets a bonus to its DC and/or duration if you make your save versus Tasha's uncontrollable hideous dancing. Tasha never got invited to prom.

Wasn't Tasha the real/prior name of Iggwilv the Witch-Queen?

This explains much.

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seems like there is a constant battle between stating your item simply and concisely vs making it stand out via big words, blood & guts in the description, flowery phrases to show a creative writing style.

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Orthos wrote:
Wolfboy wrote:
Adam Moorhouse 759 wrote:

I think I might need a break. I'm channeling Simon Cowell.

I want to make some of these these contestants weep uncontrollably in front of a live studio audience.

Inspired for a new spell: Tasha's uncontrollable weeping. It gets a bonus to its DC and/or duration if you make your save versus Tasha's uncontrollable hideous dancing. Tasha never got invited to prom.

Wasn't Tasha the real/prior name of Iggwilv the Witch-Queen?

This explains much.

i think is was her daughter

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chopswil wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Wolfboy wrote:
Adam Moorhouse 759 wrote:

I think I might need a break. I'm channeling Simon Cowell.

I want to make some of these these contestants weep uncontrollably in front of a live studio audience.

Inspired for a new spell: Tasha's uncontrollable weeping. It gets a bonus to its DC and/or duration if you make your save versus Tasha's uncontrollable hideous dancing. Tasha never got invited to prom.

Wasn't Tasha the real/prior name of Iggwilv the Witch-Queen?

This explains much.

i think is was her daughter

Nope, least according to Wikipedia's article on her, it's indeed an alias she used for a while. Just had to go check the hunch heh.

>_> [/derail]

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MidknightDiamond wrote:

Okay... so there's some 18 different types of bonuses (alchemical, armor, circumstance, competence, deflection, dodge, enhancement, insight, luck, morale, natural armor, profane, racial, resistance, sacred, shield, size, and trait) as well as the plain "bonus" so... 19 total.

I understand that not all of those bonus types are appropriate for some items types but something, anything, other than "competence bonus" would be a nice change of pace.

I completely disagree. Compotence bonuses are used intentionally because they do not stack. You can give a compotence bonus to any item and not have to wory about it having adverse effects when combined with a spell or other item. If you change the type, you need a good reason. If someone is giving something other than a compotence bonus to a skill check, I become very wary.

I understand that they aren't necessarily pretty, but look at items like Cloak of the Bat. Its very simply put in the beginning of the item as one of its many effects. If it is appropriate to the item, I would rather see it than not.

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Caineach wrote:
MidknightDiamond wrote:

Okay... so there's some 18 different types of bonuses (alchemical, armor, circumstance, competence, deflection, dodge, enhancement, insight, luck, morale, natural armor, profane, racial, resistance, sacred, shield, size, and trait) as well as the plain "bonus" so... 19 total.

I understand that not all of those bonus types are appropriate for some items types but something, anything, other than "competence bonus" would be a nice change of pace.

I completely disagree. Compotence bonuses are used intentionally because they do not stack. You can give a compotence bonus to any item and not have to wory about it having adverse effects when combined with a spell or other item. If you change the type, you need a good reason. If someone is giving something other than a compotence bonus to a skill check, I become very wary.

I understand that they aren't necessarily pretty, but look at items like Cloak of the Bat. Its very simply put in the beginning of the item as one of its many effects. If it is appropriate to the item, I would rather see it than not.

The only bonuses that stack are dodge and untyped (that being they stack with bonuses of the same type ... or in the case of untyped with any other bonus).

See, I always viewed the type of bonus to be tied to where it was coming from. Using a generic healing item as a guideline, if the creation requirements have Heal Skill of X ranks, then competence bonus makes sense, if infernal healing is listed then a profane bonus makes sense, if any cure spell is used, sacred makes sense, if the bits and pieces of some critter that has fast healing is required, then an argument could be made for a racial bonus, etc.

ETA: yes, I realize this is not the case with a lot of magic items, but it makes sense to me is all I am saying. For example, having consecrate as a requirement that would then impart a profane bonus would make no sense, but I could see other types popping up other than sacred. And, to be clear, I am not pulling from any items I have seen, just speaking in generalities.

Untyped bonuses, however, give me pause. That's not to say that they should never be used, but they should be used sparingly and carefully.

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zylphryx wrote:
Caineach wrote:
MidknightDiamond wrote:

Okay... so there's some 18 different types of bonuses (alchemical, armor, circumstance, competence, deflection, dodge, enhancement, insight, luck, morale, natural armor, profane, racial, resistance, sacred, shield, size, and trait) as well as the plain "bonus" so... 19 total.

I understand that not all of those bonus types are appropriate for some items types but something, anything, other than "competence bonus" would be a nice change of pace.

I completely disagree. Compotence bonuses are used intentionally because they do not stack. You can give a compotence bonus to any item and not have to wory about it having adverse effects when combined with a spell or other item. If you change the type, you need a good reason. If someone is giving something other than a compotence bonus to a skill check, I become very wary.

I understand that they aren't necessarily pretty, but look at items like Cloak of the Bat. Its very simply put in the beginning of the item as one of its many effects. If it is appropriate to the item, I would rather see it than not.

The only bonuses that stack are dodge and untyped (that being they stack with bonuses of the same type ... or in the case of untyped with any other bonus).

Right. And you don't want bonuses to stack too freely. Competence bonuses are used for everything so that they don't stack and you don't have to think about issues involving it. Other bonuses are hard to get and come in smaller quantities because they stack.

Quote:


See, I always viewed the type of bonus to be tied to where it was coming from. Using a generic healing item as a guideline, if the creation requirements have Heal Skill of X ranks, then competence bonus makes sense, if infernal healing is listed then a profane bonus makes sense, if any cure spell is used, sacred makes sense, if the bits and pieces of some critter that has fast healing is required, then an argument could be made for a racial bonus, etc.

ETA: yes, I realize this is not the case with a lot of magic items, but it makes sense to me is all I am saying. For example, having consecrate as a requirement that would then impart a profane bonus would make no sense, but I could see other types popping up other...

Find an item that grants a sacred or profane bonus in any of the books. Searching the PRD, I find none. Other than a very limitted number of spells or class abilities (or a succubus), these bonuses are very hard to get.

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zylphryx wrote:

The only bonuses that stack are dodge and untyped (that being they stack with bonuses of the same type ... or in the case of untyped with any other bonus).

See, I always viewed the type of bonus to be tied to where it was coming from. Using a generic healing item as a guideline, if the creation requirements have Heal Skill of X ranks, then competence bonus makes sense, if infernal healing is listed then a profane bonus makes sense, if any cure spell is used, sacred makes sense, if the bits and pieces of some critter that has fast healing is required, then an argument could be made for a racial bonus, etc.

ETA: yes, I realize this is not the case with a lot of magic items, but it makes sense to me is all I am saying. For example, having consecrate as a requirement that would then impart a profane bonus would make no sense, but I could see other types popping up other...

I believe some circumstance ones stack as well... but you pretty much hit the nail on the head to what I was referring to. It makes more sense to tailor the type of bonus to what the item is, does, and how it's made. While competence is your general fall back because it doesn't stack and therefore people can't go nuts with it, it just doesn't scream "awesome" or "superstar" to me.

Other people probably think differently, and that's fine. We all have our own opinions and styles of gameplay, running, and creation. To me, I just prefer the more "outside of the box" types.

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I've seen a few items that have untyped bonuses, one seems to do it intentionally and I could believe the others were designed that way based on the quality of the rest of the entry.

Untyped bonus makes me look twice or three times at the entry, but it doesn't negatively impact my initial view.

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Wow, my "I'm not voting for this item because it doesn't make thematic sense" nemesis just won a vote from me for being paired against an item that made less thematic sense, did more things, and was altogether not interesting.

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Caineach wrote:
zylphryx wrote:


The only bonuses that stack are dodge and untyped (that being they stack with bonuses of the same type ... or in the case of untyped with any other bonus).

Right. And you don't want bonuses to stack too freely. Competence bonuses are used for everything so that they don't stack and you don't have to think about issues involving it. Other bonuses are hard to get and come in smaller quantities because they stack.

Ah gotcha. I completely misread what you were saying. Yes, competence bonuses are pretty common which does lessen their overall impact.


James Raine wrote:
Wow, my "I'm not voting for this item because it doesn't make thematic sense" nemesis just won a vote from me for being paired against an item that made less thematic sense, did more things, and was altogether not interesting.

You knew deep in your heart that it was bound to happen.

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Drejk wrote:
James Raine wrote:
Wow, my "I'm not voting for this item because it doesn't make thematic sense" nemesis just won a vote from me for being paired against an item that made less thematic sense, did more things, and was altogether not interesting.
You knew deep in your heart that it was bound to happen.

I was praying this time would never come. :(

Star Voter Season 6

gbonehead wrote:

Items like that remind me of the lay of the land spell from the Spell Compendium. Sure, it was a 4th-level druid spell, but...

lay of the land wrote:
You instantly gain an overview of the area around you. Lay of the land gives basic information relevant to major landmarks, such as rivers, lakes, and settlements (of at least hamlet size). It indicates the direction and distance to each from the current location. You have a good understanding of the terrain up to 50 miles from your current location.

Uh ... 50 MILES??? Oh, and I almost forgot. It takes 3 rounds to cast and is also a level 1 ranger spell.

Great. Now I have to draw a 50-mile radius map of the area every time one of the PCs gets it in their head to cast this spell. Furthermore, I have to adjudicate exactly what "major landmark" means. What about a bridge? How about if it got washed out in last night's storm? Is the bandit outpost they're supposed to find hidden in the wilderness a major landmark? How about the ancient black dragon's secret lair? Imagine using lay of the land during a Kingmaker campaign.

Awesome.

I cast that spell only once as a Ranger, and that was because we were lost in the Underdark and needed to find our way out. Only for the GM to screw me over and say, "The overwhelming knowledge of all the tunnels, caves, passages and such is too much. You fall unconscious, and when you wake up, you get a headache simply thinking about where you are and only have very vague, undecipherable flashes of information."

I simply gave him a 'Seriously?' look because all I wanted was to find the way out.

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I've noticed an interesting trend with entries having "charges". When did this become so popular? I only recall two Wondrous items having charges (Cube of Force and Gem of Seeing), and only one that would recharge every day.

Normally an item is limited by hit dice, rounds, targets, etc. As a GM I'm not a big fan of charges since it's bookkeeping across sessions (which players aren't always great at). But I'm old and set in my ways. ;)

What is everyone else's feelings on the subject of charges? Is it the wave of the future?

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I was just thinking about the whole charges thing this morning on my drive to work Jerry!

I'm...not a fan. To me, that really starts putting it into the "magic item" rather than "wondrous item" category. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just don't like charges on my Wondrous Item.

EDIT

I just voted for an item with bold bb code tags in the title. The other item was properly formatted and was good, but bad format item was described better and tighter and had that spark.

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Jerry Keyes wrote:

I've noticed an interesting trend with entries having "charges". When did this become so popular? I only recall two Wondrous items having charges (Cube of Force and Gem of Seeing), and only one that would recharge every day.

Normally an item is limited by hit dice, rounds, targets, etc. As a GM I'm not a big fan of charges since it's bookkeeping across sessions (which players aren't always great at). But I'm old and set in my ways. ;)

What is everyone else's feelings on the subject of charges? Is it the wave of the future?

I could be wrong but I blame the Magic Item Compendium. Practically every item in there had charges. In some ways it was nice because it could help cut the costs of a magic item so that lower level characters could afford them, but in other ways it sometimes feels cheap--mostly, to me, it depends on how the item is crafted and what its functions are. If it is broken enough that expending all its charges in one shot can make a boss fight a one/two round ordeal... then I generally don't like it as a GM.

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