Phrases that are driving you bonkers


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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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

I find it curious that some designer add an operating manual for theri magical item.

It's magic, it doesn't need a logical and consistent operating manual.

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6

michaeljpatrick wrote:
The plethora of items that allow ease of travel (teleporting, dimension door, extra-planar travel, flying goats, etc.) leads me to believe that a lot of the entrants really hate getting from point A to point B. Getting there is half the fun. That's pretty much what fantasy fiction is all about.

Oh god, dimension door... I swear, somebody must have opened up a dimension door cannery around here somewhere.

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Flying goats would be interesting though, moreso than teleportation. Still opportunities for aerial encounters and thunderstorms.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka RainyDayNinja

And what's with all the matryoshka dolls? I've seen at least 3 different ones, but thankfully they all do different things.

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6

I think it might have to do with Reign of Winter coming out and people hoping to gain an advantage writing a Russian themed item.

Silver Crusade Star Voter Season 6

This thread is cracking me up. I needed that this morning.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

While not a phrase that is driving me bonkers, I have seen the same item over a dozen times now and I still have no idea what it is supposed to do. I have read, reread, and dissected this item. It is driving me bonkers. Sadly, I have voted for it a few times, because the item it was paired with was simply horrendous...

Silver Crusade

This room is completely empty.... except for the __________.

Dark Archive Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

not really a phrase but lots of items that give crafting bonuses.
If Pathfinder were a game where the goal was to keep a Pottery Barn fully stocked then yes they would be cool.
How many times in a game do you really have to make a sculpture out of marble?

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

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250+ word items should have more than one paragraph.

Reading a wall of text for an item that long does not make for a clear and easy-to-understand item.

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6

Wolfboy wrote:

250+ word items should have more than one paragraph.

Reading a wall of text for an item that long does not make for a clear and easy-to-understand item.

As an addendum to this, the first paragraph of the item should probably give the reader some idea of what the item does, mechanically. I've read at least one item that had a backstory three paragraphs long, and turned out to be a SIAC whose effect could be explained in one sentence. That... wasn't fun to read.

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

Character quotes at the beginning of an item's text. Arg!

I can't recall which rule number it is off the top of my head, but I do know it's one of Sean's rules. It's also the one that seems to me to be the biggest peeve and most concrete.

Also: Sentence fragments at the very beginning of the item description.

Another addendum: Items with subjective conditions for use; "This item is only useable by characters who are sufficiently chaotic evil." Items like this make the GM have to work harder; no item should do that.

Star Voter Season 6

Gnoll Bard wrote:
Wolfboy wrote:

250+ word items should have more than one paragraph.

Reading a wall of text for an item that long does not make for a clear and easy-to-understand item.

As an addendum to this, the first paragraph of the item should probably give the reader some idea of what the item does, mechanically. I've read at least one item that had a backstory three paragraphs long, and turned out to be a SIAC whose effect could be explained in one sentence. That... wasn't fun to read.

Yeah, I just read one of those. Combined with not caring about the inventor and it having a sodomy joke, the flawed item with inspired mechanics beat it hands down.

Star Voter Season 6

I think I may have to vote against every item that is a portal gun. Some of them have been interesting, but you can only see so many before you just get tired of them. And the idea is obviously ripped off of popular culture.

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

I do like items that improve my vocabulary, as long as the word is actually a real word and used in the correct context. there are more than a few words I wouldn't know had I never played D&D.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't know about portal gun, but items that do things that aren't even close to spells listed bother me.

"This item allows the character to charm trees. Creation requirements: Fireball." huh?


Matthew Morris wrote:
"This item allows the character to charm trees. Creation requirements: Fireball." huh?

"Listen tree, I often fireball those who I find unfriendly. So, wanna be my friend?"

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

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Complicated bookkeeping does not a Superstar item make.

Scarab Sages

Yeah, but no.

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

Neither does obscure vocabulary. It does demonstrate good things, but if I need one of my players to look up every third word of an item's description and effects, they're quite likely to never use that item.

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6

I've seen an awful lot of items that fix your equipment in one way or another, some of them quite expensive. I have to wonder if these people know that, in most cases, mending can fix just about anything, and your friendly neighborhood wizard can cast it at will. One of the most important criteria I voting is whether or not I can imagine anyone actually wanting to buy the item in question, and when you're charging thousands of gold for something most PCs can get for free... well, that's pretty much a disqualification right there.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

Wolfboy wrote:
Neither does obscure vocabulary. It does demonstrate good things, but if I need one of my players to look up every third word of an item's description and effects, they're quite likely to never use that item.

<sarc>So... you never played AD&D?</sarc>

Dedicated Voter Season 6

27 people marked this as a favorite.

You're a DQ, Item One
Pack up, go home, you're done
Your rules come from Hackmaster, in a game you'd be no fun
Item One...
You're five hundred gold pieces... for a fifty-round stun!

You're an oddball, Item Two
I'm not sure what you do
I see three hundred words of strangeness in a thick linguistic stew
Item Twoooo...
You're a heaping mound of adverbs... bound up with adjective glue!

You're a reject, Item Three
You're a clear SIAC
You're prized by Cats and Gnome Aristocrats, allegedly
Item Threeeee...
Twenty times a day seems quite a lot for just a cast of shillelagh

You're a nightmare, Item Four
A Swiss Army Knife for sure
The list of all the things you do is quite a lengthy bore
Item Four...
You're a web, a fear, a fly, an aid, a bless, a bane, a glide, a haste... and a dimension door?!

You're real nasty, Item Five
You make me scared to rhyme
You're made of bones and ichor and unwashed ogre guts and worse
Item Five...
The three words that describe you best are grim, gorm, glum!

(with apologies to Dr. Seuss.)

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

Matthew Morris wrote:
Wolfboy wrote:
Neither does obscure vocabulary. It does demonstrate good things, but if I need one of my players to look up every third word of an item's description and effects, they're quite likely to never use that item.
<sarc>So... you never played AD&D?</sarc>

::chuckle::

Since 80 or 81. Like I said in a different post, there's words I only know (like sussurus and vespertilian, among others) because I play D&D.

I'd be curious to see a list of all the words other folks remember seeing the first time in a D&D supplement, rulebook, or novel. However, that's a discussion for another thread.

There's a small list here. If anyone knows of any others, please let me know. My curiosity has been piqued. (there I go, doing it again)

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

What is the deal with masochistic items?

"This item is a giant mosquito with a barbed harpoon for a proboscis. You wear it like a backpack, with its feeding tube stabbed into your jugular vein."

Side note: I learned the word "proboscis" playing D&D. ::snicker::

Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

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Warren Crowhurst wrote:
You're a DQ, Item One...

*slow clap*

Star Voter Season 6

To add on to my Portal comment, we have all see Dr. Who as well. His gadgets are not new or creative.

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

Puns. Seriously?

I'm in complete accord with Clark that joke items are somewhat insulting and offensive—as well as a waste of our time.


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Wolfboy wrote:

Puns. Seriously?

I'm in complete accord with Clark that joke items are somewhat insulting and offensive—as well as a waste of our time.

The sad thing is that the joke items I've seen are pretty tight as far as format, language, and overall style, and usually better than what they're paired up against in those areas. That said, a joke should not be voted above a serious entry.

I'm really tired of superfluous adverbs, like "apparently" or "seemingly." Trim the fat. The item either is or isn't.

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

Shadowborn wrote:
I'm really tired of superfluous adverbs, like "apparently" or "seemingly." Trim the fat. The item either is or isn't.

Totally with you on this one.

"This honking huge juggernaut of metal armor is apparently made of mist, until a rogue of the most evil sort wears his evil mosquito backpack of shadowy doom, at which point it reveals it's innermost powers."

I think this thread needs a new example similar to Sean's Hitler-killing greatsword of time traveling, metal-singing awesomeness.

Star Voter Season 6

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Shadowborn wrote:
Wolfboy wrote:

Puns. Seriously?

I'm in complete accord with Clark that joke items are somewhat insulting and offensive—as well as a waste of our time.

The sad thing is that the joke items I've seen are pretty tight as far as format, language, and overall style, and usually better than what they're paired up against in those areas. That said, a joke should not be voted above a serious entry.

I'm really tired of superfluous adverbs, like "apparently" or "seemingly." Trim the fat. The item either is or isn't.

I've definetely up voted some seemingly joke items because they were solid. A few of them I would not mind seeing in the top if the gag was removed.

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

Wolfboy wrote:
Since 80 or 81. Like I said in a different post, there's words I only know (like sussurus and vespertilian, among others) because I play D&D.

Heh. One of the items I considered submitting used susurrus. When I ran it past my gaming group, one of the guys was like "I've never heard of that word." My other friend and I couldn't believe it, since he's fairly literate. (Of course, they still haven't gotten over me using "tony" to describe a neighborhood in a city I had designed...)

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

Never heard "tony" used like that before. Thanks for the new word.

I learned "sussurus" from the eponymous monster in the original Fiend Folio.

To stay on subject: If an item mimics the effects of a spell, it should have that spell as a creation requirement.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka michaeljpatrick

Attuned, attuned, attuned. It seems like everything is attuned to something so that it may be imbued with its seemingly true power.

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6

It is a description, not an advertisement. Excamation points have no place in your submission.

Marathon Voter Season 6

Coridan wrote:
It is a description, not an advertisement. Excamation points have no place in your submission.

Ugh... the advertisements. I swear I've seen a half dozen of these.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Epic Meepo

MidknightDiamond wrote:
Coridan wrote:
It is a description, not an advertisement. Excamation points have no place in your submission.
Ugh... the advertisements. I swear I've seen a half dozen of these.

Could you pay the market price in three easy installments of $19.99?

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

Eric Morton wrote:
Coridan wrote:
It is a description, not an advertisement. Excamation points have no place in your submission.
Could you pay its market price in three easy installments of $19.99?

Well, I've seen at least one price listed in $'s, so probably.


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Eric Morton wrote:
MidknightDiamond wrote:
Coridan wrote:
It is a description, not an advertisement. Excamation points have no place in your submission.
Ugh... the advertisements. I swear I've seen a half dozen of these.
Could you pay the market price in three easy installments of $19.99?

Order now and we'll throw in the Black Quill of Doomshadows for free!

Marathon Voter Season 6

Shadowborn wrote:
Eric Morton wrote:
MidknightDiamond wrote:
Coridan wrote:
It is a description, not an advertisement. Excamation points have no place in your submission.
Ugh... the advertisements. I swear I've seen a half dozen of these.
Could you pay the market price in three easy installments of $19.99?
Order now and we'll throw in the Black Quill of Doomshadows for free!

You guys are too awesome--I needed that laugh, thank you.

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Command words. Please don't tell me what the command word is because its really irrelevant to the function of the item. We are all quite capable of coming up with one for our own campaigns (or not).

--Vrock the Vote!

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6 aka Mattrex

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Dennis Baker wrote:
Which brings up my final issue.... 290+ words. Few items really need that many words. If your item has that many, you probably should have done some more editing.

I don't buy this. I have some experience writing within word limits, and working within any reasonable limit is already an exercise in creative editing. If you say the limit is 300 words, don't pretend that it's really 200 words. Either say it's 200 words from the start, or don't get upset when someone uses what they're given.

One of my biggest peeves as a writer is being given a moving target. It's passive-aggressive and it has no place in a professional context.

This doesn't apply to people who use more words than are necessary to describe their concept, but different concepts--by definition--will require different word counts to meaningfully communicate them. Just because you can describe Wondrous Item A in 100 words doesn't mean that the upper limit on every item is 100 words.

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

The problem is not that such long items are automatically bad... I have seen some very good items that come right up against the limit, in fact.

The problem is that the vast majority of these long items are not good, though, they tend to be either over written or needlessly complicated. Most of them could be edited down to roughly half the length they currently sit at and would be much better for it (tighter design, less confusing quasi-mechanics, less extraneous background BS about the person who made the first one, etc. etc. ad nausium).

I agree with Dennis that 'few items' need that many words, which is not to say that all items should be shorter than that.

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

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Wolfboy wrote:


I think this thread needs a new example similar to Sean's Hitler-killing greatsword of time traveling, metal-singing awesomeness.

For your consideration:

joke item:

ASSASSIN MASTER XEENA'S BLACK SHADOWQUILL OF DOOM - 299 WORDS

Aura moderate necromancy; CL 9th
Slot none; Price $20000; Weight 1 lb.

Originally created by the assassin Xeena, this pen set appears to be an ordinary quill and fist-sized inkwell. Often these sets bear the coat of arms or personal mark of the person who last used it. Upon closer inspection, the inkwell is full of swirling gossamer tendrils of shadowy essence and the quill is a feather from a roc with an adamantine filigree.

Prized by assassins, it has several functions. They must be carried by the user (in a backpack is fine) for 24 hours before they become attuned. After that the crest changes to match the bearer’s family and he gains +4 to all initiative checks, darkvision and the ability to cast darkness at will. He also gains the ability to hide in plain sight.

However, in the hands of a believer of Zon-Kuthon its true function is revealed. When the inkwell is held in the palm of your hand and the command word "Nosferatu" is spoken, as a free action, spikes stick out dealing 2d6 Constitution damage causing terrible pain as it fills with the user's blood.

Then he can go back in time and fix one thing that happened in the campaign, just like timestop, by writing it down on paper. He can do this as many times as constitution points lost in the inkwell, which cannot be healed while he is holding it.

If he then says the command word "Redrum" he can write down the name of one person who will then die instantly. The Shadowquill then has to rest for 24 hours.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wonderous Item, timestop, must be an assassin or a follower of Zon Kuthon; Cost 5250 gp

Important note: This is not a real item I have seen nor does it resemble an item I have seen. Rather it is an amalgam of comments in this thread. I sincerely hope that this does not closely reflect an actual entry.

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

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Gnoll Bard wrote:
Wolfboy wrote:

250+ word items should have more than one paragraph.

Reading a wall of text for an item that long does not make for a clear and easy-to-understand item.

As an addendum to this, the first paragraph of the item should probably give the reader some idea of what the item does, mechanically. I've read at least one item that had a backstory three paragraphs long, and turned out to be a SIAC whose effect could be explained in one sentence. That... wasn't fun to read.

In honour of recently watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas", anytime an item description starts off with any sort of backstory, I voice-over the sounds of the adults from the movie as I visually scan through it all looking for the first instance of a mechanic. Makes them a lot more interesting that way...

Marathon Voter Season 6

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Magical_Beast wrote:

For your consideration:

** Joke Item **

Bravo!

Star Voter Season 6

Jander Reiss wrote:
This room is completely empty.... except for the __________.

I actually saw one that specifically said it was useless... except for the following 3 or 4 things it could do. What?

Also, I don't know if it's just this thread, but 'attune' does feel like it's becoming more prevalent in the items I read...

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

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Warren Crowhurst wrote:
You're a DQ, Item One ...

ROTFL. Seriously, man, thank you! I needed that. :)

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Ok, I am officially done with "attuned, attune, attuning, etc. " and "Competency bonuses".

I'm done. Done. D-O-N-E.

Done.

How did the judges keep their sanity?

Marathon Voter Season 6

2 people marked this as a favorite.

By temporarily placing their sanity in the Keep pile.

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