Phrases that are driving you bonkers


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka SmiloDan

Mattrex wrote:
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.

My item last year needed 297 words. Some was flavor text, but it "broke" a couple rules that needed to be explained, so it really needed all those words. But it apparently was pretty good, since I made the top 32... :-) Hopefully, I do again this year too! :-D

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

Magical_Beast wrote:

For your consideration:

joke item

That was epic.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Magical_Beast wrote:
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:

** spoiler omitted **

Important note: This is not a real item I have seen nor does it...

I actually recognized a few items that you were referring to with this joke item.

Star Voter Season 6

Mattrex wrote:
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.

It appears that you are saying the same thing as the person you are claiming to disagree with......only you are taking four times as many words to do it. ;)

For several of the people getting frustrated with certain phrases, I think some of it may be just fatigue and repetition creeping in more so than anything else. While I agree that there are many bad items out there, some of the complaints seem to be things that someone can only care about after reading a couple hundred of these things. If I were to read them from a book, I wouldn't have thought anything of many of the offending phrases.

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

When did a fist become a unit of measurement?

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

I swear that the omnipresent "attune" is in about a third of the entries. Is there a patient zero for this? What popular item or mechanic in the game gave everyone the idea that attuning items was a great thing?

I'm not saying it is necessarily bad, but it is profoundly prevalent.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

michaeljpatrick wrote:

I swear that the omnipresent "attune" is in about a third of the entries. Is there a patient zero for this? What popular item or mechanic in the game gave everyone the idea that attuning items was a great thing?

I'm not saying it is necessarily bad, but it is profoundly prevalent.

Patient Zero is only the best magic item EVAR!

Spoiler:
Ring of Sustenance, of course!

Also...

Spoiler:
EXPLOSIVE RUNES!!!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
michaeljpatrick wrote:
I swear that the omnipresent "attune" is in about a third of the entries. Is there a patient zero for this? What popular item or mechanic in the game gave everyone the idea that attuning items was a great thing?

Earthdawn.

And currently D&D Next. I think that 13th Age might have used attuning mechanics too but I am no sure at the moment.

Quote:
I'm not saying it is necessarily bad, but it is profoundly prevalent.

Wizard Of The Coast designers thought that it's a good idea - in response to input from many-many people in the last 12 years.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Drejk wrote:
michaeljpatrick wrote:
I swear that the omnipresent "attune" is in about a third of the entries. Is there a patient zero for this? What popular item or mechanic in the game gave everyone the idea that attuning items was a great thing?

Earthdawn.

And currently D&D Next. I think that 13th Age might have used attuning mechanics too but I am no sure at the moment.

Quote:
I'm not saying it is necessarily bad, but it is profoundly prevalent.
Wizard Of The Coast designers thought that it's a good idea - in response to input from many-many people in the last 12 years.

Yeah, I've seen something like attunement in 13th age. If I recall correctly, that is.

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

I think attunement wave comes from judges comments from previous years. There were a number of time that it was mentioned as a way to prevent items from being overpowered, even in the cases of some top 32.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would guess that it's also simply a natural fit: Superstar items aim do do cool, special things. One way to do that is to involve "variables" - have the item act on specific targets, items, locations... So it needs to get "attuned" to whatever it's supposed to work with.

You evolve past SIACs, you need some extra definitions to work with :P

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am astonished about the large number of items that are totally useless in the hands of a typical heroic adventuring PC.

I am irritated about the large number of items that I do not understand despite reading the descritpion several times.

I am angered by the items that steal my time by using a whole paragraph for pompous fluff, follow this up with several sentences of explaining needlessy complicated restrictions only to crown this by having a wholly boring effect.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I also think attune is the 'anti-loophole abuse' mechanic. (Shirt of free move action, I'm looking at you)

Silver Crusade Star Voter Season 6

Eric Morton wrote:
Magical_Beast wrote:

For your consideration:

joke item

That was epic.

Every time I reread that joke item, I spot something else that is hilarious. I didn't pick up on the "fist-sized inkwell" until the third or fourth read. "Wonderous item" was more like the fifth read. I also love the price in dollars. Pure awesome.

I tip my hat to you, Magical Beast.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Getting a little tired of items that make a mess out of the economical aspects of the game (multiplying resources and such).

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Celestial Healer wrote:
Eric Morton wrote:
Magical_Beast wrote:

For your consideration:

joke item

That was epic.

Every time I reread that joke item, I spot something else that is hilarious. I didn't pick up on the "fist-sized inkwell" until the third or fourth read. "Wonderous item" was more like the fifth read. I also love the price in dollars. Pure awesome.

I tip my hat to you, Magical Beast.

Procrastination is a powerful creative tool. I am glad you enjoyed it. :)

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Orcus Of Undeath wrote:
Magical_Beast wrote:
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:

** spoiler omitted **

Important note: This is not a real item I have seen nor does it...

I actually recognized a few items that you were referring to with this joke item.

I was honestly not referring to any item that I can remember seeing, other than the general obsession with blood and gore that has been prevalent in my voting pairs.

I meant what I said in that I SINCERELY hope that this does not resemble an actual item submitted. Both because I would not want to be offensive but also because that would make me sad inside.

Marathon Voter Season 6

There was at least one instance of parallel design in your hilarious fake item, but contest rules forbid saying which.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Magical_Beast wrote:
Orcus Of Undeath wrote:
Magical_Beast wrote:
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:

** spoiler omitted **

Important note: This is not a real item I have seen nor does it...

I actually recognized a few items that you were referring to with this joke item.

I was honestly not referring to any item that I can remember seeing, other than the general obsession with blood and gore that has been prevalent in my voting pairs.

I meant what I said in that I SINCERELY hope that this does not resemble an actual item submitted. Both because I would not want to be offensive but also because that would make me sad inside.

No, I didn't that you called out an item, it just looks like a composite of many of the items I've seen.

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Cheapy wrote:
There was at least one instance of parallel design in your hilarious fake item, but contest rules forbid saying which.

/dies a little inside

Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Magical_Beast wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
There was at least one instance of parallel design in your hilarious fake item, but contest rules forbid saying which.
/dies a little inside

Yeah, I didn't want to say anything not to compromise the author, but I've seen something very similar as well.

Liberty's Edge

Ok, the thing that has bugged me, is folks who describe something by using an “industry” term, without really knowing what that term means. By “industry” I am not referring to the RPG industry, but rather the specific industry the term belongs. For example, filigree. It’s the working of metal wires and beads into various designs to stand on their own, or be used to enhance jewelry or other metal objects.

When the word filigree is used to describe a book or a piece of clothing or something of that sort, it is not specifically being used correctly. And that really bugs me.

My suggestion is if you want to get that descriptive with your item, do your research. Find out decorating mechanisms for books or clothing or whatever. Find out what a brocade is, or what embossing requires. Use “industry” specific terms correctly, please!

Marathon Voter Season 6

Is there a system where checks are referred to as "tests"? I see "skill test" or variants fairly often.

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

Cheapy wrote:
Is there a system where checks are referred to as "tests"? I see "skill test" or variants fairly often.

Savage Worlds

Liberty's Edge

Another couple things that are irritating me:

  • Explaining what the item does then giving me an example. In some cases, you do find this in the core rule book, when something is particularly confusing, but it is done rarely. But I find examples being given that either A) are exactly what the description of the item is, so no example is needed, B) show something happening that doesn’t seem to fit the description, thus confusing things, or C) show something happening that breaks the rules of how the game works or makes something work in a way you think it should work rather than how the game rules actually work.

  • Using clauses that change how a particular rules set works, so that it makes the item either more beneficial or overpowered.

Seriously, giving me an example of how adding a +2 bonus works, is unnecessary. The game already tells you how to add a +2 bonus. Giving me an example that just confuses me is bad design. If the game rules say that adding a +2 bonus works in a certain way, and then you tell me your item adds a +2 bonus but give me an example that adds the bonus in a way that’s against the rules, that’s just bad design. If you specifically try to change how the game rules work to make your item more appealing, that is also bad game design.

The last bit leads into the 2nd item above. If you make an item that helps with CMD or with a specific spell then it should at least try to adhere to the rules on how CMD or specific spell works, unless there is a good, unique, or creative reason to change the rules. But saying, “this works like spell ABC except that you can do XYZ when normally XYZ isn’t allowed,” without some reason, that’s bad game design.

What this smacks of, is designing the item with your player hat on, instead of at least your GM hat, if not your designer/developer hat. Especially if you are still playing in the player vs. GM paradigm that I think most gamers have at one time or another played and GM’d with.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka surfbored

I'll add my vote for incorrect usage of, "appears to be". Don't tell me it appears to be something and then actually make it that thing!

Proper names in the title are a pet peeve, but I'll still vote for it if everything else works.

As for "attune", I'm fine with it, if it's NEEDED. And it's only needed to stop abuses that otherwise can't be avoided. For example, passing around that super powerful device so everyone can use it once today might be a good candidate for attuning.

Using the full 300 words is fine, but again, only if it's needed. If you can be more succinct, do so.

Using less than 100 words is worrisome. The template is 24 words. If you can describe your item in under 76 words, then you're probably missing something.

Formatting mistakes, typos, and misspellings I use as tie breakers. Most are completely avoidable, if you proofread and use "preview".

Themes are annoying and I feel bad for good writers that have unlucky timing. I still try to vote fairly for these items, but it's tough sometimes. If you submitted a magic cell phone though, better luck next year - we're all tired of that one.

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6

Magical_Beast wrote:
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:

** spoiler omitted **

Important note: This is not a real item I have seen nor does it...

The sad thing is, I honestly think I would vote for this item over a few of the other ones I've seen. It has paragraph breaks, it's fairly readable, it gets the formatting mostly right, and it's far from the only item I've read this week with no-save death effects or crazy time travel effects. x_x

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Jerry Keyes wrote:
If you submitted a magic cell phone though, better luck next year - we're all tired of that one.

I would totally vote for a magic cell phone, except none of the versions I've seen so far have had Snake installed.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I must have Triple Town, or it is not a usable smart phone. Plants vs. Zombies is a close second.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Tetris here.

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

PFRPG RD. Don't need games, that's why I have my Vita!

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

Are we forgetting Angry Birds, people? Must have Angry Birds (but not Angry Birds Rio; we don't like that one).

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Aeris Fallstar wrote:
How did the judges keep their sanity?

You're assuming a lot. Consider how many of them are Lovecraft fans. :)

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

5 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm getting a bit tired of all the "multi-slot" items. I don't think I can recall ever seeing any items that do this.

It reminds me of that scene from Airplane: "What do you make of this?" (Hands him a sheet of paper.) "Well, I can make a hat, or a brooch, or a pterodactyl..."

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

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Cthulhudrew wrote:

I'm getting a bit tired of all the "multi-slot" items. I don't think I can recall ever seeing any items that do this.

It reminds me of that scene from Airplane: "What do you make of this?" (Hands him a sheet of paper.) "Well, I can make a hat, or a brooch, or a pterodactyl..."

"How 'bout some coffee, Johnny?"

"No thanks..."

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

"Joey, have you ever been inside a Turkish prison?"

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

Funny, I don't recall those phrases in any of the magic items I have been reviewing...
;)

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

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

"I think you're the best, but my dad says you don't work hard enough on defense."

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

9 people marked this as a favorite.

"The hell I don't! LISTEN KID! I've been hearing that crap ever since I played First Edition. I'm out there rolling my dice every night. Tell your old man to drag Mordenkainen and Bibgy up and down the dungeon for 48 turns/level."

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Uh, oh. What did I start here?

"Oh my gosh! Look at that treasure horde! We need a Bag of Holding!"
"What is it?"
"It's a large sack with an extradimensional space in it. But that's not important right now!"

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

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Uh, oh. What did I start here?

You think you started something here? Surely you can't be serious.

Cthulhudrew wrote:
I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

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

very Nice MM, way to twist the quote to being on topic.

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

3 people marked this as a favorite.
cwslyclgh wrote:
very Nice MM, way to twist the quote to being on topic.

RPG Superstar Tangent Superstar 2013


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"Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop smoking pesh."

Dedicated Voter Season 6

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"I made some single homebrew items back in my own campaign, but this competition has a whole bunch of criteria. It's a different kind of designing altogether."

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

"I just want to tell the RPG Superstar contestants, good luck — we're all counting on you."

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

We're missing a picture of Cayden Cailean drenching himself with a mug of ale due to his "drinking problem."

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This thread was more fun when it was on topic.

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

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hey, I consider all of us fortunate that there aren't any items that say "when this loot drops" or "when your toon uses" or any similar phrasing.

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

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Eric Morton wrote:
This thread was more fun when it was on topic.

You think so?

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