A sense of repulsion doesn't replace a sense of wonder


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

Scarab Sages Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

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First of all: Kudos to those who entered an item. I haven't done so and I don't know if I wouldn't do far worse.

That said (and perhaps I just had the misfortune of a bad bunch), I have seen far to many entries that try hard to appear evil wit a capital 'L'.

There is nothing wrong with items with a dark history or heritage, with repulsive looks or ways of use - that is a trope of fantasy and fairy tales forever. Yet, in a game with more or less common magic items, there has to be a payoff - why should a character use an item that requires him to do things he will probably find repulsive, if it doesn't do much more then a low level potion?

I don't want to single out any entry, but if your items powers read like something from the home shopping channel while the description of its use (or making) reads like the lyrics of a CannibalCorps song, you might be heading in the wrong direction.

Sorry, rant over ;-)


Aw, c'mon. Some of these evil items have me twirling my mustache and laughing maniacally. Gives me the urge to send forth my minions to pillage and plunder.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka MythrilDragon

Shadowborn wrote:
Aw, c'mon. Some of these evil items have me twirling my mustache and laughing maniacally. Gives me the urge to send forth my minions to pillage and plunder.

True, but some items are being described with grossness, just to be gross I think.


Yeah, I know. I've already mentioned in other threads the trend of making magic items out of the recycled parts of chopped up stuff. Dealing with the grotesque takes skill, otherwise you go from strange and eerie right into splatterpunk.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka MythrilDragon

Agreed, and I made the Goblin Stand of Ears the first year that had a gross factor to them. I don't know if they would survive the cut these days.

Scarab Sages Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

Shadowborn wrote:
Aw, c'mon. Some of these evil items have me twirling my mustache and laughing maniacally. Gives me the urge to send forth my minions to pillage and plunder.

Those are the items with the payoff - just as I said, there is nothing wrong with evil, bloody and gross items as long as they make sense or pay off.


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feytharn wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
Aw, c'mon. Some of these evil items have me twirling my mustache and laughing maniacally. Gives me the urge to send forth my minions to pillage and plunder.
Those are the items with the payoff - just as I said, there is nothing wrong with evil, bloody and gross items as long as they make sense or pay off.

Part of the joke I was putting out there is that a lot of evil-themed items wouldn't be any more obvious if they had a big sign with arrows pointing to them saying "HEY! EVIL OVER HERE!"

Everyone forgets that the worst kind of evil is the insidious kind, the kind that sneaks up on you and has you in its clutches before its too late. I'd like to see a pretty evil item once in a while.

Scarab Sages Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

I absolutely agree - I didn't miss the joking tone, I just wanted to make clear that I am not on a crusade (hah!) against grimdarkevilwickedcruel items ;-)

Star Voter Season 6

Shadowborn wrote:
I'd like to see a pretty evil item once in a while.

I can buy that, but I'm not sure it's Superstar. As a GM, would it be awesome to have a lot of neat plot device or evil items to throw at players? Totally!

It's hard to come up with a superstar plot device, though. I guess if someone did come up with a really awesome "evil wit' a capital L" evil item, that would show a lot of RPG Superstar chops. I haven't seen one yet, though, in my limited voting.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

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I have found that there is a cumulative "ugh" effect after reading through a dozen or so items that feature a high "ick" factor. It just gets to be too much...


bstern wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
I'd like to see a pretty evil item once in a while.

I can buy that, but I'm not sure it's Superstar. As a GM, would it be awesome to have a lot of neat plot device or evil items to throw at players? Totally!

It's hard to come up with a superstar plot device, though. I guess if someone did come up with a really awesome "evil wit' a capital L" evil item, that would show a lot of RPG Superstar chops. I haven't seen one yet, though, in my limited voting.

An item that allows a person to do nefarious things under the guise of doing good? Sounds pretty superstar to me. It doesn't necessarily have to be a plot device.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka MythrilDragon

Shadowborn wrote:
bstern wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
I'd like to see a pretty evil item once in a while.

I can buy that, but I'm not sure it's Superstar. As a GM, would it be awesome to have a lot of neat plot device or evil items to throw at players? Totally!

It's hard to come up with a superstar plot device, though. I guess if someone did come up with a really awesome "evil wit' a capital L" evil item, that would show a lot of RPG Superstar chops. I haven't seen one yet, though, in my limited voting.

An item that allows a person to do nefarious things under the guise of doing good? Sounds pretty superstar to me. It doesn't necessarily have to be a plot device.

If done well this defiantly could be a Superstar Item. Looks like you have something in mind to enter next year, unless of course you win this year.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Shadowborn wrote:
Everyone forgets that the worst kind of evil is the insidious kind, the kind that sneaks up on you and has you in its clutches before its too late. I'd like to see a pretty evil item once in a while.

I could not agree more! My favorite evil items I have seen while voting are seemingly innocuous items that do not hurt anyone -- your enemy or yourself -- well, not directly, anyway. You just do your thing, fight your enemies without realizing you are doing just what the item wants you to do...

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan

Shadowborn wrote:
Yeah, I know. I've already mentioned in other threads the trend of making magic items out of the recycled parts of chopped up stuff. Dealing with the grotesque takes skill, otherwise you go from strange and eerie right into splatterpunk.

Definitely some items that see gross for the sake of gross, or the shock value.

On the flip side, I own several leather belts, and a snake belt, and horse tail makes the best bowstrings for a violin.

Are these the mundane equivalents of dragon and goblin hide? Possibly.

Maybe it's in the delivery. Call it a dragon-leather satchel, instead of a satchel mad from the dried out skin of an ancient black wyrm, and maybe it sounds right?

I dunno.


Yeah, toning it down a bit might help, but it does seem that some are going for the over-the-top presentation to grab attention. "This hat is made from the gutted corpse of a flumph." Ew.


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Shadowborn wrote:
"This hat is made from the gutted corpse of a flumph." Ew.

Ew with caution, there are a lot of terrifyingly violent flumph haters out there.

Also....I don't know much about this rpg superstar stuff, anyone got a link to the list of items?


See?! If wearing a LG aberration as a hat isn't evil, I don't know what is.

RPG Superstar! The big voting link will take you to the items, though there isn't a list, you only see two of them at a time.

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

cmastah wrote:
Ew with caution, there are a lot of terrifyingly violent flumph haters out there.

DAIGLE!!!! WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOU?!?!?!?!?!?


KatDangerous wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
Everyone forgets that the worst kind of evil is the insidious kind, the kind that sneaks up on you and has you in its clutches before its too late. I'd like to see a pretty evil item once in a while.
I could not agree more! My favorite evil items I have seen while voting are seemingly innocuous items that do not hurt anyone -- your enemy or yourself -- well, not directly, anyway. You just do your thing, fight your enemies without realizing you are doing just what the item wants you to do...

While i think this is a wonderful idea for a magic item, it would be dangerous to include it as a Superstar entry. I would think it would ride a razor fine line between a wondrous item and a cursed one.

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

And I do believe that cursed items are cool, but as has been said, cursed items aren't Wondrous.

Sigh...maybe they'll do a Cursed Item round next year!

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Or plot item? That would be cool too.


I wasn't thinking something that would be insidious and bad to the user, but to the people the owner used the item against. You know...like...a cute little monkey construct that enchanted people before sucking out their souls for the owner to feed upon...or something.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

zylphryx wrote:
cmastah wrote:
Ew with caution, there are a lot of terrifyingly violent flumph haters out there.
DAIGLE!!!! WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOU?!?!?!?!?!?

Well, gave him a girdle of masculinity/femininity along with that satchel, for starters....

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

There is a plot item out there this round that I think is very cool actually, I almost always vote against it when it pops up though because it is not appropriate to the contest (I'll still vote for it over an item that does nothing or makes no sense, but that's about it)...

That said, I doubt that they will ever do a cursed or plot item round in RPG superstar, firstly it would not be a very good first round because they are not good really items for showing technical ability, imagination, and sense of game balance all at the same time; and secondly because it is unlikely there will ever be two item creation rounds in the same contest, because they have already tested that ability with the first round.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

John Welker wrote:
KatDangerous wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
Everyone forgets that the worst kind of evil is the insidious kind, the kind that sneaks up on you and has you in its clutches before its too late. I'd like to see a pretty evil item once in a while.
I could not agree more! My favorite evil items I have seen while voting are seemingly innocuous items that do not hurt anyone -- your enemy or yourself -- well, not directly, anyway. You just do your thing, fight your enemies without realizing you are doing just what the item wants you to do...
While i think this is a wonderful idea for a magic item, it would be dangerous to include it as a Superstar entry. I would think it would ride a razor fine line between a wondrous item and a cursed one.

Oh, I didn't mean that, really. I guess I'm being so careful about not discussing individual items that my comments get too vague to be understood! What I meant is I saw a delightfully evil item where the evilness is umm, sort of between the lines. It doesn't drain your Con or control your mind or do anything particularly cruel or deadly. Can't go into more details. :)

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

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Orthos wrote:
zylphryx wrote:
cmastah wrote:
Ew with caution, there are a lot of terrifyingly violent flumph haters out there.
DAIGLE!!!! WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOU?!?!?!?!?!?
Well, gave him a girdle of masculinity/femininity along with that satchel, for starters....

No no, she's wearing him on her head!!!!!!!!

THE HORROR!!!!!!

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