Official 2013 "Critique my item" thread


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

451 to 500 of 824 << first < prev | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | next > last >>
Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

Page 6 items!

Doppelganger’s Locket - Neat idea, thematically coherent item. Looks like it addresses most mechanical questions. +10 is a lot, but in this context I think it's probably ok. I think this is a fine item, though maybe a bit out of the mainstream. As far as actual item design, it looks like you've got it.

Mortal Coil - Sort of like a ki battery. Might be better to focus it purely on ki instead including lay on hands etc. 30,000 gp is a lot to store a spare channel energy, for example. Like the description, though the name seems a bit punny in this context.

Master Healer's Satchel - Another item that looks fine, but is not all that exciting. A little SAK, but thematically sound. I think this is a great book of items item.

Flute of Silver Winds - I expected something more monk themed with the name. The effect is a neat idea, but pretty situational. Overall it seems too minor a result, but nice flavor.

Bracers of Joy - Your self criticisms are on target. I do think there's something in the basic ideas, though. An item that just makes you feel good, and a strong desire to overuse it. This isn't the ideal implementation of those ideas, but the ideas have mojo nonetheless.

Sash of Girding Vitality - Far too basic, it's almost the definition of feat-in-a-can. Use the feat as a basis to start with, but see where you can run to from there. This might be in a list of utility items, but it needs more for the contest!

Harming Harp - Yeah, this probably got DQed as an intelligent weapon or perhaps even as a cursed item.

Gloves of Life Siphoning - This is a SIAC. You could maybe save it by adding some cinematic mojo, but the best thing to do would be to make actually do more than it does.

The Canvas of Half-Hidden Truths - During voting, some days I liked this and some days I didn't. I think it's fine, imaginative, and cinematic in it way. In the right situations, it's a cool way to create conflict. Unfortunately, those situations are limited, and I think it doesn't suit many people's playstyle. The core here is a way to create conflict, which is a good instinct. Play off that.

Witchfrost Heart - Description rocks. A heart that forms ice crystals that melt at the slightest touch. Almost poetic. So the effect grows in power as more powerful foes are slain. Cool, but the kind of thing you see judges wory over. I like that this cold heart gives morale bonuses for killing prone creatures. Nice touch. Evil may have hurt you slightly, growing power probably did.

Amazing Aviary - Handy if you're looking for a giant bird, but... This one seems a little too niche for me. Needs some added umph for sure.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Page 5's items:

Cloak of Deepest Shadow:

Khaladon, welcome to the contest. My first thought is you need to work a bit on your template. You're missing spaces between the price and cost and gp; your aura shouldn't be capitalized; if your weight is 1 lb., you don't need lbs. to be plural; spells should be lowercase and italicized... That attention to detail often was my tie-breaker.

You've got a great first sentence, I thought (though I suspect the italicized "exudes" would probably be frowned on, since italics have specific uses in the stat block). Then your second sentence and third sentence undo all that good will by creating a back story and being a "prized by" construction (with the wrong "its," to boot). You've got some of the style issues down later on -- Stealth is capitalized, for example -- but then you have some other things capitalized when they don't need to be. You've also got "Cloak" capitalized in at least one spot, even though it's not for most of your item. Again, attention to detail.

Looking at the powers, you've nailed it on the head about being an SIAC and SAK, though they certainly fit the theme you were going for. You've seen Sean's advice thread now, so I think you're probably already far ahead of the game. Work on avoiding some of the traps he talks about and tightening up that attention to detail -- bring more of your first sentence to the bulk of your item and you should be good.

Quill of the Tengu Sage:

Re: Your questions. I don't remember quills being overdone previously, but we didn't see all the items either, so it's hard to know. I think every year there are some items that just catch submitters' fancy for whatever reason. It's hard to know what they're going to be and parallel design just happens sometimes. Heck, last year's round 3 had me and another contestant both enter "sidhe" monsters; and I'm sure the couple people who entered Russian nesting dolls this year thought for sure they'd be the only one to do so.

Re: Words of Power, I was surprised to not see any (or maybe only one? Can't remember now) items that dealt with it. I think honestly, it's a risky proposition using rule subsets that may not be used a lot. I don't know how popular Words of Power are, but my guess is not very. In that case, you were probably better off not making people look into that and see how your item worked.

It looks like you nailed the template, so kudos for that. I think for me, I just didn't see this being something my characters would use that often. Sure, there could be times, but it seemed more like something an NPC would do as a "gotcha" for the PCs.

Ancestral Spirit Shroud:

I thought this was a decent item, with some strong descriptive intro (that was actually similar to my intro on an item I didn't submit), but a little odd. The snatching aspect made sense, but then forming a projective weapon and returning fire was strange. I guess my feeling was if I were going to be using a projectile weapon anyway, I'd already have ammo. If I didn't have ammo, I probably wasn't going to be good enough at such an attack to use it.

Then the last power, which I kind of liked more, felt a bit tacked on to me.

Master Needle of the Fairie Artisan:

Bad start, unfortunately. No current magic item starts with a quote from the Brothers Grimm (or any other source). Right there, I'm already leaning toward hitting reject. Moving on, it looks like it's a skill bonus item, which isn't exciting me. I think your line about following the rules of the other item also hurt you -- I have to go look it up, but it also makes this item feel derivative.

Now that said, I like that you moved this beyond a basic mending item in a can, which is what I was starting to expect. The idea of stitching wounds closed is a neat one, I thought. The invisible thread vs. real thread also was a nice touch, I liked.

I think next time, just try to have something that can stand a little bit more on its own and lead with your most interesting powers (and definitely not a quote). Channel the spark that your last two paragraphs have and apply that to the entire item.

Clockwork Heart:

Missing all your formatting, and it's a solid block of text are two strikes against you right off the bat.

So it's an item that can keep you in the game a bit longer if you've died. That said, it felt more like a plot device. I could totally see coming across some clockwork zombie in an adventure -- heck, I'd totally steal that idea and think it could be kickass -- but I'm not seeing my characters going, "sure, I've got a spare 2,000 gp, let's make a clockwork heart." I'd just save up and get a scroll of raise dead.

Jagged Cauldron:

Nice descriptive lead in. But then you write "The cauldron has the power to create any potion that the user knows of" and I start worrying you're going to allow higher-level potions. You avoid that problem, wisely.

Unfortunately it's one of the bloody items, which started turning me off really early in the voting.

And I don't think it makes sense. If I'm powerful enough to cast limited wish, I'm probably going to already have Brew Potion or not be worried about brewing the potions. I'm certainly not going to do it at the expense of my health. Heck, I could just cast limited wish and have a bunch of potions appear.

Channel the writing you've got in your descriptive paragraph, I think, and look for something that's going to have a few less drawbacks next year, something my players are really going to want.

Listening Stone:

You pretty much nailed my problems with this in your self-critique. It was a fantasy version of a tape recorder.

Brooch of the Dragon’s Hoard:

This felt like a makes adventuring easier problem, in that I don't have to worry about going to town or how much space/strength I have to carry anything. I just feed it all to my brooch and I've got an instant money changer. It seemed like the type of thing I might find in a computer RPG, but I didn't feel like it belonged in my tabletop one. Sorry.

Halfling Swingsaddle of the Gorilla:

Chatting with a couple other people, I know they were fans of this item, but it just didn't appeal to me, unfortunately. I guess I just don't see a lot of halflings riding apes. Even then, I felt like it could more just be an exotic saddle than something that needed to be magical. Like the clockwork heart, above, I could see this being added for a specific adventure (because let's be honest, halflings riding apes could be pretty cool!), but just didn't see it as something I'd ever get much use out of outside a specific character or adventure/campaign.

Flask of Sudden Sanctuary:

Cavorting's a great word! Love that type of word choice, which is definitely something I noticed. I think I voted for this sometimes, as it's stronger than some of the skill bonus items, but I thought it was a make adventure safer item. "Look, here's my magic priest!" Who can maybe cast healing spells on me or Raise Dead or whatever I need? It's not really clear.

Also, what happens if it's in a dungeon and there's not space for four stories? Is my chapel destroyed right off the bat? Could I use it as a trap and activate it when something is in the space outlined so they're crushed by the falling rubble? Again, it's not really clear.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Alright here is my item for review:

Wheel Caps of the Geist March
Aura Moderate Necromancy and Illusion; CL 7th
Slot ---; Price 47,120 gp; Weight 10 lbs.
Description
These wheel caps are sold in pairs, and weigh 5 lbs. each, and usually look to be made of oxidized copper. These caps are placed onto any wheeled vehicle like a chariot, wagon or coach. If the vehicle has multiple wheels only the front two wheels need these caps. They do not function unless both are placed. When the vehicle starts to move in any direction and remains moving a greyish fog emanates from the wheels spreading out to 20 ft. around the vehicle (and any animals pulling it) and 20 ft. high in 3 rounds. This fog travels with the vehicle and obscures all sight, including darkvision, beyond 5 feet. A creature 5 feet away has concealment (attacks have a 20% miss chance). Creatures farther away have total concealment (50% miss chance, and the attacker cannot use sight to locate the target). Creatures inside the fog often catch glimpses of ghostly humanoid figures in the fog, moving at marching pace beside the vehicle, any creature in the fog for 1 round must make a DC 14 Will save or gain the shaken condition. At a command word, once a day the driver of the vehicle may single out a single creature that is shaken and he can see, that creature must make a DC 17 Will save or gain the panicked condition as a ghostly image attempts to strike it. (This attack is always harmless regardless if the save is passed or failed.)

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Haunting Mists, Fear Cost 23,560 gp

Marathon Voter Season 6

Thanks Jacob! The formatting was there on the version I submitted I just didn't do all the code tags for the forum this time.

Wall of text? That was entirely my bad.

Thanks again for the input.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

Page 5's items:

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **...

Thank you for the critique Jacob. I haven't had time to think through the item, as I've had only about 10 days to think up a concept and realize it into something usable. I see now how its use is very limited, if its useful at all. I didn't quite understand what you meant in the last sentence? What do you mean by "Having few more drawbacks"?

Clouds Without Water wrote:


Jagged Cauldron - Probably ran afoul of the voters' anti-squickness. Expensive. Also, is it really worth sustaining damage until the potion is used? It doesn't seem like it would have many takers. The name is good fits your theme well.

Thanks for the review. As many have said, you are spot on. Its not very useful.

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

Woodengolem wrote:

Thanks Jacob! The formatting was there on the version I submitted I just didn't do all the code tags for the forum this time.

Wall of text? That was entirely my bad.

Of course. Re: Formatting, even without the BBC codes, there were a few small errors (no space between the price and gp; no gp following the cost).

Orcus Of Undeath wrote:

I didn't quite understand what you meant in the last sentence? What do you mean by "Having few more drawbacks"?

It means I'm not proofing my reviews very carefully. : ) Sorry, I meant have a few *LESS* drawbacks. I'll go back and edit the original.

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

N. Edward Lange wrote:
in case anyone hasn't noticed, GM has taken on the spicerian task of critiquing every single item but is doing it on the Good/Bad/Ugly thread. my applause to him and the several others (mott, CWW...) who have undertaken that task!

If you submitted an item before this post take the link provided and there will be a review there. I specify what page in this thread and for the most part did them in order. I did a separate thread because the reviews posted are at least 4 bullet points deep.

Anyone afraid to post for feedback: you can only get better by accepting criticism. The creative process is dangerous when done entirely in a bubble, you start to like the smell of your own farts.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka squidfeatures

goldomark wrote:
Elixir of Last Will

Item in a Nutshell dead or dying character aids another

First Impression: It’s a good concept to build an item around

Template Use: Looks ok.

Critique: On the face of it, I like the idea of this item, it’s a good way to bend the rules but not in a wild way, but ultimately I can’t envision a character ever wanting to buy this. The real cost of this item isn’t 150 gp, it’s that the character needs to be dead or dying to use it. Unless the character is suicidal, the best time to use this to guarantee it’s effects is a round or two before certain death, but drinking this elixir takes just as long as drinking a potion of cure wounds. I can’t imagine a character wanting to drink this over a cure potion.

This item is really hard to plan around because the only time a character can be sure it’ll trigger is if they kill themselves. Plus, the effect is basically Aid Another, which a player can do even better when they are alive. I think you had a neat idea of doing something after death, but I don’t think the effect is strong enough to make people want to hang out on the brink of death.

There are some minor mechanical issues, as elixirs typically reference “the drinker” rather than “the character” and a stabilized creatures always stop losing hit points, so there’s no repeat that. That can save you some word count to make the item more exciting.

Would I rather buy this or... 3 cure light wound potions? No, I’d buy the potions.


Chiaroscuro Astrarium
Aura strong illusion and transmutation; CL 16th
Slot none; Price 76,000 gp; Weight 10 lbs.
Description
This nacreous globe is 12 inches in diameter and has been engraved with extraterrestrial cartography. One hemisphere of the device is aglow from within, divided by an shifting terminator line, from the darkside.

The possessor may press the curve of the sphere as a standard action to project an illusory orrerry formed of starlight that reveals outer-space on a chosen scale, opting between nearby (planet and moons), local (the solar system), or broad (nebulae or greater). The outer orbits of the phantasmal orrerry fit within a 30 foot sphere and the map is accurate to the best knowledge available to the creator. Creatures within this sphere suffer a -20 penalty on Stealth checks, but gain a +8 bonus on skill checks related to navigation.

Alternatively it can be activated to evoke a 30 foot sphere of the Dark Tapestry centered on the user, to which she is immune, that lasts 1d4+1 rounds. This area extinguishes mundane and alchemical light and [Light] spells under 7th level are dispelled, has no gravity, mimics silence ,causes creatures within to take 3d6 damage (no save) from decompression each round, and begin suffocating

A user who has activated both powers, may choose to spend 1 hour in cosmic contemplation to gain Starflight for 3d20 days, though the chiaroscuro astrarium is destroyed at journey's end.

Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item; hallucinatory terrain, planetary adaptation, greater, scrying; creator must have 8 ranks in Knowledge (nature)
Cost 38,000 gp

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

Saint Caleth wrote:

And a few more miscellaneous notes, this time beginning by showing some love to the end of the thread...

Tesseract Dust
Name is jarring, just because which tesseract is an awesome word, it does not usually come up in a fantasy context. Tesseract is an awesome word though and is clearly used correctly here. Same problem with hypercube in the first sentence. Also it is a Will save, not Willpower. I look for command of the game's technical vocabulary as an early indicator of whether a designer knows what they are talking about. I like the mechanic that the cube sucks people in an spits tehm out. I would make the Will save apply to any use to direct your transport though since I am not sure whether this is an offensive or defensive item. The limitation about teleporting into an object shows you are thinking about ramifications. There was no compelling reason for the skill ranks in the requirements though.

Verdict:Ok item. Did not make my personal keep, but I actually up-voted it over one of the top 32 once, which might be a statement about my offbeat judging criteria...

Thanks for the critique.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Thanks very much the several people who have critiqued my item. I truly appreciate your time and the thought you put into this.

My take on the swingsaddle:

I thought go big or go home. My personal criticism on myself was I didn't add some bells and whistles to this piece...value added. I did a little copy/paste of riding saddle language at the end to add to the word count (I thought of adding a 'swing from treetops' mechanic, or a 'charging up castle walls' mechanic, but didn't trust myself to necessarily make that work...*sigh*) Based on feedback, not sure that would have mattered. But still, for myself, I played it conservatively regarding design.

When I originally came up with the idea, I thought the concept of upright mounts (or at least apes...as was pointed out I could have broadened this) would have more impact with the voting public than it did. I still think it's a great idea conceptually. I just didn't sell it. The name and creator qualification muddled things. Admittedly, I originally thought of this as something halflings invented and used. But then I thought by taking the 'small' rider requirement out of the description I was broadening it to all races. That did not communicate. I thought it was the equivalent of an "Elven cloak of..." that wasn't just used by elves. Hrmm...

Also, I think conceptually this item read to my audience like it was meant for jungle campaigns (natural ape habitat?), where I was thinking apes in snowy Irrisen...or wherever...across Golarion. I thought I was pushing a line in the Golarion world, but I think in this context that was too big a risk to take on. (And simultaneously, ironically, too niche).

Also, I'm taking my own notes and putting together some thought about all of the items up for review. It will take me a little time.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:


It means I'm not proofing my reviews very carefully. : ) Sorry, I meant have a few *LESS* drawbacks. I'll go back and edit the original.

That makes much more sense :)

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Thanks for the reviews of immediate chant- especially Thomas LeBlanc, Nazard, Jacob W. Michaels, Clouds w/o Water, and Shammond 42.

To sum up their critiques and then add my 2 cps-

The name obfuscated its function, check.

Reason: I felt any reference to "scroll" worse than a vague item name. Best I could muster was "Scroll of the Archmage" as an alternate. I liked the poetics of "Immediate Chant" and appreciate its detachment from the lexicon.

The idea was to provide access to a 4th level or lower spell to any character in one of two ways, either by capturing it as it was cast or purposefully casting on the immediate chant.

The item's UMD check is correct- "Use a Scroll" is DC 20 +CL, this item being a CL 11.

A spell like control weather was given as an example of the item's 'abuse'- but as it's a 7th level spell, the owner would need to use the Scribe Scroll function of the item to gain it for 24 hours, thus using up a spell slot (must have spell prepared). Same example, divination -yes, you forgo the casting time, but it's only beneficial if you can capture the spell, otherwise, you use a casting as per Scribe Scroll.

And to the choice of Arcane Bond- well, someone didn't do his homework; my defense being only, "Uh, makes it a more rarer item?"

I decided to allow the spell to remain on a failed UMD check because it's a wondrous item. Magic items that either defer or deter power to the PCs are quickly frowned upon and sold, so I've seen.

Switching all castings to a Standard Action was a mistake, reading the reviews. I agree in hindsight. Gaining the opportunity to capture a spell, the casting time should remain the same.

For being too overpowered, I considered the price vs the max spell level allowed, and it seemed fair.

And a very grateful thanks to those who took their time to critique my item. Your words are gold!

Star Voter Season 6

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have a SUGGESTION

How about, instead of the items posted on the first couple pages getting reviewed 20+ times, and the items on the following pages getting reviewed once or not at all, we now consider those items on the first couple pages well reviewed and DONE. And now instead Start reviewing items on the 3-4 pages. And then, after those have been done a few times, we Start reviewing items on the 5-6 pages, and rise/repeat.

Seems like it would be quite a bit more fair this way. Yes?

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

Sash of Singularity
Yea, I get that this conceptually has a black hole inside it, hence the word singularity in the name. That was a little bit off-theme but didn't bother me nearly as much as when you started tossing around +10 static untyped bonuses to multiple combat maneuvers. Also the last bit is in invitation for an overly clever player to ruin their DM's careful plans.

Vardict: Interesting idea, but you need to think in terms of game balance, not in terms of what logically follows from your concept. I didn't go out of my way to vote for this.

Weathered Quiver
I adored this item. It has a great theme and tight mechanics which match that theme. That's mojo. I don't know what the rational for fall being acid damage was other than that it was the leftover energy type and season though. The only problem is that its use is based on the season. You should have just let the season be chosen on activation and it would have been perfect.

Verdict: Unless I am glossing over something glaring, you got robbed. This should have been top 32, and I was sure it was going to make it when I saw it during voting. I voted for this every time I saw it.

Arc Light of Spectral Reclusion
It took me seeing it a few times to really get it, but once I did it gave me a great cinematic image of its use. It seems a little bit too technological/alchemical to be a really good magic item. Also why is it specifically called out as being really loud beyond the fact that real, electrically powered arcs are loud? It seems out of place.

Verdict:Great imagery and marginally useful mechanic. I voted for it once that I remember, but not a personal keep.

Bones of Ill Fortune
I like the debuff to healing as part of the "witch" theme, and the third power is ok with that theme as well. The problem is that the second power is out of place. Tighten your theme and don't throw in random crap that puts you on the borderline of being a SAK. 100' is also a bit too far for the range on the debuff. 30 or 60' is probably more appropriate.

Verdict: Excellent theme and you stick tightly to it for the most part. Not a personal keep but I voted for it a few times.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

Khaladon wrote:

I have a SUGGESTION

How about, instead of the items posted on the first couple pages getting reviewed 20+ times, and the items on the following pages getting reviewed once or not at all, we now consider those items on the first couple pages well reviewed and DONE. And now instead Start reviewing items on the 3-4 pages. And then, after those have been done a few times, we Start reviewing items on the 5-6 pages, and rise/repeat.

Seems like it would be quite a bit more fair this way. Yes?

This seems like an excellent idea. It seems that only two of three people going through this thread have had the fortitude to get to even page three.

I think that most of the people slogging through are approaching page three by now, so this problem might resolve itself soon.

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

Page 7 items!

Twinning Glass - The basic concept is one that came up a few times this year. I think one problem with the idea is that you have to spend so many words protecting against exploitation that it's hard to get in what you can do with it, and almost no room for mojo. Maybe there's a superstar item in the idea if someone can figure out a way to express the limits succinctly and then build on that. Of if the limitation is the mojo. Etc.

Castling Gloves - The name is clever, but is it Pathfindery? Not sure, it might be a little bit obscure. I know I've seen this idea before, with gloves. I scouted back through the previous RPGSS items and didn't see it though. Must have been in a review my item thread from previous years. I wonder if there's something in the name, like maybe change positions with another entity, but one of you is 1 sq over and the other 2 sq over from where you'd be with a straight out swap?

Rappelling Vambraces - Filigree! Heh. A reminder that sometimes you get caught up in trends beyond your control. I doubt it actually cost votes, though. The appropriate question on this item is how is it much better than a grappling hook?

Tesseract Dust - Spell In A Can, but it's a pretty shiny can. Expensive for the one use effect. Maybe there's a way to play with both time and space with this, though that could get pretty complicated pretty quickly.

Saddle of the Chevalier - In the end, this is SAK of minor bonuses. Maybe drop everything that affects the non-skilled, pick one cool thing for actual cavaliers and really push it. Also, what's up with limited wish as a req? Seems puzzling.

Tears of the Fey - A hint of SAK. But the bigger questions here are duration and causing fey to appear. Give me one of these and a few months and I've made a forest totally fey infested. Hmm... that said, there's something in the idea of fey tears creating a ring.

The Pillars Dexter - The name is confusing. I get it, and it has a kind of middle ages flavor, but it threw me at first. "surprisingly including" seems off as phrasing. But basically, your self analysis is correct- slightly SAK, and the bomb storing is out of line with the rest of it.

Summoning Siphon - I think the name is slightly misleading in that it describes fuction but not the item. A consumable summoned monster freeze-chamber. It's a good basic concept, seems to be in the ballpark of the right kind of idea for RPGSS, but it needs some mojo. As it is, it's a little plain.

Scroll Scrying Goggles - A little bit of a niche item. Not a bad concept, just not sure it has wide appeal. "Scrying" seems like the wrong word for the name. A little confused that it says spells with casting times more than one round take however long that time is, but then says spells with casting times more than one round can't be cast at all with this item.

Battle Voice Token - This isn't a bad item. On an actual battlefield with armies it could be quite useful. But I think it's a little too utilitarian in that way. It's not so much that it needs flowery language as that it needs to do something cooler. For what it's worth, I voted for this one several times. It was more interesting than a lot of items.

Doomstring - I considered this a joke item, and I suspect a lot of other voters did too. Sorry, but it's too silly for me. Though I did laugh at the requirement that the crafter have a cat familiar.

Bloodthief Gem - Not a bad concept and well thought out, but I think you ran afoul of the anti-blood faction. I think the area you were playing in was a good 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

Khaladon wrote:

I have a SUGGESTION

How about, instead of the items posted on the first couple pages getting reviewed 20+ times, and the items on the following pages getting reviewed once or not at all, we now consider those items on the first couple pages well reviewed and DONE. And now instead Start reviewing items on the 3-4 pages. And then, after those have been done a few times, we Start reviewing items on the 5-6 pages, and rise/repeat.

Seems like it would be quite a bit more fair this way. Yes?

I understand your concern and the suggestion is a good one, but some few folks like me have a goal of reviewing every item posted here. For a couple of reasons, but mainly because doing this exercise will help sharpen my skills for next year and because one of us might have an unthought of nugget of advice.

Marathon Voter Season 6

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Woodengolem wrote:

Thanks Jacob! The formatting was there on the version I submitted I just didn't do all the code tags for the forum this time.

Wall of text? That was entirely my bad.

Of course. Re: Formatting, even without the BBC codes, there were a few small errors (no space between the price and gp; no gp following the cost).

Orcus Of Undeath wrote:

I didn't quite understand what you meant in the last sentence? What do you mean by "Having few more drawbacks"?

It means I'm not proofing my reviews very carefully. : ) Sorry, I meant have a few *LESS* drawbacks. I'll go back and edit the original.

Ah. I see them now. Seriously. Thanks.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Guy Russell wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Elixir of Last Will

Item in a Nutshell dead or dying character aids another

First Impression: It’s a good concept to build an item around

Template Use: Looks ok.

Critique: On the face of it, I like the idea of this item, it’s a good way to bend the rules but not in a wild way, but ultimately I can’t envision a character ever wanting to buy this. The real cost of this item isn’t 150 gp, it’s that the character needs to be dead or dying to use it. Unless the character is suicidal, the best time to use this to guarantee it’s effects is a round or two before certain death, but drinking this elixir takes just as long as drinking a potion of cure wounds. I can’t imagine a character wanting to drink this over a cure potion.

This item is really hard to plan around because the only time a character can be sure it’ll trigger is if they kill themselves. Plus, the effect is basically Aid Another, which a player can do even better when they are alive. I think you had a neat idea of doing something after death, but I don’t think the effect is strong enough to make people want to hang out on the brink of death.

There are some minor mechanical issues, as elixirs typically reference “the drinker” rather than “the character” and a stabilized creatures always stop losing hit points, so there’s no repeat that. That can save you some word count to make the item more exciting.

Would I rather buy this or... 3 cure light wound potions? No, I’d buy the potions.

Thanks for the review! The thing about this item is hat it needs to be taken before a entering a dungeon. It's more effective that way.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Firebrand of Grandeur
Aura faint evocation; CL 5th
Slot none; Price 7,500 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This everburning torch draws to it the attention of enemies and allies alike. Upon command, the firebrand erupts into an erratic cacophony of flares. All creatures within 60 feet of the torch and able to see or hear the flares are compelled to focus on the possessor (Will DC 14 negates). This is a mind-affecting compulsion enchantment. Any affected creatures that are hostile or unfriendly toward the possessor must focus all of their actions on hindering the torch-bearer. Any affected creatures that are friendly or helpful toward the possessor will try to aid the torch-bearer. Affected creatures that are neutral toward the possessor are compelled to actively watch the torch, but are otherwise unaffected. This compulsion lasts as long as the target is within 60 feet of the torch unless the flares are ended with the command or by the torch is covered.

While the firebrand flares, any creature within 60 feet that looks toward the torch becomes dazzled by its brilliance (Fortitude DC 14 negates). Additionally, the erratic light and loud roar of the flares make hearing and seeing more difficult. Creatures within 30 feet of the torch take a -8 penalty on their sight or sound-based Perception checks. The range of the effect doubles in areas of complete darkness, but in areas of bright light creatures take only a -4 penalty.

If no one actively possesses a flaring firebrand, all creatures affected by its compulsion seek to claim the torch. When the flares are not activated, the firebrand still functions as an everburning torch.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, continual flame, flare burst, lock gaze; Price 3,750 gp

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

Here are my first ten reviews.

I have chosen to focus on the fluff and mechanics portions of most items. I will only be addressing template or spelling errors if they are either obvious or egregious. I do intend to address writing; however I do not claim to be a professional editor in any way. So, please take my views with a grain of salt.

Also, I would like to say that all of this is intended as constructive criticism and I in no way intend to disparage anyone or their creations. I feel that those who entered and tried should be proud of their efforts. I also hope that everyone who did not break into the top 32 this year tries again and succeeds next year. However, as someone who is struggling to break into writing I feel the most valuable thing any writer can receive is criticism.

Finally I am adding this disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Paizo Publishing, nor am I in anyway claiming to be such. All views stated here are my own and in no way reflect the views of any other individual, group, or organization.

Chelish Silver-Tongued Devil:

I love the name and tight theme of this item. It is perfect for an assassin sneaking into a courtly function. I also feel that the writing is very well done. Not completely elegant, however in no way amateurish or clunky. The only nit I will pick is in the first sentence the use of the phrase “of erinyes origin” I feel would flow better if written as “of erinyenine origin” however I am not sure of the correct possessive for this particular monster.

I do feel that this item is potentially open to a slight amount of abuse through no cap on the amount of states an attitude can change through. After looking through the diplomacy rules a diplomacy focused character could use this mask to completely dominate all social scenes very easily by shifting NPC’s to helpful, thus making social encounters trivial. While the DC’s would be difficult, they would be attainable for almost any target with the proper build and preparation.

My second mechanical quibble is in the fact that a grapple focused character could easily make this item into a Save or Die against most targets as early as level five. Targets without Heal or dispel magic are effectively helpless against this once applied and dispel magic will only help if a target has silent meta-magic applied to an already memorized dispel magic along with being able to make the concentration check. This contrasts sharply against the other save or dies available such as Phantasmal Killer which is unavailable until level seven, Quivering Palm which is unavailable until level 15, or Masters Strike unavailable until level 20.

I feel this item is very mechanically strong for its price, and suggest the following.

First a limit on the range of attitude shift, perhaps three steps rather than two as is listed in the advanced race guide under the Silver-Tounged racial trait.

Second is a price increase from 4,000 gp to 9,000 gp which puts this item out of reach until levels seven through nine.

The second change also addresses the early portion of the Save or Die effect.

Third I might add a mechanic where the target can pull the substance out of itself, perhaps taking damage along the way, via a fort save or a strength check, one or the other not both. This prevents it being an auto death sentence against any creature without the Heal skill of Dispel magic.

In short while I liked the theme and name I am of the opinion that the mechanics and balance could be tweaked. Done slightly mechanically differently this would have been a contender. As it is I believe its mechanics held it back from the top 32, not its feel, or creativity.

Gentleman’s Ensnaring Cane:

Let me first say I quite liked the description in the first paragraph, it gave this item a life and personality of its own. However, I find the name slightly pedestrian. Perhaps use something including the fiendish imp like nature of the cane, rather than just a name which basically boils down to “Rich guy’s fast car”, to use a car name as an example.

The mechanics of this effect are rather wonky. A 100 ft radius is huge and will pin most of a normal battle map. A DC 20 reflex save to negate is low for the levels at which this cane will become available. For example at level 14/15 where this cane becomes buyable if not practical, the normal save for a humanoid with NPC wealth with a good save will be 9(Base) + 1(Stat) + 2(Cloak) = 12. Most CR 14/15 monsters will have a much higher reflex save. This means against most of the targets at the level range this item will fail. Now against targets such as an adult Red dragon you will have a 50% chance however this is still a rather low chance for such an expensive item that is usable only once per day.

If you get the effect to stick it is nice and allows for some wonderful cinematic effects, however it is also worrisome. My first question is whether you can pinball a target through your allies so as to create multiple attack of opportunity. The item does not seem to forbid this and could mean that this item could potentially trigger huge amounts of extra damage for a prepared party. Another thought is that since the GM is the only limit on free actions, which normally you can only take on your turn but this item allows for on an enemy’s turn, is how many times may I reposition a creature? Can I take a creature through something like a wall of fire? What exactly counts as obstructed?

In short while the initial paragraph shows good writing, the mechanics need clarification, and perhaps some balancing. I cannot see any PC buying this as is when for the price they could get a +6 weapon or a Rod of Quicken.

Ghoulslayer Gloves:

I admit my critique of this item will be short. Please do not take this as a disparagement or condemnation; it is simply that in my opinion this was a polished item with few flaws.

The only major problems I can see are that this item is using existing mechanics in a new but not necessarily original way; it further falls firmly into the “Must-Have” category for any positive energy user.

Reading it, it comes across as an item I would expect to see in a supplement, solid and very appealing and buyable to a player, but it just does not seem to have a definitive “WOW” factor that says “this is interesting and new”.

I feel like this is a well written, well designed item that is just missing that spark of superstar to break into the top 32.

P.S. I would be surprised if something very similar to this did not turn up in I later official supplement.

Ethos Swarm Charm:

This item has a solid name and a good description. I might have used the word “delicate” rather than “thin” for the silver band, but that is entirely a matter of personal taste not a writing flaw.

The almost table like quality of the item does seem excessive, simply deciding on one swarm type would perhaps be better. I would also suggest having the item limit the number of rounds its power functions for, instead of the character level, as is done with most wondrous items. The power gained by breaking the charm is also perhaps extraneous. If you feel it is necessary then perhaps simply allow for it to use the items power for a second time in a day by destroying it. This could save you substantially on word count, allowing for a less succinct and “Cross-Reference” feel to this item.

I have no explanation why, but in honesty I find this item to be difficult to want, or to really enjoy. It may simply be the fact of personal bias, but for me this item seems almost mechanical and does not seem to catch fire and ignite my imagination. Perhaps it is the list like nature of the item, or the abbreviated but good description, something is just slightly off in my opinion like soup with just a touch too much salt.

Porcine Pendant :

The name and description bring a smile to my face and engage me in the item however this is subjective rather than objective and leads me to think that what I like about it may turn others off.

This means that while I see the whimsy inherent in this item, and I personally find it enjoyable, some players and GM’s would not. In that way this item is self-limiting.

The item does raise some mechanical questions for me. How long does the Pig take to waddle its 20 ft? Does the item user direct it, or is it random? Is the pig attackable/killable while dancing? What is the DC on the Fascinate effect? Can the Fascinate effect affect non humanoid monsters? How long does the Charm Person effect last? Is it based on the caster level of the item and acts exactly as Charm Person? If the Fascinate effect of this item can target non-humanoids, why does it use Charm Person rather than Charm Monster?

The pricing is well done, and I like the draw-back of having to go retrieve the pendant.

In short this item is creative, fun and whimsical. It is also mechanically unclear, and may not fit in every game. It would need a rewrite before publishing, however all of that can be learned.

I feel you have talent and that this item shows it. If you tighten up on mechanics and bring the same level of originality and creativity next year it is my opinion that you will be a strong contender.

Siegebreaker Cymbals:

I like the name of this item, but your description is slightly clunky. Rewording it to something slightly more flowing would improve the initial punch of the item. I can see that you are keeping your sentence active and trying for an aggressive start but it feels almost like a set of train cars rather than a river to me.

The name also has very little to do with the item itself, when reading the item I get the feeling that it was a name applied to this item because it sounded pleasant to the ear rather than stating the feel/theme of the item.

As I have stated in a previous review most items set their own DC rather than allowing a player with an applicable skill set to do so. So making the Will save based off of the performance check result is daring but in my opinion slightly off.

The loss of ability to pierce DR with straight enhancement also makes this an item a lot of enemies would acquire rather than PC’s. It becomes a nasty trick for a were-creature with a silver and an adamantine Cymbal set to pull, as it would suddenly make the creatures DR very valuable.

The ability to extend this effect via Bardic performance is well thought out and enjoyable.

I do see these as a very niche item however and furthermore as an antagonist item rather than a PC item.

In short the mechanics are moderately solid, however perhaps the DC should be set by the item, but the feel of the item is slightly indistinct and unclear. The item name is in my opinion not married to the item function. The entire item screams use me against the PC’s, which while not inherently bad makes this less flexible then perhaps it could be.

Amulet of the Grasping Soul:

This amulet has a very strong theme and it is very clear what you are attempting to do with this item.

The name of the amulet leaves me on the fence, I like how it is tied to the theme and how it is clear and uses excellently weighted words, it does however set the bar for the rest of the item higher then I feel was met, leaving me to wonder if perhaps this item was not edited.

Further reading the item is like falling down a vertical shaft with no stops, it feels like “and then, and then, and then…”

The pricing on this item is extremely high and makes it available at 15+ which means that it should be something that the majority of 15+ PC’s would be willing to buy. It seems however, that it is limited to a more specific gaming style. Most PC’s for the first effect will simply pay for ghost touch or use force spells rather than spending 80,000 gp for this amulet, which leaves the second effect needing to bear the majority of the price. The second effect seems to be only valuable to incorporeal PC’s or NPC’s, which makes it very niche, and in my opinion makes this item overpriced.

This item honestly feels like a plot item for a specific game to me.
In short I would recommend tightening up your writing and trying to find an item that is less niche.

I see some creativity here and you did swing hard, but you just failed to connect. I would like to see you try again next year with the same cohesiveness to your theme and some more writing practice.

Candle of Distant Assurance:

Well, I have already commented on this item.

As I said earlier this was my favorite item viewed. I feel the name and writing were very strong, and the theme was both rich and poignant.

I can see quite a few uses for this item as both a PC and NPC .

Now I can see that it is a SIAC but I feel it is presented well.

I also find the price point to be appropriate and am glad you did not feel shackled to the pricing guidelines.

In short I love this item, but perhaps next year come back with the same writing talent, and a wild idea that races for the finish before the others even start. I feel you will be a very strong contender next year.

Fiddle of the Dance:

This item honestly leaves me slightly cold. The name is non-evocative, and the fluff feels stiff rather than drawing me in. The mechanics are stated oddly.

Fiddle of the Dance wrote:
“receiving a five foot step as an extra swift action at the end of the round”

Does this mean each ally can spend their swift action at the end of their turn to 5ft step, or does it mean all allies gain a swift action which is automatically spent for a 5ft step and are all taken simultaneously at the end of the round?

I am not a fan of “in the hands of X” or “favored by X” as well, this phrasing is rather overused.

The second effect seems to be a less powerful version of spider climb.
This feels like a SIAC/SAK that is trying to be whimsical but not quite getting there.

I do not know any PC that would buy this item as is.

Now I can see the flavor you were going for, however it is in my opinion muddied and confused.

In short, this item could perhaps have benefited from more editing and a clearer understanding of the rules. I would recommend finding similar effects and using similar phrasing from the effect desired.

Handkerchief of the Scoured Visage:

This item did stick in my mind during the voting. The name gives me a mad scientist vibe and a slight chill, I like it.

Then immediately I lose interest in the fluff when the item is described as “nondescript”. This makes me almost want to skip the description and go straight to the crunch. This may be personal bias, but it does disengage me after the excellent name.

The use of this item however seems very limited. I can see using it to try and eliminate identification of a person/body. It can also be used to avoid inhalation poisons. Perhaps it could be used to breathe in space. All of these are in my opinion rather niche applications.

It feels to me like this is a gimmick item, an item that has an effect but no planned use.

Now, after looking at your construction requirements I can see that this is most likely meant to be used as a spying item, however at the price point I believe this item will struggle to find a home.

The will save also seems slightly low, however I can see how you arrived at it.

This item feels to me like a grand idea that got lost in the details and rewrites.

In short I feel like you have good creativity; however I believe you may have over pruned this item. My only advice is to perhaps trust your-self more, and if this item is as I suspect a victim of over proofreading from other people or over thinking from yourself then next year try what has been suggested by some others. Write the item then set it down, come back later and rewrite/edit it, but keep your original, keep doing this until you find something you like and then compare it to the original to make sure you have not over-weeded and lost your roses with the weeds.

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.

I don't have time to critique every item in this thread, but I figured I'd review a few that have been posted which made my own person Keep folder yet didn't make the official Top 89.

Amulet of Amended Strategy:
This was in my Top 64 but not my Top 32. I thought the mechanics were innovative, but I suspected it would be passed over because by voters and judges because the mechanics are also rather metagamey. The item lets the player do something cool, but in game, there's no evidence that the player's character actually did anything special.

Dawnflower Ankh:
This was in my Keep folder, but not in my Top 64. I thought it was very clever to tie a camping-item utility effect to an adventuring-item combat effect, allowing a party to have camping utility without having to waste money on a straight camping item. I think you lost me when you said the ankh could also be used as a flask of holy water. Up until that point, the ankh was magically summoning water out of the parched desert sand; now it's also a literal container of water. That sort of detracted from the coolness of the ankh magically summoning water from nowhere.

Ghoulslayer Gloves:
These were in my Top 64, but not my Top 32. My first though upon reading them: "These are one of the best items this year." My second thought: "But the judges will never pick these." I liked how these gloves helped fix the fact the cure spells are difficult to use offensively, but the judges have said elsewhere that they don't like to use new magic items as patches for broken mechanics, and that presumably applies to the fact that cure spells are not very useful versus undead, despite supposedly being designed with that in mind.

Gloves of the Confident Smith:
These were the one skill bonus item in my Top 32. I was kind of annoyed with the smith-specific name of the item, but I really liked the fact that you could adjust the skill bonus to me your character's needs. For me, the dynamic nature of the skill bonus granted by this item made it less of a "boring skill bonus" item and more of a "fun to play around with" item.

Motive Capacitor:
This made my Keep folder, but not my Top 64. I thought the idea of an item that transferred levels from one creature to another was interesting, and the interplay between negative levels, equivalent bonuses, and animate dead was inspired. But I think you hurt yourself by hanging all of that on the whole "motive force" concept, which created the impression that you were inventing a subsystem much more convoluted than the actual mechanics you used.

Nautilus Pack of Tangled Tentacles:
This was in my Keep folder, but not in my Top 64. I liked the imagery of this item, but the mechanics were a bit busy for my taste. I was originally going to overlook that and put the item in my Top 64, but then I saw the mantle of a thousand hands. Your nautilus pack really suffered by comparison to that much simpler, cleaner item.

Octavo of Perseverance:
This item was in my Keep folder, but not in my Top 64. On the plus side, it was a solidly designed item that did exactly what I would have expected of it. On the minus side, it was a solidly designed item that did exactly what I would have expected of it. There was nothing wrong with it, but neither did it doing anything innovative, nor did it do anything ordinary in a fun or unexpected way.

Ointment of Last Sight:
This item was in my Top 64, but not in my Top 32. I liked the fact that it provided an interesting effect that characters would find useful. But I agree with statements previously made by judges that items of this sort can become a headache for the GM. As a GM, I wouldn't really want to create a history for whatever random discarded item the PCs decide is important today, so I'd have mixed feeling about allowing this item in my game.

Paint of Discerning Demise: See ointment of last sight, above.

Quill of the Tengu Sage:
This was one of my Top 16. I found it to be extremely innovative, fairly well balanced, and rather flavorful, as well. I could immediately think of numerous cool scenarios that could result, should an NPC have this item, and could think of lots of clever ways PCs could use it, as well. And, for making such a sweeping change to the way an entire category of spells functioned, I couldn't think of too many ways the quill could actually break the game, since it was very cleverly limited by its user's existing spell slots. I'm shocked this didn't fare better with the voters; they were probably just suffering from quill fatigue.

Sepllcycle Medallion:
I Kept this item, despite the glaring typo in the title, but that glaring typo did prevent it from making my Top 64. I like this item because I've always wanted a way of toggling spells on and off again. But that benefit is highly circumstantial, so I was hesitant to accept your price for the item (or any other price for the item). With more thought, I might have come to like this item more, but I didn't want to spend too much time thinking about an item with a typo in its name.

Tablet of Heretical Lore:
This item made my Top 64, but not my Top 32. It wasn't a bad item, and I felt it was better designed that most items this year. I also thought the concept was interesting. But I was a bit wary of an item that adds versatility to an already versatile class, especially since domain spells are one of the few things that distinguish one cleric from another.

Vest of Mongrelkind:
This item was in my Top 32. I thought it was very clever, if a bit under-priced. You probably hurt yourself by utilizing a design space which is both new and optional. And the "pick your own benefit" mechanic is one that is generally avoided by wondrous items. I was willing to overlook that, but other voters may not have been. You might have been more successful if each vest of mongrelkind was keyed to one specific racial trait instead of granting any racial trait.

Incidentally, I bumped the bloodthief gem from my Keep folder after reading the vest of mongrelkind; the mechanics used by the vest convinced me that those used by the gem were not as clear as they could have been.

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka CalebTGordan

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Khaladon wrote:

I have a SUGGESTION

How about, instead of the items posted on the first couple pages getting reviewed 20+ times, and the items on the following pages getting reviewed once or not at all, we now consider those items on the first couple pages well reviewed and DONE. And now instead Start reviewing items on the 3-4 pages. And then, after those have been done a few times, we Start reviewing items on the 5-6 pages, and rise/repeat.

Seems like it would be quite a bit more fair this way. Yes?

Yet another reason why a sub-forum would have been better than a single thread.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka DankeSean

FireHawk wrote:

Since Sean McGowan had this in his top 32, I'll post up for review. I'm not sure if this is the exact text I submitted

---

Arc Light of Spectral Reclusion

I've been guiltily avoiding doing reviews here because I haven't finished/had time to even review the top 32 yet, but if it was my favoring this that brought you here, I figure I owe you a review at the least.

Did I vote for this?
Yes. By my records I saw it five times and upvoted it every time.

Did I like it?
Yes; made my keep folder right away and never really faced a threat of being bumped. When it came time to turn my keep folder into my choice of top 32, I did waver a bit, though. In the end it squeaked in over my alternates.

What did I like about it?
I'll admit, personal preferences played into my voting here. I like techno-magic themed items (that don't go crazy overboard into the realm of techno), so an alchemical arc light was something that was definitely going to grab my impression.
Past that, my attention and favor was kept by the theme; I like the notion of a super-bright sizzling light working as a ghost-blinding bug zapper. I also liked that it cames with charges rather than x/uses per day or x/charges that are renewed daily; honestly, that feels like a more 'natural' design philosophy for a techno/alchemical magic item. (I do like that it has plenty of charges to start with, mind you, so players aren't going to be hoarding its use.)

Where you might have gone wrong
Well, first of all, now that admission to the top 32 is done by mass crowdsourcing rather than three expert & impartial judges, I think some things have changed. Niche items (such as, say, technomagic items) are likely to have a much, much harder time getting through. (This applies to pretty much all kinds of items that are divisive in nature; humorous/whimsical items, items geared towards a specific playstyle, etc. all have an uphill battle to face versus thousands of people with very differing opinions on how to play the game are voting on them.) So while I'm a fan of putting a little technology in my magic, there are oodles of people who get irritated at the very thought of it. That alone was probably enough to cost you a significant number of votes.
I'm not saying that this was a flawless gem, downvoted by the swinelike masses, mind you; there's some flaws here. Firstly, given that hide from undead is the spell that this item is designed around, and that the effect specifically protects 'living creatures', I think it's safe to say the design of this item feels like an anti-undead item. So I'm not sure why you repeatedly specify that it affects incorporeal creatures, rather than incorporeal undead. Maybe that was the intent, and non undead incorporeal monsters are just as valid targets for it, but that just feels a little weird to me.
Also, an argument could be made that this is basically a [i[hide from (incorporeal) undead[/i] in a can, with a little bit of turn (incorporeal) undead sprinkled on top. Maybe that was why you wanted it to affect all incorporeal creatures instead of specifically undead?
Beyond effects, there are some places your writing slips up a little; " As a result the frightened creature will flee beyond the 60-foot radius of the light, unless the incorporeal creature succeeds a Will save, it is shaken for 1 round. " stands out to me as a bit of a run-on, for instance.
Lastly, I get it subtracting from perception checks, but I'm not sure why a bright, noisy light is a drain on everyone's initiative. Especially since it effects everyone within 60 feet, which means pretty much everyone involved in a combat is going to suffer a -1 to their initiative, which is kind of a net loss of zero all around.

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

And here are my thoughts on a few more items that made my Keep folder.

Mantle of a Thousand Hands:
This was an official Top 32 alternate, and the entire time I was voting, I was both suspecting and dreading it would make the Top 32. I really like the mantle's design. I also like the fact that it gives me an excuse to talk a bit more about my own item. As it so happens, the mantle of a thousand hands is the alternate universe version of my disappearing weapon cord.

The inspiration behind my weapon cord was my irritation at hearing, "I drop my sword and draw my bow." But no player wants to give up a full attack to sheath a weapon during combat. I decided I could solve this problem in one of two ways: I could either design a weapon cord that allows its user to wield a second weapon, or I could design a cloak of hands which can sheath weapons as a swift action.

I decided on the weapon cord after realizing it could open up an entirely new design space: magic weapon cords that bestow increasingly divergent properties on attached weapons. I was taking a risk, because no one weapon cord on its own would showcase the potential that an entire population of weapon cords would have; I couldn't also submit an adamantine weapon cord, a monastic weapon cord, a poisonous weapon cord, and a reloading weapon cord to showcase what I was aiming for. So I submitted the ground-level weapon cord. In an alternate universe, I submitted a cloak of hands, instead. But not in this universe.

So, when I saw your mantle of a thousand hands, it made me nervous. There was a chance I would be beaten to the Top 32 by someone with a similar idea and better instincts. Again. (I lost to a better-designed version of my own entry in 2010, and to an item I proposed in a previous almost-ran thread thread in 2011.) Since you made it in an as alternate this year, I guess I was technically outdone by better-designed version of my own entry this year, as well.

In any case, your mantle of a thousand hands had much more utility than I'd have thought to give it. I was too focused on sheathing weapons, so I'd have likely neglected all the other drawing and stowing options you allowed. If anything, I think you under-priced your mantle for the amount of utility you gave it. But I can't really criticize it too much, since its solving the exact problem I set out to solve with my own item, and doing so in a manner with more appeal to the voters and judges. Well done. :-)

Matryoshka of the Planar Cadre:
This was in my Keep folder, and in the official Top 89, but it didn't make my Top 64. Excluding it was a close call, because I think the matryoshka was a rather clever item. Ultimately, I decided against it because I decided that granting the giant and young templates would be kind of annoying, since the summoner now has to track three different stat blocks for his monsters instead of one. Had that last effect not been in there, I might have liked the item better. Then again, that last effect was also the one most thematically-appropriate for a matryoshka, so I probably still wouldn't have included it in my Top 64.

Orator's Torc:
This was in my Top 64 and in the official Top 89. I thought the bonus that scaled with the size of the crowd listening to the orator was inspired, and the ability that doubled the range of class abilities that must be heard made me think, "Well, duh. Of course there should be a magic item that does this." Though I had 32 items I liked better than this one, I'd have picked the torc over many of the official Top 32 in a heartbeat.

Shroud of Certain Return:
This was in my Top 32 and in the official Top 89. I absolutely loved the this item, and aside from possibly fiddling with its price a bit, wouldn't have changed a thing about it. Unfortunately, I'm guessing it was passed over because it was too much of a niche, and would become ever less relevant as PC bypass reincarnation for raise dead and other higher-level cleric spells. Which is a shame, because this shroud was totally awesome.

Summoning Siphon:
This was in my Keep folder and is an official alternate to the Top 32. I thought this was a very cool and useful item, and was very close to placing it in my Top 32. But then I realized it was a single use item. It was still cool and useful, but possibly a bit overpriced. Still one of the better items this year, but I'd have liked it better if it you could get more mileage out of it for the price.

Sovereign Court Star Voter Season 6

Okay, took me a while to find where I stashed my item, but here it is for criticism. Appreciate any and all comments.

CORPSE COFFER - 298 words

Corpse Coffer
Aura none (see below); CL 17th
Slot none; Price 46,000 gp; Weight 302 lbs.
Description

Over a dozen of these stone ossuary boxes have been recovered from the deep deserts of Osirion, each one engraved with a series of abstruse hieroglyphics suggesting a connection with a previously unknown Pharasman mortuary cult. Each corpse coffer is carved from a limestone block measuring three feet per side, capped with a heavy lid. When first discovered they often contain bone fragments and copious amounts of corpse dust.

Any dead creature placed within the confines of the corpse coffer, regardless of how much time has elapsed since the time of its death, cannot be returned to life through clone, raise dead, reincarnation, resurrection, or even a miracle or wish; neither can the deceased be turned into an undead creature or be communicated with in any way.

Both the corpse coffer and any one set of remains contained inside are hidden from location by divination effects, and any such attempt to locate or view them automatically fails. As a result, this item does not radiate any auras. Items other than the remains of a dead creature placed within a corpse coffer do not benefit from this feature.

All effects generated by the corpse coffer cease immediately if the remains are removed, and should the remains of more than one deceased creature be placed inside, all effects are negated for as long as multiple remains continue to rest within the corpse coffer.

Whether the original purpose of the corpse coffer was to safeguard the eternal rest of honored dead, or alternatively, to ensure the permanent demise of dangerous enemies, is a matter of fierce debate among Osirionologists.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, obscure object, rest eternal, soul bind; Cost 23,000 gp

Star Voter Season 6

I would be grateful for feedback on my own submission, the "Spirit Glass".

Spirit Glass
Aura moderate necromancy and conjuration; CL 13th
Slot none; Price 81,900 gp; Weight
Description
This small, palm-sized mirror—reflective on both sides—has a silver frame forged to look like inter-woven bones. The mirror allows the person peering into it and speaking a command word to be invested with the magic weapon special ability, ghost touch, for a single night; no more than 12 hours. The individual holding the Spirit Glass can also imbue the ghost touch property upon another person reflected in the mirror’s surface. This property also affects the subject’s equipment. The effects cannot be turned off once initiated. While imbued with ghost touch, the subject also perceives once-living things as if they were still alive. This includes corporeal undead as well as non-corporeal and can lead to some confusion.
Contact with sunlight, either natural or conjured by magic, immediately cancels the ghost touch effect for the subject and all equipment.
This wondrous item can be used up to 10 times per day. All uses are restored no sooner than a full day after the next sunset once it has been activated. The command word is typically inscribed in a hidden location on the intricately-forged frame.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, detect undead, plane shift, silent image, creator must have either 8 ranks in Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (planes); Cost 40,950 gp

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

Clouds Without Water wrote:

Summoning Siphon - I think the name is slightly misleading in that it describes fuction but not the item. A consumable summoned monster freeze-chamber. It's a good basic concept, seems to be in the ballpark of the right kind of idea for RPGSS, but it needs some mojo. As it is, it's a little plain.

Thanks for the review Clouds!. I changed the name, and the item as a whole, a few times during the creation of this item, It started as "Unsummoning Pouch"! I have the hardest time of all naming whatever I do. I realized it lacked mojo just when I posted it here for people to review, I will work on that for my future entries!.

Eric Morton wrote:

This was in my Keep folder and is an official alternate to the Top 32. I thought this was a very cool and useful item, and was very close to placing it in my Top 32. But then I realized it was a single use item. It was still cool and useful, but possibly a bit overpriced. Still one of the better items this year, but I'd have liked it better if it you could get more mileage out of it for the price.

Thanks for the review Eric!

I'm really honored you had this in your Keep Folder ^^.
It seems like I screwed pretty badly at pricing this item, even if I tried to follow the pricing rules as close as I could, I guess I must have missed something huge there. At first, this was the "Unsummoning Pouch" which worked exactly like that, but let you do the whole thing 3 times per day. I decided to change it, when the price started to look too high, and got scared of making an item with such a huge pricing value!.
Again, thanks a lot for the review! I'll really take it into account for my future entries ^^.


Hello to all!

I am finally just getting to submit my item here because apparently my only copy of the item I can find is the first draft I left at work. So, after updating it to the best of my memory to how it should have read when I submitted it, here is my item: The Gnomish Humming Spanner.

Gnomish Humming Spanner
Aura Faint (abjuration and transmutation); CL 5th
Slot - ; Price 29,750 gp; Weight 1/2 lbs.
Description
The Gnomish Humming Spanner is a slender metallic tool that more resembles an oddly shaped ink pen than a true spanner. For those who are trained in its use a Humming Spanner can fasten almost anything that requires bolts, screws or other mechanical parts to fit together, and can disassemble those items just as easily. When in use the Spanner emits a sharp buzzing sound that can be heard with a DC 5 Perception check. When used to assemble or disassemble items, the Spanner confers a competence bonus of +5 on Craft (armor, gunsmithing, jewelry, locks, traps, or weapons) checks, however, this bonus does not apply unless the items are comprised of at least 50% metal. The Spanner also makes an excellent lock pick and makes disable device checks to open locks or other closed or sealed items with a +15 bonus as per the Knock spell. Finally the Spanner confers a +5 competence bonus on Disable Device checks made to disable or reset mechanical traps. The Spanner does not confer this bonus on magical traps unless the wielder of the spanner has the ability to find and disable magical traps via some other source.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Hold Portal, Knock, At least 5 ranks in Disable Device, must be created by a Gnome; Cost 14,875 gp

This was my first year submitting to RPGSS, so I didn't really expect to get too far in. Thanks in advance for your thoughts, suggestions and constructive criticisms.

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.
CalebTGordan wrote:
Khaladon wrote:

I have a SUGGESTION

How about, instead of the items posted on the first couple pages getting reviewed 20+ times, and the items on the following pages getting reviewed once or not at all, we now consider those items on the first couple pages well reviewed and DONE. And now instead Start reviewing items on the 3-4 pages. And then, after those have been done a few times, we Start reviewing items on the 5-6 pages, and rise/repeat.

Seems like it would be quite a bit more fair this way. Yes?

Yet another reason why a sub-forum would have been better than a single thread.

For me in a perfect world, yes a subforum. Barring that critique my item = 1 thread only has items, 2nd thread for reviews and everyone uses spoiler tags. Not going to happen but it would have made the task of reviewing everyone a little easier.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

Ok here are some critiques for things at the current end of the thread, since I bet that it will take forever for most of the reviewers to get down here, if at all.

Corpse Coffer
This is flavorful and useful but unfortunately remains a textbook plot item. The PCs are not going to be going anywhere with a stone sarcophagus (even if it is a remarkably light one at 302 lbs), at least not easily.

Verdict: I have a huge weakness for ancient Egyptian themed items, and this is pretty good, just as a dungeon dressing and not a wondrous item.

Gnomish Humming Spanner
Its a sonic screwdriver, I get the joke. That turned me off to it right off the bat. It also strays a little into SAK territory with all of those rather disparate features. Lastly, there is no compelling reason to restrict construction to gnomes, even if "gnomish" is in the name. A slightly better defense could be mounted for the skill ranks, but those probably don't belong in the requirements either.

Verdict: It came off as a joke item to me, sorry.

Chiaroscuro Astrarium
I really like the name, it uses two awesome, unusual words, and uses them aptly. The imagery is also great. That said, there is all sorts of weirdness in the mechanics. First off, why is there a -20 penalty to stealth applied when you are inside the planetarium that this thing generates? What am I missing here? The second power, making a little bubble of outer space around you is actually really cool, and you could have made a better item hewing to that power alone I think. The last part is all over the map. Only working after a user has activated both powers is something really strange sounding in the context of PF, you should consider that. Also, I'm not sure what starflight is but I assume that it is a spell that lets you fly through space at interplanetary speeds. In the sort of campaign where people are thinking about flying through space, and this item would be useful, it becomes way too much of a "makes adventuring easy" item. Lastly, as part of my crusade against excessive construction requirements, I want to point out that in the context of Pathfinder and Golarion, Knowledge(Nature) has nothing to do with outer space, and those skill ranks probably should not be there in the requirements.

Verdict: You have a great name and imagery in service of an inferior idea. The second power can stand on its own as a better item. I didn't vote for this in the face of any serious competition.

Wheel Caps of the Geist March
I know that you probably consciously used the vehicle rules to differentiate your item, but my eyes started to glaze over at their mention. The mechanic is great and cinematic though. If I were you my instinct would have been to make these boots. My one mechanical quibble is how does the driver see someone to target with the second power if he is also in the fog?

Verdict: Admittedly I do like the image of a chariot racing across the field trailing spectral mist, and if you are using chariots in some epic battle this would be really cool for breaking the enemy lines I guess. Making it a vehicle item boxes it in in terms of use. I would have voted for it if it were boots.

Irrisen Sacrificial Athame
I thought this item was very well executed. I guess the self-mutilation bit didn't go over well with the public though. You have called out and accounted for most of the unintended consequences and potential abuses. My only problem is that it should be limited in uses per day even though the ability loss is a natural balance. It is too easy to heal ability loss and just fuel unlimited amounts of free metamagic. requirements are unorthodox but ok I think, although the aura is supposed to be determined by the spells used in creation.

Verdict: Personal Keep. It had a good theme and suitable, mostly robust mechanics.

I just want to point out that I am only critiquing the items that caught my eye for whatever reason when I was voting, not every item. If you really want a critique of your item in this vein, pm me and I'll post a critique of it, since I know that there are a few people who have probably been waiting a while now for critiques.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Author's Note: This item made the top 89. I'm definitely curious as to where it could have been improved to be of Superstar quality.

Record of the Fallen
Aura moderate varied; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 7,500 gp; Weight 10 lbs.

The bearer of this heavy, leather-bound tome may use it to store the dead and information about them. By placing the tome atop a corpse and speaking the command word, the bearer of a record of the fallen may store the corpse within an extradimensional space inside the book. A record of the fallen may contain up to 100 medium corpses. Large creatures take up twice as much space, small creatures half as much, and so on.

When a corpse is added to the record a page is added for them with their name, race, and their profession or occupation. While contained within the record corpses are affected by gentle repose.

The bearer of the record may target corpses within the book with spells such as animate dead, speak with dead, and raise dead as if they were in contact with the body. Spells that animate or raise the dead function as normal. Raised or animated creatures emerge from the book in a square adjacent to the bearer of the record chosen by the bearer. Spells such as speak with dead create a written account of the questions asked and their answers in the book.

Tearing a corpse’s page out of the record causes the corpse to instantly appear in a random square adjacent to the tome. Creatures raised or animated no longer have pages or appendices within the record of the fallen.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, blood biography, gentle repose, secret chest, secret page; Cost 3,750 gp


Here's my item, the mantle of terror. I'll post some thoughts on other's stuff as I get some time today.

Mantle of Terror:
Mantle of Terror
Aura faint divination and necromancy; CL 7th
Slot shoulders; Price 8,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This ragged black cloak of bugbear make grants its wearer the ability to stalk and dispatch frightened foes and feed on fear to enhance his own power. If any creature within 60' is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points while suffering from a fear condition (shaken, frightened or panicked), the wearer may attempt to draw strength from that creature's mortal terror as an immediate action. The target must make a Will save (DC 16). If the save fails, the wearer gains 1d8 temporary hit points, a +2 enhancement bonus to Strength and a +1 bonus to caster level for one minute. The wearer of a mantle of terror can constantly sense the direction, distance and condition of all living creatures within 60' that are suffering from a fear condition, as though under the effects of a status spell. The wearer gains a +1 insight bonus on attack and damage rolls against living creatures currently affected by a fear condition.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, death knell aura, doom, status; Cost 4,000 gp.

My Thoughts:
I was going for an item for intimidation-oriented martial characters and spellcasters who like to generate fear effects. Playing around with conditions seemed like it would be different. Looking back, I'm sure it was way too niche an item to be Superstar. If Pathfinder had a flaw or phobia system I would have had the item reveal phobias - I thought about having it whisper what people are afraid of, but in PF all that could really do was give you an Intimidate bonus, which wasn't that interesting.

Marathon Voter Season 6

Here's my item.

Quote:


Gloves of the Eldritch Duelist
Aura strong abjuration; CL 13th
Slot hands; Price 32,500 gp; Weight
Description
These black gloves each have a single, quietly humming, violet quartz crystal embedded on their back and allow the wearer to disrupt magical energy. Both gloves must be worn to have any effect, and when their powers are activated, the crystals briefly flare up.

Once per day as an immediate action after successfully identifying a spell being cast, the wearer may attempt a dueling counter (see Ultimate Magic) of the spell. When making the caster level check, the wearer uses the item’s caster level instead of their own. This does not limit the sacrificed spell’s level. Regardless of whether the counter is successful, the disruptive energy imparted by the crystals lingers with the caster of the spell, forcing a concentration check to cast any subsequent spells before the end of his next turn. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + the modified bonus of the caster level check + the spell level.

Furthermore, as a standard action once per day, the wearer may make a melee touch attack to drain a creature’s spell slot. The touched creature must make a DC 22 Will save or lose one randomly chosen unused spell slot of his highest spell level with unused slots. Level 0 spell slots are unaffected and lost slots are regained normally. The wearer may activate this effect in place of casting a spell when using spell combat and may deliver the melee touch attack through spellstrike.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, dispel magic, spell turning, creator must have been affected by a mnemonic crystal hazard (see Game Mastery Guide); Cost 16,250 gp

I'm aware of a few issues with it, like the flavor being a bit subtle, requiring the reader to look up what the mnemonic crystal hazard is and looks like to get a good grasp. That also explains the wonkiness with the save. Also, not italicizing the parenthetical citations.

But I'm looking for any critiques. Thanks!

Lantern Lodge Star Voter Season 6

Redeemer's Sash:

Redeemer’s Sash
Aura moderate abjuration; CL 9th Slot chest, belt, or neck; Price 12,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This ivory white strip of cloth can be worn across the wearer's shoulders and then diagonally down his chest to his opposite hip, tied around his waist as a belt, or worn as a scarf. This takes up the appropriate magic item slot as noted above. As an immediate action, while adjacent to an ally who has just been hit by an attack, but before the damage results have been determined, the wearer may choose to have the sash absorb the damage instead. Any damage that the sash absorbs is then immediately transferred to the wearer. If the damage dealt would be enough to kill the wearer, the remaining damage is instead dealt to the original target. This ability can be used to absorb damage from spells against a specific target, but not against spells that affect an area or that do not involve hit points. The sash can absorb up to 10 points of damage per level of the wearer before it is no longer able to function for that day. As it absorbs damage the sash’s appearance gradually deepens into a dark strip of crimson.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, shield other; Cost 6,000 gp

My Thoughts:

I know this wasn't really all that grand for a number of reasons. I ended up submitting what I thought was a decent version, but in the end, once I started seeing the competition, I knew I was hosed.

First, the slot description and pricing. I've always been shoddy with my pricing. As for the slot description, I was using the Dawnflower Sash as my item of comparison. I knew there would be several player variations on it, so I specified those.

Next, the effects. While I was trying to create something unique, I think I fell short in that I tried putting too much together into one. Spell-in-a-can came into play as well a bit, I see now. The worst part is the 'absorbs X per level'. I think that was my ultimate mistake. I have a few other thoughts on it myself, but I'd like to see if anyone has anything in particular they'd like to say about it.

Thank you for all critiques ahead of time.


Pacifier Manacles
Aura faint necromancy and transmutation (lesser), moderate necromancy and transmutation (greater); CL 5th (lesser), 10th (greater)
Slot wrist; Price 3,000 gp (lesser), 7,000 gp (greater) ; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
These black cuffs, usually made of chains and adorned with skulls, may be placed on any Large or smaller humanoid, automatically adjusting it’s size to match the captive.
Once placed they put a heavy burden on the captive’s shoulder, who is treated as being on medium load and fatigued. If the captive gets more than 30 feets away from the manacle key the burden increases and the captive is treated as being on heavy load and exhausted. All effects disappear if the manacles are removed using their key.
If the manacle is destroyed or opened without using its original key the burden last until the captive rests for 8 hours, he is also target of a brand (lesser) or greater brand (greater) spell. The brand is placed on his forehead and displays which crime the target committed, such as: murder or treason.
Construction
Requirements Craft Woundrous Item, ray of exhaustion, brand (lesser), greater brand (greater); Cost 1,500 gp (lesser), 3,500 gp (greater)

----------------

I'm grateful for any kind of feedback!

Star Voter Season 6

verdigris wrote:
Jerett Schaufele wrote:
verdigris wrote:

Porcine Pendant

Lets see, a dancing pig with spots that fascinates people. This is a little gonzo for my likes.

I dont think the game mechanic was the right choice. How would a dancing multicolored pig make people like the owner more?

I think the writing was good however.

Thank you for your critique. Your thoughts coincide with Jerry's that it was too much whimsy for this competition.

I do want answer your question regarding the charm person effect:

It is a fey pig, created using the fey animal template from Land of the Linnorm Kings. Using this template, a 0-3HD animal has either faerie fire or charm person as a spell-like ability. In this instance, I went with charm person. The multiple colors were from the hypnotic pattern spell. As for the dancing, well who wouldn't stare at a dancing pig?

I loved this item. I didn't think it was too quirky or gonzo. I have a traveling bard in my campaign who is ssooooo going to have one of these the next time he comes through town... and I bet at least one PC will want it!

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

Ok, going to start on page one and go page by page like many others have. Please remember that this is only my opinion and can very well be WAY off the mark. ;-)
PS: Thanks to everyone for giving me something to take over for my voting addiction! :D

Chelish Silver-Tongued Devil:
This is an interesting idea, but it seems quite limited in use. As a spy/intrigue item it is reduced to masquerade balls and masque festivals which are usually rather rare. As an assassin weapon, it is just as limited and somewhat odd. The erinyes feathers should not have been rumoured: they should have been or not. Still, I like the imagery of a magical masquerade mask. That is kind of cool.

Gentleman’s Ensnaring Cane:
This was a rather cool item, but the imp left me kind of cold. I'm also still a little confused as to the state of the imp; does he start being active on activation or is he always active until absorbed? When he is absorbed, when does he go back to active? This isn't very clear in the writing. It is an interesting ensnaring item though and I like the imagery of the entagle effect.

Ghoulslayer Gloves:
This is a very cool and well designed magic item. But the great revelation for me this year has been that imagery is the key to RPGSS items. If the imagery of the item is super, even a flawed item gets preference over well made ones. I think some sort of really neat visual is the only significant thing missing here.

Ethos Swarm Charm:
This item just never did it for me. While a variable effect based on conditions is not bad in concept, in practice it can lead to a lot of page flipping in game. (As an aside one of the stronger criticisms of my item, Hunter's Geas, was that I had to many little conditionals.) There is also some question as to why the swarms in question were associated with certain alignments. Why crabs with LG? Why wasps (associated in Golarion and Pathfinder with CN Calistria) with LN? The images didn't really fit the alignments in my opinion.

Porcine Pendant:
I really liked this little dancing pig! The effect seems a little wrong though. I would have gone with a Will save to avoid being fascinated as through the hypnotic pattern spell and had the diplomatic functions as a secondary effect. This was still on of my top 40 items however.

Siegebreaker Cymbals:
This is an unusual way to overcome and/or enhance DR, but the (relatively) high Perform check makes this a rather specialized item. Very few characters are going to be able to use this as written. I would have set the DC save at a specific level and put the Perform check in with the bardic performance section, giving a bard with the correct skill the ability to increase the save DC with his check. Not sure if the imagery is there or not, but you can't be accused of being unoriginal.

Amulet of the Grasping Soul:
I up voted this far more times than I down voted it. It is a pretty solid item that does a simple function (allowing corporeal and incorporeal to interact) fairly well. I think the problem here is what a lot of the items I have seen has (including my own): no razzle dazzle. It is a straight up item that does something useful but is otherwise plain. Solid magic items don't seem to make RPGSS, cool effect items do.

Candle of Distant Assurance:
This is a lovely plot device. It has a flaw in that a piece of great imagery was lost. It should have been like an everburning torch and not be extinguishable except with death or plane travel, spontaneously relighting in the case of a resurrection or return to the plane. As an item on its own, I'll agree with other reviewers and say that it is of little use to a party of adventurers or BBEGs.

Fiddle of the Dance:
I like the concept a lot (my mother is a violin and fiddle teacher) but the "true power is revealed" trope leave me cold. This item should be enhanced by a bard, not solely powered by one. And what if the people listening don't want to dance? Do they get a save? That info is required.

Handkerchief of the Scoured Visage:
This is an odd item that has a rather cool effect (removing a face) but seems to be of little practical use on a regular basis. Specialized items such as this move towards plot devices. This isn't a plot device, but the number of times and situations where it would be of use is rather small.

Intellectual's Clay Pipe:
This is another solid magic item that simply lacks cool imagery. You have a small formatting error in the spell requirements (should be italicised not caps) but that is a minor quibble. This should be in a magic item book. But without some form of really great imagery other than an intellectual smoking a pipe, it isn't Superstar.

Wings, Resplendent Battle:
These wings are a neat magic item that does not do the one thing that I think of when I think of magical wings: allow you to fly. A mantle of white with holy markings could have worked just as well. No glide or flight with wings? I think that was a mistake. I get that they are supposed to represent angel wings, but angels go into battle from the air. Flight as a primary ability with the aura effects be secondary would have made this item better in my opinion.

Time's Tide Pendant:
My more extensive critique of this item. This was the item that gave me the big Bolt Out Of The Blue revelation this year on imagery. I now think of it as a solid magic item, but still voted it down more than up while voting.

Orator’s Torc:
This made my Top 32. It is a very solid magic item, and the only reason I can see it not making THE Top 32 was lack of cool imagery for the effect.

Orb of Aggravation:
A very cheap item that could with multiple uses effectively condition to death an opponent. An overwhelming challenge when used against PCs, make many encounters duck soup when used by PCs. I would have limited it to one condition at a time on a target regardless of how many orbs are used. I would lose the "favoured by" line.

Elixir of Last Will:
This is a neat little item that—as you say—allows a player to act once while unconscious. But there isn't anything really wonderful here. It's a stabilization (which can occur if the dice roll well) and a small single bonus for an allied combatant. This lacks the cool feel a RPGSS item needs.

Shroud of Certain Return:
I liked this item when I was voting, but it really is just a way of removing a random element from a single spell. Not really Superstar. A Feat could be made that would do this, or a druid archetype.

Findeladlara’s Brush:
The ability to create minor illusions is cool, but since there are paint magical items that allow you to create an actual thing, it doesn't really seem all that useful as any illusion based sorcerer or illusionist wizard can do this better. Now had these items allowed you to augment what you can create with marvelous pigments, such as living creatures, then they would be a very solid magic item. They would still be lacking great imagery though.

Garter of Hidden Fortune:
This is a cool little item that seems to be of use in capture and intrigue type stories. This limiting factor makes it a little less stellar. I like items that I can see being used a lot rather than in very specific circumstances. It is for regular use a very small handy haversack. The other powers are cool, but a bit excessive. I would have gone with an illusion that makes the item appear to be nothing more than a band of cloth that most security people would just ignore. The blink and invisibility is a bit much.

Ointment of Last Sight:
I kind of like the "aura reading" vibe of this item. But it is more of a problem for GMs who may have to describe events they hadn't really thought of each time a PC picks up an item for reading that they have no information about. I work well on the fly, but many do not and that can cause some difficulties.

Tabard of Cunning Tactics:
An intriguing combat item that allows for tactical thinking. It does have a few conditionals that change the effectiveness, and having been criticized on that myself (correctly) I have to bring it up here. Once again, as with many good solid magic items the imagery is somewhat lacking. The dueling images are cool, but not something most people are going to notice in the middle of a fight.

Chalice of Communal Dweomer:
I like this and voted for it more times than I didn't. I think that having a potion last longer and affect three party members is very useful, but again lacks the great imagery and cool factor needed to be Superstar. Definitely should be in a magic items book however.

Vest of Mongrelkind:
I hate to admit it, but although I believe you made a fairly balanced and interesting magic item here I voted against it every time I saw it. I don't like items that open up book flipping in the middle of the game, and trying to choose a trait that will be of tactical advantage for any given situation can definitely bog the game down. This is really my own preference and your item is fairly solid otherwise. I like your clarified second version. It did help a bit.

First Light:
Unfortunately, all I saw here was the phial of Galadriel. I'm not sure if that was your intent, but it struck me as very unoriginal as a result. I think you gave it as good balance and power set, if that is any consolation.

Shadow Sentry:
I liked this item and up voted it a lot more than not. The visual is OK, but not spectacular or exceptional. I think that was what was needed to really make it shine. There was a spell back in the good old days called wyvern watch that had similar imagery, so this may have come across as a spell-in-a-can as a result (even though it wasn't).

Tempest Regalia:
I liked this item especially for the removal of the ioun stone from spinning around the head (an image I never really liked). The rest is good, well made and lacking a strong visual. This appears to be a magic item that creates the same visual effect as a wind wall. Useful, solid, and not spectacular. (Man, I'm really harping on the imagery in these critiques. It was the Big Revelation for me this year though, and now it seems to be my primary criticism of many otherwise good items.)

Tablet of Heretical Lore:
My only concern with this item is the same that others have voiced: What is the cleric's god going to say about this? If the deity in question can deny access to spells for not following the faith, this could be seen as breaking that taboo. For druids with domains and no god, not an issue and I can see it being very useful to them. But then it wouldn't really be heresy if there wasn't an issue, would it?

Nethian Scroll Tube:
An interesting magic item that augments scrolls and is otherwise rather mundane. This is yet another example of an item I can see in a book of magic items but not cool enough to be Superstar. I do have a little issue with the need for an arcane caster (which this item seems to be geared towards) having to be a worshipper of Nethys to avoid destroying additional spells on a scroll. These aren't clerics or oracles and I find that to be inconsistent with Nethys' concentration on knowledge and magical power over devout worship.

Wow, over 2000 words in this first full review post! I have no idea how long I'll be able to keep this up, but we'll see.

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

CalebTGordan wrote:
Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Mechanics: What is the crowd's AC? How big is the confetti shower when destroyed? What is the crowd's size? Mechanically very weak.
The Lonely Man’s Instant Party wrote:
They take up a fifteen by fifteen foot area centered on the user and count as a very real crowd, thus acting as difficult terrain and cover for anyone within their area. They will not protect themselves from attack or flee from danger
Emphasis is mine. The area they take up the area spelled out in the description, and the confetti cloud that happens when they are destroyed was meant to be flavor. It could be assumed to be the same size as the crowd. As for AC, I thought it would be clear that attacks automatically hit the crowd if it did not defend itself. Thank you for pointing out that should be more clear on that. I do agree that there are mechanical problems, but not the same ones you pointed out.

A 15 x 15 foot area is the space of the crowd, not its size, such as Small, Medium, or Large. Space and size are different within the rules. I asked the crowd's AC because even though they don't defend, you still have to hit their AC to damage them. Strengthen your rules fu Padawan learner!

Now the weekend is over, need to get back to the rest of the pile. Although GM_Solspiral seems to have a handle on things.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

Eric Morton wrote:

I don't have time to critique every item in this thread, but I figured I'd review a few that have been posted which made my own person Keep folder yet didn't make the official Top 89.

Sepllcycle Medallion:
I Kept this item, despite the glaring typo in the title, but that glaring typo did prevent it from making my Top 64. I like this item because I've always wanted a way of toggling spells on and off again. But that benefit is highly circumstantial, so I was hesitant to accept your price for the item (or any other price for the item). With more thought, I might have come to like this item more, but I didn't want to spend too much time thinking about an item with a typo in its name.

Thanks Eric, trust me the self-kicking is continuing on my end. Glad you appreciated the item despite the glaring typo.

The Exchange Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Please be honest, the entry didn't have spells italicized due to brain failure.

Spectral Saddle:

Spectral Saddle
Aura strong transmutation; CL 13th
Slot none; Price 16,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
The Spectral Saddle is cool to the touch and expertly crafted out of soft white leather and cold iron. When activated by the rider as a standard action the saddle quickly drains the color from the mount, rider and all of their gear making them visually similar to ghostly disguise. They also turn ethereal as ethereal jaunt, except the duration lasts for no more than 13 rounds per day. The rounds need not be consecutive and the rider can spend a standard action to end the effect. Additional passengers are left behind and are not affected by the saddle. Once the effect ends the transformation back to the material plane is taxing; both the mount and rider must immediately end their turn forfeiting any remaining actions and only regaining their color after spending 13 rounds on the material plane. The saddle’s magical effects only function if worn by an animal or magical beast trained to carry a rider.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, ethereal jaunt, ghostly disguise; Cost 8,000 gp

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Joel Flank wrote:
Eric Morton wrote:

Sepllcycle Medallion:

Thanks Eric, trust me the self-kicking is continuing on my end. Glad you appreciated the item despite the glaring typo.

I liked the sepllcycle medallion a lot and tried to think that maybe it was some sort of archaic Olde English spelling.

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

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Page 2 items.

Amulet of Amended Strategy:
This item didn't really do anything for me personally in that I allow my player's to change what they have readied to some other action with the loss of the immediate interrupt anyway. So in my game this is a magic item that does...nothing. Sorry, a cool visual may have improved it, but it still would have been a useless item for my groups.

Circlet of Malevolent Eyes:
What you said. ;-)

Immediate Chant:
An interesting way to duplicate spells and recast them. There's nothing here that is wrong, it just seems a little dull in concept. It is very expensive and doesn't give much coolness to its owner. Make no mistake it would be useful; but utility is a small part of RPGSS entries.

Nautilus Pack of Tangled Tentacles:
When I first encountered this item, my initial response was, "Why would anyone want a bunch of cephalopod tentacles coming out of their backpack?" This item is neat and useful, but just too weird and odd looking to be in high demand. I can see some people really liking this item and it's imagery. That is a matter of taste, and I think more people disliked the visual than liked.

The Lonely Man’s Instant Party:
I really liked this item and it was in my top 40. I think one problem is that you suggest in the first line that there are different types of this item, but only go on to describe one. I can see the illusion as being a great way to create a diversion and in a game with a bit of a humour slant, could be great for some slapstick. But any game with a more serious bent would be disrupted by it.

Choker of Subtle Sound:
This is that rare item that essentially has no visual imagery in its effect. While it allows a subtle use of sound based magical effects, it is really just a utilitarian item. I'm not sure how to Superstar this one up, but it just comes across as bland.

Ultimate Adventurer’s Egg:
Hey, an item I never saw! I'm thinking it was culled, and unfortunately I can see why. This camping Swiss Army Knife is lacking in description as to how only one pair of images can be lined up at the same time (I read your explanation for this in another post, and that piece of info was really critical here.) SAK, camping equipment, lacking in a crucial operation detail, and most of what it does is not really spectacular. You even forgot to give a rotten egg that is produced a different effect (other than the obvious humour value).

Mark of the Leech:
Vampiric touch as a burst effect. Because it effects all creatures within 30 ft., it isn't much use for a party of adventurers. That marks it down for me, as it really isn't great treasure. For the price it has got, I think some sort of targeting mechanism could be put in without over powering the item.

Blightstone:
Since the effect last for one hour and the stone can't be reused after shattering, stating that it becomes inert after one round is rather redundant and unnecessary. On top of that, an oracle's curse is as much blessing as it is a curse, so you give an advantage to an opponent as well as a penalty. The same can be said for many spellblights. This can be a page turner as PCs try and decide on which spellblight or oracle's curse to use.

Skein Helm:
Very Brothers Grimm fairy-tale like, and that's a good thing. Another of my top 40. Rather expensive for a helm that is really a travel item however.

Mantle of a Thousand Hands:
This has a really neat visual to it and I like it. But here we have the situation where what it does is rather mundane by comparison to other items out there. Still, very cool item.

Meddler’s Mirror:
Effectively a limited crystal ball with the ability to cast a spell once per day. The wall of text didn't bother me much (mine had the same problem), but the limited nature of the scrying device and the way it was limited to one target for 24 hours was a serious failing for me. I liked the recall ability, but can't see how that might come up in game too often.

Disappearing Weapon Cord:
I think you have all the problems I could find listed. Splitting up your paragraph may have helped with people reading your item, but that's about it.

Escapee’s Spoon:
This item made my Top 32 for amusement purposes alone. It would be of use outside of a captive situation in many ways and could be smuggled into a captive relatively easily. I think concentrating it on escapes may have been a mistake, as many people may ask how a prisoner could create a magic item costing over 8000 gp to make without raising a lot of red flags among the guards.

Octavo of Perseverance:
This lacks punch. It is just a minor augmentation item that adds to a cleric's power, but not much else. It's balanced, but just doesn't do anything spectacular or cool. I think that lack of a neat visual image was what kept this solid magic item from being Superstar.

Fleshwarping Unguent:
Yes the cost is way off, as the effects granted aren't as powerful as the cost would indicate for an effect that is not permanent and addictive. Also limiting each slot to one effect seems to fly in the face of the fleshwarping concept. I think you could have given a short list of bonuses that could be added by the unguent and let the imagination of the user guide what was done with it.

Glove of Saturation:
I kind of liked this item, but it essentially shapes liquids for mostly combat use. As far as game mechanics go, this means the elimination of splash effects. Not really that exciting. Using contact poison was rather cool, but it seemed added almost as an afterthought. Otherwise, really good.

Sash of Singularity:
Personally I wouldn't have given a bonus against Bull Rush or Trip; I would have just made the wearer immune to such effects for that much money. 5000 lbs in such a small area creates a density that no one is going to move easily. This could also be a problem if the character falls and needs to be dragged away quickly. There seem to be a number of problems created by this item as well as boons.

Skinthief’s Fetish:
I think beyond the disturbing imagery this item suffers from too many dangers associated with its use. Dying when the skin is killed with your consciousness inside it is a bit much; I would have gone with damage to the possessor only (perhaps a hefty amount, but not death.


Jacob W. Michaels wrote:


Time's Tide Pendant
Activating the pendant, a swift action, takes time from the wearer, moving her spot in the initiative order to the end of the round as if she were delaying. In the next round, the pendant returns the time in a burst of speed, moving the wearer's initiative count to the top of the order.

I see this ability as being rather metagame. As a player, I understand how it works, no problem. My character, however, not so much.

Picture a merchant explaining to your character how this thing works, without breaking the fourth wall.

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Saint Caleth wrote:

I thought this item was very well executed. I guess the self-mutilation bit didn't go over well with the public though. You have called out and accounted for most of the unintended consequences and potential abuses. My only problem is that it should be limited in uses per day even though the ability loss is a natural balance. It is too easy to heal ability loss and just fuel unlimited amounts of free metamagic. requirements are unorthodox but ok I think, although the aura is supposed to be determined by the spells used in creation.

Verdict: Personal Keep. It had a good theme and suitable, mostly robust mechanics.

Concerning the aura, it was based upon the metamagic rod, thus it used the same auras. Concerning the requirements, it's a twist on the metamagic rod. Using spell perfection, which itself requires two metamagic feats, was quite the requirement I think.

Yeah, I was a bit concerned about the cost to metamagic ratio, but, as the spells would usually be used in battle, I figured the consequences of going all emo during battle was the off-set. I did increase the cost by 50%, and made the athame only work with metamagics that the character actually possessed the feats for, unlike normal metamagic rods.

As I said before, once I learned it was the public not the judges selecting, I was afraid...very afraid...but I didn't know until after I posted, after all I'm a busy guy.

And thanks for the critique.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This thread is unmanageable. Do not want.

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

Fayteri wrote:
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:


Time's Tide Pendant
Activating the pendant, a swift action, takes time from the wearer, moving her spot in the initiative order to the end of the round as if she were delaying. In the next round, the pendant returns the time in a burst of speed, moving the wearer's initiative count to the top of the order.

I see this ability as being rather metagame. As a player, I understand how it works, no problem. My character, however, not so much.

Picture a merchant explaining to your character how this thing works, without breaking the fourth wall.

Thanks for the review. It's much appreciated.

I think that's where the time slowing and speeding up aspect came in -- you're effectively slowing your foe for a few seconds or speeding your allies (at least with the second power; the first one's definitely a bit odder in the sense of explaining how it works for the character) -- though that of course brought in the element of time that people often don't like. I guess I was trying to go for a balance between the two, using the fluff to give sense to the mechanics but not overdoing it to the point that it turned people off. And obviously, I didn't manage that.

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

@Feros

Thanks for the review and you are right! I was aiming for the KISS principle, but I think I went too simple. I have an idea already for next year that I think is killer with some killer imagery.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka Virgil

I had a bunch of trouble remembering that poisons had been altered in descriptive text, especially since the effects of mine are still possible.

Spoiler:

Hand of Eternal Remorse
Aura moderate evocation and necromancy; CL 10th
Slot hand; Price 17,000 gp; Weight
Description
This ebon gauntlet has a single blank eye in its palm, filled with hatred and drawn to suffering. Once per day, the wearer can command the gauntlet's eye to open and cry a blood red, unctuous substance. This substance acts as a single dose of contact poison (Fortitude DC 16), and the wearer does not risk poisoning herself if it is immediately applied to a surface.
The poison has a one minute onset time, after which the victim is the center of a fireball (10d6, Reflex DC 16 half). The victim does not get a Reflex save to resist the fireball. The poison will lose potency and become inert after 24 hours.
Bearers of the gauntlet will see calamity after calamity, the sick and dying plaguing their existence like a literal disease. Increase a community’s crime modifier by +4 so long as the hand of eternal remorse is in it, as well as its danger value by +10. See Settlements (Game Mastery Guide, page 204) for details.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, bestow curse, fireball; Cost 8,500 gp

451 to 500 of 824 << first < prev | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Paizo / RPG Superstar™ / General Discussion / Official 2013 "Critique my item" thread All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.