Official 2013 "Critique my item" thread


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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First off, I’d like to thank everyone for critiquing my item. I watched last year’s contest, and read a lot of the advice threads, but still managed to get tripped up by some of the more complex bits of design. But with your advice, and a few months of practice (perhaps even a Blazing 9?), though, and I think I’ll be golden!

James Raine wrote:
Chalice of Communal Dweomer: The action trade-off and the halved duration made this item's sparkle not shiny enough. If you had gone with either one or the other drawback, but not both, I would have voted for this item.

The action trade-off was merely because I couldn’t let go of the image of having to pour the potion in, then drink it out. It didn’t really add anything cinematic, and it didn’t balance anything much.

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Impression: This item received alot of votes from me as it allowed something to be done not normally allowed. I think more descriptive text would have improved the item. I liked the splitting of targets, but maybe making each ally drink from the chalice would have fit the imagery in my head better.

I can definitely see how you’d get that imagery. An early draft did try to do something like that, but most potions don’t have a great duration, and I wanted it to be something that could be used in combat.

Jacob aka motteditor wrote:
Interesting item, Kyrand. I like that you add temperature into the description – using different senses is always nice. I’d defer to others who are mechanically stronger, but I wonder if this might have some game balance issues. I think you sort of addressed it by wisely cutting duration while extending targets, but I’d probably have to play with it more to see if that’s enough.

Turns out, your instincts were right, as pointed out below…

Clouds Without Water wrote:
Three times a day you quadruple your potions. Seems way undercosted for that, think how much a party could save with that. It's got maybe *too* much utility. Find a condition or limitation to wrap up in some mojo and apply that to it.

Well, the chalice does halve the potion’s duration, and take a full-round to activate (rather than a standard) like most potions, but…

Nazard wrote:
Item that allows you to spread around a potion—three for the price of one. I thought such an item was a great idea when I submitted something similar last year. The judges didn’t agree then, and I guess not now either. The problem (I then learned) is that these types of items are investment multipliers—you don’t have to use it with many 3rd level potions before it’s paid for itself, and from then on you’re basically getting free potions. This is not a good design space to work in.

Here’s where I think my real screw up was. I didn’t consider just how often it could be used, and that it could start messing with wealth issues… My local “Here’s my idea, how fast can you find it’s loophole” player was out of town for the holidays, or I might have caught this in time.

Feros wrote:
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.

And this was my biggest fear/worry. I figured it was solid, but knew it didn’t really have the pizzaz or flash that helps a lot of Top 32 stand out as potentially amazing designers. But I appreciate the vote of confidence re: being worthy of an Ultimate Equipment style book!

If I were redesigning the chalice, I think I’d drop the activation back to standard action, and split the duration amongst everyone getting the bonus. And find some way to dress it up and make it stand out more.

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Man, this thread has exploded so much more than previous years. Or at least, I haven't managed to keep up with it.

You're all doing great work reviewing in here. It may seem daunting, but everyone should try to read every review - there's a ton of good information here!

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

Hunter's Geas

You've got game! Really, the mojo was pretty cool on this one. You've got creative writing skills and I believe solid rules-fu.

So where did you go wrong?

Well, you already know that you forgot to have the name...and that IS killer.

Even though it is not an overly large description, I can't help but feel some line breaks would have served you well here.

I'm also not a fan of the "cup-shaped holder" description. Something a little less...real world, I think, would have made this so much cooler.

You thought out the item very well, especially with party mechanics and having multiple hunter's geas items equipped in the party.

That said, I really can't help but feel like this goes juuuust over the line into plot item territory. You're last sentence (and power) is what threw it over the line for me. I'm not saying that it wasn't a well thought out addition...it just crossed the plot item line for me.

Overall, I like your writing style. I like your creativity. You have rules mastery. You already know about the name for next year. I think if you find a way to take out a little bit of the "real worldy" descriptives and only toe the line for plot item...you'll be Superstar.

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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

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.

Can you source this please? I looked up the rules on size and space on the SRD and the PFSRD and all I got was this http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/combat/space-reach-threatened-area-te mplates

Which states that "These values are typical for creatures of the indicated size. Some exceptions exist."

I'm relatively new to PF and so I don't know all of the rules, but upon searching I found this which would make me believe Caleb was ok in omitting size.

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verdigris wrote:

Porcine Pendant

Upon completion of the dance, humanoid viewers’ attitude towards the pig and its owner shifts 2 steps closer to friendly unless they succeed on a (DC14) Will save.

I loved the item and it received multiple votes from me, but to be a critic I thought the will save hurt the item for two reasons.

1) Saves tend to make people angry or suspicious when they pass them and the DC is low.
2) it can lower their affection to friendly due to wording (see quote)

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

Frumple wrote:
Fleshwarping Unguent

Cost: I was like "Whoa". Then I noticed there was no usage limit per day or amount of uses available. This item would have been better as a single use consumable.

Mechanics: Virtually nonexistant. Get rid of "or" and "left to GM's discretion".
Impression: You tried to do too much. And the drawback just ruined this item for me. But you had a decent kernel of an idea, you just failed to flesh it out in a useable fashion.

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Clouds Without Water wrote:

Page 7 items!

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.

Thank you so very much for the critique, Cloud. Since I am new to Pathfinder and the contest, I was trying to make something useful my many, but I agree it would be better to make it something even more special for cavaliers. I played it safe with trying to make something which would appeal to many players not just players of cavaliers.

As for limited with, I didn't have time to do the full amount of homework as to what spells might go into granting these abilities. I'll definitely spend more thought on that next year.

I have a question. Being know here, I'm not familiar with all the shorthand, so would you please define SAK?

Again, thanks for the feedback.

Star Voter Season 6

Jeffrey C Pettengill wrote:
limited with[/i

That should be [i] limited wish

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

Troy Malovich wrote:
Glove of Saturation

Impression: This item almost made my Top 32, except for a wonky mechanics and wording.

Mechanics: Using a Str modifier seemed strange for a ranged style attack. I really, really did not like the ability to possibly hit 4 targets with the same poison since the Reflex save only negates damage and a -4 to the poison DC does not sound like much of a trade-off.
Wording: What were the rough plates made of?
Why doesn't the waterskin explode? Would fit thematically.

Star Voter Season 6

Whale_Cancer wrote:

I made this guy without reading the advice thread; I think it is clearly too mundane to be superstar, but I'm curious about any other feedback. I removed a double 'the' (the result of a last minute edit) because it is too painful to look at!

Constable’s Garish Vestments
Aura faint enchantment; CL 5th
Slot body; Price 2,500 gp; Weight
Description
This garish uniform is made of brightly colored felt or velvet and features eye catching epaulettes, exaggerated cuffs, and numerous large shiny brass buttons. Typically worn by defenders of halfling communities or champions of halfling causes, constable’s garish vestments are designed to attract attention away from halflings wearing more muted outfits.
Any character wearing the vestments may, as an immediate action, force a creature they can see that makes an attack against one of their allies to attack the wearer of constable’s garish vestments instead. The attacker may not be more than 30' away and the wearer of the vestments must be a legal target for the attack in all other respects. The attacker may make a DC 13 Will save to ignore this effect, if they succeed at their saving throw they still suffer a cumulative -1 penalty on attack rolls and AC (maximum -4) until they attack the wearer of the constable’s garish vestments, the wearer of the constable’s garish vestments is killed, or the wearer of the constable’s garish vestments and the attacker are ever more than 60' apart. If the ally that would have been attacked is an halfling, the DC to resist this effect increases to DC 15. This is a mind-affecting effect.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, compel hostility, creator must be a halfling; Cost 1,250 gp

My problem had nothing to do with it being mundane. You play into the standard kender/halfling taunt mechanic by being annoying here, and that is not the best design space.

1. SIAC: 90% of the intended benefit from this item is based entirely off of giving you the exact effects of a 1st level round/level spell all the time. You spice it up by adding more power, but the basic effect is the first level spell you use in the crafting requirements.
2. Taunt mechanic: Its mind effecting, and should be compulsion as well, so you get over one of the big problems people have with them, but a lot of people still do not like them. You will get downvotes just for being one.
3. Flavor: You add a lot of racial specific fluff that is really baggage by making these halfling specific. You bring negative Kender thoughts with you. Are you familiar with halflings in Golaron? They are not the cute mischievous race of other settings that this seems designed for, or even the more hobbit style that might use this. Gnome actually seems more apt in many ways for the fluff you are going for, but there is no real reason to limit your user base in this case.
4. Ballance: I will split this into 2.
A. While technically the formula for use activated/continuous items would put the taunt at 2K, you fail to ask the question "is this a ballanced thing to give to players". Just like the continuous use CLW items that pop up every once in a while, this effect should give you pause. The base spell is personal, so this is even better than a SIAC, and something not intended to be given to non-casters for ballance reasons.
B. If they succeed their save they still get an untyped cumulative debuff that has a unlimmitted durration. Not to mention how a group with more than 1 of these would interact. Ignoring the taunt mechanic, you could design a group around immediate action debuffing enemies en mass. Your front line fighters aren't using this slot or their immediate actions anyway.

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

P33J wrote:
Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

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.

Can you source this please? I looked up the rules on size and space on the SRD and the PFSRD and all I got was this http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/combat/space-reach-threatened-area-te mplates

Which states that "These values are typical for creatures of the indicated size. Some exceptions exist."

I'm relatively new to PF and so I don't know all of the rules, but upon searching I found this which would make me believe Caleb was ok in omitting size.

First off, meal men use the PRD! PFSRD is for losers! (joking {but not really [actually, just a bit]}) Secondly, I am more of a book person. Look in the combat chapter under "Big and Little Creatures in Combat" to see the space and then look under the "Armor Class" area to see size modifiers. It is a crowd, not a single creature, thus each crowd member would need to be hit individually I think. I am unsure, lack of specified mechanics leaves this open to interpretation, which is reason #2 this item was auto-reject for me. Which made it seem like even more of a joke item.

Maybe there should be a test on basic rules next year that should be taken before people are allowed submit items. Might cut down on the amount of poor quality items to wade through.

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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
First off, meal men use the PRD! PFSRD is for losers! (joking {but not really [actually, just a bit]}) Secondly, I am more of a book person. Look in the combat chapter under "Big and Little Creatures in Combat" to see the space and then look under the "Armor Class" area to see size modifiers. It is a crowd, not a single creature, thus each crowd member would need to be hit individually I think. I am unsure, lack of specified mechanics leaves this open to interpretation, which is reason #2 this item was auto-reject for me. Which made it seem like even more of a joke item.

I was under the impression (though this may be from a 3.5 book, not a PF one) that crowd stats was basically using the Swarm subtype on creatures larger than Tiny.

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Aeris Fallstar wrote:
Sash of Singularity

Cost: I think your cost may be waaaay off. Adding a +2 to a specific CMB/CMD granted by a feat is about 3-4k (estimate, can't forget about no AoO). But most bonuses don't scale in a linear fashion in PF and a +10 is pretty huge.(+2 armor = 4k & +10 armor = 100k / +2 weapon 8k & +10 weapon 200k)

Impression: Ahh, was someone bull rushed alot as a low level PC? Those are some huge bonuses. Grapple makes a little sense, but not completely.
Why do I have to wrap it around my waist twice and knot it on the right side? Arbitrary! I want to wrap it once and make a giant bow tie!
Also, adding that much weight makes adventuring difficult. No riding animals, wagons, or most other forms of transport.

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

Saint Caleth wrote:

Here are some more of my notes. More to come eventually. If I have time I will double back and critique some of the other items.

Time's Tide Pendant
This was great. It had definite mojo and a ballsy mechanic which wound up being reasonably sound rules-wise. It took me two or three reads to figure out exactly what was going on with the initiative counts when it was activated. I was not a fan of how specific the construction requirements were. Logically it follows, but overly restrictive construction requirements rub me the wrong way.

Verdict: Personal keep. I would drop this as treasure for the characters in a game I was running to see how they would use it. I voted for it several times.

Thanks, St. Caleth. Glad you liked it. I'd love to hear how it goes if you do drop it into a game. I'm certainly planning to see what happens when I do so.

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

Doppelganger’s Locket:

Your template looks mostly good, though you're missing commas in the price and cost. I don't know why you added bigger tags around the description and construction lines. Those weren't in the template; that said, I didn't detract for that, since I figure one message from Sean would end that practice.

I like the name (though maybe just doppelganger locket? Not a big deal either way), so that's a good start. You describe the item well, though I think your first two sentences clash a bit. You say it holds a gruesome secret. Then the next graf is it has an extradimensional space. Well, that's not all that gruesome. It just kind of failed the setup, I thought.

In general, I thought your mechanics were fine but it just didn't do enough for me. I already can impersonate another character; maybe this is a different way to do that, but it's not really bringing anything new to the game, IMO (plus you got caught in the meme of using dead bodies for various things, which became a huge turnoff for me).

Mortal Coil:

Hmm, I don't think I saw this during voting.

So basically, I can sort of use one of my resources to get lifesense and a save bonus, but still get that resource back at any time? That seems odd. I think I may have liked this if I had to choose to use the resource at the start of the day to charge the item and then it was gone, but as is, it seems like a no-brainer. The first thing I'd do every day is charge this up and then if I ever needed the resource be able to absorb it. It's basically a cost that doesn't really have to be paid, which means it's just giving me lifesense and the +2 to saves.

The template and writing are good enough that I'd probably have voted this up against some of the weaker items in the contest, but I don't think it would have gotten votes over anything in my personal keeper list. Sorry.

Master Healer's Satchel:

Starting with a boring bonus to a skill has me in a bad mood before I ever get to the real powers. And even then, I think those aren't all that groundbreaking.

I also don't like working with the skill checks. That makes this item far more valuable for a higher-level character, who can essentially give fast healing without a problem, even though characters at that level are already going to have access to other abilities that are as useful. Just didn't seem like a good design choice to me.

Flute of Silver Winds:

Nice description of your item. Actually, I just plain liked this item. I could see people saying it's an APIAC (alternate plane in a can, of course...), but I thought it had a nice flavor and neat effect, though it's sort of relying on having a CG party. I think it just needed a little more oomph: Maybe some resident of Elysium is lurking about (though honestly that doesn't seem that exciting either). I could easily see one of these existing for every plane.

I also think it was a poor spell choice. I'd probably have done plane shift or create demiplane or something along those lines.

Bracers of Joy:

I'm not sure why being filled with joy would give me the bonuses you describe (which in and of themselves aren't all that exciting).

And then there's basically an addiction, which I don't really want in my magic items either. Sorry, that alone would make this a no-go for me, especially since you never say how I can get rid of the addiction.

Looks like you've actually self-diagnosed all of this, so good for you. Good for participating for the first time too! Next time, take a little more time -- you've got 11 months to plan now! -- and I suspect you'll have a much better item for us.

Sash of Girding Vitality:

Unfortunately, it's just a Feat in a Can. Next time, you've got to bring a little more excitement to your item. I do like that you tried to play with what happened if someone already had the feat, but it wasn't enough to overcome its shortfalls.

Harming Harp:

You say the harp wants to murder its user (indicating it's intelligent?) but also don't explain what exactly that means. Do the strings attack the user? I suspect that did indeed cost you, though I don't think it would've gotten you DQ'd right off the bat.

I don't like items that rely on skill checks -- it means they're too easy to use at high levels while much riskier at low levels.

In addition, this is kind of an SAK. I have three effects that I get to decide from -- next year, I'd suggest trying to go with something more focused.

Gloves of Life Siphoning:

You covered the mechanics of this one pretty well, and I think I actually like that it forces you to take a non-offensive action within a few rounds (though I'm not sure on the latter part of that and could have my mind changed). I think you just need to bring a little more wonder to your wondrous item. You dive right into the mechanics here and I have no idea even what these gloves look like.

The Canvas of Half-Hidden Truths:

EvilPaul, my big problem was I didn't really know what the mechanical effects of this item were. It seemed like a way to wreck my adventure's mysteries, which isn't that much fun for me as GM or, I think, for my players. Just didn't appeal to me, unfortunately.

That said, I think your template use was almost perfect. Only thing I saw was it should be Craft (painting), not Craft (paintings), I believe.

Mending Needle:

It's hard to give you a full critique without the original item, but it sounds like it's basically a spell (mending) in a can (needle). Just not exciting enough for me to vote for.

Witchfrost Heart:

Mikko, this was one of the earlier items that drew attention in my little coffee klatsch group. Like many of the winter-themed items this year, it was a strong one.

I really liked the frost affect, but was a little put off by the blood affect. Not sure if it would've bothered me if I hadn't been seeing blood item after blood item, but in this case, it did. Also, I don't know what more potent blood means. I assume blood from something with more HD but it's never made clear. It's also not clear to me what happens if you kill something that doesn't have blood. Or even what about a vampire, which isn't living but does have blood? What if something's summoned and the blood would presumably disappear with it?

Still, I voted this up more often than not (as obviously everyone else did, which is why it made the Top 89).

Amazing Aviary:

OK, need some good criticism so we get another video from Kevin...

I think I just found this of somewhat limited usage. Boiled down, it lets me summon giant eagles -- but not control them unless I can do that some other way. Now, there are some neat mechanics you could do with it -- I could certainly want this if I have a thrush familiar, since that'd make for a great surprise -- but in general, I just wasn't impressed enough to see it as a top item.

And that should be page 6 done...

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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
First off, meal men use the PRD! PFSRD is for losers! (joking {but not really [actually, just a bit]})

Double negatives kick my butt, so triple (quadruple?) negatives I'm completely unable to process.

Am I a loser, or not?

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

Clouds Without Water wrote:
Skinthief’s Fetish

Impression: This was a cool turn for skinsend. I don't think it was gory. 4th description paragraph was the turn off for me. You had a very good basic idea for an item, but it could have been fleshed out more, possibly by negating a bit of the skinsend drawback since you are using another creature's skin.

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Page 3 items.

Cloak of Duality:
There are some grammar errors and a few confusing mechanics in here (such as where the person reunites himself and who is staggered when a new counterpart is created when one dies and how many hp it has). This leads to some confusion on my part. An extra read through on this could have clarified things a lot. Neat concept though.

Obi of the Ghoul Hunter:
On the quibble side, you should have italicised your spells in the requirements section. I'm also kind of confused as to why you used heal as the basis for disruption when a much lower level cure spell could have sufficed. I like that it allows your character to keep fighting when they normally wouldn't be able to. That's very useful. Ultimately though, this is another utilitarian item as opposed to Superstar. What it does is more useful than cool.

Bowstring of Additional Might:
It took me awhile to figure this one out. It allows you to turn a magical composite bow with a Strength rating of +3 say, into anything up to a +8 Strength modifier, normally impossible. While cool, it wasn't well defined in the text, and made me wonder why I would pay 25,000 gp for a string that could break when I could have a masterwork composite bow (about 900 gp for a longbow) enchanted for so much less. The cool factor got undersold and obscured.

Motive Capacitor:
This item threw me for a bit when I first read it. This seems to a steroid injector that gets its juice from living beings. That was very weird. I'm not sure the imagery (which is very strong) is appealing to many people. That's why I voted it down as often as I did at least.

Spellvoid Mantle:
A wearable anti-magic device. That's actually kind of neat, but taking away someone's ability to cast spells actually eliminates a lot of the cool that is inherent in the game rather than adding to it. I see many a frustrated spellcaster PC when confronting a villain with this device and many a frustrated GM when trying to challenge a PC group that has one of these. Frustration is rarely fun.

Amulet of Construct Skin:
So instead of just the creator wearing the construct, this allows anyone to do so if the construct armor is available. This essentially puts battle mechs into the game. Yes they are magical mechs, but still mechs. I think that you were right in that you went too niche and into an area that has great potential for abuse. And all it does is overcome a mechanic that most people aren't even aware of. While somewhat cool in concept, this one was unlikely to ever be popular.

Stolen Tears of the Winter Witch:
I've got to admit, I really like the imagery here. Dissolve a magic snowflake on the tongue and breath out winter? Neat! Ultimately the name seems to not line up. This appears to be an item that actually needs more background than it has. The effect may or may not be damaging, and the need to read up on the effects of the severe cold is slightly detrimental. A straight up damage per round may have the better way to go.

Sea Nettle Submersible:
Yet another top 40 item for me. It was silly and odd and I loved it! travelling underwater in a giant jellyfish? That's just cool! But I think that the weird factor worked against you here. I like some oddball things if they amuse me. If this item doesn't amuse the reader, they could dismiss it as just too far out there.

Gloves of Silent Echoes:
Useful in stopping any enemy wizard's spell temporarily and (if you kill him in time) possibly permanently. But other than that, it doesn't seem to be of great practical use due to the short period of time that the spells can be held.

Gravedigger's Lantern:
An ordinary looking lantern that acts as a ghostbuster containment trap? The problem here is that it comes across as a little unoriginal. While it could be of some use, especially in undead heavy campaigns and adventures, it lacks a really dynamic cool feature to put it over the top. I don't want my gear to look run-of-the-mill; I want it to look really sweet!

Motley Gum:
Ah, my dark friend, so we do this dance one last time. This item kept kicking me in the rear throughout 5000 votes. I saw it well over two dozen times and I was conflicted about it almost every single time. In concept, it isn't half-bad: gum that gives you an attack power based on its current flavour. Very unique and highly original. But... spit of death?!?! Magical sonic spit just throws me off this item entirely. I hate to say it but in spite of the originality I always voted against this item. You've got creative chops, but this is just too far out there.

Beardforge:
Ok, mechanically this is an interesting item. That said: You have to hit your head on an anvil to get the power. Smack your head onto an ANVIL. On top of that the requisite skill was Profession (hairstyling). So for most, half your Wisdom score. There is no denying the uniqueness of the item, but even my humour acceptance only goes so far (see Motley Gum above). While this made me laugh, I just couldn't vote for it because the cool beards (which were great) could only be accessed in a somewhat ridiculous manner.

Paper Messenger:
My favorite of the communications devices, but still only a cool communication device. I like the origami angle very much. It's a very good image, but ultimately just not cool enough for Superstar as written. Maybe if it could fold itself into different shapes to deal with the different terrains it had to transverse to deliver the message, it would have been better.

Laurel of Kurgess:
This item is not bad in any sense, but it really doesn't do anything all that spectacular either. Many GMs don't even deal with fatigue on a regular basis. So this one just sits there smelling nice. If it had some other really cool looking beneficial effect you may have gotten more notice.


Battle Standard of Perilous Defiance
Aura moderate abjuration; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 21,000 gp; Weight 14 lbs.
Description
This battle standard consists of a beam of strangely luminous wood attached to a banner depicting a stylized eye with a golden teardrop falling from it. Once per day, the wielder can use a standard action to plant the standard in his own square or an adjacent one.The standard wedges itself into the ground with a loud crack of thunder (DC -15 Perception check to hear it). While planted, the standard does not occupy a square nor does it grant cover or concealment. The wielder and allies within 20’ of the standard at the time of activation gain immunity to fear effects and are treated as if they have the Diehard feat. Additionally, a lesser globe of invulnerability with a radius of 20’ is created around the battle standard. All these effects last for 7 rounds during which time the standard is immovable. The standard has AC 3, 50 hit points, hardness 20 while planted, hardness 5 while not planted, and a break DC of 32.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, bear’s endurance, heroism, lesser globe of invulnerability; Cost 10,500 gp

Thanks for any feedback.

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

Ryan. Costello wrote:
Cloak of Duality

Mechanics: A bit of rule-lawyering. Aid Another grants a numeric bonus which is a swift action when helping the counterpart. Both move and both Aid Another. This grants the white counterpart a standard action if the black counter part even attempts to attack. Move, Aid Another, and 2 attacks. Granted you have the drawback of taking double damage from AoE damage. Seems a good trade-off and the price seems appropriate.

If a counterpart dies, there is a chance the wearer replaces it?
Impression: Failure to address full round actions and the need for simpler wording throughout hurt this item.

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

Crimsen wrote:
Obi of the Ghoul Hunter

Cost: Very underpriced! Detect undead constantly in a 360 degree area is worth more than the price of your item alone, nevermind all the extra powers this item has.

Mechanics: How far does it detect undead? Why don't the requirements include monk as a creator or detect undead? Why does it boost monk AC bonus and unarmed damage & stack with monk's robes? Stacking bonuses for items (i.e. monk's robe) is generally frowned upon in PF design it seems.
Impression: I didn't like it due to poor costing, giving away class abilities, and the abuse potential.

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

Mark Aaron wrote:
Bowstring of Additional Might

Cost: You should have based it off of mundane costs. The chance it could snap drops the price even lower.

Impression: Good item for a rulebook. The 5% snapping really sucked.

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

Jared Espley wrote:
Battle Standard of Perilous Defiance

I had to review this one out of order because I really liked it. Wish I have done some implanting type bonuses for my #30 Battle Standards.

Impression: I don't understand the eye w/ teardrop symbolism (but I didn't hold it against it much). A very good item and I did grab it for my next war campaign. This item barely did not make my personal Top 32. I didn't understand why Diehard was not a requirement, but bear's endurance was.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
RonarsCorruption wrote:
Motive Capacitor

Impression: I really did not see this as a PC item due to the recharging. Evil NPC sucking the life out of others to charge it, yes. In combat, you stick the enemy with it, he turns around and sticks you with it.

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

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
P33J wrote:
Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

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.

Can you source this please? I looked up the rules on size and space on the SRD and the PFSRD and all I got was this http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/combat/space-reach-threatened-area-te mplates

Which states that "These values are typical for creatures of the indicated size. Some exceptions exist."

I'm relatively new to PF and so I don't know all of the rules, but upon searching I found this which would make me believe Caleb was ok in omitting size.

First off, meal men use the PRD! PFSRD is for losers! (joking {but not really [actually, just a bit]}) Secondly, I am more of a book person. Look in the combat chapter under "Big and Little Creatures in Combat" to see the space and then look under the "Armor Class" area to see size modifiers. It is a crowd, not a single creature, thus each crowd member would need to be hit individually I think. I am unsure, lack of specified mechanics leaves this open to interpretation, which is reason #2 this item was auto-reject for me. Which made it seem like even more of a joke item.

Maybe there should be a test on basic rules next year that should be taken before people are allowed submit items. Might cut down on the amount of poor quality items to wade through.

I was basing the crowd on rules found in the Core Rulebook under Chapter 13, in the Urban Environment section, listed with Urban Features.

Crowds wrote:


Crowds: Urban streets are often full of people going about their daily lives. In most cases, it isn’t necessary to put every 1st-level commoner on the map when a fight breaks out on the city’s main thoroughfare. Instead, just indicate which squares on the map contain crowds. If crowds see something obviously dangerous, they’ll move away at 30 feet per round at initiative count 0. It takes 2 squares of movement to enter a square with crowds. The crowds provide cover for anyone who does so, enabling a Stealth check and providing a bonus to Armor Class and on Reflex saves.

I removed the part about them fleeing from danger, but the rest fits with those rules above.

Like I said above, the reworked item will be much clearer, and I am going to just remove the whole party part of it. I thought the party would give it more flavor than just a boring crowd but I clearly went too far with it.

Yes, in a sense this is meant to be like a swarm, where there are more than just one or two people per 5 foot square. I'll post a reworked item in the Homebrew forum so people can move the discussion there.


Thanks to everyone that critiqued my item (Blightstone)

Sorry about the delay in responding, I had trouble keeping up with the speed of the thread.

Star Voter Season 6

theheadkase 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?

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.

Thanks. And yes, indeed, there do seem to be a small handful of exceptional reviewers dedicated to reviewing every single item. To these Heros of dedication, I salute you!

But clearly this Suggestion of mine doesn't really apply to them. It's more for the average reviewer who, the evidence suggests, starts to review a few items but then peters out after the first page or two. Which is entirely understandable. So once again we end up with the items on the first couple pages having Many reviews while those on the later pages have few or no reviews at all.

Star Voter Season 6

Thank you very much to everyone who has taken the time to critique my item (Orb of Aggravation), as well. You are all superstars. :)

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

Khaladon wrote:

Thanks. And yes, indeed, there do seem to be a small handful of exceptional reviewers dedicated to reviewing every single item. To these Heros of dedication, I salute you!

But clearly this Suggestion of mine doesn't really apply to them. It's more for the average reviewer who, the evidence suggests, starts to review a few items but then peters out after the first page or two. Which is entirely understandable. So once again we end up with the items on the first couple pages having Many reviews while those on the later pages have few or no reviews at all.

It'd also have helped if people numbered their items as they posted...

Star Voter Season 6

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ok I found my notes:

Mending Needle
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 11th
Slot -; Price 14,850 gp; Weight - lbs.
Description
This magic item appears as an overly large mithril sewing needle with a length that is usually between 4 to 6 inches. The needle’s enchantment has the means to fully mend a destroyed, damaged or broken item. The needle can perform this function three times a day.
To operate place the needle in or on the damaged item in question with damaged parts next to the equipment – if applicable. Speak the command word and the magic from the needle will restore the item to its previous condition. However if a magic item is destroyed - the item itself, such as a magic weapon, will be restored to its master work quality, but the magic bonuses will not return.
If the owner wishes to restore a magic item with its original benefits, they need to put the needle in or on the item and speak the command word three times. This will activate the needle to repair the item and its magical properties, but will also destroy the needle.
The mending will not work on magic items that need a wish or miracle spell for repair.
Construction
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, Empower Spell, Maximize Spell, mending, Make Whole; Cost 7,425 gp


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This thread is aggravatingly difficult to follow. :(

If anyone wants more critiques primarily on language use and flavor, or are just desperate for another review, they can message me and I'll post it here.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Prizrak wrote:

This thread is aggravatingly difficult to follow. :(

If anyone wants more critiques primarily on language use and flavor, or are just desperate for another review, they can message me and I'll post it here.

I agree. I hope our honorable message board technician overlords (praise be upon them) choose to acknowledge the suffering of our people and make something akin to the suggested subforum next year~

Another option that might have been doable this year was making one thread only for posting the items to be critiqued, and making another thread only for the critiques themselves...?

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

Page 8 items!

Badge of the Ghost Pack - On the one hand, this dances around MIAC. On the other hand, I like that it's aimed at something like a chase scene. A bit of a gamble since it's niche, but in an outdoor campaign it would be a great item. In that kind of setting, it seems cheap for the advantage it brings. I think it does what it does quite well, and I admire that it found rules to play with. A little undecided about the Badge portion of the name, I think that could be sold better.

Surcoat of Accord - Your instinct is right, it was too basic an item. Nothing wrong with it, it just needed to go bigger. Nice name.

Farsight Stone - Basic issue is that it's too common an item type. There's lots of scrying items every year. This one borders on the walkie-talkie type as well since it's two-way. Nice implementation of the idea, needs to be a more unique idea.

Dustkicker Boots - Essentially a Bonus item. The way forward would be to dig deeper into the idea of Dirty Tricks. What would be a really cool thing you could add to the concept or twist it in some way? Bonus items don't get a lot of love, but items that twist basic rules do!

Winter’s Clutch - We're going to Spell In A Handbag! Sorry. Not completely accurate, but I couldn't resist. Counts against- it's a handbag, which seems borderline silly. Name is a semi-pun. Contains bodyparts. That's all a matter of taste, though. Mechanically, a little concerned that the effect depends on having the right type of bone meal. Snow accumulation is extra bookkeeping. The basic concept is quite sound, though. I bet it was the taste things that hurt you most.

Vigilant Doorkeeper - This feels far too much like a tech item. Also, not adventury or combaty, which the contest prefers. There's maybe something in the idea, but get away from images, badges, and keyed to the system.

Spoon of Swarm Sealing - Why a spoon? I like the idea of sealing swarms with hot wax, but the Swarm Slurper was more thematically solid.

Hag’s Tooth - Evil item, ick item, which hurt with voters. I like needed a DC before it can be worn, though. Theme seems good, but alllmost SAK. The idea is good, but it needs to do more than add basic effects. Bring the mojo in the effects, not just fluff!

Sandals of the Wandering Sage - Whoa. These are cool. Nice thematic work. Walk the earth, study nature, gain power. Like it a ton. Having said that...The 5 miles requirement is supercool, but a bookkeeping headache. The study time seems short, but I don't see a practical way to make it longer.

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

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Clouds Without Water wrote:
Skinthief’s Fetish
Impression: This was a cool turn for skinsend. I don't think it was gory. 4th description paragraph was the turn off for me. You had a very good basic idea for an item, but it could have been fleshed out more, possibly by negating a bit of the skinsend drawback since you are using another creature's skin.

Thanks! That's a very good idea about toning down the drawback. Makes complete sense and I should have seen that option!

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

Here is my second set of 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.

Intellectual's Clay Pipe :

The name of this item is lukewarm to me, I like the clay pipe phrasing it has a warm solid feel, however intellectual feels slightly tacked on. This would perhaps in my opinion flow more as mahogany or some other material that is normally associated with academia, thus retaining the warm feel and linking it more strongly with both your theme and your first word. In contrast it could be “Scholar’s Clay Pipe”. All of this however is subjective opinion so please take with a grain of salt.

I like the brevity and the clean writing, it is clear and definite without being blocky or overdone.

This item has a good price point as well.

I do feel that with your obvious writing skill you only need a more creative idea, as this pipe while well presented is almost directly taken from the magic item guidelines and does not really take chances.

One quibble about usability however is that the five minute activation time makes this difficult for an adventurer to use and is perhaps more suited to NPC use.

In short this item has good writing, tight theme, good word use, mediocre title, and execution. Next year use the talent you have shown in your concise entry here and bring some true originality and the stars may be the limit.

Wings, Resplendent Battle:

I like the description and the strong word use here. I understand why you stated the title the way you have, however as you are making only one item not a linked set I feel it would have flowed better to state the title as Resplendent Battle Wings or Wings of Resplendent Battle.

This item should perhaps use a mechanic similar to boots of haste and allow for division of the rounds as a mechanical suggestion.

While both a SAK and a SIAC this item has enough flavor to in my opinion overcome both of these and show well.

I also like the drawback you have built in and can see many Paladins and LG Martial Characters of all stripes activating these and seeing it as a feature not a bug.

These make me think of a Paladin who activates the wings while jumping from a wall into a crowd of fiends to save some civilians, all the while thanking his god for the distraction the light gives.

In short I feel that these were a green monster catch, where if they had just a little more “umph” they would have cleared the wall into homerun territory.

I think you did well and will do well again next year.


Time's Tide Pendant:

I like your title and love your first sentence; it grabs the reader and draws them in. I feel that the second sentence is like a rock in rapids though, it is slightly bumpy and you may lose some readers.

The space you are playing in and your mechanics are inventive. I think you did well within your theme, however I do have a few problems with the applications of this pendant.

First and foremost is that this will allow a player to act twice consecutively, and some tables may not enjoy that, thus causing disruption.

Also I wonder after going last then first does the wearer’s initiative return to its normal place or does it stay at the top of the order?

When stealing or granting time is the initiative order affected only for one round or is the new order permanent? It reads that stealing should be only one round, however granting could be read both ways.

This also creates more work for the GM if used multiple times in a battle.

I do feel you got the price right where it should be.

In short I feel that you did what we are always told to do, you ground your bat and swung hard. I think however that due to the added work for the GM, the chance of bad feelings from “double turns” and the relative ambiguity of the initiative changes duration you fouled out.

You did however foul out just to the side of the flag, and if the hit had been just a little more straight this would have been a homerun. I would not be surprised if you went very far next year with this level of writing ability, rules grasp, and creativity.

Orator’s Torc:

Good solid name. Your description is strong but not stunning or evocative. Your second sentence seems to stumble over itself slightly with the unwieldy phrase “particularly when in front of crowds”.

The mechanics are solid and very useful. The price point is right. It seems like you have a good grasp of the rules as displayed by this item, however you should let your creative writer flow more. Your name and the descriptive text say to me that the focus of your creation here was the mechanics but that you have the ability to create flair, your focus was simply elsewhere.

The third power while mechanically well written seems almost tacked on. I would have used some words to interweave it with the rest of the item as it is thematic, however the way it is currently written it is like a non-matching door panel on a show car.

Lastly while the mechanics are well done, they are inventive in only one way and that is a way that requires GM attention. Only a small amount of GM attention by counting crowd members and not necessarily in a bad way, however it does mean the GM will have to decide the bonus this torc is granting in any situation.

I would say that if you come back next year using this level of mechanics and rules-fu, an original workspace idea, and combine it with a larger focus on the flair and flow of your fluff you have a chance of doing well.


Orb of Aggravation:

The name is cute but not very inventive. The first sentence hits me in the face with a brick wall by using “This” rather than “Orb’s of Aggravation” indicating we are addressing a singular item. The first sentence also contains no strong words, using “dull” as its most descriptive word, and the phrase “Favored by X” which is very much overused.

I would also say that given the fact the function of the object the favored by is not necessarily true. I can see almost every class wanting one of these for use against a more powerful encounter, so as to break action economy.

One standard action to cost your enemy five rounds of various debuffs or five move actions thereby depriving them of full attacks is a good deal. This is also assuming that the item is using a standard action as is usual to throw it at an enemy and therefore activate it.

The description of what the item does is fun and of good quality writing, however repeated use of the word “It” feels very repetitive.
I might suggest using Unseen Servant as the construction requirement for this item as this would assuage some people’s feelings about an item that uses a 5th level spell in its construction only costing 500 gp even as a consumable.

I can see this item being abused at levels 2-4 as well, with parties spamming them at boss encounters to trivialize the encounter.
In short I feel this item is creative but the writing needs work, as does the item balance, and the pricing due to the fact that at 500 gp this is abuseable.

Elixir of Last Will:

The name is mediocre and the first sentence jumps straight into mechanics using only the word “gray” as descriptive text. While brevity and conciseness are virtues, I do not feel you have done yourself any favors by this. I can understand you used your word count for mechanics; however a hook at the start of the item either in the name or the first sentence is important.

I like the fact that you keep a player engaged with the game even after a death/near-death, however some of your word and phrasing choices could improve. Things like changing “that comes after” to “following” and other similar streamlining.

I also would raise the price attached to this item, as at 150 gp this will always be used in a difficult encounter at low levels and at all times in mid/high levels making death substantially less likely. The problem with a higher price however is the fact that even at something like 1,000 gp per use high level characters will always use this item. It is perhaps too good.

I do think you had good instincts however, using a relatively unique effect and in an evocative way. It is just that all of your evocative text was sacrificed to make room for more rules text.

In short I would recommend leading with your best descriptive text.

Also taking a moment to think “Is this so good that it would change the balance of the game in the same way wands of Cure Light Wounds do?” is something that might be helpful.


Shroud of Certain Return:

While the name and description in the first sentence are solid, they are not explosive.

I am sure you are aware of the extra {b} code in you item and will avoid such next year.

I honestly was a little surprised at the cohesiveness of this very brief item. It seems to cover all of its bases and is well thought out. The price point feels right for a consumable that covers a relatively niche area and it is one of those items that seems to say “Why is this not in a book already?”

The writing is solid throughout with few extraneous word choices, such as “can even be” rather than “can be”.

I think that the major thing that held this item back was also its strength, that is, that it is more of a backpack item. It is something that you have just in case like a healer’s kit or climbing gear rather than an item to get excited about.

In short this item while slightly inventive was just a touch too safe. I would recommend taking your obviously firm grasp of the rules and strong writing style and combining them with a truly wild idea next year. Come up with something that you feel is a “Reach” and go for it.


Findeladlara’s Brush:

I see the tie in to Golarion with the name and theme. However, I admit I was slightly thrown by the use of a proper name in the item name. Even using a Golarion based god’s name it gives this an “artifacty” rather than a wondrous item feel.

I do love how descriptive and flavorful your first sentence is, however is does seem to indicate a specific and individual item.

I contrast this item with marvelous pigments and it fares badly however. The situations where you would need this item are rather niche and it is obviously derivative of the pigments.

In short I feel that you have a very strong writing talent, and have the ability to impart strong flavor and theme to your creations. You simply need to study the rules a bit more and create something truly unique rather than derivative.


Hunter's Geas:

I like the name, it gives an excellent start to this item.
The second thing that jumps out at me however is the fact that your item is a single dense block of text. It makes the reader want to stop reading.

The description is thorough but bland.

The powers just keep coming on this item. When I read the first power I thought “That is neat. No-one can escape the Hunter! Duhn-duhn-duh!” then I read the second and the third and the fourth and the fifth and finally the sixth…

This is definitely a SAK and could have profited from some pruning.
The tracking and flanking effects alone would have been enough with a slightly lower price tag, or you could have left the tracking option and the +1 bonus to damage rolls for around the same price.

In short the item’s theme is muddied by trying to do too much, but it shows promise with some editing. I hope you practice and prune and enter again next year as you definitively have a spark of something going on, it was just lost in the weeds.

P.S. While pricing is not a large thing, as long as you are in the ballpark, which you are generally, I would recommend with a price like yours simply rounding it to an even all zero number. For example pricing at 19,000/9,500 gp rather than 19,200/9,600 gp. This is simply personal preference however, as I feel it generally appears more orderly this way.


Garter of Hidden Fortune:

I like the name, it is solid but not excellent. I love the fact that this is a garter, details like that bring the level of design flavor I feel are truly outstanding.

The way the powers are arranged is slightly confusing but bearable. I do feel that the last power is very “and then!” rather than being an integral part of the item.

I would lose the ability to grant a bonus but keep the teleport and word arrangement.

The use throughout of strong words and description such as “frisked” rather than searched, and “timely” is good and the writing is generally strong.

You seem to have done your research on mechanics.

In short I feel that this item is one power too close to a SAK and is otherwise mechanically well done. The writing is excellent; however the mechanics are not really original or inventive. In the end this is a difficult to find extra dimensional space with good fluff.

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

Thanks, Covent. It's much appreciated. The changes in initiative were intended to be permanent -- once your count is reset, that's where it is until something changes it again (a ready/delay action or another use of the pendant).

Thanks also on the pricing. I was having a lot of trouble deciding that, since I technically didn't have spells to go by. I think it doubled over the course of development from where I first put it.

I also appreciate the foul analogy. That actually makes me feel better about it. Was almost a home run but just hooked/sliced it a bit. Hopefully I'll get another shot next year.

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

Quote:


The name of this item is lukewarm to me, I like the clay pipe phrasing it has a warm solid feel, however intellectual feels slightly tacked on. This would perhaps in my opinion flow more as mahogany or some other material that is normally associated with academia, thus retaining the warm feel and linking it more strongly with both your theme and your first word. In contrast it could be “Scholar’s Clay Pipe”. All of this however is subjective opinion so please take with a grain of salt.
I like the brevity and the clean writing, it is clear and definite without being blocky or overdone.

This item has a good price point as well.

I do feel that with your obvious writing skill you only need a more creative idea, as this pipe while well presented is almost directly taken from the magic item guidelines and does not really take chances.

One quibble about usability however is that the five minute activation time makes this difficult for an adventurer to use and is perhaps more suited to NPC use.

In short this item has good writing, tight theme, good word use, mediocre title, and execution. Next year use the talent you have shown in your concise entry here and bring some true originality and the stars may be the limit.

Thanks Coven! You hit a point I honestly hadn't considered! The name...maybe Scholarly Clay Pipe. I was trying to allude to who would have made the pipe, a wizard.

It kind of goes hand in hand with the activation, I think I fell prey to using too much of my inspiration (Gandalf smoking outside the doors of Moria). I totally imagined this as a campfire thing or a puzzle thing allowing a Fighter or Barbarian to help the wizard or Bard. Or allowing the Wizard or Bard to add to their check.

Thanks again and good points for me to consider.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Page 9 items! There were a lot of them!

Shirt of the Sprightly Harlequin - You're right that it's too basic. Essentially a bonus item. Nice description, but turn up the effects-o-meter!

Spectral Mirror - Essentially a SIAC. The description is nicely written, but it's also the common ideas of a magic mirror. I think if you get a good idea, you'll be able to write it well!

Hunter's Collar - Superstar contest doesn't like unassuming items. Make it look special! The three abilities hurt it, pick one. Take those out and you have an item book item. But the more basic issue is that it's simple effects. It's not a bad area to be playing in, but find some way to twist the existing rules, not just enable existing rules in an item.

Cauldron of Undead Spawning - Maybe too much description. Evil items have a tough time with voters. Neat idea, but can I chop one body into a bunch of pieces and get an undead for each piece? Is that the idea, an undead multiplier? 48 HD seems like a lot, but they're limited to a 300 ft range, so maybe it's not too bad. I like the extra bit about being a desecrating altar. Nice touch.

Irrisen Sacrificial Athame - Blood item, hurts with voters. Name may have eluded some. The item makes complete sense, but lacks the mojo of the top items. Would find in an item book.

Weathered Quiver - Name is a little punny. Effects are a little SAK-in-a-can. There's probably something to be done with arrows shot into the air affecting weather, though. Hmmm.

Clark Peterson - Old skool judge. Very old skool avatar is in keeping with theme. Plenty of mojo, maybe needs more Spicer writing volume bonuses.

Arc Light of Spectral Reclusion - The coolness here for me is in the idea of a light that hides creatures from other types of creatures. I bet there's a winning idea in that somewhere. 50 charges of 30 minutes each seems like a lot, but I guess if you wanted it "always on" that's a lantern a day which would be cost prohibitive. Nice atmosphere.

Deathwalker's Maiden - This isn't a bad concept, and I like the idea that they have to overcome their fear to use it. But I suspect it suffered from anti-squick voters. If there's ever another Book Of Vile Darkness, this might make it in.

Amulet of the Selfless - I'm borderline on this one. On the one hand it seems natural, and the name makes me sympathetic to its goals. On the other, it's a little makes-combat-safer. I think the final sentence is not needed, it's enough of a downside that an evil creature simply won't wear it.

Monkey’s Paw - Too much about specific locations, RPGSS items should be assumed to be widely available. Overall, too much flavor, but only a bonus item as crunch. There's probably something really cool to do with the idea of a monkey's paw!

Bones of Ill Fortune - Thematically sound, but essentially a SAK. The first power is the strongest, look for a way to enhance that with more mojo.

Constable’s Garish Vestments - Concept is logical, but not exciting. It's like a taunt item from a MMORPG. "Garish" bother me for some reason, but could be personal taste. First sentence of second paragraph needs to be tightened. My item suffered the same way- in trying to explain when it would work I ended up with a monster sentence. Better to break it up.

Necklace of Otherwordly Transmutation - Wow! That's pricy. I normally don't pay attention to price, but you got my attention here. Far too high for +1 ac and 1 point of bleed. Aside from that, though, the effects are too basic. Push the concept beyond simple bonuses! Also, maybe ran afoul of the anti-attunement contingent.

Fogsmith's Teakettle - Never saw this in voting. Wait, this is not your real item! Heh. I like the elegance of summing up the mechanics. It's got mojo. But unless I'm reading it wrong it seems superduper cost-effective in that it makes potions and such area effect? I guess the tradeoff is that you have to wait for it. I might like this item. Maybe we'll find out in a few rounds. ;-)

Pixie-Power Vest - Name is a little silly. Thinking a happy thought to fly is a little too whimsical. SAK. Reduce the number of options and make those you keep cooler.

Mother Luna’s Forgiveness - Nice name. Item is a little niche, and it removes a drawback of a condition. Maybe that works, but it needs something else to make that idea really shine.

Lantern of Souls - Your alternate name implies a slightly different item that I think I might like better. Obi-Wan-In-A-Can has some appeal.

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

You're catching up :P

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

Hey Cheapy, being a fellow person to post on Page 10, I feel your pain waiting for people to "catch up" to those of us this far along... so here's my review of...

Cheapy's Entry:

Cheapy wrote:

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,...

And what I think of...

Critique:

You get at your main problems to begin with -- there isn't much flavor that makes it a stand out and though I like the mnemonic crystal connection, its extremely obscure (I might have spent those 60 seconds waiting to vote looking it up just to know if it was even in a usable book/what it was)

That said -- I think you did something very right.

You choose to play with one of the newer mechanics (spell duels from Ultimate Magic) and it seems like a solid addition to that specific task (being in a spell duel). This is novel and something alot/no other (not sure about that) items affect much.

But then again, it also limits its versatility. And the main effect you describe seems not overly powerful for the price outside of spell duels (a mechanic I like but have never had a reason to use).

The secondary power is really cool, if sort of simple but then its kind of buried in the item. Also, it talks about unused spell slots.... do you mean spells not prepared or also prepared spells they haven't cast yet?

Finally, I like the magus connection because they are one of my favorite classes but at the same time, did they really need more reasons to be awesome ;-)

Marathon Voter Season 6

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks Lucus. I suppose I should've made it more clear that the first ability is meant to be used outside of spell duels. I think I even had that in there at one point, but thought the current text was sufficient to get that point across :)

Marathon Voter Season 6

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I suppose I should give you something to read too :)

Lucus Palosaari wrote:
Firebrand of Grandeur

I had a torch practice item over in that 9 Blazing Months thread, so I was instantly reminded of that. Overall, I think I voted for it more often than not, but it does have a few issues.

The primary effect is a DC 14 compulsion in 60 feet. But 60 foot radius is something like an area of 11309 feet. That's huge :) One of my favorite examples of just how large that is is the spell stone call. It's a 40 foot radius that does 2d6 points of damage. That's enough to kill just about any of your average commoner in the radius, and it'll make people trying to get to them have a tough time. It's the spell of choice for mage-terrorists.

The compulsion is an interesting idea, but I think it may break down in non-combat scenarios. Getting people in a 60' radius in a crowded market to JUST focus on the torch? That's pretty powerful, however it doesn't really have many in-game effects. A perhaps better way of handling this would be to give them the fascinated condition. As it is, there aren't facing rules so actively watching it is a bit of a non-start, you know? The first thirty feet are covered by the -8 Perception bit, but that's still half the torch that isn't covered.

I like the idea of placing this high above a bunch of enemies, and having them frantically try to claim it. Maybe just a barbarian tribe, or something you know will fail their saves while you will make yours.

The complete darkness part is wonky too. It's a torch that's everburning. It won't be in complete darkness, as torches ensure that doesn't happen around them unless some magical shenanigans are going on.

I do think you have the flavor in hand. It's a very evocative item (unlike mine, d'oh!)

I'm a bit concerned with the price, and I'd probably drop it a smidge. The level at which it would most likely show up is around level 9, at which point Will saves are on average +12 or +8. So it's primarily useful against low level enemies, which aren't usually that difficult. This leads me to think that it was perhaps intended for out of combat uses, as a way to set up robberies or any other shenanigans.

Also, it not ending until the command word is spoken or it's covered could kill an entire city block. People would try to get it, but if it were impossible to get...people won't stop trying to get it to do things like eat, sleep, etc. Scary!

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

Khaladon wrote:
But clearly this Suggestion of mine doesn't really apply to them. It's more for the average reviewer who, the evidence suggests, starts to review a few items but then peters out after the first page or two.

I'm looking at the task of reviewing every item in this thread as an ongoing project, honestly.

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

Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Khaladon wrote:
But clearly this Suggestion of mine doesn't really apply to them. It's more for the average reviewer who, the evidence suggests, starts to review a few items but then peters out after the first page or two.
I'm looking at the task of reviewing every item in this thread as an ongoing project, honestly.

Definitely. I'm getting through them pretty quickly, but my comments are mostly surface impressions. Some others are doing much more in depth reviews, and that just takes time.

I'm marking some to think about more later, right now my personal reason for hitting them all is to force myself to think about what I do / don't like for everything.

If anyone is looking for specific kinds of in-depth thoughts on something, let me know!

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

Thanks Cheapy, my responses are in line... after ***

Response in line:

Cheapy wrote:

I suppose I should give you something to read too :)

*** Why thank you.

Lucus Palosaari wrote:
Firebrand of Grandeur

I had a torch practice item over in that 9 Blazing Months thread, so I was instantly reminded of that.

*** I just looked at it and liked it, especially dirty trick part.

Overall, I think I voted for it more often than not, but it does have a few issues.

*** Thanks for the upvotes ;-)

The primary effect is a DC 14 compulsion in 60 feet. But 60 foot radius is something like an area of 11309 feet. That's huge :) One of my favorite examples of just how large that is is the spell stone call. It's a 40 foot radius that does 2d6 points of damage. That's enough to kill just about any of your average commoner in the radius, and it'll make people trying to get to them have a tough time. It's the spell of choice for mage-terrorists.

*** I wanted to use natural aspects of a torch... so 60' radius is standard -- at least 30' + 30'.

The compulsion is an interesting idea, but I think it may break down in non-combat scenarios. Getting people in a 60' radius in a crowded market to JUST focus on the torch? That's pretty powerful, however it doesn't really have many in-game effects. A perhaps better way of handling this would be to give them the fascinated condition. As it is, there aren't facing rules so actively watching it is a bit of a non-start, you know? The first thirty feet are covered by the -8 Perception bit, but that's still half the torch that isn't covered.

*** The point was to focus on the wielder of the torch -- I may have been partially inspired by the page in the Pathfinder Comic of Valeros jumping into to the fray of goblins and this item would have been a "attack me, not everyone else" kind of use. I did NOT want to use fascinate because it would make them all take no action -- I wanted it to let people attack that person. But yeah, since there aren't facing rules I had to add them with the -8 bit. Originally I had that stagger off... -8 for 30', -4 for 31-60', -2 for 60'+, but I didn't have the word count.

I like the idea of placing this high above a bunch of enemies, and having them frantically try to claim it. Maybe just a barbarian tribe, or something you know will fail their saves while you will make yours.

*** I had hoped my item would instantly put those kinds of uses into a players head -- and thus win some extra votes :-) I think the best Superstar items make me go "ooh I could do this, but then I could also do THIS or THAT or!!!"

The complete darkness part is wonky too. It's a torch that's everburning. It won't be in complete darkness, as torches ensure that doesn't happen around them unless some magical shenanigans are going on.

*** This is wordcount death again. Its trying to play off the effects of lighting on sources in ambient conditions. On a sunny field, the effect would be lessened, but in the dark of the underdark it would be stronger. I guess I failed to explain how that was supposed to go together. In part, the idea of how a torch can improve dim light to brighter light is what I was trying to play off of but its not a ruleset a lot of people ever think about and it takes too long to explain it in a description.

I do think you have the flavor in hand. It's a very evocative item (unlike mine, d'oh!)

*** I think I instantly saw the very practical uses of your item, which is important. I would likely want a set of these for any spellcasters I had that were into counterspelling (I occasionally use that kind of build)

I'm a bit concerned with the price, and I'd probably drop it a smidge. The level at which it would most likely show up is around level 9, at which point Will saves are on average +12 or +8. So it's primarily useful against low level enemies, which aren't usually that difficult. This leads me to think that it was perhaps intended for out of combat uses, as a way to set up robberies or any other shenanigans.

*** I wanted it for both. And I was trying to price it low, but the effects seemed too strong. I specifically tried to keep its price just to the high side of "minor wondrous item" and not quite the "medium" because it would become less useful by that point. I was keeping the DC low because it was meant for low-level fights against goblins, for instance, not taking on a group of high level mages.

Also, it not ending until the command word is spoken or it's covered could kill an entire city block. People would try to get it, but if it were impossible to get...people won't stop trying to get it to do things like eat, sleep, etc. Scary!

*** But only the truly devious would think to do that! ;-) But hey, they need to see it and they'll just build a pile of dead people to get it if need be :-)

Thank you again for the critique. It was most informative.

The Exchange Star Voter Season 6

11 pages already? Well done everyone, guess we aren't getting a subforum, but that's fine.

My item:

Reel of the River King:

Reel of the River King
Aura strong evocation; CL 13th
Slot body; Price 40,000 gp; Weight 6 lbs.
Description
This tooled and oiled leather chest harness has a large reel attached to it by a silver chain. When attached to a bow or crossbow the reel sprouts four spectral clips. When clipped to an arrow and fired it will spool out a gossamer line in its wake.

Attaching a clip to an arrow is a swift action, and reduces its normal range increment by half. The line transfers to any target the arrow strikes and is then considered a grappling weapon with the added benefit of allowing a grapple attempt on any successful strike(instead of allowing grappling only with a critical hit). Each line still attached to a target adds a cumulative +1 circumstance bonus to CMB on grapple attempts made by the user against it(maximum of +4 using all four lines).

Each line is an incorporeal object with 12 hit points, cannot be burst with a strength check, and is automatically severed if it extends 200 feet from the user. When a line is severed, which the user can do as a free action, a new clip and line appears on the reel ready for use. The silver chain attached to the reel functions as a weapon cord that can be attached or detached as a move action.

The arrow and line can also be used as a grappling arrow, using the attached line with no danger of falling, but only by the user.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, grasping hand; Cost 20,000 gp

Self-Review:

The winning Quiver of Spiderkind has very similar functionality with a better theme/flavor. I feel like my item is much more fun mechanically, but also more complicated and I also completely forgot an AC for the line.

I'm guessing a 'reel' didn't have that spark of awesome like using a spider abdomen as a quiver.

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

Twinning Glass:

I think you handled this one a little better than the other split form device. I like the idea of being able to decide which twin position you're going to end the effect on and I don't think you've broken anything in terms of allowing more actions. You seem to have caught all the caveats, but I think that does also limit the use. I can give myself flanking but I need to think how else I could take advantage of this. It does also set you up to take twice as much damage, which is a huge potential problem.

Also, I feel like it's been tried before (I remember a Top 32 item that brought in a future version of yourself, a la Marvel's Flashback character -- go Omega Flight!), so while it's a neat idea, I'm not sure it's that original.

I thought you had a solid description of the item -- I can tell what it looks like -- but it didn't really grab me and make me think, wow, this is a neat looking item.

Still, I think you're on the right track with your rules knowledge. Just look for something that's solidly yours next year and bring the same attention to detail and you should have a good chance.

Castling Gloves:

This seems incredibly similar to Joshua Murphy's charlatan's gloves last year. One of the key components of the competition (and for a freelancer in general) is being aware of what's been done before, and unfortunately, I think this was just far, far too similar.

Moving beyond that, I think you also could have described the gloves more. I'm also not sure you need to call out that the origin of your name is a chess move -- I think if you don't think people will get it, it's probably not a good choice for a name, though maybe others would disagree with me there.

Rappelling Vambraces:

Sorry, I just wasn't feeling these, though I don't quite know why. I think they just seemed too much like a grappling hook, with a little polish added on. Then, as I read further, the additional powers reminded me a lot of the batrachian helm. I think the name could have used a little work too -- rappelling makes me think safely descending a wall, while this seems to be more likely used to pull me up.

Tesseract Dust:

I forget if you had formatting in your entry, but that's obviously a big count against you.

I actually really liked the IDEA on this one -- I thought it was a lot of fun and could create some neat gaming situations. I DIDN'T like the description of the dust forming the tesseract cube, though, and I think a lot of your mechanics were lacking.

I think you'd have had a stronger entry if you'd simply said throwing the dust in the air creates a 5-foot square (as is, I don't know how big the area of effect is or what range you can create it at) around the user; anyone who tries to touch him is affected (of course, this would include allies). Also, I'm not sure if the cost is for a single pinch of dust or not, which is a problem.

Honestly, I might steal your idea behind this one since I think it could be fun.

Saddle of the Chevalier:

Unfortunately, I wasn't a fan of this item. You've got some template problems, adding in colons where none are needed. Your introductory paragraph didn't really sell me on the wonder of the item. Then getting into it, it seems a bit too focused on cavaliers (plus scales with level, which is a no-no), and just gives a feat/numerical bonuses. Finally, I'm not sure why limited wish was the spell for this one. I would've thought something dealing with horses/riding would make more sense. Sorry I couldn't be more positive about it.

Tears of the Fey:

I both voted for and against this item. Going against it is it's a SAK with a random assortment of powers. In its favor, it's got a tight theme that I appreciated. I liked the touch at the end about its effect differing based on the surface it's used on.

The Pillars Dexter:

Never saw these in my voting.

I think you nailed my biggest criticism, which is it did too much. I think the name may also have gotten you. I was expecting some sort of magic pillars. Now, once I realized pillars was the adjective, I could've looked up dexter, but it may have been too esoteric. Or, to be honest, I think the problem wasn't that dexter is too esoteric but that pillars aren't, so I started off with a wrong conclusion.

I'd also probably never put surprisingly in an item's description. That kind of screamed "I'm making an arbitrary list of what it affects" here.

Summoning Siphon:

I liked this one. There were several items this year that played with the duration of spells or tried to let you take advantage of unexpired use (the gloves of frugal healing are along the same line) so you were obviously playing in fertile territory.

You're in the Top 36, so I'm not sure how much I've got to add, but congrats. I'm sure it's a painful wait for you to see if someone didn't come through on their archetypes -- in some way I think being an alternate might be worse than not getting in at all.

Scroll Scrying Goggles:

This seemed like a decent item, but just didn't really bring enough excitement for me. You've also got an internal inconsistency. You say "Activating a scroll with the goggles’ magic takes a full-round action (or the spell's casting time, whichever is longer)" but then go on to say "The goggles do not possess enough magic to power a spell with a casting time longer than 1 round." So which is it?

Still, your template use and grasp of style look perfect.

Battle Voice Token:

As I mentioned elsewhere, Karkon, I liked this one a lot and I'm glad you've put it here for the critiques.

I think you brought a nice concept, but you need to work on the mechanics. I think if it had done something mechanically, it'd have worked a lot better. Maybe it gives some morale boost to people who can see it, expands my cavalier Order ability, maybe it allows my sonic affects to be over a much expanded range (though none of those actually seem that exciting to me) but as is it seems like more of an NPC or plot device in a clash of armies (it's certainly cinematic!) .

I also wonder what happens if I try to use it in an area where I don't have 50 feet of clearance?

I think adding color will help you as well, and work on your template as well, as you've got some problems there (no coding, some things capitalized when they don't need to be, cost in the wrong place...).

Doomstring:

Hmm. I think this may have been dismissed a bit as a joke item, even though it's not. In the 9 Blazing Months thread last year, the first thing I created was a fetching stick. It was inspired by my dog (as this seems to be inspired by your cat) and my wish that she'd actually get tired when we played fetch. It was certainly a whimsical little thing that was more for me to just play around with while practicing. Here's the thing: It actually could have been a useful magic item -- it forced canines to run after it and added some exhaustion effects, which would be great if you went up against a pack of dire wolves -- but I don't think it could ever elevate beyond its humble beginnings. I think I felt the same way about this. It's a fun idea and could certainly be useful, but I'm always going to think of a cat playing with yarn. And that just kills it for me.

Now, moving beyond that, I think your template use was really good. However, I think it's possibly underpriced by making the target flat-footed for seven rounds. I feel like my rogue would be buying lots and lots of this yarn.

Bloodthief Gem:

Isaac! True story: There was another initiative item in the contest that I thought was awfully similar to mine. After I saw it, I spent the rest of the time wondering if it was yours and we were doing really similar items again. Obviously not, though. : )

I like playing with ARG -- though I think it was tough design space, since it just feels like a really basic bonus -- but I think this may also have gotten caught up in the anti-blood sentiments. I know I was frustrated by that -- even if this certainly isn't explicit about it -- and probably let it weigh against items like yours when it was up against even competition. I also kind of wondered how would my character know what racial traits a target had. Does she get to pick the trait or is it random?

And that's page 7 (Isaac, I'm starting to fall asleep, so if you want more details on your item, please ask. I debated just waiting until morning but wanted to get the page done).

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Clouds Without Water wrote:

Page 9 items! There were a lot of them!

Irrisen Sacrificial Athame - Blood item, hurts with voters. Name may have eluded some. The item makes complete sense, but lacks the mojo of the top items. Would find in an item book.

Thanks for the feedback...

Technically, my Irrisen Sacrificial Athame wasn't a blood item, the cut leaves a scar. No blood. Creepy yes, but no blood. I ran long on wordcount otherwise the blade would have been solidified ice, and the cut would have been frostbitten.

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

Here is my third set of 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.

Ointment of Last Sight:

I like it, the writing and description of this item while not the absolute best are still incredibly solid and strongly past the professional line in my opinion.

The item does a useful and interesting function in a classical way, reminding me of Rowan ointment from Celtic mythology.

I do however feel that the rules and limits on the uses of this ointment were intentionally left vague as to what information can be gained. This was most likely done to allow for GM freedom.

This will in the end cause problems due to the fact every time the item is used you have the possibility of player dissatisfaction due to “Fiat”.

I believe your rules grasp is fine as you are clear enough on your limits for what information may be gained via divination spells, you simply deliberately left the information gained otherwise vague.

The other problem is this is an item that will create more work for the GM. It is available substantially before such things as legend lore, and if used on an important plot point could eliminate mystery from the plot or force a GM to use the all hated “Fiat” to prevent such, therefore making players feel a loss in monetary wealth and agency.

Conversely if this item is used on an item that is tangential, then the GM has the choice of either on the spot coming up with a set of information that makes the using of this item “Worthwhile” or running the risk of seeming to deny players knowledge they feel they have earned.

In short, this item while well designed could have benefited by a more firm writing of its limitations. As well it could have gained something from adding a portion to address the GM work area, which could be difficult. I feel that you do have talent and can with this in mind go far next year.

Tabard of Cunning Tactics:

The name is solid but not exemplary. The descriptive text is good but could have been slightly more general so as to allow for player customization. The phrase “the images seem to come alive” could in my opinion benefit from being rewritten as something more action oriented such as “the images wrought upon this tabard seem to come alive.”

I like the idea of tying this tabard to teamwork, but believe that making it specific to one feat is perhaps too niche. An idea could have been making it apply to teamwork feats as a group in some way rather than to a single specific feat that is often not taken by pure melee builds.

Now if your intention is to help out non-damage based melee builds by giving them a boost in utility/power this could work but I am of the opinion that item fixes for game imbalances are not generally a good idea. You end up with items like gloves of dueling.

The second power feels over complicated and makes the item seem in my opinion “busy”. I would say that either the first or second power would be enough for this items feel.

As to the pricing I believe with both powers you have it about right but with either power alone you might have been able to offer this at a more attractive price such as 10-11 thousand gp.

In short the writing was good but while imaginative on the first power the application seems narrow and the item seems to be carrying too much. You have a solid talent that has been applied it is obvious, perhaps this item is a victim of the editing process.

Chalice of Communal Dweomer:

This item has a respectable name.

It seems to be entirely derivative though. It is the “Share Spells” ability for potions. It immediately makes me think that this is something a player would come up with when they want to “steal” a class ability and put it in a can.

While your mechanics are solid, they are yet again simply copy paste from class abilities and there is nothing to be particularly excited about.

The descriptive text is short and rather abrupt, leaving me without a coherent feel to the item except the idea of a clunky iron cup.

I would say that next year try for something less safe.

Vest of Mongrelkind:

Your item has a strong name and a well written set of descriptive text.
The first paragraph describing the bonus to disguise and the UMD bonus is very well done and fits incredibly well thematically.

The second paragraph runs into several problems however.

This item requires players to play with a specific book and sub-system beyond core that may or may not be in a specific game.

This creates more GM work as well, due to having to make sure that to keep in mind the fact that any player with one of these has access to any 1 RP racial trait after a 24 hour wait.

I would recommend only allowing a small list of traits available to be gained in the text or having a specific trait in each vest such as the skills tied to Int headbands.

At 9,000 gp for a +2 to will saves or other powers from a laundry list of abilities it may be slightly too flexible for its price.

It is very inventive and is trying for the big hit however.

In short I feel that you tried for the grand slam but the addition of a new subsystem and the over flexibility of this item made this into a outfield catch.

You are definitively a strong competitor and I believe will do very well next year.

First Light:

I love your item name, it echos in my mind and stirs up images of powerful charges at dawn or a final desperate surge of power from inside the soul of a doomed celestial.

Reading the rest of your item is like reading a power point presentation however. It honestly reads like bullet points, and I can feel the square edges of the boxes that define each line.

The descriptive text while solid feels like boilerplate applied *here* to fulfill criteria.

The powers come *tick*, *tick*, *tick* in line as listed.

While your grasp of the rules is very good it has made this flavorful item almost mechanical.

Perhaps it is that you list a summary of the items powers trying to define it, but it leaves me with the obvious realization that this is a SAK trying to stick to a theme.

The big payoff in the last power is also overly complicated with needing four rolls every time it is used.

The pricing also seems slightly high as unless you are specifically hunting undead I would rather spend 5k more and buy a +5 weapon.

In short, cut the second line completely, I feel this will improve your item. Also try to weave the ideas tighter so they flow rather than line up like blocks.

Shadow Sentry:

The writing here is good and the name is actually quite well done.

This is an item however which while showing your ability to put together existing effects does not do a lot that is new or original.
Further this is one of those items that seeks to make the adventurer “safer” and thus more like modern day camping.

I can defiantly see this item being made and used but it is the magical equivalent of a home security system and in all honesty there are not a lot of people who say “Wow! That security system is awesome and so original!”

This item also steps on the toes of spells like guards and wards or alarm itself.

So it is a SIAC.

Lastly your pricing is in my opinion a bit too high for this item. I do not see an adventurer buying this over a +3 cloak of resistance or a +2 weapon.

Perhaps a cost more in line with six or seven thousand gp would be appropriate. Basically it is a good idea to compare your item with other items available at that price and see if anyone would even consider buying it there.

Please do not let any of this discourage you! You show a decent rules grasp and a good mind for organization with this item. Most importantly you show good creative writing even if your mechanics are a bit pedestrian. I would encourage you to let your mind roam beyond existing effects and try again next year.

In short good attempt, but it is clear that you were playing it safe here and trying for a single, double at most. Next year swing for the fences and bring home that pennant!

Tempest Regalia:

The name is excellent, and your descriptive text grasps the reader, this is very well done.

This item has a laundry list of powers and is with no question a SAK, but you have smoothed the edges enough that it is almost not noticeable.

I like the slot for an ioun stone, but it is not terribly inventive, not is the skill check bonus or the caster level bonus.

The windstorm effect is your big payout and is fun and relatively novel, but in my opinion does not justify the price.

The drawbacks of the windstorm to the user of the regalia are rather severe.

The last sentence is also superfluous, as the regalia does not grant the ability to generate electricity, perhaps it is a remaint from an earlier iteration?

If not then it is a cosmetic power usable only by those who already have a different ability making the list of the regalia’s abilities even larger with no significant return.

In short excellent name, great writing, very solid thematics and cinematics, good rules-fu, but too many nickel and dime abilities with only one large use that hurts the wearer as much as helps, along with most abilities being rather non-original means that all you are truly missing is an original mechanical idea. Come back next year with a creative idea as good as your creative writing and you may do well.

Tablet of Heretical Lore:

Good name, solid theme and good descriptive text.

The mechanics of this item are rather solidly done as well.

I only have a few suggestions here.

First perhaps a set of these defined as lesser (1-3), standard (4-6) , and greater (7-9)? Just a thought as your current idea works and is interesting, but perhaps slightly underpriced for higher level spells when compared to page of spell knowledge.

Speaking of page of spell knowledge this item is close to it but different enough from both it and pearls of power that I feel it is not derivative.

Fluff wise in game I can see some divine casters having a problem with this item, and I can see some loving it, so it is something in my opinion to watch, but this in my opinion only adds not detracts from its lure.

In short I feel this item is well done and inventive, my advice would be to try again next year at this level of ability and best of luck to you.

*Happy First Page Done Dance Here*

p.s.:

Explosive runes! :- )

Amulet of Amended Strategy:

The name is ok and the descriptive text while illuminating does not seem to tie this item into any strong theme. This could just as easily have been any other physical form such as a set of boots or a tabard or even a slot-less item.

The items effect is definitively a meta-game/player use effect. I can defiantly see a player wanting this after declaring a readied action that did not work out, however I struggle to see a PC honestly going to look for this item.

It does do something inventive with readied actions but in my opinion breaks the fourth wall too much and disinvests a PC of dramatis, making said PC more of a chess piece.

In short, decent name, weak theme, player driven item that meta-games hard to grant advantage to a player instead of a PC. I would recommend working on an item with a stronger theme next year and asking yourself “Why would a PC buy this?” rather than “Why would a player buy this?”.

Circlet of Malevolent Eyes:

Love the name and the description. The rules text is both vague and complex however and will require some adjudication from the GM.

The rules text is also slightly clunky at points with phrase such as “The rate of transfer is 2 points per 1 point of bonus gain”.

I can see that you tried to add a second power so as to not limit this to ranger only but it feels tacked on and underpowered for the price.

I also wonder what I get from this item that I do not get from a wand of Instant Enemy except the ability to activate it as a move action and then have to wait as it changes over?

I see where stacking the bonus could be nice after several rounds of waiting if the creature was already a favored enemy type but not your greatest favored enemy bonus, however for the price of this item I can get a wand of Instant Enemy that acts right away and has 31 uses before expiration.

In short it is an item that a ranger may consider if they don’t want anything else and they happen to have the money. Next year try perhaps for something with a broader base of appeal and a more ambitious effect as I feel from your writing you have the ability, you just bunted unintentionally.

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