Official 2013 "Critique my item" thread


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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

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Page 10 items!

The file I'm saving these in is called "mojo risin". I must be getting tired.

Wheel Caps of the Geist March - Never saw this while voting. The name is a little unwieldy. I wonder if voters thought it reminded them of real-world blingy hubcaps from the description. The fog effect is kind of neat, but ultimately minor. This item provides a nice atmosphere (thinking of old silent movie The Phantom Carriage, or the carriage in Dracula), but I don't think judges and voters go for items that are primarily atmospheric.

Chiaroscuro Astrarium - This was one of my favorite item names while voting. It made me happy every time I read it. I loved the item itself, particularly creating a ball of Dark Tapestry. I think it may have been too niche, sadly. Also, probably could drop the bit about scaling, just assume that it scales as necessary. Torn on the item only describing the universe to the extent the creator knew it. I see why it's that way, but a bit of a headache for the GM. The best parts of your writing are quite good. And I just like the image of an "illusory orrerry formed of starlight"

Firebrand of Grandeur - AOE taunt item. The phrase "erratic cacophony of flares" is a little awkward, but I do see this is one loud torch with the -8 to hearing checks. It's a little confusing seeing how this works. I think it's all explained eventually, but the text could be better organized. If I'm reading it all correctly, the user must continue to hold the torch, no? There should be some direct mention of that, along with possible downsides. Clean up the explanations and it might be a item-book-item.

CORPSE COFFER - The basic idea is good, but it's really just its basic idea. Last sentence isn't needed. It's a logical item, makes sense it exists in the world. But it's a little too utilitarian and needs the mojo twist.

Spirit Glass - Some good ideas here. I like imbuing people via reflection. I like that it expires when you hit sunlight. But there were a few spirit related mirrors this year (and every year), so it probably got lost in that. Probably an area to avoid unless you have something over the top amazing to do with it. Also, just imbuing with ghost touch doesn't seem like enough. And 10 uses per day is effectively unlimited.

Gnomish Humming Spanner - Basically a bonus item. Looking at tools as an underserved area was a good instinct. But it also makes it a little niche. Why does it make noise?

Record of the Fallen - Provides fine utility and I'm surprised we don't see more books in the contest. It does somehow fall a little short of what I'd want to see based on the name. I want something memorializing the fallen, but this is a way to cart around a bunch of dead people. Also, highly exploitable depending on who you keep in there.

Mantle of Terror - Name could use more oomph. I like that it the power depends on people being in a fear condition. There's a certain kind of NPC that would work very well for. Unfortunately, I don't think many PCs would want this evilevil item.

Gloves of the Eldritch Duelist - Kind of fun. Thematically coherent. Nothing really wrong with it, it's just niche. I generally voted for it, but it does need some excitement added.

Redeemer’s Sash - Multi slot options probably would have killed you with judges. That reduces hard equipping choices for the player. The mechanic is fine, but the fluff around it is a little wonky. Why does a sash absorb and then transfer damage? Seems like there would be a much more natural fit of item flavor for the mechanic.

Pacifier Manacles - Manacles didn't seem as common this year as in previous years. That said, the ultimate effect of these is a pretty common concept. I do like the flavor of how it accomplishes that, though. Put that kind of flavor into a unique concept and you'll do well!

Spectral Saddle - I like the flavor, and I like the 13 rounds touch. But it's sadly SIAC. :-(

Hand of Eternal Remorse - I didn't know unctuous also meant "greasy or soapy". Learn something new every day. Fireball poison isn't interesting, but the part about affecting a communities crime modifier and danger value very much is. I'd have focused on that. Maybe still too niche and this particular approach is evilevil, so you might lose votes anyway, but it would be much more interesting. I think there's something in that concept somewhere.

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

Jeffrey C Pettengill wrote:


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.

SAK = Swiss Army Knife. Like a swiss army knife, it's an item that does a lot of little things. Lots of utility but lacks focus, in other words.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

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This is hard this year because many of these items I am seeing for the first time. It's hard for me to give you a critique of an item I am reading here and considering. It's just different than the gestalt review I give to an item in the judges chambers when I am reviewing 1000 items. Using voters to trim the field has changed inherently the process of how items get kept. Not sure how that will affect the value of this process.

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

Clark Peterson wrote:
This is hard this year because many of these items I am seeing for the first time. It's hard for me to give you a critique of an item I am reading here and considering. It's just different than the gestalt review I give to an item in the judges chambers when I am reviewing 1000 items. Using voters to trim the field has changed inherently the process of how items get kept. Not sure how that will affect the value of this process.

I thank you for even attempting it.

I am trying to critique each item and in all honesty it is a lot of work. I appreciate the fact that you have been doing this for years.

I do think that writing these critiques is helping me improve my own writing/editing so it is I admit not entirely a selfless process for me.

On a linked selfish note I can speak for myself if not for other entrants that critique from a judge positive or negative holds weight beyond a regular contestants and also serves as a vindication for your entry win or lose. This is just my feeling of course.

Basically thank you again knowing you are even looking means a lot to me at least and I believe to quite a few of us.

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

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Clark Peterson wrote:
This is hard this year because many of these items I am seeing for the first time. It's hard for me to give you a critique of an item I am reading here and considering. It's just different than the gestalt review I give to an item in the judges chambers when I am reviewing 1000 items. Using voters to trim the field has changed inherently the process of how items get kept. Not sure how that will affect the value of this process.

Feedback from the selection panel is one of the most important for guiding us to think and aim for what potential employers are looking for. You can't put a price on that - your reviews have always been insightful and direct to the nub of an items issues.

We all appreciate any feedback provided by yourself and other judges and totally support and understand if this year you can but cherry pick on items with design facets you feel are worth pointing out.

In advance of such, many thanks for looking in.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

While the iron is hot, mine too please

Monastic Sheathe
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 8th
Slot -; Price 5,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
These long wrappings feature select calligraphy designs that are intended to still and focus the mind. They commonly see use by wandering monks who make due without the guiding influence of a monastery and the weapons familiar to a monk. By wrapping a melee weapon in the wrappings while meditating or resting to regain ki, the wrappings harden into a sheathe or holster as appropriate for the weapon. When the weapon is drawn from this sheathe the wrappings soften again and the weapon gains the monk special weapon quality, meaning it can be used by a monk to perform a flurry of blows, for 10 minutes. If the weapon is a ki focus weapon, then the duration is 1 hour instead and the weapon grants a +1 insight bonus to attacks and combat maneuvers during this time. If the weapon is a ki intensifying weapon, then the duration is 8 hours instead and the weapon grants a +2 insight bonus to attacks and combat maneuvers during this time.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, creator must be a monk; Cost 2,500 gp


Woodengolem has taken me up on my offer:

Clockwork Heart:

Clockwork Heart
Aura faint necromancy; CL 7th
Slot--; Price 4,250gp; Weight 2lbs
Description
A brass and copper heart replica filled with intricate clockwork bearing a polished faceplate with a keyhole. When placed on the chest of a creature who has died within the last 24 hours a small bone key will grow from inside the lock and detach. If wound the item will begin to pump and sink into the creature's chest destroying its original heart. 1d4 rounds later they revive at half their maximum hit points. The faceplate remains on the chest of the creature revived. Once a day the bone key must be used to wind the mechanism. Every hour after twenty four the key is not wound the revived creature loses one point of Constitution. Once they reach zero constitution they become a zombie with hit die equal to their level. A creature revived by a Clockwork Heart cannot be revived again without removing the device. A Clockwork Heart can be removed with Restoration (treat as a negative level) destroying the heart and ending the effect. True resurrection or wish takes away the need to first remove the item.
For the purposes of all detection spells while a Clockwork Heart is active the creature is a Lawful Evil Undead. This does not grant any effects of the undead type or shift their alignment for purposes of other magical items or class abilities. When viewed using spells with the scrying descriptor the creature appears as a zombie with the Clockwork Heart whirring in it's chest. Channel Positive/Negative Energy affect the character as normal for type with a 25% chance the creature becomes Sickened for 1d2 rounds due to the interacting energy.
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, gentle repose, animate dead, 5 ranks Craft (Clockwork); Cost 2,125

my review:

First I'll get the nitpicks out of the way: the name of the item shouldn't be capitalized in the description, and neither should Sickened. Your first sentence is incomplete; you should add "This is" to the beginning, or (better) work the description of the item into the instructions for use (e.g. "When this brass and copper heart is placed on the chest…"). I believe the updated standard for no-slot items is now "none" instead of "--".

On to the more useful general critique. I like the idea and flavor quite a bit, although some people may have been put off by your use of two controversial topics: how steampunk pathfinder should be, and how difficult resurrection should be. There's something to be said for a confident stride onto dangerous territory, but it's something to think about when you're trying to win a popular vote. Personally, I think the flavor (a mechanical heart that grants life) and the design niche (a cheaper and easier way to raise dead with drawbacks) are both great and I'd love to use it in a campaign. What's particularly clever is that the item costs a little over 4k, the restoration spell necessary for a subsequent resurrection costs 1k in components, and a raise dead spell costs 5k in components. So you could make them yourself (trading time, a feat, and 5 skill ranks for a significant discount on raise dead), or you can use it to gain access to raise dead earlier than you normally would by "borrowing" the extra cost from your future party (when you next die and need to pay for restoration). (And of course if your party has no cleric you save on hiring one as welll.) I like it even more now that I noticed that.

The main problem I see is that the mechanics are trying to do too much. All this needed to be was a cheaper and very flavorful raise dead with drawbacks, but the drawbacks need to be simplified. The winding/Constitution rules and the false positive result for undead are great top-down design (start with flavor, simulate it with mechanics), but they take up so much space and complexity that they bury the coolness of the item in a wall of rules text. The interaction with positive and negative energy adds even more, and in my opinion requires way too much bookkeeping (1.25 die rolls per channel) and is unnecessary to boot. I would love this item with the channel rule deleted and the first drawback changed to a simple "wind 1/day or die".



If anyone else wants a critique from someone who didn't even hit the top 89, please send me a message and I'll post the review here. ;D

But seriously, I hope you found the review useful, Woodengolem.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

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I'm first going to give feedback for the top 89 that didn't make it that have requested feedback. I think that might be most helpful. Not till tomorrow night, though. I've been finishing up archetypes :)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Jacob W. Michaels and Clouds Without Water, big thanks to you for commenting on my item! Very useful comments. I'll review your items to return the favor. I didn't read any other comments on your items, so apologies for overlapping comments. I hope the comments are useful and do not seem too harsh. (Should anyone else want comments on their item, just review mine and I'll review yours.)

Jacob, you're up first.

Name: Time's Tide Pendant is an excellent name! I think it's both informative and evocative. Just like tidal waters, time flows back and forth. It fits the flavor and mechanics of the item very well. One of the best names I saw during voting. 5/5

Flavor: The description is very evocative, just like the name. I like. 5/5

Mechanics: I think moving init up and down is a bit too metagamey. Init is, after all, just a way of determining the order in which the combatants act. For the combatants, there is no "end of round". All durations are based on the creatures' individual init counts, so usually nothing special happens at the end of round in PF. Your item changes that; suddenly these arbitrary points in time (from the characters' point of view) become significant. Also, although your entry was easy to read and understand, changing init counts can get very confusing at the table.

Not using any spells in the Requirements is a bit risky. I don't know if there are any precedents, but I wouldn't go there. Voters may ding you for that kind of things whether your decision was justifiable or not. 2.5/5

Mojo: Time warping has been a very common theme throughout all these years of RPGSS, so it's a risky choice. You approached the theme from a new angle, though, which I like. 3/5

Formatting: Looks good. 5/5

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Clouds Without Water wrote:

Page 9 items! There were a lot of them!

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!

Thank you :)


And here's the second requested review for nate lange:

vest of mongrelkind:

(note -- I'm responsible for destroying the html tags, not nate)
Vest of Mongrelkind 
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th 
Slot chest; Price 9,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description 
This sturdy vest is quilted from a wide variety of different fabrics and grants its wearer the benefits of a diverse racial heritage. Its wearer suffers no penalty to Disguise checks for impersonating another race, and gains a +5 competence bonus on Use Magic Device checks to emulate a race. The vest also allows the wearer to attempt such checks untrained.
After 24 hours of use, the Vest of Mongrelkind grants its wearer an additional racial trait. The wearer can choose one standard trait available to humanoids with a cost of 1 race point. Traits which require another trait as a prerequisite cannot be selected but all other prerequisites can be ignored. Once the trait is selected it remains in effect as long as the vest is worn. The wearer can select a new trait by removing the vest and putting it back on, then waiting the 24 hours again.
Construction 
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, polymorph; Cost 4,500 gp

my review:

I like the name and that you're trying to find a thematic way to break the rules, which is what wondrous items are good at. Unfortunately the mechanics of this item don't excite me at all. Bonus to skills (or removing a penalty) and using skills untrained are the easiest benefits to think of; they're fine if the item needs a little extra push, but they're not the main point you'll be judged on, so I don't think I need to discuss them.

As for the main ability, I have three beefs with it:
1) I have to wear this vest continually to get its benefit without wasting a day reattuning? I am going to have a real awkward time swimming, attending formal balls, and having sexytimes. Also, it's awkward that I have to wear an unusual article of clothing in order to get a Disguise bonus.

2) Having trouble seeing why I would buy an item that gives +2 to Will saves instead of spending my 9k on a cloak of resistance +4 with enough left over for a crazy party. I wouldn't normally deduct points for pricing mistakes, but I'm not sure the minor racial trait bonuses are ever going to excite me enough to spend money on them. The flexibility of changing it would be one reason to pick this item over another, but the attunement period makes that less useful.

3) An item that makes me look up a list of traits and find the ones that cost a certain amount and don't have certain prerequisites feels way too metagamey. You're between a rock and a hard place – I don't think you can use racial traits as design space without resorting to something like this – and unfortunately I don't have the design chops myself to give you a solution to that problem. You chose a difficult area of the rules to build off, and there's no shame in not surpassing a high bar. Next time you might want to build several items (of course, you may have done this for all I know) and get some feedback on them before you choose which to submit. It's easy to get attached to an idea regardless of how difficult it is to implement.



Message me if you would like a review, and feel free to include specific questions, or not to.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

And CWW's Skinthief's Fetish:

Name: It's quite informative (though at first I thought it might have something to do with the particularly nasty breed of fey called skinstealers). It is certainly more evocative/magical than something like stone of skinsending would be. But it could still be sexier. Unfortunately I cannot think of anything better right now... Names are tough. 3.5/5

Flavor: The description is appropriately creepy for something that removes the skin of a creature. I'm all for evocative flavor, so I would have liked something more cinematic for such a gruesome effect. E.g. "with a wet, ripping sound, the skin tears itself free of the flesh". Eww. Though of course, a lot of people were already quite disgusted. :D But next year, if you write something a little less gory, I recommend adding one sentence of cinematics. 3/5

Mechanics: I see no problems with the mechanics. But it is a relatively safe design, so I cannot award you full 5 points. Killing the user if the skin dies is pretty harsh, but it doesn't bother me. 4/5

Mojo: Basically a SIAC like you said. But you changed the spell in a clever way, props for that. Still, I think it needs a bit more than that. My own entry was also a "SIAC with a twist", so what we both need is a more unique effect. 2.5/5

Formatting: "animate dead, lesser" should probably be "lesser animate dead" because now it looks as though it's two separate spells. Other than that, perfect. 4.5/5

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

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Maybe this thread can help sort things out in this thread. I might GDoc it so I can update the associated reviews, but I have to fall over dead now. XD

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Mikko Kallio wrote:
Not using any spells in the Requirements is a bit risky. I don't know if there are any precedents, but I wouldn't go there. Voters may ding you for that kind of things whether your decision was justifiable or not. 2.5/5

There are several published items without spells in the Requirements. Most monk items, for example.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

Clockwork Heart
I bet you are going to get a lot of s#~% for making a steampunky item. I think that the imagery is one of the strengths of this item. My problems have to do with following the theme a little bit too far in the name of flavor. The drawback is necessary given the cost of the item vs. the cost of a proper resurrection. I am leery of the price right off the bat though because resurrection is one of those things in the game, like flight or blindsight which is supposed to only really be available above a certain level (in this case about 9th). The only real exception to this is resurrection and that comes with significant drawbacks and is also a legacy of previous editions. The drawback as written is thematic and relatively tightly written from a mechanical standpoint but I still don't really like the wonking up of divination. It seems to be a bit of a plot item ("oh f&#$, where did my bone key go!?") also, which does not help you out. Lastly the skill ranks in the requirements seem to only be there to reinforce the mechanical flavor. Get rid of them.

Verdict: Great theme and imagery. The gating of certain abilities by level is in the game for a reason, so consider that in the future. A bit of a plot item in any case.

Record of the Fallen
It is a book which eats corpses. It does other stuff once the body is in the book, but all I am going to be using this item for is transporting the bodies of party members to a raise and cleaning up after some of the more flagrant homicide that the party might commit. This seems like a plot item to me ("we need to find the record of the long dead king so that we can commune with/raise him") and I honestly don't see what everyone seen to have seen in it aside from the fact that it is extremely well executed.

Verdict: I consistently voted against this when it was up against any serious competition and I don't think it deserves to be top 89. Sorry to be harsh.

Mending Needle
I freely admit that some of my dislike of a few other needle based mending items spilled over onto yours. This was the best of them. It is really overcosted though for being basically a second level SIAK. Also what are all those metamagic feats doing in the construction requirements? Get rid of them. Mending and make whole strike me as redundant as well, especially since mending is 0-level. It is a little trivial here.

Verdict: It's a SIAK but not a terrible one. Has other significant issues though.

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

The aura of metamagic rods is no school though. I agree that necromancy is the correct aura for this item, but you need a necromancy spell in the requirements to have the aura. This is also one of the few times I am going to be able to justify having other feats in the requirements.

The Exchange

Erastil’s Footprints
Aura faint transmutation; CL 5th
Slot feet; Price 8,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
The owner of these boots will never walk on barren ground, no matter how far they venture from the wilderness. Erastil's footprints constantly emit wild growth, causing small grasses to sprout and flower on any ground they stand on.
The boots can release a surge of growth three times per day on activation. This surge can be a gradual or sudden. With a gradual surge, until the end of the turn any square the owner enters on foot erupts with plant life and becomes undergrowth. With a sudden surge, the square they stand in instantly becomes heavy undergrowth.
Growth created by Erastil's footprints lives for a minute before withering. The remains are benign but conspicuous, granting a +5 bonus on attempts to track the owner.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, plant growth; Cost 4,000 gp

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

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Clark Peterson wrote:
I'm first going to give feedback for the top 89 that didn't make it that have requested feedback. I think that might be most helpful. Not till tomorrow night, though. I've been finishing up archetypes :)

Uh oh... A smiley face! What can it mean?!? Can't wait to see them tonight. Begins the anticipation dance

Clark, will you be starting a new thread for your reviews?

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Review: Erastil's Footprints
(Just my opinion.) The item is mechanically sound, appropriately formatted and adequately priced. Where it falls short is in the wow-factor; to me there are not many use scenarios for this item - specifically it doesn't create a new class of character concept or a new range of character builds that can echo of this item. Instead it "steals" a bit of thunder from existing monsters and concepts who's thematic imagery is verdant plant growth. In summary, I think it is an adequate item that wouldn't be misplaced in Ultimate Equipment 2 - but its not breaking ground.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8 aka OgeXam

Immaculate Raiment
Aura faint conjuration and transmutation CL 3rd
Slot body; Price 4,800 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
This outfit is always clean and in perfect condition. While worn, any stains are removed and damage is repaired instantly. This outfit keeps the wearer and all worn and carried items spotless. Wounds seal up and blood and dirt are cleaned away. Armor, weapons and all equipment are kept clean and in good repair.

As a full round action the wearer of this outfit may change the look and function of this outfit to any combination of clothing with a total value of 75 gp or less.

The wearer of this outfit is affected by a stabilize spell if the wearer’s hit points drop below 0. The outfit cleans so quickly that anything sticky is instantly removed, making the wearer immune to effects that rely on stickiness to function (e.g. tanglefoot bag). Items worn or carried by the wearer are repaired every round, as if affected by the mending spell. If an item is destroyed (has 0 hit points or less), it is no longer repaired by this outfit.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, stabilize, mending, prestidigitation, creator must have 5 ranks in the Craft (clothing) skill; Cost 2,400 gp

Star Voter Season 6

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:


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.

Thank you very much for the critique, Jacob. It is incredibly helpful. You pointed out some really valuable things for me to keep in mind for future designs.

Sincerely,

Jeff.

Star Voter Season 6

Clouds Without Water wrote:
Jeffrey C Pettengill wrote:


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.

SAK = Swiss Army Knife. Like a swiss army knife, it's an item that does a lot of little things. Lots of utility but lacks focus, in other words.

Thank you very much for the explanation, Clouds Without Water. It is very helpful.

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

Jeff, not sure if you've seen it, but you may want to take a look at Sean's consolidated advice thread. It's where acronyms like SAK and SIAC come from, but also has a wealth of other advice that many of us look to when considering items.

Mikko Kallio wrote:

Name: Time's Tide Pendant is an excellent name! I think it's both informative and evocative. Just like tidal waters, time flows back and forth. It fits the flavor and mechanics of the item very well. One of the best names I saw during voting. 5/5

Thanks. I really struggled with the name on this one -- for a long time it was the momentary pendant, even though I didn't really like that, and I had a list of other names and words that just didn't quite fit for me. The tide metaphor finally came to me in the car and it was all I could do to not pull over and jot it down. I thought with the ebb and flow lead in that it worked perfectly.

As for the rest, I think you nailed it on the head. The risks just didn't pay off this time around.

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

Thanks for the review! I think in a way your review comes closest to what I worried about when I submitted it, that it was maybe a little too safe and needed more.

You're the only reviewer who wanted more gore, though! I considered it, actually.

Mikko Kallio wrote:

And CWW's Skinthief's Fetish:

Formatting: "animate dead, lesser" should probably be "lesser animate dead" because now it looks as though it's two separate spells. Other than that, perfect. 4.5/5

I wasn't sure how to format that. I found examples of both ways. I left italics on for the comma, but of course you can't tell that. I do think "lesser animate dead" is much more clear, I probably should have went with that.

Lantern Lodge Star Voter Season 6

Clouds Without Water wrote:
"Redeemer’s Sash - Multi slot options probably would have killed you with judges. That reduces hard equipping choices for the player. The mechanic is fine, but the fluff around it is a little wonky. Why does a sash absorb and then transfer damage? Seems like there would be a much more natural fit of item flavor for the mechanic."

Thank you very much for your review, Cloud. I figured the multi-slot was one of the things that may have gotten me and I tweaked the fluff a bit because the effect was meant to be that of a defender-type, taking the hits for his allies instead.

In retrospect, it may not have be the best idea. Especially given I tweaked it from initially absorbing the damage via the sash itself as opposed to transferring it to the wearer. I also feel as if the scaling damage absorption may have been a problem.

Regardless, thank you for reviewing my item.

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

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

Here goes. I quite liked my item, but obviously was the only one, since no one's mentioned it yet at all (other than Eric's Big List o' Items).

I'm guessing the time theme threw some people (I knew it could be risky, though I thought it was really more fluff for something dealing with initiative) and maybe the mechanics were a bit confusing?

Time's Tide Pendant

Maybe I was too nit picky on your item, I read it as act twice in a row (last and first) which I didn't like but for this item's cost maybe wasn't to bad. I didn't see it a lot but it did get some votes from me (over some of the winners).

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

Saint Caleth wrote:
Spellvoid Mantle

Cost: I puzzled a bit on the costing of this item. It was really hard to do. But I think I eventually decided your price was a little too high (by about 17k) after comparing to other items.

Impression: I think spell resistance should have been included in the requirements and docked this item due to missing an obvious requirement. I liked the aura-like effect of the item, but not the targeting a single creature for 1d4 rounds. 1 round would have been better IMO. This is another item I saced off for homegames.

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

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Andrew Judd wrote:

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

** spoiler omitted **

Hand of Eternal Remorse

I loved this item, it made me think wicked things. I wish the DC was higher and it was based off delayed blast fire ball, allowing you to modify the onset time. Not that I think I ever voted against this one. I guess you hit a peon in the organization or a weak npc and let them flee back to safety.... Just so evil wonderfully evil.

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

John Templeton wrote:
Amulet of Construct Skin

Cost: Significantly under priced. The ability to don the armor without the construct having a save or a CL check for the activator would be underpriced. Then on top of that you add a whole bunch of make whole ignoring its magic immunity, again worth more than your cost. And again the animate object power would be worth more.

Impression: I think this was the most niche item I saw in the whole competition. How many times do you see constructs with the construct armor enhancement (which I think is broken, but didn't hold it against you)? Your horrible pricing was the nail in the coffin for me. But I still voted for it a few times because I liked the basic premise.

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

PhineasGage wrote:
Stolen Tears of the Winter Witch

Impression I liked this item, voted for it most of the times I saw it, but didn't see it that much. I did think it was odd no weight was listed since they are in glass case, but no size for the case was given, which may have been why. Nice tight theme, but maybe a little underpriced since the user has no penalties and gains big benefits.

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

Xaaon of Xen'Drik wrote:


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.

When I wrote that, I wondered if there was actual blood involved. Thanks for the clarification.

Your item was tough to say much about, there wasn't anything really *wrong* with it!

Star Voter Season 6

If possible, I'd like input on this item.

Chess Knight Pendant
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 7th
Slot neck; Price 14,000 gp; Weight -
Description
This pendant resembles a chess knight of ivory or obsidian, hanging from a silver chain. It grants tactical mobility on the battlefield to those who understand that battles are won by those who know best where to strike.
Three times a day, as a standard action, the wearer can vanish and reappear nearby. The wearer's destination must be a 5' by 10' diagonal from their starting point, reproducing the 'L' shaped leap of a chess knight. The wearer must have line of effect to the destination, but not line of sight, as the pendant allows one to cross spaces occupied by opponents. If the target square is occupied by a solid body the effect fails.
The pendant focuses the wearer's mind on tactics. If crafted of ivory, it grants a +2 competence bonus to the wearer's initiative. If crafted of obsidian, the pendant grants a +1 competence bonus to attacks against flanked opponents. Both materials grant a +5 competence bonus on all intelligence checks made to play tactical games like chess.
The wearer may consume all three daily uses in a single burst in order to teleport as a move action.
A cavalier or paladin may expend all three daily uses to teleport as a swift action. However, the pendant is not made to contain such a surge, and each use in this manner incurs a 10% chance of burning the pendant out permanently.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, dimension door or king's castle; Cost 7000 gp

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

this is my first year voting. Or even paying attention. I must say I don't have any specific criticisms.

things that I noticed:

Names: (be creative but not impossible to read)
price: be accurate for your level. I like lower level items more because
I personally would use lower level items more often.

I am new to pathfinder so I don't have all the rules memorized yet! I voted for items that made sense, and that I would use.

I am glad that people are willing to review these!

Best of luck to everyone in their future submissions!

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

Page 11 items! Only a few this time.

Battle Standard of Perilous Defiance - A long name, at least in character count! A battle standard should probably be customizable in its look. Maybe make the staff or crossbeam look a certain way, but the flag itself should be specific to its user, being a standard. DC 15 seems high for a loud crack of thunder. Diehard and immune to fear are nice effects for it. I like that it's immovable. I like that it has stats for breaking it. That lesser globe, though, worries me a bit. The basics of the item are solid, maybe a book item. Find something other than the globe, some cool twist, and you could have something here.

Mending Needle - Name is a little boring. The functionality is basic, makes sense it would exist in the world, but needs more oomph. Needs a limit on what it can restore. How big an item? A ship? How powerful a magic item? An artifact? Repair items are tough, it's hard to get mojo into them.

Reel of the River King - I never saw this item during voting. I think you're right about the fact that it's a reel vs the spider abdomen. I actually prefer your flavor, but I can see that others might not. I like the idea of a guy going into battle with a big reel on his torso and people realizing what it's for. It's a nice visual. Might even have snuck in some sort of intimidation bonus. I do think the idea of a magic rope attached to arrows is a little basic, but I like your execution of it.

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

Clouds Without Water wrote:


Mikko Kallio wrote:

And CWW's Skinthief's Fetish:

Formatting: "animate dead, lesser" should probably be "lesser animate dead" because now it looks as though it's two separate spells. Other than that, perfect. 4.5/5

I wasn't sure how to format that. I found examples of both ways. I left italics on for the comma, but of course you can't tell that. I do think "lesser animate dead" is much more clear, I probably should have went with that.

Neil (I think) has said in other threads that it should be lesser animate dead (or lesser whatever) in situations like these.

Star Voter Season 6

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

Jeff, not sure if you've seen it, but you may want to take a look at Sean's consolidated advice thread. It's where acronyms like SAK and SIAC come from, but also has a wealth of other advice that many of us look to when considering items.

Thank you very much, Jacob. I will definitely check that out. Fortunately I was able to figure out SIAC after reading a coupld of posts.

Marathon Voter Season 6

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'd rather give more in-depth feedback, and I know that if I went page by page doing each item, the quality of my feedback would lessen as time went on. So, I'll try to give in-depth feedback to the next three or so people who request it, as I don't know which items to start with.

Star Voter Season 6

I'd appreciate being one of those three or so, Cheapy- just posted my item above.

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

Xanthestar wrote:
Sea Nettle Submersible

After you posted in some thread about adding an extra number into your items weight, I instantly knew this was your item. 100 lbs and "fits easily into any belt pouch" did not jive right.

ImpressionThis was one of my early favorites (weight not withstanding). Until it reminded me of the Gungan craft from the Star Wars movie that shall not be named... But it was still a nice affordable underwater vehicle. An apparatus of the crab
would eat this thing as a snack though!

Marathon Voter Season 6

Prizrak and Saint Caleth: First off thanks a lot! I think I definitely got a lot out of your reviews.

If nothing else the fact that I made a highly controversial item without any intent to. As for the level of crunch there was to the item, I knew that my weakest point of design-fu was in my rules so I decided to really push myself to incorporate the theme I wanted into the mechanics of the thing.

I can see that now I may have arguably gone too far in the other direction.

Marathon Voter Season 6

Also Cheapy, I'd be interested. Unless somebody who hasn't gotten any shows interest then I'll bow out.

Star Voter Season 6

Goblet of Grim Panacea
Aura moderate necromancy, faint conjuration (healing); CL 9th
Slot none; Price 90,000 gp; Weight 1 lbs.
Description
This item is an obsidian goblet in the shape of an upturned, fanged skull.
The goblet is activated by piercing one's wrists on the skull's fangs and filling the goblet with blood. The blood-giver will be cured of any diseases they contracted before using the goblet. This relief will last as long as the blood remains in the goblet. If the blood is spilled from the goblet, the effect ends immediately and all diseases return to the blood-giver as though they had never been cured.
The blood-giver can become permanently cured if another living creature drinks blood from the goblet, willingly or otherwise. The drinker instantly becomes afflicted with all diseases suffered by the blood-giver, no saving throw, as though the drinker had been infected for the same length of time as the blood-giver. This effect ignores immunity to disease.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, absorb toxicity, remove disease; Cost 45,000 gp

Be brutal.

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

LoreKeeper wrote:

Monastic Sheathe

I think your writing style is very easy to read and you described this item well enough that I could visualize it. It did leave me with a couple of questions though.

Not being overly familiar with monks, I was worried that this might be open to abuse by the number crunchers. At the same time, since flurry of blows uses two weapons, I felt like wrapping only one weapon seemed lopsided.

The biggest problem, for me, was the narrow focus: weapon using monks. No others need apply. For everyone else, this is just a rag.

I did like how the power grew with different types of weapons though. I'm a big fan of magic that gets better, but I know not everyone is. Anyway, you did get a vote or two from me, if I recall correctly.

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

Pharazon wrote:
Gloves of Silent Echoes

Impression: One of many items storing sound. I didn't like this item because it would be too easy to abuse. Make Spellcraft check, see annoying somantic spell, activate gloves, cast silence, and don't worry anymore. I didn't like it could store 4th level spells when they were created at 2 CL below when those spells would be available.

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

closetgamer wrote:
Gravedigger's Lantern

Impression: The dreaded "appears ordinary". Never really wanted to play Luigi's Mansion using PF rules, which this item lets me do. This item received many downvotes from me due to attacking closest living creature and not the lantern bearer (which could be an animated object I guess). Which leads to the abuse effect. Trap ghosts, throw and break lantern by enemy, runaway, and chuckle from afar.

Mechanics: Draws them in within the cone, but all within 30 (cone not specified) can be sucked in. Saves are too high. Why and where would I release them to?

Marathon Voter Season 6

DerangedArchivist wrote:


Chess Knight Pendant

While praise is nice, constructive criticism is useful. So, don't take anything I say here personal, as it's solely to help you out.

I'm sure you're aware of the template issues, so I'll skip over those.

I wasn't a huge fan of the chess flavor of this. The contest is more about showing what you can come up with, and by implementing a well known chess move, you aren't really showing your own creativity, merely your ability to explain things. The judges have always said to look past the item at the designer, and when we do this with this item, I feel that we aren't seeing your true potential.

The short term hop doesn't seem terribly useful to me, especially as a standard action. There'll be times that it could help, but overall, it doesn't impress me too much. I do think that it could be too powerful if it were a move action though, so at least to me I can see how your hands were tied. It was smart to consider the case where the ending square is full, although you probably should've also said that the ending square must be able to support you. Otherwise you could teleport into the air :D

I found the "bonuses based on material" part interesting. It does fall foul of the general rule to not specify materials, but that's minor.

The bonus to strategy games feels a bit tacked on to me, and is pretty obscure.

The ability to spend all charges in a day to teleport as a move action is a bit harsh, IMO. I'd personally consider making it cost 2 charges to do that, although I'm not sure if I'd go through with that.

What I'm not a fan of is the swift action use of this, and specifically the 10% chance of making the pendant useless. I dislike adding on drawbacks to balance things out, and am a firm believer in making things balanced without the need to add drawbacks. Plus, it's teetering into cursed item territory:

Quote:
Cursed items are magic items with some sort of potentially negative impact. Occasionally they mix bad with good, forcing characters to make difficult choices.

A better way, IMO, would be to have doing the swift action teleport cost a smite evil or a challenge.

All in all, I think in the future you need to tighten up the focus of the item and not rely on the swiss army knife effect. This item does five things (counting the ivory / obsidian ability as one), and while they're all thematic, it spreads it too thin. I'd limit it to at most two. In addition, try to not focus on implementing an existing idea well, but come up with a novel idea.

Tangent: It occurs to me that you can have a SAK item that isn't actually a SAK. This type of item would be useful in a variety of situations, but still would only do one thing. An example of this would be the spell silent image. You can do a lot with that one spell, but it doesn't list 4-8 different things it can do. It just does one thing that's useful in different circumstances.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

Beguiling Bauble
Aura faint enchantment and illusion; CL 4th
Slot none; Price 6,400 gp; Weight 1/4 lb.
Description
This small jewelled trinket bristles with tiny levers and intricate moving parts.

Once per day, make a Sleight of Hand check to make the bauble dance and sparkle brightly in your hand. Sighted creatures within 30 feet must succeed on a DC 13 Will save or become distracted, losing their Dexterity bonus to AC for 1 round.

Depending on your Sleight of Hand check result, the bauble has additional, cumulative effects on the affected targets:

- Notice me (DC 10): Targets continue to be distracted as long as you hold the bauble in view, up to 1 minute.
- Watch me (DC 15): The targets are also fascinated.
- Follow me (DC 20): The targets will also move close to you and follow where you lead. If led into a dangerous area, each target gets another save.
- Find me (DC 25): You appear to hide the bauble on one of the targets. The other target creatures will angrily search for it, grappling if necessary. This effect ends after 1d4 rounds, and also ends the bauble's other effects.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, enthrall, hypnotic pattern; Cost 3,200 gp

=======================================

Self-criticism:
- Should be written in third person, not second
- Skill checks to activate are unpopular
- Higher skill check result doesn't increase DC of Will save to resist, so item stays low-level even as user improves Sleight of Hand skill. Maybe should have included Heighten Spell as a requirement and increased DC by +1 for each tier of success on Sleight of Hand check
- Except for "Find me", effects aren't interesting


Alrighty, here's my item for critiquing :) No need to point out the lack of filigree.

Shard of Necrocyte
Aura: Faint Necromancy CL: 6th
Slot: Neck Price: 13,000 GP Weight: -
Description
3 times per day upon command, the wearer of this black marble pendant emits an aura in a 10’ radius. This aura causes the ground beneath the caster to darken as if cast in shadows. Ghostly limbs rise from the ground clutching and grasping at those within the circle, forcing them to treat the area as Difficult Terrain.

Faint ghostly whispers and eerie moans cause those that begin their turn within the circle to make a Will save DC-15 vs. fear or become Shaken for as long as they remain within the circle and for 1d4 rounds after. If the victim is already Shaken they become Frightened instead. A successful save renders the target immune to the fear effect for the duration of the aura.

The aura moves with the caster and lasts for 6 rounds.

Construction Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, Desecrate, Cause Fear Cost: 6,500 GP

Marathon Voter Season 6

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Fleshgrinder wrote:

Goblet of Grim Panacea

Aura moderate necromancy, faint conjuration (healing); CL 9th
Slot none; Price 90,000 gp; Weight 1 lbs.
Description
This item is an obsidian goblet in the shape of an upturned, fanged skull.
The goblet is activated by piercing one's wrists on the skull's fangs and filling the goblet with blood. The blood-giver will be cured of any diseases they contracted before using the goblet. This relief will last as long as the blood remains in the goblet. If the blood is spilled from the goblet, the effect ends immediately and all diseases return to the blood-giver as though they had never been cured.
The blood-giver can become permanently cured if another living creature drinks blood from the goblet, willingly or otherwise. The drinker instantly becomes afflicted with all diseases suffered by the blood-giver, no saving throw, as though the drinker had been infected for the same length of time as the blood-giver. This effect ignores immunity to disease.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, absorb toxicity, remove disease; Cost 45,000 gp

Be brutal.

I found myself liking this one, and it's one that I saw over and over again. But it was also the first of the bloody items I saw and I think the first evil one as well.

It was a cool effect and I don't see anything wrong with it mechanically. (But my rules fu is not my strong suit) It did seem like a major niche item though. This is for evil people prone to disease. I could see it being used a great deal by Chaotic Evil Hedonists though.

Which I may currently be playing one. Who would totally use this.

Star Voter Season 6

Cheapy- regarding praise vs constructive criticism- very much agreed. I'm associated with a writer's group with diverse members, and it is very clear who comes seeking ego stroking and who comes because they want to improve.

After consideration of the input I've received thus far, I feel like I overvalued the constrained teleport, and tried to compensate by imposing too many costs- charges, action type, et cetera. The use of class based powers rather than all the charges is a good idea, wish I'd thought of it.

Thanks for the attention and advice. :)

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

Thanks for the review Jacob ^^!, really appreciated!.

@Cheapy:
Hey Cheapy!, Can I also have one of these in-depth feedback?! You can be as harsh as you think is needed too!. My item is the Summoning Siphon. I posted it in on Page 7. I really like getting feedback, from as many people as I possibly can, they all help me improve step by step ^^.

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