Official 2013 "Critique my item" thread

RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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

Randall Newnham wrote:

Orb of Aggravation

Your item fell to the middle of the pack for me, mostly due to the opening description. The first two lines do not inspire much in the reader's imagination. The next couple of lines closely mimic the awful sentences in the APG that make Dirty Trick feel like a joke maneuver.

After that you get on track with an item I could see people using, at least once or twice. Also, change the spell requirement to something more appropriate to the cost, perhaps pilfering hand, then your item starts to sneak up the list!

Keep practicing and come back next year.

Star Voter Season 6

Cloak of Deepest Shadow
Aura Strong Transmutation; CL 15th
Slot Shoulders; Price 121,900gp; Weight 1 lbs.
Like mist off of a warm pool on a cold night, this Cloak of Deepest Shadows seems to exude darkness. While those who know the truth are not telling, rumours abound that the first such cloak of it's kind was woven from the very stuff of Shadow itself. Regardless, those who work best while undetected are glad for it's existence and do not ask many questions on it's nature.

Donning a Cloak of Deepest Shadows connects one more deeply to the realm of shadow, thus granting one a deeper understanding of darkness and a +5 competence bonus to Stealth. As well, while wearing this cloak even magical darkness shall not bar the wearer's sight (granting the See In Darkness ability). The clinging shadows of the cloak may be flung about the wearer, enabling them to cast Darkness twice per day and Deeper Darkness once per day. Finally, while wearing this cloak one may bend the very shadows around themselves, allowing one to Hide in Plain Sight (as the Shadowdancer supernatural ability)

However, should one already possess this ability only then does the true power of the Cloak become known. This most powerful and coveted ability of the Cloak gives the wearer who already dances with the shadows the ability to, on command, turn themselves incorporeal as a true shadow. This ability may be used for a total of ten rounds a day. The rounds may be split up as the wearer wills yet never less than two rounds at a time. To return the body to to it's natural corporeal state is a swift action.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Darkness, Darkvision, Deeper Darkness, Undead Anatomy IV; Cost 60,950gp

Participating in this contest for the first time this year, I really learned a lot about what makes an item good and, perhaps even more importantly, what doesn't. I know I have here broken both SKR's top two don'ts, with it being both a SAK and a SIC. In my defense, this item was actually designed for last years contest, but it wasn't submitted in time. And I never saw SKR's advice column until after I'd submitted for this year.

What I'd be most interested in hearing is what, if anything, might have made this item able to make it into the top 32. Or, otherwise, why it might be a complete flop. And, hey, if you wanna tell me you Love it, well, I might not mind that either. Thanks!

Dan Jones wrote:

Bracers of Daring Exploits


I don't even want to think about all the ways this wouldn't work as a GM. Breaking a huge rule of the game for no compelling single situation, but instead a huge host of undocumented areas.

Allows a character to move by any number of enemies with impunity, thus negating the whole reason for acrobatics, ddoor, hips, flyby...

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

CouncilofFools wrote:
Chelish Silver-Tongued Devil

First Impression: Name makes me expect a monster rather than an item.

Template Use: Looks pretty solid.
Critique: What type of character wants this item? The first power hints at charisma based characters, but most charisma based characters aren’t going to want to initiate grapples, which makes this more of a defensive item in combat, and a more assasin-y item out of combat.

You allude to erinyes, and the item is named after devils, but they don’t have any powers like this grants, unless the wearer is getting an Entangle ability that affects only the throat. The devil connection isn’t very clear from a mechanical standpoint, although choking a creature to death does seem like something an erinyes would do. Slow and torturous. Changing peoples opinion does not seem like something an erinyes would do.

You should have listed the “web kiss” ability first, since it’s the cooler of the two abilities, you want to lead with your neatest power. Web is a strange choice for a spell to base this off of though, suffocation might have been better.
Would I rather buy this or... A pearl of power? bracers of armor? headband of alluring charisma? save up 500 and buy a circlet of persuasion? The answer is mostly no, I wouldn’t.

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

Nazard wrote:
Tablet of Heretical Lore

Thoughts: I did not like having another domain spellcaster needed to imprint the item, which makes it harder to use. Also the addition of increased preperation time makes this item alot less useful. I liked the idea behind this item.

Randall Newnham wrote:

Orb of Aggravation

A 500 gp item that complete shuts down mages up to about 12 level. From any range. For 5 rounds.

Okay - it doesn't completely shut them down - but blinded with no save is huge. Deafened - 20% spell failure - huge. Entangled - huge.

Who wouldn't have one? Or six? And whats to stop a player from throwing 6 at a time?

Here's what I submitted. Please critique however you'd like, but there are also two specific questions I have:

Apparently there was some "quill fatigue" among voters – is this always an overdone item type? Are there any others, apart from maps?

Would it improve if it had additional/optional interaction with a supplement like Words of Power? I wanted to do so but didn't have the time (I had ~20 hours of notice before the deadline). Should I strive for comprehensive or simple, or rather, what should distinguish my approach for either one?

Okay, I have more ideas about what I want to change, but I should leave the tearing apart to you all. :)

Quill of the Tengu Sage
Aura faint divination and illusion; CL 5th
Slot none Price 4,000 gp; Weight
This long, black feather is capped with a silver pen nib in the shape of a bird's tongue. In the hands of a writer who does not know its purpose, its ink writhes across the page, altering the handwriting and sometimes the meaning of the writer. Someone trained in Linguistics may take advantage of this to forge a document in any language they have seen a written example of, even one they do not know.

A wizard may use the quill to write a text concealing a prepared wizard spell with the language-dependent descriptor and a single target. The process takes one hour (or the spell's casting time if longer), during which the wizard makes all decisions normally made at the time of casting. The completed text must be at least one page long and emits a magical aura of the same strength and school as the spell stored.

A spell stored in this way permanently uses up a spell slot until the text is read or the wizard decides to prepare a new spell in that slot, upon which the text becomes nonmagical.

When the text is read in full, the spell is cast upon the reader at the wizard's caster level. The wizard is aware that the spell was triggered but does not know the nature of the target nor whether the spell had the desired effect.

Any attempt to store additional magical writing in the same text triggers both the original spell and (if applicable) the new glyph or rune, destroying the text.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, magic mouth, tongues, creator must be a wizard; Cost 2,000 gp

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Boxhead

Ancestral Spirit Shroud
Aura moderate necromancy; CL 7th
Slot shoulders; Price 10,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

This pale green gossamer shroud draws on the spirits of its wearer’s ancestors to protect him. When donned, the shroud transforms into a swirling mass of translucent mist, punctuated with howling faces bearing familial resemblance to the wearer. This spiritual miasma can coalesce briefly into tangible forms to manipulate objects, aiding the wearer in combat.
Once per round, the spiritual miasma can pluck a projectile from the air, as if with the Snatch Arrows feat. Any number of projectiles can be caught and held in this manner, continuing to circle the wearer, though this has no additional effect. As a swift action on his turn, the wearer can form a spectral replica of a Simple or Martial projectile weapon. He can then use this weapon to fire any projectiles held by the shroud normally. The shroud grants no extra proficiencies or ability to use these weapons. A weapon created in this way functions exactly as a mundane version and disappears at the end of the wearer’s turn.
Additionally, when the wearer performs a disarm or steal combat maneuver, he can select any space within 30 ft. for the item to land. The wearer can also choose a space within 30 ft. for the item to land if a disarm or steal check performed against him leaves the object unattended.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Items, haunting mists, speak with dead; Cost 5,000 gp

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

Herremann the Wise wrote:
Gentleman’s Ensnaring Cane

First Impression: How is this gentlemanly? Also, there are some serious power issues.

Template Use: Slot should be none; otherwise ok
Critique: This item has a lot of unanswered questions. You lead with images of an animated imp. Is the imp actually an imp? Or is it just an animated imp-shaped part of the cane? The absorb/reform aspect of the imp seems to link the presence of the imp with the powers of the cane, but you haven’t given any mechanical reason why that might be. What does an imp have to do with dimensional anchor and force cage?

How does one pin an item? Pinning mechanics don’t cover pinning items, and this item doesn't explain how that works, or indeed why it’s necessary.

Force cage the spell can only affect creatures that can fit inside a 20 ft cube and has a range of at most 75 ft. Dimensional Anchor is a ray, which requires a ranged touch attack and needs line of sight to target. The Gentleman’s Ensnaring Cane is effectively casting both of these spells up to 4 times at once, while ignoring almost all of their restrictions, and also lets you move each target creature before it acts on it’s own turn, which none of the aforementioned spells do (perhaps telekinesis?).

The DC to negate actually seems about right for the spells involved, but here’s the thing: A character can reasonably expect to afford this thing around level 14 (if they save for it). CR 15 monsters on on average have +13 to +18 reflex, which means that they’ll make the reflex save ~70% of the time. It only get’s worse as you level up, but even CR 12 monsters save ~60% of the time.This might be an argument for the cane being balanced, but you ask someone if they’d spend 78-grand on an item that works ~40% of the time, they’d probably pass.

Would I rather buy this or... Robe of the Archmagi? Helm of Teleportation? Probably not.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Okay, first five are done, now I need to eat something. These are taking a while, but I'm trying to be thorough. I don't have time to read everyone's comments on every item right now, so I apologize if I'm repetetive. Also, feel free to PM me if you have any comments or would like to discuss your item more.

Chelish Silver-Tongued Devil:

The Good: I really like the core concept. I play the bard/rogue/tricksy charismatic sort of character, so I can see using something like this. It made me think it could fit in a spy or socio-political themed adventure quite well. The “kiss of death” idea holds some intrigue to me as well.

Things to work on: I would have liked to see a little bit more explaining how it gives the bonuses to Diplomacy. I would take that fluff over the Erinyes origin bit. It doesn’t explain if it allows people to understand you if they speak another language, or if your voice is just melodic enough that they start to like the sound of your intelligible babble. The kiss of death bit could have been cleaned up a bit to make it more nifty and less potentially gross. It’s a fine line to walk. I think the rules around removing the substance need to be cleaned up a bit, but I’m not quite sure if I want a lower DC or just an additional removal method other than dispel magic (which doesn’t really seem to fit).

Overall: I think the concept has a lot of potential, though it needs some polish. Your writing is clean, for the most part, but the mechanics could use a little extra polish. I’d love to see a cleaned up version, though.

Gentleman’s Ensnaring Cane:

The Good: I like the idea of having a cane, tapping it on the ground as if to get people’s attention, and then using it to grapple people with force. It strikes me as something cool for a bard, rogue, or other charismatic type character to have. Those characters rarely get to do stuthis ff like that, so I think designing something to fit that is neat. I could also see using it to create a cinematic sort of scene with an NPC as a GM.

Things to work on: The opening description makes the item undesirable. I don’t really want to touch it, much less hold onto it for long periods. I had to read the mechanics several times to understand exactly what was going on. The writing there could be tighter. I would maybe reduce the number of targets (and possible the size category as well) and clean up the description. I would also just say it’s usable X times per day, rather than mess with the imp on top disappearing and all of that. It’s nice fluff, but it starts to get confusing.

Overall: I think the idea is really intriguing, but the execution could be a little better. I’d love to see a reworked version.

Ghoulslayer Gloves:

The Good: I don’t remember seeing this in voting, but I actually really like them. The writing is clean and tight. The concept itself smacks of “…Why don’t I already have something like this?” You’ve clearly taken the time to make your language and style sound professional, so it really reads like it could be out of a Paizo product. As you mentioned in another thread, fluff-wise, healers are labeled as being scourges of the undead, why not make an item that caters to that?

Things to work on: It needs a little more mojo. I think the descriptive language could be a little more evocative. It seems underpriced, as well. Either that or slightly overpowered. I don’t hate the idea of negating the save, but it might be a little too powerful as written. Honestly, I’d maybe up the price a little and swing for the fences with the mechanics.

Overall: It’s a good item. Maybe a little lacking in the mojo that makes a “Superstar” item.

Ethos Swarm Charm:

The Good: Swarms are notoriously a pain, so allowing a player to tap into that, personally, is interesting. I can think of out of combat applications as well. The description is interesting. The writing is tight and pretty easy to follow, which is a huge point in your favor.

Things to work on: The item is loooooong. Not that being long is always a bad thing, but the alignment breakdown is a little intimidating and makes me want to just skim right over it. I think in the voting format we have, a lot of people may have gotten TL;DR syndrome. I’m not sure how I feel about the idea of varying swarms based on alignment, especially when all nine alignments are in play. Maybe picking an axis to work with would be better, or sticking to something more like what you did with the second half. Or maybe being able to pick from a list. Especially for the “breaking it” mechanic. If I’m good or lawful and I want to spend the item to become a more powerful swarm, I better hope I’m near water.

Overall: Your writing is tight. It’s easy to follow. The concept needs some tweaking, I think, to really become something players will clamor for.

Porcine Pendant:

The Good: Okay, I’ll admit, I found it amusing. I liked it. The imagery was evocative. It’s well written, the mechanics are pretty tight. I can see uses for it in game. It’s fun, and it is something I can see certain types of players really getting a kick out of.

Things to work on: …I didn’t want to like it. My first question was “…But why a pig?” I was afraid it was going to be a gag item at first. There are a couple of small formatting snags. Should be “faint illusion and transmutation” and the skill craft jewelry should have a number of ranks associated with it. The personality of this item won me over, but I think maybe it needs something a little less whimsical, or at least more kick-*** to kick it up one more notch.

Overall: I could see throwing it into a game with certain types of players, but I think maybe it was a little too whimsical for RPGSS.

N. Edward Lange wrote:

Mine was the Vest of Mongrelkind

** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **...

Nate, after several hours of voting I was beginning to hate +5 bonus items. Not +3, +4, .. +5.... Fatigue!

Reffing the game, I'm going to have to have an Advanced Race Guide, and know all the possible iterations of what a player might do? If you can't be bothered to spell it out, I think thats a pretty good guide to not top32.

The name of the item is strong - but if you had limited each cloak to two races - this would have been a a much stronger item.

A Mongrel cloak of the Tiefling Orc for example.

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

Frank Ward wrote:
Nethian Scroll Tube

Cost: Much too low for the abilities gained. No check to scribe spells and not consume the scroll, 3/day metamagic feat on a scroll that could raise a CL 1 scroll to CL 5, arcane/divine combo, and free scroll materials.

Impression: SAK for scrolls. The wording seemed jilted and did not flow well. As a player, I would place spells in here I had no intention of using, just for them to create black ash. Then I could create scrolls I really wanted. I thought this item was very poorly balanced.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Alright! I'll start from the top.

"Critique My Item" placeholder thread

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


This is the official "Critique My Item" placeholder thread.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Sean. You've already broken the template so badly that I'll have to point you back to the R1 rules. We need...

Oh, wait a minute, my bad. Next!

Chelish Silver-Tongued Devil:
I remember this item, and I remember liking the writing and the attempt to fill a low-level gap in items with value outside of combat. This provided utility and character, and while it flirts with being a plot item (wearing a feathered mask everywhere is kind of conspicuous), I liked the core idea.

What I missed here were details on exactly how the mask facilitated a change in behavior without sharing a language. Does it translate? Is it bewitching? Diplomacy is pretty explicit about requiring some sort of communicative interaction--otherwise, it's just Bluff or Intimidate--and this undermines that requirement without granting much rationale.

I also would have preferred a Fort or Will save on the item's offensive ability. As it is, if there isn't a medic nearby and the target is hit, has a mouth, and breathes air, it dies. A Will save might have simply sealed the target's mouth, silencing them; a Fort save might have allowed the target to cough it up, with the DC increasing each round. It gives things a chance to go wrong in interesting ways.

The theme appeared to be betrayal, which is touchy--I don't see many non-evil characters jumping at the chance to win someone's trust so they can then... suffocate them to death while making out.

Gentleman’s Ensnaring Cane:
I didn't see this item while voting.

There's a lot of character here, though the imp nearly pushes the item into Intelligent Item territory.

There's also a lot going on here, and it took a few readthroughs to grasp it all. It's a very, very powerful battlefield control weapon as written. Four Gargantuan targets? Yikes!

I'm also not clear on exactly how the movement works. (Teleport? Dragged in a straight line? What if it hits obstacles on the way? Can I use it to smash things into walls? Can I fling things 100 feet up into the air and drop them?)

It's a fun concept, but even with the cost and level, I'd be leery of handing players this level of power.

Ghoulslayer Gloves:
I voted for and against this item.

I could take or leave Golarion references in items; they're often unnecessary and sometimes distracting. Judges have said positive things about Golarion-fu in the open call and I can understand including some, but I'm not sure what it adds here.

These are ghost-zapping gloves; we get cracking bolts and not much else to go on. A hair more description might have added some flash.

The effect is metamagic-in-a-can that breaks through saves. The save-breaking appears to be the twist, but at this low of a cost with unlimited use, it undermines the game-balance purpose of the save in the first place. A party with even a few levels can afford to stock up on these and wade through undead.

More palatable options that stay in theme might include staggering or halting targets, or reducing Will saves in general for a few rounds rather than eliminating them just for damage.

Ethos Swarm Charm:
I saw this item but did not vote for it.

This one might have suffered from the general overload on swarm items this year, and doesn't compare favorably to Joseph Kellogg's Top 32 shattered mirror of the insect queen, which is unfortunate.

They have similar concepts, but the swarm charm is very complicated to digest, and the actual effect represents a fraction of the text. Unless it's getting handed off a lot among a number of creatures with varying alignments, about 80 of the words out of the entry will ever apply to it. The consumable use is a tacked-on ability that isn't a superstar twist, and arguably should have been the main and only ability along with a lower price.

Porcine Pendant:
I did not see this item, but I probably would have voted for it.

I get the feeling you love ham. :D

I'm not sure I'd call a spinning pig "a pleasing blur pattern of color that fascinates". Considering the effects, I'd also consider rainbow pattern more appropriate than hypnotic pattern.

In any case, the level of whimsy and the theme (I'm not sure how many people will "get" dancing pigs) probably tipped people against it. Which is sad, because I'm totally using this.

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

goldomark wrote:

Elixir of Last Will

Your description switches past/present/future tense throughout, making it difficult to read. You probably could've pared it down some too and still been just as effective.

I like that you listened to the judges' advice and tried to go with something that slightly breaks the rules. And I think you have a kernel of an idea that has merit. It just got bogged down along the way.

David Posener wrote:

Let's see how we go...

Matryoshka of the Planar Cadre

Cool item. However:

Matryoshka. Uncommon word in the title. I hate it already.

Coolest power is saved for last. One creature receives giant, one receives young.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of people glossed it by that point.

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

Mikael Sebag wrote:
Amulet of Amended Strategy

Impression: I liked the thought behind this item. Simple and easy to use. But I think your pricing may have been high and I would have made the item slotless. The spell requirement did not fit in so well (maybe qualm?).

Master Needle of the Fairie Artisan
Aura faint transmutation; CL 3th
Slot none; Price 12,000 gp; Weight


’You can sew anything with this, be it as soft as an egg or as hard as steel; and the joint will be so fine that no seam will be seen.’ The Four Clever Brothers by the Brothers Grimm

This magical needle is a boon to both crafters and healers, granting a +4 circumstance bonus on such skill checks. This bonus stacks with the use of a healer’s kit and/or surgeon’s tools, but does not apply to Alchemy. Master needles of the fairie artisan follow all the rules of the amazing tools of manufacture with the following exceptions:

The use of this needle allows for such exceptional craftsmanship that you pay 1/4 of the item's price for the raw material cost including masterwork components. It takes 10 minutes to repair an item with the master needle of the fairie artisan and it gains the benefit of the make whole spell.

Successful heal checks cure 2d8 +3 points of damage when treating deadly wounds. A healer with 6 or more ranks can use choose to heal 1d4 points of ability damage (except Intelligence or wisdom). While limbs can be flawlessly reattached, dead creatures remain dead. Master needles of the fairie artisan cannot treat poison or disease.

Master needles of the fairie artisan create its own invisible and intangible thread that binds as surely as sovereign glue. While universal solvent will separate two things sewn together it will not undue repairs or healing. If thread or wire is used it will be visible but not subject to universal solvent. Magical thread like embalming thread grants a +5 bonus to checks.

Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Master Craftsman, Make Whole; Cost 6,000 gp

Minor typos and formatting errors have been fixed. My item was similar to another entry Surgeon's Needle I think that might have hurt me a little. I want to thank you all in advance for your time and effort.

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

Anthony Adam wrote:
Circlet of Malevolent Eyes

You have made great improvement in the last 9 months. The name didn't make me want to rip my eyes out. :) You already got my feedback via PM yesterday(?), but once again I really appreciated the work you did in the 9 Blazing Months thread. You entertained us all, kept the tone light, and gave great feedback! Hope you continue the good work.

Ryan. Costello wrote:
Cloak of Duality

"replaces a random counterpards and is staggered.." but what does that mean? and what does it mean when you have two black counterparts.

What happens if one of the counterparts takes off his ring of protection +5 and gives it to his party member?

Didn't you essentially duplicate magic items for 15 rounds?

And didn't this fundamentally break action economy with a witch getting 3 actions a round, not counting quickens?

and... I still probably wouldn't buy this because the likelihood of death due to area affect spells.

Marathon Voter Season 6

Apparently I'm late to the party.

Clockwork Heart
Aura faint necromancy; CL 7th
Slot--; Price 4,250gp; Weight 2lbs
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

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

VoodooHoodoo wrote:

Shroud of Certain Return

I think the strength of your item comes from hitting a niche that is not overly mined. Your writing is also very clear, although you do have some template and spelling issues.

Perhaps the only real downside is that this item hopefully won't be needed much. It's kind of like insurance - you don't really want one, but what if...

Congrats on making the top 89, I'm envious! ;)

Marathon Voter Season 6

theheadkase wrote:

Intellectual's Clay Pipe - 78 Words

Intellectual's Clay Pipe
Aura faint transmutation; CL 2nd
Slot none; Price 2,500 gp; Weight
This small, reddish brown clay pipe produces a pleasant smelling smoke from tobacco smoked in it. The smoke relaxes and focuses the thoughts of the smoker after 5 minutes of smoking this pipe. This gives a +5 bonus to the smoker's next Knowledge check and allows that check to be made untrained.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Fox's Cunning; Cost 1,250 gp

This one was probably one of my favorite items. At the time I'd seen a number of different pipes and this one was the first to try and do something different but also something that would make sense for the item used.

I will likely use this in future games if I'm honest.

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.
B.A. Ironskull wrote:
Immediate Chant

Requirements: Arcane bond seemed strange to have. I think Scribe Scroll would have been a perfect inclusion after reading the items abilities.

Mechanics: Why did you add the UMD skill check if you refer to the skill and the DC was incorrect. I didn't like the changing of casting times, nor the spell remaining if the UMD check fails.

Star Voter Season 6

Jerry Keyes wrote:
Randall Newnham wrote:

Orb of Aggravation

Your item fell to the middle of the pack for me, mostly due to the opening description. The first two lines do not inspire much in the reader's imagination. The next couple of lines closely mimic the awful sentences in the APG that make Dirty Trick feel like a joke maneuver.

After that you get on track with an item I could see people using, at least once or twice. Also, change the spell requirement to something more appropriate to the cost, perhaps pilfering hand, then your item starts to sneak up the list!

Keep practicing and come back next year.

Yeah, I definitely should not have opened like that. I had read Sean's guidelines, but somehow rookied that anyway. Good call on the spell requirement; I'll reconsider that one.

Perfect Tommy wrote:
Randall Newnham wrote:

Orb of Aggravation

A 500 gp item that complete shuts down mages up to about 12 level. From any range. For 5 rounds.

Okay - it doesn't completely shut them down - but blinded with no save is huge. Deafened - 20% spell failure - huge. Entangled - huge.

Who wouldn't have one? Or six? And whats to stop a player from throwing 6 at a time?

Compare to the 500gp Whip Feather Token. Very similar effect, but that hangs around an hour and grapples. One could argue the same for that. But I see the point that since it can bestow effects lasting longer than a round, it can possibly stack some different effects.

Thanks for the feedback, guys!

Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

This is my item. I just redid a tiny bit of grammar, so that's it a bit easier on the eyes.

Jagged Cauldron
Aura strong transmutation; CL 15th
Slot none; Price 92,000 gp; Weight 9 lbs.
This black cauldron looks like it has been forged in haste from several larger pieces of iron. Its surface is rugged and patched, and its uneven mouth sharp to the touch.
The cauldron has the power to create any potion that the user knows of. To activate the cauldron, the user must willingly cut himself on the jagged edges. The user must first imagine the wanted potion at which point the bleeding starts. Preparation time of the potion remains unchanged, and only one potion can be prepared at a time to a maximum of six per day. After the preparation time, an obsidian-black bottle appears in the cauldron, containing a potion equally as black, regardless of the potion’s nature.

  • For a zero level spell, the user receives 1d4+1 damage.
  • For a first level spell, the user receives 1d8+5 damage and 1 constitution damage.
  • For a second level spell, the user receives 2d8+10 damage and 2 constitution damage.
  • For a third level spell, the user receives 3d8+15 damage and 3 constitution damage.

The damage received this way cannot be reduced. It also cannot be recovered in any way while the potion exists. When the potion is used or destroyed the health damage starts recovering at the normal rate. The constitution damage starts recovering at a rate of one per hour.
If a non-humanoid or a creature with no Constitution score attempts to use it, the cauldron simply does not activate. Caster level for all potions made this way is 15.
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, limited wish, fabricate; Cost 46,000 gp

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

CalebTGordan wrote:
The Lonely Man’s Instant Party

Mechanics: What is the crowd's AC? How big is the confetti shower when destroyed? What is the crowd's size? Mechanically very weak.

Impression: I assumed this one was a joke item when i read the title and the description. I voted against this one everytime it popped up. This item may be more appropriate for some other game. Tales of the Floating Vagabond comes to mind...

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

Whew. OK, this is giving me even more appreciation for the judges, and understanding why they would just be like keep/reject with no other comments! I can tell I’m already starting to write a little less for each item as I go on, so please feel free to ask me if you want more information about your item. I’m not really reading other people’s reactions as I write mine so I don’t know if I’m wasting my time telling you something someone else has already said. I think Thomas might have the right idea about how to do this (and you made me LOL at your comment about Anthony's item).

Candle of Distant Assurance:

“The idea behind this was to create an item that was very flavorful, low-cost, and was the sort of thing that even non-adventurers could use. I envision it being mostly used as a bit of extra background for a character -- the sort of thing a PC would drop some spare change at higher levels to give to the spouse or parents written into their backstory.”

For me, your designer notes summed up my problem with this one, unfortunately. I just couldn’t get excited about something that would be a sort of back story item. I can see how it could be created for a game – I had a character get married and she was going to not head back out on the road when we thought about returning to those characters after the campaign ended and she would absolutely have liked this – but it just didn’t make me think, wow, I need that. I kind of thought it would be like a magical plow. Sure, it would be awesome for your average villager, but I don’t think it would be something most people would want for their PC.

Now, all that said, I think you did a nice job on it, it just didn’t spark (no pun intended) my imagination.

Fiddle of the Dance:

You says you didn’t bother with formatting but I suspect you just mean you didn’t use BBC code this time, even though your template is really off. I’d master that first of all, since your item would have had to be really awesome for me to overlook that type of mistake. I mean, really awesome.

But I see some other things that catch me up. You say this fiddle is of elven make. Well, what if I have my gnome bard make it? Be careful of generalizations like this.

You also have some wording problems. For example, you write “All allies must be within 30 feet and able to hear the tune.” But having that as a standalone sentence doesn’t work. I’m left to say what happens if they can’t hear their tune (they’re deaf for whatever reason) or aren’t within 30 feet. What you mean is they must meet those conditions to benefit from the item, which is different.

You also write “This effect also allows those to dance across slippery surfaces.” But I don’t know mechanically what that means. Ice? Grease spells? What about if some water’s been spilled on a floor?

I think you had the gem of a neat idea – a lot of movement items have been done, though that also means you need to be really impressive to stand out with one -- but need to work on playing it out and making sure you get all the mechanics included in your writeup.

Handkerchief of the Scoured Visage:

I saw this one a few times, and honestly it kind of creeped me out.

Your second word is nondescript, which has already started to bore me. The description’s your chance to wow me with your writing skills. Nondescript doesn’t quite do that. Now, I can see why you chose to make it that way considering the item’s powers, but it still left me a bit cold before I got into the meat of the item. I do like the words “scoured” and “visage,” which show some chops, IMO.

My big problem, though, was I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this. I couldn’t figure out if it was meant to be a spying item, a way to perhaps use some subterfuge, a way to inhibit my enemies. Whereas last year’s rajah’s silhouette similarly had a lot of potential uses, it seemed a bit more obvious than this. I just couldn’t quite wrap my head around it, I guess, no pun intended.

Lastly, when you refer to your item, it should be lowercase and italicized and it should be “none” for the slot, not “slotless,” though otherwise your template use looked good.

Intellectual's Clay Pipe:

Sorry, headkase, this one just bored me. It was basically a skill bonus. I could see it being in a book of wondrous items, but I just didn’t think it was very sexy in terms of Superstar.

Wings, Resplendent Battle:

Not sure I saw these while voting, or if I did it was only once or maybe twice.

You’ve got some verb-subject agreement problems: “Each good ally hit by the burst, including the wearer, gain access…”

The bigger problem, though, I think is it just feels like a real SAK. I feel like there’s a wide array of powers all glommed on to each other and I’m not sure it really thematically fits. And that said, I’m kind of baffled it doesn’t give you flight – that would seem like the most basic function of wings.

Now, those problems aside, I think you’ve got some great description. “Made from thousands of mithril feathers on curving darkwood frames” is a nice evocative phrase, I think. I’d focus on having a stronger theme next year and make sure you proof carefully.

Time’s Tide Pendant:

This item’s awesome. I voted for it every time I saw it.

Orator’s Torc:

Joseph, good for you for entering! This contest’s a blast and there’s really nothing to lose except maybe some sleep and some hours thinking about designing.

It looks like you got the template perfect, which is great for a beginner. That said, skills should be capitalized.

I think you nailed the problem with the item. Just needs to be a little more exciting. As is, I think it’s a solid entry that could easily find a place in a book of magic items.

Off the top of my head, I could see maybe giving an additional use of a vocal ability (such as a challenge) or even being loud enough to overcome magical silence, though maybe those still aren’t quite exciting enough.

Orb of Aggravation:

I actually did like this one, though I think I would have gotten rid of the random affect and just let the user select what they wanted. It might have been a touch undercosted.

I think the big problem is you just needed more flash in your description. Having it just be a dull iron sphere is, well, dull. Granted, not EVERYTHING needs to be etched with arcane runes, but this is your chance to sell me on your writing ability and you didn’t quite do it.

You do have an extra space before the semicolon after your construction requirement s.

Elixir of Last Will:

I think your idea of the ghostly version of himself is neat and would’ve helped. I think “cinematic” will definitely be the buzz word next year. My bigger problem, though, is it feels like a “I don’t die” item. I think I would actually keep the 24-hour limit because otherwise I don’t quite know when to use this. How do I decide if this is a moment when I’m likely to go below 0 hp? Do I just save this until the BBEG fight? I could see it working more as a little pendant or something so you can wear it and it will activate whenever you go under 0 hp, but even then I think I just want something a little more exciting.

Shroud of Certain Return:

Sorry, voodoohoodoo, this just didn’t excite me that much though I never actually saw it while I was voting. I guess I’ve just generally not had reincarnation happen that often in games I play. It looks like it’s generally good in terms of mechanics. You do have a stray BBC code, and I’d like to see a little more description.

Findeladlara’s Brush:

This felt too SIAC for my tastes. That said, I thought you were VERY smart in identifying Findeladlara in the description. It’s not a name I’d have recognized on my own and I’d have assumed it was some NPC without that detail, so smart thinking there.

Hunter's Geas:

Sadly, I just didn’t think this was all that exciting mechanically. The one thing I thought was most innovative – flanking from wherever – seemed broken and didn’t really make sense to me as how/why the item would give that effect (I also wasn’t sure if you meant they had to be adjacent – in which case I could understand – because as is I read it that I could suddenly let my rogue get sneak attack despite being 30 feet away).

Garter of Hidden Fortune:

Gah, template issues! This is going to have people turned off to your item before they even begin, putting you at a major disadvantage to start. (Though I’m wondering if that was part of a copy/paste problem, since I think I remember seeing this item during the voting and not having such problems as I’m seeing here.)

This just seemed like an odd item to me, with a somewhat random collection of powers. And a bit plot devicey – this is useful if my character gets captured, but I’m going to be doing my best to make sure that doesn’t happen that often. It just didn’t feel like something I’d have my characters using very often.

Ointment of Last Sight:

Marie, I think you pretty much nailed your concerns about this item. It was serviceable, but just not exciting (I thought your item last year had a little more pizazz). I didn’t get a feel for psionics, but it felt like a reskinned blood biography to me. Also felt like it could be a bit of a pain in the ass for a GM.

Tabard of Cunning Tactics:

Jacob 3! I like your description on this. The moving images is a nice touch.

However, I think you kind of buried your lead. Your second power’s much more interesting than your first. Even then, I think I just kind of want more from it. It just doesn’t get my imagination racing, unfortunately.

Chalice of Communal Dweomer:

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.

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

Wise Tiki wrote:
Choker of Subtle Sound

Impression: I liked this item. Why a dragon? I don't recall them ever being mentioned with outside of normal hearing sounds? I liked the interplay of the bard with the high pitched sound, but did not like the limiting to one single class. But the bardic performance part was nifty.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 6

Perfect Tommy wrote:
Flyer777 wrote:

Relativity Torc

I play casters pretty exclusively; usually prepared casters. But I voted against this item every time. Wayyyyy tooo powerful.

You are allowing casters to cast quickened distintegrates with up to +9 on the DCs .. and while the dc plus might vary, to do so many times per day.

I didn't understand why darkwood and mithral. Minor nitpick - if its not an artifact it isn't unique.

Spellslingers (banned) have to give up a swift action - and half their schools.

So aside from the aesthetic. So I am confused by your response. My item does not give any specific metamagic feats or abilities. My item ONLY adds the level (1-9) of the sacrificed spell to the CASTER LEVEL (1-20) of the next spell. This may affect things such as caster level checks, duration, number of people affected or damage, but to my understanding of spell casting, it should never affect spell DC's. Could you clarify this for me?

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

Perfect Tommy wrote:
theheadkase wrote:

Intellectual's Clay Pipe - 78 Words

Item is essentially a +5 bonus. No interesting language, no interesting mechanic. No mojo.

Minor nitpick: There is nothing that helps maintain believability. If you want to say that the smoker can make a knowledge check he normally would not be able to do - make the tobacco grown from the field of dead sages.

Otherwise it just looks like mechanics.

You are absolutely correct! Although I wanted it to be any tobacco, maybe the clay could be from somewhere magical.

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

Kytti.Eggcollector wrote:
Ultimate Adventurer’s Egg

Cost: Far too low for the abilities given.

Mechanics: So the top has 2 pictures, normal and glowing. The bottom has 4 pictures (sun, moon, star cloud). How would the lining up work exactly? The abilities for each combination are not mechanically balanced. Normal/moon is very powerful when dealing with swarms. Normal/cloud doesn't have a weight limit for items. Glowing/star, why would I want an item I might get attacked using?
Impression: SAK! Not even a thematic one at that which is more of a negative. You were trying to be funny with some of the abilities, which made this item fall into the joke category. Didn't seem very professional. Never voted for it.

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

Steven Helt wrote:

intellectual's clay pipe There were about 500 items that only provided bonuses to a specific skill and had no other effect. This one does not particularly stand out, except that severl voters complained in the early going that some items seemed directly ripped from movie scenes. I thought of this, immediately went to Gandalf smoking while lost in Moria, and started thinking it was derivative. Maybe it wasn't, but there's the lesson. An item needs a lot of careful thought to be superstar. Even when I thought I'd done a good job with the quicksand cloak and thought of most of the angles, experienced players asked a lot of tough questions. Some of those q uestions you ask yourself should be thematic instead of mechanical. Has everyone seen this thing before? What does it evoke? WIll players want one for themselves? Formatting is decent, except you should not capitalize the spell requirements, and you should italicize them.

PERSONAL NOTE: You have given a lot of contestants great reviews and support and I love seeing folks so involved in the contest. Appreciate you sportsmanship and enthusiasm.

Steven, thanks for the review. You're dead on...that was my inspiration actually was Gandalf smoking a pipe. I wanted to make a pipe that aids in your recollection of any specific knowledge check, and I wanted it to allow for an untrained knowledge check. I realized far too late that I should have been much more flavorful in description and tried to make it a little less derivative of Gandalf smoking trope.

Thanks again for taking the time to review mine, and everyone else's items. Can't wait to see your archetype!

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

Perfect Tommy wrote:
Dan Jones wrote:

Bracers of Daring Exploits


I don't even want to think about all the ways this wouldn't work as a GM. Breaking a huge rule of the game for no compelling single situation, but instead a huge host of undocumented areas.

Allows a character to move by any number of enemies with impunity, thus negating the whole reason for acrobatics, ddoor, hips, flyby...

Actually, it only works once per round, so it will protect you against going past a single enemy, not any number of enemies. Any number minus one.

Also, remember that natural 20s will still always hit the wearer of the bracers of daring exploits. This item just gives the wearer an edge when performing a single dangerous action.

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:

Mechanics: What is the crowd's AC? How big is the confetti shower when destroyed? What is the crowd's size? Mechanically very weak.

Impression: I assumed this one was a joke item when I read the title and the description. I voted against this one everytime it popped up. This item may be more appropriate for some other game. Tales of the Floating Vagabond comes to mind...
The Lonely Man’s Instant Party wrote:
They take up a fifteen by fifteen foot area centered on the user and count as a very real crowd, thus acting as difficult terrain and cover for anyone within their area. They will not protect themselves from attack or flee from danger

Emphasis is mine. The area they take up the area spelled out in the description, and the confetti cloud that happens when they are destroyed was meant to be flavor. It could be assumed to be the same size as the crowd. As for AC, I thought it would be clear that attacks automatically hit the crowd if it did not defend itself. Thank you for pointing out that should be more clear on that. I do agree that there are mechanical problems, but not the same ones you pointed out.

This wasn't meant to be a joke at all, as a joke item to me is something like "Banana peels of slipping," and "Dog Collar of Flea Speech." This was meant to provide something that was unusual and had versatility for the user. The flavor might have been a little silly, I will give you that, and certainly having a party show up in the middle of a dungeon is something to laugh at. I still respectfully disagree that this is a joke item though.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Woodengolem wrote:

This one was probably one of my favorite items. At the time I'd seen a number of different pipes and this one was the first to try and do something different but also something that would make sense for the item used.

I will likely use this in future games if I'm honest.

Thanks Woodengolem!! Please, do use it in your campaign(s)!!

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

zylphryx wrote:
Mark of the Leech

Impression: I liked the imagery and the attachment/removal.

Mechanics: "The user gains the amount of damage dealt as temporary hit points", does that mean the user gains 1d8+9 or the total amount dealt to all creatures? The line of "Each touch bestows 4d6 hit points up to the total amount of temporary hit points available." makes me believe the latter, which I really don't like since it would be better than a 3d6 channel energy.
Requirements It should be mass inflict light wounds and the spells should be in alphabetical order.

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

Was formatted properly this is copy paste...

Listening Stone – 259 Words
Listening Stone
Aura strong divination faint illusion; CL 11th
Slot -; Price60,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
A nondescript stone that easily fits in one’s palm. The listening stone can record up to 10hrs of sound and be instructed with triggers (treat triggers like contingency spell) to activate its listening and discharge functions. The stone also alters its appearance to fit its surroundings (normal rock outdoors, but looks like a polished piece with interesting patterns if placed on a noble’s mantle.) The sounds recorded can only be discharged once. Each time the record function is used the stone loses an hour of recording space until it records only 1 hour. Spells and spell like abilities that have a sonic descriptor or language based effect can be stored, but only up to 5th level spells and effects. Using the stone in this manner requires all of the stone's recording space. Duration when releasing the spell or spell like effect is equal to round per hour or instant depending on the spell or ability descriptor(sound burst would be instantaneous, bardic performance would be up to 10 rounds.) If used to store a damaging sound effect like shatter then the stone must make an item save (+7, hardness 10, HPs 20.) The Listening stone can be used as sling ammo or thrown as a rock, if it is treat as a rock with magic stone cast on it though the enhancement does not discharge.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, ghost sound, comprehend languages, magic stone, stone shape, stone tell; Cost 30,000 gp

Self critique: Over priced, over complicated, tape recorder. That said, still love it as its a bug + a spell/effect storage device + you can hit someone with it.

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

HerosBackpack wrote:

Cost I think the cost is too low for this item. If the item affected only one creature, I think the price would be better.

Impression: "Dull grey pebble" is dull, I don't like dull. Plus I think different CL for each type would have been better and the save DCs did not scale well. I liked the premise, but felt this was the weaker of the 2(?) spellblight related items. Additionally, by choosing certain spellblights, the item can provide more of a bonus to the party if they know what the effect will be.

Star Voter Season 6

Any feedback appreciated, good, bad, or insulting :)

Brooch of the Dragon’s Hoard
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th
Slot neck; Price 81,000 gp; Weight
This platinum brooch is adorned with an image of a dragon lying atop a hoard of treasure. By speaking the command word, the wearer of this brooch can cause a Large-sized phantasm shaped like a dragon to appear, which will then proceed to devour any unattended treasure indicated by the wearer of the brooch. Each round, the phantasm can devour either one magic item, or 100 gp-worth of coins and non-magical gear and materials, and can continue to devour items until dismissed by the brooch’s wearer (a free action). The phantasm cannot attack, nor can it devour any kind of creature; if it takes damage, it disappears instantly and can be re-summoned in 1 minute.
As the phantasm devours items, it completely annihilates them and stores their worth (full gp value for coins, ½ base price for other items), allowing anyone who wears the brooch to later substitute the power within for any material component for a spell or materials needed for the creation of other magic items (though when used in this fashion, the wearer must still provide the physical object to be made magical); this subtracts from the brooch’s total stored worth (to a minimum of 1 gp each use). In the case of a costly material component, the wearer of the brooch must choose to either use a material component or use the value stored within the brooch; he cannot choose to use a less-costly material component and “make up” the difference with the brooch.
The brooch can be used at will and retains its stored value, even while not worn.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, fabricate; Cost 40,500 gp

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

Black Powder Chocobo wrote:

Findeladlara’s Brush

The revised version is certainly easier to read, but it still contains a few details that need your attention, mostly in the template. Missing spaces, commas and semicolons are little errors that detract from your overall quality.

A couple of things that break my personal list of no-no's: using proper names and the specific translation are a distraction, but others might like it. Abbreviations for cubic foot/feet stop the flow of your sentences, why use them?

"Painting brush" should be "paintbrush".

"...disbelieve that the artwork is not real." Sounds like a double-negative. How about just, "disbelieve the illusion"?

Persistent image seems more appropriate if concentration isn't needed.

The final concern is this feels like a SIAC.

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

OK, got a second wind. Let's see if I can't get through the rest of Page 1 tonight. Then on to Page 2, 3, 4...

Vest of Mongrelkind:

Edward. You went with an ARG item, which I thought was nice. I was actually surprised how few ARG items I saw; my backup was an ARG item.
You started with the duller powers, I thought. My eyes really started to glaze over quickly at +5 competence bonuses, no matter what they were, really quickly.
You also ran into the attunement issue. I can see WHY you needed said attunement -- otherwise the item could easily become overpowered -- but it was another one of those memes that I think people got sick of. I just don't see too many attune items anymore.
I think the big problem -- and this is what I ran into with my ARG item (yeah, I just like typing ARG item) -- is it just kind of feels like a static boost. Yay, you get an extra racial trait. OK, that's cool -- and I liked the mechanic you used to give it -- but in the end it's not that far off from a simple numerical boost. It just needed a bit more magic, I thought.

First Light:

I thought you had a tightly themed item. I think it might've been a touch overpowered, though it's priced fairly high. I think I'd have preferred to see its burst power be a once/day thing. Being able to do it ever 1d4 rounds seems really powerful (and a bit of a pain in terms of record keeping). Or maybe even be a consumable, that it would do the increased illumination effect and then you can choose to throw it for the dazzle effect.

Shadow Sentry:

Scintillae -- welcome to the competition; as they say in the X-Men, hope you survive the experience. Seriously, good for you for joining in on the fun and getting a critique! I think that's even more awesome that you're doing it after gaming for less than a year. I hope you'll join in on the 9 Blazing months practice thread once it starts up after the competition ends.
I think you nailed your biggest problem. This is a camping item. It's certainly competent and it looks like you all but nailed the template (I'm not sure why your school of magic varies). You got a strong name, but I think you needed a little more rules information. What's the mechanical effect of the ghost-sound hunters? As a GM, I'd be at a loss to know what that means for someone who tripped this.

Tempest Regalia:

Thomas, I'm not sure I ever saw this one while voting.
Your writing and template use are superb, which probably isn't a surprise. I think you did make the mistake of leading with your less exciting power, the competence bonus to Cha-based checks. I like the windstorm effect, but the ioun stone aspect seems a bit tacked on. I get that they normally swirl around you, but I didn't quite get why they would mesh with this item. It seems like a lot of people have been using this synergy with ioun stones (note the Top 32 binnacle), but personally, I'm not a big fan of the mechanic.

Tablet of Heretical Lore:

Nazard, I think you tried to put some wise limitations on this item, but I still just felt like it was taking away too much of a choice a character made at creation. "Here, have access to ALL the domains." That said, your writing was strong enough that I think I probably upvoted this most of the time I saw it, but I think the core idea would've prevented me from putting it in my Top 32.

Nethian Scroll Tube:

Never saw this in voting, but I'm afraid to say I think I would've downvoted it almost every time. Letting arcane casters add divine spells to their spellbooks, which is what this seems to be doing, is just way too powerful. You're basically eliminating the need for a cleric and mixing the two classes up way too much.

I think in addition it just does too much and isn't really clear. You say a scroll is destroyed when it's put in. Then you say it can be heightened three times per day. It's not clear to me if that's the same scroll (being read from the tube, which would mean you've basically created a wand of whatever spell you put in the scroll) or if I can do it three times a day but have to put three different scrolls in.

Hurrah, 1 page down!

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
zylphryx wrote:
Mark of the Leech

Impression: I liked the imagery and the attachment/removal.

Mechanics: "The user gains the amount of damage dealt as temporary hit points", does that mean the user gains 1d8+9 or the total amount dealt to all creatures? The line of "Each touch bestows 4d6 hit points up to the total amount of temporary hit points available." makes me believe the latter, which I really don't like since it would be better than a 3d6 channel energy.
Requirements It should be mass inflict light wounds and the spells should be in alphabetical order.

Thanks for the review Thomas.

For the requirements, yes and I when I realized I had done that I kicked myself. Repeatedly.

For the effects, yes, it is the total amount of damage dealt, which is can then be given out with the equivalent effect of a reversed vampiric touch. I seriously thought about reducing it, but with the price point putting it in the realm of being purchasable to a character being built at 7th level using WBL, the fact that one's allies would also be feeding the pool of temporary HP (if they were within 30') and the fact it was a once per day drain ability I decided to let it stand. But it was a point I wrestled with a bit.

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

The rest of page 1. Whew!

Orb of Aggravation - The basic concept is fine, something that does dirty tricks on an opponent. I feel like a flying orb is maybe not the most mojo-ful package to put that in, though. Maybe try to make it more cinematic, maybe personify it more. The Living Whispers item would not have made top 32 if it made an orb, you know? Not really a fan of the random effect, though I see why its appropriate here. But what if the target is not susceptible to the effect rolled?

Elixir of Last Will - I liked this idea, voted for it now and again. Your instinct to have a guidance-from-beyond-the-grave effect was a good one. It's clever. It's a small effect, but it's a very cheap item. I can see it being fun around the table, and when it affects the outcome of a fight it would be triumphant. Having said that, it does need more mojo. I don't think a ghostly version is the right way to go, though. Maybe take it from elixir form. Maybe swallowing a magic bug that emerges at 0 hp and goes to person of their choosing. Something like that.

Shroud of Certain Return - I like the name, but I confess I'm not too familiar with the use case for this item. The utility just isn't something I've come across. It may be too niche, in other words.

Findeladlara’s Brush - Seems a little niche with the painter/artist requirement. How many adventurers have those skills? Also, the basic idea of drawing things that materialize is a little too common. You'd have to find a way to really stand out with that idea. The revision is indeed better, but with an idea that comes up as often as this one, you have to push the mojo far.

Hunter's Geas - A lot of small effects, feels busy for not a lot of result. Maybe drop most of what it does, focus on one aspect. Strangely to me, the tracking aspect feels like the way to go. Build on that rather than tacking on things like flanking bonuses.

Garter of Hidden Fortune - Liked the idea of this item, voted for it, didn't think it would make it since it's not combaty. However, there's too much going on here. Probably best to drop the message deal, and maybe the teleporting to another being. Definitely drop the luck bonus to the other being. Focus it more. I like the idea of a pouch that hides itself, that's where the appeal is, stay with that.

Ointment of Last Sight - There were a few similar items, particularly that let you see how a corpse died. This is ok as a version of that, but the whole genre of items is GM nightmare, forcing them to wing it with a lot of stuff they may not be ready for. One of those things that would exist in the game world but is a pain at the table. One way to solve that would be to find a mojoful and fun way to explain why it doesn't always work.

Tabard of Cunning Tactics - Doesn't feel like it does enough. I like that it plays with a teamwork theme. Maybe dig deeper into those teamwork mechanics.

Chalice of Communal Dweomer - 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.

Vest of Mongrelkind - I didn't like this because I saw it as a way of avoiding racial trait limitations, which upon reflection was maybe an unfair reflex. That said, it still doesn't seem exciting. There's maybe something in the root of the idea of building an affinity with another race. Something beyond just snagging a cheap trait. Also, vest seems kinda strange for this. I'd almost be tempted to find some way to work in something that prepared racial foods, a pot or something. Or maybe not.

First Light - Feels like the Phial Of Galadriel. I do like your summary sentence up front, though I suspect others may suggest it should be cut. I don't have much on this one, I can't get away from the LOTR vibe. Sorry. :-(

Shadow Sentry - Seems like a make-adventuring-safer item, a bit. Also, the save seems pretty low. There's probably something in the realm that works, but it would have to have a ton of mojo packaging.

Tempest Regalia - I suspect this was bit by the anti-ioun-stone faction. I like the second paragraph, those functions seem like the core of the item to me. Maybe the place to build on. What else could a wind suit do for you?

Tablet of Heretical Lore - I actually like this better than the top 32 domain skipping item. The cost is much more in line with what I think is appropriate. One downside is that it doesn't allow heat of the moment substitution like the other item. I wonder if it could changed to an after the fact cost? Caster must perform a ceremony of thanks with the same costs after using the other domain spell in the spur of the moment. Maybe too much bookkeeping, and it does lower the practical cost.

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

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

Intellectual's Clay Pipe:

Sorry, headkase, this one just bored me. It was basically a skill bonus. I could see it being in a book of wondrous items, but I just didn’t think it was very sexy in terms of Superstar

Thank you Jacob, you are dead on. It was boring and could maybe be in a book of generic wondrous items.

Also, you beat me on page 1!! I will be back tomorrow to continue the reviews.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

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Halfling Swingsaddle of the Gorilla

Aura faint transmutation; CL 5th
Slot --; Price 8,000 gp; Weight 30 lbs.

This brown leather saddle is embroidered with stitching in the shape of a four-leaf clover. The saddle permits its owner to ride apes as mounts, even up vertical services when the ape is climbing. The ape's climbing speed is unimpeded while bearing the rider. The saddle is flexible and weighted at the bottom, and maintains the rider in an upright position at all times. The saddle provides a +2 circumstance bonus to Ride checks related to staying in the saddle, and the rider does not take the -5 penalty for Ride checks for non-standard mounts. If knocked unconscious while in the saddle, the rider has a 50% chance to stay in the saddle.


Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, cat's grace, creator must be a halfling; Cost 4,000 gp

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

Hey, I'd love to hear what people thought of my item!

Flask of Sudden Sanctuary
Aura moderate conjuration and transmutation; CL 13th
Slot –; Price 10,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.


This silver flask is inlaid with motifs of angels and dolphins cavorting. It's carved with a particular holy symbol, and can be used by a cleric of the appropriate faith to channel energy. Although it appears the size of a canteen, it holds an extradimensional space which can actually contain 125 gallons (1,000 pints) of water.

By tracing the perimeter of an empty 50ft. square with the water (36 pints) a cleric of the faith can channel energy to summon a chapel. A four-story cathedral of the cleric's design is erected in the area, including bell tower, iconography, and stained-glass windows. It appears complete with a high-ranking priest of the religion (an appropriate 10 HD Outsider) qualified to perform baptisms, handfasts, last rites, and marriages.

For an appropriate tithe (25 gp per pint), the pastor will bless the water in the flask, turning it into holy or unholy water. The chapel disappears after one hour, and the priest is sworn to never participate in conflicts.

By chanting one of three command prayers as a standard action, the flask starts gushing water, at either 8 pints per round (a touch attack), 45 pints per round (a 15ft. line), or 240 pints per round (a 20ft. cone). If the contents are holy or unholy water, the number of pints (flasks) of special water are divided between the squares in the area, with damage dice divided evenly. If mixed with normal water, holy water floats, and empties first; unholy water sinks, and sprays out afterwards. The area effects offer a Reflex save (DC 17) for half damage.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, control water, mage's magnificent mansion, planar ally; Cost 5,000 gp

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

Jacob Kellogg wrote:
Ghoulslayer Gloves

Item in a Nutshell:Tweak range and damage to undead from cure spells.

First Impression: Useful, but not exciting.

Template Use: Looks ok.

Critique: I personally don’t like calling out Golarion setting info (except for maybe gods, unless explicitly asked to do otherwise), but it’s done pretty well here. Undead-slaying as a phrase seems a little rough here. There is probably a way to clean up the “casts a cure” spell sentence, since you obviously thought it needed clarification, and might come off as patronizing (e.g. “cure spells are the ones that cure... stupid”) Applying meta-magic with gloves is a neat choice, and the application is narrow enough be balanced.

When it comes down to it though, is this superstar? It’s a good item, and follows the template well, but it just doesn’t play with the rules enough, or create that excellent imagery to get there. It looks like you had ~150 words you left on the table that could have been used to punch this up.

Would I rather buy this or... Incense of meditation? It’s a close call. There aren’t a lot of cleric related gloves around this cost, so this is it’s only competition. It would depend on the campaign, but I totally wouldn’t mind buying these if there were lots of pesky undead around.

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

Jacob Trier wrote:

Tabard of Cunning Tactics

I voted for this, but I did have one problem; I couldn't recall any rules that allowed Combat Expertise with Combat Maneuvers. Can someone point me to this?

Otherwise, this felt pretty solid to me.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As I expect plenty of folks will try to say what was right or wrong with various items (and the far-more-qualified-than-I judges will come along at some point to really rip them apart for design flaws, etc.), I’ll post my critiques in the form of “Why I Did or Didn’t Tend to Vote for This Item”. Everything below is totally my personal taste, along with any glaring design issues I noticed. If that’s not useful, then feel free to skip, but these were my impressions as a voter.

Chelish Silver-Tongued Devil:

Sorry, but the whole grappling/kissing/vomiting into the mouth part completely turned me off. I did like the enhanced Diplomacy use in the first paragraph though.

Gentleman’s Ensnaring Cane:

I voted for this. It’s powerful, but it also costs 78,000, so I was okay with that. It was kind of like a telekinesis spell on steroids, and I especially liked the image of picking up opponents and moving them about the battlefield by twisting the cane. Only problem with that image is that is very science-fiction-y. Ensign, engage tractor beams!

Ghoulslayer Gloves:

Sorry, this one was essentially a feat-in-a-can for me, and the whole no Will save business means any high-level undead-hunting cleric is going to need these. Also, you never say what happens when these are used with a mass cure spell, though I assume that means no save for them, too.

Ethos Swarm Charm:

Sorry, no go here—my personal preference is never for items that basically turn you into a monster, and from the design standpoint, I don’t like items that get more powerful depending on how many hit dice the user has. There really should be a swarm form spell series, though. Or maybe not.

Porcine Pendant:

Sorry, this fell into the joke-item category for me. Probably my favourite of the joke items, though.

Siegebreaker Cymbals:

Sorry, but this fell into my makes-adventuring-easier category, letting everyone go adventuring with your favourite cold iron/silver/adamantine weapon, and bang cymbals anytime you need to overcome DR. I did like the imagery, though.

Amulet of the Grasping Soul:

The only power I liked with this one was letting incorporeal creatures do the stereo-typical move stuff around when you’re not looking shtick, which is extremely niche. Items that grant weapon abilities to all of a person’s weapons never resonate well with me.

Candle of Distant Assurance:

Strange, but any item that uses status or deathwatch in their requirements get an instant no from me. Plus, I don’t know how I’d use this. Light it when my rogue buddy goes scouting in the next room? Use it to monitor an important NPC/ally? Use it to monitor a BBEG to make sure we killed him this time? All of these uses feel either meta-gamey or plot-device. Sorry, no votes.

Fiddle of the Dance:

Liked the first power, not the second. I teach folk dancing to 5-year-olds, so maybe the image of people using this to dance on the walls hit a little too close to home. Not your fault, though. I suppose with just the first power, it would have been too bland; also, it would have felt more like a bardic special performance ability than a magic item.

Handkerchief of the Scoured Visage:

Ewwwwwww. Sorry, but the images for me with this one So you can use it on a corpse to make them harder to identify...okay, very niche, but okay. You can use it on a living creature to help transport their senses, or to protect said creature from breathing issues. I have no idea what happens to the living creature while its face is walking around in somebody else’s pocket: stasis? Following along bumping into things? I can see and smell through this thing. What happens if somebody puts it in their pocket – front, or back? Can I convince a Calistrian temple prostitute to “keep me close”?

Intellectual's Clay Pipe:

I never saw this one, but if I had, I would have thought that it was fairly plain, though charming, and something my sagely sorcerer would enjoy using next to a roaring fire in the inn as he tries to remember something about the strange carvings he saw in the dungeon that afternoon.

Wings, Resplendent Battle:

Bullet point list! I haven’t read it yet, and already I’m thinking a SAK of various abilities or powers my character could have. Read it. Suspicion confirmed. That said, there were a couple times when I voted for this, but unfortunately those votes had a lot more to do with its pairing than the item itself.

Time's Tide Pendant:

Initiative items are often meta-gamey, as is this one, but it wasn’t offensively so. I voted for this every time it came up, though there are items I would have preferred if they’d ever come against each other.

Orator’s Torc:

Power of the item increase depending on how many people are around...GM forced to calculate down to div 5 how many random passers-by are in every crowd...nope, sorry.

Orb of Aggravation:

Random item, Dirty Trick in a can, basically a Whip Feather Token, except it does Dirty Trick instead of Grapple. No votes.

Elixir of Last Will:

This item is sort of a one-shot version of the item I submitted two years ago. My item got panned by the judges, though yours doesn’t try to do nearly as much as my defending wisp did. I’m partial to items that let players continue to contribute when their character goes down instead of thumbing through rule books or playing Angry Birds until a heal comes their way. I saw this twice and voted both ways on it, both times because of what its opponent was at the time.

Shroud of Certain Return:

No. The uncertainty of reincarnation is pretty much the whole point of the spell, the fun of it or the drawback for using it, depending on your point of view. Either way, removing it is not a good idea. I thought the item was designed well, just not a good design space choice. If it ain’t broke...

Findeladlara’s Brush:

Isn’t this marvelous pigments without the pigments, except it makes illusions instead of real objects? It’s basically a bunch of fluff that disguises a programmed image SIAC dumbed down to minor image quality. I wanted to like this one because I currently have a gnome illusion-focused sorcerer who uses a paint brush as a “crutch” to make all his illusions.

Hunter’s Geas:

An escalating if...then chain item, one that gets better and better the more conditions you meet, so any player with such an item is going to make darned sure that all conditions are met whenever possible. The party rogue and ranger are cashing in for a matched pair and hacking off body parts as they go through the dungeon.

Garter of Hidden Fortune:

If this item exists in the game world (and the party would have to be aware of their existence to find them, as they are “notoriously difficult to find on a captured foe”, it’s going to lead to all sorts of uncomfortable situations. I pity the poor party rogue who draws the short straw and has to check to see if Mammy Graul got herself one of them hidden garters.

Ointment of Last Sight:

This is a GM’s nightmare if the players try to use it on something unexpected, but at 1,500 gp a pop, they’re going to be pretty stingy, saving it for unusual magic items, or important corpses. Personally, I have a hard time swallowing the 300 gp for a cure moderate potion, and as no published adventure is going to assume that the players have something like this at their disposal, there are always going to be other ways to get the information you need. Of course, YMMV in homebrew, but it doesn’t seem an item that a lot of players are going to want to sink cash into.

Tabard of Cunning Tactics:

I saw this one a lot. A lot! The first power is a bunch of number throwing and bonus granting. The second, switching places with an enemy that’s flanking you so he gets hit by his own buddy...that I like. I voted for it about half the time I saw it, though voting fatigue was setting in with this one, as I saw it a lot (probably upwards of 20 times).

Chalice of Communal Dweomer:

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.

Vest of Mongrelkind:

There were a lot of items this year that dealt ARG stuff, naturally. My personal preference is for items that bend rules in interesting ways, rather than items that just give you cool flashy ability x. Judging by the items in the top 89, my view is the minority, so I guess that critique is completely unhelpful.

First Light:

Strong LotR vibes here. Obviously this does more than simply light up a room and scare off a giant spider monster, and I really like the evocative name. I voted for this, though I wish the inspiration wasn’t quite so blatant.

Shadow Sentry:

Never saw this one. Hmmm...your self critique is spot on. Camping item, and it also falls into the magic trap category (rather than a magic item). Add in a minor fear effect, and this would make an excellent CR 2 or 3 Trap.

Tempest Regalia:

Somewhere in the back of my mind, this is making me think of a Looney Tunes character, but I can’t think which one. It’s been so long. But a character suddenly whips themself around, turning into a mini-tornado, and zipping across the screen, knocking things over and sending other characters flying. I know I’ve seen it somewhere before. I liked the item for the first two paragraphs, but the ioun stone business lost me.

Amulet of Amended Strategy:

I like this one. I know it borders on meta-gaming, but I like it, and voted for it both times I saw it. Granted, it is a player item—not that a GM couldn’t use it with one of his baddies, but it’s the kind of item that says, “My designer hates readying actions in combat for triggers that never happen, therefore completely wasting his turn”. However, I like how you realized that this gizmo could be abused to interrupt another character’s action, like spell-casting. Players could abuse it, however into the once-a-day, do whatever you like gizmo by deliberately readying for something that won’t happen, just so they can use the device to act at the most opportune moment, or basically use this device to ready for multiple triggers. “I ready to charge the orc when Phil moves out of the way, or throw my spear if another orc comes around the corner, or cast time stop if my toast is burning, whichever comes first.”

Circlet of Malevolent Eyes:

Yay! Anthony! We started out the first practice thread last January (I think before round two submissions even closed), so you get a full critique. If I’d known this item was yours, I’d have voted for it more often (which I guess is kind of why the voting was anonymous).
[quote-Anthony’s Item]Aura faint necromancy; CL 5th
Slot head; Price 10,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Other than a weight of 0.5 lb instead of 1, I have no issues here. Price I leave to the end (but it’s my worst part of designing, so don’t expect any good ideas there). Of course, the Template part is perfect.

[quote-Anthony’s Item]Description
A silver circlet adorned by a central ovoid moonstone surrounded by four amber stones shaped as tiger’s eyes. All stones are inset with an elongated vertical silhouette representing a unique creature type from the ranger’s favored enemies table.

The first sentence is nice description, but it isn’t a complete sentence on its own (there’s no action). It feels like, at some point, it went, “tiger’s eyes, this item...” followed by a synopsis of its function, or else started with “This is...”. I’d suggest the phrasing “favored enemies list” rather than table, unless “table” is used somewhere else in a rules reference of which I am unaware. Also, can I change the silhouettes in the amber? You mention changing the moonstone, but not the amber.

Anthony’s Item wrote:
When worn by a ranger, the moonstone silhouette reforms to represent the ranger’s favored enemy with the highest bonus. Where the ranger has more than one favored enemy with the same bonus, they must choose for the moonstone. The moonstone remains fixed until there is a change in ranger’s favored enemy with highest bonus when it immediately changes to match.

I’m two paragraphs in, and have no clue what this item does. Unfortunately, this paragraph was necessary to explain how the item is going to function, once you get to explain it, but man does it drag. I would humbly suggest that if you find that your item needs paragraphs like these, that need should be a warning sign that the complexity level is way too high. Also, you need a “the” or something before the word “ranger’s”, or maybe just, “the wearer’s”, since none of these powers work if you aren’t a ranger, I think it’s okay to assume that the wearer is in fact a ranger.

Anthony’s Item wrote:
As a move action, touching both moonstone and one eye transfers the wearers favored enemy bonus represented by the moonstone to apply to the enemy represented by the eye for 5 rounds. The rate of transfer is 2 points per 1 point of bonus gain and stacks with any existing favored enemy bonus. Where the wearer does not have this favored enemy, they can treat such targets as favored and apply half the new bonus.

Uh oh. Move action! Going to yellow alert. Item activation rules being messed with. Judges don’t tend to like this sort of thing. Is it necessary that it be a move action instead of a standard? Move action activations in item design scream, “My designer hates blowing a round of attacking/spell-casting to activate his fancy doo-hickey, so if I make it a standard action, it’ll never get used”. Now, however, we get an idea of what it does. It lets Ranger Bob transfer part of his “I hate x” rage towards “I sort of hate y, except right now because they’re in front of me so I really hate them, and I don’t like that my major class feature isn’t so hot right now because there are no x around”. I’m sorry Anthony, but at this point, the item looks like the ranger favored enemy equivalent of the “make my sword silver/cold iron/piercing/whatever because that’s the damage reduction I have to get by, and next round, it needs to be flaming ghost touch”. Also, minor details, but “wearers favored enemy” should be “wearer’s favored enemy” and “they can treat such targets” should be “he can treat such targets”—since the item is a ranger item, it’s okay to assume the iconic ranger is wearing it, and make all your pronouns “he” instead of “they”.

Anthony’s Item wrote:
Neither the moonstone nor any of the eyes represent identical favored enemy groups at any time. During a moonstone change, any eye with a duplicate favored enemy group changes immediately to another unique selection.

Again, another necessary paragraph to clarify how the item does and doesn’t function. Same problem as paragraph 2.
Anthony’s Item wrote:
Touching a single eye grants, for 8 hours, a +5 competence bonus to Survival checks to track creatures of the represented type. Unskilled Survival checks gain an increase in the maximum tracking DC they can track to DC 15 for 4 hours. Only one eye may be active at a time, each eye takes 8 hours to recharge after each use.

Here we have the secondary effect of the item. It’s not as sexy as the favored enemy bonus moving, so it’s properly placed afterward near the end. You definitely learned to not bury your lead during the practice threads. Ironically, the part about allowing unskilled Survival checks up to a DC of 15 is my favourite part of this item. That’s minor rule breaking that makes the item useful to any class. From a grammar standpoint, your second sentence in this paragraph doesn’t flow properly on its own, and probably should have been attached to the first sentence with a semi-colon. The final sentence contains a comma splice; it should either read, “Only one eye may be active at a time; each eye takes 8 hours to recharge after each use.” or “Only one eye may be active at a time, and each eye takes 8 hours to recharge after each use.”
Anthony’s Item wrote:


Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, hunter’s howl; Cost 5,000 gp

Of course, the Template here is perfect. I was unfamiliar with this spell until reviewing your item, and I think it’s a perfect choice. Now that I’ve read through the item, I feel that the price is close enough to not ruffle any feathers. It has great utility (even if it is a meta-game utility) and will continue to be useful right up to level 20 (indeed, this item gets better and better the more levels of ranger you have).

I hope all this helps, Anthony. Of course, feel free to slaughter my tablet of heretical lore in retaliation. Fair’s fair, after all. 

Immediate Chant:

This has two powers. The first is that it’s a pearl of power, for any caster class, of any level up to 4th. The second is that it lets you make a scroll of a spell with a really long casting time and bang it out as a standard action. Standard action divination, standard action control weather. I’m sure there are even worse abusable spells out there for this item.

Nautilus Pack of Tangled Tentacles:

Definitely my favourite extra-dimensional item. The visual is fun (especially if you start to wonder what sort of stuff the wearer might choose to store in this pack...the grand hero speaks the command word, and out come items of great value and power...meta-magic rods, flaming short sword, some sausage links, adamantine shield he stole off the body of a Hell Knight, pink thong he swiped from the tavern wench the night before...).

The Lonely Man’s Instant Party:

I saw this item a lot...the first time was against my own item. Even after that, it fell into the “joke item” category for me, as well as a very expensive one shot. That said, I like the thematic effects it can create, and I can see it as the “cover my retreat” type of item.

Choker of Subtle Sound:

I voted for this, mostly because I loved the second power—that it worked as Silent Spell for bards who by definition normally can’t use Silent Spell. I also loved the third power. It made me think of Elan, sneaking through a dungeon, humming to himself, “Sneak, sneak, sneak through the dungeon”, only without the comedy of failure because he would be the only person to hear his humming. Despite the thematic ties, however, the abilities are just too disparate, making the item a SAK, albeit one with style.

Ultimate Adventurer’s Egg:

I never saw this one. I get how it’s supposed to work (grab bag of abilities depending on what you need at any given time), but I wonder if you’d thought through the physical logistics of using this item. There are two picture on the top and four on the bottom. If you line up a normal egg with one of the pictures down below, by default, doesn’t the glowing egg also end up aligned with the bottom picture that’s across from the one lined up with the normal egg?

Mark of the Leech:

Pass the hit points around item. Okay, I guess. What happens if an undead creature wears this item and uses it to heal a bunch of other undead? Does it still take the damage, or does it get healed, too? Even without that question being an issue, this item can be meta-game abused by the user stabilizing a bunch of mooks and dragging them around until he has enough, then bursting the gizmo.


Curse-in-a-can...ummm CiaC? If you give someone an oracle curse, do they get the benefits of the curse, too? If we’re being honest, most people using this item are going to pick either blindness or deafness curses, yes, they could pick others, but those are the best ones, which basically makes this item a blindness/deafness SiaC.

Skein Helm:

Three spells in one can. Good value for your money, but not getting my vote. Sorry.

Mantle of a Thousand Hands:

I didn’t understand what was meant by “perform a deftly handled task”. When I first read this item, I expected to read something about a bonus to Disable Device. However, what it turns out to be is the Quick Draw feat (weakened) mixed with the cool aspect of a handy haversack. It does have a cool visual, however, but other than that, it’s part of a feat, part of an existing item, and some minor skill bonuses.

Meddler’s Mirror:

Technically, this item clocks in at exactly 300 words, and in the first sentence, it’s clearly missing one (“with an oval head and short handle”), so you’re already bordering into possible DQ territory. Ignoring that, it’s a classic scry-and-fry item—spy on the guy, wait till he’s alone, hit him with hold person and teleport in once it takes hold.

Disappearing Weapon Cord:

I voted for this a few times. It suffered from voter fatigue set in by a constant stream of extra-dimensional space items. It doesn’t make a glove of storing obsolete, but it does impinge on its design space. Never a good idea.

Escapee’s Spoon:

One of the first items I saw, and the first one I voted for without feeling dirty inside. It seems really situational, though, except for the last power.

Octavo of Perseverance:

I didn’t hate this one, but didn’t love it either. Kind of “okay, that’s nice”. I voted for it depending on its competition.

Fleshwarping Unguent:

Bullet point list. Uh oh. “See below” slot. Getting nervous...Checks...yep, shopping list of abilities depending on what the situation calls for. The item that is all items. GM’s discretion? Deals with drug addictions (not PG material)...oh dear. 140,000 gp for a one shot item that can, if I so choose, have a purely cosmetic effect? 140,000 gp mascara? Fortunately, by the time I can afford to drop 140,000 gp on eyeliner, I shouldn’t have to worry about the DC 12 Will save to not become addicted to it...140,000 gp a day would be a pretty nasty habit...

Glove of Saturation:

I liked this and voted for it every time I saw it. I like that it turns splash weapons into area effect weapons (Hey fighters! Yes, you too can cast scorching ray...) Not sure why the save DC was modified by the wielder’s Strength instead of Dexterity, but whatever. I don’t like the name, though I have no idea what to suggest instead.

Sash of Singularity:

Very science-y. Lots of weird stuff going on to just grant some simple bonuses to some combat maneuvers. Voted for it in accordance with its competition.

Skinthief’s Fetish:

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Using this item seems to carry with it more risks than the possible benefits. And did I mention Ewwwwwwwwwwww!?

First two pages done!! Apologies if some of these come across as cheeky, but I was trying to convey my thought process as I was first considering whether or not to vote for these items.

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