Official 2013 "Critique my item" thread


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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

Thanks for the reviews for all who've done them for the Time's Tide Pendant (I'm still kicking myself a little on the name; I think Time Tide Pendant would have been better, though not like it would have changed the ultimate outcome). To reply to a few of them...

theheadkase wrote:

Time's Tide Pendant

"Inside, a dull coppery metal dust ignores gravity," That part irked me for a reason. The reason being, I wanted the word "resides" to be in there. "Inside resides a dull coppery metal dust that ignores gravity," would have just felt better. I kept asking...what is it doing inside?!??

Well, resides would have implied the dust was alive. I can see the phrasing may have been a little awkward, though. Maybe I'd have done better to say "the dull copper metal dust inside ignores gravity..." No one apparently got that it was an allusion to Horacalcum, the time-bending skymetal. At one point, the thing's name was horacalcum pendant, but that seemed too esoteric for me. I bought the first Adventure Path to find out more about it and ended up using only those three words. I guess that literally makes them $5 words. : )

Feros, thanks for your comments. I thought the idea of slowing and giving bursts of speeds could be cinematic, but obviously not enough so. Will certainly try to be moreso next year.

Steven Helt wrote:
time's tide pendant I love time oracles. There were a few timey wimey objects and I never saw the one that made the top 32. When I saw this one, I struggled to understand what I'd get out of the first ability besides just going twice in a row. If that's it, it's not great design because it allows one player to take over a combat and their friends stop contributing. I think the one thing a player wants more than to receive another buff spell or channel heal is to get to their turn so they can swing. Similarly, I think that manipulating where a person falls on initiative count is not compelling - they still only get one action, and they can hold, delay or refocus without spending gold on a magic item. Maybe a better use would be to allow someone to hold or delay without resetting their initiative for the rest of combat.

The main power does indeed let you go twice in a row. I didn't feel like that would let someone take over combat, since everyone else would still get their actions, but I can see your point. I thought there was a lot that could be done with manipulating where someone fell in initiative. If you get a surprise action, you could push the bad guy to the bottom and give everyone a round with him flat-footed. If someone's on the verge of dying, you could push his initiative down so his allies can finish off the BBEG in that round and then get to him for healing, etc. etc.

The core of the idea started with your last sentence, actually (and Clark mentioning it as a neat area to play around with during last year's Critique thread). It originally dealt with counts and tracking them and a bunch of other strangeness. It got far more streamlined during development.

Thunderbuckets wrote:
Time's Tide Pendant: But the thought of using it to get two actions in a row (yes, I know, the last sentence, but if you act last in the initiative order and then first in the next round, you get two full round actions minus one swift action and all you had to do was delay a little bit or roll poorly on initiative to begin with) gives me pause. It feels abusable. Which I don't necessarily mind, personally?

Yup, I spent a lot of time worrying about this, which I think is why I ended up including that last sentence just to make sure it's clear. I felt like that was a big power. The original version made it so you had to delay until AFTER the bad guy went to be able to move back ahead of him, but again that was really confusing. Still, after you used it once, it mean the opponents would get to go (since you'd be at the top of initiative so the delay would be definition have to take you past them), which I thought saved it. In some ways, it rewarded you for rolling low on initiative, which I didn't intend but couldn't find a way to work around.

The other thing it could let you do is cast full-round spells without a chance for an interrupt. That also concerned me a lot.

Saint Caleth wrote:

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

Thanks. I think the construction requirements were probably a mistake. I thought that would be a unique choice and was really surprised to see how many people used non-standard construction requirements (which I don't remember from previous Critique threads, though maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention?).

As Guy notes in his insightful review, there's nothing that I'm aware of that affects initiative like this, which left me looking for my requirements. All the time spells are really high, which left me with haste and slow, but those just seemed so old hat -- one of the judges even called them out for that in Garrett's item last year -- not to mention what this spell did isn't quite how I imagine those working (i.e. I see them more as changing the target rather than affecting time). The time oracle seemed like a perfect backup option and the specific revelation was exactly what I wanted. My thought was it could easily be houseruled that you could use the spells as the requirements if you wanted, since of course that's what the revelation does, but it ended up being a bad choice.

Guy Russell wrote:


It’s a swift action to activate. Mechanically, I could activate this as the last action of my turn, but it says it works like Delay which isn’t an action at all and you don’t take your turn. What happens if I activate this at the end of my turn? Does my initiative order become last, and if so, what about all the people that had turns between the original initiative position and the new one, since my turn was "the last in the round”

I would say your initiative resets to 1; then you get your action and then your new action at the top of the round. I debated saying it changed your count to 1 when it was activated, but then I was left with that meaning characters with higher initiative would end up going first if someone else already had an initiative of 1.

Again, thanks to the rest of you who've commented (and please feel free to comment more anyone else). Seems pretty clear what the mistakes were.

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

P33J wrote:

Final Thoughts

One of the clones made a good point ...

Clones? LOL. Took me a second to realize you were talking about us Jacobs. Thanks for cracking me up! That's going to amuse me all day.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Twinning Glass
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 10th
Slot neck; Price 10,000 gp; Weight --
Description
This small, double-sided mirror, worn as a pendant on a necklace, allows a character to be in two places at once.

When activated the wearer subtly divides into two exact copies of himself. These twins are separate manifestations of the wearer, complete with identical equipment, but are still one character and share everything except their physical position. Each twin draws from the same pool of hit points, abilities, equipment, and actions. Damage to one draws from the same body of hit points as the other. Spells and special abilities deplete the same sets of slots and uses. The wearer must also allocate his actions among the twins, and any equipment used or lost by one disappears from the other’s possession. Furthermore, the twins are both affected if either suffers a condition or effect that is not entirely physical in nature, like being prone or grappled.

The twins initially occupy the same space and can occupy the same space at any time. When occupying the same space they remerge into one form and act as one character, but when occupying separate spaces they provide cover and flanking for themselves and their allies as two characters.

The effect of the glass can be used for up to 10 rounds per day, and can be ended as a free action, causing the twin of the wearer’s choice to disappear. The rounds do not need to be consecutive and can be divided up as the wearer desires. While active the glass cannot be reactivated.
Construction
Requirements Create Wondrous Item, blink, dimension door; Cost 5,000 gp

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Here is some feedback on a few items.

Ghoulslayer Gloves:
I liked these a lot, but perhaps a little more umph is needed. It was suggested elsewhere that a critical hit effect might have been helpful. I'm also wondering if a form other than glove could have been more interesting. Even Gauntlet seems more awesome.

Ethos Swarm Charm:
My problem with this item was that you were connecting alignments to swarms and I never got the connection. I think there is a superstar item here, but it is simpler and more awesome.

Porcine Pendant:
This was just too silly for me. I have a hard enough time keeping my players on task, introducing this would derail an entire session.

Candle of Distant Assurance :
I REALLY liked this item, and it is already written into an upcoming section of my ongoing campaign. However, that is kind of the issue. It seems like more of a plot item than something the character's want. But, thank you. It is going to bring a lot to my game!

Orator’s Torc:
I thought this was an OK item. Increasing the benefit by the number of people being addressed was a nice twist, I liked that. It wasn't clear if all types of bardic performance had increased range, or just vocal ones like singing and oratory.

Time's Tide Pendant:
There was a fellow player in my last campaign who could have really made good use of this item, based off of the first affect alone. The target effect was too complicated. I had to read it several times, and I still wasn't sure I knew how it should work in play.

Orb of Aggravation:
I don't think I saw this one to vote on it. In reading it now, it is on the edge of being too comedic to introduce into my game, but I might use it.

Shroud of Certain Return:
My experience is that reincarnation is not fun. Most players just don't enjoy coming back from the dead as something else. The exception would be as a plot point. Then I could even see using this item. The idea of a coven of witches killing somebody and bringing them back as something specific could make for a good plot.

Tablet of Heretical Lore:
This was kind of neat. The complexity of setting it up, needing another spellcaster and so forth, made it seem like more of a plot item to me.

Nethian Scroll Tube:
I thought this was interesting. Scroll tubes for Nethys are very flavorful. I thought the disintegration effects (other spells and at sunrise) were unnecessary. As a player I would never use something where I had to remember to tell the GM I remove the scolls from the tube. If the item isn't quite balanced, the cost and time per day could be tweaked to balance it.

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

Coridan wrote:
Skein Helm

Impression: This was a well done, but simple item. Good rulebook item, but not Superstar. More could have been done with the descriptive text. Who really wants to wear a helm with a goose on it?

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Castling Gloves
Aura faint conjuration; CL 7th
Slot hands; Price 10,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Description
Like their namesake chess move, these fine silk or leather gloves allow items to strategically move between wearers. A matched pair consists of two left or two right-handed gloves.

When the gloves are worn by two people within 1,000 feet of each other, either wearer can speak the command word, causing objects held in the gloved hands to be instantly exchanged. This requires a standard action and can be done up to three times per day. The exchange still happens if one party is unwilling or if one hand is empty. In the latter case, the single held item simply moves to the other person's hand.

Receiving an item requires an immediate action for the wearer who did not activate the gloves. If the recipient does not have an action available, the item falls to the ground. Either recipient can immediately make a Sleight of Hand check to conceal a coin-sized received item. This skill check does not require an additional action.

These gloves use the entire hands slot for both users.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, dimension door, prestidigitation; Cost 5,000 gp

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

Shadders wrote:
Meddler’s Mirror

Impression: While this item was formatted well, it was boring. Seemed more like a plot device, because any use on an NPC would most likely be used to develop the story. Or a way to keep adventuring safe, by using it on the party tank or rogue and cast a spell through it to stay safe.

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Rappelling Vambraces

Aura moderate conjuration; CL 9th

Slot wrists; Price 11750 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Description
These bronze armbands are decorated with filigree resembling intricately looped cords with a ring of studs around the wrist. Each vambrace has a single stud above the wrist which may be launched at a spot up to 120 feet away as a standard action. A metal cord trails the stud and the stud will anchor to the targeted location either by embedding into hard surfaces (such as stone or wood) or wrapping around the target object. As a move action, the wearer may either let out or retract the cord 30 feet, pulling them toward the anchor point. The cord can be cut, but is exceptionally strong (Hardness 10, 10 Hit Points) and can hold up to 500 pounds. The cord can be detached as a free action. The cord and stud fade 2 rounds after being released and are then regenerated by the vambraces. Additionally the vambraces may be used to make a ranged trip, steal, disarm, or grapple (as per Greater Whip Mastery, Ultimate Combat) against targets within 30 feet. While grappling, the vambraces cord deals no damage and the wearer is treated as having a reach of 30 feet. The wearer may bring the target closer on subsequent grapple checks (treat this as moving the target with out having the grappler move). If the wearer fails their CMB check by enough to be tripped or disarmed, they may instead detach the cord. Both vambraces must be worn to be effective.
Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, major creation; Cost 5875 gp

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Just a quick pop in, I will get to this thread at some point and start reviewing from the top, but I'm concentrating on the winners as the priority items for now.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

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N. Edward Lange wrote:
...where's neil spicer when you need him? his posts were so prolific last year i thought for sure he'd be posting comments by now.

Nope. Neil has a newborn son (named Noah) and a looming Paizo deadline to deliver on. It's why he opted out of being a judge this year. I've popped in here and there to offer some advice (mostly to the Top 32) and opinions on a few subjects (like the "Women in Gaming" thread), but I know better than to get sucked into the crush of trying to provide item feedback and critiques here when I've got so much else going on in my life right now. Maybe next year.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
P33J wrote:

Final Thoughts

One of the clones made a good point ...
Clones? LOL. Took me a second to realize you were talking about us Jacobs. Thanks for cracking me up! That's going to amuse me all day.

Good, I was hesitant to use my personal nickname for you guys as I was afraid someone might take it the wrong way. You're welcome.

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

Gerrard Dixon wrote:
Escapee’s Spoon

Cost: Seems steep for it abilities.

Mechanics: How many charges does the spoon hold? What does it take to bypass the covering (hardness/hp) and how much weight can it hold?
Impression: Why does it eat so slowly? That alone reduces the chance anyone would use this item. 10 hours of work for 1d6+4 damage and a chance of blindness seemed a little steep. This was a mid-pack item for me.

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Neil Spicer wrote:
N. Edward Lange wrote:
...where's neil spicer when you need him? his posts were so prolific last year i thought for sure he'd be posting comments by now.
Nope. Neil has a newborn son (named Noah) and a looming Paizo deadline to deliver on. It's why he opted out of being a judge this year. I've popped in here and there to offer some advice (mostly to the Top 32) and opinions on a few subjects (like the "Women in Gaming" thread), but I know better than to get sucked into the crush of trying to provide item feedback and critiques here when I've got so much else going on in my life right now. Maybe next year.

Heh, heh, that's why I'm trying to do a reasonable depth review this year for the winners and hopefully this thread once I'm done there.

I know I'm no Neil, but hopefully I am providing some useful comment.

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

Meddler’s Mirror:

Shadders, my big problem with this is it was just a clairaudience/clairvision item. It just kind of bored me. I think last year, Neil (or one of the judges) also told someone on a similar item that letting spells be cast through something like this is fairly breaking. There's a reason a crystal ball only allows a select few spells to be used through it.
Now, on the bright side, other than the lines of space not being between paragraphs, your formatting looks perfect (though this seems like a REALLY heavy 8-inch mirror). That's a great accomplishment for a first-time entrant, I think. Bring a more exciting idea next year and I think you're well on your way.

Disappearing Weapon Cord:

Eric, I somewhat agree with your second criticism but mostly the item just didn't excite me. It was of course technically perfect but I just thought there were a ton of wrist slot things I'd use before this. This feels like something I'd keep if I found it for those instances I didn't want to be seen carrying around my big weapon but most of the time it'd be tucked away in my backpack.

Escapee’s Spoon:

You've got a few grammar issues: "with several scratches along it surface" and no apostrophe in "The spoons mouth," for example.
Moving beyond that, I thought this was an interesting item though I couldn't quite decide if I liked it or not. Your theme/inspiration was clear -- someone digging themselves out of prison with a spoon -- but it just kind of threw me. I think maybe calling out that it was an escapee's spoon was my problem? Especially since that didn't quite gibe with the charged powers later on. I think maybe earthmoving spoon or something along those lines may have been better.
I think you had some solid mojo here but need to work on the writing and some of your smaller details, like a name.

Octavo of Perseverance:

Andrew, your writing is nice and evocative, showing a good grasp of Golarion knowledge (though that's not required for this round, of course). Unfortunately, I thought the powers were just kind of unexciting. This is something I could certainly see using if I had it, but not something I'd go out of my way to try to get or make.

Fleshwarping Unguent:

I think your price was indeed way off. Think about when you get to spend 140,000 gold, are you really going to simply want a +2 AC? You also haven't made clear how MUCH unguent you get for that item. This seems like it's a consumable -- which would slash your cost -- but none of those details, which I need, are included.
I'm also not clear if this uses up the slot or can I do it in addition to I'm already wearing there?
I think adding an addiction was a poor choice. That makes this feel like a cursed item -- or more accurately a magic drug -- than a wondrous item. (I don't know, I guess you could argue a drug is a wondrous item, by game definition, but it didn't fit for me.)

Glove of Saturation:

Huh, neat. I never saw this one in my voting. But I like it. I'm not sure I like that it's non-magical liquids. It feels like an arbitrary distinction and prevents me from using my alchemical bombs as a line instead of a tossed splash weapon. Of course, it also prevents me from having to decide if you could use a potion this way (though you could probably just say "no," it needs to be consumed, pal), which is kind of why I feel like that limitation is there.
It's a little odd to have the glove be covered with burns when it's dealing with liquids (though I expect one of those common liquids would be alchemical fire).
Again, I like it. I can see why you made Top 89 and honestly I prefer this to some of the Top 32.

Sash of Singularity:

I think you had some neat ideas that didn't translate well. Start in your description graf: "The intricate silver patterns of embroidered stars are never in the same place." Do you mean they move around on the sash? That's not really clear.
"The sash adds an additional 5,000 lbs of weight that is not felt and does not encumber the wearer" also seems a bit awkward to me, though I can see where you had difficulty in trying to find the best way to phrase it. A +10 bonus to CMD seems like an auto win a lot of times (maybe not for a mage vs. a high-level figher, but it's still a really large bonus).
Also, while the idea's neat, your basic mechanic is just giving a numerical bonus. That's not super exciting.
Lastly, I think your chosen spells are a bit off -- not what I would expect here (reverse gravity should make things lighter, I would think) -- and you're missing "cost" in your template.

Skinthief’s Fetish:

CWW, I think you identified the main issues re: it being gory. I thought your descriptive writing was pretty solid, though I did get lost a bit in the mechanics (I didn't look up the base spell, which might have helped). I think my other problem was I had trouble feeling like this would be something I would use that much.

OK, that should be Page 2 done!

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

Andrew Marlowe wrote:
Octavo of Perseverance

Impression: Too niche by requiring the worship of a certain goddess. It was nice the abilities fit for Desna. This item would be good in a book about the gods, but not for general consumption.

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I guess i'll throw myself on the critique bandwagon with my Tesseract Dust

Tesseract Dust
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 3,000 gp; Weight --

DESCRIPTION
Tossing a pinch of this shimmering silver dust into the air causes it to coalesce into a large four dimensional cube known as a tesseract, or hypercube. The first living being to touch the cube within the next three rounds appears to be sucked into the cube as it vanishes, and is instantly teleported up to 100 feet in the direction of his choice. Any creature unwillingly or unwittingly touching the cube may make a DC 16 Willpower save to negate the tesseract effect and remain where it is. Failure at this Willpower save means that the creature is teleported 100 feet in a random direction. If any use of the cube, accidental or not, would put the tesseracting creature inside a solid object the effect automatically fails. The cube vanishes after 3 rounds have passed, or upon the first creature touching it.

Tesseract Dust typically comes in a silk drawstring pouch covered with geometric designs containing 1d4+1 pinches.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, dimension door, creator must have 5 ranks in Knowledge(engineering); Cost 1,500 gp

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Amulet of Amended Strategy:
I liked the item, but the need for it doesn't crop up that often in my games, I don't see players wanting to use their neck slot for this effect. If I introduced this, I might make a single use item.

Circlet of Malevolent Eyes:
This was just too complicated for me. I think there is a superstar item in the idea of manipulating a ranger's favored enemy bonus, but it is a much simpler item.

Immediate Chant:
I kind of like it, but I didn't think the name was very evocative of the item. I think the item would have been stronger as just a scroll tube and without the alternate power. You put a blank scroll in and once per day it scribes a spell as it is being cast. After that the scroll is treated as a normal scroll.

Nautilus Pack of Tangled Tentacles:
I saw this one a few times. I thought it was kind of over the top is a way that I wouldn't want to use in my game. A campaign with the right sort of pirate or aquatic flavor, this could be pretty neat. Otherwise, the implementation seemed OK. Not sure about the bag holding effect, I think part of the decision to use this is losing the ability to have a back pack.

Choker of Subtle Sound:
Using high pitched tones is an interesting idea. This opens some questions that aren't addressed in the description though. Can dogs hear it? How does a DM determine which other monsters can hear it? I get the theme, but the blindsight effect moved this sort of into SAK territory for me.

Ultimate Adventurer’s Egg:
This seemed like a bit SAK of not very interesting or thematic effects.

Blightstone:
I'm not sure about an item that dishes out Oracle curses to opponents. That doesn't seem like what they are for, to me anyway. Also, it wasn't clear if the curse had to be selected at creation or not. I'm guessing yes.

Skein Helm:
This seems like a pretty solid item. I wish the name had continued the goose flavor. I think in the end this one is just a little to mundane.

Disappearing Weapon Cord:
This was a solid item, I voted this up most times I saw it. I think in the end it was just a little bland for superstar status.

Escapee’s Spoon:
Interesting idea, but very niche. Probably more of a plot item than something the characters want to carry.

Fleshwarping Unguent:
I think your self critique is spot on. As a player, I don't want magic items that cause addiction. Balance the effects in other ways.

Sash of Singularity:
There were a few items this year with relativity or physics based names and effects. In general this is a flavor that I don't want to bring into a fantasy game. It is kind of immersion breaking.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

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Covent wrote:

Bracers of Joy

First Thoughts

I liked the name, it made me read more. I liked the speed, the danger of over use. But I felt the competence bonus was eh, and I was hoping for something more cinematic.

Did I Vote For You
Sometimes. The problem was there was no pop to your item for me other than the name and the danger in using it too much. Against poorly templated items, I voted for you. Against gross items, I voted for you. Against items that had more pop to their powers, I voted against you. You were a middle item for me, just based on crunch, your writing was well done.

What I Think Was a Mistake
The competence bonus being your big ta-da, just didn't cut it. I wanted something more cinematic. I did the same thing with my item, ignoring fatigue isn't really a big ta-da either haha. I was looking for something like, getting a dodge morale bonus to AC for 5 rounds or getting a BAB or DAM morale bonus for 1 round. Something that would make sense as to why I would be addicted to using it.

Final Thoughts
My copywriting instructor in Portfolio School gave us some advice once, while we were trying to get jobs. Write like you're in a Home Run Derby, grit your teeth and let it rip. Because all that matters is knocking it out of the park, hitting a double off the wall is no better than swinging and missing.

It's a hard thing to do, because if you ever get a job in writing, hitting for contact is what you have to do to meet deadlines, and ensure your boss can trust you.

You swung for contact, it was well written, well templated, and well, safe. Next year, grit your teeth and let er rip.

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

Page 3 items!

Cloak of Duality - Neat basic idea. Feels like it could be pushed further differentiating between the split entities, the light and the dark. Also, the mechanism for one half dying seems like it could be more.

Obi of the Ghoul Hunter - Biggest concern is that it seems to be able to be mentally controlled when the wearer has no mental capabilities (unconscious, for example). Not sure that makes sense. Also could be tied closer to the anti-undead theme. I like that its damage is tied to user's monk levels.

Bowstring of Additional Might - A little too basic. Not really sure this isn't a magical weapon.

Motive Capacitor - I like the basic concept, but I'm unclear on the mechanics. It says less one for each 5HD of the target. So if the target has 5HD, for example, 1 charge does nothing? Then the bonus drops by 1 each round. So let's say I use 3 charges on a 5HD target. Round 1 is this 10 temp HP and +2, then round 2 is 5 HP and +1. Is that the right interpretation?

Spellvoid Mantle - The last ability, suppressing creature abilities is the star of this show. Seems super-powerful in that regard, almost too much so. Though the save DC seems like it might be low for the level you'd be using this at. So maybe it balances out?

Amulet of Construct Skin - I think your concern nails it, this is a really limited utility item. It borders on plot device. But that's the concept, I don't know of any appropriate way to expand it.

Stolen Tears of the Winter Witch - I voted for this one often. In a way, it's spell in a can, but the flavor is quite well done.

Sea Nettle Submersible - I liked the imagery of it, but I couldn't shake the idea that it was an Apparatus Of The Crab variant.

Gloves of Silent Echoes - Did you mean Verbal rather than Somatic component? That would make more sense with the theme. I like the random delay of a spell. Throws some unpredictability into the combat. I assume it affects allies as well?

Gravedigger's Lantern - An incorporeal fly zapper! I like it. What happens when an undead resists the DC 20 save? Are they still compelled to move closer? Do they have to save again next round? What happens when they're adjacent to the lantern and keep saving? Do they stand there until they fail a DC?

Motley Gum - This seems like an odd mix. Gum that changes flavor and lets you spit elemental energy. The concept just doesn't click for me. It might be somewhat better if instead of random, each individual gumdrop was pre-determined. Though it would still seem a strange mix of concepts.

Beardforge - Right off, I confess I voted against this purely for Profession(hairstyling). Couldn't take it seriously. Beyond that...well, it might be too gonzo even for my tastes.

Paper Messenger - If it were up to me, this would be a very easy top 32. It jumps in that most common of spaces, the walkie-talkie, and provides a solution with beauty, grace, and mojo. Being able to completely dominate all other items in a super-common submission field is superstar to me!

Laurel of Kurgess - The effect is probably too basic to win a lot of votes, but the item itself is well-realized.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

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

Mortal Coil
First off, sorry, but I think that puns in names are dumb. The name also does not really give me any information about what the item is or what it does. I am leery about the lifesense. It is essentially 60ft. blindsight with an honestly fairly small drawback. Blindsight essentially has a minimum level to acquire of 15 (as a Dragon Disciple or Oracle) and this item seems like it would give the ability too early. Also it feels like you are just name dropping wyroot since it was in the ARG. I know what wyroot does and I know that the item's physical description includes it, but the wyroot item charging seems tacked on. Use should actually require the expenditure of your daily resources. The basic idea of "sacrifice one use of your multiple per day use ability to get stuff" is a really good one though.

Verdict: Not a huge fan. I voted for it at least once but it didn't make my personal keep list.

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

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

Master Needle of the Fairie Artisan
First off. Why was that Brother's Grimm quote there? Neither an introductory quote or a reference to IRL folklore rather than the in-game things based off of it belongs in a magic item description. this nixed the item immediately for me. Also there is way way to much going on here, much of which is problematic even on its own. Skill bonuses, crafting discount, make whole, healing, reattaching limbs, Soverign Glue. This is a super duper SAK. Sorry to be so harsh.

Verdict: Some of the effects are cool, stick to one or maybe two next time, not everything a needle should logically do.

Castling Gloves
I loved this idea. It is new, it is mechanically sound the way you wrote it and I can see lots of times it would be useful. Specifying the immidiate action to receive the item shows an attention to detail and balance. My only nitpick is that 1,000 feet is probably too long a range. It should be restricted to tactical distances within one combat, not passing stuff from the ground to the guy on an airship flying overhead.

Verdict: I only got to vote for it once, but it made my personal keep pile. I think it is damn close to Superstar.

Star Voter Season 6

Name: Saddle of the Chevalier

Aura: strong transmutation; CL: 11th
Slot: Body; Price: 20,000 gp; Weight: 25 lb.

Description
This military saddle, which appears as if it were made for a wealthy noble though weighs as much as a riding saddle, is not only sought after by those who engage in mounted combat, but it is highly prized by Cavaliers. It is enchanted so that it provides an enhancement bonus to Ride skill checks, to Attack Rolls when charging, and increases the distance the mount can travel when charging by 10 feet.

For anyone who does not have any ranks in the Ride skill, while mounted in this saddle, they gain a rank of 1 in Ride. For those with a rank of 1 or greater in ride, they receive a +1 bonus to all Ride checks. Cavaliers gain bonus to all Ride checks equal to Cavalier level/4.

Anyone who does not have the Mounted Combat feat is able once during a combat to attempt a Ride check when they are hit to avoid the hit as described in the feat. Those who have the Mounted Combat feat are able to add an additional +1 to their Ride checks to avoid being hit. Cavaliers, instead of the bonus above, are able to add a bonus to their Ride checks to avoid being hit equal to their Cavalier level/3.

When charging, non-Cavaliers gain a +1 bonus to their Attack Roll. Cavaliers, in addition to their normal +4 bonus to charging, gain a bonus to their Charge Attack Roll equal to their Cavalier level/2.

Construction
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, limited wish, caster must be trained in the Handle Animal skill; Cost: 10,000 gp

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

For Mark of the Leech:

Nazard wrote:
Spoiler:
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.

Good question and I can't believe I overlooked the Rats in a Bag aspect during design (could have been more specific on who exactly was affected to circumvent it). Kicking myself doubly now.

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

Spoiler:
Leeches. Ugh. Having bad flashbacks, and not just to that scene in "Stand By Me." (Though that didn't actually affect my opinion of the item, which I think I only saw once or twice in voting.)

Unfortunately, this just didn't feel that exciting to me. It seemed basically like vampiric touch, with not enough new for me to say "wow." I thought your theme was strong but just didn't do much.
Template wise, your spells should be alphabetized. Also in situations like inflict light wounds, mass, you should write it as mass inflict light wounds (or lesser/greater Xxx, not Xxx, lesser/greater, etc.)

Yeah, I kicked myself initially for the spells and Nazard has me kicking myself again. ;)

I hear you on the vampiric touch aspect. In retrospect there was another route I could have (and probably should have) taken but decided on a more direct healing route.

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Spoiler:
Feels like a spell-in-a-can. Needs more mojo packaging, or an additional "wow" power. Also, the math for the HP transfer seems a little wonky. On avg, all the temp HP will be transferred anyway, so it might be best to just eliminate the random portion and let the wielder transfer them all at once.

I specifically avoided being able to transfer all the HP to one target at once to keep the potential of the "supercharged tank" to a minimum, though I should have also specified a limit of one transfer to a person per 24 hours.

Thanks for taking the time to review it guys. I now have additional things to focus on for next year from all the reviews so far.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

A few more while I am in the groove. In no particular order...

Beardforge
It is love it or hate it and I loved it. Yea I know that it is silly. Yea, yea, Profession(hairstyling), blah, blah, blah. This item both swung for the hills mechanically and mostly lived up to the mojo. You lost me a little at the 1d10 roll adding half of someone's skill ranks but the activation by hitting it with your forehead is hilarious and distracts from some of the mechanical and conceptual problems that you mentioned in your self-critique (untyped bonus and SAK come to mind most readily. Also the mithralbeard adds how much to threat ranges? Whatever you say the answer is too much at higher levels if it is adding half of someone's skill ranks.

Verdict: Hell yes I voted for this repeatedly. It just struck a whimsical chord in me when I saw it, which is something I think there is room for in this game.

Dawnflower Ankh
Love the flavor. Love the cinematic quality of the use. The one time +2d6 to channel is what I would use most if I didn't have to go to the Everlight Oasis (wherever the hell that is) to refill it. It should have been refillable from a flask or holy water. Such specific recharge conditions are silly. As are super specific construction requirements. Yea it is Sarenrae themed, but is there any other compelling reason to keep anyone else from making one?

Verdict: I enjoy desert themed items, and anything which immediatly gives me a concrete image of its use is a huge plus for me. Not a personal keep but I voted for it more often than not.

Vest of Mongrelkind
You used new design space opened up by the ARG cleverly and it worked. Good job. I liked it.

Verdict:Personal Keep. I thought it was close to if not worthy of Superstar status.

Liberty's Edge

Tears of the Fey
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 11th
Slot --; Price 29,700 gp; Weight --
Description
The Tears of the Fey are a clear, salty liquid contained in a small mahogany vial. Once a week, the Tears can be sprinkled in a 20-ft. diameter circle while speaking one of three command words in Sylvan: refuge, confusion, and peace. Each word creates a different faerie ring. It takes 1 minute without interruption to create the ring.
The word refuge creates a 10-ft. tall wall of vines. The ring and everything within becomes invisible to outside observers. In addition, all tracks and other traces of the occupants' passage disappear for a 500-ft. radius from the ring. However, anyone in the ring can see the occupants.
The word confusion creates a ring of mushrooms. Anyone entering the ring will immediately become disoriented, leaving the ring in a random direction convinced that they are heading in the right direction. Also, those entering the circle must make a DC 16 Will save or spend the next minute trying to remember their original purpose for entering the circle.
Finally, the word peace creates a ring of wildflowers. All healing and regeneration, natural or magical, will restore twice the normal hit points. Also, creatures are fully rested after four hours within the circle, with all spell slots and daily abilities restored.
If used on a stone floor or arid desert, the ring will only last for 24 hours. If used on fertile soil, it may last indefinitely. However, within 24 hours, a swarm of the smaller fey races (sprites, pixies, grigs, etc.) will take possession of the ring, driving off all intruders, including the creator.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, plant growth, invisibility, confusion, mass cure light wounds; Cost 14,850 gp

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

Saint Caleth wrote:

.

Spoiler:
Dawnflower Ankh
Love the flavor. Love the cinematic quality of the use. The one time +2d6 to channel is what I would use most if I didn't have to go to the Everlight Oasis (wherever the hell that is) to refill it. It should have been refillable from a flask or holy water. Such specific recharge conditions are silly. As are super specific construction requirements. Yea it is Sarenrae themed, but is there any other compelling reason to keep anyone else from making one?

Verdict: I enjoy desert themed items, and anything which immediatly gives me a concrete image of its use is a huge plus for me. Not a personal keep but I voted for it more often than not.

I'm ecstatic that you liked it.

There is an "or in a gallon of holy water" recharge option, which establishes an inherent gp value for a recharge. The Everlight Oasis recharge method was more to give it more Sarenrae thematic feel. I can definitely see why any Cleric could make it, maybe I should have restricted it to Sun Domain or something. Great feedback, thanks Caleth!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Aelryinth

The Pillars Dexter
Aura moderate universal; CL 8th
Slot hands; Price 10,000 gp (one glove); Weight -.
Description
A dark silvery right-handed elbow-length workman's glove, a dexter is designed to aid the 4 fundamental pillars that support universal arcane spellcasting: artifice, alchemy, arcane bonds, and universal school magical training.
Any dexter wearer may, when throwing alchemical weapons (such as alchemist fire vials or thunderstones, and surprisingly including (un)holy water, but not poisons), add his Intelligence bonus to his primary target's initial damage, or raise the save DC by 2. His right hand is considered to have hardness 10 against damage, allowing him to handle extremely hot, acidic or other dangerous objects with it safely.
Wearers with the arcane bond class feature may bond a dexter free of cost, replacing any previous arcane bond. A bonded dexter can change its appearance to resemble any type of handwear. A bonded dexter may be worn with a glove of storing, unlike other magical gloves.
A dexter wearer can use the hand of the apprentice class feature to throw alchemical weapons and vials, in addition to melee weapons.
A wearer with the hand of the apprentice or bomb class feature can store items within the dexter. He may store a number of thrown alchemical weapons or potential bombs up to his hand or bomb daily use limit. One use of his hand or bomb ability stores one item. Retrieving an item is a swift action of will.
A dexter wearer with the metamagic mastery class feature may spend a use to double the initial damage inflicted by an alchemical thrown weapon, or to double the radius affected by it.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, shrink item, creator must have the hand of the apprentice class feature; Cost 5,000 gp

::: My private thought is that it did slightly too much, and I should have left off the bomb storage feature (which basically did nothing more then store 1-9 vials of alchemical stuff, and you had to spend a bomb or hand use to do it!)

But, if there was something else wrong with it other then doing too much stuff, I'd like to hear it.

==Bob Drouin

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

Sorry if this was already answered and I haven't seen it yet; I don't mean to be piling on.

Duskrunner1 wrote:
Thank you for your opinion Thomas. I must correct you however. The format that I submitted WAS in the correct format. I checked three times prior to submission. I didn't blatantly disregard the template as it was stated over and over again that it was an important part in judging. I just didn't do so in this thread as I was much more interested in the content of my submission rather than the formatting.

Duskrunner, from what you've posted, it's not the correct format. You've got each item on a different line, which isn't want the format is supposed to be. See how it's different from most of the ones posted here?

You should have:
Name
Aura and CL
Slot, price and weight
Description (with the actual text then going in paragraphs starting on the next line)
Construction
Requirements and cost


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nazard wrote:
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?

Sadly I didn't have enough words to explain that very well. The bottom pictures are 90 degrees apart (N, S, E, W type thing) while the top two are only 45 degrees apart (N, NE) so when one is aligned with a bottom picture, the other can not be.

From this and other comments looks like my biggest problem was making the item too complex to explain in under 300 words. What I was aiming for was something that was (as Zahir put it) a camping item. Its aim is to make life a little easier for adventurers. A way to start fires, a lantern for when it's dark and you can't have fires, the noise to keep mosquitoes, and maybe the random squirrel, away from your camp while sleeping, a place to safely keep your small valuables (which I didn't think needed a weight limit as well as a space limit. Even if you fill 6 cubic inches with lead it's only going to weigh 2.5 lbs) a force field umbrella to keep the rain off, etc.

Anyway, thank you all for your feedback. Now I know that for next year I should go with something much more simple.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cloak of Duality:

I thought you played with some interesting mechanics here, but I feel like I've seen this type of thing before (even if only in previous Superstar competitions), which counted against it for me. I also thought that it was just a little too powerful. You made the limitation that one part had to be trying to hurt something and one part helping something but that's really not that much of a limitation in the end. I mean in combat those are probably the two most common types of actions. Sure, sometimes you're trying to make another tactical maneuver like boost an ally's abilities, but saying I can heal and attack every round means I don't have to worry about making the choice of do I try to finish my foe off this round in hopes I get him down before I take that one last hit that will kill me or do I step back and heal myself for a minute to try to give myself more staying power. With this, I can just do both.

Obi of the Ghoul Hunter:

Grammar issue in the first graph, which always throws me: "and it's two tassels animate" ("it's" shouldn't have an apostrophe).
I think you also tried to do a little too much with this: You've got it doing independent attacks, adding disruption to attacks, boosting monk AC and unarmed damage (AND stacking with something else that does that), and giving a class ability. Just felt unfocused to me.
Also, you say the belt can fight by itself, but I don't know what its attack bonus is (or HP if I try to sunder it).

Bowstring of Additional Might:

Sorry, Mark, this just didn't bring the mojo for me (and I thought it tread awfully close to being a weapon, not a wondrous item). I thought it was in the end just a numerical bonus.
Also, while I like the idea that the bowstring itself adds to the strength rating, I'm not sure what the point is. I think it's just a cheaper way to add damage to an arrow attack and I'm not sure that's something that's that needed. I'd probably just save up so I can get my basic magic bow.
It does look like it's presented perfectly.
Oooh, looking at the later comment from Andrew, I think he nailed how I'd have maybe changed this to make it work. A string that let a weaker character negate the bonus seems like it would be far more useful.

Motive Capacitor:

Ronars! I wasn't crazy about this one, but I can't really put my finger on why. I guess I thought it felt more Lovecraftian/Frankenstenian science to me than magic. I also thought its benefits in the first power (for which I'm most likely to use it) felt like a pretty basic numerical bonus while the recharge mechanic seems like something I'd really struggle with.

Spellvoid Mantle:

I liked this one. I think my only complaint is it seemed a bit pricey (not necessarily overpriced for what it does, since I think it wasn't, but just in the more expensive range of items), but that may just be my bias. Given two items of comparable quality, I'm going to vote for the cheaper one most of the time, I think, since I'll be able to use it more by virtue of being able to get it at a lower level.

Amulet of Construct Skin:

This one made me go look up the construct rules, which means it's probably going to be a bit more niche right off the bat. And truthfully I think it's too niche. I'm not sure I've ever seen someone use a construct with the armor modification. I might've made it more letting you simply control constructs (though I don't know if that's necessarily Superstar in and of itself)
In addition, I didn't like the imprinting mechanism with the hp cost. I wasn't sure why that was necessary.
Finally, I thought you started glomming on powers at the end with the make whole abilities that can suddenly become animate object instead.

Stolen Tears of the Winter Witch:

I thought the group of winter witch/Irrisen items all tended to be really strong. Not sure if they were inspired by the upcoming Reign of Winter AP or if I was inspired to like them because of that or it was just a strange coincidence, but these were among that group.
Can't say I can actually give you much feedback, unfortunately, as I liked these. I guess the most I could add was you could use some hyphens. It should be "rime-laced case" (which is a nice evocative image, btw), and "10-foot radius."
I'd love a review in return, Phineas.

Sea Nettle Submersible:

You got some nice imagery, but I just didn't think this was all that useful. It reminded me a bit of a folding boat, where, sure, in the rare times you want it, it's great -- I'd hold onto it if I found it in a treasure pile -- but it's not something I think I'd ever go out looking for barring needing it for a specific adventure.

Gloves of Silent Echoes:

"depicting a disembodied mouth frozen in a silent scream" You've got mostly good description of your item, though this made me chuckle a little. How can you tell if the depiction is of a silent scream or a regular scream. I certainly didn't dock you for it, but just one thing to keep an eye on so you don't go overboard into purple prose.
I thought you definitely had something that allowed the flexibility that you were looking for, but maybe too much. I had to think about how these would be most useful -- what would they have been intended for when they were created. I think these types of items work best when they have a core function that's obvious but then the smart player can find other ways to do cool things with them.
You've also got some template issues. Since they weigh only only 1 pound, "lbs" doesn't need to be plural (and does need a period). Also, your spells should be lower case and italicized and your cost should be on the same line as the requirements.

Gravedigger's Lantern:

You're turning ghosts into moths. I thought it was an interesting item. Could maybe have nerfed a final fight against a ghost too much, but the price is up there (and if I know you've got it, I can give you another ghost first so you might have to decide to release that one to get the other one or just make my BBEG ghost more than 12 HD).
I think I'd work on my descriptive writing as your biggest challenge. "This lantern appears ordinary." Really? That's it? I appear interested in reading something else right off the bat. Give me a reason to be excited about the mechanics of your ability in addition to giving me a neat ability. Items dealing with undead have so much potential to look cool and this just completely skipped all of those.

Motley Gum:

Gum? Just didn't strike me as very superstar, though I think you did the best you could to sell it (pointing out it's treesap and beeswax is probably the only thing that kept me from auto-rejecting it as a modern item). I don't think the back story with gnomes and goblins really added much at all -- it just set me off on the wrong foot as Paizo's wondrous items don't start with their creation history.
The random table, though I get what you were going for, also didn't really excite me. Also, what happens if I reroll the same flavor. Does it not change? Do I reroll?
You've got some style issues, missing a lot of areas that should be italicized, like your spells and magic item name (which doesn't need to be capped in the body of the text).

Beardforge:

Sorry, Garrett, I hated this (though I think it was still presentation-wise better than a lot of other things and more exciting than a competence bonus, so I did upvote it occasionally). Just not my style of gaming. Oh and " Profession (hairstyling)? Go to hell." : )

Paper Messenger:

Bob, I already gave you my critique via email, but this fell into the long-range communication set of items for me. That said, looks like your template work is perfect. I'm not sure, though, if you need to italicize a partial name of your item or not: " Alternately, the messenger can travel..." in the first graf. Anyone know the answer to that?

Laurel of Kurgess:

Good for you for applying when you're so new role-playing. That's awesome! Especially considering that, you did a great job on the template.
I think you just need to add a little mojo. This item just didn't really feel focused to me. Ignoring fatigue's neat, but I'm not sure how often it comes up (I don't play barbarians typically, though since you do, maybe you're seeing it more than I am). I'm not quite sure actually what your wording means. I can ignore an effect that causes fatigue -- does that mean I can ignore a rage? I think rewording it to say it causes him to be invigorated, thus negating an effect that causes fatigue, might be a better choice. I also don't play barbarians enough to know if that might not be breaking for them.
I don't think the alignment restrictions were the best choice either. Bad people get tired too, after all

And that's page 3 done...

Star Voter Season 6

Ok so i screwed up badly with my whole submission, being new to this i got over excited and didnt read the rules or the advice topics and basically just posted an item idea.

Then off course i realized i had screwed up, but had no way to edit or redo it :(

So, while i will have a better plan for next year, i was curious if the judges added any comments on my text or just marked it void and moved on ?

To make matters worse i didnt keep a copy of the original, not sure i could have done much worse, next year i will have a plan !

Anyway was wondering if someone could look up my entry and see if their where any comments on the "theme" of the item at all ,even though everything else was wrong.

It was basically a health potion created from a users blood that heals them, poisons others, but can also be used to remotely effect them with magic if they were to lose it.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Thanks Jacob,

Because I'm so new I stick to the simpler classes to learn the game, I've gradually been watching the various casters and how they play so I can learn how to play those next.

I attempted to create a fighter, Cavalier, Barbarian item, because that's what I play and know. My goal was to give them increased coverage of the battlefield, allow them to be useful during night ambushes (you can sleep in your heavy plate if you can ignore fatigue twice a day) and let a Barbarian basically rage cycle 2/day. I thought connecting it to Kurgess the Strong man made sense from a perspective that a God of Athletics would rarely be fatigued lol.

I think changing the wording to "Ignore Fatigue or reduce exhaustion to fatigue 2/day" might have cleared up the wording, but I borrowed the wording from a spell that eliminated fatigue, so I thought I was good there.

As I saw more items that I really liked I realized I'd missed the mark on "mojo" i.e. making an item that has cinematic quality rather than just a really really useful item.

Thanks for the critique and I look forward to doing this again next year.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka FaxCelestis

Devalin wrote:


Ok so i screwed up badly with my whole submission, being new to this i got over excited and didnt read the rules or the advice topics and basically just posted an item idea.

Then off course i realized i had screwed up, but had no way to edit or redo it :(

First year of RPGSS, I didn't read the rules closely enough and I was 30 words over the word limit. Instant DQ. But last year, I hit top 16. Regroup and try again next year.

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

Summoning Siphon
Aura moderate conjuration, and transmutation; CL 11th
Slot none; Price 2,300 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
These glass vials are held within stylized silver casings typically inlaid with runes of gold and glyphs of brass. Within the vial roils a small wisp of white vapor that constantly shifts and varies.
If a wielder creature twists the metal casing to open the vial (a swift action) in the same round that he dismisses a level 6 or lower summoning spell, the mist inside the vial glows blue and forces all creatures from the dismissed spell into the container. Only one summoning spell at a time can be so contained.
A Summoning Siphon that captures one or more creatures can be crushed, smashed, or broken as a standard action to release the captured creatures for the remaining duration of the dismissed summoning spell.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Rope Trick, Summon Monster VI; Cost 1,150 gp


For critique:

Scroll Scrying Goggles
Aura strong divination; CL 5th
Slot eyes; Price 12,800 gp; Weight
Description
These goggles greatly assist the wearer in deciphering and using magical scrolls. In addition to constantly granting the ability to read magical writings as per the spell read magic they grant the wearer a +5 competence bonus on Use Magic Device checks to use a scroll and to emulate an ability score for purposes of using a scroll. They also provide a +2 competence bonus on Perception checks to detect traps involving magical writings, like glyph of warding or symbol of death.

Once per day the wearer can cast a spell from a scroll with a caster level up to 5 without making a Use Magic Device check; this drains the goggles’ power into the scroll, leaving them as ordinary lenses for 24 hours. Activating a scroll with the goggles’ magic takes a full-round action (or the spell's casting time, whichever is longer), provokes attacks of opportunity as casting a spell does, and is subject to disruption as regular spellcasting, but is not subject to arcane spell failure. The goggles do not possess enough magic to power a spell with a casting time longer than 1 round; attempting to cast such a spell with the goggles drains their power for the day and the user must succeed on a Use Magic Device check (DC 15 + double the level of the spell you're casting) without the goggles' +5 bonus or suffer a scroll mishap (see Scroll Mishaps). Even with a success on this check the spell is still gone from the scroll.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, read magic, creator must have 5 ranks in the Use Magic Device skill; Cost 6,400 gp

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Holy cannoli… I got dinner and then promptly passed out. I’m regretting it now. I’ve got a LOT of catching up to do.

Siegebreaker Cymbals:

The Good: I like that this is an item with a Perform check involved that doesn’t just emulate a bardic music ability. It’s not a bard in a can. Another character (like a social rogue, perhaps) could use them, but a bard can get more mileage. As someone who plays a lot of those sorts of characters, I thought this was neat idea, because it gives them something to do in a situation where they’re notoriously useless.

Things to work on: The first thing that kind of stuck out to me is that, if they only work in pairs, pricing gets wonky when you have to buy them one at a time. I also would round the prices to a more even number, but that’s a nitpick. The name tripped me up a bit, too. My biggest issue is that it becomes useful only in select situations. The party has to be prepared for one type of DR, but not another. I suppose that happens on occasion, but if I’m worried about it, I think there are cheaper ways to overcome DR for one fight. Some of the mechanics of how the vibration functions in battle (like the bit about weapons no longer automatically overcoming certain DRs) were confusing at first read through.

Overall:I think there’s definitely a place for something like this in a game, but I think it needs some tweaking to make it useful in a broader range of circumstances to hit “Superstar” level.


Amulet of the Grasping Soul:

The Good: Thematically, this is pretty tight. I can definitely see wanting this in an undead heavy game. The duality aspect is interesting.

Things to work on: I believe the templating issues were already mentioned. I almost feel like this should be two different items, as I really feel like the instances where you would need to use it as a physical creature, and then later as an incorporeal creature are slim to none. There’s some grammar issues that tripped me up reading this, so try running your work through the polisher one more time before submitting. I would change the powers up a bit, and then making the pricing better reflect that.

Overall: A neat idea, but I think it lacked some mass appeal. Make sure you really go over your work with a fine tooth comb for grammar errors, because the voting public can be vicious about that sort of thing.


Candle of Distant Assurance:

The Good: This is a good, cheap item. I immediately saw this sort of item sitting in the window of a family’s house, spouse and kids checking it periodically and smiling to know that mommy or daddy is still safe. I could also see a while mess of them in a large temple, keeping track of all of the clerics and paladins from the temple who are away. This could also be useful in play, though, if the party is split or someone is doing a scouting mission. I mean, ideally you’d want to run to the rescue before said party member is dying, but none the less. For the price, I can see a lot of ways creative adventurers could use this to keep tabs on someone. It’s well written and well thought out.

Things to work on: I think it’s pretty clear that people enjoyed this item, but it might have been a little to fluff based for some and/or for the judges. Just speculation on my part, but while it’s incredibly useful and I’m totally stealing it for my game, it does maybe lack the flash-bang-wow or added oomph that is needed for RPGSS. It is a bit of a SIAC, like you mentioned in your notes. I actually would like to see a version that indicates a few more things. Maybe the flame shrinks when the target is injured? I could see that opening up some more play options.

Overall: You definitely have skills. It’s a clean item, it’s got appeal, it’s useful. You obviously have an understanding of how to craft an item. Next year, you’ll really have to apply those skills to an idea with a little bit more fireworks.

Fiddle of the Dance:

The Good: I play the sort of character who would use this, so the idea intrigued me. The idea of allowing a bard type character to enhance movement is interesting. Many of the items I see like this are meant to be used on enemies and trip them up by forcing them to dance, so this was an interesting change of pace.

Things to work on: This is a huge nitpick, but commas in your prices. That drives me batty. That aside, I don’t know if I like that it only allows people to move while being played. I feel like that limits the usefulness. If someone needs to move past something slippery to attack, they’re possibly in trouble as they can get right up to the target, but not attack until the player stops playing. I think people are kind of tired of bard instruments, too.

Overall: I like the core concept here, but I think you may have gotten lost amongst the bardic instruments this year. Try to think of as many situations that your item might get used in, and then take that into account.

Handkerchief of the Scoured Visage:

The Good: I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read the title, but the idea here is kind of neat. I can think of a lot of ways I could use something like this in a game. You got most of the template right, so that helps.

Things to work on: Your first sentence, for one. It kind of twists back around on itself and becomes repetitive. I kind of expected this to allow you to transfer the face to yourself or someone else, but I’m not sure whether that would make the item better or worse. I think you suffer slightly from the wall of text syndrome. Paragraphs would have been helpful. I was also unclear at first if a living target suffocated or died or whatever when their face was transferred to the handkerchief. I think that could have been made more clear from the get go. Some of your other wording (like the bit about things that end the effect) is a little clunky. It also feels a little weird paying that much for a grubby scrap of cloth. Even a magical one.

Overall: The concept is kind of neat, but I think it lacks some polish and there are a couple of flaws in execution. Consider ways to elevate your idea from “neat” to “OMG COOL” for next year, as well.


Intellectual’s Clay Pipe:

The Good: Okay, okay… …I actually really liked this item. Yeah, it was boring, but I liked the flavor. It’s going into one of my games. I read it, and immediately thought of a friend of mine, so kudos for making a simple item that I liked.

Things to work on: I think this has all already been hit on, by yourself or someone else, so I’ll be brief. I liked it, but I can see why most people wouldn’t. It lacks the flash-bang-wow. Lead with your selling point.

Overall: You have talent. This could definitely appear in a book of magic items. It’s got charm. Apply that to a concept that’s “Swing For The Fences” worthy and I think you’ll really be a contender.


Wings, Resplendent Battle:

The Good: This is a neat take on the “wing” item. You have a sense of purpose and theme to your writing that carries through. You follow the template, and your execution is easy to follow. Seriously, huge props for presenting a lot of information clearly.

Things to work on: This isn’t necessarily a point to critique on, but when I saw wings, I expected there to be flying involved. I don’t know if I’m necessarily disappointed that you didn’t deliver on that expectation, but I think it’s worth mentioning as some people might have been. This felt a little SAK-y to me. I can see how people may have felt that choosing from a list of bonuses isn’t quite “Superstar.” I’m kind of torn, too, because this is a great item for certain types of characters, so I kind of want to see it in a game. …I never really play “Good for the Good God!” types, so I would never actually use it, though. If I had the right PC for it, I could see using this as a GM, though.

Overall: You know what you’re doing. Your writing is tight and you have language that is evocative without being boring fluff. Maybe go with something less niche next year and really pull out all the stops. I think you have the skills for it.


Time’s Tide Pendant We actually already spoke, and I told you my thoughts, so I think I’m going to skip you here for now (sorry, there are just a lot of reviews to do). Nothing new has come to mind that hasn’t already been brought up by someone else, but if you want to talk more about it, drop me a line.

Orator’s Torc:

The Good: Again, this is subjective, but I play the charismatic types a lot, so I can see myself wanting this as a player. You play with some interesting ideas (like increasing the range for auditory abilities), so I think that’s a good instinct as a designer.

Things to work on: You have some minor templating flaws, but that’s nitpicky. Someone may have already mentioned it, but skills should be capitalized. I’m not sure how I feel about the bonus increasing with the size of the crowd. It struck me as being a little to close to a microphone for my taste. I think it needed something super-awesome to elevate it beyond that. It’s a utility item, but it’s missing some mojo to take it up to Superstar.

Overall: I feel like you have good instincts, but you need to apply them to something with a bit more mojo for RPGSS. Great for a book of magic items, but it didn’t quite wow me enough to be “Superstar”.


Orb of Aggrivation:

The Good: Neat idea for a rogue item. I like the visual. The idea is something I could see players wanting.

Things to work on: First of all, I would have put the d6 roll on a table or even just put them on their own lines as a list. In the wall o’ text format, it’s confusing. I kind of feel like it does too much. I feel like it should have a range give and/or be a ranged touch attack. The fact that there’s no fail chance at that price makes it a little over powered in my book, especially as no save listed for any of the conditions it bestows.

Overall: The concept has potential, but I think there are enough flaws in execution to cost it votes.


Elixir of Last Will:

The Good: The concept is kinda nifty. I like the fluff feeling of being able to aid an ally, if only in spirit.

Things to work on: It just didn’t wow me. The wall o’ text needs some paragraphs. This is a personal thing, but while the concept is interesting, I would never actually use this. I like simple, utilitarian items, but I just don’t know how often this would come into play. I’d always be waffling like “but how do I know if I’m going to almost die today…” If it were a drop in a video game, I’d end up with like 12 of them at the end of the game because I was just never sure when to use them, if that makes sense.

Overall: I don’t think I’m the target audience here, so I may be biased, but I think this idea needs a lot of polish to really wow me. Maybe the more cinematic ghost-like version would have helped. If done right, it might have.


Shroud of Certain Return:

The Good: Good utilitarian item. This obviously appealed to voters, so congrats on that. I think you tackled the conundrum of dealing with the uncertainty of reincarnation well. It obviously fits a niche in the game. Your writing is clear and easy to follow.

Things to work on: I think maybe it was just too utilitarian. The forced reincarnation grand hex is an interesting twist , and I can see some interesting play options coming from this. While I thought this was interesting, it didn’t wow me enough to hit me as Superstar, so that might have been why it wasn’t favored as strongly by the judges.

Overall: Your writing is tight, but I think you need a more wow-me concept for next year.


Findeladlara’s Brush:

The Good: This had a certain charm for me. I liked it on a personal level. The revision is tighter, and I liked the removal of the check.

Things to work on: It struck me as a little too close to the marvelous pigments for me. Minor gripe, but include commas in your price. Little things like that are jarring to me. Same for the slot “slotless” bit.

Overall: I like the item, but I think it needed more oomph. The similarity to an already existing item hurt it for me, too.


Hunter’s Geas:

The Good: I feel like I’m saying this a lot, but neat concept. I like the overall idea and the mechanics of linking it to a specific creature.

Things to work on: I keep getting loss in your wall o’ text, so it was hard for me to keep track of what was going on here. It required multiple reads for me to understand everything. I was kind of hoping for a really neat capstone ability, but it kind of ended up just feeling like a list of bonuses. The flanking thing could have gone there, but the mechanics of how that actually would work confused me. I think it needs something more than that to really ramp up the wow-me factor.

Overall: I think if it was a bit cleaner in the execution and maybe had a more kick-*** capstone ability, it’d be better.


Garter of Hidden Fortune:

The Good: Again, neat concept. I can see games where characters would want something like this while trying to sneak out a powerful item or recover something as part of the plot of a game.

Things to work on: I wasn’t sure how I felt about the garter aspect, with ribbons and lace, etc. Not every character is going to be okay carrying that or having it magically teleported to them. I get that it’s “willing creatures” but the party should all be willing to work together with something like this. The message dynamic confused me. I kind of feel like it’s trying to do too much. Why is it so hard to spot if it’s got gems, lace, and ribbons on it? I would have just made it a difficult Perception check, rather than getting percentages involved. It’s a bit hard to follow everything that’s going on here.

Overall: Work on your execution. I think next time you need a tighter theme.


Ointment of Last Sight:

The Good: Interesting concept and your overall execution is pretty clean. I liked this item. It’s got an Oracle flavor. As one use items go, I think this could see some interesting in game use.

Things to work on: This struck me as perhaps a little too much of a “plot item” or as something that could make it a pain for the GM. If the PCs decide to use it on something that I didn’t plan that far for, I’m on the spot to make something up that they might hold onto and follow up on. At the same time, I can see this being a great GM tool for steering wayward PCs back in the right direction. The repeated “sees” in quotations was a little jarring for me, too.

Overall: I liked it and would consider keeping it, but it may have fallen into the plot item/pain for a GM trap.

Sorry some of these are short. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. Almost done with page one, but I need a break. My brain is fried and it's almost 1:00 here and I haven't had breakfast/lunch yet because I've been writing since I woke up.

I will get through everyone's, but it's going to take a while. :( Apologies in advance.

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

AGirlNamedBob wrote:

The Good: Okay, okay… …I actually really liked this item. Yeah, it was boring, but I liked the flavor. It’s going into one of my games. I read it, and immediately thought of a friend of mine, so kudos for making a simple item that I liked.

Things to work on: I think this has all already been hit on, by yourself or someone else, so I’ll be brief. I liked it, but I can see why most people wouldn’t. It lacks the flash-bang-wow. Lead with your selling point.

Overall: You have talent. This could definitely appear in a book of magic items. It’s got charm. Apply that to a concept that’s “Swing For The Fences” worthy and I think you’ll really be a contender.

Thanks AGirlNamedBob! Please feel free to use it in any game. You are completely right...I need to jazz it up for next time!

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

Orb of Aggravation

So you tackled the Dirty Trick combat maneuver...which I like. I personally love this feat chain and have used it to great effect (affect?). I think you identified a design space where not much has been done.

But...you didn't much besides a Feat in a Can. You gave it a little flavor (dull iron/etc) but it didn't quite match up at times (why wouldn't it sparkling/dazzling/blinding material to go with the Dirty Trick schtick?).

You also fell prey to the "often called blah blah by Blahs" routine. This may not have been as much of a factor in the past, but judging by Sean's Advice threads, it has always bothered the judges. With the public voting, you can bet your bottom dollar that they are reading those advice threads and are taking them to heart.

In fact, I think that's your biggest problem. You should comb over the Advice threads to avoid the common things that annoyed the judges (and by extension most of the voters). You should pore over the Top 32 from the past few years to see examples of "mojo" and when they break the Sean Advice...how they do it right.

I fell prey to the boring +X thing this year. It was my fault for getting to giddy and submitting waaaay too early.

I like that you give it statistics. I like that it crumbles to dust...but again I feel like it should be dull iron if you want it to crumble to dust.

Does this thing provoke AoO's? I see Improved Dirty Trick in the Construction Reqs...but you only state that it performs Dirty Trick. You'd need to call it out specifically otherwise it would be a headache for GM's to adjudicate.

Overall, you've got talent for finding an underutilized area of the game. You've got some flavor ability. Work on theming your items more tightly and comb over the Top 32's to see examples of the ever elusive "mojo". Next year I predict you'll have a strong entry.

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

Elixir of Last Will

This is a very creative design...by the end. Ok, so I stabilize automatically, useful but kinda meh. A small piece of my soul breaks free and grants a +2 luck bonus to an ally? That's pretty cool. Even though it raises questions about what happens to that sliver of soul afterwards and can you drink enough times/days to use up all of your soul?

You have some odd phrasing and could work on tightening your writing.

I'm not sure that a luck bonus is the appropriate..maybe an insight bonus. Not sure but luck just doesn't seem thematically correct.

It just isn't overall Superstar though. It's a potion, well 2 potions really, in an elixir. I'm not saying that your design skills are not Superstar, the area you decided to explore just wasn't quite.

Overall, work on tightening your writing skills and your theming. You've got a creative talent, but your mechanical talent has to in the same ballpark. Looking forward to seeing your next year's submission, or in the Blazing 9.

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8

Clouds Without Water wrote:

Page 3 items!

Obi of the Ghoul Hunter - Biggest concern is that it seems to be able to be mentally controlled when the wearer has no mental capabilities (unconscious, for example). Not sure that makes sense. Also could be tied closer to the anti-undead theme. I like that its damage is tied to user's monk levels.

Note: when paralyzed, you can indeed make mental actions. I don't think the item mentions unconscious, just paralyzed. :)


The Crusader wrote:

Gloves of the Confident Smith

Aura faint divination and enchantment; CL 3rd
Slothands; Price 630 gp; Weight
Description
These thick, leather ironsmith’s gloves cover the wearer’s hands and forearms nearly to the elbow. Whenever the wearer succeeds on a skill check, he may choose to have the gloves become charged, granting a +2 competence bonus...

IMO its going to be be hard to make a skill bonus superstar even if you get to reroll a check - not that its a bad item or badly written - its just not interesting - If you were going to submit an item thats effects are so basic it should have some really strong floavor text to set it apart - again there's nothing wrong with the description in the submission its just bland. And the bit abpout having to succeed at a check to activate the items is cumbersome to get a +2 to skill check.

My two cents.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

Bob Drouin wrote:
The Pillars Dexter

I saw this item a couple of times; I recall not being enthused about it, though it was certainly solid and well-presented. While I never dug deep into it, two points really stuck out at me right away:

First, the pillars dexter is a very odd name. Since "pillars" is a much better-known word than dexter, I honestly expected some kind of magical pillars. Erp. Not the first impression you're aiming for.

Second, you start the item off by listing the four pillars. Immediately I find myself expecting a themed swiss-army knife, with a power for each pillar - and these four pillars are only a theme (AFAIK) because you've just declared they are.

That's an unfortunate first impression, I'm afraid. And, indeed, a quick skim looks like a long list of powers. Even worse, the "pillars" theme seems to have disappeared (maybe I'd see it if I spent thought on each power and how it relates?). You do have a theme, which is throwing dangerous stuff around! But I'm not seeing the connection to the pillars of universal arcane spellcasting. That's very confusing.

I think a dexter glove was a cool choice for an item based on all the alchemy options, but instead of choosing a focused effect, you kind of got scattered about.

Some smaller nitpicks:

  • You've consistantly italicized "dexter", e.g. "store items within the dexter". I'm pretty sure this is an error - magic item names are only italicized when you use the full proper name, like so: "The dexter of arcane pillars is a dexter glove. Wearing the dexter polymorphs the wearer into a televised serial killer."
  • You can refer to the person using the item as "the wearer" or "the user". It isn't necessary to say "A dexter wearer" over and over.
  • Your enumeration of alchemical items is phrased awkwardly: "(such as alchemist fire vials or thunderstones, and surprisingly including (un)holy water, but not poisons)". First of all, don't write "surprisingly" - you don't want to be saying that the mechanics are surprising! Mechanics should be clear and intuitive. If it doesn't actually make sense, better to simply not include it, rather than letting it be shoehorned in "surprisingly."
  • Secondly, the list seems arbitrary, and I'd have difficulty arbitrating what qualifies and what doesn't.

Taking a broader look at you're item, I'll repeat that I think you chose a very viable niche to work in. However, I didn't find any of the individual powers very exciting or innovative. Sorry for the relatively negative critique... But I hope you find it helpful!


Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

Sorry, Mark, this just didn't bring the mojo for me (and I thought it tread awfully close to being a weapon, not a wondrous item). I thought it was in the end just a numerical bonus.

Also, while I like the idea that the bowstring itself adds to the strength rating, I'm not sure what the point is. I think it's just a cheaper way to add damage to an arrow attack and I'm not sure that's something that's that needed. I'd probably just save up so I can get my basic magic bow.
It does look like it's presented perfectly.
Oooh, looking at the later comment from Andrew, I think he nailed how I'd have maybe changed this to make it work. A string that let a weaker character negate the bonus seems like it would be far more useful.

I appreciate the feedback. You are the second person to tell me that this works better as a weapon. Can I con you into explaining that position for me? I can see a magical weapon ability (which, in truth, it was modified from an existing house-created magical weapon bonus) but I cannot see how a bowstring works better as a weapon. If I can better understand my fellow peers, I think I can make a better item (or at least one that fares better) next year!


TwoDee wrote:

Doppelganger’s Locket

Aura moderate transmutation, conjuration, and divination; CL 9th
Slot neck; Price 26500 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This dull silver locket, bearing the image of a doppelganger’s featureless face on its exterior, hides a gruesome secret. The locket contains an extradimensional space akin to that within a Bag of Holding, but of variable volume as described below.

It Hope my critiques aren't to harsh - but I'm trying to be concise and do severl while kids let me, the FWIW I didn't think much of this item - I didn't get the focus on the corpse, or the dancing around the holding of the corpse - mechanically you can buy an at will "Alter Self" item for 8,000 gp and make it for half that. Plus most lockets don't weigh a pound.

If your gong to have someone do all that mucking around with a corpse they should get something for it - some knowledge the person possessed prior to death - access to their uncast spells, their skills or something.

My two cents - I hope its helpful.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 6

Battle Voice Token
aura moderate Illusion; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 2100 gp; Weight --

Description
A battle voice token is a small elliptical hemisphere that fits in the palm of a your hand. When held in one hand and activated it creates a 50 foot tall image of the possessor at his location. The possessor's words can be heard for one mile and seem to emanate from the mouth of the image. The image copies the possessor's movements when speaking. When the user is not speaking the image acts in a martial way. e.g. swinging a sword or shooting a bow. The possessor can move after creating the image but the image remains at the location where it was created. If the user moves more than a mile away from the image the image and voice effects end. When one minute expires the token is expended and the effect ends.

Construction Cost 1050 gp
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Magic Mouth, Major Image

After submitting I felt I had priced it too high and based upon this year's winner's perhaps I should have added flowery text to make it sound cooler.


Neil Spicer wrote:
N. Edward Lange wrote:
...where's neil spicer when you need him? his posts were so prolific last year i thought for sure he'd be posting comments by now.
Nope. Neil has a newborn son (named Noah) and a looming Paizo deadline to deliver on. It's why he opted out of being a judge this year. I've popped in here and there to offer some advice (mostly to the Top 32) and opinions on a few subjects (like the "Women in Gaming" thread), but I know better than to get sucked into the crush of trying to provide item feedback and critiques here when I've got so much else going on in my life right now. Maybe next year.

Congratulations on the new addition!


Jerry Keyes wrote:

Hi fellow contestants and judges!

Here’s my entry. Please tell me how the ethos swarm charm fell short in your eyes, and really be honest. I’m serious about writing and need to understand where I went wrong. Don’t hold back, you won’t hurt my feelings. If someone already mentioned the thing that bugged (no pun intended) you, then feel free to “+1” their comments so I can see how many people hated the same thing(s).

Thanks for taking the time.

Ethos Swarm Charm

Congratulations on making the effort to submit - Its an interesting excercise.

FWIW - this item appears to me to be little more than a spell in a can with a few constraints - that make the description more cumbersome but not more interesting.

Not that the item is useful - or even preferrable to some of the winners in a campaign its just doesn't come across as superstar.

Sorry - if it makes you feel better I've submitted every year and haven't made the cut yet.

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

Mark Aaron wrote:
I appreciate the feedback. You are the second person to tell me that this works better as a weapon. Can I con you into explaining that position for me? I can see a magical weapon ability (which, in truth, it was modified from an existing house-created magical weapon bonus) but I cannot see how a bowstring works better as a weapon. If I can better understand my fellow peers, I think I can make a better item (or at least one that fares better) next year!

Sure. I'm not sure I'd say it works better as a weapon so much as I think it may be more of a weapon, if that distinction makes sense.

I think my feeling is that it's not something that can be used on its own. It's only function is to be a part of a weapon. (On the other hand, I think if you'd had it negate strength penalties, thus could somehow act as a strengthening rope of some sort in a pinch, it could've avoided that.)

I think it skirts it enough that your item didn't need to be DQ'd for being a weapon instead of a wondrous item, but I think it's a lot closer to the line.

Here's a similar thought -- if you had a magical haft or shaft, that gave a bonus of some sort to an axe/spear head that was attached to it, would that be a weapon or item. I think you could try to argue item, and if you presented it well you might get away with it, but I could see other people disagreeing. Or, what if you item hadn't been the string but was the bow itself. I guess at what point do you draw the line?


Correlon wrote:
Wings, Resplendent Battle

The description is nice.

Its odd to me that wings don't have flight or speed as part of their function - or that the physical space they occupy does act to shield the wearer or allies.

Then the abilities you selected aren't that linked - they didn't work that well for me - sorry.

Star Voter Season 6

Please critique my doomstring. I had no idea "doom" was going to be a meme this year, or I would have chosen something else, just like everyone else who used the word "doom" in their item. :-)

Doomstring
Aura moderate illusion; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 1,400 gp; Weight 1/2 lb.
Description
This multicolored ball of twine wiggles slightly, as if someone is gently tugging a loose end. When thrown at a creature (as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet), the ball unwinds into a long braid, flicking back and forth in the same space as the target. A creature hit by the doomstring must make a DC 16 Will save or become entranced. A creature failing this save believes the doomstring to be a dangerous enemy, and must attempt to capture it. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. While under the influence of the doomstring, the victim must spend their entire turn attempting to grapple it. These attempts always fail, as the doomstring twitches and darts back and forth, narrowly evading capture. A creature trying to capture the doomstring is flat-footed against all other foes. After 7 rounds, or if a victim of the doomstring takes any damage (including non-lethal damage), the entrancement effect ends. Once the target becomes uninterested in the doomstring, whether by making its save, taking damage, or fighting the doomstring for 7 rounds, the doomstring falls to the ground, unraveling into an ordinary 50-foot length of twine. If the doomstring misses its target, it immediately unravels and falls harmlessly to the ground, expended.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, animate rope, phantasmal killer, creator must have a cat as a familiar; Cost 700 gp

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

Bloodthief Gem
Aura moderate transmutation and divination; CL 6th
Slot neck; Price 12,500 gp; Weight
Description
The small, clear crystal in this pendant turns a swirling crimson when it comes into contact with blood and allows the wearer to transform his body to take on aspects of whomever shed the blood. As a standard action three times per day, the wearer can attempt a touch attack that does not provoke an attack of opportunity against a humanoid or native outsider who has been dealt hit point damage in the previous minute. If this touch attack is successful, the wearer gains a racial trait of his choice of the touched creature that he does not currently have. This racial trait cannot be one that requires any choice, such as a human’s skilled or bonus feat racial traits, or any racial trait that modifies ability scores, size, or base speed. This is a polymorph effect and lasts for 6 hours.

As a full-round action once per day that provokes an attack of opportunity, the wearer can touch a dead humanoid or native outsider to assume the dead creature’s exact appearance. The wearer gains all racial traits that were possessed by the dead creature except those that require any choice and those that modify ability scores. This is a polymorph effect and lasts for 1 hour.

While the wearer is transformed by a bloodthief gem, the wearer counts as a creature with the shapechanger subtype and can revert to his natural form as a standard action by dismissing all transformations. The wearer also counts as the subtype of all creatures from whose blood the wearer used to transform, as well as the wearer’s normal type and subtype.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, alter self, blood biography, share memory; Cost 6,250 gp

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