Screeching Fiddle


Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8 aka shiverscar

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Screeching Fiddle
Aura moderate evocation; CL 4th
Slot none; Price 9,380 gp; Weight 3 lbs.
Description
This ill-kept, battered fiddle emits an ear-piercing screech when played, causing fragile materials nearby to shudder with sympathetic vibrations. For up to 10 rounds per day, the fiddle can be played as a standard action, targeting up to 5 cubic feet of any material. These rounds do not need to be consecutive. The hardness of the material in the targeted area is reduced by 5 for as long as the fiddle is played. Magical or attended objects receive a Will save to negate the effect (DC14). If the wielder of the screeching fiddle has 10 or more ranks in Perform (String instruments), the hardness is reduced by 10 instead. Snapping any of the fiddle's four strings is a standard action that emits a sound burst directed by the wielder (DC 14). If all four of the fiddle's strings are snapped, the screeching fiddle loses all enchantment and becomes a mundane instrument with the broken condition.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, shatter, sound burst; Cost 4,690 gp

Paizo Employee Developer

5 cubic feet, huh? Pretty sure the author meant a 5-foot cube.

Cool ability! Simple, but effective and useful.

Good scaling mechanic with the Perform ranks.

Nice secondary ability. Good integration of the secondary ability into the main text (i.e., tying it to the fiddle's strings rather than just saying "up to four times" or whatever).

keep

Publisher, EN Publishing aka Russell Morrissey

I like this one a lot. There is a big difference between 5 cubic feet and a 5' cube; I assume the author meant what they said, though.

Keep.

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

Nicely integrated flavor text, and I like that the power scales to the user. Had the same question about 5-foot cube vs. cubic feet (came up in a few items).

Keep.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka MythrilDragon

Congrats Adam, I really liked your item and voted it up every time I saw it.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

I also liked your item!

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

One of the better items I saw during voting, I liked the hardness reduction, and the power up tied to skill ranks (including using 10 ranks as the cutoff, just like Skill Focus).

I was torn about the breaking the strings power - while I liked that it was included, and that it was tied to the fiddle strings as Patrick mentioned, I thought that sound burst was a bit weak of an effect, especially when using it 4 times ruins a 9K+ gp item.

I haven't checked the math on the pricing, but I feel that the effect should be better - if not a shout effect, perhaps an empowered sound burst, or a 3d8 damage version of sound burst.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

I expect there will be some drama about this entry.......

Marathon Voter Season 6

I'm surprised there isn't already.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

You do have glasses.......

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

Adam, this is a solid and evocative item. You have some real design chops, and your RPG Superstar Top 8 tag proves that. I'm happy to see you back in the Top 32, even though I suspect it will only be for a short while.

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

While this was one that I upvoted quite a few times, I also downvoted some as well.

I really like the name...fits perfectly and plays on a common thing from real life.

It is an interesting design space...messing with hardness and the soundburst with a broken string.

All in all, really looking forward to your monster and how you apply your design ability to it.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka ChesterCopperpot

Great job, Adam. This was one of my favorite items from the first time I saw it.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka mamaursula

Congratulations Adam! I did not have the pleasure of seeing this item during my voting, but I am a fool for a musical instrument.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

I was confused about this item and it might just be my inexperience in dealing with Hardness, but I was torn to figure out why I would want this. It sounds like a Bard debuff against Golems, but then Golems get a save and an easy one to make at that.

That said, I liked the writing, though sympathetic vibrations threw me off too, sympathetic is typically a positive adjective that I don't necessarily correlate with shuddering or shattering.

Good luck in the next round, I'm sure you'll do great!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

A very solid item, both in terms of design and mechanics. I admit, I have a weakness for items that remind me of The Devil's Trill, but playing around with the hardness rules is a spin on what otherwise could have just been a sound burst in a ca...er, violin.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Folks,

Now that this item is no longer anonymous to me, I see that its author, Adam Donald, is a Top 8 finalist from RPG Superstar 2012.

Unfortunately, section 1 of the official RPG Superstar rules page states, "The top eight finalists of all previous RPG Superstar contests are ineligible."

(If our Friday power outage hadn't caused web site problems over the weekend, which delayed completing the R1 judging, I think we would have caught this before it went live.)

The intent of this rule is to prevent finalists from dominating later RPG Superstar competitions. Obviously Adam is talented, as he made it all the way to Round 4 in 2012, but it's not fair (and not allowed under the competition rules) to have him competing against "undiscovered" authors.

So, regretfully, we have to disqualify Adam Donald's entry from RPG Superstar 2014 and promote one of the alternates to the Top 32.

However, this does mean Paizo should take another look at Adam and see if he's available for freelance...

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