Sun Wukong's Puzzle Box

Open Call: Design a wondrous item

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Arkos

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Sun Wukong's Puzzle Box
Aura moderate conjuration and illusion; CL 10th
Slot none; Cost 25,200 gp; Weight 1 lb.
The plainly lacquered exterior of this wooden puzzle box cunningly hides the devious clockwork mechanism beneath. Once per day, the user may unlock a puzzle box as a standard action that creates two simultaneous effects. First, a shower of golden sparks envelops the user, causing her to become invisible and immediately teleporting her 20 feet in a direction of her choice. Second, a swarm of howling monkeys (Bestiary 2 212) bursts from the same square the user left.

Although the swarm is not under the mental control of the user, the monkeys will consciously keep at least 20 feet from the user at all times. The swarm attempts to surround as many opponents as possible, but otherwise acts as mad monkeys with a CMB of +12. The monkeys' antics provide a -10 circumstance penalty to locate the invisible user as long as they remain within 100 feet.

Both the invisibility effect and the monkey swarm last for ten rounds. Dispelling one of the effects does not dispel the other.

The mechanism inside a puzzle box makes use of magic aura to disguise its effects as greater polymorph.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, dimension door, invisibility, mad monkeys, magic aura, creator must be chaotic; Cost 12,600 gp

Paizo Employee Developer

That "circumstance penalty" sentence sucks the life right out of an item that was otherwise kinda neat up till this point.

That last sentence is likewise unnecessary.

I appreciate the ties to our canon. It's not enough to save this item, though.

weak reject

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

Why clockwork in a magic item? I appreciate that this ties to our canon instead of having a more generic anime feel.

Weak keep.

Publisher, EN Publishing aka Russell Morrissey

What an odd - but fun- idea! So the bearer turns invisible, teleports, and a bunch of monkeys appears to distract people from finding him?

I don't know whether it's cool or it's howling mad crazy.

For the fun factor, -


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

Welcome to the Top 32, Arkos!

Shadow Lodge Star Voter Season 6

I'm guessing clockwork in a magic item was used because of the last sentence, which was in itself included to cheapen the item - magic aura is level 1, greater polymorph is level 7. The item is already 25k gold thanks to the other spells it requires.

While it's a nice idea, I feel like there's a lot of wording problems in this one. Presumably "causing her to become invisible" is as per invisibility, not greater invisibility. "and immediately teleporting her" sounds like the word immediately is redundant.

The 20ft vicinity requirement is a bit weird, does that require the user to always move before the monkeys?

The circumstance penalty sentence does need cleaning up, I'm assuming that means others get a penalty to perception to locate the user, but that's never a "typed penalty". Does a circumstance penalty stack with a circumstance bonus? "as long as they remain within 100ft" doesn't make sense to me since they have to remain within 20ft.

And then dispelling one effect doesn't dispel the other makes this an item where you get 2 for the price of 1, which is a pretty big deal in action economy. I can't think of any other item that does this kind of thing.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Arkos

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm very happy to have the opportunity to participate in the RPGSS competition! This year, I was an alternate, so you may note a glaring lack of reviews here. However, this item has been reviewed many times in the "Critique My Item" thread and in the epic review threads as well.

While I don't want to appear to self-promotional, I also don't want it to look like this space is a void of interest by previous voters, since I know some folks vote by pedigree.

Fortunately for all of us, Garrett Guillotte created his 2014 Magnum Opus: The RPGSS 2014 Item Critique Tracker! The document has a Table of Contents, and you'll find my criticism at the end of the "Thread Page 2" link.

Thanks to those out there who upvoted my item! I'm happy to still be competing!

(Special thanks to Garrett for making this post possible!)

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

Specifically, here's reviews of and comments about Sun Wukong's Puzzle Box by Isaac White, Amy Gillespie, Thunderbuckets, RonarsCorruption, Feros, Saint Caleth, GM_Solspiral, and Bryan Bloomer.

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

Congratulations Arco!

Good luck on R2 and beyond.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka DankeSean

belated congratulations! Really happy to see you advance into the 32, because I loved this item during the voting. Puzzle boxes, monkeys, invisibility and trickery... what's not to love?

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