Murktouch Cloak


Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

Murktouch Cloak
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 9th
Slot shoulders; Price 20,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This lustrous, crimson cloak has an ethereal quality to it. Upon command the murktouch cloak dissolves into a vortex of red fog that begins to churn around its wearer and extend her awareness.
The cloak can be active for 10 rounds per day; these rounds need not be consecutive. It can be dismissed as a free action. The fog forms a 25-foot-diameter vortex that goes 10 feet above and below the wearer. It remains centered on her at all times. Everyone in the fog gains concealment (20% miss chance). In addition, the wearer has blindsight within its area. The vortex is unaffected by wind or any similar effect.
Whenever the wearer is making a touch attack involving a spell or effect, she can reach with the fog as a swift action to target any creature inside it. She can target more than one creature with this attack (maximum 6) within the limits of the spell or effect in question. One of her mental ability modifiers can be applied to the touch attack instead of the initial modifier.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, echolocation, fog cloud; Cost 10,000 gp

Paizo Employee Developer

Nice rules language. Shoddy flavor. Interesting ability, if a little bit excessive. The last two sentences kind of kill this item.

weak reject

Publisher, EN Publishing aka Russell Morrissey

Nounverb... grumble.

In this year's submissions, there's been a lot of cloaks that dissolve and swirl in some manner.

I like this one, though. I like the touch attack with the fog; that could be quite eerie.

Weak keep.

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

Why is the fog red? Missed opportunity there—could e.g. have tied it into the Red Mantis or something. This would make for one creepy villain.

Weak keep.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka primemover003

Way to repeat Kalervo! Good to see you back again. I agree with Judy this could easily have been seasoned with some Golarion flavor. A 25 foot radius is pretty big, but an odd number. Why not a 10 foot or 20 foot radius which is a pattern most GMs and players are far more likely to have a template for or can quickly draw out on a battlemat.

Good luck with your monster in round 2!

--Vrock you like a hurricane.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

Thank you for the comments, I will surely make use of them in the future.

Thanks Scott, it's actually diameter, so it extends 10 feet around the wearer, since she takes 5 feet.

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

As every year there were a lot of cloaks, and most I didn't like, but this one I thought was cool and had awesome potential. I voted for it several times, so congrats on making the top 32 and Good Luck.

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

I liked parts of this item up until the multi-targeting feature, which makes it feel overpowered. Unfortunately, it didn't make my like or keep lists.

Welcome back to the Top 32! Good luck in the monster round.

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

Congratulations and Good Luck in the next round!

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

I liked this one, and I thought it had a lot of potentially cool imagery. I think the second paragraph could be tightened up to eliminate some of the concerns with the cloak's alternate ability.

Good luck in the monster round!

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

I liked this much more than a number of other mist based items, and upvoted it a lot. Welcome back, Kalervo!

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

I saw this as the best of the mist based cloaks as it had a unique less obvious ability then the others. Well done. Congrats and good luck.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

I kept tinkering with the last ability. Perhaps it went a bit overboard, and there aren't that many spells or effects that allow multiple touches anyway.

In hindsight I'd probably make it a free action instead of a swift action, so you could use it with the attacks you could normally make. More straightforward that way.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

And of course, thanks to everyone who liked my item and voted for it.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congrats Kalle! Or should I start calling you Murky Murk. :D

It's your second year and the second time you made the top 32. 100% success rate! Well done, friend. :)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

While trying to decide between my monsters, I threw together this alternate version:

Hextouch Cloak
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 9th
Slot shoulders; Price 18,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
The colors of this radiant, green cloak ripple like the northern lights. Upon command the hextouch cloak dissolves into a vortex of luminous, green fog that begins to churn around its wearer. The fog allows the wearer to feel the presence of anyone within it and send her magical energies crackling towards them.

The wearer has blindsight inside the fog. Whenever she is making a touch attack involving a spell or effect, she can reach with the fog as a free action to target any creature within it. All creatures in the fog gain concealment (20% miss chance).

The fog forms a 25-foot-diameter vortex that goes 10 feet above and below the wearer. It remains centered on her at all times. The vortex is unaffected by wind or any similar effect. The cloak can be active for 10 rounds per day; these rounds need not be consecutive. It can be dismissed as a free action.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, echolocation, fog cloud; Cost 9,000 gp

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Another repeat! Well done! Kalervo, I don't think this is your strongest RPG Superstar submission, but it is a well-executed item.

My beef is that fog cloud is a great battlefield control spell, and getting blindsight inside that area is a huge deal. I fear someone with this item would use it at least twice per day, and running almost every combat inside a fog cloud could become a little boring and frustrating for the GM and players alike.

This said, I really enjoyed your entries last year. Even though the miremane did not get you to round 4, I still think it was a solid ambush monster, so I think you are going to do well in the next round.

Congratulations and good luck!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

Thank you for the comment, Pedro.

Well, this fog is a lot smaller than the actual fog cloud spell, 10 feet around the wearer, and the effect is more straightforward with only concealment. That should alleviate at least some of the concerns.

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kalervo Oikarinen wrote:
The colors of this radiant, green cloak ripple like the northern lights. Upon command the hextouch cloak dissolves into a vortex of luminous, green fog that begins to churn around its wearer. The fog allows the wearer to feel the presence of anyone within it and send her magical energies crackling towards them...

+1

I am so sad my players' PCs are still too low level for me to use either version on them. :P

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

I was pretty much right down the middle on this cloak. It was kinda cool and kinda sloppy at the same time so it earned just as many downvotes as it did upvotes. I too was a little baffled at the last 2 sentences.

Still...interesting creativity. Let's see what you come up with for R2.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Demiurge 1138

This is an item I was on the fence about. I like the idea of making touch attacks in the mist, but the weird rules language (diameter? everything in PFRPG is in a radius) put me off a bit. Oddly, this item is way better for defense than it is for offense--imagine making the hand contact to pull off an escape teleport from ten feet away.

Welcome back to the Top 32! Do us 2013 veterans proud in Round 2.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter Season 6

I agree with most of the above comments, especially the diameter, even with the 10ft radius explanation (that's a 20ft diameter - you choose a corner).

Wind should blow away the fog; I can't work out why it wouldn't, and there's no explanation in the item that suggests why it wouldn't. That's how fog cloud works, or any fog or mist or storm. There needs to be a good reason to invalidate environmental dangers, and just saying it's invalidated isn't enough in my books.

The wearer having blindsight was even a bit much I thought, but it is only 10 rounds/day, and they can always step up to you and attack - unless you're a flying witch, which I'm guessing is who this item is tailor made for. If that's the case, it's a fairly serious game changer even without the last couple of touch powers.

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

The mechanics are a little sticky, but I really like the concept of being able to touch people via the mist; it has a very Stephen King feel to it. Good luck in the next round!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka John Benbo

Kalervo, I'm glad to see you back this year. I was pulling for you last year as your archetype and monster last year were among my favorites.

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

Welcome back!!! I dislike the nme, but I love that you specify the vortex dimensions above and below the wearer! This is kind of a mixed thematic bag, like you actually had 15 abilities to choose from for this and stuck the best ones in, but not necessarily the ones that matched each other.

Still, there is some great imagery and imagination on show here, and we know you have the chops!

Congratulations and let's see another cool monster!!!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

Thanks for the new comments.

I tried to keep the flavor short and to the point, maybe a bit too much, since a few additional evocative sentences would have been in order.

Diameter is used in some rare cases but radius is of course more prevalent. Even if it was a bit unorthodox, I thought is was still quite clear, but in the future radius it shall be.

The idea was that the wearer can feel creatures in the fog and as an extension of that reach with it to touch.

On being unaffected by wind etc. came from the churning motion and it being a magical fog that actively stays around the wearer.

The last ability was reforming till the last day and apparently I didn't get it just right.

Multiple attacks were something akin to a Whirlwind Attack, though I should have added that separate attack rolls are made for each target and reworked how it meshes with other actions in the round. Something more simple and defined would have been a better route.

The mental ability modifiers came from the action feeling more on the cerebral side than physical.

I think the alternate version I posted above addresses many of the concerns with and added wink at Irrisen. :)

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

Congratulations Kalervo and welcome back!

I did not see this in voting, but it is pretty cool in a simple way. Some of the wording had me confused (is the wearer 10 ft. off the ground or does the mist extend beneath the ground). I think this also grants six times the number of target of some spells? I like touch attacks in the fog's area though, that alone is cool.

Good luck! :)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

Thank you. :)

Well, my thinking was that if the wearer is flying, floating etc. then it goes below her. Solid ground would block the fog, so then it wouldn't go below her.

The "within the limits of the spell or effect in question" part means that you can only attack multiple target if the spell allows for multiple targets like chill touch. So it allows you to make more touch attacks but doesn't give any extra uses of the spell or effect.

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

Overall, I liked this - the ability to blind your enemies in the mist but still see them is great for sneak attacking, and the touch spells through the mist broadens the appeal to spellcasters as well.

I think the bonus to using a mental stat on the touch spells was a bit much, and would have changed them to use Dex like a ranged touch instead...it's not like a rogue in the mist gets any additional benefits to attack (other than his foes not being able to see him, which is enough).

Also, for the price, I'd have wanted a 20 radius around the user, not only is that more in line with a fog cloud type of effect, but 10 foot radius is pretty small, and really only affects adjacent creatures - a 5 foot step is an easy out for creatures on the border.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

Here's final thanks for all the votes, comments, and congratulations before round 2 begins for real.

I'm going to silent mode for the round 2 voting, except for maybe some random unrelated mumbling at the Top 32 Guildhall while designing an entry for round 3.

See you on the other side. :)

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Template Fu Review 2014 - Kalervo Oikarinen - Murktouch Cloak

Template Fu boilerplate: I have yet to make Top 32, therefore much of what follows is from someone learning from your item and may include suggestions you might agree with or not. Please consider anything suggested with your critical designer mind and know that nothing here is personal, it is about your item not you. I try to be thorough every year, taking an hour or more per item, so I hope you find something of value in the review that follows.

Name: I can understand the name derivative, but there is a disjunction between name and effect. Taking murk and touch, it is easy to see how touch describes part of the items effects, but murk, although a derivative of fog, is more akin to a dirty, dusky, smog like fog. This puts the murk part of the name at odds with the fog being described in the item effect. This is not a major issue, more of a speed bump, but it something to be aware of.
Template Fu scores you 8/10 on this.

Template Usage: Excellent execution of the template! Another dis-junction in the description is that the cloak is initially described as dissolving with no description of how it reforms or whether it is consumed in the process making it a single use item. I suspect it reforms somehow as there is a quoted limited uses per day, and so for this reason, the price is more reasonable. It is a difficult item to price, the multi touch aspect is very powerful, making the price seem weak, but the other powers granted are not as powerful making the price seem slightly high. Based on this, I would try to price an item based on it's most powerful effect, so for me, the price of the item is too low and should be revisited comparing the power of that multi-touch in relation to other items on the wondrous item table.
Template Fu scores you 8/10 on this.

Game Balance: That last sentence is a doozy, my touch attacks, spells or otherwise will have a specified attack roll as part of the definition of the touch attack being made. So are we really saying here that I can replace the normal attack bonus of the touch attack with my wisdom or intelligence bonus (which is what I assume is meant by mental ability modifier)? This ambiguity hurts your item with reference to how likely discussions will halt play at the game table determining and agreeing what this sentence actually means.
The multi-touch is very powerful, but it is also not clear whether the touch attack is affected by the miss chance everyone gains in the mist or not. This should be clarified, because if the touch attacks are also subject to miss chance granted, then quite some game balance is restored and the item is not as powerful as first visioned, and likely placing the item correctly for pricing.
Template Fu scores you 7/10 on this.

Cinematics:
Sight - check, good imagery - to avoid the meme effect of turning into mist, you could have gone one step further and be wearing a cloak OF mist.
Sound - missed opportunity - fog deadens sounds and makes strange aural effects, this could have been in the description.
Smell - missed opportunity - assuming the for is murky as the name implies, is there a rank odor given off, or is it a metallic rust smell to account for the redness?
Taste - missed opportunity - murky dirty fog make have an acrod taste when you are breathing within it, this could also have been used to heighten the cinematic.
Touch - missed opportunity - is it warm, cold, damp, icy, chilling - fog definitely has these aspects, so use them to heighten your cinematic.
Cinematic Summary I like the imagery - just remember to utilise more than just sight sense to make your descriptions even more evocative.
Template Fu scores you 14/20 on this.

Musings, Meme, and One Step Further:
The cloak has an ethereal quality about it in the description, but the effect fell short of etherealness. I can't put my finger on it exactly, and have tried for some time - maybe it needs to interact with ethereal enemies in some way, I'm not sure, it just feels like a missed opportunity that arose from the choice of words used in describing the base item. Be aware that when you describe an item, you might be opening up alternative effects that you might not have noticed or considered.
Try to remember that if the state of an item changes due to its effects, then consider in your description how it reverts back to its original state at the end of the effect.
Also consider that the "you get 10 rounds, spend them during the day in increments that you need totaling up to 10" is becoming very meme now. Consider instead less book-keeping for the players and just have x times per day for up to y rounds. Once a player has two or three items all having "spend part duration per day" type items, their book-keeping can become onerous for them (and usually the GM as well).
Template Fu scores you 15/20 on this.

Your final score for this item is 52/70, or 74% - An original item, work on your visuals going forwards!

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