Groundbreaker Cloak


Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Groundbreaker Cloak
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th
Slot shoulders; Price 22,000 gp; Weight 6 lbs.
Description
This heavy dirt-caked cloak is made from the hide of a bulette, and features a plated dorsal fin that crests between the shoulders. As a standard action, the wearer may dive into the ground, gaining a burrow speed of 20 feet through sand, soil, gravel and stone. While burrowing, the wearer cannot run or charge, and travels along the surface, the exposed dorsal plate visible from above. As the wearer burrows, displaced dirt swells before him and collapses behind him to create difficult terrain in his wake. He has cover from attacks while burrowing, and can choose to make a free combat maneuver check against creatures standing on spaces he burrows through, causing them to fall prone if the check succeeds by 5 or more. Emerging from the ground is a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Once per day, the wearer may perform a charge by diving deep into the ground, burrowing in a straight line beneath any obstacles and bursting forth into the air with sudden and extreme ferocity. This use of the cloak does not disturb the terrain as noted above, except where the wearer enters and exits the ground. The wearer ends this movement standing and the target of the charge is considered flat-footed against the attack.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, beast shape III, burrow; Cost 11,000 gp

Paizo Employee Developer

Overall a pretty good item. Seems balanced, good writing, and a good marriage of flavor and function.

keep

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

The abilities granted by this item bundle logically. The writing is clean, beyond needing a few commas tweaked.

Keep!

Publisher, EN Publishing aka Russell Morrissey

A fun item I'd never have thought of.

Keep.

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.

As a long-standing fan of the bulette, I appreciated how you handled this item. It was one of my favorites and brought a smile to my face every time I saw it in the voting.

Good luck in the monster round!

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

This was one of my favorites. Good job.

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

I was surprised to like this item after I first read it, but you kept getting my vote and I am glad to see it in the top 32. Good Luck!

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

This item didn't make my like list during voting, but I didn't see it until after the cull; it might have suffered from getting paired with a stronger item.

I quite like the effect, but I'm concerned by the lack of limitations on its use. This item outright breaks encounters set in hallways; I can see a player using this non-stop, raking back and forth across a few enemies, especially since emerging doesn't evoke an AoO.

Still, it's written cleverly and looks fun to use, though it'd need some tweaking to end up at my table. I'm especially excited to see what sort of neat mechanical tricks you apply to a monster.

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

Garrett does a good job of spelling out the problems in this entry, so I won't repeat them. However, I did have a problem with a dorsal fin flapping behind the wearer as he walks around normally. As someone who tries to visual items, this was comical in my mind's eye. Still, a burrow attack would be pretty fun!

In the next round remember to place limits on things so abuses don't take place. And good luck!


Ha! Someone is very fond of Skylanders. This is almost exactly the set of abilities from the land shark character.

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!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 7

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Every time I saw this one I yelled out (sometimes only in my mind) "I'M A LAAAAAAAND SHAAAAAAAARK!!" Loved it. Needs more shark. I was a little confused that you couldn't charge unless you chose to charge... Other than that, you covered all the rules bases nicely. Well done.

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

Out of the numerous earth based items I saw this was probably my least favorite...even though I still liked it.

I had some conflicting images with a plated dorsal fin on a cloak...and I was honestly wondering why it wasn't a head item. I mean...I get the crafted out of the hide of a bulette but a cloak just didn't make sense to me.

I'll echo Garret's assessment. Let's see your R2.

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

3 people marked this as a favorite.

My favorite item I saw during voting. Want to make an orc barbarian with a bite attack and a bard cohort playing the Jaws music.

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

This was in my top 5. Glad to see it made it congrats and good luck.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

When I think back on years of gaming, encounters with a bulette stick out as some of my most memorable. Thank you voters and judges who felt I did the land shark some justice with the Groundbreaker Cloak.

I'm honored to be among this year's Top 32, and will be aiming to unleash something worthy of RPG Superstar in the fight ring of Round 2!

Before that though, I'm going to join Christopher Dudley in yelling "I'M A LAAAAAAAND SHAAAAAAAARK!!" Thank you.

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

Wow! Never saw this in my 500+ votes, but I love it!!!
As the judges commented, the abilities bundle together well thematically.

I love the visuals, and well done on picking a popular and terrifying creature to design around.

Well done, congratulations and let's see something equally creative (and different) in round 2...

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Candygram.

This was definitely one of the more random and fun items I saw while voting. While it didn't always get upvoted (although it did more often than not), it was almost always worth taking the full minute to debate, even when up against a favorite. Congrats, welcome to the insanity that is RPGSS!

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

I liked this item cause it's fun, has good visuals, and anything that adds more combat maneuvers is always good.

However, it's just too fun and too good. Unlimited burrow speed is pretty nice already, and unlimited use in combat for the standard use is a bit much. I'd limit it to 3 1 minute increments perhaps, plus the underground sneak attack.

Also, I'd limit the types of terrain it can let you burrow through to non-magically treated or created materials, and/or with a hardness less than 10. Otherwise it's also too easy to bypass barriers of any type other than metal, which means most castles and dungeons can be entered without worrying about pesky walls or doors.

Star Voter Season 7

This one is solidly written and I like it. A bit over the top for my own play style, but a great cinematic item and not broken. Good work.

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

I want to say the bulette was the first monster I ever GM'ed a group of players taking on and as such it has held a special place in my heart.

Also, I love items crafted from the trophies of the fallen, so this is both a cool design and a neat item.

I didn't come across this item while voting but I would have kept this one over most.

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

Great, great item. Being able to use different types of movement is a lot of fun for the players, and this one pulls it off with style. Well done, Patrick!

Congratulations! If you keep this level of creativity, writing and rules-fu, you shouldn't have problems with the monster round.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

LAAAAAAAAAAAANDSHAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRK!! =D

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pedro Coelho Mendes Bueno Barbosa wrote:
Well done, Patrick!

Man, I'm really dyslexic today. Brian! Well done, Brian!

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Not a lot of burrowing type items in the core or ways to play with difficult terrain, so this definitely holds a niche. That niche being "play landshark" makes this item extra cool. For those people worrying about raking back and forth through a hallway--it takes a standard action to go underground and a move action to emerge. So unless you just want to pop in and out, you're going to have to spend a turn moving.

Congratulations, and good luck in Round 2!

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

I like this item a lot, particularly for outdoorsy adventures like wilderness or battlefields. Really looking forward to your monster!

Shadow Lodge Star Voter Season 6

I think I need to re-read the burrow rules, because there's a lot of rules question this one raises for me, like can a creature attack while burrowed? can a creature attack a burrowed creature? It says cover from attacks in the item "while burrowing", but does that mean "while burrowed"? Emerging doesn't provoke (somehow), but does a burrowed creature moving around provoke (assuming you can attack a surface-burrowed creature)?

I'm guessing the rules answer all of these questions since nobody else seems to have noticed.

The last flaw is the difficult terrain being left in its wake - this can make it difficult to track what squares have become difficult terrain if there's no pattern to it. I'm not sure that was necessary and could have been fixed if only the enter/exit positions were considered difficult terrain, which would have had an equally cool effect while still preserving simplicity.

Having said that, it does sound like a really cool idea that creates really cool visuals, especially the once-per-day ability. I like that the primary function doesn't expire, considering its price. The name could've reflected the dorsal fin better, but is inspiring enough.

Scarab Sages Star Voter Season 8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqGQyMF5a_0

I really liked this item. I didn't get a chance to vote as much as I'd have liked to so I never came across it, but I'm glad it made the Top 32! Very creative, it fills a niche that doesn't see much love (burrow), and flavorfully captures the essence of the Bulette.

Best of luck in the next round! I look forward to seeing your monster submission: if it's half as flavorful as this item was we'll be in for a treat!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6

This item's name was what really made it for me. Groundbreaker cloak. How do you break the ground with a cloak? I want to learn what this thing does.

Bulette hide is a cool origin, and diving into the ground is a cool visual. Pretty solid writing and mechanics all around.

Plus, landsharks!

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

Congratulations Brian,

As difficult terrain makers go this is pretty cool. Overall I found it MiC so would have upvoted 50/50 had I seen it.

Swing for the fences with your monster. Good luck! :)

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 - Brian Fruzen - Groundbreaker 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: A solid descriptive name that hints at the effects. It didn't excite me as a name, but for utility it serves its purpose well. I think the reason it didn't excite me was it didn't portray for me the really cool effect of your item. Creating difficult terrain is a "ho hum" ability, but treating solid ground almost like water allowing you to swim through it like a shark, your fin protruding from the surface, now that grabbed me.
Template Fu scores you 7/10 on this.

Template Usage: Spotless template use, everything is where it should be, the spells listed alphabetically, price to cost ratio is correct. Well done indeed.
Template Fu scores you 10/10 on this.

Game Balance: You mention that the burrowing individual has cover from attacks, but you haven't qualified whether it is partial or full. I would assume that the "fin" means that you can be targeted by spells requiring a target perhaps?
Rather than give a standard speed, you could have considered a reduction in the PC's base speed depending upon the type of ground you are moving through - moving through lose sand is probably able to be done faster than through dense granite for example.
Other than that, the game balance is nice and tight.
Template Fu scores you 8/10 on this.

Cinematics:
Sight - check, the visuals and flavor of effect and the item itself are very tight and on theme on this item. I had no problems picturing this in my minds eye.
Sound - missed opportunity, moving through sand would likely produce a swooshing sound, but through stone a rumbling cracking sound.
Smell - not applicable, smell doesn't really play a part of this item or it's effects.
Taste - not applicable, taste doesn't really play a part of this item or it's effects.
Touch - missed opportunity - what does it feel like to slide through solid rock?
Cinematic Summary The item description and main effects conjure a vivid imagery, we could have been given a sense of what it feels like to move through rock, but on the whole, I think you have kept things tight and well described. Well done.
Template Fu scores you 17/20 on this.

Musings, Meme, and One Step Further:
Even though I am a Warcraft player and know of a certain ground travelling quest this could have been inspired from, I found you had distanced the item enough that it didn't bother me in the slightest. This is the trick and subtle difference between replicating an in game effect and using something for inspiration. A tricky line to walk, and for me you achieved that.
Mmmm, a Stone Golem, can I go through it/ into it, using it's own body to spring my charge attack from, if I can burrow a creature does it damage it? Some creatures are created from the elements through which this cloak can move? This should have been covered, simply fixed by choosing to add the word "inanimate" when listing the types that can be burrowed.
I am personally very pro mythic at the moment, so one possibility here would be to allow the wearer to bring his allies with him when empowering the cloaks effect with mythic power.
This was one of my favorite items during voting, very well done.
Template Fu scores you 17/20 on this.

Your final score for this item is 59/70, or 84% - Excellent!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Thank you all for taking the time to offer your comments regarding the groundbreaker cloak over the last week. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking it will be best to keep quiet while the public voting is commencing on the monster round of this year’s RPG Superstar, so consider this my best wishes to all of the contestants, and my thanks to the voting public and to Paizo and its judges for their time and energy in making this event possible.

I am grateful for being welcomed into the thirty-two, and wanted everyone that’s offered their comments here know that they've already contributed a great deal to my development as a designer. I hope to put those comments to use in the future rounds of this contest, but they’ll be invaluable no matter where I land in the aftermath of Round 2!

Again, thank you.

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