|Viscount Corneleous Ornelos|
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Hedgewall Seed Pouch
Aura Moderate Conjuration; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 33,750 gp; Weight 6 lbs.
This bulging leather sack contains 50 handfuls of assorted seeds and burs. As a standard action, one handful can be sown in a 5’ x 5’ area, which instantly grows a thick tangle of thorny brush to a height of 10’. If sown adjacent to another handful of the seed, the areas entwine with each other as they grow to form a seamless barrier. This hedgewall barrier acts as a wall of thorns spell, save that it becomes a permanent, non-magical plant. The hedgewall provides cover for those behind it.
If grown in hospitable conditions with adequate soil and water, a hedgewall can live for decades. Otherwise, the plant wall takes damage normally until it is destroyed. If cultivated by a skilled horticulturalist the barrier can grow and expand naturally. After the last handful is sown, the sack becomes non-magical.
Requirements Create Wondrous Item, Wall of Thorns; Cost 16,875 gp
|Patrick Renie Developer|
Ugh, 50 doses? Already scaring me off. But otherwise, actually, this is a pretty simple item that clearly states what it does and how it works. I don't have too much of a problem with it, even though it is basically just a wall of thorns spell. This is one of the stronger "instant fertilizer" items I've seen so far.
|Russ Morrissey Publisher, EN Publishing aka Russell Morrissey|
|Judy Bauer Associate Editor|
|Garrett Guillotte Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8|
|Jerry Keyes RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka surfbored|
|Monica Marlowe RPG Superstar 2015 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka mamaursula|
|Kiel Howell 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 not a big fan of this item in the voting. I agree with Garrett on too much similarity to a wand of that spell...and I wasn't really feeling like it was superstar enough to overlook it being a spell in a can (pouch?).
I'd like to see some heavily flavored monster action from you in the next round.
|Mike Welham Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9|
|frank gori 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|
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
I remember sitting at a friends house and we were both on our laptops when this item come up. He loved the item immediately while I took issue with a bulging sack full of seed. Judging by the comments you have a mountain to climb next round with the voters. The good news is I've seen more than a few " how the frak that make it" item designers pull out awesome entries the next round. In fact I remember feeling that way about Joseph Kellogs item then loved the heck out of an archetype of his and liking his monster a great deal as well. You can flip your detractors, do not let anyone discourage you.
Congrats and good luck.
|Brian J. Fruzen RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8|
I'm not sure I would go out of my way to make one of these items, but I would love finding uses for it if my character happened to find one.
I like that you introduced impact beyond the few rounds it will take to actually make use of the item. Few adventurers think outside of the combat round, and as a GM, I might use this to create a setting for a great encounter. Perhaps evidence of a battle fought long ago?
Congratulations on making it to round 2!
|Avatar-1 Star Voter Season 6|
|Oceanshieldwolf Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9|
|Sean McGowan 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 one quite a bit. Not one of my top picks, but it was always a good, solid item that saw a bunch of upvotes from me. Yeah, it's mostly a SIAC, but it does what GOOD spell in a cans do, which is find a new use/limit for the spell in question. In this case, it was the customizable 5 foot squares that got me. Sometime you don't need a giant 10-foot square per caster level chunk of terrain; sometimes you just need a temporary barrier to block a doorway with. (Which yes, you can technically do by casting wall of thorns, but then you feel like you've just wasted a spell...)
I think this is clever and versatile enough that I really can't get behind the 'unimaginative' claims. It reminds me of one of my all-time favorite RPGSS items in that regard; Carl Klutzke's boundary chalk from 2009.
Congrats. You're one of the top 32 and you've bloody well earned that spot. Now go make a monster that will make the staunchest naysayer wet their pants.
|Joel Flank 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 also wasn't a fan of this being a SIAC wall of thorns, even with it usable in 5x5 increments. That being said, I am a fan of plant items in the form of seeds in a pouch.
Congrats, and bring something special to round two. With your item on the border of pure SIAC, your monster needs to bring something new and exciting to the table.
|Curaigh Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9|
Wall of thorns is one of my favorite spells so I am glad you made this. I voted for it a few times, but not always.
...a permanent, non-magical plant. The hedgewall provides cover for those behind it....
I found the non-magical plant to be a 'so-so' and the calling out something all walls do a bit redundant. Focus on creativity for the critter and all future rounds.Good luck! :)
|Christopher Wasko RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 8|
|Nicholas Herold RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Demiurge 1138|
|Anthony Adam Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9|
Template Fu Review 2014 - Bryan Jones - Hedgewall Seed Pouch
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: Functional name that explicitly recalls the effect of the item. This is a boon in game when items recall their effects just by stating the name, play is sped up, consistent imagery is invoked. There is a bit of a miss-match though between the imagery of a "seed pouch" and a "bulging leather sack". Try to ensure consistency in your imagery and descriptions.
Template Fu scores you 8/10 on this.
Template Usage: Ok, we have a few issues on the template, but with the bolding, it is obvious you have made the effort to apply the provided template. Applying the template is only half the battle though, you must always refer each part of that template back to the core rules. Starting with aura, your wording is correct, but the strength and school should be all lowercase. The spell should be in italics and also be all lower case.
The price is very indicative of a "by the book calculated" price due to the very precise number of gold pieces listed. Rather than taking that initial calculation and comparing to the prices on the item chart. All the items from 30,000 through 36,000 are all a whole number of thousands. Let's compare with the item that is nearest your items price. Amulate of Natural Armor +4 - so if I was looking at purchasing something for 30+k gold, would I buy an item that gives me +4 AC all the time, or would I grow a wall of thorns to hide behind? This is the art of pricing, myself personally, the +4 AC wins as I retain mobility while benefiting from it at all times. This tells me this item is over-priced by some margin.
Template Fu scores you 6/10 on this.
Game Balance: The item design has a very specific game effect. It creates a wall of vegetation. It can be used to block doorways, hamper pursuit, to hide "in plain sight" in wilderness settings and so on. All of the game balance is the same as for the base spell, with the exception that the created plant may live on as a mundane plant.
There isn't enough moving away from the base spell for me to say this is a spell in a can that has been designed with enough flair to take it away from being a spell in a can. It needs more "oomph"! That said, you did make Top 32, but this also means your work is cut out for you to win my vote in the monster round. You must swing for the fences going forwards in this competition.
Template Fu scores you 6/10 on this.
Sight - check, the visuals are as expected but could have been described more actively and inspiringly... something like "arm thick ebon vines, sporting inch long ichor dripping thorns, twist and writhe out of the ground, entangling into a wall of thorny death that reaches for the sky" would have grabbed my attention much more.
Sound - missed opportunity, the sounds of the vines rustling would have brought life to the effect description.
Smell - missed opportunity, rampant growth, vibrant plants, they have a distinctive smell of life about them, this could have been brought into your description.
Taste - not applicable, you wouldn't eat the vines, so this can be safely ignored of this item.
Touch - missed opportunity - How long and sharp and numerous are those thorns, what damage do you take from them, are they poisonous, do they grapple you, entangle you, etc? Are they damp and springy or woody and brittle?
Cinematic Summary The description is functional and covers adequately what the effect produces, I would have loved to have seen greater style and presentation though. Amaze me, even a mundane effect can be described magically, bring that to the table.
Template Fu scores you 12/20 on this.
Musings, Meme, and One Step Further:
I struggle with this item personally because of the spell in a can-ness of it. Even one of the judges, Patrick, noted it was just a spell in a can, so this shows how close this item is to tripping up that auto reject danger.
I think this is where you need to work on your craft of designing - taking an existing effect and trying to take it in unexpected directions. For this item for example, I would probably have looked to topiary. Imagine a hedge that grows shaped like a dire bear, a thorny, voracious, nasty, mean-tempered bear that can then attack as if it were the real thing. You get the idea. It takes the spell wall of thorns and turns it into a critter of thorny nastiness for your enemies that isn't so easy to avoid.
Your work is cut out for you in the next round, so bring the imagination, fire your descriptions, soul and heart your monster. Wow me, win my vote.
Template Fu scores you 12/20 on this.
Your final score for this item is 44/70, or 63% - Bring it on next round!