Stormcrusher Gauntlets


Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Stormcrusher Gauntlets
Aura moderate abjuration and evocation; CL 10th
Slot hands; Price 45,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
These rain-specked metal gauntlets give a noticeable prickling sensation when donned. Three times per day whenever the wearer would take electricity damage, she can make a Strength check to catch the lightning and crush it into harmless sparks that deal no damage (DC 10 + 1 per 10 points of damage). Activating this ability is an immediate action.

If the wearer is a mythic creature, she can also expend one use of mythic power to reshape the crushed lightning into a variety of forms: blasts of electric force, blinding showers of sparks, or even lassos. This allows the wearer to perform a bull rush, dirty trick, grapple, reposition, or trip combat maneuver on her next turn against any opponent within 10 feet per mythic tier. On a successful combat maneuver check, the opponent also takes an amount of electricity damage equal to the wearer's combat maneuver check result (up to a maximum of the original effect's damage). Crushed lightning not used by the wearer's next turn explodes and deals the original effect's electricity damage to the wearer (no save). Creatures immune to electricity damage are immune to the gauntlets' powers.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Mythic Crafter, lightning bolt, shock shield; Cost 22,500 gp

Paizo Employee Developer

Rain-specked? Like, with water?

Pretty cool first ability.

Ugh, mythic. We'll see where this is going...

Well done! Nicely executed. Not sure of the pricing, but the rules language is very strong.

keep

Publisher, EN Publishing aka Russell Morrissey

Horrible name. "Stormcrusher". Catching lightning is a cool image, though (is electricity damage always in the form of lightning bolts you can catch?)

I'm not familiar with the mythic rules, unfortunately. Crushing it to perform a combat maneuver is kinda nifty.

Weak keep.

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

According to the first paragraph, the crushed lightning harmless, but in the second paragraph, it explodes if not used. Probably easy to fix, but needs explaining. Cool image, and the mythic uses are sweet, though.

Weak keep.

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

I voted for this item a lot during the open call, I liked the visual and thought it was very creative. Congrats on making the Top 32 and Good Luck!

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

While this item didn't make my like/keep lists, I did vote for it often. The imagery is nice, but nothing about it really popped off the screen for me.

I'm also not familiar enough with the mythic rules to properly assess its use; since all of the cool effects require mythic, for most players this is a 45,000 gp pair of gloves that only work when fighting electricity-emitting creatures (or in parties where you have a caster willing to burn an electrical spell on a teammate).

That said, looking past the mythic requirement, the effects are pretty neat, so I'll be looking for that nice wedding of visuals and mechanics in the monster round. Good luck!

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!

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

So what happens if the user is not Mythic? Do they take the damage the round after they crush the electrical attack? I like the inclusion of the mythic rules and the interesting effects you can create with these, but if I were normal I'd probably just go for a nice potion of energy resistance.

--Vrocking Grasp

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

I like this item, and I voted for it more often than not. I personally would have liked the "lightning grabbing" to be a combat maneuver check rather than a Strength check (perhaps with a higher DC), but that's a quibble.

Congratulations and good luck in the monster round!

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 the best of the I take the storm and use it items. I had my reservations on it but I'm not shocked to see it here (pun intended.) Good luck and congrats.

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

Tremendously flavorful and an interesting twist to give the lightning "shape" so to speak by using it to perform combat maneuvers.

Can't wait to see your monster!

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

Fun and very, very flavorful. I also liked the use/upgrade of this with Mythic abilities. A few items did that this year, some more successfully than others, and I felt this was one of the better ones. I honestly hadn't noticed the 'crushed lightning explodes the next round' caveat at the end til now; it does seem a tad confusing. I suspect that's a result of one of those 'I have to cover all my bases' approach to item design where you see a possible question that you want to preemptively answer, or a loophole you're trying to patch. And then you've got it covered 'aha, now nobody can carry a lightning lasso around for the next eight hours and start off the next fight with it!' and the fact that it kind of contradicts the intended power of the item gets overlooked. Happens to us all, sooner or later, and it's hardly a glaring flaw. Congrats on joining the top 32.

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

I'm glad to see someone did take the plunge and go for a Mythic item. And I'm even more glad to see one made it into the Top 32!

That said, besides the name ("crushing" isn't the adjective that comes to mind with electricity) I think its a cool power and worthy of mythic status.


I would like this item more if it would not bother the wearer with strength check... Maybe if it acted as dispel magic counterspelling lightning effect... Nice idea but the mechanics do not speak to me and it could be more expanded to non-mythic characters.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

I love this item. Flavor, writing, mechanics, mythic. It's got it all.

To all those confused by the discrepancy between the first paragraph saying crushed lightning dissipates harmlessly but the second saying it explodes: I think the answer is the second paragraph means reshaped lightning explodes.

Calder, good luck in the next round, I really look forward to what you conjure up.

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 quite enamored with these. Well done...and bold with the mythic. I look forward to the imagery you create with your monster.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I loved this. Reminded me strongly of a similar set of gloves from last year - Cloudwrangling, I think? - and I loved those too.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I saw a couple of mythic items during voting, but this was my favorite. In fact, this might be my favorite item in the top 32. Congratulations and keep thinking "cinematic"!


One of my favorites, and I voted for it often. Great visual effect.

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

This cool. I like the idea of using lightning to do different combat maneuvers. Very clever. Congrats.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steven Helt wrote:
I saw a couple of mythic items during voting, but this was my favorite. In fact, this might be my favorite item in the top 32. Congratulations and keep thinking "cinematic"!

It certainly brings to mind the scene in the new Hercules movie where he uses a bolt of lightning that strikes his sword like a whip.

--Vrock and Awe

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wow! I'd entered a few of the past Superstars and was hoping to make it this year, but I don't think anyone actually expects to see their name among the Top 32. Thanks to all the voters who made that happen, and the people who've taken time to post feedback here!

I'm happy to see the item's mythic element has been noticed. Not everyone's interested in the mythic rules (or has time to learn them), so it was a bit of a gamble. But a lot of my favorite past items were ones that played the long odds.

Scott Fernandez wrote:
So what happens if the user is not Mythic? Do they take the damage the round after they crush the electrical attack? I like the inclusion of the mythic rules and the interesting effects you can create with these, but if I were normal I'd probably just go for a nice potion of energy resistance.

RonarsCorruption has the right of it. If a mythic wielder expends a use of mythic power but doesn't use the crushed electricity by their next turn, it explodes. Non-mythic creatures aren't in a position to take that damage, since they can't expend mythic power.

If I could do my entry again, I might phrase the language as "Crushed lightning explodes if not used within one round of expending mythic power. This deals an amount of electricity damage to the wearer equal to the original effect's damage (no save)."

Sean McGowan wrote:
I honestly hadn't noticed the 'crushed lightning explodes the next round' caveat at the end til now; it does seem a tad confusing. I suspect that's a result of one of those 'I have to cover all my bases' approach to item design where you see a possible question that you want to preemptively answer, or a loophole you're trying to patch.

Sean's right on the money so far as my thought process went: it was a weird image to picture someone eating, opening doors, or (gods forbid) giving handshakes with their fist lit up like a mad scientist's lightning conductor. I also wanted to make it feel like the wearer was in command of volatile forces. Twisting lightning bolts into pretzels shouldn't feel safe!

(Incidentally, I'd probably also change "catch the lightning" to "seize the lightning" in the first paragraph. The gauntlets work just as well using 'em to grab an electric force field or throwing your fist in front of an enemy's shocking grasp.)

Thanks again to everyone for their votes and feedback!

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

LOVE the visual mojo of this item! I'm expecting great things from your beastie!

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter Season 7

This item was by far my favorite cinematic item, my favorite mythic item, and one of my favorite overall items. I don't think I downvoted this item even once.

I agree that I wasn't a big fan of the Strength check; it felt like it should have been a grapple or sunder combat maneuver rather than a pure Strength check.

The second ability was by far the weaker of the two. I wasn't too keen on the multitude of combat maneuvers that could be fashioned out of the crushed electricity, as it felt a little too grab-bag for me. Ranged grappling adds another layer of complexity to the already complicated grapple rules, and raised a few questions - does the grapple only last one round? Can the user maintain the grapple if he/she is hit with another blast of electricity? etc.

I also wonder if the item could have benefited from an extension of the "charged" time, or an outright removal of a time limit to use the item. As it stands, the gloves are only useful if the enemy attempts to attack with electricity, which makes it extremely niche. If the gloves could be charged up outside of combat with a lesser spell (such as a friendly wizard casting shocking grasp on the wearer), that could increase their usability, and likely wouldn't break the item since the damage is capped at the user's combat maneuver check (or spell damage, whichever is higher).

Best of luck in the monster round! You are one of my favorites in the competition at the moment.

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

Hey! A mythic item made it! I didn't see this one during voting. It's pretty cool, but the phrasing of the blowback is a little peculiar. Tighten up your rules language for Round 2.

Congratulations, and best of luck in Round 2!

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

Hmm. Not convinced, if only because without the mythic it does''t excite me.

On the one hand, it shows versatility and knowledge of the rule by the designer.

On the other it shows a niche-item that may not appeal to a larger fan-base.

Hmm. Fan-base be damned! Nice one.

Congratulations on making it with a niche-item, and I look forward to a similarly compelling monster...

Shadow Lodge Star Voter Season 6

I think the problem with this item is that it's only good for mythic. Not sure if that's the intention. I'm not very familiar with mythic. Very situational non-mythic for someone to buy this item based on the fact it just nullifies lightning with a strength check.

"Catching lightning" with only a strength check is weird too - you'd think that you'd need to succeed on the reflex save first or something. Lightning is fast.

The mythic power does sound cool, and it's otherwise pretty well put together.

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 really liked this one a lot. One of my favorites of the voting that I saw. Aside from the bit of confusion on if you take damage or not, if you don't use it (I got the gist of it, but it could have been a bit more clear that it's only if you activate the mythic reshaping aspect of the item) this was solid on all fronts.

The name was evocitave, the visuals of catching and crushing the lighting was great, and really spoke to the "wondrous" nature of wondrous items rather than just a ho hum static bonus or a SIAC. I'm also a fan of items that have multiple uses over multiple rounds - first you crush the lightning and then you use it next round to re-shape it. And while I'm lukewarm to the mythic rules, I thought your item used them effectively, so kudos to you there.

Looking forward to seeing your monster entry - I'm excited to see what you bring new to the table with it along the lines of the stormcrushing.

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

Congratulations Calder,

...and crush it into harmless sparks... Is a great image. Mythic is a good way to get the next part, and I think you show designer chops by not going with all-out attacks. The visuals on the CM are great too. Electricity damage might be going too far, but then it might be balanced in the world of mythic. It is all or nothing though, tripped and zapped which gives me pause, but not a long pause.

Good luck on the monsters :)

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka Transylvanian Tadpole

As others have said; a bold move to go Mythic and it's great that it's paid off for you. A really fun item, well done!

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

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Template Fu Review 2014 - Calder Rooney - Stormcrusher Gauntlets

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: The "stormcrusher" of your name really conjures the image of the effect well, so well that I was actually disappointed when I discover it's only lightning that gets crushed. My minds eye was thinking about crushing storm clouds, grabbing whirlwinds and hurricanes and sending them away with their windy tails between their legs. The use of the term "gauntlets" makes me wonder if only chain and plate wearers can wear them. We will investigate this aspect further under game balance. On reflection, I think the name is sufficiently descriptive to recall the items effects at the game table.
Template Fu scores you 7/10 on this.

Template Usage: A spotless template on first scan, including the Mythic Crafter requirement for a mythic item!
The price is niggling me, but I think it's the often quoted "not wrong enough" to worry about. Effectively we are getting a three times a day immunity to lightning damage.
Template Fu scores you 8/10 on this.

Game Balance: Ok, two things hit me in the eyes, and this is disregarding the mythic part for now. One, gauntlets, so a rogue or a wizard/sorcerer type will probably not wear them. Two, its a during combat type of item, by this I mean the item is used in response to a combat action (lightning bolt for the obvious example).
Now, why did this concern me? Well, looking at the metal wearing adventurers, they are in the main melee oriented. Which means I will probably be holding weapons and possibly a shield in my hands during combat. The action I picture in my mind, as an immediate action, is to grab the lightning energy with my gauntlets and crush them together, grinding the electricity away - so my problem here is what happens to my held items - they would kind of get in the way of any crushing action of the gloves unless I drop them. If I am climbing a rope or ladder, do I let go and fall in order to catch the lightning bolt? Do I catch only the energy affecting me or the whole bolt (thus stopping it from continuing through my square and beyond)?
As one of the judges has also pointed out, the whole imagery is catching the lighting, so what if it was delivered not by range, but by touch? These questions could cause a gaming session to bog down and so hamper the flow of combat.
The mythic changes, adding to the effect and reusing the energy are very nice, I do wonder if they needed to be mythic powered though, you could have given this effect as a normal effect up to the first 10 feet away, and then enhanced range, etc., using mythic power beyond that. This would increase the flexibility of the item in non mythic campaigns.
Overall though, it is affects a singular damage type, so is not a major game breaker by any sense.
Template Fu scores you 7/10 on this.

Cinematics:
Sight - check, the catching and crushing combined are an amazing visual effect, well done on that.
Sound - missed opportunity, what does catching energy sound like, what does crunching it sound like? what does a lightning lasso sound like?
Smell - missed opportunity, think bumper cars, an acrid smell like that coming from the gloves as they catch the energy and crush it would have been icing on the cake of the central cinematic here
Taste - not applicable, you wouldnt eat the vines, so this can be safely ignored of this item.
Touch - not applicable - Gauntlets are gauntlets, we all have an idea of what they feel like.
Cinematic Summary I really like the imagery, the base imagery, the electric lasso less so, but that crushing energy effect really grabs and doesnt let go, awesome.
Template Fu scores you 17/20 on this.

Musings, Meme, and One Step Further:
I keep going back to that weight. 5 pounds on my hands is A LOT. Checking existing gauntlets, say gauntlets of rust, we find the weight there is 2 pounds. SO the tip here is when you are working on an item type for which other variants exist, try to maintain consistency on the weight.
I think this item is pretty good except for those potential loop holes under game balance. I think had you closed some of those, the item would have been pretty darn close to a perfect entry.
Your high visuals here really make me look forward to your next round entry with relish. No pressure now, but wow me once is not enough, repeat this for every round please and at the same time, think about any abuse or at table questions that could arise for each entry.
Template Fu scores you 16/20 on this.

Your final score for this item is 55/70, or 79% - Nice visuals! Tighter rules next time please.

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