Go ahead, laugh at me! (Or: A message for first-time entrants.)


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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With the exception of one year where I mentally substituted the contest deadline with one for a term paper (paper got done nearly a week early, missed the contest) I've entered RPG Superstar every year.

This little baby was my first rather ridiculous attempt at getting in the Top 32. Behold, the...

Elven War Helm

The original helms of this design were crafted by elven war wizards and bestowed upon gifted commanders who achieved merit defending their homelands. The secrets of their crafting have since leaked to the world at large, and many a wizard or sorcerer has found it advantageous to have a cohort in possession of one of these items to command their minions while away.

The typical elven war helm is crafted of mithral, usually in the style of a hawk’s or eagle’s head. The wearer of the helm gains a +2 competence bonus on all Cha based checks, and can utilize the following additional powers:

  • Telepathic bond, once per day
  • Sending, once per day
  • Message, three times per day

Moderate varied; CL 9th; Craft Wondrous Item, creator must have the Leadership feat, message, sending, telepathic bond; Price 66,820 gp; Weight 1.5 lb.

Run it through the checklist, and you'll see a bunch of no-nos. Never got feedback, never saw the light of day beyond the judges reviewing it.

As of 2013 I was one of the alternates to the Top 32. One bad case of stomach flu and I would have been in the contest. Also, in 2012 this item was the seed for the Helm of the Communal Mind, one of my first published RPG writing projects. I took my half-baked idea of a helm that can help coordinate people in combat and created something entirely new that was good enough for someone to want to publish.

My point here is that if you want it badly enough, then take your non-wins and learn from them. If you don't make the Top 32, then get feedback on your item and find out why. Read the commentary on the Top 32 items and see what made the fans and the judges pick them. If you think your idea was good, even if the item wasn't a success, then don't discard the idea just because the vehicle it used didn't work. Talent only flourishes with effort and dedication. Learn from your mistakes. Better still, learn from the mistakes of others, and keep coming back stronger until you win.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

Thanks, Jeff. Good thread.

I never wrote up my idea I had the first time I learned of Superstar (it was pretty close to the contest deadline and just never quite got it clear enough to figure it out) but it was basically a walkie-talkie.

One year later, after doing lots of reading of advice, I got in (and had a decent little run in the contest too). A year after that, I started getting stuff published. I'm sure some of the criticism is tough, but you can make this happen if you want to be a designer.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Boxhead

Ooh, I'll do this. I've entered every year, including the Flight of the Red Raven open call. We really had no idea what to expect that first year, and here is what I submitted:

Everflapping Cape

Originally conceived by the maniacal Morte the Morbid, and a perpetual favourite of villains around the globe, this basic black cape always appears as though it is flapping in the wind, even when the air seems at a dead calm. The tips of the cape can be commanded to flap at a higher rate, distracting viewers and removing their thoughts from the situation at hand.

The cape allows the user to use sanctuary 1/day (DC 11), especially useful if the urge to monologue rises. In addition, the wearer can create a gust of wind 1/day (DC 12). Both effects are triggered with a command word and require a standard action.

Moderate Evocation [Air]; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, Gust of Wind, Sanctuary; price 3000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Yeah, take your pick of problems: SIAC, SAK, joke item, bad flavor text, you name it. It was inspired by an item I built for a player in one of my games, and I thought it was neat. Now, I sometimes I think Sean's list was written from just my item...

But I read the forums, the advice, I followed the contest. I got better (as evidenced by my 2 tags). I've been GMing more, writing more and I think I'm doing better work every day. If I don't make the top 32 this year, I'll just keep plugging away at what I'm doing (go ahead, read my profile).

Marathon Voter Season 6

Hahahahhahahahahahahha.

OK, now what, Jeff?


Cheapy wrote:

Hahahahhahahahahahahha.

OK, now what, Jeff?

Now I let it roll off, because I'm a writer and I'm thick-skinned. (+2 natural armor bonus, in case you were wondering.)

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

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My first item was my item from last year, Gloves of the Frugal Healer.

It's actually my first proper magic item for D&D / Pathfinder. I'd only done plot related artifacts, and mostly for other systems.

I have gamed quite long, so there was that experience to draw on. I also attended my friend's (Mikko Kallio) presentation on the black art magic item design at Ropecon 2012. So having the right idea and good friends to get feedback from, my first item did better than I could have hoped for.

So to all the first timers, your first try might end up going really well.

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Cool idea. I don't have access to Hunter's Geas at the moment, but I'll post it over here when I can.

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I can one up that. My first entry was literally a swiss army knife (though I called it something else). After I submitted it, I read Sean's advice and behold not too far down the list was SAK! lol

Here it is:

Tinkerer’s Tool
Aura: moderate transmutation CL: 6th
Slot: -- Price: $20,000 Weight: 1/2 lb
Description
This amazing contraption never seems to rust, get dirty nor become begrimed. Though its fine craftsmanship cannot be denied, it also has a chaotic conglomeration of various and sundry precision instruments, tools, and rigs. How they fold and fit together is a master craftsman’s work of genius or pure insanity.
Legends tell of a master tinkerer gnome from Varisia who longed to explore the unplumbed mysteries of Osirion. Easily distracted, as gnomes can be, she started her quest for vocation entranced with nature, then with puzzles, before finally, the constant vagaries of wizardry became her call.
During her expeditions, she managed to acquire a Traveler’s Any-tool. She thought the versatility and usefulness were amazing. Soon she was thinking of ways to craft a tool that would best suit her needs as an explorer, adventurer, and tinkerer extraordinaire. Her gnomish innovation and personality shines with the multifaceted uses the tool has. However, cost constraints, time, and the power needed, all contributed to the much reduced (in cost) wondrous item that has come to bare.
6/day: you can use any combination of the following skill boosts and/or spells:
Skill boosts +4 [+2 magical, +2 competence/masterwork]: Disable Device, Profession: Carpentry, Profession: Sowing, Profession: Cooking, Craft: Leatherworking and Knowledge: Engineering
Spells: know direction, open/close, mending, spark
1/week: use the spell knock or make whole.
Special: after the item has attuned to user, it will work as a masterwork sticker (one-handed light melee weapon, 1d3 piercing damage), there is a -6 penalty for trying to use as a weapon before attuned; this penalty drops by -1 each day the user is attuned
Construction
Craft Wondrous Item, Owl’s Wisdom, Know Direction, Mending, Spark, Knock, Make Whole
Cost: 10,000

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here is my very first entry into the competition (from year 2):
SPIRIT BOTTLE
Aura Strong Necromancy; CL 17th;
Slot --; Price 50,000 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Description

A delicate cage of mithral cradles this long-necked, gray glass bottle. A cork, capped with silver, is attached to the bottles cage by a fine mithral chain. The bottle can be used to store liquids (about one quart) but any liquid placed within quickly develops a rancid taste. By uncorking an empty spirit bottle and issuing a command the bearer can force an undead creature with the incorporeal subtype within 50 feet into the bottle. If the undead fails a will save (DC 23) it is sucked into the bottle (which automatically caps itself). An opponent that makes its save cannot be affected by that bottle for 24 hours. An incorporeal creature inside the bottle is trapped and cannot pass out of it. A trapped creature can be released only if the cork is removed or the bottle broken (hardness 2, 3 HP), a released creature cannot be trapped in that bottle again until at least 24 hours have passed.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, soul bind; Cost 25,000 gp

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it is great to look at early sketches from later masters to see we can all learn and grow, and enjoy the process of learning and growing.

i have yet to submit an item (submit is a telling word - lowering yourself to the approval or rejection of others)but look forward to doing so next year. its on my to do list for 2015 already.

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

The first time I submitted an Item was in 2011 since I wasn't aware of RPGSS' existence before that. I have entered RPGSS every year since then which makes this my fourth attempt.

Here is my first item, an ugly thing, if you like your eyes read with care.

Laurel of Magnificence
Aura Faint Enchantment(Copper) or Moderate Enchantment(Silver, Gold); CL 5th
Slot Head; Price 5700gp(Copper), 10400gp(Silver), 17100gp (Gold); Weight
Description
This crown of delicate, shining leaves emits a warm and lucid light, granting a triumphant aura to its wearer. The most common laurels are made from thin copper, or pure silver, although laurels of gold leaves are not unheard of. Tales of champions wearing the golden laurel with pride are exchanged in admiration by warriors and knights alike. Once(Copper), Twice(Silver), or Thrice(Gold) per day as a free action, after a successfully performed combat maneuver you may choose to take one of three fighting stances to perform a champion's maneuvers.

Tactical Champion: While you are in this stance, you may ignore a target's cover, full defense and size bonuses to AC and CMD (if any).

Countering Champion: While you are in this stance, any opponent you threaten who takes any sort of movement, including a 5-foot step, provokes an attack of opportunity from you. Furthermore, any opponent you strike cannot make attacks of opportunity for a round.

Overwhelming Champion: While you are in this stance, you don't provoke attacks of opportunity when performing a combat maneuver, once per round you may attempt a disarm instantly after a successful melee attack, you may use any weapons while grappled and you can make a full attack at the end of a charge instead of a single attack.

You can't select the same stance more than once per day, and taking a stance while you are in another stance will automatically cancel the previous one. Each stance has a duration of 3 rounds
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Heroism; Cost 2850gp (Copper), 5700gp (Silver), 8550gp (Gold);

Horrible!, I know. I remember I asked for Harsh feedback from the judges that year, and they were kind enough to provide me with it, the community also did a great job at providing feedback and advice, all that helped me a lot for the subsequent years.

As of 2013, pretty much like Jeff, I was one of the alternates to the top32 as well.

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The first time I entered was two years ago and this is what I had

Warden’s Cord
Aura: faint necromancy; CL 3rd
Slot: Wrist; Price 7200gp; Weight: 1 lb.
Description
This length of thick cord appears be made of dull strands of bronze and gold. When picked up, the cord wraps itself around the forearm of the wearer. While worn this way, the cord can be commanded to grasp an object in the wearer’s hand, acting as a locked gauntlet, except that the item can be released as a move action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Three times per day as an immediate action, when the cord is grasping a melee weapon, if a creature within 15ft. would provoke an attack of opportunity, the wearer can command the cord to briefly extend and make a single attack against that creature using the grasped weapon and at the wearer’s highest attack bonus.
Construction
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, spectral hand; Cost: 3600gp

I think that technical problems aside the idea behind this item has some mojo; at least one of the judges though there was a glimmer of it. It's not bad for my first entry which I literally made from the jungles of Southeast Asia though.

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Behold! Hunter's geas in all its glory! And missing it's name in the Stat Block (D'oh!).

Aura moderate abjuration and divination; CL 7th
Slot neck; Price 19,200 gp; Weight
Description
This amulet is a circle of wrought iron shaped into knotwork with a small cup-shaped holder at the bottom of the central hole and held in place with a fine black leather strap. The bearer of a hunter's geas can declare an individual creature its target. Once this is selected it cannot be changed until the targeted creature is dead or in the bearer's custody. The bearer may discern the direction and distance to the targeted creature once per day. The bearer gains a +1 bonus to all saving throws against attacks made by the targeted creature. If more than one member of a group wears a hunter's geas linked to the same target creature the save bonus for each bearer rises by +1. If more than one bearer of a hunter's geas are adjacent to the targeted creature, each bearer of a linked amulet is considered to be flanking the creature regardless of actual position. If the bearer places a vial of blood or small piece of a creature of the same type and sub-type as the targeted individual—dragon, fey, humanoid (orc), etc.—in the small holder at the base of the amulet he gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made against the targeted creature. If the item is a former possession of the actual creature targeted or the blood of that individual this bonus increases to +2.
Construction
Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, locate creature, resistance; Cost 9,600 gp

In addition to the minor formatting error—which bugged the heck out of me throughout the voting process—it was too expensive for what it did, had too many different things going on and lacked anything really resembling an obvious visual. And that is the easy stuff to see.


My first item (submitted last year, so not a long time ago :P) was a SAK with some addictional spark to it... still a SAK though... I didn't read any advice (even if I ignored some this year too... Not expecting to make it to top 32, but I had to submit an Item I used in my campaign and which was plain good to see in the hands of my party).

As for the first item, behold the... Boots of the Elements Strider
Aura Moderate Transmutation; CL 8th
Slot Feet; Price 30,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
These boots were first devised by Tundar, a legendary mystic theurge. They appear as a black pair of leather boots, each one with a single rune on the shaft, which changes its appearance accordingly to the boots attunement.
The boots can be attuned to any element as a standard action, provided that a source of that element is available, e.g. the wearer could stomp them on rocky ground for attuning them to earth, burn them with a torch or tindertwig for attuning them to fire, blow on them for air or wet them for water.
The boots always grant +6 ft. base land speed and they grant the wearer an additional power depending on their current attunement. Such powers are activated as a swift action and all of them can be used up to a total of three times per day.
Fire: The wearer leaves a 15ft high trail of fire after him for up to 8 rounds (Interruptible). Creatures crossing the trail receive 3d6+8 fire damage (no saving throw). If a creature is overrun by the caster, it also receives the damage, as it falls prone inside the trail.
Air: The wearer can walk through the air as per the air walk spell for 80 minutes.
Water: The wearer is granted a 30 ft. swim speed and he can breathe underwater for 80 minutes as per the Ride the Waves spell.
Earth: The wearer ignores difficult terrain, even if it’s due to a spell, and he can climb on any surface as per the Spider Climb spell for 8 minutes.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Items, Air walk, Expeditious Retreat, Freedom of Movement, Spider Climb, Wall of fire, Ride The Waves; Cost 15,000 gp

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Locke1520

Here's my first entry from the 2008 contest (3.5 rules) chock full of missteps.

Strawman’s Mask:

This horrific patchwork mask of burlap and leather bears a leering face crudely stitched across the front. When worn the mask transforms the wearer’s body into a form similar to an animated scarecrow granting a +2 bonus to Intimidate checks. Two times per day the wearer may, as a standard action, transform into a construct, gaining that subtype and the following traits for one hour:
Low-light vision.
60’ Darkvision.
+4 bonus to all saves vs. mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).
Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and necromancy effects.
Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain.
Vulnerability to fire.

Once per hour, the mask can be used to summon a congress of ravens this ability otherwise functions as the Summon Swarm spell.

Once per day when summoning ravens the wearer, as a standard action, can become a raven joining the congress. While part of the swarm the wearer benefits from 75% concealment. Effects that target the swarm also target the wearer. This shapechange effect lasts until the congress disperses.

Strong transmutation; CL 18th; Craft Wondrous Item, Shapechange, Summon Swarm; Price 195,000gp

And my second entry from 2010 (look filigree). There should have been charges on this. Oops.

Thundering Thurible:

Aura Strong Transmutation; CL 15th
Slot --; Price 55,000 gp; Weight 2lbs.
Description
This simple iron with copper filigree censor functions as a normal incense burner until a command word is uttered. Once activated the thurible quickly consumes any remaining incense and remains lit for as long as the wielder continues to take a standard action to swing the thurible up to a maximum of 10 rounds. While activated the censors smoke turns to roiling black storm clouds that surround the wielder with a radius of 10 feet obscuring all vision, including darkvision, beyond 5 feet. A creature 5 feet away has concealment (attacks have a 20% miss chance). Creatures farther away have total concealment (50% miss chance, and the attacker cannot use sight to locate the target). The wielder may see through these clouds normally. The storm clouds move with the thurible.

While activated the wielder may also take a standard action to swing the thurible to direct bolts of thunderous lightning to smite his foes. By swinging the thurible and incanting a second command a bolt of electricity arcs from the censor in a 5-foot-wide, 30-foot-long, bolt of lightning that deals 3d10 points of electricity damage (reflex save DC 16 for half) furthermore any creature in the path of the bolt must make a fortitude save DC 16 or be deafened for 1d6 rounds.

Lighting the Thundering Thurible in combat is a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, control weather, call lightning Cost 27,500gp

I think Cayden's Cup was my third entry and even though I made it to the top 32 there were comparisons to two other Cayden Caileen tankards.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Boxhead

Ok, here's my second entry:

Manacles of the Submissive Prisoner

Aura: Moderate Necromancy; CL: 7th
Slot: -; Price: 8000 gp; Weight: 2 lbs.

DESCRIPTION

These iron manacles are often used by bounty hunters, paladins, or others who need to keep a captive subdued, but alive.

When placed on a subject’s wrists, the targets immediately stabilizes, healing normally, but is unable to rise above 0 hit points. Magical healing of hit points or ability damage functions normally. A creature at 0 hit points gains the disabled condition and is incapable of strenuous action, such as escaping, without taking damage. This causes the wearer to fall unconscious, but immediately stabilizes again.

The manacles can be escaped exactly like masterwork manacles (pg. XX).

CONSTRUCTION

Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, Bestow Curse, Stabilize, Cost: 4000 gp

Look at that! "Favored by", "Noun of the Adjective Noun", an item nobody needs, and it's cursed (behold Bestow Curse in the requirements!). Then a very simple version appeared in Ultimate Equipment (as Manacles of Cooperation) and I wondered why I didn't try that approach. Oh right, that shows nothing of your design skills... I might have removed the pg. XX from the final entry, but I don't have that saved, so it would have been done in the entry window- don't do that.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7 aka Draconas

I don't have my first submitted item any more from 2009's contest (lost a few hard drives ago) but I do have a few others of mine.

My lost entry from 2009 was called Shackles of the Unbound (or something to that effect) and was simple manacles that looked like any other set of manacles but when worn gave a constant freedom of movement effect with additional once or thrice a day use of dimensional door.

Entry from RPG Superstar 2011:
Band of the Slithering Swarm
Aura moderate abjuration, conjuration, and transmutation; CL 11th
Slot wrist; Price 70,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This bracelet is carved from a single piece of jade and resembles a curling serpent swallowing its own tail. When worn, the eyes of the bracelet shimmer with an internal glow. The bracelet has two charges per day with each ability requiring one charge to be expended and causes one of its eyes to go dark. Only one effect can be active at a time.

As a swift action, the bracelet can summon forth a living dome of tiny venomous snakes to completely encompass the wearer. The vipers slither upon one another in a semi-solid wall, sharing the same space as the wearer and providing her with concealment (20% miss chance). Area of effect attacks function normally against the wearer with the dome regenerating immediately from damage. Any adjacent creature that makes a melee attack against the wearer is swarmed by the snakes (2d6 swarm damage plus poison). The venom of the snakes’ bites is similar in potency to the spell poison (DC 16). Once summoned, the snakes’ exist for 10 rounds or until the wearer moves from that space.

As a standard action, the wearer can command the bracelet to cover her body in snakes as protective armor. The serpents crawl along the wearer’s skin, merging with flesh to form a flexible, scaly layer of protection and giving her the appearance of a humanoid swarm of snakes. This extra armor grants the wearer a +4 enhancement to her natural armor bonus, a +2 resistance bonus to all saving throws against poison, and a +5 competence bonus to Intimidate checks for 5 minutes.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, barkskin, poison, resistance, summon swarm, swarm skin; Cost 35,000 gp

Entry from RPG Superstar 2012:
Scalpel of Malleable Evolution
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 10th
Slot none; Price 80,000 gp; Weight 1/2 lbs.
Description
This surgeon’s tool appears crafted of the finest silver and its small blade shimmers with a deceptively sharp edge when placed in the light. If held to the ear, the utensil seems to hum with the faint sound of pain-filled screaming as if the very essence of those who have felt its touch lingers on. The scalpel’s slight weight and small size make it an impractical choice for a weapon and it can only be used as an improvised weapon in those circumstances.

When held by someone with ranks in the Heal skill, the scalpel grants a +2 competence bonus to any Heal check made by the individual. The true power of the scalpel of malleable evolution can only be harnessed when held by an individual with alchemist class levels in addition to ranks in the Heal skill.

In a procedure that requires one minute to complete and a DC 20 Heal check, an alchemist can use the scalpel to enhance one willing and living creature with new biological features at the mere price of pain and suffering. The creature gains evolution points to use for evolutions, chosen by the alchemist, as if it was a summoner’s eidolon at the cost of two points of temporary Constitution damage per one point of evolution gained. These evolutions last for a number of hours equal to half the scalpel user’s alchemist class levels, rounded down. If the alchemist fails the Heal check or the procedure is halted before it can be completed, the creature being altered suffers only one point of temporary Constitution damage with no benefits gained from the ordeal.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, evolution surge, transmogrify; Cost 40,000 gp

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Locke1520

Joshua Kitchens wrote:

I don't have my first submitted item any more from 2009's contest (lost a few hard drives ago) but I do have a few others of mine.

If you submitted to the critique thread, you might be able to turn it up on the boards. That's how I found both of my entries I posted above. I wasn't sure I hadn't tinkered with the versions on my computer.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7 aka Draconas

Andrew Marlowe wrote:
Joshua Kitchens wrote:

I don't have my first submitted item any more from 2009's contest (lost a few hard drives ago) but I do have a few others of mine.

If you submitted to the critique thread, you might be able to turn it up on the boards. That's how I found both of my entries I posted above. I wasn't sure I hadn't tinkered with the versions on my computer.

I didn't that I could find. That was how I retrieved the other two. I must have been too shy the first time I entered... yeah, we'll go with that.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Boxhead

It's so good to see these and know that we are all learning as the contest goes on. I know the entries are getting better (even if at times it doesn't feel like it...), and it's great to see the humble beginnings of some of the contestants.

Also, ROFL at some of these (mainly mine). I know Jeff has gotten much better as a designer (have a look at his Kobold Press contest record this past year if you don't believe me).


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Eric Hindley wrote:
I know Jeff has gotten much better as a designer (have a look at his Kobold Press contest record this past year if you don't believe me).

Thank you kindly, Eric.

Eric's work is also excellent. You can also add to that the fact that he's a poster boy for Canadian goodwill and politeness, whereas I'm just another American asshat.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Boxhead

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Jeff Lee wrote:
Eric Hindley wrote:
I know Jeff has gotten much better as a designer (have a look at his Kobold Press contest record this past year if you don't believe me).

Thank you kindly, Eric.

Eric's work is also excellent. You can also add to that the fact that he's a poster boy for Canadian goodwill and politeness, whereas I'm just another American asshat.

I will have you know that I am considered downright snarky for a Canadian...

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter Season 7

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Eric Hindley wrote:
I will have you know that I am considered downright snarky for a Canadian...

...which is extremely polite by American standards. :P

Love the thread, Jeff.

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

Here is the SIAC I entered the very first year of RPG Superstar:

Tears of the Sun
When the first undead creatures appeared on Golarion, Serenrae wept. Her tears fell to Golarion as bright crystals and became potent weapons against the powers of darkness. After Serenrae’s worshippers used the tears to combat the undead blight, they created, and still create to this day, lesser copies.

When carried or worn (taking the amulet slot), a tear continuously emits light as the daylight spell. When the possessor of a tear needs to, she can throw the fragile crystal as a grenade-like weapon. On impact, the tear shatters releasing a sphere of searing light with an 80-foot radius. Undead creatures, fungi, mold, oozes and slimes take 15d6 points of damage (Reflex DC 22 half). If the creature is specifically harmed by sunlight and the save fails, the creature is destroyed. Other creatures sensitive to sunlight take 12d6 points of damage (Reflex DC 22 half). No other creatures take damage from the burst, but any failing the DC 22 Reflex save are blinded.

Strong evocation; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, daylight, sunburst; Price 36,750 gp.


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Mike Welham wrote:

Here is the SIAC I entered the very first year of RPG Superstar:

Tears of the Sun
When the first undead creatures appeared on Golarion, Serenrae wept. Her tears fell to Golarion as bright crystals and became potent weapons against the powers of darkness. After Serenrae’s worshippers used the tears to combat the undead blight, they created, and still create to this day, lesser copies.

When carried or worn (taking the amulet slot), a tear continuously emits light as the daylight spell. When the possessor of a tear needs to, she can throw the fragile crystal as a grenade-like weapon. On impact, the tear shatters releasing a sphere of searing light with an 80-foot radius. Undead creatures, fungi, mold, oozes and slimes take 15d6 points of damage (Reflex DC 22 half). If the creature is specifically harmed by sunlight and the save fails, the creature is destroyed. Other creatures sensitive to sunlight take 12d6 points of damage (Reflex DC 22 half). No other creatures take damage from the burst, but any failing the DC 22 Reflex save are blinded.

Strong evocation; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, daylight, sunburst; Price 36,750 gp.

It's a well-written spell-in-a-can, anyway. I'd upvote it over my SAK helm.

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

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Attempt #2 went downhill:

Amulet of Discord
Aura moderate enchantment; CL 9th
Slot neck; Price 54,000 gp; Weight

This amulet, shaped as a pair of crossed swords, confounds the ability to tell friend from foe.

Any creature within a 30-foot radius attacking the wearer loses the benefit of flanking and must make a Will save (DC 18) if it has an ally in combat. On a failed save, the creature aborts the attack and regards its nearest ally as its enemy, which it immediately attacks if in reach. The new target, upon being attacked and regardless of getting hit, must also succeed at a Will save to avoid the same effect. Any affected creature will follow the target of its ire, heedless of attacks of opportunity. The effect ends immediately upon leaving the 30-foot radius. A creature reentering the area must make a new save if it attacks the wearer, or gets attacked by an affected creature.

Additionally, while merely in its owner’s possession, the amulet provides a –8 luck penalty to all Diplomacy checks in his line of sight. This includes checks made by the owner, as well as by his allies and enemies.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, confusion; Cost 27,000 gp.

What did the judges have to say about it? From the "Critique My Item" thread:

Clark Peterson wrote:

I wrote:

"I just dont want fights like this. I dont like the ally-enemy swap. That is just un-fun. I'm sorry. Reject."

The others were equally unimpressed. In fact, this one was noted as one of the worst of the contest.

You asked for it :)

Normally I would have edited that. But those are some of the comments we make. That is why we dont just make our judges boards public. We dont want to bruise feelings.

Please remember, we are talking about ITEMS here not PEOPLE. We are not commenting on you as a person. Just your item and its relative merit in this contest. That's all. In fact, as you know, I am very impressed with everyone who enters. We are talking about sorting out items in a pretty elite group--those with the cajones to enter this contest. You did that. Your item just didnt make the cut. But we cant take away from you the fact that you entered which in and of itself is awesome. I hope you come back next year dedicated to knocking our socks off and saying "take that you fiend!" (bonus points if you get the reference)


Ouch. And Lamontius thinks we're being unkind in the rambling thread.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

First year:

Goblin Gruel
This milky, greenish concoction tastes surprisingly sweet. It bestows upon the eater a +4 morale bonus to strength and grants the eater the use of the Diehard feat, both effects last for one hour. Eating the gruel also incurs 4 points of damage to the eater’s wisdom score.
Before any major raid or battle, goblin warchanters and shamans work together in creating a batch of goblin gruel for the warriors. According to goblins, the gruel makes a goblin stronger, twice as tough and absolutely fearless. Other sources often refer to the fine line between fearless and senseless, but admit the truth of the first and second claim.
Faint transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, bestow curse, rage; Price 2000 gp for a batch of 50 servings.

This received three responses: reject, reject, reject.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, I learned very quickly to develop some thick skin, which I knew I would need if I wanted to keep freelancing.

I managed to rebound from that, eventually. :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jeff Lee wrote:
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Hello, new consumable. I think I like you. Don't think you picked the best spell for your ability, but I'll upvote you anyway (even if the other item's not really making that all that hard of a choice).
You're rambling in the wrong thread, Jacob. ;-)

Whoops. Don't know how that happened (well, actually, I do: Don't open ALL the threads at once, kids). It's moved now.

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

Last year was my first year competing, and I rushed my submission, and basically submitted a cursed item. I did not make it past the cull.

This year my item is very different, and we will see if I can at least clear the cull.

2013 RPGSS:
Bracers of Joy
Aura faint enchantment; CL 3rd
Slot wrists; Price 6,500 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
Often embroidered with scenes of athletic contest these soft leather, fur lined bracers, are usually found to be incredibly comfortable.
Upon donning the Bracers of Joy, you feel a wave of happiness and contentment emanate from the bracers to fill the rest of your body and spirit.

This feeling grant a constant increase in your base land speed of 10 feet, with this increase treated as an enhancement bonus. It further grants you the ability to once per day activate the bracers as part of making a skill or ability check to gain a +3 competence bonus to that skill or ability check. This bonus must be assigned before the skill or ability check is rolled. Activating this competence bonus causes a burst of pleasure to engulf you.

After using the bracers to gain a competence bonus, you find yourself craving the joy they give.

You may choose to activate a set of Bracers of Joy before one day has passed since their last activation. For each time the bracers are activated prior to recharging you take three points of lethal damage that may not be prevented.

After using the Bracers of Joy to gain a competence bonus for the first time, in any situation where you could benefit from the bracers, you must make a DC 13 Will save or activate the bracers gaining both the competence bonus and feeling of joy they confer.

Due to the life-sapping nature of the magic of the bracers, creatures that have fast healing or regeneration find the Bracers of Joy repugnant and the bracers are non-functional for any such creature.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Skill Focus(Any), Delusional Pride, Longstrider; Cost 3,250 gp

In short I agree that we all improve and the best thing we can do is keep trying.


Honestly I don't remember if I saw your item or not, Covenant, but it certainly rings a bell. There might have been more athletic-related bracers last year, though.

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

HAH! Here's my first entry from last year (seems so long ago!)

Intellectual's Clay Pipe 
Aura faint transmutation; CL 2nd
Slot none; Price 2,500 gp; Weight —
Description 
This small, reddish brown clay pipe produces a pleasant smelling smoke from  tobacco smoked in it. The smoke relaxes and focuses the thoughts of the sm oker after 5 minutes of smoking this pipe. This gives a +5 bonus to the smo ker's next Knowledge check and allows that check to be made untrained. 
Construction 
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Fox's Cunning; Cost 1,250 gp

WOW boring. I still like it though.

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

theheadkase wrote:

HAH! Here's my first entry from last year (seems so long ago!)

Intellectual's Clay Pipe 
Aura faint transmutation; CL 2nd
Slot none; Price 2,500 gp; Weight —
Description 
This small, reddish brown clay pipe produces a pleasant smelling smoke from  tobacco smoked in it. The smoke relaxes and focuses the thoughts of the sm oker after 5 minutes of smoking this pipe. This gives a +5 bonus to the smo ker's next Knowledge check and allows that check to be made untrained. 
Construction 
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Fox's Cunning; Cost 1,250 gp

WOW boring. I still like it though.

I remember this, I still have it in my possible keep folder for the pipe smoking imagery.

(I do smoke a pipe, btw)


I liked that pipe too. Simple and elegant description of Knowledge item bonus. I up-voted it a few times. I think that it should cost more than 2,500 gp because it gives bonus to multiple skills, though.

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

I liked the pipe well enough last year, and thought it would make an excellent item in a compendium of magic items... but I also thought it was lacking a bit in 'super-stardom' (of course I might not be the best person to judge that given that my item last year obviously lacked that quality as well).

Here is the item I submitted last year... compare it to the Spirit Bottle I listed above and see if my item design has improved, declined, or simply stagnated since the 2nd year the contest has been running...

Scarf of Battle Trickery
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th
Slot Neck; Price 14000 gp; Weight 1 lb..
Description
This long multicolored, knitted scarf is of the type typically worn about the neck in cold weather. When worn in battle the scarf will move of its own accord, the ends of it snaking around the wearer and lashing out at nearby opponents. While wearing the scarf and making a full attack action the wearer may make an additional Dirty Trick, Disarm, Reposition or Steal combat maneuver at his full base attack bonus. This additional combat maneuver is handled normally, save that it never provokes an attack of opportunity.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, telekinesis; Cost 7000 gp

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

2012's Bottled Time and a writeup of the process; 2013's Beardforge disaster

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I kinda-liked the beardforge last year... although instead of random I thought perhaps the other effects might have been better tiered and tied to profession (hairstyling) check results.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Here's mine:

Superstar 2010
I was intrigued right from the get-go. And since there was already a wealth of information and advice from the two previous years, I started reading. And reading. And reading.

After extensive research, I had two finish items to choose from. I picked this one for submission:

Helm of the Triumphant Charge
Aura faint necromancy; CL 3rd
Slot head; Price 4,000 gp; Weight 3 lbs.
Description

This helmet is shaped like the head of a roaring minotaur. It grants the wearer a +2 competence bonus to Intimidate.

Whenever the wearer deals damage to an opponent with a charge, he may issue a resounding warcry as a swift action and make an Intimidate check to demoralize all enemies within 30 feet who were able to see the charge and hear the warcry. If the charge resulted in a confirmed critical, the wearer gets a +4 bonus to this check.

This power can be used once per day for each rank in intimidate the wearer has, though always at least once per day.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, cause fear; Cost 2,000 gp

Naturally, like so many others, I ended up begging Clark for some hint at where I had failed. Here is the commentary Vic finally dug out of the judges forum:

Vic wrote:

Wes thought you went overboard with the Intimidate skill. You get a bonus to it, a special use of it, and even use the item a number of times based on your ranks in it. Overall, he felt that that made it easy to exploit (though he didn't give examples) and had strange effects.

Sean doesn't get why you chose charging as the action—he doesn't see an obvious connection between charging and intimidating. If you'd chosen bull rush or overrun instead of charge, he said, it would have at least tied to your theme a bit more. He really didn't like that the uses per day is tied to ranks in a skill—no other item in the game works like that.

Sigh...ok, so much for being cool and innovative. On to next year.

Superstar 2011
I was really unsure about whether or not to enter, but I did manage to slap together a half-inspired entry:

Shimmerball
Aura Faint evocation/enchantment; CL 5th
Slot -; Price 4,000 gp; Weight - lbs.
Description
This small, translucent ball is about one inch in diameter and filled with shimmering pixie dust. The glow of the dust causes the ball to continuously shed light as a candle.

A Shimmerball may be thrown at a creature or object as a ranged touch attack with range increments of 10 feet. If the target is hit, it begins to glow as if subject to a farie fire spell. This effect lasts for five minutes. Upon a successful hit, the ball becomes a dull, milky white and ceases to function for 24 hours.

If a command word is spoken before the ball is thrown, it bursts apart upon impact, scattering the pixie dust inside. The target and any adjacent creatures must make a DC 15 Will save or forget everything that has happened for the past five minutes, as if subject to a modify memory spell. Using the ball in this way destroys it completely.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, farie fire, a pinch of pixie dust given freely; Cost 2,000 gp

Once again, I deservedly failed to impress. Reasons given:

Superstar Judges wrote:

*...even if it's a one-time use, modify memory should be included in the construction and pricing of this item.

*...Even if priced correctly, it's a SIAC (or two) acting as a thrown weapon.

*...Vote to Reject.

*...Agreed. Reject.

Superstar 2012

Great success!!

Here are a couple of things, I'm certain made a difference:

* I kept reading. Rule books, adventures, guides etc. Every word gave me a better understanding of the game.

* I started playing Play-by-Post. The PbP format really trains both your skill at writing evocative descriptions and your knowledge of the rules, since you have loads of time to reference the rules between actions.

* I did my Superstar homework. I read and reread the auto-reject advice. I listened to the Superstar Panel recording. I trawled through the forums of past years.

* I got good feedback and used it to adjust my item. I made cuts and sacrifices along the way, made sure I got the rules right and were clear about the effects and limitations of my item. And that reflected in the judges critique.

RPG Superstar 2013
This is when I learned that just because you can make Top 32 once, repeating the feat is not so easy.

Here is what I submitted last year

Tabard of Cunning Tactics
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 9th
Slot chest; Price 21,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
Emblazoned with detailed scenes of armed conflict, this crimson tabard is designed to fit over armor. When worn in combat, the images seem to come alive and the figures within enact duels and skirmishes of their own.

When the wearer makes an attack or attempts a combat maneuver using Combat Expertise, he may forgo his own defensive bonus to AC in order to aid his allies instead. He chooses one ally who is either adjacent to him or flanking with him. If the wearers attack or combat maneuver succeeds, the ally can choose to gain a +2 circumstance bonus either on attack rolls or to AC against that creature. The bonus lasts until the beginning of the wearers next turn. For every +1 AC bonus increase to Combat Expertise the wearer may aid one additional ally.

Once per day, if the wearer is hit by a melee attack while flanked, he may, as an immediate action, attempt to switch places with the enemy who is providing flanking for the attacker. The flanker must make a DC 17 Will save or switch places with the wearer via teleport. The flanker then becomes the target of the triggering attack and takes damage accordingly. If the flanker cannot fit safely into the new space without squeezing, is teleported into an occupied space or into a space he could not normally stand within, the effect fails.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, coordinated effort, hostile juxtaposition; Cost 10,500 gp


I almost entered an item called a Brothel Blanket, but decided I probably shouldn't.

I entered previously, an amulet that automatically revives you nine times, each time the method used decreases in power, from true resseruction to reincarnation. Ill post the stats if I can find them. They are buried somewhere.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

Jacob Trier wrote:


Vic wrote:
Sean doesn't get why you chose charging as the action—he doesn't see an obvious connection between charging and intimidating. If you'd chosen bull rush

Ironically, I bet a lot of people would have laughed had the minotaur item been linked to a bull rush... (Or maybe it'd just be me.)

Jacob Trier wrote:


This is when I learned that just because you can make Top 32 once, repeating the feat is not so easy.

*sniff* Ain't that the truth.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
*sniff* Ain't that the truth.

Amen, Brother Jacob, Amen!

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

I would post mine, but when my computer died, the files proved unrecoverable. I learn from this, write files to dvd more often >.<

As I recall, the most recent 3 were

2011 - A part of a butler that when built turned out to be an assassin. Can you say Plot Device?
2012 - Proliferating Pocket Purse - please move along, i tried making the perfect rule 27 purse. Royally tanking.
2013 - Circlet of Malevolent Eyes - single class, survived the culls and even got positive feedback from Clark!
2014 - now in progress :p

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

The pocket purse is still in the critique thread, at least, Anthony (sorry if you didn't want to remember that). : )

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

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
The pocket purse is still in the critique thread, at least, Anthony (sorry if you didn't want to remember that). : )

As is the 2011 item. (Though your memory is faulty; it's not a butler/assassin item.) And while I haven't checked, if you got Clark feedback, I'd imagine your circle of malevolent eyes is still available in last year's thread as well.

Who needs backup when you have the Paizo boards? ;-)

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
Sean McGowan wrote:
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
The pocket purse is still in the critique thread, at least, Anthony (sorry if you didn't want to remember that). : )

As is the 2011 item. (Though your memory is faulty; it's not a butler/assassin item.) And while I haven't checked, if you got Clark feedback, I'd imagine your circle of malevolent eyes is still available in last year's thread as well.

Who needs backup when you have the Paizo boards? ;-)

Oh dear lord, how did i forget that sack of seasonal sakness?

The butler part was the year before then.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Boxhead

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Anthony Adam wrote:
Sean McGowan wrote:
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
The pocket purse is still in the critique thread, at least, Anthony (sorry if you didn't want to remember that). : )

As is the 2011 item. (Though your memory is faulty; it's not a butler/assassin item.) And while I haven't checked, if you got Clark feedback, I'd imagine your circle of malevolent eyes is still available in last year's thread as well.

Who needs backup when you have the Paizo boards? ;-)

Oh dear lord, how did i forget that sack of seasonal sakness?

The butler part was the year before then.

Nothing to be ashamed of Adam. You of all people have taken the RPG Superstar spirit to heart. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before you find success, whether here or in another market.


Gah! I went looking for my poorly made item from last year ...

And realized I had written down an item I liked better after going through all the entries and voting.

AND PROMPTLY FORGOT ABOUT IT ... thus making a new, sub-par item this year.

Then deciding it was sub-par and coming up with a better idea after voting a bunch ...

*facepalms*

I have GOT to have a better way of keeping track of things.

EDIT:

Reading this item ... interesting idea, but it just lacks so much. It is very much a Spell In A Can, that it does not distinguish itself at all.

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