2014 Critique my Wondrous Item thread


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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Garrick Williams wrote:

Looks like I'm late to this party. I don't suppose I could also post a second item? I debated between two candidates and now I wonder if the other would have done better.

Fleshless Shroud

Congrats on your item making the Top 100 List. I saw it many times while voting and I often voted it up against less interesting things, but it was not one of my favorites.

I am not a fan of items the essentially let you be a monster, or avoid encounters. I think that using this in most instances takes away from the spirit of the game and I wouldn't use it as a DM. However I think you executed it well and clear and with a few tweaks (different spells for creation) it make a good item for Players and DMs who would go for it.

What i loved about it was the last sentence, the bonus to Heal checks. I loved that you thought about a non combat way to use the cloak. If this had been the focus of the item I would have liked it a lot more. It says to me you have some creative ideas and I can't wait to see what you give us next year.

Thanks for sharing the item with us, Garrick. If you want to PM me the other Item you were considering I'd be glad to let you know what I think of it and how I might have voted if I saw it in this years mix.

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TwoDee wrote:
Breach Master’s Epaulets

This is another one I critiqued in PMs with someone who sent me the complete text of their favorite items before the top 32 were listed. Here is what I said at the time:

Quote:
I don’t get this one. As it reads, all it really does is provide DR 5/ adamantine. It also reinforces existing walls with three inches of stone, which seems mostly pointless. Or maybe it was meant to make walls that come out from the adjacent wall. Or was it’s intent to put up standing walls on the floor? The way it’s written it seems to imply a wall adjacent to the user and the wall is flush with that wall. It can’t be that, but it is not very clear as written. It should have mentioned the “ground” if that is what the designer wanted, or that it “protrudes from the surface” if that is what the intent was. Or both. “Connected to the surface” is not cutting it. It would be a decent item if it was clear what it did. As is, I have to say no. Even if it worked correctly, I’m not sure it deserves to be the third most expensive shoulder slot item in the game (above wings of flying and cloak of etherealness). Is DR 5 worth that? It still might make the top 32 as it does have some interesting mechanics, though flawed language.

I do realize that you meant it to set up walls that connected and protruded out from existing walls or form the floor, but in first reading I thought that it was saying that it essentially reinforced existing walls with stone. I only came to the realization that you couldn't have possibly meant that on rereading it and realizing that that would be a really worthless magic item. Right now "connected to" is the only description for how they are placed. I think you thought "erupts into" would cover this, but I just took it to mean that the ribbon "expands" into a wall section and I immediately pictured the walls flush and fused with the existing wall. If you had said "erupts from" the wall that might have covered it, but as written it gave me the wrong idea. You could have also solved this by saying that the walls go on "grid lines away from the walls" or something like that. And I question whether it can be used on the floor. "Adjacent surface" makes me think that it means a wall adjacent to the character, but I suppose a floor space can also be adjacent to a character if we are talking about the combat grid. I just think it should have been made more clear.

With my issues with the language of the wall ability being out of the way, I'll look at the item assuming it works on both walls and floors and protrudes out from them. DR 5/adamantine is a good ability and my favorite item in the top 32 also grants this ability for a period of time. This is permanent and therefore more powerful, but it also is depleted with the use if the wall ability. I like this scaling mechanic a great deal, but the wall ability seems really weak to me. The most obvious and surefire use for them seems to be blocking doorways and that makes sense with the name, but outside of that their use seems somewhat limited, or I at least have questions as to what might be possible with them based on the text. They are "connected" to the surface, but how strong is this connection? Can they be pushed over? What if they are only connected to lose ground? What if I roll a break DC Str check to topple them? You possibly leave that up to GM fiat, but it would have been good to clarify so that doesn't come into question during play. Yu can't do this with a Wall of Stone spell because it "merges with existing stone." One adjective might solve this. Do the walls have to be vertically oriented or can I place them horizontally off a wall? If so, would the connection support my weight if I climbed up on it? This use doesn't seem to be within theme, but it certainly would make it more useful. I think you should have stolen some text from the Wall of Stone spell, especially "merges into adjoining rock surfaces," and "it must merge with and be solidly supported by existing stone," because I question now what happens when I place one against the wall of a rotting barn or on loose earth.

Finally, a 5-foot square wall section is not a lot of coverage. If placed on a wall with an 8-foot ceiling, this leaves three feet above or below (or half each) the wall that someone could climb through, or attack through, or cast spells through. Doorways are usually a bit smaller than this, but a 5 by 5 foot panel would still not seal it off completely. The wall of stone spell avoids this because it is a minimum of nine 5-foot wall sections at it's caster level. Granted, you might be able to use several standard actions and ribbons to cover larger areas, but I'm not sure it is good enough when the wizard's wall of stone spell can create much more than this as a single standard action, and he is not giving up Damage Reduction. I think it would have been better served if the panels were up to ten feet square (not shapeable) and were described as merging with stone it touches. Or if multiple ribbons could be used at a time to cover larger areas. At 5-foot square, wall sections seem to be immobile tower shields that can provide cover and might require destruction in order to pass.

Since I feel that the wall ability is pretty weak, I am fairly certain that the price is too much. The best thing it has going for it is the DR. Even if it had this DR and could cast a 12th level wall of stone once per day, I'm not sure it should cost 65,000 gp, but it would be closer.

Overall, the concept is cool. I don't think I would have made it from epaulets and ribbons, but a cool concept none the less. I really like the one less DR for each recent use of the second ability. I just wish the second ability was more powerful for a 12th level item. Watch your writing and make sure it is clearly describing what you intend it to. Have someone who doesn't game read it cold and then have them describe to you what it does and how it might be used. Good luck next year and congrats for making the top 100. You are not far off.

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Dang! Each review I do is longer than the last.

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Feros wrote:
Dan Jones wrote:
Feros wrote:

Fourth Page Critiques:

Astral Spike

Thanks for the critique. I didn't think it did lots of different things though. Basically, it punishes teleporters and other astral travelers, including summoned beasties. Would it have been better if it just halted teleporters? Or would that be too vanilla?

I made this item because I hate it when the bad guy escapes! I wanted to make an item that punishes BBEGs that try to teleport so they can fight another day.

Halting teleporters, if the visual effect of doing so is cool, could have worked fine. Teleport is used by lots of parties in higher levels as a combat strategy, so this would have been useful item for bad guys as well.

Yup, which is why I gave it a save every round, so it wouldn't be an "instant death" item. Basically, this item hijacked the teleporters teleporting energy and created a feedback loop so they just hopped around, provoking AoOs from the Astral Spike's wielder.

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To everyone feeling discouraged by this year's Top 32 results, this comic has some good advice that's helped me feel ready to keep trying:

Zen Pencils.

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Re: Gloves of the Artful Gardener

Andrew Black wrote:

Congrats on your Item making it into the Top 100. I saw it several times, and voted for it some of them. I thought it was very creative and a unique item but I think it needs an overhaul on the mechanics.

I like the DR to protect you from thorns, nettles, and such that can then apply to other piercing weapons like arrows and darts. I think that's a creative way to give a character a DR bonus.

I am not as fond of the permanently altering 20 cubic feet of vegetation and I think this is where the mechanics need some work. You say it can be used three times a day, but then mention charges are expended. This is different rules language and it confuses me. Can I recharge it and use it more times a day. Do the different effects require different use of charges? How does it charge up? I think you just mean to indicate that if the attempt to alter magical effects fails it still counts as one of the uses, but its unclear. Also how much time does it take to alter a 20 cubic feet of vegetation? Does a simple change take the same amount of time as a complex one? These are things I think you need to clarify to really make this Item solid. I do like that you considered and addressed how this item would work against magical effects.

I think this item does to much, and I like the idea of the third power better than the second. I think it would be cool to have the wearer of the gloves able to sculpt a sudden ally out of the surrounding vegetation. Again the mechanics are not clear here. I may be missing it but I searched Paizo's PRD site and couldn't find a living topiary. As a DM I am unsure what the base stats are for a living topiary to add a template to.

I hope this helps because I think it has a great concept.

Thank you very much!

Aside: Living Topiary was originally in Adventure Path #47, which is where the construction requirements were that led to some of the spells required for the gloves; the final version of the living topiary is in Bestiary 4.

Feros wrote:


As a professional horticulturalist, I got a great kick out of this item and up voted it more often than not. But there are some mechanics problems with changing language from use/day to charge, and the extra abilities against plant creatures and the DR are sort of superfluous and unnecessary additions. It could stand on its own quite well without them.

Irony: my original concept was only for sculpting hedges and the like, without the "summon living topiary" aspect.

---

Thank you both very much, this was really helpful, and I appreciate the praise!

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In the middle of something so not going to fix the formatting (which I promise I did before submitting!) - just looking to get critique on content. Thanks!

Fleshwarper’s Sack
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 10th
Slot --; Price 50,000 gp; Weight 25 lbs.

DESCRIPTION
This sack is made out of stitched skin from a variety of sources, and will twitch and ripple of it’s own volition. Listening inside the bag allows the holder to hear bubbling, scraping, and other eerie and unnatural sounds. It functions as a bag of holding, type II that only accepts still-living creatures inside it. Forcing a non-willing creature inside the bag is a standard action and requires a successful grapple combat maneuver. Escaping from the bag requires an Escape Artist or combat maneuver as though breaking a grapple.

Once a creature is inside the sack, the holder can shape the creature’s body to his whims with a thought. The holder may choose to bestow the following abilities and conditions on the creature inside; each ability or condition is accompanied by an appropriate physical change:

burrow 30 feet
climb 90 feet
fly 90 feet (good maneuverability
swim 90 feet
blindsense 30 feet
low-light vision
darkvision 60 feet
scent
blinded
deafened

In addition to these changes, the painful nature of the transformation deals 1 point of Constitution damage to the creature once the alteration is finished. Each condition selected takes a minute to bestow, during which the creature must stay in the sack. If the transformation is interrupted, the GM determines the physical changes the entrapped creature suffers.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, baleful polymorph; Cost 25,000 gp

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Nickolas Floyd wrote:
dmfumbl wrote:
Icicle of the Frozen Waste

Nickolas, thank you for taking the time to review my item. I appreciate the feedback and constructive advice on how I could make it better.

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I’ll keep the spoilers in place for consistency, even though I’ll probably be doing these one at a time for the most part now.

Fleshwarper’s Sack:
Not a bad idea, but not a very pleasant item in concept. I am a little concerned over the penalty to the creature transformed; not that I think the Constitution score shouldn’t be affected, but rather that the way it is written a creature can gain all those abilities with the cost of just 1 Constitution point. Perhaps 1 per ability would be a better limiting quality?


Jeff Lee's Witchbane Glove:
Jeff Lee wrote:

Witchbane Glove

Aura moderate abjuration; CL 6th
Slot hands; Price 5,500 gp; Weight
Description
This single glove is typically fashioned from light canvas, with iron rivets along its seams, and a pentacle stitched into the palm with silver thread. When worn, the witchbane glove provides a +2 resistance bonus on saving throws against hexes and the spell-like abilities of hags.

I think that using resistance bonus makes it obsolete a bit. Everyone and their dog tend to get cloak of resistance +2 for four thousands as soon as remotely possible.

Quote:
Once per day, the wearer can choose to capture a hex or spell-like ability. If the wearer makes a successful saving throw against the effect, then she may choose to store the hex or spell-like ability in the glove for up to one hour. At any time during that hour, the wearer may make a melee touch attack with the glove to inflict the hex or spell-like ability upon her target, using the original saving throw when it was cast.

Did you meant using the hex's original saving throw DC?

Catching a hex and holding it is a neat idea when it comes to flavor.

Quote:
If the wearer of the witchbane glove strikes a creature under the effects of a harmful hex or hag ability with that hand (doing normal unarmed strike damage plus Strength modifier)

I feel that the part about Str modifier is redundant. I would assume that when you state "normal unarmed damage" it already includes all the applicable modifiers.

Quote:
then that creature immediately gets another saving throw against the effect with a +2 bonus to their saves. This bonus stacks with all other modifiers.

Untyped bonus. Saying it stacks with other modifiers is redundant. You could use those words on telling the reader if the wearer of the globe can spank victim of a hex multiple times, does it allow multiple saving throws? Is there some limit to number of extra saving throws that can be enforced by this item? Because as written it allows punching friend to unconsciousness allowing lots and lots of saving throws against hexes in the process.

Quote:
Should the damage dealt by the blow be enough to knock the creature unconscious, then it receives a +1 insight bonus to its saving throws against hexes or hag spell-like abilities for 1 hour after it regains consciousness.

Does it work that way only when punching victim of an actual hex or beating anyone to unconsciousness will provide bonus to saving throws against hexes?

Quote:
A witchbane glove uses up the entire hands slot. The wearer may not use another item that also uses...

Is there a particular reason why it is single glove instead of a pair as it is typical for magical gloves?

I might have seen it once or twice, but I am not sure. It could be other witch-related/named item.

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Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Phantom Slayers' Gloves
Aura Moderate Divination; CL 9th
Slot hands; Price 12,000 gp; Weight ---
Description

This set of three black leather gloves with silver knuckles aid in destroying disquieted spirits of the undead. Multiple creatures may wear parts of this set, but if any of the gloves are more than 300 feet from another they become inert for 24 hours. Phantom slayer's gloves may be worn on any appendage which can hold a weapon. The third glove may also be worn on a Hand of the Glory, Hand of the Mage, or Hand of Stone without affecting those items functions.

If a single black glove is used to wield a one-handed manufactured weapon, those attacks are treated as magic. Damage delivered by these weapons to incorporeal targets is rolled twice taking the better of the results.

If two gloves are worn by the same being they turn gray, the knuckles tarnishing to a dull copper. In addition to the black glove effects, if wielding a ghost touch, force weapon, or using the ghost rager rage power, increase the critical threat range and multiplier of the weapon by 1. Once per round the wearer of two gray phantom slayers' gloves may roll concealment miss chances twice, taking the best result. These effects functions for any manufactured weapons.

If all three gloves are worn by the same being the gloves turn white with golden knuckles. In addition to the black and gray effects, the wearer can cause the gloves to glow with a nimbus of light as the cleric sun domain power using the wearers character level as her effective cleric level. While the nimbus is active the wearer is also protected by a death ward.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, plane shift, true seeing; Cost 6,000 gp

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James Domachowski wrote:

TORC OF TERRAN TRANSFORMATION

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 11th
Slot neck; Price 23,760 gp; Weight 1 lb.
DESCRIPTION
An intricately crafted copper necklace of two dragons weaving around each other, holding brilliant, green emeralds in their open maws.
By speaking the command word as a free action, the wearer establishes a magical connection to the Elemental Plane of Earth gaining the Elemental and Earth subtypes. This grants her immunity to bleed, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning, is not subject to critical hits, flanking, or additional damage from precision-based attacks, such as sneak attack, and she does not need to breathe. In addition, the torc grants her a burrow speed equal to her land speed, the ability to earth glide, darkvision 60 feet, tremorsense 60 feet, a +2 size bonus to your Strength, and a +4 natural armor bonus. This connection last up to 11 minutes each day, but the duration need not be consecutive but can be taken in a minimum of 1 minute intervals.
CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, elemental body III; Cost 11,880 gp

I really liked this item, I saw it only once and I'm glad you posted it as I have to add it to my top 32 list. I completely understood what you did with giving the subtypes. I think they way you worded this made people think it was just a siac of elemental body III, but it is not. Of course great minds think alike and I have designed torcs that grant elemental traits so I got what you did with out any problem. PM me with any other torcs you may have I'd love to see them if you want.


Aaron Miller 335 wrote:
James Domachowski wrote:

TORC OF TERRAN TRANSFORMATION

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 11th
Slot neck; Price 23,760 gp; Weight 1 lb.
DESCRIPTION
An intricately crafted copper necklace of two dragons weaving around each other, holding brilliant, green emeralds in their open maws.
By speaking the command word as a free action, the wearer establishes a magical connection to the Elemental Plane of Earth gaining the Elemental and Earth subtypes. This grants her immunity to bleed, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning, is not subject to critical hits, flanking, or additional damage from precision-based attacks, such as sneak attack, and she does not need to breathe. In addition, the torc grants her a burrow speed equal to her land speed, the ability to earth glide, darkvision 60 feet, tremorsense 60 feet, a +2 size bonus to your Strength, and a +4 natural armor bonus. This connection last up to 11 minutes each day, but the duration need not be consecutive but can be taken in a minimum of 1 minute intervals.
CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, elemental body III; Cost 11,880 gp
.

Neat, but one question. If you dont change size, how can you possibly gain a size bonus?

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Debated submitting this for critique, but I'm going to steel myself for some feedback (and you guys are usually pretty helpful). I just really felt I had a great concept and writing this year, even if it didn't "wow" with its powers.

Signature Spectacles
Aura faint divination; CL 3rd
Slot eyes; Price 3,000 gp; Weight
Description
Whether by accident or design, every spellcaster leaves an indelible mark upon the spells that they weave, much the way no two people’s handwriting looks identical. A successful Knowledge (arcana) check made while wearing these ivory framed lenses allows the wearer to decipher that cryptic magical “signature.” Thereafter, the spectacle wearer gains a +2 insight bonus to dispel checks targeting spells cast by a spellcaster whose signature they know, and a +5 insight bonus to Spellcraft checks made to identify their spells.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Improved Counterspell, detect magic, Cost 1,500 gp

One thing I did realize, almost immediately after hitting "submit" was that I should have added "Detect Magic" as an ability of the thing, which would have made it more useful overall for all classes, with the signature part making it particularly useful for casters. And the pricing might be a bit off (and would need to be adjusted if I did add in detect magic as an ability.)


Hello everybody,
I am wondering, if anybody even has seen my Item. And of corse I'm also interested on your opinions.

I have updated the formatting but not the wording. Since I have made this account to enter the competition, I haven't seen the helpful post in the messageboard before entering. *sigh*

Wizard hat

Aura: moderate conjuration and transmutation
CL: 11th
Slot: head
Price: 7,250 gp (1st), 13,000 gp (2nd), 22,000 gp (3th), 38,000 gp (4th), 63,000 gp (5th).
Weight: 1lb.

Description: A pointy wizard hat which is a potent aid to all arcane spell caster.
The hat enables an arcane spellcaster to prepare one additional spell of level 0 and one additional spell for every spell level up to the hat limit. Different hats exist for the upper spell level limit from 1st through 5th. For example a Wizard hat (3th) gives an additional spell slot for the spell levels 0, 1st, 2nd and 3th.
In addition the hat can store items like a bag of Holding type II.

Construction:
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Items, secret chest, creator must be able to cast spells of the spell level one level higher as the highest spell level to which this hat gives a bonus slot.
Cost: 3,625 gp (1st), 6,500 gp (2nd), 11,000 gp (3th), 19,000 gp (4th), 31,500 gp (5th).


Thanks for the comments on my Ersatz Twin. Like I said, I'm embarrassed I screwed it up so bad technically. This was my first time entering and I was kind of anxious and not really paying as much attention to details as I should have been.

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OK, three then! :)

Phantom Slayers' Gloves:
Three gloves was probably a bit of a mistake here, as the only way to get the full power of these was to have another magic item available to act as the third hand. Each item should be whole and complete by itself. The stacking levels of power with changes in combat ability for each level is a bit too complex. Focusing on attacking incorporeal beings would have fit the items name better.

Signature Spectacles:
While an interesting idea, I think that adding detect magic as you suggest and giving whoever wears them a bonus to saving throws against the casters spells would have made this item more useful to a broader group. That still would have made it a really good magic item rather than Superstar; it doesn’t have the really cool imagery I need to put it over the top.

Wizard hat:
Firstly: yes, I saw your item multiple times. I see the utility of the item as well as the tall-pointy-wizard’s-hat trope being used. Unfortunately that is what I think did you in; this felt too old and traditional. There were no real innovations here and I think that was what cost you in the end.


GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Aaron Miller 335 wrote:
James Domachowski wrote:

TORC OF TERRAN TRANSFORMATION

(...)
.
Neat, but one question. If you dont change size, how can you possibly gain a size bonus?

Polymorphy effects grant size bonuses in general, even if they do not change subject's size (i.e. when subject turns into creature of the same size as himself).

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Feros wrote:

I’ll keep the spoilers in place for consistency, even though I’ll probably be doing these one at a time for the most part now.

** Fleshwarper's Sack omitted **

Huh - I thought that I had done that - maybe in my final draft. You're right though, if I submitted it with that glaring imbalance, that would have done a lot. Thank you!

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Paladingeist wrote:

Hello everybody,

I am wondering, if anybody even has seen my Item. And of corse I'm also interested on your opinions.

I have updated the formatting but not the wording. Since I have made this account to enter the competition, I haven't seen the helpful post in the messageboard before entering. *sigh*

I've seen this item a few times. Thank you for sharing this item and braving (what I assume) your first year at RPG Superstar. However, note that RPG Superstar is not simply about making useful game content. RPG Superstar provides a way for aspiring game designers to get their foot in the door and take a shot at the chance of developing official content for Pathfinder RPG. A contestant needs to come to the table with content that shows their creativity and skill as a game designer. To do so, they need to create entries that captivate imaginations of players and GMs alike to use it.

That being said, wizard hat doesn't do so much. The flavor is a cliche trope. Mechanically, it's three pearls of power and a bag of holding combined. It's also significantly cheaper than all of those items combined (price error) and there's formatting style issues (try looking at my personal formatting guidelines). It's a useful item, but doesn't anything that amazes in this competition. Now that you know, I'm certain you'll have something that will surprise us next year!

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Keffiyeh of Pure Breath
Aura faint transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot Headband; Price 1600 gp; Weight 0.5 lbs.

Description
This light, checkered headscarf wraps over helmets and other headgear. When the wearer draws the lower portion of the scarf over their mouth and nose, it filters out all airborne toxins, poisons, gas, and other effects requiring the wearer to inhale. Any spells or spell-like abilities that would affect the purity of the air or require the user to inhale to activate will not affect the wearer. Additionally, a keffiyeh of pure breath will protect the wearer from the damage of a non-magical sandstorm while also keeping them clean of sand. The wearer must still breath and these effects will not work underwater or in a vacuum.

Construction
Requirements Craft wondrous item, alter self; Cost 800 gp


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Garrick Williams wrote:
Paladingeist wrote:

Hello everybody,

I am wondering, if anybody even has seen my Item. And of corse I'm also interested on your opinions.

I have updated the formatting but not the wording. Since I have made this account to enter the competition, I haven't seen the helpful post in the messageboard before entering. *sigh*

I've seen this item a few times. Thank you for sharing this item and braving (what I assume) your first year at RPG Superstar. However, note that RPG Superstar is not simply about making useful game content. RPG Superstar provides a way for aspiring game designers to get their foot in the door and take a shot at the chance of developing official content for Pathfinder RPG. A contestant needs to come to the table with content that shows their creativity and skill as a game designer. To do so, they need to create entries that captivate imaginations of players and GMs alike to use it.

That being said, wizard hat doesn't do so much. The flavor is a cliche trope. Mechanically, it's three pearls of power and a bag of holding combined. It's also significantly cheaper than all of those items combined (price error) and there's formatting style issues (try looking at my personal formatting guidelines). It's a useful item, but doesn't anything that amazes in this competition. Now that you know, I'm certain you'll have something that will surprise us next year!

Hello,

Thanks for your kind words. Indeed this was my first try on the RPG Superstar. And if you don't have an account on the Board you can't see the messageboards an the bottom of the RPG Superstar page. After creating the Account I was to eager to submit my entry than to check the page again. So I missed all those helpful Posts. -.-'

The price error is in deed an error… I had calculated the price with a wrong number for the bag of holding II price. (500 gp instead of 5,000 gp *argh*)

I hope I can fulfill your expectations next year ;)

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Keffiyeh of Pure Breath:
This is a simple, effective, well-designed magic item that simply makes sense. I liked this item a lot and up-voted it far more than down. That said it is a little too simple. There is nothing here that makes me say wow. The visual is uninspiring and non-magical, even if the effect is.

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Andrew Black wrote:
themantheycallcris wrote:

I had no idea how to really set the CL, and I changed the price like 3 or 4 times before submitting because I wasn't sure, but...

I'm ready (head turned away, squinting), hit me...

Marrow of borrowbone (ink set)
Aura strong conjuration and transmutation; CL 9th

I think I only saw this once or twice during the voting period. I will be honest, it never got my vote. The first reason, I can't find out what a Barrow beast is. It may be something real cool in your homebrew game but unless I can look it up on the PRD then I can't use it as a DM in my campaign world with out having to invent a new monster.

This is an ink set, however the ink isn't really what the item is. It's just the means to give two characters a permanent ability. So essentially you wrote a new ability not a Wondrous Magic Item.

I see that there is a lot of thought and consideration that has gone into the concept of the pact, and I respect that. There are a lot of role-play possibilities that could come out of two characters choosing to make the pact, hunting down Barrow Beast's to get the bones, selecting the tattoos and the like. I could see this in a Prestige Class write up possibly to for ever link to characters together, but not with this ability.

I am still not a fan of the item swaging. There is no limit to distance, so I could easily link to an NPC who stays home and then always wears my back up magic items so I can then swap out as needed...there is just to much potential for abuse in my opinion.

Thanks for sharing your item with us themantheycallcris, I hope next year you will use the creative mojo that invented borrow beast pacts to bring us a cool wondrous item.

Thanks for the input Andrew Black. I was hoping to submit the Borrow Beast in round two, but I put the cart before the horse. I have an entire campaign concept centering around the Borrow Beasts, hopefully I'll get it all together, and put in a better submission next year.

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DounArsena wrote:
Keffiyeh of Pure Breath

I saw this item many times during voting and I really like it! This is the perfect item for the use you've intended. I wasn't sure why it used alter self instead of air bubble, but the theme was right on. That being said, while the item is so thematically perfect, I often thought "that fits together like peanut butter and jelly!" versus "holy cow, this is totally amazing and exciting!"

I REALLY hope this finds its way into a book somewhere (with some editing!), but it didn't quite scream Superstar to me.

Marathon Voter Season 7

Andrew Black wrote:
Zachary Wydawski wrote:
Helm of Brass

Welcome to the contest, entering is the first hurdle and I am glad you did. I saw your item a few times while voting and I did vote for it once or twice over less creative items.

I think your opening description is right on, it made me want to know exactly what this helm did. However I was not a big fan of the first power. It is essentially 2 Spells in a Can, although it was cool looking. Also I was unclear by what you meant by using the flame as a thrown weapon reduces the duration...by how much? There is something cool going on here, but I think you need to find a way to let the spells inspire the fire effect but work differently then the spells.

I also was not a fan of the the second power creating a Plane of Fire. I like some of the effects it offers and perhaps they could be worked into the fire power of the helm in the first paragraph, but you want to be careful of keeping tight to the theme and not being a Swiss Army Knife of effects.

If you haven't found them yet on the boards go look for the SKR auto reject advice threads. Also Clark Peterson and Neil Spicer have some awesome posts about Wondrous Item design in the past years archives.

Thanks for sharing your Items with us Zachary, I hope this helps and I hope you continue to enter...I think you have the creative spark that will reveal a Superstar kind of Item.

Thank you for taking the time to respond and provide some useful advice for me. This is exactly what i needed to see to help inspire my next submission.

I was afraid my powers were too bland and not unique enough and this only confirms my fears.

I'm just glad i got at least a few people hooked with my description and next year i hope to provide a unique crunch to go with the descriptive fluff. Thanks again!

Star Voter Season 7

Time to take the plunge. Would anybody care to comment on my entry?

Pouch of Miraculous Seeds
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th
Slot -; Price 6,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This plain-looking canvas pouch is filled with coarse, black seeds roughly the size of an acorn. A full pouch holds 20 such seeds. In order to activate the seeds' power a character has to bury a non-magical object worth no more than 100 gp, sprinkle any number of seeds on the ground and water them. Over the next 8 hours a single slender tree will sprout from the ground, bearing as many magical “fruits” as the number of seeds used. Each fruit is a fully functional copy of the original buried object, perfectly identical to it except for a tiny stalk that connects the duplicate to a tree branch. The original object can easily be recovered by digging under the tree.
The seeds can replicate any normal material, complex mechanical parts and even handwriting down to the most minute deail. Telling apart such a magical copy from the original requires a DC 30 Perception check. The seeds however can not duplicate magical writing of any sort; any attempt to duplicate a spellbook will only produce blank books.
A plant growth spell cast on the tree will reduce the time it takes to grow to just one round but will not cause it to bear more fruits.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wonderous Item, fabricate; Cost 3,000 gp

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Pen2paper wrote:

Saw a lot of items in the above list I didn't honestly get to vote on. Not sure why but I missed seeing maybe 20 or more. Sad really because there are some real gems.

When you get some time, feel free to give me your opinions on my item.

Somen Mask of Shinjitsu

I only saw your item a few times during the vote and I will be honest I did not vote for it. The reason is the mask is fairly simple in design and the backstory information at the beginning turned me off. That said, you have some creative things going on here that I like.

The Masks as gifts from the Emperor is a cool adventure reward item, a way to give something cool to your samurai themed game characters. I like the idea behind it, but it is better as a special item as part of and module or AP then a general magic item for all DM's and Players to use. To be a popular superstar item I feel you have to appeal to all game styles and settings, or have something with enough pizzaz that makes the readers of it want to play in the Items setting.

I think the bonus you picked for your item make sense and I can see them as valuable in play, but for Superstar I think you need something that has a WOW factor. What awesome thing could someone wearing these mask do that fits the theme? Somen Mask have a frightful image on them...what could you do with that? I offer these two questions as something to help you figure out ways to take a solid item to the next level.

Thanks for sharing this with us Pen2paper, Good Luck next year.


This is my submission for the RPG Superstar 2014. I participated for the first time in 2013 with an item that stank :) I had slightly higher expectations this year, but feel I am still not quite there.

Any feedback which may help me improve would be greatly appreciated!

Torc of Ample Remedy
Aura Strong conjuration; CL 7th
Slot Neck; Price 32000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description

Ancient curative runes are engraved along the arc of this golden torc, and a yellow gem adorns each end.

Whenever targeted by a spell of the conjuration (healing) school, the wearer may instead choose to be affected by another spell of the same school. Choosing a spell is not an action, but requires the wearer to be concious. The chosen spell must be of equal or lower level than the original spell. E.g. upon drinking a Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds the wearer may instead choose to be affected by Remove Paralysis.

Also, all conjuration (healing) spells that target the wearer are empowered as though using the Empower Spell feat. This only applies to the wearer of the torc, even if the spell also affects other creatures.

The Torc of Ample Remedy must be worn for 24 hours before its powers manifest.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Items, Imbue with Spell Ability, Empower Spell; Cost 16000 gp

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

Really wishing I had had time to compete this year. However, I can take some solace in reviewing all your items. I left off at the top of page 2, no?

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qkn9&page=2?2014-Critique-my-Wondrous-Item -thread#53
Soul's Visage
A simple item, but you stretched a little too far when looking for a new rules area to tap into. Honor is a bit too obscure for the majority of voters, I think. Also, the biggest bonus for the item is a +1 to a PCs score - needs a lot more wow.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qkn9&page=2?2014-Critique-my-Wondrous-Item -thread#55
Thespian's Globe
Generic wondrous items skip the 'was designed by', and any other backstory. Big turnoff for voters. You don't need to call out that it can be used unlimited times per day, but the way bigger misstep is that you say if a creature saves against the gaze of the second effect, it is immune to that EFFECT for the rest of the day, implying you could turn this on, inflict a bunch of minor status conditions on a target and have your whole party immune to every condition you listed. Huge abuse hole there.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qkn9&page=2?2014-Critique-my-Wondrous-Item -thread#57
Sandstone Sirocco
A fun little item, actually. Feels a little weird that it's called sirocco without actually requiring the spell of the same name, but that's getting nitpickey. My concern is that it can scrub any magical writing (from arcane mark to symbol of death by making a DC 15 check (using it's own caster level of 10, it must be assumed). Meaning there's a 75% chance it erases any magical writing in the area.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qkn9&page=2?2014-Critique-my-Wondrous-Item -thread#62
congrats on entering for the first time!
I see where people might not like this being a golden tooth - something most PCs wouldn't want to be caught wearing. However the effect is neat. However, it's like a cloak of resistance plus a cyclop's flash of inspiration. Neat, sure, but not really wow enough for me. Oh, and don't forget that an item like this effectively doubles the threat range of things like vorpal weapons, that only trigger on natural 20s.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qkn9&page=2?2014-Critique-my-Wondrous-Item -thread#63
Choken of Spell Stifling
Immediately sounds like a prisoner item, which isn't very exciting for most players. ... and it is, in fact, just that. Except that it can't even be forced onto an opponent in combat, slashing it's utility hugely.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qkn9&page=2?2014-Critique-my-Wondrous-Item -thread#68
Mask of the Wayang
"what's a wayang?" many, if not most players will ask. If you refer to an uncommon creature, especially using it as a descriptive word. a 'gnoll's canine snout', a 'boar's huge tusks', etc. I like the merging into walls ability, but it feels like you were trying to cash in on A Link Between Worlds.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qkn9&page=2?2014-Critique-my-Wondrous-Item -thread#69
Anthony! I'm surprised you haven't made it in yet, seriously. As to the item: There's a lot of rules weirdness here. random duration? weird. What;s a 'thundering rolling attack'? A 'thunderclap retort'? If they're referring to something, you're not clear what it actually does. Also, who do the lightning bolts do piercing damage, not electrcity? Finally, it seems odd that you can spend a mythic point OR do something normally to get the last power. If you're going to go Mythic, commit - having the option to gain a mythic advantage without mythic is... well, not mythic.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qkn9&page=2?2014-Critique-my-Wondrous-Item -thread#77
Glaring Mask
Simple, yet effective. I would have liked if this drew more language from the myth of Aegis, a terrible shield that caused people to turn and run in fear. Rules language is a little clunky at the end, but quite good overall.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qkn9&page=2?2014-Critique-my-Wondrous-Item -thread#89
Manipulator's Headdress (submitted)
I quite like this item, but there's one big weirdness for me: I don't like that this entangling/CMD item is head slot item. "I'm going to trip him with my face!" Think about how weird that sounds.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qkn9&page=2?2014-Critique-my-Wondrous-Item -thread#98
Sun Wukong's Puzzle Box
Immediately sounds like it belong to Sun Wukong - I can see after reading to the end that he's a god, but most voters will think he's your PC, which is a bad thing. Other than that, this is actually really a fun item. Weird, yes, but fun. Make it appear that you become a swarm of monkeys! No idea what it has to do with a puzzle box, but I can get over that. ;)

Okay, page 2 done. Back to the normal day job. ;)

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Pouch of Miraculous Seeds:
I like the visual image of a tree planted over a dagger producing multiple daggers, but since none of the duplicates are magical and the items created are relatively cheap this item just isn’t cost effective. It really makes little sense to spend this much on an item when you could buy duplicates for far less cost.

Torc of Ample Remedy:
Not a bad item that enhances a cleric's ability to cast the various cure spells spontaneously to cure various conditions as well as heal hit points. But the only impressive effect is Empower, which means this is just a good magic item to have, not something that impresses people with cool imagery. Also, why does it need 24 hours to activate? That doesn’t fit the nature of the powers involved.


Feros wrote:
Torc of Ammple Remedy Not a bad item that enhances a cleric's ability to cast the various cure spells spontaneously to cure various conditions as well as heal hit points. But the only impressive effect is Empower, which means this is just a good magic item to have, not something that impresses people with cool imagery. Also, why does it need 24 hours to activate? That doesn’t fit the nature of the powers involved.

Thanks for the kind and insightful feedback, Feros!

The item does not enhance a clerics ability to cast healing spells. The item only affects incoming magic (from spells, wands, scrolls, potions etc) on the wearer. Letting the wearer convert, say the Cure Serious Wounds spell to Remove Paralysis. Same thing goes for empower, only spells on self are empowered, not spells cast by the wearer on others.

I figured a 24 hour limit would be good, else this becomes an item that is passed around to every member of a party, so they each can get the empowered benefit from healing (cleric spells cast, potions quaffed) after combat. I feel that the "let me borrow your ring for just a second"-items often help degenerate an otherwise good story into pile of technicalities.

I absolutely agree that this item is missing the impressive imagery. Will definitely work on that aspect for my 2015 submission!


While I am proud to have submitted the Quill of the Tengu Sage last year, I had only 20 hours notice to design it and there were many issues that would not have survived the editing process.

So this entry is my first "real" effort, albeit following a year without tabletop gaming. I got top notch feedback in design from Michael Pruess (2013 top 8) and Anthony Adams (no introduction needed), but alas, did not hit the top 100.

I changed this many many times but my only certain regret is the last minute change from wrapping the flags around yourself to reciting a prayer. I think the neat visual is more important than hammering in that they're Tibetan prayer flags.

Hold no punches:

Cyclone Flags
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 10,000 gp; Weight
Description
Alternating blue and white cloth squares dance along a silk rope as though always caught by a breeze. Prayers to the sky and wind are inked onto each cloth in beautiful calligraphy.

Once per day, the bearer may spend a standard action to recite one of the prayers and transform into a whirlwind of cloth and air. This grants the whirlwind universal monster ability for 1 minute or until dismissed (10-30 ft. high, 1d6 + Strength modifier damage, DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Strength modifier).

While holding one end of the string or in whirlwind form, strong wind (21+ mph) causes the bearer to be blown away, except she chooses the direction she moves and is neither damaged nor knocked prone. Any creatures trapped in the whirlwind take an additional 2d6 nonlethal damage from the buffeting winds.

A worshipper of the Air or Weather domain may use the cyclone flags as a holy symbol.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, control winds; Cost 5,000 gp

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Paladingeist wrote:

Hello everybody,

I am wondering, if anybody even has seen my Item. And of corse I'm also interested on your opinions.

I have updated the formatting but not the wording. Since I have made this account to enter the competition, I haven't seen the helpful post in the messageboard before entering. *sigh*

Wizard hat

Aura: moderate conjuration and transmutation
CL: 11th
Slot: head
Price: 7,250 gp (1st), 13,000 gp (2nd), 22,000 gp (3th), 38,000 gp (4th), 63,000 gp (5th).
Weight: 1lb.

Description: A pointy wizard hat which is a potent aid to all arcane spell caster.
The hat enables an arcane spellcaster to prepare one additional spell of level 0 and one additional spell for every spell level up to the hat limit. Different hats exist for the upper spell level limit from 1st through 5th. For example a Wizard hat (3th) gives an additional spell slot for the spell levels 0, 1st, 2nd and 3th.
In addition the hat can store items like a bag of Holding type II.

Construction:
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Items, secret chest, creator must be able to cast spells of the spell level one level higher as the highest spell level to which this hat gives a bonus slot.
Cost: 3,625 gp (1st), 6,500 gp (2nd), 11,000 gp (3th), 19,000 gp (4th), 31,500 gp (5th).

Thanks for entering all the same (said someone who doesn't work for Paizo). I did see your item while voting.

Now, this item. I'll admit I didn't really look at the pricing of it because it's a little too simple to be Superstar material. This is akin to a ring of wizardry combined with a bag of holding. It's not a bad item honestly, and itmight be an interesting choice whether a Wizard buys this item or a headband of intelligence, but it just doens't have the umph for the contest. I voted for it a few times over the much more obvious spell/feat/ability in a can items, but in the end it was average.

Reach beyond pure numerical boosts, and definitely keep trying next year!

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 7

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thomax wrote:
Torc of Ample Remedy

When I originally read the item during voting, I passed on it a lot because I didn't like the potential for abuse. I'm taking a look at this now and making an effort to make a better case for that.

Looking at the example given again, Remove Paralysis, Remove Disease, and Remove Poison are all decent spells for a low level cure spell to be swapped out for. It reduces the GM's bag of tricks for trying to catch the PCs off gaurd though, since usually part of a monster's challenge can be the unexpected poison, or another special ability. In the end though, I guess that's not that bad of an idea.

When getting into higher levels or things beyond status ailments this might run into unexpected things. This turns a Cure Moderate into a Lesser Restoration to heal Strength damage. This turns a level 6 Mass Cure Moderate into a Heal spell, restoring at a minimum 110 HP instead of 2d8+11 AND healing many conditions and ability damage. If either of these parties have more than one of the torcs, this is now a Mass Heal or a Mass Lesser Restoration. How does the spell affect spells with an expensive material component? Does a Cure Critical Wounds become a Restoration without a diamond? Greter Restoration from a level 7 cure spell?

I think you have a good concept here for the low level spells that just remove bad status ailments like poison or paralysis. Just keep an eye out for the higher level tricks, or at least mention that expensive material components must somehow be provided. Also keep in mind that an item like this suffers from the same problem 3.5 Polymorph did - the more books that get published, the more power this item gains from new healing spells getting published.

This item didn't stink, it just needs to be thought out more. I like what you said in your comment about the 24 hour limit meaning it's not a "give me your ring for a second" item, I didn't even think of that. Enter again next year!

Sovereign Court

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Aaron Miller 335 wrote:
James Domachowski wrote:

TORC OF TERRAN TRANSFORMATION

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 11th
Slot neck; Price 23,760 gp; Weight 1 lb.
DESCRIPTION
An intricately crafted copper necklace of two dragons weaving around each other, holding brilliant, green emeralds in their open maws.
By speaking the command word as a free action, the wearer establishes a magical connection to the Elemental Plane of Earth gaining the Elemental and Earth subtypes. This grants her immunity to bleed, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning, is not subject to critical hits, flanking, or additional damage from precision-based attacks, such as sneak attack, and she does not need to breathe. In addition, the torc grants her a burrow speed equal to her land speed, the ability to earth glide, darkvision 60 feet, tremorsense 60 feet, a +2 size bonus to your Strength, and a +4 natural armor bonus. This connection last up to 11 minutes each day, but the duration need not be consecutive but can be taken in a minimum of 1 minute intervals.
CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, elemental body III; Cost 11,880 gp
.

Neat, but one question. If you dont change size, how can you possibly gain a size bonus?

I was using the bonus type that was already being used by the "elemental body " spell.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Phloid

Scorba wrote:
Fierani Fletching Hoop

The name is not terrible, but doesn't really give me an idea of what it does. When I first read it, my initial assumption what that it was a tool for fletching arrows and I wondered how one might use a hoop for that job. I don’t know much about the Golarion campaign setting but reaching the World Guide pdf Paizo gifted me for making the top 32 last year I see that Fierani is a large forest in the kingdom of the elves. This might be ok, but there may be one issue with it that you should be aware of. Although it is good if you can tie your item into the campaign setting, you don’t want to tie it too tightly to one location within the setting. Do elves in the Mwangi Expanse, Steaming Sea, or Varisia have these items too? The easiest thing to link your item to is a deity that is worshiped throughout the Inner Sea, but there are other ways to tie it in. This isn’t an auto reject or anything, just something to be aware of.

Though one of the other critiquers mentioned that you may have fixed some template issues from the version in the voting pool, there are still a couple here and I will go over them before I address theme and mechanics. They are a pain in the asp, but it would be best to learn them.

First, your Aura should be “moderate conjuration and transmutation.” Alphabetize and use “and.” In the next line, “Slot” comes first and “Weight” comes last. Maybe these got mixed up some how? You do have the slotless designation as none, which many miss because it has changed through Pathfinder’s life, so good job there. And you have the em dash for no weight, which is right. That seems to be all the formatting issues I see.

Your description here certainly leaves something to be desired. It is not very elaborate or evocative. It’s just a brass loop. Spice it up some. But not too much. Some over do this, but definitely give it some more character than this. One sentence, maybe two is all you need. Don't give it backstory, but describe it. Maybe it’s braided from the golden hair of an elven maiden and dyed goose feathers. Maybe the brass is engraved with elven runes describing how to make arrows. Maybe it has filigree! Something.

As others have pointed out, this first ability is weak. Especially at CL 8. You could have made this use be nearly unlimited and not have totally broken it. Mundane arrows are cheap and many archers carry plenty, or don’t even bother to track them. The concept here is kind of cool. Pulling sticks through a magic loop and pulling out arrows is neat, but not really game worthy. I could see this being in a novel or maybe a movie, but as a game mechanic it is just not there.

Also this makes me wonder why you made a brass loop and not a quiver. Granted, quivers that make arrows have been done to death, but I come to the thought that it should just have been the obvious item that you draw arrows out of. Making it a loop kind of makes it seem that you might have thought quivers have been done to death, so I’ll make it a loop instead. It is just kind of a strange item choice when a quiver seems the logical item for this effect.

This second ability is where the real power is. I like it ok, though it doesn’t have that superstar uniqueness to it. It is lacking that “new and interesting” feel to it. Giving arrows an existing weapon ability is not something that I read and think to myself “wow, I would not have thought of that.” That is something that I look for in a superstar item. It would have been stronger perhaps if you tied it into the mechanics of the ranger’s favored enemy class feature or the inquisitor’s abilities. Of course it is a risk to tie your item too tightly to one or two classes and possibly lose votes for people who don’t like those classes. My point it, it needs something more mechanically to stand out. Be original and think outside the box.

You don’t address what kind of action it takes to “draw and arrow through the hoop.” It might be that the hoop is positioned above the quiver so that every arrow you remove from the quiver goes through the hoop, but this is unclear. In a magic item, if you don’t specify the action needed to activate the ability the default assumption is that it takes a standard action. I don’t think you wanted drawing an arrow (which is usually not an action and part of the attack) to cost a standard action. It is always best to specify whether an ability is a standard, move, swift, immediate, or free action. Or not an action at all. I would have either said “as a free action,” or “as part of making an attack with a bow, the user may draw their arrow through the hoop…”

You did make sure that the hoop could not be turned into a magic arrow factory, so that is good, though this sentence is not quite right. It is clear enough, but you would be best served by finding some existing text in the PSRD that says something similar and copy it fairly closely.

The spell requirements are about right, though using fabricate makes the CL higher than it really should be. CL 8 for such a low cost, low power item seems off. Sometimes you have to balance this. I do think summon monster is a weird requirement for the bane ability. That’s not your fault. I would have used that from the bane ability as well. The price isn’t totally out of whack for what it does either so good job there.

Overall, it is not a terrible item, but somewhat underwhelming, both mechanically, and thematically. As someone else pointed out, it might make do in a book of magic items, but it is not something that would likely be selected as superstar. If I can give you some advice for next year, I would say to come up with something cinematic and mechanically unique. If you use existing abilities or spells, make sure you use them in new and interesting ways. I always find it helpful to flip through the books and look for things that jump out at me that I can spin into new item ideas. Learn everything you can from these forums and good luck next year.

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Awesome notes ... I am working through the problems.

Your time is much appreciated.

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Cyclone Flags:
Very imaginative imagery and interesting concept for a unique defensive device. I voted for this a number of times. However there is some need for clarity: does the whirlwind provide the strong wind necessary to allow movement? Also looking up a universal monster ability for a magic item is a method of slowing down game play.

Dedicated Voter Season 7

Well, I put this off long enough. Here comes my entry!

Gem of Starry Fangs
Aura strong conjuration; CL 13th
Slot —; Price 56,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
A gem of starry fangs is the size of a fist, and cut to resemble a lipless mouth of teeth. Once per day, as a standard action, a character can throw the gem at any square of surface area within 60 ft, summoning a bottomless maw of fangs in the space.

The maw takes one standard action each round at the end of its summoners' turn, at her discretion. The maw can attack with either its bite (Reach 0 ft., +20 Atk, 2d6+10 damage plus grab [Medium size]) or tongue (Reach 20 ft., +20 Atk, 1d8+5 damage plus grab [Large size]). The maw can use the drag combat maneuver (CMB +28; CMD 34) to pull grappled creatures into its square. Creatures pulled into the maw's square by its tongue are automatically grabbed by its bite attack. While the maw is grabbing with its bite, it cannot use its tongue.

The maw can swallow any creature grabbed by its bite. This functions as the swallow whole special attack (6d6 damage), except that the creature cannot escape by normal means. Once the maw swallows a creature of Small or Medium size, it reverts to a gem. If destroyed, the gem ejects swallowed contents into its current square. Otherwise, swallowed creatures are consumed within 6 rounds, as if by a bag of devouring.

The maw cannot be destroyed, but its tongue can be severed (AC 18, hp 25, DR 10/adamatine, one-quarter damage from energy damage). If the tongue is destroyed, or if the maw goes for ten minutes without devouring a living creature, then the maw reverts to a gem.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, black tentacles, planar binding; Cost 28,000 gg

My Thoughts:
Oof, did I forget to italicize the bag of devouring reference in my entry? Beyond that, while I wasn't sure about how "right" the stats were, my big concerns were twofold:

1. Helluva wordcount. Maybe there was a way I could have shortened the description further--I tend to worry about covering my bases more than keeping things short.

2. It seems cool in some ways, but in others, it's kind of bland. You could easily argue that I went and made a "monster ability in a can."

Still, I was more than a little thrilled to see it make a few "Personal Top 32" lists. And just reading all the entries during the voting phase this year irradiated me with creativity--I have a few ideas that might knock it out of the park next January, if I can get them to work!

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Gem of Starry Fangs:
The imagery was very strong and evocative. I have two problems with this item: first, it creates a vicious monster that is unkillable and reusable—a powerful effect regardless of cost. Second, a gemstone doesn’t really match the effect generated. A bag of devouring is an item that you place objects in while a gemstone is a solid object: there isn't an actual hole that becomes the maw.

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

richard develyn wrote:

A very kind person sent me a copy - thought I'd lost it forever!

Bucket Hat

I saw your item a few times during the voting, honestly I don't recall giving it my vote. I sort of felt it was a bit campy...boarding on a joke item. The fact is is for characters with phobia's of witches turned me off in the opening description. I also couldn't see how it fits comfortable under armor and still function. Overall I just was not impressed by the name or the item.

That said I see that you were looking to address a particular situation dealing with sleep spells and witches. I think the idea is cool and with some work a nifty item that deals with that could be crafted.

Thanks for sharing it with us, Richard.


Feros wrote:
Cyclone Flags

Thank you for the review. Perhaps I should have spelled out my own whirlwind ability or summarized the universal monster ability. It seemed strange to reinvent the wheel, but most of the voters probably had no idea this gave a fly speed and creates clouds of debris (e.g.).

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 am regretfully not going to be able to get through reviewing every one for a while. PM me if you'd like a review from me.

Real life is CRAZY for the foreseeable future.

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

theheadkase wrote:

I am regretfully not going to be able to get through reviewing every one for a while. PM me if you'd like a review from me.

Real life is CRAZY for the foreseeable future.

(these threads will be here until next year :)


MrCab wrote:
thomax wrote:
Torc of Ample Remedy
When I originally read the item during voting, I passed on it a lot because I didn't like the potential for abuse. I'm taking a look at this now and making an effort to make a better case for that.

Effort much appreciated!

MrCab wrote:

I think you have a good concept here for the low level spells that just remove bad status ailments like poison or paralysis. Just keep an eye out for the higher level tricks, or at least mention that expensive material components must somehow be provided. Also keep in mind that an item like this suffers from the same problem 3.5 Polymorph did - the more books that get published, the more power this item gains from new healing spells getting published.

This item didn't stink, it just needs to be thought out more. I like what you said in your comment about the 24 hour limit meaning it's not a "give me your ring for a second" item, I didn't even think of that. Enter again next year!

Thanks a lot for the wise feedback! Yeah, I see there may indeed be loopholes here with regards to bypassing expenditure of pricey components. I hadn't thought of this, very good point.

I'll certainly enter again next year. Thanks for the encouragement!

Scarab Sages Dedicated Voter Season 7

Feros wrote:
Spellsnaring Canvas

Thanks for the critique Feros. Your opinion appears to be the prevailing attitude about my item.


Marco Polaris wrote:
Gem of Starry Fangs

My thoughts:
Right of the bat: I really like this item. There are several issues, but I smile when I imagine a combat where this item is seeing action. Win!

A couple of issues:

It's not entirely clear to me if the summoner must wait for ten minutes (or chop off the tongue) in order to deactivate the item.

Who gets to decide which targets the maw will go for?

The maw cant be destroyed, but can the gem be broken in order to free a not-yet-devoured prisoner?

How much space (area) does the deployed maw take up?

The name does not do the item 100% justice, it deserves something that makes you go "riiiight, this item I want..". Also, not sure if it should be a gem? Maybe the flesh-to-stoned head of a lamprey?

Maw-maw! Named after the sound of someone being swallowed :)

Anyway, thanks for submitting this, I really dig the idea! Polish it use it. I probably will!

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

Eric Hindley wrote:

Ok, I am game, what killed me:

Green Thumb

I saw this a few times in the contest and I did vote for it sometimes, because i liked the creativity and concept behind it. That said I felt reading it that this was a rough draft of a great item. There were just some things that didn't fit well for me. The ability to throw it 100 feet, that it affected foes and allies differently and in unconnected ways, and the user can disarm or steel but the item is not in their control. (It was thrown away to operate and anyone can pick it up to stop it from working.) I think the spark of something awesome is here, loved the opening description but felt that you could have tightened up the effects to make it a WOW me kind of Item.

Thanks for sharing it with us Eric, we know that you have design chops and this one was just a miss. Good Luck next year.


Drejk wrote:
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Aaron Miller 335 wrote:
James Domachowski wrote:

TORC OF TERRAN TRANSFORMATION

(...)
.
Neat, but one question. If you dont change size, how can you possibly gain a size bonus?
Polymorphy effects grant size bonuses in general, even if they do not change subject's size (i.e. when subject turns into creature of the same size as himself).

Given this, "A size bonus or penalty is derived from a creature's size category."

I am pretty sure that a spell mentions them as a reminder of their effects rather then absolute bonus, particularly since size bonuses don't stack anyway. Generally the rules assume a medium sized character as target of the effect, and that the maximum effect is used (odd given the small sized core races, but there none-the-less).

The spell used as reference in this item would normally change the target into a large character, thus the size bonus, however, the item doesn't change the wearer's size, thus a size bonus shouldn't apply.

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