Ice Fang


Open Call: Design a magic armor, weapon, ring, rod, or staff

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Rusty Ironpants

Ice Fang
Aura Moderate Evocation; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 45,510 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
This +2 frost short sword has a blade made of sparkling blue ice. Anyone wielding an ice fang is protected from cold weather as if they were affected by endure elements. As a swift action the wielder may cause the blade to either grow to the size of a longsword or melt away to the size of a dagger. The blade may also be returned to a short sword as a swift action or will automatically return to its original size if left unattended for more than 1 round. An ice fang always functions exactly like a dagger, short sword or longsword depending on the current size of its blade.

Once per day, on a critical hit, the wielder may choose to have the blade of an ice fang shatter and send razor sharp shards of ice flying in a 15 foot cone, which must include the target of the original attack. Roll the damage for the critical hit normally and apply to the original target. All other creatures in the cone take cold and piercing damage equal to the amount of the critical hit. A reflex save DC 16 reduces the damage by half. After using this ability the wielder must spend a swift action to reform the blade of the ice fang, at any size, before it can be used to attack.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, endure elements, ice storm, shrink item; Cost 22,910 gp

Paizo Employee Designer , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Some formatting issues. Changing between the three sizes is unlikely to matter too much and is kind of just a weaker transformative ability, and the shatter effect isn't too original, so it doesn't seem much at first glance, but on a deeper look, there's more to this item. Unlike many weapons that seemed to just be a +1 vehicle for the chosen power du jour, this one starts with a real solid foundation that uses up just the right amount of its total price while also getting us started on the cold theme. Then, while it's true that's it's no transformative, the resizing powers just combine really well with the shatter ability in this weapon. It isn't just a weapon with ice powers; the weapon is ice, and the ice can sculpt and shatter and regrow. So while the powers themselves didn't catch me, as in gestalt, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Weak Keep.

Webstore Gninja Minion , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Hi there! I'll be one of the judges for this round, and I'll be looking at a couple of key points for your item: flavor, usability, and how the item is presented. For some background, I helped found the Wayfinder fanzine before I started working for Paizo, and I oversee every third-party Pathfinder Roleplaying Game product that makes its way onto Paizo.com.
Flavor
I didn't think that I would like this item at first—another shattering blade? The name isn't particularly compelling.
Usability
Being able to change the style of blade used is great for PCs or NPCs.
Presentation
Formatted fairly well, though saving throws need to be capitalized. Being able to change the kind of blade as a swift action seems awfully fast—a move action might be better, even a full round for the second ability.
Final Thoughts
The name needs to be stronger, and the time required for changing the blade is too fast—but these do not detract from the concept. I do recommend this item for advancement.

Paizo Employee Designer , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Kept.

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

My approach to judging these items is "How would I approach this as a developer?" If I would be pleased by the turnover and not see any reason to give negative feedback to the writer, that's great! If I'd keep it but it would take a lot of work or I'd want to let the writer know what needed improvement, that's fine but not perfect. If I'd scrap the item because it would be faster to write new material myself, that's bad.

There's nothing wrong with calling a weapon ice fang, but it feels done-to-death. I assumed I'd get another cold-themed dagger, maybe with a wolf element.
This is actually better, because it plays with its icy nature. Both the very thematic way it broadens its appeal (being able to acts as any of three popular weapons), and has a surprise power that sticks tightly to its theme and visuals, elevates it. Keep.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Rats are dancing the conga all over Golarion for you. Good job.

I noticed the <i>transformative</i> parallel, but the weapon actually changes from one handed to light in the process - something a <i>transformative</i> weapon can't do. A reasonable break in the rules is something that really needs to exist to catch my imagination without changing or breaking the game.

This is the strongest part of the weapon's design. Weaker is the shatter effect.

More thematic would be a blade that breaks off in the victim on a critical hit. This would be similar to a wounding weapon, save that the damage would be cold and extracting the ice blade would be harder than a DC 15! (and healing shouldn't automatically melt it - though there should be some reasonable and intuitive way to halt the cold damage)

The cold damage would be equal to the frost ability and would limit the weapon for as long as the blade persists in a victim.

Best idea I thought of while considering this? If you have one existing blade-shard in an enemy, max size of the blade is short sword. If you have two existing blade-shards in enemies, max blade size is dagger. 3? You have no blade until one of the enemies ends the cold damage - but how the heck did you get 3 crits in one combat anyway???

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Rusty Ironpants

Oh boy! Time to start drawing some maps.

Thank you for the feedback! Including, in advance, anyone else who posts in this thread.


I like it, but the name is a weak point. I think something icicle-related would be better for a name, as it isn't really a "fang" in any recognizable way. Like that it has a novel appearance. I remember voting this up a couple of times. Good job, and congratulations!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

Congrats, Russ. This is a nice blade. I got the transforming ability, but it didn't wow me, but I liked the shattering aspect. It felt very apropos to the ice aspect and the solid theme really carried the whole, making it more than the sum of its parts.

Star Voter Season 8

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Congrats, I liked this one. I saw it twice in the polls. Only thing I would change is the differing sizes. Make it a short sword and leave it at that. I have seen shattering items in the past but it goes good with the theme. Good luck in the next round.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations! I upvoted this one whenever I saw it, as I recall. I really liked the visuals and the creative approach you took to an otherwise cliched trope (ice weapon). In fact, both of the ice themed weapons I saw this year I felt took a much more creative and unique approach to their trope than did the similarly-themed fire weapons, which is a credit to you as a designer (and doubtless why we see two of them in the finals, and no fire ones).

Good job!

Star Voter Season 8

Nice. Normally I don't like items or weapons with a weak save throw effect however the fact that the damage is going to 'scale' with your overall damage on a critical hit is nice.

Imagery is well done and so on, the part that convinces me is how you handled the cone effect.

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

This is ok, and tightly themed.

I would continue the descriptive element rather than just

Ice Fang wrote:
The blade may also be returned to a short sword as a swift action or will automatically return to its original size if left unattended for more than 1 round

After the melting down to a dagger schtick this feels a little ….mechanical.

I also would rather the shatter ability didn't trigger on a critical - the changing size of the weapon will affect that and also I'd rather to have a little more player agency - the choice to shatter the weapon when particularly needed. And a swift action to return it to usability feels a little too easy.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka dien

I'm sort of curious what happens if you use this item to attack a creature with the fire subtype. If they're vulnerable to cold, that seems awesome for you, but at the same time, the pedant in me wants something bad and melty to happen with the weapon.

Beyond that, I have no particular criticisms or commentary. It's an evocative image; I agree the name is a little, IDK, not misleading exactly, but.... I might have just gone with 'icicle' or something.

The DC 15 Reflex save for foes you're likely to be running into at this level of usage seems.... trivial (though I guess there's big-sized foes who would be the exception to that), but, on the other hand, that's just part and parcel of magic items having what is very often low saves for how much they tend to cost, and that's hardly your fault.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

I dislike the name and regrowing the blade after it shatters should be at least a move action. I actually like the shatter occurs on a critical. It prevents people from just using the weapon to shatter, then switching to a different weapon. Overall this In my top half of the 32 items.

Dedicated Voter Season 8

Another writer who proves they can tow the line and mirror what has been published for years.
This is a cleanly written and safe item that has a "copy/paste" feel to it.

The shape change ability seems all flavour with little function. As a PC I could lose or sell this item and not care.
You do know how to structure. This item has potential to be really cool if it was better written. Lose the whole first paragraph and give it some sexy flavour to make this item stand out.
You got a hot item here and your not using it.
"Nobody puts Baby in the corner"!

Boring keep

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Rusty Ironpants

Thanks again for the feedback everyone.

I agree that the name is a weak point and doesn't really describe what the sword does. The other name I considered before submiting the item was "Living Icicle", but I rejected it because I thought it was too silly. Would that have been a better or worse name?

Dedicated Voter Season 8

Winter Blade, Frost Bite, Ice Storm, Boreal Blaster.... ok that last one maybe not. But my point is, look at a Thesauruses.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Congrats Russ!

I voted for this item quite a bit, I wasnt too excited by the transforming, but I did like the shatter cone on a critical.
I am no expert on pricing but I think it's too expensive, or maybe allow the shatter effect to occur more than 1xday?

Good luck in the following rounds

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

The ice fang was on my keeper list!

The intro sentence is...serviceable. Not WOW but solid.

I like the protection from cold as that is thematic.

I love the growing and melting to different sizes aspect. Although being me, I would question what would happen if I went to size between dagger, short sword, and long sword.

I'm not so much in love with the "returned to the hilt" thing. I just found this a weird and disconnected ability.

The critical hit and shatter cone is fun and cinematic and only happens once in a while (unless players REALLY build to be critical hit specialists).

Overall, I liked this item a lot aside from the things listed above, all of which are easily editable. Can't wait to see your R2.

Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Congratulations on making the Top 32! Well done!

This was one of my "Alternates" and was very close to being on my personal Top 32 list. Thematically solid, cool visuals, and straight forward design! Really the only problem I have is that it is yet another "ice knife"; these have become as common as dirt. But the approach here was very compelling and well thought out. Kudos!

Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Thematically, I can see this weapon really defining a character. I like the simplicity of the name too: personally, I don't see anything wrong with that.

Marathon Voter Season 8

Congratulations on making it to the Top 32!

I was pleasantly surprised to see this advance. It immediately made it to my keep list the first time I saw it, just because I really like the ability to turn it into three separate swords. That's amazing utility without being too powerful.

The shattering ability on the other hand feels a touch lackluster. I always appreciate a good area of effect ability, but I wish you gave it a bit more character. Perhaps something depending on the form of the weapon at the time of critical.

Nevertheless, an excellent item and one of my favourite weapons. The best of luck for the upcoming rounds!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Rusty Ironpants

Thanks to everyone for the kind words and especially for the feedback on my item.

My map entry for round 2 has been submitted and it's now time to start thinking about monsters, just in case.

Dedicated Voter Season 8

Congratulations on making the top 32.

I'm not as such opposed to the name, though it seems strange to call something a fang and then do a resizing shatter-y thing.

Most of this item seems solid and interesting though... I'm not really seeing the impressive.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 8

Congratulations, Russ! Really liked the visuals of your item shattering on a crit-hit, plus (like I told Matt Roth) I have a soft spot for cold-themed items. Looking forward to your later entries!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Amanuensis

Congratulations, Russ!

Those are some really cool visuals. I like the shatter ability, which plays with the concept of the fragile weapon quality without referring to it directly.

Good luck in the next round!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Morphemic

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really like the way this weapon explores the logical consequences of its material composition. Ice is quite pliable, and it makes sense that it can reshape itself, shatter, and reform. It also feels like a weapon that players might actually want to keep, rather than sell, if it were included in treasure because it is both powerful and versatile. I would have liked to see more innovative mechanics to make this truly superstar, but it is very good in its current form.

Congratulations!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

Congrats on making the top 32. Overall, I thought your item was solid and well written, and certainly good enough to be in a published product. While I liked that turning from dagger to short sword to longsword reminded me of the old 1st/2nd edition horn blades, I'm not sure any particular user would ever use it more than once to make it the type of their preferred blade, and just leave it in that size. If you had designed it to change into weapons with different abilities, such as a javelin, spear and longspear, giving better range, or different reaches, that would be more likely to be a power a user actually used.

While I did think it was a well written item and everything fit thematically, I didn't feel it was superstar. It felt very similar to specific weapons in the game already - while it worked, it didn't really bring anything new to the table. To be fair, I don't think any of the weapons I saw this year while voting did a great job with it.

Marathon Voter Season 8

Disclaimer:
So, I am making a point to comment on every item in the competition now, and I it is no longer kosher to start a thread just for your own comments. So, here we are.

Why am I critiquing every item? Well, frankly, I love this sort of thing. I sincerely enjoy editing and the art of the critique. I have long considered starting a blog to that end, and maybe this will be the kickstart I need. Speaking of which, if you want to hire an editor, I'd be happy to help ;)

Regardless, the point of my criticism is always to help. Nothing is perfect, so everything can potentially be made better. My comments will often be less than flattering, but they will never come from a place of malice. The point here is to make your item better, not to make you feel bad.

So, what am I looking for, here, when I judge these items? My primary focus is on rules knowledge, clarity/simplicity, and usability. You can come up with the most creative item on the planet, but if nobody is going to actually use it in a real game, who cares? And it doesn't matter if nobody uses it because it's obviously too strong, too weak for its price, too confusing/complicated to actually adjudicate at the table, or just too niche to have an actual target audience.

Now, let's get to the critique!

As always, congratulations on making the top 32. No matter what I thought of your item, you won, and you should feel awesome!

Ice Fang
There is very little benefit to switching between a dagger, a short sword, and a longsword. It pretty much only allows for a wider audience. I'm not saying this is a bad thing--just that it's a thing at all. That said, a +2 Frost Transformative weapon costs something in the 28k range and can become ANY weapon. This weapon costs 45k, so, the extra 17k worth of powers should be super awesome, right?

Oh, I guess not. All you get is a once per day 15' cone of damage that triggers on a crit. Whoopee. If I crit, and if there are actually some enemies standing directly behind the guy I crit (since the 15' cone can't hit more than one adjacent guy), and they're all small enough to fit in the cone....don't get me wrong, the effect is neat and interesting, but it is nowhere near useful enough for the cost. If my party found this item, we would sell it in a second! That's so much money for just about nothing, effect-wise.

Overally, pretty "eh" for me. Great concept, but it's way too limited and way too expensive.

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

Russ Brown wrote:
Ice Fang

Congratulations Russ!

This is on my keeper list, and got upvoted almost all the time from me. I am not a fan of the "I hit, so I get to hit you better' items and this falls into the category. I especially did not like the critical hit equals damage to all those around you. How does hitting my spleen or finding the chink in my armor translate to an ice shard impaling my ally? (Critical (to me) means hitting a vulnerable or weak spot making the attack more successful).

That said the imagery on this goes very far and is really good. The sword is made of ice so melting and growing are great images. So is the shattering image and having regrow after makes sense.

EDIT: after reading other's comments (I like to make mine before reading others) I see the growing and the cone catches people differently. I will simply add that the imagery in both cases is a strong point of your writing and hope you can use that to your advantage.

Good luck!


Russ Brown wrote:

Ice Fang

Aura Moderate Evocation; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 45,510 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
This +2 frost short sword has a blade made of sparkling blue ice. Anyone wielding an ice fang is protected from cold weather as if they were affected by endure elements. As a swift action the wielder may cause the blade to either grow to the size of a longsword or melt away to the size of a dagger. The blade may also be returned to a short sword as a swift action or will automatically return to its original size if left unattended for more than 1 round. An ice fang always functions exactly like a dagger, short sword or longsword depending on the current size of its blade.

Once per day, on a critical hit, the wielder may choose to have the blade of an ice fang shatter and send razor sharp shards of ice flying in a 15 foot cone, which must include the target of the original attack. Roll the damage for the critical hit normally and apply to the original target. All other creatures in the cone take cold and piercing damage equal to the amount of the critical hit. A reflex save DC 16 reduces the damage by half. After using this ability the wielder must spend a swift action to reform the blade of the ice fang, at any size, before it can be used to attack.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, endure elements, ice storm, shrink item; Cost 22,910 gp

Disclaimer:

This post constitutes the views of a CE inclined Very Advanced succubus. For those uncertain what that should imply, congratulations, you're at least thinking along the right track, but probably not worried enough. No: almost certainly, not nearly worried enough. Unless you happen to be that glovier from Magnimar that I had for tea last weekend, in which case it's a bit too late now anyway, but my apologies to your next-of-kin for the scorch marks on your hall carpet (but I *DID* put the tablecloth in to soak in good time, so the wine stains *should* come out).

Is the Item Decorative?
'Sparkling blue ice' qualifies as mildly decorative.
Decorative score? 2 out of 7.

Does the Item have Any Obvious non-Decorative Use Around the Home?
It doesn't. Well not except for possibly the event of a younger person present employing one to make rather crude jokes during conversation at a dinner party, once an evening gets to that stage and a hostess is busy making mental notes who not to invite back for the next couple of decades if said female handles intoxication like this - but that's sufficiently embarrassing that I'm categorising it as a 'non-Obvious' use.
non-Decorative Domestic Use score? 0 out of 7.

Does the Item seem Likely to be Helpful in the Fantasy Setting of an Imaginary World where 'Operation Sealion' is taking Place?
So the (for simplicity's sake) Nasties are lining up with all their little boats to launch an invasion-attempt across a strait upon a nation of perfectly (socially) harmless tea-drinkers. And then there's this item.
So what impact is this item likely to have on proceedings?
Well it's a sword, which isn't much use during naval battles or aerial combats of a 'Sealion' variety, and to be frank, if the fighting gets to the beaches, the soldiers fighting in the imaginary world of an 'Operation Sealion' probably already have much more effective options open for hand-to-hand combat or near-area 'blasts' shooting out from their person.
'Sealion' score? 1 out of 7.

Total: 3 out of 21.

Further Disclaimer:
Sighting of a post by 'Ask A RPGSupersuccubus' is by no means a guarantee that any further posts will be forthcoming anywhere, in this contest. Voters should obviously vote for whomever (if anyone) they feel like voting for.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Rusty Ironpants

So I wanted to post an updated version of my item taking into account the feedback from both the judges and other forum members. Thanks again to anyone who took the time to post a comment.

First off, here is the pricing breakdown I used for the item. This seems reasonable to me so I did not change the price.

Pricing Info:

310 : masterwork short sword
3 x 3 x 2,000 = +18,000 : +2 frost (+3 equivalent)
1 x 1 x 2,000 x 0.5 = +1,000 : endure elements
3 x 5 x 2,000 x 0.5 = +15,000 : shrink item
4 x 7 x 2,000 x.02 = +11,200 : ice storm
Price: 45,510 Cost: 22,910

Okay now for the changes:
- The name most everyone agrees that the name could be better. I changed the name from ice fang to winter's edge. I think this is a better name.
- I changed up some of the wording regarding the size change ability.
- disconnected the shatter effect from a critical hit. Instead it is just once a day now.
-Changed the action to regrow the ice blade after the shatter effect to a move action. Also changed the wording to clarify that a new blade of ice grows from the hilt rather than having the pieces "fly back together" as some commenters interpreted the ability.
- added the ability to regrow the blade unharmed if the blade gains hp damage or gains the broken condition. I wanted to add this ability about 5 minutes after I submitted the original item.

Winter's Edge:

Winter’s Edge
Aura moderate evocation; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 45,510 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
This +2 frost short sword has a blade made of sparkling blue ice. Anyone wielding a winter’s edge is protected from cold weather as if they were affected by endure elements. As a swift action the wielder may cause the icy blade to either grow to the size of a longsword or melt away to the size of a dagger. The blade may also be returned to a short sword as a swift action and will revert to a short sword if left unattended for more than 1 round. A winter’s edge always functions exactly like a dagger, short sword or longsword depending on the current size of its blade.

Once per day, the wielder may choose to have the blade of a winter’s edge shatter and send razor sharp shards of ice flying in a 15 foot cone, which must include the target of the original attack. Roll the damage for the attack normally, including critcal damage if the attack was a critical hit, and apply to the original target. All other creatures in the cone take cold and piercing damage equal to the amount of the attack. A Reflex save DC 16 reduces the damage by half. After using this ability the wielder must spend a move action to regrow the blade of the winter’s edge, at any size, before it can be used to attack.

If a winter’s edge takes damage or gains the broken condition, the wielder may spend a move action to regrow the icy blade. This removes all damage and the broken condition.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, endure elements, ice storm, shrink item; Cost 22,910 gp

Star Voter Season 8

Russ Brown wrote:


310 : masterwork short sword
3 x 3 x 2,000 = +18,000 : +2 frost (+3 equivalent)
1 x 1 x 2,000 x 0.5 = +1,000 : endure elements
3 x 5 x 2,000 x 0.5 = +15,000 : shrink item
4 x 7 x 2,000 x.02 = +11,200 : ice storm
Price: 45,510 Cost: 22,910

Given the shrink item effect is essentially only there to produce a limited form of the transformative ability, which itself is only priced at 10,000gp. So 15,000gp seems seriously overpriced for what it does.

Personally I'd suggest basing the pricing off transformative with an adhoc 25% discount for the restricted use, amounting to +7,500gp price (3,750gp cost) as being a little more in line with the ability and giving the wielder a bit more bang for their buck :)

But that's just my 2c, really

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

Congratulations for having made it to Top 32 AND Top 16!

Sorry I'm late to the party, I hadn't realized how big a task commenting on everyone else's items was going to be in the Official Critique Thread!

Seeing as how many other people have commented above me, and you've moved well on from this point... I'm going to keep my comments brief. To understand my rating system, see my larger post on my critique thread.

As an overall comment, each and every one of you that made it to the Top 32 must have had a "Publishable" item in my opinion because you appealled to not only the voters but also the judges -- so if I say "Rewrite" it's more to be "rewriteable to be SUPERSTAR!"

Publishable -- I haven't read all the judges comments, but this still comes off to me as just another "sword of <elemental type here>". It's a solid special power, and visually cool, but if I can regrow the broken blade as a mere swift action, is it really much of a penalty? I guess it's not supposed to be though right?

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