Hide of the Vibrant Frog


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

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

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Hide of the Vibrant Frog
Aura moderate necromancy and transmutation; CL 7th
Slot armor; Price 18,000 gp; Weight 25 lbs.

Description
Cut from the colorful flesh of an enormous frog, this +1 hide armor squishes thickly and tightly around the body as it is donned. Light sheens brightly off the slippery skin, revealing vivid patterns in almost any imaginable hue.

A virulent toxin oozes from the surface of the hide. Any creature that touches the wearer must succeed at a DC 16 Fortitude save or take 1d3 Wisdom damage every round for 4 rounds. A poisoned creature may attempt the save again at the beginning of each of its turns, and is cured after one successful save. Unarmed strikes and natural weapon attacks made by or against the wearer count as touching if they connect. The wearer is immune to his own armor’s poison, and may suppress or enable this ability as a standard action.

The wearer also grows a frog-like tongue which he may lash at nearby targets up to 5 times per day. The tongue acts as a whip, except that it is a natural weapon with which the wearer is proficient. The tongue’s reach equals the normal reach of the wearer times three. On a hit, the attack deals no damage, but grabs the target. The wearer does not gain the grappled condition, and he may make a free combat maneuver check to pull the target adjacent to him if it is a creature his size or smaller. While his tongue is grappling a target, the wearer cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components. The tongue recedes back into the wearer’s mouth if the attack misses or if the grapple ends.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, beast shape II, poison; Cost 9,000 gp

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

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Price/Cost don't match. The frog flavor and combination of abilities are really nice. However, the abilities seem more like they are part of a wondrous item than an armor, and indeed the armor part of the item only costs a little over 1,000 gp of the 18,000 gp price tag. The tongue part is particularly unusual given that it's a hide armor, which isn't an armor that has a head piece, so it's affecting a part of the body that isn't even related to the armor.

Having said all that, I was initially conflicted about this item, but after seeing all the other items, out of this set, this is going to be a Weak Keep from me. Good froggy flavor and combinations, plus excellent formatting and wording will win out, just barely.

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

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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
Frog! There is not enough love for frogs in the game, and I like the combination of both the poison dart frog toxic touch and the tongue attack.

Usability
A druid would be a natural choice to own this magic item, but shaman would also be fun, and I can see a lot of non-combat uses for the tongue whip.

Presentation
Uses formatting correctly, and mechanical rules are clear to understand.

Final Thoughts
I like it! I do recommend this item for advancement.

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

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Kept.

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

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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.

This is a case of an idea that is only going to appeal to a small subset of players, but it's going to appeal to them a lot. The poison ability is likely too strong, but could be toned down. The tongue thing is just funny, but again that'll appeal to some players. It also appears to allow the wearing to grapple a foe, without being grappled or using her hands, and that is hugely powerful.
That leaves me on the cusp. If this was sloppily written of full of formatting issues, I'd cut it rather than deal with it. But the text is clear and clean, so I just barely lean in to a weak keep.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

Ahhh! I can't believe this.

I'm actually sort of embarrassed about this one. Go ahead and bring on the hurt, but I want you all to know that I will stop at nothing to put the time and effort this contest deserves into future rounds.

Thank you all so much for the chance to have another go at it!

In before "Batrachian Helm". :p

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

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I can see someone in this armor as part of a frog cult along with my Yellowtongue Hulk. Goblins beware!

If the tongue was just a vehicle for the Pull Universal Monster ability to bring the victim into contact with the poison I'd be happy with it.

--Vrock Superstar

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

Actually, as a natural weapon, the tongue already administers the poison on a hit. ;)

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

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Unfortunately the armor doesn't state that. If it did why even pull the target towards you or grapple in the first place?

Usually a frog monster's tongue doesn't deliver its poison but pulls you closer to be eaten. The poison is a purely defensive adaptation. I think pulling a victim into the actual armor provides enough cinematic tension for the chance to afflict them with the toxin. It also fits with armor being a defensive (passive) item.

--Vrock Superstar

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

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Scott Fernandez wrote:

Unfortunately the armor doesn't state that. If it did why even pull the target towards you or grapple in the first place?

Usually a frog monster's tongue doesn't deliver its poison but pulls you closer to be eaten. The poison is a purely defensive adaptation. I think pulling a victim into the actual armor provides enough cinematic tension for the chance to afflict them with the toxin. It also fits with armor being a defensive (passive) item.

--Vrock Superstar

Sure it does!

Hide of the Vibrant Frog wrote:
"Unarmed strikes and natural weapon attacks made by or against the wearer count as touching if they connect."

But I like your interpretation better, so I am going to pretend that that's how I intended it all along. >_>

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

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Welcome back Chris!
I dinnae see this one in voting, but as a herper I approve of the dendrobidae references! I would like the poison to take a while to wear off, the off/on breaks with the 'toxin oozes from the surface' image for me. You hopefully one will not pass out with the toxin active. The verbal component restriction made me laugh. :)

Nice job!

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka mamaursula

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Third time's a charm? Welcome back Chris!

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

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Congrats Chris! Your item was a late addition to my keep pile. Loved the descriptive text. Not a fan of the mechanics, but still a good item.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

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I feel like there should be some way of gaining protection from the poison for 24 hrs once you have made a save against it. Otherwise I really like the flavour of this item and the abilities it has.

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

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Congrats, Chris. Nothing to be embarrassed about after all! Let's see if you can make the third time the charm!

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

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Your item was on my keeper list. The visuals and flavor of your item just struck me. It's fun, evocative, and makes me want to say "I want to buy this for my Pathfinder Society Character!"

I look forward to seeing you advance!!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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::tips hat::

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

Matthew McGee wrote:
::tips hat::

::licks face:: ;)

----

Thanks, everyone, for your words of encouragement! It looks like I'm my own harshest critic.

I agree with a lot of your points, and like other years plan on revising my item when I have time. See you all once I've gotten my map finished!

Marathon Voter Season 8

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Congratulations on making it to the Top 32!

This was on my keep list, though is it just me or is some kind of frog item a yearly thing here? If so, I need to write it down. In all seriousness though, this is a very well written item. It's mostly a MiaC, but in a good way. I also like that you focus on the aspects of a frog that don't see as much light of day, like the poison skin.

The tongue thing is also slightly problematic for aforementioned reasons. Perhaps the tongue could have been incorporated into the armor in a way that it would have originated from a body part that was covered by the armor? Though now I'm thinking about Spider-Man, so perhaps not.

Overall a good item. Evocative writing, excellent armor-like main ability and a secondary ability that supports the first, though could have been a touch more refined. The best of luck for the future!

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

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Congratulations, fellow Chris! This was literally the first item I saw in voting; I liked it then, and I like it now. Super flavorful and cool in a kind of off-the-beaten-path way. Nice work!

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

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Three times? You're getting good at this Chris. This was a very well done item with a fun theme, and I almost always voted for it. I do think there have been enough frog themed items in this contest before that this one isn't really breaking much new ground. I don't recall any previous items with a poisonous frog theme, but between the other frogs and all the snakes, this one just doesn't seem that original. The execution was great though.

Congratulations!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

Yeah, I agree on the lack of originality, and the questionable mechanics. Those are the real reasons for my initial embarrassment. I feel like I sort of got through on writing alone, which is weird to me.

But I'll take it!

I'm really trying to go all out this year, so I hope future rounds make up for this one.

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

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Chris, you three-peated! And this was one of my favorites this year!

I can't say much about this. Based on your tags...I EXPECT you to be at least Top 8 :)

Super cool description.

Thank you for properly using toxin and not poison.

Well done and I seriously look forward to your next round.

Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

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Congrats!

Of all the entries in the top 32, this is my top rated .. and honestly the only one I thought was top 32.

Best of luck!

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! Good work!

Well, thematically this item is tight and mechanically it supports the strong imagery very well...imagery I just didn't cotton to at all. Sorry, but you are wearing the body of a giant frog. Not my cup of tea, but for each his own.


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Was *this post* really a good idea? Oh well, too late for you now. Speak of the Very Advanced succubus and she might appear...

Chris Shaeffer wrote:

Hide of the Vibrant Frog

Aura moderate necromancy and transmutation; CL 7th
Slot armor; Price 18,000 gp; Weight 25 lbs.

Description
Cut from the colorful flesh of an enormous frog, this +1 hide armor squishes thickly and tightly around the body as it is donned. Light sheens brightly off the slippery skin, revealing vivid patterns in almost any imaginable hue.

A virulent toxin oozes from the surface of the hide. Any creature that touches the wearer must succeed at a DC 16 Fortitude save or take 1d3 Wisdom damage every round for 4 rounds. A poisoned creature may attempt the save again at the beginning of each of its turns, and is cured after one successful save. Unarmed strikes and natural weapon attacks made by or against the wearer count as touching if they connect. The wearer is immune to his own armor’s poison, and may suppress or enable this ability as a standard action.

The wearer also grows a frog-like tongue which he may lash at nearby targets up to 5 times per day. The tongue acts as a whip, except that it is a natural weapon with which the wearer is proficient. The tongue’s reach equals the normal reach of the wearer times three. On a hit, the attack deals no damage, but grabs the target. The wearer does not gain the grappled condition, and he may make a free combat maneuver check to pull the target adjacent to him if it is a creature his size or smaller. While his tongue is grappling a target, the wearer cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components. The tongue recedes back into the wearer’s mouth if the attack misses or if the grapple ends.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, beast shape II, poison; Cost 9,000 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?
It's armour made from frogskin. A gleaming suit of full plate armour (preferably as worn by a 'knight in shining armour' paladin) is decorative (and of course highly functional). This... this is just tawdry. Depending on current trends it might be considered to be 'fashionable', but decorative it is almost certainly not.
Decorative score? 0 out of 7.

Does the Item have Any Obvious non-Decorative Use Around the Home?
Yes: playing mind-games with hezrous. (Especially useful, when strapped onto a retainer, for dealing with the ones who are door-to-door salesdemons.)
non-Decorative Domestic Use score? 4 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, flippant remarks about 'Nasty' 'frogmen' aside, not very much. If the item was actually indicated to bestow some sort of 'amphibious' capability, it might be another matter altogether, but it doesn't, so that's that.
'Sealion' score? 1 out of 7. (Purely on the basis that it permits the passing of that 'frogmen' bon mot.)

Total: 5 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.

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

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Congrats chris

I only saw this one once, and I thought it had lots of nice flavor. Good Job and good luck next round.

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, again!

I really liked the poison ability of the armor, even if it felt too strong. In particular, I liked that it comes with a built in drawback in that the wearer has to spend a standard action to drop the power, similar to spell resistance, which will make it challenging to get buffs or healing in combat. I don't know many casters who want to take Wisdom damage, even if not a Wisdom caster, since it hinders their Will save.

I wasn't as much of a fan of the tongue. I think mainly because of the Bachtrian Helm already doing that, but also because it mixes frog types. The frogs that have hallucinigenic poisons are tree frogs which are known more for climbing than for the more standard bullfrog style shooting tongue. Also, when I look at magic armor, I want something that will protect me more, not that gives extra attacks, which is in the realm of weapons or other item types. I'd have much rather seen this armor give a climb speed, which indirectly helps protect the wearer, since it puts them in positions that are harder for foes to attack.

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. What I am generally not looking at is flavor text. Descriptions of your item will only hurt if the item evokes imagery I dislike. I care about theme, of course, but a crow item with blind and pilfering hand in it is thematic enough--I don't need to read about different kinds of dark wood were used and how many crow parts are sticking out of it.

Finally, know that I did not read any critiques of your item yet. These are all my first thoughts based only on the item itself, so, I apologize if I repeat things others have said already.

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!

This was almost my favorite armor in the competition, and almost made my keeper list. I love poison dart frogs, and I really liked the idea of wearing poison dart frog hide armor. The poison effect was pretty cool (though it wasn't quite formatted correctly). If the item ended there, it'd be a sure keeper.

Then, you added the tongue ability. /sigh

So, first, it's ridiculous. I mean, it's obviously silly, right? And why would armor make you grow a tongue, anyway? I think I would have vastly preferred it if the armor itself had a frog face on the chest, for example, and shot out a separate tongue that wasn't your literal tongue.

The reach on the tongue is also a problem for me. Three times the wearer's? Huh? That's not a phrase that makes sense in Pathfinder. I also think it's excessive--that's not how whips work. The attack dealing no damage (but still needing to beat regular AC) is weird. Having it grab the target, instead of just making a normal attack (or a damageless touch attack) with the Grab special ability would have made a lot more sense. And pulling the enemy adjacent to you is an automatic part of grappling anyway. It's not just bizarre, it's also written clumsily.

This awkward tongue stuff also screws up the price, making it way too expensive for the rest of what it does. Oh, and I don't find it an especially strong power, either. You can grapple someone without being grappled back, and that's nice, but grappling is really difficult to begin with, and the best grapplers can't wear this armor (since monk types wear nothing and polymorphers need Wild armor).

If my party found this item, I am pretty sure we'd sell it unless we had a poison user (in which case, they'd put it on just to acquire free poison and then take it off again) or a natural weapon fighter (probably an alchemist or investigator). Even then, selling it would be mighty tempting, because of how expensive it is for, well, how lousy it is as actual armor. There might be a place for custom orders at higher levels for poison users who want to farm free poison, but otherwise, it's just not good enough for its price.

Overall, it was almost great, but I think the tongue stuff drops it to merely good. Still, you should be proud--obviously, the judges don't mind, or saw past it. Good luck.

Dedicated Voter Season 8

Congratulations on the third repeat of top 32. I on the... what? camp for the imagery, but it is thematically a tight item.

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 appealed to not only the voters but also the judges -- so if I say "Rewrite" it's more to be "rewriteable to be SUPERSTAR!"

Publishable -- Battletoads. That is all. ACTUALLY, I'd be curious to see this re-written as a ring like Dana Huber's Ophidian Coil.

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