Venom’s Kiss


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

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

Venom’s Kiss
Aura faint necromancy; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 24,710 gp; Weight 2 lbs.

Description
When held up to the light, this +1 short sword glistens like amber. Once per day as a standard action, the wielder may run the sword’s edge along a poison victim’s skin, drawing blood and inflicting 1 point of damage. The sword extracts poison from the subject and absorbs it, granting the benefits of the neutralize poison spell.

If the wielder uses this effect against a poisonous creature as part of a successful attack, in addition to suffering standard weapon damage, the target must make a DC 16 Fortitude save or lose the ability to inflict poison with one of its natural attacks until the end of its next turn.

Once Venom’s Kiss has absorbed poison, it exudes that same toxin along its blade. The next successful attack with the sword delivers the poison’s effects against the target, accompanied by a serpentine hiss.

Alternatively, the sword wielder may run the blade’s poisoned edge along his skin, drawing blood and inflicting 1 point of damage. Doing so grants him immunity to that toxin for the next 24 hours. During this time, the wielder’s eyes turn a deep yellow color.

The poison on the blade dissipates with the first successful use, or after 24 hours, whichever occurs first.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, neutralize poison, poison; Cost 12,510 gp

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Formatting and wording issues. First, the bad news: it's yet another +1 weapon that's just a vehicle for its special powers, which hog over 90% of the item's price. Not a good start. On the other hand, we have a synergistic and interesting set of poison powers, and two out of the four of them do involve using the dagger as a weapon, so that somewhat ameliorates that point (granted, you could still carry it around as a paperweight that neutralizes your poison and makes you immune, ignoring the other two powers, but it's cost is pretty high unless you're planning to bring the poison hurt back to your foes). I'll go with a 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
Interesting name, let's see if the abilities live up to it.
Usability
Sounds perfect for a Calistrian, or a healer that wants to keep it handy to remove poison from someone. I definitely like the "disrupt poison" ability—unexpected and very nice.
Presentation
Capitalized item names flag it as "artifact" for me. Formatting and style are good.
Final Thoughts
Tight theme that doesn't wander. I do recommend this item for advancement.

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

Kept.

Scarab Sages 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.

Weirdly, the first thing that grabs me is the description. Glows like amber? That's easy to visualize, and sounds cool. It also makes me think of bugs (trapped in amber), and a poison ability matches that expectation nicely. And I like the carrying of that theme in the eyes of the wielder when it is used that way.
I actually don't like the ability to make a target unable to use a natural poison - I don't think it's needed and I'd rather try to find a way to make this cheaper.
It's pretty close to a SiaC as-is, but distinctive and cool enough I want to Keep it.

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

Great to see another of the RPGSS class of 2012 return to glory. This item went on my keep list the first time I encountered it, and I'm pleased to see it make it to the Top 32. Well deserved.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

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

I agree that this is largely SIAC, but as with that whispers-into-snake-that-bites-to-inject-poison-causing-suggestion item that made good a few years back, it's a very attractive can.

In particular, the dagger must be used **as a dagger** in order to operate its spell effects. This, to me, is key in making it more than a **mere** SIAC, even if it's still largely one...

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, Mark, and as Jacob says, welcome back to a fellow classmate of 2012. This was a nice solid item. I like the various options for it -- giving players choices is fun, and this does that.

Good luck in Round 2!

Star Voter Season 8

Congrats, this is a nice item and I enjoyed both the visual and mechanical offerings.

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

This is tightly themed, but also feels quite situational. Doesn't feel particularly creative.

And (some as noted) - artifact reference, gender specificity, language is clumsy.

The serpentine hiss and the eyes turning yellow seem like an awkward attempt to make this item "kewl" and snake/vipery.

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

I'm chasing Ocean's comments.... :D

I'll be honest, this item was one I tended to downvote, unfortunately. Primarily because I wasn't sure if using the weapon against a naturally poisonous creature, as in paragraph 2, counted as 'absorbing' a poison for purposes of paragraph 3.

If it does: well, you have a nigh-infinite supply of whatever poison you can thus 'harvest' from, say, a poisonous familiar or animal companion or the like. Say you, or someone else in your party, has a pet wyvern. Wyvern venom costs 3,000 GP per dose, and is a reasonably beefy poison. You can get applied to your blade forever, at the cost of doing 1 HP damage. Heck, it doesn't even need to be a companion: you could fight a wyvern, knock it out, keep it chained up, and continue to bleed it for poison as needed.

This is sort of an extreme example, granted, but the idea that it would grant you quasi-free access to 'free' poison was a big element in my downvoting it.

As I said: I'm not actually sure that is what the item intends to do, though. The text doesn't say explicitly whether the hostile use of the weapon counts as absorbing, but the paragraph order and placement seem to suggest that it does. So, even if there is no freebie poison here, it's definitely an example of needing to be verbally very clear when introducing new mechanics.

Things I like: the idea that this is a weapon that can either a) help an ally, b) hurt a foe, c) help yourself. Cool versatility, really.

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

Congrats Mark!

I enjoyed this item quite a bit. I might have limited it to just inury poisons, as ingested and inhaled poisons don't make as much sense to be exuded on the blade.

It reminded me of my top-32 item from last year Choker of the Siphoning Scorpion.

Good luck in round 2!

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

dana huber wrote:

I'm chasing Ocean's comments.... :D

I'll be honest, this item was one I tended to downvote, unfortunately. Primarily because I wasn't sure if using the weapon against a naturally poisonous creature, as in paragraph 2, counted as 'absorbing' a poison for purposes of paragraph 3.

If it does: well, you have a nigh-infinite supply of whatever poison you can thus 'harvest' from, say, a poisonous familiar or animal companion or the like. Say you, or someone else in your party, has a pet wyvern. Wyvern venom costs 3,000 GP per dose, and is a reasonably beefy poison. You can get applied to your blade forever, at the cost of doing 1 HP damage. Heck, it doesn't even need to be a companion: you could fight a wyvern, knock it out, keep it chained up, and continue to bleed it for poison as needed.

This is sort of an extreme example, granted, but the idea that it would grant you quasi-free access to 'free' poison was a big element in my downvoting it.

As I said: I'm not actually sure that is what the item intends to do, though. The text doesn't say explicitly whether the hostile use of the weapon counts as absorbing, but the paragraph order and placement seem to suggest that it does. So, even if there is no freebie poison here, it's definitely an example of needing to be verbally very clear when introducing new mechanics.

Things I like: the idea that this is a weapon that can either a) help an ally, b) hurt a foe, c) help yourself. Cool versatility, really.

It's once per day though. Without that, yeah, it would be crazy.

Star Voter Season 8

Congrats, I love the visual description but you should also add that there are like leeches or mosquitos trapped in the Amber. The idea is not very original as there have been venom/poison draining daggers around forever. Good luck in the next round.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

I feel like by the time you have a 25,000 gold dagger, the creatures you are fighting won't care about a DC16 fort save. This item might go into a bag of holding if I had a ton of money, more realistically it would be sold as its abilities are too situational for the cost.

I do like the concept of the weapon and that it didn't have a bunch of secondary mechanical effects.

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!

OK, this sword is solid in its abilities and the amber quality creates a distinct visual image...that I did not like. Sadly this item was mechanically sound but really doesn't come off as cool in usage (at least for me). What appeals to some won't appeal to all, and consequently this one fell flat for me.

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 remember this weapon, I saw it a lot and voted it up most of the time!

Name - I really had to fight hard to not allow this to conjure up the image of a spiderman cover...just saying...it makes me think of the antihero Venom getting married. It is not a bad name by any means that is just the effect it had on me.

Your aura should be moderate according to the detect magic table.

I like the opening sentence.

Interesting choice to cause damage but draw out poison...akin to "sucking the poison out". I like the visual and poison's aren't used THAT much in general so more of that niche is good for me. Nitpick...who benefits from the neutralize poison? I assume the target but the way it is written it could mean the wielder.

Great 2nd ability, nullifying the poisoning abilities of certain creatures.

Curious to know that if you can accidentally poison yourself with the blade...I'm guessing no but just idle curiousity.

Delivering the poison on the next successful attack (should probably say melee, otherwise I could sheathe it and do a ray spell and still deliver the poison?), does it expend the absorbed poison? Also, another nitpick...toxin is not the same as poison. Toxins are produced by living organisms but poisons are simply things that disrupt an organism. In this case, I believe the poison is ALSO a toxin...but just be careful of choosing words that seem like synonyms in future rounds.

Hmm, why does drawing the blade along the wielder's skin give 24 hours of immunity instead of something closer to the 1st power which is a simple neutralize poison?

Ahhhh now I see that the poison dissipates on use...probably should have put this at the end of the sentence that introduces the power to use it.

Overall, I liked this item a lot. There were some issues but it had good visuals and pretty interesting uses of the powers. Not my favorite but well done, you need to tighten up your focus for subsequent rounds. Looking forward to your R2!

Marathon Voter Season 8

Congratulations on making it to the Top 32!

Yet another snake item... Yet, it's a well-made snake item, so we shall try not hold that against it. I like the versatility of the central ability and theme. Especially the ability to neutralize a poisonous creature for a short time. It's a logical followup to the poison absorption power, but not something that would have occurred to most people. Kudos.

I like the item, though I'm not a huge fan. It was a mid-level item to me during the voting, mainly because I've seen other snake items already that were equally good or even slightly better. Both this year and previously. Still, it showcases your skills and is nicely written, which counts for a lot. The best of luck for the upcoming rounds!

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

Congratulations, Mark! The only reason this item wasn't on my personal keep list was because I only saw it literally on my last day voting, and by that time was set in my ways. I love the description and straightforward, thematically appropriate powers. Great job!

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

I think this item got lost in the shuffle of all the other poison-themed items for me. This one was the best written and balanced of them and deserves to be in the top 32. But it didn't stand out because the design space wasn't very unique.

Congratulations!

Dedicated Voter Season 8

Congratulations on the top 32.

Unlike many, I saw this twice, both times very early on, and consequently, I barely remembered it now. I do remember liking it somewhat but not strongly, and while the imagery does appeal to me and the extra uses for poison are interesting, I do not think it completely caught my attention, due to so many already mentioned problems.


Congratulations, Mark. This is a creative and solid item—good luck in the 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.

I'm sure I voted for this item a few times, as it did have a nice suite of abilities, but overall, like pretty much all of the weapons I saw, I wasn't that excited about it. Like them, it's a weapon that also has some attack power built into it - which most of the time isn't all that needed, since the user could just attack with the weapon, or use the extra price of the power to actually make the weapon better - I think most characters would rather get another +2 bonus on their +1 weapon, and have change leftover for something else.

It seemed pretty pricey for a combo neutralize poison/poison once per day, especially since the poison ability required a round to set up first (and have a poisoned victim around). Generally, whatever caused them to become poisoned in the first place would be immune to the poison themselves, so the next attack requiring the administer the poison greatly limits its use.

The detoxing a venomous creature is a nice ability, but for only one round seems a bit weak, since the neutralize poison spell does it for 10 minutes per caster level, as well as neutralizes the entire creature, not just one of it's attacks.

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!

This item was a maybe for me. I don't especially like the fact that it deals damage to the user--I think hit points are handled strangely enough that you don't necessarily need to tie drawing a blade along your skin with actual HP damage--but that's hardly enough to vote it down. I do like the interesting visual for how the Neutralize Poison actually works, but it feels fairly unreliable as the caster level is only 7th, and the price is so high, you likely won't be getting one until your teens, when poison DCs are likely in the 20s.

The DC 16 to neutralize an enemy's poison is also pretty weak. I do understand that's how magic item saves work, but, well, that's why I generally avoid items with saves. That effect is also kind of sloppy, because in the first paragraph, you use a standard action to draw the poison out, while in the second, it is assuming you can do it as part of a successful attack without actually saying you can. And it only lasts 1 round!? Yikes, that's weak.

I really like the ideas here, but the end result is just not very useful. Poisons I want to take and use are going to be too difficult to reliably neutralize, while the ones I can reliably neutralize are going to be too weak to matter (I won't need immunity to it, nor will enemies I fight be especially susceptible to it).

If my party found this item, we'd really want to keep it, but it's just worth too much money for how ineffective the magic item rules make it. We'd sell it, and I can't imagine anyone having one made. It's a shame because the concept is solid.

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

Mark Hart wrote:
Venom’s Kiss

Congratulations Mark!

I voted for this 50/50 if that. Neutralizing/borrowing poison has been done a lot especially in RPGSS. It especially lost me with the serpentine hiss. Amber often has trapped insects, which makes sense with the poison use, but the item seems to have strayed from that.

That said I think this is well-crafted. Having to draw blood to remove the poison keeps it a dagger and is an image we see on soooo many westerns we all take it for true! I hope that part of RPGSS can play out well for you.

Good luck!


Mark Hart wrote:

Venom’s Kiss

Aura faint necromancy; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 24,710 gp; Weight 2 lbs.

Description
When held up to the light, this +1 short sword glistens like amber. Once per day as a standard action, the wielder may run the sword’s edge along a poison victim’s skin, drawing blood and inflicting 1 point of damage. The sword extracts poison from the subject and absorbs it, granting the benefits of the neutralize poison spell.

If the wielder uses this effect against a poisonous creature as part of a successful attack, in addition to suffering standard weapon damage, the target must make a DC 16 Fortitude save or lose the ability to inflict poison with one of its natural attacks until the end of its next turn.

Once Venom’s Kiss has absorbed poison, it exudes that same toxin along its blade. The next successful attack with the sword delivers the poison’s effects against the target, accompanied by a serpentine hiss.

Alternatively, the sword wielder may run the blade’s poisoned edge along his skin, drawing blood and inflicting 1 point of damage. Doing so grants him immunity to that toxin for the next 24 hours. During this time, the wielder’s eyes turn a deep yellow color.

The poison on the blade dissipates with the first successful use, or after 24 hours, whichever occurs first.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, neutralize poison, poison; Cost 12,510 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?
Very little visual description is given of the item other than that 'it glistens like amber' - and that itself is highly situation-dependent in that it only does so when 'held up' in 'light'. At other times it's apparently just a regular magical short sword. Thus this item doesn't rate as very decorative.
Decorative score? 1 out of 7.

Does the Item have Any Obvious non-Decorative Use Around the Home?
Succubi. Are. Immune. To. Poison.
Therefore the question becomes one of whether this item would be a cost-effective 'emergency treatment' to be kept around the home for use on somehow poisoned domestic staff? And to be frank the answer to that is no.
(Any other uses the item might have, in the capacity of an applicator of poison, are either so corner-case or outright disreputable as to be easily disregarded as 'non-obvious'.)
non-Decorative Domestic Use score? 1 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?
'Poison' really isn't a thing on the battlefield of 'Sealion', except maybe in some corner-cases involving deployment of gas-clouds on beaches; and to be frank anyone running into one of those, unprepared, may well be better off dead, anyway. Still, conceivably *if* (and that's a pretty big *if*, as it assumes that the Nasties were *really* organised, and had somehow overcome the fact that the clever tea-drinkers were double-crossing them with their own spy network) the Nasties got wind of exactly *which* poisons might be deployed on any beaches, they might distribute a number of these swords, to 'immunize' key personnel in advance.
'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.

Silver Crusade Star Voter Season 8

Congrats Mark, a really neat idea and the description does match the powers very well. If anything I would have wanted more, a more interesting (enchanted) base weapon, or more uses per day. As written, this item can be amazing once per day, but is more likely to be just a plain +1 sword most of the time.

Good luck in the next round.

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

Congratulations for having made it to the Top 32, sorry you didn't move on.

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 -- This is one of those items I read and then thought "why didn't this already exist?" Its a well made version of the weapon, etc.

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