Ophidian Coil


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

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka dien

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ophidian Coil
Aura faint transmutation, moderate necromancy; CL 5th
Slot ring; Price 10,000 gp; Weight --

Description
This small wooden ring resembles a serpent with tiny gemstone eyes coiling around the wearer's finger. The wearer's skin manifests a faint, diamond-shaped pattern of scales, and the pupils of the wearer's eyes become vertical, as a snake's. The wearer grows a pair of fangs, gaining a bite attack as a primary natural attack. This attack deals 1d4 points of piercing damage for a Medium wearer or 1d3 points of damage for a Small wearer.

Three times per day as a free action, the wearer of the ring may cause her fangs to drip with venom, making her bite attack poisonous for 1 round. This poison has a DC of 10 + the wearer's Con modifier, but otherwise acts as black adder venom. If the wearer rolls a natural one on an attack with her poisonous bite, she is exposed to the poison.

Once per day as a standard action, the wearer may command her tongue to lengthen and become forked for one minute, during which she gains the scent special ability. While this ability is active, the wearer has a 20% chance of failure when casting any spell with a verbal component, as the tongue makes it difficult to speak.

The ring makes its wearer more sensitive to cold. She takes a -2 penalty to saves versus cold spells, weather, and effects. Additionally, if the wearer is successfully affected by a spell with the cold descriptor, she is slowed for 1 round.

Construction
Requirements Forge Ring, beast shape I, magic fang, poison; Cost 5,000 gp

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

Minor formatting issue. So this is a ring that turns the wearer into a snake hybrid. That seems like a reasonable thing that a ring might do. There's an evocative and connected set of abilities that definitely do scream snake, including both the benefits and the drawbacks. I wish there was some way to encourage the ring's owner to keep it on and take both the penalties and drawbacks, as right now, there's little reason to wear it rather than just keep it somewhere ready to slip on your finger unless you know you're about to want to use it's powers, but I think there would be some really interesting RP potential with the wearer bundling up and despising cold weather. Nonetheless, a Weak Keep from me.

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
Nice name, immediately makes me think of Ultima VII: The Serpent Isle.
Usability
This would be good for pretty much any character, and the scent ability has some use outside of combat.
Presentation
Personally, I'm a fan of magic items that have drawbacks, but this is not something that gets touched upon in most non-plot-related magic items. Style and formatting are good.
Final Thoughts
Great name, but its abilities are fairly predictable (but focused). I do recommend this item for advancement, with some reservations.

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.

This has a fairly common issue for use/day items, and that is there's no good reason for the player to keep wearing it after its daily charges have been depleted. It could be fixed with the requirement it be worn for 24 hours before functioning. The name and description are cool, and becoming a snake is both iconic and surprisingly hard for a lot for characters to manage who might love to be able to do so. Keep.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

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

I like the ring, but wouldn't likely play a character that employs it. Is that strange of me?

The penalties really make this thing interesting, but without a continuous need for the item, as has been mentioned, they are easily avoided. What would make the ring still worth 10k and yet compel the character to take the penalties full time?

Would a 7-day attunement period make the ring worth less than 10k in the eyes of people who would want this ring for a character? Even 24 hours allows you to take it off for city encounters where, to be honest, a snake-fanged character might be impeded in normal activities (unless in/near nagaji territory, in which case you might actively want it on...).

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

I agree with the judges that this item should require being worn for 24 hrs before it can be used. I like the way the ring's abilities interact, with the spell failure chance with the forked tongue and the weakness to cold in particular. This item would be awesome for anyone making a natural weapon based character and is cheap enough that you can get it fairly early. Well done.


CripDyke wrote:


I like the ring, but wouldn't likely play a character that employs it. Is that strange of me?

I had those exact feelings about this item.

"This item lets you be a snake"
I am just not feeling this item.

Well written, and I would like to see what else this writer has up their sleeves. Hopefully nothing with scales.

Alternate.

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. I'm afraid I have to be honest and admit that I mostly dismissed this item as a monster in a can. I also didn't like that it could just be removed when you didn't want the disadvantages.

That said, I do really like the name -- coil's perfect for the theme and a great synonym for a ring. And, as Phelps notes, it is well-written, so I'll look forward to seeing what you can do in the rest of the contest. Best of luck!

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

Tight description and the abilities suit the theme, and suit it much more successfully/verisimilitudinally than Venom's Kiss.

Kinda just feels like a polymorph ability in a ring.

I like the drawbacks for cold, but the self-poison on critical failure feels completely unnecessary, as does the 20% failure on verbal components when fork-tongued - I'm a fan of random rolls, and drawbacks - when they feel needed.

Love the slow effect on cold descriptor spells!

Re: Attunements - I see the reasoning, but this is a freaking magic item!

"Oh wow! A super-cool magic item!"
"Oh shux, we need to use it right away!!!"
"Um, sorry, you can't. You have to wait a day."
"Sadface."

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

Thanks very much to everyone for their feedback, and for kind words when given, and criticism too when given.

It seems that the universal complaint is that it's too easy to avoid the drawbacks by just taking the ring off. I'll plead to guilty on that one: it just plain never occurred to me that PCs would want to try and game that, because for myself, this item's abilities are things I would want reliable access to all the time (scent, in the case of an invisible opponent who may be getting away from you; a bite attack because, well... free attack; who wants to get ambushed and not have access to their extra attack because they didn't have the right magic item equipped?)

Clearly I was not in the same mental place as everyone else on that count. :)

That said, Owen's suggested 24-hour attunement requirement is a really simple fix to the problem, and doesn't ruin a thing about the item, so, in the future, I'll be sure to remember that sort of stipulation whenever creating a 'uses per day' item (or an item with significant drawbacks that could otherwise be too easily avoided).

Beyond that, I'll only address one particular thing that was mentioned (and I do this with my tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek):

CripDyke wrote:
Even 24 hours allows you to take it off for city encounters where, to be honest, a snake-fanged character might be impeded in normal activities...

Really? :D The party's got a tiefling, tengu, kitsune, and wayang... and it's the guy with snake fangs who's gonna stand out? *ducks*

(Nah, more seriously, I recognize that a lot of campaigns prefer more normal races- I just do a lot of PFS play, and oh man, some of the local PCs are described as looking weird.)

Again, thank you all very much for your feedback. I will try and live up to any expectations I have created!

Star Voter Season 8

Congrats. I never saw this one in the polls. I hate to say it but it just looks like you took the Ring of Rat Fang from the UE pg 172, Slapped on a poison attack and gave it a snake theme. Good luck in the next round.

Marathon Voter Season 8

Congratulations on making it to the Top 32!

An item I remember upvoting several times with gusto. Sure, it's essentially monster-in-a-can, but it's the best kind. I especially like the fact that the scent ability comes from the tongue. Not really a huge fan of the numerous drawbacks. The possibility of poisoning yourself takes away from the cunning and sly snake idea. Not exactly graceful, is it. Though I do like the cold drawback. And yeah, it's true that it shouldn't go away with just taking the ring off. Perhaps instead of attuning the drawback could persist for 24 hours even after you've taken the ring off? That way you could utilize the ring immediately, but would still feel compelled to keep it on indefinitely.

A great item and and I wish you the best of luck for the upcoming rounds!

Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Similar to others above, I'm really not keen on the drawbacks here. That said, I did find myself upvoting this item quite a few times. I think its theme is very strong, and if the drawbacks were simply taken out, it would really shine. Well done though!

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

I remember this item throughout voting.

A wooden ring is different enough off the bat and I like the small details you mention.

I'm always a little leary of items that change the wearer's skin while wearing, because what happens when he goes into a town, or a snake worshipping temple, etc.

Poison bite, check, and a possible drawback 5% of the time. Not breaking but...interesting.

Starting to like the way you think about drawbacks with the tongue and scent and failure chance.

A further drawback and this one can be significant. I'm honestly surprised voters liked this, historically so many drawbacks wouldn't do that well. I'm so-so on them here. Some are great, some are harsh (slowed with a -2 penalty to those cold spells anyway), but all are on theme.

Overall, this wasn't my favorite item. You had a great theme and great synergy between the various powers/drawbacks. I'm not sure exactly what to tell you to improve on...I think maybe just take a couple breathers and really scrutinize some of your balancing. Other than that, I'm interested to see what your concept is for R2.

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 voted for this item fairly consistently. I'm a sucker for a well done animal theme, and this one certainly qualifies. That said, this isn't really that different than many items that have been done before. I'm pretty sure similar snake themed items have appeared in this contest in past years. And I'm not a fan of drawbacks either. This is an item I liked but I didn't personally consider it superstar.

Congratulations!

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

Congratulations, dana! I really enjoyed the tight theme of your item, and the name is pretty rockin' too. Also one of the few items I saw with a tasteful drawback. Best of luck!

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

Thank you very much for your feedback and comments, folks! I'm taking notes dutifully.

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 it into the Top 32! Great work!

I liked this ring, especially the strong imagery involved. But adding in detriments to its use such as the cold weakness and the spell failure on the forked tongue were unnecessary. If you looked at serpentfolk and snake entries you find none of these disadvantages.

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

Congrats Dana!

I voted for this one quite a bit. Good visuals,and would I can think of many character concepts that would love this item.

best of luck in round 2 and beyond!

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

dana huber wrote:
Ophidian Coil

Congratulations Dana!

This ring touched on the herper in me so could often break ties on that alone. I think the item is a little lackluster, MiaC. I loved the flavor of this thing though, mostly cosmetic but the slowed is a really good touch. Also great name! EDIT: for the reasons Jacob mentioned.

Good luck!

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 was torn on this item. On one hand, it was tightly themed, and gave a mix of powers that were useful in combat, as well as some that weren't.

I do like items with drawbacks, and agree that this one is an item you'd generally wear all the time, because who wants to miss out on their extra attack? The drawbacks related to cold are great, but I didn't like the 5% chance to accidentally bite and poison yourself. "Oww, I bit my tongue" isn't very epic. And why wouldn't they bite their tongue without the poison ability active causing 1 hp damage?

The drawback about spellcasting with verbal components isn't a huge one either, since the ring is really geared for a melee combat style character - a spellcaster simply won't pick this as their magic item.

On to the biggest factor about the ring that was a turn off to me - granting a natural attack. That's a hugely powerful ability at higher levels, when a fighter or barbarian can dish out huge amounts of damage with their power attack and strength bonus alone - so giving them an extra attack all the time for 10K gp, plus a bunch of other abilities is a slam dunk.

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.

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!

There are definitely parts of this item I like, but quite a few that I don't. It's not bad, but I didn't think it was in the top.

First of all, 10k for an extra attack is just too good right off the bat. Literally any melee character can make use of this unless they already have a bite. This should be on the finger of every warrior type, and fairly early, too, since it's so cheap.

Secondly, the poison. I think it's weird that you chose to reference the damage by size chart (i.e. that the bite would deal 1d3 for a small character), but didn't bother to reference exactly what Black Adder venom did. I think most people would remember that 1d4 becomes 1d3, whereas I doubt many could remember what Black Adder Venom does off the top of their heads. And the DC is horrible. It's so low that it might as well not be there. Even a character totally focused on Con, so, I guess only a Scarred Witch Doctor, caps out around a DC 20. Why bother? I wouldn't even waste my free action on that. And the fact that you are exposed to the poison on a natural one just comes across as awkward wasted words. Why bother including such a negative? It's so unlikely to come up anyway, you'd have better spent those words on including the actual text for black adder venom.

Next, the tongue thing for scent. It's thematic, and kind of cool, but, no, it falls flat for me. You can only get scent for one minute, which is no where near enough time to track someone, so, what is this for? Spending a ton of actions pinpointing an invisible guy? No, thanks. And why add another penalty? There's no reason to keep doing that. Why can't a snake tongue cast normally? Serpentfolk have no trouble.

Finally, we get yet another penalty, this time with no benefit. This item is starting to feel cursed. It really ought to cost more to begin with thanks to the amazing bite attack, but why should I pay in something other than gold? I am not a fan of random penalties, even though they are at least somewhat thematic.

In the end, if my party found this item, the warrior would pop it on immediately, never use the poison (and probably never the scent, either), and get frustrated when cold stuff started popping up. If allowed, I think most melee characters would want to buy one of these if they didn't need their non-Ring of Protection Ring Slot for something else. But that's a problem, too, because the bite part is too good.

Overall, one minor ability of the ring that takes up a tiny portion of its total portflio is overpowered, while all of its other abilities are either pointlessly weak/limited or are literally penalties. I'm not a fan from a practicality aspect (which is my main drive), but it is at least pretty creative.

Edit: Wow, forget what I said--we'd sell this ring in a heartbeat and just get two Ring of Rat Fangs instead. Same bite attack without all the pointless stuff and drawbacks. I can't believe the Ring of Rat Fangs made it to publication--a free extra attack is nuts for only 5k.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Congratulations on making the Top 32 dana!

I love the name you gave the ophidian coil and I also love that it's made of wood, hinting toward an uncommon origin for jewelry without overtly going into backstory. Nicely done.

Fantasy gaming worlds are full of incredible creatures that I think should rightly serve as inspiration for many of the magic items found in those worlds. This item lets you gain snake-like physiology. Cool. I think you handled the balance of these abilities well for the price. Even without the drawback, I don't think I would be overly worried about my players abusing this item.

Considering the drawback, I would have liked to see more oomph in at least one of the abilities given. Slowed is a pretty serious condition to get saddled with, even when it isn't likely to happen too often.

Overall, great job!

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

Just sticking my head up once more to say, again, thank all of you who commented for taking the time, even if (maybe especially if!) you didn't particularly care for my item or found it flawed. Giving me a lot of feedback on WHY it's flawed is better for me than just hearing 'yay great!'*

(*note: this should in no way be taken as discouragement to tell me 'yay great' if, you know, you were inclined to do that *shifty eyes*)

Like all the other contestants, I can't talk about the next round as it is progressing, and, to avoid temptation/venting urges, I will probably avoid further posting in this thread as well, at least for a while. But again, thanks to every single person who took the time to comment, to congratulate me, and to leave feedback of all kinds for my item. I appreciate it immensely and I'm glad to be part of this community and to have been lucky enough to have had this chance.

*salutes*

Dedicated Voter Season 8

Congratulations on the top 32! Very fond of the name and imagery and the theme works and I generally do not mind the abilities... but I'm not fond of this many penalties. Still, great job tying the abilities together.


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dana huber wrote:

Ophidian Coil

Aura faint transmutation, moderate necromancy; CL 5th
Slot ring; Price 10,000 gp; Weight --

Description
This small wooden ring resembles a serpent with tiny gemstone eyes coiling around the wearer's finger. The wearer's skin manifests a faint, diamond-shaped pattern of scales, and the pupils of the wearer's eyes become vertical, as a snake's. The wearer grows a pair of fangs, gaining a bite attack as a primary natural attack. This attack deals 1d4 points of piercing damage for a Medium wearer or 1d3 points of damage for a Small wearer.

Three times per day as a free action, the wearer of the ring may cause her fangs to drip with venom, making her bite attack poisonous for 1 round. This poison has a DC of 10 + the wearer's Con modifier, but otherwise acts as black adder venom. If the wearer rolls a natural one on an attack with her poisonous bite, she is exposed to the poison.

Once per day as a standard action, the wearer may command her tongue to lengthen and become forked for one minute, during which she gains the scent special ability. While this ability is active, the wearer has a 20% chance of failure when casting any spell with a verbal component, as the tongue makes it difficult to speak.

The ring makes its wearer more sensitive to cold. She takes a -2 penalty to saves versus cold spells, weather, and effects. Additionally, if the wearer is successfully affected by a spell with the cold descriptor, she is slowed for 1 round.

Construction
Requirements Forge Ring, beast shape I, magic fang, poison; Cost 5,000 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?
This item seems highly unlikely to be decorative; it's described as being a ring, fashioned from some wood so unremarkable that the person presenting this item doesn't bother to name it, and with only a couple of 'gemstones' mentioned, so small in all likelihood as to be practically invisible to the casual glance. And given that said gemstones are considered sufficiently beneath consideration to be not worth naming, I wouldn't be surprised if they turned out to be something like common garnets.
Decorative score? 0 out of 7.

Does the Item have Any Obvious non-Decorative Use Around the Home?
It might be useful once in a blue moon as part of an outfit for a servant or retainer at a 'fancy dress party'.
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?
This item's abilities seem likely to be completely irrelevant on the battlefields of 'Operation Sealion'; the only conceivable impact it would have would be the money and resources wasted on development or purchase of the item in any quantity, but even the leader of the Nasties would be unlikely to mistake this ring for a Sealion-winning 'wonder weapon'.
'Sealion' score? 0 out of 7.

Total: 1 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.


Sorry about that (the RPGSupersuccubus scores), but those are the categories the items are being rated under this year...

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

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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'd like to see a whole series of these rings based on other animals you'd become like, etc. Each would need these to be as well written of course as this one to not just be beast shape 1 in a ring.

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