Ring of the Investigator


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

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Ring of the Investigator
Aura strong divination; CL 11th
Slot ring; Price 20,000 gp; Weight

Description
This ring is a thin leather band with a blown glass orb that contains an eye-shaped onyx gem. The ring allows a wearer with inspiration pool to store up to 4 points from his inspiration pool in the ring as a swift action. These points remain in the ring until used. A wearer can spend inspiration pool points stored in the ring as if they were his own, or can keep them stored to benefit from them in each of the following ways.

As long as there is at least one inspiration point stored in the ring, the wearer gains a +2 competence bonus to Perception and Sense Motive checks.

As long as there are at least three inspiration points stored in the ring, whenever the wearer approaches within 30 feet of one of the following targets (or the target approaches within 30 feet of the wearer), he receives a check to notice them as a free action, regardless of whether he is interacting with (or looking for) the target or not.

  • Perception on disguised creatures
  • Perception on invisible creatures
  • Perception on secret doors
  • Perception on non-magical traps (a character with trapfinding can also roll to notice magical traps)
  • Will save on noticing illusion (glamer) effects for what they truly are

Construction Requirements
Forge Ring, Detect Secret Doors, See Invisibility, Cost 10,000 gp.

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

Formatting and wording issues. This is pretty basic, in some ways, and it's clearly based on the ring of ki mastery in format (since that ring also stores ki and gives first a +2 bonus to stuff and then a powerful ability based on how much ki is in the ring). Right away, 4 is way too much inspiration, and it should be halved to 2, like its predecessor, with the second power gained at full capacity. The set of things to notice is pretty investigatorial, although I'll point out that only some glamers have a Will save to notice something is up but all figments do; figments should have been included, either instead of or in addition to glamers. The push and pull of the inspiration points is almost right, but this item is going to be sorely more interesting if the amount of inspiration is fluctuating, rather than the investigator just sticking points in there for the powers and leaving them there. Thus, I would recommend lowering the price and then making it so that every time the ring finds something for you that you weren't looking for, it spends that 2nd point of inspiration. That way, you can keep it at 1/2 capacity all the time, and when you need to be fully on your guard, you make the choice to load the 2nd point of inspiration and be ready for anything!

Anyway, there are some flaws with this item, it's derivative, and it needs those edits. It tempts me to go for a weak reject. But yet, there's a diamond in the rough here; it didn't take me too long to make a few adjustments and have an item that is not only a really interesting push-pull resource dynamic but also is cheaper and can fit into lower-level games more easily. After looking through all the items, I feel that the glimmer within, of rough potential, is worth exploring with a Weak Keep.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

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
Using a class name in an item raises a red flag for me, as it skips over the requirement to come up with a good name.
Usability
If you don't have an inspiration pool, this item doesn't appear to be of any use. Restrictive.
Presentation
Missing line break between "Construction" and "Requirements." Missing italics for spell names.
Final Thoughts
Poor name, class restrictive. I do not 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.

This item starts with a name and concept that seem utilitarian – fine and reasonable to include in a product but not necessarily superstar material. However, linking the entirely-dull-but-functional inspiration storage with abilities that require the inspiration be kept in the ring (and having those abilities thematically fit an investigator) elevates this slightly as a more clever version of a utilitarian item.
In development I'd likely reduce the amount of inspiration that could be stored, and might well reduce the number of abilities storing them gives the wearer, but the core idea is worth keeping.

Star Voter Season 8

Not Surprised this one got thru, According to my list I saw it 18times! Congrats. I think for a ring that does so much it is under priced.


I don't like it for one simple reason: the ring "knows" what character class someone is. Like, a paladin is recognizable in-world, and a monk has an observable ability (ki) that others may or may not possess. But an investigator is really a type of alchemist who has some skill bonuses. This ring offers no benefits to a rogue who is intended to be "an investigator."

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Rats are doing the Conga for you, all over Golarion. Good job.

Not having played with any investigators, I'll defer to others' analyses.

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, Olivier.

I liked that you were playing with some of the new classes and mechanics we got in Advanced Class Guide. I think that's a sign of someone looking for new opportunities.

That said, this felt very limited. It's basically useful only for one class and it's always a little risky playing with small niches (that said, obviously that didn't hurt you in this case).

I'm also not a fan of automatic detections. I think it can cause some metagaming ("Hey, Joe, just curious, how many points of inspiration does your ring have?") and puts some burden on the GM.

I think Mark's tweaks would definitely make me like it more, so I can see what the judges see in it.

Still, I hope if you advance, you design for a slightly wider group. I'll look forward to seeing what you do, and best of luck.


I don't know a thing about investigators so it was hard for this item to get votes from me.

In my opinion, items intended for use by one class should probably just be built into an archetype instead.

Anyway, there must be something awesome about this item if it made its way through the voters and judges. Maybe I will have to actually read the ACG so I can understand the awesome.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter Season 6

Wait a sec. Mark had a really weak keep, Liz had a do not recommend, and the end result is kept?

ಠ_ಠ


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You shoulda seen the other guy. :)


I remember that item. I commented on it in the seen thread.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

I am not a fan of single class items generally though they are better than items that become awesome in the hands of a specific class

But for a class specific item it seems well executed.

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

Avatar-1 wrote:
Wait a sec. Mark had a really weak keep, Liz had a do not recommend, and the end result is kept?

I also voted to keep. All of our Top 32 had 2 judges who voted to keep it, though in many cases those were both weak keeps.

Marathon Voter Season 8

Congratulations on making it to the Top 32!

It's cool to see the new classes utilized already and as a whole the item is well-written and fairly balanced. The abilities also feel very ring-like so good choice to go with that.

And yet I never upvoted this item. It's too much of a niche item, what with only working for those that have an inspiration pool and I'm not a huge fan of autodetection. The competence bonus to skills is fine and thematic, but as a whole I'd never give this to my players as part of loot and I'd frown on them crafting it.

Nevertheless, it's not a bad item and I can see the appeal. It's just not for me. Still, best of luck for the upcoming rounds.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Bravo cher compatriote!

I saw this items a lot and I think I always up voted it. Not perfect, but I really liked that it was made for one of the newer classes.

I hope you go far in the competition.

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

Congrats Olivier!

I didn't see this one too often in voting. I thought this item was rather boring, in that its mainly just a ring to give a small subset of characters a bonus to skills. As a GM, I now have to keep track of how many points are in the ring, and a list of 5 situations to make secret rolls for the character, thats extra work I don't need. The name wasn't exciting either, and this had some minor formatting issues.

But, the judges liked it, so I wish you good luck next round.

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 saw this ring only a couple times, but I did like it.

Rings are a tough choice for me. I play a lot of monks, or non-armored characters, and I am hard pressed to find a ring that supplants force armor and such in rings.

Leather! Oooo...differenty! Great descriptive sentence.

And the first power is only useful if you have inspiration. Question, if I store inspiration, take off the ring, and give it to a party friend...they now have inspiration.

Boring skill bonus.

3rd power can be rewritten to trim word count (just say within 30 feet).

Check to notice as a free action...Perception is a free action out of combat basically. I don't like how this is robbing a GM basically with free meta knowledge that there is something secret there.

Template issues.

Overall, I liked this item, but it was a Book of Magic Items item for me. You get points for using the newest material (ACG) for inspiration...but you lose points for ONLY making it useful for those characters. Basically, you need inspiration to charge the ring, which is a non-issue for those characters, but then it is a free GM bypass tool with those charges which makes it not a superstar design for me. You have potential, but there is some big improvement needed to succeed in the next rounds. Good luck and I'm looking forward to seeing your 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

This item is well executed and appears to be something I should find in a book to support the investigator class. That was enough for me to vote for it in most matchups. I like the abilities and flavor, but I don't really see anything truly original or superstar. Also, the value auto-detection abilities is highly GM-dependent and subjective, making the overall utility of this item difficult to figure.

Congratulations!

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

Congratulations, Olivier! Perhaps my favorite non-combat item in the polls, even though I only saw it twice. I hope to see similar thematic links in later rounds, good luck!

Dedicated Voter Season 8

I never vote for, or even use items that make more work for the gm, or discourage player's from actively playing.
Nothing else new or creative going on.
Reject

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 to the Top 32! Good work!

Mechanically this ring is interesting, although limited to investigators and those with the Amateur Investigator feat. My main problem with it is their is no cool visual image in its usage. Its powers are all just Perception and Sense Motive bonuses, not very exciting.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congrats on making the top 32.

Overall, I like this ring - I have no problem with "single class" items, as every class that has their own set of mechanics needs a few of these, and you found a niche that hadn't been filled in that regard by using an ACG class (and one of the few from that book I actually like, at that.)

I agree with the tweaks Mark mentioned, but would also strike the entire illusion part of the item - illusions are already so hard to pull off in the game, when a simple cantrip foils them most of the time. Instead, I'd probably add a Sense Motive option, probably sensing when someone is charmed or dominated per that skill.

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!

When I first saw this item, it immediately went on my keep list. It is not too expensive, it takes a reasonable amount of Inspiration (and can store an extra point for you, too), and it's amazingly useful in the hands of any PC. It's awesome to automatically get rolls to notice those things. It seems like a perfect item.

Then, the second time I saw it, I was in a GM mindset, instead, and, I immediately pulled it off my keep list (I kept it in the "maybe" pile, though). See, I realized just how frustrating and annoying this would be for me if I were running the game. No, it doesn't totally obviate the challenge of things like secret doors, traps, illusions, etc., since you still need to actually succeed on the roll, so, it's not exactly that these things would become unusable, thus falling under the blanket of "making adventuring safer" (though the metagame aspect of getting the roll might be annoying). It's almost worse, though, because what it does is subtley shift responsibility for these things from the PC to the GM.

Normally, the PCs step into a trap and, it sucks, but they're good sports about it, because they should have searched for traps. With this item, they're angry, because they should have received a free check to spot it. When an awesome illusion or disguise fools the gang, they can laugh about it later because of how well done it was. Now, with this item, they're frustrated that you forgot their free roll. As the GM, you need to pay attention to this item at all times--you can't forget it or ignore it, or your PCs will be upset.

It helps PCs have more fun because they don't need to be quite so paranoid, but it adds quite a bit to the GM's burden, and ultimately leads to less fun when the GM inevitably forgets you have it.

There's also a fairly common houserule I've GMed and PCed with a few times based on 4e and 5e that makes this ring do very little: Passive Perception. Basically, unless you specifically say otherwise, you are assumed at all times to have an active perception check of 10+your perception bonus, and it gets compared to all of these same things when first encountered. It's a great time saver, and unlike this item (which transfers a burden), it's just automatic for everyone, so, it is easily streamlined into play. I know talking about a magic item in the context of a houserule is not the best way to analyze it, but, even still, it's common enough (even without people noticing they're doing it--i.e. plenty of GMs just give rolls to notice this stuff automatically anyway) that I felt it was worth mentioning.

If my party found this item, well, that's another problem. Only an Investigator (or maybe a few obscure archetypes of other classes?) has Inspiration, so, even though it's awesome, the customer base is so small for this item (what, like 3% of all possible classes?), it's so unlikely to see play. There's defintely room for custom orders, of course, and just about every Investigator would want one eventually, but, I don't think a lot of GMs would appreciate it in play. They'd probably ban it if they thought about the implications (or had experienced them before), or end up frustrated with it soon after it entered the game.

Overall, I loved it at first, but knocked it down a few pegs upon further thought. You are probably a good potential designer nonetheless, but I wish you had thought this item through from both a PC and GM perspective, rather than just from the PC side.

Edit: While I do think the judges' suggested changes would make the item more dynamic and interesting, I actually think making the detection abilities cost Inspiration puts even more of a burden on the GM (as they would now need to track exactly how much inspiration was in the ring at any given moment) and further up the metagame shenanigans.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

Welcome to the Top 32, Olivier.

I like that you're trying to dabble with new classes, and the investigator is a great class for doing that. I am the type of voter that does not mind seeing class restricted items. In fact, many of my players complain there aren't enough interesting ones in the game.

However, I did not vote for this item. This is a competition meant to show off your design skills. An investigator version of a ring of ki mastery does not give me a good picture of what you're capable of. Worse is that the item requires metagaming and makes the GM's job much harder. For this reason, I had a negative impression of this item.

I hope you give us something in future rounds that really shows what you're made of. Good luck!

Dedicated Voter Season 8

Congratulations on making the top 32.

I'm (like many) not much for single class items, but I am really very fond of investigators, and I do like that having an inspiration pool from a different source will also work. So I liked some things about this. But it not really terribly inspired, so it's a decent/good item, but I'm not amazed.


Olivier Rayé-Lalonde wrote:

Ring of the Investigator

Aura strong divination; CL 11th
Slot ring; Price 20,000 gp; Weight

Description
This ring is a thin leather band with a blown glass orb that contains an eye-shaped onyx gem. The ring allows a wearer with inspiration pool to store up to 4 points from his inspiration pool in the ring as a swift action. These points remain in the ring until used. A wearer can spend inspiration pool points stored in the ring as if they were his own, or can keep them stored to benefit from them in each of the following ways.

As long as there is at least one inspiration point stored in the ring, the wearer gains a +2 competence bonus to Perception and Sense Motive checks.

As long as there are at least three inspiration points stored in the ring, whenever the wearer approaches within 30 feet of one of the following targets (or the target approaches within 30 feet of the wearer), he receives a check to notice them as a free action, regardless of whether he is interacting with (or looking for) the target or not.

  • Perception on disguised creatures
  • Perception on invisible creatures
  • Perception on secret doors
  • Perception on non-magical traps (a character with trapfinding can also roll to notice magical traps)
  • Will save on noticing illusion (glamer) effects for what they truly are

Construction Requirements
Forge Ring, Detect Secret Doors, See Invisibility, Cost 10,000 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 a ring or at least it's something vaguely resembling a ring. What it actually appears to be is a leather finger-strap with a hollow glass marble attached which has a piece of onyx rattling around inside.
I'll assume that it actually looks so bizarre that it has some nominal decorative value.
Decorative score? 1 out of 7.

Does the Item have Any Obvious non-Decorative Use Around the Home?
Some of the effects of the ring seem to be useful for social situations. They'd be even more useful, if the ring weren't so bizarre looking that anyone reasonably familiar with magical paraphernalia would like identify it at a casual glance and know to be on guard.
Whilst I note that apparently only a person with very particular skill-sets and training can 'power up' such a ring, I also note that there is nothing to stop a person who has just done exactly that from then removing said item and handing it on to someone else without in any way adversely affecting that ring's ability to heighten a wearer's perception.
non-Decorative Domestic Use score? 2 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 ring seems unlikely to be much use on the battlefields of 'Operation Sealion'. I have doubts over whether any capacity would exist in that fantasy world to 'power up' such rings - and even if there was such talent available, I can't see such rings being realistically useful, except maybe by marginally improving the chances of anyone outfitted with one to spot enemies waiting in ambush.
'Sealion' score? 1 out of 7.

Total: 4 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.

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 -- I wish you had this able to grant you a single inspiration point, so that non-Investigators could gain access to these abilities... but people probably wouldn't like it as much if you did.

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

Olivier Rayé-Lalonde wrote:
Ring of the Investigator

Congratulations Olivier!

I apologize for taking so long to get you a critique, but now that the 'current' round no longer has precedence, I am getting caught up.

Mostly a down-vote for me, but not always. The confused description followed by 'store for tomorrow what I didn't use today' was a negative for me. (why does it have an orb and a gem? why not just a gem?) Fortunately you capped it at a reasonable level and followed up with some things that were a little more interesting. Try not to bury the lead, which is hard when the second and third (as listed) abilities depend so much on the first, but quite often a reader will stop reading before ever reaching the interesting things. IMHO the free checks is the interesting bit. These sort of things should be rolled in secret by the GM (why did I just roll a perception check?) I think the wording could be streamlined and if done so with the GM in mind it might be easier. FWIW, I think the links included in a submission to PAIZO should go to PAIZO'S site, not to a third party publisher's.

Still you showed a designer's eye for detail by requiring a minimum charge and I am glad you made it in.
Well done!

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