Mountain Stance Armor


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

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Mountain Stance Armor
Aura moderate transmutation and conjuration; CL 6th
Slot armor; Price 29,250 gp; Weight 40 lbs.
Description
This +2 balanced (Ultimate Equipment) adamantine mountain pattern armor (Ultimate Equipment) sheds pebbles and dirt while worn, and assists in holding the front line of battle. Its wearer gains a +4 bonus to his CMD to resist bull rush, drag, pull, and reposition combat maneuvers so long as he stands on natural or worked stone or earth. This bonus also applies to his CMD when calculating the acrobatics check needed to move through his square or to pass through a threatened area without provoking an attack of opportunity.
At the beginning of his turn, if the armor’s wearer is occupying the same square he was occupying since the beginning of his last turn, then his DR from this armor doubles to 4/-, and all squares adjacent to him count as difficult terrain for his enemies. These effects cease as soon as the wearer moves intentionally or is moved forcibly from that square.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, cat’s grace, stone call (Advanced Player’s Guide); Cost 19,900 gp

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Some wording and formatting issues. On the one hand, most of what this armor gives are just a bunch of numbers. On the other hand, together the numbers work together to paint a picture and tell a story, and it's a story that the author worked to connect with the armor's enhancements and special material, all while keeping the powers feeling "armor" and not "wondrous item" instead. This is an armor that makes its wearer unmovable but unyielding like the mountain, borrowing from some of the monk of the sacred mountain abilities, and a perfect match for the medium spirit of the Keep (not to be confused with a vote from me for a full keep). The stone makes her hard to push, but also hard to bypass, and standing in one spot roots her there and doubles down her defense and her hindrance of enemies attempting to bypass her. Meanwhile, the extra powers don't overpower the armor's starting enhancements and adamantine nature, and, in some sense, armor is a passive kind of item. It's really hard to make a passive item Superstar, since active abilities are more flashy and whizbang, but I think the author has found a way to highlight the quiet, resolute, defensive nature that inspired this armor, and so earns a Weak Keep from me, and a tip of my hat for a gutsy move in fielding a Superstar item with no activated powers.

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
The name doesn't really inspire, unfortunately, and the stack of armor special abilities doesn't work for me.
Usability
Well, I would certainly start using combat maneuvers more with this armor.
Presentation
Formatting and styling are okay, a skill name is missing capitalization, but the inclusion of the sourcebooks detracts a bit. Mechanically, it's a stack of combat maneuver bonuses with a bit of flavor, and the explanation seems to be all over the place.
Final Thoughts
I would have preferred a more focused item, and this is a bit too all over the place for me. 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 comes off as "Stalwart Defender, the Armor." I'm okay with items that work best for specific builds, but this might be really annoying in the hands of a dwarven stalwart defender. On the other hand the idea of the lone defender, defiant in the face of impossible odds, holding the bridge/wall/pass is too iconic to not grab my interest. And it doesn't make the mistake of making the wearing immune to things, so mechanically this is sound. The strong theme and good mechanics push me to keep.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Nice work, Justin. You did a hard thing and did it well.

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

Congratulations, Justin. I think the flavor of this armor really carried you here.

In some ways, though, I think not moving is sort of activating the armor, if that makes sense? Sure, it doesn't take an action, but it does limit the actions you can take.

Best of luck going forward.


I was happy to upvote this armor every time.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

This was on my keeper list. The visuals the description of this item provides just grabbed me and refused to let go. I upvoted this item every time I saw it, and when I finally get into playing more physical-combat-centered characters, I expect to be able to purchase this armor for them!

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

Thanks everyone! It is truly awesome to have made it to this point. I'm glad people enjoyed this entry.

As inspiration, my husband asked me what iconic action moments do I find hard to pull off with the current list of published items and feats. My mind immediately leaped to the scene of a samurai or other warrior holding the gate of a castle. From there I brainstormed what mechanics would a player exploit to get past such an encounter and how I could shore-up those defenses without granting flat immunities.

Overall, I am pleased with the resulting item. I tried to convey a scene through an item and its mechanics without pigeon holeing the item into that scene. The judges's comments show me that I succeeded on that front.

I would be happy to converse or answer any questions people may have. Can't really work on drawing when I'm on my buses. :-)

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

I dislike the inclusion of sources for non-core material. I feel like the dr increase/ difficult terrain could use a limitation on rounds per day or a cost increase on the item. Other than that I like the way the item was designed and agree with Owen that such an iconic idea needs more ways of being able to happen. This armour would make an interesting encounter with a guard or two blocking a narrow route to something and the PCs having a limited time to get past them.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Some wording and formatting issues. On the one hand, most of what this armor gives are just a bunch of numbers. On the other hand, together the numbers work together to paint a picture and tell a story, and it's a story that the author worked to connect with the armor's enhancements and special material... and a tip of my hat for a gutsy move in fielding a Superstar item with no activated powers.

I think that the "story" could have been worked in a little clearer, painting a better picture with actual description, before diving into the numbers and stats.

I feel like a had to work a little to put the pieces of this item and story together, rather then having this beauty item unfold before my eyes.

And as for the no activated powers, I did not even realize that was one of the reasons I was liking this item so much. Simple,and awesome. More is not better is defiantly the case here.

I also had thoughts this was just a magic version of something that exists in player class form. But it has more going for it, and its something I would buy. Its something I could even build a story around.

Keep.

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 is a simple item that is carried by its tight design and theme. I did vote for it more often than not, but hadn't considered it as top 32 material because of my preference for more complex items. But seeing it here, I think it belongs. I don't have much else to add except to say that I agree with pretty much all of the other comments on this item.

Congratulations!

Marathon Voter Season 8

Congratulations on making it to the Top 32!

I really like that this item doesn't have uses per day. The fact that requires you to stand in a single square is enough and it's brilliant. The fact that the armor makes this easier is just thematically appropriate. Sure these kinds of passive abilities need to be careful, because they can easily become overpowered, but this walks the line nicely. Difficult terrain is certainly annoying for the enemies, but it's not a gamebreaker and it can be worked around. And yet it's significant enough that you start looking for changes to hold your ground, making the combat that more strategic, which is always a huge plus in my books.

One of my favourite items and I hope more items follow its "passive" example. The best of luck to you!

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

The name of this caught my attention, mostly because I wanted to see if it was for dwarven monks.

Great intro description, loved the pebbles and dirt.

Somewhat boring bonus. I'm always leary with "earth" description. I could just fill my boots with dirt and boom...always standing on earth.

Cool DR gain for standing still (thematically great) but the way this reads is that it stacks. You tried to mitigate by saying the same square, but then cause a little confusion in the next sentence by saying intentionally or forcibly. I could argue that having a friendly wizard levitate me along is not forcibly and I'm not moving intentionally. So therefore every six seconds my DR doubles and all the adjacent squares I've been near are now difficult.

Overall, I liked this armor a lot. I liked your theme and the way you kept your theme. I just had some mechanics and clarity questions. And I was disappointed it wasn't armor for dwarven monks (just kidding). Work on your clarity and mechanics and I think you'll do well.

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

Congratulations, Justin! This is another one I never saw even once during voting, but I just love the streamlined mechanics tied to the theme. Nice job, looking forward to your future work!

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, I found this item kind of boring. You stand still and can't be moved and...that's pretty much it. I get this item and mechanically it is pretty good. But it just doesn't fire off the wow factor.

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

Congrats Justin!

Put me in the camp of voted for it quite a bit due to what it was paired up against, but not very exciting.
\
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. I never saw this during voting, or I would have voted for it regularly.

I like this item a lot, it's a very solid entry. Not only do the powers all work to enhance the defender that really can hold a location against attacks, but not having activated powers is really how magic armors should work. It's there to protect you, not there for you to protect yourself with, that's more in the realm of shields or wondrous items.

I especially like that it didn't try to do too much, like creating walls of stone to funnel attackers at the wearer or anything like that. One of the strengths of the item is it's simplicity of giving the bonuses it does, and that's it.

Marathon Voter Season 8

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

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

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

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

I liked this item. It provides nice, practical bonuses, and an all the time effect that is thematic and useful without being overpowered. However, two minor things kept it off of my keeper list:

1) It's not Mithril, and, I have literally never seen a serious armor wearing character (i.e. not a caster with a haramaki or something) with metal armor that wasn't Mithril. Being Mithril is just so beneficial for armor that I can't imagine any other choice (Darkleaf is similarly automatic for non-metal armors). Further, Mithril actually comes from deep underground, while Adamantine is a skymetal, so, it's not even an especially thematic choice. I'd much prefer if it was a suit of Mithril Armor that gave no DR when moving, and 4/- DR when rooted (rather than always giving 2/- and doubling it when rooted). I know it seems nitpicky, but Mithril is just so good for armor, it really damages the usability of armor to NOT be Mithril.

2) The price is a bit excessive for its effects. They are good and useful bonuses, don't get me wrong, but that's too high a price tag for them. +2 balanced Adamantine Mountain Pattern Armor should go for roughly 19k, which, well, that's way too much. The idea that Medium Adamantine costs 10k is absurd. But, it does, so, ok. That means you're charging roughly 10k for adding the +4 stability bonus Balanced applies vs. trip and overrun to three maneuevers nobody uses, Pull (which is a rare monster ability), your CMD vs. Acrobatics (which is the real gem there) but only when on earth/stone, and for doubling your DR to 4 when you stand still. That just seems really steep. I don't know, maybe this objection is mostly because I think Adamantine armor is overpriced (and in turn, DR in general). You probably made the safe choice charging as much as you did, but I think it makes your armor hard to really use.

If my group found this armor, we'd want to keep it, but ultimately sell it. We'd probably petition the GM to make it Mithril. I doubt there's a great market for custom orders beyond Stalwart Defenders, but I know plenty that'd want the +4 to CMD vs. Acrobatics and difficult terrain abilities. I think pieces are great, but the whole is questionable.

Overall, though, nice job. I like it well enough, though I think it needs some work, and can understand why it won.

Dedicated Voter Season 8

Congratulations on the top 32! Neat item, but as has been said a little itsy bit boring. Neat, just... boring. Also I know this combat maneuver oriented bunch of characters, that would just go for trip instead, no matter what.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

Joel Flank wrote:
... not having activated powers is really how magic armors should work. It's there to protect you, not there for you to protect yourself with, that's more in the realm of shields or wondrous items.

I really like this sentiment Joel, thank you.


Justin Riddler wrote:

Mountain Stance Armor

Aura moderate transmutation and conjuration; CL 6th
Slot armor; Price 29,250 gp; Weight 40 lbs.
Description
This +2 balanced (Ultimate Equipment) adamantine mountain pattern armor (Ultimate Equipment) sheds pebbles and dirt while worn, and assists in holding the front line of battle. Its wearer gains a +4 bonus to his CMD to resist bull rush, drag, pull, and reposition combat maneuvers so long as he stands on natural or worked stone or earth. This bonus also applies to his CMD when calculating the acrobatics check needed to move through his square or to pass through a threatened area without provoking an attack of opportunity.
At the beginning of his turn, if the armor’s wearer is occupying the same square he was occupying since the beginning of his last turn, then his DR from this armor doubles to 4/-, and all squares adjacent to him count as difficult terrain for his enemies. These effects cease as soon as the wearer moves intentionally or is moved forcibly from that square.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, cat’s grace, stone call (Advanced Player’s Guide); Cost 19,900 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 suit of armour, or at least what constitutes a 'mountain pattern' suit of armour. It probably has some decorative value when mounted on a stand. (Worn, of course, it is exceptionally undecorative, given that in such contact with a person it constantly sheds soil and pebbles (however temporary their existence may be) all over the place.)
Decorative score? 1 out of 7.

Does the Item have Any Obvious non-Decorative Use Around the Home?
Since this item seems to be geared entirely towards brutal slugging-it-out contests, it seems unlikely that it will find any obvious non-decorative use around the home.
non-Decorative Domestic Use score? 0 out of 7.

Does the Item seem Likely to be Helpful in the Fantasy Setting of an Imaginary World where 'Operation Sealion' is taking Place?
So the (for simplicity's sake) Nasties are lining up with all their little boats to launch an invasion-attempt across a strait upon a nation of perfectly (socially) harmless tea-drinkers. And then there's this item.
So what impact is this item likely to have on proceedings?
To be brutally honest, not very much. If it were the operation going the other way, 'Operation Overlord', then the leader of the Nasties might get the idea of trying to fit-out some of his beach-defenders with armour like this, but I can't see the tea-drinkers equipping even a token-force of defenders with something so impractical to the usual conditions of warfare of that setting.
As a footnote, I'm not quite sure how 'entries will be assessed by Ask A RPGSupersuccubus, partially on the basis of impact that items and equipment might have in Operation Sealion' got left out of the contest guidelines this year. However, clearly, somehow it did and this is a fine example of an item to which I am going to give a very low mark, because the item was clearly not designed with Operation Sealion in mind...
'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.

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 could see a troop of dwarven samurai rocking these while defending their stronghold.

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

Justin Riddler wrote:
Mountain Stance Armor

Congratulations Justin,

Just a little catchup-critique here now that there are no more rounds to comment on. Sorry this didn't come sooner.

I didn't up-vote this often, but I did a couple of times. I found the abilities from UE taking the lead, when I would have preferred your design to take the lead. I like the image of 'shed pebbles and dirt' but it loses a little credibility that anyone in this armor might be disallowed in a king's court, a monk's inner sanctuary, or even an inkeeper who is tired of sweeping. This image really works for the difficult terrain ability, but how soon before the wearer needs to bring in the rules for cave-ins? I do not like the 'start and ends' language. I have seen to many monks abuse this with spring attack. The DR doubling is a nice touch, and it is good design choice to mention only the armor's DR. The CMD bonus makes sense, but is not too exciting. Still, a balanced and cleanly written piece.

Hope we get to see you again next year :)

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