Glaive of the Lion-Hearted

Open Call: Design a wondrous item, magic armor, or magic weapon

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Glaive of the Lion-Hearted
Aura faint abjuration, enchantment, and necromancy; CL 5th
Slot none; Price 35,308 gp; Weight 14 lbs.

The glaive of the lion-hearted is a +2 courageous thundering glaive with a serrated blade shaped to resemble teeth. Rather than a steel blade topping a wooden pole, this impressive polearm is forged entirely from steel. A banner bearing the visage of a snarling lion waves from the weapon's handle.

Once per day, the wielder can unleash a devastatingly loud roar upon scoring a critical hit with the glaive. This roar penetrates any silence spells within 150 ft, dispelling the spell(s) and allowing the weapon to deal its bonus sonic damage to the target. The lion fades from the banner after dispelling a spell, but the image returns the following day. If the wielder of the glaive of the lion-hearted ever runs from a fight, the lion fades and the weapon's dispelling powers cannot be used for the remainder of the day, though it remains a +2 courageous thundering glaive. If the dispelling ability has already been used for the day, the wielder suffers no penalties for retreating.

Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, blindness/deafness, dispel magic, heroism, remove fear; Cost 17,808 gp

Sovereign Court Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber


I like glaives and lions and banners and roaring, so your flavor rocked my world. Good luck with your map round!

( Moar lions, roar! )

Dark Archive

I liked this item, though the additional powers are so situational that I worry it wouldn't be worth it when there are plenty of other weapons out there. However, if and when it does come up, the wielder (and allies, especially casters) would be very happy to have this around! I think I would like this weapon better if the roar did something when there wasn't an area of silence to counter, to give it more versatility for everyday use.
Congratulations on making the Top 32!

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

Welcome back Elizabeth!

This item grew on me, but mostly when I removed the roar as counter effect in my head. Silenced target + crit was just too situational, but I liked that a roaring glaive would have an effect (its sonic damage?) out to 150 feet. That part is pretty cool :)

Good luck on the maps and monsters!

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

I think I agree with Alanya. I had played around with a silence-dispelling type of item at one point and my beta readers thought it would be too situational. I was also -- ironically, maybe? -- disappointed that it was a 1/day power, since it means the part that's really Superstar is even more limited and it's mostly just a +2 courageous thundering glaive .

I'm also not sure you needed the drawback but that wasn't a huge deal for me.

On the more positive side, the imagery is nice and the whole thing feels really thematic, in a way it could easily not in the hands of another designer.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Thrawn007

Thundering and Courageous won't really be on dream weapon's for optimizers, but for me this was a great weapon. Everything about it fit a nice thematic package, and although some complain the silence ability is too situational, it's also very powerful, and it adds very little to the relative cost of the overall weapon. This was one of the few items I had on my keep list, so I was glad to see it come through.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Thank you everyone for the kind words and comments!

Dark Archive RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9

Liz, this weapon provides some needed pole arm love, which attracted me to it from the start.

You gave a good core power to it and livened it up with some great lion mojo. Well done!

It is an honor to compete with you in Round 2.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Congratulations on making it in!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka thornnm

Having played a Polearm Master Fighter recently, I definitely had some appreciation for this item. Good mechanics and cool flavour get my vote every time. Looking forward to seeing your map!

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

I wonder at the usefulness of the power, as it's very situational. If there's a silence in play but the weilder doesn't crit and such.
But that's largely irrelevant and the item is fun and evocative, capturing the imagination.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

First Impression Haiku:

Lion-Hearted Glaive
Homage to the late Cecil
Upvote all day long!

Marathon Voter Season 9

Congrats on making top 32!

While some have talked about the items situational usefulness, I'm not so sure. Instead of seeing it as a dedicated anti-silence weapon, I saw it as a Thunderous weapon with a built in way to avoid one of the few ways to shut that effect down (silence). In that regard I really like the weapon. Its a neat little rider effect that shows good use of an existing enchantment and a way to boost up that enchantment. That shows me a high level of understanding of the mechanics, and I like that showcasing of mechanical mastery a lot.

However, unlike some other posters, I'm not as sold on the lion theme. Its definitely there, but it misses in a few places for me. Maybe if you would add a line about the thundering property not being a "cacophonous roar like thunder", but instead a roar like a lion, and not the wielder making the noise, I would have been a little more behind it. As is, and by my reading, there is both the weapon exploding into thunder on a crit, and the wielder yelling. Also, the name is "of the lion hearted" yet besides the courageous enchantment I don't see any powers or effects that lives up to that name, only that drawback. I would rather have played up the roar theme then spread around the concept to cover more lion related aspects. Especially since the new content you are adding didn't really involve that courageous aspect of the theme. Still, The item is undeniable themed around lions, just not with the same effects I was hoping for or thinking about from the name. These small criticism are not not me disparaging the item, just trying to turn some aspects up to eleven. You've definitely shown that you deserves to be up here and I look forward to seeing your map.

Best of luck in all future rounds!

RPG Superstar 2014 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7 aka Belladonna Blue

Welcome to the Top 32, Elizabeth! Your submission has overcome the magic item horde and the many culls to emerge at the top of the heap. Congratulations!

I'll be one of the judges for this first round, offering my humble commentary which I hope will be helpful to you moving into Round 2. I will be considering each item based on three factors: functionality (does the item fill a useful niche within the rules?), mojo ("wow" factor--would I point out this item to someone else, or immediately get some cool concept to go with it?), and writing (is the formatting and text clear and error free? Is the prose interesting and evocative?)

Combining these elements successfully is, I feel, key to defining that elusive "Superstar" quality that we all want to see.

So you know what I'm looking for, now let's move on to the good bit: your glaive of the lion-hearted!

Functionality and Usefulness
I got excited reading the name and description. I like lions and I like polearms and I was expecting a cool courage-based weapon, maybe with some neat intimidation factor.

Your glaive went in a different direction which disappointed me a little, but still came out cool in its own way.

I kept reading the snarling roar on a critical hit as coming from the lion and I liked it that way. Not so much when I realized it was the wielder. The silence dispel works in tandem with the thundering ability. The bonus sonic damage to the critical hit target is good, but I think the glaive could do a little more.

Something playing up the courage aspect would be beneficial, especially given the weapon's drawback. Right now, the courageous ability and the punishment for being a coward is the only thing evocative of a "courage" theme. Having something else trigger off the roar in case there's no silence to dispel would be a good touch, and it doesn't have to be much. The roar could demoralize foes in range, or grant allies in range a morale bonus, just as examples.

The Cool Factor/Mojo
I think one of my favorite things about the glaive is its drawback, oddly enough. It makes me think of old-school cavaliers and their never back down requirements. The punishment only shuts down the item's ability temporarily and does no real harm to the PC, so I like it as an evocative flavor choice.

My biggest problem with items that trigger on critical hits/misses is this: the coolest thing the item does might be rarer than a planetary alignment (if you roll like me, anyway). If it's going to trigger on one of these rare events, then it should be worth waiting for. I like the dispel effect because it's so harmonious with the thundering ability. I just want a little bit more for when there's no silence, because bonus damage just isn't cool enough.

Pairing thundering with a silence dispel is very clever, and displays good design. I think you can amp it up more, moving forward.

Prose and Editing
Tying the abilities better into the lion-hearted flavor--beyond just using a lion--would really bring this together in an awesome way.

Your template is perfect and no quibbles with your rules language. Your writing is good overall, and the only error I caught is missing the period after the "ft." abbreviation.

The item's biggest flaws are a bit of a mismatch between apparent theme and abilities and not quite enough "oomph" in the star ability. Your strengths are you know how to write something evocative and with clever mechanics. Balancing "too much" with "not enough" is tough, but I think you're almost there. I'd like to see just a little more.

I am honored to have been allowed to provide feedback this year. I look forward to your entry for Round 2, Elizabeth, and hope to see your map stand out with as much polish and thought as you've shown here.

Congratulations again!

I will be starting my reviews soon, and they can be bumpy at times, so here's a starter for 10 on Template ...

Dang, You nailed it!

I will be looking much harder in my detailed review, but it looks like perfect template execution - well done.

Full review to follow in due course.

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

As promised yesterday, the GB&U this year is courtesy of me rather than GM_solsprial (he is busy drawing furiously). So without further ado, our amazing and awesome top 32+4 get the first set of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly critiques, and then on to everyone else who requested a critique in the CMI official thread, or in my shiny The GB&U Season 9 thread.

Glaive of the Lion-Hearted

The Good: Lions are awesome, and who does not love roaring. So well done, the lion theme was strong this year, but you walked the tight rope of too little vs. too much lion, and made it to the other side safely.

The Bad: The item description falls a bit short of evoking the heroic lion themed image of this weapon that I was expecting.

The Ugly: Retreating is a broad term, and I can see there being issues with losing abilities when retreating, as, does that include the withdraw maneuver (which does not mean you leave the combat per say). The open to interpretation space in the drawback sets off bells in my publisher mind.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

You've got some solid thematic choices going for thundering and courageous. The lion theme was good fits well with the abilities. I like the image of a pole-arm with a banner attached.

The unique ability just seemed situational and not very reliable.

Congrats and Good luck!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Congratulations, Elizabeth!

I've seen a well-placed silence spell cripple parties, so having this item break through the effect was an excellent touch. I only wish it could be used under circumstances more frequent than a critical hit (the huge range offsets this slightly, but not by much). The theme is strong without being overpowered, and you kept it concise without compromising your flavor.

Can't wait to see your chops in the map round!

Paizo Employee Assistant Developer , Star Voter Season 6

Hello, Elizabeth, and welcome to the Top 32!

I'll be a judge for this round, and I'm honored and pleased to offer feedback on your glaive of the lion-hearted. I hope this feedback provides some helpful insight to you as you move forward in the competition.

As an assistant developer at Paizo, I'll offer you three levels of commentary that approximate the development process: some first impressions, a deeper look, and some measured feedback.

So, let's get started!

First impressions: You've brought some lovely descriptions here centered around a cool theme -- lions and courage -- with evocative, old-school European heraldry flavor to boot. I can almost see the lion banner waving in the breeze. (Do you think it'd be crimson and gold? It seems like it'd be crimson and gold.)

Deeper look: You could have gone a lot of directions with this sort of themed glaive, and the route you did take is not what I expected, but that doesn't mean it's bad. The thing for me is that, while they can be a problem, silence spells are not so common that this weapon's special ability would see all that much use, and that's a darn shame. I'd have liked to see this weapon use a more active ability, like keying up Intimidate checks made to demoralize and/or playing with the duration of the shaken condition. In fact, there's a lot of potential in here for a weapon tied to the cavalier's challenge ability, or even keying it into the Order of the Lion.

Measured feedback: I love that you've created such a strong visual for such an appealing concept. My advice is to funnel that same level of creativity and design ability into carving out rules options that are natural fits for your ideas. If you do that, the sky's the limit for you in this competition.

That said, thanks for reading, and best of luck to you in the contest!

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

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Elizabeth! Welcome the Top 32!

As one of the judges who'll be along for the entire ride of the competition, it's my duty (and pleasure) to offer up some commentary on your winning submission, as well as a bit of advice for the challenges to come. First up...your item...the glaive of the lion-hearted...

Okay. The name is awesome. I mean it. Awesome. Makes me want to roll up a polearm-wielding warrior and charge into battle. You tell us what it is. You tell us it involves lions and lion-hearted courage, and then you deliver on that theme. Well done!

Mojo. It's got mojo. Could probably even take on a bit more mojo if you pushed it a little further, but this is an inspiring weapon. You found the right mix of function and inspiring imagery/description to draw in the reader.

Cinematic. Absolutely. This weapon instills courage in its wielder and grants a thundering sonic attack with increased effectiveness on critical hits. It's so cinematic that it literally cuts through silence effects. Boom! Somebody cue the lion roar from MGM. Or go stand next to Aslan for a selfie from Narnia.

Usefulness. It's not your run-of-the-mill glaive. There's more to it than just the cutting edge. But, like Amanda, I think there were some missed opportunities here to use the weapon's banner in conjunction with the cavalier's class ability. Other battlefield effects like demoralilzing your enemy with Intimidate checks or even boosting the effect of the challenge class ability with the roar effect would've brought this home even further. That said, I think you clearly put a lot of effort into making sure this weapon was more than just a weapon, and that helps it stand out, no doubt.

Mechanics. You mostly stayed true to the mechanics that already exist in the game, but you also built in some stuff with the impact of retreating. So, you dabbled a bit here, but didn't necessarily bowl me over. The dispelling effect on silence is nice. I wish it could be actively done a certain number of times rather than being dependent on a critical hit, though.

Polished. You get high marks here. You mostly filled everything out right, including the spells in the construction requirements to support the courageous and thundering special effects. Still need to put a "." on "ft" with your distance in the description, though.

Other than that, this item has great imagery with useful abilities, and it inspires the soul. It oozes flavor, presents everything about as mechanically tight as you can get it, doesn't necessarily push the envelope as far I might personally want it to go, but demonstrates your experience and passion for the game. So, I offer you my congratulations on making the Top 32 again. It's great to see another fellow alumni from 2009 make it back. And I look forward to seeing what you've got for us in Round 2.

My two cents,

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

Again, I'm showing bias here - I love glaives.

I like this item, but I agree with others that want more thematic links. Especially something to emulate "lion" or "lion hearted" - definitely soemthing brave or fearless while wielding it just as a base - which would help with that drawback from cowardly running away.

There's plenty of words left in this item, they don't [i]need[i] to be used, but here, they could have.

Still, a solid entry Elizabeth!

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

Okay now that we have a few days before Top 16 reveals I've decided to comment on my competitors work. First, congrats one being a people's choice top 36. To me connecting more directly with the pathfinder community as an audience is even more impressive then clicking for a group of judges.

This got unfairly dubbed as a Katy Perry item when clearly it should have been noted for being more into Monsters and Men. I liked this a lot in fact I liked all 3 lion themed items this year and I think they sort of suffered a little by being compared to one another a lot. There's one build I think would have the most awesome of benefits as it's a prestige class that advances Cavalier abilities and bard abilities. I think everything I'd have to call out has already so I'm not going to echo the sentiments of some of the other reviews. Overall cool flavor, good luck in the next round.

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

Elizabeth Leib wrote:
Glaive of the Lion-Hearted

Congratulations for making it into the Top 32!

Seeing as that's how I had to start this, you're already a potential "Superstar" so keep that in mind!

That out of the way, I'm going to treat your item the same as if I saw it in the Critique My Item Thread, which means I'll be using the following comments, and assuming you're submitting this item as your "sample" for an Open Call to Fat Goblin Game's Call to Arms book line.

Feel free to disagree with me and DEFEND YOUR CHOICES!

Revision Needed — A seven foot "pole" of solid metal (assuming round, 1 inch bar, 7 feet long) like 18.7 lbs. Add to it the weight of the blade (a normal glaive weighs 10 lbs., so minus the weight of the wooden pole <I'll use quarterstaff's 4 lbs. for 5 feet and add +2 pounds for 2 ft? = ~4 lbs blade) => 23 lb. weapon of solid steel. And for no real reason that I can tell? And dispelling silence spells/effects is neat, but counterspells and dispelling usually uses a lvl vs. lvl. system (see interaction of light vs. darkness for example). Then the retreat thing seems... unneeded for a once-per-day power anyways. A 3.5 sohei would love this thing.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

I think this was one of my favorite weapons in the contest. I agree with others that the roar should come from the weapon and the dispel should follow normal dispel rules.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Congratulations on earning a spot in Season 9’s Top 32, Elizabeth! Here’s a few of my thoughts regarding the glaive of the lion-hearted:

  • The name has me thinking about a college class I took on the Crusades. I’m curious how you’re going to work this well-known title into the weapon.
  • It’s not necessary to name the item in your opening description, or at all throughout the descriptive text if you keep the writing tight enough. You could just say “This +2 courageous thundering glaive has a serrated blade…”
  • The teeth imagery is fun, but I would have liked for the weapon to have actually been made from bone per the special material.
  • Dispelling silence with a strike from the glaive is a great idea. Having it manifest as a cacophonic roar is inspired. Seeing that it only works on a crit lessened my excitement considerably. I want to buy this weapon for that ability alone, but it’s so rare that it will come up, I simply could not count on it to ever happen. That makes me turn to other abilities of the item to try to sell me.
  • Does “allowing the weapon to deal its bonus sonic damage to the target “ mean the weapon can deal sonic damage to targets within the 150’ roar radius? That could make up for the rarity of there being a silence to dispel, but I’m not sure that’s what that statement means.
  • Hmm, the only other ability is a drawback for fleeing a combat. This is a fun mechanic, but it doesn’t help with my prior concern.
  • An antagonist could make good use of this item. It’s a polearm, which helps. Enemy barbarians with iconic weapons make for memorable NPCs. A polearm using player would probably consider using this weapon if they didn’t already have a +3 weapon.
The conditions for the roar mean that that I’m forced to exclude the ability when considering it for a character. I’m just never that lucky, and counting on a crit the 3 or 4 times you encounter silence in an adventuring career means I’m betting against the house. This item is fun and flavorful on paper, but in practice it might as well just be a +2 courageous thundering glaive. I can see why it made it into the Top 32 though, and going forward I would suggest you pay close attention to putting the power of your creativity into the hands of the players, instead of on circumstance. I do look forward to seeing that creativity in the next round though. Good luck!

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

I think where this kind of stumbles is in mixing the thundering quality with the dispel, which makes the dispel depend on the crit.

Maybe the way to go is to just allow the thundering and the dispel to be triggered at will (once per day) when under the effect of a silence spell. That could even work thematically, the weapon needing to assert its voice or something.

I don't think that would be overpowered, not at once per day.

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