Iounic Pipes


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

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

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Iounic Pipes
Aura moderate transmutation and enchantment; CL 11th
Slot none; Price 84,000 gp Weight 6 lbs.
Description

These pan pipes are sculpted from banded agate with painted musical notes that shift and move on the gradations with the tune being played. When desired, the pipes can float in orbit around the piper.

Playing the pipes causes all ioun stones within 30 ft to bounce, spin, and glow as though the stones were dancing. This grants the stones’ owners a deflection bonus of +1 per stone, up to a maximum of +5.

As a standard action, the piper may target an individual’s ioun stones for one of the following effects as long as they are in the 30 foot range:

Defect the piper may use the perform (wind instruments) skill to attempt a Steal maneuver on an ioun stone against the target’s CMD. If successful, one of the ioun stones will fly up to 30 feet to orbit the piper. This ability can be used once per day.

Defend for one individual of the piper’s choosing, the deflection bonus provided by the music is increased to +2 per ioun stone with a maximum bonus of +10, and a miss chance of 20% against ranged attacks.

Harass for one individual of the piper’s choosing, the ioun stones violently, erratically disrupt vision and motion causing concentration checks against violent motion for spellcasters and giving everyone partial cover from the target.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, animate objects, blur, nixie’s lure; Cost 42,000 gp

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

So Frank, does this mean that you won't be doing the good, bad and ugly reviews?

Good Luck and I upvoted this a lot.

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

Oh, this is you! Congrats!

It's tough in this contest to play off ioun stones, but you did it quite cleverly.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Congrats, Frank! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Regardless of whether someone drops out or not, be awesome in round 2!

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

Maurice de Mare wrote:

So Frank, does this mean that you won't be doing the good, bad and ugly reviews?

Good Luck and I upvoted this a lot.

I have an alternate (my publishing partner Jeff Harris a.k.a. GM_Beernorg) said he might step in. Depends on if get called up to the big show or not.

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

Thank you for everyone that supported me with votes, I'm honored to be an alternate.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

frank gori wrote:
Maurice de Mare wrote:

So Frank, does this mean that you won't be doing the good, bad and ugly reviews?

Good Luck and I upvoted this a lot.

I have an alternate (my publishing partner Jeff Harris a.k.a. GM_Beernorg) said he might step in. Depends on if get called up to the big show or not.

I was kidding, you better be mapping right now!

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

Congrats. You played with my one of my favorite wondrous items, ioun stones!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka surfbored

Congrats, but you should've made the top 32. ;)

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations, Frank! After all your contributions to the contest for the past several years, it's nice to see you get some of the limelight this year!

You know, with the exception of the bag of holding/portable hole shtick you don't often see a lot of items that specifically interact with other magic items. The fact that you took advantage of that design space and capitalized on one of the classic Pathfinder items demonstrates real proficiency with the game and great out-of-the-box thinking.

Good luck, I hope we get to see more from you in the coming rounds!

Dark Archive

I liked this, and I voted for it more often than not. I only had two questions/concerns about this item:

  • Is the deflection bonus given to anyone with an ioun stone within 30 feet? As written, the answer would be yes, even enemies.
  • Do the pipes affect ioun stones that have been implanted, or slotted into Wayfinders? Reading the description, it would seem the answer was no (since they wouldn't be free to dance), but it's not called out, which could mean a yes.

Other than these two points, you had a strong item, and I'm glad to see you made the list. Congratulations on making 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

Wayfinders aren't in the prd, so Frank couldn't have included anything about them in his item (but I'd agree it'd probably be "no").

Dark Archive

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Wayfinders aren't in the prd, so Frank couldn't have included anything about them in his item (but I'd agree it'd probably be "no").

Ahh yes, I forgot about that. I'm just so used to everyone having one, I assumed it was there!

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
"Alanya wrote:


  • Is the deflection bonus given to anyone with an ioun stone within 30 feet? As written, the answer would be yes, even enemies.
  • Do the pipes affect ioun stones that have been implanted, or slotted into Wayfinders? Reading the description, it would seem the answer was no (since they wouldn't be free to dance), but it's not called out, which could mean a yes.

Yes that was intentional, I'm also quite aware a party could get 5 cracked iouns each and get +5 deflection bonuses, and if they happened to be bards or Skalds have this stack with another effect. The balance point of the action economy of that is that it can help enemies as well which presumably would result in the defect power being used and curbing the double buff for a round to do so. This is also partly why it's so expensive.

No would not work with a wayfinder as the motion grants the bonus and I could not reference that anyway.

I'm still deciding between a few map ideas so I figured on answering since there's no gag order outside coring periods.


Very clever item. This one made my personal Top 32. Well done!

Dark Archive

frank gori wrote:
I could not reference that anyway.

And this is why I would have DQ'd myself had I written this. :)

I actually like this item better now knowing enemy stones are also affected as it might give a party pause before using it, and isn't an automatic "yes" every fight. I love items that make PCs think about tactics!

Marathon Voter Season 9

Congrats!

I like this item, but it does have some very large power gaming issues. You bring up the fact that the huge bonuses are justified by it also effecting enemies, but the players are likely the only ones with ion stones in 99% of fights, and doubly so the only ones likely to flood their head with 5 dirt cheap cracked ones. Also, the item has a way to steal ion stones from any enemy who has any, which only exacerbates the problem. It looks like an auto include for any bard or skald, especially if playing as part of a performance is enough to trigger the effects as a free rider. In the end I like the items concept (a pied piper for ion stones), but I believe it to be very unbalancing. Maybe I would be proven wrong in play testing, but I suspect otherwise.

Best of luck in all future rounds!

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

Nice work Frank, you already know what I think.

As Frank is currently now in the top 32, I will indeed be taking over the GB&U thread this year, it is now posted and awaiting requests.

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

A tough design space Frank, but I think you handled it very well as far as your reasoning goes. I'm pretty much with Lucky Pips here, though at that price point, it's not that amazingly OP. Also I like that this item doesn't need to take advantage of any Perform or Performance related shenanigans and is thus fairly generically applicable.

I'm a huge fan of ioun stones, so I probably would have upvoted this on that basis alone - sadly I never saw it - not sure how many shy of Dedicated I got, but it is frustrating to have voted more than a few hundred times and have only Star to show for it!

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

Oh, forgot to tell you: Congrats!

I actually hated your item when I saw it, because it made me realize mine wasn't going to be good enough. :) It remained a favorite throughout the vote and I'm not at all surprised to see it's among the 36 most popular.

Looking forward to seeing your map and hopefully a monster (even though that means someone in the Top 32 is out). I read lots of your archetypes over the last couple years, but I don't recall ever seeing you design a monster.

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

If I recall correctly Frank authored a bunch of KQ blog articles on maximising monsters with templates and other options...

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

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
I don't recall ever seeing you design a monster.

Monsters? I'm not sure I'm comfortable with those. Let me check the internet... Nothing to see here just an Old Hat.

All kidding aside many of those were prior to my publishing work and I've leveled quite a bit since then. MY largest struggle if I make it to that round will be narrowing down an idea as I currently have about a dozen to work with already.

But that's getting quite a bit ahead since I haven't been called up to the big leagues yet, and there's no guarantee if some one drops out I'm next. If I do get in I have a serviceable map that displays my tremendous lack of artistic skill that would have to impress the voters more then it does me.

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

frank gori wrote:
Iounic Pipes

Congratulations for making it into the Top 36!

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.

Revision Needed — Oh GM_Solspiral, how nice to see you here :D Sorry you won't have time to comment on everyone's items this year :( As for your own, I'm tagging it as "revision needed" for a few reasons. One, are there any magic items that would have done the "deflect" "defend" and "harass" portions in BOLD like that? I'd need to do research, but it seem italics would be the go to. Beyond simple formatting though, I think you have a "neat idea" but there are oddball interactions that need to be addressed (and likely weren't because of the 300 word limit). For instance, a Perform (wind instruments) check is needed for the "deflect" option, but can just anyone try to use them for the others? Or does it take some minimum DC? Also, your item feels like it suffers from the "one more thing" problem. It gives a deflection bonus per ioun stone (already powerful things) and it's not just for the player of the pipes but ALL people with ioun stones for 30'? The Pathfinders would LOVE this, most of them carry one or more stones. Then "violent motion" doesn't feel like the right check vs. for concentration. I know it just sets a DC, but it wouldn't have been that hard to write "15 + spell level" and implying its even similar to violent motion makes me wonder if the stones are moving the person, or just surrounding them in an almost blade barrier like effect (only against them not for them). I'd also rather it was a variable based on number of ioun stones. And then too, your write up doesn't address the basic mechanics people can follow to "take down" an ioun stone... base rules are "The owner may voluntarily seize and stow a stone (to keep it safe while she is sleeping, for example), but she loses the benefits of the stone during that time." -- so, can they just choose to end it and grab the one stone if that's all they have? etc.

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

Oh, and I just remembered one or two you published to a Blazing 9 thread two or three years ago. Still, I've seen far more archetypes of your design... :)

Maybe TFPC should do some monster publications one day?

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

Too late to add to my original comment, so I'll flag as a separate one here:

Feel free to disagree with me and DEFEND YOUR CHOICES!


Just realised I missed this one. Very sorry Frank, Ill get to it as soon as I can.

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.

Iounic Pipes

The Good: I love ioun stones, they are some of my favourite items in the game, and an item that makes them even better, damn fine idea.

The Bad: This item is feast or famine, if ioun stones are not around, either on foes or allies, then the iounic pipes lose their luster.

The Ugly: My murderhobo alter ego will maximize Perform, get all the ioun stones, and then rule the world.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

I really love this item and feel that is it very innovative. This is probably my favorite item in the competition this year. I know even when workshopping that this would have gotten the vote over my own item if that had come up (luckily it didn't).

I wish I had had more opportunities to vote this up but only saw it once during the voting.

Great job!

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

Welcome to the Top 36, Frank! 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 as you move forward. 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 iounic pipes!

Functionality and Usefulness
Items that interact with existing items are a neat space to work in. You've created your own item with a unique angle, but also get to tap into the appeal of ioun stones which are classic and popular.

Your pipes do something both unusual and useful: ioun stone manipulation. So the idea is sound and brings something new to the table. Now to how its abilities look like they might play out.

The core deflection bonus affect the stones of enemies and allies. I get that is a decision to offset the bonuses a little, encouraging the wielder to spend time stealing ioun stones from an enemy that has them before activating the double bonus.

I'm not sure it's much of an offset, though. Unless fighting another adventuring party, the PCs aren't likely to encounter a lot of ioun stones on the opposing side, whereas an adventuring group will happily get some cheapie stones and throw them over their heads to take advantage of the bonuses from these pipes.

In an average use, the power of this is in check; figure 2-3 PCs probably have ioun stones at a time, and probably no more than one or two each, if that many, and that's in keeping with a base standard of how this could be used. The extreme ends need to be considered, though. On the opposite side of things, parties with no stones have next to no use for these.

So this has the potential (in some parties, make that 'extreme likelihood') to grant everyone within 30 feet a +5 AC. For as long as the piper is playing (and, if a bard or skald can activate the pipes right alongside their performances, they don't have much reason not to play these). That's already looking like an ability that needs a little tweaking to rein in.

Adding on the rest of the abilities heads into overkill territory. Stealing the ioun stones I do like and is very keeping with the theme, plus, for a party without ioun stones it is basically the only thing these are good for. My only issue with it is that skill checks are going to outpace CMD pretty fast, especially Perform for a bard. So this would rarely fail, but at least it has a 1/day limiter.

The other two abilities feel unnecessary. Defend is just the base ability + more which doesn't show much innovation. Plus giving everybody up to +5 AC within 30 feet is plenty fantastic; being able to give someone up to +10 is unnecessary. The Harass ability is interesting, but feels a bit tacked on here. It also doesn't seem totally thematic. With the pied-piper vibe going on here, I get the harmonious dancing and spinning within the area, I get the luring stones away from others, but violent, distracting shaking I don't really get.

And I admit I'm actually a little sad this is a musical instrument without any Perform shenanigans. I get excited to see musical instruments for exactly that. :)

The Cool Factor/Mojo
Mechanical and exploitation concerns aside, these are cool pipes. I like the theme that went into them and I'm fond of connecting the stones to music, what with the new age-y connection between crystals and sound.

Being able to steal ioun stones with music and using the stones as a whirling defense are interesting innovations. You took an unusual approach, and even the caster distraction/cover feature showed promise, I jut didn't like it with the rest of the item.

Prose and Editing
I found a few things: For the list of abilities, should be italics instead of bold. Missed the period after "ft". Skill names should be capitalized (Perform).

Your writing overall is pretty good--I liked the description, though I think the wording could use a little tightening.

No template problems! (Unsurprising. You know all this stuff!)

Overall
You know what you're doing and this is a neat take on interacting with ioun stones. Closer proofreading is a good idea moving forward. Also find a balance between showing off what you can do with also keeping a design balanced and elegant.

I am honored to have been allowed to provide feedback this year. Best of luck moving forward, Frank, and I expect your map is going to show off your creativity and capability!

Congratulations again!

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

Victoria Jaczko wrote:
I'll be one of the judges for this first round, offering my humble commentary which I hope will be helpful as you move forward.

I wasn't sure if the alternates were going to be get the Superstar judge treatment and I just want to say that I really appreciate the effort and inclusion. I know how much a detailed critique like that takes and I appreciate the points you've raised, thank you.

Restraint seems a common theme for me as a designer in this competition and perhaps as a designer as a whole. I always seem to go after a high difficulty concept or a slightly gonzo niche because I like the flavor. Luckily I am blessed with a more conservative set of partners and Sr Staffers to reign in my brand of crazy enough for the masses with the published work.

Thanks again to Victoria and everyone else that has taken the time to review my pipes.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

The first thing any group of power games is going to do is buy a bunch of cheap stones, smarter power gamers will find an improved familiar or cohort to carry this so that none of them have to waste actions to keep the buffs going.

That being said, I think there is a brilliant idea in there that just needs polishing to be amazing.

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

Frank! Welcome..to 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 should you step up from alternate status to the second round. So, first up...your item...the iounic pipes...

Okay. The name is fine. It's a set of pipes, playing around with ioun stones and it can even circle you in a very iounic kind of way.

Mojo. There's a hint of it here in the sense that (like a wayfinder) you're looking for an item that can play off another, allowing it (and them) to do different things. Depending on where and how far you take this effect will determine how much overall mojo it has. Too much and you kill it. Too little and it's barely noteworthy.

Cinematic. There's a hodge-podge of effects these pipes can carry off with ioun stones, and all of them generally create some interesting, memorable visuals.

Usefulness. I think the design falls down here, and in a couple of significant ways. First, others have brought up the fact that it's feast or famine with these pipes. There are either a bunch of ioun stones around and these pipes can interact with them...or the party goes off and buys a bunch of them so they can benefit from what these pipes can do with them...or, a GM makes sure there's no ioun stones around hardly ever so he doesn't have to deal with the potential powergaming effect that the use of these pipes in conjunction with them would cause.

Those concerns aside, yes, the iounic pipes are "useful" in the sense that they grant a tremendously variable effect depending on how many ioun stones someone has around their head. How do you price an item like that? If there are five ioun stones on a single individual and the pipe player decides to have them defend that person, they get a huge AC bonus, right? Whereas, if there's only a single ioun stone, the effect is much diminished. The variability of it...even if dependent on another magic item...means the pipes themselves are incapable of being priced effectively to know how much of a PC's or NPC's wealth should be used up to obtain it to enjoy its in-game effects. And this problem actually just magnifies the more you extend the pipes' influence over ioun stones in the possession of anyone nearby (friend or foe). Yes, there's some strategy that would come into play if both sides have ioun stones, but the ability to steal them with the pipes present the winning scenario for every one of those strategies.

So, the usefulness is simultaneously too high if ioun stones are significantly in play, and too low if a campaign doesn't include them at all, or provide the means for PCs to acquire them.

Mechanics. There are a lot of breakdowns here, as well. The defect ability pits a Perform (wind instruments) skill check against someone's CMD. Because class skill bonuses, skill ranks, ability boosts, feat boosts, racial bonuses, other magic item boosts, and even class ability boosts (from a bard) are added to the randomness of a single d20 roll and then pitted against the "AC" of someone's CMD, it's pretty much going to be an automatic win very quickly for anyone using the pipes. So, the steal combat meaneuver has a high degree of success out of sync with the difficulty of doing so. This is why we have CMBs rather than skill checks going against CMDs.

In addition, the defend ability of the pipes creates a situation for one individual that magnifies the defensive capability of the ioun stones as high as +10?!? This is definitely overpowered and ill-advised...even at this price. After all, a ring of protection +5 is 50,000 gp on its own. What's a +10 deflection bonus worth when the pipes can essentially grant that for this one individual seemingly as often as it wants? In addition to a 20% miss chance in case that AC boost wasn't high enough?!? And it's being provided by an item that doesn't even take up the ring slot, so you can still wear a couple of uber-powered rings while your ioun stones are doing the dance of deflection for you! This power alone is over the top.

Next up, we have the harass ability of the pipes, whereby it can exacerbate the activity of another's ioun stones to create concentration and accuracy problems for them. While I don't see why anyone would bother with this power rather than invoking the defect ability to steal the stone away (i.e., many of them give greater effects for the wearer than a penalty to concentration checks or attacks would be worth), I'm also unsure how a single ioun stone could become harassing enough to provide partial cover to everyone rather than simply impose a penalty on the target's attacks. In essence, partial cover is something you hide behind. A buzzing ioun stone trying to distract you is penalizing your attack. It might not seem like much, because mechanically, the end result is about the same (i.e., partial cover grants a +2 AC bonus and a +1 Reflex save bonus to those who enjoy it). But, primarily, this is really just a sloppy way of describing the item's mechanics in rules terms.

Polish. There are quite a few presentation errors in here cutting across a variety of game terms. Abbreviations like "ft" need a period after them. Terminology like a "30 foot range" actually needs hyphenation. Skills like "perform" actually need to be capitalized. Combat maneuvers like "Steal" need to be lowercase (unless they're starting a sentence). References to magic items in your descriptive text (like "ioun stone" and "ioun stones") need to be italicized.

Other than that, this item got you very close to the Top 32, and that's because it had the innovation to do something (a lot of somethings) involving a fan-favorite item like ioun stones. But, serious mechanical concerns, lack of professional polish in correctly referencing game terminology, and general overpowered-ness would have sunk this item for the judges if we'd been selecting the Top 32. I'm not even sure the mojo/innovation would have elevated it to the Keep folder, because the judges have often taken a dim view towards Superstar item submissions that heavily (or wholly) depend on the coolness of pre-existing items to carry them. That's because those item designs often capitalize more on what someone else created than what a potential Superstar designer is demonstrating they can create from whole cloth. That said, I don't want you to think this is an entirely fruitless enterprise. There can be significant innovation in pairing a magic item design with an existing one. But, usually, that kind of synergy works best when it's not the only thing upon which your design hinges. You would have done yourself a great favor if you could have found an additional power (to replace some of the others) that created an effect just from the pipes independent of ioun stones...i.e., having a bard be able to mentally play the pipes by whirling it around his head and getting wind to move through them in a certain way provided by the magic.

Regardless, I know this is probably a disappointing critique. Hindsight is always 20/20, and it takes a lot of courage and hard work to put together a submission for RPG Superstar. You've still got a lot of areas where you can learn and improve. Congratulations on making it as far as you have, and should you get called up, I look forward to seeing what you've got for us in Round 2.

My two cents,
--Neil

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

Neil Spicer wrote:
Frank! Welcome..to the Top 36!

Item synergy is a design angle I've always liked and I'm aware of the advantage of playing to it with a voting public. I chose to present this item because Ioun Stones are popular and I figured I'd likely own the design space with something original. It wasn't my favorite of this year's batch (that would go to a water themed gauntlet I didn't submit) it was the one I thought people would vote for and I was right even though it wasn't enough to garner top 32. My lesson this year is submit what I feel strongest about rather than what I think other's will... it feels a little dirty to be here on what I don't particularly feel is my best work.

TL:DR I don't feel the AC bonuses are overpowered with the average attack bonuses in higher level play:

I do feel you're overstating the value of the deflection bonuses this would grant in high level play which the price tag mandates. AC loses the arms race with average to hit bonuses badly by around 12th level unless the character build has pretty much dedicated itself to keeping AC relevant. If you've done that then you're not focusing on removing foes from play which is the better strategy with regards to your action economy.

In order to take advantage of that "OP" defensive bonus you have to stay within 30 ft of the piper which makes the party an easy target for AOE spells and effect which tend to target Reflex save which is on average the weakest save for the majority of characters.

The +2/stone max 5 is indeed way more potent but that costs a standard action to activate meaning you cannot use a bardic performance with it, just the native +1/per stone max 5 in a 30ft radius.

There's a trade off in optimizing the befits of the item but it's perhaps overly nuanced and I totally get why there are concerns as it can appear OP with a casual read. I worried about that. Perhaps I'd have been better served obsessing on the formatting more than I did about power balancing the AC benefit. It did occur to me it also opens a ring slot for the typical optimizer but then again that optimizer still has to stick to the performer...

In retrospect I'd cut the Defend and Harass powers as Victoria suggested and perhaps used that word count to add to the defensive imagery (the ioun stones speed up and grow to the size of bucklers perhaps?) and tweak the defect power some more (in one draft the defect power had no limits but could be stopped automatically with an attack of opportunity forcing action economy by having foes frantically wasting actions stowing their ioun stones from being nabbed by the PCs.)

Oh and cool idea on it floating around using the spin to generate wind to play the pipes, I honestly hadn't thought of that!

Thank you for the feedback Neil, I've always been a fan and really appreciate you taking the time. Sorry my efforts didn't impress, but I'll take the chin music.

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

I voted for this one, mostly because it dared to take on interaction with an existing item (type) and did so successfully. I thought that showed a good deal of designer chops, both in knowing what people want and how to deliver it in a creative way. And showed a lot of confidence as well. It's not something most would take on.

That said, it did seem as if it had one or two abilities too many. Focus would likely have been better.

And why is it that NPCs never have ioun stones? Given how popular they are with players, you'd expect them to show up a lot more often than they do.

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

frank gori wrote:
Iounic Pipes

Congratulations frank!

This was my favorite item. I agree mechanically it probably goes too far & needs some major rewrites, but its still my favorite item. The basis of this is playing the pipes to make stones dance. Then it describes/grants several ways dancing stones affect the game. Deflection, harass, suppress/steal, & they all make sense for dancing stones. That the pipes can also float around your head is cool flavor. :)

Well done, welcome to the too 32 & good luck! :)

Community / Forums / Archive / Paizo / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ Season 9 (2016) / Open Call: Design a wondrous item, magic armor, or magic weapon / Iounic Pipes All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Open Call: Design a wondrous item, magic armor, or magic weapon