Brooch of the Monarch


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

Vice President, Lone Wolf Development , Star Voter Season 9

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Brooch of the Monarch
Aura faint transmutation; CL 5th
Slot neck; Price 16,000 gp; Weight
Description
This dainty brooch of spun gold appears as a butterfly in flight, each time the wearer suffers a critical hit the brooch explodes into a swarm of butterflies, causing enemies within 10 feet to become nauseated (DC 12 Fortitude save negates). As they dart about the butterflies swiftly form a golden cocoon around the wearer’s torso adding a +2 deflection bonus to AC. After two rounds the butterflies disperse, ending the natural armor and nauseate effects.

Additionally, once per day, upon uttering the command word, this delicate insect flutters away from its perch, attaching wings to the back of an ally within 30 feet. The butterfly enlarges to an appropriate size to grant the target a fly speed of 60 feet (perfect maneuverability) for 5 minutes.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, fly, summon swarm; Cost 8,000 gp

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

Congratulations BJ!

Nice work. I think the fly ability was a bit too SAK for me, but I imagine a developer could cut that off if they thought it necessary. Flying is appropriate for a butterfly theme, but I think it would have been tighter if a swarm similar to the first ability carried the target rather than wings. Going with nauseated instead of a full mechanical swarm is a good call, & the deflection is a nice touch. Well done. :)

Good luck with your map!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9

Thank you, that's excellent advice!


Congrats!

Here's one question that I had: Why a nauseate effect? I had trouble reconciling that effect with the visual of beautiful butterflies.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am sure BJ is working her map now, and it's generally frowned on for contestants to remark about their entries during the contest. EVen though votes were cast and such, it's a good policy to refrain from more than "Thank You" until the whole contest is over.

I can't answer for her, but I can speculate that the nausea is a reference to the distraction ability of swarms. If you think of it as a swarm, then the effort to not breath in or swallow a bunch of butterflies (or termites or spiders) simulates nausea. Most swarms I know of have this exact same effect.

Anyhoo..congrats, BJ! Looking forward to your map!

Dark Archive

I agree with Spitfire - I think distracted would have made more sense than nauseous. Oddly enough, this was the one thing that turned me off of the item enough that it never made it into my personal favorites (I do not think of butterflies as nauseous, but I am always distracted when these beautiful creatures fly by). Beyond that, I liked this, and loved your description. Though now that he mentions it, I also agree with Curaigh that having a swarm carry off the ally would have had much cooler visual effects. ;)
Congratulations on making the Top 32!

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Congratulations on making it in!

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

I like this item flavourully, visually and mechanically - the game needs more dainty. ;)

I could have done without the added wings and would rather see some camouflage or more defensive properties - but it makes sense.

Nice work BJ. Simple yet evocative.

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

Congrats on making the Top 32! I agree that the nauseate effect is a bit unexpected for butterflies, despite that being a typical effect for swarms. But other than that, a very nice item! Good luck in the rest of the competition.

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

I had not seen this one during voting, but I'm finding it intriguing now!

Congratulations on making the Top 32 and good luck in the rest of the competition!

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

Welcome to the Top 32, BJ! 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 brooch of the monarch!

Functionality and Usefulness
A different take on a defensive item with a built-in fly capability. It plays in really well with characters that have a nature/beauty/peace theme, and I think there's definitely a niche for these types of items for those characters. The antipaladin with the giant horned demon helmet won't touch it, but that's fine--there's plenty of demonic themed items for him out there.

I really like using a simple nauseating effect and AC bonus instead of busting out a whole swarm. Simplicity is a virtue. My issue is that the coolest, core ability of the item is keyed off an event that, depending on player luck, may rarely or never trigger. At the price point, a +2 to AC is negligible and a DC 12 save is pretty much never going to trigger. So the wearer gets smacked with a critical hit, is very unlikely to get anything useful for the trouble, and really just has a 1/day fly SIAC. It needs to be substantially cheaper, or the bonus/save substantially better/changed, or not to trigger off a random event.

The Cool Factor/Mojo
The concept behind the brooch is solid. You could've had it spit out a swarm, but didn't. You took a sensible offense/defense approach to debuff the enemy with a nauseating effect and protect the wielder with an AC boost. I do appreciate the restraint, knowing how easy it is to go too far in design, but the restraint might've been a little too much here. I can see you know how to be creative with your design, but this feels dialed-down from what it might've been.

If the brooch would work as intended on a regular basis, I know there are players that would love it an enjoy it. It's beautiful. But it's not quite functional right now.

Prose and Editing
Your imagery is excellent, but there are a few grammar issues with run-on sentences. Your first two sentences in particular need editing with better breaks and transitioning. Self-edit rigorously, and where your editing ends, get someone else to look at it, too.

Your overall work on the item is very concise, which is good, but your sentences should be, too.

No issues in formatting and rules language is good.

Overall
It's interesting and shows real potential, but the coolest part of the item may never get seen in play. At its price, it is competing with amulets of natural armor and there are easier ways to get access to the fly spell.

I'll admit I'm not the biggest fan of items that depend on something random and bad happening to actually work. I don't want to be rooting for a critical hit to see what my cool item does. I also don't want to have a slot taken up with an item that only helps me when something bad happens when an amulet of natural armor is there for me all the time.

You captivated a lot of voters with the simple elegance and creative approach you took, though, and those are boons not to be underestimated. Going forward, keep in mind who will be interacting with what you create, and under what circumstances. Do let loose with the obvious potential I see here and go bigger. You need to show off.

I am honored to have been allowed to provide feedback this year. I look forward to your entry for Round 2, BJ, and I want to see you go bigger with your map, but don't lose the creativity and elegance that got you here.

Congratulations again!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Snowblossom

Team Butterfly FTW! \o/
Hehehe ;)
But seriously I loved this item. The imagery was especially nice. One of my favorites. Great job and congratulations!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9

Thank you for the feedback. :) Haha! Go team butterfly!

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

First of all, congrats, BJ!

I think I agree with Victoria about the effect only coming up in certain circumstances being a big drawback for me. Also, like Crystal's butterfly-themed item, I felt the secondary power was a bit tacked on and that detracted from the main aspect for me.

That said, the imagery is great -- I really like "dainty brooch of spun gold" as a description. Looking forward to seeing what else you'll come up with.

Steven Helt wrote:

I am sure BJ is working her map now, and it's generally frowned on for contestants to remark about their entries during the contest. EVen though votes were cast and such, it's a good policy to refrain from more than "Thank You" until the whole contest is over.

I'd strongly disagree with this, Steven. It's not at all uncommon for contestants to comment on their entries as soon as voting has ended (or as soon as they've submitted their map in the case of the open call). We get to know them that way and get more insight into them as designers. I used to start writing up responses in a separate file as people asked questions/made comments while I was taking breaks from working on the next round. Contestant aren't allowed to elaborate on their entries during voting, but afterward they can certainly explain their decisions (and I think they've generally been encouraged to do so).

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9

Thanks Jacob! I'd respond with actual thoughts and how I ended up where I did but I'm still not sure what's acceptable to say and what's not.

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

BJ, at this point, anything's acceptable as long as you're not commenting on your map (you can say it's submitted or you hate drawing it, of course, but don't explain anything about it).

The big think to remember is everyone's watching, so be careful of what you say. You can get some flak if people think you're denigrating another competitor's work, but you're generally welcome to talk about your own item.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9

Haha! I'm don't even post in the snark thread pretty sure that's not an issue. And I like mapping for the most part, just hoping it turns out well. The brooch, nauseate was a mechanical decision but in my mind I see it less as gagging on them and more an affect of the swift moving, dizzying beauty of so many butterflies suddenly exploding in your vicinity.

And I very nearly made the second ability a swarm of butterflies that carried someone away but just couldn't bring myself to make butterflies do malicious things.

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. Seems that butterflies and swarms are themes this year. That being said, I'm not sure this item holds up to the Crow Brother's Cloak for swarm inventiveness. Imagery is good, but agree that mechanically it's fairly weak. I'd have much rather played up on the cocoon aspect upon being critted. If the cocoon acted more like a resilient sphere for a few rounds, letting the wearer recover, then had them come out with butterfly wings to fly to safety, I'd have liked this a lot more.

Marathon Voter Season 9

Congrats on making the Top 32!

I like the theme of this item a lot. There are a lot of mechanical choices you might have done with the effects but people cover some of them. I think nauseated is fine if that's the mechanical effect you want to introduce. It might have subtracted from the theme to say nauseated, but if that the mechanical effect you want to induce I'm totally behind it. The DM can reskin it, describe what happens, and say you have same effect as nauseated. This already comes up in the game a lot as is. My only critique would be the numbers of the saves and bonuses versus the price. That can be a fine art, but I would have loved to see this get some quick and dirty play testing to hone in those values. I like it overall and really want to see what you do with your map.

Best of luck in all future rounds!


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

You nailed it!

I was especially pleased to see the correct dash on the weight - very well done.

Let's move on Fu, we might find some food on the next plate...

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.

Brooch of the Monarch

The Good: You avoided some major butterfly tropes, and did not mention Desna, which is wise. Also very neat idea regarding critical hits.

The Bad: The DC of the defence on critical hit power is low enough that it will rarely have the desired effect.

The Ugly: The granting an ally the ability to fly power falls far flat of the other power. The visual is neat, but the power itself is too predictable for me. I would have much rather seen a different butterfly themed power instead.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

BJ Hensley wrote:

+2 deflection bonus to AC. After two rounds the butterflies disperse, ending the natural armor and nauseate effects.

Overall not one of my favorite items. First at one point you write deflection, then say the natural armor ends. Second for something I can afford at 16k, a +2 ac bonus and DC 12 nauseate is very rarely going to make a difference, especially if I need to be crit first. Its also likely to have a least a +1 deflection from a 2,000gp ring before I can afford this anyway.

Overall it feels like the interesting power is underwhelming making this primarily a 1/day fly item.

All that said, the visuals are quite good.

Congrats! Good luck going forward!

Paizo Employee Assistant Developer , Star Voter Season 6

Hello, BJ, 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 brooch of the monarch. 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: This is thematically a neat item that does quite a lot. In fact, I think it does a bit too much -- I would much rather see it focused around a single design niche than try to accomplish so much in a single go.

Deeper look: For me, the fly component is where I start to feel like there are too many things going on at once here. If you drop that and focus more on shoring up the neat nauseate effect (nice nod to distraction, by the way) and providing the deflection bonus to AC, this item would be much stronger. I think to really be a usable item at the table, this needs to drop the critical hit trigger and instead go for a 3/day usage.

Also, watch when you're setting DCs and durations -- DC 12 and two rounds is far too short, particularly for the price we've got here. DC 15/5 rounds is a better bet. And I assume that is just a hiccup related to self-editing, but you're providing a deflection bonus, so the natural armor reference should instead say deflection.

Measured feedback: You did a great job of coalescing an otherwise elegant concept with an elegant description, and I'd really like to see more of that from you as the contest progresses. Just work on ensuring that your execution is as elegant as your ideas and I think you'll do great things.

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

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

BJ! 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. First up...your item...brooch of the monarch...

Okay. The name is fantastic. I know it's a brooch. The "monarch" part could be hinting at a king/queen or the actual butterfly. Knowing that Golarion provides for a butterfly-themed goddess like Desna, I'm going into it suspecting the latter, and I'm not disappointed. Imagery fulfilled. Nice job.

Mojo. Well, there's creativity and imagination at play here. There's no doubt about that. In terms of what the item does, however, it's kind of off just slightly for me. It's like I can see the ultimate promise of what the item can be, but the in-game effects don't quite get me all the way there. I'll dive into that a bit more in the mechanics section of my feedback. But, for now, there's still enough mojo in the idea behind this design that it warrants putting you in the Top 32. And that's because I'm intrigued enough that I very much want to see what you can do in future rounds. That's mojo at play.

Cinematic. Yes! Great visuals. As someone who won his way into RPG Superstar with a bushel full of animated leaves, I can totally get behind a bunch of butterflies bursting on the scene to create some interesting in-game drama. I can visualize this item in play, and your description of its abilities delivers on that.

Usefulness. You baked in a handful of different things here, and most of them are certainly useful. If someone hits me with a potentially debilitating critical hit, they get a bunch of potentially debilitating butterflies in their face which also seek to protect me with a slightly higher AC so I can survive. And then, there's also the utility effect with the fly ability. However, as worded, it looks like the wings can only attach to an "ally" and not the actual wearer of the brooch. So, in some ways, that kind of reduces the usefulness a bit for me.

Mechanics. Okay, here's where things kind of zigged when I thought they would zag, and not necessarily in a good way. The nauseating butterflies only manifest on a critical hit...and they only affect anyone within 10 feet, which is likely just the person who hit you and maybe one or two others if we're in close quarters. Even then, there's a relatively weak DC 12 Fortitude save that will negate the effect, and for an item that costs 16,000 gp, most creatures the PCs will be facing at their APL by the time they can afford that, will easily shrug it off. So, it's not as nauseating to her enemies as the wearer would likely want it to be.

After that, the same butterflies (which only manifest on a critical hit) are going to create a cocoon around the wearer to increase her AC. This is incorrectly listed as a deflection bonus when it's later referred to as natural armor. So, it should be a natural armor bonus, and I'd really like to see another spell (like barkskin) listed in the construction requirements to support that, especially since similar effects have already established that precedent.

So, moving on, the fly effect is still somewhat circumstantial. The wearer only gets to designate "wings" for one of her allies and not herself. So, it's a support item that's intended to help others rather than the wearer. And even the effects that are intended to help the wearer (i.e., nauseating distraction, improved AC) aren't accessible often enough since they're tied to the critical hit activation. Therefore, mechanically-speaking, this still needs a lot of work, and it's not fully thought through.

Personally, I think it would be stronger if you'd presented a different interpretation with the swarm of butterflies. You could have probably gotten more mileage out of a fascinate effect moreso than the typical nauseating effect of a swarm's distraction ability. Yes, it's different than normal swarms. That's what wondrous items are meant to do...bend and break a rule now and then to give us something cooler and "magical." On top of that, once the butterflies deployed, it might have been better to go with total concealment for the wearer rather than a boost in AC. That way, the victim of that critical hit which activated the butterflies can hopefully slip away before they get put down entirely. And, lastly, for the fly effect, I think that really needs to be expanded so the wearer of the brooch can use it on themselves in addition to an ally. That gives us something cooler than just a typical item that lets you fly...i.e., it lets you fly or help someone else fly. And thematically, that seems like something Desna would favor...

Polished. Everything looks good with template. You've got the professional presentation down. That means you can follow directions and emulate the style of your publisher. To me, that's an important skill as it creates a lot less work for your developer to clean up your turnovers, and it's still something that a lot of folks who submit to the contest get wrong year after year.

Other than that, this item held forth a lot of promise. I think it could be adjusted in a variety of ways to make it stronger, but it was already strong enough on cinematic mojo and core idea that put you into the Top 32. That's not by accident. You've got talent. You just need to explore it in a way that can be enhanced and supported mechanically so it really delivers the goods on future designs. So, as you advance, I think you really need to work on sharpening the mechanical aspects of your creations and think through how something will play out within the game. Regardless, I offer you congratulations once again on making the Top 32, and I look forward to what you've got for us in Round 2.

My two cents,
--Neil

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter Season 9

Neil Spicer wrote:
However, as worded, it looks like the wings can only attach to an "ally" and not the actual wearer of the brooch. So, in some ways, that kind of reduces the usefulness a bit for me

Not to be pedantic or de-rail but despite the wording the brooch as designed fits with a number of other items and abilities (IMO) throughout Pathfinder and you are indeed your own ally, unless otherwise stated. As is it works for both and the wearer will be inside the radius. Though I think the wording could be clearer about whether it is designed to work for the wearer and allies or just allies who aren't the wearer.

Relevant CRB FAQ

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

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BartonOliver wrote:
Not to be pedantic or de-rail but despite the wording the brooch as designed fits with a number of other items and abilities (IMO) throughout Pathfinder and you are indeed your own ally, unless otherwise stated.

In my opinion...which I'm only offering here as a volunteer judge...a Superstar design shouldn't cause potential confusion at the table or send GMs and players scrambling in search of a "Relevant CRB FAQ." This submission had more than enough word count to spare to clarify that you can use it on yourself. If that was the intent, it should have. So, as a lesson for future competitors, call it out. Specify it. Don't rely on a number of other items and abilities which have set a precedent requiring a FAQ to "fix" them to explain your design. If you can explain it more clearly and avoid any confusion, do so. Advance the game. If you can improve on it, don't just perpetuate what's come before.

But that's just my two cents,
--Neil

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9

Thank you everyone for the advice and awesome ideas! :) There were a million different things I could have done with this (a great deal of them better), as someone pointed out I considered making it simply an armor bonus for a while and left that hanging around. I know it's not my best work, I own that, it's just what I imagined in the few hours I had to dedicate to it. But I'm thrilled that people enjoyed the theme and the wording !

And that's pretty cool there's a butterfly goddess! Butterflies FTW!

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

Congratulations, BJ!

Most of the points I intended to bring up were already addressed by the judges. I think you've got a strong handle on core concepts, so now you need to focus on tightening your rule mechanics, which will become more and more important as the contest progresses. That's a good position to be in, though - in my opinion, it's harder to get a rules-heavy player to think outside the box than it is to get a creative thinker to work some structure into her ideas.

Can't wait to see you spread your wings in round 2!

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter Season 9

Neil Spicer wrote:
BartonOliver wrote:
Not to be pedantic or de-rail but despite the wording the brooch as designed fits with a number of other items and abilities (IMO) throughout Pathfinder and you are indeed your own ally, unless otherwise stated.

In my opinion...which I'm only offering here as a volunteer judge...a Superstar design shouldn't cause potential confusion at the table or send GMs and players scrambling in search of a "Relevant CRB FAQ." This submission had more than enough word count to spare to clarify that you can use it on yourself. If that was the intent, it should have. So, as a lesson for future competitors, call it out. Specify it. Don't rely on a number of other items and abilities which have set a precedent requiring a FAQ to "fix" them to explain your design. If you can explain it more clearly and avoid any confusion, do so. Advance the game. If you can improve on it, don't just perpetuate what's come before.

But that's just my two cents,
--Neil

I agree with you, it was more a general piece of information as I've seen debates about this topic before (on other parts of the forums). Also, thank you for the advice and all the evaluations.

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

BJ Hensley wrote:
Brooch of the Monarch

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!

Publishable — I don't see why butterflies cause nausea, but it's a neat effect (that you have basically a life-vest in case of emergency) feels like a contingency spell kind of thing. The "one more thing" power of granting flight is actually more interesting to me, personally, though that speed and perfect maneuverability, but with big butterfly wings is conflicting in my mind but that's because the fly spell isn't the best worded (it doesn't give you a fly speed of 60' exactly).

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.

Please hear this voice as I comment on your item. Simple effect with proper restraint. I wasn't sure it was going to get the votes especially with Ruby Butterfly and the fighting fan with similar themes but I'm also not surprised to see it here. Congrats and good luck with next round.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

I agree with the comments about the DC being to low. It also seems weird that the wings can't be applied to the person who wears the Brooch. But overall I like the item.

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

Another item where I like the ideas but I'm not so sure about the execution. The main thing, as people have said, is that the DC means the one power will almost never take effect. That leaves us with an otherwise underpowered item.

I did like the imagery, though, and the idea of nauseating enemies with butterflies.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9

Browman wrote:
I agree with the comments about the DC being to low. It also seems weird that the wings can't be applied to the person who wears the Brooch. But overall I like the item.

That is a bummer. When I made it I was under the impression ally included ones self. :(

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

Don't sweat it too much, BJ. The FAQ does address that ally includes one's self. The problem just lies in the reader's interpretation of the item's description. If they're not fully aware of the larger definition of "ally" it may cause arguments/headaches at the table. So, best to be specific with it if you can, and the word count was there to elaborate. Regardless, on to Round 2! I'll be reviewing your map probably sometime today.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9

Got it! I'll keep that in mind. Scary! I hope the map is better than the brooch! ;)

Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Congrats on making the top 32!

I loved a lot about your item and voted for it a lot.

The name is good, and so is the description of the brooch itself. I love the first ability you put on the brooch, exploding into a swarm of butterflies, and I actually like that you made them nauseate people. Your reasoning for it as explained in one of your comments above is good, and honestly, if I were suddenly in the middle of a swarm of butterflies, pretty or not I'd freak the heck out! There are lots of conditions you could have chosen, but I like what you did with it. Very cool. Yes, the DC is low and the cost of the item is high, but that's been mentioned already, so no worries. I think it's especially cool that the swarm then makes a partial cocoon around you to increase your AC. Neat idea and it really goes with the item concept well.

As mentioned by others, I think your brooch could've really run with the above ability more, pumping it up and making it easier to access, and you didn't need to add in the second ability. That being said I understand why you did and it didn't hurt your item in my eyes at all. It would have visually fit better if the 'swarm' of butterflies gave yourself or an ally flight, instead of just the large wings doing so, but either way it's cool.

Overall your item feels refined and elegant, so well done. I liked it a lot and thought it was a good addition to the top 32.

Best of luck in the map round!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9

Thank you for your happy words and warm fuzzy encouragement! :)

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 among the Top 32, BJ! Here’s some of the thoughts I had while reading about the brooch of the monarch:

  • You use “of the” in the name, which is far from uncommon, but just calling it a monarch brooch would work well and help you avoid a popular naming cliché.
  • Watch your punctuation usage.
  • Nice work on having the first effect be reactive to a critical hit. I don’t like items that make the game safer for the players, but I’m fine with ones that introduce consequences for actions. You’ve made it a great way for it to be a protective item without just making it harder for the monster’s attacks to land. Cool.
  • I’d almost rather pay less to just get the first ability.
  • Perfect maneuverability seems out of place and a little too good for winged flight. An allowance for magic can be made, but I rather like items having nuances that players need to learn to work with.
  • It seems like a great item for an antagonist to use, because the player’s superior action economy means they’re likely to land a crit on a well-equipped enemy at least once before it goes down.
  • Players might just opt to sell it depending on their builds though. Most players want to avoid getting hit in the first place.
This item is creative in its function and description and I’m eager to see what you bring to Round 2. 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 / Brooch of the Monarch All Messageboards

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