Gown of Many Graves


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

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

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Gown of Many Graves
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 9th
Slot body; Weight 1 lb.; Price 29,000 gp

Description
This funereal gown of night-black lace wraps the body like a sable spiderweb. On misty or foggy nights, the gown's wispy train seems to diffuse into the darkness.
As often as she desires between dusk and dawn, the wearer can move between marked, earthen graves as with tree stride, sinking into one and emerging from the surface of any other within 1,000 feet as a full-round action. If a grave contains an empty coffin, the wearer can emerge into the coffin rather than atop the grave.
As with tree stride, the wearer may choose to remain inside a grave rather than emerging. However, if dawn breaks or if anything disturbs the soil, the wearer must emerge.
Once per night, the wearer can make a single stride to a marked, earthen grave up to 900 miles away. She need not know the grave's location, but must know the name of the creature interred within.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, teleport, tree stride
Cost 14,500 gp

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka burrahobbit

I am *so* glad to see this one in the Top 32. A personal favorite, and as magical and evocative as it gets. Congrats, and good luck!

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

This was my #1 item among items made by people I didn't know ^.^!!!

Nice work!

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

Saw this only once, liked it a lot, good luck.

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

Never saw this one, but it would have been an easy vote if I had.

Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

This one was in my personal Top 32. Very evocative, and I really liked the spin on Tree Stride being used for graves.

Best of luck in the next round!

Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Good job. I upvoted this one a bunch.


Fantastic. My favorite so far of the top 32.

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

I only got to vote for this item once, but vote for it I did! It has a great role playing element and the writing is excellent. Congrats!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Petty Alchemy

The name instantly made me imagine the art for Graveborn Muse (from MTG). This was one of my keeps, very cinematic item and a very clever twist on Tree Stride. Congratulations!

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

Voted for this every time.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Now that I have more time to post:

Kris,

As I said before, your item is my #1 among non-people-I-know-or-worshopped-with items. I immediately saw this item as being worn by a tricky enemy that the PCs have to take down, and they get the gown as loot.

I'm wowed and humbled. Congrats!

Now, show us an awesome map!

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

This was my #1 item on my keep list, and I'm kind of glad I was never put in the position of picking this item against my own. Although it's not as useful as some other items for PC's, this is an item I would write a whole encounter around when it's placed on the right villain. Imagery was very good and I think the price is set well.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka michaeljpatrick

I liked this one a lot. Glad to see it made its way to the top.

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

Kris, I don't think I saw this item during voting. I can tell you it was a top five pick for me as soon as I saw it. I expect big things, so I hope you're working that map hard.

Congratulations and good luck to you!

Dark Archive

I love, love, love the imagery on this item! Congratulations on making the Top 32!

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

You know I really like this item. I look forward to competing with you. :^ )

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

Congratulations, Kris!

If you looked up Rule of Cool in the RPGSS dictionary, you would find this item. A cursory look at this might condemn it as a spell-in-a-can with a twist, but the imagery and flavor are simply to die for (pun intended). It's simple, concise, and superbly evocative.

Can't wait to see what you unearth for round 2 (pun also intended)!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9 aka Sir_Toon

The first time I saw this item I admit I had concerns about the amount of use it would get. But after getting so many ideas about how absolutely cool it would be in the hands of an npc I did not hesitate to up vote from that point on! Glad you made it!

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

I don't have a lot to say about this one. I like all of it. The flavor of it is perfect and the writing evocative. The mechanics make sense, and last part about teleporting to known-name grave is a great final little touch.

If I had to come up with a concern, it's that it might be a bit too suited for NPCs rather than PCs.

At the same time, you could do some great things with an NPC with this. My inner goth imagined an NPC dancing across a graveyard with it, spinning deliriously from grave to grave in a mad waltz.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Phloid

I loved this items ability. SiaC? Not in my book since it changes the spell significantly. The only think I did not like about it was that it was a dress and I can't see a bunch of adventurers, especially male adventurers, wearing a dress. Could be seen as kind of a plot item that an villainous NPC might be using to grave rob or collect bodies or something. But it is very cool and would have made my top 32 list, had I kept one. Congrats and good luck in future rounds.

Marathon Voter Season 9

Congrats! A wonderful item, with great flavor. Easily one of my favorites. Made me think Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride, and that's never a bad thing.

I try to offer some advice on every item, and the only thing I noticed with this item is a slight logical issue. You give the ability to enter an empty coffin, which I love, but the last bit of the last sentence says you need to know the name of the creature interred within. Maybe that's only for the once a day longer travel, but it's not spelled out, and made me wonder if it was also for the shorter hops as well. Maybe add knowing the name on the marker as another way to allow you to jump there, and move this requirement to after outlining the rules for shorter hops.

I look forward to your map. Best of luck!

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

I can only echo what everyone else has said so far. One of my favorite items for sure. Good luck in the next round!

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

Simple but different. And creepy. Bonus points for the creep factor.

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

Jester David wrote:
Simple but different. And creepy. Bonus points for the creep factor.

Yes. Creepy items are great. They can be done well or badly, but I like them. Some have commented in the past that they are reason for disqualification. Total nonsense.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Lastly, my first impression of this item, in a haiku!

Gown of Many Graves?
HOLY CRAP THIS THING IS COOL!
I WANT ONE RIGHT NOW!!!!

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

Wow. That. Is. Awesome.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka ChesterCopperpot

Great work, Kris! Mechanics are a nice match with the flavor.

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

Love the imagery on this item, even if I don't think it'd be something a lot of PCs would make much use of (NPCs, on the other hand...). I'm really eager to see more of your writing and hope it can be just as evocative.

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

Welcome to the Top 32, Kris! 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 gown of many graves!

Functionality and Usefulness
I can definitely say I haven't seen something like this before.

I'm not getting into the cool factor yet, but just looking at where this item fits in usability, necromancers are a pretty obvious choice. Also campaign settings with an unusual number of graves (looking at you, Ravenloft). The teleport to a grave you can name is an awesome escape hatch type ability. I'd like it as a safety blanket for undead characters, too, if they wouldn't get booted out at dawn.

The functionality is very specific beyond these options, and I have to agree with the commentary that it seems better for an NPC than a PC. You can place NPCs in the right environment to make the most use of this and build a very challenging encounter out of it. (Then, when the NPC vanishes to a grave 900 miles away, send the PCs on a wild goose chase figuring out where he/she went.)

Still, it isn't so specific that I can't see a PC ever using it. Necromancers are a popular character type. So are creepy races like dhampir and post-apoc settings with plenty of graves to take advantage of the battlefield maneuvering this can offer.

The teleport effect might allow PCs to circumvent some travel if they need to go someplace where the PC can come up with the name of a dead guy local to there. It's something a GM would have to keep in mind.

The Cool Factor/Mojo
You knocked cool factor out of the park.

You took tree stride and warped it beyond recognition beyond taking advantage of a few of the mechanics. The added teleport effect is perfect and in complete keeping with the item.

This isn't a complex item and it works perfectly like that. I can build characters around this. I can think of settings to place it in. I can build encounters around it. I wouldn't have that with an item that was tree stride in a can.

The gothic mojo here is strong.

Prose and Editing
Very minor quibble: put a semicolon after tree stride and have the Cost on the same line with requirements.

I am not the biggest fan of "seems to" in descriptions, but it works alright here.

The overall writing and editing is polished and a good read.

Overall
Your biggest crime right now is making an item that might be too cool for most PCs and I'm OK with that. NPCs need cool stuff, too. Keeps things interesting.

Your strengths are your writing, your taking something familiar and bending it your own way, and giving your audience something they want to build a story with. I have no doubt they'll serve you very well moving forward.

I am honored to have been allowed to provide feedback this year. I look forward to your entry for Round 2, Kris, and expect a map that gives me a story with writing that takes me there.

Congratulations again!

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

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This one was interesting. Good visuals and splendid atmosphere, solid crunch with some slight twists. I felt it drew a little too heavily on Tree Stride to be deemed completely new though, which did put me off a bit.

I am wondering what you will offer us with your map :-)

Sovereign Court Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

I really like this item. It has strong visuals and mechanics, which were delivered professionally. I do think certain PCs (necromancers and rogues) would love to get their hands on this.


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

You almost nailed it!

The weight and price are in the wrong order!

And cost shouldn't be on it's own line.

*Fu jumps and jumps excitedly, clapping hands eagerly, gimme, gimme...*

*munch, chew*

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.

Gown of Many Graves

The Good: Evocative imagery, neat concept, good execution.

The Bad: Little more goth than I normally like.

The Ugly: What constitutes a grave can very wildly by region and culture. A bit more explicit note about what counts, or perhaps, what doesn't count, may have been a good idea. I could argue a number of things as graves that may not have been intended to be included as such.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

I agree with what several people have said that this seems more like a NPC item than a PC item. But making a NPC item superstar is hard, so very well done. A GM with an NPC with this item should be a very memorable encounter.

I don't really have any major issues with this item.

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.

I saw this and knew right away it was top 32 material and I upvoted this 100% of the time. This was my favorite item outside my own... Good luck with next round.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Kris Newton wrote:

If a grave contains an empty coffin, the wearer can emerge into the coffin rather than atop the grave.

Great Item. I have one question about this line though (is there a way out from this other than using the teleport option (or other teleportation magics at the disposal of the wearer).

Despite my little question this was a fun, interesting, and unique item that got my vote every time I saw it.

Congrats and Good Luck!

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

Kris Newton wrote:
Gown of Many Graves

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 — This is a neat idea, that seems like it could have been done differently. For one, can I only use it on "misty or foggy nights" because that's limiting unless I live in say London or something (where TV has lead me to believe, it's misty or foggy 24/7/365). Also, the spell shadow step fits more thematically, though tree stride adds that "stay inside a grave" aspect, which is a nice touch. The once-per-night effect is another "one more thing" that doesn't seem 100% necessary, but it's not terrible either.

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

Kris! 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...the gown of many graves...

Okay. The name sounds perfectly ominous and mysterious. You could have called it a i]gravestrider gown[/i], but that would have tipped your hand too much. With gown of many graves, I'm immediately intrigued to read further.

Mojo. It's like tree stride for graveyards, even mimicking the ability to stay hidden inside the tree...er, coffin. Nice!

Cinematic. If you can't see a vampire dressed in one of these things striding between all its spare coffins, shame on you!

Usefulness. Yeah, it's useful as long as there are marked graves nearby. Whether you want to hide in a graveyard, teleport from village to town to city via their cemeteries, or just create a nice, coffin-sized retreat for yourself, this thing will do it for you.

Mechanics. Innovative reinterpretation of tree stride. Works on many of the same principles, but slightly tweaked for creepy graveyard use. The 900-mile range for a known creature's resting place is fun, too. And I love the breaking dawn or disturbed soil forcing the creature from the occupied gravesite. Nice! One thing that gives me pause is whether or not the wearer of this gown gains insight into every marked grave's location within 1,000 feet, though. For tree stride, you just move about through a forest willy-nilly, and it's no big deal, because trees are trees. For gravestriding, however, a GM has to be prepared for identifying every occurrence of a marked grave within range...which means it has the potential to spoil various storylines where marked graves are supposed to be hidden...or treasure within them is supposed to be difficult to retrieve. Even the 900-mile range for a named individual's resting place could zoom someone straight to the BBEG vampire or lich's lair if you know the creature's name. So, there may need to be some nerfing involved to dial it back down a notch. Graves aren't the same as trees.

Polished. Template use is mostly solid. Cost still needs to move up on the same line as the construction requirements.

Other than that, this is a flavorful item. Very creepy. Very gothic-themed appropriate. This could have easily appeared in the Carrion Crown AP and everyone would have nodded right along with it. So, I'll close with congratulating you once more and wishing you good luck in the competition to come. I look forward to your map for Round 2.

My two cents,
--Neil

Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Congrats on making it to the top 32!

I loved the flavour, atmosphere and style of your item. It's cool, evocative and mysterious and I love it! I really enjoy how you twisted tree stride until it was nearly unrecognizable and made it incredibly memorable at the same time.

I agree with some of the points noted by others above (the 'marked, earthen grave' bit at the end could be troublesome regarding difficult to find/get to/legendary tombs and 'grave' can be a tricky term regarding what does and doesn't count). Honestly, though, my biggest gripe is that it's a dress. Many male characters would sell it instead of wear a dress. On the other hand, I'd be thrilled to have one... lol

I really enjoyed your item and can't wait to see an NPC strut around with one of these. By the time the PCs claim the thing they'll respect it. Or hate it. Either way.

Best of luck in round two!

Paizo Employee Assistant Developer , Star Voter Season 6

Hello, Kris, 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 gown of many graves. 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: Oh. Oh my. This is fantastic. A gorgeous, black lace gown? Tree stride for graveyards? A gothic theme that involves night, death, and nods to traditional, Stoker-esque vampires, and it doesn't touch blood in any way? YES. (Says the person with three copies of Stoker's 1897 "Dracula," plus a graphic novel version, plus ...)

Deeper look: This feels like it crawled right out of the Carrion Crown AP, or a Ravenloft module, and I love that so much. The mechanics provide a wonderful marriage of theme and usability, which really brings this item home for me. I love 1/day ability, but it does need a bit of refinement to work as you intended (and to keep it from seriously ruining a GM's day, to be honest -- what if the PC accidentally strides right into the BBEG's lair?). To ameliorate this, I'd say the item should shunt the PC to the nearest open space outside the grave if she attempts to enter a grave that contains a creature with a higher number of HD than herself.

Measured feedback: Keep doing what you're doing. I'm seriously impressed here -- just take care, going forward, to think globally about the ways your design will be used in the game, and try to plug any holes you can think of. Otherwise, I'm excited to see what you come up with next!

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

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

Very evocative, lovely word choices, absolutely chic and ultra-fashionable - as with other items we need more haute couture in our games. And I'm a sucker for the gothic wardrobe and undead themes.

Unfortunately it's completely situational. Still, I've been called to account for designing super creepy undead themed items that are perfect for NPCs - my Cerements of the Deep I submitted to an Open Design item round provided undead traits while underwater (and ability to pass as a corpse to non-intelligent foes) and ghoul stench while on land with an accumulating chance per day while wearing the cerements underwater to turn you into a free-willed wight! What fun!

The design flavor is strong. It also reminds me of the original Talisman boardgame - he the Elf character could jump from Woods square to Woods square. I like it. Nice work Kris.

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

Welcome to the Top 32, Krist. You’ve done well to earn your spot here with the gown of many graves. Here are some of my thoughts on your item:

  • Oh, cool.
  • Nice imagery. Not overly complicated, yet powerful and evocative.
  • tree stride, but for graves? You warped what could have been a spell-in-a-can and made it something awesome. Well done!
  • I absolutely want to GM an antagonist wearing one of these.
  • Many items are designed to be more useful to the players, but this one has the opposite problem. It’s great for the antagonist, but isn’t likely to be used much by the players. Unless it’s a heavily urban campaign, players are just going to be looking at the gold piece value. If I wanted to keep it as a player, I’d be bribing commoners to bury their dead in plots spaced exactly 1,000 feet apart all across town, and perhaps I’d branch out from there as I accumulated more ranks in Profession (funeral director).
  • You call out most of the situations I would be concerned about adjudicating.
This is a simple item that packs a lot of flavor into a simple package. It’s the kind of item that gives a GM ideas for a campaign, and that’s Superstar design in my opinion. Good work so far, and good luck in the following rounds!

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

Kris! Congratulations on making it through the rigors of Round 1!

Absolutely loved the creep factor of this gown! Not much more that I can say that hasn't been said already, but great work nonetheless!

Best of luck in the rest of the competition!

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