Starsling Buckler


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

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4 , Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka King Tius

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Starsling Buckler
Aura moderate evocation and transmutation; CL 6th
Slot none; Price 16,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
This +2 buckler is emblazoned with a swirl of stars and comets orbiting its sun-styled boss.

As a swift action, the starsling buckler can be activated, causing the face to illuminate and whirl to life. The stars, comets, and sun begin to glow as they lift off the shield and spin around in a brilliant cosmic display. Upon closer inspection the stars are revealed to be sling stones that rest in small alcoves on the shield’s face when not activated.

The stars can be fired from the spinning celestial vortex as if thrown using a +2 sling. All feats and proficiencies related to slings apply to the starsling buckler. The shield can hold up to five sling stones before it must be stopped and reloaded as a full-round action. Magical sling stones can be inserted into the star alcoves in place of mundane sling stones but their bonuses do not stack.

While spinning, the shield’s sun radiates the effects of a light spell.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, light, magic stone; Cost 8,000 gp

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I liked this one

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This was one of my favorites - I voted for it every time I saw it!


Fun shield. Love the description. Great for characters that don't want to spend (what feels like) a million actions getting out that ranged weapon for a few attacks.

Needs a small price/cost fix but that's a small issue that the voters, thankfully, didn't bother voting it down for.

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

Congratulations, Jason!

This item oozes imagery, and I think that really made it stand out. Even though the effect is fairly simple, the ability to conjure and attack with celestial bodies can make even a sling stone look sexy. The proficiency crossover is just icing on the already solid cake.

Can't wait to see how the stars align for you in round 2!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

I really liked this one. I guess it really just breaks down to:
- +2 sling
- +2 buckler
- Light cantrip

But you pulled it together with a cool image, and it became something more! That simplicity plus flavor is what makes a good item in my mind.

Congrats and welcome! :)

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

Jason! 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...starsling buckler...

Okay. The name is spot on! It's a buckler. It's a sling. And it's got a starry connection to how its slingstones animate. The name tells you exactly what you need to know, but gives it a bit of mystery as you've mixed a weapon with a shield and tied it together with a constellation-based themed. Well done!

Mojo. Yeah. This has some serious creativity behind it. There's an elegance to the marriage between a small, off-hand buckler (i.e., not the most mechanically ideal shield) and an oft overlooked ranged weapon (with a sling), and then a unique way to keep both the defensive item, offensive ranged item, and its ammunition close at hand. You could have easily gone overpowered with it by making it a tower shield with a bazillion spikes that it fires like a spined shield, but you played it down, and that kind of restraint is often the right kind of design space to explore. The creativity is on display here, too, especially with the descriptive text used to characterizing how the buckler stores and animates its ammunition. And then we get the miniature sun illuminating the buckler's surroundings with a light effect. You tied it all together with a great theme and practical combat effects. Nice job!

Cinematic. Yeah. This presents a nice dramatic appearance to this item. You can easily envision a miniature star system activating off the surface of this buckler and then firing away at your enemies.

Usefulness. This was a great, unexpected design. The item has great versatility. You gave it a defensive core, a limited offensive option, and then a bit of utility with the light effect. It's the right kind of restrained balance with in-game usefulness. Anyone who favors a buckler would want one of these.

Mechanics. There's not a whole lot of innovation happening here, but you've done everything justice in how you've characterized and described it. The truly creative aspect is the preservation of action economy in having to switch out your "shield" and weapon to ready and load a ranged weapon like a sling. Your item design makes it so the owner doesn't have to choose or slow down for any of those things. And, in that sense, it helps speed game play at the table. It actually reminds me a little bit of the Sling Flail feat from Ultimate Combat which lets you use a loaded sling as a flail one round and then a ranged weapon the next, only you're mixing offense with defense rather than melee with ranged.

Polished. The template is fairly well done. You did your homework. I haven't taken the time to crunch the pricing, but it's likely in the ballpark for what this type of item can do. The important thing is that you're bringing the right amount of creativity to the overall design. I'll interested to see what you do in further rounds of the competition.

Other than that, this is a really flavorful item. It has a tight theme, great visual effects, practicality, and uniqueness. I offer you my congratulations once again on making the Top 32, and wish you good luck in the competition ahead! Next up, let's see what kind of creativity you can bring to your map for Round 2.

My two cents,
--Neil

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Congratulations on making it in!

I liked this item a lot - I'd love to see it in print. Good luck next round!

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

Gotta admit, I am a sucker for bucklers, both the hand held real life kind and the Pathfinder version. And I liked this little gem every time I saw it. Visually splendid, flavourully interesting, mechanically innovative (sling-buckler). If only I could get this and the Donnin Plate of the Maelstrom I'd be set for armor and not need stinky old smelly old weapinz.

Plus it comes with a handy torch! You can't beat that for a $16,000 gp... Yeesh. ;)

Nice item Jason.

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

Sadly, I only had this one show up once while I was voting, but what I saw I liked!

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

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

Very creative use of the magic stone spell. I love the astronomy theme too. Good luck in the next round!

Dedicated Voter Season 9

I might be a little biased, as I happen to be married to this item's designer, but I loved seeing it and getting to vote for it. It's both clever and subtle, and its style and flavor are unique and intriguing. Well done, Jason!

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

First, congrats on making the top 32. I'm on the other side of the fence for this item. While it does have a neat theme and description, the effects are pretty much the same as the good old spined shield from the core rulebook (and the 3.X Player's Handbook before that).

With the theme and description, I was expecting more of hypnotic effect as the stars on the shield swirled in a phantasmagorical display.

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

Welcome to the Top 32, Jason! 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 starsling buckler!

Functionality and Usefulness
So it's like a gatling buckler? That's pretty cool right there.

You knew where to keep this simple. Both bucklers and slings are items that rarely see use outside the hands of halflings, and you combined them into an item that I could see a PC getting pretty excited to have. (And would slay a halfling fighter dead of happiness on the spot.) A PC has a ranged option that let's them keep their AC bonus and keep a weapon in the other hand. A full-round reload requirement after five shots is fair. It doesn't feel intended to be a primary ranged weapon, though I like that it can benefit from feats/bonuses to slings. It's a defensive item that eliminates the need to carry around a back-up ranged weapon, which I also really like.

And when you aren't fighting with it, it's a ridiculously ornate torch. Bonus! I like little add-ons that tie in very neatly with the overall theme and don't compete with the item's real purpose. It's like a cherry on top.

The Cool Factor/Mojo
You took some of the dullest pieces of equipment in the game and made them something worth being excited over. A sling and a buckler give you nothing very cool to work with as a foundation, meaning all of the cool factor had to come from what you did with it. You pulled that off.

Making the buckler a celestial disc with sling stones as stars is a nice way to work a theme into an item. And, well, it's a gatling buckler. That's hard to not think is cool.

It would have been easy to make the weapon feel tacked onto the shield, but you tied it all together in a way that is natural. That takes some skill, and tossing in a light spell might've been just too much stuff in a different approach, but it works well here.

Prose and Editing
There is some wording that could use improvements, e.g., instead of "As a swift action, the starsling buckler can be activated, causing...", a better phrasing is "The wielder of a starsling buckler may activate it as a swift action, causing..." or in one of several other ways. Mostly, eliminate the passive voice when able and avoiding needing to break up a sentence with commas when able. The more expressive you can be with fewer words, the better.

No real errors, though, and your formatting and template is spot-on.

Overall
You took a design risk and you remembered to keep it simple instead of plastering over the buckler and sling with complexity. That shows capability and a light touch. This was put together well and reflects well on you.

Keep your strengths of knowing how to impress with a light touch and making the inconspicuous really shine. You'll stand out for that.

I am honored to have been allowed to provide feedback this year. I look forward to your entry for Round 2, Jason, and I hope your map shows as much promise as your buckler.

Congratulations again!

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

Great work on this, Jason. One of my favorite items.

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

Congratulations!
This was one of my favorites and I upvoted it every time I saw it. So happy to see you here on the Top 32 :)

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

I saw this one a few times, voted up and down on it. It's not a bad item, it just wasn't very exciting for me. It's a buckler that also has an attack. OK.

Nice visuals, but I wish they led to a cooler effect.

That said, there's some utility here, and a player that had one of these would likely use it often.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

I was also of mixed feelings on this one. It just didn't seem super exciting to me, I'm afraid, though certainly had some neat elements. I wanted a little more innovation with rules and/or abilities.

Still, what matters is you impressed a lot of other voters and now you're in the Top 32. Good luck in Round 2!

Marathon Voter Season 9

Congrats on making the Top 32!

I have s large soft spot in my heart for shields, and this one did not disappoint. Without introducing anything new you still showed great design in bringing together concepts flawlessly. Great job. The only thing I would have wanted to see some more of would have been to play up the star/astral theme. You had me soo behind it, I would have been floored if you tacked on something else in that theme without it getting into too much of a SAK. Like being able to use it as a masterwork tool for knowledge Geography checks to star reading or something. Still, wonderfully done. I look forward to seeing your map.

Best of luck in all future rounds!

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.

Starsling Buckler

The Good: A simple yet very evocative description and concept. It was a good call to go sling style and not throwing shield here.

The Bad: While the light effect is good for description, it also renders this shield somewhat less useful for stealthy folks who would otherwise be very happy using it. My stealthy halfling likes to shoot sling stones, but would rather not glow while doing so.

The Ugly: The enhancement stacking rules could be considered a bit confusing to those not overly familiar, as the +'s do not stack, but RAW abilities do. I could see this confusing some folk quite a bit.


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 - Very well done indeed

I promise to find something to comment on in my subsequent detailed review.

Sorry Fu, no food here either...

*shoulders drooping, wanders to the next item*

Full review to follow in due course.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka King Tius

Thanks for all the feedback everyone! In particular, thank you to Neil and Victoria for your kind words about my design aesthetic. I was trying to go for a "less is more" approach and it's hard to put into words how happy I am that people responded so well to it.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Overall I liked this item quite a bit. I'm pretty sure I voted for it each time I saw it, but usually the competition item wasn't nearly as good.

I think it is simple, but fairly elegant. I really like that it used a sling, but kinda a repeating sling (can load 5 stones at once). The visuals were also quite fun.

Good job!

Paizo Employee Assistant Developer , Star Voter Season 6

Hello, Jason, 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 starsling buckler. I hope this feedback provides some helpful insight to you as you move forward in the competition.

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

So, let's get started!

First impressions: You have got me excited about a buckler, and more than that, about a buckler that can be used as a sling. That tells me you've got something special here, since those are two pieces of equipment that are often overlooked when players are looking for The Best Combat Gear(TM). The cosmic flavor amps this up even more, and hints very nicely that halflings, who already have a bit of racially granted luck on their side, are going to want this item. It just screams "The stars are in my favor!"

Deeper look: The bold and fresh design here really gives this item its mileage, and the fact that you've paid careful attention to how this works in combat (activation is a swift action, not impacting action economy, and magical sling bullets can be used but their bonuses don't stack) truly puts it on a Superstar level for me.

Measured feedback: This builds some very strong momentum for you heading into the next round. I'm excited to see what you come up with next; the most important thing is avoid complacency and keep bringing the heat.

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

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

This is one of the few items in the top 32 I didn't see while voting.

Combining two weapons without seeming cheesy or powergaming is really hard, but you managed to balance it really well. I don't really have anything I dislike about this item.

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

Jason Evans wrote:
Starsling Buckler

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 — Made me think of this.

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.

Taylor is a friend of mine and this very different take on the "spinning shield" made me nervous for him because I took one look and said this thing is superstar. Turns out there was room for both of you so congrats and good luck with the next round.

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

Jason Evans wrote:
Starsling Buckler

Congratulations Jason!

I wanted those evocative images to do something once they started floating off the shield. At the end of the description I found it did, but SIC so I can see why it is at the end. I also think anything too powerful would have pushed toward SAK, so this shows a nice bit of restraint. Shooting the stars off as a sling? Well done! Since this is a buckler, you will want it for defense when closing, but while you haven't yet, now you have a ranged attack. Simple mechanics work in its favor as well (as a sling).

Well done, good luck on Maps & Monsters! :)

Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Your item was my favourite!

From the first time I saw it on the first day of voting, I loved it, voted for it, and wanted to use it. Great visuals, super cinematic, and very useful.

Just a great, fun item.

Best of luck in the next round.

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

Nice work earning you place in this year’s Top 32 with the starsling buckler, Jason! Here are my thoughts as I read the item:

  • I like the name, but I hope it’s not another throwing shield.
  • Nice visuals on the description. I already want to build a philosopher-scientist that uses this shield.
  • ”Upon closer inspection” and “revealed to be” are phrases that chew up word count and make me think you were being dishonest with me about the sensory information you already described. Tell me what I see, not what I think I see and then that I see. Get the important details out there quickly, concisely, and with some creative flair!
  • Other than the catch-all of because, magic, I don’t see why a character would get to use all their sling-related feats. I mean, this thing is a spinning disc that launches sling bullets through a vortex! Cool, but in no way, shape, or form is it resembling a sling anymore.
  • Does it still provide the shield bonuses when the wielder fires sling stones from it?
  • Including light is a nice, thematic touch. I would almost prefer the price be adjusted for it to include some kind of sunlight effect though.
  • An antagonist could use this effectively, and I would have fun describing the action to the players. It’s cheap enough that they might consider holding onto it for a few levels, just to give it a try.
I have some questions about proper use of this item, but it did make me think of some fun situations to use it, and some character ideas too. It’s fun to read and ponder, and that makes me excited to see what you’ll bring to Round 2!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka King Tius

Thanks for the feedback, Brian. Since you brought up so many points (and I'm done my map!), I thought I'd respond to them.

Brian J. Fruzen wrote:


  • I like the name, but I hope it’s not another throwing shield.

I think this one's taken care of....

Brian J. Fruzen wrote:
  • Nice visuals on the description. I already want to build a philosopher-scientist that uses this shield.

That would be pretty cool! Others have mentioned adding some kind of astrologically-themed research element to this, but I wanted to keep things lean and mean. Still, if someone was really into stars and galaxies, this is the shield for them!

Brian J. Fruzen wrote:
  • ”Upon closer inspection” and “revealed to be” are phrases that chew up word count and make me think you were being dishonest with me about the sensory information you already described. Tell me what I see, not what I think I see and then that I see. Get the important details out there quickly, concisely, and with some creative flair!

I'm going to politely disagree with you here, but only on my item, specifically. I agree that these phrases are often overused and "bloat" an item description, but in this case I felt it was necessary. From a distance it isn't immediately apparent that the stars are actually sling stones and I wanted a way to capture that. I could have used more innovative wording, but it felt appropriate to use such tried and true (and perhaps boring) phrasing, especially for this competition.

Brian J. Fruzen wrote:
  • Other than the catch-all of because, magic, I don’t see why a character would get to use all their sling-related feats. I mean, this thing is a spinning disc that launches sling bullets through a vortex! Cool, but in no way, shape, or form is it resembling a sling anymore.

I envisioned the stones being fired out of the vortex in the same centripetal way that a sling looses a stone. Since galaxies tend to spin as a flat disk and so do whirling slings, I imagined they would actually fire pretty similarly. As someone else mentioned, this is basically an auto-loading, self-whirling sling, so I didn't feel it was too big of a stretch to have the proficiencies overlap.

Brian J. Fruzen wrote:
  • Does it still provide the shield bonuses when the wielder fires sling stones from it?

Yes. I didn't think it was worth the word count to spell this out explicitly because shield bash DOES state you lose your AC when used. It seemed unnecessary to define something that didn't apply, but in hindsight I can see how many people might still wonder about this. I certainly have the word count left to throw it in. Good catch.

Brian J. Fruzen wrote:
  • Including light is a nice, thematic touch. I would almost prefer the price be adjusted for it to include some kind of sunlight effect though.

This was a major design consideration for me. I think I spent more time belaboring this aspect of the shield than any other. When I first put the shield together, I had considered daylight or searing light for the effect, but they increased the price of the shield too much for my liking. For the price it would have sat at, there were much better shields with higher defensive stats and better offensive abilities, so I knocked it down to just light. In the end, I liked that this was an illumination spell with no combat utility.

Brian J. Fruzen wrote:
  • An antagonist could use this effectively, and I would have fun describing the action to the players. It’s cheap enough that they might consider holding onto it for a few levels, just to give it a try.
That was the idea! I wouldn't expect someone to create a build exclusively around this item, but it seemed like the kind of thing that might be a little too useful to immediately sell for gold. Since it only costs a -1 to attacks to strap this puppy on, I thought some big two-handed weapon fighter might appreciate the AC boost and ranged weapon abilities.[/list]
Brian J. Fruzen wrote:
I have some questions about proper use of this item

Fire away! I'm happy to discuss things in more detail. I think it helps improve everyone's design process when we can talk these things out.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Starsling Buckler haiku.

Shield embossed with "Stars"
shoots them out to pelt the foes.
Vote for this all day!

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