Scallywag's Tooth


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

Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Janvs

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Scallywag’s Tooth
Aura Minor Transmutation; CL 1st
Slot —; Price 1200 gp; Weight
Description

This is a simple golden crown, the kind used to cap damaged teeth -- it does not appear remarkable at first glance, but close inspection reveals a set of very small scratches on the back of the crown that exude a faint magic aura. The tooth also bears an imprint from a previous owner, that of a blunted incisor.

When affixed to a person’s tooth, the bearer gains the ability to lie casually and effortlessly -- lies and misdirection seem to just slip off of her tongue. As long as the Scallywag’s Tooth is worn and visible in the mouth, it functions as a set of masterwork tools for the Bluff and Diplomacy Skills, granting a +2 Circumstance bonus on all relevant checks.

Once per day, by smiling widely, the bearer of the tooth can reroll a failed Bluff or Diplomacy check -- she must take the result of the reroll, even if it is lower than the original. The subject of the failed roll must be looking at the bearer and be able to see the Scallywag’s Tooth for this effect to function.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, innocence Cost 600 gp

Dark Archive

I really liked this item, and voted for it many times. Congratulations on making alternate!

Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Janvs

Alanya wrote:
I really liked this item, and voted for it many times. Congratulations on making alternate!

Thanks so much! I found out about the contest SUPER late and didn't have anywhere near as much time as I would have liked to work on my entry.

If anyone has suggestions on how I could have improved the Scallywag's Tooth, I would love to hear them -- I was never quite satisfied with the mechanics of it.


Really like the simplicity of this low-powered, low-cost item. Re-roll (instead of additional bonus) seems like an apt effect.


Fun item with near perfect template usage.

Robert Guthrie wrote:
Alanya wrote:
I really liked this item, and voted for it many times. Congratulations on making alternate!

Thanks so much! I found out about the contest SUPER late and didn't have anywhere near as much time as I would have liked to work on my entry.

If anyone has suggestions on how I could have improved the Scallywag's Tooth, I would love to hear them -- I was never quite satisfied with the mechanics of it.

Not that you should care what I think...should go make a map or something...but I've never cared much for reroll items or abilities. It doesn't really fit into a narrative very well as the character should not know if they failed the Bluff or Diplomacy check. Kind of...meta-gamey.

That said, maybe once per day on a Bluff or Diplomacy check, the 'wearer' can roll 3 d20s and take the highest. That should bestow something near the +10 bonus that the innocence spell grants.

Or something more fun than that, preferably.

Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Janvs

JJ Jordan wrote:

*snip*

That said, maybe once per day on a Bluff or Diplomacy check, the 'wearer' can roll 3 d20s and take the highest. That should bestow something near the +10 bonus that the innocence spell grants.

Well shoot, now I wish I'd thought of that...

Sovereign Court Star Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alanya wrote:
I really liked this item, and voted for it many times. Congratulations on making alternate!

Same here. Simple and thematic.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

This was my favorite item and I'm really glad it made it here.

Star Voter Season 9

Big fan of the item and the flavor. Congrats!

Dedicated Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

One of my top picks, If I had to guess it got edged out because too many people thought of it as a joke item, when it really is just an amazing, well balanced idea that meshes mechanics and flavor in all the right ways.

It is an item I'll be using in my games.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Congratulations on making it in!

Robert Guthrie wrote:

Scallywag’s Tooth

Aura Minor Transmutation; CL 1st
Slot —; Price 1200 gp; Weight
Description

This is a simple golden crown, the kind used to cap damaged teeth -- it does not appear remarkable at first glance, but close inspection reveals a set of very small scratches on the back of the crown that exude a faint magic aura. The tooth also bears an imprint from a previous owner, that of a blunted incisor.

When affixed to a person’s tooth, the bearer gains the ability to lie casually and effortlessly -- lies and misdirection seem to just slip off of her tongue. As long as the Scallywag’s Tooth is worn and visible in the mouth, it functions as a set of masterwork tools for the Bluff and Diplomacy Skills, granting a +2 Circumstance bonus on all relevant checks.

Once per day, by smiling widely, the bearer of the tooth can reroll a failed Bluff or Diplomacy check -- she must take the result of the reroll, even if it is lower than the original. The subject of the failed roll must be looking at the bearer and be able to see the Scallywag’s Tooth for this effect to function.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, innocence Cost 600 gp

I loved this item right from the start. It's cheap and extremely flavorful. The reroll activation in particular is inspired.

Good luck in the next round!

Marathon Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

First off, congrats! I am immensely happy to see your item receive some credit for being so wonderful, even if I don't get the chance to see your map entry. This was a personal favorite of mine. It was a bit flawed, but in a lovable way.

Here were my thoughts about your item back when I had to be vague.

Lucky Pips wrote:

Item, you are my favorite. Your imagery is straight up cartoon villains from my childhood, you drip mojo, you use a completely unique mundane item as your basis, you are one of the few magic items I would alter my character art to show. Heck I want to repaint my mini to show you. I will even get a mundane version before I can afford you so my teammates won't even notice the difference...

However, you made up a new aura strength, you incorrectly filled in your slot info, and your price appears too cheap (by about half). Basically your header is a mess (besides name, which I also love) and the body is Superstar quality. Because of this, I find myself voting against you half the time to decent items that nail the CL, Aura and Price. I hope you pull through, but I'm not really helping you towards that goal as much as I would like. Work on your headers, and hand them to your friendly local rules lawyer to pick them apart before your next submission (we work for very reasonable retainers). Best of luck.

Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Janvs

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lucky Pips wrote:

First off, congrats! I am immensely happy to see your item receive some credit for being so wonderful, even if I don't get the chance to see your map entry. This was a personal favorite of mine. It was a bit flawed, but in a lovable way.

Here were my thoughts about your item back when I had to be vague.

Lucky Pips wrote:

Item, you are my favorite. Your imagery is straight up cartoon villains from my childhood, you drip mojo, you use a completely unique mundane item as your basis, you are one of the few magic items I would alter my character art to show. Heck I want to repaint my mini to show you. I will even get a mundane version before I can afford you so my teammates won't even notice the difference...

However, you made up a new aura strength, you incorrectly filled in your slot info, and your price appears too cheap (by about half). Basically your header is a mess (besides name, which I also love) and the body is Superstar quality. Because of this, I find myself voting against you half the time to decent items that nail the CL, Aura and Price. I hope you pull through, but I'm not really helping you towards that goal as much as I would like. Work on your headers, and hand them to your friendly local rules lawyer to pick them apart before your next submission (we work for very reasonable retainers). Best of luck.

Hey Pips, thanks so much for the feedback, I thought that might have been about my item!

Everything you said is absolutely correct -- I changed the aura strength last minute and forgot to double check the phrasing (I was agonizing about it all week).

In my defense about the slot though, I was comparing it to a Feather Token, so there is SOME precedent for a dash, though I am noticing now that most slotless items say "None" instead.

This is all high praise though, and legitimate criticism. You can all rest assured that next year's entry will be FLAWLESS.

(Seriously, it will, I can't handle a week of stressing about minor errors. I must have shaved a month off my life).

Marathon Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I know that feeling well, my own item this year looked fine to me until after I submitted, then I noticed the issue in the crafting price. Eats a hole in your gut while you wait to see how many people notice and knock you for it. Clearly though many people agree that your item was great! Now go do a map and let that start giving you heartburn too. :P

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The em-dash in slot got changed to "none," I think with the fifth printing (? I could be off on that...).

Unfortunately, I wasn't a fan of your item. I'm afraid I dismissed it as basically a bonus to a couple skills, plus a not particularly innovative reroll mechanic, along with the already mentioned template issues.

Still, congratulations on earning Top 36 -- a lot of alternates have advanced to the full contest over the years, so don't despair. Focus on turning in a killer map and show us what else you can do.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

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

Always check the errata! - You almost nailed it.

From fifth printing (and noted in the errata), no slot is listed as none; and not as a dash.

Numbers a thousand or more use the UK / US comma for a thousands separator, so that 1200 gp should be shown as 1,200 gp.

And where is the closing semi-colon after the spell in the construction section?

Yummy, early Top 32 food...

*munch*

Full review to follow in due course.

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Robert Guthrie wrote:
Scallywag’s Tooth

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.

Feel free to disagree with me and DEFEND YOUR CHOICES!

SUPERSTAR — Besides some minor formatting issues (Template Fu got them, though he let you keep so many "--" when you meant to use em dashes "—" (which I'd rewrite as just not needing at all as their proper use gets "complicated"). But, what I really mean to say is that you have one of the few "elegant" items. I mean that in the way scientists use the phrase — (of a scientific theory or solution to a problem) pleasingly ingenious and simple.. It's also one of the few I'd a) use for one of my own characters, b) give out as a treasure in an adventure <assuming the PCs were clever enough to pull teeth :D, and c) actually love to see properly done and published in something like Ultimate Equipment 2 <though maybe it would fit right in Ultimate Intrigue instead?>

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

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.

Scallywag’s Tooth

The Good: You went with something a bit different then the standard fare for wondrous items, and you present your items powers smoothly and well.

The Bad: I have a personal dislike of magical grillz, maybe it is because my mom was a dental hygienist, but something about gold teeth as an item just bugs me.

The Ugly: Some formatting errors, and in all honesty (pun intended) this item is just too obvious for my tastes, and the name made me think more pirate than silver tongued devil 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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

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 dug this quite a bit for it's well crafted mechanics and it's nod toward humor. I can totally see it in a pirate themed game and would love to see a paladin claim it as loot; that thought alone is worth an alternate spot! Congratulations and condolences on being an alternate.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The flavor is nice and the item is well written and to the point.

I personally found it to be boring mechanically though as just skill bonuses and a re-roll.

Congrats though!

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Welcome to the Top 36, Robert! 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 scallywag's tooth!

Functionality and Usefulness
Well, it's a golden tooth crown, making it the mouth bling of choice for dentally challenged ruffians everywhere!

While I do remember a run of magic teeth in a prior Superstar season, I can say that the enchanted dental crown niche is still wide open. So you're inventing your own design space here, which is saying something.

This is a simple, functional little item. Straight up social skill bonuses and a once per day reroll for a failed check with one of those skills.

Skill bonuses are simple enough, but there's one issue with allowing a reroll on a failed social skill check: a good amount of time, a PC is not going to know he failed a social roll, and it's entirely possible a GM will not want the PC to know he failed. (Plus what necessarily constitutes a failure? If you're making a Diplomacy roll to impress someone, there can be degrees of effect--did you impress them a little or a lot? Does a little still count as a failure?)

A once per day boost to one of those skills, or an option to roll multiple dice and take the highest, or automatically improve an NPC's attitude one step temporarily--one of those options might've provided a less sticky method of getting the same effect across.

It's a slotless skill boost + a little more, though, which means I can see it in use for PCs wanting their social skills shored up. "Refined" PCs, though, would probably avoid it despite the benefits.

The Cool Factor/Mojo
Your biggest mojo factor here is the fact you decided to use a tooth, and the tongue-in-cheek manner you went about describing its activation, what with the item needing to stay visible and for people to see it for it to work. That's an interesting way to go about it.

While you did design something very simple--which I appreciate--you went simple and safe in your mechanics. Skill bonuses are pretty unexciting and rerolling a failed check, while useful, is not groundbreaking.

It is a useful item and it has oodles of flavor, but I really expect a Superstar item to step out more in terms of mechanical innovation.

You did evoke visions of what characters would wear this item and the fun they'd have using it, but I have a feeling that is as much a function of what it is than what it does. Still, your design choices of item type and how you presented it does show potential.

Prose and Editing
You pack a lot of interesting flavor in this and obviously evoked some strong feelings in the voting to get here. You know how to capture appeal and that'll serve you well.

Your style in presenting the template and rules language is not quite where it should be. There is no "minor" aura strength; it should be "faint" and both it and the aura type lowercase. Slot is none, remember the commas in large numbers. The dashes in the text are unnecessary. The first one should just be eliminated for a period and make separate sentences. You could do the same with the next one, or use a colon instead or replace it with "as". The last one should also just be separate sentences. (I empathize, by the way, I am a recovering dash addict. They used to be all over my writing.)

In text, magic item names are lowercase and italicized. Skill names are capitalized, but the word "skill" is not. Nor is "circumstance". And there should be a semicolon dividing the construction requirements from price.

Overall, though, no spelling errors and your wording was pretty good and rather evocative.

Overall
This is packed with flavor and generated a ton of interest. It's a lot of fun, but all that can only get you so far. Nothing new came in the mechanics, unfortunately. If you move on in the competition, or go on to hone your designing outside of it (which I highly recommend!), work on innovating the rules more and being unafraid of going out of your safety zone. Also familiarize yourself with professional style and formatting. You came in with a creative idea, though, so do continue designing regardless.

I am honored to have been allowed to provide feedback this year. Best of luck moving forward, Robert, and I expect your map shows as flavor as you showed here!

Congratulations again!

Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Aside from minor formatting errors, I really liked your item and voted for it quite a few times in the competition. I love the name, and I love parts of the description (although other parts are a little repetitive). I like what your item does, and that it's affordable and unique. It's not an edgy or amazing item, but it's quirky and useful and I loved it.

(As others mentioned above, I agree that the final ability's trigger should be roll three dice and choose the best result instead of re-roll a failed skill check, but that didn't stop me from seeing the item's shine!)

I really enjoyed your item and am glad it got some recognition.

Best of luck.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Robert Guthrie wrote:
Scallywag’s Tooth

Congratulations Robert!

It is hard for me to see the allure in this crown. It has some decent description, but it barely seems to be a magic item. Bonus to skills do not wow me, and these bonuses come from the MW nature of the item not even a magical bonus. Adding rerolls is also not that exciting, & I have a major disconnect as to how a broad smile makes a feint and denies a target their Dex bonus. Making an inexpensive item is a good choice to show design chops, good choice
.

You really will have to reach for the stars in future rounds. Good Luck!

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Robert! 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 scallywag's tooth...

Okay. The name works. It's a wondrous item in the shape of some dental work, and the scallywag theme puts the golden gleam on it.

Mojo. I think this lets you down a little bit (and probably explains why you landed on the alternate list rather than among the Top 32). At its core, this item grants a skill bonus and a reroll in the event it fails. There's nothing exceptionally sexy about that. We see it all the time in item submissions, and it's not innovative enough to warrant a shot at being the RPG Superstar. To stand out, you've got to do something new and different, not just rely on skill bonus rules and a reroll mechanic which has seen use in lots of other areas of the game (from feats to cleric domain powers).

Cinematic. Other than the visual of the "wide smile" and the pirate with a gold tooth, there's nothing especially evocative regarding the item's abilities. You can see it in use, but it doesn't bowl you over or anything.

Usefulness. For anyone invested in Bluff and Diplomacy, it's certainly very useful.

Mechanics. There's nothing sexy here. And there's no need to compare the tooth to a "set of masterwork tools" and give it a circumstance bonus. If anything, I'd favor a competence bonus over a circumstance bonus anyway, since the tooth is kind of inspiring the wearer more than being an actual "tool" to improve Bluff and Diplomacy. I also think the reroll opportunity for these skills is risky. I don't think I've seen them called out before for reroll attempts, and, as others have pointed out, that's because 1) PCs don't always know when they fail such a check, and 2) GMs often don't want them to know they failed it, much less tip them to the fact by offering them a reroll. So, here's my suggestion: Let the tooth give the static bonus on these skills, but turn the reroll attempt to a different pirate-themed skill altogether, such as Appraise. You can easily imagine someone attempting an Appraise check on an item, failing it (or not, because again you don't have to let them know), but the tooth offers a "second opinion" if you bite down on the item as if testing the authenticity of a gold coin, which you can easily imagine a pirate doing. This might entitle him to a reroll or even another roll at a greater bonus, and if he learns he was mistaken the first time, all the better.

Aside from that, this tooth really begs for another power to elevate it beyond just boosting skills or allowing a reroll. Maybe if it helped a pirate pass off a fake item as more authentic than it really is...or just generally let them negotiate up a higher price by a certain percentage when selling gear and magic items. There are mechanics like this present in the game for certain classes or in the form of campaign traits, so it might be nice to see this tooth explore something like that.

Polish. There are several missteps in here. You're missing the comma in your price. Your item name needs to be lowercase and italicized when referencing itself in the descriptive text. You don't need to capitalize "Circumstance" as a game term, and the same goes for the "S" in "Bluff and Diplomacy Skills." These kinds of missteps are a sign that you're not ready for the competition, and you'll need to hone your understanding of how to properly present game language in your designs before giving it another go.

Other than that, this item got you very close to the Top 32. It has great visuals, but doesn't quite have an innovative enough idea behind it to close the deal. Regardless, 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

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was a big fan of the name. Somehow you know what it looks like from the name alone.

The first sentence is a bit awkward to me. Use of "dental crown" may have cleaned that up.

Personally, I never like items that refer to previous owners. What if I just crafted it myself?

And the powers of the item aren't traditionally what wins superstar, being just a couple of bonuses and a re-roll.

However, I voted for this more than once, and it was the image of a scallywag failing bluff, smiling with his gold tooth gleaming, and then succeeding. It just feels fun.

Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Janvs

Hey everyone, I took a few days away from the forums, but I wanted to thank all of the people who took the time to critique my item and give feedback. It really means a lot to me that you've taken the time to help me improve and I fully intend to put all of your (really excellent) advice into practice next year.

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

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