Critique My Item Please!


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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Marathon Voter Season 9

CorvusMask wrote:
Face of the Kraken

I liked this item's visuals (so creepy). It's good that you didn't just make it a natural attack, instead giving what basically amounts to an extra pair of hands. I can't decide if I like it giving a ranged reposition attack, though—that's not what I think when I hear "tentacles". Krakens certainly don't get a reposition attack. It's the most unique thing about the item, though.

Mainly, the problems were just minor formatting glitches. "but he cannot do that" should just be "but cannot" (the rest is redundant), and the reposition ability could be explained more tidily. "Additionally, the mask also" could do without the "additionally", without the "also", or simply without both.

Overall, I liked the item, but it felt a bit cluttered with the way it was written and didn't feel like it did anything that distinctive. Maybe it didn't "grab" me, but it had a strong visual, and I definitely wouldn't mind seeing it in my campaign. I just feel like there was a much better item in here somewhere.

JamesCooke wrote:
Watch of Borrowed Time

We had a lot of clock items this season, and this was one of my favorites. It seems "handy" (yeah, I'm just gonna do one of those for every item). There are some problems, though.

- Price and Cost don't seem to match, unless I'm missing something.

- Why is it CL 10, and not CL 5? The spell prerequisites are clever, incidentally, though I don't think you need minor image. It doesn't do any harm, though.

- You handle contingencies well. What happens if I use two move actions to redirect the clock hands twice? I assume I can affect twice as many targets—can I keep the minute hand on my buddy and give him two move actions next turn? I assume yes, which is interesting, though perhaps not intended.

- I think you typo'd "siphon", unless they spell it differently in Nashville. :P

Tom Forkbeard wrote:
Chameleon Shield

This was one of my favorite shields (a high ranking, to be sure) just for being so simple, yet handy and interesting. Making it wooden was a great touch that suggests very evocative imagery: Lichen growing across the shield to make it blend in with stone, leaves and moss sprouting out to blend in with underbrush, etc. It being a shield made it really "stand out" to me.

Some problems:

- There's a formatting error—"Cost" doesn't need a new paragraph. Also, the spell "wood shape" is two words. Italicize +1 heavy wooden shield.

- Cost seems somewhat wonky.

- CL seems wrong. It should be based on either enhancement bonus or spell prerequisites, shouldn't it?

- Aura is wrong. It should be illusion and transmutation.

- "Attacking and spell casting with somatic or verbal components and any other normal or faster motion negates these effects." This is awkwardly worded. I'd put it more like, "Attacking, or spellcasting with somatic or verbal components, negates these effects." I think the faster motion stuff goes without saying with your previous sentence.

- Total concealment doesn't technically give bonuses to Stealth. You should specify a bonus to Stealth, since I think this shield warrants one.

Like I said, I definitely liked this item and generally voted for it, but it's a little bit messy in places. Splendid notion, though. Good luck next year!

Star Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Price and Cost don't seem to match, unless I'm missing something.

Nope, just a good old-fashioned typo! Saw that in voting and I swear I thought I heard the snark thread creek.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
- You handle contingencies well. What happens if I use two move actions to redirect the clock hands twice? I assume I can affect twice as many targets—can I keep the minute hand on my buddy and give him two move actions next turn? I assume yes, which is interesting, though perhaps not intended.

That indeed was the intent, but I wasn't positive I communicated that properly or at all. In polar opposite of my last entry (may its name never be repeated), I think I bit off more than I could chew with the item.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I think you typo'd "siphon", unless they spell it differently in Nashville. :P

All they each us down here is abstinence n' cattle herdin'- spellin' wasn't in the curriculum tips cowboy hat

My spellchecker didn't catch that, so another important lesson learned.

Thank you very much Mr. Cleaver!

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'll try to critique a bunch of items, but want to still get to all the Top 32 first...

mbauers wrote:

So, it was my first attempt at RPG Superstar and I survived the culls, which I was proud of. After seeing so many items and following the discussion on the different threads, I came up with a few critiques of my own for my item:

1) Name--I wanted to convey what it did and have it be memorable, but I think the final result didn't have a lot of "oomf"

2) Could cause problems for GMs--not everyone knows the performance combat rules. But, I was going for something unique, and I didn't see any other items affecting performance combat, so I had that going for me at least!

3) The "bag of cats" problem--I thought I worded it well enough to avoid that (as I don't believe cats or other low-intelligence creatures would "observe" a battle), but I wonder if people thought the problem was still there.

What else am I missing here? Thanks for the feedback!

Axe of the Roaring Crowd
Aura moderate enchantment; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 32,320 gp; Weight 7 lbs.
Description
This +1 furyborn hooked axe appears unremarkable until its wielder fights in front of a crowd. If the bearer of the axe of the roaring crowd is engaged in combat while being observed by at least five onlookers (sentient creatures who do not contribute to either side of the battle, excluding combatants who have yet to act), he can start a performance combat as a free action. When so used, the axe takes on a polished, glinting sheen, the slightest wounds it deals spray great arcs of blood in the air, and its missed strikes ring loudly off enemy armor.

These effects grant the wielder of the axe of the roaring crowd a +1 luck bonus on all performance combat checks. Additionally, during any performance combat, the wielder gains a luck bonus on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls equal to the number of victory points he has.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, divine favor, rage; Cost 16,320 gp

I think your second point was the biggest problem. It wasn't so much that it could cause problems for GMs, but I just don't think it's a tremendously popular rule-set. I looked at it as a designer who knows his/her rules and is playing with an unsual area, which is a good thing. At the same time, it's not an item I'm likely to use in my games, which makes it less interesting/accessible. It got both up and down votes from me.

I dislike "of the" names, so didn't think the name was great (though that's not a huge factor), but your description of the axe itself lacks oomph (you do bring some in later, but you failed at the first impressions test). "It appears unremarkable" isn't going to intrigue me or players. You're making a magic item so make it magical, if that makes sense.

Finally, at its core, it's a +1 bonus, which doesn't do enough for me. I remember there was an item last "season" (two seasons ago?) that created an arena for a performance combat, which I thought managed to bring those rules in and do something more with them.

Star Voter Season 9

My first time entering. The 5th cull knocked me out. What did I need to make it further?

Replication Hammer
Aura strong divination and evocation; CL 13th
Slot none; Price 36,324 gp; Weight 6 lbs.
Description
This polished warhammer is crafted from a single piece of cold iron. Wielders not proficient with this weapon use it as a +1 warhammer. Proficient wielders use it as a +4 warhammer when attempting to sunder a melee weapon that possesses a special ability.

If the weapon targeted by the sunder is destroyed in this manner, the wielder of the Replication Hammer may allow it to absorb one special ability of that weapon. This does not change the Replication Hammer's enhancement bonus. If the weapon that was destroyed had more than one special ability, the wielder of the Replication Hammer may choose which ability to absorb. Upon absorbing a new ability, it loses any absorbed ability it currently possesses. The Replication Hammer always retains the ability to absorb other abilities. the wielder of the Replication Hammer may choose not to absorb an ability.
Construction
Requirements Str 13, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, shatter, limited wish; Cost 18,324 gp

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

This was my four year, I think my items of this two years have improved a lot compared with the previous, but not enough yet. Thanks in advance for the feedback, please expand your reasoning if possible. This was my entry:

Bloodseeker Sword
Aura Strong necromancy and transmutation; CL 18th
Slot ─; Price 84,815 gp; Weight 4 lbs.
Description
This crimson blade is a +1 wounding blood crystal longsword, it has a disturbing aura that evokes hunger, the pommel and cross-guard is full of thorns with dried blood. Each time the wielder strikes a blow that deals damage with this weapon, the wielder gains temporary hit points equal to the amount of damage dealt. Temporary hit points bestowed by the bloodlseeker sword last for 1 minute. The wielder can give of his own blood to make the bloodlseeker sword more deadly, as a swift action the wielder may pierce himself with the thorns and inflict any amount of bleed damage he wants, the bloodlseeker sword gain one of the following properties according with the bleed damage inflicted:

Keen (2 points)
Impact (4 points)
Speed (6 points)
Brilliant energy (8 points)
Vorpal (10 points)

This property last for 1 minute. If the wielder uses this ability again, the first property immediately ends.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, bleed, bull's strength, circle of death, continual flame, gaseous form, haste, keen edge, vampiric touch; Cost 43,315 gp

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

This is the first item I've ever submitted.

PLEASE be harsh. It's the only way I'll learn.

Oh, also, someone already mentioned that in Paizo products commas are not optional in the gp price when it goes into the thousands.

Other than that, as I said, GO TEAM HARSH.

> Revealing Ink
> Aura faint enchantment; CL 5th
> Slot none; Price 4500 gp; Weight 1 lb.
>
> Description
> Contained in cut lead crystal, revealing ink's multiple colors bloom and fade in intricate patterns. Distinctive hues of the local lands' authorities — perhaps an ecclesiast’s scarlet, a sovereign’s purple, or a legal record’s iron gall — take turns painting the inside of the phial. Put to page, the ink creates official-looking, intimidating marks covering as many as 111 pages, and for 24 hours its complex scent changes with the perceiver’s opinions of relevant government(s) on topics such as utility, hostility, alignment and charisma. Some sleuths use this to help identify the disloyal.
>
> Indispensable when interrogating humanoids, one swallow (22 pages worth) of revealing ink forces a Will save (DC 15). Those who fail vomit ink on one nearby stainable surface, preferring paper or parchment. Folded then opened, the surface reveals an eery, symmetrical image of odd familiarity. Displaying this may cause the victim to believe the blot has revealed the victim's relevant secrets and begin chattering about a prompted topic. Success is automatic if choosing to prompt a topic once. Otherwise, it requires a Bluff check (DC 10, increasing by 5 each subsequent topic). A failed check or 24 hours' passage ends the effect — as does a prompt which reveals the interrogator’s inability to interpret the blot. “Now I will recognize your patron anywhere!” will work. “What does your patron look like?” ends the effect. Subsequent prompts on the current topic are permissible, possibly generating new details. Use the topic's DC (minimum 10, no retries; failure does not end the ink’s effects). The victim may still consider some details of the image too obvious to mention.
> Construction
> Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, suggestion, charm person; Cost 2250 gp

Marathon Voter Season 9

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And then the dragon appeared and roared ferociously, breathing huge jets of flame! The townsfolk dropped their pitchforks and torches, and ran away screaming. But Saint George wasn't afraid. No, not at all. He reached into his backpack and boldly drew out his worn and trusty security blanket.
"Ha, you can't hurt me now!" He cried. "I'm under the covers! See!?"

Yes, I take responsibility for...

Security Blanket
Aura strong abjuration; CL 13th Slot none;
Price 25,000 gp; Weight 3 lbs.

Descriptions Made of soft, blue wool, this child's blanket looks warm and comfortable. Just touching it causes feelings of security and reassurance to wash over you. Sleeping with this blanket provides a +4 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saving throws against exposure to cold weather.

A creature wrapped in a security blanket gains the effects of sanctuary and remove fear until they remove it. Whenever you are under the influence of a fear effect, you can spend a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity to wrap yourself in the security blanket, even if the effect would not normally let you take any other actions. This is in addition to any actions that may be required to retrieve it from your belongings. Extracting yourself from the blanket is a swift action.

Breaking the sanctuary effect by attacking also destroys the security blanket.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, sanctuary, remove fear, joyful rapture; Cost 6,250 gp

I'll critique myself to start off with, since I learnt a lot from doing this and I'm aware of my own mistakes, mostly. If there's anything I missed though, feel free to add that.

My own critique:

I've only been playing this style of game for about a year, and this is one of my first items, but I'm pretty happy with how it went. I'm actually pretty glad I didn't get through since I have 0 experience with maps. Got pretty worried for a while when it kept coming up in the Items Seen chat and people seemed to like it.

*ahem* well...

First up, I had some formatting errors, mostly because I kept my copy in notepad and it stuffed up the spacing and I got carried away with deleting the extra lines. Dumb, but easy to fix.
Links to the d20PFSRD? That was dumb of me. A last second addition where I grabbed the first link I had stored in my browser instead of a prd one.

Messed up the aura. Joyful rapture was another last-second addition that I shouldn't have put in. Should have been an Enchantment aura in there. In hindsight, making it rainbow coloured and putting in prismatic wall would have been fun just to keep the Strong Abjuration aura.

The big one: 2nd person? Whyyyyyy... I can't believe I didn't pick this one up. Worse, an item I workshopped had the same error and I didn't notice it there, either.

That drawback was dumb. Having seen a bunch of terrible drawbacks, this one isn't so bad, but it's still pretty bad. I think the idea fits in with the item fairly well though, so I'd probably change it to just losing its magic for 24 hours.

The peanuts reference I hadn't even thought about until someone mentioned it. That thieving subconscious of mine. That said, influences aren't necessarily a bad thing.

Jokey? Yeah, it was a little. Mostly in the text though. I mean, I could have called it a Talisman of Reassurance and had it do the same thing, but that would make it boring, which is a much bigger sin in my eyes.

I guess it was sort of a spell in a can-ish, but I thought that was still fine. It was the being able to put it on while frightened that took it away from plain SiaC though.

I'll post a redo that addresses most of these at some point, probably.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka dien

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Hi, guys! If anyone has thoughts on my item I'd appreciate it.

Some stuff I already know I did wrong:

1) Very boneheadedly, I left out the name from the actual text box, and only had it it in the title. No excuse for that on my part. Dumb.

2) I have a gut feeling a lot of people disliked it due to it being a bard-only item, or perceived as such, despite the fact that I meant for it to also be usable by classes who have abilities that function as bardic performance. I should probably have called that out more specifically rather than thinking it was safe to assume.

3) Timed Strike should have read 'equal to the target's CMD,' not B. Been kicking myself ever since I noticed that!

Anyway, here it is:
_______

Wardrum of the Tactician
Aura
moderate abjuration and transmutation; CL 7th
Slot chest; Price 45,360 gp; Weight 15 lbs.
Description
This marching drum is constructed of red-varnished wood and cured calfskin, and is worn attached to a baldric harness decorated with regimental insignia. Small brass fittings, shaped like instruments of war, secure the stretched hide to the drum's frame. The drum is considered a masterwork tool for any Perform (percussion) check, and may be used bare-handed or with drumsticks.

Three times per day, as a standard action that requires both hands and provokes attacks of opportunity, a bearer with the bardic performance class feature may make a Perform (percussion) check to cause one of two effects. Allies must be able to hear the performance to be affected.

Footwork Drill (Su): On a successful check, every ally within 30 feet of the bearer may move five feet as an immediate action. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity, nor does it count against movement made on the ally's turn. The DC of this check is 20. For every five by which the bearer exceeds this DC, allies may move another five feet.

Timed Strike (Su): On a successful check, every ally who threatens a single designated foe within 30 feet of the bearer may make an attack of opportunity against the target. The DC of this check is equal to the target's CMB.

Construction
Requirements
Combat Reflexes, Craft Wondrous Item, escaping ward, haste, creator must have 5 ranks in Perform (percussion) and the bardic performance class feature; Cost 22,680 gp

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

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Blood Twin’s Quills
Aura Faint Illusion; CL 5th
Slot No Slot; Price 20,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
A pair of delicate, gold filigree and crystal quills lie side-by-side in the velvet-lined box. A crystal vial etched with scenes of sacrificial victims completes the set.
The quills function as a Masterwork Artisan Scribe Set, except with used to Scribe Scrolls. When used with that intent, a small incision opens on the caster’s arm. The trickle of blood from the wound fills the crystal vial used for ink. The blood ink activates the second quill and allows the user to make a second, identical scroll. These scrolls can only be read by the scriber and take only the time it would normally take to make one. To anyone but the scriber, the scrolls read as nonsense, even with the use of Read Magic and Comprehend Languages. The scrolls cannot be sold, as they would not work for another user. The scriber takes 1 bleed damage per hour of crafting to account for the ink used. Any healing of the wound while scribing the scrolls will negate the effect of the quills and the second scroll will not be scribed. If the scroll has a material component, you must double it to account for the second scroll.
A little blood and sacrifice to get the powers flowing.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Blood Transcription, Illusory Script, Mage Hand, Masterwork Artisan Scribe Set; Cost 10,000 gp

PS. Sorry about the filigree...

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Wolin wrote:

And then the dragon appeared and roared ferociously, breathing huge jets of flame! The townsfolk dropped their pitchforks and torches, and ran away screaming. But Saint George wasn't afraid. No, not at all. He reached into his backpack and boldly drew out his worn and trusty security blanket.

"Ha, you can't hurt me now!" He cried. "I'm under the covers! See!?"

Yes, I take responsibility for...

Security Blanket

YOU!?!?!?!? That must have been the greatest thing ever to hear so many people praising the Security Blanket in the chat room!

Well, you already know my critique of this, in that case. I absolutely loved it! Visually evocative, fun, defensive (Which I like a lot), and any issues with it that I noticed, you already addressed in your post.

In addition to this post

ALL ITEMS FROM PAGE 1 HAVE HAIKUS!

Grand Lodge Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

Thanks! I know CL is screwed up ...

Boiling Heart Gauntlet
Aura faint evocation; CL 2nd
Slot hands; Price 8000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
This leather, brass-plated gauntlet is covered in flexible copper tubing running its length, and down each finger. Embedded in the forearm is a small beating heart with copper tubes running through it. When donned the copper tubing extends into the wearer’s flesh. The user can then produce a 15’ cone of steam from the gauntlet’s fingers 10 times per day. This scalding water causes 1d4 points of fire damage and living creatures are sickened for 3 rounds. A reflex save (DC 15) halves the damage and negates the sickened effect.

Alternatively, the gauntlet can be used to produce a rainstorm of boiling water 5-foot square emanating from the air within 30-feet. Living creatures within the area take 2d6 points of fire damage. Each such use expends two daily uses. The bearer can choose to effect up to three more 5-foot adjacent squares at two uses per square. Each such shower remains in effect until the beginning of the user’s next turn. Any creature entering an effected square suffers 1d6 points fire damage. A fortitude save (DC 15) halves the damage.

After four uses are expended in a day, the user is sickened from dehydration and becomes nauseated after eight uses. The user can remove the effects by spending a full-round action drinking water.

While this articulated gauntlet allows the user to wield and carry items in that hand, the hand must be free to use the gantlet’s powers and the user receives a -2 penalty on all precision based tasks involving that hand. If the gauntlet is removed the wearer takes 1 point of damage from withdrawing the embedded tubing.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, produce water, steam memphit heart; Cost 4000 gp

Star Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Llalanna wrote:
Blood Twin’s Quills

This was an item I was on the fence about because, in theory, it's super gold-efficient. You might not be able to literally print money with it, but you're still getting two scrolls for the price of one and that can add up quickly if you're diligent enough.

Dark Archive Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Stirgenest Quiver

Alright, your item was the one that terrified me the most this season.

The original version of my entry did exactly what yours does, I literally looked at my screen slack-jawed for a couple minutes as I pulled up a screen shot of my submission page to make sure I had submitted my final version.

After my panic attack, I saw how you did this idea a heck of a lot better than I had planned to, so I thought of your item as my item's rival and voted for it every time. I never saw ours go head to head though. Unfortunately, they still probably blood drained some of each other's votes though.

Alright, serious critique:

I think that the choice to go with a constitution penalty as opposed to dealing ability damage was a bold choice that could have had a better execution. Specifically, what happens when this penalty pushes a target's constitution to zero? The penalty probably should have had a restriction similar to the feeding frenzy bonus instead of remaining uncapped.

My second sticking point with the item is that it was wordy. The description had multiple portions that could have been written more concisely and clearly. The last sentence of paragraph two was a rough read.

Original:
"This penalty stacks with other stirgenest quiver projectiles' penalties, but each can be removed as a move action by extracting the proboscis." - 22 words, clunky to read, run-on sentence

Suggestion:
"This penalty stacks with itself. Extracting a projectile is a move action that reduces the penalties by one." - 18 words, sentences are clearer

---
Ultimately, I just want you to know that I was surprised by your item, it was one of my strong keeps, I had a great time chatting with you on the Items Seen List, and EXPLOSIVE RUNES.

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

I'm definitely planning to come back here and do some critiques once the contest allows.

People I've workshopped already know my thoughts but if you've done some revisions and want me to take another look, PM me and I'll not skip over you.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Also, we are three pages in.

Can we please get a Sticky here, yes/no?


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Wolin wrote:
Security Blanket

Easily one of the most memorable entries this year.

Magical Toys R' Us will offer a holiday bundle sale of the Security Blanket and the Plush Guardian of Cuddles.

You've covered all of my critique except for one: Why is the creation cost 1/4 of the price instead of 1/2?

Great Work!

Dedicated Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Criticism welcome! First time entry, fell to the 5th cull.

Whispering Blade
Aura strong evocation and necromancy [evil]; CL 12th
Slot none; Price 84,800; Weight 4lbs
Description

These blackened and foul +1 unholy longswords were created during the Shining Crusades to keep the fallen from being revived and to swell the ranks of the Whispering Tyrant.

Once per day as a swift action after a successful attack which reduces a living creature to -1 hit points or less the wielder can activate the weapon to subject the victim to a death knell like effect (DC 19 Will save negates). On a failed saving throw the target is slain by a death effect while the wielder gains 2d10 temporary hit points and +2 profane bonus to strength. These bonuses last for 1 hour. A humanoid slain in this manner rises as a ghoul at the next midnight. A humanoid of 4 hit dice or more rises as a ghast.

Many of these blades were destroyed by the crusades end and although exceedingly rare, other versions such as axes and polearms are known to exist which can fetch even higher prices on the blackmarket.

Construction
Requirements
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Heighten Spell, create undead, death knell, unholy blight, creator must be undead; Cost: 42,400

self criticism:

template errors, price is not calculated right. The item in general is too expensive (seems like people commonly down vote expensive items).

Thanks!


UllarWarlord wrote:
Shah’s Hookah

One of my favorites this year, mainly because I like it when underused mechanics get to see the light of day and that this item was perfect for one of my PFS characters.

There's a bit of wordiness here and there, but I think that what held you back was the edginess combined with the addiction drawback. I understand why it is there, but many folks have a knee jerk reaction of drawback = down vote.

I look forward to seeing what you do next year, even if it may need to be less edgy for advancement.

Star Voter Season 9

This was my first RPGSS entry and I'm anxious to figure out what I can improve on.

I can see a few mistakes off the bat, capitalized aura, all caps in format.

HUSK OF PROTECTIVE PARCHMENT
AURA: Normal Moderate Abjuration CL: 7th
SLOT: Armor PRICE: 47,320 gp WEIGHT: 20 lbs. when exhausted, Does not weigh anything with spells stored in the armor.
DESCRIPTION:
This set of hide armor looks normal aside from the four pearls sewn into the neckline. However, a wearer with arcane spell powers can store one spell per level up to 4th level, transforming this armor into what appears to be a shirt made of many pieces of parchments layered on top of each other. While the wearer has spells stored in the armor, the armor weighs nothing and has no chance of Arcane Spell Failure, though a Max Dex Bonus of +4 still applies.

The wearer may cast the stored spell as a standard action as a scroll which is taken off the armor. The wearer must be able to cast the stored spell and once it is cast, it is gone until replenished as per pearl of power. For each spell used, the armor loses one point of protection. So if you have used two of the four spells, the armor drops to +2 until replenished. Once all four spells are used, the armor reverts back to a masterwork hide shirt with all bonuses and penalties until the spells are replenished.

CONSTRUCTION
REQUIREMENTS: Craft Magic Arms & Armor, Mage Armor, Pearls of Power x4 (1st-4th level) COST: 23,820 gp

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

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Please and thank you for critiques.

Track Record:
I've entered for many years. The last few season's entries were: firebrand of grandeur in 2013, Bullet-catching duster in 2014, dynamic staff in 2015 and this year...

Canvas of the Dreamer
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 11th
Slot none; Price 10,250 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
Awaiting the paints, inks, or charcoal of a master artist, this yard of blank linen canvas transforms a work of art into a powerful servant. An artist makes a Craft (paintings) or related skill check to render on to the canvas an image of a creature of their choice. Composing the image takes at least 10 minutes of dedicated work and a DC 20 skill check. If the check is successful, the artist has bound the creature to the painting. If the check fails, it dispels the magic of the canvas. Images that are not specifically creatures, like an object or landscape, retain that basic shape but otherwise function normally.
Once a creature’s image is bound to the canvas, it can be called for one hour to serve anyone that destroys the canvas. Destruction of the canvas can be done by cutting it, burning it, or similar means, but serves as a 1 round action that provokes an attack of opportunity as if casting a spell to call forth the creature depicted. The called creature is treated as an unfettered eidolon (Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 3) with 16 evolution points (EP) + 1 EP for every 5 points by which the artist’s check exceeds the DC. The eidolon and its evolutions are chosen by the artist when it is composed, and cannot be altered after the check is made.
The creature’s alignment always matches that of the caller’s and serves them faithfully as if they were a summoned creature. If killed or one hour has passed, the creature reverts back to mere ruined canvas.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, planar ally or planar binding; Cost 5,125gp

Self-Critiques:
I know it's kind of a "spell-in-a-can" item (I originally started designing it without a spell, then was filling-in with summon monster VI then realized it's really more a calling etc.).
I also figure people didn't like that it took so many people to create and use, and allowed many different people to use it. The design could also allow for one person to effectively call a ton of these creatures if they had the paintings and stuff all done -- but to me, that was fine, because it shows you invested time and money into getting to do it (which could likewise be done with the same money other ways cheaper, etc.)
There was another item this year, dreamer's paintbrush or something, but that was random parallel name choice. I originally was going to go with something more generic like canvas of the caller but that felt far too plain.

Thank you for your critiques, and expect to see my own on EVERYONES like I did last year... but I'm starting with the Top 32+4. I did a blog-post about my new method, but you'll see that often later.

Sovereign Court Star Voter Season 9

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hello all. This was my first time entering the contest. All critique harsh and pleasant welcome, as I will be the same way on my critiques.

Glimmersheen Chain
Aura moderate illusion; CL 6th
Slot armor; Price 18,250; Weight 25 lbs.
Description

The metal used to construct this +2 chain shirt is formulated to bond and interact with silversheen, which can be applied to it even though it is not a weapon. Coating the armor in silversheen requires two free hands and five minutes. The armor must not be worn during the application process.

One vial of silversheen adds five charges to the armor. All of the charges must be expended before applying another vial to the shirt. As long as the armor has one charge on it, it has the mirrored property and its armor bonus increases by 1 against melee attacks from lycanthropes or creatures with DR -/silver. The charges last indefinitely until spent.

As a swift action, the wearer gestures with an empty hand, causing one charge of the silversheen to come off of the armor and dance in the air between him and a single adjacent target. The target becomes distracted and loses his Dexterity bonus to AC and to CMD for one round. A successful DC 16 Will save reduces the distraction's effect, imposing a -2 penalty to Dexterity instead. Lycanthropes and targets with DR -/silver incur a -2 penalty to their saving throw. Sightless creatures are immune to this effect.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, hypnotic pattern; Cost 9,250

Dedicated Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Soulrazor
Not crazy about the heal/hiding effect, i think a magic jar effect would be more on flavor, and I would probably power it by requiring soul consumption.

Lion’s Roar
I think you suffered from there being lots of lion themed weapons (I am surprised about the one that made it). Since you're item is holy it doesn't really need the extra, 'only good' characters can use it at the end. The no resist divine power special is a little confusing, does it trump DR -? Fear effects can be uncommon, I would just grant heroism 1/day or maybe the first time damage is taken.

Green Flash
the dim light boon should just be given, right now it's too fiddly when it only activates in dim light. At the price range you're competing with the oathbow, your bow should have one more cool ability I think.

Soul Shackle Bolt
I feel like this item it trying to do too much and is a very expensive arrow. Breaking up the text into paragraphs would of helped as well.

Sarkorian Sunderjaw
a personal favorite. Perhaps remove the 'on a natural 1', if you think it's too OP maybe just reduce it to last a day or a week. Why include text about taking an hour to remove the teeth?

Gorgon Sinew Lariat
I liked this item, but I would let users release the poison whenever as a move action, as it reads they need to risk the chance of a miss.

Locket of Love's Lure
way too niche, seems like a pastiche of hamlet/romeo.

Teeth of the White Death
Blindsight and fast healing are both very very good, too good at your price.

Hell’s Restraints
one of my favorite armors, very flavorful and interesting.

Chameleon Shield
Great item, a personal keep. Since illusions can be difficult to run maybe a sentence or two to about how it appears and what is considered interaction (and allows a save) would of been appreciated.

Star Voter Season 9

Hey there. This was my first year in the contest. I've only got about six months of Pathfinder experience total, entirely through Society play, but I saw the contest and figured "why not?"

I think I gathered most of what I did wrong through the snark thread, but if anyone has specific feedback they'd like to give, I'd appreciate it.

Armbands of the Mummers’ Duel
Aura faint illusion and transmutation; CL 1st
Slot wrists; Price 1,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
Sewn together from many small pieces of cloth in billowing, feathery layers, the armbands of the mummers’ duel are favored by acting troupes, which often must play great battles without the skill to portray them in a safe and yet convincing manner. With the armbands’ aid, the wearer can deliver crowd-pleasing blows to the head with an earth breaker and leave fellow actors merely dazed instead of dead.
Armbands of the mummers’ duel come in pairs, and once per day may be activated as a swift action by touching them to one another, an act traditionally worked into a dance or pose. For the next minute (or until the effect is dismissed as a free action) the wearer’s blows do nonlethal damage. This nonlethal damage never becomes lethal; all nonlethal damage by the wielder while the armbands of the mummers’ duel is activated that would exceed a target’s maximum hit points is ignored. While the armbands’ magics blunt any actual harm, illusions play into the wearer’s swings and scatter ephemeral blood, adding a +5 competence bonus to any skill checks made to convince watchers that the blows are deadly.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, magic weapon, silent image; Cost 500 gp

Star Voter Season 9

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm interested to see where I went wrong. Thanks everyone.

Murder Candle
Aura moderate abjuration; CL 5th
Slot nonet; Price 2,500 gp; Weight 1/2 lb.
Description

A Murder Candle looks like any ordinary candle. During the dipping process, as each layer of wax is added, runes are carefully carved into the wax. Only the last ten layers are rune free to disguise the candle's purpose.

When the Murder Candle is lit the countdown begins. Once the Murder Candle burns down to a height designated by the creator, it will trigger explosive runes.

Additionally, if the person who lit the Murder Candle blows it out, explosive runes is triggered. If anyone other than the individual who lit the Murder Candle blows it out, the spell is not triggered.

During creation, the crafter will place the strand of hair at a set point in the candle. This strand of hair is the point at which the spell will be triggered.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, [i]explosive runes[/], (special) strand of hair; Cost 1,000 gp

Star Voter Season 7

Rapier of Shining Influence
Aura transmutation; CL 11th
Slot none; Price 38,220 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
A finely crafted +1 agile rapier, this weapon is expertly balanced, and looks to be of Taldorian design. The blade incorporates diamond dust that not only accounts for its superior point, but also causes it a shimmer and sparkle in the presence of any light source. Braided gold-plated steel is woven around three gleaming emeralds into a one-quarter cage basket hilt to protect the wielder’s hand. The basket hilt can be used like a gauntlet to deliver an armored punch attack. Using the rapier in this way does not confer any of its magical bonuses to the attack.

Three times per day, during combat, the wielder can attempt to use the power of the blade to influence allies. On command, as a free action, the wielder can cause the blade to flare brightly and crackle with arcane energy prior to the wielder’s next attack. If the attack hits, the dashing display of sword fighting grants all allies within 60 feet the wielder’s Charisma bonus (minimum of +1) as a bonus to hit for their next attack. If the wielder’s attack fails, no bonus is granted, and a daily use of the blade is expended. For each use of the special power of the Rapier of Shining Influence one of the emeralds in the basket hilt dims. The emerald regains its full luster the following day.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, cat’s grace, mass eagle’s splendor; Cost 19,270 gp

Any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated.
Thanks

Marathon Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dieben wrote:
Needlenose Arbalest

Oh.

Hello, Other Turns Into Bloodsucking Vermin Ranged Weapon Item.

We meet once more.

ಠ_ಠ

Okay, but seriously, I loved this item. I voted it up every time (fortunately, I never had to choose between it and mine). It's such a cool, unsettling visual. I can totally picture a mosquito-styled crossbow, too. And shooting its head at people? Gross, but awesome. This was on my Keeps list.

Giving it the seeking quality when targets are at half or below their Hit Points is such a clever idea, I wish I'd thought of it for my item.

One aspect that kind of "bugs" me (YUP STILL GOING WITH THAT ONE PUN) is the free action grapple. It feels unnecessary. I think forcing a standard action would make more sense and better highlight the advantage of having a giant mosquito to handle the grappling in your stead.

I see you had just as much trouble as I did choosing appropriate spells. I actually nearly got DQ'd for using bloody arrows, but that got caught by someone helping me out. Blood scent might have been a good addition, though. I considered vermin shape, but ultimately settled on animate objects—which probably works better for my item than yours. This paragraph isn't critique, it's just observation.

The arbalest does seem sadly unlikely to be able to hold on in mosquito form, though—at a level where 50k is available, a +19 grapple isn't worth much.

Also, the Cost seems a bit off.

Anyways, nicely done! Your item really made me worry about mine (especially pricing), but it's really quite distinctive, and maybe even better I'm not going to say that my ego is too fragile.

Oh, hey, while I was writing this, Dieben wrote his own critique of my item.

Dieben wrote:
Specifically, what happens when this penalty pushes a target's constitution to zero?

I was going with this:

PRD Glossary wrote:
While in effect, [ability penalties] function just like ability damage, but they cannot cause you to fall unconscious or die. In essence, penalties cannot decrease your ability score to less than 1.

I did worry that I was working with somewhat unknown rules, though.

Dieben wrote:
"This penalty stacks with itself. Extracting a projectile is a move action that reduces the penalties by one." - 18 words, sentences are clearer

Ugh. I knew there was a better way about it. A friend did recommend "stacks with itself", but I was fretting that this would be too unclear.

Well, it's been a genuine pleasure reading your trapped document boxes. I'll get you next year, you demented eggkiller, you.

Dieben wrote:
EXPLOSIVE RUNES.

ARG I'VE BEEN WAITING THE WHOLE SPOILER FOR THIS BUT WAS CAUGHT OFF-GUARD BY THE HELPFUL CRITIQUE PRECEDING IT

Silver Crusade Marathon Voter Season 9

So, this is my first time and I enjoyed every minute of it. If I am aware of it happening again (my biggest reason for not participating earlier) I will definitely partake.

I am breaking this down by item, commentary, then a critique. Thank you in advance for all that critique it.

Cloak of Subterfuge
Aura faint abjuration; CL 9th
Slot Shoulders; Price 8,000 gp; Weight 3 lbs.
Description
While the exterior of this grey leather cloak is unremarkable, the interior is made of fine black velvet resembling a starless night sky. As a move action the wearer can press an item against the cloak's inner lining, transporting the item to an extra dimensional space (contents limit 20 pounds, volume limit 3 cubic feet) within the cloak.The cloak does not need to be worn for this effect to occur, placing the cloak over an object and applying pressure can also activate this ability. The wearer gains a +5 competence bonus to bluff checks regarding items stored within the cloak. As a swift action the wearer can retrieve items from the cloak by placing her hand, or equivalent, against the inner lining and thinking about the item they wish to retrieve. The item returns from the extra-dimensional space into the wearer's hand. If the cloak's capacity is exceeded or it gains the broken condition (Hardness 2, Hit Points 5), each item stored within the cloak falls into a random square 5 feet from the wearer; roll for each item separately. Using Detect Magic or an ability to view magical auras, this item gives off a faint abjuration aura. Using spellcraft identifies the Cloak of Subterfuge as a Cloak of Resistance. The caster must cast Identify and succeed a DC 13 Will save in order to reveal the item's true nature.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Magic Aura, Secret Chest, 5 ranks in bluff; Cost 4,000 gp

Commentary

Spoiler:
So, honestly I did not do much in the way of research before putting my item together. It was a last minute whim that I went with and picked the first idea that I had and ran with.
I did not know how much I wanted to elude Norgerber in the item, as it is inspired by followers of the Grey Master or Reaper of Reputations (I only used the colors of the Golarian Deity). Still unsure of if it was a boon that I didn't or a bane.
I tried to give the item a role playing purpose, (hiding objects, magical theatrics) and a crunch purpose (swift action item retrieval, slight bluff bonus) without excluding any class type (this can be used by anyone who wants to be "sneaky" or needs the swift action item draw, scroll of breath of life!). This is hard without making it too powerful, for the cost going up against the cheapest of the big 6 items.
Also, the one page that I randomly flipped to in the CRB I don't believe I saw a single line break in the items. Mainly I believe that they were small entries that didn't need them...I also didn't look at previous years entries so I didn't put any in my final draft. My original working draft pre grammar and spell check had line breaks that I removed in posting. I felt like a dumbass about the 3rd item I voted on in.

Personal Critique

Spoiler:
-First thing for formatting put in LINE BREAKS!!!! No one wants to see a wall of text. Also Italics.
- There is no listed way of determining items within a cloak. If a party finds one and it has stuff in it you wouldn't know unless you over stuffed it or it got damaged.
- Do not restate what Magic Aura does. "It detects as a Cloak of Resistance +1, as per magic aura, DC 13 will save to overcome.

So that is my item and personal input you are awesome if you read it all, and even more so if you comment about it. Feel free to go full force, I can take it.

edit : removed spoiler from item.

Star Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hi everyone, here is my item that I submit for the CMI thread.

My thanks to anyone who takes the time to critique other people's items, it is much appreciated.

Belt of the Depths
Aura Moderate Transmutation; CL 7th
Slot Belt; Price 12,000 gp; Weight 1 lbs.
Description
This masterfully crafted belt emits a strong salty scent and is made of woven algae interlaced with golden merfolk hair. In guise of a buckle rests a large starfish-shaped piece of red coral.

While underwater, the wearer may break off one of the starfish's five limbs as a free action to activate the belt's powers for a period of two hours. At any time, the wearer may break off a second limb to end the effects prematurely. When the belt's powers are activated, the wearer is immediately granted the ability to breathe water as per the Water Breathing spell. One round later, he instantly starts sinking at a speed of 50 ft per round until he lands on a solid surface, such as a sunken ship wreck or the sea floor itself. Once on a solid surface, he is able to move about freely as if he were on land and carrying a light load. He, however, loses the ability to swim. If the wearer has to move over obstacles, he must use climb checks or acrobatics checks, although he ignores his armor check penalty. If he falls any distance, he lands harmlessly without injury. Finally, he may use any weapon without restrictions, ignoring the normal underwater combat penalties.

Like a true starfish, the Belt of the Depths has the ability to regenerate lost limbs, and does so at a rate of one limb per week. However, this regeneration is only possible as long as the starfish has at least one limb left. If all limbs are broken off , the belt loses all powers.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Items, Water Breathing, Freedom of Movement; Cost 6,000 gp

Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Janvs

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Einhänder wrote:
Murder Candle

I think maybe people might have thought this was a joke (personally, I think Murder Candle is perfect, but you could have gone with something a little less on-the-nose), but I loved it.

My PCs are definitely going to have some run ins with a few of these.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Soulrazor:
I don't remember seeing this item.

Good stuff: You picked a theme and stuck to it. All of the item's abilities made sense together. The crunch didn't raise any mechanical red flags.

Bad stuff: When you have a material piece with a defined cost (in this case, adamantine scimitar) that part should not be doubled when you calculate the price. And about that price...anything over about $50k is unlikely to see play. Once you find your item needs to cost that much, it's time to start scaling it back. You started out doing one extremely powerful thing, and then added onto it. This item definitely strikes me as OP. Pick one thing to focus on and drill down.

Lion's Roar:
This is an item I only saw once, in the last few hours of the contest, when I'd closed down my keep list. It might otherwise have made the keep list, or if not been a near miss.

Good stuff: I always like to see elysian bronze -- it's flavorful and underused. The visuals (and audibles) for this item are fantastic. It had a tight, enjoyable theme. You got the cost/price right.

Bad stuff: There was a little too much going on. I think I would have cut the last power, and upped the uses per day on the fear=>greater heroism. That might have allowed you to trim the price a bit, which is pushing up against the high side for me.

Glove of the Severed Servant:
I'll say it straight out -- body horror/dismemberment items are a near-auto downvote for me. I saw this one a lot, and downvoted it most of the time. But that's a fact, not a critique.

Good stuff: Everything about this item is solid -- the description, the mechanics, the pricing.

Bad stuff: But none of it is spectacular, except for the horror part that I couldn't stand. It's also worth mentioning that you should be careful making a Wondrous Item that is also a weapon (spiked gauntlet). It isn't wrong, but it can be confusing.

Green Flash:
This was my favorite weapon in the contest.

Good stuff: Fabulous visuals. Solid mechanics that don't try to do too much. Thematically it cries out to me that it should belong to a Lantern Bearer.

Bad stuff: When you have a material piece with a defined cost (in this case, masterwork longbow) that part should not be doubled when you calculate the price. Umm, that's it. I loved this bow.

Soul Shackle Bolt:
I really went back and forth on this item. I saw it a lot, and sometimes I thought it was OP and did too much, and other times I thought the balancing factors (a really expensive consumable) balanced it out. I still haven't truly made up my mind on it.

Good stuff: I really like the dual use of dimensional anchor/breath of life, and you tie it together thematically. That's very cool.

Bad Stuff: But the breath of life portion is so powerful it is almost a must-buy item. First Aid Gloves are cheaper per cast, but this is more flexible. I see so many action economy shenanigans purely around breath of life scrolls/casting that an item with a built in free action draw/attack action activate is a huge red flag for me. But I think you balanced it.

What this really means is that for me, at least, the extra 'throw in' power overshadowed the main power, and that's always a bad place to be.

Also, the way you have described the main power in the first paragraph is a little rough -- I get what you mean, but the language needs tightening.

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

BlackOuroboros wrote:
Zeitgeist Coin

I really loved your coin for several reasons; 1) I was stoked to discover a similarity of theme and design space between your item and my own; 2) you picked a word that was on the tip of my tongue the entire time that I wanted to use but for some reason could never quite bring to mind (probably a good thing, in the end, else there would have been two zeitgeist items); and while mechanically yours was different from mine, I really liked the way you presented yours- the conciseness- and in particular the secondary power of alignment. I kept wracking my brain trying to think of a way to use or work with settlement alignment with my own item but couldn't bring it together in the end.

(I entered the Master Key of the Discerning Ambassador, in case you are wondering or had seen it.)

In any event, I've been very intrigued by the concept of psychogeography, derive, and urban shamanism and how it could relate to roleplaying/Pathfinder for a while, so it is cool to see others experimenting in similar concepts.

The Exchange Dedicated Voter Season 9

Talisman of Essence Conversion
Aura Moderate Necromancy; CL 5th
Slot Neck; Price 4,340 (minor), 16,380 (medium), 38,500 (major); Weight-.
Description
This pendant consists of a single hand-sized, spherical, dim crystal affixed to a drop necklace coated in a dark lacquered hue.
When placed over the heart of a dying creature, the talisman begins to extract the victim’s essence. When worn, it allows the wearer to convert the essence into a usable resource.
The target must have some resource remaining for that day. While its essence is being sapped, the victim cannot stabilize. When the target dies from bleeding, up to one (minor), two (standard) or three (major) points of resource per day flow into the amulet which then boldly glows a distinct color based on the resource stolen: blue (arcane); black (grit); gold (panache); red (ki); purple (inspiration) or green (luck). Those nearby need only make a successful Perception check (DC 15) to notice that the orb is filled. The wearer may rob essence from multiple targets each day, but the item can never siphon more than the maximum amount. Once absorbed, the essence must be expended before any more can be filched.
If the thief can use the resource, he or she may access it at any time. Commuting the trapped essence requires focusing as a standard action. During this time, the jewel changes color to the new resource before being expended. All of the essence inside must be transformed at once but may be converted again later if at least one point remains. Once transmuted, at least one point must be utilized by the end of the wearer’s next turn or all of the essence drains from the charm and is thereby wasted.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Bleed, Ki Leech; Cost 2,170 (minor), 8,190 (medium), 19,250 (major)

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'm planning to respond to a bunch of these as I can, but just pulling randomly so far...

Einhänder wrote:

Murder Candle

There were parts of this I liked, but in the end it was literally a spell in a can(dle), even if the can(dle) was a pretty cool one.

Then, because of the name, I'm led to think it's mainly an item for GMs to use against players.

It's possible a player could use it against a vexing villain, but that's going to be frustrating for the GM. And if she has the NPC escape, that's going to frustrate the players.

Used against players, it's an unfair way to just kill them when they're not ready -- or at least put them at a major disadvantage to start an encounter -- that would make them be paranoid about checking every candle everywhere they went. Which again leads to not fun. It could make part of a plot for an adventure -- a unique execution method that the PCs have to solve as part of a murder mystery -- but typically Superstar items are things players want their characters to have.

Of course, there are certainly plenty of other uses for this -- it would be a great timing distraction/timing device for coordinating assaults -- but the name, and the price, lead me away from those concepts.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Tothric

Jon Agley wrote:


Fray’s Fabulous Fireworks

There is only ONE OTHER ITEM, I will interrupt working on my Entry to critique. I didn't notice this was up here until getting ready for bed.

Man, do I have words for you.

First of all: Congratulations. This is perhaps the BEST randomized item I've seen in a long time. I love random, and I know that not every person in this event likes random items.

I'm going to highlight what you did RIGHT.

Spoiler:

Number 1)
You gave the player CHOICE.
Yes, your item is completely random, but the way the random is HANDLED is correct. You generate a pool of choices the player can make. Which firework does the player use? How does the player use them throughout the day?
I have to say, you create an avenue with possible player decisions that are interesting.

Number 2)
Your Option pool will only be available for a limited time!
This item has a clear quantity of times it can be used. This is VERY important in randomized items. This is something MANY people get wrong. While your 'charges' reset each day, what your actual options are reset. Not just your "used" options. The "Use it or lose it principle" work for this item, as it is essentially a lottery. Not using up all three charges for this item is "Losing" but losing doesn't FEEL bad, because even if you use ONE firework, it was worth it!

Number 3)
No poor rolls.
Many people who make a randomized item, think that including a few "poor outcomes" enhances the item. While a FEW can make an item more fun, and the added risk enhances the fun! These only work with items that are encountered once and then left behind.
As a piece of equipment, when your item randomizes it is important that ALL the available outcomes be positive, maybe not AS positive as each other. Player equipment needs to be something the player can COUNT on.

Number 4)
Each option functions more or less the same.
While each option is different, and defined differently and uses slightly different mechanics to resolve the item. USING an option is the same kind of action each time. YOu didn't clutter the item up with needless complications of having each firework operate independently.

This is where I personally think your item suffered:

Spoiler:

1) The Name "Fray's". Specific nouns in this event are a red-flag. They cause the reader to consider if this is an item made by someone's Pet PC. The combination of a proper name and an alliteration; and the nature of the item (Fireworks) has the danger of sending the message it was a joke item. Since this is your name, it sets the wrong vibe as someone reads the item literally from the first word onward.

2) You had a missed opportunity in some possible fun illusion magic here. Major image of a dragon, or perhaps a spectacular astral rift? Each firework could have been a different school of magic.

3) As an entertainment item; your item is fun, but incredibly dangerous. The item, if used by a civilian could easily catch someone's house on fire, or cause a panic. It feels like an entertainment item that wants to be useful in combat, but not lose it's entertainment value... and that sends some mixed signals to the reader. If you want your item to be Combat Savy (Which it sounds like you did) making it SOUND like it would be an entertainment item hamstrings people taking it seriously for what you WANT it to be. But on the other hand, making an Entertainment Item dangerous (Despite how ACTUALLY Dangerous fireworks really are) comes across as a drawback, and a needless one. Because the "Drawback" can be useful. This looks clumsy.

Other items will be reviewed when I had time. But this was an item I HAD to acknowledge. There is one other item I HAVE to review.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dotting for when I get home from work.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Here's mine; it was based on a plot item I recently handed out to my low level PCs. A little too much "spell in a can" and I thought the price was way too high for what it did, but according to the cost guidelines it should have been even higher so I wasn't sure how to go for it.

Candle of Otherworldly Fire
Aura strong divination; CL 15th
Slot none; Price 72,000 gp; Weight 1/2 lbs.
Description
This simple black candle shines with the otherworldly glow of the aurora borealis. Within its eerie, shimmering light all that is hidden is revealed.

The candle provides constant light as per the spell faerie fire in a 30 foot emanation. All magical darkness effects of 7th level or lower that come within the candle’s light range are temporarily suppressed. The candle’s flame emits no heat and as such the candle never burns out or is consumed, though it can be extinguished or relit as a standard action.

Any creature, including one not in the light itself, viewing the area illuminated by the candle sees the area and all creatures and objects within as if the viewer was under the effects of arcane sight and detect secret doors. In addition, the viewer may make a will save against any illusion effect that can be disbelieved within the candle’s light range as if he had carefully studied or interacted with the illusion.

Some who bear a candle of otherworldly fire do not truly understand the implications of such powers until it is far too late: The candle’s light also acts as a beacon for strange extraplanar creatures who are attracted to it like moths to a flame.

Every time the candle is lit and for every hour it burns, there is a 5% chance of 1d4+1 hounds of tindalos appearing and attacking the wielder of the candle and all within its light. Even stranger and more powerful creatures may be drawn to the fire if it persists for long periods of time or is relit too often.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, arcane sight, detect secret doors, faerie fire; Cost 36,000 gp


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Here's mine. I'll try to get some feedback in on items tomorrow sometime.

Lodestone Plate
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th
Slot armor; Price 17,750 gp; Weight 75 lbs.
Description
This suit of +1 stoneplate is brownish-black with a metallic sheen. The wearer can imbue the armor with a strong magnetic field as a swift action. This field allows the wearer, as a free action, to attempt to disarm any opponent attacking with a melee weapon made primarily of adamantine, cold iron, iron, or steel (and other metals at the GM's discretion.) Resolve the disarm attempt after the attack roll, using the wearer's CMB. The disarmed weapon remains affixed to the armor while the field is active, dropping to the ground in an adjacent square when it is deactivated.

Alternately, the field can be activated to repel rather than attract. Attacks from weapons made of the aforementioned metals suffer a 20% miss chance, including natural attacks from creatures primarily made of such metals, like iron golems. The magnetic field can be used up to 10 rounds each day. These rounds need not be consecutive. Switching from one field to the other is a swift action.

Finally, the wearer can expend the remaining rounds of the armor's daily allotment to generate a powerful magnetic pulse. This is a standard action that does not draw attacks of opportunity. Any creature carrying, made of, or wearing at least 10 pounds of appropriate metal within 15 feet is the target of a bull rush. The CMB for this combat maneuver is +11, with an additional +2 for every round of use expended beyond the first (maximum +29). A bullrushed creature that would be pushed into a square occupied by a solid object or obstacle is instead knocked prone in the square before it.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, telekinesis; Cost 9,850 gp

Marathon Voter Season 9

WILL CRITIQUE FOR FOOD wrote:


You've covered all of my critique except for one: Why is the creation cost 1/4 of the price instead of 1/2?

Oops, that was a transcription error there. Last minute price double as well (which I think was a good thing!) but I didn't have that saved in my copy. I tried to replicate it as much as possible from what I could remember submitting it as. It was the actual half price in the entry.

It was so awkward hearing the Security Blanket being praised while I was there, especially considering that it seemed to come up every couple of days. I was looking forward to seeing those reactions when I revealed it :3

Security Blanket Mk II:

Security Blanket
Aura faint abjuration; CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 25,000 gp; Weight 3 lbs.

Description
Made of soft, blue wool, this child's blanket looks warm and comfortable. Feelings of security and reassurance emanate soothingly from it. Sleeping with this blanket provides a +4 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saving throws against exposure to cold weather.

A creature wrapped in a security blanket gains the effects of sanctuary and remove fear until they remove it. While under the influence of a fear effect, a creature in possession of a security blanket can wrap themselves in the blanket as a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, even if the fear effect would not normally allow other actions to be taken. This is in addition to any other actions that may be required to retrieve the security blanket from the creature's belongings. A creature wrapped in a security blanket can extract themselves from it as a swift action.

Breaking the sanctuary effect by attacking causes the security blanket to lose all magical properties for 24 hours.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, sanctuary, remove fear; Cost 12,500 gp

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

3 people marked this as a favorite.
edduardco wrote:


Bloodseeker Sword
Aura Strong necromancy and transmutation; CL 18th
Slot ─; Price 84,815 gp; Weight 4 lbs.
Description
This crimson blade is a +1 wounding blood crystal longsword, it has a disturbing aura that evokes hunger, the pommel and cross-guard is full of thorns with dried blood. Each time the wielder strikes a blow that deals damage with this weapon, the wielder gains temporary hit points equal to the amount of damage dealt. Temporary hit points bestowed by the bloodlseeker sword last for 1 minute. The wielder can give of his own blood to make the bloodlseeker sword more deadly, as a swift action the wielder may pierce himself with the thorns and inflict any amount of bleed damage he wants, the bloodlseeker sword gain one of the following properties according with the bleed damage inflicted:

Keen (2 points)
Impact (4 points)
Speed (6 points)
Brilliant energy (8 points)
Vorpal (10 points)

This property last for 1 minute. If the wielder uses this ability again, the first property immediately ends.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, bleed, bull's strength, circle of death, continual flame, gaseous form, haste, keen edge, vampiric touch; Cost 43,315 gp

1. Name - Is the name so bad as to detract from the item?

Bloodseeker sword. Hmm. Not overdone, but it uses "blood" so nothing original either. It could be the start of an excellent theme if you really use the "seeker" part. The "seeker" part is the only part of the name that's really open to developing an excellent theme.

I mean it either is or isn't a sword. And the "blood" part isn't really ambiguous. Plus all swords are intended to draw blood, so it's hard to make "blood" alone into an entire them.

And maybe you could, except you now have added "seeker" and that part will go neglected if you work on the "blood" theme alone. Then I'll wonder why this is a "bloodseeker sword" and not just a "blood sword".

2. Glance top to bottom
Glance at the formatting to see if the entry pays enough attention to what Paizo wants that this item isn't throw-away worthy

Template used. If there are any errors, they're typos or other things that shouldn't count against the item. Writer is either using the template perfectly or well enough that I can see that the writer is trying to write according to the assignment and not ignoring what the customer wants.

This item is not throw-away worthy.

3. Read for content
what does the item do? Is the item in an over-used design space? Is the function understandable?

The item ...is a wounding blade (okay, there's some blood theme there) that allows you to inflict bleed on yourself in exchange for temporary weapon enhancements.

The design space isn't overused per se. There are lots of attempts to get a weapon that will change its properties so you can always have advantageous properties that are particularly well suited to the problem at hand.

But that's mildly against the spirit of how the item enchanting process works.

The function is perfectly understandable ...except also seems overpowered. If you want me to interpret the item to have more complex restrictions, then obviously your crunch is incomplete. If you don't want me to do that, then in a later evaluation I'm going to dock you some points.

I chose to believe that you knew what you were writing and intended the item exactly as written. I feel its less insulting to assume you didn't know how to make the crunch do what you wanted than to assume you wanted to avoid restrictions on the item's power that I think are necessary.

very mild points off for having a theme that is mildly contrary to the spirit of enchanted items. You want to do lots of different things any time you want using enchantments that are normally permanent and always-on while staying within the spirit? No. Can't happen.

You can buy lots of one-shots, but that's more expensive, right?

Now I note that "seeking" is nowhere in the powers or description of your item. So double the very mild points off for having a blood seeking sword that doesn't seek anything - you set up a theme that just doesn't exist.

4. Read for crunch
Is the crunch understandable?
Is it complicated?
Does it use effects that will be a pain around the gaming table?
Is it overpowered comes into play here if it would be a bad item regardless of price. Otherwise it's an underpricing issue. This doesn't mean that the item has to be worth more than 200,000 gp. An item can be overpowered if its fair market value is only 3,000 -5000 gp if the only characters who would ever want to use it are first level characters (who can't afford it - so they have to be given it - so you see the problem).
NOTE: I don't have to particularly like the approach to the crunch that you chose, so long as it works.

Some bad wording in the crunch, but it's still something that can be figured out:

Quote:
wielder may pierce himself with the thorns and inflict any amount of bleed damage he wants, the bloodlseeker sword gain one of the following properties

So, I can do 2+4+6+8+10 = 30 points of bleed damage to myself if I want to. Or 1 point. Or 7 points.

But I can only gain one power at a time, so my ability to do myself 57 points of bleed damage is pretty irrelevant.

Also, I'm very sympathetic to using swift or move actions to create movement-only effects (not polymorphs whose only game mechanic specifically listed in the crunch is a movement effect, because there's still the matter of having changed your appearance). I'm also very sympathetic if you are using swift or immediate actions to modify a single attack.

To turn on a magical ability that lasts for 1 minute and that can be used more than once per round any time you have a full-attack and BAB+6 or have haste or get off an attack of opportunity or...? That should be a standard action.

So some points off for crunch, solely because of the use of a swift action to create an effect that lasts more than a round, ESPECIALLY because the power so activated is usable multiple times per round (and not just as a passive defense, like turning on a resistance bonus to saves).

The truth is, however, that lots and lots of people make this mistake, and so in head to head voting it doesn't hurt you that often until after the later culls.

The SuperStars, however, generally don't make this mistake. They limit their swift actions to things that last 1 round or (preferably) less and/or are entirely about movement and the swift action must be used in conjunction with a move action to have any positive effect. Because of this, this is a mistake that - even if everything else that's amenable to mechanistic right/wrong evaluation were perfect, and even if all the subjective stuff was at least good - has the real possibility of keeping you out of the top 32.

Ah, but now some real hurt:

This items gives you temporary hit points. To use this item's powers you have to lose hit points. Nothing in the item description says that you have to lose any **real** HP.

Moreover, now is where the swift action seems like cheating. Seeing the fight coming, you can of course spend HP to power-up. But with a swift action, you don't need to. You can't get this weapon until you have multiple attacks anyway, so use your first hit or two (hopefully they come in the first round - and they definitely will if you have the option of smacking a hench-creature or other low-AC target. Because you'll take that option, every time. Smack a little guy a time or two, use the temporary HP to grab Vorpal or Brilliant Energy and use that to take down the baddie.

Worse? Nothing says it has to be YOUR HP.

Have a party member that gets their own temp HP? Have them hold the sword until combat is almost here, then they do bleed to themselves and pass the blade off to you.

And now you have someone in the back ranks with bleed where the bleed can be tended without any real difficulty.

Even SUPER-WORSE???

Nothing says that you have to take the damage more than one time. Fast Healing doesn't make you immune to bleed damage, so you'll take it. Once. Then you'll never take it again. This dramatically limits the drawback, doesn't it?

I don't like this crunch.

I would much prefer crunch that the bleed damage of the sword bypasses any and all temporary HP from any source.

But even more than that, I would prefer to have the thorns on the hilt, doing a specific amount of damage every time you make an attack. This isn't bleed damage, so you aren't limited to taking it once in a round, nor will all future damage be prevented by Fast Healing 1. You'd have to halve the damage, probably, so instead of 10 points bleed damage to turn on Vorpal for 10 rounds, it would be 5 points damage per attack, whether it hits or not, whether it decapitates or not. This makes it a slightly better value for Vital Strike enthusiasts, but not grossly so as Vorpal benefits from crit fishing. On the other hand, 4 points per attack to have permanent Brilliant Energy kicks a lot of butt, and brilliant energy isn't more useful with lots of smaller attacks than it is with fewer big-damage attacks.

Add back in the swapping out powers
- though make it one charge to change enchantments or to return to no extra enchantments, but no damage either
- and you get one charge per day, or you get one charge every time you take your max HP in non-temporary HP damage AND the weapon cannot store more than one charge
- and you'd still have a rockingly powerful weapon that can go Vorpal when you're attacking the non-living and the outsiders but go brilliant energy pretty much all the rest of the time.

If you're using the quickness power, it would probably make sense to have the first attack do no damage, but all subsequent attacks that come before your next turn (the attack from quickness, if you choose to use it, attacks of opportunity, etc.) deal 3 pts damage per attack to the wielder, just as Vorpal or Brilliant Energy or any other power does its damage on every single attack.

In this scheme, the damage automatically comes off every time you make an attack - it's not an action at all - and changing powers wouldn't usually be done in combat, but you can make it a swift action to use a charge to return the weapon to "no additional enchantment". It would still need to take a standard action to turn on an additional enhancement or to switch from one to another.

Frankly, 1 minute per swift action, with "bleed" damage that can be (and will be) regularly assigned entirely to temp HP and/or another character in the back ranks, I don't like this crunch at all.

All-in-all, I don't like the crunch. It frankly comes across to me as designed specifically to come across less powerful than it is by making it seem as it you're going to be taking 10 pts of damage every round to get that property. But you won't. If you had a weapon that really worked this way, you'd be stupid not to make Fast Healing 1 resources a priority right away.

I prefer my players not be stupid, therefore I presume that no one is ever going to take 100 points of damage to get a full minute of vorpal power.

ON TOP OF THAT - even before my player gets around to accessing something that grants fast healing 1, the temporary HP will suck up almost all that damage. So no, you're not getting all the temp HP you wanted, but you'll get a lot as soon as you get that Fast Healing 1 item. AND in the meantime what it ***really*** means is that there's no cost to using the let's-pretend-we're-getting-damaged enchantment swapping because all the damage goes right to your temp HP, which the sword itself conveniently already provides you.

The sword's drawback masquerades as worse than it is.

It's already bad to try to use a drawback to get a huge power you wouldn't otherwise be able to get. It's worse when it's set up so that the drawback can't possibly be as bad in practice as it sounds on paper.

Lots of points gone.

I'm sorry if I'm coming across as a hater, but Temp HP =>mitigates Bleed => which won't happen anyway after you've had the blade for the remainder of one adventure + the time to get back home, it's the drawback that isn't.

Subjectively I'm feeling like my intelligence is insulted. "The writer really didn't think I'd notice the bleed comes off the Temp HP and the cost is thus negated?????" my evil-distrustful limbic brain wonders.

Yes. I noticed. If you had either made it super-clear you wanted the drawback to not be a drawback (like stating specifically, "Bleed damage can come from these temporary HP just as temporary HP from any source can be subject to bleed damage"), I would still have the issues of overpowering the thing, but I wouldn't feel personally insulted.

At that point, my evaluation would be entirely objective in the sense of - Oh, this person wants a cost, but it's really just an opportunity cost of getting fewer temp HP than they otherwise would. That makes this overpowered, I'm fairly certain.

Right now, I'm feeling actually eager to down vote your item because of the subjective sense of slight.

In actual voting, I'd probably get over that feeling before the time came to press the button. I probably wouldn't feel eager to down vote the item - I'd just be honestly pressing the button for the better of whichever items were before me.

But seriously, putting the voter in an insulted frame of mind is a dangerous action if you actually want that person's vote.

5. Reading for creativity
Is this new?
Is it blindingly why-didn't-I-think-of-that simple in execution?
Does it utilize themes in such a way that different aspects of the entry all tie together well?

yeah, it's new, but not that new. lots of people sacrifice blood to get power. That part is boring. Some people have proposed weapons with swap-able powers that would normally be permanent enchantments. So that's not new, but it's not boring. Putting the two elements together is new to me, but it also seems...something less than fresh. Mainly in the sacrificing blood to get power part.

I won't go out of my way to down vote this item on creativity grounds, but it won't be that hard for other items to feel more creative to me than this sword does.

6. Reading for audience appeal
The job is to design game products that gamers will buy. So a very legitimate question is, "Will gamers want to buy the supplement just to be able to use this item at their table?" If yes, that's a good reason to up vote.

I think gamers will want it. It has audience appeal to munchkins, and there are many of them. Blood items are not very original, not super-fresh and therefore using blood doesn't prove to me how creative the writer can be.

BUT there's a reason that we've seen a lot of blood items. The audience is clearly into them.

This is where not being too outside-the-box creative actually helps.

Swords are always a popular weapon. Blood is always a popular visual. The wounding and blood crystal pursue that with determination.

Yep. No reason to think you don't know your audience. If it comes down between this sword and some other item that re balanced on every item of analysis except audience appeal, you're very very likely getting the up-vote.

7. Reading for the joy of the word.
Did you write clearly?
I don't care about a typo or the misuse of a single piece of punctuation, but do you have errors or style choices that disrupt flow?
Do you have style choices that enhance the flow - are you creative with sentence structures and do you have the capacity to consider cadence when selecting from synonyms?
Does the mood of the writing reflect the mood of the item? Perhaps a droning monotonous rhythm would enhance certain items.
Have you thought through the theme of your item and made sure that every time you have an choice between two words or two phrases you select the one that furthers your theme and reinforces your imagery?
Do you add wondrous, unexpected depth under the clear surface, in which attentive readers may immerse themselves?
Most of the time this feedback will not focus on anything you've done wrong, but on moments where a designer misses an opportunity to do something amazing.

Okay, before anything else, since this is about good writing: please note that the first sentence is actually 3 independent clauses separated only by commas and employing no conjunctions. You could have used 2 semi-colons instead of the 2 commas here and at least have been grammatically correct in your creation of a single sentence out of 3 independent clauses. But really I'd prefer that at least one of these independent clauses be converted to a dependent clause, then hack off just one independent clause to become its own sentence, so you have 2 sentences where now you have only 1.

In any case, it's a detail of grammar that didn't particularly take me out of the reading - so it doesn't count even moderately against you, for sure, but it probably was lurking in my subconscious even before I noticed it consciously. Written as it is, it simply doesn't flow as well as it could. While not automatically bad, you've missed an opportunity to make it good.

Moving on.
What color is the blade? "This crimson blade"
What color does Paizo use to describe blood crystal? "Unfed blood crystal has a pale pink hue, darkening toward deep crimson as it becomes saturated with blood"

So this is cribbing off paizo rather than your own description? "Crimson" is certainly not as boring as red. Certainly it's a better word for a blood item. And yet, it's not wowing me with the imagery either. You don't even have to be someone who dislikes the vague "red" when compared to "crimson", you just have to be able to read Paizo's description of blood crystal and copy.

I'm not saying you did, of course, I'm just pointing out why this doesn't wow me.

We go farther with the description, and find:
"it has a disturbing aura that evokes hunger"

Well, okay. I don't really viscerally feel - "yeah, I'd feel hungry!" or even "yeah, I would sure feel disturbed if I felt hungry in that moment" - but having the item evoke an emotion is thinking well beyond just reciting its appearance.

But this word "hunger" is gnawing at me: then I figure it out. Why isn't the emotion evoked a restlessness or a directional focus? This is a "seeking" blade, right?

But really, in no way is it a seeding blade save the name. Suddenly I'm thinking that to wow me with your writing, a better approach would have been to name the sword "bloodhungry" and then - to make sure you're not just repeating yourself in a way that can come across as boring at worst and at best would fail to take advantage to show off your vocab and creativity - when describing the aura you, yourself, speak of hunger without naming it. Evoking it, if you will.

For example, you might have tried:
"Every time it is drawn, this crystal blade shines a different shade of the same bloody hue, always more pale the longer it has gone without gorging in battle. This +1 wounding blood crystal longsword feels lighter than its expected weight when the blade is pale, but seems to compensate for its lost mass with an aura of starvation and want that burdens the wielder's soul."

Holy Heckfire, that sword wants to EAT ME!

And with a description like that, the sword's willingness to grant me power if I feed it my blood (or withhold its power until I lose my blood to it - take your pick) really seems to manifest as part of a theme, as part of the personality of an item you may not wish to trust, instead of merely "a cool power a player would want".

In general, this item wasn't created with SuperStar writing.

But it's got this very important thing going for it: it's clear.

You don't have any bad writing habits that cloud your ability to communicate. That's amazing. It's hard just to get that far with your writing skill, since so many of us write as we speak...while forgetting that with speech we have tone of voice, cadence, body language, and other communication aids that clarify words and phrases that would otherwise be confused.

Having said all that, I'll just address one more thing that's bugging me, otherwise you get the ideas I'm trying to communicate and you're not going to submit this same item with a bit more violet in the prose next year. So it's not worth it poring over it for details.

Just this. Just this one more thing that's bugging me:
"the pommel and cross-guard is full of thorns with dried blood. "

Actually, the pommel and cross-guard ARE, not is.

But here's the climactic thing: Thorns?

Really?

You're kidding me?

You've got a crystal item and a word, shards, that perfectly describes what the wielder is going to see, but you use thorns instead.

Without the sword growing, without the hilt-wrap being crafted in the form of a bramble-vine, without something that communicates "plant", thorns just makes no sense.

And since the weapon is all about blood - and blood is a feature of animals not plants - there's no reason to veer away from the "shard" imagery (even if by being the more expected word one might also concede it is the less creative word).

This is blood and crystal. Plants have neither. Why are their thorns? Shard isn't necessarily a really creative word. Others might come up with a more creative word. But it would be correct and would not push me away from your theme. I really can't reconcile thorns with either blood or with blood-drinking. Sure they're damaging. Sure they're piercing. Sure that can result in getting blood on them. But thorns don't {b]drink[/b] blood the way the crystal does. Thorns don't give you power in exchange for blood. There's just no reason at all to make this thorns. It's driving me batty, like you had some additional plant theme and then cut that out for length but forgot to change thorns.

In any case, it's writing that doesn't evoke the weapon you've actually described, so it's not superstar.

But as I said, you don't have any bad habits with writing. You really write clearly. You communicate your intent very well.

The part you're missing isn't communicating your intent, it's communicating your creativity.

8. Rule checks:
is the item over-priced or underpriced?
What about caster level? Did you use 1st when Bane or Craft Wondrous Item has a higher level requirement?
Although the entire point of magic is to do things one could otherwise not do, nonetheless Pathfinder must have rules and I can't interpret every single conflict between an item and Pathfinder rules as simply a case of the magic of the item overcoming those rules.

I previously mentioned the swift action causing an effect that lasts longer than 1 round. I also mentioned the swappability of normally permanent weapon enchantments.

But these are not beyond the capacity of magic, and they were clearly intentional. A CL of 18th is high enough to make a weapon Vorpal, which is the highest CL needed. Because of the obvious ways to circumvent ongoing bleed effects that one can acquire between adventures and the ways temp HP function even when you first find the item, I think the sword just doesn't work as written because of the powers themselves. Therefore, there is no loss of points for the weapon being "underpriced". In fact, the rules seem to have been well followed.

Where methodical checking can be used to help an item (or to stave off errors), you seem to have done very, very well. There aren't even little errors that leave open the question, "typo, or is this a place where the designer doesn't get what is wanted from the assignment?"

Nope. Based on this work, I'd expect the next item you turn out to be just as well formatted and just as carefully attentive to rules - at least rules that can be easily "followed" or "broken" without worrying about anything in between, like a violation of the spirit of the rule which can happen in some cases, and which I feel did happen in this item, particularly with swift actions.

As an editor, I already see great promise and good current work. This is important because you'll be a much better designer if you can edit your own work before turning it over for a last edit/proof by the publisher. They'll love you for this skill.

9. The extra mile
This is all about making things easier for me as your reader.

You don't hyperlink any spells, but if they only appear in the construction requirements and the item doesn't actually directly reproduce all or some of the effects of the spell in a way that can be lifted right from the spell entry, there's no reason, really, to link them. In this case, since none of those spells has any effects duplicated per the spell entry, you're actually being kind to me by not linking. The blue color would be distracting, would call my eyes, would make me want to click, and then I would find ....nothing relevant. If you consciously chose not to link the spells for that reason (and I always assume when someone does the right thing that they've done it on purpose), that is going an extra distance for me. Maybe not a mile in this case, but certainly a couple hundred yards.

On the other hand, the weapon properties could by hyperlinked to the Paizo PRD. You would be going the extra mile for me by doing that and missed the opportunity to do so.

One place where you truly shine with your choices affecting readability is in the use of the bullet list. By setting this off, apart from a paragraph, you make the increasing HP cost pattern immediately apparent, and for those of us familiar enough with the game to recognize keen is a +1 ability and Vorpal is a +5, we quickly guess that the cost is always exactly 2* the equivalent enhancement bonus. And it turns out we were right. If we were wrong, you might get points docked for misleading me. But no, we're right, which means that your formatting itself communicates information like extra words you don't have to type and we need not take the time to read.

That's gold. That's what this section is all about. That's the extra mile.

============================

Overall verdict?

This is an item that contains no "mistakes" that are as simple as violations of a rule, misuse or nonuse of the format, designing the wrong type of item, etc.

This item is clear about what it does, and the crunch effectively backs it up.

The item is clearly communicated through effective writing.

This item does go the extra mile to make it easy for me to read and grok.

This item is not particularly creative, but neither does it show no creativity.

This item is likely overpowered in any game because of the particular combination of powers.

This item does not have a consistent theme that is synergistically forwarded by name, description, what it does, how it does it, and systematic creative choices.

This item does not have writing such that simply reading its entry is a pleasure.

This item is a middle of the pack item to me.

Dark Archive Marathon Voter Season 9

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Face of the Kraken

I liked this item's visuals (so creepy). It's good that you didn't just make it a natural attack, instead giving what basically amounts to an extra pair of hands. I can't decide if I like it giving a ranged reposition attack, though—that's not what I think when I hear "tentacles". Krakens certainly don't get a reposition attack. It's the most unique thing about the item, though.

Mainly, the problems were just minor formatting glitches. "but he cannot do that" should just be "but cannot" (the rest is redundant), and the reposition ability could be explained more tidily. "Additionally, the mask also" could do without the "additionally", without the "also", or simply without both.

Overall, I liked the item, but it felt a bit cluttered with the way it was written and didn't feel like it did anything that distinctive. Maybe it didn't "grab" me, but it had a strong visual, and I definitely wouldn't mind seeing it in my campaign. I just feel like there was a much better item in here somewhere.

So if I understood right, good thing being good visuals, bad that language was awkward and item's abilities bland? :/

I'm not really surprised though, this was first time ever I created an item(not just for the contest, I don't normally do homebrew), but I got my hopes up that maybe I actually did something right since I made it to final cull X_x;

Anyway, language being awkward is something to fix with practice and reading up on grammar.. But do you have any tips on how to make the item more distinctive? Like, if you would have done the same item, what would you have done? Coming up with item concept was hard for me in first place and I feel like I still don't comprehend what makes item "memorable"...

Star Voter Season 7

If you would, kind gentlefolk. ^_^

The formatting got hosed because I had to recover from one of our fine community members, as my original copy has wandered off, but it should read well enough.

Though any feedback is welcome, my primary concerns was with the usability of the item by the players (is it fun?), vs does this disrupt things for the DM.

My hope was that It would give the DM a good hook, and allow the players a little more interaction with the authority figures in a city environment outside of "kill it" or "do what it says."

Courtesan's Locket
Aura moderate enchantment and divination; CL 9th
Slot neck; Price 10,000 gp; Weight .2 lbs.
Description

Originally designed by a famously jilted countess, the courtesan's locket has since been replicated by a variety of individuals and groups ranging from hostile diplomats to bored noble pranksters.

This gold filigree pendant has a teardrop shaped emerald at the center. The emerald twists open to reveal a reservoir of poison sufficient for 1 use per day. The poison loses potency after 24 hours outside the pendant.

When the poison is ingested, the target must make a DC 18 Will save or have their surface thoughts broadcast to the wearer of the amulet for 24 hours, up to a distance of 10 miles.

At any time while reading the poisoned target's thoughts, the wearer may speak one of the following command words to overwhelm the target with the associated emotion:

Lust - The target is compelled to rush to the person or object they most recently thought about and passionately kiss or caress that subject for 1d4 rounds.

Hatred – The target is compelled to verbally assault the person or object they most recently thought about for 1d4 rounds.

Guilt – The target is compelled to immediately confess to 1d4 wrongdoings. If they are aware of the presence of any people they have wronged, they must confess to those acts.

Using any of these options allows the target a DC 18 Will save to negate the effects. After the compulsive acts have been completed, or if the target saves, the mind reading effect ends.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Heighten Spell; Detect Thoughts, Unnatural Lust, Compel Hostility, Confess; Cost 5,000 gp


OK,

I made it through at least 3 culls before getting knocked out this time (my personal best so far I think...) so let me have it:

Quicksilver Elixir

Aura moderate abjuration, conjuration, divination, and transmutation; CL 10th;
Slot none; Price 2,000gp; Weight —

Description
This rare elixir is made to look like a simple but delicate glass vial filled with mercury. The vial and its contents do not show as magical while contained, but this is a simple deception to disguise it as a caster's spell component or alchemical material. The elixir can be used to create one of three obvious magical effects. However, once a particular effect is chosen the elixir is used up:

  • Scry: If poured out into a cup, bowl, or a similar container (even a shallow depression on a flat surface can be used if needed) then the elixir can be used as a scrying device exactly like a standard crystal ball, but it can only be used once and the viewing only lasts 10 minutes before the elixir evaporates into harmless silvery mist.
  • Sheen: If poured onto a single non-magical metal weapon or armor of any kind, for one hour this item is considered mithral. This includes the object's effective weight, hardness, skill check penalties, and any spell casting miss-chances it may have. Any other material type the object may have is suppressed for this duration.
  • Bomb: If the elixir is tossed like a bomb, the vial will easily shatter and the contents will explode into silvery mist doing 2d4 Constitution damage to any creature in a 10 foot radius who has damage reduction that can be bypassed by silver. This effect has a Fortitude save DC 17 that can half the damage if successful and only has a duration of 1 round before it dissipates.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, cloudkill, mirror polish, non-detection, scrying;
Cost 1000 gp

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

Here's mine: flawed, but my best yet. Problems include: (a) "a noose? Around MY neck?" (b) I have no idea how to properly price things, and (c) used an Occult Adventures spell in construction (by design, if it matters - thought it was in the PRD and didn't bother to check). I welcome your critiques.

Noose of Derangement Devouring
Aura Strong Enchantment; CL 9th
Slot Neck; Price 187,200 gp; Weight 1/4 lb.
Description
A cord woven of disturbingly sinew-like fibers, the noose is 18 inches long and embroidered with tiny sigils and runes in red, amber and gray. When draped about the neck and touched while whispering the command word, the noose coils around the wearer’s throat and its magic manifests.

I Hear Voices: The wearer can detect thoughts at will (DC 15), at double normal spell range (120’). The thoughts of those affected by insanity, afflicted by madness, that have prepared mind-affecting spells or that have mind-affecting spell-like abilities are detected as a swift action rather than a standard action.

Eat Insanity: Upon a successful touch attack, the wearer can “eat” the insanity of any creature affected by insanity or suffering from a madness-type affliction and render them sane (as heal). A similarly successful touch attack against a spellcaster or monster can eat one prepared mind-affecting spell (normal touch attack bonuses, no save for spells at or below 4th level; spells above 4th level gain a Will save to negate) or spell-like ability from the caster. The targeted caster is also staggered for 1d4 rounds (DC 16 Fortitude save negates).

The wearer converts whatever she eats into spell power and, for each instance in which the wearer has eaten, she can cast either (a) the same spell or ability that was eaten, or (b) possession (DC 19). All effects disappear if the noose is deactivated, and any unused spell power is lost. Spell power may be held indefinitely so long as the noose remains active.

Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, dream feast, detect thoughts, possession; Cost 93,600 gp

Star Voter Season 7

CripDyke wrote:
*snip*

Wow, that was thorough.

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

chaoseffect wrote:

Candle of Otherworldly Fire

I think some of your listed concerns definitely factored into why it didn't make it to the Top 32 (though I believe it survived all/most of the culls?).

I'd have rather seen this be a consumable -- which can bring your price way down -- since I think it seems odd to have a candle that doesn't burn out.

I think where it really failed for me, though, was the last two paragraphs. Having the drawback just detracts so much from the overall item, IMO. I think it's incredibly rare to see that in Paizo's items (it feels like a really old-school aspect of gaming to me), plus never give people a reason to vote against your item in a contest like this.

Marathon Voter Season 9

Nykidemus wrote:


My hope was that It would give the DM a good hook, and allow the players a little more interaction with the authority figures in a city environment outside of "kill it" or "do what it says."

Courtesan's Locket

I really enjoyed this one. Didn't get to see it much, but I did enjoy it. You definitely made it a fun looking item that I could see being a brilliant plot hook, or for players who like messing with their friends.

A poison effect... that needs a will save? Maybe it's just me, but that feels a little odd. Makes sense based on the effects, but maybe not as a poison effect.

It has a reservoir of poison that has 1/use per day. I'd assume you meant that it makes a new lot each day once used, but you didn't. That probably needs some clarification.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

Tom Forkbeard wrote:

OK,reading this again I see no style just function. What else did I do wrong?

Chameleon Shield
Aura moderate illusion; CL 8th
Slot shield; Price 10,114 gp; Weight 10 lbs.
Description
This +1 heavy wooden shield is painted and carved with the likeness of a chameleon lizard. After being stationary for one move action, the shield changes color and texture to blend in with the environment giving concealment to its bearer. Three times per day, after being activated and stationary for a full round, it covers the bearer with an illusion of the surrounding environment granting total concealment as long as the user is still or moves at half speed or less. Attacking and spell casting with somatic or verbal components and any other normal or faster motion negates these effects.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, woodshape, hide campsite;
Cost 5,157 gp

I am guessing like my Item..It is geared towards a Specific Style of Player...Other than Maybe a Rogue ask yourself is this item useful in Melee for more than 1 Character type? Would a typical fighter want it, Would they benefit from it more than just a +1 heavey Wooden Sheild (at the Increased Cost)

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

Rawler wrote:

Hey there. This was my first year in the contest. I've only got about six months of Pathfinder experience total, entirely through Society play, but I saw the contest and figured "why not?"

I think I gathered most of what I did wrong through the snark thread, but if anyone has specific feedback they'd like to give, I'd appreciate it.

Armbands of the Mummers’ Duel

First of all, I'm really impressed you did this with only six months of Pathfinder experience. The formatting looks perfect to me and it has some imagination with what you're doing.

My big problem with it was typically I have PCs engaged in real combat, not stage combat. I couldn't really figure out why my PCs would want to secretly be dealing nonlethal damage. I'm sure there are times this could be useful, but I just didn't see it happening very often.

Marathon Voter Season 9

JPSTOD wrote:
Tom Forkbeard wrote:

OK,reading this again I see no style just function. What else did I do wrong?

Chameleon Shield
Aura moderate illusion; CL 8th
Slot shield; Price 10,114 gp; Weight 10 lbs.
Description
This +1 heavy wooden shield is painted and carved with the likeness of a chameleon lizard. After being stationary for one move action, the shield changes color and texture to blend in with the environment giving concealment to its bearer. Three times per day, after being activated and stationary for a full round, it covers the bearer with an illusion of the surrounding environment granting total concealment as long as the user is still or moves at half speed or less. Attacking and spell casting with somatic or verbal components and any other normal or faster motion negates these effects.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, woodshape, hide campsite;
Cost 5,157 gp

I am guessing like my Item..It is geared towards a Specific Style of Player...Other than Maybe a Rogue ask yourself is this item useful in Melee for more than 1 Character type? Would a typical fighter want it, Would they benefit from it more than just a +1 heavey Wooden Sheild (at the Increased Cost)

I saw it as a good ranger or slayer item, actually. It works for druids, too. It's a "Hide in Plain Sight" item.

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Crossbow of the Embracing Vine
Aura Moderate Evocation and Transmutation; CL 7th
Slot None; Price 56450 gp; Weight 8 lbs.
Description
This +1 heavy crossbow is entirely created from deep, red wood. Vines are carved into the crossbow, twisting along all of its surfaces, enhanced with a light scattering of dim gold flecks in its leaves. Its string shares this golden sheen. Attached to the front of the crossbow is a small wooden grip.

As long as the crossbow is wielded in two hands, a red vine with golden leaves grows from the weapon and wraps comfortably around both of the wielder’s hands, giving the wielder an additional +1 on attack rolls with the weapon.

At will, the wielder can extend the grip and plant it into solid terrain. Taking root, the vines grasp the wielder’s arms and legs, stabilizing them. This whole process takes 1 minute of concentration without moving from the starting position to complete. The user can crouch or lie prone while using this ability.

When this is done, the crossbow’s range increment increases by 25 feet, the bonus to attack rolls increases to +3, and the crossbow gains a bonus to damage equal to half of the wielder's dexterity modifier. The wielder also gains a +2 bonus to their CMD against bull rush attempts. Finally, the wielder cannot move and loses their dexterity bonus to armor class. As a full-round action, the wielder can unroot the crossbow, returning the vines and grip to their normal position without affecting the terrain in any way.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Cat’s Grace, Control Plants; Cost 28050 gp

I know I messed up the dang price/cost again this year, but any critique would be fantastic!

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