Critique My Item Please!


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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

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OK, going to try to start making my way through the thread. I may not get to every item, but definitely want to try to weigh in. Some familiar names here...

Jerry Keyes wrote:

Glove of the Severed Servant

I liked this item a lot; I think I probably upvoted it every time. I wonder whether some people felt it may have been too much of a monster in a can, but for me it worked really well. May also have triggered some squick factor for some folks?

faxmachineanthem wrote:

My first RPGSS entry. Thank you for any and all critiques!

Green Flash

I've seen others mention it, but the name threw me a little -- definitely had me thinking of a DC mashup title. Just couldn't decide if it was Green Arrow or Green Lantern who was mashed up with Barry Allen (or Wally West or...). However, you've got some really nice color in your writing (no pun intended), even if maybe it went on a little too long with the description.

I think the +20 insight bonus is what really hurt this. That's basically an auto hit and having a quickened true strike, even if it's just once per day, is pretty powerful. The other abilities seemed OK to me (I liked the granted low-light vision and thought that seemed very well chosen for the theme) but didn't break much new ground. You've definitely got writing ability, but work on playing with the mechanics a bit more, IMO.

Joel Flank wrote:

Soul Shackle Bolt

I liked this one a lot, Joel, but I think the price was a killer. I'm not sure I could manage 4,500 gp for a single piece of ammunition. I'd keep this if I found one, but I don't think I'd ever buy one.

Nickolas Floyd wrote:

Sarkorian Sunderjaw

Hey Phloid, I thought this was imaginative and upvoted it some, but went a little too far. If you're fighting a creature that only has a bite attack, this could basically completely neuter it. That's not much fun for the GM. In addition, I kept thinking about creatures that might have a bite attack but not have teeth. I know you mentioned it could have its teeth (or the like) torn off, but if something has a beak, it just seemed too much for me.

Kigvan wrote:
Gorgon Sinew Lariat

This felt a little too much like a monster ability in a can to me, with more taking directly from the gorgon than being inspired by it. In addition, I think having the main cool new aspect only be usable once pe day just reduces the excitement factor. If I get a Superstar weapon, I want to be able to use the neat part of it more than once a day.

Nazard wrote:
Phase Strike Lenses

These were another one I liked. That said I thought it was odd that it said I could see incorporeal creatures, since they're not by definition invisible. I wasn't sure if it was meant to be some sort of detect ability, so I could see them in a wall or something. I think that part could have been nixed entirely to get you more quickly to the cooler part -- turning things ethereal.

pH unbalanced wrote:

Locket of Love's Lure

I think there was a bit too much back story and Golarion lore in this one; it's a tough line to tread and I think this went across it. Beyond that, it felt like skill checks with a spells in a can kicker that was fairly limited in its use and had a drawback to boot.

Belabras wrote:

Auric Hush

I liked this one. A few style errors probably didn't help (capitalizing the name of the item in the body of the text, not capitalizing Azlanti, using "wearer" instead of "user") but in general I thought it was a neat item.

JamesCooke wrote:

Watch of Borrowed Time

I'm sure you've heard by now that time items are a trap; I learned that a couple years ago and won't forget it.

I think it was hurt by a pocket watch being a little more advanced tech-wise than most people have in their games. I think you may have also gone a bit overboard with description -- I find when people get to the point of delineating specific text on an item, it starts being too detailed.

I think it was also a little complex how the mechanics of it worked, with having to determine what squares the watch hands ended up in. I'd probably have to refer to the item every time I used it. It's also missing durations for the staggered/sickened effects.

OK, that's a start; will continue as time allows.

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

Robert Guthrie wrote:
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

I suppose I'd like to hear people's thoughts on my item. I fought with it a lot -- pricing, different delivery methods, etc. -- so I can't say I'm shocked it didn't make it to the Top 32.

Anathema Brand

I'm honestly a little shocked that this didn't make it into the top 32. The execution was a little ponderous, but the idea was solid and the mechanics were excellent. I must have voted for this a dozen times or more.

Thanks, Robert. I appreciate that.

Scarab Sages

Thanks Jacob!

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

Would appreciate any feedback or critiques folks have for my item (I made a tiny little oversight and screwed myself, I bet most of you will spot it, but proved fatal, and here I thought I had a pretty sweet idea)

Thousand Fold Armor
Aura strong abjuration; CL 13th
Slot none; Price 17,750 gp Weight 15 lb.
Description

This +1 light fortification scale mail is surprisingly un-restrictive, and easy to move in. A detailed inspection of the armor reveals that each scale is formed from fine rice paper folded innumerable times and sealed with resin and lacquer.

Thousand fold armor weighs half as much as normal scale mail, has an armor check penalty of only -2 and a maximum Dexterity bonus of +4. While wearing thousand fold armor and speaking the correct command word, the wearer may conjure an origami swarm (Ultimate Equipment pg. 314) three times per day, which functions in all ways as the wondrous item of the same name. Only one origami swarm may be conjured at a time, and while the swarm is active thousand fold armor’s total granted AC bonus is reduced by 1.

By touching a spell scroll to a single specific scale of the thousand fold armor and speaking the command word, the scroll is affected by shrink item and is attached to the scale touched. Anytime thereafter the wearer may touch that same scale and speak the command word again, and the stored scroll appears in hand as per retrieve item. Thousand fold armor may only hold up to 5 scrolls in this fashion at any given time.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, animate objects, limited wish or miracle, retrieve item, shrink item; Cost 9,050 gp

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

I suppose I'd like to hear people's thoughts on my item. I fought with it a lot -- pricing, different delivery methods, etc. -- so I can't say I'm shocked it didn't make it to the Top 32.

Anathema Brand
Aura faint evocation and necromancy; CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 500 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Description
Visages silently crying out in horror flicker through the dancing flame of this torch so quickly that they appear almost a trick of the eye.

While lit, the torch generates a 40-foot-radius aura that creates a gnawing sense of desolation. Any creature other than the torch bearer within the aura must succeed at a DC 13 Will save or be shaken for 1 minute; it becomes immune to this specific torch's effect on a successful save or after 1 minute. The bearer can ignite a creature shaken by an anathema brand by using the lit torch to make a melee touch attack. On a successful hit, the target catches on fire, taking 1d6 points of fire damage each round as it is engulfed in flames filled with images of screaming faces.

Any allies of a burning creature must succeed at a DC 13 Will save or regard it as abhorrent and shy away from it. They cannot provide or receive a flanking bonus from the burning creature, and no longer consider it an ally for the purposes of effects such as teamwork feats, class abilities and magical effects such as bless. This effect ends when the burning creature is extinguished. The torch's abilities are mind-affecting fear effects.

The torch can only ignite a single target at a time; further attempts automatically fail until a previous target is no longer on fire.

After it is first lit, an anathema brand burns for up to eight hours, at which point its magic is expended. Time spent with the torch extinguished counts against this duration.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, scare, spark; Cost 250 gp

Ok so I'm picking and choosing what I want to go over this time around :)

When I see anathema I think either something that involves hatred and loathing or something that involves some sort of clerical curse. Brand, I think of something fire based (like a sword). Not a bad name on the face of it, anathema IS a great word.

You know your template :)

Great lead in. Spooky and it's a torch! Didn't see that coming. You did do the "appear" thing, while not as bad as 99% of the times it is used it still weakens the intro slightly.

Ooo...gnawing sense of desolation. I'm expecting to see something like miserable pity in the construction and effects...but you go in a different direction!

It does affect allies as written, as I'm sure that was an intentional choice, but that likely didn't sit well with folks.

Can the torch ONLY ignite creatures it's shaken? What if I'm drenched in oil? Is it a mundane flame as well? Cool idea but it leaves a couple questions.

I'm torn on the melee touch...if you made it ranged by blowing on it towards the creature and screaming faces of fire ignited the target...that would almost be better. But I'm torn.

Ahh...here you DO specify any allies (which means the torch bearer is subject this time to the effects but not to the main power...and again the team is affected) which is a little weird and always kind of vague. How do I define an ally? What if one of the party members isn't an ally because they have insidious plans of undermining the group? What about NPC's with the group...that can ruin a lot of "aha" moments if the whole team is affected...except 1.

And then they aren't considered an ally for a number of things...but then the affect still affects them? It's a little confusing and I'd be arguing with the GM that if I'm not an ally for all those effects...why do I still consider the creature abhorrent? It's a tricky slope. I do like what you are doing here but it is going to make for a lot headaches at the table.

How long IS a creature burning? It'd be nice for some clarification and limitation...especially for a cheap item. Also, is it a magical flame...can mundane water extinguish?

You do try to limit how long the torch lasts with the extinguishing line and the only single target line...but I feel this thing provides A LOT for its price (damage until dead or watered down as it's currently written, shaken condition for all within the 80 foot diameter aura, no flanking to allies, and no teamwork feats, no class abilities, no spells from the ignited person). Give this to a monk and have him touch a BBEG (especially a non-spellcaster but spellcasters at 1st or 2nd level can still fail this) with his great movement and this trivializes a lot of big encounters. Also, do I have to make a Will save or consider an ally abhorrent if I'm a thousand miles away? It's a silly question but it does have some merit when many encounters rely on waves and I as the GM need to know when I have to make that save for them. At least it is a mind-affecting fear effect so some things are immune to it.

Overall, I liked a lot of the ideas behind this item and the imagery was awesome. The mechanical execution leaves a lot of questions and it does A LOT for 500 gp. If this didn't do the damage, but only sheathed the target in illusory flames I think it would have been better and tightening up the rules language would have taken it even farther in greatness. Maybe for 1,000 gp I'd feel more at ease with the effects, and DC 13 can still be a failure at that level where you can afford 1,000 gp.

P.S. I really liked this item and I actually did expect to see it in the Top 32. Not trying to pick on you!

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

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Thanks, Kiel. You've brought up a lot of the points I was fighting with over the course of developing it.

Hidden for space concerns:

* I definitely was worried about allies being affected turning off voters. I figured since it was just a minute that it wasn't a big deal, since you just wait a minute after lighting it, but I wanted there to be a constant affect so there was a benefit to leaving the torch lit (thinking about it, that may have been leftover from when it had a shorter duration that could be used in chunks instead of eight hours and then expended).

* Didn't think about explicitly saying it's also a normal torch though in my mind it was. If anyone wants to use this for their games, I'd say it is, but can only ignite creatures shaken by
its aura with the anathema effect.

* I went back and forth on melee touch or a ranged attack -- letting the flames leap to a single target (and thus extinguishing the torch for a bit) -- a LOT and really agonized over which version to use. The majority of my readers liked the melee touch aspect more so I decided to go with that. I was happy with the idea, but a ranged version was in contention until the moment I submitted. (For anyone who cares, I gave the target a DC 13 Reflex save to avoid being caught on fire, and ended up cutting the save for all the burning creature's allies, having them just simply affected by the anathema aspect.)

* "Ahh...here you DO specify any allies (which means the torch bearer is subject this time to the effects but not to the main power...and again the team is affected) which is a little weird and always kind of vague. How do I define an ally?"

I think allies are pretty well defined in the game; bless for example "fills your allies with courage," prayer affects all allies and foes within a 40-ft. burst, etc. etc. And it shouldn't affect the bearer, since he's not likely to be an ally of someone he's set on fire with the torch. I think you may have misread this section a little (which could be as much on me if I wasn't clear), since it's neutering someone the torch bearer sets on fire, which is only likely to be an enemy.

* "How long IS a creature burning? It'd be nice for some clarification and limitation...especially for a cheap item. Also, is it a magical flame...can mundane water extinguish?" It's burning until it's extinguished, per the rules for catching on fire. Definitely another area I worried about being clear enough, but I only had so many words and this one already used about 50 more than I wanted.

* Price was a very tough design choice. This was a consumable, so people are only going to pay so much for it. On the other hand, lighting things on fire -- which you could basically do every combat for a day -- is a pretty big ability. I think the "no spells" is one of the areas I couldn't get into nuance as much as I'd have liked -- yeah, it blocks something like bless and prayer, but that's because those specifically call out allies. A cleric would still be able to heal her companions, for instance, because channels and cure spells effect everyone, not just allies. I think being 1,000 miles away wouldn't matter -- you're not going to be flanking with it or affecting it with spells, so it's a moot point.

* I think the illusory flames idea may have been the best way to handle it; I briefly considered that, but I think I was fixated on it lighting things on actual fire and was concerned just the shaken and anathema ability (which other than flanking and maybe bless isn't *that* strong) wouldn't be strong enough. Oh well. It's out there now for anyone who wants it.

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Jeff Harris 982 wrote:

Would appreciate any feedback or critiques folks have for my item (I made a tiny little oversight and screwed myself, I bet most of you will spot it, but proved fatal, and here I thought I had a pretty sweet idea)

Thousand Fold Armor
Aura strong abjuration; CL 13th
Slot none; Price 17,750 gp Weight 15 lb.
Description

This +1 light fortification scale mail is surprisingly un-restrictive, and easy to move in. A detailed inspection of the armor reveals that each scale is formed from fine rice paper folded innumerable times and sealed with resin and lacquer.

Thousand fold armor weighs half as much as normal scale mail, has an armor check penalty of only -2 and a maximum Dexterity bonus of +4. While wearing thousand fold armor and speaking the correct command word, the wearer may conjure an origami swarm (Ultimate Equipment pg. 314) three times per day, which functions in all ways as the wondrous item of the same name. Only one origami swarm may be conjured at a time, and while the swarm is active thousand fold armor’s total granted AC bonus is reduced by 1.

By touching a spell scroll to a single specific scale of the thousand fold armor and speaking the command word, the scroll is affected by shrink item and is attached to the scale touched. Anytime thereafter the wearer may touch that same scale and speak the command word again, and the stored scroll appears in hand as per retrieve item. Thousand fold armor may only hold up to 5 scrolls in this fashion at any given time.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, animate objects, limited wish or miracle, retrieve item, shrink item; Cost 9,050 gp

I don't have time to do a review like I've been doing, but I like origami items, and I'm a bit of a nut for materials science*, so I have a bias toward this armor.

And, yes, with materials science you can do some amazing things. Here's my problem.

...it might even be true that specially treated, specially folded paper made of special substance would protect you better than steel, but you went with a primary effect of reducing armor weight, penalties, etc.

in most ways, your armor has "Protection just as good, but is far lighter and more maneuverable!"

Fine. You have an amazing, exotic material. You can either use less to get the same protection, taking advantage of that super-ness, OR you can go ahead and use just as much of this super-material (by weight) to get better protection.

So what's my problem?

In a word? Fortification.

Your theme is greater maneuverability, not super-heavy protection. While, yes, magic can do anything. Maybe this magical material is SO much better than steel that you get he same protection with 1/10th the weight and no armor penalty, but you went to a middle ground to get just reduced penalties, half-weight, AND fortification.

Sure. That could'a happened. It's magic.

Based on that, fortification undercuts your theme in the absence of some background, story or theme-based reason why the armor has to be fortified.

Your theme isn't giving me any of that. Your theme is light and maneuverable (as far as armor goes) but even more than that, your theme is "paper". How does summoning an origami swarm relate to fortification? Scroll use, does scroll use scream, "Great Gods of Gulping Guppies, any armor with special abilities relating to scroll use, must have light fortification! How could it be otherwise???"

I'm not getting that needed special explanation from anywhere.

If it fits your theme, you're not going to need a special explanation of why a power is included.

This conflicts. Come up with some ingenious way that despite the apparent conflict, why the creator made it this way is actually completely intuitive. Knowing this extra little bit that the inventor of this item knew, now I get how there's not only no conflict, but this misfit power is actually absolutely necessary.

I would do the easy thing and ditch light fortification for some ability related to movement that can ultimately also be related to origami and/or paper.

But if you absolutely had to have it, there are ways.

I don't actually like this because it gives you too many bonuses all at once. I'd rather turn off one bonus to get another, not turn off one bonus to get a bunch.

But...

You could have the armor be normal weight, with no movement advantages. The armor has light fortification. You activate a swarm, and the little origami creatures emerge from the most vulnerable parts of your body, where you were carrying the extra protection. You lose fortification, gain the movement advantages and the swarm.

Now we see that the fortification comes from places where the armor was made thicker than it needed to be so that the cleverly-folded swarm could be integrated into the armor until animated.

So, yeah, there are ways. I'm not saying it's impossible. But I'm telling you the clash of that one power with the others was responsible for at least one of my down-votes of your item, though, yes, I have some problems with a couple other things as well.

I mention all this because many people fail to really develop a theme. But you, you clearly have the ability to develop a theme. You did. And then you threw in that one power too many, the one power that completely opposes the theme you've created.

Why do so much good, hard work creating a theme and then sabotage yourself like that?

If your description isn't necessarily reinforcing your theme, that's not great. If your crunch doesn't reinforce your theme, well maybe it's just all business - as long as the theme is elsewhere, that's still fine.

But neither your name nor your power choices can run afoul of your theme. Doing so really sabotages the work you're doing.

==================
*all the things scientists do to create new alloys and substances, but also to micro-manufacture or nano-manufacture familiar substances in unfamiliar ways, often in layers where a hard, strong brittle layer is alternated with a flexible layer to create something that is more yielding than the original, but still retains all the hardness and no longer has the brittleness. By doing this, you get something where more of the impact passes through (but not necessarily a lot more) but that thing that's actually doing the hitting can't penetrate. In fact, it penetrates even less well than against the pure, hard substance since that has a good chance of stopping it completely...but if it doesn't it's because the brittleness allowed the impact to shatter that material, leaving you unprotected. Cool stuff. Also involved in "invisibility cloak" science and other things.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

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Well-Seasoned Cleaver
Aura moderate necromancy CL 5th
Slot none; Price 96,306 gp; Weight 7 lbs.
Description
This hefty darkwood-handled +1 furyborn fire-forged steel handaxe appears to be no more than an imposing slab of thick bloodstained steel pocked with holes and cracks laden with the remains of fallen enemies. Though the weapon bears evidence of masterful craftsmanship, the handle is covered with crudely scrawled recipes and measurement diagrams, detailing the preparation of tooth-chip pie, stuffed eyes, and tongue-kebabs.

When used to deliver the killing blow on an enemy, the weapon’s holes and crevices pack with remnants of the defeated foe, granting it special characteristics. When filled, it has an alignment matching the slain enemy and subjects of successful melee attacks immediately contract filth fever. Successful melee attacks against already afflicted targets progress the disease by one step along the physical track. These characteristics persist until the weapon has been cleaned, which is an involved process that takes a full hour to complete.

After 24 hours without cleaning, the well-seasoned cleaver attracts an army ant swarm (Bestiary 16) that attacks the nearest living creature when the weapon is first disturbed or unsheathed each day. In addition, creatures within 10 feet of the unsheathed weapon must make a DC 12 fortitude save or be nauseated for one minute. This can only occur once per day.

If clean, this weapon doubles the duration of applied blanches, poisons, infusions, and other liquid alchemical enhancements. When used for cooking the weapon grants its bearer a +5 bonus to profession (cook) skill checks made to prepare meals. If performing this task with an unclean well-seasoned cleaver, meals are infected with filth fever.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, align weapon, contagion, rage; Creator must have 5 ranks in the Profession (Cook) skill; Cost 48,153 gp

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Adjurer wrote:
Windstrike Impaler

Hopefully someone gets the chance to critique mine sometime soon. You guys doing the critiquing are pretty swell guys. ;-)


Deadly Blade Bandolier
Aura faint evocation; CL 5th
Slot belt or chest; Price 3,000 gp (+1), 12,000 gp (+2), 27,000 gp (+3), 48,000 (+4), 75,000 gp (+5); gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
The deadly blade bandolier is favored by those skilled at throwing blades in combat. When a masterwork blade (dagger, lungchuan tamo, shuriken, star knife, or throwing axe) or dart (including a wushu dart) is sheathed in the deadly blade bandolier, the blade is infused with the properties of the bandolier. The process of infusing the weapon takes one full round after the blade has been sheathed. Only masterwork throwing blades are able to be infused. Blades that are already magical are unaffected by the power of the bandolier. You can wear up to two bandoliers at the same time, one in the belt slot and one in the chest slot. Each bandolier can hold up to six blades.

The deadly blade bandolier can grant weapon special abilities, so long as they can be applied to the thrown weapon. Special abilities count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of the item, but do not modify attack or damage bonuses. A deadly blade bandolier cannot have a modified bonus (enhancement bonus plus special ability bonus equivalents) higher than +5. A deadly blade bandolier must have at least a +1 enhancement bonus before granting a melee weapon special ability. The bandolier may also have the Glamered armor property (+2,700 gp).
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, creator's caster level must be at least three times the bandolier’s bonus, plus any requirements of the melee weapon special abilities or glamered armor special ability; Cost 1,500 gp (+1), 6,000 gp (+2), 13,500 gp (+3), 24,000 gp (+4), 37,500 gp (+5)

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@Jeff Wharton:

A couple quick thoughts.

1) don't we already have items like this? Doesn't this crib extensively from Amulet of Mighty Fists? I mean, it's a new item, but this is pretty much exactly "AoMF, but for weapons!"

2) I was originally thinking this should be the same price as an Amulet of Mighty Fists and that you've undercosted it. But being limited to 6 shots per combat does deserve some sort of discount, and when you bump it up to 12 shots/combat it costs 50% more. So this started out as something which made me leery of your item, but ended up after a thought or two to be something I really, really appreciated.

3) you've done the crunch well, but since this is a nearly identical design space to AoMF, and you've been able to crib from that crunch, you're not impressing me. I expect you to be able to copy & paste. I bet you have the skills to do crunch on something original, but next year I won't know it's you when your new entry to RPGSS comes around. How do I know you have the skills to create crunch instead of just the insight to know when items can duplicate the crunch of others?

I mean, that's not nothing. It's helpful when you aren't reinventing the wheel and can reference well-established rules. But at some point as a designer you'll have to create something from scratch. How do I as a voter know that you have that in you? I don't have any real evidence.

4) What limits are there, if any, on weapon special abilities that don't use an enhancement-bonus-equivalent for cost? You say that bandolier can be glamered, but there's no language at all that prevents the use of weapon special abilities that are enhancement-bonus-equivalents.

...That makes it possible to exceed +5 in some sense or other by making +5 and then adding in some other property. If you have a +10 equivalent weapon (the max), it seems like you can exceed that by adding in these non-bonus-equivalent powers.

But +10 costs 200,000 gp. Items can't be more than 200,000 gp. (since the rules say you can have +10, I'd allow a weapon to exceed that by the masterwork + regular cost of the weapon enchanted, but not by more than that....) So adding in non-bonus-equivalent powers is effectively prohibited by other rules. They didn't have to say it.

So is +5 a hard limit? Or is it merely a limit on bonus-equivalent powers? Why or why not?

======
Okay, and then the real problem with non-bonus-equivalent powers: the bandolier costs +50% for the same enhancement bonus. Nothing in your crunch says you have to pay an extra +50% for non-bonus-equivalent powers. I want some rules justification why some powers go up 50% in price but others don't.

=========

Last, why is "knife" not on your list?

The list seems artificially limited. I'd trust people to figure out reasonable limits for their own gaming tables by using your list and then adding something like, "or equivalent weapons and fundamentally similar weapons" or some language like that. Or go nuts - what about just saying any light weapon with a range increment for throwing that does piercing or slashing damage? If everything else is the same, is that looseness going to create a game balance problem, or ruin your careful costing exercise?

I really think not.

I really don't like this hard-and-fast rule. I don't think it's justified. I think you feared some abuse (I don't know what, but it was probably something wise where you noticed a particular weapon might break something) and prevented it by setting the hardest limit possible, making abuse impossible.

I have slightly more trust, so long as you give good guidelines, but if you want to limit it to just these named weapons, at least have some reason that makes sense from the ***character's perspective*** why the options must be limited in this way.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Oh, the point of my #1 was that while copying AoMF is no proof you can't be creative, but it doesn't give us who are trying to evaluate your ability to design that you DO have good creative abilities.

This item is probably good for the game, but it's not good for showing off during RPGSS ...OR for demonstrating to the voters and the 3PPs reading along just how much you can do, just how much you should be hired for design work.

So liking the item and thinking it makes me want you in the next round are 2 different things.

This item makes me say, "Yeah, you really saw a niche that needed filling. This will probably show up in games!"

It doesn't make me say, "I wanna vote for this designer in this competition."


CripDyke, Thanks for your thoughts!

CripDyke wrote:

This item makes me say, "Yeah, you really saw a niche that needed filling. This will probably show up in games!"

It doesn't make me say, "I wanna vote for this designer in this competition."

This is exactly what I was trying to do. I created an item where I saw a need. With the RAW it is prohibitively expensive to be a knife thrower. At mid to high levels you get multiple attacks per round and you need to be able to throw magic weapons.

CripDyke wrote:
1) don't we already have items like this? Doesn't this crib extensively from Amulet of Mighty Fists? I mean, it's a new item, but this is pretty much exactly "AoMF, but for weapons!"

I don't know of another item like this. Does it crib off of AoMF - yes.

CripDyke wrote:
4) What limits are there, if any, on weapon special abilities that don't use an enhancement-bonus-equivalent for cost? You say that bandolier can be glamered, but there's no language at all that prevents the use of weapon special abilities that are enhancement-bonus-equivalents.

My thought was just the enhancement bonuses that are "+". I didn't consider non-"+" enhancements.

CripDyke wrote:
Last, why is "knife" not on your list?

Because I could not find a "Knife" on a weapon list, and this surpised me. I tried to list the knife-like weapons from Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Equipment that could be thrown. I could have added more, or used some generic language but I didn't think of that. (also I was really close to the word limit).

Again, thanks for your feedback!

FWIW: I carried the my approach to my round 2 map. It is a very reusable flip-mat idea. Not a one-shot location.

Star Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
I think it was hurt by a pocket watch being a little more advanced tech-wise than most people have in their games.

This was something I was actively aware of, but in the end I decided to defer to Golarion-level tech because I feel that Golarion is very "Middle-of-the-road" when it comes to tech (barring Numeria and all that entails). I also felt that because there aren't very many watch items (I can only think of one) that the relative "uniqueness" of the mundane item itself and the strong adherence to the theme would be novel, or at least memorable.

That said, if I'm wrong I'm wrong and I'm not defending my choices- merely explaining why I did what I did.

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
I'd probably have to refer to the item every time I used it.

THIS is definitely something I needed to hear. Trying to find the words to express how important that is but I'm actually floored by how on-point that advice is, thank you very much!

Grand Lodge Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

Maurice de Mare wrote:
RyanH wrote:


Boiling Heart Gauntlet

Thanks! Great feedback ... less gore, got it!

Grand Lodge Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

JJ Jordan wrote:
RyanH wrote:


Diver's Float

I like your imagination. Keep it up!

Thanks! He read and appreciates your comments!

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Jeff, I like you and your design skills, so I'm continuing the conversation. But, as I may occasionally do, I exceeded 75 words in this comment. So I put it behind a spoiler for the sake of the eyeballs of those who want to be able to find anything other than CripDyke comments in this thread.

CripDyke responds to Jeff Wharton's response:

Quote:
I don't know of another item like this. Does it crib off of AoMF - yes.

Well, that's what I meant. It's like it in mechanics.

Given the central idea, "what if this barefisted-enhancement could be used to enhance weapons?" is not an out-of-the-box question to ask, it's just not showing off your creativity.

That doesn't say you don't have creativity, it's just hard to see how much if this item is all we have to go by.

Quote:
This is exactly what I was trying to do. I created an item where I saw a need. [goes on to explain need...]

Yep. And I saw you doing that. Really, I do think that there's a very important skill being shown off by the ability to notice those niches and then fill them. If someone else noticed this niche, doing what you do is exactly what I would want that person to do to fill it. Cribbing from that other well known item that does the parallel thing to your item is just what should be done. There are so many rules and spells and items in Pathfinder, by streamlining things with duplication where necessary you're being friendly to GMs and Players alike.

When I see situations like this I'm torn. You could be a really great designer, the kind of person with a sharp eye for these types of situations and a thoughtful approach to how you can provide solutions that require the least work on the part of players and GMs to understand and use.

OTOH you could be a player whose one favorite character happens to throw things and, lacking personal creativity, solved your frustration by copying and pasting from the item that did the thing that was closest to what you wanted to do.

I thought I saw things like the restriction to masterwork items, etc., that made it more likely you weren't just a frustrated player with a quick ctrl-v hand and a bit of luck. But given that these 300 words are the only 300 words in the universe as far as RPGSS goes, I will tend to down vote an item like yours because what if I'm wasting my vote on a designer with absolutely nothing to offer anyone in the next round?

Like I said, it doesn't preclude creative design skills, it just - by itself, as a singe item - doesn't provide evidence on which I'm willing to hang this old lesbian softball league hat I have here.

Now that your item has made the top 32 and people can see this isn't a fluke, they'll value your work. [Edited to add that your item didn't make it. Your mention of your round 2 map befuddled me for a moment] In fact, you did exactly what I realize now I spectacularly failed to do with my revealing ink. I personally love items that inspire and (even better) require role-play. The revealing ink is just that. But role-play can't easily be reduced to crunch. I've gotten feedback that people were scared of the open-endedness of the item. And yet, look at charm person or suggestion. What, exactly, they do is far less crunchy than revealing ink and no one has axed them from the game. I thought I was being more specific than those effects, so hey, wouldn't everyone appreciate that? But if I had cribbed more, people would have thought, "Oh, yeah, suggesting to a prisoner that the prisoner spill his guts. That's not an intimidating possibly-game-breaking new thing. That's just a special case of a spell we've allowed for a long time."

I think you've done some genius design work here. But during voting I was frustrated by having to judge only on those 300 words, and not being able to make a clear call between "Amazing designer working hard to reduce the learning curve and thus make the game easer, and thus make it more fun" ...and "frustrated gamer who happened to cut and paste just the right thing" I found myself down voting your item a lot.

I actually regretted doing it the first couple of times, because I knew there was a real chance you were doing thoroughly awesome design. But eventually I made peace with the fact that i was supposed to judge you on those 300 words alone.

Clearly you didn't need my votes. And I'm glad, because you obviously aren't a lucky crank. This feedback is very specific to the RPGSS context and not about game design generally.

....and of course it may not even be good feedback. This did affect how I voted, but I'm not necessarily anything like the average RPGSS voter.

Quote:
Because I could not find a "Knife" on a weapon list, and this surpised me.

Well shiver me timbers and blow me down! ...a friend tells me this is Skull & Shackle speak for, "You don't say, my good man. Well, that information clearly is novel to me as well."

Obviously you did quite a lot of thoughtful follow through, taking your own idea very seriously and doing the legwork to track down all the game info needed to thoroughly understand the consequences of your design choices.

==========

Your thoroughness and the process revealed in this conversation shows you to be a good designer who designs with imagination but isn't too vain to cut the imaginative parts if that's just good for the game. That humility will also make you a joy to work with from an editor's perspective.

I don't know that I have anything to off you, really. But maybe leaving in a bit more of the imaginative stuff will help you next year.

Or maybe not. Hard to tell.

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

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JamesCooke wrote:


This was something I was actively aware of, but in the end I decided to defer to Golarion-level tech because I feel that Golarion is very "Middle-of-the-road" when it comes to tech (barring Numeria and all that entails). I also felt that because there aren't very many watch items (I can only think of one) that the relative "uniqueness" of the mundane item itself and the strong adherence to the theme would be novel, or at least memorable.
That said, if I'm wrong I'm wrong and I'm not defending my choices- merely explaining why I did what I did.

Feel free to defend; nothing wrong with that. :)

Per James Jacob, in Mike Kimmel's The Golden Watch pitch: 9) Watches are pretty rare on Golarion; rare enough that multiple magic watches owned by a group would be quite unusual. Especially if, as I suggest in Final Thoughts below, the NPCs are reduced in level. The watches don’t seem to really add all that much to the adventure either. New magic items just for the sake of a new magic item aren’t all that great. These watches need a stronger reason to be in the adventure—maybe one of the NPCs was a clockmaker or a tinker who built the watches for his friends? Making these watches into stronger symbols of the whole company’s bond would definitely be a step in the right direction.

IMO, I feel like a clock could be in Golarion but a watch feels a little more out of place. But I think the bigger thing is whether the larger public voting populace would think it works and -- more importantly -- want to see that in their games.

My impression is, while I personally like Victorian era adventuring, most people prefer more of the usual medieval era. Obviously that's not completely true -- there's certainly enough interest in sci-fi, for example, that there's the Tech Guide and Iron Gods and Garrett Guillotte's Call to Arms: Fantastic Technology has been very popular, but at the same time, none of last year's chainsaws went very far (IIRC). I know I'd thought about a tech-related staff last year but decided it wasn't a good choice for voters (and this year the Tech Guide was the one thing in the prd we couldn't reference).

Quote:
THIS is definitely something I needed to hear. Trying to find the words to express how important that is but I'm actually floored by how on-point that advice is, thank you very much!

Glad I could help! :)

Marathon Voter Season 9

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Kiel Howell wrote:
I don't believe you need to capitalize the metamagic feat.

Chrysalis Cloak Note:

This is incorrect. Feats are always capitalized.

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

Jeff Harris 982 wrote:


Thousand Fold Armor

Totally expected folded metal but a nice switch to paper

paper based swarm, the paper theme is still strong

attach scroll to armor, ok still paper-themed.

I find that I am losing interest as the powers keep coming, it costs 17k and I am not feeling that I am getting what I pay for.

Maybe enhance the last power to command activate the attached scrolls?

Item needs more mojo, it is too safe as it stands. Excite me!

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

Papasteve08 wrote:

Cloak of Nine Lives

[

Fine item, but I really hate this: When the wearer has rested for 8 hours, all closed eyes re-open. The rest does not need to be consecutive.

This is a powerful item, so be clear. 8 hours or none at all.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Kiel Howell wrote:
I don't believe you need to capitalize the metamagic feat.

Chrysalis Cloak Note:

This is incorrect. Feats are always capitalized.

Thanks KC!

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

I told myself to wait to post my item until after I commented on all the Top 36 items. Now that is done so here is my item. I did clean up a few things that managed to get past my pit crew and I before the contest.

Djinn's Strike:

Djinn’s Strike
Aura moderate evocation; CL 8th
Slot none; Price 18,301 gp; Weight 3 lbs.
Description
This +1 shocking short spear feels as if it is dragging its wielder forward slowly like the spear always has some momentum to it. The spear’s name is written in Auran using tiny arcs of electricity just below the tip. Other arcs of lightning occasionally course down the spear’s shaft.
3 times per day, as a swift action after a successful ranged attack with Djinn’s Strike, an arc of lightning connects the wielder to the weapon, immediately moving him into contact with Djinn’s Strike, in all respects the wielder is treated as if he charged. All creatures in a line between the wielder and the weapon take 1d6 electricity damage.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, call lightning or lightning bolt; Cost 9,301 gp

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

@Browman:

So...

I'm in the middle of a real CripDyke review of the Watch of Borrowed Time, but I thought I just say a couple of things.

1) lightning + movement isn't particularly superstar. Lots of people connect lightning and movement, so we know that this isn't showing off your imagination as much another item might.

2) But now that you've connected lightning and movement, how, precisely, do you imagine lightning movement might feel?

Because to have momentum, you have to have mass and weight. Lightning move so much faster than we can follow it feels like teleportation to us - the lightning starts over here, ends up over there. But do we follow it's movement?

So when you say that the spear:

Quote:
feels as if it is dragging its wielder forward slowly like the spear always has some momentum to it

we get a lightning spear that moves "slowly", constantly granting a feeling of a weight pulling on the user.

Okay, the weight pulls the user forward, but it's a weight pulling on the wielder.

First you tell me that this is a Djinn's weapon and I'm expecting something connected to the weightless world of air.

Then you tell me it's a lightning weapon, and I'm expecting erratic movement far too fast for human senses to follow.

Then you kill all that by telling me it pulls "slowly" in a way that implies weight.

Your description is killing me here.

Moreover, at this point, the fact that the spear continually shouts, "Hey, I'm magic!" with permanent electric runes +"occasional" arcs of lightning seems

1) overcompensating
2) just an invitation for thieves. Most thieves can detect magic, but they can still steal masterwork items and hope. This spear? So gaudy it's going to attract every thief in the business.
3) overcompensating some more.

You're not adding the description your item needs to communicate that your item is special. You're adding more and more details about magic effects that are experienced/visible constantly so that everyone knows that you are lightning powered.

Considering only the aspects visible to all, what you've done is designed the perfect spear for Spear Wielding Super-Hero of LightningOpolis Man!

But even there, you've undone the good, public aspects of super-hero image making with the weird mojo-killing "slowness" and "weight" aspects.

Marathon Voter Season 9

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Lei of Lost Souls
Aura faint conjuration; CL 3rd
Slot neck; Price 2000 gp; Weight 1lbs.

Discription
This wreath of white lilies smells of the sea and never wilts. Each flower has a deep red center in the shape of a star. Once per day, a character may use a standard action to pluck a flower from the Lei of Lost Souls and blow it into the air. The flower then multiplies, forming a 15 foot cyclone of flowers around the wearer. Within the cyclone invisible but tangible humanoid shapes are able to be discerned from where the flowers are hitting them. These figures are an extention of the wearer's memories and will often remind the wearer of people they have lost.

Any time a creature performs an action that would provoke an attack of opportunity within the 15 foot radius of whirling flowers, the wearer of the Lei of Lost Souls may make an attack of opportunity as if the creature was within the wearer's reach. The humanoid shapes allow the wearer to attack twice when making an attack of opportunity. This effect lasts 10 minutes.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, unseen servant, thirty lilies; Cost 1000 gp

Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Arnil wrote:

Lei of Lost Souls

Aura faint conjuration; CL 3rd
Slot neck; Price 2000 gp; Weight 1lbs.

Discription
This wreath of white lilies smells of the sea and never wilts. Each flower has a deep red center in the shape of a star. Once per day, a character may use a standard action to pluck a flower from the Lei of Lost Souls and blow it into the air. The flower then multiplies, forming a 15 foot cyclone of flowers around the wearer. Within the cyclone invisible but tangible humanoid shapes are able to be discerned from where the flowers are hitting them. These figures are an extention of the wearer's memories and will often remind the wearer of people they have lost.

Any time a creature performs an action that would provoke an attack of opportunity within the 15 foot radius of whirling flowers, the wearer of the Lei of Lost Souls may make an attack of opportunity as if the creature was within the wearer's reach. The humanoid shapes allow the wearer to attack twice when making an attack of opportunity. This effect lasts 10 minutes.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, unseen servant, thirty lilies; Cost 1000 gp

I want to like this item, but probably would not have voted for it had I seen it.

The name is evocative and intrigued me. Despite following <noun> of <adjective> <noun>, I think it worked well. (Was the homophone lei/lay intentional? I liked it, but it might have cost you votes with others.)

A couple template nit-picks: your weight is missing a space, and should be "1 lb." (only pluralized if it's more than one). You also don't need to include mundane items in your construction requirements. Also, you misspelled Description.
Should it have a CL of 1st? It only has a 1st-level spell in the requirements, and the effect has a duration of 10 minutes.

I wondered why the lilies smelled like the sea. Is it just to emphasize the Lei -> Pacific Ocean connection? This item doesn't specifically deal with deaths at sea, so this mention created a thematic disconnect for me.

I presume you mean "forming a 15-ft [radius]", and later rules do mention this. "Invisible but tangible" confused me until I finished the sentence. Once I did, I could immediately visualize what you meant.

Don't take the above criticism the wrong way - the description really worked for me. The imagery was fantastic, and this is an item I'd love to see in play. I find myself to be much better at finding things to improve than explaining what I like - but I really like your description.

...Then I got to the mechanics. My key issue with the item is two-fold: the mechanics are far too strong for this price, and the mechanics don't really match up with the theme.

It's an item that allows the user to threaten all squares within 15 feet, and make double the attacks of opportunity.
Doubled attacks of opportunity is interesting, but pricing would be difficult to determine. It certainly costs more than 3000 gp, though. The speed property gives the user another attack while full-attacking (something that can only happen once per round), and that is priced as a +3 bonus.

The description leads to another question: if the humanoid shapes are "extension[s] of the wearer's memories", why do they still attack as the user? The invisible force they attack with functions the same as my +3 flaming greatsword?

Really, that's the biggest issue I have: I have a wreath made of death-associated flowers that creates a swirling vortex filled with tangible memories of my lost ones...
... who will smack people who let their guard down near me. Huh?

The flavour is wonderful, but the mechanics don't support the theme. I would have loved to see something else done with the swirling flowers and memory ghosts - I feel like a terrible person for not having a good suggestion as to what that could be.

Marathon Voter Season 9

@briangamer

Thank you for the feedback I will admit the homophone never occurred to me. Also the item and DESCRIPTIONS came first and the mechanics came second and i know i only got as far as i did (culled on the fifth cull) on those grounds alone. The pricing really was the hardest part and after i posted it i realized that i had well under costed it. Also, I misread the rules and thought i had a 200 word limit. I'll be much more careful next year. Thank you again. What would your thoughts be on changing it so the figures hamper your enemies or maybe i should write out an attack for them?

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Made it through the culls but not into the Top 100, so something to celebrate and something to work towards. I would love some feedback on my item:

Phantasmal Cup
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 10th
Slot none; Price 18,000gp; Weight 1lb.
Description
This ornate stemmed cup appears to be made of silvery glass, and is covered in depictions of swirling spirits. Possession of the cup grants a +1 bonus to hit and damage with attacks made of ectoplasm or attacks by creatures made of ectoplasm under your control. While spells that use ectoplasm gain +1 to their DCs.

Once a day, the wielder may will the cup to fill with ectoplasm, and drink from it as a full round action. Imbibing temporarily transforms the drinker into being of ectoplasm. While in this form the drinker may move through walls and nonliving objects using phase lurch as the ectoplasmic creature ability (Bestiary 4 82). In addition the drinker’s weapon and natural attacks pass through nonliving matter, ignoring any armor or shield bonuses to AC (including any enhancement bonuses to that armor) her opponents might have. Enemies with ghost touch armor defend as if the drinker were incorporeal. The effects of drinking only lasts for 1 minute, after which the drinker is left covered in silvery ectoplasm which quickly evaporates.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Ectoplasmic Spell,undead anatomy II; 9,000gp

Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Last year, I made the final cull.

This year, I made top 100.

I suppose there's always next year.

Pendant of Overwhelming Flame
Aura strong evocation; CL 13th
Slot neck; Price 21,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
This smoldering red pendant is hot to the touch, and smells faintly of smoke and ash. Crafted from crimson glass and shaped into a perfect sphere, it is affixed to a heavy brass chain and linked to the elemental plane of fire. This pendant allows the wearer to channel tremendous amounts of extra-planar flame to overwhelm the fire resistance of other creatures.

As a free action, the wearer of a pendant of overwhelming flame can bypass up to 10 points of fire resistance with their spells, weapons, and abilities that inflict fire damage, for up to 10 rounds each day. The wearer can instead expend two rounds of use to bypass up to 20 points of fire resistance or inflict half of their fire damage to creatures with immunity to fire. While the pendant is activated, the wearer's weapons, spells, and abilities that deal fire damage do an additional 2d6 points of fire damage. These rounds do not have to be consecutive.

Construction
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, flame blade, flame strike or fireball, plane shift; Cost 10,500 gp

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

Going to slowly make my way through this thread now that I'm back from vacation and mapping. Brain needs rest from 20-ish hours of driving and thinking of monsters over the long weekend.

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

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ChrisLKimball wrote:

Made it through the culls but not into the Top 100, so something to celebrate and something to work towards. I would love some feedback on my item:

Phantasmal Cup

Oh, I'm glad you posted this, as I quite liked the item. I think you were probably hurt a bit because this seemed clearly meant to be an Occult Adventures item (primarily for the spiritualist) that managed to avoid being DQ'd by referring to other rules. I thought that was great and clever design, but I did wonder what others thought. I think I upvoted this almost every time I saw it.

I do think you may have been hurt by a couple style errors (no space between the price and cost and gp; the cost actually missing (though I don't remember that in the item itself, so maybe that's just an error in this version?); no space between Ectoplasmic Spell and undead anatomy II...

Beyond that, I think you led off with the less exciting power, a simple numerical boost. I'd have made that the second paragraph. Beyond that, I could see some people thinking it was just giving you a monster ability, which may have turned off some voters.

Marathon Voter Season 9

this is what i submitted. if anyone has any feedback on what made them downvote it, i'd greatly appreciate your feedback. (positive feedback is cool, too; i just crave the negative. was out with the fourth cull.)

Rotblade of the Undying
Aura moderate necromancy [evil]; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 73,502 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
This strengthened viridium +3 dagger is unnaturally sharp, cold to the touch, and a glassy deep green so dark it is almost black. They are always found near an inactive zombie or plague zombie that appears to be nothing more than an inanimate corpse. Whoever holds the dagger in their bare hands gains control over that undead as if she had cast animate dead on it, a fact that the wielder senses upon gripping the bare viridium hilt.

The dagger functions as any strengthened viridium weapon, including the chance to cause leprosy or greenblood oil poisoning. Whenever a creature dies from either effect or from a final blow dealt by the dagger, it will rise as a zombie within 2d4 hours of death as if affected by animate dead. Any zombies created by the blade are under the control of the blade’s wielder as if she had cast animate dead. 1 in 10 zombies created will be plague zombies. If the wielder can already cast animate dead, the dagger allows her to control up to 18 HD of undead beyond the HD allowed through ordinary use of animate dead. Otherwise the dagger allows the wielder to control up to 18 HD of undead.

If the wielder dies and the blade remains within 30 feet, the wielder will rise in 48 hours as a mindless zombie and wait, dormant, for the dagger’s next owner to discover the blade and her first zombie.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, animate dead, contagion, desecrate, creator cannot control more than double her HD of undead during creation, creator must be able to animate at least 18 HD of undead; Cost 37,502 gp

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

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Still trying to work my way through these... I'm probably missing some, but trying to hit the ones I feel like evoked a strong response and get to some of the later-posted items that haven't gotten any critiques yet. If I skip you and you really want my thoughts, shoot me a PM.

Dieben wrote:

Needlenose Arbalest

So once per week for the main power makes me sad. Remember, what you're adding to the base item is the Superstar part. If I can only use it once per week that's not going to get me excited. Beyond that, there's then yet another condition (they have to be adjacent) before I can use the item's ultimate power.

Moving beyond that, it felt a little odd to me that I was grappling from 50 feet away; then I have to spent five rounds basically doing 1 point of bleed damage as my attack plus dragging my foe closer (which, if I'm using a bow, I probably don't want) before I can use that ultimate power. Chances are the fight could well be over before I ever get a chance to make full use of the item ... and then I have to wait another week. It also feels a bit monster-in-a-can, considering it summons a monster.

I thought there was some imagination in it, and I up-voted it sometimes, but it just kind of irritated me and unfortunately, I was happy when I had a reason to vote for the other item. Sorry, Dieben!

Russ Brown wrote:

Okay, I am going to put my item up for consideration/critique.

First let me state the obvious thing about this item: "What the hell were you thinking, Russ? A piece of rope isn't a weapon, how can it be a magic weapon?

I was hoping that people would like the unconventional approach, but it was definitely a design risk. One that concerned me enough that I almost did not submit this item because of it. Anyway, I am curious to know what people think. Be merciless, I can take it. :)

Vudrani Fighting Rope

Unfortunately, I was one of those people who was in the "this isn't a magic weapon" category. I felt like you were creating a weapon as much as a magic item. I think this would have been better as a wondrous item that could be used as an improvised weapon (or simply had some of the abilities you gave it as a weapon).

JJ Jordan wrote:

Twin Star Breastplate

I think gravity items are a bit like time items in that they're traps. They feel like they should be cool but they generally rely so much on the gravity rules that there's not a lot of design innovation that can be shown with them, IMO.

I thought the kicker paragraph also hurt you -- why does only one ally get to act? I realize you didn't want to make it overpowered, but that just seems like it'd be annoying. If I've invested in a teamwork feat, I want to be able to use it.

BlackOuroboros wrote:


Zeitgeist Coin

I upvoted this a fair amount, I think, though more because I was trying to look at the designer behind the item than the item itself. I thought it showed some cleverness on your part in that it used lesser-used rules and tried something new.

That said, one of the things I realized in the first year of public voting is that being cinematic is crucial. This is almost a meta item, in that my character doesn't really know that settlements have modifiers. Sure, he knows some are more dangerous than others or lawful or scholarly or whatever, but I'm not sure it makes sense that someone would make an item that says, boy, I want a coin that makes this little town a bit more scholarly like the big city I was in last week -- it doesn't really make sense. I think that really hurt you.

Love the name, by the way -- zeitgeist is a great word (even if not used that often in fantasy-style gaming).

Matthew Morris wrote:

Critique away, friends:

Pendant of Hidden Malice

Unfortunately, this felt like an eff-you item to me (pardon my French): I'm going to be invisible and if you use some means you've invested in to defeat my spell, I'm going to make you pay for it. I think it'd annoy players if a GM used it against them and vice-versa. Sorry, it just annoyed me (that said, I liked the visuals you brought to it -- no pun intended -- with the opening and closing eye).

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter Season 9

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Wow I missed the start of this because of Dragoncon but I would like to know what you guys thought of my item.

Gloves of Refraction
Aura faint illusion; CL 5th
Slot hand; Price 4,000 gp; Weight 1 lbs.
Description

These silver gloves have three small prisms inset on the back of each hand. When activated the wearer’s hands and held items split into four differently colored images.

Three times per day the wearer may activate the gloves as a swift action creating three images of their hands, and the items currently held in them, that last for one minute. This effect only extends to items meant to be wielded such as wands, rods, shields, and weapons or items small enough to be held in one hand. This grants a 75% miss chance for any combat maneuver or spell targeting the gloves or held item.

In addition, the chaotic nature of the illusory forms grants two additional benefits against creatures who can see the effect, a +4 circumstance bonus on bluff checks made to feint and the difficulty to identify spells cast by the wearer that require somatic components increases by 4.

A creature using senses not based on sight or under the effects of true seeing is immune to these effects.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, mirror image; Cost 2,000 gp

Marathon Voter Season 9

Mine was on page two and i think it got lost it all the posts. This was my first year, made top 100, but would really like some feedback. Thank you.

Armor of the Crow
Aura moderate transmutation and conjuration; CL 9th
Slot armor; Price 46,300 gp; Weight 15 lbs.
Description
This black +2 studded leather armor is entirely embossed with small crow feathers. When the armor is first created there are ten additional, larger crow feathers embossed on the chest, five just above each breast. When the wearer takes damage reducing her hit points to zero or below, but not dead, the armor instantaneously heals the wearer to 1d4 hit points above zero and transforms the wearer (including all of her equipment) into a murder of ten crows for three rounds. During these three rounds the wearer is not in control of the crows and is effectively unconscious. The crows use the three rounds to fly as fast and as far as possible (base fly speed of 40 ft.) to the safest location they can find (based on crow senses – GM’s discretion). At the end of three rounds they land on the ground and the wearer is transformed back to her original form. Each time the armor functions in this manner one of the ten larger crow feathers disappears from the armor. Once all of the larger feathers are gone the armor becomes normal +2 studded leather armor. If the wearer loses enough hit points from one source to become dead, the armor alone transforms into a murder of crows then dissipates into a black vapor, destroyed forever, leaving the body behind.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, cure serious wounds, beast shape II or Polymorph; Cost 23,325 gp

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

I made the Mistake of not saving my Entry...

Just so people know, I entered the Dwarven Apprentice's Apron..

Which was made for one of My Characters.. Klien Grobsmidt a Dwarven Blacksmith...(played to 8th Level...Using Core Fighter, now a 15th Level NPC)..

Does anyone recall ever seeing it?
If you do, can you recall your general impression of it?

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 recall seeing it several times. I remember thinking it was really incredibly expensive to be given to every dwarven apprentice. IIRC, it had a little too much backstory and the effects were mostly skill related and not exciting/innovative, I'm afraid. (I may be off on that last part).

Dedicated Voter Season 9

I agree with Jacob, I remember seeing the item and going "damn trust fund dwarf apprentices". It was way too expensive for the theme it was trying to go for.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

I figured it was to Specific..to Campaign Specific...
Maybe in Yalls Worlds there are Many Dwarven Apprentices..but in my world there are only 8..and Only 3 Masters...2 Clan Master Smiths and Klien Grobsmidt of Anvil House. Klien has had an Apprenctice for only 30 years..It took 10 years trying to convince Klien the poor Apprentice was worthy of Taking on...

Well it was Designed to Enhance Skills.
Klien is Now the Most sought after Dwarven Master Smith in our World...Weapon Designer...If you want a Weapon Made You Want Klien to make it... :)

But then Unlike Yall, That is what I look for in an Item...Not just Combat Stating...something to say "I am Unique" not a off the Counter run of the Mill, Everyone has to own the Fad item of the Day.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Dwarven Apprentice's Apron 

Aura Strong, abjuration; CL 15th 

Slot Armor slot; Price 88900gp; Weight 25 lbs. 

Description

A Dwarven Apprentice's Apron set consists of a leather apron and a set of gloves. The leather is soft with faint outline of scales. The Apron is a typical full length apron and the gloves cover up to the elbows. When within 5 feet of a heat source the leather will glow a soft red hue lasting for 30 minutes after exposure to heat.

An Apprentice Smith is Awarded his apron upon his or her acceptance as an Apprentice to a Dwarven Master Smith. An Apprentice's Apron provides a +10 Resistance to Fire. All Dwarven Smith Aprons functions as a +5 suit of Dwarven Plate Armor during Combat.

There are 3 Known Varieties of Dwarven Smith's Aprons: Apprentice(+10 Fire Resistance), Expert(+20 Fire Resistance) and Master(+30 Fire Resistance). The Hide for the Set comes from a creature such as a Red Dragon or a Fire Drake. The most common hide used is Fire Drake although hides from creatures to be known to live in lava flows and from the Plane of Fire have been known to exist. 


Construction. 

Requirements Craft Magic Arms/Armor, Potion of Resist Energy;Fire, Spell Resist Energy;Fire or Scroll Resist Energy;Fire, Hide value 1000 Cost 44450gp

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

There are a number of problems with this armor. One is that other than glowing after exposure to heat, we don't really know what it looks like. It's an apron and gloves. The gloves are elbow length, but the apron is "a typical full-length apron". That's not much description.

Second, as others have mentioned, the backstory clashes terribly with the price:
Every time you sign up a pair of apprentices, you've got to give them 180,000 gp?

Really?

The powers of the apron also conflict with the backstory. Why are you giving +5 plate to people who are hanging around the forge all day? Can't they put on their armor once an alarm is sounded? Surely even if a few dwarves blacksmiths operate entirely outside the protection of a settlement, the best dwarven blacksmiths (of the type that could hand out +5 plate to their apprentices) must frequently operate in such settlements, correct?

Why would the dwarves spend the money to enchant these aprons as armor when they could spend the same amount of money making 5 sets of +4 plate for their scouts? Wouldn't giving 5 apprentice men-at-arms +4 plate be a better use of the resources of the dwarves community?

Also, plate armor hurts your skill checks. Why would you want an armor check penalty on an armorer that might at any moment need to make a dex check, acrobatics check, or similar to avoid a face-plant into the forge?

Some other things:

25 lbs isn't the weight of plate armor. You've completely changed the weight - are you intending to change the check penalties and the max dex of this?

I can't find any powers other than +5 enhancement bonus to the armor and Energy Resistance: Fire.

The +5 armor price is 25,000 gp + the masterwork armor, the energy resistance price is +18,000. That's giving me 43,000 gp + a bit.

It looks to me like you've doubled the price of your armor.

There shouldn't be any details about other magic items that aren't your magic item. The Expert and Master aprons should have been left out entirely.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

Dwarven Apprentice's Apron 


I just remembered all of the needlessly capitalized words...

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka GM_Solspiral

JPSTOD wrote:

I made the Mistake of not saving my Entry...

Just so people know, I entered the Dwarven Apprentice's Apron..

Which was made for one of My Characters.. Klien Grobsmidt a Dwarven Blacksmith...(played to 8th Level...Using Core Fighter, now a 15th Level NPC)..

Does anyone recall ever seeing it?
If you do, can you recall your general impression of it?

PMed it to you...

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

Silly Question...
If an Item costs you X Amount to make doesn't the rule books say it's Value is 2X Cost to Make?
So yes Based on my Calculations
Masterwork + (+5) Enchantment + +10 Engergy Resistance + 1000 Value of Hide + Scroll/Spell = 44450. Was I not Suppose to Calculate in the Cost of the Scroll/Spell or was that a freebie?

Why is it Only Fighter get Rewards?
Why Wouldn't a Master Dwarven Smith not reward his or Her Star Apprentice with something that Benefits them...Sit around a Hot Sweaty Forge all Day...Wear an Apron that Takes heat.

Why Does all Armour have to be bright and Shiny...When Klien Travels he wears his "Master" Set..Love it when he gets "Fireballed" and he Engages the MU all fired up taking on a Red Glow in Combat :) Many People have mistaken him for a Typical Blacksmith..An Easy Target to be robbed...I guess he should say "Wait a minute while I change into Dwarven Plate Armor before you attack me."

Why is it that Dwarves have to Multiple Apprentices? I Guess Yall have Dime a Dozen Apprentices in your Worlds. Klien Did not Accept his Apprentice, who final proved she was Worthy to be taken on as an Apprentice after 10 years of trying. The Elf was Patient to say the least.

Yes It does not weigh the Same as Plate...It was ment to be Lighter. Other than That My GM/DM and I agreed that the Stats remained the Same as Dwarven Plate. Is there a Rule that say all Armor that Functions as a Certain type must be Identicle in Weight?

Marathon Voter Season 9

Dwarven Apprentice's Apron

Well, there are a lot of bad things about this, but I'll be constructive and ignore those in my feedback. You're already aware of its biggest failing, so that's a good start.

The most alluring thing you've got in there is the way it glows once it's been near a heat source. That's cool for the theme. And having just the apron functioning as plate armour is awesome as well.
That said, I think you'd probably do better making it into a wondrous body slot item than actual armour. Apron as armour says armour bonus to me and not actual armour.

Maybe something like this:

Dwarven Apprentice's Apron
Aura moderate abjuration, conjuration and transmutation; CL 7th
Slot body; Price 58,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.

Description
This full body drakehide apron shows signs of heavy forge work, and has several distinctive marks of master dwarven craftsmanship in its design. It has two large pockets near the waistline that bulge as if stuffed full. When exposed to high temperature heat sources, the apron glows red for 30 minutes.

The dwarven apprentice's apron grants a +5 armour bonus to armour class and fire resistance 10. The pockets contain a tiny extradimensional space that holds a masterwork smith's kit. The wearer also gains a +10 enhancement bonus on craft checks involving metal.

Construction
Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, crafter's fortune, resist energy, mage armour; Cost 29,000 gp

I wouldn't call it an exciting item, but I threw it together in a minute or two based on what you'd done, plus added two extra and thematic things. If you were going to do something in the same vein, I'd maybe do a pair of gloves that let you bend metal with your hands, heat and cool it at will and decrease crafting times substantially.

While background is nice, when you're trying to sell your item like you are in this competition, it's not especially helpful.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

Wolfin, Got a Question for you? In Regards to a PC's Armor Class while Wearing your Version in Combat...
How Would you Determine Actual Armor Class ?

Would they have to be wearing a Type of Armor to get Armour Class from the Armor?

Would you consider the PC not wearing any Armour and Only Allow..
Dex and Armour Bonus?

My Version was designed to worn as Armour in Character all the Time.

Marathon Voter Season 9

It's an armour bonus, same as normal armour. It's like bracers of armour: it doesn't stack with actual armour, but is basically just regular armour in all other respects. No Armour check penalty, no max dex bonus, no arcane spell failure chance &c.

This can be worn by any character all the time with no penalty (other than maybe looking out of place a parties), and it provides the same level of protection as scale mail (unless they're wearing something better).

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

4 people marked this as a favorite.

@ JPSTOD,

While I appreciate your willingness to defend your design choices, there is something that should be pointed out. RPGSS is a contest where we are asked to create an item for Paizo's campaign world of Golarion, as they present it.

Home brewed worlds and changes are great, at your home table. For the purpose of this contest however they do not matter. Neither the voters nor the judges have likely played in your home games, and thus will not understand any item design choices that you made to reflect your personal world/Golarion version.

It is entirely fine that in your world there only a very few dwarven apprentice smiths, and it is also fine to have a super awesome master smith who gifts his few apprentices with a shiny. However that is not how the dwarves of Golarion work in the Paizo official cannon version, and that is the version of the world we are expected to write for in this contest.

As it stands, I currently am a freelance designer and co-own a 3pp (Flying Pincushion Games), so I am familiar with the industry from several angles. When I write something for a publisher, it is expected that I am going to write what they asked for in the style it was requested. I may not like all the design choices, it may not be my style, hell, I may not even like personally what I am writing about, but as a freelancer it is my job to create what was requested, not what I like.

So what does this all boil down to in relation to your RPGSS item. Simple, you wrote an item that fits into your vision nicely, but not into Golarion as Paizo's vision sees it, and ultimately, they print the checks so it is their vision you should be working within when entering RPGSS. Successful freelancers are chameleons capable of changing to meet the needs of the writing assignment.

So, best advice I can give, learn from the missteps of this year, and return next year stronger and better prepared. Welcome to the world of freelance design, as cruel and spiteful a mistress as she can sometimes be.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Rusty Ironpants

JPSTOD wrote:

Silly Question...

If an Item costs you X Amount to make doesn't the rule books say it's Value is 2X Cost to Make?
So yes Based on my Calculations
Masterwork + (+5) Enchantment + +10 Engergy Resistance + 1000 Value of Hide + Scroll/Spell = 44450. Was I not Suppose to Calculate in the Cost of the Scroll/Spell or was that a freebie?

Requirements: potions or scrolls are not listed in the requirements section, just the spell. During creation the crafter can cast the spell from a scroll, but just the spell is listed. You don't include the scroll in the price of the item.

Pricing: Your item should include the price of the master work armor (1,650gp for full plate) plus the enhancement bonus (+25,000gp for +5) and the cost of any special abilities (+18,000 for energy resistence). This is the price of your item: 1,650 + 25,000 + 18,00 = 44,650gp

Cost: The cost for wondrous items should be half the price. The cost for weapons and armor should be the price of master worked item plus half of the price of the enhancement bonus and special abilities. So the cost for your item would be: 1,650 + (25,000 + 18,000)/2 = 23,150.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Rusty Ironpants

Nazard, Kigvan, and Jacob.

Thank you for the feedback on my Vudrani Fighting Rope.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Russ, you are quite welcome. Just wanted to let people know I am still working on the others, I've just been busy recently, should have page 2 critiques up this weekend.

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