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Dedicated Voter Season 9

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Rather than cluttering the Critique My Item thread with a long list of responses which are easy to miss, I thought I'd instead post my critiques in a more centralized fashion.

I apologize if I offend anyone; I have a cynical voice, it shows in my reviews. There is also probably a more constructive way of reviewing items than by applying my voting rubric; my hope is that by seeing their items from a voter's point of view designers will be better able to decide what areas to address.

My main interest when looking at items (in general) is to see what new avenues they open to characters. "Mojo" as some call it will be the basis of these reviews.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Atavar wrote:

Soulrazor

Aura strong necromancy and conjuration; CL 18th
Slot none; Price 113,615 gp; Weight 4 lbs.
Description

This +1 keen impervious adamantine scimitar contains a black sapphire in its hilt with motes of swirling light. The first soulrazors were wielded by powerful killers who wanted a permanent way to slay their enemies while escaping that fate themselves.

When the wielder confirms a critical hit (15-20/x2) she may choose (three times per day) to force the target to make a DC 23 Will save or have his soul imprisoned within the sapphire. There is no limit to the number of souls it can imprison. Such souls cannot be returned from the dead until freed. Creatures immune to critical hits or lacking a soul are immune to this effect.

Destroying a soulrazor (hardness 24; 26 hp) immediately frees all of its imprisoned souls. Alternatively, the wielder can free a soul as a move action by speaking the soul's name. If the wielder has the ability to cast soul bind then she may cast it as she frees a soul and transfer that soul into another sapphire (no save).

Once per day the wielder may use the soulrazor on herself as a full round action. Doing so briefly obscures the wielder in a cloud of smoke. After the smoke clears others see what appears to be the wielder's corpse. In reality this corpse is a lifeless double of the wielder. This double disappears after one hour. The wielder is subject to a heal spell that heals 110 hp of damage and is temporarily trapped, along with her gear, inside the soulrazor. After one hour the wielder reappears at the soulrazor's current location.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, dimension door, fabricate, heal, keen edge, make whole, simulacrum, soul bind; Cost 56,807.5 gp

Formatting:

I personally don’t care much about formatting, but a couple things stick out for me. A keen scimitar has a 15-20/x2 crit range, and this is a common game element that people are familiar with so unless your item does something outside the normal (it doesn’t) there’s no need to restate it. Similarly restating the hardness and hp are not necessary, although this element is a touch less common.

Does this add something to the game?

You have a keen weapon, an on hit trap the soul effect (slightly tweaked), a buffed level 9 spell which frankly didn’t need the buff, and a panic button. The panic button is something Paizo has recently expanded into with some reactionary spells, although yours adds nice visuals. Overall the weapon does nothing outside of what is already in the game.

Would I want it in one of my games?
As a player?

As a player I rarely get to play at levels where I would get one. If I were at such a level I would be playing a martial, for whom this item is largely useless.

As a GM?

The visuals are ok, I could add it to some wizard type, although it seems like it was custom written for a Blade Adept Arcanist. Which really hurts the item’s appeal in my opinion; it’s too niche, and too strong at what it does to be applicable to anything I would run. In all this is probably a very cool item in your campaign, but will not be appearing in mine.

Point I would stop up-voting the item (based on this year’s experiences): After the first cull.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Lion’s Roar
Aura moderate evocation; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 43,350 gp; Weight 8 lbs.
Description

Softly warm to the touch and constantly seeming to reflect soft fire light this +1 courageous holy elysian bronze greatsword exudes a solidity that inspires all of pure heart.

In battle a good aligned wielder of a lion’s roar is surrounded by golden fragments of luminescence that coalesce into the enraged form of a great lion, which begins to snarl and roar in an oddly melodious cadence.

The leonine force and majesty of the engulfing aura grants the wielder and his allies the heart of the lion. The lion's great heart allows them each once per day when they would be subject to a fear effect to prevent the effect and instead gain the benefits of a greater heroism spell that lasts as long as the original duration of the fear effect. This ability may be used only while the aura is active.

Three times per day the wielder may draw from the nobility and righteousness the aura bequeaths as a swift action, transforming his weapon damage for one round into energy drawn from divine power. This divine power is not subject to being reduced by resistances or immunities to normal forms of energy. On use the great lion roars loudly and savages the wielder’s opponent. When all three daily uses have been expended the golden aura shatters and will not manifest again for 24 hours.

For any non-good wielder a lion's roar is simply a +1 courageous holy elysian bronze greatsword.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, flame strike, greater heroism, heroism, holy smite, remove fear, creator must be good; Cost 22,350 gp

Formatting:

The links are nice, although a touch omnipresent. No range for the aura a significant detraction.

Does this add something to the game?

Nice pre-set visuals. There’s already a couple spells which consume fear effects to buff the target granting them as an example, rage. Greater heroism seems a bit strong for such a conversion imo. Free three per day smite. Unoriginal and worse, it detracts from the actual Paladin class.

Would I want this in one of my games?
As a player?

Mechanically nice; I could set this into any number of builds. There’s nothing that grabs me, and says “I must have this,” or better yet “I want to theme my character around this awesome idea.”

As a GM?

I’m not terribly fond of Paladins -- even if I were I'd just send the party up against one, and this item is “Paladin in a Can.” I’m sure some people will want this, I do not.

Point I would stop up-voting the item (based on this year’s experiences): After either the first or second culls.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Glove of the Severed Servant

Aura faint necromancy and transmutation; CL 5th
Slot hands; Price 11,500 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Description

Festooned with jagged barbs, this well-worn glove magically adjusts to fit either hand and functions as a +1 spiked gauntlet. Upon command, the gauntlet removes the wearer's gloved hand with an audible snap, leaving only a smooth stump behind.

The disembodied hand scurries about freely, using the statistics of a crawling hand (Bestiary 2 59). The wearer directs the hand telepathically, instructing it to perform typical actions including; attacking, making a skill check or retrieving an item. The hand continues this action until given another command.

A touch spell can be delivered by the severed hand if the spell is cast before the hand detaches. If the wearer casts another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates and is lost.

The severed hand may reattach at any time by simply returning to the wearer's space. Should the disembodied hand be killed or travel further than 1 mile from the wearer, it immediately reappears on the wearer's wrist unharmed. However, the gauntlet loses all magical abilities for 24 hours, becoming a normal spiked gauntlet during this period. Should the wearer be killed, the detached hand becomes an actual crawling hand, reattaching to the wearer only after it is reduced to 0 hit points.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, spectral hand, undead anatomy I; Cost 5,750 gp

Formatting:

Everything looks to be in order.

Does this add something to the game?

Definitely! Makes your own hand into a sort of familiar; creepy but useful—you could almost make this into a magus archetype. A nice little shiver runs down my spine every time I read through the description!

Would I want this in one of my games?
As a player?

I could see a GM making my life really miserable with this item, and thus instinctively hated it.

As a GM?

I thought of all the ways a player would try to abuse it to get around obstacles and instinctively hated it.

Point I would stop up-voting the item (based on this year’s experiences): Around the third cull (which is when I began seeing the Ruby Butterfly).

Dedicated Voter Season 9

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Quote:

Green Flash

Aura moderate divination, evocation, and transmutation; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 32,000 gp; Weight 3 lbs.
Description
Hewn of green poplar threaded with gold, this +2 seeking longbow evokes the rare green beacon which appears in the last moments before sunset, allowing the bearer to harness this mystical viridescence to strike her foes on the distant horizon. When the bow is drawn, the threads of gold in the wood glow brightly before fading, echoing the sun’s last rays. If the bow is drawn in a dim area, the bearer is granted low light vision; bearers who already possess this ability have their low light vision range doubled.

Once per day, as a standard action, the bow can be used to make a single ranged attack against one opponent outside of the bow’s first range increment at a +20 insight bonus, ignoring all but total cover. If hit, the target becomes wreathed in green faerie fire and is considered to be within the bow’s first range increment as long as the bearer is able to see them. The faerie fire lasts for one hour or until dispelled and the bearer ignores all but total cover when firing on the target.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, faerie fire, longshot, true seeing, true strike; Cost 16,000 gp

Formatting:

Looks good. Green flashes are usually seen out at sea, so I was expecting a nautical themed item from the name. The theme is simultaneously very strong (a seeking, true strike bow which is tied into dawn/revealing things), and very weak (a seeking bow which is tied into dusk/obscuring things)¬—you could have played to this dichotomy.

Given the name I would have liked to see more done with flashes or light, rather than vision and long term debuffs.

Does this add something to the game?

No. It’s a seeking bow, with a once per day spell true strike which limns the target (as a limning weapon) upon a successful hit.

Would I want this in one of my games?
As a player?

Definitely; concealment is my mortal foe—I cannot roll above a 10 on percentage dice, a fact GMs seem to instinctively know when designing encounters. All the love; except that I’d likely be getting it as a secondary weapon and it’s prohibitively expensive.

As a GM?
I… Have access to other things which accomplish the same goal, but still like the idea.

Point at which I would stop up-voting the item: After the First or Second Cull

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Soul Shackle Bolt
Aura Moderate abjuration and conjuration; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 4,506 gp; Weight 1/10 lb.
Description
This +1 ghost touch bolt pierces the soul of any creature it strikes, leaving behind an astral spike that impales the victim’s soul. Failing a DC 17 Will save causes the spike to last one minute, otherwise it dissipates after one round. The spike persists even if the bolt is removed. While the astral spike is embedded in a soul, the soul cannot leave the body, or plane of existence (including moving through a portal or gate or entering an extra-dimensional space). Attempts to teleport, planar travel, or possess another creature causes a wrenching pain as the spike anchors the soul in place. This causes 1d6 damage and prevents the action. The soul shackle bolt does not hinder physical movement in any way, unless that movement crosses a planar boundary. If the soul shackle bolt hits an incorporeal creature, it also prevents them from passing through solid objects, causing damage as above with each attempt. A soul shackle bolt has no additional effect on creatures without souls, such as constructs.
In addition, a creature pierced by a soul shackle bolt cannot die. Instead of dying, it’s soul is bound in place by the astral spike, and cannot move on. Healing the creature above its negative Constitution score prior to the astral spike dissipating keeps prevents its death. Time a soul is spent anchored without dying delays effects that happen after death, such as death throes, becoming an undead spawn, etc.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, dimensional anchor, ghostbane dirge, plane shift Cost 2,256 gp

Formatting:

Wall of text; use carriage returns to break text into discreet chunks – it aids reading comprehension. 1d6 points of x damage? Sounds like a better force anchor effect. I’d have some provision stipulating the corpse of the bound soul has to be around for it to return to life.

Does this add something to the game?

Ish; effectively it’s trap the soul without the portability of a gem. Mechanically it’s force + dimensional anchors. Overall this just reduces action economy.

Would I want this in one of my games?
As a player?

No.

As a GM?

Eh. If I do soul stuff it tends to involve lichs/artifacts with a lot of campaign plot. At 4.5 k gp on a consumable I just don't get it. I could see using something like this as a prop for a mid level boss maybe.

Point at which I would stop up-voting the item (based on this year’s experiences): After first cull

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Sarkorian Sunderjaw
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 48,305 gp; Weight 8 lbs.
Description
Crafted from the mandible of a large demon, this +2 greatclub is carved with intricate scrimshaw depicting monsters of many kinds. At creation, its tooth sockets are devoid of teeth, the bone is strengthened to not be fragile or have a damage penalty, and its critical threat range is 19-20.

On a confirmed critical hit against a conscious creature that has a bite attack, the sarkorian sunderjaw unerringly strikes the mouth of the target. The creature takes critical damage as normal and must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 16) or have its teeth (or the like) smashed out or sheared off, rendering its bite attack useless. A creature losing its only natural attack this way gains a primary slam attack based on its size (see the Universal Monster Rules in the Bestiary). If the tooth sockets are empty, the wielder may have the broken teeth magically and immediately fill the club's sockets, dealing both bludgeoning and piercing damage thereafter.

Additionally on three attacks per day, if the bite attack of a monster whose teeth are held in the sarkorian sunderjaw caused bleed, disease, paralysis, poison, or another effect (with GM approval), the club has that same ability, though any saving throw DCs become 16. The wielder chooses to use this ability as a free action before he rolls the attack, and on a natural 1, the teeth are shattered and the sockets become empty once again. The teeth can also be removed manually with an hour's work.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Improved Critical, Power Attack, strong jaw (APG); Cost 24,305 gp

Formatting:

Links helpful; not sure if you needed to add the APG tag. I didn’t care for the bone-but-not-fragile (actually magical weapons don’t have the fragile property anyways), or the 19-20 crit range without a provision that it does not stack with feats and effects like improved critical.

Thematically this weapon should have been a terbutje or great terbutje; I assumed at first that those items must not be in the PRD, but looked them up to make sure and they are.

Does this add something to the game?

Yes, and I rather like the idea of stealing something’s teeth. This is very well written, and I like your provision for things which lose their only attack form. The fort save (strong for most things with teeth), and limited (only on critical) portions of the effect coupled with the item’s high (40 k+) price all worked against this.

Would I want this in one of my games?
As a Player?

It’s a nifty item-I’d like something similar, but not at that price.

As a GM?

I would have liked to see the poison, bleed, etc effects to be more limited in scope. I like the item; with a few tweaks I could see incorporating it into my games. As written I’m not sold.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this item (based on this year’s experiences): After the Third Cull

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Gorgon Sinew Lariat
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 23,300 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
Twisted strands of gorgon sinew compose this +1 distance lasso, infusing it with a gorgon's power.

Once per day as a move action, the wielder can activate this power by swinging the lasso above her head. If the wielder successfully entangles a creature in the same round, the lasso begins to expel green petrification gas.

At the start of the entangled target’s turn, it takes 1d4 points of Dexterity damage each round for a maximum of seven rounds. A creature reduced to 0 Dexterity by the lasso is petrified permanently. Break enchantment, restoration, or stone to flesh can reverse this effect.

Creatures that don’t need to breathe or are protected from inhaling gasses are immune to this effect. Once a creature escapes, breaks out, or cuts through the lasso they take no further Dexterity damage.

This gas can also be dissipated by winds. A moderate wind (11+ mph), such as from a gust of wind spell, disperses the gas in 4 rounds. A strong wind (21+ mph) disperses the gas in 1 round. When the gas is dispersed, the target takes no further Dexterity damage.

The gorgon sinew lariat wraps itself tightly around anything it entangles. If an entangled creature attempts to cast a spell, it must succeed at a concentration check with a DC of 15 + the spell's level or be unable to cast the spell. An entangled creature can escape with a successful DC 20 Escape Artist check.

Gorgon sinew lariats have hardness 2, 12 hp and can be burst with a DC 24 Strength check.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, animate rope, calcific touch, clairaudience/clairvoyance; Cost 11,800 gp

Formatting:

Weird phrasing; for example you could have phrased your second paragraph as “The wielder can activate the lasso once per day as a move action by swinging it above her head; causing the lasso to expel green petrification gas.” I would have included the information about the gas in this same paragraph so it’s all concisely organized.

Similar issues throughout.

Does this add something to the game?

The entangled condition is already a strong control ability, I’m unsure more control needs to be added to it. Also there’s a thematic disconnect with a lasso being a gas delivery mechanism. I like the item’s secondary effect, strangling spell casters, far better.

Would I want this in one of my games?
As a player?

If this were re-written to aid me in grappling/pinning/strangling people from afar (working off your last paragraph), in a heartbeat. This would also let you drop the price. As it is I’m not terribly happy with it. A gas that I could accidentally kill myself with, which many things will be immune to/can hold their breath through, a high price, and easy break DC.

As a GM?

I could tweak this by removing all the middle paragraphs of your item, and reducing the price. I think it would be a fun addition to the game with those tweaks.

Point at which I would stop up-voting the item (based on this year’s experiences): First Cull

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Phase Strike Lenses
Aura strong transmutation and moderate divination; CL 15th
Slot eyes; Price 36,000 gp; Weight —
Description
This pair of thin crystal lenses shimmers with swirls of an ethereal mist. When applied to the eyes, the wearer sees his surroundings overlaid with a thin gray fog, like the wakes of a thousand wandering spirits. He gains the ability to see incorporeal and ethereal creatures and objects, though not invisible ones. Both lenses must be worn for the magic item to take effect.

At will, the wearer can, as a standard action, stare at one creature of large size or smaller, or one unattended object (weighing no more than 250 lbs.), and cause it (and its gear) to become ethereal for one round. The wearer must be within 100 feet of his target, and have line of sight. Creatures and magical objects can make a Fortitude (object) save DC 22 to resist—non-magical objects receive no saving throw. The wearer cannot target himself with the lenses.

In subsequent rounds, the wearer can, as a standard action, maintain concentration to keep his target ethereal. Creatures made ethereal are not held, and can move and act freely; objects can be mentally moved by the wearer at a speed of 60 feet per round. If the wearer loses line of sight, or moves more than 100 feet away from his target, it rematerializes (if it reappears either wholly or partially inside a solid object, it is shunted off to the nearest open space, taking 1d6 points of damage per 5 feet traveled). The same thing happens to a corporeal creature or object if it is within the area of a larger object’s re-materialization.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, ethereal jaunt, polymorph any object, true seeing; Cost 18,000 gp

Formatting:

Good. Not all the lens effects involve striking however. Phasing Lenses, or Lens of the Veil might have been stronger names.

The structure of your item is typical for Paizo products: Descriptive paragraph, Crunch paragraph, Expansion paragraph. Something I’ve noticed Superstar entries do is break this paradigm. They integrate the description and visuals seemlessly into the mechanical effects.

There’s a little redundancy in your description; for example activating an action is a standard action by default – no need to specify it.

Maintaining concentration on a spell is similarly a standard action by default; that said one does not normally concentrate to maintain item effects and the clarification is helpful.

I would have liked more utility from the passive portion of the ability; using see invisibility instead of true seeing as a construction pre-requisite and making the lenses reveal invisible incorporeal creatures and objects would have been good.

Does this add something to the game?

Well, being able to ethereal jaunt allies and objects is definitely helpful and something the spell explicitly does not do. The passive ability to see incorporeal creatures is less unique.

Would I want this in one of my games?
As a Player?

Sometimes I feel the need for items like this. I’d buy it occasionally.

As a GM?

It is a very kitschy mechanism by which to provide the party with 50% DR against annoying enemies; this could similarly be abused by an NPC, making them disproportionately strong for their challenge rating. I’m leery anytime an item or effect makes a “target: personal” spell more broadly applicable. Similarly the item makes scouting a dungeon trivial, and I don’t like that. Last, putting this on the party hireling/cohort makes them disproportionately strong without lowering the purchasing party member’s combat viability much (probably increasing it in fact).

Point at which I would stop up-voting this item (based on this year’s experiences): After the second cull.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Locket of Love's Lure
Aura faint enchantment; CL 3rd
Slot neck; Price 7,500 gp; Weight —
Description
This silver locket was originally designed by followers of Naderi to help star-crossed lovers persevere through the obstacles and doubts that would assail them in their pursuit of true love. It is most commonly suspended from a black leather cord or a lace-trimmed black choker. When the locket is donned, it opens to reveal a stylized ivory cameo depicting whomever the wearer has the strongest romantic feelings for, and cannot be closed again for as long as it is worn. The subject of the picture changes with the feelings of the wearer, but can only change once per 24 hours.

The wearer of a locket of love's lure gains a +2 competence bonus on all Charisma-based skills, and a +5 competence bonus on Charisma-based skill checks made against the subject of the locket's picture. Furthermore, any skill check made by the wearer against the subject of the picture ignores all circumstance penalties due to societal disapproval.

If Naderi is the wearer's patron, the wearer may cast bleed at will and charm person three times per day. Because of the locket's ties to the Lost Maiden, the wearer cannot hold her breath underwater and will automatically fail all Constitution checks against drowning. This does not prevent normal swim checks or holding her breath in other circumstances.
Construction
Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, bleed, charm person, creator must worship Naderi; Cost 3,750 gp

Formatting:

Everything seems in order mechanically.

Big issues: The goddess of suicide is not looking for people to persevere through obstacles and doubts. She wants them to die in her name instead. Shelyn would have been a better patron for the locket. “Depicting whomever the wearer has the strongest romantic feelings for;” again, we’re talking about the goddess of destiny. Her realm involves star-crossed lovers (her theme in a nutshell: Romeo + Juliet). The cameo should not change so long as the same person wears it. You could have played with this theme more, but would likely have ended up with a cursed item instead of a submission.

Nice use of imagery; superstar items often incorporate said imagery right into the mechanics, and I recommend working on this (There’s a certain top 32 choker which direcly competed with your item and won largely on that flavor).

Does this add something to the game?

No. It is a generic bonus against normal people, with a circumstance bonus (which is either un-thematic and likely unnecessary, or a wonderfully cruel interpretation of the “star-crossed lovers” theme) against its intended target other than that it’s a spell in a can (contrast with that same top 32 item – the spells could have been better written into the theme of the locket).

Would I want this in one of my games?
As a Player?

I would never use it personally, and would not like seeing it in game. Water kills me and for some reason the impressionable young ladies never want to pay the item’s full price to discover/gain control over their true love.

That said I have a player whose extended family-of-characters needed a similar item for backstory purposes; this one is much better than what he designed, and I'd love to steal yours (with a couple small tweaks to make it more black widow worthy).

As a GM?

I love this item; I’d put it on all major courtesans, especially those of an appropriate age and have little side plots with young/impressionable noble ladies flitting about having all sorts of romantic notions and getting into trouble. This is a GM’s wetdream.

Point at which I would stop voting for this item (based on this year’s experiences): Hard to say objectively. I saw both this and the top 32 item early in the competition (after the first cull). I like this one better (because I GM all the time), but voted more consistently for the other item which I felt was closer to Super Star quality.

I’d say after the second or third cull.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Cyclonic Darkleaf
Aura faint illusion and moderate abjuration; CL 6th
Slot armor; Price 20,375 gp; Weight 10 lbs.
Description

The rugged leaves used to create this +2 darkleaf studded leather seem to always be rustling, even without wind. Half of them are coated with alchemical silver, replacing bulky standard studs without sacrificing protection for the wearer.

Twice per day, as a standard action, the armor can be commanded to unravel and explode into a 20-foot high stationary cyclone of leaves, metal, and severe wind (Core Rulebook, pg. 439). Each 5-foot square adjacent to the user becomes occupied by the swirling cyclone. With a successful DC 16 Reflex save, a creature can avoid being caught in the initial burst and jump into a safe, adjacent empty square. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

A creature within any space the cyclone occupies is immediately blinded and dealt 1d10+2 points of slashing damage. This damage also counts as magic and silver for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. As long as the creature stays inside the cyclone, it remains blinded and continues to take this damage at the beginning of each of its turns.

As the cyclone rages, treat the user as if he is not wearing the armor, though his armor slot is still occupied. Any attacks with melee weapons passing into or through the cyclone’s winds are treated as though the target has concealment (20% miss chance). An active cyclone can be maintained as a free action for up to six rounds, but it immediately and harmlessly disperses when the user’s body moves into it.

Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, blur, cloak of winds (Advanced Player's Guide); Cost 10,575 gp

Formatting:

Everything seems to be in order. Theme: A tad confused why you’d use silver in an armor unless the silver was mithril. As I associate mithril with either dwarves or elves, and dark leaf cloth with elves I’m further confused by the alchemical silver. The price tag is certainly indicative of the higher quality material.

Some phrasing is clunky; I’d have looked at mistmail and parroted some of its language for your fourth paragraph. I’d have phrased the last sentence “A cyclone persists for up to six rounds, dispersing harmlessly back into the Cyclonic Darkleaf's tangible form when the wearer’s body crosses the barrier."

Thematically the cyclone is a bit closer to a blade barrier than a cloak of winds; personally don’t like this, I prefer my armors to be focused on protection.

Does this add something to the game?
It grants players, particularly martials access to some rarely seen bits of the game; this is the sort of thing I look for in items. The activation and user interaction are fun, but parrot mistmail a bit too closely to add anything.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

Maybe? I’d hate to be fighting a guy who had this; my ranged attacks are inaccurate enough as it is. I could see getting this on more dexterous characters. It doesn’t really help a ranged/martial character so much as a caster (who can basically ignore the wind penalties), which largely undermines the item’s draw.

As a GM?
This item mindlessly punishes players who try to interact with whoever wears it. I’m not sure I’d use it in game.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this item (based on this year’s experiences): After the Second Cull

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

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Trekkie90909 wrote:
Critique of Cyclonic Darkleaf

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! This is exactly the kind of critique I was looking for: One that points out all the stuff I was blind to when making it and editing it!

This is a huge help! Thank you!

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Auric Hush
Aura faint necromancy; CL 5th
Slot none; Price 27,001 gp; Weight —
Description
This old azlanti coin is blemished and stained from age and exposure to various substances. On one side is the face of a man with a jagged X carved over his mouth, and on the other is a stylized magpie.
When held on the tongue the wearer can make a melee touch attack to steal the voice of another. The target must make a DC 14 Will save or lose the ability to speak, cast spells with verbal components, or activate command word items. Only one voice can be stolen in this manner at any time.
The target remains mute until such time as the wearer of the Auric Hush removes the coin from their tongue, speaks, casts a spell with a verbal component, or makes some other audible exhalation. Should the wearer take damage of any kind, they must make a Fortitude save (with a DC equivalent to 10 + the damage taken) or inadvertently make a sound and release the voice of their victim.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, bestow curse; Cost 13,501 gp

Formatting:

Instead of a list “lose the ability to speak,…” I’d make it inclusive “lose the ability to speak, including…”

At the price point a DC 14 will save is nothing; particularly for casters.

One does not wear the coin so much as uses it; I’d have used a different word, bearer for example.

I find silence a more thematic spell for the item than bestow curse, but am willing to chalk that up to personal differences.

Does this add anything to the game?

Stealing someone’s voice is a really neat concept. I would love it if you’d expanded on that concept; perhaps drawing inspiration from Ultimate Intrigue to grant the user the ability to mimic stolen voices. The mechanics for your coin are novel, and potentially useful for certain characters, however as written it reads like a magus spell.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?
As a rule I like anything which is good against casters. That said I can kill people with a standard action or full round action with greater certainty than I can silence them with this coin. Maybe after some revision.

As a GM?
I could make an interesting social encounter with this. Combat wise I have better options which don’t eat so much of my allocated budget.

Point at which I would stop up-voting (based on this year’s experiences): After the first cull

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Teeth of the White Death
Aura Strong Transmutation; CL 5th
Slot Neck; Price 10,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Description
This item appears as a coral necklace with five Great White Shark teeth attached to it. These teeth can be activated with a command, producing the listed effect, but each tooth can be only used once. After a tooth is used, it shatters.

A Ripple in the Water: Detaching this tooth centers a aura of fear on the wearer as though fear (30 ft., DC17) had been cast.

Jaws of the White: When detached, this tooth transforms the wearer's mouth into a double row of razor sharp teeth. Wearer gains a Bite +9 attack (2d8+10 plus bleed (1d6)).

Killer Vision: When detached, this tooth transforms the wearer's eyes black. Wearer gains Blindsense 30 ft.

Fleet of Fin: When detached, this tooth allows the wearer to gain a Swim Speed of 60 ft.

Shedding Skin: When detached, this tooth allows the wearer to gain Fast Healing 3.

Each of the abilities gained lasts for 1d6 hours. Necklace regrows teeth at the rate of 1 per day.
Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, alter self, fear, touch of the sea, echolocation; Cost 5,000 gp

Formatting:

Weak-moderate aura at CL 5. List spells alphabetically.

Expensive consumable. Has the makings of a Swiss Army Knife/Spell in a Can.

The bite should be based off the consumer’s melee attack bonus.

Theme issue: Sharks have great smell, your item grants a sense based on great hearing.

Fast Healing 3 for hours is a bit much.

In general the duration is long; I’d have gone with minutes instead of hours.

Does it add something to the game?

No.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

I wouldn’t mind having one; wouldn’t buy it.

As a GM?

I could see using something like this as an important ritual item as part of a sea-culture’s burial rituals although the benefits granted by it are largely redundant for a seafaring race.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this (based on this year’s experiences): After the first cull.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Hell’s Restraints
Aura moderate evocation; CL 5th
Slot none; Price 21,100 gp; Weight 25 lbs.
Description
Loosely hanging chains harvested from slain kytons rise up from this +2 adamantine chain shirt, like snakes sensing prey.

Once per day as a standard action, the wearer can release a cacophonous howl that causes chains to snake out from the armor in a 15-foot burst. The wearer can make a grapple combat maneuver check using his own CMB with a +2 enhancement bonus against up to four creatures of his size or smaller in the area. If the grapple maneuver is successful, the wearer may also reposition his targets by 5 feet as a free action. The wearer of hell’s restraints does not gain the grappled condition while the chains grapple his targets. The wearer is tethered to the grappled creatures and cannot move farther than 15 feet away from each grappled creature. The chains have a CMD of 29, hardness 20 and 5 hp. Broken chains have no effect on the armor and reform magically. The chains maintain their grapple for one round, after which they recoil back into the armor.

The wearer of hell’s restraints may also awaken the chains as a standard action to manipulate objects at a reach of 15 feet, and grant himself a climb speed of 20 feet for 5 rounds each day. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, chain of perdition, spider climb; Cost 10,550 gp

Format:

Slot: Armor.
Chains pull; I’d have added a note that the reposition has to pull targets closer to the wearer, also exceeding the DC by at least 5 should have greater effect.

I don’t see why you’d use the wearer’s CMB, but not his CMD. Also it’s unclear if the user takes the normal -5 to use only one limb to maintain the grapple and the normal -20 to not gain the grappled condition.

Awaken chains as a standard action == activate; you can condense some of your words here.

Does this add something to the game?

It makes Kyton abilities somewhat accessible, although this is not the item’s primary theme and that theme could have been developed farther. The ‘get over here’ theme is cool, overall it’s a sort of tank agro item which pathfinder needs. The single use per day aspect undermines this. I’d prefer to see a whip with this sort of flavor—it seems like you could take the idea farther if you moved in that direction.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

It’s neat, needs some work. I could see this being useful on a Brawler.

As a GM?

With some reworking maybe. Good tool for henchmen, but the price point is high for that.

Point at which I would stop up-voting (based on this year’s experiences): After the first or second cull.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks Trekkie! I definitely should have gone with silence.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Lookouts Lucky Buckler
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 7th
Slot shield; Price 5800 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
The buckler gleams in metallic swirls as weaving threads of the night sky shine in the darkness with the echoes of the dead faintly whispering from beyond.
Crafted in the memory of many fallen adventurers by a vagrant band of bards, a lookouts lucky buckler functions as a +1 steel buckler.
Once per day when the wearer has detected the location of a trap he may move the trap, as a standard action, to any square within a 10-foot radius of the trap. The range of moving the trap increases by 5 feet for every +3 enhancement bonus beyond +1 of the buckler. The new destination of the trap must be on solid ground, and the trap cannot end in a space that is by nature hazardous or is incapable of containing the trap. When the trap is moved its Perception check is decreased by -5 as the trap no longer holds most of its original camouflage. The wearer gains an additional use of this ability upon the buckler reaching an enchantment bonus of +5, and again at a +10 enchantment bonus overall.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, jester’s jaunt; Cost 2900 gp

Formatting:

The first paragraph is a bunch of contradictions; night (darkness) shining (in darkness), things gleaming as echoes. This could be cleaned up considerably or better yet worked into the item's mechanics.

Second paragraph tells me almost nothing; work at integrating theme into function.

Third paragraph bases scaling off an enhancement bonus the previous paragraph told us was a static +1. Note that the enhancement bonus for armors caps at +5.

I could buy around 36 of your +1 bucklers for the same price as a +10 price mod buckler and get better utility for it.

Magical traps should likely get a save against movement.

Does this add something to the game?

Well it replaces rogues once per day per shield. It’s more of a ‘the party doesn’t have a rogue’ tax than anything else.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

I play a lot of rogues, and don’t see the attraction of replacing myself.

As a GM?

I design things around my parties; no rogue? Less traps/traps you can think your way around. As such I don’t need this.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this (based on this year’s experiences): Pre-cull.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Face of the Kraken
Aura moderate conjuration and transmutation; CL 7th
Slot head; Price 8,000 gp; Weight 3 lbs.
Description
This black leather mask covers the lower half of the face, and the area around the mouth is stylized to look like short tentacles. When the mask is worn, tentacles extend to chest length and start squirming. The wearer can use the tentacles to carry an object. He cannot wield weapons with the tentacles, but the tentacles allow him to retrieve an item carried on his person or grab an item from the ground as a swift action. The wearer can grapple with the tentacles without penalty even while the wearer’s hands are full, but he cannot do that while carrying an object in the tentacles. Three times a day as a standard action, the wearer can extend the tentacles to a length of 15 feet and use them to attempt a reposition combat maneuver at that range. Additionally, the mask also allows the wearer to breath underwater (as water breathing). The wearer can eat and drink while wearing the mask through the beak at the center of the tentacles.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous item, black tentacles, water breathing; Cost 4,000 gp

Formatting:

I like the tentacle tail, although retrieving any item as a swift action for 8k gp is cost efficient to say the least before you add in grabbing items off the ground (this is an aquatic item, the ground should be more of an afterthought).

A little clunkiness in the grapple section; I’d say having the tentacles occupied (as from carrying an item) is obviously going to prevent someone from using them to grapple (or anything else).

What’s the length of the tentacles? Can I grapple things on the other side of the ocean? Ahhh we get towards the end and see they can be extended to 15 feet; this should have been farther up in the description and better yet should have included all the grapple text. Less useful for larger creatures.

Waterbreathing items are usually a bit more expensive on their own (off the top of my head they’re a large component of 20 k and 50 k items), although there doesn’t seem to be much consistency to the pricing.
Does this add something to the game?

Eh, well we have the tentacle pauldrons, we have various water breathing things we don’t have waterbreathing tentacles. I think there's a prehensile tail belt? Not a common thing anyway.

Would I want this in my games?
As a player?

Not really. I do like cheap items which keep me from drowning.

As a GM?

No.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this (based on this year’s experiences): after the first cull

Dedicated Voter Season 9

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Quote:


Watch of Borrowed Time
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 10th
Slot none; Price 11,000 gp; Weight —¬
Description
This hunter-case pocket watch is tarnished with age and the case’s emboss is scarred beyond recognition. Inside of the case is an engraving that reads “Progress now, progress forever”. Even when not wound, the watch produces a gentle tick-tock that can only be heard in complete stillness.

Once per day on command, the hunter-case springs open and the hands of the watch begin spinning wildly as two long, illusory clock hands stretch out beneath you. These phantasmal hour and minute hands last for 1 minute and revolve clockwise under you, until you, as a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity, designate two squares adjacent to you for them to point towards. A creature occupying the square that the hour hand indicates must make a DC 14 Will save or become staggered as it is syphoned of its perception of time. Additionally, if that creature fails its saving throw, a creature occupying the square the minute hand indicates receives the first creature’s “stolen time” and gains an extra movement action on their next turn.

If no creature occupies the square that the minute hand indicates, this additional effect is lost as the excess time creates a brief, yet violent, temporal shudder. If a single creature occupies both squares indicated by the hands and fails its save, the creature’s stolen time is immediately returned to it. However, its rapidly shifting sense of time causes it to become sickened. As a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity, you can realign the positions of both clock hands to point toward different squares. These hands pivot and move with you as their fulcrum.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, haste, slow, minor image; Cost 5,400 gp

Formatting:

A watch is a nifty bit of adventuring gear; easy to work it into something like a wayfinder (this would have made a nice wayfinder).

A standard action to activate and move action to use seems a might punishing; why not make selecting the targets of the effect part of the activation – that’s how magic/spells usually work?

At your price point this is an item an adventurer might pick up around 10th level. Around that level I would expect them to need a 6 or higher d20 roll to make your save. Many parties will have re-rolls. On the other hand screwing with action economy is really strong in combat. Frankly I think the item incentivizes doing stupid things like carrying around sacks of rabbits to steal their time with the activation. Some text to prevent that (‘challenging opponents…’) in lieu of a rework would be appreciated; making the item more useful in combat would negate this fear.

How long does your sickened condition persist?

You do a nice job of intertwining aesthetics and crunch.

Does this add something to the game?

It’s of analogous price and function to the boots of haste but significantly more limited in scope. In all the mechanics could use a couple more rounds of revisions; perhaps with more uses per day or some form of teamwork synergy.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

It’s neat; I’d enjoy having one because I like pocket watches. I would be unlikely to use its other effect, particularly not in combat (since it consumes a full round action to use and lasts one round).

As a GM?

Maybe with revisions.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this (based on this year’s experiences): Crunch is somewhere around pre-cull to first cull, fluff alone might have brought it as high as second cull.

Dark Archive Marathon Voter Season 9

Huh? I don't think there is wondrous item slot armor ._. Kinda like how there isn't "weapon slot" or "shield slot"

Dark Archive Marathon Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Trekkie90909 wrote:


Formatting:

I like the tentacle tail, although retrieving any item as a swift action for 8k gp is cost efficient to say the least before you add in grabbing items off the ground (this is an aquatic item, the ground should be more of an afterthought).

A little clunkiness in the grapple section; I’d say having the tentacles occupied (as from carrying an item) is obviously going to prevent someone from using them to grapple (or anything else).

What’s the length of the tentacles? Can I grapple things on the other side of the ocean? Ahhh we get towards the end and see they can be extended to 15 feet; this should have been farther up in the description and better yet should have included all the grapple text. Less useful for larger creatures.

Waterbreathing items are usually a bit more expensive on their own (off the top of my...

Actually.... The water breathing is the "after thought", main purpose of the item is grabbing stuff <_<; My original item was a tentacle gasmask ^^; I like idea of bizarre almost biological mask thing that works as gasmask/breathing thing, so personal preferences, probably should have just removed that feature and made grabbing things theme stronger instead of focusing on octopus theme..

I kinda disagree about grab length though. I think it was rather clear the tentacle grabbing range isn't more than 5 feet, unless from your jaw to your chest is five feet length somehow, so I didn't think it needed to be mentioned that you can't grab something from square next to you, just like you can't grab normally items far away.

Yeah, I wasn't actually sure what to price this one. I made it 8,000 based on "What I would rather get, +8000 +1 (insert magic quality) weapon or this mask?". Basically, while water breathing and grabbing stuff is useful, its not so useful that you would choose that without hesitation over being able to do more damage unless you REALLY need it. Meanwhile, at higher levels when 8000 is cheap, you already can have whole party breath under water without problems and party members probably would wear something else in their head slot. So, if it was more expensive, then the item would be useless outside of being npc gear, if it was cheaper, it would probably be too cheap.

Aaand yeah, I did actually forgot to check out other items with water breathing as quality, but with quick googling and judging from Goz Mask, which is also 8,000(though admittedly, that one allows it only for 1 hour), I wasn't too far off. Which water breathing items are you referring to? Those seem absurdly high prices for something like this ._.;

Dedicated Voter Season 9

You might want to crack open your core rulebook and turn to the section on armors ;). Slot armor is the convention, don't take my word for it.

Breathing related things: Helm of underwater action, plate armor of the deep, pearl of the sirines, slippers of the triton, bottle of air.

Dark Archive Marathon Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Huh, I guess I missed it ._.;

Hmm, it seems all of expensive items help underwater exploration on more ways than water breathing, either by giving user swim speed or ability to see in dark deep ocean. My item just gave ability to breath without helping swimming at all, so you would still need swim check to actually do well underwater. Goz mask and bottle of air, neither of which helps with swimming, on otherhand are also around 8,000 gp range, so I guess I did give my item pricing right because I didn't give it any other useful underwater abilities

...Though that is just a proof I should have left water breathing out and indeed expanded on grabbing things x'D Reading those items, I just realized that my item isn't even that useful underwater because while you won't die, you'll move slowly, need to throw swim check to avoid getting swept away, get penalties if you are wearing armor and can't see anything if you are deep enough. At least you can't get drowned by aqueous orb I guess...

Ah well, lesson learned, I'll think next time harder before I want to include a feature for silly reason like "breathing masks are cool" :'D Thank you for feedback

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


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

Formatting:

Given that this lets you stealth I was expecting a tower shield. Alphabetize spell requirements.

I personally would have liked this better as a limited use standard activation item.

Pathfinder does not normally use facing rules, you might have wanted to either introduce some here or reference the cover rules.

Does this add something to the game?

Yes, although a silent image is about as useful.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

It would definitely be helpful at times. I would have liked something which is fun for the whole party.

As a GM?

No. The stealth rules require cover or concealment for a reason; they’re hard to obtain and force the party to interact with the story/environment. I don’t like the munchkin-y feel of this item. If it were at least a tower shield, with that ridiculous armor check penalty I could forgive it somewhat.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this item (based on this year’s experiences): Around the third cull.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quote:


Needlenose Arbalest
Aura strong transmutation; CL 14th
Slot none; Price 51,050 gp; Weight 12 lbs.
Description
This sculpture of a monstrously articulated mosquito functions as a +2 impervious heavy crossbow, gaining the seeking special ability when targeting creatures with the bleed condition or who are below half their full hit points.

Once per week, the wielder may speak a command word to launch the mosquito's head at a foe within 50 feet as a ranged touch attack. The head remains connected by a length of rope stored within the crossbow. As part of the weapon, the rope benefits from the enhancement bonus and impervious special ability.

A successful hit deals normal damage and 1 point of bleed damage and the wielder can attempt a combat maneuver check to grapple the target as a free action. Each round the wielder successfully maintains the grapple, the target is pulled 10 feet closer to the wielder and dealt 1 additional point of bleed damage. This movement does not provoke.

If the wielder begins their turn adjacent to the target and successfully pins them, they may drop the crossbow as it animates into a giant mosquito (see the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 2), but without the disease special ability. The wielder is no longer grappled as the mosquito is now pinning the target. The mosquito acts on the wielder's next initiative, feeding on the pinned target. The mosquito reverts to its crossbow form once the grapple ends, the target is killed, or it deals 8 points of constitution damage, whichever comes first. If slain while animated, the mosquito reverts to crossbow form and may not be animated for a full month.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, bleed, blood scent, fabricate, make whole, true seeing, vermin shape II; Cost 25,700 gp

Formatting:

The first mention we get of a mosquito’s head is when we’re told we can launch it at something. Restructuring this paragraph so we get a visual of the item before the mechanics would help. The rope description takes the focus away from your item; I’d cut it. In fact, I’d leave the wielder of the weapon to supply their own rope, chains, or whatever else they could think to slot on a spool. That way you open up further design space later on.

The seeking special ability is balanced around bleed effects being rare; adding it to the weapon means you’ve basically got a +2 seeking crossbow. Oh wait… I think this paragraph is actually part of the preceeding paragraph – it’s unclear if you’re referencing a normal on-hit effect, or the once per week special ability.

Summon Nature’s Ally V makes more sense than vermin shape II for the transformative effect.

Why is the crossbow not either broken or destroyed when it drops to 0 hp in the mosquito form?

Does this add something to the game?

Well +2, seeking, wounding weapons, and summoning allies are all things. You can already grapple with ammunition, although I like how this crossbow is set up for it. You could have gone a step further and added some rules for pulling grappled targets towards you which would have added more player agency.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

I don’t think I’d buy it. It’s a neat visual, and the mechanics are strong without being overpowered; I might enjoy seeing it on an enemy.

As a GM?

The transforming weapon thing is a bit freaky; I could see that as a special guy’s special gimmick. I don’t much care for it on a weapon. I wouldn’t mind putting it on an NPC(s), but don’t see why I’d want to.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this item (based on this year’s experiences): Around the second cull

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Wing of the Night Monarch
Aura moderate enchantment and evocation; CL 10th
Slot none; Price 16,305 gp; Weight —
Description
The gossamer silk of this +1 fighting fan portrays the resplendent wing patterns of Desna’s Night Monarch. Its ivory guard sticks bearing eight stars.

Once per round, the wielder activates the fan as a ranged attack with maximum range 60 feet. A star is consumed as a butterfly of divine light is released at the target. On a hit it melds with the target dealing 1d6 points of holy damage (critical threat on a 20, x3 damage), otherwise it dissipates harmlessly. The dizzying flight of the butterfly grants a feint check as a free action against the target, the result affecting the butterfly attack only.

Wielding a second fan permits activation of a second star simultaneously with the first. Attacking the same target grants a single feint check with a +4 circumstance bonus applying the result to both attacks.

If both attacks hit, the target is subject to a waking dream unless they succeed a Will save (DC 16) becoming immune to this effect for 24 hours regardless of the save result. If the target fails the save, they dream of acting normally on their next action but instead take no action. The target is aware of their surroundings and is not defenseless. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Should the wielder have multiple attacks per round, butterfly attacks are made with their first attack - they are able to wield fans normally for any remaining attacks.
Expended stars regenerate overnight. Stars expended during the night do not regenerate until the following night.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, daze monster, spiritual weapon, creator must worship Desna; Cost 8,305 gp

Formatting:

Dots on a fan coupled with ranged attacks make me think of Naruto, and frankly I lost interest at that point. Then I read that it was a Desna-themed weapon which wasn’t a star knife and voted for the other item.

Stepping back from the normal is good, but Desna’s weapon of choice is the star knife – this is a closed design space, no more room for development. You could have looked to Star Monarchs instead, which are an open design space and very similar to the Night Monarch. As-is the stars are nothing more than filigree; while they obliquely reference Desna, and act as a counting mechanism for charges remaining they do nothing star themed mechanically. In a high quality submission filigree has use; it’s built into the item’s theme and mechanics.

A ranged attack form should have range increments (10 or 15 foot would be good).

I’m not sure why you wouldn’t mimic the base weapon’s damage for the ranged attack instead of increasing the die size to a d6. This feels like some bastardization of the holy weapon property and the fan’s damage die. The holy damage is more indicative of Desna than the Butterfly. If I were theming damage off a goddess’s alignment I’d use the whole alignment (chaotic good).

The free feint rider seems out of place; if anything I’d re-write this to play to the night/star monarch’s adhesive spittle/glowsap.

Not a fan of your waking dream mechanism; dreaming is thematic, and I like the flavor text for daze but your item is going in so many directions that this ends up feeling out of place. That said, this is the best written part of your submission. If it were my item I’d put the star/night monarch’s poison theme to use here; you have a fighting fan, it needs poison.

Final thoughts: Desna is the goddess of travel, stars, luck, and dreams. You only addressed dreams, and the way the item’s written that feels like an afterthought. Try to work on cohesion for next year.

Does this add something to the game?

I tend to play in games with WBL significantly below average; a melee weapon which doubles as a ranged attack method, or with a ranged slow/entangle ability appeals to me. We already have thrown weapons, including the Desnan Star Knife, which thoroughly cover this category of weapons and as written your fan doesn’t expand upon them.

You have a lot of abilities tacked onto the fan; the feint component ignores normal action economy conventions, and the rest of the abilities can be found elsewhere.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

I like the price point for the the ranged abilities; the fighting fan is worth 2k gp in melee, a significant design oversight.

As a GM?

With revisions I could see provisioning NPCs of a certain sect of Desnan priests with these. As written it’s too scattered to be appropriate.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this item (based on this year’s experiences): First Cull

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Vudrani Fighting Rope
Aura faint transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 4,310 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
Members of the many Vudrani monastic orders popularized the use of this 8 foot length of thick silk rope that moves and twists of its own accord as it attempts to entangle the enemy. A combatant wields a Vudrani fighting rope as a two-handed exotic melee weapon with the performance and trip qualities. This enchanted rope is a magic weapon with a +1 enhancement bonus, however standard melee attacks deal no damage. Assisting an ally with an aid another action is possible, and the wielder still threatens squares within reach.

When making a disarm or trip combat maneuver with a Vudrani fighting rope the wielder gains a +2 circumstance bonus. Additionally the wielder may attempt a grapple combat maneuver using the rope without incurring the -4 penalty for not having two free hands. This still provokes an attack of opportunity unless the wielder has improved disarm, improved grapple, improved trip or a similar ability. When maintaining a grapple with the rope, if the wielder chooses to deal damage he may deal 1d6+1 and ½ times his Strength bonus in either lethal or nonlethal damage. After pinning an opponent with a Vudrani fighting rope the wielder may tie up the opponent with the rope as a move action without making an additional grapple check.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, animate rope; Cost 2,310 gp

Formatting:

It occurs to me that you’ve replicated a lot of text for a whip or lasso in your item description. You have a great visual; feel free to steal existing mechanics which supplement them well.

Slight repetition in the second paragraph from the first; you could remove the first sentence by amending the previous paragraph to include “…as a two-handed exotic melee weapon with the performance, disarm, and trip qualities.” The provoke language is redundant, and not something that a magical version of an item would contain. Granting an enhancement bonus to combat maneuvers performed with a weapon is standard and not something to reiterate in item text. Weapons threaten, so this is redundant, and we can always aid allies within reach so this is unnecessary language. The pinning->tie up mechanic would be better written as allowing the wielder to make an additional grapple check as a move-equivalent action to immediately tie up the pinned opponent. Thus bypassing any need for greater grapple/rapid grappler without being too overpowered. Just an auto success negates the need for a feat, a check, and a -10 penalty.

Does this add something to the game?

Yes, grappling does not have a lot of love, and the pin to tie up mechanic is novel.

Would I want this in my games?
As a player?

On certain characters this would be my first big buy.

As a GM?

It needs revision, but with that revision I’d enjoy seeing it in the game.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this item: After the second cull.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Armor of the Sun

I agree with your comment, it's a spell in a can.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Ichaival, The Bow of Ydalir
Aura Moderate Transmutation; CL 12th
Slot Weapon; Price 51,600 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
Description
A Crafting collaboration by the Shaman and Wizards of the Tribes for Ydalir Álfrvinr. A mythic figure and ally of the Snowcaster Tribes in the north of Golarion Ydalir was an ancient King of the Land of the Linnorm Kings. This Adaptive Composite Longbow +2 is made from the Laminated Talons of the Fjord linnorm Fraenir , ice troll sinew, Irrisen Witch-Tree wood layered with frost giant bone, and Inlaid with cold iron glyphs and runes. Due to the magic imbued into the ice troll sinew this weapon adapts itself to the strength of its wielder and the shamanic magic taping into the spirits of the Dragons and Land in which it was made empower the arrows to strike as if one size category larger.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Warp wood, Bull's Strength, Gravity Bow, Righteous Might or Giant Form I Cost 25800 gp

Formatting:

Wonderfully descriptive, minor template issues. Price for an adaptive CL +2 would be 9,100 gp.; not exactly up to snuff with your description.

The gravity bow ability is somewhat analogous to impact in terms of cost so overall pricing is about right.

Does this add something to the game?

Nope.

Would I want this in one of my games?
As a Player?

It’s cool, I might keep it for the text. It's not named-item worthy, but the abilities are generic and useful enough I could see players buying this.

As a GM?

It works as an item for a generic ranger minion type at mid to high levels.

Point at which I’d stop up-voting this item (based on this year’s experiences): first or second cull

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Thieves’ Honor
Aura moderate evocation and illusion; CL 10th
Slot none; Price 39,902 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
Faint tracery on this dark, twisted knife subtly shifts to form fearsome images from the subconscious minds of those who look upon it. Silver gleams along its edge.

On command, this +2 menacing dagger creates a duplicate blade made of silvery force. This blade lasts for 10 rounds per day. These rounds do not need to be consecutive. You can dismiss the duplicate as a free action.

When you attack with Thieves’ Honor, the duplicate blade moves adjacent to the target of your attack (flanking, if possible), then attacks. This occurs before your attack is resolved. If you have allies threatening the target, you may direct the duplicate to flank with them instead. The duplicate uses your base attack bonus modified by its enhancement bonus and the higher of either your Intelligence or Charisma bonus, but does not gain iterative attacks. On a hit, the duplicate does 1d4+2 points of force damage and does an extra 2d6 points of precision force damage against a target that is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC or one that it flanks. It has the same critical threat range and multiplier as a normal dagger. In addition, if either you or the duplicate blade confirm a critical hit, the target provokes an attack of opportunity from the other.

The duplicate blade cannot be harmed by physical attacks, but dispel magic, disintegrate, a sphere of annihilation, or a rod of cancellation affects it. The duplicate’s AC against touch attacks is 12 plus your Dexterity modifier.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Outflank, phantasmal killer, twilight knife; Cost 20,102 gp

Formatting:

Mostly seems in order. Ooh, nice intro sentence. “Silver gleams upon its edge.” You might want to read things aloud; your paragraph does not flow. Also, you never build upon the fear description :(.

Nothing of thieves or honor in your description.

I think duplicating a dagger is as much description as you need to provide for crit range and multiplier.

Does this add something to the game?

Standard +3 dagger with a spell in a can. Nice synergy, doesn’t add anything.

Would I want this in my games?
As a player?

It’s worth buying; especially if you have sneak attack dice.

As a GM?

Nothing bad about the item; I could use it. Could maybe use some special provision for those who already possess sneak attack.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this item (based on this year’s experiences): After the second cull.

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

T9, I love your critics, and especially the cull-point. I am now torn between dread and antici-pation for when my own item will become your target :-)

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Gloves of Spell Grip
Aura strong evocation CL 15th
Slot hands; Price 65,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
These leather gloves have an image of a crumpled spellbook on their palms. The gloves control spells cast by the wearer that have any duration other than instantaneous or permanent twice a day. The activation time for the gloves is the same as the spell they wish to hold, with a minimum of 1 standard action. Only one spell can be held by the gloves at a time.
This control acts like holding a charge, the spell's duration can be released in the same intervals listed in the spell's description. For example invisibility has a duration of 1 min./level; a 5th level wizard casting it and holding the charge with the gloves can become invisible for five 1 minute intervals divided as he/she chooses until the spell's full duration is used up or lost.
The wearer can cast spells normally while holding a charge with these gloves if they succeed at a concentration check with a DC equal to the spells DC + spell level; failure harmlessly discharges the held spell regardless of the remaining duration. The wearer cannot cast a spell and release an interval of charge on the same round.
If the spell being held by the gloves allows multiple touch targets, you can't hold the charge of such a spell; you must touch all targets of the spell in the same round that you finish casting the spell. During the wearers turn the held spell can be released as a standard action; acting as it were cast normally with its remaining duration.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, imbue with spell ability; Cost 32,500 gp

Formatting:

A crumpled book is a weird image; a crumpled sheet might be better.

Really clunky wording in the first paragraph – I’m not sure what this is supposed to be describing. Mostly because all the description is in the following paragraphs. If you include something like this in a product, make sure it appears after the text it modifies. Even after reading the whole item text I’m unsure if your twice a day modification is for the charging-the-gloves effect, the can-cast-spells-while-holding-a-charge effect, or both.

Second Paragraph: Ah, nifty; this belongs in the first paragraph.

Third Paragraph: A little clunky, but gets the job done; perhaps lose both spells to clarify which one you’re referencing. Rules work-around

Fourth Paragraph: uhh… Whoo, took a couple read throughs but I think I get it – try to write rules text in the clearest most descriptive manner possible with the fewest number of words.

The theme of this item is not very clear; I’d guess manipulating spells, but then there’s that weird book/page/scroll symbolism and a lot of clunky phrasing along the way.

Does this add something to the game?

I think so? If I’m reading it right it’s designed to let you stack a lot of buffs onto a single attack. A little weird to think about, especially when you use spells like invisibility. I like items which bend rules, or bring them into places they aren’t normally seen. I’m not a fan of circumventing them, at least not without good reason.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

Not a good sample-set as I don’t play magus types much. I don’t really see the need for it, but I guess in high powered games it would be of use.

As a GM?

It’s min-maxy; buff for hours then run up and one shot the boss. Next.

Point at which I’d stop up-voting this (based on this year’s experiences): Pre-cull

General thought: Get a firm image of what you want your item to do, then describe that image for the reader. Integrate the mechanics in afterwards if you feel they need more explanation. Keep things simple and understandable.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Twin Star Breastplate
Aura strong transmutation; CL 13th
Slot armor; Price 42,110 gp; Weight 30 lbs.
Description
Two glowing circles slowly orbit each other on this +3 breastplate. When activated, once per day as a standard action, the circles collide and form a black void, generating a gravitational pulse. All creatures and unattached objects in a 60-foot radius are immediately pulled up to 30 feet closer to the wearer.

Affected creatures can remain stationary as per the reverse gravity spell with a DC 20 Reflex save.

One allied creature that shares a teamwork feat with the wearer can then perform a single standard action to take advantage of the battlefield’s new layout. Only one ally can choose to act. If more than one allies are eligible then the one with the highest initiative modifier, rolling for ties, chooses first.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, reverse gravity, any teamwork feat; Cost 21,230 gp

Format:

What do the circles look like? Are they spheres? What color are they? Do they have a passive effect, or are they just gilding?

You have two spheres, and only one effect, a pull. I think you could have also done a push.

It reads more as a slotless wondrous item (the spheres; I could even see them as Ioun stones) than as an armor. I get that pulls are a tank thing; it’s not defensive though, so why an armor?

Creatures and items affected by reverse gravity are not held stationary. They oscillate slightly, and can move/levitate normally. Also an odd choice given that creatures will likely end their movement on top of a solid surface, the same surface they were originally standing upon. Wait; can be held stationary? Is it optional? You mean to say: are held stationary on a failed DC 20 reflex save.

Any teamwork feat: Lookout (which is tied into surprise rounds/being able to act when not normally able to) would have been an appropriate choice.

Does this add something to the game?

Well there aren’t many pull abilities in game, much less pull abilities that players have access to, so that’s nice. It addresses a tanking concern, which is a major design hole in the Pathfinder RPG.

Would I want this in my games?
As a player?

No, this looks like something a GM would use to make me miserable. The area of effect is huge, the pull inescapable I’m held for some reason at the end, and enemies pepper me full of arrows. Ouch.

As a GM?

Grants an extra standard action: swats player on the nose with a rolled up piece of newspaper; I said no mythic tiers!

Point at which I would stop up-voting this item (based on this year’s experiences): First or Second Cull

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Stormleaper’s Greaves
Aura moderate evocation and transmutation; CL 10th
Slot feet; Price 26,000 gp; Weight 4 lbs.
Description
This pair of weathered bronze greaves is made from hundreds of small, dripping leaves fused together in homage to Gozreh. The wearer of Stormleaper’s Greaves can harness the power of the storm, leaping through the sky with hurricane force.
Once per day, the wearer may stormleap for up to ten rounds, bounding through the air as if from stone to stone. A stormleaper gains the ability to fly with a speed of 60 feet but the wearer uses their acrobatics skill in place of the fly skill to perform daring or complex aerial maneuvers. While stormleaping, the wearer is continuously surrounded by a thunderous aura, dealing 1d8 points of sonic damage to any creature within 5 feet unless they succeed at a DC 16 Fortitude save, though a creature may only take this damage once per round. A stormleap ends immediately once the wearer’s feet touch a solid surface.
Once during a stormleap, the wearer may use a standard action to send the furious storm at a single target beneath their feet, dealing 5d6 points of electricity damage unless the target succeeds at a DC 16 Reflex save.
When used outdoors during a storm, Stormleaper’s Greaves become significantly more potent, dealing 2d8 sonic damage instead of 1d8, and 5d10 electricity damage instead of 5d6.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, fly, call lightning, sound burst; Cost 13,000 gp

Formatting:

Everything looks in order. Nice description, tied into the theme. Not terribly imaginative past the first paragraph, but it is creative and sticks to its theme. I though the damage numbers were balanced for being inside, however I liked the idea of a nature-god/storm themed item being more useful out in the elements.

Does this add something to the game?

It plays with the rules a little bit, which I like; substituting acrobatics for fly was fun.

Would I want this in my games?
As a player?

I’d buy it; it’s fun, thematic – not terribly broken for me or the GM.

As a GM?

Heh; One of my players had a character named Muscle Madness who flew around in his celestial armor piledriving people from 400+ feet in the air. Every time I read this item I imagined him flying around doing his random acrobatic stunts, and flavoring the lightning strikes as his dives of Paaain. Got a smile and a vote more often than not.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this (based on this year’s experiences): Fourth or Fifth Cull.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Rebel Mask
Aura faint divination and illusion (glamer) CL 3rd
Slot head Price 4320 gp Weight 1 lb.
Description
Favored by law-defying citizens, rebels, and dissenters, the rebel mask proves useful against enforcers of rigid regimes. Once per day, when activated, this item grants the wearer invisibility as per the spell against creatures with the Lawful alignment descriptor.
These masks come in many variations, though they have often been called Larazod Masks. It is speculated that the original Larazod Mask was created by Wiscrani dissenters who sought to re-enact a subversive version of the play known as the Six Trials of Larazod. When an underground version of the play was disrupted by Hellknights, the masked actors scattered into the crowd, suddenly invisible to authoritarian eyes. Since then, rebel masks with other unique powers have begun appearing throughout Cheliax, each crafted to resemble characters from other famous operas and plays; almost all of them, however, retain the useful ability to suddenly vanish from the view of law-enforcers.
Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, detect law, invisibility Cost: 2,160 gp

Formatting:

Favored by…. This sentence adds nothing to the description.

Second paragraph of backstory more appropriate to a player companion than a core rulebook (which is the model for RPG SS item submissions).

Does this add something to the game:

Ring of invisibility with limited utility and a different slot. Nope.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

No.

As a GM?

No.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this (based on this year’s experiences): Writing and template might let it survive the first cull.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Raven Black wrote:
T9, I love your critics, and especially the cull-point. I am now torn between dread and antici-pation for when my own item will become your target :-)

Way back there on page 4, huh? Going to be a while. 60ish items to go ;P.

EDIT: Might skip to it later, but for now I need sleep.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Wily Mace
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 10th
Slot none; Price 72,312 gp; Weight 8 lbs.
Description
This +3 heavy mace has five flanges on the iron head and a wooden shaft with elaborately floriated carvings that emit a faint green glow. When held by its leathery hilt, the weapon feels cold.
As a swift action, the wielder can cause the flanged head to become gradually hotter and then cool off in a cycle lasting for 7 rounds, as if affected by the heat metal spell. The cycle will repeat itself perpetually until deactivated using another swift action. However, it must cool off completely before being heated again.
When used like this in combat, the mace deals 1 additional point of damage if it's hot, or 2 additional points if it's searing. If the weapon is searing on a successful critical hit, the target suffers an extra 3d6 points of fire damage, while everyone adjacent to it must make a DC 16 reflex save or take half, as the burst sends small pieces of molten metal in every direction. Following this powerful blast there is a 50% chance of the heat metal spell being cast on one metallic piece of the target's equipment (Will DC 18 negates).
The heat or fire coming from the mace does not harm the wielder.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, heat metal, resist energy, flaming sphere; Cost 36,312 gp

Format:

Good. The variable effect is kind of neat, I’d make it use activated (when you first swing at something in combat) to mitigate meta-gaming and trying to optimize fights based on what point the weapon was at. Worried that just using it normally in battle would be underwhelming; the scaling on it’s extremely non-linear, I’d smooth that out.

The igniting theme of the item could be explored more given the giant fireball.

Given the fire effect is less useful than a flaming weapon much of the time and the save DC is low the price looks high.

Does this add something to the game?

It’s a nice restructuring of heat metal into a weapon.

Would I want this in my games?
As a player?

I wouldn’t buy it. It’s not a bad item though, so I wouldn’t complain at seeing it.

As a GM?

The non-linear scaling mean the item’s worse than a flaming weapon much of the time, and then randomly really powerful. This makes it harder to work around.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this (based on this year’s experiences): First or Second Cull

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Trekkie90909 wrote:


Locket of Love's Lure

Just wanted to thank you...this is a *very* helpful critique.

Naderi tangent:
If you read a bit deeper into Naderi, you see that she is just as interested in having star-crossed lovers live happily as she is in having them commit suicide. (Nothing clearly quotable, but based on the part of Shelyn's portfolio she was assigned and the instructions for her clergy.) But even then, she encourages suicide as one of the top solutions when things go wrong -- and something always goes wrong eventually.

But for the purposes of RPGSS and this item I get that none of that really matters -- she's billed as the goddess of suicide, and the voters will be judging based on that headline.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Nettlefin Sash
Aura moderate necromancy and transmutation; CL 7th
Slot chest; Price 18,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description
The glistening scales of this iridescent sash take a life of their own when the wearer is in combat, expanding outwards to cover her body in sharp bristling spines.

Crafted from the skin of the exotic nettlefin pufferfish, the nettlefin sash acts continuously as +1 armor spikes, except as follows:
The sash does not require being affixed to armor.
The wearer is always considered proficient in its use.
At the beginning of the wearer’s turn, she may choose to use the sash until her next turn as either a secondary natural attack or an off-hand weapon.

The sash deals damage as +1 armor spikes of the wearer’s size category.

The sash is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

If the sash is worn with armor spikes, it ceases to function.

When the sharp spines of the sash deal damage, they can deliver a dose of Nettlefin Toxin poison, identical to that used by the Adaro (Bestiary 3 7).

The burning pain of the injury is soon followed by a numbing paralysis that quickly spreads throughout the creature’s body.

This ability can be used three times per day as an immediate action.
Nettlefin Toxin: injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/minute for 4 minutes; effect paralyzed for 1 minute; cure 2 consecutive saves.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, poison, spike growth; Cost 9,000 gp

-a *little* bump in the queue by request-

Formatting:

Everything looks to be in order. The item is generally well written, but the mechanics are not well integrated into your descriptions. I like that you list the poison at the end for the reader, but the Adaro reference feels out of place. With the Adaro description, the poison description, and then the poison text you spend a lot of your word-count describing something which is secondary/tangential to your item. The item would have benefited if some of that attention had been applied to its main theme.

Rather than have a list of things the spikes do, work them directly into the description.
“The sash does not require being affixed to armor.” You already have a sentence saying the sash inflates in combat; why not build self-affixing directly into that sentence? It would aid form, function, and clarity.

“The wearer is always considered proficient in its use.” This is good information, and would need a separate sentence; something like ‘the exotic nature of the nettlefin puffer fish’s scales conform naturally to the wielder’s expectations, granting even the clumsiest wielder proficiency in their use’ (my phrasing is clunky, but you could clean it up)

“At the beginning of the wearer’s turn, she may choose to use the sash until her next turn as either a secondary natural attack or an off-hand weapon.”

I was a bit confused by the secondary natural attack bit in the description: I get that it’s made from/is highly thematic of a certain creature’s natural attacks, but this reads as “I want to dual wield a two handed weapon, and my armor spikes.” Imo the item would have been stronger without that provision.

On the other hand I like that it can utilize buff spells directed at either manufactured or natural weapons; it’s a neat little play into the imagery. There are a few good spells which increase size category (or effective size category), and I’d love casting them on the sash for that puffer fish visual.

“If the sash is worn with armor spikes, it ceases to function.” Normally you do a really good job of building the imagery right into the mechanics. Something like “Normal armor spikes will puncture the sash when it inflates, leaving it useless for x duration as the scales regrow” would flow better.

Does this add something to the game?

For those who like armor spikes changing armor can be a very costly business; an item like this would defray that cost nicely. I’ve also wanted armor spikes on a number of characters who did not wear armor, so I like that you’ve addressed that niche.

Would I want this in my games?
As a player?
Yes; I get grappled by things more often than I grapple them so the spikes would always be working to my benefit. If I were playing a grappler, paralysis is a very punishing condition, and while it’s thematic of the puffer fish I would not appreciate seeing the item on enemies for this reason.

The price tag’s a bit high for me to see buying it much; +1 spike ~ 2k gp, proficiency with a specific weapon ~2k gp, endless well of poison (expensive), slot efficiency tax + getting something you don’t normally have access to without armor tax to up the cost.

I’d like the item better if the poison were a limited times a day thing so you could drop the price and address my abusability concern. I'd also like a bracers of armor style +1 to +x spectrum so I can upgrade this at later levels without bribing the GM.

As a GM?

Very nice, thematic; I’d put it on all high CR Adero, and many other aquatic races. The exotic nature of the fish means that while the item has broad use there are not many non-aquatic villains whose theme this fits. That said everyone needs a good shark tank to drop annoying pests into, so maybe I’d just have tanks full of Adaro warriors in every dungeon.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this item (based on this year’s experiences): Around the third cull

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This thread impresses me from both a quality and quantity stand point. Can't wait to read more critiques.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Zeitgeist Coin
Aura faint abjuration and transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 10,500 gp; Weight —
Description
This large gold coin feels much heavier in the hand then it should, and it gleams like it was just freshly minted. Struck on its faces are the appropriate markings for the nation or city-state that contains the settlement it is attuned to; these markings change in a flash if the coin is re-attuned. When held, the bearer occasionally catches impressions of the attuned settlement, such as a whiff of baking bread from a local baker or the sound of a popular tune being played.
After spending one week in a settlement, the bearer may attune the Zeitgeist Coin to that settlement, thereby removing the attunement to any previous settlement. Once attuned, the bearer of the coin may use the settlement modifiers (Crime, Economy, etc.) of the attuned settlement for skill checks in the place of the settlement modifiers of any settlement they visit. Furthermore, the bearer is under the effect of a constant misdirection effect that targets an average member of the attuned settlement. For practical purposes, this means that the bearer’s alignment appears to match the attuned settlement’s alignment.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, misdirection, cultural adaptation Cost 5,250 gp

Formatting:

Clunky phrasing, reads like a draft.

Zeitgeist is inherently larger than a single city; if this were attuned to the specific country of its minting the mechanics would fit the theme.

Does this add something to the game?

Ish. It’s a little taste of home, nice flavor but not much on the mechanics.

Would I want this in my games?
As a player?

No, but then I don’t care for kingdom building/king maker.

As a GM?

Were this attuned to the country of origin I’d make it into an inquisitor item; being able to sniff out dissidents based on their thoughts and beliefs. That’s quite a bit different from the item as presented however.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this (based on this year’s experiences): First cull.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Pendant of Hidden Malice
Aura moderate enchantment and illusion; CL 10th
Slot neck; Price 29,000 gp; Weight —
Description
This heavy gold amulet depicts a lidded eye embedded in the palm of an open left hand. When the wearer activates the item, the lid opens, revealing a black, opalescent stone veined with crimson and amber. While the eye remains open, the wearer is invisible, as greater invisibility. Each round, the wearer can maintain this invisibility as a free action. When the wearer allows the invisibility to end, or if the invisibility is dispelled, the eye immediately closes. The magic of the amulet can be used for 10 rounds per day. These rounds need not be consecutive.
Should a creature view the wearer while the eye is open, via see invisibility, true seeing, or similar effects, the viewer is beset by ill fortune and must roll twice, taking the worse result, on all ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks it attempts while the open eye is in sight. This is a mind-affecting curse effect that can only be avoided by closing or averting the eyes, as a viewer would a gaze attack. Effects that merely outline the wearer, such as glitterdust and faerie fire, do not trigger this curse, nor do non-visual senses, such as blindsight.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, greater invisibility, ill omen; Cost 14,500 gp

Formatting:

I like the intro sentence, but am immediately curious as to whether the hand is making any specific gestures; a Vulcan peace sign, some token of malice (as the name suggests), if the fingers are spread open or closed together. What is the amulet shaped like? Is it a tablet (round, square,..)? A sphere, a cube, some other geometric shape? Chain links?

The opening effect is nice, but gilding – it does not directly tie into the item’s use.

The eye does not function as greater invisibility if the effect needs to be maintained. Expending a free action to maintain an effect is just a bad idea; if you’re implementing a drawback make it a real one. Frankly “the eye functions as greater invisibility for up to 10 rounds per day, these rounds to not need to be spent consecutively” summarizes your paragraph more clearly.

The unluck aura is kind of random, but the writing for it is good – descriptive of a clear theme.

Thematically your item’s off. You open an eye when you close the eyes of others (make yourself invisible). You have that hand image, but never do anything with it. Contradictions can be a great way to shake loose the creative cogs and get yourself to writing, but if you don’t resolve them within the (item’s) text it leaves your finished work looking unfinished, poorly planned, and sloppy. The item would have been stronger if closing the eye activated the invisibility, and the open eye effect were some passive benefit – preferably vision themed.

Does this add something to the game?

Nope. Greater invisibility 10 rounds/day, and a modified pugwumpi’s unluck aura.

Would I want in my games?
As a Player?

I like invisibility for my stealth themed characters, unfortunately at the point you get it everything mysteriously has permanent see invisibility or true seeing. Overall unimpressed.

As a GM?

It’s a cultist-y sort of item; I could work it in somewhere. The cost is a bit restrictive though.

Point at which I’d stop up-voting this (based on this year’s experiences): After the first cull

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

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I thought I would answer a couple of things on the review - not to defend my item, but to explain my choices for the benefit of others reading this...

Trekkie90909 wrote:
Stepping back from the normal is good, but Desna’s weapon of choice is the star knife – this is a closed design space, no more room for development.

This to me is a very personal thing, I don't believe in restrictions being so tight. So I say to those reading this review, be brave in your choices, try things and be willing to take gambles and risks - I didn't make Top 32 but I did make Top 100 - so some of you must have liked it :)

Trekkie90909 wrote:
and act as a counting mechanism for charges remaining they do nothing star themed mechanically.

This was one of my more subtle things - only those who really know their Desna would know about her star symbology and that they can emit butterflies made of light - so I was tying to that theme AND at the same time to night time skies as an underlay to the time of dreams.

Trekkie90909 wrote:
The holy damage is more indicative of Desna than the Butterfly.

Exactly what I was aiming for, that the butterfly of light is an embodiment of Desna's power and so delivering holy damage - alignment based damage felt too cliche to me and was deliberately avoided. Desna herself has used butterflies of light, so was deliberately themed to that effect.

Trekkie90909 wrote:
The free feint rider seems out of place

The free feint was doing something no other ranged weapon can - offering a ranged feint, caused by the erratic approach of the butterfly being unpredictable. As a designer, you should always look for small bends in the rules that make your item different from all others, in this case, I chose to allow for a ranged feint.

Trekkie90909 wrote:
Final thoughts: Desna is the goddess of travel, stars, luck, and dreams. You only addressed dreams, and the way the item’s written that feels like an afterthought. Try to work on cohesion for next year.

This is probably the one comment I really need to address for everyone. I chose a single theme, that of dreams, keeping my item on a narrow focus. If I had tried to cover all of the other aspects listed by adding a luck power and a travel power, I would have ended up with 3 (or possibly 4) loosely related powers - this would then have been a SAK (Swiss Army Knife) design.

Please, to avoid the SAK downvotes, retain a tight focus on a core central theme - items with shopping lists of powers rarely do well as the old timers in the competition will peg it as SAK very quickly. So when working off Golarion lore, please keep to a central core and don't try to cover every nuance.

I hope it gives you food for thought - games design is a mine field as no matter what you do, or how ever clever or subtle you can be, someone will think it's the best thing ever and someone will think the opposite.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Jar of Fireflies
Aura Moderate Conjuration (creation/summoning) [fire]; CL 8th
Slot none; Price 24.000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
The Jar of Fireflies is a jar of glass sealed with a lid of metal. Five fireflies contained in the jar illuminate it in a spectacular way and makes it to a continuous source of light.
If the fireflies are let out of the jar they transforms to five small flying beetles (Small Fire Elementals) under the control of the jars wielder. The beetles attack targets pointed
out by the holder of the jar, in addition to the description for the beetles (Small Fire Elementals) given in the Pathfinder Bestiary the offense is altered to Melee slam +4 (1d4 plus Burst)
Special Attacks Burst (1d8+8, DC 11), damage caused by a bursting beetle is reduced to half if a successful difficulty check is done. The beetles will hold their attacks or return
to the jar on command from the holder of the jar. If the jar is thrown as a bomb or takes a hard hit for some reason it breaks if a check (Break DC 16) isn't done. If a jar breaks it
will burst into a fireball giving all within a 20 feet radius damage (1d8+8 for each firefly in the jar, DC 15), in addition to a successful reflex check a successful spell resistance check
(if applicable) also reduces the damage from a bursting jar to half. Druids following the goddess of fireflies tends to bee amused of creating these kind of jars.
Construction
Requirements Feats: Spellcraft - Skills: Craft Wondrous Item - Spells: Summon Nature’s Ally VI (1d4+1 Small Fire Elementals),
Fire Seeds (Holly Berry Bombs) – Items: Jar of glass; Cost 12.000 gp

Formatting:

Some template errors. Small English issues in the description; could have used another read through before submission. Larger technical issues in the description; saves are successful, difficulty checks prompt saves or skill checks.

There are fire beetles in the game; I’m all for re-flavoring things (small fire elementals), but the closer the base creature is to your idea the less you have to revise it.

Does this add something to the game?
No. This is half monster in a can, half necklace of fireballs.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

No, it doesn’t let me do anything special.

As a GM?

No.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this (based on this year’s experiences): Pre-cull.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Chemist's Retort
Aura faint conjuration; CL 6th
Slot none; Price 12,700 gp; Weight 12 lbs.
Description
The bolt case of this +2 heavy repeating crossbow may, instead of five bolts, be filled with a single flask or vial. Chemist's retort will fire the flask or vial loaded in this fashion as if it were thrown, but the range increment is 50 feet and the weapon's enhancement bonus only applies to your attack roll. Once the bolt case is loaded into the crossbow, this weapon duplicates any flask or vial loaded in this manner with a value of 50 gp or less, and may fire up to five total of any such item before running out and needing to be reloaded. It may fire a similar item of a higher value, but its magic is unable to duplicate such items.
Any time the bolt case is removed from the crossbow, it is empty. Alchemist's bombs (and any concoction that must be used within a round after it is created) are too volatile and become inert once loaded.
Three times per day as a free action, the wielder of chemist's retort may elect to double all damage done by an alchemical item it fires. This choice must be made before the attack is rolled.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magical Arms and Armor, abundant ammunition; Cost 6,700 gp.

Formatting:

Everything is pretty much in order from a technical standpoint.

Given the name I was expecting a piece of laboratory equipment. The item duplication effect is a nice homage to that, but in a first read-through it is confusing to read retort and then see crossbow.

There’s little to no descriptive text for the actual item or its effects, and the description would have been stronger with some chemical/chemistry effects.

Does this add something to the game?

It lets us use abundant ammunition with level 1 CL 1 potions, extracts, or with alchemical flasks. The item would be more useful if I could shoot CLW potions at allies and heal them; as it is most GMs would likely rule the potion is wasted. That said, there are still a number of potions which are good for bypassing DR which I could splash an ally’s weapon with.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

It’s nifty, alchemical items are generally overpriced or underpowered and you address both those issues. The crossbow price is low enough that I could afford it and crossbows are useful in their own right. That said I usually don’t get EWP repeating crossbow, so the item’s too niche for my characters.

As a GM?

I usually cut abundant ammunition out of my games since it undermines a balancing point for ranged weapons. That said, I’d be willing to give this specific item a try because A) it’s an item, not a specific rule and B) I think players would really enjoy using the replication feature.

Putting say a CLW potion into the crossbow, then pulling 5 CLW potions out of it is abusable, and not something the item specifically forbids. I would need to houserule elements of this item.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this item (based on this year’s experiences): Around the second cull.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Quote:
Putting say a CLW potion into the crossbow, then pulling 5 CLW potions out of it is abusable, and not something the item specifically forbids.

Not true.

Quote:

Any time the bolt case is removed from the crossbow, it is empty.

If you put 1 CLW in, you can't even get 1 CLW back.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Blackthorn Cudgel
Aura moderate transmutation and necromancy; CL 9th
Slot no; Price 26,450 gp; Weight 3 lbs
Description
This +2 club of wounding is crafted as greenwood, using a blackthorn branch. In this case, many of the thorns are also worked into the grain of the wood. The knobbed head of the blackthorn cudgel displays a dozen prominent needle-sharp thorns, strong enough to pierce armor. On each successful attack, one thorn detaches and becomes embedded in the creature struck. As long as the thorn remains embedded in the creature, it does 1 point of hit point bleed damage. A single embedded thorn can be removed using a move or standard action, but the bleed condition persists for another 3 rounds after the thorn is removed. A blackthorn cudgel regrows lost thorns at a rate of one per minute. Each regrown thorn causes one hit point of damage to the cudgel. After taking 25 hit points of damage, the blackthorn cudgel acquires the broken condition and can no longer regrow any thorns. A blackthorn cudgel loses the wounding feature whenever there are no thorns displayed. A blackthorn cudgel can regain hit points (and will start to regrow thorns) using the standard rules for greenwood weapons.
Construction
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, thorn body or wall of thorns, bleed; Cost 13,450 gp

Formatting:

This is how you write a weapon special ability! Very concise wording, beautiful imagery all tied around a tight theme.

Does this add something to the game?

No, this is a wounding cudgel (small re-work) with flavor text. The small rework is neat, but does not show your creativity as a designer.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

Yes, and have had similar items.

As a GM?

It already exists (to a certain extent)! I have no problem with it, and love the imagery.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this item (based on this year’s experiences): Around the third cull; I voted on this item a lot actually, I think that it was my second most voted on item after the caber twig – it survived a long time because it was so much better written than the first/second cull submissions. It lost against anything creative.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

CripDyke wrote:
Quote:
Putting say a CLW potion into the crossbow, then pulling 5 CLW potions out of it is abusable, and not something the item specifically forbids.

Not true.

Quote:

Any time the bolt case is removed from the crossbow, it is empty.

If you put 1 CLW in, you can't even get 1 CLW back.

Then I'm clearly missing something; please explain.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In order for the vial to be duplicated, you must put it in the bolt case, then load the bolt case into the crossbow.

Quote:

The bolt case ...may,... be filled with a single flask or vial.

...

Once the bolt case is loaded into the crossbow, this weapon duplicates [stuff] and may fire up to five total of any such item before running out and needing to be reloaded.

So before the magic is operant, you put the vial in the bolt case, the bolt case then is loaded in the crossbow.

Quote:

Any time the bolt case is removed from the crossbow, it is empty.

But when you pop the bolt case back off, Presto! It's empty. Note that this happens anytime you remove the bolt case, not merely after you've fired something.

So the bolt case appears to disintegrate any vial in it when the bolt case is loaded in the crossbow.

By magic however, it can fire off 5 of those things anyway.

But your original?

Just gone.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Quote:


Mask of Cheerful Demeanor
Aura moderate enchantment; CL 7th
Slot head; Price 4,500 gp; Weight 4 lbs.
Description
When worn, this mask is absorbed into the wearer’s face, leaving no sign of its presence; it remains absorbed until the wearer intentionally removes it (a full-round action that requires both hands), or until the wearer’s death. The wearer’s face always keeps a smile – delighted, sweet, sad, or whatever the situation calls for, but never appearing forced or false. Her voice is cheerful and enthusiastic, and in conversation, her words are naturally positive and inspiring.
The wearer of a mask of cheerful demeanor gains a +5 competence bonus on Diplomacy checks. She also gains a +10 bonus on Bluff checks made for the specific purpose of hiding her own negative emotions (fear, discomfort, anger, etc.) The mask’s effects make it difficult for the wearer to inspire fear in others; she takes a -10 penalty on Intimidate checks, and any fear effect she produces has its DC reduced by 4.
In addition, the wearer gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against mind-affecting effects that rely on negative emotions (such as crushing despair, rage, or fear effects). If the wearer is subject to the effects of calm emotions, this morale bonus is suppressed for the duration of that effect.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, good hope, remove fear, creator must have 5 ranks in the Diplomacy skill; Cost 2,250 gp

Formatting:

Everything looks to be in order. The writing is neat and concise. The item description plays into its mechanics, and generally does a good job of sticking to its theme.

The key word to the item is empathy, although there’s no benefit to the people you’re being cheerful for. Some sort of aid another tie-in would have been appreciated in place of the bluff check. Better yet, some sort of bonus granted to others as the result of a successful bluff check would have made the theme pop. I would have put this in place of the morale bonus at the end; allowing the user to use their bluff modifier in place of the normal save against spells and effects which rely on negative emotions.

In the spirit of balance I would have made the intimidate penalty in line with the diplomacy bonus (+/- 5).

I might have had calm emotions suppress all the mask’s effects as a better tie in.

Does this add something to the game?

As written no, but it consolidates a lot of existing abilities into a nice theme. With some revision it could have novel abilities of its own.

Would I want this in my games?
As a Player?

This has use for the party face, but is less useful outside of combat/specific scenarios. The price is low enough I might pick one up at higher levels.

As a GM?

I like the item. It has a nice depth.

In real life?

I wear this mask… o.o nice item.

Point at which I would stop up-voting this (based on this year’s experiences): After the third or fourth cull.

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