First-Round Item Feedback from me!


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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

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Hello! I didn't make it to the top 16, however: that means I have phenomenally more free time in my day. But before I begin, congrats to the top 16 again! You fine folks are impressive, and I look forward to the monsters!

I said I would go through the Item Critique thread. I aim to

There is a lot of feedback out there now. I'm going to try to focus on Theme, and the Core Premise of the item. My goal is to focus on the way your item is presented and how I felt reading your item. A lot of playing a game is about locking down on the fun! I will also try to identify where I personally feel you lost votes.

The format I will use is the following:

First Impression:
This is the FIRST thing I think about when I read your item. It may not make sense to you; but if it does, try to identify if that was the intended reaction.

Feelings:
A game's goal is fun. If an item doesn't scream FUN, I'll note it here. Along with anything else I happened to noticed that was off or, didn't feel right. Or things that just FELT right.

Would I publish had I the power:
I'm not a publisher, but I think I have a pretty good eye of what's publish worthy material. Most people asking for feedback are there. But, This is where I'd make notes on anything that prevented it for me.

I hope you find this helpful, If there is anything I can do to make my feedback clearer for you, PLEASE let me know. I'm still learning, and I yearn to be a better Game Designer in every possible respect. This includes feedback!

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

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Soulrazor

Feedback:

My first impression:
Soul Jar in a Crit-Sword.
Feelings:
The rules on breaking the Soulrazor are cool in my humble opinion. However, the primary powers here are… one time a day created a corpse double that heals the wielder, and 3 x Day soul capture. I like soul capturing items. I feel there is a certain lack of morbid and evil items in Pathfinder.

The name Soulrazor feels like it should destroy souls or incorporeals… this name is misleading in a good way. I’m just not sure the last power REALLY fits the theme here. Creating a corpse double is a cool power, but, I’m not sure it should be here. Also; does using the Corpse double power consume a soul? What happens when someone re-appears while someone else is wielding the soulrazor?
Can, someone release the soul of the Soulrazor’s previous wilder while doing that?

Is the Soulrazor aware of all the souls in it?
Can I DO ANYTHING with the souls in this sword besides release them? If you give me a new resource, please, PLEASE tell me I can do something cool with it! Something as powerful as souls captured should totally give me powers!
I like this weapon; but there are a lot of questions I want answers to.

I also like that this weapon reminds me of a Super Nintendo video game. Soulblaser.

Would I publish had I the power: Yes, given some re-tweaking, and an adventure where the villain used it!

Lion’s Roar

Feedback:

First impression:
How many bonus’s are on this sword, and Elysian bronze?
Feelings:
I feel a need lower powered Holy Avengers, but this one isn’t it. First of all, the Holy Avenger trick is it’s a really weak sword, except in the hands of a paladin. While a “good wielder” version is an awesome design choice, this starts powerful. A courageous and holy greatsword is still a great weapon.
Not that breaking from the mold is a bad thing, in many cases it is good! I think this item has a lot of potential! However, I do think in the hands of a non-good wielder this item is just a little TOO good to pull of the trope correctly. Good use of links.

This Item seems to sing Dragon Slaying potential. That may have been a neat direction to explore; especially in the vain of a Holy Avenger. I got a good feeling for this!

Would I publish had I the power:
Yes, given some tweaking.

Glove of the Severed Servant

Feedback:

My first impression:
Festooned is a good word!
Feelings:
I like this item, it’s neat. Neat is the operative word. I really like the link to the Crawling Claw. It’s clear, and makes good use of previously existing terms. I really like the bit at the end about death of the wearer turns it into an actual creature!
Where I think this item would do better, despite the rather solid robust writing, is it basically turns into a flanking buddy. Which is Neat! Losing a hand is also one of those “downside/curse” ideas. It’s only for a short time, but perhaps, replacing the “Snapped off” hand with a spectral one that is ghost touch would be nice, to offset the “drawback”. There are voters that don’t like drawbacks in any item; and I think that’s where this item got clubbed.

Would I publish had I the power: Yes. No tweaking.

Green Flash

Feedback:

My first impression:A very pretty bow!
Feelings:
This bow hates the following with a passion: Invisbility and stealth and cover. There is some helpful nature with the faerie fire, but it lasts an hour!? Fights do not last that long. And scouts last even less long then that.

It’s granted it’s once a day power is clearly stated, but why does it ignore cover!? Isn’t that the “Seeking” power already? I think you made the bow double seeking? The true strike is nice, but the faerie fire power is just seeking again — with the exception of invisibility purging and stealth removal for others.

Why not a bow that fires an arrow that creates a zone of “Purge invisible?” Or a bow that fires “Glitter dust” at a target? Not that this is a BAD bow, I just feel like this bow was trying to be really awesome, when some of it’s neat mechanics already exist. However; I will say, a few adjustments taking into account the Seeking power, and this could be awesome!

Would I publish had I the power:
I don’t know. I see potential, I would LOVE to see this reimagined, reworked, and see some design choices explained. Maybe I’m not seeing something.

Soul Shackle Bolt

Feedback:

My first impression:
Soul Puncture POWERS ACTIVATE!
Feelings:
Playing with Souls is always fun! This is a neat little planer anchor power. This is a fun bolt to shoot friends with when you think they are going to get themselves killed. This is a fun little support item to help the healer out when overburdened, AND a nice anti-incorporeal item, and dimensional anchor.
Now this is starting to come off as a swiss-army knife, but I really think you have some potential here! There is a lot of NEAT! But just not enough words to really make this bolt awesome.
Now here comes the harsh part, this is ammunition. That’s A LOT of power to pack into a single use item; if this was a once-a-day power for a crossbow, I feel this would have done better with voters.
But as Ammunition this is WAY too much to remember. LOTS of nuisance to this. Many ammunition entries are less than 100 words. MOST just have 1 simple effect that’s easy to remember. I think this is why this wasn’t top 32.
Would I publish had I the power:
Simplify this, or make this an optional power on a crossbow, and yes.

Sarkorian Sunderjaw

Feedback:

My first impression:
I don’t know if I’ve seen a better use of the word scrimshaw before.
Feelings:
Wait a minute didn’t I post this in the… no… no I didn’t. This is WAY different than one of my Blazing 9 entries, and holy crap am I looking up to this weapon. It is really fun! I like replacing a Bite with a slam! This is fun! I like it!
Only change I would really make is in the OTHER power, the if “If the bite had additional effects”, I would have changed that to a hard other power. Not a changing one based on the most recent creature mashed.
I LIKE this; but, I feel it’s a little too complicated to win over A LOT of votes. Simplicity and straightforwardness seem to be the way to go in this competition. Adding MORE book-keeping seems to be a bad idea, but I feel this power is really on the verge of being so awesome this can be over looked.
Would I publish had I the power:
Yes.

Gorgon Sinew Lariat

Feedback:

My first impression:
Dangerous Lasso, Go on. You have my attention
Feelings:
You got a lot of help with wording. All this is good. Lasso’s are inherently non-dangerous. They are capture weapons. This is a big surprise. I like the mechanics about the wind; and the specific call out to the spell failure being slightly better than normal entangle rules. However; this item feels almost a LITTLE bit all over the place. I would be very sad if this item were cut apart. No one likes the idea of a magical item breaking, and this REALLY makes it feel like a very expensive consumable Item.
Would I publish had I the power:
Possibly, this is a really strong contender!

Phase Strike Lenses

Feedback:

My first impression:
I…why would…ooooooooooooohhhh…
Feelings:
I had mix Feelings: the first time I read this. This is clever; I had to really think about the subtly of this item and I thought it was very clever! Turning ANOTHER target incorporeal is a clever way to create a new crowd control option. It’s also a great way to move objects around with low strength scores. This is really ingenious. I’m afraid though, the subtly may have swung and missed with lots of voters.
This is clever, I can’t say that enough. The cost of a standard action each round ot maintain CC may have cost you some votes, but that FEELS right to me.
Would I publish had I the power:
Enthusiastic Yes.

Locket of Love's Lure
Feedback:

My first impression:
eew… love item.
Feelings:
So, This basically a forlorn love item. Which, works for some people. This doesn’t do anything for me. That last bit about failing all drowning checks makes this seem like a slightly cursed item. These combined leave a nasty taste in my mouth. The item drawback/cursed nature in items generally hurt a lot if item’s chances.
Now; this item IS solid, it is well written, and solid mechanically, and honestly this is a good testament to how good of a writer you are as a person. The Item’s subject matter or creative for this item, is what killed it for me. I want you to take away though; that you are a seriously talented writer, and quite possibly an item theme away from being superstar.
Would I publish had I the power:
Not this one. I’d love to see another item though!

Cyclonic Darkleaf

Feedback:

My first impression:
MEGAMAN!
Feelings:
This item reminds me of Leaf-man’s power from Mega–Man games. In a good way. The Magic an Silver for damage reduction is neat.
This is a very visual item powerful.
Where I think the item lost votes is the armors “Primary” power is first mentioned to be damage, and a de–buff, THEN the protection portions of the power were mentioned.

I don’t think this matters much, but the important power for armors are generally protection. The protection powers should probably have been mentioned first, then any other powers. Maybe the leaves could have not dealt damage. Just applied the blind, and resultant penalties from severe wind. The protective powers do feel KINDA like an afterthought. Though, I like the primary power enough.

Otherwise, I really like this item, despite the nostalgic bomb it dropped into my childhood.
Would I publish had I the power:
yes… thank you for not having the leaves fire at people!

Auric Hush

Feedback:

My first impression:
Coin? That does that?
Feelings:
You did the same thing I did. The name “Auric Hush” feels like a weapon name, and My “Shark Toothed Maw” felt like a weapon name, too.
More importantly: This is a magic item without a slot. Which, still gave it a “weapon” feel, but it’s a coin.
Neat twist. A coin worn on the tongue, which is… flavorful. But you’re losing me on your train of thought.
Like the imagery OF the coin. I also had to look up what Auric meant. Good word! I like learning new words!
It’s a melee touch attack, why am I not slapping THEM with the coin? The placing of the coin on my tongue feels like a needless difficulty? Can I talk while I have the coin there? Can I cast spells? Can I use my mouth?
There are some unanswered questions about what is the limitation of this item, and the implication of using your “tongue” slot, despite it not being a real slot.
Using wearer as the term, when the item isn’t really worn? (chewer? Not a better word? This is an odd territory for words)
Over all, this item has good flair, but unfortunately, the fact that ti’s a coin on your tongue leaves a lot of “odd” that the Flair didn’t seem to shine through for me.
Would I publish had I the power:
The way this item is “worn” needs to be reworked. Then, I think this item is a lot stronger!

Teeth of the White Death

Feedback:

My first impression:
Necklace of SHARK!
Feelings:
This is a shark themed Necklace of Fireballs, and man are Sharks cool! This however, comes down to a problem, it feels like a Swiss-Army-Knife, capable of doing whatever shark–themed thing needs doing; which I think lost you some votes.

A major thing that needs to be re-arranged is the “Each ability lasts…” line needs to be BEFORE each option in the item. I read each power wondering how long it lasted, thinking the changes be permanent until the last line.
Despite this, the central theme is strong, and evocative of the way of the Shark. I think a solid re-write or two, and you have yourself a strong contender. I feel there may have been too many “options” and not enough “strong mainline power” for this competition. Though as a quest reward or a Magic Item Compendium item this fits right in.
Would I publish had I the power:
With the rearrange of that last line, Solid book item.


Hell’s Restraints
Feedback:

My first impression:
Hell’s Doc-Ock Armor

Feelings:
Adamantine is expensive, and that is what made this feel very much like Doctor Octopus’s Tentacles. Also… 4 animated grapple chains. If they were regular Iron chains, It’d probably still feel the same… and Hell’s go to material is Cold Iron. The final paragraph REALLY seals the Doctor Octopus feel though, with the climb speed and the 15 foot manipulation.

Grappling is VERY Chelish though, and Kytons. Perhaps a small bonus to interacting with Kytons, or a bonus to disguise as a Kyton would through off the Doc-Ock feel, but as a comic book nerd, I LIKE that feel.

Would I publish had I the power:
Yes… however, it would be in a book about simulating comic book heroes and villains.

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

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Lookouts Lucky Buckler

Feedback:

My first impression:
Trap moving! That’s neat!
Feelings:
It’s a scaling Buckler! I like this. I think it’s neat! It’s also the only shield that really detects traps. Though, I am not sure this buckler’s actual function enhances or replaces the normal “Trap-finder” role in the party. The shield doesn’t actually find the trap, just moves it 10 feet, to solid ground. So… question, for mechanical traps does this move the ENTIRE trap apparatus, or just the operating end of the trap?

While this is a REALLY COOL idea, the execution creates questions about what exactly happens to the trap. Like, say, a Pit trap, does it move the whole pit? Or just the surface? The implication is that it moves the WHOLE thing. What about traps that are bigger than 5 feet? Can I move a Bolder Trap? Do I move the Trigger? I think there is just enough vagueness here that could have cost you some votes.

However; besides those questions, I REALLY like this.
Would I publish had I the power:
I think when we start answering the important question with the description of the power, this will be ready for publishing!


Face of the Kraken
Feedback:

My first impression:
Release my inner Kraken!
Feelings:
If they tentacles are only chest length, why can I pick up objects as a swift action? But more importantly; 15 feet tentacles on my face! COOL! Explosive face-growths are a plus for me; though some people who may not like that image. How many tentacles do I have?

The powers are Grapple with full hands, reposition one time at a day at a range, and carry stuff on my face. All useful, but Grapple has good support right now, and a face grapple with full hands while nice, creative, thematic, is unfortunately a niche that has a lot of support around it.
That and the squick of Face-splosion-tentacles may have cost you some votes. However, this item demonstrates solid writing skill. You have good potential; you may want to use White space to help differentiate where one power starts and the next begins. This item is a bit of a text wall.
Would I publish had I the power:
Yes, clearly this is ready. It needs to be in a book about grappling or the sea.


Watch of Borrowed Time
Feedback:

My first impression:
Action Manipulation and Time finickyness.
Feelings:
I’m NOT entirely sure what this item does. I’ve had to re-read this item several times each time I had to vote on it. This may not be your fault, perhaps my reading comprehension is lower than it should be. There is some cool visuals here, but the visuals muddy up the effect in my head. This is not good; but I’m not quite sure if that is your fault or my own.

First when I read it, I had to imagine how to keep track of where the Hour and minute hand, then I read that the user dictates where they are. However the white space DOES clearly delineate what happens when the Hour and Minute hand are on the same creature, and that was easier to understand.
This could have been re-written to be clearer for me personally to read. But that’s my personal feelings. However; this has potential however. Many people in this competition liked this item; and clearly you know your way around time items and action manipulation. You have a solid shot of pulling off this niche off, a niche that not many people have the talent or creativity to muck with.
I wouldn’t even attempt an item like this; because I’m not sure I have the skill to pull it off. YOU clearly either have the skill, or are so close to mastering the skill. Keep trying, the wording just wasn’t clear for me, and if it wasn’t clear for me, it could have potentially been a problem for others.
Would I publish had I the power:
Not this item, but the next few re-works quite possibly!


Chameleon Shield
Feedback:

My first impression:
Chameleons are awesome, shields are neat! Show me what you got!
Feelings:
Specifically “what you got” is a shield that is invisible when motionless. It can extend to the rest of the wearer 3 times a day which is neat. This shield grants full concealment for how long though? That’s important.
The speed and the lack of movement is a really thematic, and I like how it ties back to the Chameleon. Besides that key missing bit of duration, I see nothing wrong with this item. It has a strong theme, and it is concise.
You have so much extra word space that missing the duration is harsh. Right now; I could use it to camp, right before sleeping. And as long as I wake up very slowly, and move very slowly, it would be nearly impossible to know the camp had a guard… and this is a perfect ambush item if you know where someone is going to be.
Which fits the Chameleon, but RPG’s tend to need a duration especially since this item can be used 3 times a day.
Would I publish had I the power:
Not as is. It needs a to be reworked and then I would reconsider it.

Needlenose Arbalest
Feedback:

My first impression:
NeedleNose plyer Crossbow!
Feelings:
First impression wrong! But clever use of Arbalest! Needle nose threw me off at first, but I see what you did there, to quote a populare internet meme. Mosquitos are a cool, though I imagine some people may not have liked the bug may have been turned off on that.
I like the condition dependent seeking condition. That’s a nice touch.
I imagine giving up the crossbow function is where you lost votes. What is the crossbow person supposed to due with the rounds the person gave up the crossbow for the Mosquito? We talked about this item beforehand, but this is something I JUST thought of re-reading your item. That might be what cost you a lot of votes, as this is CLEARLY a main-line weapon, not a support weapon.

The Crossbow turning into a Mosquito is a neat visual, I like that.
Would I publish had I the power:
I would yes; I think it’s a solid item.


Wing of the Night Monarch
Feedback:

My first impression:
MONARCH!
Feelings:
I sent you my feedback privately. However, I want to reinforce that I enjoy this item, and items like this that have the same features.
Would I publish had I the power:
Yes, I would.

Vudrani Fighting Rope

Feedback:

My first impression:
Fighting Rope, better not have a Rope-burn fire-damage pun!
Feelings:
So; I have a question; does this monastery just use only this weapon type? How much damage does this weapon do? It’s just a rope? So is it an improvised magical weapon?
This feels like it should be a mundane weapon entry. That is NOT a bad thing. This feels like it’s a magical version of a weapon that isn’t in the PHD or PRD. Which, again not bad; just what I think cost you valuable votes.
What I really like about this item, is the non-violent nature of the weapon. It’s a weapon of piece if there ever was one. I REALLY enjoy that feature, this whole weapon is designed around subduing without damaging. The grapple damage is the only lethal option this weapon has as written, which is a good way of maintaining the idea that this is a weapon. It’s an afterthought though, really what this thing does is keep people FROM fighting, keep people FROM being dangerous. I like that.
Keep that in the future. Work with that. We need more “non-lethal” stuff in pathfinder in my humble opinion.
Would I publish had I the power:
I would have it re-written as a non-magical weapon variant.

Armor of the Sun
Feedback:

My first impression:
This armor is going to be hot.
Feelings:
You may have fallen in the “spell-in-a-can” trap here. The reference to “Burst of Radiance” without… previously mentioning the spell causes some confusion.
However AFTER that, this armor definitely is neat! It burns, it’s warm, it splashes fire everywhere. I like that. I like the clarification of being caught on fire not stacking with the magical fire damage. That it’s two different fire damage types.
Other then that, I don’t really have a lot to say about the Armor of the Sun. I feel like it could have been flashier. Otherwise well written.
Would I publish had I the power:
Needs some work; but you are definitely on the right track here!

Thieves’ Honor

Feedback:

My first impression:
What Honor do thieves really have? Oh…
Feelings:
The use of the word duplicate clearly indicates which blade you’re talking about. That’s good. This weapon is a one man flanking team, which is dangerous; but not a disastrous choice. I’m not sure HOW I could improve it, with the exception of the worry about the free 2d6 sneak attack damage.

I think when we work-shopped this item, I expressed concern about that. But, that’s simply because it’s a lot of free damage… over 10 rounds that’s an extra 20d6, and 10d4.
That is a HUGE amount of damage… assuming it all hits.
I think this might be where you lost votes.
Would I publish had I the power:
With re-working, yes!


Gloves of Spell Grip
Feedback:

My first impression:
Spell gripping, can I catch spells now!?
Feelings:
I think it’s a neat idea to have an item that holds a buff spell for a bit. That is a cool power. The using it at the spells durations is nice. If the Gloves are holding the charge however, why is there a concentration check while casting?

It feels a little arbitrary. The last paragraph is misleading here. “If the spell is being held by the gloves allows multiple touch targets, you can’t hold the charge of such a spell”, that really confused me in my initial read. Not that multiple reads is a bad thing; it’s just not clear initially. That may have cost you votes.
Would I publish had I the power:
This would require re-writing the last paragraph. I dig this concept!

Twin Star Breastplate

Feedback:

My first impression:
Gravity power ACTIVATE!
Feelings:
Hey, the direct reference to reverse gravity spell may have caused this to fall into the “spell-in-a-can” trap. This may cost some votes. The teamwork feat bonus is… an odd power. I’m not sure how it fits in with the gravity theme; with the exception of the “twin Star” idea. Otherwise I get a very “Cosmic” theme from this item.
The Gravity powers however fit. But the “spell-in-a-can” trap + the Teamwork feat power seems to be what cost most of your votes. There is a Template error, in the construction requirement; all feats must come before spells.
Teamwork feats also seem to be a source of people voting against an item. As, there is a desire for items to primarily function by themselves, without the need for another item or another PC.
Would I publish had I the power:
I think we need more teamwork feat support, but; I think the cool power on the end needs to be rewritten some how.

Star Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Thank you for the kind words!
If you had trouble reading the item, it's probably my fault. Being concise is something I struggle with, even outside of my writing, so I'm not surprised that people had trouble reading my item/figuring out what it does. Fortunately for me, conciseness is something I have the opportunity to work on in virtually everything I write, so I'll have plenty of practice for next year.
I do plan on doing more time-themed stuff, but not for this competition. It's a precarious design space that not a lot of people appreciate.
Again, thank you for your time and words!

Dark Archive RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 9

Well met Jarrett! I'd be interested in your kind of feedback for my item as well: Blade of the Ice Stalker
Thanks!

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

James Thomas wrote:

Well met Jarrett! I'd be interested in your kind of feedback for my item as well: Blade of the Ice Stalker

Thanks!

Feedback incoming. :-) Happy to oblige!

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

More is coming. If you don't want me to review you item for any reason, or give feedback please let me know. Otherwise, I will continue through the list as given on the critique my item forum.
Other Top 32, if you wish for me to review your item, I will.

Please let me know if my tone is hurtful, while I'm wish to be honest; I don't want to be discouraging or mean. Sometimes, this doesn't come across in text well. Please also let me know if my feedback isn't helping you:
I do not have the review practice of other more veteran members of this community. Part of this is an exorcise to improve my ability to give feed-back and to learn myself.

Stormleaper’s Greaves

Feedback:

First Impressions:
Shocky-jump-jockey!
Feelings:
When reading this item, I REALLY like it. I think the very last line about being outside is where it falls apart for me. With how little the damage was before (for the price point) is where I feel this item shines.
It’s not a lot of damage, but it’s nice, the PRIMARY effect for this item is where ALL the cool is; Jumping around the sky like a martial arts movie. That’s where I feel this item needs to stay. That last line; while situation makes hits quite the potent little blasty item. I feel this is where the secondary power start to out shine over the mobility aspects of the boots.
That’s just me though.
It could be you wanted to have boots that kick thunder and lighting, and the jumpy-bits were an afterthought, in which case, I would reverse the order; of the power’s description and really lay into just how the thunder kicking works. In which case, you have a totally different feeling item.
Would I publish had I power:
You are two lines away, or a re-write away from getting this into pure awesome territory. Keep up the good work, and I think so.

Rebel Mask
Feedback:

First Impressions:
Neat mask… wait… is that backstory I see?
Feelings:
Despite how COOL the second paragraph is, Cut it. That’s a lot really good clean story writing. This is a magical item; and that is plot stuff. If you want your magic item to have plot, please have it’s powers indicate it’s potential plot uses.
Your first paragraph however; spot on. I like it. You can cut the word “descriptor” just “against creatures with lawful alignments”. This will do a ne’er-do-well no good against a “Neutral” alignment guard, but, it would certainly let you know who’s dedicated to the cause, and who you can avoid!
There is a lot of potential awesome in this item, but that second paragraph killed some of it, by doing the following:
A) Renaming the item mid–entry.
B) Backstory, nothing get’s complained about more than backstory.
C) Sounds like you’re trying to force your admittedly cool chelish plot on a GM or Player.
If this is brutal, I didn’t mean it to be. I really like your first paragraph, and even the neat name “nickname” for the magic item. You show lots of promise! Try to reign in your plot awesome on the first round, and save up that creative energy for rounds 4 and 5 next year, and I’m pretty sure you have some superstar mojo in you!
Would I publish had I power
Not this item; see feelings.

Wily Mace
Feedback:

First Impressions:
Jeeze this is expensive!
Feelings:
First of all; good job. I REALLY like this mace. That out of the way; couch. That price. That price hurts. I can’t afford that for just a weapon that does +4 damage, or +5 damage for a few rounds in a fight.

That’s what this item boils down to… (Pun intended). You can as a swift action make a +3 weapon deal 1 or 2 more fire damage. 1d8+4, for 2 rounds, +5 for 3 rounds, then +4 for 2 rounds. Then back to +3.

On the OFF chance you crit, you get the really COOL power to go off. I don’t think that’s worth the 20+K gold off base for a normal +3 weapon. You’re saying this weapon is equivalent in power to a +6 weapon. Which, while the extra power is REALLY cool and flavorful, the +3d6 extra fire damage, and the adjacent explosion is about as powerful as the flaming burst special quality, but lacks the continual fire damage.

That last bit about transferring the heat metal spell is neat. But the 50% chance really hurts it, and so does not telling me which metallic piece of equipment gets the spell.
Would I publish had I power
Strong start; needs work work to finish strong.


Zeitgeist Coin
Feedback:

First Impressions:
Kingmaker item GO!!!!
Feelings:
I have no strong feelings for this item. It’s a great item for Kingmaker and kingdom building. That’s a really under developed sphere in this game. I’d say I don’t know how this would help an adventurer; which is true. I don’t know what kind of skill checks would be involved for an adventure that would require a city’s scores, with exception of the availability of magical items.

This just reveals how little I ACTUALLY know about kingdom building, despite my playing through Kingmaker. If the average voter shares the same lack of knowledge as I do; then that may have cost you votes.
Would I publish had I power:
In a kingmaker supplement, yes.

Pendant of Hidden Malice

Feedback:

First Impressions:
Invisibility item; I’m curious how this is different?
Feelings:
The second paragraph is where this item shines: I think this should be the primary focus of the item. However; I am questioning the usefulness of such an item. I feel like this item is a “punishment” magic item.
Let me clarify this: As a GM, I prepare to a difficult encounter for my PC’s with the central theme of an invisible creature. I give them this amulet. The PC’s being competent PC’s have a few tricks ready to deal with an invisible creature. The creature is now a cake walk; except NOW with this item, the PC’s are punished for circumventing what I intended to be difficult!
To turn this around: GM keeps throwing enemies at me that see through my invisibility. So I purchase this item, and activate it. Now when enemy see’s through my invisibility; they get a penalty.
Then again, with a name like Hidden Malice though, the intent may be this theme. If that’s the case, good job, you definitely nailed it. However; making a player or GM feel punished for a particular action isn’t good in my humble opinion.
Would I publish had I power
I don’t think I would publish THIS item. I’m curious what other items you wrote though!

Jar of Fireflies

Feedback:

First Impressions:
Fireflies, reminds me of childhood.
Feelings:
There are some wording and writing errors here; and this is not a good thing if I am noticing them. I like the duel functionality of individually releasing fireflies and just throwing the Jar.
I think the Issue with votes here is the use of “small Beetles (Small fire Elementals)” term. I really think you should have stuck with Small Fire Elementals; or found a fiery bug. Another solid solution would have just had them be a small fire bug that just explodes at people. I don’t feel there is a reason to use a specific creature for this items powers.
The way the fire-elementals were used was clunky, and adding powers to a creature isn’t exactly a great way to showcase your creativity.
This item seriously shows some promise, and some utility, and different ways it could be used. But the fact that it was trying to create a creature and a fireball definitely ate some of it’s potential awesome.
Would I publish had I power:
After some reworking eventually.

Chemist's Retort
Feedback:

First Impressions:
Alchemist weapons are rare!
Feelings:
I really like having a weapon that can fire flasks and vials. I like the ability to double alchemical weapons damage. I like the idea of extending the money used to make alchemical weapons best. The Three times per day, is nice as well.
To find out why this item didn’t get votes, I think is that it multiplies the bombs. I don’t think I have the insight to see why exactly you didn’t get the votes necessary to be top 32. Perhaps what would have been better is have the Bolt Case have 5 vials instead of just one, or the multiplicative nature of the Bolt Case that is loaded could be used one or two times a day. I think also; you could have changed to focus a little more on the alchemical application and just made it fire flasks, instead of bolts.

I mean, Acid splash is a level -0- spell, and that could have been the default “bolt” when an alchemical weapon isn’t loaded.
Last minute idea.
Would I publish had I power:
Yes.

Blackthorn Cudgel

Feedback:

First Impressions:
You FIXED that club I tried to write in the blazing 9!
Feelings:
I wrote a very similar item during the blazing 9 and attempted to make an item for Giants. I failed. However, you did everything right, it seems. You made the “regrow” mechanic nice and simple. Your club has a simple bleed effect, and you elegantly used game mechanic terms that already exist.
Your wording is good I believe, if the template is off in a few places. There are some wording choices that could be changed to be clearer. “dozen” should be a solid number. If you wanted twelve (a normal dozen) you should say twelve, because there is also the phrase “Bakers Dozen” which is 13~14. It wouldn’t initially be a source of confusion, but it would be a source of contention during a game session; as I know people in my gaming circle who like to have exact numbers, and abuse ambiguous terms like that.

The weapon taking damage, seems arbitrary, you could have simply said “When this club gains the broken condition, it no longer regrows spines”. Simpler, and saves you some word-count.

BUT; take that with a grain of salt. Like I said, I feel your word choice was already solid enough. Could be improved yeah, but you’ll be hard pressed besides being more exacting. Now; where I feel you REALLY lost your votes was in your last few lines. They seem arbitrary and redundant, because in the first line you state that the weapon IS made of Greenwood.
Would I publish had I power:
Still needs some work; but yeah eventually.

Mask of Cheerful Demeanor

Feedback:

First Impressions:
I have no idea why I would use this item.
Feelings:
Emotions are awesome and powerful things. They create wonderful tales, compelling stories, and gripping dialog. I THINK that’s what you were going for here, unless, you were going for Majora’s Mask Sales Person, in which case… Nailed it.
That’s not bad. This is a very creative, well written item.
I just have NO IDEA why I’d use it with the exception of the last power. +5 on diplomacy checks and +10 on Bluff checks for hiding my rage, anger and sorrow… just doesn’t help me.
I like it when my enemies know I’m displeased… it gives them cause to worry. If I’m smiling, nothing is wrong. I want them to know something is wrong.
But what is important is the I parts of those sentences above. I can see some uses, but, I don’t know why I would use them.
This is where I think you lost votes. If it happened to me, I’m sure it happened to a few other voters.
Do know, that the flavor of this item is strong, it’s image is clearly plastered in my head. You seriously have a shot of being top 32 next year, if you can combine that strong imagery, solid mechanical writing, and imaginative thinking to an item that has a more clearly seen purpose. Thought keep the subtle purpose, there are a lot of players who DIG that stuff.
Would I publish had I power:
I would put this item in a museum as part of an adventure.

Trident of the Elemental Captain

Feedback:

First Impressions:
Tridents are neat!
Feelings:
This is just a +2 trident that fires scorching rays, and deals +3 elemental damage. It took me 3 read-throughs to realize it didn’t have flaming, shocking or the frost properties. I looked to see where it had those properties, it doesn’t. You created a specific magical item that requires being enhanced to get the FULL use of it’s powers.
The primary power of this trident, is that it fires 3 scorching rays on a target. Which is a BIG deal. Those Rays do Cold, Electricity and Fire damage. In this competition you have 60 seconds to tell me that. Why is this power the last thing on your entry?
The way this item is written right now, is the primary power is the +3 elemental damage ontop of the trident’s regular damage. And that this +3 damage stacks with specifically the flaming, shocking and frost properties, not any elemental enhancements to the weapon; such as the magus’s Arcane Power’s, Paladin’s weapon Enhancements, War-Priests Fervors, or any other number of weapon enhancing class abilities.
Don’t get me wrong; this entry has it’s upsides, an excellent name, a cool theme, and a neat last power. I like the scorching, Frosting, and Shocking Rays. I do, but this item is a spell-in-a-can. The issue here though; is the power you focused on, didn’t work, because the item didn’t have those properties, and it would be VERY expensive to add them.
Would I publish had I power:
As is, no. Keep the name, and re-write it, then show me.

Sanguine kiss

Feedback:

First Impressions:
We got a NPC/Plot weapon here!
Feelings:
This is a module ending item that the PC’s get from slaying a villain. That is to say; you could frame an entire adventure around this item. If you cut the last 2 paragraphs. I’m serious; the last two paragraphs of this item totally kill it.
The 2nd to last paragraph turns this item into a curse, and the last paragraph makes you undo ALL the murdering you put forth to build your vampire army. The last thing I WANT to do is re-kill 22 people to turn them back into vampire-spawn that I control. Seriously; that’s how I read it. I am wrong on how the ability is supposed to work, please let me know. I really want an item like this in Pathfinder. Though, I feel we need low-level necromancer minions… which this item doesn’t at ALL make. It makes temporary minions for high-level players… who if they want minions are better off just MAKING them with animate dead.
Now; the first 3 paragraphs I can get behind. It may be my inner necromancer talking though.
Would I publish had I power:
Not as is.

Books of One
Feedback:

First Impressions:
Two books for the price of one!
Feelings:
I’ve only seen 2 RPG superstar competitions, but I can say with some confidence that any item that works in pairs, requires more than one to operate, or requires multiple PC’s or NPC’s to operate are going to do poorly.
That is NOT to say these are poorly built items. This is a really good one. I’m just saying; if you lost votes, it’s probably because of that.
I am a BIG fan of items that support teamwork, use teamwork feats, have PC’s cooperate to gain an advantage; but they don’t seem to be RPG Superstar finishers. I want this to prove me wrong so badly.
Another contributing factor is likely that the Primary Obvious uses of such a pair of books, is that of sharing spells or communicating vast distances. That’s not a bad thing; it’s just this design space is riddled with other options. This isn’t to say this doesn’t help; it does. It adds some neat ideas here; there are plots I can come up with that use this book to assassinate scholars, to copy business notes, to steal money and debts, and possible even deeds.
But here’s the deal: people will look at these items for what a Player can do with it, and what a GM can do with it. And I think the shiny ideas that you have for this item for PC’s were not seen by other voters.
However; I want to make SURE you know two very important things: You covered everything you needed to make this item work. I have 0 questions, which is good.
Your item does not have any extraneous words. That’s awesome, it’s concise and perfectly explained.
Would I publish had I power:
I would, but I’m not RPG superstar.

Fray’s Fabulous Fireworks

Feedback:

I already gave feedback on this item. See my comments on the Critique my item thread. This is here so that I don’t lose my place in which Items I have critiqued and which I haven’t.

I just want to say again: If you are looking to make an item that has Random Effects, look at this item first. Learn what it did right, then use it as a spring board to be awesome.

Array of the Winged Knight

Feedback:

First Impressions:
Shiny Angel Wings!
Feelings:
Ok; when I think angels, and I think fear affects, I DO THINK of angels descending upon vast hordes of the unclean-unworthy masses. In a blinding radiance the battle cries of those brilliant angels send the filthy horrid masses scattering.

Why I don’t think; is cavalry. Mind you, winged knights and angels are not always related, but in my mind, they are. Thus, my personal disconnect with this item; this is LIKELY what happened for others. The “Luck” bonus isn’t a sacred bonus, and the Horse’s instead of flying should have clued the reader in that this wasn’t an angel item… but it still FEELS like one. If I’m the only person who had the feeling that this item was all about the guardian angel imagery; then I think I might hurt myself in the confusion.
You made a pretty kick-butt item for conquering cavalry heroes. However, it definitely feels like an item centered around a sort of angelic theme with the description; despite that the name, and mechanics have very little to do with that.
The fear effect definitely could have been made manifest by the blazing trumpets of those on high, or spectral angels descending on the charge victims.

If I sound like I’m stuck on the “great angel battle” theme, that’s because, that’s exactly the imagery the description evokes. I think that’s a good thing, you just didn’t play with that imagery in the mechanics.
Would I publish had I power:
Yes.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka mechaPoet

I wouldn't say no to a critique either. :)

Leviathan's Terror

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Petty Alchemy

I'd never say no to a critique.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Curtisin

Feedback is always appreciated :)
Brass Helmsman

Dedicated Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Tothric, you are too kind! To be honest, I got lucky with the greenwood mechanism. I didn't even know it existed until I started looking for a material to use. The "dozen" did indeed trip me up. It seems several people skipped right over it and said I didn't specify a starting number of thorns. I also get your point about this inevitably becoming the source of controversy. I'll be more definitive in the future. I'm certain that the damage/broken/regrowth aspect cost me votes as well. The other aspect that seemed to hurt me was the fact that bleed is just too bland. My wife had suggested something more dangerous (heart-seeking thorns or fast-acting disease). I should have listened to her.

Lastly, I had never heard of Blazing 9 until you mentioned it. I looked it up and now I have to comb through that thread as soon as I can. There's a great deal of very helpful information in it.

BTW, kudos for making the top 32 and for stepping out to do all these reviews. I'm not brave enough to do any critiques at this point and really appreciate those who are.

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I have a list, and I do them as I feel the muse strikes me.
The only really good way to build confidence giving feedback IS TO GIVE FEEDBACK.

It's a practice in breakdown of the game-design elements of a specific piece of information. Even if you don't feel confident SHARING your feed-back write it down.
I am going through, because it is such good practice, and Everyone in the Critique my Item thread asked for it.

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

3 people marked this as a favorite.
WackoYackoDot wrote:
BTW, kudos for making the top 32 and for stepping out to do all these reviews. I'm not brave enough to do any critiques at this point and really appreciate those who are.

Jarrett's right. Giving feedback is a really great way to improve your own design. I provided feedback on every item in 2013 and it really, really helped me focus my ideas since then. Feedback's easy -- say why you did or didn't like something. You don't have to get into the rules mechanics if you don't feel that's your area of expertise, but I'm sure you had a reason you did or didn't vote for an item. Simply share what it is. Explore what you like, and don't like, and it'll help you recognize your own strengths and weaknesses and what other voters look for, and you'll become a better designer for it.

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Every year, I go through items that didn't make the Top 32 and rewrite ones that had mojo that caught my attention, but had poor mechanics.

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

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I started doing critiques of the top32 this season. It is an extremely enlightening exercise as I can usually end up understanding what voters saw in an item even though I did not appreciate it myself.

It is very easy to know what you like or dislike, and to mistake this for the innate value of what you are assessing. It is far more difficult to go beyond this (your own preconceptions) and assess honestly what the crowd actually likes or dislikes, even if you think it is absolutely dumb.

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

Feed-back Granted to requesties! Please let me know if you want PRIVATE feedback (via Paizo PM) or Public Feedback.
I should have suggested that when I started this thread.

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

Blood Volley Blade

Feedback:

First impression:
Throwing blood Sword!
Feelings:
Hmmm… Not NORMALLY a big fan of weapons that “act” like other weapons. It’s not that they are bad, I’m not just normally a fan of such mechanics. I can appreciate them, and here is how you did well.
First, the condition for the transformation is clear. It’s when the Blood Volley Blade is removed via the Steal Combat Maneuver. It is an evocative image. However; like the Needlenose Arbelest, this item has one thing I Just thought of as a problem. The wielder if this is his only weapon, is now defenseless after using the weapon’s primary ability.
I throw my COOL dagger for it’s nifty effect. That enemy is now bleeding out, or they remove it, and the dagger comes back to me. But until this happens, this weapon is in the enemy. With the cost of this weapon, it is logically, your primary weapon.
Now; this is a COOL weapon, however cool it is, you need another weapon to make this weapon it’s best.
That isn’t necessarily good for this competition, and it may have cost you votes. As well as the “blood” theme; but I think your writing and the effect “This dagger turns into a rapier when thrown” is neat enough to carry you past that.

There is sadly not
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Probibly.


Whip of Wounding Words
Feedback:

First impression:
Wordy whip!
Feelings:
You have a lot of really fun imagery with this whip! No doubts about that. This whip is a coil of shadows, and man is that image powerful. I think what makes this item fall apart though: it’s 3 spells-in-a-can.
It’s a very pretty can, and a very descriptive can. Basically; this is a very pretty item that casts inflict serious wounds three times, and shatter and sound burst once. Not that all items need to have unique effects, in fact: Sometimes having an item emulate another effect IS a good thing.
But emulating other powers, isn’t superstar. That’s where it falls apart here. This item needs a serious re-write. Despite how pretty the word-choice is; the effect fell apart.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
In a magic item compendium.

Abacus of Probable Paradox
Feedback:

First impression:
Abacus, Math items GO GO, Show me the math!
Feelings:
You showed me actions, instead. I was happily surprised. However, I believe “action economy” to be a sort of sacred cow of game design. A lot of the games balance revolves around the idea of limited actions, and when actions CAN occur.
This item kind a says “Screw the rules, I have an abacus!” Which isn’t inherently a bad thing.
The cost; and all three effects are how this time collapsed. It was trying to do too much. Think about it this way: A Readied Action is the martial-equivalent of the contingency it costs a turn to do, but it can be powerful. Powerful isn’t the right word; situation shattering is the right words.
The first power on this abacus would be enough for it’s cost. It could be a little too cheap for just that power. That last power too, is also really good. It is EFFECTIVELY the same as the first power; “Readied action: If Nothing triggers my first Readied Action then DO A THING.”
Would I publish Had I the Power:
This needs cost to be calibrated, or powers changed, but, it’s a creative item.

Armor of the Crow

Feedback:

First impression:
SHINY! CAW!
Feelings:
The thought of a crow makes me want to shout CAW at people. However; that’s just weird and has nothing to do with your item in particular. This is an “on unconscious” item, and it “Makes adventuring safe”
Both are sort of a no-no’s in Pathfinder. It’s weird; but as I understand it, magical items can do two things:
Always Do The Thing —or— Be Activated By People.
It’s not that it is a bad idea to have an item activate WHEN an event happens, it’s just not a Pathfinder magic item. There are Precious few magic items that do things “When an event occurs.” I thought this was an empty design space, and I thought maybe; it should be a good idea to fill it with magic items.
If you can find proof of the opposite outside of third party products, I would VERY much like to see them for study. I can’t think of any right now. Back to your item however:
This item ONLY does something when something bad happens to you; specifically you drop to 0 hp or lower. It heals you to 1d4 HP, and sends you roughly 120 feet away from danger.
This item makes adventuring SUPER Safe.
It does it 10 times! 10!? So not only does a character have insurance, they have insurance 10 times over, and can push themselves to death 10 times before death has meaning again.
Items like this are risky design space. They can blow up in your face. This one may have.
So: The Armor of the Crow ’s writer should look the Swashbuckling Sash item. It is a reactive item, but the item STILL requires an action to use: Specifically an Immediate Action.
This means the item can’t be used if the character wielding it is unable to use Immediate actions for some reason, which means, the item doesn’t do anything “Safely”. There is a risk the item won’t work.
Taking “RISK” away from an adventure game is a bad idea.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
For a different game, yes.

Swashbuckling Sash

Feedback:

First impression:
Potential Energy is key words for me.
Feelings:
This item; is well written, solid mechanically, clear, and easy to follow. What is missing? It’s lacking pazzaz. It’s a bright red strip of cloth, it helps me climb and jump and dance. It parries some blows; it’s an item someone could CERTIANLY build a character around it. However: It’s lacking something.

I think that something is a bit flash. Your name implies swashbucklers. Pirates and Fencers, a time when people think of dashing swordsman, swinging from chandeliers, ropes, and other flashy over-the-top gestures. And this item, is anything BUT flashy. This item Highlights what someone who is good at daring doo should already be good at, but it doesn’t grant its’ wherer the ability to swing on ropes that aren’t there, to find the one piece of furniture light enough to kick at someone’s ankles, the right candle to cut to set someone on fire?
A good way to think about swashbucklers is “Would Zorro do it?” or that’s how I do that line of thinking. And while this definitely helps someone climb and swing and jump, it doesn’t do anything… iconic.
Think about that. Let me know what you think.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes, as is. But it’s definitely not a main-line item.

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

Thank you for the reviews. They meant a ton to me, Jarrett.

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

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Sorry about the delay in feedback folks. Life is picking up steam.
I started trying to help out with Extra-Life (Which is really cool if you haven't checked it out!)
I also have my twitch channel which has been eating more time recently, as I've been trying to get equipment so I can run Pathfinder games via Skype or OTHER programs.

Because, I'd like to share how much of an awesome GM I am with the world.

That's neither here nor there. The feed-back is coming. It's just a little slower then I'd want it to be.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Crystal of the Gathered Mind

Feedback:

First impression:
I’m not sure what’s going on here.
Feelings:
So, this item lets me use someone else’s Intelligence, Wisdom and charisma skills checks for 10 minutes. I’m stealing the mind of another, and the other person is taxed for having done so.
I’m still REALLY confused on how to bind this item to someone. If I’m reading it correct, I use this item as a “focus” for spells or abilities, and target someone with it.

Is this an Occult item? I read about one of those classes needing Focus’s to do things. But outside of that; what am I doing? And chances are, if I AM an Occult adventurer, my Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma are going to be pretty good, right? So why would I want a dumpy ol’ fighters useless brain? Oh!? It’s SKILL bonus I’m stealing? But… If I’m a spell caster, or an occult person… chances are my mental skills are better than someone I’m going to blast with this item… and just how many people can I attach to this item anyway? Near the end, this item can be used as a divine focus? Isn’t that a Holy Symbol? Couldn’t’ this just be a Holy Symbol and just… clear up some confusion!
THAT is a good design space, there are not enough really cool Holy Symbols. But still, Clerics and Oracles have decent Skill blocks… so…why would I want to use someone else’s mental skills?

I get the feeling I COMPLETELY missed what this item is trying to do. That may not be you, it might be me. I need more information before I CAN TRULY understand what this item does. Or an example of what you want this item to do. If I need that, other voters needed it for sure; on some level.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is a COOL item, and if you could say… attach this to a sword and have the sword pull the skill ranks from someone it touches, now fighters and rogues could pull from the intellectual pools of wizards and clerics, which would be a good use to pool resources. However, as is; I am left very confused.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Rework this item. it took me way too long to understand.

Flood in a Bag

Feedback:

First impression:
Water, Water everywhere, and all the drops to drink!
Feelings:
This item definitely did not need scaling power levels. This item is just a RUSH of water. It’s… hydraulic push the spell, in bag form. However, it’s written in such a way that it doesn’t mimic the spell at all. It certainly creates a flood.
Especially since this item doesn’t dictate how long the water lasts. Well, it states it generates water for 3 rounds after it’s opened in a specific way. I’m not sure if the water actually has a duration or if it just creates a huge pool of water.
Both are handy, one is just… more awesome. This item could SOLVE some plots just by being an endless supply of water.

However; it’s purpose is to push things around the battlefield. This I like. Especially when it uses creative terrain in a neat way. But I’m serious, this item doesn’t need increasing power levels; It could have been just a magic sack of water, that had charges per day. And the user could pump MORE charges into a particular stream.
Once more: This item is also a bag of holding? Why? That’s… not at all in line with the item’s theme. If it was a floatation sac, yeah, that might be neat. If it was a conch shell? Maybe? Or what about a brass pipe from a damn’s overflow network?
It’s a neat magical effect you got here: But it’s packaging, for lack of a better word, is another item and one that really is kinda odd.

I’m guessing at one point, you did fill a bag of holding with a bunch of water, and then dumped it on someone to great effect –or– a Player in your game did that, and you used these rules to resolve it, and decided it should be a magic item. I agree, but pairing the “new magic item” to a bag of holding feels kind of like pairing A Brief history of Time and Diehard in some shrink wrap and trying to sell them together as a Romance combo. Someone is going to like that combination of things, but… it sure won’t be everyone. If that came across as brutal, I didn’t mean too. They are just two completely different magical items, and this is the metaphor that comes to mind.
Would I publish Had I the Power:


Anticipation
Feedback:

First impression:
Anticipat…
Feelings:
This is a dragon-killing weapon, without the dragon-bane quality. What I mean is, this item is built around killing just ONE BIG THING. It does it very well. It gives you some great powers to fight ONE BIG THING. However; that doesn’t happen too often (Unless you’re playing one of my games, in which case, Have fun!)
The item’s name however; feels like it’s more of a defensive item, then anything else. The +2 bonus to AC towards one thing is offset by a -2 penalty to EVERYONE Else. Now… statistics tell us this is a bad trade. The more people you fight at once, the more of a penalty this actually is. Because the more likely you are to be attacked by everything else. Each other person in the fight has a +10% chance to hurt you now… while you focus on killing this ONE guy so good.
I mean, you are REALLY going to kill that guy, he doesn’t stand much of a chance unless it’s much higher CR then you. +5 to attack rolls and damage Rolls, is a lot faster, especially at that cost. The Iterative attacks alone will multiply the damage this weapon is dealing by 2 to 3 times.

So this weapon creates a sort of race to kill the thing before the thing’s buddies kill you. Which, again, isn’t a bad thing except now your falling into the drawback design trap. And this drawback is borderline lethal in big number fights. I would think with a name like anticipation, it would be more jumpy, more reactionary: but you didn’t fall into that design trap.

Would I publish Had I the Power:
Ation… no, not yet.


Stirgenest Quiver
Feedback:

First impression:
OH GOD THE BUZZING!
Feelings:
I want you to know… this quiver deals 20 con damage. 20. Think about this for a minute. 20.
What has less than 20 con? Pretty much anything that isn’t huge, or is under CR 12.
Now mind you, it deals the con damage 1 arrow at a time. And yeah, Con damage is REALLY cool. But it also makes this easier for MORE than one arrow to hit the target.
This weapon is a DR killer for bows. Which, is a big weakness to the archery attempts: You don’t’ deal lots of damage with arrows to anything that happens to have DR. But, this ignores that, and says: No you don’t get to have Con anymore.

Which is cool!
You also don’t say how long it takes for the nest to change the arrow, meaning it’s immediate. And now that I think about that; it means this thing can do LOTs more than 20… just 20 easily.

I digress though, otherwise this quiver is really well written. It’s clearly stated; the word choice is strong, and you can indicate that the Stirge-like qualities can fade easily. I think the lack of an indicator of how many “items” can have the stirge qualities at once is where you lost votes.

Oh, also the buzzing… who would wear something that is SO LOUD it provides a penalty to stealth… all the time. Think about even listening to that buzzing for 20 seconds, solid. Ever sit and listen to static on the TV for 20 seconds solid? No. You almost immediately change it… and that buzzing… that’s all the time while it has ANY ammo on it. I get shivers thinking about the buzzing.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Hmmm… I’m on the fence, it does require SOME re-writing though.

Atlatl of Volcanic Eruption

Feedback:

First impression:
HOLD ON! I’m listing to my lottery numbers see if I can afford this item!
Feelings:
Give me a minute. This is an Atlatl that summons a freaking VALCANO!? Woah, seriously. Nice play off obsidian being called “volcanic glass” by the way. Ok. I like summoning a volcano, and I had to look up what a caldera is. Looking up a word is nice. I learned a new word today, but that’s TODAY… not during voting. I got 60 seconds to understand your item.
You can prove your mastery of the written word using simpler terms. So… this Item creates volcanic cavity, and if I’m reading your item, it ONLY damages a creature if they attempt to escape the cavity, they take damage. What if they stay still? Well on a re-read I found out they take 4d6 each round… but teleporting out takes 16d6? Why? And… your final wording there is confusing.
People leaving the Caldera take half damage each round? Does the damage half each turn? Is it half of the basic damage?

Hitting someone with Magma is SUPER cool! Though, I think the primary thing that cost you votes, is your price, compared to how complicated the effect is. Your Cost (level ranges of 16~20) is your primary hurdle for getting voter attention, and the ability, (Creating a volcanic cavity from which spews lava!) is a little complicated.
Now lets think about using this item at levels 16~20 when your out of charges for the day. I have a +1 flaming atlatl? So I’m doing at max, 1d6+1+1d6 fire damage + strength? At that level, this item is back-up at best once the charges are used. And you REALLY need to use the charges at this level. So… this is a largely a reconsider item. It’s full of cool, but in the end, the cool seems to complicate it to mmuch.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Ehhhh… I’m on the fence… needs reworking.

Fragmenting Quarterstaff

Feedback:

First impression:
Neat! Chain staff!
Feelings:
This quarter staff has a few issues. The Primary issue with this item is that it falls into the “What am I doing while my item does it’s thing” bit. I break my quarterstaff apart, and fling it. Now it’s animated and attacking people. But it doesn’t ell me what kind of action it is to direct it. Just that it is directed.
Am I spending my turns ordering the staves to attack?
Next issue that I see, is that the staff is doing it’s thing for 11 rounds. 10 rounds of being animated, 1 round of returning. What is the Player doing during these 11 rounds if this weapon is it’s primary weapon?
Note, that MOST quarterstaves are wielded by wizards… some by monks, and some by fighters, and others by really weird Rangers and a few by Druids, and some others, but those are the most common in order as I understand. This problem would be resolved if we knew what KIND of action it was to direct the parts. If it were a free action to direct the staves, Wizards would be flinging spells, and monks would be doing Unarmed Jazz. Everything BESIDES casters (and monks) would be hurting for things to do if this was a primary weapon, which you can argue for the 20+k gold price.
Last issue is MOSTLY minor. Fractions. Fractions are not hard, but they are “non-conventional” math for Pathfinder. ½ is normal for Pathfinder as it’s what happens when you succeed saves. But 1/3rd is an odd fraction, especially for 1d8+1+strength. A better design decision might be that a ½ segment deals a d6+1, and a 1/3rd deals 1d4+1. Die steps are nice. This means, that when the item uses it’s special power: it actually does More total damage; since it can only be done once per day, this enhances the power of the actual weapon temporarily making it more worth using. Because 2 times ½ = 1, and 3 times 1/3 = 1… you’re not actually changing anything besides the staff being animated.
Which honestly, might as well be a “dancing” quality. What makes this different from the dancing quality is that it can be elsewhere. Which is neat… but again: reminiscent of the dancing quality.
Anywho: You have a NEAT idea for an item here. I like the idea of the image here. The problem I feel was that first one, which chain reacted into many others.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not as is.

Cloak of Nine Lives

Feedback:

First impression:
Kitty has claws! You do not know how many of my conversations revolved around this item.
Feelings:
So: this item is really well written. It’s solid, it’s got powerful imagry, it’s seriously the cloak that I saw on the most keep lists. You SHOULD be proud. I was 99% sure you were going to be top 32. I honestly have no idea why you didn’t make it… until I started reading your item really carefully.
“The rest does not need to be consecutive.”
This line; if cut, should make top 32 for sure. Here is why:
You are adding way more bookkeeping, you are adding a lot of nuance, AND you are creating situations where people rest 7.9 hours… and then, rest 3 minutes immediately after consuming all 9 charges, to get all the powers back. Or a serious player would make all rest on their sheet tallying when to really expend the powers of the cloak. That last line opens up LOTS of abuse. And I feel it is that last line that cost you a crucial vote or two from being top 32. It is SERIOUSLY sad that a single line could cause so much trouble, but it does.
However; don’t let that stop you. You made one AMAZING item. I congratulate you.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Easily. This is ready to be published sans that ONE sentence.

Item Name Avatar of the Elements (Air, Earth, Fire, or Water)

Feedback:

First impression:
Item Set here!
Feelings:
Well; item sets are not superstar. An item has to stand by itself. And really, you introduced 4 items with this item. One for each element. That’s NOT a bad thing, it’s just not good for this competition. Which is unfortunate, because this is a solid item.
This could make a really good magic item compendium. However, because you wrote your item so that it could apply to ANY of the 4 elements, you failed to make ONE particularly amazing. What would have been better, is if you focused on ONE particular element. Don’t hint that others could exist, just that ONE. Let it shine. And then you have 3 other magic items that you could create to stand out on each one’s own merit.
However, your mechanics are clear enough. Positive dominate plane sounds… off, but that’s because planer stuff in Pathfinder is unique and I don’t know much about it, admittedly.

But I think the thing that really caused you some trouble is that you could come up with powers that stand out because you tried to make them applies to all 4 elements. So it comes up a little like a spell-in-a-can (elemental body) and a healing item (fast healing) which don’t play off your central theme. Your central theme is elemental cloaks, but since you didn’t focus on a specific element, you couldn’t play off of it correctly. Enough about that though, you have strong writing here. Just was used in the wrong way.

Would I publish Had I the Power:
Re-write required.

Greenwarden Gauntlet

Feedback:

First impression:
Druid gauntlets!
Feelings:
I like the ability to animate trees, however: I don’t like that it is implied that I need two of these items to make the animate tree function.
I have to spend over 140,000gp to animate a freaking tree. That is level 17~20 territory right there. For a “neat” once a day ability. Animated Trees are NOT CR 17… that I know of. Nope, Treants are definitely CR 8. So… not only do I have 2 +2 gauntlets, I can animate 1 tree, once a day, AND I only get +2 natural armor. Which… Is nice… but definitely not for 140k worthy nice. Though, I’m not sure where your pricing came in. I MAY be wrong.
Seriously: Why is a +2 gauntlet over 70K? I could imagine with the paried abilities, this could be 10k… but as written, as I understand it, it just functions as a +2 gauntlet until you buy a second one. This boggles my mind. Greenwood just costs 50 gold extra per pound, so it isn’t that. So, I’m left confused. Otherwise, this is written really well. The mechanics are clear, I don’t have questions about how things function except, why do I need a pair!?
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Maybe with cost re-evaluation.

Gebbite Officer's Shield
Feedback:

First impression:
Geb’s shield!? Guardian of Earth!?
Feelings:
Ok, I will admit, I didn’t know Geb was a country in Golarion until after the competition. And I still do not know a lot about nex. But I took this as an “anti caster” shield, after really trying hard to shift my mental effort from Geb. Yeah, that’s where My mind went first. But, as an anti-caster shield it was nice.
Perhaps the Ray Shield feat could have been used instead of shield bash. But, that’s me. I like the Ray Shield. That screams “Protection” to me. However, creating a zone of silence is REALLY nice. You made a lot of sound choices here though, I think the worst choice in making this item was trying to tie it to a golarian country. You risked people not knowing the country (Like me) or missing the feel for the country.
However; this would have been a great magical item to feature in such a country, and would be good in a book about said country.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yeah.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Coin of Chance

Feedback:

First impression:
Coin flipping!
Feelings:
Ok, I loved this item. But I like a bit of random in my games. Which means, chances are you lost votes. People want items that they can count on, and while I would LOVE to use an item of chance, I don’t want to risk pissing off my allies because of a bad turn of fate.
This item pushes onto “drawback” territory. Which is bad for collecting hard votes. This could be considered a “curse” item. With the benefit being exactly as good as it’s draw back.

Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes. In a book filled with items that were all about chance!

Axe of the Roaring Crowd

Feedback:

First impression:
Hooked axe neat!
Feelings:
Yeah! ALL the performance! I love the performance Combat stuff! I’m all about this! This is a steam-roll axe though. Oh, I so badly want an adventure path with gladiatorial combat involved, and the politics there-in.
Some of my favorite fighting games are ALL about gladiatorial games. 
And this item hits on those feelings. However, I do know where you lost your votes, and it is unfortunately on my FAVORITE part of this item. It’s the performance combat portion. This axe does NOT help a regular adventurer at all. It allows an adventure to turn a regular fight INTO a performance combat, which is NICE! But it’s not exactly helpful to most adventures’.
I really enjoy this item, unfortunately; it plays on a SMALL segment of the rules, and not a major campaign.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yeah, for an adventure about Performance Combat.

Boots of the Swarming Mischief

Feedback:

First impression:
HAMLIN! What are you doing in my Pathfinder!?
Feelings:
Ok, so for those of you who don’t know who Hamlin is, it’s a Malifaux/Pied Piper reference. I know some people who like rats enough to LOVE this item. However, crawling rats all over my person, that’s probably costing you some votes, as having one rat crawling on you CAN be alarming. Though I expect, if your going to use this item, you will love the animal.
The granting the wearer swarm qualities, or finding a way to grant a PC swarm qualities without becoming a swarm, is a good niche. I’ve always wanted to play a swarm, and now for a little bit I can.
Who doesn’t love swarms of things!?
The extra disguise bonus at the end is a nice touch. Over all this item wraps itself in an admittedly kind of disgusting package. But that’s ok, the package wants to be disgusting.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes.

Shah’s Hookah
Feedback:

First impression:
Hookahs? What even?
Feelings:
A friend had to explain to me what a hookah was. Which while as embarrassed as I am (I live near what I now know as a Hookah bar), I couldn’t find a player driven use for this item. Now in a fallout game, where drugs can do WONDERFUL things for the player, I can see a use but in pathfinder, I admit… I don’t know much about the in world drugs and just what they do besides provide a means to poison someone, or polypurpose panacea.
I don’t see drugs very often in pathfinder, or if I do, they are pretty much strictly background to what is going on. Can players use them to develop a character more fully, sure… but I don’t see that too often. So, I believe if MY games are typical (And I admit, they may not be) that is why you lost votes.
Also; while leaving a lot up to GM’s discretion is a good idea, leaving MECHANICAL DO’s and DON’TS up to the gm is not a good idea. You are now thrusting some of the responsibility as a designer on a GM to figure out what is allowable for the price point you present. That’s just going to slow a game down. GM’s are going to change what they want, but do give them a spring board to work off of.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not for pathfinder, for a different game where such themes are more prevalent, possibly!

Replication Hammer
Feedback:

First impression:
Weapon-Bane Weapon!
Feelings:
So, I have mixed feelings about this weapon. I have a love/hate feeling for this item. I love the weapon’s ability to ruin magical weapons. I don’t like that it steals abilities.
I like the ability to take special abilities from weapons, I don’t like that they last forever.
I like that this is a hammer, I don’t like that it isn’t adamantine (the material for breaking other materials.)
See, I have mixed feelings for this weapon. I am not sure how EXACTLY I feel about it. I would have liked to see some dialog about ignoring hardness increase for magical items or something, but then I think about it and I realize, maybe that would have made the weapon too powerful. Then I think, all it needs to do is break a really powerful enhancement, and it’s to powerful.
This is a neat idea. It needed more time to be played with mentally. I just really can’t know how I feel about it. I’m sure other people had mixed feelings about it. What I really think stole your votes, was that this item didn’t have a duration for stolen abilities… so if you thought you’d be clever and steal brilliant energy somehow… now your weapon is KINDA super boned.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not until it was re-written and I Had more solid feelings about it.

Bloodseeker Sword

Feedback:

First impression:
NOPE sword!
Feelings:
This is a weapon that has a drawback that isn’t a draw back. All it takes is a good cleric with a well-timed channel to undo ALL the cost of this weapon. Oh no! I did 6 bleed to myself… channel… ok cool, now I have 1 extra attack, AND I got healed about 22 extra points of damage. This is because at the level of the weapon is priced at, the Channel Positive Energy is healing several D6, and likely is being enhanced by feats and magical items.
Because of party dynamics, this weapon effectively does not have a drawback. Also; the ability to gain temp-hp from hitting someone is a neat ability, but it doesn’t matter when CLEARLY the better part of this item is to take 10 points of damage to decapitate on crits. Which, you know, is really sweet.
This item MIGHT have been fine enough, without the HP trading for special powers. Temp HP when you hit something is nice damage mitigation. In fact, that would be a really cool power for a shield. (Shield-bashing = temp HP! Protection shields go go!)
But, the major idea here, is a hunger vampire sword that trades blood for power… and the price per power point isn’t really all that steep and can be completely negated with a good oracle or cleric, or even a really clever application of a cure light wounds potion.
I think, you swung really really hard for cool factor, and then flopped on your costing. Perhaps, this item could use “kills” with the sword to get temp buffs, and the “kills” fade each day… but that just perpetuates the stereotype of murder hobo, and makes this item into PLOT ITEM territory.
On the positive note though, your mechanical writing is clearly written, and there is no mistaking how long the benefit lasts, which is very important. The description is nice, and the clarity is compelling. I would love to see you execute a different item.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not right now.

Revealing Ink

Feedback:

First impression:
Invisibility purge Ink!
Feelings:
I like that this could be used to interrogate. That’s great. The problem with this item is I feel like it’s unclear on exactly what it does.
I’ve read this item two or three times, and I’m NOT Sure if the first paragraph has a power hidden it. It just states that is has enough ink that it could cover 111 pages. The ink smells a specific way based on the opinion of the smeller? Based on? Opinions on-what?
How do we determine what topics change the smell? Is it topics the ink is written on? When does the ink change smells? When the written topic changes? Or is it purely verbal?
That’s a big source of confusion for me. How does the user know when the smell changes for someone else?
This item’s second paragraph is A LOT clearer as to what the power does near the very beginning. However; when it starts to talk about the ink blot, it starts to lose me. “Success is automatic” is obfuscating what exactly is going on, success on what? The will save? Then why is the will save there? No that isn’t possible… because you are now talking about a bluff check. So, I think I REALLY missed some important words there, that didn’t clue me in on what was going on. Why do I make the bluff check? Why does it automatically succeed? Why doesn’t this operate based on asking someone a question, and forcing them to vomit out the answer in ink… and each question is a page of the 11 pages of ink they swallowed?

This may be me, not reading properly, but perhaps extra clarity on the re-write is a good idea!
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Ummm… it needs clarification, then I’d consider it.

Security Blanket

Feedback:

First impression:
Is this a joke?
Feelings:
No. NO it isn’t. If you are going to submit a joke item, THIS IS THE BENCHMARK FOR QUALITY. This item I laughed and laughed when I first read. This is a fun item.
This is how a joke should be presented. It’s a serious item, and it has clear effects. Removing Fear is a great effect, and as a blanket, this is pretty much a perfect noble’s solution to a child that refuses to sleep at night. It’s a LITTLE too expensive for such use though, this is definitely an adventure’s item.
I cannot improve this item. You are beyond my skills to improve good sir or madam. The only suggestion is making it once a day, and making it MUCH cheaper so that some nobles would be able to purchase this for children…
Seriously… that’s it. I can’t think of any reason why this didn’t get more votes besides “Is this a joke” reactions.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
G$# D&$N YES, NOT ENOUGH YES!

Scarab Sages

Thanks for your thoughts on my item, and for reviewing all the items as well!

Dedicated Voter Season 9

A thoroughly good poem :)

Thank you for reviewing my item, Flood in a Bag. I realize that there are a number of missteps I made in its design, but since the feedback “what’s different from just filling the bag with water and dumping it out” keeps popping up I’ll go into some detail about my vision for its design and use.

First I’d like to address the bag issue separately however; the spatial limits of a Type IV, the largest sized, bag of holding are 250 cubic feet and the weight limit of the bag limits it to 25 cubic feet of water. One 5-foot square on the map contains 125 cubic feet, so you can see that filling the bag, even ignoring the weight limit is thoroughly unimpressive.

But as to the design impetus for my actual item; we don’t have any way to directly control the elements in game. Sure there are rings which control elementals, spells which create different element and terrain effects—even spells which modify those effects to some degree. There are not however, any spells, items, or class abilities to directly modify these aspects to the wielder’s specifications. That was my starting point.

I decided to go with water, as it is the least prevalent element in game; this posed a problem, since it’s useless to have a manipulation ability for an element which frequently does not appear in game. I needed to add a creation aspect to the item and thought an extradimensional bag would be a good source for extradimensional water—this definitely needed more flavor-text support, although I’m partial to your dam overflow pipe suggestion.

There have also been a number of questions to the effect of “why should I get this instead of Decanter of Endless Water?” As with everything it would be a personal judgment call; the bag has a lot of utility that the decanter lacks even ignoring the generic bag of holding effect. At a low price it grants access to a high level water creation spell which, while limited to pouring water from the bag’s mouth, can create any abstract contiguous shape up to three times the bag’s per round water generation capacity. So for example it would function similarly to a wind wall to repel ammunition if you used the capacity to create a barrier, you could arrange it to segment enemy formations into manageable chunks, or simply unleash it as a generic torrent to push back enemies and buy your allies some breathing room to regroup. There’s further merit since you can arrange it to knock flying enemies out of the sky, or even shoot yourself/allies into the air; higher types of the bag create enough water that you can use it as a perpetual motion device for travel (~60’ movespeed) or as a quick getaway (move through the water, then turn around and the stream changes directions to keep enemies away from you). The decanter on the other hand can at most be used to push back a single enemy at a time, and do a little bit of damage.

Re: Defeat whole plots on its own; potentially, it’s not really an endless supply of water though. It’s a once per day active which can be ended by forcing the bag closed, or just knocking it out of the wielder’s hands. Further the water disappears after 3 rounds (unless the bag is closed sooner), so if you want to continuously generate the maximum 3 round quantity of water you’ll have to spend your fourth round action reforming the first water increment in order to fulfill the item’s “contiguous figure” mandate.

All that's just to clarify how it is intended to work. I agree with most of your critique, and will take its lessons to heart when designing next year's submission.

Spoiler:
(I noticed you left the "would I publish" section blank).

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

Trekkie90909 wrote:
Spoiler stuff, and clarification.

Oops Spoiler Answer: OH! It's with a re-write! I apologize!

I got really into my questions, and trying to explain the using the bag-of-holding as a somewhat bad spring-board for such an item. With your explanation I can see why you did so. And yeah, making this item DIFFERENT from the decanter of Endless water is a good idea. So, I can see how you made these steps.

If you have a re-write, feel free to send it to me. I may not be able to give you top-notch advice, but I can at least look at it and give some feedback.

Water manipulation is a hard space to tackle. Either a game has lots of water natively, or not a lot. And that's entirely DUE to setting. Trying to create an item that GIVES water for manipulation is not a bad idea. But Items need to be clearly stated.

Though, I do like the idea of just an item that floods water everywhere. I've run into some situations that are just drought based stories... so this item, (and the create-water spell), are Mostly the kinds of plots I talk about being solved.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well, it's ALMOST been a week since I posted some feed-back.
I apologize, humbly.

I'm doing a lot of writing currently (Mostly on my Resume), and programming.
My Programming mind, and my game analytical mind eat up the same parts of my brain, and I'm being rendered mostly a dufus at the end of my day.

These are NOT excuses. I'm informing you of my progress.
I currently have 3 items prepped with feedback, but I want to post between 5~10 at a time.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wardrum of the Tactician

Feedback:

First impression:
Neat drum!?
Feelings:
Hey, this is a fun drum. Thing I need to get out of the way: I think for timed Strike, you meant CMD. Besides that glaring mechanical issue, I don’t see anything that really needs a lot of improvement. You have clearly separated your optional powers, you have the mechanics clearly stated.
So this item’s cost threw me for a loop until I took specific considerations on how a free 5 foot step outside of turn, or a free AoO that isn’t provoked by the victim means. What mitigates this is it’s 3 times a day; but when all three uses are done, what I’m left with is a masterwork instrument for the rest of the day. Which on a bard is handy; but not necessarily useful for the price point.
This means the user of this item plays with action economy, which is dangerous design territory. However, it does interesting things to mitigate the action economy, like consuming AoO’s which are an untapped gold-mind of resources in my humble opinion. There are a lot that play off of them, but not a lot that USE them. This item consumes otherwise wasted resources in a turn. Granted, albeit 3 times a day.
The Footwork drill is likely where you lost some votes however; and here is my reasoning, any well trained bard is going to blow that DC 20 check out of the water by the time this item is in their hands. That might as well generate some move actions with the amount of movement it will EVENTUALLY generate. This isn’t a bad thing, but the DC might want to be a bit higher; however, if it just generated 5 feet of movement, this would be pretty spot on and really nice.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yeah, once that glaring error is fixed.

Blood Twin’s Quills
Feedback:

First impression:
Hmmm… Double magic Item Making.
Feelings:
There is never NOT a reason to use this item. 1 bleed damage, per hour? Seriously? You mean, that if I have a simple magic item that generates fast healing, I’m COMPLETELY immune to this item’s draw back?
But more importantly, magic item creation is an interesting design space; but what isn’t introduced here, is what happens when you use this to scribe scrolls? Do I pay double the cost of the item creation, the same cost?
Currently it reads if I’m paying ½ for the purchase of the two scrolls. So each scroll costs 1/4th. Scrolls can be powerful magical items in the right hands. Just because you can’t sell the scroll doesn’t mean the scrolls are valued less. In fact, they are higher value. Because ONLY the writer can wield them; that means if someone other than the writer gets hands on a scroll written by these quills, the thief can’t use them. At all.
The pen-wielder is immune to his flagrant abuse of the scribe-scroll ability. This item severely increases the power of the scribe scroll feat. To add to this cheese, the end of the item has some flavor text; which sounds like it came from a Magic the Gathering card. This… doesn’t scream professionalism in pathfinder. Now if this WAS a magic the gathering card, which certainly would be nice.
I relegate all flavor text to description of the item; and that’s how MANY other contestants of the contest does so as well. More importantly, I’ve never seen an item (sans an artifact, a very specific one), have a flavor text phrase like that. Emulating Artifacts is not a smart plan for this competition.
However, I have to say; your writing is very clear. I know exactly what this item does.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not right now.

Whispering Blade
Feedback:

First impression:
COOL name!
Feelings:
We’ve got some backstory here, and it starts the item out. Which already sends the wrong footing sometimes. However, it’s so light, that I’m not sure it warrants changing. I do NOT remember who the whispering tyrant even is, and if I don’t know… other voters likely do not know.
If the whispering Tyrant IS paizo history, definitely would be interested in learning about it though, sounds neat. Love a good undead master here.
The ability comes off as a spell in a can. Which hurts. What seals this item in a tomb however (see what I did there?) is that ending. I can craft this item. I don’t need backstory on how crusaders will destroy all of these weapons I come across. I also don’t need rumors that other such weapons exist; it’s not that I don’t like this item.
However, I feel if you cut that last paragraph, and changed the Death-Knell effect a little more, you could have landed better on the charts.  However, your mechanical explanations are clear, I have no questions on HOW this weapon works.
I really think the back-story and the spell-in-a-can nature of this is what dragged this back.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
This would be a good item to include in an adventure for historical purposes.

HUSK OF PROTECTIVE PARCHMENT

feedback:

First impression:
Magical Paper Armor = Neat!
Feelings:
Magical Paper armor is a neat idea… however, Magical paper armor that is where spells are stored, makes me a little nervous. In MOST of the games I play with at home, breaking a magical item releases the magic within it.
However, I really like how this armor works mechanically in concept! Just because I feel like the wearer is a good sunder-attempt away from being a spell-storm doesn’t make the armor worse. It just makes me leery to put it on. And I as a player am leery, I as a character am DEFINITELY afraid of wearing this item. I feel that this could be a neat item; Does this item says it appears to be made of paper, does it’s hardness change?
There is no mention of this, and you say it only appears to be paper. You also don’t state what the ARMOR bonus of this set of Hide armor, is… only that it loses an AC point when a spell is cast. How much armor does this hide armor start with? Is it +1 hide? Or is losing Armor and storing spells this armor’s only thing? Also… are you telling me if I ONLY put one single spell in this, the armor bonus is only +1?

This makes it hard to justify purchasing…. If the item ACTUALLY performs better if I don’t use it’s powers. It it was hide armor that got a +1 bonus for each spell stored in the armor, which lost a +1 when a spell was cast, it’d still be worth wearing. Especially considering the Cost of the armor; it costs as MUCH as some +4 armor.

These slow realizations of this armor, is how I started to view this armor at first, an what it ended up with was a lot of questions, and ideas on how to make the item better, and why I just shouldn’t use it.
That’s not to say this isn’t cool… it is a COOL idea, it just needs a solid re-write to polish it up.

Would I publish Had I the Power:
I started wanting to say YES! But the more I read the item… the more “Please Rewrite!” came in.

Canvas of the Dreamer

feedback:

First impression:
I like art items. I really like art Items.
Feelings:
I like Eidolons. I really like the possible customization they provide. A magical item that summons an Eidolon is kind of a neat idea, however: This item introduces a whole lot more PAPER WORK to the players.
Not that that is a bad thing (After all a roleplaying game is Just paperwork that’s fun and interesting), but what’s bad is once the art check is made, you have the player STOP and build the eidolon. It’s not a pre-built eidolon, it’s a customized one.

Using this magic item would just… stop the game. As someone effectively has to build half a character. I imagine a prepared player would have all that ahead of time, but what if they fail the check? Or succeed by a Wildly huge number of Evolution points are gained. Players are DEFINITELY going to want to use those points effectively. Which means thinking time. Which means other players are sitting there waiting to see the results… or they move forward, and the player is lagging behind in information retention because they are busy with other things.
I think once this consideration is made: You could re-write this item to be much better. And whiel it may need more wordcount than this competition, I do believe that you are onto a new kind of item that is good. I would LOVe to see you re-write this!
Would I publish Had I the Power:
This kind of item, yes… not this item though.

Glimmersheen Chain

feedback:

First impression:
Alchemical armor, that doesn’t attempt to be a mecha-suit.
Feelings:
While the lack of mecha-suits in pathfinder slightly disappoints me… (Magi-tech and steam-tech are my favorite fantasy genres)… I like that this item doesn’t try to be something that doesn’t fit. I also Love that this item uses an alchemical fuel for it’s effect.
I love that this item calls out lycanthropes, but this item FEELS like an “I hate lycanthrope” item. If you cut the lycanthrope term you could have easily saved yourself 2 more words. It’s pretty clear with the effect as written that lycanthropes are particularly effected.
I can’t identify why this item isn’t in the top 32. I don’t know. It’s got solid mechanics, good writing. I think it’s the requirement of the empty hand, and that it’s a swift action. I LIKED that idea of this armor providing a “Blindness” effect to let rogues Sneak-attack a target for a round without feinting. And even if the save succeeds, bad things happen. Which is nice.
Good touch with the sightless creatures are immune. Smart call there.
What I THINK cost you votes, is either the empty hand requirement, or the requirement of Silversheen, which while I appreciate, and some voters would rather save this for a weapon. I still think this armor lacks a sense of “defense” quality in it’s special effect. Perhaps instead of a distraction penalty to AC or CMD, it could have been to attack-rolls and CMB?
However, I am confused as to why this isn’t top 32, but I may be biast.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes.

Armbands of the Mummers’ Duel

feedback:

First impression:
Armbands of faking death!
Feelings:
Ok, I think this is a snazzy item. An item that slices and dices people up on a non-leathal scale makes me happy. As a BIG fan of paint-ball, I could easily build a plot around a “Game” of non-lethal duels in a Noble’s society around these things.
And that’s where your item is here. This is not an item for your average adventurer. This is an item for a special kind of adventure. An adventure that uses plays and acting troopes and well, generally people who don’t want to put life on the line for fame and glory.
Pathfinder just isn’t that game unfortunately. And MOST of the plots I can come up with are about people “Turning these things off” at critical moments, killing people unintentionally and who’s behind this kind of sick-twisted form of assassination. This is a plot item not an adventuring item. And while it is indeed a really COOL plot item, it lacks the ability to really help an adventure out except when they want to take someone alive.
Given that if someone WAS going to take someone alive, they would have feats, or class-features to do that for them…
Which I think ultimately lead to your item not getting votes.
However; I do want to say, despite that: I really think this is a solid item, if very niche. It would be right at home in the right campaigns, and I THINK writing a particular adventure around such items would make for a perfect introduction to it.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes, in an adventure where this item is the star.

Murder Candle

feedback:

First impression:
Candle Dynamite!
Feelings:
This is a practical joke from hell! Besides the name, I can’t say that this item did anything poorly. It was clear, concise, easy to read, and overall it made me laugh. I found this item to be an absolute delight.
Which makes me sad that it’s name was so… on the nose. It was a goofy name… and no one in the right mind is going to GIVE someone a murder candle. You’d have to sneak this into a location, or this item would HAVE to be a plot item.
It’s suffers from the “Why would an adventurer have this” complex. This item isn’t about personal protection or puzzle solving or even granting a new ability. This item just kills people. It May be clever dynamite in a pinch, but gunpowder is cheaper than this candle… and a lot less likely to be confused as a light source by a party member searching through your belongings. I am sure people told you this already, but I have to emphasize this.
I do have some particularly jerky character that would totally lend this item to the group barbarian, just to laugh.

The only other thing I CAN say about this item, is how do we keep track of “how far down” the candle has burned? If it could be set by minutes, instead of a physical space arbitrarily set by the creator, it would be easier to keep track of. While fiddly bit of information, that is the only thing that isn’t set by the item itself; and it is quite important.
Over all, I think this is a good item, if niche.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
IN a plot book, yes!

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

Rapier of Shining Influence

feedback:

First impression:
Shiny!
Feelings:
That’s a pretty nice rapier you got there. Very shiny, very pretty. Regal almost. This is the weapon of a Magus if I ever saw one. I think, your weapon while very shiny, and very flashy, your +2 weapon is priced like a +4 weapon, but I’m not sure the special ability makes up the difference between a +2 weapon and a +4 weapon.
Without the flair I can summarize your weapons ability in 2 lines.
If I hit with an attack, all my allies within 60 feet get a +x to their next attack roll. X is my charisma bonus. This is useable 3 times a day.
Now; mind you, the words you chose were really pretty, and the way you wrote is MUCH more competent. I would definitely let you write any flavor text out there. If you see any adds to have someone WRITE Flavor-text do it! This is a job you can already handle!
The mechanical bonus however, falls flat compared to the skilled writing otherwise demonstrated. There are some template errors, and that would cost you some votes too. A +x to an attack roll is handy, and the idea of inspiring allies to greater feats is good: but a straight bonus to attack rolls for a single turn isn’t very imaginative.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
I would publish your writing for word and monster descriptions. This item no, not in this state.

Cloak of Subterfuge

feedback:

First impression:
I… want to say a bag of holding you can wear.
Feelings:
This is a very well written clean item. The template is good. The theme is tight. The mechanics are clearly explained. So what happened:
I’m going to try to touch on it.
This item is a hard to detect bag of holding. That’s not a bad thing; but the thing that makes this stand out is that it detects as a cloak of resistance and makes it so its’ easier to hide THINGs on you.
You give me a physical space dimension for how much this item can hold, but that is… probably the single hardest thing to keep track of on a character sheet. I know a spear and a great-sword will not fit in the extra dimensional space, but a balled up human will. The pounds limitation is much more useful, as everything in the game of pathfinder already has a weight. This also goes for the bag of holding, and let’s face it, they say already existing magical items are not necessarily super star. And while everyone says follow Paizo’s example; I feel this may be one point in which it is ok to vary as there are MANY magical items that do something similar that have other defining contents limits. I have a hard time imaging something that is 3-foot cubed in size, and weighs less than 20 pounds. I also have a MUCH harder time imaging a series of items that meet those conditions; and I’m a very visual person.
I have to ask the question: Why is it a +5 competence bonus to bluff checks regarding items that are stored in the cloak? They are literally NOT there anymore. You are not lying when you say I am unarmed, when your weapon is LITERALLY on another plane? That’s just me though, and that might be a gm interpretation. This threw me though, as you could be asked in a CIRCLE of TRUTH, “Are you carrying anything illegal” and as long as all of it is in your cloak, you could get away with “Nothing illegal is physical on my person”. The bluff bonus doesn’t seem to help this item out much at all. It ties into the “necessity” of lying in subterfuge and courtly intrigue; Is that the purpose of the bluff bonus?
I’m not saying it’s a poor addition, I’m just asking why it is so specific to the items in the cloak. It could have been when “addressed about your purpose” or when “Asked about why you are some place” and it would have become immediately more useful and dynamic to a PC. I digress however; I see the primary issue is it is too similar to items that already exist without enough to stand it out on it’s own.
I think, though, with a little more creativity and trying to find an empty design space, your clarity could really help add to whatever you design.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not this item. I’m excited to see what you produce next year though!

Belt of the Depths

feedback:

First impression:
I’m… shocked this isn’t already in the game!?
Feelings:
Ok, underwater exploration is a pain in the ass. It’s 3d movement; it’s got a lot of sub-rules involved that people rarely use, and it produces a time-limit to most encounters that infuriate players. This is why underwater encounters are kind of a pain. This is why the CR’s of aquatic creatures tend to be a little higher than the land based counterparts. And this item fixes all that. You treat basic underwater movement exactly as overland movement with a few minor exceptions. That seems like it’s brilliant! Smooth move, good job.
That, was until I started really thinking about this item. This item means encounters with things like a kraken get a LITTLE bit easier. And in some cases, A LOT bit easier. Sahuagin are not much trouble on land, but underwater that swim-speed, and the water breathing ability can be a HUGE hassle. The fight takes a huge dramatic shift. The players have to attempt to mitigate needing air, making swim checks for maneuvers and the basic movement. Now the Sahuagin strategy of keeping the players occupied while they struggle to get air is suddenly a much bigger trial of attrition which, isn’t good for anyone.
Mind you, this item is so much better than OTHER “water navigation” items out there, it’s pretty much mandatory for sea-adventures. The only thing this item doesn’t handle, is the idea of a lack of light in the depths of the water. And that’s feels like it MAY have been something you didn’t consider when you made this item.
Did this item add anything new to the game, not particularly, but it took a lot of difficulty out of water combat, and while that may be considered a GOOD thing to some, when you follow what ends up happening there, you realize that perhaps one of the key bits of adventuring is that sometimes you just end up in habitats that you’re not entirely built for.
A player must be “ready” for that.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
This needs another draft. I want too, but the ramifications for those adventures are kind of big.

Talisman of Essence Conversion

feedback:

First impression:
A head-ache you wear around your neck!
Feelings:
This is an amulet you place over a dying creature to drain it’s “resource’. Now I have got to admit, you clearly state which resources you can take.
This item can convert arcane points, grit points or panache points into ki or inspiration or so on. I want to ask, why didn’t you use something everyone has? Like… hit-dice? Like… you can drain 1 HD from a creature, and consume it to produce a thing?
As an adventurer I’m not going to know what of my opponents have what “resource”, and I’m not entirely certain I know what those things are. Another important question about this item, is it feels like your trying to make a “grit” potion. Which, is neat. I’ll say that, and I use “grit” as it is the first real resource like that I know of, besides the wizard’s school powers, or the sorcerer’s bloodline powers, or the cleric’s channels. There are A LOT of “daily resources” that this item could have taken advantage of, but none of them are given specific “names” and there is no unified name for them that I know of. So… that creates a sort of wording dissonance for this item that makes it feel like it KNOWS what it wants to do, however the language in the game isn’t there yet.

Now if Pathfinder had something called “daily resources” and… each class had something specific, or some classes had them and others didn’t, I would say you were on to something. And you are, you’re on a neat little part of design space that has been touched on by items, but not necessarily thoroughly explored. However, I feel like… this has been explored a BIT of in feats, and each resource gets it’s own feat… so maybe each resource should get it’s own item?

I don’t know, particularly what is the RIGHT way to handle those resources without some more language being defined by Paizo (Or 3PP publishers that wish to tackle it) but, I feel like you tried to many directions and tied yourself in knot trying to get your replenishment effect to work.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
This item needs some serious rewording to clarify it’s effect, and maybe this could be part of a series of items in a book.

Candle of Otherworldly Fire

feedback:

First impression:
Cursed Candle Fire!
Feelings:
Ok, you had a REALLY neat item here. Then your last two paragraphs ended it’s neatness by doing two things. 1) Telling me how monsters react to such an item. 2) Doing so without any magical compulsion effects. 3) Making the item EFFECTIVELY cursed.
Now… let’s say the candle of otherworldly fire attracted things with the outsider template to it’s flame in memorization, as if they were fascinated. Then this item would have felt a little more like a spell in a can, BUT it would be a little more useful.
You then add in the idea that NO ONE likes being forcibly fascinated, and suddenly you have an item that CAN have hounds of tindalos ACTUALLY attack you, because you lit a candle.
That’s not to say this item is poorly written. I LIKE everything else about this item. I like it’s simple effects even if feeling slightly like a spell-in-a-can. I like that the light lets anyone who SEEs objects in it’s light can see as if under those spell effects. That’s a nice touch.
The kicker here, is… unless you can fight 5 hounds of tindelos, this item is clearly not worth using. I mean, if you cut those last two paragraphs from this item, this item would have been just a “Little” better. If you CHANGES those last two paragraphs to “summoning” and “fascinating” creatures… This item could have been a lot better, granted that it’s price was raised to match it’s unusual abilities.
However, I think cutting the last two paragraphs is the smarter option, as changing them BOTH to “Summoning” and “Fascinating” creatures, would lead to this feeling like a swiss-army-knife. That would be just as bad.

I would love to see you re-write this item. And I DO hope you recognize this as a well written item.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not as is. Or, I would, as a plot item in an adventure as a murder mystery.

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

Lodestone Plate

feedback:

First impression:
I’m ALWAYS a fan of some dwarf stoneplate!
Feelings:
So… this item does a whole lot. It disarms metal weapons, it repeals metal weapons, and creates a huge pulse. I’m like how thematic all these items work around each other. This is clearly wearing a giant electromagnet, and I love it.
I would build a gadget wielding action-scientist to use this.
My concern howeve,r is it’s not clear how often I can use the disarm maneuver of this armor. It seems like it’s just a free action whenever I am attacked. The separation of that paragraph and the next clearly demonstrates the two different powers, but if they both have the same duration (10 rounds) then it leaves it slightly murky. My assumption is that both can only be used for 10 rounds, but, I’m not sure if that assumption is correct.
That last power though, THAT is where this armor shines. The ability just says F everyone I’m out! However, with a clear CMB and a CLEAR maximum available, it really lets me know exactly how this operates. It’s a bulrush that’s roughly on part with someone who COULD afford this, but it’s everyone!
That makes me happy. Where I think this armor falls apart though, Is that while creative, and thematic, and filled with wow, that last power is really over the top. The armor is also only a +9 bonus to AC, that’s a +3 armor. All these powers add up I’m sure, and with all this armor does, it certainly should cost quite a bit! I think “Other metals to GM’s discretion” is also a possible voter loss phrase. You are creating rules here, you are telling the GM how to interpret things. If the GM will interpret things differently, they would not look for that line. That’s a waste of text in my humble opinion, otherwise you clearly dictate what metals would be targetable with these powers.

Those two little things, may have been what swayed votes away. Oh, I guess, aslo wearing a giant electro magnet: some people don’t like fantasy magic and technology to mix too much.

Would I publish Had I the Power:

Courtesan's Locket

feedback:

First impression:
Filigree warning!
Feelings:
This is a social weapon if I ever saw one. Not only would this destroy someone’s reputation in court, it would give you so many secrets about that person, you now have a puppet.
But I think what cost you was a specific word: Poison.
I bet you thought I was going to say filigree, but no, Poison. Poison is a game term, it’s pre-defined, it has mechanics. Your “poison” completely ignores ALL of that. I think that’s design suicide; elixir is the key word you were looking for. Elixir is the key term for wondrous liquids that are NOT poisons, and not potions, or Philter. Elixirs and Philters don’t’ have pre-described pre-worded mechanics. They are left intentionally open as a design space.
You used the word poison, which has a clearly defined mechanics and clearly defined rules governing. Another reason why to use Elixir or Philter, is that anyone immune to poison would be immune to this, and anti-poisons, and remove poison would work. Unless that is your intention is to have those work, in which case, you should PROBIBLY follow the pre-prescribed rules for a Poison. Which means we need an Onset, a Frequency, and we need a Cure save number. We have the effect, we and we have the application.
I feel that is where your item really fell apart, was that single word. Which is a shame, this is a very clever magical item, and one word can really throw things off.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
This is one more re-write away from being ready, I feel.

Quicksilver Elixir

feedback:

First impression:
Stealth Magic fluids!
Feelings:
So I had to read this item a few time. This item confused me as a reader; not because any particular wording is clear. But because of all the effects: this is an elixir has 3 VERY different powers. The first it creates a reflective surface for creating a scrying tool. Not bad, discount crystal balls are necessary for diviners. I don’t think there is another item that really does that effect so bravo on that.

The Second effect, turning something mithril for an hour. That effect, is silversheen but silversheen does it for much shorter. Mithril is reflective, and so is quicksilver, so it makes sense that these two powers are mixed together. However, it is called Arcane Spell-Failure, not “Miss Chance”. It’s a little thing, but it will bug some people, and it’s the kind of thing that when missed stands out. So this elixir just turns a piece of plate-mail into mithril plate-mail for an hour, that’s handy.
The THIRD power is what stands out the most. You have two very heavy utility powers. The second is supportive of combat, but it isn’t directly offensive. It’s pretty utilitarian to turn something physically lighter, and easier to wield. This is what threw me off. It deals 2d4 con damage to anything with silver DR. That’s REALLY powerful. It also feels completely out of place for this item. This elixir is pretty clearly a “helpful” item. It takes a head-spinning left turn there, and it relates back on the idea that “quicksilver” is silver. This power feels really out of place, and completely throws out of balance the other powers which aren’t directly combat oriented.
If this threw me off, it might have thrown off some other people. However: Your clear use of bullet points separates the powers nicely. Each individual power is easily digestible and nicely written. I think the first two powers are keepers for this item, and I think the third power could be something completely different.
The last thing I want to touch on is why is this item “disguised”? This item isn’t particularly dangerous and I wouldn’t imagine it being illegal in any sense. Even with the “Bomb” application, it’s not even that dangerous or damaging to anyone average citizen. If it were disguised I feel that’s because this item would be confiscated… but why would anyone confiscate this item? It is just a little… odd.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Just need to cut that last power, and I think you got a useful divination item here that is needed.

Noose of Derangement Devouring

feedback:

First impression:
Well… that’s a big price tag.
Feelings:
I was excited, then interested, and suddenly confused. What’s the save to prevent a 4th level or higher spell to be eaten? You tell me it’s a will save, but you don’t tell me a DC, and then you have a fort save to negate a staggered effect.
I have a soft-spot for items that play off madness, insanity and confusion. This item touches that spot, and makes me giggle. I like the detect thoughts, and I love the side note that anyone under those mind-affects can be read as a swift action.

But, like the first paragraph I wrote suggest in the first paragraph, the “eat insanity” is where this starts falls apart for me. The Removing insanity per heal is a good choice. The eating of a mind-affecting spell is a “Nice” side effect for that power… but that clearly should have been a third power. It is destroying a spell or spell effect that an opponent can use, it’s not something that should be tied to another power. It is CLEARLY devouring part of someone’s functioning mind.
Then there is the last paragraph, which I had to re-read a few times to make sure I understood it. It converts those eaten things into spells the wielder can cast. Then it tells me that I can cast the spells I ate, or cast possession. I think the regurgitation of the SAME spell/ability eaten is unnecessarily complicated. It’s more book keeping, which isn’t a bad thing, but I like keep it simple. The bigger issue here is the possession spell.
That spell doesn’t scream madness to me, and it doesn’t quite feel like it fits the theme here. This is a noose that allows me to consume your mind and devour parts of your mind. Possession lets me sit my soul in your body, and manipulate your body. That feels slightly off theme. Not a lot off theme, perhaps there are better occult spells that could have been used, but I’m not certain.
Then there is the fact that ALL this consumption does not dissipate, and there are no limits to the abilities. Which isn’t inherently bad, and you certainly pay for it in gold; but I feel like the powers consumed by this noose should definitely be “digested” and fade.

I’d like to see this re-written. I want to know where you’d take this if you re-wrote it. Just out of curiosity. I like the theme, and I like the idea of a noose that devours the madness of others. It’s a neat mental image.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not as is.

Crossbow of the Embracing Vine

feedback:

First impression:
Entangling Crossbow!
Feelings:
I like the IDEA behind this crossbow a lot. A crossbow I can plant and make it take root. I think what pulled away voters was the 1 minute of centration set up time to full power mode, and it’s full power-mode has some draw backs.
First drawback: can’t move.
This is tactical combat suicide. Yeah it’s a full-round action to remove this draw-back. But in ANY fight, if you are a ranged combatant, mobility is your friend. I’m sacrificing this for:
Second Drawback: +3 weapon for +5 cost.
This is a +1 heavy crossbow, that has a +1 bonus to attack rolls from it’s unique effect. So, it’s a +2 attack bonus. Then… when you sacrifice mobility you get your attack bonus moved to +3, and half my dex mod to damage. At around when you could afford this, that’s sitting at about a +3. However, I’m losing that dex bonus to AC. It’s not even a full trade from defense to offense.
Last Drawback: Lost Dex to AC
That really hurts at this level, as touch attacks are now death spells riding on a pale horse. At this cost (This is a +5 weapon) I could get a regular crossbow that adds 2 different elements of damage, AND doesn’t need ammo anymore, and because all it’s bonus’s add up to a +5 weapon, it bypasses a lot of DR. This weapon, sadly… doesn’t do that, unless I’m misreading a lot of rules.

The +25 feet of range on the crossbow is nice, and the ½ dex to damage is nice… but at this cost, it should be full dex, and likely a lot longer range. The minute of concentration and the ability to get Sneak-attacked or enervate’d doesn’t help, when I only am getting a +3 to attack rolls.

This would be a “powerful” addition to sieges, mostly due to the additional range. But, that’s the only situation I can think of that this weapon is TRULY helpful for besides sniping a target that can’t see you.
If I misinterpreted your weapons abilities, PLEASE let me know. Also, PLEASE re-write this crossbow. I want to see this done again by you! A re-write is a powerful thing, and I JUST think you needed one more set of eyes on this to see what it could have turned into!
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not as is.

Nettlefin Sash

feedback:

First impression:
Spiny wrestling!
Feelings:
I want to say, some people I’ve read say you used to many carriage returns. I think your “except as follows” portion made it clear in the exceptions. Perhaps they could have been bulleted to further drive it home.
The other lines are a little different though. It’s really nice to have that poison RIGHT in the entry. While some would say it’s not necessary to point out again, I think this was a nice addition.
I think where this item lost votes, was the idea that it Adaro poison though. There is a lot of people on this competition that want to see what the designer can come up with, without referencing other creations. I think that was the only real stumbling block here. You gave monks armor spikes, and many other armor-less creatures.

I think this is something that is absolutely necessary. This is tricky territory however, and I think you did a find job. I think you could re-write this again and make it a lot cleaner.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes.

Hungry Ghost Incense

feedback:

First impression:
Consumable super smoke stick.
Feelings:
There were a lot of anti-incorporeal items, but I think this one is top notch. It is clear, it is simple. It states exactly what it does. It is simply a minor consumable that protects it’s user from incorporeal attacks for 10 rounds. Doesn’t provide any benefit to fight them. Simply keep them at bay.

It’s a fine example of how to add without taking away any usefulness of anything else. Not only that, for it’s price it’s clearly work-around-able. You also drive home the effect in well under word count. Good job.
The only improvement is stating what exactly kind of action it is to light one of these sticks. The name is a little off, but it’s memorable, and it’s something that is hard to confuse. This is solid item. I don’t think I can improve it beyond what I mentioned. I was sure this would be top 32.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes, very yes.

Snowfall

feedback:

First impression:
Snowwy Blades are neat.
Feelings:
I’m going to sacrifice a spell, to entangle a creature. Ok, that ability isn’t great. It’s a neat alternative use for a spell you have prepared that is NOT doing you Any good. However, it is not a particularly wowing effect. Now… if I could Emit a cold ray that frosted people over, or freeze a target so that they were stunned for a round, and then entangled for a few rounds… That would be more neat.
I digress though, where this weapon shines is the 5 Fire Resistance. While not a great effect on it’s own, it’s a simple addition to the item that makes it much more appealing to the average spellcaster. Feet directed fireballs are STILL not a good idea with this item, but misdirected alchemist bombs, some wrongly placed burning hands and other mishaps of fire damage are suddenly a lot more palatable.
But stating that creatures from the Plane of Fire, bring them into the item’s description starts to fall into “background” territory. That’s dangerous, especially since your telling the GM how to react to a specific players item. Or a player how to react to a specific NPC’s item. That can be unfun.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
It needs a solid re-write or two… but it could be ready.

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

Junglestrider Raiment

feedback:

First impression:
Transformation Armor!
Feelings:
Your item used way too many words to describe what it does, because you basically tell the reader everything they can reference. “this effectively grants the wearer the same bonus as a hot-weather outfit.” Is all you really need to say, there, and since you already told us this is “cloth” armor, we have no reason to be told the arcane failure, the max-dex bonus, unless this armor changes those bonuses. The big deal here, is the ability to ignore undergrowth and natural difficult terrain, and the ability to transform.
The transformation is something I would set at item creation, I would “Pick” which one of these the item would shift into. You could have saved some more word count by just picking one of the “Hides” abilities to grant to this armor.
Giving options like this is nice; but you’re telling the player/GM how to build the magic item, and creating the thought “What if I make this out of (Insert random non-listed monster) hide?”

Which could create cool and interesting powers to explore! However, this creates more “work” for the player and the GM, something that is generally frowned upon. That’s not always a bad thing; however you have to question if that adds more to the game. This item could item could mix really well with the alchemist mutagen. What I think have been what lost this item votes, is it feels a bit like a swiss-army-knife with the multiple kinds of hides able to provide different movements effects pending what needs.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not now.

Kilt of the Warriors Ancestors

feedback:

First impression:
Power Kilt, and twill is a cool word!
Feelings:
This is a perfect item for a video game. And I mean that in the best ways. You have clear condition bonus’s and you have a neat single power, more on that in a bit. However; when copying this item into a text editor there were a few grammar and spelling errors.
Trust me, as a guy who has a hard time with spelling and grammar, this brings me no end of torment. However, this is key to cleaning up if you want to advance in contests like this. Unlike professional gigs, where there is an editor to catch this stuff you NEED to provide correct spelling and grammar.
And even IN professional writing environments, making your editor’s job easier is better for everyone in the long run. This is a problem if I am noticing it. That’s what probably cost you the most votes right now; but now onto the item.
As I said before, this item is perfect for a video game; a simple scalable buff that is easy to digest. Keep attack, keep gaining. Stop attacking, lose EVERYTHING. It’s not particularly “Wow” worthy for a table-top game, and it requires more book-keeping. The standard for Pathfinder is that if something scales, it has a cap. You include cap, and it’s a nice sized cap too.
What the item needed was a neat “Function” to go with the minor buff. The “function” needed to stand out and stand strong.
The power you built, is phrased rather chunkily. But, it allows the wielder to move its speed, and make attacks, while moving. The best way to phrase this would have been “Before making an attack roll, the wearer may forgo the cumulative +1 bonus to make a 5 foot step as a free action.”
I rarely like to give writers a phrase to use, but I feel that would have cleaned up the item a bit. Not only that, but being able to attack one monster, then move 30 feet away and attack another monster, is not something generally done in pathfinder, except at really high levels. Your costing is about there… but even then as far as I am knowledgeable, you generally do not get all the attacks available by your attack bonus. This seems like it really wants to be the Combat Patrol feat; in a magic item.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
It needs to be cleaned up a bit.

Soul-Wrenching Spear
feedback:

First impression:
Soul in a Spear!
Feelings:
This is a monster in a can that has a REALLY rare occurrence that fuels the monster. I know that monster-in-a-cans are very similar to a spell-in-a-can, in that they have to be really fancy to work. Triggering the “Fuel” for the weapon being a critical hit kill —which is harder than it sounds— is a nice way to break it from a “once a day” ability. Then I need to kill another thing with a Critical hit. Mechanically, the idea is sound, but the effect just isn’t so grand… for having to destroy someone with a critical hit.

Maybe if it LAUCHED a Poltergeist at someone for a round, or if it launched loose decree around at the target, with a hurling banshee screaming forth. I don’t know, I don’t want to change your item; but the problem here is “I’m a spear user, and to use my cool spear, I give it up for 10 rounds… now I have to figure out what to do with those 10 rounds.”
A safe design for weapons is if I USE a cool power, I shouldn’t give up the weapon for a bit: unless your weapon is just THAT awesome. Like, it transforms the wielder into a Poltergeist for a while. Then… you get access to a slew of abilities that you wouldn’t need the spear for. That’s the problem with items like this: If I’m trading my “Primary” weapon for something, I definitely SHOULD be doing something awesome.
Especially considering that I have to jump through hoops JUST to charge the power.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not at is, needs a re-write.

Armor of Burden

feedback:

First impression:
The Armor I would totally wear in real-life just to muck with people.
Feelings:
I really like this armor, however, I think it falls under a slight problem. The Armor doesn’t “protect” in a traditional sense. People like armor to do “Protection” things, preventing damage in some way or denying would-be attackers opportunity to damage the wearer.
What I like about this armor, is it’s effect CAN do that, it can ALSO be a major hassle for MOST NPCs because it’s unexpected to SUDDENLY be in armor you didn’t want to wear. Throwing this on a caster suddenly, or throwing this on a rogue, or heck even a druid would wreck them mid-battle, and it CERTAINLY would produce interesting effects during a chance sequence.
I really like the effect, and I think the only thing that is holding his armor back is it’s lack of “Imagination” as to what kind of Armor bonuses are on it. It could have easily been jousting or had been something SLIGHTLY more than a +1 armor.

Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes.

Skinkfinger Gloves

feedback:

First impression:
OUCH!!?!?!
Feelings:
I think this is a possibly neat idea. I think it’s need that you can store some bloodline powers. I think THAT is very handy. I DO like the image of “Breaking” a finger to activate the effect. The Ripping a finger off is neat.
But, unfortunately, role-playing games you play people who GENERALLY don’t like harming themselves for power. GENERALLY: but that’s not always the case. Some characters are more than willing to chop off a left arm for power. But, let’s think about that: Should items really focus on that?
This is more about a philosophical thinking when it comes to creating items. So; thinking about this, you don’t let the reader know if they EVER get fingers back, which means the cost of this glove is QUITE high. Seriously, each time you use the “Claws” bloodline power, you have slightly less blades to swing at your opponent.
So I digress, the cost of 1d8 max HP is… unconventional, for a finger loss. I don’t think it’s worth it as is the a character, despite how cool that part of my brain is thinking this is. This item definitely needs more words, and maybe some clarification about just when or how people get there fingers back, and if a “regenerate” spell will give them max HP back. Because losing 8d8’s of health for something that has d6’s for a Hit Die, is scary.

However, if your item is being pitched as a cursed item, you SO have that down. In which case that TOTALLY changes the tone of reading this item; and then it’s rather clever. Unfortunately, a “cursed” item isn’t generally what Superstar asks for.

Though, I hope next RPG superstar is a “Cursed Item” just to throw people off, but I think that hope generates from the same part of my brain that wants to watch the world burn.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
As a cursed treasure sure.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

To break up these posts a bit. I copied each item into word, and prebuilt my templates, so that I just had to fill them out. The Resulting word document was 43 pages long.

I cut the entries I put here from the word document, so at the end, I should have NO entries on the document. (The entries are in the other Forum already) I cut the actual ITEM text from the entry so I know which ones I've done, and which ones I haven't. The moment I can cut 4~5 pages, I post them. I want to know if my feedback is helpful or not. I feel like I'm beginning to repeat myself a bit. :-) this is as much for me as it is for you, but If I'm going the wrong direction with my thoughts, I'd REALLY like to know.

Fluttering sphere

feedback:

First impression:
Teleportation sphere!?
Feelings:
So, I didn’t like this item but, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good item. My feelings for not liking this item generates because it’s basically just 7 dimension doors. Seven. That’s A LOT of dimension doors. And here’s the kicker, they are uncontrolled teleports. You teleport to a RANDOM other dimension door.

You picked the magical number 7. Seriously… seven… that’s REALLY hard to randomize unless you have a D7 handy (which I happen to have, and that’s beside the point). This apparent drawback is mitigated simply by using this item every two days. Because it creates only 1 other possible destination with the butterflies. This COMPLETELY mitigates the drawback of teleporting at random. You can ALSO completely mitigate that draw-back by making sure EVERY destination portal is somewhere you WANT to be. This also makes for hilarious battle control, because you can just fling around these portals, and teleport OTHER people who run into them.
So, the “hard to randomize” max-number is really what bugs me the most. Then the completely avoidable portion of the randomization combined to make this item kind of a whiff for me.
However: I want you to know, your effect is clear, your writing is strong, and your grasp of the mechanics here is clean. You waste no words. You just missed me with those simple oversights written above; and that’s not to say I didn’t vote for this item. I did a few times.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
After a few re-writes or explanation about the growing butterflies.


Thieving Bookmark
feedback:

First impression:
Clever book thief!
Feelings:
What I like about this item is that it doesn’t steal the whole book, just the “important bit”. You could easily write a WHOLE plot about this bookmark.
That’s where this item likely lost some votes. How would a player REALLY use this item? Copying scrolls costs way less, stealing the book is physically cheaper, and if the point of this item is scrubbing knowledge, simply destroying the text is easier.
This is really expensive, and a consumable. To transfer words from one book, to another, and erase the pages in first book. Which is a neat combination of effects: However, as a player, I’d find it really hard to find a good use for this item. Not that there are NOT good uses for this item, I’m sure there are situations where this item is absolutely perfect: I just cannot think of any off the top of my head, without building a plot around it.
I think, you swung for the fences for a niche to design in, and you found one. I’m just not sure, the other readers and voters found that same niche.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Espionage book, definitely. An adventure treasure, most assuredly.

Staff of Perfect Harmony

feedback:

First impression:
Perfect Harmony!? Peace item?
Feelings:
Nope anti-magic item. But I do have questions: Is this item +3 on both ends? Because that’s a REALLY expensive +3 item that grants a rage power. I’m unsure based on reading your item how to completely dispel the effect, but based on your previous verbiage, I’m guessing the original rage power completely dispelled the effect if you beat the CMD of the spell by 10 or more.
This item is clearly designed for Monks, as you call them out with Ki points: A twist to the item I rather like. It’s a good idea for an item; I think the save bonus is kind of a “weak” power creatively. It’s not that it’s a bad mechanic, but there are all kinds of items that grant bonus’s to saves. Not that those save bonuses are not used well here, they certainly are.
I think though combining the “Spell sunder” rage power with the Save bonus; lead to some people thinking this wasn’t particularly creative. Then again, being superstar is hard to quantify, and you use existing rules rather well. That certainly is a qualifier in my humble opinion.
I think what you missed here is when I looked up the “Spell-Sunder” rage power, it works ONLY against already existing effects like grease or stinking cloud. So, if your BLASTED by a spell like fireball this staff would do nothing for you. Which when re-reading the effect definitely doesn’t seem like the intention.
You may want to consider clarifying that if you re-write it.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Clarification required, so needs a re-write.

Ghostly Tome

feedback:

First impression:
Ghost touch for spells!?
Feelings:
So, this tomb only has 1 really strong weakness as far as I can see, and that is: how many pages does it have?
All tombs have a limited number of pages, and the default is about 100. But, I have to ask, because I REALLY want to know how many spells I can get to make my spells effective against the Incorporeal.
I really like this item, despite the fact that it can be done with a meta-magic rod that has ectoplasmic spell feat.
What I particularly like about this book, is that you can scribe up to 5 spells into it. Another question: If I cast the erase spell on some of the jumbled text can I recycle any pages? That question is probably very odd, but it’s still good to know, as I would like to know how much I could wield from just one copy of this book, as it is an expensive piece of consumable equipment.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes, with clarification.

Nine Dimensional Blade

feedback:

First impression:
Wall-cutting sword!?
Feelings:
I have not found an item capable of cutting through a prismatic sphere, this is a big first as far as I know of. This item, I think, jumped the shark with one particular line: this item works on mundane walls. That line makes sense, but I feel that if this item ignored things that naturally occurred, and was JUST focused on suppressing “magical barriers” it would be just about perfect.

My reasoning is any weapon CAN destroy a stone wall, an iron wall, a dirt wall or practically any physical barrier, given enough time. You simply have to bypass the hardness, and the deal enough structural damage, and you break through.
The ADDED benefit of this swords magic is that is can just say “nope” to magical barriers for a round or two, NORMALLY enough to move through it. Magical barriers are a major pain, and this sword gives a lot of martial characters the possible capacity to circumvent them, at the expense of a pocketbook.
What I think cost you votes thought, is just how easy it is to bypass all these barriers. The magical barriers are 10 + caster level (1~20) + spell level (0~9). The largest that is is 39. When you could AFFORD this great-sword, your sitting at a +15 base for some classes, + strength (Which could be as high as a +8 or 9 at that level if you do it right) + feats (Between +1~5 pending actual feats.) and then the +5 for this weapon, so BASE your sitting at about a +25ish. So… even the moderate spell barriers are easily suppressed when you consider that. It may be that you wanted to succeed roughly 70% of the time at maximum difficulty, in which case, you accomplished it.

Would I publish Had I the Power:
Would need to have the math re-worked. I think this could be published!

Stonewake Greatsword

feedback:

First impression:
My sword for a Monster!
Feelings:
So, this weapon suffers from the “What do I do while my weapon is doing it’s thing” problem. Summoning a HUGE earth elemental is pretty awesome, so, I’m not so sure that’s such a problem, if my standard action is spent controlling the earth elemental.
The thing this weapon does right, is it gives the wielder a chance to pull the weapon OUT to do things with it. That means, that I can IMMEDIATELY summon the elemental, and then pull the sword out to fight with the elemental for 1d4 rounds. Which is; to be honest, is Awesome.
For the cost I’d say the benefits are pretty good, and you’ve bot yourself a pretty cool special effect. I think the major issue though that cost you votes is the idea of “What do I do with myself while my sword is an Elemental?” Because going from a +3 corrosive burst obsidian greatsword to a regular greatsword is really disheartening.
I don’t like buying multiple weapons if I can help it, but items like this almost necessitate it. I think that’s what cost you votes. I would say you could re-write it again, but I definitely like this.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Despite the “What do I do with my hands” issue, yes, would encourage a re-write.

Time Shard

feedback:

First impression:
DR. Who noises.
Feelings:
Action Economy is really hard to play with. I think you are in the right direction. The sickened condition feels a little “Forced” but yeah, mucking with time would do something awful to someone’s brain, I agree. Wow that sentence was a run on, I apologize. The primary question is: why is the wearer “there” when they drop out of time!? For all intents they really shouldn’t be there. They have fallen out of the TIME stream after all… but that’s the sci-fi nerd coming out.
The Extra actions is a little odd. Two standard actions are Dangerous, that’s two very carefully planned spells in one turn. That’s HARD to deal with; especially as players vs a well prepared wizard. The HARD part is the crafting requirement. That is an odd requirement. MOST games don’t involve time-travel; and what dictates “Normal time progression” once you start using Time travel?
There are metaphysical questions that crafting requirement brings up; like… is time-travel pre-determined? Is there free choice? Are you suggesting that if there is no free-choice, this magical item requires breaking that meta-physical rule to create this? Then how can a mere mortal do that?
Man that got deep fast. I’m going to jump out of that rabbit hole.
The issue here, is that you have a very powerful ability, but tried to come up with a series of drawbacks to make it seem not so great, and then you made some really tough crafting requirements. That, just hurts. It’s a common design trap that a lot of us fall into. I just feel this item is a particularly good example of it, because it tries to touch on action economy.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
I don’t know. This needs to be announced in the right book or adventure.

Testament of Pharasma

feedback:

First impression:
I hear there is a cool Youtube video about this item somewhere…

Feelings:
That cool youtube video might have been the cause of a lot of lost votes however. Originality seems to be a lot of what people vote on. And that in and of itself would be difficult to argue that this was an original idea.
Execution however, was freaking awesome. An 85 pound tombstone is a bit much, but otherwise it makes a lot of sense build wise. You created a portable holy site; overcoming one of the hardest things to wield about the consecrate spell. I really like the ability to use the tombstone as you would a tower shields cover ability. That’s a nice touch.
I think this item is DEFINITELY a back item though, or clearly a cloak slot item. I have worn 85 pounds of stuff on my back, (I frequently carry ALL OF MY pathfinder books in physical form to game night) and I can tell you that you are not wearing a cloak if you are carrying something like that. Especially a large bulky tombstone.
I feel with writing like this you’re capable of going far. I’m not sure how ELSE I could improve this item. I definitely believe something this bulky and heavy should take up a body slot.

There is some questions I have for this item however: If I “affix” this to a point, how do I use it as a holy symbol? Or can ANYONE in the immediate area use it as a holy symbol? Speaking of that: Can just anyone near this use it as a holy symbol? I’m not sure if this complicates the item or not, and I’m not sure if anyone else thought about it. But that is a critical mechanical thing to know… though if the answer is yes to that last one, I can image a team of Pharasmian clerics with Great-Clubs/heavy Maces/greatswords, storming a Tomb of a lich king with just one guy with that Tombstone on his back! That is an excellent mental image.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes, though It would need those questions answered.

Dedicated Voter Season 9

Well I can only speak for myself, but I found your feedback helpful. There are definitely a number of common mistakes, insight into which is the most helpful thing I got out of my thread.

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

Spirit-Catcher

feedback:

First impression:
Cool alternative necklace of fireballs!
Feelings:

I like this item, there is just ONE thing I’d drop, and that’s the passive glow when an incorporeal undead is within 30 feet.
That’s just the thing about incorporeal undead, the shtick is they can approach you un-awares. It falls into that nebulous “makes adventuring safe” territory. The reasoning is, you’re taking them OUT of the creature.
Think about it: You normally don’t know a ghost is around until it attacks, or a shadow… and you generally HEAR a banshee first, then immediately regret disturbing the area. That power takes that… impending dread away from such creatures.
Otherwise, I like it: HD is a simple thing to measure, and d6’s are sort of standard. The last power, of granting 2 temp HP per HD to undead is a nice touch. It prevents this from being an undead –healing item, while maintaining a helpful nature.
The Necromancers line, is implied by the power’s implication. Giving an undead the 2 temp hp per HD released tells the player that a necromancer might find a great way to recycle destroyed undead. So, this is naturally a great necromancer item.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes! Necromancy needs a little love!

Earthbind Manacles

feedback:

First impression:
Flight hate!
Feelings:
What I like about this item, is that it ruins flight. Not just flight, but magical flight and natural flight. It is a great way to level the playing field, without giving the player new powers.
I think what is hurting this item is the “cost” for such an action: Gaining the grappled condition? That really isn’t so bad, and it feels off. The Entangled condition might be better; but I am not sure the item really needs it.
Because if you think about it… your denying yourself any magically aided flight as well; and your allies. That’s cost enough. Though it does level the playing field. Only natural fliers can fly in this field, so I don’t think the grappled condition is necessary
With the grappled condition you add another question: Is the wearer in control of the grapple, or is “Something else?” Can the wearer break the grapple? A number of questions appear with the grappled condition.
I think that single thing is what cost you the most votes, and it will be what confuse the reader the most.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Remove the grappled condition.

Canary's Mining Helmet

feedback:

First impression:
Why isn’t this a thing?
Feelings:
Seriously? Why isn’t this a thing? A single mining company may only be able to afford 1 of these for all it’s workers, but it would NEVER cease paying for itself.
This is a great non-combat item. I love it. I think the only thing that stopped it from being super star was the lack of “adventuring” uses… that are apparent to readers in 60 seconds.
You do have 60 seconds to grab the reader and tell them why this is awesome for any adventurer. Unfortunately this is an item that takes time to cogitate uses.
The only bad thing about this item is Detect Metal stops at walls… and it’d be more useful to detect mineral veins behind the walls of a mine.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes.

Shield of Slick Escapades

feedback:

First impression:
Toboggan’s Shield!
Feelings:
ZOOM! I love this shield. I like the idea of sliding on the shield and zipping around. It leaves a HUGE grease trail though.
I think the only weakness for this item is the fact that the “Slide” allows you to turn. I like the idea of the shield “attaching” to grease spells and alchemical grease to allow you to slide again. I’m not sure if everyone liked that as that adds an extra complication.
I think one of the only things I can say about this item, is it gets too complicated there. This item would be pretty damn near perfect if it were just a LITTLE simpler.
That’s all I really have to say.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes.

Rimemist Tetsubo
feedback:

First impression:
Neat name!
Feelings:
This is simple enough to make it easy to read. Cheap enough to be purchasable. Frost is a good call. The gaseous form, is neat power. The ice adding d4 cold damage on the next attack is neat.
What I have to ask though, is how do I end the gaseous form?
I know I can suspend it, but how do I end the effect?
What kind of action is it?

Also, good call on using the tetsubo, a weapon after my own heart, I really enjoyed this. Good job.
Would I publish Had I the Power:

Rogueblade

feedback:

First impression:
This Short-Sword IS a bag of Holding!? And a grapplinghook!
Feelings:
You didn’t make a swiss-army-knife, you made a swiss-army-knife starting kit. So; the weapon you present to me is a +2 short sword. The sword itself has no powers. But it is a bag of holding. Which is an object someone else designed. This season, there was a lot of bag of holding love. It’s ok if you have an extra dimensional space in your item, it’s ok if it can store things. It is a good idea to use rules already presented.
But the BULK of this item’s power is a bag of holding. But it’s a sword, I can hear you clamor. Yes, but if you tie a sack to a mace, you did technically create a new item: but it causes those around you to question your creativity.
See where I’m going with this. Not only is the bulk of your power a different item, it’s an item that while good, isn’t superstar in it’s own right. Thought this review is may be a little harsh, and I apologize, but referencing a different item or a spell or even a monster is one of the more “ragged on” things in this competition.
Choosing to use pre-existing item has to make design sense and it has to be well executed if you are going to participate in this contest. This contest has generally pretty high standards, if you look at most of the winners. Those that win, IF they reference an item, do so tangentially or as an example of a kind of item that may be “immune” to an effect.
Now, I’m not saying your item is bad, in fact, it’s clearly written, it strongly demonstrates a command of the English language. It’s nice that the short-sword can double for a grappling hook.

Would I publish Had I the Power:
I would love to see a re-write.

Anathema Brand

feedback:

First impression:
… we need torch weapons.
Feelings:
If you think my first impression is a joke, you are wrong. I built a torch duel-wielder for a game once, and I would have loved to have this item with it. Though, I think this item could have done well with the idea that it breaks the trust of my enemies forces is neat.

Though, as a torch, this could have been an actual branding iron. Like a hot iron Brand. That, really would have gotten me going! I would have been all over it.
Though as a torch it adds a bit of utility, and it adds quite a bit of flavor towards setting someone on fire. I really enjoy that image. I’m BURNING AWAY THE TRUST YOUR COMRADS HAVE IN YOU!
The will save is a little low, but for the cost, this is awesome. I applaud your creativity.

Why you lost votes: I think what cost you votes was the really the idea that it’s a 500 gp consumable item with such a low save. The reflex save for an alchemist fire is dc 15, and that’s a 20gp consumable. Doing roughly the same thing “damage wise”, the cost buff is breaking the allegiance of the person set on fire, and the fact that they are shaken.
Granted, it’s a Will save vs Shaken if you are in a 40ft region,
and a Will Save to see someone on fire as a friend. So these are OBVIOUS magical effects, as opposed to splashing fluids, so I get the drop, I’m just not sure a 2 point drop for this consumable item is worth it.

Thought, it is 8 hours of awesome firey goodness before it is used up… So… that was a hard balancing act, and as far as balancing goes, I think you made the right choice.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka ugly child

Jarrett Sigler wrote:

Testament of Pharasma
feedback: Hide

First impression:
I hear there is a cool Youtube video about this item somewhere…
Feelings:
That cool youtube video might have been the cause of a lot of lost votes however. Originality seems to be a lot of what people vote on. And that in and of itself would be difficult to argue that this was an original idea.
Execution however, was freaking awesome. An 85 pound tombstone is a bit much, but otherwise it makes a lot of sense build wise. You created a portable holy site; overcoming one of the hardest things to wield about the consecrate spell. I really like the ability to use the tombstone as you would a tower shields cover ability. That’s a nice touch.
I think this item is DEFINITELY a back item though, or clearly a cloak slot item. I have worn 85 pounds of stuff on my back, (I frequently carry ALL OF MY pathfinder books in physical form to game night) and I can tell you that you are not wearing a cloak if you are carrying something like that. Especially a large bulky tombstone.
I feel with writing like this you’re capable of going far. I’m not sure how ELSE I could improve this item. I definitely believe something this bulky and heavy should take up a body slot.

There is some questions I have for this item however: If I “affix” this to a point, how do I use it as a holy symbol? Or can ANYONE in the immediate area use it as a holy symbol? Speaking of that: Can just anyone near this use it as a holy symbol? I’m not sure if this complicates the item or not, and I’m not sure if anyone else thought about it. But that is a critical mechanical thing to know… though if the answer is yes to that last one, I can image a team of Pharasmian clerics with Great-Clubs/heavy Maces/greatswords, storming a Tomb of a lich king with just one guy with that Tombstone on his back! That is an excellent mental image.

Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes, though It would need those questions answered.

Many thanks for the feedback Jarrett. There's a youtube video connected to my item? PM me a link, I'm curious.

As to using the holy symbol when it is affixed. That is a very cool idea that didn't occur to me. I think portable shrines that would be usable as holy symbols within say 30ft (for all the gods) would be nice.

Again many thanks for your kind words.

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

I may be mistaken, but I think the video we are referring to is of Hitler and his RPGSS item. Should be easy to find on youtube (funny too)

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

Damien Mc Gurrell wrote:
...

Editing error!

The critical question in that feedback is "If I affix the Tombstone, CAN I still use it as a holy symbol?"

And yeah, If you can, it could totally cause some crazy stuff, and lead to that rather wonderful scene I imagined above.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka ugly child

Wow that's a weird one. I'd not seen that video before. But hey big blocks of stone and Pharasma. :)

I'd say if I had another run at it, yes I'd clarify so it could be used as a holy symbol when affixed.

Sovereign Court Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Jarrett Sigler wrote:
Ghostly Tome

Wow! Thank you so much.

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

Wow, I was gone a while. Sorry about that, a crazy trip to New-Orleans, and some crazy build up at work required my attention. Now things are at manageable levels.

Here you go. 15 pages left and I will have gotten to all the items. Thank you for your patience, and I really apologize for the gap in time between my last update and this one.

Chrysalis Cloak

feedback:

First impression:
Beatle wings!
Feelings:
So simple, so majestic, bugs. And suddenly I have questions. I had to sit on this for a good while to come up with some solid feedback for you. I had no questions initially on this item. But now I do:
how many times a day can this cloak turn into wings?
Perpetual flight is a really powerful ability, and yeah, the transformation is only “Caster level in rounds” which CAN suck. But, what’s important here, is that if I am a transmuter I have access to a lot of powers that can “Trigger” this cloaks effect.
I mean a lot. I’m pretty sure most of my spell-list and like 60% (exact figure may vary by character) of my class abilities can technically trigger this effect. Which is VERY important to know how often this could happen. As written, it seems like this will happen every time the wearer is hit with a transmutation spell, even ATTACK spells or debuff spells!

Imagine being hit with flame arrow or disintegrate, and then suddenly flying for a while. That seems like an interesting; but that really should be a question if the player is “burn” a resource to turn an unfortunate resource into an opportunity.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
It would need some changes.


Diver's Float
feedback:

First impression:
Simple sometimes pays off.
Feelings:
Sometimes, it doesn’t. This is a practical magical item I expect, and oftentimes look for, but rarely find. While there is nothing particularly “wow” worthy here, it is very clearly written. And despite it’s humble nature it is fairly creative. I enjoy that you use a hum to control your depth, and I do like that the description is short and sweet; and nothing more than what is needed. This is the kind of safety equipment I expect to find in POWERFUL Ocean going vessels.
I think what cost you votes was the lack of “wow” here though. This item isn’t flashy, it isn’t dazzling, and it doesn’t spark imaginative set-pieces in at least my mind. It takes some effort to think of epic adventuring scenes using this magical item: Though my favorite is an archer using this to float while aiming a nocked arrow at sea serpent poised to strike the party wizard, who is levitating a mere few inches above the service of a roiling stormy sea.
However; that lack of “Immediate evocation” is somewhat dangerous in this competition. You risk being too ‘practical’ and not enough ‘heroic tales’.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
This definitely needs to be in a book somewhere. Or perhaps, it’s out there already?

Drunken Bow

feedback:

First impression:
Drunken Atle Atle?
Feelings:
I feel this bow could have been an Atle Atle and it’s primary power would make more sense. Not that it’s a bad bow, but I FEEL like an Atle Atle would have been the better choice. More importantly: the power to hurl alchemical weapons is nice, the late-game Alchemist support for throw-ables is kinda low. bomber’s eye is great, but honestly, there may be other things I’m over looking, and this is a niche that needs addressing.
I think what threw votes at the other guy for this item was the “drinking” portion of the bow. This bow, is a +4 weapon when charged with alcohol for an hour, and a mundane power to hurl splash weapons and alchemical substances. The price feels, kinda high. It feels high, that’s without research, or doing math. But, if it’s only a +2 endless ammunition bow when filled with alcohol, and this enchantment only lasts an hour, why am I buying this, when I could just by the +2 endless ammo bow?
My adventuring avatar already has a drinking problem, I don’t think my equipment needs one too. Though Admittedly, I like the flavor of this item, and I really enjoy the idea of sharing a hard drink with my equipment after a really long haul for treasure.
I think the “drinking” portion of the bow should trigger a different power, and that the bow should just be a regularl +2 endless ammunition shortbow. Besides that: I think you are a solid writer, and you found a nice niche to work in, but you didn’t focus on that.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
This needs some re-writing.

Portable Excavation

feedback:

First impression:
Magic hammer
Feelings:
This is another one of those oddly super useful items. It falls into one of those “weirdly mundane” magical items that I can see being prepped for any underground adventure. However: I think this is a one of those magical items that IS so well written I’m VERY surprised it didn’t make top 32. Here is why I think it didn’t make it: It isn’t very heroic.
IT certainly has heroic potential: Digging out trapped miners, digging out miners; finding lost treasures; and perhaps creating an escape in a landslide. These are all glorious images, but… they are all “bad things happening to the PC” images. Think about all the ‘heroic’ images you can imagine. All of them are action packed, and all of them create a sense of drama, and… that is lacking in this item.
Not that it’s a bad item, In my humble opinion this is a well written item and deserves to be marked for it’s well crafted nature. Good job.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes. Definitely.

Windcaller's Edge

feedback:

First impression:
Wind Sword.
Feelings:
I think your on the cusp of something here. Your close; not quite there. It’s missing… something. I don’t know, voters in this competition tend to like it when weapons do weapon-y things. Like swords should “Cut” things. But, this… this is neat.

It feels like the “moderate wind” power should activate when the user takes a full-attack-action. Just… like the furious swings cause the winds to kick up one category. So… even in moderate wind locations this weapon has SOME effect.
The wind wall was a nice touch, though, it… seems counter to the fact that this is a sword. And a war-fan would have been TOO on the nose, though appropriate. Your close, really close to making something truly great here. It’s almost a shame it was submitted, it needed one more re-write I think, and it could have gone the distance.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not as is. It’s close, so close to being superstar. I want to see it stretch a little more.

Soul Brew Barrel

feedback:

Reviewed in private.

Windstrike Impaler

feedback:

First impression:
Among men, Lu-Bu, among Horses Red-Hare
Feelings:
I… I get a distinct Dynasty Warriors Vibe from this weapon… Like I’m about to use a Super-Move, and Mess up that ONE particular guy. This isn’t bad; that’s actually a really neat feeling. Earlier I talked about “heroic imagry” in other items, this thing has it in spades.
I can imagine using this item to leap to an area, and impale a specific guy, and then again to dash at another dude and send them sailing, and then the last time in the day to finish up the first guy.
The issue is, the movement is almost too wordy, but vague? I mean, you say I can move up to 40 feet, taking whatever path I deem necessary. So does that mean this weapon grants me temporary flight? As long as the END of my movement is 40 feet away from where I start? So I can leap using this item?
Then there is what this item does to a horse? Can I make my HORSE FLY with this weapon up to 80 feet?
Then drop? Because hilarious shenanigans.
I see the +2 bonus on attack rolls and the free bull-rush at the end of the strike, this seems to be there to add a sense of excitement to move. Adding JUST an attack at the end of an explosive move like that is quite a downer, but the free Bull-rush makes it sweeter. I’m not sure if the “attack bonus” was nessicary; I think just the free bull-rush would have been nice… or… just a free 5 foot push or 10 foot if the user was mounted.
Over all, I think this was well done, it needs some tweaks. You certainly have a good item here, just some fine tuning needed.
Good job.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yeah, but It could use another tweak or two.

Third hand helmet

feedback:

First impression:
I... what?
Feelings:
My first impression is basically also my feelings. I don’t know. I can’t… fault the item. It’s creative, it’s an unusual use of a head slot, though it’s not entirely unique. It feels very similar to the Hand of the Magi… but… it has a distinctly “toy” feel to it. I can imagine some kind of “Plastic golem” wielding this, with a surprise boxing glove on the third hand pelting an unsuspecting adventurer. This, connection in my head is PROBIBLY entirely me and not in your writing.
Though the item is a big expensive: The primary difference between this and the Hand of the Magi is that this creates a physical hand, and the hand of the magi just lets you use mage hand. Which is a nice distinction, but if it’s just an extra hand for an hour, and an EXTRA attack as a swift action!?
That last bit is kinda bonkers and ALMOST snuck past me. Though, it’s not a HUGE benefit, I was going to say something about the cost until I saw that. I’m not sure exactly if that power is necessary. It’s already a fairly potent item, and an extra swing for a swift action at 10 feet away, is… well… getting weird.
I can’t quite put my finger on the “Toy” feeling, if someone has an idea on where that feeling might be coming from, I’d like to hear it. I would also welcome anyone saying I’m crazy for the toy feeling, because I really don’t know where that connection is coming from.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
I’m on the fence.

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

Tome of the Journeyman

feedback:

First impression:
Portable Tool shop in Book form!
Feelings:
I noticed one thing, when you refer to the player, you should PROBIBLY use “Wielder”, “Reader” or “Wearer”. The Player is not a physical game element.
Other than that, your mechanics are sound. I have to ask though, with something that costs 10k, is a +2 bonus to some skill checks really all that useful? Obviously the USEFUL part of this is the dimensional space, and I’m going to assume that’s where the primary costs of this item lay, however at this price point, as a player I’m going to expect a little more “Bang” for my buck.
The portability is kind-a awesome but not 10k awesome. Your basically carrying a library, and what this doesn’t do is take less time to do the actual research, and since you go into the pages alone, ONLY you can do it… no one can assist in finding the necessary books.
But, what I DO like is the imagination demonstrated with this item. This is an item that Probably SHOULD exist given the niceness of having those craft skills and knowledge skills. Though those skills rarely get a lot of magical item support, because the grand and wonderful thing about that portion of the rules is it allows the players the ability to flex them and create their own items.

And this helps facilitate that while adventuring. Which is nice. It MAY fall under “Making adventuring Safe” territory, but despite that, I feel this KIND of item should be there. Good job, I approve.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Needs some tweaking.

Damoclean Sword

feedback:

First impression:
Backstory Item!
Feelings:
So, there are some writing skills here that need to be adapted. “You” should be “Wielder”. That last sentence, is… a little clunky. I’m going to assume drawing this sword is the same as drawing any other sword; despite how it hangs about me.
However, I will say your first paragraph shows narrative promise. Items generally don’t “Get” backstories, and the reason for that as everyone here will tell you, is because anybody with Craft Magical Arms and Armor can create your sword. Now: I will say, a +1 merciful Longsword is neat, granting the Leadership feat is nice, and the +2 to Intimidate and Diplomacy checks are also nice, as this is a sword of office… it does make sense.
However, what cost you some votes is your lack of matching the writing style of the PHB and the DC 20 Will Save to “claim the sword”. There is a strategy for breaking the mold, and you went for it, and I’ll be honest, a ruler’s longsword isn’t IN pathfinder, because pathfinder is ABOUT adventuring. So, you had a niche (Kingdom Building) and you went for it, whole hog. If your Longsword would have played off those mechanics more, I think you may have gotten more votes, despite the backstory, and missing the standardized PHB language.
What helped me get my language down was doing the Blazing 9, this group is SUPER GREAT at helping out with that kind of thing, and listen very closely to what everyone tells you. It will help you a lot!
Would I publish Had I the Power:
You show potential, but no.

Arc Rider Armor, electric

feedback:

First impression:
This is an electric guitar away from a Music Video.
Feelings:
Have you played Brutal Legends? Because this item brought back memories of Power Slides and Electric Ballads; and that’s not a bad thing for me. I had a blast reading this item, and this shows a lot of creativity and ingenuity with spell effects.
However, where I think this item cost you some votes was the name came off as part of a set. I’m not sure that’s intended, but I noticed that “Item sets” or Items that hint that there are other items of X type tend to do less well. I think another reason you lost votes is that that last paragraph… the bit about water and Electrical Resistance. I’m all for realism in a game, and honestly, that gave it a little bit of personality, but I think it was just one complication too many.
Despite that last line, this thing feels very nice. I have to say, this item feels like a rock-star in my book: but then again, I enjoyed the idea of a power ballad played by a bard riding lightning through a crowd of enemies to get on top of a table to plow away on his rocking solo.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yeah.

Fragmenting Quarterstaff

feedback:

First impression:
It’s a dancing Quarterstaff?
Feelings:
Hey, so this is a dancing quarterstaff that has another power, the fact that it can split up. That’s a good idea. I like that. And they can be thrown up to 20 feet away. I like that. IT can be single or double ended alright.
So… by using this, I Could conceivably get 6 extra attacks, except… that the 2 foot segments do 1/3rd the damage? So… I’d have to have all 3 staves attack the same target to do the same amount of damage as a regular attack without the special power, and I have to figure out what MY character is doing during this.
Now, this started off with a cool premise, but in the attempt to “Balance” it, you reduced the damage output per segment. IF ALL the segments hit, this item will do normal damage; and that makes some level of sense. What I’d like to point out to you is this: Each attack roll can miss. And With 6 attack rolls, you are very likely to miss some of them. At this price point, your magical weapon should probably do more than “Normal” damage for a +1 quarterstaff.

Imagine if I spent your 28,000 gp price tag, JUST taking +1’s for shocking, flaming, frost. IN most cases is base weapon damage +3d6 of neat elemental damage. And my weapon would count as a +4 weapon, so it would get around some DR.

This quarter staff is JUST a +1 weapon, get’s around no dr, and swarms. I think this weapon would have gotten some more votes if it were slightly more effective as a weapon, and the wielder didn’t need a backup weapon while using this. As a player, I’m NOT feeling the “bang for my buck” here.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
It would require some reworking. But you have a solid idea here.

Jar of Captured Nightmares

feedback:

First impression:
dayum
Feelings:
As a rule of thumb, I try to keep expendables under 1000 gp. Just, that’s more money then a city might have at it’s disposal at any given time, so hucking it and losing it forever seems… foolishly wasteful.
This however, is worth every beautiful GP. It is crammed filled with horror and nightmares, and that is the kind of stuff no one wants to fight. Which makes it the perfect weapon. Where I THINK you lost votes however, is that it’s a consumable that if this was a google search would be tagged Horror. Horror isn’t necessarily popular, it’s a niche, and it’s a good niche, but it’s not always popular.
Try to keep your if-statements “Short” so that the reader can cleanly understand what happens IF you succeed, and IF you fail. If you fail should always be placed first, which you did. You have two different failures in the last paragraphs, and that got muddied a because the “If you miss the attack roll” came before the “If your target succeeds the save.”
I feel this item could have sounded better if it went something like this:

If you hit…
If your target fails save…
If your target succeeds save…
If you miss your target…

Here is my reasoning: If you hit comes first, because that’s where the meat of the item is. If they fail the save, same thing. If the target succeeds the save, more stuff happens, which is nice. Glad to see that money wasn’t wasted. Now… if you miss comes dead last, because that is the LEAST good option.
Also, you set up a flow: I hit do x; Target does not save be awesome; target does save be not as awesome; I missed, be sadness.
I feel this is the most logical, though, others may disagree. And about stuff like this, I would take the other’s advice first from the more experienced people on this forum.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Minor tweaking needed, then yes.


Thousand Fold Armor
feedback:

First impression:
Paper-craft armor!?
Feelings:
Paper-craft is awesome, but not too effective. Magic does wonders though, so that isn’t exactly a critique as it is a mention of the imagery it creates. The Oragami Swarm is a good thematic power. It makes sense; and the cost of a single AC point makes some sense, though since it is only 3 times a day, one could argue it isn’t necessary.
The major point I wish to address is the shrinking of a scroll. I simply don’t see why the scroll couldn’t be scrawled onto the armor. The armor is a magical set of thousands of sheets of rice paper. It makes sense that someone could just “Scribe scroll” on the armor, and just read it from the armor. The shrinking of it and folding into the armor feels… too out of theme for me. If it was a space distorting cloak, or a coat with 100’s of pockets, I’d be all over that power. But this is a piece of paper that protects my life. I feel like just scribing it onto my armor, and having someone touch the armor to read the scroll is enough.
As a Magus or Cleric, most of the scrolls would likely be touch casts anyway, though that’s just a guess given that the armor assists in spell casting. I don’t know exactly what you had in mind when you included the scroll powers. Though it is handy. I’m just not sure the power fits the theme of the rest of the armor quite right. But, that’s me. And I’m not everyone, and I hold onto the idea that sometimes I don’t see things QUITE the same way as everyone else.

Other than that arguable mis-step with theme, I think your writing is well done, and you have a strong grasp of what it takes to write a pathfinder magical time. Good luck in the next year, I look forward to the blazing 9 with you!
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes, with a talk about that last power.

Well-Seasoned Cleaver

feedback:

First impression:
Butcher Pete called, he’s coming to chop your meat.
Feelings:
I… I don’t know where to start here, so I’ll start at the beginning. I Like the IDEA behind this item, but the weapon’s powers are ALL over the place. I really like the first power… hacking my enemy packs “Meat” into the cleaver. And further slashing causes filth fever, though rarely are diseases useful in combat, they CAN be handy.
Then there is the next power that progresses the disease a step if they already have it. Alright! I can get behind that! Chains off nicely with the first power, and makes a disease combat usefull. Good to see in a weapon. Nice niche.
The “Rotting” power of the cleaver is nicely written, but it starts to make this item seem a little cursed. The weapon attracts ant swarms when meat is in the cleaver for 24 hours, and the smell is nauseating. That’s, in theme, but it’s a little odd. I mean, magic man… keep that smell contained. And Ant swarms are AWEFUL to deal with when you’re camping. Why would I want an item that attracts more problems?

The poison power is nice, and yeah, without the ants, I can totally see this being thematic. After-all the weapon is designed to keep bits of stuff in it, so why not alchemical blanches and poisons right? Well, unfortunately, that feels REALLY out of place. The reason here, is I went into this expecting a kind of cooking themed weapon, which I got with the carving of meat off a foe, and the spread of horrid disease told me that this weapon shouldn’t be used to cook at all. THIS, tells me yeah, you COULD season this cleaver and use it to cook, as it would keep the “Flavor” (Effect) of the seasoning. Which is just a bad idea, as the weapon points out, as it COULD have filth fever.

So this item goes “Don’t cook with me, really don’t cook with me, because you can poison with me, spread disease with me, and oh yeah, I make you totally way better at cooking when you use me.”
And that just throws the player into confusion, and with a 96,000 dollar purchase, do you REALLY want to be confused?
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Needs a rewrite.

Deadly Blade Bandolier

feedback:

First impression:
Throwing weapon Support!
Feelings:
I believe we need some more throwing weapon support. Everyone loves the idea of throwing stuff that is downright dangerous. If people don’t, I’m unaware of it, hence my assumption. This bandolier is great for the lower level throwers who can’t afford returning weapons yet. The harsh part is that the weapons do not return, but that’s ok, we are getting what we paid for here.
So here is the trick with this weapon, it’s “Good enough” at the 12k mark… which is the point at which you can start enhancing the throwables. You could have taken a page from the body wraps of might fists and just LET this item grant a magical bonus to a weapon for 1 thrown weapon per 5 Bab. This would in turn allow a person to throw “Returning” on items they are particularly attached to, and the “throw away” items could get lost forever in the hide of some beastie.
You used the term “blades” implying that I can’t use this in conjunction with say, an alchemist fire? Is that true? It looks like this is only intended for throwing knives, which is fine; I just wanted to make sure you were excluding those intentionally.
I think what MAY have cost you some votes, is the fact that you introduced “Several” items in one package. Not that that is expressly in the rules, there are Items like this (Which I cited previously) that do this; it just may have been lost on the “Your item should stand on it’s own, not it’s brothers” idea.
I think you have a really neat item here, and it definitely felt like a good competitor. I believe with some minor re-writing you got something glorious.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes.

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

Only 4 pages left! Only 4! End of the road is in sight! :-) I'm sad that it took me this long!

Lei of Lost Souls

feedback:

First impression:
Neat Necklace!
Feelings:
So, this is a really neat item, which has a beautifully written introduction paragraph. The special effect of which, just allows the wearer to attack of opportunity things within 15 feet. However, the last two lines are where this item seems to fall apart for me personally.
I’ll break each down and explain this as best as I can:
--The humanoid shapes allow the wearer to attack twice when making an attack of opportunity.–
Well, so I can totally attack of opportunity from 15 feet away, that’s nice, but why two times? This feels arbitrary to me. And IF they are 15 feet away, and they trigger, and I have a sword? Am I throwing my sword? Do I get to move to attack? Is it the invisible creatures doing the striking? Am I AND the invisible creature doing the striking?
-This effect lasts 10 minutes-
What? Seriously? Why 10 minutes? If you are having a battle that lasts 10 minutes, let me know. I want in on that. How do you make a battle that is that long compelling and NOT boring? How do you make it interesting? Challenging? Engaging? But more importantly: I don’t think this item’s power needs to last 100 combat rounds.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
It needs a re-write, but I think you can definitely get published with your writing ability.

Phantasmal Cup

feedback:

First impression:
Super Cheap Brilliant Energy!
Feelings:
Man, a cup that turns someone into a Ghost! That’s an awesome idea! And I don’t have to die to use it! That’s pretty glorious. The Ectoplasmic rules are a little new, so I don’t know them SUPER well. Now, I do enjoy the option of turning myself into a ghost; but the bit that makes me a little uncomfortable about this cup, is how does it know who “possesses” it to grant it’s bonus to?
I mean, if I leave the cup at home with my name on a sticker pressed on the inside of the crown of the cup, am I still the possessor?
Am I the possessor if it’s in my pocket? In my back-pack? This is an unclear word, and while SOME Paizo products use it, they tend to “Tag” the item in some way in which someone may KNOW who the possessor is. Examples of such language are “attune to in 24 hours” for the small multitudes of such items or the Ion stone, in which they “Float around the head of the bearer”. The cup doesn’t have such language, so it’s unclear how to determine WHEN you have the benefit. Must I drink from the cup at least once to become the possessor? Do I lose it if someone else drinks? What if I’m sharing the cup with multiple people?
However: Besides that ambiguity there, you have A LOT of potential: Clearing up that for the reader would have catapulted this item forward a bit. There are many ways to “Muck up” a ghost, there are very few non-permanent ways to join them, and fewer still; ways a martial could join them.
Good job.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Clarity required.

Pendant of Overwhelming Flame

feedback:

First impression:
I’m not sure HOW I feel about this item!?
Feelings:
To explain this first impression more: “Whoo more obvious evocation support, I can’t SEEM to find a lot of Evoker helping Items and feats or traits! Great spells, but not a lot of interesting items for them or feats!? Besides the obvious.”
So I love that this is a spell-damage support item. But, I’m not sure bypassing energy Resistance was the right way to do it? Energy Resistance is definitely the awful for a flame-caster, and for the evoker, and just about anyone reliant on just ONE kind of energy damage. However, there are right now some ways to change the element tied to a spell, to get a different weapon with a different energy kind, and so on.
But more importantly, I can’t find anything wrong with this execution, and Even more important, I can’t think of a better way to go about this; so How can I say I’m not sure it’s the right way? Well, I can just say it feels “Wrong”. Like maybe it should be slightly more clever: but I can’t think of a good example.
Thanks for the item, you have inspired me thinking about a portion of the game I Normally don’t think about. Thanks!
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes.

Rotblade of the Undying

feedback:

First impression:
Hey! It’s my dagger but done better!
Feelings:
Seriously: last year I made a dagger “Like” this, in so much that G.I Joe is Like an American soldier. In this metaphor, your item is the American soldier. You are the real deal when it comes to zombie making daggers.
However, it does just boil down to animate dead in a dagger form, with a minor curse to turn the wielder into a zombie. IF someone can call that a curse, as being as you are already dead. And that really stings, but it is probably why you didn’t get more votes.
I think this dagger has more potential, and I DO think zombies/Necromancers need more love. Just not sure anyone else agrees. :-/ If you feel like writing a book on Necromancers, let me know. I’d be down to help out, though… you currently show a lot of talent, and I’m NOT entirely sure you need my help.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes, however, I have a soft spot for necromancers and the undead (zombies in particular).

Gloves of Refraction

feedback:

First impression:
Anti-Disarm gloves!
Feelings:
Ok, magical gloves that make reading your hand movements harder!? Why isn’t this a thing already? Well, I can see why after reading your item, now. When reading the effects of this item, a design choice became apparent: Do I make this effect “big” because it is rare to see an enemy attempt to disarm a PC, or see a PC that goes the “Disarm” route, or heck, even targeting hands in general, or do you make it small, as to NOT downplay the investment in such things.
It’s a REALLY hard choice, and this is the “Big” choice. There is still a chance of failure, and the gloves have to be activated. This has some implications: Does a PC or a NPC even buy this item when such tactics are so rare? And does this item SHUT DOWN such rare tactics?

I’m not sure how to vote with this item. I like it, and I think it’s pretty clever: So, this would require tweaking for sure. But I think this has some potential!
Would I publish Had I the Power:
… I’m on the fence despite how much I like it!

Armor of the Crow

feedback:

First impression:
CAW!!!!
Feelings:
I’m going to use this armor in a situation that I’ve been in many times: I’m exploring with allies. I have given all my allys the knowledge of where on my person my Healing Potion is. If I go down, Put this in my mouth, and make me swallow. If I don’t come back, get vengeance.
I am fighting a monster… I get bludgeoned, I go down. My allies know JUST what to do, but… my body isn’t there. My body is now 600 feet away in a direction, my allies may not be able to find because tracking a murder of crows is difficult when you’re fighting a Giant of some kind and you have bigger problems like Surviving.
So… now I am bleeding out, alone, someplace birds think is safe. So likely hanging in some tree. Not that crows aren’t smart, they are. But man, birds use trees as safety places, AND as easy places to hide, and as easy places to fly from. So; while yes, my body will be fine, and my body CAN be recovered for easy resurrection, I will likely need resurrection, as I am NOT getting first aid anytime soon. I’m totally bleeding out.
Not only that scenario, but this is another item that “Makes adventuring Safe”. If I can RUSH into a dungeon, where there are only SO many places where my body could end up within reason… so I’m easier to find by my party, I can run HEADLONG into danger knowing that I’m going to fallover and get picked up by my buddies, and report what knocked me down.

Knowing your not going to die, makes people DO STUPID THINGS. Don’t make adventurer’s stupid, make em brave!
Bravery and Stupidity are different, related but different.
Would I publish Had I the Power:

Dwarven Apprentice's Apron 


Feedback:

First impression:
Had me at dwarf apprentice, LOST me at 80,000GP+ price point.
Feelings:
Ok, this is an item that I had an emotional roller-coaster on. I love the idea of a magical item awarded to dwarvern apprentices. The (IRL Local) Blacksmith Association gives out aprons to Apprentices that master the basic skills, so this one rings home of memories to me.
However, where you IMMEDIATELY Lost me, was the functions as +5 suit of dwarven plate armor.
And then the 3 known varieties. You had this item in the bag with Just the +10 fire resistance. Hell… Honestly, this would have made SO MUCH SENSE if it was just +5 fire resistance (as it would be cheaper). Only a magical spell would consistently deal more than 5 fire damage. The cost is also OUTRAGOUS if this is handed to apprentices… I’ve been around apprenticeships for well over half my life. Most people don’t finish apprenticeships… and if you are handing out items worth THIS much to an apprentice, why don’t they sell it and start a new life as a minor noble.
Before I continue and rant my little head off, I want to say: I Love the premise of this item. This item drove me NUTS during voting. I WANTED to love it, but I just couldn’t. The Armor bonus made no sense to me to justify it. Now if this was the “Master-Smith’s Battle Apron” yeah, I get why it grants such a HUGE AC bonus. But this item was set up as an apprentice’s apron. Someone who’s probably doesn’t know exactly what they are doing yet, someone who wouldn’t be trusted to be on the battlefield mending armor or weapons.
This item is a Dragon-slaying item if I ever saw one. Which isn’t a bad thing, it just was framed with it’s name and minor backstory as a crafting item. Which we REALLY do NOT have enough of in Pathfinder.

A rewrite to make this item MUCH LESS powerful would be suggested. 10 Fire-Resistance, and maybe a +1 armor bonus… and try to keep the item to costing less than a +1 armor or weapon.
Because seriously, some fire protection is reasonable for an apprentice… A dwarf apprentice is very likely to set his beard on fire, and this just would not do.
A dwarf apprentice, while militant minded, is unlikely to fight on a battle field without some seriously due cause. IN which case, he is BUILDING THE ARMORY AS WE SPEAK. Chances are, he can pick up a shield, and slap together some armor in an emergency.
I digress though. Good premise, execution broke my heart though.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not at is. Keep premise, re-write.

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

Plush Guardian of Cuddles

feedback:

First impression:
Everybody’s Favorite Teddy bear!
Feelings:
A lot of people considered this item a “joke” because it’s “Cute.” However, I want you to know, that your writing, imagination, and your mastery of mechanics proved that untrue.
Few items received such high praise as this item, and seriously thought this was a contender for top 32. Certainly, you deserved a spot. I can only think that the Cute is what drew votes from you. The feeling that “joke” items won’t make it is pretty ingrained in the culture here, and there for, people who vote probably decided not to vote this way.
However, as far as making this better, I can’t. I really can’t.
IM me some time, I’d like to ask you more about how you came to these design decisions and how you got inspired to craft this. I am here to learn after all, and I’m very curious as to all the various sources for this.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Yes. So much yes.

Master’s Final Warning

feedback:

First impression:
A weapon, that has a non-combat use!
Feelings:
And a good one at that! I have to say, I really enjoyed this item. What cost you votes here though is the cost compared to the really low save. For 10k, a DC 13 will save for calm emotions is not exactly wow worthy. This is also a bit of a spell-in-a-can however; tied to a combat maneuver, which makes it a little LESS of just a weapon that casts a spell.
What I really liked was the theme that tied this item together. I can just picture an unruly student in a dojo attacking fellow students, the teacher grabs his sai, and disarms the student, and forces them to face what they had done.
That really cinched this item for me, and made this something to write home about. What’s unfortunate is, you had PLENTY of words left over, and such a plain description.
Description tip though: A Sai doesn’t have a hilt. Sai’s are not traditional European weapons, and so they have different naming conventions for the parts of the weapon. Which, when talking to a primarily European weapons enthusiast does cause some confusion. If you are going to make a, for lack of a better descriptive word, eastern-style fantasy weapon; use the terms specific to that weapon for description. It will tie it into theme, and you’ll come across as a much more authoritative author on the subject. I believe the portion of the weapon you wanted to describe as the hilt is the Tsukagashira, Yoko and Tsume, as they are the Sai head (Pommel on a regular sword), Sai Guard Tip (the bladed portion of the sai guard) and the Sai Guard (Cross-guard on a regular sword).

Would I publish Had I the Power:
New description would help out, but yes!

Tome of Legends

feedback:

First impression:
A book what knows things!
Feelings:
HOLY MOLY that’s an expensive book!? 100,000k!? Seriously? Why is this so much? Is it because oh… it’s because you didn’t tell me how many times a day this will cast the Legend Lore spell for me, that’s why.
Ok…
Anywho, I digress. The important bit here is this is the very definition of the “Spell in a can” Design problem for pathfinder. We find a cool spell, find a cool can, and we pretty up the can, but it’s still in a sense, the spell-in-a-can. That’s hard to deal with. It’s a good item however, in that it’s cleanly written, the mechanics are clear, and I know exactly what this item does. However, you have a key difference is your item functions fundamentally different then the Legend Lore spell, but it still feels like a Spell-in-a-Can effect to me.

But not in a bad way. This item makes me think, on a design level. What is this item missing? What is keeping it from being the awesome that it could be? And When I think of something, this item already has it. So… what’s the fall apart here? Objectively: You made all the right decisions when building this item, I’m just not sure what’s missing. I think it’s flash. There is not a lot of flash in this item. There is flair, theme, concise simple mechanics, but a lack of flash. A lack of spectacle I think is what keeps this item from shining, that and it’s enormous price tag.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Perhaps a cheaper version of it.

Portable Protective Pedestal

feedback:

First impression:
Nice visual!
Feelings:
But I seriously have no idea WHY this is a thing? No body casts a spell directly from a book. And anyone who writes, will do so on a desk, in a safe place rather than on the road. Journals are written on the spare time, not the dangerous time traveling. So I’m confused as to the actual USE of the item.
The way the item is used makes total sense, and thematically it’s a really cool item! I love the image of a book on a floating pedestal while a wizard gets ready to fling a spell, by reading it off the page: however; it doesn’t work that way? Reading the spell directly from the page offers no benefit. I suppose I could keep a large number of spell scrolls handy on it.
This item has a lot of strong imagery for me, but, unfortunately, I can’t find quite the right function for it. I guess I could store an alchemist’s lab on it, maybe? Or other work-stations? But, then… it’s effects only last an hour? And you still have to transfer everything ONTO the slab in the hour that ti’s active!?
Objects on the pedestal are considered attended, so that kind of mockery isn’t possible. So… I guess this is the perfect Artist’s Easel, but a piece of art generally takes longer than an hour to finish.
Besides the lack of discernable purpose, I like this item. It’s got flash… but I’m having trouble finding the substance. Perhaps, one could spell it out more for me. Perhaps the genius is too subtle for me to grasp.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
I want to say yes, but, I’m not sure.

Fluxbane Khopesh

feedback:

First impression:
A sword for all your Baning Needs!
Feelings:
You created a Bane weapon that changes it’s Bane quality based on crits. That’s nice. It’s a really nice item; the player in me is excited for this. There is no limit, but no way to suppress the change when you critically hit, so… it’s not a choice, it just happens. Good decision, a tough decision but good.
However; what I think this item needs is another power, something that really makes it stand on it’s own. It’s not that this item isn’t “Enough” by itself, but you as a designer chose to enhance something someone already created. Which doesn’t highlight your creativity: however, your description of the item DOES highlight it. And that’s really what we are after, so if you can apply that creative nature to HOW your weapon operates, then yeah… you’re going to go places.
Everyone DREAMS of an “omni-bane” weapon, a weapon that has the bane quality for whatever you fight: And that really shouldn’t happen. It’s just not ‘interesting’ from a play choice. You would ALWAYS want to use that weapon. The DECISION to use a bane weapon is forsaking some versatility (Say from a Fire enhancement) to get a specific damage boost against a particularly quarrelsome foe (Say Giants? Because F trolls that’s why.)
Yeah, the Fire will work on most everyone equally… but having a weapon that SPECIFCALLY slays a thing says something about a character. It’s a particular KIND of useful, which tells you about the character’s outlook, what they have experienced, and what they expect.
And the letting go of said weapon, tells you even more about a character… the fact that they no longer expect the same kinds of problems or expectations… that’s why Bane, at least to me is a powerful weapon enhancement… it’s not so much a “weapon” enhancement, as it is a “Character” enhancement.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
Not right now. Requires Re-write.

Baritsu Cane

feedback:

First impression:
Baritsu? Whatsu?
Feelings:
Hey! Some of your sentence fell apart there. “When the wielder uses the opportune parry and riposte deed and successfully strikes her opponent, she can use throw her opponent off balance.”
I think I know what you mean, but that was very jarring to read initially. I should know, this is the kind of problem I face ALL the time when I ‘m writing. I think faster than I type, and sometimes I just glide over words that really NEED to be there. It tends to muddy up the whole sentence.
And considering this is the CRUX of the power of the weapon, it really needs to be clear.
Other than that, the power ist a bit simple for the cost. Confusion is a great condition to inflict don’t get me wrong, but for only 1 round, chances are pretty good that the person will do nothing for that round, or just attack you anyways.
The really good thing about this weapon is the answering and inspired qualities, along with the intrinsic qualities of a sword cane. Which while awesome, don’t highlight your talents as a designer. They fit the theme, but don’t highlight the elegant simplicity of your weapon. And that’s REALLY what you want to show off, is that elegant simplicity.
Otherwise good job!
Would I publish Had I the Power:
I say to you, editing hammer. Then Possible!

Tankard of the goblin king

feedback:

First impression:
PARTY TANKARD!
Feelings:
I… wait… what?
Seriously. That last bit threw me. The 2d4+1 Burning Goblin Skeletons are what? Seriously. Besides that, though you have no ties to goblins.
I hear there are lots of drinking items. And I don’t remember getting a lot in my voting this year or last. I will say, though, I ENJOY the drinking song effect, if they confused me a little. We are creating or enhancing a game, and games are meant to be enjoyable. Sometimes serious games happen though, and an item like this could put a damper on it.
However, the 6 creature compelling to sing, is a nice power, and I really wish it activated when you “offered to buy them a drink, or a drink from the tankard.” As that would be more like activating the cup, instead of singing a ditty.
Singing a ditty comes off as a class ability (Looks at bards and skalds) and less like a magical item effect, given that otherwise, all your abilities seem to tie together nicely. Drinking feeds for a day (not very goblin-y but that’s ok), drinking songs, comradely.
The Fire-y skeletons just… throw it off. But, that MAY be just me.
Would I publish Had I the Power:
It needs another go over.

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

Well, that's it. I got through my list of all the items in the Critique my Item thread this year!

:-) Please let me know if I missed your item! I will gladly give you more feedback!

The invite is open to everyone, if your looking for a solid critique of it. I'm going over to the blazing 9 thread now.

Now that I did this, I'm going to try my hand at converting some items I've seen in a recent board game I've been obsessed with to Pathfinder!


Thanks for the review Jarrett, I know how much effort those take, having taken over for GM_solspiral for this years the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Yeah, after looking back at the scroll power, I could have done something different, or worked that bit in better, good eye there.

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

Hey GM!

I guess I was really right about the being on the nose for what it takes to write pathfinder magical items! You and GM_Solspiral are people I look up to, so I'm glad you took something away from my review!

I really enjoyed the theme there! The armor just screams "magical tattoo" space to me, and if you agree let me know. I'm an odd-duck when it comes to what makes sense sometimes. I really look forward to seeing what-else you two come up with.


Ok, magic tattoo viable is a good idea, as normally they cannot be covered to function, need to give that some thought, plus, another ink theme, nicely done.

Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Thanks a bunch for doing all the reviews Jarrett. You made good points about my khopesh, and I appreciate that you put in the time and effort.

Regarding your point about the player in you in being excited...I admit that part of my thinking was to appeal to that exact element of the voting block (given the new, votes-only, no-judge-selection contest rules).

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

Glad I could help Joe! I really want to see more of from people! :-D Sorry it took so long to crank them all out!

Your Khopesh is a radiant example of exploring character decision, and it was an honor to think on it. It lead to some personal insight into how characters make decisions and how PLAYERS make desicions.

Given this is a role-playing game, the bridge between Character/Player is a nebulous one to design around. It oftentimes gets lost in the way a person may design an item. After reviewing your item, and a few others, I think if we ponder that junction of Character/Player choice, and why a Player might make a choice, and how to justify it in character: We, and I, could unlock a few more secrets to the "mojo" of good Game Design.

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