Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Paizo RPG Superstar Competition

Paizo is holding their annual RPG Superstar competition, and the first entry deadline is in early December. I was excited about working on an entry, but sadly I noticed the side-bar about auto-rejecting entries a bit too late. Oh well... my first entry will now remain a Web-published curiosity:
Gozreh’s Baresman
I thought it might be fun to look into how I created this item, so here you go:

My first thought was that I wanted to create a religious artifact, so I did some Web searches with the names of older religions and Zoroastrian history provided the "baresman" now known as a barsom. In reality, these are collections of rods with no binding. They are usually held or laid out in a receptacle where they naturally form a crescent. If one end of that bunch were gathered up into a circular group, it would look like a tear or drop of water. This made me think of the tear-drop shape of the water in Gozreh's holy symbol and how the tip could symbolize a wave when it crests on the ocean, bringing Gozreh's dual nature into play (wind and water, male and female).

From there, it was just a matter of finding an appropriate spell, and Aqueous Orb from the Advanced Player's Guide seemed to fit the bill. It's a ball of water, but it's collected up into a sphere and moved around as a weapon. Saying that this was accomplished via the power of air or wind made sense, and this again tied both natures into the one device. I chose human priests of Gozreh in Garund because they seem to me to be the ones most tied to this deity. They have the permanent Maelstrom to contend with along with a tropical environment and as a continent, they have the most open-ocean exposure of the Inner Sea region. Elves aren't as common in Garund, so human priests seemed an apt choice, and allowed for enough baresmans having been created for a few to fall into ruins or other locations that players would encounter one.

Of course, a magical/religious relic like this wouldn't be treated as a simple tool by the clergy, so I wrote it up as both a protective item for the temples and as a tool used for the consecration of newly built temples. This opened the door for the solution to my final problem: clerics don't get Aqueous Orb. Because this is such a special event, however, I'm allowing that Gozreh grants his high priests this otherwise only druidic (in terms of divine casters) spell for the purpose of item creation.

The rest of the mechanical details are covered in the Magic Item Creation rules from the basic book.
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