Bottle of the Salvaged Wreck
Bottle of the Salvaged Wreck
Aura strong transmutation; CL 17th
Slot none; Price 65,000 gp; Weight 1 lb..
This finely crafted clear glass bottle contains the impossibly realistic model of a ship. The possessor can use the bottle to raise and salvage the wreckage of a single ship. It takes one hour to salvage a ship, during which time the user must maintain contact with the bottle and stay within 120 feet of the wreck. At the end of this duration the ship is fully rebuilt and functional and, if the wreckage was submerged, floats to the surface. The ship is fully drained of water, although its contents are unaffected.
While within 120 feet of the ship the possessor can use the bottle to control it as if it had a full crew, performing any shipboard operations with mental commands. Only the character who salvaged the ship can direct it in this way. The bottle does not confer upon the user knowledge of or experience in sailing. The ship remains repaired until one week has passed or until the bottle is used on another ship, whichever comes first. After this time the ship reverts to its previous condition in the span of one minute and may sink if it was not seaworthy before being salvaged.
While the bottle is in use, the ship within the bottle is a perfectly crafted scale model of the salvaged ship. If the bottle is not in use, the ship within the bottle is a replica of the last ship the bottle affected, in its original wrecked state.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, animate objects, polymorph any object, shrink object, creator must have 5 ranks in Craft (Ships); Cost 32,500 gp
COMMENTS FROM THE JUDGES:
JACOB: First of all, congratulations; welcome to the Top 16 of the very first DesignFinder! Oh, this is fun, neat idea, that uses a cool base item and pairs it with some fun abilities. It’s certainly not going to be for every campaign but in a pirate-themed or other water-focused adventure (and Paizo has several APs that could fall into that category). I like the limits the creator put on it (though if I wanted to be really pedantic, I wonder if a ship is repaired after it’s been salvaged, would that refer to its previous condition too? I’d say no, but as written, I think it would.). Template use looks good; only thing that leaped out at me is the focus for skills like Craft is lowercase, so it should be Craft (ships).
A couple quibbles, just to bring up (they didn’t affect my opinion of the item): I don’t know that you really need polymorph any object or shrink object in the requirements; I think maybe control water would probably be more appropriate, among legal spells (there are several other spells that would also have been good, but, well, those aren’t legal for this contest). I also wonder if it’s maybe priced a little too high. While it would probably only be introduced in a nautical adventure, even there, I think that might be a little too much value for it. I might reduce the price by 25-40 percent, but that’s not a
KATE: This item is extremely specific, but also very creative! I could totally see this item kicking off a pirate-themed adventure. The price is a bit high, and given the specific nature of the item, it could lean a bit toward acting more like a plot device than a magic item, but I think it stays just on the right side of that. I like the construction requirement of needing ranks in Craft (ships). The imagery of this item is outstanding; I get a great mental image of a wrecked ship rising from out of the water. Well done!
MIKE: As mentioned above, this is a niche item, but it doesn’t need to be universally applicable to be a great item. This is a wonderful item useful for any seagoing campaign or any campaign that at least visits the coast. I also agree the price is high, but I can understand the caution in pricing this to make sure a party doesn’t end up with a fleet of ships. I like that this only affects the ship and not the contents (it took me a couple of read-throughs to decide the contents would remain in their original waterlogged or rusted state, so I think a quick example would have helped clarify that). The only glitch I noticed in the template was the capitalization of Ships in Craft (ships).
Congratulations and welcome to the top 16!
REP: Congratulations! I admit, when I saw the item’s name, I was worried it would be similar to several “ship in a bottle” items and constructs found in Skull and Shackles and other adventure paths. Fortunately you not only avoided this but created something quite unique. I love the core idea of this item, of temporary ship salvage; since the salvaged ship still contains waterlogged/broken items and perhaps even creatures, traps, and haunts within it, this doesn’t make the prospect of cargo recovery too easy--and in fact creates potential for adventure. That said, on top of the salvage ability, I think giving the bottle the user an ability to sort of remote steer the ship unnecessarily overcomplicates the item. I would happily give up that facet of the item to have more focus and clarity on the repair factors--i.e., do the repairs include repairs to magical reinforcements to the ship? Are ship siege engines repaired? Can the user “re-wreck” the ship sooner than a week if they want? Small thing: I don’t see how shrink item applies to the magical effect of this item, unless I’m misunderstanding part of its function.