Lens of Completion
Lens of Completion
Aura faint divination; CL 3rd
Slot —; Price 12,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
This item is a glass lens six inches in diameter set in a frame with a handle. Whenever the possessor uses a standard action to focus her attention on a piece of a broken or partially destroyed object that she can see through the lens, she sees a superimposed image of the object as it was when it was whole. For example, the user could look at a shard of bone and see the whole creature it came from, or look at a ruined foundation and see the structure of which it had been a part.
The lens does not work on the remains of objects that have been burned to ash, dissolved in acid, disintegrated, or otherwise altered in substance, though it does work on intact pieces of objects that have partially suffered such fates. For example, if most of a parchment was burned but a single unburnt fragment remained, a user of the lens would be able to see the entire parchment as it was before it was destroyed. The lens also does not work on pieces that have been used as components of larger objects; the user cannot look at a wooden table and see the trees that each piece of wood came from.
The lens does not reveal any magical properties of the object focused on, or any other information not discernible from the whole object's visual appearance. In the case of an item that had successively been a piece of multiple objects, the lens will only show the most recent object of which it was a part.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, object reading; Cost 6,000 gpCOMMENTS FROM THE JUDGES:
JACOB: First of all, congratulations; welcome to the Top 16 of the very first DesignFinder! This is a good, solid item that would be of use in any investigation; it’s the type of thing that you’re curious to see how players can/would make use of. I think the designer was smart in limiting it to some degree, so a GM doesn’t need to make sure every item has a provenance. It also doesn’t allow scrolls to be spammed -- at least that’s how we read the line about not revealing any magical properties of the object being focused on, though that was a discussion among the judges.
My biggest concern is does this make it *too* difficult for a GM to run a mystery? In a fantasy setting, scraps of paper and half-burned items make ideal clues/plot hooks (the ubiquitous fragment of a treasure map) and I worry this item might mean a lot of standard investigations go out the window (similarly, a mystery death becomes a lot less of a mystery when a player can easily discover the corpse is not who they thought it was). Of a lesser concern, it could give PCs access to more spells/alchemical formulae, but I decided that wasn’t as big a worry as I thought initially.
Template-wise, this looks very good. The main thing I noticed is that lens was at times italicized in the body of the item; you only want to do that if you use the item’s full name. If it’s just referring to the lens, no italics are needed. (I also wouldn’t italicize words for emphasis -- like “partially” -- as the italics denote a specific thing in Pathfinder style.) Overall, well done!
KATE: I think this is really cool. I like the image of looking through this lens to see things as they once were. It is one of those items that can make life a little bit harder on GMs, like suddenly having to figure out what the rest of a partially burnt letter said, but for GMs who know you have this item, it could actually lead to some really cool ways of conveying information. I feel like it should take longer than a standard action to use this item, but that’s just a gut feeling, and I’m not sure I have specific support for that. I also would have liked a slightly more detailed description of the item itself. Nice job on a fun magic item!
MIKE: I like the concept of this lens allowing its user to see the entirety of an object from an intact fragment. You also did a great job of considering completely destroyed objects as well as magical properties. I think the cost is appropriate for the lens’s capabilities. As mentioned above, this might render investigative scenarios moot or require the GM to work around the lens to preserve some mystery.
Congratulations and welcome to the top 16!
REP: Congratulations! I literally said aloud “oh cool!” as I read this. This is an elegantly designed, simple yet extremely useful item that many of my PCs would love to have. You have clearly thought carefully about all of the mechanical aspects of its function and what a GM and player need to know to use this in various circumstances, and it avoids duplicating what the required spell for creation does while still having that source spell make sense. The template is perfect, and the item clearly has been proofread and revised carefully. If there’s any problem, I feel like it’s a little costly for what it does, but item creation math is much art as science, and with everything else perfect I’m willing to overlook it.