Aura major transmutation; CL 15th
Slot none; Price 6500 gp; Weight 1 lb.
This mallet and chisel are made of ebony with an obsidian blade. They may be used to transform one creature and up to 50 lb. of carried equipment into a tattoo on another. Both must be corporeal, and the recipient must have skin or a similar membrane. Both creatures must be willing and present for the entire hour-long procedure, performed by a third creature who delivers the transformed creature's blood beneath the recipient's skin using the uhi. Once the procedure is complete, the transformed creature becomes a 2-dimensional work of art on the recipient. It can make purely mental skill checks and communicate with the recipient telepathically, but cannot otherwise take actions, nor can it be targeted by attacks or spells.
As a full-round action the tattoo's recipient can expel the transformed creature from their body, causing them to appear in an adjacent square and erasing the tattoo. The transformed creature can also leave the recipient's body at any time, but doing so causes them to be dazed for one round. The tattoo cannot be dispelled, but the spell erase expells it and causes it to take 2d6 Constitution damage (Will negates expulsion and Constitution damage). If insufficient room is available, the transformed creature may make a Strength check to burst any enclosures in the process. If it fails it remains a tattoo, though if it was expelled by the erase spell it dies, dissolving into a puddle of pigment. (This counts as remains for resurrection and similar spells.) The transformed creature can leave if the recipient dies, but dies if the recipient's body is destroyed.
The tattoo radiates an aura of strong transmutation.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, arcane mark; Cost 3250 gp
COMMENTS FROM THE JUDGES:
JACOB: First of all, congratulations; welcome to the Top 16 of the very first DesignFinder! Another interesting item that ingenious players are going to find different ways/reasons to use, especially in an intrigue game. I like items that make me look things up; searching for uhi, however, isn’t easy -- Google kept thinking I was looking for various acronyms. I eventually learned something new, though. I also really like what a GM could do with this to set up a mystery or a prison break or some other fun plot. Mechanically, I think the designer did a nice job covering a lot of the various questions that could arise from the item. Once thing that was a little unclear, however, was what happens with erase: the item says it causes it (referring back to the tattoo) to take Constitution damage, but I think it probably should be explicit that it’s the character that’s been turned into a tattoo that suffers the damage. It also doesn’t make clear what the DC of the Will saving throw is. I often wonder about pricing when using cantrips/orisons, but I think this landed in a nice sweet spot. I think this item would be used pretty specifically, but I could see keeping it for whenever I might want it instead of automatically selling it, as the price is in the area that the contingency might be worth holding on to it more than getting gold. One note -- I would probably drop the reference to blood in the first paragraph; I think it brings in a bit of a squick factor, more than the specific details are needed for how it works.
Style-wise, I noticed a few small things. There should be a comma in the price and cost, and there’s no need to underline Description and Construction. The spells in the requirements are styled correctly, but they need to be italicized in the body of the item as well.
KATE: This is a really neat item, and I had to look up what a uhi is, so I learned something new! This definitely differentiates itself from some of the other magical tattoos that already exist. I am slightly worried about how much use this item would see in play, but I can certainly think of situations where players would want to use it. Can the recipient have more than one such tattoo? This could be a way for one PC to sneak the whole party into a secure location, if given sufficient prep time. I see some grammatical errors, so make sure to proofread future entries carefully. I see a lot of missing commas in particular. Nice work on a really interesting item!
MIKE: I enjoyed this item, and I can see a lot of utility in it for getting a large party onto transport suitable for a smaller group or as a way to protect familiars and companions. The amount of time required to use the item menas a party has to plan ahead to use it, but I think that is reasonable. You did a great job of considering the effects of an erase spell (the spell should be italicized, and “expels” only has 1 ‘l’), and the corner case where there is no room for the ejected creature. As mentioned above, the item has some rough edges, and I hope you proofread (or get a trusted friend to proofread) entries in subsequent rounds.
Congratulations and welcome to the top 16!
REP: Congratulations! I like the idea of this a lot, and it has enough limitations that it feels balanced. It’s also evocative and has loads of storytelling potential that is useful in a number of kinds of campaigns. On the downside, the second paragraph in particular feels very muddy and needs some proofreading and revision--a little more development also generally needed to go into the mechanics of what causes the tattoo to fail. Still, a lot of folks like to design thiefy items (myself included) and you managed to make one that felt quite unique and interesting.