Gorum's Stompers

Open Call: Design a wondrous item

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6 aka Mattrex

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Gorum's Stompers
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th
Slot feet; Price 16,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
These crimson leather boots, almost completely obscured by layers of black iron plates, exhibit a raucous boldness in their design.

Once per day as a standard action, or as a free action at the end of a jump, the wearer of these boots may stomp the ground to generate a sudden shockwave that sends nearby creatures and objects flying. When activated, Gorum's stompers make a bull rush against all creatures and objects within a 15 foot radius of the wearer, with a CMB equal to the boots' caster level plus the wearer's Strength modifier. Affected creatures are knocked prone unless they succeed on a DC 17 Reflex saving throw, and affected flying creatures must succeed on a DC 15 Fly check or fall. Creatures and objects that are thrown into a solid surface such as a wall take 1d6 damage.

In addition, when the wearer deliberately jumps from a height of 20 feet or greater, the boots convert the energy of falling into a particularly powerful blast of force. The wearer may activate the boots as a free action upon landing, converting up to 5d6 points of lethal falling damage into nonlethal damage; for each 1d6 points of lethal damage converted in this way, the boots gain a +2 circumstance bonus on all bull rush attempts made during that activation. If the wearer takes no lethal falling damage as a result, he lands on his feet instead of falling prone. Using Gorum's stompers in this manner counts as its daily use.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, telekinesis; Cost 8,000 gp.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

These are a little bit punk rock, a little bit redcap, and I like them.

Bull rushing all creatures with 15 feet is interesting, and knocking down flyers is helpful.

I say keep 'em.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Playing with CMB, converting falling energy into other things. That is just some real nice, creative stuff right there. That's the kind of thing I look for. It needs some tinkering. I'd love to see what notes you got back from Sean if you turned this in to him. For instance, telekinesis? That's it? I gotta think there is something different or better there (though truth be told nothing is jumping out at me, though perhaps jump and feather fall). But what entry doesn't need at least a tiny bit of tweaking, so I won't hold it against you! Good, fun item that I could really see PCs digging. Good luck!

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Needs a little polish (but what doesn't?), but it's fun and well-designed.

Liberty's Edge Contributor , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

Welcome to the Top 32, Mattrex!

Gorum's stompers have a great visual, and I can definitely see why the voters liked this. Of course, you backed up the visual with a great, clean design. I think the boots affecting flying creatures is a bit of a reach, but not enough to seriously detract from the item.

Keep up the imaginative work and best of luck in the rest of the contest!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

First of all, congratulations on making the Top 32! That in itself is a major accomplishment and it’s something you should take great pride in. You rock!

Well, these boots are very interesting! I love that the second power has a little bit of give and take. Converting the lethal damage to nonlethal damage is sheer mojo, and a great way to limit player abuse. Both powers are very flavorful as well. I agree with Clark though. Telekinesis is an interesting choice for a spell requirement. I think something like jump and force punch might have worked better. Still, you won me with the item's sheer bravado. Combat encounters with these boots would be memorable and fun. Nice work!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

What kind of name is this? Stompers? The once per day activation could have been a move action since you are allowing an activation as a free action at the end of a jump. Jump is part of a move action, so if the wearer didn’t want to waste a standard, the wearer could just do a bunny hop to get the free action activation. I’ve seen a number of knockdown boots, but these are the cleanest mechanics that I’ve seen lyet. Nice work.

Star Voter Season 6

Congratulations on getting into the Top 32! These boots remind me of the Tauren Thunderstomp from World of Warcraft! :)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka John Benbo

Yes, I remember these and thought they were a lot of fun!

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

The visual on this was worth every vote. If I were still playing my Dwarven Barbarian from years ago I know he'd be demanding a pair of these.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

This was my 2nd or even 1st favorite item. Congrats!

I know that I would put these on my monk who loves to jump around.

I loved the theme and the mechanics.

Telekinesis being the only spell req was odd, but that's a minor gripe for me.

This is one of the items I thought just had "it".

Star Voter Season 6

I voted many, many times, and there were a few types of items that seemed to be very popular as themes. One was a device (sometimes a knob, others a window) that could be affixed to a wall to create an opening; those I found pretty cool. Another was boots that allowed the wearer to shake the ground (maybe with some other effects rolled in); those didn't pique my interest. So, I was not a huge fan of these -- just didn't push the button.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka Transylvanian Tadpole

3 people marked this as a favorite.

This one produces some humorous scenes in my mind. I'm tempted to give them unlimited uses, put them on a goblin having a tantrum, then push said goblin firmly in the direction of the PCs.


Congratulations on making the Top 32. Your item works with some really cool mechanics and has a big feel to it that I like. Some folks say "the name's the thing" and in the case of your item, it was the first thing I chalked up against it, because all I could think of were Romper Stompers. That said, once I got past that, they're a pretty cool item. Best of luck in the next round.

Star Voter Season 6

I saw a couple items with a theme similar to this one and they were all well received by me. I personally have a Monk that uses Elemental Fist (Cold) and a Rod of Balance to jump high in the air and add the falling damage to his attack (calls it his Comet Kick). So items that would only make him better at such tactics I really enjoyed.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4 aka OamuTheMonk

Stompy boots aren't as familiar-feeling as a ring of invisibility, but...they're close. It's a new item you've made, but it feels old, already. The standard action/free action glitch (why would you ever not just jump to activate it?) is troubling and it feels overpriced for a single daily use.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6 aka Mattrex

To everyone: Thank you for your show of support. It's gratifying to see that people enjoy something I created, and I certainly hope that at least a few people shamelessly steal this item to use in their home games. That is the ultimate compliment for an RPG designer!

The most recurring criticism is that telekinesis seems odd as a spell prerequisite; I might have a blind spot here, because I thought it was precisely on-target, and actually spent a good while considering spells to use. I had previously considered the likes of repulsion and force punch, but ultimately it was the fact that telekinesis allows for a ranged force-based bull rush (very similar to the effect of the boots) that put it in that slot. Considering its secondary effect, perhaps feather fall might have been appropriate as a secondary requirement.

As far as the name goes, "stompers" is just a colloquial name for boots, particularly boots that you get dirty wearing. Given the sudden violence inherent in the item's theme and its method of activation, it seemed a perfect fit.

Anyway, I'd like to thank everyone again for their support. I hope I do not disappoint you all in the next round!

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Congratulations on making the top 32! This was one of the items in my personal keep file and I look forward to seeing your efforts in round 2.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6

Yeah this one was a fun keep for me - I'm glad you made it in.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Star Voter Season 6

This was one of the two most memorable items I saw while voting, and definitely one of my favorites. I love the name, and the mechanics are fun and clever. The look of the item is Superstar, and it has the feel to match. It was an easy up-vote whenever I saw it. Telekinesis makes sense to me, possibly because I ran a campaign in which my husband frequently took advantage of the ranged combat maneuver options available with telekinesis. These boots definitely exhibit raucous boldness ... I can just imagine Gorum himself clanking confidently in these stompers. Great job, Mattrex! :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka SmiloDan

These look like a lot of fun! I love ranged combat maneuvers, and negating falling damage and/or knocking flyers out of the sky are also a lot of fun!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Demiurge 1138

This item is loads of fun, and it's one of the ones I voted for every time.

Congrats! I'll see you in Round 2!

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

What a fun implementation of a simple idea! I love these. I like sticking it to fliers with a stomp, and I love "converting the energy of falling into a particularly powerful blast of force".

Great work, and I hope your archetype shows the same level of both mechanical and flavorful fun.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

AM BARBARIAN needs to stop by and put a pair of these things on.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Congrats on the top 32! I know I voted for these boots each time that they came up for voting (2 or 3 for me), and I'm glad to see that you are going to continue!

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises , Dedicated Voter Season 6

This is a well-written and highly creative submission. Good attention to formatting and grammar. The name could be sexier, but I don't have much criticism to levy against this item otherwise.

Dedicated Voter Season 6

Congrats on making it to the Top 32! I'm not surprised to see these here, so I think that in and of itself says a lot.

When I first saw them, I'll admit, I got to the "stomping boots making shockwave" bit, and while I liked it, I didn't think it was the most novel idea I'd ever seen...but as I kept reading I started to like it more and more. Clearly a lot of thought went into these and it shows. You took a core concept that was neat, but maybe not totally "Wow" and elevated it to something I could see myself really wanting in a game. ...And I usually play bards and rogues. ;) Construction requirements could maybe use some tweaking, but overall I'm really impressed.

I can't wait to see what you do with the archetype challenge! Good luck!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka GM_Solspiral

I'm skipping my normal good bad ugly routine. This was one of my top picks, I have nothing critical to say.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

This was by far my favorite of the boots that you stomped and did bad things to other creatures items, and are a great item for fighter types who want a bit more versatility than just attacking.

I'm glad to see you made the top 32, and am looking forward to your entries for future rounds.

If I had to level one bit of criticism, while I love the alternate way to get additional uses per day by jumping from a height, a PC could work to have this happen pretty regularly in combination with other magic - just fly or levitate up, then dismiss the effect and jump down. Or climb a wall and jump down. Since these methods would require at least a move action to set up, I don't think anyone could reliably get more than one use per encounter from these, but it wouldn't be too hard to use in most encounters that aren't unexpected.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

Matt, congratulations! Your item may not have been breaking new ground, but stomping through well tread play space instead doesn't make it bad. There's flavor here and tight mechanics, and it works.

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

Congratulations Matt,

Scratch what I said in the Fire Shaping Gloves thread. Toph has now been taken. A little SAK, getting various effects out of the same 'stomping' action, but they are all nicely tied together with the rules. A fun item.

Suggestion for R2: be careful the 'theme' does not become 'SAK' it was close here and archetypes will be easy to overdue it.

Good luck & nice job.

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

A good item/idea.

However, I have only one comment: "raucous"?

Really? You had to use a word some people would have to look up in a dictionary just to figure out how to say it? Sorry, that's just the editor in me...

*beats little editor poppng out of chest back inside*

Dial it back on the 'wordy-ness' just a little, and this is a near perfect idea in my opinon.

Star Voter Season 6

I hate the name. Stompers sounds like something a goblin would come up with, and that just doesn't fit Gorum in my mind. I didn't want to like this off the bat because of the name, but I think you won my vote with this despite that.

I have some mechanical issues. Jumping is part of a move action, so the standard action seems a bit off. CMB of items caster level + users str mod also seems wierd, especially since the items caster level is static you could just say 9 (or make it simpler with 10). It also does not scale, which I hate, so I would probably make it just use the wearer's level. I think you didn't want users applying bull rush feats to it, which is a good choice, so I can understand why you didn't use CMB. I can see an argument coming up if bull rush feats or abilities can be used from this, but I think you made the right choice in specifying the spompers are making the bull rush.

Finally, the price seems a little high for when it would be most useful and how frequently it will be useful. 16K is a lot for a situational item, so by the time you can afford it you are looking at being arround level 10. Before then, for the price you are probably going go grab one of the big 6. The DCs are low for that level. I would probably halve the price to get it into play around level 6.

Overall I like this item and think it deserves its spot in the top.

Star Voter Season 6

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jeremy Clements wrote:

A good item/idea.

However, I have only one comment: "raucous"?

Really? You had to use a word some people would have to look up in a dictionary just to figure out how to say it? Sorry, that's just the editor in me...

*beats little editor poppng out of chest back inside*

Dial it back on the 'wordy-ness' just a little, and this is a near perfect idea in my opinon.

I vehemently disagree with this sentement. We should not dumb down our discourse to accomodate the lowest common denominator. Make people learn. RPGs did more for my vocabulary than school, and I would love to keep that alive.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6 aka Mattrex

I appreciate the feedback, even if I also respectfully agree that I am doing someone a favor if they have to look a word up in the dictionary! That said, I agree that "raucous" was not the best choice, and had I given it more thought I might have chosen a more precise way to phrase what I was going for. At the time, I was ruthlessly taking a hatchet to my first draft, which had all the "prized by" nonsense, so I wanted to be tight and evocative in as few words as possible.

The biggest glitch of the item (costs and spell requirements aside) is probably the "activate at the end of a jump". It's not a mechanical glitch so much, in my mind, as it is a matter of clarity and relying on people to understand the fundamental rules. What I really meant was "as a free action at the end of a jump [using the Acrobatics skill]", i.e. a high jump or long jump. Since that is a skill use (which provokes AoOs) and/or movement (which provokes AoOs), I saw it as a good trade-off and a way to give characters a motivation to literally jump into the fray.

With some additional polish I probably could have conveyed that the free action was tied to a skill use more clearly to prevent very literal-minded people from saying, "well, I'll hop up six inches as a move action". Obviously, being able to FAQ this sort of thing isn't the same as baking it right into the item description with no additional clarification needed, so it's a good object lesson and something to remain aware of for future creations.

Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Caineach wrote:
I hate the name. Stompers sounds like something a goblin would come up with, and that just doesn't fit Gorum in my mind.

This. "Stompers" sounds ... a bit playful for Gorum. I'd prefer something that sounded more fearsome and warlike.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm with Caineach. I've got no problem with words like raucous. I think it's a great descriptive choice. More power to 'em, I say.

(However, add me to those not crazy about stompers, but that's a different issue.)

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

telekinesis seems spot on to me. Congrats!

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9


These are just the Diablo II barbarians Leap ability put into a pair of boots. Not that they're not kind of cool, just not very original.

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Gio

These boots remind a lot about the video game prototype which is awesome!

I GMed a game once where a Barbarian Hobgoblin with the 'Ground breaker, greater' rage power, was the final boss. He began the fight by leaping from a huge distance and breaking the ground around him. He would definitely love these boots!

As prior entries will tell you, Template Fu is one mean point eating machine, but will also praise where praise is due.

These reviews being this in depth usually take me a while to do and they get fitted in around other demands on my time, so please bear with me if I haven’t gotten to your item yet. I will get there in the end.

Review Caveat: I try to keep things totally dispassionate and all comments herein are my own. Having not made the illustrious levels that you have achieved this year, I can only caveat that anything I propose in feedback may not be totally in line with what Paizo thinks or needs of its freelance game designers, so do consider carefully any and all feedback I make under this light.

I start your review with…

Congratulations on being selected by the public at large and then the stalwart judges!

Review Breakdown:

Template: 5/5
Yes, another perfectly executed template! So you added line breaks around Description and Construction, that’s no biggie. I actually like it that way, it feels cleaner and more easier to read and scan even though it probably makes nada difference.

Spelling: 5/5
This bit IS boilerplate to avoid confusion. Everyone should know to use US English, so you just know that I am going to eat points for stray ‘u’ letters and similar.

The sound of full belly contented dragon-kin rumbles are coming from his nest, sssh, quietly tip toe on please.

Readability: 4/5
These are readings you can get from most spelling and grammar check options in word processors, for this, I am pasting everyone’s description into Word for consistency. My grading’s are purely my own personal feelings for target scores but it should be noted these are very helpful during development to spot problems in your writing, especially passivity.

Passive Sentences 22% (don’t let this get any higher)
There are whole threads on this and it is possible to get 0%, which is wicked, but I would expect scores of less than 20% to be around the ideal mark for item descriptions (sometimes, you need the passive, but only rarely).

Flesch Reading Ease 54.9 (a little lower than I like, but this is ok)
(0-30 best understood by university graduates, 60-70 easily understood by 13-15 year olds, 90-100 easily understood by 11 year olds)

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 11.8 (-1pt)
(This equates to the grades found in the US schooling system, e,g. 8.2 means it should be understandable by the average 8th grade student)

Me as a Designer Review: 4/5
Hmm, on initial scan, I may struggle a little here, let’s read on by paragraph in depth and see what I can find…

This pairing “almost completely” is one of those conflicting types of description that can make your writing seem weak. It is either partially obscured or completely obscured – makes your choice and stick with it – be definite and strong in your descriptions.

All item activations that require activating are standard actions, so you don’t need to say this. Again, it isn’t a huge thing, but worth bearing in mind and being aware of. I am also wary that jumping is a move action, so now I can jump, free action, standard action – that’s like a move and two attacks really. Keeping it standard whether at the end of a jump or not would better preserve game balance. This is further exacerbated by the bull’s rush, I now do a running jump move action, get a free bull’s rush action (move and attack) and then still have my standard action? Yeah, it should just be a standard action period in my thoughts.

Another extraneous phrase, the old “in addition”, “additionally”, “alternatively” and all such variations on this theme, they just waste words. Get rid.

The secondary power makes sense. I probably would have made them auto activate on landing myself, but that’s just the apples and oranges between designers on that one. I queried in my mind why you didn’t just reduce the falling height, but it is kind of cool that you can still fall 10 feet, roll 6 on falling damage and then roll all 1’s to take 5 off it and still take 1 point of damage and fall prone (but that’s evil GM me there rather than designer me I think).

I think, I am going to dock a point purely on the two attacks action economy issues described, but that is pretty much all I can dock. Well done.

Overall Impression: 5/5
An unusual item that intrigued me greatly with the opportunity for trouble it can get you in – must give this to my PCs traversing a snow capped mountain – you just know they have avalanche potential in there :P

In fact, this appeals so much, and the template execution was spot on, results in another 5/5 for you.

With the creativity shown, I certainly look forward to your archetype with great expectations!

Final Score: 23/25
I won’t give a final score comment as I haven’t for anyone else as I work through the items.

If this interests for personal reasons, please feel free to check out everyone else’s scores and at the same time check out your competition and their feedback too!

Closing, as I started…

Congratulations on being selected!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

Congratulations Matt on making the Top 32!

I like these. They're fun, creative and flavourful. They play around with a variety of mechanics without losing their tight focus. I love the conversion of falling damage into a bonus for a combat maneuver. I think that is genuinely creative. It's not an obvious mechanic until someone comes up with it - then it makes perfect sense. Very nice work.

I also like the touch of making it a free action if combined with a jump. That's exactly the kind of small, seemingly insignificant rule that encourages unusual tactics and makes combat generally more interesting.

Definitely one of the best items here. Good job!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6 aka Breelo Babblebock

The first time I read this my mind went straight to the barbarian from Diablo. The visual of the shock wave from these boots give this item mojo.

Getting in Top 32 was pretty much expected with such an unparalleled game experience. Congratulations!

marilyn winkler
write my essay pro

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