Bog Boots


Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka michaeljpatrick

Bog Boots
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 6th
Slot feet; Price 12,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description
These boots are well-worn and caked with mud but sturdy, comfortable and dry on the inside.

Up to three times a day the boots can be activated to cause up to 24 squares of standard terrain to become a shallow bog. All affected squares are instantly filled with one foot of water, mud and plant life. The affected squares can take any shape the wearer desires, but each must be adjacent to another affected square and at least one must be adjacent to the wearer. As a move action the wearer can rearrange the squares. The effect lasts until cancelled by the wearer, the boots are removed, the wearer steps more than five feet beyond the affected area, or the wearer becomes unconscious. The wearer treats the bog as standard terrain. To all others the bog is difficult terrain.

Once per day the wearer can travel as per dimension door from one affected square to any other.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, transmute rock to mud, dimension door; Cost 6000gp

Paizo Employee Developer

First sentence isn't winning me over so far.

24 squares is quite a lot. Otherwise, this item is kinda neat. I dig it.

weak keep

Publisher, EN Publishing aka Russell Morrissey

I like it a lot. Great for a goblin bog druid or something.

Keep.

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cool! Given that you can keep rearranging the squares, though there's no reason for this to expire so long as the caster is conscious, which bumps this from keep to weak keep for me.

Weak keep.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

Loved this item, can think of lots of characters who would want it.

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

Congratulations on making the top 32! This was one of my favorites, but I can see the issue Judy brings up with the potentially unlimited use. Be careful about unintended consequences with your design in future rounds. I look forward to seeing your monster, and I wish you luck in the next round.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka michaeljpatrick

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm so excited and terrified to have made it into the top 32.

I'm going to try to lay off of the forum for a few days while I get my round two entry in order.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 7

I usually voted this one up, but I had a couple questions. Are any other magical effects measured in "squares"? And why 24 exactly? Those two points stood out to me in an item that I quite liked. I like things that create a terrain effect, and the dim-door was a nice touch. It might be a bit cheap for that kind of control, though. I'd bump it up a bit but otherwise might steal this for my game.

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 one was a middle of the pack for me...I upvoted as often as I downvoted. It has some good creativity (and I loved that you made sure to mention they were comfortably dry on the inside) but I just wasn't that enamored with the abilities. Especially because teammates are affected by this.

And the last dimension door ability felt tacked on and not in line with theme.

Hopefully you tighten up your abilities and work a little more on your flavor writing. Looking forward to R2.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka primemover003

Christopher Dudley wrote:
I usually voted this one up, but I had a couple questions. Are any other magical effects measured in "squares"? And why 24 exactly? Those two points stood out to me in an item that I quite liked. I like things that create a terrain effect, and the dim-door was a nice touch. It might be a bit cheap for that kind of control, though. I'd bump it up a bit but otherwise might steal this for my game.

Most shapable spells use 10 foot cubes (rock to mud, reverse gravity, etc)

I really like playing with terrain so this got my vote quite often. I do think there should be 1 round per level duration however.

--Vrock to mud

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka mamaursula

Congratulations and Good Luck in the next round!

Shadow Lodge Star Voter Season 6

I don't understand dimension door - better to remove that and lower the cost.

No expiration and even the ability to move the squares seems like a lot of work for everyone to remember which squares are bog. 24 is random - I can't even picture this in a square or blast formation (off the top of my head - I might be wrong).

It feels like the whole item could have been much simplified, and was probably only made more complex to appear more Superstar-esque. If it was made simpler, could be a great item.

Best advice: less is more.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

I'm glad to see another of my favorites in here. It's fun to play with battlefield terrain! I see the downside as pointed out by other commentators, so watch your p's and q's on the monster round. 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 enjoyed the ability to manipulate difficult terrain with these. Definitely a great item congrats and good luck.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka DankeSean

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This one saw a lot of upvotes from me. It's a weird item theme, but I like it. I actually really liked the dimension door, myself. It felt like a natural fit, for me, and probably helped solidify the boots in my mind. Like you're a weird, squishy inhabitant of the magic bog and you have power over the terrain that you enemies and allies don't. Michael, I know this has been a long time coming for you, so congratulations on getting in!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Michael, I often came across the bog boots during voting, and I think I upvoted it quite a few times. Although I'm note terribly enthusiastic about it, I do think it is a good and useful item.

My problem with it is that I seem to recall a similar item submitted in previous years, only the theme was something else instead of bogs; the mechanics were very much alike, though. I won't hold it against you, one, because it's hard to keep track of all items in the critique threads and such, and two, because I can be completely mistaken ant no such item exists.

Actually, my favorite part of the item was the dimension door effect; I don't think it is forced, and it gives the wearer a great tactical advantage–plus, it looks nice on the battlefield.

Congratulations on making the top 32, and good luck with the monster round!

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7

Count me in with the people who thought the DD effect was a natural addition.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Demiurge 1138

The ability to teleport around your own magical terrain is one that comes up in a lot of video games, and is found in some monsters (like the fungus queen), so I thought it was a natural fit here. This is one of the few items I saw in my voting that I really fell in love with, and I'm happy to see it crack the Top 32.

Congratulations, and best of luck in Round 2!

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

Congratulations Michael,

I think difficult terrain creations have been overdone, but I liked that this brought plants in (since I love entangle) and that it could be changed by the wearer.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Arkos

Neat little item! Not one I would often take, unless I was some sort of bog witch, but neat!

I would agree with other posters that the bog needs a duration. This item feels somewhere in between a modified stone call spell and transmute, and I'd keep the duration portion of 1 round/CL. Since both spells are already higher level than a caster level 6 can cast, I'd increase CL to make up for it.

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

I like these. Not sure if I saw them during the voting, but I am a fan of terrain-changing items. Nice one.

Like the patternward spectacles, these are simple. I like that as much as I like cool and complex. Over complex items made my eyes water and brain dribble out my nose. Luckily there is enough brain matter left to say:
Congratulations and may your monster be similarly cool!!!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

I saw these during the voting and thought they were pretty cool. They garnered several upvotes from me.

Congrats!

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 is a fun item, and playing with terrain is always a good addition to the game. I agree with other that there should be a more concrete duration though, and while I'm okay with the dimension door, I would have rather seen that you can make one of the squares become quicksand one per activation instead to really mess with enemies who start to get the hang of moving around in the sudden bog.

Great job, and looking forward to seeing your monster.

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

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Template Fu Review 2014 - Michael Patrick - Bog Boots

Template Fu boilerplate: I have yet to make Top 32, therefore much of what follows is from someone learning from your item and may include suggestions you might agree with or not. Please consider anything suggested with your critical designer mind and know that nothing here is personal, it is about your item not you. I try to be thorough every year, taking an hour or more per item, so I hope you find something of value in the review that follows.

Name: The name is simple and effective, instantly calling to mind the main effect of the item. The name is perfect for the item, but doesn't really scream excitement - in this case, I think your name choice is spot on, but I can't help wondering if and how it could be made more enticing.
Template Fu scores you 9/10 on this.

Template Usage: Ah ha - more food for Template Fu. Your spells should be listed in alphabetical order and your cost is missing both a comma and a space before the gp. The overall item is quite short, which is nice, but in this case does leave the item open to some interpretation and even abuse by clever players - these will be shown in Game Balance below.
One of the spells listed is dimension door. This whole secondary effect seems tacked on and spell in a can. You could have taken the dimension door spell and warped it into a bog walk effect, describing it in similar terms to tree walking.
The price seems reasonable, but due to the game balance issues, the fixes may affect the price. For now though, I am happy enough with the pricing.
Template Fu scores you 7/10 on this.

Game Balance: Right, there are a number of things that should be clarified in the item that could leave holes for clever players. Let's start with plant life. Now, a bog, even a shallow one, could have trees, misshapen and ugly but trees all the same. Now 24 squares in a straight line is 120 feet, so basically, I can create a long line of bog and at the feet of the poor soul 120 feet away, I can create a fully grown bog tree under him, lifting him into the air? Shouldn't he get a saving throw? And that is quite some range of effect for such an action. I think just 12 squares would more than suffice considering the flexibility that the move action provides in their placement.
And then we talk about squares - this is an immediate gut reaction of "oh dear, forced battle mat item". Sometimes my group plays encounters sans battle mat, it's obvious enough to carry out in your minds eye. This item almost enforces 4th edition style miniature and battle map play. For me, this is yuk! And then we can change the affected squares every round as a move action. Holy moly, so how often must I redraw the affected squares on the battle map - my job as GM has just multiplied in workload and at the same time, slows down encounter play every time the wearer takes this move action. Double Yuk! You could have considered treating it as an aura around the wearer, much simplifying at table play.
Finally, there are terrains that are standard that could cause issue at the gaming table, for example, an encounter set in the break water of a beach, which is already a foot deep with gently rolling waves, or, somewhere in the frozen icy wastelands, on a featureless windswept plain. For the former, wouldn't the wave action obliterate the bog quite quickly and for the latter, wouldn't the bog water freeze? I know why you used the term standard terrain, it does make sense, but even though you have used the correct terms, you should consider if there are any special cases that need to be addressed. One possible fix would be to limit it to dry / rocky land only.
Template Fu scores you 7/10 on this.

Cinematics:
Sight - check, good imagery - the battle-map aspects niggles me, but on the whole the imagery is neat.
Sound - missed opportunity - do you also get the buzzing nasty insects and their noises?
Smell - missed opportunity - how rank is the water? how decaying/putrid the vegetation?
Taste - missed opportunity - is any of the water potable?
Touch - missed opportunity - is it a steaming warm tropical bog or a chilly river delta type of bog?
Cinematic Summary I like the imagery and the item has a few niggles that need closing, but on the whole, I do like it a lot.
Template Fu scores you 16/20 on this.

Musings, Meme, and One Step Further:
Taking this one step further, what if you could call forth other terrain types? Or with mythic power, expand the range or permanency of the bog, or introduce quicksand squares into the conjured bog?
My biggest issue with the item remains the frequency with which the "layout" of the affects areas can be changed at a whim and potential in crazy zig-zag of connected squares.
Template Fu scores you 16/20 on this.

Your final score for this item is 55/70, or 79% - An imaginative item that just needs a few wrinkles ironed out.

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