Phantom Corsair Boots

Open Call: Design a wondrous item, magic armor, or magic weapon

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Thrawn007

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Phantom Corsair Boots
Aura faint illusion; CL 1st
Slot feet; Price 10,600 gp; Weight 1 lb.
These thigh-high leather boots constantly permeate with a salty smell. The malleable material used to construct them allows for comfortable movement, providing a +2 bonus to Acrobatics checks.

The wearer of these boots becomes translucent and distorted as they move, becoming more insubstantial as they accelerate. Any time she moves more than 10 feet, she gains concealment (20% miss chance). This concealment ends when she stops moving.

When using two move actions in a single turn, or using a run or withdraw action, she instead becomes invisible (as invisibility) for one round.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, blurred movement, vanish, creator must have 2 ranks in Acrobatics; Cost 5,300 gp

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

The only other feet item on my keep list. Congrats.

Cool item. Congrats!

In voting, I didn't pay much attention to these boots the first time but they grew on me very quickly.

Pretty much every "Spring Attack" character would try to get these on.

I think these are a little better than having a ring of invisibility which is almost twice the price.

Dark Archive

I don't recall seeing this, but if I had, I definitely would have voted for it! Congratulations!

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congrats on making the top 32!

I'm excited about:
I want these! Invisibility is cool and moving too fast to be seen is cool. Your mechanics don't make me work too hard to get what I think of when I hear those ideas. Nice.

I'm cautious about:
If I'm walking around out of combat, can I stay invisible indefinitely? I would have liked to see something about out-of-combat use.
Does the salty smell give away my position when I'm invisible?

If you were in my creative writing group:
Disclaimer: gorgeous prose is hardly a requirement for a good item, so take what I say here with a pinch of salt.

*twitch* That's not how "permeate" works. I know what you mean, but something like "the air around the boots is constantly permeated with a salty aroma" is a better use of the word. I think my first choice would be to go super simple and say "These boots fill the air with a salty aroma."

"malleable material" is awfully vague. If you're going to call out the material, tell us what it is! Otherwise, just say that the boots allow for comfortable movement. Given your spare word count, I would vote for a little more description. Tie this in to the corsair and the salty smell, perhaps?

This feels like a really great idea that could perhaps use just a little more editing. Despite that, you were very successful in making me want those boots!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Thrawn007

JJ Jordan wrote:

In voting, I didn't pay much attention to these boots the first time but they grew on me very quickly.
Alanya wrote:
I don't recall seeing this, but if I had, I definitely would have voted for it! Congratulations!

Looks like it was mission accomplished. These were designed to hopefully stealth their way through round 1. Not as flashy as many other items, but was hoping they would be well liked.

Thanks to everyone for the critiques and the support. And thanks to everyone and everyone who gave me advice before submitting. It's pretty intimidating doing this for the first time.

Now back to cartography.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Congratulations on making it in!

Robert Thomson wrote:

Phantom Corsair Boots

Aura faint illusion; CL 1st
Slot feet; Price 10,600 gp; Weight 1 lb.
These thigh-high leather boots constantly permeate with a salty smell. The malleable material used to construct them allows for comfortable movement, providing a +2 bonus to Acrobatics checks.

The wearer of these boots becomes translucent and distorted as they move, becoming more insubstantial as they accelerate. Any time she moves more than 10 feet, she gains concealment (20% miss chance). This concealment ends when she stops moving.

When using two move actions in a single turn, or using a run or withdraw action, she instead becomes invisible (as invisibility) for one round.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, blurred movement, vanish, creator must have 2 ranks in Acrobatics; Cost 5,300 gp

If I ever play Skull & Shackles again, I know what I'm buying. ^_^

Good luck next round!

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Nice work, Robert Thomson.

I like your item. I'm sure I can find some sultry villain of either gender to wear thigh-high boots and force the PCs to kneel and lick them. "Salty."

It's your listing of your final power that I have to ask about. Allowing someone to benefit from invisibility while running or doing a withdraw makes enough sense when paired with the concealment from moving more than 10 feet. You mention that its the movement that triggers the power of the boots, making someone harder to hit. The two move action thing is puzzling and difficult for me to grasp.

Did you mean, they have to use two move actions and actually move? Because taking your sword out is a move action, as is drawing a potion, or standing up. If you actually did intend to give the item that power just from doing move actions and not moving, then I would feel a bit tricked because of your explanation for the boot's power.

This item is practically an all the time invisibility item. "I sheathe my sword, move action. I draw my sword, not using my Quick Draw." Sure, not on any rounds you need to use an attack action, but if you're attacking you're already gonna lose your invisibility that round anyway.

Congratulations on making it to the next round. You've managed to pull off a rare feat.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

I passed over this item at first, as I thought it was just a flavorful ring of invisibility, but the second time I read it, I took a liking to the part where your character becomes more and more insubstantial as they move, slowly disappearing from sight. That's a cool effect. Good luck in the rest of the competition!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Congratulations on earning a spot in Season 9’s Top 32, Robert! Here’s a few of my thoughts regarding your item:

  • Nice imagery in the description, though I would edit out “constantly” and “used to construct them.”
  • Sounds like the +2 bonus to Acrobatics should be a circumstance bonus since it’s described as being a mundane consequence. I rather like these functioning like a masterwork tool. If the bonus comes from the magic of the boots, then I would like to see it described more flavorfully.
  • You’re playing with mobility on the battlefield, and making it valuable to keep moving. Anything that makes people consider something besides the “optimized” full attack action is a welcome addition to the game.
  • I like that you play with degrees of functionality. Blur > Invisibility based on how fast one is moving. Very nice.
  • Item is useful both in an out of combat.
  • Villains and players alike will find a fun use for this item. A quickling will certainly enjoy having a pair.
Neat item that makes the players work to achieve the effect. This increases a sense that the player is not just his equipment, but the skillful use of that equipment. Well done, and good luck in the next round!

Marathon Voter Season 9

Congrats on making Top 32!

I like these boots, but the unlimited duration as long as you are moving is just way too much benefit. The owner is effectively invisible whenever they want to be. I much prefer the blur effect. While that is also unlimited l=use, it ends as soon as they stop moving, which is much more balance. At least then it's only a benefit for AoO's or readied actions. I think that giving each effect a maximum number of rounds but having them be activated by moving would be more in line with balance and price. I'm terrified of characters who are constantly invisible until they decide to stop moving and attack. Also, if the character double moved away, would they go invisible before moving, or only once they have moved more that their speed and are actually using the second move actions worth of movement. That would be a little better too.

I like the game style you are trying to promote, but it just seems way too powerful.

Best of luck in all future rounds!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Congratulations, Robert!

These are a great example of how much impact flavor has on an item's appeal. Broken down it's rules are similar to a ring of invisibility or the Wind Stance feat tree, but you tied everything together into such an attractive package that these boots already seem like a natural addition to the game. I also have to agree with Brian: the scaling of blurred to invisible is quite masterful.

Can't wait to see what you conjure up for round 2!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

It seems to be my day to congratulate you, Robert. I saw your both a lot, but unfortunately, I was pretty mixed on them. I liked the idea, but they just seemed too powerful to me especially for that price. I suppose it would make combat more mobile -- which is something it could use -- but I still just thought it was a little too much.

Good luck in Round 2, though!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Thrawn007

Loving all the feedback everyone, both positive and negative.

I'm going to wait for more feedback, because I don't want to influence any of the pure reactions, but later on in the contest I have the following to share about this item:

1) Design Philosophy
2) Inspirations
3) The pros and cons of workshopping
4) Possibly some in progress examples from the design steps of this item.

I will be starting my reviews soon, and they can be bumpy at times, so here's a starter for 10 on Template ...

You nailed it!

After 9 seasons, the Fu is starting to feel his job is done. Well done on perfect execution.

Full review to follow in due course.

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

As promised yesterday, the GB&U this year is courtesy of me rather than GM_solsprial (he is busy drawing furiously). So without further ado, our amazing and awesome top 32+4 get the first set of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly critiques, and then on to everyone else who requested a critique in the CMI official thread, or in my shiny The GB&U Season 9 thread.

Phantom Corsair Boots

The Good: I like items that reward mobility, and these sure as heck do so.

The Bad: I would have used some more word count to give a bit more description, also I generally dislike items that avoid calling out what they are primarily made of. I see that as a chance for more mojo, skipping out on it can hurt an otherwise good item.

The Ugly: For the price, a mobile fighter or any other highly mobile character can get some serious and unlimited defence from these bad boys. My inner player loves that, my inner GM needs an antacid.

RPG Superstar 2014 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7 aka Belladonna Blue

Welcome to the Top 32, Robert! Your submission has overcome the magic item horde and the many culls to emerge at the top of the heap. Congratulations!

I'll be one of the judges for this first round, offering my humble commentary which I hope will be helpful to you moving into Round 2. I will be considering each item based on three factors: functionality (does the item fill a useful niche within the rules?), mojo ("wow" factor--would I point out this item to someone else, or immediately get some cool concept to go with it?), and writing (is the formatting and text clear and error free? Is the prose interesting and evocative?)

Combining these elements successfully is, I feel, key to defining that elusive "Superstar" quality that we all want to see.

So you know what I'm looking for, now let's move on to the good bit: your phantom corsair boots!

Functionality and Usefulness
Battlefield mobility is an underutilized advantage, and it's nice to see something in that design space.

So as long as the wearer keeps moving, these boots grant an unlimited blur effect, and can go invisible with enough momentum. These are at a good price point, but the boots are very easy to make, meaning PCs can see these sooner rather than later.

And that invisibility effect is very potent, especially since it keys off move actions and not movement. A lot of things are move actions. That's a loophole I think needs to be closed to fit in with the item.

I am not really a fan of the unlimited time span a character can spend in blur or invisible. Especially since it sounds a lot like when the character is out of combat--which is where characters tend to spend most of their time--she's going to be running around blurry and possibly invisible so long as they're mostly just moving around.

Some kind of duration would be nice to have, such as a number of rounds per day. It'd also be good to specify how this works outside combat. Can the wearer willingly suppress the boots' effects?

The Cool Factor/Mojo
You buried your lead under a +2 Acrobatics bonus. That doesn't set me up to look forward to what I'll read next.

It's still an interesting little item. Playing with movement and momentum is a neat concept, though I'm on the fence about whether I'd have preferred you dropped the invisibility effect and the skill bonus and stuck with the blur. I could have even seen scaling the blur effect gradually, with more movement increasing the concealment chance. That would have also innovated the spells used more, since right now this is really just two spells of (potentially) unlimited duration with different triggers.

Your imagery and flavor went in a good direction, though, and you really hit on a good design niche. There's not enough cool stuff with battlefield mobility at its core, and bringing in something to play with that garnered you a lot of interest.

Prose and Editing
"Constantly permeate" doesn't really work. You could say "salty air permeates these boots" or "a salty smell permeates the air around these boots" or a number of other ways.

You don't really need to say bonus after a +2. The "+" already indicates it's a bonus.

Don't use "they" as a singular pronoun. You use "her/she" for the rest of the text.

It's a neat item with some good creativity in how you envisioned it, but it has some abuseable elements that concern me. I also think it could have been simplified. The Acrobatics bonus is unnecessary, and I'd have liked to see a scaling blur effect rather than going from blur to invisible which represents a significant step up.

I haven't seen the innovation I'd like to in the mechanics presented, though. I do hope you break out as you move forward and show off what you can do.

I am honored to have been allowed to provide feedback this year. I look forward to your entry for Round 2, Robert, and hope to see your map with your same instinct for player appeal you exhibited here.

Congratulations again!

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

Okay now that we have a few days before Top 16 reveals I've decided to comment on my competitors work. First, congrats one being a people's choice top 36. To me connecting more directly with the pathfinder community as an audience is even more impressive then clicking for a group of judges.

This was pretty dam cool. Smartest design choice was making ti so that the invisibility is hard to pull off an attack with. That said Quick runner's shirt would pretty much be a mandatory buy. Good luck with next round.

Sovereign Court Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

First off Congratulations, and I suspect you already know my feelings about these from workshoping.

Probably a good thing you didn't really listen to me =)

I still feel like these are a bit too close to what exists in the Wind Stance and Lightning Stance feats (being feats with quite a few prereqs, this makes these boots very powerful for the price).

That said, I've never seen anyone with those feats, so perhaps the feats are over expensive.

Again Congrats and Good Luck moving forward!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Thrawn007

I've got my full detail post ready to go. Just don't want to influence the comments coming in, because they are very good points, and a lot of them are things I was actually concerned about as well.

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

Robert Thomson wrote:
Phantom Corsair Boots

Congratulations for making it into the Top 32!

Seeing as that's how I had to start this, you're already a potential "Superstar" so keep that in mind!

That out of the way, I'm going to treat your item the same as if I saw it in the Critique My Item Thread, which means I'll be using the following comments, and assuming you're submitting this item as your "sample" for an Open Call to Fat Goblin Game's Call to Arms book line.

Feel free to disagree with me and DEFEND YOUR CHOICES!

Superstar — I've not read all the other comments, but I like what you're going for. I'd maybe play with it a little more personally, adding in a 50% concealment effect when doing a full-round action or double move, and then have invisibility be for each additional round after that 50% concealment build up round that you continue to move (so that you could remain invisible for as long as you kept running, becoming 50% if you only use a move action, or 20% if you move less than 10 feet and the invisibility going away but rebuilding if you "broke" the spell with an attack, etc... Anyways, I like it. Not sure the "sea" would have been the direction I went either but I see it.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

The core idea here is very cool. Keep moving, keep gaining a benefit.

I get where you're going with the name and the salty smell, but I think that needed to be tied in just a little more closely with the blur/invisibility effect. Just a sentence, or a phrase really, that brought that idea home.

I do think in the right (wrong? heh) player's hands these could be overpowered. But to do it they'd have to play in a way they might not otherwise, and it might be cool anyway.

Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Congrats on making the top 32!

I have to admit that phantom corsair boots were not one of my favourite items, and I didn't vote for it very often. Your title confused me a bit after reading the item, and although I understand that pirates tie in with the salty smell, I don't really see why you brought the ocean into these boots at all. They've got a strong enough visual with the phantom/blur parts of the item and I think the extra corsair feel to them was unnecessary (as was the acrobatics bonus). On the other hand, they're thigh-high. Awesome! Bold! I love it!

I really like the concept that these boots make you so fast you become hard to see. That's cool, flashy, and frankly it'd make a player feel pretty darn proud of themselves (always a good design choice!). The first part of your ability is worded really well (regarding blur). It's the next paragraph's wording which makes these need some more editing, but since it's been discussed above multiple times, I don't need to point out the details.

Even though these boots weren't a favourite of mine, they certainly were for a lot of others (and it's not hard to see why)! They have a cool concept and neat execution, and I think if you cleaned up the second paragraph's mechanics I would have voted for your entry a whole lot more.

Best of luck in the next round.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Other than not having some kind of limit on how much a player can use them and the invisibility triggering on move actions not movement, I really like this item.

I also have two questions about how the item should work. Is the acrobatics bonus supposed to have a type?

At what point does the wearer become invisible? As soon as they declare the actions? After moving?

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

Robert! the Top 32!

As one of the judges who'll be along for the entire ride of the competition, it's my duty (and pleasure) to offer up some commentary on your winning submission, as well as a bit of advice for the challenges to come. First up...your item...the phantom corsair boots...

Okay. The name is interesting. It's a pair of boots, so I know what they physically are. And, there's a phantom aspect to them. And with "corsair" in the title, I'm expecting a bit of a swashbuckling nautical theme.

Mojo. Okay. Yeah. There's a bit of mojo behind the overall idea. Not super sexy, but it's easy to see why this appealed to the voters given the benefit it provides with move actions.

Cinematic. Definitely. The blur effect and invisibility granted as a result of movement creates an immediate visual in seeing them in action.

Usefulness. Mostly defensive, really. There's a bit of utility with an Acrobatics boost, but that's about it.

Mechanics. I agree with some of the earlier concerns. Move actions can't be the trigger for these boots. It needs to be actual movement. Also, we're really just looking at a couple of feats-in-a-can with this design. Wind Stance and Lightning Stance can achieve similar outcomes, but true invisibility takes it up a notch, because that not only grants a 50% miss chance, but someone has to identify the right square to attack before that even applies. And, given that it activates during your movement, I'm guessing that should only be halfway through, because I know a fair number of players who start out with a single move action and then don't know if they're going to double move or take a standard action until after they evaluate their circumstances. Plus, a single move action should be triggering the blur effect anyway. So, might as well have blur for the first move and then invisibility triggered on the second one. That way, onlookers might have a slightly better chance of pinpointing the wearer on their action.

Polish. This looks pretty tight. Lots of word count left to spare, though. And, you led with its weakest power. Adding a boost to Acrobatics isn't really worth much anyway. Probably best to take that out.

Other than that, this was a creative design playing around with movement rules as the activation for the item's powers. There are still some mechanical ramifications with how it's worded, but that can be cleaned up. In the meantime, I'm happy to offer you my hearty congratulations on making the Top 32, and I look forward to seeing what you've got for us in Round 2.

My two cents,

Paizo Employee Assistant Developer , Star Voter Season 6

Hello, Robert, and welcome to the Top 32!

I'll be a judge for this round, and I'm honored and pleased to offer feedback on your phantom corsair boots. I hope this feedback provides some helpful insight to you as you move forward in the competition.

As an assistant developer at Paizo, I'll offer you three levels of commentary that approximate the development process: some first impressions, a deeper look, and some measured feedback.

So, let's get started!

First impressions: Pretty darn cool name. Based on it, I was expecting something perhaps keyed to the swashbuckler class, or imagery more evocative of a pirate theme, but the actual usability here is pretty solid.

Deeper look: I certainly understand the sentiment to want to make sure your Superstar item is as useful as possible, so the instinct to start out with a static +2 bonus to Acrobatics checks makes sense on the surface. However, this is Superstar, and particularly because your item has a lot more going for it than just that bonus, I'd have liked to see you drop this relatively mundane feature and really come out swinging with the wondrous goodness. And there's a lot of wondrous goodness here.

I think the item stumbles a bit in its failure to distinguish move actions from movement. I'm fairly certain that you did not intend the invisibility to trigger simply after two move actions regardless of actual movement, but that's the way this works as written. Taking a few extra words to simplify how these boots' abilities trigger off move actions would really improve this design; the blur should really trigger after a single movement, anyway.

Measured feedback: Don't be afraid to use up that word count to make sure that your designs are precise and your writing is evocative. An extra few sentences here could have really gone a long way to making this item blow voters out of the water; it's amazing how an inspired description can get players excited, especially if the item is as useful as yours. Reach a little further for those descriptions and for very specific rules language, and you'll do really well going forward.

That said, thanks for reading, and best of luck in the competition!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Thrawn007

Alright, as we prepare to move to round two voting, I want to thank everyone one more time for all the great feedback. I welcome more, but I wanted to respond to some of it and elaborate on things.

Why did I go with this item?

In short, I felt it was fun.

I was inspired by a few of things (and it isn't the things a lot of people seem to think of.) #1 was the vigilante playtest. By the end of that playtest, I probably GMed and played more vigilante games than even the developers writing the classes did. There were good and bad things during the playtest, but some things just stould out as fun, whether they were optimized or not. I loved the hit and run tactics. I loved things being involved in melee combat that wasn't just DPR. I wish there was more of that in the game. One of the biggest eye opening moments for me though was playing a fey typed zealot, which has the ability to vanish a certain number of times a day, as long as they were moving. I found that my tactics with that character were different than any character I had ever played up to that point, and so this item was an attempt to say, "how do I bring some of that to other characters out there."

I also just completed Eyes of the Ten with my first PFS character. One of the items I purchased towards the end of that character's career was a ring of invisibility, which could basically allow me to stay invisible all the time. Once again, this was fun. It completely changed all of the tactics available to the character, and for a martial character, I found it to be a refreshing change.

As I started researching a little bit on how to actually execute on this, I ran accross the blurred movement spell, a gem of a spell from the Advanced Class Guide, that I decided I wanted to be the basis of the item. So the entire item started with a constant blurred movement, not anything to do with any feats. It wasn't until I got my first feedback from a friend that the similarities to wind stance came up. (I've never seen anyone use wind stance, but at that time I did see it as a good reference for language templating that was simpler than the language used in the blurred movement spell.

So with the decision that I wanted to combine a Vanish with Blurred Movement became what everything else was built around.

Boots of the Ghost Pirate?


So...I started with a story of a pirate that used a pair of boots to convince others that he was all or part ghost, in order to get them to surrender without a fight. In early developement, the boots not only had a competence bonus to acrobatics, but also to intimidate, and swim. I had the boots priced out as if it was a constant blurred movement spell + contant vanish spell + 3 skills at +2 competence. This priced the item higher than I really wanted it, and was too swiss army knife. It had almost everything a pirate could ever want. They were designed to swim, jump, or swing from ship to ship as much as they were to run around.

However, before getting back to mechanics, the first thing that had to go before I was willing to share it was the name. I really wanted to avoid "of the" names, so first swap was into Ghost Pirate Boots. Then a handy thesaurus came out, since I thought that although that was the theme and imagery I wanted, it just didn't have what I wanted. That's when the Phantom Corsair Boots were born...loved the name, and wanted to stick to that moving forward.

The first version of the mechanics I sent out to anyone :
"The tattered faded leather and tarnished brass buckles show the age of these boots, and the faint smell of the saltwater and rotted wood give a hint of where much of that time may have been spent. The wearer gains a +2 competence bonus on Acrobatics and Swim checks. Any time the wearer moves at least 10 feet during her turn, she gains 20% concealment as if under the effect of a blur spell until the end of her movement. If the wearer moves at least twice her speed during her turn, the wearer will instead Vanish as per the spell until her next turn."

I still had the swim in there, but the vanish effect was the biggest difference. I put this language in front of a number of different people knowing how I wanted it to work, but every single time, it ended up in a rules explaination or discussion, since I used "speed" and not "base speed". The big worry way expeditious retreat or haste abuse to allow people to move fast and still get in attacks. Both of those spells actually up your speed, which means it also ups "twice your speed", but I didn't want an item to cause rules discussion and open up abuse, so that part of the item had to be changed and simplified, leading to the current language. I also worried about different movement types. What if the person was flying? What if they were swimming? This was also taken care of with the new language (minus one error I'll get to later). I didnt have to track different speeds to determine if the effect went off.



I sent this item to a number of people, several of whom are also in the top 32 of this competition. I got a ton of valuable advice, that helped me simplify the item (like removing the swim...wish I'd done the same with the acrobatics).

The most common advice I got though, whether from other people in the competition, other writers, or even local gamers is "that's nice, but it's not flashy enough to be superstar". I got lots of recommendations that it needed to do something more, and that the vanish effect should just be a simple times/day power. I was told passive effects just aren't enough for an item.

I play mostly PFS, and going into a PFS scenario, I know that there is a certain time slot, which means the scenario can have a certain number of combats, and I can even usually tell you which order the difficulties of those combats will usually be. As a result, I find a lot of players get very formulaic on how they use their per day items. You can predict the hard fight, and everyone tries to go full nova to get all the bonuses for that fight. I was trying to design these boots to get away from that mindset. I was trying to get a user of these boots to change how they played in general in order to get the most out of these boots. I wanted tactical options, not an "I win" button to take over an encounter.

So one of my best decisions was to push forward with the item, even though I had a lot of negative feedback about it in general for not being enough. With that said, all of the great advice and feedback I got from everyone who looked over my item, made a huge difference. I can't say enough how valuable getting second opinions is (even getting it from my 6 year old.) I was very lucky to have some very talented writers look over my stuff.

If I had to do it again


Several changes I would make right now if I was making this item again.

1) The acrobatics just has to go. It simply doesn't need that bonus. It's an artifact of the pirate part of the design. (By the way, it was originally a competence bonus, I dropped the competence to make it untyped based on feedback.)

2) The double movement actions language absolutely needs to be cleaned up. That was the last change I made to the item, and I obviously hadn't quite thought that through enough. It's intended you actually have to move twice. (Note, this still allows abuse if you have something like quickened spells or some other cool swift action, but these boots probably aren't your best tool if you are looking to abuse that.)

3) Pricing it more around 12k. This is basically the price of a constant blurred movement + constant vanish using the calculator. I gave the item a slight discount off of this because the vanish isn't truly constant, and actually has a fairly big limitation. (Remember, for 20k you can really have constant invis, and actually be able to use that stealth to do things like hide, unlock doors, disable traps, sneak up on people, etc, instead of constantly running around to try not to be visible.)

4) One suggestion that was really interesting was the "stepping up" of conceal --> Greater conceal --> invis. Not sure if I'd commit to that approach, but it's definitely an interesting take on it, and I'd have to give it really good consideration.

Thanks again to everyone. I can't wait to get feedback on the maps for the next round, and hopefully on everything from future rounds as well. I know I've learned quite a bit from this process already, and I hope my experiences will be valuable for others in future competitions.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Thrawn007

Oh, one added piece of "strategy" in this. Here is where I metagamed things. I know that the judges consistently mentioned using up word count. This was actually a very conscious choice on my part. I was avoiding using word count if at all possible.

Why? Because of the format of this competition. If the judges were choosing the top 32, I absolutely would have tried to be closer to 300 words. However, this season was selected by voters. Thinking as a voter, I thought "do I want to read 1000 pairs of lengthier more complex items at 300 words while voting, or would I rather read 1000 leaner and cleaner items."

This is probably a negative for potential development employers and for the judges, but I took that part as a bit of a social experiment, that looks like it worked out for me.

I actually had 12 items in all I mocked up for the competition, and one of the leading reasons this is the one I proceeded with, was that I felt I could do it with low word count.

With that said...I really needed "better" words, not necessarily "more" words in order to clean up that double move issue. As stated above, that was the last change I made to the item before submission, and I had some regrets around not wording that part better.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

I wonder if one way to prevent abuse would be to give the user the Fatigued condition after X rounds of use.

All that constant moving around...

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka thornnm

Robert, congratulations on making it through Round 1!

My favourite part of these boots is how the invisibility is purely defensive. "Uh-oh I need to get out of here! *poof* " I've had a few characters that would have greatly enjoyed these.

Great work and good luck in the rest of the competition!

Community / Forums / Archive / Paizo / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ Season 9 (2016) / Open Call: Design a wondrous item, magic armor, or magic weapon / Phantom Corsair Boots All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Open Call: Design a wondrous item, magic armor, or magic weapon