Volcano Stompers

edited June 2018 in DesignFinder Chat

Volcano Stompers

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 7th; Slot feet; Price 14,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.


These woven linen sandals are stitched with patterns of flowing red waves. Once per day as a full-round action the wearer may move up to twice their speed, stomping forcefully, to activate one of the following effects.

Molten Steps: Each stomp leaves a footprint of molten lava in squares the wearer passes through. These squares count as difficult terrain, and creatures that enter them take 4d6 fire damage each round. After leaving the square they take 2d6 fire damage each round for 1d3 additional rounds. The footprints solidify and are safe to touch after 1 minute.

Ashen Steps: Each stomps cracks the ground, creating volcanic vents that release blasts of ash. The ash forms a wall 15 feet tall in every square the wearer moves through. The wall deflects objects as a wind wall (dc 16), blocks all forms of sight including darkvision, and dissipates after 1 minute.

If the wearer has 8 ranks in Perform (dance) they may instead use the follow effect.

Rumbling Steps: As a full round action, the wearer may make a Perform (dance) check to begin a stomping dance. The dance causes the ground to shake within a 30 foot radius around the wearer. Enemy creatures touching the ground within the area become panicked for 1d6 rounds unless they succeed on a DC16 Will save. If the wearer’s Perform check is 20 or higher, the save DC is increased by 4. Creatures with the earth subtype take a -8 penalty to this saving throw.”

These effects work only if the wearer is standing on the ground.

Construction Requirements

Craft Wondrous Item, ash storm, fear, obsidian flow, creator must have 8 ranks in Perform (dance); Cost 7,000 gp.


JACOB: First of all, congratulations; welcome to the Top 16 of the very first DesignFinder! This is a nice, tightly themed sets of boots, with an interesting array of volcanic abilities. I like all the abilities, and having them tied to movement adds a little interesting tactical strategy to the item (though I do worry that it could get excessive with spells like haste and the like; on the other hand, these won’t be very effective against flying creatures). I do think the activation wording is off, as it reads a little like you move, then stomp to activate, and it backtracks. I think it’s clear how it’s supposed to work, but a little editing there would help. I like molten steps a lot, and think it was smart to use a subdued effect instead of just going straight to lava/magma. Ashen steps gives another interesting option, and I like that a player is going to have to decide which effect they want. I don’t love the third option is tied to a Perform check -- especially since by the time they have 8 ranks in Perform (dance), that’s going to be a 20 or higher probably 60+ percent of the time. I think that last power feels a bit much to me; I’d rather have it be the targets are shaken (heh), with perhaps the kicker that creatures of the earth subtype can have it increase the condition past shaken if they’re already affected by it. As with the other footwear in the Top 16, I do wonder if someone might want multiple sets of these (or if they’d swap them out with something else after using them), but at this price, I think that’s a bit less of a concern.

Template/style-wise, this has a few small issues. The slot, price and weight go on a different line than the aura and CL (which doesn’t have a semicolon after it), and Requirements is on a different line than Construction, with the requirements listed after it. You also don’t need a period after gp in the cost. In ashen steps, DC should be capitalized. DC 16 in rumbling steps should have a space.

KATE: This is a really cool item! The three effects tie together thematically to the volcano theme, and are each individually interesting. The whole entry has great visual descriptions, from the appearance of the item itself to the manifestations of the individual effects. I like the thoughtfulness of including that the item only works while standing on the ground. I think this could have used one a little more proofreading before submission; I do see that “DC” isn’t capitalized in one place. Altogether, great work on a compelling and thematic item!

MIKE: The stompers have a great theme, and each of the effects fits the theme in an engaging way. This is a magic item any character can use and provides a nice bonus effect for a character who puts ranks into Perform (dance), and the “rumbling steps” effect makes sense for a dance (I agree with Jacob that the DC should be higher to reduce the chance to successfully increase the Will save DC for a character with the bare minimum requirements). Jacob and Kate covered the formatting issues, and my only other concern was with the “rumbling steps” effect, where it’s not clear if the wearer provokes attacks of opportunity.

Congratulations and welcome to the top 16!

REP: Congratulations! As someone who often complains about items that have too many abilities, this item is the exception to the rule because it DOES IT RIGHT, with LOADS of flavor and theming. Every ability makes perfect sense and ties together well. Moreover, this item is fun and well balanced. Couple typographical errors (e.g., should be “following” in the fourth paragraph) but otherwise feels polished.


  • Congratulations! I am super jealous I did not come up with this item. I am a sucker for good boots and these are simply awesome. Good luck in the rest of the competition!
  • Thanks very much!

    I enjoy when items have a little bit more to them than just what they do on the surface - such as the fairly clear synergy between these and haste or other such effects that improve move speed. I also really like giving non-casters options for a bit more battlefield control, so here we are.

    I dont feel like it came through super clearly, but the idea was that they're Polynesian haka sandals, and the dance influences a volcanic island-spirit sort of deal.
  • Congrats on a very intriguing and useful item.

    I will say, I think you did a great job getting across the Polynesian cultural vibe without specifically referencing them. It came through strongly for me anyway.

    Some analysis and opinions
    I think all the abilities are really distinct from one another, they are clearly applicable in different circumstances, yet they remain tightly themed. Very nice. I do think that the molten steps ability is going to be by far the most commonly used though.
    Good thing that it is a pretty rad ability.
    I was going to say that I thought the residual damage lasting 1d3 rounds was an unnecessary piece of randomisation (as opposed to having it remain for a static number of rounds) but then checked and saw that environmental lava damage remains for an additional 1d3 rounds and I appreciate that attention to detail.

    In regards to the rumbling steps ability, while I do like that it rewards players for investing into their Perform (dance) skill, the two tier reward (access to the ability and an increased DC with a good perform roll) feels unnecessary to me. Particularly because if you meet the first one, you are more than likely going to meet the second. The rumbling steps ability being available to all users, with an increased DC for those who have invested in the skill feels like a better way to go to me. As well as reducing the condition down from panicked as Jacob suggested.

    Again, very cool item.
  • Thanks. ^_^
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