Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How silent are those Boots of Elvenkind?

So just how effective are Mirado's Boots of Elvenkind?

S&W Complete is pretty definite on the subject:

"Boots of Elvenkind: The wearer of the boots moves with complete silence."

No word about speed restrictions, encumbrance, etc. As written, you could run in these puppies and not make a sound. It doesn't even say foot sounds, only - movement. So, breathing? Swinging swords? What's the cutoff, I wonder, for "movement." You could say they are boots, so it's obviously foot movement only, but a ring of invisibility doesn't just hide your finger or hand, and a cloak of protection works on your whole body. So it's a valid question in my mind.

AD&D was a lot more restrictive:

"Boots of Elvenkind: These soft boots enable the wearer to move without sound of footfall in virtually any surroundings. Thus the wearer can walk across a patch of dry leaves or aver a normally creaky wooden floor and make only a whisper of noise - say 95% chance of silence in the worst of conditions, 100% in the best."

That's what I was thinking of during the session, but the short version S&W went with makes it considerably better of a magic item.

Certainly they got a bit weaker in 3.x, according to the SRD:

"Boots of Elvenkind These soft boots enable the wearer to move quietly in virtually any surroundings, granting a +5 competence bonus on Move Silently checks."

But still, yeah, I need to ask our GM what effect he's thinking of.


  1. It would be also interesting to treat them as giving the same bonus you get for being (say) an Nth level thief. So if you're treated as a 10th level thief, you might get +4 on Stealth Checks (in 5e), and be advantaged (call it another +4 ish). S&W would be rather less good.

    that way, you're good, but if you're a thief with Das Boots, you're _better._

    Eh, "completely silent" is a nice no-fuss rule, though.

  2. How would that be with GURPS DF? Would you just add a bonus the Stealth skill or would you allow it to make the PC using the boots silent even their breath?

    1. Use the silence advantage. Pick the appropriate level.

    2. Yes, that's how - or you can just make them full-out Boots of Mage-Stealth, which will help significantly with Sneaking in the Dungeon.


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