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Boots, high, hard?

Stoat

Adventurer
A question that has nagged at me since 1988: what's the deal with all the boots in the 1E PHB? You can buy high, hard boots; high, soft boots; low, hard boots; or low, soft boots.

What difference does it make?

Is that difference spelled out somewhere in the PHB or DMG?
 

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mach1.9pants

Adventurer
Haha thanks for the reminder! As to actual rules in the books I don't know but I pictured them as ankle or knee high (low/high) boots which were hobnailed/safety type wear (hard) or more comfortable/quieter leather (soft)

And as DM it once or twice made a difference: sneaking in hard boots? Oh no you don't! Sprinting across a caltrop covered floor in soft boots? Methinks not!
 

aco175

Legend
Wow, 1988- big hair and parachute pants; when I had hair of course.

I seem to recall hard boots protecting you more from caltrops and acid like green slime and soft boots not penalizing you on sneaking. It could have been variant rules though. I also seem to remember some controversy on large vs. small pouch belt as well.
 

It's because in 1e, "boots" is the elven for "drugs". Hard "boots" that get you high are the most expensive; soft "boots" that get you high, or hard "boots" that don't get you high, are cheaper, and soft "boots" that don't get you high are really really cheap.

It was written in the 1970s, you see.
 


Aeolius

Adventurer
aaaaand now I have this image of EGG trying on boots... thank you for that. ;)

Most of us, at the time, were figuring out how the tax revenue earned by our name-level PCs could be spent on purchasing 4,376,234 chickens.
 

the Jester

Legend
In, hmmm, I want to say it was Ghost Tower of Inverness, but it may have been another module, the quality of your boots could prevent damage in a room filled with... maybe jagged rocks? Broken glass? Can't recall the specifics, but I definitely remember the Aha! when I read it.
 


Stoat

Adventurer
In theory, I can understand the difference between hard and soft. Hard (presumably) offers more protection, soft (again, presumably) offers more stealth.

But high and low?

Also, I guess there weren't any written rules hidden in the DMG for this stuff, right?
 


pemerton

Legend
Is that difference spelled out somewhere in the PHB or DMG?
Also, I guess there weren't any written rules hidden in the DMG for this stuff, right?
I'm pretty sure that the DMG says something about the difference between hard and soft - it's probably in the section called "The Adventure", and would relate to how hard it is to be heard when trying to walk quietly (I can't remember the precise mechanic - maybe the thief gets a bonus to hear noise against those wearing hard rather than soft boots?).

I don't think the DMG says anything about high vs low.
 

In theory, I can understand the difference between hard and soft. Hard (presumably) offers more protection, soft (again, presumably) offers more stealth.

But high and low?

Flexibility of the ankle versus protection of the shin? I've typically used low boots for hillwalking, and I think the boots I wore for riding were considerably higher (but I'm not 100% on that one - it's been a while).

And, of course, if you're going to be wading through mud or water, you're going to want high boots.

Also, I guess there weren't any written rules hidden in the DMG for this stuff, right?

I'm not aware of any. Perhaps the "Wilderness Survival Guide"? Alternately, it may be one of those things that the DM is supposed to handle... if he cares enough.
 







jcbdragon

First Post
Hard vs soft is a matter of stealth (and presumably comfort) vs protection.

As for high vs low, the only time I've seen that make anything other than a stylistic difference was when dealing with snakes -- low boots meant the snakes had a normal "to hit," high soft boots meant one level of protection (+2 to AC, I think?) and high hard boots meant a greater level of protection (+4 to AC, maybe?)

Don't hold me to those specific numbers, but that was the basic idea.
 

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