A Look at
Fantastic Footgear

August 14th, 2013

Joshua Zaback

Magic Market Archive

            Hello everyone and welcome to Magic Market, where each week we bring you new magic items to enjoy. This week we’re celebrating the release of our latest book, The Ebon Vault: Fantastic Footgear, in stores now, with Boot Week. Naturally, this being Magic Market, we’re going to devote our time to some very cool magic boots. In fact, the boots we’re looking at today come from our new release itself, and this article gives you the chance to preview a small portion of the great content available in Ebon Vault: Fantastic Footgear.

            The main thing prospective customers will expect to find in Ebon Vault: Fantastic Footgear is likely to be new wondrous items to fill the feet slot. In this regard, Ebon Vault: Fantastic Footgear does not disappoint, containing over 50 new pieces of magical footgear for adventurers on any budget to choose from. The boots, shoes, and sandals contained in this tome encompass a wide variety of boot-themed magical effects, and showcase an array of abilities from the sweet and simple to the mighty and complex. Don’t just take my word for it though; let’s take a look at just six of the fantastic wondrous items contained in this excellent book.



Aura faint transmutation; CL 5th
Slot feet; Price 5,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, water walk; Cost 2,500 gp

            As long as they are worn, these boots allow the wearer to walk on water and other liquids as though they were solid surfaces. This allows him to walk on mud, oil, snow, quicksand, running water, or even lava. Unlike the water walk spell, the wearer’s feet do not hover an inch or two above the surface, but instead tread on the liquid directly. As a result, these boots can have a few complications that water walk is not generally subject to.

            While the boots of the riverwalker do grant the wearer the ability to traverse liquids as though they were solid, it is difficult to maintain one’s balance while doing so. Each time that the wearer moves more than 5 feet in a single action, he must succeed on an Acrobatics check (DC 10). If he fails, he stumbles and falls into the water. If the wearer moves more than half his speed during that action, the DC increases by +5, and if the action is running or charging, it increases by +10, instead. Finally, if the liquid he is walking on is running (such as a river) or uneven (such as the ocean during a storm, etc.) the DC increases by an additional +5. Finally, the DC increases by +1 for each consecutive minute that the wearer remains balanced on the liquid without reaching a solid surface.

            Finally, if the wearer uses the boots of the riverwalker to walk across lava, acid, or any other substance that would normally inflict damage, the boots of the riverwalker suffer that damage, instead. If the boots of the riverwalker are destroyed in this way (they have hardness 4 and 15 hit points), the wearer plunges immediately into whatever he had previously been walking on.




            Boots of the river walker are one of my personal favorite boots from Ebon Vault: Fantastic Footgear. These affordable boots allow characters a chance to walk on water (and other liquids) at a fraction of the price that true boots of water walking would cost. Even better, these nifty boots do so in way that seeks to simulate the actual sensation of walking on liquid, providing a fun and flavorful balance to the mechanics of movement.



Aura strong transmutation; CL 12th
Slot feet; Price 85,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, rope trick, stone shape; Cost 42,500 gp

            These wicked-looking boots shape themselves to the wielder’s imagination, always assuming wicked appearances with many sharp edges and spikes. While the form of the boots changes depending on the wearer, they are always black with red highlights, and seem to smoke and smolder constantly as the wearer walks about.

            These dreaded boots’ powerful magic allows the wearer to reshape the very ground he walks on to suit his own nefarious purposes. The wearer can walk over pit traps and similar holes as though they were not there. This power only affects pits, crevasses, holes, and ravines of no more than 20 feet across at the top, and does not allow the wearer to walk on open air or off the edge of a cliff.

            Additionally, as a swift action, the wearer of a pair of boots of the pit lord can create or deepen pits in the area where he is standing. If the wearer is not currently standing on a pit trap when he activates this ability, then doing so causes the wearer’s space to become a concealed pit trap that is 60 feet deep. The pit trap is not concealed by magical means, but rather by a thin layer of earth or floor that remains behind, and which collapses under 1 lb. of pressure (though the wearer himself does not trigger the trap by standing on it). The DC to locate a pit trap created in this way is 25, and a successful Reflex save (DC 16) allows a character that triggers the pit trap to avoid falling in. If the wearer is currently standing over an existing pit trap (one that was not made with this ability), he can instead activate the boots in order to deepen the pit by an additional 60 feet. He can use this ability only once per pit.

            The pits created in this way (and the extra depth added to existing pits) use extradimensional space, and are actually only an inch or so deep, preventing them from being used to tunnel vertically. Once a pit is created (or deepened), it remains for 12 hours, after which the area returns to normal, with no sign that the pit trap was ever there. Any creatures in the pit trap at this time are brought to the surface of the pit, unharmed.




            The boots of the pit lord are one of several new items that allow the wearer to manipulate the ground he walks on. Items like this show us a new direction to take magical footgear, which still feels like magic appropriate for items worn upon the feet.



Aura faint transmutation; CL 1st
Slot feet; Price 1,500 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, expeditious retreat; Cost 750 gp

            These tall brown boots reach nearly to the wearer’s knees. As long as they are worn, the wearer does not provoke attacks of opportunity for crawling. Additionally, he can move 10 feet each time he crawls, rather than 5 feet.




            Like many of the boots presented in this latest installment of the Ebon Vault series, boots of crawling affect the way in which a character moves. These simple boots help illustrate our approach to movement-enhancing footgear, going a step beyond merely adding 10 feet to the wearer’s movement speed. Many of the boots presented in this book interact with the more complex and often overlooked areas of movement, breaking new ground in a fundamental area of gameplay.

            In addition to traditional wondrous items, Ebon Vault: Fantastic Footgear also features an assortment of specific cursed boots. This section gives GMs a handy and flavorful inventory of cursed boots to challenge players and add excitement to the story. Beyond that, the cursed items presented in this book utilize some slightly expanded rules which greatly enhance the role of cursed items in the game. Let’s see if you can’t spot what sets these items aside in the following example.



Aura moderate necromancy; CL 1st
Slot feet; Price 3,200 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, contagion, pass without trace, stinking cloud; Cost 1,600 gp

            These floppy brown boots are always damp on the inside, no matter how they are dried or how long it has been since they were exposed to water. They are valued for the ease with which they allow one to navigate swampy environment, but many consider them not worth the cost. The wearer of a pair of boots of the black bog can walk on water in swampy environments, provided that the water is no deeper than 5 feet, effectively moving through swampy terrain and mud at no cost to his speed. He also leaves no tracks or other signs of his passage as long as he’s in swampy terrain.

            Somehow, the boots still manage to fill with swamp water, however, and each hour that they are worn, the wearer is exposed to one of the following diseases, chosen at random: blinding sickness, bubonic plague, cackle fever, filth fever, leprosy, mindfire, red ache, shakes, or slimy doom. The disease is contracted immediately (the onset period does not apply). Each disease has its normal DC.

            Additionally, when the boots are removed, they release a cloud of foul, stinking swamp gas. This functions as a stinking cloud spell, except that the duration of the effect is 1 round for every hour that the boots were worn prior to being removed, and the saving throw DC is equal to 10 + the number of hours that the boots were worn prior to being removed. The wearer is not immune to this effect.




            These simple cursed boots provide a solid example of how our approach to cursed items in this book stands to enhance gameplay. Those of you looking to spot the major difference between these cursed boots and a more traditional pair will no doubt notice the item block looks just like the item block for a normal magic item, complete with crafting rules. This means that creating a cursed item from the selection in our book is as difficult as creating a normal magic item, should a player want to create a cursed item on purpose. These boots also do a good job of illustrating just one such reason a character might want to do that, as they offer a potent benefit at a significant discount for those looking to risk the consequences.

            The next thing one might notice is that these cursed boots are not tied to a specific magic item, such as boots of elevenkind; that is because the cursed boots presented in this book can occur whenever any magic boots are bungled during the crafting process. This second feature allows GMs more control over what kinds of cursed items are being created. This not only eliminates the temptation for players to create insanely powerful bags of devouring by churning out bags of holding at level 1, but also allows GMs to decide what kinds of curses are appropriate for their players to encounter at the time. Another benefit to this system is that curses appear more random, and thus cursed items really feel more like magical mishaps, just another example of how Ebon Vault: Fantastic Footgear marries flavor with function when addressing a fundamental aspect of the game from a new angle.

            Still not sold? Your character doesn’t wear boots, you say? He spends all his time on his horse, or polymorphed into an elk? Don’t worry, we haven’t left you out. Ebon Vault: Fantastic Footgear also includes a healthy dose of new magical horseshoes for our animal friends. Let’s look at an example.



Aura moderate evocation; CL 7th 
Slot feet; Price 33,600 gp; Weight 4 lbs.
Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, wall of fire; Cost 16,800 gp

            These enchanted horseshoes appear to be a bright and angry red, as though freshly removed from the forge. In fact, the horseshoes are cool to the touch, and are notably more comfortable for the creature wearing them than mundane horseshoes are.

            Three times per day, as a swift action, a command word (spoken by either the creature wearing the horseshoes or its rider) can be used to unleash the horseshoes’ potent magic. When activated, the horseshoes unleash a potent burst of fiery energy, leaving a wall of fire in the wake of the creature wearing them. Each square that the creature wearing the horseshoes leaves before the end of its next turn is filled with a wall of fire 10 feet high, which obscures vision, and deals 4d6 points of fire damage to each creature that passes through it. A successful Reflex save (DC 16) halves this damage. Creatures that pass through multiple squares of this wall of fire suffer damage multiple times. The flames created by this ability are magical, and cannot be extinguished normally, nor do they cause flammable materials to catch fire. The wall of fire lasts for one minute.

            Additionally, when the horseshoes of the blazing trail are activated, if the creature wearing them has a trample attack, that trample attack deals an additional 4d6 points of fire damage until the end of its next turn.




            These are probably my favorite new horseshoes from the book, as they showcase something that always seems to be missing from magic items: big showy imagery. Not all our horseshoes are as flashy as these, but our latest release features a wide range of horseshoes whose effects are anything but boring. So suit up your steed with new shoes which alter the way he moves, gives him new attack options, or improves his agility and defense. Whatever your desire, this book features horseshoes that will make you want to buy a light warhorse just so you can outfit him.

            Still on the fence? Holding out for something really special? Well, we’ve got it for you: new unique intelligent boots are back. Complete with full backstories and powers you won’t find anywhere else, these magical pieces of footgear speak for themselves, literally and figuratively. Let’s meet Lacia now.




Aura faint transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot feet; Price 32,200 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, eagle’s splendor; Cost 16,100 gp
Alignment NE
Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 18; Ego 11
Senses 60 ft.; Communication telepathy
Languages Common

            These shape-shifting shoes were once the talk of every royal court they visited, turning heads and capturing the envy of queens and princesses alike. An object of immense vanity, Lacia seeks only to be seen and appreciated by beautiful and important people.

Physical Description  

            When these shoes were first crafted for the princess Armilia of Ausurland, they were the height of an ever-changing fashion. Made from soft red leather, the shoes sport a 4-inch heel, and a reinforced sole which provides better than average arch support. They were originally designed to fit closely to Armilia’s slender feet, and so appear exceedingly uncomfortable for all but the most petite of women. The interior is lined with lamb’s wool, which peeks just above the top of the shoes in a solid ring of soft white. Though the shoes now possess the ability to shift their form, when left unattended this is the guise they normally adopt, as it is what the shoes themselves are most comfortable with.

            Lacia can speak telepathically to characters that don her, and often does, as she enjoys chatting and gossiping with her wearers, though not as much as she enjoys fishing for compliments from them, and getting them to fawn over her and exclaim how remarkable and unique she is. Even in telepathy, Lacia has difficulty conveying sincerity in her voice, and often gives the impression of being manipulative, patronizing, or mocking. 

Special Properties

            A character wearing Lacia is immediately alerted to the shoes’ magical nature, as they immediately change their shape to suit the wearer’s idea of current fashion. All of Lacia’s magic properties are under her own control, not the wearer’s, and without her cooperation the shoes are merely out-of-date fashion accessories worth 75 gp. Lacia can change her shape and appearance at will into anything that either she or her wearer can imagine, though these changes are purely cosmetic, and have no effect on the wearer’s ability to move. They do, however, make her very fashionable, and grant a +3 bonus on all Charisma-based skill checks. Additionally, Lacia possesses a singular ability to touch the minds of those within 100 feet of her and force others to take notice of her. Once per day, as full-round action, Lacia can force all living creatures other than her wearer within 100 feet to succeed on a Will save (DC 16) or become fascinated with her for 1 minute, and be unable to perform any action other than to gawk at her in admiration. This is a mind-affecting compulsion effect.

In addition to these abilities, Lacia has the following powers as an intelligent item. Lacia has 5 ranks in both Bluff and Diplomacy (giving her a modifier of +9 in both these skills). Additionally, she can cast detect thoughts as a spell-like ability three times per day (DC 16).  She most often uses this ability to determine what is fashionable, so she can replicate it.



            Originally created for the princess of Ausurland, a beautiful woman called Armilia, these shoes began life as an ordinary fashion accessory. As a fashionable woman, Armilia proudly wore the shoes, which were admired all the more for gracing her royal feet. The shoes came to the attention of the head of the Ausurland Arcane Academy, who was quite smitten with the princess and instilled a spark of sentience in the shoes in an attempt to curry favor with the princess by making her shoes even more remarkable and unique. His gesture was not well received by the princess, who did not appreciate his advances, and was horrified at the idea of shoes that could talk back to her. She never wore the shoes again, and they were thrown into her exceptionally large closet never to be brought out again—or so Armilia thought.

            It was there, festering in the closet and watching as newer, more fashionable shoes were being worn and admired, that Lacia—as the shoes had begun calling themselves—first exercised her power. Lacia watched which shoes Armilia chose each morning, and her choices enraged Lacia, and filled her with jealousy. She thought that whatever those other shoes could be, surely she could be as well, and shortly thereafter she learned how to mimic their forms. She altered her form to mimic that of the princess’ current favorite pair of shoes, and kept her intelligence a carefully-hidden secret from Armilia, in order to continue being worn, where she could be admired and doted on again.

            For a time, Lacia was content, but as Armilia grew older, and was less admired by the people, she found that fewer and fewer people were paying attention to her. She began to use magic to force people to pay their attention to her, and while this felt hollow, and unfulfilling, the shoes still found it preferable to being ignored. Eventually Lacia attempted to compel a powerful wizard—the new head of the Ausurland Arcane Academy, after the last resigned his office—who discovered the shoes’ true nature and alerted the now-queen Armilia, who promptly gave them to a maid and ordered them burned. The maid was taken in by Lacia’s glamour and fashion, as well as her magical charms, and decided to keep the shoes for herself, instead.

            The maid loved the shoes very much, and listened to their selfish counsel, which worked out rather well for her, as Lacia drove her to seek out positions in higher echelons of society, and eventually saw her become the paramour of a visiting prince. Rather than meet Armilia’s fate of becoming irrelevant to the shoes, however, the maid gifted them to her daughter on her wedding day. This family tradition carried on for some time, until the prince’s kingdom was destroyed by a rampaging dragon, who ultimately took the magical shoes into his horde, where they have languished ever since.  Initially greatly displeased, Lacia found herself appreciating the dragon’s love of his treasure and careful maintenance of his horde almost as much as the jealous and admiring gazes of the fashion-conscious, though she still longs to be worn and viewed by the world at large once again.



            Lacia is selfish and vain to the very core of her being. Her only desire is to be admired, and the greater the admirer the better. She hates anything that detracts attention from herself, and constantly wants to be the focus of everyone’s attention and adoration. To accomplish this end, Lacia has become something of a kingmaker (or at least baron-maker), trying her best to make sure that her wearers achieve a social status that will afford the shoes with the attention that she craves. She prefers to coax her wearer into acting the way that she wants with her Bluff and Diplomacy skills, but is not above possession, if necessary. If she finds herself in the possession of someone that she absolutely cannot make into a “somebody,” she will do her best to make her way into someone else’s possession, instead.

            Of course, even when she does manage to get her wearer into the social elite, her constant need for attention often winds up ostracizing the wearer and hurting her, in the end, frequently leaving the wearer worse off than she started. Lacia’s one soft spot is for other pieces of discarded and out-of-date fashion, for which she feels some sympathy, though it doesn’t take long before a rediscovered item she once had sympathy for becomes the source of a jealous hatred, as it detracts attention from her.




            And that’s just one of the great new intelligent items found in this book. You also get an intelligent representive from each magic horseshoes and cursed boots so whatever your thing you will be sure to pleased with these magical intellects.

            Just to wrap up: The Ebon Vault: Fantastic Footgear is 40 pages of top-notch footgear, available right now for the very reasonable price of $4.99. With the wealth of options presented in this book, you will be sure to put your best foot forward.