Haunted Shoes

Open Call: Design a wondrous item

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

Aura faint conjuration and illusion; CL 3rd
Slot feet; Price 6,480 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Helpful spirits live in this otherwise simple pair of black shoes. The wearer occasionally hears faint laughing voices as wisps of smoke dance around her heels.

Two times per day, the wearer can call forth 1d4 spirit servants to aid her. The spirit servants are invisible, mindless, shapeless beings that act as servants summoned by the unseen servant spell. The spirits return to the shoes after 3 hours have passed. The wearer can choose to dismiss one or more of the spirit servants early.

Once per day, the wearer can command the ghostly spirits inside the haunted shoes to emerge and swirl around her, making her difficult to target in combat. The wearer gains concealment (20% miss chance) for 3 minutes. The spirits cannot be harmed, but a true seeing spell will negate the concealment effect. The concealment ability cannot be activated while any of the spirits are currently being used as unseen servants.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, blur, unseen servant; Cost 3,240 gp

The Exchange Kobold Press

This is well written, reasonably flavorful stuff, but... I have a pet peeve about miss chances these days. They are an irritating mechanic.

I'm going to stay out of this one for a bit.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

I'm going to have to do the math on this and check it out. I actually think these are really interesting. And it might be nice for the players to return that annoying miss chance to the DM for a change instead of leaving it in the hands of displacer beasts. :) Boy oh boy nothing frustrates players like hitting--but then actually missing.


I'd have to check the math, but I like the theme of this item, and the clever use of the spirits for two different functions.

Unlike Wolf, I don't have a problem with miss chances, but that's because unlike Wolf, I was not beat up by a miss chance every day in elementary school.

I'm inclined to keep this one, even though it's a bit wordy.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

I'd vote Keep, too. I want to see what this person can do in round 2.

If someone else would like to hit the Keep button...



Legendary Games, Necromancer Games


Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Bad name. Cool item!

I'm not saying that Haunted Shoes is a terrible name by any stretch ... and, come to think of it, I would definitely go and see an alt-rock/tech-emo band called "Haunted Shoes" any day of the week ...

But I digress. A well executed item, and one that incorporates what I feel are two underused elements of the game: low-level utility spells and low-%-miss-chance. The fact that they're Foot-slot items with these abilities (rather than movement-mode or movement-increase modifiers) makes them interesting and fun.

I can see low-level characters really getting a lot of mileage (if you'll excuse the Nelson-like pun) out of these.

Great job, and I look forward to seeing more as Superstar! progresses!

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder aka Robert G. McCreary

Yeah, the name makes me think of magic cobbler elves. So it's unseen servant in a can. Ooh, but then it gets interesting - protective spirits. I don't have a problem with miss chances. There's enough other things in the game that give 'em, and 20% isn't that bad. It's just that they seem strange. Who are these spirits? Why are they in the shoes? Of course, backstory doesn't belong in a basic wondrous item description, but still. Maybe if the shoes danced around and did something on their own, you know, like they were haunted, I'd like these better. And for just about double the price, I can get a full minor cloak of displacement with the same miss chance without the annoying 3 times per day for 3 minutes.

Then again, I'm just one judge, and a guest one at that. Congratulations on joining the ranks of RPG Superstar! I'll definitely be waiting to see what you have for the upcoming rounds!

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Congratulations on making it into RPG Superstar 2009!

I like these little shoes and their ghostly little friends. I think it would have been even more fun if they had the ability to create ghost sound (of footsteps only, or perhaps whispering and giggling) at will, and if perhaps they were able to walk around on their own, say within 5 feet of you and then hop onto your feet (though undoubtedly then we open up the can of worms about using them to spring tripwires and pressure plates and all the other cheats that suck the fun and joy out of every DM's existence).

I think miss chance is a pretty straightforward mechanic, actually, and never had a problem with it, BUT I will grant the argument that it is kind of orthogonal to the normal progression of attacks in D&D. This is okay if you think that system is broken (which a fair number of folks think) and aggravating if you don't (which a fair number of folks think) - you can be a 1st level goblin mook or you can be the tarrasque, but 20% miss chance is 20% miss chance. The counters for it are easier for spellcasters to acquire than fighter types... blah, blah, blah...

Anyway, that's a whole different discussion. The point is I think your spooky shoes are neat. To me, you could have played up the "pranksta spirits" angle even more and had fun, but word count and the desire to not become too goofy was probably a wise idea. Rob's point about cost is a good point, though there is usually a pretty substantial play gap between getting items in the 10-12,000 gp range and items in the 25,000+ gp range, so I could see a PC getting several levels of good use out of an item like this. Besides, they might have another keen cloak they are using, so the notion of getting a miss chance from an unexpected item slot is gravy in my boat... er, book. :)

Summary: Neat item. Fun and useful, decent cost to where you would actually use the item at the point that you get it. Good flavor, clever effects. Good job overall! hmmm... a groan-inducing pun for Boomer... How 'bout: Make sure to KICK it into gear for the next round!

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar aka Leandra Christine Schneider

At first glance this is a reasonably priced utility item that has an exceptional application in combat. The miss-chance mechanic (while being full of frustration and lots of die rolling), is very powerful and becomes better and better as its user advances to higher level.
This item is likely to remain useful for a broad level range.

I like the pricing since a cloak of displacement, minor grants the same miss chance continuously for 24,000gp. While this item does that for one encounter (pardon 3 minutes) at the cost of a standard action.

Boomer mentioned the name and I have to jump in on this one. Haunted sounds evil or necromancy like. In fact, when I started reading up on the item, I was surprised that it's effect differed from my expectation.

After reviewing all other items:
I still think this item to be fair in everything it does. It doesn’t make me jump around in joy, but it delivers good stuff that I am inclined to like. I’m looking forward to see how you're kicking it in future rounds of RPG Superstar!

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

Thank you for all of your feedback (and puns :)). It may only be round one, but it's really made my day to have my item chosen.

Good luck to all my fellow Top 32s in the next round!

Marathon Voter Season 9

They feel like something out of a fairy story. That to me is a really good thing. I could easily see a changeling child who is always day dreaming or staring at sharp knifes, yet some how never gets behind on her duties wearing a pair of these.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6 aka Eyebite

After briefly reviewing the Top 32, I have to say that this is one of my favorite items.

Loaded with flavor and totally captures your imagination. You could have a ton of fun with these shoes by giving each spirit a unique personality. The 1/day power really adds to the utility and coolness of this item. It would be really fun to spring these on a jaded player who thinks they're getting boots of levitation or something similar.

Very cool, and potentially very mischievous.

I especially like these because they aren't uber-powerful. Low-level effects that create a very memorable item = win in my book.

Not crazy about the name, but I really like the item itself.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Demiurge 1138

I love this item. Haunted shoes! I want to put these in a game ASAP.

Liberty's Edge Contributor , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

Spiffy! The shoes are a fun item. Those poor goblin archers will have no idea what to do with shoes flying around their prey's head.


RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka Clandestine

Your entry conjures up images of misty forests, feral elves and pixies, and a gnome assassin springing from behind tall rocks wearing a pair of these.

All of the above are things I want to have in a game, but still haven't. A Superstar-quality item not only makes you want to include it in your campaign, but also play a game with the same tone and feel as the item. Yours does that for me!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Gamer Girrl

Expected something totally different from the name ... that needs a rethink. But I like these shoes. Helpful servants for up to six hours a day (two uses, right?) and one protective usage a day ... nicely linked, good feel.

Liberty's Edge

Cool item! I like it infinitely better than the shoes that are haunted by my stinky feet.

If I were naming this item, I would change the name to Spirit Shoes instead of Haunted Shoes, but that is me nitpicking. Over all this is a nice item.

Great name. This was the first Item I clicked on because of its name -- masterful marketing!

This is my favorite Item of round 1. Wonderful! They will write stories about these shoes.

I didn't think I'd like this item, but curiously I do. It seems to have just the right mix of whimsicalness and usefulness, as well as mechanical solidity. Bravo!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka amusingsn

Haunted Shoes are, in two words, beautifully absurd. They're definitely not a bland utility item.

The theme is wonderful, if a bit insane, and I can't help but wonder "why shoes?" But then again, why not!

Very well written.

My only gripe (and its a small one) is your choice of spell requirements. I know that the spirits act like unseen servants and that they can also obscure you like the blur spell does, but its not like they're casting those spells from the shoes. They're just haunted. I think maybe summon monster II or III would have worked just fine. But that's because I like the idea of a "cause" rather than "effect" based rationale.

Definitely superstar material, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with in the next round.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6 , Dedicated Voter Season 6

Hmm. Definitely not "spirit shoes" - that calls up flashbacks from "Bring It On". The shoes do a lot with what is basically two-spells-in-a-can, which is part of what wondrous item design is all about - combining utility with fun special effects. This gets a middle-of-the-pack grade from me, with points for clean mechanics and fun flavor. Reserving my top slots for the items that grab me more, but this is a decent job.

Liberty's Edge

my captain bard would wear such shoes to help her a bit, definitively

interesting item, the spirits can beexplained in lots of ways, in general very inteersting and well done. congratz

Congratulations in making it through round 1!

I don't know why, but these shoes just leave me uninterested. The name could use work, but that's not the reason. I like the flavor of the item; they definitely have a fairy godmother "once upon a time" feel to them. And for the price the miss chance is a nice bonus, even if it will likely be replaced later in an adventurer's career.

I think my distaste is due to the fact that the primary function is a rather bland spell in a fancy can. Sure, it's dressed up, but it's still only unseen servant. To be honest, it almost feels as if the miss chance was an afterthought, specifically intended to to keep the item from falling into the spell in a can category. Now I'm not trying to say this is the case, but it's the feeling I can't help but get from it.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Epic Meepo

I... don't get it.

That being said, based on this item, I'm definitely looking forward to your villain concept. I can already tell it's going to be something freakin' awesome.

Given that the item description mentions 'spirits', I'm another one in the camp of simply not seeing the connection between the item and the crafting requirements of unseen servant and blur. In the context, summon nature's ally would have made more sense to me.

Nor, unless some awful pun involving 'souls in soles' is involved, do I see a logical connection between fey spirit servants and an item of footwear.

Which is frustrating, given that I took a break from my predetermined review pattern to take a look at these, intrigued by the name.

Please try harder in the villain rounds; there are flashes of originality here but I don't like having to work so hard to suspend my disbelief.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

Ha! I love these.
I agree with the others about the name, but in every other sense of the word these shoes are a big hit with me.
Definately in my Top 5 RPG Superstar 2009 items.

Sovereign Court

These shoes just keep growing on me. Liked them when I read them yesterday. Loved them when I thought about them today.

Nice job!!

Scarab Sages

I don't like the name, and I'm not sure why shoes would have spirits associated with them. It is kind of siac, but a useful little item. Not my cup of tea, but congrats!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

Well..they are unique and I like items with continuous little abilities, and a focal, more powerful ability. Good luck next round.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Gamer Girrl

Shoes and fey have a long association -- leprechauns making shoes, the Carpenter and the Elves (Grimm I think? Too lazy to double check), Cinderella and her glass slippers :) So shoe spirits don't seem too out there for me :)

I like this item A LOT, including the name (which seem to have a love it or hate it thing goin' on). To me, the term "Haunted Shoes" could have been coined by commoners, who would be frightened by them - and inclined to discard them. This adds a nice twist as to why a magic item would be just laying around some old ruins. When found as trasure, I imagine the shoes choosing a likely new owner and following him/her home...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I like how this is a utility item and a combat item. It seems like the sort of thing that a lot of characters would like to have, especially as there is a dearth of good boot-slot items at the lower levels. I'd suggest a just one change. You don't define what kind of action is required to call up the spirits from the shoes, or dismiss them. Add that in, and I think these are a great item.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

Overall, I like this item, but I wish I liked it more. First off, what kind of action is used to dismiss one of the spirit unseen servants? Since you can't use the blur effect while the servant effect is operating, this is an important detail to know.

I also think that the price is a bit high. I calculated them at 4320 but I guess you doubled the 2nd power as unrelated. I'd argue that by the cool theme you came up with, it is a related power. The lower price would also make these a more attractive item when the minor cloak of displacement isn't too far off, as pointed out.

To further justify a lower price, I'd have played up on the sounds of footsteps and giggling and make them audible by everyone as a minor disadvantage that applied a -2 stealth penalty. To me, this would also justify the haunted aspect of the shoes, since that word does imply something bad or negative.

Looking forward to your villain.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Not much else to say that others haven't already covered, Elizabeth. But I like you item. It's well-written and well-designed. 'Nuff said. Welcome to the Top 32. Good luck in the villain round...

My two-cents,

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

Thanks for all the comments, everyone. It's greatly appreciated!

To clarify, summoning the spirits should be a standard action and dismissing one or more of them would be a free action.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I REALLY like these. A simple (-ish) flavorful item. Two effects that wouldn't normally be linked, but the link MAKES SENSE within the item's story.

My only beef, and it's a minor one, was mentioned up-thread: unseen servant doesn't excite me much. Now, you've described these spirits as helpful and well-disposed to the wearer, so they've got more personality than unseen servants -- I love this. In fact, I find myself asking nigh-irrelevant questions concerning interaction with the spirits: are they intelligent? Can they communicate with you (a whole new can of worms)? Do different spirits have different personalities (I told you these questions were irrelevant)? In other words, since they're not unseen servants, I wish they were even less like unseen servants. But that would probably do wonky things to the simple mechanics I like so well.

In short (too late), this is a low-level item with a real sense of wonder and fun to it. I love it. I can't wait to see your villain.

Congrats on Top 32!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Epic Meepo

Mike Speck wrote:
I find myself asking nigh-irrelevant questions concerning interaction with the spirits: are they intelligent? Can they communicate with you (a whole new can of worms)? Do different spirits have different personalities (I told you these questions were irrelevant)?

Ooo! Haunted shoes plus rules for intelligent items equals win!

I still dream about these shoes. I'm surprised they have not shown up somewhere.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

Tensor wrote:
I still dream about these shoes. I'm surprised they have not shown up somewhere.

I know right! I Love these sooooo much. They were my most favouritest Item from last year. :)

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