Horseshoes of a Zephyr


Rules Questions


A question came up at our gaming table…

Does this item provide a continuous effect? If not, is activating it a standard action or not an action at all?

The rules in question:

Use Activated: This type of item simply has to be used in order to activate it. A character has to drink a potion, swing a sword, interpose a shield to def lect a blow in combat, look through a lens, sprinkle dust, wear a ring, or don a hat. Use activation is generally straightforward and self-explanatory.

Many use-activated items are objects that a character wears. Continually functioning items are practically always items that one wears. A few must simply be in the character’s possession (meaning on his person). However, some items made for wearing must still be activated. Although this activation sometimes requires a command word (see above), usually it means mentally willing the activation to happen. The description of an item states whether a command word is needed in such a case.

Unless stated otherwise, activating a use-activated magic item is either a standard action or not an action at all and does not provoke attacks of opportunity, unless the use involves performing an action that provokes an attack of opportunity in itself. If the use of the item takes time before a magical effect occurs, then use activation is a standard action. If the item’s activation is subsumed in its use and takes no extra time use, activation is not an action at all.”

The Exchange

This is one of those “what makes sense” answers (which can sometimes lead to keen arguments).

In general, items like this that provide an ongoing effect are continuous unless they have language indicating otherwise (like “when activated” or “on command”).


A good indication is to look whether an item has a duration. If this is an activated item, how long does it stay active? There is no answer, and thus this is probably not how it works.

Dark Archive

Normally, I'd say you should look at the price of the item, but in this case I'd say that it's a continuous effect. Mostly because it's not the character that's using the item, but a horse that probably has an intelligence of 2.

Edit: An item that would give you a continuous Water Walk spell would cost 45000 GP. Maybe I'm wrong here. Also, how is Water Walk a level 3 spell and Communal Water Walk a level 2 spell? Communal Water Walk would bring the price down to 18000 GP, though.

Use activated Water Walk would cost 30000 gp, or 12000 for communal.


The rules for use activated give the answer pretty well… when you reference the language of the item to the rules of use activated it’s perfectly clear. They are activated by being worn, they provide a continual effect and are a non-action activation. The “action” to gain their benefit is for the horse to wear them. While worn the horse can move without touching the ground. That’s all there is to it. No special command word, no mentally focusing, no kicking hard off the ground to get airborne, they just simply work.


Thanks, everyone. Your answers reflect the direction I was leaning toward, but absent a FAQ or an existing topic the GM was interested in getting some additional opinions.

Liberty's Edge

the David wrote:

Normally, I'd say you should look at the price of the item, but in this case I'd say that it's a continuous effect. Mostly because it's not the character that's using the item, but a horse that probably has an intelligence of 2.

Edit: An item that would give you a continuous Water Walk spell would cost 45000 GP. Maybe I'm wrong here. Also, how is Water Walk a level 3 spell and Communal Water Walk a level 2 spell? Communal Water Walk would bring the price down to 18000 GP, though.

Use activated Water Walk would cost 30000 gp, or 12000 for communal.

Water Walk affects 1 creature/level and all get a 10 minutes/level from it.

Communal Water Walk affects up to 1 creature/level but they divide the 10 minutes/level duration between the creatures affected.
So a 5th level casting Water walk will allow 5 persons to walk on water for 50 minutes, the same caster using the Communal version will allow 5 persons to walk on water for 10 minutes, or one to walk on water for 50 minutes, or other combinations. So, the Communal version has a lower level but often is enough for a party's needs.

For the pricing of the item, if you are trying to reconstruct it, consider that the communal version didn't exist when the CRB was wrote, and the horseshoes are in the CRB.

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