Ah, magic shoes! The plot of many a wondrous and fantastical story. Winged sandals, seven-league boots, spring-heeled shoes, ruby slippers – and more, of course, when we look at the fantasy adventurers of our favorite roleplaying games, the panoply expands: Slippers of Spider Climbing; Boots of Elvenkind, Speed, Swiftness, Striding and Springing, Teleportation… You get my drift.
So, of course, in a world of magic shoes there are those who prey upon magic shoes. The shoe thief is an odd meta-creature in the fantasy roleplaying world – it hits heroes where it often hurts the most. It is set upon a spellcaster or supernatural creature’s foes in order to weaken them. If heroes have wronged such a creature, well… they might wake up with missing boots.
Honestly, who doesn’t take off their shoes when they sleep?
Beyond the threat of revenge, a Shoe Thief might have been summoned to target a powerful patron or friend of the players. A duke or duchess’s bejeweled wedding shoes could cause all manner of upset should they go missing, and even a cursory inspection with divination spells and mundane expertise would determine that a supernatural thief was responsible.
The inspiration and art for the shoe thief come from a 15th Century Book of Hours. It is part of the Public Domain Adventures series, all based on works in the public domain.
Medium fey, chaotic neutral
Armor Class 16
Hit Points 53 (10d8 + 8)
Speed 50 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
14 (+2) 22 (+6) 12 (+1) 10 (+0) 10 (+0) 12 (+1)
Skills Athletics +5, Deception +4, Perception +5, Stealth +9
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Common, Elven
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
Shoeless Invisibility. While it is not wearing footwear, such as boots or shoes, the Shoe Thief is invisible and cannot be tracked or located by any means, even by spells, including Wish.
Footwear Compulsion. A shoe thief can don a pair of footwear, no matter how complex, for a free action once during its turn. A shoe thief must always wear any footwear which it is holding, unless it is already wearing a pair of footwear. A shoe thief will only relinquish footwear when it is adding it to its personal hoard, never to be worn again.
Unerring Tracker. If given directions to an individual by its summoner, the Shoe Thief knows the direction and distance to the target as long as they are on the same plane. It also knows the location of its summoner.
Multiattack. The Shoe Thief makes two claw attacks.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d6 + 6) slashing damage.
Tanglefoot Curse. The Shoe Thief mutters a curse upon one creature it can see within 30 feet of it. The target must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the target’s feet become heavy and their steps clumsy for the next 10 minutes. They are reduced to a maximum safe movement speed of 10 feet. If an affected creature attempts to move further than 10 feet, they must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone. A creature that successfully saves against the effect is immune to this Shoe Thief’s curse for the next 24 hours. Creatures immune to being charmed aren’t affected by a Shoe Thief’s curse.
A shoe thief is an odd fey that seems to exist purely for the purpose of stealing mortals’ footwear. Their standing among other fae, their social structure, and their self-worth are all rooted in their personal hoard of stolen shoes. There are a variety of rules governing when, where, and why a shoe thief is allowed to steal – but the most common of them is some wrong done to another fae. The shoe thief is then contracted to deal with slight or injury by stealing the mortal’s shoes.
Physically, a shoe thief is appears to be an aged, oversized gnome with a thick furry coat and stumpy legs ending in perfectly normal humanoid feet. Their arms are much like a bird’s scaly legs, ending in taloned claws that they do not hesitate to use against those who are reluctant to part with their footwear.
Shoe thieves are exceptionally fond of magical footwear, going so far as to create and disseminate a spell for their summoning among mortal spellcasters in order to increase their chances of being called upon to acquire such objects. Magic footwear, seeing as it usually conveys exceptional powers of movement to the wearer, is often much easier to steal.
CONTRACT SHOE THIEF
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: 90 feet
Components: V, S, M (one pair of ordinary
shoes or boots)
You summon a Shoe Thief, a fey creature that lives to acquire the shoes of mortals. It appears in an unoccupied space you can see within spell range. The shoe thief disappears when it drops to 0 hit points, when it returns the requested footwear, or after 366 days.
In exchange for the pair of shoes used as a material component in this spell, the thief will seek out and steal the footwear of a single individual named in the casting of the spell. Shoe thieves will not steal the footwear of fey, celestials, demons, or gods. They will steal the footwear of devils, however, or any creature which was once mortal but is now immortal, such as a lich.
While summoned, the fey creature is friendly to you and your companions, but is not bound by any especial magic to obey you. It will obey any verbal commands you issue to it provided you have been polite to it and upheld the bargain by giving it the shoes used to cast the spell.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 7th level or higher, two shoe thieves are summoned. They may be given different targets.