During an episode of the Help Action podcast, we received a surprise visit from our editor Godiva and they joined us while we answered some questions from our listeners. During this discussion, we were asked a hilarious question about the logistics of a centaur trying to use boots of flying, since they don’t have feet. With the help of Godiva’s surprise appearance, we were gifted the Centaur Foot Thief, and now we present them here for you all to enjoy as well! If you would like to hear the discussion that birthed the concept of this airborne threat, you can check it out by clicking this link here.
Unexpected Air Raiders
Centaurs aren’t usually the first thing you keep an eye out for when you look to the air, but near some fabled fey crossings, it is said they may drop upon unsuspecting passersby from the sky on an endless hunt for feet. Centaur foot thieves are a bit more innovative, yet brutalistic, than their generally neutral brethren. They take to the sky using belts they have crafted themselves from other items to surprise their targets and give them the upper hand in battle.
Being fey creatures, centaurs are ones with nature and feel that it is unnatural to alter one’s physical form. This led the centaurs to get creative. Having come across some boots of flying, they were unable to use their powers due to their lack of feet. So they fashioned a belt they could attach the boots to and wear around their midsection as a horse would wear a saddle. Now with this foot belt of flying, once they attuned to them, they were able to use the boots and use them to fly just like anyone else.
Centaurs now had a way to take to the sky, but only for a time. Utilizing the boots in such a way still requires them to be worn on feet. This means they must be stocked with a foot to fill each boot until they rot and fall out, at which point the foot must be replaced for the belt to function. So every tenday or so they must hunt again for fresh boot meat to continue their aerial onslaughts. If you ever find yourself on a shaded forest road and see a centaur floating through the treetops, run for your life… while you still can.
If you need to spice up some long-distance travel through a forested area, a random encounter with a centaur foot thief would be a good way to do that. Picture your group traveling through a beautiful forest. As they travel for a while the woods around them grow denser and eventually, the canopy fills in blocking out most of the sky. As they continue down the path they are on, maybe they catch the sound of hooves somewhere off in the trees but aren’t able to see anything around them. They press forward when ahead of them on the path they are traveling a centaur descends from the treetops with blades drawn. The centaur looks at them with a greedy look in its eyes and offers them a deal. They will allow the party passage in exchange for one of the characters’ feet.
For low-level parties, one of these foot thieves should be plenty to give the players some drama and excitement to spice up their travel. plus they can get some nifty magic items out of the encounter if they happen to kill the foot thief before he gets the feet he needs and flies away. If you think the items would be too overpowered for your group, you can always replace one of the foot thief’s cleaver attacks with a battleaxe or you can even go a bit further by taking away the weapons +1 function and reducing the extra damage it deals if you feel the need to do so. For higher-level parties, you can have them face off against a group of foot thieves. Again, if you feel like the amount of gear they could get from an encounter with a few of these things seems like it would be too much for your group, you can have the remaining group of centaur bandits flee once one or two of their fellow foot thieves have been killed or only have one foot thief leading a bandit clan of other centaurs.
Here are the full details of the magic items that are utilized by the centaur foot thief.
Foot Belt of Flying
Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement)
While wearing this belt, it functions as if it were a pair of winged boots as long as the boots contain feet. When a foot is added to one of the boots, it remains there until it is removed or until it decays and falls out 1d10+2 days later. If either of the boots does not contain a foot, the belt ceases to function.
Weapon (any light weapon that deals slashing damage), rare (requires attunement)
You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, the weapon ignores resistance to slashing damage.
When you attack a humanoid creature that is Large or smaller and has at least one foot with this weapon and roll a 20 on the attack roll, you cut off one of the creature’s feet. A creature is immune to this effect if it is immune to slashing damage, doesn’t have feet, or has legendary actions. Such a creature instead takes an extra 4d6 slashing damage from the hit.
Just a reminder you can listen to the episode that inspired this post by clicking this link right here! I hope you enjoy the content and would love to hear about you using it in a game. If you do, you can let us know below or you can check out our community on discord!