Dead Man’s Shoes
“It galls me as a scholar that this entity, which is probably better described as a haunted object, is so commonly referenced by a moniker that does not adequately describe it, as few people pass away from a mortal injury to their feet. Still, even though ‘dead man’s coat’ or ‘dead man’s hat’ would usually be a much more accurate description of a piece of apparel still showing evidence of what caused its first wearer’s demise, the popular name does imply accurately that ownership of these items confers both boons as well as banes that will cause a repeat of their first wearers’ destinies…”
Image adapted from https://s3.amazonaws.com/attachments.readmedia.com/files/30892/original/art1302197799-coat.jpg?1305739609, retrieved 30th July 2023
Stats, Skills, Abilities and Templates:
This character only uses WIL (most Dead Man’s Shoes have WIL 10-11).
Additional Traits and Abilities:
Anchor – The item haunted by this entity needs to be exorcised or completely destroyed to end the haunting for good (e.g. armour needs to be melted down and all its cloth and leather parts burnt; by contrast, merely cutting up a haunted greatcoat might not work if a piece if used to patch up another greatcoat, which will then become the next anchor).
Death-Seeker – If the character wearing the Dead Man’s Shoes gets into a situation in which they could receive the same mortal injury that killed the original wearer, the character must make a contested Willpower roll against the Dead Man’s Shoes. If the Dead Man’s Shoes win, they entice their wearer into engaging in the situation in a way that makes their Fated Death likely, usually by causing thoughts or hallucinations that misrepresent the situation in some way (e.g. by making opponents appear treacherous, promoting a violent response, or by causing their equipment to seem to be in bad shape, falsely promising an easy win).
Fated Death – When a character wearing the Dead Man’s Shoes suffers the same kind of mortal injury from an attack that killed the original wearer, they lose Tough, cannot heal or be healed, and cannot be successfully treated by using the Medicine skill unless the haunted piece of clothing is removed first and moved further away from the wearer than the item’s WIL x6 feet).
The kind of mortal injury covered by the Fated Death trait is unique to each Dead Man’s Shoes, as well as specific in many of its details (e.g. the Fated Death may require suffering the Lost Limb (right arm) result on the Injury Table (see IKRPG, p. 217) after a strike from a bladed weapon in melee; in this case, losing one’s right arm to a bullet would not count, and neither would losing one’s left arm to a blade or getting the Spitting Blood result from a strike with a bladed weapon, though the exact type of bladed weapon that does end up taking the wearer’s right arm – whether axe, cutlass, or sword – may not matter).
Haunted Object – The Dead Man’s Shoes appear to all intents and purposes to be a single suit or piece of armour, piece of clothing, or shield, with the (usually eventually repaired but never wholly erased) damage caused by the attack that killed its original wearer as the only outward indication of anything unusual about the object.
This Is Not How I Die – The Dead Man’s Shoes grant their wearer +1 ARM, and when the wearer spends a feat point to Walk It Off (see IKRPG, p. 221), they always regain the maximum number of points of damage. Wearers with the Feat: Revitalise Mighty archetype benefit (see IKRPG, p. 116) gain an additional point of damage when they use the benefit instead.
Additionally, when the wearer of a Dead Man’s Shoes has to make a roll on the Injury Table but does not get the result specified by its Fated Death, the result is ignored, and the wearer rolls 1d6, suffering the Concussed effect on a result of 1-3, the Battered effect on a result of 4-5, and the Battle Scars effect on a result of 6 (Whenever the battle scars result is rolled, the wearer will also develop a faint scar suggesting the ghost’s Fated Death. This scar has no in-came effects, but it will become more defined each time the wearer suffers the Battle Scars effect while wearing the Dead Man’s Shoes).
When the Dead Man’s Shoes protect their wearer by changing an injury, the wearer also loses 1d3+1 points of Willpower and feels a chill ‘as if somebody had just walked over their grave.’ This Willpower loss should be kept secret from the player, and can only be recovered from at a rate of 1 point per day once the character has not worn the Dead Man’s Shoes for a full 24 hours. Even putting on the Dead Man’s Shoes for a single round resets the time for recovery to begin.
If the character wearing the Dead Man’s Shoes runs out of Willpower, they lose the This Is Not How I Die trait (including the ARM bonus and vitality recovery bonuses).
Undead – This character is not a living character and never flees (though the ghost is actually inside the Dead Man’s Shoes and thus invisible and immobile). Additionally, the wearer of the Dead Man’s Shoes suffers damage and effects like an undead while wearing the item (e.g. they suffer boosted damage rolls from balefire weapons or become weakened inside a warding circle).