Tuesday Magic Item – Copper Caltrops

7 July, 2015

Coins everywhere!“Get him!” yelled the Duchess standing over the prone form of her partner.

Voddick ran. “Well, that was a short bodyguard job,” he muttered under his breath.

Ahead they heard the sounds of coins ringing on stone and coming around the corner, saw that dozen of shining coins were scattered down the corridor, a few still rolling.  “Just copper, not worth stopping for,” Voddick said.  But Gollaon caught him by the arm before he rushed forward, another pair of Ducal guard ran forward and cried in pain, finding their fine boots pierced by spikes when they stepped on the coins.

“I recognized that trick from my time in Cavitiki,” said Gollaon.  “Now let us move carefully.”

Voddick nodded and did so, wincing in sympathy as the limping guards continued ahead.

Copper Caltrops

These bags of polished copper, well usually copper alloy brass or bronze, coins with a mocking face on one side and a three pointed star on the other.  The bags are designed to flip their contents out once opened and the polished coins can, in poor light, be mistaken for gold.
These coins are designed to distract and deter pursuers, each bag covers a five by five-foot “square” with a multitude of coins (roughly one hundred) and two bags can be spread over adjacent areas as a single action.  Gathered, they are just odd copper(ish) coins.  But if stepped on, they transform into piercing spikes, which are treated as caltrops except that they have  +1 attack bonus and inflict one point of damage on a small (or smaller) victim, 1d2 to a medium sized one and 1d2+1 to large or larger ones.  The magic that powers their transformation into spikes is only good for five minutes once they have been scattered, then they are just normal coins (but those that have transformed into spikes, remain as spikes).

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 250; Weight 1 lb
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, fabricate, prestidigitation, unseen servant; Cost 125

Notes: On my morning walk, I found a roofing nail in my shoe (luckily, I was wearing Doc Martin’s sandals, so it did not pierce the sole) and it got me thinking about caltrops again.  Also, I like expendable magic items.

Photo by Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.


  1. Yeah, expendable magic items are underused, definitely.

  2. The is a terrific idea. Devilish even.

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