To use a magic item, it must be activated, although sometimes activation simply means putting a ring on your finger. Some items, once donned, function constantly. In most cases, though, using an item requires a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. By contrast, spell completion items are treated like spells in combat and do provoke attacks of opportunity.
Activating a magic item is a standard action unless the item description indicates otherwise. However, the casting time of a spell is the time required to activate the same power in an item, regardless of the type of magic item, unless the item description specifically states otherwise.
The four ways to activate magic items are described below.
Spell Completion: This is the activation method for magic scrolls and other magical inscriptions. A spell completion item is a spell that is mostly finished. All that's left to do is perform the finishing parts of the spellcasting (the final gestures, words, and so on). To use a spell completion item safely, a character must be a high enough level Caster to cast the spell already. If he can't already cast the spell, there's a chance he'll make a mistake. Activating a spell completion item is a standard action (or the spell's casting time, whichever is longer) and provokes attacks of opportunity exactly as casting a spell does. Spell completion items can be used by any character with the ability to cast spells - anyone with at least one level of Caster can use any spell completion item within the limits above, but characters with the Domain Power feat can only use spell completion items of the same Domain up to the same spell level (0 level for Domain Power, and 1st level for Improved Domain Power).
Spell Trigger: Spell trigger activation is similar to spell completion, but it's even simpler. No gestures or spell finishing is needed, just a special knowledge of spellcasting that an appropriate character would know, and a single word that must be spoken. The user must still determine what spell is stored in the item before she can activate it. Activating a spell trigger item is a standard action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Spell trigger items can be used by characters with the ability to cast spells - anyone with at least one level of Caster can use any spell trigger item without limit, but characters with the Domain Power feat can only use spell trigger items of the same Domain up to the same spell level (0 level for Domain Power, and 1st level for Improved Domain Power).
Command Word: If no activation method is suggested either in the magic item description or by the nature of the item, assume that a command word is needed to activate it. Command word activation means that a character speaks the word and the item activates. No other special knowledge is needed. Activating a command word magic item is a standard action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Sometimes the command word to activate an item is written right on the item. Occasionally, it might be hidden within a pattern or design engraved on, carved into, or built into the item, or the item might bear a clue to the command word.
The Knowledge (arcana) and Knowledge (history) skills might be useful in helping to identify command words or deciphering clues regarding them. A successful check against DC 30 is needed to come up with the word itself. If that check is failed, succeeding on a second check (DC 25) might provide some insight into a clue. The spell effect Sense Magic reveals command words if the properties of the item are successfully identified.
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 deflect 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.
Use activation doesn't mean that if you use an item, you automatically know what it can do. You must know (or at least guess) what the item can do and then use the item in order to activate it, unless the benefit of the item comes automatically, such as from drinking a potion or swinging a sword.
There are two classes of magical item: limited items, whose magical properties are depleted by use or time, and permanent magical items, whose properties persist no matter how often they are used. Limited magical items are easier to craft, and are relatively commonplace - one can often even buy such items from specialist merchants in major cities. Permanent magical items are harder to craft, and thus rarer - these are only bought and sold by adventurers and elite collectors. More often, such items are exchanged for priceless favours rather than base coin.
Magic items are also divided into general categories, according to their type: Apparel, (which is worn and includes jewellery), Armour and shields, Potions (which are usually single use items that are drunk, but also includes salves and ointments), Weapons, and Other (which includes anything not fitting the former categories).
The following types of magical item are considered limited:
The following types of magical item are considered permanent:
Permanent magical items must be attuned to the user, or they remain dormant. You may attune one item at 1st level, plus one more at 3rd level, and one more at 5th level. Casters may attune to one more magical item, starting with two at 1st level. Magical items that you have created yourself do not count towards this limit - you are always attuned to your own creations.
To attune to a magic item you must perform an attuning routine, unique to the item. The attuning routine requires that you concentrate and study the item for 10 minutes, speaking magical words and performing arcane actions, for 10 minutes. This routine is like a ritual, but requires no skill check or ritual sacrifice.
The attuning routine is discovered when the magic item is correctly identified by the Spellcraft skill.
If you try to attune too many items, you must renounce one that you previously attuned. You can still possess it, and use its mundane properties (if any), but you don't gain its magical benefits.
When an article of magic clothing or jewellery is discovered, most of the time size shouldn't be an issue. Many magic garments are made to be easily adjustable, or they adjust themselves magically to the wearer. Size should not keep characters of various kinds from using magic items.
There may be rare exceptions, especially with race-specific items.
Armour and Weapon Sizes: Armour and weapons that are found at random have a 30% chance of being Small (01–30), a 60% chance of being Medium (31–90), and a 10% chance of being any other size (91–100).
Each general type of magic item gets an overall description, followed by descriptions of specific items.
General descriptions include notes on activation, random generation, and other material. The Defence, hardness, hit points, and break DC are given for typical examples of some magic items. The Defence assumes that the item is unattended and includes a –5 penalty for the item's effective Dexterity of 0. If a creature holds the item, use the creature's Dexterity modifier in place of the –5 penalty.
Some individual items, notably those that just store spells, don't get full-blown descriptions. Reference the spell's description for details, modified by the form of the item (potion, scroll, wand, and so on). Assume that the spell is cast at the minimum level required to cast it.
Items with full descriptions have their powers detailed, and each of the following topics is covered in notational form as part of its entry.
Aura: Most of the time, a sense magic spell reveals the domain of magic associated with a magic item and the strength of the aura an item emits. This information (when applicable) is given at the beginning of the item's notational entry. See the sense magic spell description for details.
Caster Level (CL): The next item in a notational entry gives the caster level of the item, indicating its relative power. The caster level determines the item's saving throw bonus, as well as range or other level-dependent aspects of the powers of the item (if variable). It also determines the level that must be contended with should the item come under the effect of a dispel magic spell or similar situation.
For potions, scrolls, and wands, the creator can set the caster level of an item at any number high enough to cast the stored spell but not higher than her own caster level. For other magic items, the caster level is determined by the item itself.
Slot: Most magic items can only be utilized if worn or wielded in their proper slots. If the item is stowed or placed elsewhere, it does not function. If the slot lists “none,” the item must be held or otherwise carried to function.
Price: This is the cost, in gold pieces, to purchase the item, if it is available for sale. Generally speaking, magic items can be sold by PCs for half this value. Permanent magical items are not usually sold - their “price” is listed parenthetically as a guide.
Weight: This is the weight of an item. When a weight figure is not given, the item has no weight worth noting (for purposes of determining how much of a load a character can carry).
Description: This section of a magic item describes the item's powers and abilities. Potions, scrolls, staves, and wands refer to various spells as part of their descriptions (see Spell Lists for details on these spells).
Construction: Magic items can be built by a spellcaster with the appropriate feats and prerequisites. This section describes those prerequisites.
Requirements: Certain requirements must be met in order for a character to create a magic item. These include feats, spells, and miscellaneous requirements such as level, alignment, and race or kind.
A spell prerequisite may be provided by a character who has prepared the spell (or who knows the spell, in the case of a sorcerer or bard), or through the use of a spell completion or spell trigger magic item or a spell-like ability that produces the desired spell effect. For each day that passes in the creation process, the creator must expend one spell completion item or one charge from a spell trigger item if either of those objects is used to supply a prerequisite.
It is possible for more than one character to cooperate in the creation of an item, with each participant providing one or more of the prerequisites. In some cases, cooperation may even be necessary.
If two or more characters cooperate to create an item, they must agree among themselves who will be considered the creator for the purpose of determinations where the creator's level must be known.
Cost: This is the cost in gold pieces to create the item. Generally this cost is equal to half the price of an item, but additional material components might increase this number. The cost to create includes the costs derived from the base cost plus the costs of the components.
Magical apparel items need to be donned by a character who wants to employ them or benefit from their abilities. It's possible for a creature with a humanoid-shaped body to wear as many as 14 magic items at the same time. However, each of those items must be worn on (or over) a particular part of the body, known as a “slot.”
A humanoid-shaped body can be decked out in magic gear consisting of one item from each of the following groups, keyed to which slot on the body the item is worn.
Armour: suits of armour*.
Belts: belts and girdles.
Body: robes and vestments.
Chest: mantles, shirts, and vests.
Eyes: eyes, glasses, and goggles.
Feet: boots, shoes, and slippers.
Hands: gauntlets and gloves.
Head: circlets, crowns, hats, headbands, helms, and masks.
Neck: amulets, brooches, medallions, necklaces, and scarabs.
Ring (up to two): rings.
Shoulders: capes and cloaks.
Wrist: bracelets and bracers.
* Armour and shields are special apparel items, dealt with in their own section.
Of course, a character may only use permanent magical items that he has attuned to, but he may carry or possess as many items of the same type as he wishes. However, additional items beyond those in the slots listed above have no effect. Thus there is little point attuning to three rings, as only two may function at a time.
Magical apparel usually functions continually, bestowing its magical property at all times. Some rare apparel items must be activated and function for a limited time.
Amulet of Altered Form
Aura: body, strong; CL 6; Slot: neck; Price: - (72 000 gp); Weight: -
This amulet bestows a continuous +2 size bonus to Strength, a +2 natural armour bonus to Defence and one of the following (roll randomly, or select on creation): a climb speed of 30 ft, swim speed of 30 ft, low light vision, or darkvision to 60 ft.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Body domain, Altered Form effect; Cost: 36 000 gp
Belt of Giant Strength / Cat's Grace / Bear's Endurance
Aura: body, moderate; CL 4; Slot: belt; Price: - (64 000 gp); Weight: -
Each of these belts (roll randomly, or select the type on creation) bestows a continuous +4 enhancement bonus to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution. Once per day, the wearer can use a command word to give up the continual bonus in exchange for a +8 enhancement bonus until the end of their next turn.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Body domain, Enhanced Form effect; Cost: 32 000 gp
Boots of elvenkind
Aura: illusion, moderate; CL 4; Slot: feet; Price: - (3 200 gp); Weight: 1 lb
These fine boots confer a continual +4 competence bonus to Stealth skill checks.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, creator must be an elf, Echo effect; Cost: 1 600 gp
Boots of levitation
Aura: flight, moderate; CL 4; Slot: feet; Price: - (8 640 gp); Weight: 1 lb
On command, these boots allow the wearer to rise or fall through space as though the target of the Float effect, for up to 4 minutes. The levitation may be activated 3 times per day.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Flight domain, Float effect; Cost: 4 320 gp
Boots of speed
Aura: travel, moderate; CL 4; Slot: feet; Price: - (8 640 gp); Weight: 1 lb
On command, these boots boost the wearer's speed as though the target of the Accelerate effect, so that for 4 rounds, he may take one additional short action each round. The acceleration may be activated 3 times per day.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Travel domain, Accelerate effect; Cost: 4 320 gp
Boots of striding and springing
Aura: travel, faint; CL 1; Slot: feet; Price: - (3 080 gp); Weight: 1 lb
These walking boots bestow a continual +10 ft bonus to the base land speed of the wearer. Once per day, on command, the boots boost the wearer's base land speed by an additional 20 ft for 1 minute.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Travel domain, Dash and Fleet effects; Cost: 1 540 gp
Boots of the winterland
Aura: cold, moderate; CL 4; Slot: feet; Price: - (24 000 gp); Weight: 1 lb
These boots bestow a continual resistance 10 to cold energy effects.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Cold domain, Resistance to cold effect; Cost: 12 000 gp
Bracers of armour
Aura: armour, faint; CL 1; Slot: wrists; Price - (2 000 gp); Weight: 1 lb
These wrist guards provide a continual +2 armour bonus to Defence, and DR 4/-, as though the wearer were the target of the Arcane mail effect.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Armour domain, Arcane mail effect; Cost: 1 000 gp
Circlet of Fox's Cunning / Eagle's Splendour / Owl's Wisdom
Aura: divination, moderate; CL 4; Slot: head; Price: - (32 000 gp); Weight: -
Each of these circlets (roll randomly, or select the type on creation) bestows a continuous +4 enhancement bonus to Intelligence, Charisma, or Wisdom, as though the wearer was the target of the Enhance mind effect.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Divination domain, Enhanced Mind effect; Cost: 16 000 gp
Cloak of elvenkind
Aura: concealing, moderate; CL 4; Slot: feet; Price: - (3 200 gp); Weight: 1/2 lb
This simple cloak confers a continual +4 competence bonus to Stealth skill checks.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, creator must be an elf, Fade effect; Cost: 1 600 gp
Cloak of Invulnerability
Aura: Armour, moderate; CL 1; Slot: shoulders; Price: - (5 680 gp); Weight: 2lb
This fine cloak appears to made from the velvet skin of bat wings. It provides a continuous +2 armour bonus to defence and 4/- damage reduction, as well as a +4 shield bonus to defence (totalling +6 defence).
Once per day, as an immediate action, the wearer may choose to give up the shield bonus as if using the Interpose shield defence. The shield bonus returns once the wearer repeats the attuning routine for the cloak, but no more than once per day.
Once per day, as an immediate action, the wearer may gain a +4 luck bonus to all saves until his next turn, as per the Saving grace effect. The saving grace effect resets once the wearer repeats the attuning routine for the cloak, but no more than once per day.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Arcane Mail, Arcane Shield, Saving Grace effects; Cost: 2 840 gp
Cloak of resistance
Aura: armour, faint; CL 1; Slot: shoulders; Price: - (8 000 gp); Weight: 1/2 lb
The wearer is protected by a continual +4 luck bonus to saving throws.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Armour domain, Saving Grace effect; Cost: 4 000 gp
Hat of Vanishing
Aura: Concealing, Travel, Water, moderate; CL 1; Slot: head; Price: - (5 400 gp); Weight: 1lb
When doffed with an arcane flourish (the proper flourish is learned during the attuning routine), this hat casts Fade and Dash on the user, turning invisible for 1 round, and adding 30 ft to his base movement rate for 1 minute), and a Fog bank centred on his location (lasting 1 minute).
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Fade, Dash, Fog bank effects; Cost: 2 700 gp
Ring of Elemental Resistance
Aura: air, cold & fire, moderate; CL 4; Slot: ring; Price: - (19 440 gp); Weight: -
This ring instantly reacts to protect the wearer against cold, fire and lightning energy damage. Up to three times each day, when the wearer is targeted by any one of the energy types above, the ring provides resistance 10 against that energy type as an immediate action. This protection lasts for 40 minutes, or until resistance against a new energy type is activated. The wearer must be conscious for the protection to be activated, but the protection is automatically provided - the wearer has no choice whether or not to activate the protection.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Air, Cold & Fire domains, Lightning resistance, Resistance to cold & Resistance to fire effects; Cost: 9 720 gp
Ring of Invisibility
Aura: concealing, moderate; CL 4; Slot: ring; Price: - (14 400 gp); Weight: -
On command, this ring turns the wearer invisible, as though he were the target of the Disappear effect. The invisibility lasts for 4 rounds, or until the wearer takes an offensive action. The ring may be reactivated indefinitely.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Concealing domain, Disappear effect; Cost: 7 200 gp
Ring of Telekinesis
Aura: Animus, faint; CL 1; Slot: ring; Price: - (3 600 gp); Weight: -
As a standard action, on command, the ring casts Move Object as a 1st level Caster (lasting 1 round), with an enhanced range of 110ft.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Move Object effect; Cost: 1 800 gp
In general, magic armour protects the wearer to a greater extent than nonmagical armour. Magic armour bonuses are enhancement bonuses, never rise above +5, and stack with regular armour bonuses (and with shield and magic shield enhancement bonuses). All magic armour is also masterwork armour, reducing armour check penalties by 1.
In addition to an enhancement bonus, armour may have special abilities. The cost for such special abilities is calculated as an addition to the cost of the armour.
A suit of armour or a shield may be made of an unusual material. Roll d%: 01–95 indicates that the item is of a standard sort, and 96–100 indicates that it is made of a special material (see Equipment).
Armour is always created so that if the type of armour comes with a pair of boots, a helm, or a set of gauntlets, these pieces can be switched for other magic boots, helms, or gauntlets.
Special Abilities of Armour and Shields: Armour and shields are made to provide protection: it's against their nature to do anything else. Therefore, only directly protective effects are able to enhance armour and shields as continual effects. Any other effects must be added as a command-word effect, with a number of uses per day.
Caster Level for Armour and Shields: The caster level of a magic shield or magic armour with a special ability is given in the item description. For an item with only an enhancement bonus, the caster level is three times the enhancement bonus. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met.
Shields: Shield enhancement bonuses stack with armour enhancement bonuses. Enchanted shields are not automatically broken when used to intercept a blow. The damage of the attack is applied to shield as if it were hit by a Sunder attack, including the normal reductions from hardness.
Shield enhancement bonuses do not act as attack or damage bonuses when the shield is used in a shield bash. The bashing special ability, however, does grant a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls (see the special ability description).
A shield could be built that also acted as a magic weapon, but the cost of the enhancement bonus on attack rolls would need to be added into the cost of the shield and its enhancement bonus to Defence.
As with armour, special abilities built into the shield add to the market value. The cost for such special abilities is calculated as an addition to the cost of the magical shield.
Activation: Usually a character benefits from magic armour and shields in exactly the way a character benefits from nonmagical armour and shields: by wearing them. If armour or a shield has a special ability that the user needs to activate, then the user usually needs to utter the command word (a standard action).
Armour for Unusual Creatures: The cost of armour for nonhumanoid creatures, as well as for creatures who are neither Small nor Medium, varies (see Equipment). The cost of the masterwork quality and any magical enhancement remains the same.
Table: Random magical armour and shields
Aura: all magical armour and shields have an aura of Armour domain magic: faint for +1 items, moderate for +2 items, and strong for +3 items. Any additional aura from a special property is given in the property descriptions below.
Caster level: caster level for armour and shields is at least double the enhancement bonus: CL 2 for +1 items, CL 4 for +2 items, and CL 6 for +3 items. Special properties may increase the caster level of an individual item.
Price: Magical armour and shields prices are as follows:
|Base cost||Bonus||Cost (gp)||Special|
|Masterwork item||+1||1 000||+ special power cost|
|+2||4 000||+ special power cost|
|+3||9 000||+ special power cost|
Special: The following special magical effects may be added to magical armour and shields:
|57-65||Protection from impure|
Aura: alignment, faint; CL - (as bonus); Slot: - (as item); Price: - (+4 000 gp); Weight: - (as item)
During forging, the creator selects an alignment which the armour or shield will ward against. The wearer gains a continual +2 deflection bonus to Defence and a +2 resistance bonus to saves against attacks and effects from creatures of that alignment, as though the wearer was targeted by the Alignment shield effect.
Once per day, as an immediate action, the wearer may elect to reroll any one defence roll against an attack made by a creature of the chosen alignment or saving throw made against a spell or effect from the chosen alignment, but must take the second result, even if it is worse. The reroll effect resets once the wearer repeats the attuning routine for the armour or shield, but no more than once per day.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Alignment domain, Alignment shield effect; Cost: +2 000 gp
Aura: concealing, faint; CL 4; Slot: - (as item); Price: - (+4 320 gp); Weight: - (as item)
Three times per day, on command, the armour or shield covers the wearer in a shifting haze of concealment for 4 rounds. Attacks against the wearer are subject to a 20% miss chance, as those he were the target of a boosted Blur effect.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Concealing domain, Blur effect, Caster level 4; Cost: +2 160 gp
Aura: dispelling, faint; CL 4; Slot: - (as item); Price: - (+8 640 gp); Weight: - (as item)
Three times per day, as an immediate action, the wearer may make a special Combat Manoeuvre Defence check to attempt to counter a spell of 1st level or lower that is cast on him, or within 30 ft of him. The DC of the Combat Manoeuvre Defence check is 15 + spell level + caster level. If this check succeeds, the spell is countered and has no effect. If the check fails, the spell functions as normal.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Dispelling domain, Lesser counterspell effect, Caster level 4; Cost: +4 320 gp
Aura: body, faint; CL - (as bonus); Slot: - (as item); Price: - (xyz gp); Weight: - (as item)
Aura: binding, moderate; CL 4; Slot: - (as item); Price: - (xyz gp); Weight: - (as item)
Aura: air, moderate; CL 4; Slot: - (as item); Price: - (xyz gp); Weight: - (as item)
Aura: life & death, faint; CL - (as bonus); Slot: - (as item); Price: - (xyz gp); Weight: - (as item)
Protection from impure
Aura: purity, faint; CL - (as bonus); Slot: - (as item); Price: - (xyz gp); Weight: - (as item)
Elixir of fire breath
Elixir of hiding
Elixir of love
Oil of Bane
Potion of Enhanced Mind
Potion of Far Sight
Potion of Protection from Elements
A magic weapon is enchanted to create additional effects beyond mundanely cutting or crudely battering opponents. A magic weapon may be enchanted to reduce DR and grant a bigger bonus to hit: i.e. a +1 weapon lowers DR by 1 (but gives no more bonus to hit than a masterwork weapon), a +2 weapon lowers DR by 2 and grants +2 to hit.
As with armour and shields, special abilities built into the weapon add to the market value. The cost for such special abilities is calculated as an addition to the cost of the magical weapon.
Special Abilities of Weapons: Weapons are made to hurt enemies: it's against their nature to do anything else. Therefore, only directly damaging effects are able to enhance weapons as continual effects. Any other effects must be added as a command-word effect, with a number of uses per day.
Caster Level for Weapons: The caster level of a magic weapon with a special ability is given in the item description. For an item with only an enhancement bonus, the caster level is three times the enhancement bonus. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met.
Activation: Usually a character benefits from magic weapons in exactly the way a character benefits from nonmagical weapons: by using them. If the weapon has a special ability that the user needs to activate, then the user usually needs to utter the command word (a standard action).
Dust of disappearance
Dust of illusion
Staff of Glimmering
Aura: Illusion, moderate; CL 1; Slot: -; Price: - (3 600 gp); Weight: 2lb
On command, as a standard action, this staff casts Glimmering as a 1st level Caster at a range of 110ft.
Construction: Craft permanent magic item, Glimmering effect; Cost: 1 800 gp
Wand of Force Ray
Aura: Animus, moderate; CL 3; Slot: -; Price: - (4 500 gp); Weight: 1lb
This arcanely carved wand casts a Force ray dealing 2d6+3 damage at a range of 30 ft. A touch attack is required to hit.
Construction: Craft limited magic item, Animus domain; Cost: 2 250 gp
To create magic items, spellcasters, ritualists and mastercraftsmen use special feats which allow them to invest time and money in an item's creation. At the end of this process, the spellcaster must make a single skill check (usually Spellcraft, but sometimes another skill) to finish the item. If an item type has multiple possible skills, you choose which skill to make the check with. The DC to create a magic item is 5 + the caster level for the item. Failing this check means that the item does not function and the materials and time are wasted. Failing this check by 5 or more results in a cursed item (see Cursed Items for more information).
Note that all items have prerequisites in their descriptions. These prerequisites must be met for the item to be created. Most of the time, they take the form of spells that must be known by the item's creator (although access through another magic item or spellcaster is allowed). The DC to create a magic item increases by +5 for each prerequisite the caster does not meet. The only exception to this is the requisite item creation feat, which is mandatory. In addition, you cannot create spell-trigger and spell-completion magic items without meeting their spell prerequisites.
While item creation costs are handled in detail below, note that normally the two primary factors are the caster level of the creator and the level of the spell or spells put into the item. A creator can create an item at a lower caster level than her own, but never lower than the minimum level needed to cast the needed spell. Using metamagic, a caster can place spells in items at a higher level than normal.
Magic items require magical ingredients and supplies to create. These ingredients and supplies are generic herbs and minerals, precious metals and stones, and may be used in the creation of any magical item. Magic supplies for items are always half of the base price in gp. These can be purchased at in any settlement. For many items, the market price equals the base price. Armour, shields, weapons, and items with value independent of their magically enhanced properties add their item cost to the market price. The item cost does not influence the base price (which determines the cost of magic supplies), but it does increase the final market price.
In addition, some items cast or replicate spells with costly material components. For these items, the market price equals the base price plus an extra price for the spell component costs. The cost to create these items is the magic supplies cost plus the costs for the components. Descriptions of these items include an entry that gives the total cost of creating the item.
The creator also needs a fairly quiet, comfortable, and well-lit place in which to work. Any place suitable for preparing spells is suitable for making items. Creating an item requires 8 hours of work per 1,000 gp in the item's base price (or fraction thereof), with permanent magic items of any price requiring a minimum of at least 8 hours.
The character must spend the gold at the beginning of the construction process. Regardless of the time needed for construction, a caster can create no more than one magic item per day. This process can be accelerated to 4 hours of work per 1,000 gp in the item's base price (or fraction thereof) by increasing the DC to create the item by +5.
The caster can work for up to 8 hours each day. He cannot rush the process by working longer each day, but the days need not be consecutive, and the caster can use the rest of his time as he sees fit. If the caster is out adventuring, he can devote 4 hours each day to item creation, although he nets only 2 hours' worth of work. This time is not spent in one continuous period, but rather during lunch, morning preparation, and during watches at night. If time is dedicated to creation, it must be spent in uninterrupted 4-hour blocks. This work is generally done in a controlled environment, where distractions are at a minimum, such as a laboratory or shrine. Work that is performed in a distracting or dangerous environment nets only half the amount of progress (just as with the adventuring caster).
A character can work on only one item at a time. If a character starts work on a new item, all materials used on the under-construction item are wasted.
Many factors must be considered when determining the price of new magic items. Use the guidelines summarized in the table below.
Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values
|Armour bonus (enhancement)||Bonus squared x 1,000 gp||+1 chainmail|
|Bonus spell||Spell level squared x 1,000 gp||<PLACEHOLDER>|
|Defence bonus (deflection)||Bonus squared x 2,000 gp||<PLACEHOLDER>|
|Skill bonus (competence)||Bonus squared x 100 gp||<PLACEHOLDER>|
|Weapon bonus (enhancement)||Bonus squared x 2,000 gp||+1 longsword|
|Spell Effect||Base Price||Example|
|Single use, spell completion||Spell level x caster level x 25 gp||<PLACEHOLDER>|
|Single use, use-activated||Spell level x caster level x 50 gp||<PLACEHOLDER>|
|50 charges, spell trigger||Spell level x caster level x 750 gp||<PLACEHOLDER>|
|Command word||Spell level x caster level x 1,800 gp||<PLACEHOLDER>|
|Use-activated or continuous||Spell level x caster level x 2,000 gp(2)||<PLACEHOLDER>|
|Special||Base Price Adjustment||Example|
|Charges per day||Divide by (5 divided by charges per day)||<PLACEHOLDER>|
|No space limitation(3)||Multiply entire cost by 2||<PLACEHOLDER>|
|Multiple different abilities||Multiply lower item cost by 1.5||<PLACEHOLDER>|
|Charged (50 charges)||1/2 unlimited use base price||<PLACEHOLDER>|
|Armour, shield, or weapon||Add cost of masterwork item||+1 composite longbow|
|Spell has material component cost||Add directly into price of item per charge(4)||<PLACEHOLDER>|
Spell Level: A 0-level spell is half the value of a 1st-level spell for determining price.
(1) Such as a luck, insight, sacred, or profane bonus.
(2) If a continuous item has an effect based on a spell with a duration measured in rounds, multiply the cost by 4. If the duration of the spell is 1 minute/level, multiply the cost by 2, and if the duration is 10 minutes/level, multiply the cost by 1.5. If the spell has a 24-hour duration or greater, divide the cost in half.
(3) An item that does not take up one of the spaces on a body costs double.
(4) If item is continuous or unlimited, not charged, determine cost as if it had 100 charges. If it has some daily limit, determine as if it had 50 charges.
Multiple Similar Abilities: For items with multiple similar abilities that don't take up space on a character's body, use the following formula: Calculate the price of the single most costly ability, then add 75% of the value of the next most costly ability, plus 1/2 the value of any other abilities. For this purpose, 'similar' means 'performing a similar function', like dealing damage, providing protection, enhancing ability scores, or providing a bonus to rolls.
Multiple Different Abilities: Abilities such as an attack roll bonus or saving throw bonus and a spell-like function are not similar, and their values are simply added together to determine the cost. For items that take up a space on a character's body, each additional power not only has no discount but instead has a 50% increase in price.
0-Level Spells: When multiplying spell levels to determine value, 0-level spells should be treated as 1/2 level.
Other Considerations: Once you have a cost figure, reduce that number if either of the following conditions applies:
* Item Requires Skill to Use: Some items require a specific skill to get them to function. This factor should reduce the cost about 10%.
* Item Requires Specific Class or Alignment to Use: Even more restrictive than requiring a skill, this limitation cuts the price by 30%.
Prices presented in the magic item descriptions (the gold piece value following the item's slot) are the market value, which is generally twice what it costs the creator to make the item.
Not all items adhere to these formulas. First and foremost, these few formulas aren't enough to truly gauge the exact differences between items. The price of a magic item may be modified based on its actual worth. The formulas only provide a starting point. Potions, scrolls and wands follow the formulas exactly. Other items require at least some judgement calls.
To create a magic item, a character usually needs some sort of equipment or tools to work on the item. She also needs a supply of materials, the most obvious being the item itself or the pieces of the item to be assembled. The cost for the materials is subsumed in the cost for creating the item. Wondrous item costs are difficult to determine. Refer to Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values and use the item prices in the item descriptions as a guideline. Creating an item costs half the market value listed. Note that permanent magic items are rare and not usually bought and sold: the prices are used mainly to determine the time taken to craft the items.
The creator must have spell slots available to formulate the spells to be cast and must provide any focuses or material components the spell requires. The act of working on the item triggers the formulated spells, making them unavailable for casting during each day of the item's creation. (That is, those spell slots are expended from the caster's currently prepared spells, just as if they had been cast.)
Some specific rules for particular categories of magic item are given below.
Charged items are always fully charged (50 charges) when created.
The creator must have have spell slots available to formulate the spell to be stored and must provide any focuses the spell requires. Fifty of each needed material component are required (one for each charge). Material components are consumed when work begins, but focuses are not. A focus used in creating a charged item can be reused. The act of working on the charged item triggers the formulated spell, making it unavailable for casting during each day devoted to the item's creation. (That is, that spell slot is expended from the caster's currently prepared spells, just as if it had been cast.)
Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Limited Magic Item.
To create magic jewellery, a character needs a heat source. He also needs a supply of materials, the most obvious being the jewellery or the pieces thereof to be assembled. The cost for the materials is subsumed in the cost for creating the jewellery.
Refer to Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values to determine the price of the jewellery. Creating magic jewellery generally costs half the jewellery's market price.
Jewellery that duplicate spells with costly material components add in the value of 50 × the spell's component cost. Having a spell with a costly component as a prerequisite does not automatically incur this cost. The act of working on the jewellery triggers the prepared spells, making them unavailable for casting during each day of the ring's creation. (That is, those spell slots are expended from the caster's currently prepared spells, just as if they had been cast.)
Forging jewellery requires 1 day for each 1,000 gp of the base price.
Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Permanent Magic Item
Skill Used in Creation: Spellcraft or Craft (jewellery).
To create magic armour, a character needs a heat source and some iron, wood, or leatherworking tools. He also needs a supply of materials, the most obvious being the armour or the pieces of the armour to be assembled. Armour to be made into magic armour must be masterwork armour, and the masterwork cost is added to the base price to determine final market value. Additional magic supply costs for the materials are subsumed in the cost for creating the magic armour—half the base price of the item.
Creating magic armour has a special prerequisite: The creator's caster level must be at least three times the enhancement bonus of the armour. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met. Magic armour or a magic shield must have at least a +1 enhancement bonus to have any armour or shield special abilities.
Crafting magic armour requires one day for each 1,000 gp value of the base price.
Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Permanent Magic Item.
Skill Used in Creation: Spellcraft or Craft (armour).
To create a magic weapon, a character needs a heat source and some iron, wood, or leatherworking tools. She also needs a supply of materials, the most obvious being the weapon or the pieces of the weapon to be assembled. Only a masterwork weapon can become a magic weapon, and the masterwork cost is added to the total cost to determine final market value. Additional magic supplies costs for the materials are subsumed in the cost for creating the magic weapon—half the base price of the item based upon the item's total effective bonus.
Creating a magic weapon has a special prerequisite: The creator's caster level must be at least three times the enhancement bonus of the weapon or the level of the spell.
You can add any instantaneous damage-dealing magical effect with the Selected target word to a magic weapon as a continual effect. When crafting a magic weapon in this way, you must be at least three times the effect level to add such an effect to a weapon. The effect is applied to all creatures that the weapon hits in combat. The wielder of the weapon may choose to suppress the effect for one round as a free action.
If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met.
Other magical effects - such as those that do not deal damage, or have other target words - may be added to weapons as command word activated spells. These spells are not limited by the caster level prerequisite.
A side-effect of creating a magical weapon (that is easily overcome, but often embraced for aesthetic reasons) is that magical weapons tend to glow, as with the light of torch. At the time of creation, the creator must decide if the weapon glows or not. This decision does not affect the price or the creation time, but once the item is finished, the decision is binding.
Creating magic double-headed weapons is treated as creating two weapons when determining cost, time, and special abilities.
Crafting a magic weapon requires 1 day for each 1,000 gp value of the base price.
Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Permanent Magic Item.
Skill Used in Creation: Spellcraft, Craft (bows) (for magic bows and arrows), or Craft (weapons) (for all other weapons).
The creator of a potion needs a level working surface and at least a few containers in which to mix liquids, as well as a source of heat to boil the brew. In addition, he needs ingredients. The costs for materials and ingredients are subsumed in the cost for brewing the potion (half the market price for the item).
All ingredients and materials used to brew a potion must be fresh and unused. The character must pay the full cost for brewing each potion. (Economies of scale do not apply.)
The imbiber of the potion is both the caster and the target. Spells with a range of personal cannot be made into potions.
Material components are consumed when he begins working, but a focus is not. (A focus used in brewing a potion can be reused.)
Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Limited Magic Item.
Skill Used in Creation: Spellcraft or Craft (alchemy)
Sometimes, lack of funds or time make it impossible for a magic item crafter to create the desired item from scratch. Fortunately, it is possible to enhance or build upon an existing magic item. Only time, gold, and the various prerequisites required of the new ability to be added to the magic item restrict the type of additional powers one can place.
The cost to add additional abilities to an item is the same as if the item was not magical, less the value of the original item. Thus, a +1 longsword can be made into a +2 flaming longsword, with the cost to create it being equal to that of a +2 flaming sword minus the cost of a +1 longsword.
If the item is one that occupies a specific place on a character's body, the cost of adding any additional ability to that item increases by 50%. For example, if a character adds the power to confer invisibility to her ring of protection +2, the cost of adding this ability is the same as for creating a ring of invisibility multiplied by 1.5.
Table: Common Item Curses
|16–35||Opposite effect or target|
|76–90||Completely different effect|
|91–100||Substitute specific cursed item on Table: Specific Cursed Items|
Cursed items are magic items with some sort of potentially negative impact. Occasionally they mix bad with good, forcing characters to make difficult choices. Cursed items are almost never made intentionally. Instead they are the result of rushed work, inexperienced crafters, or a lack of proper components. While many of these items still have functions, they either do not work as intended or come with serious drawbacks. When a magic item creation skill check fails by 5 or more, roll on Table: Common Item Curses to determine the type of curse possessed by the item.
Identifying Cursed Items: Cursed items are identified like any other magic item with one exception: unless the check made to identify the item exceeds the DC by 10 or more, the curse is not detected. If the check is not made by 10 or more, but still succeeds, all that is revealed is the magic item's original intent. If the item is known to be cursed, the nature of the curse can be determined using the standard DC to identify the item.
Removing Cursed Items: While some cursed items can be simply discarded, others force a compulsion upon the user to keep the item, no matter the costs. Others reappear even if discarded or are impossible to throw away. These items can only be discarded after the character or item is targeted by a remove curse or similar magic. The DC of the caster level check to undo the curse is equal to 10 + the item's caster level. If the spell is successful, the item can be discarded on the following round, but the curse reasserts itself if the item is used again.
Common Cursed Item Effects
The following are some of the most common cursed item effects. GMs should feel free to invent new cursed item effects to fit specific items.
Delusion: The user believes the item is what it appears to be, yet it actually has no magical power other than to deceive. The user is mentally fooled into thinking the item is functioning and cannot be convinced otherwise without the casting of remove curse.
Opposite Effect or Target: These cursed items malfunction, so that either they do the opposite of what the creator intended, or they target the user instead of someone else. The interesting point to keep in mind here is that these items aren't always bad to have. Opposite-effect items include weapons that impose penalties on attack and damage rolls rather than bonuses. Just as a character shouldn't necessarily immediately know what the enhancement bonus of a noncursed magic item is, she shouldn't immediately know that a weapon is cursed. Once she knows, however, the item can be discarded unless some sort of compulsion is placed upon it that compels the wielder to keep and use it. In such cases, a remove curse spell is generally needed to get rid of the item.
Intermittent Functioning: The three varieties of intermittent functioning items all function perfectly as intended—at least some of the time. The three varieties are unreliable, dependent, and uncontrolled items.
Unreliable: Each time the item is activated, there is a 5% chance (01–05 on d%) that it does not function.
Dependent: The item only functions in certain situations. To determine the situation, select or roll on the following table.
|01–03||Temperature below freezing|
|04–05||Temperature above freezing|
|06–10||During the day|
|11–15||During the night|
|16–20||In direct sunlight|
|21–25||Out of direct sunlight|
|35–37||Out of water|
|56–60||Within 10 feet of a random creature type|
|61–64||Within 10 feet of a random race or kind of creature|
|65–72||Within 10 feet of an arcane spellcaster|
|73–80||Within 10 feet of a divine spellcaster|
|81–85||In the hands of a nonspellcaster|
|86–90||In the hands of a spellcaster|
|91–95||In the hands of a creature of a particular alignment|
|96||In the hands of a creature of a particular gender|
|97–99||On holy days or during particular astrological events|
|100||More than 100 miles from a particular site|
Uncontrolled: An uncontrolled item occasionally activates at random times. Roll d% every day. On a result of 01–05 the item activates at some random point during that day.
Requirement: Some items have stringent requirements that must be met for them to be usable. To keep an item with this kind of curse functioning, one or more of the following conditions must be met.
|Character must eat twice as much as normal.|
|Character must sleep twice as much as normal.|
|Character must undergo a specific quest (one time only, and the item functions normally thereafter).|
|Character must sacrifice (destroy) 100 gp in valuables per day.|
|Character must sacrifice (destroy) 2,000 gp worth of magic items each week.|
|Character must swear fealty to a particular noble or to his entire family.|
|Character must discard all other magic items.|
|Character must worship a particular deity.|
|Character must change her name to a specific name. The item only works for characters of that name.|
|Character must add a specific class at the next opportunity if not of that class already.|
|Character must have a minimum number of ranks in a particular skill.|
|Character must sacrifice some part of her life energy (2 points of Constitution) one time. If the character gets the Constitution points back (such as from a restoration spell), the item ceases functioning. (The item does not cease functioning if the character receives a Constitution increase caused by level gain, a wish, or the use of a magic item.)|
|Item must be cleansed with holy water each day.|
|Item must be used to kill a living creature each day.|
|Item must be bathed in volcanic lava once per month.|
|Item must be used at least once a day, or it won't function again for its current possessor.|
|Item must draw blood when wielded (weapons only). It can't be put away or exchanged for another weapon until it has scored a hit.|
|Item must have a particular spell cast upon it each day (such as bless, atonement, or animate objects).|
Requirements are so dependent upon suitability to the item that they should never be determined randomly. An intelligent item with a requirement often imposes its requirement through its personality. If the requirement is not met, the item ceases to function. If it is met, usually the item functions for one day before the requirement must be met again (although some requirements are one time only, others monthly, and still others continuous).
Drawback: Items with drawbacks are usually still beneficial to the possessor but carry some negative aspect. Although sometimes drawbacks occur only when the item is used (or held, in the case of some weapons), usually the drawback remains with the character for as long as she has the item.
Unless otherwise indicated, drawbacks remain in effect as long as the item is possessed. The DC to save against any of these effects is usually equal to 10 + the item's caster level.
|01–04||Character's hair grows 1 inch longer every hour.|
|05–09||Character either shrinks 6 inches (01–50 on d%) or grows that much taller (51–100). Only happens once.|
|10–13||Temperature around item is 10° F cooler than normal.|
|14–17||Temperature around item is 10° F warmer than normal.|
|18–21||Character's hair colour changes.|
|22–25||Character's skin colour changes.|
|26–29||Character now bears some identifying mark (tattoo, weird glow, or the like).|
|30–32||Character's gender changes.|
|33–34||Character's race or kind changes.|
|35||Character is afflicted with a random disease that cannot be cured.|
|36–39||Item continually emits a disturbing sound (moaning, weeping, screaming, cursing, insults).|
|40||Item looks ridiculous (garishly coloured, silly shape, glows bright pink).|
|41–45||Character becomes selfishly possessive.|
|46–49||Character becomes paranoid about losing the item and afraid of damage occurring to it.|
|50–51||Character's alignment changes.|
|52–54||Character must attack nearest creature (5% chance (01–05 on d%) each day).|
|55–57||Character is stunned for 1d4 rounds once item function is finished (or randomly, 1/day).|
|58–60||Character's vision is blurry (–2 penalty on attack rolls, saves, and skill checks requiring vision).|
|61–64||Character gains one negative level.|
|65||Character gains two negative levels.|
|66–70||Character must make a Will save each day or take 1 point of Intelligence damage.|
|71–75||Character must make a Will save each day or take 1 point of Wisdom damage.|
|76–80||Character must make a Will save each day or take 1 point of Charisma damage.|
|81–85||Character must make a Fortitude save each day or take 1 point of Constitution damage.|
|86–90||Character must make a Fortitude save each day or take 1 point of Strength damage.|
|91–95||Character must make a Fortitude save each day or take 1 point of Dexterity damage.|
|96||Character is polymorphed into a specific creature (5% chance (01–05 on d%) each day).|
|97||Character cannot cast arcane spells.|
|98||Character cannot cast divine spells.|
|99||Character cannot cast any spells.|
|100||Either pick one of the above that's appropriate or create a drawback specifically for that item.|