Crafting Magical Items


Crafting Magical Items SRD for Our Campaign:

As per our many discussions and questions about this subject I am rolling out the Alpha – Test of the Magical Item Creation Rules that we will use for our Pathfinder Campaign. I have reworked the entire Magical Item Creation Section from the Pathfinder SRD. (Before the crying begins I would say that the new system is 97% – 98% Pathfinder SRD as written). In my usual fashion I have included everything so everyone will be on the same page.

We will start with reviewing every section of the Pathfinder SRD. (Things that are different or are explained better will be in bold text). At the end of the Wondrous Item section but before the Intelligent Item section; I will have the All of the changes documented.


Using Items: (No Change from the Pathfinder SRD)

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 scrolls. A scroll is a spell that is mostly finished. The preparation is done for the caster, so no preparation time is needed beforehand as with normal spellcasting. 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 of high enough level in the right class 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 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. Spell trigger items can be used by anyone whose class can cast the corresponding spell. This is the case even for a character who can’t actually cast spells, such as a 3rd-level paladin. 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.

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.

A command word can be a real word, but when this is the case, the holder of the item runs the risk of activating the item accidentally by speaking the word in normal conversation. More often, the command word is some seemingly nonsensical word, or a word or phrase from an ancient language no longer in common use. 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 spells detect magic, identify, and analyze dweomer all reveal 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.


Size and Magic Items:

When an article of magic clothing or jewelry 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.

Armor and Weapon Sizes: Armor 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).


Magic Items Slots:

Magic item slots

Many magic 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 15 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.

Note: If you click on the image at right of a person showing the body slots, you can download a PDF that you can print and fill in yourself!

Armor: This slot is used for suits of armor that are worn.

Belts: This slot consists of belts and other items that can be worn around the waist.

Body: This slot consists of body wraps, cassocks, corsets, dusters, harnesses, robes, vestments and any other article of clothing that can be worn on the body.

Chest: This slot consists of jackets, mantels, shirts, vests and other items that can be worn around the torso or chest.

Eyes: This slot consists of goggles, lenses, monocles, spectacles, and other items that can be worn over the eyes.

Feet: This slot consists of boots, horseshoes, sandals, shoes, slippers, and other items that can be worn on the feet.

Hands: This slot consists of gauntlets, gloves, and other items that can worn on the hands.

Head: This slot consists of circlets, crowns, hats, helms, hoods, masks, and other items that can be worn on the head.

Headband: This slot consists of bands, headbands, laurels, phylacteries, and other non-head slot items that can be worn around the forehead.

Neck: This slot consists of amulets, brooches, medallions, necklaces, periapts, scarabs, and other items that can be worn around the neck or fastened to a cloak.

Ring (up to two): rings.

Shield: This slot is for carried shields.

Shoulders: This slot consists of capes, cloaks, cords, mantels, pauldrons, shawls, stoles, wings, and other items that can be worn on the shoulders.

Wrists: This slot consists of armbands, bracelets, bracers, gauntlets, manacles, shackles, vambraces, and other items that can worn over the wrists.

Slotless: Items not worn or carried in one of the above slots are called “slotless” items. Sometimes these items take the form of trinkets, like figurines of wondrous power. Other times they are larger items, such as the carpet of flying. Typically the possession of such an item is enough to gain its benefit, but sometimes one must manipulate and activate the item.

Of course, a character 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.

Some items can be worn or carried without taking up a slot on a character’s body. The description of an item indicates when an item has this property.


Magic Item Slots for Animals

The vast diversity among species of familiars and animal companions often makes it difficult to determine what kinds of magic items are suitable for certain creatures to wear. While wearable wondrous items typically resize themselves to fit a creature trying to wear them, the situation becomes a little more complicated if the creature simply lacks the requisite appendage or body part.

The following table presents all of the animal companions and familiars available to characters, divided into general categories that loosely define their body type as well as which magic item slots are available to them. Available slots followed by either “(saddle)” or “(horseshoes)” denote that creatures of that body type can only wear magic items in the appropriate slots as long as they are either saddles or horseshoes, respectively (for instance, a hoofed quadruped can wear a saddle of the sky-river, but not a belt of dwarvenkind).

Some creature body types are able to grasp and carry one object at a time in their paws, claws, or hands, including weapons, rods, wands, and staves, though they may not be able to use such items effectively (GM’s discretion) and take penalties for nonproficiency as usual. These are indicated by “Yes” in the “Grasp/Carry” column in the table below.

Specific animals may be able to wear different types of items as specified in their original monster entry.

If you are using animal companions or familiars from another source, you can use the information in this table as a guideline for those creatures. Additionally, GMs may use this table as a guide to determine what kinds of magical gear non-humanoid monsters can wear and use. Note that the rules in this section are merely suggestions, and ultimately it is up to the GM to decide what kinds of animals can use particular types of magic items.

Table: Magic Item Slots for Animals

Magic Item Slots for Animals
Body Type Available Slots Grasp/Carry Animal Companions Familiars
*Avian Armor, belt, chest, eyes, headband, neck, ring, wrist Yes Axe beak, dimorphodon, dinosaur (pteranodon), dire bat, eagle, giant vulture, hawk, owl, quetzalcoatlus, roc Bat, dodo, hawk, osprey, owl, parrot, raven, rhamphorhynchus, snail kite, thrush, toucan
*Biped (claws/paws) Armor, belt, chest, eyes, headband, neck, ring, shoulders, wrist Yes Allosaurus, deinonychus, iguanodon, pachycephalosaurus, parasaurolophus, spinosaurus, tyrannosaurus, velociraptor, kangaroo Compsognathus
*Biped (hands) All item slots Yes Ape, baboon Monkey
Piscine Belt, chest (saddle), eyes No tylosaurus, dolphin, manta ray, orca, shark, stingray, walrus Seal
Quadruped (claws/paws) Armor, belt (saddle), chest, eyes, headband, neck, shoulders, wrist No Badger, bear, cheetah, dire rat, dog, giant weasel, goblin dog, hyena, leopard, lion, panda, thylacine, tiger, wolf, wolverine Cat, donkey rat, flying squirrel, fox, hedgehog, mongoose, otter, platypus, raccoon, rat, skunk, squirrel, weasel
Quadruped/Hexapod (feet) Armor, belt (saddle), chest, eyes, headband, neck, shoulders, wrist No Camel, triceratops, elephant, giant ant, giant mantis, giant wasp, hippopotamus, mammoth, mastodon, arsinoitherium, baluchitherium, megatherium, rhinoceros
Quadruped (hooves) Armor, belt (saddle), chest, eyes, feet (horseshoes), head, headband, neck, shoulders, wrist No Antelope, aurochs, bison, boar, buffalo, elk, horse, llama, megaloceros, moose, pony, ram Goat, pig
Quadruped (squat-body) Armor, eyes, headband, neck, shoulders, wrist No elasmosaurus, giant frog, giant snapping turtle, archelon, glyptodon Snapping turtle, toad, turtle
Saurian Armor, belt (saddle), chest, eyes, headband, neck No Alligator, crocodile, ankylosaurus, brachiosaurus, dimetrodon, stegosaurus, giant chameleon, giant gecko, megalania, monitor lizard Dwarf caiman, lizard, marine iguana
Serpentine Belt, eyes, headband No Constrictor snake, electric eel, gar, giant leech, giant moray eel, giant slug, basilosaurus Sea krait, viper
Verminous Belt, eyes No Giant beetle, giant centipede, giant crab, giant scorpion, giant spider, octopus, squid Blue-ringed octopus, giant isopod, greensting scorpion, house centipede, king crab


Saving Throws Against Magic Item Powers

Magic items produce spells or spell-like effects. For a saving throw against a spell or spell-like effect from a magic item, the DC is 10 + the level of the spell or effect + the ability modifier of the minimum ability score needed to cast that level of spell.

Staves are an exception to the rule. Treat the saving throw as if the wielder cast the spell, including caster level and all modifiers to save DCs.

Most item descriptions give saving throw DCs for various effects, particularly when the effect has no exact spell equivalent (making its level otherwise difficult to determine quickly).


Damaging Magic Items

A magic item doesn’t need to make a saving throw unless it is unattended, it is specifically targeted by the effect, or its wielder rolls a natural 1 on his save. Magic items should always get a saving throw against spells that might deal damage to them—even against attacks from which a non-magical item would normally get no chance to save. Magic items use the same saving throw bonus for all saves, no matter what the type (Fortitude, Reflex, or Will). A magic item’s saving throw bonus equals 2 + 1/2 its caster level (rounded down). The only exceptions to this are intelligent magic items, which make Will saves based on their own Wisdom scores.

Magic items, unless otherwise noted, take damage as non-magical items of the same sort. A damaged magic item continues to function, but if it is destroyed, all its magical power is lost. Magic items that take damage in excess of half their total hit points, but not more than their total hit points, gain the Broken condition, and might not function properly (see the Appendix).


Repairing Magic Items

Repairing a magic item requires material components equal to half the cost to create the item, and requires half the time. The make whole spell can also repair a damaged (or even a destroyed) magic items—if the caster is high enough level.


Charges, Doses, and Multiple Uses

Many items, particularly wands and staves, are limited in power by the number of charges they hold. Normally, charged items have 50 charges at most (10 for staves). If such an item is found as a random part of a treasure, roll d% and divide by 2 to determine the number of charges left (round down, minimum 1). If the item has a maximum number of charges other than 50, roll randomly to determine how many charges are left.

Prices listed are always for fully charged items. (When an item is created, it is fully charged.) For an item that’s worthless when its charges run out (which is the case for almost all charged items), the value of the partially used item is proportional to the number of charges left. For an item that has usefulness in addition to its charges, only part of the item’s value is based on the number of charges left.


Purchasing Magic Items

Table: Available Magic Items

Available Magic Items
Community Size Base Value Minor Medium Major
Thorp 50 gp 1d4 items
Hamlet 200 gp 1d6 items
Village 500 gp 2d4 items 1d4 items
Small town 1,000 gp 3d4 items 1d6 items
Large town 2,000 gp 3d4 items 2d4 items 1d4 items
Small city 4,000 gp 4d4 items 3d4 items 1d6 items
Large city 8,000 gp 4d4 items 3d4 items 2d4 items
Metropolis 16,000 gp * 4d4 items 3d4 items
  • In a metropolis, nearly all minor magic items are available.
    • See also: Table: Available Magic Items per Settlements rules from the Gamemastery Guide.

Magic items are valuable, and most major cities have at least one or two purveyors of magic items, from a simple potion merchant to a weapon smith that specializes in magic swords. Of course, not every item in this book is available in every town.

The following guidelines are presented to help GMs determine what items are available in a given community. These guidelines assume a setting with an average level of magic. Some cities might deviate wildly from these baselines, subject to GM discretion. The GM should keep a list of what items are available from each merchant and should replenish the stocks on occasion to represent new acquisitions.

The number and types of magic items available in a community depend upon its size. Each community has a base value associated with it (see Table: Available Magic Items (per Core Rulebook) or Table: Available Magic Items. There is a 75% chance that any item of that value or lower can be found for sale with little effort in that community. In addition, the community has a number of other items for sale. These items are randomly determined and are broken down by category (minor, medium, or major). After determining the number of items available in each category, refer to Table: Random Magic Item Generation to determine the type of each item (potion, scroll, ring, weapon, etc.) before moving on to the individual charts to determine the exact item. Reroll any items that fall below the community’s base value.

If you are running a campaign with low magic, reduce the base value and the number of items in each community by half. Campaigns with little or no magic might not have magic items for sale at all. GMs running these sorts of campaigns should make some adjustments to the challenges faced by the characters due to their lack of magic gear.

Campaigns with an abundance of magic items might have communities with twice the listed base value and random items available. Alternatively, all communities might count as one size category larger for the purposes of what items are available. In a campaign with very common magic, all magic items might be available for purchase in a metropolis.

Nonmagical items and gear are generally available in a community of any size unless the item is particularly expensive, such as full plate, or made of an unusual material, such as an adamantine longsword. These items should follow the base value guidelines to determine their availability, subject to GM discretion.


Magic Item Descriptions: (No Change from the Pathfinder SRD).

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 AC, hardness, hit points, and break DC are given for typical examples of some magic items. The AC 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 detect magic spell reveals the school 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 detect 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.

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: With the exception of artifacts, most 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. The prerequisites for creation of an item are given immediately following the item’s caster level.

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.


Magic Item Creation: (Contains some changes or clarifications from The SRD)

This Section has some changes – Let’s start with conflicting information from the Pathfinder Core book –

As per pg 112 in the core rulebook:
“Successfully creating a magic item requires a Spellcraft check with a DC equal to 10 + the item’s caster level”

As per pg 548 in the core rulebook:
“The DC to create a magic item is 5 + the caster level for the item.”

I looked, but couldn’t seem to find any definitive answer to this. What I found was a post from 2-11-2010

I believe the Magic Items chapter is correct and the DC should be 5 + caster level, but I am still looking into the issue. Either way, this will be corrected.
Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

To Date there is still no Official Errata on this:

To create magic items, spellcasters 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.

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 potions, spell-trigger, or spell-completion items without meeting its 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 feats, a caster can place spells in items at a higher level than normal.

Magic supplies for items are always half of the base price in gp. For many items, the market price equals the base price. Armor, 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 a minimum of at least 8 hours. Potions and scrolls are an exception to this rule; they can take as little as 2 hours to create (if their base price is 250 gp or less). Scrolls and potions whose base price is more than 250 gp, but less than 1,000 gp, take 8 hours to create, just like any other magic item. 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.


Adding New Abilities: (No Change from the Pathfinder SRD).

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 vorpal longsword, with the cost to create it being equal to that of a +2 vorpal 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.


Magic Item Gold Piece Values: (No Change from the Pathfinder SRD).

Many factors must be considered when determining the price of new magic items. The easiest way to come up with a price is to compare the new item to an item that is already priced, using that price as a guide. Otherwise, use the guidelines summarized on Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values.


Multiple Similar Abilities: (Contains some changes or clarifications from The SRD)

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 150% of the value of the next most costly ability, plus 150% the value of any other abilities.


Multiple Different Abilities: (This Section has some changes or clarifications)

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: We do not allow Crafting Costs to be reduced by making the item for a specific race, class, alignment or any similar limitation on who may enjoy full use of the item.

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.

Since different classes get access to certain spells at different levels, the prices for two characters to make the same item might actually be different. An item is only worth two times what the caster of the lowest possible level can make it for. Calculate the market price based on the lowest possible level caster, no matter who makes 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. The pricing of scrolls assumes that, whenever possible, a wizard or cleric created it. Potions and wands follow the formulas exactly. Staves follow the formulas closely, and other items require at least some judgment calls.


Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values

Effect Base Price Example
Ability bonus (enhancement) Bonus squared x 1,000 gp Belt of Incredible Dexterity 2
Armor bonus (enhancement) Bonus squared x 1,000 gp +1 chainmail
Bonus spell Spell level squared x 1,000 gp Pearl of power
AC bonus (deflection) Bonus squared x 2,000 gp Ring of protection 3
AC bonus (other) (a) Bonus squared x 2,500 gp Ioun stone (dusty rose prism)
Natural armor bonus (enhancement) Bonus squared x 2,000 gp Amulet of natural armor 1
Save bonus (resistance) Bonus squared x 1,000 gp Cloak of resistance 5
Save bonus (other) (a) Bonus squared x 2,000 gp Stone of good luck
Skill bonus (competence) Bonus squared x 100 gp Cloak of elvenkind
Spell resistance 10,000 gp per point over SR 12; SR 13 minimum Mantle of spell resistance
Weapon bonus (enhancement) Bonus squared x 2,000 gp +1 longsword
Effect Base Price Example
Single use, spell completion Spell level x caster level x 25 gp Scroll of haste
Single use, use-activated Spell level x caster level x 50 gp Potion of cure light wounds
50 charges, spell trigger Spell level x caster level x 750 gp Wand of fireball
Command word Spell level x caster level x 1,800 gp Cape of the mountebank
Use-activated or continuous Spell level x caster level x 2,000 gp (b) Lantern of revealing
Effect Base Price Example
Charges per day Divide by (5 divided by charges per day) Boots of teleportation
No space limitation (c) Multiply entire cost by 2 Ioun stone
Multiple different abilities Multiply lower item cost by 1.5 Helm of brilliance
Charged (50 charges) 1/2 unlimited use base price Ring of the ram
Component Extra Cost Example
Armor, shield, or weapon Add cost of masterwork item +1 composite longbow
Spell has material component cost Add directly into price of item per charge (d) Wand of stoneskin


Spell Level: A 0-level spell is half the value of a 1st-level spell for determining price.

  • (a) Such as a luck, insight, sacred, or profane bonus.
  • (b) 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.
  • (c) An item that does not take up one of the spaces on a body costs double.
  • (d) 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.


Creating Magic Armor: (Contains some changes or clarifications from The SRD)

To create magic armor, 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 armor or the pieces of the armor to be assembled. Armor to be made into magic armor must be masterwork armor, 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 armor—half the base price of the item.

Creating magic armor has a special prerequisite: The creator’s caster level must be at least three times the enhancement bonus of the armor. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met. Magic armor or a magic shield must have at least a 1 enhancement bonus to have any armor or shield special abilities.

If the special prerequisite is not met then the craft check goes up by 5 + 2 for every caster level the creator is short.

If spells are involved in the prerequisites for making the armor, the creator must have prepared the spells to be cast (or must know the spells, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) and must provide any material components or focuses the spells require. The act of working on the armor triggers the prepared spells, making them unavailable for casting during each day of the armor’s creation. (That is, those spell slots are expended from the caster’s currently prepared spells, just as if they had been cast.)

Creating some armor may entail other prerequisites beyond or other than spellcasting. See the individual descriptions for details.

Crafting magic armor requires one day for each 1,000 gp value of the base price.

Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Magic Arms and Armor.

Skill Used in Creation: Spellcraft or Craft (armor).


Creating Magic Weapons: (Contains some changes or clarifications from The SRD)

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. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met. A magic weapon must have at least a 1 enhancement bonus to have any melee or ranged special weapon abilities.*

If the special prerequisite is not met then the craft check goes up by 5 + 2 for every caster level the creator is short.

If spells are involved in the prerequisites for making the weapon, the creator must have prepared the spells to be cast (or must know the spells, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) but need not provide any material components or focuses the spells require. The act of working on the weapon triggers the prepared spells, making them unavailable for casting during each day of the weapon’s creation. (That is, those spell slots are expended from the caster’s currently prepared spells, just as if they had been cast.)

At the time of creation, the creator must decide if the weapon glows or not as a side-effect of the magic imbued within it. 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.

Creating some weapons may entail other prerequisites beyond or other than spellcasting. See the individual descriptions for details.

Crafting a magic weapon requires 1 day for each 1,000 gp value of the base price.
Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Magic Arms and Armor.

Skill Used in Creation: Spellcraft, Craft (bows) (for magic bows and arrows), or Craft (weapons) (for all other weapons).


Creating Potions: (Contains some changes or clarifications from The SRD)

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: 25 gp × the level of the spell × the level of the caster.

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.

The creator must have prepared the spell to be placed in the potion (or must know the spell, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) and must provide any material component or focus the spell requires.

Material components are consumed when he begins working, but a focus is not. (a focus used in brewing a potion can be reused.) The act of brewing triggers the prepared spell, making it unavailable for casting until the character has rested and regained spells. (That is, that spell slot is expended from the caster’s currently prepared spells, just as if it had been cast.)

Brewing a potion requires 1 day.

Item Creation Feat Required: Brew Potion.

Skill Used in Creation: Spellcraft or Craft (alchemy)


Creating Rings: (No change from the Pathfinder SRD).

To create a magic ring, a character needs a heat source. He also needs a supply of materials, the most obvious being a ring or the pieces of the ring to be assembled. The cost for the materials is subsumed in the cost for creating the ring. Ring costs are difficult to determine. Refer to Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values and use the ring prices in the ring descriptions as a guideline. Creating a ring generally costs half the ring’s market price.

Rings 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 ring 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.)

Creating some rings may entail other prerequisites beyond or other than spellcasting. See the individual descriptions for details.

Forging a ring requires 1 day for each 1,000 gp of the base price.

Item Creation Feat Required: Forge Ring.

Skill Used in Creation: Spellcraft or Craft (jewelry).


Creating Rods: (No change from the Pathfinder SRD).

To create a magic rod, a character needs a supply of materials, the most obvious being a rod or the pieces of the rod to be assembled. The cost for the materials is subsumed in the cost for creating the rod. Rod costs are difficult to determine. Refer to Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values and use the rod prices in the rod descriptions as a guideline. Creating a rod costs half the market value listed.

If spells are involved in the prerequisites for making the rod, the creator must have prepared the spells to be cast (or must know the spells, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) but need not provide any material components or focuses the spells require. The act of working on the rod triggers the prepared spells, making them unavailable for casting during each day of the rod’s creation. (That is, those spell slots are expended from the caster’s currently prepared spells, just as if they had been cast.)

Creating some rods may entail other prerequisites beyond or other than spellcasting. See the individual descriptions for details.

Crafting a rod requires 1 day for each 1,000 gp of the base price.

Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Rod.

Skill Used in Creation: Spellcraft, Craft (jewelry), Craft (sculptures), or Craft (weapons).


Creating Scrolls: (No change from the Pathfinder SRD).

To create a scroll, a character needs a supply of choice writing materials, the cost of which is subsumed in the cost for scribing the scroll: 12.5 gp × the level of the spell × the level of the caster.

All writing implements and materials used to scribe a scroll must be fresh and unused. A character must pay the full cost for scribing each spell scroll no matter how many times she previously has scribed the same spell.

The creator must have prepared the spell to be scribed (or must know the spell, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) and must provide any material component or focus the spell requires. A material component is consumed when she begins writing, but a focus is not. (A focus used in scribing a scroll can be reused.) The act of writing triggers the prepared spell, making it unavailable for casting until the character has rested and regained spells. (That is, that spell slot is expended from the caster’s currently prepared spells, just as if it had been cast.)

Scribing a scroll requires 1 day per 1,000 gp of the base price. Although an individual scroll might contain more than one spell, each spell must be scribed as a separate effort, meaning that no more than 1 spell can be scribed in a day.

Item Creation Feat Required: Scribe Scroll.

Skill Used in Creation: Spellcraft, Craft (calligraphy), or Profession (scribe).


Creating Staves: (No change from the Pathfinder SRD).

To create a magic staff, a character needs a supply of materials, the most obvious being a staff or the pieces of the staff to be assembled.

The materials cost is subsumed in the cost of creation: 400 gp × the level of the highest-level spell × the level of the caster, plus 75% of the value of the next most costly ability (300 gp × the level of the spell × the level of the caster), plus 1/2 the value of any other abilities (200 gp × the level of the spell × the level of the caster). Staves are always fully charged (10 charges) when created.

If desired, a spell can be placed into the staff at less than the normal cost, but then activating that particular spell drains additional charges from the staff. Divide the cost of the spell by the number of charges it consumes to determine its final price. Note that this does not change the order in which the spells are priced (the highest level spell is still priced first, even if it requires more than one charge to activate). The caster level of all spells in a staff must be the same, and no staff can have a caster level of less than 8th, even if all the spells in the staff are low-level spells.

The creator must have prepared the spells to be stored (or must know the spells, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) and must provide any focus the spells require as well as material component costs sufficient to activate the spell 50 times (divide this amount by the number of charges one use of the spell expends). Material components are consumed when he begins working, but focuses are not. (A focus used in creating a staff can be reused.) The act of working on the staff triggers the prepared spells, making them unavailable for casting during each day of the staff ‘s creation. (That is, those spell slots are expended from the caster’s currently prepared spells, just as if they had been cast.)

Creating a few staves may entail other prerequisites beyond spellcasting. See the individual descriptions for details.

Crafting a staff requires 1 day for each 1,000 gp of the base price.

Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Staff.

Skill Used in Creation: Spellcraft, Craft (jewelry), Craft (sculptures), or Profession (woodcutter).


Creating Wands: (Contains some changes or clarifications from The SRD)

To create a magic wand, a character needs a small supply of materials, the most obvious being a baton or the pieces of the wand to be assembled. The cost for the materials is subsumed in the cost for creating the wand: 375 gp × the level of the spell × the level of the caster. Wands are always fully charged (50 charges) when created.

The creator must have prepared the spell to be stored (or must know the spell, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) 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 wand can be reused. The act of working on the wand triggers the prepared spell, making it unavailable for casting during each day devoted to the wand’s creation. (That is, that spell slot is expended from the caster’s currently prepared spells, just as if it had been cast.)

You can create a wand of any 4th-level or lower spell that you know, however if the spell has a target of “you” or “personnel” ; the person who activates the wand is the one who receives the benefit of the spell.

Crafting a wand requires 1 day per each 1,000 gp of the base price.

Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Wand.

Skill Used in Creation: Spellcraft, Craft (jewelry), Craft (sculptures), or Profession (woodcutter).


Creating Wondrous Items: (No Change from the Pathfinder SRD).

To create a wondrous 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.

If spells are involved in the prerequisites for making the item, the creator must have prepared the spells to be cast (or must know the spells, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) but need not provide any material components or focuses the spells require. The act of working on the item triggers the prepared 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.)

Creating some items may entail other prerequisites beyond or other than spellcasting. See the individual descriptions for details.

Crafting a wondrous item requires 1 day for each 1,000 gp of the base price.

Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Wondrous Item.

Skill Used In Creation: Spellcraft or an applicable Craft or Profession skill check.


Consolidated Magic Item Creation Rules:

The DC to create a magic item is 5 + the caster level for the item

You cannot take 10 on the skill check to craft magical items – I realize rule as written falls more in favor with the idea of being able to take 10 on this type of check, but I just do not agree with that. Taking 10 practically eliminates any chance of failure or a check that fails by 5 resulting in a cursed object. Allowing the take 10 option virtually guarantees success even when rushing the job, missing prerequisites and so on. (This is very true under 5 + the caster level for the item option, as well as even the 10 + the caster level for the item option I could have and almost choose). This is probably the one ruling that diverges most from RAW and if it turns out to be unfair or unbalanced, I will of course revisit it but for right now this is what I want to go with.

The spell Guidance may be used to augment the Skill Check to craft the Item.

If you have a helper, who has the applicable Craft or Spellcraft skill, they may make an aid another check for each day of crafting, if they make the check for everyday of crafting then the Creator of the magical item will receive a + 2 bonus to the final skill check to craft the item. (Note – the helper has to be present for the entire time it takes to craft the item. If the helper fails to make the aid another check even once the + 2 bonus is forfeited).

You cannot create potions, spell-trigger, or spell-completion items without meeting its prerequisites, furthermore you cannot create items that are obviously spell duplication, spell-trigger, or spell-completion items without meeting its prerequisites (I.e – having access to the spell).

We do not allow Crafting Costs to be reduced by making the item for a specific race, class, alignment or any similar limitation on who may enjoy full use of the item.

Armor to be made into magic armor must be masterwork armor, and the masterwork cost is added to the base price to determine final market value. (There are a few exceptions for special materials when it comes to the masterwork component).

Creating magic armor has a special prerequisite: The creator’s caster level must be at least three times the enhancement bonus of the armor. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met.

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. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met. A magic weapon must have at least a 1 enhancement bonus to have any melee or ranged special weapon abilities.

If the special prerequisite is not met for creating a weapon or armor then the craft check goes up by 5 + 2 for every caster level the creator is short.

The imbiber of the potion is both the caster and the target. Spells with a range of personal cannot be made into potions.

You can create a wand of any 4th-level or lower spell that you know, however if the spell has a target of “you” or “personnel” ; the person who activates the wand is the one who receives the benefit of the spell.

Items may not be made with fewer charges. All items are created fully charged.

With the exception of Magical Arms and Armor, any magical item may be worked on during the adventure. To do this work the character will need to purchase in advance the materials that he will need to create the item. These materials need to be specified for what type of item creation they are to be used for. The character will then note in the equipment section how many gold pieces worth of the item creation materials that he has. (These items will weigh 1/10th of a pound for every 100 gold pieces worth of material). When the character crafts the materials will then be credited towards the cost of making the Item.


PRIME DIRECTIVE

IF IT IS NOT STRAIGHT OUT OF AN ALLOWABLE SOURCE; YOU MUST SUBMIT THE ITEM TO ME FOR APPROVAL AND COST ASSIGNMENT – (I.e. any wonderous item not on the charts)










Magical Item Creation during an Adventure:

Example:

Melf a 5th level wizard is about to follow his comrades on a perilous dungeon crawl. What will they find? How long will he be gone? Melf does not know the answers to these questions, but he is pretty sure that he will not find helpful item creation components, so he decides to stock up. Melf then buys 300 gold pieces worth scroll creation materials and 400 gold pieces worth of potion creating materials. These items weigh .3 and .4 pounds respectively. During the crawl Melf and his party are beset by monsters and are forced to hole up for a couple days, during which time Melf crafts a few scrolls of Magic Missile and Burning Hands. The monsters confront the party and Melf, with the help of his expanded inventory of scrolls; helps to win the day.


Intelligent Items: (This is Vastly Different from the Pathfinder SRD)

For our campaigns, someone cannot craft an intelligent item unless they have a willing or an unwilling soul to imbue the item with sentience.

A willing soul can be any sentient creature (I.e – Intelligence of 6 or above) who agrees to allow their soul to be infused into the item. A willing soul cannot be compulsed into agreement via charm, domination, summoning or any other possible thing that affects free will of the creature to make the decision to imbue his soul into the item.

A unwilling soul is a soul that you have power over (usually via a Trap the Soul spell or other similar magic). As above an unwilling soul cannot just simply be compulsed into agreement via charm, domination, summoning or similar non soul binding magic.

Insofar as the enchantment procedures after procuring the soul for sentience are concerned; they will follow Pathfinder SRD RAW for now.

Next Section…
Mundane and Magical Items


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Crafting Magical Items

A Manifestation of Chaos Leonidas300