Armor | Artifacts | Cursed Items | Intelligent Items | Potions/Oils | Rings | Rods | Staves | Weapons | Wondrous Items | Other

Minor Artifacts | Major Artifacts | Metagame Artifacts | Transcendent Artifacts

The Pathfinder RPG is designed to be a game of details, explanations, and options. A GM confounded by how a bead of force works need only look to something that creates a similar effect, like resilient sphere, for an explanation of a comparable function. One purposeful gap in the rules exists for artifacts, however. This wiggle room allows a necessary flexibility for exciting items without existing analogs, concepts that buck established guidelines, or ideas that simply prove too elaborate to quantify. There’s a place beyond Golarion where people besides villains and heroes might find the power of artifacts to hand-wave certain game elements useful, though. The place is at the game table, and the people are GMs.

There’s a certain suspension of disbelief that even the most intricately plotted and deliberately planned RPG session requires. Sometimes a player doesn’t show up and so her character just seems to vanish. Sometimes new rules present innovations too tempting for established characters to ignore. Sometimes players and GMs just don’t want to concern themselves with the details of encumbrance, tracking rations, using alignment, speaking in character, or countless other conventions. Artifacts might serve as a way for a GM to grant PCs an in-game explanation for out-of-game concerns.

Although all of the artifacts in this book are optional in that it’s up to a GM to decide whether or not to include them in his game, the following four artifacts are called out as special cases. These artifacts exist for GMs to address some of the real-world concerns of running a game, and are therefore presented without histories or ties to Golarion. Consider these to be utility artifacts, boons a GM might grant at an early level and that further mark PCs as special inhabitants of the campaign world. They probably shouldn’t be utilized or sought after by NPCs, as they aren’t meant to be campaign MacGuff ins, but should rather serve to ease some of the occasional challenges presented by the realities of RPGs and their players. Additionally, since these artifacts are meant to be rarities and have no set gold piece values, their impact on game balance and certain particulars of how they work should largely fade into the background.

Again, the following artifacts should not be considered a canonical part of Golarion’s history or something of which even the greatest scholars of that world are necessarily aware. Rather, they are artifact-level utility items meant to make running and playing the game easier and to present additional options and explanations for issues hand-waved in many games, should GMs seek to experiment with them.

NameSource (Possible Spoilers)
Figurine of the Concealed CompanionArtifacts and Legends
Hourglass of TransfigurationArtifacts and Legends
Scar of DestinyArtifacts and Legends
Sliver of the Amalgam MindArtifacts and Legends