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Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 543
Artifacts are extremely powerful. Rather than merely another form of magical equipment, they are the sorts of legendary relics that whole campaigns can be based on. Each could be the center of a whole set of adventures—a quest to recover it, a fight against an opponent wielding it, a mission to cause its destruction, and so on.

Unlike normal magic items, artifacts are not easily destroyed. Instead of construction information, each artifact includes one possible means by which it might be destroyed.

Artifacts can never be purchased, nor are they found as part of a random treasure hoard. When placing an artifact in your game, be sure to consider its impact and role. Remember that artifacts are fickle objects, and if they become too much of a nuisance, they can easily disappear or become lost once again .

Minor Artifacts

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 543
Minor artifacts are not necessarily unique items. Even so, they are magic items that no longer can be created, at least by common mortal means.

Major Artifacts

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 547
Major artifacts are unique items—only one of each such item exists. These are the most potent of magic items, capable of altering the balance of a campaign. Unlike all other magic items, major artifacts are not easily destroyed. Each should have only a single, specific means of destruction.