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Magic Items

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 458
From the common potion of cure light wounds to the mighty holy avenger, magic items are valuable tools used by heroes and villains alike. This chapter contains a wide variety of items to enhance any character.

Magic items are divided into categories: armor, weapons, potions, rings, rods, scrolls, staves, wands, and wondrous items. In addition, some magic items are cursed or intelligent. Finally, a few magic items are of such rarity and power that they are considered to belong to a category of their own— artifacts. Artifacts are classified in turn as minor (extremely rare but not one-of-a-kind items) or major (each one unique and incredibly potent).

Magic Items and Detect Magic

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 458
When detect magic identifies a magic item’s school of magic, this information refers to the school of the spell placed within the potion, scroll, or wand, or the prerequisite given for the item. The description of each item provides its aura strength and the school to which it belongs.

If more than one spell is given as a prerequisite, use the highest-level spell. If no spells are included in the prerequisites, use the following default guidelines.
Item NatureSchool
Armors and protection itemsAbjuration
Weapons or offensive itemsEvocation
Bonus to ability score, skill check, etc.Transmutation

Using Items

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 458
To use a magic item, it must be activated, although sometimes activation simply means putting a ring on your f inger. 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 def lect 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 benef it of the item comes automatically, such as from drinking a potion or swinging a sword.

Magic Items on the Body

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 459
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.

Armor: suits of armor.

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, helms, and masks.

Headband: headbands and phylacteries.

Neck: amulets, brooches, medallions, necklaces, periapts, and scarabs.

Ring (up to two): rings.

Shield: shields.

Shoulders: capes and cloaks.

Wrist: bracelets and bracers.

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.

Saving Throws Against Magic Item Powers

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 459
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

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 459
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 nonmagical 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, Ref lex, 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 nonmagical 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).

Purchasing Magic Items

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 460
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 15–1). 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 15–2 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.

Table 15-1: Available Magic Items

Community SizeBase ValueMinorMediumMajor
Thorp50 gp1d4 items
Hamlet200 gp1d6 items
Village500 gp2d4 items1d4 items
Small town1,000 gp3d4 items1d6 items
Large town2,000 gp3d4 items2d4 items1d4 items
Small city4,000 gp4d4 items3d4 items1d6 items
Large city8,000 gp4d4 items3d4 items2d4 items
Metropolis16,000 gp*4d4 items3d4 items
* In a metropolis, nearly all minor magic items are available.

Table 15-2: Random Magic Item Generation

MinorMediumMajorItem
01-0401-1001-10Armor and shields
05-0911-2011-20Weapons
10-4421-3021-25Potions
45-4631-4026-35Rings
41-5036-45Rods
47-8151-6546-55Scrolls
66-6856-75Staves
82-9169-8356-80Wands
92-10084-10081-100Wondrous items

Magic Item Descriptions

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 460
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, modif ied 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 Chapter 10 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.

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 Armor

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 461
In general, magic armor protects the wearer to a greater extent than nonmagical armor. Magic armor bonuses are enhancement bonuses, never rise above +5, and stack with regular armor bonuses (and with shield and magic shield enhancement bonuses). All magic armor is also masterwork armor, reducing armor check penalties by 1.

In addition to an enhancement bonus, armor may have special abilities. Special abilities usually count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of an item, but do not improve AC. A suit of armor cannot have an effective bonus (enhancement plus special ability bonus equivalents, including from character abilities and spells) higher than +10. A suit of armor with a special ability must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

A suit of armor 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 Chapter 6).

Armor is always created so that if the type of armor 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.

Caster Level for Armor and Shields: The caster level of a magic shield or magic armor 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 armor enhancement bonuses. 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 AC.

As with armor, special abilities built into the shield add to the market value in the form of additions to the bonus of the shield, although they do not improve AC. A shield cannot have an effective bonus (enhancement plus special ability bonus equivalents) higher than +10. A shield with a special ability must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

Activation: Usually a character benefits from magic armor and shields in exactly the way a character benefits from nonmagical armor and shields: by wearing them. If armor 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).

Armor for Unusual Creatures: The cost of armor for nonhumanoid creatures, as well as for creatures who are neither Small nor Medium, varies (see Chapter 6). The cost of the masterwork quality and any magical enhancement remains the same.

Table 15-3: Armor and Shields

31-4001-0841-5009-1651-5517-2756-5728-38
MinorMediumMajorItemBase Price
01-6001-05+1 shield1,000 gp
61-8006-10+1 armor1,000 gp
81-8511-20+2 shield4,000 gp
86-8721-30+2 armor4,000 gp
+3 shield9,000 gp
+3 armor9,000 gp
+4 shield16,000 gp
+4 armor16,000 gp
39-49+5 shield25,000 gp
50-57+5 armor25,000 gp
+6 armor/shield136,000 gp
+7 armor/shield149,000 gp
+8 armor/shield164,000 gp
+9 armor/shield181,000 gp
+10 armor/shield1100,000 gp
88-8958-6058-60Specific armor2
90-9161-6361-63Specific shield3
92-10064-10064-100Special ability and roll again4
1 Armor and shields can’t have enhancement bonuses higher than +5. Use these lines to determine price when special abilities are added in.
2 See here for specific armors.
3 See here for specific shields.
4 See here for armor and here for shields.

Magic Weapons

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 468
A magic weapon is enhanced to strike more truly and deliver more damage. Magic weapons have enhancement bonuses ranging from +1 to +5. They apply these bonuses to both attack and damage rolls when used in combat. All magic weapons are also masterwork weapons, but their masterwork bonuses on attack rolls do not stack with their enhancement bonuses on attack rolls.

Weapons come in two basic categories: melee and ranged. Some of the weapons listed as melee weapons can also be used as ranged weapons. In this case, their enhancement bonuses apply to both melee and ranged attacks.

Some magic weapons have special abilities. Special abilities count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of the item, but do not modify attack or damage bonuses except where specifically noted). A single weapon cannot have a modified bonus (enhancement bonus plus special ability bonus equivalents, including from character abilities and spells) higher than +10. A weapon with a special ability must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus. Weapons cannot possess the same special ability more than once.

Weapons or ammunition can 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 Chapter 6).

Caster Level for Weapons: The caster level of a weapon with a special ability is given in the item description. For an item with only an enhancement bonus and no other abilities, 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.

Additional Damage Dice: Some magic weapons deal additional dice of damage. Unlike other modifiers to damage, additional dice of damage are not multiplied when the attacker scores a critical hit.

Ranged Weapons and Ammunition: The enhancement bonus from a ranged weapon does not stack with the enhancement bonus from ammunition. Only the higher of the two enhancement bonuses applies.

Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Similarly, ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an alignment gains the alignment of that projectile weapon.

Magic Ammunition and Breakage: When a magic arrow, crossbow bolt, or sling bullet misses its target, there is a 50% chance it breaks or is otherwise rendered useless. A magic arrow, bolt, or bullet that successfully hits a target is automatically destroyed after it delivers its damage.

Light Generation: Fully 30% of magic weapons shed light equivalent to a light spell. These glowing weapons are quite obviously magical. Such a weapon can’t be concealed when drawn, nor can its light be shut off. Some of the specific weapons detailed below always or never glow, as defined in their descriptions.

Hardness and Hit Points: Each +1 of a magic weapon’s enhancement bonus adds +2 to its hardness and +10 to its hit points. See also Table 7–12 on page 175.

Activation: Usually a character benefits from a magic weapon in the same way a character benefits from a mundane weapon— by wielding (attacking with) it. If a weapon has a special ability that the user needs to activate, then the user usually needs to utter a command word (a standard action). A character can activate the special abilities of 50 pieces of ammunition at the same time, assuming each piece has identical abilities.

Magic Weapons and Critical Hits: Some weapon special abilities and some specific weapons have an extra effect on a critical hit. This special effect also functions against creatures not normally subject to critical hits. On a successful critical roll, apply the special effect, but do not multiply the weapon’s regular damage.

Weapons for Unusually Sized Creatures: The cost of weapons for creatures who are neither Small nor Medium varies (see Chapter 6). The cost of the masterwork quality and any magical enhancement remains the same.

Special Qualities: Roll d%. A 01–30 result indicates that the item sheds light, 31–45 indicates that something (a design, inscription, or the like) provides a clue to the weapon’s function, and 46–100 indicates no special qualities.

Table 15-8: Weapons

MinorMediumMajorWeapon BonusBase Price1
01-7001-10+12,000 gp
71-8511-29+28,000 gp
30-5801-20+318,000 gp
59-6221-38+432,000 gp
39-49+550,000 gp
+6272,000 gp
+7298,000 gp
+82128,000 gp
+92162,000 gp
+102200,000 gp
86-9063-6850-63Specifc weapon3
92-10069-10064-100Special ability and roll again4

1 For ammunition, this price is for 50 arrows, bolts, or bullets.
2 A weapon can’t have an enhancement bonus higher than +5. Use these lines to determine price when special abilities are added in.
3 See here.
4 See here for melee weapons and here for ranged weapons.

Potions

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 477
A potion is a magic liquid that produces its effect when imbibed. Potions vary incredibly in appearance. Magic oils are similar to potions, except that oils are applied externally rather than imbibed. A potion or oil can be used only once. It can duplicate the effect of a spell of up to 3rd level that has a casting time of less than 1 minute and targets one or more creatures or objects. The price of a potion is equal to the level of the spell × the creator’s caster level × 50 gp. If the potion has a material component cost, it is added to the base price and cost to create. Table 15–12 gives sample prices for potions created at the lowest possible caster level for each spellcasting class. Note that some spells appear at different levels for different casters. The level of such spells depends on the caster brewing the potion.

Potions are like spells cast upon the imbiber. The character taking the potion doesn’t get to make any decisions about the effect—the caster who brewed the potion has already done so. The drinker of a potion is both the effective target and the caster of the effect (though the potion indicates the caster level, the drinker still controls the effect).

The person applying an oil is the effective caster, but the object is the target.

Physical Description: A typical potion or oil consists of 1 ounce of liquid held in a ceramic or glass vial fitted with a tight stopper. The stoppered container is usually no more than 1 inch wide and 2 inches high. The vial has AC 13, 1 hit point, hardness 1, and a break DC of 12.

Identifying Potions: In addition to the standard methods of identification, PCs can sample from each container they find to attempt to determine the nature of the liquid inside with a Perception check. The DC of this check is equal to 15 + the spell level of the potion (although this DC might be higher for rare or unusual potions).

Activation: Drinking a potion or applying an oil requires no special skill. The user merely removes the stopper and swallows the potion or smears on the oil. The following rules govern potion and oil use.

Drinking a potion or using an oil is a standard action. The potion or oil takes effect immediately. Using a potion or oil provokes attacks of opportunity. An enemy may direct an attack of opportunity against the potion or oil container rather than against the character. A successful attack of this sort can destroy the container, preventing the character from drinking the potion or applying the oil.

A creature must be able to swallow a potion or smear on an oil. Because of this, incorporeal creatures cannot use potions or oils. Any corporeal creature can imbibe a potion or use an oil.

A character can carefully administer a potion to an unconscious creature as a full-round action, trickling the liquid down the creature’s throat. Likewise, it takes a full-round action to apply an oil to an unconscious creature.

Table 15-12: Potions

MinorMediumMajorSpell LevelCaster Level
01-2001st
21-6001-201st1st
61-10021-6001-202nd3rd
61-10021-1003rd5th

Potion Costs

Spell LevelCleric, Druid, WizardSorcererBardPaladin, Ranger
025 gp25 gp25 gp
1st50 gp50 gp50 gp50 gp
2nd300 gp400 gp400 gp400 gp
3rd750 gp900 gp1,050 gp1,050 gp

Rings

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 478
Rings bestow magical powers upon their wearers. Only a rare few have charges—most magic rings are permanent and potent magic items. Anyone can use a ring.

A character can only effectively wear two magic rings. A third magic ring doesn’t work if the wearer is already wearing two magic rings.

Physical Description: Rings have no appreciable weight. Although exceptions exist that are crafted from glass or bone, the vast majority of rings are forged from metal—usually precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum. A ring has AC 13, 2 hit points, hardness 10, and a break DC of 25.

Activation: A ring’s ability is usually activated by a spoken command word (a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity) or its effects work continually. Some rings have unusual activations, as mentioned in the ring’s specific description.

Special Qualities: Roll d%. A result of 01 indicates the ring is intelligent, 02–31 indicates that something (a design, inscription, or the like) provides a clue to its function, and 32–100 indicates no special qualities. Intelligent items have extra abilities and sometimes extraordinary powers and special purposes (see page 532). Rings with charges can never be intelligent.

Rods

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 484
Rods are scepter-like devices that have unique magical powers and do not usually have charges. Anyone can use a rod.

Physical Description: Rods weigh approximately 5 pounds. They range from 2 feet to 3 feet long and are usually made of iron or some other metal. (Many, as noted in their descriptions, can function as light maces or clubs due to their hardy construction.) These sturdy items have AC 9, 10 hit points, hardness 10, and a break DC of 27.

Activation: Details relating to rod use vary from item to item. Unless noted otherwise, you must be holding a rod to use its abilities. See the individual descriptions for specifics. Special Qualities: Roll d%. A 01 result indicates the rod is intelligent, 02–31 indicates that something (a design, inscription, or the like) provides a clue to its function, and 32– 100 indicates no special qualities. Intelligent items have extra abilities and sometimes extraordinary powers and special purposes (see Intelligent Items later in this chapter).

Rods with charges can never be intelligent.

Scrolls

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 490
A scroll is a spell (or collection of spells) that has been stored in written form. A spell on a scroll can be used only once. The writing vanishes from the scroll when the spell is activated. Using a scroll is basically like casting a spell. The price of a scroll is equal to the level of the spell × the creator’s caster level × 25 gp. If the scroll has a material component cost, it is added to the base price and cost to create. Table 15–15 gives sample prices for scrolls created at the lowest possible caster level for each spellcasting class. Note that some spells appear at different levels for different casters. The level of such spells depends on the caster scribing the scroll.

Physical Description: A scroll is a heavy sheet of fine vellum or high-quality paper. An area about 8-1/2 inches wide and 11 inches long is sufficient to hold one spell. The sheet is reinforced at the top and bottom with strips of leather slightly longer than the sheet is wide. A scroll holding more than one spell has the same width (about 8-1/2 inches) but is an extra foot or so long for each additional spell. Scrolls that hold three or more spells are usually fitted with reinforcing rods at each end rather than simple strips of leather. A scroll has AC 9, 1 hit point, hardness 0, and a break DC of 8.

To protect it from wrinkling or tearing, a scroll is rolled up from both ends to form a double cylinder. (This also helps the user unroll the scroll quickly.) The scroll is placed in a tube of ivory, jade, leather, metal, or wood. Most scroll cases are inscribed with magic symbols which often identify the owner or the spells stored on the scrolls inside. The symbols sometimes hide magic traps.

Activation: To activate a scroll, a spellcaster must read the spell written on it. This involves several steps and conditions.

Decipher the Writing: The writing on a scroll must be deciphered before a character can use it or know exactly what spell it contains. This requires a read magic spell or a successful Spellcraft check (DC 20 + spell level). Deciphering a scroll is a full-round action.

Deciphering a scroll to determine its contents does not activate its magic unless it is a specially prepared cursed scroll. A character can decipher the writing on a scroll in advance so that she can proceed directly to the next step when the time comes to use the scroll.

Activate the Spell: Activating a scroll requires reading the spell from the scroll. The character must be able to see and read the writing on the scroll. Activating a scroll spell requires no material components or focus. (The creator of the scroll provided these when scribing the scroll.) Note that some spells are effective only when cast on an item or items. In such a case, the scroll user must provide the item when activating the spell. Activating a scroll spell is subject to disruption just as casting a normally prepared spell would be. Using a scroll is like casting a spell for purposes of arcane spell failure chance.

To have any chance of activating a scroll spell, the scroll user must meet the following requirements.
  • The spell must be of the correct type (arcane or divine). Arcane spellcasters (wizards, sorcerers, and bards) can only use scrolls containing arcane spells, and divine spellcasters (clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers) can only use scrolls containing divine spells. (The type of scroll a character creates is also determined by his class.)
  • The user must have the spell on her class list.
  • The user must have the requisite ability score.
If the user meets all the requirements noted above, and her caster level is at least equal to the spell’s caster level, she can automatically activate the spell without a check. If she meets all three requirements but her own caster level is lower than the scroll spell’s caster level, then she has to make a caster level check (DC = scroll’s caster level + 1) to cast the spell successfully. If she fails, she must make a DC 5 Wisdom check to avoid a mishap (see Scroll Mishaps). A natural roll of 1 always fails, whatever the modifiers. If the caster level check fails but no mishap occurs, the scroll is not expended. Activating a scroll is a standard action (or the spell’s casting time, whichever is longer) and it provokes attacks of opportunity exactly as casting a spell does.

Determine Effect: A spell successfully activated from a scroll works exactly like a spell prepared and cast the normal way. Assume the scroll spell’s caster level is always the minimum level required to cast the spell for the character who scribed the scroll, unless the scriber specif ically desired otherwise.

The writing for an activated spell disappears from the scroll as the spell is cast. Scroll Mishaps: When a mishap occurs, the spell on the scroll has a reversed or harmful effect. Possible mishaps are given below.
  • A surge of uncontrolled magical energy deals 1d6 points of damage per spell level to the scroll user.
  • Spell strikes the scroll user or an ally instead of the intended target, or a random target nearby if the scroll user was the intended recipient.
  • Spell takes effect at some random location within spell range.
  • Spell’s effect on the target is contrary to the spell’s normal effect.
  • The scroll user suffers some minor but bizarre effect related to the spell in some way. Most such effects should last only as long as the original spell’s duration, or 2d10 minutes for instantaneous spells.
  • Some innocuous item or items appear in the spell’s area.
  • Spell has delayed effect. Sometime within the next 1d12 hours, the spell activates. If the scroll user was the intended recipient, the spell takes effect normally. If the user was not the intended recipient, the spell goes off in the general direction of the original recipient or target, up to the spell’s maximum range, if the target has moved away.


Table 15-15: Scrolls

MinorMediumMajorSpell LevelCaster Level
01-0501st
06-5011st
51-9501-0523rd
96-10006-6535th
66-9501-0547th
96-10006-5059th
51-70611th
71-85713th
86-95815th
96-100917th


Scroll Costs

Spell LevelCleric, Druid, WizardSorcererBardPaladin, Ranger
012.5 gp12.5 gp12.5 gp
1st25 gp25 gp25 gp25 gp
2nd150 gp200 gp200 gp200 gp
3rd375 gp450 gp525 gp525 gp
4th700 gp800 gp1,000 gp1,000 gp
5th1,125 gp1,250 gp1,625 gp
6th1,650 gp1,800 gp2,400 gp
7th2,275 gp2,450 gp
8th3,000 gp3,200 gp
9th3,825 gp4,050 gp

Staves

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 491
A staff is a long shaft that stores several spells. Unlike wands, which can contain a wide variety of spells, each staff is of a certain kind and holds specific spells. A staff has 10 charges when created.

Physical Description: A typical staff measures anywhere from 4 feet to 7 feet long and is 2 inches to 3 inches thick, weighing about 5 pounds. Most staves are wood, but an exotic few are bone, metal, or even glass. A staff often has a gem or some device at its tip or is shod in metal at one or both ends. Staves are often decorated with carvings or runes. A typical staff is like a walking stick, quarterstaff, or cudgel. It has AC 7, 10 hit points, hardness 5, and a break DC of 24.

Activation: Staves use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a staff is usually a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast has a longer casting time than 1 standard action, however, it takes that long to cast the spell from a staff.) To activate a staff, a character must hold it forth in at least one hand (or whatever passes for a hand, for nonhumanoid creatures).

Special Qualities: Roll d%. A 01–30 result indicates that something (a design, inscription, or the like) provides some clue to the staff ’s function, and 31–100 indicates no special qualities.

Using Staves: Staves use the wielder’s ability score and relevant feats to set the DC for saves against their spells. Unlike with other sorts of magic items, the wielder can use his caster level when activating the power of a staff if it’s higher than the caster level of the staff.

This means that staves are far more potent in the hands of a powerful spellcaster. Because they use the wielder’s ability score to set the save DC for the spell, spells from a staff are often harder to resist than those from other magic items, which use the minimum ability score required to cast the spell. Not only are aspects of the spell dependent on caster level (range, duration, and so on) potentially higher, but spells from a staff are also harder to dispel and have a better chance of overcoming a target’s spell resistance.

Staves hold a maximum of 10 charges. Each spell cast from a staff consumes one or more charges. When a staff runs out of charges, it cannot be used until it is recharged. Each morning, when a spellcaster prepares spells or regains spell slots, he can also imbue one staff with a portion of his power so long as one or more of the spells cast by the staff is on his spell list and he is capable of casting at least one of the spells. Imbuing a staff with this power restores one charge to the staff, but the caster must forgo one prepared spell or spell slot of a level equal to the highest-level spell cast by the staff. For example, a 9th-level wizard with a staff of fire could imbue the staff with one charge per day by using up one of his 4th-level spells. A staff cannot gain more than one charge per day and a caster cannot imbue more than one staff per day.

Furthermore, a staff can hold a spell of any level, unlike a wand, which is limited to spells of 4th level or lower. The minimum caster level of a staff is 8th.

Wands

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 496
A wand is a thin baton that contains a single spell of 4th level or lower. A wand has 50 charges when created—each charge allows the use of the wand’s spell one time. A wand that runs out of charges is just a stick. The price of a wand is equal to the level of the spell × the creator’s caster level × 750 gp. If the wand has a material component cost, it is added to the base price and cost to create once for each charge (50 × material component cost). Table 15–17 gives sample prices for wands created at the lowest possible caster level for each spellcasting class. Note that some spells appear at different levels for different casters. The level of such spells depends on the caster crafting the wand.

Physical Description: A wand is 6 to 12 inches long, 1/4 inch thick, and weighs no more than 1 ounce. Most wands are wood, but some are bone, metal, or even crystal. A typical wand has AC 7, 5 hit points, hardness 5, and a break DC of 16.

Activation: Wands use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a wand is usually a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast has a longer casting time than 1 action, however, it takes that long to cast the spell from a wand.) To activate a wand, a character must hold it in hand (or whatever passes for a hand, for nonhumanoid creatures) and point it in the general direction of the target or area. A wand may be used while grappling or while swallowed whole.

Special Qualities: Roll d%. A 01–30 result indicates that something (a design, inscription, or the like) provides some clue to the wand’s function, and 31–100 indicates no special qualities.

Table 15-17: Wands

MinorMediumMajorSpell LevelCaster Level
01-0501st
06-601st1st
61-10001-6062nd3rd
61-10001-603rd5th
61-1004th7th

Wand Costs

Spell LevelCleric, Druid, WizardSorcererBardPaladin, Ranger
0375 gp375 gp375 gp
1st750 gp750 gp750 gp750 gp
2nd4,500 gp6,000 gp6,000 gp6,000 gp
3rd11,250 gp13,500 gp15,750 gp15,750 gp
4th21,000 gp24,000 gp30,000 gp30,000 gp

Wondrous Items

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 496
This is a catch all category for anything that doesn’t fall into the other groups. Anyone can use a wondrous item (unless specified otherwise in the description).

Physical Description: Varies.

Activation: Usually use-activated or command word, but details vary from item to item.

Special Qualities: Roll d%. An 01 result indicates the wondrous item is intelligent, 02–31 indicates that something (a design, inscription, or the like) provides a clue to its function, and 32–100 indicates no special qualities. Intelligent items have extra abilities and sometimes extraordinary powers and special purposes (see Intelligent Items later in this chapter).

Wondrous items with charges can never be intelligent.

Intelligent Items

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 532
Magic items sometimes have intelligence of their own. Magically imbued with sentience, these items think and feel the same way characters do and should be treated as NPCs. Intelligent items have extra abilities and sometimes extraordinary powers and special purposes. Only permanent magic items (as opposed to single-use items or those with charges) can be intelligent. (This means that potions, scrolls, and wands, among other items, are never intelligent.) In general, less than 1% of magic items have intelligence.

Intelligent items can actually be considered creatures because they have Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Treat them as constructs. Intelligent items often have the ability to illuminate their surroundings at will (as magic weapons do); many cannot see otherwise.

Unlike most magic items, intelligent items can activate their own powers without waiting for a command word from their owner. Intelligent items act during their owner’s turn in the initiative order.

Cursed Items

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 536
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 15–27 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.

Artifacts

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 .

Magic Item Creation

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 548
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 (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 potions, spell-trigger, or 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 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 inf luence 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 welllit 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.