ARRGS – Magic Items

Any inanimate object can be enchanted with magic to grant it additional powers and enhancements beyond its normal capabilities. Adventurers can acquire these magically enhanced items to improve their performance in certain situations.

Magic items are rare and expensive to produce, even more so than casting magic spells and performing magic rituals. They come with a variety of properties that determine how often the powers can be used, who they affect, from what distance, and how the powers are activated.

Magic Item Slots

Magic interferes with magic, and much like spells from the same caster do not overlap, so to do magic items worn by the same person interact. This limits the places a character may wear a magical item (known as Magic Item Slots) to prevent this interference from occurring. Only one magical item may be worn in a Magic Item Slot, if more than one magic item is worn in the same slot then only one will work (the last item donned).

The list of Magic Item Slots is as follows:

  • Head
  • Neck
  • Torso
  • Waist
  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Tool

There are many types of magical items that can be worn. On the head one may don a crown, helmet, glasses, masks, hat, earrings. On the torso can be worn armour, shirt,  robe, vest, cape, cloak. Tools are held in the hand but are extensions to the body and do not count as part of the hand, these tools may include weapons, a shield, lockpicks, a symbol. As many tools may be held and used as the character possesses hands.

Creating Magic Items

Creating a magical item involves preparing the item to accept enchantments of a certain level of power. This is represented by the Enhancement Level of an item, it represents the maximum amount of magic an item can accept, it also forms the base cost to produce such an item.

Once an enhancement level is decided upon then the creator must decide upon what parameters and magical properties to add to the item which will further alter the cost price. The price is given in gp (gold pieces) and as such is well beyond the capability of all but the richest merchants, nobles, and royalty to commission production of.

In order to calculate the final cost price take the Base Price, add all the Price Modifiers from the selected Magical Properties, finally add all the Price Multipliers from the Magical Parameters and multiply the Base Price + Price Modifier total by the final Price Multiplier.

Enhancement Level Base Price
+1 +1,000 gp
+2 +5,000 gp
+3 +10,000 gp
+4 +50,000 gp
+5 +100,000 gp
+6 +500,000 gp
+7 +1,000,000 gp
+8 +5,000,000 gp
+9 +10,000,000 gp
+7 +50,000,000 gp

Hardness: For each Enhancement Level a magic item possesses, increase the Hardness of that item by +1.

Hit Points: For each Enhancement Level a magic item possesses, increase the Hit Points of that item by +1.

Magical Properties

A magical item will accept any number of magical properties. Each magical property is assigned an enhancement level that may not exceed the enhancement level of the magic item (although it can be less to reduce the initial cost). Each magical property also has a number of parameters that determine the number of uses, the range and target, and the method of activation of the property. These parameters are applied separately to each magical property.

All magical properties and parameters modify the Base Price to give a final cost in gp to create the magical item.

  • Agile: The item reduces the Check Penalty by +1 per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +1,000 per enhancement level.
  • Aligned: Choose an alignment component when creating the item (Chaotic, Evil, Good, Lawful). The item deals +1d6 Damage (of the same type as the weapon it is applied to or Bludgeoning if not a weapon) per enhancement level to any creature possessing the chosen alignment descriptor (usually only Outsiders possess an alignment keyword).
    Price Modifier = +1,000 per enhancement level.
  • Bane: The item increases the bonus to Attack checks by +1 and Damage rolls by +1d6 (of the same type as the weapon it is applied to or Bludgeoning if not a weapon) per enhancement level, but only against creatures of a particular race (selected when the item is created.
    Price Modifier = +1,000 per enhancement level.
  • Bleeding: The item inflicts the Bleeding condition, applied once per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Brilliant: The item ignores +1 Damage Resistance per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Clouting: The item knocks back the target +1 square per enhancement level with a successful Spell Attack (1d20+1 per enhancement level) against the target’s Fortitude Save check.
    Price Modifier = +1,000 per enhancement level.
  • Critical: The item increases the bonus to Critical Damage by +1d6 per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +1,000 per enhancement level.
  • Damage Resistance: The item increases the bonus to Damage Resistance by +2 per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Deadly: The item increases the bonus to Attack checks and Damage rolls by +1 per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Detonate: The item deals 1 Bludgeoning/Force damage per enhancement level and causes anyone struck by the object to be moved 1 square per enhancement level in a direction away from the object.
    Price Modifier = +1,000 per enhancement level.
  • Disrupting: The item deals +1d6 Positive Energy damage per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +3,000 per enhancement level.
  • Drowcraft: The item must make a DC 10 Fortitude save check every round it is in contact with sunlight levels of light or be disintegrated. This property requires no sub properties.
    Price Modifier = -1,000 per enhancement level.
  • Energy: The item deals +1d6 energy damage (select one type of energy damage during item creation; Acid, Cold, Electricity, Fire, Sonic, Positive, or Negative) per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Energy Resistance: The item increases the bonus to Energy Resistance by +2 per enhancement level (select one particular type of energy damage during item creation, the wearer loses vulnerability to that type).
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Enhancement: Choose an ability score when creating the item (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma). The item provides a +1 Item bonus per enhancement level to that ability score.
    Price Modifier = +4,000 per enhancement level.
  • Enspelled (Spell): The item unleashes a spell effect identical to the spell chosen during creation at a Spell Level up to a maximum of the enhancement level. Saturated modifier = Spell Level.
    Price Modifier = +1,000 per enhancement level.
  • Horizon: The item increases the Range increment by +1 square per enhancement level. If the item does not possess a range increment then it gains one when this property is added to it (allowing the wielder to use the item for its primary purpose at range).
    Price Modifier = +1,000 per enhancement level.
  • Impact: The item deals +1d6 damage per enhancement level (Bludgeoning Damage Type or the same Damage Type as the item already possesses).
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Keen: The item increases the bonus to Critical Threat Range by +1 per enhancement level. This increases the range and so 20 becomes 19-20, 19-20 becomes 18-20, etc.
    Price Modifier = +1,000 per enhancement level.
  • Magic Resistance: The item increases the bonus to Save checks against magical effects by +1 per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Metamagic: This item increases the bonus to spell numeric parameters (Range, Duration, Area, Effect, Damage, etc) by +1 per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Protection: The item increases the bonus to Armour checks by +1 per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Reflecting: The item allows the wielder to reflect a spell back with a Spell Attack check (1d20 +1 per enhancement level) against the caster’s Spell Attack check. The spell level must be equal to or less than the enhancement level and must target the wielder of the item with this property (Area attacks do not count).
    Price Modifier = +1,000 per enhancement level.
  • Regeneration: The item grants the Regeneration special ability and a +1 Item bonus per enhancement level to the regeneration pool.
    Price Modifier = +4,000 per enhancement level.
  • Replenishing: The item automatically replaces any additional items used as part of its operation (for instance a bow automatically replaces any arrows used, a gun replaces any ammo and gunpowder, etc) at a rate of 1 unit per minute. These replacements are always normal and non-magical.
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Returning: The item flies 1 square per enhancement level per round towards its last owner in as straight a line as possible (most useful for throwing and missile weapons).
    Price Modifier = +1,000 per enhancement level.
  • Shock: The Item deals +1d6 Electricity damage per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Skilled (Skill): The item increases the bonus to any one Skill (chosen by the creator during the enchanting process) by +1 per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Slaying: The item inflicts the Dying condition, applied once per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +3,000 per enhancement level.
  • Speed: The item increases the bonus to the number of Immediate Actions by +1 per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +3,000 per enhancement level.
  • Spell Focus: The item may be used as a spell focus as part of casting a spell, and can be used to channel magical energy as a weapon (see Weapons section). This magical property requires no sub properties.
    Price Modifier = +1,000.
  • Spell Reservoir: The item provides a +1 Item bonus per enhancement level to the number of spells per day the wearer may cast. The spell level of these additional slots are chosen by the creator of the item but the combined total of their spell levels may not exceed the enhancement level (they may otherwise be distributed as the creator sees fit).
    Price Modifier = +3,000 per enhancement level.
  • Storing: The item allows storage of 100 lb per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = +2,000 per enhancement level.
  • Summoning: The item summons a creature of CR 1 per enhancement level for 1 round per enhancement level.
    Price Modifier = 2,000 per enhancement level.

Magical Parameters

Each Magical Property has a number of parameters associated with it that determine how many times the property can be used, its range/target, method of activation, and what the final cost price will be. When adding a property decide upon each of the parameters in a category independently.

Number of Uses: This parameter determines the number of times a particular property can be used before the magical energy powering it becomes exhausted.

  • Charged: The magic item has a finite number of charges of the property that are expended with each use of the property. Once exhausted the property in question is no longer available for use until it is recharged.
    Price Multiplier = x0.01 per charge
  • Permanent: The magic item has an unlimited number of uses.
    Price Multiplier = x2
  • Pool: The magic item has a number of charges (or recharges) but the same number of charges (or recharges) is used for a number of magical properties. This sub property can only be added to magical properties with the Charged or Recharging number of uses.
    Price Multiplier = -x0.1 per property (subtract this multiplier from the multiplier total)
  • Recharging: The magic item has an unlimited number of uses but only a finite number of uses per day. These uses recharge at a rate equal to the Property Enhancement Level per day
    Price Multiplier = x0.2 per daily use

Method of Activation: This parameter determines the method used to activate the magical property in question.

  • Use Activated: The magical property is activated by using the item and so the magical property manifests as part of the action needed to use the item. For a weapon this requires some form of attack, for a shield or armour it requires the wearer to be attacked (with an attack against the target’s Armour check), for other items the use activation method can vary wildly but it must involve an Action or Reaction check to use the item specifically (just wearing an item does not constitute an action). Items with this sub property generally only apply the property to Actions or Reactions made using the item. For example a riding harness with the Skilled (Ride) magical property would provide a bonus to Ride checks when it is used on a mount.
    Price Multiplier = x0.5
  • Critical Use Activated: The magical property is activated like a use activated item but requires a critical success of its use in order for the magic to activate. A property with this sub property would generally only apply the property to Actions or Reactions made using the item that resulted in a critical success.
    Price Multiplier = x0.2
  • Destruction: The magical property is activated by the consumption or destruction of the magical item (breaking a rune, drinking a potion, etc), and the effect is centred upon the item being destroyed itself, if a person is breaking the object then he becomes the target of the property. The item is destroyed following activation and cannot be enchanted again.
    Price Multiplier = x0.05
  • Spell Trigger/Command: This magical property is activated with a Standard Action that causes the magical property to be unleashed. Spell Trigger activation is used only with the Enspelled magic property and requires the character to possess a class spell list containing the spell. Any spells cast using the Spell Trigger property use the wielder’s Saturated modifier (not the item creator’s Saturated modifier). Command activation usually involves a spoken word, mental command, or button press to release the magic. A property with this parameter would generally only apply the property to the action required to use the item (completing the spell or using the command word).
    Price Multiplier = x0.1
  • Passive: The magical property is active all the time. In order to select this Method of Activation the item must have a Permanent Number of Uses. Properties with this parameter generally apply the bonus to the character (and not the item). For instance a magic weapon with the deadly property and the passive parameter would increase the Attack checks and Damage rolls of all attacks made by the wielding character as long as he wielded the item in the correct slot (which is in his hand which may limit its usefulness). An amulet with the same property and parameter would apply the bonus to all Attack checks and Damage rolls made by the character with any weapon he used (including natural weapons like fists) including melee, ranged, and spell attacks.
    Price Multiplier = x2

Target/Range/Area: In general a Magical Property only affects a single individual that is either the wielder of the item or a person touching the item (being stabbed or hit with a weapon counts as being touched). This base parameter has no price multiplier, however changing the target to be an individual at range or all individuals in an area does increase the cost depending upon the number of squares of range increment or radius of area the property is effective at, up to the enhancement level of the property (The item may possess both a Range and Area like the fireball spell for example). This sub property overrides any spell parameters if the item contains the Enspelled property. Any range is classed as a Range Increment for an effect.
Price Multiplier = x1 per square of range or radius of area.

Crafting

It is unlikely a PC will ever be able to afford to craft a magical item, however, just in case it is needed it is possible for anyone to create a magical items.

First the Enhancement Level, Magical Properties, and Magical Parameters need to be decided. Next a final cost price can be determined using the formula below.

Cost = (Base Price + all Price Modifiers) x all Price Multipliers

The final cost price can be used to determine the target of the Skill check required to craft the magical item. A Craft, Arcane, Nature, or Religion skill check (or series of checks) is required in order to successfully create a magical item. Once all the checks are successful the item is completed and the final cost price worth of reagents is consumed. A character must also have certain spells cast upon the item to imbue it with magical power.

Reducing the Cost: Reagents are required to create a magical item, they form almost the entire cost of magic item creation and are usually purchased by characters which is why the cost to produce a magic item is so prohibitively high.

Reagents can of course be gathered from plants, animals, minerals, people, even monsters, practically anything provides a reagent of some sort. The more rare a reagent is the higher cost reduction. Common reagents each reduce the price by 1 gp, Uncommon by 10 gp, Rare by 100 gp, and Unique by 1,000 gp.

Gathering such reagents requires a skill check of various type and difficulty (see Skills section) and the degree of success determines the rarity of the reagent. For adventurers the most common method of obtaining a reagent is from the corpses of slain monsters, the rarity of the monster determines the difficulty of success and the rarity of the reagent obtained.

Modifying Magic Items

Magic items are not static. They can be re-enchanted as many times as desired to alter the Enhancement Level (of the Item or a Magical Property), add new Magical Properties or alter Magical Parameters. When altering a magical item determine the original Cost Price and the new Cost Price, the difference is the target DC for any skill checks and also the cost in reagents that must be acquired to successfully alter the magical item. This difference is an absolute value so even reducing a magical item in power still requires a target skill check and a cost in reagents.

Spontaneous Improvement: Magical items (and even non-magical items) acquire power over time without any re-enchantment required. This can best be represented by tracking the experience acquired by anyone using an item and granting that same experience to the item. Once it reaches the final cost price (in experience points instead of gp) an item may then acquire new or improved magical properties or magical parameters or even increase in enhancement level.

Spontaneous Improvement is just as common a method of magic item creation as is that of a magic user creating a magic item. When a common weapon is used to slay a power monster a magic item may be born, when an item is used in a pitch battle to slay many foes a magic item may be born. Over the centuries (and millennia) new powers are added to these magical items as they are used by scores of owners.

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