Wondrous Item auto-reject advice #7: Obvious Pricing Errors


RPG Superstar™ 2011 General Discussion

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(Last year I compiled a list of things that would instantly disqualify your item. I'm going to post them one by one as we approach Round 1 of this year's contest.)

7. Your item has an obvious error in its price.

Before we go any farther, let me say that we're not going to hand-check every item's price to see if it is "correct" down to the last gp. And even if your item is listed as 900 gp and our best estimate puts it at 850 gp, that's not a deal-breaker. However, sometimes it's really easy to tell when an item has the wrong price--like an item listed at 1,000 gp that's very similar to an item with an 8,000 gp price. That sort of error moves you to the "reject" pile.

Properly pricing magic items is hard. Most people skip the first rule of magic item pricing and go right to the fancy table with all the numbers... which is unfortunate, because that first rule can really help you avoid some pricing mistakes. To quote the relevant part of the rules (and bolding the first rule):

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.

If you compare your item's price to that of similar items, you may save yourself from an autoreject. Examples.

7a) Your item includes the powers of an existing item, but has a lower price than that item.

If your item is similar to a belt of giant strength +2, but has a lower price, you've made a mistake. Likewise, if your item is a belt of giant strength +2 plus other abilities, and its price is less than the 4,000 gp for a regular belt of strength +2, you've priced it wrong--nobody would get the regular belt if they could get a better version at the same price. We've had several items each year that fail this simple test.

7b) Your item is clearly worse than a comparable item of the same price.

A belt of giant strength +2 increases your Strength by +2, which means for anything involving Strength, you're getting a bonus. If your item is a belt that gives you +2 to Strength, but only for lifting, carrying, and opening doors, and it has the same price as a regular belt of giant strength +2, your item is less powerful for the same price, and nobody would want it if they had a choice between the two. We've had several items each year that fail this simple test.

7c) Your item exceeds the informal wondrous item price limit of 200,000 gp.

Note I say "informal" price limit... nowhere in the game does it say you can't have a wondrous item with a price higher than that. But really, if you're building a wondrous item and you think it's so powerful that its price needs to be higher than a +10-equivalent weapon or a staff of power, you need to rethink your item, not because it's priced wrong (which it could be), but because you're trying to cram too much into a single item. Heck, an amulet of five wishes per day is 275,400 gp by the formula, and you have to admit that's a pretty excessively blingtastic item. And FYI, I'm posting this bit of advice because last year we had an item that was something like a 500,000 gp or 1,000,000 gp price... which is madness! Anyway, if you think your item's price should actually be upwards of 200,000 gp, you should rethink your item, you're trying too hard.

Now it's time to take this bit of pricing advice in a different direction and warn you about some other ways you can trap yourself when it comes to item pricing.

7d) Item doesn't specify how often you can use it.

We've had items that didn't tell you if their powers were constant, had unlimited uses per day, could only be used a certain number of times per day, or are charged items. It is impossible to price an item without knowing that information. An amulet of true strike is not an unreasonable item if it lets you use true strike once per day, but it is incredibly broken if it constantly gives you a +20 bonus to hit; without knowing how often you can use the item, we can't know if the listed price is in the right ballpark. Sometimes we can figure out the intent based on the listed price, but that's still sloppy design and likely to get your item rejected.

7e) Item's Cost is wrong.

An item's Price is how much you'd spend if you wanted to buy the item from someone who has it. An item's Cost is how much you have to spend if you're crafting the item. With a few exceptions (and most of those exceptions won't apply to wondrous items), the Cost is always half the Price. If your item's Cost isn't half the Price, you've almost certainly done something wrong, or at least haven't paid attention. We've seen items with no Cost listed at all, Cost is exactly 1/3 the price, items where the Cost is more than the Price, and items where the designer swapped the Cost and the Price. It's a simple mistake, but it leaves a poor first impression. Know the difference between Price and Cost, determine the Cost based on the Price, and put these two stats in the correct places in the magic item stat block (which will be provided to you as part of the competition).

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 7

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

7c) Your item exceeds the informal wondrous item price limit of 200,000 gp.

Note I say "informal" price limit... nowhere in the game does it say you can't have a wondrous item with a price higher than that. But really, if you're building a wondrous item and you think it's so powerful that its price needs to be higher than a +10-equivalent weapon or a staff of power, you need to rethink your item, not because it's priced wrong (which it could be), but because you're trying to cram too much into a single item. Heck, an amulet of five wishes per day is 275,400 gp by the formula, and you have to admit that's a pretty excessively blingtastic item. And FYI, I'm posting this bit of advice because last year we had an item that was something like a 500,000 gp or 1,000,000 gp price... which is madness! Anyway, if you think your item's price should actually be upwards of 200,000 gp, you should rethink your item, you're trying too hard.

Now it's time to take this bit of pricing advice in a different direction and warn you about some other ways you can trap yourself when it comes to item pricing.

This is also the point at which the item is probably an Artifact, not a Wondrous Item.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

My two-cents,

Spoiler:

Last year, I put together a pretty exhaustive post that took the format of a wondrous item submission line by line, wherein I explained the approach I used for pricing (among other things). Personally, I favor tackling this issue from both ends...i.e., price it using the table first and then go back and compare what you come up with with similar items at that price level. If it seems off somehow, then go beyond that and take a look at how much any items with comparable powers to yours usually cost. See if you can reverse-engineer their pricing to determine if you went astray somewhere by using the table. If so, adjust your formula accordingly. If not, that's the point at which I'd start considering diverging from the table method and go more with the eyeball method.

Again, pricing wondrous magic items are one part science and one part art. You really need to blend the two approaches until you've got a price that makes perfect internal sense with everything else that's available. And, obviously, as Sean points out...cut that amount in half and you have your item's creation cost.

Lastly, I want to make one other point here. As you price a wondrous item, you've also got a real good opportunity to do a sanity check on your idea to determine if it's got game-breaking potential. For instance, if your item's price is low enough that high-level PCs could buy up a bunch of them and use the item's powers or abilities to break virtually every encounter, you should quickly realize you've gone too far. So, even once you've got a price for your item...and it makes sense by both the table and when comparing it to similarly priced stuff...still go back as if you're a PC with gold to spend. Buy up a bunch of your item so that everyone in an entire adventuring party has one. Would that kill the game? If so, it might be time to start over.


--Neil

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
An amulet of true strike is not an unreasonable item if it lets you use true strike once per day, but it is incredibly broken if it constantly gives you a +20 bonus to hit

Tangent, but if I may pick your brain: doesn't this have less to do with uses per day and more to do with the action needed to activate it? A constant +20 for even one round is still very powerful, because it affects all your attacks and doesn't have to be activated.

By the books, an item that let you cast true strike as a swift action once per round forever would cost 81,000 GP (priced as command word quickened true strike; level 5 x CL 9 x 1,800 GP). The end result would be that your last iterative attack basically never missed. Should this effect cost more than that? Is it doable at all?

Contributor

Nicolas Quimby wrote:
Tangent, but if I may pick your brain: doesn't this have less to do with uses per day and more to do with the action needed to activate it?

It's broken because the spell is balanced (1) because it's self-only, (2) it takes an action to activate, (3) affects only one attack, and (4) it expires if you don't use it the next round. Creating an item that gives you +20 to whoever wears it, doesn't take an action to activate, affects all your attacks, and doesn't expire ignores all four of those checks against the spell's power.

Let's look at TS another way.
The price formula for a magic weapon is "bonus squared times 2000."
So if you made a +20 sword, the magic would cost 20 x 20 x 2000 = 800,000 gp.
But TS doesn't apply to damage, so you could knock half the price off, for 400,000 gp.
And TS doesn't help you overcome DR, so you could knock half the price off, for 200,000 gp.
However, TS also lets you ignore the concealment miss chance, so in theory it should cost more than that.
And then you start get into theorycrafting without any hard guidelines for what things should cost, so you ought to stop there.

Nicolas Quimby wrote:
By the books, an item that let you cast true strike as a swift action once per round forever would cost 81,000 GP (priced as command word quickened true strike; level 5 x CL 9 x 1,800 GP). The end result would be that your last iterative attack basically never missed. Should this effect cost more than that? Is it doable at all?

Actually, it would be 90,000 (5 x 9 x 2000) because the command word rules say it takes a standard action to activate... nothing in the description of command word abilities (or spell trigger, for that matter) say "if the effect has a casting time less than a standard action, it uses that faster action instead."

But ignoring that, by the formulas, yeah, your proposed item would work... but part of me would still want to bump up the price a bit just because you're taking a self-only spell and making it into an anyone-can-use item. I mean, TS would still be a popular spell if it were level 2 and castable on others (you'd have the sorcerer spam it on the fighter using Power Attack and Combat Expertise to take out tough monsters). Taking that spell and making it into a quickened, unlimited use item would be 132,000 gp (6 x 11 x 2000, again, ignoring the standard-action restriction for command word items).

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Self-only is a big factor that I was overlooking, yea. The distinction between scrolls and potions tells us that caster-activated items can cost up to half as much as anyone-activated items (though there are other limitations involved with both item types).

Thanks for the insight!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

Also the funkier the item, the harder it is to cost. To take my two entries (sorry to keep talking about myself, but I understand my logic...)

Spoiler:

The Bracelet of shields has its math explained in the entry (and among other things I caught hell for, this is one of them).

The tankard of the cheerful duelist OTOH, doesn't so lets break down how I got there on cost.

Luck Bonus to AC. I went with the default slotless +1 bonus (Bonus squared X 2500) if you wear it on the belt. Now, for using it in hand, it gets tricky. Technically it should be 20K, (slotless, squared X 2500) but who's going to pay 20K for something that ties up that off hand? So now we look at the hand again. 20K will buy you a +2 animated large shield giving a hands free +3 bonus to AC or other toy, so that's a bit much. We'll keep it at 10K since not being able to use a shield or (effectively) TWF or grab a potion, etc, is a pretty big downside.

Potion effect. Well three potions of CLW would be 150 GP, a wand is 750. I figured on the 1500, since a) there is a slight cost (the wine) it is a 3/day limited effect, and has a duration. (You can't make a potion of CLW in the morning and carry it around waiting for when you're hurt.) Plus a quickened CLW would be a 5th level spell. 9th level caster would be 450,(x3) so 1500 for the effect. Prestidigation is a flavourful freebie.

My final thought was "Would I spend 11K on this, or on other items?"

Looking at wondrous items in that range, I see Headband of mental prowess +2 (bonus to two stats) Cape of the Mountebank (Dim Door) Boots of Speed, which would give greater bonuses over shorter time. I considered that balanced. 20+k would push it into the same range with a horn of blasting or a Pearly White Ioun Stone, both of which I'd take over the tankard. A melee character would likely take a flame tongue or an empty luck blade. So I call it a day.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

No sweat Matt. Your item made the cut (twice!), so your thinking here is certainly valuable. :)

The "hand tax" is a drawback I've used in the past too and it's interesting to see how others approach it.

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Neil Spicer wrote:

My two-cents,

Last year, I put together a pretty exhaustive post...
--Neil

hehe. That made me laugh (but thanks for posting as much as you did/do :)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Curaigh wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:

My two-cents,

Last year, I put together a pretty exhaustive post...
--Neil

hehe. That made me laugh (but thanks for posting as much as you did/do :)

Thankfully, I've never felt constrained by any word-counts in messageboard postings. But, I do how and when to rein it back when I'm working on an assignment. ;-)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Here's my brief advice. Neil gave great advice on pricing in general, so let me target my advice to those who design really powerful and elaborate items.

Take a deep breath and ask yourself, "Is this a really powerful item because this is the best item I've come up with? Or is it a cool item because it's so powerful?"

There is a subtle distinction there I want you to consider.

Powerful items garner no more credit than lower or mid-range items. They really do not. In the three previous years I've never seen the 'power' of an item play a role in the deciding process. With power usually comes complexity, and that plays a role in this advice.

Now I am *not* saying powerful items are wrong or bad. If your best item is a powerful one, that's the one you should submit. However, listen to the distinction in my words. Submit it because it is your best item. No other reason.

Now you may ask yourself... What does this have to do with pricing?

An expensive powerful item is often a complex one. Don't set yourself up to price up a complex doodad if you don't have to. You might be opening yourself up to making more mistakes with little to show for it. Only do that if you absolutely have to and because what you're submitting is your best idea.

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

good point. Over complexity in the item means more difficulty in pricing and the greater chance you have of getting something wrong. Sorry to restate it, but it is important. It is for a simple reason that I nearly failed in the villain round and I will avoid setting a villain in Absolom/Absalom/Absolam because it is just overly complex and unless you are Marc/Mark/yoda8myhead you could easily miss something (and not just the spelling :)

Fortunately pronouncing Golorian is not a part of the contest, as I figured out in June I had been saying it wrong :)

Spoiler:
of course SKR keeps telling us that watching Neil was like watching a foot race where one person carried a 50 pound pack--and still kept up with the crowd :) Complexity could be good (but save it for later :)


This is the realm my ghostfire torch suffered from last year.

by the actual pricing it was spot on, but due to it's rule-bending effect it should have cost more.

In a nut-shell you lit the torch, it had a 10 minute duration, and removed the intangible aspect of incorporeal undead. The cost was 900 or 1800gp and it didn't make it through because of the rule bending it created conflicted with the costing.


That this is indeed one part science and one part art is an eternal frustration for me. Grargh.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6

A question then just to confirm something, in particular with the cost price is half that of the market price thing.

Let's say you have a wondrous item that can produce a spell effect once that has a material cost of 500 gp for example.

Let's say the market price of the item (not including the material cost of the spell effect) is x. Is the true market price
of this item x+500 gp and it's cost price x/2 + 500 gp or does the entire true market price get halved: (x+500)/2 gp? Or is it something else entirely?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Herremann the Wise wrote:

A question then just to confirm something, in particular with the cost price is half that of the market price thing.

Let's say you have a wondrous item that can produce a spell effect once that has a material cost of 500 gp for example.

Let's say the market price of the item (not including the material cost of the spell effect) is x. Is the true market price
of this item x+500 gp and it's cost price x/2 + 500 gp or does the entire true market price get halved: (x+500)/2 gp? Or is it something else entirely?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

If the cost of the item by formula, excluding the material component, is y, its true cost is y + 500. Its market price is twice its cost, or (y + 500) x 2.


Umm... Would anyone be willing to do an exercise for me and price the Rod of the Python by the chart? I tried, and I'm coming up with, like, 92,300 gp (as opposed to the 6,500 listed). Help?


That Old Guy wrote:
Umm... Would anyone be willing to do an exercise for me and price the Rod of the Python by the chart? I tried, and I'm coming up with, like, 92,300 gp (as opposed to the 6,500 listed). Help?

Similar items would include a +1/+1 quarterstaff (4600 gp) and a wand of summon monster III (11250 gp). There are some advantages (unlimited charges, snake has a +1 bonus to attack + damage) and disadvantages (you can't use both at once, only possible to summon a specific creature); 13000 gp is reasonable-ish for the combined item.


hogarth wrote:
That Old Guy wrote:
Umm... Would anyone be willing to do an exercise for me and price the Rod of the Python by the chart? I tried, and I'm coming up with, like, 92,300 gp (as opposed to the 6,500 listed). Help?
Similar items would include a +1/+1 quarterstaff (4600 gp) and a wand of summon monster III (11250 gp). There are some advantages (unlimited charges, snake has a +1 bonus to attack + damage) and disadvantages (you can't use both at once, only possible to summon a specific creature); 13000 gp is reasonable-ish for the combined item.

Now THAT is some titanium-clad logic. I wish that was how my brain worked...


Ok.
With the Rod you either
- have a +1/+1 Quarterstaff for about 4,600 gp
or
- a "Command word activate" summon natures ally 3. this would be a whopping 27000 ( 3*5*1800) with an added magic fang for 3000 (1*1*2000*1.5) or double that considering that they don't use a slot. (60000)

So a Quarterstaff that could be used to create a "summon natures ally 3" effect by spending a standard action would be somewhere around 70000 gp.

However the Rod has several limitations. And here we need to start doing some guessing:

1. Only good aligned users can use the staff. This one is in the book. it's a 30% discount (only on the summoning ability , since it is a +1/+1 quarterstaff for everybody)

2. you can't use the rod as a weapon when you use the summoning ability. I would reduce the price of the summon ability by the cost of the weapon.

3. The ability has some delay. It takes till the end of the round to transform. Not a huge drawback, arguably not even worth a discount.

3. It can't move farther than 100ft away from you. this really limits the use of the summon ability to pretty much what you could do with a normal summon spell. so again no discount, but no extra charging for extensive spy/messenger uses.

4. You can't choose which creature to summon.
This is huge. a lot of the power of summon spells comes from their versatility. I would say if you can't choose what to summon a spell loses about one level of power (Spell Compendium had some of those) so that gives us an entire new formula. (which gives us a base of 26000 instead)

5. The staff can't be used for 3 days if the snake is killed ( a CR2 creature with an AC of 15 and 19 hp) so this is a pretty likely and common drawback. I'm thinking about nearly 50% drawback here!.

6. The user is more limited in where to summon the creature - minor!

7. you can only have one creature active at a time

Let's see what we got so far for the summoning power.

base price of 26000 *0.7 for the alignment restriction makes 18000. Now we combine the non-use drawbacks to one 50% reduction for 9000, add the weapon for 4600 and end with 13600.

Ok, i did a lot of guessimation but got pretty close to the listed price. one last thing to do is to compare the power of the rod to other items of comparable price.

here we have:

ring of animal friendship (10,800) needs a slot , but charm any number of constrictor snakes you like. and absolutely no drawbacks.

wand of summon monster 3 (11250) summon up to 50 constrictor snakes, control more than one at a time and you can summon other creatures too.
But it will eventually turn to dust, is useless as a weapon and you need UMd or SM3 on your spell list to use it

bag of tricks, rust (8,500) summon one of 3 Cr 2 (and one Cr 1) creature, but only 2/day and 10/week. Only one at a time. I can't see the rod of the python be used way more than that, esp. since the viper will be very likely to die about 50% of times it is summoned.

considering all this I think the 13000 are a pretty fair price.


Azmahel wrote:

Ok.

With the Rod you either
- have a +1/+1 Quarterstaff for about 4,600 gp
or
- a "Command word activate" summon natures ally 3. this would be a whopping 27000 ( 3*5*1800) with an added magic fang for 3000 (1*1*2000*1.5) or double that considering that they don't use a slot. (60000)

I think that my insanity happened because the spell in the requirements was baleful polymorph, so I was working from there instead of the summon.

5th level spell x 9th level caster x use activated = 90,000 gp,
masterwork quarterstaff = 300 gp,
+1 enchantment for staff = 2,000 gp.

So I'm not completely cracked, I was just starting from the wrong base. I feel better now.

Seriously, thanks you guys. I was really starting to get a complex about the whole pricing thing.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 7

Azmahel wrote:
2. you can't use the rod as a weapon when you use the summoning ability. I would reduce the price of the summon ability by the cost of the weapon.

This is bad logic.

Y (Weapon)
X (Summon)

Total = Y + (X-Y) = X

In other words, your logic makes the weapon part free. Don't do that.


Well not completely, because as an added ability it would be at 150% price.

Total = Y-X+1.5*X or Y+0.5X

but yeah, in the end I didn't do this for my estimation but winged both this and the 3 day delay if the snake gets killed in one 50% reduction.

This problem with figuring out the price may arise if the items effect calls for one spell (baleful polymorph - after all you transform something) but the power is closer to for another one ( summon monster). The requirement will nearly always list the spell(s) associated with the effect, not which is the right base for pricing the item.


OK, I think I may be doing this wrong as the amount I come up with doesnt look or feel right.
Lets say I have a 7th level spell and a 3rd level spell cast by a 13th level caster so the math should be 3x10+7x10x13 to get cost right?
To get the price then it should be cost x2, correct?

Now the item is usable once per day and needs a command word to activate, does that effect price?

Now I took similar types of items but has different powers;

Eyes of Doom
Aura moderate necromancy; CL 11th
Slot eyes; Price 25,000 gp; Weight —
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, doom, deathwatch, fear;
Cost 12,500 gp

Now according to the math thats 1x10+1x10+4x10x11=660 per lens so that would be a cost of 1,320 not the 12,500 listed. So Im confused as to how they came up with the cost of this item.

Now lets look at Eyes of the eagle;
Eyes of the Eagle
Aura faint divination; CL 3rd
Slot eyes; Price 2,500 gp; Weight —
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, clairaudience/clairvoyance;
Cost 1,250 gp

According to the math; 10x3x3=90 per lens total=180 cost; price should be 360. Again how did they come up with their cost and price?
What am I not doing right to get the correct numbers?


Where does the *10 come from?

if you have a command word activated item its CL*Spell level * 1800 gp
if its usable only a limited number of times each day divide it by five and multiply by the number of times it is usable.

the eyes of the eagle give a skill bonus , which is priced with
this formula : bonusxbonusx500 gp. (so 5*5*100 = 2500)

The eyes of doom have three effects:

1. doom as a standard action at will : 11*1*1800= 19,800 may be lowered because doom doesn't gain a lot of benefits form a CL of 11 opposed to the needed 1.

2. Constant deathwatch 1*1*2000*1.5 =3000

3. fear 1/week: 7*4*2000/5 = 11200 if it would be 1/day. so that needs to be lowered too.

2. and 3. are additional abilities and need to be multiplied by 1.5

So all in all 25000 seem to be reasonable.


Azmahel wrote:

Where does the *10 come from?

if you have a command word activated item its CL*Spell level * 1800 gp
if its usable only a limited number of times each day divide it by five and multiply by the number of times it is usable.

The 10 is 10gp per spell level

so the math i should be doing is 13xsl+slx1800/1 (13=caster level, sp=spell level x 1800) then devide that number by 5 then x uses per day thats 1 so no change in the number. I will then need to double that number as 2 items are needed to create the single effect then double that number to get the price. does that sound correct?

or would 13xslx1800+13xslx1800/5 be the correct equation?


vikking wrote:
Azmahel wrote:

Where does the *10 come from?

if you have a command word activated item its CL*Spell level * 1800 gp
if its usable only a limited number of times each day divide it by five and multiply by the number of times it is usable.

The 10 is 10gp per spell level

so the math i should be doing is 13xsl+sl+slx1800/1 (13=caster level, sp=spell level x 1800) then devide that number by 5 then x uses per day thats 1 so no change in the number. I will then need to double that number as 2 items are needed to create the single effect then double that number to get the price. does that sound correct?

umm, what? Take a look at p. 550 of the core rules, or here

that should answer most of your questions.

the 10gp multiplier ( Cl*spell level * 10gp) is if you have to pay a caster to cast this spell once for you.


Azmahel wrote:
the 10gp multiplier ( Cl*spell level * 10gp) is if you have to pay a caster to cast this spell once for you.

Thank you, thats where I was messing up.


What about pricing a cursed item? Like boots of dancing. With CL 16 and a use activated spell I get a really high price (6 * 16 * 2000) = 192,000 gp. Other than receiving a limitation for Opposite Effect or Target, I find it hard to get to the 30,000 gp price. And this doesn't even consider what the boots fake ability is when not in combat.

I suppose it could just be just a drawback (modified stun-like effect) rather than the actual spell, although the construction requirement suggest otherwise.


Saker wrote:
What about pricing a cursed item?

Cursed items don't have a sale price in Pathfinder. The cost to create them varies, because they're "almost never made intentionally".


Ah, thanks for the clarification. I haven't run across cursed items in Pathfinder yet and was working with 3.5 knowledge. But in 3.5, it looks like they used the price for a simple bestow curse.

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Saker wrote:

What about pricing a cursed item? Like boots of dancing. With CL 16 and a use activated spell I get a really high price (6 * 16 * 2000) = 192,000 gp. Other than receiving a limitation for Opposite Effect or Target, I find it hard to get to the 30,000 gp price. And this doesn't even consider what the boots fake ability is when not in combat.

I suppose it could just be just a drawback (modified stun-like effect) rather than the actual spell, although the construction requirement suggest otherwise.

Cursed items in this contest, incidentally, are a no-no. If you're item is a cursed item then I'm pretty sure its going to be auto-rejected.


Hello all :)

I am new to this message board, but a big fan of the d20 system since 2000.

I have a question regarding the space limitation of an item. According to the core book at p. 550 if an item does not take a body slot then its base price is doubled. Does this apply to all items, such as those that give a continuous bonus (ioun stone), or are some items excluded from this rule? Specifically, an item that replicates a spell effect once per day (but does not give a bonus or enhancement) and takes no body slot, has its base price doubled or not?

Allow me to get a bit more specific and give the following example: Lets say there is a magical plate that upon speaking the command word it fills with food once per day. If the spell used was Create Food and Water (Cleric 3) and the CL was 5, then I believe pricing would be: (3*5*1800)/5 = 5400 gp.

As the plate takes no body slot is the above price doubled to 10,800 gp or not?

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Your plate would indeed double in price.

Contributor

I wouldn't double it. Think of it as "this item requires me to hold it in my hand to activate it," and "hand" is a quasi-slot. "Slotless" items are really those that you don't have to manipulate in any way to gain the bonus (luckstone, ioun stone, etc.).

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

Dawnstrider wrote:

Hello all :)

I am new to this message board, but a big fan of the d20 system since 2000.

I have a question regarding the space limitation of an item. According to the core book at p. 550 if an item does not take a body slot then its base price is doubled. Does this apply to all items, such as those that give a continuous bonus (ioun stone), or are some items excluded from this rule? Specifically, an item that replicates a spell effect once per day (but does not give a bonus or enhancement) and takes no body slot, has its base price doubled or not?

Allow me to get a bit more specific and give the following example: Lets say there is a magical plate that upon speaking the command word it fills with food once per day. If the spell used was Create Food and Water (Cleric 3) and the CL was 5, then I believe pricing would be: (3*5*1800)/5 = 5400 gp.

As the plate takes no body slot is the above price doubled to 10,800 gp or not?

And this is why pricing wondrous items is an art, not a science.

There is no spoon costing 10,800. So while yes, it *should* cost double that, it doesn't. Now as to the whys, I think that's where the art comes in.
Theories and conjecture

Spoiler:
No one is going to tie up a valuable slot with a food dispencer. Items like the Ioun Stones are attribute/other buffers that normally people *would* use a precious slot for. For example, the [url=http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/magicItems/wondrousItems.html#ioun-stones]Clear Spindle Ioun stone is almost identical to the ring of sustanance, but doesn't eat up that ring slot. The ring of sustanance is valuable, and popular enough to take up the slot, the stone bypasses it.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

It's also worth thinking, is this a combat item? Even if you do make the plate of feeding take a slot, it isn't a big deal to swap it into that slot when you want to use it to eat a meal, and then swap back before you break camp. So the slot restriction isn't really a restriction.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter Season 6

Starglim wrote:
Herremann the Wise wrote:

A question then just to confirm something, in particular with the cost price is half that of the market price thing.

Let's say you have a wondrous item that can produce a spell effect once that has a material cost of 500 gp for example.

Let's say the market price of the item (not including the material cost of the spell effect) is x. Is the true market price
of this item x+500 gp and it's cost price x/2 + 500 gp or does the entire true market price get halved: (x+500)/2 gp? Or is it something else entirely?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

If the cost of the item by formula, excluding the material component, is y, its true cost is y + 500. Its market price is twice its cost, or (y + 500) x 2.

Actually I'm not too sure you are correct, having found the following from the core rule book (p549):

"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."

I think this means my original algebra above is correct? What is your read on this?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Herremann the Wise wrote:
Starglim wrote:
Herremann the Wise wrote:

A question then just to confirm something, in particular with the cost price is half that of the market price thing.

Let's say you have a wondrous item that can produce a spell effect once that has a material cost of 500 gp for example.

Let's say the market price of the item (not including the material cost of the spell effect) is x. Is the true market price
of this item x+500 gp and it's cost price x/2 + 500 gp or does the entire true market price get halved: (x+500)/2 gp? Or is it something else entirely?

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

If the cost of the item by formula, excluding the material component, is y, its true cost is y + 500. Its market price is twice its cost, or (y + 500) x 2.

Actually I'm not too sure you are correct, having found the following from the core rule book (p549):

"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."

I think this means my original algebra above is correct? What is your read on this?

Good catch. "An extra price" could support either your first option or my guess for the market price of wondrous items, but scrolls and potions specifically add the cost of expensive components to both the base price and cost.


Well, I guess pricing wondrous item is indeed some kind of art...

Thank you for the advice :)


Please forgive if I missed this elsewhere, but I haven't noticed any mention of item creation component cost. Example: Troll Fingers obviously require Troll fingers to create. Would that be factored in to the cost and if so, is there any formula for that (based on monster level, perhaps)?

Contributor

Items in the Core Rulebook don't call out specific components*, even for items that are obviously gems or other valuables. Thus, whether your item is a magical troll finger or a magical diamond, the listed Cost is what you pay. If the GM wants to let you do a quest for X gp "worth" of troll fingers to find the perfect one, that's okay, but there's no game difference between doing that and just spending X gold on undefined components.

* With the exception of armor and weapons.


Gracias!


Would the above True Strike quickened and unlimited item's price also include a "times 4" component because it's duration is measured in rounds?

Namely, by the end of your next round. Duration of 1 Round.

This should be seen as an indicator of the potency of magic, that can only be allowed for a single attack (albeit any sort - melee, range, magical, lob, etc...) during a single round.

So, maybe 132,000 x 4 = 528,000 gp

I like True Strike as much as the next guy/gal, but let's up the ante.

Contributor

Yes.


... and this was the thing that is going to get me.

I had a cool item. Doing a little research I found out it was a SIAC, however it worked slightly differently and had a flavorful and interesting drawback.

Unfortunately it just so happened that the idea I had mimicked a 9th level spell. Asking some people I decided it was different enough to work. But I ended up using that 9th level spell as a guideline for pricing and came up with a value of almost a quarter million gold.

Thinking back now I should have went with my gut and priced it much less as by the book it's a quarter million gold, but it has a pretty constant drawback (while you could in theory use it continuously, in practice it becomes a bit difficult).

I should have dropped the price considerably.

Eh oh well. If that's enough to get it rejected, then that seems like my problem.

I still think it's an extremely cool and flavorful item with solid mechanics. I just had a bit of trouble with the pricing.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

AlEcyler wrote:
I just had a bit of trouble with the pricing.

That was the one area I was lamenting over myself.

I rolled a d20 to determine caster level and pulled some numbers out of a hat to get the price. - j/k

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

AlEcyler wrote:
I still think it's an extremely cool and flavorful item with solid mechanics. I just had a bit of trouble with the pricing.

I had... not-entirely-dissimilar difficulties with my item. I'm pleased with what I decided on, but once results are in, I'd be very interested to hear what people think of my decisions there.

Spoiler:
For choice, on my item's page in the Round 1 subforum.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
AlEcyler wrote:
I just had a bit of trouble with the pricing.

That was the one area I was lamenting over myself.

I rolled a d20 to determine caster level and pulled some numbers out of a hat to get the price. - j/k

Interestingly enough, it can be harder to price an item than you think. Sure, SAICs are straightforward ... usually ... but there's a lot of factors, including the actual utility of an item.

Sometimes, the strict costing results in an item nobody would ever want, and you have to determine how to reduce the cost. It's kind of like that for items in PF Core - just try to figure out how they priced boots of speed, for example.

CL 10 x 3rd-level spell x 1,800 gp = 54,000 gp. That's not it. Assuming one charge per day because a single casting would give 10 rounds of use, it's 1/5 of that, or 10,800 gp. Close.

My best guess is that the 2,000 gp level was used instead of 1,800 gp as a "tax" for being able to split up the duration, and then it was treated as one charge per day:

CL 10 x level 3 x 2,000 gp. x (1 charge)/5 = 12,000 gp.

But that's just a guess of course. It's entirely possible that someone just decided that 12,000 gp "sounded about right" based on the rule of thumb that a typical character should have about 23,500 gp of wealth at 7th level (Core Rulebook p399) and no item should typically be more than half, meaning that usually no character should have boots of haste before 7th level, if that.

So there's a lot more to creating than just multiplying the factors. If you make an item so expensive that nobody would ever want (see the true strike discussion above), what's the point, and if you price it so low that it becomes a must have item for every single PC in the world, you've done something wrong.

So there's definitely a bit of an art here.


The hard part about pricing my item was that there was a little bit of grey area. This situation intrigued me:

Lets build an item really quick as an example:

Scabbard of CLEAN Edges (hehe... get it?)
Aura faint whatever; CL 1
Slot - ;Price (See Below); Weight 1 lb.

This brass scabbard has nothing special written or ornate on it. On command, when a sword is placed in the scabbard with blood, dirt, tarnish, poison, or the like, it is slowly cleaned by the scabbard. This process takes 1 minute and the leavings of the cleaning fall through a hold near the tip of the scabbard. A vial can be held against the hole to recollect poisons applied to the sword that weren't completely "used up" during battle.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, prestidigitation;Cost (See Below)

So I get most of the pricing:
Regular Scabbard = 1gp
CL 1 x Spell Lvl 1 (0th=1) x 1800gp = 1800gp
No Slot is x2 so, 3602gp

However, how do you calculate the following into the situation.
A scabbard that on command cast prestidigitation as many times as you want would cost that, but this scabbard:
-only works on swords.
-only cleans.
-allows you to save unused poison.
-takes 1 minute instead of 1 round.

So the weight that each contestant puts on those to increase and decrease gold value of the scabbard might be completely different. How do judges take this into account? or is it just best estimate?

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