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RPG Superstar 2015

Crafting magic items confuses me a tad


Rules Questions


Ok so the magic item crafting section has confused me for a while now and I think that i should finally get some advice on how exactly it works.

So what I want to do is make a set of bells that are attached to a hat the when they are activated they cast various debuffs on the surrounding targets.

For instance how would I make a bell that casts Hideous laughter on everyone in a 20-30ft radius when the bell rings but only when it is rung for the purpose of activating the effect, I don't want it to activate every time it rings.

Silver Crusade

Ok, 1st thing you gotta know is that the chart in the back of the book dealing with custom magic items is a GUIDELINE, not a rule. It's entirely possible to break the game even while following those guidelines, so any item you want to make there is subject to GM approval and understand that the price is more than likely going to be off for custom items.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

MrTheThird wrote:

Ok so the magic item crafting section has confused me for a while now and I think that i should finally get some advice on how exactly it works.

So what I want to do is make a set of bells that are attached to a hat the when they are activated they cast various debuffs on the surrounding targets.

For instance how would I make a bell that casts Hideous laughter on everyone in a 20-30ft radius when the bell rings but only when it is rung for the purpose of activating the effect, I don't want it to activate every time it rings.

ok,a single target command word bell bell would be as follows.

Spell Level (1/Bard) * Caster Level (1/Bard) * 1,800 gp * slot-less (2) = 3,600 gp. so you could craft this for 1,800 gp.

This item uses your standard action when activated by speaking the command word, to target any one valid target within range.

Crafting DC: 5 + Caster level (1) = 6

Effect: One target within 30 ft has to make a DC 11 Will save or be subject to hideous laughter for one round.

Thoughts: You could raise the caster level, which would of course raise the cost commensurately, however this would only get you more range and duration, not an increased save DC or more targets.

Since a wand of Hideous laughter would cost 750 gp and have fifty uses this seems ok to me due to being usable to anyone, slot-less, and unlimited.

For a AOE bell I would say probably around 3-4 times this cost. Since as far as I know no AOE version of hideous laughter exists this is all supposition.

Hope this helps.

This is from page 550 in the CRB.


Covent wrote:
MrTheThird wrote:

Ok so the magic item crafting section has confused me for a while now and I think that i should finally get some advice on how exactly it works.

So what I want to do is make a set of bells that are attached to a hat the when they are activated they cast various debuffs on the surrounding targets.

For instance how would I make a bell that casts Hideous laughter on everyone in a 20-30ft radius when the bell rings but only when it is rung for the purpose of activating the effect, I don't want it to activate every time it rings.

ok,a single target command word bell bell would be as follows.

Spell Level (1/Bard) * Caster Level (1/Bard) * 1,800 gp * slot-less (2) = 3,600 gp. so you could craft this for 1,800 gp.

This item uses your standard action when activated by speaking the command word, to target any one valid target within range.

Crafting DC: 5 + Caster level (1) = 6

Effect: One target within 30 ft has to make a DC 11 Will save or be subject to hideous laughter for one round.

Thoughts: You could raise the caster level, which would of course raise the cost commensurately, however this would only get you more range and duration, not an increased save DC or more targets.

Since a wand of Hideous laughter would cost 750 gp and have fifty uses this seems ok to me due to being usable to anyone, slot-less, and unlimited.

For a AOE bell I would say probably around 3-4 times this cost. Since as far as I know no AOE version of hideous laughter exists this is all supposition.

Hope this helps.

This is from page 550 in the CRB.

That was more the helpful I had all sorts of extra stuff I didn't need. Thanks again

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Whoa there... that might be how the chart prices it out but that's WAY too cheap for the effect you're looking for! 3,600 gp for an area effect hideous laughter? As a GM I would say no to this item immediately.

Wondrous items are more of an art to design than a science. For example the ability you're looking for is possessed by the CR 17 Ancient Copper Dragon and is considered a 6th level spell effect. So basing it off the 1st level Bard spell doesn't really balance its power level. You need to see if there is similar effect in the game already and use that as a benchmark. Then you have to play with it until it feels just right.

Check out the RPG Superstar boards to see many good threads about making Wondrous Items. You'll learn quite a bit. You might even want to try your hand at it come the end of December!

--Vrock Superstar


primemover003 wrote:

Whoa there... that might be how the chart prices it out but that's WAY too cheap for the effect you're looking for! 3,600 gp for an area effect hideous laughter? As a GM I would say no to this item immediately.

Wondrous items are more of an art to design than a science. For example the ability you're looking for is possessed by the CR 17 Ancient Copper Dragon and is considered a 6th level spell effect. So basing it off the 1st level Bard spell doesn't really balance its power level. You need to see if there is similar effect in the game already and use that as a benchmark. Then you have to play with it until it feels just right.

Check out the RPG Superstar boards to see many good threads about making Wondrous Items. You'll learn quite a bit. You might even want to try your hand at it come the end of December!

--Vrock Superstar

Agreed, using the level 1 spell wouldn't give an appropriate price. My guess would have been that it's a fourth level spell effect, but he pointed out the example of a sixth level spell effect that does it. So it would be spell level x caster level x 2000 (use-activated):

6 x 11 (i'm assuming wizard spell) x 2000

If it's a bard only thing:
6 x 16 x 2000

So, it would be MUCH more than 3 or 4 times as much, because you have to add to the spell level AND to the caster level, not just the spell level. You'll have to figure out what level spell you would be emulating.

Also, 1800 is command word, 2000 is use-activated. They're a bit different, but use whatever makes you happy.


Ok see this is the stuff i don't get. Why can you not use the 1st level spell and how are you getting these other levels?
I'm not try to make an OP character or anything I really just want to know the answers to these questions.


The reason Hideous Laughter wouldn't work is because it is a single target spell. In most cases, a mass version of the spell will bump it up several levels. Mass Cure Light Wounds, for example, is a level 5 spell, whereas Cure Light Wounds is a level 1 spell.

The Copper Dragon has an ability called Mass Laughter:

SRD Copper Dragon wrote:

Mass Laughter (Sp)

An ancient copper dragon can tell a fantastic joke once per day as a standard action. All creatures within 10 feet per age category must make a Will save or laugh for 1 round per age category, as if affected by hideous laughter. The save DC is Charisma-based. This is equal to a 6th-level spell.

That's where the idea of it being the equivalent to a 6th-level spell comes from. CLW goes up four spell levels for the mass version. Hideous Laughter would also up four spell levels if there was a mass version (going off of the wizard spell list).

If you go off a bard's spells, it might be 4th or 5th level.

I hope this helps to clarify.


clarifies much thank you

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

MrTheThird, when you build magic items you have to put your GM cap on rather than your Players cap... The effect you are looking at is quite powerful as it could knock several creature not only prone but deny them any actions for several rounds.

Now looking through Ultimate Equipment an item that would probably be similar to what you want, that is a magic instrument with a area effect are the drums of panic at 30,000 gp.

If we use the spell weighting of the Copper dragon's ability:
(6th level)*(CL 11th)*(2,000gp use activated)= 132,000 gp

132,000 gp / 5 (1 charge per day)= 26,400 gp

26,400 * 2 (slotless item) = about $52,000 gp.

I'd say hideous laughter is a wee bit more effective than fear so the 20,000gphike is appropriate don't you think?

--School of Vrock

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

primemover003 wrote:

Whoa there... that might be how the chart prices it out but that's WAY too cheap for the effect you're looking for! 3,600 gp for an area effect hideous laughter? As a GM I would say no to this item immediately.

Wondrous items are more of an art to design than a science. For example the ability you're looking for is possessed by the CR 17 Ancient Copper Dragon and is considered a 6th level spell effect. So basing it off the 1st level Bard spell doesn't really balance its power level. You need to see if there is similar effect in the game already and use that as a benchmark. Then you have to play with it until it feels just right.

Check out the RPG Superstar boards to see many good threads about making Wondrous Items. You'll learn quite a bit. You might even want to try your hand at it come the end of December!

--Vrock Superstar

I did say that all of the above numbers were for a single target command word item...

I recommended between 10,800 and 14,400 gp as a cost for the AOE version, and that is with DC 11...

If made using the 6th level option then.

Spell Level (6) * Caster Level (11) * 1,800 gp * slot-less (2) = 237,600 gp or you could craft this for 118,800 gp.

This item uses your standard action when activated by speaking the command word, to target all creatures within 80 ft.

Crafting DC: 5 + Caster level (11) = 16

Effect: All targets within 80 ft has to make a DC 19 Will save or be subject to hideous laughter for eleven rounds.

Seems weak for an item that would only be available in the very late game (18+).

I agree item creation is an art, however I think that my original numbers are ok.

Sovereign Court

Covent, look at my post before yours. Being able to unleash that effect every round is far too much. Reducing it to a once a day makes the price fall more in line with the effect.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

King of Vrock wrote:
Covent, look at my post before yours. Being able to unleash that effect every round is far too much. Reducing it to a once a day makes the price fall more in line with the effect.

Sneaky Vrock! :-p

You must have posted while I was typing.

Honestly at 47,500 to buy or 23,750 to make humm...

Once per day DC 19 effect at level 12, due to that being the earliest this is 25% of your wealth if you craft it yourself, means that a fighter using 15 point buy will only need a 7 to save and will have a re-roll so if I remember correctly would have an ~9% chance to fail...

Most monsters with a good save at 12th have about a +12, with some outliers like the purple worm having only a +4, however the caveat of language in Hideous laughter would boost the worm to a +8 and the Sea Serpent to a +11. If you go by the monster table it is even worse with it saying 15/11.

Honestly having a 40% chance of success once a day is not bad, however for that amount of money I think you can get more, than basically a spell that is set to a DC equal to what a caster can get at level 5 and has all of the usual mind effecting problems. This item will age very poorly due to a non-scaling DC and will become completely useless around level 14-15.

At the level you can buy an unlimited use version it would only succeed on a 1 on most opponents so it just seems like it is not worth it in my opinion.

Not something worth the same as a Strand of Prayer Beads in my opinion, especially with the fact that you can get that sweet +4 caster level for 10 minutes from the strand. Heck you could even get a Lesser Quicken rod for less (35,000) and get more bang for your buck, or a stave of Slumber for only 34,050 gp.

Anyway just my opinion, I have to say personally I would have no problem with the DC 11 effect for about 12,000 gp that only lasts one round.

So accessible at level 7 or 8. No more powerful than the staff or a witch spamming sleep hex. A monster at these levels will need either a 1 to fail with a good save or a 5 or less with a poor save, I suspect that the language caveat on hideous laughter would make the situation even worse.

Shadow Lodge

primemover003 wrote:
I'd say hideous laughter is a wee bit more effective than fear so the 20,000gphike is appropriate don't you think?

I wouldn't say that Hideous Laughter is more effective than Fear.

Fear is a single save or be panicked, dropping everything and taking no action but to flee from the source of their fear. They also get a -2 penalty on saving throws and skill and ability checks used while fleeing. If they can't flee, they cower, getting -2 to AC on top of losing their Dex bonus. If they fail the save the condition lasts 1 round/level; if they make the save they are still shaken for 1 round.

If they fail a save against Hideous Laughter they fall prone and can take no actions. They get +4 AC vs Ranged attacks and -4 AC vs melee attacks. Unlike Fear they get a second save the next round to recover early, and if they make their initial save there is no effect. And creatures of a different type get a +4 bonus on their saves.

Either way if your enemy fails they aren't fighting back. Fear might be inconvenient if you want your foe captured or killed rather than just defeated, but Hideous Laughter is easier to resist. If the two affected the same area, I'd value them about equally.

That said, the Drums of Panic are bulky and I presume require two free hands to play. If these bells merely need to be attached to your clothing to be activated, I can accept an increase in price on that account.

To the OP: This is why custom item creation and pricing can be difficult.


If it matters any I want the bells to effect everyone in the area including the one who uses it.

This is all for a jester themed character, I'm also planning on making a a charm monster bell (single target only) a mass suggestion bell (join a conga line) Confusion bell,and an Irresistible dance Bell, all of which will be usable 3 times per day, will all be on one hate (except for the Charm bell which will be just above her butt) and will all effect me just as much as everyone else. this is a jest character btw

Shadow Lodge

"Friendly fire" ought to significantly decrease the cost. Not sure by how much, though. You'll really need to talk to your DM about this one.

I can say that in Irresistible Dance bell is going to be very expensive.

Sovereign Court

Wow, talk about timimg... this was in the Mythic Playtest document.

BOOK OF PERFECT JOKES
Aura moderate enchantment; CL 8th
Slot none; Price 27,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
DESCRIPTION
This small, weathered journal contains 10,000 jokes, each
perfectly suited for a particular creature. The book grants a +5
bonus on any Diplomacy check to influence the attitude of a
creature. Additionally, up to three times per day the book can
be used to cast hideous laughter (Will DC 13 negates).
Finally, by expending a use of mythic power, the book’s reader can make
a brutal verbal tirade mocking a creature. The target creature
is enraged per the rage spell, and all other enemies within 30
feet of the target begin laughing uncontrollably as per hideous
laughter
(Will DC 14 negates either effect). The book contains
only one perfect joke for any given creature, so attempting to
use the book on a creature a second time yields no effect.
CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Mythic Crafter, hideous
laughter
, rage; Cost 13,500 gp


That's fricken awesome

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