Enhancing Specific Armors and Weapons


Rules Questions


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Is it possible to further enhance the specific armors and weapons in the book?

I'm specifically interested in building a better celestial armor (more AC bonus, and/or more Max Dex bonus). I see challenges though. For example, with celestial armor, you would need to retro fit the cost of a suit of +3 chainmail (easy enough), the cost of adding a 1/day fly (possible...probably a +x gp type ability), and a very high max dex bonus (I'm not sure how you would determined the cost of this/point of dexterity, but it should scale exponentially).

Are you supposed to be able to do this? How would you do this?

It seems like a lot of interesting items like celestial armor don't see much use at the game table because for any given PC they're only good for a few levels. Before that the player cannot afford it, and after that the player can afford something better. If you can't upgrade them like normal weapons and armor they can be a bit costly.

FYI...

Celestial Armor (22,400 gp)
This bright silver or gold +3 chainmail is so fine and light that it can be worn under normal clothing without betraying its presence. It has a maximum Dexterity bonus of +8, an armor check penalty of –2, and an arcane spell failure chance of 15%. It is considered light armor and allows the wearer to use fly on command (as the spell) once per day.

Scarab Sages

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In the magic items creation stuff, you can find all the formulas to let you reverse-engineer all the costs.

Celestial Armor
+3 chainmail, max dex of +8, armor check penalty of -2, arcane spell failure of 15%, fly 1/day as 5th level caster.

Price 22,400 gp

+3 = 9000g

Fly 3x5x1800=27000

27000 /(5/1) since it's one use/day

27000/5=5400

5400*1.5 since it's a multiple different ability
=8100

9000+8100 = 17100

Chainmail has a normal dex bonus of +6, and an armor check penalty of 30%, and an armor check penalty of -5, and functions as medium armor.

Mithral drops the category by one, increases max dex bonus by 2, and reduces arcane spell failure by 10%, and reduces armor check penalties by 3. Mithral medium armor adds 4000gp to the price

17100+4000=21,100

21,100 + 150 for the chainmail puts you at 21,250g, which is close enough to the original price to determine that the above stuff is fairly accurate as to how the item was priced.

For further upgrades to the armor, treat it as +3 armor for adding special abilities or additional enhancement bonuses. Everything else functions differently, and doesn't count towards the maximum enhancement limit.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Thanks!


However, nowhere is it mentioned that the armour is really MADE from mithral.
So, nothing against fashioning one from mithral from the ground up, if you have the ressources.
Same holds true for the tesselated full plate from ye olde Arms&Equipment Guide. Loved it. ^^

And, if you really want to be a P.I.T.A. for your GM, search for the "glassteel" material from the Forgotten Realms. Costly, but it combines the effects of mithral and adamantine...

;-)


Except that Chainmail actually only has a Max Dex bonus of +2, so Mithral would only raise it to +4. I am not sure where the other +4 is coming from, but that is one of the reasons why Celestial armor is so awesome and is worth enhancing if you can.

Sovereign Court

The easiest way to enhance this armor is to cast Magic Vestment on it with a high caster level. So buddy up to those handy clerics and ask them nicely for a magic vestment.

Otherwise if you want to increase it to +5 just add 9,000 - 25,000 = 14,00g to the price of the armor.


Nether Saxon wrote:

However, nowhere is it mentioned that the armour is really MADE from mithral.

So, nothing against fashioning one from mithral from the ground up, if you have the ressources.
Same holds true for the tesselated full plate from ye olde Arms&Equipment Guide. Loved it. ^^

And, if you really want to be a P.I.T.A. for your GM, search for the "glassteel" material from the Forgotten Realms. Costly, but it combines the effects of mithral and adamantine...

;-)

Maybe true, but the impression I get is that whatever Celestial armor is made of, it's actually lighter than mithral, so trying to make it out of mithral would increase the weight.

To me, trying to "lighten" Celestial armor by making it out of mithral is just about as pointless as trying to "lighten" mithral armor by making it out of iron.


James had this to say:
Celestial armor is not mithral—it's actually made of silver or gold (as mentioned in its description), and thus doesn't gain any of the standard modifiers for being mithral at all. It's its own thing. Its lower arcane spell failure and higher max Dex bonus are a result of its magical qualities, not what it's made out of. In addition, this magic allows folks to wear it as if it were light armor—the mithral versions don't do this because mithral isn't fundamentally magical like the enhancements on celestial armor.

Link:

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/rules/celestialArmorConfusionAndAreFullPlatesAlwaysMasterwork&page=1


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

I agree with Magicdealer’s math up until he adds mithral since it is not made from mithral. So the cost of celestial armor of 22,400, minus the +3 enhancement bonus of 9000 and fly once per day of 8100 results in 22,400-9000-8100 =5300 for the cost of celestial magic quality (on medium armor).

I view the celestial quality as providing the following benefits based on comparing traditional chainmail with the celestial armor described in the book.

Celestial Quality
1. Treat armor as one category lighter (I would say minimum light)
2. Maximum Dexterity bonuses are increased by 6
3. Armor check Penalties are decreased by 3
4. Arcane Spell Failure is decreased by 15%

Mithral Quality
1. Treat armor as one category lighter (min light)
2. Maximum Dexterity bonuses are increased by 2
3. Armor check penalties are decreased by 3 (min 0)
4. Arcane Spell Failure is decreased by 10%

To make mithral chain, the cost increases by 4000 for medium armor according to the Special Materials section. The Celestial quality provides an increase of 4 above mithral to Dexterity bonuses and 5% more for Arcane Spell Failure for a cost of 1300 more than mithral? I don’t know if the cost of the celestial quality should be more or not. There is nothing in the rules that says these bonuses couldn’t stack. I would require proficiency in the use of the non-adjusted armor category however, like mithral requires. So yes, you could have plate that would be considered light armor if it was both mithral and celestial, but I would require proficiency in heavy armor. Further thoughts?

Shadow Lodge

I agree with parts of Magicdealer's math, but there's one thing that's very wrong with it aside from assuming Celestial=Mithral.

Magicdealer wrote:

Fly 3x5x1800=27000

27000 /(5/1) since it's one use/day

27000/5=5400

5400*1.5 since it's a multiple different ability

There's no basis for multiplying the fly cost by 1.5 since it is not a multiple different ability. That cost applies when you have one item with multiple abilities, such as the Helm of Brilliance or a Belt of Physical Perfection. So really, what you're looking at as far as cost breakdown:

Base Materials: 150gp (for base chainmail) + 150gp (for masterwork component) = 300 gp

+3 enhancement: 9000gp, minimum caster level 9

Fly 1/day: 3rd level spell x 5th level caster x 1800 gp / (5 / 1 charge per day) = 5400gp, minimum caster level 5

After all this, you would have a suit of +3 chainmail that let you cast fly 1/day for 14,700 gp. Max Dex = +2, ACP = -4, ASF = 30%

Factor in (per James comment) that it is made of solid silver or gold, and you have an additional Special Material cost to make something that could masquerade as Celestial armor.

Silver: 20 lbs x 50sp/lb / 10sp/gp = 100gp
Gold: 20 lbs x 50gp/lb = 1000gp

This Special Material cost is probably part of the "Celestial" component cost, so you're looking at 7,700 gp for that component. Breakdown of the Celestial component's abilities:

-Weight decreased by 50%, must be made of silver or gold
-Max Dex increased by +6
-ACP decreased by 2
-ASF decreased by 15%

Speculative Math:
From this point on, this is pure speculation on my part.

There's no common denominator to break the abilities down further, so each factor would either have to be taken separately, or they have to be taken all together. Taken all together, the breakdown stops here. Taken separately, you have 6 boosts to Max Dex, 2 decreases of ACP, 3 decreases of ASF (increments of 5%), and 1 weight reduction (the Special Material cost of making it out of silver or gold can't be factored in, unfortunately, because of the variable nature of the end product; RAW, a silver Celestial Armor and a gold Celestial Armor have the same construction cost, despite the materials being different in cost by a factor of 10).

If all of these reductions are assumed to be roughly equivalent in power, you would divide 7700gp by 12 and get roughly 642gp per effect. If one discounted the weight reduction as a side effect, that 7700 would be divided by 11 instead for a clean 700 per effect. Those would be the costs to use if the Celestial component wanted to be enhanced, which partially addresses the OP's question.

Given the point raised that such a modification should scale exponentially, breaking it down that way becomes less pretty. You'd end up with a formula (157.14gp x penalty reduction^2) that doesn't look like it makes much sense given how clean the other cost formulas are.

For a personal opinion portion, I'd probably rule that the "Celestial component" can't be broken down, but could be applied to other metal armors. One could have, for example, Celestial Full-Plate (Heavy Armor Proficiency, but counts as Medium).


As was already posted above, james jacobs has already broken down cost for celestial on medium armor, 13,300 if I remember correctly. On heavy armor the cost should be raised significantly, 30,000 or so to have celestial on it is not at all out of line. As a specific ability/enchant, it cannot be broken down into its individual components... no removing fly to reduce cost etc.

These are not RAW rules, if you are looking for RAW the answer is there are no rules to break down unique armor qualities.

DISCLAIMER: so... tired.... if tone or spelling sucks I apologize profusely.


Isn't there a rule that you can't upgrade specific items?

I seem to remember having read that in a discussion between me and one of my GMs.

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