Crafting Magic Items - easier than it seems?

Rules Questions

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a player who wants to add Fortification (Light) to his existing magic armour. The party is 10th level, and the party wizard has Craft Magic Arms and Armour (cue numerous jokes from one of my players about wanting to cut off his limbs to get magical arms...).

Either I'm being blind, or it's just unclear - I can't find anything in the item creation rules that would prevent a 10th level wizard from crafting this enchantment, even though he doesn't match the caster level (13th) for it (except for the possibility of failing the check to craft it, of course).

Can he do this? What will the DC be to craft it (you can safely assume he doesn't meet the spell requirement, either), if he can?

I'm not certain on this one, but I believe he does need to have a caster level of 13 to make that item.

Magic Item Creation section of the CRB wrote:
Creating magic armor has a special prerequisite: The creator's caster level must be at least three times the enhancement bonus of the armor. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met. Magic armor or a magic shield must have at least a +1 enhancement bonus to have any armor or shield special abilities.

This special prerequisite is an exception to the rule that only the item creation feat is strictly required, I believe.

Assuming he can make it, the DC would be a base of 18 (5 + the CL, which is 13, +5 since he's not meeting the CL). If he doesn't have Limited Wish, the DC will be 28.

At this level, he's all but assured to be able to make it if he can in fact increase the DC by 5 to ignore that CL requirement. Once you spend the feat, the intent is that you are basically able to make anything, and the +18 needed to make the item when taking 10 is pretty easy to hit by level 10, as long as he's been putting a rank into Spellcraft each level.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks for the find, Cheapy.

I'm inclined to agree that it's not possible until he hits 13th level (which kind of sucks for a +1 Enhancement), since the "Caster level requirement" bit appears, despite the fact that the caster level of items is distinct and separate from the crafting requirements, and the general crafting rules don't mention caster level at all.

I asked this because I came across an FAQ entry regarding Pearls of Power, which suggests that caster level is not actually a requirement.

Liberty's Edge

Honestly, this has been a matter of much debate, though by strict RAW I would assume they don't have to meet the minimum caster level. I personally dislike that and wouldn't allow it in my game (if I allowed crafting at all, which I probably wouldn't).

Caster level isn't a requirement unless it's in the prerequisites area.

Weapons and Armor just have that text which grays things a bit for me. It could just be a normal prerequisite like the spell, or it could be an exception to the rule that only the item creation feat is required. (Or the item creation feat and CL, as is the case with constructs)

Keep in mind the Major level requirement for Weapons & Armor is the level requirement for the actual feat & the fact that in order to craft said Arms & Armor you must be 3x the level of the total magical bonus you are making.

Ok, after consulting with a few people, I'm now mostly convinced that they can't bypass that caster level requirement. There are other special prerequisites that can't be bypassed, like potions, spell completion, and spell trigger items needing the spell.

The caster level isn't listed as a prerequisite, which would be written as "creator's caster level must be at least three times the cloak's bonus" or something similar, so it doesn't even need the +5 to bypass. Compare the specific armors' writeups.

Also, the 3xBonus caster level only applies to the straight enhancement bonus, not the total magic bonus.

Really, the caster level makes almost no difference anyway. Requiring someone to be level 13 to make a light fortification armor would mean no one would make light fortification armor.

Caster Level for a magic item simply indicates a relative difficulty (lower than X means a higher spellcraft check), not a requirement. There are very few items that state a specific required caster level.

A better example of something that does require a specific level (which can still be overcome with a +5 DC) is a spell storing weapon.

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