Magic Item Crafting: any unresolved questions?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

Can a Gnome or other race with Spell-like abilities with a CL=HD take Item creation feats even though they don't cast spells?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Racial spell like abilities don't give you an actual caster level.

If you want to take magic item creation as a noncaster, you need to take the Master Craftsman feat.

Liberty's Edge

LazarX wrote:

Racial spell like abilities don't give you an actual caster level.

If you want to take magic item creation as a noncaster, you need to take the Master Craftsman feat.

How do you figure that?

Prd wrote:
Gnome: The caster level for these effects is equal to the gnome's level

Contributor

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LazarX wrote:

Racial spell like abilities don't give you an actual caster level.

If you want to take magic item creation as a noncaster, you need to take the Master Craftsman feat.

The absolutely correct answer is "spell-like abilities are not spells, and therefore do not count as spells for anything that requires actual spellcasting."


I was reading over the scroll creation guidelines and the wording used raised a question for me. We've established that a wizard can use a sorcerer to "power" a scroll for him, but the phrase used in scroll creation is:
"The act of writing triggers the prepared spell, making it unavailable for casting until the character has rested and regained spells. (That is, that spell slot is expended from the caster's currently prepared spells, just as if it had been cast.)"

It doesn't say the spell has to be CAST like I had assumed it did. It seems to just happen automatically. The question I had was "Does the person providing the spell in this manner have to be willing?" Would it be possible to have an unconscious or otherwise incapacitated spell-caster nearby when scribing the scroll that is used to "power" it?

Not really a PC viable thing to do most of the time but it could be a very interesting trick for a evil wizard BBEG.


Bob the Intelligent Amulet of Natural Armor has the Disrupt Undead spell as an at-will ability.

Per the intelligent item rules, "All powers function at the direction of the item".

Bob, by the rules on intelligent magic items, should be treated as a construct.

So, what is Bob's attack bonus for purposes the ranged touch attack involved in Disrupt Undead?


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
see wrote:

Bob the Intelligent Amulet of Natural Armor has the Disrupt Undead spell as an at-will ability.

Per the intelligent item rules, "All powers function at the direction of the item".

Bob, by the rules on intelligent magic items, should be treated as a construct.

So, what is Bob's attack bonus for purposes the ranged touch attack involved in Disrupt Undead?

Seriously. There's a lot of unknowns when it comes to intelligent magic items.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Oh, another question.

If this has already been asked, I’m sorry, but please clarify if you can take +5 on magic items that requires feats you do not have.

I am not talking about the creation feats, I know those are mandatory. For example, when creating metamagic rods, the metmagic feat is always a requirement. Can you bypass that with a +5 DC if you do not have the metmagic feat?


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
LazarX wrote:

Racial spell like abilities don't give you an actual caster level.

If you want to take magic item creation as a noncaster, you need to take the Master Craftsman feat.

The absolutely correct answer is "spell-like abilities are not spells, and therefore do not count as spells for anything that requires actual spellcasting."

You have no idea just how much work you've saved me with having to explain that over in Rules Questions. Thanks!


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There was some question about how a ring of invisibility was supposed to work. If you take everything literally, you have to say a command word, then you become invisible for 3 minutes (which messes with it's intended use), but the ring is priced at twice the expected price, so there's some room to change such details, but there's nothing in the ring's description about any such changes.

Anyway, it'd be a good example item for breaking down all the pricing and usage details.


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It's priced at twice the "expected" price because it turns out the "expected" price isn't that good an estimate for its power.

As it turns out, the ring of invisibility actually is the example of how the guidelines are just guidelines.

GMG, Pg 117 wrote:

Pricing a magic item is more art than science. Guidance

on item pricing is given in Table 15–29 on page 550 of
the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, but a trip through the
magic item section shows the formulas are often not
applied exactly. An example is the ring of invisibility, with
a calculated price of 10,800 gp, but a book value of 20,000
gp. This is because the at-will nature of the ring offsets the
biggest drawback of invisibility, namely that it ends after
attacking. When pricing new magic items, watch out for
any item that counteracts a basic weakness of an ability,
class, or spell.


Yes, I've read that several times before, but this is a thread to bring up questions, and the questions in this case weren't specifically about the pricing (other than that it'd make for a good example to break down).

Edit: BTW, CRB 478 (activating rings) and CRB 481 (ring of invisibility) contradict that quote. Nothing anywhere else says the ring of invisibility is an at-will item. The description of the ring says it needs to be activated, and the section on activating rings says that unless the individual entry states otherwise, rings are activated by a spoken command word as a move action.

So yes, there are still questions here.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
The absolutely correct answer is "spell-like abilities are not spells, and therefore do not count as spells for anything that requires actual spellcasting."

How about an alchemists extracts?

Or a witches hexes?

Or a whatsit whosesit?


Can Craft Wondrous Item be used to create a one-shot item without difficult activation requirements that duplicates the effects of a spell?

It seems to be a common assumption that Craft Wondrous Item can be used to, for example, create a crystal that, when rubbed, casts Cure Light Wounds on the person activating it, and thereby render Brew Potion redundant. A clarification of whether it can be used for such "spell in a can" type effects would be appreciated.


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At-will simply means that there's no limit on uses per day, and perhaps a few other minor things. No limit means at-will too.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
LazarX wrote:

Racial spell like abilities don't give you an actual caster level.

If you want to take magic item creation as a noncaster, you need to take the Master Craftsman feat.

The absolutely correct answer is "spell-like abilities are not spells, and therefore do not count as spells for anything that requires actual spellcasting."

I don't see a problem with a Drow using her natural Darkness spell-like ability as a component for creating a magic item of some sort that has more than one spell component needed. However, a creature that tries to create a magic item using ONLY spell-like abilities would still go as a no in my books. Would the rules clarify this, or is it an extreme "NO" to this case I presented as well?

Contributor

Fergie wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
The absolutely correct answer is "spell-like abilities are not spells, and therefore do not count as spells for anything that requires actual spellcasting."

How about an alchemists extracts?

Or a witches hexes?
Or a whatsit whosesit?

Also "not spells."

Icyshadow wrote:
I don't see a problem with a Drow using her natural Darkness spell-like ability as a component for creating a magic item of some sort that has more than one spell component needed. However, a creature that tries to create a magic item using ONLY spell-like abilities would still go as a no in my books. Would the rules clarify this, or is it an extreme "NO" to this case I presented as well?

SLAs are not spells. SLAs merely duplicate the effects of spells and can be disrupted like spells, but they don't come with the innate know-how of "a spell is element X, Y, and Z, combined for a specific effect," which is the sort of knowledge you need to incorporate a spell into a magic item. An SLA is "I think really hard, and this neat thing happens," it's a shorthand way of creating/manipulating a power that you don't actually understand. It's like knowing that you want to create a rabbit with glowing fur, and you have one guy who studied glowing jellyfish and understand how the genes work, and another guy who can cut open a glow-stick to let all the toxic glowing chemicals out.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Thansk for clarifying that, Sean. But this is something I think that should be added as well when clarifying the magic item creation rules in the upcoming sourcebook.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Sean,
What about a creature who can cast a spell a certain number of times per day. I don't mean as a SLA, the creature description says 'This creature can cast X spell N times per day'. For example, a Planetar Angel 'casts spells as if a cleric of 16th level'. These are not SLAs (they are listed separately). So, for creatures that cast spells without class levels that grant spells, do those count for creating items?

I'd think they did, but since they don't get spellcasting from a class, they're sort of half-way between a class granted spell and an SLA.

Contributor

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If it says it's casting spells, it's casting spells (in fact, the planetar's entry says it has Spells Prepared, so those are actual spells).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
If it says it's casting spells, it's casting spells (in fact, the planetar's entry says it has Spells Prepared, so those are actual spells).

Just wanted to confirm and clarify. :)

Dark Archive

Thanks again for listening to us Paizo!

One question about magic weapon abilities:

If one weapon cannot have the same special ability twice, do bane (evil outsiders) and bane (chaotic outsiders) count as the same ability or as different abilities for that rule?

I know if you're going by rules-as-written, that rule is a note attached to the table of special abilities, one of which is bane...

...however, since there can be more than one "type" of bane due to the associated creature type/subtype, some people I've played and chatted with think that different "types" of bane should be allowed on a single weapon.

Clarification on this point (unless it's been done before and I missed it) would be appreciated.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I've always allowed multiple banes, but only one can give a bonus at a time. So bane elf and bane human would both work against a half-elf, but you'd still only get the +2/+2d6, not the double bonus.

That's from the 3.5 clarifcations though, so something in PF about it would be nice.


So I guess that puts the kibosh on Alchemists being able to make non-potion magic items?

Dark Archive

mdt wrote:

I've always allowed multiple banes, but only one can give a bonus at a time. So bane elf and bane human would both work against a half-elf, but you'd still only get the +2/+2d6, not the double bonus.

That's from the 3.5 clarifcations though, so something in PF about it would be nice.

Of course GM fiat always applies in these situations, but official clarification would help simplify things tremendously.

Contributor

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I consider evil outsider bane and chaotic outsider bane to be two different properties.

Evil outsider bane and evil outsider bane are the same property, though...


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I consider evil outsider bane and chaotic outsider bane to be two different properties.

Evil outsider bane and evil outsider bane are the same property, though...

Is that an official clarification? So what happens when you EOB and COB on the same weapon and attack a chaotic evil outsider? Is your weapons enhancement bonus +4 against this creature and gain +4d6 damage? Would it stack with holy as well?

You could have a +5 keen, holy, evil outsider bane, chaotic outsider bane greatsword that would cost 200,000 gp, and that would then be +9 to attacks and deal 2d6+9+6d6 on each hit vs. chaotic evil creatures, with a critical threat range of 17-20.

In my view, bane is bane is bane, and therefore any weapon can only have one. But what do I know? I'm just a customer and a player.

MA

Liberty's Edge

Most item creation feats require you to have a Caster Level not the ability to cast spells like the pre-req for Arcane Strike. Now spell trigger and spell completion are pointless with out actual spell casting ability, but Arms and Armor & Wonderous you don't need the spell you can increase the spellcraft check by 5 and still make the item.

So thats my reasoning for asking in the first place, i understand the difference but I don't see where you need actual spellcasting and not just caster level.

Contributor

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Flashohol wrote:

Most item creation feats require you to have a Caster Level not the ability to cast spells like the pre-req for Arcane Strike. Now spell trigger and spell completion are pointless with out actual spell casting ability, but Arms and Armor & Wonderous you don't need the spell you can increase the spellcraft check by 5 and still make the item.

So thats my reasoning for asking in the first place, i understand the difference but I don't see where you need actual spellcasting and not just caster level.

You need spellcasting (and not just SLAs) because the Creating Magic Items chapter repeatedly says "spells" and "spellcasters," not "spell-like abilities" and "creatures with spell-like abilities" (the only time the word "spell-like" appears in that chapter is the sentence "Abilities such as an attack roll bonus or saving throw bonus and a spell-like function are not similar").

So sure, in the broadest interpretation, having a caster level for a spell-like ability means that you can meet the caster level prerequisite for Brew Potion and such, but according to the Magic Item Creation rules, you still can't create any items because nothing in that section says you can use spell-like abilities to create magic items as if they were spells. In addition, most of the item crafting feats say "you can create a [potion, scroll, wand, etc.] of any spell you know," but having an SLA doesn't mean you know that spell.

We also have FAQs that state that metamagic feats don't work on SLAs (because they aren't spells) and SLAs don't count as spellcasting for the purpose of activating spell completion and spell trigger items (because they aren't spells).

SLAs aren't spells, they're spell-like abilities, meaning they are like spells but are not actually spells (otherwise they'd just be called spells and we wouldn't have SLAs as a separate game unit).

EDIT 5/6/13: Found some rules text in the early part of the Magic Items chapter that fortunately reverses the above (Core Rulebook page 461, Requirements section, paragraph 2). Hooray! Simpler! More fun!


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I would like a PFRPG listing of the "slot affinities" table. The 3.5 DMG had a table on page 288, but PF did some tweaking with the head/headband.

This table has come up in RPG Superstar before as a guideline and I'd like to see it back in print and updated.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
The absolutely correct answer is "spell-like abilities are not spells, and therefore do not count as spells for anything that requires actual spellcasting."

How about an alchemists extracts?

Or a witches hexes?
Or a whatsit whosesit?

Also "not spells."

Doesn't that as a ruling kind of make the alchemist class cry like a little girl? Isn't one of his class abilities Brew Potion, and he can presumably use it for something without the cooperation of another spellcaster...

Contributor

pad300 wrote:
Doesn't that as a ruling kind of make the alchemist class cry like a little girl? Isn't one of his class abilities Brew Potion, and he can presumably use it for something without the cooperation of another spellcaster...

It would, except the alchemist brew potion class ability specifically makes an exception:

Brew Potion (Ex): At 1st level, alchemists receive Brew Potion as a bonus feat. An alchemist can brew potions of any formulae he knows (up to 3rd level), using his alchemist level as his caster level. The spell must be one that can be made into a potion. The alchemist does not need to meet the prerequisites for this feat.


SKR: I think part of the problem with Spell-like abilities stems from one single line:

CRB p221 wrote:
In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell.

While that line is helpful in many respects it also confuses the issue as to what a SLA can and cannot do. Only specific exceptions as to how an SLA is different from a spell counter that sentance. If the exception is not written in and does not exist then confusion occurs.

- Gauss

Contributor

I whole agree that the rules could use a lot of clarification.

But I've had to say three times in a row, "SLAs are not spells and don't count for the purpose of item creation."


Oh, I am not disagreeing with you. I am just pointing out one possible source as to the confusion and until a statement to the contrary is put into the book that source will continue. (Ok, in all fairness itll probably continue AFTER it is put into the book but at least then people can point to it without having to reference a developer comment.)

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

How does Carrion Crown have Alchemists Crafting Magic Items?

I mean, I have a very hard time, suddenly not allowing the Alchemist to craft a Homunculus, or a Flesh Golem, or any of the various Elixirs.

I mean, has this changed? No Alchemist Liches?

Is this another FoB?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

There is a difference between not being able to craft spell completion items as an alchemist (other than potions), and saying they can't craft items at all. At worst, they'd take +5's for not having the spells to craft wondrous items, for example.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I already have self-righteous posters linking this thread to prove their point that Alchemist cannot craft a thing other than potions, and can't have familiars.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
So sure, in the broadest interpretation, having a caster level for a spell-like ability means that you can meet the caster level prerequisite for Brew Potion and such, but according to the Magic Item Creation rules, you still can't create any items because nothing in that section says you can use spell-like abilities to create magic items as if they were spells. In addition, most of the item crafting feats say "you can create a [potion, scroll, wand, etc.] of any spell you know," but having an SLA doesn't mean you know that spell.

But a creature with item creation feats and no spells could still craft items that are neither spell-completion nor spell-trigger items, right? I mean, that's pretty much the entire premise of the Master Craftsman feat.


Enchanting shields with shield spikes.

How do you enchant a shield with a shield spike? Do you enchant the spikes separately? Or is there some rule I have missed?

Can you take 10 on a craft magic item roll? I see no rule that says otherwise, so I assume you can, but with such an important roll I would like a definitive ruling.


The spikes are enchanted separately as weapons.

CRB p153 wrote:
An enhancement bonus on a spiked shield does not improve the effectiveness of a shield bash made with it, but a spiked shield can be made into a magic weapon in its own right.

You can take 10 on ANY skill. The developers have confirmed that you can take 10 on a craft magic item check.

- Gauss


blackbloodtroll wrote:
I already have self-righteous posters linking this thread to prove their point that Alchemist cannot craft a thing other than potions, and can't have familiars.

That's not what I was doing at all and quite frankly that is highly offensive. I was the one who first compiled all the evidence for alchemists being able to craft magic items, including the carrion crown parts, as well as the serpent's skull player's guide. With the original designer's comments on the issue, I was utterly convinced that they could craft magic items. I answered question after question on this topic saying they could because I felt that my evidence was good enough that in the absence of official clarification, it was correct.

You can even see my evidence post here. I linked to it quite frequently.

But I only care for the intent of the rules. So I kept looking. And between the peculiar wording of Brew Potion, some posts by JB and now these posts, I am more and more convinced the other way.

And I said and purposefully implied nothing about tumor familiars and improved familiar lately.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cheapy wrote:
So I guess that puts the kibosh on Alchemists being able to make non-potion magic items?

A alchemist has caster levels, he hasn't spells.

So he can't craft wands, scrolls and other item that require to have the specific spell prepared. He has no trouble making a wondrous item or an armor.

Silver Crusade

Sean,

Not sure if anyone else has covered this but could you clarify whether or not a Simulacrum can be used as essentially a Magic Item Factory?

Liberty's Edge

PRD "Master Craftman" wrote:

Benefit: ...

Normal: Only spellcasters can qualify for the Craft Magic Arms and Armor and Craft Wondrous Item feats.

"Only Spellcasters can Qualify" this is the important bit for me, seems if you have a caster level you ARE a spellcaster.


Ymrilix wrote:
Abilities such as touch of law to allow a natural 11 to be used, diviner foresight to roll a 20 and possibly apply it, guidance for a simple +1, ect.

I'd like to expand on this:

can a short-term temporary boost be used? (for example, Fox's Cunning)

How about anything that allows rerolls? (for example, the Luck domain's "Good Fortune" power)

Sticking with the Luck domain, could "Bit of Luck" be used?

If I'm UMDing the spell requirement, what happens if I don't make the (UMD) target number? (for example, I fail to cast from a scroll)
Does the answer change if I roll a 1?

Could advice gained from the use of, for example, the Divination spell, be used to gain a bonus in creating an item? (Almost like a potent 'aid another')


Clarification on the creation of more powerful (ie multiple use) items of a given type. Consider one the more potent items (for the cost) in UE. The Mnemonic Robe. A 5000 gp item allows a spontaneous caster to once a day use a spell (of his type: arcane or divine) he has a written (either scroll or spellbook) version of using his own spellslots. Ok, guidance as written from a certain infamous table:

Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values wrote:
Charges per day | Divide by (5 divided by charges per day)

So an unlimited use version of this would be 25000 gp? That could get a little ugly (note, I'm not suggesting this will break your game, but it will do fun things for Mr. Spontaneous Caster's versatility).

Also more guidance on what constitutes similar abilities. Consider the Sorcerer supreme's robe. Combines Robes of Arcane Heritage (16000 gp), and unlimited use versions of the Sorcerer's Robe (5000* 5/3 in this case, also from UE) and the Unlimited Use Mnemonic Robe above.

Can this really be 25000 pg + 0.75 (similar powers)* 16000+0.75*(5000*5/3) = 43250 gp? Seems really cheap for the power level involved

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ultimate Equipment wrote:

PAGE OF SPELL KNOWLEDGE

This page is covered in densely-worded arcane or divine magical runes. It contains the knowledge of a single arcane or divine spell (chosen by the creator when the item is crafted). If the bearer is a spontaneous spellcaster and has that spell on her class spell list, she may use her spell slots to cast that spell as if it were one of her spells known. A page of spell knowledge is priced based on the spell’s cleric or sorcerer/wizard spell level, unless the spell doesn’t appear on either of those spell lists, in which case it is based on the highest spell level as it appears on any other spell list. For example, a spell that is on the 4th-level inquisitor list and the 2nd-level paladin list is priced as a 4th-level spell.

Craft Wondrous Item, creator must be able to cast the spell contained in the page

This object fall under "Wondrous items", so the crafter can simply take a +5 to the DC and "fake" knowing the spell.

Personally I find that a bit disturbing. A thing is "faking" an effect (I don't know haste but I can enchant these boots so they make the wearer faster), another is imparting knowledge you don't have "I don't know haste but I make a book that theach how to cast haste".

It wouldn't be better to say that this kind of item has the same limit of Spell Completion items, "In addition, you cannot create potions, spell-trigger, or spell-completion magic items without meeting their spell prerequisites."?

Maybe changing the line above to "In addition, you cannot create potions, spell-trigger, spell-completion magic items or items that impart spell knowledge without meeting their spell prerequisites.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Can i change size of magic armor or weapon? If i could how much cost it will be?

Sovereign Court

Can you reforge a magic weapon into a different weapon? Like turning a magic longsword into a magic shortsword? What abilities do you need?

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