Altering a specific magic item


Rules Questions


Is there anything in the rules that says you can or can't buy altered specific magic items?

In this case, I am trying to get my GM to accept that I can buy Celestial Armor at a +1 enhancement bonus instead of the normal +3 the armor is described as having.

(This would reduce the price of the armor by 8000gp, as that is the difference between normal +1 armor and +3)

He won't let me.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Check in Ultimate Campaigns, they discuss that, but the ruling does get a bit tricky with things like Celestial Armor. Basically, it says that technically you could, but things like this are always DM's discretion.


There is nothing in the rules specifically disallowing it. But your GM has final say in everything and when it comes to altered magic items doubly so, because the rules specifically mention that you need GM permission for anything not specifically printed.


Val'bryn2 wrote:
Check in Ultimate Campaigns, they discuss that, but the ruling does get a bit tricky with things like Celestial Armor. Basically, it says that technically you could, but things like this are always DM's discretion.

Where in UCamp?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pages 170-172, specifically 170-171, under upgrading items, second paragraph on page 171.


http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateCampaign/campaignSystems/magicIt emCreation.html

Here's a link to the section on the PRD.


That particular section doesn't help me because it doesn't say anything about downgrading. We already went over it.

Not even that downgrading is against the rules.


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Short answer there is nothing in the rules explicitly allowing or forbidding buying or creating custom items. There are rules on their existence, price estimates, but everything is GM fiat. That means your GM has the final say, period.

Long answer it's complicated. So very, very complicated. UCamp page 171 actually lays out a lot of why, but the short of it is that Celestial Armor is +3 (counts as light) (increased dex) (lowered ACP) (fly 1/day) armor. Any of those things in parenthesis could be a +1 equivalent armor property instead of flat cost, changing the price difference between +1 Celestial and +3 Celestial from 8,000 to 12,000. You only part with a known cost is the +3 and the armor, all the rest is known only to some developer long ago. In addition to affecting getting the items earlier, it also affects improving them later. If it's a +4 equivalent armor your next +1 costs 9,000 instead of 7,000. Still ends with "whatever your GM says".

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you can upgrade, you can downgrade, you just use the rules in reverse. Subtracting gold from the cost instead of adding it. Look at it this way, either those rules provide you with some justification to your GM to allow it, or they don't in which case you have absolutely nothing to convince your GM with. Your call.


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Your best bet is to ask your GM if you can simply subtract the cost of the +3 from the armor, and add on the cost of a +1.

Base price: 22,400
+3 costs 9,000

Removed +3 = 13,400
+1 costs 1,000

Add +1 back in, 14,400.

Since you aren't wanting to change any of the other properties of the armor, that is how I would price it. Then ask if you can either craft or find +1 celestial armor instead of the listed +3 at this cost.


Tarantula wrote:

Your best bet is to ask your GM if you can simply subtract the cost of the +3 from the armor, and add on the cost of a +1.

Base price: 22,400
+3 costs 9,000

Removed +3 = 13,400
+1 costs 1,000

Add +1 back in, 14,400.

Since you aren't wanting to change any of the other properties of the armor, that is how I would price it. Then ask if you can either craft or find +1 celestial armor instead of the listed +3 at this cost.

I've already made this point.

DM says, "Item is created AT +3"

I said, "I can just ask a wizard to craft me the same armor just with less enhancement bonus" but he wouldn't accept that.


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If that is what your DM said than in that campaign it is not possible. DM's call is always final call.


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You really have no leverage here. If your GM says you can't get it, you can't get it.


Mithral Chainmail: Light Armor | +6 AC | +4 Max Dex | -2 ACP | 20% ASF | 30ft Spd
150 (base) + 150 (masterwork) + 4000 (Mithral) = 4300gp

Fly (CL5) 1/day (Command)
((3 (lv) x 5 (CL) x 1800 (command)) / 5 (use/day)) / 2 (daily limitation)) = 2700gp CRB p.550, note 4

+3 Enhancement Bonus
3^2 x 1000 = 9000gp

TOTAL
4300gp (Base Item) + 9000gp (Enhancement Bonus) + 2700gp (ability) = 16,000gp

That's as direct a port as possible. The additional +4 Max Dex and -5% ASF can't easily be accounted for, so it's likely the price was just a fiat of what price seemed appropriate for those stats to its designer.

---

This is a better alternative to the above:

VALKYRIE'S CUIRASS
Aura Faint Transmutation | CL 5 | Weight 15 lbs | Price 16,250gp
Type Light Armor (Mithral Agile Breastplate) | AC +9 (+6 Armor +3 Enh) | Max Dex +5 | ACP -1 | ASF 15% | Spd (med) 30ft | Special: Fly 1/day, command (CL5)
Requirements: Craft Magic Arms & Armor, Fly; Cost: 8,125gp

Aside from the +5 Max Dex, this is identical to or BETTER than the Celestial Armor anyway.

Show your DM the calculations and see if he'll accept this, or a weaker version (since the math is all there in front of him)

A Mithral Agile Breastplate, by the way, is 400 (base) + 150 (MW) + 4000 (Mithral) = 4550gp


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No matter what rules we quote, those rules have no power to change a GMs ruling. The only way that could be possible would be in PFS, and you can't create custom items there. In this particular case the rules are very clear about GM permission, so you really have no case at all.

Personally speaking I would allow it on a case by case basis. The more difficult it is to figure out how to price the item the less likely I would allow it.


If you aren't willing to just give up, the next best thing to do would be to have a discussion with your GM about why he is making that ruling. If it's because he firmly believes that the rules themselves don't allow it, show him this thread and the many people who believe they do. On the other hand, if he wants to prevent custom items in general, you may be out of luck.

Would you be allowed to buy a +4 celestial armor? If so, ask him why the rules for a downgraded version should be different.

GMs have the right to make the final call, but they also [should] have the responsibility to listen and work with their players.


Ziere Tole wrote:

If you aren't willing to just give up, the next best thing to do would be to have a discussion with your GM about why he is making that ruling. If it's because he firmly believes that the rules themselves don't allow it, show him this thread and the many people who believe they do. On the other hand, if he wants to prevent custom items in general, you may be out of luck.

Would you be allowed to buy a +4 celestial armor? If so, ask him why the rules for a downgraded version should be different.

GMs have the right to make the final call, but they also [should] have the responsibility to listen and work with their players.

See, I don't think the rules "allow" it per-say, because the Celestial Armor can't really be backwards-engineered - and I'd side with the DM on disallowing the downgrade.

As I showed above, you can get CLOSE to replicating it, but the fact remains that there're +4 ACP and -5% ASF from SOMETHING that can't be accounted for.

We have a 6,400gp difference between the above reconstruction and the actual Celestial Armor, and I'm not sure that 6,400gp justifies that +4 and -5%, considering this brings up the effective AC Bonus to +17; there's probably something else going on, or the designer of Celestial Armor simply felt that 22,400gp was a fair amount for the total package somehow.

Increasing Celestial Armor to +4, however, is an entirely different animal. That's just ADDING to an item (+7000gp to be exact).

---

As I said, he could present an alternative, like the "Valkyrie's Cuirass" I designed above. Since everything is laid out right there, down-grading it to +1 would be very simple.


Why is the math for adding from +3 to +4 different from the math for subtracting from +3 to +1? We know the price difference between +1 and +3, its 8,000gp. Subtract that from the cost of the normal Celestial Armor, and you can figure that the price of a +1 Celestial Armor should be 14,400gp. The math is exactly the same as adding enhancement bonuses. The other math doesn't really matter; its not like he's looking to remove the Fly part of the armor, just change the enhancement bonus.

As far as your math goes, you seem to assume that the chainmail of the armor is mithril, when the description of it on the PRD says silver or gold. Mithral does make a little sense given the features of the armor, but it isn't stated in the description. Not that it changes anything, but the way my group does it is to reverse engineer a flat price for the specific abilities of the armor. So in this case:

22,400gp
-300 for masterwork chainmail
-9,000 for the +3 enhancement
=
13,100gp for the weight to be cut in half, +6 to max Dex, ACP reduced by 2, ASF reduced by 15%, and Fly 1/day.

Sure you could do the math and remove the Fly part as well, but my ruling at least is that everything that's not something you could normally put on armor is bundled up as part of the specific armor's enchantment.

And again, all that doesn't matter because he is only looking to change it from +3 to +1, and we already are given the numbers in the book for that difference.


Because the price difference of +3 to +1 is different from the price difference of +4 to +2, and it's hard to say exactly how all of its other abilities are slotted in. The rules go over why that's a pain, it was explained earlier.

If your GM says no you're screwed. Anything to do with item crafting, you cannot argue with the GM.


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There's more to it than simple subtraction.

99% of attempts at reverse-engineering the price of a specific magic weapon or armor make the same assumption: that the "unlisted" properties of the item (e.g., the +4 maximum Dexterity bonus to armor class on celestial armor, the infinite ammo and no-reload properties of a pistol of the infinite sky) are priced independently of the other properties of the armor. This may not be the case. Some properties are simply more valuable on some items than others, and without a price listing there's no way to know whether design priced such properties as independent or dependent. In fact, since no price was listed for such prices, it's more likely that they were intended to be dependent; otherwise, why not simply have free movement and everfiring properties so that folks could add them to their items? I believe the most likely reason is to provide a barrier of entry to such properties above and beyond the difference in price.


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By that attitude you can't upgrade from +3 to +4 either, which I've seen most people agree is allowed on specific magic items (I don't remember for sure but I think even at least one developer has said as such too). I've gone through the math for a number of specific armors and weapons, and if you treat all of the specific abilities as flat prices the math makes at least some sense. If you assume instead that specific abilities are an equivalent enhancement bonus, there are a few where the math shows them as costing more than they should.

The abilities of the specific magic armor/weapons do not show up on the lists of armor/weapon abilities, therefore it is safer to assume they are not part of those lists and instead a separate entity. No, its not RAW, but until we get a FAQ on it, which as far as I know we haven't yet and probably won't, its best to go with what makes the most sense and causes the fewest conflicts with other rules or math.

It's the GMs call, I'm not arguing that. Custom item creation or modification has no official rules to it, so I'm just providing how I rule it and how I propose my argument when I have other GMs deciding how to rule it when I'm a player. Really this thread and every other thread regarding custom magic items should fall more into the advice forum than the rules forum.


blahpers wrote:

There's more to it than simple subtraction.

99% of attempts at reverse-engineering the price of a specific magic weapon or armor make the same assumption: that the "unlisted" properties of the item (e.g., the +4 maximum Dexterity bonus to armor class on celestial armor, the infinite ammo and no-reload properties of a pistol of the infinite sky) are priced independently of the other properties of the armor. This may not be the case. Some properties are simply more valuable on some items than others, and without a price listing there's no way to know whether design priced such properties as independent or dependent. In fact, since no price was listed for such prices, it's more likely that they were intended to be dependent; otherwise, why not simply have free movement and everfiring properties so that folks could add them to their items? I believe the most likely reason is to provide a barrier of entry to such properties above and beyond the difference in price.

This is basically the point I was trying to get across.

Chainmail with the Arcane Spell Failure of a Mithral Breastplate and a greater Max Dex Bonus than even a Mithral Parade Armor is just weird.

Getting the Max Dex Bonus from +2 up to +4 for Medium Armor costs 4000gp in Mithral; how does only 6400gp justify getting that bonus from +4 to +8, then? There is no discernable pattern.

As it stands, all that we can really ascertain is that, given knowledge of how to NEARLY reproduce the Armor by standard Custom Item Creation Rules, the Celestial Plate is ALREADY under-cost for what it gives in terms of Max Dex and ASF.

Even if we were to recreate the mechanical stats of the Armor by adding things like a permanent Freedom of Movement, the total cost to custom-build such a Faux-Celestial Armor would cost far more than the actual Celestial Armor, even if one were to reduce the Enhancement Bonus to +1.

Again, going FOREWARD and making it stronger is simple - it's just adding to an already-existing chassis; doing the reverse requires infinitely more effort and likely is impossible, since it seems the stats and price are both a fiat.


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If you don't know whether its a +3 armor or a +3 and +1 equivalent bonus, then you can't go forward and upgrade it, because you don't know if it should cost 7,000 or 9,000 to upgrade it. The specific ability could be a +2 equivalent, meaning its an armor that should cost at least 25,000 and upgrading to +4 would cost 11,000gp. If you're going to make the argument that you can't go backwards, then you can't go forwards either.


Ziere Tole wrote:
By that attitude you can't upgrade from +3 to +4 either, which I've seen most people agree is allowed on specific magic items (I don't remember for sure but I think even at least one developer has said as such too). I've gone through the math for a number of specific armors and weapons, and if you treat all of the specific abilities as flat prices the math makes at least some sense. If you assume instead that specific abilities are an equivalent enhancement bonus, there are a few where the math shows them as costing more than they should.

What you're not realizing is that, very likely, the creator of Celestial Armor either just threw in numbers he thought was a good fit, and assigned a price to it.

Another way to look at it is that the typical rules for going from +1 to +2 and +3 are not followed, because the "enchantment" on the Armor may be "+3 enhancement bonus to AC, increase max Dex by +4, decrease ASF by 5%" along with "fly 1/day, command (CL5)" being a backup enchantment on a suit of Mithral Armor, there may literally BE no way to reduce the cost - think of how Rage doesn't let you grant +1 to the subject; it's +2 whether you like it or not.

Since the first enchantment is an effect that doesn't exist anywhere else, we can't quantify it's cost and thus can't prove whether it can be decreased or not.

Since we can't prove definitively whether the +3 is a normally-acquired +3 to the armor, or whether it is an unnatural +3 enhancement bonus (in the same way that several spells give +X enhancement bonuses to things, without them being Bull's Strength, etc.), it is safer to assume that it is the latter, since it makes more sense as a whole with all the other components together.

Anyway, obviously, additions can always be made - it's easier to add to something than it is to take away from it.

The issue here is that, for everything this Armor gives, it's under-cost. And since we don't know the REASON why it's under-cost, we can't assume that further decreasing its cost won't be imbalanced.


Ziere Tole wrote:
If you don't know whether its a +3 armor or a +3 and +1 equivalent bonus, then you can't go forward and upgrade it, because you don't know if it should cost 7,000 or 9,000 to upgrade it. The specific ability could be a +2 equivalent, meaning its an armor that should cost at least 25,000 and upgrading to +4 would cost 11,000gp. If you're going to make the argument that you can't go backwards, then you can't go forwards either.

Your logic is tremendously flawed, especially since it says plainly in the rules that you can always INCREASE the cost of an item:

CRB/PRD/d20SRD wrote:


A creator can add new magical abilities to a magic item with no restrictions. The cost to do this is the same as if the item was not magical. Thus, a +1 longsword can be made into a +2 vorpal longsword, with the cost to create it being equal to that of a +2 vorpal sword minus the cost of a +1 sword.

In plain-as-day print, the creator of a magic item can ADD new magical abilities as they choose, as long as the cost to do so is paid.

There are NO rules for DECREASING an item's cost/enhancement bonus, and it can easily/probably should be assumed that any given specific Magic Item should be treated as the "Base" item and go from there.


We're not saying "it's absolutely impossible, no, you're a bad person!"

We're saying that the DM very likely has a legitimate reason to not allow a "Lesser Celestial Armor" to be made, simply because the item is already obviously undercost, we don't know WHY it's undercost, and since we can't recreate the conditions in order to understand the logic, better ere on the side of "the designer knew what they were doing" than to assume that the DM knows better and end up with an overpowered PC with an horrendously undercost armor.


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The problem is, without standard pricing of the celestial armor, there's no way to know if the enhancement bonus was implemented as per rules, or if some other formula was used. THerefore, even though the enhancement total is a +3, it might be an "effective" but not "by formula" +3.*

I've done my fair share of tinkering with items and upgrading the special items that don't follow standard rules is generally something I won't touch with a ten foot pole-mostly because I have no idea where to start breaking down what the pricing originally was, in order to know what goes where and for how much.

Without a baseline, the rest is useless.

* a "by formula" +3 would follow standard rules for increase, much like your example with the longsword. However, if the +3 isn't an actual by the book +3 -instead it's some weird odd little gleam in the designer's head, (given the underpricing of the item as a whole, and some of the effects that I'm not really sure where they were taken from)-then the increase from +3 to +4 may not be accurate as per armor rules. Heck maybe part of the +3 is an inherent natural +1 to the armor's enhancement bonus because it's celestial?


I kinda remember a case back in 3.5 where a designer did say that an natural +1 enhancement is still a +1 enhancement, and can thus be increased as normal.

However, that was 3.5, and the only things which gave a "natural +1 enhancement bonus" or other ability were Special Materials in a splatbook, so that's hardly SRD rules.

I think most DMs would allow an increase, considering the precedent is set within the rules themselves.

I won't say that most DMs would allow a decrease in this case for the reasons already given (your own included), and it really is much more a DM-to-DM basis (though I believe more than half would say "not allowed"); I can understand arguments on both sides, but given the undercost nature I think I'd side with DMs that say a decrease isn't legal.


dkonen wrote:
* a "by formula" +3 would follow standard rules for increase, much like your example with the longsword. However, if the +3 isn't an actual by the book +3 -instead it's some weird odd little gleam in the designer's head, (given the underpricing of the item as a whole, and some of the effects that I'm not really sure where they were taken from)-then the increase from +3 to +4 may not be accurate as per armor rules. Heck maybe part of the +3 is an inherent natural +1 to the armor's enhancement bonus because it's celestial?

This is my point. If you can't assume that the +3 is a normal +3 with the normal pricing of a +3, then you can't assume that you can upgrade it to a +4 with the normal pricing. The math can either be used in both directions, or it can't be used in either direction.

I would not allow someone to bring a magic item to a crafter and have the crafter remove +2 from the item, but that's not what is being asked here. He wants to go to a crafter and specifically request it be made at a lower bonus. The crafter just has to stop before adding that extra +2, just like you could ask the crafter to continue on and make it a +5 in one go, without having to take the item and bring it back later.


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Ziere Tole wrote:
If you don't know whether its a +3 armor or a +3 and +1 equivalent bonus, then you can't go forward and upgrade it, because you don't know if it should cost 7,000 or 9,000 to upgrade it. The specific ability could be a +2 equivalent, meaning its an armor that should cost at least 25,000 and upgrading to +4 would cost 11,000gp. If you're going to make the argument that you can't go backwards, then you can't go forwards either.

That's a good point. The best I can meet it with is that the ramifications of messing up that math are less. In most cases, an upgrade is likely to provide a small to middling advantage to a high level character with the funds to upgrade such items, whereas downgrading provides high-level properties that may have more drastic effects relative to the norm for that level. In other words, as a character goes up in level, such properties become less valuable, so it doesn't matter as much, and you can upgrade with less fear of accidentally breaking something.

Naturally, this is all design philosophy stuff from someone who isn't a professional game designer, but it makes sense in my head.


No, that's pretty much correct. Lots of things are locked behind prereqs that, in theory, level limit them. Able to cast 3rd level arcane spells meant 5th level character before the FAQ. X ranks in a skill means at least level X. 100,000 gp should mean level 12+.

For magic items pricing problems I like to use Pistol of the Infinite Sky. It's a +5 pistol that makes its own ammo and never misfires. It costs just a little over a +6 weapon. Does this mean infinite ammo and no misfires is a +1 property? Since Endless Ammunition is a +2 property for bows and crossbows only that gives them infinite ammunition, that seems unlikely. Is it a flat cost? Well, 22,000 for infinite ammo seems almost more powerful than it being a +1 property. The only sane way is to allow it as a Pistol of the Infinite Sky without any modifying up or down. If you must modify up you probably price it as the worst option. The level limit is 11th (almost all your money) or 16th (1/4 of your money). If you let it be placed on a +1 weapon it's level 5/8 (almost all your money) or 8/12 (1/4 of your money). Bit lower entry point.

That one's a bit less complicated because you're probably making the pistol +5 at some point but it's a great example of how magic item creation is most likely done with a dartboard and a random number generator.


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As the GM in question, I can tell you it is exactly the unaccounted for bonuses that caused me to not allow this specific item to be backward downgraded. Magic item pricing being as much an art as a rule, paired with Celestial Plate (armor) having some special abilities outside the norm make it a tricky item to price. I was willing to allow the player to build toward the item, using “mithril full plate +1” as a base (yes I know it is not mithril but I wanted to work with him), but he wanted the free auxiliary benefits now. So I ruled that if he didn’t want to go that route, it would be best to wait until he could buy the item outright (most likely 2-3 more games or so).


I still don't agree that price is the tricky part. If, as most people seem to agree, the +3 celestial armor can be upgraded to +4 for an additional 7,000gp (the difference between +3 and +4), then by the same logic the price of a +1 celestial armor would be 8,000gp less(the difference between +1 and +3), giving it a price of 14,400gp. Those that don't agree to the 7,000gp pricing of upgrading to +4 are perfectly justified in arguing against that pricing, but those that allow the normal upgrade pricing should also use the same pricing math in downgrading.

Now, the argument of game balance is a much more reasonable one. I can agree with the idea that some specific weapon/armor abilities might be a bit too powerful if allowed to be purchased on their own (I don't personally think 13,100gp is too low a price for a 1/day Fly and some higher max Dex bonus, but that part is certainly an opinion). As the GM, you fully have the right to choose what magic items they can buy or have crafted. It's the same reason why most all people don't allow a continuous Mage Armor magic item for 2,000gp, even though based specifically on the continuous spell pricing formula that should be valid.

You also attempted to work with your player to find another solution instead of flat-out refusing him, so I'm fairly content with the decision at this point.

[Although I don't know why you used mithral full plate as the proposed base armor, since not only is that an armor category higher than the final result, but it would cost over 6,000gp more than mithral chainmail would]


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not sure "most people agree". I'd like to see someone actually prove that celestial armour is +3 armour with 13,100 gp of flat cost add-ons rather than +3 armour with a +1 special property and 6,100 gp of flat cost add-ons. I'm not sure it's possible. But until someone can, then as a GM I'm going to take the pessimistic option and cost it at +3 with a +1 and 6,100 flat cost.


The point people are making is that the +3 may not be an actual "+3" as per weapon and armor enhancements.

The armor in question follows no known formula.

Therefore, we cannot know if it is merely the additional quirks (rather than the numerical) which are *insanely* cheap (not to mention unable to be duplicated without some heavy creativity of rules-fu), *OR* if the numerical bonus follows a seperate bonus chart-thus changing the cost of it.*

It could also be that the item works more like someone in another thread was arguing on pricing of an item of shield. It's multiple effects that were calculated as a single spell effect placed on armor.**

Or maybe there are modifiers that are not visable in the creation of said item.***

*which would mean that the difference between a +1/+2/+3/+4/+5 upgrade operates on an entirely different chart. Perhaps the numerical bonus is half cost? Then it would be 500gp for a +1 rather than 1k. (it is unlikely it follows a more expensive formula)

**I don't know of any spells off the top of my head that lower armor check penalties (rather than remove them) while enhancing dex bonus while wearing it- but it could be reasonable to assume it's a modified version of effortless armor (reduced for partial effect), cat's grace and magic vestment (both reduced for partial effect).

For example: check "amulet of euphoric healing" enthrall does not cause euphoria, nor do either it or cure light wounds have an addiction rating, but there it is.

*** like the example above-where amulet of euphoric healing has no included spell or effect in the formula to account for the additional addiction check, but there it is.

Without a way to figure out what each part costs, there is no way to check that the numerical bonus matches up-which means, there is no way to tell if the pricing for the enhancement portion is correct or if it's using something else-which means we don't know how much each +1 cost, so removing or adding enhancement bonus becomes the realm of guesswork at best.


Chemlak wrote:
I'm not sure "most people agree". I'd like to see someone actually prove that celestial armour is +3 armour with 13,100 gp of flat cost add-ons rather than +3 armour with a +1 special property and 6,100 gp of flat cost add-ons. I'm not sure it's possible. But until someone can, then as a GM I'm going to take the pessimistic option and cost it at +3 with a +1 and 6,100 flat cost.

I fully support this approach, but only if it means you also don't allow the armor to be upgraded either, because by the same reasoning you can't know what the upgrade price to +4 is. My point was that those who do support upgrading to +4 using normal pricing cannot also argue that the difference in cost between +1 and +3 is unknown. From my experience those who support upgrading are in the majority, but I haven't seen an official poll or anything so I could be wrong on that.


Ziere Tole wrote:
Chemlak wrote:
I'm not sure "most people agree". I'd like to see someone actually prove that celestial armour is +3 armour with 13,100 gp of flat cost add-ons rather than +3 armour with a +1 special property and 6,100 gp of flat cost add-ons. I'm not sure it's possible. But until someone can, then as a GM I'm going to take the pessimistic option and cost it at +3 with a +1 and 6,100 flat cost.
I fully support this approach, but only if it means you also don't allow the armor to be upgraded either, because by the same reasoning you can't know what the upgrade price to +4 is. My point was that those who do support upgrading to +4 using normal pricing cannot also argue that the difference in cost between +1 and +3 is unknown. From my experience those who support upgrading are in the majority, but I haven't seen an official poll or anything so I could be wrong on that.

I agree. The general standing rule in our games is custom crafted magic items are fine, but specific magic items are only available exactly as listed due to being unable to determine exactly how they were priced. So, our games, you can find/buy/craft celestial armor, but it will always be exactly as listed. The only changes ever allowed are the base weapon/armor, and that is GM approval only.


Ziere Tole wrote:
Chemlak wrote:
I'm not sure "most people agree". I'd like to see someone actually prove that celestial armour is +3 armour with 13,100 gp of flat cost add-ons rather than +3 armour with a +1 special property and 6,100 gp of flat cost add-ons. I'm not sure it's possible. But until someone can, then as a GM I'm going to take the pessimistic option and cost it at +3 with a +1 and 6,100 flat cost.
I fully support this approach, but only if it means you also don't allow the armor to be upgraded either, because by the same reasoning you can't know what the upgrade price to +4 is. My point was that those who do support upgrading to +4 using normal pricing cannot also argue that the difference in cost between +1 and +3 is unknown. From my experience those who support upgrading are in the majority, but I haven't seen an official poll or anything so I could be wrong on that.

As mentioned above, one can argue that it's okay to upgrade but not to downgrade on the basis that the game impact of being wrong about the pricing is lower when upgrading than when downgrading. Symmetry may be elegant in principle but unnecessary in practice.


blahpers wrote:
Ziere Tole wrote:
Chemlak wrote:
I'm not sure "most people agree". I'd like to see someone actually prove that celestial armour is +3 armour with 13,100 gp of flat cost add-ons rather than +3 armour with a +1 special property and 6,100 gp of flat cost add-ons. I'm not sure it's possible. But until someone can, then as a GM I'm going to take the pessimistic option and cost it at +3 with a +1 and 6,100 flat cost.
I fully support this approach, but only if it means you also don't allow the armor to be upgraded either, because by the same reasoning you can't know what the upgrade price to +4 is. My point was that those who do support upgrading to +4 using normal pricing cannot also argue that the difference in cost between +1 and +3 is unknown. From my experience those who support upgrading are in the majority, but I haven't seen an official poll or anything so I could be wrong on that.
As mentioned above, one can argue that it's okay to upgrade but not to downgrade on the basis that the game impact of being wrong about the pricing is lower when upgrading than when downgrading. Symmetry may be elegant in principle but unnecessary in practice.

Sigh, I just don't agree with that idea, that exceptions should be made one way but not the other purely due to game balance. It isn't about symmetry, its about consistency...I had this whole argument I was gonna write out, but it doesn't matter, this is all houserule territory anyway and there's no need for me to change anybody else's mind on it.


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Ziere Tole wrote:
If you don't know whether its a +3 armor or a +3 and +1 equivalent bonus, then you can't go forward and upgrade it, because you don't know if it should cost 7,000 or 9,000 to upgrade it. The specific ability could be a +2 equivalent, meaning its an armor that should cost at least 25,000 and upgrading to +4 would cost 11,000gp. If you're going to make the argument that you can't go backwards, then you can't go forwards either.

Indeed you can't, not without GM fiat. You should be discussing those upgrades with your GM for the exact same set of reasons-- price points are unknown.

That said, your GM has said no, and has even said no in public... why is this conversation still going?


Because people would love reliable, consistent rules in regards to creating magic items that didn't leave it largely in the realm of guesses and handwaving. I'm sure we're all secretly hoping someone actually knows how magic items were priced and they show up.

Celestial is pretty popular (super mithral!), Rhino Hide also comes up (super pounce!), lots of specific items have a property you want to buy them for and a bunch of other stuff you care less about.


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kestral287 wrote:
That said, your GM has said no, and has even said no in public... why is this conversation still going?

To be fair to the OP, he hasn't been involved in this conversation for a while. As for why the conversation is still going on...this is pretty typical of threads in this forum. Even once the original question has been answered, there are still plenty of people like me who enjoy discussing it.


Ziere Tole wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Ziere Tole wrote:
Chemlak wrote:
I'm not sure "most people agree". I'd like to see someone actually prove that celestial armour is +3 armour with 13,100 gp of flat cost add-ons rather than +3 armour with a +1 special property and 6,100 gp of flat cost add-ons. I'm not sure it's possible. But until someone can, then as a GM I'm going to take the pessimistic option and cost it at +3 with a +1 and 6,100 flat cost.
I fully support this approach, but only if it means you also don't allow the armor to be upgraded either, because by the same reasoning you can't know what the upgrade price to +4 is. My point was that those who do support upgrading to +4 using normal pricing cannot also argue that the difference in cost between +1 and +3 is unknown. From my experience those who support upgrading are in the majority, but I haven't seen an official poll or anything so I could be wrong on that.
As mentioned above, one can argue that it's okay to upgrade but not to downgrade on the basis that the game impact of being wrong about the pricing is lower when upgrading than when downgrading. Symmetry may be elegant in principle but unnecessary in practice.
Sigh, I just don't agree with that idea, that exceptions should be made one way but not the other purely due to game balance. It isn't about symmetry, its about consistency...I had this whole argument I was gonna write out, but it doesn't matter, this is all houserule territory anyway and there's no need for me to change anybody else's mind on it.

It's all good. They're just two different (and playable) approaches based on two different perspectives.


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Bob Bob Bob wrote:

Because people would love reliable, consistent rules in regards to creating magic items that didn't leave it largely in the realm of guesses and handwaving. I'm sure we're all secretly hoping someone actually knows how magic items were priced and they show up.

Celestial is pretty popular (super mithral!), Rhino Hide also comes up (super pounce!), lots of specific items have a property you want to buy them for and a bunch of other stuff you care less about.

The most reliable, consistent rule in this case is to simply disallow any modification of such items, as any attempt to divine the pricing may be unreliable.


blahpers wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:

Because people would love reliable, consistent rules in regards to creating magic items that didn't leave it largely in the realm of guesses and handwaving. I'm sure we're all secretly hoping someone actually knows how magic items were priced and they show up.

Celestial is pretty popular (super mithral!), Rhino Hide also comes up (super pounce!), lots of specific items have a property you want to buy them for and a bunch of other stuff you care less about.

The most reliable, consistent rule in this case is to simply disallow any modification of such items, as any attempt to divine the pricing may be unreliable.

Or, the GM could decide how much of the price was for what parts of the special enchantment. Then state any armor can get the celestial bonuses for X gold. Basically pulling out of a specific item, putting a price on it, and then allowing it as a choice like any other armor ability.


Yes, they could, but I think people are looking for a "by the book" rationale rather than DM fiat.

Typically published rules get valued more than DM individual rulings in/on public forums, and as such, there's no accurate way to guess at the formula-so some are opting that it simply doesn't exist (which is slightly more RAW* than "uh..I guess..X much? Does that sound right?")

*yesyes I am aware that the term refers to a mythological creature, that everyone knows but noone has ever seen :P


The point was consistent. If your GM sets a price point for the ability, and holds it for any future armors made with the same ability, then that also is a very consistent method.

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