Custom magic item creation help


Homebrew and House Rules


So my Gm is letting us use custom items so long as we do the math right and frame it as if we found it in a rule book. I ran by him an on command ring of enlarge person. He said OK as long as it was a once per day activation. I just would like if someone could double check my math because this seems way to cheap for what I'm making.

Weak Ring of Enlarge Person
Aura Aura faint; transmutation; CL 1st
Slot ring Price 4000- gp;
DESCRIPTION
On command, this mundane looking iron ring allows the wearer to use the magic spell enlarge person on themselves once per day.
CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS
Forge Ring, enlarge person; Cost 2000- gp


VirtusMarik wrote:

So my Gm is letting us use custom items so long as we do the math right and frame it as if we found it in a rule book. I ran by him an on command ring of enlarge person. He said OK as long as it was a once per day activation. I just would like if someone could double check my math because this seems way to cheap for what I'm making.

Weak Ring of Enlarge Person
Aura Aura faint; transmutation; CL 1st
Slot ring Price 4000- gp;
DESCRIPTION
On command, this mundane looking iron ring allows the wearer to use the magic spell enlarge person on themselves once per day.
CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS
Forge Ring, enlarge person; Cost 2000- gp

The formula for a command-activated magic item is : Spell level x caster level x 1800gp. So, at caster level 1, that would be 1 x 1 x 1800gp = 1800gp.

That allows an unlimited number of uses per day. For a charged item, you divide that cost by (5 divided by the number of charges per day). So for 1/day, you divide the cost by 5. That gives you 1800/5 = 360gp for 1/day item of Enlarge Person that takes a command word to activate. It will last for 1 minute once activated.

You appear to have used the formula for use-activated or continuous items. Use-activated in this case means using the item normally (such as lighting a lantern or something similar). In addition, you applied the multiplier for duration, which only applies to continuous items, not ones that need activating.

However, the item pricing formulas are actually the last place you look to price an item. You are supposed to compare to existing items first, and price accordingly. So the actual price could be different.


Thanks for the reply. This is my first attempt at a custom magic item so thanks for straitening the formula out for me. Would my ring only cost 360? I wasn't sure what to compare it to on price so I looked at the paizo entry about magic item creation. The example they used for command activated was Cape Of The Mountebank so I tried to work off that.


So rule 1 with magic item creation is "find a similar item". Here's a handful, of varying usefulness. By far the simplest to actually price out is Cloak of the Hedge Wizard, but it's a bit under priced. The Dire Collar shows us it shouldn't go over 1,000 (and should probably be significantly under, as the collar works on invalid targets). The charged and random ones help establish a baseline but they're a pain in the @#$ to price. The last one is there for completions sake.

So, that all being said, 360 seems like a decent price. It's more expensive than the Cloak (900 for 0th level spell at will, 1350 for the next 0th level spell... leaves 250 for two 1st level spells? No. Even without the 50% markup on the second cantrip, 750 for two 1st level spells is 20 gp cheaper than it should be) and cheaper than the collar (1,000 for one that works on anything. It does say animal, but I don't think it actually specifies it has to be put on an animal).


VirtusMarik wrote:

So my Gm is letting us use custom items so long as we do the math right and frame it as if we found it in a rule book. I ran by him an on command ring of enlarge person. He said OK as long as it was a once per day activation. I just would like if someone could double check my math because this seems way to cheap for what I'm making.

Weak Ring of Enlarge Person
Aura Aura faint; transmutation; CL 1st
Slot ring Price 4000- gp;
DESCRIPTION
On command, this mundane looking iron ring allows the wearer to use the magic spell enlarge person on themselves once per day.
CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS
Forge Ring, enlarge person; Cost 2000- gp

okay - it goes as Jerra said

1*1*1800{command} * (1/5) = 360gp which will take 1 day to craft.
The item goes in a ring slot, takes a std actn (that provokes) to activate, and Enlarge Person only lasts 10r once per day.
That should be it.
You can lessen the price by choosing a specific class or alignment that it works with, in this case it might be best to leave it alone.

I'd add Shield and Magic Weapon to it all at first level.
That would cost 360 + 360*1.5*1 +360*1.5*.75 or $1350gp (some might quibble that it's 360 +360*1.5 +360*1.5). They would all go off at once on the same command making you one big tough fighter for 10r, then you'd go back to normal. You can use a command word like, "by the Power of Redskull!" *poof*


Azothath wrote:

okay - it goes as Jerra said

1*1*1800{command} * (1/5) = 360gp which will take 1 day to craft.
The item goes in a ring slot, takes a std actn (that provokes) to activate, and Enlarge Person only lasts 10r once per day.
That should be it.
You can lessen the price by choosing a specific class or alignment that it works with, in this case it might be best to leave it alone.

Command word activated items do not provoke and attack of opportunity.

Quote:
A command word can be a real word, but when this is the case, the holder of the item runs the risk of activating the item accidentally by speaking the word in normal conversation. More often, the command word is some seemingly nonsensical word, or a word or phrase from an ancient language no longer in common use. Activating a command word magic item is a standard action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.


Jeraa wrote:

...

Command word activated items do not provoke and attack of opportunity.

correct. It also takes a full round due to enlarge person...

It's a bit tricky as we run into conflicting statements.
The opening "Activating a magic item is a standard action unless the item description indicates otherwise. However, the casting time of a spell is the time required to activate the same power in an item, regardless of the type of magic item, unless the item description specifically states otherwise."
where as every activation description afterward says standard to no action.
We know scrolls of Enlarge Person take a full round, so bringing the full round casting down to a standard action would take a metamagic feat and increase cost.


Azothath wrote:
Jeraa wrote:

...

Command word activated items do not provoke and attack of opportunity.

correct. It also takes a full round due to enlarge person...

activation takes as long as the original spell to cast.

That's not true for Wondrous Items because they are neither spell completion nor spell trigger items.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Azothath wrote:
Jeraa wrote:

...

Command word activated items do not provoke and attack of opportunity.

correct. It also takes a full round due to enlarge person...

activation takes as long as the original spell to cast.
That's not true for Wondrous Items because they are neither spell completion nor spell trigger items.

The quoted text comes from Using Items. The opening clearly refers you to the item description (which would be the specific item writeup) overriding the following four activation methods which follow.

It's curious as Spell Completion contains text that acknowledges this but the other four do not. I am hesitant to say what is intended other than these are guidelines.
I will say most items are standard action to activate.
Items with full round activations;
* Wondrous Item = Word Bottle.
* Wondrous Item = Drinking Horn of Bottomless Valor (important as it has Enlarge Person at a full round activation)
* Wondrous Item = Solidsmoke Pipeweed (from 1min casting time of Minor Creation)
* Wondrous Item (classic) = Robe of Scintillating Colors (command word)
* Rod = Rod of Perilous Pits
and there are others (WI, Rods, Armor{literally spells in a can})...

lastly, the feat used to make a ring is Forge Ring. No big difference other than the CL should be 7+ but to keep costs low we are sticking to 1st level.


The text from spell completion:

Quote:
Activating a spell completion item is a standard action (or the spell's casting time, whichever is longer) and provokes attacks of opportunity exactly as casting a spell does.

spell trigger is found under wands:

Quote:
Wands use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a wand is usually a standard action that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast has a longer casting time than 1 action, however, it takes that long to cast the spell from a wand.)

Wondrous items aren't actually 'casting' a spell, so casting times for the spell used to create the item is irrelevant. Now, you can of course use casting times to modify the cost of an item, because custom items are GM fiat anyways.


_Ozy_ wrote:

The text from spell completion:

Quote:
Activating a spell completion item is a standard action (or the spell's casting time, whichever is longer) and provokes attacks of opportunity exactly as casting a spell does.

spell trigger is found under wands:

Quote:
Wands use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a wand is usually a standard action that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast has a longer casting time than 1 action, however, it takes that long to cast the spell from a wand.)
Wondrous items aren't actually 'casting' a spell, so casting times for the spell used to create the item is irrelevant. Now, you can of course use casting times to modify the cost of an item, because custom items are GM fiat anyways.

hmmmm....

this item is not a Wand and does not use Craft Wand. BTW - a wand of Enlarge Person takes a round to activate...
the last paragraph is, well, just statements...


Azothath wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

The text from spell completion:

Quote:
Activating a spell completion item is a standard action (or the spell's casting time, whichever is longer) and provokes attacks of opportunity exactly as casting a spell does.

spell trigger is found under wands:

Quote:
Wands use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a wand is usually a standard action that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast has a longer casting time than 1 action, however, it takes that long to cast the spell from a wand.)
Wondrous items aren't actually 'casting' a spell, so casting times for the spell used to create the item is irrelevant. Now, you can of course use casting times to modify the cost of an item, because custom items are GM fiat anyways.

hmmmm....

this item is not a Wand and does not use Craft Wand. BTW - a wand of Enlarge Person takes a round to activate...
the last paragraph is, well, just statements...

It also sounds like it doesn't have a slot so should have a price increase.


VirtusMarik wrote:

So my Gm is letting us use custom items so long as we do the math right and frame it as if we found it in a rule book. I ran by him an on command ring of enlarge person. He said OK as long as it was a once per day activation. I just would like if someone could double check my math because this seems way to cheap for what I'm making.

Weak Ring of Enlarge Person
Aura Aura faint; transmutation; CL 1st
Slot ring Price 4000- gp;
DESCRIPTION
On command, this mundane looking iron ring allows the wearer to use the magic spell enlarge person on themselves once per day.
CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS
Forge Ring, enlarge person; Cost 2000- gp

Ring Slot is really where the problem is.

Rings wrote:
Rings bestow magical powers upon their wearers. Only a rare few have charges—most magic rings are permanent and potent magic items. Anyone can use a ring.

The maths are based on it being a 1st level spell being used once per day, and Enlarge Person really isn't that great of a spell. So that 360 (or whatever) gp price seems about right. That said, the cheapest ring is a prisoner's ring at 250gp, the next jump up is 1,000gp.

1,000 gp seems like the right price to land on.

Other things to consider are breaking up those rounds into choice duration, like other like magic items who contain buffs rather than utility spells.


okay - flagged to go to Advice forum.

My advice is to make this a Wondrous Item and NOT a Ring. Rings are generally overpriced and powerful, this item is neither. It's a one shot a day enlarge person.

I'd do as I suggested earlier as a Belt for 1350gp. You can always add Bull Strength to it later in an upgrade. Moving the item to a standard activation, ummm, add 180GP (50% 360GP) as a GM call making it 1530gp.


Azothath wrote:


hmmmm....
this item is not a Wand and does not use Craft Wand. BTW - a wand of Enlarge Person takes a round to activate...
the last paragraph is, well, just statements...

Er yes, I know it's not a wand. I was pointing out the language in the spell completion and wand (spell trigger) magic items to show where it says that you use the spell casting time.

There is no such language for wondrous items. In fact, you can craft wondrous items without even using a spell by boosting the DC+5, so why would you think that spell casting time matters at all for wondrous items?

If you want to claim that wondrous items use spell casting times, you should be able to point to the relevant rules. Otherwise, the 'command word items use a standard action' rule applies.


I'd price this at 1k. A wand gives similar utility, but requires a longer action and being a spell-casting class. On the other hand you could use the wand as often as you need to.


_Ozy_ wrote:

The text from spell completion:

Quote:
Activating a spell completion item is a standard action (or the spell's casting time, whichever is longer) and provokes attacks of opportunity exactly as casting a spell does.

spell trigger is found under wands:

Quote:
Wands use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a wand is usually a standard action that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast has a longer casting time than 1 action, however, it takes that long to cast the spell from a wand.)
Wondrous items aren't actually 'casting' a spell, so casting times for the spell used to create the item is irrelevant. Now, you can of course use casting times to modify the cost of an item, because custom items are GM fiat anyways.

If the casting time is irrelevant, then why does the RAW state:

PRD wrote:
"Activating a magic item is a standard action unless the item description indicates otherwise. However, the casting time of a spell is the time required to activate the same power in an item, regardless of the type of magic item, unless the item description specifically] states otherwise."


As I said, a wondrous item isn't actually casting a spell. It is not a spell trigger or a spell completion item.

For example, I can make a Hat of Disguise using no spells at all, so how could the casting time possibly matter?

If you read wondrous items descriptions, even the ones that duplicate spell effects, they say things like 'gain the benefits of...' or 'as if under the effects of...'. What they do not say is: 'you cast a spell of...'

That's why if the item takes more time than a command word, like a 'Bowl of Conjure Water Elementals', it will specifically say so. If it automatically used the casting time of the spell, the words:

Quote:
On command as a full-round action, the bearer may summon a water elemental.

would be irrelevant. Thus the dire collar, which does not contain such words, activates with a normal standard action despite the fact that the enlarge person spell has a longer casting time.


_Ozy_ wrote:

As I said, a wondrous item isn't actually casting a spell. It is not a spell trigger or a spell completion item.

For example, I can make a Hat of Disguise using no spells at all, so how could the casting time possibly matter?

If you read wondrous items descriptions, even the ones that duplicate spell effects, they say things like 'gain the benefits of...' or 'as if under the effects of...'. What they do not say is: 'you cast a spell of...'

That's why if the item takes more time than a command word, like a 'Bowl of Conjure Water Elementals', it will specifically say so. If it automatically used the casting time of the spell, the words:

Quote:
On command as a full-round action, the bearer may summon a water elemental.
would be irrelevant. Thus the dire collar, which does not contain such words, activates with a normal standard action despite the fact that the enlarge person spell has a longer casting time.

First, the quote doesn't mention "casting" a spell, it says "activating a power", so spell completion, spell trigger or otherwise is irrelevant.

Second, not fulfilling a pre-req when crafting an item doesn't remove the pre-req. The pre-req is still there, the crafter just doesn't have to cast the spell as part of crafting.

Any item that needs to be activated, not just an item that "casts" a spell, follows this general rule for activation time unless the item specifically states otherwise.


I'm really not clear what you're saying here. The general rule is that command word activation is a standard action unless otherwise stated. There is no specific rule regarding 'spells' that overrides this rule.

The rule you listed is even more general than the command word rules, as it applies to magic items in general, and is overridden by the command word rule which states:

Quote:
Activating a command word magic item is a standard action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Specific rules to override this particular rule are found in the description of the items themselves, like the bowl. Other items, like the dire collar and the chime of silence have standard action activation times, regardless of what spells are included in the prereqs, and what effects they generate.


The rule I listed is not more general. It's in the exact same section as command words; it's the exact same level of specificity.

Quote:
Activating a magic item is a standard action unless the item description indicates otherwise. However, the casting time of a spell is the time required to activate the same power in an item, regardless of the type of magic item, unless the item description specifically states otherwise.

Only specific exceptions in the item description override this general rule. Other general rules do not


I disagree. The rule you cited is under the general magic item heading. Command word items are a specific subset of magic items, as are spell completion and spell trigger items, each which follow their own specific rules.

Both spell trigger items and spell completion items specifically state that they take longer to activate if they are activating a spell with a longer casting time.

Command word items do not.

This discrepancy exists for a reason.


VirtusMarik wrote:
So my Gm is letting us use custom items so long as we do the math right and frame it as if we found it in a rule book. I ran by him an on command ring of enlarge person. He said OK as long as it was a once per day activation. I just would like if someone could double check my math because this seems way to cheap for what I'm making.

Personally, I'm with the people that say a ring isn't the right slot for what you want, FWIW.

Certainly, my sorceress just made a belt for another character in one of my games that you might find interesting. We used the magic item creation rules for pricing and it came out pretty good, I think. I'll give the details as I remember them, but adjusted for as though a wizard had made it & you are finding it in a shop. It's a good thing that there were 2nd-level spells involved -- I strongly recommend having spells in effect for at least 3 minutes; that's enough to outlast any fight, IMO, which reduces your book-keeping. Lots of fights last longer than one minute, however, so you do have to count rounds -- a real pain! :)

Cost of Varitsa's Belt of Giant-Sizing:

I started out by making a standard Belt of Giant Strength +4. That's good all the time, and was priced as a standard such belt. It seemed so thematic! And there's a real argument that can be made, IMO, that it's the correct slot for including a spell effect that boosts STR as well as reach. For +4 STR, it costs 16,000.

So yes, I included Enlarge Person on-command (standard action to activate, does not provoke). The cost formula for a command-word item is "Spell level × caster level × 1,800 gp," which at 3rd CL (the minimum wizardly level for the other effects) costs 1 × 3 × 1,800 = 5,400, but then it's × 1.5 as an add-on ability = 8,100 gp. It lasts 3 minutes per activation.

I also added in the effects of Cat's Grace, activated only at the same time as Enlarge Person. (The point, really, was to offset Enlarge's penalty to Dex & further penalty to AC from size.) It lasts as long as the Enlarge, which is convenient. That's going to cost 2 × 3 × 1,800 = 10,800, but × 1.5 again = 16,200 gp.

I then reduced the cost of the latter two effects based on how often the wearer could activate them per day. If you pick 1/day, you'd divide the two costs by 5, getting 1,620 & 3,200, respectively. Add those to the constant Belt of Giant's Strength (16,000), and you get 20,820 gp.

Now, my Belt of Giant-Sizing may be way beyond your purse right now, so bear in mind that you can drop the price significantly by turning it into a Belt of Giant Strength +2. That reduces the price by 12,000 gp, taking it to 8,820 gp. (I think. People who know the rules better than I do may choose to leap in on that statement! There's issues of which would be the most expensive effect, in that case.)

However, I took a different route to economy. Having a known good-aligned "customer" (and being of good alignment myself), I subtracted 30% from the total cost of the item and created one that would function only for those of good alignment (and that's the constant STR boost, everything). I don't know if your GM would permit that if you're looking in a shop for something! If so, it would make the final price 14,574 gp (+4 STR base) -- or 6,174 gp (+2 STR base). (Plus, of course, I was able to make it for half-price, albeit at a higher CL.)

I took you through the math to show you how the formula works for higher caster levels, as well as to show you an item I'm pretty darned proud of! I hope you like it -- and that I didn't utterly misinterpret the size of your purse! LOL

Varitsa's Belt of Giant-Sizing
Price {fill in appropriate one}; Aura moderate transmutation; CL 8th; Weight 1 lb.
{Price +4 Strength 20,820 gp or +2 Strength 8,820 gp any alignment;
OR +4 Strength 14,574 gp or +2 Strength 6,174 gp, if restricted by wearer's alignment.}

This belt is a thick leather affair, decorated with huge metal buckles. The belt grants the wearer an enhancement bonus to Strength of {+4 or +2}. Treat this as a temporary ability bonus for the first 24 hours the belt is worn. In addition, once per day the wearer may gain the combined effects of enlarge person and cat's grace; it is not possible to gain the effects of one without the other. These effects last for three minutes once activated. {Optional: Only characters of ___ alignment gain any benefits from wearing this belt.}

~~ Construction Requirements ~~
Cost {half of market cost}
Craft Wondrous Item, bull's strength, cat's grace, enlarge person


Limitations like class and alignment should almost never reduce the cost to craft a custom magic item, only the market place value.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Limitations like class and alignment should almost never reduce the cost to craft a custom magic item, only the market place value.

LOL! I'll take care not to show our GM this thread. I pointed out that the belt would be worth less than 70% if my fellow PC goes to sell it -- maybe no more than 50% (of the standard 50% fractional value). "Who am I going to sell this piece of junk to? I have to ask everyone who walks into my shop if they're a do-gooder?" And the GM poo-pooed the theory!

I do think that in the game I GM I'll allow the reduction in creation cost, just because the "ingredients" for making magic items are so vague and unspecified. It's easy to assume that the alignment restriction permits substituting cheaper materials -- or fewer, if a standard item requires nine sets of one thing where now three will do. That sort of thing. OTOH, you'd better believe that shopkeepers will react punitively!

In point of fact, my friend swore off any intention of ever selling her beloved belt, so it may not come up. :)

I also want to point out, for the sake of the record, that my GM did require that I have the proper alignment for an alignment restriction.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Enlarge Person is one of those spells that are not permitted to use formulas for costs.

It provides Reach, weapon size increase, bonuses to attack and changes to abilities.

For this reason, various prices for Enlarge Person have ranged between 8,000 go and 12,000 go to previous versions.

Also "restricted" discounts (like alignment) are not on creation or purchasing but on selling. So you don't get a discount buying or creating a restricted item.


So, again, the Dire Collar is a thing that exists and costs 1,000. It implies but does not state it must be used on an animal, but a barbarian with 3 Int probably counts. Okay, so the last part is a joke, but the collar is enlarge person on an invalid target using someone else's action (both of which would be an increase in price, not a decrease). 1/day Enlarge Person item can't be more than the collar.

In addition, the Cloak of the Hedge Wizard is 2,500 for two at-will cantrips and two 1st level spells (for what we care about, Enlarge Person and Expeditious Retreat). Even if we give the cantrips for free, 1/day Enlarge person is only 1,250 (if split even) or 1,000 (if one is increased 50% like usual for multiple abilities). And that's giving a bunch of stuff for free. Again, I think it's underpriced (even by the formula) but it's a good way to get Enlarge Person 1/day. It's not even splatbook either, so it's not that it's some obscure item that never got errata.

So, regardless of what it used to cost, Pathfinder clearly prices it fairly cheaply. 1,000 is probably the max. 360 (the formula price) is the minimum, so somewhere inbetween (inclusive) is the "right" price.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Dire Collar is animal only.

Cloak of the Hedge Wizard does have it, shared (multiple similar abilities, where two abilities share one pool of activation).

So it may be that the price is relaxed a bit, or it could be the hedge wizard item is incorrectly priced (like bracers of falcon aim, feather step boots, jingasa, and other errated for price items.)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Azothath wrote:


lastly, the feat used to make a ring is Forge Ring. No big difference other than the CL should be 7+ but to keep costs low we are sticking to 1st level.

Nothing force you to give rings a minimum CL of 7.

PRD wrote:
creator can create an item at a lower caster level than her own, but never lower than the minimum level needed to cast the needed spell. Using metamagic feats, a caster can place spells in items at a higher level than normal.

The forge ring feat require you to have a CL of 7, not the item.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Bob Bob Bob wrote:

So, again, the Dire Collar is a thing that exists and costs 1,000. It implies but does not state it must be used on an animal, but a barbarian with 3 Int probably counts. Okay, so the last part is a joke, but the collar is enlarge person on an invalid target using someone else's action (both of which would be an increase in price, not a decrease). 1/day Enlarge Person item can't be more than the collar.

PRD wrote:

Dire Collar

Price 1,000 gp; Slotneck; CL 3rd; Weight 2 lbs.; Aura faint transmutation

This leather collar resizes to fit almost any size of creature. Once per day on command, the creature that fastened the dire collar to the animal can cause that animal to grow larger and more bestial. The collar's fastener must be within 30 feet of the animal to do so.The animal gains the benefits of an enlarge person spell (despite the normal targeting restrictions of that spell) for 1 minute.

You can fasten the dire collar to whoever you want, but it work only on animals. Who can benefit from the effect is clearly spelled in the description.

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