Custom magic item help


I am trying to figure out the cost of a custom magic item, what I am thinking is a candle that when lit activates a round per level spell making it last 24 hours (the time it takes for the candle to burn out), it is a one time use item and potentially very powerful but I cannot seem to figure out how expensive it should be

It's hard to gauge because, without a specific spell example, we have to assume it can pair up with any round/level spell. Since that's the case, we have to assume it will always be paired with the most powerful and beneficial effect possible. Then we account for it massively increasing the duration. I mean, you're taking what is ostensibly a 20 round max spell (at 20th level, lower for most), and turning it into 14,400 rounds.

Space saver:
So you're really going to have a hard time getting a price. I think this is one of the reasons metamagic rods are also broken up into lesser, normal, and greater, with restrictions on the spell level they can affect. It makes it easier to come up with a guideline.

At least doing it that way, you can start with a lesser version, compare it to an Extend Rod (which only doubles the duration), and then extrapolate that with this ability, which increases the duration by about 720 times, rather than 2 times. Then you can account for the fact that it's a one-time use item rather than a 3/day object like most metamagic rods.

But then you account for the fact that apparently anyone can use it, since anyone can light a candle. So unlike a rod, which needs a caster (since they have to cast the spell) and they have to be holding it in their hand, that's a huge increase.

So... yeah. You're gonna have some problems. I mean, activating a candle that gives you 24 hours of endure elements (I know, it's not a round per level spell, so not what your candle would provide), is not gonna be the same as activating one that gives you 24 hours of greater invisibility or haste or a trapped one that activates hold person (thankfully they'd still get a save every round) or suddenly getting a 24 nauseated from a cacophonous call candle.

It can be done, but you're probably going to have to price it based on the spell, thus making it like a potion or scroll (likely a potion, since anyone can use it) and then upping the cost immensely for the 720 time duration increase. I wouldn't allow the restriction for only working on round/level spells to discount it, since the power of the candle negates that entirely.

You will need to start with a specific spell candle or two and then we can price it based on the power of the spell, ie. the spell's level, what benefits/effects it applies, how those benefits compare to the cost of similar items that provides those effects, etc. A 24 hour bull's strength is mechanically the same as a +4 belt of giant strength. There are differences (it could be dispelled, it wouldn't technically count as a 'permanent Strength score', etc. but mechanically for game terms and purposes, it is identical. Plus it would free up a magic item slot for a different magical item.

So the cost has to be such that it doesn't invalidate such things, especially since the candle is likely created using Craft Wondrous Item and is effectively like creating a spell-completion item that circumvents making a scroll or potion, thus invalidating Scribe Scroll or Brew Potion, which is another touchy issue, since they don't want one feat negating others and Craft Wondrous Item is already the mainline crafting feat. It can be done (and has been done, there are items that are spell-in-a-can, certainly), but it has to be taken into account, cost-wise or restriction-wise (like having to keep the candle lit, or carry it with you, or remain within a radius of it).

Could you rephrase what you want? I don't think I understand what you were asking for.

Lets see if I understand you right anyways. You want a magic candle that will burn (and last) for 24 hours. During which time it radiates a magical effect. You are looking to make spells that normally last 1 round/level into a spell that lasts 24 hours (for the life of the candle).

Complete Arcane (DND 3.5) had a metamagic feat called persistent spell. It increased the duration of a spell to 24 hours, but it raised the spell level by 6. If you priced the candle like a potion (cause anyone could use it), then a haste candle would be... 7,650 gp? 9 (spell level) * 17 (caster level) * 50 gp. No, I think that is maybe too low. Lets try something else

Maybe its best to compare the desired item to other similar magic items.

A candle of truth lasts for 1 hour and costs 2500 gp. The spell used is a 2nd level cleric spell that normally lasts for 1 min/level. If it were priced like a potion, it would be 300 gp. 2500 gp is an 8 fold mark up of that. Maybe if we tried an 8 fold increase for a potion of haste, 750 gp, is 6000 gp.

Lets compare it to a candle of invocation, which is priced at 8400 gp. It gives morale bonuses to those who are nearby and share an alignment with the candle. It can also raise the effective caster levels of clerics. Is this similar to a magic item that works for 24 hours? Hard to say as the effects of the latter part of the candle (increased caster level) doesn't match any known spell. Also note that the candle only works for specific alignments.

The candle of truth lasts 1 hour (is 1 min/level in spell form), while the candle of invocation lasts 4 hours.

I need to take a break. I've been working on this for too long. See ya later.

I was thinking along the lines of the 3.5 Persistent Spell, looking at the spell Deathless, though now that I think about it Rage and Haste would also be useful. This item will be for a character who is 100% going to die, so I planned on having the candle immediately kill whoever used it when the flame runs out, requiring at least True Resurrection or likely Wish/Miracle. I know I could hand wave it as some unique magic item, one of a kind but I prefer to have the mechanics support it.

Edit: The story reason I want to do it thus way is because the party will be escorting a village escaping the encroaching army through the mountains. There is a narrow pass which the paladin will stay and hold as his "Last Stand" to try and buy time for the villagers and remainder of the party to escape. I am a fan of cinematic moments like this and want it to be special

I was going to use Persistent Spell in my example, but Persistent Spell works differently in Pathfinder, causing a 2nd save after the first.

As far as deathless, that's a great strategy in theory and in a high-level gestalt campaign in Eberron, I actually had a nymph with a shirt of it, but the truth is, if I ran into such a character, I would only have to do a little non-lethal damage, and not worry about it at all. They would still fall unconscious, because deathless provides no protection against that. Certainly the paladin can lay on hands or heal some and there's no automatic or quick way for an enemy to determine that deathless is in play (without magic or some knowledge), but it's not impossible that the paladin takes 1 point of non-lethal while in negatives and... poof.

That or... my army would just grapple and pin him, he's one guy. Tie him up. Or trip him, or a couple nets and drag him out. Or just run past him while he's fighting some other guys. Narrow pass or not. It's an army.

So, just make sure you plan out what not only what you expect, but what you might not expect. Like the player thinking their invincible and taking a short fall or jump off a cliff and taking some subdual,

Enduring blessing is a 3rd tier mythic ability that allows a spell with 10 minutes per level to last 24 hours but only on one willing target. You can take the path ability a second time at 6th tier to and it then allows a spell lasting 10 minutes per level to last for 24 hours. So, what you are asking is the cost of something that is more powerful than a 6th tier mythic ability that takes up to path abilities.

This sounds like a minor artifact not a standard magic item.

Unless the paladin has some way of remaining conscious when at 0 HP Deathless is not really going to do what you want it to. When he reaches 0 HP he still falls unconscious even if he is still alive. The spell is designed to keep someone alive so they can be healed afterwards. If the candle is going to kill him when it runs out, he gains nothing from using it.

The Exchange

So there's really no way to derive the cost from the pricing tables. However the "preferred" method of pricing is to find something already in existence that has a similar effect and compare prices. The closest thing I can come up with is the Ring of Continuation, which has a price of 56,000 gp. However there's some notable differences.

Ring of Continuation
-Can be used many times (candle is consumed on use)
-Does not auto-kill you (as your candle does)

Your Custom Candle
-Can be used on spells of any range (ring can only be used on personal spells)
-Can be used on round/level spells (ring can only be used on 10min/level or greater)

Honestly I'd probably say those things weigh out, and I'd price the candle at 56,000 gp.

But I would really resist pricing it in the first place. There's no story-telling benefit to giving it a price. All a price does is encourage the players to spend an inordinate amount of time scouring rules mechanics trying to use it "better." Or, worse, just deciding to sell it and not use it as intended.

So its a cursed magic item (it kills you when its done) or minor artifact (awfully powerful for a magic item). I don't like the whole bit that needs True Resurrection or Wish/Miracle to revive you. Some would pay money to get a death spell like that to use on their enemies, so they don't come back. Though it would make sense for a minor artifact as some of them have powerful drawbacks. Artifacts don't always make sense.

By the way, what is supposed to happen if someone tries to snuff out the flame of the candle?

I don't think you'll like the numbers I get when trying to price it. 7000 gp * 24 hours is 168000 gp, which is well outside the price range of all but the last few character levels of the game.

Might need to go with a minor artifact, I'm not going to play out the whole 24hrs and it's mostly going to be cinematic after the first few rounds. That being said now I am curious how to avoid the issue with non-lethal, since I have one of my own characters who is an orc and I've never thought of it.

I was actually gonna pop my head in and suggest an artifact.

Although, if you're going full cinematic on this, what's to stop the Paladin's deity from spreading their arms protectively over the Paladin and a choir of holy angels, or agathions or whatever floats his particular boat from singing in beautiful chorus and spaking unto him that while [DEITY] cannot (or won't, gods are weird) interfere more directly, his noble sacrifice has been noted and [DEITY] will see to it that he cannot fall until such time as his sacrifice will be guaranteed not to be in vein. Or something.

Is there a cleric of his deity in the village or some other way that an artifact that grants super-mega-deathless could be believably pressed into his hands? Heck even throw in Freedom of Movement and a couple of other spells to prevent other ways of being taken out. Or something.

Or maybe his blood hits the torch from an early strike and it starts to glow in the colours special to his deity, spreading divine empowerment in a 20' radius. Or something.

By something like this, the paladin can learn that he is definitely going to die, but he is going to die as a true champion of his faith. This is his first miracle on the road to sainthood.

I like that, but then we have the deity of the opposing army (or even a deity worshipped by any individual member of the opposing army, maybe even the same deity as the paladin) appear and proclaim how ignoble it is that common ordinary soldiers, following orders and serving their land, leaders, and people are to be slaughtered by one man, not because of their courage, tactics, or skill... but because of divine interference. Obviously depends on the deity and their outlook...

And then he teleports half the army past the paladin... possibly even in front of the fleeing villagers... and they're all captured (not killed unless they resist), all unknown to the paladin who's deathlessly slaughtering a few soldiers in his narrow pass.

And then, since the part of the enemy army is so close anyway. They sack the village the people were fleeing to while they're there and head back with even greater glory.

I like it!

Or... another deity just puts the paladin into deep slumber for the duration. That way, they aren't directly interfering or canceling another deity's boon and blessing... since they still have deathless and such. Then, he's not a threat and won't be killed or attempted to be killed by the army... which also fits with the paladin's deity's goal of keeping him from dying... for a time. Synergy!

More information on the scenario may be helpful.

What is the nature of the army the paladin is facing?

Are there any special circumstances to the encounter that need to be taken into account?

Does the paladin need to actually stop the army, or will delaying it be enough?

If he just needs to delay it how much time does he need to buy?

Do you trust your players to do what you're expecting? Or might they just rig the pass to collapse, or block it (Wall of X)?

Assuming that, you want a single-purpose item specifically tailored to what you're after, not a general purpose item that extends any spell of any level to 24 hours.

For the candle, I would change it to simply: "While this candle burns (max 24 hours unless extinguished) the creature that lit it cannot die." Character must stay within 100' of candle.

For 'die' you might also need to include immunity to paralysis, unconsciousness, involuntary levitation, teleportatioon, petrification, plane shift, bull rush, trample, etc etc etc depending on how you want this fight to go. Otherwise a single Hold Person and it's all over.

Mudfoot wrote:
For 'die' you might also need to include immunity to paralysis, unconsciousness, involuntary levitation, teleportatioon, petrification, plane shift, bull rush, trample, etc etc etc depending on how you want this fight to go. Otherwise a single Hold Person and it's all over.

For goodness' sake, at that point just make a candle that releases a cloud of smoke that puts everyone to sleep within 100' after 1 minute of being lit. Then you can just light it and leave it in the pass... the pursuing army can't see through the pass, can't see the candle to just shoot at it with any real chance of hitting it, and any that go in likely end up sleeping. At that point, they might have a mage to try and dispel or counter it, but we don't know.

I mean... at some point why do we even need the paladin? Since the candle makes them immune to everything including being trampled or ran past... may as well just have some old frail, sick or injured person who might die in a day or two anyway and was slowing all the villagers down stay behind as a self-sacrifice. Sure, the paladin might whine that it's their place to do that... but can they really ignore the dying wish of someone making a brave self-sacrifice? Seems a bit hypocritical to me.

Well, exactly. This is a plot device, no more and no less. So it's a question of how the GM intends to run the fight. If there are intelligently played casters in the army, they'll take the paladin out with some manner of SoS/SoD spell. If there are flyers, they go past. Grapplers grapple, and so on. But the gist of it is that "death" isn't all that relevant. Horatius could hold the bridge over the Tiber in 509BC because he was only up against light infantry and needed to last only long enough for his allies to destroy the bridge. That's minutes, not a whole day.

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