# Magic item saving throw class ambiguity

### Rules Questions

CRB pg. 459 states, "Magic items produce spells or spell-like effects. For a saving throw against a spell or spell-like effect from a magic item, the DC is 10 + the level of the spell or effect + the ability modifier of the minimum ability score needed to cast that level of spell."

But if the spell is one that is a different spell level for different classes, how do we determine which class to use for the above calculation?

I've heard many conflicting answers for this:

- Some people say you should use the class of the crafter of the magic item. But what if you do not know who crafted the item?

- Some people say you should use the class of the person activating the magic item. But what if that person is not any of the classes that has the spell?

- Some people say you should always assume sorcerer/wizard. But what if
sorcerer/wizard is not any of the classes that has the spell?

- Some people say you should always assume the class with the lowest spell level.

- Some people say you should always assume the class with the highest spell level.

Does anyone have a canonical source that clarifies this?

consult RAW(Magic Item Creation, 3rd paragraph, & note under Potion/Scroll/Wand Base Costs). It's not that hard really and you stated the calculation. Caster Level is generally given for most creatures.

So - many magic items have a level stated in the Crafting Requirements or you can use the minimum level for the crafting feat or spell. IF it is different it is on the crafter/writer to include any variance.
It's why I suggest you immediately switch notation to;
{spell name}:{school}{spell level}@{caster level} {DC: if needed} [{charges}] as that ends the ambiguity.

Wand: Vanish:I1@5 [23]. That is VERY clear
Scroll: Maximized Fireball:K6@11 60{10d6}[fire] DC:18 [1]. Again, very clear.
On the DC, high level caster pens his scroll DC=10+3+5(Int), this is NOT a standard scroll. Sometimes I use Rflx:15 or Will:13 rather than "DC" as it may save a step. I enumerate at the end as it will change and allow crossouts/notes, with [1] you don't really need it but in PFS it could be [4] on one scroll.

otherwise consult your GM as it's his Job to come up with the numbers or figure it out.

===
As it's possible for a spell to be on some caster's spell list at 3rd and another's at 4th, the resolution is lowest spell level for most common standard items as people naturally don't want to pay extra & this follows the direction in RAW (see above). Custom items are crafted using the rules as is. PFS stated this in their paperwork (Guide, Purchasing Equipment and Spells) HOWEVER there is a descending class list that is navigated... so it's up to the GM.

PFS Guide ver 10:
Potions, Scrolls, and Wands
All potions, scrolls, wands, and other consumables are made by clerics, druids, or wizards in Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild play. The only exceptions to this are spells that are not on the cleric, druid, or sorcerer/wizard spell lists. For example, a scroll of lesser restoration must be purchased as a 2nd-level scroll created by a cleric and can’t be purchased as a 1st-level scroll created by a paladin. If a spell is not on the cleric, druid, or sorcerer/wizard spell list, move down the following hierarchy to determine which class creates the consumable. Use the spell’s text from the book in which it appears, instead of researching classes that might have gained that spell on their list in a later publication.
1) Bard
3) Psychic, Shaman, or Witch
4) Alchemist, Inquisitor, Magus, Mesmerist, Occultist, Spiritualist, or Summoner
5) Bloodrager or Medium
If there are still multiple options for the spell’s level, use the lowest level (for example, all scrolls of plane shift are 5th-level scrolls made by clerics rather than 7th-level scrolls made by wizards).
All potions, scrolls, and wands are available only at the minimum caster level unless found at a higher caster level on a Chronicle sheet. For the sake of simplicity, there is no difference between an arcane, divine, or psychic scroll or wand; thus, a bard and cleric can both use the same scroll of cure moderate wounds.
Scrolls of spells of 7th level or higher are not available for any characters below 12th level unless they appear on a Chronicle sheet that character has earned.
===end===

Azothath wrote:

consult RAW. It's not that hard really and you stated the calculation. Caster Level is generally given for most creatures.

So - many magic items have a level stated in the Crafting Requirements or you can use the minimum level for the crafting feat or spell. IF it is different it is on the crafter/writer to include any variance.
It's why I suggest you immediately switch notation to;
{spell name}:{school}{spell level}@{caster level} {DC: if needed} [{charges}] as that ends the ambiguity.

Wand: Vanish:I1@6 [23]. That is VERY clear.
Scroll: Maximized Fireball:K6@11 60{10d6}[fire] DC:18 [1]. Again, very clear.
On the DC, high level caster pens his scroll DC=10+3+5(Int), this is NOT a standard scroll. Sometimes I use Rflx:15 or Will:13 rather than "DC" as it may save a step. I enumerate at the end as it will change and allow crossouts/notes, with [1] you don't really need it but in PFS it could be [4] on one scroll.

otherwise consult your GM as it's his Job to come up with the numbers or figure it out.

I am the GM, and that doesn't answer what I asked at all.

Many spells count as different levels for different classes. For example, scrying is Bard 3, Cleric 5, Druid 4, Sorcerer/Wizard 4. Overwhelming presence is Bard 6, Cleric 9, Inquisitor 6, Sorcerer/Wizard 9.

Which class's spell level should be used for the formula from the CRB quoted in the original post?

IFedTheCat wrote:
Azothath wrote:

consult RAW. It's not that hard really and you stated the calculation. Caster Level is generally given for most creatures.

So - many magic items have a level stated in the Crafting Requirements or you can use the minimum level for the crafting feat or spell. IF it is different it is on the crafter/writer to include any variance.
It's why I suggest you immediately switch notation to;
{spell name}:{school}{spell level}@{caster level} {DC: if needed} [{charges}] as that ends the ambiguity.

Wand: Vanish:I1@6 [23]. That is VERY clear.
Scroll: Maximized Fireball:K6@11 60{10d6}[fire] DC:18 [1]. Again, very clear.
On the DC, high level caster pens his scroll DC=10+3+5(Int), this is NOT a standard scroll. Sometimes I use Rflx:15 or Will:13 rather than "DC" as it may save a step. I enumerate at the end as it will change and allow crossouts/notes, with [1] you don't really need it but in PFS it could be [4] on one scroll.

otherwise consult your GM as it's his Job to come up with the numbers or figure it out.

I am the GM, and that doesn't answer what I asked at all.

...

It does - last line. That's RAW.

I edited my post and gave you the PFS example.
My suggestion for all GMs is that you use PFS as a baseline and custom rule anything beyond that on a case by case basis. It's all written up so most of the work is done for you. It's very generic and likely too plain for a home game.

IFedTheCat wrote:
Azothath wrote:

consult RAW. It's not that hard really and you stated the calculation. Caster Level is generally given for most creatures.

So - many magic items have a level stated in the Crafting Requirements or you can use the minimum level for the crafting feat or spell. IF it is different it is on the crafter/writer to include any variance.
It's why I suggest you immediately switch notation to;
{spell name}:{school}{spell level}@{caster level} {DC: if needed} [{charges}] as that ends the ambiguity.

Wand: Vanish:I1@6 [23]. That is VERY clear.
Scroll: Maximized Fireball:K6@11 60{10d6}[fire] DC:18 [1]. Again, very clear.
On the DC, high level caster pens his scroll DC=10+3+5(Int), this is NOT a standard scroll. Sometimes I use Rflx:15 or Will:13 rather than "DC" as it may save a step. I enumerate at the end as it will change and allow crossouts/notes, with [1] you don't really need it but in PFS it could be [4] on one scroll.

otherwise consult your GM as it's his Job to come up with the numbers or figure it out.

I am the GM, and that doesn't answer what I asked at all.

Many spells count as different levels for different classes. For example, scrying is Bard 3, Cleric 5, Druid 4, Sorcerer/Wizard 4. Overwhelming presence is Bard 6, Cleric 9, Inquisitor 6, Sorcerer/Wizard 9.

Which class's spell level should be used for the formula from the CRB quoted in the original post?

Lowest class level possible to create the item.

TxSam88 wrote:

...

Lowest class level possible to create the item.

since you can create some items as low as level 3 with enough skill bonus i would change this to be the spell level of the class with lowest level that can cast said spell.

for example, as mentioned the Overwhelming presence spell has:
Bard 6, Cleric 9, Inquisitor 6, Sorcerer/Wizard 9.

which mean the lowest each class can cast it is:
level 17 for cleric and wizard, level 18 for sorcerer and level 16 for bard or inquisitor. so that would make it a level 6 spell for the dc.

and since to cast level 6 spells one need minimum of 16 in his casting attribute ability that would make the dc: 10 + 6(spell level) +3 (16 ability) = dc 19

if spell was 9th level spell from all classes it would have been:
10 +9 (spell level) + 4 (for 19 ability) = 23 (you will notice that items with this dc for their spell's dc use this formula)

If the item specifies the spell level, you use that spell level.
If it doesn't specify anything, people usually use the Pathfinder Society ruling:

Quote:

Potions, Scrolls and Wands

All potions, scrolls, wands, and other consumables are made by clerics, druids, or wizards in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The only exceptions are spells that are not on the cleric, druid, or wizard spell list. For example, a scroll of lesser restoration must be purchased as a 2nd-level scroll off the cleric spell list and may not be purchased as a 1st-level scroll off the paladin spell list. If a spell appears at different levels on two different lists, use the lower level spell to determine cost. As an example, poison would be priced as a 3rd-level druid spell instead of a 4th-level cleric spell. All potions, scrolls, and wands are available only at minimum caster level unless found at a higher caster level on a Chronicle sheet.

You, as a GM, can place loot or market items in the game that are specifically by people that has the spell at a different level, but then, as Azothath suggested, it is a good idea to tag it with a full description, like "Paladin scroll of Restoration, SL 1 CL 1".