Saturday, December 30, 2006

Totem of Prowess - Varied Wondrous Item

Totem of prowess: These totems are made from the skull of a creature with the ability to use a spell like or supernatural ability. It is painted or carved with invocations to the spirit of the creature it came from, binding part of their soul to the totem, and putting it in command of the wielder.

Each totem is keyed to a different kind of supernatural or spell like ability, and has a different power level. When carried in the left hand of a creature with hands, or worn around the neck of a creature without, a totem of prowess adds a bonus to the difficulty checks of the ability it is keyed to.

For instance, a totem made from the skull of a succubus might add +2 to the DC of the charm monster spell like ability of a mind flayer who wields it. Often totems are made by supernatural creatures who lead groups of their own from the skulls of their predecessors, in order to boost a spell like ability common to them. The Ogre Mage Ovomin owned the skull of Tethyrium, her mother, which allowed her to throw a fridgider cone of cold.

The market price of a totem of prowess is the bonus squared, multiplied by 1,000. A totem can boost the DC of two or more powers. The market value of such a device would be the number of boosts it granted added together, plus 50%.

Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, creator must be of he same race as item’s donator, or Spell Focus in a relevant school; Market Price: 500 gp (+1), 2,000 gp (+2), 4,500 gp (+3), 8,000 gp (+4), 12,500 gp (+5); Weight: 1 lb.

NPC Gear: +2 totem, 5th
Treasure Value: +2 totem, 6th

Math: cost of a resistence bonus to all saves, across the board, is bonus squared *1,000. I price limited resistences (+1 to a single save type) as bonus squared*1,000. A bonus to the save of a single spell like or supernatural ability must be worth less than an across the board save.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

While looking to okay a comment on my blog, I noted that a gentleman using the handle Rafilar had posted a couple that I failed to okay. My bad.

This one drew my interest.

"This item is problematic for me, because it provides an odd-strength bonus to an ability score. The general rule in 3.x is that only even-strength bonuses should ever be given. (WotC has followed this rule moderately well, most 3rd-party companies less so. Malhavoc's good at it.)

Let's say I give a +1 cloak of charisma to my party. Half of them have even Charisma scores, so they find the item to be completely valueless. The other half has an odd-score, so it's worth as much benefit to them as a +2 cloak of charisma (4,000 gp). Mathematically, a +1 should cost 1,000 gp given the standard formula. This is not the same as, say, splitting the difference between the 0 gp and 4,000 gp that my players would value it at. Even if it was, that wouldn't be good either, because the players who have an odd bonus are getting as much benefit as from a +2 cloak at much less cost. So an odd-bonus item is either much more cost effective than an even-bonus item with the same benefit, for some players, or completely worthless, for other players.

In essence, it is my opinion, *and* the opinion of the people who designed the DMG and the magic item pricing system, that an item that gives an odd bonus to an ability score is inherently unbalanced."

This is interesting, because I never sat and thought about the pure economics incentives of a +1 stat bonus item. It is a cheaper bonus for charisma using characters that are on the cusp of a modifier boost.

In fact, it would probably be a really bad idea to create an item that did nothing but give a +1 bonus to an ability, although I could see places where it might be interesting: for instance, a wizard might wear a belt of strength enhancement +1 that boosted his strength from 11 to 12, and I wouldn't think an extra +1 to hit and damage for him would not be unbalancing in day to day play. A fighter, at higher levels, would rather have a +4 belt of strength.

One of the reasons I do the wacky ass items with odd combinations of powers is as a rules shim for "flavor," a game reason for PCs or NPCs to use an odd item.

The other is that I like to give suboptimal items to NPCs in order to boost their ability to challenge PCs, without loading the PCs down with treasure afterwards. Nobody wants the PCs to have too much treasure. It causes back strain.

There are several things that could make a +1 stat boosting item sub-optimal:

1) Item slot competition: RAW, items with certain abilities should have "favored" slots, which I tend to ignore. The cheapness of a +1 item would make it useful at lower levels, but at higher levels, PC's would want to swap it out with more powerful items.

I would stretch my strength-enchanced wizard argument above to suggest that at low levels, small bonuses are far less unbalancing than large ones. A +1 bonus to the strength of even the most ubered out 3rd level barbarian isn't going to add so much to combat. A +1 bonus to a 3rd level bard's charm person save DCs, probably less. It probably won't be with the party long, but might make a goblin slightly more interesting in battle.

2) Combination with other abilities: If you slap a +1 bonus onto an item with another ability, you're actually inflating the worth of either. Then the PC has to decide if either of the abilities is worth taking up an item slot for. If not, the item isn't unbalancing: it's raw gold for whatever else the PCs want to buy. It's a forced choice.

3) In the case of the item in question, the shimmering cloak, the +1 charisma bonus is added to color spray twice a day and +2 to perform checks, for a total cost of 3300 gp. Most bards, especially as they go up in level, would probably prefer a straight up cloak of charisma +2 for 4,000 gp. That color spray won't do much good at higher levels, unless you run a campaign that's heavy with low level mooks (I use a lot of mid-level mooks). A thief might prefer the item, which would be a pretty sub optimal combination of abilities, but still might add a flourish to the character. At that point it's a very expensive +1 enhancement bonus, in a slot that might be better used for something else.

Looking back at it, it is a sub-optimal magic item, even for my uses. By value, it is a suitable treausre for a 7th level NPC (say, a 7th level Sorcerer (CR 7), or a 7th level expert (a performer? CR 6). It would be given as a treasure for an EL 8 encounter. PCs wouldn't reasonably encounter one until they were at least 4th level, at which point they'd probably be saving for a +2 cloak, and the usefulness of the color spray will soon be eclipsed for the PCs. A 7th level NPC using it in a climactic encounter might find it handy against a party of 3rd or 4th level PCs, but it would be of little use to a run of the mill or filler encounter vs. a party of it's own level. RAW, I can't even see a real reason for anyone to make such an item.

As a magic item, it's sort of an aside. A misfit toy, to use the parlance of the season (I have a four year old: I've seen Rudolph 3 times this year. Erg.)

What it would be useful for is as a surprise: The smooth talking but corrupt alderman (Aristocrat 6, Rog 1, CR 6, natural charisma 15) uses it to take down the Ranger's animal companion. A rules shim for flavor.

Worse than the half bonus, I think, is that the bonus is a variant named, making it stack with regular enchancement bonuses. I should probably rewrite that.

A large number of my weird items come from the fact that can't stand giving mook PCs a bunch of cloaks of charisma or another wand of magic missles, than maybe you'll give them a shimmering cloak, and the sorcerer minions of the cult of shining glances now has a stock item that identifies them to PCs.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Skin Totem - Varied Wondrous Item

Totem, Skin: This handheld totem, a leathery bundle made out of a bit of pelt and bone from an animal, are often found with hunters, rogues, and adventurers: anyone who has a frequent need for a quick getaway or a quick boost in fighting power. The more powerful ones are harder to make; druids rarely like the spoilage of ecology that comes with depleting large predators.

When held in bare hand and the name of the animal who donated the fur is spoken aloud, the holder can wildshape into that creature as a move equivalent action. Each skin totem is made differently, and each has a different duration, ranging from one to twenty minutes. Skin totems are destroyed when they are used.

The market value of a skin totem is determined by multiplying the hit dice of the animal it transforms it’s user into by the number of minutes the effect last, and then by 50. For instance, a leopard skin totem created to last 3 rounds would have a market value of 3 (HD) * 3 (rounds duration) = 9 * 50 = 450 gp.

Caster Level 5th; Create wondrous item, druid with wildshape ability or polymorph; Market Value: as noted above.

Treasure value: Leopard Skin Totem, 450 gp, 2nd
NPC Gear Value: Leopard Skin Totem, 450 gp, 1st

Note: Make this item a potion and call it a leopardsoul potion. Or liquid leopardsoul. Or something like that.
I started my totem series today, the first of which isn't exactly relevant to last week's description: items that enhance your monster's powers. The next two are spot on topic.

When okaying a very nice comment on my last post, I found two comments I hand't even realized existed. I okayed them, but one brought up an interesting balance point that I wanted to address. That post is sitting at home, currently. I will try to post it tonight.

I hope everybody had a happy holiday weekend.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A'ight. Ended my series of protective items for mooks.

Next week, Tuesday, I start my series on totems to make your monster mooks more effective.

Just out of curiosity: anybody reading the articles I post, other than the Maguc Items?


Friday, December 22, 2006

Turnaway - Minor Wondrous Item

From the address of the Grognard Phung Waal in his address to the Kauncil of the Scorpion Klans decennial business aggregation.

“It is a reality of today’s world that men of conscience or bold action who do not study the arcane arts are at a distinct disadvantage to the common rabble who do. Unarmed and with only negligible material aid, a wose anark or red coast infiltrator can enter a public house, or even a parliament, and burn or pinion a citizen with rays of elemental energy or force. The wise councilor or businessman, faced by the petty jealousies of the less fortunate, will turn to the alchemist or charm monger to protect his body and those of his servants from arcane attacks.

So were born the jurin, turnaways, and the cloaks of false life. The former act to absorb damage of a specific energy type, the latter allow you to shrug off a certain amount of physical punishment. Neither are inexhaustible, being quickly used up. However, they are superior to more permanent protections in their thriftyness, and will cause your attackers to either waste valuable resources on their first application, or waste time as they hold back trying to guess how well protected you are. As men of action well know, a few brief seconds can make all the difference in moments of dire peril.”

Turnaway: These torcs are made of mithril and gold twisted together in intricate pattern and capped with balls of leaded glass. They are worn about the throat. Each is attuned to a kind of energy: Fire, Cold, Acid, Sonic, or Electricity.

Turnaways activate when their wearer would be damaged by the energy type they are attunded to. They give their wearer a certain amount of resistance to that energy type for five minutes. The typical turnaway is crafted in increments of five: 5, 10, or 15 points of energy per day.

Minor abjuration; CL 5; Create wondrous item, energy resistance; Cost 300 gp per point of resistance, 1,200 gp (5 resistance), 2,400 (10 resistance), 3,600 (15 resistance)

Treasure Value:

5 energy resistance: 4th
10 energy reistance: 7th
15 energy resistance: 9th

NPC Gear:

5 energy resistance: 3rd
10 energy reistance: 6th
15 energy resistance: 7th

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jurin - Minor Wondrous Item

From the address of the Grognard Phung Waal in his address to the Kauncil of the Scorpion Klans decennial business aggregation.

“It is a reality of today’s world that men of conscience or bold action who do not study the arcane arts are at a distinct disadvantage to the common rabble who do. Unarmed and with only negligible material aid, a wose anark or red coast infiltrator can enter a public house, or even a parliament, and burn or pinion a citizen with rays of elemental energy or force. The wise councilor or businessman, faced by the petty jealousies of the less fortunate, will turn to the alchemist or charm monger to protect his body and those of his servants from arcane attacks.

So were born the jurin, turnaways, and the cloaks of false life. The former act to absorb damage of a specific energy type, the latter allow you to shrug off a certain amount of physical punishment. Neither are inexhaustible, being quickly used up. However, they are superior to more permanent protections in their thriftyness, and will cause your attackers to either waste valuable resources on their first application, or waste time as they hold back trying to guess how well protected you are. As men of action well know, a few brief seconds can make all the difference in moments of dire peril.”

Jurin: A jurin is a gold or bone amulet, upon which are written runes of abjuration. There are as many different kinds of Jurin as there are arcane energies: cold jurin, sonic jurin, fire, force, acid, and lightning jurin. When worn at the wrist, throat, waist, or brow (taking up a gauntlet, necklace, belt, or hat magic item slot), they will absorb some of the energy they are attuned to.

Each Jurin has a capacity: 5 hp, 10 hp, 20 hp, 30 hp, or even a fraction of that if they belonged to another user and have seen action. Jurin’s can be created to absorb up to 100 points.

Multiple Jurin of the same energy type may be worn at the same time. Damage is taken by all of them equally. Jurin of different types cannot be worn together: they will cancel each other out, and none of them will function.

Weak abjuration; CL 5th; Craft wondrous item, protection from elements; Cost 12 gp per point of absorbtion; 120 gp (10 point), 240 gp (20 point, 360 gp (30 point), 480 gp (40 point)

NPC Gear:

10 points of energy absorbtion: 1st
20 points of energy absorbtion: 1st
30 points of energy absorbtion: 1st
40 points of energy absorbtion: 2nd

Treasure Value:

10 points of energy absorbtion: 1st
20 points of energy absorbtion: 1st
30 points of energy absorbtion: 2nd
40 points of energy absorbtion: 2nd

Math: Fiddling around with resist energy and protection from energy spells spells cast at various levels, I determined that a good rule of thumb is that a point of energy absorbtion, as a one shot item, is worth 12 gp, the rough average per point point of a protection from energy spell tricked out as a single shot item.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cloak of False Life - Minor Wondrous Item

From the address of the Grognard Phung Waal in his address to the Kauncil of the Scorpion Klans decennial business aggregation.

“It is a reality of today’s world that men of conscience or bold action who do not study the arcane arts are at a distinct disadvantage to the common rabble who do. Unarmed and with only negligible material aid, a wose anark or red coast infiltrator can enter a public house, or even a parliament, and burn or pinion a citizen with rays of elemental energy or force. The wise councilor or businessman, faced by the petty jealousies of the less fortunate, will turn to the alchemist or charm monger to protect his body and those of his servants from arcane attacks.

So were born the jurin, turnaways, and the cloaks of false life. The former act to absorb damage of a specific energy type, the latter allow you to shrug off a certain amount of physical punishment. Neither are inexhaustible, being quickly used up. However, they are superior to more permanent protections in their thriftyness, and will cause your attackers to either waste valuable resources on their first application, or waste time as they hold back trying to guess how well protected you are. As men of action well know, a few brief seconds can make all the difference in moments of dire peril.”

Cloak of false life: These deep, jewel colored cloaks of cotton are often embroidered or painted with the simple curling designs: Red on purple, black on red or blue.

If the cloak has been worn for at least eight hours in the previous 24, when donned for the first time each day, a cloak of false life bestows a number of temporary hit points. They come off the wearer’s hit point total first.

Weak necromancy; CL 3rd: Craft wondrous item, false life; Price 400 gp per temporary hp each day.

Cost: 1,200 gp (3 hp), 1,600 gp (4 hp), 2,000 gp (5 hp), 2,400 (6 hp), 2,800 (7 hp), 3,200 (8 hp), 3,600 (9 hp), 4,000 (10 hp)

NPC Gear:

3 hp: 3rd
4 hp: 4th
5 hp: 5th
6 hp: 6th
7 hp: 6th
8 hp: 7th
9 hp: 7th
10 hp: 8th

Treasure Value

3 hp: 4th
4 hp: 5th
5 hp: 6th
6 hp: 7th
7 hp: 8th
8 hp: 8th
9 hp: 9th
10 hp: 9th

Math: Fiddling around with cure spells and false life spells cast at various levels, I determined that a good rule of thumb is that a hit point, usable once per day, is worth 400 gp, the rough average per hit point of a False Life spell cast at every level it is beneficial 3-10.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Elemental Gauntlet - Medium Wondrous Item

Elemental Gauntlets: There are four types of elemental gauntlets: Fire, Acid, Lightning, and Cold. Each manifests as a nimbus of the force embodied. If someone puts their hand into the nimbus, the glow will adhere to their hand. The wearer is wearing a glove of pure elemental force.

The wearer gains a +1 bonus to the difficulty checks of spells they cast with the same elemental descriptor as the gauntlet. They gain +1d4 energy damage with natural attacks and tiny weapons while wearing the gauntlets, of the gauntlet’s type. They also receive 5 points of energy resistance, against the gauntlet's type of energy.

Moderate evocation; CL3; Create wondrous item, burning hands, endure elements; Price 10,500 gp

Treasure Value: 13th
NPC Gear: 11th


1*1*1000 plus half = 1500 for +1 DC
1*1*2000 (as if it were a +1 weapon bonus) plus half = 3000 for damage bonus
5*1,200 fire resistance 6000 gp for energy resistance

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cloak of the Light Step - Minor Wondrous Item

Cloak of the Light Step: This magical cloak is made of fine linen died in sprightly floral colors. It is embroidered with representations of eyes on the hem, and birds on the shoulders.

When worn, it provides a +1 dodge bonus to the wearer’s AC against one creature that the wearer is currently in melee with.

Light transmutation; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, cat's grace: Price 1,000 gp.

NPC Gear: 2nd
Treasure Value
: 4th

Maths - I value feats at roughly (1+# of prerequisites)*(1+# of prerequisites)*1000 gp. I think. A +1 bonus to armor class is worth 1 K for armor, 2 K for other types, but this dodge bonus is so limited (only one other creature) that it deserves to be slashed by at least half. So I figure it's priced about right.
So... I just realized I skipped the end of last week. Work is ghastly, and will continue to be so through the end of the week. I will post normally this week, and then I will post a three item series next week. All magic items that are great for low to mid level NPC mooks and villains.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cloak of Darkness' Servants - Major Wondrous Item

Cloak of Darkness’ Servants: This inky black cloak has no features, but its hue is so deep that it makes people looking at it feel slightly vertiginous, as if looking down a very deep hole.

Once per day, in conditions of shadowy illumination or darker, the wearer can use it to summon 1d4+1 Yeth Hounds who pour out of the cloak as if it were a portal into a shadowy realm. Although anyone can summon the hounds, they will only serve evil summoners, turning on and attacking good or fully neutral ones.

Moderate Evocation; CL 11; summon monster VI; Price 18,500 gp.

NPC Gear: 14th
Treasure Value: 15th


Summon monster VI


/5 - for once a day

- .3 - item requires specific alignment/environment to use

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Crystal Marble - Minor Wondrous item

Crystal Marble: These thumbnail sized beads of glass are strikingly clear, but tinted in bright primary colors. Crystal marbles are dropped using molten glass that is mixed with powdered aurichalc along with trace elements of other metals, to give them color. The glass of a crystal marble is so clear that it is nearly invisible, which is why they are tinted.

When crushed on ground, an invisibility sphere is centered around the crusher, as if the spell of the same name were cast by a 5th level caster.

Moderate illusion; Create wondrous item, invisibility sphere; Price 1,500 gp

NPC Gear: 4th
Treasure Value: 5th

Monday, November 27, 2006

Qualife’s Utilitarian Brick - Medium Wondrous Item

Qualife’s Utilitarian Brick: This 5x3x8 inch brick of coarse red mud is mixed with hay and stamped with dwarvish runes of rock, craft, and security. Once per day, the brick can be placed on patch of bare ground that is at least 20x20 feet and ordered to “grow” in dwarvish. These are often carried by Dwarvish emissaries to human cities on the plains, as being out in the open overnight makes Dwarves uncomfortable.

The brick will grow until it becomes a sturdy, slate roofed brick cottage with all the traits of a secure shelter cast by a 7th level caster, including an alarm spell on all the appropriate entrances, but not including unseen servant. It lasts for ten hours, then dumps any inhabitants still within on the ground as it reverts to a brick shape. It cannot be used again until 12 hours have passed.

Moderate transmutation; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, secure shelter; Cost 11,200

NPC Gear
: 12th
Treasure Value: 13th


(4*7*2,000)/5 for one use per day.
On the one hand, it's a pretty long duration for an item that only has one use per day.

On the other hand, it's a portable cottage. What the hell are you going to do besides sleep in it?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Blackfire Amulet - Minor Wondrous Item

Blackfire Amulet: This steel collar has a coin sized medallion of rare, red flecked obsidian on the front of it, with the symbol of the widow star. Once per day, when the command word is spoken, an individual undead creature is affected as if by desecration: gaining a +1 profane bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws, and +1 hit points per die, and +3 turn resistance. The command word for a collar may be spoken by the undead’s creator instead of the undead itself, but such a command activates every such amulet within 60 ft. of the activator.

If the undead wearing this collar is successfully turned, the amulet will shatter.

Weak necromancy; Caster level: 3rd; Craft wondrous item, desecrate or ability to channel negative energy; Cost 1, 350 gp

Math: 2*3*2000, less one third for reduced scope, once per day =1800. Weak item -.25% value. 1350.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Oil of Scorpion Senses - Potion

Oil of Scorpion Senses: When dabbed on the eyelids, this black oil allows the user to function as if they had the blind-fighting feat for three minutes.

Caster Level: 3rd; Prerequisites: Brew Potion, blind fighting feat, spellcaster level 3rd+; Market Price: 400 gp.

Treasure Value: 2nd
NPC Gear: 1st

Math: Worth more than a +1 bonus, I set it at +2 because it essentially bestows two bonuses (rerolling misses from cover and removing invisibility penalties). So 2*2*100 for one shot bonus.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dragon Tooth Blade - Special Material

Dragon tooth blade: In the Baelitian Peaks, kobold tribes are often at a loss for resources. The giantkin and dwarves are better miners, and protect their stakes well. Kobolds often ally with dragons, however, and the oldest leave a lot of teeth behind when they die.

Dragon teeth can be whittled into formidable blades, given time, patience, and a very dense scraping stone. Sharp but brittle (Dragon teeth have a hardness of 9 and only 10 hit points per inch), a dragon tooth blade naturally holds a very fine edge. Dragon tooth blades gain a +1 to their threat range, and do +1 damage. Also, dragon teeth can be enchanted by the magic fang spell as well as magic weapon, a bonus for the naturalistic kobold religion.

Ammunition made from dragon tooth simply do +1 point of damage.

The value of a dragontooth blade is the standard price for the blade plus 850 gp for a weapon that does up to 1d4 damage, and 1,250 gp for weapons that do more. A dragon tooth dagger is worth 852 gp, a dragon tooth falchion is worth 1,350 gp. A single arrow or bolt made from dragon tooth costs 30 gp.

The increased threat range is not enhanced by magic or feats, but is coincident with them. For instance, a dragon tooth dagger enhanced by keen edge has a threat range of 16-20: doubled by the spell to 17-20, +1 for being dragon tooth.

A dragon typically has 74 teeth plus two per age category. A dragon tooth dagger costs 1,250 gp, and a dragon tooth falchion 1,325 gp. Of a large sized dragon’s teeth, approximately 45% can be used as a blade for a one handed weapon for a medium sized creature, another 20% can be used as a blade for a light melee weapon for a medium creature, and a remaining 20% can be used as a light melee weapon for a small creature. The size categories go up as the dragon’s size does: a huge dragon can provide blades for two handed weapons, one handed weapons, and light weapons, all for medium creatures, a colossal dragon supplies blades for two handed weapons for large creatures, plus two handed and one handed weapons for medium sized creatures.

A small tooth, suitable for a weapon that does less than 1d6 damage, can be sold for 210 gp. Larger teeth can be sold for approximately 310 gp. The remainder of the creation cost for a dragon tooth weapon comes from weighting it, attaching a pommel, and the time it takes to rub an edge into it.

NPC Gear: Dragon Tooth Falchion, 4th
Treasure Value: Dragon Tooth Falchion, 5th

Math: Totally Ad Hoc. About 300 gp for +1 to damage, comparable to a masterwork to hit bonus. About 1,000 gp for an additional bonus to crit range, comparable to half a +1 weapon bonus (a Keen weapon, a +1 weapon bonus, doubles the threat range of a weapon). It strains credibility that a small tooth is no less valuable than a large tooth, so I prorated the value by weapon type, much the same way that the adamantine material does. Minus 50 gp or so for brittleness.

The values given for dragon teeth will add many thousands of gold to the treasure left behind by your average dragon. There are ways to deal with this:

1) Who cares? They’ll spend it soon enough.
2) Lower the value of the dragon’s hoard by the value of it’s teeth.
3) Drastically lower the number of teeth found: Well, sure dragon’s teeth are valuable. But you’re wearing adamantine armor/shooting fireballs at them. They aren’t so durable. Kobolds usually pull teeth from their allies after they’ve died on the hoard.
4) RAW, only so many people in the local kobold/barbarian villages will be able to afford them. Nobody in a civilized town really wants them (for that price, anyway). Unsold dragon teeth are curios.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Phlogitoad Bezoar - Minor Wondrous Item

Phlogitoad Bezoar: This light stone, oddly rippled and about the size of the ball of an average man’s thumb, is taken from the skulls of the three foot subterranean toads raised by kobolds.

When a light spell is cast upon it, the spell lasts for twice its normal duration.

Weak evocation; CL 3rd; Create Wondrous Item, extend spell, light; Market value: 400 gp.

NPC Gear: 1st
Treasure Value: 2nd

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Gallery of Random Effect Magic Items in DND

My favorite kind of fantasy is spontaneous and transformational. Magic, especially wild and strange magic, has often played a role in my home games. As the elemental force of imagination, I feel that magic will lead you to become something new and wonderful.

Also, role playing situations are most interesting when you are surprised. Random magic is sort of surprise on a stick. You don’t know if it’s going to be something you like when you bite into it, but it’s doubly magnificent if it is. Reactions to the effects of random magic can be priceless.

One of my favorite in game applications of total chaos was Demon Ichor. A guild of summoners was drinking the lifeblood of the foul beings that they summoned, because it would cause mutations, some of which bestowed beneficial effects. Sometimes, it would just leave you a horrific mess.

One of the players drank some by accident, and he and his group were amazed by the results. After awhile, drinking demon ichor became an answer to every seemingly intractable problem: about to die? Drink some Demon Ichor! Gender changed by magic belt? Drink some Demon Ichor! Horribly mutated by Demon Ichor? Drink some Demon Ichor! One character wandered around as a twenty foot tall blue gnome for awhile. Another was so disturbed by what his character became that he had to retire it. An NPC became a jackelope, but could turn invisible at will.

And I allowed it. Because it was fun.

So every time a random magical effect table comes along, I hoard it. I have a list of just about every random magical effect published for the Dungeons and Dragons game, which I am posting here to spread the joy of randomosity. At one point, I had tied them all into one giant random table by means of a random table.

Really, everything in moderation probably applies here. You should take the random tables out sparingly. They can be unnerving to player and GM alike. But it’s your game, not up to me.

The Bag of Beans: I don’t think the bag of beans has been introduced to 3e. Alas. I never used it much, but who doesn’t want to play Jack every once in a while? Just the meta-narrative of it is priceless. “Oh, crap. I can’t face a hoard of twenty pit fiends. Quick, plant a bean!” The table in the 1st edition DMG was short: 7 examples, appended by the line “Thought, imagination and judgment are required with this item.” There was an expanded set of results in Dragon #171.

Deck of Many Things: The card says: Go to hell. Go directly to hell. Do not pass go, do not collect your hat on the way out the door. Wait quietly for someone to come pick you up.

There was always something very creepy about the DonJon card. This web version of the Deck of Many Things is tres cool.

WOTC has posted a web application here, using art from an article in Dragon #148 for the cards. An variant inspired by the Player’s Handbook II is appended. The variant allows you to use the rebuild rules from that book to change your character build. Random rebuilds don’t seem handy. Forced rebuilds, on the other hand, could be entertaining, if your players have a sense of humor about that kind of thing.

Recently, a contest was run on ENWorld for alternate deck of many things art. Info was posted here and here.

The current SRD version is here.

Deck of Transformations: A variation on the venerable deck of many things, this deck from Races of Eberron is organized around a theme of physical change. Mainly, it seems to be an Eberron specific reincarnation table. 16 of 39 cards change your race. 12.5 damage you. 9.5 give you inherent bonuses or additional abilities (if you didn’t already have them), which is cool but at a 25% chance, really doesn’t look so hot compared to a 46% chance that drawing a card will give the old rosy rod to your character concept. Races of Eberron, p 178.

Fist of Emirikol: The absolute coolest (and possibly only good) side effect of belonging to the RPGA was this nifty handout: a palm sized twenty sided die with nifty arcane runes on it. Rolling the die grants various minor effects, and looks hella cool. You can also use the “bite me” version on the RPGA’s web site, which is a garden variety d20 combined with a printed table that allows you to emulate the effects of a real Fist of Emirikol. Also, my kid loves to play with it.

Leprechaun’s Rosary: A friend of mine found this in some off-publication gaming zine, twenty years gone. I had a tattered photocopy of the original, but just went to look for it in my stuff… and it’s gone! Cue surprise music! Dahn dahn dahn! I couldn’t post it anyways: it’s somebody else’s shit, even if it’s old shit that the original author has probably forgotten about.

Magic Miscability: Random effects associated with wearing or using two or more magic items at the same time. How quaint. Dragon #229.

Potion Miscability: Okay. In 1st edition DND, you couldn’t drink two potions at the same time. They would have unfortunate interactions, sort of like whiskey and valium, if the whiskey were labled “drink me” and valium was red kryptonite. While not one of the most baroque tables, it offered loads of in game laffs, and could cause your character to explode or gain supernatural powers.

Reincarnation: Bored of your players resurrectioning themselves out of a tight spot? Although coming back from the dead is usually traumatic, it does sort of seem like an olly-olly-oxenfree solution to an otherwise tense narrative moment. Give the whole thing some pizzazz with a reincarnation table! The 1e ones were best. You could get really screwed and come back as a small furry animal! Comedy and character development gold.

Rod of Wonder: The original. Yes, yes: it useta be a wand, not a rod. Let the slapping fights begin. 22 possible results (apparently being a rod makes it more chaotic, because when it was a wand, it had a mere 19). But how many random rhinos are be entertaining? SRD Rod of Wonder.

Web Marginalia: O, Wondrous Wand, Dangerous Derv Wand of Wonder (Spicy! What the fuck is an experimental arrow chart?), Greater Wand of Wonder

Tarot Cards: An obvious adjunct to the Deck of Many Things was the real world deck of fate, detailed with magic powers for each of the cards in both Dragon #26 and #77.

Various Homebrew: Raw chaos is just too fun not to want to play with. Here, I include other people’s homebrew that doesn’t fall comfortably under the marginalia of another item.

Glyph of Change and Staff of Random Magic (with some extraordinarily bitchy badfun playa haters commenting below).

A thread discussing Hero Games versions of a wand of wonder.

Wand of a Wonder: The sequel to the wand of wonder, debuted in the Temple of Elemental Evil. 30 possible results. Same price as a 1e. wand of wonder. Now, that’s value for your mayhem dollar. Apparently also posted online at gamebanshee for your edification. Temple of Elemental Evil, p 126.

Wand of wonder II through IV: Dragon magazine, sensing that people were getting a little bored of the wand of wonder, printed three more tables in issue #147.

Wand of Woodland Wonder: See wand of wonder, but everything is related to trees and heat metal and druidy crap. Not nearly as fun as the other tables. Ruins of Undermountain II boxed set, pp.

Wild Mage: I’m fuzzy on the history of wild magic. In Forgotten Realms Adventures, wild magic is mentioned as a result of the Time of Troubles (table, pg 10). There are wild magic regions. Ditto the 3.0 Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (table, pg 55). In Complete Arcane, wild magic is an ability for a prestige class (pg 68, no table). I am flummoxed as to where wild mages appeared in earlier editions. But, I have a much cooler table for wild magic transcribed from somewhere, and while poking around to solve the mystery, I came across this, hosted on the WOTC site, which is very similar to my transcribed table, and a glorious random table, making use of each individual number between one and one hundred.

Web marginalia: Extraordinary wild surges (made nearly unreadable by a crappy background).

Zadron’s Pouch of Wonders: A funky version of the bag of beans, from which you could pull out bronze golems, copper dragons, or greeting cards. Dragon #62.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Angel Fly - Medium Wondrous Item

Angel Fly: This pale, dried and preserved insect looks more like a strange jewel at first sight. Its translucent chitin reflects a full spectrum of colors, so that it flashes various colors as it catches the light at different angles. Cursory examination reveals an insectile anatomy: segmented body, wafer like wings, jointed legs.

Angel flies exist only on the bright stars. The mundvelt is too toxic for them to survive unaided. Even their fragile corpses disintegrate on the mundlvelt. Preparation for enchantment includes being sealed in a mixture of distilled and activated celestial tree resins. They are harvested and used as rewards by some lucent celestials.

A properly prepared angel fly can be sold for 4,500 gp.

When a person eats a properly dried angel fly, they are granted the ability to cast mass cure critical wounds as a standard action, once. This is a supernatural ability. If the ability is not used in the next 24 hours, the ability is lost, and the ingester will release a sunburst, as if the spell were cast by a 15th level caster, the next time they are in less than bright illumination.

Moderate necromancy; Brew potion or create wondrous item, mass cure critical wounds; Price 12,000 gp

NPC Gear: 13th
Treasure Value: 12th

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Torc of Golden Blood - Medium Wondrous Item

Torc of Golden Blood: This golden torc wrought in the shape of a serpent, one end the head and one the rattle. It gleams with a sunny light even in shadow. Any time the wearer is struck in battle or countered in an argument, it seems to flash and glitter as if light is shining directly on it. When the bearer is cut, they bleed gold, like certain outsiders.

It grants it’s wearer a +2 divine bonus to Str and a +2 divine bonus to charisma, and a +1 deflection bonus on armor class.

Moderate abjuration; Caster Level 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, bull’s strength, eagle’s splendor, shield of faith; Market Price: 11,500 gp.

NPC Gear: 13th
Treasure Value: 14th


2 ability bonuses +2 each (2*2*1000) = 4,000 each, one half again for multiple different, 10,000
+1 deflection bonus to armor class (1*1*1000) = 1,000 half again for multiple different 1,500
Half again for multiple similar abilities

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Minor Talespinner’s Staff - Minor Wondrous Item

Minor Talespinner’s Staff: This tall staff, made from golden hued eriswood, is carved with representations of several folktales: Gamnastrion’s trip to the furthest star, the cat and the phoenix, the pig riot of Spiral. The number of tales, and which ones are represented, changes from staff to staff, but Gamnastrion’s Trip or the Katechism of Rag Bag Joe are almost always one of them. The tip is usually set with a thumbnail sized mooneye.

This is not a true staff. None of its abilities are powered by charges.

Anyone who keeps a Minor Tailspinner’s staff around his person gains:

A +2 circumstance bonus to Bardic Knowledge and Knowledge (History) checks.
A +2 enhancement bonus to perform (oratory) checks
The ability to cast Legend Lore. This works just like the spell, except that casting time is always 1d4*10 minutes. Once Legend Lore is used via a talespiner’s staff, it may not be used again for a period of weeks that depends on how vague the caster’s information was. If the person or thing is at hand, or if you are in the place that is the subject of the spell, legend lore can be cast again one week later. If you have only detailed information on the person, place, or thing, legend lore may be cast two weeks later. If you know only rumors, legend lore may be cast again 7 weeks later.

Moderate divination; CL 10th; Craft wondrous item, Legend Lore; Cost 3,200 gp

NPC Gear: 7th
Treasure Value: 8th


+2 Bardic Knowledge Checks (2*2*100)-.1 = 360 for needed class ability, half again for multiple different abilities 540
+2 Perform (2*2*100) half again for multiple different abilities 600

Legend Lore (as if a bard were casting: ((4*10*1,800)/5)7 for minimum of a week between castings = 2057

Round up for ease

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Father Snake's Skin - Medium Wondrous Item

Father Snake’s Skin: This brightly patterned, red, black and yellow cloak is made of reptile skin leather. The clasp, sewn onto the cloak, is made from a viper’s skill that had been plated with silver.

When worn, the skin grants a +2 natural bonus to armor class, a +1 enhancement bonus to dexterity, gains a +1 enhancement bonus to the DC to resist the wearer’s poisonous attacks, spells, or spell like abilities, and is protected from attacks by reptilian animals as if he had a continuous hide from animals in effect.

The wearer can speak a hissing command word to summon a tiny viper.

Weak transmutation and conjuration; CL 6th; Craft Wondrous Item, Barkskin, Cat’s Grace, Summon Nature’s Ally; Cast 15,350 gp.

NPC Gear: 13th
Treasure Value: 14th


+2 Natural Armor Class (2*2*2000) = 8000
Summon Tiny Viper at will: Summon Nature’s Ally I (1*1*1800) = 1800 half again for multiple different to 2700
+1 DC to all poison saves from attacks made by wearer: (1*1*300) = 300 half again for multiple different to 450
+1 Dexterity (1*1*1000)=1000 half again for multiple different to 1500.
Reptiles cannot attack (Hide from animals 1*1*2000-.1 for limited scope)=1800 half again for multiple different to 2700.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ribbon of Smoke - Minor Wondrous Item

Ribbon of Smoke: This ethereal magic item is a four foot long ribbon of translucent grey silk. When it is tied around the wearer’s eyes, they gain sneak attack as if it were a class ability. The number of dice depend on the individual ribbon: it ranges from +1d6 sneak attack to +5d6 sneak attack. The ribbon lasts for one minute, whereupon it disintegrates into smoke. Sneak attack dice granted by a ribbon of smoke stack with sneak attack gained from other magic items or any class ability.

Weak divination; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item ; Cost 50 gp (+1d6), 200 gp (+2d6), 450 gp (+3d6), 800 gp (+4d6), 1,250 gp (+5d6).

NPC Gear:

+1d6: 1st
+2d6: 1st
+3d6: 1st
+4d6: 2nd
+5d6: 3rd

Treasure Value:

+1d6: 1st
+2d6: 1st
+3d6: 2nd
+4d6: 3rd
+5d6: 5th


Number of sneak attack dice, squared, *50
As the Nac Mac Feegle might say, "waily waily."

I only posted once last week. There were reasons: a full work week, and anniversary weekends. Reasons so feeble, they can only be labled excuses. So, to make it up, and as penance, I will post every day from Monday to Thursday, an extra post in honor of the most coolest of holidays, October the 13th.

The truly exciting part of this is that I only have four more posts banked. FOUR. MORE. POSTS. Which, if you count, is the number of days I will be posting this week. If I had kept to my previous posting schedule, I would have an extra for next week.

I have only myself to blame.

I had been coasting for quite a while, actually. So, between Thursday and next Monday, I have to come up with another handful of posts.

Let's go.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mooneye - Minor Wondrous Item

Mooneye: A mooneye is a transluscent milky white stone nearly an inch in diameter. They can be enchanted into amulets. When carried close to the body, they allow their owner to Detect Magic at will, and grant a +1 enhancement bonus to wisdom.

Enchanted mooneyes can be inserted into an empty eye socket, where they will grant sight and negate any penalties associated with a lost eye.

An un-enchanted mooneye of this size can be bought for approximately 900 gold pieces.

Weak divination; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, Detect Magic, Owl’s Wisdom; Price: 3,500 gp.

NPC Gear: 7th
Treasure Value: 9th


Detect magic at will: (.5*1*2000) half again for multiple different
+1 wisdom bonus : (1*1*2000)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Cloak of Grasping - Minor Wondrous Item

Cloak of Grasping: This blue cloak is embroidered with whorled patterns, not unlike a finger print, in green thread. Three command words are sewn along the bottom hem. Using them, the wearer has the ability to cast chill touch and shocking grasp once per day each as a 3rd level caster, and mage hand 3 times per day. They are also granted a +2 bonus to sleight of hand checks.

Weak conjuration; Caster level 3rd; Craft wondrous item, chill touch, shocking grasp, mage hand; Price 4,140 gp

NPC Gear: 8th
Treasure Value: 9th

Shocking Grasp (1*3*1800)/5= 1080
Chill Touch (1*3*1800)/5= 1080 plus half for 1620
Mage Hand (1*.5*1800)/1.6=562.5 plus half for 840
Skill bonus (2*2*100) =400 plus half for 600
Half again for multiple different abilities, rounded down

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Spot Goggles - Special Equipment

Spot Goggles: These copper cylinders are attached to the skull with leather webbing so that they will both cup the eyes and stand erect, allowing the wearer to see through them. Each cylinder contains several lenses ground into particular shapes. A series of levers on the outside of the tubes allows the wearer to change the combination of lenses with loud clacks. When worn, and one hand is used to actually set lenses to their most efficacious combination, spot goggles grant a +2 circumstance bonus to Spot and Search skill checks.

Masterwork equipment; Craft Skill DC 30; Cost 1,000 gp

NPC Gear: 2nd
Treasure Value: 4th


Skill bonus (2*2*100)=400 added together, half again on one for multiple different.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Staff of Grasping - Staff

Staff of Grasping: This staff of light colored stone pine is carved with an open hand stretching out its fingers at the head, and a closed fist shod with bands of iron at its foot.

The wielder can use the staff to cast:

Mage Hand
Shocking Grasp
Chill Touch

And gains a +2 bonus to sleight of hand checks while the staff is held.

Weak conjuration; Caster level 12th; Craft staff, chill touch, shocking grasp, mage hand; Price 12,200 gp (House rule: 244 gp per charge)

NPC Gear: 12th
Treasure Value: 13th


Shocking Grasp (1*8*750) =6000
Chill Touch (1*8*562.5) = 4500
Mage Hand (.5*8*375) = 1500
Skill bonus (2*2*100) = 400, halved for destruction when staff is used.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Stargold Ax of Liwyn the Gentle - Weapon

The Stargold Axe of Liwyn the Gentle: This battleaxe appears to have a head made of gold, embossed with emblems of the sun on one side and a lion on the other. It was gifted to Liwyn by the Aeons of the Legion of Grace, and is hafted with stone pine and auroch horn bound together with brass and iron rings. Liwyn the Gentle used it in battle against the gwear, the black aurochine of the Siccatrice Hills, and against several of the grey claves who insisted on closing kankers with sacrifice, even when Aeldhaus had proven it was not necessary to do so. He last used it in the Umberwoods, circa pre-753, attempting to save the life of the Briar Tiger’s wife. Liwyn slew the Briar Tiger with a blow to the head: the Tiger’s soul clung to the ax in death, and a tomb was built around his restless corpse, sealing the axe away forever.

The Axe is a +1 battleaxe, bane versus outsiders (demi-plane of shadow). Its wielder gains a +1 to turn attempts, if the ax is used as part of the turning attempt. The Axe grants a +1 modifier to the difficulty checks of conjuration spells cast while it is held. Once per day, The Axe can produce a ray of searing light that does 3d6 points of damage as a ranged touch attack.

Moderate evocation; Caster level: 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, ability to channel positive energy, magic weapon, searing light; Cost 27,210 gp gp

NPC Gear: 15th
Treasure Value: 16th

In the year 951, the Axe was recovered by a group of adventurers attempting to stop the Naktvaug creation of a shadowyrd in the Umberwoods. It was rehafted as a greataxe by the Luxwright of Lawbide, the high priest of the Lawbide pantheon. Its enchantment was made stronger in the process.

The Stargold Axe of Sredny the Forthright ne’ Liwyn the Gentle
is a +2 greataxe, and has all the other powers of its previous incarnation.

Moderate evocation; Caster level: 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, ability to channel positive energy, magic weapon, searing light; Cost 37,220 gp

NPC Gear: 16th
Treasure Value: 18th


+1 Battle Ax Bane vs shadow outsiders = 8,310 gp
+1 turning attempts (1*1*1000)/5 + 50% = 1,500 gp
+1 DC of conjuration spells cast (1*1*1000)/5 + 50% = 1,500 gp
Once per day it can cast 3d8 searing light (3*6*2000)/5 +50% = 15900

+1 Great Ax Bane vs shadow outsiders = 18,320

Friday, October 06, 2006

Amulet of Wilding - Medium Wondrous Item

Amulet of Wilding: This amulet is carved from old ivory polished to a silky finish. It has been carved to resemble a boar suckling a human babe, a bear cub, and a hound. It used to be a cloak pin, but the spur of bone that acted as a pin is broken off and a hole has been bored through the boar’s spine. Its hollow eyes once held gems, and one of the tusks is broken off, but the boar’s hooves are still rimmed in gold.

When worn against bare skin, in any magic item spot, this amulet grants a +5 ft. bonus to movement rate, and +1 natural armor bonus.

Moderate transmutation; Caster Level 5th; Craft wondrous item, ability to wildshape or polymorph or expeditious retreat and barkskin; Market Cost: 3,500 gp.

NPC Gear: 9th
Treausre Value: 10th


+5 ft. to move: as +1 weapon bonus (1*1*2000) 2,000
+1 natural armor bonus (1*1*1000) half again for 1,500

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ring of Stuttering - Ring

Ring of Stuttering: This thin silvery band is inscribed lightly with spiky spirals difficult to see with the naked eye. As a free action, the wearer can twist the ring up to a quarter turn, enabling her to act as though affected by a blink spell for up to 10 rounds each day. The duration of the blink effect need not be consecutive rounds.

Moderate transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, blink; 6,000 gp

NPC Gear: 9th
Treasure Value: 11th


blink 1/day (3*5*2000)/5 = 6,000

Instant New Hotness

How to make original new magic items in three steps, with two tables.

By Lawrence Kapture

I don't know about you, but I always have the worst time equipping NPCs. The stuff they really need is often not available until higher levels, and I feel like I'm often left giving NPCs tons of potions. Which I find screamingly dull. I often skip the DMG and kit bash magic items, for treasure or equipment, if I have the time. The problem is, I often don't have the time. Sometimes, I haven't really thought about treasure until an encounter resolves.

Case in point was an encounter from my last campaign. I had landed my PCs in the ancient temple of a god of greed. All around them were golden items that had been gathered for the greater glory of their god. It was mostly a set piece, and the PCs defeated the temple's guardian handily enough. Then they started setting off the traps on the treasure, to loot the item. They got through three traps before they cried uncle and left, but they looked in their trick or treat sacks right afterwards. "I cast identify.” Said the wizard. “What did we get?"

Uh. I dunno.

Hastily flipping through the DMG, I figured: each trap was an EL of 10. That's a 5,800 gp treasure. What's in the DMG that's around that valuable? Practically nothing. No rings, no rods, and only 6 wondrous items that fall within 400 gp of that. Maybe double if you go up to 5 or 600 gold. And none of the items I described had been weapons.

So I did a little reverse engineering, and calculated that an item that duplicated a third level spell once per day would fit the bill just about perfectly. What did we end up with? A goblet that creates a draught of heroism once per day, a mask that casts displacement once per day, and some other damn thing. I forget.

The point being, starting with some target numbers, I was able to come up with some nifty treats for my heroes on the fly. So I decided to formularize the process for later use.

There are three steps to Instant New Hotness:

1) Pick a number, depending on what you want.

If you want a cool piece of NPC gear, take half their gear value and read down the value column on table one until you find a number that comes close.

If you want to fill out an NPC’s gear, take the remainder of his gear and read down the value column on table one until you find a number that comes close.

Read to the left of the table: that's the level of the spell the item duplicates. Read up: That's what kind of item it is.

If you have an encounter you’re looking to provide an impressive reward for, read down the encounter level column on table two to determine the value, and the maximum possible spell level for a given type of item.

What the item types mean:

Unlimited uses is a use activated wondrous item that triggers a spell of the level indicated as a standard action, as often as desired.

Single use item is a wondrous item that triggers a spell of the level indicated. It can only be used once.

#/day is a use activated wondrous item that triggers a spell of the level indicated as a standard action, where # equals the number of times a day it can be used. I don’t use the column for 4 uses per day, because by the logic of the game, which tends to emphasize a “4 encounters and then you rest” rhythm, 4 uses per day is unlimited use. I include it for completeness.

2) Pick a spell. Run your finger along the magic user, cleric and druid spell lists for a good one. The best rewards are something your characters might actually use.

Spell used with this method should not have a gp value material component cost or an xp cost1.

Also, I tend to default the duration of magic item effects to one minute per caster level, using the lowest possible caster level for the item (unless they are shorter in the book). That tends to mean that one use of the item lasts through a single encounter. Items with 1 hour per level or 1 day durations should not be used with items that have a limited number of uses per day.

3) Pick a shape. Is it a rod? An orb? A gauntlet? Or, roll on table 2. The Item column can be used with 3d10 or 1d30. To flesh out the column, you can roll one ten sided die for each of the detail and depicts columns.

There you have it. A five minute process, give or take some waffling.


1 Although, if you multiply a gp cost by 50 and add it to the magic item cost, you have the correct price right there, although it will probably exceed the value you were targeting for the item. multiply a xp cost by 250 for the same effect.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Elemental Paste - Alchemical Substance

Elemental Paste: These alchemical pastes are distilled from energetics, and look like thick, translucent ointment of varying colors. When a standard action is taken to rub the paste on a weapon or missile, the anointed object does an additional 1d4 energy damage if it strikes a creature within 3 rounds.

The kind of energy damage done depends upon the color of the paste: Red will do fire damage, blue cold damage, green acid damage, and yellow electrical damage. The paste interacts with air and friction, so it must be energetically applied. Unless gloves or other protection is used, the creature applying elemental paste will take 1d4 energy damage when applying it.

NPC Gear: 1st
Treasure Value: 1st

Nonmagical; Price: 5 gp per dose, created in pots of up to five doses.


Jeez, I had to ad-hoc this.

A one shot ray of frost item, doing 1d3 energy damage as a ranged touch attack, would price out at 25 gp according to the Rules As Written.

1d6 of damage as a ranged touch attack, in the form of a flash of acid, is worth 10 gp

2d6 of damage as a ranged touch attack, in the form of a flask of alchemist's fire,

So, 1d4 damage, as part of a regular melee or ranged attack should be worth, what, a flask of acid?

It increases the damage of an attack, but delays the attack by an action in order to apply. Those traits effectively cancel each other out.

But when kobolds use elemental paste from a superior firing position, it sure does add alot to the encounter.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ring of Sparkling Mist - Ring

Ring of Sparkling Mist: Once per day, this gold ring set with a small diamond allows the wearer to summon a handful of sparkling dust that they can throw, creating an effect as if they had cast a glitter dust spell.

Weak evocation; Caster level: 12th; Forge Ring, glitterdust; Cost 2,400 gp.

NPC Gear: 6th
Treasure Value: 7th

1/day = (2*3*2000)/5 = 2,400.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Musk Bombs - Alchemical Device

Musk Bombs - The troglodytes of the loe marshes, nominal citizens if the Aeonic States through Abide, have long known how to collect and distill their own musk until it becomes a potent grenade-like weapon. Traditional musk bombs are decanted into dried and emptied crocodile and marsh bird eggs, though more modern glass and pottery containers are being used now because they are more durable for storage.

When thrown, a musk bomb bursts and reacts with air. All living creatures, except troglodytes, within 30 feet of a troglodyte must succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or be sickened for 10 rounds.

Creatures that successfully save cannot be affected by a bomb with the same save DC for 24 hours. A delay poison or neutralize poison spell removes the effect from the sickened creature. Creatures with immunity to poison are unaffected, and creatures resistant to poison receive their normal bonus on their saving throws.

A musk bomb can be purchased for 750 gp. More powerfully distilled bombs, with save DC’s of 14 to 18, can be purchased at greater cost.

Troglodytes can milk their own scent glands. Non-troglodytes generally have to remove at least one scent gland equal to (save DC-12) in order to brew a potent enough. Troglodyte glands can run 140 gp apiece, but they have a limited lifespan once removed. Properly harvested (DC 18 Heal check) and stored in a moist, airtight container, they will last a week.

Alchemical device; DC 25 to create from proper ingredients; Price: 750 gp (save DC 13), 790 gp (save DC 14), 830 gp (save DC 15), 910 gp (save DC 16), 1070 gp (save DC 17), 1750 gp (save DC 18).


One shot gaseous cloud:
Plus save DC bonus squared * 40

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Cloak, Borealis - Major Wondrous Item

Cloak, Borealis: This cloak of blue silks is embroidered with stormy cloud shapes in black and white thread.

It belonged to a sorcerer-chieftain of the cynig during the second exotic war, who claimed it was made for him by a demon of the air whom he bested in the Brambles. When his forces were bested by the militians of Hearthwright and the dwarvish wizards of Gilgyre, he tried to flee. He was slain by his pet demon, and Borealis Cloak disappeard into myth.

When worn, the cloud embroideries roil and gusts of freezing air pour out of the billows of the cloak. The wearer gains a +2 circumstance bonus to their armor class from the force of the random winds, poor flight at 60 ft., or 40 ft. if they are wearing heavy armor, can cast gust of wind as a 3rd level caster three times per day, and cone of cold as a 16th level caster once per day. In addition, any creature within five feet of the wearer takes 1d4 cold damage each round, on the wearer's action.

Strong transmutation; CL 16th; fly and control weather and ice storm; Price: 70,250 gp.

NPC Gear: 19th
Treasure Value: 20th


1d4 cold aura (as +2 weapon or armor bonus, (2*2*2000) = 4000 plus half for 6000)

cone of cold @ 16th level once per day (5*16*2000)/5 = 32000)

poor flight (2*3*2000 = 12000 plus half for 18000)

gust of wind 3/day (2*3*2000)/1.6 = 7500 plus half for 11,250

+2 deflection bonus to AC (2*2*2000) = plus half 3000

Other possibility:

10 points of cold resistance for 18000 plus half to 27,000 total. 97,250.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dagger of the Houri Vishrae - Specific Weapon

Dagger of the Houri Vishrae: This dagger has as engraving on either side of the blade’s base, of a veiled, feminine figure with blazing eyes. The pommel is wrapped in red leather, and set with garnets the size of a man’s knuckle.

The Dagger of the Houri Vishrae is a +3 Keen Sneaky weapon. Its possessor gains a +5 circumstance bonus to Perform and Bluff checks, and poison is always successfully applied by its user.

Strong divination and transmutation; CL 5th; Craft magic arms and amour, keen edge, magic weapon, true strike; Price: 37,875 gp

NPC Gear: 16th
Treasure Value: 18th


+4 weapon 32,000,
skill bonus (5*5*100)=2500 plus ¾ = 4375
always apply poison poison as a minor class ability, feat with no prerequisites, 1*1*1000 plus half 1500

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Twinkling - Weapon Bonus

Twinkling: Any light or medium weapon can have this magical property. A weapon that has this quality follows an opponent's movements on its own, regardless of the skill or experience of its user. Twinkling weapons ignore dodge bonuses to AC.

Moderate divination; CL 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, true strike; Price +2 bonus.

NPC Gear: +1 twinkling rapier, 9th
Treasure Value: +1 twinkling rapier, 8th


None, really. Completely ad hoc. Probably about half the value of a brilliant weapon, which ignores a more common class of armor class (namely, the armor bonus).

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Black Soulbombs - Minor Wondrous Items

Exhaustion Bomb: This talisman is a single shot magic device. It is crafted from the skull of an evil humanoid or predatory animal, its jaw tied to the skull with leather thongs. Bloodstone, obsidian, and carnelian chips have been pasted in patterns around the skull, and baneful runes painted under the eyes.

When thrown, it shatters, causing all creatures within a 60ft. diameter sphere to become exhausted as if affected by a wave of exhaustion spell.

Faint necromancy; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, wave of exhaustion; Price 4,550 gp.

NPC Gear
: 8th
Treasure Value: 10th

Fatigue Bomb
: This talisman is a single shot magic device. It is crafted from the mummifed head of a rabbit, squirrel, or other woodland creature. Its eyes are pitched shut, its mouth sewn closed with wire, and twisting strings of magic runes are tattooed on its skin.

When thrown, it shatters and causes all creatures within a 30 ft. diameter sphere to become fatigued as if affected by a wave of fatigue spell.

Faint necromancy; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, wave of fatigue; Price 2,250 gp.

NPC Gear: 6th
Treasure Value: 7th

Exhaustion Bomb (7*13*2000/40)
Fatigue Bomb (5*9*2000/40)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Lucent Rainment of the Herald - Medium Wondrous Item

Lucent Rainment of the Herald: This ethereal garment, constructed by the celestial servants of the gods of good, is sometimes given as a boon to priests who have served their gods well. Although made famous by the clergy of the Herald, servants of each of the pantheon have created them. There are Lucent Rainment of the Hands and Lucent Rainment of Lady of the Rose.

The lucent rainment is a flowing cloak of light that can be handled as if it were cloth, in shades important to the god whose servant bestowed it. Its length depends on the might of its wearer. On very powerful priests or paladins, it can trail behind them like the train of a king. It sheds light as a torch, no matter its size, and the light can be dimmed to candle strength as a free action by its bearer.

When worn, it grants a +1 deflection bonus to armor class, and a +2 enhancement bonus to strength. Also, the wearer can spend multiple turning attempts at one time, to boost their chance to turn foes. When they attempt to turn, they expend one daily use of that ability as normal, and they can declare that they are using addition daily turns. For each turn they burn, add +1 to the turning check and damage.

For instance, a 7th level paladin with extra turning has spent two turn attempts to destroy a necromancer’s skeletons. Little did he know that the 6th level necromancer was also a vampire, and has shadows with him. In a vain attempt to turn the vampire, the paladin spends a daily turn, plus his remaining four attempts. He rolls a 13 on the attempt, adds 2 for his charisma, and 4 for burning the additional turns, scoring a 19, which means he can turn up to 6 hit dice (his “cleric level” is 3 lower than his paladin level, plus 3). Then he rolls 2d6 for turning damage, rolling 5, a little low. He adds 3 for his cleric level, 2 for charisma, and 4 for burning the additional turns, for a total of 14 hit dice. Unfortunately, vampires have a turn resistance of 4, but he did send two of the shadows packing.

Moderate transmutation and good; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, shield of faith, bull’s strength, ability to channel positive energy; Price 8,500 gp.

NPC Gear: 11th
Treausre Value: 13th

+1 deflection (1*1*2000) = 2000 plus half 3000
+2 Str (2*2*1000) = 4000
+1 turn, +1 for each turn attempt give up (This was difficult. I decided to treat it as a +1 turning bonus, because this ability reliably adds +1 to turning checks. However, it burns resources while enhancing a turning check further, so that, while it can add a lot of punch to the resolution of a combat, it will require hoarding turn attempts to have a really egregious effect) (1*1*1000) = 1000, plus half for 1,500

Half again for multiple similar abilities.

Staff of Tricks - Staff

Staff of Tricks: This staff is crafted from the petrified thigh bone of a large demon and the mummified remains of a dryad’s hand. It allows the wielder to cast the following spells, for two charges each.

burning hands
magic missile
ray of enfeeblement

The wielder can also cast prestidigitation at will.

Weak conjuration and transmutation; Caster level 8th; Craft Staff, burning hands, grease, magic missile, prestidigitation, and ray of enfeeblement; Price 7,250 gp.

NPC Gear: 10th
Treasure Value: 11th


1*8*750 for highest = 6,000 gp
1*8*562.5 for second highest = 4,500 gp
1*8*375 for others (*2) = 3,000 gp
Total = 13,500
All of the above are halved for using two charges = 6,750
Prestidigitation at will 1*1*2000, halved for 0 level, halved again for destruction with use of staff

Notes: I wanted to see what a cheap staff looked like. This staff is useful even to higher level PCs because the spells it casts scale with caster level, and staves allow that to have an effect.

I often give sub-charged staves to bad guys as treasure. It gives them some punch, if they have maximized their use magic device. To do that, I divide the full price of the staff to get a price per charge, then multiply that by the number of charges the staff has when then encounter would begin. The Staff of Tricks would be worth about 77.5 gp per charge.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My last post was on August the 30th. Since then, there should have been three other posts, but I got into this unfortunate cycle of forgetting to post, remembering that I had to set up the NPC Gear and Treasure Values for the next set of posts, vowing to do it at home, and forgetting to do that.

To get myself back up to speed, I will post once a day until Monday. Ta Dah!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Redfeather’s Cloak - Medium Wondrous Item

Cloak, Redfeather’s: This small sized cloak of auburn fur is lined with black fey silk. A mithril cloak pin is sewn into the collar.

It was crafted for Redfeather, the goblin hunter-seneschal of the Dark Druid of Umberwood, whose animal companion was a dire weasel. He loved the cloak, and was rumored to have become so attuned to it that he was able to stay in dire weasel form nearly indefinitely while wearing it. He died in service to the druid, fighting the lumberjacks of Lawbide. The cloak is rumored to be haunted by Redfeather’s ghost.

In recent years, it was recovered by the warlock Sigdel the Enduring and used to fight the chaos cultist of the abandoned Durgvald clave. He later traded it back to the goblin tribes of the Umberwood in return for their services during the assault on Serpentress.

The wearer of this cloak may wildshape into the form of a dire weasel once per day for up to five minutes. In addition, they may use the feat Natural Spell while in this form.

Moderate transmutation; Caster Level 5th; Craft Wondrous Item and polymorph or wildshape class ability; Price 7,830.

Treasure Value: 11th
NPC Gear: 13th


Who would choose to polymorph into a dire weasle? At 7th level you can polymorph into a dire wolf, which gives you better hit points and damage, and really, a cooler special ability.

So I was looking for a different comp to price this by. A druid could polymorph into a dire weasle at 5th level, and it would probably not be a bad trade for most druids. So, if you use the HD as the spell level and the minimum level a druid would have to be to make the polymorph as the caster level, you come up with 3*5*2,000/5 or 6,000

Pricing magic items that emulate feats is tough. I use a rough formula that values feats as a +1 enhacement with a 1,000 gp modifier, with an additional +1 for each prequisite feat. I halve the modifier if a feat is particularly limited in scope.

Natural feat is not limited, but has no prequisites feats. So I value it at 1*1*1000 gp.


Shapechange into a dire weasel 1/day for up to five minutes (3*5*2000/5) = 6000

allows Natural Spell (2*2*2000)/5 = 1600 - .3 for strict limitations = 1220 plus half for multiple different abilities = 1830

Each 81 gp added to the price extends time by one minute?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bezoar of Terrible Venom - Wondrous Item

Bezoar of Terrible Venom: Intricately carved in twisting, serpent-like patterns, these elliptical, semi-precious stones are about the size of a human’s thumb. When pressed against the skull of a reptilian creature, the bezoar sinks into skin and scale, melting halfway into the skull and settling there. A bezoar so equipped grants a bonus to its user’s poison difficulty checks, ranging from +1 to +5 depending on the strength of the bezoar. This bonus only applies to poisons that are extraordinary abilities, not to spells, spell-like, or supernatural abilities. A bezoar cannot be removed unless its current owner is killed.

Light to moderate necromancy; Caster Level: 3 per +1 bonus created; Craft Wondrous Item, poison; Price: 500 gp (+1), 2000 gp (+2), 4500 gp (+3), 8000 gp (+4), 12,500 gp (+5)

NPC Gear:

+1: 2nd
+2: 5th
+3: 8th
+4: 10th
+5: 12th

Treasure Value:

+1: 2nd
+2: 6th
+3: 9th
+4: 12th
+5: 13th


The cost for these items uses the bonus squared, and multiplies it by 500 gp.

The multiplier is so low because the item affects a very narrow type of save. I am treating as the reverse of granting a bonus to a specific save type.

Note: These were created to be equipment for venemous bad guys. They will have no real value for a standard group of adventuring heroes.

In some games, this will be a good thing. I often have trouble creating equipment for large groups of intelligent adversaries. This fills a niche in my game.

If you don't have that problem, and feel the need to make sure characters get "credit" for treasure they can't use and probably can't sell, you might give them an XP award for destroying the evil magic items, either a story award, or the XP cost for creating the item.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Vaugluft - Potion

Vaugluft: This inky blue-black syrup tastes like rotten fruit. It is made by evil fey, who have traded the recipe to other creatures whom they have allied with in attempts to destroy humanoid settlers, whom they see as usurpers in their natural homes.

When drunk, Vaugluft bestows a +4 circumstance bonus to the DCs of natural poisons. This bonus lasts for four minutes.

Light transmutation; CL 3rd; Brew Potion, natural poison attack; Price 200 gp.

NPC Gear: 1st
Treausre Value: 1st


With no spell to base this off of, I used my usual formula for boosting poison DC’s: bonus squared. As a one shot item, the value is divided by forty.

You could run up and down the scale with this if you wanted:

Vaugluft +1: 1*1*500/40 = 13 gp
Vaugluft +2: 2*2*500/40= 50 gp
Vaugluft +3: 3*3*500/40= 113 gp
Vaugluft +5: 5*5*500/40= 313 gp

Note: This is one of my notorious have to fill out the treasure of an NPC and don't care about anything on the books kit bash excercises. I was actually pleased with the result. The name of the potion is very bastardized German.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dragontears - Minor Wondrous Item

Dragontears: Dragons and the dragonblooded can use alchemotech, or their iron will, to trap the residue of their breath weapons for later re-use. These bits of power appear as thumbnail sized translucent crystals, so pure and clear that they are almost invisible. When light shines on them directly, they flash with electric blue and the red orange of flames.

When held for more than a minute by any creature with an energy breath weapon, the dragontear grows warm and then disintegrates, radiating as energy into the user. A dragontear adds a one time two die bonus the breath weapon’s damage.

Faint conjuration; Caster Level 3rd; Prerequisites: Brew Potion or Craft Wondrous Item, breath weapon, ability to cast conjuration spells; Price: 400 gp.

NPC Gear: 2nd
Market Price: 1st


Design Notes:

Add 2d6 to BW. As plus 2 weapon, single use: 2*2*2000 = 8000/40 = 200 gp. Doubled for area effect. 400 gp.


Alternately, this could be used as an item for warlocks or psiblades, granting them a two die bonus on their arcane fire or psionic damage ability, or as a source of holy energy that could boost a smite effect. I could even see them being used as concentrations of elemental energy that add two dice to the damage of any one area effect spell being cast.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Lockets of Whispering - Minor Wondrous Items

Locket of Whispering, Lesser: Same as the Locket of Whispering, although the lesser locket can be used only once per day.

Caster Level: 3rd; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, message; Price: 360 gp; Purchase Difficulty Check 30; Weight: -.

NPC Gear
: 1st
Treasure Value: 1st

Locket of Whispering: This allows the wearer to communicate with one other person within 110 ft. as if a message spell had been cast, at will.

Caster Level: 3rd; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, message; Price: 1,800 gp; Purchase Difficulty Check 31; Weight: -.

NPC Gear
: 5th
Treasure Value: 6th

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Flare-Eye Amulet - Minor Wondrous Item

Amulet, Flare-eye: This amulet, carved from a wyrmling dragon's vertebrae, causes the wearer’s eyes to glow with unholy red and black energy when they experience high emotion.

The wearer gains a +1 bonus to intimidate checks.

Weak enchantment; Caster Level 3rd; Craft wondrous item, intimidate 7+ ranks or cause fear. Price 100 gp.

NPC Gear: 1st
Treasure Value: 1st

Saturday, August 05, 2006

What's a Microfauna:

The microfauna series will present low or no-challenge creatures that can be used as flavor, to round out an ecosystem, make an unusual pet, or be used as an unusual material component. It has no set schedule, but will be indexed on the left. Some of the posts will have to do with the magic items I create, some won't.

Microfauna - black death scarab

Black death scarabs are vermin native to the widow star, and cannot survive naturally on other stars or in the domains, although necromancers have tried to breed them here in anaerluxic chambers.

Black death scarabs are largish beetles, nearly two inches long with hairy legs and large pincers which they use only in defense. Their shell has a curious shape that resembles a horned humanoid skull, and a glassy black texture that resembles obsidian.

They are very tolerant of negative energy, and they can be dried and treated to release large quantities of it. This is a difficult and time consuming activity. Although black death scarab's are tough, they explode in a puff of negative energy if injured, and positive energy turns them into a greenish brown slurry. Natural light quickly leaches them of their acumulated energies.

A black death scarab beetle must be starved to death and dried in a prismatic crystal bottle filled with Mierendrach salts, which usually takes a year of drying under artificial lights, a process with is worrisome to some vermin rights activists. A properly dried beetle is worth at least 5,500 gp. Black death scarabs are sometimes given as gifts to priests of the dark gods, or pushy necromancers.

Black death scarabs are considered to be a delicacy by some undead and umbral outsiders, although mortals generally describe them as having a caustic, bitter taste that destroys the ability to taste anything else for days.

Black death scarab swarm: CR 3; Swarm of Fine Vermin (Extraplanar, Swarm); HD 2d8+2; hp 12; Init +2; Spd 15 ft. (3 squares); AC 20 (+8 size, +2 Dex), touch 20, flat-footed 10; BAB +1; Grapple –; Atk - Swarm (Retributive Death); Face 10 ft. x 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.; SA Distraction, retributive death; SQ Darkvision 60 ft., swarm traits, immune to negative energy; AL N; SV Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +0; Str 2, Dex 14, Con 12, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 2.

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature that begins its turn with a swarm in its space must succeed on a DC 12 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round.

Retributive Death (Su): A black death scarab that is injured explodes in a puff of negative energy that does 1d3 points of damage to the creature that killed it. Any creature that moves inside a swarm of them takes 1d6 negative energy damage per five feet of movement within the swarm. Any creature that damages a black death scarab swarm with a melee or natural weapon takes half the amount of damage they inflict.

Positive Energy Vulnerability (Ex): A black death scarab is vulnerable to positive energy, taking damage from cure spells as if they were undead.

Black Death Scarab Husk - Medium Wondrous Item

Black Death Scarab Husk: Black death scarabs are largish beetles, nearly two inches long with hairy legs and large pincers which they use only in defense. Their shell has a curious shape that resembles a horned humanoid skull, and a glassy black texture that resembles obsidian.

They are very tolerant of negative energy, and they can be dried and treated to release large quantities of it. This is a difficult and time consuming activity. Although black death scarab's are tough, they explode in a puff of negative energy if injured, and positive energy turns them into a greenish brown slurry. Natural light quickly leaches them of their acumulated energies.

A black death scarab must be starved to death and dried in a prismatic crystal bottle filled with Mierendrach salts, which usually takes a year of drying under artificial lights, a process with is worrisome to some vermin rights activists. A properly dried beetle is worth at least 5,500 gp. Black death scarabs are sometimes given as gifts to priests of the dark gods, or pushy necromancers.

If a black death scarab husk is eaten, the user is granted the ability to cast mass inflict critical wounds as a supernatural ability, once. If the ability is not used before the next sunrise it is lost, and the user will be affected by a harm spell the next time they are exposed to sunlight.

Moderate necromancy; Brew potion or create wondrous item, mass inflict critical wounds; Price 12,000 gp

NPC Gear: 13th
Treasure Value: 12th

Math: single use 8th level spell (8*15*100) = 12,000 gp

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Shimmering Cloak - Minor Wondrous Item

Cloak, Shimmering: This cloak, made of silks in multihued primary colors that blend and shift as the light hits them, is so sheer that it is nearly translucent. When worn, it seems to flutter and curl with the direction of prevailing light, though wind doesn’t seem to affect it at all. The wearer is limned in prismatic, flattering colors, making him seem more fascinating to watch.

A prismatic cloak provides it’s wearer with a +1 circumstance bonus to charisma and a +2 bonus to any non-instrumental perform checks that they have skill points in, and grants them the ability to use color spray twice a day as a spell like ability by twitching the robe with one free hand in the direction they cast the effect.

Faint illusion; Caster Level 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, color spray, guidance; Price 3,300 gp.

Treasure Value: 8th
NPC Gear: 7th


color spray 2/day (1*1*2,000)/2.5 = 800 plus half for 1,200
+1 bonus to charisma (1*1*1000) = 1,000
+2 bonus to perform checks = (2*2*100) = 400 plus half for 600

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Collar of Pain - Medium Wondrous Item

Collar of Pain: This collar is sewn from of the tanned and glittering hide of a naga, and fitted with a copper buckle. A mottled piece of bloodstone is set on a medallion at the front. It fitted for a quadruped, but could be worn by a humanoid, though it would fit loosely and offers good purchase for grappling in that case (opponents gain a +2 bonus to grapple checks against a humanoid wearing a collar of pain).

The collar grants a +2 enhancement bonus to strength. The creature wearing the collar targets the first creature it is commanded to attack with the effect of a poison spell as if cast by a 5th level druid (DC 13, 1d10 primary and secondary temporary Con damage).

Moderate transmutation; CL 5th; Craft wondrous item, bull's strength, poison; 12,000 gp.

NPC Gear: 13th
Treasure: 14th


Strength bonus (2*2*1000) = 4000 half again multiple different abilities = 6,000
Poison 1/day (3*5*2000)/5 = 6000

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ring of Moonlight - Ring

Ring of Moonlight: This band of grey glass shines brightly in moonlight. As a free action, the wearer can twist the ring a quarter turn, enabling her to act as though affected by an ethereal jaunt spell for up to 10 rounds each day. The duration of the ethereal effect need not be consecutive rounds.

Strong transmutation; CL 10th; Craft wondrous item, ethereal jaunt; Price 28,000 gp

NPC Gear
: 15th
Treasure Value: 17th


Ethereal 10 rounds for ten rounds per day (7*13*2000/5) = 36,400
Prorated for number of rounds fewer than a normal ethereal jaunt spell would last (10 rounds is 77% less than 13 rounds).

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lesser Elemental Weapon - Weapon Quality

Elemental, Lesser: These masterwork weapons are created by elemental craftsmen, such as salamanders, or xorn. Each invokes the power of an elemental energy. They are decorated with arcane runes attuned to the the element they invoke.

Once per day as a free action, the bearer may speak a command word to activate the weapon's power. For the next minute, the weapon will do +1d6 additional acid (earth), electric (air), cold (water), or fire energy damage when it hits an opponent. More powerful versions of the weapon give the ability to do extra damage 2 or 3 times per day.

This quality may be added to any masterwork or magical weapon.

Caster Level: 3rd; Market Value: 1 use, +400 gp; 2 use +800 gp; 3 uses +1,250 gp.

NPC Gear: Masterwork Lesser Fire Element Longsword, 3rd
Treasure Value: Masterwork Lesser Fire Element Longsword, 2nd


What I did was take a +1 weapon adjustment as the base value of the item (2,000 gp) and divide it as appropriate for 1 use per day, 2 uses per day, and 3 uses per day.

This compares favorably with a 1st level spell treated the same way. Magic weapon creates a temporary +1 weapon, which I have ad hoc decided is equivalent to a +1d6 energy damage bonus.

Because of its limited use, this weapon quality does not fit effectively into scaling modifier system mostly used for weapons, which assumes that the bonus is availabe for every attack made with the weapon. So the value of a weapon with this quality is improved by a fixed amount, much as some armor qualities.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Slipper, Quickshod - Wondrous Item

Slipper, Quickshod: These embroidered slippers of dyed wind spider silk are so comfortable that it feels almost as if the wearer has nothing on their feet. A wearer gains 5 to 30 ft. to their movement rate, which is applied after all penalties for condition or wearing armor.

Light transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, expeditious retreat; Price 2,000 gp (+5 ft.), 8,000 gp (+10 ft.), 18,000 gp (+15 ft.), 32,000 gp (+20 ft.), 50,000 gp (+25 ft.), 72,000 gp (+30 ft.)

NPC Gear

+5 ft. : 5th
+10 ft. : 10th
+15 ft. : 14th
+20 ft. : 16th
+25 ft. : 17th
+30 ft. : 19th

Treasure Value

+5 ft. : 6th
+10 ft. : 12th
+15 ft. : 15th
+20 ft. : 17th
+25 ft. : 19th
+30 ft. : 20th

Math: I treat each 5 ft. increase in movement as a +1 combat bonus, because of movement's broad utility in combat. Movement is useful when closing in combat, when escaping from combat, when keeping out of range of combat (as per an archer, or via spring attack), determines how many attacks one can make, etc. Like a combat bonus, there is nary a round that goes by where movement is not useful. So, each five feet is treated as a digit, squared, and multiplied by 2,000. ie: ten feet of movement is treated as a +2 bonus, 2*2*2000=8,000 gp value.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Cloak of Burning Eyes - Minor Wondrous Item

Cloak of Burning Eyes: These cloaks are embroidered with a pattern of red and orange peacock eyes that glow with faint ember-light.

When worn, a cloak of burning eyes grants a mild sense of increased alertness. The wearer gains a +1 circumstance bonus to Reflex saves, and a +3 circumstance bonus to spot checks. In addition, a flickering aura of flame surrounds them in combat. Any melee attack the wearer makes does an extra point of fire damage. None of the cloak’s illuminations provide enough light to see by.

Light enchantment and conjuration; CL 3; create wondrous item, burning hands and true strike; Price 3,000 gp.

NPC Gear: 7th
Treasure Value: 8th


+1 Reflex Saves (1*1*500) = 500 plus half for multiple different abilities 750
+3 Spot (3*3*100) = 900 plus half for multiple different abilities 1350
Natural attacks and attacks with melee weapons do +1 fire damage = 900 gp

A masterwork bonus (+1 to hit) is valued at 300 gp over the value of the weapon.
A masterwork bonus is one half of a +1 enhancement, and very roughly one quarter of the cost.
The broad applicability of damage (available for any melee attack a character might use) means the ability is more valuable. Let's say it is half again more valuable. If it were a full die of damage (1d6), I would say it was twice as valuable. But it isn't, and it's energy damage, which is more circumstantial than a regular damage bonus. So let's say double the value to 600, plus half again to 900.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Silver Hoof - Minor Wondrous Item

Silver Hoof: This hoof, of silvery bone that looks something like mother of pearl, is usually cleaned of all flesh. The bone of the leg is sawn off close to the hoof. Symbols of transformation are carved into the outside and underside of the hoof, and filled in with chalky powder.

When held in one hand and the name of the unicorn that the hoof came from is spoken aloud, the bearer can use dimension door as a 9th level caster. When they reappear, the hoof will be gone. A silver hoof can only be used this way once.

A DC 20 Knowledge (Nature) check will identify the hoof as coming from a unicorn, as will long association with unicorns.

Faint transmutation; CL 9th; Craft Wondrous Item, dimension door; Price: 3,600 gp.

NPC Gear: 7th
Treasure Value: 9th



Thursday, July 06, 2006

Elixer of Majestic Force - Potion

Potion of Majestic Force: Drinking this glowing blue liquid suffuses the drinker with an effervescent feeling. A tingling gathers in their limbs, and the drinker becomes instinctively aware of a choice: that the effervescent is a force, and that they can use it as either a weapon or as protection. If they decide to use the effervescence as a weapon, they are granted one use of a magic missile spell, as if cast from a spell trigger item. If they decide to use it defensively, they are effected by a mage armor spell. Each effect functions exactly as a spell cast at the potion’s caster level. If the magic missile isn't used after an hour, it goes away.

Faint evocation; CL 3rd; brew potion, mage armor, magic missile; Price 100 gp (CL 1st), 300 gp (CL 3rd); 500 gp (CL 5th)

Treasure Value: 1st (caster level 1 and 3); 2nd (caster level 5)
NPC Gear: 1st

Cost: Cost of both effects added together, no modifiers because they are mutually exclusive effects.