View Full Version : Another custom magic item - speed it up!

2007-11-21, 05:44 PM
Where are the rules for crafting magic items with something other than the standard action activation time? I want to make an item that activates as a swift action. How?

Oh, I know you can also apply metamagic spells to wands and stuff, but which ones can we use? Would I just use Quicken Spell in the above example???

2007-11-21, 08:11 PM
There are no hard and fast rules for item creation, AFAIK.

For a wand with a metamagicked feat built in, I'd use the adjusted level of the spell as the wand's level. In other words, you could conceivably quicken a 0 level spell into a wand, since they top out at level 4.

Activation time is a prime limitation of magic items, because actions are so precious in dangerous situations. If the item is not typically used in combat (spoon of stirring), a shorter time is no problem. Otherwise - I'd look at multiplying the creation cost by a cost of 4-10x, depending on the item and effect. A quickened item of, say, dimension door, dispel magic, wall of force...hell, a lot of things...would be a huge upgrade.

2007-11-22, 05:02 AM
What exactly are you thinking of doing? That's pretty important; it's hard to put down rules for something so potentially broken without knowing the exact ability you want to quicken (obviously, an item with unlimited quickened true strikes should never be allowed.)

Is the item going to be single-use? 50 charges? Unlimited-use?

If it casts a buff exclusively on the user, the rules for 'use-activated or continuous' seem like a good place to start; it's basically a continuous item. If it has an uncustomary space limitation or no space limitation, don't forget to account for that.

Hmm... looking over the core items, I see a few that can be used as free actions. Specifically, boots of speed can cast haste as a free action for up to 10 rounds each day. 3rd level spell, CL 10, 12,000 gp.

Let's see... Use Activated or Continuous gives us 3 x 10 x 2000 = 60,000; but it effectively only casts it once a day, so we divide that by five. 12,000, exactly. (Of course, it lets you divide up those 10 rounds any way you want, which changes things; you could easily be hasted for all or nearly all of your fights if you end them fast.)

The psionic Skin of the Claw lets you activate the claws of the beast power as a free action... Level 1 power, ML 4, non-standard slot gives us 1 * 4 * 2000 = 16,000 gold, which is its exact cost. Technically its cost should then be reduced by 30% (you need to be a psywar to use it, and Item Requires Specific Class or Alignment to Use is a 30% reduction), but I guess they forgot that part.

(Obviously, even if you're even considering letting players suggest custom magic items, you should never allow them to apply that 30% reduction, since otherwise they'll just make every item customized for their class. Oh well.)

Of course, for things that affect other people, it gets much trickier, but this is still probably a good baseline. At a bare minimum, an item of the sort you describe should cost (spell level * caster level * 2,000 gp), * 4 if you're using an effect whose duration is measured in rounds, * 2 if it's 1/minute per level, and * 1.5 if it's 10 minutes / level.

2007-11-22, 05:28 AM
There are no hard and fast rules for item creation, AFAIK. Correct. There are no actual RULES regarding custom item creation. There are merely guidelines, which should be interpreted and utilized with a grain of salt. Or a whole damn shaker.

In order to create a balanced new item, it requires judgment. No generalized rule set is really going to adequately provide for the pricing of the modification and utilization of every potential capability in the game.

So, use your judgment. If you don't trust your own judgment, seek the wisdom of wiser men (or women). There's no shame in asking questions.