Magic Item Creation

A staple of high fantasy, the magic item is as iconic as the wizards that create them. The following represents a revised system for the crafting of magic items in Pathfinder.


Any spellcaster can create magic items. The only pre-requisite is that the caster must research how to create the item in question. This is accomplished using the Spell Research rules, except that the item is treated as a spell with a caster level equal to the caster level needed to cast the highest level effect of the item. Creating such an arcane rubric increases the DC for research by 5, plus two for every additional spell required to create the item. For example, a +1 longsword requires only Magic Weapon, a 1st level spell. Thus, the rubric for a generic +1 longsword requires DC 25 checks. A +1 Flaming Longsword requires both Magic Weapon and one of Flame Blade, Flame Strike, or Fireball. Assuming a wizard is researching the rubric, she requires Fireball and Magic Weapon. The DC is now 31 (25 + (2×2) + 2).

Once a rubric is researched it can be used any number of times. The rubric can be copied down as a spell, and can be shared with other mages of the caster’s type (arcane or divine). The prerequisites for creating a magic item from a rubric is the possession of the rubric throughout the whole process, understanding the rubric (as though deciphering a spell in another wizard’s spellbook), a sufficient caster level to cast the highest-level effect of the item, and all the requisite spells. That is the rubric created above for the Flaming longsword could be used by an sorcerer ally of the wizard assuming he had both Magic Weapon and Fireball, and was at least 6th level. Scrolls are sufficient for the purposes of this method.

Some magic items can also be created if the crafter posses an appropriate Item Creation feat. These feats represent time spent learning lore about a specific type of item. For example, craft wand implies a certain amount of wand lore. These feats allow a character to craft the specified type of item without a rubric, assuming all other prerequisites are met.

Finally, it is rumoured that there exists a ritual that allows a caster to directly enchant an item. If such a spell existed, it would be greatly prized for both the alacrity it would allow in producing magic items, and for the time and research costs it would save. This would be a prize worth guarding most jealously.

Creation Time

Crafting magic items by whatever method is a long process, not to be undertaken lightly or rushed. Depending on the power of the item, part of the creator’s soul might also need to be invested to forge the item.

Crafting Time

In game terms, it takes at least one week (ten days) per 1000 sp in the item’s base price to produce an item. This assumes the crafter is spending eight hours a day crafting the item. If a crafter wishes to spend more time per day, they must make an endurance check (DC 20 + the extra time spent + 1 for every previous day in a row spent crafting more than eight hours) at the end of each day they spend extra time working on the item. If they succeed, then an the time requires to craft the item is reduced by that much time. So if a crafter works 16 hours a day for a week, passing all his endurance checks, then two weeks worth of work has been accomplished. If the crafter fails a roll, then that whole day’s worth of work has been for naught, and an extra day is added to the crafting time.

Great Works

Some items are so powerful they are considered to be a Great Work. Such items are the stuff of legends, and require more than the mere sweat of the crafter. They require part of his very soul.

Rumours persist that some evil beings are able to use the souls of other sentient beings to create evil artefacts. If this were true, it would surely taint the items produced in such a fashion.

In game terms, if the item being crafted’s base price is over 10,000 sp then creating an item of such magnitude requires an expenditure of XP in addition to materials and time. The item requires 1/25 the base price (rounded up) in XP in additon to any costs.

Magic Item Creation

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