Creating magic items can be complicated business. I’m not just talking about within the game world, where you have to research for 15 days, find a dragon spleen and a diamond worth at least 500,000 gp. For DMs, it can be a maze of DCs, creation costs, caster levels, item slots and other confusing details. Today’s blog post at Paizo explains all the crucial elements.
Of course it’s just a little bit too late to help the fledgling designers who entered wondrous items for round one of RPG Superstar this year, but it’s incredibly useful information nonetheless. Sean K. Reynolds goes through every bit of a magic item’s stat block and explains what they mean, how they should be formatted, and how to calculate various costs and DCs.
For example, the caster level (CL) of the item means you don’t have to explain what level the item casts spells at. The CL will typically be the minimum level at which a caster could cast that particular spell, though it can be higher. So you always know how many magic missiles you’ll be firing or how many d6s to roll when your fireball bracers go off.
Also helpful is this shortcut to figuring out save DCs:
“Magic items that have effects requiring saving throws should include those saves in the item description. If it’s duplicating a spell, the default save DC is the minimum for casting that spell: 10 + 1.5 x the spell’s level.”
There’s a lot more vital info in there, so whether you’re a DM or you play a magic user to with item creation feats, head over to Paizo and check it out.