- 1 Calculating Cost
- 2 Allowed Enchantments
- 3 Restricted Enchantments
- 4 Other Magic Weapon Considerations
A huge variety of magic weapons are possible, and most of them are either available for purchase at a magic item shop, or can be custom-made with enough time and a good craftsman. Characters with Creator (Feat) can even make such weapons themselves, if they are so inclined.
To determine the cost of a magic weapon, you must add up the following:
- The cost of the non-magical base weapon
- The cost of any dweomermetal used in the weapon's construction
- The cost of the enhancement bonus
- The cost of the sum of all magic properties
Enhancement Bonus or Magic Properties Cost +1 2,300 +2 10,000 +3 25,000 +4 56,000 +5 180,000 +6 (epic) 755,000 +7 (epic) 2,300,000 +8 (epic) 7,200,000 +9 (epic) 22,050,000
A magic weapon is enhanced to strike more accurately and deliver more damage. Magic weapons have three types of improvements that may be applied to them:
Weapon Enhancement Bonus
A weapon's enhancement bonus is a direct bonus to the weapon's to-hit and damage, equal to the plus-value of the enhancement bonus. That is, a weapon with a +2 enhancement bonus grants its wielder a +2 bonus to all to-hit rolls with that weapon, and +2 bonus damage to all damage rolls made for that weapon. This bonus damage is multiplied on a hit, but it is not base weapon damage that increases with level.
Enhancement bonuses are usually listed as part of the weapon's name, such as "+2 longsword".
A weapon may never have more than a +9 enhancement bonus. Furthermore, characters must be at least level 21 before they can apply an enhancement bonus greater than +5 to a weapon. Weapons with an enhancement bonus of +6, +7, +8, or +9, are considered epic weapons.
Any attempt to wield an epic weapon prior to 21st level results in the character taking a non-proficiency penalty with the weapon (-4 to attack rolls), and the possibility of even more dire consequences (such as insanity, or being controlled by the weapon).
At level 36 and higher (apotheosis) all limits on enhancement bonuses and the magic properties are lifted. Apotheotic weapons can be enchanted in any way the character can afford.
Magic Weapon Properties
Magic properties are additional traits, bonuses or effects the weapon grants or performs on top of the normal functionality of that weapon. Magic properties each have a cost associated with them that is measured in pluses similar to the weapon's enhancement bonus. The cost of a magic weapon's properties is determined by adding the pluses listed for each magic property and looking up the price on the table above.
For example, a weapon with both "Flaming (+1)" and "Keen (+1)" has two pluses worth of properties, which costs 10,000 gp.
You cannot price each property separately, even if you add them to the weapon at different times. That is, you can't pay the 2,300 gp cost for each +1 property; you can only pay that for the first +1 property. When you add a second +1 property, you pay as though a total of +2-worth of properties was on the weapon (paying only the difference, since you already paid for the first +1). A weapon with two +1 properties always costs the same as a weapon with a single +2 property. Similarly, a weapon with four +1 properties costs the same as a weapon with a single +4 property.
In order to add any magic properties, a weapon must have at least a +1 enhancement bonus. A weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 to +5 may only have a maximum of +5 worth of magic properties enchanted onto it. A weapon with this degree of enchantment is referred to as a heroic-tier weapon.
In order to add any epic magic properties, the weapon must have at least a +6 enhancement bonus, and the wielder must be at least 21st level. A weapon with at least a +6 enhancement bonus may have up to a maximum of +9 worth of magic properties enchanted onto it. A weapon of this degree of enchantment is referred to as an epic-tier weapon.
Upgrading and Changing Enchantments
- Enhancement bonuses cannot be removed from a magic weapon once applied, but the enhancement bonus can be increased. The cost to do so is the difference in cost between the old bonus and the new one.
- Magic weapon properties can be removed from a magic weapon, replaced with altogether new properties, or upgraded to a higher version of the existing magic weapon property (when applicable). The cost to do so is the difference in cost between the total pluses worth of properties on the old weapon and the total pluses of properties being applied to the new weapon. However, if the total plus-value of the weapon goes down, there is no refund of money unless you can convince the craftsman performing the alterations why they should actually pay you for the privilege of doing that work. Performing magic property swaps and upgrades takes one full day of work per change in the plus-cost of the weapon, with a minimum of 1 full day. Even if this work isn't performed by a player-character, the character must wait for the alterations to be performed, and they cannot make use of the weapon while the craftsman is working on it. Some craftsmen might offer to lend or rent out a weapon while their customers wait, though they would expect the loaner weapon to be returned to them in good condition.
- A magic weapon that is upgraded to an epic-tier weapon before its wielder is at least level 21 will inflict a non-proficiency penalty on the wielder, or worse.
Mundane weapons are assumed to be made of forged iron. Fragile weapons are usually made of crude iron, bronze, or bone. Weapons made from fantastic materials are possible as well, such as the classic mithril and adamantine. These fantastic materials are collectively called "dweomermetals".
Dweomermetals can be added to a weapon at the time it is purchased (or created), increasing the price depending on the dweomermetal chosen, and the handiness of weapon it is applied to (light weapons, one-handed weapons, and two-handed weapons). Note that ranged weapons, such as bows, also have a handiness (bows require two hands to fire), and use the same prices.
Note that special materials cannot be added to an existing weapon. The weapon must be built from the special material before it can be enchanted. If a character already has a +3 longsword, and wants it to be a +3 argent longsword, he would have to sell his old longsword and buy an argent one. He cannot simply upgrade it. (This rule can be broken, at GM discretion, in cases where the weapon is a family heirloom, an artifact, or any sort of magic item that is meant to grow with the player, where replacing it with a new weapon would disrupt the story continuity for the character. In these cases, the item may have always been made from the special material, but only exhibits its qualities when the character reaches a high enough level to appreciate it, or perhaps it acquires the special materials qualities after some event transpires (like the character gets splashed with molten mithril).)
Only ONE special material may be used in the construction of a single weapon, even after the Apotheosis at level 36. A weapon cannot be made of both ambergold and paramount alloy. The Double weapons, such as the 2-bladed sword, are the exception to this rule, as each end can be made of a different dweomermetal, if desired.
Weapons cannot have any other magical enchantments placed on them besides the three listed above: enhancement bonus, magic properties, and dweomermetals. For the sake of heading off questions, a list of what is NOT allowed is provided below. Note that there are magic properties and dweomermetals which can provide some of the effects below. However, except for using those properties or materials, these effects cannot be directly enchanted onto a weapon.
- Ability Damage
- Ability Scores
- Alternate Movement Types
- Alternate Senses
- Armor Enhancement Bonus
- Base Attack Bonus (BAB)
- Caster Level Checks
- Circumstance Bonuses
- Class-Specific Abilities
- Maneuver Offense
- Maneuver Defense
- Damage Resistance (DR)
- Deflection AC
- Dodge AC
- Elemental Damage
- Energy Resistance (ER)
- Hit Points
- Increased Movement
- Armor Magic Properties
- Shield Magic Properties
- Natural AC
- Other Classes' Class Features
- Racial Abilities
- Ranged Damage
- Saving Throws
- Shield Enhancement Bonus
- Skill Bonuses
- Skill Ranks
- Spell Effects
- Spell Resistance
- Spell Save DC
- Status Conditions
- Temporary Hit Points
- Touch Attacks
Other Magic Weapon Considerations
Creation Level of Magic Weapons
The creation level required to craft a weapon is calculated as follows:
- Magic Weapon Creation Level = 3x enhancement bonus + 1 per plus of magic properties
Thus, a +9 Halberd of Annihilation (a +9 enhancement bonus with a +9 property) has a creation level of 36 (3 x 9 (enhancement bonus) + 9 (magic property pluses)). A +2 longsword of Speed (a +3 property) has a creation level of 9 (3 x 2 (enhancement bonus) + 3 (magic property pluses)).
A character wishing to craft the weapon must have Creator (Feat), and a minimum character level equal to, or greater than, the weapon's creation level.
Additional Bonus Damage Dice
Some magic properties add bonus dice of damage to the weapon's damage. These bonus dice of damage are considered bonus damage and are not multiplied on a critical hit. In all cases, refer to the description of the magic property to see if there are specific rules for handling the bonus damage. If there are no rules in the magic property's description, then these rules apply.
Additional Base Damage Dice
Some magic properties grant a bonus to the weapon's base weapon damage. Increases to base weapon damage improve with level (at 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th levels) and are multiplied when the wielder scores a critical hit. Increases to base weapon damage can be found in the form of additional dice (e.g. +1d6), and as adders (e.g. +2). These effects are powerful and rare, and will always clearly state that they apply to base weapon damage.
While melee and ranged weapons can be enchanted with enhancement bonuses magic properties, and dweomermetals, ammunition and weapons with the expendable weapon quality cannot typically be enchanted or made of special materials. Instead, ammunition and expendable weapons always inherit the enchantment (the enhancement bonuses, magic properties, and dweomermetal benefits) of the weapon from which they are fired.
If the ammunition or expendable weapons are simply thrown (such as with shuriken), they can be enchanted by means of special magic quivers or bandoleers. However, if expendable weapons from such a magic quiver or bandoleer are ever fired from an enchanted projectile weapon, the projectile weapon's enchantments always overwrite (do not stack with) the expendable weapon's enchantments, even if the firing projectile weapon has weaker enchantments.
Magic Thrown Weapons
Weapons designed for throwing, such as the throwing axe or the careen (but not weapons with the ammunition property, such as skiprocks), gain the Lesser Returning property for free if they have an enhancement bonus or magic property worth an enhancement bonus of at least +1. If they have an enhancement bonus of +2 or greater, thrown weapons gain the Greater Returning magic property for free.
These Returning properties cost nothing, do not alter the cost of additional magic properties, and they do not count against the maximum possible enchantments the weapon can have.
If a weapon is created by a player-character, or purchased from an NPC, the player can choose whether or not it gives off light. If the weapon is found as treasure, there is a 30% chance it gives off light when drawn.
Some magic weapon properties cause the weapons to always or never glow, as defined in their descriptions, and this cannot by changed by the player's desire at item creation.
Characters cannot initiate a stealth stance if they are carrying a visible source of light. In addition, a stealth stance is immediately broken if the stealthed character reveals a light source. If the magic weapon generates light, it can be left sheathed in order to mask its light, permitting stealth, but as soon as such a weapon is drawn, any ongoing stealth ends.
Hardness and Hit Points
Weapons do not have hardness or hit points. This has been replaced with the Sunder combat maneuver. A weapon can be Broken if a sunder attempt successfully equals or exceeds the wielder's Maneuver Defense.
Magical enhancement bonuses on weapons do not increase the wielder's Maneuver Defense versus sunder attempts, though some Dweomermetals do.
Usually a character benefits from a magic weapon in the same way a character benefits from a mundane weapon — by wielding (attacking with) it. Magic properties and bonuses to-hit and damage are only gained from a weapon if the weapon is being wielded. Sheathed or stowed weapons provide no benefit, even if the property states the provided effects are always on.
If a weapon has a weapon property that the user needs to activate, then the user usually needs to utter a command word (a standard action). Refer to the magic property description for details.
Magic Weapons and Critical Hits
Some magic properties and some specific weapons have an extra effect on a critical hit. This special effect overcomes immunity to critical hits. Critical hits rolled with these weapons function against creatures not normally subject to critical hits, but only for the weapon property's effect. In such instances, on a successful critical roll, apply the magic weapon's special effect, but otherwise resolve damage as though it were a normal hit.
Weapons for Unusually Sized Creatures
The cost of weapons for creatures who are neither Small nor Medium varies (see Equipment). The cost to enchant a size large weapon is unchanged, however, nor does the weapon's size increase the time required for enchantment.