Enchanting Items (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Introduction[edit]

The ability to craft magical items gives a powerful advantage. It can turn a lowly dagger into a powerful killing machine. With the magical essence of living creatures, one can imbue an item with magical properties.

This is an attempt to bring an item creation system similar to the one seen in the Elder Scrolls games without off-balancing the game. It is still likely to allow the acquisition of too many magical items if not handled carefully.


Capturing Essence[edit]

Before you can enchant an item with magical powers, you must first capture magical essence. This is done by crafting an essence rod from the bones of a powerful creature. This rod can then be used to extract the essence from creatures of equal or lesser power, gaining charges based upon the power of the creature from which the essence is being extracted. Once the rod has enough charges, it can be used to enchant a magical item. The maximum number of charges a rod can have at a time is directly proportional to the power of the creature from which the rod is crafted.


Crafting an Essence Rod

Crafting an essence rod requires the bones of any creature with a challenge rating of at least 1. The character must pay 10gp per challenge rating level of the source creature to pay for the treatment of the bones. Once the bones are treated, they must be crafted into the shape of a rod. This requires a Craft(Weapon) check where the DC is equal to 15 plus the challenge rating of the source creature. This check may be made by any character. If it succeeds, the essence rod is created with 0 charges. If it succeeds by more than 10 points, the essence rod is created with a number of charges equal to the challenge rating of the source creature. If the check fails, all materials are lost, and the character must acquire a new bone to try again. The level of the rod created is equal to the challenge rating of the source creature.

Example: Ranus is attempting to craft an essence rod from the bones of a dire weasel (CR2). The cost to treat the bones is 20gp. After he has paid to have the bones treated, Ranus takes the bones to his blacksmith friend who rolls an 18 on his Craft(Weapon) check. (He needs a minimum of 17.) The essence rod is created.

Example: Ranus is crafting a second essence rod from the bones of a different dire weasel. This time, when his blacksmith friend rolls a Craft(Weapon) check, he scores a 27. Since this is 10 points above the 17 needed, the essence rod is created with 2 charges already on it.


Charging the Essence Rod

After a creature with a challenge rating of 1 or greater is killed, a character with an essence rod can attempt to capture its essence. The essence rod must have been created from the bones of a creature with an equal or greater CR to the creature whose essence you are attempting to capture. To make the attempt, the character must hold the rod to the creature’s corpse and roll a Spellcraft check. The DC for this check is equal to 15 plus the CR of the creature. If the check succeeds, the rod gains a number of charges equal to the CR of the creature up to the maximum number of charges for the rod. If the check fails by 2 or less, the rod gains a number of charges equal to half the CR of the creature. This process can only be done once per creature and must be done within one minute of the creature's death.

The maximum number of charges an essence rod can have is five times the rod’s level.

Crafting a Magical Item[edit]

To craft a magical item, the character must meet the prerequisites required to craft that item minus the gold cost. This means the character must have the appropriate craft feat and have access to the appropriate spell. He will also need an essence rod with a number of charges equal to five times the Caster Level (CL) requirement of the magical item in question, as well as a masterwork (albeit mundane) version of the item he is trying to craft. This item should ideally match the description of the magical item to be created in its game rule description (if it has a description such as a "silver ring imbedded with five rubies").

When these prerequisites are made, the character must channel the appropriate spell through the essence rod and into the masterwork version of the item. The essence rod is destroyed by this process.

Example: Ranus is attempting to craft a ring of animal friendship. He has the feat Forge Ring, and he is able to cast the spell charm animal. He also has a level 5 essence rod with 21 charges. (For a ring of animal friendship, he only needs 15 charges.) He has purchased a masterwork silver ring from the local jeweler. Pointing the essence rod at the ring, he chants the mantra for charm animal. As the spell finishes, it is absorbed into the masterwork silver ring, imbuing it with the ability to charm animals. The essence rod is destroyed and cannot be used again.

Rule Variation: Material Requirement[edit]

One way to balance the creation of magical items is to require the item to be enchanted to be made of a specific material in order to hold spells of a higher level. This would make strong magical items very rare, depending on the supply of each material.

Below are some ideas for materials. In the world of Ra’Jin, Silver is not too rare, but it is rare enough to make low-level magical items uncommon. On the other hand, Battlinarium can only be found deep below the earth, guarded by deadly creatures. At the same time, only a few smiths in history have ever been able to forge it. This would make high-level magical items extremely rare and difficult to acquire.


MaterialCaster Level Range of Item
Silver1-3
Velium4-6
Mithril7-10
Adamantium11-14
Xiviam15-19
Battlinarium20+

Silver. A precious metal found anywhere in Ra’Jin. It is used for trade and horded by wealthy merchants and nobles for its luster.

Velium. These reddish crystals grow in various regions of Man’Triata. While typically found below ground, they sometimes form in darker places on the surface. Harvesting them is dangerous as they are prone to shatter, and only a smith who knows the secrets of forging Velium can work it into a useful item.

Mithril. Stronger than steel and half the weight, mithril is loved by the Urani tribes globally. Few outside their ranks are able to work it masterfully, though most smiths can make serviceable items from it.

Adamantium. Deep below the ground where high heat and heavy pressure push against rocks, adamantium can often be found. It is twice the weight of steel, but it is also twice as strong. Few outside the subterranean kingdoms of the dwarves know how to craft this fine metal into usable items.

Xiviam. The very space around Xiviam is void of magical energy as the mysterious metal feeds on the manna all around it. Because of its hunger for magical energy, this metal makes an excellent housing for strong magical items. However, this also makes it difficult to craft and to shape, requiring a skilled spellcaster to shape and mold it. Finding a spellcaster that is both a smith and a spellcaster who at the same time has the knowledge necessary to mold Xiviam may prove harder than finding this extremely rare metal.

Battlinarium. This powerful material is actually a plant that grows in the magical caverns at the center of Ra’Jin. Few know where the caverns reside, and even fewer are able to overcome the challenges awaiting those who would harvest this priceless treasure. Of those who are able, few know the secrets to harvesting the battlinarium stalk, and even if they did, there is only one being able to forge the stalk into a useful item – Alphius, one of the two “first creatures” of Ra’Jin.


--Lord Zayaa (talk) 15:08, 11 March 2015 (MDT)


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