I'm currently running a Pathfinder game set in Tamriel, the setting of the Elder Scrolls games. A couple of my players are very interested in using soul gems and enchanting. My first instinct was to treat soul gems like Eberron treats dragonshards; they're just a part of the materials required for magic item construction. However, I'd really like to be able to let players Soul Trap creatures and harvest their own soul gems. I've designed a system to allow this, below:
A Soul Gem is an item that weighs 1 ounce, and costs 10 septims. There is only 1 size of blank soul gem. Souls of any size can fit into a soul gem. A soul is worth an amount depending on the HD of the creature, according to this table:
HD Soul Value in septims 1 75 2 300 3 675 4 1200 5 1875 6 2700 7 3675 8 4800 9 6075 10 7500 11 9075 12 10800 13 12675 14 14700 15 16875 16 19200 17 21675 18 24300 19 27075 20 30000
For creatures with HD over 2, the formula is 75*x^2 = y, where X is the HD of the creature, and Y is the septim value of the soul. When creating a magic item, 75% of the materials cost is in soul gems. For example, an item that costs 1000 septims market value requires 375 septims worth of souls.
Soul gems can be partially discharged when making magic items. When a soul gem is totally emptied, it crumbles to dust. Soul Trap can only be used on blank soul gems.
If you use only one fully charged soul gem in the creation of a magic item, and you completely deplete the soul gem in the process, you may add 2 to your effective caster level for the creation of that item, and add 1 to any save DCs the item provokes. For example, if you used a 1 HD soul gem (worth 75 septims) to create a scroll of a level 1 spell, and you were level 2, you could create a scroll with a caster level of 4. You still need to pay the materials cost for the item (13 septims for a CL 4 scroll of a level 1 spell). This may allow you to create items that you do not meet the caster level prerequisites for.
Soul Trap is a new spell added to every class list except Paladin and Ranger:
Soul Trap Mysticism Level 1 Casting time: 1 standard action Components: V,S,F (A blank soul gem) Range: Close Target: One creature Duration: 1 round per level Save: None Spell Resistance: Yes If the affected creature dies while under the effects of Soul Trap, their soul is trapped in the soul gem used as the focus.
Does this system seem balanced? How do I fit this system into the standard loot progression?