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I'm looking to acquire some kind of eyeware that I can put det mag on demand in. Something like a pair of glasses, a monocle, or--uh, dunno what to call this--like an eyepatch but with a lense (think of what Mad Eye Moody was wearing in the Harry Potter movies but instead of a magic eye it'd be a lense).

So basically my question is what kind of craft skill would be necessary for this? I've got a number of gems, so maybe a jeweler could make a faceted lense out of a gem? So I can see jeweler working. I think glasses-maker is too specific a craft for anyone to feasibly have..

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the craft wondrous item feat is what you're looking for, I believe. –  Eric B Jan 15 at 16:11
It's my understanding that to use the Craft Wondrous Item feat you actually have to start with an item. You can't just use the Craft Wondrous Item feat to get a "det mag glasses" out of nothing--you've gotta actually have the glasses to start with before you can make them wondrous. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. –  claudekennilol Jan 15 at 16:25
@claudekennilol In short, you are wrong, yes. That’s only required if the mundane item itself has useful or valuable mundane properties. A plain piece of glass over your eye would merely be a part of the cost of creating a magic lens; you’d only have to pay for the mundane item separately if it was also a magnifying glass or something. –  KRyan Jan 15 at 17:16
Note that this is part of what is represented by the craft or spellcraft check made as part of crafting the magic item. Technically, you are still making an actual pair of glasses to enchant, but doing so isn't a separate activity within the game involving a separate use of the craft skill, it's already a part of the magic-item-crafting process. –  Matthew Najmon Jan 17 at 3:02
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It depends on the end product. It is essentially comprised of multiple products; a lens and a harness to hold the lens.

The Lens

  • Glass: A glass lens would need glass blower to create.
  • Gem: A gem would need a jeweler to create.

The Harness

  • Leather Strap: A leather strap would need leather working to create.
  • Metal Wire: A metal wire would need an alchemist, a metallurgist, or a jeweler (or a tinkerer if technology is present) to create.
  • Metal headpiece: A metal headpiece would need a blacksmith to create.
  • Chain: A chain would need a blacksmith or a jeweler to create.

You can of course, combine these as you want. For example; imagine a gem inside a metallic frame held onto the face by a leather band, or a glass lens inside a metallic half-helmet.

The magical part could be the entire item itself, or it could be just the lens (glass or gem) either way, part or all of this must be crafted / finished using craft wondrous item.

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It's my understanding that the Craft Wondrous Item feat is solely for the enchanting portion of the craft. Like you said, the physical part is crafted. I'm not trying to negate anything you're saying, just further my understanding. So I could just happen across a pair of masterwork glasses (not likely, but theoretically) and then use CWI to in turn enchant those into what I'm wanting, right? I'm assuming that's what you meant by "part must be crafted/finished using CWI"? –  claudekennilol Jan 15 at 16:28
Yes, that is what I said in the last part of my answer. If the lens is already enchanted then you don't need to use craft wondrous item, otherwise you could either enchant just the lens or the whole item. But as you said - first they need to be created mundanely, the craft wondrous item is what puts the magic in. –  Inbar Rose Jan 15 at 16:30
Thanks, that clears it up. –  claudekennilol Jan 15 at 16:33
@claudekennilol This is way, way, way more detail than is actually required by the rules. It can be fun to roleplay this out, but for a dedicated enchanter, it may get tiresome to do so every time. –  KRyan Jan 15 at 17:07
@claudekennilol that is NOT accurate. The item creation rules, which Craft Wondrous Item and similar feats are used for, DO, in most cases include making the actual item to be enchanted. There are some fluff mentions that, when making a wand, for example, the materials you buy might include a non-magical wand (in other words, a stick) to enchant, but as far as the game mechanics are concerned, this is irrelevant, you just pay the gold and buy the mats you need, whatever they might be. The only mechanical exceptions are weapons and armor, both of which require MW versions to enchant. –  Matthew Najmon Jan 17 at 3:07
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Creating any magic item has a gold cost that includes buying requisite materials. The exact nature of the materials is left up to the group/DM, but they typically include incense, scrolls, and most importantly, the item to be magically-enhanced. Unless the mundane item has important value as a mundane item (e.g. weapons, armor, possibly special tools, perhaps intrinsically valuable as artwork in its own right), there is no separate requirement to buy an item to enhance: the cost of that item is included in the cost of the magic-item creation.

Making mundane glasses would typically take Craft (glassworking). The Craft skills tend to have a bit of overlap: Craft (glassworking) doesn’t just cover making things with glass, but also incidental skills important to working with glass. In this case, I would certainly rule that this would cover the frame or harness for the lens, being relatively simple wire-bending and/or leather stitching in comparison to the fashioning of any optical lens.

But you would only need to do that separately if you wanted your glass that can cast detect magic to also have its own mundane properties, for example if the lens also worked as a magnifying glass or something.

Finally, I’d strongly consider asking your DM to port in the artificer’s monocle from D&D 3.5’s Magic Item Compendium for this character. Its physical description exactly matches what you’re looking for, and it’s strongly related. It doesn’t cast detect magic itself, but what it does do is allow you to use identify for free if you study an item for a minute with detect magic up. Very, very useful item. D&D prices it at 1,500 gp; the magic-item-pricing guidelines suggest that a detect magic at-will item at 900 gp (less if you have some daily limitation on it), and combining the two has a 50% surcharge on the less-expensive item so that’s a total of 1,500 gp + 900 gp × 1.5 = 3,150 gp. A tad overpriced, in my book, but not bad and it’s a really useful item, able to detect magic and identify basically at will.

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Just sell your gems and use the profit to buy a pair of glasses for 5gp. (you can probably fluff this item as a monocle/goggles/eyepatch at no additional cost). See clothing table.

If you want to be able to use them to cast detect magic at will, that requires the use of the Craft Wonderous Item feat. The base price for this magic item will be around 2000gp.

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How are you getting 2,000 gp? Command Word item of a 0th-level spell at Caster Level 1 means ½×1×(1,800 gp)=900 gp. –  KRyan Jan 15 at 17:31
@KRyan I calculated its price based off of it being a 'use item' and not a 'command word' item. This changes the 1800 to 2000 and adds an additional x2 multiplier because the spell duration is measured in 1minute/lvl –  Colin D Jan 16 at 13:04
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