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I would like to craft a ring continuously giving it the effect of the level 1 spell shield. Is it possible?
How much would it cost?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

Base Cost: 16,000 gp to 20,000 gp

The first step to pricing an item is to consider items with similar effects and what they cost.

Shield grants a +4 shield bonus to AC, which is roughly comparable to a +4 armor bonus to AC. Bracers of armor +4 would cost 16,000 gp, so that is a minimum of what this ring should cost. Shield also has some minor side-benefits with respect to magic missile and stacks with armor without taking up a hand, so some price premium would not be unreasonable (though probably not very much; I’d put 20,000 gp as the highest reasonable price).

Note that the item pricing guidelines suggest that a continuous 1st-level spell effect with a duration measured in minutes should cost

spell_level × caster_level × 2,000 gp × 2 = 1 × 1 × 2,000 gp × 2 = 4,000 gp

These are, however, guidelines, and explicitly stated to take backseat to simply having a decent item to compare to. Thus, the 16,000 gp is a more appropriate price than 4,000 gp.

Cost to craft: 1 feat, 1 spell, 50% in gp, 4% in XP, 0.1% in weeks

To craft this ring yourself requires that you have the Forge Ring feat, the shield spell (which you’ll have to prepare and expend each day you work on the ring), and it will require raw materials that cost half what the ring does. You’ll lose 1/25 (4%) the base cost in XP, and it will take a week for each 1,000 gp in the base cost.

This means it will take 8,000 gp to 10,000 gp, 640 to 800 XP, and 16 to 20 weeks.

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It should be noted that the cost to craft is half of this, which is putting the guideline's cost to craft at eight times less than KRyan's suggested purchase price, 6,000 gp cheaper to craft. – Axoren Jan 5 at 21:44
    
You can technically craft it without knowing the shield spell, but you'll need a scroll or wand of shield for every single day you're working on the item. I think there's also an option to work with another spellcaster who can cast shield, but I don't know the details of that. – Martin Carney Jan 5 at 22:18
    
Do you not normally have to care about what you are comparing to what? Not only do they take up different equipment slots, but there are two bracers that are required to be worn to get any benefit. And rings are lighter than bracers. Could you make a ring that had all the properties of a full suit of armour without taking in to consideration that a ring that grants these is fundamentally more powerful than a full suit of armour that does so? – Jonathon Wisnoski Jan 6 at 20:21
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@JonathonWisnoski Ring slots are generally more valuable than the bracers slot. Requiring two bracers is irrelevant; all bracer-slot items require both and come as a pair. Weight is entirely irrelevant past, approximately, 5th level, assuming a DM tracks it at all (which the overwhelming majority don’t). And 16k-20k is massively more expensive than an equivalent suit of armor. A +4 full-plate costs 17,650 gp, and has triple this thing’s AC bonus. And that’s not even getting into how pointless a +4 bonus is, compared to the special properties that armor could have instead. – KRyan Jan 6 at 20:37

There is an existing magic item that gives you a +2 shield bonus and costs 8,500 GP: the Ring of Force Shield.

This means that Wizard's price a Shield bonus magic item at 2125 times the bonus squared. So a +4 item would cost 34,000.

Apologies for blatantly stealing the last part of Dan's answer.

We also need to account for the cost of the Magic Missile immunity. A Brooch of Shielding produces a slightly weaker effect for 1500gp. The rules say that, if we add a second effect to an existing item, the cost of the second effect is multiplied by 1.5, so we should add +2250gp to the cost, for a total of 36,250gp.

However, the Shield spell behaves slightly differently to the Ring of Force Shield in that it explicitly states that it protects you against incorporeal touch attacks. This would have to be priced in seperately, but considering the Ring of Deflection and Amulet of natural armour are the same, there is precedent that this is not priced as high as it should be considering how powerful it is.

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I wouldn’t necessarily assume that this is using the usual bonus-squared times a constant factor. More likely, for a specific item like this, they just eyeballed it. Notably, that’s pretty much exactly half the cost I suggested, for a bit less than half the effect. Still, +1 for pointing out an item I missed that serves as another excellent comparison. – KRyan Jan 6 at 3:53
    
@KorvinStarmast Traditionally, spells and magic items are lower case except for specific names (e.g. Otiluke's freezing sphere, sword of Kas). Just sayin'. – Hey I Can Chan Jan 6 at 20:44
    
@HeyICanChan Maybe it's an old habit, or a poor memory: I seem to recall a lot of differentiating Shield the spell from a mundane shield that way, but I'll take your point for future reference – KorvinStarmast Jan 6 at 21:34
    
@KorvinStarmast To confirm, I just went back to the Player's Handbook for AD&D and there's page 68: "This shield will totally negate magic missile attacks." Just like that. I don't know your age, but on newsgroups (when we couldn't use all this fancy formatting and dinosaurs still walked the earth), the initial-caps thing was a way to do it, and it was a lot cleaner than, for example, _shield_. – Hey I Can Chan Jan 6 at 21:41
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@HeyICanChan That may be where I recall it from, newsgroups in text before the Eternal September arrived. – KorvinStarmast Jan 6 at 22:00

There are no rings matching that description in the Dungeon Master's Guide. You could follow the rules for creating and pricing a custom magic item, but this would require DM approval, and your DM would have the final say on the price.

The item you describe would grant a +4 shield bonus to AC, which is much better than a +4 armor bonus to AC, because it stacks with your existing armor. The rules say that an "AC bonus(other)" should cost 2500gp times the bonus squared, which is 40000gp.

We also need to account for the cost of the magic missile immunity. A brooch of shielding produces a slightly weaker effect for 1500gp. The rules say that, if we add a second effect to an existing item, the cost of the second effect is multiplied by 1.5, so we should add +2250gp to the cost, for a total of 42250gp.

In general, if you're just trying to get a mechanical combat advantage (such as better armor, more damage, etc), it's not in good taste to try to do that by asking the DM to approve custom magic items for you. It's better to use the preexisting magic items, such as the ring of protection and amulet of natural armor.

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I don't agree with the "AC bonus(other)" as the footnote says "Such as a luck, insight, sacred, or profane bonus." These would stack with any other AC bonus except the same source. The shield spell provides a shield bonus that also applies to incorporeal attacks plus an immunity to magic missile. While great, they aren't going to come into play that often and it won't stack with any other shield bonus. This would be way over priced. – Wyrmwood Jan 5 at 23:07

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