Magic weapons and armor are one of the bases of the game. While there are many wonderful properties that are already available, sometimes there is a particular spell effect that you simply must have. For example I will be playing a gestalt game soon where I am building a druid zen archer monk where I plan on using wild shape and a bow. The item polymorphic pouch has a much-desired feature, it doesn't meld when you polymorph.

As a bonus under the polymorph rules

If your new form does not cause your equipment to meld into your form, the equipment resizes to match your new size.

Originally I was going to add the effect to the weapon as if I was making a wondrous item as per the standard table. While talking with a friend about it they instead priced it as another weapon property such as keen, flaming, shocking burst and thus expressed it as a +x bonus. I have to admit that this approach had not occurred to me, and thinking on it makes far more sense than the method I had planned on using.

Now there is an armor property called wild that serves a similar effect in that it lets you benefit from something that's melded with you. Using the weapon would be different, but similar.

Which approach to pricing spells onto magic weapons and armor gives more consistency with the game's overall pricing?


closed as unclear what you're asking by LegendaryDude, user27327, daze413, Miniman, Thomas Jacobs May 31 '17 at 10:13

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Define "Better." \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe May 25 '17 at 0:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe From the rules point of view, since pretty much all weapon and armor properties are based on the bonus system, it makes sense that when adding new abilities to also use that system, instead of the more generic magic item rules that seem more based on the other magic items \$\endgroup\$ – Fering May 25 '17 at 0:33
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ No, I mean, what are your criteria for determining which system of pricing is "better?" Do you want weapons to be cheaper? More expensive? Do you want the prices to match those given in published products? Do you want them to incentivise certain designs of items and disincentivise others? Do you want to hew close to designer intent, insofar as designer intent can be known? When you say you want to know which method is "better," we can't answer usefully unless you tell us "better for what, and whom?" \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe May 25 '17 at 0:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe I guess the best answer would be the designers intent. While I do some crazy things, I do try to stay within the rules as best I can. So I was the best way to price something thats not cheaper or more expensive but fits the current examples, much like my friend had pointed out. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering May 25 '17 at 1:07
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a way to phrase the question simply and clearly? Like How much should a magic weapon special ability cost—in either magic +s or gp—that prevents the weapon from melding when its wielder is subject to a polymorph effect that causes him to assume the form of an animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin? only, y'know, simpler and clearer? Or is there more to this question than that? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 25 '17 at 3:09

According to Adding New Abilities, to add to an existing magic item the effects of a polymorphic pouch—an already slotless item—costs only 5,000 gp—, that is, the price of the of polymorphic pouch.

Precisely what such an effect does when applied to an existing magic bow is up to the GM, but this GM would allow a +1 polymorphic bow to remain unmelded when the owner changes forms and allow the bow's wielder to take a free purely mental action to retrieve one of the 100 arrows that's stored in the bow's extradimensional space. (This saves the buyer from having to buy a second polymorphic pouch effect for his quiver!) In addition, because the GM's essentially more than halved the extradimensional space's capacity (the GM thinking 100 arrows more elegant than the 266 arrows a pouch could normally contain) and limited the extradimensional space to only arrows but allowed the wielder to retrieve an arrow stored in the space as a free action rather than as move action that provokes an attack of opportunity, the GM would likely reduce the price of adding the pouch's effect to a magic bow by 10% to 4,500 gp, making that function, for example, less versatile but with more raw arrow storage than the 1,800 gp efficient quiver.

"But how do I determine if a magic weapon special ability should be an enhancement-bonus equivalent (i.e. a magic plus) or a flat cost?"

If you're a player, you pitch the original item to the GM, and the GM will set the price. If you're the GM, you set the price by comparing the proposed original item to existing items.

More specifically, so far as I'm aware, there's no magical-enhancement-bonus-equivalent-to-flat-gp-value conversion in Pathfinder, but its antecedent D&D 3.5e provides a very basic guideline over the course of the 1st-level infusion personal weapon augmentation [trans] (Eberron Campaign Setting 117), the 4th-level infusion weapon augmentation [trans] (ibid.), and the 6th-level infusion greater weapon augmentation [trans] (ibid.). The first infusion allows an artificer to add to a weapon a weapon special ability "whose market price is equivalent to a +1 bonus or up to 10,000 gp," the second up to +3 or up to 70,000 gp, and the third up to +5 or up to 200,000 gp. (In either game, the referee must still adjudicate the gp equivalents to +2s and +4s!)

(By the way, armor and shields are similar except they're 1st-level, 3rd-level, and 5th-level infusions (e.g. lesser armor enhancement [trans] (Eberron Campaign Setting 109) et al.) and the flat gp value is half that of the equivalent magic weapon.)

Using the weapon augmention infusions as guidelines, the Pathfinder GM may rule that a polymorphic pouch effect applied to a magic bow is, instead, a weapon special ability worth a +1 enhancement bonus.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Im creating another magic item that will create arrows as needed at the correct size of my form, but as a worn item that I need access to Ill also have to give it this polymorphic process. I did not know about the forgotten realms rules, thanks for pointing those out to me \$\endgroup\$ – Fering May 27 '17 at 14:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fering (Honestly, I think the best solution is, before assuming a different form, dropping the bow then, after the new form's assumed, recovering the bow. While that may cost precious actions in combat, the duration of wild shape makes assuming a new form and staying in it all day long a strong possibility. This has the advantage of being both free and without controversy! Just sayin'.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 27 '17 at 18:55

Given that you want to add this quality to a weapon you should use pricing based on the +x system in conjunction with the craft magical arms and armor feat as its intended use.

If you just want the bow to not meld with you when you wild shape I would argue its a +1 bonus. If you want the weapon to actually be usable in your new form (bears are known for their hugs not their marksmanship) I would say that the cost should be equivalent to the transformative weapon quality. I'm not able to look that up at the time of writing this. The ammunition would also need to receive this enchantment as well.

Of course if you just don't want it to meld you could just drop the equipment before you transform so it doesn't meld.☺


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.