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No matter how many times I go over it, I never fully understand the prices of this stuff.

I want a +1 spell storing chain shirt and a +1 corrosive burst greataxe. What are their prices? How are these prices determined?

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That chain shirt's price is 4,250 gp.

  1. 100 gp for the chain shirt itself
  2. 150 gp to make it masterwork (it has to be masterwork to be made magical)
  3. 4,000 gp for the magic: It must have a magical +1 enhancement bonus first then the magic armor special ability spell storing is, effectively, another +1 magical enhancement bonus for a total of +2.

That axe's price is 18,320 gp.

  1. 20 gp for the greataxe itself
  2. 300 gp to make it masterwork (it has to be masterwork to be made magical)
  3. 18,000 gp for the magic: It must have a magical +1 enhancement bonus first then the magic weapon special ability corrosive burst is, effectively, another +2 magical enhancement bonus for a total of +3.

How to Calculate Magic Weapon and Armor Prices

  1. Find the price for a basic weapon or armor of that type.
  2. Pay for it to be made masterwork. (Non-masterwork gear can't be made magical.) This has a price of 150 gp for armor and shields and 300 gp for most weapons, but 600 gp for both heads of a double weapon.
  3. Calculate the total effective magical enhancement bonus of the piece of equipment. Add together the +X magical enhancement bonus it has and the pluses of any magic special abilities it has (such as spell storing or corrosive burst). Then pay for that total enhancement bonus. For armor and shields, pay 1,000 gp times the square of the bonus, and for weapons it's 2,000 gp times the square of the bonus. So, for example, a +2 shield with a magical shield special ability that has a price of +3 costs a total of 25,000 gp plus the price of the masterwork shield: the total effective enhancement bonus of +5 squared equaling 25 then times 1,000 gp.
  4. Finally, pay for any miscellaneous magic special abilities that have a flat gp price rather than a price given as an effective bonus. For example, the magic weapon special ability glamered adds a flat 4,000 gp to the price.

It's important to note that these are the prices to buy items. If a player creates an item themselves the the price for the work they do is halved—that's the item's cost. Magic effects with a set price (i.e. some amount of gp, rather than a +X bonus) will often list both a "price" and a "cost"; the price is how much it takes to buy, while the cost is how much it takes to create.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ your link says 2,000 GP, not 4,000. \$\endgroup\$ – rojomoke Feb 25 '18 at 11:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @rojomoke this often causes confusion: the 'price' at the top of the entry for glamered is the amount it adds to the purchase price. The 'cost' of 2000gp is listed under construction requirements because that's how much it adds to the cost of making such a weapon. \$\endgroup\$ – frodoskywalker Feb 25 '18 at 13:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that "Creating magic double-headed weapons is treated as creating two weapons when determining cost, time, and special abilities." - the two halves are enchanted separately and neither half affects the price of enchanting the other half. It's ambiguous, but, in principle, it may be possible to have a double weapon that's half +5 Corrosive Burst, half not-even-masterwork. \$\endgroup\$ – minnmass Feb 25 '18 at 16:01

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