Some magic items have a caster level prerequisite. For example, the adamantine golem notes that "the creator must be caster level 20th."

Is it possible for the creator of such a magic item to inflate his effective caster level using other game elements like feats and magic items to meet such a caster level requirement early?

I'm not looking to bypass the prerequisite completely by increasing the Spellcraft skill check—I already know that's a possibility. I want to actually meet the caster level prerequisite but meet it with feats, magic items, and so on instead of just by counting conventional caster levels from leveling up.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What would you propose as a re-phrasing? Every question I've seen is in regards to creating with less caster levels. This question I'm trying to ask if we can artificially exceed caster levels. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 21, 2019 at 7:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @PlayPatrice Your basic premise is wrong; you don't need to meet an item's caster level to craft it, and it doesn't even impose a +5 DC penalty when you do that because meeting the caster level isn't a prerequisite most of the time. When it is a prerequisite, however, you can then take a +5 penalty to ignore that prereq. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 21, 2019 at 7:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Meeting or exceeding caster levels earlier than expected removes the +5 penalty (making it easier to craft). There are also some items that require specific levels, and I'm trying to determine if my theory crafting about early access is viable. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 21, 2019 at 7:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, so how do I need to re-word this. You guys understand what I am trying to ask. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 21, 2019 at 7:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's a little wordy, but does that help? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 21, 2019 at 8:04

2 Answers 2


Yes, increasing your caster level does allow you to meet specific prerequisites earlier.

However, these increases would need to be increases to your caster level for that class as a whole (or increased for crafting), not increases in caster level for a specific spell. Here are a couple of examples:

Whenever a forgemaster casts a spell that targets a weapon, shield, or armor, the spell takes effect at +1 caster level.

This would not apply because the caster level increase would not be applied to crafting.

+1 caster level.

This would apply, since the caster level increase is applied at all times (and thus applies when crafting).

Wearer casts his spells at +4 caster level. Effect lasts 10 minutes.

This would not apply as it doesn't last the 8 hours of crafting, and only increases your caster level for casting spells and not crafting.

However, typically you don't need to meet the caster level prerequisite of an item in order to craft it.

From the Magic Item Creation Rules:

Note that all items have prerequisites in their descriptions. These prerequisites must be met for the item to be created. Most of the time, they take the form of spells that must be known by the item’s creator (although access through another magic item or spellcaster is allowed). The DC to create a magic item increases by 5 for each prerequisite the caster does not meet. The only exception to this is the requisite item creation feat, which is mandatory. In addition, you cannot create potions, spell-trigger, or spell-completion magic items without meeting its prerequisites.

Therefore, if an item has a caster level as a prerequisite for crafting it, you can ignore it for a +5 to the DC of crafting that item.

Note that while the base DC to craft a magic item is 5 + that items caster level, there is not usually a caster level prerequisite for a magic item (and even if there is one as a prerequisite, it may not match the item's caster level).

This means that for a level 5 wizard with Craft Wondrous Item and Haste, despite Boots of Speed having a caster level of 10, the DC for crafting them is only 15 (base 5 + caster level of 10). It is not increased to 20 because there is not caster level prerequisite for crafting it.

The exception to this is constructs, which you use as an example.

From the Construct Creation Rules:

Caster Level: Some constructs, especially the more powerful ones, require the creator to be of a certain caster level in order to craft them. Unlike some other crafting requirements, this requirement must be met in order to craft the construct, and cannot be ignored simply by increasing the DC of the skill check to craft the construct by 5.

Therefore, in order to craft a construct you need to meet any caster level prerequisites it lists in it's crafting requirements.

Here are a couple items that can increase you caster level for crafting a construct.

  • Golem Manual: Golem manuals are one time use items crafted for a specific golem and increase your caster level golem crafting that golem. Note that unlike constructs whose caster level requirement you can't bypass, you can bypass the caster level requirement of a Golem Manual as it's a wondrous item.

  • Automaton Core: You can get an automaton core by taking Improved Familiar, selecting an Automaton Familiar, and murdering it, thus obtaining it's core. A spellcaster holding an automaton core treats her caster level as 4 higher for all purposes. This allows you to use it for crafting as well as casting.

†: I am not responsible for any consequences you GM may give you for doing this.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That wizard that possesses the feat Craft Wondrous Item and access to the spell haste could create boots of speed with a Spellcraft skill check as low as DC 10. "The DC to create a magic item is 5 + the caster level for the item," and as long as the creator sets the caster level of the boots to at least 5th, the caster level won't be "lower than the minimum level needed to cast the needed spell," and the boots can be created. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 21, 2019 at 15:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan That's a fair point, however I'm assuming they make the standard boots as they've been printed. \$\endgroup\$
    – willuwontu
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 15:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Magic weapons and armors also have a caster level prerequisite. 3 times the enhancement bonus. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 16:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Indeed, however, you can bypass it. \$\endgroup\$
    – willuwontu
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 17:21

As suggested, I'm splitting my "Viability Check" into a self awnser:

Yes you can.

Using the following game elements a magic item creator can temporarily increase his caster level so as to meet a magic item's caster level prerequisite

The specific solutions I found:

Whenever a forgemaster casts a spell that targets a weapon, shield, or armor, the spell takes effect at +1 caster level.

Does this +1 caster level apply to item creation?

+1 caster level.

Wearer casts his spells at +4 caster level. Effect lasts 10 minutes.

Pick one spell when you choose this trait—from this point on, whenever you cast that spell, its effects manifest at +1 caster level.

Does this only count if you are casting the specific spell you chose? Or can it satisfy the "Overall" caster level requirement in a general sense?

1 hour; +1 caster level

Pick a class when you gain this trait—your caster level in that class gains a +2 trait bonus as long as this bonus doesn’t raise your caster level above your current Hit Dice.

Throw in with the bardic trait:

A creature inspired with greatness gains 2 bonus Hit Dice (d10s)

Meaning an additional, temporary raw +2 caster levels as a trait bonus. Would this combo stack with Gifted Adept (Since one affects the caster, and the other affects the spell?

In Conclusion

Am I correct in my math's / rule mongering that I could potentially create caster level 20 items as a Forgemaster Cleric with above buffs as early as level 10? Or is any of this viable?

  • \$\begingroup\$ "Effect lasts 10 minutes." It is usually assumed that, since creating magic items is a process that takes 8 hours a day, that any bonus or magical effects have to last at least that long to be effective. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 12:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that while inspire greatness + magical knack would work for increasing your caster level, you won't be able to maintain it long enough to last during crafting. \$\endgroup\$
    – willuwontu
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras is it actually anywhere in the rules? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ "If time is dedicated to creation, it must be spent in uninterrupted 4-hour blocks. " under Magic Item Creation. So, unless you have someone else providing those buffs on you, most GMs won't accept that you cast a spell with minutes/rounds duration right before making the skill check. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 16:30

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