On Magic Item Creation says that

At the end of this process, the spellcaster must make a single skill check (usually Spellcraft, but sometimes another skill) to finish the item. ... Failing this check means that the item does not function and the materials and time are wasted. Failing this check by 5 or more results in a cursed item.

When a creator fails the Spellcraft skill check by 5 or more, I imagine one of two outcomes:

  1. The magic item is the intended magic item (or the magic item is upgraded in the intended way as with +1 longsword upgrading to a +2 longsword) but the magic item is also cursed.
  2. The magic item is not the intended magic item (or the magic item is not upgraded in the intended way) and the magic item's only magic is now the new curse.

Which is it? Or is there another way of reading this that's not listed above?

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1 Answer 1


Look no further than the Cursed Items page...

From the Cursed Items section:

Cursed items are any magic items with some sort of potentially negative impact on the user. Occasionally they mix bad with good, forcing characters to make difficult choices. ... When a magic item creation skill check fails by 5 or more, roll on Table: Common Item Curses to determine the type of curse possessed by the item.

And Table: Common Item Curses says:

\$\begin{array}{|c|l|} \hline \textbf{d%} & \textbf{Curse} \\ \hline 01–15 & \text{Delusion} \\ 16–35 & \text{Opposite effect or target} \\ 36–45 & \text{Intermittent functioning} \\ 46–60 & \text{Requirement} \\ 61–75 & \text{Drawback} \\ 76–90 & \text{Completely different effect} \\ 91–100 & \text{Substitute specific cursed item on **Table: Specific Cursed Items**} \\ \hline \end{array} \$

The answer then... is both of your thoughts! For a 1-15 and 36-75, you get a Cursed Item that does what you wanted... mostly. For a 16-35 and 76-100, you get an effect that you didn't originally want.


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