If you've got too many rings/amulets/etc., can you just add effects to your weapons and armor, like adding Jump to your sword for a Frost Brand of Evasion or making a series of minor upgrades to end up with a Dwarven Plate of Healthy (+2) Elven (Boots) Elven (Cloak) Resistant (+1) Ogre-Powered Minute-Seeing Wise (+2) Protection(+1)?

(This is assuming you have the feats for weapon/armor crafting and the proper spells and stuff)


1 Answer 1


Bottom line up-front, the guidelines we have available don’t really suggest that you can do this just the way you describe, and personally if I were your DM I wouldn’t let you in most cases, certainly not with weapons anyway. But that’s just because armor and weapons are a little special—you can totally do this with other types of items.

Specifically, the guidelines do let you combine wondrous items of various types, so even if you can’t put them all on your armor, you can put them all on your cloak or belt or whatever. You can have a cloak that is both a cloak of resistance and a cloak of elvenkind. You could even put the benefits of boots of elvenkind on there too, or the amulet of health, or whatever else. However, note that combining items like this costs extra, and putting effects in slots other than the one they’re usually on costs extra too.

But Magic Item Compendium waives those extra costs for a lot of basic effects, so for example the amulet of health and cloak of resistance effects don’t cost anything extra to combine with other items. So a cloak of resistance and elvenkind would just cost the same as a cloak of resistance plus a cloak of elvenkind, and would have both effects.

But again, not so much on weapons and armor. Those should probably just stick to weapon and armor properties, respectively. Armor isn’t too bad, but weapons just raise a lot of questions, like “do I get evasion just for having a frost brand of evasion in a sheath on my belt, or do I have to actually have it in my hand?”

The actual guidelines

Getting into the actual details here to explain where the above comes from...

First thing, remember that all magic items that aren’t actually printed in the book must be individually approved by the DM, so ultimately we cannot make a judgment on what your DM will or will not allow. There are guidelines for custom magic items, which we can explain and use to calculate items you are interested in, but the books emphasize that these are guidelines, that they do not always work, and that the DM is going to have to exercise some judgment over whether the guidelines have provided a good result or not. So bear all that in mind with the rest of my answer, or anyone else’s.

There are guidelines for putting magical effects in item slots other than their usual ones, which say

Wondrous items that don’t match the affinity for a particular body slot should cost 50% more than wondrous items that match the affinity.

There are also guidelines for putting multiple magical effects on the same item, which say

If the item is one that occupies a specific place on a character’s body the cost of adding any additional ability to that item increases by 50%. For example, if a character adds the power to confer invisibility to her ring of protection +2, the cost of adding this ability is the same as for creating a ring of invisibility multiplied by 1.5.

So you could combine these, multiplying 150% by 150% for 225%, to get the premium for putting some magic effect onto another item slot that it doesn’t usually go on, and that already has magic on it.

However, armor and weapons are unusual magic items. Unlike all other magic items, they use the equivalent-enhancement-bonus system for most of their effects. For example, the flaming weapon property costs “+1-equivalent”—which means that it adds on to the item’s total equivalent-enhancement-bonus to determine its value. A +1 flaming weapon is +2 equivalent, and so costs 8,000 gp (on top of the masterwork weapon). A +2 medium fortification armor (medium fortification is a +3-equivalent armor property) is +5 equivalent, so 25,000 gp (on top of the masterwork armor). Wondrous items, like boots of elvenkind or cloak of elvenkind don’t use this system at all. They don’t have an equivalent-enhancement-bonus. Instead, they just always cost 2,500 gp each, or with the 225% mark-up discussed earlier, 5,625 gp.

Now, some weapon and armor properties do use flat gold-piece costs, so it’s not unheard of for you to deal with that. You just add those on to the value due to the equivalent enhancement bonus. So you could maybe add on 5,625 gp for the boots of elvenkind and another 5,625 gp for the cloak of elvenkind. Or arguably, the 50% extra for multiple magical effects shouldn’t even apply to weapons and armor—it doesn’t for actual weapon and armor properties. So maybe that’s just 3,750 gp each.

But more accurately, the guidelines don’t really suggest that you can do this. Armor and weapons are different from wondrous items, and the rules I quoted above are really only for wondrous items. You can totally make a belt that works like boots of elvenkind and cloak of elvenkind on top of whatever belt magic it has, but it’s not really clear you can do the same with armor. And weapons are even harder—they raise all kinds of questions, like, “do you only get the benefit while wielding the weapon, or does having it in a sheath count? What if you strap a ton of weapons to you?”

So I would just stick with wondrous items. Again, Magic Item Compendium is your friend here—many basic effects can be added to other magic items with no extra premium charge, just the cost of the two items added together.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .