Suppose that I want to have a first-level wizard school ability, and that I took an arcane bond with a weapon. Say that for whatever reasons, I take the rest of my levels in a different casting class. Can I still magically enhance my Arcane Bond weapon without taking the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat? Arcane Bond says:

A wizard can add additional magic abilities to his bonded object as if he has the required Item Creation Feats and if he meets the level prerequisites of the feat. For example, a wizard with a bonded dagger must be at least 5th level to add magic abilities to the dagger (see Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat).

Now, usually a wizard would do this by reaching CL5 as a wizard, but the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat only specifies you have to be CL5 to use it. Certainly you can always magically enhance a weapon with the feat, then re-bond to it, but that's not the question. If I am a wizard 1 / witch 5 (for example), am I able to magically enhance my arcane bonded weapon, e.g. to be a +1 weapon without having the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat? If not, why not?

Note: This is not specific to the wizard/witch combo, I'm asking about all caster combos with wizard in general.


Yes: Since you can use witch levels to qualify for Craft Magic Arms and Armor, your level prerequisite is satisfied, and the arcane bond allows you to count as having that feat when enhancing your fancy sword. This would also apply if you were a cleric or ranger, since the level prerequisite doesn't mention needing an arcane caster level.

Class features often read like you ought to ignore other classes when using them, but only seem like you're meant to do that. The designers could easily have issued errata and changed the wording in later printings if they cared to close off paths like this.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like this is inaccurate but I haven't been able to locate the source. IIRC "must be level X" requires class levels, whereas other abilities will say "when you have X hit dice" or similar. I do see where this ability is a grey area. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Feb 18 '20 at 1:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ To clarify, I think you're right about this (because the requirement is qualifying for the Item Creation Feat, but that ruling can't be applied elsewhere \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Feb 18 '20 at 2:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ These lines "Note that there are a number of effects and prerequisites that rely on a character’s level or Hit Dice. Such effects are always based on the total number of levels or Hit Dice a character possesses, not just those from one class. The exception to this is class abilities, most of which are based on the total number of class levels that a character possesses of that particular class." \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Feb 18 '20 at 2:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso "Most of which." Weasel words. Not definitive. It establishes that, in the context of a class entry, "level" generally means "[class name] level", but it doesn't cover feat prerequisites and other non-class-level functions. \$\endgroup\$ – PD - whee - whim - wish Feb 18 '20 at 2:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like you didn't read my previous comment... your answer is correct, I just feel like it would benefit from quotes to show why this ability is different than the norm of not stacking. In this case, you only have to qualify for the appropriate Feat. The other portion is just an example \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Feb 18 '20 at 22:59

This is a Spell-Like Ability granted by the Wizard class. The Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat has a Caster Level 5 requirement. Checking the definitions:

Caster Level: A spell’s power often depends on its caster level, which for most spellcasting characters is equal to her class level in the class she’s using to cast the spell.

Spell-Like-Ability: If a character class grants a spell-like ability that is not based on an actual spell, the ability’s effective spell level is equal to the highest-level class spell the character can cast, and is cast at the class level the ability is gained.

Emphasis mine. Caster Level is dependent on the class being used; and Spell-Like Abilities that don't mimic a spell are cast at the class level the ability is gained. The ability to add enchantments cannot be said to be gained until the Wizard has enough class levels to qualify for the Craft Arms and Armor feat. IMO, this is further backed up by the fact that the cost to replace a lost or destroyed item is based on the Wizard level.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The class ability says "if you meet the prerequisites of the feat". It doesn't say "If you meet the prerequisites of the feat as a wizard". If one had a single caster level of Wizard and the feat Master Craftsman with 5 ranks in a craft, you would still be able to enhance your weapon nevertheless - the feat pre-req would still be satisfied. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Feb 20 '20 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ The ability to use that feat is a Spell-Like Ability, which specifically states it uses the class level of the class that grants the ability. Hence, wizard. It doesn't have to say that in the ability text, because it already says that in the SLA rules. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Miller Feb 20 '20 at 20:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you clarify how you determined that the Crafting Feat equivalency is an SLA not the Ex portion of that Class Feature? \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Feb 21 '20 at 0:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMiller Specific trumps generic in Pathfinder. That ability has nothing that depends on the class level or other aplicable SLA rules - it says "if you meet the feats pre-requisites". If another thing on your sheet satisfies that prerequisite, that's enough. It is, in a sense, similar to "having a high enough ability score to cast a spell" - You don't have "16 Int" as a Wizard and not as a witch - you either have it, or you don't. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Feb 21 '20 at 1:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ The cost to replace a bonded object is based on wizard level. The cost to replace your +3 cold iron longsword as a bonded object is the cost to replace a bonded object plus the cost of a +3 cold iron longsword (if you want it to still be a +3 cold iron longsword, rather than a different kind of bonded object). \$\endgroup\$ – PD - whee - whim - wish Feb 22 '20 at 23:01

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