I was just wondering, for items in Pathfinder 1e that provide saves bonuses (like a Cloak of Resistance), they seem to only go up to +5, but in the Magic Item Creation rules, it looks like you could go much higher, all you'd need to do would be to calculate the different cost (and have that much gold to begin with, of course). Is a save bonus higher than +5 on any one item legal, or is there a hard limit to that?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ While it's not Pathfinder, it's probably worth noting that D&D 3E explicitly includes items with a bonus greater than +5 under its epic magic item rules. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20, 2021 at 18:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Though it may not technically be for Pathfinder, that's still really good to know. As they're close enough, I'm sure I can make use of that, so thanks for linking that page, John! \$\endgroup\$
    – Gelleck
    Apr 21, 2021 at 20:14

2 Answers 2


Ultimately, there aren’t “rules” for creating custom magic items—there are guidelines, and those guidelines are for the GM to help them decide what to allow and at what value. So nothing based on those guidelines is strictly “legal,” and your GM can (and should, per those same guidelines) not allow some of the things the guidelines suggests. They’re not a perfect tool and they explicitly warn GMs that they still have to use their judgment on individual cases.

That being the case, the only really “legal” items are those that were actually printed in the book. And the best cloak of resistance that’s seen print is the cloak of resistance +5. You can definitely make that, because it’s an item in the book. (The GM can, of course, always ban an item as a houserule—but that’d be a pretty weird choice in the case of an item as basic and fundamental as a cloak of resistance.) The guidelines say a resistance bonus to saving throws is worth bonus² × 1,000 gp, which the cloak of resistance +5 matches exactly by being worth 25,000 gp. A hypothetical cloak of resistance +6 would thus be worth 36,000 gp. But since there isn’t any cloak of resistance +6 in print, it’s up to your GM whether or not that item is one that is possible to craft.

In my experience, most GMs do not allow a cloak of resistance +6.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Cool, thanks for the info! \$\endgroup\$
    – Gelleck
    Apr 20, 2021 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Keegan Not that it really matters to me personally, but for the sake of future readers of the site, we recommend that you click the checkmark next to the answer that solves your problem, to let other users know it was your choice. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 20, 2021 at 19:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there any reason not to allow this item? I doubt that most GMs you know would do it without reason. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20, 2021 at 21:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Woops, sorry about that KRyan. I just selected the checkmark now! \$\endgroup\$
    – Gelleck
    Apr 21, 2021 at 20:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a note, I myself am the GM in this case. I've been working on some fun, custom magic items for my players to find, and I wanted to make sure that their stats fell in line with the rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gelleck
    Apr 21, 2021 at 21:04

Edit: I now realize my mistake in lumping wondrous items with magic arms and armor but I'd like to leave it here as an explanation for why cost tables exist to +10 even though item enchantment bonuses are limited to +5. That info could be helpful to those landing on this question in the future.

This is actually something I've run into lately myself. I found this quote sourced from d20pfsrd Magic Armor

... Magic Armor bonuses are enhancement bonuses, never rise above +5, and stack with regular armor bonuses (and with shield and magic shield enhancement bonuses). ...

In addition to an enhancement bonus, armor may have special abilities. Special abilities usually count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of an item, but do not improve AC. A suit of armor cannot have an effective bonus (enhancement plus special ability bonus equivalents, including those from character abilities and spells) higher than +10. A suit of armor with a special ability must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

This effectively means that the enchantment bonus of the item is limited to +5 but you can go up to +10 in cost by adding abilities such as Billowing or Spell Resistance that don't effect the enchantment bonus. That's why the cost table goes up to +10.

I know that the Cloak of Resistance from the question isn't "armor" in the sense that it goes in the armor slot and adds AC, but I found very similarly worded entry on d20pfsrd Magic Weapons so it's probably safe to assume this applies to all magic items.

... Magic weapons have enhancement bonuses ranging from +1 to +5...

... Some magic weapons have special abilities. Special abilities count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of the item, but do not modify attack or damage bonuses (except where specifically noted). A single weapon cannot have a modified bonus (enhancement bonus plus special ability bonus equivalents, including those from character abilities and spells) higher than +10. A weapon with a special ability must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

So in the end, you can have your Cloak of Resistance +5 with Spell Resistance, but not a Cloak of Resistance +6.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is incorrect. Only magic weapons and armour (and shields, and items like amulets of mighty fists that imitate one of those) can have special properties. Note that there are no "special properties" listed for cloaks of resistance, etc. Strictly speaking, there isn't even a cost table for them - there are just five different magic items called "cloak of resistance +1", "cloak of resistance +2", etc, whose prices just happen to fit a quadratic curve. The guidelines point out that pattern and recommend the GM follow it in pricing new items, but that's all. \$\endgroup\$
    – pi4t
    Apr 20, 2021 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is a separate price guideline for adding extra properties to a wondrous item like a cloak of resistance - you multiply the cost of the cheaper effect by 50%. This is the method that seems to be used by all the official wondrous items which give resistance bonuses and something else. So, according to the guidelines (which are, again, only guidelines) and paizo's own patterns, a +5 cloak of resistance (25k) with spell resistance 21 (90k) would cost 90k+25k*1.5=127.5k. \$\endgroup\$
    – pi4t
    Apr 20, 2021 at 17:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ What reference did you use for that info? I'd love to know about it. I couldn't find anything other than an absence of details on adding to wondrous items. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 21, 2021 at 12:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ For the pricing of extra abilities on the same wondrous item? It's in Table:Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values, on this page of the SRD: d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/magic-item-creation Note that the pricing only applies to items that take up magic item slots. If an item is slotless, then you can add as many effects to it as you like with no increase in price, as explained just below the table. Note also that placing an effect which normally takes an item slot into a slotless item doubles the price. Again, from the table. \$\endgroup\$
    – pi4t
    Apr 22, 2021 at 13:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Somehow I missed that page while looking. Thank you for that. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22, 2021 at 17:10

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