OK, this is a multipart question:

1) The spell animate rope does not make a rope behave at all like the wonderous item Rope of Climbing, does it?

2) Is there a spell that can temporarily make a rope behave like a Rope of Climbing?

3) The reason why I ask these questions is that I wish to make a ring which:

  • Has a "woven thread" design.
  • Upon command the ring will uncoil and slip off, expand into a rope that behaves like a Rope of Climbing.

Ideally it'll be a rope that is animated and can do "ropey" things: snake it's way up a wall and tie on to a balcony, move along the floor and tie it's way around a bolder. If it could entangle someone like the spell animate rope can that would be a bonus, but not necessary.

However the spell "Shrink Item" doesn't work on magical items, so I can't actually shrink a Rope of Climbing? So my next thought was too permanently shrink normal rope, and coil it around a thin ring that can once a day turn a rope into a Rope of Climbing, except there isn't a spell for that as far as I can tell, and Animate rope doesn't cut it (the rope needs to be able to snake up a wall and tie its self). So is there anycway to create this ring? Or should I just make it as a self contained one off magic item?


3 Answers 3


So here's the thing - the spells used to create a magic item do not have to be identical to the effects of the item. A Cackling Hag's Blouse requires hideous laughter, but the effects of the blouse have nothing to do with the effects of that spell, it's more of an implementation of sympathetic magic. You have a lot of wiggle room and as the GM, with your game-designer hat on you can basically can make magic items that do whatever you want, and just pick a metaphorically and power-level appropriate set of prereqs.

As a result, if you want a ring that's going to do some rope of climbing/animate rope combo, just make it. (Note that the spell requires to make a rope of climbing in the first place is animate rope.) Add some other spell requirement and cost it up from a normal rope of climbing. I might call it "Ring of Spiderman, Requirements minor creation, animate rope, list price 8000 gp."

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, despite it not making sense, it is just a game, and I needed to hear that, cheers :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Jain_Mor
    Apr 23, 2014 at 22:23

That Item's Technically Worse Than the Rope of Climbing

Because a ring occupies a valuable magic item slot and a rope of climbing doesn't, the item you describe, despite the ring of rope being able to change from a ring to a rope and back, should be cheaper than the rope of climbing.

It's not as though the city watch, when they toss you in the hoosegow, is going to let you keep your fancy magic ring, so the "disguise" aspect of the ring of rope is wasted except in a town full of nincompoops. However, I'd give it a daily use limit because, otherwise, characters would buy the ring of rope, instead of a rope of climbing, and just leave it in rope form.

Below's my take.

Ring of Rope

Aura faint transmutation; CL 3rd.
Slot ring; Price 2,000 gp; Weight 0 lbs.

Upon command the ring of rope transforms into a 60-foot-long rope no thicker than a wand, but strong enough to support 3,000 pounds. Once transformed, upon uttering a second command word, the rope snakes forward, upward, downward, or in any other direction at 10 feet per round, attaching itself securely wherever its owner desires. It can unfasten itself and return in the same manner.

The rope can be commanded to knot or unknot itself with a third command word. This causes large knots to appear at 1-foot intervals along the rope. Knotting shortens the rope to a 50-foot length until the knots are untied, but lowers the DC of Climb checks while using it by 10. A creature must hold one end of the rope when its magic is invoked. The rope can be returned to ring form by a fourth command word, spoken by any who are touching the rope; this transforms the rope back into a ring worn by the creature who spoke the command word. If the creature can't wear rings, the ring of rope falls to the ground in a square adjacent to the creature.

The ring of ropes can be transformed from ring to rope and back at will, but each transformation into a rope expends at least 3 minutes from how long it can be used each day. The rope functions for 30 minutes per day.

Construction Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, animate rope, shrink item; Cost 1,000 gp

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ One could argue that, since the ring doesn't actually have a magic effect when worn, it shouldn't take up a magic ring slot. After all, even in Pathfinder, people do still have more than two fingers. Or you could always just carry it in your pocket (and slip it on when needed, if it can only be transformed while worn). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2014 at 20:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IlmariKaronen Perhaps it's my limited imagination, but I can't get behind the idea of a magic ring that doesn't occupy a ring slot. You're right, though, that I assumed wearing the ring was a condition of its activation. But swapping magic rings is totally possible--as is swapping any other slotted magic item--, but those still get discounts for occupying body slots. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2014 at 21:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer. The ring existed as a "dark grey metal ring, that's whole circumference is a plaited or woven thread design", I basically designed something that looked interesting and now have to come up with its magical properties ^.^ I guess i'm open to other suggestions, but the one I described above makes the most sense to me. Regarding your post, I disagree that it should be cheaper, but I like the limited use rule. The idea is that it's mostly for convenience for cat burglar. Wearing a ring is much easier and still less suspicious than carrying rope and frees up space for goods! \$\endgroup\$
    – Jain_Mor
    Apr 23, 2014 at 22:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Regarding magic ring limits, I found this and think I would definitely apply it. It's good because if you're wearing 10 rings, you'll have to take at least 8 of them off and put them back on again to get the desired ring, so it's not like it's OP in my mind :) enworld.org/forum/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Jain_Mor
    Apr 23, 2014 at 22:22

The boring (and expensive) answer: the custom magic item rules allow for additional magical effects to added to an item. See if your DM is willing to allow you to drop in "shrink item" into that rope such that you can order it to coil around your finger and magic aura to make sure it's harder to detect (otherwise you'd just wear it as a belt.) I would assert that this comes under the heading of "multiple different abilities" as "coil on my finger" is different from the normal animate rope uses. The rope of climbing is normally 3000 gold. Adding shrink item to it will produce a net cost of: 5*3*1800+3000*1.5=31500, or entirely too much.

Unfortunately, as shrink item is more expensive than the rest of the animated rope, you may be better off with a rod of ropes (complete scoundrel) instead. What you lose in subtlety, you gain in having a zelda style grappling hook.

If we're allowing custom magic item rules, consider instead having a boring 100' silk-rope belt (everyone else does it that way) with a custom wondrous item of unseen servant and animate rope. The unseen servant (optimally, enchanted into a ornate texan belt buckle) can, autonomously (if slowly) carry the end of the rope places, and the animated rope can do the rest.

Consider instead an amber amulet of vermin (idea taken from this thread) that gives the wearer a cheap "get out of the way free" for a minute.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow really seems like this is difficult to achieve :/ If it helps, I'm actually the DM.. Would it be possible to have a ring that can temporarily turn other ropes into ropes of climbing? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jain_Mor
    Apr 23, 2014 at 13:26

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