One of my players has recently obtained the Craft Wondrous Item feat. In an attempt to prepare for what he may build I want to know the specific limits of Wondrous Items.

I know that someone can create an item for which they do not meet the prerequisites by adding +5 to the spellcraft DC, and that assistance is a thing.

Can someone use meta-magic when crafting a non-specific wondrous item?

Example: Amulet of Empowered Fire-Ball.

If so, can they use meta-magic feats they do not know, substituting for +5 DC?

Can the Spell Level exceed 9 for these items, as long as they add +5 for not meeting the CL requirements, and make the higher check?

Example: Amulet of Maximized Empowered Still Silent Disintigrate.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Remember that it is +5 DC per requirement not met, not a flat increase of 5 for ignoring requirements. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris D
    Sep 30, 2015 at 18:15

3 Answers 3


Metamagic feats can be used when creating magic items

Magic Item Creation says, in part, that

While item creation costs are handled in detail below, note that normally the two primary factors are the caster level of the creator and the level of the spell or spells put into the item. A creator can create an item at a lower caster level than her own, but never lower than the minimum level needed to cast the needed spell. Using metamagic feats, a caster can place spells in items at a higher level than normal.

Emphasis mine. Thus, for example, with the GM's permission a character can create an amulet of empowered fireball.

The GM determines a custom item's price and requirements

Magic Item Gold Piece Values says, in part, that

The correct way to price an item is by comparing its abilities to similar items..., and only if there are no similar items should you use the pricing formulas to determine an approximate price for the item. If you discover a loophole that allows an item to have an ability for a much lower price than is given for a comparable item, the GM should require using the price of the item, as that is the standard cost for such an effect. Most of these loopholes stem from trying to get unlimited uses per day of a spell effect from the "command word" or "use-activated or continuous" lines of Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values.

Emphasis mine. Further, since any new magic item must meet with GM approval, the GM also determines the item's construction requirements, which could certainly include, for example, the feat Empower Spell for an amulet of empowered fireball. Note, however, that, instead of as a requirement the spell empowered fireball, the requirement would more likely be, separately, the metamagic feat Empower Spell and the spell fireball (cf. incense of meditation, book of extended summoning, robe of gates). Further, the GM could add as a requirement a minimum caster level (in this case, perhaps, 9th or 10th) to represent a caster's ability to prepare such a spell. (A magic item's caster level is the usual level at which it's created rather than a construction requirement, construction requirements being listed separately. For an example see the Construction Requirements and, on the same page, a FAQ here.)

This means such requirements can be waived by increasing the Spellcraft skill check necessary to create the item by +5 each.

(In the example of an amulet of empowered maximized disintegrate, the effect generated would usually occupy a typically impossible 11th-level spell slot. Luckily, because of the way requirements usually work, a character typically only needs to be able to cast the spell disintegrate and only needs to possess the feats Empower Spell and Maximize Spell to create the item, not actually be able to cast an empowered maximized disintegrate spell. It's possible that the metamagic feats Silent Spell and Still Spell wouldn't do such an item any good, but the GM may rule that the combination allows the item to be used as a purely mental action, so that, for example, the amulet could be employed by a paralyzed wearer.)


Yes, metamagic can be used to craft an appropriate magic item. The Magic Item Creation rules say

Using metamagic feats, a caster can place spells in items at a higher level than normal.

Note that it specifies metamagic feats, plural. This implies that this clause is not just referencing Heighten spell, but any metamagic feat.

Normally this ruling applies to spell trigger and spell completion items, like potions, scrolls, wands, and staves. Some staves even have metamagic versions of spells in them, like the Staff of Power, as more evidence that metamagic items are allowed. However, when designing any unique wondrous item it is up to the GM whether it is allowed, so an empowered Necklace of Fireballs is your call.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Not that this answer is lacking in any way (already upvoted), but linking to one of the staves that has a metamagic’d spell incorporated would be a nice example. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Sep 30, 2015 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ I added a classic example. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris D
    Sep 30, 2015 at 18:44

You could attach as much meta magic as you wanted but your item price would increase exponentially because the base price calculation exists for the level of the spell in question so creating an empowered, maximized fireball amulet would calculate as being an 11th level spell...which would tend to vastly increase the cost of the item in general.

Alternatively you could use the rules for creating an item with multiple powers and add each metamagic as a spell of it's level modification (This will generally make a Silent, Still, Maximized, Empowered, Quickened Fireball fairly cost prohibitive).

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This answer seems to be assuming several things the question is asking about. This would be better if you gave rules support (or specific game experience, I suppose; there's no rules-as-written on here) for those assumptions. It also doesn't address the question of using metamagic from missing feats \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Mar 23, 2016 at 2:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie: I was perhaps a bit unclear. Writing down houserules along with the experience using them would be fine; accidentally giving houserules while under the impression that they were the actual rules would not. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Mar 23, 2016 at 2:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TuggyNE Ah! Yes, that sounds accurate and reasonable. :) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 23, 2016 at 2:53

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