Under the "Arcane Bond" class feature of the wizard it says the following:

Objects that are the subject of an arcane bond must fall into one of the following categories: amulet, ring, staff, wand, or weapon. If the object is an amulet or ring, it must be worn to have effect, while staves, wands, and weapons must be held in one hand.

From my reading of the class feature, I don't see any effective difference between the types of object, other than the fact that some of them need to be held in your hand. For example, if you want a particular magic ring and magic wand, it costs the same to create each with the item creation feat, and you can create and use both at the same cost, regardless if you make one out of your bonded object and one "from scratch".

Given this, it seems like the bonded object doesn't limit or expand your choice of items, and you get the same benefits no matter what you choose. Is there any other difference? Is there any reason not to choose an amulet or ring, so that you don't have to worry about what you're holding in your hands?


2 Answers 2


A rather large reason is this:

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). If the bonded object is a wand, it loses its wand abilities when its last charge is consumed, but it is not destroyed and it retains all of its bonded object properties and can be used to craft a new wand. The magic properties of a bonded object, including any magic abilities added to the object, only function for the wizard who owns it. If a bonded object's owner dies, or the item is replaced, the object reverts to being an ordinary masterwork item of the appropriate type.

Basically, if you know you want an awesome ring, but don't want to take forge ring as one of your feats, take a ring as a bonded object and you can add cheap-ish magical enhancements to it when you reach appropriate levels. Whereas taking a wand essentially gives you the craft wands feat, and when the charges are expended allow you to choose a new spell for the wand.

A bonded weapon also has another benefit, granting you a masterwork weapon at level 1 with no cost to you, giving you slightly more benefit at lower levels where you have fewer spells per day (masterwork light crossbow, you're pretty cool).

Staves are very similar to wands in that they give you the benefit of a feat you'd use very little without needing to spend a feat slot on it, though it definitely doesn't come into play until higher levels.

In short, it's the free crafting feats to use on your bonded object that should be the main determining factor in what your object is (unless crafting is disallowed in your game).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! I had been misreading that "as if he has the required feats"; I thought it said "if he has the required feats". What a difference a two-letter word makes! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 13, 2016 at 18:13

According to the pathfinder SRD -

If the object is a ring or amulet, it occupies the ring or neck slot accordingly.

So the reason to not take one of those would be to free up those slots. I would almost certainly not pick amulet since you only have one of those slots and you'd probably want it open for things you can't make.

That said, there's also this -

If the object of an arcane bond is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced after 1 week in a special ritual that costs 200 gp per wizard level ... A wizard can designate an existing magic item as his bonded item. This functions in the same way as replacing a lost or destroyed item except that the new magic item retains its abilities while gaining the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a bonded item

So assuming you're willing to destroy your current bonded item between adventures and pay a minimal fee, you can 'reset' your bonded item to a better one. It's your call whether or not you think you'd be willing to destroy rings to replace them with something a bit better. I guess it also depends on how generous your DM is about the idea of you 'losing' something.

I'm not 100% certain on this (maybe check with your DM) but a Cestus doesn't appear to occupy your hand or disallow use of magic gloves/wristguards so it would potentially be a bonded weapon that wouldn't take up a slot. A gauntlet might also work but I'm not sure how those interact w/ magic gloves and such (presumably they're okay since I've never heard of full plate preventing the use of magic gloves). This also lets you benefit from some of the defensive weapon enhancements that are available for example -

Defending to let you boost your AC by up to 5. Guardian for a boost to saving throws. Anchoring to turn your arm into an immovable rod as a swift action. The description implies it is meant to be used to trap a foe, but should be able to be triggered at any time. Finally, Dueling can be added for basically a permanent +4 on initiative rolls since your weapon is always out! Plus, it doesn't cost bonus! There's probably more but that's what I saw with a quick search of the SRD.


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