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In an upcoming mythic campaign one of my players asked whether he can craft/purchase a Cloak of Unearthly Grace, as the Nymph's supernatural ability:

Unearthly Grace (Su) A nymph adds her Charisma modifier as a racial bonus on all her saving throws, and as a deflection bonus to her Armor Class.

According to the guidlines for pricing custom magic items, I found that the cloak should be priced at 228,000 gold pieces. In order to simulate the Cha to save I have used continuous Bestow Grace, and for AC, Nereid's Grace:

  • Nereid's Grace:
    Spell level 1, CL 18 (for maximum effect), duration 1round/level.
    Cost = 1 × 18 × 2,000 × 4 = 144,000

  • Bestow Grace:
    Spell level 2, min CL 7, duration 1min/level.
    Cost = 2 × 7 × 2,000 × 2(for duration) = 56,000

  • Two abilities on one item = cost of the most expensive component + 1.5 cost of the other component

  • Total cost for the cloak = 144,000 + 56,000 × 1.5 = 228,000 gold pieces.

I find the cost to be quite high for what it does, albeit fair. I thought about lifting the max Cha bonus to AC from the Nereid's Grace component so the player doesn't feel as if I shot down his idea.

For comparison: Cloak of Resistance 5 + Ring of Protection 5 = 25,000 + 50,000 = 75,000.

Campaign context: the campaign is going to be mythic adventures, very high powered. Also, I believe at one point all of the PCs will have at least 20 Charisma, with one of them optimizing Charisma to the roof (He is going to be playing an Oracle).

My question is as follows:
Is the price I came up with fair? Will it be fair if I lift the maximum bonus to AC from charisma?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have a ballpark estimate for how high their Charisma will end up? Will they be able to exceed 20 Charisma before the end of the campaign? \$\endgroup\$ – DuckTapeAl Oct 3 '16 at 0:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is going to be a high intrigue campaign, with emphasis on social skills as well as fighting. Furthermore, the campaign will be 1-20 (levels), 1-10 (mythic tiers). From experience with these players, one of them will be full on Cha, the other will probably mix it up with Int for skill-monkeying. The last one... Well, she always plays something different so I don't know. In regards to your question, it is safe to say they will all have, at one point, more than 20 Cha, with at least one of them having 30 Cha or more. \$\endgroup\$ – Ligwin Oct 3 '16 at 7:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Please don't update questions to add ideas or information that were provided by answers. It makes the answers obsolete and discourages people from answering; if there are errors or misconceptions in a question, let the answers do their job of addressing them. I've rolled the question back. If in the end you have answers that leave you with new questions, wait some time (to be sure the answering here is mostly done) and then ask those new questions as new question posts. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 3 '16 at 14:58
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First, you have to realize that it is a powerful item. A very powerful one. Making it available in random shops would make a big change in the universe. An item like that should not be mass-produced or you will have to explain why each king don't wear one.

Now let's talk about the pricing.

You are looking for continuous spell effects but you should look for direct bonuses instead. I agree "add your charisma to your AC" is not the same as "get an AC bonus", but it is similar enough to take that as a basic enhancement, and not a spell effect.

One important thing to consider is the type of bonus the cape gives. If you want to keep the item balanced it should give a resistance bonus (not like Nereid's grace which gives a racial bonus nor Bestow grace which gives a sacred one), or be more expensive if it is not the case. this guide recommends to double the price.

Let's say the item works as follows:

Add a resistance bonus to your saves and a deflection bonus to your AC equal to your Charisma modifier

For the PC with 20 in Charisma:

  • It takes his cape slot (which is usually taken by a +5 cape in all saves which worth 25Kgp)
  • It gives him a bonus +5 deflection in AC, as a Ring of Protection +5 (50Kgp), but here it doesn't take a ring slot. It's a stacking of different abilities, which means the price of one of them gets a +50% increase in price.

Finally you can come up with a price of (50Kgp + 1.5*25Kgp) = 87 500 gp.

For the PC with 30 in Charisma:

  • +10 to saves costs 100Kgp
  • +10 deflection costs 200Kgp (alternatively if you make AC go to +6 max it's 72Kgp)

So finally it would cost 350Kgp (or 208Kgp if only +6 in AC).

As a final price for the whole item, I would suggest to make a 30% reduction to the 350Kgp price, as the "Item Requires Specific Class or Alignment to Use" condition (here it requires an ability score to be useful, that is not exactly the same, but whatever), for a total of 245Kgp (145 600gp with the +6 max to AC)

Yes, it seems a lot, but it is powerful !

If you want it to be accessible earlier, you can use a scaling item, which starts locked at a small bonus and can unlock potency as the campaign goes on. It would start at (2000+1.5*1000)*0.7 = 2450gp for an item that make you add max 1 from your Charisma to you AC and saves.

You can make it upgradable as you like (by doing specific tasks, rituals, etc) up to whatever you want. Be careful not to make it possible too cheaply and too early or you will come up with an oracle who have so much AC dragons miss him and so much saves he is de facto immune to poison even if vigor is his weak save and he dumped his Constitution.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm... I wasn't aware of scalable items before! This opens a completely new path to explore. \$\endgroup\$ – Ligwin Oct 3 '16 at 18:53
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The price could be higher!

A custom magic item like this cloak of unearthly grace that grants a relatively unique but appropriately themed power probably shouldn't have two different caster levels, even if it has two distinct effects. This means that the nereid's grace effect is accurate at 144,000 gp but that the bestow grace effect could be priced as if it, too, were an 18th-level effect, making it also 144,000 gp! However, since this cloak grants the exact effects of the nymph's supernatural ability unearthly grace, this GM wouldn't worry about multiplying by ×1.5 the cost of either effect. Really, 288,000 gp is sufficiently ridiculous, more expensive than the mirror of life trapping, a mithral golem, the prismatic force field, the staff of the hierophant, or… um… the golden tub of youth, I guess?

…But maybe just say No

The saving throws of the typical nymph are really, really good; this character's saving throws will be outrageous.

Combined with the other expected bonuses to saving throws, a creature willing to pay for this item (like one with a high enough Charisma to make the cloak matter) probably won't ever fail a saving throw again. (And, honestly, that's not as fun as it sounds.) That's because this much of a racial bonus on saving throws is extremely hard to come by. And, at really high levels, because the item grants a saving throw bonus that's difficult to acquire, the item becomes very nearly an existence tax. (In other words, eventually, everyone'll have a Charisma +6 item therefore probably at least Charisma 14, and at level 30+ another +2 bonus to saving throws is a reasonable thing on which to spend nearly 300,000 gp.)

…Or say Yes, but

The above assumes that such a cloak of unearthly grace functions identically to the nymph's supernatural ability unearthly grace. If such a cloak instead merely grants an unarmored wearer a +6 deflection bonus to AC and CMD and any wearer a sacred bonus equal to the wearer's Charisma modifier on saving throws like the spells needed to create it, I'd ballpark the item at something like 200,000 gp. (That high of a constant sacred bonus to saving throws is still really hard to come by, but the deflection bonus will likely only be really valuable to sorcerers and the like.)

Alternatively, a cloak of unearthly grace with similar construction prerequisites that allows the wearer 1/day to take a swift action to gain for 1 min. (or maybe even less) an effect identical to the the nymph's special ability unearthly grace is probably reasonably priced at 100,000 gp.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I have missed the fact that Bestow Grace should also be CL 18, so many thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – Ligwin Oct 3 '16 at 14:39

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