I recently had cause to look up what school of magic the enhancement of an weapon/shield/armor falls under for Arcane Sight and Mythic Anti-Magic Field, but I can't find anything.

The closest I can find is similar spells:

  • The spell Magic Weapon is Transmutation.
  • The spell Magic Vestment is Transmutation.
  • The spell Mage Armor is Conjuration.
  • The spell Shield is Abjuration.

So by looking at these spells it seems like the basic +X stuff you craft with the Craft Magical Arms and Armor feat should all be pure Transmutation. (I am not counting weapon properties which are based on spells and stuff, just the enhancement bonus).

Is this correct, or is there an authoritative statement or list that I've missed?

Which school of magic do magical weapons and armor auras radiate?” is the same but for D&D 3.5e.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Reminder: comments are for clarifying content, not posting small or incomplete answers. Please only use answer posts to submit answers. Prior comments containing answers have been removed. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 17, 2016 at 20:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ The other question you linked has answers for both 3.5e and Pathfinder \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Oct 17, 2016 at 23:31

2 Answers 2


It's in the core rulebook, page 458 as of the 6th printing, and also in the SRD.

Unless otherwise specified by the spells used to create the item, all magic weapons radiate an evocation aura, while magic armors and shields radiate an abjuration aura.

When detect magic identifies a magic item's school of magic, this information refers to the school of the spell placed within the potion, scroll, or wand, or the prerequisite given for the item. The description of each item provides its aura strength and the school to which it belongs.

If more than one spell is given as a prerequisite, use the highest-level spell. If no spells are included in the prerequisites, use the following default guidelines:

Item Nature                                 School

Armor and protection items:                 Abjuration
Weapons or offensive items:                 Evocation
Bonus to ability score, skill check, etc:   Transmutation

Magic weapons and armors have no spell requirement, just a caster level requirement of 3 times the enhancement bonus, so they fall under the default guidelines.

Creating magic armor has a special prerequisite: The creator's caster level must be at least three times the enhancement bonus of the armor. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met.

So, unless the magic weapon/armor has a special ability, just use the default guidelines. Otherwise, you must use the one with the highest caster level for the item.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I had not found that table and it should have been a place I looked \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Oct 18, 2016 at 5:41

The spells Mage Armor and Shield are not relevant to this question. Yes, you could create armor with a constant Mage Armor effect, but that is a separate issue from creating armor with an Enhancement Bonus. (I say this because if you could craft armor with a continuous Mage Armor effect, it would be at a constant +4 to armor class)

The relevant quote is as follows:

If spells are involved in the prerequisites for making the armor, the creator must have prepared the spells to be cast (or must know the spells, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) and must provide any material components or focuses the spells require. The act of working on the armor triggers the prepared spells, making them unavailable for casting during each day of the armor's creation. (That is, those spell slots are expended from the caster's currently prepared spells, just as if they had been cast.)

Specific spells are only applicable for armor with special abilities--regular magic armor only requires the time, material costs, and the prerequisites:

  • Craft Magic Arms and Armor Feat
  • Spellcraft or Craft (armor) skill

This is referenced from the D20 Pathfinder SRD: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items#TOC-Creating-Magic-Armor

As for what school of magic is detected with a Detect Magic and a successful Spellcheck roll, that varies by item. The Pathfinder SRD says that Armor radiates Abjuration magic, and weapons radiate Evocation magic. (Citation)


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