Moderate Items

“Moderate item” is a catch-all term for single-function items that do not directly duplicate spell effects, like a torch that never goes out, food that never goes bad, a bridle that allows a horse to run for days, and the like. They do not require alchemical or magical training to create; instead, they are crafted by incorporating one or more key ingredients (creature body parts, potent herbal extracts, rare minerals, or other Curiosities) into a normal item crafted by a character trained in Craft and possessing an appropriate proficiency.

Creating Moderate Items

To create a moderate item, first choose the desired effect. Almost any sort of moderate item can be crafted, with the following restrictions:

  • Single function. No moderate item can have multiple powers; a sword could not be made flaming and goblin-bane, for instance, nor could an amulet be made that both protects against disease and allows breathing under water.
  • No ability score bonuses. Items like a cloak of Charisma +4 that simply grant an ability score bonus cannot be crafted.
  • No restricted usage. Moderate items must function equally for all creatures who might use them; they cannot enhance specific class features, require or enhance any specific skill or feat, or the like.

The creator of a moderate item must have at least Basic proficiency in a related crafting proficiency (an appropriate Armor proficiency for a vestment or accessory [Cloth for normal clothing or robes], an appropriate Weapon proficiency for an implement [Mauls for a scepter, rod, staff, or similar], or Priest or Scribe for a trinket or emplacement) and Basic Craftsman proficiency. To determine the time required to craft the item, use the crafting progress rules, using a Craft skill of the creator’s choice relevant to the item.

Pricing Moderate Items

After choosing the item’s effect, determine its price. For items that generally duplicate the functionality of an existing alchemical or magical item, simply use that price, converting to silver pieces and accounting for iron content as normal; this may require some calculation, such as subtracting the cost of a +1 sword from that of a +1 flaming sword to get the price of a flaming sword, or estimating the rough prices of the different powers of a multi-function rod. For items that do not directly resemble an existing item, use the following pricing guidelines:

Benefit Type Example Price
Mostly flavor Everclean cloth, everlit torch 150 sp
Limited, but always useful Damage bonus with certain attacks, a few rerolls per day 900 sp
Situationally very useful One-time magical effect, benefits against certain creatures 5,400 sp
Plot-altering Instant death effect, life-saving ability 32,400 sp
Setting-altering Weather control, instant death effects 194,400 sp

Once a price has been determined, select the Curiosities that will be used in crafting the item. A Curiosity that is particularly appropriate for use in crafting a given item counts as double its actual value; for instance, woolly mammoth bones can be used to craft items relating to death, visions, or interacting with spirits, so an amulet of ancestral communion (relates to interacting with spirits) that costs 1,000 sp could be crafted with 500 sp worth of woolly mammoth bones; Curiosities with opposite affinities cannot be used at all, so an amulet of vitality (opposed to death) could not use woolly mammoth bones in its construction.

All moderate items require a Curiosity to craft, but more experienced crafters can combine multiple materials together to tease out greater power than the sum of their parts. Each additional proficiency rank in either proficiency allows the use of one additional Curiosity, so Expert/Basic allows 2 materials, Expert/Expert allows 3, Master/Expert allows 4, and Master/Master allows 5; an Heir of Volundr increases his effective proficiencies by one level, so he could use 6 Curiosities with Master-Plus/Master or 7 with Master-Plus/Master-Plus. If the curiosities are all associated with the purpose of the item, their multipliers are cumulative; this means that one relevant Curiosity counts for double, two relevant Curiosities each count for quadruple, three relevant Curiosities each count for octuple, and so forth.

To determine the final crafting cost of the item, divide the price by the number of curiosities being used (including their multipliers) plus one; one of those portions must be paid from Coins, representing rare gems, gold and silver filigree, and the like, and the rest may be paid with equal quantities of all the Curiosities involved.

For example, Sven the Smith wishes to craft a throne that will render an entire island immune to inclement weather, an effect that the DM judges is worth 200,000 sp due to its power and setting-altering potential. He has Expert Craftsman and Expert Priest (needed for an emplacement), allowing the use of three Curiosity materials, and has at his disposal forest guardian antlers (associated with protection), scales of a smoldering linnorm (associated with water), and sjoorm teeth (associated with strength and senses). The antlers and scales are associated with the item’s purpose and so count double individually and quadruple when used together, while the scales count for their normal value. He thus divides up the price by 4 (antlers) + 4 (scales) + 1 (teeth) + 1 (coins) to get 20,000 sp, and so must pay 20,000 sp in Coins, and 20,000 each in antlers, scales, and teeth, for a final cost of 80,000 sp.

If he had a third relevant material, such as the hair of a sea hag (associated with the weather), and replaced the sjoorm teeth with that material, he would divide the price by 8 (antlers) + 8 (scales) + 8 (hair) + 1 (coins) to get 8,000 sp and must pay that much in Coins, antlers, scales, and hair, for a final cost of 32,000 sp. Finally, Volundson the Smith (with two Master proficiencies and the Heir of Volundr prestige class) could use eight relevant Curiosities to pay 200,000 / (256+256+256+256+256+256+256+256+1) = 98 sp worth of each material and half that of Coins, for a final cost of 833 sp.

Moderate Items

Saga of the Northlands PsychicTheurge