RPG Design – Magic Item Monday: Gimlet of Irresistible Mental Penetration

Magic item by Carlos celurian JorreblancaGimlet of Irresistible Mental Penetration

Aura Strong Abjuration; CL 17

Slot – ; Price 40,000 gp Weight 1 lb

 This gimlet is made of iron and gold, fashioned with a snakelike visage. Mind-affecting spells or abilities cast by the wielder of the gimlet negate half the targets’ resistance bonuses to Will saves.  

Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, mind blank, antimagic fieldCost 20,000 gp

An ancient cult sought to gain control over the mind of the king and his nobles with their dark rites, but were foiled time and again by the mind shielding magic of the royal wizard. After much praying and sacrificing, the forces of darkness taught the head priest how to create an item that could pierce the veils of magic. However, it had taken so long that the king’s paladins finally found the den of iniquity and destroyed the cult, taking their magic items for the royal college. 


This item is very difficult to balance, because you don’t know how much resistance the target is going to have. It might be easier to just give the caster a bonus, but that just didn’t seem as fun. 


–Max Porter-Zasada


RPG Design – Magic Item Monday: Bracers of the Silent Stalker

magic_item_by_ianllanasBracers of the Silent Stalker

Aura Faint Transmutation; CL 3rd

Slot wrists; Price 2,000 gp Weight 1 lb

 These leather bracers are embossed with copper and animal designs. The wearer gains a +2 competence bonus to Stealth checks and a +2 competence bonus to initiative if she is allowed to act in a surprise round. 

Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, anticipate perilCost 1,000 gp

They say that deep in the darkest wood there lives a ranger gone mad. He stalks the silent trees, looking for civilized folk. When he finds someone, he demands they answer three riddles, all of which only a true woodsman  could answer. Those who answer incorrectly he hunts down mercilessly, firing arrows from the dark. To those who know the correct answer he gives a precious gift, a pair of bracers that grant a hunter’s skill.


I had to take a sick day Sunday, but we’re back with a magic item. I think these bracers would work as well on a  Pathfinder Diviner as on a ranger. Enjoy!

–Max Porter-Zasada

RPG Design – Magic Item Monday: Subtle Charm

Amulet of GreedAura Faint Transmutation; CL 5th

Slot Arm; Price 500 GP per charm

Each of the several kinds of subtle charms fits on a silver charm bracelet, lending its power to the wearer. No more than six charms may be worn on a single bracelet. Each charm’s power can be expended once per day, when making a Bluff check, under specific circumstances, for a +5 bonus.

Subtle Charm of Aggrandizement: This grinning face can be activated when making a Bluff check that makes false claims about the high importance or power of the wearer, such as great social stature, physical might, or great wealth.

Subtle Charm of Scorn: This gold disk with a suspicious-looking face molded into it can be activated when making a Bluff check to convince someone that another person cannot be trusted.

Subtle Charm of Nondescript: This tiny silver hood can be activated when making a Bluff check to convince someone that the wearer is of no consequence, not worth the trouble to notice.

Subtle Charm of Belonging: This small pearl carved in the shape of a shield or coat-of-arms can be activated when making a Bluff check to convince someone that the wearer belongs to a particular social group, such as a club, gang, order, or neighborhood.

Construction Requirements glibness; Cost 250 GP per charm

Adries the master thief was a smuggler who became famous for the enormous quantity of goods he got across enemy lines repeatedly throughout the old war. His face was never well-known, but as the enemy became aware of his constant shenanigans Adries had to come up with ever-changing tricks to save his countrymen and collect his massive rewards. An accomplished spellcaster as well as a thief, he developed the subtle charms to ensure that he always had a new trick (literally) up his sleeve. 


I prefer items that strongly suggest roleplaying ideas or new adventures while also bringing a gold-efficient option to the table. Every time  a player uses this item they should feel rewarded for their investment, even if the Bluff check fails.

Something about February inspires me to create new RPG elements again. Stay tuned as we make some changes to the website!

–Max Porter-Zasada

Magic Item Monday: Bloodthirsting | Pathfinder RPG Design


Aura Moderate necromancy; CL 8th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Price +1 bonus


When it strikes a creature with blood, a bloodthirsting weapon remains embedded, inflicting a -1 on attack rolls and dealing bleed damage each round equal to the weapon’s damage die. Do not add any additional bonuses to this bleed damage. A creature with a free hand may remove a bloodthirsting weapon as a standard action. A single creature cannot have more than one bloodthirsting weapon embedded at one time unless each weapon has a damage die of 1d4 or smaller. This special quality cannot be added to two-handed weapons.



There’s something terrifying and awesome about the idea of embedding weapons in foes. Especially in cinematic dragon battles or similar things. Give a weapon with this quality to a character to make them a brutal wonder to behold!

I’m not sure that my balancing rule at the end there is as clean and working as it could be. Thoughts?

-Max Porter-Zasada

Magic Item Monday: Expanding Shield

Expanding Shield

Slot shield; Price 3,155 gp Weight 5 lbs.


This +1 buckler is made of heavy steel. It has magically hidden plates that expand or shrink at a command word (a free action). You can cause the shield to become a light steel shield or a heavy steel shield on command, or shrink back to a buckler.

Construction Requirements

Craft Magic Arms and Armor, shrink item. Cost 1577 gp and 5 sp


I’m sure someone has come up with this before, but I wanted to do my own version. Enjoy the flexibility this item allows!

-Max Porter-Zasada

Magic Item Monday: Reaver’s Helm

Reaver’s Helm

Aura faint divination; CL 4th

Slot head; Price 5,200 gp; Weight 3 lbs.

This weapon makes your blade sing on the wind as you fight. When you make a single attack in a round, you deal a bonus 1d6 damage.

Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item; Cost 2,600 gp



Simple, but instant awesomeness. This magic item was developed by militant pirates such as privateers, who favored a mobile fighting style and wanted to cut down enemies with a single blow.

-Max Porter-Zasada

Dungeon Heart

Dungeon Heart

Aura Medium Divination; CL 11th

Slot –Price 108,500 gp


Carved with twisting lines and meandering runes, this gleaming crystal grants its user a constant know direction effect and a +4 competence bonus on Knowledge (dungeoneering) checks.

In addition, once per week the user can activate the dungeon heart as a standard action to cast find the path.


Requirements Craft Wondrous Item,  find the path, know direction. Cost 54,250 gp


I believe Pathfinder has mostly done away with once-per-week item abilities, but I happen to like them; it can really make players think. This does, however, make the item extraordinarily difficult to price correctly.

I think this would be a very cool item to award players who complete a famous dungeon crawl in your campaign world. It is a fantastic symbol of having an uncanny knack for finding your way to trouble.


-Max Porter Zasada