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

RPG design – Weapon Wednesday: Gemdrain Blade

Gemdrain Blade

Aura strong transmutation; CL 17th; Slot none;
Price 60,500 gp; Weight 4 lbs

This beautifully crafted +1 longsword drains magic power from mages that it strikes. Whenever you score a hit on a spellcaster with this weapon, they must instantly lose a spell slot of a level equal to your damage divided by 5 (if they prepare spells, they choose which prepared spell or empty spell slot is lost). For the next minute, you gain one free casting of any spell you know or have prepared of equivalent level or lower. You may only gain a free casting once per day, although you can drain any number of spell levels.

Craft Magic Arms and Armor, creator must be able to cast 9th-level spells; Cost 30,250 gp

The secrets of this weapon are ancient and well-hidden by the craftsmen of the deepest forges. The gemdrain blade was developed by a fallen paladin seeking vengeance against a powerful evil wizard. The paladin fought valiantly and his weapon served him well, but the vile wizard prevailed and stole the design of the weapon for his own gains. 


A great weapon for a magus or eldritch knight: anyone who wants to combine spell-slinging with sword-swinging!

– Max Porter Zasada

RPG Design – Magic Item Monday: Vest of the Vineswimmer

Vest of the Vineswimmer

Aura medium something; CL something
Slot: something; Price number; Weight 2 lbs

While wearing this green linen vest embroidered with vine motifs, you gain the benefits of woodland stride as a Druid. When in an area of magical plants that would normally impede movement (such as entangle or wall of thorns), you gain a 40-ft. enhancement bonus to your speed instead of feeling the effects of the spell so long as you stay within the area of magical plants.


It drives me a little bit bonkers that there are so many items for spellcasters that enable you to do what you already do, just more of it or in different places: “You can cast spells…more!” or “You can wear armor…wildshaped!”.

I want more magic items that combine with your spells to make more powerful or interesting effects.

Max Porter-Zasada

Magic Item Monday: Crown of the Long-Dead King

Crown of the Long-Dead King – Major Artifact

Aura strong necromancy; CL 20th
Slot head; Weight 4 lbs.


Long ago, the tales say, there lived a nameless king. His people knew not what to call him, nor what to make of his strange and silent guardians that marched out from his vast stone fortress. One day, however, the king and all his armies disappeared–some say their life force was sucked away and bound within the nameless king’s crown. Legends hold that should someone find and don the crown, his visage will peel away and he shall appear as the king in his last moments. Legends go on to say that the bearer of the crown will gain a +6 enhancement bonus to Charisma,  +2 to the DC of any necromancy spell he casts, and the ability to control an additional 10 HD of undead through spells. Some even whisper that those with the ability to command undead as the feat can do so as a swift action while wearing the crown–but they are obviously madmen.


The Crown of the Long-Dead King can only be destroyed by a Paladin of at least 10th level who has never killed a living being.

-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