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D&D 3E
Question about magic items 
19th-Nov-2007 07:47 pm
Vetinari
I'm running a one-shot campaign on New Years, and I have a question about an item that one of my players wants to have. (He's a known powergamer, so I want to think very carefully before I let him have it.)

Basically, he wants a ring that will cast the spell Shield. (As opposed to the Ring of Force Shield.) Here's the full text of his request:

Last, as a simple matter of convenience, I would like
to create a unique magic item -- a Ring of Shield, as
the spell cast by a 1st-level caster. This would
require a cost of spell level (1) times caster level
(1) x 2000 gp, doubled because the duration of the
Shield spell is 1 min/level. It would be a standard
action to activate, just like casting the spell, but
would save me from having to use the Divine Magician
alternate Cleric to have access to that spell, which
would improve my abilities as Party Healing Bitch, as
I would then be able to access the Healing Domain.


Is there anything here I should be wary of? I'm assuming he means 1/day "Shield" effect.
Comments 
20th-Nov-2007 01:10 am (UTC)
Yes, you should be wary. He's asking for a Ring of Continuous Shield, for 4000gp

Continuous.

So this ring would grant him a continual +4 Shield Bonus to AC, which also works against incorporeal attacks (not to mention that it negates magic missile).

Let's compare.
1) A Ring of Protection +4 grants a +4 deflection bonus to AC. It costs 32,000gp.
2) A +1 Animated Heavy Shield grants a +3 Shield bonus to AC without using a hand. It costs 9,000gp (a +2 shield would grant a +4 bonus and cost 16,000gp).
3) The above-mentioned Ring of Force Shield grants only a +2 Shield bonus to AC, and still costs 8,500gp.

In short, 4000gp is way to small a cost for that item. I would tell him no--a Ring of Protection will grant a similar effect and is correctly priced. However, a ring that could cast Shield on the wearer once per day (lasting for 1 minute) should be alright for 2000gp.

You might also tell him to just get a wand with a higher caster level or extended and use that.
20th-Nov-2007 01:12 am (UTC)
Actually, that could be wrong. Maybe he does only want it to work once per day for a minute. In which case yeah, that should be fine. But you might want to double check with him.
20th-Nov-2007 01:32 am (UTC)
That's true, 1 min/level means 1 minute (or at most 3 minutes if you consider that Craft Wondrous Item requires 3rd level.

Clerics can't use wizard wands, though, is the problem.

The trick is, most encounters last less than a minute anyway...although with a one-shot and a very specific purpose, the party is likely to do >1 encounter a day anyway. So maybe it's okay.

Thanks for the input!
20th-Nov-2007 01:58 am (UTC)
Yeah, so he spends 4k to get +4AC for one encounter per day. Compare this to buying a Ring of Protection +1 and an Amulet of Natural Armor +1 for 4000k to get +2AC during all encounters. It seems like a fair trade-off.

Also, remember that the bonus from the Shield spell should not stack with an actual shield if he has one.

Anyway, sounds like you have it under control. Good gaming :)
20th-Nov-2007 05:47 pm (UTC)
Just as a note, a Ring is not a wondrous item. It's a ring, and requires "Forge Ring," which requires one to be a 12th level caster.

Ergo, duration would theoretically be up to 12 minutes. Double that, if the wizard who made the ring was an Argent Savant.

Beware of Geeks seeking gifts, my friend.
20th-Nov-2007 01:29 am (UTC)
Sounds like he doesn't have access to the Shield spell, so how would he create this device?

Otherwise, if it's x uses per day, or has a limited number of charges, it would seem okay.
20th-Nov-2007 01:44 am (UTC)
He would buy it from a magic item shop, presumably. (It is a high-magic world.)
20th-Nov-2007 02:41 am (UTC)
Uh. Just gonna point out that if he's asking for a Ring it requires the Forge Ring feat, which in turn requires a caster level of 12. The correct formula for this would be:

Spell level (1) x Caster level (12) x 2000gp x 2 = 48,000 gp for a Ring that will generate a Shield either continuously or through use activation.

If it were given charges per day, it would cost less.

1/day- 9,600gp
2/day- 19,200
3/day- 28,800

etc.

Personally, I'd smack him for asking for it for 2k.
20th-Nov-2007 12:01 pm (UTC)
While the caster needs to be level 12 for Forge Ring, you can charge it with a spell of lower level. A 1st or 2nd level caster level is more than sufficient to cover any typical combat.

And yeah, I'm pretty sure the "x2000gp" is for a continuous effect, but that's just another example of why the pricing guidelines are just that: Guidelines.

I'd definitely make it charge-based so that he can't just activate the ring every two minutes. It doesn't really matter *how many* charges it gets, so long as it has some. 2000/charge seems reasonable to me -- it's much more cost-effective than a regular Ring of Protection (or Force), but wastes a standard action at the start of each combat.
20th-Nov-2007 03:17 pm (UTC)
Actually, the official rings pricelist starts with rings costing 2000 gp. A ring of Force Shield costs 8500 gp. From what I see, 4000 gp for a ring that has a similar, yet weaker effect, is not that fat-fetched.

Still, before allowing this magic item in your campaign, you should consider one thing. "If one character can buy it, everyone can buy it." And at the same price, of course. This means, another PCs might discover they want to buy one, too. And why not some NPCs, too.
21st-Nov-2007 01:54 am (UTC)
An soon every goblin has one. Hmmm goblins with shield spell- that would be great
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