Magic Item Creation Cost makes no sense

So, I’m going to be playing a Wizard in a friend’s pathfinder game soon. I wanted to make a custom magic item, similar to the Efficient Quiver. At the time I had only skimmed the Efficient Quivers abilities and assumed it only worked with arrows and bows. So I looked to the custom magic item creation rules to determine the DC and gold price to make what is essentially a golf bag for my Metamagic Rods that carries a lot of them.

My assumption based on reading the rules; the DC is 5 + the Caster Level for the item (Which I assume is my character’s Caster Level, in this case 12) and thus the DC for this would be 17. Now we move on to the cost, as determined by the formulae found on the “Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values” as this new magic item is based on the Efficient Quiver, using the same spell (Secret Chest: Wizard/Sorc 5), and using the crafter’s caster level (12), as the effect I want is a continuous effect the cost formula is as follows: (Spell level × caster level × 2,000 gp squared)

Now I did the math, and If I’m following PEMDAS correctly then my math process goes as follows

5*12= 60

60*2000= 120,000

120,000 Squared is 14400000000

This item, which is near identical to the Efficient Quiver is 8000000 times the price of the item in question.

Am I doing the math wrong? Is the formula an error that got FAQ’d or Errata’d? Because then this object would be impossible for me to make ever. Please for the love of god, I feel like I’m missing something.

Does the ki cost of Way of the Four Elements monk spells scale for higher level spells?


As I mentioned in this question, I have recently started watching the Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series and am inspired to improve the otherwise underwhelming Way of the Four Elements monk archetype. To this end, in addition to the suggestions proposed in the other question, I have been expanding the list of Elemental Disciplines to include other spells that I think suits the themes of air bending, earth bending, etc. (especially the elemental spells included in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, originally from the Elemental Evil module).

For spells like erupting earth, flaming sphere, tidal wave, wind wall, etc – in other words, spells that are within the range of 1st-5th level spells – I can simply copy what has already been done for the existing official Elemental Disciplines with regards to discerning how much ki it should cost to cast these spells.

Excluding those that have their own rules rather than allowing the casting of spells (i.e. Fangs of the Fire Snake), the disciplines that cast spells all cast spells that are in the range of 1st-5th level spells, and all follow the formula of “ki points required = spell level + 1” (except for Rush of the Gale Spirits, which only costs 2 ki but lets you cast gust of wind, a 2nd level spell, but it’s a weak 2nd level spell, so that’s probably why it’s slightly “cheaper” than the other disciplines for casting 2nd level spells).


I think high level earth benders, fire benders, etc, should be able to do truly Avatar-level powerful bending once they reach tier 4. More specifically, I want to come up with some disciplines that add spells of 6th level+ that a 17th level Way of the Four Elements monk can take, but without this being broken. Spells I’m considering include:

  • bones of the earth (6th level spell)
  • earthquake (8th level spell)
  • fire storm (7th level spell)
  • investiture of X (6th level spells)
  • move earth (6th level spell)
  • tsunami (8th level spell)
  • wall of ice (6th level spell)
  • whirlwind (7th level spell)

Again, to reiterate, all of these disciplines would be available only to tier 4 monks, meaning they’d all have the (17th level required) prerequisite. Also, at time of writing, I am not currently considering including any 9th level spells such as meteor swarm, so if excluding 9th level spells helps in any way, that works for me.


If I were to include disciplines that allowed the casting of 6th level+ spells, following the formula I derived (so 6th level spells would cost 7 ki, 7th level spells would cost 8 ki, and 8th level spells would cost 9 ki), would this still be balanced? Would the ki cost need to be increased because of the fact that these are “higher level spells”?

Given that ki can be replenished on a short rest, would I also need to add additional restraints on these “higher level spells” such as only being able to cast them once per long rest (like how certain warlock’s Eldritch Invocations have that restriction, such as Sculptor of Flesh, even though it still uses a warlock spell slot), or would the ki cost be enough on its own?

By “higher level spells”, I’m referring to the fact that 6th-9th spell slots are fewer in number, as pointed out in Mindwin’s interesting (although off-topic) question. Given that apparently the designers though that higher level spells should be cast only sparingly compared to 1st-5th level spells, this is my reason for being wary of allowing my monks to cast such high level spells potentially multiple times a day due to ki replenishing on a short rest.

What ways are there to reduce the cost of the Animate Dead spell?

I am going to be a necromancer and not feeling like having to pay for my undead. The following are methods I know about.

  • Blood money spell – banned in current game
  • Cauldron of the dead magic item – its 30k (1200 HD of undead) and heavy, plus could be easily stolen or destroyed, also cant make until later in career
  • Mythic animate dead spell – requires mythic power but more important, have to gain the mythic spell
  • Archmage – Component Freedom (3rd tier)- only works for arcane animate dead
  • Hierophant – Symbol of the Holy (1st tier) – only works for divine animate dead
  • False Focus feat – only works for arcane animate dead

So of the six ways I know of, the preferred is banned in my game, one costs more than I would save, three are specific for arcane/divine (I’m a cleric/wizard so less attractive), and the last one requires a fair amount of investment.

Are there better/cheaper ways to cast animate dead than these? As I am both cleric/wizard, the best method would work for both classes.

How do I minimize the cost of some algorithm that performs some operation on a list?

I stumbled upon this problem whilst studying the complexity of a simple algorithm. I used set-theoretic notation, but all the $ S_i$ ‘s are lists (I couldn’t think of a better way to write the problem precisely). The “hint” is more of a conjecture which I can’t prove than a hint.

Let $ S_0 = \{s^0_1, …, s^0_n\}$ be a list containing $ n$ positive integers. Let $ k$ be the length of $ S_{i – 1}$ , and define $ S_1, …, S_{n – 1}$ recursively as follows: choose $ 1 \leq r, s \leq k, \quad r \neq s$ , and define \begin{equation*} S_i := (S_{i – 1} \setminus (\{s^{i – 1}_r\} \cup \{s^{i – 1}_s\})) \cup \{s^{i – 1}_r + s^{i – 1}_s\} \end{equation*} E. g. \begin{align*} S_0 &= \{2, 3, 5\} \ S_1 &= \{5, 5\} \ S_2 &= \{10\} \end{align*} Clearly, $ S_{n – 1}$ has a single element. Also, define $ W_i := s^{i – 1}_r + s^{i – 1}_s$ . Consider the quantity $ \sum_{i = 1}^{n – 1} W_i$ . In the previous example, this quantity can be $ 15$ or $ 18$ . How do you have to choose $ r$ and $ s$ in each step so that $ \sum_{i = 1}^{n – 1} W_i$ is minimal?

(Hint: Pick $ r, s$ such that $ s^{i – 1}_r = \min_{x \in S} x$ , and $ s^{i – 1}_s = \min_{y \in S \setminus \{x\}} y$ .)

How much should a “button of Cure Light Wounds” cost (should it be available at all?)

My fellow players would like to have a command-word or use-activated “button” of Cure Light Wounds at will, i.e. unlimited uses/day.

How much should this cost (if it should be available at all?)

Item cost estimation rules per DMG

The Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG) contains guidelines on the value of custom magical items. This includes guidance on the estimated price of spell effect items, like the Cape of the Mountebank (command activated Dimension Door 1/day) and use-activated/continuous effect items like the Lantern of Revealing (continuous Invisibility Purge.)

The general formula for the cost of a command-word/use activated spell-effect item appears to be the following five numbers, all multiplied together.

  1. Base price 1,800 GP for command-word activated items, or 2,000 GP for use-activated or continuous items.
  2. Spell level × Caster level
  3. Factor for base spell durationif a continuous effect item.

    If a continuous item has an effect based on a spell with a duration measured in rounds, multiply the cost by 4. If the duration of the spell is 1 minute/level, multiply the cost by 2, and if the duration is 10 minutes/level, multiply the cost by 1.5. If the spell has a 24-hour duration or greater, divide the cost in half.

  4. Body slot factor – ×1.00 for an item taking up a body slot, ×1.50 for an item taking up a “strange slot” (i.e. Boots of True Seeing – see Body Slot Affinities), ×2.00 for an item that doesn’t occupy a slot.
  5. Charges/uses per day – ×1.00 for unlimited uses per day, ×0.80 4 uses/day, ×0.60 3 uses/day, ×0.40 2 uses/day, ×0.20 1 use/day. Alternately, ×0.50 for an item with 50 charges.

Example: Ring of Friendship

Taking the example of the Ring of Friendship (10,800 GP, command-word activated Charm Animal (Clr/Drd 1st, CL3) at will), we have:

  1. 1,800 GP for command-word activated
  2. Spell level 1 × caster level 3
  3. Factor for base spell duration – N/A (not a continuous effect item)
  4. ×2.00 for Body slot factor – apparently ×2 because rings don’t have a body slot affinity
  5. ×1.00 for unlimited uses/day

Cost of Ring of Friendship 1,800 × 1 × 3 × 2 × 1 = 10,800 GP, which matches the 10,800 GP cost quoted in the SRD.

Extrapolating to a Ring of Cure Light Wounds

Let’s try and create a Ring of Cure Light Wounds, a command-word activated item which casts Cure Light Wounds (Cleric 1st, CL 1) unlimited/day.

  1. 1,800 GP for command-word activated
  2. Spell level 1 × caster level 1
  3. Factor for base spell duration – N/A (not a continuous effect item)
  4. ×2.00 for Body slot factor – apparently ×2 because rings don’t have a body slot affinity
  5. ×1.00 for unlimited uses/day

According to these factors the Ring of Cure Light Wounds should cost 3,600 GP.

However, everyone in my RPG group has a different opinion.

  • Alice thinks the above cost (3,600 GP) is correct.

  • Bob thinks that the Ring of Cure Light Wounds is ludicrously overpowered and shouldn’t exist. (It dispenses literally infinite healing out of combat – a major game balance issue.)

  • Charlie thinks that such an item is outside the rules given by DMG because the DMG gives rules for spell effect items based on spells with a duration, i.e. rounds/level, minutes/level, but gives no rules for spells with instantaneous duration (i.e. Cure Light Wounds.)

  • Dave agrees with Charlie that the rules don’t cover spell-effect items for instantaneous spells, but rather than disallowing them entirely, Dave thinks the “duration factor” should be ×4 (as if Cure Light Wounds had a duration of rounds – the most expensive option that DMG allows for.)

  • Erin thinks that the DMG guidelines are flexible and we should consider the cost of the Ring of Cure Light Wounds in context of other, existing magic items. For example, the Ring of Regeneration is 90,000 GP. The Ring of Cure Light Wounds is at least as powerful (if not more powerful!) so it should cost at least 90,000 GP.

Who, if anyone, is right? RAW preferred, otherwise RAI.

For context, this came up in the context of a dungeon crawl à la Tomb of Horrors: frequent combat, little chance to rest, and no prospect of resupply.

Is it “double-dipping” to give both an overal minus 50% for preparation required and 2 points cost per 1 point in slot?

B114 mentions “Preparation Required” as a limitation. One option that seems to fit my campaign design is:

1 hour [of preparation gives a] -50% [cost savings] 

GURPS Powers mentions that Modular Abilities can have various costs, if rearranging powers is costly, slow, and subject to disruption. What exactly do all of those three items mean? By “costly” we must mean that it costs some kind of resource, such as fatigue points, money, special equipment. By “slow” we get mixed up with the “preparation required” delay.

Page 63 says:

The GM may invent other forms. Set the per-slot cost to reflect the scope of  available traits: 4 points for a short list, 5 points for a lengthy catalog, 6  points for nearly anything, and 7 points for anything. Cost per point in  a slot should be 2 points if rearranging points is costly, slow, and  subject to external interference; 3 points if just two of those; 4 points  if only one of those; and 5 points if none of those. ... Many fictional users of Modular Abilities require supreme concentration  and effort to rearrange their abilities. Represent this using Costs  Fatigue, Requires (Attribute) Roll (p. 112), and Takes Extra Time. 

In my planned campaign, Takes Extra Time might not be appropriate, because a lot of the abilities in question are things like invisibility, that can be prepared long before combat start, and Takes Extra Time can only be used for a few special cases:

Takes Extra Time  You can only apply this limitation to abilities that require time to  activate and that work fast enough to be useful in an emergency  (e.g., combat). 

My first thought was to give Modular Abilities limitations including Unreliable, Preparation Required, and Costs Fatigue. I think these would be applied to the reconfiguration process. I imagine that these would justify making the abilities cost 2 points per 1 point of power in the slot. However, the “Preparation Required” gives a major cost savings for the overall cost of the power, and thus assigning a cost of 2 character points per 1 point in slot might be double-dipping.

Question: Does this count as “double-dipping”?

find subset C (of size of k) of given array with minimal COST

input : set A of n distinct numbers and number k<=n output : (cost of) subset C of A of size k with the minimum COST(C)=max a∈A min c∈C |a − c|

enter image description here

the solution must define a recursive function and dynamic programming algorithm depending on the recursive function .

we define that the distance for element a(∈A) to subset C to be min c∈C |a-c| which means that the distance from an element to subset equal to the distance between the element and the closest element in subset e.g. : C={2,7,9} , a=5

min c∈C |a-c| = 2

input : set A of n distinct numbers and number k<=n output : (cost of) subset C of A of size k with the minimum COST(C)=max a∈A min c∈C |a − c|

the solution must define a recursive function and dynamic programming algorithm depending on the recursive function .

we define that the distance for element a(∈A) to subset C to be min c∈C |a-c| which means that the distance from an element to subset equal to the distance between the element and the closest element in subset e.g. : C={2,7,9} , a=5

         min c∈C |a-c| = 2   

now example to illustrate the prblem let A={3,5,13,8} , K=2 (input) we consider all the subsets of A of size k: {3,5} , {3,13} , {3,8} , {5,13} , {5,8} , {13,8} for each subset we calculate the “distance” from each element to this subset and take the maximum

e.g. for subset {13,8} :

the distance between 3 and the subset is 5

the distance between 5 and the subset is 3

the distance between 8 and the subset is 0

the distance between 13 and the subset is 0

from all of this , we take the maximum which is 5 , we call COST and so on .. doing this for all the subsets and we want the subset with the minimum COST .(not the subset itself , it’s enough to return the cost for this subset)

my solution for the recursive function is :enter image description here

Quasimoral or Semimoral Power Modifiers with GURPS Powers – Can Cost Be Customized With Starting Disadvantages? [on hold]

I looked at the core GURPS rules, plus Powers and Supers. I think the costs of the power types can be customized in terms of the starting disadvantages. The starting point is page 26 of Powers, where the Divine Modifier gets a minus 10% cost savings for a ten-point starting disadvantage of moral responsibility. Further, on page 27 of Powers, the Moral Modifier gets a minus 20% cost savings because 5% is the possibility of being counteracted by an opposing moral force and 15% is the 15-point disadvantage that is expected.

I want to run a whimsical, freewheeling urban fantasy campaign where the good guys are the forces of spiritual Progress (including wizards, good fairies, friendly ghosts, and people who collect Lisa Frank paintings) and the bad guys are armies of spiritual Regress (including vampires, most werewolves, supervillains, demons, and people who talk in movie theaters).

GURPS Powers tells me that I can make a “moral” campaign, where Progress and Regress struggle against each other. This would have a -20% modifier to costs, and would impose a lot of excessively serious disciplines of faith.

Instead of a moral campaign with a minus 20% cost savings, I would like a quasimoral campaign with a minus 10% cost savings, and I think an opposition of powers (Progress versus Regress) and a 5-point moral disadvantage for all power users would justify this. Alternatively, a semimoral campaign might have a 15% cost savings, because of the opposition of powers and a 10-point mandatory disadvantage.

For that matter, I suppose that all the power modifiers could be customized in a parallel fashion. Page 28 explains a minus 20% cost savings for Nature and a minus 20% cost savings for Fickle Spirit powers. Assuming a quasimoral modifier gives a minus 10% savings, I think a quasimoral power modifier that depends on Fickle spirits and is only accessible in natural surroundings would have a 50% cost savings.

Am I reading these rules correctly?