Magic Items

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Magical Books

interieur Burg Kreuzenstein, Bibliothek, signiert Franz Poledne, Aquarell auf Papier, 24 x 30 cm Date by 1932 Author Franz Poledne (1873-1932)

interieur Burg Kreuzenstein, Bibliothek, signiert Franz Poledne, Aquarell auf Papier, 24 x 30 cm Date by 1932 Author Franz Poledne (1873-1932)

Ink & Quill
Author Thomas Knauss
Series Dragonwing Games/Bastion Press
Publisher DWBP
Publish date 2002
Pages 65
ISBN none
OGL Section 15 i-q
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Unlike their non-magical counterparts, magical books automatically bestow their benefits upon their readers, obviously increasing their value as well as their scarcity in many instances. Furthermore, authoring magical books remains the restricted domain of spellcasters with the Craft Wondrous Item feat. Despite the steep costs, magical books of all varieties prove a viable and often preferable alternative to non-magical manuals because of their universality, much faster production time and cheaper experience point cost. Despite their apparent synonymous nature, the abilities conferred by the four categories of magical written works differentiate them from each other.


Books provide a myriad of magical abilities, however they do not increase ability scores, AC, attack rolls, saving throws and skill checks. Books are a catchall category for any written work that does not qualify as a libram, manual or tome. The term, book, describes this category as well as all magical written works.


Usable by only spellcasters, librams enable the reader to create magical constructs. They provide all of the necessary instructions as well as the prerequisite spells. Of course, the libram’s user must purchase the composite materials to use the libram.


Magical manuals, like their non-magical counterparts, also function as instructional guidebooks, however with a much wider focus. Reading a manual confers an inherent bonus to an ability score.


Similar to manuals, tomes improve the reader’s attack rolls, savings throws and skills. Any bonus bestowed by a tome is a competence bonus.

Writing Magical Books

Prerequisites: comprehend languages, Craft Wondrous Item, literacy

Costs: Magical books require the expenditure of experience points and gold pieces. The following chart provides a comprehensive review of the experience point cost for most bonuses conferred by magical books.

Type of Bonus
Cost in Experience Points

+1 +2 +3 +4 +5
Inherent Ability Score 5,100 10,200 15,300 20,400 25,500
Competence Skill Bonus 1 3 7 12 20
Limited Competence Saving Throw Bonus 20 80 180 320 500
General Competence Saving Throw Bonus 80 320 720 1,280 2,000
Limited Competence Attack Roll Bonus 20 80 180 320 500
General Competence Attack Roll Bonus 80 320 720 1,280 2,000

The definition for the term “limited” remains identical to the definition provided in the Manuals chapter. The following chart details the monetary costs of these abilities. These figures assume that the character is writing a leather-bound book with parchment pages and black ink. Characters may use the materials described in the Spellbooks and Scrolls chapter, but they must also pay the additional costs.

The above figures summarize those provided in the SRD. Other abilities incur the following costs.

Extraordinary and Supernatural Abilities:

Monetary Cost: (HD of damage squared) x 2,000 gp;
Experience Cost: Monetary cost divided by 25.

Example: The ankheg’s Spit Acid ability costs 32,000 gp because it causes 4 hit dice of damage.

General Abilities

Monetary Cost: (Level of equivalent spell squared) x 2,000 gp.

Example: An extraordinary flight ability costs 18,000 gp because fly is a 3rd level spell.

Monetary Cost: [(HD of creature possessing the ability - the number of other extraordinary and supernatural abilities it possesses) x creature’s CR] x 2,000 gp;

Experience Cost: The monetary cost divided by twenty-five.

Example: The Ghast’s Stench ability costs 18,000 gp. The Ghast has 4 hit dice and one other ability resulting in a total of 3. It has a CR of 3, hence 3 x 3 = 9. Multiplied by 2,000 results in a total figure of
18,000 gp.

Note: GM’s must exercise extreme caution in adjudicating the creation of magical books granting its readers extraordinary and supernatural abilities. The calculation is solely intended as a guideline for GM’s and players.


Monetary Cost: (The number of prerequisites +1 squared) x 2,000 gp.
Note: Ability scores prerequisites do not count in this calculation.

Experience Cost: The monetary cost divided by 25.

Example: Far shot costs 8,000 gp because it has one prerequisite. (1 + 1 = 2. 2 squared equals 4 and 4 x 2,000 = 8,000).

Libram Costs


Monetary Cost: Spell level x caster level x 25 gp;

Experience Cost: Monetary cost divided by 25.

Example: transmute mud to rock cast by a 9th level wizard costs 1,125 gp.

Creating the Construct

Monetary Cost: [(HD + number of extraordinary abilities)] + [2 x (spell-like and supernatural abilities)] x 2,000 gp;

Experience Cost: The monetary cost divided by 25.

Example: A libram instructing the creation of a flesh golem costs 24,000 gp in addition to the cost required for its spells. [9 (the flesh golem’s hit dice) + its 3 extraordinary abilities = 12. 12 x 2,000 = 24,000 gp.]


The libram’s author must create a magical construct using the traditional methods before she may draft a libram. Hence, a wizard attempting to write a libram on constructing flesh golems, must have already created a flesh golem using the guidelines and procedures described in the SRD.

Spell-like Effects

Monetary Cost: Spell level x caster level x 2,000 gp

Experience Cost: Monetary cost divided by 25.

Example: cone of cold cast at 9th level costs 90,000 gp.

Language: All magical books bestow the spell comprehend languages on its reader at not additional cost to the author or reader.

Market Value: The book’s market value is equal to its cost including any additional expenditure for unusual materials such as a golden cover or vellum pages.

Pages: Unless otherwise stated, the book’s pages are equal to its cost in gold pieces divided by ten. The same 48,000 gp book described above contains 480 pages.

Reading Time: Unlike non-magical manuals, a character reads a number of pages per day equal to quadruple her Intelligence score.

Special Features: Magical books possess several unique features differentiating them from normal manuals. Mostly importantly, books impart their magic only once. Once triggered, its magical properties dissipate and vanish forever. This rule applies to all magical books. In addition, comprehension is not required. Its reader automatically understands the book and immediately receives its benefits upon completion, unless it specifies otherwise. This rule applies to all books except librams, which only an arcane spellcaster can read.

Time: Characters write magical books in a number of days equal to the book’s monetary cost divided by 1,000. A character writing a book with a monetary cost of 48,000 gp completes the task in forty-eight days.

Weight: The book weighs one pound per 100 pages in addition to the weight of its cover.


Librams occupy a specific niche in the realm of written works. They impart a unique ability to the reader, enabling her to create a magical construct in a less time consuming and costly manner. Librams function as a magical blueprint, providing the spells and magical incantations as well as the composite materials necessary to bring a magical construct into existence. Although the libram supplies all of the magical tools required for its construction, the reader must still supply the construct’s composite materials. Librams are among any spellcaster’s most prized possessions. Librams used to create traditional golems such as flesh, clay, stone and iron contain all of the spells mandated by their construction requirements in the SRD. The librams presented below provide additional examples for usage by arcane and divine spellcasters.

Libram of Coal: This unusual magical construct serves as an economical alternative for many arcane spellcasters. The book’s covers are always crafted from two pieces of anthracite bound in leather. The golem’s composite material is 500 pounds of anthracite costing 500 gp.

Caster Level: 14th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, fabricate, fireball, geas/quest, limited wish, polymorph any object, stoneskin; Market Price: 40,650 gp; Weight: 10 lb.

Coal Golem
Medium Construct
Hit dice9d10 (49 hp)
Initiative -1 (Dexterity)
Speed20 ft. (can’t run)
AC21 (-1 Dexterity, +12 natural)
Attacks2 slams +12 melee
DamageSlam 2d8+6
Face/Reach5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.
Special AttacksBreath weapon
Special Qualitiesconstruct, magic immunity, damage reduction 15/+1
SavesFort +3, Ref +2, Will +3
AbilitiesStrength 23, Dexterity 9, Constitution —, Intelligence —, Wisdom 11, Charisma 1
Climate/TerrainAny land and underground
OrganizationSolitary or gang (2-4)
Challenge Rating 9
AlignmentAlways neutral
Advancement10-17 HD (Medium); 18-37 HD (Large)

Fashioned entirely from anthracite, coal golems appear as bipedal humanoids standing roughly six feet tall and weighing 500 pounds. Although seamless and fluid, coal golems still walk with a lumbering gait. Mystical white runes cover its upper torso and arms in addition to its forehead.


Coal golems are powerful foes, immune to most spells and impervious to ordinary weapons.

Breath Weapon: As a free action every 1d4 rounds, coal golems unleash a 5 ft. wide, 30 ft. long blast of coal dust causing 3d8 points of abrasion damage. A successful Reflex save (DC 14) halves the damage.

Magic Immunity: Coal golems are immune to all spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities, except as follows. Being made from coal, and therefore very flammable, fire based spells inflict an additional 1d6 points of damage per spell level. For example, a fireball causes 3d6 points of damage plus its normal damage. transmute rock to mud and stone to flesh slow the coal golem for 2d6 rounds. transmute mud to rock heals 6d6 hit points.

Libram of Music: Crafted with beautifully adorned brass covers and vellum pages, bards treasure this unusual libram. Although any arcane spellcaster may read the libram, its usage remains the exclusive domain of bards. The golem’s construction requires 120 lb. of masterwork Musical instruments costing 6,000 gp. Brass instruments are most commonly used.

Caster Level: 17th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, bull’s strength, geas/quest, Sculpt sound, shout; Market Value: 36,375 gp; Weight: 13 lb.

Instrument Golem
Large construct
Hit dice11d10 (59 hp)
Initiative -1 (Dexterity)
Speed20 ft. (can’t run)
AC23 (-1 Dexterity, -1 size, +15 natural)
Attacks2 slams +14 melee
DamageSlam 2d10+7
Face/Reach 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.
Special AttacksShout
Special Qualitiesconstruct, magic immunity, damage reduction 20/+2
SavesFort +3, Ref +2, Will +3
AbilitiesStrength 25, Dexterity 9, Constitution —, Intelligence —, Wisdom 11, Charisma 1
Climate/TerrainAny land and underground
OrganizationSolitary or gang (2-4)
Challenge Rating 9
AlignmentAlways neutral
Advancement12-21 HD (Large); 22-33 HD (Huge)

Instrument golems resemble macabre marionettes with an assortment of brass and wooden appendages connected by strings from harps, mandolins and violins. Instrument golems retain a bipedal humanoid form, often using an upside down guitar or mandolin as a head with its cavity functioning as an eye. Despite its vaguely humanoid shape, instrument golems appear as a random collage of brass and wooden parts.


Instrument golems strike with their two appendages, usually created from the frames of large instruments such as harps or organ pipes.

Instrument golems prove no less dexterous than other golems, a fact that surprises many of its victims.

Shout (Su): Once every 1d4 rounds, instrument golems release a blast of sound affecting everything within a 20 ft. radius. The blast’s effects duplicate those of the shout spell, allowing the victim Fortitude save (DC 14) to partially negate the effects.

Magic Immunity (Ex): Instrument golems are immune to all spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities, except as follows. warp wood slows instrument golems for 2d6 rounds, while silence causes 4d6 points of damage. Instrument golems do not receive saving throws against either spell.

Libram of Shrouds: In many cultures where mummification is a common burial practice, clerics of death deities fashion these bizarre creatures to prevent the plundering of the decedent’s tomb by thieves. The book’s pages are constructed from a special paper formulated from the cloth burial shrouds of the deity’s dead worshippers. Only a spellcaster with access to divine spells can craft a shroud golem. The golem’s material components are 300 square feet of burial cloths and linens as well as one gallon of myrrh costing 1,000 gp.

Caster Level: 17th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, animate objects, bestow curse, geas/quest, Make whole, miracle; Market Value: 45,050 gp; Weight: 8 lb.

Shroud Golem
Medium construct
Hit dice10d10 (55 hp)
Initiative-1 (Dexterity)
Speed15 ft. (can’t run)
AC20 (-1 Dexterity, +11 natural)
Attacks2 slams +11 melee
DamageSlam 2d8+4
Face/Reach5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.
Special AttacksDisease, stench
Special Qualities construct, magic immunity, damage reduction 15/+1
SavesFort +3, Ref +2, Will +3
Abilities Strength 19, Dexterity 9, Constitution —, Intelligence —, Wisdom 11, Charisma 1
Climate/TerrainAny land and underground
OrganizationSolitary or gang (2-4)
Challenge Rating 8
AlignmentAlways neutral
Advancement11-19 HD (Medium); 20-31 HD (Large)

The unmistakable odor of death and decay accompanies these strange magical creations. Shroud golems appear as a flat, but thick rectangular ivory cloth covered with mottled, brown stains and tufts of withering hair. They stand nearly five feet high and three feet wide. Two stubby gatherings of cloth at the bottom of its hem function as feet, enabling the creature to move. Shroud golems possess two mottled holes near the top of their hems that many believe are eyes.


Shroud golems strike opponents by whipping both of its top corners at its target. The foul stench of death pervades the area around the golem, nauseating many of its opponents.

Disease (Su): A blow from a shroud golem inflicts its victim with the supernatural disease mummy rot unless the victim makes a successful Fortitude save (DC 20). mummy rot’s exact effects in the SRD.

Stench (Ex): The disgusting odor of death nauseates anyone within ten feet of the shroud golem unless the victim makes a successful Fortitude save (DC 13). Anyone nauseated by a shroud golem suffers a -2 circumstance penalty to all attacks, damage and saves for 1d4+4 minutes.

Magic Immunity (Ex): Shroud golems are immune to all spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities, except as follows. dispel magic automatically slows a shroud golem for 2d6 rounds, and remove disease causes 3d6 points of damage with no saving throw allowed.

Libram of Vines: druids prize these extremely rare librams, always wrapped in a simple pine cover bound in leather with paper pages. Only a spellcaster with access to divine spells may construct a vine golem. Constructing the golem requires 250 pounds of vines no less than one inch in diameter, although the cost is fairly nominal, 50 gp.

Caster Level: 16th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, awaken, barkskin, command plants, control plants, entangle, Liveoak, Reincarnate, wood shape; Market Price: 50,800 gp; Weight: 9 lb.

Vine Golem
Large construct
Hit dice13d10 (71 hp)
Initiative-1 (Dexterity)
Speed 30 ft. (can’t run)
AC 24 (-1 Dexterity, -1 size, +16 natural)
Attacks4 slams +16 melee
Damage Slam 2d10+8
Face/Reach5 ft. by 5 ft./10 ft.
Special AttacksStrangulation
Special Qualities construct, magic immunity, damage reduction 25/+2
SavesFort +4, Ref +3, Will +4
AbilitiesStrength 27, Dexterity 9, Constitution —, Intelligence —, Wisdom 11, Charisma 1
Climate/Terrain Any land and underground
OrganizationSolitary or gang (2-4)
Challenge Rating10
Alignment Always neutral
Advancement14-22 HD (Large); 23-43 HD (Huge)

Vine golems appear as grotesque bundles of gangly parasitic vines fashioned into a gaunt humanoid shape. They possess a small head with two rotting acorns functioning as eyes as well as four whip-like appendages branching off from its thin main body. Two masses of gnarled vines provide its means of locomotion. Vine golems reach a height of 9 feet and weigh roughly 250 pounds.


The vine golem’s frail appearance belies its awesome strength and impressive array of combat abilities.

Strangulation (Ex): Whenever a vine golem scores a critical hit, its appendage wraps itself around its victim’s throat. The vine golem automatically inflicts 2d10+8 points of subdual damage to the victim every round until the victim escapes or the vine golem is destroyed. Characters ensnared by the vine golem’s powerful limb may escape by defeating the vine golem in an opposed Strength check, through the usage of her Escape Artist skill or by slaying the vine golem. When her subdual damage equals her hit point total, the victim is staggered. When her subdual damage exceeds her hit point total, she becomes unconscious. The vine golem slays unconscious victims after driving any remaining allies from the combat.

Magic Immunity (Ex): Vine golems are immune to all spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities, except as follows. Fire based spells and spell-like abilities cause 1d8 points of damage per spell level. Vine golems do not receive saving throws for the following spells: warp wood reduces its natural AC bonus by four for 2d6 rounds. diminish plants causes 3d6 points of damage, while plant growth heals 3d6 points of damage.


Magical manuals increase the reader’s ability to perform certain tasks, resist the magical abilities of other creatures, attack opponents with improved efficiency and avoid their opponent’s blows. Unlike their non-magical counterparts, magical manuals impart their Wisdom through mystical means rather than comprehension. Unless otherwise specified, any character class may read and receive the benefits of a magical manual. Consistent with all other magical books, once the manual is read its writing and magical properties disappear.

Magical manuals usually provide general benefits rather than the more specific abilities imparted by non-magical manuals. They do not, however, lose any of the individuality of their cousins. The handful of manuals presented below amply demonstrates their uniqueness.

The Archer’s Manual and Guide: Contained within the simple, pine covers of this manual are numerous diagrams and advice regarding the proper methods of firing all varieties of bows and crossbows. Elves covet these manuals, handsomely paying anyone able to write or purchase it. Anyone reading the manual receives a +2 competence bonus on all ranged attacks with a bow or crossbow.

Caster Level: 8th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item; Market Value: 8,000 gp; Weight: 4 lb.

Manual of Agility: The manual’s author, a former wizard turned circus acrobat named Cilio the Daring, penned this manual while on tour with his troupe. An expert at leaping, tumbling and other feats of Dexterity, Cilio’s manual provides graphic illustrations demonstrating his flexibility exercises and techniques. Anyone reading the manual receives a +2 competence bonus on all Balance, Climb, Jump and Tumble skill checks.

Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item; Market Value: 320 gp; Weight: 4 lb.

Manual of Mysticism: Authored by a wizard in the employ of a powerful thieves’ guild, this golden covered manuals discusses tactics employed against arcane spellcasters. Initially intended to foil magical traps, copies of the manual eventually fell into the hands of fighters and clerics hoping to use its power for their own purposes. Anyone reading the manual receives a +3 competence bonus on all saving throws against arcane spells cast by bards, sorcerers and wizards. This bonus does not apply to arcane spells
discharged from magical items or as spell-like abilities.

Caster Level: 11th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item; Market Value: 18,000 gp; Weight: 11 lb.

Manual of the Netherworld: Legions of demons and devils seek and destroy all copies of this potent manual. Written by an anonymous wizard untold centuries ago, the manual instructs its reader in the art of combating all evil outsiders including the aforementioned creatures. The reader receives a +4 competence bonus to all attack rolls against evil outsiders as well as a +4 competence bonus to all saving throws against their attacks.

Caster Level: 14th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item; Market Value: 64,000 gp; Weight: 10 lb.

Manual of Slaying: Gwendolyn the Heroic, one of the greatest female paladins in recent memory penned this authoritative guide to combat prowess. At first glance, the manual appears to be Gwendolyn’s autobiography, however manual’s powerful magic is intertwined with its beautiful words and phrases. Anyone reading the manual receives a +2 competence bonus to all attack rolls.

Caster Level: 8th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item; Market Value: 8,000 gp; Weight: 4 lb.

Permanent Magic Circles

Liber Mysterium
The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks

By Timothy S. Brannan and The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks Team
Full netbook can be found on the followng website

Dom of D20 / D&D 3e Netbooks and Downloads.

Image of the magick circle and triangle of art.

Image of the magick circle and triangle of art.

Some Magic Circles’ only affect their creator. A caster with the Create Magic Circle feat can assume the position of creator to an already existing magic circle by expending the experience points normally necessary, though the actual crafting of the magic circle is negligible.

Creating a magic circle costs 100 xp for every 5’ diameter the circle, regardless of material, plus an additional 20 XP for each caster level required to create the circle. The time it takes to craft a magic circle is often dependent on what was used to create it. Placing the final enchantments on the circle takes 1 minute per foot in its diameter. So if the witch were to create a 20’ long
Thaumaturgic Magic Circle out of tile in her home, it would require an 860 xp sacrifice, and would take 20 minutes to enchant, plus the time it actually took to Craft the magic circle out of tile.

Hexagram of Protection: When the caster is standing within a Hexagram, she grants damage reduction equal to her own Wisdom modifier to herself and all allies.

Caster Level: 7 th ; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Circle, Aid

Inverted Pentagram of Harming: All harming spells cast within an Inverted Pentagram of Harming are cast at +2 caster level.

Caster Level: 5 th ; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Circle, Inflict Moderate Wounds

Metamagical Thaumaturgic Circle: Any spell cast within a Metamagical Thaumaturgic Circle is blessed with the appropriate metamagic feat. Only 3 spells per day can be blessed as such.

Caster Level: 15th + 1 per level for every additional level of preparation normally needed; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Circle, the appropriate metamagic feat.

Octogram of Binding: Unlike other Magic Circles, the crafter does not stand within the magic circle. Rather, any outsider that is either summoned into the circle (Through a Summon planar ally spell or otherwise), or has had the circle created around them, may never leave the circle, or disrupt the circle in any way. Also, spells or natural abilities may not extend beyond the circle, nor may they harm anyone outside the circle in any way, until the circle is either disrupted or the creator of the circle chooses to release them.

Caster Level: 9 th ; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Circle, dismissal

Octogram of Protection: Anyone standing within an Octogram of Protection is protected from outsiders of a particular type, chosen by the crafter when the circle was created. Under no circumstances can the outsider interfere or otherwise harm those standing within the circle, nor can they enter or disrupt the circle on their own. Roll 1d12 to determine the type of Octogram of Protection found.

1-3 Protection against Good
4-6 Protection against Evil
7 Protection against Chaos
8 Protection against Law
9 Protection against Air
10 Protection against Earth
11 Protection against Fire
12 Protection against Water

Caster Level: 7th ; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Circle, Magic Circle Against a specific alignment

Supreme Octogram of Protection: This magic circle functions just like an Octogram of Protection, except that it extends to all creatures with the noted alignment, not just outsiders and elementals.

Caster Level: 14th ; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Circle, magic circle against good / Chaos /Evil / Law

Octogram of Neutrality: Anyone standing within an Octagon of Neutrality gainsSpell Resistance equal to the crafter’s caster level x2 versus arcane magic. Divine Magic is not affected by this.

Caster Level: 9th ; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Circle, dispel magic

Pentagram of Healing: All healing spells cast within a Pentagram of Healing are cast at +2 caster level.

Caster Level: 5th ; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Circle, cure moderate wounds

Thaumaturgic Circle: When the crafter is standing within a thaumaturgic circle, she casts all her spells at +1 caster level.

Caster Level: 3rd ; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Circle, Bless

Thaumaturgic Circle of Teleportation: This Magic Circle is actually two different magic circles. Anyone who steps within the circle and speaks a command word (or any other requirement that the creator designates), they are instantly teleported to the other circle.

The XP cost of creating a Thaumaturgic Circle of Teleportation is only the cost of creating a single magic circle.

Caster Level: 12th ; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Circle, teleport without error

Triangular Circle of Energy:
When casting a spell or using a natural ability that deals damage of a particular type of elemental energy (Electric, Acidic, Fire, or Frost) while standing within a triangular circle of energy, that type of energy deals double damage. Furthermore, those standing within the magic circle receive double damage from a particular type of energy, as noted below.

Electricity - Acid
Fire / Heat - Frost

Caster Level: 12 th ; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Circle, Chain Lightning, cone of cold, wall of fire, or Cloudkill, depending on which type of energy you wish to empower.

The following magical abilities and items can also be used to aid in an investigation.

Crime and Punishment
Author Keith Baker
Series Campaign Style
Publisher Atlas Games
Publish date 2003
Pages 160
ISBN {$isbn}
OGL Section 15 cap
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A blood drinking weapon must have a ruby embedded along its surface. In response to a mental command, it can store the bloodtrace of the next creature that it injures; see detect bloodtraces for more information on this effect. By touching it to an existing bloodstone, you can draw the imprint out of the other stone and into the weapon. A blood drinking weapon is considered to be a bloodstone for purposes of detect bloodtraces and follow the bloody trail. It can only store one trace at a time, but you may overwrite the existing trace as many times as you wish.

Faint conjuration; CL 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, form bloodstone; Price +1 bonus


This metal band has two powerful enchantments. To begin with, it allows its wearer to discern lies at will (Will save DC 14). However, the wearer himself must speak the truth, as if he was under the influence of zone of truth. There is no save against this second effect. These rings are often used to force prisoners to speak the truth, but are also quite useful for characters engaged in espionage — although enforced honesty can prove to be quite dangerous for a spy.

Moderate divination; CL 9th; Forge Ring, discern lies, zone of truth; Price 75,000 gp

Holy Weapons

Illustration from page 16 of The Boy's King Arthur: "And when they came to the sword that the hand held, King Arthur took it up." Date 1922

Illustration from page 16 of The Boy's King Arthur: "And when they came to the sword that the hand held, King Arthur took it up." Date 1922

The Quintessential paladin
Author Alejandro Melchor
Series Quintessential Series
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002
Pages 128
ISBN 1-903980-79-8
OGL Section 15 qpal
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The material below is designated as Open Game Content

Making these kinds of weapons is the province of gifted weaponsmiths, blessed by a deity or by their own righteousness. Sometimes, the weapon is sent by the gods themselves to mark a hero’s destiny, or reveal his place as the true king of the land.

Locked Power

The holy avenger is the most famous of locked power weapons, acting as a mere +2 longsword for any random character, but unlocking its vast power when wielded by a paladin. Such weapons are rare and prized by their owners, and a boon by their makers, who took great pains to ensure that the weapon would not work for the enemy if falling in the wrong hands.

Forging a locked weapon is the same as making a magic weapon with the Craft Magic Arms and Armour feat, with similar costs and procedures, but with the subtle difference that there is much more to the weapon than it appears.

The process of making a locked power weapon is simple:
† Calculate the base weapon cost.
† Calculate the locked powers’ cost.
† Define who can unlock the weapon’s powers.
† Reduce the locked power cost depending on wielder restrictions.
† Add final locked powers cost to base weapon cost and calculate costs to create.

The Base Weapon
Crafting a locked weapon starts with the base weapon. This is a normal weapon with any enhancement to attack and damage, from +1 to +5. This bonus is available to any character who picks the weapon up and tries to use it. It can be any kind of weapon and, in fact, crafting could end here to produce a simple magic item, adding the material cost of the masterwork weapon to the weapon’s base cost to obtain the final market price.

Locked Abilities

The process of adding locked abilities is basically creating a second magic item and grafting it to the base weapon. The crafter can add any magic effect like the weapon special abilities listed in the Magic Weapons section of the SRD, but he also has the possibility of adding any kind of effect under the guidelines for magic item creation found in the SRD.

Proceed as if making a normal weapon, adding a weapon enhancement, weapon special abilities and other effects. None of these abilities will be available to wielders who do not meet the prerequisites set by the weapon’s maker. Weapon enhancements do not stack with those of the base weapon, but the wielder enjoys the highest enhancement. With this, unintended wielders may enjoy the same enhancement bonus as the weapon’s intended user, they just do not have access to the special abilities. If the crafter wishes for the intended user to benefit from a higher enhancement than that of the base weapon, he must add it to the locked power’s base cost normally.

Prerequisites: The normal prerequisites for crafting the item apply in all cases. The crafter must be of sufficient caster level to make the weapon, which is three times the weapon’s enhancement plus any price modifier from special abilities, or the caster level required from spells to enchant the weapon with, whichever is higher.

Write down the cost of all the special abilities and powers the weapon will have in its locked state.

Restricted Users

The next step is defining the degree of the restrictions placed on the weapon as to who can use its locked powers. The most common restriction is for a single class: the paladin, although many weapons are intended for other classes, or even for members of a specific race, or even a specific ancestry.

When a character who meets the weapon’s prerequisites picks the weapon, he has automatic access to all locked abilities. Even if the character only lacks a single prerequisite, the powers will not unlock, and he will only enjoy the enchantments of the base weapon. Bards and rogues may fool a weapon into releasing its locked powers with the Use Magic Device skill, depending on what the restrictions are and what they are trying to emulate.

Depending on the restriction, locking a power from general use decreases the price of the enchantments placed on the weapon. Choose from the table who can use a weapon’s locked powers; depending on how specific the restriction is, you reduce the base price of the locked weapon by that amount. Each additional restriction beyond the first adds a 5% to the price’s reduction; the two percentages do not add together.

Locked Power Restrictions

Restriction Price ReductionUse Magic Device DC
A single, specific character* 50% 35
A character from a specific bloodline* 40% 30
Single, specific core class 30% 25
Single, specific prestige class 35% 25
Any two specific classes 20% 25
Multiclass, two specific classes 35% - **
Specific race 30% 25
Specific alignment 30% 30
One alignment component 25% 30
Minimum ability score 5% + score 25
Divine spellcasting 20% + spell level 20
Arcane spellcasting 25% + spell level 20

* May not have additional restrictions
** A character may not emulate two classes at the same time

Specific Character: The weapon is made especially to be wielded by a specific character, hero or villain. Once he dies, the weapon’s powers are lost. Spells like wish and miracle may unlock the powers by assigning a new restriction, which may not be worth less than 30% off the base price. Nonetheless, there is a 50% chance that the attempt will fail and the weapon will be destroyed. A weapon with this restriction does not accept additional restrictions… it is pretty specific already.

Bloodline: These are the arms of kings, forged to mark a dynasty, to emphasise a person’s divine right to rule and solve disputes of succession. This is a role-playing restriction and requires care in its introduction to a campaign. It can be the focus of a quest to restore a king’s sword to prove an heir’s right to the throne, or it can be dropped into the hands of a player character to reveal that he is the descendant of a legendary figure. A weapon with this restriction does not accept additional restrictions, although the Games Master can make an exception for particularly picky inheritances.

Class Restrictions: The different degrees of restriction based on character class are the most common in locked weapons. The single class restriction means that only a character with levels in that class may unlock the weapon’s powers. The character must not be an ex-member of that class, such as paladins who willingly commit evil acts, monks who take a second class and bards who become lawful. Any two classes means that the character can belong to either one or the other, but not necessarily both, while the multiclass restriction means that the character must have both classes or the weapon’s powers will remain locked. Both classes must be compatible for the restriction to apply (no bard/paladins, for example).

Race: Any character from the specified race can unlock the weapon’s powers, regardless of class or other prerequisites. As a special prerequisite, the maker of such a weapon must be a member of the race it is intended will benefit from its power.

Alignment: Similar to the race restriction, any character who professes the specified alignment may unlock the weapon’s powers. A specific alignment restriction asks for a character to comply with both components of alignment; the lawful-neutral-chaotic axis as well as the good-neutral-evil one. Weapons which ask for only one of the components are more lenient that way. The weapon’s crafter must be of the same alignment as the restriction, or may not be apart by more than one step in one of the components.
Spellcasting: Some weapons are made with a specific type of spellcaster in mind. Divine spellcasters have better training in weapon use in general than arcane casters, with a greater chance of knowing how to use the weapon in question. Some weapons require that whomever would use it can also wield the power of magic, and ask for a specific spell level. Remember that paladins and rangers cannot cast spells higher than 4th level, and they do not reach that capacity until very late in their careers. The crafter need not cast the spells that enchant the weapon himself, but they must match the specified source: arcane or divine.

Final Cost

Once you reduce the locked power’s cost based on the restrictions, add the cost of the base weapon to obtain the final market price. As per the normal rules of magic item creation, the cost to make the weapon is half the base price plus the cost of the masterwork weapon, with an experience expenditure equal to 1/25th of the cost to make the weapon (not counting the material cost of the masterwork weapon). The complete rules and prices for the different masterwork weapons are in the SRD.

Intelligent Weapons

A locked weapon can be gifted with its own personality. Such items are very rare and mortal smiths cannot craft them without direct divine intervention or through obscure and powerful arcane rituals. In terms of mechanics, a locked weapon can be intelligent, with the characteristics described in the SRD for intelligent magical items.

The difference with a locked weapon is that its personality may remain dormant until it is wielded by a character who meets the prerequisites for unlocking the weapon, or it may be active, only releasing its power to a worthy wielder who meets the requirements. The Use Magic Device skill does not work on intelligent locked weapons; they realise the character is trying to fool them.

In terms of mechanics, if the personality is dormant until the power is unlocked, the price modifier is added to the locked power’s cost, to be reduced by the kind of restrictions on the weapon. If it is to remain active, the cost modifier is added to the base weapon cost and is not reduced by the restrictions.

Bonded Weapons

Although locked weapons are very special, they are ‘normal’ magic weapons with just a special option to their performance. But there is another kind of weapon that benefits from the paladin’s capacity for devotion: the bonded weapon.

Bonded weapons are more than blades and maces, and they are even beyond tools of war. A bonded weapon is part of the paladin’s soul, it is a dutiful and loyal companion and it may even become a friend and advisor. A paladin pours part of his essence into his weapon to awaken its spirit with his faith, and they unite in an unbreakable bond that brings great benefits, but carries its own risks.

Bonding a Weapon

To start with, a weapon meant to be bonded with must be a masterwork. Bonding with ordinary weapons simply does not work as they do not have the purity of material and crafting to sustain part of the paladin’s soul. The weapon does not need to be magical as it will gain magical power as its owner increases his own.

Bonding with a weapon requires a long ritual that lasts two days of uninterrupted prayer. The paladin stands vigil over his weapon, sacrificing one permanent Wisdom point. From that point onward, he and his weapon are bonded and he enjoys the basic benefits of the mystical union. The best time in the paladin’s career to bond with a weapon is after 4th level, since he probably has the money to get a masterwork weapon and he gains an ability increase, which he can use to pay for the Wisdom sacrifice instead of lowering his score. He can bond with a weapon at any time, but most of the advantages will not be available until he reaches at least 5th level.
Effects of Bonding

Bonding with a weapon automatically confers the paladin with enhanced proficiency with it. If he was not proficient with the weapon before, he is now (the case for exotic weapons). If he is already proficient with the weapon, he gains a +1 synergy bonus to attack rolls, which acts as a virtual feat that allows the paladin to purchase other feats that have Weapon Focus as a requirement. If the paladin already has the Weapon Focus feat for the weapon, he now gains the Weapon Specialisation fighter feat. Note that this proficiency enhancement only works for that particular weapon. The paladin will not be proficient with exotic weapons of the same type as his bonded weapon, nor will he have Weapon Focus or Weapon Specialisation with similar weapons to his bonded one.

This enhancement is part of the paladin, not the weapon, and thus is not a magical enhancement that could defeat a creature’s damage reduction. Such power is attained later, as both weapon and wielder grow in power. A different character using the weapon has no access to this or to any other power that results from the bonding. In the hands of anyone else, the weapon is a regular, non-magical item.

It is entirely optional, but most paladins who bond with a weapon give it a name. A paladin can only bond with one weapon at a time.

Losing a Bonded Weapon

The paladin can lose a bonded weapon and suffer no particular consequence. If the weapon and wielder find each other on different planes, the paladin suffers a morale penalty to attack equal to the weapon’s enhancement bonus (minimum of -1). So, if a paladin loses his bonded longsword +3, he suffers a -3 penalty to attack until he recovers the sword or they are on the same plane. If thus separated, the paladin cannot bond with another weapon, for his previous bond still exists.

If the weapon is destroyed, the paladin must make a Fortitude save (DC 15 + weapon’s enhancement bonus) or lose a number of experience points equal to 200 per paladin level. A successful saving throw reduces this loss by half. The paladin may very well drop in level due to this loss, and there is nothing he can do to prevent it. After a bonded weapon is destroyed, the paladin may bond with another freely.
Severing the Bond

The character can willingly sever the bond between himself and his weapon. In a ritual that takes one uninterrupted day per paladin level, the character recalls the part of himself he poured into the weapon, recovering the Wisdom point he sacrificed at the moment of bonding. The weapon loses all of its powers, and does not regain them even if the paladin bonds again with it at a later date.

Also, if the character becomes an ex-paladin, the bond is suppressed until he atones. If he loses his paladin status permanently, the bond shatters with the same effects as if the weapon had been destroyed, except that the character loses 100 XP per level in a failed save and no loss if he succeeds.

Bonding Paths

After the paladin and his weapon become as one, he has the option of developing its power along three distinct and different paths. He may only choose one of the paths for his bonded weapon, as it defines the role the weapon is to play in his life and adventures.

† Relic: The easiest and least expensive to follow, but also the one with the least rewards, the paladin spends experience to add powers to his weapon.
† Bond Companion: A bond companion is much more than a weapon the character is better at; it is a divinely sent comrade in the battle against darkness. A bond companion is much like a familiar for a wizard.
† Custos: The paladin prays for divine intervention and is gifted with a custos, a holy guardian that inhabits the weapon and becomes its soul. A custos is an intelligent weapon with a purpose, and can even gain experience independently from his paladin.


Relics are bonded weapons whose magic is powered by the paladin’s faith. The effect of making a bonded weapon into a relic is the same as if the paladin were crafting a magical weapon with the Craft Magic Arms and Armour feat using the rules in the SRD, except that the cost in gold is greatly reduced, even if the cost in experience remains the same. The other difference is that the paladin can improve the weapon gradually, adding enhancement bonuses and special abilities as he gains wealth and experience.

To add powers to a relic, the paladin retires to pray for his weapon to be imbued with magic. He must prepare adequate offerings to the divine forces, expressed in the price requisites for adding a bonus to the weapon, and spend the necessary experience points. A paladin cannot spend so many experience points that he drops in level, but he can opt to not advance in level when he gains experience, so he can add the excess into a weapon. The offerings need not be actual money, but the paladin may sacrifice items both mundane and magical whose market prices add up to the required amount.

The amounts in the table below represent the total experience and gold costs required, so that if a 9th level paladin with a +3 ghost touch heavy flail (a total of +4 bonuses) wishes to add the bane vs. undead ability (a +2 ability that takes the total to +6), he must sacrifice 1,600 XP and give an offering worth 4,000 gp.

Bonded Weapon – The Relic

Weapon Bonus XP Cost Offering Cost
+1 80 200 gp
+2 320 800 gp
+3 720 1,800 gp
+4 1,280 3,200 gp
+5 2,000 5,000 gp
+6* 2,880 7,200 gp
+7* 3,920 9,800 gp
+8* 5,120 12,800 gp
+9* 6,480 16,200 gp
+10* 8,000 20,000 gp

* A weapon cannot have an enhancement bonus higher than +5. Use this total for determining the cost for adding special abilities as described in SRD.

Caster level prerequisites for enhancement bonus and special abilities use the paladin’s full level instead, and the paladin does not need to prepare or cast the required spells for the special abilities. For example, a 12th level paladin can add an ability to his relic that requires an 8th level caster, and can give his relic a +4 enhancement bonus, which requires the crafter to be of triple the caster level as the bonus.

There are some restrictions on how a paladin can add bonuses to his relic:
† The paladin can only add bonuses and abilities once per level. If he makes his relic a +3 weapon and stops the ritual there, he cannot add any ability or increase its bonus until he advances in level.
† The paladin cannot add more bonuses at once than his Wisdom or Charisma modifier (whichever is lower). Even if he has the gold and experience to add a +4 ability to his relic, the paladin cannot do it if his lowest modifier between Wisdom and Charisma is +3. Magic that raises the character’s modifiers consistently during the ritual can circumvent this limitation.
† The weapon cannot have more bonuses worth of special abilities than its enhancement bonus. For example, a paladin cannot add the keen ability (a +1 bonus ability) to his +2 holy longsword, since holy is a +2 bonus ability and adding a second ability would raise the total special ability bonuses to +3. The paladin must first raise the enhancement bonus to +3 or higher (+5 maximum) before adding more abilities.

Bond Companion

A weapon that becomes a bond companion effectively becomes a Non Player Character, as it gains a personality and limited Intelligence. The paladin cannot ask for his bonded weapon to become a bond companion until after 5th level, preferably 6th level, since he has two choices when calling for a bond companion. He can forego his special mount and receive the bond companion instead, or lose one point of Charisma and suffer a level drain, dropping him to one level lower with an amount of experience points equal to the minimum necessary to advance to his new, lowered level. Part of his soul is essentially sucked into the weapon to awaken its spirit.

Once the decision is made, it is binding. A paladin may dismiss his special mount if he already has it, but once the bond companion arrives, he cannot call a special mount unless he severs the bond.

In exchange, the bond companion gifts the paladin with increasing abilities that make up for the loss of his mount. As the paladin advances in level, his bond companion gains new powers, just as a special mount would, without any additional cost for its bonded master. As per the basic bonding bonuses, the bond companion’s powers only work in the hands of the paladin, becoming a normal weapon when wielded by anybody else.

Bonded Weapon – The Bond Companion

paladin Level Bonus Hardness Enhancement Bonus Intelligence Wisdom Charisma Special Ability
5-7 +2 +1 6 10 8 Empathic link, spell receptacle
8-10 +3 +2 7 11 9 Bonus feat
11-13 +4 +3 8 12 10 Caster bonus, bonus feat
14-16 +5 +4 9 13 11 Bonus feat
17-20 +6 +5 10 14 12 Spell Resistance, divine grace bonus

Bonus Hardness: Add this value to the weapon’s hardness.

Enhancement Bonus: As the paladin increases in level, his weapon grows in power, gaining a magical enhancement bonus.

Ability Scores: The bond companion is actually a special creature with its own mental ability scores. It does not have much of a personality, but it can think for itself.

Empathic Link: As a supernatural ability, the paladin has an empathic link with the weapon out to a distance of up to one mile. The paladin does not perceive the weapon’s surroundings, but they can communicate telepathically. A sentient object has an alien Intelligence, so misunderstandings are always possible.

Spell Receptacle: The paladin can store one of the spells he can prepare for the day inside the weapon as if he had an extra spell slot. He can store a spell of any level he can cast, and can call it forth at any time as a standard action. The stored spell is cast normally, but its point of origin is the weapon, not the paladin.

Bonus Feat: The weapon ‘learns’ a feat that it can impart on its owner. The paladin can make use of the feat as if he possessed it, but can only do so while holding his bond companion. This counts as a virtual feat towards meeting the prerequisites of other feats, however, the paladin can use such feats only when wielding his bonded weapon. The virtual feat (Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Weapon Focus or Weapon Specialisation) the paladin receives as the basic benefit of bonding a weapon also counts to meet prerequisites of a feat chosen by the bond companion. The feats available as bonus feats for bond companions are the same as the bonus feats for a fighter character.

Caster Bonus: The bond companion lends its newly acquired Wisdom and power to its wielder. The bond companion adds its Wisdom modifier to the paladin’s caster level. This does not give the paladin access to higher level spells or adds spell slots, it just affects the way some of his spells work and their caster level.

Spell Resistance: The bond companion grants the paladin a Spell Resistance 15, which works only when the weapon is drawn.

Divine Grace Bonus: As its personality develops, the bond companion adds its Strength to the paladin’s divine grace class feature, adding a +1 inherent bonus to all his saves.


The custos is beyond the relic and even the bond companion. When the paladin bonds with his weapon and prays, the deity or force he serves answers and sends one of its own to inhabit the weapon. The sword, mace, hammer or whatever weapon the paladin bonded with becomes a special creature, a being in its own right whose only limitations reside in not being able to move by itself, and sometimes not even that.

The custos is an outsider from the outer planes but, by being bonded to the paladin and inhabiting his weapon, it becomes a native of the paladin’s plane, protected from magic that would expel it or hinder it. It is totally loyal to the paladin, but it is also loyal to the forces that sent it to him and has an agenda to follow, which includes advising the paladin into following it.

Acquiring a custos is deceptively easy. After sacrificing 400 XP to call for the weapon’s new soul, the weapon is suddenly imbued with the custos’ essence. Before accepting its new form, the custos asks the primary purpose the paladin will use it for, and then moulds its power around that purpose, possibly earning its first level in a custos class as detailed below.

The character spends an additional 80 XP, to give the custos its first level in a custos class, a unique character class available only for a custos that the paladin chooses at the moment of calling. Each class focuses on fulfilling a broad purpose, such as fighting demons or opposing mortal injustice.

A custos does not advance in class as a character, however, for even if it is a creature, it is bound to both the weapon it is part of and the paladin it serves. The amounts of experience in the tables are the total experience points that the custos accumulates to reach the next level of power. There are two ways in which a custos obtains sufficient power to increase its capabilities:

† The paladin spends part of his own life essence to advance the custos. Each time he gains experience, the paladin may spend part of it on the custos, up to 50% of the amount gained. He cannot spend experience on the custos at any other time.

† The custos gains experience by itself every time it defeats an enemy, or contributes to its defeat. Multiply the creature’s Challenge Rating by 50 and divide by the custos’ enhancement bonus to obtain the XP that the custos gains when the encounter ends. The experience gained by the custos in this manner is subtracted from that received by paladin for the defeat of the creature.

A custos can ‘multiclass’ by taking levels in another custos class. To do this, the level must be purchased separately and its cost is the same as if it was being taken for the first time. A custos can only take one additional class, which can never be higher than its primary class. Furthermore, the enhancement bonuses for both classes do not stack (affecting any enhancement-dependent characteristics). By multiclassing, the custos only gains additional abilities and extra Hit Dice.

Custos Characteristics

Custos are considered bound outsiders of lawful good alignment but also share some of the qualities of a construct due to their existence as a holy weapon. Their strong alignment causes any chaotic or evil creature that holds them to gain a negative level, just as with a holy weapon.

Hit Die: Depending on its class, a custos has Hit Dice. The custos adds its rolled hit points to the normal total for a weapon of its type. For example, a greatsword has 10 hit points and, if serving as the material body of a 2nd level crusader custos, it may add 2d10 to this amount. Remember that magical weapons add their enhancement bonus to both their hardness and their hit points. Some special custos abilities draw from the custos’ reserve of hit points. The custos may never use the hit points of the material weapon for this purpose, but it heals all hit points just like a character – its level per night of rest.

Ego: A custos’ personality is always active even if its paladin is not holding it. Although it rarely enters contests of dominance against its true owner, it will do so in every round it is held by another creature. Its Ego score is equal to its Charisma score plus its total custos class level. See SRD for how Ego contests are resolved.

Enhancement Bonus: As a magic weapon, a custos has an enhancement bonus that improves as it gains power. This bonus works normally for attack and damage as well as for purposes of defeating a creature’s damage reduction. It also affects some special abilities, as described later. This enhancement bonus does not stack with any already present upon the weapon chosen as the custos, the highest bonus applies.

Communication: When first coming into a paladin’s service, the custos can only communicate with him by transmitting emotions but, as it gains levels, it gains the capacity for speech as well as full telepathy. Empathy and telepathy are automatic with the paladin up to one mile away, while communicating in such ways with other creatures has a range of 100 feet only. For multiclass custos, communication forms do not stack to gain a better method; only the one from its highest class applies. Some custos classes start their communication as limited empathy, meaning they can only communicate by glowing, shaking faintly or other such ambiguous signs.

Saves: The custos makes Fortitude, Reflex and Will saves as if it was a normal magical item, with a bonus equal to its highest class level. As it has a Wisdom score, it adds its Wisdom modifier to Will saves. As a half-construct, the custos is immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, disease, and similar effects. It is not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage. It is also immune to Transmutation magic. An exception to construct immunities is that the custos is affected by magic that targets creatures of lawful and/or good alignment, except for banishment, dismissal and other effects that send outsiders back to their home planes. It can be trapped by a magic circle spell, but only if it is not being carried or used by its paladin. While it is being wielded, the custos has the option of using the paladin’s saves or its own.

Abilities: Custos do not have physical attributes, so they do not have Strength, Dexterity or Constitution scores. They do have Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. A custos determines its abilities similarly to an intelligent magical item. It rolls 1d8+12 for a superior ability, 1d6+12 for a good ability and 2d6+5 for a regular ability. The custos’ class determines which ability is superior, good or regular, and only its first class applies. At 5th and 10th levels, the custos may increase one of its abilities by one point.

Skills and Feats: Like a character, a custos gains skills and feats. It starts with one feat, chosen at its invocation, and a number of skill points depending on its class. It only has skills related to the abilities it actually has, and each custos class has its own set of class skills and skill points per level. All custos grant their wielders a +2 synergy bonus on skills they have 5 or more ranks in, and some may even grant their full skill modifier as a synergy bonus because of a special ability. The custos can grant free use of fighter and special feats to the paladin as long as he wields the custos, acting as virtual feats. If the custos has a metamagic feat, it relates only to its own spells or spell-like abilities, never to the paladin’s. How general feats apply to either custos or paladin is up to the Games Master. At 4th and 8th level, the custos gains a bonus feat as a normal character.


The chainbreaker custos does not come to help a paladin fight demons or beat back the powers of the supernatural; it arrives to fight the more mundane but no less dangerous power of tyranny. Whenever there are a people oppressed by the mandates of a cruel despot, the chainbreaker glows brightly in the hands of a hero, rallying the people to break their shackles and lending its divine strength to the purpose of creating a better future for the innocent.

Hit Die: d10.
Abilities: Superior: Charisma. Regular: Intelligence and Wisdom.

Class Skills: The chainbreaker’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Diplomacy (Charisma), Heal (Wisdom), Intimidate (Charisma), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Intelligence) and Sense Motive (Wisdom).

Starting Skill Points: (2 + Intelligence modifier) x 2.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features

Eternal Companion (Su): The chainbreaker may never be separated from its master. Once per day, the paladin may call on his custos if they are within one mile of each other, and it will appear in his hand in his next round.

Song of Heroes (Su): Once per day per enhancement bonus, the custos can sing a rallying song with effects similar to a bard’s inspire courage music ability. Affected allies receive a +2 morale bonus to saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus to attack and weapon damage rolls. The custos’ paladin enjoys the effects as well. This lasts for three rounds.

Break Imprisonment (Sp): Three times per day, the custos can open a number of locks equal to its chainbreaker level as if casting a knock spell. The locks must be within 10 feet per enhancement bonus to be affected. In addition, this effect works as a dispel magic spell if a magical means of imprisonment (though not the imprisonment spell) is within the area, using the custos’ level plus its paladin’s caster level.

Justice Above Law (Sp): The custos is perfectly aware that the mandates of justice are ill-represented by mortal law, and that such law may in fact be inherently unlawful. Once per day, the chainbreaker may cause a telepathic burst centred on its paladin that extends 30 feet away. The burst targets the paladin’s enemies in the following ways depending on their HD and their alignment:

HD or Level Any Chaotic Lawful Evil
8 or more Deafened Slowed, deafened
Less than 8 Slowed, deafened Paralyzed, slowed, deafened
Less than 4 Paralyzed, slowed,deafened 2d6 Constitution damage, paralyzed, slowed, deafened

The custos knows who the paladin wants to target and does not affect the paladin’s allies or any innocent bystander of chaotic alignment, but it does not forgive those who bend the law for their own gain, and no lawful evil creature is spared. Chaotic creatures may roll a Will save (DC 13 + custos’ Charisma modifier) to negate the effect. Lawful evil creatures get no saving throw.

Free Movement (Sp): When the chainbreaker is unsheathed, the paladin acts as if under the effect of a continuous freedom of movement spell. Once per day per custos’ Charisma modifier, the paladin may touch another creature and free it from the effects freedom of movement wards against.

Break enchantment (Sp): Once per day per enhancement bonus, the chainbreaker may cast the break enchantment spell, with a caster level equal to its chainbreaker level plus its paladin’s caster level.

Bonded Weapon – The Chainbreaker Custos

Custos Level XP Cost Bonus EnhancementSpecial Ability
180 +1 Empathy
2 500 +1 Eternal Companion
3 920 +2 Speech, Song of Heroes
4 1,400 +2 Bonus Feat
5 1,920 +3 Ability Increase, Break Imprisonment
62,500 +3 Telepathy
7 3,080 +4 Justice Before Law
83,740 +4 Bonus Feat
9 4,400 +5 Free movement
105,140 +5 Ability Increase, break enchantment


A crusading custos arrives in the Material Plane with a clear purpose: to hunt down and destroy the servants of evil. Its powers are focused towards detecting and countering the abilities of evil clerics, cultists and supernatural servants of evil deities. The custos is a holy warrior serving another, providing a direct connection to their shared divine master in the celestial planes.

Hit Die: d8.
Abilities: Superior: Wisdom. Regular: Intelligence and Charisma.

Class Skills: The crusader’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Wisdom)*, Gather Information (Charisma), Heal (Wisdom), Knowledge (religion, the planes) (Intelligence), Spot (Wisdom) and Sense Motive (Wisdom), Spellcraft (Intelligence). See Skills in SRD for descriptions.
*The custos uses Wisdom instead of Constitution as the base ability for its Concentration checks.

Starting Skill Points: (4 + Intelligence modifier) x 2.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features

Sense Perfidy (Su): The custos combines its power to the paladin’s ability to detect evil. Every time the paladin uses detect evil, the custos helps him identify not only the strength of the evil aura, but also its nature and origin, and protects him from being overwhelmed by very strong evil auras.

Divine Strike (Su): The custos adds its class level to the paladin’s smite evil damage.

Counterspell (Su): The custos can negate the magic of the servants of evil. Independent of the paladin’s actions, the custos can counter any spell or spell-like ability cast by an evil cleric or outsider within 60 feet of the paladin. The custos sacrifices 2 of its hit points for every spell level it counters. When countering a spell in this manner, the custos may not counter spells of a higher level than the custos’ own level.

Divine Support: The custos opens a direct passage of divine energy between paladin and deity, so that the paladin can cast spells at a +2 caster level.

Mighty Counterspell (Su): As the counterspell ability, except that it only costs 1 point per spell level. As an option, the custos creates an antimagic area that extends 30 feet around the paladin, spending 8 hit points per spell level that will be negated while inside the area. Thus, if the custos spends 24 hit points, no spells of 3rd level and lower will work inside the area. This only applies to the spells and spell-like abilities cast by evil clerics and outsiders. Spells cast by allies are unaffected.

Domain Connection: The custos can cast one spell per day of each level from the Good or Law domains, up to 5th level. The paladin cannot attack with the custos during the round it casts a domain spell, but he still has his full-round action available, so he could engage in full defence or full movement.

Bonded Weapon – The Crusader Custos

Custos Level XP Cost Enhancement Bonus Special Ability
1 80 +1 Limited Empathy, Sense Perfidy
2 500 +1 Empathy
3 920 +2 Divine Strike
4 1,400 +2 Speech, Bonus Feat
5 1,920 +3 Ability Increase, Counterspell
6 2,500 +3 Divine Support
7 3,080 +4 Telepathy
8 3,740 +4 Bonus Feat, Mighty Counterspell
9 4,400 +5 Domain Connection
10 5,140 +5 Ability Increase


The dead are meant to stay dead and receive their just punishment or reward, and anything that brings them back is anathema to the forces of light. A paladin may not be as good at turning undead as a cleric, but once he receives a darkbane custos, the tables are turned, for its holy purpose resides in the destruction and banishment of undead. The darkbane is a beacon of light, and a conductor of positive energy, truly the bane of the undead and foil to necromantic magic.

Hit Die: d6.
Abilities: Good: Wisdom and Charisma. Regular: Intelligence.

Class Skills: The darkbane’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Wisdom)*, Heal (Wisdom), Knowledge (Arcana, the planes, undead) (Intelligence), Listen (Wisdom), Spellcraft (Intelligence) and Spot (Wisdom). See Skills in SRD for descriptions.

* The custos uses Wisdom instead of Constitution as the base ability for its Concentration checks.

Starting Skill Points: (2 + Intelligence modifier) x 2.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features

Detect Undead (Sp): While the paladin wields the custos, he can use his detect evil ability to Detect Undead instead.

Positive Energy Damage (Su): As a free action, the darkbane can sacrifice its own hit points to increase the damage it deals to undead creatures. Every hit point sacrificed by the custos deals 2 extra hit points of holy damage to undead creatures. The custos must damage the creature with a normal melee attack in order to inflict the extra damage.

Extra Turning: If he is in contact with the custos, the paladin gains the Extra Turning feat for free.

Smite undead: The paladin may use his smite evil ability to smite undead with the darkbane, dealing double the smite’s normal damage to any undead creature, regardless of alignment.

Ghost Touch (Su): The darkbane becomes a ghost touch weapon, able to attack ethereal targets without penalty. Any ethereal undead trying to pick up the darkbane is subject to a turn undead attempt every round, using the custos’ level and attributes to determine the result of the turn check.

See the Dead (Sp): The paladin can see ethereal undead as if he was subject to a continuous see invisibility spell. This does not allow the paladin to see invisible material creatures or ethereal creatures that are not undead. However, the paladin can instantly tell whether a creature is being possessed or is magically charmed or controlled by an undead creature, such as by a ghost’s possession power, a vampire’s charm gaze or a lich’s use of enchantment magic.

Destroy undead (Su): The paladin can channel one turn undead attempt through the darkbane, adding the custos’ class level and enhancement bonus to his own level when determining turning check results and turning damage. The darkbane must strike the creature it is turning or trying to destroy, but the channelling of positive energy is a free action.

Bonded Weapon – The Darkbane Custos

Custos Level XP Cost Enhancement Bonus Special Ability
1 80 +1 Empathy, Detect Undead
2 500 +1 Positive Energy Damage
3 920 +2 Speech, Extra Turning.
4 1,400 +2 Bonus Feat
5 1,920 +3 Ability Increase, Smite Undead
6 2,500 +3 Telepathy, See the Dead
7 3,080 +4 ghost touch
8 3,740 +4 Bonus Feat
9 4,400 +5 Destroy undead
10 5,140 +5 Ability Increase


The eternal war between good and evil has many battlefields, and the fiendslayer has seen them all. This custos is an old warrior, and the paladin knows it is a great honour to be bestowed with not only its companionship, but also its service. The fiendslayer’s purpose is to oppose the vilest enemies of good, the devils and demons of the lower planes. It helps the paladin in his holy mission both by protecting him from the fiends’ evil powers and bolstering his own divine might. A brave paladin wielding a fiendslayer custos is a force to be reckoned with.

Hit Die: d8.
Abilities: Superior: Wisdom. Regular: Intelligence and Charisma.

Class Skills: The fiendslayer’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Wisdom)*, Knowledge (Arcana, the planes) (Intelligence), Listen (Wisdom), Sense Motive (Wisdom), Spellcraft (Intelligence) and Spot (Wisdom).

* The custos uses Wisdom instead of Constitution as the base ability for its Concentration checks.

Starting Skill Points: (2 + Intelligence modifier) x 2.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features

True Guise (Su): When the paladin has reasons to believe a fiend is hidden or disguised in his presence, he can draw the fiendslayer and use his detect evil ability, and the custos will reveal to him any hidden, invisible, polymorphed, disguised or glamered devil or demon in the area of the detect evil. Only the paladin is able to see the fiends as they really are and, once he does, he does not need to concentrate to keep seeing them; the custos does it for him.

Protection From Evil (Sp): Three times per day, the custos may cast protection from evil on his paladin.

One on One (Su): Once per day per Wisdom modifier, the custos may erect a holy magical field centred on the paladin and extending up to 30 feet away in a circular spread. Within this field, fiends may not summon reinforcements with either their spell-like abilities or with any summon spell nor can they escape the Material Plane without confronting the paladin. The custos makes a single level check to defeat a fiend’s Spell Resistance, adding the paladin’s Charisma modifier and caster level; any demon or devil whose Spell Resistance is beaten by the custos’ check is affected with no saving throw allowed.

dismissal (Sp): Once per day, the custos may cast dismissal on a single fiend. The save’s DC is 14 + the custos’ Wisdom modifier, and the fiend subtracts the paladin’s Charisma modifier as well as the custos’ level from his saving throw result.

Mental Bulwark (Ex): The paladin and the fiendslayer share their minds and thoughts, and the custos lends its strength when the paladin tries to resist fiendish powers. The paladin adds the custos’ enhancement bonus modifier to his Will saves against any spell or spell-like ability cast by a demon or devil. If he fails, the custos is entitled to grant a second save, using its own Will save bonus, as it tries to bring the paladin back to his senses.

magic circle against evil (Sp): Three times per day, the custos may cast magic circle against evil on his paladin. In addition, it may now cast protection from evil on any of the paladin’s allies within 30 feet, and may now do so 3 times per day plus its enhancement bonus modifier.

Finger of Judgement (Su): The paladin can channel his smite evil ability through the fiendslayer, shooting a ray of holy light and making a ranged touch attack against a fiend. The attack is resolved as if the paladin had attacked in melee, rolling normally for weapon and smite damage and the custos may sacrifice hit points, up to its maximum, to deal extra holy damage at the rate of 1 point for every 5 hit points sacrificed. If the fiend is reduced below 0 hit points by the finger of judgement, it is destroyed permanently, not sent back to its home plane.

Bonded Weapon – The Fiendslayer Custos

Custos Level XP Cost Enhancement Bonus Special Ability
1 80 +1 Empathy, True Guise
2 500 +1 Protection from Evil
3 920 +2 Speech, One on One
4 1,400 +2 Bonus Feat
1,920 +3 Ability Increase, dismissal
6 2,500 +3 Telepathy, mental Bulwark
7 3,080 +4 magic circle against evil
8 3,740 +4 Bonus Feat
9 4,400 +5 Finger of Judgement
10 5,140 +5 Ability Increase


paladins may be righteous and self-disciplined, they may at times be a little uptight and at others a bit naïve, but they are certainly not stupid, an error many would-be deceivers often learn from – only because paladins can be merciful too. Unlike other custos, the truthbearer does not aim to fight extraplanar or unnatural menaces, but instead focuses on the small evils that mortals commit every day, helping the paladin pierce the veils of deceit and treachery that try to entangle him.

Hit Die: d10.
Abilities: Good: Intelligence and Wisdom. Regular: Charisma.

Class Skills: The truthbearer’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Diplomacy (Charisma), Gather Information (Charisma), Heal (Wisdom), Innuendo (Wisdom), Intimidate (Charisma), Listen (Wisdom), Read Lips (Intelligence), Search (Intelligence), Sense Motive (Wisdom) and Spot (Wisdom).

Starting Skill Points: (4 + Intelligence modifier) x 2.

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features

Healthy Suspicion (Ex): The truthbearer adds its full skill modifier to the paladin’s when making the following opposed checks: Spot (to defeat Disguise only) and Pick Pocket, Sense Motive (against Bluff checks) and Innuendo (against Innuendo checks).

Early Warning (Ex): The truthbearer is always alert, on the lookout for treacherous enemies who would ambush the paladin for fear of one-on-one, honourable combat. On a surprise round, the paladin is not considered to be flat-footed, even when he does not get to roll initiative.

Preternatural Alertness (Su): The paladin adds the custos’ full Spot and Listen modifiers to his own for all checks. Once he spots or hears something, he can lock on to the signs he detected so that he does not need to roll again to follow them, even if his target makes a second Hide or Move Silently check.

Second Sight (Ex): Now that their minds are linked, the custos and the paladin are a perfect fighting team. The truthbearer is aware of all that happens on the battlefield and grants the paladin the uncanny dodge ability, so that he cannot be flanked.

Trap Awareness (Ex): The custos practices a healthy form of paranoia, and keeps its senses alert at all times. When passing within 20 feet of a trap, hidden passage or ambush, the custos makes an automatic Search check. In addition, the paladin can wield the truthbearer to actively Search for traps, adding his Wisdom modifier to the custos’ check.

Immune to Treachery (Su): The custos’ power now protects the paladin from cowardly attack, adding its enhancement bonus to the paladin’s Fortitude saving throws against poison. In addition, it creates a deflective aura that negates the treacherous extra damage from sneak attacks, similar abilities and related feats. Lastly, it can make an instantaneous Heal check to stop the automatic damage from the wounding ability.

Resistant to Deceit (Su): The custos now helps the paladin resist deceitful magic and effects, adding its enhancement bonus to the paladin’s Will saves to resist all Enchantment and Illusion magic. If the paladin fails a saving throw against a mind-affecting effect, the custos can make a second Will save using its own save bonus to protect him. While carrying the truthbearer, the paladin gains an automatic attempt to see through illusions. Finally, the custos adds its enhancement bonus to the paladin’s Sense Motive checks when trying to perceive lies, in addition to its own full skill modifier.

Bonded Weapon – The Truthbearer Custos

Custos Level XP Cost Enhancement Bonus Special Ability
1 80 +1 Empathy
2 500 +1 Healthy Suspicion
3 920 +2 Speech, Early Warning
4 1,400 +2 Bonus Feat
5 1,920 +3 Ability Increase, Preternatural Alertness
6 2,500 +3 Telepathy, Second Sight
7 3,080 +4 Trap Awareness
8 3,740 +4 Bonus Feat
9 4,400 +5 Resistant to Deceit
10 5,140 +5 Ability Increase, Immune to treachery

Weapon Special Abilities

The following weapon abilities can be added to regular magic weapons as well as to locked power and bonded weapons. Bond companions and custos may take +1 bonus special abilities as if they were bonus feats, but only custos can take a +2 special ability needing to forego a bonus feat and ability increase at 5th level to do so.

Lesser Holy Damage: The weapon is imbued with a lesser aura of holy energy, dealing +1d6 points of holy damage to evil creatures. This is the same as a holy weapon, except that the effect is lessened. An evil creature may pick up a light holy damage weapon without repercussion, even if the weapon is antithetical to it.
Caster Level: 7th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, holy smite; Market Price: +1 bonus.

Greater Holy Damage: The weapon is imbued with a strong aura of holy energy, dealing +3d6 points of holy damage to evil creatures. This is the same as with a holy weapon, except that the effect is better. The weapon is good-aligned, and an evil creature who picks it up gains a negative level for as long as he holds onto the weapon.
Caster Level: 7th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, holy smite; Market Price: +3 bonus.

Critical Holy Damage: The weapon is imbued with an overwhelming aura of holy energy, dealing +4d6 points of holy damage to evil creatures. This is the same as with a holy weapon, except that the effect is much stronger. The weapon is good-aligned, and an evil creature who picks it up gains a negative level for as long as he holds on to the weapon.
Caster Level: 8th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, holy smite; Market Price: +4 bonus.

Turning: In the hands of any character, the weapon is a normal magic weapon with the enhancement bonus it was enchanted with but, in the hands of a cleric or a paladin, it becomes a weapon against undead. The character can make four Extra Turning attempts in a day and, if he uses the weapon next to his Holy symbol, he rolls 1d8 and adds the result to his turning checks and turning damage.
Caster Level: 9th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, Extra Turning, searing light; Market Price: +2 bonus.

Rushing: This weapon seems to be oddly balanced at first, but gives no penalty to its wielder. Three times per day the wielder may command it to gather momentum and strike with great force, as if he was charging at his target. The wielder gains a +2 circumstance bonus to attacks and may attempt to push the target back or knock him to the ground, as if executing a bull rush or trip action. For all rolls, the wielder is considered to be one size category larger than he is.
Caster Level: 9th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, bull rush, Righteous Might; Market Price: +2 bonus.

Parrying: When a character uses the fight defensively option with a parrying weapon, he does not suffer the -4 penalty to attack rolls, and gains a +4 Dodge bonus to AC instead of +2 as the weapon moves by itself to block incoming attacks.
Caster Level: 7th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, magic vestment; Market Price: +2 bonus.

Spellshatter: A weapon with this enchantment can literally shatter incoming spells. Three times per day, the wielder may counter a spell of the same or lower level than the weapon’s enhancement bonus if the spell is targeted at the wielder or the wielder is within its area of effect.
Caster Level: 13th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, dispel magic, spell turning; Market Price: +3 bonus.

Piercing: The weapon can damage creatures with damage reduction as if its enhancement bonus was three higher than it actually is. This bonus does not apply to attack or damage rolls, only to defeat damage reduction.
Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, greater magic weapon; Market Price: +1 bonus.


New Magic Weapon Enhancements

Cursed Item Helltouched:

The Gates of Hell (Dice Freaks)

Grimoire of Cosmic Entities Volume One By Eli Atkinson, William Church and Serge W. Desir, Jr.
Original Concept by Serge W. Desir, Jr.

Full netbook can be found on the following website

Dicefreaks d20 Community

One in every hundred of devil crafted items is helltouched. This curse deals 1d10 points of fire damage to its wielder or wearer (and only the wearer) every round. While is not a concern to devils, it can be a horrible surprise for the mortal who dons a bracer or gauntlet so cursed. Even demons not immune to fire tend to avoid these items, as it weakens their own innate resistance.

As much as devils would like to make this curse more prevalent, it is merely a side-affect of their creating magical items.

New Materials

Soulsteel: This material is made from the extracted souls of the damned. Forged through vile practices into a solid form, this material is extremely hard and deadly. Weapons fashioned from soulsteel deal one point of permanent hit point loss on a critical hit. Armor fashioned from soulsteel provides damage reduction 2/-, which stacks with damage reduction from other sources. Soulsteel has 30 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 15.

Pricing for Soulsteel Items
Type of Soulsteel Item Item Cost Modifier
Light Armor 5,000gp
Medium Armor 10,000gp
Heavy Armor 15,000gp
Weapon 3,000gp
Ammunition 60gp

Hellforge Iron: This dark metal is created by using a cold forging process coupled with a tempering of the blade through hellflames. This material is highly valued in the Blood War, because the forging process makes it extremely deadly to demons. When used against demons, weapons crafted of hellforge iron have the critical multiplier increased as noted in the table below.

Hellforge iron penetrates damage reduction as cold iron. It has 30 hp per inch of thickness and hardness 20.

Adjusted Critical Multipliers for Hellforge Iron (vs. Demons)

Old Multiplier

New Multiplier
x2 x3
x3 x5
x4 x7


Pricing for Hellforge Iron Items

Type of Hellforge Iron ItemItem Cost Modifier
Light Armor 3,000gp
Medium Armor 6,000gp
Heavy Armor 9,000gp
Weapon 2,500gp
Ammunition 50gp

New Magic Items

Delay Scrolls: These scrolls are identical to normal magical scrolls, except that, when created, a delayed time of effect is incorporated by the creator.

Delay scrolls are activated as per normal scrolls, but do not take immediate effect. Delays of as short as 6 rounds, and up to as long as a day are possible. Casting dispel magic or counterspelling can take place anytime from the time the scroll is activated until it actually comes into effect.

Spells that specifically target a creature or group of creatures cannot be delayed; only area affect spells can be made into a delay scroll, and the area of effect is always centered on the scroll itself.

Delay Spell, Scribe Scroll; Price: Treat the spell level as being two levels higher than normal, and increase the final price by 20%.


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