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Magic Armor


Enchanted armor is one of the most important things an adventurer can acquire—for what good is wealth and power when a dragon claw rips through your breastplate?

In general, magic armor protects the wearer to a greater extent than non-magical armor. Magic Armor bonuses are enhancement bonuses, never rise above +5, and stack with regular armor bonuses (and with shield and magic shield enhancement bonuses). All magic armor is also masterwork armor, reducing armor check penalties by 1.

In addition to an enhancement bonus, armor may have special abilities . Special abilities usually count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of an item, but do not improve AC. A suit of armor cannot have an effective bonus (enhancement plus special ability bonus equivalents, including those from character abilities and spells) higher than +10. A suit of armor with a special ability must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

Special Materials: A suit of armor or a shield may be made of an unusual material.

d% Special Material
01–95 The item is of a standard sort
96-100 The item is made of a special material

Armor is always created so that if the type of armor comes with a pair of boots, a helm, or a set of gauntlets, these pieces can be exchanged for other magic boots, helms, or gauntlets.

Caster Level for armor and shields: The caster level of a magic shield or magic armor with a special ability is given in the item description. For an item with only an enhancement bonus, the caster level is three times the enhancement bonus. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met.

Shields: Shield enhancement bonuses stack with armor enhancement bonuses. Shield enhancement bonuses do not act as attack or damage bonuses when the shield is used in a shield bash. The bashing special ability, however, does grant a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls (see the special ability description).

A shield could be built that also acted as a magic weapon, but the cost of the enhancement bonus on attack rolls would need to be added into the cost of the shield and its enhancement bonus to AC.

As with armor, special abilities built into the shield add to the market value in the form of additions to the bonus of the shield, although they do not improve AC. A shield cannot have an effective bonus (enhancement plus special ability bonus equivalents) higher than +10. A shield with a special ability must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

Activation: Usually a character benefits from magic armor and shields in exactly the way a character benefits from non-magical armor and shields: by wearing them. If armor or a shield has a special ability that the user needs to activate, then the user usually needs to utter the command word (a standard action).

Armor for Unusual Creatures: The cost of armor for non-humanoid creatures, as well as for creatures who are neither Small nor Medium, varies. The cost of the masterwork quality and any magical enhancement remains the same.

Spellscribed Armor

Source: PPC:AMH

The myriad of threats that adventures face often go well beyond mere weapons, so many spellcasters trained in the use of armor seek to augment it with spells.

Any spellcaster with both Craft Magic Arms and Armor and either Scribe Scroll or Brew Potion can create spellscribed armor. A single suit of armor can be inscribed with a number of spells equal to its base armor bonus (not including its enhancement bonus).

For example, a suit of breastplate armor (which has a +6 armor bonus) can have up to six spells inscribed on it. If you are using the piecemeal armor rules, only a piece of armor that grants an armor bonus can be spellscribed.

The maximum level for spells contained in spellscribed armor depends on the type of armor being inscribed.

Light armor, a buckler, or a light shield can hold up to 3rdlevel spells; medium armor or a heavy shield can hold up to 6th-level spells; heavy armor or a tower shield can hold up to 9th-level spells.

An inscribed spell is a spell-completion item that only the wearer of spellscribed armor may activate, and only if he is proficient with the type of armor worn. The inscribed spell vanishes when activated. The inscribed spell must be visible to the wearer and must be touched as part of its activation. Otherwise, suits of spellscribed armor are treated as scrolls (except that using them doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity) and use the rules for spell-completion items.

The process to create spellscribed armor requires access to expensive etching and scribing materials worth an amount of gold pieces equal to the inscribed spell’s level × the creator’s caster level × 100 (plus the price of any expensive material components).

Spells inscribed on armor can be dispelled as if they were separate magic items (treat them as scrolls), wholly independent of the suit of armor on which they are etched.

Table: Magic Armor and Shields

Table: Armor and Shield Pricing by Bonus
Armor or Shield Bonus Base Price
+1 1,000
+2 4,000
+3 9,000
+4 16,000
+5 25,000
+6* 36,000
+7* 49,000
+8* 64,000
+9* 81,000
+10* 100,000

* An armor or shield can’t have an enhancement bonus higher than +5. Use these lines to determine price when special abilities that count as additional bonuses are added in.

Lesser Minor Magic Armor or Shield
d% Armor or Shield
01—80 +1 armor or shield (1,000 gp base price)
81—100 Lesser minor specific armor or shield
Greater Minor Magic Armor or Shield
d% Armor or Shield
01—26 +1 armor or shield (1,000 gp base price)
27—53 +2 armor or shield (4,000 gp base price)
54—80 +1 armor with one +1 special ability1 or +1 shield with one +1 special ability1
81—100 Greater minor specific armor or shield
Lesser Medium Magic Armor or Shield
d% Armor or Shield
01—10 +1 armor or shield (1,000 gp base price)
11—20 +2 armor or shield (4,000 gp base price)
21—32 +3 armor or shield (9,000 gp base price)
33—44 +1 armor with one +1 special ability1 or +1 shield with one +1 special ability1
45—56 +1 armor with two +1 special abilities1 or +1 shield with one +1 special abilities1
57—68 +1 armor with one +2 special ability1 or +1 shield with one +2 special ability1
69—80 +2 armor with one +1 special abilities1 or +2 shield with one +1 special abilities1
81—100 Lesser medium specific armor or shield
Greater Medium Magic Armor or Shield
d% Armor or Shield
01—10 +2 armor or shield (4,000 gp base price)
11—22 +3 armor or shield (9,000 gp base price)
23—32 +1 armor with one +1 special ability1 or +1 shield with one +1 special ability1
33—44 +1 armor with one +2 special ability1 or +1 shield with one +2 special ability1
45—56 +2 armor with one +1 special ability1 or +2 shield with one +1 special ability1
57—68 +2 armor with one +2 special ability1 or +2 shield with one +2 special ability1
69—80 +3 armor with one +1 special ability1 or +3 shield with one +1 special ability1
81—100 Greater medium specific armor or shield
Lesser Major Magic Armor or Shield
d% Armor or Shield
01—10 +3 armor or shield (9,000 gp base price)
11—22 +4 armor or shield (16,000 gp base price)
23—32 +1 armor with one +2 special ability1 or +1 shield with one +2 special ability1
33—44 +1 armor with one +3 special ability1 or +1 shield with one +3 special ability1
45—56 +2 armor with one +2 special ability1 or +2 shield with one +2 special ability1
57—68 +3 armor with one +1 special ability1 or +3 shield with one +1 special ability1
69—80 +4 armor with one +1 special ability1 or +4 shield with one +1 special ability1
81—100 Lesser major specific armor or shield
Greater Major Magic Armor or Shield
d% Armor or Shield
01—10 +4 armor or shield (16,000 gp base price)
11—20 +5 armor or shield (25,000 gp base price)
21—30 +4 armor with one +1 special ability1 or +4 shield with one +1 special ability1
31—38 +4 armor with one +2 special ability1 or +4 shield with one +2 special ability1
39—46 +4 armor with one +3 special ability1 or +4 shield with one +3 special ability1
47—51 +4 armor with one +4 special ability1 or +4 shield with one +4 special ability1
52—59 +5 armor with one +1 special ability1 or +5 shield with one +1 special ability1
60—67 +5 armor with one +2 special ability1 or +5 shield with one +2 special ability1
68—71 +5 armor with one +3 special ability1 or +5 shield with one +3 special ability1
72—74 +5 armor with two +2 special abilities1 or +5 shield with two +2 special abilities1
75—77 +5 armor with one +4 special ability1 or +5 shield with one +4 special ability1
78—80 +5 armor with one +5 special ability1 or +5 shield with one +5 special ability1
81—100 Greater major specific armor or shield
1 See Table: Armor Special Abilities and Table: Shield Special Abilities

Magic Armor and Shield Special Abilities

Most magic armor and shields have only enhancement bonuses. Such items can also have one or more of the special abilities detailed below. Armor or a shield with a special ability must have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

Table: Armor Special Abilities

+1 Armor Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—06 Benevolent +2,000 PRG:UE
07—12 Poison-resistant +2,250 PRG:UE
13—18 Balanced +1 bonus PRG:UE
19—24 Bitter +1 bonus PRG:UE
25—30 Bolstering +1 bonus PRG:UE
31—36 Brawling +1 bonus PRG:UE
37—42 Champion +1 bonus PRG:UE
43—48 Dastard +1 bonus PRG:UE
49—54 Deathless +1 bonus PRG:UE
55—60 Defiant +1 bonus PRG:UE
61—66 Fortification (light) +1 bonus PRG:UE
67—71 Grinding +1 bonus PRG:UE
72—76 Impervious +1 bonus PRG:UE
77—82 Mirrored +1 bonus PRG:UE
83—88 Spell storing +1 bonus PRG:UE
89—94 Stanching +1 bonus PRG:UE
95—100 Warding +1 bonus PRG:UE
+2 Armor Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—12 Glamered +2,700 PRG:UE
13—24 Jousting +3,750 PRG:UE
25—38 Shadow +3,750 PRG:UE
39—52 Slick +3,750 PRG:UE
53—64 Expeditious +4,000 PRG:UE
65—76 Creeping +5,000 PRG:UE
77—88 Rallying +5,000 PRG:UE
89—100 Spell resistance (13) +2 bonus PRG:UE
+3 Armor Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—08 Adhesive +7,000 PRG:UE
09—17 Hosteling +7,500 PRG:UE
18—26 Radiant +7,500 PRG:UE
27—36 Delving +10,000 PRG:UE
37—45 Putrid +10,000 PRG:UE
46—55 Fortification (moderate) +3 bonus PRG:UE
56—65 Ghost touch +3 bonus PRG:UE
66—74 Invulnerability +3 bonus PRG:UE
75—84 Spell resistance (15) +3 bonus PRG:UE
85—92 Titanic +3 bonus PRG:UE
93—100 Wild +3 bonus PRG:UE
+4 Armor Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—16 Harmonizing +15,000 PRG:UE
17—33 Shadow, improved +15,000 PRG:UE
34—50 Slick, improved +15,000 PRG:UE
51—67 Energy resistance +18,000 PRG:UE
68—83 Martyring +18,000 PRG:UE
84—100 Spell resistance (17) +4 bonus PRG:UE
+5 Armor Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—08 Righteous +27,000 PRG:UE
09—15 Unbound +27,000 PRG:UE
16—23 Unrighteous +27,000 PRG:UE
24—30 Vigilant +27,000 PRG:UE
31—37 Determination +30,000 PRG:UE
38—45 Shadow, greater +33,750 PRG:UE
46—53 Slick, greater +33,750 PRG:UE
54—61 Energy resistance, improved +42,000 PRG:UE
62—69 Etherealness +49,000 PRG:UE
70—76 Undead controlling +49,000 PRG:UE
77—84 Energy resistance, greater +66,000 PRG:UE
85—92 Fortification (heavy) +5 bonus PRG:UE
93—100 Spell resistance (19) +5 bonus PRG:UE
1 Add to enhancement bonus on Table: Armor and Shield Pricing by Bonus to determine total price

Table: Specific Armors

Lesser Minor Specific Magic Armor
d% Armor Price (gp)
01—50 Mithral shirt 1,100
51—100 Masterwork armor or non-magical armor made with special material varies
Greater Minor Specific Magic Armor
d% Armor Price (gp) Source
01—33 Mistmail 2,250 PRG:UE
34—66 Otyugh hide 2,565 PRG:UE
67—100 Dragonhide plate 3,300 PRG:UE
Lesser Medium Specific Magic Armor
d% Armor Price (gp) Source
01—33 Elven chain 5,150 PRG:UE
34—66 Rhino hide 5,165 PRG:UE
67—100 Morlock hide 8,910 PRG:UE
Greater Medium Specific Magic Armor
d% Armor Price (gp) Source
01—15 Adamantine breastplate 10,200 PRG:UE
16—25 Soothsayer’s raiment 10,300 PRG:UE
26—38 Equestrian plate 10,650 PRG:UE
39—50 Enchanted eelskin 11,160 PRG:UE
51—62 Boneless leather 12,160 PRG:UE
63—72 Murderer’s blackcloth 12,405 PRG:UE
73—86 Folding plate 12,650 PRG:UE
87—100 Breastplate of vanishing 15,200 PRG:UE
Lesser Major Specific Magic Armor
d% Armor Price (gp) Source
01—13 Armor of insults 16,175 PRG:UE
14—29 Dwarven plate 16,500 PRG:UE
30—45 Banded mail of luck 18,900 PRG:UE
46—58 Catskin leather 18,910 PRG:UE
59—71 Celestial armor 22,400 PRG:UE
72—84 Buccaneer’s breastplate 23,850 PRG:UE
85—100 Plate armor of the deep 24,650 PRG:UE
Greater Major Specific Magic Armor
d% Armor Price (gp) Source
01—10 Breastplate of command 25,400 PRG:UE
11—14 Forsaken banded mail 25,400 PRG:UE
15—24 Mithral full plate of speed 26,500 PRG:UE
25—28 Warden of the woods 29,350 PRG:UE
29—32 Scarab breastplate 32,350 PRG:UE
33—38 Giant-hide armor (ogre) 39,165 PRG:UE
39—42 Hamatula hide 44,215 PRG:UE
43—48 Giant-hide armor (hill giant) 46,665 PRG:UE
49—52 Demon armor 52,260 PRG:UE
53—58 Giant-hide armor (stone, fire, or frost giant) 54,165 PRG:UE
59—64 Giant-hide armor (troll) 59,165 PRG:UE
65—70 Mail of malevolence 61,300 PRG:UE
71—76 Giant-hide armor (cloud giant) 69,165 PRG:UE
77—82 Giant-hide armor (storm giant) 76,665 PRG:UE
83—88 Daystar half-plate 81,250 PRG:UE
89—96 Invincible armor 137,650 PRG:UE
97—100 Prismatic plate 160,650 PRG:UE

Table: Shield Special Abilities

+1 Shield Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—10 Poison-resistant +2,250 PRG:UE
11—19 Arrow catching +1 bonus PRG:UE
20—28 Bashing +1 bonus PRG:UE
29—37 Blinding +1 bonus PRG:UE
38—46 Clangorous +1 bonus PRG:UE
47—55 Defiant +1 bonus PRG:UE
56—64 Fortification (light) +1 bonus PRG:UE
65—73 Grinding +1 bonus PRG:UE
74—82 Impervious +1 bonus PRG:UE
83—91 Mirrored +1 bonus PRG:UE
92—100 Ramming +1 bonus PRG:UE
+2 Shield Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—15 Rallying +5,000 PRG:UE
16—30 Wyrmsbreath +5,000 PRG:UE
31—50 Animated +2 bonus PRG:UE
51—67 Arrow deflection +2 bonus PRG:UE
68—82 Merging +2 bonus PRG:UE
83—100 Spell resistance (13) +2 bonus PRG:UE
+3 Shield Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—15 Hosteling +7,500 PRG:UE
16—32 Radiant +7,500 PRG:UE
33—49 Fortification (moderate) +3 bonus PRG:UE
50—66 Ghost touch +3 bonus PRG:UE
67—83 Spell resistance (15) +3 bonus PRG:UE
84—98 Wild +3 bonus PRG:UE
+4 Shield Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—50 Energy resistance +18,000 PRG:UE
51—100 Spell resistance (17) +4 bonus PRG:UE
+5 Shield Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
1—11 Determination +30,000 PRG:UE
12—27 Energy resistance, improved +42,000 PRG:UE
28—38 Undead controlling +49,000 PRG:UE
39—55 Energy resistance, greater +66,000 PRG:UE
56—70 Fortification (heavy) +5 bonus PRG:UE
71—85 Reflecting +5 bonus PRG:UE
86—100 Spell resistance (19) +5 bonus PRG:UE
1 Add to enhancement bonus on Table: Armor and Shield Pricing by Bonus to determine total price

Table: Specific Shields

Lesser Minor Specific Magic Shields
d% Shield Price (gp) Source
01—20 Living steel heavy shield 120 PRG:UE
21—45 Darkwood Buckler 203 PRG:UE
46—70 Darkwood shield 257 PRG:UE
71—100 Mithral heavy shield 1,020 PRG:UE
Greater Minor Specific Magic Shields
d% Shield Price (gp) Source
01—30 Zombie skin shield 2,159 PRG:UE
31—75 Caster’s shield 3,153 PRG:UE
76—100 Burglar’s Buckler 4,655 PRG:UE
Lesser Medium Specific Magic Shields
d% Shield Price (gp) Source
01—35 Spined shield 5,580 PRG:UE
36—50 Dragonslayer’s shield 7,170 PRG:UE
51—65 Collapsible tower 8,170 PRG:UE
66—100 Lion’s shield 9,170 PRG:UE
Greater Medium Specific Magic Shields
d% Shield Price (gp) Source
01—20 Caster’s shield, greater 10,153 PRG:UE
21—40 Celestial shield 13,170 PRG:UE
41—60 Maelstrom shield 14,170 PRG:UE
61—80 Volcanic shield 14,170 PRG:UE
81—100 Tempest shield 15,170 PRG:UE
Lesser Major Specific Magic Shields
d% Shield Price (gp) Source
01—20 Battlement shield 16,180 PRG:UE
21—40 Winged shield 17,257 PRG:UE
41—60 Avalanche shield 19,170 PRG:UE
61—80 Fortress shield 19,180 PRG:UE
81—100 Wyrmslayer’s shield 20,170 PRG:UE
Greater Major Specific Magic Shields
d% Shield Price (gp) Source
01—20 Spell ward tower shield 25,180 PRG:UE
21—35 Quick block buckler 36,155 PRG:UE
36—50 Belligerent shield 36,170 PRG:UE
51—65 Force tower 46,030 PRG:UE
66—85 Absorbing shield 50,170 PRG:UE
86—100 Elysian shield 52,620 PRG:UE