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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: PZO9467

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 PZO1123
07—12 Poison-resistant +2,250 PZO1123
13—18 Balanced +1 bonus PZO1123
19—24 Bitter +1 bonus PZO1123
25—30 Bolstering +1 bonus PZO1123
31—36 Brawling +1 bonus PZO1123
37—42 Champion +1 bonus PZO1123
43—48 Dastard +1 bonus PZO1123
49—54 Deathless +1 bonus PZO1123
55—60 Defiant +1 bonus PZO1123
61—66 Fortification (light) +1 bonus PZO1123
67—71 Grinding +1 bonus PZO1123
72—76 Impervious +1 bonus PZO1123
77—82 Mirrored +1 bonus PZO1123
83—88 Spell storing +1 bonus PZO1123
89—94 Stanching +1 bonus PZO1123
95—100 Warding +1 bonus PZO1123
+2 Armor Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—12 Glamered +2,700 PZO1123
13—24 Jousting +3,750 PZO1123
25—38 Shadow +3,750 PZO1123
39—52 Slick +3,750 PZO1123
53—64 Expeditious +4,000 PZO1123
65—76 Creeping +5,000 PZO1123
77—88 Rallying +5,000 PZO1123
89—100 Spell resistance (13) +2 bonus PZO1123
+3 Armor Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—08 Adhesive +7,000 PZO1123
09—17 Hosteling +7,500 PZO1123
18—26 Radiant +7,500 PZO1123
27—36 Delving +10,000 PZO1123
37—45 Putrid +10,000 PZO1123
46—55 Fortification (moderate) +3 bonus PZO1123
56—65 Ghost touch +3 bonus PZO1123
66—74 Invulnerability +3 bonus PZO1123
75—84 Spell resistance (15) +3 bonus PZO1123
85—92 Titanic +3 bonus PZO1123
93—100 Wild +3 bonus PZO1123
+4 Armor Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—16 Harmonizing +15,000 PZO1123
17—33 Shadow, improved +15,000 PZO1123
34—50 Slick, improved +15,000 PZO1123
51—67 Energy resistance +18,000 PZO1123
68—83 Martyring +18,000 PZO1123
84—100 Spell resistance (17) +4 bonus PZO1123
+5 Armor Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—08 Righteous +27,000 PZO1123
09—15 Unbound +27,000 PZO1123
16—23 Unrighteous +27,000 PZO1123
24—30 Vigilant +27,000 PZO1123
31—37 Determination +30,000 PZO1123
38—45 Shadow, greater +33,750 PZO1123
46—53 Slick, greater +33,750 PZO1123
54—61 Energy resistance, improved +42,000 PZO1123
62—69 Etherealness +49,000 PZO1123
70—76 Undead controlling +49,000 PZO1123
77—84 Energy resistance, greater +66,000 PZO1123
85—92 Fortification (heavy) +5 bonus PZO1123
93—100 Spell resistance (19) +5 bonus PZO1123
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 PZO1123
34—66 Otyugh hide 2,565 PZO1123
67—100 Dragonhide plate 3,300 PZO1123
Lesser Medium Specific Magic Armor
d% Armor Price (gp) Source
01—33 Elven chain 5,150 PZO1123
34—66 Rhino hide 5,165 PZO1123
67—100 Morlock hide 8,910 PZO1123
Greater Medium Specific Magic Armor
d% Armor Price (gp) Source
01—15 Adamantine breastplate 10,200 PZO1123
16—25 Soothsayer’s raiment 10,300 PZO1123
26—38 Equestrian plate 10,650 PZO1123
39—50 Enchanted eelskin 11,160 PZO1123
51—62 Boneless leather 12,160 PZO1123
63—72 Murderer’s blackcloth 12,405 PZO1123
73—86 Folding plate 12,650 PZO1123
87—100 Breastplate of vanishing 15,200 PZO1123
Lesser Major Specific Magic Armor
d% Armor Price (gp) Source
01—13 Armor of insults 16,175 PZO1123
14—29 Dwarven plate 16,500 PZO1123
30—45 Banded mail of luck 18,900 PZO1123
46—58 Catskin leather 18,910 PZO1123
59—71 Celestial armor 22,400 PZO1123
72—84 Buccaneer’s breastplate 23,850 PZO1123
85—100 Plate armor of the deep 24,650 PZO1123
Greater Major Specific Magic Armor
d% Armor Price (gp) Source
01—10 Breastplate of command 25,400 PZO1123
11—14 Forsaken banded mail 25,400 PZO1123
15—24 Mithral full plate of speed 26,500 PZO1123
25—28 Warden of the woods 29,350 PZO1123
29—32 Scarab breastplate 32,350 PZO1123
33—38 Giant-hide armor (ogre) 39,165 PZO1123
39—42 Hamatula hide 44,215 PZO1123
43—48 Giant-hide armor (hill giant) 46,665 PZO1123
49—52 Demon armor 52,260 PZO1123
53—58 Giant-hide armor (stone, fire, or frost giant) 54,165 PZO1123
59—64 Giant-hide armor (troll) 59,165 PZO1123
65—70 Mail of malevolence 61,300 PZO1123
71—76 Giant-hide armor (cloud giant) 69,165 PZO1123
77—82 Giant-hide armor (storm giant) 76,665 PZO1123
83—88 Daystar half-plate 81,250 PZO1123
89—96 Invincible armor 137,650 PZO1123
97—100 Prismatic plate 160,650 PZO1123

Table: Shield Special Abilities

+1 Shield Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—10 Poison-resistant +2,250 PZO1123
11—19 Arrow catching +1 bonus PZO1123
20—28 Bashing +1 bonus PZO1123
29—37 Blinding +1 bonus PZO1123
38—46 Clangorous +1 bonus PZO1123
47—55 Defiant +1 bonus PZO1123
56—64 Fortification (light) +1 bonus PZO1123
65—73 Grinding +1 bonus PZO1123
74—82 Impervious +1 bonus PZO1123
83—91 Mirrored +1 bonus PZO1123
92—100 Ramming +1 bonus PZO1123
+2 Shield Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—15 Rallying +5,000 PZO1123
16—30 Wyrmsbreath +5,000 PZO1123
31—50 Animated +2 bonus PZO1123
51—67 Arrow deflection +2 bonus PZO1123
68—82 Merging +2 bonus PZO1123
83—100 Spell resistance (13) +2 bonus PZO1123
+3 Shield Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—15 Hosteling +7,500 PZO1123
16—32 Radiant +7,500 PZO1123
33—49 Fortification (moderate) +3 bonus PZO1123
50—66 Ghost touch +3 bonus PZO1123
67—83 Spell resistance (15) +3 bonus PZO1123
84—98 Wild +3 bonus PZO1123
+4 Shield Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
01—50 Energy resistance +18,000 PZO1123
51—100 Spell resistance (17) +4 bonus PZO1123
+5 Shield Special Abilities
d% Special Ability Base Price1 Source
1—11 Determination +30,000 PZO1123
12—27 Energy resistance, improved +42,000 PZO1123
28—38 Undead controlling +49,000 PZO1123
39—55 Energy resistance, greater +66,000 PZO1123
56—70 Fortification (heavy) +5 bonus PZO1123
71—85 Reflecting +5 bonus PZO1123
86—100 Spell resistance (19) +5 bonus PZO1123
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 PZO1123
21—45 Darkwood Buckler 203 PZO1123
46—70 Darkwood shield 257 PZO1123
71—100 Mithral heavy shield 1,020 PZO1123

Greater Minor Specific Magic Shields
d% Shield Price (gp) Source
01—30 Zombie skin shield 2,159 PZO1123
31—75 Caster’s shield 3,153 PZO1123
76—100 Burglar’s Buckler 4,655 PZO1123

Lesser Medium Specific Magic Shields
d% Shield Price (gp) Source
01—35 Spined shield 5,580 PZO1123
36—50 Dragonslayer’s shield 7,170 PZO1123
51—65 Collapsible tower 8,170 PZO1123
66—100 Lion’s shield 9,170 PZO1123

Greater Medium Specific Magic Shields
d% Shield Price (gp) Source
01—20 Caster’s shield, greater 10,153 PZO1123
21—40 Celestial shield 13,170 PZO1123
41—60 Maelstrom shield 14,170 PZO1123
61—80 Volcanic shield 14,170 PZO1123
81—100 Tempest shield 15,170 PZO1123

Lesser Major Specific Magic Shields
d% Shield Price (gp) Source
01—20 Battlement shield 16,180 PZO1123
21—40 Winged shield 17,257 PZO1123
41—60 Avalanche shield 19,170 PZO1123
61—80 Fortress shield 19,180 PZO1123
81—100 Wyrmslayer’s shield 20,170 PZO1123

Greater Major Specific Magic Shields
d% Shield Price (gp) Source
01—20 Spell ward tower shield 25,180 PZO1123
21—35 Quick block buckler 36,155 PZO1123
36—50 Belligerent shield 36,170 PZO1123
51—65 Force tower 46,030 PZO1123
66—85 Absorbing shield 50,170 PZO1123
86—100 Elysian shield 52,620 PZO1123