Eclipse, The Practical Enchanter, and Epic Item Creation

And today it’s a quick question from Alzrius.

I’ve noticed that both Eclipse and The Practical Enchanter are largely silent on the issue of creating epic magic items. This is slightly ambiguous, since there are some areas where the books diverge from the standard rules, and so I’m not sure to what extent (if any) they’d do so there.

For instance, Eclipse has Create Item for traditional magic item creation, but there is no epic version of those feats (e.g. no Eclipse version of Craft Epic Wondrous Item), which technically means that such things couldn’t be made? Or would the basic version be sufficient? Likewise, The Practical Enchanter doesn’t list any x10 multiplier to the cost of epic magic items in its item creation tables (or any altered XP costs for epic items, for that matter).

Given that most of the subtler changes are still called out (e.g. making Heighten Spell innate, or having the magic item tables not use those footnotes in 3.5 that changed a magic item’s cost based on the spell’s duration), should those epic alterations for making magic items be left in, or discarded?

-Alzrius

In general, unless one is listed in the ability itself, abilities from Eclipse and The Practical Enchanter abilities do not have a “level twenty” limit. Thus Augment Attack has a listed maximum you can buy – but Defender will keep right on raising your armor class for levels past twenty, just as Trick will keep right on raising the DC for victims to save, and Imbuement will give your weapon ever more power. Similarly, the “Create Item” abilities do not have an upper bound unless the GM opts to put one in – which I do not really recommend.

The Epic Magic Item rules have some problems anyway.

  • They don’t interact well with things (like Fey Cherry Wood, or the Scribe cleric alternate class feature, or the Golden Helm Guild) which reduce the cost for some crafters – meaning that you can wind up with otherwise identical magic items save that one has a “market cost” of 193,500 GP and the other (made by someone without a 10% price break) has a “market cost” of 2,150,000 GP. Similarly, an item that grants three differing +2 bonuses may wind up suddenly becoming an epic item – while a trio of +2 slotless items glued together is not, even if the two are effectively identical.
  • Secondarily, there are bonus types that aren’t considered, there are ways to increase an items caster level that specifically do not increase it’s cost, and you can wind up with a situation where adding the 500 GP “Illuminating” enchantment to your +5 Vorpal Sword costs 1,805,000 GP (Market Price above 200,000 GP) while making it intelligent and giving it a bunch of powers – including unlimited production of light – will only cost 100,000 or so.
  • Then, of course, there were a number of published items from before the Epic Level Handbook with costs greater than 200,000 – which were now presumably epic (and useless, since the characters they were meant for now could not afford them). Of course, the Magic Item Compendium – which was published well after the Epic Level Handbook – lists the classic Staff of Power at 211,000 GP without changing it to an epic item – despite mentioning the epic level rules about magic items costing more than 200,000 GP previously. Maybe those very expensive pre-Epic Level Handbook items are grandfathered in?
  • Finally… the Epic Handbook rules were a very mixed bag. The Epic Spell system was hard to avoid breaking, the magic items were mostly just “with higher plusses” (which could be beaten out by Relics in many cases), the order in which you took classes had a massive impact, some skills had many epic uses, others none, and so on. I made sure that Eclipse could duplicate the various abilities – but (as with most things in Eclipse) “level” didn’t really come into it.

Overall, trying to duplicate a system who’s only real use was to restrict access to slightly more powerful magic items and which was such a mess already simply didn’t seem worthwhile – especially when Relics (as shown in Eclipse II) could be used to make far more interesting “epic items” in any case.

So for the quick summary answer… No. Eclipse and The Practical Enchanter are not really designed for use with the Epic Level rules on item prices and do not normally use those rules.

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