While not truly an artifact, the epic magic item is a creation of such power that it surpasses other magic items. Epic magic items are objects of great power and value. The following are typical characteristics of an epic magic item. In general, an item with even one of these characteristics is an epic magic item.
- Grants a bonus on attacks or damage greater than +5.
- Grants an enhancement bonus to armor higher than +5.
- Has a special ability with a market price modifier greater than +5.
- Grants an armor bonus of greater than +10 (not including magic armor’s enhancement bonus).
- Grants a natural armor, deflection, or resistance bonus greater than +5.
- Grants an enhancement bonus to an ability score greater than +6.
- Grants an enhancement bonus on a skill check greater than +30.
- Mimics a spell of an effective level higher than 9th.
- Has a caster level above 20th.
- Has a market price above 200,000 gp, not including material costs for armor or weapons, material component- or experience point-based costs, or additional value for intelligent items.
An epic magic item that grants a bonus beyond those allowed for normal magic items has a higher market price than indicated by the formulas for non-epic items.
Epic magic items are not artifacts. They are not unique, though they are certainly very rare, and anyone with the proper item creation feats can build them. Even an epic magic item can never grant a dodge bonus, and the maximum inherent bonus that can be applied to an ability score is +5. An epic magic item cannot be created that uses or mimics an epic spell. A major artifact might be able to mimic such a spell, however.
Creating Epic Magic Items
The process of creating an epic magic item is very similar to creating a nonepic magic item. However, certain important differences exist.
Spells with an effective level of 10th or higher are possible at epic levels. Because these spell slots aren’t automatically gained at a particular level like 0- to 9th-level spells are, they don’t have a minimum caster level. For this reason, the minimum caster level for any spell of 10th level or higher is set at 11 + spell level.
In addition to the materials and tools required for nonepic magic items, any epic magic item requires at least two item creation feats: the epic and nonepic version.
Use the guidelines for nonepic magic items to determine the market price of an epic magic item, with one addition: If the item gives a bonus beyond the limit allowed in for normal, nonepic magic items, multiply the portion of the market price derived from that characteristic by 10. Some epic characteristics, such as caster level, don’t trigger this multiplier.
Experience Point Cost
The experience point cost to create an epic magic item is determined differently than for a normal magic item. For all epic magic items other than scrolls, divide the market price by 100, then add 10,000 XP to the result. The final number is the experience point cost to create the item.
For epic scrolls, divide the market price by 25 (as normal for creating a nonepic scroll), then add 1,000 XP to the result. The final number is the experience point cost to create the epic scroll.
Magic Item Descriptions
Each general type of magic item, such as armor or scrolls, has an overall description, followed by descriptions of specific items, if any. Each magic item description and table follows the same format used for nonepic magic items. Specific exceptions are noted as necessary.