|d%||Alignment of Item|
Magic items sometimes have intelligence of their own. Magically imbued with sentience, these items think and feel the same way characters do and should be treated as NPCs. Intelligent items have extra abilities and sometimes extraordinary powers and special purposes. Only permanent magic items (as opposed to single-use items or those with charges) can be intelligent. (This means that potions, scrolls, and wands, among other items, are never intelligent.) In general, less than 1% of magic items have intelligence.
Intelligent items can actually be considered creatures because they have Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Treat them as constructs. Intelligent items often have the ability to illuminate their surroundings at will (as magic weapons do); many cannot see otherwise.
Unlike most magic items, intelligent items can activate their own powers without waiting for a command word from their owner. Intelligent items act during their owner’s turn in the initiative order.
Intelligent Item Alignment
Any item with intelligence has an alignment. Note that intelligent weapons already have alignments, either stated or by implication. If you’re generating a random intelligent weapon, that weapon’s alignment must fit with any alignment-oriented special abilities it has.
Any character whose alignment does not correspond to that of the item (except as noted by the asterisks on the table) gains one negative level if he or she so much as picks up the item. Although this negative level never results in actual level loss, it remains as long as the item is in hand and cannot be overcome in any way (including restoration spells). This negative level is cumulative with any other penalties the item might already place on inappropriate wielders. Items with Ego scores (see below) of 20 to 29 bestow two negative levels. Items with Ego scores of 30 or higher bestow three negative levels.
Languages Spoken By Item
Like a character, an intelligent item speaks Common plus one additional language per point of Intelligence bonus. Choose appropriate languages, taking into account the item’s origin and purposes.
|d%||Mental Ability Scores||Communication||Capabilities||Senses||Base Price Modifier|
|01-34||Two at 12, one at 10||Empathy1||One lesser power||30 ft. vision and hearing||+1,000 gp|
|35-59||Two at 13, one at 10||Empathy1||Two lesser powers||60 ft. vision and hearing||+2,000 gp|
|60-79||Two at 14, one at 10||Speech2||Two lesser powers||120 ft. vision and hearing||+4,000 gp|
|80-91||Two at 15, one at 10||Speech2||Three lesser powers||60 ft. darkvision and hearing||+5,000 gp|
|92-97||Two at 16, one at 10||Speech2, 3||Three lesser powers||60 ft. darkvision and hearing||+6,000 gp|
|98||Two at 17, one at 10||Speech, telepathy3, 4||Three lesser powers and one greater power6||120 ft. darkvision and hearing||+9,000 gp|
|99||Two at 18, one at 10||Speech, telepathy4, 5||Three lesser powers and two greater powers6||120 ft. darkvision, blindsense, and hearing||+12,000 gp|
|100||Two at 19, one at 10||Speech, telepathy4, 5||Four lesser powers and three greater powers6||120 ft. darkvision, blindsense, and hearing||+15,000 gp|
Intelligent Item Powers
The table above determines how many lesser and greater powers an intelligent item has. To find the item’s specific powers, choose or roll on the appropriate tables below.
All powers function at the direction of the item, although intelligent items generally follow the wishes of their owner. Activating a power or concentrating on an active one is a standard action the item takes.
If the same power is rolled twice, roll again.
|d%||Lesser Power||Base Price Modifier|
|01-05||Item can bless its allies 3/day||+1,000 gp|
|06-10||Item can use faerie fire 3/day||+1,100 gp|
|11-13||Item can cast minor image 1/day||+2,200 gp|
|14-20||Item has deathwatch continually active||+2,700 gp|
|21-25||Item can use detect magic at will||+3,600 gp|
|26-31||Item has 10 ranks in Intimidate||+5,000 gp|
|32-33||Item has 10 ranks in Decipher Script||+5,000 gp|
|34-36||Item has 10 ranks in Knowledge (choose category)||+5,000 gp|
|37-40||Item has 10 ranks in Search||+5,000 gp|
|41-45||Item has 10 ranks in Spot||+5,000 gp|
|46-50||Item has 10 ranks in Listen||+5,000 gp|
|51-54||Item has 10 ranks in Spellcraft||+5,000 gp|
|55-60||Item has 10 ranks in Sense Motive||+5,000 gp|
|61-66||Item has 10 ranks in Bluff||+5,000 gp|
|67-72||Item has 10 ranks in Diplomacy||+5,000 gp|
|73-77||Item can cast major image 1/day||+5,400 gp|
|78-80||Item can cast darkness 3/day||+6,500 gp|
|81-83||Item can use hold person on an enemy 3/day||+6,500 gp|
|84-86||Item can activate zone of truth 3/day||+6,500 gp|
|87-89||Item can use daze monster 3/day||+6,500 gp|
|90-95||Item can use locate object 3/day||+6,500 gp|
|96-100||Item can use cure moderate wounds (2d8+3) on wielder 3/day||+6,500 gp|
|d%||Greater Power||Base Price Modifier|
|01-06||Item can detect (opposing alignment) at will||+7,200 gp|
|07-10||Item can detect undead at will||+7,200 gp|
|11-13||Item can cause fear in an enemy at will||+7,200 gp|
|14-18||Item can use dimensional anchor on a foe 1/day||+10,000 gp|
|19-23||Item can use dismissal on a foe 1/day||+10,000 gp|
|24-28||Item can use lesser globe of invulnerability 1/day||+10,000 gp|
|29-33||Item can use arcane eye 1/day||+10,000 gp|
|34-37||Item has continuous detect scrying effect||+10,000 gp|
|38-41||Item creates wall of fire in a ring with the wielder at the center 1/day||+10,000 gp|
|42-45||Item can use quench on fires 3/day||+16,000 gp|
|46-50||Item has status effect, usable at will||+11,000 gp|
|51-54||Item can use gust of wind 3/day||+11,000 gp|
|55-59||Item can use clairvoyance 3/day||+16,000 gp|
|60-64||Item can create magic circle against (opposing alignment) at will||+16,000 gp|
|65-68||Item can use haste on its owner 3/day||+16,000 gp|
|69-73||Item can create daylight 3/day||+16,000 gp|
|74-76||Item can create deeper darkness 3/day||+16,000 gp|
|77-80||Item can use invisibility purge (30 ft. range) 3/day||+16,000 gp|
|81-85||Item can use slow on its enemies 3/day||+16,000 gp|
|86-91||Item can locate creature 3/day||+30,000 gp|
|91-97||Item can use fear against foes 3/day||+30,000 gp|
|98-100||Item can use detect thoughts at will||+44,000 gp|
|01-20||Defeat/slay diametrically opposed alignment1|
|21-30||Defeat/slay arcane spellcasters (including spellcasting monsters and those that use spell-like abilities)|
|31-40||Defeat/slay divine spellcasters (including divine entities and servitors)|
|51-55||Defeat/slay a particular creature type (see the bane special ability for choices)|
|56-60||Defeat/slay a particular race or kind of creature|
|61-70||Defend a particular race or kind of creature|
|71-80||Defeat/slay the servants of a specific deity|
|81-90||Defend the servants and interests of a specific deity|
|91-95||Defeat/slay all (other than the item and the wielder)|
|d%||Dedicated Power||Base Price Modifier|
|01-06||Item can use ice storm||+50,000 gp|
|07-12||Item can use confusion||+50,000 gp|
|13-17||Item can use phantasmal killer||+50,000 gp|
|18-24||Item can use crushing despair||+50,000 gp|
|25-31||Item can use dimension door on itself and wielder||+50,000 gp|
|32-36||Item can use contagion (heightened to 4th level) as touch attack||+56,000 gp|
|37-43||Item can use poison (heightened to 4th level) as touch attack||+56,000 gp|
|44-50||Item can use rusting grasp as touch attack||+56,000 gp|
|51-56||Item can cast 10d6 lightning bolt||+60,000 gp|
|57-62||Item can cast 10d6 fireball||+60,000 gp|
|63-68||Wielder gets +2 luck bonus on attacks, saves, and checks||+80,000 gp|
|69-74||Item can use mass inflict light wounds||+81,000 gp|
|75-81||Item can use song of discord||+81,000 gp|
|82-87||Item can use prying eyes||+81,000 gp|
|88-92||Item can cast 15d6 greater shout 3/day||+130,000 gp|
|93-98||Item can use waves of exhaustion||+164,000 gp|
|99-100||Item can use true resurrection on wielder, once per month||+200,000 gp|
|Attribute of Item||Ego Points|
|Each +1 of item’s enhancement bonus||1|
|Each +1 of bonus for special abilities||1|
|Each lesser power||1|
|Each greater power||2|
|Special purpose (and dedicated power)||4|
|Read languages ability||1|
|Read magic ability||1|
|Each +1 of Intelligence bonus||1|
|Each +1 of Wisdom bonus||1|
|Each +1 of Charisma bonus||1|
Special Purpose Items
An item’s purpose must suit the type and alignment of the item and should always be treated reasonably. A purpose of "defeat/slay arcane spellcasters" doesn’t mean that the sword forces the wielder to kill every wizard she sees. Nor does it mean that the sword believes it is possible to kill every wizard, sorcerer, and bard in the world. It does mean that the item hates arcane spellcasters and wants to bring the local wizard’s cabal to ruin, as well as end the rule of a sorceress-queen in a nearby land. Likewise, a purpose of "defend elves" doesn’t mean that if the wielder is an elf, he only wants to help himself. It means that the item wants to be used in furthering the cause of elves, stamping out their enemies and aiding their leaders. A purpose of "defeat/slay all" isn’t just a matter of self-preservation. It means that the item won’t rest (or let its wielder rest) until it places itself above all others.
A dedicated power operates only when an intelligent item is in pursuit of its special purpose. This determination is always made by the item. It should always be easy and straightforward to see how the ends justify the means. Unlike its other powers, an intelligent item can refuse to use its dedicated power even if the owner is dominant (see Items against Characters, below).
Ego is a measure of the total power and force of personality that an item possesses. Only after all aspects of an item have been generated can its Ego score be calculated. An item’s Ego score helps determine whether the item or the character is dominant in their relationship, as detailed below.
Items Against Characters
When an item has an Ego of its own, it has a will of its own. The item is, of course, absolutely true to its alignment. If the character who possesses the item is not true to that alignment’s goals or the item’s special purpose, personality conflict—item against character—results. Similarly, any item with an Ego score of 20 or higher always considers itself superior to any character, and a personality conflict results if the possessor does not always agree with the item.
When a personality conflict occurs, the possessor must make a Will saving throw (DC = item’s Ego). If the possessor succeeds, she is dominant. If she fails, the item is dominant. Dominance lasts for one day or until a critical situation occurs (such as a major battle, a serious threat to either the item or the character, and so on). Should an item gain dominance, it resists the character’s desires and demands concessions such as any of the following.
- Removal of associates or items whose alignment or personality is distasteful to the item.
- The character divesting herself of all other magic items or items of a certain type.
- Obedience from the character so the item can direct where they go for its own purposes.
- Immediate seeking out and slaying of creatures hateful to the item.
- Magical protections and devices to protect the item from molestation when it is not in use.
- That the character carry the item with her on all occasions.
- That the character relinquish the item in favor of a more suitable possessor due to alignment differences or conduct.
In extreme circumstances, the item can resort to even harsher measures, such as the following acts:
- Force its possessor into combat.
- Refuse to strike opponents.
- Strike at its wielder or her associates.
- Force its possessor to surrender to an opponent.
- Cause itself to drop from the character’s grasp.
Naturally, such actions are unlikely when harmony reigns between the character’s and item’s alignments or when their purposes and personalities are well matched. Even so, an item might wish to have a lesser character possess it in order to easily establish and maintain dominance over him, or a higher-level possessor so as to better accomplish its goals.
All magic items with personalities desire to play an important role in whatever activity is under way, particularly combat. Such items are rivals of each other, even if they are of the same alignment. No intelligent item wants to share its wielder with others. An intelligent item is aware of the presence of any other intelligent item within 60 feet, and most intelligent items try their best to mislead or distract their host so that she ignores or destroys the rival. Of course, alignment might change this sort of behavior.
Items with personalities are never totally controlled or silenced by the characters who possess them, even though they may never successfully control their possessors. They may be powerless to force their demands but remain undaunted and continue to air their wishes and demands.