Crating and Treasure
Characters acquire treasure from the glittering hoards of their foes, as rewards for defending the innocent, and as favors from the grand personalities they treat with. As they progress through their adventures and improve their station in the world, characters collect ever more fabulous items from enchanted armor and weapons to spell-infused staves.
Treasure comes in all sorts of forms, from humble copper coins to incredibly powerful and valuable magic items. The GM controls the flow of items in the game as the PCs win them through adventures, find them for purchase, or acquire the formulas to make the items themselves.
Items can support characters by granting bonuses to their statistics, allowing them to cast more spells, and creating all sorts of effects that can’t be achieved in any other way. Magic items come in many varieties, from enchanted swords that can harm even incorporeal undead to containers that can store a king’s ransom within a tiny space; many are permanent items that can be used repeatedly. Alchemical items, by contrast, are not intrinsically magical and are often consumed when used. Both have a variety of uses, from curing the sick to lighting foes on fire. Some treasures are neither magical nor alchemical, but are instead crafted from precious materials or using specialized expertise.
This chapter provides rules for using different kinds of items encountered in the game. Rules for distributing treasure and creating treasure hoards can be found here: Game Mastering.
- Using Items, beginning below, describes how to activate items and explains the statistics for items.
- Table 11–1: Treasure by Level, beginning on page 536, lists the options for treasures, arranged by level, category, and Price.
- The catalog of items, which begins on page 543, presents descriptions and rules for all sorts of different treasures that can appear in the game, sorted by category (page 533 has a list of key categories and subcategories). This also includes a section on precious materials found in the game world, which can give items unusual properties .
Items are grouped into the following categories, shown here with the page number where those items appear and a brief description of the category.
- Alchemical Items are powered by the reactions of alchemical reagents. Almost all alchemical items are consumable items that are used up when you activate them. This category includes bombs, elixirs (including mutagens), poisons, and alchemical tools.
- Ammunition, in Consumables, includes different types of magical arrows, crossbow bolts, and other types of ammunition.
- Apex Items are a subcategory of worn items of a high level that increase an ability score.
- Armor includes the rules for basic magical armor as well as special suits of armor.
- Companion Items are a category of worn items meant for animal companions and mounts.
- Consumables are used up when you activate them, and include ammunition, oils, potions, scrolls, and talismans, among others. Categories of items that are consumables but have specific rules, such as alchemical items, are presented separately.
- Held Items include a wide variety of items you use with your hands. This doesn’t include more narrow categories of held items, such as weapons.
- Materials can be used to make items with unique properties and other advantages.
- Oils are consumables applied to the surface of an object or person.
- Potions are consumable magical liquids you drink to activate.
- Runes modify armor and weapons when etched onto them. This section includes fundamental runes for weapons (weapon potency and striking) and armor (armor potency and resilient).
- Scrolls are consumables that allow spellcasters to cast more spells.
- Shields include more durable shields and ones with special magical powers.
- Snares are single-use traps typically made by rangers.
- Staves provide flexible spellcasting options.
- Structures include buildings, tents, and other larger items.
- Talismans are consumables that are affixed to items and then activated for a one-time combat or physical benefit.
- Wands hold a spell of the crafter’s choice, and can be used to repeatedly cast that spell.
- Weapons include the rules for basic magical weapons, weapons made from precious materials, and specific magic weapons.
- Worn Items consist of a vast collection of clothing and other items you wear on your body.
Like many other aspects of the rules, items have rarities. Player characters might find uncommon magic items for sale, but only infrequently and often by private sellers or in clandestine markets. Their formulas are often guarded and not readily available. Unless the GM decides otherwise, a character cannot purchase rare items, and their formulas are lost to time.
Rarities for uncommon and rare treasures are indicated by the first trait in the stat block. Unique items are indicated in the same way, though there are none in this book.
This section presents the rules for how characters use alchemical items, magic items, and other special items during play.
The myriad types of items give their powerful boons in different ways. Some function automatically, while others need to be activated. While you need only swing a flaming greataxe to scorch foes, you need to invest a diadem of intellect for it to work, imbibe an elixir of life to heal yourself, activate slippers of spider climbing to walk up a wall, activate your mail of luck to protect yourself, and Cast a Spell using a magical scroll.
Some magic items have abilities that always function. You don’t have to use any actions to do anything special (beyond wearing and investing a worn item or wielding a held item) to make these abilities work. For example, an everburning torch always sheds light, and a flaming weapon deals fire damage every time it deals damage.
INVESTING MAGIC ITEMS
Certain magic items convey their magical benefits only when worn and invested using the Invest an Item activity, tying them to your inner potential. These items have the invested trait. Many invested items have constant abilities that function all the time or that always trigger when you use the item—but only when they’re invested. If you don’t have an item invested, these abilities don’t work. If an invested item can be activated, you must have invested the item to activate it.
You can benefit from no more than 10 invested magic items each day. Because this limit is fairly high, and because it matters only for worn items, you probably won’t need to worry about reaching the limit until higher levels, when you’ve acquired many useful magic items to wear.
You can still gain the mundane benefits of an item if you don’t invest it. A suit of +1 resilient armor still gives you its item bonus to AC when not invested, but it doesn’t give its magical bonus to saving throws, and winged boots still protect your feet even though you can’t activate them to fly. Entirely non-magical items don’t need to be invested.
Invest an Item
You invest your energy in an item with the invested trait as you don it. This process requires 1 or more Interact actions, usually taking the same amount of time it takes to don the item. Once you've Invested the Item, you benefit from its constant magical abilities as long as you meet its other requirements (for most invested items, the only other requirement is that you must be wearing the item). This investiture lasts until you remove the item.
You can invest no more than 10 items per day. If you remove an invested item, it loses its investiture. The item still counts against your daily limit after it loses its investiture. You reset the limit during your daily preparations, at which point you Invest your Items anew. If you're still wearing items you had invested the previous day, you can typically keep them invested on the new day, but they still count against your limit.
Source Core Rulebook pg. 531
Some items produce their effects only when used properly in the moment. Others always offer the same benefits as their mundane counterparts when worn, but have magical abilities you can gain by further spending actions. Either case requires you to use the Activate an Item activity. Activating an Item works much like Casting a Spell, in that the activity takes a variable number of actions and can have different components depending on how you Activate the Item. This information appears in the item’s Activate entry.
If an item is used up when activated, as is the case for consumable items, its Activate entry appears toward the top of the stat block. For permanent items with activated abilities, the Activate entry is a paragraph in the description. Activations are not necessarily magical—for instance, drinking an alchemical elixir isn’t usually a magical effect.
Activate an ItemRequirements You can Activate An Item with the invested trait only if it's invested by you. If the item requires you to Interact with it, you must be wielding it (if it's a held item) or touching it with a free hand (if it's another type of item).
You call forth the effect of an item by properly activating it. This is a special activity that takes a variable number of actions, as listed in the item’s stat block.
Some items can be activated as a reaction or free action. In this case, you Activate the Item as a reaction or free action (as appropriate) instead of as an activity. Such cases are noted in the item’s Activate entry in its stat block—for example, “Activate Reaction command.”
Long Activation Times Some items take minutes or hours to activate. The Activate an Item activity for these items includes a mix of the listed activation components, but it’s not necessary to break down which one you’re providing at a given time. You can’t use other actions or reactions while activating such an item, though at the GM’s discretion, you might be able to speak a few sentences. As with other activities that take a long time, these activations have the exploration trait, and you can’t activate them in an encounter. If combat breaks out while you’re activating one, your activation is disrupted (see the Disrupting Activations sidebar).
Activation Components Each activation entry lists any components involved in the activation after the action icons or text, such as “Single Action command.” The activation components, described below, add traits (listed in parentheses) and requirements to the activation. If you can’t provide the components, you fail to Activate the Item.
- Command (auditory, concentrate)
- Envision (concentrate)
- Interact (manipulate)
- Cast a Spell
An item’s activate entry lists the components required to activate its abilities. Each component adds certain traits to the Activate an Item activity, and some components have special requirements. The components that appear in this book are listed below.
This component is a specific utterance you must make in a loud and strong voice. Activate an Item gains the auditory and concentrate traits. You must be able to speak to provide this component.
This component is a specific image or phenomenon you need to imagine. Activate an Item gains the concentrate trait.
This component works like the Interact basic action. Activate an Item gains the manipulate trait and requires you to use your hands, just like with any Interact action.
Cast a Spell
If an item lists “Cast a Spell” after “Activate,” the activation requires you to use the Cast a Spell activity to Activate the Item. This happens when the item replicates a spell. You must have a spellcasting class feature to Activate an Item with this activation component. If the item can be used for a specific spell, the action icon for that spell is provided. If it’s an item like a staff, which can be used for many spells, the icon is omitted, and you must refer to each spell to determine which actions you must spend to Activate the Item to cast it.
In this case, Activate an Item gains all the traits from the relevant components of the Cast a Spell activity.
Source Core Rulebook pg. 532
Some abilities and effects can disrupt the process of Activating an Item. If something disrupts your item activation, you fail to Activate the Item and lose the actions you committed. If the item can be activated only a certain number of times per day, the failed activation still counts against that limit. If an item requires you to spend actions to Sustain an Activation and one of those actions is disrupted, the item’s effect ends.
Some items can be activated only a limited number of times per day, as described in the items. This limit is independent of any costs for activating the item. The limit resets during your daily preparations. The limit is inherent to the item, so if an ability that can be used only once per day is used, it doesn’t refresh if another creature later invests or tries to activate the item.
SUSTAIN AN ACTIVATION
Some items, once activated, have effects that can be sustained if you concentrate on them. This works much like the Sustain a Spell action. If an item’s description states that you can sustain the effect, that effect lasts until the end of your turn in the round after you Activated the Item. You can use a Sustain an Activation action on that turn to extend the duration.
Sustain an ActivationRequirements You have at least one magic item activation that you can sustain and you are not Fatigued
Choose one magic item activation with a sustained duration you have in effect. The duration of that activation continues until the end of your next turn. Some activations may have slightly different or expanded effects if you sustain them. Sustaining an Activation for more than 10 minutes (100 rounds) ends the activation and makes you Fatigued unless the item's description states a different maximum duration (such as 'up to 1 minute' or 'up to 1 hour').
If your Sustain An Activation action is disrupted, the item's effect immediately ends.
Source Core Rulebook pg. 534
Some item effects can be dismissed, ending the duration early due to you or the target taking action. Dismissing an activation requires using the Dismiss action.
You end one spell effect or magic item effect. This must be an effect you are allowed to Dismiss, as defined by the spell or item. Dismissal might end the effect entirely or might end it just for a certain target or targets, depending on the spell or item.
Source Core Rulebook pg. 305
Hundreds of items lie ahead. Each item is presented in a stat block, much like spells or feats. The example below shows the structure of an item stat block and gives a brief description of each entry. Entries appear only when applicable, so not all items will have every entry described here. Detailed rules governing aspects of the stat block specific to items appear after the stat block.
Item Name Item Level
Price This entry lists the item’s Price. An item that has multiple types includes Price for each type in its entry.
Ammunition Magic ammunition lists the types of ammunition available for that kind of item.
Usage This entry describes whether the item is held, worn, or affixed to or etched onto another item;
Bulk The item’s Bulk is listed here (the rules for Bulk appear on page 271). Runes don’t have a Bulk entry.
Activate The number of actions needed to Activate the Item appear here, followed by the components in parentheses. You can find activation rules on page 532. This entry appears here for consumables and lower in the stat block for permanent items that can be activated. This section might also have Frequency, Trigger, or Requirements entries as necessary.
Onset This entry appears if the item’s effect is delayed, which most often occurs with alchemical poisons. The onset is the amount of time that elapses between when a character Activates an Item and any effect occurs.
The section after the line describes the item and its constant abilities. If the item can be activated and doesn’t have an Activate entry above, that entry appears here in a paragraph beginning with “Activate.”
Type If multiple types of the item exist, entries here indicate the name of each type, its level, its Price, and any other relevant details or alterations from the above description.
Craft Requirements An item that has special requirements to be Crafted details those requirements here.
An item’s level indicates what level of adventurer the item is best suited for. There’s no limit to the items a character can use, though. A 3rd-level character who finds an item of 4th level or higher while adventuring can use it normally. Likewise, they can purchase the item if they can find it for sale and can afford it.
When making items, a character’s level must be equal to or higher than the item’s level in order to Craft it. In addition to anything listed in the Craft Requirements entry in the item’s stat block, the crafter must have the appropriate skill proficiencies and feats, as well as the item’s formula; see the Craft activity on page 244 for more information about these requirements.
If multiple types of an item exist, the title line gives the minimum level followed by a plus symbol (“+”). The description includes information on the base version of the item, and the Type entries at the bottom of the stat block lists the specifics for each version, including the level, Price, and any modified or added abilities of the different types. For some items, the types listed are upgrades to the base item. For other items, such as aeon stones and wondrous figurines, each type is distinct from the others.
If an item is available for purchase, a character can typically buy it for the listed Price, and the character uses this Price when they use the Craft activity to make the item. If a character wants to sell an item, they can sell it for half its Price (or full Price, if the item was made on commission), assuming they’re able to find a buyer. The GM determines whether a buyer is available.
An item’s stat block includes a Usage entry that indicates whether a character must be holding or wearing the item in order to use it, or whether she instead must have it etched or affixed onto another item.
Held or Worn
If a character must wield the item to use it, this entry in the item’s stat block lists the word “held” along with the number of hands the character must use when wielding the item, such as “held in 1 hand.” The rules for carrying and using items are provided on page 271.
An item that needs to be worn to function lists “worn” as its usage. This is followed by another word if the character is limited to only one of that type of item. For instance, a character can wear any number of rings, so the entry for a ring would list only “worn.” However, if the Usage entry were “worn cloak,” then a character couldn’t wear another cloak on top of that one. It’s assumed that items are meant to be worn by humanoids; any item that can or must be worn by a different type of creature either states this in its description or has the companion trait. Most magic items a character must wear have the invested trait, as described on page 531.
Affixed or Etched
Some items enhance other items. Talismans function only if affixed to other items. They have a Usage entry indicating the type or types of items to which a character can attach them, such as “affixed to armor.” Rules for affixing a talisman are on page 565.
Runes must be etched onto permanent items, such as armor, weapons, or runestones (found on page 571) to grant their benefit. Adding or transferring a rune takes downtime to accomplish. The Usage entry indicates the type or types of items a rune can be etched into, such as “etched onto a weapon.” More information about etching runes is on page 580.
An item might require the crafter to provide specific raw materials, supply spells, have a certain alignment, or meet other special requirements to Craft it. These appear in the Craft Requirements entry of the stat block. Every item also has default requirements. The crafter must provide half the item’s Price in raw materials (as explained in the Craft activity on page 244). In addition, creating alchemical items requires the Alchemical Crafting feat (page 258), creating magic items requires the Magical Crafting feat (page 263), and crafting snares requires the Snare Crafting feat (page 266). Finally, crafting higher-level items requires greater proficiency in Crafting. Unless stated otherwise, creating items of 9th level and higher requires you to have the master proficiency rank in Crafting, and items of 16th level and higher require legendary Crafting.
Alchemical items are not magical. They instead use the properties of volatile chemicals, exotic minerals, potent plants, and other substances, collectively referred to as alchemical reagents. As such, alchemical items don’t radiate magical auras, and they can’t be dismissed or affected by dispel magic. Their effects last for a set amount of time or until they are countered in some way, typically physically.
Sometimes the reactions of alchemical reagents create effects that seem magical, and at other times they straddle the line between purely reactive and the inexplicable. Alchemists can infuse reagents with some of their own essence, allowing them to efficiently create short-lived alchemical items at no monetary cost. Even in these cases, alchemical items don’t radiate magic auras, instead using the alchemist’s infused essence as one additional catalyst for the item’s alchemical effects.
Rules for creating alchemical items are found in the Craft activity on page 244, and you must have the Alchemical Crafting skill feat to use Crafting to create alchemical items. Critically failing a Crafting check to make alchemical items often causes a dangerous effect, such as an explosion for a bomb or accidental exposure for a poison, in addition to losing some of the materials. Some alchemical items have additional requirements beyond those stated in the Craft activity; these items list their requirements in a Craft Requirements entry.
All alchemical items have the alchemical trait. Most also have the consumable trait, which means that the item is used up once activated. The bomb, elixir, and poison traits indicate special categories of alchemical items, each of which is described on the following pages. Alchemical items without any of these traits are called alchemical tools, and are described further on page 554.
This section contains the following subcategories. Special rules appear at the start of the relevant section.
An alchemical bomb combines volatile alchemical components that explode when the bomb hits a creature or object. Most alchemical bombs deal damage, though some produce other effects. Bombs have the bomb trait.
Bombs are martial thrown weapons with a range increment of 20 feet. When you throw a bomb, you make a weapon attack roll against the target’s AC, as you would for any other weapon. It takes one hand to draw, prepare, and throw a bomb. Due to the complexity involved in preparing bombs, Strikes to throw alchemical bombs gain the manipulate trait. The bomb is activated when thrown as a Strike—you don’t have to activate it separately.
Most bombs also have the splash trait. When you use a thrown weapon with the splash trait, you don’t add your Strength modifier to the damage roll. If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target (including the target) take the listed splash damage. On a failure (but not a critical failure), the target of the attack still takes the splash damage. Add splash damage together with the initial damage against the target before applying the target’s resistance or weakness. You don’t multiply splash damage on a critical hit.
For example, if you threw a lesser acid flask and hit your target, that creature would take 1d6 persistent acid damage and 1 acid splash damage. All other creatures within 5 feet of it would take 1 acid splash damage. On a critical hit, the target would take 2d6 persistent acid damage, but the splash damage would still be 1. If you missed, the target would take 1 splash damage. If you critically failed, no one would take any damage.
Elixirs are alchemical liquids that are used by drinking them. They have the elixir trait. These potent concoctions grant the drinker some alchemical benefits. While all elixirs follow the same general rules, mutagens (described below) have additional rules that apply to their use.
You usually Interact to activate an elixir as you drink it or feed it to another creature. You can feed an elixir only to a creature within reach that is either willing or unable to prevent you from doing so. You usually need only one hand to consume an elixir or feed it to another creature.
These elixirs, indicated by the mutagen trait, temporarily transmogrify the subject’s body and alter its mind. Typically, only alchemists have the expertise to craft mutagens, and some say they are the only ones reckless enough to use them.
A mutagen always conveys one or more beneficial effects (listed in the Benefit entry) paired with one or more detrimental effects (shown in the Drawback entry). Mutagens are polymorph effects, and a subsequent polymorph effect attempts to counteract an existing effect; the counteract check for a mutagen uses the item’s level and a modifier equal to the that level’s DC – 10, as found on Table 10–5: DCs by Level.Table: DCs by Level
*If the spell is uncommon or rare, its difficulty should be adjusted accordingly
Alchemical poisons are potent toxins distilled or extracted from natural sources and made either stronger or easier to administer. Each poison’s stat block includes the Price and features for a single dose. Poison doses are typically kept in a vial or some other type of safe and secure container.
Applying alchemical poisons uses Interact actions. A poison typically requires one hand to pour into food or scatter in the air. Applying a poison to a weapon or another item requires two hands, with one hand holding the weapon or item. The Usage entry for a poison indicates the number of hands needed for a typical means of application, but the GM might determine that using poisons in other ways functions differently.
The full rules for how poisons and other afflictions work begin on page 457. A creature attempts the listed saving throw as soon as it’s exposed to the poison; on a failed save, the creature advances to stage 1 of the poison after any listed onset time elapses.
Some poisons have the virulent trait. This means the poison is harder to remove once it has taken effect; see Virulent Afflictions on page 458.
Method or Exposure
Each alchemical poison has one of the following traits, which define how a creature can be exposed to that poison.
Contact: A contact poison is activated by applying it to an item or directly onto a living creature’s skin. The first creature to touch the affected item must attempt a saving throw against the poison; if the poison is applied directly, the creature must attempt a saving throw immediately when the poison touches its skin. Contact poisons are infeasible to apply to a creature via a weapon attack due to the logistics of delivering them without poisoning yourself. Typically, the onset time of a contact poison is 1 minute.
Ingested: An ingested poison is activated by applying it to food or drink to be consumed by a living creature, or by placing it directly into a living creature’s mouth. A creature attempts a saving throw against such a poison when it consumes the poison or the food or drink treated with the poison. The onset time of ingested poisons typically ranges anywhere from 1 minute to 1 day.
Inhaled: An inhaled poison is activated by unleashing it from its container. Once unleashed, the poison creates a cloud filling a 10-foot cube lasting for 1 minute or until a strong wind dissipates the cloud. Every creature entering this cloud is exposed to the poison and must attempt a saving throw against it; a creature aware of the poison before entering the cloud can use a single action to hold its breath and gain a +2 circumstance bonus to the saving throw for 1 round.
Injury: An injury poison is activated by applying it to a weapon or ammunition, and it affects the target of the first Strike made using the poisoned item. If that Strike is a success and deals piercing or slashing damage, the target must attempt a saving throw against the poison. On a failed Strike, the target is unaffected, but the poison remains on the weapon and you can try again. On a critical failure, or if the Strike fails to deal slashing or piercing damage for some other reason, the poison is spent but the target is unaffected.
Alchemical tools are consumable items you don’t drink.
Suits of armor can be crafted from precious materials or infused with magic to grant them abilities exceeding those of typical armor. Many suits of magic armor are created by etching runes onto them, as described on page 580. The magic armor stat block lists the Price and attributes of the most common armors you can make with fundamental runes. Other special suits of armor might be made of precious materials, and some are specially crafted items all on their own.
If you don’t want to wear armor, or you’re trained in only unarmored defense, you can wear either explorer’s clothing or bracers of armor. Explorer’s clothing can be etched with runes just like armor can, so it can provide item bonuses to AC or saves. Bracers of armor give a +1 item bonus to AC with no Dex modifier cap, and also grant a bonus to saves.
Precious Material Armor
Suits of armor made of precious materials are more expensive and sometimes grant special effects. You can make leather armor out of dragonhide, wooden armor out of darkwood, and metal armor out of any precious materials except for darkwood. Because armor’s Bulk is reduced when the armor is worn, use its carried Bulk when determining its material Price. (Materials are on page 577.)
Basic Magic Armor
The most common special armors are suits of armor with some combination of armor potency and resilient runes. The following stat block provides a quick reference for these types of armor.
Specific Magic Armor
These suits of armor have abilities far different from what can be gained by etching runes. A specific magic armor lists its fundamental runes, which you can upgrade, add, or transfer as normal. You can’t etch any property runes onto a specific armor that it doesn’t already have.
This section includes magic items with the consumable trait. An item with this trait can be used only once. Unless stated otherwise, it is destroyed after activation. When a character creates consumable items, they can make them in batches of four, as described in the Craft activity. Consumables includes the following subcategories, with any special rules appearing at the start of the section.
These magic items are ammunition for ranged weapons. Each item’s stat block includes an Ammunition entry that lists which type of ammunition it can be Crafted as, or “any” if it’s not limited to any particular type. All stat blocks for ammunition omit the Usage and Bulk entries; use the standard rules in Chapter 6: Equipment for the type of ammunition to determine reloading times and Bulk.
When using magic ammunition, use your ranged weapon’s fundamental runes to determine the attack modifier and damage dice. Don’t add the effects of your weapon’s property runes unless the ammunition states otherwise—the ammunition creates its own effects. Magic ammunition deals damage on a hit normally in addition to any listed effects unless its description states otherwise.
Regardless of whether an attack with magic ammunition hits or misses, launching the ammunition consumes its magic. Magic ammunition is made of normal materials, not precious materials, unless stated otherwise.
If magic ammunition doesn’t have an Activate entry, it’s activated automatically when it’s launched. Types of magic ammunition that have an Activate entry must be activated with additional actions before being used. Once you activate the ammunition, you must shoot it before the end of your turn. Otherwise, it deactivates (but it isn’t consumed) and you must activate it again before you can use it. If you shoot the ammunition without activating it first, it functions as non-magical ammunition and is still consumed.
The action required to activate the ammunition doesn’t alter how many actions it takes to reload. For example, you could activate a beacon shot arrow by touching it with 1 action, then draw and shoot the arrow as part of a Strike as normal. For a beacon shot bolt, you could activate it, load it into a crossbow, then shoot it, or load it into the crossbow, then activate it, and then shoot it.
Oils are magical gels, ointments, pastes, or salves that are typically applied to an object and are used up in the process. They have the oil trait. Applying an oil usually takes two hands: one to hold the jar containing the oil, and another to extr act the oil and apply it. You can only apply an oil to an item or creature within your reach. Because the process is so thorough, it is usually impossible to apply an oil to an unwilling target or an item in the possession of an unwilling target unless that target is paralyzed, petrified, or unconscious.
A potion is a magical liquid activated when you drink it, which uses it up. Potions have the potion trait. You can activate a potion with an Interact action as you drink it or feed it to another creature. You can feed a potion only to a creature that is within reach and willing or otherwise so helpless that it can’t resist. You usually need only one hand to consume a potion or feed it to another creature.
A scroll contains a single spell that you can cast without having to expend a spell slot. A scroll can be Crafted to contain nearly any spell, so the types of scrolls available are limited only by the number of spells in the game. The exceptions are cantrips, focus spells, and rituals, none of which can be put on scrolls. The spell on a scroll can be cast only once, and the scroll is destroyed as part of the casting. The spell on the scroll is cast at a particular spell level, as determined by the scroll. For instance, a scroll of magic missile (1st level) can be used to cast the 1st-level version of magic missile, but not a magic missile heightened to 2nd level. If no level is listed, the scroll can be used to cast the spell at its lowest level.
If you find a scroll, you can try to figure out what spell it contains. If the spell is a common spell from your spell list or a spell you know, you can spend a single Recall Knowledge action and automatically succeed at identifying the scroll’s spell. If it’s not, you must use Identify Magic (page 238) to learn what spell the scroll holds.
Casting a Spell from a Scroll
Casting a Spell from a scroll requires holding the scroll in one hand and activating it with a Cast a Spell activity using the normal number of actions for that spell.
To Cast a Spell from a scroll, the spell must appear on your spell list. Because you’re the one Casting the Spell, use your spell attack roll and spell DC. The spell also gains the appropriate trait for your tradition (arcane, divine, occult, or primal).
Any physical material components and costs are provided when a scroll is created, so you don’t need to provide them when Casting a Spell from a scroll. You must replace any required material component for that spell with a somatic component. If the spell requires a focus, you must have that focus to Cast the Spell from a scroll.
All scrolls have the same base statistics unless noted otherwise. A scroll has light Bulk, and it must be held in one hand to be activated.
Table 11–3 indicates the item level and Price of a scroll, both of which are based on the level of the spell contained on the scroll. Any costs to Cast the Spell are added to the scroll’s Price when the scroll is crafted, so a scroll containing a spell with a Cost entry will have a higher Price than what appears on the table. The scroll’s rarity matches the spell’s rarity.
The traits for a scroll vary based on the spell it contains. A scroll always has the consumable, magical, and scroll traits, plus the traits of the spell stored on it.Table 11-3: Scroll Statistics
|Spell Level||Item Level||Scroll Price|
Crafting a Scroll
The process to Craft a scroll is much like that to Craft any other magic item. When you begin the crafting process, choose a spell to put into the scroll. You have to either Cast that Spell during the crafting process, or someone else must do so in your presence. Casting that Spell doesn’t produce its normal effects; instead, the magic is trapped inside the scroll. The casting must come from a spellcaster expending a spell slot. You can’t Craft a scroll from a spell produced from another magic item, for example. The caster has to provide any cost of the spell.
Like other consumables, scrolls can be crafted in batches of four. All scrolls of one batch must contain the same spell at the same level, and you must provide one casting for each scroll crafted.
An item with the talisman trait is a magical charm, gem, stone, or other small object affixed to armor, a shield, or a weapon (called the affixed item). Each talisman holds a sliver of combat knowledge or magical energy that can be unleashed for a momentary boost of power or enhanced ability. Many talismans can be activated as a free action when you use a particular action or activity. A talisman is a consumable item and has the talisman trait.
You must be wielding or wearing an item to activate a talisman attached to it. Once activated, a talisman burns out permanently, usually crumbling into a fine dust.
Affixing a Talisman
Each talisman’s stat block indicates the type of item it can be affixed to. Affixing or removing requires using the Affix a Talisman activity. A single talisman can be affixed to only one item at a time, and an item can have only one talisman affixed to it at a time.
Though many consumables are grouped into specific categories, such as potions and talismans, some consumables don’t fit into those categories.
These items need to be held to use them. Weapons, wands, and staves follow special rules and have their own sections.
Most items are made from readily available materials—usually leather, wood, or steel—but some weapons and armor are made from more exotic materials, giving them unique properties and other advantages. Weapons made from precious materials are better able to harm certain creatures, and armor of these materials provides enhanced protection.
Most materials are metals; they can be used to make metal weapons and armor. The GM is the final arbiter of what items can be made using a material. An item can be made with no more than one precious material, and only an expert in Crafting can create it. Some rare and exotic materials require master or even legendary proficiency.
A material’s Price depends on how hard it is to work, its scarcity, and its purity; most items made with precious materials use an alloy, blend, or coating rather than using the material in its purest form. The three grades of purity for precious materials are low-grade, standard-grade, and high-grade. Regardless of a precious material’s purity, an item made from it gains the full effects of the precious material, but creating higher-level items and more powerful magic runes with precious material requires greater purity.
Some precious materials are available only at certain grades. For instance, adamantine can’t be low-grade, and orichalcum must be high-grade. Items made of materials with a lower grade than expected for the item’s level, or of a higher grade than necessary, will mention the precious material’s grade.
Table below provides the Hardness, Hit Points, Broken Threshold, and example items for some types of common materials. The table has separate entries for thin items (like shields), ordinary items (like armor), and reinforced or durable structures (such as walls).
Stone is a catchall for any hard stone, such as granite and marble. Likewise, wood covers ordinary woods, such as oak and pine. Metal weapons and armor are assumed to be made of iron or steel unless noted otherwise.
If an object consists of more than one material, the GM typically uses the statistics for the strongest material involved. For instance, breaking a wall made of paper panels over a woven wooden framework would require damaging thin wood, not paper. However, the GM might choose the weaker material based on the item’s function. For instance, breaking the wooden handle of a hammer rather than its iron head would still render the item unusable. Sometimes an item is even less sturdy than the Hardness and Hit Points provided for a thin object; for instance, a twig doesn’t take 9 damage to break, even though it’s made of thin wood. Similarly, a particularly sturdy item or structure might have even higher Hardness and Hit Points. Certain structures, particularly thick walls, are so reinforced that you have to break them down over time with tools. (Page 515 has more information on walls.)Table: Material Hardness, Hit Points, and Broken Threshold
|Paper||0||1||—||Book pages, paper fan, scroll|
|Thin cloth||0||1||—||Kite, silk dress, undershirt|
|Thin glass||0||1||—||Bottle, spectacles, window pane|
|Cloth||1||4||2||Cloth armor, heavy jacket, sack, tent|
|Glass||1||4||2||Glass block, glass table, heavy vase|
|Glass structure||2||8||4||Glass block wall|
|Thin leather||2||8||4||Backpack, jacket, pouch, strap, whip|
|Thin rope||2||8||4||Standard adventuring rope|
|Thin wood||3||12||6||Chair, club, sapling, wooden shield|
|Leather||4||16||8||Leather armor, saddle|
|Rope||4||16||8||Industrial rope, ship rigging|
|Thin stone||5||16||8||Chalkboard, slate tiles, stone cladding|
|Thin iron or steel||5||20||10||Chain, steel shield, sword|
|Wood||5||20||10||Chest, simple door, table, tree trunk|
|Stone||7||28||14||Paving stone, statue|
|Iron or steel||9||36||18||Anvil, iron or steel armor, stove|
|Wooden structure||10||40||20||Reinforced door, wooden wall|
|Stone structure||14||56||28||Stone wall|
|Iron or steel structure||18||72||36||Iron plate wall|
Materials with the precious trait can be substituted for base materials. For example, a hammer’s head could be made of adamantine instead of iron. Items made of a precious material cost more than typical items; not only does precious material cost more, but the crafter must invest more time working with it. In addition, more powerful items require precious materials of greater purity. A number of precious materials are described below. The Price entry for each material gives the Price of a simple non-magical item made of that material, based on its Bulk (if the item is lighter than 1 Bulk, use the price for 1 Bulk), as well as Prices for different amounts of the material itself. Prices for armor, shields, and weapons made of precious material are in the Armor (page 555), Shields (page 586), and Weapons (page 599) sections of this chapter.
Crafting with Precious Materials
Only an expert crafter can create a low-grade item, only a master can create a standard-grade item, and only a legendary crafter can create a high-grade item. In addition, to Craft with a precious material, your character level must be equal to or greater than that of the material.
Low-grade items can be used in the creation of magic items of up to 8th level, and they can hold runes of up to 8th level. Standard-grade items can be used to create magic items of up to 15th level and can hold runes of up to 15th level. High-grade items use the purest form of the precious material, and can be used to Craft magic items of any level holding any runes. Using purer forms of common materials is so relatively inexpensive that the Price is included in any magic item.
When you Craft an item that incorporates a precious material, your initial raw materials for the item must include that material; at least 10% of the investment must be of the material for low-grade, at least 25% for standard-grade, and all of it for high-grade. For instance, a low-grade silver object of 1 Bulk costs 20 gp. Of the 10 gp of raw materials you provide when you start to Craft the item, at least 1 gp must be silver. The raw materials you spend to complete the item don’t have to consist of the precious material, though the GM might rule otherwise in certain cases.
After creating an item with a precious material, you can use Craft to improve its grade, paying the Price difference and providing a sufficient amount of the precious material.
Most magic weapons and armor gain their enhancements from potent eldritch runes etched into them. These runes allow for in-depth customization of items.
Runes must be physically engraved on items through a special process to convey their effects. They take two forms: fundamental runes and property runes. Fundamental runes offer the most basic and essential benefits: a weapon potency rune adds a bonus to a weapon’s attack rolls, and the striking rune adds extra weapon damage dice. An armor potency rune increases the armor’s item bonus to AC, and the resilient rune grants a bonus to the wearer’s saving throws. Property runes, by contrast, grant more varied effects—typically powers that are constant while the armor is worn or that take effect each time the weapon is used, such as a rune that grants energy resistance or one that adds fire damage to a weapon’s attacks.
The number of property runes a weapon or armor can have is equal to the value of its potency rune. A +1 weapon can have one property rune, but it could hold another if the +1 weapon potency rune were upgraded to a +2 weapon potency rune. Since the striking and resilient runes are fundamental runes, they don’t count against this limit.
An item with runes is typically referred to by the value of its potency rune, followed by any other fundamental runes, then the names of any property runes, and ends with the name of the base item. For example, you might have a +1 longsword or +2 greater resilient fire-resistant chain mail.
Rune-etched armor and weapons have the same Bulk and general characteristics as the non-magical version unless noted otherwise. The level of an item with runes etched onto it is equal to the highest level among the base item and all runes etched on it; therefore, a +1 striking mace (a 4th-level item) with a disrupting rune (a 5th-level rune) would be a 5th-level item.
Each rune can be etched into a specific type of armor or weapon, as indicated in the Usage entry of the rune’s stat block. Explorer’s clothing can have armor runes etched on it even though it’s not armor, but because it’s not in the light, medium, or heavy armor category, it can’t have runes requiring any of those categories.
Unlike armor and weapons enhanced with runes, specific armor and weapons (such as ghoul hide or a holy avenger) are created for a specific purpose and can work quite differently from other items of their type. Specific magic armor and weapons can’t gain property runes, but you can add or improve their fundamental runes.
If a suit of armor has any runes, it has the invested trait, requiring you to invest it to get its magical benefits.
The Price of a rune’s formula is the same as the Price of a formula for an item of the same level; it can be acquired in the same way as an item formula (described on page 293).
THE ETCHING PROCESS
Etching a rune on an item follows the same process as using the Craft activity to make an item. You must have the formula for the rune, the item you’re adding the rune to must be in your possession throughout the etching process, and you must meet any special Craft Requirements of the rune. The rune has no effect until you complete the Craft activity. You can etch only one rune at a time.
You can transfer runes between one item and another, including a runestone. This also uses the Craft activity. This lets you either move one rune from one item to another or swap a rune on one item with a rune on the other item. To swap, the runes must be of the same form (fundamental or property).
If an item can have two or more property runes, you decide which runes to swap and which to leave when transferring. If you attempt to transfer a rune to an item that can’t accept it, such as transferring a melee weapon rune to a ranged weapon, you get an automatic critical failure on your Crafting check. If you transfer a potency rune, you might end up with property runes on an item that can’t benefit from them. These property runes go dormant until transferred to an item with the necessary potency rune or until you etch the appropriate potency rune on the item bearing them.
The DC of the Crafting check to transfer a rune is determined by the item level of the rune being transferred, and the Price of the transfer is 10% of the rune’s Price, unless transferring from a runestone, which is free. If you’re swapping, use the higher level and higher Price between the two runes to determine these values. It takes 1 day (instead of the 4 days usually needed to Craft) to transfer a rune or swap a pair of runes, and you can continue to work over additional days to get a discount, as usual with Craft.
You could transfer a flaming rune from a +1 striking flaming greatsword to a +2 striking longsword, resulting in a +2 striking flaming longsword and a +1 striking greatsword. You could swap the weapon potency runes from a +1 longsword and a +2 greatsword, resulting in a +2 longsword and a +1 greatsword. However, you couldn’t swap a +1 weapon potency rune from one weapon with a flaming property rune from another weapon, as the two runes don’t have the same form.
When transferring a rune to an item that can hold multiple property runes, you can decide whether you transfer a single rune or swap runes between the items. For example, a +2 weapon can hold two property runes. If you transferred a flaming rune from a +1 striking flaming rapier to a +2 striking frost warhammer, you would decide whether you wanted to end up with a +1 striking rapier and a +2 striking flaming frost warhammer or a +1 striking frost rapier and a +2 striking flaming warhammer.
Four fundamental runes produce the most essential magic of protection and destruction: armor potency and resilient runes for armor, and weapon potency and striking runes for weapons. A potency rune is what makes a weapon a magic weapon or armor magic armor.
An item can have only one fundamental rune of each type, though etching a stronger rune can upgrade an existing rune to the more powerful version (as described in each rune’s entry). As you level up, you typically alternate between increasing an item’s potency rune and its striking or resilient rune when you can afford to.Fundamental Runes
|Fundamental Rune||Etched Onto||Benefit|
|Armor potency||Armor||Increase item bonus to AC and determine maximum number of property runes|
|Resilient||Armor||Grant item bonus to saves|
|Weapon potency||Weapon||Grant an item bonus to attack rolls and determine maximum number of property runes|
|Striking||Weapon||Increase weapon damage dice|
You’ll often want to upgrade the fundamental runes of magic armor or a magic weapon you already have. This requires upgrading each rune separately. Tables 11–5 and 11–6 summarize the Price of each step, with a number in parentheses indicating the item’s level for the Craft activity. This also indicates the typical progression for an adventurer to follow when upgrading their armor and weapons. The tables here don’t include progressions that aren’t as likely to come up, like turning a +1 weapon directly into a +1 greater striking weapon.Table: Armor Upgrade Prices
|Starting Armor||Improved Armor||Price and Process|
|+1 armor||+1 resilient armor||340 gp to etch resilient (8th level)|
|+1 resilient armor||+2 resilient armor||900 gp to etch +2 armor potency (11th level)|
|+2 resilient armor||+2 greater resilient armor||3,100 gp to etch greater resilient (14th level)|
|+2 greater resilient armor||+3 greater resilient armor||19,500 gp to etch +3 armor potency (18th level)|
|+3 greater resilient armor||+3 major resilient armor||46,000 gp to etch major resilient (20th level)|
|Starting Weapon||Improved Weapon||Price and Process|
|+1 weapon||+1 striking weapon||65 gp to etch striking (4th level)|
|+1 striking weapon||+2 striking weapon||900 gp to etch +2 weapon potency (10th level)|
|+2 striking weapon||+2 greater striking weapon||1,000 gp to etch greater striking (12th level)|
|+2 greater striking weapon||+3 greater striking weapon||8,000 gp to etch +3 weapon potency (16th level)|
|+3 greater striking weapon||+3 major striking weapon||30,000 gp to etch major striking (19th level)|
Property runes add special abilities to armor or a weapon in addition to the item’s fundamental runes. If a suit of armor or a weapon has multiple etchings of the same rune, only the highest-level one applies. You can upgrade a property rune to a higher-level type of that rune in the same way you would upgrade a fundamental rune.
Rune abilities that must be activated follow the rules for activating magic items on page 532.
All magic shields are specific items with a wide variety of protective effects, as described in their entries. Unlike magic armor, magic shields can’t be etched with runes.
Precious Material Shields
Shields made of precious materials are more expensive and have different durabilities. You can make bucklers and most shields out of any of these precious materials, but only darkwood can be used to make tower shields.
These shields have unique abilities that differentiate them from their typical counterparts.
Snares are small annoyances and simple traps you can create using the Crafting skill if you have the Snare Crafting feat (page 266). Creating a snare requires a snare kit (page 291) and an amount of raw materials worth the amount listed in the snare’s Price entry. Unlike other items, found snares cannot be collected or sold in their complete form. Snares have the snare trait.
A snare is built within a single 5-foot square. Once constructed, it can’t be moved without destroying (and often triggering) the snare.
You must have the Snare Crafting feat to create snares. You can spend 1 minute to Craft a snare at its listed Price. If you want to Craft a snare at a discount, you must spend downtime as described in the Craft activity. Some snares have additional requirements beyond those stated in the Craft activity; these snares list their requirements in a Craft Requirements entry.
Creatures can detect snares as they would any trap or hazard (as described here), using the creator’s Crafting DC as the snare’s Stealth DC. As you become better at creating snares, your snares become harder to detect by those with lesser ability. If you are an expert in Crafting, only a creature that is trained in Perception can find your snares; if you are a master in Crafting, only a creature that is an expert in Perception can find your snares; and if you are legendary in Crafting, only a creature that is a master in Perception can find your snares.
If your proficiency rank is expert or better in Crafting, only creatures actively searching can find your snares.
Unless stated otherwise in a snare’s description, when a Small or larger creature enters a snare’s square, the snare’s effect occurs and then the snare is destroyed.
Once a creature discovers a snare, it can disable it much like it can other physical traps, using the Disable a Device action of the Thievery skill and using the Crafting DC of the snare’s creator as the DC. As you become better at creating snares, your snares become harder to disable by those with lesser ability. If you are an expert in Crafting, only a creature that is trained in Thievery can disable them; if you are a master in Crafting, only a creature that is an expert in Thievery can disable them; and if you are legendary in Crafting, only a creature that is a master in Thievery can disable them.
You can automatically disarm a snare that you personally Crafted without triggering it by spending an Interact action while adjacent to the snare.
A magical staff is an indispensable accessory for an elite spellcaster. A staff is tied to one person during a preparation process, after which the preparer, and only the preparer, can harness the staff to cast a variety of spells throughout the day. The spells that can be cast from a staff are listed in bullet points organized by level under each version of the staff. Many staves can be found in multiple versions, with more powerful versions that contain more spells—such a staff always contains the spells of all lower-level versions, in addition to the spells listed in its own entry. All magical staves have the staff trait.
Casting Spells from a Staff
A staff gains charges when someone prepares it for the day. The person who prepared a staff can expend the charges to cast spells from it. You can Cast a Spell from a staff only if you have that spell on your spell list, are able to cast spells of the appropriate level, and expend a number of charges from the staff equal to the spell’s level. Casting a Spell from a staff requires holding the staff (typically in one hand) and Activating the staff by Casting the Spell, which takes the spell’s normal number of actions.
Use your spell attack roll and spell DC when Casting a Spell from a staff. The spell gains the appropriate trait for your magical tradition (arcane, divine, occult, or primal) and can be affected by any modifications you can normally make when casting spells, such as metamagic feats. You must provide any material components, cost, or focus required by the spell, or you fail to cast it.
Prepared spellcasters and spontaneous spellcasters each have a unique way of altering how their staves gain charges and the ways they can be used (see the Prepared Spellcasters and Spontaneous Spellcasters sections below).
Casting Cantrips from a Staff
If a staff contains a cantrip, you can cast that cantrip using the staff without expending any charges. The cantrip’s level is heightened to the same level as cantrips you cast.
Preparing a Staff
During your daily preparations, you can prepare a staff to add charges to it for free. When you do so, that staff gains a number of charges equal to the highest-level spell slot you have. You don’t need to expend any spells to add charges in this way. No one can prepare more than one staff per day, nor can a staff be prepared by more than one person per day. If the charges aren’t used within 24 hours, they’re lost, and preparing the staff anew removes any charges previously stored in it. You can prepare a staff only if you have at least one of the staff’s spells on your spell list.
A prepared spellcaster—such as a cleric, druid, or wizard—can place some of their own magic in a staff to increase its number of charges. When a prepared spellcaster prepares a staff, they can expend a spell slot to add a number of charges to the staff equal to the level of the spell. They can’t expend more than one spell in this way each day. For example, if Ezren can cast 3rd-level spells and prepared a staff, the staff would gain 3 charges, but Ezren could increase this to 6 by expending one of his 3rd-level spells, 5 by expending a 2nd-level spell, or 4 by expending a 1st-level spell.
A spontaneous spellcaster, such as a bard or sorcerer, can reduce the number of charges it takes to Activate a staff by supplementing with their own energy. When a spontaneous spellcaster Activates a staff, they can expend 1 charge from the staff and one of their spell slots to cast a spell from the staff of the same level (or lower) as the expended spell slot. This doesn’t change the number of actions it takes to cast the spell. For example, if Seoni can cast 3rd-level spells and prepared a staff, the staff would gain 3 charges. She could expend 1 charge and one of her 3rd-level spell slots to cast a 3rd-level spell from the staff, or 1 charge and one of her 2nd-level spell slots to cast a 2nd-level spell from the staff. She could still expend 3 charges from the staff to cast a 3rd-level spell from it without using any of her own slots, just like any other spellcaster.
Attacking with a Staff
Staves are also staff weapons, included in their Price. They can be etched with runes as normal for a staff. This doesn’t alter any of their spellcasting abilities.
These items create structures of significant size, typically by growing from their more manageable, normal forms. All these items have the structure trait, described in the sidebar below.
Short, slender items typically made of wood, wands let you cast a specific spell without expending a spell slot. They can be used once per day, but can be overcharged to attempt to cast them again at great risk. Each wand holds a spell of a certain level, determined when the wand is created. Cantrips, focus spells, and rituals can’t be placed in wands.
If you find a wand, you can try to figure out what spell is in it. If the spell is a common spell from your spell list or is a spell you know, you can use a single Recall Knowledge action and automatically succeed. If it’s not, you must Identify Magic (page 238).
Casting Spells from a Wand
A wand contains a spell that can be cast once per day. Casting a spell from a wand requires holding the wand in one hand and activating the item with a Cast a Spell activity using the normal number of actions for the spell.
To cast a spell from a wand, it must be on your spell list. Because you’re the one casting the spell, use your spell attack roll and spell DC. The spell is of your tradition.
A spell cast from a wand doesn’t require physical material components, but you must replace any material component normally required to cast the spell with a somatic component. If the spell requires a focus, you must still have that focus to cast the spell from a wand, and if the spell has a cost, you must still pay that cost to cast the spell from a wand.
Each type of wand has a Level and Price determined by the spell’s level. The wand’s rarity matches the spell’s rarity. The item’s traits also vary, based on the spell. A wand has any traits listed in its stat block (usually just magical and wand), plus any traits of the spell stored on it.
Crafting a Wand
For the most part, the process to Craft a wand is like that to Craft any other magic item. When you begin the crafting process, choose a spell to put into the wand. You have to either cast that spell during the process, or someone else must do so in your presence. That spell doesn’t have its normal effects; instead, the magic is captured inside the wand. The caster doesn’t need to pay any cost of the spell.
The casting must come from a spellcaster expending a spell slot. You can’t make a wand from a spell that comes from another magic item, for example.
The simplest form of wand contains a spell, with Price and level based on that spell. The wand has the magical and wand traits, as well as the traits the spell has. The name of a magic wand with a spell in it is simply “wand of,” followed by the spell’s name.
Specialty wands can contain only certain kinds of spells, as noted in the stat block, and either alter the spell’s effects or affect how it can be cast. The Craft Requirements entry lists what kinds of spells the wand can hold.
Weapons can be crafted from precious materials or infused with magic to grant them powerful and unusual abilities.
Precious Material Weapons
Weapons made of precious materials are more expensive and sometimes have special effects. You can make metal weapons out of any of these materials except darkwood, and wooden weapons out of darkwood. To determine the Price of 10 pieces of ammunition, use the base Price for a single weapon, without adding any extra for Bulk.
Basic Magic Weapon
Many magic weapons are created by etching runes onto them, as described on page 580. The magic weapon stat block covers the Prices and attributes of the most common weapons you can make with only fundamental runes.
Specific Magic Weapon
These weapons have abilities far different from what can be gained by simply etching runes. A specific magic weapon lists its fundamental runes, which you can upgrade, add, or transfer as normal. You can’t etch any property runes onto a specific weapon that it doesn’t already have.
This section includes magic items you wear. Most have the invested trait, which means you can wear no more than 10 (page 531). Worn items include the following subcategories, with special rules appearing at the start of the section.
When you Invest an Item that has the apex trait, it improves one of your ability scores, either increasing it by 2 or to a total of 18, whichever grants the higher score. This gives you all the benefits of the new ability score until the investiture runs out: increasing Intelligence lets you become trained in an additional skill and learn a new language, increasing Constitution gives you more Hit Points, and so on.
An apex item grants this benefit only the first time it’s invested within a 24-hour period, and you can benefit from only one apex item at a time. If you attempt to invest an apex item when you already have one invested, you don’t gain the ability score increase, though you do gain any other effects of Investing the Item.
You might want to acquire items that benefit an animal or beast that assists you. These items have the companion trait, meaning they function only for animal companions, familiars, and similar creatures. Normally these are the only items a companion can use. Other items may qualify, at the GM’s discretion, but an animal can never Activate an Item.
Investing Companion Items
Any worn companion item needs to be invested. However, your companion needs to invest it rather than you doing so. This requires you to use the Invest an Item activity alongside your companion. A companion has an investiture limit of two items (instead of the 10-item limit a player character has).
OTHER WORN ITEMS
These are a wide variety of items you wear. Armor appears in its own section on page 555, and apex items that can increase ability scores are on page 603.