Archives of Nethys

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Magic Weapons

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 468
A magic weapon is enhanced to strike more truly and deliver more damage. Magic weapons have enhancement bonuses ranging from +1 to +5. They apply these bonuses to both attack and damage rolls when used in combat. All magic weapons are also masterwork weapons, but their masterwork bonuses on attack rolls do not stack with their enhancement bonuses on attack rolls.

Weapons come in two basic categories: melee and ranged. Some of the weapons listed as melee weapons can also be used as ranged weapons. In this case, their enhancement bonuses apply to both melee and ranged attacks.

Some magic weapons have special abilities. Special abilities count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of the item, but do not modify attack or damage bonuses except where specifically noted). A single weapon cannot have a modified bonus (enhancement bonus plus special ability bonus equivalents, including from character abilities and spells) higher than +10. A weapon with a special ability must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus. Weapons cannot possess the same special ability more than once.

Weapons or ammunition can be made of an unusual material. Roll d%: 01–95 indicates that the item is of a standard sort, and 96– 100 indicates that it is made of a special material (see Chapter 6).

Caster Level for Weapons: The caster level of a weapon with a special ability is given in the item description. For an item with only an enhancement bonus and no other abilities, 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.

Additional Damage Dice: Some magic weapons deal additional dice of damage. Unlike other modifiers to damage, additional dice of damage are not multiplied when the attacker scores a critical hit.

Ranged Weapons and Ammunition: The enhancement bonus from a ranged weapon does not stack with the enhancement bonus from ammunition. Only the higher of the two enhancement bonuses applies.

Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Similarly, ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an alignment gains the alignment of that projectile weapon.

Magic Ammunition and Breakage: When a magic arrow, crossbow bolt, or sling bullet misses its target, there is a 50% chance it breaks or is otherwise rendered useless. A magic arrow, bolt, or bullet that successfully hits a target is automatically destroyed after it delivers its damage.

Light Generation: Fully 30% of magic weapons shed light equivalent to a light spell. These glowing weapons are quite obviously magical. Such a weapon can’t be concealed when drawn, nor can its light be shut off. Some of the specific weapons detailed below always or never glow, as defined in their descriptions.

Hardness and Hit Points: Each +1 of a magic weapon’s enhancement bonus adds +2 to its hardness and +10 to its hit points. See also Table 7–12 on page 175.

Activation: Usually a character benefits from a magic weapon in the same way a character benefits from a mundane weapon— by wielding (attacking with) it. If a weapon has a special ability that the user needs to activate, then the user usually needs to utter a command word (a standard action). A character can activate the special abilities of 50 pieces of ammunition at the same time, assuming each piece has identical abilities.

Magic Weapons and Critical Hits: Some weapon special abilities and some specific weapons have an extra effect on a critical hit. This special effect also functions against creatures not normally subject to critical hits. On a successful critical roll, apply the special effect, but do not multiply the weapon’s regular damage.

Weapons for Unusually Sized Creatures: The cost of weapons for creatures who are neither Small nor Medium varies (see Chapter 6). The cost of the masterwork quality and any magical enhancement remains the same.

Special Qualities: Roll d%. A 01–30 result indicates that the item sheds light, 31–45 indicates that something (a design, inscription, or the like) provides a clue to the weapon’s function, and 46–100 indicates no special qualities.

Table 15-8: Weapons

MinorMediumMajorWeapon BonusBase Price1
01-7001-10+12,000 gp
71-8511-29+28,000 gp
30-5801-20+318,000 gp
59-6221-38+432,000 gp
39-49+550,000 gp
+6272,000 gp
+7298,000 gp
+82128,000 gp
+92162,000 gp
+102200,000 gp
86-9063-6850-63Specifc weapon3
92-10069-10064-100Special ability and roll again4

1 For ammunition, this price is for 50 arrows, bolts, or bullets.
2 A weapon can’t have an enhancement bonus higher than +5. Use these lines to determine price when special abilities are added in.
3 See here.
4 See here for melee weapons and here for ranged weapons.