Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Mithril Duck

Mithril Duck
Wondrous Item

Faint divination
Caster Level: 1
Slot: None (held)
Price: 700 gp*
Weight: 0.5 pounds

This small statuette (no more than 6 cubic inches in volume) of a duck is much lighter than it looks, suggesting a hollow interior. Beautifully detailed with exquisite attention to detail, if skillfully painted it could easily be mistaken for an actual duck, especially if put in water (it floats).

Effect: To use the duck, hold it in your hand and ask it a question. It will answer by quacking (as if a masterwork duck call) and cast the Guidance cantrip upon the questioner.

Construction Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item; Guidance or Master Craftsman; Masterwork mithril duck (DC 20 to craft; 250 gp for 0.5 lbs mithril)

* The Mithril Duck is a level 0 use-activated item.
  • Use-activation is Spell level x caster level x 2,000 gp x 2 (1 minute spell duration) x 2 (slotless magic item)
  • A 0-level spell is half the value of a 1st-level spell for determining price, so spell level x caster level = 0.5 x 1 = 0.5
  • So cost is calculated as 0.5 x 2000 x 2 x 2
  • The Mithril Duck ought to cost 4,000 gp
  • However, this is ridiculously over-priced for a magic item which casts a spell that any first-level caster can perform an unlimited amount of times per day, so I apply a GM fiat ruling of dividing it by 10.
  • I mean do you really want your players to be able to sell this for 2,000 gp? I think not. However, 350 gp seems about right. 
  • 400 gp + 250 gp for 1/2 pound of mithril + 50 gp masterwork artisan's fee = 700 gp.

For those of you who don't get the joke: it's a magical fantasy version of rubber duck debugging.

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