"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Caster Level of B/X Magic Items

Page X44 of the Expert Rulebook says:
"In general, magic items are used in the same way as before, except that many items will be much more powerful. When such items have the effect of spells whose effects change with level, consider the power of the item to be as a 6th level spell caster." (emphasis mine)

Page X51 of the Expert Rulebook says that clerics, magic-users and elves can attempt to make magic items "On reaching name level" which is 9th level.

Where do these 6th level magic items come from?


  1. The item isn't as powerful as the caster who made it. This prevents other characters from picking up magic items and becoming equivalent to the spellcasters, and it prevents spellcasters from picking up the item and no longer having a reason to cast spells.

    Also, if all items cast at 9th level (or the level of the caster when he made them) then many would be too powerful for low-level characters. This shifts the magic item power down so they're appropriate for the sweet spot of character levels.

  2. My house rule says that the wand acts at half the level (round down) of the spellcaster that created it. That 6d6 Wand of Fireballs was actually created by a 12th or 13th level M-U. As a result, you also have wands that do 4d6 or 5d6 damage, as well as those that do 7, 8, or more dice of damage.

  3. I just always figured that there was a limit to how much "power" could be stored in a magic item. A wand holds 6 levels worth...a staff holds 8 levels worth (it's a bit bigger). I believe miscellaneous magic items can hold us to 12 levels worth...at least if you use the elemental summoning items as a guide.