Some magic items require a creature to form a bond with them before their magical properties can be used. This bond is called attunement, and certain items have a prerequisite for it. If the prerequisite is a class, a creature must be a member of that Profession to attune to the item. Other prerequisites can include Heritage, Background, Aspect, Mastery, Affinity, and Ability Scores.
All magic items of Class One or greater require attunement.
Without becoming attuned to an item that requires attunement, a creature gains only its nonmagical benefits, unless its description states otherwise. For example, a magic shield that requires attunement provides the benefits of a normal shield to a creature not attuned to it, but none of its magical properties.
Attuning to an item requires a creature to spend a short rest focused on only that item while being in physical contact with it (this can’t be the same short rest used to learn the item’s properties) and expending 1 point of mana.
This focus can take the form of weapon practice (for a weapon), meditation (for a wondrous item), or some other appropriate activity. If the short rest is interrupted, the attunement attempt fails. Otherwise, at the end of the short rest, the creature gains an intuitive understanding of how to activate any magical properties of the item, including any necessary command words.
An item can be attuned to only one creature at a time, and a creature can be attuned to no more than seven magic items at a time. Any attempt to attune a further item fails; the creature must end its attunement to an item first.
A creature can also voluntarily end attunement by spending another short rest focused on the item and using 2 mana points — unless the item is cursed.
Additionally, a creature can’t attune to more than one copy of an item. For example, a creature can’t attune to more than one ring of protection at a time.
A creature’s attunement to an item ends:
if the creature no longer satisfies the prerequisites for attunement,
if the item has been more than 100 feet away for at least 24 hours,
if the creature dies, or
if another creature attunes to the item.
Using a magic item’s properties might mean wearing or wielding it. A magic item meant to be worn must be donned in the intended fashion: boots go on the feet, gloves on the hands, hats and helmets on the head, and rings on the finger. Magic armor must be donned, a shield strapped to the arm, a cloak fastened about the shoulders. A weapon must be held.
In most cases, a magic item that’s meant to be worn can fit a creature regardless of size or build. Many magic garments are made to be easily adjustable, or they magically adjust themselves to the wearer. Rare exceptions exist. If the story suggests a good reason for an item to fit only creatures of a certain size or shape, you can rule that it doesn’t adjust.
When a nonhumanoid tries to wear an item, use your discretion as to whether the item functions as intended. A ring placed on a tentacle might work, but a therian with a snakelike tail instead of legs can’t wear boots.
Use common sense to determine whether more than one of a given kind of magic item can be worn. A character can’t normally wear more than one pair of footwear, one pair of gloves or gauntlets, one pair of bracers, one suit of armor, one item of headwear, and one cloak. You can make exceptions; a character might be able to wear a circlet under a helmet, for example, or to layer two cloaks.
There will, however, be penalties. There is a price to all magic. Rings may conflict with each other, necklaces may tangle and cause a charm to lose contact, and more. Magic which conflicts has a bad habit of causing those around it great harm.
As a general rule, a character won’t have more than one item of a given type per Degree of Mastery on them.
Items that come in pairs—such as boots, bracers, gauntlets, and gloves—impart their benefits only if both items of the pair are worn. For example, a character wearing a boot of striding and springing on one foot and a boot of Elfinkind on the other foot gains no benefit from either.
Activating some magic items requires a user to do something special, such as holding the item and uttering a command word. The description of each item category or individual item details how an item is activated. Certain items use the following rules for their activation.
If an item requires an action to activate, that action isn’t a function of the Use an Item action, so a feature such as the rogue’s Fast Hands can’t be used to activate the item.
A command word is a word or phrase that must be spoken for an item to work. A magic item that requires a command word can’t be activated in an area where sound is prevented, as in the area of the silence spell.
Some items are used up when they are activated. A potion or an elixir must be swallowed, or an oil applied to the body. The writing vanishes from a scroll when it is read. Once used, a consumable item loses its magic.
Some magic items allow the user to cast a spell from the item. The spell is cast at the lowest possible spell level, doesn’t expend any of the user’s spell points, and requires no components, unless the item’s description says otherwise. The spell uses its normal casting time, range, and duration, and the user of the item must concentrate if the spell requires concentration. Many items, such as potions, bypass the casting of a spell and confer the spell’s effects, with their usual duration. Certain items make exceptions to these rules, changing the casting time, duration, or other parts of a spell.
A magic item, such as certain staffs, may require you to use your own spellcasting ability when you cast a spell from the item. If you have more than one spellcasting ability, you choose which one to use with the item. If you don’t have a spellcasting ability—perhaps you’re a rogue with the Use Magic Device feature—your spellcasting ability modifier is +0 for the item, and your proficiency bonus does apply.
Some magic items have charges that must be expended to activate their properties. The number of charges an item has remaining is revealed when an identify spell is cast on it, as well as when a creature attunes to it. Additionally, when an item regains charges, the creature attuned to it learns how many charges it regained.
It is sometimes possible to use an item with charges by expending one’s own spell points for that charge. The cost is always double the normal to do this unless a successful DC 15 Con roll is achieved.
Weapon and Armor Bonuses
Weapons and Armor that confer a specific bonus (+1 to +5) can break the stacking rule. They are the only items that can – this is one of the things about magic.
There are certain materials on Wyrlde that are often used to support, improve, store, and influence magic and the effects of magic. As a result, it should be noted that the value of these materials is exceptionally high. A small ring with but a chip of Orikal might cost several thousand shillings. A Calcifer may be worth hundreds of crowns or sovereigns.
A pearlescent crystalline stone with metallic properties that glows with an internal light. Mined in Sibola, it is a widely sought after stone because it allows for light without heat and does not seem to scar like Radiant light (such as the Sun) can cause.
The veins also are home to a species of snake-like entity, that can and will defend the ore. The veins move. Typically, it is shaped into crystals, polished and honed, faceted to provide light. A tiny fragment of it, about the same size as a candle flame burning on a wick, casts around 3 times the light of a single candle (3 candlepower, or around 36 lumens).
It should be noted that skystone also comes from meteors, and is often intertwined with meteoric iron, to which it can bond in some circumstances, used to make a very fine, extremely durable, and extremely flexible, glowing form of steel called Katanis.
Skystones are traded broadly and are one of the major light sources among the wealthy. The light of a Skystone never goes out, you see. They can be inherited and passed down among families.
This is a gray, sand-like mineral, the tiny grains of which constantly move as if impelled by some living force. It is thought to be found in Durango’s Sand Sea. When a small amount of gaulaun is burned and directed by the correct spells (such as the hypothesized Mechanical Engine), it can provide significant motive force capable of powering magical machinery.
An exceptionally heavy, hard, impervious, pinkish or reddish crystalline metal with the unusual property of being able to absorb and store all kinds of magic. Many mages wear Orikal jewelry. A one-inch cube of the material is said to weigh 1 pound, making it a very heavy metal as well.
The most prized metal on Wyrlde is found primarily in Lyonese with a deposit known to be somewhere in Akadia. It is very reactive magically, and much sought after, particularly by Mages who use weapons. It is a very rare metal, with the unusual property of being able to absorb and store all kinds of mana. Many folks wear jewelry made of Orikal and use it to contain bits and pieces of their power that they could use when needed. However, Orikal not only absorbs the magic—it hungers for it, as though the metal was hollow and eager, aching even, for power to fill it up and make it whole. You can feel the desire for more magic, for more power when using it.
It is said that the extremely rare and expensive metal has the capacity to absorb magic, to store it for use when needed, enabling it to become a kind of magical battery over time.
It is often said that this is deeper than it seems — that Orikal not only absorbs the magic, but it also hungers for it, as though the metal was hollow and eager, aching even, for magical power to fill it up and make it whole; some claim that they can sense this, can feel it, as an active desire on the part of the metal.
Once it is properly smelted, it can be used to store raw magical power. The amount of mana possible to store is described in the magical item description or determined by the DM.
As a rule of thumb, one grain (0.5 grams) is able to store 5 points of mana.
If the prepared metal absorbs too much mana, it melts, losing all the stored Mana, and it is the application of too much magic that causes it to melt and be able to be shaped. Melted Orikal does not have heat – it remains temperature neutral, but it is said that contact with it can drain a caster in a moment of their mana.
Orikal bonds readily and easily with assorted woods such as Rowan, Oak, Willow, Hazel, Hawthorn, and Ash, and becomes almost impossible to separate from them (one must burn the wood). For this reason, it is often used in rods, wands, staves, and similar items. Note that it must be bonded to something else in order to be ingrained or imbued. Otherwise, it just absorbs the mana.
Orikal can bond to starwood, and doing so creates a dangerous tool that not only dispels magic, but it also draws the mana out of the person holding it. This is often used in cuffs or collars to restrain Mages. Nulls lose their resistance when in contact.
It is found in small clusters of crystals in many different places, and legend says that there is a flowing pool of it near one of the places where magic erupted into the world, and that this pool keeps the magic in check.
A tree that strongly resembles bamboo and grows in much the same way and the same places that has a startling property: it dispels magic. It is often treated much like bamboo and used to create a kind of woven material that is light, strong, and flexible. It is used in the creation of certain kinds of armor.
It is illegal to bring starwood into or possess it within Akadia.
Calcifers are strange crystals that are unpredictable in where they are found or how many or how effective they are, but one thing is said about all of them: they are solid magic. Different calcifers may contain the stored capacity for different kinds of magic. Most of the crown jewels of the assorted Realms contain at least one calcifer among them, and the imperial Crown Jewels are known to include five different ones that enable their use no matter what the affinity of the Emperor may be.
Calcifers grow smaller when they are tapped or drawn from. They have a known limit, and this makes them very difficult to set into jewelry, so will often be set up so that they can be tapped without being lost (such as in a globe). Calcifers are sentient, like magic. They will often have their own plans, purposes, ideas, and needs that are often detrimental to those who use them.
Calcifers were used in the creation of all the great Legendary Weapons. A calcifer can be melted into and combined with other materials, but it requires mastery of one’s craft to do it, as well as significant study into the nature of and qualities of this kind of work.