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View Full Version : Rules For Removing Enchantment From an Item?



CelestialBarbarian
02-09-2009, 01:23 AM
Does anyone know if there are any rules for removing an enchantment from a magic item? I seem to recall seeing something somewhere but searching through the FAQ I couldn't find any. Thanks! :)

nijineko
02-09-2009, 02:53 AM
there are not any standard rules for disenchanting magic items, with a few exceptions, as follows:


the ever famous "mdj" or mordenkainen's disjunction can disenchant magic items. as a side note, an epic spell could easily duplicate this effect.
the artificer class from the eberron campaign setting book has a class feature that has this effect. sixth level, if i recall off the top of my head.
not explicitly listed as a valid effect, but wish and miracle effects and the like are able to create items with certain limits, so it stands to reason that un-creating similar items should easily be within the realm of possibility.
crude, but technically legit, simply breaking the item will relieve it of its magical properties. and when repairing, don't re-enchant it. (note-not recommended to be attempted with a staff of the magi, or other similarly enchanted items.)
some charged items can be drained, by either usage, or by certain other magic items which render them normal items again.
and last, but certainly not least, if the dm says so, then it is. ^^ but the above could certainly be used as guidelines. houserule to the rescue!

CelestialBarbarian
02-09-2009, 03:14 AM
there are not any standard rules for disenchanting magic items, with a few exceptions, as follows:


the ever famous "mdj" or mordenkainen's disjunction can disenchant magic items. as a side note, an epic spell could easily duplicate this effect.
the artificer class from the eberron campaign setting book has a class feature that has this effect. sixth level, if i recall off the top of my head.
not explicitly listed as a valid effect, but wish and miracle effects and the like are able to create items with certain limits, so it stands to reason that un-creating similar items should easily be within the realm of possibility.
crude, but technically legit, simply breaking the item will relieve it of its magical properties. and when repairing, don't re-enchant it. (note-not recommended to be attempted with a staff of the magi, or other similarly enchanted items.)
some charged items can be drained, by either usage, or by certain other magic items which render them normal items again.
and last, but certainly not least, if the dm says so, then it is. ^^ but the above could certainly be used as guidelines. houserule to the rescue!



Hi, nijineko, and thanks for the reply. I think maybe I didn't clarify what I'm looking for. I'm not looking to ruin or destroy a magic item, but rather to strip one or two abilities off a magic item so that one or two others can be added. It's currently a defending holy impact mighty cleaving +5 greathammer. Because the NPC who wields it has both the Cleave and Great Cleave feats, as well as Improved Critical, he gets no benefit from the impact or mighty cleaving abilities. He would like to get them both removed so as to be able to put evil outsider bane on the greathammer instead.

I thought I'd come across something, somewhere, that talked about how to do that. It might have been an old Dragon issue back under 3.0. I suppose one could break it, fix it, and then re-enchant it, but it might be cheaper to sell it and buy a new one with some or all of the enhantments he wants. (He's never used the defending ability, for that matter, that I can recall. If he were getting a new weapon he wouldn't bother with defending. He's a half-celestial barbarian2/cleric1/fighter4/ranger2/lightning warrior9, with the glory-bound and implacable flaws, so defending isn't really his thing. :biggrin:)

I looked at the artificer and couldn't find such an ability. Could you be thinking of the siphon charge ability of the Cannith wand adept?

Drizzit red
02-09-2009, 10:39 AM
Dispell magic (if it from a high enough caster level), but that would get rid of everything on it.

You could also start over by getting a new MW weapon, and paying to get the enchantments placed on it.

CelestialBarbarian
02-09-2009, 11:38 AM
Dispell magic (if it from a high enough caster level), but that would get rid of everything on it.

You could also start over by getting a new MW weapon, and paying to get the enchantments placed on it.

Thanks for responding, Drizzit. Dispel magic merely suppresses a magic item for 1d4 rounds.

I'm thinking about establishing a method whereby someone with the feat to enchant the item in the first place can remove an enchantment for either half or a quarter the cost of adding the enchantment in the first place. I'm not sure yet whether I'll require the character to have the spell or other prerequisite required to place the enchantment.

spotlight
02-09-2009, 11:56 AM
If my poor old memory sreves, from early editions, Dispell can do it, but it needs permanence cast with it. But I think this is from the original DMG and I have not seen it in any later editions. So, if yer doing 4e, keep reserching ... or get a willing DM....

CelestialBarbarian
02-09-2009, 12:07 PM
If my poor old memory sreves, from early editions, Dispell can do it, but it needs permanence cast with it. But I think this is from the original DMG and I have not seen it in any later editions. So, if yer doing 4e, keep reserching ... or get a willing DM....

I believe that in earlier editions dispel magic could remove the enchantments from a magic item, but allof them at once rather than selectively. Third Ed changed that to a short suppression. We're using 3rd Ed (3.5) as indicated by the little "3e" at the start of the thread's name. ;)

spotlight
02-09-2009, 12:18 PM
He, He, which is why you get a willing GM ....

CelestialBarbarian
02-09-2009, 12:26 PM
He, He, which is why you get a willing GM ....

Well in this case I'm the DM, which is why I started talking about a possible house rule above. :)

Drizzit red
02-09-2009, 02:43 PM
Sorry, with the house rules I play in, Dispell can do what I said...I am so used to it, I forgot what the spell description said.

We use a mixture of all the versions at our gaming table (except 4th that is)

The person casting the dispell obviously has to have a sufficient level to dispell the affects of the magic item. Most of the magic items in our wrld are assumed to be made by at least a level 12 character, so dispelling magical items becomes a rare thing.

nijineko
02-09-2009, 03:46 PM
may i suggest that you have a disenchant spell? a variant of a dispell magic. use the artificer's ability and dispell as a guideline.

CelestialBarbarian
02-16-2009, 09:27 PM
may i suggest that you have a disenchant spell? a variant of a dispell magic. use the artificer's ability and dispell as a guideline.

Thanks. I never got notice of your post. So how would your spell work? Remember that I'm looking to remove individual special abilities to make room for other special abilities; I'm no looking to disenchant the whole item.

RealmsDM
02-16-2009, 10:33 PM
how's this: one of the supplemental rulebooks contains rules for "redeeming" evil items- for instance, taking a unholy sword of energy draining, and changing it into a holy sword.

you could take those rules, and just tweek them to suit your needs.

if i remember, the rulebook is something like the book of exalted deeds or something along those lines.

CelestialBarbarian
02-16-2009, 10:42 PM
how's this: one of the supplemental rulebooks contains rules for "redeeming" evil items- for instance, taking a unholy sword of energy draining, and changing it into a holy sword.

you could take those rules, and just tweek them to suit your needs.

if i remember, the rulebook is something like the book of exalted deeds or something along those lines.

Those rule are in The Book of Exalted Deeds, and they don't help at all. Thanks for trying though. :)

nijineko
02-17-2009, 11:39 AM
a disenchant spell would operate mostly using the rules for dispell, but make use of an effect similar to the artificer ability to drain/break down an item.

dispell has three main uses, targeted dispell, area dispell, and counterspell. the targeted affects a single target, be that person or object with the effect that each of the active effects on the person or item make a save or be suppressed. the area effect targets everything in an area, except magic items. the counterspell does what it says.

how this could be applied to the disenchant is that for a higher dc than the dispell, you could target a specific item, and attempt to disenchant it. in the case of an item who's properties you don't know, it would disenchant the first effect that failed a save vs the spell. in the case of a known item, you could target which effect you wanted. the dc is harder, because you are not simply suppressing an effect, you are attempting to safely unbind a specific portion of a magical effect while retaining the rest of the effects intact.

i would say that if you wanted, you could even have the area effect version, which would randomly disenchant a single effect from a single item, whichever first failed it's save. alternatively, you could stipulate that the caster level of the character has to be sufficient to make the item in question, in order to disenchant it. otherwise it is suppressed, like a dispell effect. come to think of it, that's a good stipulation for the targeted effect too.

and a counterspell version is possible too. instead of disenchanting an item, this would counter an effect from an item, sort of an item-only type of counterspell. this version would probably see a fair amount of use by player characters and npcs.

so there's my off-the-cuff suggestions for a disenchant spell. =D hope you find it handy.

CelestialBarbarian
02-18-2009, 12:31 AM
I'm not looking for a way to damage or destroy a magic item. I'm looking for a systematic way for a crafter to remove a specific, undesired special ability from a magic item to make "room" for another, desired special ability. Thanks anyway.

tesral
02-18-2009, 12:48 AM
You are on your own there.

spotlight
02-18-2009, 11:28 AM
What nijen sid in his last post made a little since. All the spell effects on any particular item would be enter-twined and thus difficult to undo. I remember a game I played years ago that had a spell just for that, a reverce of the enchant item spell.

Lets call it un-binding or something like that. You can remove a particular spell effect, as long as you replace it with something else. All that would be required is the research to develope the new spell. Which, of course, is in the rules already. Just make a spell to remove the undesired and replace with a new desire. It has been a while sence I read those rules in the original DMG, but it seems it would take something like a year or so of 'game' time and lots of loot. But deffinately do-able.

Drizzit red
02-19-2009, 07:17 AM
I really don't see why there is so much discussion about this if you are the DM....

Do whatever you want...

Have a god come down and do it...

Make up a new spell....

Have it happen naturally....

Have it happen by a freak accident.....

Have some creature drain some of the weapons power...

Whatever...you are the DM...just do it however you see fit.

Malruhn
02-20-2009, 08:45 PM
With the situation being what you say, I'd just turn it over to an Artificer and let him/her suck the unwanted portion off the item with their ability to drain magic. It isn't that much of a house-rule to say that they can target the magic draining... arbitrarily, I'd put a double time penalty on it, give it a quick kiss and let them go.

Damn, but I love artificers!!!!

CelestialBarbarian
02-23-2009, 01:53 AM
Thanks everyone for the feedback! :) I'm leaning toward allowing the removal of a special ability at half the cost (in time, money and experience) of adding the ability in the first place, and of course the remover would have to have the ability to place the special ability in the first place, so the requisite level and item creation feat.

DragonPrince
02-23-2009, 08:26 AM
I agree with what you stated about it costing and the ability to place it in the first place. But there should also be a chance for the person to make a mistake. (DC= d20+original creators lv+ skill mod. to make item)

CelestialBarbarian
02-23-2009, 09:39 AM
I agree with what you stated about it costing and the ability to place it in the first place. But there should also be a chance for the person to make a mistake. (DC= d20+original creators lv+ skill mod. to make item)

Hi DragonPrince! There's no change of making a mistake while putting an enchantment on an item, so why should there be be a chance of making a mistake an the enchantment? :)

tesral
02-23-2009, 11:36 PM
Hi DragonPrince! There's no change of making a mistake while putting an enchantment on an item, so why should there be be a chance of making a mistake an the enchantment? :)

Exactly. There is really no point in creating rules to screw up by. It satisfies no players I know of.

Not to mention the failure chances given in such rules are usually much greater and have much worse consequences that such activities usually have.

Seriously, a glass blower totally blows a crafting roll, they dump the cullet back in the kiln and try again. The Blacksmith does not stand a chance of losing an arm if he blows a crafting roll making horse shoes. Heck, he doesn't even ruin the horse shoe, get it hot again and pound it the right way.

The total purpose of failure rules is to frustrate the player and inject random where random is not required. If a ticklish task, you slow down and take your time, do it right. It's not hard, and shouldn't be.

I believe combat is risk enough. One shouldn't stand a 1 in 20 chance of amputating a finger while trimming your nails.

CelestialBarbarian
02-24-2009, 01:46 AM
Exactly. There is really no point in creating rules to screw up by. It satisfies no players I know of.

Not to mention the failure chances given in such rules are usually much greater and have much worse consequences that socuh activities usually have.

Seriously, a glass blower totally blows a crafting roll, they dump the cullet back in the kiln and try again. The Blacksmith does not stand a chance of losing an arm if he blows a crafting roll making horse shoes. Heck, he doesn't even ruin the hourse shoe, get it hot again and pound it the right way.

The total purpose of failure rules is to frustrate the player and inject random where random is not required. If a tickleish task, you slow down and take your time, do it right. It's not hard, and shouldn't be.

I believe combat is risk enough. One shouldn't stand a 1 in 20 chance of amputating a finger while trimming your nails.


Don't mince words, Bones; tell me how you really feel. ;) Seriously though, well said, tesral! :)

nijineko
02-25-2009, 09:50 AM
a disenchant spell would operate mostly using the rules for dispell, but make use of an effect similar to the artificer ability to drain/break down an item.

dispell has three main uses, targeted dispell, area dispell, and counterspell. the targeted affects a single target, be that person or object with the effect that each of the active effects on the person or item make a save or be suppressed. the area effect targets everything in an area, except magic items. the counterspell does what it says.

how this could be applied to the disenchant is that for a higher dc than the dispell, you could target a specific item, and attempt to disenchant it. in the case of an item who's properties you don't know, it would disenchant the first effect that failed a save vs the spell. in the case of a known item, you could target which effect you wanted. the dc is harder, because you are not simply suppressing an effect, you are attempting to safely unbind a specific portion of a magical effect while retaining the rest of the effects intact.

i would say that if you wanted, you could even have the area effect version, which would randomly disenchant a single effect from a single item, whichever first failed it's save. alternatively, you could stipulate that the caster level of the character has to be sufficient to make the item in question, in order to disenchant it. otherwise it is suppressed, like a dispell effect. come to think of it, that's a good stipulation for the targeted effect too.

and a counterspell version is possible too. instead of disenchanting an item, this would counter an effect from an item, sort of an item-only type of counterspell. this version would probably see a fair amount of use by player characters and npcs.

so there's my off-the-cuff suggestions for a disenchant spell. =D hope you find it handy.


I'm not looking for a way to damage or destroy a magic item. I'm looking for a systematic way for a crafter to remove a specific, undesired special ability from a magic item to make "room" for another, desired special ability. Thanks anyway.

heh, that's exactly what i described in my post. =D perhaps i left too much unsaid, or was not clear in some fashion? 'cause, really. that's exactly what i gave some suggested rules for.... nothing in what i said has anything to do with damaging or destroying a magic item.

tesral
02-25-2009, 12:09 PM
Be brave and make a new rule. I would take the precedent of existing rules in mind. However do not be a slave to them or wait for some official ruling from "on high".

The suggestions made here are good ones.

InvestFDC
02-25-2009, 01:34 PM
I agree. As the DM, just make it happen.

CelestialBarbarian
02-25-2009, 08:32 PM
there are not any standard rules for disenchanting magic items, with a few exceptions, as follows:


the ever famous "mdj" or mordenkainen's disjunction can disenchant magic items. as a side note, an epic spell could easily duplicate this effect.
the artificer class from the eberron campaign setting book has a class feature that has this effect. sixth level, if i recall off the top of my head.
not explicitly listed as a valid effect, but wish and miracle effects and the like are able to create items with certain limits, so it stands to reason that un-creating similar items should easily be within the realm of possibility.
crude, but technically legit, simply breaking the item will relieve it of its magical properties. and when repairing, don't re-enchant it. (note-not recommended to be attempted with a staff of the magi, or other similarly enchanted items.)
some charged items can be drained, by either usage, or by certain other magic items which render them normal items again.
and last, but certainly not least, if the dm says so, then it is. ^^ but the above could certainly be used as guidelines. houserule to the rescue!




heh, that's exactly what i described in my post. =D perhaps i left too much unsaid, or was not clear in some fashion? 'cause, really. that's exactly what i gave some suggested rules for.... nothing in what i said has anything to do with damaging or destroying a magic item.

Well your first suggestions mostly talked about entirely disenchanting or destroying magic items. In your second group of suggestions you wrote,


how this could be applied to the disenchant is that for a higher dc than the dispell, you could target a specific item, and attempt to disenchant it. in the case of an item who's properties you don't know, it would disenchant the first effect that failed a save vs the spell. in the case of a known item, you could target which effect you wanted. the dc is harder, because you are not simply suppressing an effect, you are attempting to safely unbind a specific portion of a magical effect while retaining the rest of the effects intact.

i would say that if you wanted, you could even have the area effect version, which would randomly disenchant a single effect from a single item, whichever first failed it's save. alternatively, you could stipulate that the caster level of the character has to be sufficient to make the item in question, in order to disenchant it. otherwise it is suppressed, like a dispell effect. come to think of it, that's a good stipulation for the targeted effect too.

and a counterspell version is possible too. instead of disenchanting an item, this would counter an effect from an item, sort of an item-only type of counterspell. this version would probably see a fair amount of use by player characters and npcs."

So you talked in one place about disenchanting a random effect, and in another a random magic item. (Perhaps by "item" you meant "special ability," and if so, this is a good example of why writers should drop the practice of elegant variation--never using the same word to mean the same thing--which grade school teachers imposed on us to try to expand our vocabulary when we were kids, but which in practice just makes writing less clear.) Finally you talked about counterspelling an effect, which sounded like you were referring to trying to counteract a special ability of an enemy's magic item during combat (which is what your original reference to Mordenkainen's disjunction sounded like). So that's why I thought you were still referring to completely disenchanting or destroying a weapon.

Anyway, thank you for the clarified suggestions. I'm leaning toward just allowing someone to remove a special ability for half the cost. I was toying with the idea of requiring the remover to have the spell used to enchant the special ability in the first place, although not too seriously. I could require the use of a dispel magic instead, and perhaps even have an opposed caster-level check (the remover's level versus the minimum caster level of the special ability), but I'm not sure if I want to add the extra complexity. I'll give it some thought. Thanks! :)

nijineko
03-01-2009, 01:17 AM
yeah, i'm not always the clearest of writers. sorry about that. what i "thought" i was writing was a variant dispell magic spell designed to disenchant an ability of an item, randomly suppress an item effect in an area, or counter an item effect directly. basically the disenchant idea fitted to the dispell rules with only the minimal text changed as appropriate.

hope that despite the muddiness of my communication, that the ideas, at least, where helpfull. *^^*

CelestialBarbarian
03-01-2009, 01:25 AM
yeah, i'm not always the clearest of writers. sorry about that. what i "thought" i was writing was a variant dispell magic spell designed to disenchant an ability of an item, randomly suppress an item effect in an area, or counter an item effect directly. basically the disenchant idea fitted to the dispell rules with only the minimal text changed as appropriate.

hope that despite the muddiness of my communication, that the ideas, at least, where helpfull. *^^*

Hey, thanks so much, nijineko! I'm leaning toward just keeping the simple method I initially suggested. The campaign right now goes one day at a time, so there's no time to for the wizard research a new spell. I do really appreciate the feedback though. If you haven't recently, please check out the Volencia Rising thread, as I posted some new roleplaying emails there. :)

Oh, I also wanted to say that I often come here when it's late and I'm tired and have low-blood sugar, having worked for many hours (teaching 5 classes online) and should really eat first but want to finish up my emails, so I'm often reading at the worst possible time. :o

nijineko
03-01-2009, 02:05 AM
i can understand where you're coming from. differing issues, similar results. ^^

CelestialBarbarian
03-01-2009, 02:59 AM
i can understand where you're coming from. differing issues, similar results. ^^

Thanks for your understanding! :)