Identifying Magic Items

A full 3 round examination of weapons or armor with Detect Magic will allow the caster to determine the strength of any straight enhancement bonus.

The other properties of magic items can be determined normally with spells, or by using either a Knowledge: Arcana or Knowledge: Religion skill check (or another Knowledge skill that would be more applicable).

In order to do this, The PCs must know that the item in question is magical, and cannot just assume it is. The PC must spend an hour study and handling the item they wish to identify in this way. After the time is spent, they can make a Knowledge check (Arcane, Religion, Nature, etc…). The DC of the check is equal to 30+ the caster level required to craft the item. They cannot take 10 or take 20 on this check.

If successful, this check reveals the strongest property of the item in question, including powers, abilities, curses, and whether or not the item is intelligent. For every 5 points that the check result exceeds the DC, it reveals one other function or feature of the magic item as well as the means of activation or trigger.

A Detect Magic spell used during the examination for the full 3 rounds will grant a +10 competence bonus to this check.

Access to a magical library, wizards laboratory (as per the rules for an alchemist's laboratory) or temple library can provide a +2 circumstance bonus to the check.

Having the appropriate Item Creation feat will add a +5 insight bonus to the check.

5 ranks of Use Magic Device will provide a +2 synergy bonus to the check.

5 ranks of Spellcraft will provide a +2 synergy bonus to the check

5 ranks in other appropriate skills may lend a +2 synergy bonus to a given check (i.e Knowledge: Planes for identifying an Amulet of the Planes or Craft: Alchemy for identifying Sovereign Glue). By the very nature of attempting to identify items, it may not be evident whether or not any of these synergy bonuses apply, until such time as the item is actually identified. Therefore, the player should report what skills he has which may contribute to the roll, and let the DM figure out which ones will give the bonuses, rather than figuring them into the roll on his or her own.

The character may not try to re-identify an item they failed a Knowledge check on until they gain a level and increase the ranks of the appropriate skill. The character may decide to use magical divination such as an Identify or Analyze Dweomer spell if available.

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