The Platinum Palace
Identifying Magic Items
Players can normally identify magic items with a Identify spell, but through knowledge, experience and/or magic aptitude, they could identify it by magic knowledge, or by having seen/heard about it before. The check for identifying magic items can only be done once, and a player cannot be aided, or aid another player in identifying it.
To identify a magic item you roll for spellcraft. The DC to identify the item is 25 + the items CL. (For example, a shield of acid resistance has CL 3, therefore the DC check needed to identify this item with spellcraft is 28. Improved Acid Resistance has a CL of 7 so the DC would be 32)
Weapons and armor that only has a normal enchantment (+1, +2 and so on) and no other bonus is identified differently, due to it being so common and that people would normally know about this if they’re experienced about it. It may also be due to the item not being enchanted at all, but that a sword has been hammered so tough and sharpened so well that it could cut through steel, thus recieving a numbered bonus without any magic being involved. If an item is made through craftmanship rather than magic for having a +1 or +2 (and so on) bonus, use appraise or an approperiate craft or knowledge skill to identify it.
The DC to identify such an item is 15 + (the bonus of the item x 5). (for example, a +1 sword has a DC check of 20, and a +3 armor has a DC check of 30)
Bards can always identify items using bardic knowledge, just like it’s written on the bard page. Whenever a bard identifies anything using bardic knowledge, the DC check to identify the item is lowered by 5. (but not when identifying any normal-enchanted items with a static number bonus (+1 – +5)
A character that fails with a spellcraft check to identify an item can sometimes at least get an idea of what the item does. If the check to identify an item failed by 5 or less, the character can sense what the enchantment on it is and how strong. (the armor of acid resistance would give a ‘faint abjuration aura’ while the improved acid resistance gives ‘moderate abjuration aura’. If the spellcraft was failed by 10 or more, the player can ask the DM if it was made with a specific type of magic (if they would ask if the armor was enchanted with conjuration, the DM would say no, but if they asked if it was abjuration, he would say yes), the character could in that case only focus on a single type of magic to see if it matched. The strength of the magic aura will not be revealed in this case.
A character that tries to identify an item that has an enchantment of a prohibited school of magic to the character has the DC increased by 5 (except when identifying the normal enchanted items). A character that fails to identify a magic item from a prohibited school won’t learn anything from it even if the check failed by 5 or less.