Intelligent items have extra abilities and sometimes extraordinary powers and special purposes. Only permanent magic items (rather than those with one use or with charges) can be intelligent. (This means that potions, scrolls, and wands, among other items, are never intelligent.) Melee weapons have intelligence 15% of the time (a 01-15 result on d%), ranged weapons have intelligence 5% of the time (a 01-05 result on d%), and items of other sorts are intelligent only 1% of the time (a 01 result on d%). Intelligent items can actually be considered creatures since they have Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores.

The tables below should be used to determine the properties of an intelligent item: the number of powers, unusual properties, alignment, and special purpose of the item (if any). Of the three mental ability scores, two scores are favored (2d6 + some number) and one is completely random (3d6). Choose which scores get assigned which number, or roll 1d4 and determine randomly according to the following table:

1d4 High Score Medium Score Low Score
1 Intelligence Charisma  Wisdom
2 Intelligence Wisdom Charisma 
3 Wisdom Intelligence Charisma 
4 Charisma  Intelligence Wisdom

The first step in determining the properties of a random intelligent item is to determine its general capabilities. These are found by rolling d% and consulting Table: Item Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, and Capacities.


Item Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, and Capabilities
d%   Mental Ability Scores Communication Capabilities Market Price Modifier
01-34 Two at 2d6+5, one at 3d6 Semiempathy* One primary ability +10,000 gp
35-59 Two at 2d6+6, one at 3d6 Empathy** Two primary abilities +15,000 gp
60-79 Two at 2d6+7, one at 3d6 Speech†  Two primary abilities +17,500 gp
80-91 Two at 2d6+8, one at 3d6 Speech† Three primary abilities +25,000 gp
92-97 Two at 2d6+9, one at 3d6 Speech† Three primary abilities‡ +32,000 gp
98 Two at 2d6+10, one at 3d6 Speech, telepathy†† Three primary abilities‡ and one extraordinary power +55,000 gp
99  Two at 2d6+11, one at 3d6 Speech, telepathy†† Three primary abilities‡‡ and two extraordinary powers +78,000 gp
100 Two at 2d6+12, one at 3d6 Speech, telepathy†† Four primary abilities‡‡ and two extraordinary powers +90,000 gp

*The possessor receives some signal (a throb or tingle, for example) when the item’s ability functions.

**The possessor feels urges and sometimes emotions from the item that encourage or discourage certain courses of action.

†Like a character, an intelligent item speaks Common plus one language per point of Intelligence bonus.

†The item can use either communication mode at will, with language use as any speaking item.

‡The item can also read any languages it can speak.

‡‡The item can read all languages as well as read magic.


Intelligent Item Alignment

Any item with Intelligence has an alignment. Note that intelligent weapons already have alignments, either stated or by implication. If you’re generating a random intelligent weapon, that weapon’s alignment must fit with any alignment-oriented special properties it has.


Item Alignment
d% Alignment of Item
01-05 Chaotic good
16-20 Chaotic evil
21-25 Neutral evil*
26-30 Lawful evil
31-55 Lawful good
56-60 Lawful neutral*
61-80 Neutral good*
81-100 Neutral

*The item can also be used by any character whose alignment corresponds to the nonneutral portion of the item’s alignment

Any character whose alignment does not correspond to that of the item (except as noted by the asterisk), gains one negative level if he or she so much as picks up the item. Although this never results in actual level loss, the negative level remains as long as the item is in hand and cannot be overcome in any way (including restoration spells). This negative level is cumulative with any other penalties the item might already place on inappropriate wielders. Items with Egos (see below) of 20 to 30 bestow two negative levels. Items with Egos of 30 or higher bestow three negative levels.


Languages Spoken by Item

Like a character, an intelligent item speaks Common plus one language per point of Intelligence bonus. Choose appropriate languages, taking into account the item’s origin and purposes.


Intelligent Item Abilities

Using the number of capabilities determined above, find the item’s specific abilities by rolling on the appropriate tables below.

Intelligent Item Primary Abilities
d%  Primary Ability
01-04 Item can Intuit Direction (10 ranks)
05-08 Item can Sense Motive (10 ranks)
09-12 Wielder has free use of Combat Reflexes
13-16 Wielder has free use of Blind-Fight
17-20 Wielder has free use of Improved Initiative
21-24  Wielder has free use of Mobility
25-28 Wielder has free use of Sunder
29-32 Wielder has free use of Expertise
33-39 Detect [opposing alignment] at will
40-42 Find traps at will
43-47 Detect secret doors at will
48-54 Detect magic at will
55-57 Wielder has free use of uncanny dodge (as a 5th-level barbarian)
58-60 Wielder has free use of evasion
61-65 Wielder can see invisible at will
66-70 Cure light wounds (1d8+5) on wielder 1/day
71-75  Feather fall on wielder 1/day
76 Locate object in a 120-ft. radius
77 Wielder does not need to sleep
78  Wielder does not need to breathe
79 Jump for 20 minutes on wielder 1/day
80 Spider climb for 20 minutes on wielder 1/day
81-90 Roll twice again on this table
91-100 Roll on Table 8-34: Intelligent Item Extraordinary Powers instead

If the same ability is rolled twice or more, the range, frequency, or effectiveness of the power is doubled, tripled, and so on.

All abilities function only when the item is held, drawn, or other­wise brandished and the possessor is concentrating on the desired result. Activating a power is a standard action, but using a free feat is not. Feats may be used regardless of prerequisites, but the item still must be held and drawn. At the DM’s discretion, an intelligent item might activate a power on its own.


Intelligent Item Extraordinary Powers
Extraordinary Power 
Times per Day
Charm person (DC 11) on contact 
Clairaudience/clairvoyance (100-ft. range, 1 minute per use)
Magic missile (200-ft. range, 3 missiles) 
Shield on wielder
Detect thoughts (100-ft. range, 1 minute per use) 
Levitation (wielder only, 10 minute duration)
Invisibility (wielder only, up to 30 minutes per use)  
Fly (30 minutes per use)
Lightning bolt (8d6 points of damage, 200-ft. range, DC 13)
Summon monster III 
Telepathy (100 ft. range)   
Cat’s grace (wielder only) 
Bull’s strength (wielder only) 
Haste (wielder only, 10 rounds)
Telekinesis (250 lb. maximum, 1 minute each use)
Teleport, 600 lb. maximum
Globe of invulnerability
Stoneskin (wielder only, 10 minutes per use)
Feeblemind by touch
True seeing
At will
Wall of force
Summon monster VI 
Finger of death (100 ft. range, DC 17)
At will
Roll twice again on this table
Roll again on this table, and then roll for a special purpose on Table: Intelligent Item Purpose


If the same power is rolled twice, the uses per day are doubled. (If true seeing or passwall is rolled twice, roll again.) Powers chosen by the possessor are then set and never again changing for that character.

Powers function only when the item is drawn and held, and the possessor is concentrating upon the desired effect. Activating a power is a standard action. At the DM’s discretion, an intelligent item might activate a power on its own.


Special Purpose Items

Items with special purposes are a challenge to run. However, they are worth the trouble, because they can deeply enrich a campaign.



An item’s purpose must suit the type and alignment of the item and should always be treated reasonably.

Intelligent Item Purpose
d% Purpose 
01-20 Defeat/slay diametrically opposed alignment*
21-30 Defeat/slay arcane spellcasters (including spellcasting monsters and those that use spell-like abilities)
31-40 Defeat/slay divine spellcasters (including divine entities and servitors)
41-50 Defeat/slay nonspellcasters
51-55 Defeat/slay a particular creature type
56-60 Defeat/slay a particular race or kind of creature
61-70 Defend a particular race or kind of creature
71-80 Defeat/slay the servants of a specific deity
81-90 Defend the servants and interests of a specific deity
91-95 Defeat/slay all (other than the item and the wielder)
96-100 DM’s or character’s choice

*The purpose of the neutral (N) version of this item is to preserve the balance by defeating/slaying powerful beings of the extreme alignments (LG, LE, CG, CE).


Special Purpose Power

A special purpose power operates only when the item is in pursuit of its special purpose.


Intelligent Item Special Purpose Powers
d%    Special Purpose Power
01-10  Blindness* (DC 12) for 2d6 rounds
11-20  Confusion* (DC 14) for 2d6 rounds
21-25  Fear* (DC 14) for 1d4 rounds
26-55 Hold monster* (DC 14) for 1d4 rounds
56-65 Slay living* (DC 15)
66-75 Disintegrate* (DC 16)
76-80 True resurrection on wielder, one time only
81-100 +2 luck bonus to all saving throws, +2 deflection AC bonus, spell resistance 15

*This power affects the opponent of the item’s wielder on a successful hit unless the opponent makes a Will save at the listed DC (even if the spell itself calls for another type of save).


Item Ego

Ego is a measure of the total power and force of personality that an item possesses.

Item Ego
Attribute of Item
Ego Points
Each +1 enhancement of item
Each +1 bonus of special abilities
Each primary ability*
Each extraordinary power*
Special purpose 
Telepathic ability
Read languages ability
Read magic ability
Each +1 of Intelligence bonus
Each +1 of Wisdom bonus
Each +1 of Charisma bonus

*If double ability, double Ego points.


Items against Characters

When an item has an Ego of its own, it has a will of its own. Similarly, any item with an Ego score of 20 or higher always considers itself superior to any character, and a personality conflict results if the possessor does not always agree with the item.

When a personality conflict occurs, the possessor must make a Will saving throw (DC = item’s Ego). If the possessor succeeds, he or she is dominant. If the possessor fails, the item is dominant. Dominance lasts for one day or until a critical situation occurs. Should an item gain dominance, it resists the character’s desires and demands concessions such as any of the following: