I’m a bit confused by exactly how magic items can and should be identified. I realize that a million years ago, this stuff was simple, but long have I grown fat and lazy on the use of the Identify and Analyze spells and now I just can’t quite figure out how it works.
This is what the text says, “Sages and other characters proicient in Magical
Engineering or Loremastery can identify common or famous
magical items simply through their knowledge of such things.
Potions may be identiied by sipping them, or by consulting an
alchemist. Otherwise, an arcane spellcaster of 9th level or greater
can identify a magic item using Magic Research.”
So, a character discovers a magic sword. They swing it around and notice it chops a bit better. Is that enough to tell them it is +1? Does Magical Engineering recognize the runes or whatnot on it to figure it out? “This is the ancient draconic script for ‘pluswhun’.”
Ditto with a suit of armor (though that is easier thanks to the weight…kind of gives it away)? Do you punch them a few times and figure out, huh, this hurts less than it ought to?
Ring of Protection?
Helm of Comprehend Languages? I mean, obviously if you put it on, you would figure it out eventually…but what if you wanted to ID it before you put it on?
Wand/Staff of Anything… how do you get the command word and charges if they aren’t written on it? I assume Magical Engineering and Loremastery are not sufficient (unless that particular wand was used in some famous incident or something).
I know the book mentions that you can take them to a wizard to get them identified… how much does that cost and how long does it take?
My players are the type who have long since learned you never use/wear any item you don’t get identified first, which is fine, but I would like some hard rules on how to do this, how long it takes, and how much it costs.
If I employ a sage at 500gp a month, does that include all the magic items I bring to him for identification? Or is it a single job? If a mage is hired to research it, how long and how much does it cost?