The Magic Shoppe: Magical Tattoos

Before you read the following, yes, we are aware of the Inscribe Magical Tattoo feat. Unfortunately, the source in which that feat first appears is unavailable for third-party publishers to reference, and as such we have instead adopted the same approach used in Affordable Arcana: Magical Tattoos, where the Craft Wondrous Item feat is used instead.

Valcav dips his needle in a pot of black ink and returns to the icosagon design on the half-orc’s muscular arm. Without shifting focus from the work in front of him he strikes up a conversation with you. “Tattoos are one of the oldest types of magical item. Once spell casters figured out you could capture magic through runes, they immediately started writing runes onto themselves.” The half-orc grimaces and grabs onto the chair as Valcav’s needle punctures deeper. “Seeing as these designs are so old, they are also quite powerful. As soon as I’ve finished up with this fine customer I can show you the types of designs I can offer.”

Crude Tattoo of the Steadfast Soldier

These tattoos are popular among mercenary companies or close-knit warrior societies. They are traditionally drawn on an exposed shoulder or upper arm.

This heavily inked tattoo features a grinning warrior carrying a spear and shield


Aura Faint abjuration Price 2,100 gp; Slot —; CL 3th; Weight


While visible, the bearer gains a +1 enhancement bonus to their natural armor.

Once per day when a critical hit is confirmed against the bearer, or would be dealt sneak attack damage, the bearer can call on the warrior inked on their skin to defend them. As an immediate action, a spectral image of the warrior leaps forth and affects the wearer as per the shield of fortification spell.


Feats Craft Wondrous Item; Spells barkskin, shield of fortification; Special Profession (calligraphy artist, painter, or tattoo artist) 3 ranks; Cost 1,050 gp


Wondrous item, rare

This tattoo must be visible for it’s magic to function. The image of the heavily armored warrior suffuses your body with defensive magic granting you a +1 to your AC. Once per day you can use your reaction to negate a critical hit or sneak attack made against you, treating it instead like a normal attack. The image of the warrior leaps off your skin to turn aside the attack.

Crude Tattoo, Secret Scholar

These tattoos were first used by a religious sect seeking to keep the works of their order from being destroyed by an oppressive ruler.

This metallic tattoo takes the shape of an open book with several blank pages.


Aura none Price 950 gp; Slot —; CL 3rd; Weight


The ink used in this tattoo is made with a special mix of lead and other metals and gives off no magical aura. This tattoo must be placed on a large relatively flat area of the body such as the back or stomach of a creature. Covering it with armor or clothing does not impede the tattoo’s function.

The wearer of one of these tattoos can store up to 10 pages of text using the tattoo. At the GM’s discretion, larger creatures can store more text on themselves. To copy a text the wearer must maintain contact with the book or scroll they wish to transcribe for 10 minutes. During this time observers can see words and letters creep up the transcriber’s body. A secret scribe’s tattoo can copy text once per day. The text remains part of the tattoo for as long as the wearer wishes. By spending 10 minutes in quiet meditation the wearer can concentrate on the tattoo in order to erase text the tattoo has absorbed to make room for more.

Only non-magical writings can be copied onto the tattoo. The tattoo will not work on a wizard’s spellbook or on a magical scroll.


Feats Craft Wondrous Item; Spells arcane mark; hidden knowledge Special Profession (calligraphy artist, painter, or tattoo artist) 3 ranks; Cost 475 gp


Wondrous item, very rare

This tattoo is used to transcribe nonmagical text onto the bearer for safekeeping. You can hide the text by covering up your tattoo with clothing or armor. By spending 10 minutes in contact with a book or scroll you can transcribe up to 10 pages of text onto your back or stomach. The tattoo will not reveal an aura to detect magic spells. You can erase text you have absorbed by spending 10 minutes in focused concentration in order to absorb more.

Crude Tattoo, Campfire

Rangers and druids who trek far into northern climates are fond of these tattoos. It allows them to stay warm without disrupting the local environment.

This yellow and orange flame design is always warm to the touch despite the ambient temperature. The flames of this tattoo seem to flicker and dance in the light.


Aura faint evocation Price 2,300 gp; Slot —; CL 3rd; Weight


This tattoo spreads warmth throughout the wearer’s body. They are protected from cold environments as if under a constant endure elements spell. As a full-round action once per day the wearer can extend this warmth to allies as long as they remain within 10 feet. This shared effect lasts for 1 hour.

The tattoo must be exposed in order to activate its secondary power. As a swift action, the wear can focus the tattoos warmth into a specific part of their body. Twice times per day they may coat one of their limbs in flames and deal an additional 1d6 points of fire damage with their next unarmed strike. This fire damage does not stack with similar effects such as the flaming weapon special ability


Feats Inscribe Magical Tattoo; Spells endure elements, produce flame; Cost 2,700 gp


Wondrous item, rare

This tattoo allows you to survive in harsh cold climates with relative ease. You have resistance to cold damage and can survive in temperatures well below freezing. Once per day you can radiate warmth out in a 10-foot radius, sharing this resistance with all allies in the area. This benefit lasts for one hour and only while they remain within the radius. By exposing the tattoo you can activate its offensive power. As a bonus action two times per day you may focus the tattoo’s warmth into one of your limbs. The next unarmed strike you make deals an additional 1d6 points of fire damage. This additional fire damage does not stack with other spells or effects.

About Michael Vail-Steele

Michael has been playing RPGs regularly since 2012. In addition to RPGs he's also a fan of puns and bad movies. He hopes you will enjoy these trips through his imagination, and asks you to please wipe your feet.

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