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Magic Item Monday (Duty in Drak’kal): Merchant’s Moniker

Merchant's Moniker - Tax badge - Nathanael BatchelorMerchant’s Moniker
Aura faint divination; CL 4th
Slot none; Price 4,500 gp; Weight 0.1 lb.

This simple copper trinket shines with an odd glow, and you wonder just where it is Dockmaster Casta got these badges of office.

The wearer of a merchant’s moniker gains a +5 competence bonus to Sense Motive checks when discerning the honesty of an item’s appraisal (or specifically in Duty in Drak’kal, the amount of one’s taxable income). Using the badge is a free action that costs 1 charge, and a newly created merchant’s moniker has 50 charges.
Though a merchant’s moniker provides no assessment of an item’s actual value, the badge’s magic can detect any intentional falsehood when an item is offered to the wearer at a price greater than its actual value. This detection requires a successful Sense Motive check against the target making the appraisal. When an intentional infraction is detected, a merchant’s moniker becomes magically heated for 1 round; on a failed Sense Motive check, it does not respond at all and cannot be used again for one hour.
In the case of a minor infraction (10% or less of the items true value), the badge’s warmth increases to become barely noticeable, but the more grievous the disparity between the true value of an item and its inflated value, the hotter the metal of a merchant’s moniker becomes. A merchant’s moniker feels as if it is scalding (though causes no actual damage) when an infraction is 90% or more of the item’s true value.
A merchant’s moniker cannot alert its wearer to inaccuracies to the claimed value due to a genuine misappraisal (where the seller does not know the item’s true value either), but rather scans the surface thoughts of a creature to determine the veracity of an appraisal. If a seller believes they are telling the truth about the value of an item and the Sense Motive check succeeds, a merchant’s moniker becomes cold to the touch for 1 round.

Craft Wondrous Item, detect thoughts, 500 gp in gold coin bullion; Cost 2,500 gp


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