Ownership (magic)
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The concept of ownership is usually a legal term, designating who has the legal rights to control any given property. However, a related concept exists regarding magic as well - in particular, certain magic items and artifacts only accept commands from specific people they share a mystical bond with - their "owners".

Not all magic items have designated owners - in fact, most don't as creating a magic item capable of recognizing ownership adds significantly to the cost of the enchantment. However, this is a common safety feature of golems - given their power, most people don't want just anyone giving them orders. In general, the creator (or creators) of a magic item are its initial owners. Ownership can be transferred via a magical ritual in which all current and all future owners need to be present and agree to the transferal of ownership (though the person casting the ritual doesn't need to be either - thus, it is possible to transfer ownership to and from people incapable of casting the ritual).

If an owner dies, he loses ownership of a particular item - even if he is later raised from the dead. If no owner is left, anyone who knows the ownership transferal ritual can attune the item to new owners.

There are a variety of ways for owners to control magic items. In order of their enchantment cost, these are:

  • Verbal commands.
  • Telepathic command in line of sight.
  • Telepathic command over larger distances without requiring line of sight.

Depending on the enchantment used, it may also be possible to order a magic item to obey the command of someone else who isn't the current owner. This person can usually only use verbal commands unless either he or the magic item in question as additional telepathic powers. This option is common for golems used for menial labor (such as pulling trains), as the operators for the golems tend to be common hired workers while the actual owners are high-ranking members of the organization that commissioned the golems.

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