@ragarth - pay the average between them so you gain some of the benefit but not overly so.
Rightio. There are two magic items I came up with that I wanted to run by you.
The first is goggles of painless peering. Previously these were CL1 goggles that give my eyes the effect of penumbra. They're 1000gp purchase cost items. An addition to this that I thought of for this game is to allow the use of read magic 3 times a day, this makes the cost 1540gp.
The second is a convenience item: The bag of useless junk.
It's a CL3 item that allows you to pull up to 30gp of mundane objects from it as a full round action. The bag can have its 30gp value renewed by putting an amount of stuff back into it.
So let's say you have a fresh bag of useless junk and pull some rope out of it. Rope is 5gp, so now you can pull 25gp out of the bag. That rope ends up getting burned to ash and destroyed. You can drop 5gp in objects back in the bag and renew the bag to it's 30gp value. The GM has the freedom to refuse any items being pulled from the bag.
The bag doesn't make the items from nothing. Rather, it pulls the items from the place that all left socks go when you lose them.
It's basically a convenience item that helps me avoid having huge inventory lists like '1 bell, 1 fishhook, twine...'
These are custom magic items that I've used in a few games now. Given that they're custom, they are, of course, subject to GM veto.
One more question about purchasing items. I'm taking craft wondrous items because it's just an awesome feat. By RAW, even if the caster level of an item is above the character (ie, handy haversack is CL9), the rules state you can still make it. This means even at 4th level, by raw I can theoretically make a handy haversack or pearl of power.
Though the listed Caster Level for a pearl of power is 17th, that caster level is not part of the Requirements listing for that item. Therefore, the only caster level requirement for a pearl of power is the character has to be able to cast spells of the desired level. However, it makes sense that the minimum caster level of the pearl is the minimum caster level necessary to cast spells of that level--it would be strange for a 2nd-level pearl to be CL 1st. For example, a 3rd-level wizard with Craft Wondrous Item can create a 1st-level pearl, with a minimum caster level of 1. He can set the caster level to whatever he wants (assuming he can meet the crafting DC), though the pearl's caster level has no effect on its powers (other than its ability to resist dispel magic). If he wants to make a 2nd-level pearl, the caster level has to be at least 3, as wizards can't cast 2nd-level spells until they reach character level 3. He can even try to make a 3rd-level pearl, though the minimum caster level is 5, and he adds +5 to the DC because he doesn't meet the "able to cast 3rd-level spells" requirement.
I found that being able to buy off the caster level of an item leads to a little bit of power bloat, so I asked the GM in a current game I play to house rule that you cannot make a magic item with a caster level higher than your own. I've found that this house rule feels too restrictive because there are some items that are essential that are locked out from me making for forever (pearl of power 1, for instance, is CL18).
Neither option, RAW or the house rule I offered in my current game, is very good. But I know of no better alternatives. So what's your opinion on whether my character can make higher CL items such as a handy haversack or a pearl of power?
To give an idea, some items that are above my caster level that I'm considering making:
2000 handy haversack CL9
4000 headband of vast intelligence +2 CL8
250 traveler's any-tool CL9
750 snapleaf CL5
850 dust of dryness CL11
1000 pearl of power 1