A ritual for determining properties of magical items.
Time: 10 minutes
Key Skill: Arcana
The player concentrates on one magical item, attempting to glean information about its properties. The character makes a skill check against a DM-set DC (typically 22 for a 1st-level item). Success means identifying one property of the item not already known; failure means not learning anything, as well as no longer being able to use this ritual to learn anything about the particular item. Exceeding the DC by a large amount might reveal several properties at once.
If a character shares a power source with the item (i.e., a cleric character is identifying a holy relic; a psion is identifying a crystalline, psychically-screaming longsword), they gain further +2 to the roll.
One typical component is an eye. Most eyes (ritual-appropriate eyes are purchasable from an apothecary or alchemist for 5 GP) do not provide a benefit, but the eye of a sentient creature (often 25 GP or more) can provide a +2 or higher benefit to the roll, depending on intelligence and the creature’s death (the eyes of still-living creatures provide very high benefits).
Other components are usually far less specific; residuum can be used just as well, or magically-infused plants or holy water. 10 GP worth of secondary components is necessary per level of the item, which itself is not known until the ritual is begun.