Level Up (A5E) Crafting and Enchanting Items

Galahadred

Villager
Designers, can we get some examples of how this is supposed to work in future versions of the PDFs, or in an addendum? I know there have been several posts on these topics already, but having read through them, and creating a Google doc "cheat sheet" that consolidates the rules on these topics, I'm still not clear on how any of it is supposed to work.

On page 349 of the Adventurer's Guide it says: "You can also pay someone to enchant your weapons, armor, clothing, or jewelry. The price for an enchanted item such as this is the combined total of the crafter’s fee for a wondrous item and the cost of the mundane item without enchantment."

Let's say I want some Celestial Aegis, which I know will require a set of masterwork full plate to start with. On page 349 it says that "Smithies can take custom orders. See the pricing guide for crafting items below for more details," so I reckon I start there to get the masterwork full plate to be enchanted.

On page 350 we've got, "To determine the cost of having an item crafted you must add the cost of materials and the crafter's fee to the standard price for the item." So using that formula we get:

1) the cost of materials ("If a character wishes to craft a masterwork item, the materials cost is equal to twice the base cost of the item," page 426 of the Adventurer's Guide). Assuming this guidance is supposed to apply here in this section as well, we get a cost of materials of 3,000 gp.

2) the crafter's fee (according to the table on page 350 the crafter's fee is 10% of something. I'm going to assume that it's 10% of the base cost of the base item, but it the designers might have intended that it be 10% of some other figure that isn't clear. So, that's another 150 gp.

3) the standard price for the item. I think this is supposed to be another 1,500 gp, which is the standard price for full plate armor.

That gives a grand total of 4,650 gp to order a custom set of masterwork full plate armor from a sufficiently talented Smithie.

So now I take my new set of masterwork mundane armor to the Enchanter that I found in the big city. Again, it says on page 349 that "the price is the combined total of the crafter's fee for a wondrous item and the cost of the mundane item without enchantment." Based on that guidance I think the cost is:

1) the crafter's fee for a wondrous item. That's 10% of something, according to the table. Maybe that's supposed to be 10% of the cost of the Celestial Aegis that I want. In Trials and Treasures, Celestial Aegis is valued at 17,500 gp, so 10% of that is 1,750.

2) the cost of the mundane item without enchantment. That armor cost me 4,650 gp to have commissioned by the Smithie.

I think the cost to get my Celestial Aegis enchanted is 6,400 gp.

Which would bring the total cost from start to finish to 11,050 gp (4,650 gp to the Smithie to get the base masterwork full plate armor, and then 6,400 gp to the Enchanter to make the armor magical as desired).

Is that right? Is that how this is supposed to work to hire out the job to professionals? Seems like an okay deal to pay 11,050 for an item that is valued at 17,500.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Anselm

Adventurer
the crafter's fee for a wondrous item. That's 10% of something, according to the table. Maybe that's supposed to be 10% of the cost of the Celestial Aegis that I want. In Trials and Treasures, Celestial Aegis is valued at 17,500 gp, so 10% of that is 1,750.
I guess the way I read this (and I agree that it's a pretty unclear) is that it's an additional 10% of the cost of the item plus you have to bring them the item you want enchanted. The 10% is the fee for "here's how I want you to do the work and I want it now" plus they aren't going to give you the item for free on top of that.

You can also pay someone to enchant your weapons, armor, clothing, or jewelry. The price for an enchanted item such as this is the combined total of the crafter’s fee for a wondrous item and the cost of the mundane item without enchantment.
Reading this though it sure reads the way you've spelled it out. It would just be bizarre to me that all the hoops you jump through to get to that price and have it be cheaper than the listed prices of just buying it is the way the mechanic is supposed to function. I feel like that second line is supposed to include the base cost of the item somewhere getting you the final formula of base cost + crafter's fee depending on the item (in this case 10%) + you supply the item.

That doesn't answer whether your math is the intended of course. Just my thoughts. :)

The other thing worth noting though is that the fee table and "Enchanted Gear" sidebar specifically says "Wondrous Items". Celestial Aegis is not a "Wondrous Item" type, it is an "Armor" (full plate)" type. Meaning that you could commission a Cape of the Mountebank, which is a Wondrous Item, and not a +1 Armor or a +1 Longsword. As far as I can tell, there's no way to commission an enchanted sword. Per page 222 in Trials and Treasures:
Category
Every magic item falls into one of the following categories: armor, potion, ring, rod, scroll, staff, wand, weapon, or wondrous item. In addition, some items are more particular and use a set of general rules specific to a subcategory like gear gremlins or patron tokens.
I wonder if that is the intent as well?
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Designers, can we get some examples of how this is supposed to work in future versions of the PDFs, or in an addendum? I know there have been several posts on these topics already, but having read through them, and creating a Google doc "cheat sheet" that consolidates the rules on these topics, I'm still not clear on how any of it is supposed to work.

On page 349 of the Adventurer's Guide it says: "You can also pay someone to enchant your weapons, armor, clothing, or jewelry. The price for an enchanted item such as this is the combined total of the crafter’s fee for a wondrous item and the cost of the mundane item without enchantment."

I think this part is supposed to cover, say, enchanting your father's sword to become a +1 sword. You need the sword, and paying the custom-made magic item price on top of that. I agree that "crafter's fee" seem to refer to the markup in the table on the next page, but I think it should be understood as crafter's price.

Let's say I want some Celestial Aegis, which I know will require a set of masterwork full plate to start with. On page 349 it says that "Smithies can take custom orders. See the pricing guide for crafting items below for more details," so I reckon I start there to get the masterwork full plate to be enchanted.

OK...

On page 350 we've got, "To determine the cost of having an item crafted you must add the cost of materials and the crafter's fee to the standard price for the item." So using that formula we get:

1) the cost of materials ("If a character wishes to craft a masterwork item, the materials cost is equal to twice the base cost of the item," page 426 of the Adventurer's Guide). Assuming this guidance is supposed to apply here in this section as well, we get a cost of materials of 3,000 gp.

2) the crafter's fee (according to the table on page 350 the crafter's fee is 10% of something. I'm going to assume that it's 10% of the base cost of the base item, but it the designers might have intended that it be 10% of some other figure that isn't clear. So, that's another 150 gp.

3) the standard price for the item. I think this is supposed to be another 1,500 gp, which is the standard price for full plate armor.

That gives a grand total of 4,650 gp to order a custom set of masterwork full plate armor from a sufficiently talented Smithie.

Yes. Instead of just buying an off-the-shelf masterwork full plate armor at 3,000 gp, you get a bespoke full plate masterwork armour at 4,650 gp. That's not unreasonable (unlike the renting a demiplane pricing on the same page, which is 1,000 a tenday or 4,000 for 30 days, which is... odd. But mages are odd).

So now I take my new set of masterwork mundane armor to the Enchanter that I found in the big city. Again, it says on page 349 that "the price is the combined total of the crafter's fee for a wondrous item and the cost of the mundane item without enchantment." Based on that guidance I think the cost is:

1) the crafter's fee for a wondrous item. That's 10% of something, according to the table. Maybe that's supposed to be 10% of the cost of the Celestial Aegis that I want. In Trials and Treasures, Celestial Aegis is valued at 17,500 gp, so 10% of that is 1,750.

I read the part about the "crafter's fee for a wondrous item" as the total cost of commissionning the item, not the crafter's margin. So to have your masterwork full plate armor enchanted, it costs you the price of the armour (4,650 gp), the cost of an off-the-shelf celestial aegis (17,500 gp) and the crafter's markup (1,750 gp). For a total of 23,900 gp.

So, a Celestial Aegis can be bought:

1. For 17,500 gp at MagicMart, provided there is a MagicMart in your universe (and if you visit the City of Brass or a Cannith Enclave, it's fine);
2. For 19,250 gp at an artisan's shop, in a metropolis where masterwork armours are easily acquired from... army supplies stores? ;
3. For 23,900 gp at an artisan's shop, if there is no way to readily buy a masterwork full plate armour when you need one and need it commissioned.

I may be wrong, but a different reading would lead to bespoke items being less expensive than ready-made items.
 
Last edited:

Anselm

Adventurer
Both Galandris and I came to the same formula (though they stated it a little more clearly than I did) and I think that reading is ultimately supported by this paragraph on 350:
To determine the cost of having an item crafted, you must add the cost of materials and the crafter’s fee to the standard price for the item, although when rare materials are involved you may have to provide them instead of just pay for them. At the Narrator’s discretion the crafter’s fee may vary slightly based upon the crafter’s experience, settlement population, or some other variable. Refer to the Crafting Prices table to find the standard prices for crafter’s and material’s fees. Use the storefront column to determine what kind of storefront said crafter is usually found in.
I'm really not sure what the first paragraph of that sidebar on page 349 is doing.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
As an additional thought, at what point is it better to say "To hell with consumer's society, I'll craft my own Celestial Aegis!"?

According to the crafting rules, you need the base material. That's a masterwork full plate and sacred texts. Let's assume that you can write the sacred text yourself for no cost going by your Sunday School memories at the Onatar temple and focus on the armour.

1. Acquiring base materials. For a masterwork item, it's twice the price of the item. So, well... If masterwork full plate is available for purchase, it's never interesting to try to craft one, since you'll be able to readily buy the materials for the price of the final item. Buying off-the-shelf saves you time and risk of failure.

2. Supposing you're in a place where masterwork armour isn't available and you need to craft one, it will set you back 3,000 gp of base material. You need to work on it for 20 weeks (five times the regular 4 weeks for a heavy armour). You need to pass a DC 25 check with your smith tool's proficiency that you can't fail by 5 or more under penalty of losing the materials. So, assuming a 20 in your crafting stat (because you want to craft a very rare item and need to be 10th level for that (p. 365 T&T), so it's reasonable to assume you started with at least 16 in your main stat and spent two ASIs), with a +4 proficiency bonus... You're rolling at +9. Half your attempts will result in loss of materials, a quarter will let you restart and a quarter will let you succeed. Basically, just making the masterwork item will cost you as much as the base price of the enchanted item...

3. Once you have a masterwork armour, you must enchant it into a celestial aegis. It will take 24 weeks and you'll need to checks: an initial check under INT (failure by 5 or more gives you an expertise dice and wastes half the materials, failure by less than five let's you continue but adds 2 to the final check DC [I guess there is a typo and it's by 5 or less, because if not, there is two concurrent "by five or more" results]) and a final check under STR, which makes the item on a success and consumes half or all the materials depending on the margin of failure.

Assuming you have an infinite supply of masterwork armour (because they can be bought off the shelf) and assuming a +5 check in one of the stat and a +9 check in the second one (there is no indication that several characters can collaborate on the work), that's pretty complicated. The odd of passing the first one are 10% without penalty, 20% with a +2 DC penalty and 70% failure. The odd of succeeding at the final checks are 30% if one succeeded on the first check, 20% if they barely failed. On 100 attempts to craft the item, 70 would fail at the initial check, costing half the 3,000 gp materials, 20 will continue with a penalty (of whom 4 will be succeeding, 14 failing and consuming the materials, 2 failing and consuming half the materials) and 10 will pass the first check with flying colors, (3 resulting in the item being crafted after the second one, 2 resulting in losing half the materials and 5 resulting in failure). That's an average cost of 168,000 gp of materials and 720 weeks to make 7 items if my maths are correct. In the ideal case they are plentiful, an average making cost of 24,000 gp for a 17,500 gp base price item makes crafting something you'd be doing only when able to stack the odd in your favor.

Edit: didn't take into account the expertise die, though. Drat!
 

Galahadred

Villager
Like I said, not very clear and some examples sprinkled throughout would be supremely helpful.

So, you fellas reckon that we're supposed to completely ignore the first paragraph of the sidebar on page 349? It sure doesn't jive well with what follows on page 350.

Regarding the second paragraph in the sidebar on 349, does this mean that I can pay an Enchanter 1,167 gp to make my great-grandfather's mastercrafted longbow into a longbow +2, by moving the enchantment from the +2 greatsword that I found on an adventure, but have no use for?
 

Galahadred

Villager
As an additional thought, at what point is it better to say "To hell with consumer's society, I'll craft my own Celestial Aegis!"?

According to the crafting rules, you need the base material. That's a masterwork full plate and sacred texts. Let's assume that you can write the sacred text yourself for no cost going by your Sunday School memories at the Onatar temple and focus on the armour.

1. Acquiring base materials. For a masterwork item, it's twice the price of the item. So, well... If masterwork full plate is available for purchase, it's never interesting to try to craft one, since you'll be able to readily buy the materials for the price of the final item. Buying off-the-shelf saves you time and risk of failure.

2. Supposing you're in a place where masterwork armour isn't available and you need to craft one, it will set you back 3,000 gp of base material. You need to work on it for 20 weeks (five times the regular 4 weeks for a heavy armour). You need to pass a DC 25 check with your smith tool's proficiency that you can't fail by 5 or more under penalty of losing the materials. So, assuming a 20 in your crafting stat (because you want to craft a very rare item and need to be 10th level for that (p. 365 T&T), so it's reasonable to assume you started with at least 16 in your main stat and spent two ASIs), with a +4 proficiency bonus... You're rolling at +9. Half your attempts will result in loss of materials, a quarter will let you restart and a quarter will let you succeed. Basically, just making the masterwork item will cost you as much as the base price of the enchanted item...

3. Once you have a masterwork armour, you must enchant it into a celestial aegis. It will take 24 weeks and you'll need to checks: an initial check under INT (failure by 5 or more gives you an expertise dice and wastes half the materials, failure by less than five let's you continue but adds 2 to the final check DC [I guess there is a typo and it's by 5 or less, because if not, there is two concurrent "by five or more" results]) and a final check under STR, which makes the item on a success and consumes half or all the materials depending on the margin of failure.

Assuming you have an infinite supply of masterwork armour (because they can be bought off the shelf) and assuming a +5 check in one of the stat and a +9 check in the second one (there is no indication that several characters can collaborate on the work), that's pretty complicated. The odd of passing the first one are 10% without penalty, 20% with a +2 DC penalty and 70% failure. The odd of succeeding at the final checks are 30% if one succeeded on the first check, 20% if they barely failed. On 100 attempts to craft the item, 70 would fail at the initial check, costing half the 3,000 gp materials, 20 will continue with a penalty (of whom 4 will be succeeding, 14 failing and consuming the materials, 2 failing and consuming half the materials) and 10 will pass the first check with flying colors, (3 resulting in the item being crafted after the second one, 2 resulting in losing half the materials and 5 resulting in failure). That's an average cost of 168,000 gp of materials and 720 weeks to make 7 items if my maths are correct. In the ideal case they are plentiful, an average making cost of 24,000 gp for a 17,500 gp base price item makes crafting something you'd be doing only when able to stack the odd in your favor.

Edit: didn't take into account the expertise die, though. Drat!

You actually can work on Crafting with other characters, at the Narrator's discretion:
"Characters may wish to work together to complete downtime activities. At the Narrator’s discretion, one character may assist another (as the Help action on page 442). Both characters must spend their downtime on the chosen activity." This is in the last paragraph of Downtime Activities, just prior to the Crafting section there on page 426. Still, it seems like it'd pretty much always be better (cheaper, more efficient, less chance of failure, etc.) to just hire out the work. Especially since it seems like NPCs never really fail at the job.

EDIT: I reckon that means that you can let the Wizard take the lead on the Initial ability check (the Intelligence check) with a bonus (Advantage on the roll) from getting Help from the Fighter. Then the Fighter can take the lead on the Final ability check (the Strength check) with a bonus (Advantage on the roll) from getting Help from the Wizard.
 
Last edited:

Anselm

Adventurer
Regarding the second paragraph in the sidebar on 349, does this mean that I can pay an Enchanter 1,167 gp to make my great-grandfather's mastercrafted longbow into a longbow +2, by moving the enchantment from the +2 greatsword that I found on an adventure, but have no use for?
Yes, that part seems pretty clear to me. Whatever the base cost of the item presented in Trials and Treasures (or whatever base cost the narrator deems appropriate), you take 1/3 that cost to move it from one magical item to a mundane item. As long as the enchantment can be applied to the new item (probably at the narrators discretion but definitely within the same 'types' mentioned on 222 of TnT could be assumed) then all seems fair.
 

Galahadred

Villager
So, can the Level Up Designers that hang out in here weigh in? Are we supposed to completely ignore the first paragraph of the sidebar on page 349? Or does that guidance somehow mesh with the other rules on crafting that we're just not seeing?
 

getquarked

Villager
Ah man I had a similar question to this last month, this was my math


I'm going over a few things in the reddit, but I'll post it here since it might get an expert answer:

Abbreviations: AG = Adventurer's guide, TT = Trials and Treasures


Hypothetically, Lets say I want to make a +1 Longsword. I need a fine longsword, to start, since +1 weapons are uncommon, and uncommon magic items need a fine quality item to be crafted. (TT, 365, "Item Quality")

so for a Fine Longsword, the base cost calculation: A fine item always costs at least full price plus either 50% of the full price or 25 gold, whichever is greater.

So that's 45 then. The base magic item value is therefore, 545.

That calculation I think clearly arises from the production cost of fine weapons, which is +25 gp (AG 427, Crafting items table). So lets start back over

Fine longsword production cost: 25 (crafting items table, AG, 426-427)

Fine Longsword Material Cost based on value: 20 (AG 311, weapons table, AG 427, crafting items table) (Fine weapons have material cost of x1 normal weapon value.)

This means the value of the fine longsword is 45, and the base magic item VALUE is 545, [500 for uncommon +1 wep (magic items table, TT 332)+ 45 for fine longsword]
"Item Quality: The Costs for an item's quality are incorporated into base items cost"

Referencing TT for the magic item creation, page 364+365:

Special material cost: .25*545 (or a quest) = 136.25 (136 gold, 2 silver, 5 copper)

Base material cost: .5 * 545 = 272.5 (272 gold, 5 silver)

in total that gives us:

45 for the longsword (20 material, 25 production)

136.25 for special material (which could be replaced by a quest)

272.5 for base materials of magic item.

Grand total: 453.75, or 453 gold, 7 silver 5 copper.

Is this a correct reading of the rules to make a magic weapon?

( Ps. Mr author man, please incorporate something like this into the book, or an errata, or the gazette as an example thank you!)
Basically what I think this boils down to is, "If we have the base-item (a fine or masterwork item) for magical item crafting, does it reduce the cost of making an item, or is it still 500 gp? b/c 500 gp is just the value of a +1 weapon."... OR is it "you need an enchantable (fine or masterwork) item, plus 500 gp?"


Im hopeful you get an answer!
 


Doskious

Explorer
It's interesting, because I actually think that the rules might be serendipitously written, just as they are, in a way that positions them to be able to support both:
  • pre-renaissance societies
  • post-renaissance societies
By which I mean, "societies in which the vast majority of things are made bespoke, with a purpose and a buyer already identified, and items being made available for sale to the general public are items on which the seller is likely trying to primarily avoid a loss", and "societies in which the majority of goods are, if not mass-produced, at least produced under the premise that there is enough demand to price the supply such that profit margins are sustainable even without the direct bespoke connection between the act of creation and the act of acquisition."

For the former, you use the interpretation that results in bespoke items crafted to spec costing more than whatever you can find for sale; for the latter, you use the interpretation that results in bespoke items costing less than the list price for the same thing were it bought in a shop.

(Note that I'm grossly generalizing in my attribution of the renaissance as the fulcrum point in history at which the balance shifted.)
 

Doskious

Explorer
Ah man I had a similar question to this last month, this was my math



Basically what I think this boils down to is, "If we have the base-item (a fine or masterwork item) for magical item crafting, does it reduce the cost of making an item, or is it still 500 gp? b/c 500 gp is just the value of a +1 weapon."... OR is it "you need an enchantable (fine or masterwork) item, plus 500 gp?"


Im hopeful you get an answer!

Based on what I'm reading in TT, though, it will always be less expensive to craft your own magical items than to get someone else to craft them for you.

The TT rules say:
To craft a magic item a character must first acquire base materials equal to half the magic item’s cost; this includes special metals, wood, leather, and other substances which make the basic item, plus a mixture of common alchemical reagents, arcane components, or divine ingredients. These materials can be purchased easily as long as the character has the requisite funds and usually do not need to be accounted for individually.
...
Costs for an item’s quality are included in a magic item’s base cost.
To me, this reads as "you, the player, are making an item from scratch (raw materials) and enchanting it with magic, all at once."

A +1 weapon is listed with a cost of 500 gp and requires a cubic inch of rare metal as a special component (to be quested for or which costs 25% of the base cost of the item). Assuming that access to the appropriate tools is not something that will incur additional costs, the crafting of a +1 weapon yourself will cost 250 gp, and will take a week to accomplish, if you have obtained the special component without resorting to the expenditure of funds and you have unfettered, cost-free access to a smithy.

Personally, the implications of this functionality, juxtaposed with the idea that if I wanted someone else to do that for me, I'd need to shell out the same 250 gp in materials, plus 50 gp as the crafter's fee, plus the 500 gp for the standard price for the item ... simply does not make sense, despite that being the formula indicated on AG 350.

In light of the need for 50% of the base cost of the item in reagents, the sidebar also does not make sense.

To me, what would make sense is that commissioning someone to enchant existing nonmagical gear (per the sidebar) would cost:
  • the crafter's fee calculated on the listed cost of the magical item being crafted
  • materials costing 50% of the the difference between the listed cost of the desired magical item and the listed cost of the non-magical item being enchanted
To me, what would make sense is that commissioning someone to fabricate from scratch and enchant totally new gear would cost:
  • the crafter's fee calculated on the listed cost of the magical item being crafted
  • materials costing 50% of the the listed cost of the non-magical item being enchanted

But hey, nothing requires a Fantasy Economy to make sense...
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top