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How would you rule crafting items in a no-XP system?

Kid Socrates

First Post
I think this goes in here, and not Rules, but if I'm incorrect, just let me know or move it, and I apologize.

I don't do XP by the book -- I run a homebrew game, and after a series of difficult battles or at the end of an "arc," as it were, the characters level up. Custom classes, too, so up until now (one group of two is 11th level, one group of two is about to hit 10th), there hadn't been any thoughts towards making items. One character has expressed a strong interest in making magi-tech style items, blending magic and technology, and so I'm putting that into place for him; only thing is, I need a way to keep him from making 10,000 sticks of Arcane Dynamite, as a ludicrous example.

Obviously, XP is used for creating items, but I don't award XP (and this has never been a problem for the players, I've checked), so that can't work. My first thought is the Craft Reserve for Artificers in Eberron, so I'm going to be taking a look at that. How have people that have played artificers liked that, and has anyone done anything similar?

Thanks in advance!
 

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lukelightning

First Post
Are you being strict about "amount of wealth/level"? If you are keeping their money in check, I don't think it's much of a problem; if money is restricting what they can make, then I wouldn't bother with xp.
 

Time. If you enforrce the time restrictions, that is the simgle greatest limiter to what PC's can/can't create.

Gold. Items still have cash costs. Depending on how much gold hte party has this can be more/less of a limitation.

Special Materials: You can just make items have wierd components that might not be available (or in limited quantities, only 10 Arcane Boomsticks for example).

In my games, the XP cost has been the EASIEST part of Item Creation. Time has been the hardest (esp for really big ticket items that take months or longer to create).

By and large you can use the rules as they are, just ignore the XP costs.
 

Kid Socrates

First Post
lukelightning said:
Are you being strict about "amount of wealth/level"? If you are keeping their money in check, I don't think it's much of a problem; if money is restricting what they can make, then I wouldn't bother with xp.
I'm not being too strict -- it's a game based partially off Final Fantasy, so they have a lot more innate abilities, but weapons cost a good deal more. They've got some money which is being poured into rebuilding an island. They're definitely not rich, and I don't worry that they're planning game-breaking stuff. I haven't run a game (or played in one) that did much of anything with item creation, so I thought I'd get a little research in before putting it in motion.
 

In past editions, I always had magic item creation involve quests for odd materials and doing strange things (Like dipping a sword in waters of Elysium), in addition to knowing the required spells. Stuff that has to be done in-game, basically.
 

JoeGKushner

First Post
Power components, unsual areas, blessings from different outsiders, etc...

I remember one thing was like a kiss of the wind and it was in essence a wind creavace between two mountains where the wind whipped about really violently or a touch of fire whee the blade had to be forged with magma.

Good stuff but side tracking for the whole group at the same time.
 

Are you using action points?

When I wrote Elements of Magic - Mythic Earth, I wanted to allow for magic item creation without requiring XP expenditure. One of the options, which I designed to work with Eberron, D20 Modern, and other games with action points, is to let you trade action points for pseudo XP. One AP = your level x 10 XP. And then there are optional rules for making offerings, sacrificing hit points, skill points, ability points. And sacrificing the souls of the innocent. Just, y'know, so I can cover all my bases.

If you're not using action points, the other options still work. There might also be a way to suck energy out of creatures you kill, or from magical fonts, and to harness that energy for items.
 

FickleGM

Explorer
The DMG actually has an optional rule called "Power Components" (IIRC) that states something to the effect of requiring special materials equaling 10 to 20 times what the experience value would have been. These special materials are up to the DM. The last time I used this rule, I had gems be the required material for enchanting.

I have also thought about using temporary ability loss (players choice, DM's choice, random, etc.). This would weaken the character, but would avoid the gem hoarding mentality that arose from the previous method.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
Just use a chart of set XP's or "power points" that casters gain per level to use in crafting items. If you have the Eberron core book, the Artificer's free craft XP is a good chart to use for this, and you can modify the amount up or down per level to represent how much or little magic suits your taste.

EDIT: Oops - missed the last line of your initial post. That's the way I'd go with it, as well. :)
 
Last edited:

KB9JMQ

First Post
Vraille Darkfang said:
Time. If you enforrce the time restrictions, that is the simgle greatest limiter to what PC's can/can't create.

Gold. Items still have cash costs. Depending on how much gold hte party has this can be more/less of a limitation.

Special Materials: You can just make items have wierd components that might not be available (or in limited quantities, only 10 Arcane Boomsticks for example).

In my games, the XP cost has been the EASIEST part of Item Creation. Time has been the hardest (esp for really big ticket items that take months or longer to create).

By and large you can use the rules as they are, just ignore the XP costs.

This pretty much sums it up for me.
I run an Ebberon game without tracking XP and have an artificer whom likes to make things. Time is the biggest issue in the game. I pretty much let her make whatever as long as they have material/money but she is always being rushed by others to limit what she does cause they have a world to save ;)
 



Kid Socrates

First Post
Kamikaze Midget said:
I don't really limit it myself. I use UA's crafting points instead. :D

I have UA on my bookshelf -- I keep forgetting I have that book. I've got three and a half hours before I can look at it, but I'll take a look tonight. Thanks for the reminder!
 

Kid Socrates

First Post
RangerWickett said:
Are you using action points?

When I wrote Elements of Magic - Mythic Earth, I wanted to allow for magic item creation without requiring XP expenditure. One of the options, which I designed to work with Eberron, D20 Modern, and other games with action points, is to let you trade action points for pseudo XP. One AP = your level x 10 XP. And then there are optional rules for making offerings, sacrificing hit points, skill points, ability points. And sacrificing the souls of the innocent. Just, y'know, so I can cover all my bases.

If you're not using action points, the other options still work. There might also be a way to suck energy out of creatures you kill, or from magical fonts, and to harness that energy for items.

Hey, there's an idea. We are using action points; the player doesn't spend a whole lot of his, so they may be a big help. I'll see what he thinks. I hadn't thought about using action points for that.

We may have some innocents' souls in storage; have to check the reserves on those.
 


Kid Socrates

First Post
BiggusGeekus said:
I love UA. I think it's the most underrated 3e book that WotC made.

I picked it up on a whim a while back, wanting a new gaming book to read, and went over it a few times. I don't run a by-the-book game, so a lot of things in there are very helpful. It contains some of the ideas that d20 Modern started, which I use in my game (action points and class defense bonuses are the first two that spring to mind). I'll be reading it again tonight.
 

Garnfellow

First Post
Crothian said:
Artificiers Handbook by Mystic Eye Games could work here they have a nice system that doesn't use XP

Artificer Handbook is a great resource, and now it's available in pdf format on RPGNow.

I use AH mostly for pricing magic items, but if I were gonna restart my campaign tomorrow I'd adopt the item creation rules wholesale.
 

Altalazar

First Post
Special items all the way. Heck, I use them now with an XP system as a way to reduce XP cost. It makes the whole item creation thing much more fun and interesting in the game.
 

FireLance

Legend
Possibly the simplest approach is that the item creation feats allow you to create items at 75% of the market price instead of 50% of the market price and some XP costs.
 

Terwox

First Post
It appears like no one has mentioned Unearthed Arcana's craft points system, if you just remove the goofy feats for creating normal items from it, it can work pretty well. If they use up xp after that point, just start taking xp, but award 12,000 exp when they'd typicall level.

Another simple thing is to just award xp that way and use the normal system. Just give out 12,000 exp at a time and it's pretty close to what you're doing already.
 

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