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D&D 5E Magic Item Creation in 5E

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
Good idea? Bad idea? How would you like to see it handled?

One of the biggest draws for my players in the 3.x game was how item creation was handled. But for me, the DM, it can be a serious pain in the neck sometimes. I don't have a problem with characters who want to save some coin by brewing their own healing potions instead of buying them from the local temple. My beef is with the powergamer who wants to build five Excaliburs in his basement and hand them out to all his friends at the local pub.

There's nothing wrong with that, I guess...it's just not how I roll. In my opinion, item creation should be restricted to single-use, disposable, relatively weak items. More powerful or permanent magic items should be beautiful and rare.

I can already hear my players' protests....but I would like to see this philosophy carried over into the core of 5E. I would like item creation to be omitted from the core rules altogether...or restricted to potions and scrolls at the very least. It would save DMs like me the trouble of house-ruling them out (and dealing with the arguments at the game table because of it). Don't get me wrong, rules for crafting permanent, multi-use, and more powerful magic items have their place...I believe that place is in a supplemental book, not the Core Rules.
 

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Li Shenron

Legend
In my opinion, item creation should be restricted to single-use, disposable, relatively weak items.

On the other hand, these are potentially more gamebreaking in a subtle way, if used to circumvent all the basic limitations of spellcasters.

Cheap scrolls = forget the risk of not having the right spell because you didn't prepare it

Cheap wands = forget number of spells per day for combat spells

I think it's safest for everybody that item creation rules are not in the PHB. The DMG is already a safe enough place, as long as the game (and adventures) however doesn't assume every DM is going to use these rules.
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
Crafting is part of the game world, and thus needs to be described by the game. As such, it should be available to the PCs under some circumstances.

That said, in 3e, XP costs were almost universally loathed, the overwhelming majority of character never crafted anything-even wizards who got a feat for free-and those who did craft often gamed the system for power or profit.

So yes, I'd like to see it, but I hope the limitations that are put on it are more appropriate and story-driven (say, some permanent penalty to the creator, who puts some of his essence into the item). I wouldn't mind at all if they left it out of core, put it in a supplement on treasure and items, and really got it right.
 

DonTadow

First Post
Good idea? Bad idea? How would you like to see it handled?

One of the biggest draws for my players in the 3.x game was how item creation was handled. But for me, the DM, it can be a serious pain in the neck sometimes. I don't have a problem with characters who want to save some coin by brewing their own healing potions instead of buying them from the local temple. My beef is with the powergamer who wants to build five Excaliburs in his basement and hand them out to all his friends at the local pub.

There's nothing wrong with that, I guess...it's just not how I roll. In my opinion, item creation should be restricted to single-use, disposable, relatively weak items. More powerful or permanent magic items should be beautiful and rare.

I can already hear my players' protests....but I would like to see this philosophy carried over into the core of 5E. I would like item creation to be omitted from the core rules altogether...or restricted to potions and scrolls at the very least. It would save DMs like me the trouble of house-ruling them out (and dealing with the arguments at the game table because of it). Don't get me wrong, rules for crafting permanent, multi-use, and more powerful magic items have their place...I believe that place is in a supplemental book, not the Core Rules.

I think the elimination of item creature will vcome with the non-dependance on items in general. Magic items should be fun and magical. The defeat world of dnd, 1st edition, was that magic was not as common as the grocery store. A trinket was important, a super sword was an epic buy or quest.

However, when everything is scaled astronomically, the need tobuild uber magic items goes away.
 

Thalionalfirin

First Post
Crafting is part of the game world, and thus needs to be described by the game. As such, it should be available to the PCs under some circumstances.

That said, in 3e, XP costs were almost universally loathed, the overwhelming majority of character never crafted anything-even wizards who got a feat for free-and those who did craft often gamed the system for power or profit.

So yes, I'd like to see it, but I hope the limitations that are put on it are more appropriate and story-driven (say, some permanent penalty to the creator, who puts some of his essence into the item). I wouldn't mind at all if they left it out of core, put it in a supplement on treasure and items, and really got it right.

In 1e, items enchanted needed a permanancy spell cast upon it. Doing so generated a 5% change of a permanent loss of 1 point of CON to the caster.
 


howandwhy99

Adventurer
I'd like to see this as a variety of options for those who want it in their games.

The catch is, what resources are the PCs spending in order to create these valuable items? Also, how does the world take shape because of access to this production?

Eberron campaigns would want easy magic item creation with increasing difficulty and cost of production for more powerful items and magi-tech machinery. Someone built that train after all, and all those lofting cities.

Greyhawk, a more standard swords & sorcery campaign, could work similarly, but with a far higher rarity for producers of magic items and effects. Perhaps it's a natural rarity in racial populations for who can wield magic? Perhaps training is simply rarer? Maybe trusting in magic by the populace isn't as common and therefore fewer seek out these items. As I recall, most wizards were NPCs and not adventurers. They needed to support themselves some how. Perhaps they didn't share their secrets of creation though? This makes certain texts rarer.

Forgotten Realms is more high fantasy and could be construed as a mix of the previous two. Magic is common enough, but it is still the basis for combat and warfare rather than nation building and everyday life (Halruaa withstanding). I could see magic in FR being more easily learned and by most any with a high enough intelligence, but the acceptance of magic and its mundane uses are still low to middling.

Another question: How recognizable are magic items and effects? Sometimes a magical sword looks like every other sword. It's not recognized as magical until we start using it and something unexpected occurs. If magic is hard to recognize (we might need a Detect Magic spell to do so), then these items could be found in shops at standard equipment prices? Of course the opposite holds true as well, selling an item is more difficult for its true price. This would put a little pawn shop discovery in the game.

For Resources: Time, Money, Tools, Materials, a Safe Environment, Ritual / Spell procedure for creation, are all possible costs to magic item creation. In AD&D M.I.s took literally years to create for the more powerful items. When a laboratory, expensive or quested for materials, and the necessity to learn the proper spell are taken into account then this aspect of play really becomes an adventure in and of itself. Just like spell casting, if the creation of a M.I. were to be disrupted (someone came in and destroyed the lab), then the whole process would need to start over.

If we require individual spells for each particular magic item, then we have a far greater cost (or quest) for those who want to build one. Wizards usually have no limit, so they are not hampered there. Creating custom spells though should be in the game, if we're going to have custom M.I. spells anyways. Those two systems would work together.

All of this ignores the common D&D understanding of ease of access to creating scrolls and potions. Those always appeared differently, simpler, even in 3e. To really remember how M.I. creation was in the game, go back and reread AD&D DMG's "Magical Research" section. It's only a few pages, but a lot of information is there. It doesn't need to be the standard or anything, but it holds a shared commonality for many D&D players. Altering those processes to fit into 5e's mechanics would be interesting. Altering the whole further for multiple options will mean knowing common preferences.
 

ferratus

Adventurer
Crafting magical items should involve spell components just like spells do. These spell components should come from various creatures you meet, defeat and use.

For example, a frost themed blade could be required to be forged on the winter solstice, enchanted with an absorption spell, then used to absorb the breath of a white dragon.

This information should be with the item in the DMG, or various parts of monsters should be mentioned as being good for crafting magical items and potions in the monster manual.

This would make it difficult for PC's to just craft any magical item that they wanted, but would still make the crafting of magical items be a possibility for PC's. They would just have to choose the magical items they really wanted and quest for them.
 

Kaodi

Hero
My beef is with the powergamer who wants to build five Excaliburs in his basement and hand them out to all his friends at the local pub.

I agree. The idea of some super-powerful wizard crafting five epic weapons and then giving them to a group of young, spirited folks so that they may save the world would never, ever happen. Oh... wait a minute...
 

Kaodi

Hero
Crafting magical items should involve spell components just like spells do. These spell components should come from various creatures you meet, defeat and use.

For example, a frost themed blade could be required to be forged on the winter solstice, enchanted with an absorption spell, then used to absorb the breath of a white dragon.

This information should be with the item in the DMG, or various parts of monsters should be mentioned as being good for crafting magical items and potions in the monster manual.

This would make it difficult for PC's to just craft any magical item that they wanted, but would still make the crafting of magical items be a possibility for PC's. They would just have to choose the magical items they really wanted and quest for them.

I forget which thread I mentioned this in, but it is entirely reasonable to think of item creation in terms of two distinct systems: a system for producing items, and a system for supplying the ingredients. The latter is in fact the more important part in terms of the economy. And the trickier one too, as your suggestion for supplying the frosty oomph illustrates.
 

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