D&D 5E Magic Item Creation in 5E

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
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 once had a DM who made all crafted magical items come at a penalty and a material cost instead of an XP cost. My ranger's frost bow had to be coated with white dragon blood. The Coating process have him unremovable cold vulnerability FOR A YEAR . Because of this, PCs and NPCs "almost" never sold their items or had to take long chunks of their adventuring lives off until their crafting injuries wore off. This also had three other side effects: few consumable items were ever crafted, everybody and their mama hunted people who had magic items to bypass crafting injuries, and magic merchants few and far between due to the rarity of magic items and the constant hounding of robbers.


I want to see magical items craftable by PCs but gold and XP costs were lame. And time costs are too limiting. I hope for some other cost for magic though.
 

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R

RHGreen

Guest
We should have simple rules for crafting - not just magic.

What I would like with magic items is that their level of ability is based on the user rather than the item.

If you are 10th level, your fire sword opperates at that level. So no need to dump that fire sword unless you would rather have a frost sword.
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
Good idea? Bad idea? How would you like to see it handled?
As far back as 0D&D's 'Eldritch Wizardry,' IIRC, there were rules (of sorts) for item creation. It wouldn't make much sense for there to be magic items and no way to create them.

Well, it could be rationalized, if the setting were the fantasy equivalent of a post-apocalyptic environment, where the creation of items is a lost art. Even then, that would beg the question of why the various caster classes seem able to /do/ what items can (and more), but not make them...

Item creation, mechanically, just puts additional choices in the hands of the players (don't like the items you found in a treasure hoard? Make different ones.). If those choices are balanced, there's no problem. If they're abuseable, there are issues. In AD&D, item creation was more or less by DM fiat, there were guidelines, but the DM could just arbitrarily make it impossible for you to get/do everything you needed to make this or that broken item (or arbitrarily make it easy for you to make a broken item). In 3e, it was pegged to wealth, but effectively introduced a 'bug' that let players sell exp for greater wealth in items. In 4e, the system is balanced enough, but if items can be bought readily, almost pointless to actually bother with. (In campaigns where the market for magic items isn't perfectly fungible, item creation becomes quite valuable).

5e seeks to capture the feel of all editions. It's item creation rules would thus have to have a balanced, systematic player option that resembled the wealth-based aproaches of 3e and 4e, and DM-driven add-ons that allowed the arbitrarily powerful and game breaking items of AD&D.
 

Number48

First Post
5E should either have definite magic item creation rules, or make it a non-issue by folding the concept into something like class abilities so that, say, a fighter can add an elemental effect to his weapon at level 8, described as crafting it, having the wizard do it, finding it in treasure or buying it. I think I want a system that gives easy limited-use items that are needed every day, and simply no crafting for harder-to-acquire items. There is something to be said for the excitement of not knowing what you're going to be getting. When you can decide all your magic by crafting or buying, then a little bit of wonderment dies.
 

Tallifer

Hero
The crafting of magical items in Fifth Edition should be tied in somehow with treasure and player rewards. I like the elegant treasure and enchantment system of Fourth Edition, but I can see how it lacks the marvel and strangeness of systems like Powers & Perils. Nonetheless, I want it to be balanced. There must be a real cost to creating powerful permanent magic or to creating convenient scrolls and wands. Or there must be a strict limit on their power.

I do not mind someone making a wand which can cast a magic missile once per encounter. But the magical components for such a wand should be rare and exotic, such that they are essentially treasure and cannot be mass produced.

I do not however ever want to see a character forge the One Ring or Excalibur. Those are artifacts created by the gods or some other powerful source (id est, the dungeon master).
 

Rune

Once A Fool
I'd like the option to be available for PCs to create magical items, but I think that doing so should come at an extraordinarily high cost--such as sacrificing a life, or selling a soul, or giving away a kingdom.

Of course, magic items would be rare, and would have to be taken out of the math of the core mechanics...
 

Number48

First Post
I do not however ever want to see a character forge the One Ring or Excalibur. Those are artifacts created by the gods or some other powerful source (id est, the dungeon master).

I have a pseudo-mechanic for that in my game, called legend. Things can acquire power of their own by accumulating history and legend around them. You can't make that. This also means that an item created from legend doesn't have to be masterwork, for instance. I have a second pseudo-mechanic called wild magic. Not as in dangerously explosive, but as in untamed. Sometimes powerful events cause ripples in wild magic creating spontaneous magic items out of nothing, like a star coalescing from gas, or sometimes an item becomes infused over time by sitting at a conflux of ley line-like energies. These items often have strange properties that might not even suit the type of item it is.
 

dagger

Adventurer
I would like to see it moved to the DMG and only available if the DM allows it. I also think it should be made much more difficult.
 

TwinBahamut

First Post
I have a pseudo-mechanic for that in my game, called legend. Things can acquire power of their own by accumulating history and legend around them. You can't make that. This also means that an item created from legend doesn't have to be masterwork, for instance.
I'm rather fond of this kind of concept.

Generally, I like the idea that there should be pretty much just two kinds of magic items: common magic items and unique items with history. The former should be common, cheap, widely sold, easily made, and about as available as things like silver weapons were in 3E. The latter should be extremely rare, not purchasable, very powerful, and filled with a history and story that binds them to the adventure and restricts a character to just using one or two in a whole campaign (though they should be present in just about every campaign). Creating an item of the former should be easy for any skilled craftsman, but creating the latter would require creating a history for the item, and thus would require it to be slowly built up piece by piece as the sum total of a hero's life work. Creating such a weapon should be the effort of a hundred trials and result in an item that practically functions as a part of the person who made it. No magic item creation system built on singular costs would suffice.
 

jbear

First Post
Optional rule definitely. I have no interest in creafting items as a player or a DM. But as many people do there should exist an option. As i believe this is the guiding philosophy in 5e and the emphasis is the adventure, I don't think Item Creation at the core of the game is appropriate.
 

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