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D&D 5E What do you want out of crafting rules?

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Some people complain about 5e’s crafting rules. Others think it’s just fine. What do you want out of them?
 

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What I want: if I take the blacksmith background, I can, at some reasonable point in the game, make a cool sword.

What I very definitely don't want: if I don't take the blacksmith background, I get fewer cool swords. This is why crafting as a way of earning money looks so odd in PF2 - it's very specifically meant to not get you more stuff than you would get if you had taken another profession, earned money that way, and bought cool stuff.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Simplicity would be my main prerequisite. I also think efficiency of crafting should trump realism: having to spend X number of months or even years to craft items is not really pertinent; having quick benefits for a character that focuses its build on crafting without unbalancing the system (I guess that's the hard part) would be, to me, the most interesting.

AiME uses a system of templates that you can add to weapons to create your own, so that can be a good start. Ex: ''adding the Wraith Bane enhancement requires component X components (with cost), 1 day and a DC X Int check with Smiths Tools.''

A simple system of masterwork or improved materials to upgrade equipment without the need of magic can also be fun.
 

Dausuul

Legend
My biggest issue with crafting rules (setting aside the magic item crafting options in the DMG) is that the only thing they do is save you money. And 5E is notorious for giving PCs more money than they can spend.

What I'd like would be rules for crafting on the fly, using whatever materials are at hand, during an adventure. If you could whip up a healing potion during a long rest, without having to travel back to civilization and buy ingredients, it could be a literal lifesaver. And I've seen a fair number of scenarios where the PCs want to throw together a makeshift siege engine or scaffold or something.
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
What do I want?

Rules that are crafty, they get around
Rules that are crafty, they're always down
Rules that are crafty, so I won't have to gripe
Rules that are crafty, craft rules that are just my type
Rules that are crafty.
 



We have homebrewed an option that lets you gradually increase proficiency (and decrease cost) as you go further in your training. It doesn't make sense to go from having zero skill to BAM!!! having all the skills.

Instead of having a set amount of money/time for everything, I would like recipes/plans for some of the more common items. No, it wouldn't cover everything, but at least then you would have a template to base other creations off of.
 

lockyreid

Explorer
Instead of crafting new equipment. I would like to be able to craft specific properties onto my equipment, preferably requiring some sort of materials that isn't limited to gold, or residium.

For example. Craft cold resistance onto my armor, or Giantsbane onto my longsword. Or ability to craft custom ammunition, poisoned arrows, explosive xbow bolts.

With some kind of limitation, perhaps only one upgrade per piece of equipment.

I think the main thing is that crafting should allow a player to customize, or make specific pieces of equipment that aren't available to purchase, or acquire elsewhere. If its optional and non unique, I'm not typically going to bother with investing time and any feats/character options into it.
 

Mind of tempest

Adventurer
Instead of crafting new equipment. I would like to be able to craft specific properties onto my equipment, preferably requiring some sort of materials that isn't limited to gold, or residium.

For example. Craft cold resistance onto my armor, or Giantsbane onto my longsword. Or ability to craft custom ammunition, poisoned arrows, explosive xbow bolts.

With some kind of limitation, perhaps only one upgrade per piece of equipment.

I think the main thing is that crafting should allow a player to customize, or make specific pieces of equipment that aren't available to purchase, or acquire elsewhere. If its optional and non unique, I'm not typically going to bother with investing time and any feats/character options into it.
enchantment.
 


loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff
I think that any kind of crafting rules that don't require weird materials that are hard to find (which means, that don't create an adventure hook in of itself) are unnecessary and better off handwaved.
 





cbwjm

Hero
Not sure exactly what I want out of crafting. I'd like there to be something so that picking up skill in some artisan tools doesn't feel like it is just background. What I don't want is for players to be able to just take a couple weeks of downtime to craft a sword and attach magical effects to it just because they're a blacksmith. I don't even really use the rules for such in 5e where you spend X weeks of downtime crafting rare or legendary items, instead I go back to 2e where magical items need exotic materials to craft. Basically, I don't want to go back to 3e or 4e where everyone just makes whatever items they want because they have the feats, kinda ruins a part of the game to me.
 

@Dausuul @Charlaquin raise good points. I want a crafting system to be something that makes my payers flip through magic items & enchantment types like a kid with a bucket of legos or who got the new sear catalog back in the day. 5e made crafting skills almost the default & pointless in that it pretty much just saves you some pointless money in exchange for spending time crafting an item you could probably have otherwise just bought. both 2e & 3.5 had good points to their crafting while 4e made it too easy to just break down some undesired items to make a desired one.
 

hopeless

Explorer
Rules for crafting that actually make sense so you can add them to your character sheet as actual skills instead of for example left having to pick up the Xanathar's Guide just for hints about how its done but ignore things like you can brew healing potion using the Herbalist Kit but that proficiency bonus would be strictly an Intelligence check or an Arcana check for something that would otherwise scream Nature check?

Apparently if you train long enough you can pick up a new tool kit proficiency without having to use a feat to obtain it.

That deserves being emphasized.
 


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