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

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I think that is how most players thinking. Crafting rules are for those you think differently?

Me too. I don't generally have magic shops in my settings. Magic items are rare and wonderous things that can't generally be bought and sold in most of my games.
Yeah. I made a change during late 3.5. That edition expected a party of 4 to by level 4 have something like a +1 sword, +1 armor, ring of charming(making stuff up), and like 8 other items. Magic items were a dime a dozen, almost literally(2000g for a magic sword?!).

I stopped handing out items by the handful and started making Beguiler, a +1 sword, Defender(+1 AC) that can attempt to charm an enemy 2x day. Instead of 5 little items each, they got 1 awesome item each over those 4 levels. Magic items were rarer to find and much more prized when found. Overnight my players became excited about magic items again. Instead of, "Eh, you take that one, I'll take this one, we'll give 1 to the NPC and sell the last.", it was, "Wow!" and multiple players all wanted it. The players broke out the percentile dice and rolled with the highest winning the item. I hadn't heard that happen since 2e.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Very interesting and quite a monumental task. I think something like this would find a decent market on teh DMsGuild. I do have on suggestion:
It is stated that failing by 5 or more ruins the cloak. I think that seems a bit harsh, conversely, I don't see a drawback for simply failing. If you want degrees of failure, maybe something like this:
  • Failed check: increase time required by 50% (+25 days in this case)
  • Failed check by 5-9: double time & 2x cost (+50 days & +2000gp)
  • Fail by 10 or more: ruined
Thus, on a failure it can be recovered, but it may not be worth it (financially and time) to do so. It gives the player some agency and if you want to through in additional check, it is a gamble too.
I wouldn't ruin it in any case. It's already a massive in game time investment to get the recipe and track down the ingredients, spend the gold and then take 50 days.

I think that a critical failure should give the player the item, but with a drawback or curse also attached. Maybe the item only works every other round. Maybe it takes 3 rounds to turn back on after a hit. Maybe it works as advertised, but give disadvantage to social interactions as people become irritated with the wearer due to their subconscious mind trying to track the PC in two different spots at once.
 

hopeless

Explorer
I agree, but my recent experience with 5e suggests it would be a cold day in hell before an item I'd actually want my cleric to have for example would turn up.

When my DM got me to make Arcana checks for brewing healing potions when Arcana is NOT a skill I'm proficient in as even Xanathar's Guide I don't see why that should be an Arcana check when Herbalist Kit literally screams a Nature check!

When I run my 5e game I was worried about dropping too many items by going by Xanathar's Guide.

In my campaign the Paladin has a +1 Longsword that does +1d6 lightning damage to non-fey targets and a suit of what is effectively masterwork Plate.
The Cleric has a Figuring of Wondrous Power that summons a Lantern Archon, he also has a +1 Mace and if he picked up the heavy armor proficiency as his feat at 4th level he also has a suit of Plate Mail +1.
The Shadow Sorceror has a Cape of Commanding (a vestige item that increases in power as he increases in level but has some One Ring sinister sentience along with it!), a Ring of Shielding (a ring version of the brooch).
The Rogue has a +1 Rapier and a Lantern of Revealing.
There's also two spell books thats probably in the Sorceror's possession despite them intended for the Arcane Trickster Rogue.

In my former DMs campaign
Swashbuckler has what I assume is his Hexblade and a Periapt of Wound Closure
The Pyromaniac Half elven Wizard has some Gloves of Missile Snaring and a Dagger of Venom the Swashbuckler gave her as my character refused to use a poisoned weapon.
The Gnome Transmuter has an Alchemy Jug and a Circlet of Blasting
My character the Cleric has a Periapt of Health and I wasn't bothered about that!

You can see why I thought I was giving away too many items when compared to his campaign!

Would like a bit more detail to the crafting side even if it applies to mundane items!
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Here's my stab at it.

CRAFT AN ITEM
Crafting an item is a downtime activity. If your character has access to the proper tools and materials, and if they have a suitable place to work (a laboratory, a forge, a workshop), they can craft an item with a successful ability (artisan's tools) check. The amount of time, cost and type of materials required, and the difficulty class of the ability check are all set by the DM on a case-by-case basis.

Mundane Items:
Example: a shield, a dagger, a crowbar, a clay pot
Time: 1-7 days of downtime, depending on size and complexity of the item.
Cost: Crafting the item requires raw materials, blueprints, etc. that are worth the purchase price of the item.
Ability Check: Varies (Artisan's Tools) DC 10-15, depending on the size and complexity of the item. You will also need access to the proper tools and workspace, such as a forge for a dagger or a kiln for a clay pot.

Alchemical Items:
Example: alchemist's fire, acid, healing potion, poison
Time: 1-3 days, at the DM's discretion this may be done over a long rest
Cost: Crafting the item requires raw materials, recipes, formulae, etc. worth the purchase price of the item.
Ability Check: Intelligence (Alchemist's Tools) DC 12. You will also need access to a laboratory and a set of alchemist's tools.

Magical Items, Single-Use
Example: potion of greater healing, scroll of protection, Keoghtom's Ointment
Time: 1-3 days, at the DM's discretion
Cost: Crafting the item requires raw materials, recipes, and formulae. The cost of these items are set by the DM, using the magic item values listed in the DMG as a guide for "single use items." They may also require certain rare ingredients that cannot be purchased at any price, and must be collected or recovered personally. The DM will provide the details.
Ability Check: Varies (Artisan's Tools, Arcana) DC 15 and up, depending on the item's rarity and power. You will also need access to the proper tools and workspace, such as a laboratory or writing desk.

Magical Items, Unlimited Use
Example: dagger +1, bag of holding, cloak of protection
Time: 1-5 weeks of downtime, at the DM's discretion
Cost: Crafting the item requires raw materials, recipes, and formulae. The cost of these items are set by the DM, using the magic item values listed in the DMG as a guide. It must also require one or more rare ingredients that cannot be purchased at any price, and must be collected or recovered personally. The DM will provide the details as needed.
Ability Check: Varies (Artisan's Tools, Arcana) DC 15 and up, depending on the item's rarity and power. You will also need access to the proper tools and workspace, such as a forge, kiln, loom, or carpentry shop.
 
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I'm going to agree with pretty much everything @Ruin Explorer wrote about that @6ENow!, my initial thoughts were to suggest a sidebar somewhere talking about how alignments of the planes & various other fantasy treknobabble meant that ingredients tend to vary, but the "this is how one crafter made it" is probably a better tact. The skill checks don't really add anything though actually detract from the process. I used a home cheesemaking example for times earlier so will stick with that, I may not be up to the point where I could crank out something on par with the 2019 world cheese award grand prize winning "organic, cave-aged blue cheese that is wrapped in Syrah grape leaves that are soaked in pear spirits", but I made blue cheese & more than one kind of wine soaked cheese at some point after learning the basics of cheesemaking & feel like I would probably have a100% chance of making something that could be called "organic, cave-aged blue cheese that is wrapped in Syrah grape leaves that are soaked in pear spirits" if I had the leaves & hit totalwine for pear spirits as I'm proficient at cheesemaking & no individual step is actually difficult to reach a level that could be qualified as successful.
 

Asisreo

Archdevil's Advocate
Here is an example of what I am working on:
View attachment 133527
I'm not sure if this is what many people want (I haven't had time to read through the thread), I am really doing it for my own groups and my goal is to do all the magic items in the DMG.
This is quite beautiful and kudos for attempting the entire Magic Item DMG.

Usually, I do the same as you but I mostly improvise and they aren't nearly as detailed or cool as this. Its usually put on looseleaf paper.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I haven't paid much attention to the mundane crafting rules, but just yesterday I worked on my first "recipe" for a magical item which will appear in the marginalia of a necromancer's spellbook they found).

I wrote it up like this and this is the kind of thing I'd like listed (or at least suggested) for each item:

Creating Bag of Bones (rare) requires:
  • a leather bag or satchel of masterwork quality especially made to have the arcane runes for "death" and "spirit" woven on it it (the cost of which is part of the listed cost of the item).
  • The bones of 20 soldiers killed in battle and left to rot on the field
  • The ashes of a holy text or scroll
  • a vial of unholy water
  • Be at least 5th level
  • Be able to prepare and cast Animate Dead every day of crafting
  • 5000 gps in materials
Furthermore, the instructions include guidelines for creating a magical circle for enchanting the item, the ideal times and places for doing this work (the night of the new moon, at midnight, in a graveyard, or ancient battlefield, etc. . )

Lastly, I have increased the GP increment for determining number of days from 25 gps to 100 gps - so it'd take 50 days - but have decided this number of days is modified by your spellcasting ability score modifier for each 1000 in the cost. So, a Wizard with a 16 Intelligence would modify the time by 15 days, doing it in 35. If multiple crafters work on it together only the highest score applies to modifying it, but the total time is halved for each additional person to a minimum of one full day.

In some cases, items have limits as to how many people can work on them at once.

I have made some adjustments to this and posted an example of a spell book holding the "recipe" for this item (among other things) in another thread, if folks are interested.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I would prefer if the crafting was more about creating your own custom magic items than recreating those already in the DMG. What if once I created my sling of giant slaying, I want to add a charm effect 1d4 charges per day? There no such item in the guide, so we are back to handwaving and improvising recipes.

That's why I suggest template to add.

ex:

Armor of Wraith Warding
requirements:
  • A suit of armor
  • rags taken from an creature with the undead type
  • 1 pound of grave dust
  • 100 gp worth of either smiting material for a metal armor or cured hard leather for armor made of leather or hide.

Preparation roll:
- You first need to consecrate the work station for 3 long rest. Make an Intelligence (religion) check against a DC 11 after you the third rest. On a success, the Creation roll is made with Advantage, while a failure gives disadvantage on the same roll. If the roll fails by 5 or more, you waste half the crafting materials' worth and you cant attempt the same roll until the next dawn.

Creation roll:
- You work on your masterwork for 5 long rest at your workstation. Make a DC 15 Intelligence, Dexterity or Strength check at the end of the fifth rest, adding your proficiency bonus if you are proficient with the Leatherworker's tools or Smith's tools. On a success you craft the armor. Refer to the table to see the result:


RollResult
Failure by 10 or moreCursed: the wearer of the armor has disadvantage against any attempt at possession.
FailureThe item is not enchanted but no material is lost.
SuccessThe armor gives +1 AC against attack from undeads. The wearer has advantage to resist possession.
Success by 10 or moreThe armor gives +1 AC against attack from undeads. The wearer has advantage to resist possession and against charm and fear effect from undeads.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I don't see any actual upside to the checks existing. I think they're there because some people think everything has to involve checks, rather than because they serve a real purpose. Especially given there's a narrative way the cloak can get ruined too.

I mean, players will pretty much always have Advantage thanks to the Help rules (which makes the whole "leatherworking tools" thing irrelevant). The writer should avoid the temptation to make a special exception to that rule - it would serve no purpose but aggravation. Instead, embrace preparedness. If the players have proficiency in everything involved, and already have instructions on how to make the cloak, I don't think there should be checks at all. If they're not proficient, then I see a point to the checks, because they're trying to do something they don't really know how to.

What should be focused on is obtaining the materials - i.e. actual adventuring - and the flavour and magical-ness of turning them into the cloak, not swearing loudly because you failed an Arcana check by 1 point.
As a player that is very fond of crafting focused characters, I am deeply unsatisfied when there is no rolling of any kind involved in the actual crafting process.

I’m happy to let that rolling determine things other than success or failure, however.
 

I played a blacksmith turned brawler in a Pathfinder "Iron Gods" adventure path campaign, which involved crashed spaceships and sci-fi technology sharing the landscape with high fantasy tropes and Lovecraftian monsters.

I wanted my storyline to be about understanding tech and using it to build fantastic magic items, whereas another PC just wanted to learn to recreate technology as is. So, like, he'd have power armor and a lightning rifle, and I'd make a belt of giant strength by extracting the supernatural essence from the husk of a defeated giant robot, and a sword that could shift into different shapes and gain different powers as needed because I'd extracted the soul of a piece of a holographic AI-clone of myself and imbued it into the blade.

But mechanically, I just used Craft feats and paid money. It was fine, I suppose. I might have enjoyed being rewarded for actively seeking out ingredients, but I just post hoc justified my crafting as using various ingredients we had discovered in our adventures.
 

cbwjm

Hero
Trying to think of things that I've done for crafting in the past. Most mundane items I wouldn't worry about, if you have the tool proficiency and an area like a forge or laboratory then it can be assumed you have the base materials. I was kicking around an idea for herbalism kits (for a variety of healing items), poison kits and alchemy supplies (for potions and various other items like sovereign glue) which had different tiers such that common and uncommon items can be made with commonly found materials which are easily sourced in a large enough town while rarer items might need uncommon or rare, or even legendary materials but what those items are aren't really defined. Haven't implemented it though, and I do like the thought of needing specific items like dragon scales or the essence of an elemental for potions of resistance.

There is a dwarf NPC in my setting who is working on forging a magical axe (all dwarves have the ability to forge one magical item in their lives without needing any sort of spellcasting, though they need to have certain skills to create them). Currently he is down in an old dwarven city forging the axe from some adamantine, next he'll have to travel to a mountain peak to empower the axe with the power of a storm (assuming him and his allies make it out of the old city, not sure if he will without PC intervention). Things like this make magical item creation interesting in my opinion. I'm not sure exactly what would be needed by a spellcaster forging an item, but it would likely be just as fantastic. I think some of the old 2e books had tables of fantastic materials for magical items which I might look through if someone wants to craft something more magical.
 

Slit518

Explorer
Some people complain about 5e’s crafting rules. Others think it’s just fine. What do you want out of them?

I don't recall 5e's crafting rules, but, it depends on the overall game system.
If it is a casual system, maybe a casual approach to crafting, "gold + time."
If it is a more in-depth system, "items + time."
 

Stalker0

Legend
Here is an example of what I am working on:
View attachment 133527
I'm not sure if this is what many people want (I haven't had time to read through the thread), I am really doing it for my own groups and my goal is to do all the magic items in the DMG.
It’s more detail than I would use but it’s very cool, and I might buy it as a small priced pdf just for inspiration.

I do think the checks are overkill, maybe as a part of a “rush crafting” kind of thing, but I wouldn’t make them standard
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
I think this is the right general direction but I have some criticisms, if you don't mind.
No, I don't mind (generally). ;)

I think it's a bit too standardized in terms of requirements, it's hard to believe every cloak of that nature would be made the exact same way, but if you presented it more as "This is one wizard's blueprint for how she made Displacer Beast cloak", and suggest that the DM feel free to mix it up a bit. An "alternative ingredients" bit might be nice, even you didn't detail how they were used.
No, it isn't standard, what I am working on is (quite literally) a "recipe" book for magic items. As every chef will make changes to create their own recipe, these are examples for the players who can either use it or try to come up with their own.

I'd also drop the ability checks entirely, because all you're doing is adding a significant chance than an interesting process that effort was put into gets thrown away. And the net effect of that will be one of two things:

1) The players just give up on this stuff. A lot of players will be literally disgusted if they put that much effort in, and a couple of really bad d20 rolls, which are highly random, note, ruined all that effort. I do mean disgusted. People underestimate how big this kind of thing feels to players, especially in the abstract.

2) The players will massively oversupply themselves on the hope that at least one of the attempts succeeds. And then you have a bad situation where it may well be that they get enough for, say 3-5 cloaks, and succeed in making 3-5 cloaks. Suddenly the ENTIRE PARTY has Displacer Beast cloaks. But you're encouraging this situation strongly by including a total failure chance.
Sorry, but I am pretty set on ability checks. One thing I HATE about 5E is the assumption that "heroes" can do things automatically ALL THE TIME (see the recent climbing an 80-foot tower thread for details ;) ).

You are not crafting something mundane, but something magical and there should always be a chance of failure IMO, at least for the untrained or poorly trained.

With DC 10s, the odds are not great most people who want to craft an item and take the necessary proficiencies will fail at all--worst case is a set-back. Notice, you have to fail the check by 5 or more for anything really serious to go wrong.

I do like @dave2008's suggestions for failures instead of just "ruining" the attempt and will probably work to develop things along those lines, but I will also probably increase the DCs for some items as well. shrug

Now I see you're using DC 10 to try and mitigate this a bit. That's cool but all it does is mean that there's a very small chance that the failure will happen, which doesn't really make it interesting or engaging, and I think removing it entirely and making the process more narrative (or about finding people with rare and specialized skills, and/or costing TIME instead, or money, or both on failure would be much more effective. The process itself is what makes it interesting, not any "failure chance".
Yes, that is why I settled on DC 10 for most of the stuff I've already done. 10 is "Easy" in 5E. And there is a consequence to failure--the materials are ruined, the enchantment doesn't hold, you performed the tanning wrong on such a difficult hide, etc.

In general, a PC trying to craft a cloak of displacement should be looking at +6 or better modifiers anyway, so with DC 10 success is certain if you do everything else. (FWIW, we house-rule a 1 ALWAYS fails, but I am not imposing that in this document.)

I don't see any actual upside to the checks existing. I think they're there because some people think everything has to involve checks, rather than because they serve a real purpose. Especially given there's a narrative way the cloak can get ruined too.
I think everything that has a significant consequence if you fail should have a check, yes. But I REALLY don't want to get into that type of discussion/debate again with anyone. I'm tired of it, personally. When I am done, and if I post this or offer it for sale, any DM or table can just ignore the checks if they want to play that way. For me, THAT is boring and not at all exciting nor challenging, both as a DM and player.

And as I said, I will certainly explore alternatives to total failure. :)

I like it. The only thing I would change would be to have tool proficiency negate the need for a DC check for tanning and weaving. Am I right in assuming both the tanning and the weaving processes take 10 days each?
Thanks, I am glad you like it. See above for my response on removing checks, LOL. ;)

The tanning/weaving/tailoring process takes 50 days less a "month". What is a month? In my game, yes, it is 30 days, but as that can vary from table to table, etc. the process's individual parts of not set, just the length of the entire thing.

Also, I'm sure this would get caught before publishing, but "pestil" should be "pestle," unless there is a difference between British and American spelling.
LOL, yeah, I don't bother spell checking stuff until I am done with it, but thanks for pointing it out! :)

I'm going to agree with pretty much everything @Ruin Explorer wrote about that @6ENow!, my initial thoughts were to suggest a sidebar somewhere talking about how alignments of the planes & various other fantasy treknobabble meant that ingredients tend to vary, but the "this is how one crafter made it" is probably a better tact.
Yes, this is the process my PC used in making her own in our 1-20th level game. I had to come up with it, and my DM approved it.

Thus, originally I was going to call it "Ferrlaun's Fabulous Folio For Fabricating Fantastic Fings" (not joking, btw) but decided on something simpler. :)

Ideally, in my dreams, as a published product this would me akin to Xanathar and Volo with comments by my PC concerning certain items, and each "recipe" would be from different creators.

Sigh... if only... :(

The skill checks don't really add anything though actually detract from the process.
As noted above, I have to disagree for a couple reasons:

1) The encourage interested players to have their character invest in tools and other proficiencies.
2) To my mind, crafting magical items should not EVER be a standard and automatic process. The system in XGtE is laughable IMO. I know 5E is supposed to be "simple", but seriously folks--give me a break!

To point #2, as I've mentioned above DMs/tables can ignore that part (if I ever distribute this) or make it so proficiency alone is sufficient.

Finally, to that point...

If they're not proficient, then I see a point to the checks, because they're trying to do something they don't really know how to.
In 5E this is a faulty assumption.

Lacking proficiency in 5E is more akin to lacking "special training", it does not mean a lack of knowledge or ability, just a lack of focus on that knowledge or ability. Your ability score, itself, includes training:

1614663150043.png

FWIW I am not saying I necessarily agree with this, just that is how 5E is supposed to work as I understand it. shrug

Now, that last part of the first sentence "overcome a challenge" is key and (for better or worse) subjective to every single DM. To me, the level of quality, the precise techniques in craftsmanship, etc. is challenging and the PC succeeds by making the check. If you view them as mundane and not a challenge, you would see no need for a check. There is nothing wrong with either way, IMO, and so I will err on the side of being inclusive for checks since it is easier for you to remove them than for others to add them.

Thanks for your feedback and suggestions. Whether I agree or not, they are always appreciated. :)

Especially this one...
If you are interested in putting it up on DMs Guild, you might try breaking it up into pieces instead of doing it all at once. So do A-F (or whatever) and put it up on the guild. Create some buzz and income to fund hiring people to help produce the rest. Then you release a compiled version at the end. Then a sequel that includes all the magic items that are not in the DMsGuild.
I'll have to give that some thought as I am well under way to a draft of the "first installment". :D
 

No, I don't mind (generally). ;)


No, it isn't standard, what I am working on is (quite literally) a "recipe" book for magic items. As every chef will make changes to create their own recipe, these are examples for the players who can either use it or try to come up with their own.


Sorry, but I am pretty set on ability checks. One thing I HATE about 5E is the assumption that "heroes" can do things automatically ALL THE TIME (see the recent climbing an 80-foot tower thread for details ;) ).

You are not crafting something mundane, but something magical and there should always be a chance of failure IMO, at least for the untrained or poorly trained.

With DC 10s, the odds are not great most people who want to craft an item and take the necessary proficiencies will fail at all--worst case is a set-back. Notice, you have to fail the check by 5 or more for anything really serious to go wrong.

I do like @dave2008's suggestions for failures instead of just "ruining" the attempt and will probably work to develop things along those lines, but I will also probably increase the DCs for some items as well. shrug


Yes, that is why I settled on DC 10 for most of the stuff I've already done. 10 is "Easy" in 5E. And there is a consequence to failure--the materials are ruined, the enchantment doesn't hold, you performed the tanning wrong on such a difficult hide, etc.

In general, a PC trying to craft a cloak of displacement should be looking at +6 or better modifiers anyway, so with DC 10 success is certain if you do everything else. (FWIW, we house-rule a 1 ALWAYS fails, but I am not imposing that in this document.)


I think everything that has a significant consequence if you fail should have a check, yes. But I REALLY don't want to get into that type of discussion/debate again with anyone. I'm tired of it, personally. When I am done, and if I post this or offer it for sale, any DM or table can just ignore the checks if they want to play that way. For me, THAT is boring and not at all exciting nor challenging, both as a DM and player.

And as I said, I will certainly explore alternatives to total failure. :)


Thanks, I am glad you like it. See above for my response on removing checks, LOL. ;)

The tanning/weaving/tailoring process takes 50 days less a "month". What is a month? In my game, yes, it is 30 days, but as that can vary from table to table, etc. the process's individual parts of not set, just the length of the entire thing.


LOL, yeah, I don't bother spell checking stuff until I am done with it, but thanks for pointing it out! :)


Yes, this is the process my PC used in making her own in our 1-20th level game. I had to come up with it, and my DM approved it.

Thus, originally I was going to call it "Ferrlaun's Fabulous Folio For Fabricating Fantastic Fings" (not joking, btw) but decided on something simpler. :)

Ideally, in my dreams, as a published product this would me akin to Xanathar and Volo with comments by my PC concerning certain items, and each "recipe" would be from different creators.

Sigh... if only... :(


As noted above, I have to disagree for a couple reasons:

1) The encourage interested players to have their character invest in tools and other proficiencies.
2) To my mind, crafting magical items should not EVER be a standard and automatic process. The system in XGtE is laughable IMO. I know 5E is supposed to be "simple", but seriously folks--give me a break!

To point #2, as I've mentioned above DMs/tables can ignore that part (if I ever distribute this) or make it so proficiency alone is sufficient.

Finally, to that point...


In 5E this is a faulty assumption.

Lacking proficiency in 5E is more akin to lacking "special training", it does not mean a lack of knowledge or ability, just a lack of focus on that knowledge or ability. Your ability score, itself, includes training:

View attachment 133552
FWIW I am not saying I necessarily agree with this, just that is how 5E is supposed to work as I understand it. shrug

Now, that last part of the first sentence "overcome a challenge" is key and (for better or worse) subjective to every single DM. To me, the level of quality, the precise techniques in craftsmanship, etc. is challenging and the PC succeeds by making the check. If you view them as mundane and not a challenge, you would see no need for a check. There is nothing wrong with either way, IMO, and so I will err on the side of being inclusive for checks since it is easier for you to remove them than for others to add them.

Thanks for your feedback and suggestions. Whether I agree or not, they are always appreciated. :)

Especially this one...

I'll have to give that some thought as I am well under way to a draft of the "first installment". :D
I get your approach but it doesn't add "challenge" as a matter of demonstrable fact, just a small amount of suspense/drama. Still, maybe that suspense is worth it. I'd say be very careful if you increase the DCs because 5E has very limited mitigation. Advantage is easy to get, but that, Proficiency and the Stat mod are all you can get (well possibly also Guidance if you allowed it, and possibly Expertise but it's incredibly unlikely with these skills, as few classes have access to it and Feats cannot be assumed). With no other bonuses available, no "double advantage" and so on, 5E does not reward thorough preparation or higher effort in the way previous editions did. This is a double edged sword because in practice it massively speeds the game up, both by simplifying DCs and bonus calculations, and preventing people scrabbling for bonuses and looking through table to see what else they can do and so on, but it also means in situations like this, where the PCs would want to spend a lot more effort, they cannot. So if you simply bump the DC by 5 and add in the anti ruin rules suggested, you've made the situation objectively worse for the PCs, not better, because there is literally nothing they can do beyond the what they could before, their chance of it being ruined is actually exactly the same (if following the suggestion) and now there's also a chance of a lot of extra time and money also being needed. So to be clear adding that in and upping the DC by 5 is not "compensating" for a "benefit". It's actually adding an extra penalty whilst retaining the same chance of total failure. Obviously there may be items where you feel that is a good approach but please bear in mind the DC math means this is never a gain for the PCs if the DC goes up.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
I get your approach but it doesn't add "challenge" as a matter of demonstrable fact, just a small amount of suspense/drama. Still, maybe that suspense is worth it. I'd say be very careful if you increase the DCs because 5E has very limited mitigation. Advantage is easy to get, but that, Proficiency and the Stat mod are all you can get (well possibly also Guidance if you allowed it, and possibly Expertise but it's incredibly unlikely with these skills, as few classes have access to it and Feats cannot be assumed). With no other bonuses available, no "double advantage" and so on, 5E does not reward thorough preparation or higher effort in the way previous editions did. This is a double edged sword because in practice it massively speeds the game up, both by simplifying DCs and bonus calculations, and preventing people scrabbling for bonuses and looking through table to see what else they can do and so on, but it also means in situations like this, where the PCs would want to spend a lot more effort, they cannot. So if you simply bump the DC by 5 and add in the anti ruin rules suggested, you've made the situation objectively worse for the PCs, not better, because there is literally nothing they can do beyond the what they could before, their chance of it being ruined is actually exactly the same (if following the suggestion) and now there's also a chance of a lot of extra time and money also being needed. So to be clear adding that in and upping the DC by 5 is not "compensating" for a "benefit". It's actually adding an extra penalty whilst retaining the same chance of total failure. Obviously there may be items where you feel that is a good approach but please bear in mind the DC math means this is never a gain for the PCs if the DC goes up.
Understand as a mathematician I take numbers into very serious consideration. Any PC who plans to create magic items should, IMO, naturally pick up the proficiencies in the skills and tools that will best increase their chances of success.

I can cook, but I am not a chef, and creating a magic items should be (again IMO) akin to creating a meal rarely tasted by people.

The text I am writing includes crafting rules for mundane and (to use the term) "mastercraft" items. Mundane items certainly shouldn't require a check under normal conditions, mastercraft might but maybe not.

As we've discussed, there are options besides "failure" such that could be set-backs and a DM could have failure indicate anything along that range.

Anyway, let's look at the Cloak as an example:
  • Wisdom (Survival) DC 10 to tan and prepare the hide. Proficiency in Leatherworker's Tools grants advantage.
  • Dexterity (Weaver's Tools) DC 10 to craft the cloak.
  • Intelligence (Arcana) DC 10 to get the nightly enchantments to hold during the month.
Three DC 10 checks with no modifier will be successful about 32% of the time. That means with all the ingredients and no real ability to mention, a PC could make the cloak roughly 1 in 3 times. With +4 modifiers, success is over 82% (pretty good). As soon as they are +5 or better, failure isn't possible using DC 10s.

DCs are based on the rarity of the item, and nothing says they have to go in leaps of 5 points. Currently I am using:

Common - DC 5
Uncommon - DC 8
Rare - DC 10
Very Rare - DC 12
Legendary - DC 15
Artifact/Relic - DC 20

Since "failure" (of whatever nature) only occur on rolls failing by 5, very few uncommon items will fail to be made, some rare, more very rare, etc.
 

Three DC 10 checks with no modifier will be successful about 32% of the time. That means with all the ingredients and no real ability to mention, a PC could make the cloak roughly 1 in 3 times. With +4 modifiers, success is over 82% (pretty good). As soon as they are +5 or better, failure isn't possible using DC 10s.
Quick question: as I understand things, with a +5 modifier, you'd have a 20% chance of failing a DC 10 check, or 4% chance of failing with advantage. You'd only auto-pass at a +9 mod (even with advantage). I assume I'm missing something?
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
Quick question: as I understand things, with a +5 modifier, you'd have a 20% chance of failing a DC 10 check, or 4% chance of failing with advantage. You'd only auto-pass at a +9 mod (even with advantage). I assume I'm missing something?
Yes, as I understand it, anyway.

You can fail a check, but that just means a set-back or lack of progress in 5E. The suggestion is 5 or more in most 5E literature:
1614704176057.png

Failing by 5 or more has more "dire" consequences in many of the adventures, etc. as well.

So, that is why the side-note indicates actual "failure" in the crafting process only occurs at a stage if the check fails by 5 or more. Other degrees of failure would be set-backs, complications, or lack of progress, but the process can continue and another check is allowed.

With that in mind, a DC 10 succeeds, and a modified roll of 5 or less would be required for "complete process failure", which if you have a +5 modifier, is impossible since a roll of 1 +5 would be a 6. In other words, you could face delays and complications, but you'll eventually succeed if you work through them and keep trying.

Hopefully that clears it up.
 

Yes, as I understand it, anyway.

You can fail a check, but that just means a set-back or lack of progress in 5E. The suggestion is 5 or more in most 5E literature:
View attachment 133583
Failing by 5 or more has more "dire" consequences in many of the adventures, etc. as well.

So, that is why the side-note indicates actual "failure" in the crafting process only occurs at a stage if the check fails by 5 or more. Other degrees of failure would be set-backs, complications, or lack of progress, but the process can continue and another check is allowed.

With that in mind, a DC 10 succeeds, and a modified roll of 5 or less would be required for "complete process failure", which if you have a +5 modifier, is impossible since a roll of 1 +5 would be a 6. In other words, you could face delays and complications, but you'll eventually succeed if you work through them and keep trying.

Hopefully that clears it up.
Yes, that answers the question.

I guess I'm on the boat of: "failure" as "the whole thing is ruined" is probably an anti-fun result. I do like the idea of complications, flaws, etc more than "you don't make it" or even "it costs extra." But a thorough book would cover that sort of thing, so I'm sure you're already there.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
Yes, that answers the question.

I guess I'm on the boat of: "failure" as "the whole thing is ruined" is probably an anti-fun result. I do like the idea of complications, flaws, etc more than "you don't make it" or even "it costs extra." But a thorough book would cover that sort of thing, so I'm sure you're already there.
I'm glad it cleared it up.

I am in the boat that ultimate failure should be possible, but if you have a reasonable modifier (+5 or better, which isn't hard IME for a PC that wants to do this thing), that chance should be very small. This is why we house-rule a natural 1 is that level of complete failure, but there are caveats to it. The work goes into more detail of course, and like everything using it is entirely optional, but I think it is better to include it and allow people to not use it then not have it included in the first place.

I'll give you an example with our critical fumble rule for attacks: If you roll a natural 1 and require a 2 or higher to hit, a critical fumble might occur. You make another roll against a DC 15. If that fails, you have a mishap (dropped weapon, etc.) and roll again. If the second DC 15 roll also fails, you have a disaster (weapon breaks, hit ally, etc.). This makes it so it isn't just a blanket 1 in 20 chance for bad things, and as your attack bonus increases, you are less and less likely to face a mishap or even a disaster since you are more likely to make subsequent rolls.

For some groups, the extra rolls might seem like a waste of time. For my tables, we like it. They are rare (only 1 in 20 to start), and most make the first check, but sometimes it runs the full course to a disaster! Yes, it can be humorous, but it can also lead to dramatic tension.

Recently in our Frostmaiden game, a dwarf rogue was attacking a deurgar. He rolled a nat 1, and failed both of the following checks. The result was narrated as: "You swing wildly as you scurry over the ogre zombie's corpse, trying to help your ally against the enlarged deurgar. Your footing gives way in the zombie ooze and you twist, falling backwards towards the pit!" The PC has to make a DEX save to catch the ledge and avoid falling into the pit. Regardless, he dropped he weapon while trying to catch himself and his axe went to the bottom of the pit 25 feet below. Unfortunately for him, he was able to retreive is when the deurgar grappled him and tossed him into the pit anyway. ;)
 

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