Crafting a Magic Item

A character who has the time, the money, and the needed tools can use downtime to craft armor, weapons, clothing, or other kinds of nonmagical gear.

Prerequisites

Typically, only spellcasters may create magic items, although a few rare Master Craftsmen are able to imbue their creations with magic. More rarely, an item may be imbued with magic through the actions of its owner or being exposed to other sources of power. The rarer the magic item, the more experience the caster needs to craft it. A common item requires a 3rd level caster to craft, while a legendary item requires a 17th level spellcaster.

Prerequisites

Rarity Required Casting Level Formula GP Cost
Common 3rd 100 gp
Uncommon 3rd 500 gp
Rare 6th 2,500 gp
Very Rare 11th 10,000 gp
Legendary 17th 75,000 gp

In addition, the spellcaster must have the formula for crafting the item. Each formula is unique, so acquiring the formula for a ring of protection does not allow a crafter to create a cloak of protection, even though the enchantments are very similar. The only exception are basic magical weapons, ammunition, armor and shields. A Weapon +2 requires a higher-level caster, spells, and reagents than a Weapon +1, but the formula is the same.

The formula for a magic item follows the template below.

Name
Type, Rarity:
Item Cost:
Required Level:
Prerequisites:
Possible Reagents:

Materials

The formula for a magic item will include the materials needed to craft the item. Most items can be crafted by a caster with one or more specific spells. Some items require the use of reagents, often acquired through adventuring. If the caster doesn’t have the spells required to create the item, they may substitute those spells with additional reagents.

For example, a bag of holding is usually created using Leomund’s Secret Chest. If a cleric attempts to craft a bag of holding, they might use the ectoplasm of a ghost, or threads from a phase spider’s webbing as reagents in place of the actual spell. The reagents always have some metaphorical connection with the enchantment.

In general, a “Basic Tier A” (see below) item generally only requires the correct spell, or one reagent in place of the correct spell. A Tier B item will often require the correct spell in addition to a reagent, while a Tier C item may require several reagents.

This reagent can range from the skin of a yeti to a vial of water taken from a whirlpool on the Elemental Plane of Water. Finding that reagent should take place as part of an adventure.

The Magic Item Ingredients table suggests the challenge rating of a creature that the characters need to face to acquire the reagent for an item. Note that facing a creature does not necessarily mean that the characters must collect items from its corpse. Rather, the creature might guard a location or a resource that the characters need access to.

House Rules – Magic Item Values

Every rarity of Magic Items is broken up into three tiers. Tier 1 items are considered easy to craft, basic items and are generally the least powerful of items based on their rarity. Tier B items usually have more exotic enchantments, and do more than basic items. Tier C items are the stranger items for a rarity, with multiple or unusual abilities and are often the toughest to craft. A spellcaster who wants to know the value of a specific magic item may either use the downtime “Research” action or may make an arcana check to determine the value.

Tier Common Uncommon Rare Very Rare Legendary
Permanent Item A 100 500 2,500 10,000 75,000
Permanent Item B 150 1,000 5,000 25,000 125,000
Permanent Item C na 1,500 7,500 50,000 250,000
Tier Common Uncommon Rare Very Rare Legendary
Consumable A 50 100 500 2,000 5,000
Consumable B 75 200 1,000 3,000 7,500
Consumable C na 300 1,500 4,500 10,000
RAW (for comparison) Common Uncommon Rare Very Rare Legendary
RAW – Level 3rd 3rd 6th 11th 17th
RAW – Cost 100 500 5000 50,000 500,000
RAW – Xanathar’s 2 50 gp 200 gp 2,000 gp 20,000 gp 100,000 gp

2 – Xanathar’s says to halve the listed price for consumable items.

Example of Tiers

To provide an example of the tiers, let’s look at Uncommon Weapons. A Weapon +2 is a “Tier A” uncommon item, a Mace of Disruption is a Tier B item, while Swords of Wounding and Flame Blades are Tier C Items

Crafting Time – Applies to both Magical and Mundane Items

The time needed to craft an item is dependent on the base value or selling cost of the item, magical or mundane. More expensive items may not necessarily take more time to craft, but may require more expensive materials.

When crafting an item which has a value of less than 250 gp, progress is made in 25 gp increments per day.

When crafting an item which has a base price between 250 gp and 1,000 gp, progress is made in 50 gp increments per day.

When crafting an item which has a base price between 1,001 gp and 5,000 gp, progress is made in 100 gp increments per day.

When crafting anything with a base price between 5,001 gp and 50,000 gp, progress is made in 250 gp increments per day.

When crafting any item with a base price over 50,000 gp, progress is made in 500 gp increments a day.

Multiple characters can combine their efforts. Divide the time needed to create an item by the number of characters working on it. Use your judgment when determining how many characters can collaborate on an item. A particularly tiny item, like a ring, might allow only one or two workers, whereas a large, complex item might allow four or more workers.

A character needs to be proficient with the tools needed to craft an item and have access to the appropriate equipment. Everyone who collaborates needs to have the appropriate tool proficiency.

Resolution

If all the above requirements are met, the result of the process is an item of the desired sort. A character can sell an item crafted in this way at its listed price.

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Crafting a Magic Item

Tales of the Bloodstone Lands Autumnfyr