Saturday, August 29, 2015

Creating Magic Items in D&D 5th Edition

As I've mentioned in some recent posts, I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition with my gaming group, and we have absolutely loved it. Our group actually started together playing Pathfinder, and on the whole we've found D&D 5th edition to be superior in almost every way. But one thing I enjoyed in Pathfinder was some pretty detailed rules concerning crafting magic items. Granted, the way that system works, it's almost trivially easy for players to do this, but at least there are detailed rules to guide them. In comparison, in D&D 5th edition the rules for crafting magic items are paper-thin, and seem more tacked on than actually integrated with the system. Considering the sheer number and variety of magic items described in the Dungeon Master's Guide, this seems like a pretty major oversight.

Now that said, I actually like the removal of what one author termed the magic item economy, where it was trivially easy for characters to buy and sell magic items to their heart's content. Nevermind that even the average merchant would never be able to afford the tens of thousands of gold selling price, or would be hard pressed to ever find a buyer for said item. Making magic items rare and the ability to craft them a lost art certainly makes for a better default gaming experience.

Nonetheless, I still wanted crafting rules that would work within that framework. And since the current rules set doesn't include them, and since I couldn't find anything online that I liked, I had to create my own. Here's a sneak peek:

Given the default environment for 5th edition, most magic items are considered relics of a previous age that are generally beyond the knowledge of the typical magic practitioner to create. In fact, recipes for how to create even the most common of magic items (such as a potion of healing or a first level spell scroll) are still considered uncommon treasures valued at hundreds of gold pieces (DMG 141). As such, the creation of any magic item is a major accomplishment, and one that should not come about without a considerable investment of time and resources.

Step-By-Step Creation Overview
1. Acquire the formula for the magic item.
2. Acquire the components needed to create the magic item.
3. Meet all of the prerequisites for the magic item, including achieving minimum character level, preparing each spell that will be produced by the item, and acquiring all of the material components for not only the magic item but also for each of the spells.
4. Calculate the total creation cost, the time required, and the difficulty of the skill check at the end of the creation process.
5. Complete the creation process by spending the required costs and time, make an Arcana check against the appropriate difficulty, and determine your results.

If you are interested, I would love to have a few more people who are familiar with D&D 5th edition take a look at the whole document and give me some feedback. If that's you, feel free to drop me a line and let me know.

No comments:

Post a Comment