View Full Version : Guide to item creation?

2007-01-13, 10:16 PM
Does anyone know any good guide to the creation of Wondrous Items? The DM guide helps a bit but leaves some gaps open. (I'm talking about coming up with prices for new items, not creating the ones already listed).

2007-01-13, 11:02 PM
From the wizards.com website. Not much specific help but maybe a start.

2007-01-13, 11:57 PM
Making a good magic item is 25% tables and charts and 75% ad hoc. The DMG oftentimes doesn't follow it's own rules on item creation, because there are so many exceptions to any rule. By the rules an item that grants continueous blur and an item that grants see invisibility would cost the same, but the blur item is way better.

No guide can help you properly make and price items in and of itself, in the long run the best way to figure out prices if for the DM to go "Do I want my players to have this item now, and how much percentage of their money should it cost them.

2007-01-14, 12:03 AM
Hm... Ok, thanks to both.
I like to make sure an item is balanced before throwing it out, but I guess the way is playtesting than.

2007-01-14, 12:12 AM
The DMG guidelines are broken, but by simply limiting them somewhat they can be largely fixed ...

Don't use continuous pricing for spells without true duration.
Don't use use activation at all for spell items.
Don't allow players to create AC/Save (other) bonus items.
Don't allow players to put too many abilities on a single item.
Don't allow players to use the skill/class/alignment restrictions.

With those caveats the DMG guidelines are pretty useable. Command word/continuous items will still be overpowered sometimes, but it will usually be because the spell in question is overpowered ... and in that case it's the spell which should be fixed IMO.

2007-01-14, 12:17 AM
What's wrong with a wonderious item that is use activated where use is "Throw it at some poor loser" and the effect is "cast Fireball"?

2007-01-14, 12:31 AM
What's wrong is that spells (such as fireball) are balanced with the assumption that they take a standard/swift action to cast ... when the action is reduced to a single attack that balance breaks down completely, since you can have many more attacks in a round than you can cast spells (I know there are items in the DMG which do this already, but just because it contains broken items doesn't mean we have to create more).

2007-01-14, 12:38 AM
Fireball in and of itself isn't all that broken to be able to be use-activated as fireball isn't that great of a spell as an item due to poor save DC(heck its not that great as a spell with high save DC), but imagine a use activated version of enervation or finger of death. Nasty.

2007-01-14, 12:39 AM
As long as you make it expended when used, I see no problem at all with a use-activated bead of Fireball. And, apparently, neither does WotC (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#necklaceofFireballs). Sure, you can throw as many as you have attacks, but if you want it to do significant damage it's going to cost a lot of money.

My main guideline for items of spells is no unlimited use of anything with instantaneous duration.

2007-01-14, 12:42 AM
One of the most important things to remember about D&D, just because WotC made it doesn't mean it's balanced and should be allowed in your game.

WotC makes just as much, if not more horribly unbalanced things as third-party/homebrewed sources do.

2007-01-14, 01:10 AM
A ray shooter of Enervation would certainly be powerful.

It would also cost more than a +5 equivalent weapon. That's quite a bit of money. A wand that does the same thing ('cept it would be one shot a turn) costs about half that.

Seriously, if someone wants to burn that much money on said item I don't see too much of a problem.

Besides, a Scorching Ray based Gnomish laser gun is just too awesome to pass up.