View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Let's take a look at my crafting system!

2019-05-08, 04:42 PM
Before we get into it, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind.

The following features have been removed, changed or limited. More detail can be found in the player's package in my signature.

Skill were combined into 8 skills, and proficiencies from backgrounds are changed to "one skill, tool, language or crafting proficiency of your choice"
Injury is an effect applied with a critical hit. A minor injury lasts until the end of a short rest, and a major injury lasts until the end of a long rest.
I have a bunch of more interesting magic items, but I'm not gonna post them here, so this doesn't turn into a magic item thread instead of a crafting setup thread. I also have some minor magic items, focuses, holy symbols etc, but they are not the subject of this thread.
Some of the consumables don't do exactly what it's corresponding spell says. For example, Tenser's Floating shield uses the shield as the disk, spiritual weapon uses the weapon itself, and Purify Food and Drink words like a water purification tablet, to name a few. Most effects that require concentration don't require concentration, but the duration is limited to one minute.
I'm still adding recipes to the lists, but any suggestions are well-received.

Premise and Design Goals:

Goal 1: Give a full group of martials a chance to play around with some of the spell effects. They are new to 5e, but not new to TTRPGS, so I thought this would be a fun way to do it.
Goal 2: Give players something to spend their gold on, on a per-session basis. This is supported by my very well thought out and strict loot-per-session table. Player's are averaging out on 30gp per session over the first 20 session, starting low and increasing over time. This works well with the 5-25-40 pricing of consumables. This also implies that this system is primarly based around being balanced from levels one through six. After that, I'll probably have learned a ton via playtesting, so trying to think that far into the future is moooooooot.
Goal 3: Change the feel of magic items. Many people love the 5e magic items, while others like their magic items more "gamey".
Goal 4: Help me with my anxiety by giving me something I enjoy to focus on when stressed.
Goal 5: Have magic items come in as loot around lvl 3, and buy-or-craftable around level 6.
Goal 6: Allow players to create their own Magic Items (which I balance), instead of using a wish list.


Should I have crafting checks, to see if a player successfully crafts an item or not? NO-Breccia
What do you enjoy about crafting, in any RPG medium?
What are the "You should be able to do X" of crafting?

Crafting Proficiencies
There are six crafting proficiencies, each with their special features and list of recipes. Any feature that grants a skill or tool proficiency can be used to gain a crafting proficiency.

Weapon Oils

A character proficient with the artificerís tools has dabbled in both traditional crafting and magical crafting, and you must have the Spellcasting class feature to pick this proficiency.
An character proficient with artificerís tools can craft magic items in the form of wands, as per the crafting magic items rules. In addition, a character proficient with the artificerís tools can cast mending once during a short rest, and can craft Magic Stones during a long rest for 5gp.

A player with this proficiency is both proficient with the Medicine skill and the Healerís Kit. You can craft a healer's kit during a long rest for 5gp, and you know one uncommon recipe from the Medicís list of recipes. A player without proficiency with the healer's kit can only use it to stabilize a dying creature.

Healerís Kit
The healerís kit works as normal, and can be used to tend to a creature in one of the following ways. A creature that has been tended to must finish a short or a long rest before it can be tended to again.

As an action you can spend one use of a healerís kit to stabilize a dying creature.
As an action you can spend one use of a healer's kit to tend to a creature, the target can regain a number of d6 equal to half your level, rounded up.
During a short rest you can spend one use of a Healerís kit and attempt to lower the severity of a Major Injury to a Minor Injury by rolling a Medicine (int or wis) check against a DC 15.
During a short rest you can spend one use of a Healerís Kit to allow a creature to gain maximum results from any hit dice rolled to regain hit points.

Weapon oils
Weapon oils are used to coat a piece of weapon or equipment to give it a special effect. An oil is applied as a bonus action. You gain one common or uncommon recipe from the Weapon Oil list of recipes.

A character proficient with the poisonerís kit can, you guessed it, create poisons. Poisons works as normal (https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/Poisons#content), but I have yet to balance the whole thing in terms of rarity, pricing and effect. This is in addition to the custom crafting rules. A Poison is delivered as an action, but some poisons can be used to coat a weapon or an object as a bonus action. You gain one common or uncommon recipe from the Poison list of recipes.

Potions imbue the imbiber with a special effect. A potion is consumed as a Bonus Action. You gain one common or uncommon recipe from the Potion list of recipes.

A character proficient with the Smithís tools can create mundane and magical items. You can cast the Mending cantrip during a short rest, and you can craft mundane items during a long rest at half their market value.
To craft a magic item you need a rare ingredient. A rare ingredient might be a dragon's scale, a fire snake's tongue or a powerful magic gem. A craftsman only has some say in the magic effect of his crafted item, since it comes mostly from them rare ingredient. A tooth of a white dragon does not make a flaming sword, for example. The verisimilitude of Rare Ingredients is lacking. So a rare ingredient is only available when the DM explicitly announces it, and each source can only grant one rare ingredient.

Magic Item - 5 days, 150gp, half the item's mundane cost, and a rare ingredient.

Crafting Consumables
Each character's crafting is unique to his own. A wizard might create little gems, imbued with magic, that unleashes its effect when crushed. A Ranger might combine a sludge of herbs and leave it try dry to produce consumable pellets, and an alchemist might use all kinds of techniques to combine or extract chemicals to produce a magical liquid. Whatever your character's method is, you always require a crafting proficiency, materials and a workstation. You will also need a recipe or a mentor to make sure your item comes out as intended.
A crafted consumable retains its potency for 24 hours, and is then useless. You can craft multiple consumables at once, and roll a DC 10 Crafting check for each item to see whether you were successful. On a fail, the material components are wasted and the crafting unsuccessful. To learn a new formula, a player needs the item he wishes to learn to craft. He then spends time and wealth equal to twice the item's crafting values to experiment and learn its formula, given that he meets the requirements to craft the item. Doing so consumes the item.

Optional Rule: When a character gains a level he can roll a DC 10 ability check to determine whether he discovers a new recipe. You gain a bonus to the check equal to your proficiency bonus + the number of items you've crafted since you last gained a level. If you have not crafted any items you take a -5 penalty to the check.

Common - During a long rest, and 5gp
Uncommon - 1 day and 20gp
Rare - 3rd level character, 1 day and 40gp
Very Rare - 5th level character, 1 day and 80gp

Many consumables can be made more potent. As potency increases, its rarity increases with it. For example, an Uncommon Healing Potion allows its imbiber to regain 1d4+4 hit points, but a Rare Healing Potion has the increased potency of 2d4+4.

Spell Scrolls (https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/Spell%20Scroll#content)
Spell scrolls work as normal, except anyone with the spellcasting class feature can cast any scroll. If the spell is not from your spell list the DC is increased to 10 + twice the spellís level.
Crafting a spell scroll requires the Arcana skill as well as having the spell known or prepared, and uses the pricing shown above.

Recipe Lists
Uncommon Medicine Recipes

Minor Healing Potion (1d4+4)
Purify Food and Drink

Rare Medicine Recipes

Healing Potion (2d4+4)
Lesser Restoration

Very Rare Medicine Recipes

Greater Healing Potion (3d4+4)

Common Weapon Oils

Booming Blade
Greenflame Blade
True Strike

Uncommon Weapon Oils


Rare Weapon Oils

Magic Weapon
Spiritual Weapon

Common Poisons

Poison Spray

Uncommon Poisons

Fog Cloud
Inflict Wounds
Cause Fear
Charm Person
Dissonant Whisper
Tashaís Laughter

Common Potions

Blade Ward
Primal Savagery

Uncommon Potions

Shield of Faith
Protection from Evil and Good
Mage Armor
Beast Bond
Animal Friendship
Feather Fall
False Life
Expeditious Retreat
Disguise Self

Magic Items


+1 Weapon
Earth Tremor 1/LR
Searing Smite 1/LR
Thunderous Smite 1/LR
Wrathful Smite 1/LR
Hail of Thorns 1/LR
Ensnaring Strike 1/LR
Ice Knife 1/LR


+1 Armor
Disguise Self 1/SR
Resistance to 1 damage typ
Wildshape 1/LR
Absorb Elements 1/LR


+1 Shield
Color Spray 1/LR
Sanctuary 1/LR
Shield 1/LR
Arms of Hadar 1/LR
Tenser's Floating Shield 1/LR

Minor Wands
Contain a cantrip which can be cast at-will.

Major Wands
Contains a spell (usually conjuration and evocation). 4 charges a day, recharges at the end of a long rest.

2019-05-08, 04:52 PM
I promise I'll have more for you later, but this needs immediate attention:

Should I have crafting checks, to see if a player successfully crafts an item or not?


As a survivor of 1st Edition, I can tell you very few things are less fun than having a chance to succeed at a mandatory thing, such as "surviving raise dead being cast on you". Yes, that was a thing. Yes, it sucked. Don't get me started on psionics or wizard spellbooks.

I admit, in real life, if you try to, say, build a crossbow from a YouTube video, it might not work. Fair enough. But for the party to say "we need two +1 weapons, let's see if we can make them in XXX days with YYY cash before the Random Number Gods makes us fail" is something a D&D game simply doesn't need anymore. Even more so, if the roll is done in secret because the party doesn't know if it works.

"The mummy hits again, you're down another 11 and remember the curse prevents healing."
"Good thing we have that scroll of remove curse! I use it!"
"Um...now you are still down 11 hit points, but also have -4 to hit."
"By Demogorgon's twin eyerolls, this is the end of us!"

If you absolutely insist, for the sake of realism or atmosphere, I recommend instead having the time and/or materials capped in some way, such as "it takes 500gp + 1d6x100 gp to make the item". Otherwise the party could end up, due purely to bad luck, throwing away their time and money and having nothing to show for it. I instead recommend level limits.

2019-05-09, 01:47 AM
What do you enjoy about crafting, in any RPG medium?

Part of it, for me, is the collection aspect. There's a lot of games I like to 100% in the crafting department. However, a D&D campaign isn't necessarily the best place to have players hunt down all the recipes for all the potions. That's more of an open-world single-player thing.

However, more relevant to this topic anyhow, the ability to craft lets you customize your character more to your liking. From my own experience, D&D games I've been in have boiled down to three categories in terms of magic item availability:
1) Players can buy anything they want if they have the money.
2) Players can buy items from a select list.
3) Players can't buy any magic items at all.

Option #1 doesn't call for PCs to craft things. At best, it'd save them some money, and that's it. Not what you seem to be going for.

Option #2, set up by a good DM, ensures the PCs can at least have some bare necessities for events the DM knows is coming ("Oh look, fire resist potions for sale. Hmm.") and to let the party dump gold in exchange for a more level playing field ("Guys, the Ranger didn't get any items from the last 2 dungeons. We have a few thousand in party funds, enough for a bow +1"). Crafting increases these options.

Option #3 emphasizes the need for crafting, because without it, the PCs pray for random drops that happen to be what they want. Again, a good GM can make this happen. A store-bought adventure might not ("The party finds a glaive +1" "Terrific. The Druid, the Bard, the Ranger and the Sorcerer roll dice to see who has to waste their day selling it while the other three get drunk.")

Both Options #2 and #3 let the PCs have greater control over their environment and story -- the essence of a good RPG -- by choosing what they want/need the most, and making it happen, if they have crafting available. And, while crafting isn't everyone's pipe dream, having the tools needed to progress and prosper is. ("Another two wraiths fade through the wall." "Well, nobody has +1 weapons because none of our enemies had any, we don't have any radiant spells, and I just used my last force spell. I'll hold them off as you flee, then re-roll as a cleric. Gentlemen, it's been an honor.")

Crafting also presents more playing options. While spells are much more fluid now than before ("I'm down to resist fire, feather fall speak with animals and my 1d6 crossbow. If anything other than a meteor or honey badger attacks the party, I'll be in the corner being mostly useless.") there are still choices to be made. Knowing the party can keep, say, two scrolls of remove curse, cure disease, or water breathing at all times gives flexibility to choose other spells without dooming the party if the worst happens.

Plus, there's the satisfaction of providing the party with a useful service. ("Dammit, I hate having to burn all my spell slots on cure wounds because nobody has AC worth a damn. Just once, I want to fry something." "By the way, here's a superior healing potion for everyone in the party." "Well, would you look at the time? It's flame-strike-o-clock.")

What are the "You should be able to do X" of crafting?

I have to say, the 3rd Edition magic item crafting might be my favorite.
1) Everything was a Feat, and was further level limited.
2) You could make pretty much anything that mimicked your spells. For example, a sorcerer with fireball could make a flaming sword.
3) Some classes (wizard) got these as Bonus Feats, so they got extra utility without losing combat prowess. Everyone else had to want it enough to "burn" a Feat, true, but the payoff tended to be worth it.

#1 won't work in 5E. Feats are too rare and too valuable. I'm not 100% convinced your proficiency version is perfect, but it's a much better idea than feats or "everyone can make everything".

#2 still seems appropriate for things like wands, staves, and specialty weapons/armor. Potions or other "chemistry" might be a bit more open. This would level limit a fair number of things as well. A 1st level sorcerer can't make a wand of lightning bolts, for example.

I 100% would not allow anyone to make a scroll of a spell they don't have, no matter what the rules were for everything else.

#3 is also an option. Letting all wizards make scrolls seems valid, for example. I'd probably think about each class, and ask myself "Should they get any of these for free?" I'd be tempted, for example, to let Eldritch Knights make weapons or armor, their choice, at 9th level or something. Druids of a certain Circle might brew herbal potions.

Now, crafting does require limits. A 1st level PC making a vorpal sword is just ridiculous. Again, letting someone only make items that reflect their spells is a start, with "baseline" items like weapons/armor +1 and healing potions being special. But consider instead/also:
A) Some items require their creation instructions to be found -- a good "get out of jail free card" to play when a magic item doesn't mimic any spell. ("I want to make a dragon slayer longsword." "Terrific. Let me know when you get the dragon slaying spell." "Uh...what class gets that?" "Whatever Dirk the Daring was, I guess, I dunno.")
B) Arbitrary level requirements. Magic items already have tiers: common, uncommon, rare, etc. A tier at 1st, 6th, 11th and 16th would let them make a lot, while still keeping legendary items under your control.
C) Limiting reagents. I think you touched on this. A potion of healing could simply require a few herbs that most towns/cities have -- enough to buy a handful, at least -- but a morningstar +1 of lightning awesomeness might require a bronze dragon scale. And of course, wouldn't you know it, most people don't have those lying around.