The Four Winds
Creating Magical Items
Basically I use the Craft items in exchange for the xp cost. If your willing to spend one of your precious few feats on a Craft feat, you shouldn’t have to pay xp too.
However to craft items you need access to libraries, alchemy labs, and rare ingredients. All of which are expensive. Most items need rare ingredients that must be found (like a wand of Lightning bolt may require the tongue of a grell or scale of a blue dragon, hide of a behir, etc.)
They are really handy feats for wizards who use their powers to make money. Usually low level casters decide that adventuring is dangerous and have a tendency to end up dead. So they pick something and specialize in it (wands, potions, scrolls, etc). They are great feats to take in a campaign that is slower pace with lots of downtime between adventures.
You need to be able to cast the spell that you are trying to replicate. This is much easier for Wizards or Clerics then for Sorcerers. Sorcerers are great but extremely limited by their own spell selection. Finally before I get into the the number crunching the below all come with examples. The below examples are for wizards though other classes use the same rules. However Clerics just need to be in a church holy to their god and Druids in a druidic grove. If it is holy enough for the item in question to be created is up to the DM but it doesn’t require a gold value. Also Clerics may substitute all Knowledge Arcane checks for Knowledge Religion and Druids may substitute for Survival. This is their choice. There is no substitution for Spellcraft checks.
Making Wands and other rechargeable items
As for the hard bareback rules it would work something like this. You want to make a wand of Fireballs. You take the Craft Wand feat. You have to research the wand first, that usually cost 100gp x level of the spell / day and takes 1 day/ level. Fireball is a third level spell. First you find a library that is willing to let you browse (not to hard in a big city usually) and spend three days paying a total of 900gp. Now you know how to make a wand
Then you need to buy ingredients. These cost 1000gp/ level of spell trying to replicate plus something special. So 3000gp for base ingredients. The special item various depending on what your trying to do. In this case something related to fire. Heart of a fire elemental, red dragons tongue, something like that. You could either buy that or adventure for it (depending on if the group needs an adventure at the moment or not).
Then you put those altogether and roll a knowledge arcane check DC 20 + level of spell so DC 23. If you succeed then you have created a wand with no charges, if you fail then you have wasted your time and have to start over (except for the research). A wand with 0 charges turns to dust so you would have to immediately put a charge into it. Cast Prestidigitation (there is no Enchant an Item spell anymore, so Pres does the trick). And cast as many fireball spells as you can while Prestidigitation is still active. Every cast you roll a DC 15 + level of the spell so DC18 spellcraft check.
So its Knowledge Arcane to build a wand, Spellcraft to fill it. Your not going to fill it in the first go so continue below.
Ok lets say you have a wand and want to recharge it. Again you need to have the Craft Wand feat. You take it to the lab (maybe paying a renters fee depending on how you are getting this lab) And it cost 100gp/level of spell in ingredients. So 300 gp. Using these ingredients you cast Prestidigitation, the wand is now ready to accept more charges. As long as Pres is active you can pour more charges into it, making the DC 18 spellcraft as before. You automatically know whether or not a casting was successfully absorbed. You do have to keep a count though because all wands fill at 100 charges, more then that and they go BOOM.
The normal houserules of a wizard being unable to memorize the same spell more then once are suspended for making items. They can even do what a sorcerer can and use a higher level spell slot with a lower spell. So in this example a 15th level wizard could spend all his spell slots of 3rd level and higher on Fireballs.
If that sounds confusing, read through it again. Now the good part. Creating a wand for the very first time equals 500xp x level of spell so that would be 1500xp the first time you make a wand of fireballs. Only 100xp x level after that so only 300xp for every wand you make after that (you dont have to research it anymore though).
Charging a wand pays 1xp x level for each successful charge. So if you make a wand of Fireball for the first time and fill it up with 100 charges that would be 1500xp + 300xp for a total of 1800xp. And considering that for the most part, you shouldn’t be in any danger.
It takes 1 hour +1 hour/level of the spell for each potion. So 1 hour for a 0 level potion and 4 hours for a 3rd level potion. It takes a Improved Brew Potion Feat and to be 12th level to be able to make potions above 3rd level. I am going to refer to alchemy as a capital A. So 10A = 10 gp worth of alchemy ingredients. They require a lab worth 200x the level of the spell.
10A= 0 level spell, 20A = 1st level, 50A = 2nd level, and 100A = 3rd level spell. With Improved Brew Potion 250A = 4th level spell and 500A for a 5th. This is the normal cost of alchemy compared to spell ratio. Unlike items, this only requires the person making the potion cast the correct spell. Doesn’t require any unusual ingredient.
Alchemy check is 15 + level of the spell being tried.
So a Detect Thoughts potion would require a lab worth 400gp. Then you need to spend 50gp worth of alchemy and spend 3 hours making the potion. Experience is given out at the end of the day so if this was the only potion made it comes out to 20xp. The alchemy check isn’t rolled until the potion is either Identified or drunk. Until you check you dont know if it is a success or failure.
Success or fail, because this is science and failure is always an option in science (quoting Mythbusters) you get XP either way. XP is 10xp/level of spell attempted. Zero level potions are worth 5xp.
Permanent Magical Items
Making permanent magical items is very similar to Wands. However more difficult and more expensive. The cost of research is 1/10th the price of the item. It takes 1 day per 100gp. Must have access to a library, sage, or other significant source of information.
Once enough information has been gathered, must collect twice as much Alchemy ingredients as the research cost. In addition must find a laboratory worth half the cost of the base item. Finally must find a rare ingredient specific to the item being made.
Once all this is done it takes an amount of time equal to the research time to attempt to make the item. Any significant interruption during this process will cause the countdown to start over.
At the end of the creation process the maker must succeed a knowledge arcane check DC 25 + all spells used in the creation of the item. And must succeed in Spellcraft checks with the same DC for every spell the item requires. Any failures on any of these checks results in a fail. If two of the checks result in a natural 1, then the item is cursed and caster must make a Knowledge Arcane check same DC to notice it.
If everything is successful then the item is created and Maker receives xp equal to the cost of research if it is their first successful time creating that item. If it isn’t the first time then they only receive 25%. Once they have created an item once they no longer have to research it and it only takes half the time to make.
For example, you want to create a Portable Hole. You need a Create Wonderous Item feat and be 12th level. This cost 20,000gp. Caster must spend 2000gp researching it for twenty days. After this time the caster has enough information to make an attempt. He will need 4000gp worth of alchemy ingrediants and find a lab that is worth at least 10,000gp to use. After he secures his lab and gathers his ingrediants he needs to find a specific item relating to Portable Holes. Probably a creature that can naturally plane shift or a rock from a planer unstable region.
Anyway after he has all this he spends the next 20 days uninterrupted in the lab making the item. Being interrupted restarts the process and is possibly dangerous (especially with an item like a portable hole!!) After 20 days have passed it is time for the big finale.
There is only one spell involved in the making of this item, Plane Shift, which is 7th for a wizard, 5th for a cleric. Lets say the guy is a wizard. So he needs to make a Knowledge Arcane and Spellcraft DC 32. The first one to make the base product, the second one to magically empower it. If both are successful then he has successfully created his first Portable Hole and he gains 2000xp.
From now on he doesnt have to research Portable Holes and it only takes him 10 days to make the item instead of twenty. The alchemy expenses remain the same and he still needs a rare ingrediant every time as well as a lab worth at least 10,000gp. And he will only get 500xp for every Portable Hole he makes after this one.
A second example with multiple spells.
If you were making an item with several spells like Mask of the Skull then you would add all the spell levels together and have to make a successful roll for each one of them. Need to have Create Wonderous Item and be 13th level. It cost 22,000gp. It requires Finger of Death Animate Objects and Fly. Which are 7th, 6th, and 3rd level spells respectivly.
You spend 2200gp for 22 days researching it. Then you gather 4400gp in alchemy, find a lab worth 11,000gp and a unique ingrediant (the skull of a powerful undead or necromancer or whatever). You get all this stuff and take it to the lab for 22 days. At the end you need to make a Knowledge Arcane and 3 Spellcraft checks all DC 41. If successful then recieve 2200xp.
So Much Power…..
Now if you have actually read all of that ………. man you got some free time on your hands. I actually wrote it down mostly for me. I want to make sure I use the same rule-set everytime and wanted it written down so I could refer to it. Odds are I will read it more then anyone else, but you are welcome to if you wish.
Now the more perceptive of you might notice that Wizards are getting a hell of a deal. Getting a good chunk of xp to create powerful magical items that you can sell or use? Wizards kick ass. Yes they do.
But before I have six wizards in the party, there is something you guys should know. Head on over to Wizards Learning Spells and know WHY wizards get such preferential treatment.