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Crafting Magic Items 5e

Crafting Magic Items 5e

The most significant element that DnD brought to the gaming world was the idea and use of magic. The original rules grew out of tabletop gaming which, in the mid-seventies, tended to be based on an accurate, historical re-enactment of real-world campaigns.

DnD took some of the concepts of that style of play and applied them to a character-based fantasy world, adding many heroic ideas, particularly magic. You could cast spells, use magic items, and encounter beasts with inherent magical skills. And before long, the rules were developed that allowed those with the required skill and knowledge to craft their magic items.

It was, and remains, an exciting and individual part of the game. Rather than waiting for fate to put magic items in the character’s path, such as in a creature’s horde or on the altar of a temple, it was now able to fashion items of its own choice.

Crafting a Magic Item

Although there are various ways of crafting different magic items, the character general has to meet the following criteria.

  • They will need the formula or magical blueprint that describes how to craft the magic item.
  • They must be spellcasters with the available spell slots and know how to cast the spells needed.
  • They must meet the minimum level dictated by the rarity of the item they intend to make.
  • They must have the requisite gold required for the materials and time in fashioning the item.

Once the character meets these thresholds, they may begin. Work will take 8 hours a day, and each day increases the item’s progress by 25 gold pieces. Once enough time has been put into an object to meet the crafting cost, the item is finished.

So an uncommon item that costs 100GPs to create would take four days of solid work. A legendary item costing 500,000GPs would take 20,000 days, equating to 55 years.

If the item being fashioned can cast a spell, then the character building will have to cast that spell with a free spell slot every workday and have the material components for that spell on hand for the process.

If the spell in question consumes the physical components, then the creation process consumes them daily. If the finished item only has the power to cast the spell once, the creation process will only consume them once. The cost of consumed material components is in addition to the creation cost of the item.

As always, many hands make light work. Every colleague who meets the criteria working alongside the character progresses the item by an additional 25GP per day.

Brewing Potions of Healing

Whilst the rules for creating a potion would follow the rules of any general magic item, as discussed above, the rules which govern the creation of healing potions are much more straightforward.

To create a healing potion, the character only needs to be proficient with the herbalism kit and then conform to the time and gold piece cost as dictated in the table below. 

TypeAmount of HealingTimeCost
Healing2d4+21 day25 gp
Greater Healing4d4+41 workweek100 gp
Superior Healing8d4+83 workweeks1,000 gp
Supreme Healing10d4+204 workweeks10,000 gp
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything page 130

How to Create a Spell Scroll

If a character can cast a spell, then a great way to access multiple versions of that spell is by creating scrolls. Think of this as a way of banking spells over and above the space available dictated by spell slots.

The following criteria must be met to create a spell scroll:

  • The spell in question must be one that the caster already knows. 
  • They must have and use any and all material components that the spell requires
  • They must have proficiency in Arcana
  • Spend a sufficient amount of creation time as dictated by the chart below.
  • Spend the amount of gold as dictated by the chart below.
Spell LevelTimeCost
Cantrip1 day15 gp
1st1 day25 gp
2nd3 days250 gp
3rd1 workweek500 gp
4th2 workweeks2,500 gp
5th4 workweeks5,000 gp
6th8 workweeks15,000 gp
7th16 workweeks25,000 gp
8th32 workweeks50,000 gp
9th48 workweeks250,000 gp
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything page 133

The rules also allow for various complications during the creation process, sort of a fumble roll in combat only for magical artificing. This can range from accidentally creating an item with different powers to angering a local wizard because you have bought up all the rare materials in the area. Sometimes, this can also have an unexpected benefit.

Have Patience When Crafting Magic Items in 5e DnD

Crafting even the most basic of items takes time. Building rarer artifacts can take lifetimes… or at least a large and expensive workforce. But, rather than waiting for a magical wand or a legendary sword to turn up whilst adventuring, you can build your own if you have the time, money, skills, magical prowess, available workforce, and luck.

But it’s always an option. And, after all, how do you think that magic items end up in dragon hordes in the first place? Because of a wizard, much like yourself, taking the time to craft the object of his desire.

Crafting Magic Items 5e DnD