Magic Item Creation Rules 5E D&D


Magic Item Rarity Chart and Crafting Time

Rarity Cost Time Min Level
Common 100 GP 4 Days 1
Uncommon 500 GP 20 Days 3
Rare 5,000 GP 200 Days 6
Very Rare 50,000 GP 2000 Days 11

* Divide all of these component values by 4 for any consumable items such as scrolls or potions.  E.G. A Common Potion of Healing will cost 25 GP of components to craft.

** Divide these time and component values by 2 when reducing an item into residuum. An uncommon item takes 10 days to reduce and produces 250gp of residuum.

***There are rumours of spellcasters who are able to craft items beyond even these levels although they would need to possess god like power.

Magic items are incredibly rare within the world. This is in part due to their difficulty in crafting and the natural tendency for those with them to horde, bury and protect them as well as the Spell Plague which destroyed huge swathes of magical items that existed in the world. Even relatively uncommon items are highly prized family heirlooms owned by only the wealthy and few and the rarest can often only be found out in the world of adventure.

The magic of the Weave is like energy, it cannot be created or destroyed simply manipulated.

Spellcasters with knowledge proficiency in Arcana can craft magic items from formulas they know. This process takes 20 days for an uncommon item  (See Chart) and requires 500 GP worth of residue. Higher rarirty items cost more.  Formulas will often call for a specific component item(s), if these  components are provided you do not need to pay a residuum cost.

When a magic item is crafted the formula is consumed with it and cannot be used again. However it is possible to discover the same magic item formula again, although its likely the components will be different.

Some magic item formulas will also call for additional mandatory conditions such as crafting the item in a certain location or at a certain time of the day or year.  In addition any item that calls for a specific spell, such as a Wand of Magic Missiles requiring the Magic Missile Spell, has to be crafted by a character who can cast that spell and will need to consume any components that spell would normally consume and use up the respective spell slot the spell would consume. Components and Spell slots consumed in this way are consumed for every day the item is being crafted.

Magic item crafters need a safe, quiet and personal area to create their items as well as a set of Magic Item Crafting Tools  (50gp), proficiency in Arcana is sufficient to use these tools.  It is assumed that they work 8 hours per day and can maintain a 1gp modest lifestyle without having to pay the cost of this. If a crafter is seriously interrupted while crafting, for example by an attack by hostile enemies or a natural disaster such as an earthquake or violent storm, they must succeed on a concentration check (DC 10 for uncommon, 15 for rare and 20 for very rare) when they resume crafting or lose all of their progress on item and any components used.  This check must also occur on the same day as the event that prompted the interruption or all their progress and the components used are lost.

Up to two additional crafters can aid in the creation of an item. They require proficiency in Arcana or the respective tool proficiencies. They also need to be the minimum level to craft the item themselves.  However they do not need to be able to cast any spells that the item may require. For example a Wizard and a Cleric without Magic Missile prepared may aid a Wizard in the crafting of a Wand of Magic Missile as long as she, the Primary Crafter, has such knowledge.  The first additional crafter halves the time and the second halves the time again. For example an uncommon 500GP item crafted by 2 casters will take 10 days to make and 3 casters will reduce this to 5 days. The minimum is always 1 day.

Item formulas are highly prized and spellcasters interested in the crafting of magical items keep all of their formulas in a unique magical tome, often protected by magic itself, similar to that of a Wizard’s Spellbook. If you obtain a Formula Tome you can scribe them into your own as the Wizards Spellbook.

Spellcasters with proficiency in Arcana can obtain a Formula Tome at level 3 that contains a number of randomly determined uncommon formulas equal to their intelligence modifier ( min 1).   These represent the Formulas they have managed to obtain through experimentation and investigation.  In addition they will gain 1 further random formulas determined by the DM per level beyond this. At 6th level they will obtain one rare formula and at 11th level one very rare formula.

Magical residue is equally rare as magic items themselves the only way to obtain it is via the destruction of a magical item into its component parts , again a lengthy process in of itself which takes 10 days for an uncommon item and produces half as much residuum as the item costs.  (See Chart).  Potions, Scrolls and any other consumable cannot be broken down into residue, although they can be created with residue.

Spell Forges, the now near mythical creations of Dwarves, Wizards and Gnomes, are able to vastly accelerate the time in which magic items are crafted dividing  the amount of time by 20 (see chart) An Uncommon Item would therefore take 1 day to create, a rare 10 days and so on .  However they are thought to have all been destroyed either via ravagement or the SpellPlague.

Trade of magic items is incredibly rare in the world as a result of these factors. Merchants that choose to do so are certainly doing so for motives beyond simple monetary gain as it is simply not that efficient as the practice , not to mention dangerous, and is often either banned outright forcing sellers onto the black market or heavily taxed and regulated due to those in power wishing to control such a potentially powerful source within their cities or kingdoms.

Most sales that do exist are usually at discrete auctions, similar to those of  where the sellers, clientele and the final price of an item are chaotic and unpredictable. None the less savvy adventurers who find themselves in cities big enough to support such practice may be able to use such underground channels to procure magical items for themselves or sell ones they have obtained.

Scribing Scrolls

Scribing a Scroll requires proficiency in Arcana OR Calligraphers Tools and levels in any spellcasting class.

Scribing a scroll takes 2 hours if its  price in components is 250 gp or less, otherwise scribing a scroll takes 1 day for each 250 gp of its price in components.

A character can only scribe a spell they have prepared for the day in one of their spell slots and it is expended when they scribe the scroll. It will also be of the power level of that spell slot.

Components to scribe scrolls are easier to obtain in the  market place than the rare magical residuum needed to craft magic items and can generally be bought in the market place although some rarer components may need to be found elsewhere.

Scrolls need to be prepared in a safe place and if they are violently interrupted the caster must make a DC 10+ the level of the spell check or lose the scroll.

Scrolls cannot be reduced to residuum, only magical items can be.

A character can be aided by up to two characters in the scribing of a scroll as with magic items.  This reduces the time by half for the first character helping and then half again for the second.  All must have proficiency in Arcana or Calligraphy Tools but do not need to know the spell being scribed.

  • A Scroll of a Cantrip or 1st level spell is  common and costs 25 gp to craft.
  • A Scrolls of a 2nd or 3rd level spell is uncommon and cost 125 gp to craft.
  • A Scrolls of a 4th or 5th level spells is rare and costs 1250 gp to craft
  • A Scroll of 6th, 7th or 8th level is Very Rare and costs 12,500 gp to craft.

A spellcaster can take an action to cast any scroll that contains a spell on their classes spell list. If the spell is of a level higher than the spellcaster would be able to cast they must succeed on a DC 10+ the level of the spell Arcana check or lose the scroll and suffer a spell scroll mishap.

Brewing Potions

Brewing a potion requires proficiency in Alchemist Tools.

Potions are crafted from formulas. A potion  can be used only once.

You do not need to have levels in a spellcasting class to brew potions as long as you have the respective skill proficiencies.

Brewing a potion takes 2 hours if its price in components is 250 gp or less(Common or Uncommon), otherwise brewing a potion takes 1 day for each 250 gp of its price in components. So a rare potion has a base price of 5000 gp, a component price of 1250 ( divide by 4) and therefore takes 5 days to craft.

Potion Formulas are contained in your formula tome.  All brewers at level 1  know the formulas for  the Common Healing Potions and Potion of Climbing.  These cost 25 GP in components to craft.

Potions like magic items need a safe place to brew free from interruptions and a concentration check (DC 10) is needed if a brewer is violently interrupted.

The various components to brew potions, frogs legs, bats dung, sheeps hearts etc, are easier to obtain in the  marketplace than the rare magical residuum needed to craft magic item and can generally be bought in the marketplace although some rarer components may need to be found elsewhere. You divide the values in the chart above by 4 to determine how much a potion costs to craft.

If you wish however you can use residuum to craft magic potions.

A character can be aided by up to two characters in the crafting of a potion as with magic items.  This reduces the time by half for the first character and then half again for the second.  All must have proficiency in Arcana or Alchemist Tools.

Potion Formulas are obtained in the same manner as Magic Item formulas in either scribing them from another Formula book into your own, or discovering them as you adventure. At level 1 you learn 2 common formulas , a healing potion and climbing potion, at level 3 you learn 1 uncommon formula randomly determined and continue to learn one every level.  At level 6 you learn 1 rare formula and at level 11 1 very rare formula.

Potion formulas are not consumed when used.

Potions equally come in the same rarity values of Common, Uncommon, Rare and Very Rare, they cost half as much gold in components to create as noted in the chart and cannot be reduced to residuum.


Poison crafting requires proficiency with a poisoners kit.

Poisons follow the same rules for brewing potions except you need proficiency with a poisoner’s kit to do so. A poison crafter writes down poison formulas in their formula tome in the same manner and learns one new formula per level.  Prices for poison also fluctuate more and tend to be less than potions. Poison formulas are not consumed when used.



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