Saturday 12 December 2020

XGTE Making & Selling Magic Items

Adapted from here

Requirements (Not applicable to creating spell scrolls or brewing healing potions. See below):

  1. Formula. Just like in the DMG, a formula is needed.
  2. Materials. Exotic materials are required, like skin of a Yeti or a vial of water from a whirlpool in the Elemental Plane of Water. Finding these materials should take place as part of the adventure and in thematically-congruent locations. A Challenge Rating table for encounters where a character can acquire these materials is provided below.
  3. Gold Cost and Time Required. Just like in the DMG, there is a cost and time required associated with item rarity. However, this table differs significantly from the DMG because players are gathering materials by encountering creatures.
  4. Tool and Skills Proficiencies. Characters need to be proficient in any tools or skills appropriate for creating the item, such as Jeweler’s Tools and Arcana, for instance.
Researching an Item Formula
This requires suitable facilities such as access to a laboratory or research library. The costs cover research fees (at least 50gp/week) and materials used, plus a modest lifestyle. Payment in kind is possible, typically at a 50% markup over production cost. So eg you make a healing potion in 1 day at a cost to you of 25gp, the library will count that potion as 37.5gp towards research fees,
Letting you generate net 1 week of research fees for 4 days of crafting.

Common permanent item formula: 200gp & 2 weeks, or 100gp & 1 week for a Common consumable.
Uncommon permanent item formula: 2000gp & 10 weeks, or 1000gp and 5 weeks for an Uncommon consumable item.
Rare permanent item formula: 20,000gp & 25 weeks, Consumable 10,000gp and 12 weeks,
Very Rare permanent item formula: 100,000gp & 50 weeks, Consumable 50,000gp & 25 weeks.

Item Rarity Caster Level Standard Crafting Cost
Common 3 50gp
Uncommon 3 200gp
Rare 6 2,000gp
Rare - Superior 8 4,000gp
Very Rare 11 20,000gp
Very Rare - Superior 14 40,000gp
Legendary 17 100,000gp
Legendary - Superior 20 200,000gp
Item Rarity (min crafter level)Material CR RangeGP Cost*Work Weeks
Common (level 3)1-350-100 eg potion of climbing
Uncommon (level 3)4-8200-400 eg gauntlets of ogre power (19), ring of feather falling
Rare - Standard (level 6)
Rare - Superior (level 8)
2,000-4,000 eg Wand of Lightning Bolts, bracers of defense, necklace of fireballs, belt of hill giant strength (21), +1 armour, +2 weapon, Potion of Flying, +1 flaming weapon (d6 fire damage), mace of smiting, , Boots of Levitation 

4,000-8,000 eg Wand of Fireballs, +1 glamoured studded leather, +0 Flame Tongue (2d6 fire),  +0 Frost Brand, maul of smiting, +1 adamantine or mithral armour
Very Rare - Standard (level 11)
Very Rare - Superior (level 14)
20,000-40,000 eg +3 Weapon, belt of stone giant strength (23),+2 flaming weapon (d6 fire damage),  +1 Frost Brand, +1 Flame Tongue (2d6 fire), +2 armour, Ring of Invisibility, Broom of Flying, Wings of Flying, Cloak of the Bat, Winged Boots

40,000-80,000 eg +3 Dwarven Thrower hammer, belt of fire giant strength (25)
Legendary - Standard (level 17)
Legendary - Superior (level 20)


100,000-200,000 eg +3 Holy Avenger, belt of cloud giant strength (27), +3 flaming weapon (d6 fire damage), +2 Frost Brand,+2 Flame Tongue (2d6 fire), +3 armour, Carpet of Flying

200,000-400,000 eg Sphere of Annihilation, belt of storm giant strength (29),  +3 Flame Tongue (2d6 fire), +3 Frost Brand, +4 weapon, +4 shield

*Use the higher number where the special components are purchased rather than quested for.

Any magic item that is consumable may halve or quarter the cost and creation time required (such as a potion).

Formulas are 1 step higher in time & costs (but not minimum crafter level).

Item Rarity  Time to Research Formula: Cost to Research Formula

Common                       2 weeks:   200gp

Uncommon                 10 weeks:   2,000gp

Rare - Standard          25 weeks: 20,000gp

Rare - Superior           50 weeks: 40,000gp

Very Rare - Standard  50 weeks: 100,000gp

Very Rare - Superior 100 weeks: 200,000gp

Legendary - Standard 100 weeks: 200,000gp

Legendary - Superior 200 weeks: 400,000gp

Note that a “workweek” means you are working 5 days a week, 8 hours per day. These days don’t need to be consecutive.

Costs associated with creating the item cover other materials and tools required.

D6 Table for Crafting Challenges

  1. Rumors swirl that what you’re working on is unstable and a threat to the community.
  2. Your tools are stolen, forcing you to buy new ones.
  3. A local wizard shows keen interest in your work and insists on observing you.
  4. A powerful noble offers a hefty price for your work and is not interested in hearing no for an answer.
  5. A dwarf clan accuses you of stealing its secret lore to fuel your work.
  6. A competitor spreads rumors that your work is shoddy and prone to failure.

These challenges might involve a rival.

Crafting a Spell Scroll

A spell may be transferred by a spellcaster onto a scroll, creating a spell scroll. Pg. 133 of XGtE.


  1. Resources. Time and money are required for crafting a spell scroll. See the table below.
  2. Arcana Skill. Characters crafting spell scrolls must be proficient in the Arcana skill.
  3. Material Components. Material components required by the spell must be provided and potentially consumed (according to the spell) in order to create a spell scroll.
  4. Prepared Spell. The spell being transferred to the spell scroll must be prepared or among the character’s known spells in order to be scribed.

Spell Scroll Costs

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 Workweeks100,000 gp

Brewing Potions of Healing

Brewing healing potions has a separate set of requirement.

A character who is proficient with the herbalism kit can brew potions. Here are the other requirements:

Healing (level 1) 2d4+2 hp25 gp1 Day (1 Workweek at level 1-2)
Greater Healing (Uncommon, level 3) 4d4+4 hp100 gp1 Workweek
Superior Healing (Rare, level 6) 8d4+8 hp1,000 gp3 Workweeks
Supreme Healing (Very Rare, level 11) 10d4+20 hp10,000 gp4 Workweeks

Tool Proficiency Requirements

From here. Provided below are some examples of how tools may be used in creating magic items. For instance, a player who wishes to brew a potion may need proficiency in Alchemist’s Tools.

  • Smith’s tools: Armor, weapons, ammunition, metal gear and accessories
  • Weaver’s tools: Cloaks, capes, robes, cloth gear, bags, and accessories
  • Tinkerer’s tools: Trinkets, ammunition, clockwork
  • Leatherworker’s tools: Leather armor, leather gear, bags, boots
  • Jeweler’s tools: Rings, necklaces, gems, jeweled gear, amulets, gemcutting
  • Alchemist’s tools: Potions, elixirs
  • Cobbler’s tools: Boots
  • Glassblower’s tools: Glasswork
  • Herbalism kit: Antitoxin, potions
  • Poisoner’s kit: Poison, Antitoxin
  • Potter’s tools: Pottery, ceramics

Selling Magic Items

Resources. A character can find a buyer for one magic item by spending one workweek and 25 gp, which is used to spread word of the desired sale. A character must pick one item at a time to sell.

Resolution. A character who wants to sell an item must make a Charisma (Persuasion) check to determine what kind of offer comes in. The character can always opt not to sell, instead forfeiting the workweek of effort and trying again later. Use the Magic Item Base Prices and Magic Item Offer tables to determine the sale price.

Settlement Size  Item GP Limit

Thorp (20-80):          40gp

Hamlet (81-400):   100gp

Village (401-999):   200gp

Small Town (1,000-1,999): 800gp

Large Town (2,000-4,999): 3,000gp eg Ahyf, Carchimish

Small City (5,000-11,999): 15,000gp eg Hara

Large City (12,000-24,999): 40,000gp eg Ravensburg

Metropolis (25,000-99,999): 100,000gp eg Greyhawk, Heliogabalus

Large Metropolis (100,000-999,999): 200,000gp eg Waterdeep, Baghdad

Global Metropolis (1 million - 9.9 million): 400,000gp eg Imperial Rome, London

Megalopolis (10 million - 99 million) or Planar Metropolis: 800,000gp, eg The City of Brass

Super Megalopolis (100 million to 999 milion) 1.6 million gp

Hyper Megalopolis (1 billion to 9.9 billion) 3.2 million gp

World City (10 billion to 99 billion) 6.4 million gp, eg Trantor, Coruscant

Magic Item Base Prices

RarityBase Price*
Common100 gp
Uncommon400 gp
Rare - Superior
4,000 gp
Very rare
Very Rare - Superior
40,000 gp
80,000 gp
Legendary - Superior
200,000 gp
400,000 gp

*Halved for a consumable item like a potion or scroll

Magic Item Offer

Check TotalOffer
1–1050% of base price
11–20100% of base price
21+150% of base price

Complications. The main risk in selling a magic item lies in attracting thieves and anyone else who wants the item but doesn’t want to pay for it. Other folk might try to undermine a deal in order to bolster their own business or seek to discredit the character as a legitimate seller. Every workweek spent trying to sell an item brings a 10 percent chance of a complication, examples of which are on the Magic Item Sale Complications table.

Magic Item Sale Complications

1Your enemy secretly arranges to buy the item to use it against you.*
2A thieves’ guild, alerted to the sale, attempts to steal your item.*
3A foe circulates rumors that your item is a fake.*
4A sorcerer claims your item as a birthright and demands you hand it over.
5Your item’s previous owner, or surviving allies of the owner, vow to retake the item by force.
6The buyer is murdered before the sale is finalized.*

*Might involve a rival

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