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Crafting System Playtest

A robust mundane and magical equipment crafting system for D&D 5e. Playtest!

These rules help Game Masters and Players bring more depth to crafting magical and mundane items in D&D 5e. Their intent is to strike a balance between more complex homebrew systems and the crafting rules presented in the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.

The problem with other crafting systems, be them homebrew or third party, is that they often delve too deep to be practical to implement at a table. Massive lists of ingredients put a burden on both players and GMs, who must populate the world and continuously track amounts in order to achieve the intended verisimilitude. This design methodology goes counter to the more streamlined, simple-but-effective ideology behind much of 5th Edition.

On the other hand, the official Wizards of the Coast materials are equally problematic in their lack of complexity. They provide guidelines for item creation that require gold and time, but do not account for a crafter’s individual skill or luck. They also suffer from moving too slowly in the case of the DMG rules, resulting in any sufficiently complex or powerful work of craftsmanship taking months if not years to create; an amount of time that is not congruent with the typical way in which the game is played. The Xanathar’s rules improve on this, but still do not allow for player characters specializing in craft (expertise and/or Artificers) to truly stand apart.

These rules attempt to balance these two ends of the spectrum by…

  • Providing a rules-lite approach to ingredients that is directly aligned with the items one would craft with them.

  • Preserving the baseline “it takes this much time to craft this sort of item” rules of the WotC products, but with timelines that better fit the pacing of typical campaigns.

  • Allowing for characters that want to emphasize crafting to excel through the use of dice rolls.

This content is an early playtest. You are encouraged to download and leave your feedback so that a future release can be more polished and in-line with the desires of you, the folks playing the game!

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