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DnD 3.5 - Practical Guide to Crafting Magic Items


RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which tend to be more consistent than 3.5 handbooks. Because so little of 3.5 is available on the SRD, I will attempt to tag items with a superscript indicating their book of origin. For help identifying sourcebook abbreviations, see my Sourcebook Abbreviations Guide.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances
  • Green: Good options.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character.

It's important to note that I generally omit campaign-setting specific content. I am of the opinion that those options are intended to be limited to campaigns run in those settings, and as such they don't really apply to a generic campaign. Those options also tend to be wildly unbalanced and rarely recieve errata. I also omit the use of "Flaws" since they allow a massive increase in power with essentially no cost to the character.



  • Brew PotionPHB: Low level potions are cheap enough that you can just buy them, and you won't save nearly enough money to justify a feat.
  • Craft Magic Arms and ArmorPHB: In a typical part of 4 you will have 2-4 weapons, 0-2 shields, and 1-3 suits of armor. Saving a pile of money on upgrades means better AC and better damage output at less cost.
  • Craft RodPHB: If you like metamagic then metamagic rods are fantastic. Other rods also exist, but I can't say I've ever felt the need to use one.
  • Craft Rune CircleRoS: Rune Circles are for NPCs who stay in one place and don't go on adventures.
  • Craft Skull TalismanFb: All of the potential of a scroll, but the ease of use of a potion. Anyone can use a skull talisman (like a potion), but there is no limit on the level of the spell contained (like a scroll). Of course, skull talismans also cost twice as much as equivalent potions, so anything above the spell level cap on potions will be prohibitively expensive.
  • Craft StaffPHB: Staffs are hard. They're expensive, they burn charges very quickly, and the pre-designed staffs have a bunch of extra spells which you will never use. If your DM allows you to design custom staffs things get a bit better.
  • Craft WandPHB: You probably won't make more than two wands in your whole career unless you can cast Lesser Vigor and your party take an unusually large amount of damage.
  • Craft Wondrous ItemPHB: The kind of crafting feats. Every character uses wondrous items, and generally they use several of them which need frequent upgrades.
  • Forge RingPHB: Every character can use rings, but most characters won't have more than one, and they will very rarely go beyond a +1/+2 Ring of Protection.
  • Scribe ScrollPHB: Scrolls are nice for those low-level spells that you might need once in your whole career. Scrolls cost half as much as potions, so if you have someone in the party who can use them scrolls can be very useful. However, much like potions, you won't save enough money from Scribe Scroll to justify a feat. Wizards get Scribe Scroll for free, but many trade it in for an ACF.

Item Slots

Designing Cost-Optimal Items