Like many of my variant rules, the crafting and mastercrafting systems came about because I thought the existing rules were, quite frankly, dumb. I mean, any mastercraft item, no matter how big, how valuable, or how hard to craft, is DC 20?? Come on - why would I bother making MW leather when I could do MW plate? Sure, it costs more, but if I can just take 10 and do it automatically, why not? With crafting time based on the item's cost, we end up with bizarre comparisons like the ball of iron vs. the ball of gold - equal size and construction, but since the latter costs 10 times more, it takes 10 times as long to make. *scratches head* …Yeah.

Anyway, when I was doing the crafting system, I cribbed some ideas from d20 Modern. In that game, items have flat crafting times and DCs; I added size and complexity modifiers to add more flexibility to the system, and loosely based the times on real-world figures (as best as I could find). This system tied in nicely with the variant materials (which was not my idea, but which I customized).

As for mastercrafting… yugh. Like I said, it needed to go. I got the base idea for this system (the 10 levels of craftsmanship) from an online game called Mystic Realms of Alhanzar. (I can't really call it an MMO, because only a hundred or so people play it, but that's technically what it is.) Armor and weapons in that game have 5 levels of enchantment/craftsmanship: well (+1), fine (+2), expert (+3), superb (+4), and perfect (+5). They're effectively magic items with bonuses, as per normal D&D; PCs can't create these items themsevles, and they can upgrade them, but they're noted as being items of superior craftsmanship, not actual magic items. Semantics aside, though, I took this and expanded it by another 5 levels, then added modifiers for each level, instead of flat DCs - a suit of finely-crafted platemail should be much harder to make than finely-crafted leather. With flat crafting times, I could also do a time multiplier.

The price modifiers were a bitch to get right, though; I didn't want to do a flat modifier like D&D, but a straight multiplier (my original idea) didn't work well either - a finely-crafted dagger, for instance, was only about 10 gp! It took quite awhile before I hit upon a new solution: a modifier AND a multiplier. Each item would get a flat modifier based on its size, and a multiplier based on its craftsmanship. Now mastercraft items were closer to where they should be, costwise, and making mastercraft items from variant materials really pushes the price up.

The artificing system came along some time later, when I was bored. I decided to incorporate magic item creation into the Craft system and ditch XP costs entirely. This one was fairly easy - I broke down rings, rods, and staves into minor, medium, and major as per wondrous items, then averaged the cost for all the items to come up with the crafting time and DC. The change to potions actually came from a PrC I co-wrote, the Herb Witch, which had the ability to brew batches of potions. The changes to scrolls were all my idea.
Armor, weapons, and all other bonus-granting items used the scaled multiplier system along with average price for each "step" to determine the DC and crafting times.

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