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D&D 3E
Splitting the GP cost AND XP cost...? 
3rd-Jul-2007 01:14 pm
Zoon
One of my players is a wizard... He was really reluctant to get any item creation feats because of the xp expenditure... Is it plausable for the group to sacrifice xp for the creation of magic items...?
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3rd-Jul-2007 03:25 am (UTC)
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20050118a :

"A Completely Unofficial Rule: Cooperative Item Creation
...
If players in your game are avid magic item creators, you might want to experiment with shared XP costs.
...
If you have the kind of campaign in which some of your players pester the others to make magic items for them, you might want to allow any character to share the XP cost to make an item.
...
On the other hand, allowing evil spellcasters to force XP from unwilling victims might just add the right touch of nastiness to dark fantasy campaigns."
3rd-Jul-2007 06:16 am (UTC)
"...On the other hand, allowing evil spellcasters to force XP from unwilling victims might just add the right touch of nastiness to dark fantasy campaigns."

Ooh, I like!
3rd-Jul-2007 03:41 am (UTC)
If the game includes enough downtime for the wizard to craft to his heart's content, it's really strong. The crafter doesn't fall behind by much (and when he -is- behind a level, he gains extra XP, so he keeps up really well).

In return for being slightly behind sometimes, the wizard (and the party in general) gets the benefit of custom gear - at half price.

3rd-Jul-2007 11:51 am (UTC)
In order for the PC to be, say, 20,000 xp behind the rest of the party and thus more than a level behind, he would have to craft 500,000 gp worth of magic items, which would take him 500 days away from adventuring.

So, he's really going to work at it to stay noticeably behind the rest of the party, XP-wise, you're going to need to allow the party to rest for a month or so between adventures, and he's going to have a >huge< pile of magic items.
3rd-Jul-2007 01:37 pm (UTC)
Not so unreasonable in some campaigns. Didn't Frodo wait more than a year before leaving on his quest?
3rd-Jul-2007 01:59 pm (UTC)
And it's completely unworkable in others... if the GM sets up the campaign so there's a rough timeline, say, an approaching army or political change, or some impending apocalypse, then playing a character devoted to item crafting is going to be an exercise in frustration.. "Yay, look at the four feats and nineteen skill points I wasted..." before you even consider the xp & gold costs involved.
3rd-Jul-2007 01:10 pm (UTC)
XP cost isn't so big a burden, given that when you're behind in xp, you gain xp faster. Just tell the wizard to suck it up. Point out the facts, and let them decide. If they aren't taking crafting feats, they're going to take other wizard bonus feats.

Personally, I think taking some metamagic feats and some crafting feats is good, but I'd only use the metamagic feats when crafting. All wands are maximized and empowered, etc. Then my high-end damage comes from items, and my casting is more buff and crowd control.
3rd-Jul-2007 09:04 pm (UTC)
Meh, I'd just play a warlock with Use Magic Device maximized. But to each his own. :-)
3rd-Jul-2007 01:41 pm (UTC)
For the record, there was a PHB2 web enhancement which covered this. There was a spell, a feat and a magic item that would let you siphon off XP from other PCs for purposes of item creation only.

I personally support the person gaining the item having to pay the XP cost for it.
3rd-Jul-2007 01:57 pm (UTC)
There's some good suggestions here and they're right, but I have a couple of alternate rule suggestions if they just really hate the idea of losing experience. Personally, game balance issues aside, I always disliked the idea that creating magic items somehow makes a character less experienced, even if it's just a little.

1) Crafting magic items causes ability damage. This one would take some fine tuning as far as how much damage to cause to attributes. I'd recommend damage to Constitution and/or Intelligence/Wisdom/Charisma (depending on spell casting class.) The damage would heal normally, though you might have to make a rule that restoration spells won't help. I could try and detail all the specifics for you, but if you like this idea, you'd probably tailor them to your own game anyway. The purpose of this method is to control the flow of magic item creation, but it won't really work if you have a lot of downtime.

2) Give each player a second, spendable xp pool, maybe equal to about 10% of all earned xp. So, a character with 10,000 xp would have a spending pool of 1000xp, if he had not already spent any of it. You would just do this if you want to be extra nice to your players. The pool could be spent from to create magic items or pay for the xp penalty for resurrection, or casting spells with an xp cost. This would allow them to make several magic items as they adventure, but not so many that they might try some sort of money making scheme from it.

3) If you don't let players buy any magic items they want and can afford, so that they have to make most items if they really want a particular one, you could allow the caster another option when creating. Allow him to create items without spending xp, but still paying full base price or maybe 95% of base price (instead of half.) The rp reason is that he's using rarer, finer materials that prevent energy drain, I guess.
3rd-Jul-2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
I've only recently started getting into 3e, so maybe the answer's in the book somewhere, but is there an official reason for XP costs for item creation that makes sense from a game world perspective? (Game balance doesn't cut it for me; the PCs don't know they're just characters in a game!)

Anyway, my take: the first thing to do is figure out why there's an XP cost in the first place. If the reason is one that could reasonably be applied to an enchanter's assistants, then I'd say it's no problem at all.

Maybe one of the other PCs is also a spellcaster of some variety; why couldn't they assist in the enchantment process? Differing sources of power - arcane v.s. divine - might impede this, but otherwise this works well if the XP cost is due to investiture of personal energies in the item. (Caveat: if you go this route, there's nothing stopping NPCs from creating enchanting circles to do the same thing; magic items would become more prevalent as they become easier to make.)

Maybe another PC is a crafter, and the item requires some fine mundane workmanship to start? Get the warrior to forge his own sword, and the wizard just has to enchant it. This works if you argue that the XP loss is strictly due to skill atrophy. (Caveat: If lack of adventuring causes XP loss, then retired adventurers would eventually lose levels, unless they keep in good shape. Logical, but maybe disconcerting.)


Anyway.

If it were me, and were I to stick with the XP cost for item creation, the first thing I'd be doing is explaining what that XP cost really represents, and based on that, whether it's logical for others to be able to assist in the creation of items.

XP loss is due to investiture of personal energies? If the enchanter in question knows how to perform group rituals, he could involve other invested parties through ritual enchantment. This would be notably easier with magic-using classes, who already know how to channel magical energies, but anyone could help a little (i.e.: casters of the same nature (arcane/divine) should be able to contribute an equal share of XP, but casters of a different nature could only contribute a half-share, and non-casters would be limited to a quarter-share).

Just some thoughts... as GM, it's ultimately up to you.
3rd-Jul-2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
And this is why I shouldn't compose text in the browser; I forget when I've written a section. ><

Please ignore everything after "disconcerting", except for the very last line. Gah.
3rd-Jul-2007 06:59 pm (UTC) - it,s a slippery slope
to be honest the xp cost really keeps the game from being unbalanced. if the whole party can be decked out completely in magick items it becomes really hard th keep them challenged. plus a wizard with a ton of wands is allot more powerful punch for punch than one depending completely on his spells per day. so they take a penalty in xp for having a much bigger arsonal,better armor and all those nifty wonderouse items that boost there stats which they didnt earn thru xp once an entire 7th l party is covered from head to toe with magic items there usually as strong and a 9th or 10th l party. we were playing eberron for a while and my artificer when he could seep xp from other majik iems did nothing but build in down time and it got a bit retarded. our barbarian/frenzied berzerker was so overpowered that the entire party was constantly at risk and honestly it would have taken all of them to put him down if need be. and anything challenging for him in a fight would have slaughtered any other charictor in two rounds. as a dm it becomes a complete cluster f&*$. just think it thru before you start letting them go that high majik
3rd-Jul-2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
I think that's mostly the DM's call, but I'm pretty sure it's against the RAW. I'm playing a Death By Multiclassing cleric/sorcerer/couatl bloodline in a high-magic world where almost nobody knows how to make magic items anymore, and I took Brew Potion because we need to not be stuck voyaging to the big magic city AGAIN just because we ran out of CLW potions.

But in general, I would say take the metamagic feats or Spell Mastery or the new wizard bonus feats in the Complete Mage. I especially like the Sudden Metamagic feats in Complete Arcane--why everyone doesn't take Sudden Maximize, I'll never know. :-)
3rd-Jul-2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
What's the RAW? </newbmoment>
3rd-Jul-2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
Rules as written.
4th-Jul-2007 12:48 am (UTC)
Well, game balance or no, I find XP costs a stupid idea in the first place.
"Hey guys, check it out. I crafted the HELL out of this magic sword. My memory's become kind of fuzzy though, so I can't remember half of what I used to know.. Oh, and coincidentally I seem to have lost most of my ability to withstand pain, but isn't it a SHINY SWORD?"

But hey. This is D&D. Simplicity before Style, I accept that. Let's move on.

Anyway, my USEFUL answer? It's his character, so who's to tell him what feats he has to take? From my experience, people making demands of Wizards usually end up suddenly amphibian, char-broiled, or both.

If the rest of the party wants a trove of magical gear, let the cheap bastards buy it themselves.
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