Crafting Questions: When to do it and What to make?

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Crafting Questions: When to do it and What to make?

Postby Dave Mongoose » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:57 pm

I picked up the game last week and I'm loving it so far. After a few false starts my current party is around level 10 and things are starting to get a bit more complicated so I'm looking at the crafting feats. From what I've read on this forum and others, crafting and enchanting equipment is really useful so I've given one of my knights the forging feat and my wizard has the enchanting feat, but I'm not really sure what to make/when to make it: so far I've given my knights +1 weapons and armour, but not done much more than that.

I've picked up the tips that enchanted mithril leather armour and a mithril small shield make good armour for a wizard and that destruction is a good enchantment for weapons, but since my wizard is only level 9 he can only enchant things to +3 and there doesn't seem to be a discount for replacing that later (can you replace enchantments? e.g. +3 with +5?) so is it better to do it now and pay the cost again later?

It seems I might need various materials and enchantments to overcome monsters' damage resistances (cold iron for demons, axiomatic/anarchic for dragons), and there's considerations like whether it's better to have adamantine armour or the invulnerability enchantment... I love the complexity of the system but it has me slightly overwhelmed!

So I just thought I'd ask you experienced players how you make use of crafting:

What do you normally make, and when? Do you upgrade as you level or wait until you can make a big improvement? How do you balance getting the better enchantments against not falling too far behind in XP or overspending on one character's equipment at the expense of the others?
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Crafting Questions: When to do it and What to make?

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Re: Crafting Questions: When to do it and What to make?

Postby BlueSalamander » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:09 pm

destruction is a good enchantment for weapons
Yes it is. Blinding and Speed are very good too. Among the cheaper ones I like Shock and Holy. Flaming helps in a web. An adamantine shock weapon helps against iron golems.

can you replace enchantments? e.g. +3 with +5?
Yes you can improve from +3 to +5 by paying the cost of the additional enchantment points. The more enchantment points you add the more expensive they become. The total cost of adding Flaming then Speed is the same as for adding Speed then Flaming.

How do you balance getting the better enchantments against not falling too far behind in XP or overspending on one character's equipment at the expense of the others?
You could craft simple weapons like +1 holy early since the cost is low, and then make really expensive weapons when you're closer to the end.
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Re: Crafting Questions: When to do it and What to make?

Postby VentilatorOfDoom » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:10 pm

I usually craft wondrous items first. Boots of striding, so everyone has a larger movement range. Cloaks of Displacement on everyone (especially for the Wizard asap) for permanent 50% concealment. The +X stat stuff for better DC's for the casters and better AB for the meleers (INT and WIS and STR gear). As for armors and weapons I craft it as it becomes available. E.g. everyone gets decked out in +2 gear and later when my crafters can do +3 gear all the stuff gets upgraded. Typically the slaver town is very good for crafting. Lots of stuff to kill and loot so gold and XP aplenty.
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Re: Crafting Questions: When to do it and What to make?

Postby Dave Mongoose » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:20 pm

can you replace enchantments? e.g. +3 with +5?
Yes you can improve from +3 to +5 by paying the cost of the additional enchantment points. The more enchantment points you add the more expensive they become. The total cost of adding Flaming then Speed is the same as for adding Speed then Flaming.


Ahh, that's good to know :). I was worried that the order might make a difference or that improving the enhancement would cost the full amount. Is it possible/practical to have Destruction and Holy on the same weapon, for an extra 5d6 against evil creatures?

Blinding and Speed are very good too.


I was thinking I'd avoid speed because haste does the same thing, but it would free up my wizard to cast something else and it can't be dispelled. Same for blinding.

I usually craft wondrous items first.


I think perhaps I should have done the same. I've only found a few so far (a couple of cloaks and some bracers) and they've not really suited my party.
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Re: Crafting Questions: When to do it and What to make?

Postby BlueSalamander » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:55 pm

Is it possible/practical to have Destruction and Holy on the same weapon, for an extra 5d6 against evil creatures?
Yes you can do that. It's a +6 enchantment.
it would free up my wizard to cast something else and it can't be dispelled. Same for blinding.
Yes, you wouldn't need to cast Haste on your knight or to have him wait if he gets the initiative. Blinding has a high DC (and is applied on every hit) so it can work better than Glitterdust.
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Re: Crafting Questions: When to do it and What to make?

Postby Del_Duio » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:06 pm

I made a belt of strength +2 at first, then further enchanted a Holy Flail +1 to +2.
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Re: Crafting Questions: When to do it and What to make?

Postby nocker » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:06 pm

Can you upgrade rings and wondrous items? (like, upgrade a bracer of dex +2 to +4?)

I've found easily how to do this with armor and weapons, but I cannot find how to do it with the other items.
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Re: Crafting Questions: When to do it and What to make?

Postby BlueSalamander » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:05 pm

No you cannot do that, you can only sell the lower version and then make a new better one.
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Re: Crafting Questions: When to do it and What to make?

Postby nocker » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:04 pm

BlueSalamander wrote:No you cannot do that, you can only sell the lower version and then make a new better one.

Oh drat, time to sell those +4 ability enhancers :P Also, party tactic spoilers ahead, so don't read if you like to figure what are the killer moves by yourself.

Party is lvl 15 now (well, the casters are all lvl 14, the fighter is lvl 15), having finished the slaver town and the stone giants. Money is not a problem anymore, but then again I'm the crazy hoarder that goes through each loot pile and bring everything over 1k to be sold at town (this value keeps increasing as the party treasure keeps going) but the experience will suffer :P One funky side-effect this have is that the fighter will end up being at least one level higher than the item crafting spellcasters. I mean, he forges weapons and armor, but the costs are negligible for him. Since non-casters are supposedly weaker than spellcasters in d20, I guess this serves as a kind of balancer :P

One thing I'm thoroughly enjoying is to see that the same anti-dragon tactic my players used when I was DMing remains a killer here: Enervation Spam. In fact, this works wonders against any foe too strong to be dealt otherwise. I'm still to see if there will be fights vs. uber undeads or constructs that will force me to swap to the other tried and true tactic: Disintegrate Spam.

Also: The concept of Mithril leather armor is hilarious, and I yet love it. +5 mithril leather is +7 to armor AND frees the bracer slot for bracers of dexterity +6, for a total of +10 to AC. This becomes even better because the other options for wizard armor slot seems to be "none", making this a kind of no-brainer. I'm a bit sad that I spent a feat on one of my wizards for "light armor proficiency" because I didn't know about mithril leather goodness and was hoping for the traditional friend of fighting wizards: mithril chain shirt.
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Re: Crafting Questions: When to do it and What to make?

Postby VentilatorOfDoom » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:23 pm

Then you will love mithril light shields +5 for another +6 to AC plus other enchantments (spell resistance?, fortification?) on the shield. You can't hold a weapon then though because you need one hand free for casting.
Eh, I think together with Foresight you can have like 40 AC. Plus displacement/improved invis. It could be better if there was a source of natural AC.
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