View Full Version : Dm's: Druid Item Creation Abstraction?

2009-09-06, 09:18 PM
(FYI: I play 3.5)

When a wizard creates a magic item, the cost of creation abstracts as necessary rare components which the creator must purchase. In my campaigns there are specialty shops which charge outrageous prices for salamander pancreas or murderer's thumbs or whatever. Similarly, Clerics must spend a lot of money on the necessary devotions and rituals involved in imbuing an item with the power of their ethos. It's a little harder with Bards, but in 12 years of DMing it hasn't come up yet; I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

But what about Druids? One of my party members is a Druid whose character is built (more or less) around item creation. So what the heck do I tell her when she asks me exactly what the 500 gp she spends to create her mask of wisdom +1 buys? It doesn't make any sense to me that a Druid would have to go SHOPPING IN TOWN for the components needed to create a wondrous item.

Does anyone know how to abstract this?

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-09-06, 09:20 PM
Rare herbs and minerals.

2009-09-06, 09:30 PM
What Pharaoh's Fist said. Anything rare and nature-oriented.

Have the items be sold at a conveniently located druid's grove/enclave, a hunter's outpost, a witch-doctor's hut, etc. if you don't want the druid to have to buy them in a normal city.

The Neoclassic
2009-09-06, 09:35 PM
Also, extraplanar nature-related items (celestial apples, angel eyelashes, one of the vines that climbs the Tower of Pain on Abyssal Layer #981, whatever) could have good fluff and justify high prices.

2009-09-06, 10:40 PM
Not a bad suggestion, but... I mean, Druids are fairly rare in this campaign. I'm not sure how much Druish infrastructure I want to shoehorn in. Any other ideas?

2009-09-06, 10:56 PM
Make it in hidden druid covens, instead of in cities. Have it be carefully tended mosses and purified waters that druids have been tending to for centuries, requiring a donation for their acquisition. It's not like you need many druids for this to be possible. Just one truly ancient one that turned himself into a tree or something.

2009-09-06, 10:59 PM
Have her trade XP instead of gold.

Gold, after all, is a metal, and for some dumbass reason, druids consider metals 'unnatural'.

2009-09-06, 11:03 PM
Rare materials is a good starting point. You might also consider the value of labor in preparing the materials; in a previous group where I had a crafting Druid my DM let me make Craft or Profession checks to put together materials for new items. Usually I would make daily checks as though I were trying to make money, but instead count directly towards the cost of my materials. Occasionally, I would get circumstance bonuses or help from other crafting-types (one of the melee types took ranks in smithing for flavor purposes) which made it a pretty good deal overall. It wasn't just free money, though, as I would have to intentionally refrain from certain group activities (like goofing off in-town on our downtime.)

2009-09-06, 11:08 PM
Not only is this material expensive and rare, it's also hard to get to. Say, there is a sacred grove, situated in the middle of Antimagic Mountain. The Druid needs to buy supplies, bribe some border guards, hire some guides and trek up that mountain, and then get back with the single tiny blade of grass he needs. The making of the item isn't what takes time, this is.

2009-09-07, 07:07 AM
Or the druid needs to make sacrifices to powerful spirits of nature, such as a special nymph, or a big white talking stag to gain the sacred special materials needed to create the item.

Wait, the big white talking stag told me that's just moving the same problem to another area... :smallconfused:

2009-09-07, 10:05 AM
Have her trade XP instead of gold.

Go the IK Druids way and trade someone elses XP instead

2009-09-07, 12:56 PM
Common herbs can be rare (and therefore precious/expensive) because of the circumstances under which they were collected. A dandelion plucked under a blue moon, or spider silk collected during the first spring rain.

If you don't want to create a druid infrastructure, then you could have an herbal-themed witch with a stockpile of these things. She could want gold, gems, quarts crystals, or non-herbal items (troll pancreas or something.) Of course, her demands could also be plot hooks.

2009-09-07, 01:48 PM
To be perfectly honest, if my DM said I need side quests just to use my feats, I'd slap him then go play everquest, because frankly, I may as well.

2009-09-07, 01:56 PM
You can have him buy rare materials without needing a "druidic infrastructure."

Just something like an exotic fruit from another continent, whose juice is vital. Or perhaps the hair of an albino wolf, and the only one in the area is the animal companion of a protective ranger, who would be willing to part with a tuft for an exorbiant price. Stuff like that.

Gold doesn't have to equal "magic item shop." It really depends on how much effort you want to put into the fluff- many players would be satisfied with "You buy some rare vines and exotic woods," and then get back to the main plot.