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    Dwarf in the Playground

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    Sep 2010

    Default Crafting Magic Items? Caster Level?

    Ok i have question? If i am an artificer, I know all the DCs i have to make to simulate the spells required for magic items, i got that. DC, time, and money I understand those concepts to build items. However my question is, lets say I am level 5 and for crafting purposes I can be +2 for my caster for crafting, so its CL 7 for crafting. Also at level 5 I get Magic Arms and Armor, but what i notice for some special abilities for magic weapons is this.


    Aura Moderate evocation; CL 10th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor and flame blade, flame strike, or fireball; Price +1 bonus.

    Upon command, a flaming weapon is sheathed in fire that deals an extra 1d6 points of fire damage on a successful hit. The fire does not harm the wielder. The effect remains until another command is given.
    So does this mean I have to have a Caster level 10 to put the Flaming ability on somebody's weapon? isn't that too long to wait for something like d6 fire damage? Maybe I'm overlooking something? Any explanation would be great, thanks.

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    Ogre in the Playground

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    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Crafting Magic Items? Caster Level?

    The Caster Level entry is the caster level you should assume a randomly generated example of that item should have. Caster Levels for items vary from being only necessary to remember for Disjunction checks to being necessary to remember for casting spells from them.

    If an item has a prerequisite of a specific caster level, then it will show a separate line that says, "creator must be caster level ___"

    Examples of this are the Cloak of Resistance, Golem Manuals, and Ioun Stones.


    It seems that Magical Weapons have slightly different rules for crafting.

    For Magical Weapons you have to satisfy the higher of the two Caster Levels listed on the description. That means that you do have to be CL 10 before you can create a +1 Flaming Weapon.

    It's further explained in the Making Magic Items (Part Four) article on the wotc website.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Magic Items (Part Four)
    rerequisites: To make a magic weapon, armor, or shield, you need the Craft Magic Arms and Armor item creation feat. (The feat itself has a caster level of 5th as a prerequisite.) The creator also must have a caster level at least three times the enhancement bonus of the weapon, armor, or shield. If the item has a special ability that is priced as an enhancement bonus increase (see the section on costs), that ability has its own caster level requirement (as shown in the description for the special ability), and the creator must meet the higher of the two caster level prerequisites. For example, to create a +2 longsword, a character must have a caster level of at least 6th. The keen weapon property has a caster level of 10th. To create a +2 keen longsword, a character must have a caster level of at least 10th, which is the higher of the two prerequisites. This item would be priced as a +3 magic weapon, but the caster level prerequisite is still 10th, not 9th (as it would be if the weapon's actual enhancement bonus was +3).
    Last edited by HunterOfJello; 2011-10-22 at 02:10 AM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
    missmvicious's Avatar

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    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Crafting Magic Items? Caster Level?

    I'm pretty sure that's true for crafting all magic items. You have to match the caster level on the magic item you're crafting in order to craft it.

    Being a magic items crafter can be more rewarding in the long haul than just taking the level advancements (particularly if you start off at a high enough level to cast 9th level spells), but it takes a while, and some cleverness, to get there, especially if you don't house-rule crafting.

    As a DM, I don't think I'd be breaking any rules if I allowed other magic users to help each other out with everything except a scroll. A higher level caster who didn't take the appropriate crafting feat could theoretically imbue the magical properties onto the weapon that a crafter wizard or artificer was making, but then you'd have to decide how the XP penalty was taken (do they share the XP penalty, or does only the spell-caster who imbued the weapon take the hit?) Also, the person casting the spell may want some financial compensation for the work since they will have to work with you for some time while you are crafting the magic item. Talk to your DM about that, though.

    I have a list of Wondrous items that can be made at level 3, and soon I'll make one for Magic Arms and Armor for level 5, if your interested.
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    Titan in the Playground
    tyckspoon's Avatar

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    Nov 2007

    Default Re: Crafting Magic Items? Caster Level?

    Quote Originally Posted by missmvicious View Post
    I'm pretty sure that's true for crafting all magic items. You have to match the caster level on the magic item you're crafting in order to craft it.
    Pretty sure this is a misconception caused by the unclear layout of the magic item entries. Check here- Note that it goes Aura type; Caster Level; Prereqs as a separate entry. And prereqs specifically says that if the item has a level requirement, it'll be mentioned in that Prereqs section. So in the format of, say, the Monk's Belt, we see:

    Moderate transmutation; CL 10th; Craft Wondrous Item, righteous might or transformation; Price 13,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

    First section: Strength and kind of Aura under Detect magic. Semicolon indicates a break to a new kind of information: Caster level of the item by default. Semicolon: New kind of information- Prerequisites. No Caster Level prerequisite here... so there isn't one. If you have Craft Wondrous, can cast Righteous Might, and can afford to spend 6500 GP and 520 XP, you can make a Monk's Belt.

    If you check, you'll notice that most weapon/armor properties also have no Caster Level requirement on them, and so the required CL to make an item will usually be determined by the base enhancement bonus. (The Rules of the Game article, in this instance, is the writer telling you how he plays it/what he *thought* they wrote in the rules instead of rigorously determining what the rules actually say. It's not an uncommon thing.)

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    Firbolg in the Playground
    Biffoniacus_Furiou's Avatar

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    Dec 2004

    Default Re: Crafting Magic Items? Caster Level?

    Check the DMG errata:
    Caster Level
    Dungeon Masterís Guide, page 215
    Problem: The last two sentences in the section on Caster
    Level are ambiguous and potentially misleading.
    Solution: Replace with this text: For other magic items, the
    caster level is determined by the creator. The minimum caster
    level is that which is needed to meet the prerequisites given.
    Look at a given magic item's last line, containing a wealth of information including its prerequisites. Each section is separated by a semicolon (;), and each section is completely independent of the others. I'll use your Flaming property as an example:

    Aura Moderate evocation; CL 10th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor and flame blade, flame strike, or fireball; Price +1 bonus.

    Aura Moderate evocation: This is what Detect Magic shows for its aura.

    CL 10th: This is the item's default caster level if found as treasure, it is only used for purposes of Dispel Magic targeted on the item, the item's saving throws, and other effects of Detect Magic and similar spells. Some items may have an effect based on its caster level, such as those which cast a spell like a Circlet of Blasting and items which grant a Nondetection effect.

    Craft Magic Arms and Armor and flame blade, flame strike, or fireball: This is the prerequisites, as stated above the minimum caster level is what's required to meet the prerequisites, which in this case would be 5th (Craft Arms and Armor and Fireball).

    Price +1 bonus: This is the item's price.

    The caster level given for an item is not included in its prerequisites. A few items do have a caster level prerequisite, which is listed along with the other prerequisites. An example of this is the Amulet of Natural Armor, the prerequisites have been italicized:
    "Faint transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, barkskin, creatorís caster level must be at least three times the amuletís bonus; Price 2,000 gp (+1), 8,000 gp (+2), 18,000 gp (+3), 32,000 gp (+4), or 50,000 gp (+5)."
    Note that if the item's default caster level was one of its prerequisites, players could use it instead of the bonus-based caster level requirement to craft amulets of +2 and higher sooner than was intended.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Crafting Magic Items? Caster Level?

    The few items that require a certain caster level will say so explicitly. The caster level given is merely the item's caster level when people use its spells, detect magic aura strength, etc. Spell storing, for example. The stuff that's together with the feat between the two ; are the requirements you need to worry about.

    +X items also have a caster level requirement given in the rules/entries for them.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2011-10-22 at 07:48 PM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Jan 2011
    Oolitic, IN

    Default Re: Crafting Magic Items? Caster Level?

    The only weapon property in the Dungeon Masters Guide that requires a specific caster level is the Spell Storing property. All other weapon properties in the DMG just require you to be able to meet the prerequisites.

    A flaming weapon could have a caster level as low as 3 (if made by a druid), or 5 (if made by a sorcerer or wizard). That is the minimum level required to cast the required spell (flame blade or fireball).

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