Starting with Magic

For years now, I have been creating content and passing it around my circle of gamer friends. For almost half of that time, I have pondered how to produce my content for others to consume. I decided late last year that I would make it happen in 2018. When I managed to get a piece of work accepted into Wayfinder 18 (yay me!), I decided it was time to put up or shut up. I have a lot to discuss, so finding a place to start became a fun journey back through the content that I felt worthy enough to share.

I decided that, in the spirit of beginnings, I would discuss my love of cheap magic items that all players might be able to afford at or near the start of a campaign. As a GM, I frequently provide 1st level casters the option of paying the crafting price for one such item as a sort of graduation gift. As I was rereading my items and the crafting rules, I realized that not being able to craft items (most item creation feats require 3rd level or higher) was still likely to price the items out of a 1st level hero’s reach.

Looking at standard fantasy magical education, wizards in training are constantly learning to make things beyond scrolls and potions. Many apprentices are mere slaves, forced to work in the lab while assisting their master in all endeavors, including the gathering and preparing of components. As even bonded items involve crafting, I felt a mechanic that lets somebody learn to craft would provide players with greater opportunity to craft early on, within parameters that lets the GM maintain balance.

Thus, the Apprentice Crafter feat allows a PC to craft items under the supervision of an experienced crafter while Master Crafter represents just such an individual. PCs are still at the GMs mercy for finding a qualified NPC and it comes with the added cost of paying that NPC. These feats also simulate crafting in a classroom setting, finding and learning from hedge mages and witches, they create opportunities for joining academies, and they encourage the PC to maintain relationships with instructors after heading off on adventures. Note that an Apprentice Crafter doesn’t need to work with a Master Crafter and a Master Crafter doesn’t need to work with Apprentice Crafters.

Apprentice Crafter

You are learning to make magic items under the tutelage of an accomplished crafter.

Prereq: Caster Level 1

Benefit: With help, you are able to craft magic items that you are not yet powerful or experienced enough to create. By using the cooperative crafting rules, you and someone with the appropriate crafting feat can spend time crafting an item together.

You both must make a crafting check for the item to be completed successfully, but your DCs are as if you were crafting it alone, to include any modifiers for missing prerequisites. The cost to create an item with this feat is 75% of the item’s value, instead of 50%, to cover the primary crafter’s fee.

Special: This feat may be exchanged for any Item Creation feat you qualify for when gaining a level.

Master Crafter

You are an accomplished crafter, capable of working with multiple apprentices.

Prereq: Any Item Creation feat

Benefit: With years of practice and training, you are now able to use apprentices to work on multiple items while spending less personal time crafting. An apprentice is anyone with an appropriate Item Creation feat (including Apprentice Crafter) and a caster level lower than yours.

When crafting an item with an apprentice, you can make a check each day to spend less time with the item and apprentice that day. For every 5 you beat the DC by, you may let the apprentice work alone 1 hour. You must still spend a minimum of one hour with the item and apprentice to make progress that day.

At any given time, you may work with one apprentice for every two levels in your highest casting class. If you are working with them all in the same place at the same time on the same type of item, the time you spend there counts for each item and apprentice (not split between them).

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