Content of the article: "My player found a well put together Smithing / Crafting set of rules"
Recently a player of mine who has always loved the idea of being an adventuring blacksmith who fights strong and powerful monsters in order to acquire legendary materials and thus craft the greatest of swords came to me with a set of homebrew crafting rules he found online and he wanted me to have a look and tell him if they were any good and if so could I add it to my campaigns.
The rules are found right here https://dnd-5e-homebrew.tumblr.com/post/149930818981/expanded-blacksmithing-by-roflcopterswosh
I had a look and I realized that I actually really like these a lot, especially compared to how utterly awful the DMG & Xanathar were at handling these types of rules. The crafting point system is very flexible and able to be utilized with other things like crafting magical items (be them potions, weapons, cloaks, etc…) or even handling food in a way that the higher the gold cost of a given food (like for instance serving the meat of a dragon would be far more expensive than the meat of an owlbear) might grant a player more healing or temporary hit points or some other sort of benefit based entirely on what was used (like the meat of a dragon could grant you a temporary hp boost due to the essence of this legendary creature, or the eye of a beholder could grant you a temporary boost to your sight or intelligence).
The general idea for crafting is that depending on how much time you put into your current work, you gain an amount of attempts that you roll in. The classic example of an 8 hour work session awards you 3 rolling attempts and there's a small table that shows you what each roll gives you with a 10-14 being a single crafting potion has been acquired (so if you were to roll a 13, 14 & then 10 on your 3 attempts then you would have gotten 3 crafting points in that 8 hour work session). You then compare how many crafting points you have to how many crafting points a given item requires which is usually 1 to 2 crafting points for most weapons due to how cheap (relatively speaking) they are though this will raise depending on how costly (and thus complex) the item is.
Let's use the example of plate armor (1500 gp) which is a set of armor that grants you 18 AC and tends to be crafted directly for a given person. This set of armor costs 1500 gp in most shops and the rules state you require 80% of the total cost of an item (so it's more expensive than the normal rules which normally say u only require half, but you can make it faster so that makes up for it) so for now let's assume you have the neccesary material you need. If you check the site you'll see that you require 180 crafting points before a Plate Armor is finished, and you are a lvl 5 Dwarven Blacksmith perhaps a Battlemaster Fighter, or an Artificer or maybe even a fire spitting draconic monk that trained in the lowest circles of hell itself, whatever suits your fancy really, and thus you have +3 prof. And, say, a +3 to constitution. Your average roll would most likely be around 10 + 3 + 3 which means a 16 which is equivalent to 16 points in that chart so for now let's assume you always hit your average amount and work non-stop for 8 hours every week to make sure you have that plate armor finished before you decide to start that next dangerous adventure – this would make it so you get 30 crafting points every week (assuming the traditional 5 day work 2 day break) and thus you would require around 6 whole weeks (roughly speaking a month and 2 extra weeks more or less) of non-stop work to get that suit of plate fitted to you or to a given ally.
Pretty fast wouldn't you say, perhaps you'd think it is too fast? Well, let's now take a look at the in-world logic as to how this dwarven blacksmith managed to make a suit of plate armor in over a month. This is a level 5 player character which means he is essentially as good of a blacksmith as a fully trained noble knight is at fighting and as thus he is by no means as slow as a lvl 0 commoner blacksmith dwarf. However even in that scenario we were actually very nice to the dwarf as we assumed he never failed a single check (which is bound to happen, trust me) or had to deal with problems that stop his work and thus slow down the process more & more.
If we were to use the lvl 0 dwarven commoner as an example and he would be attempting to forge a plate armor, considering the average commoner statblock, he'd have a prof of +2 and a constitution modifier of 0 so his average roll would be 12 so if he were to work for the same 8 hours per week as our dwarven PC did then he'd require twice as much aka a whole 3 months to craft that plate armor assuming everything goes okay. Now then, doesn't that sound a bit more realistic? And indeed it is as this dwarven commoner is akin to an ordinary human from our world in terms of his smithing ability and thus has to deal with the same issues & slowdowns we did while the PC has a superhuman body, superhuman smithing capabilities and potentially even magic aiding them.
Some DMs would believe such a system is still very much unrealistic and that PCs shouldn't be able to do any of this. And that's fine of course, though do remember you are living in a fantasy world with magic, dragons and in some cases walking robots made out of robust armor and semi-organic material so worrying about ''realism'' is a bit silly in my opinion but of course, you are the DM of your table and these are homebrew rules and by no means official so you can stick to the fact your PCs are able to take down the battle avatar of the legendary dragon goddess tiamat but are not able to craft plate armor without 5 months of work.
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