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This is my first time as a DM of D&D 4e. I have a character playing a paladin with a blacksmithing background. This player has played a years-long campaign with other friends. He's been looking for materials to craft weapons for his teammates.

He says he can craft anything. For example, a gem from a magical helm was broken thus making it less effective. My player said that he could fix it. Looking through his character sheet, I see nothing that mentions that ability.

Are there limitations on what he can craft? Like it must be his level or lower? Can he craft at all in D&D 4e? Would it be a skill check or it just happens?

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I can't give a full answer right now, however: DnD 4e has no crafting skills, it does have a ritual for repair and a ritual for item enchantment (which would require far more interaction with you than "I repair this"), and your player has plenty of limitations and cannot simply say "I repair this". That is unless you as a DM want to say he can, because you can do that if you want. –  doppelgreener Nov 19 '13 at 8:04
    
Seriously, though, if you're at all interested in actually doing things outside of combat, you really want to be looking into systems other than 4e. 4e does have some rules and mechanics for non-combat activity, but it seems to be very much designed as a combat system first, with non-combat stuff half-baked and tacked on. –  Matthew Najmon Nov 20 '13 at 23:43

2 Answers 2

Characters with the Enchant Magic Item ritual or the Alchemist feat may craft items of the associated type of their level or lower, although the cost to do so is equal to the normal cost to buy the item. The advantage of the feat/ritual is in flexibility, as you can craft things on-the-fly instead of needing to plan ahead.

For example: You could buy a Flameburst Crossbow +2 for 3,400 gold. But then you end up in a Lava Golem's lair and feel all kinds of silly when you could use Enchant Magic Item before entering the lair to make a Frost Crossbow +2, pay the same gold, and be ready to tackle your enemy's weakness.

These can be improved by things such as the Mark of Making Dragonmark feat or the Master Crafter feat (and I believe the Artificer class also gains some benefit, which you could gain access to after chargen with a multiclass feat).

D&D 4e doesn't really have rules for "repair," but magic items don't really break except for story reasons, anyway, and by the time a character has any real skill at anything in 4e, nonmagical items are practically worthless to them. If a crafter-type character (esp. an Artificer) wants to repair a mundane item, I'd say let them do it, without even a roll1. If there's a broken magical item, fixing it ought to be a quest.2

As Exo Waltz points out, there are a few Martial Practices (DDI categorizes them as rituals) which can be used for crafting/repair:

  • Forge Armor: Creates a Magic Armor with no special enchantments, at the normal cost for the appropriate +N Magic Armor. If the enhancement bonus is high enough, the armor can be masterwork.
  • Forge Weapon: Creates a Magic Weapon with no special enchantments, at the normal cost for the appropriate +N Magic Weapon. By increasing the cost, the weapon can be silvered.
  • Master Artisan: Create mundane items, at the normal cost for the item.
  • Temporary Fix: Repair items as with Make Whole at the cost of a healing surge, but the item returns to its damaged state after 24 hours.

  1. That said, I wouldn't let them repair stuff in the middle of an encounter. Have them repair stuff during a rest or downtime.
  2. There is the Make Whole ritual, which can repair any item which fits within a 10ft cube, although you must pay 20% of the item's cost to use the ritual.

In Summary

REPAIR: The Make Whole ritual can permanently repair an item (costing 20% of the item's value), and the Temporary Fix martial practice can temporarily repair an item (costing 1 healing surge).

CREATE MUNDANE: The Master Artisan martial practice can create mundane items (costing the item's value).

CREATE MAGIC: The Enchant Magic Item ritual, Forge Armor martial practice, and Forge Weapon martial practice can create magic items (costing the item's value). Enchant Magic Item may also resize magic armor (for free), or upgrade an existing magic item (costing the difference between the upgraded and original item's value).

CREATE ALCHEMICAL: The Alchemist feat can create alchemical items (costing the item's value).

IMPROVE CRAFTING: Some feats will improve a character's crafting abilities, such as Mark of Making (Enchant/Alchemist as though you're +2 levels), Master Mixer (Alchemist as though you're +3 levels), Creation Mastery (Enchant/Alchemist as though you're +2 levels, cast rituals faster), Dungeon Enchanter (Enchant faster), Pupil of the All-Father (Enchant as though you're +4 levels, 1/day Make Whole for free if cost <100). There are probably others.

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for broken magical items, Make Whole, works but is...rather expensive. –  wax eagle Nov 19 '13 at 15:37
    
@waxeagle, Thanks, I'd forgotten about that ritual. Added a footnote about it. –  Brian S Nov 19 '13 at 15:52
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when you could use Enchant Magic Item before entering the lair to make a Frost Crossbow +2, pay the same gold — this depends on how your group interprets "component cost." Our group, for example, do not interpret it literally as turning X GP into a magical item on the spot; the component cost actually has to be spent, ahead of time, on the components required for the ritual. These components are determined by adventure flavour, and may lead to interesting diversions. Not every group does this though. –  detly Nov 20 '13 at 1:28
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@detly, RAW, that's not really required, but I see it as a reasonable house rule. Even so, you can buy 3,400g worth of "Ritual Components" instead of a 3,400g weapon, and turn those components into the appropriate weapon when needed. It's merely an example, but I hope it illustrates the purpose of 4e crafting despite no cost reduction. –  Brian S Nov 20 '13 at 3:33
    
@BrianS - I see what you're saying, but I'm not so sure it really counts as a house rule so much as a G/N/S playing style difference. For example, a healing potion costs 50gp, but you can't just buy one at the bottom of a dungeon. But then a G-type group might just say "well, let's pretend you went back to the town, got the potion, had a sandwich, and came back to meet your pals...". –  detly Nov 20 '13 at 5:12

There are a few Martial Practices that can give you access to these skills, they do require training in Athletics I believe. These 'Practice's' allow you to repair/create a set of magic armor/weapon +X (the X being dependent on your Lv, component cost, skill and D20 - I believe)

For flavor - or until he gets the practice, I would have the player carry a smithing hammer around and require that he build a makeshift forge (1d4+1 = x hours to prepare a makeshift furnace and then have him roll to calculate the material use (lower = most costly)

Some of these thing you just have to roll with until you find it in black and white.

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@Ellesedil you are right the are there martial practices which I had never heard of or used, despite playing for years. Almost all are published in martial power 2 and a feat (Practiced Study) is required to get it. –  Joshua Aslan Smith Nov 19 '13 at 21:53
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@JoshuaAslanSmith, Training in a ritual's associated skill is not generally a prerequisite to learn the ritual (although if the ritual has a roll, training helps in succeeding at it!), and DDI appears to categorize the martial practices as rituals. I don't have MP2 on me at the moment, so if that book says otherwise then it would be good info, but I don't think Athletics training is necessary. (Practiced Study merely requires being a Martial class) –  Brian S Nov 20 '13 at 22:38

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