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The feat Magical Artisan (Player's Guide to Faerûn 41) in its description says, "You have mastered the method of creating a certain kind of magic item," and its benefit says, "Choose one item creation feat that you possess. When you make an item with that feat, you pay only 75% of the normal cost to create the item."

The item creation feat Extraordinary Artisan (Eberron Campaign Setting 53) that has as its benefit, "When determining the gold piece cost in raw materials you need to craft any item, reduce the base price by 25%."

Can a creature that takes the feat Magical Artisan pick the feat Extraordinary Artisan, therefore allowing the creature to realize the benefits of both the feat Magical Artisan and the feat Extraordinary Artisan for, essentially, any magic item the creature creates?


Note: This combination is suggested by the fan-made "Complete Cost Reduction Handbook" and on the Giant in the Playground forums like here but nonetheless strikes this DM as an overreach. That is, a creature never makes anything with the feat Extraordinary Artisan but with an item creation feat like Scribe Scroll. Further, a creature doesn't so much as make an item with the feat Extraordinary Artisan but simply sees a reduced cost because of it. Nonetheless, my players are adamant about this combination, citing the "Handbook" and messageboard posts as proof that this is a valid combination.

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This depends entirely on what it means to make an item “with” a particular item-creation feat. Extraordinary Artisan is classed as an item-creation feat, so you can choose it with Magical Artisan, and it’s a fair reading of Magical Artisan to say that “normal” here means “as it would be without this feat,” so when you make an item “with” Extraordinary Artisan, the benefit of Extraordinary and Magical Artisan would stack.1

The real question is, do you ever make an item “with” Extraordinary Artisan, and as I said, that comes down entirely what “with” means here. There is no external commentary on this feat or what that usage of “with” is intended to mean. It could mean that we are only talking about the feat that is required to make the item, or it could mean any item-creation feat involved in the process, which Extraordinary Artisan would be. This can really go either way.

That said, Magical Artisan is a feat from a Faerûn supplement, while Extraordinary Artisan is from an Eberron supplement. Magical Artisan was also published about three months before Extraordinary Artisan was, and it’s entirely possible that the Faerûn team had limited interaction with and awareness of the work going into the new Eberron campaign setting. Furthermore, as you point out, choosing Extraordinary Artisan effectively eliminates the entire point of picking an item-creation feat, since you could then go on to choose Extraordinary Artisan for every item you ever make. That seems very unlikely to have been an intended combination; if the authors intended that, they should have just eliminated the choice altogether.2

So while I think that from a rules-as-written perspective, you can make a case for Extraordinary Artisan working here (and wouldn’t bat an eye at it being used so in a theoretical-optimization exercise), I think there’s vanishingly little justification for expecting such a ruling in a real game. If a DM actually wants to allow it, he or she would be better off houseruling Magical Artisan to not be limited to a single feat in the first place.

  1. Note that if you have both Extraordinary Artisan and Magical Artisan choosing some other item-creation feat, you would absolutely benefit from both when using the chosen item-creation feat. This answer focuses specifically on the choice of Extraordinary Artisan, but I felt it important to note that there are ways to combine the two regardless of how one decides the issue of choosing Extraordinary Artisan itself.

  2. Monte Cook, of course, did make claims that Wizards of the Coast occasionally did intentionally put clearly-superior options into the game to reward system mastery. Personally, I consider that kind of dubious in general, and certainly don’t see any evidence that this is what took place here.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess one of my problems is understanding with as defined as a feat involved in the process. Once a creature has the feat Extraordinary Artisan, the creature has no choice in whether or not it applies: it just does. That is, I'm struggling to wrap my head around a creature making something with the feat instead of just making something then realizing O, hey, looky there, a discount from Extraordinary Artisan applies! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 7 '17 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I mean, I’m not really saying that the interpretation of “with” as just “being involved somehow” is necessarily the better or more likely one, just that the English language allows those words to have that meaning. But that interpretation isn’t mutually exclusive with “then realizing O, hey, looky there, a discount from Extraordinary Artisan applies!”—the interpretation would be even that much “with”-ness is sufficient for Magical Artisan. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Dec 7 '17 at 19:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ It just seems like the same thing as saying But I made it with monkeys! because, somewhere in the campaign, monkeys exist. Know what I mean? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 7 '17 at 20:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I think this is a little closer to claiming that you made it with monkeys because some monkeys were using aid another to improve your Craft check—“with” is a valid way to indicate that monkeys were involved, but unfortunately it’s a fairly vague/ambiguous term when the authors of Magical Artisan appear to have meant something pretty specific (i.e. it being the feat whose rules were used to determine how this item was created). \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Dec 7 '17 at 20:40
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Given that you haven't included a "RAW" tag...

The fluff text ("a certain kind of magic item") suggests pretty strongly that Magical Artisan is attempting to refer to feats like Craft Wand or Craft Wondrous Item. Any attempt to do otherwise is dependent on using RAW to the exclusion of all else.

Also worth noting that one of these is in a Forgotten Realms book, and the other is in an Eberron book. The sorts of campaigns I've been in tend to be book-limited by the actual setting of the campaign unless they're specifically intended to be a wild-and-crazy "hey, it's 3.5 and if you can make it work in RAW, go nuts" campaign. If it's one of those, then you can go ahead and embrace the cheese and let it happen, since for those games, embracing the cheese is what it's all about.

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