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I get that a wand stores one spell, a staff several spells and a rod can have other effects attached to it. This makes you rather free in creating staves and wands, by which I mean that as long as you can pay for it and know the spells, the mechanics are quite straight forward, without having the DM to arbitrate.

How does that work with rods? What are the rules and limitations on rods? Can you only create rods that are mentioned in one of the books without having to discuss things with your DM too much?

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    \$\begingroup\$ RE: "Can you only create rods that are mentioned in one of the books without having to discuss things with your DM too much?" The italicized text is usually a warning sign. What rod did you want to craft? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 5 '18 at 12:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have nothing specific in mind right now. I'm the DM and after my players have avoided magic for some time, they are now getting into magic items. Knowing them I just want to get the mechanics straight for them, since I'm sure they will come up with something custom. \$\endgroup\$ – TheQ Sep 5 '18 at 13:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ O, okay. Cool. Keep in mind the DMG would have creating new magic items be as difficult as researching original spells. (See this answer.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 5 '18 at 13:47
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Printed rods can be crafted by anyone with the appropriate prerequisites—most notably Craft Rod itself. For instance, an immovable rod requires Craft Rod, levitate, and 2,500 gp worth of raw materials. Someone who has those things can make an immovable rod by spending 3 eight-hour days and 200 XP, per the rules of Craft Rod itself. This is, officially, within the capabilities of such a character and does not require extra DM adjudication. Likewise with any other official printed rod. A DM is, of course, able to nix any particular rod, but that would be a houserule.

However, the rules for creating rods suggest that it may be possible to go beyond the officially printed rods—but this is firmly in the realm of DM adjudication. The rules specifically warn that

Rod costs are difficult to formularize,

and then go on to say

Refer to Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Price Values and use the rod prices in the rod descriptions as a guideline. Creating a rod costs half the market value listed.

This winds up being rather similar to just making a wondrous item, except it’s a wondrous item that you have to hold in hand. Consider discounting the rod somewhat on that basis—it’s usually much more convenient to just wear something than it is to hold it (or, put another way, your “held items” slots are usually more valuable than other slots).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So when a player asks me to create a custom rod he has an idea about, that would mean I as a DM will have to figure out the cost and actual mechanics with the Gold Price Valie table? \$\endgroup\$ – TheQ Sep 5 '18 at 13:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TheQ You’re welcome to have the player do the math—the important part is that you have to consider whether or not the resulting number is a good idea or not. The guidelines are not perfect, and say so explicitly: “Not all items adhere to these formulas directly. The reasons for this are several. First and foremost, these few formulas aren’t enough to truly gauge the exact differences between items. The price of a magic item may be modified based on its actual worth. The formulas only provide a starting point.” \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 5 '18 at 13:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, note that the very first thing said about pricing custom magic items is “Many factors must be considered when determining the price of new magic items. The easiest way to come up with a price is to match the new item to an item that is already priced that price as a guide. Otherwise, use the guidelines [below].” In other words, the guidelines themselves are only only to be used if you can’t find something similar to base the custom item on. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 5 '18 at 13:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Slight clarification, 5,000 gp is the base price of an immovable rod. When crafting an item the crafter needs only 1/2 that amount in raw materials. In this case, 2500gp \$\endgroup\$ – Ben-Jamin Sep 9 '18 at 17:00

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