This may be common knowledge but it seems unclear to me.

When crafting a magic item, do I need to be able to cast spells at the same level as the requirements, or is that a requirement I can disregard in exchange for a +5 to the crafting check?

For example I am level 4 and wish to craft a bag of holding with a caster level check of 9 - which requires me to be able to cast the spell secret chest, a level 5 spell, which I won't unlock until level 9. Am I able to craft the item in question early, or do I have to wait?


You can craft it early

You can ignore any and all prerequisites for crafting except:

  • prerequisites for potions, spell-trigger (e.g. wands), and spell-completion (e.g. scrolls) items
  • crafting feats for all items

Each ignored prerequisite increases the DC by 5.

Since a Bag of Holding is a wondrous item, you need the feat 'Craft Wondrous Item' to make it. You don't need anything else.

In particular, note that you don't need to have CL 9th to make the item; that's not a prerequisite or requirement. You just need to take a +5 DC modifier for ignoring the spell prerequisite, unless you get access to the spell from some other source (like a wand).

In fact, you can arbitrarily set the CL for the item to anything you want above the minimum required for the prerequisite spells-- it's just that the caster level effects the spellcraft DC, so if you pick too high a number you are likely to fail.

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