Let's say that a player creates a 6th level character with maximum possible ranks in craft (armorsmithing) . They want to start with selfmade full plate armor. Should they still cover the full price of the armor or just the materials, which are one third of the price? I believe that selfmade starting gear should be less pricey than one bought on the market. On the other hand I am afraid, it could be heavily exploited, like starting with +5 adamantium battle plate armor. Are there any books, including third parties covering how to deal with this problem?

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    \$\begingroup\$ For reference, adding a +5 enhancement bonus to any armor requires caster level 15th, and even self-crafted, +5 adamantine full-plate requires 18,000 gp in raw materials, which is beyond the means of a 6th-level character. So you don’t need to worry about that particular concern so much. Still a valid question in general though. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 7, 2018 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


The rules expressly allow self-made starting magic items at higher levels.

Dungeon Master's Guide (3.5) p.199 gives the official rules for starting a new character above 1st level. The most relevant section is under Magic Items as Gear:

Character-Created Magic Items: A PC spellcaster created at a level higher than 1st can use any of the XP and gp you have awarded to make magic items, provided that she has the proper item creation feats and prerequisites.

However, advice on what items to allow are also given, with particular guidance on avoiding PCs spending all their starting wealth with one overpowered item.

You're free to limit what magic items characters can choose when they create characters of higher levels, just as if you were assigning those items to treasure hoards in the game. You can exercise an item-by-item veto, but an easier method is to use a maximum cost for a single item as a limit. [...] You could also limit characters to a certain type of magic item.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Since the latter is “as if you were assigning those items to treasure hoards in the game,” it does not seem like it would apply to player-made items. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 7, 2018 at 18:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what as if you were assigning those items to treasure hoards in the game even means. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 7, 2018 at 22:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan It means that the DM creates all the stuff in the world and says where it is, and so determines what stuff is available. So, you are under no obligation to place Thor's Belt anywhere in the world at all, let alone anywhere accessible to characters. Character creation does not magically bypass the DM's determinations. I don't know why its worded that way though. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Oct 8, 2018 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Regarding the limit per item; my rule of thumbs for wealth spread is either quarters or thirds. Quarters: 1/4 of wealth spent on weapons, 1/4 on protections, 1/4 on miscellaneous (Handy Haversack...) and 1/4 on consumables (wands, staves). Thirds: 1/3 on weapons, 1/3 on protections, 1/3 on miscellaneous and consumables. Quarters is more for casters/skill monkeys and Thirds for melees. I would encourage anyone to think of what happens if THE big item of a character is destroyed, lost or stolen; if the character is powerless without it, too much wealth was concentrated. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 9, 2018 at 18:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ The official split is 40% on weapon(s), 20% armour, 20% shield, 20% miscellaneous. I cannot remember where I read that, however. IIRC, it was part of an official text on the balance assumptions of 3.5. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 16, 2018 at 7:28

Character creation does not happen in the way that a 6th level character pops into existence with a huge bag of gold pieces and then goes to the ACME store and buy stuff. The price of an item at character creation represents the value. The fact that the character is able to create it just provides one way to explain why he has the item and it can also give good roleplaying opportunities. But I don't see why they should get it cheaper.

It's all in the past, and the money only represents the value, the origin is irrelevant.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Investing in the character options (feats, skills) required in order to be able to make items (and, in the case of magical items, paying the XP cost for them!) is why they should have to pay less money for the items. For such characters having these items has cost them more than just the money they paid for the materials. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Oct 8, 2018 at 11:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer and they'll be able to use those skills when in the game. The starting gear value should be the same for everyone. \$\endgroup\$
    – Martin S.
    Oct 9, 2018 at 11:23

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