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The Forge Domain cleric's Artisan's Blessing Channel Divinity option (XGtE, p. 19) states:

You conduct an hour-long ritual that crafts a nonmagical item that must include some metal: a simple or martial weapon, a suit of armor, ten pieces of ammunition, a set of tools, or another metal object [...]

The thing you create can be something that is worth no more than 100 gp. As part of this ritual, you must lay out metal, which can include coins, with a value equal to the creation.

I understand that it may be ambiguous whether or not I could make a pile of gold, but a gold bar should work just fine.

Is there any reason I can't convert used weapons into gold bars, to receive 100% of their market value?

Are there any rules that indicate that selling a gold bar results in some kind of loss in value?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @gabbo1092 Sure, and that may be true, but that would just mean that I happened to have a 9g sword when it originally was a 10g sword, which is entirely possible. I'd still say that, even in mint condition, a merchant would probably buy an item back at 50% value. By converting a bunch of 9g swords (Can convert multiple items into one, such as with currency) into solid gold, I could find a much better profit margin than finding a merchant willing to buy 99g worth of 11 swords. I'm just looking to see if there are rules that reflect what that profit margin would be. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Dec 18 '18 at 21:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking for ways to profit using this ability? There are plenty of ways to do so but it is a bit outside the scope of the question. \$\endgroup\$ – jgn 4 hours ago
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Yes, there is a reason you can't do this

you must lay out metal, …, with a value equal to the creation

A new sword is worth 15gp (7.5gp used) and weighs 3 lbs - most of which is steel. That is the value of a longsword - what the ability is interested in is the value of the metal, not the value of any manufactured object the metal happens to be part of. How much is 3 lbs if steel worth? Say 1gp maximum. So this is an excellent way to lose value.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Technically, you can have a brand new longsword and the value of selling it to a merchant will be half. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Dec 19 '18 at 20:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ A bit disappointing, but you make a great point. The wording is pretty clear here. Debatably, I could melt down a metal sculpture and turn it into gold, or something along those lines, but doing so is fairly against what most Forge gods/clerics would find acceptable. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Dec 19 '18 at 22:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast no I mean the swords are worth 22.5gp but the steel in the swords is worth next to nothing - it’s the difference between a BMW ($100,000) and the raw material needed to make a BMW ($500). \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Dec 20 '18 at 0:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that the input metal's value yields equal value in the creation, not the weight, and it uses the the full value of the item in question, not its scrap value, That 3lb 7.5gp used sword is worth 7.5gp, not the value of a 3lb ingot of steel. I can see where you'd interpret it like that, but you're reading into it something that's not there. The book doesn't actually say use scrap value, just the value of the item. So a 1oz silver statue whose artistry makes it worth 20gp would turn into 20gp of gold when transmuted with this effect, not just 1oz of gold. \$\endgroup\$ – user47897 Dec 20 '18 at 20:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarkTO explain how “metal ... with a value ...” works for an item that is predominantly wood but contains some metal - a wagon, say. \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Dec 20 '18 at 20:40
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You can convert mundane objects into something more valuable at resale

You've discovered the primary issue in selling treasure that the PHB covers on page 144:

As a general rule, undamaged weapons, armor, and other equipment fetch half their cost when sold in a market. Weapons and armor used by monsters are rarely in good enough condition to sell.

With your use of Artisan's Blessing, you can convert those items into an art piece, which changes it's sell price under Gems, Jewelry, Art Objects:

These items retain their full value in the marketplace, and you can either trade them in for coin or use them as currency for other transactions. For exceptionally valuable treasures, the DM might require you to find a buyer in a large town or larger community first.

This would cleanly allow you to convert mundane items that would normally sell at half value to an art object that would sell at full value.

Creating currency as a Forge-ry

There really isn't something in the rules about this, and it opens up a concern over counterfeiting and how your world deals with that. But the above system should solve your problem without delving into this one.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What's really crazy about this is that even having something like a branded symbol on a gold bar can be duplicated with the Cleric's ability as long as you have an existing copy in your possession. Not sure if a Forge god would approve, though. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Dec 18 '18 at 21:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DanielZastoupil Well, it is a...forgery. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Dec 18 '18 at 21:35
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Not in Adventurer's League.

In Adventurer's League play, rather than looting items, you gain your gold rewards through Reward Checkpoints that you earn through play. As a result, any other item cannot be converted into valuable items with Artisan's Blessing, since they have a de facto GP value of 0. This is detailed in the Adventurer's League Player's Guides found in the download here.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is a very useful answer for AL situations, thanks for catching this. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 20 at 12:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you quote the rules that support this? Seems pretty obvious, but may be helpful for those trying to find it. Don't play AL, but surprised you can't loot a weapon! \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 20 at 13:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Double-checked, and it looks like they've change the rules; now you don't loot anything, you just earn generic Reward Checkpoints that you cash in for gold or magic items through play time. \$\endgroup\$ – nick012000 Jun 20 at 13:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a bummer :/ Still would be helpful for you to quote that. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 20 at 13:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I'd basically have to quote just about an entire page of a four-page document. \$\endgroup\$ – nick012000 Jun 20 at 13:41
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Artisan's Blessing can make coins (but not at a profit)

From the rules, I count four criteria an object must meet to be created by Artisan's Blessing. It must be:

  1. A simple item.
  2. Non-magical.
  3. Made at least partly of metal.
  4. Limited in value by the value of the input (max value = 100 gp).

Common coins are simple, non-magical items that are made of metal and are worth less than 100 gp, therefore they meet the requirements.

A pile of coins is also legitimate (up to 100 gp worth). The example listed in the rules of ten pieces of ammunition is a precedent for creating multiples of a lesser value item. Even a mixed collection of coins is reasonable, as this is no more complex than other listed examples such as a set of tools.

So, how much do you get?

There is some grey area regarding how to assess the value of the metal being used as input material. The main conflict being between whether its value lies solely in the amount and rarity of the metal (as if melted down to ingots) or if there exists some added value based on its current form (be it crude weaponry or finely wrought jewelry).

The inclusion of coin as a viable material cost provides some guidance. If you could only lay out coin (like a tithe offering) then the value of the input and the output would always be exactly the same and the two would also be of the same worth to the cleric. Following this line, the value of input other than coin should also be what it is worth to the cleric. If an item is worth more to the character in its current form than melted down, then it should be worth more as input material. Similarly, if it's worth nothing to the cleric then it's probably worth nothing to the deity (DM), who ultimately has the last word on the matter (and tells you what it's worth in the first place).

Personal approach: As a simplified approach I would give them half of what a merchant would on most metal containing items. This would cover some of the grey areas like how much non-metal there was (the bulk of the value in most of these things is usually in the worked metal anyway) and how much is it worth to the cleric to not haul it to market or find a buyer. Art objects retain their value at market and none worth 100 gp or less would be trouble to carry, so these would probably not be worth transmuting.

If a cleric wanted to haggle with the deity, have at it. But they should be warned, not every God of the Forge likes having their judgement about such things questioned. For how much trouble the cleric saves not having to lug the stuff back to town they should take anything they get and like it.

All that being said, a DM could simply rule this out. Perhaps the kingdom's currency is magical or the deity just doesn't like being used as an ATM. Gold bars (measured by the pound, 50 gp per pound) are a trade good of the wealthy and retain their value as you surmised. But, as trade goods they might also be considered currency by the DM and similarly restricted. I suggest creating small gold or silver rings and bracelets worth whatever you have to transmute. These retain their value too, and also easy to carry.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Good first answer! \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 25 at 7:27
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No and Yes

The spell cannot create value from nothing, as the other answers have already covered. But what you can do is increase your liquidity and use storage space much more efficiently. All those crappy swords, spearheads, cheap jewelry, and other metallic crap has some degree of value, and finding a buyer for such things can be very difficult. Use of Mending will turn that monster's poor-condition weapons and armor into sellable items, however low-quality.

However, gold is always in demand. So you could sit around and turn all that random stuff to gold of equal value, which will A) let you sell it off and recover gold value from what would otherwise be effectively worthless scrap and B) allow for much more efficient use of space. A scrap sword worth 1s to a merchant still weighs 2lbs and takes up space. 1s worth of gold takes up next to no space and weight is negligible.

You can make a good living with this spell by being a scrap disposal merchant. Let people pay you to haul off heaps of scrap metal, convert it to gold, and sell off the gold. They're paying you to make gold for yourself. 100g worth of rusty swords and junk is a lot of stuff, so this could be a very efficient way to make a living, provided your setting has places where scrap metal is a thing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The title originally asked "Can I do this?" while the body asked "Is there a reason I can't do this?"; the question has been edited to bring the two in line, but you should edit your header to clarify which question(s) you were actually replying "No and Yes" to. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 20 '18 at 20:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast It could just refer to being neither good or bad. It's efficient compared to alternatives, but inefficient as an alternate profession to adventuring. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Dec 21 '18 at 0:17
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No, transforming metal items into coins using that ability will get you 50% of its value in gold.

According to the crafting section of the PHB (p. 187), half the value of a non-magic item is the materials used, so a 10gp solid metal weapon is made using 5gp of metal.

On the other hand, coins are worth exactly as much as the metal they're made from. 50 coins weigh 1 lb., and trade goods list 1 lb. of gold as 50 gp.

It does specify that creating 10 ammunition counts as one item so I think that gives enough flexibility to let you create multiple coins.

So in short if you wanted to create a 100gp, you'd have to use 200gp of metal items. I know, it doesn't make sense that creating a 1lb steel item using this ability it would require 2lbs of steel, but that's the way it's worded. At least you can convert 10,000 copper to 10 platinum without any loss.

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