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Per 3.5 item Magic Item Creation rules progress on crafting a Magic item is 1,000gp a day minimum 1 day. The item creation rules or magic weapons list “the weapon or parts of the weapon” as material components required to begin.

Does this mean that the weapons crafting process is included in the 1,000gp per day progress? Or do you have to have an already existing masterwork longsword in order To craft a +1 longsword?

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The 3.5 SRD entry on crafting magic items says...

Armor, shields, weapons, and items with a value independent of their magically enhanced properties add their item cost to the market price. The item cost does not influence the base price (which determines the cost of magic supplies and the experience point cost), but it does increase the final market price.

and

To create a magic weapon, a character needs a heat source and some iron, wood, or leatherworking tools. She also needs a supply of materials, the most obvious being the weapon or the pieces of the weapon to be assembled. Only a masterwork weapon can become a magic weapon, and the masterwork cost is added to the total cost to determine final market value. Additional magic supplies costs for the materials are subsumed in the cost for creating the magic weapon—half the base price given on Table: Weapons, according to the weapon’s total effective bonus.

(emphasis mine; there's a virtually identical paragraph for armor).

Thus, one needs a masterwork weapon plus "additional magic supplies", and that those additional supplies are consumed in the crafting process.

Purchasing a +1 club (using the standard pricing rules) would cost 2300 gp: 2000 for the "+1" part, 300 for the "masterwork" part and 0 for the "club" part. Enchanting an existing masterwork club to become a +1 club would require "spending" 1000 gp (half the base price of "+1") in supplies.

If one wished to do so, one could also make the club (or, depending on the GM, make an existing club masterwork), but that would invoke the craft skill's crafting rules.

So, yes, one needs to have the weapon (or armor) fully complete (in the "it's been crafted" sense) before starting in on the magicking-up of the item.

Cinematically, this GM would have no problem in allowing a player to say they were combining the two steps: forging the weapon and imbuing it with magic at the same time, so long as they weren't trying to cheat on the mechanics (actually, this GM would be pretty easy to convince to significantly reduce the normal crafting times, but that's a whole other issue).

Slightly aside: I strongly suspect that someone copy-pasted the second quote from the armor to the weapon section, as "armor pieces" makes a lot more sense than "weapon pieces", but the text is otherwise the same. That said, this GM can make sense of that by looking at ammunition: the "weapon pieces" would be the 50 arrows/bolts/sling bullets that are going to be magicked up.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you missed the point of what I was asking. I am aware there are additional supplies needed to make a magic item beyond the specific item. My question was more specifically about the line "the most obvious being the weapon or the pieces of the weapon to be assembled". Specifically the PIECES part. This implies the masterwork item may not need to be complete in order to start creating the magic item. If this is the case then it at least implies that the completion of said item happens during the magic item creation process. Your final paragraph seems to imply this is not the case. \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Clarke Mar 25 at 22:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suspect that someone did a find-and-replace on the similar "armor" section, where "armor pieces" makes more sense than "weapon pieces". But, yes, you need the full item to start crafting. I've updated the answer to include that more directly. \$\endgroup\$ – minnmass Mar 25 at 22:15

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