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According to the rules, creating magic items (like Wondrous items) takes a day per 1000gp item price and cost half the price.

In the Epic level handbook there is an epic feat called Efficient Item Creation that allows you to create 10000gp per day.

Are there other ways to reduce time taken, money cost or xp cost when creating magic items? I don't care whether they are epic or not, and a bit of cheese can be allowed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Heavily related, though not quite a duplicate because it doesn’t get into reducing the time except as “bonus points:” Crafting on ten coppers a day. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Feb 17 at 15:10
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For 3.5e, there are a couple of different ways (Especially since you say a bit of cheese, for that I am going to borrow a little from other systems/homebrew).

From the Eberron Campaign Setting (Pages 52, 53 and 56) there are three feats, Exceptional (Reduces time), Extraordinary (reduces cost) and Legendary (reduces XP) Artisan, the texts are as follows:

EXCEPTIONAL ARTISAN

[ITEM CREATION]

You are an expert at creating magic items faster than usual

Prerequisites: Any item creation feat.

Benefit: When determining the time you need to craft any item, reduce the base time by 25%

EXTRAORDINARY ARTISAN

[ITEM CREATION]

You are an expert at creating magic items at a lower cost than usual.

Prerequisite: Any item creation feat.

Benefit: When determining the gold piece cost in raw materials you need to craft any item, reduce the base price by 25%

LEGENDARY ARTISAN

[ITEM CREATION]

You have mastered the method of creating magic items.

Prerequisite: Any item creation feat.

Benefit: When determining your XP cost for creating any magic item, reduce the base cost by 25%

That's what I found from official sources. Now for some of the cheese, including borrowing from other rulesets and a homebrew item.

If you borrow from Pathfinder, there is a general feat called Cooperative Crafting, which allows you to speed up crafting with the help of an assistant:

Cooperative Crafting Your assistance makes item crafting far more efficient.

Prerequisites: 1 rank in any Craft skill, any item creation feat.

Benefit: You can assist another character in crafting mundane and magical items. You must both possess the relevant Craft skill or item creation feat, but either one of you can fulfill any other prerequisites for crafting the item. You provide a +2 circumstance bonus on any Craft or Spellcraft checks related to making an item, and your assistance doubles the gp value of items that can be crafted each day.

I did also run across a homebrew item, Fast Item Creation, which adds to the GP value that can be created in a day, reduces the time, and stacks with itself (No opinion given on how much it can break things):

Fast Item Creation [Magical] Spellcasters can create items faster.

Prerequisite: Ability to cast 4th level spells

Benefit: You increase the daily rate at which you create magical items by 1000 gp.

Normal: All spellcasters normally create items at the rate of 1000 gp per day.

Special: This feat can be taken several times, and stacks with itself.

Each time it is chosen, add 1000 gp to the value of a single magical item that the character can create per day. Thus, items take half the usual time to create with one feat's worth of Fast Item Creation, one-third the usual time with two, and so on. A minimum of one day is still required for the creation of any item, however. In campaigns using Psionics this feat can also be used to speed up the creation of psionic items, for those that meet an alternative (or additional) prerequisite of the ability to manifest 4th level powers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I like this answer better because you enter all the information instead of just links. That said, the cost-reduction handbook is certainly worth mentioning :-) \$\endgroup\$
    – Calabacin
    Feb 18 at 11:08
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There are many.

The most straightforward examples are the “artisan” feats.

Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting and Player’s Guide to Faerûn both had Magical Artisan, which reduces the “base cost” of a magic item, the one that you base the cost and time spent on the item. It only works for a single item-creation feat chosen when you take it, but you can take it multiple times to apply to multiple feats. Oriental Adventures also includes the feat, but restricts it to the Crane clan—and as a clan feat, you can only take it at 1st level, and so they didn’t print the option to take it multiple times.

And then in Eberron Campaign Setting, we have Extraordinary Artisan and Exceptional Artisan reduce the gp cost and the time to create a magic item, respectively (Legendary Artisan reduces the XP cost). These feats only improve one facet of item creation each, but they work on all items you might want to create.

Anyway, there are a bunch more options—see the Complete Cost-Reduction Handbook. The most useful entries there are

Cost Reducer gp Cost Reduced To
Crafting it yourself instead of buying it. (DMG) 50%
Apprentice (Craftsman) feat (DMG II 177) 90%
Extraordinary Artisan feat (ECS53) 75%
Binding a Colossal Elemental to it. (ECS+MoE+MotP191+srd) 80%
Magical Artisan applied to an item creation feat (PGF141)* 75%
Membership in one of several guilds (see below) 90%
Favored in Guild in an arcane guild (DMG II pg 227-8) 95%

(Left off here are some of the cheesier/more dubious options, as well as some parenthetical suggestions on the best targets for various options.)

These options stack multiplicatively, as discussed in this Q&A.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I like how you entered a table to simplify your answer, also I liked the link to the multiplication question and the cost-reduction handbook. \$\endgroup\$
    – Calabacin
    Feb 18 at 11:03
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It's 3E. Of course there are.

The obvious-but-cheesy answer is Wish. Wish will:

  • Create a nonmagical item of up to 25,000 gp in value.
  • Create a magic item, or add to the powers of an existing magic item.[1] It has a casting time of one action, so you can make quite a lot of items very quickly, so long as you can cast enough wishes. The classic version of this is chain-binding effreeti (planar binding on an efreet; negotiate for one wish for you, one for the efreet, and one to cast another planar binding). For those who enjoy the constant taste of Velveeta, this may be a good option.

Be an Artificer: Artificers are basically playing a different game with respect to item creation.

Book of Vile Darkness Sacrifices: Doing EvilTM acts will give you a pool of ablative xp and gp for crafting ("Dark" xp, if I recall correctly). If you're willing to torture a whole bunch of dudes to death while making religion checks, you can get cheaper stuff.

Thought Bottle Shenanigans Thought Bottles are an item with several functions. One is storing a value of [your current xp minus 500], which you can later retrieve and set your XP equal to. This means you can do any amount of crafting, and only have it cost you 500xp. As you can imagine, a function that stores and retrieves xp values has many deeply broken implications. This use isn't really that bad, but anything with thought bottles is definitely... cheese-adjacent.

General Optimization Advice: Just read this handbook: http://minmaxforum.com/index.php?topic=1000.0 There are too many moving parts to summarize, but its a collection of different ways to mechanically reduce gold cost, xp cost, and crafting time. The most straightforward and non-obvious (to me) one is affiliations, but there are many minor bonuses scattered throughout the 3E corpus.


[1] Though the as-written version of this is so obviously cheesy that my houserules always include the 3E limitation that the Magic item can have value no greater than 15,000 gp.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Artificers really aren’t playing a “different game” with respect to item creation; they get a lot of bonus feats, and can ignore some costs and prerequisites, but ultimately all the rules are the same. Saying that they are playing a different game suggests things that aren’t true. And in any event, nothing about being an artificer inherently reduces the cost or time of item creation (though of course they could use some of those bonus feats on relevant feats). \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Feb 17 at 16:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ You've forgotten the obvious use of Wish to wish for an already existing item with the properties that you want to be summoned to your hands, which, if your DM is going to let you get away with Efreeti Wish chaining, then you may as well just do this instead since it's more straightforward. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18 at 0:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ The as-written version of Wishing for a magic item isn't cheesy at all. The cheesy thing is negating the XP cost of such a Wish, which scales to match the cost of crafting the item normally (except converting the entire cost to XP rather than half) plus a 5000 XP base fee. Binding efreeti is such a classic primarily because it negates the XP cost. \$\endgroup\$
    – Douglas
    Feb 18 at 7:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Artificers also get a pool of free XP that they can only spend on magic item creation as they gain levels. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Feb 18 at 7:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like how you mentioned some options not mentioned elsewhere, like Artificer, wish (also limited in my game although we allow several wishes to improve an item), evil and thought bottle, I also liked the link to the cost-reduction handbook. \$\endgroup\$
    – Calabacin
    Feb 18 at 11:07

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