Consider a 15 level Cleric and a 12 level Wizard crafting a Ring of Protection +5

  1. The Cleric provides the Shield of Faith spell and the caster must be of a level at least three times greater than the bonus of the ring prerequisite.
  2. The Wizard provides the Forge Ring feat.
  3. The Cleric agrees to become the creator of the item, determining the item's caster level and ending up paying the XP cost.

The Dungeon Master's Guide (215) doesn't say much on this, maybe unusual, scenario:

If two or more characters cooperate to create an item, they must agree among themselves who will be considered the creator for the purpose of determinations where the creator’s level must be known. (It’s generally sensible, although not mandatory, for the highest-level character involved to be considered the creator.) The character designated as the creator pays the XP required to make the item.

But here is the Magic Item Compendium (232) on this topic:

The XP cost must always be paid by the character who supplies the item creation feat required by the item, no matter how many other characters cooperate in its creation

So far I understand the underlying assumption. In order to be appointed as a "creator", a character must have the appropriate "creation feat".

Is there more than this that I'm missing? Does the Magic Item Compendium clarify or contradict the Dungeon Master's Guide in the passage presented above?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Take the tour. If this question is concerned with sources beyond the DMG and MIC then I recommend this question.. I think Emil S. Jørgensen's point might be better addressed by answers to this question. Either way, thank you for participating and have have fun! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 8:22

2 Answers 2


I think this comes down to a "Core Book vs Later Publishing" judgment.

Per the publisher, primary sources (Core Books) always take precedence over later publishing. Therefore the Dungeon Master's Guide should be the correct interpretation of the rules.

That being said, later publications often clarify errors or update rules that might improve the game, and your DM always have final say. Please see this question and answer: Does the Rules Compendium overrule the core books?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The primary source rule isn't exclusive to the "core" books. That's just the given in the example of the FAQ and your linked answer. For this question, we must ascertain which book is the primary source for magic item rules. The FAQ says that the DMG is the primary source for magic item descriptions. Lacking a clear call on which source is primary, the next method of resolution when two books overlap each other is to go with the most recent printing. \$\endgroup\$
    – NFeutz
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 15:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NFeutz Considering that magic items existed before Magic Item Compendium existed, at the very least something else was primary prior to its publication—and the Dungeon Master’s Guide is the obvious, and really the only, candidate. You are correct that a non-core book can be a primary source on something, but there is a strong argument to be made that it can only do so if it introduces a topic. This answer is entirely correct to point out the controversy over later books trying to assert primacy over topics that already had a primary source. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 15:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ That said, this answer would be improved by clarifying what the Dungeon Master’s Guide rules actually mean with respect to sharing XP costs, since it’s not totally clear. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 19:29

This matter was clarified in a Players Handbook II web enhancement article on the Wizards webs site and was previously referenced in this question on the RPG stack.

The Web Article options in effect overrides the Magic Item Compendium statement about the item creator needing to be the one paying the XP cost, effectively removing the potential conflict you pointed out.

Thus, the answer to your question is YES. A character without the appropriate item creation feat CAN pay the XP in a cooperative effort to craft an item.

  • \$\begingroup\$ While the mess between Magic Item Compendium and Dungeon Master’s Guide is frustrating, I don’t think bringing in yet another source helps matters—especially when that source is very, very far down the primacy totem pole. If it had explicitly called Magic Item Compendium out as a mistake, that’d be one thing, but it doesn’t. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 19:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I challenge that the original question can be resolved by resorting to primacy in any way at all. That whole framework of approach is flawed. Instead, the source I quoted specifically answers the question as phrased, thus actually answering the question without needing to address the issue of primacy. Beside, specific overrides general, so my source still trumps either way. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 23:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ All it does is clarify and expand on what the Dungeon Master’s Guide says—which doesn’t help in any way to resolve the contradiction between that and Magic Item Compendium. Beyond that, as a web enhancement article, it has zero authority to overrule either of the aforementioned publications, which means your source is basically worthless. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 1:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan As the worthless source answers the actual question in the title, even if it ignores the secondary question of DMG versus MIC (which is a worthless debate once the actual question is answered) I find your points to be meaningless towards actually answering the titled question.. The answer exists in D&D, and it is official - Yes, you can share XP between co-creators - therefore I have found and presented said answer. As such, any argument relating to primacy becomes invalid. All that remains is for the DM to decide to use it or not, as they see fit. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 15:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ The actual question asked is how to resolve the contradiction between the two sources. You can’t do that with a source that doesn’t have the authority to address that contradiction, and furthermore doesn’t even try to. If you had one or the other, you might have a case here, but as it is this contributes nothing but—potentially—more confusion to the issue, which is why I have downvoted in the hopes that anyone seeing it and getting confused will know to disregard it. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 15:49

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