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Our party just defeated a Duergar that had a Cloaker.

As soon as combat was over Mulland, a 12th lvl Wizard, went up to the Cloaker, cast Gentle Repose on it, picked it up and started wearing it as the plain brown cloak it looks like at first glance.

Mulland's plans for this creature involve turning it into a cape that allows the wearer to cast Mirror Image, a 2nd level spell. I included the creature as I thought the fact that the creature has an ability very similar to Mirror Image might be relevant in the magic item creation discussion.

Is there a default setting for crafted magic items as far as how they function? There are so many different ways a magic item can function. Fixed charges, charges that replenish, x uses per day, etc, and yet there is no mention of this on pgs. 128-129 of the DMG under Crafting a Magic Item. Is there a default? Is it up to the creator of the magic item? How do these choices affect the rarity of the magic item, and thus its crafting requirements of not only gold, but also time?

If it is all up for the player and DM to figure out together, what requirements would you lean towards in your game? For a 1 use per day cloak? Or for a 3 use per day cloak? What about a cloak with 3 charges that restored 1d2 charges at dawn?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Minor note on your story: gentle repose requires "one copper piece placed on each of the corpse’s eyes, which must remain there for the duration" - just wanted to make sure that Mulland had plans to sew some pennies into his new cloak. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – order
    Dec 4, 2021 at 18:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @order Good catch! The plan is to get the creature properly taxidermied & tailored. For now the coins are held over the eyes with a sash tied around the head. \$\endgroup\$
    – Porter
    Dec 4, 2021 at 21:59

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Consumable magic items cost 1/2 the amount as other items at the same rarity. Charges or uses per day on a permanent item don't affect cost.

According to the Craft An Item downtime activity in Xanathar's Guide to Everything, a consumable magic item like a potion or scroll costs half the amount of gold and time to craft as a normal item of that rarity. Uses per day don't seem to matter, as long as it's able to be used more often than once (or, at most, a small, finite number of times, like a Necklace of Fireballs or a Spell Scroll with multiple spells inscribed on it that can be used once each).

... creating an item comes with a gold piece cost covering other materials, tools, and so on, based on the item’s rarity. Those values, as well as the time a character needs to work in order to complete the item, are shown on the Magic Item Crafting Time and Cost table. Halve the listed price and creation time for any consumable items.

Underneath that table, it then states:

*Halved for a consumable item like a potion or scroll

It's unlikely that a cloak would count, however; the only canonical item of clothing I can think of that'd qualify would be the Robe of Useful Items.

However, no cloak capable of casting mirror image exists canonically; you'd need to either homebrew the resulting item, or substitute it for a similar one. For instance, a Cloak of Displacement might be suitable, or maybe the Cloaker leather could be turned into parchment for a Duplicitous Manuscript from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (the only item I can find that references the mirror image spell).

As a CR 8 monster, a Cloaker fought by itself would be suitable for empowering a magic item of Uncommon quality, according to the table on p. 129 of Xanathar's Guide to Everything; however, the usability of materials is based on the overall CR of the encounter, not of the monster itself, so the fact that they fought it alongside a Duergar ally might tip it over to CR 9-12, allowing it to empower a Rare item instead (which both the Duplicitous Manuscript and Cloak of Displacement are rated as).

Alternately, if the party includes an Armorer Artificer, they could potentially use their Spell-Storing Item class feature to enchant it into a temporary magic item capable of casting mirror image a number of times equal to twice the Artificer's Intelligence modifier (minimum twice), provided that the Artificer has used an appropriate Infusion on it to allow it to be used as a spell focus for them (e.g. Replicate Magic Item to make it into a Cloak of Elvenkind or a Cloak of Protection).

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