Let's say a futuristic artificer finds themselves in the 15th-century Sword Coast and wants to build a laser pistol.

If they found "generic" +1 weapon formulas, which allows you to craft a "+1 weapon", because a laser pistol is a weapon, they could theoretically bypass the pricelessness of futuristic weapons by using magic item crafting costs instead. If you assume ammunuition also counts as a weapon, you could even craft the required energy cells this way. However, even if you could craft them, crafting the energy cells will get very expensive very quickly. The artificer would rather use their repeating shot infusion for ammunition. Unfortunately, artificers can only infuse nonmagical items.

Is there a spell, a monster, or some other kind of "magic component disjoining" effect they might be able to find that can turn their magical +1 laser pistol into a mundane laser pistol that can accept infusions?

Or is there a way to craft a nonmagical "priceless" weapon that they wouldn't need to disenchant?

In short, is there any way for an Artificer to craft and infuse a Laser Pistol?


2 Answers 2


Just ask your DM to allow you to craft your pistol.

Futuristic weapons are not "priceless" per se, you can put a price tag on everything. The problem is, there is no standard way of getting one which would dictate a standard price. To craft, for example, a longsword, you need certain tools and certain resources, which - in normal circumstances - result in base cost of acquiring a sword being 15gp. Now, let's say your circumstances are not normal - you are deep in unexplored jungle with local tribes stuck in stone age and no iron ore deposits available. For these people, a sword will be as priceless as a laser gun - they have no way of reproducing it that doesn't involve a significant technological and industrial leap. This doesn't mean you can't sell your existing sword to a local chief for a roomful of diamonds - just that you wouldn't be able to get a new one for the same price in this specific time and place.

Now, your DM may judge that your sword-wielding artificer knows how to make one with the tools available to him and with resources avalable in the jungle; he would assign monetary and time value to this process. It probably will be higher than standard 15gp and a week of time, maybe it will involve going on a quest to defeat, say, a mystical Ur-Guardian of Whoknowswhere Temple (who is, accidentally, an iron golem - how fortunate for your iron-starved character), but you will get your sword.

Or maybe he will want to stick to his stone-age theme and make you get a weapon craftable with technology available. Or make you go without a weapon altogether.

Same thing with a laser pistol. There is no standard way of acquiring one, but if your DM is willing to give you one - he will provide a way. If not - not even a Wish will get you your gun.

P.S. And regarding "generic +1 weapon formula" - this is an inherently faulty route to explore, in my opinion; there are no "standard" formulas, they are, again, at your DM's discretion (for example, I would say that a formula for a +1 weapon as the first ingredient has a mundane version of the same weapon, which would bounce you right back to the start). Unless your table has an established precendent that there actually exists a recipe that allows to transmute a pile of money (or money-bought resources - which is basically the same process with extra steps) into any weapon (with an enhancement or not), bypassing the normal crafting process for that item. But even then - I wouldn't try to game the system and risk annoying the DM by trying to force him to give you an item he doesn't want to.


One of the foundational assumptions of D&D 5e is that things listed in the DMG are the DM's purview. The list of firearms is there, not in the PHB, because the DM gets to decide whether (and which) of those firearms exist or could be created. The artificer class even notes this in it's proficiency.

If your Dungeon Master uses the rules on firearms [...], your artificer is proficient with them.

Emphasis added

You will have to ask your DM whether laser pistols exist or not, the RAW is that only some campaigns have them.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ “… and the answer to that is RAW for that campaign.” No, that’s just not what RAW means. I get what you’re saying, I think, that the DM’s word is law in some sense, but please rephrase this sentence as it is potentially confusing. RAW means rules-as-written, and using it to refer to a DM’s ruling, which is neither rules, nor written, is bad form. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14, 2023 at 10:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov The RAW is that they are optional, and the DM decides to include or exclude them, which is a different to "the DM can change the rules" \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleth
    Apr 14, 2023 at 10:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ RAW means reading the source books as if it were a legal text. And the source book says that it's optional and decided by the GM. What the GM decides has no bearing on what the book says just about what happens in the game. \$\endgroup\$
    – Anagkai
    Apr 14, 2023 at 11:04

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