4
\$\begingroup\$

Relevant Quotes:

You convert raw materials into products of the same material. For example, you can fabricate a wooden bridge from a clump of trees, a rope from a patch of hemp, and clothes from flax or wool.

Choose raw materials that you can see within range. You can fabricate a Large or smaller object (contained within a 10-foot cube, or eight connected 5-foot cubes), given a sufficient quantity of raw material. If you are working with metal, stone, or another mineral substance, however, the fabricated object can be no larger than Medium (contained within a single 5-foot cube). The quality of objects made by the spell is commensurate with the quality of the raw materials.

Creatures or magic items can’t be created or transmuted by this spell. You also can’t use it to create items that ordinarily require a high degree of craftsmanship, such as jewelry, weapons, glass, or armor, unless you have proficiency with the type of artisan’s tools used to craft such objects.

(Notable portions bolded.)

I'll get to the point. Suppose you cast a divination of some sort that has function of producing a truthful answer from the DM with varying levels of vagueness, such as Augury or Divination, to ask if a material in front of your character can be used to craft something toward a set objective, say, "A material that's stronger than Lord Belfanor's adamantine sword." The DM then gives their response: For Augury, Weal, Woe, Weal and Woe, or nothing; and for Divination, a "truthful reply" that "might be a short phrase, a cryptic rhyme, or an omen," assuming this is the first time you asked a question using Divination that day.

Let's also suppose that we received Weal from Augury and/or a positive reply from Divination. Since the Fabricate spell doesn't specify that the user needs to know what the material is, the answer that the DM gives may be referring to Unobtanium, but the DM doesn't have to reveal its manufacturing method. Assuming that the method for manufacturing Unobtanium into Unobtanium bars and a subsequent weapon for wielding can only be done by a deeply involved process on the level of how carbon is made into diamond, would the player be able to use Fabricate to make a bar of Unobtanium?

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In the ordinary usage, diamond might not be "the same material" as graphite or other carbon forms. \$\endgroup\$
    – aschepler
    May 6 at 13:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Augury requires you to identify "a specific course of action that you plan to take within the next 30 minutes." If your character does not know how to craft unobtanium (or whatever it is), then at my table, I might rule that you can't use Augury on that action either (or maybe I would just give you a "nothing" result). I probably would allow using Augury on the action of "cast Fabricate to make a bar of unobtanium," but at that point, you don't really need rules interpretation, you just directly read the result of the Augury. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kevin
    May 6 at 18:07

4 Answers 4

12
\$\begingroup\$

Note: when this answer was written, the question referred to "unobtainium", which is why unobtainium is used in the answer.


Yes, as long as you already have the raw materials to create a bar of unobtainium

Of course, "unobtainium" isn't a D&D term. Regardless of whether such a thing exists or could exist is dependent on the DM. I'm assuming by the term, you mean a previously undescribed material with awesome properties.

You don't need fancy divination to pull off your trick, but you do need raw unobtainium, or its raw components. Whether divination will help you to do that is dependent on the DM. Research might also help, that's also dependent on the DM. You want to make a weapon; that requires a high degree of craftship. You'll need to work that out with the DM, too.

In other words, there's nothing in the rules that supports what you want to do. That doesn't mean it can't be done, it just means you need to work with the DM to do it.

As a DM, I wouldn't bite. I admire your attitude though.

DM to player, I'd tell you it seems unlikely, but you can certainly try.

In game, divination wouldn't be very productive, based on your description. If you researched it, you might find lore that materials harder than adamantine have been sought, but only unreliable and highly dubious sources ever discuss such a thing being actually found. Further research might lead you to hints and rumors pointing you to far off and possibly mythical places such as the City of Sigil, the City of Brass, or Sharn.

Details

The spell says (emphasis added):

You convert raw materials into products of the same material.

So if you have some unobtainium, you can make a bar of it. Or if it is composed of several raw materials, you'll need those.

Oh wait, unless it's magical. The spell also says:

magic items can’t be created or transmuted by this spell

So if unobtainium is magical, you're out of luck.

Or hard to make, unless you're a skilled unobtainium crafter:

You also can’t use it to create items that ordinarily require a high degree of craftsmanship, such as jewelry, weapons, glass, or armor, unless you have proficiency with the type of artisan’s tools used to craft such objects.

Your divination trick is . . . highly DM dependent

There's nothing in the rules that suggests you can use divination to determine the raw materials for unobtainium, or obtain manufacturing techniques. The answers to divination questions actually require a DM, rather than just rules inspection.

But maybe you can research it

You might also consider research, as detailed in Xanathar's (emphasis added):

The research downtime activity allows a character to delve into lore concerning a monster, a location, a magic item, or some other particular topic.

You'll need access to a library or a sage, though. You'll have to ask your DM about finding a library or a sage, or something equivalent.

Neither divination nor research turns you into a skilled crafter

Although you can train in it, also as detailed in Xanathar's:

Given enough free time and the services of an instructor, a character can learn a language or pick up proficiency with a tool.

You'll need an instructor who can teach you to craft unobtainium, though. You'll have to ask your DM about finding one.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • \$\begingroup\$ I interpreted the question as "If I'm proficient with smithing tools and such, and if there is Unobtanium around me, can I fabricate an Unobtanium sword 'that's stronger than Lord Belfanor's adamantine sword', even if I don't know that Unobtanium is around me, or even what Unobtanium is?" \$\endgroup\$ May 6 at 17:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Alternately, if the process for Damascus Steel is unknown, but you have the raw materials for it (which I'm given to understand is basically the right mix of iron ores and other carbon sources), presumably you could make blocks of it, although you'd have to have the right skills to be able to make a sword. \$\endgroup\$ May 6 at 18:11
6
\$\begingroup\$

Yes, if they choose the right material

Assuming you have enough of the materials in front of you, you first need to choose the right material:

Choose raw materials that you can see within range.

If you do not know which of several materials would work, the spell will not do that for you. Chose wrong and you'll get a bar made from whatever you chose.

The second question is how your DM rules wether the "deeply involved process" for creating such an ingot is something that requires proficiency in artisan's tools (say, in alchemist supplies, or smith tools). If they rule you require it, then you only can create it if you do have that proficiency. If they rule you do not, you can just create the ingot.

Your question seems to assume that the DM rules no proficiency is needed ("outside the purview of artisan tools") so you can create the ingot.

Fabricate is tricky in that in abstracts away the manufacture process, because that part is done by the spell's magic. Its also tricky because you need to know and have all the raw materials that are needed for the finished object (e.g. for steel, just iron ore would not be enough, you also need carbon). And lastly it's tricky because what counts as a "raw material" is not that well defined. So in general, in my experience it is a good idea to work out with the DM out of session what it can or cannot do.

\$\endgroup\$
3
\$\begingroup\$

Unanswerable

There are no rules-as-written regarding the creation of Unobtanium by any means: Mundane forging, magical manipulation in general, or Fabrication spells specifically.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unobtanium was just an example element that was theoretically harder than adamantine. Would it help if I edited the question to refer to X instead? \$\endgroup\$
    – J Thompson
    May 5 at 13:41
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It doesn't matter what you call it, we don't know what it actually is, or what your GM was thinking. There are no rules-as-written for that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    May 5 at 17:18
0
\$\begingroup\$

This is certainly possible (with some clarifications)

Clarifications:

  1. The need for artisan tool proficiency is associated with the object you are creating, not the materials you're using. So anyone can cast fabricate to make a bar of something (even unobtanium), but only someone with smith's tools can make a piece of armor or a weapon out of it.
  2. You'd need to be more clear about what you mean by "A material that's stronger than Lord Belfanor's adamantine sword." A thick enough piece of wood could be considered to be stronger than an adamantine sword. A diamond might be considered harder than an adamantine sword (depending on your interpretation of the properties of adamantine).
  3. You would also have to be specific enough to determine whether there is enough of the critical material in front of you to make the entire object. There might only be a marble's worth of "unobtanium" in the composite material in front of you and the rest is all ice and rock.

As long as you're careful and actually have the correct material, you can certainly confirm that it is the right material first (by the manner you described) and then fabricate it once you've found the right stuff.

\$\endgroup\$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .