In our group we eliminated XP from 3.5 D&D for spells and magic item crafting by substituting certain "magical reagents" for the XP cost. We use the following table of reagents based on the Spell School:
- Abjuration - Ichor of any Ooze Type creature, Cold Iron, Hematite, Wolf’s Bane
- Conjuration - Brass or White Dragon blood, Copper, Bloodstone, Cronewort
- Divination - Gold or Red Dragon blood, Platinum, Obsidian, Mandrake
- Enchantment - Bronze or Green Dragon blood, Tin, Amber, Cloves
- Evocation - Silver Dragon blood, Silver, Quartz, Belladonna
- Illusion - Blue Dragon blood, Mercury, Sapphire, Anise blossom
- Necromancy - Bones of any Undead Type creature, Adamantine, Lapis Lazuli, Hemlock
- Transmutation - Copper or Black Dragon blood, Lead, Brimstone, Henbane
- Universal - Blood/body parts of a Magic Beast Type creature, Gold, Diamond, Lotus petals
These reagents are then magically consumed in the item creation process, transferring their essence to the new magic item in lieu of the caster's essence. (XP)
The amount needed for items with a listed cost (like gold) is equal to the XP cost times 5 in gp. For example, you need 80 XP for a +1 enhancement to a sword (a Universal spell, having no listed spell school) then you multiply 80 by 5 to get the 400 GP total needed, so buying 8 pounds worth of pure gold will get you that +1 enhancement. Finding things like 8 pounds of pure gold can sometimes be an adventure in itself, just to go buy it. (Of course, if the players have that much gold in loose coins and want to be boring, that can work too.)
For items with no listed price, it's equal to 1 pound of magical reagent per 25 XP cost. So to make a Monk's Belt (Mod. Transmutation, cost 13k gp, 520 XP) you can use 15 pounds of Black Dragon's blood, a pound of lead, and five pounds of Brimstone and Henbane. That requires the players to go out and adventure to get those things, so the players are "paying" the XP cost in time doing something other than getting rich, famous, etc. If they want to abstract this part out, it takes 1 day per 25 XP, (so 21 days, on top of the 13 days crafting time for our Monk's Belt... 34 days lost) where time passes and it's assumed they get the items... and nothing else.
If the spell also has a sub-school or descriptor, then the XP must be split equally among all, using additional tables for those. (mostly it's just common sense for what items will work for which sub-school or descriptor) So an Enchantment (Compulsion) [Mind Affecting] spell like Charm Person needing 2,240 XP to craft into an item needs 90 pounds of Tin, the dead body of a Succubus, (a creature with Charm abilities) and the tail of an Aboleth (a creature with a Mind Affecting ability). So the players go on a quest for these items and after returning (and buying the 28,000 gp worth of supplies and waiting an additional 56 days) their Wizard can craft the Eyes of Charming that the Bard wanted.
This system is play-tested and works well to prevent market flooding, while eliminating the penalty that artificers run into just by doing what their character was made to do.
[rant] The justification from WotC as to why XP is required doesn't stand up to scrutiny when you look at things fairly. Penalizing artificers for making magic items at a discount doesn't explain why the Fighter with the +3 Longsword of Keen Wounding that the artificer made for him (and then gave him at cost) isn't penalized XP for having it. Even if the artificer only sells to his party at full retail and loads up on magic items for himself, then if the DM is holding characters to Wealth by Level (by adjusting the treasure they get as the DMG advises they do... I mean, has any DM ever used the "build price" of an item to determine character wealth instead of the "full retail" price? I hardly think so...) then the artificer is going to get less treasure than the rest of the party does until their wealth is equal anyway... so where's the discount? [/rant]
Anyway, I know this hasn't been active in a few months, but I hope it helps someone!