I am DMing a dnd-4e game, and there was a wolf in the party's first encounter. After they defeated the enemy, the rogue wanted to skin the wolf in order to use it's hide for armor.

I know there are no crafting rules in dnd-4e, and I am not familiar with other versions of DnD. So I had her carry the hide of the wolf to the village where the party was heading anyway. It gave me some time to think, but I am still stumped.

The group I am DMing for is a really creative group, so I don't want to prevent them from doing interesting stuff like this. How can I let her create the armor in a fun but fair way?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG StackExchange nobody! Please take a look at the About when you have a chance. \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross Apr 29 '14 at 21:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think the question is a dupe, but my answer to "Blacksmithing and repair in D&D 4e?" would likely be useful. The long and short of 4e crafting is that it costs the same amount to craft as it would to buy. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian S Apr 30 '14 at 21:08

Let her "craft" it!

If the player just wants non-magical hide armour, then you can allow it, no problem. Getting "free" non-magical armour is so entirely irrelevant to D&D 4e's economic balance that it really isn't worth worrying about at all. Role-play it, but don't make it cost them more than the item costs. You're basically handing out 6 gold pieces worth of treasure. Hide armour costs 30g and items sell for one fifth their value; so if you really have to track every last gold piece, trim 6gp out of that level's treasure parcel somewhere else, or have the player spend 6gp on crafting supplies.

If the player wants magical hide armour, you can do that too. D&D 4e is extremely "gamist" rather than "simulationist" so it doesn't really care how players get items, it mainly concerns itself with the combat effects of the items dispensed to players. This leaves DM's plenty of room for creativity in terms of dispensing loot, and crafting is certainly one way of doing it.

You're meant to give out a number of magic items equal to the party size minus one, so if you have a party of five, you give out 4 items each level. There's no hard and fast rule that the magic items HAVE to be gained as loot or in dragon hordes: crafting them is perfectly viable.

On the most basic level, you can have that player gain Magical Hide Armour +1, and that be the group's level 2 item, leaving them with three more magic items for the first parcel. But that's kind of boring, right? Alternatively, turn this into some kind of quest: having to obtain some magical materials in order to properly treat the hide in order to impart the magical powers into it. There's nothing better than a side-quest to keep players engaged!

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Caution: when questing for a specific magic item, remember that players still earn treasure parcels for those encounters. (it is easy to forget and short change them.) If these would overshadow the sought item, consider making the quest item part of the next level's treasure parcels. It'll feel more epic and won't unbalance the game in the long run, but will feel like it was worth it. \$\endgroup\$ – DampeS8N Apr 30 '14 at 3:05

Non-magical item creation is covered in Martial Practices, which are in Martial Power 2. Forge Armor is a level 4 Martial Practice, based on Athletics for some reason. http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ex/20100212

Unfortunately, many of the other martial practices are fairly underpowered, many of them allowing you to do things which skills should let you do anyway, but requiring a healing surge or cash to do so. On top of that, with the addition of the item rarity rules, item creation limits you to creating Common items anyway, meaning it only lets you create items characters should have easy and quick access to, so I would agree with the other answers in saying that it should be fine to just let the player create the armor.

If they're level 4 or higher, it should also be fine to let her make it magical and use it as a treasure package, or require the character to spend other money on it, depending on how much the character cares about it, and how you wanted to go about it.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Forge Armor does not create nonmagical armor, it creates magical armor with no special enchantment. (The same applies to Forge Weapon.) Forge Armor can also create masterwork armor (if the enhancement bonus is high enough), and Forge Weapon can create silvered weapons (at additional cost). Master Artisan is the martial practice for creating nonmagical items. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian S Apr 30 '14 at 21:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Brian S that should be an answer, if Not a Pumpkin does not edit his one. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel May 9 '14 at 11:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel, I typed up an extensive answer on the subject for another question, and would rather not repeat myself. If you think the content of my comment above deserves being its own answer, though, feel free to run with it yourself. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian S May 9 '14 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrianS Drop the link as an answer. SInce it's internal to the site it's perfectly ok to just link (maybe have a word or two abut that). It's you who should get the rep. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel May 9 '14 at 16:21

You're right, there really isn't a crafting system in 4e. However, there are some things you can do to houserule this without damaging your game:

  • Allow her to take it to a local craftsman or wizard and pay a fee to turn it into a set of level appropriate magic armor or a level appropriate magic neckslot item. Discount the fee somewhat, but factor the item into your magic item awards.

  • Have her take it to a craftsman and turn it into a sub level magic item. This works well if the party is still L1 and doesn't have all of their slots filled. Perhaps it's a wolfpelt cloak that gives a resist 1 cold damage or something. It's not a substantial benefit, but it rewards the creativity. Charge a small amount for this (look at prices for cloaks and increase slightly).

Basically, grant some kind of low level item and if it's sufficient to factor into the level's treasure parcel, do so, if not don't sweat it, it's likely to be replaced in a level or two anyways. Generally, I wouldn't grant sufficient benefits that this becomes a regular thing because it can be a pain to deal with, but it can also on occasion add some nice flavor.


Since there is no type of crafting system in 4e, I would have them find a person in the village that could craft it into some type of armor or protection. Adding reality to the mix, a wolf pelt wouldn't offer to much protection. So if you wanted to give some AC protection, I would recommend a +1. Not better then leather but still a bit of a bonus. Another option would be to give them a +1 against cold, or maybe a +1 to intimidate checks while wearing it. You don't want to give them a big bonus, but you still want to reward them for creativity. Remember, just because there are no rules for it doesn't mean you can't do it. As the DM with a creative party, you will find you will need to make up rules and stats on the fly.


There are several ways to craft things in 4e, although it's not such much as "crafting system" as a collection of powers and feats that let you produce items.

Here's an extensive list of what's available.

As you can see, in general, the cost to create an item is the same as the cost to buy the item. The benefit that you get from item-generation in 4e is flexibility, rather than monetary.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.