The context of my question is mostly related to crafting items (with an XP cost) and then trading them with other PCs within the party.

In the case where a Gold<>XP ratio does not scale the same (in you opinion) as character levels progress, lets limit the range from levels 5-14.

If I craft a potion, scroll, or whatever, and a teammate wants to trade for it in a dungeon, should I value my crafted item at equivalent market value (GP) or should my expended XP also carry a price?

I am trying to establish a fair baseline before any haggling/convenience price factors come into play. I want to help my team, but also make sure I am adequately compensated for my efforts.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Depending on your GM, your companion may be able to "buy" the potion from you with XP. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobson
    Jun 17, 2014 at 21:53

2 Answers 2


The magic item creation rules specify that the base price of a magic item goes up for 5 gp for every 1 XP that is necessary to cast the spells involved in the item’s creation.

Component Extra Cost Example
Spell has XP cost Add 5 gp per 1 XP per charge Ring of three wishes

When you hire someone to cast a spell for you, the Spellcasting Services rules specify that, to determine the price,

If the spell has an XP cost, add 5 gp per XP lost.

Several abilities that allow you to cast spells as spell-like or supernatural abilities also specify that you must expend 1 XP for every 5 gp of any expensive material components.

So this seems to be 5:1 seems to be the general ratio.

However, this is not entirely consistent. The archmage’s Spell-like Ability high arcana, for example, gives a 10:1 ratio.


As KRyan explained, there is generally a ratio of 5:1 for gp:XP expended.

As you know, when you craft an item, you expend 1/25 of the item's cost in XP, plus half of the item's cost in raw materials. The market value of the item is thus higher than the value of the materials plus 5 gp per XP expanded. Presumably this difference represents payment for the item creator's skill and time.

For example, an item worth 1000 gp would cost 500 gp plus 40 XP to create.

If you go with the XP being worth 5gp per XP as suggested in KRyan's answer, that would mean that market value would cover:

  • 500 gp for materials
  • 200 gp for the XP
  • 300 gp for the creator's skill (use of feats) and time

You probably don't want to charge your party members for using your skills to help the party. (The party rogue probably doesn't charge you all when she disarms a trap, and so on.) Time is another matter -- if you have a limited amount of time between adventures, spending it creating an item for another party member means time you did not spend creating items for yourself.

That said, I kind of feel like XP is not something you can put a fixed price on. It isn't so much fun when you fail to level up with the rest of your party due to XP expended on creating items for them.... So, I think this is something that is open for negotiation.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Some of the cost you label as being for skill is for time. But otherwise, this is a great analysis, +1. Also, the question of whether or not to spend XP on item creation depends a lot on whether or not your DM is going to very carefully track how much more XP you should get because you are lower level. Most DMs find this a real headache (I sure do), and if they don't the XP costs become permanent rather than gradually replenished by the greater XP you get. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 18, 2014 at 5:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan agreed -- we aren't very careful with XP allocation and typically just do the "ok, you all leveled up" without assigning an actual number of XP. So once spending XP for spells or item creation comes into play, we start asking, well, do we have any XP above the amount we needed to level up that we might spend on item creation, casting spells like permanency, etc.? But it's all very hand-wavey. I will edit my answer to reflect both skill and time being expended. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18, 2014 at 13:40

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