I have no idea how to properly factor the total cost of an Enchanted Weapon, and I'd like help doing so. I've read so many things and it gets confusing when I begin to read parts on how I "multiply by design" sort of thing. Adding base values than multiplying by bonuses or something... I just don't understand it. I'm hoping I can just give the information I'd like and someone can walk me through a detailed process as to how they got to the final cost.

Large Morningstar: 8gp

Masterwork Quality: 300gp

Fire-Forged Steel: 600gp

Cruel [Enchantment]: +1 Bonus

Defending [Enchantment]: +1 Bonus

Furious [Enchantment]: +1 Bonus

From the way I understand it, the total of +3 Bonuses would bring it up to a value of 18,000gp. The rest is a total of 908gp. So it's final cost should be something like 18,908... right? Because some things I read online say I have to take it's +3 Bonus and square it, than multiply it by 2,000?? That's (3^2)2,000 or 12,000? That's a lot less than the 18,000 for a +3 Enchantment? I also read that I may have to do something like add the Masterwork Cost plus the Fire-Forged Cost, plus the weapon's base cost and multiply this by two? Something of (300 + 600 + 8)2, or (908)2, or 1,816?

So does that mean it's actually 13,816; (12,000 + 1,816)?

I mean five grand isn't that much, but I don't want to overpay / underpay either. I want to play the game right, and it's just so confusing with this part.

Essentially this weapon is going to be used with my Large Barbarian.

Cruel will allow me to gain +5 Temp HP everytime I fell an opponent. Defending allows me to transfer some - or all - of the Enchantment Bonus on the weapon's Attack / Damage Rolls toward an AC Bonus (A total of +3). And Furious kicks in when I Rage. It bumps the Enchantment Bonus up +2 past it's normal value, raising it to a +5. That means I can gain a total of +5 AC when raging, which really helps subside the -2 AC Penalty. The Fire-Forged Steel from UE allows me to use a Full-Round Action to literally superheat the metal by holding it over a fire. When I do this, for the next two Rounds I can cause Fire Damage as well. I just think it's a neat aspect to have.

So which cost is right? 18,908 or 13,816? Or is neither correct?

Lastly, when it comes to the Craft DC, I need to multiply this by 100 so that I convert into Silver Pieces, so either 189,080 or 138,160. But I only require 1/3rd of this, right? So either 63,026sp or 46,053sp. But those are absolutely insane DCs?? How the heck is anyone supposed to meet those?? I mean are you literally spending years crafting these dang things??

I read somewhere you can - instead - have it's total time of creation be equal to 1day/1,000gp. So a weapon costing 18,908gp would take 19 days to craft, since it's a left-over of 908gp at the end?

This is why I'm so confused. I've read so many different things from so many different sites and sources that I have no idea what is actually correct. So if someone could do a step-by-step walkthrough as to how and why they got to their final cost and DC, I'd really appreciate it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ 3^2 = 9, not 6, so the 3^2 x 2000 does indeed equal 18,000 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 4:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Technically, the D&D 3.5 weapon special ability defending is limited to swords only. Surely an oversight, and I know of no one who plays it that way, but you should be aware if only so you can bring up rules quirks like this with your fellow players. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 8:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Just to note. Enchantments are not enhancement bonuses. Your weapon won't give nothing on your AC if you are not raging, and +2 if you are raging, bot nothing more than that. To have a +5 to AC, you would need to have a +3, Defending and Furious mace AND to be raging. \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 12:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThalesSarczuk unless someone is casting Superior Magic Weapon on it when needed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 15:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ In case of a +1, Flaming, Defending weapon, (+3 Enchantment, +1 Enhancement), while using the Defending you would get just the +1 from Enhancement, not the total +3 from Enchantment. \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 20:58

2 Answers 2


Buying Magic Items

You may want to go by the rules instead of "something you read online." Let's look at the Magic Item Creation rules in the official D&D 3.5e SRD here: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/creatingMagicItems.htm

Per http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/magicWeapons.htm#tableWeapons the base cost (value of) placing a +3 enhancement (or +3 equivalent) on a weapon is 18,000 gp. This is on top of the actual weapon cost, which you correctly note is 908 gp. So the total value of the weapon is 18,908 gp. You'd pay this to buy it "off the rack." (As a note, this is three squared times two thousand, three squared is nine not six.) You can't put special abilities on without a base +1 enchantment however:

A weapon with a special ability must have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

So you'd need to give one of those up or pay more.

Crafting Magic Items

To craft the magic yourself, per http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#craftMagicArmsAndArmor doing this takes one day per each 1,000 gp of its magical features, thus 18 days. It will cost half the price in gp to enchant if you're the one doing it, so that's 9000 gp (plus the 908 for the weapon in the first place - of course, if you have Craft: weaponsmithing you can go down the hole of making that in turn). And 1/25 of the value in XP, so 720 XP, making the total self-crafting cost 9908 gp, 720 XP, and 18 days.

You do not have DCs and Craft checks - you just need the Craft Magic Arms And Armor feat to do the enchant. The skill Craft does not create magic items. See http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/craft.htm. You'd use Craft:weaponsmithing to make the sword in the first place before the enchant if you're a masochist (that's where all the time and DCs and silver pieces and all that comes in. Just buy it.). Now, you do need all the other prereqs for the enchant - in this case, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, plus each enchant's prereqs. For example, for Defending the listed prereq is:

Moderate abjuration; CL 8th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, shield or shield of faith; Price +1 bonus.

I don't know about Cruel or Furious, they're not in the SRD, but you'd need the requisite levels/spells on those as well.

Uh, actually... Cruel and Furious are enchants in Pathfinder, where the magic item creation rules are slightly different (primarily that there are no XP costs for crafting). Do you really mean D&D 3.5 or do you mean Pathfinder?


3²×2,000 gp = 18,000 gp like you calculated, not 12,000.

You had the price right the first time.

But you cannot add a special property, like cruel or defending, to an item that does not already have a +1 enhancement. Thus, your item would actually be a +1 cruel defending furious fire-forged morningstar, and cost 4²×2,000 gp + 908 gp = 32,908 gp.

Also, crafting is more involved than that. First, mundane crafting and magical crafting involve different rules.

Mundane crafting uses the Craft skill, and covers the cost of a masterwork fire-forged morningstar. You use magical crafting, which does not use the Craft skill but requires Item Creation feats, to handle the magical bonuses.

For the mundane part, to craft a masterwork weapon you must make the weapon, as well as the “masterwork component,” which is treated as a separate “item” for the purposes of figuring out DCs and progress. So for the fire-forged steel morningstar (608 gp), that’s 6,080 sp at DC 15 (for a martial weapon), while for the masterwork component that’s 300 gp (3,000 sp) at DC 18.

You also need raw materials equal to one third of these values (202.7 gp and 100 gp, respectively)

Progress on either is check×DC sp per week. So if you have a +10 modifier, and take-10, for a consistent check of 20, you make 20×15=300 sp worth of progress per week on the weapon portion, so you’ll finish that after just over 20 weeks. The masterwork portion actually goes faster because the DC is 18: you make 20×18=360 sp. So that takes three weeks. The entire mundane crafting therefore takes 23 weeks.

Note that you can voluntarily increase the DC in increments of 10; thus, if you had a +15 modifier and therefore could hit 25 checks easily, you could increase the DC of the weapon portion by 10 (for 25) and make 625 sp worth of progress per week.

Once that is completed (or you decide that saving 400 gp isn’t worth spending half a year in a forge), you can move on to making the magic parts of that. To do that, you’ll need to be a spellcaster, and you’ll need Craft Magic Arms & Armor. You’ll also need to be able to cast the spells that the properties require, for example shield or shield of faith for the defending property.

Thus costs half-price (so 16,000 gp) in raw materials, 1/25 the cost in XP (so 1,280 XP), and takes a week for every 1,000 gp in the price (so 32 weeks). You do not need to roll any craft checks.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, good catch on the enhancement required thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 2:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, Defending don't work rigth on weapons without enhancement bonuses. He won't get the +5 he wants on AC that way. \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 12:06

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