My group formed when 3.5 came out and they were generally very careful and tactical in building their characters and their gear. We're giving 5th Edition a try but we can't seem to find any rules for putting multiple abilities into gear.

In 3.5 you could make a +2 flaming keen longsword. From what I'm seeing, 5th allows for only a +2 or flaming or keen. I'm used to running with basically a party of craftsmen and their very well-equipped fighters. I'm looking to see if that is, in fact, the reality of the system or if I'm just not seeing the rules for stacking abilities on arms and armor.

Did Wizards do away with the free reign customization of items or are we missing something in the book?

  • \$\begingroup\$ How much of the DMG's custom magic item section have you read? \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Feb 11, 2015 at 20:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Flipping through it now, still getting a grasp on it \$\endgroup\$
    – Lord Thrax
    Feb 11, 2015 at 20:17
  • 11
    \$\begingroup\$ Could I suggest reading the book in your hands before asking us? \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Feb 11, 2015 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related and currently a possible duplicate of Can magic items have permanent enchantments added to them? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2015 at 8:47

2 Answers 2


You can find information on creating magic items on DMG pages 284-285. It doesn't have such specific rules or price calculations as 3.5e, but enough info for a DM to create an item he/she may want. There are also rules for crafting magic items as downtime activity for players on DMG pages 128-129.

One thing to consider is that magic items are supposed to be really rare in 5e and not commodities you can find from your local adventure mart as it used to be in 3.5e. In 5e a +2 flaming keen sword would be a legendary item and potentially game breaking on non-heroic levels. The other side of the coin is that in 5e you don't really need huge amounts of magic items for characters to be viable.

Quoting PHB 144:

Likewise, aside from a few common magic items, you won't normally come across magic items or spells to purchase. The value of magic is far beyond simple gold and should always be treated as such.

More information on buying and selling magic items can be found on DMG pages 135-136.


The "quick and dirty" answer is that 5e has done away with much of the depth of magic items, and crafting them in particular.

Where 3.5 had fairly detailed rules for crafting all kinds of items, 5e only really retains the crafting rules for mundane items. Magical items have a treatment much more like classical editions of AD&D (1e and 2e) where they were much more rare, and placed as treasure rather than crafted by the PC's.

Most of the crafting of magic items has been left to DM's discretion in 5e, and it's up to them to decide what is allowed, and what it will cost.

Our group basically copy/pasted the 3.5e rules for crafting magic items, but be aware that 5e was not balanced for the same level of omnipresent magic items like 3.5e had.


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