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The party dwarf wants to build his own forge, and then, he will probably want to forge weapons and armor. I assume they will try to forge a magical weapon (+1, uncommon, 500 gp), as they always ask me where they can buy better equipment. Three characters have spell slots, two haven't (the dwarf included).

The DMG (p. 129) says the following:

Multiple characters can combine their efforts to create a magic item if each of them meets the level prerequisite. Each character can contribute spells, spell slots and components, as long as everyone participates during the entire crafting process. Each character can contribute 25 gp worth of effort for each day spent helping to craft the item.

The +1 weapon doesn't require spells (like magic missile) to craft, but I assume the creator must have spell slots in order to craft it, according to the DMG. This means that one of the three spellcasters should be the creator, with the other two spellcasters helping (500gp/(25gp*3)=6.7 days to finish it).

Can the two non spellcasters also help to reduce the required crafting time? Especially the dwarf, who is proficient with blacksmith tools?

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The rules are ambiguous, but I think they lean to "yes."

As you know, it's not explicitly spelled out in the DMG. But I think they lean your way, and here's why:

  1. On p.128 "Crafting a Magic Item" lays out the prerequisites for a character to craft a magic item: (a) a formula for the construction; (b) a spellcaster with spell slots--Magic Initiates need not apply--and knowledge of any required spell; (c) character level minimum.
  2. Later, near the end of that section, we find a few paragraphs dealing with ancillary matters: lifestyle while crafting, custom items, and assistance. The paragraph on assistance calls out the character-level prerequisite for any assistants, but doesn't mention the other two. The designers could easily have said "if each of them meets the requirements to create the item," but instead mentions only requirement (c) from above. Admittedly, an argument from omission is pretty thin.

Unfortunately, there's a decent counter-argument of nearly the same strength: "anyone who assists is a co-creater, and thereby must meet all the creator's requirements. The level requirement is simply called out to make it clear that another spellcaster with the right spell but not of the right level could not assist." Of course, this line of reasoning would moot "if each of them meets the level prerequisite," which I find intolerable.

But it doesn't matter, because it's explicitly your call. (Of course, all things are ultimately your call, but this one's called out as such in the DMG.)

Back it up to the very beginning of "Crafting a Magic Item":

As an option, you can allow player characters to craft magic items. (loc. cit., emphasis mine)

Obviously we all understand the "golden rule" of GM-ery: Make decisions and adjudications that enhance the fun of the adventure when possible. (Repeated at the start of all of Wizards' published adventures, and a good paraphrasing of "The Dungeon Master" from the introduction to the DMG.)

But I'd suggest a broader understanding of published materials: what we purchase in the core set is not (just) a game. It's a system, with a game as a worked example included. The rules presented provide you with a default game playable out of the box, but also everything you need to construct a game after that fashion. Every rule, in my opinion, is preceded by a silent "and here's one way to do ___:"

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In my mind, and according to the golden rule, it was already clear that I would allow them to craft the item, because fun>rules. I just wanted to check if the rules would support this :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Yotus Jan 7 '16 at 6:22

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