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In Dungeon World, a number of pieces of equipment and services are listed with prices. One such service is A custom item from a Blacksmith. It states the cost of this is Base Item + 50 coins.

Is a custom item something simple like plate mail with a character's name pounded into some corner of the armor? Or is a custom item something like plate armor with magical resilience to heat? I ask because I have a magical weapons list that I created that has suggested prices for magical items and these would conflict.

More than my personal custom stuff (which may well conflict with DW rules as I didn't write DW) is the fact that DW has its own set of example magical items, some of which would likely be worth more than 50 + base item cost (although suggested prices are not offered for the example magic items.)

This leaves me to wonder if I'm horribly misunderstanding what a "custom item" really means in Dungeon World. What, exactly, is a "custom item from a blacksmith"?

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This is just the difference between buying something normal “off the rack” and ordering something made specially. If the blacksmith doesn't have a shield in the shape of Reginald the Amazing's coat of arms, Reginald can order one custom-made for 65 coins (plus waiting time).

A real blacksmith can knock out all kinds of “standard” items for general purchase — horseshoes, nails, conscript-grade armour and weapons — and typically has one or more of these standard items already made and for sale, since they know they will sell soon enough. Anything that the blacksmith doesn't already have on hand and wouldn't be making to restock their standard shop inventory (such as Reginald's unique shield) is extra.

(Incidentally, this is how medieval blacksmithing's inventory and finances worked in our own history.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ and also how clothing works into the present - an off-the-rack suit is considerably cheaper than a bespoke one. \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Feb 23 '17 at 23:23
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A custom item can certainly mean mundane customization, as those are the kinds of things a Blacksmith would typically know how to do. That said, it doesn't necessarily have to be purely cosmetic. Suppose the Wizard proposes a Ritual to create some plate enchanted against heat. For one condition, the GM specifies they need to acquire a special ore that must be alloyed into the metal making up the armor in order for the enchantment to work.

So, once they acquire the ore, they can then pay a blacksmith for a custom order to incorporate the ore into the metal for the armor. The intention here is that this custom work is within the scope of what the Blacksmith does, whereas a magical item, for instance, would be the purview of enchanters, should such a thing exist in your setting.

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