Creating recipes

With the rules from the previous post in mind, I tried at my hand at coming up with some ingredient lists for a selection of items.

Item nameRarityGP value (book)Common resourcesUncommon resourcesRare resourcesVery rare resourcesLegendary resources
Potion of healingCommon3 units of common water, 3 units of common healthy mineral
ShieldCommon10 gp3 units of common wood, durable; 2 units of common metal, durable
Potion of supreme healingVery rare 3 units of uncommon water, healthy2 units of of rare mineral, healthy4 units of very rare mineral, healthy
Slippers of spider climbingUncommon2 units of common cloth, durable; 2 units of common leather, airy3 units of uncommon silk, flexible

Some decisions did not flow naturally from the system, and some raised additional questions. For example, while I know a very rare item needs a very rare ingredient, how much should I use? And should the other ingredients be common, or uncommon? And if I decide on a ‘unit’ of water, can I reasonably avoid players from having their character hoard such water once they find a source?

Overall, it worked quite easily, but I think it’s good to have an additional guideline. Going forward, for a legendary item, most of the ingredients should be legendary. The remainder of the ingredients should mostly be very rare, etc. This constrains the choices a lot. Let’s walk through the Potion of Supreme Healing

This item is very rare and magical. That means it requires the base 5 ingredients, plus 4 due to rarity and magical nature. That’s nine ingredients, most of which need to be very rare. So that’s 5 very rare ingredients. The remainder is 4, most of which need to be rare. So that’s 3 rare resources. The remaining resource needs to be uncommon. Given these rules, we can now write out the rarity of ingredients for any magic item.

Magic item rarityCommon ingredientsUncommon ingredientsRare ingredientsVery rare ingredientsLegendary ingredients
Common6
Uncommon34
Rare125
Very rare135
Legendary136

For non-magical items, it is even easier. They always need five resources, meaning three resources of the rarity of the item and two resources of a rarity level below that.

Just to emphasize: ingredient type choices are not logically constrained by this system, and I don’t think they should be. I like the idea of having healthy minerals in healthy water, but if a player would suggest using 5 very rare healthy mushrooms in 3 rare units of healthy oil in one unit of uncommon, aetherial water — well, that would be just fine. But: it’s important to establish a recipe beforehand if a player wants his PC to go out gathering these resources herself!

In fact, I would say there are two ways for a PC to arrive at a crafting recipe:

  1. Choosing ingredients according to the aforementioned rules. It is up to the DM whether the proposed recipe works.
  2. Buying a recipe from an artisan.

A remaining question then is what the monetary value of ingredients and recipes is. This is something for the next blog post.

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