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I've been trying to put together some rules with more flavorful magic item crafting. Here's what I've got:
Basically, part of an encounter's treasure will usually be given as components that can be used to craft magic items. The exceptions are mostly creatures that, if they don't have any class levels, are below CR3. Creatures that are below CR1 don't provide any useful components. Other creatures provide components as follows:
CR 1-2 foes give misc components worth 10gp
CR 3-5 foes give 1 part worth 150gp - total 150gp, lesser minor
CR 6-8 foes give 2 parts worth 600gp each - total 1200gp, greater minor
CR 9-11 foes give 3 parts worth 1000gp each - total 3000gp, lesser moderate
CR 12-14 foes give 4 parts worth 1500gp each - total 6000gp, greater moderate
CR 15-17 foes give 5 parts worth 2100gp each - total 10500gp, lesser major
CR 18-20 foes give 6 parts worth 2800gp each - total 16800gp, greater major
Then you look at the power levels of magic items from Ultimate Equipment - least minor, lesser minor, greater minor, lesser and greater moderate, lesser and greater major (for permanent magic items).
Least minor items (basically, those costing under 1000gp) don't have any special construction requirements. Lesser minor items require at least one special component from a creature of minimum CR3, and which seems thematically appropriate.
More powerful items require more components: greater minor items require 2 components, from creatures of at least CR6. Lesser and greater moderate items need 3 or 4 components, from CR9 or CR12 creatures, respectively, and lesser and greater major items need 5 or 6 components, from CR15+ or CR18+ creatures.
For an Elixir of Dragon Breath, for example, clearly it should be from something with a breath weapon, or possibly from some sort of elemental creature, or maybe a poisonous creature for green dragon breath. Just something that makes sense. For, say a stone of alarm, maybe you need the heart from a caryatid column, a formian worker, or an iron cobra construct or some other creature noted for it guardian abilities. Probably the creature used influences the flavor of the item in some way. Maybe for the alarm stone you could even use the heart of a mummy that was guarding a tomb, but that item would have quite a different flavor than one crafted from a caryatid column.
On the other hand, a component from a pegasus could be used for an item granting flight, or perception, or detecting alignment, or for defeating or defending against good or evil aligned creatures, and the ooze from a gelatinous cube could be used in an item causing acid damage, causing paralyzation, or protecting from electricity. (looking at their respective abilities and natures)
For a more complex example, maybe Plate Armor of the Deep (greater moderate item, needing 4 components) could use the shell and blood from a shipwrecker crab, together with shards from an iron golem and leather from the cured hide of a froghemoth.
The value of the components can be directly used for the crafting cost of magic items - if you have 2 components from a CR6 creature, than you only need to spend or acquire another 800gp of misc. components in order to have what you need to craft a +2 cloak of resistance. They can also be bought and sold like trade goods or art objects - generally at full value, with no significant loss to buyer or seller (or however you choose to have your economy work).
The settlement base value limit should also apply, so you can't buy a necessary component for a lesser moderate item anywhere smaller than a small town, and for major items you'll need to shop in at least a large town.