Magic Items EXP Costs

Combat & Magic

I really hate the exp costs for magic items thing. I know it's a game balance mechanism designed to punish PCs for making cool stuff but you'd think making magic items would actually, I don't know, make you more experienced.

Here's an idea.

Making an item means a potential loss of a spell slot. The character has to make a DC 15 Primary stat check with a -1 for every 1000 gold invested in an item.

Success = no loss
Failure by 1-5 = loss of low spell slot
Failure by 7-9 = loss of medium spell slot
Failure by 10+ = loss of high spell slot

Low = Bottom third, Medium = Middle spells, High = top spells

Eg if 5th level Wiz Low = 0-1, Medium = 2, High = 3

The slot remains lost until that item is consumed or rendered unmagic. A spellcaster can suck magic out of existing items through a reverse ritual that can restore the magic.

The flip side is of course magic items will be more expensive since spellcasters potentially lose power for crafting things - but then even useless magic becomes useful as the spellcaster can suck the magic out of them like they were a vampiric Jimmy Stewart.

As a wizard, the purpose of crafting scrolls or making wands or whatever is to increase the versatility of the wizard's spell options. I might use grease once in a blue moon, so I have the scroll of that on hand and then I memorize spells that I use pretty much daily (for me, that'd be orbs and mage armor).

This system destroys that versatility. You get your scroll, but then lose a spell slot, so you can't memorize anything else anyway. with the limited numbers of spells per day, that's a huge hit. Sure, with Cantrips you can cast acid splash every round... but is that going to make up for the loss of fireball because you wanted a scroll of water breathing?

I'm just not sure under what circumstances a wizard would risk crafting anything in that system. Certainly anything over 1000 gold is off the table (I have a level 11 character with a 22 Int, so +6 v. DC 15 is a little better than 50%... start taking hits to that +6 bonus and the odds are looking too long to make the risk worthwhile).

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