IMPORTANT NOTICE: Although this crafting system leverages many existing mechanics published under the 5e SRD and OGL, the final product is completely home-brewed. The finer details of this system are still being revised, and those changes will slowly be introduced into this document. However, the system as a whole is totally functional and ready to be used in any campaign. Furthermore, the rules and concepts discussed are intended to work in-tandem with the expanded artisan's tools rules found in Xanathar's Guide to Everything. If nothing else I hope this document and its siblings can be used as a source of guidance and inspiration for whatever crafting system you decide to go with.
The Jeweler’s Tools At A Glance
RAW Cost: 25 GP
RAW Weight: 2 lbs
*Items: Pliers, Wire Cutters, Needle and Thread, Clasp, Ruler, Wire
Crafting Restrictions: None
Mundane Item Crafting: Arcane Focus(Crystal, Orb, Rod, Staff, Wand), Holy Symbol(Amulet, Emblem, Reliquary), Signet Ring
Magic Item Crafting: All magical rings, amulets, and jewelry. The full list can be found below.
Artwork Creation: Can create luxurious jewelry that can fetch a high price.
QA Artwork Bonus: Artisan is grant a crafting inspiration dice that can be used on themselves or a crafting companion that is working on the same object during that crafting session.
Structure Building: None
Adventuring Utility: Gains a bonus when attempting to identify gemstones, or prove the validity of gemstones.
* These items are specific to the Questionable Arcana system. Other similar crafting systems may utilitize a different list of items.
Now that we have learned the ins and outs of down to earth craft of woodcarving, I think it is time that we move on to some of the finer things in life. That means today’s look into the convoluted world of 5e crafting will feature an in depth discussion of the Jeweler’s tools and how to use them. However, before we dig into the mechanical potential of these artisan’s tools, I think it is important to step back and analyze what it is that a jeweler actually does.
Traditionally bench jewelers are artisans who use metals, gemstones, and other various materials to create adornments such as necklaces or bracelets. However, a large part of a typical jeweler’s workday features additional tasks beyond the design and creation of their own accessories. Often times they are called in to repair or modify pieces of jewelry made by someone else. Other times they are asked to examine gemstones and jewelry in order to give a customer an appraisal.
Using this broader definition of what a jeweler is let’s dig into some of the mechanical scenarios where use of the jeweler’s tools might be used.
Unfortunately for jewelers their specialized set of crafting skills does not really allow them to lead the creation of any RAW armor and weapons. However, every weapon and armor in SRD could potentially be adorned with gemstones. This allows the jeweler to participate in the creation of functional artwork, such as a rapier with sapphires embedded in the hilt. Although these types of modifications would not increase the combat effectiveness of the rapier, they could potentially help a player impress a visiting dignitary, or attract the attention of a group of thieves looking for their next mark.
Questionable Arcana Item Crafting Rules At A Glance
Overview: The Questionable Arcana Crafting System is a homebrew set of rules that builds on the RAW crafting system. The goal of the system is to increase the rate that items are crafted while introducing an element of variability(aka dice rolling).
- A Lead Artisan - An artisan with the appropriate tool who can lead the crafting process.
- Crafting Materials - Materials to craft with. The items should be valued at 50% market value for mundane items and 100% market value for magical items.
- Means of Production - Any special equipment or location requirements such as a forge for blacksmiths.
- Instructions - Memorized instructions for mundane items or a written blueprint for magical items.
- Labor - Time and energy measured in 8 hour increments and proficiency dice rolls!
Crafting Capabilities Definitions
- LEAD - You can serve as the lead artisan when creating this item.
- ASSIST - You can work under a lead artisan to create this item.
- OPTIONAL - You could potentially create a non-RAW version of this item at the DM's discretion.
- N/A - You cannot use this toolkit to contribute to the creation of this item.
- SPECIAL - Special cases defined on a case by case basis.
Crafting GP Progression Formula
[PROGRESS IN GP] = 5 + (Proficiency_Dice_Roll * 5)
On the other hand, there are several items in the adventuring gear section that a jeweler could potentially lead the construction of, which are listed below.
|Adventuring Gear Crafting List|
|Arcane Focus, Crystal||10 gp||1 lb.||LEAD|
|Arcane Focus, Orb||20 gp||3 lb.||LEAD|
|Arcane Focus, Rod||10 gp||2 lb.||LEAD|
|Arcane Focus, Staff||5 gp||4 lb.||LEAD|
|Arcane Focus, Wand||10 gp||1 lb.||LEAD|
|Holy Symbol, Amulet||5 gp||1 lb.||LEAD|
|Holy Symbol, Emblem||5 gp||—||LEAD|
|Holy Symbol, Reliquary||5 gp||2 lb.||LEAD|
|Signet Ring||5 gp||—||LEAD|
|Whetstone||1 cp||1 lb.||ASSIST|
Furthermore they would easily be able to lead the construction of non-RAW decorative adornments such as bracelets, earrings, necklaces, or circlets. Finally virtually all items in the adventuring gear list can be embedded with gemstones and consequently treated as artwork.
When it comes to crafting magical items, the list of items a jeweler can create is fairly exhausting! At the end of the day virtually any ring, amulet, necklace, etc can be crafted, but an itemized list can also be found below:
|Magic Item Crafting List|
|Magic Item||Rarity||Category||Crafting Capability|
|Amulet of Health||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Amulet of Proof against Detection and Location||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Censer of Controlling Air Elementals||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Circlet of Blasting||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Crystal Ball||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Crystal Ball of Mind Reading||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Crystal Ball of Telepathy||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Crystal Ball of True Seeing||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Elemental Gem||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Eyes of Charming||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Eyes of Minute Seeing||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Eyes of the Eagle||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Feather Token – Anchor||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Feather Token – Bird||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Feather Token – Fan||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Feather Token – Swan Boat||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Feather Token – Tree||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Feather Token – Whip||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Gem of Brightness||Uncoomon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Gem of Seeing||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Headband of Intellect||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||ASSIST||Helm of Brilliance||Very Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Helm of Comprehending Languages||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||ASSIST||Helm of Telepathy||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||ASSIST||Helm of Teleportation||Rare||Wondrous Item||ASSIST||Medallion of Thoughts||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Mirror of Life Trapping||Very Rare||Wondrous Item||ASSIST||Necklace of Adaptation||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Necklace of Fireballs||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Necklace of Prayer Beads||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Pearl of Power||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Periapt of Health||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Periapt of Proof against Poison||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Periapt of Wound Closure||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Animal Influence||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Djinni Summoning||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Elemental Command||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Evasion||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Feather Falling||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Free Action||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Invisibility||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Jumping||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Mind Shielding||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Protection||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Regeneration||Very Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Resistance||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Shooting Stars||Very Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Spell Storing||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Spell Turning||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Swimming||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Telekinesis||Very Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of the Ram||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Three Wishes||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Warmth||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of Water Walking||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Ring of X-ray Vision||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Scarab of Protection||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Staff of Charming||Rare||Staff||ASSIST||Staff of Fire||Very Rare||Staff||ASSIST||Staff of Frost||Very Rare||Staff||ASSIST||Staff of Healing||Rare||Staff||ASSIST||Staff of Power||Very Rare||Staff||ASSIST||Staff of Striking||Very Rare||Staff||ASSIST||Staff of Swarming Insects||Rare||Staff||ASSIST||Staff of the Magi||Legendary||Staff||ASSIST||Staff of the Python||Uncommon||Staff||ASSIST||Staff of the Woodlands||Rare||Staff||ASSIST||Staff of Thunder and Lightning||Very Rare||Staff||ASSIST||Staff of Withering||Rare||Staff||ASSIST||Talisman of Pure Good||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Talisman of the Sphere||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD||Talisman of Ultimate Evil||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
Despite the mechanical differences between wearing and using magical jewelry vs armor and weapons, I would not create any additional mechanics around crafting magical jewelry. I believe that the base rules in both the SRD, and our Questionable Arcana Crafting System are perfectly adequate on their own. So in the spirit of keeping things simple I would recommend you just leave them as is.
Arguably the biggest strength of being a jeweler is the ability to participate in the creation of a wide variety of artwork. Although the list of items they can create on their own is relatively small, knowledge of the process of setting jewels into various materials allows a jeweler to contribute to virtually any piece of artwork.
Questionable Arcana Artwork Crafting Rules At A Glance
Overview: The Questionable Arcana Artwork Crafting System is a homebrew set of rules that allows your players to create potentially valuable artwork. The goal of the system is to allow for crafting options beyond the defined RAW items. This is especially important for artistic toolkits such as the painter's supplies where RAW crafting options are limited.
- Obtain Means of Production - Obtain any special equipment or set up in a location that allows you to use the artisan's tools. This step does not apply to all kits. For example a smith needs a forge to create art, but a painter can create artwork anywhere.
- Roll Artisan's Tool Ability Check - A skill check that involves using the artisan's tool to create a piece of artwork. If you succeed the check add Crafting Progress Roll value to the estimated value of the artwork. If you fail the check no progress is made. If you fail the check by 5 or more you subtract the Crafting Progress Roll value from the estimated value of the artwork.
- GP Progression Roll - Roll your proficiency dice to determine how much value is added or subtracted to the estimated GP value of the artwork being created.
Artisan's Tool Ability Check Formula
[Ability Check DC]* = [Target Item's Current Estimated Value]** / 10
* Values are rounded down and the Max DC is 20
** Does not include the value of materials used to create the artwork. For example the value of any gemstones installed using a jeweler's tools are not used to calculate the ability check DC.
Crafting Progress Roll
[Target Item's Estimated Value] = [Target Item's Current Estimated Value] +/- ([Proficiency Dice Roll] x 5)
Important Disclaimer: The Questionable Arcana Artwork Crafting Rules and lists are not official material. The concepts and ideas provided by this write-up are simply suggestions. I happen to think they are good suggestions, but ultimately your table's DM has the final say when it comes to any and all artwork crafting rulings.
The catch is that applying this expertise generally requires expensive materials in the form if gemstones. This means that there are some additional up-front costs to having a jeweler contribute to an artwork project. On top of the usual base cost detailed in the Questionable Arcana Artwork Crafting System, the jeweler must install the jewels themselves into the artwork. At minimum the jeweler must install 10 GP worth of gemstones per crafting session. The jeweler can either install a full gemstone worth at least 10 GP, or cut pieces of more valuable gemstones to meet the GP requirement.
Artwork Example: Malachite Signet Ring
A player proficient with the jeweler’s tools decides that they want to make a signet ring, then install malachite gems along the outside of the ring.
On the first day the jeweler rolls to create as many signet rings as possible. Because a signet ring is a mundane item there is no ability check. The player rolls a 3 on their crafting progress check, resulting in 20 GP worth of crafting progress. Since mundane items require half of an item’s value in material costs, the player spends 10 GP to create 4 signet rings valued at 5 GP each.
The player then takes one signet ring, and spends 7 days adding full malachite gemstones to the ring in an artistic manner. The player is able to succeed their ability check on the first six days and they roll the following scores on their crafting progress roll: 3, 5, 2, 6, 6, and 4.
This means after 6 days the ring is worth 6*5(base value added) + 28*5(crafting progress rolls)+6*10(value of malachite gemstones) = 170 GP Artistic Value + 60 GP Gemstone Value = 230 Estimated Artwork Value.
On the 7th day the player must beat a difficulty check of 17(The material value of the gemstones is not included when calculating the artisan’s tool ability check DC) to increase the value of the artwork, but even after using the crafting inspiration die their highest roll is an 11. This means that not only did the jeweler fail to improve the quality of the artwork, but they actually damaged the artwork. The malachite gemstone is not added to the artwork, and after rolling a 5 on the crafting progress roll a total of 5(base value added) + 5*5(crafting progress roll) = 30 GP is REMOVED from the estimated value of the artwork. This leaves the artwork at a value of 140 GP artistic value + 60 GP gemstone value = 200 GP Estimated Artwork Value.
Not wanting to press their luck any further, the player decides stash the artwork away to be sold later. The player then moves on to adding gems to the next of the 3 remaining signet rings.
The act of adding brilliant gemstones to a piece of art can have an inspirational effect on the jeweler, as well as other artists working on the artwork. As an added bonus, whenever a jeweler is working on a piece of artwork, they are given a crafting inspiration token for that day.
Crafting Inspiration Token
An artisan with a crafting inspiration token is able to use the token when rolling an artisan’s tool ability check. Using the token grants themselves, or another player working on the same item advantage on the artisan’s tool ability check. You can choose to use a token after the artisan makes its roll, but before the DM determines the check’s outcome.
This ability to lift up the creative potential of other artisans makes jewelers a cornerstone of any artistic team.
The gemstones that are added to the item retain their full value regardless of the irregardless of the result of the artisan’s kit ability check. This means that should a piece of artwork be destroyed, all gemstones can be recovered and reused in other projects.
Knowledge of Jewels
A jeweler’s extensive experience with gemstones gives them and edge when it comes to identify and appraise gemstones. Anytime a character is either identifying or appraising a gemstone they are able to add their jeweler’s tools proficiency bonus to any intelligence check made when trying to identify a gemstone. This may not be needed in some instances where the validity of the stone can be confirmed, but in special instances such as identifying counterfeit gemstones this bonus can be invaluable.
Optional Rule: If you usually use a different proficiency to identify gemstones such as Intelligence(Investigation), then the proficiency bonus is still added to the check on top of any other relevant proficiency bonuses.
The Jeweler’s Tools is a strong tool-kit for the adventuring type. The prevalence of magical adornments makes the Jeweler’s Tools an attractive choice for adventurers looking to craft or enchant their own finery. Also, the utility a jeweler adds to any artwork project gives the kit a nice edge over some of the more popular kits like the Smith’s Tools or Alchemist’s Supplies.
Overall the Jewler’s Tools is one of the most well rounded types of Artisan’s tools available, and should be welcome in just about any party configuration.
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