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 Weaver’s Tools At A Glance
RAW Cost: 1 GP
RAW Weight: 5 lbs
*Example Items: Needles, Thread, Weaving Fork, Shed Stick, Comb, Knife, Dowel, Backstrap Loom
Crafting Restrictions: None
Mundane Item Crafting: Sling, Basket, Blanket, Clothes, Pouch, Robes, Rope, Sack
Magic Item Crafting: A large variety of weaved items.
Artwork Creation: Weaved artwork and clothing.
QA Artwork Bonus: Selling Products takes half as much time rounded down.
Structure Building: N/A
Adventuring Utility: Additional bonuses when interacting with cloth products, knots, and materials.
* These items are specific to the Questionable Arcana system. Other similar crafting systems may utilitize a different list of items.
Having completed our overview on the craft of leatherworking, it is time to weave the next set of rules into the crafting tapestry we are creating.
My initial assumption going into the weaver’s tools was that it would end up being a poor man’s leatherworker’s tools. After-all, there are many tailored items that you could arguably create a leather version of such as robes, but many leather products you could not make a cloth version of such as leather armor and spellbooks. However, as always I entered the research phase of this write-up with an open mind, and started things off by establishing what a weaver is and what they do.
After looking through the options, I opted to go with the Merriam-Webster defintion of a weaver:
One that weaves especially as an occupation.
Straight-forward enough… but for added clarity I pulled the definition of weaving as well:
- To form (cloth) by interlacing strands (as of yarn); specifically : to make (cloth) on a loom by interlacing warp and filling threads.
- To interlace (threads) into cloth.
- To make (something, such as a basket) by intertwining.
- Spin 2 — used of spiders and insects.
- To interlace especially to form a texture, fabric, or design
- To produce by elaborately combining elements.
- To unite in a coherent whole.
- To introduce as an appropriate element : work in —usually used with in or into.
- To direct (something, such as the body) in a winding or zigzag course especially to avoid obstacles
- To work at weaving : make cloth.
- To move in a devious, winding, or zigzag course especially to avoid obstacles
I am assumed that Wizards of The Coast did not intend for the weaver’s tools to enhance your ability to zigzag in-between obstacles. This means we are left with the craft of intertwining threads.
With the important definitions locked in, I moved on to how the craft of weaving has evolved over the ages.
Rolling up Plants – The History of Weaving
The principals of weaving were actually applied as far back and the Paleolithic era. Early man developed the first strings by twisting together plant fibers. During the Neolithic Era mankind started to develop considerable skill in weaving, which resulted in most households producing cloth for their own needs.
Although the technology has changed significantly over time, the actual process of weaving has generally stayed the same. There are some nuances, but for the most part weaving can be summarized as a repetition of the following three actions:
- Shedding: Where the ends are separated by raising or lowering heald frames (heddles) to form a clear space where the pick can pass.
- Picking: Where the weft or pick is propelled across the loom by hand, an air-jet, a rapier or a shuttle.
- Beating-up or Battening: Where the weft is pushed up against the fell of the cloth by the reed.
For thousands of years weaving was an activity completed by the family unit. Early versions of the loom allowed families to be fairly self-sufficient, however around the 11th century skilled weavers began to developed highly specialized cloth which required specialized workplaces. Over time new versions of the loom were developed, which allowed for the weaving of more complex textile patterns.
Once the industrial revolution hit steam engines replaced the human hand as a power source. Eventually the fluid jet loom replaced the steam powered Jacquard Loom in the 20th century. The fluid jet loom is still the current technology used in weaving today.
Fruit of The Loom – Item Crafting
As usual I am going to assume that most D&D campaigns are similar to the medieval times technologically. If this is the case then the backstrap loom is the type of loom that a player will be using. Fortunately for the player, the backstrap loom is fairly portable and can easily be taken on the road. As a result I would not impose any restrictions location wise on where a player can use this kit.
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)
As far as mundane items go, the weaver’s tools is capable of creating/working on the following items:
|Weapon Crafting List|
|Crossbow, light||25 GP||5||ASSIST|
|Crossbow, hand||75 GP||3||ASSIST|
|Crossbow, heavy||50 GP||18||ASSIST|
|Armor Crafting List|
|Padded Armor||5 GP||8||LEAD|
|Ring Mail||30 GP||40||ASSIST|
|Adventuring Gear Crafting List|
|Backpack||2 gp||5 lb.||LEAD|
|Basket||4 sp||2 lb.||LEAD|
|Bedroll||1 gp||7 lb.||LEAD|
|Blanket||5 sp||3 lb.||LEAD|
|Case, Crossbow Bolt||1 gp||1 lb.||OPTIONAL|
|Case, Map or Scroll||1 gp||1 lb.||OPTIONAL|
|Climber’s Kit||25 gp||12 lb.||ASSIST|
|Clothes, Common||5 sp||3 lb.||LEAD|
|Clothes, Costume||5 gp||4 lb.||LEAD|
|Clothes, Fine||15 gp||6 lb.||LEAD|
|Clothes, Traveler’s||2 gp||4 lb.||LEAD|
|Component Pouch||25 gp||2 lb.||OPTIONAL|
|Fishing Tackle||1 gp||4 lb.||ASSIST|
|Grappling Hook||2 gp||4 lb.||ASSIST|
|Healer’s Kit||5 gp||3 lb.||ASSIST|
|Ladder (10-foot)||1 sp||25 lb.||OPTIONAL|
|Lantern, Hooded||5 gp||2 lb.||ASSIST|
|Paper (one sheet)||2 sp||—||ASSIST|
|Pouch||5 sp||1 lb.||LEAD|
|Quiver||1 gp||1 lb.||OPTIONAL|
|Robes||1 gp||4 lb.||LEAD|
|Rope, Hempen (50 feet)||1 gp||10 lb.||LEAD|
|Rope, Silk (50 feet)||10 gp||5 lb.||LEAD|
|Sack||1 cp||½ lb.||LEAD|
|Tent, two-person||2 gp||20 lb.||OPTIONAL|
Although the list of items is fairly long, from a practicality stand-point there really isn’t a lot to offer here. Outside of rope and clothes, you will likely be hard-pressed to find meaningful opportunities to craft on your own. Fortunately there are a handful of quality items you can assist in crafting, and if your DM is willing to flex the rules a bit a couple of solid options emerge such as rope ladders and cloth component pouches.
On the other hand, the list of magic items the weaver’s tools can create is fairly impressive:
|Magic Item Crafting List|
|Adamantine Armor – Ring Mail||Uncommon||Armor||ASSIST|
|Adamantine Armor – Plate||Uncommon||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +1 – Padded Armor||Rare||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor +1 – Leather Armor||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +1 – Studded Leather Armor||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +1 – Hide Armor||Rare||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor +1 – Chain Shirt||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +1 – Scale Mail||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +1 – Breastplate||Rare||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor +1 – Half Plate||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +1 – Ring Mail||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +1 – Chain Mail||Rare||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor +1 – Splint||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +1 – Plate||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +2 – Padded Armor||Very Rare||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor +2 – Leather Armor||Very Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +2 – Studded Leather Armor||Very Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +2 – Hide Armor||Very Rare||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor +2 – Chain Shirt||Very Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +2 – Scale Mail||Very Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +2 – Breastplate||Very Rare||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor +2 – Half Plate||Very Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +2 – Ring Mail||Very Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +2 – Chain Mail||Very Rare||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor +2 – Splint||Very Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +2 – Plate||Very Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +3 – Padded Armor||Legendary||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor +3 – Leather Armor||Legendary||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +3 – Studded Leather Armor||Legendary||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +3 – Hide Armor||Legendary||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor +3 – Chain Shirt||Legendary||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +3 – Scale Mail||Legendary||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +3 – Breastplate||Legendary||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor +3 – Half Plate||Legendary||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +3 – Ring Mail||Legendary||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +3 – Chain Mail||Legendary||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor +3 – Splint||Legendary||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor +3 – Plate||Legendary||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor of Invulnerability||Legendary||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor of Resistance – Padded Armor||Rare||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor of Resistance – Leather Armor||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor of Resistance – Studded Leather Armor||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor of Resistance – Hide Armor||Rare||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor of Resistance – Chain Shirt||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor of Resistance – Scale Mail||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor of Resistance – Breastplate||Rare||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor of Resistance – Half Plate||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor of Resistance – Ring Mail||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor of Resistance – Chain Mail||Rare||Armor||LEAD|
|Armor of Resistance – Splint||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor of Resistance – Plate||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Armor of Vulnerability||Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Bag of Beans||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Bag of Devouring||Very Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Bag of Holding||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Bag of Tricks||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Belt of Dwarvenkind||Rare||Wondrous Item||ASSIST|
|Belt of Hill Giant’s Strength||Rare||Wondrous Item||ASSIST|
|Belt of Stone Giant’s Strength||Very Rare||Wondrous Item||ASSIST|
|Belt of Frost Giant’s Strength||Very Rare||Wondrous Item||ASSIST|
|Belt of Fire Giant’s Strength||Very Rare||Wondrous Item||ASSIST|
|Belt of Cloud Giant’s Strength||Legendary||Wondrous Item||ASSIST|
|Belt of Storm Giant’s Strength||Legendary||Wondrous Item||ASSIST|
|Cape of the Mountebank||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Carpet of Flying||Very Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Cloak of Arachnida||Very Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Cloak of Displacement||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Cloak of Elvenkind||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Cloak of Protection||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Cloak of the Bat||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Cloak of the Manta Ray||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Demon Armor||Very Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Dwarven Plate||Very Rare||Armor||ASSIST|
|Efficient Quiver||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||OPTIONAL|
|Feather Token – Fan||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Gloves of Missile Snaring||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Gloves of Swimming and Climbing||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Goggles of Night||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||ASSIST|
|Handy Haversack||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Hat of Disguise||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Headband of Intellect||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Lantern of Revealing||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||ASSIST|
|Mithral Armor – Ring Mail||Uncommon||Armor||ASSIST|
|Mithral Armor – Plate||Uncommon||Armor||ASSIST|
|Plate Armor of Etherealness||Legendary||Armor||ASSIST|
|Portable Hole||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Robe of Eyes||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Robe of Robe of Stars||Very Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Robe of Scintillating Colors||Very Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Robe of the Archmagi||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Robe of Useful Items||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Rope of Climbing||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Rope of Entanglement||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Slippers of Spider Climbing||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||ASSIST|
|Vicious Weapon – Sling||Rare||Weapon||LEAD|
|Vicious Weapon – Net||Rare||Weapon||LEAD|
|Weapon +1 – Sling||Uncommon||Weapon||LEAD|
|Weapon +1 – Net||Uncommon||Weapon||LEAD|
|Weapon +2 – Sling||Rare||Weapon||LEAD|
|Weapon +2 – Net||Rare||Weapon||LEAD|
|Weapon +3 – Sling||Very Rare||Weapon||LEAD|
|Weapon +3 – Net||Very Rare||Weapon||LEAD|
|Well of Many Worlds||Legendary||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Wind Fan||Uncommon||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
|Wings of Flying||Rare||Wondrous Item||LEAD|
The weaver’s tools has a very accessible list of craft-able magic items. Many of the items listed above are considered uncommon from a rarity stand-point which means that there is a good chance that you’ll have the time and resources to actually complete a crafting project in game. Furthermore, most of the items listed above can be used by any race and any class, making the weaver’s supplies a viable crafting option for any player.
CRAFTING EXAMPLE: HAT OF DISGUISE
Recipe: Hat of Disguise
Item Rarity: Uncommon
Total Material Cost: 1015 GP
Item Type: Wonderous Item
Item Origin: SRD
Materials Required: Green Hag’s Hair(500 GP), 500 GP worth of gemstones, Fine Clothing Supplies(15 GP)
Item Description: While wearing this hat, you can use an action to cast the disguise self spell from it at will. The spell ends if the hat is removed.
The concept of linking creature abilities to items used above can be applied to home-brew items as well.
Below are a handful of examples of this concept at work:
|Creature||Trait||Example Item Effect||Example Creature Part Required|
|Chain Devil||Animate Chains||A rope imbued with the essence of a Chain Devil’s chain that can be controlled with a command word. The creature attuned to the rope is able to use their bonus action to speak the command word and have the rope lash out and attempt to entangle a target within 30 ft. The target must succeed a DC 15 dexterity check or be restrained. A restrained target can use their action to make a DC 15 dexterity or strength check to break free.||Chain Demon Chains|
|Invisible Stalker||Faultless Tracker||A scarf with the ability to track a target. If a body part or belonging of a creature is rubbed against the scarf, the scarf immediately knows where the target is as long as it is on the same plane of existence. The person wearing the scarf can use their bonus action to speak the command word and have the end of the scarf animate and point in the direction of the target. The length of scarfs “appendage” gives a rough estimation of the distance. The shorter the appendage gets the closer the target is.||Invisible Stalker Essence|
|Mummy||Rotting Fist||Handwraps that grant the wearer a necrotic touch. When the wearer touches or makes an unarmed attack against an opponent the wraps deal an additional 1d6 necrotic damage.||Mummy Wraps|
|Nightmare||Ethereal Stride||A cloak that grants the user the ability to temporarily take them and nearby allies to the ethereal plane. Once per day as an action a player can move themselves and up to 3 willing creatures within 5 feet of them to the ethereal plane until the end of their next turn. All creatures who switched planes stay on the new plane until the end of their next turn.||Nightmare Hair|
|Shadow||Shadow Stealth||A cape that gives the wearer the ability to hide in shadows. The user of the cloak can use their hide action to hide in dim light.||Shadow Essence|
|Shambling Mound||Lightning Absorption||A cloak weaved with fibers from the shambling mound root stem that grants the user the ability to absorb lightning and attack with vines. The root stem in the cloak is able to absorb up to 20 lightning damage per day before becoming charged. Once the cloak is charged vines will grow out of it and the wearer can use their bonus action to slam nearby targets for 2d8 bludgeoning damage. The charged effect ends after 10 minutes, and cannot happen again until the next dawn.||Shambling Mound Root Stem|
The Takeway: The weaver’s tools have limited mundane crafting options, but impressive magical crafting options. Many of the magic items a weaver can craft can be used by all classes, and have relatively low rarity scores. This means that nearly any player can benefit from this toolkit.
Mr. Fancy Pants – Crafting Artwork
As we all know, weaving is and has always been a very relevant art-form. A quick walk down whatever your local “main street” is will likely result in you seeing a number of billboards featuring attractive models in fitted clothing. These billboards are so pervasive in major cities because despite the fact that most of us have clothes on our back, we are drawn to status and luxury associated with finely tailored goods.
Any player with proficiency in the weaver’s tools can use The Questionable Arcana Artwork Crafting System or similar to attempt to tap into this desire by creating all manner of weaved 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.
For example, a player can try to make clothes that go above and beyond the aptly named “clothes, fine” on the adventuring gear list. Or perhaps they simply want to make a beautiful blanket that they can sell at a hefty markup.
Mechanically making tailored artwork is more or less the same as most other crafted artwork. However, the high demand for tailored goods should be reflected in the sales process. As a result in the Questionable Arcana Artwork Crafting System, artwork created using the weaver’s tools take half as many days to find a buyer when rolling against the Salable Items table.
The Takeaway: A player can use the weaver’s tools to create cloth artwork. In the Questionable Arcana Artwork Crafting System these goods take half as long to find a buyer.
Working The Weave – Adventuring Utility
When it comes to adventuring utility the weaver’s tools are actually surprisingly useful. For starters they gain all of the usual bonuses one can expect when interacting or examining items associated with one’s craft. For example a player with weaver’s tools proficiency should be able to add their proficiency bonus to a check used to determine if the shirt of a murder victim was ripped or cut.
Beyond working with cloth, weaver’s tools proficiency also confers the ability to quickly tie strong knots. This may seem silly at first, but it stands to reason that a proficient weaver has tied a virtually uncountable number of knots. This level of practice would result in a weaver being able to tie knots more consistently and effectively than any other artisan on the list.
While tying knots might seem inconsequential at first, in reality the number of lives and assets that are quite literally hanging by a thread is fairly staggering. Anybody who has climbed or repelled knows the importance of a good knot. Anybody who has moored a boat knows that a loose knot can result in their ship being cast away in a storm. Sometimes depending on the situation a player may need to tie a knot quickly to save a life, or at least some property. Whatever the situation is, I would recommend allowing the player to add their weaver’s tools proficiency bonus on top of any other bonuses they have when tying a knot is involved.
Lastly a weaver should have a strong understanding of fabrics and the properties associated with them. For example if the party wants to tie a bunch of bed sheets together to escape a mad wizard’s tower, the weaver would be able to discern if they could climb all at once without the fabric tearing, or if they should descend one at a time.
The Takeaway: The weaver’s tools have all of the expected bonuses when it comes to inspecting cloth. They also grant the player the ability to tie knots more effectively. Lastly they also give the player a greater understanding of the properties of different fabrics.
It turns out that my initial assessment of the weaver’s tools might not have been correct. While it has some similarities to the leatherworker’s tools, I would hesitate to consider it an inferior option.
The types of items the kit can craft can be utilized by virtually anyone. Many of these items are fairly low on the power curve as well, meaning that there is a good chance that a player will have an opportunity to craft something at some point in the campaign. Artwork crafting is also a strong option as well for adventurers simply looking to make some extra coin.
Lastly the adventuring utility is fairly relevant. Cloth products litter all D&D worlds, and the ability to add your proficiency bonus to checks associated with them is extremely useful. Also the added bonus of being able to more effectively tie knots puts a nice bow around an all around pretty excellent kit.
If you think crafting will be an option in your campaign, this versatile kit is definitely worth considering.
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