Last time I made a post about conceptual balance, I mentioned how everyone should be able to craft in a 'balanced' fantasy game world. I stand by that, and here are some simple rules to show how that works.
Every character can make magic items, regardless of their class. In order to create a magic item, you need downtime to craft the items, as well as the raw materials if its being made from scratch. Items can also be made from other items, or repurposed if its makes sense. Items have levels of power that go in categories from Minor, Significant, and Major.
Every character may have or sustain one minor magic item at a time, with an extra one being added every 10 levels. These items can be given away/stolen but have little staying power. If lost you can make another up to cap.
Fighters enhance their favorite mundane pieces of equipment and continue mystic warrior traditions. Anoint their sword in moon-oil. Meditate under a waterfall while wearing their talisman. Stick a letter from home in their boot.
Fighter minor items grant either +1 to a physical stat (Str, Dex, or Con) while worn, or grant +1 AC or to hit against a specific creature type.
Rogues keep around 'lucky' items and gadgets that help them be sneaky and crafty. They carry a coin with its eyes scratched eye to sneak past the city guard. Cloak woven with a child pickpocket's hair in the seam, to remember them and grant the Rogue their deftness.
Rogue minor items grant +1 to a single saving throw category, or grant +1 to stealth or reaction checks against a specific creature type.
Wizards collect weird magical stuff and bits of obscure ancient lore. Small chunks of fulgrite tied to their staff to enhance lightning spells. Diary of a crazy person, notes in the margins trying to find the meaning in the babbling.
Wizard minor items grant +1 to the damage of a specific element when rolled, or they grant a 1 in 6 to identify items of a similar origin. Items when worn grant +1 to a mental stat (Int, Wis, Cha)
Significant Magic Items
Significant Magic Items
Once you reach name level, you may spend a significant amount of downtime and money to craft a significant item. This item requires either a rare and exotic material for its construction; like sun metal, rare animal leather, or a magic crystal; OR it will require a complex ritual of the player's invention. Doing both may allow the item to be slightly stronger then a normal significant item. You can only forge one of these per level you have past name level.
Fighters make items better then mundane equipment. Special wood from the elf grove lets this shield withstand an axe's swing. Torch passed to all members of fighting-man secret society is imbued into sword's crossguard, granting you a portion of their collective ferocity.
Fighter Significant items count weapons and armor as magic and usually grant +1 to hit or AC. If made specific, like vs a certain creature, grants +2 or kills on a 20. Armor can grant +1 to saves and +1 or +2 resistance to a certain element.
Rogues can create items of hidden or secretive natures, things that tap into the power of shadow and stealth. They can also enchant bows and daggers to be especially deadly.
Rogue Significant items can grant +1d6 on the first stealth attack of the day if weapon. Armors can grant +1 to all saving throws or grant +1 AC if you don't attack on the same round. Any item can grant you a +1 to their X in 6 chance to perform a skill check of a specific type, like hide or climb.
Wizards start to create items that have or sustain spell effects beyond normal levels. Items brimming with magic and meta-magic.
Wizard Significant items can enhance the spell or caster level of a specific spell cast with it. Wizards can start forging arcane tools like wands and staves, which can have constant cantrips or activated low level magic powers.
Once beyond name level, you can choose to craft a major magic item instead of your normal level up bonuses if you choose. You do not gain health, better saves, or any other bonuses but your level and cost to level up against both go up; you are pouring a piece of yourself into this work. These items are sometimes called Artifacts. These items usually require several rare items, rituals to complete, as well as giving up your own strength to make them. You can only make a single artifact per character, your magnum opus.
Fighters make major items out of monster parts, adamantium, pieces of a god's armor, and other extremely rare and potent items related to war and combat prowess.
Fighter major items can change the entire rules of a combat encounter and may give them the ability to fight hoards of normal warriors. Swords that grant many bonus attacks, or if you give up your attack for a round deflects any amount of arrows or other attacks sent at you. Fighter major armor can grant damage reduction against all types of damage of -2, ignoring weak attacks entirely. If against a specific element or type of weapon (like axes, arrows, fire, etc) reduces all incoming damage by -6 instead. Fire proof cloaks for dragon slayers are a classic.
Rogues start to collect and create items belonging to other legendary thieves and explorers from the past. Things that meld away identity and collect darkness, and items with a mind of their own that might try to escape if their master's ambition doesn't live up to the item's potential.
Rogue major items grant entirely new supernatural thievery abilities and can manipulate minds. Supernatural lightness lets you run on water or balance on the smallest tree branch. Rogue weapons can start to bypass AC entirely, or be coated in deadly venom that can kill most mortal foes, especially of a specific type. Rogue gear might allow you to become flat, smoke, or disappear once a day the moment you get hit.
Wizards craft these extremely potent magical artifacts out of rare and carefully collected magical items and reagents. Magic of this level requires dragon egg shells, crystals found only in the core of the earth or the glowing dots in the sky, ancient treaties of magic written by the first witches and the souls of powerful creatures trapped in stones.
Wizard major items grant immediate meta-magic abilities, constant magic of spell-casting level, and go beyond the normal limits of spellcasting. Boost every spell cast with this staff as though cast in a higher spell level, or a magic hat that grants 1 extra spell slot of the highest one you can cast. Magic mirror that can bounce enemy spells back, or bottle that can trap a demon inside and force it to answer 1 question truthfully when let back out.