recipes for every magic item in the dungeon master’s guide

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything has new rules for magic item creation: An item requires an “exotic material” to complete it, which you earn by facing a monster with an appropriate Challenge Rating. The exotic ingredient might be a trophy, like a yeti skin, or a treasure guarded by the monster, and should be “a thematic fit for the item to be crafted.”

The book suggest a few examples, like water weird essence as an ingredient for mariner’s armor, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a complete set of recipes for every magic item?

Well, it just so happens that I’ve been using nearly identical item-creation rules for a couple of years now. I even ran one campaign that was heavy on magic item creation, so I have a reasonably-playtested list of recipes for each of the items in the Player’s Handbook, fully compatible with the rules in Xanathar.

Rules notes:

  • I use the CR guidelines in Xanathar’s Guide, within a level or two, to match ingredients with appropriate guardians. In a few cases, when it’s thematically appropriate, a too-low-CR monster can provide an ingredient. For instance, the Bronze Griffin Figurine of Wondrous Power is a rare item, usually requiring a CR 9+ guardian. Even though a griffin is only CR 2, it’s clearly the right monstrous guardian.
  • In my game, characters stockpiled ingredients against future need. One player kept a list of exotic monsters killed. (Many D&D campaigns have a character who likes to collect monster trophies.) If a monster trophy was ever required for a recipe, we assumed the characters had scavenged the right piece of the monster: no “Oh no, I collected the beak, but it turns out we need toes.”
  • Each monster provides exactly one magical ingredient, except legendary monsters, which provide 2d4.
  • By the standard rules it’s a bad deal to make consumable magic items (they cost half the price of a permanent item of similar rarity) so I say that it’s full price to make them but you get 2d4 of the item.

    PDF of all recipes

    COMMON ITEMS

    Potion of climbing: Giant spider silk.
    Potion of healing: As per the rules, potions of healing (all types) can be created without exotic ingredients. But it might be fun to seed the world with exotic healing herbs, which reduce the cost of creating healing potions.
    Spell scroll: As per the rules, spell scrolls can be made without exotic ingredients. But if you harvest some giant octopus or squid ink, I’d let you make scrolls at a discount.
    Other common magic items: Xanathar’s Guide has a bunch of common magic items, all weak enough that they probably shouldn’t require a special ingredient to make.

    UNCOMMON ITEMS

    Adamantine armor: Adamantine, which is often found in azer mines.
    Alchemy jug: Ankheg stomach.
    Ammunition +1: Magic arrows can be fletched with griffin, hippogriff, pegasus, or peryton pinions. Sling stones can be made from gargoyle chunks.
    Amulet of proof vs detection/location: Quasit eyes.
    Bag of holding: Phase spider silk.
    Bag of tricks: Hides of all the requisite animals, plus phase spider silk.
    Boots of elvenkind: Owlbear hide worked by elves.
    Boots of striding and springing: Dire wolf hide.
    Boots of the winterlands: Yeti or winter wolf hide, or hide from an animal killed by a white dragon.
    Bracers of archery: Manticore leather, or bracer worn by a centaur.
    Brooch of shielding: Black pudding pudding, or a knight’ shield.
    Broom of flying: Nightmare tail, green hag evil eye, or broom owned by a hag.
    Cap of water breathing: Merrow hair, or a mer-noble’s comb.
    Circlet of blasting: Flame skull skull.
    Cloak of elvenkind: Quaggoth fur skinned by an elf.
    Cloak of protection: Displacer beast hide.
    Cloak of the manta ray: Giant octopus tentacles (or giant manta ray hide: give it killer whale stats).
    Decanter of endless water: Captured water weird bound by daisy chains.
    Deck of illusions: Green hag evil eye, or intellect devourer brain.
    Driftglobe: Will of the wisp mote, or the assistance of a pixie.
    Dust of disappearance: Cube gelatin.
    Dust of dryness: Modron dust.
    Dust of sneezing/choking: Yellow mold spores.
    Elemental gem: Mephit mote of the appropriate flavor.
    Eversmoking bottle: Azer beard.
    Eyes of charming: Harpy eyes, or any hag’s evil eye.
    Eyes of minute seeing: Spectator eye.
    Eyes of the eagle: Eyes of a giant eagle or griffon.
    Figurine of silver raven: Silver dragon egg, or hag evil eye.
    Gauntlets of ogre power: Ogre finger bones.
    Gem of brightness: Fire beetle gland.
    Gloves of missile snaring: Ceremonial gloves worn by a githzerai monk.
    Gloves of swimming and climbing: Merrow finger bones.
    Gloves of thievery: Imp hide, or gloves stolen from a thief.
    Goggles of night: Shadow demon eyes, or glass blown in the shadowfell.
    Hat of disguise: Mimic adhesive.
    Headband of Intellect: Intellect devourer brain.
    Helm of comprehending languages: Gibbering mouther ichor, or a page written in Celestial.
    Helm of telepathy: Faerie dragon wings, or nothic eye.
    Immovable rod: Basilisk bone, or animated armor metal.
    Instrument of the bard: All types of instruments of the bards are made from Elder Woods: exotic woods from a fairy forest, typically protected by dryads or treants.
    Javelin of lightning: Blue dragon fang.
    Keoghtom’s ointment: Healing herb known to dryads and druids, such as heartsblood or wild goodberries.
    Lantern of revealing: Will-o-wisp mote, or a lantern owned by a man or woman who has never told a lie.
    Mariner’s armor: Water weird essence, or the armor of a sahaguin baron.
    Medallion of thoughts: Doppelganger tongue.
    Mithral armor: Mithral, which is often found in duergar or dwarf mines.
    Necklace of adaptation: Chuul plate.
    Oil of slipperiness: Ochre jelly oil, or a type of water weeds prized by kuo-toa.
    Pearl of power: Pearl from a shark-infested oyster bed, or pseudodragon heart, or pixie heart.
    Periapt of health: Mummy wrappings.
    Periapt of wound closure: Werewolf or were-tiger fangs.
    Philter of love: The print of an incubus/succubus kiss, or various herbs known to mountebanks, such as lovelorn lilies.

    Pipes of haunting: Banshee ectoplasm.
    Pipes of the sewers: Wererat bones.
    Potion of animal friendship: A lock of dryad hair, or satyr wine, or a gift from an intelligent fairy animal.
    Potion of fire breath: Hell hound blood, or red dragon egg.
    Potion of hill giant strength: Hill giant heart.
    Potion of growth: Duergar blood.
    Potion of poison: Giant scorpion poison, or green dragon egg (or various other poison animals and plants, each of which can have different effects)
    Potion of resistance: Dragon blood.
    Potion of water breathing: Killer whale blood, or seaweed harvested by kuo-toa and fed to slaves.
    Quiver of Ehlonna: Centaur hide or manticore tail.
    Ring of jumping: Eye of the weretiger.
    Ring of mind shielding: Myconid spores.
    Ring of swimming: Water weird essence, or gift given by a sea hag.
    Ring of warmth: Fire snake hide.
    Ring of water walking: Grell beak, or gift given by sea hag.
    Robe of useful items: Phase spider silk, plus one of each of the useful items.
    Rod of the pact keeper +1: Spined devil horns, faerie dragon heart, or gibbering mouther ichor.
    Rope of climbing: Carrion crawler tentacles, or a scroll of Rope Trick.
    Saddle of the cavalier: Hippogriff hide, or a pegasus feather freely given.
    Sending stones: Both ettin brains.
    Sentinel shield: Grick hide or melted animated armor.
    Shield +1: Any of the Great Metals (mithral, adamantium, etc.)
    Slippers of spider climbing: Giant Spider silk.
    Staff of the adder: Yuan-ti fangs.
    Staff of the python: Giant constrictor snake skin, or yuan-ti fangs.
    Stone of good luck (luckstone): Couatl heart, or the sling stone with which a halfling killed a large monster.
    Sword of vengeance: Wereboar tusks, or spectator eye.
    Trident of fish command: Sea hag evil eye, or the trident of merfolk royalty.
    Wand of magic detection: Lamia eyes.
    Wand of magic missiles: Spined devil spines, or spectator eye.
    Wand of secrets: Nothic tongue.
    Wand of the war mage +1: Bearded Devil beard, will-o-wisp essence, flame skull skull, or the shards of a destroyed Staff of Power/Staff of the Magi.
    Wand of web: Ettercap silk.
    Weapon +1 Any of the Great Metals (mithral, etc.) or Elder Woods (see Instrument of the Bard description)
    Weapon of warning: Death Dog tongues.
    Wind fan: Griffin pinions.
    Winged boots: Pegasus pinions.

    RARE ITEMS

    Ammunition +2: Barbs of a barbed devil, branches harvested by a treant, or stones from a xorn stomach.
    Amulet of health: Troll heart.
    Armor +1: Any of the Great Metals (mithril, adamantium, etc), or the hide of a beast of CR 5-10.
    Armor of resistance: Young dragon hide of the appropriate type, or air elemental mote (force), umber hulk hide (psychic), deva pinion (radiant), cloud giant heart (thunder).
    Armor of vulnerability: Same as armor +1.
    Arrow-catching shield: Mezzoloth chitin.
    Bag of beans: There’s always some at the bottom of a cloud giant sack.
    Bead of force: Bulette claws.
    Belt of dwarvenkind: Earth elemental mote, or the belt of a Dwarven chief.
    Belt of hill giant strength: Hill giant heart.
    Berserker axe: Same as weapon +2.
    Boots of levitation: Cloaker hide, or leather worked by drow.
    Boots of speed: Air elemental mote.
    Bowl of commanding water elementals: Water elemental mote.
    Bracers of defense: Xorn hide, or the shield of a hobgoblin warlord.
    Brazier of commanding fire elementals: Fire elemental mote.
    Cape of the mountebank: Mezzoloth chitin or oni horn.
    Censer of controlling air elementals: Air elemental mote.
    Chime of opening: Rust monster tentacles, or 500 gold coins (gold opens all doors).
    Cloak of displacement: Invisible stalker eyes, or displacer beast hide.
    Cloak of the bat: Cloaker hide, or vampire spawn dust.
    Cube of force: Bulette claws.
    Daern’s instant fortress: Galeb duhr heart, or a real fortress you are willing to dismantle.
    Dagger of venom: Wyvern tail or green dragon heart.
    Dimensional shackles: Chain devil chain, or githzerai silver sword.
    Dragon slayer: Weapon that struck the death blow to a dragon, or the blessing of a giant chief.
    Elixir of health: Troll heart.
    Elven chain: Mithral.
    Figurine of wondrous power (bronze griffon): Griffon pinion and medusa eyes.
    Figurine of wondrous power (ebony fly): Chasme wings and medusa eyes.
    Figurine of wondrous power (golden lions): Chimera mane and medusa eyes.
    Figurine of wondrous power (ivory goats): Chimera horns and medusa eyes.
    Figurine of wondrous power (marble elephant): Mammoth tusks and medusa eyes.
    Figurine of wondrous power (onyx dog): Blink dog heart and medusa eyes.
    Figurine of wondrous power (serpentine owl): Giant owl beak and medusa eyes.
    Flame tongue: Red dragon heart.
    Folding boat: Water elemental mote.
    Gem of seeing: Cyclops eye.
    Giant slayer: Weapon that felled a giant, or a weapon blessed by a dragon.
    Glamoured studded leather: Cambion wings, or oni horn.
    Helm of teleportation: Nycaloth claw.
    Heward’s handy haversack: Drider silk.
    Horn of blasting: Gorgon horn or the war horn of a stone giant tribe.
    Horn of valhalla (silver or brass): Gorgon horn.
    Horseshoes of speed: Unicorn horn, or unicorn-blessed iron.
    Ioun stone: These cannot be crafted! They are from the gods, or space, or something.
    Iron bands of bilarro: Glabrezu pincer, or chain devil chains.
    Mace of disruption: The mace of a deva, death slaad gem, or the weapon of a saint.
    Mace of smiting: Treant branch or golem remains.
    Mace of terror: Umber hulk mandibles.
    Mantle of spell resistance: Yochlol goo, hezrou teeth, or vrock beak.
    Necklace of fireballs: Salamander mote.
    Necklace of prayer beads: Guardian naga bones or the prayer beads of a saint.
    Oil of etherealness: Night hag eye.
    Periapt of proof against poison: Unicorn horn, or the bones of a king or queen who died of old age.
    Portable hole: Bulette claws, or xorn hide.
    Potion of clairvoyance: Aboleth blood.
    Potion of diminution: Oni horn.
    Potion of gaseous form: Vampire spawn dust, yochlol goo, or oni horn.
    Potion of giant strength (fire, frost or stone giant): Heart of appropriate giant.
    Potion of heroism: Werebear fangs, barlgura heart, or liquor brewed by a great warrior.
    Potion of invulnerability: Hydra heart, or the blood of a champion gladiator.
    Potion of mind reading: Mind flayer brain, or aboleth blood.
    Quaal’s feather token: Pegasus pinion, griffon pinion, or deva pinion.
    Ring of animal influence: Treant branch, or the sickle of a druid who can cast fifth level spells.
    Ring of evasion: Water elemental mote, or a ring worn by a master thief.
    Ring of feather falling: Deva feather, or air elemental mote.
    Ring of free action: Air elemental mote.
    Ring of protection: Guardian naga bones, or shield guardian chestplate.
    Ring of resistance: Shambling mound root.
    Ring of spell storing: Spirit naga bone, or a wizard spellbook with at least five levels of spells.
    Ring of the ram: Chimera horns.
    Ring of x-ray vision: Cyclops eye.
    Robe of eyes: Otyugh eyes.
    Rod of rulership: Aboleth spine, or royal scepter, or iron golem iron.
    Rod of the pact keeper +2: Aboleth spine, or bone devil bone, or unicorn horn.
    Rope of entanglement: Roper tentacles.
    Shield +2: Any of the Royal Metals (metals even rarer than adamantium and mithril, which you can make up: perhaps sungold, black iron, or astral silver), or shield guardian chestplate.
    Shield of missile attraction: Same as Shield +2.
    Staff of charming: Green hag eye, or favor from an arcanaloth.
    Staff of healing: Hydra heart.
    Staff of swarming insects: Otyugh goo, or chasme wings.
    Staff of the woodlands: Treant branch, or wood from a Druid grove.
    Staff of withering: Black dragon heart, or fomorian eye.
    Stone of controlling earth elementals: Earth elemental mote.
    Sun blade: Gold dragon heart, or the mace of a deva.
    Sword of life stealing: Vampire dust.
    Sword of wounding: Nycaloth claw.
    Tentacle rod: Mind flayer tentacles, or roper tentacles.
    Vicious weapon: Barlgura heart, or erinyes sword.
    Wand of binding: Roper tentacles.
    Wand of enemy detection: Cyclops eye, or fomorian eye.
    Wand of fear: Slaad gem.
    Wand of fireballs: Efreeti mote.
    Wand of lightning bolts: Shambling mound root, or behir blood.
    Wand of paralysis: Medusa snakes, or vrock beak.
    Wand of the war mage +2: Favor traded with an arcanaloth, or beholder eyestalk, or green/grey slaad gem.
    Wand of wonder: Death slaad gem.
    Weapon +2: Any of the Royal Metals (see Shield +2), or githyanki knight sword.
    Wings of flying: Wyvern wings, or nycaloth wings.

    VERY RARE ITEMS

    Ammunition +3: Gynosphynx pinion, roc pinion, or planetar pinion.
    Amulet of the planes: The eyes of natives of 3 other planes of at least CR 12 each.
    Animated shield: Marilith swords, or a scroll of Animate Objects.
    Armor +2: Any of the Royal Metals (see shield +2), or the hide of a beast of CR 13+.
    Arrow of slaying: Heart of the target creature.
    Bag of devouring: Behir stomach.
    Belt of giant strength: Appropriate giant heart.
    Candle of invocation: Blessing from a planetar or saint.
    Carpet of flying: Djinni mote.
    Cloak of arachnida: Yochlol goo.
    Crystal ball: Beholder eye.
    Dancing sword: Marilith sword.
    Demon armor: Marilith sword, or nalfeshnee tusks.
    Dragon scale mail: Any adult dragon hide.
    Dwarven plate: Any of the Royal Metals, worked by a dwarf blacksmith.
    Dwarven thrower: Any of the Royal Metals, worked by a dwarf blacksmith.
    Efreeti bottle: Efreeti mote.
    Figurine of wondrous power (obsidian steed): Nightmare heart and beholder eye.
    Frost brand: White dragon heart, or ice devil heart.
    Helm of brilliance: Ultroloth eye, or a scroll of Sunbeam.
    Horn of Valhalla (bronze): Horned devil horn.
    Horseshoes of a zephyr: Djinni mote.
    Ioun stone: Can’t be crafted.
    Manual of bodily health: Purple worm hide, or tree felled by the tarrasque.
    Manual of gainful exercise: Goristro horn, or tree felled by the tarrasque.
    Manual of golems: Appropriate golem eye, or a spellbook containing at least seven levels of spells.
    Manual of quickness of action: Demilich dust.
    Mirror of life trapping: Erinyes eye, or mirror owned by a vampire.
    Nine lives stealer: Vampire fangs, mummy lord wrappings, or the true names of nine devils.
    Nolzur’s marvelous pigments: Beholder eye.
    Oathbow: Erinyes bow, or the blessing of a legendary paladin of vengeance.
    Oil of sharpness: Vampire fangs.
    Potion of flying: Roc pinion.
    Potion of giant strength (cloud giant): Cloud giant heart.
    Potion of invisibility: Invisible stalker eye, or rakshasa eye.
    Potion of longevity: Planetar pinion, mummy lord wrappings, or philosopher’s stone (which can be synthesized by a few archmages).
    Potion of speed: Demilich dust, or marilith sword.
    Potion of vitality: Nalfeshnee heart.
    Ring of regeneration: Vampire fangs.
    Ring of shooting stars: Death slaad gem, or a secret whispered by a star to some warlocks.
    Ring of telekinesis: Beholder eye stalk.
    Robe of scintillating colors: Nalfeshnee heart.
    Robe of stars: Death slaad gem, or a secret whispered by a star to some warlocks.
    Rod of absorption: Scrolls whose combined spell level is 50.
    Rod of alertness: Beholder eye stalk.
    Rod of security: A ring given to a mortal by an angel.
    Rod of the pact keeper + 3: Pit fiend heart, fey lord heart, or elder one heart.
    Scimitar of speed: Marilith sword.
    Shield +3: A +2 shield that has fended off an attack by a legendary monster of CR 17+.
    Spellguard shield: Iron golem iron.
    Staff of fire: Adult red dragon heart, or balor true name.
    Staff of frost: Adult white dragon heart, or ice devil true name.
    Staff of power: Arcanaloth heart, or demilich skull.
    Staff of striking: Erinyes heart.
    Staff of thunder and lightning: Blue dragon heart.
    Sword of sharpness: Same as +3 sword.
    Tome of clear thought: Lich phylactery dust, or relic of a god of knowledge.
    Tome of leadership and influence: Ultroloth eye, or the war standard of a conquering general.
    Tome of understanding: Grave treasures of an empyrian, or the diary of an archmage.
    Wand of polymorph: Rakshasa heart.
    Wand of the war mage +3: Demilich skull, or lich phylactery dust, or treasure guarded by an androsphinx.
    Weapon +3: A +2 weapon that has hit a legendary monster of CR 17+.

    LEGENDARY ITEMS

    Apparatus of Kwalish: “The Manual of Kwalish,” or dragon turtle shell.
    Armor +3: +2 armor that has fended off an attack by a legendary monster of CR 17+.
    Armor of invulnerability: Dragon Turtle shell.
    Belt of cloud giant strength: Cloud giant heart.
    Belt of storm giant strength: Storm giant heart.
    Cloak of invisibility: Shadow dragon wings.
    Cubic gate: Skulls of 6 creatures of CR 17+, each native to a different plane.
    Deck of many things: Kraken ink.
    Defender: Death knight sword.
    Efreeti chain: Efreeti mote and red dragon blood.
    Hammer of thunderbolts: Empyrian maul.
    Holy avenger: Solar soul freely given.
    Horn of valhalla (iron): Goristro horn.
    Iron flask: All four genie motes.
    Luck blade: Sword of a solar.
    Plate armor of etherealness: Shadow dragon skull.
    Potion of storm giant strength: Storm giant blood.
    Ring of djinni summoning: Djinni who agrees to be bound.
    Ring of elemental command: Jewel from a genie monarch’s throne room.
    Ring of invisibility: Solar pinion, or shadow dragon skull.
    Ring of spell turning: Demilich soul gem, or balor true name.
    Ring of three wishes: Motes from 3 of the 4 genies and a scroll of Wish.
    Robe of the archmagi: Dracolich skull, or the magic item creation assistance of three archmages.
    Rod of lordly might: Empyrian weapon.
    Rod of resurrection: Mummy lord scarab.
    Scarab of protection: Mummy lord scarab.
    Sovereign glue: Kraken ink, or purple worm guts.
    Sphere of annihilation: Blood shed by a wounded Tarrasque.
    Staff of the magi: Lich phylactery dust, or a Staff of Power that has been owned by three archmages.
    Sword of answering: Death knight sword, or solar sword.
    Talisman of pure good: Solar soul freely given.
    Talisman of the sphere: Kraken tentacle.
    Talisman of ultimate evil: Balor or pit fiend soul, or a good soul trapped in a demilich soul gem.
    Tome of the stilled tongue: Lich tongue.
    Universal solvent: Adult black dragon acid.
    Vorpal sword: Death knight sword, or solar sword.
    Well of many worlds: Pit field skull, balor skull, and empyrian skull.

    PDF of all recipes

  • 4 Responses to “recipes for every magic item in the dungeon master’s guide”

    1. Mark says:

      This is awesome and I’m using this immediately! You’ve done it again! Amazing and useful

    2. Elise says:

      This is a fantastic list of crafting recipes. I can’t wait to use it in my campaign. Thank you for sharing this!!!

    3. Lou Anders says:

      This is unbelievable helpful and very well done. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    4. 1d30 says:

      I like the ones for Shield and Weapon, which make it look like if you fight the next tier of creature it makes the item eligible for an upgrade. Or would you need to start with a nonmagical sword vs. legendary creature? How to avoid the idiocy of someone smacking a dragon with a nonmagical sword, dropping it to draw a new nonmagical sword for next round, just to make the swords eligible for crafting?

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