The following content was contributed by (and used by permission of) Robert Conley of Bat in the Attic Games from Magic Item Creation Costs, a supplement for The Majestic Wilderlands but which is usable in any Swords & Wizardry Campaign.
There are several types of magic items, potions, scrolls, charms/runes, wands, rods, staves, weapons, armor, and miscellaneous objects. The principle for creating magic items is straightforward. You gather the needed components, and perform the correct rituals for a set amount of time.
The lower case d in the prices stands for denarius, a silver penny. This reflects the silver based economy of the Majestic Wilderlands. For a gold based economy I recommend making 1d equal a gold piece.
In general any of the items here will be sold for 2 times its cost.
Potions require a laboratory worth 5,000 d. This requires ordering items and services from glassblowers (40%), potters (20%), chandler (20%), carpenters (10%), and masons (10%). Potions take 1 day per 50 d worth of components to prepare. For example a Potion of Healing takes 2 days as well as 100 d worth of components to prepare while a Potion of Flying takes 10 days due to the 500 d worth of components.
The cost of potions is as below.
Scrolls require quills and ink along with paper, parchment, or vellum to write on. Materials for 100 scrolls may be purchased for 1,000 d from a Lexigrapher.
Scrolls require 100 d of components per spell level and take one day per 100 d worth of components to prepare. For example a Scroll of Fireball takes 3 days as it is a 3rd level spell taking 300 d worth of components. Up to eight spells may be scribed on a single scroll.
The eight types of protection scrolls (Demons, Drowning, Elemental (type), Magic, Metal, Poison, Undead, Were-creature) take 1,000 d of components and two weeks to prepare. The effects of the protection (modifiers, area, and duration) may be double for four times the cost and double the time (4,000 d and one month).
Cursed scrolls take 2,000 d in components and two weeks to prepare. Creators of cursed scroll need to roll a d20 and add their dexterity to the roll. If they roll a 20 or higher then they prepared the scroll without mishap. If they roll lower than a 20 then they made a mistake in handling the scroll and it takes effect on the creator (saving throws apply). Spells and potions effecting dexterity need to be cast every day of preparation to gain their bonus.
Charms are the simplest of magic items to make. Charms are similar to scrolls and wands in that they are used to cast the spells stored within them. Unlike scrolls the charm are rechargeable. Charms can come in the form jewelry or articles of clothing like bracelets, necklaces, diadems, belts, or stoles. Only item may be enchanted as a charm and the item has to be of fine quality. Like scrolls the item cost is consider part of the creation cost. Material for a 100 charms may be purchased for 1,000 d from a Clothier, or Jeweller.
Charms require 200 d of components per spell level and take one day per 100 d worth of components to prepare. For example a Charm of Strength takes 4 days as it is 2nd level spells taking 400 d worth of components. Only one item may be enchanted as a charm. Caster can get around this limitation by enchanting jewels or coin sized medallions and hanging them off a necklace, belt, or bracelet.
Unlike scrolls, charms can be recharged for considerably less cost. Recharging a charm requires 50 d of components per spell level. The time require to complete the recharging ritual is one day per 100 d worth of components. For example a Charm of Strength has been used in a recent foray into the dungeon. It will take 100 d worth of components and 1 day to recharge the charm.
Runes are similar to the use of scrolls, charms, and wands. A rune can be temporary or permanent. A temporary rune is created much in the same way as a scroll. When used, the rune-caster touches the rune and is able to cast the spell that round. Afterwards the rune dissipates. The creation of Runes require tools for fine carving. Tools for Runes may be purchased for 500 d from a Mason or Jeweller. Material for a 100 runes may be purchased for 500 d from a Jeweller or Mason.
The permanent rune is created in the same manner as a charm item; then infused with a spell as per the charm rules. The Rune-caster merely has to touch the rune to activate it and can cast the spell that round
Unlike charms multiple runes may be inscribed on a single object, provided there is physical space for the rune. Runes are typically 1 to 3 inches in size. To size of the rune is the spell level divided by two, round up.
The art of rune-creation is only known to the rune-casters of the dwarves and the Order of Thor.
The creation of magic items requires the creation of a sanctum the centerpiece of which is the enchanter’s circle. The creation of an permanent enchanter circle requires 5,000 d in components. In addition 5,000 d worth of equipment need to be purchased. This requires ordering items and services from metalsmiths (10%), potters (10%), chandlers (10%), carpenters (30%), and masons (30%).
For a single magic item a temporary enchanter’s circle may be used. A temporary enchanter’s circle requires 2,500 d of components. In addition 1,000 d worth of equipment needs to be purchased along with a secure, quiet space in which to conduct the enchantment.
Intelligent weapons have a bound spirit that inhabits the weapon.
Demonic items have a bound demon. The item gains the intelligence and knowledge of the demon. The wielder gains the demon’s special abilities.
Wand magic is a development of combining rune magic and charms to make an item that more capable of storing spells. Once crafted, wands may be recharged by simply casting the spells into them. This can be done with a memorized spell or by a spell cast by ritual.