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Item Crafting
Baking made easy!(Finding the resources was hard enough...)

In RPGs, characters can be usually improved in two ways: by leveling up, which simulates increasing their physical abilities and improving their skills, and by acquiring more potent gear by some means. Usually the items available are preset ones either purchased, looted or found, but some RPGs feature various mechanisms for having characters make their own items, some of which are superior to anything that can be acquired otherwise. This gameplay mechanism is especially prevalent in MMORPGs, where the production of various items by player characters is required for skill advancement and is a source of revenue for players. Item crafting usually requires only certain skills in the player character and having the raw materials available, leading to the peculiar situation of character being able to forge full suits of armour without tools or a forge, almost instantly.

Crafting can easily turn into a Game Breaker if the game designers just threw in the crafting system without testing for cheese and exploits.

If the product of the crafting requires significantly less in terms of time and effort than one would expect from the finished product, you need Just Add Water. See also Design It Yourself Equipment. Socketed Equipment is a form of this, allowing for some customization but generally without the Game Breaker possibilities.


Video Game examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • Aquaria allows you to combine Random Drops to make healing items like food.
  • In Overlord, it is possible to make weapons and armor, and upgrade them with lives of your minions. Since Overlord doesn't get any levels, it is the only way to do Level Grinding (because the process of getting new minions is very similar).
  • Castlevania
    • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow uses this for many weapons. Weapons can be upgraded into new forms thanks to Yoko by fusing them with soul abilities (which act as subweapons and magic in this game). Souls and weapons often require grinding, which can become a frustrating mechanic. Some weapons use boss souls, which only appear once! It becomes a case of whether you want to go further up the chain, or keep a potentially useful ability (or upgrade, then grind for the soul again). This soul fusion is the only way to get many of the best weapons, or at least ones above "mediocre" level.
    • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness has such a system which can be used to craft weapons ranging from joke weapons to extremely powerful weapons. There is also a system for creating your Innocent Devils.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has a shop where you can use stuff that Randomly Drops from enemies to improve your items, making them tougher (shields are breakable in this game) and sometimes adding new abilities. There are at least two upgrades (Beetle to Hook Bettle and Digging Mitts to Mogma Mitts) that have to be acquired elsewhere, though.

    Action RPG 
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles has "scrolls", which have materials listed on them. Taking them to a specific shop with said materials allowed crafting of a specific item, with a chance of it being better than normal. Gems can optionally be added for various effects, resulting in many possible versions of each item. Finding some of the materials may result in Guide Dang It, however. It gets really weird with the New Game+ system, where you get items identical in appearance and similar in name & scroll, but with different materials and stats. Especially confusing with "Dragonlike", "Dragonish", "Dracolord", and "Dragon God" armors, which are all variations on the standard Dragoon outfit in the Main Series.
  • The Kingdom Hearts series has synthesis shops, run by the Moogles.
  • In Sorcerian, items could be enchanted in seven different ways. These could be combined, but produced some complicated interference effects.
  • Weapons and armor can be enhanced this way in The Last Story, requiring commonplace materials like iron, gold and others. But for much higher levels, they will require rare and unique items known as "Particles of the Outsider", which are more frequent in the New Game+ (five of them are even earned for every boss defeated).
  • Scattered through the first twelve towers in Pandora's Tower are numerous objects, spoils and treasures that can be given to Mavda so she can upgrade the weapons Aeron finds, including the secret fourth weapon that can be found during the New Game+. Uniquely, the upgrade requirements can be chosen accordingly to the items gathered, though all of them will be necessary if the player seeks to completely empower the weapons. As far as money goes, the upgrades are all free.
  • The many different weapons in Monster Hunter can be either crafted from scratch or upgraded from other weapons. Logically, the latter is the cheaper way and will require less materials. Armor pieces can only be crafted from scratch, though, and further upgrades will require Armor Spheres (of which there are various types by rarity and rank).

    Driving Game 
  • Choro Q HG4 has a laboratory in the third town which can combine the useless junk you're carrying around into useful parts. Some of the parts you can create are required for some of the part races.

    Fighting Game 
  • In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, many items in the Shop must be bought with both items and gil. This is called Trading in the game, but you'll probably notice that, usually, the items you need to trade can logically act as ingredients for the purchase. It was called "Synthesis" in the Japanese version.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Multiplayer non-MMO FPS Team Fortress 2 has a crafting system to go with its unlockable weapon and item system. Some of the combinations make sense, others... not so much.
    • As an example; as of the Pyromania update, items of 'charred (foo)' drop, just a pile of ashes with various random descriptions like 'a charred goldfish'. By crafting four of them together, you get another item, that contains weapons and crates, that's also described as a pile of ashes that 'looks like there's something in there'.
  • The little known Nali Chronicles mod for Unreal Tournament includes the option of preparing potions of all kinds by mixing certain ingredients in a bottle or vial, and then cooking the mixture.
  • BioShock's U-Invent machines allow you to craft ammo and various other items out of items that are apparently useless at first, like enzymes, batteries and glue. Items include gene tonics and usually the best ammunitions for each weapon.

    Hack And Slash 
  • The Horadric Cube in Diablo II to a limited extent (Plus Charsi's "Imbue" reward).
    • Various mods like "Eastern Sun" expand on this, occasionally to an absurd level.
    • Diablo 3 has Artisans who will craft items for you if given recipes, materials, and money. They travel with the player from town to town as part of their Caravan, and can be upgraded to offer better services.

    MMORPG's 
  • City of Heroes was a rare aversion in the MMORPG world for three years, since most hero concepts didn't need "gear," but this left high-level heroes and villains with huge amounts of cash and nothing to do with it. This finally led to the introduction of "inventions" — specialized enhancements for superpowers — and an auction house to distribute the needed parts through.
  • World of Warcraft allows the player to choose two primary professions. A number of these are for item crafting (Alchemy for potions/elixirs, Tailoring for cloth items, Leatherworking for leather and some mail, Blacksmithing for heavy armor and weapons, Engineering for a number of interesting and often explosive gadgets, and Jewelcrafting for accessories and magic gems to boost the stats of compatible gear), some are for material gathering (Mining, Skinning and Herbalism) for the express purpose of supplying the crafting professions, and finally two for augmenting gear and skills(Enchanting and Inscription respectively). Players can pick any two professions per character, and can "unlearn" them at will and take up another from the beginning.
    • And in a variation from the norm skills like blacksmithing, while still taking an unrealistically short time, do require the character to be near a source of equipment, such as a smithy's anvil or forge, and require tools such as blacksmith hammers, skinning knives, mining picks, jeweler's kits, and so forth. Engineering can get a little crazy on this point with some items....
    • There are also 3 secondary professions that can be learned by everyone: Fishing, First Aid, and Cooking. The latter two allow you to craft bandages and food that provide stat buffs, respectively, while the former is mainly for supplying Cooking with materials.
    • Crafted Weapons and Armor are useful at low levels, but entirely pointless at end game where the best raid gear can only be had from questing. The consumables skills however (alchemy, engineering) are often quite powerful, as are enchanting and jewel crafting; fully enchanting your items is necessary for competitive raiding or pvp.
      • "Entirely pointless" is putting it too strongly. On paper at least, the best crafted gear is as good as the best gear that drops in dungeons and raids, or at most one raiding tier lower. The best crafted gear gets very expensive, but it's definitely a reasonable choice to fill in gaps in a high-level player's gear if he or she is unlucky with getting a certain item to drop or something.
      • In Wrath of the Lich King, three tiers of raids dropped rare crafting patterns for items on par with drops from the 25-man versions of the same raids. Some of the crafted items from Icecrown Citadel are the best-in-slot items for certain classes and specs before Heroic modes. Blizzard works hard to try and keep crafted items and raid loot in a balance so that while raid items are always ultimately the best items in the game, the best crafted items are still worthwhile.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has Meatsmithing, Starcrafting, Pixelcrafting and seventy-one hojillion other ways of making new stuff. While many don't require special tools, the main equipment skills do need something vaguely resembling the right item ((meat) tenderising hammer for meatsmithing, oven for cooking, cocktail kit for booze, and pliers for making jewelry). You know crafting is an important part of the game for some folk when the Loathing wiki has a "stock ticker" function for the price of many items.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: In TOR, each player has a number of companion characters. Only one can follow you around at a time, but those left at your ship can be put to good use. Multiple companions can be tasked with collecting resources and/or producing items, at the same time, even while you are off-line. This is shown in a trailer, with a player turning off the lights in the room where his companions are working... You can also task them with giving you points for you're Karma Meter by sending them on "Diplomatic Missions", or just missions to get money. Companions can fail at missions they are given, however.
  • Runescape has a broad item creation system which runs right from raw-material collection up, and can be used to create just about everything in the game.
  • WonderLand Online has this as a major part of the gameplay.
  • The MMO The Lord of the Rings Online offers several crafting disciplines, including Farming, which allows you to engage in the thrill of growing cabbage and mushrooms.
    • Not to mention apple trees.
  • Final Fantasy XI features eight different crafting professions to choose from: carpentry, blacksmithing, goldsmithing, clothcraft, boneworking, leathercraft, cooking, and alchemy.
    • Also synergy, for the rich and adventurous.
  • Ryzom has a very in-depth crafting system, where a player can even effect the stats of whatever he is making by using different materials to craft it from. This is actually very profitable, due to the fact that all npc items suck, and all items have a non-stoppable decay.
  • The Monster Hunter series relies exclusively on this to get better weapons and armor. You'd sweat through killing a certain monster sometimes over 20 times only in order to get armor that helps you kill the same monster. Apparently, all the monsters evolved in such away that they specifically need to defend themselves against members of their species.
  • Most of the higher level or more effective equipment in Battle Stations is crafted using rare items which have outlived further usefulness.
  • Almost the entire basis of the EVE Online economy. 99% of items are made by players, NPCs only make a few very basic modules and sell blueprints used to build items (and even then, you can still buy limited use copies off players who own a blueprint).
    • While Tech 1 items are relatively simple to produce from base minerals, Tech 2, 3 items/ships, capital ships and planetary interaction items require several layers of source materials, intermediate products and parts. The sheer complexity of the supply chain fosters quite a bit of trading between the players, because in most cases it's impractical or downright impossible to do everything yourself.
    • The "Tech 2" module item class is a class of items unique to EVE Online, and there is no analogous item class in other MMOs. It provides similar performance to faction modules(i.e. rare items/minor artifacts) but has a steeper skill requirement and is slightly more difficult to use than faction modules. While the supply of faction modules are scarce and unstable because they are mostly dropped from commander rats or purchased from NPCs, Tech 2 modules are entirely manufactured by players and thus the only limiting factor(bottle neck) of supply is the influx of Tech 2 base materials. Combined with the fact that modules and ships get destroyed on a regular basis and must be resupplied periodically, it has achieved a status similar to standardized military gear; an easily identifiable, cost effective package that provides reasonable performance and can be mass produced. (And yes, some items do perform notably worse than their NPC dropped equivalents, making them comparable to the Volkssturmgewehr assault rifle or the dreaded "Ham and Lima Beans" C-Ration package.) It is no surprise that Tech 2 modules serve as a yard stick of both player skill and module performance.
  • The MMORPG Puzzle Pirates has an interesting variation on this. The world's entire economy, including all useful items, is based on players opening shops and MAKING items for sale. This requires a lot of business acumen, bidding for raw materials and hiring other characters to work at your "stall" (shop). Everything from furniture and clothing to sailing ships is made this way. To make things even more interesting, some crafting jobs require the hired help to play a minigame, and your results in that minigame determine the wages you can earn doing that job.
  • A Tale in the Desert is a crafting system MMO. The tutorial mission alone involves growing several units of flax and using those to build a raft, along with half a dozen other materials.
  • Wurm Online takes this concept Up to Eleven; just about every single inventory item can be crafted, and indeed has to be if you don't want to spend real-world money or earn some cash working on someone else's construction project. (Yes, this game faithfully simulates gruelling manual labour.) It's pretty much the whole point of the game, in fact.
  • The superhero-themed Twilight Heroes has two basic types, Assembling and Welding, as well as larger projects that involve collecting both ingredients and a set of instructions.
  • Dream Of Mirror Online has players farm/mine/etc. raw materials, have them refined by NPCs and then, via the Alchemy skill, craft the materials into weapons, armor, healing items, etc.
  • Fallen Earth just about requires you to have a crafting character, a friend who crafts, or to be prepared to spend a lot of chips on the auction house to keep your gear up to date. It's a post-apocalyptic Scavenger World where all industry has regressed to hand-crafting whatever you need.
  • The Wakfu MMO has a fairly elaborate crafting system with lots of skills, of which the harvesting skills are tied up in the world's balance between wakfu (growth, life energy) and stasis (destruction, death energy). You don't have to learn to craft but it has definite benefits, and almost everyone will practice the Mining skill since you need to mint your own coins.
  • Star Trek Online has Item Crafting, but because of a strange shift in priorities, it's essentially non-existent. It's mainly used now to craft the crafting-only space set Aegis.
  • SD Gundam Capsule Fighter doesn't have Item Crafting. It has Mobile Suit Crafting. Rank B and beyond MS can be crafted by combining a number of lower-ranking suits via a blueprint. This is the only way to obtain -R Rank suits like the Pack-equipped Strike Gundams.

    Platform Game 
  • Mischief Makers has the Clanpot, a container into which smaller items can be placed. Certain combinations of them will be converted into new items if you shake the Clanpot with them inside. Doing this is essential to completing some levels, and some of the resulting "items" are rather odd. One of them, for instance, is a Clancer with a rocket pack. Not a doll. An actual Clancer.
  • In Mega Man Zero 4, Zero can bring enemy parts that were Random Drops to Resistance engineer Cerveau to create various chips that can be equipped to either Zero's helmet, body, or boots. Some recipes can be obtained from NPCs, but the rest of it is Guide Dang It; a wrong combination can result in making "Junk".

    Puzzle Game 
  • In Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords, players can combine three types of Rune Stones (via a mini-game) to produce various uber-weapons, magical armors and other stat-boosting items. Although forging items using the more powerful Runes can be quite the crapshoot (as is actually getting the runes).

    Real Time Strategy 
  • The feature of buying items that can be combined and upgraded into more powerful items is a key element in League of Legends. The upgraded items typically retain the same stats and effects of their ingredients, albeit obviously more powerful.

    Roguelike 
  • Ancient Domains of Mystery allows you to upgrade the effectiveness of your weapons and armor by smithing; the Weaponsmith class even specializes in it.
  • Some items in Nethack are, for the most part, not going to spawn randomly in dungeons unless the player takes steps to make them. Case in point, Dragon Scale Mail, which is made by enchanting a set of Dragon Scales while wearing it. Also, the crysknife, which can be made by enchanting the tooth of a giant worm.
  • Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja allows Izuna to improve her weapons and armor by sticking talismans to them. There is a limit to how many talismans can be placed on a weapon, but later in the game, Izuna can find flame orbs that "burn" these talismans onto her equipment, preserving the effects. Done wrong, this can destroy the equipment permanently.
  • Central to the gameplay of Dwarf Fortress, since it's very much like a typical MMORPG turned upside down. If you want to equip an army capable of standing up to goblin ambushes and sieges, the monsters in underground caverns, and the demons from Hell, you're going to have to have your dwarves dig up ore, smelt it into metal, and turn it into weapons and armor. And that's just the equipment your dwarves use. You also have to craft the beds they'll sleep in, the doors to their bedrooms, the booze they drink, the barrels that hold the booze, and more.
  • Dungeons of Dredmor has a Smithing skill tree for crafting melee weapons and armor; Alchemy for crafting potions, beer, and Magic Staffs; Tinkering for crafting traps, bombs, and crossbows; and Wandlore for crafting Magic Wands.
  • Cataclysm boasts an extensive item crafting system. With the proper skills and supplies, you can improvise a wide variety of objects, including weapons, tools, meals, traps, clothing, and even batches of crystal meth.
  • The skill tree in Caves Of Qud has a branch dedicated to tinkering, enabling you to disassemble artifacts and junk for bits, and reassemble those bits into usable gear.

    Role Playing Game 
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura features an extensive but rather simplistic crafting system. The only requirements are a certain numerical score in a technological discipline, a blueprint either acquired through spending experience points or acquired in the game world, and exactly two items in each case. By this system one can, for example, combine leather armour and a coil of wire into a suit of dwarven chainmail (lighter but no weaker than the regular kind), add dwarven sheet metal to create a suit of full plate mail and finally add a small steam engine to create a steampunky suit of powered armour, the ultimate armour for technologists. And all this can be done instantly, even in combat, and without any tools or even a workbench.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 features a crafting system which requires one to put items into workbenches and cast spells on them, potentially creating items that are significantly stronger than what would otherwise be available. This is despite background lore suggesting that creating magical items is an intricate and time-consuming process, requiring up to several years to create the more potent ones. In this game, crafting basically takes no time at all. In DnD 3.0 and 3.5, magic items take 1 day to craft for every 1000 GP market price (So even a +1 sword should take 2 days).
    • As the maximum cost of items is 200,000 gold, that makes the max craft time 200 days, or a bit under seven months. A far cry from 'years'. But given that in D&D you can go from a level 1 nobody to a max level Badass in a third that time (excluding downtime such as time spent making such an item) it still is a very long time spent crafting.
    • Time in Neverwinter Nights 2 is very much not to scale. Just count all the various places in the game where it's possible to take an 8-hour rest when it makes absolutely no sense.
  • The Elder Scrolls games from Daggerfall on, all feature a simple yet potent system for creating alchemical potions and poisons from items readily available in the game world. Weapons and armor, and even clothing, can also have magical effects added to them.
  • Baldur's Gate 2 and The Throne of Bhaal have two characters (a dwarven smith in the former, an imp in the latter) who can reforge certain potent items if you bring the various bits and pieces of them that are found in various locations throughout the game world. It is not actually the player character who does the crafting, but the end result is much the same.
  • Elaborate function in the Star Ocean series, to the point of being silly. (Using medieval tools to craft, say, a laser blaster.)
    • Possibly one of the first JRPGs to use a form of crafting.
    • And the system is different for each game for the most part. Especially in Til the End of Time where you picked a type of item, then cycled randomly through a list of monetary values, and then the characters you assigned would attempt to make the item. Unless you have a chart or a guide detailing what craftable items cost what, getting the thing you want is essentially random. And it's not even interactive, as you get to watch an Exact Progress Bar.
    • It is in fact something of a sport among the Star Ocean fandom to see how soon into a game you can snap it into tiny bits using the item crafting system. One of the most notable gameplay changes between Star Ocean: The Second Story and its PSP remake is moving one of the learnable crafting skills to a later point in the game so you can't get Claude's Infinity+1 Sword before the game is 1/3 done.
  • A major plot device of the romantic comedy/spoof-RPG Thousand Arms is the player character's occupation as Spirit Blacksmith. His ability to forge weapons relies on having a pretty girl in the forge with him, and the ability improves if they have a close relationship built up in dating sim segments.
    • This reliance on pretty girls comes from the protagonists' father "misinterpretation" of his own father's belief that the art of crafting weapons is like dealing with women. The father's logical conclusion is that to craft a good weapon, you need a good woman in your arms. Considering he teaches this to his son, it's possible he takes his interpretation seriously.
  • This is the entire premise of the Summon Night: Swordcraft Story series, well that and lesbians.
  • The alchemy pot in Dragon Quest VIII.
  • Fallout 3 allows you to build weapons from junk. You have to acquire a "blueprint" for each one, so there is no customization. A few of the weapons do border on Game Breaker, though. The Dart Gun and Nuka Grenade come to mind. In addition, The Pitt has an ammo-crafting machine.
    • Fallout: New Vegas greatly expands the crafting system seen in Fallout 3, although most of the weapons you create are expendable explosives. The crafting system is now primarily based on your level in certain skills, Repair and the new Survival skill being the requirements for the majority of recipes. It's a bit more balanced too; there are less blueprints and the really strong recipes require high skill levels. New Vegas also introduces cooking (allowing for superior food items to be made with the various raw ingredients around the game world) and handloading (allowing for ammo to be broken down into raw materials, collecting empty casings from hunting and firefights and reloading them, and building more powerful or specialized ammo types). A good survivalist will be able to save a lot of caps on food and ammunition by hunting and recycling empty casings/spent power cells.
  • The only way to get new weapons in Final Fantasy VIII; also, the synthesis shops in Final Fantasy IX.
  • KotOR II allowed you to break down items into components and rebuild items using them. The number and quality of components you got and the quality of the crafted item depended on your crafting skill.
  • Odin Sphere does this two ways: During the game, you can combine empty bottles and Mandragoras (essentially living vegetables) to create a variety of potions. It is also possible to collect recipes for food, and while your characters are resting between chapters, you can take them to the Pooka World and have tasty dishes to eat to boost your health, given the proper ingredients.
  • In Final Fantasy X, weapon customization, in patient (some would say masochistic) hands, allowed for weapons which surpass (or have a more specialized, and therefore useful function than) the so-called Ultimate Weapons; in the case of Tidus, especially, spending the endless hours grinding the Monster Arena was simpler than the maddeningly frustrating Perfect Chocobo Race. As there were no 'Ultimate Armors', as well, crafting was the only option to such an end, and indeed, to defeat some of the game's more superpowered enemies, crafting armors became a necessity. Likewise, creating overpowered characters relied on this.
    • Customized weapons don't have the nonvisible properties of the actual ultimate weapons though, most importantly the damage bonus they gain under specific circumstances. So while you can make a weapon that has the same abilities as the ultimate weapon for that character, you'll only be doing 1/5th of the damage of the actual ultimate weapon, even with maxed out strength. So in conclusion, you still need to go through all those ridiculous minigames if you want endgame weapons that don't do far less damage than they should.
      • Considering a good enough custom weapon can two-hit Jecht, it's nothing to lose sleep over.
  • Vagrant Story's equipment system revolves around this. There are no shops in the game, so in order to get better equipment, Ashley has to find "workshops" and forge the weapon or armor himself. The materials he uses in the process determine the basic strength of the weapon and armor, while their original affinities determine their effectiveness against specific foes.
  • Persona 3: FES allows you to forge weapons at the Antique Shop by fusing your Personas with 'Nihil' weapons dropped by a Metal Slime. Most of the time the result is a fairly generic weapon with a special effect dependant on the Arcana of the Persona used, but certain combinations will yield mythological weapons which are easily the best in the game.
    • Although the game doesn't actually tell you which combinations produce a unique weapon, there tends to be a bit of logic in that if a given Persona represents a god or spirit with a named weapon, said weapon can usually be obtained by fusing that Persona (i.e. fusing Thor to a blunt weapon produces the hammer Mjolnir).
    • The PSP remake, Persona 3 Portable, now tells you what you'll get out of weapon fusion. As well, fusing a particular persona to any Nihil weapon will produce that unique weapon - sticking Thor on a spear will produce Mjolnir just as well as fusing him to a hammer. Once you create a unique weapon, though, it can't be fused further; if you need to upgrade from one of the weaker uniques you have to possess another Nihil weapon of the type you want.
  • Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings takes this to ridiculous levels, not only requiring that you have the proper materials to craft each new item, but also the recipe books from which to work. (Apparently Cu Sith is incapable of original work.) Also, although each weapon/shield/item requires a combination of three materials to craft, the item's final strength is governed by the quality of the materials that went into it. (Gets insane in later levels, when high-quality Unobtainium requires eons of grinding and much save-point abuse to acquire.)
    • Though on the upside, being able to name the weapons you craft could be surprisingly entertaining.
  • Dark Cloud:
    • The weapon synthesis system in both Dark Cloud games. Also, a similar (though far less intricate) weapon synthesis system exists in Rogue Galaxy, another Level-5 game.
    • Dark Chronicle features an Inventing system, in which the hero Max has to take pictures of various objects and enemies in the world around him, then can take these pictures and try to brainstorm a new idea from them. Once the idea is developed, the item can be crafted at any time, as long as the necessary materials are available, of course.
  • Infinite Undiscovery has a surprisingly deep item crafting system for a console RPG with nearly every weapon, armor, or accessory in the game available to craft, provided you have the materials. Different characters, even within the same general category, have different things they can make and not every character has an item crafting skill. The general categories for crafting are smithing, alchemy, cooking, or writing. Item crafting is actually required in at least one particular situation to move forward with the main story, though it's also used for several side quests.
    • There is also a Game Breaker aspect in that you can use it to make unlimited money as soon as the appropriate characters join the party.
  • You can fuse talons and saddles in Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon to get any set of traits you want on one item.
  • The second Boktai game uses this to a degree. While it still calls upon the series' gimmick to get the job done, and you have to have a certain skill level to forge higher level weapons, and you need to be above certain levels to use half of the weapons, it is possible to get a very good weapon for fighting That One Boss, a spear that deals extra damage when paired with the flame element...
    • The first game has a variant in the Solar Tree; you can plant fruit in its roots, which causes other fruit to grow in it.
    • Likewise, this is how you upgrade weapons in Lunar Knights.
  • The gaiden game for the Megaten series, Revelations: The Demon Slayer, does this with monsters...
  • Golden Sun lets you acquire crafted items too - only you're not the one actually crafting them, so somewhat averted. Across the wide (flat) world of Weyard are raw materials like Stardust, Orihalcon, Golem hearts...as well as a nice plethora of rusty weapons. Taking these items to an emo blacksmith called Sunshine (yes, really) one at a time will net you a collection of some of the best weapons in the game that aren't found by manipulating the random encounters or by chance; except that what you receive is also random, selected from a pool of choices the raw material has. Only the rusty weapons are specific results based on where you found it.
  • Geneforge 3-5 has magic forges that are an adventure in themselves to find and clear a safe path to, but once there 2-3 rare items can be combined for artifacts that couldn't otherwise be obtained. At least two out of three items for each recipe are themselves an adventure to obtain, rare or unique, and some ingredients are required for multiple recipes. 2 had a variant in which certain NPCs would craft a few powerful artifacts for you if you brought them the components.
  • Legend of Mana has an enormous variety of crafting systems, which you can use to make everything from weapons to armor to musical instruments to golems. And you can use any material to make any of these things; want to make a stone shirt, or a sword made of hemp? In this game, you can. And you can power up all these items, by infusing them with fruit (grown in your own personal garden).
    • Weapon and Armor crafting deserves special mention on how insanely deep it is. Not only there's a huge list of Materials, you can power up your gear (known as Tempering ingame) with every item in the game that isn't a material. Each one of these items may grant you stat bonuses, elemental affinity, immunity to status effects or insert a Card in your equipment (up to 3 Card slots plus one that is completely hidden), which also can do all of this and much more, up to and including completely changing the rules of tempering altogether. By the way, these are the basics. In a game whose average weapon has around 50 Attack Power, Tempering can make one with above 800 plus insane stat bonuses.
  • Tales of Symphonia has this, and the Gaiden Game, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, has it even more annoying, in that not only are you utilizing random drops to get these items, the most powerful forms of your monstrous allies can only be acquired using equipment that must be specifically crafted... using an item that only appears once as anything other than a random drop...and the enemies that it's a random drop for can only be found in an area that can only be reached on a New Game+. Why must you annoy us so?
    • Tales of the Abyss was worse by far. Some of the best armor in the game required you to search specific points on the world map for items of different rarities. One characters title could get you specific rarities easily, so that wasn't so bad. But giving the items to one person who didn't tell you what you could make until after they were given, adding them to a pool, with all items having specific requirements to be met, some requiring almost hundreds of items to have a chance at, and two or three items with the same requirements, one often being fairly easy to get while the other could only be gotten by that method. It was a horrible case of Guide Dang It.
    • Tales of Graces gives you dualizing for making weapons, armor, accessories, items and food. The game is at least helpful enough to mark any new items you pick up as... well new and when picking one it helpfully gives you a list of what you can dualize with it (if you have it) and what will be made and anything made ends up in your dualize book for future reference. Can be surprisingly addictive since it encourages experimentation.
  • Baten Kaitos. The best weapons are found in treasure chests (and many common drops are also far stronger than the best weapons that can be created through Item Crafting), but the best healing items have to be crafted manually. Then there's the Pac-Man sidequest in Origins, where you have to feed a Pac-Man magnus every other magnus that is not plot necessary. And to keep Pac-Man from eating every other magnus, you have to surround him with plot necessary magnus. Granted, the reward for that sidequest is the biggest Game Breaker imaginable.
  • The Chinese RPG Legend of Sword and Fairy also has quite an extensive system, where pretty much anything that isn't a plot coupon or equipment can be mixed combined with another to create a third item. It becomes somewhat of a gamebreaker, as among the items creatable is an item that automatically raises levels up one of your characters. By the end of the game, it is possible to grow your character by ten levels without fighting a single enemy (albeit at the expense of a good chunk of your inventory). Also creatable is an item that revives any dead party member during a battle with full health.
    • The sequel had a new system, where you fed items to a "worm queen", which would then spawn different items after a certain number of combat turns.
  • Dragon Age has item crafting. The player and any of their allies learn it. Of course, Herbalism is one of the most useful skills because it saves money on health and lyrium poultices. Poisons takes a close second in terms of usefulness; you can beat the entire game without using Poisons, but if you do use them they can be a nice way to help. Traps, on the other hand, again, you don't really need traps at all. Traps are very situational and, unless you know what's coming up, won't find them as easy to use. Course you can surround a Bonus Boss with traps when she turns hostile, sets them all off. Awakening adds Runecrafting, which is not only ungodly expensive but can be quite a boon. (again, you don't have to use it to beat the game, although it can be quite helpful when you get some nice and powerful runes to put on your equipment)
  • Probably the only way to get useful gear in Throne of Darkness, is to make it yourself. The complex Item Crafting system was one of the few original and truly appealing features the game had.
  • Trinity Universe has plenty of this. Around 90% of the game's items are ingredients with no other use, and searching for the ones that aren't enemy drops can be time consuming.
  • Recettear allows you to craft items from various other items. Although the point of the game is to make a profit on selling them and some items are worth less that their core components. Then again, you also need to craft armour and weapons to sell to adventurers who you need to go into dungeons to find items for you to sell or use as crafting ingrediants, so you might end up making them anyway...
  • The Paper Mario series has this in the form of chefs who will cook various types of food to give you a new item.
  • Pretty much every game by Gust (Atelier series, Ar tonelico series, etc.) has this.
    • The Atelier series (and its spinoff, Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis) is built around this. In fact, prior to the 1997 release of Atelier Marie, crafting in JPRGs was virtually unknown; after Marie and its sequel went on to sell a quarter-million each partly on the strength of their absurdly deep crafting systems, nearly every JPRG since has featured some kind of crafting or item customization.
  • In Breath of Fire II, one of the carpenters you can invite to your town will allow you to cook items together to create new ones. It's a huge Game Breaker as you can easily get infinite money, maximized stats and great healing items from it.
  • Whenever you buy equipment in Chrono Cross you have to give up the necessary materials to forge. You can also disassemble them to get the materials used to make them. Note that the very best buyable equipment requires "shiny" materials. These can only be obtained by disassembling certain accessories or by using summons in battle, which can be maddening to actually accomplish.
  • Dark Souls has a weapon crafting and upgrading system, as well as an armor upgrading system. You can upgrade weapons and armor, but crafting new weapons from boss souls and ascending weapons into new upgrade paths requires you to search out blacksmiths and special embers.
  • Taken Up to Eleven in Evil Islands, as you have to craft even spells. Also disassemble a suit of armor and then assemble the metal into a sword and a helmet.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has one for making weapons, armor and items. Can reach Gamebreaker levels when used right. Oddly enough encouraged by the game as every store is VERY expensive when it comes armor and weapons and your first playthrough will consist of mostly grabbing any weapon or armor you find of enemies to get components for blacksmithing and pick herbs to make potions while selling anything you have no need for.
  • Napple Tale does not concern itself with upgrading the heroine's gear, but the player can craft Mons to expand her abilities.
    • Step one: collect recipes.
    • Step two: use the special decoding machine to break items dropped by monsters into MIS.
    • Step three: follow the recipes to reassemble ("remix" in Napple Tale parlance) MIS into floating, cuddly creatures that shoot shockwaves or turn into bridges.
  • Arx Fatalis lets you combine objects, regardless if they are in your inventory or not, leading to diverse crafting system that ranges from simply cooking fish (caught by fishing rod made by combining a stick and a rope) on the fire to using billows to heat a hiltless blade in the furnace and then forging the desired weapon to brewing potions in still from powdered plants to full techological cycle of mining the mithril ore in dwarven quarry with a pickaxe, breaking it to pieces with a steam hammer, smelting it into pure metal in the blast furnace, casting it into a sword in molding machine, adding some meteor powder and a dragon egg and finally slapping an enchantment on it to produce the Ultimate Weapon.

    Simulation Game 
  • Later Harvest Moon games do this with recipes and tool forging.
    • Rune Factory games, being Action RPG/Simulation hybrids, take it Up to Eleven from Harvest Moon's level; the player has the ability to make food, weapons, and medicines (and other various potions that help with farming). There are a couple of shops in the town that sell food and weapons and medicines, but they're either impractically expensive or useless once you've gotten past the first dungeon; anything worthwhile, you'll have to make yourself.
  • Item crafting is crucially important in the freeware game Magical Boutique. The player must find enough supplies to keep a magical supply store running and profitable. As the game progresses, more items and ingredients are available.
  • In The Sims Medieval, crafting is a major part of the lives of Wizards, Physicians, Blacksmiths and Spies. Most often they're crafting items to sell, but wizards and blacksmiths can also make better equipment for themselves. (Physicians use no equipment, and spies only use a sword, which they can't craft themselves.)
  • Some of the best equipment in Galaxy On Fire 2 can only be obtained by first purchasing (or getting as part of the main storyline) a blueprint for it. Then you find a shopping list of "ingredients" you need, most of which can be obtained on Space Stations throughout the galaxy. Metals can be obtained either by finding them in markets or mining them on asteroids. Some items can also be obtained as drops from destroyed enemies. You can also disable them with EMP and loot more than from a destroyed ship, provided you have the top-level Tractor Beam and scanner. The Khador Drive, which allows instantaneous jumps to any system (and the only way to reach isolated systems) avoiding the Hyperspace Lanes, cannot be purchased and must be constructed. Interestingly, the game makes it easy by allowing the player to ship collected items to wherever the equipment is being constructed for a small fee, saving the player from constantly going back and forth. The Supernova DLC has certain volatile items that no one will agree to ship for you, meaning you have to transport them yourself in a Nitro Express through pirate-infested systems. There's no limit to how many items you can construct, although it takes time for items to be restocked on stations. The game justifies the crafting by claiming that these items are either prototypes that haven't yet hit the market or illegal (although no one will call you on it). You also can't make a living this way, as the constructed equipment is worth considerably less than what you spend on the "ingredients".

    Survival Horror 

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • In Phantom Brave, Items can be improved and customized with Mana. This includes not only leveling them up, but unlocking new abilities as well. Items can also be fused together, combining their mana, and even adding abilities and/or attacks the item would normally never gain. It should be noted, however, that Fusion also works on characters, too. You can not only combine an object into a character, but also vice versa.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has the bazaar, which is almost the only way to get good equipment, other than abusing the Auction House. Oddly enough, you need to craft the item and then have to buy it. At least most items are available in unlimited amounts afterwards, though.
    • Well, there are a few other ways but neither is going to get you anything great; hiring new members and law bonuses. A few items can also be stolen, but you need the right weapon to learn that skill first.
    • With the bazaar, you aren't crafting the item though. You're putting loot on some researcher market for someone else to buy, at which point they will make an item and put it on the market for you to buy.
  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance had this ability, and Radiant Dawn took it one step further by adding the card system where if you had a coin, you could get a random upgrade on top of whatever you paid for...usually.
  • In Arc The Lad 3 it's possible, with a tiny bit of preparation, to create the most powerful weapons in the game the very minute Item Crafting becomes an option!
  • In Stella Deus The Gate Of Eternity, you can create new items through the "Fusion" ability in any town.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations allows the player to craft custom bombs, choosing the bomb's casing, gunpowder type, and effect type. The casing affects the bomb's structure and what it does upon hitting the target; the gunpowder type determines the size of the explosion; and the effect provides a specific type of effect that happens upon detonation (such as shrapnel for Splinter Bombs, phosphorus for Smoke Bombs, etc.).
  • Dead Rising 2 features combo weapons, made by duct-taping other weapons together. Examples include a kayak paddle with a chainsaw on each end, Knife Gloves, a Laser Blade, and even a motorized wheelchair with machine guns and a robotic voice that taunts your enemies.
  • Minecraft. One quarter of the game is crafting your tools, torches, armor, better blocks, etc. The other three quarters are mining, (oddly enough) building and exploring.
  • Terraria is all about exploration through digging, so finding ore and creating items with it only makes sense thematically.
  • Stranded. The player needs to craft things for surviving the islands.

Non-video game examples:

    Live Action Television 
  • The game from the Community episode "Digital Estate Planning" features such a system.
    • Gilbert uses the system to create a spear which he then uses to attack.
    • Britta brews a strength potion which turns out to be poison.
    • Abed messes around with the system and discovers it can be used to create giant robots, attack helicopters, atomic bombs, and even children.

    Web Comics 
  • Like every other RPG trope, the webcomic Adventurers! manages to make fun of this.
  • Homestuck features punchcard alchemy, which allows characters to combine their items in various configurations to create sweet loot (provided of course that said characters have sufficient resources).
  • Emily can enchant weapons and armor in Our Little Adventure. Thankfully she has learned to successfully create items that don't scream rude things at their wielders anymore.
  • The protagonist of A Beginner's Guide to the End of the Universe has limited Reality Warper powers, which he gladly uses throughout to create items from nothing, and upgrade them.

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