"Try out the U-Invent, it doesn't cost a cent!
You're gonna love to mix and match!
Just steal some glue from Evil Red Guy, and a screw from Smelly Dead GuyRPGs, 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. If equipment is required, there's often a hierarchy of tools: a Wooden Sword may only require a basic workbench to make, but the Sword of a Thousand Furies can only be crafted with the Ultimate Forge. Crafting can easily turn into a Game-Breaker if the game designers just threw in the crafting system without testing for cheese and exploits. May be a form of Equipment Upgrade if ingredients are used to improve a preexisting item. 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 to 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. Compare Spell Crafting.
Video Game examples:
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- 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: 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.
- This can create a level of weapon select forcing since it automatically makes the Gungnir and Muramasa the most applicable choices for weapon forging since the weapon's components are all from common respawning enemies. Compared to the other viable endgame weapons, the greatsword drops off midgame (requires Gergoth, a weak but unique boss soul), the axe is better off staying as a golden axe (requires Death, an endgame soul) and the sword cannot really afford to sacrifice the soul (requires Abaddon, one of the last bosses in the game whose soul is among the best bullet types).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Beetle and Digging Mitts to Mogma Mitts) that have to be acquired elsewhere, though. The nearby potion shop can use insects caught with your bug net to improve the potions they sell.
- In Mercenary Kings, it's the one modern feature that complements its Retraux roots. It is possible to find or purchase more than 300 distinct weapon pieces that can be mixed and matched at will.
- In Apotheon, healing potions have to be crafted from indivdual ingredients collected while exploring the landscapes.
- 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.
- In God Eater Burst, weapons and items can be crafted from materials found in the field or ripped from montser carcasses. In addition, players can make custom bullets.
- In Toukiden, the village blacksmith can take oni parts and stuff picked up on the battlefield and forge them into weapons and armour. In addition, certain weapons can be combined with raw materials to make something more powerful.
- 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.
- 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 III 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.
- 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 got so bad with the multiple tools needed that they were eventually condensed into the Gnomish Army Knife.
- 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.
- Tree of Savior has a general item crafting system that anyone can use (constructing new gear from recipes, or combining gemstones for use later in Socketed Equipment) and several classes that offer specialized crafting. Pardoners of the Cleric class family can transcribe their skills into single-use scrolls, Alchemists of the Wizard class family can craft many different kinds of potions using a recipe system, and Fletchers of the Archer class family can craft arrows for themselves and other classes. Squires of the Swordsman class family are more about repairing and maintaining equipment, but they can set up base camps which allow others to cook food while in the field.
- 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. You can also task them with giving you points for your Karma Meter by sending them on "Diplomatic Missions", or just missions to get money via Slicing missions. 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.
- Final Fantasy XIV followed its predecessor with mostly the same set of professions (armorsmith replacing boneworking), each a class of their own. Every profession can also craft dyes, housing items and other things, and is also tied into other related things such as Desynthesis, attaching material to gear and repairing your own equipment. Free Companies can also craft special projects such as airships together.
- 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 Non Player Characters, 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.
- 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 11; 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.
- 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 an Item Crafting system where Duty Officers (junior crew members on the player's ship) can use materials found in missions to create and upgrade various types of gear. Before the Season 9.5 update, players had to bring "data samples" to a faction-specific location and use a schematic to craft something off a list.
- 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.
- Guild Wars 2 has eight crafting disciplines which can produce armor, weapons, and various consumables. Seven of the disciplinesnote use the same basic layout requiring two intermediate crafting items and an insignia or jewel to determine the stats. Chefs on the other hand have a complex system of crafting which produces dozens of intermediate crafting items and even uses previously prepared consumables as ingredients. Ever profession requires being at a crafting station specific to that profession.
- Crafting was a big part of Earth And Beyond because all gear had a quality rating that effected its stats. Vendor purchased gear was 100%, dropped gear randomly ranged from 80%-120%, but crafted gear could reach 200%. Crafters could disassemble any gear not tagged as "uncraftable" to learn how to build it themselves allowing for a market of player made versions of vendor gear and several drop only pieces more powerful than could be bought or looted. Weapon Crafting was particularly important for missile and projectile users as it was inconvenient at best to have to keep buying ammo.
- 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".
- 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.
- In Planet Blupi, this is done in either the workshop or the laboratory, depending on the ingredient you're going to use. Pieces of iron and platinium go into the former, while stuff like flowers and tomatoes go into the latter. Only one of each is required to make a single item, and each ingredient aside from iron (which can be made into one of three items) can result in a unique item exclusive to that ingredient.
- Ancient Domains of Mystery allows you to upgrade the effectiveness of your weapons and armor by smithing; the Weaponsmith class even specializes in it.
- In NetHack, some items 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. 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. Crafting is also a common focus of many Game Mods, especially for Adventurer Mode. In the base game though, adventurers are limited to knapping sharp rocks.
- 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, whereas crafting is instantaneous in this game.
- The Elder Scrolls
- The series, starting with Daggerfall, features 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 via the Enchanting system.
- In Morrowind, it's also possible to craft pieces of equipment which bestow the Chameleon spell as a constant effect. If enough are worn to grant a total of 100%, the PC is invisible to enemies, even while attacking. And, of course, there's also the trick of brewing an Intelligence-boosting potion, drinking it, and then, while still under its effects, brewing an even more powerful Intelligence-boosting potion... After a few cycles of this, you can create Fortify Attribute potions with effect values in the millions and durations that last years, effectively allowing you to one-hit kill everything in the game. This is how speed runs lasting mere minutes are possible in a game with hundreds of hours of content.
- After witnessing the Game Breaking nature of the wide-open crafting system in Morrowind, Bethesda Nerfed both Alchemy and Enchanting pretty heavily in Oblivion. You can only have four potion effects active at a time, skill boosts past 100, the Cap, have no effect, and stats don't affect skills nearly as directly as in Morrowind. While it is still possible to create powerful potions and enchanted equipment, it requires using exploits and even then, they aren't nearly as powerful as in Morrowind.
- Skyrim adds the ability to forge your own weapons and armor for the first time. By possessing the required raw ingredients, as well as the requisite skill level and perks, it is possible to forge (or improve upon) weapons and armor that are much stronger than what you'd be able to find or loot at your level. Potion making and enchanting also remain.
- 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.
- You can do this in Skyhill.
- Elaborate function in the Star Ocean series, to the point of being silly. (Using medieval tools to craft, say, a laser blaster.)
- The system is different for each game for the most part. Especially in Star Ocean: Till 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 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, which returns in Dragon Quest IX, allows you to combine items and equipment to create more powerful ones. Some of the recipes are intuitive (combining two Healing Herbs creates a more powerful one, go figure) and others can be found scattered around the world, but the most powerful ones tend to be a Guide Dang It!.
- 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, Shishkebab, 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 fewer 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.
- Fallout 4 took the whole thing to the extreme with an extensive crafting system that allows players to use all of that useless junk lying around to customize weapons, armors, and power armor beyond most anything that can be found just in drops or stores. Said junk can also be used in the new settlement building system to allow players to acquire food, beds, water, and plastic flamingos.
- 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, allows 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 is simpler than the maddeningly frustrating Perfect Chocobo Race. As there are no 'Ultimate Armors', as well, crafting is the only option to such an end, and indeed, to defeat some of the game's more superpowered enemies, crafting armors becomes a necessity. Likewise, creating overpowered characters relies on this.
- 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.
- 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 Shin Megami Tensei 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
- Dragon Age: Inquisition has the player find and buy schematics for any weapon, armor, or upgrade they want. There are also recipes for various potions, tonics, poisons, and grenades. Once a schematic has been found, metals, leathers, and cloth are used to fill give various stats and bonuses depending on what is being used and what the recipe calls for. Potions are upgraded via herbs the player can grow themselves once the proper seeds are found.
- 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: An Item Shop's Tale 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, EXA_PICO 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 11 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.
- In The Age of Decadence, "create expendables" and "improve existing items" types exists as separate skills. It is possible to forge new weapons, craft traps, create blackpowder bombs and turn a regular poison into a potent one, amongst other things.
- In A Blurred Line, Radin, a companion for Farmer Talan, is capable of crafting healing potions, stat-increasing ones and bombs out of the ingredients that can be found in chests or that he can dig up. Sern, a Defender companion, can also create really powerful weapons from existing vanilla ones as long as his skill (ncreased by scanning enemies during battles) is high enough.
- In Prince Of Qin, wild creatures like tigers or bears will typically drop their pelts, bones and such, which can be turned into new armours by either professional blacksmith or by Fusu himself: the latter needs high skill to craft powerful items, but blacksmith typically has rather steep prices.
- In Blade And Sword (created by former developers of Prince of Qin) regular gems and potions can be combined at the Spagyric Cube to create more powerful ones.
- A key mechanic in Bound by Flame, where the protagonist can use the power of the fire demon inside them to forge new weapons/armor or modify old ones in the field, and from a limited selection of ingredients. It's even reflected in their honorific, Vulcan (i.e. the Roman god of forging).
- In Sanctuary RPG, crafting is implemented as its own separate mode, with several parameters you need to control when the item is being created ((uch as overheating, whihc destroys the item). Your character will also receive separate experience and gain levels in crafting.
- In Sore Losers, upgraded versions of common equipment can be synthesized by certain weaponsmiths. For instance, a regular Two-Handed Sword can be turned into a Claymore with the addition of some scrap metal, and creative use of loose piping and other junk can upgrade the basic Ferusian FK-47 into more powerful models.
- In The Fall Last Days Of Gaia, a lot of items can be combined with others to enhance them. There's significant Gun Customisation element and medics can create healing slaves from herbs they pick up. Other examples include combining an apple with a valium pill to covertly sedate patrolling guards, creating Molotov cocktails, adding nails to C4 charges, fracturing bullets with a rasp to turn them into dum-dum ammo, decorating strings with carnivoresí teeth to make them into necklaces or turning these strings into backpack straps, etc. Note that many of those can only be done with a character possessing a certain skill.
- Later Harvest Moon games do this with recipes and tool forging.
- Rune Factory games, being Action RPG/Simulation hybrids, take it Up to 11 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".
- Notrium allows you to craft items for survival and weapons capable of genociding a map of enemies, given enough time and ammunition.
- Resident Evil 3: Nemesis let the player craft ammunition for weapons.
- Resident Evil Outbreak has this as David King's unique skill, making Improvised Weapons from parts he finds around. Every character can make molotov cocktails, too.
- Haunting Ground has an alchemy-related plot, and thus the game allows us to produce items by inserting medallions in a sephiroth.
- In How To Survive it's possible to craft first basic weapons (i.e. sharpened sticks + seagull feathers to create arrows), and later to upgrade to custom guns, shotguns, precision rifles and other weaponry. The supporting supplies such as healing salves and Molotov cocktails can also be crafted.
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 one of the only consistent ways to get good equipment. Rather than doing the crafting yourself, you trade away materials you've acquired to allow Non Player Characters to create new items which you can then buy.
- Games in the Fire Emblem series often include forging that allows the player to upgrade their weapons. The specifics differ between games, but in general forging allows players to increase the stats of their weapon and give it a unique name, and may also allow changing the weapon's color or even changing it into a new weapon altogether.
- 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.
- No Man's Sky: Using collected resources the player can craft single use items such as system bypasses or grenades, or longer term upgrades to their ship, suit and multitool, vital for surviving on certain planets and for travelling faster in space.
- 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.
- Far Cry 3 has a system for crafting your equipment and syringes. The syringes require using the local plant life for crafting while the equipment usually requires animal hides from hunting. The best equipment is made from rare animals.
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.
- In InfernoMOO, many of the end-game armors and weapons need to be crafted personally by the players.
- A curious example is within the tale of Ilvermorny School on Pottermore (a part of the Harry Potter Expanded Universe). The Witch Isolt Sayre and her Muggle husband James Steward had trouble getting their newly-founded magical school off the ground, due to there being no wands or wandmakers in America. However, Isolt learned how to harvest wand cores and James learned how to create wands with Muggle wood carving techniques. The merging of magical and Muggle techniques created very powerful wands.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- The earliest editions of the game didn't really pay much attention to crafting, as the game was focused around the tactical side of adventuring. Later on came the proficiency (2e) and skill (3e and on) systems which let one produce non-magical equipment and goods. But the production of magic items has always been more of an ordeal for players and characters alike...
- 2nd Edition kept the heavy focus on adventuring in all things, including crafting. Magic items were supposed to be special, so the Game Master was advised to come up with strange and difficult processes and ingredients to go into any item - getting a dragon to breathe fire on the steel for your sword was a simple starting point. A handful of spells were also part of the process, one of which took some of the caster's Constitution score to cast, effectively limiting how many items a wizard could make in their lifetime before it killed them.
- 3rd Edition and 3.5 required you to take Item Creation Feats to make anything magical. Everything was assigned a base price in gold pieces and experience points to create, the former to represent the cost of materials and the latter under the idea that casters gave up something of themselves to create a magic item. It was an all-around simpler process than 2e's, to reflect how a certain value of magic gear had become part of the power curve - if you were poor, you were falling behind the rich guy of the same level. It also let someone make stuff without detouring the whole campaign just for one person's creations.
- The Eberron setting in 3.5e also introduced the Artificer class, focused on magical gear and item crafting. So they didn't automatically fall behind other characters just to use their abilities, they got a pool of special points to spend instead of experience points, which refreshed and grew with each level up. Eberron is a setting buried in low-level magical gear, and the Artificer was created to help justify that.
- 4th edition finally boils down magic item crafting to a convenient shortcut alternative to simply buying them — the ritual cost for creating a magic item (to be paid in suitably generic components) just so happens to be exactly its market price, the ritual itself takes an hour, and the crafter can make any item of their own level or lower to order. No XP cost, no need to invest into multiple feats for different types of items; Ritual Caster (which wizards and clerics get for free anyway) and the 4th-level Enchant Magic Item ritual have you covered.
- GURPS has multiple rulesets for crafting depending on how realistic vs. cinematic you want your campaign.
- In most World of Darkness games it's easier to craft special items than purchase or find them. But the entire point of the fan-made Genius: The Transgression is creating Wonders of less-than-sane science.
- In Myriad Song it's easier to craft many items than buy them, and that's not even getting into weapon mods.
- Crafting in Hc Svnt Dracones is mostly about creating entirely original items, most actual production is done by 3-D printers, that are almost all owned and operated by MegaCorps.
- 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.