D&D 5e - Questionable Arcana - Crafting: The Woodcarver's Tools

D&D 5e - Questionable Arcana - Crafting: The Woodcarver's Tools

The Woodcarver's Tools At A Glance

RAW Cost: 1 GP
RAW Weight: 5 lbs
*Items: Carving Knife, Chisel, Mallet, Saw, Gouge
Crafting Restrictions: None
Mundane Item Crafting: All non-slashing weapons, Laminar Armor**, several pieces of adventuring gear.
Magic Item Crafting: Wide list of wooden items
Artwork Creation: Can create carved wooden artwork such as statuettes.
QA Artwork Bonus: None
Structure Building: None
Adventuring Utility: Can create simple ah-hoc weaponry out of just wood.

* These items are specific to the Questionable Arcana system. Other similar crafting systems may utilitize a different list of items.
** Laminar Armor is a home-brewed version of chain mail.

Now that we have finished digging into the destructive properties of poisons, I think it is time to focus on something a little more constructive. Rather than dig into the more popular forms of crafting like alchemy or smithing, I am going to start on some of the perceived runts of the crafting litter. One of those supposed runts is the Woodcarver's Kit. 

I honestly don't know why so few players elect to specialize in woodworking. At a surface level it might seem like an inferior alternative to smithing, but I firmly believe that is simply the result of a positive bias towards smithing due to its popularity in fantasy settings. In practice woodcarving allows the player to craft a large number of blacksmith quality items without the burden of needing a forge to make it. Furthermore it also allows you to easily create wooden artwork that can be sold, traded, or gifted.

To be fair woodworking does have its drawbacks. Other than shields, there aren't any RAW armor types that can realistically be produced with woodworking. Also there are very few RAW slashing type weapons that can be produced by woodworking without considerable DM intervention.

With these ideas in mind, the goal of this article will be to help clarify some of the confusion around when and how the Woodcarver's kit can be used. The rules and concepts discussed are meant to be used in tandem with the modified crafting system we created, however many of the items being discussed can be applied to any crafting system.

Getting Wood - Crafting Process and Materials

As usual, I recommend sticking to the gold based progression system referenced in our crafting system article for Woodworking. This system functions by having the DM assign a GP value for an item, then whenever players craft an item they use the GP contributed during crafting as an abstraction of crafting progression. Once 100% of the value of the item has been contributed, the item is complete.

There should also be a real GP cost associated with making an item from woodworking. When crafting mundane equipment the cost should be 50% of the item's GP value, and magical items should cost 100% of the item's GP value. 

The GP cost of items can sometimes create some confusion with woodworking. After all, a resourceful Woodcarver could make an effective spear out of a long branch. Rather than restrict these types of items I would recommend you permit it but be sure to implement a drawback of some sort when using these items.

For example a hastily crafted spear should be more fragile and likely to be broken if targeted in combat. An ad-hoc spear might only have 10 HP and 14 AC where as a properly crafted wooden spear could have 30 HP and 15 AC. 

Carved out of Wood - Craftable Items

There are a lot of approaches you can take when determining what items each kit can create. In this case I am going to do my best to provide with with an itemized list of crafting objects, but at the end of the day it is up to you to decide what a player can and cannot create.

Crafting Weapons

Unless you are playing a particularly brutal survival campaign, you will probably be looking to create some higher end equipment, and therefore will have an interest in creating martial weapons. The problem is a woodcarver would not be able to create many of these weapons on their own.

However, should the woodcarver have access to the metallic components of these weapons such as the head of a pike, it is reasonable to assume that they would be able to lead or participate in the construction of many weapons. Examples of ways to acquire said components are purchasing them from a market or having an artisan with the needed tool proficiency produce the component.

Below is a list of weapons a player with proficiency in the woodcarver's tools should be able to create:

Weapon Crafting List
WeaponCostWeightCrafting Capability
Greatclub2 SP10LEAD
Handaxe5 GP2ASSIST
Javelin5 SP2LEAD
Light Hammer2 GP2ASSIST
Quarterstaff2 SP4LEAD
Spear1 GP3LEAD
Crossbow, light25 GP5LEAD
Dart5 CP0.25LEAD
Shortbow25 GP2LEAD
Sling1 SP-LEAD
Battleaxe10 GP4ASSIST
Glaive20 GP6ASSIST
Greataxe30 GP7ASSIST
Halberd20 GP6ASSIST
Morningstar15 GP4ASSIST
Trident5 GP4ASSIST
War pick5 GP2ASSIST
Warhammer15 GP2ASSIST
Blowgun10 GP1LEAD
Crossbow, hand75 GP3LEAD
Crossbow, heavy50 GP18LEAD
Longbow50 GP2LEAD

 put some minor restrictions on what types of projects a woodcarver can lead. While wooden components are an integral part to many crafted items, there are some weapons in the PHB that a woodcarver wouldn't have the expertise needed to create on their own. I would argue that leading the construction of any martial weapon that deal slashing damage would be beyond the expertise of a woodcarver. You could make the case for a woodcarver creating shortbows and longbows should their character have a background in fletching, however crossbow construction is best left to someone with expertise with the tinker's tools.

On the other hand, when it comes to assisting another artisan in the crafting process, I would recommend being flexible. As alluded to above, every single RAW weapon has components that can be created using wood, and it is not a stretch to assume the woodcarver can assist with minor non-woodcarving tasks once the carving is done.

The Takeaway: Woodcarvers can lead the creation of any Bludgeoning or Piercing Martial Melee weapon, and assist in the creation of any weapon.

Wooden Armor

Armor is a bit trickier, open to interpretation, and therefore more fun. As alluded to above the only armor that uses wood in its RAW description is the shield, so for posterity's sake I will state that creating shields out of wood is a valid choice. However, I don't feel like laminar armor is being given a fair shake. There are many instances of wooden laminar armor being used over the course of history, so I think that it is valid to include it as a homebrew option.

Armor Crafting List
ArmorCostWeightCrafting Capability
Shield10 GP6LEAD
Ring Mail30 GP40OPTIONAL

Historically wooden laminar armor was phased out because of the relatively poor protection it provided against metal weapons, and the burdensome weight it imposed on the wearer. Fortunately for us there is already an armor in existence that has these exact properties! Yes the good old fashion ring mail seems to have the stat line we need. With a nice low AC of 14 unmodified by Dex, a weight of 40 lbs, and permanent disadvantage on stealth checks, I think it is fair to say that it is perfectly acceptable to use laminar armor as a ring mail surrogate. While it may not be an adventurer's first choice for protection, it can serve as an effective low cost option for a low level character or when stocking a militia on the frontier.

Finally when it comes to magical wood, I firmly believe the sky is the limit. Should the DM create a fictional wood that is as resilient as steel, I see no reason that a woodcarver with the appropriate magical cutting edge to match could not use it to create any armor in the list.

The Takeaway: When using regular wood, the only armor you can craft is shields and laminar armor(wooden ring mail). Magical wood is exempt from these rules at the DM's discretion.

Adventuring Gear

If an expansive list of weapons and some home-brewed potential for armor wasn't enough for you, then you'll be happy to hear that the woodcarver's tools can create an impressive number of items from the adventuring gear list:

Adventuring Gear Crafting List
ItemCostWeightCrafting Capability
Abacus2 gp2 lb.LEAD
Arrows (20)1 GP1 lb.LEAD
Blowgun Needles (50)1 GP1 lb.LEAD
Crossbow Bolts (20)1 GP1.5 lb.LEAD
Arcane Focus, Rod10 gp2 lb.ASSIST
Arcane Focus, Staff5 gp4 lb.LEAD
Arcane Focus, Wand10 gp1 lb.LEAD
Barrel2 gp70 lb.LEAD
Basket4 sp2 lb.LEAD
Bottle, Glass2 gp2 lb.OPTIONAL
Bucket5 cp2 lb.ASSIST
Candle1 cpOPTIONAL
Case, Crossbow Bolt1 gp1 lb.LEAD
Case, Map or Scroll1 gp1 lb.OPTIONAL
Chest5 gp25 lb.ASSIST
Climber's Kit25 gp12 lb.ASSIST
Druidic Focus, Sprig of Mistletoe1 gpLEAD
Druidic Focus, Totem1 gpLEAD
Druidic Focus, Wooden Staff5 gp4 lb.LEAD
Druidic Focus, Yew Wand10 gp1 lb.LEAD
Fishing Tackle1 gp4 lb.ASSIST
Flask or Tankard2 cp1 lb.ASSIST
Hammer1 gp3 lb.OPTIONAL
Hammer, Sledge2 gp10 lb.OPTIONAL
Healer's Kit5 gp3 lb.ASSIST
Ink Pen2 cpLEAD
Jug or Pitcher2 cp4 lb.LEAD
Ladder (10-foot)1 sp25 lb.ASSIST
Manacles2 gp6 lb.OPTIONAL
Mirror, Steel5 gp½ lb.OPTIONAL
Paper (one sheet)2 spASSIST
Pole (10-foot)5 cp7 lb.LEAD
Ram, Portable4 gp35 lb.ASSIST
Shovel2 gp5 lb.LEAD
Signal Whistle5 cpLEAD
Signet Ring5 gpOPTIONAL
Spikes, Iron (10)1 gp5 lb.OPTIONAL
Spyglass1,000 gp1 lb.ASSIST
Tent, two-person2 gp20 lb.ASSIST
Tinderbox5 sp1 lb.LEAD
Torch1 cp1 lb.LEAD

While some of the items I listed above might traditionally be out of metal, I think in many cases such as ball bearings you could argue that a wooden version would work equally well. However, in other cases such as manacles, I would advise you use your judgement when deciding how effective they are. For example if a wooden manacle is just a large board with a couple of holes in it, then they will probably hold as well as their metal counterpart. But if the manacle is effectively a pair of wooden bracelets held together by wood, then lowering the DC required to break free to 15 might be appropriate.

The Takeaway: The woodcarver's tools has a very strong list of adventuring gear items it can create. Even more-so if you allow for alternative wooden versions of items such as ball bearings.

Magical Items

Last but definitely not least is magical items. As I mentioned before you could argue that magical wood could allow the player to break the rules and create virtually and weapon and armor in the game. However, for the sake of not making this article longer than the average 5e campaign, I will only list the items that I believe can be crafted out of your garden variety(forest variety?) wood pieces:

Magic Item Crafting List
ItemRarityCategoryCrafting Capability
Ammunition, +1 - ArrowsUncommonWeaponLEAD
Ammunition, +2 - ArrowsRareWeaponLEAD
Ammunition, +3 - ArrowsVery RareWeaponLEAD
Ammunition, +1 - Blowgun NeedlesUncommonWeaponLEAD
Ammunition, +2 - Blowgun NeedlesRareWeaponLEAD
Ammunition, +3 - Blowgun NeedlesVery RareWeaponLEAD
Ammunition, +1 - Crossbow BoltsUncommonWeaponLEAD
Ammunition, +2 - Crossbow BoltsRareWeaponLEAD
Ammunition, +3 - Crossbow BoltsVery RareWeaponLEAD
Animated ShieldVery RareArmorLEAD
Armor +1 - Ring MailRareArmorOPTIONAL
Armor +2 - Ring MailVery RareArmorOPTIONAL
Armor +3 - Ring MailLegendaryArmorOPTIONAL
Armor of Resistance - Ring MailRareArmorOPTIONAL
Arrow-Catching ShieldRareArmorLEAD
Arrow of SlayingVery RareWeaponLEAD
Berserker Axe - HandaxeRareWeaponASSIST
Berserker Axe - BattleaxeRareWeaponASSIST
Berserker Axe - GreataxeRareWeaponASSIST
Berserker Axe - HalberdRareWeaponASSIST
Bowl of Commanding Water ElementalsRareWondrous ItemLEAD
Brooch of ShieldingUncommonWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Broom of FlyingUncommonWondrous ItemLEAD
Candle of InvocationVery RareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Circlet of BlastingUncommonWondrous ItemASSIST
Dagger of VenomRareWeaponASSIST
Decanter of Endless WaterUncommonWondrous ItemASSIST
Dimensional ShacklesRareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Dwarven ThrowerVery RareWeaponASSIST
Folding BoatASSIST
Giant Slayer - HandaxeRareWeaponASSIST
Giant Slayer - BattleaxeRareWeaponASSIST
Giant Slayer - GreataxeRareWeaponASSIST
Giant Slayer - HalberdRareWeaponASSIST
Hammer of ThunderboltsLegendaryWeaponASSIST
Instant FortressRareWondrous ItemASSIST
Javelin of LightningUncommonWeaponLEAD
Mace of DisruptionRareWeaponASSIST
Mace of SmitingRareWeaponASSIST
Mace of TerrorRareWeaponASSIST
OathbowVery RareWeaponLEAD
Periapt of HealthUncommonWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Periapt of Proof against PoisonRareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Periapt of Wound ClosureUncommonWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Pipes of HauntingUncommonWondrous ItemLEAD
Pipes of the SewersUncommonWondrous ItemLEAD
Ring of Animal InfluenceRareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of Djinni SummoningLegendaryWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of Elemental CommandLegendaryWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of EvasionRareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of Feather FallingRareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of Free ActionRareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of InvisibilityLegendaryWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of JumpingUncommonWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of Mind ShieldingUncommonWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of ProtectionRareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of RegenerationVery RareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of ResistanceRareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of Shooting StarsVery RareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of Spell StoringRareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of Spell TurningLegendaryWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of SwimmingUncommonWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of TelekinesisVery RareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of the RamRareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of Three WishesLegendaryWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of WarmthUncommonWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of Water WalkingUncommonWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Ring of X-ray VisionRareWondrous ItemOPTIONAL
Rod of AbsorptionVery RareRodOPTIONAL
Rod of AlertnessVery RareRodOPTIONAL
Rod of Lordly MightLegendaryRodOPTIONAL
Rod of RulershipRareRodOPTIONAL
Rod of SecurityVery RareRodOPTIONAL
Shield +1UncommonArmorLEAD
Shield +2RareArmorLEAD
Shield +3Very RareArmorLEAD
Shield of Missile AttractionRareArmorLEAD
Spellguard ShieldVery RareArmorLEAD
Staff of CharmingRareStaffLEAD
Staff of FireVery RareStaffLEAD
Staff of FrostVery RareStaffLEAD
Staff of HealingRareStaffLEAD
Staff of PowerVery RareStaffLEAD
Staff of StrikingVery RareStaffLEAD
Staff of Swarming InsectsRareStaffLEAD
Staff of the MagiLegendaryStaffLEAD
Staff of the PythonUncommonStaffLEAD
Staff of the WoodlandsRareStaffLEAD
Staff of Thunder and LightningVery RareStaffLEAD
Staff of WitheringRareStaffLEAD
Sword of Sharpness - GreatswordVery RareWeaponASSIST
Sword of Sharpness - ScimitarVery RareWeaponASSIST
Trident of Fish CommandUncommonWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - ClubRareWeaponLEAD
Vicious Weapon - DaggerRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - GreatclubRareWeaponLEAD
Vicious Weapon - HandaxeRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - JavelinRareWeaponLEAD
Vicious Weapon - Light HammerRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - MaceRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - QuarterstaffRareWeaponLEAD
Vicious Weapon - SickleRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - SpearRareWeaponLEAD
Vicious Weapon - Crossbow, lightRareWeaponLEAD
Vicious Weapon - DartRareWeaponLEAD
Vicious Weapon - ShortbowRareWeaponLEAD
Vicious Weapon - SlingRareWeaponLEAD
Vicious Weapon - BattleaxeRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - FlailRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - GlaiveRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - GreataxeRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - HalberdRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - LanceRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - MaulRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - MorningstarRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - PikeRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - TridentRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - War pickRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - WarhammerRareWeaponASSIST
Vicious Weapon - BlowgunRareWeaponLEAD
Vicious Weapon - Crossbow, handRareWeaponLEAD
Vicious Weapon - Crossbow, heavyRareWeaponLEAD
Vicious Weapon - LongbowRareWeaponLEAD
Vorpal Sword - GreatswordLegendaryWeaponASSIST
Vorpal Sword - ScimitarLegendaryWeaponASSIST
Wand of BindingRareWandLEAD
Wand of Enemy DetectionRareWandLEAD
Wand of FearRareWandLEAD
Wand of FireballsRareWandLEAD
Wand of Lightning BoltsRareWandLEAD
Wand of Magic DetectionUncommonWandLEAD
Wand of Magic MissilesRareWandLEAD
Wand of ParalysisVery RareWandLEAD
Wand of PolymorphVery RareWandLEAD
Wand of SecretsUncommonWandLEAD
Wand of the War Mage, +1, +2, or +3UncommonWandLEAD
Wand of WebUncommonWandLEAD
Wand of WonderRareWandLEAD
Weapon +1 - ClubUncommonWeaponLEAD
Weapon +1 - DaggerUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - GreatclubUncommonWeaponLEAD
Weapon +1 - HandaxeUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - JavelinUncommonWeaponLEAD
Weapon +1 - Light HammerUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - MaceUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - QuarterstaffUncommonWeaponLEAD
Weapon +1 - SickleUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - SpearUncommonWeaponLEAD
Weapon +1 - Crossbow, lightUncommonWeaponLEAD
Weapon +1 - DartUncommonWeaponLEAD
Weapon +1 - ShortbowUncommonWeaponLEAD
Weapon +1 - SlingUncommonWeaponLEAD
Weapon +1 - BattleaxeUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - FlailUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - GlaiveUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - GreataxeUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - HalberdUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - LanceUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - MaulUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - MorningstarUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - PikeUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - TridentUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - War pickUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - WarhammerUncommonWeaponASSIST
Weapon +1 - BlowgunUncommonWeaponLEAD
Weapon +1 - Crossbow, handUncommonWeaponLEAD
Weapon +1 - Crossbow, heavyUncommonWeaponLEAD
Weapon +1 - LongbowUncommonWeaponLEAD
Weapon +2 - ClubRareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +2 - DaggerRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - GreatclubRareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +2 - HandaxeRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - JavelinRareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +2 - Light HammerRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - MaceRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - QuarterstaffRareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +2 - SickleRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - SpearRareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +2 - Crossbow, lightRareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +2 - DartRareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +2 - ShortbowRareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +2 - SlingRareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +2 - BattleaxeRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - FlailRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - GlaiveRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - GreataxeRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - HalberdRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - LanceRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - MaulRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - MorningstarRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - PikeRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - TridentRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - War pickRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - WarhammerRareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +2 - BlowgunRareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +2 - Crossbow, handRareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +2 - Crossbow, heavyRareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +2 - LongbowRareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +3 - ClubVery RareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +3 - DaggerVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - GreatclubVery RareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +3 - HandaxeVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - JavelinVery RareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +3 - Light HammerVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - MaceVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - QuarterstaffVery RareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +3 - SickleVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - SpearVery RareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +3 - Crossbow, lightVery RareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +3 - DartVery RareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +3 - ShortbowVery RareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +3 - SlingVery RareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +3 - BattleaxeVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - FlailVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - GlaiveVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - GreataxeVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - HalberdVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - LanceVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - MaulVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - MorningstarVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - PikeVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - TridentVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - War pickVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - WarhammerVery RareWeaponASSIST
Weapon +3 - BlowgunVery RareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +3 - Crossbow, handVery RareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +3 - Crossbow, heavyVery RareWeaponLEAD
Weapon +3 - LongbowVery RareWeaponLEAD

he Takeaway: Just look at the size of that list of magic items...

Money Does Grow On Trees - Creating and Selling Wooden Artwork

Using the Questionable Arcana Artwork Crafting Rules a woodworker can create very valuable artwork.

The process of crafting wooden artwork is the same as the standard process described in the link above, but we will also quickly run through the basics below:

  1. OPTIONAL: Use 10 GP worth of artisanal goods purchased on the market to gain advantage on your Woodcarver's Tools Ability Check
  2. Make an Woodcarver's Tools Ability Check. The DC of the check is based on the current value of the artwork. The more valuable the artwork already is, the more difficult it is to increase the value.
  3. If you succeed add your Crafting Progress Check to the Estimated Value of the artwork. If you fail by less than 5 no progress is made. If you fail by 5 or more subtract your Crafting Progress Check from the Estimated Value of the artwork.

As an example a level 5 character with woodcarver's tools proficiency working on a figurine of a minotaur with an estimated value of 125 GP would need to roll a DC 12 Dexterity(woodcarver's tools) check. If they succeed they are then able add 5+(1d6*5) to the figurine's value estimate.

Ad-hoc Weaponry

Proficiency in the woodcarver's tools gives you another major benefit that could be a game change in the right situation. Your party may find themselves in a situation where they have more bodies in the group than weapons in hand. However, if there is an ample supply of wood, a skilled woodcarver can create a batch of improvised weapons that can make those bodies an asset instead of a liability.

Figuring out how to handle weapons entirely made out of wood was actually fairly simple. All of the martial weapons traditionally have some type of metal component in them, so by default they are ineligible to be carved out of a log. Furthermore, in order for a weapon to effectively deal slashing damage a wooden edge really isn't going to do a trick, so all of those weapons are out as well. This leaves us with simple weapons that deal bludgeoning and piercing damage.

The dagger was the only piercing weapon that was a little bit suspect at first. However, since a dagger shares the same damage as an improvised piercing weapon(1d4), I see no problem with allowing a skilled woodworker to balance the knife properly granting it the finesse and thrown properties.

You might also be tempted to say the mace and light hammer require a metal head, but before you commit to that decision I recommend you do conduct this two step experiment.

  1. Go outdoors in real life and find a nice dense piece of wood.
  2. Have a friend test the wood's performance in the role of either a mace or light hammer on you.

If after this experiment you still doubt woods ability to function in this role then feel free to exclude maces and light hammers as crafting options. Otherwise I recommend you allow woodcarvers to create the following list of wooden only ad-hoc weapons:

  • Club
  • Dagger
  • Greatclub
  • Javelin
  • Light Hammer
  • Mace
  • Quarterstaff
  • Spear

The Takeaway: Using only wood you are able to create any simple weapon that deals bludgeoning or piercing damage.

In Conclusion

I hope that by the end of this arcana you are convinced of the merits of woodcarving. Even if you don't choose to use the QA crafting system, many of the concepts discussed in this document can be applied to any crafting system. Although it is often not a player's first choice, in the right hands the woodcarver's kit is arguably one of the most useful crafting kits in 5th edition.

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