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Author Topic: The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System  (Read 8408 times)

Sacrificial Lamb

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #105 on: October 26, 2019, 05:19:22 PM »
Quote from: S'mon;1111926
Here's a revised version I came up with in about 15 minutes, with costs & times I like better.

Magic Item Crafting
Rarity Minimum Level Time Cost
Common     4           2 days       200gp
Uncommon 8           7 days    1,000gp
Rare             12      31 days    5,000gp
Very Rare    16      92 days   25,000gp
Legendary   20   366 days  125,000gp

I didn't address making commissioned works as a business; as discussed above that is best done using the business rules.

Those crafting times that you just posted aren't perfect, but they're admittedly better than what's in the 5e DMG, which is part of my point. It probably took you only 10 minutes to come up with that, and yet you just created something better than what WoTC published in their own book. It's crazy.

I would still want there to be a potential financial incentive for crafting and selling magic items though. That's kind of a sticking point for me. People should be paid for their labor, and the system used in the 5e DMG has most buyers refusing to pay you for your labor at all.

S'mon

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #106 on: October 26, 2019, 06:23:12 PM »
Quote from: Sacrificial Lamb;1111934
I would still want there to be a potential financial incentive for crafting and selling magic items though. That's kind of a sticking point for me. People should be paid for their labor, and the system used in the 5e DMG has most buyers refusing to pay you for your labor at all.

I think a crafter should generally be able to take on commissions for around a 50% markup on the crafting cost, though it may be less (10-40%, esp for Commons), there may be no one willing to do so, etc. And it will depend what formulae they know - I'd generally expect a bigger markup on rarer items, even within the tiers. I wouldn't be too surprised to see the Emperor of Infinity commission a Legendary crown for 500,000gp.

We know +50% is the top for Sale price in DMG, so it seems a good starting point for commissions.

deadDMwalking

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #107 on: October 26, 2019, 07:28:10 PM »
One problem with 'crafting rules' is that they're actually really shitty about explaining the 'costs' of manufacturing the good.  There are a lot of things that are inexpensive in terms of raw materials but extremely time-consuming/labor intensive to produce.  But D&D doesn't really consider that - you could interpret the raw cost as not just materials but also 'reasonable expenses' for the person making the item - but that's not a default assumption.
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Spike

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #108 on: October 26, 2019, 08:54:54 PM »
Quote from: deadDMwalking;1111951
One problem with 'crafting rules' is that they're actually really shitty about explaining the 'costs' of manufacturing the good. There are a lot of things that are inexpensive in terms of raw materials but extremely time-consuming/labor intensive to produce.  But D&D doesn't really consider that - you could interpret the raw cost as not just materials but also 'reasonable expenses' for the person making the item - but that's not a default assumption.

Or Vice Versa.  Its actually irritating to read a crafting system where you are purely bounded by the cost of the item. Extending that logic, it takes weeks to cook a wagyu steak, months if you use saffron (don't do this...), but it would take a day to produce a Colossos of Rhodes out of garbage, because 'cheap'.

It is reductionist to the point of being an absurdity.
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Spinachcat

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #109 on: October 26, 2019, 09:51:24 PM »
Crafting of magic items should be setting and campaign dependent. I can see where shorter/cheaper/longer/more expensive options make more sense, but the parameters should be flexible for GMs.

In my OD&D, magic item creation is much more about finding the right components more than paying a pile of gold and waiting for the mage to finish your pre-order. I enjoy the idea that if you want a dragon slaying sword, you need the blood of a dragon, or the weapon must be forged within an ancient lair, or only by a wizard who has slain one dragon of each kind, etc.

S'mon

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #110 on: October 27, 2019, 03:12:00 AM »
Quote from: deadDMwalking;1111951
But D&D doesn't really consider that - you could interpret the raw cost as not just materials but also 'reasonable expenses' for the person making the item - but that's not a default assumption.


It does explicitly say that - crafting cost includes maintenance cost.

rawma

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #111 on: October 27, 2019, 09:16:03 AM »
Quote from: Sacrificial Lamb;1111847
I will, however, admit to two mistakes in this thread. Two. One was about missing the part about consumables being half-price, because that errata was missing from my book. The second was that I also missed the section on Charisma (Persuasion) checks, but that's it. I've been on point about everything else.


Hardly. Your numerous errors clearly reveal someone who has not actually played 5e much.
  • The belief that it would be surprising for an 11th level sorcerer to have a 20 Charisma (or, more generally, that a primary caster would be unlikely to increase their casting ability)?
  • Not noticing backgrounds as a source of skill proficiency?
  • That only a human character could start with a 16 Charisma, in apparent ignorance of other (even higher) racial bonuses to Charisma?
  • Your ignorance of how advantage/disadvantage combines (in the thread on 5e flaws)?

These are familiar to anyone who has played the game. You have torn through the rule books looking desperately for your "I Win!" button, equipping your character with limitless wealth and optimized magic items, and are furious that you could not find it; that doesn't translate into a broken game.

As S'mon said, 5e plays better in practice than it reads; you should try it.


[/HR]
I will revise my choice of optimal front man for a magic item manufacturing business. Bard, College of Lore, 14th level, 20 Charisma due to two ability score increases from a point buy 16 (with a race that gets a charisma bonus), 19 Intelligence from the Headband of Intellect (a trivial startup cost for a magic item manufacturer), proficiency (and perhaps expertise) in Investigation and expertise in Persuasion. With Bardic Inspiration on ability checks, the bard can very often make a DC20 Investigation check (even without expertise or help to get advantage); averaging 31 on persuasion checks and so finding the shady buyer at 150% of cost with a 21% chance each search - averaging a little under 5 searches (d10 days each).

The DM retains the potential adventuring hook of shadiness of the buyer, and consequences of ignoring events in the world to spend a lot of time crafting magic items, but I expect that a risk-free highly profitable business is not of interest to anyone except Sacrificial Lamb.

S'mon

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #112 on: October 27, 2019, 12:06:41 PM »
Been continuing to work on revisions to crafting & purchase for upcoming FR campaign.

Magic Item Crafting
Rarity       Min Level Time       Cost
Common     4           2 days       200gp
Uncommon 8           7 days    1,000gp
Rare             12      31 days    5,000gp
Very Rare    16      92 days   25,000gp
Legendary   20   366 days  125,000gp

Consumables
Common     4       1 day         40gp
Uncommon 8       2 days      200gp
Rare           12      7 days    1000gp
Very Rare   16     31 days   5000gp
Legendary  20     92 days  25000gp

Spell Scroll Crafting
Common
cantrip 15gp
level 1 50gp
Uncommon
level 2 100gp
level 3 200gp
Rare
level 4 300gp
level 5 600gp
Very Rare
level 6 1200gp
level 7 2500gp
Legendary
level 8 5000gp
level 9 10000gp

Purchase
Magic Items available in Neverwinter, ca 1491 DR

Per XGTE page 126, locating an item (other than a Potion of Healing) costs a minimum 100gp and 1 work week
(about 5 days), plus a successful Charisma (Persuasion) check.
Every additional 100gp and/or week spent searching gives +1 to the check, to a maximum of +10.

Common Items (DC 10)
Cloak of Billowing - 300gp
Uncommon Items (DC 15)
Gloves of Swimming and Climbing - 1500gp
Goggles of Night - 1500gp
Wand of Magic Detection - 1500gp
+1 Shield - 1500gp
+1 Weapon  - 1500gp
Bag of Holding - 2000gp
Cloak of Protection - 2000gp
Ring of Mind Shielding - 2000gp
Ring of Swimming - 2000gp
Ring of Warmth - 2000gp
Wand of the War Mage, +1 - 2000gp
Rare Items (DC 20)
+1 Studded Leather armour - 6000gp
Ring of Protection - 6000gp
+1 Half Plate armour - 6500gp
+1 Full Plate armour - 7500gp
+2 Shield - 7500gp
+2 Weapon - 7500gp
Bracers of Defence - 8000gp
Ring of X-Ray Vision - 8000gp
Wand of the War Mage, +2 - 8000gp

Potions & Consumables
Always Available
Potion of Healing - 50gp
Common Items (DC 10)
Perfume of Bewitchment - 50gp
Potion of Climbing  - 50gp
Uncommon Items (DC 15)
Potion of Animal Friendship - 300gp
Potion of Greater Healing - 300gp
Potion of Water Breathing - 300gp
Potion of Growth - 300gp
Potion of Hill Giant Strength - 300gp
Keoghtom's Ointment (per dose) - 300gp
Rare Items (DC 20)
Potion of Superior Healing - 1500gp

Spell Scroll
Common (DC 10)
cantrip 25gp
level 1 75gp
Uncommon (DC 15)
level 2 150gp
level 3 300gp
Rare (DC 20)
level 4 500gp
level 5 1000gp

Sacrificial Lamb

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #113 on: October 27, 2019, 08:39:08 PM »
Quote from: rawma;1112026
Hardly. Your numerous errors clearly reveal someone who has not actually played 5e much.

* The belief that it would be surprising for an 11th level sorcerer to have a 20 Charisma (or, more generally, that a primary caster would be unlikely to increase their casting ability)?


Again with this bullshit? I'll bet you that at least half the 5e groups out there use point buy. When you use POINT BUY, then your Sorcerer can start off with a base Charisma of 15. If he's Human (+1 Charisma), then that Charisma will be 16. If he's a Half-Elf (+2 Charisma), then it could be 17. But there's no guarantee that the Sorcerer will automatically be a race with a Charisma bonus. For the record, I wasn't treating the Drow as an "Elf"....even though they are technically Elves. They're an evil race of spider-worshipping megalomaniacs, so I wasn't treating them as part of the "Elf" entry...even though they technically are. In most cases, the magical merchants you meet will not be Drow. In other words, I don't consider Drow relevant to the discussion. :cool:

Anyway, the character can then get a bonus to an ability score at 4th-level and 8th-level.....improving his Charisma by +2. So if we use point buy as a way to determine a character's stats, then this is the likely Charisma score for an 11th-level Sorcerer.

* 11th-level Stout Halfling Sorcerer (17 Charisma)
* 11th-level Wood Elf Sorcerer (17 Charisma)
* 11th-level Hill Dwarf Sorcerer (17 Charisma)
* 11th-level Human Sorcerer (18 Charisma)
* 11th-level Half-Elf Sorcerer (19 Charisma)

See? There's lots of 11th-level Sorcerers with "only" a 17 Charisma (via point buy). :D

And even if you roll your ability scores, there is no guarantee that your stats will be any higher than they would be under point buy. I KNOW YOU KNOW THIS. That means that there's no automatic expectation of an 11th-Sorcerer having a 20 Charisma. This is just pure logic.

You were nitpicking over the dumbest shit, that had nothing to do with the central argument. I mean, really. And let's be honest here. If you always assume that the Sorcerer will have maximum human Charisma (Charisma 20), then you are unintentionally making the point that you don't feel fully comfortable with Bounded Accuracy either in concept or in play.....even if you'd like to believe otherwise.

Quote from: rawma
* Not noticing backgrounds as a source of skill proficiency?


I'm aware of the BORING backgrounds. Did you notice that two out of my three original examples had merchants with the Charisma (Persuasion) skill? Of course you noticed it. I didn't bring up the Backgrounds, because not every guy who crafts and sells a magic item will automatically have the "Guild Artisan" or "Noble" background. I don't consider that to be a realistic assumption. After all, there are 13 different backgrounds in the Player's Handbook. :cool:



Quote from: rawma
* That only a human character could start with a 16 Charisma, in apparent ignorance of other (even higher) racial bonuses to Charisma?


Not everyone rolls their ability scores. That's not a reasonable assumption on your part in "current year". And even if you do roll your stats, there is no guarantee of higher ability scores than what you'd receive with point buy. After all, the whole point of "rolling randomly" is that you don't know what you'll get. :)

Quote from: rawma
* Your ignorance of how advantage/disadvantage combines (in the thread on 5e flaws)?
[/LIST]


Good grief. Are you still butthurt about my statement in the other thread? Namely this:

https://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.php?41219-What-are-the-big-problems-in-5E/page28

Quote from: Sacrificial Lamb
(14.) Advantage/disadvantage sucks. This system is binary. You either have (dis)advantage or you don't. Once your opponents fire arrows at you from [a.] multiple directions, [b.] from higher ground, and [c.] from behind cover.....there's virtually nothing you can do to negate that, because even if you hide behind a log (for cover).....you are only negating one form of advantage, therefore, your opponents will still have advantage. Would it have killed WoTC to create some sensible LAYERS to the advantage/disadvantage mechanic? This is annoying, stupid, and lazy game writing. And I'm tired of non-luck-based characters constantly engaging in rerolls. To Hell with that.


Ok, you've got me on that one. :o You are right. I was wrong about the combination of advantage/disadvantage. I haven't played 5e in years, so I did forget this issue on the other thread. Granted, this issue you raise was in an entirely different thread, but I'll still eat crow on that issue. Congratulations on your (tiny) victory. However.....

.....somehow, that's even worse. One form of advantage nullifying all forms of disadvantage? One form of disadvantage nullifying all other forms of advantage? I was still right when I said the system is binary. You either have advantage, or you don't. You either have disadvantage, or you don't. There are still no meaningful layers to this game mechanic. There are no lesser/intermediate/greater forms of (dis)advantage. No nuance. So I was definitely on point about that.

Quote from: rawma
These are familiar to anyone who has played the game. You have torn through the rule books looking desperately for your "I Win!" button, equipping your character with limitless wealth and optimized magic items, and are furious that you could not find it; that doesn't translate into a broken game.

As S'mon said, 5e plays better in practice than it reads; you should try it.


I still win, because I stopped playing 5e years ago.....since this game is objectively horrible. The crafting system is still an unholy abomination, where most buyers expect you to give away your labor FOR FREE. Please don't defend that shit, because it's just indefensible.

Quote from: rawma

[/HR]
I will revise my choice of optimal front man for a magic item manufacturing business. Bard, College of Lore, 14th level, 20 Charisma due to two ability score increases from a point buy 16 (with a race that gets a charisma bonus), 19 Intelligence from the Headband of Intellect (a trivial startup cost for a magic item manufacturer), proficiency (and perhaps expertise) in Investigation and expertise in Persuasion. With Bardic Inspiration on ability checks, the bard can very often make a DC20 Investigation check (even without expertise or help to get advantage); averaging 31 on persuasion checks and so finding the shady buyer at 150% of cost with a 21% chance each search - averaging a little under 5 searches (d10 days each).

The DM retains the potential adventuring hook of shadiness of the buyer, and consequences of ignoring events in the world to spend a lot of time crafting magic items, but I expect that a risk-free highly profitable business is not of interest to anyone except Sacrificial Lamb.


So now you're assuming that every single magical merchant has an EXTREMELY HIGH-LEVEL BARD on his payroll? Is that right? By the way, a 14th-level character is a very high-level character. So you're telling us that most magical merchants have high-level Bards doing their bidding? Really? And we now also have to assume that all magical merchants are also wearing a Headband of Intellect? Seriously?

What you propose is NOT REALISTIC OR PRACTICAL for most magical craftsman. :rolleyes:

You know this.

Never mind that it stills takes months, years, or decades to craft most magical bling.....and that you will NEVER be able to convince half-a-dozen high-level Wizards to magically wank in a room for 8 hours a day, for almost a full year.....just so they can craft a shitty Frost Brand sword that is barely more efficient than a Sword +1. :rolleyes:

See how you keep adding shit that is mostly peripheral to the discussion, in order to (futilely) make the base system work, when it obviously doesn't work? I see it. We were discussing what happens when most 11th-level characters craft a Frost Brand sword, remember? And you should also remember that only "shady" buyers (who might rob you) will even think of paying you (something) for your labor......which is completely ass-backwards. It is ethical people that are the ones who should want to pay you for your labor, not potential criminals.

When I do an evaluation of the magic item crafting system, I ask myself.....how much bullshit will most craftsmen (of any level) have to endure in order to craft something....and how much bullshit will most craftsmen have to endure, in order to sell what they crafted? It's a legitimate question, because if the game mechanics create a situation that the PCs will not want to interact with, then it's a safe bet that NPCs will not want to interact with these game mechanics either.

In other words, there is still no incentive for most of these magic items in the 5e DMG to be crafted. :cool:

Spinachcat

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #114 on: October 27, 2019, 08:54:03 PM »
Anyone know an OSR game with good magic item crafting rules?

Or any OSR supplement devoted to crafting? Or any 3PP 5e supplement that rewrites the crafting rules?

Perhaps that would be useful to the discussion.

moonsweeper

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #115 on: October 27, 2019, 09:55:53 PM »
Quote from: Sacrificial Lamb;1112096
Again with this bullshit? I'll bet you that at least half the 5e groups out there use point buy. When you use POINT BUY, then your Sorcerer can start off with a base Charisma of 15. If he's Human (+1 Charisma), then that Charisma will be 16. If he's a Half-Elf (+2 Charisma), then it could be 17. But there's no guarantee that the Sorcerer will automatically be a race with a Charisma bonus. For the record, I wasn't treating the Drow as an "Elf"....even though they are technically Elves. They're an evil race of spider-worshipping megalomaniacs, so I wasn't treating them as part of the "Elf" entry...even though they technically are. In most cases, the magical merchants you meet will not be Drow. In other words, I don't consider Drow relevant to the discussion. :cool:

Anyway, the character can then get a bonus to an ability score at 4th-level and 8th-level.....improving his Charisma by +2. So if we use point buy as a way to determine a character's stats, then this is the likely Charisma score for an 11th-level Sorcerer.

* 11th-level Stout Halfling Sorcerer (17 Charisma)
* 11th-level Wood Elf Sorcerer (17 Charisma)
* 11th-level Hill Dwarf Sorcerer (17 Charisma)
* 11th-level Human Sorcerer (18 Charisma)
* 11th-level Half-Elf Sorcerer (19 Charisma)

See? There's lots of 11th-level Sorcerers with "only" a 17 Charisma (via point buy). :D

And even if you roll your ability scores, there is no guarantee that your stats will be any higher than they would be under point buy. I KNOW YOU KNOW THIS. That means that there's no automatic expectation of an 11th-Sorcerer having a 20 Charisma. This is just pure logic.

You were nitpicking over the dumbest shit, that had nothing to do with the central argument. I mean, really. And let's be honest here. If you always assume that the Sorcerer will have maximum human Charisma (Charisma 20), then you are unintentionally making the point that you don't feel fully comfortable with Bounded Accuracy either in concept or in play.....even if you'd like to believe otherwise.



I'm aware of the BORING backgrounds. Did you notice that two out of my three original examples had merchants with the Charisma (Persuasion) skill? Of course you noticed it. I didn't bring up the Backgrounds, because not every guy who crafts and sells a magic item will automatically have the "Guild Artisan" or "Noble" background. I don't consider that to be a realistic assumption. After all, there are 13 different backgrounds in the Player's Handbook. :cool:





Not everyone rolls their ability scores. That's not a reasonable assumption on your part in "current year". And even if you do roll your stats, there is no guarantee of higher ability scores than what you'd receive with point buy. After all, the whole point of "rolling randomly" is that you don't know what you'll get. :)



Uh...your math and rules are wrong.
The stat bumps you get at every 4th level are +2 per bump not +1.
By using both increases for CHA and point buy for a starting CHA 15, all of those casters will have a 19 by 8th level except the human and half-elf who will have a 20.
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Sacrificial Lamb

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #116 on: October 28, 2019, 12:27:23 AM »
Quote from: moonsweeper;1112107
Uh...your math and rules are wrong.
The stat bumps you get at every 4th level are +2 per bump not +1.
By using both increases for CHA and point buy for a starting CHA 15, all of those casters will have a 19 by 8th level except the human and half-elf who will have a 20.

Sigh. :(

Yes, you are correct. Thank you. I am embarrassed.

But this is all still very weird. 5e has a system of Bounded Accuracy, but everyone is assumed to have the human maximum ability score of 20 in their main ability score. That's just so.....idiotic. Why even have bounded accuracy in the first place, and then create a system where everyone almost inevitably has a 20 Strength or 20 Charisma (or whatever) by either 8th-level or 12th-level? So this means that your ability scores are one of the most important aspects of play.

I don't like that design decision.

However, my item crafting calculations are still correct. I'm still right about the crafting system....which is the point of this thread.

Edit: My apologies to you, rawma, for giving you grief about the ability scores. I was wrong about that section.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 12:34:22 AM by Sacrificial Lamb »

HappyDaze

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #117 on: October 28, 2019, 01:06:43 AM »
Quote from: Sacrificial Lamb;1112114
I don't like that design decision.

That's a much more honest take on it than "it all sucks" was.

S'mon

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #118 on: October 28, 2019, 04:59:12 AM »
5e PCs typically start with a 16 in their Primary attribute. They then either increase that to 18 at 4th and 20 at 8th, or take Feats first. IME warriors tend to take Feats while casters tend to take the stat bumps first, then Feats. So a Sorcerer Warlock or Bard typically has 20 (+5) from 8th level. It then stays at 20 (+5) for the rest of the game - this is what Bounded Accuracy means - while their Proficiency modifier goes up by 1 at 9th, 13th and 17th. IME this works extremely well in play. The CHA based character's Persuasion bonus is typically +9 at 9th-12th, +10 at 13th-16th, +11 at 17th-20th.

At the top end, a Rogue with Persuasion Expertise likely has around a +3 or +4 CHA bonus at high level, so caps out +15 or +16 Persuasion, with Reliable Talent giving a guaranteed 25-26. They can reliably hit Very Hard DCs (25) but not Nearly Impossible (30).

deadDMwalking

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The Many Flaws of the 5e Crafting System
« Reply #119 on: October 28, 2019, 09:47:49 AM »
Quote from: Sacrificial Lamb;1112096
I still win, because I stopped playing 5e years ago.....since this game is objectively horrible. The crafting system is still an unholy abomination, where most buyers expect you to give away your labor FOR FREE. Please don't defend that shit, because it's just indefensible.

No you don't.  Ranting about a game that you don't even play without either understanding how it works or trying to build a better system for your own gaming is a waste of your time that you could be doing better things with.  I don't play 5e and I don't like 5e.  But it doesn't give me a rage-inducing brain aneurysm to think that others might play and might enjoy it.  To then focus specifically on item crafting which is well-outside of the experience of most groups is really insane.  Even if the creation of magical items were completely retarded, the rules do have a way of placing magic items as treasure that actually works.  

Your argument is a little bit like saying bees can't fly - even if you were right that they SHOULDN'T be able to, they DO.  If magic items SHOULDN'T be created, but they EXIST in the setting it implies that there is something you're missing, not that it is impossible.  The 5th edition ruleset isn't complete (which is its own problem) but if they provide new rules on 'magical materials' that remove the GP cost of magical items, would you suddenly reverse course and feel that the Magic Item Creation rules are actually good?
When I say objectively, I mean 'subjectively'.  When I say literally, I mean 'figuratively'.  
And when I say that you are a horse's ass, I mean that the objective truth is that you are a literal horse's ass.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. - Peter Drucker