Player Guide to Crafting (3.5e Optimized Character Build)
From D&D Wiki
 The Unofficial Guide to Crafting 1.0
This guide is for those who love to craft their own items in Dungeons and Dragons. From building an army of constructs to just being the richest player out there. With this guide you can build yourself huge arsenal of weapons.
There are a few races in D&D that will allow you to reduce the cost of many of your craft checks, give bonus to craft checks, and have intelligence boost that add to your craft checks. I try to avoid any races with level adjustments this allows for no XP penalties (when crafting magical items is worth as much as the gold you spend).
The Changlings have no real benefits to crafting as a race. However, if you use the Racial Emulation Feat (Races of Eberron p.110 ) the Changling to actually count as the subtype of what they change into. This means that the Changling with this feat would actually count as an as the race and would not have to make UMD checks to use racially restricted magical items. Essentially, with the right feat, the Changlings can throw an entire section of UMD checks out the window, which means they can use those racially restricted items much more reliably then most.
When dealing with Items of stone or metal dwarves bonus to crafting can make them a useful race. Gold Dwarves (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting) give even further benefits by taking the Gold Dwarf Dweomersmith feat (Races of Faerun p.163). Which can allow you to reduce the cost of an magical Item by 5%, in addition to getting a +1 to caster level to make or improve any weapon.
Gnomes have bonuses to craft alchemy, this is useful if you are planning to craft alchemical items and weapons. Over-all they do work well as the base for your craftsman. If allowed to use the base gnome given in the Dragonlance settings (Dragonlance Campaign setting p.26) you get a +2 to your intelligence, even further adding to the craft check. If anyone can find it, the Arcane Gnome (Dragon Magazine 291) gives a +2 Int as well.
The humans have few things in there favor when it comes to being an craftsman. First is their bonus feat, there are many feats that aid the crafter in his/her chosen crafts. Second, the skillpoints which allows you to put more points towards crafts and knowledges to go with them. The best one however is the ability to take the Dragonmark of Making and belong to The house of Cannith. Spoil: Though with the right use of Items and spells, you can take advantage of other races buffs.
The Kaorit (Fiend Folio p.108) favors becoming a good Craftsman, because it produces it own raw material (Kaorti Resin). Using this method with the expenditure of exp. you can craft most magical items at a 35 percent price reduction. It also doesn't hurt all weapons made from the Resin have a x4 Critical.
Kobolds are one of the best races for crafting. First, they get a +2 bonus to craft (trapmaking) and has it as a class skill to all classes. Second, they receive a +2 Profession (miner) which making getting raw materials easier. Lastly, you can go a step further and add the Dragonwrought feat (Races of the Dragon p.100), in addition to the benefits of the feat, you may start your character at Venerable age, giving a +3 to intelligence, wisdom, and charisma. I recommend starting as an Earth Kobold (Unearthed Arcana p.17) that way you are only taking -2 to your Strength and constitution scores.
Overall the Warforge do not look like a good choice for a craftsman. But as you continue reading you will find, while they get no major bonus to intelligence nor to craft skills. They do gain the ability to not only heal themselves but improve there armor and weapons on the fly, using there own bodies as raw material. This does make them an excellent choice for a craft geared PC to be quite powerful in battle.
 Other Races
List below are races that give Intelligence boost with no LA. That are not listed above, even though they have no boost to craft checks there intelligence boost make them decent for craft based PC.
Fire Elf: +2 Int, +2 Dex, -2 Con, -2 Cha. (Unearthed Arcana p.17)
Gray Elf: +2 Int, +2 Dex, -2 Str, -2 Con. (Monster Manual I p.104)
Sun Elf: +2 Int, -2 Con. (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting)
Silvanesti: +2 Int, +2 Dex, -2 Con, -2 Cha. (Dragonlance Campaign Setting p.19)
Deep Imaskari: +2 Int, -2 Dex. (Underdark p.9)
Lesser Air Genasi: +2 Int, +2 Dex, -2 Wis, -2 Cha. (Player’s Guide to Faerun p.191)
Lesser Fire Genasi: +2 Int, -2 Cha. (Player’s guide to Faerun p.191)
Lesser Tiefling: +2 Int, +2 Dex, -2 Cha. (Player’s guide to Faerun p.191)
For the most part you can use any class to make a craft orientated PC. There a few classes that stand out and will make you an extraordinary craftsman geared towards decimating you foes with your creations.
The ability of the Artificer to craft items can not be challenged by any other class. Between the ability to recover xp from magical Items to the use of there craft points for exp. cost. They make things a lot quicker and simpler, with less spells need to do so. This is probably the best starting class for a craftsman in the game. It also doesn't hurt that the class give you all of the core crafting feats.
This class is D&D jack of all trades class, it can be used in many ways. Cunning Knowledge allows you to add your level in Factotum to your craft checks. As well as your Arcane Dilettante ability gives you many spells that can be used for enchanting. Finally and probably the best, not many characters go after the final class ability Cunning Brilliance. It is very good to be able to mimic other classes' abilities, but unfortunately you gain this at 19th level, which is very high. But it will allow you to mimic many of the features found in the Artificer class.
 Prestige Class
Entry Requirements Race: Human or Doppelganger. Skills: Bluff 8 ranks, Disguise 8 ranks, Sense Motive 4 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks. Feat: Able Learner
This class will allow you to be more versatility and open both divine and arcane spells to enchant with. Chained with the bonus feat ability you can change one of your feats each day, for different crafting feats (there are a few other tricks using this class feature I will discus later). This is an very good prestige class for any craftsman. (Special note: Changeling may take this class as well.)
 Master of Mask
Entry Requirements Skill: Bluff 8 ranks, Disguise 8 ranks, Perform (act) 8 ranks. Languages: Any four. Special: Must have successfully impersonated an individual, fooling even that person’s friends and associates.
You will truly only need one level in the class you can take more but at base you need one. The two main mask you need to grab are the Masks of the Archmage and High Priest this will boost your spell-casting level by 2 for both divine and arcane. If you which to take more levels the Gladiators mask is highly recommend for the ability to have proficiency in all weapons you create. Over all 1 to 2 levels will improve both your overall combat ability and crafting abilities.
Entry Requirements Race: Gnome. Skills: Craft (any) 8 ranks, Use Magic Device 4 ranks. Feats: Any two item creation feats. Spells: Arcane caster level 5th.
The best ability of this class can be nabbed at level one, Quick craft which halves the time it takes to craft any magic Items. Later on the identification ability makes things even easier when dealing with treasure. Overall this is a great class to nab if your a Gnome and Possibly can be down by a Changeling.
 Epic Level Class
 Master Arcane Artisan
Entry Requirements Skills: Craft (any) 12 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 24 ranks, Spellcraft (24 ranks). Feats: Efficient Item Creation, Skill Focus (Knowledge [arcana]), any four item creation feats. Spellcasting: Able to cast 6th-level arcane spells.
If your taking your character to this point few do this is the class for you. To sum it up you will be able to craft most anything you feel the need to do quickly and at little cost to yourself.
Overall there are many classes that can do you some good. Taking a level in cleric and nabbing the craft domain would be useful. A level or two in wizard may help as well. If allowed I do recommend Gestalt characters, this will allow you to make the most out of your base classes.
 Ability Scores
The most important stats to your craftsman will be all three mental stats. High Intelligence will give you more skill points and higher check on your Knowledge and craft checks. High Wisdom, well you never know when you will need a good will check, it will also help in casting any divine spells. High Charisma will become useful in UMD checks, it also doesn't hurt when selling the items you make. All three physical Abilities can be dump stats, the main reason for this as you progress you can easily produce items to boost these stats later on.
Below are listed most all of the craft feats I have found, many of which should help Improve you skills as a craftsman.
Feat Name Source Prerequisite Advanced Binding Drag 327 Craft Construct, CL 10th
Attune magic weapon ECS 50 Craft Magic Arms and Armor, caster level 5th
Bind Elemental ECS 51 Craft Wondrous Item, caster level 9th
Craft Aboleth Glyph LoM 22 Aboleth, caster level 5th
Craft Alchemical Item UA 99 Craft (alchemy) 4 ranks
Craft Cognizance Crystal XPH 44 Manifester level 3rd
Craft Construct MM4 202 Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous item
Craft Contingent Spell CAr 77 Caster level 11th
Craft Crystal Weapon OA 61 Caster level 7+, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft (weaponsmithing) 4
Craft Dorje XPH 44 Manifester level 5th
Craft Drilbu Web Manifester level 5th
Craft Magic Arms and Armor PH 92 Caster level 5th
Craft Psicrown XPH 44 Manifester level 12th
Craft Psionic Arms and Armor XPH 44 Manifester level 5th
Craft Psionic Construct XPH 45 Craft Psionic Arms and Armor, Craft Universal Item
Craft Psionic Seal LoM 69 Int 15, psionic ability spell-like abilities described as psionics, psi-like abilities, or psionic powers, caster level or manifester level 7th.
Craft Rod PH 92 Spellcaster level 9th+
Craft Rune Circle RS 137 Caster level 5th
Craft Scepter LE 8 Knowledge (history) 4 ranks, caster level 9th
Craft Skull Talisman Fr 47 Caster level 6th
Craft Staff PH 92 Spellcaster level 12th+
Craft Talisman OA 6 Intelligence 13+, appropriate Craft skill, spellcaster level 1+
Craft Universal Item XPH 45 Manifester level 3rd
Craft Wand PH 92 Spellcaster level 5th+
Craft Wondrous Item PH 92 Spellcaster level 3rd+
Create Moving Portal Web Create Portal
Create Portal FRCS 34 Craft Wondrous item
Deathless Grafter MoE 46 specific region elf, caster level 5, knowledge (religion)2
Eldeen Plantgrafter MoE 47 caster level 5, knowledge (nature) 4
Graft Flesh FF 207 + LoM 216 Must be the specified race except for undead, Slithar, and beholder grafts.
Graft Illithid Flesh Und 25 illithid (racially emulatable), heal 10
Graft Yuan-Ti Flesh SK 146 Yuan-Ti (racially emulatable), heal 10
Grell alchemy LOM 114 Int 13, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 3 ranks, caster level 1st
Improved Flight Item* Sh 157 Craft Wondrous Item, Knowledge (the planes) 6 ranks
Sanctify Relic MIC 222 Any other item creation feat.
Tattoo Magic LD 189-190 Craft (calligraphy) or Craft (painting) skill, spellcaster level 3rd+
Wyrmgrafter RotD 101 heal 10, knowledge (arcana)
- That one is strange because it gives a bonus feat to constructs crafted that can fly, or gives them a fly speed.
 Game Rule Components
 Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...
<- items used in this build ->
Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): <- starting ability scores before racial adjustments ->
Starting Racial Traits:
|Saving Throws||Feats|| Class
|1st||<- class, racial HD, or LA ->||+||+||+||+||<- feat(s) ->||<- class features gained ->||<- other stuff ->|
|2nd||<- class, racial HD, or LA ->||+||+||+||+||<- feat(s) ->||<- class features gained ->||<- other stuff ->|
|3rd||<- class, racial HD, or LA ->||+||+||+||+||<- feat(s) ->||<- class features gained ->||<- other stuff ->|
|4th||<- class, racial HD, or LA ->||+||+||+||+||<- feat(s) ->||<- class features gained ->||<- other stuff ->|
 Other Components
<- anything not covered by the previous sections ->
<- How and why this build works ->
 Munchkin-Size Me
<- Take it to the next level ->
 Side Notes
<- overview of additional info about this build ->
<- conditions of when this build works ->
 DM Counters
<- If needed, tricks for the DM (provided they allow this build) to keep the abuse to a minimum. ->
<- Any other side notes that don't fit in the above sections. ->