Making Tools Useful in 5e: Mason Tools

Masonry tools

As always, we want to take a look at Xanathar’s guide to find out everything and see what they have to say:

With the tools of the bricklayer you can make stone constructions, including brick walls and buildings.
Parts. Masonry tools consist of a knife, hammer, chisel, brush and square.
History. Your knowledge and experience will help you determine the date and destination of the stone building, since you have known for a long time who could have built it.
Research. For more information we refer you to the inspection of the rooms inside the stone constructions.
Perception. You may notice irregularities in the stone walls or floors, making it easier to find traps and secret passages.
Demolition. Your knowledge of masonry allows you to identify the weak points of brick walls. You’ll double the damage to these structures with your weapon attacks.

Price: 10 gp / Weight: 8 lbs

That’s okay, that’s okay… especially since I was pretty sure what to do with Mason’s tools when I started. I love the role of Demolition because I really see that being used more than once or twice in a campaign is a creative player… the rest, more.

puts it in.

Now let’s think about what our Mason tools can really be used for. When a stonemason does his job, he builds stone buildings. Usually primary rocks are used for this, but granite, marble and other exotic stone materials can also be used.

But, uh… and how do you know how long it takes to build a structure? Fortunately, our practical guide for dungeon masters has a section on building constructions! If you browse through page 128, you’ll see that they have 9 different structures that a character can control, and that’s pretty amazing! What if one of our actors could create his own structure? I’ll be sure to authorize it in my office, of course I’ll also need some of Mason’s tools… or you’d have to hire someone for an extra fee.


So, we have an idea… Mason’s tools are needed to build the structures, and now I need to determine exactly how long it will take. It is clear that DMG already says how long it takes to create the structure, but what if the character wants to do it himself? They want to go out every day while they’re stationary and build their structure, well… I think it’s a great idea, and they’ll make sure their character won’t have too many problems when he’s down! They also have a place where they can store all the gold they got from their last adventure.

The only problem is… …the DMG has very different costs on the day of construction. I mean that tower , reinforced with , costs 15,000 gp and will take 100 days to build, while the trading post costs 5,000 gp and will take 60 days to build. I suppose every structure is made of stone, which is a bit simplistic, but that’s normal. The stone trading post is much stronger than the wooden trading post and we have no experience with carpentry anyway!

If you look at all the buildings, they all have different costs per day to build them. The installation of an exchange station costs 84 hp per day, while the installation of a tower, reinforced with, costs 150 hp per day. What made me think, how is that possible? And I realized that they assume that there is more than one person working on the building every day! Which brings us to another question: How many employees can work per structure per day?

Well, there is no information on this particular topic, but if you go to the next page, page 2. 129, and look at Magic Items , it says you can make up to 25 gp per day for your topic… which is fine by me! Let’s assume that every employee who understands Mason’s tools can make 25 gp of progress per day. This means that we can easily find our maximum number of employees per day by dividing the total cost per day by 25 hp. Here’s a schedule:

Structure | Value per gp | Construction days | Value per day | Maximum workload
Fixed tower | 15,000 | 100 | 150 | 6
Commercial station | 5000 | 60 | 83.33 | 4.

This means that a maximum of 6 employees can work on our structure. For each day you have 6 employees, it is 25 p.c. for each employee plus 2 p.c. for their salary. This means that you have to spend 150 gp + 12 gp (salary) per day to build your tower , reinforced with , in 100 days. A good piece of silver, but after they kill that dragon, they can afford it!

Wages are taken from the player’s handbook. If skilled mercenaries do 2 gp a day, I think these people are qualified because they know Mason’s tools, but you can customize this for your own campaign. However, if your character has experience with Mason’s tools, you can save 2 gp a day by working on your own lathe!


We now have a basic idea of how this will work and we can start with the details. Our actors need it: Land, workers, material and time.

The country is rather the privilege of DM, maybe your party did something for the king, maybe they killed together with the king and claimed that this country is the glorious land of the MordHobo Cathedral. I don’t judge, but in any case the ground situation is what DM has to work on with the party.

You can find workers in almost every town or village, although the number of workers depends on the DM. If they’re in a little pigeon village of three people… …it may not be the best place for quality workers.

Materials are very important for our creations, so I decided to fix them up a bit. Some players will want jewels on their structure, so they will have to spit out some extra gold. I’m also adding a damage threshold to our building materials. The damage threshold simply means that if they suffer less or more damage, any attack against them will be superficial and will not affect the structural integrity of the structure. This only makes it harder to destroy the wall than a wizard who keeps launching a magical rocket from behind, in front there must be an angry and crushing fighter.

Time is what happens between the players and the DM. It’s a long way ahead, and you might consider finishing different parts of the building at different times, because the rooms or the main hall can first be finished in their new room and they now have space to stay between adventures.

The last thing we’re talking about here is structural damage. When the building is finally finished, it’s fun to throw the orcs on the walls of their new stable, to see how good their craftsmen are. I was inspired by wall of stone and the abstract parts of the construction in a panel of 10 feet by 10 feet by 6 inches thick. It gives us something to work on and helps DM to keep track of the parts of the structure that are damaged instead of just giving the structure a stupid number of hits.


Our last work on this project is a new structure to which I added the defensive walls. These are simple stone walls that a character can build with the tools of the bricklayer if he knows there is going to be a fight around him, and they behave like the Stone Wall spells, although they are not as fast. For every day that you work on the wall, you can make two stone wall panels. If you have more time to prepare, you can build a stone wall quickly enough to protect the group from the oncoming hordes.

And these are Mason’s tools… are not as sexy as others, but they can certainly be added to the game to give your players something to do with downtime and all the gold they get. I’ve also added the Abandon capability to Xanathar, and I think players can enjoy it. If you like it, don’t forget to take a look at our Patreon, there is the possibility to access all my homemade things in a central location, including other tools I’ve created, future tools I’m working on, monsters, objects, etc.

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