Puzzle Quest employs a simple but fun and flexible method for crafting items. What a refreshing change of pace compared to crafting in MMOs. That's comparing apples and oranges, but it's still a welcome change.
To craft an item, you select three runes from your pool of available runes. The runes are divided into three categories. The first determines the base item and one of its effects. For example, last night I used Rune of Daggers, which gives me a weapon dealing bonus damage. The second rune is a modifier rune that, um, modifies the other two runes. I chose Rune of Dwarves, which gives +2 to the base rune and +50% to the next rune. The third rune adds a special effect to the item such as bonus mana at the start of battle or a chance to do some effect during battle. I selected a rune giving me bonus red mana at the start of battle because fire is my lowest mastery and slower to build up.
The system involves collecting various runes by searching for and defeating monsters across the world map. The more powerful runes are guarded by more powerful monsters, so you must be higher level to acquire them. I found that the rune keepers in the area I'm currently questing are challenging but not too high of a level. I'm level a level 21 druid, but expect this to hold true as I advance through the game. Almost every location on the map has a rune, so you end up with a big pool of varied runes. Another bonus to collecting runes is more experience points and money.
The runes have a crafting difficulty associated with them. The more powerful the rune, the more challenging the puzzle to craft the item. A low quality item may require scoring three "hammer and anvil" points while better items require six or more points. You score these "hammer and anvil" points by destroying a new type of icon added to a new forge puzzle game. This type of game has some special rules that I don't fully understand to be honest. I just kept plucking away at the puzzle until I got three of the icons in a row or destroyed them with a red skull combo.
Unfortunately my character has a limited number of equipment slots. I wish he had a few more, so I'd have a reason to forge more items. So my only gripe with the crafting system in Puzzle Quest is I want to do it more often. How many games can you say that about?