Lack of sensible magic creation rules always appalled me in D&D. Possibly because I tend to play magic users and possibly because the difficulty and investment needed to create magic items doesn’t really match up with the relative abundance of it in the standard D&D game.
Same for magic item identification: the only way to identify magic items in BECMI is the slate of identification found in the companion handbook (can’t tell about B/X as i don’t have the cyan box).
Anyway, I decided to mix Holmes Read Magic and normal Identify in a new spell:
Unveil Arcana – level 1 MU, level 1 CL
Casting time: 1 turn
The magic user will properly identify and understand one unknown function of a magic item:
For scrolls and spell books: similar to Read Magic, but will identify just a single spell of all the unknown spells present in the scroll or spellbook.
For other magic items: the weakest unknown function of the object will be identified first.
Regarding magic item creation, I’ve made up my mind about spells and potions:
A spell-caster can scribe a known spell into a scroll. The process will cost 100 mo and a week per spell level in rare ingredients. No other item production, adventuring or spell research can be done by the caster.
A spell-caster can brew a potion that when imbibed will have the effect of a spell that the caster can cast. The process will cost 300 mo and seven days per spell level in rare ingredients. It’s necessary to peruse a laboratory worth at least 5000 mo per spell level. No other item production, adventuring or spell research can be done by the caster.