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Is crafting magic items too easy, by RAW?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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In my group we routinely play with a house rule that all items' listed caster levels are considered requirements for making the item, and that no item creation skill check roll can use the "take 10" or "take 20" option. We like the item creation feats, because it gives us something to do with our cash, and because most of us agree that any "Magic Shop" where you could just buy items either get's robbed (by our party), breaks the game, or has nothing useful at all.
To illustrate my point that the item creation rules, by RAW, are too easy, consider a lvl 5 wizard, with Craft Wondrous Item, Int of 18, and 5 ranks in Spellcraft (which is a class skill of course). He will have a +12 modifier to craft his items. The items have a DC to craft of 5 + caster level (plus penalties if you don't actually know the required spell, etc). It has been clarified (in the errata for the rulebook, I believe) that the caster level listed for the item is NOT a requirement, unless it specifically says so in the requirement line for the item (e.g. Phylactery of Positive Channeling, listed as Caster level 10 but also says under requirements "creator must be a level 10 cleric").
Okay, so for our lvl 5 Wizard to make a Headband of Vast Intelligence, which is caster level 8 and requires you to know Fox's Cunning, he would have a DC of 5+8 = 13 if he knows Fox's Cunning (a level 2 spell). As such, his chances of making this item are basically can't-miss, despite the fact that he's level 5 and the item's caster level is lvl 8. In addition, he might not even know Fox's Cunning, at which point his DC becomes 13+5 = 18, giving him the item on a spellcraft roll of 6+, essentially a 3/4 chance of success, with almost no chance of making a cursed item (he'd need to roll a 1 on the d20 to do that). Added to that, there seems to be no reason this wizard couldn't just take a 10 on the roll anyway, assuming he's not trying to make the item in the middle of a fight. If you add in the +3 he could get from the Skill Focus (spellcraft) feat and the +2 from the Magical Aptitude Feat, he potentially has a +17 to spellcraft checks, +18 if he has an Int of 20, and with that Headband he's likely to make his Int might be as high as 22, giving him a +19. At level 5. Clearly the only thing stopping this guy from making a ridiculous item is the price tag or DM fiat. Since we all agreed in my group that this is basically no fun, and that you should at LEAST have a 1/20 chance of making a cursed item if you're making an item that's "over your head" in terms of CL, we added in the "No take 10's/20's and CL is required" rules.
Thoughts?

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2014

Agree +1.


* The listed CL+5 is the DC that you need to beat to craft an item
* It's standard rules that you can Take10 on item creation, but you cannot Take20. You can certainly house rule out Take10, but that's changing how item creation is supposed to work.
* If you choose to build your character so that he has skill points and feats dumped towards crafting magic items, why shouldn't he have an easier time at it than Joe Shmoe? How is specializing in item creation any different than specializing in melting faces?
* The two real limiting factors for item creation should be time and money. You don't always have either of those, but in the case that you do, why shouldn't you be able to craft?

I think the rules are fine. There's no reason why you should ever have a chance of creating a cursed item unless you try to craft an item with a DC that you can't beat.


In 3.5 it was an autopass. There was the XP penalty but it never really stopped anyone that wanted to craft,


a) You can't take 20, RAW -- because there are consequences for failure (cursed item, wasted materials).

b) The character in question burned a feat and skill points for this -- shouldn't he be good at it?

Beyond that, yes, the biggest restriction is money and time. If you have a situation where you have that kind of coin and downtime, then I don't know why you wouldn't be able to make the item.

Having said that, some of us are playing as if the errata didn't change things, so the character's caster level gives him an additional penalty to making the item.


AerynTahlro wrote:

* The listed CL+5 is the DC that you need to beat to craft an item

* It's standard rules that you can Take10 on item creation, but you cannot Take20. You can certainly house rule out Take10, but that's changing how item creation is supposed to work.
* If you choose to build your character so that he has skill points and feats dumped towards crafting magic items, why shouldn't he have an easier time at it than Joe Shmoe? How is specializing in item creation any different than specializing in melting faces?
* The two real limiting factors for item creation should be time and money. You don't always have either of those, but in the case that you do, why shouldn't you be able to craft?

I think the rules are fine. There's no reason why you should ever have a chance of creating a cursed item unless you try to craft an item with a DC that you can't beat.

I disagree with you philosophically in two places:

1. A PC's level is supposed to be some kind of indication of how experienced he or she is, and some things (IMO crafting stuff) require experience to do right the first time. It seems unreasonable to me that a low-level spellcaster could make an higher-level item with almost no chance of failure (and absolutely no chance of "catastrophic failure" i.e. making a cursed item by mistake) under the RAW.

2. The statement "There's no reason why you should ever have a chance of creating a cursed item unless you try to craft an item with a DC that you can't beat." is problematic for me. What I'm proposing is house rules that affect the DC number you have to beat, in effect, making "the DC that you have to beat" higher, in order to make items which in my opinion SHOULD be challenging to make, IN PRACTICE challenging to make. I think in essence you and I agree that "things which should be challenging to make should have some chance of failure and consequences of such" but in practice, my argument is that the RAW do not do this in a satisfactory way and thus need to be changed. Your last statement seems to indicate that a lvl 5 wizard with a couple of feats SHOULD, in your opinion, be able to make a Phylactery of Positive Channeling, simply because under the RAW, he can do so by either taking a 10 or rolling a number greater than 6 on a d20. I feel it should be virtually impossible to do this and that the rules need changing to reflect that.


I agree with the OP, otherwise the world would simply be awash in magic items. Our solution was even stronger than his: +5 on the caster level requirements for all item creation feats. So you can take scribe scroll at 6th level, craft wondrous item at 9th.


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Prawn wrote:
I agree with the OP, otherwise the world would simply be awash in magic items. Our solution was even stronger than his: +5 on the caster level requirements for all item creation feats. So you can take scribe scroll at 6th level, craft wondrous item at 9th.

Wow, so Wizards can't make any scrolls (despite the free feat) until they're big enough to cast Fireball? Does your game have a lot more sorcerers?


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@OP-Why do you want to balance mechanics around your own personal idea of how the world should work? The moment you go down that path, where one's sense of logic, reason, and propriety trumps balanced rules, you will go mad and the game will break.

The argument "it shouldn't be so easy to make magic items, otherwise the world would just be full of them" fails on a lot of levels. For one you're assuming that because your party is 1/2 casters that half the world is casters. Not so. You are exceptional folk. Heck maybe there's only a dozen or so true wizards in the world, or they have better things to do. Also you're not taking into account economic factors. It's silly to analyze things that deep in a fantasy world, but you're already halfway there. If my character can stop time, summon demons from the nine hells, teleport across the world in the blink of an eye and call forth blistering flame from thin air...why can't I make a freaking belt? To follow your rationale to the logical conclusion (they're not experienced making magic items, it should be hard) why not give all spells a failure chance? Especially new ones you've just learned and haven't mastered. Among other things, it utterly changes the system.


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Also, making the DC arbitrarily higher doesn't make it more "challenging" to make, it just screws players. Rolling an 18+ on a d20 isn't a challenge, it's a random number generator. If you want to make custom rules where the character has to collect parts, sometimes charming a monster or knocking it out instead of killing it, that would be a challenge.

Liberty's Edge

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Are magic items, by raw, too easy to make?

Yes. Yes they are. And they are made far, far too quickly to boot.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

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Crafting rules seem to be fine as they are, time and money are great limiting factors. If the DM allows them to spend a feat on it then they should be up front about additional limiting factors, because additional penalization is just a waste of a feat imo (possibly several feats).

Liberty's Edge

Yes, well I think the idea of charging characters feats for making stuff is also silly. So there.
:-p


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FrinkiacVII wrote:

In my group we routinely play with a house rule that all items' listed caster levels are considered requirements for making the item, and that no item creation skill check roll can use the "take 10" or "take 20" option. We like the item creation feats, because it gives us something to do with our cash, and because most of us agree that any "Magic Shop" where you could just buy items either get's robbed (by our party), breaks the game, or has nothing useful at all.

To illustrate my point that the item creation rules, by RAW, are too easy, consider a lvl 5 wizard, with Craft Wondrous Item, Int of 18, and 5 ranks in Spellcraft (which is a class skill of course). He will have a +12 modifier to craft his items. The items have a DC to craft of 5 + caster level (plus penalties if you don't actually know the required spell, etc). It has been clarified (in the errata for the rulebook, I believe) that the caster level listed for the item is NOT a requirement, unless it specifically says so in the requirement line for the item (e.g. Phylactery of Positive Channeling, listed as Caster level 10 but also says under requirements "creator must be a level 10 cleric").
Okay, so for our lvl 5 Wizard to make a Headband of Vast Intelligence, which is caster level 8 and requires you to know Fox's Cunning, he would have a DC of 5+8 = 13 if he knows Fox's Cunning (a level 2 spell). As such, his chances of making this item are basically can't-miss, despite the fact that he's level 5 and the item's caster level is lvl 8. In addition, he might not even know Fox's Cunning, at which point his DC becomes 13+5 = 18, giving him the item on a spellcraft roll of 6+, essentially a 3/4 chance of success, with almost no chance of making a cursed item (he'd need to roll a 1 on the d20 to do that). Added to that, there seems to be no reason this wizard couldn't just take a 10 on the roll anyway, assuming he's not trying to make the item in the middle of a fight. If you add in the +3 he could get from the Skill Focus (spellcraft)...

I will admit it, I am one of those players who has an issue with the players making their own items. I think items are suposed to be mostly found by, not made by the PC's.

I did not mind how easy it was in Pathfinder until one of my players (a rogue) decided that was going to be the theme of his build. He was going to make items for himself, and make items and poison to sell.

The only limitation I placed was on his ability to craft while "on the road", but that was enough for him to find his concept unworkable and the leave the game. :-(

I felt that he was trying to take away one of my roles as the GM - controlling the level and abundance of magic items and money for the PC's.


The question is does your group even want the players to make magic items at all? If that is the DM stance then set that rule in place as a house rule and move on. Otherwise it is not a problem.

The DM has control over his game and limits what kind of magic items a party can have by limiting the gold intake of the group. If the party is making all their magic items, then future GP rewards will be less to keep their wealth by level to what it should be.

A wizard that has max ranks in a spellcraft, has the right feats, has the rights spells and spends his gold SHOULD be able to make his magic item. The rules for failure are for those that have not learned the proper skill level or have the proper spells in place to make an item. That is where the danger is.

In past versions of the game wizards could make magic items and they never even had to roll the dice. They could just make them. There was cost in some form and maybe some RP or quest to get materials. But if the DM signed off on it then they made the item.

Now there is a framework to making items and again as long as the DM allows it then you should be able to make that easy roll with a character that is built to do it. Where is gets hard and dangerous is when the fighter has taken master craftsman or the wizard is trying to make a Staff of Life or something. They are working on things they really do not understand and that is where the risk comes into play.

I have a house rule that you always have to role the dice but you can try and make anything you can afford. (No taking 10 or 20).

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter 2013

Lyrax wrote:

Are magic items, by raw, too easy to make?

Yes. Yes they are. And they are made far, far too quickly to boot.

Have you made high level magic items? $1000 gp per day is easy at low levels. But when you spend a month or more making a nice sword or a wand then ot is less easy. Granted most DMs hand wave the time but it can be a significant time sink in games where DMs track time.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, that also bugs me.
It's like 'Power Word, Blind' taking up seven pages because it's a seventh-level spell. Never mind that it's just one word.

Linking the time crafted to the value of the magic item seems hokey and weird. Isn't the expertise of the crafter a multiplier in the value of the item crafted?


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I don't want to jump down the OP's throat, because I do actually understand where he's coming from and his opinion is a popular one on these boards. It's just there's two things that I find behind most of those bearing this opinion.

1)Wanting D&D/PF to be a low magic game. It's just not built for it. I know the "magic shop" doesn't jibe with your idea of a fantasy world, but if you restrict or eliminate players' ability to outfit their character they will be woefully ill-equipped to face the challenges the system has in store for them. You can't take away their magic without replacing it with more personal power, which I'm okay with, but it requires a more comprehensive rules overhaul than just cutting cashflow in two.

2)The reason vs. rules thing. The moment you question something there's a thousand other questions that just don't mesh with our vision of reality. Why shouldn't you be able to sneak attack someone just because they're in the shadows? Wouldn't a fireball consume all the oxygen in the air, leaving everyone to suffocate in an enclosed space? How do goblins reproduce so fast? Maybe one DM thinks Fighters should have to make fort saves after being stabbed to simulate the dangers of an open wound. Why don't wizards rule the world, their magic is so potent? Furthermore, why aren't they hunted to extinction or outlawed?


"I felt that he was trying to take away one of my roles as the GM - controlling the level and abundance of magic items and money for the PC's."

If this is a problem in you enjoying the game then have that conversation with your players and limit the ability to make magic items.

This is not a problem for the most part as far as the money is concerned. Their wealth by level is how much they have right now. If they are over the limit then they get very little treasure for the next couple of adventures.

If they are selling stuff... follow the rules and remind players that they get 50% of the value of their items. This is not a game for merchants and set the expectation that item crafting will not make their characters money.

If they are making mundane items and are getting it done for 33% of the cost then just lower the cost they anyone will buy it from them for.

Do not allow magic item creation or crafting to be a revenue source for the party... ever. Take a step back with them and explain that the game has rules for wealth and they are not intended to be merchants... they are adventurers. A mature group can come to a compromise that makes everyone happy.


Lyrax wrote:
Linking the time crafted to the value of the magic item seems hokey and weird. Isn't the expertise of the crafter a multiplier in the value of the item crafted?

Only the amount of complexity he chose to put into it -- which is why most (but not all) items are made at the lowest possible caster level. (For instance, paying the extra to make a level 5 wand of CLW for the +4 is dumb. A higher level wand of Fireball, OTH...)

And besides, truly expert item crafters can choose to halve the time he needs to spend in a day by taking a DC+5 on the creation (you now make 1,000gp per 4 hours instead of 8, and can still work 8 hours a day)-- so someone who's good at it will make the items faster.


Dotting this thread for further review.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

The Craft feats, as they currently work, simply double Wealth By Level. Increasing the Craft DC to a base 10, slows down the players some and helps keep WBL relevant.

In my current campaign the wizard made a phylactery of positive channeling for the cleric well before the player could have afford it. The DC is a 20. At 5th level, the Wizard could take 10 and get a 24. The only thing that balanced it out was the party pooled money to outfit the cleric.

Under normal circumstances, craft feats throw WBL out the window. If the DCs were higher, then the risk vs reward acts as a balance (Do I make it now and risk a cursed item or do I wait a few levels when I have a better shot at making the item?).

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter 2013

To be honest though I am not a big fan of the Pathfinder magic item system. I liked it in 3.x as it cost xpbut felt it was somewhat sterile. I felt it could use the old 1st edition touch of combing the countryside for special materials.

I suppose the ideal system for me would make all magic items cost xp, let wizards have all the feats for free, and require getting special items for each item. I would let scrolls stand as is.


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Dren Everblack wrote:
I felt that he was trying to take away one of my roles as the GM - controlling the level and abundance of magic items and money for the PC's

But you do still control that - you control the amount of money they have. Anything he crafts he needs to have the resources to make, and since magic items sell for half value, he can't really profit at doing this. The only thing this does is let the party members (if they have sufficient time) control the types of magic items they get.

For instance, the party finds a +2 Small shortsword. Noone in the party is small. They sell it for half value. The party mage spends 4-8 days (depending on the DC he wants) making a +2 Medium Longsword for the paladin. (Or himself a +2 Medium Dagger, etc.). Actually, they'd be losing a bit of money because of the need to pay for a masterwork item to work from.


karkon wrote:
To be honest though I am not a big fan of the Pathfinder magic item system. I liked it in 3.x as it cost xpbut felt it was somewhat sterile. I felt it could use the old 1st edition touch of combing the countryside for special materials.

There's no reason you can't do this now -- at least for "special" items. After all, (a) you need the material components for the spells you're making, and (b) the game says only the cost of the materials - not what they are -- and not every item is going to be available everywhere.

(It's not that you melt down your gold coins to make these items, after all.)


Thazar wrote:

"I felt that he was trying to take away one of my roles as the GM - controlling the level and abundance of magic items and money for the PC's."

If this is a problem in you enjoying the game then have that conversation with your players and limit the ability to make magic items.

This is not a problem for the most part as far as the money is concerned. Their wealth by level is how much they have right now. If they are over the limit then they get very little treasure for the next couple of adventures.

If they are selling stuff... follow the rules and remind players that they get 50% of the value of their items. This is not a game for merchants and set the expectation that item crafting will not make their characters money.

If they are making mundane items and are getting it done for 33% of the cost then just lower the cost they anyone will buy it from them for.

Do not allow magic item creation or crafting to be a revenue source for the party... ever. Take a step back with them and explain that the game has rules for wealth and they are not intended to be merchants... they are adventurers. A mature group can come to a compromise that makes everyone happy.

I agree with you. The sad part is that I am actually a very generous GM with magic and money. I like the challenge in the game to come from my encounters and scenario design, not from the PC's being handicapped by too little magic or money.

In fact I am sure some of my players think I give too much magic.

That it why it was particularly upsetting to have a player insist on turning his character into a "merchant".


Just make the game "low fantasy".

Cut the WBL guidelines in half. Play 10 point buy (seriously).

Now you better get that damn item crafting feat and you better get it *QUICK* (:


The biggest limitation on a character's magic items is that the total value of his assets can't exceed his WBL. Given that, there's nothing wrong with the craft rule issue you're pointing at - other than the GM's feeling about what makes sense in terms of game world flavor. Play how you want. No problem.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The magic item crafting system is balanced in Pathfinder by one of two things only: Time or WBL adjustment.

It is up to the GM to make sure that the player characters do not have time to break the game by crafting all their gear and therefore doubling their WBL.

If the campaign is homebrewn, the GM can simply increase the pace of the adventure or give out less loot, and the problem solves itself. Giving out less loot provides the possibility to let some years pass in the game, which at least for me sounds always more plausible than PC's advancing from apprentice to archmage in the span of one year and a half of in-game time.

The problem becomes only accute, if there is too much time to craft and a fixed amount of loot, i.e. Kingmaker. I am running two Kingmaker campaigns right now and have forbidden item crafting, since the horror stories from the Kingmaker board made it pretty clear what would happen otherwise.


magnuskn wrote:

The magic item crafting system is balanced in Pathfinder by one of two things only: Time or WBL adjustment.

It is up to the GM to make sure that the player characters do not have time to break the game by crafting all their gear and therefore doubling their WBL.

If the campaign is homebrewn, the GM can simply increase the pace of the adventure or give out less loot, and the problem solves itself. Giving out less loot provides the possibility to let some years pass in the game, which at least for me sounds always more plausible than PC's advancing from apprentice to archmage in the span of one year and a half of in-game time.

The problem becomes only accute, if there is too much time to craft and a fixed amount of loot, i.e. Kingmaker. I am running two Kingmaker campaigns right now and have forbidden item crafting, since the horror stories from the Kingmaker board made it pretty clear what would happen otherwise.

I agree that PCs would realistically take time off between adventures and not go from apprentice to grandmaster in a year and a half. They'd have families, raise children, pursue hobbies, have romances, etc. They'd own homes, farms, inns, - whatever suits their interests.

And they would NOT own twice as much in assets just because those assets were magical - not, that is, if the GM is using WBL.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
LilithsThrall wrote:


I agree that PCs would realistically take time off between adventures and not go from apprentice to grandmaster in a year and a half. They'd have families, raise children, pursue hobbies, have romances, etc. They'd own homes, farms, inns, - whatever suits their interests.

And they would NOT own twice as much in assets just because those assets were magical - not, that is, if the GM is using WBL.

Which I pointed out works fine for a homebrewn campaign. For Kingmaker, though, the treasure is already pre-determined and there is no real time limit for most of the AP. Sure, one can adjust that treasure down, but that is a bit too much work for an AP which you should be able to play as is... and it's not as if Kingmaker doesn't give a GM tons of prep work even without that. ^^


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Thraxus wrote:
The Craft feats, as they currently work, simply double Wealth By Level. Increasing the Craft DC to a base 10, slows down the players some and helps keep WBL relevant.

1. No. The wealth by level guidelines are meant for DM use to keep the wealth to a reasonable level. It's not a written-in-stone guide to how many gold pieces a character may spend on equipment at a given level.

2. Even if the DM doesn't account for the heightened value, it doesn't double it unless all loot given is in gold and gems. If the PC's find a couple of magic swords they don't need, that may be worth 10k, they can sell those for 5k, and use those 5k to craft something useful worth 10k. In the end, the wealth has stayed the same.


Great discussion, here's a few more thoughts:

1. I stated my seasons for not allowing people to just buy anything they want. That said, if you're not allowed to craft items, why do you care how much gold you find in adventures? What use does it serve? Since I want the PCs to actually WANT money (as their characters most assuredly would), they have to have a reason to want money. I see crafting items as necessary in my campaign for this reason alone. And frankly I don't see the 1 day per 1000gp in the price of the item being a huge problem. I generally assume that they're going to take some time off every couple of levels, or after each module we play to make items.

2. Whether or not the practice of crafting items is game breaking vis-a-vis the WBL table and the type of wealth-multiplier it introduces is still ultimately controllable by the DM in terms of how much treasure the PC's get in the first place, and isn't really a big issue for me. If I want them to have less stuff, I give them less treasure. Anyone who complains that they're being ripped off and that they should have more money can go tell it to their lawyer, because as DM this is one of the things I have total control over and I don't care what the book says about WBL.

3. Quite frankly, I feel like requirements for making items should be, well, required. IMO I really don't think a level 5 wizard should be able to make an item listed as "cleric level 10" AT ALL, never mind being able to do it by taking 10 on a skill roll. I had considered making all requirements "hard" in that sense, and might still do so.

4. The possibility of failing an item creation roll adds an element of excitement and risk into the game, especially in the making of items that are perhaps a bit of a reach to make, but not outside the realm of possibility. It also explains where cursed items come from in the first place. In older versions of the game it was as if the monster KNEW you were going to show up and kill it, and the cursed item it had in it's trapped treasure chest was it's way of spitting in your face from beyond the grave.

5. The fact that one could try to make an item and fail, thus wasting the money does, in my opinion, go a long way toward making up for the effect item creation has on the WBL of the party. That is, it would if items of the creator's caster level +6 weren't automatic under the rules. I think most people, when faced with a 75% chance of successfully making an item, and only a 1/20 chance of ending up with a cursed item, would roll the dice and take their chances. That said, 25% of your rolls are a total waste of money, and every once in a while you end up having the thing blow up in your face and needing someone to cast remove curse on it to boot.

6. Why are elixirs considered wondrous items and not some type of potion?

7. Why does the ring of invisibility allow one to go invisible for an unlimited amount of time, an unlimited number of times per day? Shouldn't it work more like "wearer can go invisible as per the spell 3 times per day, for a number of minutes equal to creator's caster level" or something like that?


Thazar wrote:

If they are selling stuff... follow the rules and remind players that they get 50% of the value of their items. This is not a game for merchants and set the expectation that item crafting will not make their characters money.

I myself give two scenarios.

1. I want to sell NOW. Ok, 50% cost at the pawnbroker.
2. I am willing to wait to find a place to sell at fair market value. Ok, pay 10g a day for a bazaar permit and then I'll determine a percent chance that someone will be interested in your wares based on the local economy and such. If then my roll says the Captain of the City Guard is interested in your +5 vorpal scimitar, then you'll get fair market value for it.

Grand Lodge

Ok, as this issue that may come up in a campaign I am running so let me ask a few questions, I am running an urban rogue campaign. How do I keep the wealth to a reasonable level? How do I stop them when they get high enough level(10 or so) from robbing all of the cities magic shops blind. The city is a major metropolis of over a million people, so they can find whatever they want there. On top of that if someone does play a wizard- they will have near unlimited time. I was running the game in close to real time-one month between sessions is one month of time. They will have a lot of down time to craft what they want. They can craft several items in between sessions, so this may be an issue. Any suggestions on controlling this?


stringburka wrote:
Thraxus wrote:
The Craft feats, as they currently work, simply double Wealth By Level. Increasing the Craft DC to a base 10, slows down the players some and helps keep WBL relevant.

1. No. The wealth by level guidelines are meant for DM use to keep the wealth to a reasonable level. It's not a written-in-stone guide to how many gold pieces a character may spend on equipment at a given level.

2. Even if the DM doesn't account for the heightened value, it doesn't double it unless all loot given is in gold and gems. If the PC's find a couple of magic swords they don't need, that may be worth 10k, they can sell those for 5k, and use those 5k to craft something useful worth 10k. In the end, the wealth has stayed the same.

I agree with you, but I'm possibly going to be playing a crafter in a game with a GM who is strongly enforcing wealth rules and does not. If I spend my 5k to make a magic item, he says I now have a value of 10k, and I will get less gold than the other players until they catch up.


Worldbuilder wrote:
Ok, as this issue that may come up in a campaign I am running so let me ask a few questions, I am running an urban rogue campaign. How do I keep the wealth to a reasonable level? How do I stop them when they get high enough level(10 or so) from robbing all of the cities magic shops blind. The city is a major metropolis of over a million people, so they can find whatever they want there. On top of that if someone does play a wizard- they will have near unlimited time. I was running the game in close to real time-one month between sessions is one month of time. They will have a lot of down time to craft what they want. They can craft several items in between sessions, so this may be an issue. Any suggestions on controlling this?

Well, you could house rule some rare components for the more powerful items. While this might not increase the cost, it could increase the time as they look for the components.

For example, if a wizard wants to make a simple +3 sword let him. If he wants to make a Holy Avenger then house rule that it has to be blessed on a day holy to a Lawful Good deity (or a deity that allows paladins at least). So, if the character is lucky enough to be making it at a time when that requirement can be fulfilled, great! If not, it might take a bit longer.


Worldbuilder wrote:
Ok, as this issue that may come up in a campaign I am running so let me ask a few questions, I am running an urban rogue campaign. How do I keep the wealth to a reasonable level? How do I stop them when they get high enough level(10 or so) from robbing all of the cities magic shops blind. The city is a major metropolis of over a million people, so they can find whatever they want there. On top of that if someone does play a wizard- they will have near unlimited time. I was running the game in close to real time-one month between sessions is one month of time. They will have a lot of down time to craft what they want. They can craft several items in between sessions, so this may be an issue. Any suggestions on controlling this?

In a city of such a large size the various guilds could be extremely powerful. I would suggest that robbing all the other magic shops would attract some very powerful individuals. It is healthy for players to assume that there is always going to be someone bigger and badder than them.

Likewise, a wizard that is attempting to get wealthy ahead of your timetable by being a crafting maniac may run afoul of a guild that is not happy with the sudden new supply on the market that in turn could be creating pricing pressure.

It also isn't free to live in such a place, they will be expected to pay taxes, rent, board, bribes, dues, etc. I'm sure you will be able to come up with something that fits.


It's actually houseruled in my group that the requirements listed are necessary, and that for every prereq a caster does not meet the DC increases by +5. The kicker here is that they still have to be fulfilled in some way. So if the crafter is not a cleric, and the item calls for a cleric, then a cleric needs to be present for the entirety of the crafting, just to 'assist' so to speak.

As luck would have it, this interpretation is possible from a close reading of the rules.


AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
stringburka wrote:
Thraxus wrote:
The Craft feats, as they currently work, simply double Wealth By Level. Increasing the Craft DC to a base 10, slows down the players some and helps keep WBL relevant.

1. No. The wealth by level guidelines are meant for DM use to keep the wealth to a reasonable level. It's not a written-in-stone guide to how many gold pieces a character may spend on equipment at a given level.

2. Even if the DM doesn't account for the heightened value, it doesn't double it unless all loot given is in gold and gems. If the PC's find a couple of magic swords they don't need, that may be worth 10k, they can sell those for 5k, and use those 5k to craft something useful worth 10k. In the end, the wealth has stayed the same.
I agree with you, but I'm possibly going to be playing a crafter in a game with a GM who is strongly enforcing wealth rules and does not. If I spend my 5k to make a magic item, he says I now have a value of 10k, and I will get less gold than the other players until they catch up.

It surprises me just how many people on these boards don't know the definition of the word "wealth". Of course, I'm old enough to remember when the game was largely played by top level students.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
LilithsThrall wrote:
AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
stringburka wrote:
Thraxus wrote:
The Craft feats, as they currently work, simply double Wealth By Level. Increasing the Craft DC to a base 10, slows down the players some and helps keep WBL relevant.

1. No. The wealth by level guidelines are meant for DM use to keep the wealth to a reasonable level. It's not a written-in-stone guide to how many gold pieces a character may spend on equipment at a given level.

2. Even if the DM doesn't account for the heightened value, it doesn't double it unless all loot given is in gold and gems. If the PC's find a couple of magic swords they don't need, that may be worth 10k, they can sell those for 5k, and use those 5k to craft something useful worth 10k. In the end, the wealth has stayed the same.
I agree with you, but I'm possibly going to be playing a crafter in a game with a GM who is strongly enforcing wealth rules and does not. If I spend my 5k to make a magic item, he says I now have a value of 10k, and I will get less gold than the other players until they catch up.
It surprises me just how many people on these boards don't know the definition of the word "wealth". Of course, I'm old enough to remember when the game was largely played by top level students.

LT, your interpretation of WBL isn't the mainstream one :)


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
meatrace wrote:
@OP-Why do you want to balance mechanics around your own personal idea of how the world should work? The moment you go down that path, where one's sense of logic, reason, and propriety trumps balanced rules, you will go mad and the game will break.

LOL, ha ha ha... Oh wait, you're serious?


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Gorbacz wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
stringburka wrote:
Thraxus wrote:
The Craft feats, as they currently work, simply double Wealth By Level. Increasing the Craft DC to a base 10, slows down the players some and helps keep WBL relevant.

1. No. The wealth by level guidelines are meant for DM use to keep the wealth to a reasonable level. It's not a written-in-stone guide to how many gold pieces a character may spend on equipment at a given level.

2. Even if the DM doesn't account for the heightened value, it doesn't double it unless all loot given is in gold and gems. If the PC's find a couple of magic swords they don't need, that may be worth 10k, they can sell those for 5k, and use those 5k to craft something useful worth 10k. In the end, the wealth has stayed the same.
I agree with you, but I'm possibly going to be playing a crafter in a game with a GM who is strongly enforcing wealth rules and does not. If I spend my 5k to make a magic item, he says I now have a value of 10k, and I will get less gold than the other players until they catch up.
It surprises me just how many people on these boards don't know the definition of the word "wealth". Of course, I'm old enough to remember when the game was largely played by top level students.
LT, your interpretation of WBL isn't the mainstream one :)

The idea that the world was round was, at one time, not the mainstream one.


It sounds like a lot of you just want to ban crafting feats (which is fine), but aren't willing to say as much. Just remember to clearly state what limitations you're going to place on crafting before anyone takes the feats or invest in spellcraft, or allow retraining if you decide they're a problem halfway through the game. Don't invisibly adjust the amount of loot gained to compensate and never tell the players; I imagine most take crafting feats more for the control than the effective wealth expansion, but effectively losing that advantage might be enough for them to take different feats. Feats are a very precious resource, and skills can be too depending on the character.


Momar wrote:
It sounds like a lot of you just want to ban crafting feats (which is fine), but aren't willing to say as much. Just remember to clearly state what limitations you're going to place on crafting before anyone takes the feats or invest in spellcraft, or allow retraining if you decide they're a problem halfway through the game. Don't invisibly adjust the amount of loot gained to compensate and never tell the players; I imagine most take crafting feats more for the control than the effective wealth expansion, but effectively losing that advantage might be enough for them to take different feats. Feats are a very precious resource, and skills can be too depending on the character.

I agree. And, likewise, if people want to encourage crafting (for example, by allowing people to have twice as much wealth in magic items wrt WBL), then I think the GM should say so upfront.


LilithsThrall wrote:
I agree. And, likewise, if people want to encourage crafting (for example, by allowing people to have twice as much wealth in magic items wrt WBL), then I think the GM should say so upfront.

It might not hurt, but it's not necessary. Getting extra mileage from your money by taking crafting feats is the assumed state of things- it's part of what the rules say it does for you. To draw a parallel it's like taking weapon focus and assuming that doing so makes things easier to hit with your sword; nobody needs say that it does what it says it does.

Thinking about it, it's probably easier to have crafting cost full gp value than the DM trying to figure how much which PCs have effectively gained thanks to crafting if WBL deviation is a big worry.


LilithsThrall wrote:
Momar wrote:
It sounds like a lot of you just want to ban crafting feats (which is fine), but aren't willing to say as much. Just remember to clearly state what limitations you're going to place on crafting before anyone takes the feats or invest in spellcraft, or allow retraining if you decide they're a problem halfway through the game. Don't invisibly adjust the amount of loot gained to compensate and never tell the players; I imagine most take crafting feats more for the control than the effective wealth expansion, but effectively losing that advantage might be enough for them to take different feats. Feats are a very precious resource, and skills can be too depending on the character.
I agree. And, likewise, if people want to encourage crafting (for example, by allowing people to have twice as much wealth in magic items wrt WBL), then I think the GM should say so upfront.

Again though, it will never be twice as much. You're overstating the difference. Assume that you are able to sell every magic item for 50% market price. That 50% gets turned into an amount of magical gear equal in value to the original item. Clean wash, basically trading time to be able transmogrify that +2 weapon into a +2 ring of protection at the cost of a feat. Unless you ONLY get cash it's not breaking the game. Generally between 10 and 25% of wealth/treasure found by adventurers is going to be liquid, thus, with time, at the cost of multiple feats, the whole party (remember crafters make stuff for their friends, too) maybe end up 10-25% over WBL.

That sounds pretty reasonable to me. Whats the beef?


Momar wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
I agree. And, likewise, if people want to encourage crafting (for example, by allowing people to have twice as much wealth in magic items wrt WBL), then I think the GM should say so upfront.

It might not hurt, but it's not necessary. Getting extra mileage from your money by taking crafting feats is the assumed state of things- it's part of what the rules say it does for you. To draw a parallel it's like taking weapon focus and assuming that doing so makes things easier to hit with your sword; nobody needs say that it does what it says it does.

Thinking about it, it's probably easier to have crafting cost full gp value than the DM trying to figure how much which PCs have effectively gained thanks to crafting if WBL deviation is a big worry.

RAW has WBL which is not at all related to the cost of making things, but only the value of your actual assets.

If you're not going to play by RAW, then you should tell your players how you are going to divert from it.


meatrace wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Momar wrote:
It sounds like a lot of you just want to ban crafting feats (which is fine), but aren't willing to say as much. Just remember to clearly state what limitations you're going to place on crafting before anyone takes the feats or invest in spellcraft, or allow retraining if you decide they're a problem halfway through the game. Don't invisibly adjust the amount of loot gained to compensate and never tell the players; I imagine most take crafting feats more for the control than the effective wealth expansion, but effectively losing that advantage might be enough for them to take different feats. Feats are a very precious resource, and skills can be too depending on the character.
I agree. And, likewise, if people want to encourage crafting (for example, by allowing people to have twice as much wealth in magic items wrt WBL), then I think the GM should say so upfront.

Again though, it will never be twice as much. You're overstating the difference. Assume that you are able to sell every magic item for 50% market price. That 50% gets turned into an amount of magical gear equal in value to the original item. Clean wash, basically trading time to be able transmogrify that +2 weapon into a +2 ring of protection at the cost of a feat. Unless you ONLY get cash it's not breaking the game. Generally between 10 and 25% of wealth/treasure found by adventurers is going to be liquid, thus, with time, at the cost of multiple feats, the whole party (remember crafters make stuff for their friends, too) maybe end up 10-25% over WBL.

That sounds pretty reasonable to me. Whats the beef?

I'm not telling you what house rules you can use. It's your game. Play how you want to. I'm only telling you what WBL is.


LilithsThrall wrote:
Momar wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
I agree. And, likewise, if people want to encourage crafting (for example, by allowing people to have twice as much wealth in magic items wrt WBL), then I think the GM should say so upfront.

It might not hurt, but it's not necessary. Getting extra mileage from your money by taking crafting feats is the assumed state of things- it's part of what the rules say it does for you. To draw a parallel it's like taking weapon focus and assuming that doing so makes things easier to hit with your sword; nobody needs say that it does what it says it does.

Thinking about it, it's probably easier to have crafting cost full gp value than the DM trying to figure how much which PCs have effectively gained thanks to crafting if WBL deviation is a big worry.

RAW has WBL which is not at all related to the cost of making things, but only the value of your actual assets.

If you're not going to play by RAW, then you should tell your players how you are going to divert from it.

Thing is that WBL is a guideline. Not a baseline (players MUST have this much stuff) not a cap (players must NEVER have more than this much stuff) but an approximate amount that players are assumed to have in order to function against CR encounters appropriate to your level. Having a little more or a little less doesn't break things, just like having a little more or less than average HP doesn't break things, just makes things more/less challenging in a small way.

My interpretation is that the WBL is actual usable assets as well. If you have a party with only casters and the DM sandbags you with vorpal sword and doesn't let you liquidate/craft what you want, they're going to be undergeared.

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