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Issues With Crafting and Upgrading Times?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


Has anyone else been frustrated with the quickly-absurd time it takes to make, or especially just upgraded, a magic item?

For my example, I'll point to weapons.

Just to get a weapon from a +2 to a +3 total is...over a week. If it's the numerical enhancement you're increasing by a whopping 1, that's especially grating. 10 days for +1.

Why is it frustrating? Well, 3 areas stand out.

From a purely meta point of view, if your module or campaign is on a constant time crunch (I'm in a group playing Council of Thieves, so that's pretty typical for that AP in the last 3 books), you're forced to spend extra money to ever achieve upgrades, specifically because you're constantly selling old weapons and buying the next grade up. While I'm sure some DM's will give an evil laugh at that, it's annoying as a player to have to think "ok, I need to set aside X amount since I'll have to sell my old sword for the next step up".
I mean, I've played WoW, and having to constantly buy or loot weapons that are *incrementally* better is very much a big part of *that* game. Being basically forced to do the same in an RPG system that people flocked to because it "wasn't video game-y" (a whole other argument that's got no place here at this time) kinda shakes things up, doesn't it?

From a semi-meta, semi-IC sense, it's jarring because it basically requires having a Magic Mart with a Trade-In Program constantly available to buy and sell incrementally better weapons for *everyone* in the party in this non-hypothetical time crunch. I mean, otherwise one character's going to quickly lag behind and have more and more trouble in fights.

"You don't *have* to get better gear", you say? You pretty much do.
Pointing to Council of Thieves again, my group just finished the 5th book (forgot the title). The final boss, Sivanshin (spelling?) had a rather high Armor Class; if my memory from last night serves, it was something like 32-33. For my very much optimized/focused Archer Fighter, who had several pieces of gear aiding him as well as basically every feat he owns and all his class features, he still had an at least decent chance of missing. "Boo hoo munchkin!" you say? My point there is that if someone doesn't tailer-build themselves for a higher attack bonus, and/or didn't have time to buy several items that enhance stats, attack, and so on, they would have been in deep trouble, because he would have been very hard to hit. Like, rolling 18-20 territory, which is a very slim margin.
The larger point is that as the enemies ramp up, if your only increase to attack ends up coming from BAB, you're going to start running into severe trouble.
One way or another, Pathfinder RPG is still a game where you need to get better loot/gear to realistically face higher level foes.

Finally, in a fully thematic sense, the constant trade-in when facing any reasonable time crunch (because needing to wait 10 days, or 24 days, or more, is a bit much if there's any urgency at all) means that you don't get to actually have a weapon *grow with you*. You don't get a "legendary" bow or sword or spear or anything. Maybe once you're max level and just dump cash on a wizard or something, and end up with a "legendary" weapon that's called that solely due to its relative power...
But there's no *history* between you and that weapon. There's no way to make it an Excalibur, an Anduril, a Gae Bulg, a Mjlonir, or anything similar. Not with the same impact, anyways. Unless your game gives you days upon days of downtime every time you level, you may well never be able to say "This is the same sword I once slew a goblin warleader with. Then I slew an angry dragon. Oh, and the demon prince I fought, I used this thing too.". You can have one of those, but not all of them.

If I'm missing something, if *upgrading* a weapon takes much less time than *making*, help me out here.

Otherwise, I'd like to at least think I'm not the only one frustrated by this.


upgrade time is the cost of the upgrade minus previous enhancements.

market price = base price

So 3 squared*2000 yields 18000/2 yields 9000 cost for manufacturing a +3 weapon. 2squared*2000 yields 8000/2 yields 4000 cost for manufacturing a +2 weapon. 9000-4000 yields 5000/1000 yields 5 days. Speed crafting can knock that in half. It isn't too bad in my book.

Shadow Lodge

Crafting in 3.0 was horrible, and it hasn't improved in 3.5 or Pathfinder. Some things that should be quick can take damn near forever, and some things that should take damn near forever can be done amazingly quickly..


Crafting takes 8 hours per 1,000 GP the item takes to make. So it is faster to upgrade a weapon from +1 to +2 than it is to build a +2 weapon from scratch.

Of course, I don't think that really helps your situation.

If you had a crafter in the party then the time would improve exponentially. You could assuredly get things done 75% faster. A good crafter (high spellcraft) could rush all orders increasing the DC by 5 in exchange for crafting 2,000 GP per 8 hour period (1,000 per 4 hour period) and then on top of that get Arcane Builder (wizard alternative to bonus feat) to get another 25% time reduction for items of a specific type. The crafter in our games makes Wondrous items at an incredibly fast rate.


I should note that we *do not have a crafter in the party*.

Andoran

Jak the Looney Alchemist wrote:

upgrade time is the cost of the upgrade minus previous enhancements.

market price = base price

So 3 squared*2000 yields 18000/2 yields 9000 cost for manufacturing a +3 weapon. 2squared*2000 yields 8000/2 yields 4000 cost for manufacturing a +2 weapon. 9000-4000 yields 5000/1000 yields 5 days. Speed crafting can knock that in half. It isn't too bad in my book.

"Crafting a magic weapon requires 1 day for each 1,000 gp value of the base price." - d20pfsrd.com

It would be 10 days not 5. You use the base price when determining time it takes to craft. It would cost you 5,000 gp and take 10 days to craft.

In my group we generally wave the crafting for adding enhancement bonuses, because we are not big on paperwork. I am considering making some house rules and enforcing crafting rules for our game as we are getting to the point towns won't have the items my players will want available even in the largest metropolis.

The best option if you want to play with RAW is to work with your GM and have a certain amount of magic items available through loot. For example, the fighter who is completely built to use specifically a falchion is going to need some special treatment or he/she will feel punished for making a valid and common build.


Hmm look at that. I always read that the other way. Ah well its still five day when speed crafted which is painfully easy to do and still not too bad. That actually balances out most of the wondrous items as far as creation time is concerned.

Cheliax

Also, crafting is really, really slow and sucky overall. Let's take an alchemist, lvl 1. This guy should be really good in what he does, int 18, so +4. 1 rank in craft alchemy, class skill, +4. total +8. I don't think his class ability actually says so, but le't assume that you get to add his level on the craft roll: +1. Masterwork alchemist lab, +2. Total, +11.

Now, if he takes 10, with a craft score total of 21, he could very well craft masterwork stuff, easily.

Instead, we'll decide that he'll craft something easy. Let's say, poison.
Small Centipede. DC 11, cost 90 gp. (1dex dmg per failed save, kinda sucky poison). That means that the craft score to reach is 900. We can craft it faster (+10 to DC) for a total of DC 21, just enough for a take 10. Total? 21*21= 441. It'll take him more than two weeks (or, if he squeezed an additional +1 point from somewhere, just about 2 weeks) to craft a single vial of simple, crappy poison.

On another thought, he could craft 2 vials of alchemist fire in a week. Alchemists fire has a cost of 20gp, so it'll cost him 6,67gp.
This means that there's a "profit" of 13 gp per vial of alchemists fire. (except that NPC's buy stuff at half the price - so he gets 20 gp for selling two vials. Now, he used about 13gp on making them - profit of roughly 7 gp. Kinda funny how he could had just earned that by making a simply "working" for the week, for a result of 10 gp. This is even more true for the poison - 2 weeks, about 20gp worth of salary. OR, 90gp poison, sell back for 45gp, it cost you 30gp, total profit of 15 gp. In TWO weeks. You could have just raided a random dungeon for a day's profit of -insert fat loot here-).

Then again, we usually houserule crafting to take something like one quarter of the required time (and in case of poisons etc, you can make a bigger batch or multiple batches if you have several kits).


"When using Craft (alchemy) to create an alchemical item, an alchemist gains a competence bonus equal to his class level on the Craft (alchemy) check."

That is a first level alchemist when he's just starting off. Lets turn around and try that with a third level alchemist when he's got swift alchemy or a fifth, assuming he's got an absolute need to go faster now, he can pick up master alchemist. At which point it goes from being slightly cumbersome to why even bother adventuring I'll just move into a nice large city and open a shop and get fantastically rich.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The only problem with making things is finding someone to sell them to. Somebody has to want to buy you items and your sale price is what somebody else is willing to pay for it (or whatever your GM says).

<tommpa>
It kinda makes sense that poison might take a while to make, it may need time to 'brew' etc... who knows?

The only campaign I have ever played that crafting is remotely practical is Kingmaker. We have found you are given the time to create items but the main issue is money, it costs a ton of money to create stuff. I have found crafting pretty balanced (ignoring the masterwork debate), at least the XP cost has gone. In 3.5 my own XP was being used to buff the party , not very cool - in pathfinder the DC's are reasonable, the increased cost of some items has meant it works in practice.

I think it's more your expectations and GM style; In our games if we push for a 'quick sale' we may only get one quarter the value of the items or if we wait a month or two we are likely to get a decent price as we aren't flooding the market with our 'loot'.

And on 'better' weapons, well if you spend the rest of your life hunting skeletons with your existing +2 sword - you'll do just fine. But if you want a greater challenge you'll need the tool for the job. That's the same with anything. A hemp rope will get you up a wall, a tougher cliff might need a climbing kit and that waterfall maybe a scroll of fly.

As they challenge changes so too do the tools used to complete them.


Well, again, we don't *have* a crafter in our group.
Which, really, is part of the problem. The theme I'm getting is that you "have" to have someone in the party who's invested in crafting just to not get totally shafted by NPC craft times and prices.

And again, my main focus is on improvements to existing items, not creating new stuff whole cloth.
I mean, there's the "stopgap" of having crafters make a bunch of "x use per day" items for buff spells like Gravity Bow, Divine Favor, and so on.
But I'm the sort who loves the idea of his character's weapon growing *WITH* the character, that same bow being used to fight skeletons, then orcs, then minor devils, then vampires, then that necromancer dude, then...
Like lastblackknight said, at some point if you're going after stuff that's bigger and nastier you need bigger and nastier gear.

I don't foresee it really helping me one iota in our current campaign, not at this point. But I'm at least trying to see if anyone else has the same perspective for the sake of future campaigns.


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/cooperative-crafting

getting leadership and this feat with a summoner with this feat on his eidolon, and each 3rd level follower has this feat plus the Item creation feat

this is a one feat investment (leadership) and you don't even need to adventure with the cohort (as i hate the table crowding) and you can eventually get to crafting more than 10k gold per day

if another player pitches in, you can really crank out magic items. Personally, that's all I use leadership for, unless I want to create a town of my own

Andoran

KnightDisciple wrote:
But I'm the sort who loves the idea of his character's weapon growing *WITH* the character, that same bow being used to fight skeletons, then orcs, then minor devils, then vampires, then that necromancer dude, then...

Have you checked out the various Legendary ... releases from Purple Duck Games (Legendary Blades, Legendary Items, Legendary Armor, Legendary Shields etc)?

These each present magic weapons, items, armor etc that do EXACTLY that!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

You modern folk are spoiled :)

In Ars Magica the MINIMUM time to craft a magic item is one SEASON of work. that's one quarter of the year. For something major like a magical staff, you're talking multiple seasons. Fortunately they don't have to be consecutive.


LazarX wrote:

You modern folk are spoiled :)

In Ars Magica the MINIMUM time to craft a magic item is one SEASON of work. that's one quarter of the year. For something major like a magical staff, you're talking multiple seasons. Fortunately they don't have to be consecutive.

I know it is off topic, but i loved the idea of that system, i would really wanna play in a game of that. I would totally play a non-mage until i saw how the magic system was used as that is the hardest part to get

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