Black Powder


Rules Questions


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Is there a DC for the creation of Black Powder?

I've got the Inner sea world guide where they discuss black powder weapon, and black powder, but they don't assign it a DC to create that I've found


It doesn't appear to have a DC, similar to enchanting magic items.
It does require a feat.

Gunsmithing wrote:

You know the secrets of repairing and restoring firearms.

Benefit: If you have access to a gunsmith's kit, you can create and restore firearms, craft bullets, and mix black powder for all types of firearms. You do not need to make a Craft check to create firearms and ammunition or to restore firearms.

Crafting Firearms: You can craft any early firearm for a cost in raw materials equal to half the price of the firearm. At your GM's discretion, you can craft advanced firearms for a cost in raw materials equal to half the price of the firearm. Crafting a firearm in this way takes 1 day of work for every 1,000 gp of the firearm's price (minimum 1 day).

Crafting Ammunition: You can craft bullets, pellets, and black powder for a cost in raw materials equal to 10% of the price. If you have at least 1 rank in Craft (alchemy), you can craft alchemical cartridges for a cost in raw materials equal to half the price of the cartridge. At your GM's discretion, you can craft metal cartridges for a cost in raw materials equal to half the cost of the cartridge. Crafting bullets, black powder, or cartridges takes 1 day of work for every 1,000 gp of ammunition (minimum 1 day).

Restoring a Broken Firearm: Each day, with an hour's worth of work, you can use this feat to repair a single firearm with the broken condition. You can take time during a rest period to restore a broken firearm with this feat.

Special: If you are a gunslinger, this feat grants the following additional benefit. You can use this feat to repair and restore your initial, battered weapon. It costs 300 gp and 1 day of work to upgrade it to a masterwork firearm of its type.

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Archaeik wrote:

It doesn't appear to have a DC, similar to enchanting magic items.

It does require a feat.

Ummm ...

Crafting Magic Items does require skill checks. See Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook pp.550-553.


Hmm, I guess the group I play with just ignores that...

Anyway, is there a DC list for Gunsmithing in general??
What would it be keyed off of?
(Black powder could be Craft(alchemy) sure, but that doesn't cover the whole feat)

It's clear Guns and their Ammo don't use mundane crafting rules by the existence of this feat.
It's not unreasonable to assign some DC based on whatever skill, but barring further clarification, I don't think any of these items carry a DC to craft. (It's extraordinary enough that they exist at all.)

I'll go ahead and hit FAQ.


Archaeik wrote:

It doesn't appear to have a DC, similar to enchanting magic items.

It does require a feat.

Gunsmithing wrote:

You know the secrets of repairing and restoring firearms.

Benefit: If you have access to a gunsmith's kit, you can create and restore firearms, craft bullets, and mix black powder for all types of firearms. You do not need to make a Craft check to create firearms and ammunition or to restore firearms.

Crafting Firearms: You can craft any early firearm for a cost in raw materials equal to half the price of the firearm. At your GM's discretion, you can craft advanced firearms for a cost in raw materials equal to half the price of the firearm. Crafting a firearm in this way takes 1 day of work for every 1,000 gp of the firearm's price (minimum 1 day).

Crafting Ammunition: You can craft bullets, pellets, and black powder for a cost in raw materials equal to 10% of the price. If you have at least 1 rank in Craft (alchemy), you can craft alchemical cartridges for a cost in raw materials equal to half the price of the cartridge. At your GM's discretion, you can craft metal cartridges for a cost in raw materials equal to half the cost of the cartridge. Crafting bullets, black powder, or cartridges takes 1 day of work for every 1,000 gp of ammunition (minimum 1 day).

Restoring a Broken Firearm: Each day, with an hour's worth of work, you can use this feat to repair a single firearm with the broken condition. You can take time during a rest period to restore a broken firearm with this feat.

Special: If you are a gunslinger, this feat grants the following additional benefit. You can use this feat to repair and restore your initial, battered weapon. It costs 300 gp and 1 day of work to upgrade it to a masterwork firearm of its type.

The bit I italicized seems to say Craft Alchemy allows you to create cartridges but you wouldn't be able to create the black powder to go into them, then I guess. @.@


Archaeik wrote:
Black powder could be Craft(alchemy) sure, but that doesn't cover the whole feat

Oddly, the section on Emerging Guns says "Adventurers who want to use guns must take the Craft Firearms feat just to make them feasible weapons."

But there is no Craft Firearms feat. Do they mean Gunsmithing?

Speaking of Gunsmithing, it says "You do not need to make a Craft check to create firearms and ammunition or to restore firearms."

Black Powder is probably considered ammunition.

Without Gunsmithing, it's probably alchemy.
Black Powder: "Black powder is the key explosive component within a firearm that enables it to function, but in larger amounts this alchemical material can be quite destructive"


The way I read Gunsmithing, you can't craft cartridges withOUT the feat. It tells you what you can do, not "what you can do normally".

It's if you have this feat AND 1 rank in Craft(alchemy)...

@Grick, I'm confident they mean Gunsmithing in place of "Craft Firearms"

In terms of translating Black Powder to a mundane Craft(alchemy) check (in place of this feat), you're looking at a house rule. And I'd say the DC would be at least 25, if not 30+.
Alchemy is not Chemistry afterall.

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My sense is that this part of the rules was poorly thought out in general. :(


I find it amusing that in the Jade Regent adventure path, you can own a significant number of fireworks, and have a craft (alchemy) of +10 (1 rank, +3 class skill, +2 racial gnome bonus, +4 Int)and still not be able to recreate even the lowliest firework you've gotten your hands on.

Liberty's Edge

Concerning the craft dc for blackpowder and cartridges, would it be possible for one of the game creators to make a ruling on this? The RAW seem to be very contradictory and incomplete. While I realize that firearms don't play that large of a role in most sword and sorcery games, as someone who wants to include them, it would be greatly appreciated.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I am interested in an answer.

What is the DC for alchemy to craft black powder?

A lone Gunslinger from Alkenstar traveling in Taldor is running out of powder. Could he create it himself with craft alchemy?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Next Try


You pay 10% of black powders cost and can make up to 1000gp a day worth.


According to the feat, there is no DC because there is no check; you autopass for the required cost.

Gunsmithing wrote:

You know the secrets of repairing and restoring firearms.

Benefit: If you have access to a gunsmith's kit, you can create and restore firearms, craft bullets, and mix black powder for all types of firearms. You do not need to make a Craft check to create firearms and ammunition or to restore firearms.

Crafting Firearms: You can craft any early firearm for a cost in raw materials equal to half the price of the firearm. At your GM's discretion, you can craft advanced firearms for a cost in raw materials equal to half the price of the firearm. Crafting a firearm in this way takes 1 day of work for every 1,000 gp of the firearm's price (minimum 1 day).

Crafting Ammunition: You can craft bullets, pellets, and black powder for a cost in raw materials equal to 10% of the price. If you have at least 1 rank in Craft (alchemy), you can craft alchemical cartridges for a cost in raw materials equal to half the price of the cartridge. At your GM's discretion, you can craft metal cartridges for a cost in raw materials equal to half the cost of the cartridge. Crafting bullets, black powder, or cartridges takes 1 day of work for every 1,000 gp of ammunition (minimum 1 day).

Restoring a Broken Firearm: Each day, with an hour's worth of work, you can use this feat to repair a single firearm with the broken condition. You can take time during a rest period to restore a broken firearm with this feat.

Special: If you are a gunslinger, this feat grants the following additional benefit. You can use this feat to repair and restore your initial, battered weapon. It costs 300 gp and 1 day of work to upgrade it to a masterwork firearm of its type.


Just eyeballing it, it seems they wanted to keep black powder out of 'normal' hands, but make it available to those who actually would need it most (like, say, gunslingers). Thus, you must have the feat (free for gunslingers, for some reason), but don't have to worry about a check to be able to perform your main function.

Arrows and bolts, while part of a Craft (bow) check, generally aren't rare or even mysterious to the 'average' person; you can probably find a fletcher in most civilised, and even quite a few uncivilised, areas. Learning the secrets of how fire can unmake stone requires even more specialised training (and possibly indoctrination from those providing it!), hence the feat cost.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

now I get it
thanks a lot

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