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Magic Item Crafting: any unresolved questions?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Buri wrote:
That gives me the impression you have a very narrow view on what is a correct way to play

Then you should note that I never mentioned "correct way to play". I said that most of the people I've gamed with (and there have been a lot of them in the past several decades) don't like to play sidekicks.


And as I said, playing a suboptimal character is a far cry from playing a sidekick.


I think the issue is that "suboptimal" is being associate with "not affective". I see "suboptimal" as one that can still hold its own, but it could still be better.

I have seen people use the word to describe badly made characters though. It is one of those situations where one word can have a different meaning depending on who you talk to kind of like the word "min-maxer".


It seems irrefutable to me that if 4 PCs are adventuring from let's say 10th level on and one of them has enough gear for a character two levels above everyone else and all the players are skilled with the game, then, on average, the PC with the extra gear is going to be able to handle 80% of the challenges by himself. That makes all the other characters sidekicks.


Ok...lets run with that Darkwing Duck:

comparison:

Alright, lets state it is a level 10 ranger with Craft Wondrous Item and Craft Magic Arms and Armor. For this example we will use a TWF build (since at some point someone made a statement that you can buy 2 weapons for the price of 1).

To avoid having to do two full builds we will simply compare the differences. We will assume the Ranger had unlimited crafting time and has crafted the vast majority of his stuff based on those two feats.

62000

Weapons:
(2) +2 vs +3 weapons: 16600 vs 18600
+1 vs +2 Adaptive Composite Long Bow: 3400 vs 4900

Armor:
+2 vs +3 Mithral Breastplate: 8200 vs 8700

Rings:
Ring of Sustenance: 2500
Ring of Protection +1: 2000

Wondrous Items:
Belt of Dexterity +4 vs +6: 16000 vs 18000
Amulet of Natural Armor +2: 8000 vs 4000
Boots of Friendly Terrain: 2400 vs 1200
Cloak of Resistance +1 vs +2: 1000 vs 2000

Cash remaining: 1900 vs 100

Craft Magic Arms and Armor Differences: +1attack/damage, +1AC to armor

Craft Wondrous Item Differences: +1Dexterity modifier, +1reistance bonus to saves

In summary: The crafting Ranger has spent 2 feats and 1800gp extra and gained +1attack/damage and +1AC (Armor) for one feat and +1Dex modifer and +1Resistance bonus to saves for the other feat. This is just one example but it should be a pretty common one.

How is this broken? How does the PC suddenly gain the ability to solo encounters?

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

Ok...lets run with that Darkwing Duck:

** spoiler omitted **

In summary: The crafting Ranger has spent 2 feats and 1800gp extra and gained +1attack/damage and +1AC (Armor) for one feat and +1Dex modifer and +1Resistance bonus to saves for the other feat. This is just one example but it should be a pretty common one.

How is this broken? How does the PC suddenly gain the ability to solo encounters?

- Gauss

Thanks. You just saved me a from typing a longer post.


Gauss wrote:

Ok...lets run with that Darkwing Duck:

** spoiler omitted **

In summary: The crafting Ranger has spent 2 feats and 1800gp extra and gained +1attack/damage and +1AC (Armor) for one feat and +1Dex modifer and +1Resistance bonus to saves for the other feat. This is just one example but it should be a pretty common one.

How is this broken? How does the PC suddenly gain the ability to solo encounters?

- Gauss

Can't the ranger also use his crafting feats to craft for all of his allies/party members and is not required to charge them full market price, but can instead charge them at cost for the crafting materials?


Caedwyr wrote:
Gauss wrote:

Ok...lets run with that Darkwing Duck:

** spoiler omitted **

In summary: The crafting Ranger has spent 2 feats and 1800gp extra and gained +1attack/damage and +1AC (Armor) for one feat and +1Dex modifer and +1Resistance bonus to saves for the other feat. This is just one example but it should be a pretty common one.

How is this broken? How does the PC suddenly gain the ability to solo encounters?

- Gauss

Can't the ranger also use his crafting feats to craft for all of his allies/party members and is not required to charge them full market price, but can instead charge them at cost for the crafting materials?

Maybe but that was not the challenge given, and if you take the difference between levels 10 and 12 and split it across 4 people it still won't make that much difference. It will matter, but it won't be gamebreaking.


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Hobbun wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I can't believe I missed this. If it is not too late there are magic items that require one of the casters be spontaneous, or the caster be and elf. Can you bypass these by adding +5 to the DC.

I spoke about this with Sean at GenCon and he said that yes, you can bypass racial or caster type requirements with a +5 DC.

Although I did pose these questions on the first page (of this thread) just so it is clarified in the book.

Unless it's a construct you're making. Then you can't bypass any caster level requirements.

Says so in Ultimate Magic.

.

First of all, I had said caster type requirements, not caster level. i.e. items that require a spontaneous caster, etc.

And do you mean caster level as in the 'caster level is 3x enhancement bonus'? As far as I have seen, that can be bypassed, as well. The only absolutes are the item creation feats needed, and that you can't bypass the needed spells for making scrolls, wands or potions.

But then that is why we are having this thread, so Sean knows what to clarify in the upcoming book, including what can and can't be allowed to take a +5 DC.


Caedwyr: Not really. If he does that the GM needs to cut the treasure down to size because the rest of the group is now violating WBL.

Remember: Crafters count COST towards WBL. Non-crafters count PRICE towards WBL.

Example:
Player A pays Player B to craft item X (Price: 4000gp. Cost: 2000gp). Player A gives Player B 2000gp. However, according to WBL Player A is now 2000gp over. GM balances it out.

Player C pays Player B to craft item Y (Price: 5000gp. Cost: 2500gp). Player C thinks he is doing Player B a favor by giving him 5000gp. Player B pockets the remaining 2500gp. According to WBL Player B is now 2500gp over. GM balances it out.

Methods to balance it out:
Reduce the treasure for the entire group, give individualized rewards until everyone is at or near WBL.

Alternately, a GM could use a group WBL system but this may produce a situation where one player is over WBL while everyone else is under WBL.

How players can make the GM's life easier: Give the crafter the item cost (not price). Then donate the difference between price and cost (typically 1/2) to a non-WBL purpose (such as donations, city building, or building a house). Alternately, the crafter can do the donations, city building, or build a house. It doesn't really matter so long as that extra money vanishes.

Edit: FAQ on Crafting and WBL

- Gauss


wraithstrike wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

@Wraithstrike: It's quite ironic to see how your methodology differs here from the Antagonize thread.

I make way too many post a day to remember them all. What do you mean?

edit:A link to an example would be nice.

edit2: If you mean the rule 0 thing, that is different. Magic items, and the affect of WBL by their nature can't be set in a neat little box. That other feat, which I shall not name was not written with GM Fiat in mind, and while one could do that it should be needed for such a feat since it can be written in such as manner as to keep the fluff, and have mechanics that don't cause the problems that it does.

Basically that. While you maintain that Antagonize is horribly broken for everyone ( which I absolutely agree with, even for the errataed edition ), you then try to assert that magic item crafting is totally fine, because its destabilizing effects are mitigated by individual GMs being better at ad-hoc balancing. Which I disagree with.

Ravingdork wrote:

Seeing as there is never any crafting done that I am not aware of, I am pretty much always on top of things. My encounters have yet to need adjusting for the inclusion of magic items because I expect said magic items from the very beginning--just like the game designers expect people to be using craft feats the way they were intended to be used. Who knew?

Even with said "power spikes," as you call them, my players rarely steamroll anything. More often than not, it's a fun and exciting encounter which is often quite challenging as well. Good tactics and planning on the part of smart NPCs will always trump a few extra magical items from a crafter.

If I were to "modify" encounters, I would be doing my players a disservice. I NEVER tailor encounters to the PCs unless it makes in-game sense to do so (such as a lich who scryed them for a month prior to sending out select assassins). If they make powerful characters, then they should feel powerful more often than not. Otherwise, it's just an arms race started by an immature GM.

In any case, magical item creation isn't nearly as powerful as people think, thanks to the way magical item prices often scale. More often then not, the Craft Wondrous Item feat nets you a +1 across the board. Powerful, but hardly broken. You get more variation then that amongst characters with the standard ability score generation method.

A GM who can't handle such minor differences in power should probably not be GMing.

Despite your stupidly arrogant assertion at the end of your post and in the middle of it, which paints you as a horrible conversationalist and judge of character, I'll try to answer your post otherwise in a curteous manner. Although I really, really don't feel that way at the moment.

If you can keep up-to-the-moment with your players character power at all times, more power to you as a GM. That does not mean that every GM puts that much energy in looking at character sheets at all times to know how good the players characters are or has some sort of eidetic memory to gauge player power, relative to opponent power. That is what the CR system is actually for.

But since magic item crafting is one of the factors which render CRs difficult to gauge, it is an unbalancing factor. The net +1 you assert to be the only consequence of it sounds nicely harmless in theory, but does not correspond to the reality as I have experienced it over 7-8 years as a GM. Players generally don't do you the favor of staying within that parameter, but rather specialize in pushing one or two aspects of their character which they deem important. That normally comes down to saves, both on the offensive as defensive side.

It is the duty of a GM to provide players exciting gameplay. That means preparing an adventure with a gripping plot, but also preparing interesting and varied combat encounters. If the power level of the group tilts too much into the "steamroll everything through sheer power" territory, in my opinion a GM should up the ante for at least the climactic encounters and probably for everything else, too, so that the opponents present some sort of challenge. Paizo APs are bad enough in that regard when it comes to the in-between-bosses encounters, with lots of opponents which are barely able to hit a normally equipped party.
If encounters just become a constant one-sided killing matches without a challenge, IMO they are just a huge waste of everyones time. Some encounters should indeed be steamrolled, but presenting a challenge to players is what makes those large time-investments interesting in the first place.


magnuskn:

I do not see how your players are pushing up their DCs by more than +1 or +2 using crafting. There are no items (that I am aware of) that directly add to DCs so that just leaves ability score enhancements.

+1 increase costs 4000gp (2000gp crafted). Anyone can achieve that pretty easily.
+2 increase: 16000gp (8000gp crafted). There we have a bigger disparity.
Finally +3 increase: 36,000gp (18,000gp crafted).

Even if people pumped all of their resources into an ability score enhancement that still will not get them more than +1 or +2 over what the guy without crafting can get. a 5-10% save DC is not going to break things.

- Gauss


And you think that another +2 ( coupled with focused ability stats and spell focuses ) doesn't change things up substantially? You must have really nice, tame players. When my players run around at level 8 with a prime stat of 26 to 28, that results in most monsters at the appropiate CR autofailing their saves.


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magnuskn:

Lets examine that:
Level 8 has 33,000gp. So if they craft the maximum +6 ability score booster that costs 18,000gp. It is over the reccomended 25% limit so the GM is within rights to say no. However lets assume the GM has not said no.

Assuming a starting score of 18+2racial = 20. Then lets add in +2 for levels = 22. Now we add in the +6 ability score booster and get your 28. That is a +9 to the DC of any spell. Note: a build using WBL guidlines would be at +8.

Now, 4th level spell +9 = DC 23. Lets also add in Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus to make that a DC25 spell.

Bestiary table 1-1 tells us that a creature using his good save should have a bonus of about +11 at level 8. His bad save should have a bonus of about +7.

Against the DC of 25 that means the CR8 creature needs either a 14 or an 18. No autofail there. I would say that is just about right for a wizard specializing.

Note: If the wizard is smart he would have a nasty spell from each of the three saves and with high knowledge skills would know which type of spell to hit the bad guy with.

Will save = Bestow Curse (necromancy)
Reflex save = Pit spells (conjuration)
Fort save = Blindness/Deafness (necromancy) (level 2 spell, -2save DC)

With ALL 5 feats of the wizard's feats used this wizard now has all three saves covered. Against an equal CR creature he has either a 65% chance of success or an 85% chance of success. Assuming he bypasses SR, assuming he correctly identifies the creature and one of those peices of information is what the creature is weak against (which is not usually handed out), and assuming he has the highest spell level available.

What has the wizard given up? Well in order to get an 18 starting score he paid 17 of his 20 points. He now has 3 left. He wont have much dexterity or constitution. Assuming he dumps str to a 7, charisma to a 7, wisdom to a 7 he can gain another 12 points. At which point the GM should throw a heavy object at the player.

IF this is the scenario you face then the problem is not crafting, it is your players. Any player can break the game if they tried hard enough.

In summary: your scenario is not an autofail for the equal CR monster and certainly not for a BBEG (which would have much higher saves).

Edit: Most level 4 and below spells are not automatic 'I win' spells either. They are often a hindrance but that is it.

- Gauss


magnuskn wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

@Wraithstrike: It's quite ironic to see how your methodology differs here from the Antagonize thread.

I make way too many post a day to remember them all. What do you mean?

edit:A link to an example would be nice.

edit2: If you mean the rule 0 thing, that is different. Magic items, and the affect of WBL by their nature can't be set in a neat little box. That other feat, which I shall not name was not written with GM Fiat in mind, and while one could do that it should be needed for such a feat since it can be written in such as manner as to keep the fluff, and have mechanics that don't cause the problems that it does.

Basically that. While you maintain that Antagonize is horribly broken for everyone ( which I absolutely agree with, even for the errataed edition ), you then try to assert that magic item crafting is totally fine, because its destabilizing effects are mitigated by individual GMs being better at ad-hoc balancing. Which I disagree with.

Ravingdork wrote:

Seeing as there is never any crafting done that I am not aware of, I am pretty much always on top of things. My encounters have yet to need adjusting for the inclusion of magic items because I expect said magic items from the very beginning--just like the game designers expect people to be using craft feats the way they were intended to be used. Who knew?

Even with said "power spikes," as you call them, my players rarely steamroll anything. More often than not, it's a fun and exciting encounter which is often quite challenging as well. Good tactics and planning on the part of smart NPCs will always trump a few extra magical items from a crafter.

If I were to "modify" encounters, I would be doing my players a disservice. I NEVER tailor encounters to the PCs unless it makes in-game sense to do so (such as a lich who scryed them for a month prior to sending out select assassins). If they make powerful characters, then they should feel powerful more often than not.

...

If magic items could be written with definite limitations then I would have the exact same view on it as I do for antagonize. I don't make blanket rulings and apply them across the board. The only way your idea works for magic items if is the devs put hard restrictions on what can be created by the rules.

In short you can't apply such stipulation to something without limits. Antagonize could be rewritten since it is only one feat, without changing any fundamental part of the game.

It would be nice if magic items could have set formulas that always work, but it doesn't. Another issue is that two items of the same price don't have an equal affect, so you can't really say 10,000 gp equals a +1 CR. What the devs can do is suggest if a GM is going to going X percentage over WBL that he do _____ and/or ______ while taking the group playstyle and other factors into account. Some groups won't need to adjust and others will.

edit: Gauss's idea also works if someone has issues with WBL.


Now Mr.Gauss has handled the issue with regard to a melee character and a caster. <applauds>


<sigh> Let's review the fallacies.

1.) Getting an 18 in a prime stat costs 10 points, because you are normally going to choose a race which gives that prime stat a +2. Leaves 5 points for the rest and with a -2 to your dump stat, you get a 8, 10, 10, 12, 14, 18. Which sounds about like a balanced SAD character, even without going too far into the "super-talented in one thing, crippled in everything else" direction.

2.) You seriously tell your players that they cannot spend more than 25% on one type of item, even when they are not creating a new character at higher than first level? How do you justify that in-game? Does the magic guild come flying in and hand out demerits?

3.) Let's just review a few CR 8 challenges from one AP ( I hope everybody has catched unto the fact by now that I use APs as my measuring stick, since that is what I am running for three years ):

a.) 4 Ettercaps - Saves (F/R/W): 6/4/6
b.) 3 Manticores - 9/7/3
c.) 1 Adv. Bulette - 13/10/7
d.) 12 Mudmen (CR9) - 4/0/0
e.) 1 Spriggan Fighter - 11/5/3

And so on. You may see that your assertions about CRs seldomly are born out by the reality of mixed encounters. In such situations those pushed saves make auto-fails pretty likely.

You might now say that I said magic item crafting affects single creature CRs, but that was said by me in relation to my original ( and still standing ) question to Sean, where I asked for clarification about how magic item crafting distorts that balancing.


wraithstrike wrote:

If magic items could be written with definite limitations then I would have the exact same view on it as I do for antagonize. I don't make blanket rulings and apply them across the board. The only way your idea works for magic items if is the devs put hard restrictions on what can be created by the rules.

In short you can't apply such stipulation to something without limits. Antagonize could be rewritten since it is only one feat, without changing any fundamental part of the game.

It would be nice if magic items could have set formulas that always work, but it doesn't. Another issue is that two items of the same price don't have an equal affect, so you can't really say 10,000 gp equals a +1 CR. What the devs can do is suggest if a GM is going to going X percentage over WBL that he do _____ and/or ______ while taking the group playstyle and other factors into account. Some groups won't need to adjust and others will.

edit: Gauss's idea also works if someone has issues with WBL.

Reducing the magic item crafting problem down to pure mathematics is fine and dandy, although it doesn't really grasp how it affects the game when combined with the other moving parts. But there is a whole other metagame aspect to it, one which involves prior editions of the game.

You see, my main problem with magic item crafting in Pathfinder is how there are few limits to it. At least 3.x had XP costs for the crafter to consider ( although those were often less of a problem if your caster player was good with planning out his character ), which limited the range of what he could craft at one level and brought a real drawback to it. Pathfinder removed that limiting factor and did not introduce another one to balance out the feats, resulting in a free power boost.

The jump from AD&D to 3.x becomes even more pronounced, because it changed the entire metagame of how you could construct your campaigns as a GM. Before, there was not much of a problem of giving out large lump sums of money to your party at about level 10, when they were expected to be building their own keeps. Before, campaigns could last a decade, without having to keep in mind that the characters could just use those feats to build stuff until their cash funds ran out. Both of those aspects have basically fallen by the wayside, because item creation feats became commonly available to players.

Look, I don't think I can give a good solution to those two problems, because raising item creation prices to 95% of market price would not solve the first problem ( lots of players would still use vast amounts of gold to create more personal power items, rather than building up a castle ) nor really the second. Taking away item crafting completely seems counterintuitive to the evolution of the game.

But at least within the parameters of how things transitioned from 3.x to Pathfinder, I personally find that just making item crafting super-easy, with no drawbacks at all, results in a stealth power-boost to player characters. And I have not seen any adjustments on the monster side in the 3.x/PF transition to account for that factor.


In 3.5 most people did not even care about the XP cost since it was so small, and even if the party got a level* ahead it did not really matter since the game gave a lower leveled character more XP, meaning that if the were not that far behind he might even surpass the party in XP, even if the started the session slightly behind them.

*Which could amount to only a few hundred XP


magnuskn:

1) 18 in a prime stat costs 17 points not 10 points. That is on page 16 of the CRB. 8, 10, 10, 12, 14, 18 = -2, 0, 0, +2, +5, +17 = +23points. Not the 20point build I mentioned.

Now, if by '18 = 10' you actually mean 16+2race = 10 then you are correct. However, that means the spells have a 60% and 80% chance of success not 65% and 85% chance.

2) This is a game. I ask my players to be reasonable. They agree with being reasonable. Frankly, I don't have to enforce this. I have players that take very expensive items that the AP Council of Thieves hands out (and shouldnt) then they sell it to buy more reasonable items. This is as opposed to keeping said item and having all thier money locked up in one item. Now, if a player wants to spend more than 25% Im fine with up to 50%. But, 18,000 of 33,000 is not 50% it is 54.5% percent.

3) We were NOT discussing 'CR 8 challenges'.
I quote:

magnuskn wrote:
When my players run around at level 8 with a prime stat of 26 to 28, that results in most monsters at the appropiate CR autofailing their saves.

(bolding mine).

A is not a CR8 monster
B is not a CR8 monster
C is a CR8 monster and proves my point. 13, 10, 7 are pretty close to the 14 and 7 that Table 1-1 laid out.
D is not a CR8 monster
E is incorrect. A Spriggan Fighter would need 5 levels of fighter to become CR8. If small spriggan then: 9/6/2 (minimum) if large spriggan then: 12/5/2 (minimum).

Just a note: any encounter with multiple lower CR creatures will be a cakewalk for most parties. They are meant to be speedbumps. The CR system for lower level creatures is frankly, flawed. A wizard who wastes precious spell resources on big groups of lower level creatures that can barely hit the fighter should be entitled to steam roll them. After all, the fighter is about to.

Lets look at some CR8 monsters from the Bestiary:
Behir: 12/8/5
Nabasu Demon: 9/9/9
Erinyes Devil: 11/12/7
Triceratops: 15/8/5
Young Green Dragon: 9/7/9
Young Copper Dragon: 9/8/8
Efreeti: 7/10/9
etc etc....

Most of these creatures do not have the perfect 14/7/7 but some kind of average. Most of these creatures are missing thier equipment of which should be SOME resistance bonus for a +1 to all saves. Creatures without the proper equipment being assigned to them have a penalty to their CR. Potions can give badly needed saves. Heck, a 0 level potion can give +1resistance bonus for 10rounds.

As for single creature CRs I did NOT say anything like that. You did. You stated that this is for a CR appropriate monster.

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

magnuskn:

1) 18 in a prime stat costs 17 points not 10 points. That is on page 16 of the CRB. 8, 10, 10, 12, 14, 18 = -2, 0, 0, +2, +5, +17 = +23points. Not the 20point build I mentioned.

Now, if by '18 = 10' you actually mean 16+2race = 10 then you are correct. However, that means the spells have a 60% and 80% chance of success not 65% and 85% chance.

I was offering a "26 to 28" for that exact reason. I have some players who are dead set on getting that natural 18, even at the cost of having horrible stats in the other attributes. But I got others who are more reasonable in their stat allocation.

Gauss wrote:
2) This is a game. I ask my players to be reasonable. They agree with being reasonable. Frankly, I don't have to enforce this. I have players that take very expensive items that the AP Council of Thieves hands out (and shouldnt) then they sell it to buy more reasonable items. This is as opposed to keeping said item and having all thier money locked up in one item. Now, if a player wants to spend more than 25% Im fine with up to 50%. But, 18,000 of 33,000 is not 50% it is 54.5% percent.

Well, congrats to you for having super-reasonable players who keep exactly within those parameters, even without a compelling in-game reason to do so.

Gauss wrote:

3) We were NOT discussing 'CR 8 challenges'.

I quote:
magnuskn wrote:
When my players run around at level 8 with a prime stat of 26 to 28, that results in most monsters at the appropiate CR autofailing their saves.

(bolding mine).

A is not a CR8 monster
B is not a CR8 monster
C is a CR8 monster and proves my point. 13, 10, 7 are pretty close to the 14 and 7 that Table 1-1 laid out.
D is not a CR8 monster
E is incorrect. A Spriggan Fighter would need 5 levels of fighter to become CR8. If small spriggan then: 9/6/2 (minimum) if large spriggan then: 12/5/2 (minimum).

Sorry then for the confusion. I was talking about encounters at CRs, as shown in the APs. Which do not contain very often single creature encounters, but are mostly multiple creature encounters.

The Spriggan Fighter was level 5, I left that number out by accident.

Gauss wrote:
Just a note: any encounter with multiple lower CR creatures will be a cakewalk for most parties. They are meant to be speedbumps. The CR system for lower level creatures is frankly, flawed. A wizard who wastes precious spell resources on big groups of lower level creatures that can barely hit the fighter should be entitled to steam roll them. After all, the fighter is about to.

Yet they eat up game time. The difference from them being a speedbump which actually costs the party resources and therefore has a place at the table or being a speedbump which eats up gametime, but actually doesn't cost the party any resources at all ( because the monsters cannot even hit the party frontliners ) can be things like how much item crafting the group has done in the past.


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Without spending a single craft feat a fighter at level 8 easily has an AC of 28.

33000gp:

+1 Full Plate (2,150)
+1 Heavy Shield (1,150)
+1 Ring of Deflection (2,000)
+1 Amulet of Natural Armor (2,000)
+2 Belt of Strength and Dexterity (10,000)
+2 Cloak of Resistance (4,000)
+2 Weapon (8,300)

Total: 29600gp (3400remaining)
Total AC: 28
Ability Scores: Str22 (16+2racial+2level+2enhancement), Dex16 (14+2enh), Con14, Int/Wis/Cha10
Feats expended: 0

Crafting Ranger (Arms and Armor, Wondrous Item):
+2 Mithral Breastplate (6,200)
+2 Heavy Shield (2,150)
+1 Ring of Deflection (2,000)
+1 Amulet of Natural Armor (1,000)
+2 Belt of Strength and Dexterity (5,000)
+2 Cloak of Resistance (2,000)
+3 Weapon (9,300)
+2 Headband of Wisdom (2000)

Total: 29650 (3350remaining)
Total AC: 27
Ability Scores: Str22 (16+2racial+2level+2enhancement), Dex16 (14+2enh), Con14, Wis12 (10+2enh), Int/Cha10
Attack bonuses difference: +1attack/damage over the fighter.
Feats expended: 2

As you can see. Neither the Fighter (who didnt craft) nor the Ranger (who did) is getting hit by the Ettercaps except on a 20.
Most of those other lesser CR creatures are not going to hit that easily either. That is just a fact of the game regardless of if you craft or not.

Once again it is important to point out that the fighter cannot benefit from a fellow player who crafts. The fighter cannot get a discount on his equipment. The fighter cannot use the fellow player who crafts feat to exceed WBL. At least, not without the GM allowing it contrary to the FAQ. If that occurs, it is the GM's fault and not the fault of the game mechanics.

- Gauss


Sorry, but that is stupid. There is no in-game reason why a fighter could not benefit from crafting from another player. The only reason you are citing is "because a FAQ said so", which does not translate to any logical reason why in-game a crafter could not do crafting for his compatriot.

I mean, what would you expect a GM to do here? Lightning bolts from the sky as punishment? Yeah, you can explain it out of game, but any roleplayer will just look at you and say "And what reason would there be for my character to not do it?"

Anyway, this discussion is going nowhere. Magic item crafting is not the reason for all the unbalance in the game, but one of a group of facilitators of it. From all the cogs you can tweak to make the game easier to manage, it appears to me to be one of the easiest to adjust, without touching fundamentals like Vancian spellcasting, levels and such. I'll bow out of this discussion, since we are now only talking about little inconsequential "but at this CR..." stuff and convincing anyone on the internet is an exercise in futility anyway.


Game reason: Because games have rules. Without rules the game becomes broken. End of reason.

Now, if you mean 'in character reason' the characters can supply that themselves by saying things like 'if I do this for you I request you make an equal donation to the Sisters of Light.' OR the player tells you: He just handed me 4000gp to make a 2000gp item. I will spend that extra 2000gp on building a house (which is a non-WBL type purchase).

Without players being nice about certain rules then the game breaks down and yes, you may have to deal with it as a GM.

I have already suggested what to do as a GM. Reduce the treasure handed out and then give specific treasure to specific players to balance them out.

Personally, it is better if the players provide in-character reasons not to benefit from each other's craft feats. It keeps the game from getting broken and it makes the GMs job easier.

After all, arent you here asking how to fix Crafting from getting out of hand? Benefiting from the other player's craft feats is one of the major reasons crafting gets out of hand.

- Gauss

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gauss wrote:


Remember: Crafters count COST towards WBL. Non-crafters count PRICE towards WBL.

Something that is relevant to the basic argument of this thread and not only the WBL discussion:

When considering the item value against the WBL of a character, we should consider the base price or the price modified for costly components?

Items that cast spells with costly components for sure give an advantage as there isn't the need to pay them when the spell is cast. On the other hand having the components for 50 casting of a spell count against your WBL seem a bit excessive. Very few spells are cast 50 times before you advance to the next level or complete a module of a AP.


Diego: The cost is the base price/2 + material componenst.

Example: A Scroll of Raise Dead has a cost of 5*9*25/2 + a material component cost of 5000gp. Thus the cost is: 5562.5gp while the price is: 6125gp.

If a crafter wants to make a Wand of Restoration then yes, he needs to pay for 50 uses of the expensive material component (50*100gp or 50*1000gp dependant upon the type he wants to make).

While it might seem excessive that is the rule. Sometimes it is better to buy used wands. (Personally, I think wands should be able to be made with variable charges in 10charge increments but that is just me.)

- Gauss


magnuskn wrote:
Sorry, but that is stupid. There is no in-game reason why a fighter could not benefit from crafting from another player. The only reason you are citing is "because a FAQ said so", which does not translate to any logical reason why in-game a crafter could not do crafting for his compatriot.

It is up to you as a GM to think of the in game reason, just as you would for a paralyzed version not getting fully hit by a fireball since they do get reflex saves. You can't just ignore the rules in a debate just because you don't like the rule.


The price for the component is supposed to be included. I think SKR answered that in a thread once. I will see if I can find it.


Quote:

Creating Staves

The creator must have prepared the spells to be stored (or must know the spells, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) and must provide any focus the spells require as well as material component costs sufficient to activate the spell 50 times (divide this amount by the number of charges one use of the spell expends).

Quote:


Creating Wands

The creator must have prepared the spell to be stored (or must know the spell, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) and must provide any focuses the spell requires. Fifty of each needed material component are required (one for each charge).


wraithstrike wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Sorry, but that is stupid. There is no in-game reason why a fighter could not benefit from crafting from another player. The only reason you are citing is "because a FAQ said so", which does not translate to any logical reason why in-game a crafter could not do crafting for his compatriot.
It is up to you as a GM to think of the in game reason, just as you would for a paralyzed version not getting fully hit by a fireball since they do get reflex saves. You can't just ignore the rules in a debate just because you don't like the rule.

Okay. What would you tell your player as an in-character reason why he can't craft for a compatriot? I feel the distinct need to distinguish here for "reasons" and "excuses" ( which is what "you have to donate to my personal trust fund... errr, the Orphanage of Saintly Beatings" or "I don't feel like it" sounds like to me ).

*edit* Anyway, don't respond to this. I said I'm bowing out, stop pulling me back in. Gah!


magnuskn wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Sorry, but that is stupid. There is no in-game reason why a fighter could not benefit from crafting from another player. The only reason you are citing is "because a FAQ said so", which does not translate to any logical reason why in-game a crafter could not do crafting for his compatriot.
It is up to you as a GM to think of the in game reason, just as you would for a paralyzed version not getting fully hit by a fireball since they do get reflex saves. You can't just ignore the rules in a debate just because you don't like the rule.
Okay. What would you tell your player as an in-character reason why he can't craft for a compatriot? I feel the distinct need to distinguish here for "reasons" and "excuses" ( which is what "you have to donate to my personal trust fund... errr, the Orphanage of Saintly Beatings" or "I don't feel like it" sounds like to me ).

My players would just cooperate with the rule and think of a cooperative reason as to why the rule worked in game if I chose to enforce it. If the players did not want to cooperate I would just change the fluff of the feat to say the items are made at full price, but their deity(or some organization)* takes care of half of the cost if they make the item for themselves. If they use their skills(the feat) for someone else there is no monetary support. Myself and the player could also write something into their background to make it work. Maybe the character owes someone money, and he uses any money taken for working on crafted items to pay his debt. There are an unlimited number of reasons that could be given. What works just depends on what a person is willing to accept for the purpose of verisimilitude.

*which also granted or taught them the feat.

edit:I responded before your edit. :)


Consider yourself having had the last word, then. :D

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gauss wrote:

Diego: The cost is the base price/2 + material componenst.

Example: A Scroll of Raise Dead has a cost of 5*9*25/2 + a material component cost of 5000gp. Thus the cost is: 5562.5gp while the price is: 6125gp.

If a crafter wants to make a Wand of Restoration then yes, he needs to pay for 50 uses of the expensive material component (50*100gp or 50*1000gp dependant upon the type he wants to make).

While it might seem excessive that is the rule. Sometimes it is better to buy used wands. (Personally, I think wands should be able to be made with variable charges in 10charge increments but that is just me.)

- Gauss

wraithstrike wrote:
The price for the component is supposed to be included. I think SKR answered that in a thread once. I will see if I can find it.

It see that my question is unclear. It is not about people with or without the feat of if you must pay for the components when you make an item. It is about having a magic item and how it count for WBL.

Let's say I have a wand of Masterwork Transformation (don't ask why). It cost a extra 15.000 gp as it require the components to cast masterwork transformation 50 times (and you will have to pay for the most costly version of the spell).

Those extra 15.000 gp should be counted against a character WBL?

While they have an utility, it is not on par with 15.000 gp of items without costly components.
I see some reason to count only the magic items base price against the WBL of a character.
On the other hand for some item, like a ring of three wishes, that costly material component is an important part of the item utility and value.

- * - * -

Ancillary question.
When crafting magic item with variable cost for costly components I use the cost of the function with the highest cost, as an example, to Scribe a scroll of restoration I pay the 1.000 gp for the version that remove permanent negative levels, not the 100 gp for the version that remove only temporary negative levels. As I could use the scroll to cast both version of the spell that should be factored in the item creation.
So:
- that is the correct procedure?
- it is possible to scribe a scroll or craft an item that only remove temporary level losses and has a lower cost?


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just to give my two copper on your discussion, I am a crafter in our campaign and my DM says it is up to me however much discount I wish to give to the rest of the party members. But he has no issues allowing me to make the items at cost (half price) for everyone else, if I so choose, which is what I have been doing so far.


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

The FAQ does NOT say that a crafter is prohibited from crafting for his fellows.

It says all crafted items must use their crafting costs when determining a character's WBL.

It doesn't matter who crafted it. :P


Diego Rossi wrote:
Gauss wrote:

Diego: The cost is the base price/2 + material componenst.

Example: A Scroll of Raise Dead has a cost of 5*9*25/2 + a material component cost of 5000gp. Thus the cost is: 5562.5gp while the price is: 6125gp.

If a crafter wants to make a Wand of Restoration then yes, he needs to pay for 50 uses of the expensive material component (50*100gp or 50*1000gp dependant upon the type he wants to make).

While it might seem excessive that is the rule. Sometimes it is better to buy used wands. (Personally, I think wands should be able to be made with variable charges in 10charge increments but that is just me.)

- Gauss

wraithstrike wrote:
The price for the component is supposed to be included. I think SKR answered that in a thread once. I will see if I can find it.

It see that my question is unclear. It is not about people with or without the feat of if you must pay for the components when you make an item. It is about having a magic item and how it count for WBL.

Let's say I have a wand of Masterwork Transformation (don't ask why). It cost a extra 15.000 gp as it require the components to cast masterwork transformation 50 times (and you will have to pay for the most costly version of the spell).

Those extra 15.000 gp should be counted against a character WBL?

While they have an utility, it is not on par with 15.000 gp of items without costly components.
I see some reason to count only the magic items base price against the WBL of a character.
On the other hand for some item, like a ring of three wishes, that costly material component is an important part of the item utility and value.

- * - * -

Ancillary question.
When crafting magic item with variable cost for costly components I use the cost of the function with the highest cost, as an example, to Scribe a scroll of restoration I pay the 1.000 gp for the version that remove permanent negative levels, not the 100 gp for the version that remove only temporary negative levels. As I could use...

From my understanding the purchase price of the item(scroll, wand, staff) is what counts against WBL. Most items however account for the price of expensive material components within the actual market price.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

I'm not sure a thread where a developer is asking for feedback is the best place to start an in-depth, point-by-point debate. I'll be saddened if a good question gets lost in the middle of a lengthy forum argument and ends up not getting answered in this upcoming product.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

Issues like the whole crafting and wealth by level are part of the reason I hope that when the next version of the game gets developed, one of the starting points is to work out a relatively simple, internally consistent economic system on which prices and balance are built.


Wht happens to WBL if I take one crafting feat, my friend takes a different one, and we swap at cost?

Also I get the feeling that crafting time is a balancing factor that is not fully accounted for in this debate.

Craft Arms &Armor seems to have a requirement that the character be at least bonus * 3 level, not simply roll against that as a creation DC. Is this correct? How does this work with specific magic items?


Ravingdork: the Crafting-WBL FAQ does mean that crafters are the only ones that count crafted items at cost.

FAQ wrote:

PC Wealth By Level (page 399): If a PC has an item crafting feat, does a crafted item count as its Price or its Cost?

It counts as the item's Cost, not the Price. This comes into play in two ways.

If you're equipping a higher-level PC, you have to count crafted items at their Cost. Otherwise the character isn't getting any benefit for having the feat. Of course, the GM is free to set limits in equipping the character, such as "no more than 40% of your wealth can be used for armor" (instead of the "balanced approach" described on page 400 where the PC should spend no more than 25% on armor).

If you're looking at the party's overall wealth by level, you have to count crafted items at their Cost. Otherwise, if you counted crafted items at their Price, the crafting character would look like she had more wealth than appropriate for her level, and the GM would have to to bring this closer to the target gear value by reducing future treasure for that character, which means eventually that character has the same gear value as a non-crafting character--in effect neutralizing any advantage of having that feat at all.

—Sean K Reynolds, 01/13/12

Note the question. It covers when a PC has an item crafting feat. Not when the PC's teammate has an item crafting feat. In paragraph 1 it states that the crafter benefits from making items at cost rather than at price. In paragraph 2 it states that crafted items count for cost for the person that crafts it.

It does not explicitly state that crafted items count at price (rather than cost) for people who do not have the craft feat. But that is the clear meaning here.

Put another way:
This entire FAQ starts from an assumption that people have been counting price (and not cost) against WBL. It then separates out that a PC with the craft feat is allowed to count items he crafted for himself as cost. Nowhere does it extend this to the PC's buddies who do not have the craft feat.

- Gauss


The Forgotten:

Your GM would need to count both items at price and not cost when examining how much equipment you possess since you do not have the appropriate crafting feat. IE: you just gave him a headache.

There are numerous ways around the crafting time issue. At low-mid levels you have a Ring of Sustenance + Rope Trick. At high levels take a trip to a fast time plane in order to craft.

Regarding the prerequisite of 3*bonus = Caster level: There are two schools of thought. The first states it is a separate prerequisite that cannot by bypassed. However, the text does not support this. The second school of thought is that it is just another prerequisite that can be bypassed by adding +5 to the crafting DC.

- Gauss

Silver Crusade

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Gauss

You just need a round of *applause*.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gauss wrote:

Ravingdork: the Crafting-WBL FAQ does mean that crafters are the only ones that count crafted items at cost.

FAQ wrote:

PC Wealth By Level (page 399): If a PC has an item crafting feat, does a crafted item count as its Price or its Cost?

It counts as the item's Cost, not the Price. This comes into play in two ways.

If you're equipping a higher-level PC, you have to count crafted items at their Cost. Otherwise the character isn't getting any benefit for having the feat. Of course, the GM is free to set limits in equipping the character, such as "no more than 40% of your wealth can be used for armor" (instead of the "balanced approach" described on page 400 where the PC should spend no more than 25% on armor).

If you're looking at the party's overall wealth by level, you have to count crafted items at their Cost. Otherwise, if you counted crafted items at their Price, the crafting character would look like she had more wealth than appropriate for her level, and the GM would have to to bring this closer to the target gear value by reducing future treasure for that character, which means eventually that character has the same gear value as a non-crafting character--in effect neutralizing any advantage of having that feat at all.

—Sean K Reynolds, 01/13/12

Note the question. It covers when a PC has an item crafting feat. Not when the PC's teammate has an item crafting feat. In paragraph 1 it states that the crafter benefits from making items at cost rather than at price. In paragraph 2 it states that crafted items count for cost for the person that crafts it.

It does not explicitly state that crafted items count at price (rather than cost) for people who do not have the craft feat. But that is the clear meaning here.

Put another way:
This entire FAQ starts from an assumption that people have been counting price (and not cost) against WBL. It then separates out that a PC with the craft feat is allowed to count items he crafted for himself as cost. Nowhere does it extend this to...

That interpretation seems pretty forced. Possibly correct, but the sort of exceedingly legalistic answer that raises red flags. If it is correct, it isn't because of the wording of the question. Questions aren't worded from the perspective of the relevant subject's companion.


I've always read the FAQ in the same way as Gauss, I never thought about it affecting anyone else, so it can't be THAT counterintuitive...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Damn humans and their propensity to read the same thing differently!


I think that Gauss is correct. His explaining makes sense, and it keeps the feats in check even for campaigns with a lot of downtime such as Kingmaker. There is probably a loophole that a player could try to use to get around it so I can only tell a GM that he must adjust to the group or ban the feats if the spirit of the rules is being bypassed.


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

Then perhaps I was reading it wrong. But I'll look further into it later.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The problem with that interpretation, Wraith, is that it may actually screw over the non-crafting players once the game starts. If you're counting their equipment at full, but the wizard's at 1/2, then what ends up happening is the WBL guidelines begin to cut down on the treasure that shows up, because the crafter is outstripping the non-crafters. He's basically doubling his share of the treasure, if he's got say Wondrous Item. Since you have to take the whole party WBL into account when dropping treasure, that means the treasure goes down, and the party is splitting a smaller and smaller share to stay in WBL guidelines, but the crafter is always doubling what he actually gets, which pushes him farther ahead of everyone else, which exacerbates the problem.


mdt wrote:
The problem with that interpretation, Wraith, is that it may actually screw over the non-crafting players once the game starts. If you're counting their equipment at full, but the wizard's at 1/2, then what ends up happening is the WBL guidelines begin to cut down on the treasure that shows up, because the crafter is outstripping the non-crafters. He's basically doubling his share of the treasure, if he's got say Wondrous Item. Since you have to take the whole party WBL into account when dropping treasure, that means the treasure goes down, and the party is splitting a smaller and smaller share to stay in WBL guidelines, but the crafter is always doubling what he actually gets, which pushes him farther ahead of everyone else, which exacerbates the problem.

The way I understood Gauss’s explanation was that you count each member's wealth individually. That leads to more book keeping, but a GM could put items in the game specifically for certain characters.


I think something that the argument being made by Gaus applies -only- to Weapons and Armor.

I'm not convinced it applies even there, but I don't have time this week to dig into it. So, I'll accept that it does for the sake of the argument.

You still have wondrous items, staves, rings, etc. to consider.

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