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RPG Superstar 2015

Item Creation Game Balance Question


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

p549 of Core Rules has a section titled "Magic Item Gold Piece Values". There is a subsection "Other considerations" that seems to imply that a sly crafter of magic items could create items that are usable only by people of their own alignment (ie themselves and close, like-minded, associates) for a 30% discount. I have a player who thinks this means that he can make himself a +1 Scimitar that is "only usable" by people of his own alignment and he can make it at 70% cost. Is that what these rules are saying? This seems a little broken to me but there it is in the core rule-book no less. Am I just being a restrictive hard-ass or is this how these rules were intended to be used? If I'm wrong about this and a 30% discount is fair when making an item for yourself then does this "discount" stack? Meaning, if he makes the +1 Scimitar exclusively usable by Magus' with his alignment can he get a 60% discount? If he adds on a rider stating that any user of this magic sword also has to have ranks in Craft--Weapon, Intimidate, Knowledge--Planes & Swim, each providing a 10% "discount" for a total of 100% off, would that mean that magic items are free from now on so long as you make them yourself and you restrict them from being used by anyone who basically isn't you?

Am I off-base for thinking this is ridiculous? Also, if a +1 Neutral Evil, Magus with four skills restricted Scimitar for free is a viable concept, then in the hands of anyone else is it just a hunk of metal that refuses to cooperate with a melee attack or does it at least count as a masterwork scimitar?


Remember that the rules mandate the player can't do somethign just because he can find it in print. He has to get the DM to agree to it.

If you think he's putting too much effort into this, disallow the option.

The other most popular answer will be to have the majority of the magical treasure the group finds being similarly limited AGAINST them being able to use it.

After all, if things really do work that way, why would the bad guys pay full value for stuff that can be turned against them?

EDIT: Also, 100 * .7 = 70.
70 * .7 = 49, not 30.
49 * .9 = 44.1
44.1 * .9 = 39.69
39.69 * .9 = 35.72ish
35.72 * .9 = 32.15ish

Roughly 32% ain't free. And establishing the standard that nobody has reason to make freely useable items is PRICELESS if the PCs ever expect to get useful loot. Cause guess what doesn't SELL for full price, either? Yep, anything that has a limited market generally sells publicly for less than things with an open market.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

I think there are three reasonable options:

1) Don't allow it. Yes it's in the core, but it's more for getting reduced gold from selling a restrictive item than making one on the cheap. I seem to remember seeing a distinction between "price" and "cost", so you could look it up and argue it to no end if you wanted.

2) Only allow one reduction. Yes it's up to 30% cheaper, but remember crafting times. Even if he can start making it a level early because of the reduction, he may have advanced a level (or more) by the time he's finished making it.

3) Require special crafting materials for each restriction. These can't just be bought, but will have to be quested for, and his cut of the loot becomes the item worth a price reduction. If it will reduce the price by 2000gp and you have 4 players, have the loot value 6000gp and have the material be worth the other 2000gp.

Even if a character is restricted from a magical weapon, it still counts as masterwork. Items only refuse to be attacked with when they're cursed or intelligent. If it helps, I think you should just not allow it. You're the GM and if you think it will hurt the game it is your prerogative to say no.


If this were so, the players would almost never be able to use any magic item they found as it would always have some restriction. That alone should be enough reason for them not to jump down that particular rabbit hole.

Magic Item Gold Piece Value wrote:

Other Considerations: Once you have a cost figure, reduce that number if either of the following conditions applies: Item Requires Skill to Use: Some items require a specific skill

to get them to function. This factor should reduce the cost about 10%. Item Requires Specific Class or Alignment to Use: Even more restrictive than requiring a skill, this limitation cuts the price by 30%.

Anyway, this rule doesn't refer to adding these restrictions. It refers to seeing if the restrictions already exist. A +1 Scimitar exists already and it has no alignment restrictions. However, a Ring of Wizardry already has this price discount factored in as it usable only by Arcane Casters. If he cannot explain why a person of opposite alignment cannot wield his scimitar, then he cannot factor in the discount. Also, neither of the discounts can be applied more than once. Whether it requires one skill or four, it can still only qualify once. However, I see no reason they would not stack if both apply.

EDIT: Oh forgot to include this too:

Magic Item Gold Piece Value wrote:
Not all items adhere to these formulas. First and foremost, these few formulas aren’t enough to truly gauge the exact differences between items. The price of a magic item may be modified based on its actual worth.

Liberty's Edge

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

Some people read it as "the price at which the item can be sold is 30% less as it has a restricted market, but the crafting cost is the same", but they are a minority.

When buying off the shelf there is a logic in applying that discount, when the player is the crafter reducing the number of people that can use an item is a advantage not a disadvantage.

Then there is the problem that that limitation don't work well for weapons. There is no indication of what would happen when it kicks in. If it were a pair of boots of speed the effect is clear, if you are of the wrong class you can't activate them unless you make a successful Use magic Device check, But a weapon with constant effects? Most weapons with limitations apply a negative level to the wrong wielder, but that is different from not working.

You, as a GM, are the final arbiter to all custom magic items. If the discount has no real game effects you are entitled to not applying it.
Note too that the rule is a thematic one, i.e. a holy avenger show all of its powers in the hands of a paladin. Not a way to get cheap magic items, so if he want a scimitar that only works for a NE magus there should be a reason, in the item nature, for that. it has special benefits for a magus? It drain levels? then there is a basis for the limitation in the users. If it is a generic +1 weapon there are any reason to limit its use.

Last thing, multiple price reductions of the same type don't stack. Even if you were to be very generous and allow him to craft at a discount, he can apply only 1 -10%, independently from the number of skills required and 1 -30% independently from the number of class and alignment restrictions. Most GM think that the -30% already subsume the -10% so they can't stack to.

Sean K. Reynolds is writing a book with a chapter that will extend and clarify the rules about magic items creations, you can find the relevant thread here.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Diego Rossi wrote:
Some people read it as "the price at which the item can be sold is 30% less as it has a restricted market, but the crafting cost is the same", but they are a minority.

I guess I'm in that "minority." I am interested in the basis of your claim (of minority), as I can't say I've seen a consensus either way.

The player is clearly trying to pull something here, what with talk of making items free by stacking non-restrictive "restrictions" on his items. If a restriction isn't an actual penalty or lessening of the effectiveness of an item, then why is he getting a discount?

Any custom item has to be approved by the GM. These "restrictions" actually add value to the character becasue it makes his stuff less useful to steal. I'd raise the cost to make them by a token amount for that reason, while also lowering the price he can sell it for due to a shrinking pool of potential buyers.

I'm pretty permissive in most areas as a GM, but I watch custom magic items and spells with a harsh, wary eye.

Liberty's Edge

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

I think you are a minority by the low number of peoples supporting your view, ryric.
With Pathfinder I agree with you, the discount is too convenient, it was different with the 3.X version of the game, where crafting had additional costs (xp) but a lot of GM use legacy interpretations of the rules, so they stick to applying the discount to the production cost.


ryric wrote:
The player is clearly trying to pull something here, what with talk of making items free by stacking non-restrictive "restrictions" on his items. If a restriction isn't an actual penalty or lessening of the effectiveness of an item, then why is he getting a discount?

Should be rather obvious answer: Because the resale value is less. Normal item: pay more, make more on resale. Restricted item: Pay less, make less on resale. Why is this a bothersome concept? He effectively paid a feat to make a little money, why let him take the feat in the first place if you don't want to let him make the money that the rules allow?

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

Vestrial wrote:
ryric wrote:
The player is clearly trying to pull something here, what with talk of making items free by stacking non-restrictive "restrictions" on his items. If a restriction isn't an actual penalty or lessening of the effectiveness of an item, then why is he getting a discount?
Should be rather obvious answer: Because the resale value is less. Normal item: pay more, make more on resale. Restricted item: Pay less, make less on resale. Why is this a bothersome concept? He effectively paid a feat to make a little money, why let him take the feat in the first place if you don't want to let him make the money that the rules allow?

The issue is when he drops the price to 0 and makes a +5 shocking burst icy burst thundering scimitar for free which he never intends to sell. Even if it didn't start at +10, he can just keep upgrading it on the cheap and never sell it. The resale value reduction is not an issue.


Vestrial wrote:
He effectively paid a feat to make a little money, why let him take the feat in the first place if you don't want to let him make the money that the rules allow?

This argument is completely invalid. If he is using the feat to make money, he could just make the item at full price and sell it for the market value. However, PC's seldom make market value on an item as they are not shopkeepers and cannot afford to hold onto it for months or years until a buyer comes along that will pay full price. Player's are not merchants. I have yet to meet the player that takes a Item Creation feat to make money. They take them to save money. Slight but important difference. They pay half what the item costs in exchange for their skill points, feats, and time. This player is attempting to save even more money by twisting the established rules in the Magic Items Value section. A rules section that mentions how it is not an exact science and is subject to GM ruling. The player is trying to twink a feat to make it better than it is.


As I understand it, the Holy Avenger is supposed to be indistinguishable from a +2 longsword. You are getting a 30% and maybe a 10% discount in crafting, but it sells as a +2 longsword unless you sell directly to a Paladin. If the object being crafted functions as a masterwork weapon in the wrong hands, the resale value is pretty worthless.


Goth Guru wrote:
As I understand it, the Holy Avenger is supposed to be indistinguishable from a +2 longsword. You are getting a 30% and maybe a 10% discount in crafting, but it sells as a +2 longsword unless you sell directly to a Paladin. If the object being crafted functions as a masterwork weapon in the wrong hands, the resale value is pretty worthless.

Actually, the discount for the Holy Avenger's "Paladin Only Abilities" is already factored in to its market price. Also, it doesn't say it is indistinguishable from a +2 longsword in the entry. It simply says it functions as one. A merchant is only going to sell the Holy Avenger cheaper if they don't know what it is. This is unlikely considering they are in the business of buying at least +2 cold iron longswords. Merchant's in Pathfinder games are usually more easily compared to a pawn broker. They get the item as cheaply as they can and sit on it until they can find someone willing to pay their price. They would be foolish to sell something like a Holy Avenger at a lower price simply because the person buying it couldn't use all the abilities.


Diego Rossi wrote:

I think you are a minority by the low number of peoples supporting your view, ryric.

With Pathfinder I agree with you, the discount is too convenient, it was different with the 3.X version of the game, where crafting had additional costs (xp) but a lot of GM use legacy interpretations of the rules, so they stick to applying the discount to the production cost.

Count me in that minority too.

I think the actual text is a little vague or contradictory depending on how you read it, but I also think that it can support the view the class/alignment restrictions only apply to price not cost. Plus, it just makes much more sense and is much less abusable.

Also, don't the rules explicitly state that something that's not an actual restriction isn't worth a discount?


Well, every merchant will try to bill their +2 cold iron longsword as a holy avenger. Only Paladins will even look at them. Adventurers will have a hard time selling +2 cold iron longswords, unless identify will tell you if it's a holy sword.


Goth Guru wrote:
Well, every merchant will try to bill their +2 cold iron longsword as a holy avenger.

No they won't. Anyone that can afford one would be able to tell the difference and would be foolish to drop that much cash without doing so. A merchant caught doing so by a Paladin (His target market with Holy Avengers) could expect to be brought before the local magistrate. However, there will always be people selling "genuine" fakes.

Goth Guru wrote:
Adventurers will have a hard time selling +2 cold iron longswords, unless identify will tell you if it's a holy sword.

Why wouldn't Identify do exactly that? And why would a merchant be dealing in magic items if he couldn't verify their authenticity?

We are getting off-topic, Goth. If you want to debate this further, start a new thread, and I will chime in.


Shalmdi wrote:
This argument is completely invalid. If he is using the feat to make money, he could just make the item at full price and sell it for the market value. However, PC's seldom make market value on an item as they are not shopkeepers and cannot afford to hold onto it for months or years until a buyer comes along that will pay full price. Player's are not merchants. I have yet to meet the player that takes a Item Creation feat to make money. They take them to save money. Slight but important difference. They pay half what the item costs in exchange for their skill points, feats, and time. This player is attempting to save even more money by twisting the established rules in the Magic Items Value section. A rules section that mentions how it is not an exact science and is subject to GM ruling. The player is trying to twink a feat to make it better than it is.

Never heard 'a penny saved...' eh? Saving cash is how you make cash with creation feats. And there is no 'twisting' involved. He's just trying to use the rules as written. The GM is perfectly within his rights to change the rules if he so desires, but to say the PC is being a munchkin because he's trying to save some coin is ridiculous.

And no, the price never drops to 0. That's not how the math works. (See the example in the second or third post of this thread)


Vestrial wrote:
Never heard 'a penny saved...' eh? Saving cash is how you make cash with creation feats.
Vestrial wrote:
Normal item: pay more, make more on resale. Restricted item: Pay less, make less on resale.

So you were talking about making money by paying less in your prior post? I presumed you were talking about making money by selling things. You mentioned resale twice.

The player in question is attempting to create a custom version of a magic item that already exists to save even more money than the half-price that a crafter normally pays while still getting the full functionality. You don't see this as twisting the rules or being a munchkin? The GM doesn't need to change the rules as you stated to disallow this. Read the section on pricing. It lists this discount as something to check for not something you can add. As in seeing if a staff can only be used by a cleric. If yes, it clearly gets the price discount. There isn't even a section for adding an alignment limiter to weapons or most other things.

Finally, as I quoted before:

Magic Item Value wrote:
Not all items adhere to these formulas. First and foremost, these few formulas aren’t enough to truly gauge the exact differences between items. The price of a magic item may be modified based on its actual worth.

A simple sword that can detect alignment may actually be worth more. Yes, fewer people can use it, but what church wouldn't love to have a Scimitar of Proving?


Shalmdi wrote:
So you were talking about making money by paying less in your prior post? I presumed you were talking about making money by selling things. You mentioned resale twice.

My mention of resale was in response to your question 'why does he get a discount.'

Quote:
The player in question is attempting to create a custom version of a magic item that already exists to save even more money than the half-price that a crafter normally pays while still getting the full functionality. You don't see this as twisting the rules or being a munchkin? The GM doesn't need to change the rules as you stated to disallow this. Read the section on pricing. It lists this discount as something to check for not something you can add. As in seeing if a staff can only be used by a cleric. If yes, it clearly gets the price discount. There isn't even a section for adding an alignment limiter to weapons or most other things.

Huh? I'm honestly not sure what you're saying. Are you're claiming that if a cleric goes and buys a staff that's specifically designed for clerics he gets a discount, but crafting said staff costs the same as crafting one that anyone can use? How does that even make sense? The crafter would be taking less profits for no reason.

The way you figuring out the cost to craft is by first calculating the price. Restricting use by class and/or skill is explicitly allowed by RAW. If you want to change and/or modify that, fine, but the rules are as stated, and they work just fine.

As far as the value of particular items, that's outside the scope of this conversation. Sure, it's perfectly possible to design an item that's under-priced. But a simple weapon with enhancement bonuses is not it.

The only thing that's not allowed that the OP mentioned is stacking multiple skills or multiple classes with alignments. An item can require a skill and a class or alignment. Not multiple skills, classes, and alignments.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Vestrial wrote:
ryric wrote:
The player is clearly trying to pull something here, what with talk of making items free by stacking non-restrictive "restrictions" on his items. If a restriction isn't an actual penalty or lessening of the effectiveness of an item, then why is he getting a discount?
Should be rather obvious answer: Because the resale value is less. Normal item: pay more, make more on resale. Restricted item: Pay less, make less on resale. Why is this a bothersome concept? He effectively paid a feat to make a little money, why let him take the feat in the first place if you don't want to let him make the money that the rules allow?

I'm not trying to prevent him from making the money that the rules allow. The rules already allow a 100% markup on the costs of production. It takes one day to make 1000gp worth of magic items and if you can sell them the following day, you make back your initial investment and then top it with another 1000gp profit. I have a degree in economics and I'm here to tell you that there is NO investment in the real world in which you can double your money in a single day and then do it again and again every day from now until forever. If there was such an investment nobody would risk their money in order to make a 5% profit over a period of years. I get that we're playing a fantasy game but when I think of fantasy as related to RPG's I think of the fantasy that dragons exist and magic works, I don't think of the fantasy that you can double your money in one day.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Vestrial wrote:
Shalmdi wrote:
So you were talking about making money by paying less in your prior post? I presumed you were talking about making money by selling things. You mentioned resale twice.

My mention of resale was in response to your question 'why does he get a discount.'

Quote:
The player in question is attempting to create a custom version of a magic item that already exists to save even more money than the half-price that a crafter normally pays while still getting the full functionality. You don't see this as twisting the rules or being a munchkin? The GM doesn't need to change the rules as you stated to disallow this. Read the section on pricing. It lists this discount as something to check for not something you can add. As in seeing if a staff can only be used by a cleric. If yes, it clearly gets the price discount. There isn't even a section for adding an alignment limiter to weapons or most other things.

Huh? I'm honestly not sure what you're saying. Are you're claiming that if a cleric goes and buys a staff that's specifically designed for clerics he gets a discount, but crafting said staff costs the same as crafting one that anyone can use? How does that even make sense? The crafter would be taking less profits for no reason.

The way you figuring out the cost to craft is by first calculating the price. Restricting use by class and/or skill is explicitly allowed by RAW. If you want to change and/or modify that, fine, but the rules are as stated, and they work just fine.

As far as the value of particular items, that's outside the scope of this conversation. Sure, it's perfectly possible to design an item that's under-priced. But a simple weapon with enhancement bonuses is not it.

The only thing that's not allowed that the OP mentioned is stacking multiple skills or multiple classes with alignments. An item can require a skill and a class or alignment. Not multiple skills, classes, and alignments.

Vestrial: does that mean you are perfectly comfortable with the idea that some swords only function if you have the right class and others only function if you have the right alignment? If that is the case, then shouldn't every magic shoppe be "alignment-themed"? Like a Hot Topic for the goths to shop at and a Footlocker for the jocks? And that tennis shoe intended for the jock simply won't fit on the goth's foot?


eris wrote:
I'm not trying to prevent him from making the money that the rules allow. The rules already allow a 100% markup on the costs of production. It takes one day to make 1000gp worth of magic items and if you can sell them the following day, you make back your initial investment and then top it with another 1000gp profit. I have a degree in economics and I'm here to tell you that there is NO investment in the real world in which you can double your money in a single day and then do it again and again every day from now until forever. If there was such an investment nobody would risk their money in order to make a 5% profit over a period of years. I get that we're playing a fantasy game but when I think of fantasy as related to RPG's I think of the fantasy that dragons exist and magic works, I don't think of the fantasy that you can double your money in one day.

lol, real world economics. So terribly relevant.

If you don't like crafting, don't allow crafting. Problem solved. But don't disallow it because of some nonsensical comparison to RL economics. Saying you can make 1,000 gold a day is all well and good, but if you want to make it more 'realistic' you can do that without nerfing the ability: Add some overhead, take demand into consideration, competition, etc, etc. There's plenty of ways to finagle the whole $1k per day thing that are more interesting and immersive than just, 'No, you can't use the rules from the book.'

But at the end of the day, if your player has fun hanging out in his lab making magic items and turning a tidy little profit, why the hell not? Game is supposed to be fun. Soon as you interject real world economics the fun factor tends to takes a dive (for the average gamer. Maybe you'd enjoy that).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Wow. Thanks for all the thoughtful responses you guys! Usually it seems when I write to the message-boards my message gets buried and I get few responses. I have never seen such a reaction to one of my posts and it does me good to know that I've stimulated so much intellectual conversation!

I think I've decided to rule that these "discounts" are only for items that actually require you to be a certain class or alignment in order to get the benefit of the item. Ring of Wizardry was an excellent example.

I love you guys at Paizo but all this confusion could have been avoided if you'd included an example such as Ring of Wizardry so that players wouldn't be looking at this section as a way to make their feats imbalanced in their favor.


eris wrote:
Vestrial: does that mean you are perfectly comfortable with the idea that some swords only function if you have the right class and others only function if you have the right alignment? If that is the case, then shouldn't every magic shoppe be "alignment-themed"? Like a Hot Topic for the goths to shop at and a Footlocker for the jocks? And that tennis shoe intended for the jock simply won't fit on the goth's foot?

Now we have comparisons to real life clothing. *boggle*

I am perfectly comfortable with items that require specific classes, alignments, and/or skills to use. This is RAW, and has never once been an issue in any of my games, and I've seen it used multiple times.

As for your conclusion that that would lead to a slew of Hot Topic like magic shoppes, I really don't see the connection, nor point. If that's what you want in your wold, by all means. But it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Crafters out to make money do not make restricted items due to lesser demand. Thus specialty shops would not do as well as their generalist competition.


eris wrote:
I love you guys at Paizo but all this confusion could have been avoided if you'd included an example such as Ring of Wizardry so that players wouldn't be looking at this section as a way to make their feats imbalanced in their favor.

'Imbalance' generally is in regards to players in relation to the other players. Since crafters can use their crafting feats for the party, at the cost of a personal feat, it's hard to buy that saving a few hundred gold here and there is 'imbalanced,' particularly since he can pass that savings on to the rest of the party. And since the GM controls the flow of gold into the party, the whole argument just doesn't make much sense.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Vestrial wrote:
'Imbalance' generally is in regards to players in relation to the other players.

That hasn't been my experience. As a DM I do try to provide encounters that are challenging but not so hard that I have a TPK every week. While power levels between PC's is an important issue it is not the only issue regarding running a balanced game. Otherwise there wouldn't be any space at all devoted to keeping your game balanced with regards to rewards, power and everything else in books like the Gamemastery Guide. They wouldn't even use a CR system if there was no issue about balance between PC's and NPC's/monsters.

By the way I'm grateful for your input even if we don't agree on much.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Vestrial wrote:


lol, real world economics. So terribly relevant.

If you don't like crafting, don't allow crafting. Problem solved. But don't disallow it because of some nonsensical comparison to RL economics. Saying you can make 1,000 gold a day is all well and good, but if you want to make it more 'realistic' you can do that without nerfing the ability: Add some overhead, take demand into consideration, competition, etc, etc. There's plenty of ways to finagle the whole $1k per day thing that are more interesting and immersive than just, 'No, you can't use the rules from the book.'

But at the end of the day, if your player has fun hanging out in his lab making magic items and turning a tidy little profit, why the hell not? Game is supposed to be fun. Soon as you interject real world economics the fun factor tends to takes a dive (for the average gamer. Maybe you'd enjoy that).

I'm really not trying to inject real world economics into game. I'm just pointing out that if you run a magic shop and if you are the crafter of items in said shop you can make 100% profit on a daily basis. Typically, PCs sell items at half their market price which is their cost of production so there is no profit in it for a PC to make items for sale.

To put it in context, I'm running Kingmaker right now so it isn't a typical campaign. Using the rules for selling items made in item crafting shops you could easily sell your own items when your campaign takes place over years and you have the luxury of waiting for a buyer. I have absolutely NO problem with the item creation rules or the possibility that a PC might sell an item he made for double what it cost him to make it. The reason why is because you have to make a stability check to sell an item and you only can sell one per month. So its not like the PC is going to take out a 100,000gp loan and turn that money around in 100 days. This is a demand issue and the simple rules provided actually do neatly articulate a consistent if simple economic model.

The problem I have isn't with any one item creation feat. The problem that I have is using rules that I believe were intended for specialty items like Rings of Wizardry (only useful if you prepare arcane spells), Incense of Meditation (requires preparing divine spells), Lyre of Building (one of its powers requires a successful perform--strings check), not to arbitrarily declare that a cheaper version of a bag of holding exists where it only opens if you're a True Neutral Halfling Rogue/Sorcerer with ranks in Prof--Scholar and Swim. And non-intelligent magic swords are tuned in enough to their users alignments, classes and skill ranks that they can simply refuse to function if you don't have any ranks in, say, Knowledge--Nobility.


eris wrote:
Vestrial wrote:
'Imbalance' generally is in regards to players in relation to the other players.

That hasn't been my experience. As a DM I do try to provide encounters that are challenging but not so hard that I have a TPK every week. While power levels between PC's is an important issue it is not the only issue regarding running a balanced game. Otherwise there wouldn't be any space at all devoted to keeping your game balanced with regards to rewards, power and everything else in books like the Gamemastery Guide. They wouldn't even use a CR system if there was no issue about balance between PC's and NPC's/monsters.

By the way I'm grateful for your input even if we don't agree on much.

Encounter balance is not so tenuous that a few hundred gold here and there is going to cause an imbalance. Not to mention you still control the flow of gold. So even if the part crafts all their items at 30% off, it's still trivially easy to ensure they stay within the WBL guidelines.

Quote:
The problem I have isn't with any one item creation feat. The problem that I have is using rules that I believe were intended for specialty items like Rings of Wizardry (only useful if you prepare arcane spells), Incense of Meditation (requires preparing divine spells), Lyre of Building (one of its powers requires a successful perform--strings check), not to arbitrarily declare that a cheaper version of a bag of holding exists where it only opens if you're a True Neutral Halfling Rogue/Sorcerer with ranks in Prof--Scholar and Swim. And non-intelligent magic swords are tuned in enough to their users alignments, classes and skill ranks that they can simply refuse to function if you don't have any ranks in, say, Knowledge--Nobility.

Firstly, you can have one skill plus class or alignment. Not all three, and not multiples of each.

As to your bag of holding example:
How about a bag of holding that requires 5 ranks of disable device. It functions as a bag of holding, but it appears as an intricate oragami puzzle which requires some skill to unravel. Created by a mad, paranoid gnome.

And the sword:
Blade of the Usurper-- +2 longsword, human bane. Requires 5 ranks in Knowledge Nobility or History (Was used in the Galten Uprising of 1035).

I don't see why either of these are any more arbitrary than the lyre. I find it much more cheesy that someone who has no skill at all in stealth can slip on a pair of magic slippers and be more stealthy than a rogue. I prefer items that actually synergize well with the character and require some investment to use.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
eris wrote:
Vestrial wrote:
ryric wrote:
The player is clearly trying to pull something here, what with talk of making items free by stacking non-restrictive "restrictions" on his items. If a restriction isn't an actual penalty or lessening of the effectiveness of an item, then why is he getting a discount?
Should be rather obvious answer: Because the resale value is less. Normal item: pay more, make more on resale. Restricted item: Pay less, make less on resale. Why is this a bothersome concept? He effectively paid a feat to make a little money, why let him take the feat in the first place if you don't want to let him make the money that the rules allow?
I'm not trying to prevent him from making the money that the rules allow. The rules already allow a 100% markup on the costs of production. It takes one day to make 1000gp worth of magic items and if you can sell them the following day, you make back your initial investment and then top it with another 1000gp profit. I have a degree in economics and I'm here to tell you that there is NO investment in the real world in which you can double your money in a single day and then do it again and again every day from now until forever. If there was such an investment nobody would risk their money in order to make a 5% profit over a period of years. I get that we're playing a fantasy game but when I think of fantasy as related to RPG's I think of the fantasy that dragons exist and magic works, I don't think of the fantasy that you can double your money in one day.

He can make 1.000 gp of magic items at sale price, not crafting price, so at most he will gain 500 gp/day.

PRED wrote:

his process can be accelerated to 4 hours of work per 1,000 gp in the item's base price (or fraction thereof) by increasing the DC to create the item by +5.[//quote]

Base price, not cost.

And:

PRED wrote:


Selling Treasure

In general, a character can sell something for half its listed price, including weapons, armor, gear, and magic items. This also includes character-created items.

The players almost never sell at full price unless they open a shop and search for the right costumers or craft on orders from NPC.

It is possible to enchant a +1 armor in 1 day and then wait 1 year to sell it at full price.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:


He can make 1.000 gp of magic items at sale price, not crafting price, so at most he will gain 500 gp/day.

PRED wrote:

his process can be accelerated to 4 hours of work per 1,000 gp in the item's base price (or fraction thereof) by increasing the DC to create the item by +5.[//quote]

Base price, not cost.

And:

PRED wrote:


Selling Treasure

In general, a character can sell something for half its listed price, including weapons, armor, gear, and

...

My problem is of the specific, not the general. I'm running Kingmaker which takes place over a period of decades, not months or the typical one or two years of an adventure path. There is absolutely no reason why my soul-forger PC couldn't open and operate a magic shop if that's what he wants to do during the YEARS of down-time that will take place during this campaign. The reason PC's generally sell stuff at half the market price is because they don't own shops and don't have the luxury of waiting around until a buyer shows up with enough cash to pay full price. That's why they generally sell loot at half price. But given the context there is no reason a PC couldn't sell stuff at market value provided they are patient enough to wait for a buyer. So it isn't like he'll be turning around 1000gp per day, more like once per month.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Vestrial wrote:

Firstly, you can have one skill plus class or alignment. Not all three, and not multiples of each.

As to your bag of holding example:
How about a bag of holding that requires 5 ranks of disable device. It functions as a bag of holding, but it appears as an intricate oragami puzzle which requires some skill to unravel. Created by a mad, paranoid gnome.

And the sword:
Blade of the Usurper-- +2 longsword, human bane. Requires 5 ranks in Knowledge Nobility or History (Was used in the Galten Uprising of 1035).

I don't see why either of these are any more arbitrary than the lyre. I find it much more cheesy that someone who has no skill at all in stealth can slip on a pair of magic slippers and be more stealthy than a rogue. I prefer items that actually synergize well with the character and require some investment to use.

That's a neat example with the bag of holding. The only problem I have with it is the 'general rule' regarding the construction of "new" magic items: if it duplicates a magic item that already exists then it isn't a "new" item.

The "blade of the usurper" I'm less enthusiastic about. I agree that such a sword might exist but I don't see a PC making historical swords from 1000 years ago when the PC wasn't from then and doesn't have access to time travel. Also, the problem I'm having with this isn't where you have a sword with various traits that you can justify saying "this is a lawful sword" based on axiomatic qualities and maybe a permanent align weapon spell. The problem I'm having is arbitrarily designating a sword as being "lawful" or "only works if you have ranks in Spellcraft" in order to apply a discount that in my view is not warranted. Also, you will note that a Holy Avenger (which I think qualifies for the discount) doesn't simply refuse to work if you're not a paladin. But it still costs a ton more than a cold iron longsword +2 which is what it is if you're anything but a paladin. So even if it is worth less than a "true" +5 longsword that is justified because it doesn't have as much utility for anyone who isn't a paladin (in fact it's just a really expensive +2 sword for anyone else).

Earlier you more or less said I'm raising a stink over a PC saving a few pennies here and there or "a couple hundred gold". Actually the math is a lot more extreme than that. I'm not sure if you realize how big of a chunk 30% is. That is six times the average sales tax rate and about ten times the average rate of inflation over the last 30 years. That makes it a pretty big number. When you combine it with the 50% discount you get for crafting your own items that means you are only paying 35% of the cost for items you create. I think you'd calculate the item as being half cost because you're looking at base price and then you'd take a 30% discount from that. So a 1000gp item is half off for 500gp and then 30% off for a total of 350gp that the PC is paying to craft a 1000gp item. That is far more than "a few hundred gold here and there". Okay so he only saved 150gp on a 1000gp item (not counting the fact that it's already half off) but what happens when you're making a 10,000gp item? You only have to pay 3,500gp. This will add up faster than you realize.

You say that as DM I'm the one controlling the flow of gold to the PCs. But I don't want to arbitrarily penalize PC income just to counteract the one PC who is an entrepreneur, and in my view, exploiting rules that were intended for one thing and then appropriating them for something else. Also, if they are able to craft and sell items for a profit then I am no longer the only factor that controls the flow of gold. So that train has left the station. In a regular game, you can't normally profit from item creation feats but this isn't a normal campaign.

The biggest problem I have with any of this stuff is the interpretation that you can tie some irrelevant skill to a magic item and then arbitrarily declare that only people with that skill can use the item. Like requiring swim ranks for a mundane +1 bastard sword. Or knowledge nobility for a bag of holding.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Does anybody know if a Candle of Invocation had the discount applied twice? It seems incredibly cheap for an item with a CL of 17 and the ability to duplicate a 9th level spell (Gate). It also is pretty much only good for Clerics and each candle is tied to a different alignment.

So if the discount WAS applied twice, that throws out the argument that "either" means one but not the other in the context of (p.549) "once you have a cost figure, reduce that number if EITHER of the following conditions apply..."Item requires skill to use"...or..."Item requires specific class or alignment to use".

Sometimes, "either" can be interpreted as "either/and/or".


eris wrote:

That's a neat example with the bag of holding. The only problem I have with it is the 'general rule' regarding the construction of "new" magic items: if it duplicates a magic item that already exists then it isn't a "new" item.

The "blade of the usurper" I'm less enthusiastic about. I agree that such a sword might exist but I don't see a PC making historical swords from 1000 years ago when the PC wasn't from then and doesn't have access to time travel. Also, the problem I'm having with this isn't where you have a sword with various traits that you can justify saying "this is a lawful sword" based on axiomatic qualities and maybe a permanent align weapon spell. The problem I'm having is arbitrarily designating a sword as being "lawful" or "only works if you have ranks in Spellcraft" in order to apply a discount that in my view is not warranted. Also, you will note that a Holy Avenger (which I think qualifies for the discount) doesn't simply refuse to work if you're not a paladin. But it still costs a ton more than a cold iron longsword +2 which is what it is if you're anything but a paladin. So even if it is worth less than a "true" +5 longsword that...

Not that it matters to the math, but you take the 30% off the price of the item, which is then halved to find the crafting cost.

And no, he's not profiting any more from crafting this way because the selling price is also reduced. And no, he cannot control the flow of money even if he tries to set up a storefront and become a full time merchant. You are in control. You determine if people want to buy what he has. You determine if he gets robbed. You determine if the necessary components are even available and at what cost. He can only control his intent. You control result.

And yes, you are quibbling over pennies. By 10th level a player should have in the ballpark of 62k gold worth of stuff. Unless he gets every single craft feat, and you give him years of time in which to craft his gear, he's going to be paying full price for a lot of it (and/or finding it). Let's say he crafts half his gear, which is not terribly likely, he'd end up with an extra 9k gold or so. That's hardly game breaking. And this assumes he keeps every item he crafts. And if you decide this is game breaking, for whatever reason, toning back on a few rewards here or there will spread that out over multiple levels and they won't have any idea you're 'penalizing them.' Invisible penalties are generally much easier to accept than simply being told 'no.'

You say you don't want to arbitrarily penalize the PCs, but you're entire argument is justification for arbitrarily penalizing the PCs. Your argument basically boils down to 'I don't like it,' then trying to justify that stance by irrelevant and false economic theories, even after admitting you like some items that have requirements...


eris wrote:
My problem is of the specific, not the general. I'm running Kingmaker which takes place over a period of decades, not months or the typical one or two years of an adventure path. There is absolutely no reason why my soul-forger PC couldn't open and operate a magic shop if that's what he wants to do during the YEARS of down-time that will take place during this campaign. The reason PC's generally sell stuff at half the market price is because they don't own shops and don't have the luxury of waiting around until a buyer shows up with enough cash to pay full price. That's why they generally sell loot at half price. But given the context there is no reason a PC couldn't sell stuff at market value provided they are patient enough to wait for a buyer. So it isn't like he'll be turning around 1000gp per day, more like once per month.

If you're going to be doing years of downtime you need to come up with a downtime system. The rules aren't written for this type of play. 1,000gp a day assumes perfect conditions, no overhead, etc. Once you start looking at long term you need to take into account a lot of other factors. (Base items have to be masterwork, he's not making them, who is? Who's transporting them, what's he doing with his heaps of gold, is the supply of magic ingredients stable, does he get drafted by some lord to equip his palace guard, is he paying for security, natural disasters, etc, etc) This is not the sort of thing the player should be allowed to just look at the rules and say 'oh, I make 1,000g per day for the 10 years of my downtime!) lol

Not to mention, if he's going for max profitability, restricted items aren't the way to go. So why not let him? He effectively cuts out the majority of his potential buyers. That would have serious repercussions for his profitability.

Lantern Lodge

Personally I think it is easy to fix, the restriction has to make sense in order to be used.

For example a magic item for picking locks could reasonably be restricted to those who truly know how to use it. Or a sword that gives extra lay-on-hands being restricted to paladins because only paladins can use the ability. Fluff can apply here to, the paladin's axe in Goblins for example, the axe was a prison for a great evil thus it attracted, and was most effective in the hands of, paladins so as to keep the evil contained.

If the restriction can't be justified by the use of the item don't allow it, majority of above problems solved.

Note; the book is not written to be a legally binding document, thus was not written to be used 100% RAW. This is a good example of that fact. Just like the pirates code, they are more like guidelines.


Shalmdi wrote:
Goth Guru wrote:
Well, every merchant will try to bill their +2 cold iron longsword as a holy avenger.

No they won't. Anyone that can afford one would be able to tell the difference and would be foolish to drop that much cash without doing so. A merchant caught doing so by a Paladin (His target market with Holy Avengers) could expect to be brought before the local magistrate. However, there will always be people selling "genuine" fakes.

Goth Guru wrote:
Adventurers will have a hard time selling +2 cold iron longswords, unless identify will tell you if it's a holy sword.

Why wouldn't Identify do exactly that? And why would a merchant be dealing in magic items if he couldn't verify their authenticity?

We are getting off-topic, Goth. If you want to debate this further, start a new thread, and I will chime in.

No thank you.

It's not worth it.
I'm sorry I got off topic.
Just forget I said anything about the sale value.
I'm of the opinion that 30% is the max discount this method could get.
Adventuring for materials is all that I can think of that would stack.

Lantern Lodge

I think they should stack and apply to crafting and market value, given my above restriction of course.

Granted you could say that applying a restriction when it doesn't make sense is possible but requires special circumstances, such as limiting a +1 flaming sword to good alignment because it was crafted in a holy forge on a celestial good aligned plane, which going through that much trouble has costs of it's own to make up the difference.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
eris wrote:
My problem is of the specific, not the general. I'm running Kingmaker which takes place over a period of decades, not months or the typical one or two years of an adventure path. There is absolutely no reason why my soul-forger PC couldn't open and operate a magic shop if that's what he wants to do during the YEARS of down-time that will take place during this campaign. The reason PC's generally sell stuff at half the market price is because they don't own shops and don't have the luxury of waiting around until a buyer shows up with enough cash to pay full price. That's why they generally sell loot at half price. But given the context there is no reason a PC couldn't sell stuff at market value provided they are patient enough to wait for a buyer. So it isn't like he'll be turning around 1000gp per day, more like once per month.

Exactly. His products would be the one sold with the economy check of the district. Naturally that mean that other shops will not be selling the "big item" that they have produced in the meantime. And how many taxes he is paying on his sales? His shop? His activity?

All those thing are subsumed in "selling at 50% of the market price" as the shop owner take care of them. when the Pc is the shop owner the situation change.

If he don't pay any tax because he is one of the nation lords the nation is short of those BP and probably he would be hated by the other shop owners as he will be benefiting from a unjust advantage. I would probably apply a 1d4 unrest point generated by each sale if he was getting a position benefit.

Then there is no reason why his item would be the one sold. If there are 3 medium items on sale from different shops, unless he is taking step to remove his competition, he would have a 33% chance that his item is the one picked.

Owning a shop in Kingmaker isn't so simple if you want to make a decent simulation of how it would work.
My solution was to manage it in a abstrcat way:
if your shop sell a minor magic item 8that in reality may represent a lot of everburning torches and 1 bow +1 sold in the month) you get a net profit of 1.500 gp (after all expense are paid) and replace the magical components used in your production.
Selling a medium item get you 3.000 gp, a major one 6.000 gp.
At the same time it generate the regular BP for the kingdom.

A simpler mechanism that work for any character, not only people with crafting feats, is to assume they are working together with some NPC that manage a shop. A PC that has skills that can produce a high return (from craft Jewellery to spellcraft+crafting feats) and work together with a shop owner can make a modified day job check with a net profit of (1d20+total skill bonus)*10 gp each month. To get that the PC should be available for at least half of the month. They aren't employees of the shop owner but freelancer that are called when there is the need.
It can seem low, but what most player forget is that there aren't undred of people with the cash to buy even a +1 weapon. Most sales of a magic shop are potions, alchemical components, scrolls, spell components and low level spells copied from a master grimoire in the shop.

You can find plenty of discussions about this in the Kingmaker section of the forum. Visit it.

Sorry for the digression.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Vestrial wrote:


Not that it matters to the math, but you take the 30% off the price of the item, which is then halved to find the crafting cost.

And no, he's not profiting any more from crafting this way because the selling price is also reduced. And no, he cannot control the flow of money even if he tries to set up a storefront and become a full time merchant. You are in control. You determine if people want to buy what he has. You determine if he gets robbed. You determine if the necessary components are even available and at what cost. He can only control his intent. You control result.

And yes, you are quibbling over pennies. By 10th level a player should have in the ballpark of 62k gold worth of stuff. Unless he gets every single craft feat, and you give him years of time in which to craft his gear, he's going to be paying full...

I'm actually not quibbling over pennies. You haven't done the math. I'm starting to think you're just going to argue against everything I say. I don't know if you just don't like me personally or if you think that because this conversation is taking place on the internet that it simply must be controversial. I am in control to a certain degree. Sure I can have his shop get robbed every other week but after a while when his little shop becomes the most robbed business within 3000 miles he's going to start thinking I'm just being restrictive. If I simply decide that that the necessary components aren't available then I'm actually EARNING that criticism. If the materials aren't available then he can't use his feats at all.

I've already stated that he won't be able to turn around 1000gp per day (more like per month). I was planning on using the rules in the Kingmaker AP for selling items out of shops that the party has founded in their roles as founders of a kingdom. I'm getting tired of your lectures. Do you have anything to say to me aside from that I'm soliciting advice and then ignoring it? I did have a feeling about how I wanted to rule this but I also wanted to hear from some of the bright minds around here. 99% of them agree with me. All except you. So don't act like I'm the one who asks for advice and then ignores it. Most of the DM's on this thread both agree with me and have given me more reasons to agree with my original position.

"You say you don't want to arbitrarily penalize the PCs, but you're entire argument is justification for arbitrarily penalizing the PCs. Your argument basically boils down to 'I don't like it,' then trying to justify that stance by irrelevant and false economic theories, even after admitting you like some items that have requirements..."

This is Paizo, not "flame-war central". I'm not trying to start an argument. And I could do with fewer cutting comments coming from your corner. And seriously, what's this about "false economic theories"? I haven't presented any economic theories so I don't know how I opened myself up to having them called "false". Maybe you assume that all economic theories are false. Maybe you just assume that everything I say is false. Who knows. I'm getting tired of being your whipping boy, though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:

Exactly. His products would be the one sold with the economy check of the district. Naturally that mean that other shops will not be selling the "big item" that they have produced in the meantime. And how many taxes he is paying on his sales? His shop? His activity?

All those thing are subsumed in "selling at 50% of the market price" as the shop owner take care of them. when the Pc is the shop owner the situation change.

If he don't pay any tax because he is one of the nation lords the nation is short of those BP and probably he would be hated by the other shop owners as he will be benefiting from a unjust advantage. I would probably apply a 1d4 unrest point generated by each sale if he was getting a position benefit.

Then there is no reason why his item would be the one sold. If there are 3 medium items on sale from different shops, unless he is taking step to remove his competition, he would have a 33% chance that his item is the one picked.

Owning a shop in Kingmaker isn't so simple if you want to make a decent simulation of how it would work.
My solution was to manage it in a abstrcat way:
if your shop sell a minor magic item 8that in...

Hey, wait. I didn't realize that only one item can be sold each month. Really? I'm just getting started with the kingdom building section (party just just finishing first module). I was thinking since so many buildings produce magic items that they each got a chance to be sold each month. I'll admit I'm pretty new to how all this works. I guess I was just hoping I could use the same rules to rationalize how many items he sells.

Contraire, Diego. Your digression is the whole point of this thread. Thanks for the tip!

Liberty's Edge

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


Step 3 - Sell Valuable Items: You can attempt to sell items that cost more than 4,000 gp through your city’s markets to bolster your kingdom’s Treasury. These can be items you recover during an adventure or they can be magic items currently held by your cities. To sell these items, make an Economy check (DC 20 for minor items, DC 35 for moderate items, and DC 50 for major items). A failed check indicates the item doesn’t sell. Success indicates that the item sells and you can increase your kingdom’s treasury by 2 BP for minor items, 6 BP for moderate items, or 12 BP for major items. You can make one Economy check per city district during each Income phase.[/quote ]

After a time the number of check increase as you build more cities and more districts, bit it is only one check for each district.
Without that limit the kingdom would be extremely rich in months.


I played settlers online till I got sick of the bandits.
In that game you can hire a geologist to find resources. Then you can build a mine. The explorer can find wild meat in the wilderness. He can find treasure chests.
What I'm trying to say is in a normal game world, resources will eventually run out, but you can roleplay gaining more resources.

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