Question 1: If I boost my raven familiar so that it is strong enough to carry my own weight, can I use it to lift me around? (not necessarily as a mount but literally fly me around as equipment).
The idea is to cast bull's strength and ant-haul on the raven, and then reduce person on myself (elf). This would make sure my own weight falls within the light load carrying capacity of the raven familiar.
Does this work?
Question 2: Price and cost has always been blurry to me.
If you look at the table for a wizard level 1 spell wand it says that the cost is 750 gp. But the rule text goes on to say this:
"The price of a wand is equal to the level of the spell × the creator's caster level × 750 gp"
Calculating this for a level 1 wizard spells gives a price that is 750 gp. This means that the price for a wand is equal to the cost of a wand of the same level... But as far as I understood it from the craft X feats, the cost is supposed to be half of the price...
I'm curious about this because I'm interesting in knowing how much I'm expected to pay for buying scrolls. Is the price of a scroll twice the cost of scroll as given in the table?
The problem you are having is the definitons of Cost, Price, and Market price.
Cost is the amount you pay to make the item (half the price +material components).
Price is the retail price of the magic.
Market price is Price+material component costs+material item costs (such as masterwork armor).
Take the Ring of Invisibility. Market Price: 20,000gp. If you craft it it has a crafting cost of 10,000gp (no material components).
However, if you look at the Ring of Three Wishes the Market Price is 120,000gp. Its crafting cost is 97,500gp. That breaks down into 45,000gp price (22,500 cost to you) and 75,000gp material component.
For a Wand, Scroll, Potion, you can use the appropriate formula (see below) and then half it to get your cost. Add in the material component cost if any and that is your total cost.
Scroll: Caster Level * Spell Level * 25
Potion: Caster Level * Spell Level * 50
Wand: Caster Level * Spell Level * 750
Raven's are Tiny. You'd have to get yourself one size smaller than that to even be in the ballpark.
Then there is the slight matter of the saddle...
I believe the rules allow a flying creature to still fly as long as it is not encumbered. Since you've figured out a way to make yourself a light load for the bird, it will still be able to fly while carrying your weight (though don't forget to include the weight of a large sack in what it is carrying).
But I don't need a saddle to be lifted in a bag.
Using ant haul + bull's strength makes the raven strong enough to lift around 60 lbs.
Using reduce person on myself makes me light enough to be lifted by the raven.
If I put myself in a bag, can the raven lift this?
You're mistaking ravens for raptors. They do not have grasping feet, only gripping ones.
A basic Raven has a strength of 2. I've looked over the familiar rules, but there doesn't seem to be any boost to a familiar's strength as the master increases in level.
Bull's Strength will increase this strength by +4 to a total of 6. However, it only lasts minutes per level.
Muleback Cords will cause the strength score to be treated as 8 higher for carrying capacity calculation.
Ant Haul will triple the carrying capacity, and lasts hours per level.
Can a set of Muleback Cords be crafted for a Tiny Flying creature ? I'd think so, but it would certainly be a custom item not normally available off the shelf.
Exactly how Muleback Cords stack with Ant Haul might be an issue. I'm going to assume you add 8 to Str and then multiply the resulting load limit by 3.
There's also an issue about flying if the flier is more than lightly encumbered. I won't address it here, but be aware that it exists. For this discussion, I'm going to assume that the flier must stay lightly encumbered.
Some GMs might rule that Ant Haul only works on your ground carrying capacity (see the various threads about the quadruped bonus to carrying capacity and flight).
So, when not under the effect of Bull's Strength
2 (base strength) + 8 (muleback cords) = 10 -> 33lbs. light load limit (from table 7-4) * 3 (Ant Haul)-> 99 /2 for a Tiny biped => 54.5 lbs.
When under Bull's Strength
2 (base strength) + 4 (Bull's Strength spell) + 8 (Muleback Cords) = 14 -> 58 lbs light load limit * 3 (Ant Haul) -> 174 lbs. /2 for a Tiny biped -> 87 lbs.
What does the load weigh ?
From table 7-3, a male elf (the OP doesn't specify) weighs 100 lbs + (2d8)x3 or 148 lbs. worst case.
Now add the gear the elf is carrying. The OP's given us no idea, but since he says this is a familiar raven, we'll assume a wizard or sorceror. Assuming said wizard is str 10 and lightly encumbered, that's 33 lbs., for a total of 181 lbs.
Reduce Person works on equipment too, so that will cut the weight to an eighth.
181 / 8 = 22.6 and a bit (round to 23 lbs).
Since you've said you're not going to mount and ride the Raven, it's simply going to carry you, wear some sort of harness or outfit with reinforced oversized epaulettes that your Raven can sieze in its talons. If this is your familiar, it's smart and can understand you so you many not even have to make Handle Animal checks, but expect it to be making lots of fly checks if you do anything fancy. Don't expect perfect control. Perhaps even Diplomacy checks if appropriate.
You: "Raven, fly me over WWII Schweinfurt."
Raven: "No way, the FLAK is *WAY* to heavy !"
Edit: fixed based on BBT's post below.
My main idea was to use it as a transportation method to allow me to enter a certain castle at night. I'm unable to proceed to the castle while walking because of ZOMBIES.
Yes you're basically spot on, btw, SlimGauge. Level 3 wizard. 10 strength. For the plan I would actually drop my spellbook and all items carried except for my clothes and some minor magic equipment (a wand).
Because the trip is so short and beecause I'm not planning anything fancy the short duration of bull's strength doesn't matter.
If you don't have time to craft the Muleback Cords, can you do it with only Bull's Strength and Ant Haul ?
2 (base strength) + 4 (Bull's Strength) = 6 strength -> 20 lbs or less -> / 2 for tiny biped -> 10 lbs.
Multiply by 3 for Ant Haul -> 30 lbs light load limit.
30 lbs load limit > 23 lbs worst case load.
Golden, if the trip is less than 3 minutes long (3rd level wizard's Bull's Strength duration)
Might want to take that spell book with you, unless you can prepare both spells twice. Otherwise, getting out again if something goes pear-shaped might be a problem.
If the Raven can't grip with his feet, perhaps loop of rope tied in a boline knot that the raven can stick his head through or grasp in his beak ?
Yeah I probably should bring the spellbook as a safety, but I'm not planning to stay there long term. The idea is that if I'm forced to stay there longer I'm going to get caught, and I'd rather be caught without my spellbook. The castle inhabitants are likely to realize it's a spellbook if they catch me.
That's a possible solution actually.
Right now I'm not even sure I'm going to do this, it was just one of several possible plans. My group has gotten into a bit of a problem. All of us, except me, got killed when an infiltration plan backfired. As a result two characters were reincarnated and one player made a new character, so we're far behind on the wealth by level curve, the enemy has our loot, and they're likely equipping our equipment as I type.
That was also why I asked about scroll prices above. We're trying to work out a way to get into the castle to take our stuff back. It's likely we'll have to do something very clever to get our stuff back...