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Advice on Artificer item creation rules?

Advice and Rules Questions

So, I have a player who is trying out the third party Artificer class.


Now, I know a lot of people don't like this class because it was confusing and seemed broken. A bit of research, however was more than enough to clarify most things (no, you can't just put 10 spells on every weird science device) and most of the broken aspects are easily solved by having a decent player/Gm relationship (ZOMG, they could totally mix this spell and that spell and break the game... or they could just not. Because the GM and player agreed not to do silly things like that.)

Once you establish such limits, it seems like an ok class. The only confusion I have is when it comes to item creation.

"At second level, an artificer’s invention ability expands to include the creation of true magic items, even if the artificer does not have access to the prerequisite spells. The artificer must make a successful Craft check (DC 20 + caster level) to emulate each spell normally required to create the item. "

Am I missing something here, or does this make crafting items damn near pointless for a class that is designed to make things? they need to use a craft skill to simulate the spell... what craft skill? Is this a special skill they need to take in addition to each other craft item skill they will need? If so, who would bother doing that?

This means that if a lvl 4 artificer wanted to make a scroll of a lvl 2 spell, they could, at best, have a +12 to a DC 24 roll. THEN they need to actually roll to craft the item? And if they fail at either point, they just wasted time and gold? This is a 60% or higher failure rate and seems way to harsh. Why don't they just use the normal crafting rules? They already built in what to do if you don't have the required spell. Why isn't it just a DC 5 +5 for every spell needing to be replicated?

I am asking because I really feel like I am missing something. I have already told the player they would need separate crafting skills for each type of magical item in addition to the feat, since they do not have spellcraft. Would I be breaking the game if I just let them use the regular DC 5 +5 for each spell required like every other spell caster?

My interpretation
They craft the item using a dc20+ CL of the item. Basically they have a higher craft dc but get to ignore meeting any spell perquisites. I would come up with a list of craft skills and start putting items into categories. For example I might put a magic sword into craft(weaponsmithing) and a belt of str into craft(leather working). I wouldn't call reverting back to the old rules gamebreaking but I would keep in mind that making magic items should be harder for muggles(so a higher dc). Also how hard it is really depends on how many craft skills you divide everything into. IE: craft(blacksmithing) vs craft(armorsmithing) and craft(weaponsmithing). Having to take less craft skills means it is feasible to use skill focus and skill boosting items. Throw in some crafting tricks like picking what spell list hes picking from carefully and limiting item CL and he can do alot.

Lv4 artificer
+3 int
+4 skill points
+3 favored class skill
+2 eldbow grease
+3 skill focus
+5 item bonus
+1 spark of creation trait
+21 by level 4

This also assumes he didn't invest in consumables. Not very expensive to purchase a +5 or even rerolls

Assuming he didn't invest this fully in a particular craft a +16 by lv4 isn't to much to expect still. At that point item creation is a slot machine in his favor. Play often enough and he can make some serious money which is the point of crafting. Also the odds get much better for him the more he invests in craft bonuses
Dc24 vs +16 bonus
35% chance of failure
Fail 0 for double your money 65%
Fail 1 time out of 2 for money back 22.75%
Fail 2 times or more to lose money 12.25%

I see. Makes sense I suppose, though I wonder if the DC is too high. I agree it should be harder for a muggle, however an Artificer isn't really a muggle. They just view magic from a more scientific stand point and infuse it into their devices. In addition, forcing them to invest in separate crafting skills is already a huge disadvantage over the one spellcraft skill casters need (the system actually tells you what craft skill you need for what items). In addition, they would need to spend a feat for each skill focus. I am still new to pathfinder (not my first time GMing, but my first time GMing pathfinder, and I am uncertain what you mean by "+5 item bonus". If that means an item that adds a bonus to a skill, they would need to find such items for each crafting skill as opposed to one that boosts spellcraft. Finally, we also have to take into account that much of the time used for crafting needs to be devoted to building weird science devices so they can't craft as much as others.

Everything you said makes a lot of sense, but when you compare those percentages to a same level wizard that has basically 0% chance of failure, it just seems like a huge penalty for a class designed for crafting. Perhaps starting with a DC 10 and going from there?

Squee913 wrote:
Everything you said makes a lot of sense, but when you compare those percentages to a same level wizard that has basically 0% chance of failure, it just seems like a huge penalty for a class designed for crafting.

Remember that you can "take 10" on crafting rolls. AFAICT most people don't try to craft anything expensive by actually rolling. For instance, with a +16 bonus you can auto-hit DC 26.

I played with this class( loved it. had all my lv1s piled into a special trick and otherwise just kept the other ones seperate. Since, really per machine you do not have many uses perday at all. so in a normal game it evens out just fine and quite often I was using a weapon as well)

As for the crafting section, It was never that much of an issue for me. I mean most magic items fall under weapon, armour, there are random other small random crafts.. but most crafting situations at worst I had 1 point in it +_ all the bonuses. I never really had that much of a trouble.
I can see an occasion or two where this could become problematic- a really obscure craft roll for instance..

But if you're wanting to handle this issue in a different way could allow the player to take "craft magic" and allow it to apply to any spell replacement situation for crafting items. That would allow the person to just have to keep up with 1 craft every level to "keep up the safety net" and then just have the normal crafting for the base items as they want.

i.e. craft weapon to make some random magic blade as per normal. but for the spell replacment section "craft magic" is rolled instead.
I like this b ecause it also represents the artificer's skill in crafting pseudo spells regardless of where they're used later.

oh... the take 10 rule kinda makes my whole argument pointless. So, if my player devotes skill points and feats to it, she should be able to take 10 and make almost anything she has access to. Problem solved! Thanks!

By item bonus I meant that he can craft magic items for boosting his craft skills

cost = 100*bonus^2

Pretty darn cheap way to boost skills. Particularly out of combat skills since you can make them as wearables then just swap them out.

Also I forgot to mention to buy masterwork tools. +2 stacking bonus for really cheap

For craft skills I might take
Craft(blacksmithing)- weapons, armor
Craft(leatherworking)- belts, headbands, bags, etc.
Craft(woodworking)- wands
Craft(alchemy)- potions

These would give access to everything an adventurers normally use, both magical and mundane. Also note that headbands of int give bonus skill points.....

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