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Ravingdork wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:

Your mom.

Though more seriously in Golarion you could find the trail of souls streaming towards the Boneyard.

Yes, but what are they to an adventurer/planar traveler? Can they even pose a threat, even interact?

I don't know what kind of game you're running, but in my world moms are pretty important.

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
Jo Bird wrote:

Note: "A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a hit."

Always. Neat word. It trumps missing because of AC obviously. Without the word always I wouldn't have given this a second thought. With the word always I'm not so sure.

So, do you also rule that a nat 20 also bypasses concealment? total concealment? why or why not?

I know in my own experience I've had quite a lot of crits that have been negated by displacement and similar effects. I don't see any difference in missing by concealment and missing by crane wing. They both can make an attack that would *normally* hit miss.

Do you people read? Seriously.

How do I rule it? I rule it that a natural 20 misses in the case of concealment, and I rule it that a natural 20 is deflected in the case of Crane Wing.

As I mentioned and figured I had made clear -- I've just literally (due to this thread) been given pause to consider my past rulings on this matter. I have stated that it is an interesting argument, one I had never considered until now. I don't think the argument is wholly without merit.

Consider: a natural 20 is always a hit. That rule is, by the nature of the rule, an exception. It always hits . . . even when it would otherwise miss due to other circumstances, such as missing due to armor class, and perhaps more.

What's the definition of always?

1. At all times; on all occasions.

"On all occasions." Do all occasions not include some occasions?

Concealment offers a miss chance. That's something that "always" doesn't allow by its definition.

Don't get me wrong, I get the argument why the natural 20 would miss. Heck, that's the way I run it, and that's the way I've always ran it. Concealment requires a hit before the defender gets to roll the dice for a miss chance. I've always assumed this was the exception to the rule of a natural 20. But, see, there's nothing really saying that the rule of a natural 20 isn't actually the exception to this concealment rule.

The same goes for Crane Wing. It's really a matter of perspective on which rule is an exception to the other.

To say that the rule of a natural 20 is a general rule and not an exception rule in general is silly. The natural 20 rule is only invoked on a specific occasion -- when the attacker rolls a natural 20. It is an exception rule by its very nature -- it always hits when it otherwise would have missed.

Concealment is obviously a specific rule as well. So is Crane Wing.

In short, if I had a GM that said, "hey, a natural 20 always hits, no ifs, ands or buts," I would be hard pressed to say that there isn't logic buried somewhere in that interesting perspective and interpretation.


Regarding Deflect Arrows: I haven't followed the history of deflect arrows. Is there some RAW text that specifically states that deflect arrows trumps a natural 20? Otherwise, it seems like the same issue as above, and while I've always run it where deflect arrows trumps a natural 20, I'm capable of seeing an interpretation to the contrary.

mcgreeno wrote:

Heck in the description of Weapon Finesse it states that Natural Weapons are considered light weapons.

The bulk of your argument doesn't compel me. However, the above comment does.

I stand corrected.

Natural attacks are considered light weapons officially. The "special" section in the feat description is considered to be additional, unusual facts about the feat. In this case I accept it as additional, unusual facts relevant to the feat.

Cheapy wrote:
Whelp, no use arguing with someone who ignores official clarification.

That's official clarification?

Errata is official clarification. Faq's are official clarification.

James Jacobs saying that pounce doesn't work with iterative attacks isn't official clarification. At best, it tells us that everyone is not on the same page, and that a faq should be established.

Sean Reynolds saying that certain spells can't be cast on eidolons because they are outsiders is not official clarification. It's specifically something that had to be readdressed when folks pointed out the obvious mistake there.

So. Comments, while valuable, aren't official until they hit the faq.

Marius Castille wrote:
Specific trumps general. "A natural 20. . ." is the general rule. Crane style feat is the specific exception. Gotta love an exception-based rules system. ; )

I'm not saying I'm convinced either way, but, uhm, "always" sounds pretty specific to me.

Here's what it doesn't sound like: sometimes, or most of the time.

I'll bet that if Crane Wing was printed before the rule about a natural 20 always hitting folks would be screaming that natural 20's trump Crane Wing. That's all I'm saying.

It's an interesting argument. I don't think the person making it is out in left field, not at all.

Cheapy wrote:

Yes, natural attacks are melee attacks.

If the intent was to only work with manufactured weapons, it would have said so.

If the intent was melee attacks it would have said so. Instead, it says weapon attacks. (Yeah, yeah, I read Sean's post, I just found it more snarky than useful.)

I think it's more than reasonable to say that the attack has to be from a "weapon" listed on the weapon chart somewhere. Manufactured weapons are listed on that chart -- so are unarmed strikes, which, by the way, are specifically called out as being considered light weapons in their description text. How 'bout bites and claws and tails and hair and horns?


I actually find the natural 20 argument interesting. It's never really occurred to me, but reading the natural 20 rule gives me pause. I'm no longer so certain that Crane Wing deflects a natural 20.

Note: "A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a hit."

Always. Neat word. It trumps missing because of AC obviously. Without the word always I wouldn't have given this a second thought. With the word always I'm not so sure.

Hey, I like to check in every few hundred posts or so.

Is there a build up yet?


Instead of gaining the abilities granted by the next level in your character's current class, he can instead gain the 1st-level abilities of a new class, adding all of those abilities to his existing ones. This is known as “multiclassing.”

Of course, you can't.

But if you could I think Monk would be a fun choice. +40 to all saves! Unfortunately, your flurry of blows would cap out at five attacks, and you'd probably run out of monk bonus feats.

We use the fatigue rules in regards to sleeping in armor, yes.

This is more of a general discussion or advice thread isn't it?

Jeraa wrote:

Jason Bulmahn (lead designer)has said the correct DC is 5, not 10.


So we've had a semi-official answer since 2009. Its just never made it into the FAQ or eratta...

I guess he's still looking into it.


Honestly though guys, I am beyond confused.

Below is a message I posted recently in an old thread, but I figure I'll repost it here since some folks are taking a moment to look at this thread, which I greatly, beyond belief, appreciate.

Below, I've quoted gordbond who made a post confessing his confusion after Sean Reynolds made a post that left me realizing I'm more confused than I thought.

gordbond wrote:

it still confuses me. Like a cloak of Endure Elemants by a 5th level wizard is a DC 5 + 5= 10 yes? then he can drop the DC by using lower caster level of 5 + 3 = 8. A DC 8 cloak of endure elements that only cost 1000 gp too.

Is that right. Have i got that correct?

I feel like my players who are doing crafting are getting it very easy. THere is no chance for them to fail their crafting attempts at all.

SInce it uses Spellcraft or Craft (type) they go for spellcraft which is maxed out. so a 5 level wizard could not fail to craft a cloak of endure elements at all. with a spell craft of 10.

is that right????

The above was somewhat answered by Sean Reynolds in that very thread. Sean did only select a part of it to quote when he answered though.

Here is Sean's answer:

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
gordbond wrote:
I feel like my players who are doing crafting are getting it very easy. THere is no chance for them to fail their crafting attempts at all.
That is intentional--as long as they're picking items for which they meet all the prereqs, they should have no chance of failure.

That's giving me the impression that a caster can lower the CL of the item they are crafting, and that the lowered CL will impact the magic item creation DC, as suggested by gordbond in his example.

However, it isn't an outright yes.

Gordbond's post was made because he was confused by an earlier post of Sean's. I admit to being equally confused.

Here is Sean's original post, found in that thread:

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

For many items, the CL provides no benefit except resistance to dispel attempts. A bag of holding is an example of this... its powers aren't based on CL. Thus, the wiz17 could make his bag at CL 9th (the default), CL17th (his own CL), or anything in between. I probably wouldn't let him make it at CL 1st, as secret chest requires CL 9th and the item is based on that, but if he really wanted to I supposed I'd let him. None of these choices affect the price, cost, time, or craft DC in any way, because the CL doesn't affect the item's abilities.

Note, Sean says in this quote that changing the CL does not affect the craft DC in any way.

I am confused by this.

The caster can change the CL of the item being made. The example 17th level wizard can make the Bag of Holding at CL 9, or CL 17, or anything in between.

The craft DC is based on: 5(or 10) + the item's CL. If the caster makes the bag at CL 17 then the craft DC does go up.

I assume Sean is saying that the Craft DC should stay at the default level in a situation like this because the only benefit of having a higher CL is increased resistance to dispel attempts.

What about a level 9 wizard? Can a level 9 wizard increase the CL to 17? It sounds like the answer is no because the level 17 wizard was limited to raising the CL to 17.

But if that's the case does that mean that a level 8 wizard can't craft the bag? Because even if the level 8 wizard can make the DC, and even if the CL isn't a prerequisite the level 8 wizard can't make an item with a higher CL than 8?

But a 3rd level wizard can make a Pearl of Power at CL 5 by taking a +5 to his DC to do so? I get that a 3rd level wizard can do this from this section of the magic item faq:

"He can even try to make a 3rd-level pearl, though the minimum caster level is 5, and he adds +5 to the DC because he doesn't meet the "able to cast 3rd-level spells" requirement."

Absolutely none of this is making a lick of sense to me, seriously. It may just be the headache I have right now, but I'm having a major major disconnect.

gordbond wrote:

it still confuses me. Like a cloak of Endure Elemants by a 5th level wizard is a DC 5 + 5= 10 yes? then he can drop the DC by using lower caster level of 5 + 3 = 8. A DC 8 cloak of endure elements that only cost 1000 gp too.

Is that right. Have i got that correct?

I feel like my players who are doing crafting are getting it very easy. THere is no chance for them to fail their crafting attempts at all.

SInce it uses Spellcraft or Craft (type) they go for spellcraft which is maxed out. so a 5 level wizard could not fail to craft a cloak of endure elements at all. with a spell craft of 10.

is that right????

The above was somewhat answered by Sean Reynolds in this very thread. Sean did only select a part of it to quote when he answered though.

Here is Sean's answer:

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
gordbond wrote:
I feel like my players who are doing crafting are getting it very easy. THere is no chance for them to fail their crafting attempts at all.
That is intentional--as long as they're picking items for which they meet all the prereqs, they should have no chance of failure.

That's giving me the impression that a caster can lower the CL of the item they are crafting, and that the lowered CL will impact the magic item creation DC, as suggested by gordbond in his example.

However, it isn't an outright yes.

Gordbond's post was made because he was confused by an earlier post of Sean's. I admit to being equally confused.

Here is Sean's original post, found in this thread:

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

For many items, the CL provides no benefit except resistance to dispel attempts. A bag of holding is an example of this... its powers aren't based on CL. Thus, the wiz17 could make his bag at CL 9th (the default), CL17th (his own CL), or anything in between. I probably wouldn't let him make it at CL 1st, as secret chest requires CL 9th and the item is based on that, but if he really wanted to I supposed I'd let him. None of these choices affect the price, cost, time, or craft DC in any way, because the CL doesn't affect the item's abilities.

Note, Sean says in this quote that changing the CL does not affect the craft DC in any way.

I am confused by this.

The caster can change the CL of the item being made. The example 17th level wizard can make the Bag of Holding at CL 9, or CL 17, or anything in between.

The craft DC is based on: 5(or 10) + the item's CL. If the caster makes the bag at CL 17 then the craft DC does go up.

I assume Sean is saying that the Craft DC should stay at the default level in a situation like this because the only benefit of having a higher CL is increased resistance to dispel attempts.

What about a level 9 wizard? Can a level 9 wizard increase the CL to 17? It sounds like the answer is no because the level 17 wizard was limited to raising the CL to 17.

But if that's the case does that mean that a level 8 wizard can't craft the bag? Because even if the level 8 wizard can make the DC, and even if the CL isn't a prerequisite the level 8 wizard can't make an item with a higher CL than 8?

But a 3rd level wizard can make a Pearl of Power at CL 5 by taking a +5 to his DC to do so? I get that a 3rd level wizard can do this from this section of the magic item faq:

"He can even try to make a 3rd-level pearl, though the minimum caster level is 5, and he adds +5 to the DC because he doesn't meet the "able to cast 3rd-level spells" requirement."

Absolutely none of this is making a lick of sense to me, seriously. It may just be the headache I have right now, but I'm having a major major disconnect.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Herein is my understanding of how the magic item creation system works. I know a lot of you folks don't believe the system works this way, but so far this is what I've taken from the text.

I've done quite a few searches on this issue. I've found precious little in the RAW to compel me to believe otherwise. This is not to say that it doesn't exist, only that I have not found it.



Note that all items have prerequisites in their descriptions.

***These prerequisites*** must be met for the item to be created. Most of the time, they take the form of spells that must be known by the item's creator (although access through another magic item or spellcaster is allowed). The DC to create a magic item increases by 5 for each prerequisite the caster does not meet. The only exception to this is the requisite item creation feat, which is mandatory. In addition, you cannot create potions, spell-trigger, or spell-completion items without meeting its prerequisites."

The context of this paragraph tells us what prerequisites may be ignored by adding 5 to the DC of the creation. Specifically, it is talking about the prerequisites in the construction area of the item's description.

1. All items have prerequisites.
2. Those prerequisites (the ones in the item's description) must be met.
3. If they're not met (the prerequisites in the item's description) then the DC is increased by 5 for each not met.

Sean K. Reynolds wrote:
"Caster level is only a prerequisite for creating the item IF the caster level is LISTED in the Requirements section of the item (for an example, see amulet of mighty fists)."

1. This tells us that the caster level is only one of those prerequisites IF it is listed in the requirement section of the item (meaning in the construction area).

The Magic Item Creation text continues in a new paragraph.

"While item creation costs are handled in detail below, note that normally the two primary factors are the caster level of the creator and the level of the spell or spells put into the item. A creator can create an item at a lower caster level than her own, but never lower than the minimum level needed to cast the needed spell. Using metamagic feats, a caster can place spells in items at a higher level than normal."

I see zero provision for ignoring this if the minimum caster level is not included in the construction area of the item. As Sean K. Reynolds wrote, it is not a prerequisite of the item when it is not listed in the construction area. Instead, it is a fact of creation per the base rules -- the minimum caster level can never be lower than the minimum level needed to cast the needed spell. Granted, you don't have to have the spell, but you have to be high enough level to cast it.

Since the minimum caster level needed is not a prerequisite it can not be avoided with a +5 to the DC.

I am aware of no method that allows the caster to set the caster level at a higher level than their own. So, I am aware of no method that allows a caster to create an item with a minimum caster level (due to the level of the spell the item creation is based around) higher than their current level.

Of course, this is not an issue if the minimum caster level is listed in the prerequisite section of the item . . . it is then easily avoided by adding +5 to the DC of the creation.

Of course, if there is a rule that allows the caster to set a caster level higher than their own then this concern is alleviated. In that case the caster could meet the minimum caster level of the item without actually meeting the minimum caster level of the item.

I am not saying that the magic item creation rules definitely work this way. There could easily be a quote somewhere in opposition to what I'm saying. However, I haven't seen any compelling evidence otherwise. The closest I've seen is people cherry picking the bit about avoiding prerequisites out of context, and assuming that prerequisites mean more than what is listed in the item's construction area.


Regarding magic weapons and armor: this issue is heavily debated, and there is no general consensus. I would say that a large percentage of the gaming community feels that this issue is, at best, ambiguous. What's more, the staff at Paizo has failed to respond to this oft asked question for at least a couple of years now. At least it seems so from what my searches have garnered.

Consider this: the DC needed to make a +1 sword would be the same as making a +5 sword.

DC = 5 or 10 (depending on whether you take the value listed on page 548 or 112) + 1 (caster level of the item; since you can lower the CL to the minimum spell level needed you dump it to one) + 5 (for not meeting the "special" prereq) = 11 or 16

A level one wizard, with enough money, can craft either of these swords by taking ten, regardless of the 5 or 10 plug needed to build the DC.

That's ridiculous, it doesn't even sound right.

What makes a lot more sense is that the weapon's special prerequisite is reflected as the minimum caster level needed to construct the item. That makes the DC's different at least. And, assuming a caster can't elevate the CL of an item past their own level, it forces the caster to wait until a reasonably appropriate time in his or her career to begin trying to work on more and more complicated items.

Mistwalker wrote:

Ah, so if the group does not provide for some wands of CLW or such, then it is their tough luck if they need it and don't have it, even if the crafter used part of my wealth to make some for themselves, no one would have any trouble if they keep those wands strictly for their use? Somehow I don't see that working out well.

The above reads somewhat like gibberish to me. I'm having trouble making out exactly what you're saying.

1. No one should use your wealth for you.
2. Unless you give it to them to do just that.
3. Instead, the crafter has taken your money.
4. Under the pretense that it's for a crafted item.
5. And then supposedly spent hundreds of thousands of gold.,
6. On cure light wounds and stuff.
7. Why didn't the crafter give you the item at cost?
8. And then say, "hey, I think we need to spend party treasure on cure potions, and wands."
9. That way you, as an adult, get to decide where your share of money goes.

You are failing to see the level of obscene wealth the crafter is making.

Mistwalker wrote:

"Come on cleric, I know your out of spells and channels, but you can use your wands of CLWs, Lesser Restoration and Invisibility to get us out of here."
"Sorry fighter, you turned down my request for the party to fund my making these wands, so you are out of luck. Good luck and bye." Activates wand of invisibility.

Getting your party to work together does not require an overall redistribution of wealth so the crafter has far more wealth.

Mistwalker wrote:

Democracy is not always the best system for adventuring. I have been in groups where something similar to what I wrote above happened. The cleric had to extract an oath of getting a refund, to be sure that they would get back their gold.

The party can choose a party leader if they want. If the crafter is trying to take your money to decide how to use it for you then you have to decide if you want to do that. Not the crafter, and certainly not under the false pretense of charging you more than base cost.

Mistwalker wrote:

Not sure if I have missed something, but I thought that the question was one about power level, that you were saying that the crafter would skyrocket past the other because they had so much more magical gear and more powerful magical gear. Now you seem to be talking about straight wealth.

I'm still talking about the crafter skyrocketing in power because of inflated wealth.

I'm telling you that the extra wealth being gained is far more than what is required to outfit a familiar. And, on some level, I'm telling you that I don't have a clue what your example is trying to say.

If you have a familiar and a cohort, and think you need extra money to outfit both, well, you're the one that's stretched yourself too thin. That's part of the deal with having a familiar and a cohort.

If the party elects to help you out with the outfitting of your familiar, and your cohort then that's fine. Your party can do so if they want. But the game does not dictate that they have to make your build easier to accomplish with their gold. Their gold is there to outfit themselves, and to outfit any cohorts or familiars they take.

Mistwalker wrote:

Power wise, what does it matter if one fighter has a +2 sword and the other has a +2 work of art engraved sword (worth an extra 5000 gp)?

This is irrelevant to the point of whether or not the crafter should charge more than it costs to make. It is irrelevant in terms of how much extra money the crafter is getting.

The players are free to spend their money however they want. They are free to spend it in a manner that is effective, and they are free to spend it in a manner that is not effective.

Peter Stewart wrote:
I think the point you all continue to miss is that it isn't taking the feat this is an enormous burden. It is shouldering everyone else's crafting for free.

Boo hoo?

I don't know what to tell you.

It's not for free. You get party treasure out of adventuring -- not to mention survivability. You get all of that for some preliminary prep work.

I'm a firm advocate of allowing the player to use a feat in whatever dumb manner they want. I believe a crafter doesn't have to craft for fellow party members if they don't want to. Is that an effective use of the feat? Heck no. But it's something they can choose to do, just like another character can choose to use a feat poorly somewhere else. It's all a part of the learning curve.

However, trying to up-charge PCs for your services -- that's cheating the system, and meta gaming.

Mistwalker wrote:

So, the skilled character can make 4000 gp extra a year, during downtime, while the crafter cannot charge a single extra gold piece for his year of work?

I know which I would consider greedier, and it is not the crafter.

I have no idea what you're talking about, really.

The crafter: if the crafter charges extra then the crafter is making obscene amounts of money -- far more than any profession skill can accrue over generations.

The crafter is violating the rule that says that magic items are sold at half cost, and is meta gaming to do so by taking advantage of his or her knowledge that PCs can spend more than everyone else in the world.

The crafter is also double dipping for benefits. The most important benefit is getting a 50% cost break on creating items. This leads to the benefit of being stronger on adventures, which helps to secure the rewards of treasure, i.e. payment.

When the crafter decides they want to get more money by charging more than base cost they are double dipping to get extra benefit, and effectively meta gaming because they know darn well that they can't upcharge anyone else; nope, no one else, just their friends/adventuring business partners. When you think about it it's pretty despicable.

Practicing your skill, following the rules in the book for that skill, and taking your income after rolling your d20 -- that's not greedy. The income here is most certainly deserved, after all, the player is following the rules of the game.

Mistwalker wrote:

Again based on the numbers someone else provided (no, I didn't check them :)), that means that at the end of twenty years, when everyone had their full quota of magical gear, each of the other three would be 80,000 gp richer than the crafter. And the crafter still isn't allowed to charge a single extra gold piece?

You are arbitrarily assuming a time frame of twenty years. I have no idea why.

You are arbitrarily assuming a return of 4,000 gold pieces a year. I have no idea why.

Regardless, this figure comes nowhere near the amount achievable through the sell of magic items at inflated prices.

In addition, the crafter is free to practice a profession as well. Though that would be silly since the extra gold (50%) the crafter is saving by following the rules is already substantially more than the profession skill brings to the table.

Mistwalker wrote:

Also, please note that the Core Rule Book, page 140, says that generally items can only be sold at 50% if their value. I do not interpret that as can only, ever, be sold at 50%. Could you provide me with a reference where it does state that?

That's one of the silliest questions possible. I'm somewhat disappointed that you've asked it. It makes me wonder why I'm spending time in this debate.

Can you provide me with a reference where it allows you to sell items at a rate higher or lower than 50%?

See, I've already provided you with the quote where you can sell items at 50%. Generally pretty much means without regard to particulars or exceptions. Paizo has left open the possibility for exceptions. But Paizo has yet to provide any exceptions beyond rule 0.

It's clear to anyone who reads the system that the game is designed to only allow a modest income from not adventuring. It does so to provide players with an incentive to adventure.

I don't understand why all of this is so hard for some of you guys to get.

Talonhawke wrote:

Profession covers menial work if thats the case then the shop owner can't be making near what he makes for his items. I'm not asking for a wage I'm selling my items to him at a boosted cost so he can sell his those items for even more than he pays me for them in total profit.

Thats where diplomacy comes in.

Again, that's not how diplomacy works. It does not allow you to sell your items at a "boosted" cost.

Talonhawke wrote:
Jo Bird wrote:
Talonhawke wrote:
After reading through this if i were the party wizards i would point the party to a magic shop and let them spend full price if they are against spending 75% and the time i could be crafting for them i can spend on myself or even contact the magic shop and co-op my crafting to help him fill the parties orders and still make myself some money for what i do.
And how do you intend to make money working for the shop? Through your profession skill? Great. Here's a handful of coins.
Diplomacy he now has orders to fill for my party i offer my services to the shop wizard for 20% or even 15% of the cost still netting him 30%-35% and he gets his money faster.

Are you even remotely serious?

Yeah, I use my diplomacy skill to make people pay me more than profession skill is worth. That makes sense.

I don't know who's running that game, but that's not how diplomacy works.

Talonhawke wrote:
After reading through this if i were the party wizards i would point the party to a magic shop and let them spend full price if they are against spending 75% and the time i could be crafting for them i can spend on myself or even contact the magic shop and co-op my crafting to help him fill the parties orders and still make myself some money for what i do.

And how do you intend to make money working for the shop? Through your profession skill? Great. Here's a handful of coins.

FuelDrop wrote:

Jo Bird (sorry to single you out, but your large post is what prompted the question)

No problem, I will answer to the best of my ability.

FuelDrop wrote:

just curious here, but if the crafter is spending days/weeks/months crafting as a not-for-profit organisation...

Please bear in mind, I am not advocating that the crafter has to craft for the party. That would be a personal decision the crafter makes, just like it would be a personal decision if the crafter did not craft anything, electing instead to put points in a profession skill, and practice it in lieu of crafting.

FuelDrop wrote:

...and the rest of the party is using that time and their skill focus: profession (basket weaver) to make money over that time, is that still fair for the poor sod stuck in a lab and losing money (from cost of living if nothing else)?

1. They're not making an obscene amount of money doing so.

2. The crafter can elect to do the same if the crafter wishes.

FuelDrop wrote:

sure, the amount of money a profession skill is raking in isn't going to compare to a quarter of the magic item price, but they're effectively getting wealth without any party contribution...

Remember, they are doing so by using the rules. They have put points into their skill, and they are receiving income via the core rules of the game.

The fact that the income they are receiving is negligible is relevant. It gives us insight into the design of the game, and gives us a sense of how much money non-adventuring time should be able to accrue.

FuelDrop wrote:

...while the mage is benifiting the party by giving them the custom items they want.

It is up to the crafter. The crafter can give the party equipment; the party can give him or herself equipment. Or the crafter can engage in another activity.

FuelDrop wrote:

so, on a purely selfish note, does that make skill focus: profession a better feat than craft magical item? (not a very serious question, but the point still lingers)

Using a skill in the manner intended in the game does not make one selfish.

Crafting items and actively trying to gain wealth from doing so even when the Core Rules tell us you shouldn't is arguably greedy.

Ruggs wrote:

MW: no worries. Just wanted to see where things were. This is a debate that tends to raise some blood pressure.

To the OP: What were your thoughts on the legacy item concept?

Honestly, between making reply posts, and tending to business and family . . . I've totally missed the legacy item post.

I'll go back through some posts to find it.

I think this thread is going somewhat into the category of general discussion, but that's probably alright considering the barbarian thread here in the advice forum, :), so I'll keep going.

Mistwalker wrote:

I would like to point out that from what I understand of the RAI of selling for 50%, it was to stop a crafter from being able to obtain obscene wealth - making an item, selling it, making two selling them, making four, selling them, etc... It was not put in place to control how PCs sell or exchange services between themselves.

My position is that the caster is attaining obscene wealth through the above cost sale of magic items to party members.

Mistwalker wrote:

There were a few points that I would appreciate having your thoughts on, so I cut and pasted them (and expanded one or two a bit).

I will gladly offer my thoughts here.

Mistwalker wrote:

As Sean mentioned above, some groups distribute treasure based on who can most effectively use the items, or who has the biggest need for them. Often, this means that one PC has 60-75% of the group wealth. Does this mean that that PC should be punished somehow, because they have skyrocketed past the wealth of the others?

To start, I don't advocate punishing PCs at all. I'm sorry if that is the impression that I've given. I want to make sure the game is enjoyable for everyone, and when I see a potential dichotomy of wealth I worry that problems may be forthcoming.

I think it's an exception to the rule when parties decide to concentrate their wealth on a single character. It obviously creates an imbalance in individual wealth, but the players are very aware of what they are doing. That tells me that the players are not going to have hurt feelings, or jealousy issues when they notice that the item laden member of the group is getting more overall glory in combat scenes.

In my experience, which I consider relatively educated, most players do not enjoy playing in a game alongside someone else who has more power. The lower powered party members tend to act out, and rock the gaming boat.

Also in my experience, it is more difficult to run challenging scenes for players of disparate power levels. The fight will either be too easy for the person with all the gear, or too hard for the folks without enough gear, causing an unnecessary risk of PC death.

Players are allowed to split their wealth however they want. I've just never been convinced that doing so unevenly is a good idea.

Mistwalker wrote:

Again, this is applying a very broad negative brush stroke to everyone (tar and feathering), saying that if you charge more than 50% for magic creation, then you are greedy. I object very strongly to that.

I view the party treasure as the reward for actions that strengthen the party. I think asking for more than an equal share of the party treasure is, by nature and definition, greedy.

I'm using this word to paint it clearly for folks who might think that the crafter is doing them a solid. It's a matter of perspective, and when you start to see it as it is - being paid twice - then you start to realize just how poor it is as a form of behavior.

Granted, it's not necessarily greedy if the crafter gets the extra gold and gives it all away to charity, but I don't think that's the most likely end result.

Mistwalker wrote:

Some groups have a group pool to purchase expendable, like wand of cure light wounds (CLW). Not all groups do this.
So, you are saying that if the crafter charges extra to make magic items and uses the extra wealth to make a few wands of CLW, Lesser Restoration, etc... they are greedy?
Or if they make a staff with Communal Mount, Communal XXX spell, they are being greedy?

I think that parties should decide what they collectively combine their funds for.

This example seems to highlight the crafter as a governing body. It is like when the government takes taxes from you to fund a public school for your child to go to. They take your money, then they decide how to use it best for your benefit.

Well, the crafter isn't the governor. He or she doesn't need to take your money to use it on something you need for you. You can do that yourself. And if the crafter is doing it under the pretense of selling you a magic item, well, the crafter is really just trying to take control of how your money is spent for your benefit. It's somewhat insulting.

Mistwalker wrote:

NPC Crafter suggestion. Please note that I suggest this as a solution if the PC was being greedy and/or the wealth distribution was starting to cause problems. This was not suggested as a default setting, nor do I believe that it should happen unless the player is unwilling to adopt a reasonalble approach and that there is a problem.

I get why this suggestion was made, and where it's coming from. I just think that it unduly harms the crafter, and I don't really like the idea of punishing players as a solution; I greatly prefer stopping the problems before they develop as opposed to after.

Mistwalker wrote:

If the crafter is making items for their familiar, companion, etc.. so that there is a bigger chance of survival in any encounter, or even to allow the familiar/companion to better make use of wands of CLWs (or lesser restoration or invisibility or etc) to help the group, I don't see how this would be a problem for the group or how the wealth of the crafter would be considered skyrocketed past the others. Also, this would agree with your goal of helping the group.

The thing is, we're talking about hundreds of thousands of gold pieces in different levels of wealth. We're not talking about just enough to outfit a cohort, or a familiar. Hundreds of thousands, maybe over a million if there are enough party members in the scenario.

I think that an even distribution of that wealth tends to promote smoother, more successful games.

In real life our economy is not a zero sum game. I don't believe in a redistribution of wealth in real life. Gaming is a different story. There is only so much wealth going around; it is a zero sum game. One man's rise does, in gaming mechanic, dictate another man's fall. In other words, because you have more money, I have less. Selling items at 75% only provides the illusion that that is not true.

Mistwalker wrote:

Also, I am curious to what you would say to a crafter that only crafted for themselves. They are not taking any gold from other PCs, but eventually, they will be ahead in wealth - they will have twice as much wealth as the others in the group.

I am perfectly fine with a caster that only crafts for themselves. I don't think it's the most effective use of their feat, but it is their choice. A fighter can decide when to use Power Attack. A crafter should be able to decide when to use Craft Magical Arms and Armor.

But it doesn't mean that they will have twice as much wealth. You have to remember that the other players will have a multitude of items that they found as treasure, and that treasure is represented as having half value items, just like items crafted.

So, the gap isn't as magnificently wide.

Mistwalker wrote:

Additional questions/comments
You are saying that services, regardless of the time taken are of equivalent value. I have a problem with this. Because it only takes you, the player a few moments to go through months of downtime, doesn't mean that it would have the same effect to the PC. I consider that metagaming.

I'm saying that the payment for services is received via party treasure. Trying to quantify services to the group beyond that is impossible, and arbitrary at best.

First, we have to assume a relative balance exists in Pathfinder, and that forces us to accept that a relative balance exists in the feats within the system. You can take this feat, for example, or you can take that one. They are equal, at least in terms of being able to select them. The financial reward for taking them should be comparable. The effectiveness of taking them is another story -- the reward for effectiveness is survivability.

How do you quantify the value of the guy who always gets hurt when compared to the value of someone that always comes out unscathed? The one that gets hurt a lot surely goes through more agony, but that doesn't mean they get a higher share of the treasure.

Mistwalker wrote:

You seem to be spending a lot of time saying that the only reason a crafter would charge more is because they are greedy, both the player and the PC. Why is that?

PC: charging more than base cost is a way to make more money than the already significant level of treasure being received for doing business with your respective party members. Trying to get that extra gold is greedy by definition. It is "wishing to possess more than one needs or deserves."

It's more than one needs because the PCs are already wealthy by all the standards of society, and it is more than one deserves because the point of making the item is to further the survivability of the party to attain even more wealth via treasure rewards.

PLAYER: the player knows the mechanic of the game. The player knows that a wealth by level chart exists. At least, the vast majority of players know this. This is one of the few ways to violate that chart, and it is exceptionally hard for the GM to correct because the GM can't just lower the treasure on everyone. Correcting this behavior requires the GM to become heavy handed, and thus a lot of players get away with it.

The group as a whole is more effective if everyone is paying the base cost; that way everyone gets more gear. If you charge them more than base cost only you are getting the lion's share of more gear. You have given up total group effectiveness for more personal gear; all under the guise of helping your fellow party members by charging them "less" than full price; a price you could never get from anyone else.

To me, that is most certainly metagaming. It is charging the only people in the world that have the capability of paying you more than 50%.

Mistwalker wrote:

I have suggested a few reasons why that would not be the case, but I am not sure if you missed them or disregarded them because they may refute your argument.

I have responded to all of the scenarios I have seen.

Again, it's not necessarily greedy if you give all the money away to charity, but I don't think that's happening enough in this situation to warrant inclusion.

And buying party gear with the excess gold is just exercising power over the party by creating a situation in which they spend their money on what you deem is appropriate.

Finally, outfitting your familiar would be fine except I don't think it acknowledges the significant level of disparity in wealth.

I'm thinking the best 1 level generic dips are probably:

Barbarian: for the rage. This works better as a two level dip so you can get rage powers.

Monk: for the flurry of blows, assuming you can use a Temple Sword, and saving throw boost.

Master of Many Styles: for the crane style (Crane Wing specifically), and for the saving throw boost.

Oracle: there are some nice revelations worth taking as a dip. Surprising Charge as an example.

Sorcerer, Crossblooded: this works well with other spell-casters when you combine bloodlines that give bonus damage.

Fighter: for the bonus feat.

Mistwalker, it's difficult to respond to you and Peter at the same time. I've tried to make sure some of my responses to Peter below are relevant as responses to you as well, but if I have missed any of your points it was an oversight, and not intentional. Please let me know.

Peter Stewart wrote:

Right, and the wizard doesn't charge the party when he hastes them, or when he quickens spells on adventures, or when he empowers spells. This has nothing to do with actions taken while adventuring. Crafting goes way beyond working together while on an adventure. This entire example is superfluous.

Simply put, I disagree.

One feat is as valuable as any other feat to the party. Let me phrase this another way: the other party members don't charge you for any of the resulting benefits of feats they use; there's no reason for you to charge them because your feat takes a long time to use.

Crafting is entirely about working well together while on an adventure. It's prep work for adventures to come.

Peter Stewart wrote:

Except you are discounting that the PCs are still getting a benefit. If the crafter is spending months of his life doing magic item crafting he should reap some reward.

He is reaping some reward. It's called party treasure.

When the crafter does this he is abusing the system by meta determining who he can sell items to at inflated prices, i.e. the PCs.

Let me refer you to page 140 of the Core Rulebook. Therein, it says:

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."

It's arguable to begin with whether a GM should let players purchase from players at rates higher than this, but since PCs are PCs there is a general understanding that they can toss their coins wherever they want.

But that doesn't mean that the crafter is not violating the "selling treasure" rule on page 140. The PCs are not running stores, they are engaging in a group adventuring career.

Peter Stewart wrote:

Yes.... I'm not sure what this is getting at, unless it is continuing your earlier train of thought.

I am pointing out two things here.

1. These are the ways you can make money outside of adventuring by the design of the game. These are not just some of the ways. They are the ways. Crafting Magic Items: guess what? Not one of the ways.

2. The returns offered here are modest. The design of the game gives us a ballpark of how much money characters should be able to make outside of adventuring. Selling magic items to player characters for extra coins establishes a return far beyond the amount allocated for such activities by the design of the game.

Peter Stewart wrote:

Right, but working together on adventures and spending months of your life in a lab working on magic items for someone else for free are entirely different. This is more akin to asking the rogue to take over the thieves guide for the wizard out of the goodness of his heart, or the fighter to go fight a war for him.

The idea that the work is "for free" ignores the benefit received during adventures.

Using fluff to elevate the status of a feat beyond other feats is specious. What you're refusing to acknowledge here is the mechanic of the system -- you are actively turning your cheek on balance issues, as well as blatantly ignoring the rewards that come from crafting the items.

This argument would have far more merit if you were making items for someone you would never see again, for someone who would not aid you in destroying the lich lord of wherever, and further help you loot the lair. In other words, you're helping yourself already; by charging extra for your time you're helping yourself twice.

Peter Stewart wrote:

Not... really true at all in my experience. Most of the time the non-crafters have their own goals and desires in life, be it visiting loved ones, romancing people, starting businesses, building strongholds, chasing down leads for new adventurers, or just relaxing after facing death.

You don't painstakingly go through each of these moments. You tell the players such and such happens, and you might run a few roleplaying scenes. If you do more than that, then you're still probably working on the first few years of downtime you've come across.

I don't see why a crafter can't have a romance while crafting. I don't see why they can't throw funds toward the building of a stronghold, even if they're not hammering and nailing themselves.

I don't see your point at all.

Bottom line: the crafter isn't really missing out on anything. And the crafter is choosing to craft whatever he or she is working on, and probably for a good reason; specifically, because crafting the item in question is going to be beneficial down the line during actual adventures.

Peter Stewart wrote:

The caster isn't taxing anyone. He's offering a service. If you want cheaper magic items you can have me do the crafting for you. There is nothing requiring the other players to take the wizard up on his offer.

The rules establish the crafter's ability to charge 50% of the value of the item crafted. Demanding more than that is a burdensome charge, and a tax by definition. But I don't want to get into an argument of semantics.

The point is players offer one another services all the time. It's par for the course. Their payment for offering those services is in successfully surviving to claim the treasure at the end of the day.

The idea that it takes you "months" (the time frame depends on the value of the object, not everything takes "months") doesn't make it more of a service than all the services you're receiving under the same social (party) compact.

Peter Stewart wrote:

And again, stop comparing crafting to using power attack. One is an action that takes a moment in the course of an adventure in which everyone is fighting towards a common goal. The other requires weeks and months of downtime and requires one person locking themselves in a lab to make nice things for the others. Your comparison is like saying "I shopping with you so you have to do all the cooking and cleaning for us for the next six weeks".

What are you crafting for if not a common goal?

Again, whatever the feat or class ability: you are all trading services for the future gains of treasure. Asking for more money on top of that because one of your feats happens to take longer than other feats is poor thinking at best, and avarice at worst.

Peter Stewart wrote:

Just as the wizard probably casts spells for free. But again, crafting items is a whole different magnitude of commitment. In most cases you are comparing a standard action or a couple minutes with weeks and months.

Another way to say that is that I am comparing a service to a service.

I think that you are over valuing your service here because of the time it takes you. You are neglecting to notice the end reward of treasure, and trying to shake down other party members by offering them a supposedly good deal.

This is happening for one of two reasons:

1. You don't know any better because you're stuck in a self-righteous moment.
2. You are actively trying to get paid twice and hoping everyone else is too stupid to realize it.

Peter Stewart wrote:

You are making an assumption here that the wizard's power is going to skyrocket. I've already outlined above how this probably won't become a real issue, and how the DM can easily manage it without bludgeoning the PCs if it starts to become an issue.

If you are incapable of noticing or acknowledging the potential for the crafter's power to skyrocket then I don't know what to tell you. If anyone has outlined the potential danger there, I have.

As far as your solution to curtail the problem if it arises, well, I haven't seen an effective solution mentioned by you.

The fact is, it can create balance issues. The fact is, it can get high powered items in the game earlier. The fact is, challenges are tied directly into the wealth of the party. The fact is, one party member with a lot more gear is going to be more powerful, and is going to hamper the enjoyment of a great deal of players. Whether your players would be hampered by that or not is moot to the issue.

Peter Stewart wrote:

First of all, you have no idea if it is out of character. You have no details about the character relationships in question, and you are going way out on a limb here with your assumption. Second, telling someone they make enough money and should do something for you is never going to go over well. "Say Bill, you have this business that is making lots of money, so I feel you should build my house at cost. I know you could do other things in that time, and I know you'll have to spend that time away from your family, but really you owe me, after all when we all got in that bar fight last week I was there to fight with you." Good luck with that.

I don't know where to start here.

1. I know there is out of character motivation because the player knows they can't sell their items to anyone else. That is a meta decision. "Hmmm. So, I can't sell my items for profit over there, I know, I'll sell them to the other PCs." That is out of character thinking.
2. As an adventuring party the characters are pretty much equal members in a business -- the business of adventuring, and the treasure is their profit.
3. The characters don't just help each other out in bar fights. They fight dragons and whatnot.

Peter Stewart wrote:

Third, I find the argument that this is purely done for OOC reasons like cheating the wealth to be laughable. I can think of plenty of IC reasons why I might charge you something for my time.

I didn't say it was done purely for out of character reasons. I said that out of character greed has an impact on the choice to do it.

I'm confident that in character reasons exist to do it. Heck, I mentioned one. Greed, and the desire to get paid twice for the same service.

Peter Stewart wrote:

How is this a slap in the face? He is getting what he wanted out of it - lower item prices.

It's a slap in the face because:

1. If there were going to be discounts in the game then the player wouldn't have taken the crafting feat -- he or she would have taken a different feat, and
2. If there are only discounts because he or she took the feat then he or she has less incentive to use the feat because it's easier to get the NPC to do it while the PCs are adventuring. This means the player has less reason to justify spending downtime crafting to enjoy the flavor of making their own items.
3. Everyone gets the feat for free except the PC who actually took it. While I don't think the crafter should make items at marked up rates, I do think that the crafter should make whatever they want to make.

Peter Stewart wrote:

Again, you don't generally spend months of your life gathering information. Further, acquiring quest leads generates quests that you want to go on together. Crafting items is a whole different ball game.

It's only a different ball game because of your specious logic. You avoid the real pay off of using the feat, and you lean heavily on the crutch of downtime to make your points.

In short, it's a service being traded for other services -- the payment of which is the treasure achieved while using the items.

Peter Stewart wrote:

In short, I disagree with all ten of your points.

In short, I don't find you commentary compelling.


A final note here:

I don't think a PC should ever have to create an item for another PC. A fighter gets to decide when he or she uses Power Attack. A crafter should be able to decide when he or she uses Craft Whatever Item.

That being said, there are times when it will be beneficial to use feats, and there are times when it will probably be beneficial to craft items for other PCs. But that doesn't make it mandatory, just smart.

I think someone mentioned that the crafter's gold piece value in magic items would be higher even if they didn't craft items for other party members. Yes, that is true. But if you look at the numbers you will find that the difference isn't as extreme. I believe that marginal separation exists as a boon to the PC, and it isn't enough to create crazy levels of disparity.

Sean Mahoney wrote:

So I am curious of two situations then. Would you guys who are opposed to this also have a problem with:

1) A character taking a feat that doesn't really help out the party. Maybe the rogue took Skill Focus (Profession: Chef). Is this wasting party resources because he didn't take something that benefited everyone?

2) Would the wizard still be a jerk if he said, "Sorry, I don't have time to craft that for you Barbarian, I am busy crafting stuff for myself?" That is to say if the PC only crafted for himself and just didn't offer the service to other players. He is still making the group more effective as his character is more effective and that helps the group (just like the Barbarian who took power attack is helping the group by being more effective himself in combat).

Sean Mahoney

Some Quick Answers: I reserve the right to change them after thinking about it more.

1. No. My concern deals more with balance issues created when the wealth by level system is violated; the CR system is inevitably compromised.

So, if the chef started charging exorbitant prices, then yes, I would worry.

2. It is the crafter's choice who to make items for. In the end, I think it will likely be beneficial for the crafter to make items for other party members, but if they don't, then they've received ample reward just doing it for themselves.

See, the crafter can only make as many items as the crafter has coins to do so.

The argument against charging other players boils down to:

Fighter: "I don't charge you when I use Power Attack."
Cleric: "I don't charge you when I use Selective Channeling."
Bard: "I don't charge you when I use Leadership."
Barbarian: "I don't charge you when I use Extra Rage."
Rogue: "I don't charge you when I use Improved Initiative."

1. The person really taking advantage of the PLAYER CHARACTER stamp on the forehead is the crafter. Magic items can be crafted at half value, and sold to every one in the world (except the PCs) at half value. The PCs are literally the only people the crafter can sell magic items to at a rate higher than 50%. There is an element of abuse here.

2. The design of the game offers ways to make money outside of adventuring. Skills allow for that, specifically the profession skill and the craft skill. The returns received here are modest.

3. Every character gets to choose feats, and most games run under the concept that the party is working together.

4. Most games fast forward through downtime. This means that the crafter is not actually missing out on very much. A lot of downtime actually occurs because the crafter took the feats to make magic items. The party would actually be doing something if they weren't generally waiting around for the crafter to finish up.

5. Because Crafting is one of the few (maybe only) feats that can only be used outside of combat doesn't mean that it should be used to redistribute party wealth by taxing fellow party members. All feats have value, attaching a tax to the use of this feat is arguably inflating its value in comparison to other feats. Again, fighters aren't asking to be paid a little something every time they use Power Attack.

6. There is a charge for the casting of spells listed in the core rulebook on the table for goods and services. This doesn't mean that the Cleric charges this amount every time they cast a spell. No, they cast spells on the group for free, or at least for the cost of the material component.

7. Charging 75% instead of 100% (when it only costs you 50%) is only ostensibly helping the other party members. The other party members may not realize it at the moment, but doing this is creating an overall imbalance that will be harmful to gaming groups that rely upon relative equality. So much of a character's power is based in wealth -- watching another player unexpectedly sky rocket in power in comparison to you can be disconcerting for many players. If it doesn't bother you as a player then you are in the minority, and I salute you. But whether it bothers you or not, it's now harder on me, as the GM, to balance encounters that are going to be challenging and rewarding to each member of the game.

8. It's greedy, arguably so in and out of character. Frankly, the crafter is making plenty of money adventuring with the party. In character, adventurers are already some of the richest people in the entire world. Out of character, it's done to beat the wealth by level restriction of the game.

9. Offering 'competition' in the form of an NPC undercutting rates is a slap in the face to the PC crafter. They would not have taken the crafting feat if they knew magic items would be available for significant discounts. And explaining to them that significant discounts only exist because they took the feat . . . well, it takes some of the strength out of the feat. "Great, I took a feat so that we could all get our items crafted by that guy over there. After all, it makes more sense for him to spend his downtime doing this while we're out adventuring."

10. When a character uses downtime to gather information they don't generally turn around and say, "hey, you were wasting time drinking while I was working. If you want this information you're going to have to pay me."

I should note that I am using some tweaked Kingmaker rules I found on the Kingmaker forum -- we will not be indulging in a magic item economy kingdom; I've read too many horror stories to go forward with that sort of beta version of the kingdom building rules.

That being said, I appreciate the advice Sean. I'm not sure I can lean that direction though.

Here's my concern: at some point it's almost like I'm purposefully blocking the PC crafter from making gains, and worse, the PC crafter is bound to throw his hands in the air, and say, "why did I even take this feat if everyone is giving us cost breaks anyway!"

I guess adjusting the core rules by bringing in market competition feels like it undermines the strength of the crafting feats.

Ruggs, exactly.

That is way more on track with the concern I am expressing.

The players can do whatever they want. I don't care about that to a large degree. They can make deals between themselves, and they can all smile at their own cleverness throughout that deal making. It doesn't bother me.

But the players don't have to think ahead. The GM does.

And thinking ahead seems to indicate a potential problem here.

The problem deals with the ultimate balance of the game. Some folks have expressed thoughts regarding the crafter's right to charge for their service . . . those are PC concerns, and I'm confident my group can handle that dynamic among themselves. I'm more interested in making sure that the game doesn't derail because of disparity.

Nightskies wrote:

"'Armed' Unarmed Attacks: Sometimes a character's or creature's unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks)." - Attacking unarmed

1. Any attack made in melee may be deflected by the crane wing ability. It does not specify it has to be a damaging attack to be deflected, as long as its a melee weapon attack being deflected. Anyone attacking with Improved Unarmed Strike, natural weapons, touch attacks, all considered weapons.

2. As stated, monk's unarmed attacks do count as melee weapons. One could argue that an untrained, unarmed fighter could not be deflected. Obviously, sense says the ability works equally well to untrained, unarmed attacks.

3. Same as 1.

I think the quote you're referring to about "armed unarmed attacks" is talking about how those folks don't provoke attacks of opportunity for attacking, and for that purpose (hence the word sometimes) are considered armed. I've never considered that quote to go outside the context of attacks of opportunity; in fact, it goes on to say, "Note that being armed counts for both offense and defense (the character can make attacks of opportunity)."

I don't think it's saying treat them as if they are holding a weapon for all other purposes.

The ability specifically mentions melee weapons -- it doesn't refer to armed attacks per se. To me, a touch spell is not a melee weapon because it's not on the weapon table.

However, it looks like an unarmed strike is . . . it actually reads that an unarmed strike is "always considered a light weapon." I'll be darned. That pretty much answers my questions, unarmed strikes are, indeed, considered weapons, no matter the training involved.

I think it's reasonable to say an attempt to sunder your equipment is an attack against you. So, Nightskies, thank you, and while I disagree with the road you took to get to your conclusion I do find myself agreeing with your conclusion.

Except in the case of touch spells.

Is there anything in the RAW that say you have to take your feats at the appointed time?

Can you not save your feats, and take them later?

(I don't know that you can take your feats later; I've never seen it done before. I don't recall ever having read anything one way or the other about it. I'm just curious, and it seems it would solve the problem put forward by the OP.)

Question 1: Does Crane Wing work against trip attacks? Disarm attacks? Grapple attacks? Any other maneuver attacks?

Crane Wing:
"Once per round while using Crane Style, when you have at least one hand free and are either fighting defensively or using the total defense action, you can deflect one melee weapon attack that would normally hit you. You expend no action to deflect the attack, but you must be aware of it and not flat-footed. An attack so deflected deals no damage to you."

One of my players has taken this ability, and I want to make sure I adjudicate it fairly. My player believes that Crane Wing should be effective against any attack, allowing him to deflect folks relying upon their CMB.

I believe that it only works against attacks that use a melee weapon as part of the attack, meaning I'm not sure if it would work against unarmed trips, or unarmed disarms.

Question 2: Speaking of, do unarmed attacks from Monks count as "weapons" because of their training? (I don't think so, but it was brought up by my player so I want to try to cover it.)

Question 3: And finally, if you use a weapon to try to disarm (or sunder) your opponent's weapon, would that count for the deflection purposes of Crane Wing?

Time for crafting is not an issue in this adventure path. I am running Kingmaker right now, and I expect the characters to have years of downtime where crafting will be possible.

Crafting an item at half value (assuming you have the time to do so) is the same as finding an item in a treasure hoard. It provides you with an item at half cost. Of course, crafting allows you to select the item you want as opposed to finding it randomly.

Having the ability to craft, coupled with a large amount of downtime pretty much means that all the non-magical treasure the adventure path provides is doubled in terms of ultimate purchasing power. I can accept that, I pretty much have to.

My concern deals with a potential parity problem between the players. Assuming four other players, every time each one buys an item from Player X . . . Player X gets two additional items for himself of equivalent value.

Eventually, Player X is going to have a substantial amount of wealth in comparison.



For ease of numbers we're assuming that the players have spent all of their wealth on magic items; not an unlikely assumption -- if they didn't spend it all on magic items, they surely spent the great bulk of it there.

So. Let's assume four other players. Let's assume that those four other players, by level twenty, keep half their gear from treasure awards, and buy half their gear from Player X.

That's 440,000gp worth of equipment found. Since that equipment was never sold, it's all attained at 'half value'. So, that's 880,000 in magic items. Now we move to other half of the PC's wealth.

There's another 440,000gp left to purchase equipment from Player X. All of these items are purchased at 75% of base cost. So, that's 660,000 in magic items.

This creates a rough wealth level of 1,540,000gp worth of magic items.

Now, let's look at Player X, and figure out what he's managed to achieve:

Player X has his base allotment at level 20: 880,000.

All of Player X's equipment is going to be valued at 1/2; after all, he either found it or crafted it himself. So, that's an initial 1,760,000gp worth of magic items.

But we're not done. We still have to figure in his extra wealth, attained from previous sales to the party. From above, we have assumed that the other four players each spent about half their total wealth buying things at 3/4 value instead of full value. So, each of the other players have given Player X 440,000gp.

Of course, Player X had to spend some of that to actually craft the items for the other players. Their 440,000 gold bought them items worth 660,000, but Player X only had to spend 330,000 gold (half cost) in the crafting process, leaving him with 110,000 gold per party member paying him. That's 440,000 gold total going with our assumption of four other characters.

Player X keeps 440,000gp to use for his own purposes. It's a no brainer that he crafts items from that amount, allowing him to achieve more magic gear at half price. So, that's an additional 880,000gp in magic items.

The final result:

All other players: 1,540,000 (880,000 + 660,000) gold pieces worth of magic gear.
Player X: 2,640,000 (1,760,000 + 880,000) gold pieces worth of magic gear.

The difference: 1,100,000 gold pieces between the other players value in gear, and the value of Player X's final gear.

This seems like a real issue to me.


Obviously, my example isn't taking into account the purchasing of non magical gear. Obviously, my example is assuming that the other players will only have half of their gear via magic items found, and kept at half value rather than sold for half value.

But I don't think those are outrageous assumptions.

And I'm afraid that the numbers indicate a very real problem with balance.


My numbers may be off, I suppose. I didn't double check them.

Player X crafts magic items at 1/2 cost. Those items are then sold to Player Y at 3/4 cost.

Player Y has the benefit of not paying full cost.

Player X makes a tidy profit with every sale.

Obviously, this has the potential to put Player X well above the correct wealth by level amounts. This is happening in an adventure path where time is not an issue, so plenty of crafting can occur.

Do you guys have experience with this? Does this create a problem? If so, any ideas on how to handle this problem? I'm trying to address problems before they occur in the game, and I'm concerned that this might tip the scales of balance.

As it stands, I'm reluctant to just say, "no, you can't do this" because there doesn't seem to be legitimate grounds to say they can't wheel and deal between themselves.

MendedWall12 wrote:

Why would I give an NPC maxed skill ranks in their profession? Because they're level X and they've worked as a professional for every level.

Because they've worked hard and deserve it? Sure, so the guy's worked as a professional every level so he deserves another point in his profession, but oh no, he sure doesn't deserve the money that comes with it! That's daft.

The profession skill is a mechanic in the game. You place it on the NPC to achieve the results of the mechanic. Do you understand what the profession skill does? Seriously. You don't want someone to get paid too much, but you're determined beyond reason to raise their profession skill? How does that even remotely make sense?

Example: Billy the thief has been sneaky every level so he deserves to have more points added to his stealth skill. But, you know, he shouldn't be hiding and stuff as well as the mechanic allows him to. What?

This is crazy.

MendedWall12 wrote:

I love that your refutation of my argument is that I'm a bad GM because how dare I max out skill ranks for professionals of differing professions.

Putting points into a skill, and patently ignoring the mechanic of the skill is not what I would call an example of good GMing.

MendedWall12 wrote:

That's like a school yard argument where one kids says something perfectly viable and the other kids says "you're stupid."

A. I've never called anyone stupid here.

B. I think your analogy would work better if you said something viable and I called you stupid. Unfortunately, neither is true. You've just said, hey, this rule isn't a rule and shouldn't be followed, and I've responded by saying, hey this rule is a rule, and people should (and can) follow it if they want to.

MendedWall12 wrote:

Also, you realize, that as of yet, you have failed to actually provide any common-sensical or logical explanation for how two professionals, of vastly different professions, with the same set of Profession skill ranks (which is a perfectly viable and mechanically acceptable way to create NPCs) should make (relatively) the same amount.

The conditions you insist must be true are not. The GM is not, I repeat with a sigh, required to put the same ranks into the profession skill of NPCs with different professions.

MendedWall12 wrote:

At this point you're just arguing to argue, and saying things like: "Obviously you're doing it wrong because you are following the mechanical guidelines for creating NPCs and that is clearly not how the rules intend you to create them."

Everyone who disagrees with you is not doing so to argue. I do not enjoy arguing. But I will not pretend that you are making sense.

I am in no way saying that you are following the mechanical guidelines of the game. Quite the opposite actually. I am saying that the mechanics of the game include results based on skill rolls, and that you are ignoring them.

It is mechanically sound, for instance, to build John the farmer with the skill swim. It is daft to suggest that John the farmer can not swim afterwards. In other words it is daft to build John the farmer with the skill swim when you don't want him swimming.

It is equally viable mechanically to build John the farmer without the skill swim. Then he can't swim.

I really hope some of this is sinking in. I'm starting to think the whole world's gone mad.

MendedWall12 wrote:
Jo Bird wrote:
Meanwhile, the poor butcher is level ten, but still limited to one or two ranks in profession -- effectively capping his ultimate ability to make money. Because you don't have to raise his profession skill with every level.

You are correct, but if I did he would make relatively the same amount of money as any other professional with the same set of skill ranks, regardless of the profession. Which just doesn't make any sense.

That's where your logic keeps failing. If I give two professionals at the same level the same set of skill ranks in differing professions they will make (relatively again) the same amount of money. Please, if you can, explain how that makes any logical sense.

My understanding is that this is because the Profession skill is an arbitrary way to adjudicate within the mechanics a PC's (or NPC if you really want to do that) ability to make some cash while in town. Which is really more a result of a character concept than a reasonable economical mechanical system.

Why would you?

One of your jobs as the GM of the game is to build NPC's to do what they should be able to do.

Not to build NPC's to create mechanic/engine/setting problems.

If LogicNinja is your last name then Specious is surely your first.

LogicNinja wrote:

"The rules say this stupid thing, so it's totally intentional" is pretty bad reasoning. The 3.x rules used to say that you could drown someone at negative hit points to 0--that doesn't mean that it was a good idea. The combat rules say various things, but it'd still be stupid to use the combat rules to model a serial killer killing other NPCs in their homes.

The rules say that folks make money with their profession skill, so, uhm, yes, that is one of the ways folks are intended to make money.

I'm more willing to rely upon the Core Rulebook (which I paid about $50 for) than rely upon your haphazard reckoning of which rules were meant to do what per your personal opinion. This is the Rules forum, after all. Not the House Rules/Opinion forum.

Keep in mind, I'm saying that the Core Rules tell us one thing, and that's the way a lot of folks like to play. I am not judging the way you play; I am not telling you that the way you play is wrong.

You are telling me that you are right, and I am wrong, and that even though the book says one thing you're super confident it meant something else, and that anyone playing outside the boundaries of your cockamamied and arbitrary "rules" are violating the intention of the gaming system.

I put "rules" in quotes because you don't have rules for the profession skill. You just have your gut feeling about what it should be, and you force feed your subjective and unquantifiable results down people's throats.

LogicNinja wrote:

Not that that's even relevant, because you haven't shown why those rules are intended to. Those rules are intended to address the question in a quick, abstract, and handwavey manner, not in a detailed manner that actually makes any sense. You can tell because the rules are quick, abstract, handwavey, and don't make any sense.

Of note, just because it doesn't make sense to you doesn't mean it doesn't make sense. I refer you to the word dictionary. It has a lot of words for folks who don't understand things that other folks do.

LogicNinja wrote:

Giving NPCs "free skill points" doesn't matter, because they're NPCs, and often giving them free skill points, breaking skill caps, etc makes more sense. It's eminently reasonable for the court vizier to have a huge Sense Motive score while still being low level.

So, yeah. I'm not interested in playing in any games you run. I'm sure you're not surprised by that.

What you're telling me here is that you cheat. If that works for you and your group, have at it. I prefer things to be on the up and up. I prefer that NPC's follow the same rules as player characters. I don't fudge dice rolls, and I don't ignore the rules of character creation. I think anyone who does thinks their players are stupider than they are . . . or worse, assumes that they are personally smarter than they are.

LogicNinja wrote:

*Why*? How does it improve the game *in any way* if you give the NPC 3 more gold coins because he has more ranks in Profession or a higher WIS? Will anyone even know why he has 3 more gold coins?

Why have the profession skill at all? You obviously have no intention of quantifying any results.

I don't need a skill rank to let me imagine John the farmer is a farmer. I need a skill rank to let me know what to roll. My imagination works fine without numbers. Numbers allow me to run a fair and unbiased game.

You assume that your personal grasp of balance and drama is better than firm rules everyone can share and be on the same page with. I have every reason to doubt that.

LogicNinja wrote:

In other words, you think architects and engineers should make more than butchers... but that this should be resolved by making them wiser and higher-level.

No. I have not commented on how much I think architects and engineers should make in comparison to butchers. I said that income variances should be setting specific.

But I have said that some professions make more than others. That being said, for the sake of argument, I will say, sure, architects and engineers make more than butchers.

That doesn't mean young, level one architects and engineers make more. It means that they have the potential to make more throughout their career. Heck, even doctors have to make peanuts while going through residency in modern times. Lawyers have to start as associates, and sometimes end up doing a lot of pro bono work.

But as they age (meaning level up) then they are capable of charging more and more, which is reflected inside the mechanics of the profession skill raising.

Meanwhile, the poor butcher is level ten, but still limited to one or two ranks in profession -- effectively capping his ultimate ability to make money. Because you don't have to raise his profession skill with every level.

LogicNinja wrote:

I've already shown you that, say, the difference between Profession +4 and Profession +12, when taking 10, is (10+4)/2 vs (10+12)/2 = 7 vs 11 = 4 gp a week.
So, yes, the guy with Profession +12 will make more than the guy with Profession +4, but by 4 gold a week.
You think that 4 gp a week--1/3 of his salary--is the amount of a good architect or engineer should make more than a common laborer.

I don't think a common laborer should make that much, meaning I don't think they should have a profession skill at all, much less one with four ranks.

That would put the common laborer at something like a silver a day, as opposed to the big shot pulling in 11 gold a week; more if he bothers to take a skill focus, which high professionals should do if you want them making more.

LogicNinja wrote:

You're arguing that I should make up appropriate income values, and *then* tweak NPCs until their Profession ranks. And that no professional NPC should have an income beyond what his. A lawyer that works for rich courtiers? Nope, he only makes 20 gp a week, which is only twice the 10 gp a week than what the freaking butcher makes.

Building your NPC's to do the things you want them to do via the rules is not unheard of, and I'm surprised the concept is receiving such a negative reaction.

In the case of a barrister working for a rich master, bear in mind you are always allowed as the GM to attach reasonable modifiers to skill rolls.

Libraries can help with knowledge rolls.

Profession rolls can be aided through contracts with wealthy lords.

Just know that the gp number difference doesn't have to be astronomically different from your modern perspective. A seemingly slight gap can be astronomical from the perspective of the characters.

This sentence was very difficult to read. We're not in a hurry here, take a little bit of time to preview first. It helps.

LogicNinja wrote:

Why are you so attached to the idea that the Profession rules MUST determine how much an NPC makes? How do merchants exist in your world? How does trade exist? It literally doesn't matter what a merchant trades in or does, he still makes the same 1d20+1 to 10 gp a week!

I am not attached to the idea that anything must determine anything else. I am telling you what the rule is. You are free to run it however you like.

Merchants exist fine in my game. Trade exists as well.

MendedWall12 wrote:

Your logic fails in this one area because based on the RAW whether or not I want a barrister or the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker, to all make different amounts of money at a certain level I have to adjust the profession skill ranks I give them. If I'm statting up a 9th level butcher, I can't give him 9 skill ranks in Profession (butcher) and give his neighbor down the street 9 ranks in Profession (king of awesomeness) because then they will be making (relatively) the same amount of money.


Uhm. You always have to adjust the skill ranks of your NPC's as you see best. I don't understand what you're saying here at all. When do you not have to build your NPC's? Do you just build them and max out the same stuff on every build?

Heck, do you build NPC's?

Wait, I think I get it. I think you completely misunderstood what I wrote.

MendedWall12 wrote:

The raw mechanics don't support you. You are making situational adjustments of the mechanics to come up with something that is more realistic. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact that's how it should be. Which is exactly what LogicNinja has been saying the whole time. You can make the mechanics work, but to say that they work regardless of GM tinkering for realism is flat out false.

I'm saying that as you are building your NPC's you should - within the boundaries of ranks allowed by the NPC's level - adjust the ranks to their proper place. I'm saying you shouldn't raise the skill with levels if you don't want it to raise.

I am not saying that you should assign extra skill points to NPC's, or that you should assign more skill ranks to the profession skill than the NPC's level allows.

LogicNinja wrote:

I've already explained to you, in great detail, exactly why these rules are intended for PCs and why it would be not only useless but actively counterproductive to try to apply them to figuring out how much NPCs make.

And I've already explained to you, in precise detail, exactly why these rules are not just intended for PC's. Because it doesn't say that the profession skill is only for PC's. The profession skill tells us how much someone makes practicing a profession. That's what it is designed for. Whether you like the results of that design is moot.

NPC's are built with the profession skill. You house rule that they are not tied to the results of their skill checks, which is somewhat like giving them free skill points elsewhere because there's no reason to put points in profession. And if you do keep putting points in the profession skill, well, there has to be a quantifiable result.

LogicNinja wrote:
You wound up basically agreeing with me--you acknowledged that it's kind of dumb that a butcher can make more money than a lawyer--but then you suggested that instead of this being a problem with the Profession skill itself, or with applying it to NPCs, that the skill is perfect and instead the DM should first figure out and then peg the NPC's Profession skill to his income. Which, incidentally, means no one who has a Profession can even make 100 gp a week.

Somewhat. I don't agree with you that a butcher should make more than a barrister. I think that is setting specific; frankly, I don't care what professions you personally believe should make more money than other professions. That's your choice.

But I do agree that some professions inevitably make more than others. To handle that you need only assign the profession level to the point it needs to be. You want porters to make peanuts? Don't give them a profession skill. Don't give them the skill if they're first level, and don't give them the skill if they're twentieth level.

You think a butcher should make just a little bit more than peanuts? Give them a rank or two in their profession; again, do this whether they are second level, or twentieth level.

You think a barrister should make a lot of money? Max out their profession skill, and consider giving them a skill focus. As they grow in levels so does their income.

LogicNinja wrote:

Jo, you just told me that a merchant or lawyer (for example) making a lot of money is impossible, because the rules don't allow it.

This is a thing you literally just said.

In your game world, MERCHANTS CAN'T MAKE MORE MONEY THAN THEIR PROFESSION CHECK ALLOWS. Trade just happens on its own, magically, without any merchant making even as much as 100 gp/week.

This can't honestly be what you actually believe, can it?

The basic difference we have here is understanding what a lot of money is. Money has a relative value no matter how many zeros you add to the end. 1 gp can be a fortune, 1 gp can be discarded change. It depends upon the setting.

Pathfinder has been kind enough to provide us with a profession skill that gives us glimpse into how valuable the coins are, along with a generic pricing table. Determining that 20 gp a week is monumental compared to 10 gp a week is a matter of perspective. After all, $100,000 a year is a heck of a lot more than $50,000 a year. If you doubt that, just ask a fellow making $50,000 a year.

Your view of money is sophomoric, and provincial, and your desire to give someone 100 gp a week is arbitrary at best.

Remember, just because the arbitrarily assigned numbers in your setting don't match the profession skill results doesn't mean games can't be run using the rules of the game as they are written. Does it take a little more forethought? Sure it does. Is it worth it? That's subjective; some folks will say yes, others no. To each their own, which is why I say, hey, enjoy house ruling things differently, but don't blow hard about how your way is right, and the rules weren't designed to do what they tell us in the descriptive text they're designed to do.


The original post in this thread had nothing to do with the economy. The NPC in the example did not want to make a living cutting wood. He wanted to cut down a tree, specifically, a tree his wife asked him to cut down. They were, apparently, going to use that tree for firewood.

Now, it doesn't matter if the NPC cut down that tree, or if the NPC tried to cut a branch. Hardness is hardness by the rules. Luckily, there's a rule that bypasses hardness; it's usable at the very least. I'm not fond of how easy it makes the process, but the rule exists.

How can this impact a game?

"After a long day of cutting firewood with your ax you head back to the house with your ax slung over your shoulder. Unfortunately, the door to the house is locked, and you can hear muffled screaming inside. It sounds like (blah NPC) is being assaulted!"

"Is the door made of wood?"

"Uhm, yes."

"Great, I swing my ax against the door to break it open."

"Hmmm. Okay, so wood has a hardness of 5 . . . and you're doing . . ."

"Wait one minute. I've just been cutting firewood all day! Are you telling me that now I can't cut through wood because I'm in combat?"

Now, in my case, there is a wood chopping competition in the Kingmaker adventure path. No, it doesn't include a low strength fellow trying to chop wood, but there are some potential angles drawing off of that competition I'd like to look into. Even if I just play with the idea of having a poor man's village version of the competition occurring at an earlier date to help lead into the prestigious nature of the big boy festival competition later.

Regardless, there was a rule, and I appreciated being pointed toward it.


Ultimately, there are two economies existing in Pathfinder. One of the economies is tied to the PC's wealth by level, and it includes merchants catering to the adventuring crowd.

The other is an economy of the masses, and it deals specifically with the profession skill, unskilled wages via the price table, and the crafting skill rules.

It can be hard to find verisimilitude in the juxtaposition of those economies, but that is the nature of the beast when you tie wealth to character level, and the CR of encounters.

It's up to you, as a GM, to figure out how to settle those differences. You can throw the baby out with the bath water, and just assign some arbitrary numbers to everything. Or you can mold the value of a gold coin into something more reasonably reflective of the profession skill, and stop assuming that every NPC makes the same amount of money because you built them the same and, darn it, those numbers look too close to each other in my inflated eyes.

I think there are only two people in this scenario. One is the person taking cover behind the tower shield. The other is the person in front of the tower shield trying to attack the fellow taking cover.

Does the person attacking the fellow taking cover with his tower shield get any residual cover from the tower shield in the case of the tower shield wielder attacking him?



P = poster
T = tower shield wielder taking cover

Does "P" have any cover from attacks made by "T" due to T's tower shield? (Of course, this requires the assumption that "T" can actually attack after taking a standard action providing himself with total cover.)

I remember once upon a time reading a rule that said whoever was closer to the cover had cover, and if both were equal distance then both had cover from one another. That may just be my imagination though, or it may be some lingering memory of 3.5, I really don't know.

I'm curious about this also, but I suspect that "P" does not have any cover from "T's" tower shield. The tower shield's text does state"

"When using a tower shield in this way, you must choose one edge of your space. That edge is treated as a solid wall for attacks targeting you only."

OP -- please correct me if I have misinterpreted what you're asking.

Ettin wrote:
Jo Bird wrote:

Geez, buddy. Relax.

If figuring out the math behind where to set the profession skill ranks in your game is too much for you then by all means ignore it.

You are certainly free to house rule your game however you like. No one's judging here.

"You need to relax! Nobody's judging you. I'm just saying math is hard for you."

Seriously, what is this, RPGnet?

By "too much" I meant too hands-on, too involved, too time consuming. While your interpretation is pretty humorous the intended tone was sincere.

Ravingdork wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
A shield is a weapon, therefore 3,000gp.
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Seems appropriate. Now if there was only a way to determine the cost of other adamantine items.

That's easy. Those other items are improvised weapons. Improvised weapons are weapons, hence the word in its name. Therefore, they cost an additional 3,000gp as well.



And as improvised weapons they can be used to sunder items.

Very well said, Karkon. I believe LogicNinja has a rather provincial attitude about the whole affair.

I believe his insistence that the profession skill is only for PC's has no backing in the RAW whatsoever. I believe (know) that several official NPC's have been made with ranks in the profession skill.

But I am fine with him house ruling things his way in his personal game, of course. I just can't help but wonder why he is not fine with others running the game as it is written though.

Gilfalas wrote:
Jo Bird wrote:

Why, because I only have a hand ax, of course.

And if you're telling me that hand axes can not chop wood (whether that wood be a standing tree, or a log for firewood) then I'm telling you that you're wrong.

Any farmer, blacksmith, tailor, stonemason, laborer, etc. will tell you 'right tool for the right job'.

You don't use a hand axe to chop down a tree. You use a Wood axe or saw. Hand axes can trim small branchs and chop twigs but is useless for chopping heavy lumber of any kind, let alone chopping down an entire tree.

And if your telling me that hand axes should be able to chop any wood, I am telling you YOUR wrong and the game rules, reality, common sense, lumberjacks, foresters, druids and rangers all support that.

Have you ever, in real life, personally cleared an acre of woodland? It will show you pretty damn fast what tools you use even for a simple 6 inch diameter tree and a hand axe NEVER comes into play to fell it.

It is, however, a great tool for taking off small branches and trimming thin wood (you know wood that is too thin to warrant a hardness rating) which oddly enough is what it is used for.

Course if you buy one made of Adamantine, it ignores hardness anyway so then it COULD be used. Wish we had adamantine in the real world.

I'm not trying to clear acres, friend. I'm trying to use an ax to cut down a tree. And, I assure you, folks have done that before. It's called "getting by with the equipment you have."

Will it be hard? You bet. Is it impossible? Heck no. Saying it is impossible is absurd.

Regardless, the game rules, as several someones mentioned in much earlier posts, do actually allow the hand ax to work. Specifically, there is a rule that allows certain weapons to ignore hardness, and do double damage if they are inherently damaging to the material in question. An ax, by my estimation, is inherently damaging to wood.

The only problem I'm left with, as I mentioned earlier, is that I feel the tree would come down too quickly. By those rules, it would only take about two minutes to cut down a tree with 100 hit points.

LogicNinja wrote:


Look, Jo, at this point, we're down to you arguing that characters who make more money should have higher profession bonuses as assigned by the DM, *because* they make more money. But that's not how it works. According to the rules, if you apply them to NPCs, a lawyer with Profession +6 makes the same amount of money as a butcher with Profession +6.

In other words, I *first* need to figure out how much money an NPC makes a week. Then, I need to figure out what their Profession modifier needs to be. *Then*, I have to figure out how they got that modifier (skill ranks, Wisdom, feats), and this might include making them level 6ish or 10ish if they make a lot of money (to get the required profession modifier).
Or... I could just figure out how much money the NPC makes a week... and *leave it at that*.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. The skill just *wasn't designed* for this stuff. The skill exists for the exact situation I described--a player character wants to make money by plying his trade. That's it.

(Also, doing it your way, we end up in a world in which a lawyer or merchant or something making a very reasonable 100 gp/week has to be level, like, 40 (to get ~+90 Profession).)

Geez, buddy. Relax.

If figuring out the math behind where to set the profession skill ranks in your game is too much for you then by all means ignore it.

You are certainly free to house rule your game however you like. No one's judging here.

But the profession skill does tell us how much money is made practicing a profession. If you need proof that what I just said is true I refer you to the profession skill. A good reading of it should bring you up to speed on what it does -- and what it does is tell you how much someone makes practicing a profession.

As far as 100 gp/week being reasonable . . . well, maybe in your house ruled universe. In mine, a guy would have to be like, what, level 40? That's ridiculous.

Gilfalas wrote:
Jo Bird wrote:
Hello. My name is Jo.

Jo, why are you trying to cut down hardwood trees with a hand axe? Your problem is not your low strength, it is your abyssmal intelligence.

Use a two handed wood axe and chop a tree that is not hardwood class so that hardness is not a factor.

Or burn cow poop. Your strength should be able to handle gathering that and as a farmer I assume you have a lot of it.

Logic Ninja wrote:
This applies regardless of any factors other than WIS and skill ranks, because the Profession rules don't take into account any factors besides WIS or skill ranks.

Um that is why the game has GM's? To alter and adjudicate sillyness so it then fits into the degree of 'realism' each individual game group wants in their game?

D&D/Pathfinder was never MEANT to be an accurate economic simulation. It was meant to be a balanced GAME with some semblance of economics to fit that purpose.

Why, because I only have a hand ax, of course.

And if you're telling me that hand axes can not chop wood (whether that wood be a standing tree, or a log for firewood) then I'm telling you that you're wrong.

LogicNinja wrote:
We're talking about a system where the average porter gets paid just as much as the average jeweler, FFS.

But we're not.

What you're failing to understand is that you, as the GM, design and build the NPC's. If you want to build an NPC with a high profession skill you likely have a reason for doing that.

These NPC's don't come prepackaged with ranks in profession skills. It's your choice as the GM to place their skill ranks where you want and imagine them to be.

Just as it is your place to assign their levels.

You want a porter that makes a lot? Great. Give the porter a high level with a high skill rank. Want porters to make next to nothing? Great, don't give them a profession skill, or maybe limit that skill to one. You decide as the GM.


To start, that is not what I'm saying.

I'm saying that we get that you don't like the profession skill already.

I'm saying that some folks like the profession skill, and use it accordingly.

I'm saying that every person doesn't make the same amount of money with the profession skill.

I'm saying that not every person is the same level.

I'm saying that not every person puts the same amount of ranks into their profession skill -- assuming they put any ranks at all, considering that untrained labor is available at a listed cost.

I'm saying that guesses, even when you feel like they are "obvious and educated" guesses, are best worded as opinions as opposed to firm facts.

There's actually a wood chopping competition at the Rushlight Festival in the Kingmaker adventure path by the way.

I've been playing with some angles regarding that.

While I am amused by this thread, I did actually have a reason for expressing my curiosity on this matter.

LogicNinja wrote:
I think it's pretty obvious that the designers never intended the rule to be used to simulate the economy.

So. You're guessing as to the intent of the design regarding the profession skill. The skill that tells us how much is made via dice rolls in the respective professions.

And the reasoning for your guess is that you don't like the way the skill functions as it violates your suspension of disbelief.

That's cool.

But you're sort of beating it to death. We get it. You don't like letting NPC's use the profession skill. Check. Got it. Moving on.

Just don't force feed your guesses as to intent down everyone's throat. Some folks believe the skill that references how to make money via professions is one that should come into play when designing NPC's.

LogicNinja wrote:

The rule is there so players can feel like their character is "really" a [profession], and as a quick way to handwave, in a highly abstract and non-simulationist way, how much money the PC gets for going "I work as [profession] when we're in town."

The rule is not there to tell you how much money an NPC performing trade X would really make.

You speak with such authority. Where did you come across this knowledge?

Or do you mean to say, "I use the rule for PC's, but not for NPC's."

Which is like saying something different.

Tacticslion wrote:

You know, I started out looking to respond to each of MendedWall12's and LogicNinja's, but really, your arguments boil down to: "This is stupid and you should all feel bad for playing the game in a way that I don't care for and using rules, so I'll mock you." Allow me a rebuttal with an equal amount of logic: "No, and both of you should feel bad for telling people they are having bad/wrong fun."

More on topic: OP, via the profession, or the substance vulnerability rules, are you satisfied?

Hello, I am the OP, and yes, I am satisfied. There have been a lot of great answers in this post.

But the answer I prefer is the one that highlights substance vulnerability. It's reasonable that a tree is vulnerable to an ax. My only concern with the substance vulnerability rule is that it might make cutting the tree down a little too easy, if you can believe that. (It gives Jo 5 points of damage on average per round, which means that he can cut the hypothetical tree down in roughly 20 rounds, or about two minutes. While that might make Jo's wife happy, it doesn't seem very likely.)

I prefer that rule to the profession rule because the example used concerned a husband trying to keep his family warm, not a businessman trying to profit financially as a woodcutter. (I would imagine that the survival skill would be more appropriate here than the profession skill.)

That being said, I am left with another question:

If the profession skill rules are not intended to tell us how much money folks make then, uhm, what are they intended for?

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