Crafting better Craft rules...


Homebrew and House Rules

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Actually, the title is a bit misgiving. What I'd like to do is to lay a better, more solid system behind all three money-making (or money-saving) skills of the game; the Craft, Profession and Perform skills.

I've worked on some stuff already, but most of the avenues I undertook ended-up being dead-ends. An admitted reason behind this is to bring more parity between those three skills, so a that a character choosing a Profession doesn't ended-up being screwed over the fact that a Craft skill is more lucrative. If all skills work off the same system, there's less reasons to argue whether brewery should be a Craft or a Profession, or whether composing music derives from the Profession or Perform skill.

So here's what I have so far...

All Profession, Craft and Perform skills work around the following formula:

net profit = 1/2 x (skill check result x DC).

This "profit" is either calculated in gp/week or sp/day (see footnote #1). This formula should cover the basis when somebody asks "alright, I've been working for the whole 6 month downtime, how much did I make?" regardless of what skill they used. But each skill (Profession, Perform and Craft) will have a slightly derived application of the formula.

footnote #1:

This is assuming that the fantasy week = 10 days. By itself this is nothing new. The craft skill description states that daily progress is a 1/10 of the weekly progress. In the Forgotten Realms setting, the 10 day week was fully implemented in the campaign setting, but this may cause issues in other settings adopting the 7 day week (I'm not familiar enough with Golarion to know whether this is a problem or not).

CRAFT SKILL

This ones doesn't change much, except that the raw material part of the creation process is now changed to half the item's market price. For one thing, it'll only be easier to calculate and to further divide by 2 if needed be. As a (probably irrelevant) bonus, this brings the mundane items creation costs in parity with the magical items creations costs.

The craft skills applies more often than not to the "how long does it takes me to craft this?" question rather than the "how much $ do I make in a given amount of time?".

PROFESSION SKILL

This ones does not change at all if one sets the DC at 10. The beauty of the formula is that tasks that are considered more difficult than the basic ones pay more. It thus can bring more money to be a jeweler (DC 15)(I'm talking about the guy that trades gems and jewelry, not the stone-cutter or goldsmith) than a waitress at the local tavern (DC 10).

Then again, the DC for waiting tables may increase during high-season (DC increases to 20) when the city is bursting with travelers right after harvest, and the waitress may make more than our jeweler more a month or so.

I'd like also to discuss the possibility of fixed-salary jobs. For example, being a sailor may pay 2.25 gp per week, no less, no more. This would assume that the DC for being a sailor is 15 and that the employer is expecting the sailor to succeed regularly (can come to a result of 15 by taking 10). The sailor would then not gained much in investing more ranks in the skill, unless the job has "steps" like experience seaman (can reach 17 by taking 10, thus succeeding even with a -2 unfavorable conditions penalty) or first make (can reach 20 by taking 10).

PERFORM

I must admit that I'm not too sure what to do with this one. The formula works, but is rather regular. As performing is more like "begging with style", it should turn more random results. I may stick with the chart given in the skill description, especially since its average follows the formula rather faithfully.

So any ideas, comments or suggestions are welcome.

'findel


I think that I should first comment on the multiplying factor of the equation (check result multiplied by DC).

As many have pointed-out, it leads to a curious phenomenon where the higher the DC, the faster an item is completed. This is actually not as much of a problem as it appears. Once we take the craft rules in perspective, we can see that the higher the DC, the more $ one makes, which kinds of makes sense.

If the DC did not have a multiplying effect on the final income, it would be just as lucrative to create a s!@#-load of puny items as a few high-quality items. In a pre-industrial world, skill and experience should lead to better products, not mass-production. Master craftsmen create masterworks. That’s what they were known for and that that’s why they were rich (or richer than a novice anyway...)

In the Craft rules, the higher the DC, the more “value” one creates in a single roll. This means that somehow, the work that the master did this week worth more than the work that the novice did in the same week, even if they ended with the same check result (the novice rolled higher!), even if their items are not completed. And since one can increase the DC for a rushed order, the rules do cover the mass-production when that turns out to be important.

Economically, this all makes sense ONLY if quality items (those with higher craft DCs) cost more to the consumer than lower quality items. I need to come up with a simple plan when the DC is upped just for the heck of it, such as an “intricate design”.

Quote:


Player: I want to create an axe shaped like a dragon. What’s the DC for that?
DM: Eh, you know it will not have any impact on the weapon’s stats, right?
Player: I don’t care, it’s just for the fluff.
DM: Ok then, the DC will be raised by 2 AND the market price will be raised by $$$.
Player: Why is the market price raised?
DM: Because your progress is calculated from your creation's market price. Since your axe will be harder to make, I increased the DC to 17. With the DC raised, you’ll turn out a higher progress value with each roll. It wouldn't make sense if the axe was completed sooner. If something, it should take you a bit more time. So to fix that , the price has to be increased as well.

…So I need to figure out how to find $$$...

[edit]: interesting, the server auto-censors that word starting with an S. Never noticed that before...
[edit again] ...and it gives it a different &#$^% every time! cool...


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What do you do with crafts that have high relative equipment costs.

The tailor can work any place where he has light and his tools but the Smith will need a large immobile forge. Will you decrease the cost of materials for professions that require huge upfront tool and building costs like a baker or a smith compared to the fletcher or tailor?


dulsin wrote:

What do you do with crafts that have high relative equipment costs.

The tailor can work any place where he has light and his tools but the Smith will need a large immobile forge. Will you decrease the cost of materials for professions that require huge upfront tool and building costs like a baker or a smith compared to the fletcher or tailor?

Good question. I was thinking of the same thing a couple days ago. Thing is, you don't need to possess a forge to be a blacksmith; what you need is an unlimited access to a forge.

The forge is probably own by a master smith, which may or may not be the character. A master smith isn't likely to be the only one working in the forge. He'll have apprentices, which will become journeyman smiths when their craft check allow them to reach 15 bytaking 10. By the time they themselves become masters, they'll probably purchase their own forge or takeover their former master's.

A small forge (allowing only for one person and its apprentices) probably doesn't cost more than the installations of a potter, or a brewer. The forge is also likely to be outside the city walls, where timber is readily available and "rent" is cheap. The tailor may need less expansive equipment, but his craft probably requires to be in a large-ish town to be prosperous. What the tailor saves in infrastructure, he pays it in rent and taxes.

I'm not too concerned with the initial investment yet, but regardless of one's trade, all of its normal expenses are covered by the 1/2 party of the formula (which equivalates the raw materials of the craft skill, which you'll remember, I raised to 50% to match the Profession equation).

Performers may have less expanses and simply receive less coins in the first place. At this point, if mostly fluff.

Whatever I end-up doing, it should allow 1st level characters to start with whatever trade that makes sense for a 1st level character and not represent a huge $ freebie should the character decide to sell its enterprise.


This sounds very much like something I've been searching for for a long time. It's always bothered me that, by the 3.x rules, skilled Blaksmith, 9onw of my favorite professions) not a mediocre one, but one who dedicated his life to his craft (a.k.a. sunk ALL his points into it) on average would take a little over a week to make a dagger.

anyone checking out a ren-fest, and talking to the craftsman there, will know this is ludicrous, especially f were were talking about a non-ornate, basic serviceable blade, such as the type that might be mass-produced to equip a newly formed army.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I have a character in my game who is a fletcher/bow maker. I told him that he could make arrows on the side of the road but he would need to buy parts from others.

A blacksmith is required for the heads.
Stripping feathers is tough to do out in the wind and turning shafts can only be done with a lathe. Now he is trying to get enough funds that he can buy or rent a small building.

To make things even more complicated for him a local noble has all the timber rights within 15 miles of town. If he doesn't want to walk a day just to find the wood to harvest he will need to buy the wood or obtain cutting rights from the noble.

The character running a dwarven smith has things a bit easier. He has been offered a job as an assistant to the local master and he can work on his own projects in the evening or rest day.


dulsin wrote:

I have a character in my game who is a fletcher/bow maker. I told him that he could make arrows on the side of the road but he would need to buy parts from others.

A blacksmith is required for the heads.
Stripping feathers is tough to do out in the wind and turning shafts can only be done with a lathe. Now he is trying to get enough funds that he can buy or rent a small building.

To make things even more complicated for him a local noble has all the timber rights within 15 miles of town. If he doesn't want to walk a day just to find the wood to harvest he will need to buy the wood or obtain cutting rights from the noble.

The character running a dwarven smith has things a bit easier. He has been offered a job as an assistant to the local master and he can work on his own projects in the evening or rest day.

As a suggestion, should the player complain that the raw materials are too expansive, you can always have him "craft" his own raw materials. There should be a limit to that sub-crafting rule; one should never go in the woods and come out with a masterwork piece and be home in time for supper...

But especially with my "raw = 50%" rule, some items may appear rather expansive to create. Should a craftsman decide to have a deeper and more complete involvement in the creation process, he should be able to craft its own raw materials. Since it will cost him 50% of its "raw materials" in raw materials, this will ultimately only save him 25% of the market price. But it can make sense in some cases, like the Fletcher who cut and cures its own wood, mixes his own oils and varnishes etc.

If you still go with raw = 1/3 of market price, the savings are more significant (1/3 x 1/3 = 1/9th of market price).


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Laurefindel wrote:

As a suggestion, should the player complain that the raw materials are too expansive, you can always have him "craft" his own raw materials. There should be a limit to that sub-crafting rule; one should never go in the woods and come out with a masterwork piece and be home in time for supper...

But especially with my "raw = 50%" rule, some items may appear rather expansive to create. Should a craftsman decide to have a deeper and more complete involvement in the creation process, he should be able to craft its own raw materials. Since it will cost him 50% of its "raw materials" in raw materials, this will ultimately only save him 25% of the market price. But it can make sense in some cases, like the Fletcher who cut and cures its own wood, mixes his own oils and varnishes etc.

If you still go with raw = 1/3 of market price, the savings are more significant (1/3 x 1/3 = 1/9th of market price).

Actually he could make everything but the arrow heads himself. Hunt birds for the feathers. Carve bone to make the nocks. Select wood from the forest then split and turn into shafts. Most everything can be done without "cost" just an increased time commitment.

Also wood needs to be dried and cured before use or it will warp. The Spanish armada purchased substandard barrel staves that had not been cured. The barrels leaked and most of the provisions spoiled before they reached England so they had to resupply costing them time, money, and eventually the fleet.

His situation with the local lord controlling all local foresting makes things interesting since if that lord turns around and jacks his prices the poor fletcher could be in for trouble. The lord is enough of a jerk to buy every scrap of timber land for 15 miles he will be looking for higher profits.


Looks good. Here's mine:

Spoiler:
Crafting Items
Any Crafting rule in the RAW is valid unless contradicted here.

Each item has a Base Time of 4 hours, days, or weeks. The item also has a Current Quality, which is an ongoing check result that affects the base time.

You may assign even brief periods of time (no less than 1 hour) to crafting items, provided you were doing nothing else during that period. Time spent crafting should be marked on the campaign calendar. Keep track of the total Time Invested in each item.

Each time you work on an item, you roll your relevant craft skill. Average the result with the Current Quality on the item to find the items new Current Quality.

The item is completed when the amount of time invested meets or exceeds the time required. The Time Required is usually the base time. A high or low Current Quality might change the time required:

Current Quality...

  • exceeds DC by 10+....... 1/4 base time
  • exceeds DC by 5-9 ....... 1/2 base time
  • lower than DC by 5-9 .... base time x 2
  • lower than DC by 10+.... base time x 4
  • The objective was to keep it simple, remove the GP basis, and give crafter characters the ability to utilize all downtime they can scrape up. I also wanted craft to be something they need to roll during the session.


    toyrobots wrote:

    Looks good. Here's mine:

    ** spoiler omitted **

    The objective was to keep it simple, remove the GP basis, and give crafter characters the ability to utilize all downtime they can scrape up. I also wanted craft to be something they need to roll during the session.

    Interesting...

    Do you allow two 4-hour checks per day?


    Here's another question for you all:

    Once a craftsman has created an object, what happens next. Hopefully, he or she will sell it. Items need to sell at market price because by definition, the market price is what they go for. In other words, it wouldn't be the market price if the products were available for less.

    The real question is, does the craftsman has to work significantly more to sell its products. If so, does it requires another skill check, or an other skill altogether?

    In a pre-industrial fantasy world, craftsmen usually sell their own goods: when a fighter wants a plate mail, he or she goes to the armorer, not to Plate-Mart (Tm). As a matter of fact, there shouldn't be a Plate-Mart...

    Does the established market allow for the craftsman to sell as much as he or she creates? Is the craftsman in direct competition with the other craftsman across the street? Will there be another craftsman (specializing in the same goods) across the street, or will the demographics and economics of the time prevent such a thing?

    Is selling your creation time consuming enough to motivate another skill check, i.e. not making any progress on the other creations? If so what should be the frequency or the ratio between the two checks (the one to create and the one to sell)?

    I guess that would be the advantage of partnership, even if it resumes to you and your wife or goes up to a powerhouse guild...

    With all that being said, it is conceivable that a merchant sells stuff he has not made. The item would then likely be exotic or unavailable in town. Should the idea of the "department store" exist (having different goods from different craftsmen under the same roof for convenience). Is the Adventurer-Mart concept viable or too modern for the game? How about magic items then?

    How does a merchant make his money? Will he have obtained the original product at a lesser price? If so, how did he managed that if the market prices are so immovable. Should products that are not created in town be more expensive because of merchant profit. If so, how should this be taken in account? Are the market price flexible for those who know where to look? Is this was the profession-merchant is all about, finding deals that others will miss?

    ...and finally, how can we quantified all of this in a simple system that does not turn the game into Economics and Dragons or CashFinder?


    Laurefindel wrote:
    An admitted reason behind this is to bring more parity between those three skills, so a that a character choosing a Profession doesn't ended-up being screwed over the fact that a Craft skill is more lucrative.

    Um.. I don't understand this quite. I haven't read Perform yet, but Craft and Profession already use the same formula: 1/2 X Check in GP per week in profit.

    But let's look:

    Laurefindel wrote:

    So here's what I have so far...

    All Profession, Craft and Perform skills work around the following formula:

    net profit = 1/2 x (skill check result x DC).

    This "profit" is either calculated in gp/week or sp/day (see footnote #1).

    This seems like way way wayyy too much. I could see it as sp/week, cp/day, which would match what the constructions rules would make (minus 1/2 for raw materials and selling costs). I might even steal this formula.

    Comparison (check of 20, DC of 15):
    Book: 1/2 * 20 = 10gp
    Your formula: 1/2 * 20 * 15 = 150. If sp, that'd be 15 gp - actually *more* than the book. Interesting.


    Majuba wrote:
    Laurefindel wrote:
    An admitted reason behind this is to bring more parity between those three skills, so a that a character choosing a Profession doesn't ended-up being screwed over the fact that a Craft skill is more lucrative.
    Um.. I don't understand this quite. I haven't read Perform yet, but Craft and Profession already use the same formula: 1/2 X Check in GP per week in profit.

    This bit refers the the 1/2 part of the 1/2(check x DC) equation. Profession had the "divided by 2" factor, and Craft the "must pay 1/3 in raw materials". Just bringing the two skills on a common denominator.

    in 3.5 (and Pathfinder as AFAIK):
    Profession = 1/2 skill check in gp
    Craft = pay 1/3 up front, then (skill check x DC) in sp until you complete.

    If DC = 10, the two skills turn the same result (except for the "divided by 2" part of Profession and the pay 1/3 in raw of Craft). But when DC is above 10, the Craft skill turns more "progress" by week than the Profession skill make profit. Basically at DC 20, we can resume it to 2/3(skill check x 2) gp/week, which is more profitable than 1/2 skill check in gp/week

    hope that was somewhat clear...

    Majuba wrote:


    This seems like way way wayyy too much. I could see it as sp/week, cp/day, which would match what the constructions rules would make (minus 1/2 for raw materials and selling costs).

    oups, that indeed what I had intended. I messed-up in the original post. Thanks for spotting this out!(of course now I can't edit it - bummer). At any case, thing may vary a bit but should stay more or less in line with the RAW system.


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    The wholesale price is generally considered to be 1/2 of the sale price.

    That would take into consideration the raw materials, time of the craftsman, overhead of tools and buildings. This would also have to include the costs of the final seller. So a smith selling out of the smithy would be able to be working on jobs in between customers calling at his shop.

    If you have a general store he is gathering things from all over the area to be the Wally world of medieval times. He wouldn't be able to compete with a smith in the same town selling swords unless he made an agreement with the smith.

    We can look at this one of two ways. Either the general store needs to sell for higher prices or (the way I like) the smith can sell for a higher profit and can afford to give a bigger discount if need be.

    So where does the final cost come from?
    25% Raw materials
    25% Labor
    25% Over head
    25% merchant profit

    That might be good for an armorer but a baker may be more labor and less profits (few rich bakers).

    5% Raw materials
    50% labor
    30% overhead
    15% merchant profit

    I love economics but some place you need to figure out what works for you. It would be a mistake to spring much of this on a player unless he was as geeky as me about econ.

    1/4 materials costs is a good start then the worker can still sell to a merchant for 1/2 cost and still get paid for their time.

    I don't believe that a masterwork item is all craft skill either. To make the good stuff you need the best materials. There is a chance of failure so maybe 1/6 of the cost for the master working attempt then roll the dice.

    Fletcher making a long bow 75gp will need a workroom and tools and pay 75/4 = 18.75 for wood, sinew, and glue. Then work out how fast it takes with your system to make up the other 18.75.

    If he wants to try for the master work long bow cost should be 18.75 + 50 = 68.75. At the end of the craft time he either has a very valuable master work bow or an ornate normal weapon.


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    If you just want to ignore all the complications of actually making stuff and you are just wanting to know how much the player can make.

    I would make a decision about how much it is possible to earn in this area doing that job. Ok, you have 20 ranks of profession cook but since there is no king in town willing to pay the salary you deserve this is what you get. Even a master armorer can not crank out master work plate all day unless he has the knights lining up for his goods. He may have to spend some time doing horse shoes.

    I also like a sliding scale

    1-6 fail - no one wants your goods you are fired and starve
    7-14 scraping by - earn double your roll in copper
    15-24 It's a living - earn your roll in silver
    25-34 Respected - earn half your roll in gold
    35+ Masterful - earn your roll in gold

    So a low level character with a single point talent would have a +4 and may not earn enough to live off of. But a high level could live quite well. By level 10 and a skill focus you can easily see a +20 to your roll.


    dulsin wrote:

    1/4 materials costs is a good start then the worker can still sell to a merchant for 1/2 cost and still get paid for their time.

    The more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that the maker NEEDS to sell his product at 100% market price, because HE set the market price by being the primary seller as well. In a pre-industrial world, people go to the baker to buy their bread. There are no "bread merchant" or grocery. The closest thing to a grocery would be the town square market, where the baker takes its bread and erects a stand for the morning. But the bread is still sold to the consumer by the baker (or his wife, of his daughter etc).

    However, your theory might stand right if we consider the baker's wife to be the "merchant", bringing an extra % of profit home to the family. Yet it still leaves the question of what happen if you go buy your bread at the bakery. Do you get 50% off? About a bread that cost 2 cp, adventurers don't give a crap. But show them where they can have a full plate at 50% off and it will become a point of pilgrimage for the generations to come.

    dulsin wrote:


    I don't believe that a masterwork item is all craft skill either. To make the good stuff you need the best materials. There is a chance of failure so maybe 1/6 of the cost for the master working attempt then roll the dice.

    I don't think that a craftsman will attempt to roll the dice unless under the most dire circumstances. The loss would be too great. Craftsmen (not adventurers with craft skills) take 10, all the time. If that's enough to sustain them, great. If not, there are still the apprentices of somebody who can.

    As for baker being less rich than armorers, I blame that on the fact that bread has a craft DC of 10, while the (potentially masterwork) armor a much higher DC (up to 20 if masterwork). That multiplies the profit one makes...


    dulsin wrote:

    If you just want to ignore all the complications of actually making stuff and you are just wanting to know how much the player can make.

    I would make a decision about how much it is possible to earn in this area doing that job. Ok, you have 20 ranks of profession cook but since there is no king in town willing to pay the salary you deserve this is what you get. Even a master armorer can not crank out master work plate all day unless he has the knights lining up for his goods. He may have to spend some time doing horse shoes.

    I also like a sliding scale

    1-6 fail - no one wants your goods you are fired and starve
    7-14 scraping by - earn double your roll in copper
    15-24 It's a living - earn your roll in silver
    25-34 Respected - earn half your roll in gold
    35+ Masterful - earn your roll in gold

    So a low level character with a single point talent would have a +4 and may not earn enough to live off of. But a high level could live quite well. By level 10 and a skill focus you can easily see a +20 to your roll.

    Yeah, I though of something like that...

    however, the present formula has the advantage to be "flipped around" depending on if the question is "how much gp will I make in a month" or "how long will it take me to make this 100 gp item" or "how long will I have to work in this stupid joint before I can afford a longsword and get the hell out of here!"


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Laurefindel wrote:

    The more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that the maker NEEDS to sell his product at 100% market price, because HE set the market price by being the primary seller as well. In a pre-industrial world, people go to the baker to buy their bread. There are no "bread merchant" or grocery. The closest thing to a grocery would be the town square market, where the baker takes its bread and erects a stand for the morning. But the bread is still sold to the consumer by the baker (or his wife, of his daughter etc).

    However, your theory might stand right if we consider the baker's wife to be the "merchant", bringing an extra % of profit home to the family. Yet it still leaves the question of what happen if you go buy your bread at the bakery. Do you get 50% off? About a bread that cost 2 cp, adventurers don't give a crap. But show them where they can have a full plate at 50% off and it will become a point of pilgrimage for the generations to come.

    I agree with you but there are a couple ways to look at this.

    The PC may be just working for someone to kill time and earn enough gold to cover his bar bill and maybe save up for something.

    or

    He is a master smith and his goal is to make the finest weapons. Maybe he started only thinking about his own needs but some day he is a master smith. The question will get asked, "how much can he earn creating masterwork armor and weapons?"


    dulsin wrote:


    The PC may be just working for someone to kill time and earn enough gold to cover his bar bill and maybe save up for something.

    or

    He is a master smith and his goal is to make the finest weapons. Maybe he started only thinking about his own needs but some day he is a master smith. The question will get asked, "how much can he earn creating masterwork armor and weapons?"

    The system is an abstraction, and as long as you don't try to go into TOO much details, it can work.

    If the PC asks "how much can he earn creating masterwork armor and weapons?", then we need to come up with a DC. the PC whats to create general items, so we'll average the DC at 15. Ask for a skill check (unless the PC wants to take 10), incorporate in the formula and come-up with X sp per week. Repeat for every week until the band goes off adventuring and voilà. In order for this to work, we need to assume that whatever he worked on has been completed.

    Things get more complicated when DCs are different and items are expensive. Lets say the PC wants to create masterwork chainmails. DC for chainmail is 16 (with the new AC bonus of +6) while the masterwork component is DC 20. A single item may take weeks to complete, increasing the chances to leave with an unfinished product.

    Actually, I'm still trying to figure that one out... It will probably include some average of DCs, or go with the highest, or abstract the numbers in order to receive proportional profit from uncompleted items... I'm afraid it might look ugly, even if in the long run everything evens itself out.

    'findel


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    Keep us posted!

    I think you are onto something.


    Remember that the default "50% sale" is assuming the PC's want someone to take it off their hands immediately.

    If the smith is willing to let it sit in the back of the shop until someone comes along who's willing to pay market price (and risk not having that customer come along), then there's no reason not to let him do so.

    IMO, the way to turn production and sale of individual items into a potential income source is to come up with rules for selling individual items at market price, rather than tinkering with crafting and base earning rates.


    @Laurefindel @my houserule:

    Spoiler:
    Yes, sort of. Maybe you can help me clarify it.

    The way we've been using it, it's been about one check per day, since it is usually in the downtime on adventuring days and whole non-adventuring days. If crafting gets interrupted by a second encounter, I'll use two rolls for before and after.

    This isn't the clearest way of doing it, but it makes crafting into an action, something you do and roll during a specified time interval. Maybe it should be one check per "period" (hour, day, week, etc) since each item has its own period. Yeah, that sounds good. Thanks for the help!


    Jabor wrote:


    If the smith is willing to let it sit in the back of the shop until someone comes along who's willing to pay market price (and risk not having that customer come along), then there's no reason not to let him do so.

    I think that from our modern, industrial upbringing, we tend to see things reverse from what they used to be before the industrial revolution.

    In a pre-industrial setting, a craftsman isn't taking much of a risk in waiting that somebody is going to walk into its shop; the shop has been established in the first place BECAUSE there was a demand for the said product. A second shop will open IF the demand for the product is greater than what one craftsman can produce. Once things get big, guilds are established to regulate the "who does what".

    So I'm not concerned about the fact that the craftsman can sell its product at 100% of price market. My question is rather "will the craftsman have to spent a significant amount of time selling his stuff" in order to motivate a second skill check for the "selling" part of the business and thus reduce its production. If such is the case, Should it be a another skill check or a different skill altogether.


    @Toyrobots

    Spoiler:

    That's actually an interesting direction that you took. Unfortunately, mine is set on the base market price and at this point I can't back-up from that without going back to the drawing board, but maybe that's what I should do.

    I had envisioned a system based on creation time once, but I didn't set any standards and that made the whole thing crash. Your 4 hours, 4 days or 4 weeks thing works rather well. And yes, I would allow two 4 hours checks per days and two 4 days checks per week (Actually, that would work rather well with my "overland round" houserule...) You could even do a "forced march" to cram more crafting in a day/week with similar effects as overland movement (Fortitude checks to go on, non-lethal damage if you fails etc). That may be too complicated for nothing however...

    Actually, if you remember that "Is brewery a Craft or Profession?" tread, that's when I started exploring Craft/Profession rules based on creation time rather than cost. Making a weekly value-based roll on making beer is just silly, and I'm still stuck with it!!! You at least got that embarrassing concept out of your system, literally!


    Laurefindel wrote:
    Majuba wrote:
    Laurefindel wrote:
    An admitted reason behind this is to bring more parity between those three skills, so a that a character choosing a Profession doesn't ended-up being screwed over the fact that a Craft skill is more lucrative.
    Um.. I don't understand this quite. I haven't read Perform yet, but Craft and Profession already use the same formula: 1/2 X Check in GP per week in profit.

    This bit refers the the 1/2 part of the 1/2(check x DC) equation. Profession had the "divided by 2" factor, and Craft the "must pay 1/3 in raw materials". Just bringing the two skills on a common denominator.

    in 3.5 (and Pathfinder as AFAIK):
    Profession = 1/2 skill check in gp
    Craft = pay 1/3 up front, then (skill check x DC) in sp until you complete.

    Ahhhh, I see the confusion. Thank you.

    However, Craft actually has the exactly same formula listed also:

    PRD wrote:
    Check: You can practice your trade and make a decent living, earning half your check result in gold pieces per week of dedicated work.

    It just has more specific rules for when you're trying to make something for yourself.


    Most smiths will be producing a lot of horse shoes, small knives, nails, and other common use items. These are items that will cost little to make and sell often. They will probably only produce a suit of armor or sword when someone commissions the work. In short, it will be special ordered and a deposit put down. If he has a suit of armor or sword in his shop, it is most likely a display model to show the quality of his work to perspective buyers.

    Odds are anything costing more than 5-10 gold would be a special order item and would only be made after a customer commissioned it.

    A medieval craftsman probably would be lucky to make enough to keep his family fed on his day to day sales. His real money would come from big ticket commission jobs. Even bakers would rely heavily on specialty item sales as a number of households would be able to bake their own bread.

    The fact is producing items that don't sell is not profitable. A craftsman may maintain a stock of high demand items around for quick income, but other than that he is waiting for commission jobs.


    @Laurefindel

    Spoiler:

    Wow! Forced March Craft: great idea. I'll be stealing that.

    I do think that basing everything on price is problematic. I wracked my brain for weeks trying to find a simple fix, and it just doesn't work for me at all. Plus, it completely undermines things like batch-creation, which we use for potions and other brewed items in my game. Basically, if you pay for more tools on a one-time basis, you can make more items in the same time interval. Good luck doing that in a system where value determines time!

    All RPG rules need abstraction, but I feel like 3.5 went too far with crafting, and didn't glean much benefit from it. By focusing on gold at all parts of the process, they needed to abstract time to balance it. That lead to a system that makes crafting so inconvenient as to be virtually useless!

    So yes, I recommend considering a time-based system. In real life, when you look at an item's base price, it's simple: materials + labor + overhead. Materials and overhead are fixed as far as game mechanics. The only variable of meaning to the player is labor: how fast can I get this done? I believe time is where the die roll belongs.


    toyrobots wrote:

    @Laurefindel

    ** spoiler omitted **

    So, my group generally uses the craft skill = what you can create in a day.. profession = what you can make off of said craft skill. I remember trying to make a regular longbow once, with all the materials on hand and realizing it would take three weeks. That's ridiculous. A reasonably skilled fletcher can make a whole lot of arrows in a day, and a reasonably skilled weaponsmith can hammer out enough normal quality swords in a couple days to equip a small army, if given the materials he needs. (army being defined in medieval terms of any group of 35 or more armed men) It is not strictly as the rules define it. But I've found that it works extremely well for characters trying to craft something useful in their downtime.


    toyrobots wrote:

    @Laurefindel

    ** spoiler omitted **

    In real life, the 1/3 material, 1/3 labor, 1/3 overhead holds true 90% of the time. So a store USUALLY charges you 300% of what it paid to have it in stock. Once you factor the overhead costs, the store makes about 100% profit. That's why you rarely see thing below 33% off, because below this point, they're actually loosing money...

    But I was careful not to fall in the "that's how it works in real life" trap, especially since there is a HUGE difference between pre and post industrial revolution economy. The problem is, I know enough about it to know that I don't know enough about it. ehh... 'hope that made sense to somebody...

    @freesword

    Thanks for your input! As far as the middle ages go, you are right. However, D&D (or fanatasy RPG in general) isn't quite the medieval era. There is a huge demand for plate mail because there is a huge demand for adventurers... And these guys get stinking rich stinkingly fast. There's a new element in the fantasy economy that trows everything out the window; treasures are everywhere. Dragons are sleeping on heaps of gold! (rather small heaps when you actually start thinking about it, but still a significant statch nevertheless...)

    RPG economy has to take this in consideration...

    'findel

    Dark Archive

    I agree with the sentiments of this post. The problem lies in that 3.x is great for craft rules ... for anything up to about 20 gp. After that, it breaks down. It takes 157 weeks to make an adamantine dagger?!?

    Never mind that a basketweaver and a cobbler and a shipwright all make the same amount of money per week, with equal skill checks.

    I proposed the following during the playtest, and I am using it as a house rule:

    CRAFT

    Profession Checks: If you practice a low-risk craft (cook, groom, animal trainer, farmer, etc) and can make a DC 15 check you can earn your Craft check in gp per month. If you fail your check, you earn nothing this month.
    If you practice a medium-risk craft (armorer, weaponsmith, mason, architect, etc) and can make a DC 20 check you can earn twice your check in gp per month. If you fail your check, you earn nothing this month.
    If you practice a high-risk craft (alchemist, shipwright, etc) and can make a DC 25 check, you can earn 4x your check in gp per month.

    Crafting an Item: To craft an item, make an income check as above to represent a week’s worth of work. If the check succeeds, your income roll determines progress towards the market value of the item. If the result equals the price of the item, then you have completed the item. If the result equals double or triple the price of the item, then you’ve completed the task in one-half or one-third of the time. Other multiples of the DC reduce the time in the same manner. If the result doesn’t equal the price, then it represents the progress you’ve made this week. Record the result and make a new Craft check for the next week. Each week, you make more progress until your total reaches the price of the item.
    You can attempt to construct an item more quickly by adding +10 to the DC check. If you succeed, you double your progress that week.
    You can choose to make an item with only one-quarter the value of the item in raw materials, but you suffer a -10 to the check.


    Laurefindel wrote:

    @freesword

    Thanks for your input! As far as the middle ages go, you are right. However, D&D (or fanatasy RPG in general) isn't quite the medieval era. There is a huge demand for plate mail because there is a huge demand for adventurers... And these guys get stinking rich stinkingly fast. There's a new element in the fantasy economy that trows everything out the window; treasures are everywhere. Dragons are sleeping on heaps of gold! (rather small heaps when you actually start thinking about it, but still a significant statch nevertheless...)

    RPG economy has to take this in consideration...

    'findel

    Yes, and these same adventurers are bringing back and selling off cart loads of weapons and armor. Effectively flooding the market like a third world sweat shop. Realistically, only a few exceptional and well know craftsmen will dominate the high end adventurer market. To use a car analogy, there will be Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Bugatti, etc. factory direct and then there will be used car lots. If you have to ask the price, you shop at the used car lot, otherwise you say "I'll take that one" and not even ask the price, just pay it.

    Then again, we are talking about an economy where workers earn 1 silver per week, and a successful adventuring party comes back with enough treasure to buy out the entire kingdom (not at low levels, but one good dragon hoard and...).

    RPG economies would give an economist a nervous breakdown.


    The best way to get rich as a smith is likely to hitch your wagon to a adventuring party and persuade them to only come to you for their quality purchases.

    When they kill a dragon and bring back a whole heap of gold, guess who's getting a massive cut?


    Jabor wrote:

    The best way to get rich as a smith is likely to hitch your wagon to a adventuring party and persuade them to only come to you for their quality purchases.

    When they kill a dragon and bring back a whole heap of gold, guess who's getting a massive cut?

    ... and get the 10000 cp that they didn't even bother to count, never mind intended to keep...


    Freesword wrote:


    RPG economies would give an economist a nervous breakdown.

    only too true.

    In your best opinion, can a sound (if simple) economic system be achieved with D&D, or is it hopeless? I'd like to avoid the nervous breakdown myself if I can help it...


    Archade wrote:

    ...stuff...

    Tell me if I get this right. You propose that the Craft skill actually becomes an application of the Profession Skill?


    The more I think about it, the more I think that the robot's right: a value-based system is doomed to fail, a labor-based system is most likely the way to go. Back to scare 1. Bummer.

    Regardless of how good a fletcher can be, there should be a limit as to how many arrows he can ninja in a day. And regardless how expensive mithral or adamentium may be, there should be a limit as to how long it takes to make a friggin mithral spoon! Golden cannon ball anybody? A value-based system has no answer to those issues without a (most likely) counter-intuitive "alternate sub-system" for "exceptional situations as such". I think I'll save my dignity and move on.

    @toyrobots: mind if I steal your ideas and build around them?

    'findel


    Laurefindel wrote:
    Freesword wrote:


    RPG economies would give an economist a nervous breakdown.

    only too true.

    In your best opinion, can a sound (if simple) economic system be achieved with D&D, or is it hopeless? I'd like to avoid the nervous breakdown myself if I can help it...

    Depends on your definition of sound.

    If you mean realistic, I doubt it if you want to keep it simple.

    If you mean playable, the system as written mostly works but could definitely be better.

    Personally I limit myself to fixing the most outrageous offenses against my suspension of disbelief. This thread on mithril has an example of what I mean. I find the crafting rules to hardly be the worst of the in game economy issues, mostly because the problem cases come up less frequently than other oddities.

    My only real problem with the crafting rules is in the time to make a specific item being determined by solely by gold piece value. Inflated values for some items result in ridiculous crafting times. The weekly income roll is an acceptable abstraction for weekly average earnings (weeks of barely scraping by between the occasional sale of a big item).

    So far I haven't found a solution that I felt wasn't as bad (and I count added complexity as a bad thing) if not worse than the problem, so I live with it until I find better.

    In addition to the changes to special materials I linked to above, I also have different pricing for masterwork {(Base Price * 2) + 200} for both weapons and armor.


    After much brain hurting, here's what I've managed to achieve so far.

    According to the skills section of the rules, both craft and profession currently use 1/2 * your check result to determine how much you would earn working at your craft or profession for a week. If taken as an abstract average it should be fine.

    As for the part about crafting a specific item, that needs to be looked at differently. The check is not really how much gold you earn from a day of working on the item, but rather a measure of your progress toward completion with Base Price == 100%. The fact that the values are referred to in gold pieces and silver pieces just confuses the matter.

    The only real flaw is in the multiplier. Multiplying the check result by the DC results in more progress the harder the difficulty. Instead I would suggest multiplying the craft check result by the amount it exceeds the DC, with hitting the DC exactly counting as 1/2.

    This still doesn't quite address the long crafting times for certain expensive items (like anything adamantine) although crafting times would tend to decrease as level increases as both the skill check result and the amount it exceeds the DC both increase (multiply one larger number by another larger number).

    As for a limit to how much you can craft in a day, I had considered a gold value equivalent cap on progress, but I'm not sure if this will be beneficial in the long run due to the effect I mention in the preceding paragraph.

    To sum up:

    How much gold did I make working or n time = 1/2 * check per week

    How long will it take to make x = Roll progress checks with progress equal to skill check result * amount you beat the DC (or 1/2 if you match the DC) adding each to your progress until you reach or exceed the target (Base Price).

    I don't know if this will be of any use to you, but it is simple, playable, and more realistic than what it replaces. Hopefully I explained my approach clearly.

    I need to rest my brain now.


    Laurefindel wrote:

    @toyrobots: mind if I steal your ideas and build around them?

    'findel

    Please!

    That's what I hope to hear when I post them!

    Report back and show us where you're going with it.

    Also: The basic idea comes from Shadowrun 3rd, they have a general "base time" rule that gets used for a lot of different things. It works really well for complex processes like computer hacking and mechanical repairs — I hate to think what these things would be like under a market-value based system.

    I find base-time is very useful when combined with the "narrow/wide margin" effects (+/- 5, +/- 10) in d20 games. It turns out using a base time of 4 for any increment keeps the math easy, although it's not strictly necessary. It's one of my favorite tools in my GM toolbox, it was only natural to apply it here as well.

    I do think we'll need a small table that describes what time increments are used by the various craft-able items.


    Alright guy, thanks for posting!

    Your input has been vital and much appreciated. I'm revisiting the whole thing and I think I'm onto something solid (I hope anyway). It will definitively be a houserule, but one that has a limited impact on the rest of the game. Market prices will remain unaffected for example, and so will the skills and their mechanics (ranks + key ability + class trained etc) remains unaltered. Their effects however will change a bit...

    It will take me a while to sort my thoughts out, so don't be surprised if this tread isn't updated in a few days, but I count on you guys to critique the 2.1 version!

    Thanks again,

    'findel


    @toyrobots

    Your system wasn't quite clicking to me until just now. I think I understand what you are doing but I want to make certain.

    Instead of variable progress per check toward a fixed total needed for completion, you use fixed progress per check with the result adjusting the total needed for completion.

    Is that an accurate understanding of how your system works?


    @ Freesword:

    That is correct.

    The crafter looks at his sheet, sees that he currently has 3 hours invested in a 4 hour (BASE time) item.

    He sees that the current progress is 9 and the DC is 15, so he has failed by 6 points. At this rate it will take him 8 hours to complete the project.

    He invests another hour and gets a lucky check result of 22. 22 + 9 / 2 = 15.5. The new "progress" is 15, which brings him back up to base time, and he has now invested 4 hours, which means he has completed the item.

    An important thing to note is that I have basically removed "failure" from the equation. I don't believe failure should have a prominent place in crafting rolls. If you spend literally 16 times as much effort as the guy who is exceptionally skilled, I feel that is "realistic" enough. I don't feel the need to imagine a player wringing his hands because he "just can't craft a sword." If he finds the 16 days to make a 4 day object that the skilled character makes in a single day, that's fine with me.

    I don't believe in perfect rules that work for every campaign — this one works in mine, because of the way we manage time (a shared googledoc calendar). I wanted the crafter player to be able to say "I go craft for a while" with even small chunks of time, so that the other players would notice his efforts.

    In a game where free time is abundant or not tracked, this might be less desirable. But you're still paying the base price, and it is still possible to fair if your progress check is still an abysmal failure after 16 rolls. Part of the cost would be unaccounted for... but then again I guess that's true of the RAW as well.


    Thanks for the response.

    I must say that I really like how your system allows for crafting an hour here and an hour there without abstracting it into days and weeks.

    Do you have a set method for determining base time (whether it is hours, days, or weeks) of an item?

    I like having the possibility of failure myself, but that is a matter of preference.

    I fully agree that campaign specific variations affect how well some rules will work. Differences in game style and house rules can have an unexpected ripple effect.


    Freesword wrote:

    Thanks for the response.

    I must say that I really like how your system allows for crafting an hour here and an hour there without abstracting it into days and weeks.

    Do you have a set method for determining base time (whether it is hours, days, or weeks) of an item?

    I like having the possibility of failure myself, but that is a matter of preference.

    I fully agree that campaign specific variations affect how well some rules will work. Differences in game style and house rules can have an unexpected ripple effect.

    Well, I always have a base time of 4, because the best-case scenario takes 1/4 the time. This means if the crafter nails it out of the park on the first hour, he's done. He rolled a wide margin of success (10+) and it still took a decent chunk of time.

    As for the increment (hours, days, weeks, and conceivably minutes), this was left intentionally ambiguous. I do believe a table that outlines certain common items would be very useful, but my rule of thumb is this: the time increment should be the least time you can imagine an expert craftsman fashioning the item.

    For example: An expert smithy could be expected to hammer out a dagger in a single hour. Some might argue faster than that, but let's say 1 hour, it's much faster than the 3.5 rule. So, we'd make the base time 4 hours on a dagger (or any tiny metal weapon).

    Likewise, a full suit of fitted plate armor should take at minimum 1 month to make, so I would give that a base time of 4 month. Here, I would still allow a player to invest an hour here and there, but they only get to roll one check for the month, and their modifiers will be based on the general conditions they faced during the month.

    If anyone out there has real-world smith experience, or is very knowledgeable on the subject, would they please lend a hand creating a basic table for increments?

    It's worth noting that there are some crafting class abilities, like those of the artificer, that will decrease the time consumed even further!


    I had a character take Profession (merchant) in a campaign a few years ago, and I came up with a different application for the skill.

    In a city that is large enough to support the sale, you can make a Profession (merchant) check with a DC equal to the DC of finding an item of a given level in the Magic Item Compendium.

    The check takes 1d4 days, and means that you either have one stable location that you marketed well, or you went out and put out some feelers to have a meeting with a prospective buyer.

    Depending on how friendly the person is, the DC to convince them to buy at "normal" price would be "simple aid," but you could use your merchant skill to make the check instead of diplomacy, and sell at +50% would be +10 to the DC.

    If you were trying to resell the a magic item for full price, you could make the higher DC check.

    The point was to make it worthwhile to put points into Profession (merchant), while still making it take time out of adventuring to try and sell items at full price (the 1d4 days for a buyer).

    Contributor

    The trouble with the crafting rules, and profession, and perform, basically breaks down when you have to realize that some professions are less highly valued than others. Once you have 5 ranks in Profession Milkmaid, what do you do with it? Can you make the cows give more milk? Can you charge more for your miraculous cream? Can you take Master Craftsman and somehow squirt Wondrous Items and Magical Arms and Armor out of your cow's udder? (Potions might make sense, but Brew Potion isn't an option for Master Craftsman without houseruling.)

    The milkmaid needs her cow with her, or at least a nanny goat--hardly the most practical profession for an adventurer, or the easiest trade to ply. And getting a farmer with a cow to pay you the wage your skill ranks say you can make? Rather impossible.


    I would argue that higher ranks in Profession: Milkmaid allows one to milk animals faster, so you can get more done in a day :)


    Jabor wrote:
    I would argue that higher ranks in Profession: Milkmaid allows one to milk animals faster, so you can get more done in a day :)

    Actually, that's absolutely true!

    In turn however, I would argue that "Milkmaid" isn't really a profession, but rather one of the many applications of the rancher profession.

    'findel


    All that matters is how it plays at the table.

    Realism is important, but only insofar as it is important to the players, right?


    Evil Lincoln wrote:

    All that matters is how it plays at the table.

    Realism is important, but only insofar as it is important to the players, right?

    Agreed!

    But when the players feel that they are let down by the rules (whether they are from core or from my own houseruling), I feel that it my responsibility as a DM to improve them somehow.

    In my gaming group, the craft rules as written were used with unimpressive results, to the point that players started to avoid them as much as possible. I thought that was sad, hence the reform...

    'findel

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