PC's Making Profit Off PC's


Advice

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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.

Grand Lodge

Sure - go for it buuuuuuuuuuuut the players must have time to pull these shinnagians. Introduce some houserules that cover time needed to prepare 'masterwork' and other appropriate base items before enchantment.

Silver Crusade

Jo Bird wrote:

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.

As a rule of thumb, Item Creation should NEVER be able to significantly create ressources when used by players.

The system assumes characters will sell their loot at half value, so the half value crafting normally makes it so you can't create ressources ; but each raw Gold Piece you provide becomes 2 GP with an item crafter. Being able to craft whatever you want whenever you want is good enough without having to give them even more advantages.
This doesn't mean player X can't get a little benefice by crafting an item for player Y, because he his after all working and doing a lot of research/losing research time for himself by doing it.
But player X'd better remember that if he is crafting items, it's probably because he's the squishy caster type, only alive because Y absorbed damage for him someday in the past without asking him money for this afterhand.
This is a game about a group of players, not about individuals dominating each other, and I would assume that the compensation asked by the crafter reduces itself to become a friend price, or even a free favor at higher levels when the characters are real friends with each other.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jo Bird wrote:

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.

It's a player created problem generally, it's a GM created problem when he's not strict enough on magic especially custom magic items. If the party's bling gets to the point where it does impact... just give out less magic in treasure.

If the players are happy with it... then there is no problem. Just remind them that they can start charging Player X for THEIR services as well.


Are you the GM, X, Y or some bystander?

If Y is ok with it, I see no problem. Wealth by level is only a guideline, and it's not like they're multiplying money, overall the party still has the same funds.
3/4 is a 50% markup, so maybe that's a bit steep, but honestly it's between those two players, as a GM you shouldn't get involved.

X did spend feats on this after all.

Honestly I wouldn't do it myself, I mean if Y is better equiped eventually that helps me too, but as I said it's between those two.

However if it's threatening to cause a split in the party, or arguments that the other players are feeling X is taking advantage of them, then you should do something.


Yes, creating magic items can put a party above the normal wealth by level guidelines (irrespective of whether one PC is selling things to another).

Lots of people have their own house rules about this. Personally, I like to say that creating a magic item costs 70% of the retail price instead of 50%; that at least limits how much benefit the PCs get from magic item creation feats.


We've had big long threads on this before. Basically it boils down to how valuable people consider the crafter's time/feat investment is.

Argument 1: Crafting for fellow PCs provides a group power boost; not only do you get the stuff you actually want, you get it for 1/2 cost. This is a big deal, and many will argue it's enough of a benefit for the crafter that he shouldn't charge more than cost. Of course, if your GM is strict Wealth-By-Level it just means less loot is going to come your way, but at least you have optimum gear.

Argument 2: Crafting is part of good teamwork, just as the Rogue might sell the loot using his Appraise and Diplomacy, the Fighter crafts armor for other PCs, etc. Charging your teammates extra is unnecessary. This assumes all PCs contribute to this sort of thing equally, which is probably almost never the case.

Argument 3: Crafting requires feats and time, which could have otherwise been used to boost personal power/resources. Charging for this time/effort helps compensate the crafter for doing so, and his allies are still benefiting from having an on-demand crafting service that probably charges less than market value. Crafter will have more wealth than other players, probably spent on more crafted goods, but the non-linear pricing of magic items means he's not hugely ahead on power. Other players lose nothing (compared to just buying goods), but may resent the player with all the shiny toys.

Ultimately, there's no 'right answer'. My advice is that any crafter charges according to his needs, personal interactions, available time and common sense. For example, a Cleric should make Cure potions at cost, because when the Cleric goes down, it's the best way for the group to save his life. OTOH, if the Wizard has only a week of time to spare and he must choose between scribing a few new spells or adding +1 to the Fighter's armor, some compensation might be in order. Everyone should keep in mind that you are not 'craft slave' any more than the warriors are 'expendable front liners'. Ideally an adventuring group WOULD become so tight that the crafters would do it at/near cost (i.e. just like helping a buddy do his roof for a case of beer), but not every group is ideal.

Not every magic item some PCs will want will contribute to party survival, after all. One PC might want a skill item for crafting, for example. These are the best items to charge for. But if you know you're going on a magical underwater journey, charging for water breathing gear is kind of a dick move.

And of course, favors > money. Exercise some quid pro quo of services rather than taking the cold hard cash. This encourages other PCs to have the skills/feats to benefit the group rather than just themselves.


Jo Bird wrote:

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.

It's just redistribution of wealth, the net result for the overall wealth of the party is the same as if X had crafted an item for himself.

Basically, X and Y both get an increase in personal wealth but it doesn't affect the balance any more than item creation in general.

All item creation feats work this way, you trade feats for wealth.


Trikk wrote:


All item creation feats work this way, you trade feats for wealth.

Yes and no. It depends the form in which wealth comes your way. If it's in magic items, you sell them for 50%, craft them for cost, so no net gain over 'just keeping' the item. If you get commodities (gold, sheep, spices), then item creation feats 'create wealth'. Adjust expectations according to GM proclivities ;-).


Which crafting feat lets you craft sheep? :) Otherwise I don't really see the relevance of that to the topic here

Silver Crusade

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Quatar wrote:
Which crafting feat lets you craft sheep? :) Otherwise I don't really see the relevance of that to the topic here

Craft: Boom-Chicka-Baa-Baa


Quatar wrote:
Which crafting feat lets you craft sheep? :) Otherwise I don't really see the relevance of that to the topic here

A commodity is something you can always sell for full value, not 50%. Pathfinder calls them 'Trade Goods'. Sheep are worth 2gp. You can buy one for 2gp, and sell one for 2gp. Beat up some sheep-owing monsters and you have sheep treasure. Beware falling asleep when counting your treasure!


Helic wrote:
Trikk wrote:


All item creation feats work this way, you trade feats for wealth.
Yes and no. It depends the form in which wealth comes your way. If it's in magic items, you sell them for 50%, craft them for cost, so no net gain over 'just keeping' the item. If you get commodities (gold, sheep, spices), then item creation feats 'create wealth'. Adjust expectations according to GM proclivities ;-).

That's not "yes and no", that's "yes" with an exception. If your GM just dumps magic items all over you all day long, then your item creation feat will probably not be used much if at all and when you do use it, it just transforms the item into something else. However, gold is gold and getting more product for the same amount of gold increases your wealth.

Silver Crusade

Easy to deal with at our table : no one picks these feats. We still have the traumatism of the paladin walking around with 10k PP in jars, and characters with stats like 26/24/20/18/17/14 from 3.5 + Crafting.
And if someones tries to craft someday, then he can recycle the magic of existing magic items at full (half) GP value, or buy the needed difference by spending twice the GP equivalent... so, you can't create any wealth with creation feats.


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.

***

Example:

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.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You're giving your characters too much down time... get them busy.


Jo Bird wrote:

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.

Player Y, being a barbarian, finds out about Player X's scheme when Player Z, the party rogue that Player X won't cut in on the deal tells him how he is being used. Player Y beats Player X within an inch of his life for 'overcharging him' and loots his home, kills his familar, and burns his spellsbooks, breaking his jaw and all ten fingers for good measure before leaving.

Master Arminas


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I don't have any issue with PC's making a profit off of other PC's. Nor do any of my present players (although some of them DID when they were younger, now they've got jobs, wives, and kids of their own also their perspective on this has changed). In essence, none of them would have a problem with what you outlined. However, all of them know this:

All of the various predators in a campaign world, of which the PC's are one example (thieves guilds, noblemen with taxation powers, dragons, etc are others), generally tend to gravitate as much as they're able to targets that have low risk relative to the potential reward. If you start getting much greater than the wealth by level, YOU become considered a favorable risk to reward target (the archetypical example of this is the really low level guy who inherits his uncles cool magical sword). Normally such predators RARELY will attempt to 'red cell' you as a PC, you're a way unattractive risk-reward proposition. But if you're much above wealth by level, you're fair game.

You see this dynamic in a lot of Conan stories honestly, and similar genre stories---the hero regularly grabs insane amounts of wealth but can rarely hold onto it, at least until his station radically increases (becoming a King, in Conan's case).


Meh.

We always expect party crafters to make stuff for other PC's at cost price.

Don't think we'd welcome this 50% mark up business.


another factor to consider. if X is crafting all the group's magic items, he needs at bare minimum three feats invested over his career(ring, wonderous, arms and armour). most full caster classes are feat light, so thats a serious investment for him that will have zero direct benifit in the dungeon other than extra shiny. he has more wealth than the BSF and captain sneaky, but he has expenses they don't, such as costly material components and (if wizard/witch/magus) spells in spellbook/backup spellbook.

not certain this evens things out, but he's paying a high price in power (feats) for his extra wealth, and he's got extra costs to cover as well.


One real value in such feats comes from being able to have custom gear--that is, 'exactly' what you want, rather than what's rolled in treasure.

That's in addition to the additional wealth, the ability to have a greater WBL, more equipment...

It's a big, big benefit.


I guess we don't look at it that way FD.

If he blew all his feats on crafting then he isn't pulling his full weight in the dungeon and the party is left to pick up the slack of an underperformer. On the other hand that can be done easier with the stuff he makes.

Cimply put, one way or another you are adding ustility to the party.

The wizard that puts his effort into killing stuff instead of making stuff is being penalised significantly (under your considerations) as he only gets an equal cut, not an inequal cut craftywizzy is now obtaining.

If you want to craft and make stuff then tahts awesome, but to then be subpar during 'business hours' and expect your normal cut and THEN charge extra to the people who carried you is just too much.


The crafter is within their rights to do that...Kind of a scummy thing to do for your chums though.

Hedge Magician trait on the other hand, I'm coo with that. 5% profit that costs resources for them spending their time to help friends out? Yea, sure.

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master arminas wrote:
Jo Bird wrote:

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.

Player Y, being a barbarian, finds out about Player X's scheme when Player Z, the party rogue that Player X won't cut in on the deal tells him how he is being used. Player Y beats Player X within an inch of his life for 'overcharging him' and loots his home, kills his familar, and burns his spellsbooks, breaking his jaw and all ten fingers for good measure before leaving.

Master Arminas

What.

That barbarian sounds completely dysfunctional. He's not being forced to buy goods from the crafter. He can buy from anyone he likes. And why not just go the full mile and kill him, if he's so angry? If you leave a wizard alive, you will regret it. If a player tried to do this to me, first of all I'd find out if he went insane. If both him and the DM are dead serious about it happening, I'd probably quit. If I was feeling petty however, I'd get my broken bones healed/regenerated, then kill the barbarian and trap his soul. Maybe research some spell to create a private, personalized hell for him. There's no pain a barbarian can inflict that a caster can't return sevenfold.

But that's not what this topic is about. I typically play P+P games with a cooperative team-oriented attitude. If I was the crafter, I wouldn't do any mark up for fellow PCs. If the party crafter wanted to mark up his items, I would argue that the character he's supplying would be using those items to help protect his character. Buffers and healers don't get paid whenever they cast a spell, because the offense oriented characters are protecting them by eliminating threats. Everyone should chip in for the wand of CLW though, it shouldn't be a healer's expense. But then, I don't really like party conflict that would prevent the members from doing their best to keep each other safe in combat. They can have disagreements, that's fine and sometimes fun, but adventuring is dangerous enough without being petty about it.


I reckon a lot of the games I have played in and run have been dysfunctional then. All I can tell you is, no player character likes being cheated out of hard-earned gold by another player character. As presented, it sounds a lot like Player X told Player Y, it costs me so-many gold to make this, so that is what you are paying me. It didn't cost him that much to make, he is jacking up the price--on a fellow party member.

I have seen characters die over similar stunts. My players, and those I play with, all know that their actions have consequences. And lying to the party, taking more than their fair share, cheating them, whatever you call it is way over the line.

Now, Player Y could have just killed the wiz. He didn't, though because that would be wrong (and evil). He did teach him a lesson. Now if the wiz can't accept that lesson and reform his ways; if Player X comes after Y, in the groups I have been associated with, Z, A, B, C, and D will side with Y to put X down HARD.

Taking your lumps when you try to gyp the party is how we play. Getting sore and trying to

Petty Alchemy said wrote:
kill the barbarian and trap his soul. Maybe research some spell to create a private, personalized hell for him

is going WAY over the line to pure Abyssal evil. Do that because someone beat you up? Because you deserved it in the first place? No, that wiz would be put down like a rabid dog.

Of course, in my group (s), players are mature enough not to carry over grudges that their characters held to new PCs.

Master Arminas

Liberty's Edge

In one sense, any distribution of wealth in a party is acceptable, as the party will be using it to further their adventuring career. The trouble comes when the wizard has enough profit from everyone else to drastically outshine the rest of the party, and encounters that kill the rest of the party don't even challenge the wizard (or whichever caster is creating items). The other players stop having fun as a result. The GM needs to step in BEFORE this happens.


I. really don't see what the issue is. from a in character perspective why should I pay 100% markup when my friend will do it for less. from this perspective this makes sense. secondly if player a with the feats is doing this it sucks up ALOT of time.

2 campaigns ago I did this on my oracle and we were down for 48 days. once the crafting cost hits the 10k gp range doing to items is more than a month even with long downtimes available this starts to push things.

the other option though not strictly within the rules is asking the pcs to get the ingredients for making the items. it's no different from needing mithril for your armor.


DeathSpot wrote:
In one sense, any distribution of wealth in a party is acceptable, as the party will be using it to further their adventuring career. The trouble comes when the wizard has enough profit from everyone else to drastically outshine the rest of the party, and encounters that kill the rest of the party don't even challenge the wizard (or whichever caster is creating items). The other players stop having fun as a result. The GM needs to step in BEFORE this happens.

yes. this is why i don't charge more than creation cost, even if people are okay oog with me making a profit. I don't want higher wealth than the other party members because it is a team game where I make effective enough characters as it is. i would much rather have everyone else shine just as brightly, but that's just how i enjoy playing.

master arminas,
if a wizard can't kill the barbarian without it looking like he went off the rails and should be put down (a well placed confusion and a good nondetection spell just to make divinations difficult), that wizard didn't do something right. i'm not saying it is right to do so because it is evil
2nd, if the party rogue is trying to blackmail the wizard, he would be the first one to be dealt with. even if that didn't happen, he runs the risk of having to answer for his greed too.

either way, it doesn't matter, because the party should just demand the appropriate compensation instead of destroying the wizard's wealth and spells AND demanding the debt in pain. that is just excessive. assuming the wizard doesn't comply, then the beatings should begin, but that's a dangerous proposition. I don't know about the wizards you face, but the wizards I create are always ready to bring down or escape with most of his wealth from a party of non-wizards (now 2 other casters can def prevent escape depending on the level, but there are just so many ways to survive the encounter that bustin down the door is a bad idea)


True, and it was meant as a humerous example (perhaps my humor is not what I think it is), not a tactical guide to taking down the wizard! Given time to prepare, any wizard worth his salt is a dangerous, dangerous opponent. Like I said, just my warped sense of humor applied as an example.

Master Arminas


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

To me it would depend on what the crafter was doing with the extra gold and how the other players felt.

If the players and their PCs know about the profit being made and are OK with it, then that is not an issue. If they are not OK with it, then the PCs have to work it out - the PCs need a reason why they are adventuring together - not simply because they are PCs.

If the crafter is using the extra gold to get spells (copying or buying scrolls) and making backup Blessed Spellbooks, then it is not a problem.
If the crafter is making consumable items (scrolls, wands, etc..) that help the group, then no problem.
If the crafter is making stacked low impact items (boots that have strider, water walking, levitation, etc..) on them, then I don't see a problem.
If the crafter is starting to outshine the others, usually because they have highly optimized their gear, then that is a problem.

With Kingmaker, it is hard to even use the crafter ingredients are hard to come by, as often there are years that go by before the PCs are called to action again.

One possible solution, is that if the crafter is becoming a problem, then you may want to have the party rescue an NPC crafter, who set's up shop in their capital, and in thanks for their life and to help out the "crown", crafts items at 55% market value - the NPC crafter still brings in enough gold to live on. This will likely have the player crafter decrease their prices, and if not, then they will not see any profit from the other PCs.


Petty Alchemy wrote:
Buffers and healers don't get paid whenever they cast a spell, because the offense oriented characters are protecting them by eliminating threats.

The problem here being that the buffer/healer usually is also the crafter (or he's the glass cannon, or whatever); in other words, the crafter contributes his fair share in a fight already.

I can see why crafters want to be compensated over and above "My buddies are now stronger", as item creation can take up significant amounts of time (a 30,000gp item takes a month of 8 hours a day labor). If the other PCs are doing stuff for the crafter in the same period, that would be fair and square.

It all comes down to how exploitative it becomes. If you ask your wizard for a day here, a day there worth of enchanting services, there's no real reason to charge more than cost. When you start asking for weeks/months of his time, it's fair to accept a "No, sorry, don't have time" or expect to pony up some extra money for his troubles.

This was 'simpler' in D&D3.5 when the caster burned XP to make things; there was an actual expenditure of the crafter's personal resources, so compensation was far more justified.

A good way to sidestep the whole issue would be to replace 'crafting time' with 'ingredient hunting time'. Instead of it taking 30 days to create a 30000gp item, it could take 30 days to track down the ingredients, and a much shorter 'item enchantment ritual' once everything is assembled. That way everyone in the group could contribute to gathering the ingredients (30 man-days split among several adventurers), the item would get done faster, and the burden of time on the caster is not so heavy.

Of course, ingredient hunting might be quicker/easier in large cities and harder in small villages, it all depends on the level of detail you want to deal with. This method also maintains immersion, as rather than pouring 15000gp into a pot and out pops a magic item, you actually have to go through the motions of spending it and finding the required ingredients.


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Maxximilius wrote:


As a rule of thumb, Item Creation should NEVER be able to significantly create ressources when used by players.

I see this opinion expressed on these boards pretty frequently and I just wanted to say that it is wrong.

When a character takes a crafting feat they have paid an opportunity cost of not having taken some feat that would more directly increase their power. If ownership of the crafting ability does not increase our character's wealth over the expected value by level then it is impossible that the benefit of the crafting feat can make up the difference in power of taking some other feat.

As for the part about one character making a profit from another: As with all player on player action that is going to depend extremely heavily on the humans involved. I once had a character pay another character to be his personal biographer and herald, mechanically of course it was all completely senseless but in terms of players enjoying the game it was some of the best gold ever spent. Ymmv.

Personally I think allowing the crafter to make a couple coins from the other character is potentially a good idea, here is why: There is a strong temptation from non-crafting players to look at crafting as a party resource. It can be frustrating at times to see the benefits of a personal feat choice plus the fruits of crafting time go to other players who take it for granted and then go on to use those items to achieve greater glory in battle. Obviously this is not always the case but I can definitely see building a reward into the system being beneficial to the enjoyment of some people.

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master arminas wrote:

I reckon a lot of the games I have played in and run have been dysfunctional then. All I can tell you is, no player character likes being cheated out of hard-earned gold by another player character. As presented, it sounds a lot like Player X told Player Y, it costs me so-many gold to make this, so that is what you are paying me. It didn't cost him that much to make, he is jacking up the price--on a fellow party member.

I have seen characters die over similar stunts. My players, and those I play with, all know that their actions have consequences. And lying to the party, taking more than their fair share, cheating them, whatever you call it is way over the line.

Now, Player Y could have just killed the wiz. He didn't, though because that would be wrong (and evil). He did teach him a lesson. Now if the wiz can't accept that lesson and reform his ways; if Player X comes after Y, in the groups I have been associated with, Z, A, B, C, and D will side with Y to put X down HARD.

Taking your lumps when you try to gyp the party is how we play. Getting sore and trying to

Petty Alchemy said wrote:
kill the barbarian and trap his soul. Maybe research some spell to create a private, personalized hell for him

is going WAY over the line to pure Abyssal evil. Do that because someone beat you up? Because you deserved it in the first place? No, that wiz would be put down like a rabid dog.

Of course, in my group (s), players are mature enough not to carry over grudges that their characters held to new PCs.

Master Arminas

Thing is, he isn't being cheated. In the OP, the caster is still charging him less than any store would. And the other player has to agree to pay such a price. No one is forcing him to buy from the crafter. I don't see how you can say that he is robbing the barbarian. More so, I don't see how you can possibly justify the barbarian doing all that. I think the appropriate response would be charging for his own services. Escalation to not only violence, but ruining the wizard's life to the best of his ability (seriously, trying to stop him from ever casting again, killing his companions, ruining everything he has ever achieved in life? That's the worst thing a barbarian could do to a wizard. Just because he didn't kill him doesn't give him some sort of pass). That's just as evil as the wizard ruining the barbarian's life as best as he can. That's fair and square. The only difference is that you can ruin someone's life with magic far better than you can without it.

Splitting treasure evenly is a given. Having the crafter make stuff for you is nice of them, but they don't have to. It's his feat and off-time he's spending. If you don't like what he's charging, don't agree to it. It's that simple. I'm repeating myself here, but what you described the Barbarian doing is totally inappropriate.


The problem I have here is that most of the posters are implicitly exploiting the PLAYER CHARACTER stamped on their foreheads and are upset when the crafter doesn't give that stamp incredible deference. Would you expect an NPC that your party had hired to craft you all items for no charge when you're 'off the clock'? No, you'd be damned happy that he was so fond of you that he gave you a 25% discount over the best price you could purchase the item you wanted from anyone else. Not only that, you got the item on your terms and on your timetable---a significant consideration when you're talking about items above the normal GP limit of whatever metropolis you happen to be working around. Hate to say it, but this is pretty seriously metagaming.

Liberty's Edge

EWHM wrote:
The problem I have here is that most of the posters are implicitly exploiting the PLAYER CHARACTER stamped on their foreheads and are upset when the crafter doesn't give that stamp incredible deference. Would you expect an NPC that your party had hired to craft you all items for no charge when you're 'off the clock'? No, you'd be damned happy that he was so fond of you that he gave you a 25% discount over the best price you could purchase the item you wanted from anyone else. Not only that, you got the item on your terms and on your timetable---a significant consideration when you're talking about items above the normal GP limit of whatever metropolis you happen to be working around. Hate to say it, but this is pretty seriously metagaming.

I think this is the best reply yet. If the crafter is making items at 2000GP a day thats still years of his/her life at 20lvl


I think overall, that this is the issue:

Quote:

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.

I think the concern is the difference in relative wealth that ends up occurring. Granted, the PC did spend a feat.

But how much is a feat worth, exactly? Every player gets 10, not counting bonus feats, wizard bonus feats, ranger style feats, human bonus...and so on.

Right now, the wealth is what, half again everyone else's? A third? Is a single feat worth 30% wealth? 50%? Can we assign a number to it?

What of the benefit other PCs get?

...perhaps the issue isn't that the crafter charges a profit, but the profit is simply too large given the relative value of the feat.

What do you think?


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.


Ok... I am not understanding peoples attitudes on this one... I just can't see how the crafter is being anything but kind to the buyers in his group. I will give an example, that I HOPE will illustrate this, then some advice to solve the issue (specific to Kingmaker).

***Example***

You and I are friends. I own a game store and you like to buy all the new Pathfinder stuff that comes out. Because we are friends I give you a 25% discount and ask you not to tell my other customers about it (they all feel like I am their friend as well).

Now, at this point do you get all angry and storm out because I am trying to make money off you? Or do you say "thanks!" and walk out truly appreciative that you got that $20 book for $15?

I am guessing most of us would go with the second (and if not, "get out my store you leech!!!")

But this is a pretty analogous situation to what we are talking about. Sure the percentages are off a little, but not tremendously. The Wizard just gave the Barbarian a chance to buy a custom tailored item for 75% of normal value and people are saying he should pillage the wizards home!??! Really?

***End Example***

Alright... on to the actual advice.

The first thought would be that your PCs are running a kingdom whose entire economy is based on the sale of magic items (at least in large part). The PCs make laws and even put Kingdom resources into building infrastructure to support the local magic item makers... Several of them are mighty appreciative. Throw in there that the Barbarian is one of their best customers and is now shopping at the wizards place and well... maybe another magic item merchant is willing to sell him that same item for 72.5% of retail value!

That's right. It is a cut throat magic item trade out there and your little wizard can be undercut, just like anyone else. This way it makes sense in game that the wizard isn't getting the cash but the net result is the same... the wizard spent the feat to get the magic items for the party cheaper and the money is not being unequally distributed.

Of course, the wizard will be able to just keep lowering his prices... but he won't go below 50%... either will the magic item mart... but they also can get cheaper good by working the sellers of the masterwork portion of things for a cheaper product and so be able to go slightly lower... if it happens, just bottom out 50% and be happy. It will have the exact same result as if the wizard was crafting for the barbarian at cost.

Even if the vendors are doing this at cost for their royalty (the group), they can see it as the cost of doing business and giving bribes to keep the laws and whatnot in the kingdom favorable to the sale of magic items.

If there isn't that competition (i.e. the wizard doesn't take the feats for certain item types), there is no reason to drop prices in those areas.

Still, I think people expecting this is a mean of them...

Sean Mahoney


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.


EWHM wrote:
Would you expect an NPC that your party had hired to craft you all items for no charge when you're 'off the clock'? No, you'd be damned happy that he was so fond of you that he gave you a 25% discount over the best price you could purchase the item you wanted from anyone else. Not only that, you got the item on your terms and on your timetable---a significant consideration when you're talking about items above the normal GP limit of whatever metropolis you happen to be working around. Hate to say it, but this is pretty seriously metagaming.

It depends.

Did I just have to cart that second rate, half gimp Wizzy about a dungeon and carry him through encounters because he was sub-par and was THEN expected to hand him his full share of treasure despite him not being able to pull his own weight?

OR

Do we simply pay him LESS than a share (performance payment yo) and THEN he can charge us a mark up when we buy gear? (essentially getting him back to full share status)

If you choose to play a caster and then aren't bringing your share of the heavy lifting to the table you are cheating the party pretty hard because you want to play craftsman, that the party accepts your gaming choice and accommodates you shouldn't be seen as some sort of ticket to then begin making a profit well above your share.

No one asked you to take those feats, and the other wizard kicking about is doing his job buffing and nuking like a pro while you lollygag around the shop, and you expect 'a little extra for your effort'?

Amazing.

Just amazing.


Jo Bird wrote:


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

You take them to have fun.

If you aren't having fun, don't take them.


master arminas wrote:

True, and it was meant as a humerous example (perhaps my humor is not what I think it is), not a tactical guide to taking down the wizard! Given time to prepare, any wizard worth his salt is a dangerous, dangerous opponent. Like I said, just my warped sense of humor applied as an example.

Master Arminas

yeah, my bad. thinking about it, i don't need to get defensive about wizards. sorry


Shifty wrote:
EWHM wrote:
Would you expect an NPC that your party had hired to craft you all items for no charge when you're 'off the clock'? No, you'd be damned happy that he was so fond of you that he gave you a 25% discount over the best price you could purchase the item you wanted from anyone else. Not only that, you got the item on your terms and on your timetable---a significant consideration when you're talking about items above the normal GP limit of whatever metropolis you happen to be working around. Hate to say it, but this is pretty seriously metagaming.

It depends.

Did I just have to cart that second rate, half gimp Wizzy about a dungeon and carry him through encounters because he was sub-par and was THEN expected to hand him his full share of treasure despite him not being able to pull his own weight?

OR

Do we simply pay him LESS than a share (performance payment yo) and THEN he can charge us a mark up when we buy gear? (essentially getting him back to full share status)

If you choose to play a caster and then aren't bringing your share of the heavy lifting to the table you are cheating the party pretty hard because you want to play craftsman, that the party accepts your gaming choice and accommodates you shouldn't be seen as some sort of ticket to then begin making a profit well above your share.

No one asked you to take those feats, and the other wizard kicking about is doing his job buffing and nuking like a pro while you lollygag around the shop, and you expect 'a little extra for your effort'?

Amazing.

Just amazing.

Shifty,

I've rarely seen a wizard, even with 2 feats or perhaps even 3 sunk into item feats, fail to be perceived as 'carrying their weight'. That's because they're not really a feat starved class (unless you're trying to be a blaster). But my players don't have any issue with failing to hire/failing to retain characters in their party that don't carry their own weight. I'll concede that their social background makes them far less likely to offer reduced shares, except when henchmen/minions or lower level replacement pcs are concerned (level shares isn't too uncommon, but the idea of offering, say, a highly nonoptimized character a half share when he's the same level is a little much for them, in most cases they'd just not hire him or keep him).


EWHM wrote:


Shifty,
I've rarely seen a wizard, even with 2 feats or perhaps even 3 sunk into item feats, fail to be perceived as 'carrying their weight'. That's because they're not really a feat starved class (unless you're trying to be a blaster). But my players don't have any issue with failing to hire/failing to retain characters in their party that don't carry their own weight. I'll concede that their social background makes them...

I'd notionally agree, but the prevailing argument for the profiteers is the bellyache about having to sink their 'precious Feats' into Crafting and feeling they thus deserve compensation.

So I am flipping that around and pointing out that the other side of the coin must therefore be a less effective caster. If the caster is reduced in effectiveness because he is skilled in non-casting activities at casting expense, then why should he be 'charging the party' his full share of treasure?

This, of course, is where Wizards are looking to make money off the party. If you want to do that then you are a business, and if this is a business then the Wizard is an employee of 'The Party' and frankly they expect him to be fully qualified for the job. If he doesn't have the Degree in Nukeology because he decided to take a year off and do Swordmaking instead then he can expect a lesser salary.

Disclosure:

My personal opinion is taht players should feel free to play a nuker/crafter/whatever and everyone can have brohugs and high-5's all round. I don't expect the players to be charging more than base for carrying out their party function though. They have a job to do, and they are getting paid to do it - they shouldn't be trying to make a buck for doing the same work as everyone else.


Shifty,
Do your players never do anything with financial implications with their characters outside of adventuring time? Mine have been known to run inns, taverns, international militant orders, trading companies and in some cases, nations. They don't expect absolutely free access to the noncombat capabilities of their friends outside of adventuring time. The closest thing to that is occasionally a few potions or scrolls or a wand of cure light will need to be whipped up, and sometimes the crafter will ask for contributions towards it during an adventure.


EWHM wrote:

Shifty,

Do your players never do anything with financial implications with their characters outside of adventuring time? Mine have been known to run inns, taverns, international militant orders, trading companies and in some cases, nations. They don't expect absolutely free access to the noncombat capabilities of their friends outside of adventuring time. The closest thing to that is occasionally a few potions or scrolls or a wand of cure light will need to be whipped up, and sometimes the crafter will ask for contributions towards it during an adventure.

He was mostly turning a previous argument around:

Quote:


So I am flipping that around and pointing out that the other side of the coin must therefore be a less effective caster. If the caster is reduced in effectiveness because he is skilled in non-casting activities at casting expense, then why should he be 'charging the party' his full share of treasure?

But, I think we're also trying to pick this apart, and eachother, a little much.

A gaming group should:

1. Do what's comfortable and fun for them.
2. See #1.

Regarding profit, it's an area of "it depends," ultimately. I think the discomfort here results in one feat becoming worth a 30% boost in WBL. It also comes from, I think, a perception that charging for profit goes against the teamwork-feel of the game. Both are valid. Yet, what I would like to add is that what we may not be seeing is the impact it has on other PCs' wealth...and its benefit.

A PC who has access to a crafter is more likely to sell that object at 50% to an NPC. When the crafter then turns and charges 75% for a profit, then the original PC's wealth is cut, yet they also end up with the exact magic item they're wanting.

Is that worth a 30% boost in the crafter's wealth? This disparity increases because of the other PCs' increased willingness to sell. That is, they are selling at 50%, then purchasing at 75%. While this is not as bad as purchasing at 100%, I am saying that it will happen more often. Their own wealth decreases.

And yet, because of their ability to make a choice, each party member (including the wizard) is more maximized, build-wise.

So what is our exact issue, then? I think it's a complex question and that wherever it exists, crafting throws a wrench into game mechanics. I think that the complexity crafting brings to the game, when mixed with elements such as player enjoyment and expectations, isn't always obvious.

So yes, 30% may be a little much. Yet, look at the choices the other PCs are making. What we have is everyone's value, potentially, rising. And, the crafter's more than other PCs.

But how much is too much? And does it step on teamwork?

Does it make the game less fun? Does it wreck the balance of the game beyond something the DM is comfortable dealing with?

There are any number of ways to address the issue, just as there are ways to look at it. For example, one solution might be to make the cost of items even across the board. Reduce all MIs by 25 percent. But, that doesn't really solve anything either, does it?

What about scrapping treasure rolls altogether, and letting players choose their own items? That introduces other issues, though solves others. It also conflicts with some styles of play. It removes the ability of the DM to tie unique items into the plotline.

But for "balance," it works, doesn't it?

And sometimes, we want crafting skills in the game. Let's talk about Heal scrolls available at half cost. They're useful, aren't they?

Crafting is going to be a complex beast. It's beneficial, it's fun...and I think what most are balking at is the rather high percentage. Others are balking at the lack of teamwork. The fighter takes hits, the cleric heals, and the wizard makes his own custom robes, but the fighter's armor that lets him defend the wizard, too.

When teamwork is inherit to a game like it is with DnD, a pill like that can be difficult to swallow.

I'm not sure what the solution is. If the WBL is causing issues, though, one solution might be to talk with the crafting player directly, and ask them to charge 65 instead of 75. That may even things out somewhat.

It might also cause more issues. Try and see, but above all, talk with your players about your concerns. They may have some ideas on addressing them as well.

Liberty's Edge

Jo Bird wrote:

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.

I know in the kingmaker game I'm in I plan to use the extra gold to make better defenses for the land. Try hinting at this.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

lol. This is only a problem for control freaks.

To deny players the ability to roleplay their characters as they see fit, especially in such a logical fashion, is antithetical to the game.
Such behavior should be immediately punished by stripping said GM of his title and responsibilities.

Besides, any GM worth his salt could easily fix the problem simply by handing out more treasure that the other players would actually want, and less such trinkets to the artificer. It will all balance out as he crafts more for himself and less for the others.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ruggs wrote:

The fighter takes hits, the cleric heals, and the wizard makes his own custom robes, but the fighter's armor that lets him defend the wizard, too.

When teamwork is inherit to a game like it is with DnD, a pill like that can be difficult to swallow.

You seem to be saying that if the caster takes crafting feats, they no longer help out in the fights? Shouldn't your phrase say: The fighter takes hits, the cleric heals, and the wizard casts spells.

Some of you seem to be saying that the crafter should be forced to spend 1,540 days (based on the 1,540,000 gp figure from above) per team member making them custom items, at no charge or services owed. About 15 years worth of work for an average party and not including anything for the caster. Really?

I know that I have taken the argument to an extreme, but it could easily be argued that way.

Also, please remember that the OP has not said that this is happening, but that they had concerns that it could happen, and that they were looking for advice on how to handle it if it does.

In a campaign that I get to be a player (yai!), my caster charges 55%. The extra does go towards getting spells for his spellbook, which helps the party, and some consumables.

Does that mean that his fellow party members should kill his familiar, cripple and destroy his spellbooks?


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Shifty wrote:
If the caster is reduced in effectiveness because he is skilled in non-casting activities at casting expense, then why should he be 'charging the party' his full share of treasure?

How does taking crafting feats automatically mean less skilled in casting ability?

Not taking crafting feats does not automatically mean that the caster will be taking optimized casting feats.

Hmmm, or are you saying that if the caster takes skill focus -cooking, that they shouldn't get a full share of treasure because they are more skilled in non-casting activities at the expense of casting ability?

Hmm, does that also mean that if the rest of the group feels that the barbarian didn't take the optimized feat, that the barbarian should not get a full share of the treasure?

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