Should the party crafter decide what the party needs?


Scarab Sages

There's a long thread kicking off about 'should the crafter charge for what he makes for others', which I don't expect to be resolved any time soon.

Rather than lose myself in that thread, I thought I'd ask a question which usually gets drowned out by the income question, or not asked in the first place.

Should a crafter have any right to insist on what items he prioritises, or even refuse to craft some items altogether?

I'm not just talking about profane items, which violate their core beliefs (though that is a good example), but where the crafter believes the commissioning PC doesn't have a clue what they or the party actually want or need.

A prime example would be, a martial PC requesting an upgrade to his weapon, and the crafter responding with "No, because you always get yourself dominated, and come after my blood. I waste half of every fight trying to avoid you, instead of focussing on the enemy."

"I am spending this weekend crafting wands of protection from chaos, and evil, to be used on you, and you can like it or lump it."

"If you insist on still scouting ahead, I will start work on a headband of owls wisdom, which will count toward your share of the next treasure."

"You will not receive any increase in your killing power, unless and until you have proven that power will no longer be used against the rest of us."

(Where the rest of the party are in agreement, I can anticipate the following being added...)
"In addition to the above, we expect you to take advantage of this downtime, to visit the Temple of Irori, and build up your mental fortitude." (i.e. take Iron Will as this level's feat).

So; is this unbearable influence on another character? Cramping another player's style? Responsible resource management? Tactical genius by an expert in his field?

Take it away, everyone.
Usual rules apply, messageboard etiquette to be maintained, no punching below the belt, no eye-gouging, break off when the referee calls time.

Ding! Ding!

Your question pre-supposes all (or even many) parties have a dedicated crafter.

Another factor is whether the hypothetical crafter is a PC or NPC ... and if a NPC, what type (hireling, "free-willed" DM NPC, or Cohort).

As a PC, refusing to make what is asked is perfectly reasonable. Trying to make someone else's character wear what you've decided he needs is probably over the line, as is telling him he *has* to take a certain feat. In-character, if the offending PC is unworkable, the party can look for a replacement (which hint might have the desired effect without the obvious coercion).

With a DM-run NPC (perhaps a small party needs a 4th), I would shy away from making a crafter in the first place. My feeling on DM-run NPCs is that simpler is better ... a "meat-shield" is ideal for this, while the more fiddly spellcasters are problematic (and crafters moreso).

With Cohorts, there was a recent thread on using cohorts as factories, so I will not repeat that.

As a hireling, a hired crafter makes what he is asked to. If the job gets so dangerous that he is inclined to refuse some requests and make alternates, he should probably be considering changing employers first.

Withholding crafting to specific players as a means to alter their character equipment/class abilities is out of line and a dick move in general.

The only time I would consider it acceptable is if that player was in-character acting out of line (ie: murdering at will or something) and the crafter refuses services for roleplay purposes. If the player is being disruptive out of character, that should be handled out of game.

Now, if the crafter is deciding priorities on which items get made first/second/etc that is perfectly fine, as long as one person is not accumulating more items than the rest of the group. If the party wants to "Lobby" for specific items sooner, that's their prerogative.

Taking someone's gold and making it into something you think he needs is out of bounds.

If you are having an issue with someone dumping X, where X is something extremely important to both his life and yours, then you need to discuss it with that person.

I'd probably side on "refusing to craft for someone is a jerk move if the only reason why is because you don't like what he wants". The better way to get where you are going, is to talk to the PC as a group and work out the issue. You will have a far better time saying "hey, we're your friend, this is the 17th consecutive will save you've failed and every time you try to kill the wizard. You need to seriously consider repairing that weakness."

Its going to come across much better than:
"no, I refuse to craft for you until you do what I say and make your character according to my rules".

The end result is the same, but without the crafter sounding like a dictator.

That being said: about the wand thing.
If the crafter is already making things for himself, there's no reason for him to stop just because someone asked them to make them an item.
I could foresee a theoretical "group need" where the group asks for something the group needs, and asking the crafter to make something "out of que" for a moment but even that would be the extreme, extreme rarity.
By and large, what the crafter wants to craft comes before what someone else wants crafted. They did take the feat afterall, and aren't a slave to anyone.


Unless the group is voting on whether or not the barb uses power attack and when the crafter gets to determine the waiting line order. Even if he's a dedicated crafter.

Edit: A damn few reasonable exemptions may apply.

Selgard wrote:
Taking someone's gold and making it into something you think he needs is out of bounds.


While I agree the Crafter has the right to prioritize what he will make (and how much to charge), saying he's going to craft something for someone against his will (and then making that person use it) seems a little bit Wonky. Especially when he's then going to Charge the player for it as well.

It would be one thing if the Crafter made it as a Gift, and expected the Character to use it, but making an item the Character doesn't want and charging him for it is definately Out of Bounds.

Why craft wands when you can simply improve his cloak of resistance?

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The party crafter should craft whatever he wants to craft for himself with is own money first.

Then, after that, if he has some time to craft other things for other people then he should work those projects in by whatever prioritization system he deems fit, since he is doing the crafting. He could decide on his own which items are more important, or he could draw straws, or he could put the highest bidder at the front of the line. It's his choice, and if others in the party don't like it then they can burn their feats on crafting too, or they can kick him out of the party and have no crafter.

He should, of course, never take money from someone and craft something they didn't ask for. Nor should he presume to make decisions with group funds that the group doesn't agree to.

The Exchange

The crafter can simply just refuse to make him what he wants, but he is very much dictating how he thinks the character needs to run and then he is just taking the concept from the guy who is running him as well as the fun of playing the character how he wants.

I'm totally on board with "I'm not upgrading your weapon until you stop getting magically compelled to use it on me," because that's the crafter protecting himself. Declaring "I'm going to make you upgrade your wisdom and take it out of your share of the treasure" is unacceptable, because why does the crafter get to decide how the party splits its loot? On the other hand, saying, "Hey guys, what if I made a headband of Owl's Wisdom for the scout, and we took the material costs off the top of the next haul?" makes sense, because it's beneficial to everyone in the party.

Scarab Sages

Good responses so far from both sides.

It's 2:15 am here, so I'll hold off answering anyone till tomorrow, except to say that I agree with several people so far, that you don't take anyone's money, or craft anything, until you've had the intervention meeting with them.

I agree with pathar

Scarab Sages

I can't imagine anyone I game with crafting something other than what a player wants when the other character is paying. If a character has a weakness, normally it's the player who is asking for something to improve that weakness more than anything else.

As far as prioritizing crafting, of course the item crafter can choose what to make first - or at all, if it comes to that. All groups I have played in, though, have been reasonable when recognizing what the group needs to be successful. Perhaps I've avoided most of the selfish players but I don't ever remember a dispute about something like this. Most people are smart enough to recognize when another character needs something more.

Crafting something they don't want after taking their money absolutely not.

But refusing to craft them a new shiny sword until they do something about the repeated attempts to cave in your face, yeah sure.

My general policy on the order of priority is that it is entirely up to the crafter but that generally speaking my order would be, Crucial items for immediate needs(group or personal)->Any and all personal wants->Wants of Group members in order of need.

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