The Most Effective Ways to Make Money During Downtime


Advice


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Alright, so we've all been there where we have a lot of downtime and nothing to do but make lots of money, but how do we go about that?

I have seen multiple threads over a period of time of "How do I make effective use of my time during down time when I want to make money?" Well I thought it'd be really useful to make one thread, this thread, where everyone can contribute their ideas on how to make money effectively. Everything is allowed but lets try to keep 3rd party rulebooks excluded as that is hit or miss for most DMs.

When highlighting your way of making money during downtime please include a few helpful things:

1) Level at which this becomes effective
2) Amount of downtime required for it to be effective
3) Any investment required to make this effective

For example:

At level 5 as a Wizard you can have Craft Wondrous Items Feat. With an investment of a meer 3,000 GP, and given about a week and a half of downtime, You can create 6 Cloak of Resistances (or 6 Boots of the Cat or you can mix-and-match) and sell them at slightly under book price (90%) returning a full 40% profit (about 400 gp). Best part is, generally this will undercut the local merchants meaning people will want to stop by your store first for items.

This works even better if you can get your face to participate. And by the way, the week and a half is most likely the maximum amount of time it will take you to sell those items.

This will require just a few things to be effective: people who want to buy minor magical items and people who have the means. So set up in a city and sell your junk, not some small town.

Scarab Sages

Well, since magic items are sold at half price, you only break even with this tactic (unless you choose to sell only to party members).

A better tactic is using the craft skill. This lets you actually turn a profit, since you pay 1/3 the cost in materials, and sell for 1/2 the price, netting you a 1/6 profit off of each item constructed. You can GREATLY decrease the craft time using the fabricate spell, and if you are a INT based caster, and take 10, you can craft almost anything with little or no skill points.

Example:

9th level wizard with a 20 INT a headband of vast intelligence +4 and the crafter's fortune spell, get's a total craft bonus of +12 with ZERO ranks in a skill. By putting one point in a skill this bumps our wizard's craft skill up to +16.

Thus, taking 10 the wizard can craft either a DC 20 item that he has NO ranks in, or a DC 25 item that he has 1 rank in, with a 100% chance of success. He does so in 1 minute using the Fabricate spell.

My favorite use of this trick is to make small, but expensive items and just sell them here and there (and of course to party members). Spyglasses are worth 1000 GP. They take 333.33 to make, and you can sell them for 500 GP to merchants, for a total profit of 166.67 GP. This is not game breaking (unless your DM let's you flood the market) but it is a nice way to subsidize your spell book.

If you are feeling really ambitious, you can make larger items (ships for example). This may take multiple castings of the Fabricate spell, but ultimately the math is the same.

As always, you can make MUCH more money selling to party members for a small discount - Sell the spyglass for 900 GP to a party member, and it's a win-win for you, since now your profit is 566.67 Gold, and he saved 100 GP.


Thing with selling magic items is that Ultimate Campaign (page 173), encourages GMs to prevent this abuse by having the player make the money with their Craft or Profession check, instead of directly selling things for half price. I honestly agree with this.


If you're a wizard or other caster you have tons of good options.

Use Hypnotism or Charm Person to con people into handing over a bunch of their money.

By casting Forced Quiet you become the greatest babysitter in the land.

You could use Seducer's Eyes to land yourself a sugar momma.

You could use Ant Haul, Communal and hire yourself out to construction sites to super-charge production.

You use be a drug dealer, sell spells like Moment of Greatness or Mad Hallucination to sell wicked highs.

Scarab Sages

The problem with these suggestions is that they all amount to "have an adventure to earn money"

So...not down time.

Also they all involve DM cooperation and/or the rest of the players sitting around watching you role-play.

Fabricate gives you cash with a lower foot-print.


The designer intended way to just make money during downtime is with a profession.


If you can actually sell your ammunition for the prices listed in UC, that is by far and away the best "legitimate" way of making money (I'm sure there's some abuse of the Blood Money spell that works even better for rate of return) is Gunsmithing.

It features:

- Costs that are one TENTH of the market value, at least for bullets and black powder.
- The ability to churn out 1000 gp worth per day, just like magic items. Even lowly bullets and powder.
- Absolutely no risk of failure! There isn't even a roll involved!

Sovereign Court

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Run a scam, (bluff is a simple enough skill)

...I'm kickstarting a collectible card game based on magic and seaside locations. For a mere 10 gold I'll get you one of the first 50 decks made. It'll be worth hundreds of gold in a few months. How many can I sign you up for?

...I'm short of funds this month. Would you like to buy land in an up and coming part of Absolom. We call it the Puddles district.

...A vast disaster is approaching, quick buy a map to safety!


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PSusac wrote:

The problem with these suggestions is that they all amount to "have an adventure to earn money"

So...not down time.

Also they all involve DM cooperation and/or the rest of the players sitting around watching you role-play.

Fabricate gives you cash with a lower foot-print.

Hate to break it to you, but "great rich" schemes in D&D will always require some form of Dm cooperation.


Odraude wrote:


Hate to break it to you, but "great rich" schemes in D&D will always require some form of Dm cooperation.

I have to agree. Its the classic "rocks fall, everyone dies." The DM could just pull some bull and say "Rogues stole all your stuff." Generally, you don't have to deal with this. Also, you could sell this as "Roleplaying," which it is.

PSusac wrote:


The problem with these suggestions is that they all amount to "have an adventure to earn money"

So...not down time.

Also they all involve DM cooperation and/or the rest of the players sitting around watching you role-play

Yes, but in order to level its a common rule that you need some "Downtime" to contemplate on your adventures, ergo adventuring is not possible during this time. Might as well make some money.

Lastly, and completely off subject but I feel it needs to be stated, for the UC rulebook on selling items at ONLY half price of book price is complete and utter... Well you get the idea. Let me break it down for you:

So your an independent maker, essentially, so you make your own product and thereby can set your own price. There is no overlord determining what you can and cannot sell this for.

If you were, on the other, an enterprising merchant you may be part of a guild that regulates such commerce.

As long as your undercutting the local economy, by the laws of economics, you should be able to sell your product. This isn't abuse, this is economics. The UC ruling completely strips any logic from the situation. Why? Because you can only sell things at half price BECAUSE your not an NPC. Well screw that I'll be an NPC for the day, because clearly they generally have the generous end of the stick (except for poor Jimmy Jenkins RIP).


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Is it possible that there are PF players who don't realize that the game's buying/selling rules are governed by an attempt to maintain game blance, and not by real world economics?

I mean seriously... are there?

Shadow Lodge

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You can do this one at first level. It's great. You take your pencil and go to the spot on your character sheet where your gold is listed. Then you start writing 0's until you're satisfied.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Is it possible that there are PF players who don't realize that the game's buying/selling rules are governed by an attempt to maintain game blance, and not by real world economics?

I mean seriously... are there?

Its not about balance. I mean seriously, any DM worth his salt can balance that out fairly easily. So your a Wizard who just spent a MAJOR amount of time making all these really nice magical items. Did you take the necessary precautions to protect them? No? Well they all got stolen.

This isn't about realism, this isn't about balance, this is about a system based on logical ideas which, I have to credit Pathfinder, for the most part it DOES that. Now before you go all "Oh magic makes logical sense, pfft" argument on me to an extent it actually does. But making a rule that ONLY applies to PCs for no other reason than to make it apply to PCs is in direct conflict with the logic in the rest of the system is, well, very illogical.

Imagine if I wanted to sell you a magical crunchyroll. You like it, and decide you to make your own. Which you can for half the cost. You make it, and its very tasty. You decide what the hell why not be a baker. You sell it to your party members at less than what you bought it for but still enough to make a profit and they love it. Then you try to sell it to an NPC and suddenly SLAM! You can't RP the price, you can't negotiate with your DM, you can't do jack crap and why? Because the rules state that you can't in direct defiance with everything that would ever make sense and in direct conflict with the goals of the game. I want to RP how much I sell my stuff for, but I can't because there is a rule thats SAYS I can't.

In any case, this is moving into dangerous area of a rules debate so I've said my piece and I won't reply to any further arguments on this. In any case, I've been researching the Blood Price+Masterwork weapons trick and I'll be posting that in a bit, as soon as I find the absolute maximum way to make it work.


BiosTheo wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Is it possible that there are PF players who don't realize that the game's buying/selling rules are governed by an attempt to maintain game blance, and not by real world economics?

I mean seriously... are there?

Its not about balance. I mean seriously, any DM worth his salt can balance that out fairly easily. So your a Wizard who just spent a MAJOR amount of time making all these really nice magical items. Did you take the necessary precautions to protect them? No? Well they all got stolen.

This isn't about realism, this isn't about balance, this is about a system based on logical ideas which, I have to credit Pathfinder, for the most part it DOES that. Now before you go all "Oh magic makes logical sense, pfft" argument on me to an extent it actually does. But making a rule that ONLY applies to PCs for no other reason than to make it apply to PCs is in direct conflict with the logic in the rest of the system is, well, very illogical.

Imagine if I wanted to sell you a magical crunchyroll. You like it, and decide you to make your own. Which you can for half the cost. You make it, and its very tasty. You decide what the hell why not be a baker. You sell it to your party members at less than what you bought it for but still enough to make a profit and they love it. Then you try to sell it to an NPC and suddenly SLAM! You can't RP the price, you can't negotiate with your DM, you can't do jack crap and why? Because the rules state that you can't in direct defiance with everything that would ever make sense and in direct conflict with the goals of the game. I want to RP how much I sell my stuff for, but I can't because there is a rule thats SAYS I can't.

In any case, this is moving into dangerous area of a rules debate so I've said my piece and I won't reply to any further arguments on this. In any case, I've been researching the Blood Price+Masterwork weapons trick and I'll be posting that in a bit, as soon as I find the absolute maximum way to make it work.

Like I said before, Ultimate Campaign pg 173 covers that by having you use your Craft or Profession skill to show how much money you make in a week. It abstractly covers the price of the items and how good you are at being a salesman, as well as covering how long it takes for one person to sell an expensive item. And you can get bonuses from the buildings and rooms you have. You won't be rolling in the mountains of dosh, but you'll be making decent money.


Odraude wrote:
Like I said before, Ultimate Campaign pg 173 covers that by having you use your Craft or Profession skill to show how much money you make in a week. It abstractly covers the price of the items and how good you are at being a salesman, as well as covering how long it takes for one person to sell an expensive item. And you can get bonuses from the buildings and rooms you have. You won't be rolling in the mountains of dosh, but you'll be making decent money.

Yes, and I do agree its the fast and easy version while the method I propose is more accurate and a bit more complicated but tends to involve the entire party and if done right can be a good RPing experience. Perhaps, I wasn't clear. So an example that isn't going to always apply:

You'll need to be a Level 5 Wizard. You can involve your ENTIRE party on this. Say you have all the roles filled out: Tank, Face, and Rogue. So you get investments from all the party on board and in fact you could even get investments from locals (such as nobles, est.) but generally that can get complicated and its best to keep everything with your PCs who generally have your best interest at heart. You make magical items. In the meantime you have your Rogue scout the competition: their wares, prices, and quality. You then get your Face to sell the items while undercutting the competition. Your Tank gets to stand next to the cart, shop, or whatever and watch over his back. Everyone participates, everyone RPs, everyone turns a profit.

Also, if we want to get technical you could sell it to merchant shops. They'll buy the Cloak of Resistance +1 you picked off the bandit for book price but the one you made yourself for half? I think not! How could they possibly know you made it yourself? To my knowledge their is no spell outside of Analyze Dweomer that can tell the origins and creation date of an item, heck even Analyze Dweomer ain't that spectacular.


Most 'get rich quick' schemes fall afoul of supply and demand considerations pretty quickly. Demand for magic items isn't that great, all in all.

At the low end of things, players are pretty much stuck with Craft and Profession rolls. It's pocket change for an adventurer, though it will keep your head above water, financially speaking.

The key to making money is taking advantage of opportunities. Most get rich schemes are very general ("Fabricate to make armor!"), and therefore bad, because you don't have anyone lined up to buy armor!

So find out what's going on in the area. Is someone making a large wooden structure (bridge)? Fabricate can turn logs into beams and planks in a snap. Is a castle under construction? Stone Shape has incredible potential (one piece arches, solid stone sewer grills, etc). Is the local community gearing up for war? Time to make Potions of Cure spells, as people will want to stock up. Is there a shortage of some type of goods in the area? Move fast (Teleport) to an area with surplus, buy low, move the goods, and sell high!

The more life your GM breathes into the communities, the more opportunities for profit will crop up. It's hard for the GM to deny you bags of gold when you come up with solutions to local problems.


just crafti items for you and your party with craft wonderous item and your WBL wil greatly increas fast!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I actually prefer using Craft/Profession skill defaults.

Cuts down on all the shenanigans. I mean you could for example charge NPC rates for all your spells you cast per day right? But just like everything else just because you have a supply does not mean there is a demand.

The profession skills has that built-in. No muss, no fuss.


BiosTheo wrote:

...

Also, if we want to get technical you could sell it to merchant shops. They'll buy the Cloak of Resistance +1 you picked off the bandit for book price but the one you made yourself for half? I think not! How could they possibly know you made it yourself? To my knowledge their is no spell outside of Analyze Dweomer that can tell the origins and creation date of an item, heck even Analyze Dweomer ain't that spectacular.

I may be slow but why will they buy the first one for book price?

What is book price?
What you suggest sounds like an in city adventure where you need to talk to potential buyers and figth of thiefs. That is fun and the stuff of legends but Downtime refer to the time between adventures IMOP.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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I always thought of the downtime rules as not a way to earn significant money not-adventuring, but rather give new ways to benefit from your adventures.

Use the money you earned to build a business or a palace. Have the business sustain itself with its own revenue. Then as you adventure, that revenue builds up so you can make the business larger and larger. By the time your character achieves high levels, they'll can retire from adventuring to straddle the helm of their giant mega-corporation.

Scarab Sages

I still like the "fabricate small but expensive items" plan. You can make stuff quickly and cheaply, and sell it in and out of party for a constant low-profile cash flow that the DM is not likely to mind too much and that doesn't bog down play for everyone else.

Besides, a wizard needs to feed his spellbook. For wizards this is not a side-line, it's a survival tip: Put that high INT score to good use.


In any reasonably sized town upwards (where the buyers are) there are also the not-so-small obstacles like Trades and Merchants Guilds (who WILL object to you cutting into their business that is exactly why they were formed), the local Lord (who WILL object to the proliferation of items of potential use to his enemies or that could make his soldiers jobs harder) and the Taxman (who WILL want to make sure you pay a 'fair' share to him.

I suppose looking at this from an alignment perspective, a Lawfully aligned character would be happy to work within the constraints/restrictions of these whereas a chaotic one would probably need exceptional protection, bribes and good contacts to avoid running foul of law enforcement and black market rivals (who WILL object quite dangerously to their 'business interests' being cut into).

Either way, as was said earlier, you need the DM's co-operation and it is all too easy for any good D.M. to make sure your character's wealth doesn't imbalance the entire game.

Which is what, in effect, you are attempting to do.


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I GM usually more than I play. When players try these get rich quick schemes I mostly sort of laugh about it. Then I meet with them and we work out what they are really trying to do and we try to figure out how to do it.

It is a rare thing that "what they really want to do" is commit their characters to becoming merchants. In 99% of the cases they want to gain something material through the exercise.

Then we have a conversation about game balance and we eventually reach a solution to solve their real needs. Which is almost never a bag full of gold. And the solution we come up with is almost never that their character sits around for days or weeks making stuff and hawking their wares in the public square.

I've yet to have this end up as a game of "Merchants and Marketing". And if it did I'd pretty quickly tell the player that I'm not really interested in being the GM of that game.

YMMV of course.


+1 on adamantine dragon!

if you got a player who realy would like to be marketing it isnt a problem either you just make sure he get less loot lolz!

if its a player trying to abuse his skils for abnormal amounts of gold just dont let em :-)


Some good ideas here I like it! Keep it coming.

But to answer repetitive questions which I have already answered:

1) Of course this takes the cooperation of your GM and your GM has the all mighty god hand to keep this from getting out of hand.

2) No, I am not trying to cause imbalance.

This is an exercise effective ways to make money during downtime. There are tricks, we all know them, might as well put them in one place because as previously mentioned threads of "How can I make some extra cash" pops up quite frequently.

In Pathfinder theres only one exploit for making money which, unfortunately due to time constraints, I will be slightly delayed in posting. This isn't 3.5 with the Iron Wall and Fabricate into a million daggers then teleport around the world flooding the market with daggers making yourself 3 million. They fixed that in Pathfinder with some rather illogical ideas, all things considered, but whatever its in the rules. Not complaining because there wasn't an effective way to deter this trick in 3.5 other than to ask the player not to but I would have liked to see the wording, well, better worded for lack of a better phrase.


Well, when your core competencies are "stabbing things" and "plunder corpses", a revenue stream suggests itself in any community.

What? The town guard are pussies.


2 ideas which may be combined to some extent.

1, wizard creates blessed book and copies his spell book into it, its then worth the cost of making it plus half the value of the spells written into it

2, arcane caster with fabricate gets mithril/ adamantine, and creates full plate armour


Pupsocket wrote:

Well, when your core competencies are "stabbing things" and "plunder corpses", a revenue stream suggests itself in any community.

What? The town guard are pussies.

There are guilds for THAT too!

But on the subject of avoiding 'imperial entanglements' to quite a famous rogue character, pcs operating in frontiers and war zones will have a lot more freedom. Heck some organisations will start a war just to make money just look at the Iron Throne in Baldur's Gate, any major U.S. defence contractor and their Golarion equivalent who's name escapes me at the moment...


Create and sell undead? Is that a thing? It should be a thing!


Undeadsurgeon wrote:
Create and sell undead? Is that a thing? It should be a thing!

Meant to actually comment, lol.

And undead servant or laborer market sounds like a great idea to me. Would be fairly durable and unchanging laborers, and just need a permanent necro spell to keep them running. Nothing like a skeletal footman to carry your bags.

I am curious about what all people use together with fabricate and crafting to make this gradual income work. Definitely had issues with my spellcaster running too low on cash to buy the most basic of spells to flush out my spells per day.


In my group we just rob banks.

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