Magic crafting on the cheap


Advice


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When it comes to item crafting, what are the biggest discounts we can manage with the current rules?

The best I've been able to manage is a 77.5% discount over the market price while using the Downtime rules, and certain traits.

That's about as cheap as I can manage to craft something for, off the top of my head.

Can we do better than that?


I don't think so. You can get a 5% trait discount, but it only amounts to 2.5% of market. You can gather half price magic capital to use for components if you have the time and patience for fetch quests. There are no feats like Mercantile Background from 3.5 Forgotten Realms for a damn good reason, the game designers finally accepted that just like in the real world money = power. I suppose with the campaign trait Favored Son/Daughter you could craft for 22.5% and sell for 60%, but if you like free money just wait for Fabricate and make sure you take 1 rank of Craft Jewelry or something similar.


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I was never very good at math. Let me see if I can work it out...

Say a magical item costs 10,000gp market price (100%). To craft it, I would generally need to spend gold equaling half of that amount 5,000gp (50%).

Traits that reduce the creation cost (5,000gp) by 10%* would mean I need to pay 4,500gp.

However, I can use magic capital to pay that cost. 1 point of magic capital cost me 50gp to earn and can be used to pay for 100gp of the crafting cost. Therefore, I would need to earn 45 magic capital during my downtime.

That would set me back 2,250gp, compared to Joe adventurer who bought the item (albeit much more quickly) for the full market price of 10,000gp.

Compared to Joe, I've saved 77.5%

* My calculations assume that you add the percentages together rather than deducting them consecutively.


Spark of Creation and Hedge Magician are both magic traits, so you can't get them both RAW. The percentage is correct, you can by having one of those traits and gathering magic capital craft for 22.5% of market, so a 77.5% discount. It will take you half of forever, but it is the cheapest I can find.

I am currently thinking more the other way, how fast can you get at crafting? If the BBEG is gonna finish the ritual next week it matters more what can I make in that week than how cheap.


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Gregory Connolly wrote:
if you like free money just wait for Fabricate and make sure you take 1 rank of Craft Jewelry or something similar.

No need for fabricate. Just cast create bullet over and over again. Turns 2 gp into 30 gp, sell for half for 15 gp. So with 2-3 1st level spells per day, that equates to 30-45 gp per day. In one week of downtime you have 210-315 gp. In a month that's 840-1260 gp.

Then buy a robe of twine. It produces a few thousand gold pieces worth of rope (resale) every day.


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Gregory Connolly wrote:
I am currently thinking more the other way, how fast can you get at crafting? If the BBEG is gonna finish the ritual next week it matters more what can I make in that week than how cheap.

In addition to abilities and feats that reduce crafting time (of which there are quite a few if I'm not mistaken) a powerful spellcaster can create a greater demiplane where time much more quickly in relation to the material plane. That will cut all your crafting times in half after all your other abilities are taken into account.

But this thread is about cost savings, not about time savings. Nor is it about money-making schemes.


@Ashiel

Cool tricks. I haven't used either of them, but they look legit, if you are in a city not a hamlet. Granted you aren't selling much jewelry in a hamlet, so yeah, basically just be a caster who lives in a city and free money.

I can see some GMs not appreciating this and saying that bullets and rope are now dirt cheap, or that The Bullet and Ropemakers Guild is just a front for the Assassins Guild.

@Ravingdork

Sorry for the threadjacking. I have been looking for ways to make crafting cheaper for 3 years and I haven't found anything other than what you already have.


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This is probably going to be a short thread then... :(


Does the 30% reduction in creation cost apply to arcane bonded objects (since literally only the original wizard can use the item // the item is only a masterwork item to everyone else)?


I'm generally in the boat that the 10% reduction in creation cost applies to musical instruments / crafting instruments / variety of tools where skills have to be used (perform/profession/craft).


It's 3rd party, but no one is better than the Artisan!


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The second Deific Obedience (for the Evangelist) from the Torag boons list in Inner Sea Gods grants a 10% discount on the cost of making items.

That goes well thematically with the above-mentioned two traits.

So we're up to 20% off from abilities and traits alone.

A magical item costing 10,000gp market price (100%) would cost 4,000gp to craft.

I would need to earn 45 magic capital during my downtime, which would set me back 2,000gp rather than the full market price of 10,000gp.

80% savings

:D


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I found a feat called Focused Overseer that let's you earn or purchase a specific kind of capital at half the normal cost. A prerequisite feat, Focused Worker, let's you earn said capital faster. Both are from Paizo's Quests and Campaigns, which includes loads of fun new supplementary rules for their downtime system from Ultimate Campaign.

That means you can earn capital for only 25gp a pop.

The second Deific Obedience from the Torag boons and the two traits grant a 20% discount on the cost of making items.

A magical item costing 10,000gp market price (100%) would cost 4,000gp to craft.

I would need to earn 40 magic capital during my downtime*, which would set me back 1,000gp rather than the full market price of 10,000gp.

~90% savings more often than not. Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves the artificer class! :D

* I mistakenly said 45 magic capital in similar example of a previous post.


Well, some ideas that come to mind immediately are the spell Blood Money or any of the multiple methods to gather Soul Gems or equivalents: a cacodaemon familiar from the Fiendish Vessel cleric archetype or the Souldrinker prestige class; the Soul Pool from the Souldrinker prestige class; the spells Summon Cacodaemon and Summon Cacodaemon, Greater; a Ring of the Cacodaemon; or the spell Create Soul Gem.

Even basic, 1st-level mooks have souls worth 100gp a pop, with higher level enemies having more valuable souls. If you're willing to bow down to one of the Four Horsemen, harvesting souls to use as material components for magic item crafting is a piece of cake. A Fiendish Vessel (5)/Souldrinker (2) would be able to harvest 1,000+ gp worth of souls and soul fragments per day pretty routinely, and even more as they move up in levels.

Of course, this is the undeniably evil way of saving money...

EDIT: Just realized Blood Money specifically prohibits use for magic item creation. :/


What about the dwarf wizard favored class bonus?


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That makes crafting faster, but not cheaper.


Genie Binder gets a discount on items "related to genies" which is very abusable.


I'm sorry, i thought you were trying to make it cheaper for the purpose of faster crafting.


Well cant you bond an object, enchant it, then using downtime change the bond. Cost wise cheap, time not so good.


My earlier post should say "Talisman of Soul-Eating" where it says "Ring of the Cacodaemon". Not that anyone probably would have noticed, but hey.

Sczarni

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Another way to get things cheaper is by using a Lyre of Building. Essentially, you get the raw materials for a house or just the area for building. Get your play instrument and crafting up to +8 or so (class, 1 rank, and +4 from whatever else (stat/feat/trait)), play for 8 hours (taking 10). Then start making Forced March rolls rolls for additional hours. In one day (one week, since you can't use it again) you have "worked" for:

600 man days per hour (8 hours of labor) = 2400 man hours per hour of labor.
Times 10 (probably fail the fort roll after it gets to dc 26 or so - though you CAN take 10 on ability checks (so a high con means you can play for probably 10 hours no problem (without rolling), so it might be higher depending on your ability, or lower) = 24000 man hours of labor.

Now, it works on YOUR crafting skill (like Fabricate). So you can construct masterwork mansions and such. With "land" as the base material (which is "free" since it is just dirt and stone). Doing a quick search online for a 2500 stucco house (modern) it is .75 man hours per square foot (all trades involved for a modern house).

So that is 1875 for a 2500 sq foot house (in Paizo that is a mansion).
So each week you can make 12.8-13 mansions. Sell those for a "slight" profit. (note, or rent them for 100 gp each a month for continual residual income - that is 52 a month (newly made) and 5.2k gp a month rent).

Further making this city, each year is 624 mansions, and 62.4k a month in rent residual income. Or 748.8k a year (cumulative for as long as you can keep the settlement going).

In theory, at full rental (done cumulatively monthly) each year would net: the first year you get half the income (374.4k) due to how the math works out, then 748.8k a year after that. If you need more money, work once a week, and make more houses.

Now retire in your new kingdom of Stucco palaces.

Lyre of Building costs 6500 to craft, so a group of 3rd level characters could have one... or a single 5th level character (or a 4th level who borrows 500 gp). Craft wondrous/crafting master feats can't really be done until you have +5 crafting (for crafting master), so say 5th level. Which is usually just high enough level to enforce the rent on lvl 1-4 npcs. Note: anyone who is not a caster who wants to do this can simply take a feat which grants them a caster level before 3rd level (such as rogue talent minor spell), so that they can take the wondrous items crafting at 3rd level. Note that getting to a +10 (so you can take 10) on crafting is no mean feat and can easily be done at level 5 as well (5 ranks, 3 from class skill, 2 stat). So all of the mansions could conceivably easily be masterwork houses. Possibly upping the rent/resale value? Note also, I only used the "rent" for "wealthy" instead of "Extravagant", which is 10x that (for a mansion). I was being conservative and trying to ensure 100% occupation in this Utopia village. (and also figuring that people living in Extravagant lifestyles easily pay the 100gp tax/rents offered (without even looking))

Don't forget to lay in the sewer system(s) before you start... lol.

(an interesting side note is that a person could conceivably dig down while building up and end up with a 13 story building with 13 sublevels in a single day of playing... interesting ideas abound)


Dot

Sczarni

Yeh, imagine if a "War of Lyres" broke out someplace... lol.

The houses suddenly fell into the sink hole... dunno how that happened... where did the dirt that was there go? Oh... someone used a Lyre of Building to dig mines under the city, then stone shape to remove the supports? (or was level 1 and just failed his crafting check for the mine)


some necromancy here, because im passing through and have something to contribute.

as a note, you can easily craft a mundane item, use a spell to masterwork it, and then enchant it normally. this would cut out the cost and difficulty for making it masterwork.... whatever that would be.


Shinoskay wrote:

some necromancy here, because im passing through and have something to contribute.

as a note, you can easily craft a mundane item, use a spell to masterwork it, and then enchant it normally. this would cut out the cost and difficulty for making it masterwork.... whatever that would be.

Except the material component of the mastercrafting spell is the cost of making a mastercrafted item, in gold.

Oh, and the biggest discount you can get for magic item discount is being a Druidic Herbalist. That is one of the 3 divine bonds available to a druid. If you choose Druidic Herbalist instead of having an animal companion or domain you can make potions for free. Well, not really potions but close enough. And you can only make your wis mod in free potions each day, but seriously free.


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Shinoskay wrote:

some necromancy here, because im passing through and have something to contribute.

as a note, you can easily craft a mundane item, use a spell to masterwork it, and then enchant it normally. this would cut out the cost and difficulty for making it masterwork.... whatever that would be.

The spell masterwork transformation does not provide any (monetary) cost savings over purchasing a masterwork item: "The material component for the spell is magical reagents worth the cost difference between a normal item and the equivalent masterwork item (typically 300 gp for a weapon, 150 gp for armor, or 50 gp for a tool)." Crafting a masterwork item only costs 1/3 the market price for both the base item and the masterwork component; time is a factor with the base Craft skill, but crafter's fortune + fabricate pretty much allows crafting of masterwork items within a few rounds at the 1/3 cost for the Craft skill and minimal or no skill rank investment.

Note that the Craft skill can be used untrained and taking 10 on a Craft check is allowed if you aren't in combat! Just about any 9th level wizard with a headband of vast intelligence +2 (starting Int 16 or more, +1 Int at 4th, +1 Int at 8th, +2 enhancement) has a base +5 on untrained Craft checks; adding +5 from crafter's fortune and taking 10 gives a check result of 20, which is the minimum for creating masterwork items (DC 20). Only for certain specific cases (such as some alchemical substances and composite bows with a +3 or more Str rating) will the DC for crafting the base item be more than 20.


Masterwork Transformation qualifies for blood money.


Masterwork transformation + blood money (or false focus) = infinite wealth = infinite power in PF, as I've pointed out before. Fabricate's the same way without needing a second rules element to combo with. Infinite wealth loops should be snipped except in very special games.


If you just want to make money in Pathfinder, and your GM isn't going to slap you silly for trying to exploit non-adventuring methods of making money...why bother with magic?

Take the Gunsmithing feat and from first level you can make 1,000 gp worth of powder and ammunition per day for 100gp in materials, and you can turn around and sell that for 500gp (as long as your local economy can handle that). That is 400gp profit per day, no magic involved. Only need the efforts of a 1st level character.

If anyone wants to bring up market saturation...gun powder is at least a consumable. Mastercrafted Weapons are going to saturate a market even faster. How many people want to pay 315gp for a 15gp sword? That should be a smaller market than people who use gunpowder.

Now use that extra money to move to a major metropolis and buy a store where you can set up a production line for firearms and ammunition. Hire some NPCs to run the place for you and to do some minor work while you are away. You really only make a profit when you are there.

At 7th level take Leadership and make all of your followers into Gunslingers. Now your cohort and followers each produce 400gp in profit per day. Or just have your followers be gunslingers and your cohort a caster to produce magic items. Also since your followers all have Gunsmithing they can stop making ammunition and produce your firearms for you.

Breaking the economy in Pathfinder isn't hard. But letting a player do it ruins the game.

Liberty's Edge

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Meirril wrote:
Breaking the economy in Pathfinder isn't hard. But letting a player do it ruins the game.

Which is why GMs shouldn't do that.

My players tend to know where the line is and stay on the right side of it, but if someone starts exploiting weaknesses in the rules... the GM inherently has the power to stop that.

For something like this I might go with a custom Inevitable race (Keynesian Inevitables?). Any time someone starts to exploit magic for infinite profits they show up and start transforming masterwork items into regular, disenchanting magical items (even those found, rather than crafted, by the party), et cetera until the anomaly stops or the violators of cosmic order are reduced to poverty.

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