Item Levels: Can't Craft Beyond Your Level


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


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Has anyone run into this in their play tests? Seems kind of restrictive? Why would you take the crafting path? Why wouldn't you just seek out through adventure or commissioning a NPC through roleplay, seeking out the Orichalcum shortsword you've been seeking out, spending your every last coin, forsaking every other luxury, etc?

Where is the opportunity for the crafts people, when you've got a hard level gated on your craftsmanship via level. Why not allow the opportunities of difficult skill rolls to craft great items, instead of flat out making it so, "Sorry, you're not level 20, you can't craft that because the item level is higher than your level".

Why would they be so prescriptive? Isn't the time and gold cost sufficient? If the GM was concerned about power creep, could they not handle it in their story, instead of a hard Rules As Written slamming the door in the face of crafters being able to achieve anything great?

This kind of design reminds me far too much of Action RPG or MMO design. "Can't have them getting access to this equipment to early, got to keep them in their nice little lanes! May outpace the content!" Which, imo has no place in the Pen And Paper world.

If a crafter specializes, investing their feat ups in getting to Legendary proficiency, sinks all his gold into making something magnificent, it makes me cringe that Rules As Written would put up a hard wall of, "Sorry, you rolled a nat 20 and have dedicated a lot of your RP and Character development toward making something magnificent, but RAW clearly states, you're only level 15 and are trying to make an item level 20 object. Sorry, please try again at level 20"

Thoughts? How precious do ya'll think they are about this? Hoping the playtest gives push back on this.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I am with you on this. I'd prefer to see some structure to DC handling of trying to craft items beyond your level and perhaps put more element of danger into failure (such as on a normal failure, loss of 25% of the materials and on a critical failure loss of 50%).


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I actually favor it this way, though you do make some good points. Also, as with many things, it is VERY easy to houserule out if the GM finds it unbefitting. I personally think it is better to have the limit at base than to not. I can see the dislike for such a limit but I am fine with an item above my level being beyond my ability to craft. And I feel like dropping the limit in general could easily lead to exploits. And for something like this where I think GMs ,ight often favor such a limit I think it's better to have the limit be in place at base so a GM can say "Well actually it's fine by me if you try to craft above level" rather than have no limit and the GM has to say "actually I don't want you to be able to do this thing the rules say you can.". It's similar to why I like the concept of the rarity system.

As to reason to take Crafting, for me it's availability. Also discount if you have the time. You can, if I understand, attempt to make most magic items of your level or lower with the appropriate feat. PF2 is under the premise that you don't have such free access at the local magic mart. This gives a player the ability to get items not readily available, and again potentially at a discount. You are right that you could try to search out such things but not all players want to do that and not all GMs do either.

Now this isn't to say Crafting couldn't benefit from any tweaking but for me I prefer the level limit to stay as the default rule. As an idea for houserule by those who like some limit but not in full, each TEML boost past Trained could up your effective level by 1 for what items you can craft.


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Edge93 wrote:

I actually favor it this way, though you do make some good points. Also, as with many things, it is VERY easy to houserule out if the GM finds it unbefitting. I personally think it is better to have the limit at base than to not. I can see the dislike for such a limit but I am fine with an item above my level being beyond my ability to craft. And I feel like dropping the limit in general could easily lead to exploits. And for something like this where I think GMs ,ight often favor such a limit I think it's better to have the limit be in place at base so a GM can say "Well actually it's fine by me if you try to craft above level" rather than have no limit and the GM has to say "actually I don't want you to be able to do this thing the rules say you can.". It's similar to why I like the concept of the rarity system.

As to reason to take Crafting, for me it's availability. Also discount if you have the time. You can, if I understand, attempt to make most magic items of your level or lower with the appropriate feat. PF2 is under the premise that you don't have such free access at the local magic mart. This gives a player the ability to get items not readily available, and again potentially at a discount. You are right that you could try to search out such things but not all players want to do that and not all GMs do either.

Now this isn't to say Crafting couldn't benefit from any tweaking but for me I prefer the level limit to stay as the default rule. As an idea for houserule by those who like some limit but not in full, each TEML boost past Trained could up your effective level by 1 for what items you can craft.

Availability is kinda a myth.

In order to craft anything, you need the recipe.

Recipe is equally common as the item.

Inventor feat is a workaround but this means that crafting is now 2 feats instead of 1 and it has additional time and cost requirements.

As for cost reduction, you have to factor in the actual cost of a recipe, meaning several days to weeks crafting just to come even.


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I feel like if anything is going to be level gated as opposed to just represented by an increasingly high DC it should probably be crafting. Raising the DC means you are creating room for a character to luck out and get an OP item, or more likely, critically fail and waste a bunch of time and money. Neither outcome is actually good for the game.

From a realism perspective, it also makes more sense. An un-charismatic person could "roll a nat 20" and make a very cogent point out of sheer luck. But it seems rather unlikely that they a person without the technical expertise is going luck into building a super computer.

As for why you would take crafting, it functions as a revenue stream that can used in lieu of Lore (practice a trade.) It has more uses adventuring than Lore does, like repairing gear, transferring runes, or identifying alchemical items. And even with formula restrictions, it can provide you with upgrades that aren't available in the shops. For example, my current level 8 party hasn't had shop access, but they did find a +2 weapon, and were able to reverse engineer the formula and then use the treasure and raw materials they had on hand to outfit the whole party with +2 weapons.


Captain Morgan wrote:

I feel like if anything is going to be level gated as opposed to just represented by an increasingly high DC it should probably be crafting. Raising the DC means you are creating room for a character to luck out and get an OP item, or more likely, critically fail and waste a bunch of time and money. Neither outcome is actually good for the game.

From a realism perspective, it also makes more sense. An un-charismatic person could "roll a nat 20" and make a very cogent point out of sheer luck. But it seems rather unlikely that they a person without the technical expertise is going luck into building a super computer.

As for why you would take crafting, it functions as a revenue stream that can used in lieu of Lore (practice a trade.) It has more uses adventuring than Lore does, like repairing gear, transferring runes, or identifying alchemical items. And even with formula restrictions, it can provide you with upgrades that aren't available in the shops. For example, my current level 8 party hasn't had shop access, but they did find a +2 weapon, and were able to reverse engineer the formula and then use the treasure and raw materials they had on hand to outfit the whole party with +2 weapons.

Very much this, a better phrasing of part of what I was trying to communicate.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

I feel like if anything is going to be level gated as opposed to just represented by an increasingly high DC it should probably be crafting. Raising the DC means you are creating room for a character to luck out and get an OP item, or more likely, critically fail and waste a bunch of time and money. Neither outcome is actually good for the game.

From a realism perspective, it also makes more sense. An un-charismatic person could "roll a nat 20" and make a very cogent point out of sheer luck. But it seems rather unlikely that they a person without the technical expertise is going luck into building a super computer.

As for why you would take crafting, it functions as a revenue stream that can used in lieu of Lore (practice a trade.) It has more uses adventuring than Lore does, like repairing gear, transferring runes, or identifying alchemical items. And even with formula restrictions, it can provide you with upgrades that aren't available in the shops. For example, my current level 8 party hasn't had shop access, but they did find a +2 weapon, and were able to reverse engineer the formula and then use the treasure and raw materials they had on hand to outfit the whole party with +2 weapons.

I am actually kind of ok with the 'luck out' aspect. Not only luck, but RP. If we focus on DC, instead of hard level requirements for crafting, it opens up the, "You've been Crafting at the World Famous Black Smith Of This Metropolis Shop inbetween your adventures. The Grand Master Smith, renowned for his unrivaled expertise, has taken notice of your work and offers to mentor you."

Also, as long as a player is aware of the consequences, so what if they risk big and lose it all? If a player is stealthing through forest, and come across a dragon that is way out of his parties league, if he decides to charge it instead of trying to sneak away, he made a choice. Is it a smart choice, no, but it's still respects player agency.

Also, what about interesting hooks? If I am level 16 and craft a level 20 item, lets say through RPing the mentorship angle of the Grand Master smith, perhaps one of his other apprentices grow jealous and pay for assassins, or perhaps he interfered with the creation of the item and implanted a curse that could be triggered at a specific event, perhaps, simply through gossip from fellow employees, others hear of this Legendary item and seek you out to make it theirs.

I just realllllly hate railroading on things such as this. I love the idea of allowing a player to invest heavily, collaborate toward something his character is good at. In the RAW it is much easier to RP with GM a long running goal to get a specific legendary item, as it's own kind of arc by the player or the group(regardless of player level). Due to RAW, there is no way to do with this utilizing your crafting, unless the great finish occurs at level 20.


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You should be able to craft items of up to your level + proficiency modifier. Are you an expert? Then you can craft up to level +1.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
You should be able to craft items of up to your level + proficiency modifier. Are you an expert? Then you can craft up to level +1.

Where did you see that in play test? Reading rules, said you cannot craft an item above your level, no exception listed.

Even if that is so, ok, as level 16, I can now make a level 17 item now. Frustration point is still there.


Kylian Winters wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
You should be able to craft items of up to your level + proficiency modifier. Are you an expert? Then you can craft up to level +1.

Where did you see that in play test? Reading rules, said you cannot craft an item above your level, no exception listed.

Even if that is so, ok, as level 16, I can now make a level 17 item now. Frustration point is still there.

I am genuinely interested in where that is in the play test. If they don't change the rules, and the level by which you can get legend proficiency, then a level 17 could make a level 20 item, or level 16 could make 19. That doesn't sound terrible if that is how it works.

Hmm, yeah, level 7 I believe is soonest you can get Master in Crafting, so +2. So at 7, could craft level 9 items. At 15, can craft level 18 items.

Hmmm...Also, if you go the route of Craft as profession, and you make rolls and request of DM for commission job, that could be major pay days, that then turn around and fund the crafting of your own objects.

Really hope it works the way you said. If so, I think that it is reasonable. Still prefer no hard level cap, but this at least weighs more in the direction of respecting player agency and investment in skills, allowing for rewards in investing heavily into a skill (the skill increases, the additional feats to make each corresponding item type [Alchemical, Snares, Magic, and Specialty if you wanted to get additional bonus]).


Kylian Winters wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
You should be able to craft items of up to your level + proficiency modifier. Are you an expert? Then you can craft up to level +1.

Where did you see that in play test? Reading rules, said you cannot craft an item above your level, no exception listed.

Even if that is so, ok, as level 16, I can now make a level 17 item now. Frustration point is still there.

I am starting to think your post is a suggestion on how it should work, and not RAW. Love how English can have very different meanings for the same phrases.

"You should be able to..." can be
1) Yeah, that is how it works, from my understanding, you should be able to do that with RAW

2) This is the way they should change it.

Either way, I agree. Maybe even include a feat that gives an additional modifier bonus and multiplied the level cap by 2. ie if expert, can make +2 levels above your char level. If master, can make +4 levels above your char level, etc.


Yeah, it was a suggestion. ^^ I don't think it would be broken in the slightest.

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