the basics of Fabricate


Rules Questions


Fabricate: "You convert material of one sort into a product that is of the same material."
Does that really mean you can only Fabricate items made from one, single material?


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I don't think so. I think it works on all materials you provide. Maybe it could have been worded better.

Scarab Sages

Yep. One material.

"You convert material **of one sort** into a product that is **of the same material.**"

sean reynolds said [here](https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2myui?Fabricate#1)

"The spell says "material of one sort." Cloth, leather, and metal are three different materials. I'm a lenient GM and would probably let you make a suit of full plate out of the component materials, but as written the spell doesn't let you do that."


The targeting parameter of the spell is a volume, which leads to some interesting implications. If used as worded, you could use Fabricate as a mining technique. You fabricate out the stone in a small volume which leaves all of the ore behind. As a bonus, all of the stone could become blocks for construction.

Though this also causes some problems. If you target a tree...what can you make? Trees are a conglomeration of different materials. Resin and sap are often extracted from trees for various uses after crude processing ranging from pitch to maple syrup. Fibers taken from trees can be used to weave cloth. Fibers are also uses to manufacture paper. Naturally lumber comes from trees. Leaves can be used for mulch, but since they are made from celluloid structures its reasonable that they could be used to create fabrics or paper. Dyes could be extracted from them as well (so long as you want green, or brown). Roots could be used for any of the fiber crafts. Lets not forget extracting oil from the plant.

So really, using Fabricate wouldn't you be able to get all of the materials from trees to craft a wooden boat, equipped with ropes and sails? The wood could be completely treated.

Scarab Sages

You're not targeting the tree, however. You're targeting the wood, or the leaves, or the sap... you see where I'm going with this? Pick a material. Craft that material.

If you're arguing that you can make different materials with the thing you're targeting then your target isn't a specific material.


Bah. There goes my plan for a quick painting to turn into a Trompe l'Oeil.

Thanks for the input, everyone.


Well in this case, is there any spell that can make things using multiple materials?

Seriously. Crafting things normally is slow. Like 20 gp a week slow.


Magicdealer wrote:

You're not targeting the tree, however. You're targeting the wood, or the leaves, or the sap... you see where I'm going with this? Pick a material. Craft that material.

If you're arguing that you can make different materials with the thing you're targeting then your target isn't a specific material.

Fabricate targets a volume of space. You pick one material, and you create a product with it. A Tree in said volume can be used as materials to create everything involved in producing a ship (so long as you avoid using metal).

The wood can be used to produce the hull. The wood can be processed to create long fibers which can be woven to produce both cloth and ropes. Wood isn't an ideal material for this, but its certainly possible.

So the question boils down to "what is a product?". Is a boat that consists of multiple different uses of the same material a valid product? Or do you need to do something simpler where the output is homogeneous? As in all of the wood has to be transformed into a Hull, or Lumber, or Ropes, or Sails? Which begs the question can fabricate be used to make anything complex? Even if the entire structure is made of a single material, as long as its made from differently shaped items isn't it different 'products' being produced? For instance you couldn't make a sword because a sword is actually a conglomeration of a blade with a tang, a hand guard, a grip, and a pommel that holds the entire assembly together. Lets not even consider the idea of assembling a clock with Fabricate since it consists of a framework that holds gears of various sizes with chains and weights to help drive the system.

So really, what is a "product"? Can the spell only produce one 'Product' or multiple? Also the spell says 'a product'. Does this mean that you'd only be able to produce a ship? a rope? a sail? a single board? a single sword? a single blade? a single cog? Why is this a 5th level spell?


What counts as a mineral?


This could get very very silly if one started reading too closely. The Definition of material and sort gives a very wide degree of latitude. Is steel a material or is it a compound of multiple materials? Sort could include terms like organic, heavy, shiny, valuable.

It is a 5th level spell so I think some latitude on the material is justifiable. Clothing with stitching of a different fabric, swords with leather on the handle and boats which are watertight with corking or bitumen should all be allowed. I would also allow bowd and arrows.


What's a "material"? If you're constructing a painting, do different pigments constitute different materials? If you're making something out of stone, is granite a different material than basalt, or are they both simply stone? For that matter, granite is a combination of quartz, feldspar, and trace other minerals; do you have to pick one?

Worst case, you should be able to get around this easily via multiple castings of the spell, unless you're using unusually many materials or unless the object being crafted can't support itself during the intermediate periods.


Since we're on the topic, might as well throw in "what are the limits of using Fabricate to make something?" Is sand to glass something that can be done? Does it have to be green glass, or can the spell refine the glass to remove impurities to create clear glass? Can you make other colors of glass that technically require other impurities to be added? Can you make Obsidian (burnt glass)? Can you make a crystal glass coffer with an Obsidian dagger that contains a cut green glass gem in its pommel?


Meirril wrote:
Since we're on the topic, might as well throw in "what are the limits of using Fabricate to make something?" Is sand to glass something that can be done? Does it have to be green glass, or can the spell refine the glass to remove impurities to create clear glass? Can you make other colors of glass that technically require other impurities to be added? Can you make Obsidian (burnt glass)? Can you make a crystal glass coffer with an Obsidian dagger that contains a cut green glass gem in its pommel?

on behalf of materials science, I’m going to declare that green glass is one material and clear glass is a different one, and that fabricate changes shape but does not purify or contaminate. The green gem is a different material than the obsidian; through non-fabricate means you might be able to crush and sinter the dagger + gem into a homogeneous material or composite, and that material could in turn be fabricated into your coffer.


Meirril wrote:
Since we're on the topic, might as well throw in "what are the limits of using Fabricate to make something?" Is sand to glass something that can be done?...

Limits wise, I don't see anything in the spell parameters that indicate that it can generate or remove heat, freeze or change the actual material. I wouldn't let you turn a rock into lava, I wouldn't let you turn water into ice or steam. Similarly, it wouldn't create the heat required to convert sand into glass.

Fabricate wrote:
The quality of items made by this spell is commensurate with the quality of material used as the basis for the new fabrication.

You could make a window or magnifying glass out of sand, but it would be a pane of sand (and probably fall apart, even with 'high-quality' sand). If you had a pile of glass or melted sand already, then you could make a window or magnifying glass (the quality of which would be the quality of the glass). You could turn clay into a pot, but it would be a clay pot (and it would be as wet or dry, gritty or slimy as the clay, it wouldn't become ceramic or hardened like it was fired in a kiln, though wet clay could dry and be reasonably usable).

You could make a steel sword if you had a steel ingot or two, but you couldn't turn iron into steel (and your sword wouldn't have a leather hilt, you'd have to add that yourself). You could make a door from a pile of sawdust, but it would be a door of sawdust. An oak plank or lumber of sufficient quantity could make a strong oak door, but not the handles or hinges (unless made of wood).

This is a one mitigating factor of fabricate against straight Craft. In most cases, it will be better (if you have the actual material, like making a shirt or sword if you have the actual cloth or metal) especially in regards to crafting time, but not forging metal or smithing or crafting alchemical or cooked or brewed objects (orange juice from oranges, yes. Beer or mead from wheats or honey, no).


Fabricate is one of those spells that takes some GM sensibility and knowledge of how the game defines things. Fabricate is open to abuse as it can make and destroy things (by turning it into something else or junk). So I'm going to go to advice rather than Rules forum RAW chat.
The game defines things roughly, not finely. The finished product is the same material that is used but Fabricate covers the workmanship & labor involved in the crafting. So pure sand could be turned into quartz glass. Wood could be turned into a finished table. Is it clear glass? Is the table stained and polished? What is the value of the final product? I feel those details are left to the skill check and GM purview. GMs need to allow some latitude for creativity and use skill checks rather than allow Fabricate to be a minor Wish spell.
Metagaming is going to play heavily into the spell as players understand technology somewhat and the level of technology in the game is usually rather low and depends upon skills of the character. Craft Alchemy is not chemistry, Knowledge Engineering is not physics. Both skills rely on crude game approximations of those basic sciences. So sand should create crude(fused sand) or bubbly glass unless the caster has knowledge about glassmaking. The table will be crude unless the caster has knowledge about woodworking or carpentry. In general characters don't know what a periodic table is or radium, iridium, etc are. It is up to the GM to police and keep the game in game terms and theme.
I'd suggest GM's think about the value of the created object(s) or value of the labor to create said object from the base material. That frames it in a way that puts it more in measurable game terms. Crafting rules (while clunky) link time, labor, and value. It is a high level spell and I would use gold piece values rather than silver pieces in the final evaluation. I would think the upper limit of the 'added value' would be the NPC casting cost to cast the spell.


Fabricate 5th lev spell,
material component: the original material, which costs the same amount as the raw materials required to craft the item to be created. --> crafting rules, so 1/3 price of the final product in raw material value. Note also it says 'raw materials' to craft the item. So it seems you could use the spell to make regular arrows from wood. It's a GM call to require iron points and fletching or state that the created arrows are all wood (and paper) though they function as regular arrows. As I said above, it's going to take some GM input to make the spell function as you want in your game.

Crafting rules, CRB:

To determine how much time and money it takes to make an item, follow these steps.
1) Find the item’s price in silver pieces (1 gp = 10 sp).
2) Find the item’s DC from Table: Craft Skills.
3) Pay 1/3 of the item’s price for the raw material cost.
4) Make an appropriate Craft check representing one week’s worth of work. If the check succeeds, multiply your check result by the DC. If the result × the DC equals the price of the item in sp, then you have completed the item. (If the result × the DC equals double or triple the price of the item in silver pieces, then you’ve completed the task in one-half or one-third of the time. Other multiples of the DC reduce the time in the same manner.) If the result × the DC doesn’t equal the price, then it represents the progress you’ve made this week. Record the result and make a new Craft check for the next week. Each week, you make more progress until your total reaches the price of the item in silver pieces.

Action: Craft checks are made by the day or week (see above).

Retry? Yes, but if you fail a check by 4 or less, you make no progress this week (or day, see below). If you miss by 5 or more, you ruin half the raw materials and have to pay half the original raw material cost again.

my suggestion to limit the 2/3 markup to NPC spellcasting cost (450GP) (or there about) is due to applications where 1cuft per level of costly materials are involved (gold, adamantine, etc). It's a utility spell not I retire and run the jewellers and blacksmiths of the world out of business spell (consider the value of 9cuft of gold, about 543,073.5GP). It should be a soft barrier as in a pinch the wizard might have to create an adamantine greatsword ($3050) from 1017GP worth of adamantine.


Azothath wrote:
unless the caster has knowledge about glassmaking. The table will be crude unless the caster has knowledge about woodworking or carpentry.

Crafting is usable untrained and by the time a typical PC wizard can cast fabricate that wizard will have an intelligence bonus high enough for the fairly complex items, and buff spells will make even the highest printed quality DC obtainable.

Starting with an 18 after racial bonus, +2 from level up, and +4 from headband (If our wizard has Craft Wondrous Item, +6 is entirely possible. Even our wizard doesn't have a headband for some reason, Fox's Cunning gives the +4 enhancement bonus to int for the purpose of skill checks) our example Wizard has a +7 intelligence bonus. That's enough for a "high quality item" (DC15).

Add Guidance (+1 Competence) from the party's divine caster, Crafter's Fortune (+5 luck), Heroism (+2 morale) and that's +15 without leaving hardcover (or hiring an arbitrary number of Experts to stack aid another and reach arbitrarily high numbers). Take 10 and you can hit DC25. The highest craft checks I can find are 35 (45 with both modifiers) for CR16+ mechanical traps... of which none actually exist. The highest checks I can find for something that actually exists is DC30 for a few alchemical items and the Weakened Floor trap (which really shouldn't be its CR, and especially not its resulting craft check.) and that's definitely reachable with other buffs and tricks.

Suffice to say, a Wizard has no issues getting the skill bonuses needed for fabricate. Sorcerer might though.


Craft skill wrote:
Fabricate Spell: In some cases, the fabricate spell can be used to achieve the results of a Craft check with no actual check involved. You must still make an appropriate Craft check when using the spell to make articles requiring a high degree of craftsmanship.

By literal RAW taking 10 is plausible. For me, taking 10 is questionable in this situation. There's distraction, a time limit(casting time) which requires concentration. Lastly it's a check without an actual check... I don't know if taking 10 is reasonable in this case.

advice:
at 9th+ level a wizard should have +4 bonus from INT and spells/items could buff that. Just remember that all this spell casting is going toward making some arrows, a sword, or a horse drawn carriage, or a ring. Sure in downtime they could craft an item using fabricate or work on a magic item earning 500GP per day (as it's 1000GP per day and cost runs about half).


None of those items (except maybe the carriage) have a DC higher than 15. You still auto succeed on a 1.


I think you are assuming that I have a problem with a 5th level spell creating a sword or arrows from raw materials, I don't.

commentary -
The spell needs some GM interpretation and probably gold piece limitations. That's going to vary from game to game. I've been rather careful to just make suggestions and chat about various options. This is likely my last post in this thread.


That's a whole lotta house ruling in a Rules Question answer.

Fabricate works the way it says that it works. Gold piece value has heck-all to do with it. So long as you have the material, it fits in the spell's target volume, and you can make the item's craft check DC, you're golden.


I was looking through some old DND books and found that the fabricate spell in 2nd edition is almost word for word the same as the pathfinder version. It appears to me that minimal effort was made to modernize the spell.

I think that this spell should be redesigned. At the very least, factor in the crafting rules better.


Dictionary.com defines it as:
noun
1. the substance or substances of which a thing is made or composed

Note it mentions a plural as an option.

2nd Ed wrote:

Fabricate

(Enchantment, Alteration)
Range: 5 yds./level Components: V, S, M
Duration: Permanent Casting Time: Special
Area of Effect: 1 cu. yd./level Saving Throw: None
By means of this spell, the wizard is able to convert material of one sort into a product that is of the same material. Thus, the spellcaster can fabricate a wooden bridge from a clump of trees, a rope from a patch of hemp, clothes from flax or wool, and so forth. Magical or living things cannot be created or altered by a fabricate spell. The quality of items made by this spell is commensurate with the quality of material used as the basis for the new fabrication. If the caster works with a mineral, the area of effect is reduced by a factor of 27 (1 cubic foot per level instead of 1 cubic yard).
Articles requiring a high degree of craftsmanship (jewelry, swords, glass, crystal, etc.) cannot be fabricated unless the wizard otherwise has great skill in the appropriate craft.
Casting requires one full round per cubic yard (or foot) or material to be affected by the spell.

Most clothes have some sort of button, zipper, or what not as a means of fastening it onto a person as opposed to draping it on.

I think that it is not limited to one type of material so much as providing the labor to modify the source into the product. As a GM, I think it is quire reasonable to limit this lesser component to a minor part, but I don't think it breaks the spell at all.

For the lack of any DC listed, that is because the dC used is that of normal crafting of the item. There are a number of items listed with DCs > 15, like a lock or armor. In fact, anything that has a listed DC should have that DC check made.

/cevah

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