So this is an ability that i find is phrased weirdly: "Starting at 3rd level, the blacksmith becomes proficient in creating powerful magic equipment, treating his class level as his caster level for crafting feats and abilities and using the appropriate Craft skill (weapons, armor, bows, etc.) for the check to complete the item. In addition, the blacksmith gains Craft Wondrous Item as a bonus feat at 3rd level, and Craft Magic Arms and Armor at 5th level."
Going by Skilled Craftsmen, you can use profession (blacksmith) to create and enchant weapons, armor and shields. Does this mean you have to put ranks in spellcraft to make use of your wondrous item bonus feat? Since it appears that that is the case.
I believe you can still make use of the appropriate Craft skill for Wondrous Items - though Spellcraft is more reliable if you want to craft a lot of different things. Personally, I find that anything involving crafting jewelry can go a pretty long ways, assuming you count anything around the jewel(s) as falling under the same category. XD
|Michael Sayre Organized Play Developer|
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The story behind that is that at the very beginning the blacksmith didn't get Craft Wondrous Items. DDS already has the Artisan class if you want to play something that's more in the artificer or alchemist kind of territory, and that wasn't what we wanted. We wanted the person who beats steel into unstoppable weapons and unbreakable armor, cures dragon hide that they harvested themselves, etc. There was a specific niche the class was designed to fill and we very intentionally didn't want it wandering out of that niche.
The issue came up when Adam noted that there are a ton of things that are armor but require Craft Wondrous Item (juggernaut's pauldrons, cyclops helm, gauntlets of the deep, irongrip gauntlets, etc.) We wanted the blacksmith to be able to craft these without being able to craft e.g. a tome of understanding. We tried a few ways of explaining this, but there's no subcategory for these kind of items and each time we tweaked the verbiage we found that we were creating as much confusion as we were solving. Ultimately the decision was made that Skilled Craftsman's reference to armor applied to both things you'd see in the armor section of the CRB and anything that met the dictionary definition of armor (gauntlets, boots, helms, cauldrons, etc.) If you want your blacksmith to make something like the tome I mentioned above, you'd need to put ranks in Spellcraft because Skilled Craftsman doesn't serve as a replacement for that kind of crafting.
Thank you Michael for the answer, the class abilities make a lot of more sense to me now knowing how you went about this. My only question now is exactly how niche would you define wondrous items as armor. Taking boots as an example, would a blacksmith be able to craft boots of elvenkind using skilled craftsmen? Or would he only be able to make feet slot items that featured metal, like horseshoes of a zephyr?