Crafting? Is it worth it?


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OK, so I am looking into the crafting rules for second edition and I just am not sure if it is worth it. It honestly seems like it is not MORE difficult and MORE likely to be something players ignore.

If I am reading this correctly, crafting plays out like this.

Character takes 4 days of downtime to make a Crafting check and spends half the price of the item in raw materials. If he succeeds at the check, he then can spend the other half of the price to craft it after the four days, or he can continue crafting it using more downtime to reduce the cost. For a more in depth example, see below.

Scroll Example:
So, a second level wizard is attempting to scribe 4 scrolls of magic missile. He has EXPERT proficiency in Crafting and the Magical Crafting feat. The scrolls have a price of 4 gold each, so thats 16 gold total.

He uses 8 gold in raw materials and spends his 4 days crafting the scrolls. He critically succeeds. He now has two options.

1. He can use ANOTHER 8 gold in raw materials to be done with the items.
2. He can continue to craft the items earning a 5 sp discount on the final cost for each additional day spent (Level 2 +1 for critical, expert proficiency).

So, if I am correct, you can either spend a WHOLE lot more time crafting (the example would take up to 20 days) or spend just 4 days and pay full price for the item anyways. So, wouldn't it be a better deal to spend the downtime earning income and use that income to cover some of the cost of the item when you simply buy it.

I am simply not seeing WHY someone would craft anything in this game. I mean alchemists can use the infused reagents, but other than that why would they ever actually use downtime to make additional items?

If I am missing something, please fill me in because I was excited that the alchemist was now focused on crafting, and I thought that meant crafting would be worth doing. Thanks.


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The thing you are missing is that you can craft items that aren't available for sale in the region.


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In addition to being a method to get access to things you can’t buy, crafting to save gold ensures you are making maximum downtime income. Other party members trying to do the same are limited by available opportunities, which may be lower level in a small community.


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Paradozen wrote:
The thing you are missing is that you can craft items that aren't available for sale in the region.

I do see that as part of it, but is it intended that PC have that much difficulty in acquiring gear? I may be missing that point, but if that is the only point of crafting then I still think my point is valid. Its not worth it.


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I think the crafting rules are fine for at-level items. My problem is that it apparently takes a legendary smith 4 days to make a spear. It seems the devs didn't think of this, or didn't think it was worth complicating the rules for.


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J Scot Shady wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
The thing you are missing is that you can craft items that aren't available for sale in the region.
I do see that as part of it, but is it intended that PC have that much difficulty in acquiring gear? I may be missing that point, but if that is the only point of crafting then I still think my point is valid. Its not worth it.

It depends on what you want and where you are. If you are in an urban campaign with magic item shops nearby, it's not good. Let someone craft for you. If you are adventuring in ruins a month away from the nearest city, you will prefer crafting for 4 days to taking a 2 month detour or hoping the dungeon has the specific scroll you want.


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Paradozen wrote:
J Scot Shady wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
The thing you are missing is that you can craft items that aren't available for sale in the region.
I do see that as part of it, but is it intended that PC have that much difficulty in acquiring gear? I may be missing that point, but if that is the only point of crafting then I still think my point is valid. Its not worth it.
It depends on what you want and where you are. If you are in an urban campaign with magic item shops nearby, it's not good. Let someone craft for you. If you are adventuring in ruins a month away from the nearest city, you will prefer crafting for 4 days to taking a 2 month detour or hoping the dungeon has the specific scroll you want.

Yes, that make sense, but how many parties will take the 4 days of downtime in the middle of an adventure? It just seems like they are devoting a fair bit of the rules to something that overall isn't that useful anymore. I can understand wanting to slow down some of the other crafting from 1E but now a simple scroll takes nearly 5 times as long to do, unless you want to pay full price for it.


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J Scot Shady wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
J Scot Shady wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
The thing you are missing is that you can craft items that aren't available for sale in the region.
I do see that as part of it, but is it intended that PC have that much difficulty in acquiring gear? I may be missing that point, but if that is the only point of crafting then I still think my point is valid. Its not worth it.
It depends on what you want and where you are. If you are in an urban campaign with magic item shops nearby, it's not good. Let someone craft for you. If you are adventuring in ruins a month away from the nearest city, you will prefer crafting for 4 days to taking a 2 month detour or hoping the dungeon has the specific scroll you want.
Yes, that make sense, but how many parties will take the 4 days of downtime in the middle of an adventure? It just seems like they are devoting a fair bit of the rules to something that overall isn't that useful anymore. I can understand wanting to slow down some of the other crafting from 1E but now a simple scroll takes nearly 5 times as long to do, unless you want to pay full price for it.

Some campaigns don't put you anywhere near major settlements, so you never really have the opportunity to shop. And even if They do, as Xenocrat mentioned Crafting is more reliable than the other earn income activities. But it is PROBABLY only worth it if you get actual downtime, or at least can take your time adventuring. For example, your rogue friend could spend 4 days scouting the enemy fortress to figure our patrol times. But the Craft activity is nit a guaranteed money saver anymore.

Luckily, Craft: the skill has been given more relevance in everyday adventuring by absorbing skills like appraise and knowledge engineering.


lordcirth wrote:
I think the crafting rules are fine for at-level items. My problem is that it apparently takes a legendary smith 4 days to make a spear. It seems the devs didn't think of this, or didn't think it was worth complicating the rules for.

To be fair. Forged in Fire TV show has had amateur and professional (does it for a living, 20years experience) bladesmiths. They usualy spend a week on the final project fine tuning and peprfectin their weapon to the best of their abilities. And they have modern forging tools. Of course they also have the reverse. spend 6 hours to make a blade in competition. but those often break or aren't well done (relatively speaking)

It wouldn't surprise me if a skilful bladesmith spends that long because they're proud of their skill and wants to take the time to do it right. Whether its a cheap spear, or a fork.


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J Scot Shady wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
J Scot Shady wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
The thing you are missing is that you can craft items that aren't available for sale in the region.
I do see that as part of it, but is it intended that PC have that much difficulty in acquiring gear? I may be missing that point, but if that is the only point of crafting then I still think my point is valid. Its not worth it.
It depends on what you want and where you are. If you are in an urban campaign with magic item shops nearby, it's not good. Let someone craft for you. If you are adventuring in ruins a month away from the nearest city, you will prefer crafting for 4 days to taking a 2 month detour or hoping the dungeon has the specific scroll you want.
Yes, that make sense, but how many parties will take the 4 days of downtime in the middle of an adventure? It just seems like they are devoting a fair bit of the rules to something that overall isn't that useful anymore. I can understand wanting to slow down some of the other crafting from 1E but now a simple scroll takes nearly 5 times as long to do, unless you want to pay full price for it.

I mean, sure, maybe not mid-adventure. But between adventures? I'd suspect that crafting for 4 days is much better than a 2 month detour to the nearest town large enough to sustain your treasure needs for most groups.


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Zwordsman wrote:
lordcirth wrote:
I think the crafting rules are fine for at-level items. My problem is that it apparently takes a legendary smith 4 days to make a spear. It seems the devs didn't think of this, or didn't think it was worth complicating the rules for.

To be fair. Forged in Fire TV show has had amateur and professional (does it for a living, 20years experience) bladesmiths. They usualy spend a week on the final project fine tuning and peprfectin their weapon to the best of their abilities. And they have modern forging tools. Of course they also have the reverse. spend 6 hours to make a blade in competition. but those often break or aren't well done (relatively speaking)

It wouldn't surprise me if a skilful bladesmith spends that long because they're proud of their skill and wants to take the time to do it right. Whether its a cheap spear, or a fork.

Right, but say I'm a fighter, and in a week the town we're in is going to be attacked. I want to head right to the smithy and start churning out basic spears like a madman. I would like to be able to make them really fast, and if we went by purely gold cost, a spear costs 1sp, and I can do 1sp/day at level one.


lordcirth wrote:


Right, but say I'm a fighter, and in a week the town we're in is going to be attacked. I want to head right to the smithy and start churning out basic spears like a madman. I would like to be able to make them really fast, and if we went by purely gold cost, a spear costs 1sp, and I can do 1sp/day at level one.

Ahh I get what you mean now. you can't reduce it any less than 4 d ays straight up of crafting. Yeah. It does kind of suck that you can't speed up those 4 days via critical successes or something. You'd think that would bea thing.

IN fact. when I first read Crit Success in craft I thought that was exactly what it did.
"Critical Success Your attempt is successful. Each additional day spent Crafting reduces the materials needed to complete the item by an amount based on your level + 1 and your proficiency rank in Crafting."
Until I re-read it just now due to what you suaid, and noticed "additional" thats a bit unfortunate.

I suppose the "in game" explaination is that it takes X amount of detailed thorough work to make actual weapons.
Where as quickly made sharped poke stick militia spears are improvised because they're not weighted, durable, and not great material. A hastily made weapon being less fit for war or something.

Well. This would make for a pretty fair lv 5 or 7 Craft feat. Ability to reduce those 4 days by adding to the DC or something. (DCs for which I can not find on Nethys for weapons... but nethys is a bit oddly organized for 2E)


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

also a lot of rituals seem to have crafting as their secondary skill.

like crafting is used to make a binding circle in planar binding.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I may be mistaken, but it seems to me that one of the goals of PF2 is to put more emphasis on downtime, instead of "we don't have time for that, give us more monsters to kill". Let me tell you, constant streams of "monsters to kill" gets really old. Just ask Owen Pitt, or Earl Harbinger.


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House Rule proposal:

The 4 days mandatory prep time is reduced to 3 days if you're expert in crafting, 2 days if you're master and only 1 da if you are legendary.

You can raise the DC of crafing an item by 10 in order to shave one day off the mandatory prep days (a legendary crafter reduces the 1 one day prep time to 4 hours).

What do you think?


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mirtexxan wrote:

House Rule proposal:

The 4 days mandatory prep time is reduced to 3 days if you're expert in crafting, 2 days if you're master and only 1 da if you are legendary.

You can raise the DC of crafing an item by 10 in order to shave one day off the mandatory prep days (a legendary crafter reduces the 1 one day prep time to 4 hours).

What do you think?

I'd rather just add the playtest house rule back in: you can reduce the time needed to make something by your level minus the item's level days.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If we're going to start making house rules, I think you should differentiate according to what you're making.

Example 1: ammunition like arrows & bolts
- These cost 1sp for ten, purchased.
- Let's say it's a zero-level downtime task. Let's say the crafter is at least trained (I suspect most PCs will take training in crafting at 1st level if they're at all interested), meaning that on a success you would earn 5cp for the day. Note that 5cp is already equal to half the cost of ten arrows or bolts.
- Let's say you purchase the arrowheads, or else scavenge the arrowheads from spent arrows on the battlefield, and that equals half the cost of the arrows or bolts. I would say that one successful day of crafting is all that is necessary to produce the ten arrows or bolts, totally dispensing with the 4 days lead time.
- If you don't have the arrowheads on hand, you're going to have to forge them. I could easily see needing the four days lead time to prepare and stoke the forge, smelt the iron into steel, work the steel and sharpen the final product, ready to be attached to the arrow shafts and fletched. But I could also see you being able to produce a lot more than ten arrowheads in those four days.
- If we assume it's still a zero-level downtime task, in those four days you could've earned 2sp on a success, or enough to pay half the price of 40 arrows or bolts. Another four days would earn you another 2sp, or enough to finish the 40 arrows or bolts with no extra cost.

What can we extrapolate from this example, in order to make a general rule?
1) We need some rules for scavenging or collecting materials, especially for very low-cost items. In the example, low-cost arrows or bolts require steel heads, wooden shafts and feathers for fletching. Probably a bit of gut or twine and glue as well. The only really problematic part is the arrowheads, which will require a forge if they can't be scavenged.
2) We need to adjust the 4-day lead time depending on the type of crafting being done. If you're weaving a basket out of palm leaves, making a pair of sandals or a backpack from some leather scraps, or making a simple weapon like a spear or arrows, you don't actually require a lot of tools, preparation and space (aside from the steel spearhead or arrowheads).
3) We need some guidance on what level downtime activity the task corresponds to, to calculate the time needed to complete the task.
4) We need some guidance on the DC to succeed at the crafting task.

Note that there is already a crafting task called "Repair" that only takes 10 minutes. Repairing a dented shield can't be all that much quicker than assembling the parts of an arrow.

I would suggest a special rule, call it Crafting Simple Items, limited to items that cost 5sp or less and don't require a forge or other complex tools, that lets you make progress as a zero-level downtime check, taking a number of days dictated by the 5cp-per-day progress rate of a zero-level downtime activity, increased to the 2sp-per-day progress rate of a 1st-level downtime activity on a critical success (4 times faster).

For any item requiring a forge, of that costs multiple gold pieces, I see no problem with the 4-day lead time period.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My guess is if you start bringing the time down you will end up with Shoddy Items. So if you wanted to mass produce spears for the towns people you could but it definitely would not be the same quality as a spear made with the proper time and care.

Most town fold have things you could sharpen anyway; like shovels, hoes, rakes or even just sharp sticks!

Core Rule Book Page 273 wrote:


Shoddy Items
Improvised or of dubious make, shoddy items are never available for purchase except for in the most desperate of communities. When available, a shoddy item usually costs half the Price of a standard item, though you can never sell one in any case. Attacks and checks involving a shoddy item take a –2 item penalty. This penalty also applies to any DCs that a shoddy item applies to (such as AC, for shoddy armor). A shoddy suit of armor also worsens the armor’s check penalty by 2. A shoddy item’s Hit Points and Broken Threshold are each half that of a normal item of its type.


Ah I assumed they'd be improvised but yeah. It looks like its covered in shoddy if you don't take the care for it.

So if I understand right. Shoddy is -2 item bonus. But you still retain any profiency you had with the weapon right?
It sounds to me like you'd want to hand out mutagens to the farmers to even out the item bonus.

Which fits in with the Forged in Fire example. Or me carving a stick into a spear in the wild.

===

If we were doing houserules. Yeah. I'd just make the Crit success be able to apply to the 4 days of time. or the extra past 4 days "cost lowering" time. Probably not both--as you can either focus on cheap. or fast.
Until Legendary anyway. Then you could do both.


Well, doing the math is pretty depressing for alchemical items.

For example, minor elixirs of life. These are the level 1 healing elixirs, the next step up are lesser at level 5. Let's say you make a batch of 4 minors and you are level 4 with expert in crafting.

If you critically succeed it would take you 10 days. A PFS character gets 8 to 12 days of downtime between adventures.

Make it to level 5 and and try to make lesser elixirs? It'll take you 64 days or 34 if you crit succeed.

One wonders how non-adventuring alchemists and the Society keep up with demand.

Taking the "you are more awesome at crafting" alchemist feat for the above elixirs gets you 8 minors in 16 days and 8 lessers in 64, and that's with critical successes.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The crafting rules in PF1 were terrible. They had a chance to fix that here, and they didn't. :-(

Mark Chance did a pretty good writeup of a better system for PF1 in "Making Craft Work".

Basically, time required to complete an item depends not on its cost, but on its complexity. Complexity also affects the DC to complete it. You have to define the complexity of things, of course, but that's just bookkeeping. :-)

Special Materials increase the DC, but not the time.

The cost of an item depends on the cost of the materials of which it is made.


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They are some very usefull use of Crafting:

- Repair a broken shield.
- Make some snares (1 minutes)
- Use it to make money in downtime.
- Use it as Medcine for Alchemist.
- Use it to identify some items like alchemical, maybe more depending on the GM.
- Use it as Lore Alchemy.
- Transfer Runes from one weapon/armor to another.
- Use raw special material like adamantium or mithral.
- Saving a lots of money when you got the time.
- And crafting. When you are far away from a decent merchant of your level. Plus, formulas make for a fun loot.

And that is when staying in the "true rules", with a DM that does not hesitate to go outside the box and some clever player, the skill could get some other use: developp your own formulas and items, use it to make your headquarters with traps and the like, use part of dead monsters in your recipes, etc...

To be honest I found the skill to be almost mandatory for a lots of group.


SteelGuts wrote:
- Make some snares (1 minutes)

Meh... I can't get excited with snares, especially when you can't move/recover/salvage them.

SteelGuts wrote:
- Use it as Medcine for Alchemist.

You end up having to keep your proficiency up with both as it doesn't count for feats: so you're really JUST getting to add a different stat for medicine.

Repair seems the most useful use. Most other uses can be managed another way.


I don't know if it translated across from Playtest to 2nd edition, but do crafters still need a formula to follow to make magic items? I seem to remember that you could craft the formula (but needed a crafting feat?) which took even more time and money. I could understand the rule role play wise, but it always felt really annoying to have to have the formula. Especially if (as many people have mentioned) your are not located near a large settlement and might not have access to any magic item formulas.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

You need a formula to follow to make just about anything. You can reverse engineer a formula from an item by going through essentially the same crafting process you would use to make the item (but in reverse). Where you might get a formula otherwise is between you and your GM.


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Aricks wrote:

Let's say you make a batch of 4 minors and you are level 4 with expert in crafting.

If you critically succeed it would take you 10 days. A PFS character gets 8 to 12 days of downtime between adventures.

Its not quite that bad, because alchemical elixirs, bombs etc normally have the consumable trait, so you can craft them in batches of 4 with a single check. That lets you churn them out at 1/day with normal success rolls, starting at 1st level if I'm reading it correctly?

Buying them upfront will usually be quicker and easier if they're available, but the option is there for hard to find items.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
You need a formula to follow to make just about anything. You can reverse engineer a formula from an item by going through essentially the same crafting process you would use to make the item (but in reverse). Where you might get a formula otherwise is between you and your GM.

There's also a 7th level Crafting skill feat called Inventor which lets you craft formulas for items you don't have formulas for.

That said, yes, using Crafting to make something is exactly as useful as using another skill to Gain Income (or heck, even using Crafting to Gain Income) and then using that money to buy stuff. You don't save money by crafting things yourself. The advantage is that you have control over what you craft instead of being limited by what employment opportunities are available.

Is this realistic? Probably not. But neither were the crafting rules in PF1, which when combined with the trap rules meant that digging a 10 foot deep pit trap and covering it up would take like a year*. The way I see it, the game is written for Adventuring, not Small Town Life Simulation. Using downtime to Gain Income is something adventurers do between adventures - they take short gigs where they earn an uncertain amount of money, but most NPCs don't use those rules.

* I don't recall the specifics, but the trap rules combined with the crafting rules made for some hilarious ridiculousness.


Fallyna wrote:
Aricks wrote:

Let's say you make a batch of 4 minors and you are level 4 with expert in crafting.

If you critically succeed it would take you 10 days. A PFS character gets 8 to 12 days of downtime between adventures.

Its not quite that bad, because alchemical elixirs, bombs etc normally have the consumable trait, so you can craft them in batches of 4 with a single check. That lets you churn them out at 1/day with normal success rolls, starting at 1st level if I'm reading it correctly?

Buying them upfront will usually be quicker and easier if they're available, but the option is there for hard to find items.

I don't think so, because they still cost 3gp each, that's where most of the time comes from.

4 minor @ 3gp each = 12 gp, so 6gp up front for total cost, and 4 days of setup, plus 6 gp of additional crafting. A crit success with a level 4 expert crafter is 1gp per day, so 6 days of crafting, for a total of 10 days.

Lets say you start working on alchemical goggles as soon as you can after hitting level 4. Unless you crit you'll be halfway to level 6 before you're done.

Granted this could be a PFS issue and not a crafting issue but it's what it is with the current rules.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

IIRC, an alchemist can make infused bombs and elixirs essentially for free.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
IIRC, an alchemist can make infused bombs and elixirs essentially for free.

They can, in a limited number and they work for that day before they evaporate or whatever, but my concern is more for viability of the skill Crafting in general and for PFS. I'd love it if an alchemist I was going to play could crank out a few extra elixirs of whatnot during downtime, it would mean I could carry more bombs or other tool items whipped up using the alchemist infused reagents, but if I start on 4 minor elixirs of life at 1st level and don't finish them until after I'm 2nd I'm not sure if that's viable.


erm possibly stupid question.

You're allowed to craft in PFS for P2E? Last I knew for PFS (and P1E) was that you weren't allowed to craft at all. So the Society allows for it in 2nd edition?


Zwordsman wrote:

erm possibly stupid question.

You're allowed to craft in PFS for P2E? Last I knew for PFS (and P1E) was that you weren't allowed to craft at all. So the Society allows for it in 2nd edition?

http://www.organizedplayfoundation.org/encyclopedia/pathfinder-2-0-organize d-play-basics/

You have to do it right after a session which is tough since sometimes you're down to the wire on time but it appears so yes.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Crafting allows you to "Earn Income" at your level regardless of the location you are in. For PFS this means you can earn income at level-2 in cash or at level in value of a crafted item. You don't need to spend all the time crafting. At level 5 a 4gp discount (or 12gp if you do it over two scenarios) is still better than 2gp (or 4gp) in cash you would get with normal "Earn Income"

For home games, it allows for "doing something" while time passes.

In general you are not supposed to make "great wealth" during down time. Or why else would you go adventuring :)


Can you craft magic items in organized play games or during downtime?


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I really like the economy abstraction this edition has going on. Tying an item’s economic value, your economic power and the item’ s relative utility and availability to the level system was brilliant. An elegant solution that I find satisfying.

Except Crafting.

The way the rules are written, the first four days you’re crafting don’t produce anything economically considering that you can only finish the item immediately at full price and any reduction doesn’t include the first four days. That means your material costs and opportunity costs combined are greater than the value of the item you produce. If you’re making an item on behalf of someone else, they pay you for those four days. Then, if you continue working on it, they pay you the same amount as you reduce the completion cost of the item. As written, anytime an item were to be produced, it costs more than the item is actually worth.

Is this an actual problem? Probably not. But it’s a blemish on what would otherwise be a beautiful abstraction.

Personally, I’m just going to ignore the word “additional” in the phrase “For each additional day you spend,...”. That way everyday you spend crafting produces the same relative economic value as any other method of earning income.


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Sagian wrote:
Can you craft magic items in organized play games or during downtime?

Yes, you can. Look under "Downtime -> Crafting" in the PFS 2E Guide


mrspaghetti wrote:
Sagian wrote:
Can you craft magic items in organized play games or during downtime?
Yes, you can. Look under "Downtime -> Crafting" in the PFS 2E Guide

Thanks


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Essentially, the way the rules for crafting are written, it is NEVER worthwhile to craft an item you can buy instead. You make ZERO income for the 4 mandatory days before your skill check, and after that you only reduce the price of the item by the same amount you would have gotten by Earning Income. So Crafting nets you 4 days less value in every scenario.

That is really stupid. I was thinking of making some weapons for myself just for fun and flavor, but instead I think I'll just use Crafting to Earn Income and buy what I want, then role-play that I 'made' those items.

Whenever I GM I intend to house rule that on a success or crit success, the 1st 4 days also reduce the cost of your item. Otherwise it just makes absolutely no sense to craft when you can buy instead.


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mrspaghetti wrote:
Essentially, the way the rules for crafting are written, it is NEVER worthwhile to craft an item you can buy instead.

Craft can work when you're not at a place that you could normally roll an earned income roll or easily buy items, like in a desert. That's pretty much it.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
mrspaghetti wrote:
That is really stupid.

This, for me, is the essence of the crafting problem.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Here is a question to expand the idea of crafting-

Where Crafting starts at a person having to spend half the money for the components of the creation, is it reasonable to use other skills to build up those components?

For example, using Nature or Survival to get the materials for arrows, and then crafting the arrows, at effectively 0 coin cost. I'd probably make the arrows -1 damage because they don't have metal arrow heads, but a character can survive making bows and arrows in the wilderness now.

On the other hand, that doesn't work for trying to make a sword, since you would probably have to do a whole lot more processing of materials, such as mine and smelt iron. In a survival situation, you'd have to have a source of iron, probably use Lore (mining) to get the ore and smelt it in a forge that was created.


To me it sounds like Paizo dodged a bullet here.

From a simulationist point of view, of course it makes no sense crafting can't actually save you any money.

But the focus isn't on simulationism. The focus is on adventuring and heroism.

The rules aren't broken. The way you're encouraged to simply buy stuff whenever available to quickly get back to adventuring is working as intended. You're an adventurer who only picks crafting to ensure access to stuff you can't buy.

Don't claim the rules are broken. Instead say you dislike the focus.


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Zapp wrote:

To me it sounds like Paizo dodged a bullet here.

From a simulationist point of view, of course it makes no sense crafting can't actually save you any money.

But the focus isn't on simulationism. The focus is on adventuring and heroism.

The rules aren't broken. The way you're encouraged to simply buy stuff whenever available to quickly get back to adventuring is working as intended. You're an adventurer who only picks crafting to ensure access to stuff you can't buy.

Don't claim the rules are broken. Instead say you dislike the focus.

Disagree. Crafting might not necessarily save you money on anything, but it certainly shouldn't cost you more. It would be stupid for anyone to invest feats or skill increases in crafting as is.


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mrspaghetti wrote:

Essentially, the way the rules for crafting are written, it is NEVER worthwhile to craft an item you can buy instead. You make ZERO income for the 4 mandatory days before your skill check, and after that you only reduce the price of the item by the same amount you would have gotten by Earning Income. So Crafting nets you 4 days less value in every scenario.

That is really stupid. I was thinking of making some weapons for myself just for fun and flavor, but instead I think I'll just use Crafting to Earn Income and buy what I want, then role-play that I 'made' those items.

Haven't fully gone through everything related to crafting yet - but doesn't this argument rely on the assumption that you always have access to at-level work during downtime? After all, the reduction in price for crafting is based on your level instead of the task level. On the other hand, work you can find earns money based on the task level, which is influenced by a settlement level that seems to cap out at 10 for a metropolis or capital city. Past level 10, you either need to be be at, "the largest cities in the world or another plane," to easily get earned income at an 11+ task level.

So it seems like crafting may not necessarily be the 'optimal income' method at lower levels when plenty of people can make the same things and other jobs are just as profitable. But sometime past level 10 you'll almost always start saving more money by continued crafting instead of picking up a (lower level) job.

Some number crunching may be needed to determine the exact point crafting profit outdoes the loss of income from the first 4 days, but you'll also have to take into account that the GM can require you to spend, "1 day or more of downtime looking for leads on new jobs." Not to mention that the initial jobs found may not be at the highest level available in the settlement, which might require spending more downtime on using Diplomacy to Gather Information. Crafting by contrast seems like it has a very consistent 4 day period before you start making profit, where earned income has a 1-? day period before getting the job required to start making profit.

Overall, I wouldn't consider Crafting to be in a bad place for making money. It can be used to earn income in the normal way during downtime AND potentially craft items above the level of a settlement's available jobs to save more money compared to working+buying from someone else. If it takes more than 4 days to find a high enough level job (which gets increasingly difficult or even impossible as the party's level goes up compared to nearby settlements), then Crafting seems like it could frequently be a superior option for total cost savings even at levels before 10.


mrspaghetti wrote:

Disagree. Crafting might not necessarily save you money on anything, but it certainly shouldn't cost you more. It would be stupid for anyone to invest feats or skill increases in crafting as is.

Your reply makes me believe you're playing in a PF 1 style campaign where you can expect to purchase any magic item you want.

In your case, you should clearly not pick crafting. Crafting is for players wanting access to items not available in magic shoppes.

Again, don't accuse the rules for being broken.

Do accuse them for not doing what you want them to do. However, don't expect any change - the notion crafting should amount to a free lunch will likely never gain traction with the PF2 devs...


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Zapp wrote:
the notion crafting should amount to a free lunch will likely never gain traction with the PF2 devs...

No one asked for a free lunch


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Charon Onozuka wrote:
mrspaghetti wrote:

Essentially, the way the rules for crafting are written, it is NEVER worthwhile to craft an item you can buy instead. You make ZERO income for the 4 mandatory days before your skill check, and after that you only reduce the price of the item by the same amount you would have gotten by Earning Income. So Crafting nets you 4 days less value in every scenario.

That is really stupid. I was thinking of making some weapons for myself just for fun and flavor, but instead I think I'll just use Crafting to Earn Income and buy what I want, then role-play that I 'made' those items.

Haven't fully gone through everything related to crafting yet - but doesn't this argument rely on the assumption that you always have access to at-level work during downtime? After all, the reduction in price for crafting is based on your level instead of the task level. On the other hand, work you can find earns money based on the task level, which is influenced by a settlement level that seems to cap out at 10 for a metropolis or capital city. Past level 10, you either need to be be at, "the largest cities in the world or another plane," to easily get earned income at an 11+ task level.

So it seems like crafting may not necessarily be the 'optimal income' method at lower levels when plenty of people can make the same things and other jobs are just as profitable. But sometime past level 10 you'll almost always start saving more money by continued crafting instead of picking up a (lower level) job.

Some number crunching may be needed to determine the exact point crafting profit outdoes the loss of income from the first 4 days, but you'll also have to take into account that the GM can require you to spend, "1 day or more of downtime looking for leads on new jobs." Not to mention that the initial jobs found may not be at the highest level available in the settlement, which might require spending more downtime on using Diplomacy to Gather Information. Crafting by contrast seems like it has a very consistent 4 day period before you start making profit, where earned income has a 1-? day period before getting the job required to start making profit.

Overall, I wouldn't consider Crafting to be in a bad place for making money. It can be used to earn income in the normal way during downtime AND potentially craft items above the level of a settlement's available jobs to save more money compared to working+buying from someone else. If it takes more than 4 days to find a high enough level job (which gets increasingly difficult or even impossible as the party's level goes up compared to nearby settlements), then Crafting seems like it could frequently be a superior option for total cost savings even at levels before 10.

Good points. I hadn't considered higher levels.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

In PFS you can only roll income at level-2 as the standard day job amount. I would be curious to see how this evens out over 11 levels compared to crafting.


Do we have a math wizard that can put up a comparison between getting items via Crafting and getting them via gold Earned with Downtime?


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Do we have a math wizard that can put up a comparison between getting items via Crafting and getting them via gold Earned with Downtime?

It all depends on the cost of the item and what level of job is available to you in a town versus your level. If 4 days of jobs is more than half the cost of the item then you're losing money crafting.

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