What is with the minimum four-day crafting time?


Rules Discussion


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What is with the minimum four-day crafting time? As far as I can tell, there does not seem to be a way (short of some spell or magic item that I may have missed?) to reduce crafting times beyond the minimum of four days. In other words, a 20th-level PC with legendary Crafting and all of the Crafting skill feats still takes a minimum of four days to craft a 0-level item, like a bedroll or a belt pouch.

Do I have this right? Did I miss some rule that hastens crafting times? Because this cannot possibly be right.


I can't figure out any way to bypass that, no. Which is a bit too bad. I wish Master or Legendary changed the Crit Success to reducing even the 4 days too.


It takes an inexplicable apparatus, an 18th-level item, to reduce the crafting time to a minimum of one day. That is a steep and late-game price just to craft basic items quickly. Even then, that is still one bedroll or belt pouch per day.


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

As I said in another thread, the crafting rules were conceived for crafting magic items and suits of plate armor, not for crafting arrows or coffee mugs. Perhaps in a future supplement we will see a use of the crafting skill called "Craft Simple Items" giving another formula for items costing 5sp or less.


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A quick and dirty fix is to use the Earn Income tables.

Roll how much you would have earned, if it's enough to have bought the item you want to make, then you make it.
I'd recommend limiting this method to items that could conceivably be made in less than a day.

And it gives you the option of making multiples of the same item. If you roll high enough to buy more than one, you make more than one.


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I like slower crafting times; in 3rd Ed/PF1, we house-rule it to 1 week per 1,000 gp in the price for magic items.


Wheldrake wrote:
As I said in another thread, the crafting rules were conceived for crafting magic items and suits of plate armor, not for crafting arrows or coffee mugs. Perhaps in a future supplement we will see a use of the crafting skill called "Craft Simple Items" giving another formula for items costing 5sp or less.

I am doubtful about this. By this logic, a 20th-level, legendary crafter still needs a minimum of four days to craft a mundane suit of full plate, or one day with an 18th-level magic item.


Colette Brunel wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
As I said in another thread, the crafting rules were conceived for crafting magic items and suits of plate armor, not for crafting arrows or coffee mugs. Perhaps in a future supplement we will see a use of the crafting skill called "Craft Simple Items" giving another formula for items costing 5sp or less.
I am doubtful about this. By this logic, a 20th-level, legendary crafter still needs a minimum of four days to craft a mundane suit of full plate, or one day with an 18th-level magic item.

How long does it take history's greatest craftman to make a suit of full plate?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
As I said in another thread, the crafting rules were conceived for crafting magic items and suits of plate armor, not for crafting arrows or coffee mugs. Perhaps in a future supplement we will see a use of the crafting skill called "Craft Simple Items" giving another formula for items costing 5sp or less.
I am doubtful about this. By this logic, a 20th-level, legendary crafter still needs a minimum of four days to craft a mundane suit of full plate, or one day with an 18th-level magic item.
How long does it take history's greatest craftman to make a suit of full plate?

Probably longer than an unskilled one. Most "expertly crafted" things take more time than normal.

Factory made chair - a few hours.

hand carved chair - a few months.


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Vlorax wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
As I said in another thread, the crafting rules were conceived for crafting magic items and suits of plate armor, not for crafting arrows or coffee mugs. Perhaps in a future supplement we will see a use of the crafting skill called "Craft Simple Items" giving another formula for items costing 5sp or less.
I am doubtful about this. By this logic, a 20th-level, legendary crafter still needs a minimum of four days to craft a mundane suit of full plate, or one day with an 18th-level magic item.
How long does it take history's greatest craftman to make a suit of full plate?

Probably longer than an unskilled one. Most "expertly crafted" things take more time than normal.

Factory made chair - a few hours.

hand carved chair - a few months.

Yep, like the old saying, you can have it one of three ways: cheap, fast, or good.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
How long does it take history's greatest craftman to make a suit of full plate?

History's greatest craftsman definitely is not a 20th-level PC.

If you are using an example of "regular full plate," as opposed to full plate of enough quality to gain actual, mechanical benefits, I would expect the rate to be faster than a minimum of four days, which is more comparable to a 2nd-level, non-expert crafter.

Sovereign Court

Natan Linggod 327 wrote:

Roll how much you would have earned, if it's enough to have bought the item you want to make, then you make it.

I'd recommend limiting this method to items that could conceivably be made in less than a day.

And it gives you the option of making multiples of the same item. If you roll high enough to buy more than one, you make more than one.

Brilliant!


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm pretty sure IRL four days from scratch without modern techniques would be a darn fast suit of full plate.

Sovereign Court

Colette Brunel wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
How long does it take history's greatest craftman to make a suit of full plate?

History's greatest craftsman definitely is not a 20th-level PC.

If you are using an example of "regular full plate," as opposed to full plate of enough quality to gain actual, mechanical benefits, I would expect the rate to be faster than a minimum of four days, which is more comparable to a 2nd-level, non-expert crafter.

Historically, when metal was considerably more expensive (before the invention of open cut mining and industrial smelting), I don't think you'd find anyone who had sufficient materials to make a suit of full plate would have been willing to make something cheep and nasty.

A single set of full plate armour was something that the workshops of several masters of the craft were involved in, each workshop specialising in a different part of the armour.

Full plate armour was also something that was typically custom made for the client. You generally couldn't usually buy a pre-made set off the shelf.

Sovereign Court

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I remember watching a show on Netflix where they were recreating a breastplate from just after guns were around. From the time to melting the original ore was several days. Hammering the raw metal into plates took several more, and then weeks to turn that into a basic breastplate. Then they took longer to make it fancy. And that was just the breastplate and no arm or leg pieces, along with using modern hammering tools to reduce that time as well.

Granted smaller objects should take less, but for the majority of things PCs would probably craft it is shorter than would be expected.


Thing about that is. PCs rapidly move beyond any reasonable human estimates.

So shows like that and Forged inFire.. are hard to compare.


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Ellias Aubec wrote:

I remember watching a show on Netflix where they were recreating a breastplate from just after guns were around. From the time to melting the original ore was several days. Hammering the raw metal into plates took several more, and then weeks to turn that into a basic breastplate. Then they took longer to make it fancy. And that was just the breastplate and no arm or leg pieces, along with using modern hammering tools to reduce that time as well.

Granted smaller objects should take less, but for the majority of things PCs would probably craft it is shorter than would be expected.

Sure. For a breastplate. This is why 1e crafting had variable craft times. They were done on price, which was hardly accurate, but it was something.

How long does it take to make a club? Well according to 2e, 4 days. I can make a club in ~10 seconds by picking up a stick from outside. Ok, maybe 20 seconds, I do need to put on my sandals as it rained earlier and I don't want to get my feet dirty.

Silver Crusade

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Colonel Kurtz wrote:
Yep, like the old saying, you can have it one of three ways: cheap, fast, or good.

Actually, you can have two out of three. This principle comes up a LOT in IT.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Myrryr wrote:
Ellias Aubec wrote:

I remember watching a show on Netflix where they were recreating a breastplate from just after guns were around. From the time to melting the original ore was several days. Hammering the raw metal into plates took several more, and then weeks to turn that into a basic breastplate. Then they took longer to make it fancy. And that was just the breastplate and no arm or leg pieces, along with using modern hammering tools to reduce that time as well.

Granted smaller objects should take less, but for the majority of things PCs would probably craft it is shorter than would be expected.

Sure. For a breastplate. This is why 1e crafting had variable craft times. They were done on price, which was hardly accurate, but it was something.

How long does it take to make a club? Well according to 2e, 4 days. I can make a club in ~10 seconds by picking up a stick from outside. Ok, maybe 20 seconds, I do need to put on my sandals as it rained earlier and I don't want to get my feet dirty.

You haven't made a club. You've picked up an improvised bludgeoning weapon.


Wasn't there a rule in the playtest that reduced the minimum number of days by the number of levels by which you exceed the item level, to a minimum of one?

Does anybody know why this would be changed?


The answer is of course is to use rule #1 and ask your dm to fudge it when you have a decent case for being faster. Making a blanket could take weeks (weaving a blanket with an complex pattern) or hours (pounding a pile of wool into felt) or minutes (cutting a blanket out of a larger blanket).


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Malk_Content wrote:
Myrryr wrote:
Ellias Aubec wrote:

I remember watching a show on Netflix where they were recreating a breastplate from just after guns were around. From the time to melting the original ore was several days. Hammering the raw metal into plates took several more, and then weeks to turn that into a basic breastplate. Then they took longer to make it fancy. And that was just the breastplate and no arm or leg pieces, along with using modern hammering tools to reduce that time as well.

Granted smaller objects should take less, but for the majority of things PCs would probably craft it is shorter than would be expected.

Sure. For a breastplate. This is why 1e crafting had variable craft times. They were done on price, which was hardly accurate, but it was something.

How long does it take to make a club? Well according to 2e, 4 days. I can make a club in ~10 seconds by picking up a stick from outside. Ok, maybe 20 seconds, I do need to put on my sandals as it rained earlier and I don't want to get my feet dirty.

You haven't made a club. You've picked up an improvised bludgeoning weapon.

Not in 1e. Clubs have a price of 0gp. You can walk up to a tree and instantly craft it into hundreds of clubs. Or do the same to a pile of ore if you wanted metal clubs.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
As I said in another thread, the crafting rules were conceived for crafting magic items and suits of plate armor, not for crafting arrows or coffee mugs. Perhaps in a future supplement we will see a use of the crafting skill called "Craft Simple Items" giving another formula for items costing 5sp or less.
I am doubtful about this. By this logic, a 20th-level, legendary crafter still needs a minimum of four days to craft a mundane suit of full plate, or one day with an 18th-level magic item.
How long does it take history's greatest craftman to make a suit of full plate?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N6wQc6kbA8

a week for a whole team with modern equipment.

And even if it is very complicated sword, full plate is still far more complicated.


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Myrryr wrote:


Not in 1e. Clubs have a price of 0gp. You can walk up to a tree and instantly craft it into hundreds of clubs. Or do the same to a pile of ore if you wanted metal clubs.

Yup, and that is just as dumb as it sounds :P


Starfinder Superscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:


How long does it take history's greatest craftman to make a suit of full plate?

If crafting were based on complexity or size, that would make a lot more sense. Instead it is based on value. By that logic, crafting a simple ornamented gold ring would take a long time. A simple gold ring worth $1000 or so takes someone under a day to make by hand IRL.

A lot of the rules are meant to be behind the scenes simplifications and approximations to obfuscate things like actual market demand, difficulty, scarcity of resources, etc. No one wants to worry about analyzing market saturation or gold veins in the local mine to determine the true cost of crafting a ring. Crafting time makes some "sense" when you factor all that in.

Now the part that's straight up malarkey though is the crafting cost of magic items. There's literally no approximation that makes sense for why crafting a magic item which a character has all the requirements for (e.g. able to cast the right spells) would cost them market price (in cost or personal labor which is functionally the same thing).

I've noticed a number of threads with people ultimately saying "I guess I'll house rule this in my home games" Like a lot. This lends credence to my theory that the primary balancing considerations were organized play first inverting the previous paradigm of having a set of "house rules" (the PFS specific rules) for organized play and instead writing for PFS with the assumption being there will be an increase in the number of house rules used outside of it.


KapaaIan wrote:

Now the part that's straight up malarkey though is the crafting cost of magic items. There's literally no approximation that makes sense for why crafting a magic item which a character has all the requirements for (e.g. able to cast the right spells) would cost them market price (in cost or personal labor which is functionally the same thing).

As I see it, that's a reaction to the PF1 rules, where crafting could be an enormous multiplier to a party's WBL. To the point where many groups (including, but not limited to) PFS just ditched it.

For PF2, the goal is different. Crafting isn't a way to make money, but to gain items you might not have otherwise.


The answer is mechanical balance.


It just seems strange to me that there isn't some way to improve that time or at least some sort of exception for consumables. The book at least concedes that consumable and ammunition can be made in batches, but I don't understand why the level 1 PC who is Trained in Crafting will take the exact same 4 days to make a batch of 10 regular arrows as the level 20 PC who is Legendary in Crafting. That 4 day period feels like it's too long to rely on for a PC who is using Crafting to subsist in the wild on their own without having to go back into town for ammunition every adventuring day. It may be better in practice than it sounds on paper, though.


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The answer is that the playtest surveys said that reduced crafting time rules were just too complicated to be worth it. Mark pointed out there is definitely room for a skill feat that helps reduce crafting time though-- that way that complexity is opt-in for people that want it instead of just the default for people that would find it confusing.

It is easy enough to house rule the playtest rules back in as well. And the reason so many of us are talking about how we will house rule things isn't because the game was built for PFS. It is because the game was built to be easy to house rule. The math of this game is a lot easier to understand and making changes is much less likely to have unintended consequences.


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Starfinder Superscriber
Evilgm wrote:
The answer is mechanical balance.

Mechanical balance shouldn't be an excuse for bad in world logic. If there is a problem with the balance, then there needs to be a change to the supply/demand factor at play.

The world presented is such that there would be almost NO high powered magical items in the world as the ROI unless crafted for personal use by long lived individuals who can afford to spend the multiple years to craft certain items, is none. And throwing more money at it doesn't make it anymore profitable. Basically there is almost no reason for someone (PC or NPC) to craft magic items to sell beyond those items that can quickly be turned over for low prices. This should mean that the increasingly rare items have prices that go up. But by the logic of the system, this makes them cost more... making them take longer?


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Appletree wrote:

Wasn't there a rule in the playtest that reduced the minimum number of days by the number of levels by which you exceed the item level, to a minimum of one?

Does anybody know why this would be changed?

People found it too complicated, so crafting was standardized to four days. Easy houserule to bring it back, though!


Starfinder Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
...And the reason so many of us are talking about how we will house rule things isn't because the game was built for PFS. It is because the game was built to be easy to house rule.

Why does it seem like most of the house rules being thrown out seem directly attributable to things that specifically seem put in for the sake of PFS balance though? Not being argumentative, but most of them seem related to things that don't make in world sense (Crafting, Casters, Proficiencies, Summons, Companions, etc...) which previously were spelled out in PFS rules, or were created issues for PFS scenarios in some way.

I may be self selecting of course, but the general vibe doesn't seem to back that up.


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KapaaIan wrote:
Evilgm wrote:
The answer is mechanical balance.

Mechanical balance shouldn't be an excuse for bad in world logic. If there is a problem with the balance, then there needs to be a change to the supply/demand factor at play.

The world presented is such that there would be almost NO high powered magical items in the world as the ROI unless crafted for personal use by long lived individuals who can afford to spend the multiple years to craft certain items, is none. And throwing more money at it doesn't make it anymore profitable. Basically there is almost no reason for someone (PC or NPC) to craft magic items to sell beyond those items that can quickly be turned over for low prices. This should mean that the increasingly rare items have prices that go up. But by the logic of the system, this makes them cost more... making them take longer?

The flaw in the logic is yours, not the worlds. Just because these are the Core Book rules for PCs crafting in Downtime doesn't mean this is how crafting is traditionally done in the setting. Instead it is simply mechanical rules for PCs to craft in Downtime.


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Starfinder Superscriber

I don't even know how to respond to that. The world should make sense. Yes, there need to be abstractions otherwise the game doesn't work, but those need to be explainable and still feel plausible. Saying the world plays by different rules than the players is a complete and utter cop out that breaks immersion.


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I can agree with that, to a certain extent. (Very few people would like a game that requires a MsC economics to grok).

Would it help to consider that the Downtime rules in the Core book are two parts of a larger subset of rules? One part is for any person who wants to use Craft to generate income. That's where you find out how much money you make per day. The abstraction here is what exactly you're making, and how'd you sell that to buyers. There's crafting involved, but for the purpose of 'making money' that part is handwaved. (I for one am glad that I can just set a Task level, and don't have to worry about whether anyone in village X would be willing to buy crafted item Y, at marketprice or any percentage thereof).

The other part is the rules for Crafting items. These seem specifically geared not to people making items with the goal of making profit, but those adventurers who want to make unique, exotic or one-off items for personal use. They won't care if it's cheaper or moreover expensive than buying them off the shelf, in this case. That's the underlying assumption I see to the crafting rules! I see them as a model of Crafting for a specific purpose (which I suppose who be the most useful for adventurers, hence it's in the core rulebook.)

Any parts not covered here might appear in further books, or would have to be devised by GM's who want more granularity to their world economics.


I'm generally fine with it. THough it would be nice if there was an adendum to "craft number of projects simultaniously according to prof level" trained =1, expert =2 master =3 legendary =4

and th en a lv 8ish craft feat for making Crit Successes' effect able to consume into the 4 day base.
i.e. if you did so well you eat all the extra time, you could eek into the 4 days.

That feels fun to me.

I can see some skill feats like that being made soon once they have more tangible large scale data


We had a house rule in PF1 and 3.5e.

For PCs only, so it does not affect economy too much.

Crafting was in 5.000 GP per day for magic items.
Or your "take 15" squared in GP in mundane items.
You needed all prerequirements as normal and raw materials in 95% of market price for magic items or 50% for mundane ones.

That would get you a 250GP per day until you saturate the economy with magic items or of you have a +7 craft modifier you could craft 484 GPs worth per day with 242 GP profit. Also until you saturate the economy.

Sovereign Court

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Look, it's not that hard.

For cheep items, like daggers and arrows, just use the mechanics of the "earn an income" rules, and role play as if that the character had created (an) item(s) up to the value of the income earned.

If a character would take four or more days to earn sufficient income for the item they want to craft then switch to the crafting rules.


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I also don't entirely get the assumption that PFS is what drives balance concerns. I don't play PFS. I still appreciate having a balanced game. Any game trying to achieve a desired level of difficulty benefits from a balanced game. This is true for any pre-written adventure or homebrew setting.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think it is about game play and not game balance. They want the decision to craft something and the number of days you spend doing it to be a tough decision compared to everything else you can do with downtime.

On a thematic level it also encourages artisan craftsmanship. There are not many stories about the Legendary Swordsmith making 100 katanas. There are stories about the blade he pored himself into.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
I also don't entirely get the assumption that PFS is what drives balance concerns. I don't play PFS. I still appreciate having a balanced game. Any game trying to achieve a desired level of difficulty benefits from a balanced game. This is true for any pre-written adventure or homebrew setting.

I feel like to an extent PFS is just a good scapegoat/bogeyman for any change people don't like.


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The Diplomat wrote:
For cheep items, like daggers and arrows, just use the mechanics of the "earn an income" rules, and role play as if that the character had created (an) item(s) up to the value of the income earned.

Actually, the amount created is even higher. The "earn income" income is pure profit, which means expenses for materials are already substracted. So while you can sell ten longbow arrows for 1sp, your profit would be lower (you have to pay for materials, workshop access, tools and so on). To earn 1sp in pure income by crafting long bow arrows, you have to sell more than just ten.

But PF2 is no economic simulation, and this is an abstract rule, and the developers probably never meant to for you to sweat about the finer details of the economics of fletchery ...


Squiggit wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I also don't entirely get the assumption that PFS is what drives balance concerns. I don't play PFS. I still appreciate having a balanced game. Any game trying to achieve a desired level of difficulty benefits from a balanced game. This is true for any pre-written adventure or homebrew setting.
I feel like to an extent PFS is just a good scapegoat/bogeyman for any change people don't like.

I tend to see it in places where people say, "if you don't like it then house rule it."

Even then, there are a lot of less stringent scenarios where house ruling is suitable (like when you are not the gm and the gm doesn't even want to talk about house rules or whatever)


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
KapaaIan wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:


How long does it take history's greatest craftman to make a suit of full plate?

If crafting were based on complexity or size, that would make a lot more sense. Instead it is based on value. By that logic, crafting a simple ornamented gold ring would take a long time. A simple gold ring worth $1000 or so takes someone under a day to make by hand IRL.

A lot of the rules are meant to be behind the scenes simplifications and approximations to obfuscate things like actual market demand, difficulty, scarcity of resources, etc. No one wants to worry about analyzing market saturation or gold veins in the local mine to determine the true cost of crafting a ring. Crafting time makes some "sense" when you factor all that in.

Now the part that's straight up malarkey though is the crafting cost of magic items. There's literally no approximation that makes sense for why crafting a magic item which a character has all the requirements for (e.g. able to cast the right spells) would cost them market price (in cost or personal labor which is functionally the same thing).

I've noticed a number of threads with people ultimately saying "I guess I'll house rule this in my home games" Like a lot. This lends credence to my theory that the primary balancing considerations were organized play first inverting the previous paradigm of having a set of "house rules" (the PFS specific rules) for organized play and instead writing for PFS with the assumption being there will be an increase in the number of house rules used outside of it.

In the case of someone making a gold ring worth 100gp. According to rules as written, it would simply take 4 days. It would simply require 100gp worth of gold.

For something as simple, as a simple gold ring, the GM could consider it simply a form of trade good, and say that it is a simple crafting check that takes 1 hour, or 1 downtime day, to convert 100gp from a 100gp gold bar trade good, and turn it into a 100gp trade good gold ring. It doesn't count as a crafting an item, since it isn't putting value into an item, just changing its form.

For smaller items, admittedly, I think it would seem to make more sense to count the first four days to the amount of that contributes to the discount. If that discount exceeds the remaining half of the total cost of an item, it gets completed early.

With the rules as they stand, it doesn't mean that magic items would never get created. Instead, it just means that magic items are almost always created at value. It means that magic items tend not to be consumer items that are mass produced. However, that seems consistent with what seems to be being stated that the magic economy works now. Most magic items are created for someone with power or authority, who is in charge, or has a good friend helping them out, or they are created simply for themselves. Items for sale are often things which the person no longer needs, has been stolen, or has been salvaged.

However, as someone stated, it is odd that one work making things for someone else, and if you came up with a list of items you'd have had to make to be able to sell at list price (no discounts) and make that much profit. In the same given amount of time, crafting the same items for yourself, you would have at most been able to make half of the supplies you would have otherwise sold, and would have required raw materials, potentially equal in value to the entire value of the items you were making. (or at best half the value) But in your instance, working for someone else, you were able to craft it all without the starting expenditure. (Ok, you say, the buyer has to bring you the starting materials! Ok, but that would presumably count towards that first half of their payment, meaning the profit would be half)

Then keeping in mind, in theory, if you craft something, technically, after having paid full price to complete it in 4 days, you then are stuck selling it at half-price to the buyer unless it was a commissioned work. Except which technically commissioned works would be more profitable worked as a Earn Income roll, than a craft roll since each roll loses 4 days of income.

Anyway, I still prefer the new basis of the system in Second edition over the old often seeming broken one in first edition. [although much of it's brokenness rested on people insisting they should be able to consistently sell their surplus items for full price if any number of artificial reasons pop up. This system actually seems to give a person's skill a reasonably growing size based on advancement that is pretty systematic and doesn't have as big (potentially breaking) an impact on WBL if someone takes certain crafting feats.


What's worse is what this does to casters. Crafting scrolls takes a feat and then 4 days, which is impractical. They already lost spell slots and now they can't really craft scrolls to make up for it.


i don't play pfs and i apprecietae that you don't need like 2 years game time to craft a suit of plate mail.

yes, it may be realistic in a mundane world, but given that wizards could fabricate/craft/masterwork it in minutes, it did make you wonder how those smithies are still operational.

So i appreciate a suspension of disbelief for a bit mechanical consistency.

Plus, the way that current craft rules work, i see it a bit differently:

in 4 days you have to pay the full amount.

that means that if you craft it in four days, you actually crafted almost nothing, and just bought the pieces and arranged them/stiched them together.

The only "true smithing part" is what you save from the extra days of labor imo.

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