Crafting and Intelligence


Rules Discussion


Is there any reason for all crafts to work of intelligence apart from simplification? Because obviously all human wizards are not only better scribes but also better blacksmiths than dwarven fighters...

It is only a minor issue, however I was a little surprised that they kept this in from PF1 so I just wanted to ask if anybody else finds it a little strange.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There is some coverage for using different Ability Scores with skills. This is explicitly mentioned in Recall Knowledge, but there is no specific coverage for Craft. I personally would probably use Strength for Blacksmithing.


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It is probably most simplicity.
It doesn't break the game too much to make certain sensible changes in a home game. Indeed I think by its very nature this game was designed to be harder to "break"


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Is there any reason for all crafts to work of intelligence apart from simplification? Because obviously all human wizards are not only better scribes but also better blacksmiths than dwarven fighters...

Well it's most likely all those formulas you have to learn and put into your craft book. Heck, if you couldn't read you'd be out of luck using a craft...

It also covers "Recall Knowledge about alchemical reactions, the value of items, engineering, unusual materials, and alchemical or mechanical creatures. The GM determines which creatures this applies to, but it usually includes constructs." So comprehensive knowledge of engineering, alchemical/mechanical creatures, item values, material properties/reactions, ect...

That's a lot to learn and remember.


Id definitely say that an aid another could use other attributes but for large scale projects like shipbuilding or constructing a golem the project lead is most definitely using their INT score.


graystone wrote:

Well it's most likely all those formulas you have to learn and put into your craft book. Heck, if you couldn't read you'd be out of luck using a craft...

It also covers "Recall Knowledge about alchemical reactions, the value of items, engineering, unusual materials, and alchemical or mechanical creatures. The GM determines which creatures this applies to, but it usually includes constructs." So comprehensive knowledge of engineering, alchemical/mechanical creatures, item values, material properties/reactions, ect...

That's a lot to learn and remember.

I know where you are comming from, however I can't imagine every single medieval craftsman having received an academic education. How to make things work was mostly found out using empiric methods and what worked or not worked was then passed on to the next generation.

And while I agree that intelligence makes a lot of sense when looking at an alchemist, architect or shipwright where are all the blacksmiths, capenters and stonemasons.

Thats why I would either have left the attribute modifier blank and not "fixed" to intelligence, especially when considering manual labour, or provide the respective exeption clause within the skill description itself.

If you want to some stones hewn out of massive rock use strength, if you want to use those stones to build a cathedral use intelligence.

However I concur that "Recall Knowledge" actions should use intelligence almost exclusively, because being knowledgeable about a topic and having the manual skill and physical ability to actually bring that knowledge to good use are two entirely separate issues.


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Ubertron_X wrote:

I know where you are comming from, however I can't imagine every single medieval craftsman having received an academic education. How to make things work was mostly found out using empiric methods and what worked or not worked was then passed on to the next generation.

And while I agree that intelligence makes a lot of sense when looking at an alchemist, architect or shipwright where are all the blacksmiths, capenters and stonemasons.

Thats why I would either have left the attribute modifier blank and not "fixed" to intelligence, especially when considering manual labour, or provide the respective exeption clause within the skill description itself.

If you want to some stones hewn out of massive rock use strength, if you want to use those stones to build a cathedral use intelligence.

However I concur that "Recall Knowledge" actions should use intelligence almost exclusively, because being knowledgeable about a topic and having the manual skill and physical ability to actually bring that knowledge to good use are two entirely separate issues.

I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that craftspeople aren't smart. They are. They may not have the same formal education that others have, but that doesn't make them less intelligent.

Mark Twain famously said, "Everything has its limit - iron ore cannot be educated into gold."

Blacksmiths were strong yes, but the ability to read metal and figure out how the metallurgy works is a mental task. Strength has little to do with it. It just lets you work faster.

All the carpenters I know are fairly smart. They may not be able to quote Twain from memory, but there's at least one famous one whose wisdom changed the world. Building things involves a great deal of geometry, even if it's informally learned.

I work at a University. Don't mistake education for intelligence.


Aservan wrote:
I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that craftspeople aren't smart. They are. They may not have the same formal education that others have, but that doesn't make them less intelligent.

Did I mention this anywhere in my post? If you got this impression I am sorry. Just because I said I am not of the opion that you need an Einstein IQ level to be a good craftsman does not imply no craftsmann possibly has Einstein IQ levels (or even higher).

Aservan wrote:
I work at a University. Don't mistake education for intelligence.

I don't. Thats why I still call a plumper to fix my sink despite having an technical academic grade myself.

However it still does not change the fact that I do not consider the decision to have only one single craft skill which is entirely based on intelligence to be a very good solution, because it means that every single level 1 mage will be a better craftsman in every single crafting category than the average level 1 fighter as long as both are trained in crafting.

But because PF2 is a roleplaying game we still hand our weapons and shield over to our INT10 dwarven fighter instead to our INT18 gnome wizard (whos intention was to take crafting for the finer arts), despite the fact that he would have a far higher chance of actually repairing our stuff.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Aservan wrote:
I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that craftspeople aren't smart. They are. They may not have the same formal education that others have, but that doesn't make them less intelligent.

Did I mention this anywhere in my post? If you got this impression I am sorry. Just because I said I am not of the opion that you need an Einstein IQ level to be a good craftsman does not imply no craftsmann possibly has Einstein IQ levels (or even higher).

Aservan wrote:
I work at a University. Don't mistake education for intelligence.

I don't. Thats why I still call a plumper to fix my sink despite having an technical academic grade myself.

However it still does not change the fact that I do not consider the decision to have only one single craft skill which is entirely based on intelligence to be a very good solution, because it means that every single level 1 mage will be a better craftsman in every single crafting category than the average level 1 fighter as long as both are trained in crafting.

But because PF2 is a roleplaying game we still hand our weapons and shield over to our INT10 dwarven fighter instead to our INT18 gnome wizard (whos intention was to take crafting for the finer arts), despite the fact that he would have a far higher chance of actually repairing our stuff.

for everyday crafting, you do not need einstain levels of IQ, that's true. But for a normal smith, rolling his Craft is not for the "everyday crafting", that's what Assurance and Experienced profession is for.

But when you're trying to make that really good "item", hitting the steel harder isn't gonna make it any better, knowing exactly when it has the perfect amount of carbon (for steel), reading the wood's lines, and realizing where errors may occur and where are the crucial points to turn an "ok" craft to a really good one, is all that matters. And most of those are based on knowledge, hence intelligence.

As you said yourself "How to make things work was mostly found out using empiric methods and what worked or not worked was then passed on to the next generation.". And THAT is pure Int. Memorizing and discovering techniques has nothing to do with how hard you can hammer.

Strength has little to do with smithing, it's just the natural consequence of hammering stuff, it doesn't actually make you any "better" at crafting.


shroudb wrote:

for everyday crafting, you do not need einstain levels of IQ, that's true. But for a normal smith, rolling his Craft is not for the "everyday crafting", that's what Assurance and Experienced profession is for.

But when you're trying to make that really good "item", hitting the steel harder isn't gonna make it any better, knowing exactly when it has the perfect amount of carbon (for steel), reading the wood's lines, and realizing where errors may occur and where are the crucial points to turn an "ok" craft to a really good one, is all that matters. And most of those are based on knowledge, hence intelligence.

As you said yourself "How to make...

Guys, don't beat a dead horse. This is entirely not about a less intelligent craftsman being magically better than an intelligent craftsman of the same trade and same manual skill level. There is no discussion here.

This is about mashing all crafts into one skill and assigning exactly one attribute to govern everything. If you do it this way all non-intelligence based classes and characters are more or less invalid crafters from a metagaming point of view.

"Hello, this is Partycraft Inc. Yes, our mage can do juggs, buckets and horseshoes. Oh, you need war galley build, well he can do this too. And an Eiffel Tower, a Farberge egg and painting of the interiour of the Sixtine chapel? Don't worry, he's got you covered! And do you know what the best thing is? He also makes his own paper for the manuals!"


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Ubertron_X wrote:
shroudb wrote:

for everyday crafting, you do not need einstain levels of IQ, that's true. But for a normal smith, rolling his Craft is not for the "everyday crafting", that's what Assurance and Experienced profession is for.

But when you're trying to make that really good "item", hitting the steel harder isn't gonna make it any better, knowing exactly when it has the perfect amount of carbon (for steel), reading the wood's lines, and realizing where errors may occur and where are the crucial points to turn an "ok" craft to a really good one, is all that matters. And most of those are based on knowledge, hence intelligence.

As you said yourself "How to make...

Guys, don't beat a dead horse. This is entirely not about a less intelligent craftsman being magically better than an intelligent craftsman of the same trade and same manual skill level. There is no discussion here.

This is about mashing all crafts into one skill and assigning exactly one attribute to govern everything. If you do it this way all non-intelligence based classes and characters are more or less invalid crafters from a metagaming point of view.

"Hello, this is Partycraft Inc. Yes, our mage can do juggs, buckets and horseshoes. Oh, you need war galley build, well he can do this too. And an Eiffel Tower, a Farberge egg and painting of the interiour of the Sixtine chapel? Don't worry, he's got you covered! And do you know what the best thing is? He also makes his own paper for the manuals!"

every craft being into one skill is a severely different issue than every craft being Int dependent.

Don't try to mash up those two as the same thing.

And it's not any different than "every athletic skill is mashed up into 1 skill, and all Athletic skills are dependent on one stat"

All craft skills are rightly Int dependent, but I would personally loved if they were different craft skills for each craft. Ofc, i would generally loved a dozen other skills to be split as well IF pf2 was going for a more realistic skill system.

but it isn't.

It goes for a more gamist "mash all skills together for simplicity and gameplay" system. Each has its pros and cons, but finding fault only on one skill, when every single pf2 skill is an overgeneralization and mash up of dozens or so skills, is also plainly wrong imo.


shroudb wrote:

every craft being into one skill is a severely different issue than every craft being Int dependent.

Don't try to mash up those two as the same thing.

And it's not any different than "every athletic skill is mashed up into 1 skill, and all Athletic skills are dependent on one stat"

All craft skills are rightly Int dependent, but I would personally loved if they were different craft skills for each craft. Ofc, i would generally loved a dozen other skills to be split as well IF pf2 was going for a more realistic skill system.

but it isn't.

It goes for a more gamist "mash all skills together for simplicity and gameplay" system. Each has its pros and cons, but finding fault only on one skill, when every single pf2 skill is an overgeneralization and mash up of dozens or so skills, is also plainly wrong imo....

While I agree that the issues are separate I still think that they are in a bad way interdependent on each other, i.e. the combination of the two is worse than each issue on its own. However and as you rightly pointed out other skills have the same inherent flaw so for now we have little choice but to roll with it.

However the question that I have asked myself is, why didn't they handle crafting like lore? Pick one of the available craft list (see Specialty Crafting) and be done with it?

This way you could possibly kill two birds with one stone.

First you could theoretically assign different attributes to different crafts if you really wanted to and second you could actually "outskill" an intelligence based class in your own specific field of expertise (that is if he did not chose to pursue the same subject).


Ubertron_X wrote:
shroudb wrote:

every craft being into one skill is a severely different issue than every craft being Int dependent.

Don't try to mash up those two as the same thing.

And it's not any different than "every athletic skill is mashed up into 1 skill, and all Athletic skills are dependent on one stat"

All craft skills are rightly Int dependent, but I would personally loved if they were different craft skills for each craft. Ofc, i would generally loved a dozen other skills to be split as well IF pf2 was going for a more realistic skill system.

but it isn't.

It goes for a more gamist "mash all skills together for simplicity and gameplay" system. Each has its pros and cons, but finding fault only on one skill, when every single pf2 skill is an overgeneralization and mash up of dozens or so skills, is also plainly wrong imo....

While I agree that the issues are separate I still think that they are in a bad way interdependent on each other, i.e. the combination of the two is worse than each issue on its own. However and as you rightly pointed out other skills have the same inherent flaw so for now we have little choice but to roll with it.

However the question that I have asked myself is, why didn't they handle crafting like lore? Pick one of the available craft list (see Specialty Crafting) and be done with it?

This way you could possibly kill two birds with one stone.

First you could theoretically assign different attributes to different crafts if you really wanted to and second you could actually "outskill" an intelligence based class in your own specific field of expertise (that is if he did not chose to pursue the same subject).

there's a reason lore is handed out more freely than skills.

it IS weaker on average than the rest of the skills.

They simply didn't want craft to also be a weaker skill but be equally powerful to a full skill.

For general purpose everyday "crafting" you can still go Lore either way. I mean, even one of the examples in the book is "Tanning Lore"

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