PFS2: Upgrading weapons / armor


Pathfinder Society

2/5

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

Didn't want to tack this on to the existing sticky since that's PFS1, and I don't think I found it in the guide.

What is the appropriate way, to upgrade weapons/armor?

By level 2, characters easily have enough money to start grabbing weapon potency runes. They're common, and covered under the level +2 guidelines for access for such items. Do they need to buy spellcasting/crafting hireling/npc services, use downtime/etc to apply the rune to the weapon?

By level 3, the same applies for armor.

The strictest ruling I can see is for adding (not upgrading) a rune:
a) character has an item they want to add a rune to
b) character buys the rune (I'm assuming, this means you're actually buying a runestone with that rune on it, and I'm assuming that the runestone's cost is baked in -- the runestone is destroyed when you transfer the rune off, so I think that's fair -- but still trying to find a definitive source in the book for that's the form of a bare rune purchase)
c) character needs to spend downtime and a craft check to transfer the rune to the item.
It takes 1 day, and there is no cost (since its coming from a runestone). DC is set by the item level of the rune. If the character doesn't have craft, they'll need to hire services, I didn't see a cost/allowance/provision for that in the guide.

This does mean that upgrading gear, requires a roll that at the table with the GM, rather than a between sessions thing.

I can't find the rules for upgrading an existing rune -- there's the table showing the costs, but not the procedure, is it a craft check also?

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The requirements for Crafting them yourself are different proficiency levels and having the appropriate formula. The Crafting DC would be the same as any other item, based on the item level.

Armor Potency Rune (used as an example) wrote:

Usage etched onto armor

Magic wards deflect attacks. Increase the armor’s item bonus to AC by 1. The armor can be etched with one property rune.

You can upgrade the armor potency rune already etched on a suit of armor to a stronger version, increasing the values of the existing rune to those of the new rune. You must have the formula of the stronger rune to do so, and
the Price of the upgrade is the difference between the two runes’ Prices.

Type +1 armor potency; Level 5; Price 160 gp; Craft Requirements You are an expert in Crafting.

Type +2 armor potency; Level 11; Price 1,060 gp; Craft Requirements You are a master in Crafting.
Increase the armor’s item bonus to AC by 2, and the armor can be etched with two property runes.

Type +3 armor potency; Level 18; Price 20,560 gp; Craft Requirements You are legendary in Crafting.
Increase the armor’s item bonus to AC by 3, and the armor can be etched with three property runes.

But you don't have to Craft your upgrade any more than you have to Craft the base item. Just pay the difference in price if you're not a Crafting-focused character.

2/5

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

I would be very happy if the answer is 'just pay the difference in price' but that's not directly supported by any text I can find in the CRB or the PFS2 Organized Play Guide.

The upgrade sidebar/chart in the book (pg. 582) doesn't help -- a) it starts assuming the item is already magical (so doesn't cover going from normal to +1), and b) it uses the keyword 'to etch'. Etching is defined as a craft check. Not just pay the gold and its done. It makes it clear that the _cost_ is the difference, but there is still a mechanical step to accomplish.

The organizes play guide talks about purchasing, but nothing about upgrading.

One update to my OP, for the strictest ruling possible, you'd need to purchase the item-less rune on a runestone (adding 3gp to the price), for that flow to work -- as far as I can tell a rune can not exist independent of an item (armor/weapon or runestone) -- a rune formula could, but that's not relevant in the non-crafting upgrade process.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
NielsenE wrote:
I would be very happy if the answer is 'just pay the difference in price' but that's not directly supported by any text I can find in the CRB or the PFS2 Organized Play Guide.

When you read, "the Price of the upgrade is the difference between the two runes’ Prices", what does that mean to you?

I read it as meaning "the Price of the upgrade is the difference between the two runes’ Prices", but I fully recognize that reading is an interpretive activity that varies from person to person.

2/5

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

Please no snark.

Full references:
Fundamental runes pg 581

Quote:


You can upgrade the armor potency rune already etched
on a suit of armor to a stronger version, increasing the
values of the existing rune to those of the new rune. You
must have the formula of the stronger rune to do so, and
the Price of the upgrade is the difference between the two
runes’ Prices.

mutatis mutandis for the other three fundamental runes.

a) Under this full paragraph you need the formula (which is an additional cost) as well as the funds to the rune itself. 2gp for a weapon potency rune for instance.

b) The requirement for the formula implies strongly that crafting is involved, whether by you or by a paid npc/hireling.

Upgrading Armor and Weapons Runes

Quote:


You’ll often want to upgrade the fundamental runes of magic armor or a magic weapon you already have. This requires
upgrading each rune separately. Tables 11–5 and 11–6 summarize the Price of each step, with a number in parentheses
indicating the item’s level for the Craft activity. This also indicates the typical progression for an adventurer to follow when
upgrading their armor and weapons. The tables here don’t include progressions that aren’t as likely to come up, like turning
a +1 weapon directly into a +1 greater striking weapon.
...
+1 armor [-->] +1 resilient armor [needs] 340 gp to etch resilient (8th level)

Note: price and process.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
NielsenE wrote:
Please no snark.

Literally none to be found here.

I genuinely find it fascinating when people read the same text and come to different conclusions.

Linguistic Anthropology was one of my favorite courses ^_^


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Nefreet, the bit you quoted "the Price of the upgrade is the difference between the two runes’ Prices" refers to the process where "you can upgrade the xxx rune already etched..." that comes with certain requirements (like expert in crafting proficiency).

NielsenE is looking for the price where you don't fulfill those requirements and pay someone to do it for you, which should arguably be greater.

Hence your quote doesn't really apply in these specific conditions. You both read the same, but are trying to apply it to different circumstances.

In addition, as the original weapon is not etched with any rune yet, do we assume that the difference is just the price of the +1 rune? Technically, the prices listed only refer to upgrading one rune to another, not starting with no rune.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
NielsenE wrote:
The requirement for the formula implies strongly that crafting is involved

Yes, when you Craft anything, you need a formula.

In PF2, there are basically three ways to acquire any item: purchase it, craft it, or find it. Some minor exceptions exist.

In regards to runes, you could purchase a rune to be etched on your gear, craft a rune to etched onto your gear, or find a runestone and have it transferred to your gear.

Whether you're purchasing it or crafting it, you only pay the difference in price between the two runes.

Unless you have some reason to believe that runes are handled any differently from virtually every other item in the game?

2/5

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Nefreet wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
The requirement for the formula implies strongly that crafting is involved

Yes, when you Craft anything, you need a formula.

In PF2, there are basically three ways to acquire any item: purchase it, craft it, or find it. Some minor exceptions exist.

In regards to runes, you could purchase a rune to be etched on your gear, craft a rune to etched onto your gear, or find a runestone and have it transferred to your gear.

Whether you're purchasing it or crafting it, you only pay the difference in price between the two runes.

Unless you have some reason to believe that runes are handled any differently from virtually every other item in the game?

You list three options, I agree those are the three options.

1) Purchase a rune to be etched on your gear
2) Craft a rune to be etched on your gear
3) Find a rune runestone and have it transferred to you hear

All the bolded terms require a check. Nothing about the purchase price of a rune appears to include the cost/process/service of etching it onto something. Now the cost of a rune typically equal to the cost of the item with the rune, so if you weren't worried about upgrading, just buy the item with the rune already on it. This doesn't help in the case of upgrading an existing item.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
NielsenE wrote:
All the bolded terms require a check.

Citation?

I admit that the rules are still new to me.

I was unaware a check was required.

EDIT: obviously Crafting requires a check, since I already referenced the DC earlier; it's the other two methods that I don't see evidence for.

1/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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price/cost of etching the rune = price/cost of the rune itself

You don't buy the rune and then pay an extra "etching cost" unless you're having the rune transferred from one item to another.

It's reasonable to assume you can upgrade a mundane weapon by simply leaving it with a rune craftsman and paying them the retail cost of the rune. This would mimic how similar goods are commissioned in real life.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

Cyrad wrote:

price/cost of etching the rune = price/cost of the rune itself

You don't buy the rune and then pay an extra "etching cost" unless you're having the rune transferred from one item to another.

It's reasonable to assume you can upgrade a mundane weapon by simply leaving it with a rune craftsman and paying them the retail cost of the rune. This would mimic how similar goods are commissioned in real life.

It’s reasonable to assume that, but if so, what’s the point of using your Downtime to craft? Why wouldn’t you just use Downtime to earn income instead?

Not rhetorical. I don’t see it but if someone else probably does.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Okay, upon rereading the relevant bits again, and again, here's all I could find about the process:

a) you purchase or otherwise acquire a runestone with a rune to be tranfered to your weapon. If you purchase it, the cost of a +1 weapon runestone is 3gp (blank runestone, p.573) + 35gp (+1 weapon potency rune, p.581), so a total of 38gp.
The cost to transfer it to your weapon is free (assuming you can and want to do the needed craft check yourself), because it comes from a runestone (p.580), which is destroyed in the process (p.571). This process takes 1 day, if successful.
If you transfer it yourself, assuming you have a high enough crafting proficiency, you make a craft check against a DC set in secret by the GM, with a certain chance to save some coin on a critical success or have to spend another day and/or 10% additional cost on a failure/critical failure. (p.244f) Since the cost to transfer is free, the change in cost doesn't have any actual effect, but the extra time would be wasted. There are currently no set rules or guidelines for the GM on how high to set the DC, except for the example on p.245 about etching the rune from a formula, see below.
If you cannot or don't want to transfer the rune yourself, you have the option to hire a skilled hireling for 5sp/d, who can attempt the check for you at a +4 bonus (p.294). No rules for hiring someone above expert proficiency are provided in the CRB, but for a +1 rune that is sufficient. There is of course the Tier 4 faction boon "Master Hireling".

OR

b) you purchase or otherwise obtain the formula for the rune in question and add it to your formula book (p.580). The formula for the 2nd-level +1 weapon potency rune costs 2gp (p.293).
You can then "craft" the rune from your formula by etching it into the weapon. You need to be at least expert proficiency in craft, have the "Magical Crafting" skill feat and be at least of the same level as the rune's level. The cost to "craft" this particular rune is normally 35gp and takes 4d. The cost can be lowered (to a minimum of 50%) by spending more time on the process, but only by an amount comparable by what you would otherwise earn through an earn income check. This works like the normal crafting rules (p.244f), it does not use up the formula in your book. It requires a Craft skill check against a DC set in secret by the GM. There are no set rules or guidelines on how the GM should set the DC, however p.245 has an example where to craft a 4th-level striking rune, a DC of 19 was set. Again, depending on the level of success it can cost a little more or less and possibly take a little more.
Since this process requires the Magical Crafting skill feat, it is not clear if you could theoretically hire a skilled hireling as above for this process, they are stated to be level 0 and no skill feats for them are given.

So, if you are a skilled crafter, choosing option b) is slightly cheaper, but takes away a few more days of downtime earn income, so it doesn't really make much a difference, though you get to keep the formula, so it'll be cheaper the second time around.

Outside of PFS, if you are not skilled in Craft yourself, you would probably just ask the best magical crafter in your party to do it. In the more rigid confines of organized play, you'll probably have to either hire the extra help through the CRB or resort to the faction boon hirelings. And PFS will probably have to come up with standardized Craft DCs for these sooner rather than later...

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kevin Willis wrote:
what’s the point of using your Downtime to craft?

You save more money crafting than you earn.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Kevin Willis wrote:


It’s reasonable to assume that, but if so, what’s the point of using your Downtime to craft? Why wouldn’t you just use Downtime to earn income instead?

Not rhetorical. I don’t see it but if someone else probably does.

Generally because Earn Income is capped at your level -2 for what you can earn, but crafting is based on the level of the item.

For example, I'm a level 1 Fighter who's Trained in Crafting and I want to craft a war flail, which costs 2 gp. Assuming I succeed but don't critically succeed at both checks, then things look like:

1) First 4 days of Downtime

Crafter: 0 towards purchase Earn Income: 2 sp towards purchase

2) 5th day of Downtime

Crafter: 2 sp towards purchase Earn Income: 2.5 sp towards purchase

3) 6th day of Downtime

Crafter: 4 sp towards purchase Earn Income: 3 sp towards purchase

4) 7th day of Downtime

Crafter: 6 sp towards purchase Earn Income: 3.5 sp towards purchase

5) 8th day of Downtime

Crafter: 8 sp towards purchase Earn Income: 4 sp towards purchase

So as long as you're crafting, you should see a general curve into greater gains away from Earn Income (though the actual math is a little more complex since you're also rolling against a higher DC, but it'll still skew towards crafting over time).

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

Aha. That makes sense. Time to build a spreadsheet!

No, really. I'm going to build one to tell me when crafting is preferable to earning income. I have a gut feeling on how it will look but the lower values in PF2 have thrown off my gut before.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My buddy did a spreadsheet and summed it up as you only save more when Crafting the highest item level possible.

2/5

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

Albedeon's interpretation of the rules is the same one I've been finding -- its not the answer I want, I prefer the simple just pay the difference in cost that Nefreet is arguing for, but specific over general seems to apply.

I think for the short term, -- sell my existing non-magic item back at half price and buy a new +1 magic item. We know that's possible, without risking a rules violation. Hopefully clear guidance will be out before I'm looking to upgrade from a +1 to a +1 striking/resilient as appropriate, since then the cost differential matters.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If you GM for PFS2, I truly hope you won't be telling players that it works that way.

You're free to overcharge yourself and make things more difficult than they are.

But if you were GMing a game for me, I'd be asking for concrete evidence.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I thought I had provided concrete evidence?
Which part specifically do you disagree with? What do you consider overcharging? All the prices are taken directly from the CRB.

If you cannot take the neccessary Craft check yourself, because it requires being trained in the Crafting skill, you have to get help from somewhere. And there is no reason to assume that that help should be free, if at the same time there are hirelings available (for a price) to help with just such checks.

Now, personally, I agree, I'd much rather have a simpler system. How about a boon you get by rescuing an old wizard somewhere, who will then provide three craftings for a set price or maybe even free, if you provide all the needed mats. Use a mechanic similar to the "repair the castle" mechanic in the current AP (guaranteed success, but never critical success), then we wouldn't even have to worry about the DCs for a while longer...

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
albadeon wrote:
And there is no reason to assume that that help should be free

I do assume it is free. There is no reason to assume it should cost anything. If it did, we'd be given clear guidance that was the case.

I have a +1 rune etched onto my mundane longsword just the same as I have a +2 rune etched onto my +1 longsword. I pay for the +1 rune to start, and I pay the difference between the +1 and the +2 to upgrade.

I don't disagree with anything you stated. You covered the cost of Crafting quite thoroughly. What I'm talking about is simply paying to upgrade your gear.

To suggest that you need some sort of Boon to ever upgrade your magical gear is preposterous. To suggest that you have to sell your +1 item in order to buy a +2 makes no sense. To suggest that a party needs a character dedicated to Crafting so that everyone else can have up to date gear implies a design flaw that, for me, is an extraordinary claim that needs extraordinary evidence.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So you chose to ignore the part that said you had to use the Craft action (trained) to apply your purchased rune to the weapon? That it takes a day, but comes with a chance to critically fail (and thus take up more days, further reducing the downtime available to earn income), and in the case of transfering a rune from another item (which, unlike transfer from a runestone, would cost 10% of the rune's cost) could cost additional money?

Did you do that check and subtract the time it took from your available downtime or did it just get hand-waved by the GM? People always argue that PFS-play has to stick as closely as possible to the RAW, and that quite clearly is RAW, even though I agree that I don't like it much.

And don't people get hirelings for just these cases, where you don't have a skill that you need or would like to have, so you hire someone to do it for you? Even in the few PFS2-scenarios that are available at this point, I've played with people using (and paying for, usually via the faction boon system) hirelings for trained access to various skills from athlectics to stealth. How is obtaining acccess to the needed trained crafting skill any different?

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
albadeon wrote:
that quite clearly is RAW

There is no such thing as "Rules as Written". Reading is an interpretive activity, and as even you pointed out earlier, two people can read the same passage and come to different conclusions.

Again, I'm not ignoring anything. If you want to craft this yourself, or transfer this yourself, then you would indeed be correct about needing additional steps and costs, just as in crafting *anything*.

But if I hand my +1 longsword over to the smithy and say "Please upgrade it to +2", then all I have to do is pay the difference.

If you're claiming that I have to do more, then I'll repeat what I asked NielsenE earlier:

"Citation?"

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Also, these questions are important, and need to be addressed:

Earlier, I wrote:
To suggest that you need some sort of Boon to ever upgrade your magical gear is preposterous. To suggest that you have to sell your +1 item in order to buy a +2 makes no sense. To suggest that a party needs a character dedicated to Crafting so that everyone else can have up to date gear implies a design flaw that, for me, is an extraordinary claim that needs extraordinary evidence.

None of these have been brought up in the Rules Questions Forum, that I can find, and you'd think that if this process were as complicated as you put forth, somebody would have asked them by now, right?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have quite cleary summarized the process in one of my posts above, citing all the relevant pages where the information is found.

Nowhere was there any reference to just "handing it over to a smithy, and all I have to do is pay the difference".

As per the example given by the OP, I was describing the process of adding a +1 rune to a previously non-magical weapon and the pages I cite quite clearly give the process I have outlined.

The example you give (upgrading +1 to +2) is even more messy, as there is conflicting information in the CRB: there is a sidebar describing removing the +1 rune and exchanging it for the +2 rune of a different weapon, essentially "swapping" the two runes on p.581. On the other hand, there is a sidebar on p.582, summarizing an "upgrade"-process, where a +1-rune is somehow upgraded to a +2-rune. It mentions a Craft check needed but with no details, such as time or skill proficiency. This sort of "upgrade" is not mentioned anywhere else. NB The sidebar quite clearly refers to YOU upgrading something not you giving it to a smith to have it done for you.

How this is supposed to work is quite unclear: what happens to the +1-rune? Is it transferred to a blank runestone (and if so, does your example assume you can just sell it back or trade it in to the smith for full price, even though everything else sold back is half-price)? Or do you provide another weapon for that? Is there a different +2-rune, that is just an add-on to the +1-rune (nothing in the CRB indicates that adding a +2-rune to a weapon requires there to be a +1-rune on the weapon beforehand)?

I don't see the extremely imprecise information in either of these sidebars as a good indicator of how this process is meant to work, especially in the confines of PFS, where the available amount of downtime is strictly regulated and balanced to be used either for earning income, or for crafting things. If you just assume the crafting work required for any process (and it is quite clearly stated that a craft check is required and that those take one or more days) is done for you for free while you are able to earn income simultaneously, you are effectively doubling your available downtime.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Nefreet wrote:

Also, these questions are important, and need to be addressed:

Earlier, I wrote:
To suggest that you need some sort of Boon to ever upgrade your magical gear is preposterous. To suggest that you have to sell your +1 item in order to buy a +2 makes no sense. To suggest that a party needs a character dedicated to Crafting so that everyone else can have up to date gear implies a design flaw that, for me, is an extraordinary claim that needs extraordinary evidence.

The party does not NEED a dedicated crafter, but having one helps saving money and time in some instances. You either invest skills/feats/abilities into something or you have to pay a higher price for services that you or your party cannot accomplish themselves.

You either have a spellcaster that can cast a certain spell, or you have to pay someone for their services if you need said spell cast.

It's a matter of balance, like everything else in the game. There are no freebies. If you choose to invest in skill A you are rewarded when that skill is needed, if you choose to invest in skill B instead, you pay the price for not having picked skill A and the other way around.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think this is why I'm so vehemently opposed to your interpretation in the context of PFS: Every character has access to a limited and well-regulated number of feats, skills, etc. They are meant to provide a balanced power level. You have to make choices and these choices have meaningful consequences, both in regard to what you can do and what you cannot do.

If I choose to play a high-INT alchemist with an expert ability in crafting but low DEX and no training in thievery and I need a lock picked, I have to cope with the fact that I cannot do it myself. I can either do without (leave the loot behind), or find a workaround (hack the chest open likely destroying something inside), or hire a henchman to take the thievery check for me. Those all come with a certain price. If I were to argue that not being able to open that lock is unfair to me and punishes me for playing the way I like playing and I should just be allowed to open the lock for free, after all, no party should be required to have someone trained in thievery - well, wouldn't that just be ridiculous?!

The crafting skill is absolutely no different in that regard. There are some tasks that require a proficiency in crafting, and that includes adding or changing your gears' runes. If you chose to go for a high-STR fighter with different skills and are not trained in crafting, that's fine, you get other advantages from those choices. But if you now wish to do something that requires proficiency in the crafting skill, you again have the same options: do without that improved weapon, find a work-around (buy it ready-made at the market, maybe?), or hire a henchman to take the craft-check for you. And again, those all come with a certain cost. Your example of giving it to the smith is essentially just hiring a henchman, except you for some reason expect to get this henchman to do it for free and with an automatic success to the required check.

Why should this kind of free-of-cost outsourcing be allowed for one skill but not the other? And keep in mind, we're talking 5sp/d for a trained henchman or 4 fame for the boon. It's not like you're getting robbed. People are taking henchmen along to help with checks in skills where they are weak or untrained all the time!

Crafting is not more or less important than any other skill, and all skills are written and intended to be used on equal grounds, merely dependent on circumstance. So there is absolutely no room to argue that crafting skill checks can just be ignored, skipped or out-sourced free of charge when modding your weapons' runes any more than thievery skill checks could be when standing in front of the juicy loot box.

2/5

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Nefreet wrote:

If you GM for PFS2, I truly hope you won't be telling players that it works that way.

You're free to overcharge yourself and make things more difficult than they are.

But if you were GMing a game for me, I'd be asking for concrete evidence.

As a GM I tend to go with the most lenient interpretation possible under the CRB + Guide + Campaign Clarifications, but let the PC know places where I'm aware table variation may impact them or may cause problems on an audit down the road.

As a player, I tend to go with the strictest interpretation under the same set of rules.

I find this approach minimizes the arguments at the table, but still educates people to the existence of places rules are ambiguous/in-flux.

2/5

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Nefreet wrote:

"Citation?"

You have ignored all the citation presented by albadeon which are the same ones I would have provided. All our citations are supersets of the ones you provided, with the surrounding paragraphs. Your citations stripped off modifying text. Now its possible that modifying text is flavor only, but it used rules terms.

2/5

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
albadeon wrote:

I think this is why I'm so vehemently opposed to your interpretation in the context of PFS: Every character has access to a limited and well-regulated number of feats, skills, etc. They are meant to provide a balanced power level. You have to make choices and these choices have meaningful consequences, both in regard to what you can do and what you cannot do.

If I choose to play a high-INT alchemist with an expert ability in crafting but low DEX and no training in thievery and I need a lock picked, I have to cope with the fact that I cannot do it myself. I can either do without (leave the loot behind), or find a workaround (hack the chest open likely destroying something inside), or hire a henchman to take the thievery check for me. Those all come with a certain price. If I were to argue that not being able to open that lock is unfair to me and punishes me for playing the way I like playing and I should just be allowed to open the lock for free, after all, no party should be required to have someone trained in thievery - well, wouldn't that just be ridiculous?!

The crafting skill is absolutely no different in that regard. There are some tasks that require a proficiency in crafting, and that includes adding or changing your gears' runes. If you chose to go for a high-STR fighter with different skills and are not trained in crafting, that's fine, you get other advantages from those choices. But if you now wish to do something that requires proficiency in the crafting skill, you again have the same options: do without that improved weapon, find a work-around (buy it ready-made at the market, maybe?), or hire a henchman to take the craft-check for you. And again, those all come with a certain cost. Your example of giving it to the smith is essentially just hiring a henchman, except you for some reason expect to get this henchman to do it for free and with an automatic success to the required check.

Why should this kind of free-of-cost outsourcing be allowed for one skill but not the other? And keep in...

I wouldn't go this far, nor use it as an argument for my reading of the rules. It, to me, over-elevates crafting compared to the other skills. Most skills you hope to have 1, maybe 2 people in the party with it. This effectively says every character must have craft -- or rely on the generosity of party members spending their _down time_ to upgrade your weapons for you. The other cross-party skill uses occur during encounter/exploration mode and aren't consuming personal resources of the same nature.

I'm also a bit concerned about using the Boon Hiring for a downtime check -- I thought there was some guidance earlier (but sadly only in a forum thread, nothing I can find easily) that hiring's can't do downtime checks since downtime is not 'during the scenario'. Which only leaves the CRB hireling option, which won't scale to higher level runes.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hmm, I wouldn't see craft as must-have skill. At least not as long as there are alternative workarounds available. You either invest in the skill or invest a little more money when you find you need something crafted.

The current henchmen have expert proficiency, which is good enough for crafts up to about level 10, when master proficiency starts being a requirement. I'd expect to have master and better henchmen available eventually, maybe through the GMG already, though I still like the idea to make boons available to allow for downtime crafting. And if the faction boon hirelings are deliberately barred from that than have others instead.

It would certainly make more sense than the Lvl 3 common loot items on some of the chronicles I have :).

If in turn you were to remove the crafting requirement from the "runecrafting" and just let it be done for free, or included in the price of the rune, that would imho devalue crafting and I don't really see a good argument for why the same should not be applied to all other downtime crafting as well. And honestly, I'd rather they come up with more varied uses of other skills for downtime than to remove even more from it. I like the general idea, but if it gets reduced to basically just nothing but earn income checks, what's the point?


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As far as I'm concerned, for PFS you pay the difference. Any other route is way overthinking it.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

Michael Sayre wrote:
Kevin Willis wrote:


It’s reasonable to assume that, but if so, what’s the point of using your Downtime to craft? Why wouldn’t you just use Downtime to earn income instead?

Not rhetorical. I don’t see it but if someone else probably does.

Generally because Earn Income is capped at your level -2 for what you can earn, but crafting is based on the level of the item.

For example, I'm a level 1 Fighter who's Trained in Crafting and I want to craft a war flail, which costs 2 gp. Assuming I succeed but don't critically succeed at both checks, then things look like:

1) First 4 days of Downtime

Crafter: 0 towards purchase Earn Income: 2 sp towards purchase

2) 5th day of Downtime

Crafter: 2 sp towards purchase Earn Income: 2.5 sp towards purchase

3) 6th day of Downtime

Crafter: 4 sp towards purchase Earn Income: 3 sp towards purchase

4) 7th day of Downtime

Crafter: 6 sp towards purchase Earn Income: 3.5 sp towards purchase

5) 8th day of Downtime

Crafter: 8 sp towards purchase Earn Income: 4 sp towards purchase

So as long as you're crafting, you should see a general curve into greater gains away from Earn Income (though the actual math is a little more complex since you're also rolling against a higher DC, but it'll still skew towards crafting over time).

I'm still trying to whip my spreadsheet into shape. There are a lot of moving parts because the desirability of crafting comes down to two things: cost of item vs. how many days of Downtime you have until you level and the probability of getting a failure or critical failure on the crafting check. Which doesn't lead to an easy formula.

However I did notice that this particular example doesn't actually work. As stated on page 279, a war flail (like all weapons in the Equipment chapter) has an Item Level of 0.
The explanation is still good, it just needs an example item that has an Item Level of 1

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