How do you handle magic item creation in an ongoing extended campaign?


Apologies if this question has already been asked, but it's not easy to sift through all the board postings. This would apply to AP style of play rather than PFS.

I think the question explains itself, but to elaborate...I can see it being rather tedious to track every single in-game day in a campaign to track when and if a magic item could be created. Needing a full day with no other activity is a limiting factor, of course. But I can see this becoming nit-picky rather quickly if it is used a lot, even for scrolls or potions.

So how do GMs out there handle it? Advice is much welcome.

Players are free to spend as much or as little down time as they like when the opportunity presents its self. Often there are outside factors that can set limits on how much time the party can spend on downtime activities before they start to incur repercussions for their inactivity.

In the APs I've run the campaign generally gives a good idea of how much pressure the PCs are under to move on to the next step. In some cases this can mean days in others it can easily represent several weeks. If the party tries to spend more downtime then they can afford to I'll have characters roll int, wis or knowledge checks so I can remind them why they might not want to spend that much time. If they insist then there are consequences.

In any case, it's good to try and have these downtime moments occur at the end of a session. Then it's easy enough to ask the group.

"So, how long do you spend in town?"

and then each individual "What does YOUR character do during that time?"

Then ideally any checks, questions, etc. can be fielded and dealt with between sessions. That way when we pick up again we can just have time pass and can move on with the next step.

I run a lot of homebrew games. Also my players are generally very linear gamers; they pick a plot hook and see it through to the end, then return to their home base city.

Magic Item creation has become very important to my players. They started the campaign with a wizard that had Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat. Later said wizard died, but not before an Investigator/Wizard entered the game. Said I/W has Scribe Scroll, lots of Craft: Alchemy skill ranks and now at 8th level has a cohort that has Craft Wondrous Item.

Generally the PCs go off on an adventure. If there are days of overland travel planned or no time crunch set on the adventure, I allow the I/W to erase traveling GP to represent "scroll making materials they just happened to have on them" and then take a few hours during travel time scribing a scroll, if they'd like.

Upon return from their adventure, the PCs settle back into their home city and decide how long they plan on being there. On rare occasions there is some element of the overarching plot that demands their attention during this Downtime, but otherwise they spend their time, their GP, make items and do research, then poke their heads up and say "let's look for our next adventure."

Thanks for the input. I'm looking specifically at the Skull & Shackles AP. While there is possible time for MIC while sailing, the PCs all have duties on the ship so I can see them maybe taking a day or two each week for that purpose while sailing. At port that's another story, but it takes them out of the action for a day per item IIRC. So it's still fairly limited but possible the way I see it.

If you read through all of the magic item creation rules there are provisions for crafting while traveling/adventuring.

Magic Item Creation wrote:
The caster can work for up to 8 hours each day. He cannot rush the process by working longer each day, but the days need not be consecutive, and the caster can use the rest of his time as he sees fit. If the caster is out adventuring, he can devote 4 hours each day to item creation, although he nets only 2 hours’ worth of work. This time is not spent in one continuous period, but rather during lunch, morning preparation, and during watches at night. If time is dedicated to creation, it must be spent in uninterrupted 4-hour blocks. This work is generally done in a controlled environment, where distractions are at a minimum, such as a laboratory or shrine. Work that is performed in a distracting or dangerous environment nets only half the amount of progress (just as with the adventuring caster).

So every 2 days you get 4 hours of progress which is 500gp and can be boosted in a variety of ways.

I'd rule that if the player isn't scheduled to stand an 8 hour shift they can get a full days progress towards making a magic item...unless there is a storm. If the seas are rough that alone should count as 'distracting' and limit the caster down to 2 hours of progress for the day. Though a single encounter like a pirate boarding or a stray kraken realistically shouldn't ruin a full day of enchanting. Well, unless you spend hours chasing them/BBQing the corpse.

My advise would be that unless the party is in a particularly tight time situation or the magic items they are trying to create are very expensive it really isn't worth tracking closely or worrying about.

Assume that they will have a reasonable amount of time to craft the items that they can afford and get on with the game rather then dealing with the minutia of tracking time.

More great advice. I'd forgotten about the rules for crafting "on the road" but they are useful. I'll keep all this in mind when I get back to running stuff.

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