Crafting is very, VERY tedious...


Rules Discussion

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BellyBeard wrote:
I think the Craft rules as written were made as simple as possible while being pretty valid for the things most characters will want to craft. If you are GMing a game where crafting mundane items is important I would make up some alternative craft duration rules, because the rules as written are not made to accommodate that scenario.

Unfortunately I believe you are correct. I suppose there wasn't a whole lot of arrow crafting going on in 1st edition either, but then again, if you wanted to craft arrows it took much less time than it does now.

I suppose just waiving the 4 days for such mundane items and having them done in one eight hour period is workable.


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beowulf99 wrote:

The biggest problem I have with the crafting system as standard is in regards to "mundane items" not so much magical. Why does it take 4 days to create 10 arrows?

I was planning on having an adventure based in an uncivilized land where loot would be less gold and more trade goods for dealing with undeveloped societies. Think the classic Doctor Peabody deep amazon exploration quest, lots of cursed temples and ancient evils.

But I ran into a roadblock when I realized that any character wanting to use a ranged weapon more complicated than a sling would be hard pressed to keep their arrow stock up without me giving them tons of downtime to craft in, or just making arrows and/ or Crossbow bolts SUPER available in every tribal village they encounter, which I just don't know the validity of.

I feel like Consumable items need their own crafting rules with a lower downtime based on the kind of consumable you are talking about. I mean really, should it take 4 days to make a Torch? Or should a character be able to rough together a torch with some cloth and maybe a dash from a flask of oil in a full round or two?

Ohhhh yeah. I hate that part of crafting... I literally removed that rule except for 'hard crafts' like want to craft a regular sword just remove the gold per day... If it's an item of your level yeahhh then we can talk about the 4 days.


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Bill Dunn wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
Gloom wrote:

Honestly, the main thing that disturbs me about crafting is somewhat unrelated to crafting directly. It's the fact that you can only sell loot in town for 50% of the value.

Currently, if you wanted to craft something you can spend 4 days of build up time and 50% of the value of an item to start the craft. Then you have to make up the other 50% of the value of the item either by additional downtime work at similar rates to what working a profession would give you, or by paying the amount off directly in resources or coin.

Effectively, you're paying full value for any piece of gear.

This means that when you are only able to sell something for half value you are only getting back the initial investment of materials and all additional time or money is simply wasted.

The way I see it, the rules as a whole (particularly in the core book) are written with the assumption that they are going to be used by adventurers and that the focus is on adventuring. They are not meant as a life simulator. So the downtime rules that apply to adventurers are not necessarily the ones that apply to NPCs making and selling stuff.

So the Craft activity is for making things for your own use, or for your friends to use. If you're making things to sell, that uses the Gain Income activity instead.

But, really, that was the point in 3e/PF1 as well. The loot selling/crafting rules were designed to make life easy for a player to get to the adventuring and not having to engage in an economic simulator. It's just that the calibrated expectation was that characters would use the craft feats to convert magic gear they found but didn't want into something they did want at a 1:1 exchange. Sell for 50% of market, craft for 50% of market - a 1:1 ratio. With PF2 it's a 2:1 ratio - sell for 50% of market, but anything you make for yourself with the proceeds is at 100% of market. Characters are no longer converting found treasure value at equivalent value.

I really don't understand what the problem is.

That you sell junk loot at 50% and not at 100% is obviously a good thing. It creates an incentive to use existing stuff instead of losslessly allowing you to convert it into the stuff you really want. Without it, there would be zero reason to ever use a Wand of X when you'd prefer a Wand of Y.

Using this to claim "but when the NPC baker bakes bread worth 100 silver he can only see it for 50" boggles my mind.

But what really blows my mind is complaining about it. As if making sure the NPC baking economy was somehow more important than keeping the magic item economy 1) fast 2) simple 3) focused on getting back to the fun stuff: killing monsters!

Stop complaining about rpg economy rules. They will never do what you want them to do: present a believable internally consistent economy. What you need for that is a set of economy rules.

And a rpg should never put the economy simulator before the needs of the player, and what the player needs is to get the economy part over with a.s.a.p!


Rysky wrote:
Recipes and blueprints are not a video game dynamic.

Oh sorry. I guess I didn't see all those famous ttrpg using blueprint because I was too busy playing The Witcher and Warframe.


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Gaterie wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Recipes and blueprints are not a video game dynamic.

Oh sorry. I guess I didn't see all those famous ttrpg using blueprint because I was too busy playing The Witcher and Warframe.

I'm pretty sure recipes and blueprints pre-date the modern personal computer. And I personally use recipes all the time when trying to cook something for the first time (and usually for the 10th time too).

As for famous TTRPG using blueprints, I know of at least one that did something similar and at least explicitly referenced formula.

Way back in the day of 2nd edition AD&D, the guidelines for creating magic items were along the lines of gathering rare components, a lot like a recipe list, made up by your GM. You had to discover how to make magic items. An adventure in and of itself. A lot like trying to track down an uncommon formula.

Opening my ancient copy of the 2nd edition AD&D gamemaster's guide (copyright 1989), on page 87, on the crafting of potions, I'll note:

"As with other magical items, the character must identify and gather the materials needed to brew a potion before he can begin work. The formula can be as straightforward or bizarre as the DM desires."

In that system, it also took 1 day per level of a spell to craft a single scroll of it. Not to mention the time to track down unused exotic quills and the necessary ink. So there's some precedence for taking days to make a single, disposable item.

Silver Crusade

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

Recipes and blueprints did in fact exist long before video games. Instructions have existed for as long as humans have had a way to record them.

If you can successfully make or play something without them congratz. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist.


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Economy Simulator during standard RPG sessions is definitely not something you want to focus on. However, when you get to a more sandbox type game where players are starting to setup their own shops, guild houses, and even towns... It gets to be a bit more important to some people.

I'm not saying you should force it on them and make things overly complicated but you should definitely make it fun and fair for them if they decide to go down that route.


We have lots of unrealistic rules.
You can improve your ability to swing a weapon by leveling up without ever swinging that or any other weapon.

So, leaving realism aside, what purpose do the formulas serve?


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The Ronyon wrote:

We have lots of unrealistic rules.

You can improve your ability to swing a weapon by leveling up without ever swinging that or any other weapon.

So, leaving realism aside, what purpose do the formulas serve?

Formulas serve as a realistic way for GMs to limit access to crafting items for both NPCs and Players. It also gives them something else that they can award players without giving them a direct source of power.

Giving a player the formula for a special dragon slaying sword that can only be made using rare materials that they will have to quest for is a great start to an adventure that will end with a fight against a powerful dragon.. It also has the benefit of keeping the party dedicated to a quest as they're making meaningful and tangible progress on completing that sword rather than a nebulous "Complete these quests and someone somewhere will just give you the sword that you need."

There are many reasons to have formulas. The Inventor Feat is also a really nice feat that allows you to experiment with stuff.

I do however think that one of the benefits of the Specialty Crafting feat should be that you no longer need formulas for common items within your area of expertise.


The Ronyon wrote:
Garretmander wrote:
The Ronyon wrote:

I was not convinced there was any real problem at first.

Some guidance on custom items would be nice, but they have always and must be ruled by GM fiat.
This formula stuff otoh is crap.
The idea that a crafts person would need a book with formula in it to build stuff is stupid nonsense.
I have worked side by side with real life carpenters who could hardly read, but they could frame a building without any written or drawn plan what so ever.

You already are limited by level, what's the point of these damned formula?
Even for magic items, why have them?
We already have the uncommon and rare tags to keep players from hassling GMs with troublesome items,spells, etc.

What purpose do these formula serve?

And I've worked with real life carpenters who need the plans to do anything.

Sounds like the ones you worked with had the inventor feat.

Still, the formulas are really just an extra step in downtime, if you really don't like them, and you don't play PFS, just handwave them.

No,craftsmen dont need a formula to make an item IRL.

These guys are not genius inventors, they are simply skilled.
Not only that, but the vast majority of crafts are taught and learned by watching it done, and then doing it.
No paperwork involved.

RL aside, again, what purpose do the formulas serve?

"Watching it done and then doing it" would just be learning a formula without writing it down. Which as written I guess you technically can't do but strikes me as a non-issue because a formula book covers all the mundane things that this analogy applies to when you initially get it.

Magic items, which make up the vast majority of what players will bother crafting, are more analagous to building a computer from scratch. You're certainly gonna need some instructions or lessons the first time you do it. Formulas are basically just that.

Having a formula book and buying a formula to copy is easy and time efficient, as opposed to having an NPC teach you individual item you want to craft. The latter would take significantly longer for the NPC than selling you an instruction manual and would therefore be more expensive.

Formulas just represent you learning how to build a specific item, which is better for immersion than being able to build anything under the sun without ever actually seeing it. The PF1 version of this, by the way, was to gate every subcategory of magical items behind a different feat. Now instead of having to invest multiple feats to make a heal wand, ring of jumping, and +1 armor you just need one skill feat and a few blue prints.


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FWIW, I have a ranger in my home game who wants to craft arrows in the field. I just worked out with him that he can Earn Income and "buy" the item in the field. Essensially, we just dropped the 4 day prep for cheap low level mundane items. It's been a pretty innocuous change so far.


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cavernshark wrote:
FWIW, I have a ranger in my home game who wants to craft arrows in the field. I just worked out with him that he can Earn Income and "buy" the item in the field. Essensially, we just dropped the 4 day prep for cheap low level mundane items. It's been a pretty innocuous change so far.

Completely support the idea of dropping the lead up time. Though, I'm also against paying the rest of the item off to finish it after the 4 day timer.

If you can craft 50 arrows in a day then you can craft 50 arrows in a day.


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Gloom wrote:
Completely support the idea of dropping the lead up time.

This rule exist for balance reasons; it's one of the rules ensuring crafting is never profitable.

Quote:

Though, I'm also against paying the rest of the item off to finish it after the 4 day timer.

If you can craft 50 arrows in a day then you can craft 50 arrows in a day.

Let's say you can craft 50 arrows per day, using log and arrow heads as raw material. How many arrows can you craft each day using arrow shaft and arrow head? How many arrows can you craft each day using trees and iron ore?

The price of the raw compound is supposed to answer this question: it takes 4 day to construct an arrow using arrow shaft and arrow head as raw material.

Gloom wrote:
Formulas serve as a realistic way for GMs to limit access to crafting items for both NPCs and Players. It also gives them something else that they can award players without giving them a direct source of power.

... this is the exact goal of the recipe mechanic in video games. And video game invented this mechanics long before ttrpg.

This is a very efficient mechanic in the context of video game, but it isn't realistic in any way: does anyone seriously think an awesome chef is awesome because he looted the best recipe? Does anyone seriously think looting a Stradivarius blueprint will allow a violinmaker to craft Stradivarius? This is not how the word works. The idea the blueprint "is a way to limit access to crafting items" doesn't comes from the real world, it comes from video games.


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Gaterie wrote:
This rule exist for balance reasons; it's one of the rules ensuring crafting is never profitable.

Crafting should be at least as profitable as working to earn an income using a lore skill. It shouldn't be less profitable simply because you're choosing to make something specific.

Saying that crafting should NEVER be profitable is just asinine.


Gloom wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
This rule exist for balance reasons; it's one of the rules ensuring crafting is never profitable.

Crafting should be at least as profitable as working to earn an income using a lore skill. It shouldn't be less profitable simply because you're choosing to make something specific.

Saying that crafting should NEVER be profitable is just asinine.

The crafting rules are not for making money. The book specifically says you can use the Craft skill to Earn an Income; that's how you make money crafting. If you want access to a specific item that's not readily available in your current environment, that's what the Craft downtime activity is for.


Gloom wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
This rule exist for balance reasons; it's one of the rules ensuring crafting is never profitable.

Crafting should be at least as profitable as working to earn an income using a lore skill. It shouldn't be less profitable simply because you're choosing to make something specific.

Saying that crafting should NEVER be profitable is just asinine.

I'm just talking about the rule as they are designed: they are designed to prevent craft from being profitable. Whether it's a good thing or not isn't my point.

Strangely enough, in the normal game craft can't be profitable, ever; but using PFS special rules, it's the most profitable activity ever. I don't know if there's a misunderstanding between the designer team and the PFS team, or if one of the team botched, or if there's a reason why craft should be profitable in PFS and not in the standard game. Anyway, some people are like you and think craft should be profitable.


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Craft for ADVENTURERS should not be profitable. This is an adventure game, not a merchandizing game. The actual craftsmen in the world who aren't adventurers clearly make a profit (or at least a living), and they don't observe the same restrictions that part-time crafters like PCs have to observe. That is the RAI, anyway, in my opinion. As to the PFS, well, can't speak to that.... Sounds like a screw-up.

Silver Crusade

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PFS does not have unlimited potential downtime for one thing.


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I wonder how many players will be turned off crafting just because of the additional book keeping.

I know of a few players that refuse to play wizards because of the record keeping required for a spell book. Crafting now has a similar requirement.


After using it a bit in our most recent session, my group has decided the crafting rules are serviceable, though they do require much more downtime than I think is reasonable. You can't really give a party a two day downtime period, as it makes any crafting impossible. At least in the short term. Then if you allow crafting over various downtime periods you have to keep track of the progress of each crafting activity.

Fine if you have one crafter, but could get awkward if you end up with a party with an Alchemist, Wizard and Cleric who all want to make scrolls, potions and elixers at different rates.

And the mundane item issue still bothers me.

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Gloom wrote:
The Ronyon wrote:

We have lots of unrealistic rules.

You can improve your ability to swing a weapon by leveling up without ever swinging that or any other weapon.

So, leaving realism aside, what purpose do the formulas serve?

Formulas serve as a realistic way for GMs to limit access to crafting items for both NPCs and Players.

That's a reason, but it does not seem like a good one.

This game isn't about realism,formulas are not realistic, and limiting crafting isn't adding to the fun.
Why limit crafting more than by level and common/uncommon etc?

Gloom wrote:

It also gives them something else that they can award players without giving them a direct source of power.

Giving a player the formula for a special dragon slaying sword that can only be made using rare materials that they will have to quest for is a great start to an adventure that will end with a fight against a powerful dragon.. It also has the benefit of keeping the party dedicated to a quest as they're making meaningful and tangible progress on completing that sword rather than a nebulous "Complete these quests and someone somewhere will just give you the sword that you need."

This would add to the fun, but it could easily be reserved for uncommon and/or magic items.

Questing for the formula for making arrows isn't fun or cool.
It's not realistic to buy the formula, because that's not how people learn to throw a a clay pot or forge a sword.

Gloom wrote:


There are many reasons to have formulas. The Inventor Feat is also a really nice feat that allows you to experiment with stuff.

I do however think that one of the benefits of the Specialty Crafting feat should be that you no longer need formulas for common items within your area of expertise.

There are reasons to have formula, but I don't think the reasons you have presented are compelling.

Had there never been official formulas, you could still have players quest for a sword formula, and we wouldn't have to pretend that craftsmen need a formula book.
The reward for Crafting is little it no savings plus extra kick in the nuts called formula.
Mind you, with no Feat investment or formula whatsoever , you can buy a magic sword.

Silver Crusade

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Buying a magic sword requires being around someone who is selling a magic sword.


Captain Morgan wrote:
The Ronyon wrote:
Garretmander wrote:
The Ronyon wrote:

I was not convinced there was any real problem at first.

Some guidance on custom items would be nice, but they have always and must be ruled by GM fiat.
This formula stuff otoh is crap.
The idea that a crafts person would need a book with formula in it to build stuff is stupid nonsense.
I have worked side by side with real life carpenters who could hardly read, but they could frame a building without any written or drawn plan what so ever.

You already are limited by level, what's the point of these damned formula?
Even for magic items, why have them?
We already have the uncommon and rare tags to keep players from hassling GMs with troublesome items,spells, etc.

What purpose do these formula serve?

And I've worked with real life carpenters who need the plans to do anything.

Sounds like the ones you worked with had the inventor feat.

Still, the formulas are really just an extra step in downtime, if you really don't like them, and you don't play PFS, just handwave them.

No,craftsmen dont need a formula to make an item IRL.

These guys are not genius inventors, they are simply skilled.
Not only that, but the vast majority of crafts are taught and learned by watching it done, and then doing it.
No paperwork involved.

RL aside, again, what purpose do the formulas serve?

"Watching it done and then doing it" would just be learning a formula without writing it down. Which as written I guess you technically can't do but strikes me as a non-issue because a formula book covers all the mundane things that this analogy applies to when you initially get it.

Magic items, which make up the vast majority of what players will bother crafting, are more analagous to building a computer from scratch. You're certainly gonna need some instructions or lessons the first time you do it. Formulas are basically just that.

If you could learn how to make items by watching and doing or only needed formulas to make magic items for the first time, then the formula rules would make some sense.

But this is not the case.
Instead, a craftsman can only learn how to make a mundane staff via a formula.
That makes no sense and doesn't serve the goal of game balance or having fun.

Captain Morgan wrote:
You're certainly gonna need some instructions or lessons the first time you do it.

Really?

We allow characters to learn how to do things and improve at doing things without cost or any experience with the task what so ever, by feats or just by leveling up.
You can be wizard who never touched a dagger, yet becomes an expert in the use of a dagger by leveling up.
You could learn how to use wizard spells AND get a spell book by taking a feat.
The list goes on.
Neither fun,realism or game balance explains forcing a character that invested in feats, crafting skill and the money for raw materials to also buy a formula for each item they want to make.
Captain Morgan wrote:


Having a formula book and buying a formula to copy is easy and time efficient, as opposed to having an NPC teach you individual item you want to craft. The latter would take significantly longer for the NPC than selling you an instruction manual and would therefore be more expensive.

Nope.

When you learn by doing, you do the grunt work, carring wood, stoking fires, sweeping the floors and fetching the lunches.
It's not only free, you can actually get paid to learn.
When you are holding the tonges you get to see how to use the hammer up close and personal.
Further more, no matter how well written a formula would be, it will not teach you enough to be proficient.
Entire manuals have been written on fencing, yet just reading them does not ready you for a sword fight.
Oh, and if this is a pre-printing press world,books and formulas would be precious and expensive.
Too realistic?
OK, I agree, we shouldn't let realism get in the way of our fantasy...
Captain Morgan wrote:


Formulas just represent you learning how to build a specific item, which is better for immersion than being able to build anything under the sun without ever actually seeing it. The PF1 version of this, by the way, was to gate every subcategory of magical items behind a different feat. Now instead of having to invest multiple feats to make a heal wand, ring of jumping, and +1 armor you just need one skill feat and a few blue prints.

Wait, what?

One feat is enough to let one use any any martial weapon without ever having seen it before, or cast 4 cantrips of your choosing without ever casting anything before or produce alchemical essences from one's body,or so on, but being able to make any magic item without a formula is too immersion breaking?

Doing it the realistic way would take too long,cost to much,and not be fun, so we need formulas because it would be unrealistic to let a crafter make anything they want without a formula?

Needing a formula to make a club is realistic?
Needing a formula to make a club is fun?

No. Formulas as they exist are not fun, not needed for game balance, and not realistic.
They are poor game design.


Rysky wrote:
Buying a magic sword requires being around someone who is selling a magic sword.

Buying a magic sword requires to be level 4. If the DM denies the level-appropriate magic sword, then the PCs can't handle the level-appropriate monsters, TPK, let's play something else.

Actually, according to the wbl rules, a martial can get a magic sword at level 3 - while it's not possible to craft it at that level.

Silver Crusade

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

There’s no level requirement for purchasing gear. It’s a guideline.


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The Ronyon: Are you aware of this item?

https://2e.aonprd.com/Equipment.aspx?ID=6

A single silver piece buys you the formula for ALL of those easy to make items that you're complaining about needing to learn. Yes, many of those things you probably shouldn't need formulas for in the first place if you're trained in crafting. But in practice it is so easy to get all of these formulas that it really doesn't matter. Complaining about needing to buy formulas for level 0 items feels kind of silly given how easy it is.

Also, think of it like this. The basic Crafters book means your GM can never call into question whether you know how to make one of these things. You explicitly do according to the rules.

Now, the conversation on higher level items, is maybe another matter, but that doesn't seem to be what you're actually bothered by here.

I guess it does mean that if you're stranded on a desert island with no gear a GM could try to say you can't craft anything. But that is a pretty contrived scenario and shuts down most characters anyway.


Captain Morgan wrote:

The Ronyon: Are you aware of this item?

https://2e.aonprd.com/Equipment.aspx?ID=6

A single silver piece buys you the formula for ALL of those easy to make items that you're complaining about needing to learn. Yes, many of those things you probably shouldn't need formulas for in the first place if you're trained in crafting. But in practice it is so easy to get all of these formulas that it really doesn't matter. Complaining about needing to buy formulas for level 0 items feels kind of silly given how easy it is.

Also, think of it like this. The basic Crafters book means your GM can never call into question whether you know how to make one of these things. You explicitly do according to the rules.

Now, the conversation on higher level items, is maybe another matter, but that doesn't seem to be what you're actually bothered by here.

I guess it does mean that if you're stranded on a desert island with no gear a GM could try to say you can't craft anything. But that is a pretty contrived scenario and shuts down most characters anyway.

That item is a band aid on a self inflicted wound.

Being stranded far from any friendly civilization is hardly an uncommon trope for the game.
That a cheap item can address part of a limitation that should not exist in the first place hardly justifies the inclusion of said limitation in the first place.
If you are in jail you can't make a shive.
If you are trapped at the bottom of a well, you can't make a grappling hook.
If you are stuck on an island you can't build a raft.
Poor. Game. Design.

Should there be formulas required for magic items?
Well, they are arguably really complex and mysterious, kind of like spells.
I mean, we do require that wizards seek out and buy the spells that the recieve upon leveling up, right?
Because no one who is practicing magic could figure out new spells for themselves, right?
That would be imbalanced, immersion breaking, and not fun.
I mean some spells can duplicate the abilities of magic items, and making those things cost money,time, require a feat, some skill investment and a formula!
Bards clearly need to learn their songs from somewhere as well.
Alchemist must buy all their formulas, correct?

Some people note that one must have access to a magic sword seller to buy a magic sword.
Is the need to buy formulas in order to make a sword a way even the playing field for purchasers?
I think money,time,feat(s), matching level,and skill is enough to balance against money and access to a seller.


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Cap you’re not gonna change their mind on this; they were pretty set in stone from their fist few comments.

Ron, just because you don’t like/agree with a mechanic doesn’t make it poor game design.


The Ronyon wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

The Ronyon: Are you aware of this item?

https://2e.aonprd.com/Equipment.aspx?ID=6

A single silver piece buys you the formula for ALL of those easy to make items that you're complaining about needing to learn. Yes, many of those things you probably shouldn't need formulas for in the first place if you're trained in crafting. But in practice it is so easy to get all of these formulas that it really doesn't matter. Complaining about needing to buy formulas for level 0 items feels kind of silly given how easy it is.

Also, think of it like this. The basic Crafters book means you

Now, the conversation on higher level items, is maybe another matter, but that doesn't seem to be what you're actually bothered by here.

I guess it does mean that if you're stranded on a desert island with no gear a GM could try to say you can't craft anything. But that is a pretty contrived scenario and shuts down most characters anyway.

That item is a band aid on a self inflicted wound.

Being stranded far from any friendly civilization is hardly an uncommon trope for the game.
That a cheap item can address part of a limitation that should not exist in the first place hardly justifies the inclusion of said limitation in the first place.
If you are in jail you can't make a shive.
If you are trapped at the bottom of a well, you can't make a grappling hook.
If you are stuck on an island you can't build a raft.
Poor. Game. Design.

The jail example is the only one that makes any sense. If you're trained in Crafting, you should have bought the book already and have it. So unless you have lost all your gear you should be fine. Otherwise, we are talking about the same scenario where a fighter doesn't have their weapon, a wizard their spellbook, or a cleric their holy symbol. Crafting becomes the least of your problems. Also, if you don't have a thing that says you know how to make all basic items, your GM can say "Well, you were a blacksmith, not a carpenter or ship builder. Why should you know how to make a raft?" Having something hard coded into the rules solves that problem.

(Even then, a shiv isn't a listed level 0 item. It would probably just count as an improvised weapon that you could totally make in prison. You couldn't make an actual dagger, but you'd need a forge for that anyway.)

As for the rest of that post, your comparing class defining features to some skill training and maybe a skill feat. And all of those classes need to learn how to make or cast uncommon things. That doesn't feel relevant to me, but let's run with it. Make formulas work like compositions. Now your crafter starts off with 2 and needs to spend feats to get more. Well that stinks.

How about how a sorcerer learns spells? Well now you get 2 formulas every level and it you want to learn anymore you have to forget them. Well, that also stinks.

Now if we look at how the wizard or alchemist get their respective lessons... The only real difference is that they get some free formulas/spells as they level up. They still need to obtain everything else. So if what you're proposing is that Crafters get 2 free formulas every time they level up... That seems like a fine house rule. I'm not sure it is worth the additional complexity as a core rule though.

PF2 is meant to be a game. The rules are designed to create the best experience in actual play, not to emulate real life.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
...

For what it's worth, I agree with you here.

For everyone else..

House Rules can do all sorts of things when you're the GM.

IMO it's easy enough to allow Crafters to learn formula for various items by spending time copying it into their "Repertoire" just as you would copying it from either a stand-alone formula or one from a book..

Once it's in your repertoire you can then spend additional time to scribe it into a book or into something else.

Do whatever works for your table.


Pumpkinhead11, just because you like/agree with a mechanic doesn’t make it good game design.

I asked for reasons for the formula requirement.
Reasons were given, I pointed out flaws and inconsistencies in those reasons.
Evidently those flaws and inconsistencies did not convince the Captain or you that formulas are not needed for game balance, are not good for immersion preservation and are not fun.

Yet, I don't accuse you of being set in stone.

Let me ask an open question.
Who among us will require a formula to craft a club in our home games?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Ronyon wrote:

Pumpkinhead11, just because you like/agree with a mechanic doesn’t make it good game design.

I asked for reasons for the formula requirement.
Reasons were given, I pointed out flaws and inconsistencies in those reasons.
Evidently those flaws and inconsistencies did not convince the Captain or you that formulas are not needed for game balance, are not good for immersion preservation and are not fun.

Yet, I don't accuse you of being set in stone.

Let me ask an open question.
Who among us will require a formula to craft a club in our home games?

All of your reasons and ‘inconsistencies’ are entirely based on anecdotal evidence and extremely circumstantial situations. It’s pretty clear from your responses, including this one, that you’re not interested in seeing any benefits of the mechanic; you’re more interested in being right. You just don’t like formulas. You even have reasons that you don’t like it. You feel that it has much more flaws than benefits, if any benefits at all. Cool, and good to know. I found none of your points convincing and calling the mechanic flawed based entirely on anecdotal evidence and personal feeling on the matter just isn’t convincing no matter how i look at it.

To answer your question:

Club CRB pg 284 wrote:

This is a piece of stout wood shaped or repurposed to bludgeon an enemy. Clubs can be intricately carved pieces of martial art or as simple as

a tree branch or piece of wood.

I’d just give my player a big stick and call it a day.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


Want to create something for yourself that no one else has? Can't. You don't have a formula for your own design, nor do you have the ability to make one up,...

Have not read the rules in detail but can't you create new formulas with the inventor feat. I know you can invent existing ones with it.

Also it seems that there is a market for formulas as well so I am certain if you have "magic item" shops then you can have people selling formulas as well.

To my mind I think the extra work is fine. Magic items should be something you care to invest in and not just Oh, let me take a day to craft that and sell to random hobos that have the gold. This always struck me as the worst aspect of DND, the magic shop. I understand why the players and gms do it to make advancing characters items with level more seemless but to me it should be a process the character has to work for.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Indi523 wrote:
Have not read the rules in detail but can't you create new formulas with the inventor feat. I know you can invent existing ones with it.

Technically, it's up to the DM whether or not this is something that is possible as the feat specifies you can only invent common blueprints... Which is kind of bleh.

I would have much preferred they leave it open ended beyond common stuff and left it entirely to DM approval.


Captain Morgan wrote:
The Ronyon wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

The Ronyon: Are you aware of this item?

https://2e.aonprd.com/Equipment.aspx?ID=6

A single silver piece buys you the formula for ALL of those easy to make items that you're complaining about needing to learn. Yes, many of those things you probably shouldn't need formulas for in the first place if you're trained in crafting. But in practice it is so easy to get all of these formulas that it really doesn't matter. Complaining about needing to buy formulas for level 0 items feels kind of silly given how easy it is.

Also, think of it like this. The basic Crafters book means you

Now, the conversation on higher level items, is maybe another matter, but that doesn't seem to be what you're actually bothered by here.

I guess it does mean that if you're stranded on a desert island with no gear a GM could try to say you can't craft anything. But that is a pretty contrived scenario and shuts down most characters anyway.

That item is a band aid on a self inflicted wound.

Being stranded far from any friendly civilization is hardly an uncommon trope for the game.
That a cheap item can address part of a limitation that should not exist in the first place hardly justifies the inclusion of said limitation in the first place.
If you are in jail you can't make a shive.
If you are trapped at the bottom of a well, you can't make a grappling hook.
If you are stuck on an island you can't build a raft.
Poor. Game. Design.

The jail example is the only one that makes any sense. If you're trained in Crafting, you should have bought the book already and have it. So unless you have lost all your gear you should be fine. Otherwise, we are talking about the same scenario where a fighter doesn't have their weapon, a wizard their spellbook, or a cleric their holy symbol. Crafting becomes the least of your problems.

A wizard without his spell book is screwed.

A cleric without a holy symbol needs a crafter.
A fighter without his weapons needs a crafter.
Making things without tools is how we got tools in the first place.
There should be a way to craft these things when all is lost, even if the crafted items are shoddy, or the roll is heavily penalized.
Captain Morgan wrote:


Also, if you don't have a thing that says you know how to make all basic items, your GM can say "Well, you were a blacksmith, not a carpenter or ship builder. Why should you know how to make a raft?" Having something hard coded into the rules solves that problem.

That "thing that says you know how to make all basic items" could be a rule that says as much, rather than an item.

With a fighter we presume he can use ANY martial weapon he comes across equally well.
Does he need a book of formulas?
No.
Is this ability unbalancing?
No.
Is it in realistic?
No.
We could extend a similar presumption to crafter, and it would be no less balanced or realistic and it would be more fun.

Captain Morgan wrote:


(Even then, a shiv isn't a listed level 0 item. It would probably just count as an improvised weapon that you could totally make in prison. You couldn't make an actual dagger, but you'd need a forge for that anyway.)

This makes some sense.

We can use this to help the fighter in the above example.
Too bad we can improvise weapons with no training whatsoever but cannot improvise a holy symbol or a raft or crafter tools, even if we are legendary crafter.
Poor game design.

Captain Morgan wrote:


As for the rest of that post, your comparing class defining features to some skill training and maybe a skill feat. And all of those classes need to learn how to make or cast uncommon things. That doesn't feel relevant to me, but let's run with it. Make formulas work like compositions. Now your crafter starts off with 2 and needs to spend feats to get more. Well that stinks.

How about how a sorcerer learns spells? Well now you get 2 formulas every level and it you want to learn anymore you have to forget them. Well, that also stinks.

Now if we look at how the wizard or alchemist get their respective lessons... The only real difference is that they get some free formulas/spells as they level up. They still need to obtain everything else. So if what you're proposing is that Crafters get 2 free formulas every time they level up... That seems like a fine house rule. I'm not sure it is worth the additional complexity as a core rule though.

I'm comparing to casting spells as written the rules say you can figure out new ways of bending reality on your own but not whittling a fork out of wood.

If crafting should have formulas for balance, purchasing items should require a formula, for balance.
Note, purchases are already way easier than crafting and that's questionable, but formulas are not, as written,they are pointless complexity.

If crafters need to buy formulas for realism, then casters need to buy spells, for realism.
Note, realism isn't a good reason to require the purchase of spells or formula.
If requiring formulas for crafting makes things more fun, all activities in the game should require the equivalent to a formula.
Note, requiring formulas doesn't make things more fun.

Captain Morgan wrote:


PF2 is meant to be a game. The rules are designed to create the best experience in actual play, not to emulate real life.

I see no convincing evidence that the rules for formulas contribute to a good game play experience OR emulate real life.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
The Ronyon wrote:

Pumpkinhead11, just because you like/agree with a mechanic doesn’t make it good game design.

I asked for reasons for the formula requirement.
Reasons were given, I pointed out flaws and inconsistencies in those reasons.
Evidently those flaws and inconsistencies did not convince the Captain or you that formulas are not needed for game balance, are not good for immersion preservation and are not fun.

Yet, I don't accuse you of being set in stone.

Let me ask an open question.
Who among us will require a formula to craft a club in our home games?

All of your reasons and ‘inconsistencies’ are entirely based on anecdotal evidence and extremely circumstantial situations.
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
It’s pretty clear from your responses, including this one, that you’re not interested in seeing any benefits of the mechanic; you’re more interested in being right.

This is an ungrounded personal attack.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:


You just don’t like formulas. You even have reasons that you don’t like it. You feel that it has much more flaws than benefits, if any benefits at all. Cool, and good to know.

If I "just" didn't like formulas, I wouldn't have reasons.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:


I found none of your points convincing and calling the mechanic flawed based entirely on anecdotal evidence and personal feeling on the matter just isn’t convincing no matter how i look at it.

A mischaracterization of my points and positions.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:


To answer your question:

Club CRB pg 284 wrote:

This is a piece of stout wood shaped or repurposed to bludgeon an enemy. Clubs can be intricately carved pieces of martial art or as simple as

a tree branch or piece of wood.
I’d just give my player a big stick and call it a day.

An excellent point.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

OK, I think I figured out why this bothers me. You keep saying "poor game design" but the examples you keep bringing up have nothing to do with how the game is played. Have you ever whittled a fork in an actual game? Probably not. It is very hard to address actual examples of where formulas do or don't make in actual game design when you keep bringing up examples like this.

I don't even think a fork would qualify as a level 0 item. Cookware is a level 0, 2 bulk item, and that's clearly referencing pots and whatnot to cook in. Other level 0 items include a compass, alchemist tools, and musical instruments. There are few simpler examples like the religious symbol, but largely level 0 items are things that would at least require an understanding of how to tan leather or basic metallurgy, which seems fine to require some basic instructions in how to do. That the game codifies this as a formula book rather than just inherent training seems like an extremely minor quibble.

You could probably make a category for items like forks and rafts and whatnot as below 0 and say you don't need formulas for those. -1 level items if you will. But that's not worth the page space to bother printing in a core rulebook. Maybe in something like Ultimate Equipment.

Now, if you want to discuss how formulas impact actual play, I'm down to, but not if we are going to keep going over irrelevant extreme examples.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

To add to Captain Morgan's post, it doesn't sound like the items you're talking about are "crafting proper" because I don't think they have levels- like a raft when you're stranded on an island. That sounds like it would just be crafting check and a few hours of work handwaved by a GM based on your roll.

Compared to say, an elaborate boat, ship, schiff, etc. Which require relative comfort, equipment, etc.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The-Magic-Sword wrote:

To add to Captain Morgan's post, it doesn't sound like the items you're talking about are "crafting proper" because I don't think they have levels- like a raft when you're stranded on an island. That sounds like it would just be crafting check and a few hours of work handwaved by a GM based on your roll.

Compared to say, an elaborate boat, ship, schiff, etc. Which require relative comfort, equipment, etc.

I’m curious how you would handle a birch bark or dugout canoe. Personally, I would be inclined to allow someone with sufficient Survival, Crafting, or Lore (Sailing) to make something that simple.

It shouldn’t require a full set of crafting tools — a knife or hatchet should be enough although better tools would allow you to complete it faster. Some knowledge is required, but certainly not on the level of a formula from a crafting book.


Captain Morgan wrote:

OK, I think I figured out why this bothers me. You keep saying "poor game design" but the examples you keep bringing up have nothing to do with how the game is played. Have you ever whittled a fork in an actual game? Probably not. It is very hard to address actual examples of where formulas do or don't make in actual game design when you keep bringing up examples like this.

I don't even think a fork would qualify as a level 0 item. Cookware is a level 0, 2 bulk item, and that's clearly referencing pots and whatnot to cook in. Other level 0 items include a compass, alchemist tools, and musical instruments. There are few simpler examples like the religious symbol, but largely level 0 items are things that would at least require an understanding of how to tan leather or basic metallurgy, which seems fine to require some basic instructions in how to do. That the game codifies this as a formula book rather than just inherent training seems like an extremely minor quibble.

You could probably make a category for items like forks and rafts and whatnot as below 0 and say you don't need formulas for those. -1 level items if you will. But that's not worth the page space to bother printing in a core rulebook. Maybe in something like Ultimate Equipment.

Now, if you want to discuss how formulas impact actual play, I'm down to, but not if we are going to keep going over irrelevant extreme examples.

Crafting items out of leather or metal doesn't require metallurgy or tanning knowledge, steel and leather are trade goods for a reason.

Now that's me quibbling

Here is link that takes a peek at a modern working blacksmith at work:

https://www.jenmansafaris.com/the-blacksmith-with-don-pinnock/

He ain't using a formula book or no whole lot of metallurgy.
Not uncommon among African blacksmiths.

I think you are spot on about my real complaint,that the game codifies the knowledge of how to make things in a formula book rather than just inherent training.
A quibble?
I think if weilding any given weapon required written instruction, we would all find that galling, even if the all simple weapons were covered by a single cheap pamphlet.

I think it's poor design because it puts in place a pointless complication.
Taking formulas away doesn't create imbalance in the game.
Leaving formulas in place breaks immersion.
It doesn't help, it does hurt, so I deem it a poor bit of game design.

Calling it poor game design seems to really trigger people.
I don't get it, no game is perfect, and nothing I say here is going hurt the game, but maybe I'll stop calling it that out of respect for the feelings of others.
I'll just say I find formulas to be an esthetic flaw in the PF2 crafting system.

I can't imagine any competent GM actually allowing formulas to impact game play, outside of PFS.
I have played shipwrecked, prison escape, and most dangerous game scenarios that all have improvising equipment as a possible way to overcome obstacles.
One might have a knife or hatchet, lengths of rope, all kinds of stuff, without having crafting tools, much less formulas.
There should be a way to improvise equipment without the correct tool kit, much less a formula.
I expect a GM to allow for that.
If they won't, I would just make that game my last with them.
No big deal.
PFS games, I expect and will accept to be ridgedly adhering to the rules.

I also hope to play a Junk Tinker Goblin crafter at some point and it definitely breaks immersion to require them to have a book to make stuff.

I've been musing about Alchemist and Magical Crafting, primarily wondering what Formulas should I choose when I first get those feats, and also if it's worth getting them at all.
Good questions for another thread.

Brett, Magic Sword, I agree that most of what I want could be addressed by GM fiat,and I expect they will be in home play at least.
That the GM would need to overlook the formula requirement to do this is part of my beef.
I'm pretty certain you MUST have a formula to craft an item.
I don't think the is an exception for items not listed in the book.
Maybe we could just avoid "crafting" and say we are "making" things instead?

I get wanting a mechanism that prevents unskilled crafter from making complex items.
The level requirement already does this.

That Crafting is a single game skill that covers an insane breadth of RL knowledge is no different than Performance, which allows for everything from puppet shows to cancan dancing, or martial weapon proficiency, which covers spiked chains to longbows.
But crafting has an extra restriction.
It is what it is.

I wonder, can a crafter buy formulas in other than written form?
I think buying a spoken or demonstrated formula might be allowable.
"Formulas are instructions for making items with the Craft activity."
"A purchased formula is typically a schematic on rolled-up parchment of light Bulk."
It would cost you the same,so no imbalance there.
Reverse engineering an item would also let you obtain a formula and it doesn't specify the form it comes in, only the cost.
It's still wonky, but at least there could be a couple of ways to actually LEARN how to make something, and that would help me maintain immersion.


You actually can reverse engineer formulas by RAW, and there is also the inventor feat. (Which probably doesn't need to be master only, but still let's you do what you're describing.)

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