Savings from Crafting?


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zapp wrote:

Since I dislike all three of these prerequisites for Crafting Discounts, I have suggested a replacement crafting procedure where you

a) can be sure of a 20% discount regardless of campaign specifics, as long as you have a bit of cash on hand and at least some downtime
b) getting stuck in a backwater town is regarded as the bummer that it is, rather than having the Crafter wallow in the misfortune of his friends
c) the savings are absolute - if your friends manage to find gainful employment that's a good thing, instead of something that renders your crafting pointless

---

But in the context of this thread, all we need to take for granted is that savings are possible.

And so my question remains:

Should the Crafter pass on any of them to the other party members? Or should the other party members expect the Crafter to sell them items at market value (pocketing any...

I think it's super weird you didn't mention having blanket houserules affecting crafting discounts, because that's really critical information you left out.

This question is actually more relevant to PF1 than PF2 with that extra context.

My opinion, and how I've generally encouraged my players to handle things in PF1: Crafters should pass along the discount if there's no other opportunity cost from lost earned income. Similarly, clerics shouldn't charge for party heals, monks shouldn't charge for carrying things because they always have excess capacity, fighters shouldn'tccharge for flanking with a rogue, etc. Parties should cooperate, unless the players want to play a different kind of game where they don't.

This is a question to ask your players, not randos on the internet.

Sovereign Court

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Zapp wrote:

But in the context of this thread, all we need to take for granted is that savings are possible.

And so my question remains:

Should the Crafter pass on any of them to the other party members? Or should the other party members expect the Crafter to sell them items at market value (pocketing any savings for herself)?

This is similar to other questions like "how should the party divide loot"; for example, should items be divided as equally as possible or given to whoever can use them best?

It's not a question that you can answer the same way for every game group. Some players will feel strongly and others another way. The right answer is whatever they're happy with.

Sovereign Court

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Ascalaphus wrote:
Zapp wrote:

But in the context of this thread, all we need to take for granted is that savings are possible.

And so my question remains:

Should the Crafter pass on any of them to the other party members? Or should the other party members expect the Crafter to sell them items at market value (pocketing any savings for herself)?

This is similar to other questions like "how should the party divide loot"; for example,should items be divided as equally as possible or given to whoever can use them best?

It's not a question that you can answer the same way for every game group. Some players will feel strongly and others another way. The right answer is whatever they're happy with.

In our party, we just identify all the loot and then ask the party members which items they most want. The value of anything they choose is taken out of their monetary share of the treasure, and any items that are not chosen are sold the next time we get to a decent-sized city. At that point, we divide up the gold and go shopping if we want. Sometimes some characters are cash poor because they decided to keep more of the loot and other characters are flush with cash from the gold that was found and not wanting many of the items, but it tends to even out over time.


Long thing about crafting:
Its important to note that NPCs are not build like PCs as a matter of convenience for the devs and GMs than for the sake of the world and its economics. The cost of items and time to craft them (as written) are also made as a matter of convenience for the devs and GMs, its the same reason movies/tv shows leave things unsaid or off screen effectively a form of superimposed explanations. As long as the viewer or player doesn't know what's happening than the writer/GM can get away with many different things.

The problem is that players do get a look at crafting which causes the problem of, "how can any item be made if there is no profit unless you spend unreasonable amounts of time?" If all NPCs are just rolling Earn an Income, than they are spontaneously generating resources, which doesn't work. Crafting teams and workshops would provide some discounts, but than you are either paying your workers a pittance or not making any money, might even be losing money if you take into account any tax imposed by the state or criminal lords in the area.

Special machines don't make sense either sense there is no such thing in the setting barring certain areas. So the only solutions are that: 1) NPCs crafters have some type of special rule/ability, in which case PCs should be able to access it; or 2) Crafting PCs are being punished for no reason (whatever the explanation).

Its also important to keep in mind that it is not the PCs fault that PF1 was too easy or that PF2 is an overswing in the opposite direction.

**************
Btw in PF1, the economy broke when high level characters made the conscious effort to craft and people forgot the duration. Effectively PF1 made the crafting system too gold efficient at high level due to an magic item that normally costs 200k gp suddenly costing 100k or 90k (with some traits/feats). Meanwhile its time restriction was forgotten, that 200k item should take 200 days, that's 10 months.

PF2 is breaking for the opposite reason. A 50k gp item has at base no discount, but only take 4 days to craft. But its making cheap mundane items be too expensive to actually focus on selling them.

Btw if the crafter is spending time and money, I would expect for the other party member to at the very least pay for the upfront cost. On a moderate case, the other party member should pay how ever much the item costs after the savings are applied.

Sovereign Court

@Temperans: I don't really follow your criticism of PF2 crafting.

NPCs aren't made using PC rules, and in fact could end up with quite different numbers. Taking Starfinder as a rather pronounced example, where monsters tend to have higher to-hit and lower AC than PCs.

Why should it be an issue that NPCs also use completely different crafting rules? (Actually, they probably don't use any rules at all.) Why would we even care about NPC home economics?


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:

@Temperans: I don't really follow your criticism of PF2 crafting.

NPCs aren't made using PC rules, and in fact could end up with quite different numbers. Taking Starfinder as a rather pronounced example, where monsters tend to have higher to-hit and lower AC than PCs.

Why should it be an issue that NPCs also use completely different crafting rules? (Actually, they probably don't use any rules at all.) Why would we even care about NPC home economics?

As I see it, Temperans' argument boils down to: It implies an imbalance in the way the world works and/or it feels bad for PCs who take crafting feats.

Which is a fair opinion to have.

The first complaint also came with a rider that if there was a special rule or ability for NPCs to be able to craft economically, the PCs should be able to get it. I don't agree with that, because there is such a broad difference between the reasons for how rules should interact with PCs vs. NPCs. Generally, when people have an issue with this it's because either it feels bad for players who can't do what they want, or they just want a better simulation of the real world.

I'd definitely rather have game balance than a perfectly simulated economy.


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Ascalaphus wrote:

NPCs aren't made using PC rules, and in fact could end up with quite different numbers. Taking Starfinder as a rather pronounced example, where monsters tend to have higher to-hit and lower AC than PCs.

Why should it be an issue that NPCs also use completely different crafting rules? (Actually, they probably don't use any rules at all.) Why would we even care about NPC home economics?

Because I ran a party of crafters in the Iron Gods adventure path and the players had fun with it.

The half-elf bladebound magus Elric was a technology expert but not a crafter. The strix skald Kirii was a wand maker. The human fighter Kheld was a weapons maker, using Lemmy's Custom Weapon Generation System to make unique weapons. The dwarf gunslinger Boffin was a gadgeteer and a technological crafter. The NPC human bloodrager Val Baine was a crafting assistant.

In the 1st module, Fires of Creation, set in the smelting and smithing town of Torch, the party used their technology skills in their explorations, as chronicled in Iron Gods among Scientists. In PF2 those skills would be Recall Knowledge(Crafting).

In the 2nd module, Lords of Rust, the party moved into the shantytown of Scrapwall, pretending to be fugitives like many people in Scrapwall, archeologists hiding from the Technic League. This was simultaneously adventure time and downtime.

Lords of Rust, mild spoilers:
They moved in with Dinvaya Lanalei, a cleric of Brigh and a true fugitive from the Technic League, and paid their rent in repairs and improvements to her temple. When Kirii decided to hold a public concert, the rest of the party built her a stage. When Val lost her pistol, she built herself another one using parts scavenged from several battered pistols looted from Smiler-gang gunslingers. After they defeated the Lords of Rust, they returned to the irreparable wrecked spaceship in the Valley of Mists, hired workers to dig it out, and got it flying again.

The Choking Tower, mild spoilers:
in the 3rd module, The Choking Tower, they went to Iadenveigh on the trail of the mysterious Casandalee. However, they went with a letter in hand from Val's wizard father. One person requested his help with some contaminated water in Iadenveigh, and the party officially fixed that problem while secretly looking for Casandalee. They had to repair the recycling system in the spaceship buried beneath Iadenveigh to clean the water.

After that module, the party established two crafting businesses in Torch, one for mundane crafting and the other for alchemical crafting, using the rules from Ultimate Campaign. The same rules let them convert Silverdisk gambling hall into a dance hall after they purchased it.

The 4th module, Valley of the Brain Collectors, had no crafting.

In the 5th module, my players repeated the same incognito trick they had used in Scrapwall. They avoided the notice of the Technic League by switching to their civilian identities (they adventured under false identities) and splitting into separate groups. This slowed down the adventuring (Inconspicuous PCs Unmotivated in Palace of Fallen Stars), so I tried to jumpstart it by having the Technic League kidnapped Boffin and Val (with permission of the Boffin's player) for their high-temperture smithing expertise, publicly known in Torch where the Technic League had spies. Elric used his technological expertise to join the Technic League to keep an eye on his comrades.

The 6th module, The Divinity Drive, had the capstone of awesomeness on their crafting.

The Divinity Drive, mild spoilers:
The module intended for the party to make their way through the mile-long crashed starship Divinity to reach the final villain, the intelligent computer Unity. Instead, Boffin talked to Unity over the radio, explained they were a repair crew trained by Casandalee, and asked for a job. Unity hired them, knowing that they lied but wanting Casandalee back. It figured it could kill them later. Except they were extraordinarily good at technological repairs and Unity repeatedly put off the death sentence for later. In the meanwhile the party learned Unity's secrets and befriended its minions.

Thus, many party members had advanced crafting skills, used those skills for technological repairs and also to pretend to be non-adventurer smiths.

If adventurers are crippled at crafting, with high-level crafting-expert PCs unable to pretend to be low-level smiths, then my Iron Gods campaign would be impossible. Likewise, one day Paizo will publish an Ultimate Campaign for PF2 that describes setting up businesses owned by PCs. Will that become the cheat for crafting, that profitable crafting is available via a PC-owned business where NPC crafters work for them?

This year, as I mentioned above in comment #21, my players are in the Ironfang Invasion and will have to supply themselves in the Fangwood Forest. No stores are available, but they will be able to establish bases. Gloom had said in comment #39, "I would totally play a game based heavily around crafting and building up a base of operations." The plot of Ironfang Invasion might allow that. We will see how much I have to bend the PF2 rules to allow that.

The only obstacles appear to be (1) availability of raw materials, (2) availability of formulas, and (3) the four-day preparation time on all crafting, no matter how small.


It wasn't so much criticism but a comparison and my views on the subject.

Stating NPCs are made differently is not a counter to my statement, "they are done that way for convenience". A simple matter of "hey this took too long before, let's make it simpler". The economy is independent of the stats, until paizo gives some guidelines on how it is NPC are able to remain profitable while selling low level stuff.

Until then it's a matter of there being an imbalance on item creation to money spent. If we used the only know rules for crafting with NPCs they would be broken due to not earning enough money. If we normalize the formula so that NPCs can make enough money, than we see that PCs are being stolen from at some point.

****************
Btw when it comes to mass produced vs artisanal. The value of the items is dependent on both the value of the material (bulk discount & material quality), the perceived quality (personalization and product quality), and the overhead for production (food, business expenses, and workers).

Sovereign Court

RicoTheBold wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

@Temperans: I don't really follow your criticism of PF2 crafting.

NPCs aren't made using PC rules, and in fact could end up with quite different numbers. Taking Starfinder as a rather pronounced example, where monsters tend to have higher to-hit and lower AC than PCs.

Why should it be an issue that NPCs also use completely different crafting rules? (Actually, they probably don't use any rules at all.) Why would we even care about NPC home economics?

As I see it, Temperans' argument boils down to: It implies an imbalance in the way the world works and/or it feels bad for PCs who take crafting feats.

Which is a fair opinion to have.

The first complaint also came with a rider that if there was a special rule or ability for NPCs to be able to craft economically, the PCs should be able to get it. I don't agree with that, because there is such a broad difference between the reasons for how rules should interact with PCs vs. NPCs. Generally, when people have an issue with this it's because either it feels bad for players who can't do what they want, or they just want a better simulation of the real world.

I'd definitely rather have game balance than a perfectly simulated economy.

But it does strain belief in the system and setting. Imagine if many NPCs in Golarion could just make a Jump check to get to the moon. PCs have an Athletics skill to make Jump checks too, but "PCs and NPCs are built differently" so the PCs can never make a jump check to get to the moon. Do you think PCs might question the difference in Jump outcomes? I sure would unless there were some aspect of the setting that specifically explained how NPCs can leave planetary gravity with a jump check and PCs could only jump a few feet, and needed a Feat to do even that without a running start.

Sovereign Court

I think I misunderstood a bit. Let me backtrack.

1) I don't care so much about the internal workings of the NPC economy. As far as I can tell, there are no inner workings. There's no inflation, fluctuation in market prices, change in demand for particular goods - except when it's a plot point. Prices for most goods are in fact remarkably stable and predictable in this world and on other planets/planes.

2) The main thing needed for a crafting system to be satisfying is that it works for the players. Any feeling of "competition" with NPCs makes little sense unless it's actually developed into a plot point. In which case I'd probably reach for the GMG rules on building minigames instead.

3) I don't think it's a problem that "craft to create item" is less efficient than Earn Income when your goal is to earn money, but more efficient when the goal is to get an item cheaply. Actually, I'd say that's working exactly as intended.

4) I don't want crafting "for market" or earn income to become main focuses of the campaign. That runs counter to the idea that people go on dangerous adventures to make a fortune quickly.

5) I'd be open to the idea of the party as a group of merchants traveling to exotic lands to make a fortune, but wouldn't run that with Earn Income/Craft rules.

6) I'm also totally fine with using Craft to make items that would otherwise be impossible to get, like reinventing Numerian tech. I think finding the formula to recreate an ancient (Thassilonian, Azlanti) or alien (Androffan, Mi-Go) item is a cool treasure. But in those cases Craft isn't competing with the market at all. It's the only way to get those items.


Themetricsystem wrote:

Am I the only one who is truly grateful that they did away with all the exploitative WBL abuse that was involved with Crafting over the last 20 years? I cannot possibly be the only person who saw first hand the disruptive nature of letting people make all of their own custom magic items to spec themselves to suit one broken combo or min/max nonsense. Half-Price Magic Items was never EVER healthy for a real, non-theory-crafting game with actual players, all it did was bend the CR and WBL guidelines and put more work on the GM to challenge the party.

Crafting as a downtime activity that keeps more or less on par with other income generation systems makes perfect sense and if someone really wants crafting to be a core part of their Character they should work with tier party/GM in order to help feed that into the game itself as a reason to go adventuring or weave it into the basic assumptions of the game.

Absolutely.

Except it doesn't work that way.

Crafting does yield maybe 20% off, and does allow you to create what you want. (Of course magic items are much MUCH less powerful now).

But there's nothing to be thankful about the specific manner in which this 20% discount is achieved:
a) many many weeks of downtime available...
b) ...in small backwater towns (far below your level)...
c) ...and your savings are only relative to your party members (what they earn by Earn Income in said backwater town)

Don't you agree?


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RicoTheBold wrote:


I think it's super weird you didn't mention having blanket houserules affecting crafting discounts, because that's really critical information you left out.

I honestly don't know what you're talking about.

(I'm not winding you up, I genuinely don't understand why houserules should matter when evaluating the RAW)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Temperans wrote:

It wasn't so much criticism but a comparison and my views on the subject.

Stating NPCs are made differently is not a counter to my statement, "they are done that way for convenience". A simple matter of "hey this took too long before, let's make it simpler".

I just want to note that this isn't true. non-combatant NPCs can be built to a wildly different standard than normal PCs which isn't just a matter of streamlining the process. In PF2 you can have a Lvl 1 (combatant) lvl 13 legendary crafter. This is a far shot different than PF1 to be sure. NPCs also don't have to pull from the same list of abilities as PCs and thus could have an ability like.

Efficient Crafter: When they have access to a sufficiently stocked workshop this NPC doesn't require a 4 day start up time to crafting. They may create batches of any level 0 item.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Temperans wrote:


****************
Btw when it comes to mass produced vs artisanal. The value of the items is dependent on both the value of the material (bulk discount & material quality), the perceived quality (personalization and product quality), and the overhead for production (food, business expenses, and workers).

Somehow I don't think Golarion has discovered the joys of mass production yet.


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I'm not sure there's any benefit to crafting (as in the craft activity, not the craft skill).

First, though I'm not 100% on this, formulas are of the item level of the item you want to craft, so it's not like formulas are a way around availability limits.

Second, formulas aren't free, so you're paying more for the item if you craft it in 4 days, than if you just buy it.

Third, crafting is a small discount under wildly ideal downtime circumstances, but that's only if you ignore...

Fourth, you need a workshop for many items. There's no price for these, but I imagine it's a lot. Also, good luck bringing it with you to the next town.

So, you give up several feats, skill choices, money, and downtime... to get nothing? Just buy the item. If you're in a backwater that mysteriously has loads of formulas and workshops, but not magic item vendors, just travel during those 60 days you were going to craft, and buy the thing. Crafting in 2E is so pointless, they had to add a use for it in the AP, because otherwise everyone would train out of it (btw, I haven't seen a formula drop yet in the AP, though I'm only on book 2).

Ok, repairing items is useful. But the craft action itself? I don't see it.


Formula availability is currently a big question mark, yes, and if they are only as available as the items themselves Crafting isn't great. Even then, you can always learn a formula by disassembling a item or using the Inventor feat. That means that if you only find a single greater striking rune and your local shops don't stock them, the Craft activity could be the difference between outfitting the whole party with greater striking runes or not.

I'm pretty sure work shop costs are factored into the Craft activity costs just like they are for Earn Income though. Some of the Paizo devs have described the process of paying the full cost to complete an item in the shortest time as potentially involving paying other Craftsmen to help. I think these Downtime activities abstract out a lot more than people assume.

That aside, "wildly ideal circumstances" is really overselling it. There's a lot of X factors which determine how significant Crafting savings are, and sometimes Earn Income will be a better deal. Not having the settlement guidelines from the GMG makes it really hard to talk definitively, but anecdotally even the book you're currently in caps your shopping and job levels way below your party level, meaning Crafting is the most reliable way to gain access to common items (through Inventor if nothing else) AND make a decent profit.

Craft is better than Earn Income in some circumstances and worse in others, but that is what balance looks like while still having options be meaningfully different. Luckily, the Crafting skill can be used to Earn Income if you find the Craft activity won't pay off. Lore can earn you income, but it can't make you items. At most you might want to retrain a skill feat like Magical Crafting, but your GM could quite reasonably rule that having feats like that open the level of jobs available to you.
At most you might wind up


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

Ideal situation then, have a party member approach a local crafter. "Say, hey I want to buy a level 10 item called this."

They say... sorry, we can't make that here, we don't know how. "Ok, you say, but let me know if something changes and you find someone who can make it for me. I'll be happy to pay for it."

Now send in the second character. "Hey I'm a crafter, looking for a job." They say, sorry, we aren't really that busy, since we are a little sleepy town. " Ohh... ok... but I can make some pretty advanced stuff... anything waiting to be made since you haven't ever made it before. Ohh... imagine that, you have a 10th level job waiting, I'd be happy to do it for you."

Crafter gets paid, item gets made, they pay full price for item, but but that happens to be how much the crafter made. Party happy.

Something else to note. Some have mentioned that crafting is supposed to make more money in lower level settlements, offset by the 4 day loss up front. As if the four day cool at the start was invented for crafting. However, it actually existed in the playtest in both the earn income situation, as well as the craft situation. Now it may have been an intentional decision to leave it in to try to give the income roll an advantage in some case, but that was certainly not its original purpose, since they used to be symmetrical, and exist in both. It might have been left in perhaps to interact with the Batch rules in some manner. Also however as note, technically, you can take a job of Higher level than your level. It, just might not be advisable to do so, as it is fundamentally far riskier to do so.

I also would say, due to the fact that when a player is initiating selling of items, you only ever get 50% of the value (without a feat, to up the price up to 100% by and amount determined by time spent selling, like a earn income roll). This means that the crafting activity has 0 income potential. It can have an impact on WBL converting downtime to potential useful items, similar to how Earn Income rolls can, with the earn income rolls being more variable ranging from more money to less. Earn income however becomes cash, which can be spent on anything. Crafting is generally more limited, only allowing items that are level 0 or that you have been introduced to via items or formula's that are found.

Honestly, I personally feel the 4 day timeframe would be best to only limit you from being able to pay off the rest of the crafting work via extra expenditures. Crafting should earn progress during the time, and if completed before that time, it should be able to be done before then. At a minimum, progress should occur for level 0 items, or perhaps items of level below one's current level. This would make the craft activity and earn income activities more symmetrical, making Earn income absolutely best for cash and Crafting have potential advantages with respect to making things you want.

The most interesting interpretation I've heard was the idea of dealing with batches. At first, when someone asked the question of after the 50% progress via paying for materials, does a crafter make progress on one item at a time of a batch, or do they make progress on each item in the batch according to their roll. I was immediately, there is no way we can let someone make income of for or six or even ten times as much via batches. Then I realized/remembered. Crafting makes no actual profit for players unless they get some sort of commission for something, which is completely dependent on the GM deciding to introduce it. All it does is give the players access to something that will show up on the WBL chart, up until they use it, at which point it (both original investment and the crafting time) is gone. Consumables are something the game gives away in small quantities, every single day to some classes.

So in retrospect, allowing batches to fork their progress, and make progress on them in parallel. While originally reading that interpretation and thinking it had to be 'impossible' interpretation, actually this brings more value to having larger batches as you level up, and makes consumables more reasonable for someone who is invested in creating them. (outside of the obvious 'free' consumables mechanic) Since crafting doesn't actually make profit, thus making and using consumables actually only deplete WBL in the long run, since you always have to pay half the cost in raw materials up front, so this actually make someone committed to using them more reasonable, since it cuts the downtime cost down significantly, but especially in batches, but doesn't really cut down the core base price in terms of materials.


Ed Reppert wrote:
Temperans wrote:


****************
Btw when it comes to mass produced vs artisanal. The value of the items is dependent on both the value of the material (bulk discount & material quality), the perceived quality (personalization and product quality), and the overhead for production (food, business expenses, and workers).
Somehow I don't think Golarion has discovered the joys of mass production yet.

Not mass produced as in "churning out stuff by the ton from a factory", no. But most places would probably have a lot of efficiencies gained via division of labor, that would not be reflected in the application of the Crafting skill. For example, take a sword - the sword is not the product of a single person's craft. Someone mined the ore, someone else smelted the ore and made iron (or possibly steel), a third person forged the blade, a fourth made the hilt and assembled it into a sword, and a fifth sharpened and honed the blade - and that doesn't count any assistants included in any given step (the smith probably has apprentices keeping the forge supplied with coal as well as working the bellows).


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

All I know is that my mother would have had a hell of a hard time if she had to cook soup one bowl at a time rather than just making a pot big enough to feed everyone at the table.

That's pretty much what it seems like with potions and other cheaper consumables half of the time.


Gloom wrote:

All I know is that my mother would have had a hell of a hard time if she had to cook soup one bowl at a time rather than just making a pot big enough to feed everyone at the table.

That's pretty much what it seems like with potions and other cheaper consumables half of the time.

While I don't agree that soup is a good stand in example for literal magic potions, did your mother remember to cook in batches of four?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ruzza wrote:
Gloom wrote:

All I know is that my mother would have had a hell of a hard time if she had to cook soup one bowl at a time rather than just making a pot big enough to feed everyone at the table.

That's pretty much what it seems like with potions and other cheaper consumables half of the time.

While I don't agree that soup is a good stand in example for literal magic potions, did your mother remember to cook in batches of four?

She cooked in batches of about 12. :P


Gloom wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
Gloom wrote:

All I know is that my mother would have had a hell of a hard time if she had to cook soup one bowl at a time rather than just making a pot big enough to feed everyone at the table.

That's pretty much what it seems like with potions and other cheaper consumables half of the time.

While I don't agree that soup is a good stand in example for literal magic potions, did your mother remember to cook in batches of four?
She cooked in batches of about 12. :P

After all, she needed enough food to last during the four days advance preparation for the next meal. :-)

I think that cooking food falls under Cooking Lore and Survival rather than Crafting, so it does not have to follow the rules of the Craft activity.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Formula availability is currently a big question mark, yes, and if they are only as available as the items themselves Crafting isn't great. Even then, you can always learn a formula by disassembling a item or using the Inventor feat. That means that if you only find a single greater striking rune and your local shops don't stock them, the Craft activity could be the difference between outfitting the whole party with greater striking runes or not.

I remember that in my Rise of the Runelords campaign, the party killed several evil wizards. The party wizard collected the spellbooks of those wizards and tried to learn their spells. They were painfully heavy in necromancy spells that he did not care for, but also contained several combat and utility spells.

Pathfinder 2nd Edition might end up like that for formula books. When a crafter learns formula, he or she has to write the formula in his or her formula book. If the formula is not in the book, then it cannot be used.

PF2 Core Rulebook, Classes chapter, Alchemist, page 73 wrote:

Formula Book

An alchemist keeps meticulous records of the formulas for every item they can create. You start with a standard formula book worth 10 sp or less (as detailed on page 290) for free. The formula book contains the formulas for two common 1st-level alchemical items of your choice, in addition to those you gained from Alchemical Crafting and your research field. ...
PF2 Core Rulebook, Classes chapter, Alchemist, page 81 wrote:

CRAFT PHILOSOPHER’S STONE FEAT 20

ALCHEMIST
Your research has paid off, culminating in the legendary philosopher’s stone. You learn the formula for the philosopher’s stone (page 554) and can add it to your formula book.
PF2 Core Rulebook, Feats chapter, page 258 wrote:

ALCHEMICAL CRAFTING FEAT 1

GENERAL SKILL
Prerequisites trained in Crafting
You can use the Craft activity to create alchemical items. When you select this feat, you immediately add the formulas for four common 1st-level alchemical items to your formula book.
PF2 Core Rulebook, Equipment chapter, Gear, page 290 wrote:
Formula Book: A formula book holds the formulas necessary to make items other than the common equipment from this chapter; alchemists typically get one for free. Each formula book can hold the formulas for up to 100 different items. Formulas can also appear on parchment sheets, tablets, and almost any other medium; there’s no need for you to copy them into a specific book as long as you can keep them on hand to reference them.
PF2 Core Rulebook, Equipment chapter, Gear, page 293 wrote:

Formulas

Formulas are instructions for making items with the Craft activity. You can usually read a formula as long as you can read the language it’s written in, though you might lack the skill to Craft the item. Often, alchemists and crafting guilds use obscure languages or create codes to protect their formulas from rivals. ...

If a party defeats an enemy who crafts, his or her formula book will be nearby. It might be in an obscure language--limited to languages listed on the character sheet--or encrypted. If the cipher takes a separate sheet of paper to decrypt, then the translation might still be nearby. Collect those books for a lot of free formulas.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Staffan Johansson wrote:
For example, take a sword - the sword is not the product of a single person's craft. Someone mined the ore, someone else smelted the ore and made iron (or possibly steel), a third person forged the blade, a fourth made the hilt and assembled it into a sword, and a fifth sharpened and honed the blade - and that doesn't count any assistants included in any given step (the smith probably has apprentices keeping the forge supplied with coal as well as working the bellows).

A medieval weapon smith would often have apprentices who would do the things you suggest. As for the rest, absent the actual mining of the ore, all of it would be typically done by the smith. In fact, in the old guild system, to be named "master" you had to present a "masterwork", a piece demonstrating the quality of work expected of a master. They wouldn't name you master if you presented something you were only partly responsible for making.


Mathmuse wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Formula availability is currently a big question mark, yes, and if they are only as available as the items themselves Crafting isn't great. Even then, you can always learn a formula by disassembling a item or using the Inventor feat. That means that if you only find a single greater striking rune and your local shops don't stock them, the Craft activity could be the difference between outfitting the whole party with greater striking runes or not.

I remember that in my Rise of the Runelords campaign, the party killed several evil wizards. The party wizard collected the spellbooks of those wizards and tried to learn their spells. They were painfully heavy in necromancy spells that he did not care for, but also contained several combat and utility spells.

Pathfinder 2nd Edition might end up like that for formula books. When a crafter learns formula, he or she has to write the formula in his or her formula book. If the formula is not in the book, then it cannot be used.

PF2 Core Rulebook, Classes chapter, Alchemist, page 73 wrote:

Formula Book

An alchemist keeps meticulous records of the formulas for every item they can create. You start with a standard formula book worth 10 sp or less (as detailed on page 290) for free. The formula book contains the formulas for two common 1st-level alchemical items of your choice, in addition to those you gained from Alchemical Crafting and your research field. ...
PF2 Core Rulebook, Classes chapter, Alchemist, page 81 wrote:

CRAFT PHILOSOPHER’S STONE FEAT 20

ALCHEMIST
Your research has paid off, culminating in the legendary philosopher’s stone. You learn the formula for the philosopher’s stone (page 554) and can add it to your formula book.
PF2 Core Rulebook, Feats chapter, page 258 wrote:

ALCHEMICAL CRAFTING FEAT 1

GENERAL SKILL
Prerequisites trained in Crafting
You can use the Craft activity to create alchemical items. When you select this feat, you immediately add the formulas for four common
...

Yeah, that's how it worked for alchemists in PF1. I kind of think they didn't have formulas fully figured out when they sent Age of Ashes off to the printers, and even the CRB to an extent. There's no reason you can't have formulas as loot or information on what formulas or Crafter's Guilds exist in settlements, but the lack of that in the launch material makes me think they hadn't quite made up their mind yet.


That's just introduces more exceptions to the rules when a large part was wanting to remove them.

Also IRL assembly lines increase efficiency by reducing the amount of time between steps. Something that would be modeled by Co-operative crafting, if they were in the rules. Aka PCs would have access to it.

The whole "NPCs can be lv 1 but high level X skill" is effectively taking NPC classes and making them a class-less system, retooled to fit the proficiency system. As for NPC only abilities, PF1 had that via feats with NPC class pre-reqs and templates (largely only NPC/monster but not necessarily).


Alchemic_Genius wrote:

I think a lot of people who take issue to the economics of pc crafting really do underestimate the benefits of a professional shop.

Irl, it costs more to buy the materials to make a pair of jeans and sew them than it does to buy a cheap pair of jeans. This is because a manufacturer that makes a f&+#tillion jeans has specialized equipment to speed up the process, suppliers who offer discounts due to mass bulk purchases, etc, while the home crafter is buying enough material for one pair of jeans and lacks an automation process. The traveling adventurer who is crafting an item is like that home crafter; they have their alchemy/enchanters/woodworking/whatever kit and they are making in the back of their wagon, inn room, rented studio, what have you.

The crafter making all the ladders and cheap stuff in the world have a shop specially build to streamline the process, an army of apprentices, assistants, and co workers who make the process much more streamlined and efficient. When you use crafting to Earn Income, this is closer to what you're doing; you're making abstract items and selling them, with the profit margin being what what you take home after the roll.

Obviously, this still glosses over some things, but crafting items yourself not giving you a benefit in your pocketbook is not unrealistic.

I can forge a good sword for a lot less than it costs to buy one. Tools, materials, and a forge are not expensive. And that's a far more comparable metric for medieval fantasy than mass-produced jeans.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Temperans wrote:

The whole "NPCs can be lv 1 but high level X skill" is effectively taking NPC classes and making them a class-less system, retooled to fit the proficiency system. As for NPC only abilities, PF1 had that via feats with NPC class pre-reqs and templates (largely only NPC/monster but not necessarily).

That still isnt quite true. To have a legendary weapinsmith in pf1 even using npc classes you still wound up with an npc having a bucket of hp and half bab, wack cr etc. They were still created using pc rules, just with a patch of $#i+ classes.


Malk_Content wrote:


That still isnt quite true. To have a legendary weapinsmith in pf1 even using npc classes you still wound up with an npc having a bucket of hp and half bab, wack cr etc. They were still created using pc rules, just with a patch of $#i+ classes.

That's why I said "retooled to fit proficiency". PF1 had no concept of lv 20 with 0 BAB outside insane multiclassing, so just that addition from the proficiency system allows for differences.

I do think giving more specifics of how I see it would be too far a derail, so PM me if you want to hear.


Temperans wrote:
The whole "NPCs can be lv 1 but high level X skill" is effectively taking NPC classes and making them a class-less system, retooled to fit the proficiency system. As for NPC only abilities, PF1 had that via feats with NPC class pre-reqs and templates (largely only NPC/monster but not necessarily).

I view it as creating a second axis of levels, perhaps named ranks or grades or degrees or status rather than levels.

In PF2 level for a creature in the Bestiary does not mean degree of skill. It means combat threat. We can have a tyrannosaurus (PF2 Bestiary page 101) that is a level 10 creature but knows no skills besides Acrobatics +15 and Athletics +24. It knows melee "jaws +22 (deadly 1d12, reach 20 feet), Damage 2d12+12 piercing plus Grab," fling, pin prey, swallow whole, and trample, instead. The daily life of a boggard is probably much like the daily life of a troll, but the boggard's terrifying croak and tongue grab leave it 1st level and the troll's regeneration make it 5th level.

In contrast, level in a player character means proficiency at adventuring. Combat ability is vital to adventuring, and so is swimming rivers, bandaging wounds, identifying rare monsters, fooling enemies, picking a vital key out of a pocket, and negotiating with kings, queens, and other royalty. Thus, in the adventuring classes, skill proficiencies go up with level.

What level means in a non-adventuring NPC is undefined. If we link it to skills rather than combat ability, then chaotic evil player characters will see a village as a smorgasbord of XP. The chaotic evil party will rejoice that 3rd-level cobblers, bakers, and innkeepers fight like 1st-level commoners. Maybe a few villagers will be retired adventurers or army veterans, but they won't be enough to stop the party. The GM who designed the village as a place to conquer and become the industrial base for the party will weep at the waste.

We do have precedent for bonuses not tied to directly to level. Looking at the 1st-level boggard scout. Its skills are Acrobatics +5, Athletics +8, Stealth +7 (+9 in water). It has Strength modifier +3, level 1, and presumably trained (+2) proficiency in Athletics, which explains +6 of its Athletics' skill, but the missing +2 to finish the Athletics +8 is a monster bonus. And obviously boggards have a racial +2 to Stealth in water. Non-player creatures don't have to follow the proficiency rules for player characters. For crafting we would need a perk that fudges effective level so that a 3rd-level smith can forge a 5th-level weapon.

Separating NPC skills from level would mean that we need another way of distinguishing a journeyman from a master from a guildmaster. Thus, I envision a second set of ranks.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The way around it paizo have gone is that an npc can be a lvl x challenge for a specific purpose and you only get that lvl x experience if you engage in that domain.

E.g a doctor is a lvl 0 npc (lvl 5 medicine.) You come across such a doctor who is the royal medical examiner and are worried he will expose your unsavoury methods of political advancement. Outright killing him wont netbyou much (or any) xp but convincing him your latest victim died of natural causes and not feathered spider venom will count as a lvl 5 encounter.


Bartram wrote:

A lot of people seem to be missing this, but PF2E is not, and was never meant to be an economics simulator, nor a physics simulator. It is an adventurer simulator. The rules are designed to accommodate and encourage adventurers doing their thing.

NPCs do not function by the rules in the book. They do their crafting and make their money and go about their lives, and the rules neither address nor care about how they do so. The rules only care about adventurers doing adventure.

You would be right if you weren't plain wrong.

The rules are designed to force the PCs to have a level-appropriate equipment or be tpk-ed. Thus, in order to allow the adventurers to do adventures, the rules have to provide a way for the PCs to get level-appropriate equipment. Since the DM may decide there's no level 15 sword to sell in the wasteland where the PCs are, the rules should give a way to craft the level 15 sword.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Gaterie wrote:
Bartram wrote:

A lot of people seem to be missing this, but PF2E is not, and was never meant to be an economics simulator, nor a physics simulator. It is an adventurer simulator. The rules are designed to accommodate and encourage adventurers doing their thing.

NPCs do not function by the rules in the book. They do their crafting and make their money and go about their lives, and the rules neither address nor care about how they do so. The rules only care about adventurers doing adventure.

You would be right if you weren't plain wrong.

The rules are designed to force the PCs to have a level-appropriate equipment or be tpk-ed. Thus, in order to allow the adventurers to do adventures, the rules have to provide a way for the PCs to get level-appropriate equipment. Since the DM may decide there's no level 15 sword to sell in the wasteland where the PCs are, the rules should give a way to craft the level 15 sword.

The GM could decide is such a bad arguement. If the gm decides to make things intentionally hard they can just as easily pur those level 15 characters into level 20 fights.


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Gaterie wrote:
The rules are designed to force the PCs to have a level-appropriate equipment or be tpk-ed. Thus, in order to allow the adventurers to do adventures, the rules have to provide a way for the PCs to get level-appropriate equipment. Since the DM may decide there's no level 15 sword to sell in the wasteland where the PCs are, the rules should give a way to craft the level 15 sword.

No.

Just no.

This is the thinking "the rules should override the GM" which never ever ends well. It is entitled-player-itis rearing its ugly head.

Just no.

If you don't trust the GM to create a good play experience, no amount of rules will save your campaign.

Conversely, no GM should have to play with people trying to badger them into accepting rules "because the book says so". Just kick them out of your play group.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Gaterie wrote:
Bartram wrote:

A lot of people seem to be missing this, but PF2E is not, and was never meant to be an economics simulator, nor a physics simulator. It is an adventurer simulator. The rules are designed to accommodate and encourage adventurers doing their thing.

NPCs do not function by the rules in the book. They do their crafting and make their money and go about their lives, and the rules neither address nor care about how they do so. The rules only care about adventurers doing adventure.

You would be right if you weren't plain wrong.

The rules are designed to force the PCs to have a level-appropriate equipment or be tpk-ed. Thus, in order to allow the adventurers to do adventures, the rules have to provide a way for the PCs to get level-appropriate equipment. Since the DM may decide there's no level 15 sword to sell in the wasteland where the PCs are, the rules should give a way to craft the level 15 sword.

Or they might find a “level 15” sword as loot while adventuring.

That’s besides the point that’s not how level appropriate gear vs encounters work.


I agree that NPC's should have a level/Rank system outside of combat ability which would allow for the master herbalist rune crafter or smith that can't fight at all and needs to be protected by the players in return they can craft things for them. Look at Dragon age (and many other RPG games) where they introduce a Crafter NPC that follows the players around (or is often found in a nearby city). As the players progress they get better and better stuff for the players to buy and can make better and better things wile being hopeless (in most cases) in any combat situation often needing saving by the PC's.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Gaterie wrote:
The rules are designed to force the PCs to have a level-appropriate equipment or be tpk-ed. Thus, in order to allow the adventurers to do adventures, the rules have to provide a way for the PCs to get level-appropriate equipment. Since the DM may decide there's no level 15 sword to sell in the wasteland where the PCs are, the rules should give a way to craft the level 15 sword.

In a wasteland. Is there a smithy? A town? Where's the ore coming from? At some point the willing suspension of disbelief fails.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ed Reppert wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
The rules are designed to force the PCs to have a level-appropriate equipment or be tpk-ed. Thus, in order to allow the adventurers to do adventures, the rules have to provide a way for the PCs to get level-appropriate equipment. Since the DM may decide there's no level 15 sword to sell in the wasteland where the PCs are, the rules should give a way to craft the level 15 sword.
In a wasteland. Is there a smithy? A town? Where's the ore coming from? At some point the willing suspension of disbelief fails.

This is actually a place where the unified skills rules of PF2 can shine, as it happens. From a rules perspective, there's literally no reason why someone with Crafting or Nature (or, in your example, ideally Mining Lore) couldn't use the Earn an Income rules to go out and acquire the raw materials themselves, at a rate equivalent to what Earn an Income could give them.

I'm already using this idea in my Age of Ashes game, as it happens. One of my players has a druid MC alchemist who really leans into the idea of making potions and poultices from the natural world rather than more traditional alchemical means. To accommodate this, I decided that they can use Nature to "Earn an Income" to acquire the necessary raw materials for their alchemy. All I had to do was set a "level" for the nearby forest - basically representing the quality and rarity of the needed items - and let them use their Downtime to go picking mushrooms or whatever. No shopping required.


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

Very cool approach, S.

Shisumo wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
The rules are designed to force the PCs to have a level-appropriate equipment or be tpk-ed. Thus, in order to allow the adventurers to do adventures, the rules have to provide a way for the PCs to get level-appropriate equipment. Since the DM may decide there's no level 15 sword to sell in the wasteland where the PCs are, the rules should give a way to craft the level 15 sword.
In a wasteland. Is there a smithy? A town? Where's the ore coming from? At some point the willing suspension of disbelief fails.

This is actually a place where the unified skills rules of PF2 can shine, as it happens. From a rules perspective, there's literally no reason why someone with Crafting or Nature (or, in your example, ideally Mining Lore) couldn't use the Earn an Income rules to go out and acquire the raw materials themselves, at a rate equivalent to what Earn an Income could give them.

I'm already using this idea in my Age of Ashes game, as it happens. One of my players has a druid MC alchemist who really leans into the idea of making potions and poultices from the natural world rather than more traditional alchemical means. To accommodate this, I decided that they can use Nature to "Earn an Income" to acquire the necessary raw materials for their alchemy. All I had to do was set a "level" for the nearby forest - basically representing the quality and rarity of the needed items - and let them use their Downtime to go picking mushrooms or whatever. No shopping required.

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