Two Alchemists - How to Trade Formulas?


Pathfinder Society

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7 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

As the title.

We are having some Spirited Debate over here in General.

How does this land in PFS?:

Free exchange?
Like wizards?
Not at all?

Cheers.

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

CRB 293 wrote:
You can buy common formulas at the Price listed on Table 6–13, or you can hire an NPC to let you copy their formula for the same Price.

I do not see a way to copy a formula from PC to PC. You can buy OR hire to get the formula. There is no third option. There is nothing that I can find in the Guide to Org Play about copying formulas, either.

So, it seems that copying formulas from another PC just isn't possible in PFS.

(If it is, however, it looks like it would be 100% free. In this case, my expert crafter should be exchanging all the formulas he can in every single scenario in order to save gold and bypass the need to find/buy formulas, especially uncommon ones).

Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Turku

Although,you (Almost Certainly) wouldn't be allowed to copy/replicate uncommon formulas unless your own character also had access to that formula.

**

Uncommon, as a trait, is not in question here.

The question is "Can two PFS Alchemists on the same Scenario / Quest trade Formulas?" and "How?"

Grand Lodge 4/5 * Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver

Dot.

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

rainzax wrote:

Uncommon, as a trait, is not in question here.

The question is "Can two PFS Alchemists on the same Scenario / Quest trade Formulas?" and "How?"

It's important to remember that this question also applies to crafting recipes of all kinds — all of which are "formulae."

Commonality and access do potentially complicate the issue if you have "access" to rare formulae in a fellow player's book. I doubt PFS would allow that… but this is the point I was making. It's a potential grey area, and potentially messy for GMs to navigate.

Commonality aside, there is nothing in the book about alchemists using the rules wizards do. That would be a houserule. (A reasonable one, but not appropriate for PFS; also, note that the formula cost also uses its own table, it's different table than the wizard's so there's evidence Paizo views these are discrete systems).

So we're left with either:

1) Let players bypass a game-balancing cost and getting all common recipes for free.
2) Follow the rules as they appear on page 293 of the CRB.

Edit: I would also note that, on at least one 2E chronicle sheet, you get a special formula but you have to buy it. You cannot just have the formula, even though characters have unlimited access to the alchemist's book itself.

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

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I'm so puzzled by the lack of consensus on this.

It seems super simple to me.

CRB p 293 wrote:
You can copy a formula into your formula book in 1 hour, either from a schematic or directly from someone else’s formula book.

Takes an hour, no check, no cost.

---
If you don't already have a formula in front of you: you can buy a copy, or pay an NPC to let you look at their book. They both have the same cost and both then let you spend an hour at no additional cost to add to your book.

---

This doesn't give you all common formulas for free. It only gives you ones that you encounter other PCs having for free.

---

There's still the question of uncommon/rare formulas or formulas for rare/uncommon items. I think you can't copy an uncommon formula from another player since you don't have 'access' to said formula.

I think formulas of uncommon/rare items automatically share that rarity but I have nothing but logic to make that conclusion, otherwise one could reverse engineer a rare item, and then hand that formula out freely.

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

Here's the full quote.

Quote:
You can buy common formulas at the Price listed on Table 6–13, or you can hire an NPC to let you copy their formula for the same Price. A purchased formula is typically a schematic on rolled‑up parchment of light Bulk. You can copy a formula into your formula book in 1 hour, either from a schematic or directly from someone else’s formula book.

Maybe you're right, Rob. I read "directly someone from else's" as the NPC you hired to let you copy and not other PCs. But looking again, that doesn't seem like the most sound logic.

Either way, it's got nothing to do with wizard scribing costs.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

As I posted in the other thread, it's clear to *me* that you need to pay *something*.

You either:

1) Buy the formula as an L Bulk item. If you want to pay to Craft a copy into your formula book, that would then alleviate you carrying around that L Bulk item.

2) Pay an NPC the same price for access to their formula, and then pay to Craft a copy into your formula book.

3) Gain access for free, either as loot, or from a friendly party member, and then pay to Craft a copy into your formula book.

We *know* Crafting is involved, so it's puzzling to me why people keep claiming it isn't.

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

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Nefreet wrote:


We *know* Crafting is involved, so it's puzzling to me why people keep claiming it isn't.

CRB wrote:
You can copy a formula into your formula book in 1 hour, either from a schematic or directly from someone else’s formula book.

Please don't ascribe thoughts to me.

You may *know* that. I definitely do not, because I don't believe it to be correct.

---

The Crafting Trained Action "Craft" is for making items that you have the formula, are your level or lower, you have the tools for and provide raw materials equal to half their value.

I see 2 separate options for dealing with formulas.

You can copy a formula into your formula book in 1 hour, either from a schematic or directly from someone else’s formula book.

If you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it using the Crafting skill.

ie.

If you want a portable copy of a formula you Craft it using the crafting rules.(I believe overriding to normal need for a formula otherwise were down an infinite spiral of formula formulas)

If you want to copy it into your formula book you spend an hour.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

That is an argument presented in the Rules Forum as well, and I simply cannot agree with it.

Suggesting that the "Crafting Skill" is not the "Crafting Activity" is pretty much my definition of "ludicrous-levels of RAW".

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

That's not my argument let me break it down even further for you, the "crafting skill" reference is absolutely talking about the crafting activity. It's not however part of the copy into formula book action.

I read it as 2 separate actions.

1: Copy into formula book.

CRB wrote:
You can copy a formula into your formula book in 1 hour, either from a schematic or directly from someone else’s formula book.

2: Craft a copy using the crafting activity.

CRB wrote:
If you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it using the Crafting skill.

---

Action 1 does not use the word crafting, takes an hour, has no cost or checks. Nothing here lines up with or otherwise suggest the Crafting activity.

Action 2 does use the word crafting, is the downtime crafting action, including checks, costs etc.

---

Full quote and further explanation of reading:

CRB wrote:
You can buy common formulas at the Price listed on Table 6–13, or you can hire an NPC to let you copy their formula for the same Price. A purchased formula is typically a schematic on rolled-up parchment of light Bulk. You can copy a formula into your formula book in 1 hour, either from a schematic or directly from someone else’s formula book. If you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it using the Crafting skill. Formulas for uncommon items and rare items are usually significantly more valuable—if you can find them at all!

First it tells you how to get formulas: Purchase them or pay an NPC for access. Note that as per The Treasure rules they are also appropriate treasure, so clearly there are other ways to get formulas and this list is not exclusive.

Second it tells you how to copy into your book (copy from a schematic or formula book, 1 hr etc)

Third it tells you how to craft a formula. (Crafting Downtime activity)

2/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Nefreet wrote:
Suggesting that the "Crafting Skill" is not the "Crafting Activity" is pretty much my definition of "ludicrous-levels of RAW".

In the Core Rulebook, there are five actions listed for the Crafting skill in the Skills chapter: Recall Knowledge, Earn Income, Repair, Craft, and Identify Alchemy. Only one of these five actions is the Craft activity. There are absolutely uses of the Crafting skill besides that one activity.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Indeed, but there is currently an argument being made that since this one sentence doesn't go the extra step of explaining which of those 5 subsets you use, it suddenly becomes too ambiguous and therefore no check is required at all.

@Rob: I believe the distinction you are trying to make only changes the time requirement of the Craft check, since without that otherwise you'd have to spend 4 days prep time and then X days Crafting.

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

I really don't understand why you think that action is crafting at all.

**

Do folks think a 6th skill function is missing from Crafting that, as 2nd edition is otherwise heavily key-worded through and through, would bestow greater clarity:

Copy a Formula

Or, does the presence of this phrase as a non-keyword justify the "free exchange" or "not at all" interpretation of OP's question?

CRB wrote:
You can copy a formula into your formula book in 1 hour, either from a schematic or directly from someone else’s formula book.

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

rainzax wrote:

Do folks think a 6th skill function is missing from Crafting that, as 2nd edition is otherwise heavily key-worded through and through, would bestow greater clarity:

Copy a Formula

Or, does the presence of this phrase as a non-keyword justify the "free exchange" or "not at all" interpretation of OP's question?

CRB wrote:
You can copy a formula into your formula book in 1 hour, either from a schematic or directly from someone else’s formula book.

I am convinced it's 100% free like Rob said. Not the first time I've had my mind changed about a rule and not the last. I'm looking forward to exchanging formulae on my Expert crafter.

In Org Play GMs cannot add things to the rules just because they have a personal theory something is missing. You have to follow the rules as written to the best of your ability/knowledge. And to the best of that knowledge copying ≠ crafting, and the "free exchange" is totally justified. Nothing in the rules shows otherwise even if you don't like it or it feels subjectively wrong. (It sort of still does to me… but them's the breaks in Org play.)

**

Preaching to the choir, Doug Hahn.
The only horse I have in this race is a PC in a game I'm GMing asked.
That said, being relatively new to Society, I am interested to see how this "don't know; ask Forums" pans out.
As you are also playing in that game, is what you're saying is that Robert Hetherington's reading decides the issue, and that I should inform my player of that now?
Genuinely confused!

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

I think it’s decided for me, unless there’s another argument that doesn’t add rules that aren’t there. If we were at a store in SF and this was something a GM appealed to me about, as the VL, I would ask them to let the players exchange formulas for free with no check based on the arguments in this thread.

This has been a productive conversation because I’m now pretty confident about this for my own tables, whereas my first reading wasn’t quite as sound as I thought it was.

I’m glad you took the time to try and get it right by posting here. It’s a great next step for a GM and you will often find many others have the same question; it can often end up helping the community.

And like I said in your game sometimes table variation still happens.

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

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I basically have 0 authority to decide anything that happens at a table, other than what goes on at a table I'm GMing, and even then I understand that playing an RPG is a collaborative process.

As community members we frequently come together on these forums to help make the best decision we can.

Point your GM to this thread, tell them what you think the answer is but that there's some contention and wait for their decision.

I don't see the lack of clarity here but enough others do that there's clearly an issue here that needs eventual resolution.

Here is the official recommendation from (then) Lead Pathfinder Society Developer John Compton on how to resolve rules in Society that are missing key pieces of information.

Which in summary says: Check the forums to see if it's already figured out. If not start a thread. Provide your GM with the best information available and respect their decision understanding that it may continue to be different until it's resolved.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Robert Hetherington wrote:
I really don't understand why you think that action is crafting at all.

Because, as my first post from the original thread indicates:

Nefreet wrote:
"If you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it using the Crafting skill."

That is the quote that then gets disregarded as ambiguous, since it states "Crafting skill", rather than "Crafting activity".

I think that is ludicrous logic.

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

I still don't understand your position.

I don't think that quote is ambiguous as all. It clearly refers to the Crafting Trained Action "Craft." I agree that an argument that it doesn't is ludicrous. And just because somebody made it you seem totally fixated on that and ignoring everything else I wrote.

As I mentioned before that rules section gives rules for acquiring formulas. Copying them into your book. Crafting a copy.

#3 is 100% crafting. That doesn't make #1 or #2 crafting.

(I guess technically the paragraph also as a 4th section about formulas for uncommon/rare items, but it's not relevant so I'll continue to talk about the 3 items listed)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

While I do think the rules here are written somewhat ambiguously, I'd tend to agree with Nefreet on this one. I don't see any good reason why there should be a difference between "Copying a formula into your book" and "Crafting a copy" (onto a scroll, I presume?!).

Most importantly, there is absolutely no good reason why the process should be so significantly different from the very similar process of adding a spell to a wizard's spell book. Both perform the same function from a games mechanics perspective, why have them be totally different?!

The "Learn a Spell" activity requires three "components": money, time and a skill check. The logically extremely similar process of adding a new formula to your book also mentions all three of these components, albeit in a much less concisely worded fashion. That more or less identical rules should apply seems only logical.

The sentence "I you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it using the Crafting skill" can easily be read to mean "If you have obtained in-game access to a formula as mentioned in the previous sentence, you can then make a copy of it into your formula book using the Craft skill", which I think is the intended meaning.

**

albadeon wrote:
I don't see any good reason why there should be a difference between "Copying a formula into your book" and "Crafting a copy" (onto a scroll, I presume?!).

"Crafting a copy" means making the physical item.

The sentence begins with, "If you have a formula ..." So it's not really relevant to the discussion. The discussion is how to get the formula.

How to get a formula wrote:
You can buy common formulas at the Price listed on Table 6–13, or you can hire an NPC to let you copy their formula for the same Price. A purchased formula is typically a schematic on rolled-up parchment of light Bulk. You can copy a formula into your formula book in 1 hour, either from a schematic or directly from someone else’s formula book.
What to do with that formula once you have it wrote:
If you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it using the Crafting skill.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So if the friendly other alchemist in your party lets you have access to his formula book, don't you still have to make a physical copy of the desired formula into your own book? Why would that be any different from copying it onto a piece of parchment to sell?

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

albadeon wrote:
So if the friendly other alchemist in your party lets you have access to his formula book, don't you still have to make a physical copy of the desired formula into your own book? Why would that be any different from copying it onto a piece of parchment to sell?

Because that's what the rules say.

Not that learning a spell is relevant but for the same reason that learning a spell and crafting a scroll are different activities.

2/5 5/55/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Nefreet wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
"If you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it using the Crafting skill."

That is the quote that then gets disregarded as ambiguous, since it states "Crafting skill", rather than "Crafting activity".

I think that is ludicrous logic.

That sentence absolutely refers to the Craft action, but not because of the part you're focusing on. When it says you can Craft a copy, Craft is capitalized. Therefore, it's referring to the Craft action. There's no action called Crafting. The Craft action is an action described under the Crafting skill.

It's very clear that you can use the Craft action to create a copy of a formula. What's not clear is if that sentence about Crafting a copy is a modifier to the previous sentences in the paragraph (saying that you use the Craft action to copy a formula into your book), or if it is an independent sentence describing an additional thing you can do (saying that creating a copy of a formula to give or sell to someone else uses the Craft action).

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

Thanks Polt. I was really struggling to get my head around that alternate reading where the second bit about crafting modified the first and now understand how one could get there.

I really didn't get it until now. I still think they are seperate but at least understand the ambiguity.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

6 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

Been lurking on this thread since it started...

It is an interesting dilemma.

So, that who text block at once.

formula from aonprd wrote:

You can buy common formulas at the Price listed on Table 6–13, or you can hire an NPC to let you copy their formula for the same Price. A purchased formula is typically a schematic on rolled-up parchment of light Bulk. You can copy a formula into your formula book in 1 hour, either from a schematic or directly from someone else’s formula book. If you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it using the Crafting skill. Formulas for uncommon items and rare items are usually significantly more valuable—if you can find them at all!

I am quoting them all together as they are printed, because the context is key here.

“If you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it using the Crafting skill.” here is in a paragraph about buying and copying formula. Thus, I would have to say, based on how the English language works, this is talking about acquiring and copying a formula and not the item you would make with it.

That would also mean, I think, that there is a cost to Crafting the formula ... based on item level, and time. I think this might also mean it takes at least 4 days to Craft the formula, and then that only gets you halfway there. This verbiage above makes me feel that it is just another Craft activity done in a Downtime

I will admit, 100%, that this does not make sense, to me, but that is how I read the rules.

My gut says that it should be just like spells, but I cannot find the justification in the rules yet. I think that Pirate Rob and I are in agreement here, but not 100% sure.

I suggest flagging this for FAQ.

“What type of activity is it to copy a formula, what does it cost, and is there a skill check required?”

This should be a PF2 FAQ not PFS

As to the OP’s initial question, the answer is that if the other PC let’s you copy from their formula book, then it takes 1 hour. The above stuff is only to create a copy of the formula other than in a formula book. Which, honestly, I don’t get why you would every do!

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

I think this was summer up better than I did it (not surprisingly, Ascalaphus) on the thread the OP mentioned.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

I think a lot of this comes from selectively quoting small fragments of the whole paragraph.

Formulas wrote:

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.

You can buy common formulas at the Price listed on Table 6–13, or you can hire an NPC to let you copy their formula for the same Price. A purchased formula is typically a schematic on rolled-up parchment of light Bulk. You can copy a formula into your formula book in 1 hour, either from a schematic or directly from someone else’s formula book. If you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it using the Crafting skill. Formulas for uncommon items and rare items are usually significantly more valuable—if you can find them at all!

The first of these paragraphs tells us that NPCs treat formulas as intellectual property.

The second paragraph begins by saying you can buy common formulas. Then it says that a purchased formula is a schematic on a rolled up piece of parchment - that's clearly something different than a page in your book (which, hopefully, isn't rolled up). Then it describes that if you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it, which would again make such a standalone schematic.

But the other thing you can do is just copy it into your book, instead of collecting all these standalone scrolls. In fact, many alchemist abilities require you to:

Quick Alchemy wrote:
You create a single alchemical item of your advanced alchemy level or lower that’s in your formula book without having to spend the normal monetary cost in alchemical reagents or needing to attempt a Crafting check.

You can't even use that ability with a formula on a loose schematic. The "in your book" phrase is used all over the alchemist class description.

---

So if you bought a formula on a loose schematic you'd have to write it in your formula book to actually get full use out of it. So now we have two hypotheses: (1) that costs money like Crafting a formula (which costs money like buying access) or hypothesis (2) it doesn't .

In situation (1), buying a formula on a schematic and then writing it into your book means you pay twice for a formula; once for the schematic and once to put it into your book. But again in situation (1), if you didn't buy a loose schematic but rented access to the NPC's book to copy it directly, you'd pay only once.

In situation (2), this paradox disappears. It's not the copying into your book that costs money, it's the intellectual property that costs money. You pay for a fancy packaging, or you pay for access to the source book, but in neither case does the writing into your book itself cost money.

---

So my take on it is: buying a formula from an NPC costs money once only, for either getting a look at their book or for a pretty piece of parchment.

PCs can't charge fees from other PCs for access to their books, so this intellectual property cost doesn't come into play. The CRB rules don't really anticipate a lot of trading between PC alchemists because how common is it really for multiple PCs to often have formulas to share with each other, if it's a constant gaming group? It's only the changing party composition of PFS that makes this an issue.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
But the other thing you can do is just copy it into your book, instead of collecting all these standalone scrolls.

This is what I personally can't get past. What makes you believe that you get to bypass the Crafting requirement?

We can talk about intentions all day long, but there are mechanical benefits to copying a formula into your book. Previously I've pointed out that doing so alleviates carrying around all these scrolls (which my Crafting character just leaves at home instead), but you've now pointed out another benefit to wanting a formula in your book, rather than on a loose sheet.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

(edit: @Lau, obviously)
But isn't your situation (1) very much how it works with wizards' spellbooks? You have to either find or purchase a physical copy of the spell, often in the form of a scroll, then spend more money to learn/scribe it into your spellbook.

However, the physical copy is not destroyed in the process of transscribing it into your book, so you get to sell it, or trade it to someone else, or (in the case of a scroll) use it up. So the money spent there is not lost.

I have no problem accepting that the same, or very similar, mechanism should be used for formula books.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Actually, turning the schematic into something akin to a one-use "crafting scroll" might be something worth looking into. Just an idea for the future, the current iteration of the rules certainly do not justify a schematic being used up during crafting.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Being able to sell or hand out the initial scroll for free is probably another point in favor of needing to Craft a copy. Otherwise the world would just need one scroll, passed around like a fruitcake to every Alchemist throughout the land. Problematic especially for Society, since one Alchemist player could just buy the initial scroll, and show it to everyone they play with.

But paying the usual costs of Crafting makes it more equal across the board.

So 1) Pay X gp for the scroll, 2) Pay 1/2 X gp to Craft a copy, 3) Sell scroll for 1/2 X gp.

Which lines up nicely with the other two levels of access.

Finding a formula scroll in a treasure hoard (which we know is a thing) covers that initial X gp. All you need do is Craft a copy (again, if that matters to you), and then you can sell the scroll to recoup that cost. This becomes, sensibly, the cheapest option to add to your book.

On the other end of the spectrum, paying that wizened Goblin Alchemist over yonder for access to their Goblin Pox Burning Stickybomb formula costs the most. You're paying an NPC for access, and then Crafting a copy, but you have nothing to sell.

Makes perfect sense to me.

**

Nefreet wrote:
Being able to sell or hand out the initial scroll for free is probably another point in favor of needing to Craft a copy. Otherwise the world would just need one scroll, passed around like a fruitcake to every Alchemist throughout the land. Problematic especially for Society, since one Alchemist player could just buy the initial scroll, and show it to everyone they play with.

I agree that you position makes the most sense.

Unfortunately, PF rules and PFS rules do not always make sense.

If I were inventing the rules from scratch, I would advocate PFS straight up ban exchanging formulas or spells. (On a practical level, the audit trail is exceptionally difficult, you'd have to prove that two people played together, which is not on a Chronicle, and you'd have to have a snapshot of the other character's formula/spell book at the time they played together, which is not on a Chronicle - not to mention rebuilds can change characters, so maybe an alchemist had a formula at the time you played together but then rebuilt and no longer has it.)

Alas, my opinion means nothing, nor does any discussion of what makes the most sense, nor does my agreement with you that being able to pass around Uncommon formulas is a problem for PFS. Those seem to be the rules.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Whenever a rule is ambiguously written, it makes sense to apply the meaning that both makes sense logically as well as works similarly to other related game mechanics.

The issue doesn't really change much with uncommon or rare formulas, except that of course you'd need to fulfill the access criterion first.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

Nefreet wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
But the other thing you can do is just copy it into your book, instead of collecting all these standalone scrolls.
This is what I personally can't get past. What makes you believe that you get to bypass the Crafting requirement?

It's very simple. The Crafting requirement refers to the rolled up parchment, not the not-rolled-up page in your book.

You can buy common formulas at the Price listed on Table 6–13, (...) A purchased formula is typically a schematic on rolled-up parchment of light Bulk. (...) If you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it using the Crafting skill.

This is all about the fancy display parchments, not your day to day workbook. You don't have to Craft a page in your book for the same reason that you don't have to spend four days crafting a log entry in your notebook.

Liberty's Edge 2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
albadeon wrote:
Actually, turning the schematic into something akin to a one-use "crafting scroll" might be something worth looking into. Just an idea for the future, the current iteration of the rules certainly do not justify a schematic being used up during crafting.

Stepping away for a moment from alchemical items, why would you propose a system like that for any crafted items? Why would a plan for making mundane armor (full plate, L2 crafted item), e.g., have a magical limitation like that?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
But the other thing you can do is just copy it into your book, instead of collecting all these standalone scrolls.
This is what I personally can't get past. What makes you believe that you get to bypass the Crafting requirement?

It's very simple. The Crafting requirement refers to the rolled up parchment, not the not-rolled-up page in your book.

You can buy common formulas at the Price listed on Table 6–13, (...) A purchased formula is typically a schematic on rolled-up parchment of light Bulk. (...) If you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it using the Crafting skill.

This is all about the fancy display parchments, not your day to day workbook. You don't have to Craft a page in your book for the same reason that you don't have to spend four days crafting a log entry in your notebook.

So let's analyze the repercussions of that and assume it's correct. Zero cost, no-check-required acquisition of book-to-book formulas.

A brand new Alchemist sits down at a Tier 1-4 adventure with a Level 4 Alchemist who previously sat at a Tier 3-6 table with a Level 6 Alchemist (I can easily imagine friends coordinating this).

Can the Level 1 character freely copy the entirety of the Level 4's book, including the entirety of what the Level 4 copied from the Level 6's book, with no checks required and no Crafting costs?

I imagine annoyed looks when someone who's been playing by the rules and paying for their formulas finds out there's a way to scam the system.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

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Hey I never said these rules were good rules. They're clearly designed for a small gaming group, not a worldwide campaign with lots of characters of different levels briefly associating.

The rules in the CRB assume the price is constructed because NPC alchemists are jealous of their intellectual property. That breaks down when you get anarchist combat weasel PCs.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

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Interesting Nefreet made the same argument I made to someone in another chat^^
EDIT: To be honest, I am less worried about the potential savings, but the paperwork involved, particularly if I have to copy it on the chronicle sheet, is not something I find particularly alluring.

**

Another perspective.

"Alchemy" as practiced by Alchemists today is pretty new, comparing 1st and 2nd edition.

It's thereby possible that not having "Learn a Formula" explicitly as a skill function is an oversight, lost in translation between editions.

Begging the question: How was "Learning a Spell" and "Learning a Formula" conducted between characters in PFS1?

Different? Comparable? How so?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Learning spells in PFS1 required paying an NPC for access, which was +50% of the spell cost. If you and another player each had spells you wanted, you just had to pay the cost of the spell.

I.E. Paying an NPC to learn a 1st-level spell was a total cost of 15gp. Paying to learn a 1st-level spell from another player was only 10gp. Same for Alchemists.

But that's not really relevant for PFS2. Different rules systems.

**

Nefreet wrote:
But that's not really relevant for PFS2. Different rules systems.

Why not?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

The second sentence in that quote answers your question.

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

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In 1e d&d you just rolled % as a wizard when you wanted to learn a spell. If you failed you could never learn that spell.

Also not relevant for the same reason.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Huh, this seems pretty straight forward to me.

"You can buy common formulas at the Price listed on Table 6–13, or you can hire an NPC to let you copy their formula for the same Price. A purchased formula is typically a schematic on rolled-up parchment of light Bulk."

Simple, straight forward. Lists two different ways you can get formulas, does not state nor imply these are the only two ways. Doesn't mention anything about finding them as treasure, which is another obvious way you can acquire formulas.

"You can copy a formula into your formula book in 1 hour, either from a schematic or directly from someone else’s formula book."

No ambiguity here, it takes one hour to copy a formula, that is all.

"If you have a formula, you can Craft a copy of it using the Crafting skill."

Also what it says. If you have a formula, meaning it is written in your formula book or you otherwise have a physical copy, then you can make duplicates. This is how a merchant makes one of those typical rolled-up parchment schematics of light bulk to sell it to you.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Which has a cost to it.

I agree. Pretty simple.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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Two of those parts have costs to them for sure. Purchasing a formula and making duplicates of a formula. Copying a formula into your book has no cost. I think this is done intentionally so that if you find a formula as treasure, it is in fact a reward. If it did cost to copy a formula into your book, then it wouldn't be a reward.

Note that these rules are not written for pfs. They are written for a normal game where the only way you could copy a formula for free would be if the GM allowed it. You know, like an npc letting a pc copy from their book as a reward.

I can understand if you think it should have a cost, especially in the context of pfs, but I don't understand where you think it says so in the raw.

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